Harlen's leadership sent out a team of scouts yesterday on motorcycles. It took them a few hours to get back, but even that time is nearly miraculous in the times we live in. The roads in this area have long been cleared, making trade simple and easy, even if the gasoline runs out.
Unfortunately it also makes an easy path to follow for the giant swarm of zombies headed this way. And that's what the scouts had to report: they are definitely going to hit us. Estimates put them here sometime tonight, possibly early next morning. The new breed are strong and fast, but we don't yet know if the energy they expend comes with a price. Do they rest in short bursts? The original strain of zombies went inert in the cold to conserve energy, so maybe the new breed can't walk or run straight here without stopping. The cold isn't slowing them down, either, though what the people in this place call cold is little more than a brisk spring morning back home, and Kentucky isn't nearly as cold as some places I've been...
The preparations for the inevitable battle are going well. The team and I are going to help any way we can, but at the moment the major aspects are taken care of. I'll say this for Harlen and the surrounding communities--they're nearly mechanical in their preparations for war. Having so many people in such a small area of the country makes them a magnet for the undead, and the people here have the scars to prove it.
I've got hope that this won't be a total disaster. As I said, the preparations and defenses are good, well-designed and don't rely too much on one element. Something that caught me by surprise was that there are protocols at the nearby communities for attacks like this. There's an agreement in place for reinforcements and aid, which makes sense given how close these folks are to each other. New Haven has no close neighbors, and the outside help we've had has been from trusted friends from far off.
I'm not looking forward to the fight, I'll be honest. I'm twenty-nine years old, and I've had two birthdays since the zombie plague destroyed my world. Twenty one months of the undead, of surviving where no one had any right to manage it. I've killed the walking dead as well as living people, I've fought to protect, for revenge, for reasons less noble than both of those.
I have no appetite for it. Oh, I'm want to live and to help provide for the safety of others, have no doubt. It's just that the careful black and white picture I've had of the world has been splashed with shades of gray and color over the last few months. Hated enemies in the form of marauders have become allies and in some cases trusted survivors in their own right. The swarms of undead have become more dangerous than ever, more a threat to the things I hold dear...
...And yet I can't bring myself to hate them. Nor do I feel anger, sadness, or any of the other things that used to come to mind when the threat of being devoured was staring me in the face. The zombie threat is, in my mind, now just a part of the world. It simply is, and there's nothing I can do to change that. Much as I would use an umbrella to escape the rain, I will stand behind a wall and defend from the onslaught. But hating them, worrying about the coming storm, is to me as useless and wasteful of my energies as being angry at the gods for a hurricane.
There's change on the horizon, and it's approaching fast. Human beings are fabulous at adapting to ever-changing circumstances, and this one is no different. Maybe more difficult, but not insurmountable. Sometime in the next eighteen hours to a day, we're going to be fighting for our lives. Philosophy and reflection will take a back seat to the battle at hand, but it's the preservation of that ability, of the unique machine known as human intelligence, that will give us strength.
We'll need all the strength we can get.