Today is a good day. Truly good. They've been hard to come by lately. Because this is a happy day, there are some things I'm saving for my next post. Right now I want to stay as positive as I can, while I can.
One entire section of the expansion is fully walled and defended. Those five hundred people can get a lot accomplished when the end result will keep them alive. For that many workers, the remaining tasks were small and relatively easy. Since the newcomers brought many more segments of prefab wall than we needed to finish out this part of the expansion, they started on the next one.
It's hard to imagine that we've managed so much this quickly. Well, we as in the old guard citizens of New Haven didn't actually do it. The prefab walls were cut and bolted together by North Jackson, mostly by the people migrating here. Most of the materials are theirs, too. They've been the driving force behind this huge change, and it was their ingenuity that made it possible to provide a safe place for them to live in such a short time.
So, after so many weeks of fighting and heartache and backbreaking labor, we're taking a day off. The assault teams get to stay home for the whole day. All work shifts are cut down to the bare minimum of people and changed every two hours so no one has to work more than that. We've got fresh game to cook up and a slew of new friends and citizens to meet and get to know.
Basically, we're having an epic barbecue today. And it's nice.
Sure, we've got patrols out. That's just common sense. But this morning Will and the council decided that putting off all other work for today was just the thing we all needed. We've made more progress than we could have hoped for, and it just feels like the right thing to do. The new arrivals busted ass as soon as they got here, and then worked when they were supposed to be acclimating. It's a good sign in new citizens, at least in my book.
In fact, the only reason I'm even writing a post today is to keep with my schedule. I've been a creature of habit all my life, and only the habits have changed with the end of the world. Not writing on a day I should be feels weird and wrong to me, like laughing during a sermon or seeing Luke Skywalker make out with his sister in the first Star Wars movie.
Well, maybe that's not the only reason.
I've been feeling the creeping edges of depression since the situation with Louisville got out of hand. I've got a handle on it--no worries for me, please--because I recognize the root cause. I'm very lucky that way, because many people affected by this problem don't have that option. They can only feel the anguish and suffer through it. I've been there, too.
It's not guilt. I don't feel that what we did was wrong. It's not rooted in anger, either. Just sadness at the waste of it all. Those were good people we killed, and there are still more good ones out there, many of them suffering and dying because their brethren wasted the small chance we gave them.
I don't expect the remnants of the Louisville crew to apologize, nor do I want them to. They've paid ten times over for any harm they caused. Instead, I want to say what's in my heart, what has been eating me up:
We did what we had to do. It was the necessary thing, but it wasn't the right thing. Today is a happy day for most people in New Haven, but I can't join them while this weighs me down.
We killed your friends and family to protect our own. I hate that it had to happen, and if any of you are reading this, please believe that I'm terribly sorry. Truly, deeply, infinitely sorry. I would give almost anything to wind back the clock and offer earlier and better help. Maybe take a larger risk.
I don't know that we could have done any differently. I just know that I had to say it. It hurts. Not just me, but a lot of people. I can't express the regret I feel. And yeah, I know that I'm probably just making myself feel better and not accomplishing any real good. There isn't much else I can do, though.
So I'll head back out and socialize. I'll crack open one of my brother's questionable home-brewed beers and be thankful for a day without zombies or marauders, and I'll toast to you. For your recovery and well-being, for survival and better days.