Sense of purpose.
I am beginning to understand things more and more. I’m not exactly happy with the details, but I think that’s the point. Part of the point, to be more specific.
I am sad.
I cannot explain to you how hollow and empty, and alone I feel with Gilbert dead. It’s like the wound of Cassie’s death was ripped open fresh once more and laid bare to get infected all over again. I was just getting over the loss of her, and now Gilbert dies. Not just dies, but goes out in a ball of flame with the assistance of Abby.
And the icing. Well, that’s just a big fat layer of “it turns out the single man you invested trust in was working for evil the whole time.”
Delicious shit that stuff.
But it’s not that simple. It’s never simple anymore. Gilbert had been blackmailed, manipulated, and forced to try and fuck me over. But he balked. He didn’t always do what the evil voice said, and he paid a price for it. His conscience was destroyed, his integrity damaged, and his love for us was sullied by the deeds he was forced to do.
As one of his final acts, he asked Abby to kill him. He removed himself from the equation so evil couldn’t use him against me. Against us. Against humanity.
Gilbert left a set of notes with Abby with specific instructions as to how they were to be handed out, or presented to us. Patty got one, I got one, and Abby got several. Gilbert had a very specific plan for the people left in his wake, and as far as I have been able to put it together, he had a plan to fuck the Devil all along.
I am not going to copy Gilbert’s letter into the journal. For some reason, I feel like that would be violating the last bit of trust he and I shared. I can’t do that. I just... I just can’t.
What I can share is his feelings on what was happening here at ALPA. Gilbert said that one way or the other, if we succeeded here, then humanity could survive. We as a species would make it through this... apocalypse, and we would, and could start again. A new beginning.
Gilbert said that my quest to be a better person, and to help others was too important to fail, and was the main reason why I was being targeted by evil. As long as someone was leading us to a better way of life, evil couldn’t win. Remove me from the world, or turn me into a shit bag, and evil wins.
Kiss my pasty, sweaty, ass.
You think I’m quitting because you’re out to get me? You think I’m fucking scared now? You think for one minute I’m not going to do what is necessary because I might die?
Step the fuck up.
If you think for one fucking minute I’m going to give up now, you’ve got another thing coming. I have never been more certain that what I am doing is the right thing to do. I KNOW I need to protect these people. I KNOW I need to feed them, clothe them, and try to give them a better life as best I can.
And now... I KNOW trying matters. Even if I fail, I know it matters that I tried. Gilbert fought the Devil for as long as he could, and when he’d had enough, he told the Devil to kiss his fucking ass, and he checked out on his own terms. The role of the pawn no more. Gilbert is now on the other side, where the dead live, and when he reached out to me the other night with Gavin in The White Room, I was never more certain his choice to sacrifice himself was the right thing to do.
What scares me, is he died to protect me.
He climbed up on that pile of wood and set it on fire, just to make sure he couldn’t harm me. I have started a dangerous trend. Two people have willingly died to save my life, and I don’t even know how to react to that idea. That reality. I know when I was active duty and deployed I’d step in front of a fucking tank for the men in my unit, but that seems different than this. This is… too much man.
God I’m rambling.
I just don’t know. Abby said she’d die for me too, and I mean… fuck. Is the point of this bullshit to save all these folks, then let them die protecting me? That doesn’t seem right at all. There has to be more than this.
I believe now that there is more to this life. When we die, that is not the end. My dreams are proof of that. The walking dead are proof of that. The fact that the people around me have hope again is proof of that. They are smiling, laughing, eating, and raising their children again. Yes, they’re scared, yes they still might die, but really, how is that any different than it was before?
It isn’t. What we’re scared of now is a little different, and what might kill us is a little different, but the bottom line is, we’re living.
And as long as we’re living, and trying to be better people, and trying to help others, then we’re winning this. Fuck you evil.
One of Gilbert’s last gestures was to tell me that he and his wife still owned a business. Not only did they own that string of restaurants, but they still owned a distribution company that supplied local restaurants. A wholesale food warehouse. Gilbert said the building was about 20,000 square feet, and if that’s the case, we’re looking at 3 or 4 truckloads of food.
Gilbert said if it was still intact, we’d be fed for… a year or two. Clearly, this needs to be a priority for us. The warehouse is about five miles east heading towards the city past where STIG was. It’s in a strip of businesses slightly out of the way in a suburb of the city.
During winter, he checked on it, made sure it was locked up, and said it was intact. The fact that it is so close to the city scares me. After the stories of the city I’ve heard, I’m fairly certain that by now the place will be overrun by the dead, or possibly raided and looted clean already.
The other major factor is the plumbing supply place in the same mall. In Gilbert’s note, he said that there was a very high likelihood that place would have the equipment to start a full on hydroponics set up for us. We need to get in there, and get that shit. Zach and Ryan can feed us for months on end with little work if we can get that damn setup running.
It’ll be dangerous. But in order for Gilbert’s last grand gesture to make our survival happen to matter, we need to do this. I need to do this. I have to do this on faith. I have to do this knowing that Gilbert is not lying about it. I need to restore my belief that Gilbert was a good man. I need to do this. I need to show that I know.
I haven’t worked a plan out yet, but when I do, we’ll make this happen. In the meantime, we still need to return to MGR, get the hydro gear and everyone’s shit, and return to finish the wall here at campus.
Another troublesome note, Blake and Kim haven’t returned, and Mike hasn’t come back for water yet. It’s been some time, and that has me worried.
Gilbert, wherever you are, thank you. You taught me so much, and no matter what you may think about your failings, wherever you are, even the smallest bit of you that made it through to me made me a better person.
Your fight isn’t over, is it old soldier?
De Opresso Liber Post Mortum.