Friday, August 26, 2011


I write our lives here so much and so often that sometimes it's hard to remember that it's not a story. The heroes don't always win. The villains don't always get their just desserts. In fact, the line between the two is never as clear in reality as it is in my mind. We're not archetypes. We're people. 

We are each of us a curious mixture of good and bad, smart calls and rash decisions. We all have moments of selfishness and grace to varying degrees. None of us are perfect saints, and none of us soulless devils. We're complicated and layered, and that makes it hard to understand each other. It makes us regret some decisions. It's hard for us to kill those we once called family, but in the last day we've done it. We know the exiles were good folks at one point, which made it that much harder to do it. 

We also know they're capable of terrible acts, which makes it that much harder to deal with the fact that most of them got away. The survivors are out there. After the events of the last day, I don't know if they'll dare come here again, but the threat is there. 

Here's how it went down:

It wasn't like a video game. There was no definitive boss fight at the end. There wasn't really even a battle. 

As the inner wall was being put out by yesterday's rain, the smoke intensified. If you've ever put out a campfire with water (and if you read this blog, you almost certainly have) then you know what this means. The exiles saw the clouds roll in, same as we did. They knew it wouldn't be long before the fires were out. They knew their time to attack us was limited, since the rain would also replenish our dwindling water supplies. 

They came for us. About half of their armored vehicles moved for the weakest point, which was the unfinished section of outer wall. The inner wall there was hit hard, little more than a fragile shell. The exiles knew we'd defend it heavily, so they did the smart thing and formed a semicircle outside, their gunners taking aim at our folks inside. A few of them shot at the watchtowers, but we'd emptied them out. 

I imagine the circled exiles would have really cut loose on us then, but they suffered a small distraction as four of their assault vehicles exploded, killing all inside them. 

From there, it was pretty much a clusterfuck for the exiles. The circled vehicles backed away and fled when they realized we'd killed so many of their people, and our gunners lobbed explosives at them. They had to do it from far inside New Haven's walls, which made the shots inaccurate and wild, but that didn't matter. All the fleeing exiles saw behind them were massive bursts of fire and earth. 

We also had a few sharpshooters pinging them with bullets just to drive the point home. 

If you're wondering how we managed to blow up those four vehicles, it's not all that mysterious. Will is a fucking genius. He's been working on a lot of different ways to weaponize the dynamite Becky has been making round the clock for the last two weeks. The air-powered launchers work, but aren't all that accurate for firing in an arc with no line of sight. There are other, more secret things he's built I can't disclose, but the mines are ok. They were a stroke of genius. 

Will rigged up a bunch of explosives to be remote detonated. I don't know the details, but it involved walkie-talkies. Will and a few volunteers managed to sneak out in the middle of the night and place them. The tall grass helped there, since they didn't have time to bury them. Will marked the grass where they mines were, and tried to put them in areas we knew the vehicles would be likely to traverse. 

Not that it was hard. Will put a lot of those things out there, and all it took was a few watchful sentries with the detonation switches. The explosives themselves were carefully designed to funnel the force of the blast straight up, propelling shrapnel right into the undercarriages. 

So, the exiles lost some people. Not many, but it was devastating enough that the rest of them gave up the fight. 

For now. They didn't get the result they wanted, experienced losses worse than they expected and probably much sooner, and they retreated. They didn't flee in terror, though. All reports indicate a pre-planned, orderly retreat. 

That implies backup plans. We'll see what the future holds. We're all wondering when and if they'll come back. Today, though, is a lovely one. We've already resumed trading, even as we clean up the blackened remains of the inner wall. We'll rebuild it over time, better than it was before now that the outer wall will protect us as we do so. 

From every hurt, from every injury we sustain as a people, we'll rebuild better than before. Death is the only way to stop us. We'll never give up. Never again. 

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