Saturday, March 17, 2012

Éirinn go Brách

I've never been a heavy drinker. I mean, when I used to drink it wasn't often. When I did partake, it was usually enough to blind most people. My ancestry is Irish, German, and Welsh with a smattering of other nationalities. I can hold my booze.

Since The Fall, though, I've barely touched the stuff. I certainly didn't plan on starting my day with a glass of expensive Irish whiskey. Jess had other ideas. I don't know where she got it, but I had to drink it. Not because it's St. Patrick's day, though that was why she surprised me with booze. Because it was cold. Ice cold.

Yeah. Actual ice. The novelty of having a very cold drink was enough to entice me into drinking four ounces of Jameson Gold Reserve on an empty stomach. It felt good.

As a rule we try to limit how much the giant refrigerator Dave built is opened. We use it for long-term storage of food, and the less traffic the better. Jess managed to sneak in an ice cube tray. Since she's quickly assuming the role of Grand Poobah of food supply, no one held a little indulgence against her.

It's enough to make me wonder if she read the morning reports before I did, and knew I might need a drink.

We've had scout teams going to Shelby county once a day since our battle with the New Breed there. They do a wide circle to see if any large gatherings of zombies are on the move. Yesterday the scouts did a more intensive round after discovering the stronghold of the people we brought here from Shelbyville in ruins. It was a very secure building, and the ladies locked it up tight before they left. The New Breed still managed to get in and utterly destroy it.

The one weak point was the ladder on the back. It's one of those slide-down deals that has to be snagged with a long hook to pull it down. The New Breed must have piled up to reach it. And though the emergency access on the roof was still padlocked when our scouts found it, the skylight was another story. The cap of plywood was shredded, covered in claw marks and streaks of blood and flesh. God only knows how many New Breed are walking around with useless fingers now.

Once they were inside it was basically game over. It wasn't hard for the zombies to figure out how to remove the bar from the main door and open it up for their buddies to come in. The whole thing is a frightening display of problem solving skills.

Our scouts decided to do a more thorough check of the surrounding areas. You know, since the New Breed had ravaged a safe place and weren't anywhere to be found. Zombies, even smart ones, aren't inclined to do things that indicate emotion. There was no gain for them in destroying the home of our allies. There was no food there. Our team thought that was strange, and so the the rest of us.

Because it looks like an act of rage. Zombies are dangerous for a lot of reasons, but being pissed off has never been one of them.

The team didn't come home empty-handed. They found a large mass of New Breed to the south of the ruined stronghold. Our people watched from a distance as groups returned to the main horde hauling or leading groups of old school zombies with them. I say hauling because the scouts report that many of the old school undead appeared afraid of the New Breed. As if they knew something bad was going to happen to them.

Some of them were eaten straight away, while others were simply surrounded and kept from running away. My guess is that the old school zombies who became happy meals were those who hadn't begun the change into New Breed for whatever reason. Maybe an immunity. Maybe lack of exposure. The scouts didn't stay long enough to see any change take place in the sequestered undead, but I'd bet my last dollar (which is meaningless as we use paper money for tinder now) that the New Breed will have a few new members shortly. Might already have made the change.

I'm planning a few quick tests with Gabby and Evans today to see if we can figure out exactly how the New Breed can tell zombies apart. Almost definitely something to do with smell, but I'd like to know if we can isolate what that is. If we can, then I have a few ideas...

All the signs point to this large group heading this way. I can't believe that the New Breed in Shelby county took the time and effort to destroy an abandoned human settlement and are recruiting more numbers without a reason. We're the largest group nearby, and I doubt they even know about the smaller and newer communities that have cropped up. Those folks are a long way off as the zombie walks. It's got to be us these undead are coming for. It's gonna be a long, long day.

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