George's river convoy is going to be here shortly. They were moving down the river at a good clip but decided to stop (which isn't easy to do with a bunch of barges and a couple large boats) last night to rest before arriving here. No great mystery to it--those people worked their asses off getting everything ready to come here. They needed time to rest before the major work begins.
That's good for two reasons. The Exiles spent a good chunk of last night patrolling along the river over large stretches and in big groups. I can't say for sure they were trying to find and intercept George's flotilla, but I don't think it could possibly be coincidence. We could sit here theorizing all day long about what their intentions may have been, but since any action against George's people would violate the truce, I'll leave speculation up to you. I don't know that the Exiles would risk it.
And since it's a moot point anyway, I can move on. The other reason this was a good thing is because we needed the time to get ready. Even with our surprise volunteers working all day to help us get ready, there just wasn't enough time. You'd think there wouldn't be a lot of prep work needed for a patch of ground, and you would be right. But there's also setting up food and housing for those people (and the volunteers as well, together a logistical nightmare) and ensuring everyone who'll be hauling shipping containers from the rendezvous knows the game plan. AND setting up the heavy equipment needed to move the damn things around, which includes a crane that's going to eat up a huge chunk of our remaining diesel fuel.
Oh, and the goddamn zombies.
I mean, what the hell is the deal with them? You send out a few dozen living people--happy meals on two feet--into the open to work on flattening the earth and laying out new spray-paint lines to show where things need to go, and suddenly the undead think it's a good idea to rush well-armed and irritable guards.
None of the attacks were by themselves very dangerous, but they added up to a ton of lost time yesterday. They came in small clusters, mostly old school zombies wandering into view of New Haven for the first (and last) time. The numbers just keep growing day to day as the weather warms, though the more recent undead have looked rougher than usual.
It's sometimes easy to forget that we've been fighting them for two years. The change in them has been so gradual that if you don't focus on it you can miss the signs completely. Two years of shuffling around the country, never rotting but never healing, either. Wear and tear ruins their hair and clothes, though for some reason their feet never seem to suffer too badly. Many of the ones our people took down yesterday had dozens of small wounds and seemed...damaged somehow. Injuries typically don't slow a zombie down, but these ones were sluggish to a man, weak, and probably intensely hungry. After so much time foraging for prey, I'd think that most of the easy game out in the world has been devoured. Say what you will about the zombie plague, but it has done wonders for Darwinism. The wild animals that are left must be the strongest, smartest, best survivors the natural world has to offer.
Kind of like the people that are left, I suppose.
I've asked to have a few of the zombies killed yesterday brought to the cell where we kept our test subject zombies. I can't do a lot right now, but cutting a few of them open to see how starved they were isn't physically draining. Call it very morbid curiosity.
Not long now before our new arrivals...arrive. Yeah. I'm running on little sleep and too much excitement. It's a big day. Let's hope all goes well.