Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Honored and Clever Dead

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, but we have been too busy to do much else but worry. We sent out some groups to observe the new band of zombies, the smart ones. Most of them are still out, though a few came back when part of the band began to head this way yesterday.

Since then, we have been dealing with these clever bastards non-stop.

They have been testing our defenses all over the place. Some of them have taken to walking the perimeter of the compound, taking gunshots while another one farther away hides and watches. Some have managed to find weak spots in the wall, places where we haven't been able to close the place in all the way. They keep on coming, and from the early reports we've gotten, there are a fucking lot of them.

That, we can deal with. Mounting extra patrols and keeping people who are off duty indoors pretty much manages the issue. It's annoying and definitely unnerving, but not an insurmountable problem. I can't say that I like the idea that these things are smart enough to try and figure out our weak spots, but when you think about it, it's really no more than some animals can do. It's just creepy watching a dead body do it.

The bigger issue is that Evans seems to think that whatever it is that inhabits the bodies of people to make them rise is almost certainly bacterial, and like many bacteria and viruses, it can mutate and spread to already infected hosts. What that boils down to is that he thinks that even one of these things can effectively spread whatever it is that makes these zombies smarter to other, large populations of them. Since one of our stowaways got away from us the other day when our folks were in Lexington (I can tell you now that we have finished moving everything all the folks from the group there, and all of their supplies) we might be in trouble. The good news is that Evans is of the opinion that whatever is in these zombies to make them smarter also needs a host of a certain quality.

So only fairly intact dead folks will do. That's good because if true (and I think it is due to the fact that none of the smarties have looked very run down) then it effectively limits their population to a much smaller percentage of the whole.

It's really bad though, because that means that the smart zombies will also universally be those most capable of doing damage right back to us.

Jesus, did I seriously refer to them as "smarties"? Oh well, works for me.

And since we are busy, I will give you what I can about the six folks we lost when the convoy was attacked the other day. I wish I knew more and had time to be poetic, but the world we live in now means that any epitaph is a good one.

Jenna Smith--mother of two, she was a constitutional lawyer who lost her entire family in the fall. She often made things for people, mostly out of fabrics. Society crumbled and she discovered a love of knitting, sewing, weaving...she was quiet, and brave.

Justin Reilly--fifteen year old boy from Jack's group up north. Didn't know much about him, except that he and I shared a deep love of video games. We spent a good deal of time talking about how stoked we were when Fallout 3 hit the shelves. He was a nice kid with haunted eyes, but he never had a harsh word for anyone and helped where he could.

Pete--never gave a last name. He was a big guy, looked like a football player. He usually worked cleanup outside the walls, gathering zombies up for burning. He said once that he used to work with metal, but never really said a lot about his past. He was grumpy at times, and spent a lot of his free time alone in the woods, hunting.

Dana Schwartze--She was kind of a bitch. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but that's the truth. She enjoyed arguing with people, belittling their thoughts and ideals, though she never went too far with it. She was pragmatic to a fault, and while she agreed with some of the folks who thought this place was a "haven of sin", she always stood by the fact that sometimes you have to take what you can get. I sort of wish I had known her better, if only to understand what made her the way she was. Anyway, I can't fault her bravery or sense of duty, and somehow I think she would approve of this paragraph.

Parker D.--older guy, at least in his sixties. He was this little man, skinny as a rail but full of energy. He was the type to get excited about a project, any project, if he thought it would be good for the group. We found a huge pile of porn in his room when we went to clean it out. That might disgust some of you, but it only makes me smile. At least he was consistent; just as enthusiastic in play as he was in work.

Finally, Mikey Driscoll--he was an outright racist who never could look me in the eye. He made it very clear that he thought my wife being black was a bad thing, but I have never been one to censor others for what they believe. He did his job and never complained, worked long hours when needed and never shirked his duty. He was someone that a lot of people avoided, but he took that social stigma with remarkable aplomb, as though he understood that his views made others dislike him and respected that feeling. Can't say that I liked him much, but he kept us safe just as well as anyone else, and better than some. I hope that if there's a heaven, he gets in and learns the error of his ways there.

That's all we got. I hear the dulcet tones of alarm bells ringing, that's my cue.

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