Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #182 Planning Flower’s Clan Move From Baker City, OR. #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL
Iain and I walk across the courtyard, serenaded by Obaba reading some Indian drama, with lots of marriages, scandals, gratuitous high fashion and excuses for ridiculous costumes. I never really cared for Indian drama, but found some of the comedies funny.
Iain is determined to move Flower’s group. Arguing with the man when he is in this mood is like arguing with a forest fire.
“Have you considered calling Robert on the Ham radio?”
In the field Iain carries a Yaesu 857D portable Ham radio with LDG Z-100 antenna tuner. I watched him carefully hook the small solar charging panel to the batteries just after we arrived in the old school.
I have learned that Iain in the old world was an “Elmer” Ham operator, someone who mentors others in amateur radio. He has tried establishing a small Ham radio network here in the area with limited success.
“I don’t want to broadcast over an unsecure network that I plan on moving some 30-odd people plus some of their belongings. Too many assholes out there still that might hear and plan an ambush. No, it is safer to make this request in person even if it takes much more time.”
“But Iain, you did not plan on being gone from the bunker this long.”
“No I didn’t, but I think a couple more weeks shouldn’t hurt. Although, I am worried about the hops going bad. We need to pick the hops and get them packaged soon.”
Iain loves beer, and grows several varieties of hops in the bunker. We are running out of frozen hops, but the lack of malted grain is critical. The bunker was not built with malting floor. Robert and Iain cooked up this wild idea of creating a malting floor at Robert’s place trading malted grain for hops.
We sit at one of the benches in the courtyard. “So, why are you suddenly so gung-ho to move this group?”
“You know that I have been testing the water and soil here in the old school. Some of the soil samples I took measured 1,250 parts per billion of lead. Some samples tripped the 5,000 ppb warning which is the technical definition of hazardous waste. Even the Romans noticed, as early as 312 BC, that lead exposure seemed to cause strange behaviors in people.”
“So Iain you are saying these people are lead poisoned?”
“Ruth, in a way that I did not think possible. But not just lead. Chlorinated hydrocarbons as well; in massive numbers. Flower’s clan has had high red blood cell counts and indications of leukemia in several members. The problems are bad enough that I was considering if infecting them with KCAP would be a kindness or just shooting them would be kinder.”
“They are that bad off?”
“Ruth, she probably won’t tell you this because for some reason she seems to hate you with a passion I have rarely seen in one so young. In December Flower suffered a bout of epilepsy, she suffers from asthma and a nearly constant urinary tract infection, and has a low white blood cell count.”
Iain pulls out his little notebook, looking at his notes his lips form a tight line. I know that look; it usually means more bad news. Some people had the notion that all information is good, that information is like water in desert, and that you can never have enough.
Some of the “all information is good” people are also the ones whose mind-numbing embrace of passivity, helplessness, infantilizing and condescending outlook on the rest of mankind doomed them in the KCAP apocalypse.
Most of these intellectuals lacked any real skills useful in an apocalypse and became either one of the infected or lunch for the infected. Part of what chaps my ass about Flower is that she constantly has the smug look on her face that only the truly self-righteous can carry off. That look on her face makes me want to smash her face in until it is a bloody pulp.
It would be nice to get out of the city though. The stink in most cities from untreated sewage, rotting garbage, and unburied rotting corpses has faded over the years, but is still prevalent when the wind shifts. That smell invades the nostrils, lodges in the back of your throat and triggers my gag reflex. Iain seems immune to the smell – asshole.
We face the problem of paralysis through analysis. Obviously we need to do something, but neither option looks very appealing.
“We leave redhead here, or take her with us,” I ask Iain.
“We take suchka with us. I don’t trust Flower and her crew to keep their hands off of her.”
“Now what has she done?”
“You mean other than the constant complaining, and bitching about the crummy food, and lack of entertainment?”
“What the fuck does she expect – dancing monkeys? Do you think that she will fare any better at Robert’s place and if she is such a pain in the ass, how long until Robert tosses her pretty ass out?”
“I don’t know Ruth, but she is getting on my nerves.”
For redhead to get on Iain’s nerves is really saying something because he is the most patient man that I have ever met.
Obaba continues to read the Indian drama in the background. Iain, seeing that I am listening to Obaba for a bit, looks pointedly at me.
“ ‘Books give delight to the very marrow of one’s bones. They speak to us, consult with us and join with us in a living and intense intimacy.’ ”
“Who the fuck said that?”
“Petrarch, dear,” Iain says with a smug look on his face.
“Asshole. OK, but Petrarch did not have to put up with Indian high drama read by a little Japanese troll in a reedy voice. Speaking of which, how are we going to move said little Japanese troll and all of her shit? Have you ever looked in her room, it is packed to the damned rafters with all kinds of books, papers, magazines and God knows what else. Hell, she could have a copy of the Lemegeton of Solomon in there for all we know.”
“You’re showing you Jewish roots dear, although if she did, I’d love to read it.”