Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Empty Handed

First, I want to give my heartfelt condolences to everyone in the compound that lost a friend or loved one in yesterday's horrible attack. The zombies hit us hard, and took men and women from us. Loss is always terrible and hard. We will stand together in mourning, and soldier on. What else can we do?

I also want to thank Gabrielle for taking the time to share on the blog yesterday. It was important to me that someone present the events as they happened, or as close to it as reports can manage. I'm also happy that she relayed my own injuries, though she left out the fact that my awkward fat ass fell out of the tree when I got tangled up trying to climb down. The fact that I was at the edge of the kill zone is probably why I'm still alive. I wasn't part of the fight.

We're pretty definitively worse off because of this trip. The worst is, or course, the loss of life. It's hard to write about losing people without wanting to go into detail about how hard it is for all of us. I want to tell you about the sad faces I see, the stories people are telling about the fallen. I want to dedicate so much time and effort to making you understand the impact it's had on us.

But you know. Anyone out there who is reading this blog is a survivor. You've lived through the same hell as the rest of us, and you understand what we're feeling. Further, if you've read this blog for any length of time, you understand that it's not simply a place for me to vent my feelings. It's also a record of our collective struggle. It keeps track of our decisions and hard calls, for good or ill. Maybe to teach us what we've done right and wrong. Maybe it will teach others.

Aside from our fallen hunters and scouts (and there they go, with one sentence. Moved past them as they exit, stage left. Terrible. Terrible and necessary, so that we can focus on how to keep going)  we're left with the same problem we've faced to an increasing degree over the last few months. We still have people out hunting, fishing, and trapping. It's enough for now to keep us from enacting harsher rationing, but not nearly enough for us to build up additional stores of food.

On a purely social and psychological level, yesterday was devastating. Morale is low, and no amount of positive attitude seems to do much good. I mean, Pat is one of the most upbeat people I've ever met. Folks love him. Yet the citizens see him smiling and trying to strike up conversations about projects we want to work on, and they see it as a sad attempt to change the subject. To gloss over what happened.

Because a lot of people are seeing the zombie assault yesterday as being the fault of those who organized it. Those who run the compound. Part of that is the human need to blame, to assign fault for the painful things that happen. Part of it is a reflection of the intense individualism that makes our population such good survivors.

To a degree, they're right. It's our responsibility as the council approved the plans and gave the orders. But responsibility isn't fault, is it? Well, I claim that we're at fault here as well as being responsible. We saw a prize that fit our needs, and we didn't waste time. We didn't take the time to really look at the larger area around the kill zone. We didn't pause to consider that the zombies might be setting a trap for us. There are enough smart ones around for it.

We were rash and hungry. We were trying to head off the hot tempers of citizens who were fearful of rationing. We wanted to capture enough food at once to make a start at a nest egg of vittles. We wanted; we took a shot.

We were stupid.

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