Monday, June 6, 2011

Broken Land

We made it to the group of survivors in Tennessee that we were trying to reach. I had intended on writing yesterday, but the sheer amount of help these people needed took pretty much all of our free after getting here.

As you might have expected, the storms that ravaged Frankfort last month had  an even more profound effect here. The floodwaters hit this part of Tennessee like a hammer. In fact, part of the reason these folks contacted us is because they've been desperately trying to repair all of the damage to their homestead, but they've finally given up. There's just too much that needs fixing and not enough of them to do it, nor enough supplies to make it happen.

The last day and a half has been a whirlwind of activity mostly due to the smattering of medical knowledge we brought with us, bolstered by the medical supplies we tucked away just in case we needed them.

Good thing we did. There are some people here that were severely injured by the damage caused by the storms and floods. Some have been nursing wounds for weeks, others getting injured while working furiously to repair their home.

About half the work we've done since coming here has been canning and preserving food. They weren't kidding when they said there was a huge trove of edibles here. The whole place is a giant farm, far larger than what we utilize at the compound. There are all kinds of veggies and fruits growing, but the really important part is the preserved foods. The people here spent a tremendous amount of time and effort over the last year trying to can and jar every scrap of food they could get. Though the season is still early, there are enough peas and other early vegetables to feed hundreds of people.

The trick is to get them sealed up and preserved while they're still good.

In addition to that, there are animals here. Lots of them. The survivors have been killing them in ones and twos and drying the meat. They hate to waste good livestock, but it has to be done, because there's just no way they can stay here much longer.

See, when they first made it here, this place was ideal. The land itself is situated in a huge tract between some very large and nearly vertical hills. It's screened in on three sides thanks to a sheer cliff face that sits at the end of the valley. The open area between the hills is relatively small, maybe about fifty feet of flatland before the hills jut up from the ground. The trees on the hills have provided ample firewood and lumber to make walls from. It's as defensible against zombies as a place can be.

Weather is a different species of threat, however.

When the rain came to Frankfort, we thought we had it bad. What we got there was even worse here, gusts of wind so strong that it started snapping trees in half after they bent almost in two. Water rushing down the hills, carrying loose rock and parts of trees, whole sections of zombie barricades. About a quarter of the arable land here is covered with sediment and junk.

But now there's nothing keeping the zombies from coming over the hills except for how steep they are. The undead have been rebuffed from this place for a long time now, but eventually a smarty or some lucky dumb zombie will make it up the hill again, and this time they're gonna see a defenseless all-you-can-eat buffet of people.

I guess it's pretty clear what our job is now. We've got to figure out how in the hell we transport these folks and their supplies, and in a short enough time frame that we don't all die in the process.

We've got a few trucks, a bunch of extra E85, and a landscape tattered by wind and water. Piece of cake, except for the part where it's impossible.

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