My Sister sent me some very, very bad news this morning.
Jackie lives in southern Michigan at present with her husband and kids, at Jack's compound. They have been pretty safe where they are, a large industrial park where Jack and his people manufacture things for trade to us.
This morning, a single zombie was spotted walking near the south wall of their perimeter. Protocol at Jack's is to leave individuals and small groups alone if they are not attacking or behaving in a threatening manner. It's a practical consideration meant to ensure the conservation of ammunition and to protect guards from unnecessary risk.
But in this case, someone should have disobeyed and wasted a bullet.
The guard that saw the zombie reports that it was just wandering about forty yards from the wall, occasionally looking toward the fortifications and stopping for a few moments.
Studying. He actually used the word. Warning bells should have been ringing. I have made it clear to Jack, as has Courtney during her biweekly diplomatic calls, that any zombies displaying abnormal behavior, the slightest signs of intelligence, should be brought down at once. The smart zombies, who we call smarties, are incredibly dangerous. They brought a force against us that drove us into the fallback point downtown for a week. They aren't to be underestimated...
But the guard just watched in curiosity, and it was only when the zombie gave him one last look and backed away that he realized something was out of whack.
As you can imagine, I am scared shitless for my sister and her family. I am worried about the people that live there (and there are a lot of them), and I am worried that the one place that left with the means to produce some technology is about to have its existence threatened.
The rest of my day is probably going to be spent in council, all of us trying to figure out what exactly we can do to help them out. We can send some people, but I think that if that lone pilgrim manages to infect a big enough number of other zombies with its own, better strain of the plague, there is no number that we could send that would make the difference.
No, I think that if this becomes the fight I would lay money on it being, materials, training, and tactics are going to be the forces that tip the scale in favor of Jack and his people.
I just hope that this is the beginning, and that the lone walker at the walls was just getting there, and that it wasn't a scout sent in to look around for weak points. If it still has to infect its own army, then there is a chance that there will be enough time to devise some strategies for victory. Or, at the least, survival.
Is there a difference anymore?