Well. It’s official. The city fucking blows.
Any kind of clearing action into the urban areas is going to require an absurd amount of ammunition, and careful planning. I think we managed to drop somewhere around six or seven hundred undead yesterday, and that more than likely was just the tip of the zombie iceberg.
After visiting the Factory and dropping off some ammunition, water, and some foodstuffs, we moved along due south down the side of the city, then cut east across the very southern edge. Most of the area we moved through was suburban. Very similar to the area surrounding MGR in town. Mostly two or three story buildings strung down the main corridors, backed up by neighborhoods of varying monetary valuations. There were a few trailer parks, as well as a few five star neighborhoods. I saw one gated community off in the distance before we got into the area of the airport’s flight path and that made me wonder if that should be our next major operation. Pop the gate, secure it, clear the houses inside… and we’ve got a premade mini-Bastion to work out of, right on the edge of the city.
Food for thought.
During the drive we passed at least a hundred undead. Because the roads were still thick with crusty snow still, we couldn’t swerve much to hit them with the HRT plow blade. We also didn’t want to shoot and make unnecessary noise, nor did we want to just drive past them. They would follow us for sure, and we didn’t want to dredge up another massive wall of the dead to drive home through.
Our solution was to slow down to a crawl, and engage them with our suppressed 9mm pistols. We are still heavily stocked with 9mm, and it was excellent shoot on the move experience. I’d wager a bet and say just on the drive there we put down… 80 to a hundred undead. We wasted a fair amount of ammo on misses, but the overall level of satisfaction dropping them cowboy and Indian style from the moving stagecoach was excellent for us. Improved morale ftw.
The areas closer to the airport were far more troubling. Milling about, stuck in the snow and making their way towards us were far too many undead for comfort. At a point where we realized we would be in trouble if we kept moving without thinning the threat level, we upgraded from suppressed M9s to using our suppressed M4A1s. Far more firepower, range, accuracy, and all kinds of goodness. We were far more able to put lead downrange and we churned through another eighty or so undead. It looks like a complete shitload of people went to the airport before it all went to shit. Lots of cars on the road, crashed, pulled over, etc. Traffic was a bitch to weave through.
At the major intersection leading into the airport perimeter road area, leading to the industrial park where the medical supplies building was, we implemented our top secret plan. “Operation Lady in the Red Dress.” Or if you prefer, “Operation Androgynous Singer That’s Worked Before.”
From the roof of the HRT I hung a large radio playing… you guessed it, Lady Gaga on a traffic light. The light was clearly too high for the undead to reach, and with the duct tape and strap I used, it wasn’t falling anytime soon either. I set it to repeat “Lovegame” and we got the hell out.
We didn’t head directly into the airport. It isn’t a huge one, but neither is it a small one. We stuck to the perimeter road, and headed directly into the park. The park itself was only about fifteen structures, arranged along the circular perimeter road. None of the businesses were worth raiding immediately yesterday, but we took note of what was there. It was a fluke that one of us remembered seeing the name of the business in the first place.
We saw the sign for the medical supplies business (ANJ Medical Supply Wholesalers, if you’re curious Mr. Journal) and we pulled in. We were ecstatic to see that we had tremendous visibility in all directions, and that there were so few undead in the industrial park. Before we got five feet from our vehicles, we engaged the foot mobile visible undead and secured a perimeter. Because we brought so many people on this run, we had extra bodies.
Twelve made the trip. It left us a little short on home security, but we felt the risk was necessary. By vehicle we had Caleb, Abby, Hector and myself. In the second humvee we had Kevin, Amanda, Quan and Ethan. In the third humvee we had Martin, Fitz, Angela and Hal.
All in all, a great team.
We posted four outside on foot strictly for security, three in the vehicles as drivers in the event we had to leave in a serious hurry, and we took the remaining five into the building for the clear. Visibility into the building was limited. The only windows were in the front, and they were intact (a good sign), and they looked into a set of offices. The warehouse where our prize awaited was obscured by a series of mundane offices.
The main door of the building was unlocked, and after pulling it open as if it were still open for business, we went in and made the building safe. A central hallway ran straight for twenty feet or so, then turned left for ten, then straight for twenty more, terminating in the double fire doors that opened into the reasonably small warehouse. I could easily throw a rock from one side of the warehouse to the other and hit the wall on the fly. The offices were entirely abandoned and devoid of anything dangerous. Heading into the warehouse though, was a little more frightening. With no way to get natural light into the space, Kevin and I decided to clear the entire warehouse using NVGs instead of with flashlights. A little untraditional yes, but we were reasonably sure the warehouse would be empty. After going up and down the warehouse rack aisles for nearly twenty minutes in the dark, we had the place made safe, and we got the light into the building. After opening the rear dock and getting a couple of our large lamps turned on, we were in business.
I am happy to report that we found a LOT of usable bulk medical supplies. Syringes, bandages, first aid supplies literally out the fucking asshole, casting equipment, saline solutions of various concoctions, and all manner of things I can’t even remember today. We filled the HRT floor to ceiling, front to back with supplies, and we left a LOT behind. We took the most essential supplies only, and after securing the warehouse we moved on. While we were inside (I think about two or three hours) the team outside had to put down about seventy to a hundred more undead closing in from the airport area. They seemed to be heading from the airport itself towards the sound of the music.
Our perimeter team was equipped with suppressed weapons though, and they attracted no undue attention to the building we were in. A relatively quick swing around the park and down another exit off the perimeter road, and we were on the street where the pharmacy was. I could see the front doors were smashed out, so we didn’t expect much on the inside. The parking lot and immediate street were peppered with undead heading our way. The density of them was bad, but not so bad that we needed to bring out the heavy guns yet. All of us with suppressed weapons firing in a coordinated fashion was enough to keep us safe.
We were pretty far and out of Lady Gaga hearing range, so we had no distraction to pull undead away from our position. The sound of our vehicles running was also a big draw so this was a much more hairy operation. The firing outside during the breach was constant, and we had to pull our vehicle people to bolster exterior security. The breaching team of five was all action the entire way through. The pharmacy was a large one with about ten aisles, and we had undead in almost every aisle. I was firing on lead or Kevin was. Our guns never stopped snapping off suppressed rounds for a solid ten minutes as we crossed the tops of the aisles, firing down the length at the undead shambling towards the registers at the front where we were. By the time we got to about the eighth aisle the undead were coming out the end of the ninth and tenth aisle, and the rest of our team had to open up to keep them off of us.
Sadly, the remainder of our team did not have suppressed weapons, and the sudden roar of normal weapons was deafening in the store. Previously the loudest noise was the sound of a zombie dropping dead and knocking some shit off the shelves on the way down. The noise hurting our ears was the least of our problems though. From outside our team informed us the gunshots were just as loud, and very likely to draw in more trouble.
The pharmacy in the back mercifully was still sealed. The steel shutter had been dropped exactly like the pharmacy in town, and after repositioning the HRT in the store opening and attaching the winch to the shutters, it came down with little effort. We also were able to grab multiple plastic bins from the shelves (pretty much the only things left in the store), and we headed into the pharmacy.
Ethan had a boner a foot long. The shelves were obviously raided already (he guessed by an employee, which made sense because the gate had been shut after the theft), but at least half the medications were still present in some usable quantity. When we were feverishly half way through emptying the remnants of the pharmacy, a call for assistance came from outside. Abby and I responded.
Our gunfire had drawn in well over a hundred undead. When Abby and I stepped outside and took stock of it, she went left, and I went right. I had my gun up and firing almost immediately, putting the walking dead down that were closing in on us like a vice. It was practically a wall of zombies in a circle around us. After maybe two magazines of my own fire I hit my comms button and asked Hal and Hector to open up with the SAWs on the humvees.
The ripping fire from the light machine guns sounded like the sky being torn in half. We’d been firing the nearly silent suppressed weapons the entire time and when those loud ass fully auto guns started barking… Mr. Journal I tell you it sounded like God himself had started tearing the clouds from the sky and throwing them down on us from on high. The effect on the encroaching plague of undead was immediate and devastating. The bodies started crumbling to the ground with exploded skulls like a violent tidal wave. Just ten seconds of accurate, intense fire from the two men with the support weapons annihilated the danger. I felt so powerful as they let up on the triggers, leaving a few mangled, twitching bodies in their wake.
We returned the interior to help emptying the pharmacy.
About fifty more undead visited our location while we continued to fill and remove containers of pills, fluids, and medical supplies. We are very much set for basic medications for some time. Shit, we could start a meth lab with all the shit we got there.
We rolled out fast, and went back for our radio, still suspended from the traffic light in the middle of the intersection near the radio. A light rain had started, and when we arrived at intersection, the visibility was getting bad. It also didn’t help that it was late afternoon, and the sun was setting on us.
The intersection was entirely filled with a tightly packed HORDE of undead. There were no less than four hundred undead there. I guarantee you Mr. Journal there were at least four or five hundred. It was horrifying in the worst way. I haven’t seen that many undead mobbed in one place in a damn long time. Not since Bastion was laid siege to back in March of last year. We rolled up on them and came to a halt about a hundred yards away.
I hit my throat mic and said one word quietly, “SAWs.” It took maybe ten seconds for Hal and Hector to get their guns up and firing. The mob of undead had turned in our direction by then and were starting to shamble our way. Sadly for them, they were no match for 800+ rounds per minute out of two barrels. Hal and Hector were accurate enough that they were hitting at head level consistently, and the bodies hit the freshly packed flat snow like falling stones. Both men had to load fresh belts of ammo, which tells you they were firing for quite some time. I’m sure a lot of those were misses, but with that overwhelming amount of 5.56mm flying out into a crowd that packed in, you KNOW there were mostly hits.
It took all day for that crowd of undead to form, and it took us three minutes to put every fucking body in that crowd face down in the fresh red snow. It gave me some hope that one day we might be able to actually clear the fucking city once and for all. We just need about… 125,000 rounds of ammunition and some armor plated vehicles.
We drove over the dead bodies, retrieved our radio from the traffic light, and took a wide route home through empty neighborhoods and areas that have long since been abandoned. We didn’t want to be followed home by someone with ill intentions, especially while so many of us are still sick.
We were greeted like epic heroes of old. Then we got down to work emptying the vehicles, getting the medicine stored away properly, and getting the fresh IV bags into the still sick. Things are bad with them, but like wilting plants, they spruced up within an hour or two of having the fluids inside them. Crazy how that works.
I’m wiped. I’ll say things are still shitty here, despite our good fortunes in the city’s edge. People are still depressed, withdrawn, scared, and disturbed by the deaths the other night, and it’s only by the virtue of the Michelle, Melissa, and Kim, that folks are keeping it together.
I’m hoping our supplies last us for a bit so we can focus on getting somewhat back to normal.
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