Day 14

Making our way through New Mexico today. Not sure if we should head for the US-Mexico border or the California coastline… The reports coming out of Central America and Mexico are sporadic at best but what is getting out is not good. Many of the smaller villages and towns have been completely cut off from communication. No one really knows what the situation is down there. The limited news footage shows the Undead have been swarming into the larger urban areas and with the level of poverty that many people live in, there is no defensible place for them to hide. As a result, Mexico is not looking terribly good as an option mainly because of the uncertainty of road condition as well as the possibility of guerrilla-like piracy. It seems our decision has been made for us. We aim for the California coast and then plan from there…

There have been increasing reports on the web of armies of Undead rodents, mainly chipmunks attacking people and livestock all over the country. It’s only been 6 days since we’d witnessed firsthand the sheer ferocity and carnage of a small group of these furry little guys.

Driving through Bingham, New Mexico today we saw another flock of the Undead fiends. They seem to attack all manner of living creatures, and my God, do they move quickly! We stopped for a short moment, only long enough to abide by the stoplight in the middle of town and witnessed them as they were attacking a group of cyclists out for a ride (seriously people??). It was terrifying to see the cyclist’s breeze past us, simultaneously trying to cycle forward and brush the ravenous creatures off of them. One by one, they all fell; the wheels on their bikes still turning as if they were still trying to propel themselves away. Soon the intersection was a bloody mutilated mass topped with writhing bloodied fur.

I witnessed one chipmunk attacking another uninfected one in a nearby park. When I noticed another chipmunk noticing me I knew enough was enough and away we went, not even waiting for the light to change to green. Not that it mattered; everyone was so intent on trying to get away.

My grandfather always told me that rodents carried diseases… Somehow I don’t think that this was quite what he was talking about.

Bob is getting anxious for me to tell you his story. He wants people to understand what he’s been though and why he’s doing this. He hopes that in reading it you’ll trust enough in yourself to never, ever give up.

Robert (He’s asked me to call him by his full given name since he feels these typed words will be his legacy to the world) was an athlete and a laureate from an early age. Give him a subject in school and he learned so much so quickly that soon he knew more than most of his teachers. Put him on a field, give him a set of rules and the equipment and he could master any game. He loved to ski and he especially loved to hunt with his father.

While watching the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY he saw the Biathlon event for the first time. Athletes combined gruelling cross-country skiing distances with target shooting. He was riveted and knew in his heart that he would be going to the Olympics. And so Robert did, representing Canada in both the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and then in 2006 in Turin, Italy. It was during his time in Turin that Robert’s heart grew heavy and he began to think that maybe he wasn’t using his God-given talents in the way that he should. Upon returning from the Games, and against his family’s wishes, he enrolled in the Canadian Military.

While sports had always been a love of Robert’s, so was learning and education. His time spent away from his training was spent in the classroom and he graduated top of his class from the University of Toronto with majors in both Political Science and Linguistics.  It was at UofT that he met Barbara, an Environmental Science major. The two were involved for much of their 4 years at school but for some reason they split up when it was over.

It was his level of education and the specificity of it that allowed Robert to quickly move up the ranks after basic training. Soon he was working as a part of the Intelligence branch as an Officer. And then he was assigned to Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, Robert met Max and the two became friends, finding the common bond of knowing that serving their country was the right thing for them to do. It also helped that they were both from Toronto and could talk about the neighbourhood’s they missed and eateries they couldn’t wait to visit once home again.

On June 6, 2008, the convoy they were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb. An intense firefight followed and Robert’s expertise as a marksman only helped to keep the two of them alive. Injuries among the group were limited that day. One death, a few burns, some scrapes and bruises and Robert lost his left leg from the knee down. He was honourably discharged and sent home to recover from his injuries.

What Robert wants people to know about him is that while he may only have one real leg, the other one is prosthetic and has been modified in such a way as to be fully dependable in times like these. You’d never be able to tell he didn’t have two fully functioning flesh and bone legs. Robert may have been thinking ahead for something like this to happen because the truth is, you just never know.

The message he wants you to hear is this… Even when you think you’re missing a piece of yourself, you need to find a way to make you whole again.

The Next Day

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