Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I wrote yesterday about the tension and anger built up in all of us. I guess it should be said that up until now that constant pressure built up inside wasn't too bad a problem. We had a common threat to make us get along better, and we fought almost constantly, which was sort of like flipping open a relief valve every other day or so. 

The constant threat of zombie attacks did a lot to keep that anger bubbling, though. It's hard to work through the emotional trauma of seeing your family and friends torn apart when you have to face creatures just like the ones that did the act every day. 

So, the current lack of large-scale violence is a blessing and a curse. We are people of strong wills and powerful self control. We might have occasional outbursts, but after thinking about it for a long time yesterday, I believe that in the end, we will manage to work through it all and be stronger for it. 

Will Price, though, is one person whose passions might overwhelm his capacity for logic. Oh, he isn't hostile to anyone. But he is still working on the defenses with obsessive and scary diligence. I don't think he sleeps in his room at Patrick's anymore, just curls up in his office between bouts of manic running across the compound. 

We have all tried to get him to pull back a little by inviting him over for dinner or a night of gaming, but nothing works. He comes over and eats or plays cards and then he misses sleep entirely to make up for lost time. So yeah, for his health we gave up on that. No one is going to physically try to stop him from making us safer, and if he burns himself out, then at least he has done so for good cause. 

I know that sounds callous, and it is. None of us can afford to lose his efforts, and short of tying him up we can't stop him. So best to look at realistically and admit the fact that he's a grown man who has to make his own choices. 

And now to completely contradict that statement...

Patrick is back, and we aren't letting him leave. Not that he's really fighting us on that so much, but it does irk him that we won't let him go. He has to pass on his skills and knowledge as much as he can. It's way more important than him leading teams to the factory, which others can do in his place. Pat is the most skilled metalworker we have right now, and that means we can't risk him. I'll make up for the restrictions on his personal freedoms later, when we've spread around what he knows a bit. Silly libertarian. 

Part of why this is bugging him, as it turns out, is because he has wanted to make a run outside to look for his family for a long time. It isn't something many of us talk about, losing our loved ones and the constant pain of not knowing, but Pat got agitated enough to tell me this after I let him know he was basically grounded until further notice. 

Pat wasn't very close to his family. I mean, he loves them dearly. He went to visit as often as he could before The Fall, but when the drive takes fourteen hours, it's pretty hard to do so often. Phone calls and the internet were all he could manage most of the time, and I think that's why not knowing what has happened to them has been sawing away at him for so long. 

He hasn't said anything about it until now for many reasons, each of which just go to show you why Patrick is awesome. He felt important to our efforts here, which he is, a key person that had responsibilities. He felt that going out with a team all the way to Florida would be selfish, so he refused to ask. He was almost to the point of asking to go out when my mom died, and after that I think he was too worried about me to leave me alone. 

Now, though, he wants to go. He is willing to wait, because he does want us to be safe and productive here. He will teach pretty much non-stop for the next few weeks, and then maybe he will get the OK to leave. I know that he will be back. We're a place he was integral in helping to build. The compound is his home just as much as it is anyone else's, and we are family to him just as much as his own. 

I think that when he does go, no matter what he finds, it will help him. Even if the worst should happen and he find them dead, he will be able to purge himself of that gnawing wonder in the back of his head. 

If only more of us could do that...


  1. Holy Hell, We though the South was lost.

    Just finished reading Your blog, skimmed the archives (maybe give a more through read later) Thought I'd feed you some more info since you seem starved for it.

    Alaska (where I'm at) weathered the fall a lot better than your area it seems. Unfortunately, other than the fact that Google lives, we haven't been able to find out much about the outside since the world ended.

    Heh, saying that shouldn't make me laugh, but it does.

    Right, gonna go ahead and give you the cliff-notes version of the situation up north:

  2. -Anchorage is gone. All that's left is ruin and corpses, both the mobile and inert variety. Other than that, we haven't lost much of any-thing people wise.

    -Until recently, we had no contact with the outside world. We have since then got whispers of survivors in Seattle. Not sure their situation, but there's at least 300 people there from what little I could glean.

    -It's hit other continents. I was hoping the ocean would stop it, horrible as it might sound, and it would just hurt the Americas. Brazil fell in less than a week and some dumb fucker chose to go to France after he got bit. Australia is a blind-spot, and we've got VERY limited contact with the UK that suggests that while the continent may have fallen, the Isles may have fared better. We know fuck all about the rest of the planet.

    -Due to several factors: Geography, relative isolation, and an EXTREMELY high rate of Gun ownership per capita than pretty much everywhere fucking else on the planet means that were it not for certain factors, Alaska would be almost completely zombie free. Since they seem to slow down quite a bit in the cold, we should be clear come March. I'm leading one of the local purge teams in South Central.

    -We've lost almost all of our armed forces. A lot of people were deployed overseas when it all started, and a good chunk of our guys left over went South when Chicago got hit. We haven't heard back from them. Right now we've got maybe 5% our normal count of troops counting the Nat and Coast guards.

  3. -Lots of info on the Zombies. LOTS. Tidbit I can share right now: Only direct contact with an actual zombie will infect you. Getting a bit of blood on you is almost completely safe about 10-20 minutes after they're dead. You also can't do something like take a syringe to a shambler and use the juice to give someone else a terminal case of the cooties.

    -I think you got the bit about WHAT zombies are a bit skewed. Simple version is that it's more like a twisted hybrid between a parasitic fungus and bacteria. Animals are immune... sort of. It might kill them, but they won't turn. No zombie sheep to worry about, though that does create an amusing mental image. Not sure how safe the meat outside the bite area is on a dead animal. It would probably be fine if you cooked it through-to-the-point-of-charcoal, but I wouldn't risk it unless it was life and death. Be safe and toss the dead animal of the zombie's pyre.

    Rest of our intel (more than you got it seems, not as much as we'd like) will have to wait a bit. I've only got time for a shout out, let you know you aren't alone. Fucking ecstatic we aren't. Thank your deity of choice that Google let me make a new account. Old e-mail is useless. Should be able to contact me via my name tag at the head of my posts, though I can't guarantee I'll always be around for a chat.

    Till next time stay safe, and take to heart: 'It's always darkest before the dawn'.

  4. Also, just stumbled on a note from march saying your buddy Pat is Alaskan?

    Let him know the 49th is pulling for him. If he's got family and friends up here I'll see if I can track 'em down, let him know if they're ok.

  5. Thank you so much for your info, Nomad. It has caused a pretty big stir around here to hear about so many survivors still out there.

    Your intel makes me wonder if the virus or bacteria or whatever has mutated as it has moved. I can tell you for certain that some of our dead had never been exposed directly to a zombie at all, at least had not come within five feet of one, and they turned all the same. Everyone here that has died has reanimated, as far as we can see. We already guessed that the smarties (what I call the smart zombies) must be the result of a mutation. This fills me with dread at the idea that the disease has changed so drastically in such a short time.

    Keep us informed. Glad to know you're out there.

    Be safe.