I had an interesting time yesterday. I spent the second part of my day with Patrick, who was nice enough to teach me some of the basic principles of metalworking. Not that I'd dare try my hand at it alone or anything, but I know a lot more now than I did yesterday. I get a warm fuzzy going on when I have new knowledge floating around my brain. It's a good feeling.
My trainees did a nice job on the rest of my work yesterday, and all of them are coming along nicely. There have been enough challenging situations lately that they've been pretty thoroughly tested. I think any one of them could fill in for me on a given day safely, though we've yet to find any person that could take Dave's place. My brother is a very unique guy: super smart with an intuitive ability to assess problems and solve them in the simplest way. I don't mean that as a negative--his ideas aren't simple, but the methods we have to fix things around here are. It's a testament to his ability that he can work with what we have at our disposal.
Which brings up an interesting topic. The small trench and berm that he started on out at the farms has been pretty damn effective in keeping zombies from wandering onto our land so quickly that they can mass. He's eager to do something similar at the compound itself, and it's a big enough project that the council itself will have to vote on it, since it will require a lot of our reserve of diesel fuel to run the big equipment. There's a few people working on a biodiesel setup, but it will be a while before we'll be able to produce anything in quantity.
The outside of our wall, as of right now, is a mixture of traps, pits, and stakes that slow down the zombies that seem to constantly wander around outside. To a smaller degree, it slows down swarms as well, though given recent events it's clear that the defenses aren't adequate for larger groups.
Dave wants to ring all of that with a trench about six feet deep, with a berm of dirt on the outside. It's a good idea. Also, a LOT of work.
But, I think it would be a good thing. One problem that has been slowly creeping up on us is the sheer emotional exhaustion of living in fear all the time. The last few big zombie attacks have been repelled successfully, but they've also made us more afraid. Actually seeing the dead manage to get inside the wall was enough to make most people start toting weapons at all times. We're a determined bunch, tough as nails, but only idiots aren't scared when their lives are in danger.
We feel like that almost all the time. It's draining. Living under the threat of a breach is awful, and Dave's idea would help many of us feel safer. It isn't just psychological--we would actually be safer. The cost/benefit analysis of it seems to lean toward doing it. I think it would be worth the fuel spent, but I'm just one voice on the council. We'll see how it goes tonight at the meeting, and I'll let you know the outcome.
If any of you out there are feeling the same weight on your shoulders, I hope it helps to know that there are others out there who share your burden. I know it won't make things completely better, but anything you can do to make yourselves more secure will help, I promise you.
Be safe. But also, feel safe.