I think I found something yesterday that I never wanted to find.
That’s not accurate. I am sure I found something yesterday I didn’t ever want to find. Saying that I *think* I found it is just me trying to trick myself into thinking that there’s a chance that it wasn’t what I actually saw. Acceptance of the truth is freedom.
God this is such a bummer. One huge whack to the crotch of hope. Assuming hope has a crotch of course. If it does, then it just got a huge thump to the groin.
Yesterday we were out clearing more and more homes as has been our usual day to day modus operandi. To be honest, the past couple days of house clearing have been pretty mundane. Our system has settled in, everyone now works well together, and overall, we are becoming a well oiled machine. We’ve managed to find a few houses with really small supply scores, but the simple truth is that there isn’t much of shit to salvage where we’ve been so far. To say that’s a little discouraging is an understatement. If we don’t find stuff, we seem to get a little depressed, which I guess is natural.
It reminds me once again of kicking in doors in Baghdad. We’d get a frago in the middle of the night that some insurgent or weapons cache was at a house, and we’d roll on it. In goes the door, everyone gets zipcuffed and bagged, sometimes people would get shot, and I’d say 75% of the time, we’d find a normal house with nothing of note in it. That shit got fucking OLD.
One of the houses we hit yesterday was pretty well fortified up, with a sturdy steel front door, and decorative ironwork on the windows that doubled as burglary protection. The crime rate here was pretty fucking low though, which made me wonder if the people living there were originally from the city or something. The city has had some pretty rough years for crime rates, like about 4 or 5 years ago when meth reared its ugly head for the first time. That was a bit of an ugly stretch for the local and state police.
Anyway, my point is the house hadn’t been broken into post apocalypse, and when we got inside, it was empty save for a single undead housewife that Patty put down with a .22 round to the eye. One of the cleanest kills I’ve ever seen to be frank. One little POP and the woman went down in a heap, and we dragged her outside. I wish they were all that easy and clean.
The house had a decent haul of food and consumables, but the real treasure was a small propane heater. Well, not that small. It’s big enough to warm a building or area the size of a two car garage, and weirdly enough, that’s where we found it. It’ll be a great way for us to heat an area on campus as well as good outlet for us to use up the propane we have on hand. I’m not sure how we’ll do it, but there’s a lot of it on just Auburn Lake Road. Figuring out useful ways to consume our various kinds of resources is going to be a really big deal as we move forward. We really need to make use of everything that we can.
When we were leaving that street I happened to notice something in a deep ditch that we hadn’t seen when we were pulling in. This street had a large drainage ditch on the side at the bottom of a steep embankment. Far down in the bottom of that embankment, plowed straight into the concrete culvert at the bottom was a car.
Gilbert and I hopped out of the HRT and I climbed down into the culvert with everyone else covering me. It was a small station wagon. A Subaru Legacy actually.
Inside was a baby seat in the back, with a half eaten, undead young boy still belted into it. I shot him in the face as he reached out with tiny little fingers to get me. That’s gonna bother me for a very long time.
A dead mom was in the front, head dashed to bits on the steering wheel. There were bags of groceries that looked familiar in the back seat. Baby food, water, all stuff from the old gas station for sure. I think it’s safe to say that this was the car from mid October that I encountered at the gas station. The young mother who shot her husband? With the little boy in the back?
Goddamn what a bitch it was to find that and also to put a round through that kid’s little skull. I had to leave to ditch and take some space to get my fucking noggin back in one piece after that. Gavin went down in the ditch to clean the car out for us while I sat on the edge of the guard rail and let the King’s men do their work in the old brainpan.
Patty and Abby were both sweet about it after I told them the situation. Honestly, I felt pretty good about things within a few minutes. I think maybe once I knew they were dead, I was kind of relieved. I think all this time I’ve been harboring worry for their fate. Wondering if they were safe, or even alive must’ve been eating at me somehow. Once I saw their bodies, and I knew there was nothing I could do for them, I think I experienced relief.
Not much else to say about that.
Early this morning after a fresh breakfast of egg omelets, we rolled out to clear more houses moving towards the industrial area of town. The houses are getting more congested, and that means more zombies, so our speed is diminishing pretty noticeably. Instead of clearing two houses at the same time with two people each, we’re now clearing one house with three people, and posting two guards to deal with anything approaching us. To relax ourselves a bit, we’re going to rotate who is on watch with Gilbert. This morning we had Patty take the break.
At noon we broke up to go meet Blake over near Walt’s place. Ironically, we were reminded to go meet him when Gilbert called out of the radio that Blake had just driven by in his truck headed towards Walt’s road. Too funny.
Gilbert and I peeled off from the group and left the others to finish up the house we were clearing. We’d put everything down that was moving (in terms of the undead), and Gavin posted watch while the women emptied the house. We felt safe leaving them alone.
Blake was sitting on the hood of his truck just the same as the last time we saw him. He hopped off, shook our hands like a big boy, and we shot the shit for nearly twenty minutes about the “town news.”
Such as it is nowadays.
We came into this meeting with Blake with no agenda. We hadn’t asked him for anything, and he hadn’t asked anything of us. Nevertheless, when Gilbert and I rolled out, we brought him three eggs, a can of green beans, and a random can of fruit cocktail. He was once again thrilled beyond belief. We wanted nothing in return for these things either. We just wanted to make sure he was eating, and we also wanted to show him we were good people.
Blake has been busy. Apparently our donation of the truck to him has inspired him to travel all over town, and draw us some rudimentary maps of the areas we need to be careful of. He’s got a good eye for detail, which Gilbert and I both highly appreciated. In addition to cruising around town, Blake has also identified several vehicles around town that he suggested we look into getting.
Diesel is the way to go. We knew this. It lasts longer, and there’s a LOT more of it available to us than we really appreciated. I know I used to have the mindset that gasoline was far more prevalent, and I think that was mostly because 90% of the cars here ran on gasoline. When we go to the gas station, all but one of two of the pumps is gas. The remainder are diesel. I think I was programmed to think that gas was just… around more or something.
Wrong! Diesel is fucking everywhere. Almost every one of the houses we’ve cleared this month has oil furnaces, and home heating oil is diesel. If the tank is sealed, largely dry from water, and is cool, then the diesel inside probably is still good to go. Gasoline gets nasty and or goes inert much faster, plus there’s just less of it around.
Blake has found us five diesel trucks scattered across town, and three diesel cars that he suggests we “obtain” so we can stop using gasoline powered vehicles entirely. That’ll allow us to keep our fuel fresh for the gas generators. Ergo, allowing us to keep them running longer, so we have electricity longer.
Speaking of that, Ollie and Melissa have been very frugal with their use of gas and the generator. They run it only when needed, and use as little energy as possible. Ollie says we need to keep an eye out for rechargeable batteries so we can double dip on our energy use.
Anyway, Blake also suggested yet again that we clear out and make safe the auto parts store so he can get working on fixing and repairing cars at Mike’s garage. I’m all for that idea, and I think we’re going to table it for the group tomorrow night. Clearing the auto parts store should “a cinch” according to Blake. He says it’s pretty clear in that area.
Once he’s in, then he can restock everything to the garage, as well as get books so he can be a more serviceable mechanic in the long run. Blake seems desperate to be useful. I don’t know if it’s because he’s been so isolated and alone for so long, or if he’s just a good kid. It’s hard to tell.
Back when the world was normal and I worked with kids, you could always sniff out the ones that came from shitty families. They had a certain air about them. Maybe the kid was always picking fights, or always hiding from the public eye, or they were jumpy, or a slew of other little things. Bottom line for me, is that I could always see kids from bad families.
I get that same vibe off of him. I know he said his parents died when he was 17 I think, and that he lived with his uncle at some point, but I can’t shake the feeling he’s got that… shit I don’t know how to say it, but that need to please because he was never good enough vibe. Maybe I’m way off track here on this, but I’d bet Gilbert’s hairy ball sack that kid was either abused or abandoned, or something along those lines.
Blake said this, “hey do you guys have more of the .303 you can trade me? I’m using it up moving around town, and if there’s anything I can do for you guys to get it off you, I’d be all over that. It’d be pretty sick if I could get some more .38 too.”
Mmhm… Gilbert and I later on both admitted to each other that’s when we knew we had him hooked. Obviously if this kid has mechanical skills, we want him working with us. We know we want him to get the garage up and running again, and to do that we need to get everything out of the auto parts shop. We also want to scout that farm he told us about, and we need to clear houses.
It’s just too much shit to do. Not enough time in the damn day. So we knew from before that we wanted to offload some of the work on him. We also knew we had bullets to spare, as well as parts for his Enfield, and that’s not even scratching the surface of how much food we can offer this kid. You should’ve seen his eyes Mr. Journal when we handed him those three eggs.
Gilbert and I suggested to him that he check out the farm for us. Strictly, and I mean under strict, no bullshit, no nonsense, impossible to fuck up instructions, we told him to observe from a distance, and report back to us. He was to do NOTHING unless we asked him to. Do not engage them under any circumstance. No shooting, no waving, no talking, no nothing. Just watching from a safe distance.
Blake didn’t even hesitate in saying yes. He felt pretty optimistic he could set up in a good hide with a good view of the area, and that he’d be more than willing to do it for days if necessary.
With us in the HRT we had another 20 round box of .303, as well as a tiny jar of instant coffee. We weren’t sure if he was a coffee drinker, but we figured he’d be desperate to drink, well, anything other than water. We also threw in a small packet of Kool Aid drink mix, which he just looked at with an amazed smile.
His plan is that he’ll set up in the morning, sneaking in before first light. He’ll stay in his hide all day, and exfil after the sun goes down. He swears it’ll be easy for him, especially with the truck. He says there is an old logging road nearby that’ll get him to a good spot for a short walk.
We shook on it, and we parted ways. I think he will do well for us on this project. If he does well, it’ll tell us that he’s a damn good scout, and that he’ll always have some kind of work. Let’s not even start the discussion of him being able to fix cars. If he can swing that, the little bastard might as well be made out of gunpowder and spam, he’ll be so damn valuable.
We returned to our group, cleared one more house without incident, and came back here to campus to unload and organize and stuff. Ollie had managed to bag a rabbit with his .22, and had it skinned and was cooking it over a spit outside of Hall B when we returned. Melissa had some stuff in Hall B’s kitchen to serve with it, and when got everything settled in, we all went over there for a nice family dinner.
I haven’t had rabbit in a very long time, and to have fresh meat cooked over an open fire… It was just terrific. It was a great way to end a pretty damn good day, if I must say. Awesome rhyming skills arrive just on time. Go me. (masturbatory high five)
Um, not much else to say. Oh, we’re meeting with Blake again on the 19th, and the Westfield folks will be here on the 15th, which I think I already mentioned at some point. We’re going to search campus to see if we can find a decent camera to give to Blake to take pictures when we see him next. We’re kinda low on batteries though, and most of the cell phones I found here have shitty cameras, or I couldn’t find the charger cords. If we can’t find something decent here or somewhere else, we’ll go without I guess. Funny how all those damn smart phones have ruined our chances of finding a damn regular camera. Fucking technology.
We’re getting close to clearing a few small businesses in town, so with any luck there will be a few neat things we can salvage out. I’m a little less than impressed about the whole “lack of awesome shit” problem we’re experiencing, but I guess with evidence of other survivors out there, it should be expected.
Can you imagine the cities Mr. Journal? All those people packed in with all those zombies, all competing for the same real estate and food stores. It must’ve been a goddamn soup sandwich when things got thick. Oh crap, can you imagine how bad it might’ve been in one of the big apartment buildings when the toilets stopped working? Fucking eww. Zombies and poo, everywhere.
Charming thoughts to end our day with. I’m off to bed shortly. Tomorrow we’re doing more of the frigging same. Like I said, we’re moving pretty slow now due to danger, so there will be a lot of boring ass entries. I hope I can keep you entertained with my inner awesomeness Mr. Journal.