I know it’s been a few days since I last posted but there has been quite a lot going on around the settlement. They also monitor the amount of time we have on the communal computers. We still haven’t gotten our laptop back which is odd to us since it’s not on the list of restricted items. Eventually I hope that we’ll get it back but you never really know sometimes.
Johanna Herber came to personally thank me for sounding the alarm when the Undead managed to get through the breach in the north wall. It was a nice gesture but I didn’t think that I needed a personal visit. I was just doing what I would assume anyone else would have done. And it was done with so much pomp and circumstance that you would have thought they were giving me a key to the city!
Having finally met Johanna, I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed. She’s made out to be this larger than life hero; like someone who no one could possibly ever live up to. Instead she’s just this little diminutive woman of about 80 years of age. Her face is a map of the life that she has lived; all of the trials and tribulations carved deeply into the freckled skin. She has arthritis so severe that she walks with a cane and the assistance of another woman; someone much younger than herself but from the familial resemblance, likely her granddaughter.
When you meet her, you get the impression that she would be ineffective at anything that she tried. You would have been wrong the moment she opened her mouth. The authority that oozed out the woman was palpable. And when she fixed her eyes on you for the first time, you got the impression that she enjoyed being underestimated. The fire that blazed behind those eyes was very evident and you soon realized why Seattle stood relatively unchanged 125 days after the Apocalypse.
It also became readily apparent why so many people just did everything that she asked of them. Her wisdom and knowledge on any subject was astounding. One might even begin to wonder if she had worked to get herself into a position of power in order to prepare for such an event.
We’ve been hearing rumours and snippets of information about Johanna from other survivors that have been here longer than us. Apparently, in the 30 years (yes that’s correct, 30 years) she has been the mayor of Seattle, she had amassed the multitude of concrete barriers that are currently surrounding the city. Amassing and stockpiling them in warehouses maintained by the city located on the outskirts of town. How she managed to stay in power, with all of the money that she must have diverted, I cannot even begin to comment on.
Once Johanna heard the news that Brooks VanReit had reawakened, she didn’t waste any time in turning all of the city’s manpower to the task of enclosing the city. She figured that it was better to be safe than sorry in any situation that involved the Undead. And all of us were extremely lucky that she did; none of us would have a place to stay safe otherwise.
What I don’t understand is why she leaves the gaps open, it’s not like it would take a lot to patch them up. And she has to know about them; there have been too many breaches to believe otherwise… Perhaps in the beginning the workers that had constructed the wall had hidden the fact that there were gaps but with all of the alarms and the need for Perimeter Guards, it would have become obvious there was an issue.
And after the breach that we had along the north wall the other night, Johanna and the council have even allowed us to have a source of illumination. It’s not a true light because they still don’t want us to inadvertently attract the Undead to the weak parts along the walls. What they have supplied us with are small LED lights similar to what you would find attached to a key ring. It gives off the weakest of bluish tinges and only illuminates the smallest of areas. It’s not enough to really see by but it is better than nothing.
I will say the first time my light was cast upon the face of one of the Undead, I recoiled in abject horror. The light made them look even more ghastly than I thought was possible given the greyish pallor of their rotting visages. It was positively ghoulish. I am not ashamed to say that it caught me by surprise as there were no telltale sounds to accompany its arrival.
The noises may have been missing purely because this particular Undead used to be a toddler; its face now half eaten and right arm ending in a putrid stump just above the wrist. It didn’t take me long to kill it, but I will say that you never get used to the kids…
If I had to choose the kinds of Undead I would prefer to encounter, children would be at the bottom of said list. Sure they are smaller and can be killed slightly easier depending on your method but they are more voracious and just a little more cunning. That might just be because of the creep factor though…
At least with the full-sized Undead, for lack of a better word, you can see them coming. They tend to be taller than or at least as tall as the cars clogging the roadways. And unless they are scraping themselves across the ground after you, you can usually track them in tight spots. Children, on the other hand, can come out of nowhere sometimes. As you make your way around a car or through an area that has some congestion, they can suddenly just be there, their undead eyes fixed on you and their undead arms reaching out as if to be picked up. In the first few days, I can see how a number of people might have easily reached down out of habit to pick up a child. An instinctual move that might well have been their demise; who wouldn’t have wanted to help a child in distress? We’ve been taught that it’s the right thing to do.
Once the Apocalypse hit, the right thing quickly became what you rarely did. Unless of course it was something that you deemed was safe to do. No one went out of their way to help anyone else; doing so could mean death. You had no idea who was infected, who might want to do you harm, and who might end up being completely useless.
We’ve been hearing that the settlement has been turning away other survivors since we got here. And in fact they hadn’t let anyone inside after they were fully enclosed. That leaves us to wonder why they decided to let us inside…