I feel like today was a clusterfuck. A grade A clusterfuck.
I don’t remember jinxing myself. I felt like I was pretty clear in my choice of words yesterday, and I clearly didn’t say anything that would’ve led to a jinx. I feel as if today, it was just shit luck, or the evil powers that be are just… fucking out to get me. Which in and of itself, is probably bad fucking luck on my part.
Our run to get Mallory’s shit went reasonably well, but clearly something had happened on that street. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but whatever it was generated a fairly large amount of dead bodies trapped inside one of the houses, and we nearly lost control of the situation. I chalk this up to us bringing new folks that don’t quite follow the rules of how things are done just yet.
The road that we cleared today was perhaps five miles long, and connected Route 18 to another country road that leads to… the country. Along the roughly two mile length there were nine houses. Six on the left side of the road, three on the right. Four of these homes were spread out and largely isolated from the others, but the remaining five were clustered on the end of the road near Route 18.
To give us some practice with the new people, we started clearing the houses that were solitary. To give everyone a chance to learn, we inserted the new folks into a stack with Abby and I, centered and without a firearm (we let them have a melee weapon though), and simply let them observe us as we went room to room.
The four houses that were solitary were simple and clean. On the fourth house, we rotated Angela into the group, and let them clear it without Abby and I. We did this because after looking inside the house, it was obviously empty. It was one of those open concept homes and through the windows, we were almost 100% sure the place was safe. We were right.
The haul out of these homes was amazing. Simply amazing. We found three moveable wood stoves that are almost exactly what we need for the remaining dorms and structures on campus. We didn’t move them today, we just left them behind for the moment. We also found a fairly substantial amount of consumables and canned foods. There was a gun safe in one of the homes as well, but it had a combination lock, and that means we need Martin and his cutting torch to get inside. Hopefully we can get him on it fast.
We also found a few hunting rifles, some shotguns, a couple of handguns, and a suitably normal amount of ammunition to match all those weapons. Gotta love folks who live in the country.
That’s sort of when things went to shit on us.
We did a full clear on the first of the last five homes because we saw a zombie inside. Talk about raised hackles. Abby, Myself, Chris, and Renee went in and we had Chris and Renee with melee weapons again. Abby was on point, and around back we had Angela make some noise to draw the zombie(s) away from the door.
Abby pried the door with a halligan, and we breached. Through the living room, then the dining room, and at the back kitchen window above the sink, we saw the walking dead body of a teenage girl. She was pretty when she alive. The kind of girl that guys like me would’ve wanted to try and say hi to. The kind of girl that you wanted to ask to go swimming with you on a hot summer day like today. If only to see what kind of swimsuit she was going to wear.
Abby put an AR15 round through her skull, and she smashed her face off the sink before hitting the floor. What a shame. I wonder how many kids on this road had a crush on her.
That was easy. With four houses left at that point the next home was the house with the hair salon in it. It was a home run business in an addition on the side of a fairly large cape. The way they had it built the cape was on the left, a garage in the middle, and the addition for the salon on the right side. Neoplitan-esque I guess.
We cleared the salon quickly, seeing as how it was a single room, and with that done and the work needed to remove the sinks and chairs at hand, Mallory and I broke off, and Abby took the rest of the folks over to the next home.
Now… I can’t fault Abby on this. I can’t fault Angela either. From what I’ve pieced together Abby told them to wait while everyone took a minute to go around the next home and check inside the windows. Abby and Angela were around the back of the home when either Dwayne, Renee, or Chris forgot to wait, or heard something they thought was a go ahead, and the door was opened. Now because we’d been making noise at the time, the undead that happened to be inside were right near that door, and when they opened the sumbitch, they all came rushing out.
After the fact we saw eleven undead on the lawn. I’m sure the noobs were positively shitting in their pants when they started to pour out. Of course at the time only Dwayne had a handgun on him, as Abby had just asked them to put their guns aside for the upcoming breach, so all the others had were halligans, axes, and bats.
Dwayne opened up, but he doesn’t have much in the way of trigger time, and thus wasted almost all of his ammunition. I only saw three of the zombies dead by gunshot wound near the doorway, and I’m pretty sure those were his kills. Danny Jr. was still on the roof of the HRT supplying cover and security with his .22, and he had to wait to fire because of the three asshats running straight in his direction. He didn’t have enough of a clear line of sight to fire safely.
I guess Chris and Renee backpedaled to get the fuck away and towards the HRT to get their guns again, screaming all the way. Abby and Angela then hear the screaming and Dwayne’s shots, and come running around the house, running right into the three noobs hightailing it away from the handful of the dead they’d just set free.
Due to crossfire concerns, the two women had to run to flank the dead before they could open fire. Neither Mallory or I heard the handgun shots inside the salon, and when we heard the distinctive crack of the AR firing, we both dropped our tools and gathered our weapons to join whatever it was that was going on outside.
I went out first, and not a half second after I stuck my head outside the damn salon exit, I was buzzed by a round zipping maybe ten inches from my head. I hit the deck hard, screaming for Mallory to stay inside.
I mean in retrospect I should’ve realized we would be walking out directly into the line of fire from the house next door. Angela and Abby were firing across that yard, and any misses or through and throughs were headed directly at the house we were in. Fuck me, right?
I crawled back inside the salon and the two of us took cover behind the most solid thing we could find, which happened to be a bank of those old school hair drying seats. You know the ones with the big clear plastic bowl that sits on top of your head? We yanked it out from the wall and huddled behind it until the firing stopped.
And man when it let up… I let loose. I don’t think I’ve ever sworn that much. I absolutely ripped skulls off and made fresh assholes. I wanted to know how the fuck, what the fuck, who the fuck, and who I had to assfuck dry to make that never happen again. I scared the living shit out of those people, especially the new folks. I don’t think they’ve ever seen me mad, and man Mr. Journal... I haven’t been that mad in sometime.
Everyone apologized for their part in the debacle, and after fifteen minutes of being pissed and scared shitless, I went back to the salon with a frightened Mallory, and Abby and Angela went back to clearing the what, three houses left?
Fuck. We could’ve had a total party wipe there. Dwayne, Renee and Chris could’ve easily died at the door, and I was less than a foot from taking an accidental 5.56 round to the fucking gourd. Fuck. Fuck fuckity fuck fuck.
Amateur hour bullshit right there. Abby talked to me on the ride home in the HRT and took the blame for everything. I let her have it. The blame that is. If she thinks what happened today was her mistake I’m fine with that. Next time, she will NOT ALLOW something like this to happen. It may be unfair of me to make her eat the guilt for almost letting us get killed, but that kind of learning experience is far more valuable to us than keeping her feelings slightly more intact. Besides, it’s not like she’d listen to me telling her that, “it’s okay, it wasn’t your fault.”
She’d still feel responsible one way or the other. This way, she’ll try harder, and her extra vigilance is an asset to us.
The rest of the houses on that road were cleared with far less fanfare. Abby was telling me on the ride home they encountered four more undead amongst those homes, and while a little dicey with the new folks, they did well, and no one was hurt. Actually that’s not true. Dwayne wound up getting a massive splinter in his right palm when they breached a door. I guess they pried it in with a halligan, and a shard of wood was sticking out. He was walking out of the house and caught it just right, and bam! The shard was at least three inches in when it broke off. Renee wound up removing it in the HRT with the first aid shit. I watched her for a bit, and I am now thinking she needs to spend more time with Doc Lindsey. She’s got a knack for first aid and I think she might enjoy it.
The other houses had another stove we could remove, as well as a few more rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Fortunately, one of the gun safes was wide fucking open for us, so that saves Martin a smidge of work at a later date. We also yanked out a few empty drums in a backyard we can clean and retask for fuel storage, and there was a fair amount of canned food and paper supplies, etc. One thing that was kind of neat we found was a fisherman’s wet dream. One of the homes had a guy who was an avid fisherman, and he had multiple rods, reels, flies, etc etc. Just a ton of good fishing shit for us to put to good use on Auburn Lake.
So despite our near death bullshit, it was a hugely successful day. Training for a few new folks went very well, we found several wood stoves, we got some food, toilet paper, guns, ammunition, and most importantly for me personally, we got Mallory two salon chairs, and two salon sinks.
We didn’t make it back to campus until about seven at night, so we rolled in right as dinner was being wrapped up. It’s sort of weird now because we’re breaking dinner service up into multiple places. For the longest time we were all eating together, which brought us much closer, but now there’s no place to do it other than the cafeteria, and logistically, that doesn’t make much sense. It isn’t powered so cooking there is pretty much not possible, and that means we’d have to transport the food, and that’s a huge pain in the ass.
We’ve broken up into groups eating at Hall B with Ollie and Melissa, a second group eating at Hall A, and a third group eating at the Jones Road Farm with Lindsey and little Andrea. Melissa has organized the dinners into a rotating schedule, so there’s one dinner at 4:30, one at 5:30, and a final late dinner at 7pm, give or take. It’s working, but it feels weird that we’re all eating at different times in different places.
We managed to scrape up the last remnants of the 7pm dinner in Hall A, so thankfully, there were no deaths due to starvation today.
While we were out, the wall crew managed to throw about 75 feet of barricade up. They also managed an injury free day, which is more than we can boast. With such a productive day under our collective belts, we have elected to plan a trip to the police station tomorrow while a follow up crew heads back to get those woodstoves, and crack that gun safe so we can get to the innards.
The day after, if tomorrow goes well and our plan for the police station pans out, we’ll actually go to the damn police station, and get the repeater tower, as well as anything that isn’t nailed down that we think we can make use of.
Tomorrow we’ve also got to figure out where exactly we can put Mallory’s salon. She needs plumbing for the sinks, and we really don’t have the patience or time to run pipes to a room without plumbing. This will require some serious thought to be done relatively easily.
Looking at the bright side though, I am pretty sure I have secured my place with Mallory as “most awesomest man she’s ever slept with.”
It’s not all bad I guess.