Nine times out of ten, your instinct is dead on. It's that ten percent chance that always gets you.
In a lot of situations, you might take a risk based on a gut feeling. The thing about living in a world full of the living dead is that the consequences of even the most basic risks are much higher than they were a year ago. Which is why, as the weather gets warmer today, we will be mounting full scout and sentry rotations. Through the last week and a half we've had big fluctuations in the temperature, yet no matter how warm it gets the zombies don't come for us. Maybe they are being led by smarties who realize that a cold snap right after an attack means they won't get far enough away before becoming immobile to be safe from us.
None of us are willing to bet on that.
That idea, of preparing for any contingency, is pretty much the driving force behind the way we have survived here. From day one, the compound has been about gathering supplies and food, weapons and vehicles...anything and everything we might need down the road. Several times we've been caught short because we just didn't think of this or that, but overall we have done well. So how do you plan out defenses when you know that somewhere frighteningly close there exists a group of men with access to enough firepower to level pretty much your whole town?
You don't. You can't.
When the idea came up in council, it was hard to convince people that the likelihood of the soldiers in Richmond just annihilating us without cause was small. People become irrational when they are afraid, and get very afraid when they realize that they could be wiped from the face of the earth without any warning or chance to fight back.
The key to the argument was motive. It's obvious that they do have one, and that they aren't just bent on our destruction. I mean, we haven't done anything to them. If they wanted to take us out, they simply would, I think. I'm sure that somewhere on that massive depot is a canister of something that would end us as a problem definitively.
They attacked us, though. They sought to overtake us through minimal force and without killing too many of our people. The assumption has to be made that they are after something. My guess is that they want our food and supplies, as Will paints a pretty grim picture of what life on the Richmond base is like...
So we have to operate from that viewpoint. We have to plan and build defenses based on an attacker that has a goal and means to get there that doesn't involve turning our home into a smoking hole in the ground.
It's actually a good thing. I mean, to know that there is at least a chance that we can survive an assault should it come...
Well, that's rather optimistic. I should have just said what all of us know--the attack is coming. There really can't be any doubt at this point. Why would people desperate enough to send ten percent of their men at us to try and take control give up after that attempt failed?
They won't. We are all certain of it, or we wouldn't have been let Will run roughshod over us the last few weeks augmenting our defenses. But we aren't trusting our gut on this. We are planning for any number of possible outcomes. Because as much as we love this place, my home for many years long before the zombie plague, we love living and surviving more. If it comes down to having to go down in a blaze of glory or having to run...
Hopefully, it won't come to that. Maybe we can do enough here to make the Richmond soldiers realize we might not be worth the risk. Maybe we can fend them off. Maybe we can kill them en mass.
We're working on all the maybes.