Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laying in Wait

One good thing about the summer rains is that the zombies seem to have built up a healthy fear of storms. Given the terrible ones we've had lately, it shouldn't surprise anyone that when the sky clouds over and the more gentle downpours come they hide in fear. We've seen the undead evolve and change in startling ways over the last fourteen months, but this one is the first that's helped us. 

The rain outside right now couldn't have come at a better time. The teams of hunters and scouts have been pushing themselves really hard the last several days to bring in as many kills as possible. Late yesterday they found an area about five miles from here where there are signs that large numbers of animals have been passing through. I'm not all that good a hunter, but I'm told that the signs are heavy and fresh, meaning that if we can get a team positioned at the right places, there's a good chance they can bring home a heavy haul. 

The particular area the teams are looking at is pretty big. Jamie has been talking with the hunt/scout teams, trying to figure out the best way to maximize the number of kills. To that end he wants to get as many of us out there at once as possible, spread out in clustered teams among the trees. 

Yeah, I said us. I don't know the ins and outs of hunting like some of the people around here, but I'm very good at handling myself in the open where zombies can show up at a moment's notice. Plus I'm a good shot with a bow. We're going to be as careful as possible...

We'll be setting up early in the morning, probably before dawn. There are a few guys out right now getting the area ready, putting up stands and building simple blinds. Not too many, since we don't want to frighten off our prey.

I'm not all that thrilled about being out in the early morning. Reduced visibility, no walls around us, sitting in the middle of nowhere with our necks exposed. Plus, I just hate waking up that early. 

Ha. I would like to say the last was a joke, but the idea of being half-asleep and out where zombies can walk right up to me is unnerving to say the least. But it will be worth the risk to build up a reserve of dried meat, assuming we can keep up the level of daily hunting our men have managed so far. We can't organize trips like this often.

When we can, though, we will. The last few months have taught us the value of planning as far ahead as possible. When the Richmond soldiers devoured our stores, it left us in a hard place. Harder than I could have imagined. We will do everything we can to make certain that our people don't go hungry. As a man who, before The Fall, was a strong advocate of environmental causes, understand: I will see the land here stripped bare if needed to make sure my people live. I know the long-term consequences of such an act, which is why we're taking steps to avoid that sort of extreme.

We want to convert some greenhouses from the abandoned nursery on the east-west connector into places to grow food year-round. Given the closed environment and controllable conditions, we're thinking potatoes. Assuming we can manage to heat them without killing ourselves with smoke inhalation. A few people also had the idea to start seeding the Game farm, a local wildlife preserve right down the road from the compound, with fish. There are two lakes there that used to serve that very purpose. The hard part will be finding ways to do that. I imagine someone around here knows how. Is it as easy as transporting fish from the river? 

We want to try other things as well. Lots of ideas floating around.

We'll need all hands on deck to manage those goals, so pray for us that tomorrow's trip will give us a buffer so that we can keep our extra people home to work on them. After all, you can't build new things without hands to work. 

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