I haven’t actually been ignoring you for 5 months, but I’ll have to explain later. There is a lot to write about. I think for now though I am going to leave it at this: In a world of few people and nearly impossible travel if a man comes into your isolated town preaching about the exact thing you’ve been worrying over for a year or so now is it a coincidence or a sign?
(Session 12(?) post 2)
I can’t sleep. I sent too many people. I should have sent 5 or ten at the most. They are going to get separated. There are going to be leadership issues. They are going to be emotional.
Pray with me? The Warrior’s Psalm?
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Lord, I know you take all in your own time but please let them come home.
Hope the alien works out well with the team. Well, I’m awake now. I think I’ll walk out to the house with the home theater and watch a movie and clean something. sigh
Did you have a good day? Mine was pretty productive. War makes people grow up fast doesn’t it? You remember Owen? He is a great kid. We would have wanted ours to grow up like him. I am sending him out in the wilderness with a team headed for a depot to bring home arms and supplies. Parker isn’t sold on the idea and I think Nathan might literally kill me if Owen is lost out there. What am I supposed to do though? I’m only about 5 years older than he is but it feels like decades. I can’t save everyone. I can’t save anyone. I’m sending 21 other folks out there and some of them are not going to return. That is just the truth. Plus, it is about half of the able bodied folks in the town. What happens if something goes down here while they’re gone? No one is safe.
We’re working on fortifications and building a hospital. We’re also trying to use our few military folks to train everyone in the town for service. I am going to recruit the Colonel as our “drill Sargent”. He has become quite the drunk since the whole apocalypse thing but I think I have the right words to snap him out of it. I am thinking of an all-girls power armor brigade for the armor we currently have in town. Alternative energy, water conservation and farming are all going well.
Kono is up to crazy shit but at least seems willing to talk to us about it. I’m worried about Ava but she never talks to anyone about anything so I am not sure what, if anything, I can do to help her. Nathan is being Nathan. He’s a solid kid. Zed has new projects to work on so he seems happy. I just hope he doesn’t pass out somewhere dangerous with no one to help.
I have a busy day tomorrow. Here’s my to-do list:
• Ask Kono if there was power armor out there that they need to bring back. If so, get Ava and someone to let the away team know how to program that stuff so they can bring it back.
• As soon as Ava gets the aerial photos I need, go plow through the pattern at the mine. It might not help but it is the only idea I have for now.
• Talk to Parker one more time before folks head out.
• Talk with Owen before folks head out.
• Send off for the away team.
• Talk with the Colonel before he gets too lit.
• Talk with Ava about the power armor brigade and get on recruiting if she agrees.
• Find two ladies who will serve as our welcoming and adjustment committee for folks new to town.
• Go with Kono to talk to the new folks.
• Recruit some people who can help to haul rock with Zed.
• Consult with Kono about the aerial photos.
• I wonder what kind of arms and ammunition survey we have going on for the town?
• Continue to convince folks there are no women, children, or civilians any longer; just soldiers.
• Deal with whatever new crisis comes up next.
Look at me being all managerial. Pretty funny huh? Well, time to get a few hours of sleep. Talk to you tomorrow.
Your solider with all my love,
Owen and Kono came home today. I’m so glad. It was the best part of the last month to see them back safe. It was so encouraging even to see Nathan perk up and say he thought they were on their way back. Mole died on the trip. I knew we lost someone way back when the four of us blacked out at breakfast. It was just one of those things that was clear to me even when it doesn’t make sense. I’ve been worried ever since as to who we lost or if we would even see any of them back safe. We’ll have to figure out something to do in the way of a memorial service / burial for Mole.
It is obvious that Kono and Owen were impacted by whatever happened while they were gone. I hope it is going to be okay. Kono brought the Doc up to give them something so they could get good sleep. I wish I could do that.
I suppose you can handle this…the whole time Kono was gone I imagined jumping on him and fucking him raw as soon as he returned but he’s not him anymore is he? I guess you can be attracted to someone for their brain. Damn.
Nathan knows I lied to him the other night and I can just see it coming back. Me: “Nathan, I told you, we can’t just kill people that annoy us.” Nathan: “Oh yeah? Well, you shouldn’t be lying to me either.” Honestly, teenagers are a pain. Especially teenagers like me and Nathan. I can halfway sympathize with why our parent had us locked up. Not that we’re the same I guess but still. Is Owen really as ideal as he seems or is there some hidden agenda?
I’ve been thinking about that thing that I want to tell you about but I can’t. Maybe I’ll make some kind of time capsule. You know like when a class at school puts a bunch of stuff they want future kids to know about into a box and then bury it to be dug up and wondered at later? It is stuff someone is going to need to know eventually.
The mayor had himself voted in as our next member to replace Mole and had one of his lackeys deliver the edict to Zed’s place about an hour after we knew Mole didn’t make it back. How tactless and heartless is that? Ava, we discovered, has another power. It is to self-detonate like a couple ton bomb. Not really that useful unless the situation calls for suicidal measures.
Speaking of powers, Kono, Owen and Mole discovered the further from town we range the weaker and weaker our powers until they eventually fade out altogether. I guess that relieves any concern that I had about someone being gifted with a power and then abandoning us.
Right now Nathan and I are the only two healthy folks and he seems inordinately concerned about that so I’m trying to stay awake and alert just in case anything happens. On guard duty I guess. I’m kind of hungry so I’m going to go get something to eat.
I love you,
I gave Reme your combat bible. I think you would have given it to him if you had been here. You always were such a big believer in second chances. I got to take some photos of dinosaurs; specifically some Stegosauri who were on a southern migration just outside of town. It was pretty amazing.
This is the first night since you are gone that I haven’t wanted to write you. I crossed a line today I should never, ever have crossed. If extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures maybe those extraordinary measures are holding true to decency and values. If not for yourself certainly to model for and protect those in your care. I can hear my father laughing at me all the way from hell.
If he just would have talked. If my powers would have worked. If we’d have just stolen the safe. If it hadn’t taken more strength to say “no” than to go along. How did this happen? “The mayor thinks we’re a bunch of monsters who are going to torture you for the information we need.” Fuck. Fuck.
Hope you are having fun. What did you do when you knew you had to kill civilians? I did some cleaning, took a long hike and a bunch of photos, smoked a joint with some friends but I’m still feeling really bitchy. There’s something in one of the nearby mines that is possessing people and then brainwashing them into working in the mine. The details are awful so I’ll leave them out. After our first rather unsuccessful recon mission everyone seems convinced that we need to cut our losses and not worry about killing the people already in the mine. It does seem somewhat unavoidable but these are all folks from the city. I wonder how my team members would feel about it if they were our people.
Zed thinks we should collapse the rest of the mine entrances in the area and it is really not a bad idea. Nothing good is going to come settle in those tunnels and it is a seriously defensible position once something has secured it. Reme is building a little church in the woods. We’ll see how that goes. Some of the mechanically oriented boys are going to work on a water wheel. Owen and Nathan found some milk cows. It’ll be funny to see who, if anyone knows how to milk a cow. How long has it been since anyone has done that by hand?
Kono came up with an idea to restart the internet, for long enough to do a big information dump anyhow. It sounds like about one of the smartest things someone could do right about now but damn he was actively turning me off trying to explain it.
The team is going to split up. Kono, Owen, Nathan and Mole are headed out into the woods on a bonding trek to find us some more weapons in some depots that are out there. Ava, Zed and I are supposed to be protecting the town but we are most likely just going to be bored and worried for two weeks. I’m going to ask Ava to help me with some military training and also lay out a program for those of us who need it now and more importantly those coming after us.
I prayed for the dead of course and everyone except Zed will likely have horrific nightmares but it is still strange times we live in when eighteen dead seems acceptable cause at least they’re not ours and well, there’s stuff that needs doing.
I’m jonesin today but I’m working through it, don’t worry.
It has actually been kind of a boring couple of days overall. Trying to discover new super-powers isn’t as much fun as one would think it might be. We went to the city, you remember, the folks with the human skulls hanging in the trees by their roadblock, and negotiated a semi-truce that might result in the somewhat civilized trade of goods or information or genetic stock sometime in the future. It’s a start anyhow.
Joe is going to take care of the orchard. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. I do wonder if I should have picked him but no use in worrying about that too much now. Kono is acting like he is mad at me or something. Ava got pretty screwed because she is so weirdly beautiful no one can really look at her. I did try to tell everyone that they had to sacrifice something truly meaningful though and she sacrificed something she thought she could live without. I’m probably making connections where there are none. I was worried Clint was going to be upset but he seems okay or at least resigned enough that it is not going to destroy his relationship with Owen. Mole is quiet and seems thoughtful but I think that is just how he is. Not surprisingly it is difficult to keep seven folks with super-metabolisms satisfied. As you know cops and righteous assholes trigger me and now that I have powers I am going at it worse than ever with Parker, which is going to lead to nothing but trouble but I can’t seem to stop myself.
I haven’t told anyone about the other five yet but I did let us be seen together in the diner so I am sure folks have put it together by now if they hadn’t already. I’ll make the official announcement at the meeting tomorrow morning. Maybe when Parker hears both Kono and Nathan have superpowers he’ll have a heart attack and we won’t have to worry about that whole thing any longer. Yeah, that was mean. Sorry baby Jesus.
Oh, speaking of Kono – guess what one of his powers is?? Something along the lines of super-smarts. No kidding. He can tear through a book at an alarming rate and retain the material no problem anyhow.
I want to do a test on Reme. I think I’ll have Nathan hit him with his paralytic power and see if he is immune to everything or just to Ava. If it’s just Ava maybe we can figure out why she is not affecting him.
Somehow folks from the city are disappearing. They are just walking out into the wilderness and then can’t be tracked after a certain point. So, there is our next mission. The question is; is it reconnaissance, rescue, or retribution?
I hope heaven has things like an endless supply of toilet paper. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
You know what I am in desperate need of right now? Someone to hold me and tell me things are going to be okay and that I am doing the best I can. I never hung out with the type of kids who read comic books but maybe I should have read a few before making this decision. Maybe I should have consulted with someone other than Zed or taken the Doc more seriously or hell, let someone else pick. Buyer’s remorse I guess. Did I tell you we got to pick five more people to get powers? You ready? Here is our super-hero team:
A fifteen year-old football playing stereotype of a popular kid.
Two previously undercover special forces types whose only real connection to the town is being assigned here.
An ex-junkie who never even technically finished high school.
A hate-the-world kid who just might have two murders under his belt.
A slacker cop who drinks and womanizes and is the type of person who reads comic books.
A technically skilled and socially inept survivalist who has never even been out of Riggins.
So…what do you think? Yep, me too. I think if I were a guy Parker might just punch me in the face the next time he sees me. I might deserve it too.
And yes, I did just give super-powers to minors without even getting so much as a signed permission slip from their parents/guardians. But worse than that, I had them make sacrifices and what are you going to sacrifice when you’re fifteen that you are not going to regret when you are in your mid-twenties or older? Hopefully having powers and living in the limited choices world of the post-apocalypse will make whatever regrets do emerge seem less awful.
I’m not sure how much of a choice I gave everyone overall. One of my new powers seems to be getting folks to agree with me. Problem is I don’t know how it works and I can’t tell how to turn it on or off or if it is always on and some people like Zed are more susceptible than other people like the Doc. It sounds like a great power to have but it is really not; not without understanding how to control it anyhow.
Let’s see, what else? We survived the bugs; obviously I suppose. It was actually a lot easier than we thought. A rigged ion gun makes a hell of an explosive. The septic tank had become home to a giant nest of alien tapeworms. Zed fried them all but the tank is probably shot.
Some people still think we’re going to be rescued but for me reality is settling in. When we lost the septic tank I thought about what it meant to flush clean water down the toilet anyhow. I got nasty bug guts on my clothing and was just going to throw them away but I realized I don’t know the first thing about how clothing is made. What we’ve got is it until someone figures out how to make fabric I guess. I hope Zed can figure out some kind of pedal powered wash machine or something because I’m not into the idea of doing laundry by hand.
The power going out here was an inconvenience but the power going out other places means nuclear and fission plants might be in trouble. People in hospitals only lived as long as the backup generator lasted. Prison cells opened (or never will again – yuck). Laboratories with diseases lost refrigeration and security. Any crazy dictator who still has a deadman’s switch on weapons deployment just bombarded their neighbor. It must be bad out there.
Who should I get to take care of the land and the orchard? The trees are going to need some attention sooner rather than later. Thankfully, since we can’t buy seed out of the catalog or the nursery in the city anymore, I’ve got some stored over from last year. I don’t want to get too close though for fear of losing them. Next month it is already time for planting things like early spinach, peas, baby greens, beats, etc. Indoor seedlings need to be started too. Also, someone needs to tend all the perennials that are going to be coming up in a month or two. Think it over and let me know if you have any ideas of who I can trust.
I better go. We have an early meeting and then I need to figure out how to keep five people, plus the surrounding civilians and wildlife safe while they figure out their powers.
Love, your super-gal,
Still here and doing okay. There is something wrong with our septic system and yes, that is what I am worried about. It’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t have written you about before so as not to stress you out but I guess it is okay to write about it now. I don’t know what to do and it is embarrassing because it makes me feel like a girl. It’s getting really gross. Any ideas?
I took all my houseplants to the diner and the hotel – that is where most folks in town are staying in case I didn’t mention it. The house looks empty without them and feels lifeless and abandoned. Not to mention I feel like I am abandoning them but at least people here know how to take care of a plant.
Really, the whole house is kind of a disaster area. Besides the septic system being disgusting there is a big hole in the roof we put plywood and a tarp over. The basement door and frame is completely destroyed. There are bullet holes in the wall. The room that would have been the nursery is still boarded off. There are some bloodstains from the bugs that I can’t get out and you know that is going to drive me crazy.
Zed and I did get super-powers. I can shoot fire and he can shoot lightening. There are probably a few other things as well but we are still figuring it out. I’m going to address the folks in town tomorrow so we can get everything on the table and avoid as much drama as possible. At first I was really nervous but while Zed and I were on roadblock duty I think I figured something out that will work really well. Then we’re going to finish off the nest. I hope we have enough power to do it. 5 minutes is a long time in a firefight right?
Look down on me tomorrow and give me some support alright? Plus, you can check out how completely awesome it is to shoot fire from the palms of your hands.
I love you.
The monsters are various different sorts of insects. One type looks like a wasp with a 40 foot wing span. Another is like a beetle the size of a car. Another is the size of a small horse and looks like an even more predatory combination of a spider and a praying mantis. We found a nest on – peak but we didn’t do anything about it fast enough and the bugs raided the town. We lost somewhere in the vicinity of 30 people. Everyone is in shock.
It’s one more thing to try not to think too much about but we’ll probably have to at some point. I’ve had almost two years to start recovering from the destruction of my world. Now between what happened to the rest of the country and the horrific attack on the town we are going to need to keep folks from going crazy with grief. We need everyone now more than ever.
When did our life goals go from something like “go on a wine tour in Italy” to “don’t die horribly”? I’m sorry; you probably thought that question was funny didn’t you? Is this what it feels like to be at war? Did you feel like this every tour? It really is very strange how quickly and drastically things can change. Know something? The end of the world is not as painful and shocking as it was learning you were never coming back to me. I’m actually doing okay.
So remember how I told you Zed and I were going to try to just get into the depot using our identification? Well, we did and it wasn’t anything like we were expecting. I really don’t know how to explain it but we ended up making a deal with some…thing. We are supposed to get some kind of powers that will help us help others make it through this thing. What did we do?
If I don’t meet you in heaven would you forgive me? I wish you were here. What would you sacrifice to help those you care about? It is a question that you have already had to consider. I gambled with my chance at salvation. I made a deal I don’t understand. I may have just given up being human. What now? What more? I wish you were here. God, I wish you were here.
Well, I guess I’ll go open up a bottle with Zed and toast our new career.
I love you so much. No matter what else happens.
Welcome to year zero. I don’t think anyone is coming to rescue us and I don’t think things are going back to normal any time soon. You probably would have found it interesting. It’s sounding a lot like the type of video games you like and it’s certainly not boring. I think we are all going to have to become good soldiers pretty quick.
Zed and I are going out monster hunting. We went to warn the squatters and update them on what is happening. Turns out one of Zed’s friends used to be a physicist who was working on interdimensional travel or something like that. Some people advocated to take the testing off planet but they were in the minority. The blue light in the north is likely a portal to another dimension. The snot -monster was some kind of animal that came through from another dimension but couldn’t survive or adapt in our atmosphere.
How do we get into the depot? The Sargent said that it was one of four uniquely secured bases in the world. The walls are made of some kind of extremely strong material that actually got colder as Zed worked on it with the torch. There must be something in there that can help us. No one has tried approaching the gatehouse and security apparatus simply using their identification or just asking to be let in. Zed and I are going to try it later.
I wish someone was around to punch Jenkins in his righteous face. In the woods he found an injured military man. He hit him in the head with a shovel and stuffed him in the tool compartment of a truck. He acted like an ass and got away with it because the Captain looked Asian and because everyone is so scared. I’m so, so sorry for Captain Walters. His apocalypse was tougher than ours and now he is stuck here. Welcome to Riggins.
It turns out the military dropped neutron bombs across the eastern seaboard. Cities are in chaos. Who knows what else they have been called on to do?
Can you imagine it? I’m actually trying really hard not to. I’m trying to keep focused on what is right in front of me; on what the very next step should be. If I let my thoughts wander too far afield I can feel a desperate, primal panic rising and threatening to take over.
So, that’s why were out hunting monsters. It is something concrete to do and it proves…well, it is one more piece of proof that things have changed – that this is real. We when get back to town I’ll figure out what the next thing is to do and then do it.
I’ll give you a report later. Pray for us.
(Everything began so normal)
Hi there baby,
I visited your folks today. They’re healthy and happy although I think seeing me is difficult for them. They have two pictures of you on the family altar; one when you were five and soooo adorable and another one in your uniform on graduation day (still awfully adorable by the way). The rez looks good. Everyone seems to be thriving despite the economy. I think the challenge brings out the best in your people. I got swarmed by all your aunts and uncles and greats and nieces and nephews and second cousins and extended whatevers. Of course I got fed lots of great food.
Your sister had her baby since the last time I saw them. She is radiant and he is beautiful. His name is Jack. I told him he could have some of your vintage toys when he is older. I know you think they are collectors’ items but honey they are just toys and they should go to baby Jack and make him smile.
I was out that way visiting because I had to go to the base for my one year evaluation. I hate being on base and I hate being with those doctors. The shrink thinks that I buried too much and haven’t dealt enough with my anger. He is worried it will trigger maladapted coping mechanisms. Anger, what does he know? How about rage? Trigging maladapted coping mechanisms? How about not forcing all those pills on me? I would beat them all to death and light their corpses on fire if I thought it would help. Maybe it would be a way to deal with my anger. What do you think?
When I got back home I put on the mix you made for me before you left for your last tour. I intended on sorting through some of our/your stuff. I ended up just throwing a lot of things around, breaking a fair number of things in the process and stomping around a lot and then sobbing on the bed. It was a proper temper tantrum. I ended up just closing the door and walking away. God it still hurts so much. I do really like your mix though.
On a more serious note, Kono has been really supportive and he and I are getting to be better friends. You know his reputation so it is not exactly surprising but it is nice to be with someone and he really does seem to care for me. So, I know it seems kind of fast, but if something were to happen, you wouldn’t mind would you?
Your family says hello and that they love you. I love you too.
It’s getting colder and the trees are going to sleep. I love walking in the orchard and just touching the trees knowing that they are going deep and quiet to conserve their energy so they can produce beautiful fruit next fall. I brought my camera out and kept walking for a while just taking simple pictures of the world slowing down. I got some good shots of wild turkey.
I boarded up the nursery today. Even though we were close to finishing it boarding it up did make it warmer in the house. I’m sure I could insulate and drywall based on what you had shown me but I just can’t go in there. We would have had a beautiful daughter. Maybe we still will someday.
Let’s see. Nathan, Carl’s grandson, doesn’t seem to like school much but does seem to have taken well to the area as he is often out in the woods on his own. Joe and Ava are making a fine discrete couple. People are saying that Duncan Glass might move to town full time. Rick caught an 18 incher. He called me over to take some photos. Peppers sprained his ankle pretty bad and is being a pain in the ass hobbling around and hanging at the diner since he can’t be out hiking and hunting. Ladies’ Tea is annoying as ever but I feel obligated to go. Thank God for Jan.
You would be proud of me – I still haven’t taken any of the pills that the psychologists at the base gave me. Oh, but it is Girls Scout cookie time and I bought at least 3 boxes from every Girl Scout in town. They’re just too cute and the cookies are good too.
I think I am going to try to get some sleep. I love you.
I miss you. Things are getting better here. There are a few places I might be able to pick up an actual job; serving at the diner or maybe cleaning some rooms at the motel. There are people coming back into town too so maybe I’ll be able to take some folks out sometime soon. You know that getting people to pay for art has always been difficult so that hasn’t changed.
We’re still snow-packed but I’m starting to look through seed catalogs. It such a nice way to pass a winter evening you know; slippers, tea, and the latest in Plant Select and heirlooms. Dreaming of all those plants makes me feel like I just might make it through winter.
I went out winter fishing with Rick, Peppers and Lucas. I think they think they need to keep me busy. No one caught anything but I brought my famous canned peaches in brandy, Lucas brought cards and Rick brought a bag of weed so a good time was had by all.
Some guy in Sweden posted a design on the maker sites for an insulated chicken drinker. It looks really simple so soon I will have less work on freezing mornings and the chickens will have warm, well, okay at least liquid, water whenever they are thirsty.
Sue and Clint’s bitch had a litter and everyone keeps telling me how good it would be for me to take one or two of the puppies. Maybe. I’m still thinking about it.
I love you.