Saturday, September 22, 2012


If I'm to give a true and honest history of New Haven here, albeit one seen through my eyes and mostly about my own experiences, I'd be shirking my duty not to point out the ramifications of the major victory we had over the New Breed the other day. I was still riding the high of winning in my last post and left out some pertinent information.

We didn't kill all the undead in the county, obviously. Our gamble paid off and a large number of them are gone now, but it's just enough for our beaters and assault teams to gain a foothold outside of New Haven again. At a very generous estimate Dodger says we took out maybe a third of the local population. Not for free, either. Lives were lost, injuries sustained. Some of those people may be permanently crippled.

The cost in lives and able bodies is far outweighed by the good. I don't say that with the cold calculation I once felt while making those kinds of statements. This was an incredibly dangerous operation where a lot of things could go wrong. We expected to lose thirty people. Deaths and injuries combined, the number was less than half that.

And since this is a quasi-historical document now, I should point out the trend in those numbers. Over the last few years we've had setback after setback, but one of the constant truths is that we've become better at keeping our people alive each time. Enough time and practice makes warriors of the least of us. In a fight as complex as the one we had here the other day, with hand-to-hand combat among the zombies, we should have suffered bitter losses. We couldn't have even attempted such a thing two years ago. Twelve months before now we'd have taken forty deaths as a pretty good defense in the circumstances.

We're getting really, really good at this. The cost is high and terrible, comes with a lot of baggage, but that's relatively short term. We won't be able to play that same trick again any time soon now that the New Breed who survived the slaughter have seen it. We've eliminated a lot of the their number and that gives us some wiggle room for the expansion and for our teams, but once the shock and the death smell wears off we'll have to tango with newly enraged and united zombies.

We're sort of threading the needle as far as the future goes. We've bought a narrow window of time where it's not prohibitively dangerous to work on the next section of the expansion (I'm going to name the parts of New Haven on my day off tomorrow, and maybe draw a map so you guys can see. We're getting big enough to need it, now) but the only way we don't face terrible days of endless assaults after that window has closed is if we're nearly perfect during it. Our beaters need to strike often and brilliantly at the undead. Our workers need to build quickly. The next big wave has to come in on schedule and fight as well as the others who came before them.

Many other things. Tons of factors. If we screw up it isn't going to be the end of the world (again). It'll just be hard on us and mess up a lot of our long-term plans. It isn't a case of be perfect or die, we're way beyond that. It's be near-perfect or suffer.

I'm heading to the clinic now. I'm not doing duty there, not providing care like I used to. I'm just going to spend some time with the injured--especially the new arrivals--and get to know some of them. There's man I hear who lost his foot. I might see if he's interested in any of New Haven's full-time labor jobs that don't require much walking. If not, I'll just talk. Sometimes an friendly voice is just what you need when everything seems at its worst.

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