A lot of things happening at once. So hard to manage it all.
If you read my last post, you know I have suspicions about Patrick. I don't want to get my hopes up, so I'm putting a pin in that for today. Someone posted a comment yesterday asking about Aaron, and whether I'd heard from him in a long while. Somewhere in the bustle and insanity over the last few months--longer, really--we lost touch. I've heard bits and pieces, rumors that he died, rumors that he lived, but nothing concrete. Shitty friend that I am, I spent my time worrying about my own life and not inquiring about his. I've sent out feelers and hope to know more very soon.
Much bigger, so big that I have to once again brush those personal issues aside to report it, is the movement of the UAS across our territory. I said they were taking it slow, which makes total sense given our penchant for laying traps, the huge swarms of zombies, and the fact that they don't have to fight anyone to take new ground at the moment.
We set back their ability to homestead by a good bit by destroying the ones they were building, but the raw numbers they have will overcome the deficit soon enough. What matters this afternoon, and sorry for this post being so late, is that they've sped up their flight deeper into Union territory.
So much that they weren't being as careful as they should have been. Oops.
I admit to being a little saddened to learn they've proven quick learners at how to effectively manage large numbers of zombies. My hope was their momentum would be blunted by the sheer weight of bodies. Turns out snowplows are pretty good at cutting a path through crowds. Simple, effective, and honestly kind of brilliant. I never thought of that.
That being said, there's just no way for them to catch everything our people have thrown at them. They thought the front lines were thick with traps, but those were the outer regions we only started prepping after we found out the UAS was going to be a threat. The inner areas of the Union have been held by us for much longer. All major paths and a lot of minor ones are laced with traps. Most were intended to stop the undead, but not a few are aimed to kill living enemies. Every one of them are a victory, no matter how small. Picking off soldiers one at a time is grim and necessary, but the dark thrill of knowing you just reduced the threat to your home by one is no less satisfying for how wrong it feels.
The biggest part of the story is the loss of nearly two hundred soldiers and a few dozen vehicles on a bridge in northeast Arkansas. Let's be honest here: they've read this blog, the UAS. They know our tricks. Granted we had our people be subtle about it, piling the explosives underground next to the bridge supports with antenna for the signal a good distance away and connected by a buried wire, but still. You'd think they'd have been a little more cautious about bridges.
Not so much.
At the cost of one very bored observer tucked away in a blind and only relieved from his post every two weeks, we cut the advance units of the UAS army badly. Not enough to kill the larger force but sufficient enough to slow them out of fear, to make them more cautious. Also forced them to find another bridge, and you can bet they checked the damn thing top to bottom before risking more lives than the person searching it.
My heart hurts a bit to know so many people lost their lives needlessly, marching forward under orders that came down the chain like shit rolling downhill. This whole war is pointless and avoidable, but my own dark streak felt some satisfaction at thinning the enemy down without losing even one Union life. It's a weird contrast of emotions, and it bothers me continuously.
But you know? I can live with it. I really can.