I haven't had much sleep in the last two days. I caught about a three hour nap tonight, but for the most part I've been restless. Most of yesterday was spent cleaning up and treating the injured--and there were a lot of them. Many people suffered minor burns trying to put out the fires, with a few more severe cases that need some careful TLC. Along with that, the soldiers fought like hell when the citizens took them down. There are some broken bones and a lot of black eyes, scrapes, and cuts.
Gabby, Evans, and Phil worked along with their team through most of the day trying to treat all the injuries. Under normal circumstances, we'd be able to treat a dozen or so people with little fear for complication. As it is, there are more than fifty injured, and supplies are going to be thin by the time those treatments are done. There are reserves we can tap into down the road, but unless we find another big cache of medical supplies, the next year is going to be rough for anyone that gets injured.
The single largest problem we're facing is the north wall. Our assault teams thought to bring as many extinguishers rated to put out metal fires as we could find, but by the time we got the blaze under control, the damage was done. There's a huge open section in the wall, and it's not going to be long before the zombies realize that they can come back this way now that the ammonia has cleared out. Teams have been working through the night to shore up the gap, packing it with cars and raw boards while others work on cutting new posts to rebuild. With the number of bodies we have working on it, the work will go quick. We've gotten extremely good at building walls efficiently.
Though a big portion of our population is injured, and a smaller fraction dead, the surviving citizens of the compound, injured or not, seem happy. I can't imagine the frustration they dealt with, having to wait while they were gradually starved while those of us on the outside organized the attack. It's gratifying to see smiles on their faces...though some of them smiled while they were executing the Richmond soldiers.
I feel a little callous saying this, but the thing that has bothered me the most since our victory yesterday is Will Price. Don't get me wrong, I feel awful that we had to lose any people, much less two dozen of them. I helped treat the wounded myself, and I winced in sympathy with their wounds, though they were earned honorably in defense of our home. It's just that I expected those things, and the last year has prepared me mentally to deal with them. What I didn't expect was to come home and learn that Will has been something of a positive force since his betrayal.
I wanted to hate him, expected to come home and have a mob to deal with that would try to kill him at the first chance. I almost hoped for that, because it would have made it easy for me to accede to their demands and just let them have him. To be sure, if that had happened, I would have had doubts for the rest of my days about him. I would have let my thoughts wander, in odd moments, what the real story with Will Price had been. There would have been a guilty spot nestled firmly in my mind from then on out. But make no mistake--I would have let them do it in a heartbeat. They've earned their choice in justice.
Several facts have come to my attention that begin to explain why that mob was nowhere to be found. When Will realized what was happening, he went down to the small theater my brother made, and sat there under the overhang in the dark. He just waited while the battles were fought, hidden in the small darkened corner. When all was said and done, he walked out and handed himself over.
I mentioned yesterday that he stayed in my house, kept it safe. He did some things while I was gone that deserve to be looked into. Sharing his food with the hungry. Stopping some of the more deprived soldiers from having their way with women. Checking on people he was worried might be ill or injured if he hadn't seen them in a while.
I want to hate him, I really do. He betrayed us to the soldiers, gave our home to the enemy. That's fact. Doing good deeds in the time his brother soldiers were here doesn't erase that crime. It does, for me at least, merit some investigation before we have his trial. I would have stood by as the people ripped him to shreds--but they didn't. His continued survival means that he will have a trial, and we'll do it right. All the facts will be taken into consideration.
And what comes will come, as surely as the tides.