This is going to suck. I’m not looking forward to this one bit. That apartment building has seen some shit, and now it has fallen to us to deal with it. But, I think it will be worth it, if we can pull it off without killing ourselves.
There are people inside. Specifically, we made friendly contact with the remaining inhabitants, and there are seven of them. Four of which are on the fourth floor, three on the third floor. They’re spread out in three different apartments, and they’re trapped on the third and fourth floor. Can’t go up, can’t go down.
How did we glean that nugget of information? A megaphone. I stole one of the megaphones from the gym the other day and when we returned to the apartment building this morning, we parked on the street at the base, set up some firing positions in case we were shot at, and I started hollering up with the damn thing. Smartest idea ever, or smartest idea EVER?
I’m lucky I didn’t get killed I suppose.
We had to yell up for perhaps fifteen minutes before someone leaned over the railing of a balcony. It was a young kid, little dirty looking, needed a haircut, and was maybe 22, or 25 or so. Younger looking than Blake, but probably about the same age. He started yelling down to me.
“Hey, yo, quit yelling, you’re gonna drag a shitload of them here!” The kid yelled.
“Don’t worry, we can handle it. I’m Adrian, who are you?” I said back.
“I’m Zach! My boy Ryan is here too. We got a bunch of people up here and we can’t leave and shit!” He yelled back down. No sooner had he said that another young guy with a shaggy beard leaned over the railing next to him. They looked like big time hippies. They waved down at me.
Within a few seconds other people started leaning out the windows, and looking down at us. On the fourth floor with Zach and Ryan two men leaned over a balcony and identified themselves as Alex, and George. They were maybe mid thirties, dressed remarkably well considering they were surviving the end of the world trapped in a burnt out apartment building, and stood with their arm around each other. George looked asian to me, and they both looked gay from the ground level. I’m not judging.
On the third floor a married couple came out on the balcony and announced themselves as Martin and Julie, and after a bit of talk, they revealed that they had a nine year old boy inside named Chester. I like that name. Anyone who names their kid Chester gets style points in my book. I bet that kid is cool shit. Although, I hope his middle name isn’t molester.
I won’t go into every little ugly fucking detail. We sat there talking for nearly three hours, going back and forth with the different groups in the building about what had happened to them, and how they were surviving, apparently trapped on just two floors of the building.
Zach and Ryan made it through “that day” at The Golden Palace, the best Chinese restaurant downtown. (awesome dumplings) Once they thought it was safe enough, they high tailed it to Zach’s apartment, and locked it down. Alex and George were there all along, as were Martin and Julie. Other people in other apartments came and went over the first few days, but for the most part, the building was unoccupied. During winter, some of the people started to freeze, and they started small fires to stay warm.
Remember when we were on the roof of the grocery store and I saw scorch marks on the side of this building? It was as I suspected. People trying to stay warm, and dying as a result. As you can imagine, fires make smoke, and before you know it, several floors of the building were engulfed with the acrid, lethal stuff.
Lots of folks died. Martin and Julie slammed the fire doors shut on the third floor and barricaded them, locking the people below them out from the upper floors. In fact, Martin was an industrial welder in his professional life, and he was the same guy who welded the bottom doors with plate steel to reinforce them. He did the same for the fire doors to keep the dead out.
The fifth floor was more of the same. Well that’s not entirely true. I guess a bunch of the folks on the fifth floor got really sick sometime in the fall, and they wound up dying from whatever they had. Crazy to think about how many people have gone belly up to sickness and disease. So much for modern medicine. The seven still alive managed to lock and bar those doors too, and now they’re sandwiched in, and can’t leave. Luckily, the single elevator in the building is dead, and as luck would have it, it apparently is stuck on the top floor for whatever reason. I was really hoping to use the elevator shaft for our plan, but that seems to be a no-go. More on the plan later.
They have been surviving due to two things. First, Martin and Julie had a rope ladder that they had been using to get down to the ground from the third floor every once in awhile to search for food and supplies. Of course everything in this area has been cleaned out as a result, and they’ve been pretty much out of gas for months. I guess around a month and a half ago, the rope ladder broke on them, nearly killing Martin, and since then, they’ve been staying inside. With nowhere left to look, and no real way to get down safely, and with no bullets left for the few guns they have, they’ve been focusing inward. Can’t say that I blame them.
Zach and Ryan are stoners. Industrial stoners though. God bless them. They have their own hydroponics grow operation in the apartments on their floor, and when they realized that growing food was more important than growing weed, they re-tasked their gear, and they’ve been growing stuff to feed everyone. Marijuana is a gateway drug. It leads to indoor gardening, and allows you to survive the apocalypse. Cheech and Chong to the fucking rescue I suppose.
Zach said that they have enough supplies to last another month, and if they can hit a supply store, the two of them could theoretically start a hydroponics grow operation that could feed… dozens and dozens of people. Gilbert and I just looked at each and salivated when he said that down to us. We need to get these people out of there, if only to get that hydroponics plan moving. We’ve got some serious indoor real estate here on campus these two kids could put to good work for us.
To run their hydro operation, they’ve been collecting rainwater and snow. Also they said on the roof there are some solar panels, and if I were a betting man, I’d say they’re STIG brand. They’ve also got a small gas generator they run every once in awhile with the small amount of gasoline they have left. I guess they’re down to fumes now though.
So. What the fuck right? What do we do? Martin said the welds on the lower doors are going to require a battering ram to break through. Martin also said the lighter welds on the upper floor will require a battering ram to break through. Fortunately, I have passed for a battering ram before.
Here’s the plan we fleshed out a little bit ago.
Smashing down the main door on the first floor is a waste of a perfectly good secured door. Not to mention, fighting uphill is far more difficult than fighting downhill. It’s always easier to go down, than up. (that’s what she said, incidentally) Plus it’ll be a shitload more work, and more dangerous to clear two whole floors of undead before we can get to the living folks we’re trying to rescue.
We are going to insert on the roof, and fight our way down through the fifth floor. The residents of the building (surviving residents, that is) think there are as many as eight to ten undead on the top floor. That’s not an overwhelming amount, and if we breach strong, and move smart and slow, we can take them. What scares me is the confined space, and the dark.
I suddenly miss my boy Gavin…
Abby and I will breach with Hector. Blake is still gone in Westfield with Kim. While we’re up on the fifth floor clearing it, Mallory, Gilbert, Patty, and Angela will pull ground floor security for us. Hopefully a three deep stack is enough firepower to do the fifth floor safely. Once we clear the fifth floor, we smash down the welded fire door, and free the seven people inside so they can either come and go as they please, or they can relocate to campus with us. We haven’t officially offered them sanctuary, but based on the looks of desperation on their faces, they’re looking for an escape right now. With the hydroponics set up… we can easily feed them, and they won’t be a burden on us.
How are we going to reach the fifth floor you ask? Ladder truck. Boo yah. We just got back inside from testing it in the parking lot to make sure everything works fine on it still, and wouldn’t ya know, it does.
Suck it Jinx Fairy.
So yeah. Breach the rooftop door. Clear the fifth floor. Save the princess. Once that is achieved, we will open the third floor barriers in the stairwell, and clear down through the second and first floors to make sure the entire building is safe again to occupy. Once that’s done, if possible, I’d like to use it as an outpost in downtown. As I surmised in an earlier entry, if we can get some spotters on the roof of that building, we can see almost the entire town, and as we all know, controlling the high ground is a pretty big damn deal.
Ammunition is a bit of a concern, but luckily Gilbert has been restocking the .223 for us using the reloader. He’s managed to load a lot of rounds for us, and if he did it as well as he’s done everything else, they’ll fly straight and true, and pop holes in the heads of everything they hit. I’m excited.
A little scared though. Not gonna lie.
Tomorrow all day we’re gearing up. We’re trying to assemble some body armor to wear inside the apartments as we’re clearing. Abby and Patty’s shin guards are part of it, and I’d like for the rest of us going in to wear something a little more robust on the arms at the very least. The IOTV armor will protect our torsos, and I suppose we can wear helmets as well, but our forearms will be exposed, as will our thighs. In a dark, enclosed space filled with who knows how many undead, we really need to be mindful of unprotected skin.
Last thing we need is to have someone get bitten, and die. I am not sure how I’d handle one more person dying right now. I’ve picked enough shit out of my cornflakes to last a lifetime.
Oh, interestingly enough, we saw a bunch of cats and dogs around town today. Most of them ran when they saw us, but the fact that they are even alive is a great sign. I don’t know what they’ve been eating to stay alive this long, but I’ll take it as a good sign that they’ve made it.
Day after tomorrow, we hit the fifth floor of the building. If that goes well, we’ll extricate the locals, get them wherever they need to be, and then make a plan to clear the first and second floors.
Wish us luck Mr. Journal. I suspect… we’re gonna need some.
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