Sunday, February 24, 2013

No Quarter

I have been in discussion with the council for most of the last two days. Against the advice of every one of my friends except Will, who abstained from giving me his opinion, I have asked for the right to join up with troops who will take the fight to the UAS borders. Because what we have now is no longer a war for our freedom versus the UAS fighting to control. This is a war of survival on both sides. The UAS sees us--all of us--as a threat to their very existence. They aren't coming for us to bring the Union or the western groups under their control. They're out to exterminate, because the leadership there realizes they've picked a fight that has escalated out of their control.

I should mention that the council voted overwhelmingly to deny my request. The reasons? Let's see: I've been depressed. I've been unpredictable. I've expressed a desire to see the fighting end. I've questioned the actions of our leaders. I've spent time advocating other solutions than violence in the face of overwhelming opposition.

In short, they don't trust me to do it. I don't understand how one man could so badly threaten a group of soldiers when he's burning to accomplish their goals, but there you have it. Apparently I've gone from being something of a folk hero around here to being seen as an unstable guy who can't be trusted to defend his people.

And you know? As much as it pisses me off, I can still understand. All of those things are true, though I'd argue that context matters more than the council admits. I'm benched, and if I'm being kept out of the larger fight now, when it matters more than ever, then I can't envision a situation where I'll be allowed to do my part. Sure, I can go outside the walls and fight the undead, maybe even take on the UAS if they make it this far into Union territory, but I won't be trusted to go out into the world as I once was.

I begin to wonder exactly what we're fighting for. I've spent the last three years surviving just as much as any other person. I've dedicated much of my time and energy to helping as much as I can. Yet here I am, a free man, sitting in my own home being told I can't leave to defend what may be an emerging nation.

Maybe it's those kind of thoughts that keep me from the front lines. One of the reasons the council gave me, that the undead would rise soon as the seasons change, is certainly true enough; yesterday was so warm that our scouts saw a few zombies on the outskirts of the county. They were moving freely. My home may need me here to defend it.

But I can't help feeling that in the urge to resist those who would oppress us, we've become too cautious and perhaps a shade oppressive ourselves. I'm not averse to having leadership with ultimate say about defense and how we operate as a community, but it seems to me that volunteers for dangerous front line combat should be given a chance. What do they think I was going to do, commit suicide by UAS? Run? Or suddenly decide that the people and land I've bled for were worth less to me than enemy lives?

If that was the idea, then the council can go fuck themselves. Every single one of them who voted against me. Some of the them--many of them, to be honest--are friends. I know them well. That's a big part of why this hurts so much.

It's their call to make, but that doesn't mean I have to like it at all. I have work to do here. Paperwork.



  1. If you ever feel the need to fight, Josh, the Dragoons will welcome you with open arms. I'm sorry the council doesn't feel the same as you do, but I can't dislike them for their decision. You are an important figure in New Haven, whether you see that or not. I would hate to lose a friend like you due to a stupid move to go out on his own. Besides, the front lines are a bit muddled right now and may be that way for some time.

  2. Josh, we would also love to have you, but do not branch out on your own as Ketill says, the front lines are blurred. You are welcome to come retrain with us here in New Sunderland as your experience would be invaluable to our long range scouts but your skills may need to be refocused to following the orders of the officers in charge.
    If it comes down to a fight at New haven, I and all my men would consider it an honour to fight by your side.

  3. Josh, it's been a very long and very challenging (to say the least) journey for you. New Haven was your home long before the first zombie made its appearance three years ago. When you began fortifying and securing your home you didn't envision the massive compound it would grow into. There have been many growing pains during this process. You have welcomed true spirited people and together, you have survived. More than survived... your compound LIVES in a time when death lurks around every corner. So, as difficult as this is for me to say (as I, too, suffer from bouts of depression, I need to say it.

    The past is behind you. RECLAIM YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE. You appear to have been maneuvered into a sequestered position where it is "safe". Are you protected from the outside world, or is the outside world being protected from you (your ideas, your emotions, your actions)? You have every right to take pride in who you have become. You have never backed down from a challenge. You have SURVIVED. Think about why you are here and not some of your friends. You are needed, in full-on Josh persona. We have all lost. We have all done things we had never dreamed of, both good and not-so-good. BUT we are ALL survivors! You are ready. You are strong. Believe in yourself.