MGR found no tracks that were followable. The wind was blowing a little too hard, and with the walking dead moving about as well, there was no way to get a clean follow on them. With nothing to go on for that, we opted to hit the house with the generator early yesterday afternoon.
Because of the overall level of tension with everyone, we came up with a plan that made everyone feel safe. We wanted to send a team of people that had experience, was able to work together, but one that also wouldn’t leave Bastion unprotected, nor would it totally neuter our ability to respond to MGR fast. Kevin Mike and I got The Factory on the line, and they’ve committed to sending assistance if needed, but they don’t have the firepower, nor the vehicles. Plus, coming from the edge of the city is scary, because if the undead presence is flaring up, they can’t respond either.
They are unreliable, but in a pinch, they’ll send help.
Anyhoo, we opted for a team I was infinitely comfortable with. Myself, Patty, Abby, Angela, Harold and Blake. We’d roll out in the deuce, and the HRT. The humvees would be left back for the QRF, and Kevin’s entire team minus Hal was then still available to pull security for Bastion as well as respond as the QRF should MGR be attacked again. If that happened, we’d abandon our house clear, and head back to staff Bastion immediately.
We left the campus at about noon, anticipating we’d need twenty minutes of transit, two hours of clear, and then twenty minutes back. In reality the house was closer than that, but with the snow, we figured it’d take longer.
The side roads the house I took us to were all still covered in about six inches of smooth, ice crusted snow. You could hear it crunching under the wheels as we went. As long as we took it slow, we were fine on the roads. What was disturbing though, was the presence of undead on the side road.
The house was maybe two miles down a tiny road that connected two slightly more major streets in town here. One of those old cow paths that people built farms on a century ago. As time went on, less cows walked on the path and more wagons, then cars, and here it is now as a road with five houses on it.
Anyway, with just five house on it, there was little intelligent reason for there to be about fifteen undead walking up and down the road. It was also strange because the snow surface on the road was still fairly smooth, indicating that the undead hadn’t wandered there recently. Very odd.
The first couple of undead were in the road, and I simply drove the HRT right over them. The plow blade makes for a highly effective zombie smashing weapon, and it also saves us the time and physical risk of getting out of the truck. When we got close to the house in question, I realized that we were in a bit of a pickle.
The house was nestled in the elbow of a corner in the road. The driveway was small, and opposite the house was an twenty foot drop to a stream. We had damn little area to drive the vehicles. I parked the HRT in the curve of the road, completely blocking it, and Angela parked the deuce in the driveway. I don’t know how she managed to turn it around so smoothly and back it up perfectly, but she did, and it was awesome.
Right at the house as we were parking we saw three undead. Two of them immediately started at the vehicles, trudging through the snow as fast as their disorganized, frigid bodies could move. I slid out of the HRT, walked around the front of the truck calmly, took a breath, got rid of the heart in my throat and bad memories of being shot in the head, and put the first one down. Lining up that beautiful red dot on a head makes shooting quickly so much easier. The first bodies impacted the crust on the snow, and nearly disappeared under it.
Abby was out the other door of the HRT simultaneously, and she needed two rounds to put the second zombie down. Hers fell sideways into an overgrown hedge at the front of the house and never quite made it to the ground. It was a pretty, young woman in a thin summer dress. She looked very out of place in the cold of January. The reddish grey mist of her brains looked very strange painted across the porch behind the hedge.
What a world.
From the driveway behind Abby and I we heard Patty snap off a round from her AR at the third undead coming down the road. She was accurate on her first shot I can happily report, and within a minute, we were ready to breach. I remembered the layout of the house pretty accurately, and I knew it was narrow hallways, and lots of small doors. It was an old house, and if you’ve ever been in old, small houses, they are kind of claustrophobic. When we checked inside the windows we could see a few moving figures, so we knew the breach would be violent.
As a result, I decided I’d breach the house on point with a 12 gauge. Nothing against the M4A1, but I wanted the knockback power of a shotgun. The 5.56 rounds are so high velocity, they can frequently buzz right through someone and barely stagger them. However, buck shot from a 12 gauge to the chest… does a bit more than stagger someone. And besides, close is often good enough with a shotgun.
We breached with a team of three. I was on point, Harold second, and Abby third. Abby and I are a pretty well oiled machine for this, and Harold in the middle was added comfort. He’s a good man, and a very good Marine. Royal Marine to be specific. Have I mentioned I dig his accent? It reminds me of watching Guy Ritchie movies. I had Angela make noise on the far side of the house as we prepared to go in the door. Hopefully she would attract the undead inside away from us.
I pried the door open with the halligan and we were in. The house was tight, just like I remembered. The main hallway led straight, then hooked right sharply. To the left was the kitchen and living room. Bedrooms were all off the right side of the hallway, with the stairs up after the hook right. Does that makes sense to you? Makes sense to me. I hate describing shit like this, I feel like I suck at it.
The hall was clear, and I went left into the kitchen. An older lady was in the doorway at the end area of the room, facing towards the dining/living room. She was gone, and after calling out contact, I bucked her up side the head with the 12 gauge. Her head disappeared, and I stepped over her body into the dining room. Immediately after stepping through the door jam I saw two more zombies turning from the windows to face us.
I saw Angela through the window, and after racking another shell into the chamber of the shotgun I motioned for her to get down. I didn’t want her to catch any errant shotgun blast bits through a window. Once I saw she was out of danger, I blasted the dead older man in the upper chest, disconnecting his head from the rest of his body. He went down on his knees for a moment before falling face down on the hard wood floor. The other undead was just a young teen boy. He’d been bitten several times on the neck and chest, and judging by the blood on his grandparent’s faces, they’d done it to him. I pumped the scatter gun, and put him down, breaking the window behind him in the process.
The rest of the house clear was fine. We took our sweet ass time checking the upstairs, as each door was locked. The whole house smelled bad too, so there was no way of telling if a room had a zombie in it just by smell alone. No fun. Fortunately, no injuries, no deaths, no problems.
We radioed Bastion all was well on the breach, and started clearing the house. As usual, Patty and Abby took everything not nailed or screwed down. Blake and I focused on getting the generator in the basement out of the bulkhead door, which meant shoveling an assload of heavy snow, covered in ice. Unpleasant work, that.
The generator was a beast though, which is nice. It took Hal, myself as well as Blake the better part of twenty minutes just to get it into the back of the deuce. Heavy fucker. The old guy also had some pretty awesome handyman books in the basement too, which we grabbed. Blake was impressed by them, which meant they had the how-to on stuff he didn’t know… how to do. New information is great. As I’ve said before, Google is still down.
Which reminds me… we need to hit the town library. I’m sure there is a ton of useful information still there. Books on practical knowledge that we really need. Farming, agriculture, construction, electrical engineering, all that jazz. Maybe there’s a book on how to build a small hydroelectric dam, or solar cells, or something that’ll help us out as we slowly and steadily run out of resources.
Gotta be renewable Mr. Journal, or why bother?
We were on site for longer than we figured, about three hours. As you might know, anytime you are anywhere longer than you want to be, you’re opening yourself up for exposure, which means attack. Luckily the only thing we saw was a scattered walker or two. Nothing really pressing that we couldn’t deal with. Most of our haul for the day was the generator, bedding, a few tools, nails, screws, bolts, the books, and a shotgun with ten shells.
I was unable to turn the HRT around, so we had to drive the long way home. The roads we took led us very close to the area of town where I saw a few of the fires from MGR, so we naturally were nervous we were driving into an area that had hostiles. We saw nothing moving, nor any fires, and we didn’t encounter any hostility, so that was nice. I didn’t really feel like getting into a prolonged firefight after having to lift that motherfucking generator. I’m still sore today.
Not much else to report. We left the generator in the deuce for delivery to MGR in a day or two. I am not looking forward to hauling that fat bitch up the stairs. I wonder if there’s a way for us to hook it into the power grid for the building in the basement. One floor down is a lot better than five floors up. Of course one more generator running means more gasoline consumption, which is shitty. But, the electricity there will help them get through the winter.
The dog situation here has been sorting itself out nicely. Angela and Amanda have been doing the rear gate feeding thing, and the animals have been much quieter, and far more obedient as a result. They are now largely staying at the gates, waiting patiently for us to feed them twice a day, and they’ve even barked a few times when an undead came nearby. They are serving as an excellent auxiliary warning system for us. I just hope we have the food to maintain it. Some of the kids are getting attached to the nicer, cuter dogs, and that scares me. One more thing we can disappoint the kids over. I guess let it ride as long as we can.
Syl is the same. Michelle said she’s getting better at being around people. We can now have two people in the same room with her and she won’t get violent. Doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but it’s something. Michelle also had James and Mike trudge over to the cabin to get some photos and keepsakes for her. Now her room is far more “homey” and maybe that’s what is helping.
Mallory is the same. Getting better, getting used to having just one arm.
MGR is quiet, for now. We are setting up a plan to establish ambush points to get the jump on the folks if they attack again. There are a few small storefronts we can get inside, and when and if they try to come at the tower again, surprise motherfuckers. We’re behind you, on the surface. Hard to retreat through gunfire with no cover.
Granted I’d rather they just disappeared, but I’ve got the sinking feeling that isn’t in the cards for us. These people are crazy or desperate, and if losing one of their number wasn’t enough to scare them off, not much else will. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Something I noticed yesterday that I didn’t say anything about was Abby and Hal. There was a moment when the two of them were inside the house, alone, and I caught a glimpse of them through a window. They were talking, and when Abby turned away to go do whatever, Hal gave her a playful pat on the ass. She turned, DIDN’T glare at him, then walked away.
There’s something in the air between those two. I am not displeased by this. I’m hoping that Abby moves on from Gavin, and if she’s going to, Hal is a damn fine man to do it with. Kevin has said nothing but good things about him since they got here, so I’m sure he’ll be worth her time.
I might take a few day shift at MGR here just to relieve some people there. We’re slated to move some folks in tomorrow, and I can easily insert myself into the rotation when we bring the generator and supplies. We’ll see.
I’m off like a prom dress. Widescreen porn awaits.