Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Spark

People are frightening in their stupidity sometimes. I've seen it time and again as those around me (and I) make horrible decisions, bad judgment calls that seem to have no rhyme or reason. I try to be smart about what choices I make, try to be logical.

Yesterday, just after sunset, we suffered an attack. It wasn't zombies, though they tend to attack the walls here often. It was a person. A single man. A man I don't know, but I know where he comes from.

The reality of living in a place like this is that there will be gaps in the defenses. The wall is just too large and too spread out to keep a single determined person out. He got in just as two guards passed each other on patrol along the wall, and he decided to bomb our fuel supplies. He took out a tanker that was almost full. The chaos was indescribable.

Thankfully the tanker was far away from the main building, but even where it was, the damage was bad enough. Fiery gasoline sprayed in every direction. It lit the wall on fire, caught some of the food supplies, and red-hot shards of metal killed twenty-three people. Twenty-three. Lost for no reason, in some sad attempt to hamstring us should we and the people of Jack's decide to come for them.

You know who I'm talking about. After we caught him, Mason took the guy into a small room for about ten minutes. I don't know what Mason did to him, but I hope it hurt him so badly it drove him nuts before we tossed him over the wall to be eaten. Mason got the guy to talk. He was one of the Richmond soldiers, the fuckers of took the compound from me and my people.

Apparently there has been growing concern among the soldiers that we were actively preparing for a push into Kentucky to take our home back. After some debate, it was decided that a soldier would be sent to wreak havoc and limit our ability to make war should we choose to.

Yesterday afternoon, the people of this place, which I have always called Jack's or Jack's compound, voted on a name. When he was alive, calling it Jack's was appropriate. It was his baby. He ran it, he solved the major problems. He organized it. He led the people. Now, though, leadership has changed. While they respect Susan, even like her, their loyalty has evolved from the charismatic leader to the community itself. To the place and the people in it. They gave it a name for that reason.

That name is "North Jackson".

Obvious but fitting. This place was Jack's creation, his child. The name Jackson comes from that. In a nod to the world that was, the people here wanted to acknowledge that the "Jackson" that Johnny Cash made famous existed. So they added "North" onto it. It's a simple name for complex and intelligent people, and a strong one. I like it.

The people of North Jackson were attacked. They are enraged to a degree that I've never seen, and it's every one of them. I lost three of my fellow refugees from the compound, two from the large group we brought from the hospital a few weeks ago. Right now, the general mood is one of total violence.

So this last part is for you, Richmond soldiers. I want you to read it very carefully.

You've made a mistake. You might have been trying to goad us into a fight, or possibly attempting to do what your (now zombie food) soldier claimed--reducing our capacity to come for you. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter. The consequence of that choice is the same.

We're not coming for you right now. We're not going to fly off the handle and do something stupid. We are going to tighten the defenses here, and undertake training from Mason with a renewed passion that you can't understand. We are going to make ourselves a force of death and destruction that you can't imagine. We're going to stockpile weapons and ammunition. We're going to recruit anyone we can find.

Then, we'll train them as well.

We'll build an army large enough to swarm over you and crush the breath from you. We will make sure to let as many of you live as possible, so that you can receive the justice you so richly deserve. This isn't a threat. It isn't a promise. It's not meant to intimidate you, because the world we live in has inoculated us against intimidation.

It's simply a statement of intent. We're telling you exactly what we are going to do. If you want to come here, outside of the defenses that keep you so safe, and try to stop us...go for it. On your ground, we'd need ten to one numbers to have a chance. On ours, you'd get slaughtered. Or wait. Sit there inside walls built with the sweat and blood of my friends and family.

As of this moment, my people and those of North Jackson must assume that you will hold the lives of the many left behind at the compound hostage. We have to expect that you will kill them to keep us from coming for you. Understand that if we learn that you have harmed one of them, we will make your eventual suffering the stuff that religions use to frighten people into being better people. Hell won't compare.

I've told you before that we're not ready to fight you, and that hasn't changed. We will need time to prepare. But that time will come, and when it does I promise each of you that you will come to regret the war you've made. You may only regret it for a few moments before death gives you that last kiss, but you will. I promise it.

Oh, and you failed. You only got one of our tankers. We keep them separated for exactly this reason. You won't get a second chance. Seems you started a war for nothing. that I've vented and said what I needed to say, I apologize to the rest of you. I don't want to come off overly dramatic, but I worked the clinic all last night, tending to the bodies of the fallen. I tried to ease the pain of men, women, and children that were badly hurt by flying metal and those burned by flaming gasoline. I saw the agony that gripped their bodies, the confused terror of the children. I watched good people suffer and die for hours on end.

So, I mean what I say. This won't be left unanswered.

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