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30th April

I helped out repairing and constructing new barricades for the front entrance today. Thankfully no zombies had followed the distraught mother into the town, or they followed her back out again if they did. Without the barricades in place we would be reliant upon the front gates to keep them at bay.

Firing a weapon at night is to be used as a last resort as the sound will travel for miles, bouncing off the surrounding hills and inviting any number of unwanted visitors.

With the barricades back in place again, I saw the genius behind their use at night. By shepherding the stupid wanderers into a fenced corral at the end of the road, the zombies have no way to get into the town. They either turn around and shamble back out of Dodge again, or they remain there bouncing off the fences until the morning shift go in and pick them off from the safety of the other side of the fence. The bodies are carried away on the back of a pickup to be burnt on the huge piles of corpses dotted about on the outskirts of town. Those are the plumes of smoke I saw the other day when approaching the town.

I assume this ingenuity comes from the brain of the sergeant, or some field manual he has, “The Man’s Man Manual for Dealing with the Dead” or “Dummies Guide to Community Living in a Zombie Apocalypse”, or what’s-his-name’s “Art of War”. Either way, he’s got it all sussed here and seems to be in for the long haul.

I’m still in two minds as to whether I want to stick around for much longer. As peaceful as it is, and the fact that I hadn’t had a decent sleep, meal or shower since this all kicked off seven years ago until coming here aside. For some reason there is an itch at the back of my mind that I need to move on. That Adam and I are not quite as safe as when there’s only the two of us. Stay on the move. Never settle.

This place is a big platter of warm, wriggling meat for the slovs, albeit surrounded in prickly wire and guys with boom sticks, but a sure target for a band of wily zombies all the same. Just look at our last setup five years ago. We let our guard down for one night and get annihilated.

Again, I have to think of Adam, but I am thinking of him when I feel we need to move on.

Just one more night perhaps…

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Posted by on 30 April in Zombie Philes

 

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29th April

The first real threat to the township came last night.

Down the first couple of streets that lead to the main gate, they have thermal cameras set up to watch for movement in the night, and during the day they can tell infected from Living just by the heat given off by the dead from the continual fever.

During the night there are barricades which are moved around so that any undead get funnelled away from the main gate and towards another fenced off section where they can be easily picked off in the morning.

Last night an SUV came barrelling into the town and towards the movable barriers. Basically a series of planks nailed to form an X with poles laid across and coils of barbed wire wrapped around, they’re good enough to deter both the dead and the Living from attempting to cross them, but an SUV barrelling in at 50 miles an hour barely slows when it hits one of those.

I hear all this as I’m doing a final walk around in the fresh air before grabbing Adam and retiring to our room on the fourth floor of one of the buildings for the night.

So this car thunders in and tears up the barricades and screeches to a halt when they reach the front Iron gates. Especially when half a dozen armed guys in full riot gear swam out like angry termites.

Driving the car is a terrified woman who looks like she had the Hounds of Hades on her tail. In the passenger seat, slumped to one side and looking the worse for wear is who I assume is her teenage son.

So the camp guards race out and surround the car. A couple take up positions further down the road where the car has wrecked the barricades to see if any slovs have followed her in. She jumps out of the car screaming for somebody to help her son.

Turns out the father had been grabbing some supplies in a shop in a nearby town while the kid kept watch and she kept the motor running. The father was ambushed inside the shop which he didn’t realise had the back door open. The kid ran in to rescue him, only to find his father’s throat had already been torn out and was, at that very moment, dribbling down the chin of some ex-school run mum. The kid backtracks back to the car only to be set upon and bitten before he gets away and into the SUV. The mother, beside herself, knowing she is going to be on her own in a few hours time with her zombie kid sitting next to her if she doesn’t get some help then drives hell for leather in a random direction and stumbles across this tranquil community just settling down to bedy byes time.

So the sergeant comes storming out of his ground floor office-cum-home and demands to know what all the hullabaloo is (yes, he actually used the word hullabaloo) and gives her the ultimatum we all get when we first come here: If you’re bitten, or somebody with you is bitten, you have the choice of leaving with them and taking your chances elsewhere, allowing the bitten person the dignity of shooting themselves or choosing somebody to shoot them if they’re unable. If none of the aforementioned are chosen in time, the decision will be made for you.

With that she bursts into tears, looks at her son and climbs back into the urban tractor and turns around. She drove off dragging a string of barbed wire and half a barricade with her, never to be seen again.

Me, I turned to Adam who had been watching, completely unfazed by it all, and we trundled off to our room where I tucked him in and asked how his day had been.

 
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Posted by on 29 April in Zombie Philes

 

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27th April

So what do we make of this new community, Adam and I?

Well, Adam is loving it. It is the first time I have really seen him smile in a long time. Well, I’ve seen him smile, and even laugh before. But never in his eyes. His eyes always have that weariness. Something you should never have to see in a nearly six year old. He has been through too much. Seen too much. Perhaps a while in this place will do him good.

The community of Sanctuary is made up of some 100 to 120 people, from all corners of the country (and a few foreigners stuck here when the outbreak took hold and they were unable to return home), from all walks of life and all races, creeds and denominations. All thrown together in one big melting pot where everybody is the same – a survivor. One of the Living.

Most have fought their way to get here. Others started here and have barely seen the horrors out there.

The leader of the place, a burly ex-marine sergeant keeps the pace humming along, and his band of lackeys run about doing his bidding. He has teams allocated to guard duty, others running scouting parties to reccie the undead’s movements in the area. Others are responsible for supplies such as fuel for the generators, food, and any other necessities of a growing community.

I’ve put my name down to help out in any of the above if we are to stay here for a while.

I’m pretty keen to keep moving after what happened to the last “community” I belonged to, and I really want to track down what’s left of that research lab to see if there is any hope of this zombie nightmare coming to an end any time soon, but I’ve got to think of the kid first.

He’s finally relaxing and not jumping at the slightest sound in the night. There are a couple of other kids here too which he has started to latch on to. And for me, I can finally let him wander off, comfortable in the knowledge that he’s safe at last.

I’ll give this a few days and see how things pan out.

 
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Posted by on 27 April in Zombie Philes

 

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25th April

The smell of cooking meat filled my nostrils, and not in a good way. We were nearing a town and columns of smoke rose up in several places around the outskirts. Obviously the workings of a band of Living. We were very wary of this and tried to see if there was a way around it on the map.

Seemed the town was up against a wide river on one side, the nearest bridge, other than inside the town, was a good 50 to 60 miles back the way we had come, and to skirt around the other side of the town would take us 3 or 4 days off track. We decided (and it is “we” in these decisions – Adam has as much say as I do, though he rarely makes a decision until I say which one I want, and, come to think of it, has never said anything other than repeating back to me exactly what I say – I’ll have to have a talk to him about making his own decisions one day) to risk going straight through.

We were very cautious, and took our time. We were only 2 streets in when a voice from seemingly nowhere boomed out at us that we had gone far enough.

Now this is why I hate the Living. At least with the Dead you know what they want – pretty much just to eat your face off. With the Living, you just can;t trust them not to take everything useful off you and either throw you back out of town again or shoot you on the spot. I feared most for Adam really. Me, I couldn’t care less. I’ve seen enough and been through enough that if it ended this minute I wouldn’t be too fussed, as long as I knew Adam was going to be safe and I wouldn’t turn into a mindless flesh eater.

So we stopped still. I put my hands up, and Adam just turned in circles looking bewildered and trying to see where the voice came from.

It was then that we saw the barbed wire barricades up ahead. An iron gate in the fortifications opened up and two armed guys came through. They had full police riot gear on, including helmets with clear visors, padded and armoured vests and all decked out in black. Scary stuff, but I couldn’t help but think what a clever idea that was to protect you from slovs. I’d have to note that if we got away alive to see if I could hook Adam and I up with some more protective clothing than the rags we stood up in.

So these guys come out and are more interested in looking all over us for bites and scratches than actually talking and telling us what their intentions are.

They eventually lead us through the iron gate and into the compound. Well, I say compound, but really it’s a small walled-off town within the city. There are people roaming freely in the streets and what struck me immediately was how clean everything was. The streets of any town these days are littered with cars, rubbish, desiccated corpses (some moving and others not) and paper. Paper everywhere. For a supposedly paperless society, the paper blowing through the streets would make up a sizeable chunk of rainforest in its original form.

Anyway, back to the main crux.

So once they were happy we were safe, they lead us inside the compound. “Sanctuary” is what they call it. A bit of a lame name, but there you go. They offered us food (in the form of a can of peaches), a cold shower, medical help for the various bumps and bruises we both carried, and a bed with a roof over our heads. All they needed in return was our promise we’d abide by their rules and not rock the boat in their happy community.

It’s “lights out” time so I need to stop writing for now. More soon…

 
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Posted by on 25 April in Zombie Philes

 

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12th April

Adam and I like to have a laugh when we come across a slov in a strange situation. Like the other day, there was this one that had somehow got itself run over and was stuck under the back wheel of a car. It must have been fairly recently, otherwise who knows how it would have survived this long without food. They have to eat something every now and then, but I digress.

We had a bit of fun teasing this poor sod. All it wanted was to get hold of one of us and have a good munch, but it was pinned there by the back legs under that car.

I love to hear Adam laugh. It is such a rare thing, and I just wonder what he would be like if we came across a bunch of other kids, of the Living kind I mean.

He seems to have a bit of a soft spot for the undead though. Ever since I filled him in on how his mum was bitten and he was born just before she turned. He holds some kind of affinity to them, though he is very cautious of them. He takes no chances, but often stays my hand if I’m about to kill one unnecessarily that is in no danger of hurting us.

Anyway, I’m getting distracted writing about my parenting woes when really I’m meant to be filling in the backstory about how we got to where we are today.

OK… After getting in the car and bailing on our overrun camp, Adam and I shot out of town and I drove and drove until coming across a huge snarl-up on the highway and we had to stop. By this stage I had driven for a night and right though the next day. We were half way up the country by this stage. Adam did nothing but cry. And when he wasn’t crying, it was because he was asleep.

I had no idea how to be a father. I tried to feed him some dried meat I had brought along with me, but he was only a baby, probably about 1 at this stage, so wasn’t up to much chewing on the tangy venison. He sucked and gummed a couple of strips for a bit, but eventually he threw a big paddy and I realised he wanted something resembling baby food, or milk, or something. There was also a horrid stench filling the car. Whilst most of the country, and in fact the world I presume, smells like death on a stick, this stench was something else. And that was my introduction to the joys of babies.

To cut a long story short, we did make it back to that airstrip a couple of years later. It was completely overrun and there was no sign that anybody had made a last stand or lasted beyond that fateful night around the camp fire. I took the CD from the boom box that still lay not far from where I remember we had it set up. I still have it with me somewhere.

 
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Posted by on 12 April in Zombie Philes

 

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22nd June

The team arrived back again at last. They drove right into the compound, three tankers branded as being from various oil companies, and the rest of the crews in humvees and trucks.

That is all except for one truck. It remained outside the compound gates. All of those that remained outside the closed gate had been infected during the mission. A few of us gathered at the gate to see them. Those still able to walk shouted out their goodbyes, keeping their distance so as not to infect the rest of us. They looked so sick and frightened. They saluted the Base Commander and a few of them walked off up the road. I saw some stagger off into the minefields and a big eruption of smoke followed quickly by the sound of the explosion as they took their own lives. Some just put guns in their mouths where they stood. The truck outside the gates was torched, along with those too sick to get out and walk away.

It is great to have most of the guys return, and the fuel will help out hugely. But those poor sods taking their own lives. Reason two I could never be one of them. And we’re back to that cowardice thing again. I’ll never forget that look on their faces as they knew what they had to do to keep the rest of us safe.

 
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Posted by on 26 June in Zombie Philes

 

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7 Jun

A huge exercise has been underway over the past week since the raid on the camp. During the daytime, groups of us are going out and felling trees, and torching any scrubland or hiding places around the camp perimeter with flamethrowers (by far my favourite part to date).

We’ve killed a few Slovs we’ve discovered hiding from the sunlight in old sheds and under fallen logs as we’ve found them, but the thinking is that the vast majority of them are hanging out in the nearby towns.

As the perimeter is cleared of any hiding places we’ve been laying mines and tripwires with claymores attached – Front Toward Enemy. It’s a bit dangerous, but fun all the same. Hopefully we can keep them away for a bit longer until we’re safely surrounded by enough explosives to level a small town.

Claymore

 
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Posted by on 7 June in Zombie Philes

 

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