Assumptions have a way of coming around and biting you in the ass. Yesterday was hot and humid, a good day for planting, working the earth. Would have been nice to do if not for yet another fucking wave of zombie attacks. At least this one happened in the sunlight, but damn if it wasn't brutal even drawing my bow in my heavy armor. The UAS group Kincaid is hunting didn't try to hit us again during the attack.
The rest of the Union wasn't so lucky.
It had to have been planned beforehand, of course. Twenty-seven communities and bases were hit all on May the first, all around the same time. Some had breaches in their walls like we did, caused by explosives somehow moved in undetected. Three had their water supplies poisoned. Several others farther south planted their fields earlier than we did only to have them razed--two burned, three destroyed by vehicles--by the groups hiding within our borders.
None of the attacks alone were world-shattering, but as a psychological tactic the attacks were brilliant. Their intent was to show us that the UAS can hit us with impunity. That they can sneak people in at will and damage us as they please. The idea is to keep us scared that they might appear at any time.
To a degree I think it worked, but I can't help pointing out here that we're already scared all the time. Again, it's the primary difference between people who lived through The Fall in a bunker and those of us who scraped by out in the world. We've been living in fear forever, and we're used to it. Combined with all the recent setbacks, this doesn't exactly shatter our world.
I mean, it sucks. Bad. It's a lot of work to fix and it makes life harder for all of us. It's infuriating and surely makes a lot of people despondent. It just isn't going to break us. Kincaid is right: we can't afford to give in to sadness or anger.
The only good news is that the bulk of our forces will be in their fallback positions by the weekend. About half of the people Haven sent to fight will be home shortly after that, the other half staying at the new front to man the defenses. Protecting less land and letting the UAS take much of the space between is disheartening but ultimately good policy. Just as we here in Haven retreated back behind the walls when it became clear that the outer defenses weren't solid enough, so too do Union forces retreat and concentrate their efforts on a smaller area. Given the vastness of our territory, a few hundred miles of dirt we aren't currently farming is a small sacrifice to avoid total destruction.
Still, there's a lot of heartbreak going around right now. These attacks on the communities are bad, no matter how you many think I've brushed them off. I really haven't, I promise. I just don't think documenting every shred of human suffering that comes from them helps anyone but our enemies. The people in those communities and bases know without me telling them how bad it is. Everyone in the Union has suffered something like this either recently or in the past. Painting it on a banner for everyone to see serves no good purpose.
But my heart does go out to all of you. I know it's tough, especially right now given how shorthanded we are, but I also know you're tough. I know you'll push through and soldier on. We're sure to deal with more and worse zombie attacks as summer rolls in. The war probably isn't going to solve itself, either.
What, you were expecting some kind of silver lining there? Do you want me to say that the rough times will get better magically and the future we all dream of, full of peace and sunshine and fluffy bunnies hopping across the meadow will be here tomorrow? Sorry. I have more respect for you than that. Things really will get better, but only because we will make them so. We'll fight and suffer and some of us will die to manage it, but I've taken your measure. I know you can do it. I know we can do it. No doubt at all.
Getting there means pain and work. We'll have to shoulder it as best we can. When the load becomes too heavy, we will share it with each other as we've always done. That has always been our strength: in the fights against the undead, our shields lock together to form a wall. In our everyday struggles we share effort to feed and house and provide safety. In war with living folk our unity of purpose weaves us into a single fabric much stronger than our individual threads. Because we work together, we can take one hell of a beating. We're all mature enough to recognize that will happen no matter what we do. No use crying about it or beating our chests to the heavens.
We'll bear up and keep on, and deal with the pain. We have no other option.