So much to write about Mr. Journal. I am totally fucking exhausted here. I have half a mind to just… say fuck it and go to bed, but I know if I pull the covers up over my face, I’ll just sit here like a bump on a log wishing I’d written all this shit down while it’s relatively fresh in my memory. Then I won’t be able to sleep, and I’ll get up, and do it anyway.
Obviously, I am still alive, which means our quasi confrontation/meeting at The Farm went well on some levels. Actually, on many levels, but there’s always something to make it fucked up. I’ll save that for last. Gotta tantalize you Mr. Journal.
Ollie returned to us from Westfield yesterday with a bag full of mixed news. Obviously he’s been with his dad at the big farm, helping him taking care of things. He said the farm itself is well, moving right along with no issues, and he said his dad was terrific too. A little frazzled from the new people driving by the farm on the regular, but thankfully things haven’t escalated to violence yet.
On a similar note, the signs that Mike and Lisa have placed around town there seem to be working to bring folks in. I guess they were visited by about a dozen folks in a few small groups asking for food and water, and they’ve dodged some pretty scary situations as a result. We don’t want folks to starve, and we don’t want to fight folks, so anything we (they) can do that achieves both agendas is awesome.
Ollie spent last night with Melissa, and headed back to be with his dad this evening after we returned from the meeting at the Adams farm. Melissa was… sad. Ollie too. They’re so sweet together it’s disgusting. On a similar note, I was sort of hoping to get some kind of love letter, or Hustler confession from Mallory via him. But… zilch. Maybe she and I aren’t going to be as regular a thing as my penis is hoping for. Oh well. I’ll take what I can get. Ollie plans on returning on the 23rd. Hopefully everything is safe and sound back in Westfield while he’s there.
Yesterday Gavin went out solo to do recon on the farm. I had him go to the area behind the farm’s field and observe from that direction because there was a much better line of sight into the rooms where we’d seen the pregnant women. If Blake’s significant other is about to pop, I kinda wanted to increase our chances of getting eyes on. Gavin said downtown was infested with the undead, and in retrospect, it was really dumb to send him out there alone. I don’t know who else could’ve gone though. Patty maybe, but that just seems weird to me. Water over the dam I suppose. Gavin was fine.
He did say the downtown area had filled up yet again yesterday, which tells me there has GOT to be something leading them in here from somewhere. Shit, never mind what happened today. Is it more survivors dragging them back into town? Are these escapees from buildings that have opened up somehow? Is something calling them home to roost? Fucked if I know. Now would be a great time to get one of those awesome dreams the fill me in on the shit that’s confusing me.
Alright. So this morning we set out early to meet the Edwards family at their home prior to heading to The Farm for the trade. We never set a specific time to meet with the Adams folks, so there was no rush, but I am glad we left early. As I said above, Gavin reported downtown was bad, and sure as shit it still was.
We went with three vehicles, which was a good idea. Myself and Abby in the HRT, Gilbert and Patty in the Tundra, and Gavin and Blake in the Dodge. Things were fairly normal until we reached the area the police/fire station is at. The undead were two or three deep in strange knotted groups covering the road, almost spaced out far enough to wind our way in between without having to hit them to get through. I radioed it back to the others, and after stopping for a second to think about it, we pushed forward, moving side to side around the groups.
Remember back when all those pricks wandered onto campus carrying the books? You remember how they didn’t do shit to us until we fired on them? It was a lot like that. Until we were mixed into the patches with undead on the sides, they did nothing but shuffle their feet like we weren’t even there. Once we were in their midst though… it was like a light switch was thrown. They all turned simultaneously and stared at us with those creepy fucking eyes, and then collapsed on the sides of the trucks like we were fresh meat. The pit of my stomach cropped like a rock.
Abby called out “floor it!” on the radio as I did just that. I wasn’t about to wait for them to get up under us somehow and fuck us over. The big old bitch jumped, and I cut the wheel sharply right at the last large patch of undead in the road. They were obliterated by the huge bumper and grill of the truck. I wished we’d had that plow blade Blake is working on. Two or three of the fuckers were smashed right into the front of the damn truck so forcefully they were lodged there, and when we finally broke free, we had to stop for a minute, brain them with the fucking halligans, and then pry them off the truck like undead roadkill.
Mercifully, we made it out of that fucked up ambush as cleanly as possible. The tail vehicles did have some trouble. Blake and Gavin in the tail truck had to roll the windows down to shoot off a few undead that managed to latch onto the truck. They had three zombies manage to go ass over tea kettle over the side of the truck and get into the bed, which is something I never thought would happen. I guess Gavin opened the slider window and used his sidearm to kill them while we were flooring it out. Messy business. Definitely makes me not want to go back downtown for some time.
I think we made it to the Edwards house to meet Larry and Candace at around 10:30 or so, which was at least 45 minutes longer than it should’ve taken. Fucking zombies. Candace was out in the yard like a boss keeping watch, and she waved and greeted us up. We parked the trucks in the yard and Gilbert, Patty and I went to their trailer to go over the details. While we were talking, Blake ad Gavin left with the two trucks, drove back around the side roads, and made their way to our two sniper positions in the woods.
Sort of surprisingly, the Edwards folks were calm, and almost excited. Does that sense? It seems like a contradiction. Maybe I should say they didn’t strike me as being nervous. Like, “hey, yeah, this’ll be great, I hope it works out! Let’s do this!”
We told them what items we’d brought, and what our agenda was as far as learning some things about these people. As we said to them before, there was a huge amount of bad rumors floating around our camp about them, and we really wanted to let Gilbert and Patty do their work on trying to gently coax tidbits free.
We did not tell them that if things were to get weird (read: violent or potentially dangerous), we had shooters on sight, and that we were fully ready to engage them with punishing fire at a moment’s notice. Now, as you might imagine, that could’ve changed their largely jovial attitude regarding the whole meeting. Better to tell them later. See: ignorance is bliss.
Here’s where shit gets weird, and weird again. (read: strange, and otherworldly, followed by aggravating, and potentially dangerous)
I held down the fort at the HRT with Abby. Blake and Gavin were already in position by then, and Gilbert and Patty walked on foot to The Farm with Larry and Candace. We knew these assholes had enough smarts to use walkies, so we skipped on the previously used idea of leaving a walkie running hot so we could all overhear. If they tabbed through the channels and heard us broadcasting the whole meeting, it could jeopardize everything.
I was in the dark. We went radio silent, and with no scope or LOS from the trucks, I had to sit there, and wait for them to come back. You wanna talk about aggravating? Fuck my life. I am reminded distinctly of when Kevin and I would get frag-o’s in Iraq to get our shit together to move, and we’d get all set up, only to have the Op cancelled at the last second. All dressed up, and nowhere to go. Horrible.
Point me at a problem, and let me shoot it.
It was precisely 2 hours and 53 minutes before they returned. Subtract time for the walk down the road, and we’re looking at an hour of face time with the pastor. Gilbert and Patty were smiling, and judging by the lack of blood over anyone, it went down well.
Gilbert looked at me and gave me one of his ancient thumbs up for approval. He didn’t want to say too much right there in front of Larry and Candace. Here’s what he said there, which was kinda telling, if you get my drift.
“Well, Adams seems like a good man. His people seem like good people too. Little bit too into the church thing for my taste, but to each their own.”
“What about the women? What about Blake’s girlfriend?” I asked him.
“Well, he says that God sent him a message. He says that they had dreams about where to find these people, and lo and behold, after every dream, they found one of the ladies with child. He also claims that the girls here who have gotten pregnant since arriving, have conceived immaculately. I don’t quite buy that, I think someone is getting some hanky-panky and not being upright about it, but the man seems pretty convinced of it.”
“Dreams?” I raised an eyebrow.
Gilbert nodded, knowing what I was getting at, “yeah son, dreams.”
So maybe they are good after all. Maybe they’re seeing the same dreams I am. Maybe they’re being guided, or informed, or whatever just like I am too? I am strangely relieved by this news. I mean, it’d been weird if they had some quasi believable cover story or something, but this is… very real to me. No one can understand what has happened to me in my sleep those few times, and how those dreams burn right into you. If he’s having the same kind of dreams, then I need to believe him, or I essentially say to myself, Adrian, you are bat shit crazy.
Incidentally, what exactly is crazy about guano? I mean, it’s shit. Shit is gross, not necessarily crazy. If bats crapped neon green floating turds that spoke to you, then I’d totally understand that expression. Wow. Tangent.
Gilbert went on to explain that Blake’s woman Kim accepted the entrance to The Farm for protection’s sake, and when she realized she was pregnant with the kid, she elected to stay behind. Moving out and about town pregnant with Blake as her only protection risked the life of her child. She thought it was best that Blake be told to leave, and that she wanted no more contact with him. He has a temper after all.
I don’t like the idea of me being bat shit crazy, so I’m gonna go on faith, and go on Gilbert and Patty’s opinion here. The Farm is legit. It all makes sense. If he’s having dreams like mine... then the pregnant ladies (immaculate conception and all) are not that far out of the question. Kim’s story is believable, especially in the light of the dream thing too.
I’m getting ahead again.
So we shot the shit about the basic meeting while Gavin and Blake made their way back to us. Gavin was normal, and Blake was kind of uppity, and pushy. It took a Gilbert stare to get him to let it go for the moment. Gilbert assumed command, and invited the Edwards family back to our place for an evening cookout on campus tomorrow.
I was a little taken aback by the sudden and enormous gesture of hospitality. Later on Gilbert and Patty both said it was due to the few hours of talk on the walk over and back. Candace was good people, Larry was good people, and their kid Tucker was a good shit. Just solid people, with usable skills.
We told them we’d come back and get them tomorrow at about 3pm for the dinner. When they arrive here on campus, we’ll present them with the SUV we promised them for helping us. That way, they can drive themselves home.
Speaking of strange and ironic drives… The way back here was wide open and clear. I think we saw something like twenty or thirty undead in the streets, which is still a lot, but compared to the morning’s drive over… That’s nothing. I don’t know if they were pulled away by something else moving or what. It’s like a giant frigging chess game. Pawns move one way, pawns move another… I hope someone is a few moves ahead of their opponent here, and I hope it’s me.
When we got back to campus, Blake blew his top. He couldn’t wait to hear about what happened at the meeting, and if we had any news about Kim. Clearly, this was a hot issue for him as well as us.
We piled into Hall E and after getting our shit off and cleaned up, we started making dinner. Gilbert and Patty sat Blake down in the living room and made damn sure that he had no guns or knives. Then they gently told him that she was there, that she was carrying his kid, and that she was safe and sound.
His response to that was predictably awesome. He was thrilled to hear he was about to be a father. Tears of joy, all that jazz. Gilbert then told him that according to the Pastor, she was a little scared of him and the risks he took, and she felt her and the baby were safer inside The Farm. Blake’s response to that was predictably not good.
His first response was, “that guy is lying, she’d never say that.”
Gilbert of course agreed with that line of logic, conceding that it was possible, and said that in a few days we’d be trying to meet them again for another trade, and we were going to work on seeing if she’d be willing to talk to him. I guess she’s due any minute now, so a birth might be right around the corner. However, the idea that we are on good speaking terms with The Farm now clearly alleviated his tension. Patty was awesome because she played the whole “caring mom” part. Blake will likely not be sleeping for some time. Expectant post apocalyptic father.
So yeah. We’re getting the Edwards clan here for dinner at about 3pm. I feel like that will go well. The weather has turned nice, the leaves are green, and if things stay good at Westfield, we can focus on killing the undead in town, and continuing to try and make this damned world a better place.
Otis is being weird. He’s sleeping in the closet on top of some of my dirty clothes. Weird ass cat.
I’ll toss an entry in tomorrow after the Edwards folks take off. I’d like to put two nice entries about two good days in this journal in a row. Wouldn’t that be swell.