It's a lucky thing our medical staff have a lot of experience handling massive numbers of injured. Rereading that sentence, I recognize just how weird a statement it is.
We expected more casualties, so the numbers we have aren't stressing our resources to the limit or anything. Most of the injuries aren't serious--I'm shocked we didn't have any accidents with the gel bombs--and for the most part people were able to tend to their own wounds.
Looks like a good number of the Louisville crew will be heading home today, but fourteen of them will be staying here. That's a mixed group; several of them are injured, and a couple are sick. Their group doesn't have access to the level of healthcare we do here, which is admittedly far above the average. We're lucky that way. The very least we can do to repay those folks for helping us out and for sacrificing for us is to take care of them when they need it.
Not to downplay the importance of striking against the New Breed or the loss of life that occurred, but there are other things going on that I'd like to touch on.
The most startling development came this morning: we got a message from the Exiles. We know it came from them because our scouts watched a couple of their sentries lob it over the river. Nice little plastic capsule with a hand-written letter in it. They've accepted the terms of the truce. They won't attack us or try to cross the river. They've agreed not to attack anyone. The only burr in the whole thing is their insistence that they accept any other group of marauders that want to settle with them in the fallback point.
We're not idiots, nor do we easily forget. The Exiles are made up of some of our own people who betrayed the trust of New Haven as well as some of the worst and least repentant marauders out there. We know the kinds of things those people are capable of, and killing isn't the most terrible example I can give. We sent word back that we'd abide by those terms, but that if we learned they were keeping prisoners or even catch them preparing to break the truce, all bets are off. So far, no reply to that. We'll see how it works out.
Still, it's breathing room. Communication is a step forward from the silence we've had so far from across the river. I'm not going to hold my breath that one day we won't have to deal with the Exiles again. I'd love for that to never happen, but it's hard to imagine a world where long-term coexistence with those people right next door is truly possible.
On a similar note, we're taking steps to bolster New Haven's population in a similar way. Over the last year or so we've been on the ass end of some severe beatings. We've taken in most of the folks from the smaller communities nearby that have cropped up, but Will and the council want to shift gears and expand as much as possible. The New Breed represent a much more serious threat than old school zombies--despite our victory over them the other day, which they'll likely adapt tactics against--and over the long haul we can't afford to lose even an handful of people to those kinds of battles.
There's a lot of work ahead for us in expanding New Haven's borders again, but with enough people it won't be an impossible goal. The Exiles have the advantage there, since the fallback point has a huge capacity for sheltering a population. We can cram in a lot more people than we currently house, but expansion is going to happen. It has to. That means a new wall around the field on the west side of New Haven, which is our only real option for additional space. All new buildings inside it, which will be custom designed and built. No more adapting pre-Fall houses. My brother has ideas for the whole thing. It's going to be a huge undertaking.
The scope of the project will be enormous. The materials required for construction, defense, infrastructure, and all the million tiny things...that's going to be a big order. We've got raw materials for a lot of it. Just going to take time and effort to make them into things.
I'm doing a few hours in the clinic each day until the patient load goes back down. I'm going to do my best to find out what kinds of ideas the Louisville folks have about defense, farming, everything. Perspective is always good. Then I'm off to the cells to run a few tests on our New Breed captives. Then four hours helping Will work through some of the more important parts of planning the construction, as he has final say in what gets priority. I'm guessing the new wall will be first.
Then home for a bit to eat dinner with the wife, and after a quick scout run. Damn I'm busy. I'll have to find some time to sleep. Some day.