I've been focused on Jess and what's been happening around New Haven a lot lately, but some things just need a post all their own.
Our watchers brought a report in yesterday (at great personal risk, they've been making their way over the walls to keep an eye on the Exiles. Brave folks, considering the zombies outside...) that some major shifts have happened at the old fallback point. At dusk yesterday, a large group of Exiles made their way to the broken bridge where their leader, who I call Scar, murdered a guard who dared show us some small measure of respect.
Many in the group were clearly ill--pale faces, labored breathing, sweating profusely--but they came along anyway, determined to haul their captives right to the edge.
Yeah. Captives. Seven men and three women, all sick themselves, were unceremoniously killed and thrown into the river. The last of them was Scar himself, so devastated with the new plague that our watchers weren't sure he even knew what was going on. He didn't get a bullet like the others. Scar had his throat slashed by a small woman, who kicked him over the edge.
We got a message from the Exiles not long after. It was hand-written and chucked across the river inside one of those capsules you used to get at the drive-through at banks. I'm not going to transcribe it here mainly because it's in Will's office, but the gist of the thing was an explanation. Scar and his lieutenants ruled the Exile camp through fear, intimidation, and violence. Some of it subtle, some of it overt, all of it terrible. Turns out a lot of people weren't very happy about that and took their chance when they got it. The letter further explained that the large boat being constructed was intended for piracy--traveling up and down the river looking for people using it as we have, to ferry large shipments of goods around. Scar was planning on breaking the truce, another mark against him.
The remaining Exiles want to live in peace, or so they say. As a show of goodwill, they burned the boat's skeleton last night after lowering the screens they've got set up around their home. As before, we'll take them at their word that they won't attack, but we'll plan for the worst. We're a hopeful sort of people, but not stupid.
For the sake of the ill living in New Haven, I hope this is genuine. We haven't been shy about telling people we're weak at the moment, and while we can still defend ourselves quite well, doing so would represent a strain on our population that would make things so much worse.
I've got my fingers crossed. We'll watch and see.