Thursday, January 6, 2011


The situation here is bad. Very bad.

Some might say dire, but those people are probably already dead from The Fall itself, having been unable to manage the rare achievement of surviving the apocalypse when it tore through society like lightning.

Early yesterday morning we sent out a small group of scouts to search for signs of any large swarms of zombies. They were back in less than fifteen minutes with extremely shitty news: a crowd of at least a thousand was heading our way. We didn't even bother trying to set up a defense inside the walls of the attached parking lot; we just locked ourselves in and double checked the barricades. Oh, and hoped. We hoped very hard.

In the wait before the swarm could get to us I sent out call after call, shot emails to people, and generally did everything I could to all of the folks headed this way to warn them off. I even contacted Google to make sure they warned the courier carrying the copies of the Ark to stay away if he was anywhere near, though I strongly doubt he could be this early in his trip.

Long story short? Messages received. Patrick and Aaron's group were the only ones to not eventually get back to me, and I desperately hope that they were holed up somewhere safe and not anywhere close to here in hopes of getting in.

The attack went badly from start to finish. We had a lot of ammo here, or at least a lot for the way we fight. Our philosophy is to conserve as much as possible, the way my survival instructors (bless them for having such a dim student but trying anyway) taught me. Primarily we have used our firearms as long-range weapons and backups in close combat, instead relying on edged weapons, crowbars, makeshift clubs, and the like.

We really didn't have a lot of options when the swarm hit the wall of the parking lot, zombies trampling their own kind and piling up until the back ranks could just walk to the top of the wall. Not to mention the hundreds beating on the barricaded and boarded windows on the ground floor of the hospital, few as they are. We started picking off those that we could, Jess up on the roof using her rifle along with others who had long guns. The rest of us, including those with shotguns, used the windows on the second floor as our firing platforms. I hung halfway out of one for most of an hour, a kid reloading my magazines for me and handing them up. It was insanely difficult to fire accurately that way for me. I'm right handed but have a dominant left eye for sighting when I shoot, so I have to angle my head sharply to even get the ironsights to line up.

That was pretty stressful. I pretty much stuck to firing at the ones coming over the wall, and I tried to take headshots whenever one of them came over the section closest to me. The sad truth is that with the number that got over and into the parking lot, it was only a matter of time before they beat their way through the heavy  stuff we put in front of the doors. Most of us using handguns decided to get down to the ground floor and set up a killzone there before that happened.

When the inevitable happened, every single person with a firearms was needed.

We formed lines in a V shape near the door, the point of the V away from the doorway. The front row of us (myself included) were kneeling, a helper behind us reloading our magazines and speedloaders. Behind them, riflemen and women stood, popping off shots and aiming at distant zombies through the shattered remains of the door.

It actually worked out a lot better than we'd hoped for. There didn't have to be a lot of us in the V at one time. It took the zombies a while to get in, which gave us a bit of time to set up a sequence for us to fire in so that no one wasted bullets. The undead had to fight the heavy vending machines and other junk we'd piled in front of the door out of the way. Then when they crowded the way in, we let loose with a salvo to drop as many of them in one place as possible.

For a while it was a simple matter of people on the right of the V firing at the right side of the double doors, and those on the left shooting at the left. In order according to the simple sequence we'd put together. It was simple to maintain that, and it took the zombies time to move the still bodies of their fallen out of the way enough to get in.

It went that way for a while. Pile up dead zombies, watch as zombies became visible and tried to move them, pick off the movers to make the pile bigger. We were methodical, thorough, and calm, at least on the outside. Those that weren't actively in lines patrolled around the rest of the ground floor, making sure no breaches popped up. The main door to the parking lot was our big worry, since that was the one portal to the outside we used, and we hadn't taken the herculean efforts to keep it closed that we had on the rest of the building.

No breaches. But the swarm pushed us to our limits; it was only the narrow entryway combined with coordinated effort that kept us from breaking and getting slaughtered. Bless my firearms instructor (my brother David) for helping me to learn my favored shooting stance, for teaching me the right way to hold my arms. And bless all the people with me for keeping cool heads during an attack that, by all rights, should have killed us.

We managed to stay alive. We took down a LOT of zombies. My .40 caliber Glock 27 has been my constant companion right along with my wife, and it performed beautifully yesterday.

But guns are just clunky rocks without bullets. And we're out.

Not totally. We've got a few left for the odd small caliber weapons here and there, a handful of deer slugs for a couple shotguns. Jess has five rounds left for her 30.06. That's about it.Thank god we were using old ammo that came boxed, and not the homemade rounds. I've been told that using hard cast bullets would eventually cause my Glock to go...boom. We went through virtually every round we had, though the constant hail of gunfire was apparently enough to send the remains of that swarm away looking for an easier meal. Or maybe it's the smell of zombies made finally dead that overpowers their hunger in situations like this. I don't know. Never did figure that out.

Because we have no other choice, we're leaving. Not in a few days or when we get a chance. Before lunch. We knew there were circumstances that might make us leave, and this is one of them. We can't defend this place against a similar attack again and hope to survive it, so we're heading out for our next destination. Where we're headed, I'm not worried about not having much ammunition. We've got some locals (Well, they live within an hour of here, anyway) willing to shepherd us out of the area in return for what will be left of the medical supplies here after we take what we need. It isn't great, but we planned for it.

Oh, and sometime during the attack, the soldier we had tied up got himself loose and escaped. We managed to interrogate him before he got away, but the information he gave us was virtually worthless. Given the state we left him in, I doubt he'll get far. I don't really care if he does get back to the compound at this point. We'll be gone for a new location before he gets halfway there.

He's on foot. Since he didn't want to respond to us asking nicely, we had to take very drastic measures. When I say he's on foot, I mean it in the most singular way possible. We tossed the one Evans cut off him out into the parking lot. Guess a zombie ate it.

Time to finish packing, load up the dogs, and hit the highway for a while.

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