Saturday, April 21, 2012


Over the course of the last few years, there have been many occasions where our plans and reality had serious disagreements over who was right. Reality always wins. Once in a while that ends up in our favor. For example, the recent spate of zombie attacks on the walls seems to have made the New Breed unwilling to hit us with their main force. Our Beaters haven't found a trace of them in days.

Then there's the news we got this morning. My brother was sitting with me in the clinic going over pieces and parts of our plans for the expansion when I got a message from a contact who lives relatively nearby. By sheer chance, Dave and I were looking at the estimates on how long the new wall was going to take to complete using the bricks our folks are shaping out of the local clay. The message came in, and our plans changed.

The contact in question has asked that we not share any but the most general information about him. He lives on a river that connects to the Kentucky river. He's not that far away. He is the head of a group of people that we've been trying to persuade to join us for a few weeks now. They live in an area that did a lot of river trade before The Fall.

Long story short, they're at the nexus where a train yard and a large river shipping company meet. They've got several barges small enough to traverse the Kentucky river and more shipping containers than they can fit on them. They've made the decision to join us because they've come up with an idea that will allow the new wall to be built in a period of days rather than months.

I'm sure you've figured it out, but the contact (we'll call him George) and his folks are going to bring loads of those beautiful long metal boxes to us. From the spot on the river we'll be unloading them from it's just a five minute trip to New Haven. We've got everything we need to move the containers, though the process will be tricky. Getting them to New Haven will be the easy part. Making them into a wall will be marginally harder. Stacking them two high will require a crane, I think. That's the main issue we'll have to worry about.

But hey, think about the positives. The expansion will have a wall twenty feet high, made of metal and with no chance of allowing the undead to climb them. If there is enough fuel to manage multiple trips to George's base, there are enough containers that we would have all the extra metal we'd need for years. We could armor the stone wall around New Haven with them, use them as raw materials, cut them up to make shields. The possibilities are wide open.

There are a lot of details to work out. Looks like we'll have to send a team to George's place to coordinate and look for fuel supplies for the barges. But, you know. Train station next door. Sure to be some diesel fuel there.

The Exiles will be an issue. They've got patrols going up and down the river. I think they'll abide by the truce, but George and his people could prove to be too tempting a target. We'll see, I suppose. For now I'm incredibly excited to see George and his crew finally decide to join up. We've had to play that low-key, and knowing now what resources they can bring to us makes the stakes that much higher.

Jess is practically vibrating with the news. She's been laying on the cot next to me, tossing in her two cents here and there. She already has plans for the new wall, ideas that Dave and I might have come up with weeks down the road. She came up with them in minutes. Damn wife, showing me up.

Ah, and our breakfast/lunch is here. Bit of a busy morning today, so the meals are erratic. Dave, Jess and I will need our minds on task, so we better eat. We've got an entire new community to redesign, and only a week or so to do it.

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