It has become painfully clear that we can't stay in this nursing home for much longer. The snow and ice are almost gone, whisked away by a night of rain and temperatures in the high thirties. That let every cold-proof zombie have free reign to get to this building over the last day. We managed to fend them off long enough to secure ourselves in a couple of rooms, but we're heading out today.
I'm glad we took the time to harvest supplies the other day. There were lots of cars to siphon fuel from, and we even managed to squeeze in some more gas cans for each of our vehicles. The food we've found here will replace a lot of what we've used over the last few weeks. We're as well stocked and provisioned as we can be, better even than we were when we left the compound.
The only real problem is that we don't have a destination in mind. We don't want to head toward any of the places that the Richmond soldiers know about--we'd rather not endanger our allies by taking refuge with them. We have a few ideas about where we might go, but most of the safe spots we've heard about aren't much more than rumor and speculation. The driving factors for us are simple:
We're a group of more than thirty people, and anywhere we go has to be suitable for those numbers.
We're fugitives from our own home, which means that moving back toward that home is not an option.
We've got full tanks of gas for each of our vehicles, and enough extra to refill twice each.
The last one is the most pressing. We've got to assume that the fuel we have is all we're going to get. We have to plan our exit so that wherever we end up, we don't run out before we get there. Today is going to be our last day here any way we cut it, that's certain. This morning is the time when we'll decide where we're headed.
I knew we wouldn't be here forever, but I had hoped that we could at least last out the month. There's plenty of propane left in the generator, more canned food than we can take with us, and a total lack of living human beings anywhere nearby. The reality remains that this nursing home just isn't as defensible as it could have been given the right time and materials, but we don't have either.
Gabrielle and her group are doing well, so maybe we'll try to get where they are. It would take a lot of driving and a lot of luck, but I don't think it would be any more difficult or risky than trying to go somewhere we've never been in hopes of finding anything near as good as the place we're leaving. There's always the option to head in the direction of Courtney and her roving group of people, but when she left the compound to run her mission of goodwill and to lend aid, somehow I didn't see her having to give that aid to us. That's a flimsy option, anyway, given how often they move around and how patchy communication with her is.
I do want to add in here, while I still have the time, that Courtney and her group have managed to do some pretty amazing things while they've been out on this trip. She's gone above and beyond the call of duty, not only passing out supplies and providing transport for those that need it, but finding new groups of survivors and convincing some of the more reluctant groups to finally pitch in and help. She's actually had to make fuel runs back down south to restock a few times, her relief mission has been so successful. I'm proud of what she and the others with her have accomplished. Should I die tomorrow, it will be with the knowledge that in ways small and large, the world has been made a better place by some of the people left in it.
That's way more comforting to me than it should be. We're in a mess here, trying to plan out where we will go, waiting until we're sure that the zombies outside have thinned out enough for us to pile into our vehicles. Yet despite the struggle ahead and the unknowns we face, I can't help but take a lot of solace in the fact that people, a lot of people, are doing what they can to help those in need.
It's not just the holiday spirit, I'm sure. It's truly awesome to me to witness people rising up against the terrible circumstances all of us are in to recognize the basic truth that led me to found the compound in the first place: that the needs of the tribe, the larger issue of survival of the human species, is more important than any other factor.
I've said before that living in a world of the dead has forced us to learn how to truly live. Never before has that truth been more clear to me. It can't just be about survival for us. In fact, there can't even be an "us" unless it's referring to every survivor out there. I'm not saying that we won't have trouble with marauders or crazies--we will. But the greater body of the human species can survive having cancers like those removed when needed. We're all in this together, and it fills me with real hope to see that so many out there are starting to see that as well.
Ok, the last of our people have woken up. It's time to decide where to go. I'll be back as soon as I can.