From frying pan to fire, right? Fuck that fairy. I’ve decided on a resolute course of action for myself and the community here for a few days. I took a stand, let them know how I felt about things, and that’s that. Remember back when I was first talking about whether or not I’d lead by committee, or if it was my word was law or whatever? Funny that with all these people here I’m not really doing what I said I would do. Or thought I would have to do, for that matter.
I guess that’s because I’m surrounded by people that aren’t total assholes. I was so worried I’d be surrounded by people who would challenge my authority, and do things that were dumb. I’m pretty lucky. Minus a few dicks here and there, I’ve been blessed with supportive people that see things the way I do. It’s made leading pretty easy. Now if I could get over the guilt of when I make a bad call, and folks get hurt or die…
We restocked MGR earlier today, and it was my first taste of violence in some time. We rolled out in our standard movement package of MRT, and double humvees. I rode shotgun in the HRT in the lead, with Caleb driving, and we had Abby in the back. In the two humvees we had Kevin, Blake, Roger and Quan, plus Alex and George who were switching out with two folks there. We were restocking their water and food, as well as dropping off some additional weapons gear and supplies.
MGR hasn’t been engaging any of the undead they have been observing. Noise brings in more of the dead, and with possible living people out and about, there has been little reason to risk drawing them in either. Up to this point, it has been simply safer to sit back and observe. Of course when we roll in to visit them, there are some undead milling about, and our vehicles made enough noise to draw in more, so we naturally had to deal with some action on the surface streets.
Caleb drove over a zombie as we pulled into the parking area near the building, and we dismounted quickly to set up a perimeter. There were perhaps 4 or 5 undead danger close. I hopped out and walked over to the zombie Caleb had hit. I had the halligan on me from the HRT, and as Abby got on the roof of the HRT to provide additional cover, I took a deep breath, and brought the halligan down onto the skull of the still crawling man. His legs were shattered and twisted something awful, and he wasn’t any danger to anyone, especially me at that moment, and that’s why I did him in. I needed a bunny to get back on the gravy train, to break myself back in. The sound and feel of his skull breaking under the halligan’s weight was sickening. Like smashing a flesh covered, brain filled coconut.
Abby gave me a quiet golf clap as I pried the halligan free. I laughed at her. I was a little pissed at her, because her clap made me feel like she knew that was a big moment for me. I’m just self conscious about it. I need to face that.
The rest of the group fanned out to make our perimeter and put down the zombies in the vicinity, and once we’d made it safe, thankfully without having to fire any shots, we proceeded with the restock.
Not a ton of news to report on that. We took their garbage, refilled their water and food as needed, and dropped off a few hundred extra rounds. We had been waffling on the idea of upping their staff, and when we were there I made the decision we needed to. While we were inside the building I took time to check the world around it for movement, and to be honest, I saw far too fucking many undead in the streets. A fair handful of them wandered over to the building while we were there, so the folks pulling security at the door had steady work on their hands.
Something also felt… off. I can’t place what it is yet, but every time I looked out the windows there, I had the feeling that was missing something. Ever had that feeling Mr. Journal? It’s like when you’re about to leave the house, and you just feel like you’re forgetting something. Same idea. I just had this fucked up feeling that I was missing some detail.
Anyhoo, seeing Mallory again was awkward. I don’t think she expected to see me either, because ten seconds after she saw me, she disappeared to “check on something.”
Chicks. So much drama.
When we cleared out I left them with the fact that I’d be back tomorrow. Thinking about McGreevy’s rifle the other day, and being on top of that building made me want to take some shots. Plus, Alex and George are there now, and they’re both decent shots, as is Mallory, so I feel pretty comfortable getting on a balcony, and putting lead downrange. I know I’ll draw in a lot of the dead, and I’m counting on that. The herd needs thinning, and I need trigger time.
We also discussed the temperatures. It’s been really quite cold, and MGR isn’t staying all that warm. We still have that wood stove from Sylvia’s cabin, and I’m bringing it back tomorrow. Ethan has agreed to come to MGR with me to stay while I’m there, and that’ll make getting the stove in and up the stairs to a central location that much easier. Martin will come back a few days later to get it all hooked up. I don’t think one stove is enough though. Being there for a couple hours earlier today showed me the building is not designed to stay warm without lots of electricity. I’m thinking after I get done with a few days there putting dead down, we launch a mission for those bags of concrete, and a couple wood stoves I know are out there in folk’s basements.
Campus is bland. We are dealing with dogs now in a remarkably positive way. We are opening the outer gate at the rear of campus, and bringing out a small amount of food. When we feed the dogs that approach, if they take the food in a calm and friendly way, we know that they can be rehabilitated. Brought in as pets, warning alarms, whatever. One of the dogs tried to bite the hell out of Angela today while we were gone, and she put it down on the spot. I celebrated a small victory on that one.
We’ve only taken in one dog, a mutt that looks like it might be part Rotty. I don’t like it, but we’re keeping it near the barn where the cows are, and that’s a good distance from where I tread typically. The dog that got put down was a small thing. I didn’t see it, but Angela said it was like a beagle mix or something.
Angela said they’ve counted the dogs, and there are 11 left that have been somewhere near Bastion regularly. I don’t know why they’ve suddenly made their way to our home like this. My worst worry is that whatever brought the undead back into town has scared the animals into the outskirts.
I wonder what might’ve led the undead to town, or stirred them up?
Headed to MGR in the morning with Ethan. I’m bringing the trusty laptop here in the event I can’t sleep. At least I’ll have something to do. I’ll be shooting by noon if all goes well.
Well. I didn’t get a hangover the other night. Despite my best attempts to the contrary. I definitely saw some folks hanging their heads low the next morning though. I can’t decide whether to praise or curse Kevin and company for raiding a beer distributor in Canada before coming here. Normally I’d say hallelujah, but from the looks on people’s faces on New Year’s Day, I’d say a curse is more appropriate a reaction.
Having said all that…
As you might imagine, we haven’t been terribly productive here on campus. Today was our first day “back to the grind.” We have two projects on hand that are taking up the majority of our time and effort. First is the school being back in session. We’ve dedicated a handful of people to running that, and with the kids now doing that all day, we’ve lost a fair amount of labor force. To attempt to balance the loss of labor, we adjusted the school hours to 11am to 5pm. It’s easier to teach the kids in the dark, rather than in the morning when we have daylight, and can see outside. It’s getting dark at about 4 or 5 every day, so having them start later means they can wake up and work for an hour or two, then go to school. They complain, but they also like eating, and for the most part, we’ve got the kids working with Ollie on the farm with the animals, and with Ryan and Becca on the hydroponics, so they’re pretty invested. It’s easy to motivate people to work when the results of laziness is hunger.
The other project is the path to the waterfront for the last tower. We started hitting the trees again to clear the way, and I’d guess we have four or five more days to clear the way. We started ripping up stumps today with the backhoe while the tree cutters worked ahead. Good times. With all the branches and leftover wood from this we will be far more comfortable when it comes to wood for the stoves on campus here. I have been paranoid that we will run out of good, dry wood over the winter, and this makes me sleep better at night. Once we get the path clear, and we have enough lumber roughed, we’ll be all set. I am pretty sure we have enough concrete for the base of the tower too. Remind me to ask Blake or Martin to check on that Mr. Journal. If we don’t, I remember a place I saw on the other side we can hit for a few extra bags.
We did have a minor injury today out in the woods. Well, it wasn’t entirely minor. Fitz was working on the tree clearing crew and I guess a branch snapped somehow and a shard of wood about five inches long went right into his forearm going the long way. Wrist to elbow direction. Which if you know your anatomy, is a bad place to get a splinter that size. Fortunately Roger was there, and they were able to get the shard of wood out and get him patched up. He said it’d be a week to get back to good health, so for the moment, it looks like Fitz is on video feed duty. I expect him to lose his mind in two or three days.
I spent lunch over in Hall B at the school room with Michelle to check in on our rabid guest. Michelle says she’s doing much better. No violence the last two days, and with all the extra food we made for the holidays, she’s eating like a beast and putting weight on. Michelle has left her with books to read, and other things that are more remedial, like coloring books and markers to draw with. She’s hoping she draws some pictures that might illuminate what happened to her. God forbid she starts writing.
I like Michelle. She’s smart, warm, caring. She reminds me a lot of Cassie. I think I have been trying to hang out with Michelle more lately half out of interest in the projects she has going on, and half because she makes me feel like I’m talking with Cassie. Well, Michelle doesn’t have the fire that Cassie had, but you get the point. I like her. She’s cool. She makes me calm.
Oh yeah, fuck dogs man. I may or may not have mentioned a few times in my recent entries that we have had a bit of an issue with dogs barking and being at the gates. Guess what? We had a few of them try to dig under the fucking rear gate the past couple days to get inside campus. One of them had to be put down, he was far too large, and one was a yippy little bastard terrier that ran around for an hour, nearly got shot, and was finally scooped up by Andrea and brought to Hall A. She has named him Ralph. Ralph the terrier. Whatever. I don’t think he can bite my balls, so for now, he can stay. If he even comes CLOSE to my crotch though, I’m putting 10mm’s through his yippy trap.
Yeah I’m bitter. Come at me bro.
So we formulated a plan for the dogs yesterday after fixing he fence. We have a guard posted at the back gate with a .22 rifle to make sure no dogs dig their way under. If you’re curious, the guard is Danny Jr. He turned 15 the other day, and he’s a great shooter, and he’s also committed to doing his school work during the evenings to make up for missed school. I really like that kid. At some point here I need to give him his dad’s gun. I get the impression I’m not done with it yet. More justice needs to come out of its barrel I feel. Reaching out and giving folks a little bit of his dad’s law and order, if you get my drift.
So the ongoing plan for the animals is to shoot any that try and get in. Beyond that, we are going to try and bring some in over the next few days to see if they are feral, and lost to us as pets or animals of use, or if they can be brought in and given a home. As it turns out, we have a rather large amount of dog food on hand. The stuff lasts if it is kept dry, and fortunately there have been enough containers of it sealed this whole time that bugs didn’t get into it. I guess Patty and Abby were hoarding the shit in one of the dorm basements when they were doing house clears while I was out.
So yeah. Dogs. Here on campus. My groin is throbbing from bad memories.
We still have some issues with growing undead populations downtown. MGR has been keeping a close eye on things, and they’re reporting a slow but steady increase in the presence of the dead. Things haven’t gotten out of control yet by any means, but I am still concerned. Any time movement increases there is a cause and effect. Why are the numbers increasing? What is causing it?
Almost a sure guarantee that whatever the cause is, it’ll be a problem for us at some point. That bitch fairy just LOVES to put it to us.
Still worried about the survivors we haven’t tracked down yet. I am almost certain that the undead presence has been stirred up by the living moving around, and we just haven’t seen them yet. The folks over at the Factory haven’t seen anything moving near them, other than the void of undead. They’re saying the population around the building has been strangely gone the past few days, which may explain why we’re seeing more here now. Maybe a few groups of people leaving the city have dragged them this way. Who knows. Without an eye in the sky, we’re operating on guesswork.
I’m still very nervous about shooting. I’ve been having bad dreams about gunplay off and on since I woke up from the other side. I see myself in situations with undead in my dreams a lot, and every time I need to, I feel like I can’t pull the trigger. Ever have one of those dreams when you were a kid where you were in a fight, and when you hit the other person, your punch did nothing? It feels like that. I feel impotent, afraid, exposed, vulnerable. All bad things to feel when you’re in a bad situation.
It’s fucked up that I can’t dream of the living. I feel so alone in my dreams. I have no allies to encourage me in those moments. No Kevin, no Abby, no Michelle. Just me and my weapon, and sometimes even that isn’t there. I hate it.
Oh well. The next time I am faced with a slowly rotting corpse that is trying to eat me, or eat those with me, I best be ready to do what is required, and fast. If I truly want my friends to stay alive this year, it will certainly come down to me making that happen myself.