Well, yesterday and the day before were eventful. Our trip out into Bald Knob on Saturday started out to be fairly boring and routine, but before we got very far down the winding roads of the county, Jamie noticed something: very few zombies.
It isn't unusual to find areas that are thin at times as far as the zombie population goes. There are days when we see less than a dozen outside the walls of the compound, and they've started to learn to stay well back from the farms as well, though occasionally small groups will risk a run at them. Bald Knob was different, though--we were at the beginning of it, where there's a fairly dense grouping of houses that are pretty close to town, and we saw a total of two zombies. They were heading away from the county toward town.
We didn't see any more the whole of Saturday. We worked our way slowly farther and farther away from town, checking houses and farms for anything of use that we could find. To be honest, there wasn't much. No food, no tools, no raw supplies. There wasn't even any animal feed. At first we though that people had just scavenged the areas closer to town, but the farther into the country we got, the more barren our pickings became.
We also started to see signs of human habitation. Subtle ones, to be sure, but we've got a lot of practice figuring out what it looks like when there are people living in an area. So, we brought our meager findings back to the compound Saturday night, and yesterday we started looking for them in earnest.
It was late yesterday afternoon when we found them. Technically, they found us, and the meeting was a strange mixture of violent tension and barely restrained hope. There are about sixty of them, many families banded together on a set of farms across a narrow back road from each other. They didn't know that there were survivors left in Frankfort, as there aren't any cell towers out that far and certainly no internet. Fuel has been a huge problem for them, so there haven't been any trips out of the area around their home for almost a year. Their farms sit right at the place where Franlin, Henry, and Owen counties all meet. That's as far in the boonies as you can get in this part of Kentucky. It was isolation for them.
It was also safety.
They'd been scavenging from Bald Knob since The Fall hit last year. Many forays toward Frankfort as well as the other counties had let them build up a massive stock of necessities. They've moved all the livestock they can handle to their farm, and slaughtered what they couldn't for food.
They were happy to see us once they believed that we weren't there to steal from them or attack them. We explained our situation, and spent several hours filling them in on what's been going on in the world. We even sent a few people back to the compound to bring a few comfort items out to them. Deodorant, toothpaste, new clothes...stuff they'd asked about as soon as it was clear there wasn't going to be a fight. Those folks have had it hard, but the fact that they've basically cleared out the zombies from the area they live in says a lot about them.
I'll get into the details of who they are and all that tomorrow. Right now I've got some work to do, and I want to get it done quick so I can go see if the scouts that went back out to the farms in Bald Knob last night after my group left have come back. The folks out there, the strange tribe of people who've made it this long on pure will and determination, wanted to sleep on the invitation we gave them to come here and live with us.
Maybe they've sent us an answer...