We're experiencing one of those rare calm periods at the moment. Since our fight at the silo, not a lot has been going on around here. We've had a trade caravan come in, that was fun. Becky and Will have been working on ways to take advantage of the New Breed weakness to heat. I've been basically working as Will's assistant full time since I got back. I still manage our experiments with the captive zombies (no new findings there) and deal with the errata that the other community managers need help dealing with. Mostly coordination stuff.
But yeah, mostly helping Will do his job, which is to run this place.
When we came back the other day, exhausted and injured but with our spirits high at not losing anyone, Will made an interesting observation: at least in New Haven, no one seems to take any joy in fighting. Or even in winning against an enemy.
That's kind of big. I mean, you'd think at least the feeling of victory would bring out an uncontrolled reaction. Whooping, high fives, the occasional slap on the ass. I'm probably too much of a nerd, but my thoughts go to Star Wars here. Think about the reaction the Rebels had when they achieved a victory over the empire. God help me, I can't believe I'm using this as an example, but remember the final scenes in Return of the Jedi. Ewoks and our heroes, feasting it up on the forest moon of Endor. Dancing and singing.
Yeah, we don't do that. It's not like anyone is unhappy about winning a battle so much as people around here seem to have a different viewpoint on fighting. Zombies, no matter how vicious and clever, are inherently a little sad. It's hard to hate them when you think about what they were. Where they came from.
Same thing with fighting living enemies. There's really not a lot to be cheerful about there. Marauders especially are a reminder of how bad human beings can be. Killing them even in defense of our home is more of a task that has to be done rather than an event to be celebrated.
Which is a good thing, I think. Violence has always been a big part of human nature, as has hatred in many forms. It's always reassuring to see people understand and control those reactions.
Case in point:
A small group of New Breed tried to attack the Exiles yesterday. The fallback point has undergone some radical changes in recent weeks. They've got some guard stations set up along the beginnings of a wall that encloses a good chunk of area. We've got watchers in various places across the river. One of them saw a trio of New Breed making their way along the river bank, below the line of sight of the men in the nearest guard tower.
When the undead crept up in the long shadows cast by the sunset, they were in a perfect position to surprise the men in the guard station. It was only a raised box with high sides, the floor of the thing about four feet off the ground.
So, when the zombies went to make their move, one of our watchers fired his rifle.
At first the Exile guards thought it was an attack. They spun around and looked across the river, probably searching for a puff of smoke or the next blare of muzzle flash. It was only then that the guards noticed the remaining two zombies that had worked their way up to the station. Even as one of the attacking New Breed leaped over his fallen brother to attack the closest Exile, our watcher fired again. One shot, one kill. Right through the zombie's ear.
The guard at the back of the station pulled himself together and fired his weapon at the remaining zombie, then made sure his partner was alright. They looked across the river for a while, apparently searching for the shooter who'd taken out two of the three undead.
The watcher told me all of this, witnessed through the scope of his gun. He told me how he couldn't help but smile when the two Exiles raised their hands as if to wave, then saluted their unseen savior.
The funny and interesting thing about new neighbors is that you never know what kind of people some of them might turn out to be.