Jess and K left this morning with about half the people we're taking with us when we move out of Haven. They took the opportunity now since we're in something of a lull with the zombie swarms. As I'm fond of saying, that's a relative statement. The mild weather over the last week made it easier for our people to work on trimming their numbers, though by all accounts a steady stream still wash over the bridges in Louisville and from the southwest.
This isn't the first trip they've made to the place we're planting our flag. I may have mentioned others leaving before. It's a long drive but one our folks can now make in a single day since the roads between are clear. Even the undead tend not to show up over most of the distance. The area had such low population density even before The Fall, now it's virtually empty.
The entire point of this trip is to finish preparing our new home for the migration. Much has already been accomplished; the place has a temporary fence around the main living area, there are weapons and supplies hidden around the property. With the war over in this part of the world, supply lines between Haven and the other communities within the Union are up and running. Which means the two places still refining fuel are happy to help us out. Will and the council are giving us access to all the ethanol we need--our vehicles are all flex-fuel--to mix with the new gas coming in. We're going into this ready as we can be.
This trip is the last touch. Jess and K are working on getting food ready. For now we'll be transplanting a very small fraction of the crops Jess has been growing here. Enough to get us started. Sure, we'll take insulated containers full of frozen meat with us when we go. There's enough to spare. We'll need more than perishable goods to make this a long-term thing. Jess is on top of it, as always.
After all the weeks and months of fighting and killing, destroying things, K and the others are going to spend a few days planting and growing. Building. Creating. A handful won't come back from this trip, instead staying at our new place to guard against any marauders or just curious travelers who might wander by. We are, after all, reproducing most of the advances found in Haven at the new homestead in miniature. Electricity, cold storage (eventually), running water, all that good stuff. It's too cherry a target to leave undefended. The world might be a nicer place than it was two months ago, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Not by a country mile.
Really, we could have already left if not for my injuries. Most of the preparations are done. The rest of the work could be finished while we're moving in. I'm the last holdover, the only person still healing to the point where self defense isn't possible. Is it likely I could ride in the back seat without ever needing to raise a finger other than to take bathroom breaks on the way there? Sure. Given the easy trips between Haven and our new home the others have been quietly taking, it borders on certain.
My wife isn't taking that chance. K isn't keen on anyone going who can't at protect themselves if the worst happens. I'm healing fast--really fast, actually--but Phil and Gabby tell me the deep tissues need a few more weeks before I risk straining them too much.
Based on how Jess and K have been acting, though, I'd almost say they're giving me this time to get used to the idea of not being here any more. Haven that was New Haven that was The Compound that was the neighborhood I grew up in means the world to me. This was my home long before The Fall. It's in my blood to love it, to love the people here who I've shared and suffered so much with. All the bad memories and the good.
For all her other amazing qualities, Jess isn't as sentimental as I am. She loves me, though, and I think she wants to give me all the time she can. K is a friend, maybe a better one that I thought possible in the beginning, and he's similar. The difference being Jess is wired that way, not building emotional connections to places and most people by design, while K seems to avoid it by choice. Understandable given the way the world is.
So I'll spend the next few days and weeks tying up loose ends and letting people know what they mean to me. I'll say goodbye to my brother and the rest of my surviving family. Then off to that next adventure.