Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #103 Adventists and Flashbacks #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF
Ruth’s story #103 Adventists and Flashbacks
I have not mentioned our fear of famine for a while. During the long quiet nights sitting in the radio shack listening to the hiss of radio static interspersed with the whine of the manual charging paddles, there is not a lot to do but worry about the future.
We have read almost everything there is to read. Our most technical and valuable books, those that might help us restore civilization have been carefully sprayed with bug repellent and packed into large watertight zip lock bags with several mothballs. I hope most of those books survive enough years to be of use to someone later.
Often our nights (I still wonder why Shack and I volunteered for the night shift) are filled with the howling of the wind. I have never been so damned cold. The only time that I am warm is when I am snuggled against Shack in our bedroll.
The cold is now so bad that even Nikola is wearing an old Soviet navy, gray Astrakhan fur hat and great-coat. He looks very Russian in his monstrous coat and fluffy hat. I bet that Nikola is warmer though. The industrious lads managed to whip together a small, rusty iron pot-bellied stove that heats the radio tent to barely tolerable when we have wood to feed it.
There is no more scrap wood, to be had anywhere. Every piece of wood that we could find has been burnt. We have pulled out all of the fence posts and ripped apart all of the barns. Any nearby abandoned building has likewise been ripped apart. We have had to reduce the frequency of bathing with hot water as wood is so scarce.
The main farmhouse is protected by armed guards now because it is an old wooden frame house that many look upon with greed. Despite my belief that the less than lethal ammunition was worthless, some of it has been used discouraging convoy members from ripping the wooden siding off of the old house.
All the red alder trees that remain are being hoarded, protected by armed guard, for smoking and preserving food. Our smoke house was completed a few days ago. The aid from a few of the Adventists helped us complete the smokehouse in satisfactory condition. Right now the smoke house is packed to capacity with beef. Since we lack the convenience and accuracy of a modern stove, we had to slice the meat as thin as possible.
Cutting the many thousands of pounds of beef, we realized that while many of us possess quality fighting knives, good quality butchering and skinning knives are in desperate short supply. Another commodity also dear in supply is good knife sharpening tools. It was difficult to slice the meat thin enough so that it dried completely. Dryness is the key as properly dried meat will last quite a while.
We are using a drying technique similar to what the Native American tribes used to dry meat. I am told that the red alder wood used in our smokehouse will impart a nice flavor to the beef. I am dubious about the taste of the dried meat.
We see very few animals these days with the exception of rats. Almost all of the cats and dogs have been wiped out, consumed by desperate survivors. It is a rat’s heaven now. So far we have not stooped so low as to eat rat, although I would not put it past our cooks if we get desperate enough. God that fucking cook had better not be serving me rat!
My dreams are often filled with meals from the past. Great heaping feasts. Especially feasts around Jewish holidays such as Purim. All of that luxurious food I consumed with so little thought while hardly tasting it. Mountains of warm bread dripping butter, scandalous pastries, thick juicy cuts of meat dripping with fat, and barrels filled with every imaginable dairy product parade through my dreams.
A brief flashback …
I have to add an addendum to some of my previous journal entries. This is what happens when your journal is written on a bunch of little scraps of paper. Chances are fairly good that I lost a few of those pieces of paper. I also occasionally find some scrap of journal notes wedged into some equipment’s crevice.
Since living with Iain in his bunker, in the Oregon, foothills not many miles from what used to be Baker City, I have learned many things about the hairy giant of a man. He has given me several beautiful Moleskine® Notebooks since we have been together. I am not so sure what all of the lovely stickers are used for, but the journals are very pretty with high quality paper.
Iain has kept a journal for many years, much longer than I have. Once our stories join, he will be a frequent contributor to this story. Iain is the only person that I have seen ever in my life that writes with an honest to God fountain pen. Iain uses a Conway Stewart fountain pen in red-ripple Ebonite. Thankfully, for him, he stockpiled what must be gallons of ink in the bunker.
Speaking of bunkers, I am adding some of the lost material at this point despite that chronologically it happened several weeks prior to the events mentioned before and after. I try to do my best keeping my journal organized, but the frantic last few weeks that I was with the convoy, caused me to lose some of my journal.
So, anyway, here are some of the found (lost) journal notes …
We received some radio traffic from the bunker underneath Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. The last President did not make it to safety at Mount Weather. Both the President and Air Force One are considered lost.
Officially, the few members of Congress and the Senate that made it to safety either at Mount Weather or the Greenbrier Luxury Hotel (also in Virginia) have stated that the Vice President is now officially the last President of the United States. Congratulations, madam president.
We are not sure quite whom the transmission was meant for as there are very few radios still in use, at least in transmit mode. I have detailed earlier some of our concerns in regards to radios. Radios are still an item that we continuously search for. Except for the occasional HAM operator, the air waves are now mostly silent.
The last time that anyone in the convoy heard anything about the VP, she was leading troops against the zombie hordes somewhere near Camp David. Hearing from both Mount Weather and the Greenbrier, even if those transmissions are authentic, it does not really change anything. The VP’s broadcasts went silent a week or so before the Mount Weather transmission naming her the second woman President of the United States.
It is as irrelevant as some of the news that I watched on TV while sitting in SeaTac Airport so long ago. Some perfectly coiffed blonde bimbo with an impressive set of tits (probably bolt-ons) reported that the US Treasury Department was concerned because consumer credit spending was at an all-time high. Who gives a fuck about credit cards when the world is about to die?
I did get a good laugh from the news reporter in the field talking to a small mom and pop grocery store owner. The reporter watched as the store’s owner opened his safe showing that it was absolutely stuffed to the gills with personal checks and cash. Showing his contempt and illustrating the distinct improbability of the store owner actually getting reimbursed, he proceeded to use a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid in a unique way.
I have never watched an elderly gentleman before, take a white plastic charcoal lighter fluid container, and while mimicking the act of urinating, squirt lighter fluid all over the bundles of cash and personal checks. I think the reporter was too shocked to move because he just stood there open-mouthed holding the microphone. The reporter did not move even when he was splashed with lighter fluid.
Some nearby bystanders tackled the shop owner before he could toss a lit Zippo onto the lighter fluid soaked money, checks and reporter. Watching the destruction of civilization as we knew it on the news was eerily just like watching a train wreck – I just could not resist watching.
Events that once I never would have considered as something even remotely probable took place every minute on the news. As fresh water became scarce, people began fighting over swimming pools, going even so far as to kill their neighbor for possession of his pool. Who would have ever thought that your neighbor might kill you one day for the thousands of gallons of water in your swimming pool?
Another news reporter, this time a handsome nattily dressed black man wringing his hands with concern during his fluff news piece, reported about the multitude of people attempting to purchase guns and ammunition. There was genuine apprehension on the reporter’s face as he bemoaned the likelihood of greater violence due to increased gun possession.
No mention at all of the increased violence which might have been caused by the zombies. Some of the lads tell me that there was not a gun nor a single round of ammunition to be had anywhere. Camping gear, vitamins, and any food staple capable of being hoarded were quickly in short supply.
Surprisingly, no one seemed to consider grits, as that was one common staple. I had never eaten grits before KCAP. I am sick of grits. A common staple, instant oatmeal, is also something that I tire of eating frequently. Along with reconstituted peanut butter and MRE crackers, I am sick of the same bland diet.
Another shortage is any kind of container that might store supplies for any length of time. Kitty litter totes, pails, and any other water tight or air tight container have become highly prized commodities. Jugs for storing gallons of fresh water such as the blue plastic Reliance Hydrorollers and Aqua-tainers became nearly as valuable as gold.
Good quality containers are worth more than gold or silver as you cannot eat or drink precious metal, and they will not sustain your life. The only value currency, at least the metallic kind, has is the use as shrapnel in our booby traps.
Paper money is useful as kindling though some of the older bills have been used as rolling papers. I am out of smokes again. Tobacco is in extreme short supply. What has not been smoked by now has rotted away. Only God knows when I will see good cigarettes again. Despite my nicotine cravings, cigarettes are the very least of my dietary concerns.
Bottled spices, Coleman lanterns and stoves with fuel, and even bottled water became precious overnight. Once the KCAP panic broke; stores were emptied in minutes. Stores that attempted to stem the tide were looted usually after the owners were killed. The police were quickly overwhelmed, and along with the fire department and other emergency services, many had, sensibly, decided to go AWOL and care for their families.
Our lives are irrevocably changed. So many things in our lives that we took for granted are now in exceedingly short supply. Many of the items that we used daily; we have no idea how to make ourselves. Lacking the items we once relied upon and lacking the skills to manufacture the needed items, is going to result in a lot of dead people if they are not dead already.
I do not believe anyone is really expecting the US government to save them or restore order. For better or for worse we are on our own. You either survive or die. With the relentless cold and the consequential crop failures, starving to death is a real possibility for a lot of people. Our weather has been cloudier than ever.
Despite the US government Continuity of Operations Plan, it appears that the US exists only in our memories. Later, we would learn that there are no surviving governments anywhere in the world. Some of the world governments did manage to get the important people to safety, usually in shelters designed to survive nuclear weapons.
The nuclear pandemic …
We would have been better off if we were facing a nuclear holocaust rather than a zombie pandemic. The problem with all of the shelters appeared to be someone’s infected loved one getting inside. Every supposedly secure shelter that we have ever talked to, with the exception of the poor bastards underneath Ft. Detrick, every one of them had an infected person that somehow slipped inside.
Mount Weather used to broadcast some interesting weather data over the old and long disused HF FEMA National Radio System (FNARS). A depressing radio transmission from one of the few surviving ancient US Navy E-6F Looking Glass planes stated that between 300 and 500 nuclear weapons of various types had been deployed worldwide.
Brief nuclear wars between India and Pakistan, Greece and Turkey, and Taiwan and China utilized an unknown number of nukes. The brief nuclear exchange between Taiwan and China obliterated Taiwan but did little damage to China. Equally unknown is exactly how many nukes China and Russia deployed trying to sterilize the assumed KCAP outbreak area.
Some of our Russian soldiers are survivors from the Lake Balkhash area, and also from what is left of the Aral Sea. They do not know just how many nukes were used by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. All that the Russian survivors know for certain, is that China was the first country to drop a nuke attempting to stem the zombie hordes.
China saturated bombed the Yarkant River area. When conventional weapons failed, China dropped low yield nuclear weapons attempting to cauterize the area, preventing the zombie hordes from entering China – for a brief time. When the low yield nukes failed, China started using its largest nukes, which also failed to stem the zombie hordes.
Pandora’s Box Opens …
Once China opened Pandora’s Box, it was a nuclear free for all. When plague ships started making landfall, nukes were used both at sea and on land. The US was the first to deploy nuclear tipped anti-ship missiles. Then France used several, ancient, nuclear tipped Exocet anti-ship missiles. The United Kingdom got in the game by deploying several reactivated, equally ancient nuclear tipped, American made, Tomahawk anti-ship missiles.
We will never know just how many nuclear tipped, anti-ship missiles were used. The US forces used ancient, nuclear tipped SLAM-ETR (Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Tactical Response), and Harpoons as well as Tomahawk missiles when conventional weapons failed to stop plague ships.
Once the US started using nuclear anti-ship missiles, Russia, China, North and South Korea, Taiwan, France, Britain, Canada, Iran, and Israeli navies, to name just a few, jumped in the game. Countries without nuclear tipped anti-ship missiles such as Mexico, South America, Cuba, etc. suffered the greatest number of plague ships.
Because of the unrestricted use of nuclear weapons at sea, an estimated 25 billion acre-feet of water was instantly turned into steam which after cooling in the atmosphere, became clouds. That is enough water to cover the US in about a hundred feet of water.