Another day passes, and another attempt to destroy the Exiles fails utterly.
You may remember that we'd talked to some survivors with access to a plane capable of performing air drops. We'd intended for them to drop some trade goods on the west side of the county, far from any inhabited area. I remembered early yesterday morning as I was finishing up my post that they were supposed to make that drop last night. A light bulb went on in my head, and I had to go talk to Will and Dodger.
It was logical to wonder: if they could drop supplies out in the boonies for us, why couldn't they drop something less pleasant on the Exiles? It made sense. All we needed to know was whether or not our contacts with the plane had access to something suitably destructive. That didn't seem to be a stretch since their plane is military hardware.
Our observers watched from as far away as possible, but were in radio contact with the plane. We were worried about the response from the Exiles if they saw the attack coming, and we wanted to have eyes on the ground just in case. Damn good thing Will thought of that, because the Exiles heard the plane coming well before it came into sight. Our scouts saw the Exiles scramble to the tops of the buildings in the fallback point with some very heavy gear. A couple of them had heavy sniper rifles, and one had a rocket launcher.
Needless to say, the scouts called off the run.
Our friends diverted their flight, climbed as fast as they could, and headed back home. So, yeah. We didn't get our supplies and the enemy didn't take so much as a scratch. It was just *awesome*.
Reality is starting to sink in. Logistically, we can't fight the Exiles openly. We've got heart and all that hero crap, but they have numbers, ammunition, and many other advantages. I hate to say it, but the consensus around here is now leaning toward a longer-term situation than we've previously considered. The Exiles and New Haven are in a stalemate: our defenses are strong enough to cost them dearly to take us down, while their advantages keep a direct assault on our part virtually impossible. Add to that the laundry list of attempted and discarded attack options, and you've got a pretty honest look at the problem.
So, for the moment, we're going to shift our focus to the other concerns that need to be addressed. Preparing for spring, the planting schedule, working out new trade routes, and the like.
I know many of you out there in our sister communities expected some kind of hail-Mary end to this situation, but this isn't a Dean Koontz novel. No hero is going to show up with a personal army and destroy our enemies just in the nick of time. There are limits to the time, effort, and resources we can dedicate to this fight, and we've reached them. For now at least, the Exiles will be just another threat to be monitored, one that will require vigilance and cleverness to keep in check. But if you were hoping to see us pull a stunning last minute victory out of our magic top hats, I'm sorry. Sometimes the home team has to concede a tie game.
That being said, we aren't going to ignore them. Our eyes and ears will be open, just as they are for threats from the undead. Speaking of which...
Two pieces of news on that front, one good and one bad. The good is that we've been told a large herd of zombies, likely new breed, have been spotted heading toward central Kentucky from the east. When I say large, I mean in the hundreds at least, though the contact who saw the herd pass by couldn't get an accurate count. They're heading in this general direction, but no one can say for sure if they'll end up in Frankfort or if they'll miss us by miles. Too much distance between them and us to have any idea how it will go. The good news in there is that the Exiles are on the east side of the river, so those undead hopefully won't be our problem if they manage to hit our town.
The bad news is that the folks flying the plane spotted a similar large herd moving roughly southeast toward my side of town, also from a good distance away. They aren't even in this state yet, and they'd have to go through Louisville to get to us. Chances aren't great they'll hit here, but I have to wonder at the likelihood of two separate groups moving in the general direction of this state at the exact same time. The first (and most pants-shittingly terrifying) thought that popped into my head was that the New Breed we're seeing here in larger and larger numbers are just the forerunners of something larger.
The second and almost equally frightening thought was that zombies seem to communicate by smell. That's been our theory for a long time. So, what if those groups are heading this way because other zombies left a trail for them to follow?
Exiles and zombies. If one of them doesn't destroy us, the other will surely try. Strangely, I'm sort of okay with honest and straightforward threats. I'd rather have a villain to fight than worry about the idiocy of community politics, infighting, and all that jazz.
Which is what I have to deal with right this second. Enough people requested new council elections that now I've got to organize one of them. Giving the people the power to oust their leaders when needed is excellent for keeping authority in check, but it creates a lot of extra work for me.