Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Wire

Like most survivors, the people of Block have hoarded huge quantities of supplies since The Fall began. There is a lot of room to spare, so they've had little reason not to bring in stuff that doesn't have a clear use. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon wandering around the storage areas, seeing if there was anything there I could use to make weapons but mostly to relieve the boredom.

I saw a few coats of chainmail, and I asked about them. My guide was a guy named Ron, who does double duty as a scout and nurse's aide. Ron told me the mail coats were abandoned early on, as they are very heavy and can reduce mobility. He explained that the added protection wasn't enough to justify moving slowly and tiring much faster.

When I picked up one of the things, I understood why. They'd had to use steel rings instead of aluminum. Back home, we rarely use full coats of them, either. It's too time intensive to make an entire coat. Better to layer very thick and strong fabrics over the torso and add some type of tactical or other kind of nylon vest over it, then use chainmail to protect the neck and head. Some areas of the body especially vulnerable to zombie bites might have sections of mail sandwiched in between layers of fabric.

Most people in New Haven have this type of armor, homemade and simple as it is. I don't know that it will hold up to an extended beating from the new breed of zombies, them being stronger and smarter than their predecessors, but historically it's worked well. Here in block, they don't use it. Partly because it's not really needed on a large scale as there aren't extensive walls to patrol, and partly because the weight really is just too much.

In my nosing around, however, I found some aluminum wire. It's very fine, much too thin to make decent chainmail (or at least, I don't have good enough vision to work on rings that small) but perfect for another use. I've been thinking about a project for a while now, in fact for about the last year, but lacked access to the materials to work on it. That, and I've been busy.

Right now I've got nothing but time, and the wire I found will work perfectly. There's a ton of it--and that may not be just a figure of speech, either--so I have plenty to work with.

I'm gonna weave some aluminum cloth. I don't know how well it'll work, but I want to give it a try. I think I'm gonna try several configurations, see what has the best combination of strength and flexibility, and go from there. My first project once the testing phase is done, after I get a rough loom set up, is to make a protective sheath for Will's leg.

The leg that looks like he's going to keep. God only knows how.

The damage was severe. I spent a lot of time in healthcare facilities growing up, and I was never one to shy away from injuries or wounds. I've seen a lot more of them since The Fall, and I can say with reasonable certainty that Will's leg shouldn't be doing as well as it is. He took terrible lacerations, messy and jagged, all across the thing. He lost circulation for a long time, and much of the tissue should have suffered for it, but it seems he got very lucky.

That's not to say it's going to be dandy. There was a lot of damage to the structures of his leg. Muscles are resilient things, but ligaments and tendons not so much. Even if the deep injuries don't sour and rot, it's unlikely that Will is going to be able to manage more than a fast walk ever again. I don't like to think about it, but I can take some consolation in knowing that Will's value has always rested in his mind and creativity, not the speed of his legs or strength of his body.

I intend to see that leg protected while it heals. So I'm gonna get to work. I'm so happy to have a project that I'm humming as I type. I hum when I'm excited. When I work on a project, I sing and hum to myself. It's sort of an "all systems green" sign.

I'm ready to do something useful.

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