This is going to be one of those weird and scattered posts, mainly because I've been awake all night. I'm really not sure how I keep managing to do that without caffeine but somehow I'm not exhausted and dumb. I've been busy as hell since my post yesterday, first with the outline for our plan of attack, then catching up on replying to a ton of messages from people, then making a late run out with a scout team to check out the layout of the zombies in the area.
After all that was said and done, I came home to edit and revise the plan of attack. Will had a meeting with the team leaders from North Jackson that arrived yesterday, along with Dodger and the people from here that will be going with them. Everyone had ideas on how to make the trip safer and more efficient, so I decided to skip sleep in order to get ahead of the curve on our game plan.
That took me until about four this morning, which was right when a small but strong group of New Breed hit the wall right where the annex and the east wall meet. Fortunately we've moved back to full compliments of guards and sentries, or things could have been messy. Fully half of the new arrivals ran like hell from the expansion (the one made of shipping containers, not the large expansion we'll be starting soon. Duh. They aren't time travelers.) and surprised our guards on duty by running about thirty feet north and jumping off the catwalks and over the wall.
The numbers were about even: fifty people to fifty New Breed. Not that there was any sort of competition, mind you--those people know their business and have a lot of practice working as a unit. They sleep with their weapons right next to them and don't hesitate.
The front rank, ten of them, had shields and bashed the closest zombies in backward with them. The folks behind them had long catchpoles, basically just a big fork with two tines that they used to trip any zombies close enough. To the sides were ten archers, two teams composed of three bowmen and two crossbowmen. The remaining twenty in the back rushed through the middle as the zombies were bashed, tripped, and transfixed on arrows, and waded into the crowd. Those folks all wear armor of one kind or another and they're damn efficient at what they do. Our guards were so shocked by the ferocity of the newcomers that a few of them forgot to fire their arrows.
It was pretty amazing, I have to tell you. I got a case of the warm fuzzies just seeing the last few minutes of the fight.
Also, I'm a lot more comfortable knowing just how terribly good these people are at this kind of thing. I knew they had practice since they helped clear the undead from the environs near NJ, but seeing them in action was a bit like watching fifty Masons cut loose. Mason was scary dangerous and never showed a trace of fear, but he was just one man.
And like Mason, these people are mortal. They're citizens of New Haven now, part of our community. Their lives are as important as anyone's and losing any of them as we lost Mason would be awful. I guess that's part of why I'm so happy they seem to have their shit together. Being an army of one is fantastic, but being part of an actual army is way better.
The last few hours of this morning I spent finishing up some odds and ends, one of which was looking over comments on the blog. One struck me as particularly relevant to current events: a reader out there, probably a survivor who has been out of the loop for a while as many are, asking about survivors outside of the US. Basically they wanted to know what we know about who may be alive out there, and where.
I've touched on this before, but it bears repeating and updating from time to time.
We have a hard time getting in direct contact with other continents. We have allies in southern Canada and some acquaintances farther north. Mexico is a bit of a no-man's land, mostly avoided due to a serious glut of Marauders in the very far south of the US. We know from Becky--who made her way here through ten kinds of hell and across an ocean--that there are plenty of folks left alive in Europe and the middle east. From third and forth-hand sources we know that there are some strong communities of survivors in northern Africa and probably spread all over that continent, though as with most of the world communication with them is almost impossible. I've heard that India is essentially a dead country, which shouldn't surprise anyone. The population density there was a worst-case scenario for the zombie plague.
Asia I have no solid or believable news about, though the Chinese and the Russians have long histories of surviving against ridiculous odds and overcoming impossible foes. I wouldn't be surprised if someone rolled up into Moscow and just ran into a group of old Russian women sitting around a campfire made of zombie corpses, drinking good vodka and telling dirty jokes.
Most of the eastern hemisphere is out of touch with us, and the lovely people at Google can only do so much. Few cell towers work on that side of the world, and the ones that do don't necessarily communicate with the satellites Google uses to keep us all talking to each other.
I wish that weren't the case, I wish it very badly. Just as the people who've moved from North Jackson are our brothers and sisters, people worthy of our support, respect, and concern, so are those nameless people struggling half a world away. Some of those folks helped Becky survive and get closer to home, so I owe them an endless debt for returning a person I love to me. I wish I could tell them myself what that means, but I can't.
Maybe someday, but all things in their time. That just isn't right now.