14th July

14 Jul

Yesterday, started out like every other day. A blast of freezing water in lieu of a shower (fuel saving), bit of a jog around the perimeter fence to shake out the cobwebs – never thought I’d be much for running, but seems far more relaxing than I’d ever imagined, then into the mess hall to help with setup for breakfast.

The Special Forces chaps were there so I took a seat nearby to eavesdrop on what they were talking about. More grunting and inside jokes than anything actually useful. Still, got to learn some of their names and that they were off out again that night for another stint at reducing the number of bogies. No patrols are happening outside the fence these days due to the mine fields and the reduced numbers of available troops, but more on that later.

I was on night-time inner-fence patrol last night so went back to my bunk around 1000 to try and get a bit more shut-eye. Not much joy sleeping so up and about at 1400 to pop over to the range for some target practice. Saw the pregnant lass waddling like a duck towards the ablutions block, arms wrapped under a huge belly protectively.

Darkness doesn’t fall until around 2130-ish being summer, so it wasn’t until around 2200 that the concerns and murmurings started coming out of the main control area. By this time the Special Forces guys had long left. I had started my patrol of the fence line, gun slung over my shoulder like I knew what I was doing. Nod in greeting to others on patrol. All quiet on the Western Front. A corporal came running out of the base yabbering something about heat signatures. The heat cameras had only been up for a couple of days so a few of us thought perhaps they weren’t working right, or were picking up residual heat from rocks warmed during the hot day. We later agreed that the Slovs had been slowly picking their way through the minefields over the past few days and gathering outside the fence in large numbers! The mine explosions out at the edges were a diversionary tactic. The lack of patrols outside the fence meant they had gone unnoticed for some days now.

Somehow they synchronised their attack, whether by some order given or instinct we just don’t know. They stormed the fence from three directions. The alarm went off, a howling siren circa World War II, all the floodlights kicked in and the place flew into chaos. Those of us on patrol had more than enough targets. The snipers on the towers started picking them off. There were simply too many of them. The fence collapsed in a couple of places under the sheer weight of numbers and we were soon trying to formulate some kind of defensive retreat on the fly. The inhabitants of the barracks, asleep at the time, quickly armed themselves (everybody able to handle one has been issued with a rifle) and our defence capability grew with the extra numbers. It took a good two hours of mayhem to completely sort them all out. The Special Forces were miles away on foot, so by the time they returned, having heard the commotion and siren, most of the damage was done already.

Body count: 37 Slovs down, including two ex-soldiers lost in earlier patrols some weeks back. On our side there were 3 soldiers down and out, plus six civvies dead. The pregnant girl had managed to get a nasty bite to the neck and is now in quarantine. I got no more than a few splashes of blood to the clothes, which have since been burnt, and a nasty headache from smacking my head against something when avoiding a swinging zombie arm. To top it all off, they had got into the mess and scarfed down a load of food before being dealt with. Kitchen will need serious decontamination before anybody eats out of there again.

I helped jerry-rig a barricade where the fence came down until we can fix it properly, then sanitised and decontamination shower before bed. Too many of our lot were still on edge so plenty of volunteers to patrol in case of another wave, but I was exhausted. Today, the word is that the pregnant girl is sick so they’re going to perform an emergency caesarean before she turns. Man this sucks.

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