With the help of the soldiers from North Jackson, we've managed to shore up the walls that were burned and broken in the annex. They're not pretty and aren't safe enough for a sizable population to live in, but it's enough that we can begin to plant there. We're also working on making a couple houses there zombie-proof, so that some of our farmers can take up residence and keep an eye on what will hopefully be crops.
We've still got seed corn and seed potatoes, as well as some other things to plant. I don't know that we'll have enough to see to the needs of all our remaining citizens when and if the plants bear vegetables, but it'll have to do. Until then, we've got hunting parties working overtime to bring in food.
The soldiers left this morning with the sunrise, and they did us one last favor before they went--a group of about thirty of them went hunting late last night, and brought us home a haul. God bless and keep men with firearms and spare bullets...
It's enough to feed us for a few days. We'll be making large pots of stew with their kills, and after that we'll have to eat what we can bring in day to day. The vegetables already being grown all over the compound aren't going to be nearly enough.
It helps that so many of the homesteaders have been driven out. Seventy less mouths to feed means we've got a better chance of avoiding starvation until the group of folks out west who've promised us a delivery of food can manage to help us.
The exile of so many of our people is the only thing people talk about around here except for the food shortage. We haven't even seen a zombie outside the walls since the soldiers came and annihilated the swarming undead. People buzzed about the discipline and precision of the soldiers as they formed lines and closed in on the zombie horde, firing in a careful rhythm as they moved forward. Our saviors, clad in familiar uniforms and with the bearing of men and women who had spent years perfecting their skills.
It was an amazing sight, but quickly forgotten in the face of our troubles.
I won't deny that I'm uneasy at the thought of sending so many people away. I'm heartbroken that such a large number of men and women once considered family would be so selfish, though I understand the deep fear and anger that drove them to such lengths. I'm equally worried that they haven't gone far and intend to take some action against us in the future. Honestly I'm hoping that they decide to move along and try to start over somewhere else. Seventy is a good number to build a community with, and there must be places out there that have the resources they'd need to make a good showing of it.
The homesteaders have done some bad things, but part of why they did it was out of concern for one another. I would find it hard to fault that reason were it not for the fact that they put their group's needs over the overall needs of the compound.
I visited Katy today. She's doing better, although she's still very weak. She's putting on a little weight now that she has food to eat. She was thrilled to learn that we are, for the moment, without further conflict. She's excited to get well enough to work along with her peers, and to do her part to make sure the crops we have are cared for, and the ones not planted get their chance.
Her enthusiasm is infectious. I can't bring myself to tell her it might not be enough.