Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dodging Sleep

I'm afraid I just don't have much in me today. It's hard to express with written words the exhaustion we're all feeling as we try to weave the broken threads of our lives here at the compound back together. It's not that we aren't working together--we are, or else we'd be in a whole universe of hurt--but the sheer amount of work with the people we have is just too much.

Zombies have finally started showing up on the north side of the compound in real numbers again, which sucks. We've got the majority of the work done, at least well enough to keep out the constant stream of undead. Most of the repair work is whatever we could throw together, but it'll do until we have more workers free to really reinforce it. The warm weather today makes me wonder at how many of them we'll start seeing again. I know they can last a long time without food, but the hunting parties tell me that they've found carcasses all over the place. Deer, rabbit, squirrel, even some ducks. I can't catch a squirrel, and I'm a fully functional human being. How the hell are the shambling, clumsy dead able to manage it?

Everyone has been putting in extra hours. It's a good thing, because people are getting out of their comfort zones due to the lack of manpower and helping out with things they've had little or no experience in. It's bad, though, because getting four hours of sleep doesn't make most of us inclined to pay attention when someone is trying to show us the finer points of just about anything.

I feel awful that I pretty much took a day off a few days ago. I slept for so long, and when I look around and see the dark circles under the eyes of every person I see, I want to apologize. A few people have given me a hard time about it, which is reasonable. A few others have pointed out that my efforts along with my brother's are what has kept the work schedules and materials needed for them organized--a task that can't be done running on half the sleep I should be getting. Also reasonable. Doesn't make me feel any better.

I think the person who has it the worst right now is Dodger. That poor guy is working at the same level Will was back in late fall, trying to get the defenses up to snuff just in case some cunning opportunists think to strike while we're relatively weak. I'm not too worried about it, if for no other reason than we've got some of the big guns ready for action. Next time, if there is one, we won't wait for parley. We won't try to talk our attackers down. We'll just do what we have to do, quick and mean, to make the problem go away.

That being said, Dodger doesn't feel like what we have is enough. Not just for human attackers, no, he wants to start work on a whole new defensive line outside of the walls to cut down the zombies without risking our people. I listened to some of his ideas, though it was hard at times to catch what he was saying around the jaw-cracking yawns he couldn't hold in. They're brilliant, at the very least on par with some of Will's better ones, but they require manpower and supplies that we don't have at the moment.

They are good ideas, though, and need to be tested. So I asked the council to give Will to Dodger for a while. Will can work on building some of the traps that Dodger wants to try out, and while he's still a condemned man, we'd be stupid to the nth degree not to use his brain. Will's a genius when it comes to defenses and efficient methods of killing zombies. If there are ways to improve them or even flaws to be found, Will can do it.

In addition to many, many other duties. We're really not letting up on the guy, but for convenience and efficiency he's going to be staying in the war room while he works on these projects. The war room being the name Will himself came up with a few months back for the house next to the armory that Will, and now Dodger, utilize as an office. It's where the guards change out weapons and armor, where the designs are made for new traps, and where defense coordinator (or whatever Dodger decides his title is, I vote for "Defense Guy" myself. Simple. Also, kind of funny) works to keep that part of our little song and dance running.

I've been doing the lion's share of the work managing the trips back and forth to the farms. I make the guard schedules for that while Dodger focuses on the compound itself. Given how exhausted he is, I'm really not looking forward to telling him that he's going to have to take over farm duty soon. With the planting beginning all over the compound as well as at the farms, I'm going to be a waaaaaaaay busier boy than normal.

This was so much easier last year, when all we had to do was eat out of cans and harvest what had already been grown. Can't avoid the conversation with Dodger much longer. Better honesty now than anger later. I think my mom said that. Maybe my sleep-deprived brain just pulled it out of my ass. At this point, I don't even care.

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