Word came in late last night that a small community--not a part of the Union--on the western edge of UAS territory has been swallowed up. The UAS did it without bloodshed, but there wasn't a lot of choice involved for the people in Bradford. Or, I should say what was Bradford. I don't know what name the UAS will put on the place or even if they'll change it, but this is a turning point.
Until now we held out some vain hope that these people didn't really mean business. A bloodless coup is still a coup, but history tells us a lot about merciful dictators. Cutting off supply lines, creating a situation that demands either total capitulation or a fight to the death against unbeatable odds...that's a hell of a trick if you can pull it off. Top it off by appearing concerned and announcing that little will change under your rule and you have a recipe for short-term anger but long-term acceptance. The UAS knows how to pull this off.
Not that the same tactic can work on most of the Union, but that doesn't mean we don't have to worry. As the UAS grows by consuming small groups and moves on and out to the west and surely to the north, they'll grow into something so large and strong that the direct confrontation with us they're so afraid of won't be ruinous for them. I think that must be their plan. The council called me in along with a few other old-timers to explain this theory and ask our opinion. Most of us agree.
If we're right then we're facing a long-term threat far more pervasive and deadly than even the undead. It makes sense that the UAS would expand now when zombie activity is at its low point for the year. Once the weather warms up the job gets a lot harder to pull off.
People have been asking the leadership--and me, and Pat and other original New Haveners--what we should do. I keep wondering that myself, but I think the better question to ask is what can we do? Those scattered groups out west of UAS territory might be associated with the Union, but they aren't a part of it. Many of them are friends and allies but are too far away for us to send any real help. The real worry is what happens when the UAS gobbles up all the little minnows at the edges. Because then they'll have the strength of numbers to go after bigger fish; the large communities around the coast.
I know a lot of people from that area. Our trip around the country last year achieved its aim very well; Will and everyone else that went are on friendly terms with many of those groups. They aren't statistics. They're people we've broken bread with. We've helped defend their homes.
And there can be no doubt at this point that the UAS is coming for them. How far are we willing to go to stand up for those folks? I don't know what the policy will end up being, but I know my own answer.