Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Shattering

I'm laid up at the moment. The injury I took the other day wasn't severe--a messy gash across my thigh--but it is painful and is keeping me from doing more than sitting or laying down. Fighting is out of the question, according to Gabrielle. Too much movement will tear the stitches and only prolong my recovery.

Fighting the undead in the mud is a dangerous affair. Equally because they're zombies and anything that hinders your movement is risky and because other people tend to make more mistakes in those sorts of circumstances. In this case one of the men I was working with got tripped up when his boots got stuck in the mud, and his spear met my leg with predictable results.

I know a lot of people are probably expecting me to rail against unfair fate, taking me from the fight when every body is needed. Sorry. Not this time. I've spent the last few weeks busting ass and not without reason; the main swarm threatening us has been broken. A lot of them are dead, but mostly they've been split into smaller groups, which make them much easier for our people to deal with. the constant exhaustion caught up with me, and it took six inches of lacerated thigh to let me finally get some rest.

The parallel between what's going on here with the zombies and what's happening on the front lines is pretty striking. I mentioned the massive action our forces took the other day, but I didn't get into the details. Basically, a bare-bones plan was put together when our people realized the UAS were digging in and working on permanent settlements. As vicious and brutal as it had to be, the leadership decided not to allow their plans to go any further.

I mentioned before that the UAS brought noncombatants with them into this war zone. I believe the purpose was to use them as a deterrent. The idea, of course, was that no matter how much the UAS claimed to their own people that we're violent savages with no regard for human life, that in reality they expected us to hold back if we knew there were innocents about.

The most we were able to compromise was sending out a warning half an hour before the attack. Our advance units warned the UAS to evacuate their positions, which would be destroyed after that length of time. For the most part those warnings went unheeded.

Our people proceeded to shell those positions mercilessly. It wasn't a universal attack; some places along the hundreds of miles of front didn't get hit at all. Others were bombed with vehicles set up with homemade explosives. A few were expertly demolished with dynamite set up by our own very talented infiltration experts.

At the least, a thousand people in the UAS camps died. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers they have at their disposal, but the real cost in human lives was atrocious. Think about that: at a minimum, a thousand lives are gone. Men, women, children. Families with histories and hopes and dreams, snuffed out in an instant because someone told them to go to a place. I feel so terrible for the children, who were only guilty of having cowards and fools as parents. Order me to take my child into a war zone, and I'll ignore you, laugh in your face, and fight you to the death if you don't relent. I can't imagine what drove them to such bad decisions.

We aren't without mercy as the UAS leadership would have people believe, but it is not an infinite mercy. We gave warning. It's a sad reality that people didn't stop being selfish, short-sighted assholes when the world ended. Our hope is that this action will be enough to break the UAS drive forward. If enough of them realize the cost of this war, maybe they'll pull back and give up.

I hope, but as I often have to say, I do not expect.

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