Even if you don't count the zombies that incessantly wander and swarm across the world, by any reasonable measure, I have killed a lot of people. We all have.
I chalk this up to the fact that real tragedy and a lack of legal repercussions tends to strip away the thin veneer of humanity that coats some people. When you get attacked, you go Ender on them, and make sure they aren't a threat anymore. (For those of you who have never had the good luck to have read "Ender's Game", you have my sympathy.)
I've felt a lot of ways about ending a life. Bad, mostly, that I have had to put an end to the potential each of them brought to the world. Happy at times, that an innocent person had been spared and a violent, hateful one ended. Recently, a mild discomfort.
Welcome to my morning.
We have spent a lot of time searching and exploring Frankfort and the surrounding areas. By no means have we managed a true house-to-house, but until today we were certain there were no Marauders left anywhere close, and certainly no large groups of people.
As I joined a group of half a dozen in a search for fuel, we had little concern for living people. We see so few anymore that aren't a part of the compound that it almost seems there aren't any. We were in a pretty relaxed mood (as relaxed as you can get nowadays when not in the safe confines of the compound or covered in body armor) when we got to a gas station in Shelbyville. We've stayed away from the town for the most part, not going too deep into it because of the constant swarm of zombies concentrated there. We know there are some people that have managed to survive, we've heard gunshots and seen people running across the roofs on rickety, homemade bridges. But we also know that there can't be many of them, and they certainly never seem to make it out of the town itself.
When we found the gas station about three hundred yards into the town, we were completely shocked to see two gas tankers parked behind it. We cased the area as best we could, not finding any traps or obvious lookouts. So we moved in, hoping that the tanks were full...
Not thirty seconds later, we hear footsteps rushing in toward us. The few glimpses we've caught of some of the Shelbyville survivors have been of people in ragged clothes, thin and underfed, and dwindling in numbers over the last few trips. The people that popped up out of nowhere were all clad in matching riot gear, visors down to cover faces. None of them looked like they had missed too many meals.
Every one of them had on kevlar. I don't know where they got their gear, or where they came from, but all of us had a shared thought: we're fucked. Half of us had rifles easily capable of piercing body armor, but not one of us had more than a handgun ready to fire.
My guess is that whoever these fucks are, they have been following the blog, and almost certainly watching us, and set a trap for us knowing we've been looking for deposits of fuel.
Our group of people all raised our hands, slowly, as a dozen assault rifles and shotguns leveled at our chests. One of them moved toward us, and you could just see from the set of his shoulders that he was bracing himself for recoil. The way his feet planted, you knew he was ready for instant motion, pivoting to fire at a second target as soon as the first was down.
Imagine my surprise when a dozen hard plastic helmets exploded like so many death stars, shards of black plastic and clear visor mixed with globs of brain and stark white chips of bone, all together in sprays of blood that washed over all of us from the compound.
I don't know what made me do it, since we had clearly just had our lives by some people with rifles that we couldn't see, but the next thing I did was dive for our SUV to grab my shotgun.
Glad I did. Just as I turned back to my companions, two more of those armored bastards came from around the building, weapons down. I guess they though we'd all been dropped. Both of them sort of froze when they saw the reality of the situation, but I didn't. The one on the right got two barrels of .00 buckshot to his visor. When the others with me saw me raise my weapon, all of them turned and saw the attackers, and fired just after me. The second guy got hit by dozens of rounds at once, and I think that vest stopped every one that hit his chest. But then, he didn't have much left in the way of arms, legs, or head, so I wouldn't call that a win for him.
When our blood had cooled a little bit, we tried to look about for our saviors. It took a while, but finally one silhouette grew from the top of a building across the road. Walking to the edge of the roof he was on, we saw him wave at us. We shouted that he and his people could join us, but he shook his head and gestured around him with his arms wide. We pointed to the tankers (one full, the other half.), and he motioned for us to take them. Maybe they had all they could use. Maybe they were just being neighborly. I don't know.
I wish I could tell you that we talked, and that those few (?) tenacious survivors in Shelbyville explained to us that they loved their home and had no plans to leave. That it was THEIR land, and those that came with hate would be treated like monsters. We didn't. We saw many others appear as the man walked away, at least twenty of them, all with long guns. Every one of them appeared to be Hispanic, which is interesting and sort of heartwarming to me all at once.
They left without ever speaking a word, so I have my own theories to go on and little else. But I think that those people really did choose to make a stand of it there. That given how far many of them had come simply to live and work in this country, the trials and discrimination they had endured, they were unwilling to give up the place they had chosen to call home. They must have watched the armored men set up the alluring trap that caught us all, and stuck around or sent patrols to see what happened. Again, I don't know the facts or their motivation, but I can hope, and today I choose to make my theory positive.
Funny that around here, so many people used to comment about how Shelbyville was going to the dogs because of all the Hispanic people coming there. I always wanted to smack the shit out of people who talked like that, but when you live in the south, you aren't surprised by stupid racism, or racist stupidity.
It's just particularly funny to me that when all the other people either ran away or got killed, they were the ones to stay and be true to the place they call home. God bless them.