Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday, the first I've had since The fall. It's a weird and sort of unnerving experience realizing how much time is passing and that all the madness of the last eight and a half months is actually real. It's one of those personal milestones that really gets you thinking about life...

But you know, I have been pretty philosophical lately. I'd rather tell you some good news on my birthday rather than sound like a self-centered jackass for once.

The sniper is dead. I wish we could take credit for that, but the warm weather yesterday pretty much did the job for us. Our scouts found her body yesterday, or what was left of it. Seems she got a little too comfortable with the recent lack of zombie activity and reacted too late to save herself. There isn't much to go on to determine who she was or where she came from, though several people have theories...

The gunfire I heard Saturday was her, though. Our scouts got too close to where she was hiding and she bolted into the woods, spraying bullets behind her. She was good--several of the scouts are trained woodsmen and survivalists who know how to track, but she lost them.

I'm thrilled that the threat is over, but I admit to a little discomfort at the way it ended. I can't imagine how awful it must be to die by zombie. The slashing nails and gnashing teeth...

Sends a shiver down my spine. I said I wanted to talk about good stuff today.

Courtney has co-opted Steve from his duties as a member of our "flying company", which is the name I use for the group of folks that fill in wherever they are needed. She's actually pulled in a few other people as well to manage the herculean task of coordinating with all of the other groups of people who recently managed to contact us. It's a big and very difficult job, but I know she'll manage it amazingly. Courtney is a fantastic problem solver, and has become skilled at coordinating others.

There are a lot of factors that go into any durable society. The most basic ones are of course food, water, and shelter. The idea is to try and figure out how all of us across the US can work together to make those basics available to all, and build from there. Some groups have managed more than we have--running water and electricity around the clock, working refrigerators, all the creature comforts. Some have almost nothing, and desperately need help. We intend to do everything possible to make sure that those folks get all the help we can manage.

Courtney tells me that there is a lot of support for this. Many of the better-off groups have already pledged supplies and manpower to give aid to those in need. Some, like us here at the compound, have opened their doors to anyone who wants to come and join us. There are things like food supplies to take into account, or course, but overall the consensus is that it's a manageable problem.

If this sounds like socialism or whatever to you, trust me when I say that it's OK. I know that a lot of folks used to have some weird innate discomfort with helping those in need by sharing resources, but the hard facts are plain: people will die for certain if we don't. So if we can, why wouldn't we help?

When it gets down to life and death, most people have agreed to do the right thing. The few that are against building a cooperative effort or are on the fence seem to be operating from a place of fear and mistrust. I hate that it has to be that way, but I completely understand. This is my dream come true, and I'm still nervous as hell about it.

Knowing that the immediate threat is over and hearing that so many people out there are willing to do their part to help their fellow man fills me with a pride and hope for all of us that has been sorely lacking. I've talked about how lucky I feel to have so many good people here and at Jack's compound in Michigan, but this effort to help each other is the best sign for our species I've seen in months.

Best birthday present EVER.

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