Today was a rather problematic day. We fell under attack at approximately 3AM, but who has time to check the time when getting attacked?
I was just falling asleep after shift-change, we had opted to post one of the new-found survivors as Sentry, and from what I can figure is he fell asleep right after starting his shift, due to a sudden gut-wrenching scream of utter agony and horror. There's no way he could have been attacked without seeing them coming, as the only entrance to the compound is bathed in light from two floodlights mounted in the trees.
His scream woke the whole crew, the first one to find him was Bob, who instantly slammed the silent alert, which triggered the two red strobes mounted at opposing ends of the camp, and I could already hear his evil laugh followed by "OH FUCK!". I ran to join him, shotgun at the ready, only to have a zed move out of the darkness of a tree-shadow, were it not for my years of assault training, the damned thing would have wasted me, but they don't change their actions to match what their opponents do, so my roll saved me, and ended his un-life.
After recovering from the close call, I joined up with Bob, to see a class 3 swarm descend upon us. I yelled for everyone to get to Evac, as we were nowhere near the man-power to survive in our make-shift camp that has served us well in the past.
Dondy joined up with us to cover the rest of the crew's retreat, the constant twang of his bowstring was a very comforting sound amidst the moans of the undead, Bob's cackling as his katana work made minced meat of zombies that got too near to Dondy and myself.
We finally got the alert that everyone was ready to go, and that the marksmen on our team would cover us until we reached our rig. The deafening boom of a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and the ear-splitting crack of a .243 suddenly started to fill the air as we turned and ran for the trucks.
Dave was in the very rear of my Jeep, the rear window having been replaced with plexi-glass had two gun ports put into it, and he was using one to the whole crew's advantage, Dan, the other Marksman was in the back of Boomer's Toyota pickup shooting over the cab, his .338L Mag shaking the windows in the truck with every shot he took.
Our night only went from bad to worse at this point as my rig was low on fuel, as was Boomer's. We made it about two hundred yards before his truck sputtered and died. We would have abandoned the rig, if it were not for the fact that it contained over 3/4 our food and water supplies. The moment his truck died, he had Dan jump on the roof and he hit the rear lights to illuminate the trail behind us, his .338 thundering repeatedly as the zeds got nearer.
I backed up to the front of his rig, he grabbed the tow strap I leave in the hitch for just such occasions, shackled it to his tow bumper, and we took off again, climbing a nasty knoll, tires scrabbling for every inch of traction they could get. We finally managed to make it to the top of the hill, which had a long-abandoned logging road, mostly overgrown that led down the other side. I pulled his truck to the top of the trail, and he unhooked and I started down in front, leaving a trail of decimated brush and small trees that would have slowed his non-running truck to a stop if he had led.
On the way down, we saw something disturbing and almost surreal in an already surreal time; a perfectly healthy looking, and quite attractive woman, we never stopped to see why she was out there, or how she had stayed in as good a shape as she was, all we cared about was reaching our fuel stash about two klicks away.
When we finally hit the bottom of the logging track, I strapped back up to Boomer's truck, and tractored him the rest of the way to the fuel cache. We did run past a few more zeds on the way, but nothing compared to the outbreak we somehow escaped from unharmed.
Once we both refueled to our trucks max capacity, we headed out for a fall-back point we hadn't used in the past 13 months, almost 20 klicks away, it being the nearest one that we knew wouldn't be over-run, as it was deep in the harshest terrain we had come across, barely accessible by the well-built trucks we had, impossible on foot, and invisible from the air.
The worst part of the night was the trip to Jericho, our most defensible fall-back point. My truck blew a tire on the freeway, less than a klick south of Corvallis, so we were easy targets for a class 4 or class 5 swarm. At this time, we were all running on pure adrenaline, and I was exhausted from having just finished repairs on my Jeep, then a 4 hour sentry shift, now running close to 20 hours without sleep.
We changed the tire out without incident, which was the only good part of being on the freeway, as we headed south towards Jericho, we neared the midway point of Eugene and Corvallis, only come across a solid wall of zombies shambling northward, towards the noise of our two truck convoy. There was no way around them other than to turn back and find a back route through Corvallis, which none of us wanted to do, it was a very risky maneuver, but was a risk we had to take at that point, as our rigs were simply not up to the task of bull-dozing 10,000+ zombies and surviving.
The time was nearing 5AM, if the clock in my Jeep is still accurate. We entered Corvallis city limits, and then took a shortcut, bypassing the primary part of the city by cutting straight across a farmer's field (hope he doesn't mind the 4 ruts we left). This was all and well, until I hit a drainage ditch hidden by the grass. Boomer managed to skid to a stop a few inches away from falling in himself, and managed to get back around to where his winch could grab me.
It took a good hour to pull my Jeep out, due to how nasty the trench was, my rig was high-centered, front two tires grabbing into the wall of the trench, rears almost a foot off the ground.
Once winched out, we started scouting for a way through the trench, all the while waiting to get attacked. We ended up heading about half a klick south of our original crossing point and found a barely passable point, which we struggled with, the wet red clay walls proving as slick as ice. Once we got across, we kept rolling to the alternate route, only running into (and then over) a single zed.
We reached the back road without further incident, and made it to the entry trail to Jericho without encountering a single undead, much to the surprise and pleasure of the whole crew. Once we made our way through the nearly impassible entry point, a deep, fast flowing river, and three hill so steep that it took a very skillful throttle management to keep from going end over end backwards, while still maintaining enough power to climb the hills.
Hit the parking area of Jericho at 6:17AM, did a thorough sweep of the area just in case something did manage to make it up, although nearly impossible. With a 40 foot sheer drop on 2 sides into an old open mine gravel pit, the river curving around the other two sides. The river is deep enough that even with the bottom of Boomer's windows being 4.5 feet above the ground, they still have an inch of water up the edge of his windows, and his windows are higher up than mine. The current, while not white-water is moving at about 15-20MPH.
I write this journal knowing we are safe for the time being, the water on two sides, the sheer walls on the other, and a good 75 acres of old-growth forest around us.
Tomorrow will be a busy day as Boomer and I must repair our trucks, mine moreso than his, due to the nose-dive into the ditch and plowing the road for him when he ran out of fuel.
The rest of the crew will be busy doing inventory on supplies, planning our next moves, and doing much-needed maintenance to the compound.
I was hoping we would have been able to stay where we were previously, as it was abundant in game and clean water. Here, the only game is bird, and they aren't plentiful enough to keep us fed enough to stay healthy for long.
Until tomorrow, Esgar signing out.