Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Long Walk

We've decided to make camp away from the Bunker itself. Things here are so much worse than we could have imagined. It isn't the logistical problems, exactly. There's enough food and water to last the people here a while yet, maybe a month if they stretch it.

It's their attitudes and outlooks. Sure, there are a few we've met who seem genuinely interested in learning how to survive the world as it is, but the majority of the people in the Bunker are terrified almost to the point of insensibility. They've had secure walls and no zombies this whole time, little contact with the outside world until their supplies started to run low and their machinery started to break down and they had to pull their heads out of the sand.

Most of them have no desire to make it on their own, to live somewhere else and take the risks everyday life comes with now. They're scared and in shock now that they know just how bad it is, and learning about the new breed of zombies has only made it worse. I don't know that I would have made the choice to tell them had I known the kind of overwhelming panic it would incite in them.

Worse, they see my team as saviors. They've been catching up on this blog, they know the things we've seen and done, the odds we've overcome. They think we can make a miracle happen for them. As if the most skilled member of my team didn't die less than a week ago. We aren't superhuman. We can't wave a wand and make this better. The collective goodwill of the communities of survivors was helpful in saving the kids at Black Mesa, but everyone in that part of the country has expended what resources they can spare. There isn't room for all these folks.

Worse, I've asked the people at Google to start canvassing every group in this area, though there aren't very many of them close. Three within two hundred miles, scheduled stops all, but we've never met them before, only communicated via phone or internet. They're small groups with few resources. There just aren't any groups close enough with the resources to do any good.

All of which I've got to explain to the people in the Bunker. We can help them get ready to leave, but when and if they go, it's got to be on their own feet. Mason was brilliant enough to leave suggestions for this possibility written down, ideas to help the people here survive a trek through the arid southwest toward a place capable of sustaining them for the long term.

My team and I are under no illusions. Even a best case scenario with them moving on foot is going to mean losses in the dozens. I'd bet closer to half, and that's not counting an attack by a large swarm of zombies. Three hundred people exposed on open land? Such an attack is an eventuality rather than a possibility.

Still, the advantage of the local terrain and sparsity of human beings is that the people in the Bunker have few zombies to worry about. Their hidey hole was a good place to avoid notice, and far enough away from anything that they'd have likely been undiscovered even were it above ground.

There is no part of me that's looking forward to telling them what I have to tell them today. That they've got to leave their home soon, with all the food they can carry and all the water they can coax out of their wells. We'll see about rigging up carts or something for bulk transport of supplies, but I don't know what we could possibly use.

Enough stalling, I guess. On to tell them the bad news.

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