Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Night Before Christmas

Hey, it's Beckley.  Those of you here in Haven probably heard about the attack.  I've gotten all the information that I can from different people, so here's what I know:

Christmas Eve night a group of three (two men, one woman) were caught planting bombs in Haven.  One of the Haven guards who took the bombs outside the walls told me exactly what kind they were.  I didn't really understand what he was saying, but from what I could understand they were homemade.  I think they were a pipe bomb of some sort?  That sounds right.

Anyway, they were discovered planting one of their bombs at the food warehouse by none other than Santa Claus.  The people of Haven know that Santa stops by the houses with children and leaves a small gift.  The man under the false beard and Santa suit always wanted to remain anonymous but everyone has theories.  Anyway, Santa was at the food warehouse (probably to requisition some gifts) and interrupted the three saboteurs.  And that's when Santa opened up a jolly can of Krav Maga style whoop-ass.  By the time Santa's nearby security detail arrived on the scene, the situation had been dealt with.  (And no, I'm not going to reveal the identify of Santa, but it's easy enough to figure out who has access to food stores, has an interest in military martial arts, and has a security detail that would take it on themselves to follow him at a discrete distance.)

After the three saboteurs were apprehended, Haven went on lockdown until the other bombs were discovered.  Only two others had been planted and they were taken outside Haven and allowed to detonate safely.  The would-be attackers were "debriefed" and are currently being held.  Will Price and the rest of The Council are scheduled to make an announcement at some point soon, but I've heard a number of rumors about who these people are, and most of them agree that this group was UAS.

Yeah, remember those UAS splinter groups that were out there?  The ones that had no resources, no real transport, no real plan (no anything, really, except a desire to destroy Haven)?  Well one of them overcame those deficits and staged an attack.  The disturbing thing is that I really don't think we underestimated the threat of these splinter groups.  The UAS extremists are not organized and have no resources.  The fact that one of them got this close shows planning and organization.  So we either have a particularly cunning group here, or they had help.  From what I've heard, that's the general consensus, which is why The Council has waited to make the announcement.  They want to nail down who was housing these people, who gave them bombs, who gave them a plan, and who sent them on their way into Haven.  The best anyone can figure, these three either broke in, or they came in with the latest convoy from our new neighbors, the reformed marauders.

So that's where we stand right now.  A thankfully bloodless attack which may show us the true motives of our new neighbors.  We could be at war right now, but only our enemy knows that for sure.  I'll keep you apprised if I learn anything definite.  Meanwhile, everyone keep alert.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dead Will Rise--Out Now!

[This is an out of character post]

Well, long time no see!

This is Josh. I haven't posted here since I ended the main sequence of Living With the Dead and handed New Haven off to Beckley. I'm doing so now because I published the sequel to Victim Zero about a week ago, and I wanted to put up a link for anyone who missed it.

So here's the link to Dead Will Rise, book two of The Fall.  If you're a long-time fan of LWtD, you'll want to pick up Victim Zero and Dead Will Rise if you haven't already. You certainly don't need to read them to understand the story, but the novels serve as both a back story for LWtD and a nice parallel tale that weaves between the two nicely. You should check it out!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Reason for the Season

Hey, it's Beckley.  Thought I'd post really quick as there's a lot to do today.  You'd think that this time of year, so over-exposed and commercialized in the past, would be toned down these days.  Not so much.

Though it makes sense when you think about it.  This time of year does host a number of religious holidays, and today is a holiday that has taken on major significance to a growing number of the (surviving) population.

Happy Yule everyone.  As I speak, a number of celebrants are building a bonfire and preparing a Yule feast.  And next week there will be another celebration for Christmas.  So spirits are pretty high right about now, particularly among the religious.  You'd think that current events would drive everyone towards atheism and a rejection of any benevolent power, but it hasn't.  Don't get me wrong, lots of people lost their faith in whatever religion they held.  By and large, though, as I talk to people, many who lost their faith seem to be the ones who were just attending their church, temple, mosque, what have you, out of form.  The ones that didn't seem to have the deepest understanding of what the religion actually meant, but rather were just there.  So it's really no surprise that once society crumbled and the pressures of attending an organized religious movement vanished, so to did their belief.  That said, there's still a number of people with a deep faith, the most visible being Haven's wandering chaplain.  He came here during one of Josh's early forays out into the world and he's made Haven his home.  More or less.  He still spends most of the year wandering the country, bringing aid and the Bible to the survivors of the world.

But with the thinning of the religious herds for the big religions, we've seen Paganism in general, and Druidism in particular, make a resurgence.  Something about an Earth-based religion seems to click with a lot of people in this world where we are forced to be back to nature.  Where nature is both a savior and a bitter, malignant foe.  I think the duality of light and dark, good and evil, also appeals since we see so much positive in our society, yet we've all seen such needless suffering as well.  All this to say, there's been a lot of converts and the Yule celebration is just as big as the Christmas one next week.

I think it's just a further demonstration that Humanity needs something to believe in.  And whether you celebrate or not, I think it's worth your time to meditate on the fact that the darkness of this world is slowly abating and light is returning to our lives.  It's a time of renewal, and that's a lesson we can all take with us.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hey, It's Beckley.  Been keeping busy and at the same time being lazy about posting.  I feel like I'm starting to lose touch with the need for technology.  I look at this laptop and I just don't see the point in firing it up most of the time.  The same extensive internet no longer exists, the same resources are no longer available.  This machine and the series of tubes it used to connect with have become anachronistic in today's society.  Still, it can be used for communication so I've got to keep up with it.

Lately I've been going out on beater missions.  Now normally there's a skilled group of soldiers who go out and re-kill zombies.  That said, we needed larger numbers to take advantage of the weather.  We've all seen the death of the Old School Zombies and the rise of the New Breed.  And we all know that the New Breed are deadly.  They're fast, they're clever, they're resilient, and they're patient.  The New Breed watching Haven are spread out over a lot of distance, trying to watch us from every angle, herding their less intelligent brethren, and just in general lying in wait for a meal.  They're always a danger to travelers and traders.  And we just had the chance to clear out most of them.  At least I hope it's most of them.

See, we got an early Christmas present a week or so ago.  Freezing rain and sleet and snow.  It was disgusting out.  The kind of nasty weather that would make you call off work in The World That Was.  Weather like this used to incapacitate the zombies, but the New Breed handle the cold better.  But here's the thing: Even though they handle the cold, they will keep still in the cold to save energy until there's something worth doing.  So they got rained on, then sleeted on, then snowed on, then sleeted on again.  Layer after layer of ice built up out there while the New Breed just stood there and took it.  The result is that the hidden packs of New Breed got frozen over.

I wish that it was like the cartoons, where a character can get completely immobilized in a block of ice, but unfortunately we had to deal with the reality.  Maybe a few New Breed got their feet iced completely to the ground.  The vast majority were still mobile, but forced to shamble across icy ground while wearing tattered clothes that had been turned to sheets of ice.  They were all moving like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz while flakes of ice fell from their limbs and joints.  And that made them easier targets.

So the call went out for volunteers since the people heading up Haven security wanted to cast as wide a net as possible.  Teams of civilians, headed up by professional beaters, went out from Haven in all directions and laid waste to any iced up zombie they could find.  It was a slaughter.  No casualties on our end and innumerable undead were put down.  Spirits are riding high in Haven right now.  The people are planning a huge midwinter/Christmas celebration.  Everyone is just so happy.  I'm just happy I got to help out.  The change of scenery helps to keep me out of my head.  I really need that sometimes.  I know, I keep referring to the past then not sharing about it.  It must be kind of annoying.  Still, the things that happened, that I've done, they stay with me.  I don't know if it's something I ever will get over.  I don't know if I deserve to get over it.  No that's not true.  I do know whether I deserve to get over it.  I know very clearly.  I don't.  The things I've done can't be undone and I owe it to the ones that are gone to remember why they had to die.  I might stand by my actions, but that doesn't make me feel any better about myself.

I'm being pointlessly vague and I apologize.  The point of all of this is lots of zombies are dead and people are celebrating.  And I got to put down a large number of undead.  That's what really matters in this world.  Happiness and zombie death.