Posts Tagged ‘ rescue ’

zDay 59 – All good things…

My past has come back to haunt me.

It’s not the first time its happened but it’s certainly one of the worst. It all started a couple of days ago. Things were running like clockwork around here. I’d stopped blogging because I was busy once again. We found a place in the world once again and integrated ourselves into their system seamlessly. Anna is a little worker. She’s up for any challenge and picks up on how to do things really quickly. You can find her pretty much anywhere at any given time. Helping prepare meals, assisting Keith with the greenhouse, and even cleaning weapons. Yes. The girl can break down a Winchester M70 and clean it in under a half hour. She does so on shift changes or when guards bed down for the night. A clean weapon is an effective one, so they say.

As for me, Ben allowed me to finally go on a few salvage runs with Kyra and Gary while Joesph was being trained by George and Anthony. I wanted to express my concerns about Joe’s state of mind to Ben but how could I? I had killed his wife. How would that reflect on how they view me? Besides he’s very unassuming and follows orders like a soldier. There’s nothing to call him on other than my own personal bias so I remained silent.  The three person teams have been Kyra’s design from the start. They allow for maximum speed but enough coverage to get a good deal of work done. George’s crew had gone out first. Normally Ben doesn’t dispatch more than one squad unless there’s a big find. That came in the form of a Napa Auto Parts. George radioed about an hour in telling us they hand come upon a barely touched auto parts store. Keith has been working tirelessly with an assortment of crap tools and equipment for so long making this a rather ground breaking discovery.

Ben dispatched us next to assist George with the run. The Napa store was quite a ways down 4th, on the opposite side of town and far from our entry point in the Army Surplus store. There were quite a few lurkers on the streets but getting past them wasn’t too difficult. By the time we met up with George and the others they had already made entry into the building and had assembled several loads of equipment – mostly tools and surplus parts. It would have been far easier to have wheeled a couple of the toolboxes down the street but understandably both Kyra and George felt that would draw a bit too much attention. I wasn’t about to argue that one.

By the time we loaded up and hit the streets again, the situation outside had changed somewhat. We heard several dozen shots being fired, not near our position but way farther to the north of the city. There was a brief discussion between Kyra and George regarding whether we should investigate it or not but the consensus seemed to agree that we return to the mill and report what we heard to Ben. The activity up north seemed to stir up the pussbags quite a bit. Many of the stragglers that were near the rear of the mob that always harasses us started to make their way to where the new distraction was causing a herd crossing on 4th. We were forced to head north as well in an effort to get ahead of them and cross back to the surplus store.

Somewhere along the line we lost sight of Joseph. He had been laboring slightly with the load and taking the scenic route back home. When we were about two blocks away from the passage, we got ambushed by several undead nasties. We couldn’t start blasting shots or else we would have compromised our position for sure so we engaged them hand-to-hand. There was some semblance of confusion. I really wasn’t expected we’d have to do any melee fighting while we were out there so when the moment arose everything was a blur. I remember cracking one zombie on the side of the head then getting grabbed by another. Gary flung him off me and we both proceeded to mash him like a roach. The whole skirmish couldn’t have lasted more than 40 seconds but in that time we lost Joesph. The others searched for him for a few tense seconds but dreaded having to call out to him. We could hear the shuffling getting closer and closer so we had no choice but to move.

We managed to get to the sewer line undetected and reported what had happened to Ben. Surprisingly to me, he was infuriated that we left him behind. Kyra tried to explain the situation but Ben was adamant about doing something about it. Unfortunately we were about 2 hours overdue as it was so any rescue mission would have to wait till the following night. We didn’t venture much during the day. It was around 3 or 4 in the morning and I was exhausted. This situation couldn’t have played out better for me I had thought. I was finally done with Joesph. I didn’t have to sleep with one eye open anymore. He wouldn’t survive the day.

…or so I thought.

I can’t recall how long I’d been sleeping. It felt great to rest without that suspicion lingering over me like blanket. Deep down I really felt bad for the guy but my own selfishness made me relish his absence. I was awakened to the sound of several gun shots. I’d grown used to hearing shots over the past couple of weeks but these were much closer. They were coming from inside. I scrambled to my feet and quickly grabbed the Winchester that was laying by my side. I could see people running back and forth through the dirt stained windows of the office I was in. I quickly made my way to the door and cracked it open slightly. It was bedlam. There were unknown assailants – living beings – loose inside the compound and they were systematically executing everyone in their line of sight. I couldn’t see any of our people amidst all of the confusion. Some had hid while others engaged the attackers on the plant floor. I crept down the stairs and made my way towards where the women would sleep. I had to find Anna.

Thankfully their room was on the other side of facility far from where the action was taking place. Bullets whizzed by my ears as I tried to make my way across the battlefield. I could see Kyra, George and Franklyn propped up against some of the milling equipment taking blind shots at the attackers every so often. I don’t believe they noticed me scurry by. I wrestled with the notion of assisting them but I had no idea how many we were up against. From the screams and gun shots it didn’t sound as though we were doing well. Call me a coward. Call me obsessed with her. I don’t care. She was my responsibility and I had to get to her.

As I crossed between two print presses I stumbled over what I initially thought was a fire extinguisher or something. When I looked back I saw it wasn’t an object but in fact a person. Tom to be exact. He was the after hours guard for the sewer line entrance. He had been stabbed multiple times in the gut. His trail of blood spanned almost the length of the entire factory. He apparently tried to crawl to safety but didn’t make it. He was certainly dead now. Tom wasn’t a slouch. He wasn’t the type of guy who would fall asleep on duty or something foolish like that. And to be stabbed to death? That’s pretty ballsy. It had to have been someone he knew in order to get that close.

Then it hit me like a freight train. It had to be Joesph.

Who else could it be? Who else could do this? I felt sick with rage. I wanted to lash out and kill anything in my path but then reason settled over me as I began to think once again. He’s got help. How else could we have been overrun like this? I quickly dashed off towards the women’s dorm. As I neared several shots ricocheted around me as whoever was inside opened fire on me. I yelled out to whoever it was and let them know it was me. Seconds later the door opened and a hand eagerly waved for me to come in. I slipped in and saw that Anna was alive and well. She threw her arms around me and gave me a big tearful hug. Patricia, Katie and Heather barricaded the entryway when the shooting first started and have been holed up here with her. We now had our backs to the wall and the sounds of gunfire were beginning to slow. We waited for tense minutes hoping to hear an “All clear” from one of our companions but we heard something far more ominous. As the gunfire ground to a halt the noxious sound of their moaning could be heard in the distance. They were inside now. I don’t know how or why but now our situation had just gone from bad to worse.

Patty motioned towards a window that rested about 10ft above us. Without hesitation we began to stack whatever furniture we could get our hands on in order to reach it. She scaled it with ease and used the butt of her rifle to smash out the window. We knew we had to move fast so I helped push the others up the pile and out the window. By the time Katie was through I could hear them lurking just outside the door, their silhouettes casting twisted shapes on the murky glass windows. When I dropped down from the window I must have rolled my ankle or something because a fiery pain shot up from my foot all the way up to my calf. We managed to hobble our way down to the dock and board the boat. There were far too many people on such a small vessel but we didn’t have much choice in the matter. We cast off and let the the current carry us away.

We drifted for what seemed like hours all the while watching the smoke and fire rise from the Paper Mill. All that work. All that effort. All those lives. Gone. Because of one individual’s vendetta against me. For the first time since this all began I felt like giving up. Everything good I’ve been trying to do ends up turning out bad and I began to question was it even worth it anymore.

It took me a couple of days to come to grips with my own emotions. Heck I wasn’t even going to make an entry about this but Anna handed me my phone while we were camped out along the bank and cuddled up next to we waiting for me text away. The mood around here is understandably solemn. I don’t believe I’ve said more than a few words to the other ladies in the past 24 hours. Everyone needs time to absorb and process what has happened – some more than others.

I guess we’re back to square one once again.

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zDay 42 – The winds of change

I had a nice long conversation with Ben last night. We’ve never really had a chance to do a one-on-one since Anna and I arrived. We’d spoken briefly in group meetings and at dinner, but nothing substantial. I tell you he’s an interesting dude. He was a CPA for 26 years prior to zDay. The way he has things clicking around here I could have swore he had some kind of military training but no… he’s never even served. I guess it just goes to show that you can’t judge a person by their job.

The other 20 survivors Ben has assembled are all from Grand Rapids. Most of them found one another while on the run in the initial days and decided to stick together. After they settled in the old UPM factory they started actively going out rescuing those in trouble. They multi-tasked rescuing, securing and gathering supplies for the fist couple of weeks and set up quite an operation here. There are a few skilled people here as well. Okay so it’s unfair to say “a few skilled people”. Everyone here has skills that help contribute but let’s be real, trade skills are invaluable. Take Keith for example. He’s a contractor so he’s well rounded when it comes to anything technical like construction or electrical. George is a cop and Kyra is a Marine only a couple of months removed from Iraq so their tactical skills are very important. There’s also a nutritionist, a health care worker, and a mechanic in the fold. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned in just the past few days from just observing. Talk about on the job training.

We were the only ones to come from outside of Grand Rapids so getting the opportunity to trade notes with Ben was beneficial to us all. According to him this was the only stable settlement in the city. Every other day they send a patrol out to not only look for survivors but scout out potential threats as well.  They haven’t gotten much further past 6th street so it’s hard to tell what’s going on in the north end. There are gangs lurking about though. There’s no doubt in that. He was actually quite disturbed to hear about the incidents we went through in Two Harbors and Aurora but thankfully his rather unique defense against looters and marauders seems to have some sound logic behind it. I didn’t get it at first. It seemed like too much of a risk to draw the attention of the zombies and have them at the gates – literally. For the past month I’ve been doing everything in my power to avoid them. This just seemed stupid and risky to me until he explained the reasoning behind it.

Everything is a risk. It’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Having the zombies constantly at the walls provides an extra buffer of protection – if you can believe that – from raiders. No one is going to approach with that many zombies in front of them so it makes a frontal assault pretty unlikely. So long as the walls are maintained and the body counts monitored and regulated, it limits the amount of manpower needed to defend all points. That leaves us less ground to cover in defending the reservoir and bridge, hence why they scoped us out so quickly. Definitely risky but based on the loose cannons I’ve seen it’s a daring endeavor.

They’re also trying to finish off a greenhouse inside the factory itself, over in the west wing. With winter bearing down on us it’s probably the best idea I’ve heard of yet. Sustainability is a huge advantage. I guess they’re digging in for the long haul. Keith has been toiling with that for a while now. The biggest obstacle is getting the supplies needed to complete it. We may have to send another couple people out when there’s a salvage run in order to pull that off. It may be interesting to tag along on one of those. I think I’ve kinda proven that I can handle myself outside. Course I’m not gonna push for it. if they need me I’ll volunteer but I’m not going to push my way in. They’ve got a smooth operation going here so I’m not about to disrupt that.

Oddly enough I’ve noticed that the deadheads have been slowing down quite a bit. I haven’t seen a runner in about a week now. It seems as though the wear and tear is putting the brakes on them. They’re still very much as dangerous as ever but at least you can skirt by them without winding yourself… for the most part. The key is still to avoid detection when outside the compound though. You get enough of those dumb fuckers around you and it doesn’t matter how slow they are, they’ll maul you.  I’m glad we can get in and out of here without drawing too much attention. There’s access to the sewer system from the factory. They’ve secured a line all the way to 4th street near the Army Surplus store so our people can get in behind the bulk of the horde. They’ve even brought industrial carts from the mill down there to make running supplies back and forth much quicker. It’s pretty much our lifeline cuz we’d have to sail up the reservoir if we had any thought of getting out of here to restock otherwise.

Duty calls.

Stay strong and be safe out there.

zDay 16 – What I know so far

Well… I’m still in lovely Two Harbors. Fuck, I should just take up residence here permanently. Doesn’t look like I’m leaving anytime soon.

I was hesitant to venture out on a food & supply run and leave the girl unconscious and vulnerable so I stayed and watched over her. I think she has or at least had a fever at some point. The other night she was sweating profusely so I bundled her up in the hopes that it would break the fever. Looks like it may have. She’s not drenched anymore at least. I dunno what to say about her wound though. I can’t tell if that’s the way it’s supposed to look when it’s healing properly or not. I’ve been checking and changing the bandage regularly and there doesn’t appear to be any puss so that means no infection.

Least I was able to remember that much, eh Sarah?

I can’t quite figure out what she is… racially I mean. She looks Hispanic based on her honey-like complexion but she has a bit of a honker on her so she could very well be Indian or Middle Eastern. I can’t tell. I suck at guessing nationalities. Accents, I’m spot on but faces I’m terrible with. She’s a cutie nonetheless albeit the circumstances. I doubt she’s even in her teens yet. How could anyone even contemplate shooting at her? It’s despicable. Seriously. What the hell? It hasn’t even been a month since the world started taking this downward spiral and already people are acting like something out of a post apocalyptic movie. Geez. I’m starting to wonder if I should be fearing the living more than the dead…

I don’t think she’s in a coma. She has stirred slightly on a few occasions just long enough for me to give her some sips of water before passing out once again. She must be exhausted. I know I am and I’ve actually had rest and food at some points. I wonder how long she’s been surviving? Duh… that’s a dumb question. Obviously as long as I have, stupid. I guess what I’m really curious about is how. Lord knows it hasn’t been a cakewalk for me… I can’t imagine what she’s been through. She must be starving. I don’t think the half a stack of Saltines I have is gonna be enough for us. If she doesn’t wake up soon I’m gonna have to go out tonight regardless.

Bah.

Enough babbling. Since I’m not going anywhere anyime soon and sitting vigilantly by her side I may as well use this time to sorta review my thoughts and speculations about these… things.

  • They’re fast. Really fast… or at least it appears that they are because they’re so relentless. I’ve manged to watch them when they’re not in pursuit of anyone and they kinda just wander around aimlessly. It’s only when they catch sight of something that they literally spring into action.
  • They have absolutely no finesse. I’ve yet to see any of them pull or turn a handle yet. The extent of their dexterity seems to be just clawing, grabbing, banging and biting.
  • Every person they kill and don’t completely devour comes back to unlife. That suggests some kind of viral transmission of whatever the hell it is that makes them tick. That brings me no comfort. If it is viral there’s a chance it can go airborne and what then? I shutter to even think about that.
  • I can’t tell but I don’t think they can see any better than a living creature. It’s easier to sneak by them at night and in the shadows. That’s the only thing I know for sure.
  • They don’t seem to think either – at least not in any conventional sense. They’re unyielding in their attacks and will only cease when all within an earshot are taken out. They don’t learn from mistakes so traps theoretically will never get old with them.
  • I don’t know if they operate with some sort of pack mentality or not. Yeah there’s loads of them all around and when one pounces the rest follow in suit. I can’t tell if it’s a mass of individuals trying to get at the same thing or if they’re knowingly ambushing people in some primal form of coordination. They don’t seem to react to or interact with one another. In fact they seem to be oblivious to other undead. How do they know? What is it that attracts them to us? How do they know we’re alive?

I’d love to entertain the Shaun of the Dead theory of pretending to be undead but call me a coward, I just don’t think that’d pan out too well for some reason. There’s something about us that they can sense. Maybe it’s smell? That doesn’t make sense though. Smelling requires a lot of brain processes in order to distinguish one scent from another. Somehow I just don’t think they can smell at all. It’s got to be something else.  Gah… I dunno. The sooner we find out that out the better I’d guess because at this rate they’ll wipe us out before we even get a chance to figure out WTF.

What’s got me unnerved the most is how quickly this situation came about and how rapidly it can spread. This is far worse than even a wildfire or virus. I mean think about it… if this is happening all across the country – check that – all across the world, they can triple or even quadruple their numbers in just a day let alone a week. That’s why they’re able to overwhelm. I can’t imagine how many people were caught off guard by this. How do you prepare for or anticipate something like this?

I guess I was lucky.

Ha! Lucky. That’s subject to interpretation. Is it really lucky to have to live this way? Cowering inside abandoned building fretting over whether  a mob of these things are gonna come busting in at any given moment. Having no food. No power at times. Cold, dirty… aching… working on about 28hrs worth of sleep in the past week or so. Bah… stop bitching Duane. I’m alive. I suppose there are people in Europe and Asia who have dealt with conditions like this on a daily basis long before there was any zombie outbreak so who am I to complain. I’m just a spoiled little American. Suck it up Duane. No sense in complaining about what can’t be changed. Just gotta keep on keeping on I guess…

Cloudy day.

Might be rain on the horizon. It’d be great if it did. Might help put out some of the fires and wash some of this nastiness away.

Looks like my little companion is stirring. Gotta go.

Till next time.

Stay strong and be safe.

zDay 14 – People suck

It never ceases to amaze me how sick people can be.

I shadowed the 7 all the way to the heart of Two Harbors. During my long hike I came to the decision that I’d head down to the docks and see what my options were down there. I dunno. At this point I kinda threw logic out the window. I’d been dodging zombies for so long now I just wanted to get someplace they weren’t and the water seemed like as good a place as any.

There wasn’t as many deadheads in this town compared to Duluth. For the most part it looked like a war zone. You can tell what places were secured by the amount of bodies laid out in front of certain buildings. Based on my near-death experience back home I figured it was wisest to just stay in the bushes and backyards as I made my way south. Wasn’t about to take any chances on the kindness of strangers.

I think I was on 2nd ave when I caught sight of the bank. Apparently some good ole boys had holed up in there and were shooting up anything and everything in sight. There was a pile of bodies that decorated the street. Hell I couldn’t even see asphalt there were so many of them. The stench is starting to reach whole new levels of unbearable. Thank God this didn’t happen months ago when we were having those 90+ degree days.

What am I saying…

It was starting to get real dusky outside so I didn’t want to dare venturing any further down 2nd even though the stretch seem to be relatively zombie free cuz of them. I was about to continue on when I caught sight of some movement in the distance. Across the street from the bank, a young girl popped out from the alleyway between two buildings. She waved her arms frantically and shouted towards the guy I didn’t even notice on the roof.  She looked as though she’d been on the run for a while based on how haggard her clothes looked. She was dirty, scrawny and desperate.

I’d imagine I don’t look much different…

Without hesitation, the man on the roof fired several shots at the young girl, striking her once in the thigh. I initially thought maybe a pack of zombies was closing in on her and that she got accidentally popped but as the girl screamed in agony and tried to crawl back into the alleyway, the scumbag kept firing. Thank God he’s an awful shot. Several shots hit the ground around and buildings around her as she managed to crawl out of sight.

I dunno why I did this. It probably had to do with that poor girl from the other night. I couldn’t… didn’t… want to help her and it’s been grating on the back of my mind for some time now. The guilt has been all-consuming. I didn’t even really think about what I was doing. I just found myself moving towards that area. Ducking in and out of shadows I came up behind the cafe across the way from the bank. I listened carefully and heard her whimpering close by. A trail of blood lead me to where she was curled up in fetal position sobbing uncontrollably. I froze for a moment. The sight of her so vulnerable… so terrified… just paralyzed me. She must have heard me creeping up because she jumped up suddenly and pressed herself tight against the dumpster behind her. I snapped out of my haze and immediately put my finger to my mouth urging her to be quiet. I could hear stirring nearby and knew we couldn’t stay there for much longer. She locked eyes with me, tears streaming down her face and bit her bottom lip as she tried to remain quiet.

I pulled the skully off my head, balled it up and placed it on her bloody wound. I pulled my belt off and wrapped it around her thigh, pulling tight to try stop the bleeding.  She yelped in agony briefly but quickly stifled it. I scanned the area to look for the quickest way out of there. Back the way I came seemed the only viable option. We couldn’t very well break into cafe and draw attention to ourselves. The sounds were drawing closer. I couldn’t hesitate any longer so I hoisted her onto my back, draped her arms around my neck and scurried off as quickly as possible.

I dunno how long or how far I ran. Once that adrenaline kicked in I just kept moving. It was getting dark and we couldn’t be outside for very much longer. Too many shadows. Too many places to get ambushed.

We eventually came upon a business… a lumberyard if you can believe it… on the west end of town. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to shack up for the time being. I forced my way into the main office via a window and quickly brought her in. There was enough wood around to properly secure the entryway. One might think it’d be really easy to find a hammer in a lumber yard but contrary to that belief I had to nail planks up with computer speaker.

So here I am… stranded with this injured little girl. I don’t even know her name. She slipped out of consciousness sometime when I was trying to get into the office window. I’ve done the best I can with her wound. I’m not a doctor. I’m not even all that comfortable around blood. This is something right up Sarah’s alley. I tried my best to remember the little things she told me over the years but I kept drawing blanks. The bullet went straight through but I dunno if she’s bleeding internally or not. I don’t think it hit the femoral artery. She’d be bleeding out way more than she was if that was the case. There’s only so much I can do with my knowledge and this useless first aid kit.

I guess they didn’t have heavy trauma in mind when they got this. It’s a lumber yard FFS. Don’t they get seriously injured around here?? No… I suppose they’d just go to the hospital. Maybe they have another more useful one around here? Being that I’ve been stuck here for what feels like days now I suppose I should check around. I’m running low on food again and if this girl decides to pull through and wake up I’m sure she’s gonna be starving…

What have I gotten myself into…

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