I'm running on about an hour and a half of sleep. I've been up all night acting as the central communication hub between New Haven and the rest of the Union. It's a job that occasionally requires my attention when big or bad (or both) things happen. I've been the daily go-between for New Haven and North Jackson since the attack there and the subsequent relief we sent up that way.
Last night and all of this morning so far I've been in contact with nearly all of the southern communities in the Union. Early yesterday morning a huge warm front came in off the Gulf of Mexico and sent temperatures in the south up toward t-shirt and shorts weather. That would be great except for the fact that it allowed the zombies in the region more mobility. Worse, someone on the border between Union and UAS territory tried to take down a swarm of the undead with fire.
So now we have a giant brush fire working its way across several hundred--soon to be several thousand--acres of dry winter grass and scrub. Lacking the capacity to fight the blaze on a large scale, I've been tasked with helping coordinate communications between groups that need help evacuating and those who can give assistance.
Steve took off a few minutes ago with a group of seasoned soldiers to help provide security. Steve is one the people who desperately want to do something of value but recognize the wisdom in avoiding confrontations with the UAS where possible.
He and fourteen others are riding in five vehicles, three of them Tanks (the homemade kind, not actual tanks), and they tore out of here at breakneck speed. I have no doubt that Steve will report in regularly and give us some idea of the situation on the ground. I cried when I gave him a goodbye hug. Just wet eyes, really, maybe a single tear rolled down my face like that commercial with the sad Indian. Steve has been there for me...I was going to say in the last six months, but the truth is he has been my shoulder to cry on and my willing listener for more than a decade. We've known each other since we were fourteen. That's a lot of history.
And he was probably the definitive person to get me over the hump with my depression. His help has also given me a way to manage my panic attacks, and he did it all without being asked or even expecting thanks. I wasn't just a problem to be solved. I was a person in need. I can't say this is an example of how deep our friendship goes, though it is, because Steve would have done the same for anyone. He's that kind of guy. I have literally seen him give the shirt off his back to someone in need.
I told him to report in as regularly as possible. From what I understand, he and his team should reach the staging point for the evacuation effort by late this afternoon to early evening. If I know Steve at all, he and his teams won't rest when they get there. It'll be a night of hard work after a day of driving nonstop. Again, for total strangers.
I wish I were with him, but I'm quite glad to be doing something useful here. Something to help. I only worry that the tinderbox down south doesn't burn any of my friends or fellow Union members. As fast as we've mobilized, signs point to us being ahead of the fires by a decent margin.
For all of you out there; stay away from the border. We'll send out mass messages to tell you where it's safe to travel. For now that will have to be enough; I need to get some sleep and let Big K fill in for me while I nap. Back to it in a few hours.
This may prevent me from posting tomorrow. Sorry if that's the case.