My post yesterday about Aaron elicited the comment, "what happened to Treesong?"
Tree is still here, but answering that question brings up an interesting point. While I can tell you with minimal effort that Tree is happily working his ass off doing a lot of different things, I couldn't give you even a summary of what his life has been like recently. The plain truth is that human beings, even ones in a small community like this, drift apart. It's not sad or wrong, just a natural consequence of life. We all focus on things in our own life. Doesn't mean I can't run in to Tree and have a good time, share stories and have a beer even, but it does mean that most of us live our lives and don't constantly make an effort to keep those lives static.
People come, people go, and that's fine.
I feel the need to make this point because things out in the world are changing. As much as my own recent activities (see: felonies) have taken my attention from the larger problems we face, those problems still exist. The undead are growing more restless and hungry, reports from all over indicating that many bands of zombies have reached some kind of natural saturation point. They've cleaned the landscape of easy prey and are devouring each other in a desperate bid to stay functional. I would have said 'stay alive' there, but it wouldn't be totally accurate...
The war is going better for the Union than we expected at this point. While the UAS is quickly learning that they can push in broad waves toward our homes, they've learned that making pointed attacks at any of us is a bad, bad idea. They're eating up the land we've abandoned, most of it unused by the Union to start with. In a military sense that isn't a good thing; you never want to give ground to the enemy. But in this case those empty miles don't prevent us from traveling, mostly don't host farmland or anything of real significance. Just land, dots on a map that we held because they were our dots. I think the reality of the fight we're in has helped loosen that necessary but overwhelming sense of ownership in us.
As the UAS press closer and closer to our homes, their movement is slowed. Though they outnumber us in terms of soldiers-to-soldiers, they're out in the wild. They have to clear out the undead, for one. Two, they've left people behind to begin farming and building things. There's a certain amount of attrition with forward motion, like a piece of chalk being scraped across a blackboard.
Easily the greatest factor slowing them down is us. They're now at the point where their forces will have to choose between moving into the spaces between our communities and cutting themselves off, or attacking our fortified positions and dealing with the incredible losses that will come with that. They could surround the communities themselves if they pushed quickly and hard enough, but even then only the front line of them. And the price in bodies would b staggering.
So now they're slowing down as they work on a strategy that doesn't involve taking a 70% loss or running away because the people on the front lines begin to understand what the leadership have known since the beginning: this won't be an easy win even if a win is possible. It would be a massacre on a grand scale. I don't know what lies the UAS bosses have been spreading, but we're not going to roll over. We're not long off from the powder keg blowing, and at this point I don't know how we can avoid the fallout.
Which may help you understand why I'm not always up on what my old friends have been doing.