I don't know if it's poetic justice or not, but damn I felt satisfied watching our handiwork this morning.
As it turns out, there were a lot more marauders in the area than we originally thought. Lucky we killed so many of them in a small area, then, which gave us a hole in the defensive perimeter to lead a swarm of zombies through.
I don't want to take the credit here. The captives were all set to fight, but there was simply no way they would regain enough strength and emotional stability to do so before the remaining marauders got their shit together enough to hunt us down. My team hashed it out with the captives, and it was Rachel and Will, who are making an increasingly effective team, that went with them to snare some zombies.
That left Mason, me, Becky, and Steve to keep the chaos going. It wasn't that hard. A few rifle shots from concealment did a fine job of thwacking the hornet's nest.
I really wish we could have given the captives the chance to fight. I've listened to them talk about their experiences, what they'd like to do to the people we're facing. A few of them were traded between camps, meaning some of their tormentors are still out there.
Well, they might still be out there. The swarm we brought in is pretty big, three or four hundred. Probably not enough to kill the remaining marauders. Clearly enough to cause them to retreat to other camps as the swarm advanced on them, which left us with an interesting situation. The first few camps to be abandoned as the remaining marauders quickly retreated as a (temporarily, I'm sure) unified force were basically left untouched. That meant the secure locations where their captives were locked up to prevent them from escaping were left untouched.
So we broke in, set them free, and raided the hell out of the camps for supplies. Total number of captives now working with us: thirty seven. All of them armed to the teeth, though not with guns. Unfortunately the few firearms that the marauders can use with the dwindling ammunition supplies at their disposal tend to be carried around with them.
Still, we've made pretty good progress. Again, I say 'we' when Mason has been the one doing most of the strategic work, Will doing the more detailed tactics, and the rest of us doing what they suggest. Not that I haven't enjoyed playing the part of vengeful spirit. I'm comfortable shooting murderers and rapists in the back with arrows from the safety of cover.
Mason is out right now observing the battle. He's going to send one of the former captives working with him back to our camp when the marauders' fight with the zombie horde reaches the right moment. I'm not sure what that moment will be, but Mason assures me he will. When it comes, when they're weakest, we hit them. Hopefully that will be after a few more camps have been deserted and any captives freed. It's fun to watch the marauders scamper about just ahead of the swarm, living in fear of what new hell follows them.
Serves them right. Soon, it will all be over.