Been kinda busy here. Taking a wee bit of a risk as well, but fuck it. I’m feeling good about things. Besides, the greater the risks, the greater the rewards, right? Breaking eggs to make omelets, and various other wise sounding blurbs.
Yesterday I went to Martin and asked him if he could make some kind of metal grave marker for Gilbert. He immediately agreed, and said that he needed more of his welding equipment from his job to do it. Without a moment’s hesitation, and like a complete dumbass, I said let’s go!
Martin looked at me like I’d just gleefully tried to rape a bag of marshmellows.
I laughed, and got more information about the welding business he worked at, and after getting enough info to make sure it was actually a feasible run for us, I confirmed my decision, and he and I plus Abby and Angela rode out in the plow truck and the dualie to get his shit. I knew I wanted two trucks to move as much crap as possible, otherwise I’d have taken the HRT and something else.
Martin’s welding shop was in a tiny ass building right near the grocery store. Of course it was down and out on a suburb street that if you didn’t know it was there, there was no chance you’d find the place. Sort of a home style business that some dude started up and maintained for himself. Martin didn’t own it, but he worked for the guy.
Fortunately, the place was largely devoid of undead. When we pulled into the driveway/parking lot, we had passed two wandering in the street, and there was one more right in front of the door of the welding shop. As it turns out, it was Martin’s boss, the owner. Now I said before Martin is a big dude, and this guy dwarfed him. Just a mammoth of a human. Martin shook his head and when we stopped the truck, he asked if he could take care of him as one last favor to a friend. I told him of course, and he hopped out with a halligan, and did what had to be done. As that was going down, Abby and Angela took care of the two in the street with their own halligans.
It occurs to me we need more halligans. They’re fucking indispensable. They seem to be good for everything.
Once we had the area cleaned out and safe, we checked in the windows of the shop and it was empty. We did a quick clear using the opportunity to show Angela and Martin what was up on how to do it. They hadn’t gotten the chance to see Abby and I in action, and I think they were suitably impressed, especially by Abby. She’s such a stick of dynamite. Love that girl.
My hope is that we can get more people combat oriented for house clearing once we’re done with the campus defenses. Speaking of which, while we were gone yesterday and today, everyone else pitched in and worked on things. I’m pleased to announce that even without Martin and I’s beef, they still put up some serious real estate. I think they got maybe thirty feet of wall done both days. I think we were putting up 40-50 before, so that’s still awesome.
I’m once again getting ahead of myself.
We cleared the welding shop, and helped Martin get everything out. I would like to officially preface this by saying I know FUCK ALL about welding, so don’t expect a complicated description of what we took, what we can do with it, and how to operate it. There were some cylinders of stuff, some shiny things, some sharp things, and a LOT of scrap metal that Martin said he could work with. The great news was the dude had a spare gas generator for his shop, so that partly satisfied our need for generators for the gym/hydro facility.
We had to stop midstream twice to pop two more undead coming down the street, but really, that’s no big deal. I’m so happy that the population of dead has reduced to a reasonably seeming level lately. Granted, we haven’t been moving around town quite as much clearing houses the past week or two stirring the hornet’s nest, but it’s nice one way or the other.
We returned to campus after about.. six hours or so, and we got Martin’s shit set up in the old woodshop/industrial arts building. We weren’t using it for anything anyway, and with the stuff being largely, you know, explosive, keeping it from where we lived seemed like, sensible and whatnot.
It also helps because if he’s in there working, it’s right near the crops, and has windows facing that way, so he can keep an eye on the fields. Not a big deal really, but it’s a fringe benefit. I need to get Martin weapons trained. He’s not a gun guy, but that doesn’t matter anymore. If he wants to stay alive, and keep Julie and Chester alive as well, he’ll have to learn. I also need to get Zach and Ryan on the range as well to see if they are able to carry. I’m hoping yes, but I’m feeling it’ll be a no.
Today was another off campus day for Abby and I. We took Angela again, and the three of us went back to the area of town the welding shop was in. We managed to clear 5 houses, which was so frigging awesome. I felt good doing it. It felt like forever since we’d cleared houses. Of course we just spent a couple days clearing out MGR, which is essentially the same thing as clearing houses, but it wasn’t. Felt different at least.
In the five houses we found… no one. No zombies, no dead bodies, nothing more dangerous than a few dogs running around in the neighborhood. Got my nut sack a little squinchy seeing a fairly large dog running around, but they kept their distance, and I refrained from shooting them. Sort of surprised at how uneasy I am around dogs now. Anything larger than a terrier makes my asshole pucker up something fierce.
It’s a shame too, because having a few dogs on campus would be great. Early warning devices, as well as pets. The kids would love to have a dog running around. I don’t know how we’d get one to come to us. The few dogs we’ve seen seem skittish as hell, which makes sense, because the majority of people they see are dead, and try to eat them. I imagine the human/dog bond of trust is shot to shit now.
So five houses today, and no one inside. While we were emptying them of goodies, we wound up having to deal with a few walkers coming down the street again, which wasn’t a big deal. It sort of scares me how routine this is all getting for us. As I said, it’d been awhile since we’d cleared houses, but it’s so simple for Abby and I to get it all done now. We move as a unit, cover each other’s asses, make no mistakes, and are totally comfortable in just about any situation now. Anyone else who comes with us is almost in the way, and a liability. Patty’s really good too, but I feel so much better with her back at the campus keeping shit on lock down. I trust her to make sure the right decisions get made, and she’s the best shot there in my opinion.
It occurs to me the word trust is very malleable in the wake of Gilbert’s death. I trusted him, and I’m not sure I should’ve.
That’s not fair. I did trust him, and in the end, despite walking the line of fucking me over, he never really did the worst of what he could’ve, and really did have our best interests in his heart. I hope his wife is okay. I know Gilbert deep down inside could deal with burning in Hell, or wherever it is we go now when we are pieces of shit in life.
I suspect though, he’s dodged that fate too.
He was good like that.
Our haul from the five houses earlier today was decent. Some canned food, few neat tools and items of relative usefulness. We’re going through a lot more food right now because of the extra mouths added from MGR, but by the time our food supplies start showing signs of being taxed, the crops should start yielding. Not to mention the hydro stuff is still churning food out, but the setup isn’t designed to feed all of us, just a handful of us.
However, it’ll all come out in the wash.
Oh, so the other thing we are on the lookout for is canning supplies. Angela and Amanda know how to, and they need the jars for it. We got an assload from The Farm when we emptied it out, but we’ll need more over time. I guess the rubber seals don’t last forever, so the more jars we can hoard, the better off we are. Either way, down the line, we’ll need to find a good way to preserve our shit, especially when we run out of gasoline that’s powering our fridges.
Hopefully though, if we can find a way to run a hydroponics garden year round, we can grow fresh food all the time, and food storage won’t be as much of an issue.
Awfully fucking optimistic today, aren’t I?
Martin made a rough but strong monument today for Gilbert while we were out clearing those houses. It was a dagger pointed upward, with three small iron lightning bolts going across it diagonally. Mr. Journal if you were not aware, that’s the Special Forces icon. It didn’t look perfect, but then again, neither was Gilbert.
Abby and I thanked him profusely, and she plus her mom and I went up to his house and put the cross in the ground at the head of his grave. His name isn’t on it, but for those of us who know where he is buried, it doesn’t matter. We know who he is, and we are his family. We will mourn him and celebrate him alone if need be.
We will tell the tales of Gilbert Donohue. Hopefully when this all comes to its bitter end, we’ll be able to tell how he redeemed himself after death.
I suspect, if we survive all this bullshit, that’ll be the case. But again, I’m awfully optimistic today. Very much against the grain for me lately.
Tomorrow we are going to tackle setting up the gas generator in the gym we got yesterday from the welding shop. That’ll fully automate the hydro setup we have now, which will make Zach and Ryan’s life much easier. We’re also going to keep plugging away on the wall and gate, which if we can get myself and Martin working on it, we can make some serious headway. I’d really like us to string together a few 50 foot days and bang this shit the fuck out. We’ve got so much to do.
The day after, more of the same. The more I think about it… if we don’t hear from Westfield tomorrow, I might just take a truck or two and some bodies and drive the fuck over there to find out what’s up. Blake and Kim are still over there, and Hector is getting antsy here. He’s exhausted from helping with the wall all day for so long, and I know he just wants to go home and see his friends.
Mallory seems pretty content here, but the last couple days she has seemed a little… sick of me. Not that I am not exceedingly charming and the such, but I think she’s had enough of sleeping next to my hot (and by hot, I mean sweaty) ass, and I think she’s realizing she has a bunch of haircuts to do back at the school. Ever the business woman I suppose.
I’m exhausted. Mallory is taking a shower right now. That’s her code for “prepare to go down on me.”
I have begun to limber my tongue.