Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Can Play

As you may remember, my brother has been working like crazy to get the trenches finished around the compound. It has been fairly slow going for a variety of reasons, and it looks like it'll be a long while before the project is completed.

This morning he and his crew were working on it while the rain was pattering down. In fact, he even had a few extra people out there with him. They were working with hand tools, the backhoe sitting unused. The part of the compound they were digging outside of isn't too far from a decent sized patch of woods. Dave and his crew made a lot of noise.

There were only a few sentries on the wall there, all of them keeping dry inside the small enclosures built for that purpose.

The zombies saw men out in the open with little protection. They came out of the woods in a pack of nearly a hundred. See, normally when we see any undead going into that bit of woods, we send in teams to clear them out. We don't let them build up numbers in there. Yesterday evening when Dave was laying out the stakes and lines for today's work on the trench, the sentries saw a few zombies hiding among the trees.

Then Dave thought it might be a good idea to give the undead a bit of their own medicine. So, he told the sentries to keep an eye peeled on the woods, but to do it without looking like they were paying too much attention. Over the course of the night, the woods slowly filled up with zombies moving ever so slowly. Carefully. My guess is that they were almost all smarties. Normal zombies lack the finesse to move with such caution.

So when they attacked the workers outside the wall, they had no idea that we'd set a trap for them. They came in a massive wave, and not twenty seconds later arrows came over the wall, about ten of them. Attached to each was a small vial of ammonia. The shattering glass of the vials released the gas in a wide arc around the zombies, forcing them to move closer to the wall.

Which would have been good for them if ropes hadn't been thrown over the wall so Dave's crew could escape. They'd have been an easy meal. Dave himself hopped into the backhoe, which has a cage of heavy mesh welded onto the cab. Basically, the thing's a tank.

Then my brother, always one of the most calm and rational human beings I've ever known, had himself a fun time. Trapped inside a shrinking bubble of good air, the zombies didn't stand a chance. Dave crushed them, sliced them in half with the wide scoop on the front, and smashed them in groups with the boom arm. A few of them ran through the ammonia to escape, but by that point there were archers on the wall to pick them off. That was easy, since the gas makes them slow and stupid.

It doesn't solve any of our problems. We're still scrambling to catch and kill enough to eat. There are still some very angry people who aren't happy with the way things are going. It doesn't bring back the people we lost in the attack the other day.

There are a hundred less undead to contend with. In a world where the overwhelming majority of the population has succumbed to the zombie plague, that's less than a drop in the ocean.

But it's a start.

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