I’m back like herpes Mr. Journal. You just can’t kill me. I am the boomerang of tools.
Shit I just called myself a tool. Ah fuck it, why fight it?
Two straight days in Westfield for old Adrian here. Rough going really, but I’ve been through much worse. I’ll recap yesterday first.
I left early, before the sun came up. Right after I put in my last entry I went out and got the snowmobile loaded into the Tundra. I snagged some 2x4s and rope and all that jazz. I packed a large backpack I got from one of the dorm rooms with all the supplies I’d need. Food, water, matches, a compass, state maps, and a small container of gas in the event I needed emergency fuel etc. In the gymnasium we have snowshoes for the kids, and I found a pair that fit me. Everything an almost-Ranger needs to survive in a normal American town, post zombie apocalypse.
Oh, and ammo. Lots of ammo. I brought all the .223, for the M15, the Glock, all the mags loaded for that, and a spare box of .45, and the Cheetah in the ankle holster. I left the large longsword behind. I can’t find a machete anywhere. I did however remember I had a decent camping hatchet which worked out just fine. Makes me regret not buying a decent machete at Moore’s at some point.
Water over the dam. Abby was on watch in Hall A when I left yesterday morning, and I checked in with her to make sure she was okay. I told her that I’d be back sometime today. I fully expected to try and get back late yesterday, but that didn’t happen. Anyway, we parted ways, and I headed off.
We got about a foot of snow the past few days, but mercifully the sun has been out all day, and it has reduced down to about 9 inches in the spots where I’ve been plowing regularly. Now the trip to Westfield was a bitch for a few reasons. Obviously, driving through the snow sucked balls, even in a 4x4 with big ground clearance. It just sucked.
Secondly, it sucked because I couldn’t just drive straight to Westfield. Gilbert and I studied maps, and we knew that if they had any brains at all they’d set up security checkpoints on the main road heading in. That meant we had to take side roads and park a ways outside of town, and either hoof it in, or head in on the snow machine.
Thirdly, it blew because I had to run over or get out of the truck to kill about five undead on Auburn Lake Road. They were slowly trudging in our general direction, and that’s not a good sign. We’ve got to keep it quiet on campus for a few days at least to try and mislead the damn things back to somewhere else. Fucking crazy stuff Mr. Journal.
I drove roughly 25 miles on Route 18 to a road that we had identified during planning. The road looped around the town in a pretty wide arc, but there were multiple roads branching off there that put me about a mile away from Westfield proper. According to one of the maps we had Westfield had an original population of about 15,000 folks. Westfield was in the middle of a large valley and had a very centralized layout. From what I remembered there was a large tract of developments skirting two thirds of the city, and the downtown area was on the opposite side of town.
I was heading towards where those two sections of the town met. the school was on the cusp of downtown and the developments. I found the area I wanted to park at, and picked a driveway that headed into some cover. The snow was about a foot and a half thick, and I managed to smash the truck through and park the it in the back of the house. Once I was situated I sat tight, and listened.
Nothing. Quiet as a church. I gave it fifteen minutes and then got the snowshoes out. There was no way I could hide the tire tracks I’d just made, but my hope was that the turn off I’d taken was so far from town they wouldn’t be coming out to check. If they didn’t see that road, then they wouldn’t see the driveway. However, as a precaution, I got the snowmobile down, and drove it very slowly about a tenth of mile into the woods so if they did find the truck, I had the machine as an escape option.
From there, it was on foot through the woods. The snow was fairly hard packed and the snowshoeing was pretty easy. I’ve lost a lot of weight too which helped. On foot through the woods with all the gear was a bastard. I had about a mile to go before I got into a neighborhood that could be called “downtown.”
I made sure to wear lighter colored clothing. Now the winter jacket I’m using is a neutral grey color, so to compensate and make myself less visible, I grabbed white sheets. I’ve got the sheet stitched roughly across my back, and down the top of my arm so I can wrap up real quick and go completely white. If I go café down in the snow, the only thing someone will see is the white sheet. Go me and my fucking cleverness. Once I saw the houses I slowed down and moved from cover to cover to stay hidden from anyone looking. I didn’t see anyone, but that didn’t mean shit. I worked my way through a few rows of houses and wound up stopping at a small ranch. The road it was on was plowed.
From the side of the house I saw a window was open, so I scrambled up and into the ranch house as fast as I could. I ate shit when I came down on the other side when the snowshoes snagged on the window. Bit my tongue pretty good. Doh. Once I got the shoes off I cleared out the place and found it was empty, and emptied. Nothing inside worth taking at all. All the cupboards were open, as was the fridge. The place had been tossed for its contents.
I set up the kitchen table inside the house with a chair and established a good hide spot. I could see out all three sides of the house at the plowed road, and unless someone slowed down and looked directly inside at me, I was invisible. I had left no visible tracks in either, which left me feeling pretty safe.
I think I was set up at 11am. Something like that at least. I got my shit out, and sat there. The life of an observer. Hours and hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Nothing came into my field of view until 3pm. A small pickup truck came down the street heading north towards the suburb portion of the city. There were two passengers in the truck, and they drove pretty relaxed at about 25 mph. Redheaded guy, and chick with a ponytail. They came through at about three, and returned back at about half past four. Most noteworthy was that the truck was carrying stuff in the back on the return trip.
Notice anything funny about that paragraph Mr. Journal? Anything at all? Go ahead, re-read it once more.
Find it yet?
There’s no mention of zombies in it.
I didn’t see a single zombie the entire first day and night I was there. Not one. That told me these guys had either dragged them all somewhere else, or had them huddled around the school like Patty said they had at STIG. Well, the third option is that they have managed to kill all the undead, but that scares me. It suggests a pretty powerful amount of organization, and a large and capable fighting force.
That night I slept in a back bedroom and froze my ass off. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep total. However, I never used to mind getting shit sleep on ops like this back in the sandbox. You’re so wired up on adrenaline sleep feels like it’s getting in the fucking way. Wake up Adrian! Get back to the mission! It’s funny how the brain works.
I was set up in my hide drinking a can of Red Bull at 4am. I did see a single zombie shuffle down the road at 9am. It was an old lady wearing a floral print bathrobe. She went from north to south and I let her walk. No need to kill anything or announce my presence. I decided I’d displace after seeing her walk by. I gathered my shit, and got out the back, and went the better part of mile north in the backyards of the houses. Through fences, around old pools, and over hedges. What a bitch. It took me over an hour to go a mile. Essentially I shadowed the plowed road until I got to an area where the density of houses dropped off, and I could see some farmland ahead.
At the corner of the road I had been set up on was a small cape, and I set myself up in the second floor in a bedroom that had a corner view of the farms and the street. It was empty just like the ranch was before. Clearly these people had gone house to house just like I had. They were thorough.
Not long after I had finished getting myself set up in the cape the same truck drove by with the same two passengers. The redheaded guy again, and the same chick with the ponytail. Once again it was three in the afternoon. I watched the truck make a left hand turn, drive a quarter of a mile, and then turned into the long driveway of a farm. There was a fairly simple chain link gate at the end of the driveway that the male passenger got out and opened for the truck. At that point I got the Savage trained on the farm and realized I’d hit the jackpot. The farm’s layout is a bitch to describe, but the long chicken coop area ran the long way towards me, parallel with the road. At the end of that was the farmhouse, and then behind both of those buildings were barns. Surrounding the whole damn thing was a fence that I could barely make out under the snow.
The truck people got out, and an old guy came out of the farm to greet them. They went inside, and after about an hour, the two people came out with armloads of shit. I couldn’t quite make out what was in the boxes and crates, but I’d bet twenty bucks I saw bottles with white shit inside. Pretty sure it was milk. I also opened the windows and took a real strong set of whiffs, and I could clearly smell cow shit. I think that farm has livestock. That means they have milk, meat occasionally, and if that long building is a chicken coop, then they have eggs and chicken as well. That explains how the assholes that ambushed us had sandwiches. They’ve got fresh eggs and milk available.
I didn’t see a single guard around the farm. Not one. I think they’re relying on the fences for defense against the undead. I’d also bet they haven’t had to deal with another group of survivors yet either. (well, other than us) That leaves them pretty wide open to be fucked with. Especially by people who know how to fuck with people. *evil smile*
Once the truck left I got the fuck out. I had seen enough and I bugged out back to the snow machine. What a fucking chore to make that trip twice in just a few hours. We got some light snow last night as well, which helped with the noise. The truck was undisturbed and I got the snowmobile into the back after fucking around with it for twenty minutes. Felt like an asshat every time the boards moved on me. I need to find the little bumper ramp attachments.
Anyway, I had to break into the house there to find a shovel to get the truck unstuck. When I backed out of the garage it got bogged down in a rut or something. I had to dig it out a bit. Clearing the house at night was a little freaky. I was about to go room to room like normal, but instead I just popped the maglite on and started talking out loud. I figured if anything was undead inside they’d come to my voice. Luckily the place was empty.
So I dug the truck out, got it turned around and made it back to Route 18 with no issues. I noticed the snow was undisturbed in the road as well, which meant they hadn’t driven out to this point while I’d been in town. That’s good news. Of course if they find the tire tracks before more snow falls, they’ll know exactly what was up.
It took me almost an hour and half to make it the 25 miles back. I’d bitch about how long the drive was, but frankly that was as warm as I’d been in almost two days, so I hardly noticed how long it took. Gilbert was on watch when I arrived, and because we’re afraid to let Westfield in on our communications, we’re not using the radios unless we absolutely have to. I stopped at the nail boards and flashed my lights five times. I moved the boards (again with the fucking physical labor) reset the boards, moved the vans, reset the vans, and got my ass inside for a Gilbert debrief. Patty and Abby tackled with me with nervous hugs and fed me hot food which was great. I was fucking starving. Otis showed me some love too.
I showed him the maps I drew and the notes I took, and we worked over a new plan for tomorrow. I’m headed back at 5am or so I can beat the sunrise. Instead of going back to the same two houses I was in, I’ll be heading further away towards the farm so I can see exit strategies for the farm. Is there a second exit from the farm if we ambush? Where is a good spot to hit the truck on a trip? If we’re going to hit the truck in an ambush, we want to do it as far from the high school as possible so we can mitigate the threat of a QRF from there, but we also don’t want to draw fire from the farmhouse.
I won’t be staying over in Westfield if at all possible tomorrow. I’ll hopefully get in, see the truck making it’s trip again, and then hopefully get some good eyes on the farm so we can plan a hit either the 13th or the 14th.
That reminds me, I need to think of something nice to do for the girls for Valentine’s. I’ve never been a good romantic though, and I also don’t want to send the wrong message. All the florists seem to be… dead. Roses might be out of the question. Maybe I can do breakfast for them or something nice.
I think they desperately need something nice right now.
I know I do. Sleep now, then back to Westfield tomorrow for another recon op. If all goes well, we can plan an ambush for the 13th.
Later Mr. Journal.