Monday, August 13, 2012

First Wave

I admit to a fair bit of fudging the truth from time to time when it's necessary to protect our interests. Sometimes--as in the last few days--that comes in the form of minimizing the facts about what's going on in New Haven. I can now say without fear that the report Kincaid gave yesterday was true, just not the whole truth. Work here has progressed far beyond what we've said almost completely at the hands of the people that have migrated here so far.

For example, the first new expansion is done. Not done as in completely finished, but that big ass area is wholly walled in and defensible. More defensible, in fact, than some parts of the original compound. You wouldn't think we could have managed that in such a short time, but it turns out Kincaid is a brilliant guy. Back in his marauder days he kept losing people to zombie attacks from the spotty protection their vehicles gave them. As a solution his people found some heavy steel cable and attached a bunch of heavy stakes to it. Then they made a rough grid around their camps, which tripped or slowed down the undead coming for them.

We're doing the same thing. Steel cable isn't that hard to find, and if we run out there are always power lines. Frankfort isn't a big city, but there are hundreds of miles of power lines we can cut down and use for just about anything we want. Imagine constructing a forest of raised lines around New Haven, six feet high and ten deep. There's easily enough material to do it, and that would make it very, very hard for the undead to get anywhere near us.

Sorry. Kind of a tangent there. What I'm getting at is the grid of steel cables in place around the expansion, in front of the prefab walls, is awesome. It's two feet high and effective. Our assault teams even drove a group of New Breed in to test it. Worked like a dream. The zombies didn't know how to deal with it at first, and the handful of people behind the net were able to pick them off easily.

That much was accomplished because yesterday the first wave of settlers arrived. I'm not talking about the relatively small groups of fifty to a hundred here and there. This group is huge--five hundred. And nearly half of them hopped off the huge fleet of vehicles to help pound stakes into the ground and string up the cable. Took about four hours, mainly because we marked off the locations for the stakes beforehand.

The trip here from North Jackson took them nearly thirty hours. The way between here and there is relatively safe and definitely well-traveled, but moving so many people at once was a logistical challenge. The solution wasn't anything terribly creative, to be honest. Maybe a fourth of the new arrivals came in smaller vehicles like cars, trucks, vans, and the like. Many semi-trucks came with them, most carrying raw materials. Our migrants have known for a long time they've been headed this way, and many of them have scoured Michigan and surrounding areas for anything useful to bring with them. North Jackson got first dibs on most of it, but they're very generous allies. Lucky for all of us that the abandoned United States is a veritable gold mine of useful things left laying around.

Most of the first wave came in...well, for lack of a better word, trains. Not on-the-rails trains (though we're trying to find a way to make that happen) but rather a thrown-together set of mass transport vehicles. They look like a very angry child smashed a bunch of toys together, but they work. It's a hell of a thing seeing a swarm of hundred-foot long trailers, buses, and semi-trailers filled with tightly packed masses of people just pull up at the front door and spill out a sea of humanity.

One of those damn things was just three long flatbeds hooked together, the beds protected by chain link fence. Glad it's been cool for the last two days.

The trip took so long because they moved at a snail's pace. The makeshift mass transit vehicles aren't the safest thing on the road, and no one wanted any accidents. Slow and steady wins the race and all those cliche sayings. Obviously I couldn't say anything about this group coming until they got here, so I'm sorry about that. But this has been a part of the plan for a while now, since the stuff with the Louisville folks was happening. It was a consideration when we made our choice, though not one we could talk about.

This group is mostly adults, with only about fifty kids in it. We asked that they weight the early big waves that way since we'll need as many able-bodied adults to help annex new areas as quickly as possible.

That work begins tomorrow. They did a lot yesterday, and need today to settle in a bit. So far I haven't heard any complaints about the accommodations but that might change once they realize more people will be joining them and crowding their houses soon. Hopefully my brother will have the first of the big communal living spaces done by then to lessen the burden.

I will say that after a fairly bleak few weeks, it's a wonderful breath of fresh air to see so many new and happy faces around. And they brought a lot of dogs. But that's tomorrow's post.

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