Saturday, April 6, 2013

Web Slinger

Kincaid, as it turns out, is some kind of diabolical genius when it comes to figuring out how to stop zombies. I spent most of yesterday afternoon out in the county with him and a team, clearing out the undead and breaking out the summer clothes. 

It never actually got hot, but the day was pleasantly warm and swinging a weapon while wearing twenty pounds of armor has a way of heating a body up. After three hours of constant work, constant killing, I came home and slept like an enchanted princess. 

It's a good thing I'm getting out of the house more. I mean, I'm not glad it's taking a war for our very existence to do it, but you know me: I'm all about those silver linings. If every person left in Haven weren't needed to ensure our basic functions remain, well, functional, I might not have seen Kincaid's brilliant idea in action. 

The Union has a fairly large group of deep, long-range scouts who scour the land (which just sounds badass) for useful things. Those people who used to hoard things in their homes have nothing on us. Not far away from here, I think somewhere between Frankfort and eastern Kentucky, someone found a distributor for bulk fabrics. Useful, but not super important. Among the loot from that particular run? Nylon webbing. I've talked about it before, you may remember. It's just standard flat nylon material, like a dog leash is made from. 

There was a lot of it there, and as our teams slowly brought in shipments from all over the state, the webbing made its way here. That distributor must have worked with an online store of some kind, because there was a truly ridiculous amount of the stuff on hand. It's kind of amazing how well it stores; several hundred feet can roll up into a disc you can carry in your hand. 

Kincaid spent a lot of time cataloging all the junk we accumulate, and coming across tens of thousands of feet of this stuff piled up in a shipping container and forgotten gave him an idea. 

Yesterday I watched as teams of four ran out ahead of us as we approached one of the choke points designed to funnel the undead right where we want them. Those men carried a homemade net, five feet tall and a hundred wide, which spread across the choke point before the zombies could make it all the way through. Each side of the net was quickly and expertly tied to a tree, stretching it tight. This stuff was the military-grade business, I should add. Strong as shit, which is good since a lot of zombies ended up leaning against it. 

Then it was just a matter of stepping in, armored gloves and sleeves holding onto the undead as we chopped down on their skulls. 

It wasn't perfect--nothing ever seems to be--but it was effective. We worked that single choke point for a long time, and I got to see other clever uses of the stuff as several zombies eventually made it past us. My favorite was the guy who ran around with lengths of webbing with slipknots in either end, carefully lassoing one zombie, then tossing the other loop around another. Sort of made a gigantic zombie nunchaku. The practical effect of this was to disorient and disable the two undead by way of a tether. Even your average New Breed, who seem to be thinning out as a species, are susceptible to it. I saw two of them get roped yesterday, and while they did figure out how to move in unison (clever bastards) it took them at least thirty seconds. Plenty of time for an enterprising defender to split their heads open with a handy tool. 

The tethering thing was my favorite, but there were a few others; snares and straight-up hanging come to mind. Tethering seemed the most effective of the one-on-one techniques, both for the brilliant simplicity of it, and for the fact that the strap connecting the two undead has a tendency to trip up or tangle even more zombies. It was pretty awesome. 

I think it would be a good idea to see if there are places down south that have access to this stuff. It would work with any kind of rope, too, and I know some people have used methods similar to this before. Kincaid was just the first to show how it can work on a large scale. Our people--all people--need access to every method and means to deal with the undead, who are in the end the real enemy. 

If only some folks would remember that...

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