Well. I didn’t get a hangover the other night. Despite my best attempts to the contrary. I definitely saw some folks hanging their heads low the next morning though. I can’t decide whether to praise or curse Kevin and company for raiding a beer distributor in Canada before coming here. Normally I’d say hallelujah, but from the looks on people’s faces on New Year’s Day, I’d say a curse is more appropriate a reaction.
Having said all that…
As you might imagine, we haven’t been terribly productive here on campus. Today was our first day “back to the grind.” We have two projects on hand that are taking up the majority of our time and effort. First is the school being back in session. We’ve dedicated a handful of people to running that, and with the kids now doing that all day, we’ve lost a fair amount of labor force. To attempt to balance the loss of labor, we adjusted the school hours to 11am to 5pm. It’s easier to teach the kids in the dark, rather than in the morning when we have daylight, and can see outside. It’s getting dark at about 4 or 5 every day, so having them start later means they can wake up and work for an hour or two, then go to school. They complain, but they also like eating, and for the most part, we’ve got the kids working with Ollie on the farm with the animals, and with Ryan and Becca on the hydroponics, so they’re pretty invested. It’s easy to motivate people to work when the results of laziness is hunger.
The other project is the path to the waterfront for the last tower. We started hitting the trees again to clear the way, and I’d guess we have four or five more days to clear the way. We started ripping up stumps today with the backhoe while the tree cutters worked ahead. Good times. With all the branches and leftover wood from this we will be far more comfortable when it comes to wood for the stoves on campus here. I have been paranoid that we will run out of good, dry wood over the winter, and this makes me sleep better at night. Once we get the path clear, and we have enough lumber roughed, we’ll be all set. I am pretty sure we have enough concrete for the base of the tower too. Remind me to ask Blake or Martin to check on that Mr. Journal. If we don’t, I remember a place I saw on the other side we can hit for a few extra bags.
We did have a minor injury today out in the woods. Well, it wasn’t entirely minor. Fitz was working on the tree clearing crew and I guess a branch snapped somehow and a shard of wood about five inches long went right into his forearm going the long way. Wrist to elbow direction. Which if you know your anatomy, is a bad place to get a splinter that size. Fortunately Roger was there, and they were able to get the shard of wood out and get him patched up. He said it’d be a week to get back to good health, so for the moment, it looks like Fitz is on video feed duty. I expect him to lose his mind in two or three days.
I spent lunch over in Hall B at the school room with Michelle to check in on our rabid guest. Michelle says she’s doing much better. No violence the last two days, and with all the extra food we made for the holidays, she’s eating like a beast and putting weight on. Michelle has left her with books to read, and other things that are more remedial, like coloring books and markers to draw with. She’s hoping she draws some pictures that might illuminate what happened to her. God forbid she starts writing.
I like Michelle. She’s smart, warm, caring. She reminds me a lot of Cassie. I think I have been trying to hang out with Michelle more lately half out of interest in the projects she has going on, and half because she makes me feel like I’m talking with Cassie. Well, Michelle doesn’t have the fire that Cassie had, but you get the point. I like her. She’s cool. She makes me calm.
Oh yeah, fuck dogs man. I may or may not have mentioned a few times in my recent entries that we have had a bit of an issue with dogs barking and being at the gates. Guess what? We had a few of them try to dig under the fucking rear gate the past couple days to get inside campus. One of them had to be put down, he was far too large, and one was a yippy little bastard terrier that ran around for an hour, nearly got shot, and was finally scooped up by Andrea and brought to Hall A. She has named him Ralph. Ralph the terrier. Whatever. I don’t think he can bite my balls, so for now, he can stay. If he even comes CLOSE to my crotch though, I’m putting 10mm’s through his yippy trap.
Yeah I’m bitter. Come at me bro.
So we formulated a plan for the dogs yesterday after fixing he fence. We have a guard posted at the back gate with a .22 rifle to make sure no dogs dig their way under. If you’re curious, the guard is Danny Jr. He turned 15 the other day, and he’s a great shooter, and he’s also committed to doing his school work during the evenings to make up for missed school. I really like that kid. At some point here I need to give him his dad’s gun. I get the impression I’m not done with it yet. More justice needs to come out of its barrel I feel. Reaching out and giving folks a little bit of his dad’s law and order, if you get my drift.
So the ongoing plan for the animals is to shoot any that try and get in. Beyond that, we are going to try and bring some in over the next few days to see if they are feral, and lost to us as pets or animals of use, or if they can be brought in and given a home. As it turns out, we have a rather large amount of dog food on hand. The stuff lasts if it is kept dry, and fortunately there have been enough containers of it sealed this whole time that bugs didn’t get into it. I guess Patty and Abby were hoarding the shit in one of the dorm basements when they were doing house clears while I was out.
So yeah. Dogs. Here on campus. My groin is throbbing from bad memories.
We still have some issues with growing undead populations downtown. MGR has been keeping a close eye on things, and they’re reporting a slow but steady increase in the presence of the dead. Things haven’t gotten out of control yet by any means, but I am still concerned. Any time movement increases there is a cause and effect. Why are the numbers increasing? What is causing it?
Almost a sure guarantee that whatever the cause is, it’ll be a problem for us at some point. That bitch fairy just LOVES to put it to us.
Still worried about the survivors we haven’t tracked down yet. I am almost certain that the undead presence has been stirred up by the living moving around, and we just haven’t seen them yet. The folks over at the Factory haven’t seen anything moving near them, other than the void of undead. They’re saying the population around the building has been strangely gone the past few days, which may explain why we’re seeing more here now. Maybe a few groups of people leaving the city have dragged them this way. Who knows. Without an eye in the sky, we’re operating on guesswork.
I’m still very nervous about shooting. I’ve been having bad dreams about gunplay off and on since I woke up from the other side. I see myself in situations with undead in my dreams a lot, and every time I need to, I feel like I can’t pull the trigger. Ever have one of those dreams when you were a kid where you were in a fight, and when you hit the other person, your punch did nothing? It feels like that. I feel impotent, afraid, exposed, vulnerable. All bad things to feel when you’re in a bad situation.
It’s fucked up that I can’t dream of the living. I feel so alone in my dreams. I have no allies to encourage me in those moments. No Kevin, no Abby, no Michelle. Just me and my weapon, and sometimes even that isn’t there. I hate it.
Oh well. The next time I am faced with a slowly rotting corpse that is trying to eat me, or eat those with me, I best be ready to do what is required, and fast. If I truly want my friends to stay alive this year, it will certainly come down to me making that happen myself.
I’m off. We’ve got a lot to do the next few days.