Our scout report for this morning made everything clear, and the entire situation with the Exiles has changed. Overnight, our people saw loads being brought into the fallback point through the cleared sections of road. People, supplies, but most frightening of all, seedlings. Plants.
They brought in lots of things, but the majority of what was transported were items used to create a long-term settlement. The Exiles aren't just staging for a war with us, though I'm sure that's coming. They're digging in for the long haul.
They're building a community.
If it hadn't been made so clear by their actions that they're actively hostile toward us, I'd have some hope that we could manage to coexist. Stranger things have happened in the history of the world than two bitter enemies learning to live side by side. The world wars taught us the value of putting hatred aside and dealing with the reality that constant warfare isn't the way to move forward. In this case, I don't think that's possible. The world isn't as it was then, and while there are certainly enough resources to be had around Franklin county to supply both New Haven and the Exiles, peaceful coexistence just isn't in the cards.
For better or worse, we've trained ourselves to respond decisively and with finality to threats. You'd think our overactive council would be gung-ho to nip this godawful development in the bud, but they're responding slowly and with hesitation. As it turns out, Dodger and Will have been feeding the council detailed reports containing strategies and assessments for a full-scale assault on the Exiles. They've concluded that, with the resources we have available, the only way we stand a chance of beating the Exiles quickly is full-on assault.
At least, that would have been true until this morning. Because when I say the Exiles have been bringing in loads of things, I mean it in every way. Estimates lead us to believe they've almost doubled the number of people living at the fallback point. They've been bringing in farming implements and foodstuff to grow, but they've got enough bulk food to last a long, long time. We can't starve them out. And now that their numbers are so much larger, we can't fight them with less than every able-bodied person.
Turns out the council is only cavalier about risking the lives of other people. When Dodger laid out the bare bones and explained that we'd need every single person on board, they balked. Granted, that's a high-risk scenario that we'd risk only as a last resort, but still. I'm putting out there for the people of New Haven and everyone else so they know exactly what the conditions here are. What kind of leadership we're dealing with.
The council is unwilling or unable to act right now. My guess is that they're terrified of having to put themselves in danger, but I admit that I might be wrong. Unfortunately, the longer they take to act, the more entrenched the enemy gets and the harder it's going to be to clear them out.
It's good that I have a backup ready. It's a last-ditch effort and dangerous in ways I can't explain without telling you what it is. What happens next is on me.