Friday, August 20, 2010


We're out and about. Again.

Our small convoy is on its way east to look for medical supplies and equipment. I hate to leave the compound while there is so much mystery surrounding our guest, but it has to be done. We've secured our borders as best we can, and now is the time to pile up as much extra stock as possible. It's when we don't need it that we should get it, after all. Won't do to be left wanting in a crunch.

Patrick is driving, and I am typing this into my phone as we meander through some back roads. We keep hitting dead spots, a lot of them, where there is absolutely no cell service. The boys and girls at google have done a lot in taking control of the nation's power grids, rerouting electricity to groups of survivors around the nation, but the sad fact is that fuel is running out and those supplies aren't reaching where they need to simply because the power stations are going dark.

There are places around Kentucky like Frankfort (where we live) that have solar and wind power running some of our towers. They are infrequent but they do exist, and it is our hope that since some of the places we intend on searching are pretty big and used to service hundreds of patients every day, they will have some sort of backup power that will allow us to communicate.

I keep thinking that there is a lot of potential for long term survival if we can manage to join forces with Lieutenant Price's soldiers in Richmond. I really hope that we have in him a link that will help us forge a real connection with those people (if they are real, and not violent psychos). It has been suggested by a few people from other communities that we have a golden opportunity in front of us.

The idea is that we at the compound would have the soldiers come and run the place administratively, as well as provide protection, while the rest of us become farmers and builders full time under their protection. I won't lie to you, the idea holds some small appeal to me despite my own fierce individualism. To be freed from the responsibility of deciding, to work a plot of land or drive nails and worry about nothing else...given the ludicrous stress we all deal with, it is not a concept without real merit.

Call it pride or maybe just an overly suspicious nature, but the greater part of my brain screams that such a path would be insane. What we are as a group is something unique, many who have come together with common purpose and all as generalists, learning a little bit of everything. Each and every citizen of the compound is mixture of carpenter and soldier, farmer and nurse. We can all cook and sew, reason out a combat strategy and fire a gun with reasonable accuracy. It is partly this ability and indeed desire to learn about everything that makes us work. We can absorb serious casualties and continue on with little or no specialized knowledge lost.

At first that was accidental, simply a result of boredom as men and women (and even some kids) stood around watched as others worked, listening as people like Roger gave impromptu lessons on metallurgy and smithing. But now it's an intentional act to preserve any and all knowledge, essentially a human version of the mass backups we do of every shred of data we can scour from what is left of the internet.

I need to cut this short, but a last thought just occurred to me: how great would it be if we could access the library of congress? Or the data centers of wikipedia? There are a billion hard drives sitting out there right now, chock full of ideas and methods for everything we could possibly need. Similarly, there are hundreds of millions of my favorite objects: books.


I know that typing out a sigh is totally 1998, but that's how I feel. So much possibility out there, if we only had the resources to take advantage of it. But after so many months of slowly chipping away, we are now at a crossroads where we need to truly conserve what we have. Fuel is going to be scarce not too long from now, among other things...

Kind of makes you understand why having someone else take the risks and make the calls is appealing, no?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update. One thing that depresses me and concerns me about some of those hard drives is time. I don't know all of the details, but I know that eventually, if those data centers lose power, those hard drives will start being exposed to humidity and heat and possibly worse. Sooner or later, they will start to lose data. If the roof or walls are compromised, it might be sooner. Hopefully we'll get to that data before it's lost forever.

    As for the Library of Congress, who knows. I hope it survived. Surely some forward-thinking politician or general deployed troops there to protect it — but are they still there?

    Whenever I have the time, and the energy, and the presence of mind, and the internet access, I look around what remains of the internet to see what cities have clusters of survivors who have made it back online. Google has a link to a collaborative effort to put survivors in touch with one another, but it's still in its infancy. Most places don't have the internet anymore, and many people who do have internet access refuse to give too many details for security reason. As we've sadly learned, the Zombies aren't the only problem.

    Good luck out there. Stay safe, and may Brighid watch over you and guide you to the supplies we need to heal our people.