Friday, October 4, 2013


Hey, it’s Beckley.  I probably don’t need to keep informing you of that, but I’m a creature of habit.

So I almost got eaten the other day.  Back on Monday the New Breed attacked Haven in force.  Now this was nothing compared to the past swarms that Haven has endured, but certainly more than the piddling two dozen or so that they’ve been intermittently throwing at us the past few weeks.  I don’t know for sure, but I’d say that there was about 150-200 total, spread out over two waves.  Like I said, not bad compared to past swarms.  Still, they were all New Breed.  And one New Breed is worth a handful of Old School Zombies.

I really don’t have to describe too much of the fight.  You guys all know, either from seeing them in action, or reading Josh’s past posts, that the Haven fighters are not to be trifled with.  The moment the New Breed came into range, the arrows started flying.  The undead seemed to know where a lot of the traps are outside Haven so they reached the walls fairly quickly.  Once they hit the walls, they spread out, looking for weak points.  And they found them because, from what I heard, when the second wave came, they headed right for one weaker portion of wall.  I don’t know how the first wave communicated that with the second wave, but they did.

Whatever the case, I wasn’t there for the second wave.  Once the first wave was down, I ran out with some others to gather arrows.  I like to help out, seeing as how I really feel useless when fighting breaks out.  Gathering arrows is a difficult job with the New Breed.  Their skin is so tough it’s like a layer of hide armor, so you want to make sure that they’re actually dead and not just incapacitated.  Then there are the really clever ones.  The ones that take an arrow to the chest, or even one to the head that doesn’t penetrate to the brain, and drop to the ground.  Those monsters just lay there, playing dead, knowing that a meal will be out soon to collect the arrow.

So when you’re out there, you can’t just grab the arrow.  You have to check the body as you approach.  Make sure, visually, the arrow was a clean hit.  If there’s any doubt, you approach the dead from its head-side and bash it to be sure.  Even the slightest doubt, you bash.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a New Breed reach back to me just as I bury my baseball bat in its face.  Tricksey New Breeds.

So between checking the bodies, smashing the bodies, and picking up arrows that hit the ground, it’s easy to get tunnel vision.  And that’s what happened to me.  Before I realized it, I was farther from the New Haven walls than I should have been, surrounded by downed New Breed.  There were arrows scattered on the ground around them, or laying on the bodies.  And that’s when it dawned on me that I was out of arrow range.

Yeah.  A bunch of New Breed that weren’t part of the first wave collected arrows in the heat of battle and laid down just outside our range so that guys like me would accidentally go too far out, thinking we were still in the field of carnage when, in reality, we were surrounded by the hungry dead.

There were three of us that wandered out that far.  By the time we realized how much trouble we were in, the New Breed had started to get up.  We handled the ones grabbing for us, but by that point, the ones between us and Haven to were up and blocked us from retreating.

So there the three of us were, surrounded by a good dozen or so New Breed.  I wish I could give some sort of thrilling blow-by-blow account of how we fought them off.  The truth is I can’t.  I don’t remember anything except a lot of screaming and me swinging my bat like a madman.  And blood.  Lots of blood.  One of the guys from Haven got torn apart right in front of me.  I didn’t even try to fight my way back towards Haven.  I kept running outward, trying to get away.  I could hear gunshots from Haven and I knew that even if I broke free from this group of New Breed, there was a second wave that had started hitting Haven that would get me.  So I ran outward, which I think caught the zombies off guard.  They might be smart, but they can’t improvise.  They expected me to run back to my people, maybe have Haven open its doors and expose the delicious meals within.  So I just ran away.  I avoided the forested areas because I knew they were probably swarmed with other New Breed.  Just standing there, trying to think and plan.  And watching.  Damn things always watch.

I made it out towards some nearby neighborhood.  I really don’t know the area.  Probably it’s one of those places Josh visited and blogged about in the early days of The Fall.  I survived out there for a day and a half before I figured the fight was over and it was safe to come back in.  The journey back was pretty uneventful.  Sure enough, once Haven came into sight, there was no battle, just about five New Breed standing outside of arrow range, watching.  I came up behind them and started swinging.  Again, no poetry in motion, no awesome tactics, just rage swings.  Then I went to the Haven gates, all splattered in congealed zombie blood.  The older guy who let me in took one look at me and said, “Goddamn, son” before shaking his head and walking off.  Not sure if that was a “you’re lucky to be alive” or a “didn’t think you had it in you.”  Maybe it was just a “you really smell.”  Whatever the case, I’m alive.  And I was the only one of the three of us arrow collectors that made it back.  So many times I’ve been the only one to survive, and I just don’t understand why.  I just survive somehow.  I don’t deserve to live any more than these other guys.  I really don’t know how to feel about it, except tired.  So tired.

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