Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fire By Night

It's been a while since I pulled an all-nighter, but this was worth it. Will and Dodger pulled out all the stops over the last six hours or so, and we're in a lull at the moment.

My brother and some of his carpenters threw together several catapults yesterday. That sounds like a large saga explained in one sentence but it really isn't. They aren't terribly complicated examples of the old war machines, and it didn't take a lot of work to put them together. That being said, none of us are betting that they'll hold together for all that long, but for now they work. That's what matters.

Why that matters is interesting.

Right now, and for the last several hours, the trenches surrounding the compound have been on fire. We moved a lot of raw liquor from the distilleries to distill down into a purer form to mix with our gas. That left us thousands of gallons of the stuff sitting around. Will got a couple of our generators going, hooked hoses up to a few pumps, and  fired away at the trenches. The trenches themselves have a lot of zombies in them, and the alcohol helped them get burning hot.

So we've been safe for the night. The waves came and went yesterday, but they didn't slow down as night came. Our people fought as the light died, and then by torchlight. We have other lights to use, but the coverage isn't total while the zombies outside the walls are everywhere.

The fire in the trenches won't last for long. The bodies there will eventually burn out. We have to ration how much alcohol we use, since we have no idea how long this siege will last. For now the blaze keeps the undead from attacking, but it doesn't do anything to reduce their numbers.

That's where the catapults come in.

We've been hurling small propane tanks out into the crowd. We've got a pretty good supply of them, and the large tanks we fill them from are still full from the last tanker we brought in. Thank god there's so many people around here who used the stuff, necessitating a number of storage facilities within easy driving range. But just like everything else we have in the compound right now, there's a limited supply. We can't go out to resupply.

Again, though, if we die because we tried too hard to conserve supplies, there'll be egg on all our faces, right?

My brother has been running around between each of the catapults all night, making sure they're not coming apart and the fittings are secure. He's also ferrying explosives around as well. We're running through our supplies pretty fast, but the propane tanks make very large explosions. The destruction has the nice side effect of driving the swarm into smaller areas, crowding them tightly together for the next shot. We're peppering them with arrows when we have to, but otherwise we've been careful about not use too many.

Overall things are going better than I'd have expected, but we're running short on things. We aren't getting any food from the farms, and god only knows what's happened to our animals out there.

Today will be a challenge even if we don't suffer a single attack. Still no word from our people in Bald Knob. I hope they're safe.

If they are, I hope they find help soon.

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