When The Fall began--and let's face it, in many ways it's still happening around us--every possible scenario I'd ever envisioned ran through my head. Though it has been a long time since I've mentioned it, the fact bears repeating that I saw the zombie plague coming because I was a nerd fascinated with zombie fiction. I don't say that to make myself sound awesome or anything; many people saw the horrors on the news and realized something was wrong, that the rapidly expanding violence heralded some enormous change, even if it had nothing to do with the undead.
No, the point I want to make is that while I saw The Fall coming, one thing I could never have predicted was living long enough to see so many people beat my expectations and come through the worst to create something resembling a cooperative society.
There are many groups in our collection of allies. We're mostly friendly toward each other, and what differences we have are mostly rendered moot by the distance between us all. We're in agreement about a great many things, though. We all share knowledge freely, from the contents of the Ark to the more immediate kinds of information like weather patterns and zombie migrations. When the undead begin to behave in a way we haven't seen, we all ask questions back and forth to see if others have a better grasp than we do.
You might say that the larger situation--living in a world dominated by the undead--creates a set of conditions that strongly encourage cooperation. We are many, but in all the important ways we're also one. Humanity has been brought low by the zombie plague and even at the hands of our fellow man in the ensuing years, but I admit a lot of pleasant surprise in our progress as a people. Turns out those better angels of our nature Lincoln mentioned outweigh the angry, jealous devils so many cartoons implied (correctly) we all have inside us.
There have been other zombie attacks over the last few days, both by large groups and by single members. We've had no losses, thankfully, but it matters. The fear is there, the worry that at any moment the New Breed will do some clever thing we aren't expecting and kill one of us. Or many. Or all. That gut-wrenching worry is balanced by the fierce dedication we have to each other, especially visible in the heat of combat.
All of that you know. It's stuff I've been talking about for a long time. New Haven isn't unique in this: our allies are just as protective of their own citizens. But now, as of this morning, I can officially tell you that the ink is dry, the treaties sealed, and a new era has begun that's so much bigger and more powerful than anything I could have imagined when The Fall began.
We're keeping it simple and calling the collaborative effort of our allied communities The Union. That's what we are, after all. A group of individual peoples uniting together toward common goals. The Strangers (or whatever they call themselves) weren't the catalyst for this decision, but they helped speed the process along nicely. The idea is that we've all been dealing with threats in a reactive manner and as separate groups for too long. The structure of The Union is designed to make us more efficient and supportive, capable of striking early and at will should a threat rise up.
There are other positive aspects of the deal, but the ability to work as one in light of the activities of the Strangers is a powerful one. Our hope is that simply being a cohesive single group will make the point that none of us are to be fucked with. Before, the Strangers may have thought they could do as the Hunters did and pick off weaker groups or raid with impunity.
So let's be clear: No. Not a bit of it. If any member of the group suffers at the hands of an enemy, then we all react as one. Simple. Easy. And in case you're wondering, Strangers, we take the Israel stance on retribution: repay every act many times over, to discourage you from doing it again.
Years of dealing with marauders have taught us to stop being nice about it. If you want to treat your fellow humans like animals, we'll do the same right back to you. I can't wait for a more stable and peaceful time so we can push the potential of The Union to its fullest limits in ways that don't involve killing people. Hopefully this announcement will help bring that day closer.