Today I'm without drugs in my system, but I'm happy about it. Evans made the right call in doping me up yesterday, because the bells just kept on coming. Eight of them, of course. Eight hundred New Breed hit us all at once.
They came from all sides, and they were clever. The first wave, about fifty on each side of New Haven, rolled logs or carried heavy pieces of wood. The logs hit our traps, setting them off and creating safe routes through the outer defenses. Once the traps were no longer an issue, the remaining forces moved in behind them.
I'm cobbling all this together from what Will and others have told me, so if it seems a little confusing you'll have to forgive me.
Our archers took careful shots, no wild flights of arrows. Each target was chosen, shots taken only when an archer thought they could kill with a headshot. As you can imagine from our prior experience with the New Breed, they moved in loose ranks. Groups moved forward to pick up the logs and set them against the wall. The undead were clearly using logs and wood from our woodcutting site.
As those zombies came forward with their logs, those with chunks of wood gave them cover by throwing their missiles at the people on the wall. Keep in mind this is going on all around New Haven. Every person we could spare carried weapons along the wall.
New Breed can be mighty clever. They aren't quite a match for people scared for their lives, though.
Everyone was kind of surprised that they came at us so hard. The New Breed know how dangerous arrows are, they knew we would take a toll on them. According to Dodger, their skin is tougher than the last time I fought them. Maybe it's the diet of other zombies or just a progression of their particular mutation, but it's harder to damage them.
Which means it's harder to put arrows through their heads. Luckily, we evened the playing field with fire.
It took a lot of effort and some losses on trades, but we managed to stockpile enough materials to make about half a ton of thermite. Some of which Becky worked into a thin gel. Which was carefully spread out across the field.
So while it was hard for our folks to hold back until the New Breed got right up on the wall in one convenient mass (well, four convenient masses) it worked out very well. Because they'd been traipsing about in liquid death. They had rolled their logs through the stuff.
It wasn't the crazy powerful kind of thermite Becky made before. This was simpler stuff, but we managed to get hold of a large amount of magnesium, shavings of which were mixed in. Makes it easier to ignite.
Didn't kill most of them, but the logs went up like torches, ruining the hands of the zombies holding them. The feet and lower legs of others burned. We didn't take out many of them with arrows, but we crippled all but a hundred.
Our people went out the gate and brought hell with them. Squads went out and methodically destroyed their brains. The Beaters took point, setting up diamonds to deal with still-mobile enemies. Others sprinted about in small groups, shields and spears and other killing tools at the ready as they finished off those zombies that couldn't move easily.
Our folks took a lot of injuries, and fourteen people died. That's a smaller loss than we expected, but no one could have imagined the sheer panic we caused. Our people took the fight the them, used every trick they've learned, and wiped almost all of them.
I know this is shaky and not up to my usual standard, but I wasn't there. That bothers me, of course. I know intellectually that there was no way for me to be there and do any kind of good but that doesn't change the fact that my heart feels heavy. For not being there. For knowing that people I've spent time with and shed blood beside are gone. Just like that.