One of the advantages to having our teams out clearing away the undead is the freedom we have to work outside with minimal protection. True, the local zombies are extremely pissed off at the assault teams, which means the odd straggler our other workers come across have to deal with unusually aggressive enemies, but it's well worth the price. For their part, the teams seem to take a twisted pride in being the object of so much hate from the undead.
As long as our numbers hold out--and they are so far, no crippling outbreak of the newest version of the plague yet though a few more people are sick--then we'll have people out there working on the expansion. We're moving in three directions, primarily, since the last expansion takes up a good chunk of our western wall. The small groups moving around are putting up posts on the southern edge of New Haven at present. That area has traditionally been our weakest front, and once the expansion actually takes place there will be some advantages to starting there.
You may remember that the southern edge is where one of the abandoned nursing homes is. We've got plans to set it up as our central clinic. My mom's old house has been our medical center for so long that it's going to take some adjustment for all of us to deal with the change, but it'll be a good one. More room, more resources, a more centralized location for the new New Haven.
After the southern area is done being dotted with posts to hitch the sections of wall to (hopefully coming soon!) then our people will work on the entire eastern and southeastern section. We were going to avoid moving into the southeast if possible because there isn't a lot of residential space over that way, but Will and Dodger have made a pretty strong case for going there. The medical pavilion we'll be engulfing is full of brick buildings with a lot of floor space. Good for group dwellings and emergency defense. Also, the idea is to keep New Haven as square as possible to reduce the number of guards and sentries we need on the walls.
That area will be farmed heavily next year. We already have a ton of wild greens growing there, though the heatwave has been less than kind to them. Great thing about clover is that as soon as the rain starts up--and it has, this month--it starts growing like mad again. We can fill a lot of bellies if need be.
The biggest and hardest part of the expansion will be annexing the neighborhoods across the road from New Haven. There's a whole hell of a lot of houses over that way, butting up against my old high school and middle school. We're going to take them all. Some of those houses are crazy huge and were expensive back when money was still a thing, while an older adjoining set of neighborhoods are filled with more modest homes. It goes without saying that people will be assigned places. If we leave it up to them it will be inevitable that tons of people will want big houses. And everyone is going to have to share.
Depending on how many sections of new wall we can get in our mitts, we might try to expand all the way to the schools. Those things are on a lot of arable land, and they're built like fortresses. That's not in our current game plan, but it's a nice dream to have. If for no other reason, we'd like to have the schools for the number of folks we could move in there. Yeah, it'll all work with just the houses, but that's not an ideal situation and isn't meant to be a permanent one. As time goes on, we plan on using the surface area we have available to its fullest capacity: we want to build upward. Dave has been keen on this for a long time. He even has some ideas how to integrate living spaces with vertical farming.
I'd love to move outward, but we have to think upward with such a large population. Babies are going to be born and we'll need space. Given our recent (and now very recent) bouts with illness, I'm of the opinion that clustering ten or fifteen people to a house is not a sustainable or smart way to do things. We'll need people more spread out for the sake of their privacy as well as preventing a disease from rampaging through our citizens with ease because they're packed together like sardines.