Friday, September 30, 2011

Lay of the Land

After a thrilling day working out numbers and logistics for the transfer of a large amount of homemade medicines from New Haven to the Castle, I'm ready to take a break. Lucky for me, Steve is taking the reins in negotiating today. We're working a complex trade between multiple groups of survivors, since the stone so readily available here is too heavy to move far. Instead, it's going to be sent to a little town about fifty miles from here called Carlyle, who will trade with yet another group.

Yes, it's complicated and gives me headaches. I'm almost glad I haven't heard any news about the status of the captives in their desperate fight against the marauders. I don't know if my poor brain could handle it.

Carlyle has my attention today. I'm told it's a very prosperous and sprawling community, much larger in area than any I've heard of since The Fall. It's in a quasi-rural area, hilly and difficult to traverse on foot, so less zombies make it there than most places as well. It's also large in the sense of population, more than five hundred people from what I understand.

I'm interesting in seeing it myself. I haven't got much more than the above to go on, as the people of Carlyle are very determined to keep their perimeter secure. Not many people are allowed in. I feel extraordinarily lucky that our group has been invited with open arms, provided I don't do something stupid like accidentally give away its location. I promise to keep all of that delightfully vague.

The Castle is a neat place, and I've learned in the last day that part of what makes it a functional community is due to the residents here working out a trade system long before the rest of us did. This is a densely populated area of the country as survivors go: the Castle, Carlyle to the south, three other medium-large groups within sixty miles, and the town in which the Castle rests has a smattering of small groups that have copied the defenses here for their own homes.

It's a more exciting area than any of us suspected, and the dynamic between the various groups is fascinating. At least in this town, people from the smaller groups are welcome at the Castle and vice versa. There is even a kind of 'emergency stash' that the groups in the area all contribute to, a hoard of food and supplies for hard times down the road. It's vibrant and interesting here. I'm enjoying it.


I just got an email about the fight between the captives. This is something I didn't expect. The marauders chased down by the captives weren't a part of the larger group that the captives managed to isolate. They were all that was left of the larger group we left them to face. Apparently the tactics Mason was showing them, picking off easy targets over time, killing them in ones and twos, wasn't their thing.

The captives started a goddamn forest fire.


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