Yesterday was a the worst day since society crumbled, at least in our small corner of the world.
The people that hit us a few days ago came back, and this time they were in real military form. They managed to get someone inside the walls through one of the incomplete sections in the middle of the night, and he blew a hole big enough for a dump truck to drive through in the front gate. These ex-military bastards hit us with rocket propelled grenades, heavy machine gun fire, all sorts of shit. We fought in the streets, we fired at them from blinds, we killed and killed until there were only a handful of them left, and they surrendered.
We executed them on the spot. Seven bodies now hang in front of the broken gates as a warning to those who come against us with malice.
But the cost was too high for any of us to bear. We lost thirty adults and six children in the conflict, an injury to our little community that has all of us in deep mourning. Most of the dead were killed in the fighting, though two of the adults died trying to protect all six of those kids, only to have the house they were hiding in hit with an explosive, collapsing the structure down on top of them.
I haven't slept in days, so I will not try to name all of the dead, but I will say that each of them were heroes, for not fleeing or giving up, for staying here through all that we have suffered on the slim hope that we might make something better than what we left behind.
I have to give credit to some other people as well, without whom we would surely have failed to defend this place.
When we got our first hint that trouble was around the corner, we sent word to Jack and his folks up in Michigan that they should stay away to keep safe. He agreed with me, but apparently decided that we might need a little backup. When the fighting got intense, we heard more vehicles rumbling down the road, which most of us thought had to be more of the enemy. We were wrong. Jack sent about fifty people in some of the armored vehicles they had modified, and they saved us. Jack's people set to immobilizing the vehicles the enemy arrived in, which forced them to realize that only victory would keep them alive. For all that it made them fight harder, it also pushed them further into the compound.
They were surrounded by what amounts to a neighborhood full of farmers and builders. Regular people fighting to keep what they made. They never had a chance.
There are consequences, of course. We are short so many people now that our projects are all suspended for the most part. This might be only a temporary issue, since Jack is letting any of his people that want to come here to live do so. We have some folks here that want to go north to live with Jack and his people, and while this hurts me, many of them have kids, and I understand completely.
My sister is one of them.
Jackie is going to be leaving with her husband and kids as soon as transport can be arranged. I love my sister more than I can explain, for more and better reasons than mere blood. Jackie is kind-natured and loving, a wonderful mother and a talented teacher. I will miss her, but since we have lived apart for much of our adult lives, it is a situation that I have experienced before. Her husband is a computer programmer, so his talents will be very useful up north, and they have four wonderful kids to think of. I will miss them all, but I want my family safe as well.
My greatest hope is that Jack will have enough folks who want to come live with us that we can continue our works as before. But I recognize that while we might have enough come here to gives us comparable numbers, for all of us that survived the last few days the world have changed forever. The toll on us in friends and loved ones is too high for anyone to deal with, on top of the losses we all still feel from the world collapsing around us. We are in mourning and hurt, and for myself, I can say that I might be hurt a little too much to ever get so close to new people again. I think most here are wary of getting too attached to anyone else at this point, for fear of a repeat performance of the pain that has basically shut us down right now.
Maybe I am being too dramatic, but it feels like happiness is an abstract, as far away and as untouchable as the moon. We will smile again, and laugh with people, but I have to wonder if we will simply be going through the motions.
I pray not.