[Say “No!” to Zombies] Day 73-81
What happens when a person with some common sense wakes up to a “zombie apocalypse”? Shit gets done, that’s what.
Spoiler: the dog doesn’t die.
Please note: this work of fiction involves a lot of swear words/cussing and adult themes. Kiddos beware.
I guess, technically, it’s the 30th, but whatever. This isn’t going to be long anyway. I guess while they were all on watch together last night, Scott and Dave managed to convince Keith and Jack that it would be better to go with us. So they spent half the night on watch, and half going out to the little garden and harvesting as much as they could. Scott sent them off to get some sleep when it was time for second watch. Keith woke Lisa up so she could start packing. Most of their stuff was already packed, since they had been moving from bus to bus, but she did another run through of the RV’s again and found more clothes to add to the wagon.
By the time everyone else woke up, she had cooked breakfast for everyone, the kids were dressed and ready to go, the wagons were packed, the chickens were fed…I think that was the quickest we’ve ever been ready to go.
WE HAD COFFEE. It was the instant stuff, but who cares anymore?! We. Had. COFFEE.
It was a little weird traveling today. We put Emma in the wagon with Chloe, but Emma doesn’t like to sit still, so Liza had to constantly be on guard for her trying to climb out the back.
We found a gas station, but Keith and Jack had already went through it for food. We went through it again for things like duct tape, super glue, and stuff. When Jack found out about our stash of molotovs, he started emptying those Starbucks latte things. They’ll be good for small time damage, and personal protection, so hey. Not a bad idea, kid.
We also found another fucking church. Liza looked sick when we told her about our experience, which led us to telling them about the way the trolls seem to be learning. Hated to tell them in front of the kids, but after Becca, I’m not taking any chances. Aubrey was terrified, Jack was…I’m not sure. It looked kinda like a mix between scared and excited. I get the impression he’s one of those kids that, like, breathes this stuff. Liza confirmed it. He’s the one who convinced them not to hit the road, and came up with all kinds of rules, like keeping the windows blacked out, the door locked, no movement at night, etc etc. It worked out pretty well for them. And it explains why they’re still alive. Now if we could just get them to stop being so jumpy.
Oh well. What else…oh, a little mom-and-pop type store. It was further away from the RV park, so they hadn’t cleaned that one out. Someone else did though. A bunch of people, from the look of it. We found aluminum foil, and more dog food, so yay? More vienna sausage things too. I was tempted to do more scrambled eggs for dinner, but was shot down. They’re out there boiling a lot of the eggs for us to munch on tomorrow though, so I’ll live, I guess.
Ugh. Today was fucking hot. I mean, seriously. I know I said no more splashing around and stuff, but when half the scouts came back and said “river”, I was like, “fuck it, we’re going swimming.”
It gave us a chance to cool down and for the kids to run around, get some of their energy out. Timmy and the younger ones all fell asleep in the wagon after their splash session. Liza wasn’t happy, she prefers Emma to sleep on a schedule, but it was better in the long run. We didn’t find a house to squat in until about 10something.
We’re hoping to cross the river tomorrow, and then we just have to make our way west to Fort Bragg. Hopefully it hasn’t been overran. I’m hoping, since the fort is right there, they managed to keep the troll level down, but I’m not holding my breath.
We’re across the river. That is pretty much the ONLY thing that went according to plan.
Woke up, one of the chickens was dead. Disposed of the body, fed the rest, and got on the move. Then Emma took a dive out of the wagon. Luckily we were stopped and in a grassy area, not on the road, but she got herself a nice little bump. Then it started raining cats and dogs, and Liza wanted to find a place to stop until it was over. Had to tell her, it doesn’t work that way. We can’t stop and sit on our thumbs every time it starts raining. If we did that, hell, we’d never get anywhere!
I saw her talking to Keith, then Keith went to Scott, and Scott shut him down. When we stopped for the night, I asked Scott what that was all about. I figured it was probably Liza trying to get around me about the stopping thing, and I was right. I don’t know if she thought I would bow to Scott because he’s a guy, or what, but it pissed me off. I didn’t say anything to her about it yet. I’m trying to chalk it up to her being way outside of her comfort zone, and something she’ll…well…grow out of, I guess.
Anyway. We’re not in a house tonight. We’re inside a real estate office, it almost looks like. I dunno. We moved stuff around so we could lay out the sleeping bags, and set up watch. It stopped raining a couple hours ago, we’re all dry now and I have first watch. Tomorrow, we should reach Fort Bragg.
I have to say, this is not what I was expecting from a military base. I dunno, I just expected more…well…military? I mean, we’re not exactly storming the base or anything, but I expected walls, and I don’t know, guns, and being shot at for getting too close to…well, anything. But we’re in a house. It’s on the outskirts of town, but still. There are a bunch of trolls moving around further north of us, but other than that, the town looks damn near deserted. I’m beginning to worry about an air strike, but I can’t imagine them doing one here.
Course, I couldn’t imagine them bombing our own country at all, so, y’know. My view on this whole thing might be a bit skewed.
I sent the boys out to take a look around earlier, but other than the trolls, they didn’t really find anything either. Wait, I take that back. They found a gas station, but it was empty. Not just of food, either. They said it was completely picked clean, and those little covers where the gas goes into the underground tank things were missing, too. I’m guessing that means the military is still around here somewhere, the question is where and which one will they do first: shoot or ask questions.
Three guesses which one I’m hoping for.
We found the military. Or, rather, they found us. And yeah, it pretty much went as expected. Lots of yelling, get your ass on the ground, who the fuck are you, where the fuck are you from, etc etc. No one was shot though, so hey, silver lining there.
I’m really not even sure what I’m allowed to say about what’s happened so far. I mean, technically, this should all be redacted? Or something. I’ll tell what I can.
We figured, with the trolls to the north of us, we would try and go south. Common sense, you know? Go away from the trolls. Well, we went away from the trolls, and straight into Captain GoFuckYourself’s patrol. Yeah, I’m not too fond of him, can you tell? He threatened to shoot Lucky, the little asshole. He was growling at the guy, but I mean, he was yelling at the kids, the kids were crying, what the fuck do you expect a dog to do?!
Poor Chloe. She flung herself out of the wagon and threw her arms around poor Lucky’s neck and just started bawling her eyes out. Then the other kids started crowding around him, and yeah. Some of the other people in the unit came over and whispered something to him, and he…kinda changed his mind? Told us to put him on a leash, and keep him under control. Scott tied some of the rope into one of those choke collar things. Pissed me off, but it’s better than him being shot, so yup. Choke collar.
Then, after Asshole-in-charge was done threatening our dog, and scaring the kids, they proceeded to march us from one end of the town to the other. Turns out we were right about them retreating to the south. And from the looks of it, this place got hit just as bad as the other cities. The only real difference is that this one is a military installment and ain’t about to get blown sky high.
So yeah. Yay. Kinda?
They took our stuff and threw us in quarantine for the past three days. They came and got us this morning. Took us over to the hospital to get all checked out. Bridget got her three month shots, and the doctors in charge ordered a supply run to be made for baby food and more formula. There aren’t a lot of babies back at base, apparently, so the food is just being wasted anyway. While the doctors checked us out, we all got questioned by about twenty different people, all asking the same damn questions. They didn’t seem especially happy with our answers, but tough shit for them. When they got done, they didn’t take us back to the house we were being held in before. We have our own place on base now.
Lucky is back with us, finally. They took him the day after we arrived. The guy swore they were just giving him a check up, and he wouldn’t be hurt, but yeah, I’m not exactly big on trusting anything/anyone right now. The kids cried when they opened the door and saw him waiting for us at the new place.
I was happy to see him too, but I was a bit more interested in our wagons and supplies. They eventually brought them to the new place for us, but one of the chickens was missing. I’m guessing someone ate well while we sat on our thumbs waiting for release.
We met the guy in charge. He was with the group that brought back our wagons. Lucky seems to like him, which eases my mind a lot. Scott and I are supposed to eat with him tonight. He wants to ask us some more questions, and hopefully it’ll give us a chance to ask him a few as well.
I’m kinda hoping he doesn’t ask where we’re headed. The others and I talked about while we were waiting for the quarantine to end. The military isn’t exactly known for their soft touch when it comes to civilians (case in point: threatening to shoot our dog. Yeah, I’m still pissed about that), and I wouldn’t put it past them to try and seize the farm land and everything. So yeah, kinda worried about that. But on the other hand, the farm isn’t all that far from the base, so they’ll probably find it eventually anyway. Plus, there are a lot of civilians here. It rained the first two days we were stuck in that house, and we could see them I saw them as we made our way to the new place. They look scared, and….not quite hungry, but like they’re getting there. We’re already in July, and there are a lot of people here that need to make it through the winter. I haven’t seen any fields yet, and if they don’t get food planted soon, they’re not going to make it.
I suggested offering a treaty. Dad has access to farmland that is already being developed, and the military has the manpower to help further develop the land, and provide protection. If Mr. Bigwig is agreeable to the idea, we could work out a trade. All we’d have to do is secure a road between here and the farm. Civilians from the base could work in the field and learn from mom and them how to develop the land here at the base, so we can double the amount of food available this winter. In return, the soldiers can provide protection and training for the others. It’s how they used to do it in the old days, and if it was good enough then, it should be good enough now, dammit.
Scott is on the fence about it. So are Abby, Roger, and Mike. Karla was on my side until Mike pointed out all the times in the past when the military screwed someone over. I can’t exactly argue, I mean, that’s part of why I’m leery about it too, but at the same time, we need to band together, now more than ever. We’re gonna have to work together to make it through the winter and the coming years, especially since I don’t see an end to this anytime soon.
They almost convinced me to hold off until Scott and I talk to the guy tonight (maybe this time I’ll remember his name), but then I remembered: they’ve had our stuff for the past 3 days. Betcha anything they went through this and know everything we know. Mike looked rather worried when I brought that up. I think he’s afraid they’ll think he’s been infected, but it’s been a month, and he hasn’t shown any signs of turning, so I think he’s safe. In the meantime, we’re not leaving him alone, just in case someone tries to make him “disappear.”
Ugh. Time to get cleaned up. It’s almost time to head over to…wherever we’re meeting him. I think someone is supposed to come get us. Either way. Clean is good.
Well, General Williams was…interesting. He was much more open with us than I expected, but when he told me what he’s facing, it makes sense.
Before everything went to hell in a handbasket, there were over 50k men and women stationed here. That’s not counting the retired servicemen and women, or the civilians. Overnight, he said they went from about 50k to 20k. Since then, they’ve lost almost another ten thousand soldiers, and have gained 20+thousand civilians. The General is doing what he can, but they have limited resources, and he knows there are people who aren’t going to make it through winter. He wants to try and keep those losses to a minimum. He has men who are taking care of hunting as much as possible, but that’s only going to go so far, and what little game was here before have been scared away by the recent….activity.
To put it bluntly, he needs help and he knows it. While his people were going through our wagons, they found some of our maps with dad’s place circled (Thanks, Abby). He wanted to know what is there, why that place was marked, etc etc. I told him the truth. For the most part.
It’s my dad’s land. I’m trying to get home, and I’m taking these people with me. Yes, I have reason to believe that we will be safe there, no I will not discuss it further with you at this moment. You have your people you have to take care of, I have mine.
So yeah. Pretty damn sure he knows about the farm and community. He made it a point to mention that he has enough people to spare to escort us to dad’s place, and that it wouldn’t be that hard to make the road between here and there secure for traveling on…in case of, you know, emergencies. He also pointed out all the benefits of having a connection to a military base, especially one with a hospital like this one, and he’s right, of course, but I can’t make decisions without talking to the others first. Well, I mean, I could, but I won’t, so I told him I would think about it, and would let him know if I thought of anything further to discuss with him.
I talked to Scott about it last night. He’s on board with the treaty idea now. Talked to the rest this morning, and yeah, it’s unanimous. Mike said they’ve probably already sent someone to check it out, and they were just testing us. Which, is…yeah, probably spot on. So now the question becomes, what is it that they want?
I mean, if they’ve made it to dad’s place, they know that, yes, they’re starting a farm, growing their own food and whatnot. They know that the town is fortified, or are working on getting there anyway. They’re basically a self-sustained fort of their own, which is what this place needs to become, granted, but how does that help? If they’re hoping we’d be able to grow enough food to help these people make it through the winter, they’ve lost their damn minds. There isn’t that much space there. Not that I know of anyway. Maybe they’ve expanded their walls and have cleared more space, I don’t know, but even if they did…that’s still 30k more people than my family was counting on. I just don’t see that working out.
I guess I won’t know until I talk to him. It’s raining its ass off today, but as soon as it dies down, I’ll run over there and have another chat with him.
I got tired of waiting for the rain to stop last night, and made a run in the rain. Luckily he was there. We talked for a little bit last night, and he made arrangements to talk to us today at our place if it was still raining. The rain didn’t stop, so he came over around lunch and left right before dinner. We had a lot to discuss.
Basically, he needs help with the civilians. The army doesn’t exactly train people on making farms, taking care of cows and raising chickens and all that. Only about a third of the engineers he had on base are still alive and kicking, and he has them busy taking apart buildings and making them into walls around the base.
He knows dad’s farm doesn’t have enough space to grow enough food for everyone (he DID send a team, the little sneak), but two things the base has, is plenty of ground to farm and plenty of people to do the farming…as well as other work, of course. He’s willing to work out a rotation schedule where some of the engineers will go out to the farm and help shore up defenses, as well as start building things like windmills to generate power, and in return, people from the farm would come here and teach the people here how to farm.
Apparently he was impressed with what dad and them have accomplished so far, and thinks it would be a good idea to join forces. I told him I couldn’t make any promises, but that I am willing to try and negotiate on their behalf.
That’s when the fun began. He wanted to send me with a team alone. I told him no. For one, I’m not going anywhere without Bridgette. For another, these are my people, and I am not leaving them behind – end of discussion. Plus, my father wouldn’t trust them if I came alone with a bunch of soldiers. He would think they’re holding the rest of my group hostage to make sure I do what they want me to do, so yeah. Not gonna happen.
Then he wanted to send like, thirty people with us. Again. No. Too many people. WAY too many people. I suggested just one or two, he said that wasn’t enough to ensure our safety. When he sent his team to check out the farm, they reported small hordes roaming in between here and there, so that’s understandable, but still.
We finally compromised. We’ll take ten people with us, but all of us “adults” (they’re including Jason and Aubrey, so I use that term very loosely) report tomorrow morning to start “side arm” training (not sure what that means) and some basic hand to hand. They’re sending over someone to take care of the younger kids while we’re getting our asses kicked. We train until we are “proficient enough to not get killed or kill the people you are traveling with” and then we are free to go. In the meantime, he’s going to send another team to dad’s place to let them know where we are, and that we’ll be along soon-ish. I wrote a quick letter for them to take with them. Hopefully dad and them don’t mistake them for trolls. That would be just what we need right now.
So, yeah. That’s the plan. I’m off to bed. They come for us at dawn. Goodnight.