You'd think that being outnumbered ten to one (at least) by the marauders would make it so stressful and busy here that I wouldn't have time to think about other things. You'd be wrong. Hell, even I thought there was a good chance I would put other concerns to the back of my mind given the enormity of the job at hand. Not that I could simply forget that Jess and the other people in my house are ill, but that I could at least save the worry for moments when I'm not in mortal danger.
Turns out my two teammates and I couldn't forget or ignore the stuff going on at home. Instead of being a professional and gaining some kind of laser focus like a hero in a story, I found myself planning the best way to drive off or kill the marauders without wasting any more time than necessary. The idea was a simple one we've used many times: gather up a big trail of zombies and lead them right to the enemy.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. The plan had the advantage of being tried and true, relatively easy to pull off, and minimally risky for us. Plus it wouldn't take a lot of time to engineer, so we could get back home quickly.
Of course, we weren't going to actually have the zombies chase us. We didn't want to expose our presence any more than Clinton does. So my teammates went one way and I the other, and we started spraying small bursts of ammonia up and down the nearest highway where a number of zombies could be found. We brought a wide variety of stuff with us, packed tight into the back of our truck, since we had no game plan when we left New Haven.
The ammonia wasn't super thick, just a dab here and there to corral the undead in the direction we wanted. I moved a bit faster than the others and brought my sprays closer to the road itself. By the time the zombies reached the town near Clinton, the passage they would be moving through was narrow and pointed right at the bad guys. Ammonia is wonderful stuff, and my teammates did an excellent job following the horde and spraying behind them to keep the stampede going.
For the record, that part of the plan worked fine. We just didn't count on the marauders being as disciplined and responsive as they were. I'd say there were about a hundred zombies in the train we sent toward the rough marauder camp, but those thirty or so people reacted like something out of The Dark Tower. They moved into their armored vehicles with clockwork precision, gunners popping through hatches in the roof of each, and calmly fired round after round into the heads of the undead swarming them.
We watched it all happen from a copse of trees. Gunners moving with practiced fluidity across the roofs of their vehicles, safely above the fray. Each of them made sure to regularly scan the battlefield to make sure their friends weren't being hauled down and killed. They watched out for each other. If they weren't so obviously marauders, I'd have felt pride watching them.
We've got another idea, one we wouldn't have been able to come up with had the team and I not noticed something during the assault. It gives me chills to think about what I'm planning, but when you're against a wall and low on options you have to take the opportunities fate hands you.
We're just waiting for cover of darkness now. Which is appropriate considering the terrible thing I'm about to do.