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Zombie Apocalypse Fiction – Ruth’s story #75 moving north along highway 9, camping beside the Quilceda Creek SHTF & TEOTWAWKI

January 17, 2013

Still travelling north bound on highway 9; the convoy has made slow but steady progress. A few days have passed since the last entry in my journal. The weather is getting worse; significantly so since my last entry. The frequent rain is bitter cold, and laced with blackish gray ash. The snow storms remain intermittent but are getting more frequent and are lasting longer.

It took a few days for me to notice that the snow turned from white to dark ash gray. We also noticed little black bits in the snow. Not sure if the snow color is going to continue to darken, but the gray is rather unnerving. Rather than reflect light, like white snow usually does, it is as if the dark gray snow absorbs light making it darker. The days are gloomy enough, with the dark snow covering everything; it seems as if we never see the sun.

With a preponderance of uncontrolled fires, and a proclivity for nuclear weapons, a huge amount of material has been tossed into the atmosphere. Large portions of urban areas are either in flames or recently burnt. Each nuclear weapon hurled tons of ash and steam into the atmosphere. Scattered radio traffic reports large fires burning in forested areas. Other than what we heard from other survivors, we have no real concrete evidence of where these forest fires might be.

Reports of which cities have been nuked are suspect at best. Nikola was aware of several nukes used by Chinese and Russian forces to stem the zombie tide. He was in the Lake Balkhash area when Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan all dropped nuclear weapons in the area attempting to eradicate the zombies.

Nikola knows that the areas around Lake Balkhash and what is left of the Aral Sea are an inhospitable nuclear wasteland. He also witnessed China’s 39th Group Army use 155mm rocket-assisted shells fired from self-propelled PLZ05 and towed howitzers in to the Yarkant River area. The unsuccessful artillery shelling was followed by several days of conventional saturation carpet bombing.

Nikola’s accounts of the failure of conventional ordinance to halt the spread of the KCAP virus is probably why China’s Second Artillery Corps commenced shelling the Yarkant River area with Dongfeng-27 Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM). An accurate count of how many nukes used is impossible as so many were used by so many different countries. Many of those who authorized the release of the nukes are now either dead or a zombie. Best guess of total expenditure of nuclear weapons is around 100 or so.

Most reports agree that no nuclear weapons were used on land in either North or South America. There are unconfirmed rumors of several neutron bombs used in California, most notably upon the cities of Sacramento and Los Angeles. Since California had the highest pre-zombie apocalypse population, the alleged use of neutron bombs in that state makes sense.

Several nukes were used at sea by US, Canadian, Chinese, Taiwanese and British forces among others. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and several other countries freely used nukes on land. India and Pakistan enjoyed a brief exchange of nuclear weapons. With the world in utter chaos, and so many different nuclear weapons used, if the human species survives, we may never know the exact details.

Between the nuclear weapons and ginormous non-nuclear weapons like the daisy cutters, MOABs, ATBIPs, etc. cubic butt loads of material was kicked into the atmosphere. The steam, smoke, ash, dust, etc. floating around up there is causing temperatures to drop rapidly as we enter the beginning of what could be a long nuclear winter.

Despite what the calendar reads, temperatures are dropping fast. Yesterday’s day time high was barely above 44°F and the nights are consistently dipping a few degrees below freezing. The hills and mountains surrounding this valley are all coated in a dark gray creeping blanket of snow. The snow in the mountains is gradually getting darker as more debris falls from the sky mixed with the snow.

Most of the falling material is mildly radioactive, not enough to cause anyone harm, but still something you do not want to dance naked in. We still check every day with our big boxy yellow Geiger counters, just in case we need to keep everyone under shelter. In camp every night several Geiger counters with long cabled remotes are placed around the perimeter.

There have been no reports of a radiant (radioactive hot) zombie for some time. Perhaps our Geiger counters will warn us of approaching radiants. We have noticed that the Geiger counters do tick up a little when the cobalt lightning ferociously rips across the dark skies. The cobalt inter-cloud lightning, which might be a product of all the shit in the atmosphere, has been frequent and getting stronger.

At night while the convoy travels, the bright cobalt blue lightning ripping through the clouds has become a frequent companion. Seeing lightning and snow together has been interesting. Lightning and hail is the other common occurrence. Our dirty snow storms are more frequent; although the snow down here does not last long during the day it still dampens everything and turns to ice when the sun sets.

Shadowed areas and low-lying portions of the roadway do not thaw at all during the day. Some of these shadowy and low areas have built up a thick layer of ice, with several crunchy layers sandwiched together. Due to the trial by fire, all of the drivers have gotten much better, including yours truly, at driving on the slick roads.

I was never very good at driving in the ice and snow, but I have gotten much better with more practice than I ever wanted. Thank God, I was not driving my beloved little Lotus while learning to drive in the snow and ice. Learning to drive on the ice and snow is hard, doing it while wearing NVGs really makes things interesting. Our snow plow has not had to remove snow yet, but if it continues to get colder, that might change.

Yesterday, we were close enough to see what is left of the city of Everett, Washington. The Scouts were able to search some of the outlying buildings and homes. We knew from what Iain and the GBR had told us that the bridges of highway 2 and I-5 over the Snohomish and Skagit Rivers were blown to bits by the Air Force.

Most of highway 9 other than being blocked with cars is still standing. The Air Force bombed any significant bridge on the major highways in a misguided attempt to stem the spread of KCAP. Even smaller highways with large trestle or bridge structures like State Route 529 were methodically bombed. If we are going to enter the city of Everett and search the naval station, we might have to go overland rather than on a highway.

We have gotten much closer to Everett Naval Station, but still have not made the decision if we are going to search it or not. Our Scouts have gotten close to the naval station but other than observing it from afar, they have not entered either it or the city of Everett. From what the Scouts were able to see, almost all of the naval station’s buildings have burnt, and they counted three naval ships sunk at the piers.

We are fairly certain that Everett Naval Station is either looted, or inhabited. While the US Coast Guard buoy tender sunk beside the pier is probably not of interest to us, as are the pair of sunk US Navy frigates, and what might be a destroyer (according to Carol) the buildings may be of interest. Some of the buildings are large enough that they might offer shelter. Unfortunately the buildings might also have someone or something inhabiting them.

Inhabited by what is the problem. With our backs to the water trapped in a small naval station with no boats is dangerous. Zombies occupying the naval station would not be as much of a problem as cannibals occupying the place. Based upon our last encounter with KCAP cannibals, none of us are too anxious to attack them again unless given no other choice.

Because we are travelling along one of the more remote roadways, we have not come across any more survivors or cannibals since we parted from Iain and the GBR. Zombies have been infrequent, other than those that are stuck in abandoned cars, which has been a welcome break. We have been camping in the woods on the edge of the highway.

The last place that we had a large enough clearing to park all of the convoy vehicles together was at the Walmart on 64th and highway 9. Yesterday we camped in the forest alongside the Quilceda Creek and a small, unnamed pond fed by the creek. Fresh water certainly has not been a problem to find but ensuring the water is drinkable has been problematic.

Short of boiling all the water, we really have no way of treating large amounts of water for drinking. While there is plenty of water for washing potable, safe drinking water is scarce. Doc has a limited amount of iodine, but the Princess ran out of bleach ages ago. We have no suitable filtration system, and ran out of the little halazone tablets a long time ago.

Due to the wet weather and cold, dry firewood is in critically short supply. While camped along the small pond and Quilceda Creek, the Scouts and scavengers found several remote abandoned homes. The homes were quickly cleared of the few zombies and then stripped of anything that would burn. Burning people’s expensive furniture is a shame even if I understand the necessity of it.

I cringed a little as I watched the Princess and Jenny wielding axes, eagerly smash apart someone’s very expensive dark teak armoire. The interior structural wood of the abandoned homes was stripped tearing out the interior walls for the dry lumber they contained. One of the homes had beautiful hardwood floors which was ripped up and burnt.

As the Scouts and scavengers ripped apart nearby homes for firewood, some of the lads went on a fishing excursion. The Quilceda Creek and the small pond I did not believe would have any fish in them but to my surprise quite a few fish were collected. The lads tossed several concussion grenades and a few sting grenades into the pond and creek.

With the explosion of the grenades, dead fish quickly floated to the surface. Swiftly gathering the dead fish, the lads came back with enough for quite a large fish fry up. Guided by Longfeather, a lot of the larger fish was filleted and hung out to dry underneath tarps to protect the meat from the snow and rain. While the meat was drying, guards were posted just in case vermin decided to come by for a snack. With the racks of drying fish, our camp took on the impression of an old Native American village.

The lads caught mostly trout out of the pond and the Quilceda Creek, the majority of which I learned were hatchery stocked rainbow trout. I also learned that there were a few native cut throat trout and a couple very large triploids caught as well. Triploids, the lads told me, are a sterile crossbreed of trout made in a lab; all they do is eat and get very big. I was able to identify the few bass but could not tell what species they were until the lads told me that they were smallmouth bass. Surprisingly, the grenades killed a lot of yellow perch and something the lads called fathead minnows.

Rafts of dead, little one to three-inch long fathead minnows piled up in the ripples of the creek. I hope the local wildlife enjoys the bounty of all the little dead fish we left them to eat. Flocks of sea gulls quickly gobbled up all the little dead fish. I was sure that the ruckus of the sea gulls would attract unwelcome attention. Before the flying rats ate most of the dead fish, there were some hopeful hunters from our group looking to nail a few raccoon, opossum, or maybe even a bear, but no such luck was had.

Despite the unlucky hunters, we had enough meat to feed everyone. Enough wood was ripped from the abandoned homes and nearby forest to last a few days. For the first time in a week or so, we actually got to take luke-warm showers which felt unbelievably nice. Our Scouts and scavengers found evidence that squatters had recently occupied the abandoned homes.

We are out in sparsely populated rural Snohomish County with widely spaced homes and no major urban sprawl. We have not seen a living soul that is not a member of the convoy in days. None of us are sure who the squatters were, but they have moved on so they are not our worry. We have other more pressing things to worry about than some squatters.

With houses so few and far apart, and none occupied by the living in a several mile radius, our Scouts cleared a large area. Regrettably, with the spread out houses, that also means that supplies are running very low. Spending some of our stock piled virgin vegetable oil for a fish fry up was an awesome treat and a real morale booster for the crew.

Despite lacking eggs and milk for fish breading, the cooks did a great job and actually got a light breading on the fish. Jokes of mercury poisoning, and complaints about the lack of beer and hushpuppies aside, the fish fry was a welcome break. Even the few individuals, who professed not to like fish, ate some. Doc made sure that both Sarah and Carol got plenty of fish to eat.

After using the vegetable oil for the fish fry, while it was still warm it was filtered through rags and then dumped into diesel fuel tanks mixed with motor crank case oil. Because we are out in the boondocks, we have been less fortunate finding supplies left behind by departed owners. The highway has enough abandoned vehicles that we collect the motor oil from, but other supplies are dwindling quickly.

Our Scouts have been very busy. Despite the fact that the Harley motorcycles get very good fuel economy, gasoline is in critically short supply. If we do not get lucky and find a large supply of gasoline real soon, our Scouts are going to be back on their bicycles. I am glad that we kept the Scouts old bicycles just in case we need them.

After we drove all night we parked again this morning near a small private lake which none of us could determine the name of our convoy quickly established camp. A ring of homes surrounds the small lake. Several private wooden docks on the small lake are ripped up for their lumber which the Princess quickly used. Two of the homes were flame gutted wrecks. The Scouts search the surviving homes, and other than recovering lots of wood and broken furniture from their interiors, discovered nothing else of interest.

Shack wakes me that evening with our customary routine. We ran out of black orange pekoe tea a while ago so I have been drinking this nasty chai stuff. It has enough caffeine to get me going, but tastes like crap. Shack does not blush any more when he sees me bare from the waist down. He actually patted my bare ass the other day when I bent over to grab my trousers. Shack does appear to find me desirable, despite sleeping in my wooly Army surplus green socks.

He and I did get into a rather hot make out session yesterday and I almost pulled him into my bed roll. If it were not for getting cock blocked by Carol flopping into her bedroll like a tired, beached walrus, huffing and a puffing, I might have gotten laid. Shack was embarrassed to get caught by Carol sitting in my lap with me trying to eat his tongue. I have never had much for breasts, but I have large nipples and dark aureoles courtesy of my Arab heritage.

Shack had a good firm grip on my left tit, twisting and pulling on my nipple in a way that sent shivers all up and down my body while we hungrily ate at each other’s mouth. I thought I might come just from Shack kissing me and playing with my nipple which got pleasantly hard in his fingers. Sometimes I can come just from having my nipples stimulated especially if I have had a long dry spell.

If cock blocking Carol had not burst into the tent, I might have popped Shack’s cherry. I regret a little bit not taking Shack’s other hand and shoving it into my very wet pussy. I doubt Shack has ever had his hand in a girl’s pussy. Thinking of being his first gives me a little bit of a thrill. I know that he has never gotten past second base before and damn I should have flagged him to steal home.

While Shack and I were making out, Nikola and Shen were in the radio tent. Poor Carol had to piss again and afterwards she ducked into the radio tent to say hi to her honey. Nikola told her about the radio traffic that they heard during the day. Carol got so excited at the news she burst into our sleeping tent interrupting Shack and I.

Nikola and Shen had found a couple of radio broadcasts. At first, as I was a little pissed at Carol for interrupting me when I was good and primed for an excellent rogering, I could have cared less what fucking radio traffic they found. On his way out Shack mumbled something about Carol pulling a C3PO on Han and Leia but I did not understand his reference.

Still fuming at Carol while an embarrassed and red-faced Shack ran for cover, I grabbed my clothes. Shack bolted for parts unknown. As I calmed down, listening to Carol as I dressed, I understand that the radio traffic might have been interesting, but damn it I would have rather gotten a good fucking than listen to the propaganda bullshit on the radio.

Shen and Nikola found another government propaganda broadcast stating that the last US vice president was still alive and fighting the hordes of zombies. Madame vice president was still fighting the good fight according to the broadcasts reminding me of similar propaganda for Ernesto “Che” Guevara many years ago. The broadcasts are supposedly coming from the VP’s headquarters somewhere deep in the Catoctin Mountain Park’s forests.

I hope the radio broadcasts from the VP’s HQ are true and are either someone’s idea of a sick joke or some government ass hole attempting to bolster false hope. If the radio reports can be believed it sounds like the VP has a sizeable force with her and considerable weaponry. If the VP does truly command tanks and air craft as the radio broadcasts claim, I wonder where she is getting her supplies.

Why she left the ultra-secure and not so secret “Cactus” bunker at Camp David, which the VP was using I am not sure. I know that Camp David was overrun by zombies, but the radio transmissions indicate the VP is leading troops from the forests of Maryland. The broadcasts were on a lower band level HF channel, Nikola tried to contact the sender but there was no response.

The way the radio broadcast played we felt that it was obviously a recording. We just wondered who recorded it when and who decided to play it. Even the colonels were not impressed, and answered with a typical male noncommittal shrug. Most of these transmissions are believed by most to be blatant propaganda by the useless, ineffective and shattered remains of the US Government.

There has been some discussion about the fate of the VP and if she is truly at Camp David, or, and I think is more likely, at the nearby Raven Rock Mountain Complex also known as Site R. There are several Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) facilities like Site R that the VP might be using for her HQ. She is smart though, if it is really her, to not say specifically where she is.

Anyway, government propaganda bullshit yesterday aside, Shack this evening woke me with another cup of the awful chai tea. While I dress, Shack fills me in on the events of the day. I was half listening to Shack and half wishing and reminiscing about him pulling on my nipple and possibly fingering me to an orgasm. I cannot remember the last time I had an orgasm. Definitely last time Amy and I were together prior to the KCAP outbreak. Christ, was it that long weekend we took to Ocean City, Maryland? Has it been that fucking long? Slightly distracted thinking about sex, I at first miss the importance of what Shack is telling me.

I know that we are critically low on gasoline, with the Scouts being dangerously low. When we run out of gasoline, there has been discussion of abandoning the large Harley motorcycles. Putting the kids back on the BMX bikes is not exactly something that I want to see happen, but I understand the eventuality of it happening as petrol supplies are drying up.

We did pass the burnt out ruins of a petrol station a few days ago along highway 9. Other than the occasional small red plastic gas can of lawn mower petrol, we have not found any gasoline in a very long time. Facing a critical petrol shortage, the Scouts have been searching a wider area. We are at the point on the highway, that if we are going to cut over to explore the Everett Naval Station, we need to make that decision tonight before we leave camp.

Shack prattles on for a while as I am daydreaming about jumping his bones, when I suddenly realize that he said something about the naval station, bicycles and petrol.

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6 Comments
  1. Green Eyed Jinn permalink

    Don’t give in. Keep the tension building. Ruth and Shack can wait.
    Looking forward to the foray into NAVSTA Everett.

  2. Tim permalink

    Thanks! I enjoyed the new chapter. I look forward to your next chapter on Thursday.

  3. Excellent as usual. For those who haven’t gone to Flash Earth to see where our convoy is located, I would suggest they do so. Supplies are running very short and the loss of the Harleys for the scouts would be a big problem if gasoline runs out.
    Everette town proper, may have a few surprises along with much needed assets for the group, if they head that way. It appears on the map, to be quite a diversion from highway 9 to Everette Naval Base, but if great finds were to occur and fuel resupply, then the journey to Twisp could fall in line quite nicely. The long dead citizens of Twisp I am sure had underground tanks of fuel for winter heating, but who knows who the occupants of “Twisp” are now. Good work. stay out of the Gray snow, and Zombies. I am sure that a horde of them is soon to be met with or those nasty ass KCAP cannibals. M.M.
    P.S. I am gonna try to fire up my little story again over the long weekend.What do you think so far?

  4. Sorry to be hogging again, But for our group to acccess Everette, we need highway 2 as there are two areas of water to pass over. If we get to Everette, just a bit south is the Boeing plant “Fuel” and all kinds of shit there (just Imagine)… also a tad bit south of Boeing is another airport. Good luck as I know your group “Alpha” is fighting not just Zombies, but also the lack of necessary supplies to keep the company moving.
    By the way… what happened to “Bravo” company??? M.M.

  5. Bagman permalink

    Another great chapter. Thank you!

  6. hazeleyes permalink

    Took me two days but I caught up great so far.

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