Sunday, November 6, 2011


Our next stop is a day or two away. This stretch of the country is pretty bare of survivors, but the largest place within several hundred miles is called the Bunker. As with most communities, I can't tell you where it is, though chances are even if I did you wouldn't be able to find it. 

The Bunker is exactly what it sounds like--a heavily fortified shelter designed to protect a number of people for a certain amount of time. I'm sure this one was intended for use in the event of a nuclear blast, but the zombie plague beat mankind to the punch on that one. 

Mason was the one who put us in touch with these folks. He was in the know on the location of the Bunker and had a vast working knowledge of its capacity and capabilities. For example, it was provisioned to handle a hundred and fifty people for five years. The current population is twice that, and they're running out of food. And their water treatment system is failing. As is their waste management. 

It was a refurbished government facility, apparently known to the military and intended for important people like congressmen and senators. At some point very early during The Fall, locals became aware of it and flooded the place. 

Basically, there are a little over three hundred folks there who've been living in safety for the last twenty months or so. I envy that, to a degree: they've been spared the horrors and atrocities the rest of us have had to suffer through. And as unfair as it is, I feel a bit resentful toward them for the same reasons. They haven't had to live in a world where every day brings the risk of a fatal attack from zombies or marauders. On huge set of thick steel doors and thousands of tons of protective rock, and those problems might as well have been on another planet. 

I can't blame them, of course. It isn't like they did anything wrong by going to ground somewhere safe. Many of the people there are families, parents trying to keep their kids safe, I'm sure. I'm just irritated to a degree because their safe haven is now becoming empty and useless, and they need help. 

There's no farmland around them, or I'd try to help them set up some kind of agriculture so they could keep on living there. There's nowhere near enough game to support so many people, either. The problem is so much bigger than it looks. 

I mean, a small fraction of them might have some kind of survival skills. Maybe. But the majority are just scared people who haven't had the brutal experiences since The Fall that have forged the rest of us into the survivors we are. It's a bit like having three hundred children who need to be watched and protected at all times, because they don't understand the dangers around them. 

I think because we managed the evacuation of Black Mesa, there's some expectation we can get them out and send them to different places to settle with the same ease and speed. That just isn't the case. A lot of chips got called in for that, and every place within a reasonable distance (and a few an unreasonable distance away) took who they could. The options are limited at best, and I don't know that the logistical problems we're facing can be solved at all, much less by the five people that comprise my team. 

Still, we'll have to take a crack at it. This part of the country is pretty far removed from Black Mesa and those groups of survivors. We're closer to many groups we've never had the pleasure of meeting face to face, so there might be some options there. Mason seemed to think so, and his instincts were usually good. 

We'll keep on following the directions Mason left us until we get there or die trying. I can't help but feel the absence of him beside me as the miles roll by beneath us. 

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