Monday, January 24, 2011

There and back again

Just got going again, no thanks to a horde of zombies and an empty gas tank.

We stopped in this little town to search for diesel fuel, since we were close to running out and there weren't any other prospects. One of the things you learn over time is that the end came so quickly that there are usually still some pockets of supplies and fuel that haven't been filched yet. There just aren't enough people left to have used them all up.

That being said, it was still a lot of work to gather fuel for the bus. We have gas cans to take around with us, and no survivor leaves home without a siphon. It took a lot of work to empty out the tanks of the few diesel trucks we found, which should be enough to get us to our abandoned cars. It will certainly be adequate to get us to the train yard, where we should be able to top off the bus if nothing else, though the zombies there have probably returned from wherever it was that Mason lead them.

We encountered groups of zombies while we worked, and these looked better fed than most. There was fresh blood frozen on their fronts, still bright and some of it not even turned to ice yet. Most of them came at us in ones and twos, which was fine since we moved in teams of two. One of us worked while the other defended, a method that has been successful for us for a very long time.

The real problem was when the big group of them showed up. Not a lot of drama there--we've dealt with swarms before, and if you are reading this, chances are good that you have as well. We were all separated and spread out, and the swarm seemed to come from everywhere at once. It was the same old song and dance: run and outmaneuver, meet up at a predetermined location.

In short, we made it out.

I've talked to several people this morning, and I'm excited to get back to Jack's. Gabrielle has managed to find and bring in a couple truckloads of medical equipment. Jack's people are working on getting all of it working and setting up a permanent clinic area. Evans, Phil and the rest of the medical staff are still working tons of hours, but now Jack has assigned people to observe and learn while our people do their thing. Evans wants to set up classes for Jack's people if there is ever enough time.

The best news is that Courtney and her convoy have finally made it to Jack's. I sort of feel like our whole trip to hide copies of the Ark pales beside that. Seems weird to say, but there it is. It's been so long since I've seen those folks that it doesn't even seem real to me. Courtney is bringing with her a huge amount of useful things, and now that the people who stayed behind at Jacks' are mostly done building our little habitat in the storage building, we'll have a place there to call home. It feels like my family is coming back together.

There are still missing pieces. Jamie and Dodger are still out in the wild with my brother and his family. They've taken it on themselves to do some work that needs doing. Stuff I can't talk about for fear of risking their lives. But after some discussion, Dodger has agreed to make a run the where Patrick is to retrieve him and the kids with him. He's closer to them than we are, and the timing will work out a lot better that way. Also, it saves resources. That's going to be a big concern from here on out. The increasing difficulty in locating supplies has made us aware just how prudent we're going to have to be...

Tomorrow, I've got some interesting news to tell you all about Jack's compound and some steps they will be taking toward long term sustainability. It's an intriguing idea, and I want to give it my full attention.

We're about an hour from our abandoned vehicles now, close to the trainyard. I think Mason is going to try and top off the tanks one more time, and assuming our SUV's are where we left them, we'll be on our way home.

Hmm. I think that's the first time since we fled the compound that I've referred to Jack's that way. As home. If not, it's certainly the first time I truly thought of it that way. It's my deepest hope that we can go back to our own compound one day, but if not, at least I am with as good a group of people as I could hope for as a man in exile.

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