I should expect bad things to happen more often. That way I won’t be surprised when they happen. For example when we hit the gas station the other day, I should’ve expected two weapon jams and a vehicle to be sat on fire. That way when it happened I wouldn’t have been quite so pissed or surprised.
Zach died today.
I thought I would be sad to say that, or pissed, but mostly I’m just… empty about it. Neutral. I almost feel angry because it was a needless accident, and it means we are one hydroponics brain short. In all actuality we have been tremendously lucky that we haven’t had more deaths via accident or sickness here. A few violent deaths, lots of injuries, but no accidents or cases of diphtheria, or some other random ass fucked sickness.
We were out working on the fence both today and yesterday. Martin has been given a few days to elevate his busted toe, so we were sort of moving at half speed just to take a break, and try to be extra safe. Clearly, that failed.
We had split into two groups again to try and be efficient. I was with the group on the campus side, and Zach was in the group that was opposite the river cutting down trees. We’d been waiting on the tree side for maybe twenty minutes when Angela came over the radio saying there had been an accident. Right down the way in the center of campus we keep some of the mountain bikes the kids used, and we’ve been using them all summer to get around campus. A few of us jumped on some bikes, and rode across the bridge and into the desolate area of forest that was just stumps.
Sitting on one of the fresh stumps, head in his hands was Alex. He’d been operating the chain saw today for the second time, and from what I was told after the fact, he was cutting down a pine tree that was about ten inches in diameter, and I guess Zach walked underneath it just as it went down. Everyone hollered for him to run or get the fuck out of the way, but he didn’t hear them in time.
His body was crushed under the tree, and he was pinned to the ground. The tree had landed on his shoulder and neck, and the wood had crushed half his side like he was made out of play doh. Just nasty. By the time I’d gotten there he had reanimated already, and from his spot underneath the tree he reached out hungrily, hands clutching at the air, trying to kill me.
I walked back to the truck the wood crew had been using, and grabbed the wood axe to finish him off. Everyone looked away, especially Alex, and I brought that big blade down into poor Zach’s skull. Split it open as easily as a log. It was tremendously painful to drop someone that was in our group, especially after they’d reanimated. I can’t quite recall, but I think this is the first time I’ve had to do that.
We’ve always killed them before they’ve reanimated, or destroyed the brain after death, but before they come back.
It was a shitty feeling. I don’t want to do it again, even though I know I will have to eventually. That thought sucks too.
I tossed the axe away and went to Alex and got the whole story from those around. Everyone kind of rallied around the guy and made sure he was okay. We called back to campus and got George, and he ran right out to be with Alex. It was a little weird for me to watch two gay guys hug affectionately, but at the same time, it was kind of neat to see it firsthand. I don’t know how to describe it.
I can definitely say that Alex was hurt, angry, and will be suffering from guilt for awhile until he figures out how he feels about it. As I explained to him, Zach should’ve been paying more attention to what was happening. You can’t just wander around where trees are being cut down and not watch what’s going on carefully.
No blame to lay here.
Myself and Patty wound up riding our bikes up to the gym to tell Ryan the bad news. He took it surprisingly well, and frankly, I think he looked a little relieved. That made both Patty and I wonder about their actual dynamic. Patty said all along she’d felt like Zach was the alpha male between the two, which I guess does make sense the more I think about it. Zach did always tell Ryan what to do, despite Ryan seeming like the more intelligent one.
As I said Ryan was sad, but also seemed a little relieved.
That happened pretty early today. Once we got Alex and George away from the scene of the accident we cut the tree apart, and removed Zach’s body from the graveyard of stumps. It didn’t seem quite right to just toss his body on the funeral pyre way out in the back of campus, so we used some of the branches and wood clippings we’ve been saving for winter and the stoves to make a fresh, immediate fire, and we gave him an impromptu funeral. No one said anything really, we just sprayed the wood with lighter fluid, shot a little on him as well, and gave it a light. We didn’t stick around to watch it finish, we just made sure he was going well, and left. I hope he’s fully burnt to ashes. I really do not want to go out there and start another fire under his half burned body tomorrow morning. I just… don’t want that problem in my life right now.
As a result, we called off the wall work and moved on to a new project that Blake and Martin had been working on together. The two of them had figured out how to install the solar panels we’d stolen off the roof of MGR. We got the ladder truck in place, and moved all the needed folks to the roof of the gym as well as the tools, parts, and panels.
Martin stayed off the roof and watched from a lawn chair in the grass, and Blake came up and worked with us. It took us the entire afternoon and a few hours into the evening to get everything done and wired in, but we did it. Of course we don’t really know if it’s working, due to the fact that the sun had largely gone down by the time we were done, but first thing tomorrow we’ll check it out, test it, and make sure that the shit was set up correctly.
I’d throw out the fact that there is a 50% chance one of us gets electrocuted tomorrow. There’s also a 50% that we fucked it up, and nothing happens at all. Martin and Blake also said that they can work on getting some batteries hooked up in series similar to the setup in Hall E, that way we can store juice on the sunny days to use on the cloudy days.
I guess they can do it using car batteries from the vehicles all about. Blake said tomorrow he’s going to go down the road taking car batteries out of abandoned vehicles. Ambitious guy.
Not much else to talk about. More fence work as I said, and the solar panels.
Tomorrow I believe Mike is set to arrive here for a trade. Although to be honest, my mind seems to be slipping away, and there’s a good chance I’m full of shit and it might be the 17th. I just remember that it was an odd numbered date, somewhere around the 15th or the 17th. I can’t say for certain.
If he shows up, awesome. If he doesn’t, we’ll just put our noses to the grindstone, and put up more fence after we test the solar panels. It’s like the never ending fucking story here. Fence all day, every day.
Oh, and we also have to staff MGR here soon so we can feel like we actually did that for something other than just rescuing a few folks, which I suppose should be reason enough.
Crashing hard Mr. Journal. I need a day off. I hope I have good dreams here. I’m not wanting to fall asleep and deal with a nightmare tonight. I’m hoping this is the reverse jinx so that fairy can blow me.
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