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Zombie Apocalypse Fiction – Ruth’s Story #84 On the road again, convoy interaction and new personnel TEOTWAWKI, SHTF

November 16, 2013

Other than Shack’s incessant snoring and the rattle of the hulking Dodge diesel engine most of the early morning hours after the midnight break passed in relative silence. Due to a large semi-trailer tractor piled amidst numerous car wreckages mixed in along with some convoy miscommunication, we had to perform a necessary and long backtrack. During the whole fiasco of turning the convoy around, Shack and I got a little time to talk.

I learned that the AMD-65 carrying, bi-racial woman’s name is Roux (pronounced “rue”), a rather unusual name. Nobody knows her skinny companion’s true name, but everybody is content to call him Scarecrow, for now. The Johnson family rides with Roux and Scarecrow in the red Chevy van along with Jeff our new administration assistant to the Colonels.

Doc Jamal was particularly happy to assign Jeff the tedious task of keeping the convoy’s supply inventory. Doc will still keep the medical inventory, but he was happy to unburden himself of the non-medical supply chain. From the day that Jeff has been in the company it appears that he is quite capable at handling the supply inventory.

Shack’s assistance helping me reverse the fucking gigantic Dodge truck was immensely appreciated. I also appreciated the hardiness and brute strength of the large Cummins diesel engine as it proved highly resistant to my poor fuel pedal control and poor coordination between the clutch and steering.

Eventually, we got the whole damned convoy turned around. The snowplow could not clear the semi-trailer tractor wreckage blocking both lanes of the highway without risking serious damage. We did not have the leisure in which to blast the wreckage clear with explosives, or use various power tools clearing the wreckage.

An unknown number of zombies could have also been trapped within the wreckage, which is something no one deemed as an acceptable risk. Far less risky to backtrack and find another route than attempt a risky wreckage clearance ordeal with an unknown number of zombies in the area.

With our convoy spread in a thin line, we would have been at a disadvantage in an attack. The noise of the clearance operation would have been enough to attract zombies from the surrounding woods and nearby abandoned housing communities. The clearance task would have also required far too many personnel, which would have, left our defensive ranks extremely thin.

With this many vehicles and personnel, turning around is never quick nor is it easy, so we lost a lot of time. We had to stop for the day much earlier than the Colonels would have liked, but that is how things often happen during a zombie apocalypse.

When the convoy stops for the day, the guards are quickly posted. The guards, me included for now, do a quick elimination of any zombies in the general vicinity. The patchwork of construction fencing, cattle and livestock barriers, as well as just about any other barricade we could grab, gets erected around the perimeter.

The guard’s job is to ensure that our construction lads are not killed and that the perimeter fence gets erected properly. Our fence in and of itself will not resist any heavy concentration of zombies. We have seen plenty of abandoned FEMA camps where the perimeter fence was breached just by the sheer weight of the number of zombies pressing against it.

The experience of the FEMA camps is one of the reasons that our perimeter defense is based on layers of defense. First line of defense is the guards who using suppressed weapons or quiet melee weapons eliminate any zombies that wander too close. After the shooting perimeter, the next layer is the anti-personnel mines followed by concertinaed razor wire and then our hodgepodge barrier fence.

The lads quickly have the perimeter fencing secured with bricks, cut logs from the nearby forest, and lots of heavy weight chains. One fortuitous fact of traveling through the Pacific Northwest is that there are plenty of trees, many of them small enough to be felled quickly with a few blows of an axe. Thankfully I am not tasked with axe work as I am a child of the desert, and despite the little practice I had at SeaTac airport, I am far from an expert with an axe.

The lads with the axes also construct numerous chevaux de fries from felled trees. Thankfully, soft pine trees are plentiful that several chevaux de fries can be constructed at each campsite. It is a shame that we have to abandon the chevaux de fries in our old camps, but we do not have the room to store the rather large and bulky medieval anti-cavalry devices.

By the time we leave camp, most of the chevaux de fries are festooned with numerous zombies who are too stupid to avoid impaling themselves. I would not want to have to kill impaled zombies and then pull the rotting bodies off of the bloody spikes. Our lads are quite adept at building the chevaux de fries by coordinate the drilling of holes and sharpening of stakes.

Good quality axes are hard to beat for constructing chevaux de fries. Other large, rough wood working tools like adzes, slicks, froes, and two-man bucking and felling saws are also highly prized and avidly sought by our foragers. Many of the tools our convoy has collected once sat in museums, or were once part of a private collector’s assortment.

We certainly could use some old-timer with a lot of skill using these old wooden tools, but our efforts have to suffice for now. We could also use someone who knows how to sharpen the old tools. Most of these tools were in fairly poor shape when we acquired them.

Many of the old tools require new wooden handles, and lacking sufficient quantities of the proper kind of seasoned hard wood, we have many tools wanting proper handles. As I watch the lads, I realize that I did not know that there were so many different styles of wood working tools. I watch the wood chips fly for a while but get bored quickly and turn my attention to other groups of workers.

I have to stand security for those swinging the axes as the noise does tend to attract far too much zombie attention. Several of the guards, including me, had to dispatch quietly zombies upon arrival in our new camp. Most of the zombies were felled with a well-aimed blow from a spade or some form of bludgeoning weapon.

Wooden baseball bats are particularly well suited for dispatching zombies. Since most American youth at least know the fundamentals of swinging a baseball bat it is not too difficult to teach them to swing for the zombie’s head, or at least at the base of the skull. Aluminum baseball bats tend to bend rather than cave in the zombie’s head and are best avoided. Softball and cricket bats being larger and heavier are superb zombie killers – if you can find them.

However, today there were quite a few zombies that were either too closely packed together or just not safe enough to approach that required a well-aimed shot from my Brügger & Thomet MP9. The Aimpoint Micro H-1 optic sight and the AAC suppressor make shooting a zombie extremely easy. When shooting a zombie was warranted we made sure everyone knew and was clear of the intended target.

We only have so many of the subsonic Federal 147 grain 9 mm bullets, so I feel horrible when I have to use a few. Before KCAP, there was quite a bit of debate about which weight of the bullet was the best for the 9 mm Parabellum (or Luger if you prefer). The 147 grain bullets for failing to expand reliably and kill a victim have a checkered reputation.

No bullet, no matter how delightful it is or what technology it employs, is going to be a 100% killer every time. There is always going to be some failures to expand, or over penetration. However, in a zombie apocalypse, I do not give a shit about a particular round’s checkered past.

I do not have the luxury of being picky, and anyway we shoot for the head at fairly close ranges. Over penetration is not quite a concern, as long as the bullet punches through the skull, destroying the brain. Even MIL-SPEC, 115 grain FMJ 9 mm bullets do a decent job of killing zombies with a head shot, but I prefer to use heavier hollow points.

So far all of the times that I have used the Federal 147 grain subsonic 9 mm rounds it has killed the zombie perfectly every time. I prefer to use the B&T MP9 as with the shoulder stock extended as it is nearly as steady and as accurate as my rifle, but much handier to operate.

Although I am exceptionally good with my pistol, the MP9 is more accurate with the shoulder stock extended. Despite the fact that my British military contract FN pistol has a tangent sight, my MP9 is much easier and more accurate to shoot at the distances for zombie clearing.

In much tighter quarters, my pistol would be a better choice, and at longer distances my rifle would be the better choice. It is necessary to choose the correct tool for the task at hand. We may have a real hodgepodge of weapons, but at least we have some commonality among them.

I am glad that I do not have any form of laser aiming device on my weapons. Most of the military M4s the lads carry are dressed with AN/PEQ-2A Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Light (TPIAL). However, the zombies appear to be utterly oblivious to the laser from the TPIALs. Another limiting factor of the TPIALs is the scarcity of AA batteries.

We are not sure whether or not the zombies are color blind. If zombies are colorblind and, therefore, cannot see the lasers, then it explains their lack of action when painted with a laser no matter the color. Perhaps the zombies are so stupid that they do not realize what the little red or green dot signifies.

Short and long bladed razor wire bales are rolled out between the fence and the eventual location of the anti-personnel mines. After the razor wire is concertinered, the Spets lads and some of the other soldiers so trained scatter anti-personnel mines around the perimeter outside the fence, in front of the rolls of razor wire.

After the fence and concertinaed wire is erected some of the lads drag the dead zombie corpses away from the camp while others proceed to dig latrines within the fence line. I wish that we still had access to heavy earth moving machinery to bury the stench emanating from the corpses. I am not sure which is worse, the smell of the rotting corpses or the smell of the latrines after a while.

While some of the lads are disposing of the dead zombies, I watch a few of the Spets lads and a few of our own SF lads plant anti-personnel mines around the perimeter of the concertinaed wire. The chevaux de fries are the first line of defense, followed by the concertinaed wire, then a large wide mine field consisting of Yugoslavian PROM-1 and German S-Mine anti-personnel mines.

The German and Yugoslavian mines are connected by large lengths of extremely obvious wire that is draped with bright-colored ribbon. Spread in between and around the anti-personnel mines are numerous American M14, Soviet PMN-1 and PMN-2 anti-personnel mines.

The anti-personnel mines are well-marked so that they can be quickly retrieved. They are also well-marked so that anyone approaching our camp can read the warnings and not stumble into a minefield. However, just in case those approaching our camp do not have peaceful intentions, several other defenses are spread around the outer perimeter.

Because our camp area has almost always been deep inside a wooded area, several defensive devices are placed within the woods. Several Soviet MON-50 and American M18A1 Claymore mines with both remote control and hard-line detonation are placed in strategic locations. Several seismic detonators are also rigged to the old Soviet MON-50 claymore mines to prevent clearance operations.

Interspersed among the lethal mines is several early warning devices such as American M117, and M119 trip booby traps. The M117 has a large white flash burst while the M119 is a whistling booby trap. I am not sure using a whistling booby trap is wise, but I suppose it would attract the zombies to the trap rather than towards our camp.

Among the general gear issued to each person in the convoy are numerous Polish, Soviet, German and Czech 26.5 mm flare guns from various manufacturers. All of the guards carry at least one flare pistol along with a variety of Soviet and American as well as civilian maritime flares.

One item we are sorely lacking is the aluminum adapters to allow the 26.5 mm flare guns to shoot the civilian maritime 12 gauge flares. We have a few of the hardened aluminum and anodized adapters but far too few for a company of our size. At night, flare pistols are loaded with a high-flying single white parachute flare or a red rain, multiple-star flare.

The white parachute flare is supposed to float and burn for up to 10 seconds. The floating white flare will illuminate an incredible amount of real estate. The white parachute flare is for illuminating the enemy in an emergency situation.

Unfortunately, the white parachute flare also has a nasty habit of attracting zombies. I am sure the red rain flare would attract far too much attention, as well. I wonder though, that if the zombies could see the red rain if they are color blind. The red rain flare indicates that a whole lot of shit has hit the fan and be prepared to fight for your life.

We also have several Czech 26.5 mm green, red and orange flares but so far we have not used any of them nor have a designated use for them. We also possess Czech blue and orange smoke flares but not sure what we would do with them other than mark a target.

Several American M49A1 surface trip flare booby traps are also planted in the woods around the camp site. The flares offer an early warning of the approach of forces unknown, but I wonder if the flare would tend to attract more attention than it warrants. My musings of booby traps, flares and anti-personnel mines, is interrupted by the return of Bill and our sole surviving Hummer.

  1. Bagman permalink

    Thank you

  2. No problem, more to come soon.

  3. Mudd permalink

    Good stuff as usual. Thank you

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