Today is a better day. It wouldn’t have taken much to improve over the past few days though. I guess saying today is a better day is a lot like saying I wiped most of the dogshit I stepped in yesterday off my shoe. Just most.
I dunno. Today is actually a much better day I suppose. Mike and company finished up our trade today before they left for home, and we started talking about something that intrigues me a great deal. I’m sort of shocked I hadn’t thought of this in depth more as well. It pays to talk to friends about stuff. Amazingly, they have useful input. Hooray for not thinking in a vacuum.
So after everyone woke up and became largely coherent, we had a small breakfast. Gilbert showed up early, and we had enough supplies to make more pancakes for everyone. Mike actually dug into the trade shit he brought over strictly to help feed everyone. He didn’t ask for anything in return either. Nice guy.
After we ate, Mike sent Gavin and LaFrenz out to patrol the campus to make sure there weren’t more wandering undead moving about. While they were gone, we finished up our trade.
We refilled all their empty water jugs, as well as ten more gallon jugs they had gotten during the time since our last trade. Mike asked for dish detergent, some laundry detergent, and wanted some canned fruit for the kids. He also mentioned that they would be needing baby food soon, and I dug out the stuff I’d amassed as well. He was very pleased to get what I had. He also mentioned that they would require formula and such as well, so if we could get more of that for them, that’d be great.
So I ponied up all that crap, and in return, he gave us three bottles of milk, one dead chicken, a dozen eggs, five gallons of gasoline, five boxes of milspec 9mm (250 rounds), and a spare IOTV they had from the guard base. I guess they have more vests back at the school, and Mike said he’d be willing to hook us all up with vests over time.
Once we completed the trade and talked about trying to find a more substantial way to transport lots of water as well as retrieve gas from another gas station, Mike made his first diplomatic gesture to us from their new leader Lisa Goldman.
Lisa and Mike both thought that we should abandon campus, and relocate to the Westfield school. After hearing their well thought out sales pitch, and taking a few breaks to run to the windows after hearing gunshots, I politely told him I wasn’t interested in moving, and Gilbert said the same. After a quick exchange, Patty and Abby both said they had no interest in going anywhere as well.
I then started to send a sales pitch Mike’s way to have them come here. As great a place as the school they’re in now is, I think ALPA is better. I gave him the pros and cons, and just like me, he politely declined. He also pointed out that he wasn’t the leader, and no matter what, he’d have to go back to Lisa to get a more official decision.
That’s when Abby spoke up. She suggested that we maintain and occupy both places, because they both had value. They were safe, defended, and far enough apart that it was highly unlikely that both places would fall should something happen. She made a good case for both locations, but made a strong point in that populations were vastly different, and that because ALPA was a much larger place, with plenty of open housing, we should have more people here.
Peeling off a handful of people from Westfield would lower their burden there both on food, electricity, and water. We have plenty of electricity and water, as well as a fair amount of food. Once spring hits, we can start our crops here on the athletic fields, and she suggested that Lenny could give us or trade to us enough chickens to start our own mini-farm, that way instead of relying on a single location for milk, eggs and poultry, we had two. It wasn’t about trade, it was about survival. I mean shit, this is a literal moment of having all our eggs in one basket.
She went on and on, and even came to the enlightened conclusion that we could easily take on as much as another six people here with no problem. She’d done the math on her own apparently, and she was convinced we had enough food to make it to fall with no problem. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me. We could use extra hands to get things done here, and I’m sure there are Westfield people itching to get the fuck out of that high school.
Mike had to agree with her at least on some levels, and he conceded that he’d bring the idea to Lisa. Mike was certain that there would be some people that would want to get out of there, but we needed to move slowly on this for plenty of good reasons. Look at what happened the last time a place took new folks in. Ka-boom.
Gavin and LaFrenz returned shortly after that and said they’d killed two more undead wandering near the bridge. The weather the past few days has been cold and raw. The two guys were shivering their nads off as they told us the story. It was cute when Abby leapt to Gavin’s rescue with a warm towel and a hot chocolate. Those two are adorable together. I actually watched Patty’s face intently as the two youngins did their little dance of romance. Patty actually looked happy as Abby attended to him. I think she might finally be seeing this less as Abby being taken advantage of, and more of Abby being happy. It’s been a long time since that girl was genuinely happy.
I can virtually guarantee you who the first person to sign up to move here is. I’m no Nostradamus, but the writing is on the fucking wall about those two.
Plans moving forward. If campus and Auburn Lake Road remain reasonably silent in terms of zombie movement, we’ve got a lot to do. We need to get gasoline pretty ricky tick here. We’re not out, but our barrel reserves here are low enough to make my asshole itch. I’m uncomfortable about it to say the least.
Tomorrow morning if all is well, Patty and I are going down to the nearest gas station heading towards town. It’s right near the spot in the road where Brian and I had our meeting and he flipped out over the fire trucks. Maybe two miles from the gas station Sean torched. We are going there to assess a few things.
Is the gas station surrounded by undead? If it’s swamped, we’ll make a hearty pass at clearing it out as safely as we can. Are the pumps manually operated? The station nearby had old pumps that you could use a crank on, but I don’t know if the new gas pumps have that option. And lastly, we need to see how much gas is actually left in the tanks. I’m hoping there is a thousand gallons or so. If we find more than that, then fantastic for us.
If possible, I’d also like to find and procure a decent diesel truck as well. As awesome as the Tundra has been, it’s gas operated, and we really need to conserve all gasoline for our generators for electricity. As I said before Mr. Journal, there is a plethora of diesel around, but gas is going to get hard to find shortly.
So that’s my agenda. Patty and I to the gas station tomorrow morning. Hopefully all goes well for the campus tonight and into tomorrow so that’s an option. After that, we’ll just have to see how that goes.
We made final arrangements that they would come back here on the 14th for our next trade meeting, and that I’d try and track down more of the random crap they needed in the meantime. Mike and crew made their departure at about noon. Abby and Gavin said their longing goodbyes off to the side, and they had that awesome moment where you could see they wanted to maybe kiss each other, but with witnesses nearby, and nerves, they just had an awkward moment of silence looking at each other. I’m starting to root for those two. I’m being romantic vicariously though them.
Oh. Almost forgot to mention the best part. When I went out to send them off, Mike sat down in the passenger seat of his humvee and saw something on the dash. He smiled slowly, and grabbed whatever it was he saw, and hopped out again. He said, “these are for you. I made sure business was taken care of.” He handed me what he found and they drove off.
A dark crimson streak of blood ran across one round lens.
He’d handed me Sean’s glasses.