Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Trenches

My brother has been working like a madman for a while now. Between the storm damage to the wall and the houses and digging the trenches, Dave hasn't had a lot of time for the little things in life. Playing with his kids. Spending time with his wife. Sleeping.

It's the trenches that have me excited. Dave started on the western front of the compound since that was where the tornado did its little shrapnel-bomb thing, but he's been expanding them at a fast pace. It's kind of awesome to look over the walls and see this small, long hill of excavated dirt running in a straight line. I don't know why I like it so much, except that it seems sort of iconic.

Sounds weird, right? I see the wall and to a large degree the compound itself that way. Something representative of us. Something we built and made strong. The trenches are like that to me; a feature that alters the shape of the land for the betterment of our community that we made. It's just fantastic to me. Then again, I'm a strange person.

Functionally speaking, the trenches and the raised berm outside of them work like a charm. Zombies, at least the mindless shambling ones, tend to go with the path of least resistance. Climbing a steep hill of dirt, even a small one, is a task most of them don't bother with. Maybe one in five of them will, but we're OK with that. Plus, climbing the hill makes it easier to pick them off with a bow.

If we don't bother with that, most of them lose their balance and fall into the trench itself. We don't have it filled with all the sharpened stakes we'd like, but it's deep enough to keep them from easily climbing out. Which, again, makes them easier to kill.

The only real drawback is that since they're not finished, zombies tend to walk around them and funnel to the places where there aren't any dirt hills or holes in the ground. That slows down the process of making more, since kill teams have to spend a lot of time clearing out bunched up groups of zombies.

All in all it's a pretty good idea that seems to work. Finishing it will be a real effort given the nice weather and resulting high number of undead to deal with.

I've spent a good chunk of this morning checking out the trenches and talking to Jamie. He's doing a little better this morning. He's even discussing possible ways to construct a prosthetic leg. I don't know how we might accomplish that, but I'm glad to see him thinking ahead.

His down time has given him a lot of opportunity to think. He's been putting a lot of effort into figuring out a safe way for us to make our idea to mold plastic armor components. I have to admit, I was worried that he might start falling into a dark mood with nothing to do but sit around. I'm really happy to see him keeping active and working on problems.

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