Been two long ass days Mr. Journal. Well that’s not true. Yesterday was a long day, today wasn’t that bad. I can’t get over how much fucking work it is just to get basic things done now. I mean, just to get heat in Hall A we’ve been working for what? Three full days? Unreal.
Yesterday was dedicated to getting the woodstove installed in the common room of Hall A. As I said we called it a day after the great stove debacle of ’11. Charles and I were basically tapped out and dead from the shoveling, digging, lifting, pushing and pulling, so we threw a tarp over the damn thing and went to sleep.
Yesterday we took the reinforcement pole and got it installed in the basement under where the stove will be going. We don’t have one of those guns that shoot into concrete though, so the pole is more or less wedged into there for the moment. I don’t think it’ll come loose. Once we got that put in and Patty and Abby got the bricks and whatnot set up as a backing for the stove, we took the two doors off the hinges, and pulled the doorframes out as well. That was the only way we could get it in the building. I guess technically we could’ve chain sawed a hole in the wall, but that seems counterproductive to what we’re trying to achieve.
The engine lifter extends out pretty far, and with some careful driving we dropped the stove gingerly just inside the first door of the mudroom. It took us almost two hours to shimmy the thing across the floor using little pieces of scrap 1x6 as footpads, but we got it to the bricks. Using some 2x4s for leverage, we got it up and situated in its final resting place.
Chuck had checked the exterior wall for studs and such, so he sawed a hole in the wall for the stovepipe with the sawzall. He and Patty got the pipe hooked up and all finished up, although he said he needed something to seal the hole with. Gilbert knew what he was talking about, and actually had it at his house, and by dusk, we had a fresh set of broken backs, and a brand new fully functional woodstove in Hall A. We just need to accumulate a lot of wood to feed the bitch.
I talked it over with the whole WiIliams clan, and we agreed that wood was their responsibility. I’m sure at some point I’ll help, but I can’t do everything. I’ve already led the horse to the water. They actually seemed really excited about gathering the wood, which is great. I’m sure the enthusiasm for all the work that it’ll entail will fade quickly though. They’re enjoying the heat immensely right now, but the kids will bitch up a storm when they’re working for 16 hours a week chopping wood.
In celebration yesterday Patty moved some of the food to Hall A and cooked us a marginally edible feast. She also pointed out that Hall A gets better light for my indoor garden, and she asked if she could start her own. I told her to go for it, and she and Chuck are going to track down some more pots and stuff. We have plenty of soil and shit like that for the winter. Apparently Patty was a successful gardener, and I’m hoping her greenish thumb hasn’t lost its touch.
Incidentally my indoor garden is doing well. I’ve neglected it the past week due to impending doom, but nothing died. Just a little dry. Got the stuff watered up and they’ve sprung back to life today. Would’ve been bullshit if my little cherry tomatoes shit the bed.
They got their shit (which was pretty much nothing) out of Hall E and into Hall A last night and I had my evening to myself. It was nice. I won’t go into details about what exactly I did with my free time, but I’m sure you can imagine I entertained myself in a reasonably successful manner.
Today was pretty awesome. Well, awesome is a strong word I suppose. I guess I should say I didn’t kill myself doing manual labor, and I got a few things done I wanted to get done.
I slept in a little and warmed up a can of soup and a can of spaghettios for breakfast. I will always like those I think. Although I’m partial to Beefaroni. No idea why, I just am. Sitting there at the table reminded me that we’d been eating quite a bit of food since the Williams folks got here, and I wanted to take a more accurate assessment of what food we’ve got.
I spent the entire afternoon listening to music on the laptop and organizing the food here at Hall E. I still have a bunch of food in the cafeteria, and now we’ve got a pretty good stash over at Hall A with Patty & Co. I know I’ve got about a quarter of the food total here, and the same amount over at Hall A. If we all eat about 5 cans of food a day each, I think we’ve got enough food to last until the end of February.
That’s just cans mind you. We’ve got quite a few boxes of cereal and pasta as well as some venison left over. I am fairly certain if I go hunting in the surrounding forest a few times I can bag another deer or two. There are also wild turkeys all over the place, and I have some birdshot I can use. We also have bags of chips, snack cakes, candy bars, granola bars, blah blah blah to eat. I also have my indoor greenhouse of veggies and Patty said she wanted to start her own as well. If and when we start feeling the pinch we also have plenty of places we can attempt to raid in the surroundings. I am pretty sure what little I left in the grocery is long since gone, but there are some out of the way mom and pop convenience stores that are probably still stocked to some degree. Not to mention there are a lot of houses we can still hit. I accumulated more food in the houses I cleared than any of the businesses I raided.
Doing this inventory has put things in perspective for me. I’ve added a mere four people to the campus and I’ve cut into my food supplies pretty fucking dramatically. I think my guess for my food lasting was well into May the last time I thought about it, and now I’m down to February.
That is of course assuming I can keep them on the 5 cans a day ration, and we don’t overindulge. I’ll have to monitor their food consumption. In fact, I double checked that the cafeteria was locked, and I collected all the spare staff keys from the offices earlier today. If they want food, they’ll have to go shoot it in the woods themselves, or come through me. If things start to get out of hand, we’ll have a conversation about it.
That estimate for food is also not taking any Gilbert trades, or if Gilbert eats here. As far as I’m concerned Gilbert has some substantial credit with the First National Food Bank of Adrian Ring. He has earned some serious chow and I have no problem sharing with him. Especially if he continues to be a valued part of our community. He doesn’t have to sleep on a bed in one of our dorms to be part of what we’re doing.
I won’t say I’m concerned about the food supply yet, but it has definitely entered into my thoughts much earlier than I had anticipated.
That brings me to phase 2. Phase 2 in my mind had always been the establishing of the safe houses across town so I could screen for potential residents. That was my first major goal after clearing the area up here. Now that the Williams family is here and I’m going through food faster than I had planned for, I think it is a pretty foolish idea to take steps to bring more people in here before we stabilize what we’ve already got going on, and accumulate some additional supplies for us.
Safety has always been a concern, but with the Westfield High asshats in the picture it is a serious concern now. We are dealing with potential danger versus actual danger. I’m armed a fuck well better today than I was before they made their failed assault on us, and that’s fine and dandy, but more guns and ammo is going to be really important if they decide to come back here. Never mind the idea of supplies for the long haul. We don’t have the equipment to load our own ammunition. Yet at least.
Add to that the simple fact that at some point I may say fuck it and go their doorstep. I’m sure a lot of the people at that school are perfectly normal people, and I don’t want to drag them into a fight they don’t deserve to be in, but I sure as fuck will set myself up with the Savage in a good position and wait until I see that Sean prick. Split that cocksucker’s forehead open and head home. I’m pretty sure he’s the catalyst for their aggression, and if I can take him out, I think I can neuter the Westfield threat.
That’s getting a little ahead of myself. Going on the offensive seems foolish to me sitting here today, especially when I am kind of fixated on Phase 2, Plan B.
I’d kept this idea in the back of my head since early on, but it’s a plan I cannot do alone. I’ve thought about it quite a bit, and in a few days I think I’ll pull Gilbert in on it and get his opinion.
The plan consists of several potentially dangerous steps. Each step by itself is valuable and important, but the first leads to the second, and so on. Let me preface this by saying one thing:
We will be heading downtown.
Step 1. I need radios for when I eventually set up safe houses. We also need radios for communication amongst ourselves. Where can I get solid quality radios? Well we’ve got one in the state plow the Westfield asshats left here for us. It’s a powerful Motorola and it’s the same kind police and firefighters use.
I need to get to the municipal complex that houses the police and fire station. McGreevy said the arms locker was already empty, and that sucks, but there’s a fair chance the spare radios and their chargers are there somewhere. I have Danny’s keys, and I also have his security pass card assuming the station still has emergency power. Either way you cut it, I can get into the municipal building. Once inside, we raid the shit out it, taking everything of use we can find.
The real motivation for going there is not the radios. I want to take the fire trucks. From memory our town had a pumper unit, a standard engine, a heavy duty emergency response truck, and a ladder truck. I think they had more, but those are the three I want most. Specifically, I want the pumper, the engine, and the ladder truck.
Why? Because fire sucks. Thinking about getting firebombed by the Westfield asshats got me thinking we have little to no response to a fire. Intentional or otherwise, we’re boned. With the pumper and engine, we can put out a house fire up here, or at least have a chance to. Plus, they’re heavy duty vehicles we can use for heavy duty purposes. Plus zombies that are on fire scare the shit out of me.
I don’t need the ladder truck for that. That’s step 2.
Step 2. I need the ladder truck so I can return to the Grocery store. Remember when I went there Mr. Journal, and the assholes who made their stand there went up to the roof with all their guns? Well those guns are probably still there. I can’t get up the ladder inside because they pulled it up somehow, but with the ladder truck, we can get up there from the outside.
Now the weather has been shitty, but with any luck the guns and ammo are in a bag that has preserved them. From my memory, I am guessing they had at least 8-10 guns up there, and if so, then they have at least 50-150 rounds of ammo for them, if not much much more. Even if half of what I find is junk, I need those guns, and I need that ammo. The longer it sits up there, the more likely it’ll be shit, so time is a factor.
With any luck there will be some scraps of food remaining at the grocery store as well. If the area is manageable in terms of undead and living threats, then we can scour the interior and gather whatever remains pretty effectively. I know when I was there I left some stuff behind, and with any luck it’s still there. At the very least, there were a lot of non food items still there we will need in the years to come. Toilet paper, Drano, bleach, etc etc.
I don’t know what the roads are like to get there though. That means we’ll need to take the maintenance truck with the plow on it. We will also need to take a second vehicle because doing this run with one vehicle is stupid. If we lose a single vehicle a second can take us home with no trouble. Also, we’ll need multiple drivers. Two cars to the fire house, and we leave with a fire truck each time we hit the place.
Oh yeah, this will probably require multiple trips. I want at least 3 or 4 of the town’s vehicles if they are there. We might be able to do this in just 2 trips assuming we can get enough drivers. We’ve got five eligible drivers now assuming everyone is in on my plan. Theoretically we can get three trucks in one run, but I don’t know if the others are experienced with driving heavier rigs.
The other potential boon is if there are cruisers still there. More than likely, any cruisers will still have shotguns in the trunks, as well as a radio, and a full medic kit. I know the town also had some form of M4 style rifles, and there’s a small chance one of them might be in a cruiser with a handful of .223 ammunition for it. That would be like hitting the Powerball right now.
If I can convince Gilbert the plan is good, then we’re golden. I think the two of us can convince the others that this is a necessary step towards stability and safety. Shit, I think I can sell them on the sole fact that we might find more food.
Once we get the fire trucks back here, and we do the run down to the grocery store, we’ll have a much better idea of our weapon and food situation. Heading downtown will definitely put things into perspective for us as well. How bad is it down there? Plus the simple fact that we’ll have fire trucks on hand should we need them. You what else is great? Halligans. They’ll have Halligans there. Look that shit up Mr. Journal, I think having a few of those on hand will make life a lot easier.
Alright. I think I’ve theorized enough. The plan needs a little refinement I’m sure, and I want to wait a day or two before I spring it on Gilbert. It’s also a little rushed of me to expect the Williams family to jump right back into the fire seeing as how we just got out of the frying pan.
Gonna do a weapons and ammunition inventory tomorrow. Hopefully that’s good news.