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Zombie Apocalypse Fiction – Ruth’s Story #85 Stopping for the day beside Portage Creek, BLEVEs & Sarah’s delivery SHTF, TEOTWAWKI

November 23, 2013

Almost everyone gathers around Bill and the unwieldy, civilian double fuel tanker. Following the civilian fuel tanker are the three fuel tanker HEMTTs. The way the old tractor- trailer struggles to get off of the black top and wallows through the sloppy mud and ice into our camp is a little worrisome. The lonely surviving Hummer brings up the rear of the procession, apparently no worse for the wear.

The HEMTTs are made for off-road refueling but not the civilian tanker. By the way it ponderously lumbers through the trees into our camp, I half expected the damn thing to get stuck in the mud and possibly strike a few trees. A cheery thought crosses my mind featuring the civilian fuel tanker striking several trees, popping a leak, and then catching on fire.

God knows the slick pine needles and sodden ground are not conducive to the old tractor-trailer’s traction. I wonder while watching the hulking fuel tanker spin its tires and wallow through the mud reminiscent of a bright silver-colored ponderous whale, what our response would be should the tanker leak and catch fire.

Despite creating some nasty ruts through the muddy ground, the old Peterbilt semi tractor-trailer makes it to the side of our camp where it can service most of the diesel vehicles. As Bill and Longfeather climb out of the cab of the old tractor, I note that both men are covered in sooty grime.

The colonels join the grouped men, congratulating Bill and Longfeather on a successful fuel retrieval mission.

Standing downwind from the pair I also note that both men also reek of diesel fuel as I get a whiff of them. I wonder how the men got covered in ash as I note that the lads in Hummer are likewise begrimed.

The civilian fuel tanker was not the only vehicle that had difficulty getting off of the blacktop. The tractor pulling the lowboy trailer carrying the Ontos M50 also struggled through the mud. Looking at the destruction through the mud, a fucking blind man could follow our tracks to the camp.

The lone surviving M985 HEMTT had to drag the tractor-trailer carrying the Ontos into the camp site. The large vehicles tore up the soft muddy ground quite a bit. The two colonels quickly dispatch a small work group to fill in the muddy ruts.

The work crew, accompanied by a small security detail which includes the two older Johnsen children, goal is to attempt to camouflage the large truck’s tire tracks. Not sure how much the work detail will be able disguise the passage of so many large vehicles.

I manage to overhear some of the conversation between the group of men. Sam, a worrisome frown on his face, is displeased with the fact that we lost one soldier to a zombie crawler underneath the train cars.

“Goddamn it, how many times do I have to tell you people to check underneath vehicles before you approach? The damn crawlers are some of the deadliest zombies we have to deal with. Use your fucking head people!” Sam appears tired and frustrated.

Bill is tired as well, and with a long sigh he offers an explanation. “The kid was so focused on getting the damned diesel from the locomotives that he didn’t look underneath. The damn crawler had latched on to his leg before Longfeather and I were even aware he was out of the Hummer. The kid’s screams brought a whole pack of the damn things out of the woods.”

Bill pauses to run his grimy hands over his balding pate, through what little hair he has left. He stuffs his grimy ball cap with a frayed bill back on to his head. I wonder what color his ball cap was originally before it was stained with sweat and God knows what else.

“We know the damn zombies move in packs. The zombies also appear to have some form of pack mentality, and it appears to be getting worse. Are the damn zombies evolving? We had to get out of there quickly.”

Bill pauses sipping at his Spruce tea. “Some of the jumbo bulk LPG tanks behind the locomotives may still contain up to 30,000 gallons of propane each. Most of that shit is unblended with scent but would be awesome to have. If I could go back with a crew today, I’d like to try to siphon some of that LPG for us to use.”

Sam frowns putting his right hand underneath his chin, in a contemplative gesture. Bill continues, after several sips of nasty Spruce tea. “There appears to have been several Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVEs) that someone rigged. Someone knew what they were doing, but only a few of the rigged BLEVEs exploded.”

While Sam listens, Bill pauses and takes another sip of tea. “Most of the propane was wasted and did not explode but escaped into the atmosphere. The explosions damaged only a few of the more northern LPG bulk tanker cars but blew a mighty fucking hole in the ground.

We searched through the wreckage of several of the exploded bulk LPG container cars. It appears that several thousand zombies were incinerated by the BLEVEs, but we could not be sure.”

Bill sighs deeply sipping more Spruce tea. “Not much left in the area but a whole lot of burnt trees, a few burnt out buildings, and a whole bunch of partially fried zombies on the perimeter of the blasts. Bodies are so badly burnt that I could not tell which ones were zombies and which ones were live when the BLEVEs went off.”

Sam frowns again so Bill continues. “Look, we got nearly 8,000 gallons of #2 diesel from the two surviving locomotives. Each locomotive can hold as much as 4,500 gallons, so we were lucky that no one else had siphoned the tanks. Probably because of the remote location, but no one would’ve known about the locomotives sitting there if Bill and his family hadn’t of found ‘em.”

Someone, I could not see who, hands Bill a fresh mug of shitty Spruce tea. Bill sips from the fresh cup, while similar fresh cups are handed to Longfeather and the other lads from the fuel looting team. Sam declines a cup of tea.

All of the fuel retrieval guys I note are not only filthy and covered in soot, but also have a shell-shocked expression. Was it from the loss of their comrade or from the destruction in the area from the BLEVEs I wonder? How was their infected comrade dispatched I also wonder.

I trail the motley crowd as it wanders together towards the center of camp, now surrounded by the vehicles. In the center of the camp, a large fire pit has started to take shape. Someone has thoughtfully started a small fire which is quickly enlarged by the addition of the green boughs from the felled pine trees.

Surrounded by vehicles, the light of the fire will not be able to be seen, but I still worry about the smoke. As the fire intensity increases, more wood is added, some of it hissing as the water-soaked wood starts to dry.

Some of the wood is also green from trees felled but a few minutes ago, which smokes far too much for my liking. The warmth of the fire is appreciated though, as despite the fact that the sun is now up, it is still quite frosty.

There is a light layer of frost that covers everything, along with a dusting of small hail stones. Walking causes a light crunching sound upon the small ice crystals which will make it difficult to move silently. The light hail has been falling most of the night, which combined with the frequent gusts of wind, have made small drifts of tiny hail. I shiver deep in my Scottevest jacket.

Our three cooks start handing out more cups of shitty Spruce tip tea as well as US Army issue, aluminum canteen cups of instant oatmeal. Shack, who thoughtfully brought two folding chairs for us to sit on, sits beside me eating his breakfast. I am so fucking sick of instant oatmeal and reconstituted peanut butter spread on MRE snack bread.

At least my oatmeal is hot. I am lucky this morning as I received a bowl full of apple and cinnamon oatmeal, one of my favorite flavors. I dread the day that we will start eating the instant MRE breakfast oatmeal. Unless it has gotten better than I remember, it tasted OK, but had a texture reminiscent of flavored school glue paste.

I take a sip of my piping hot tea and Shack laughs at the face I must have made. I was expecting shitty tasting Spruce tip tea. What I have in my cup tastes like fucking hot mint tea. I quickly glance at Shack.

“While I was on guard duty clearing out the zombies, down by Portage Creek, we found some wild mint growing on the banks of the creek. Me an’ the guys we picked a whole bunch. The cook chick that is Indian, you know red forehead dot not the feather kind, wanted most of it for some stew she is cooking for supper.”

At my quizical expression Shack explains. “Some of the guys shot a few squirrels and a couple of rabbits. There is also a city park nearby that we are going to check today for geese and pigeons.”

Shack gives me that lopsided grin that I love so much. “Figured you’d like mint tea better than the Spruce tea, so I pocketed some while I was by the creek. Never heard of no fuckin’ stew flavored with mint.”

Shack watches me sip some more of my tea. The mint tea is a much better improvement over the awful Spruce tea. “No sugar in your tea, though that kid from the Tulalip tribe says he might be able to find some honeybees, unless they have all fucking froze to death.”

I give Shack a nice long snog to let him know how much I appreciate the change in my morning tea. I am going to have to drink more Spruce tea eventually, no matter how disgusting, because of the vitamin C it contains.

It appears that the discussion between Sam and Bill is done for the moment. The two men separate quickly as if they need space from each other suddenly. Sam gives a head nod to Longfeather and heads for his VW station wagon.

I wonder what Sam’s decision is going to be concerning the bulk LPG train cars. Our laundry and shower can use either LPG or natural gas, but also can be run, as it is now, on fire wood. We could also rig the laundry according to the mechanical lads, to work on a gravity fed liquid fuel system.

Other than the fact that we lack the necessary gravity fuel tank, we also lack a sufficient quantity of fuel for both the vehicles and the laundry. Used motor oil will not burn efficiently enough for the gravity system.

Looking around the camp, I note the state of affairs. Despite the fact that the combination mess and command tent has yet to be erected, I note that Doc Jamal and Jeff are standing beside the colonel’s VW station wagon talking rapidly. Doc has his black medical bag in his hand.

The two men are quickly joined by Sam. Doc says something to Sam and then I see him run off carrying his medical bag towards the outer line of tents already erected. What the fuck is going on I wonder? Resisting the strong urge to chase Jamal I look over one of our newest members.

I note that Jeff carries an old, battered, wooden stocked Ruger MP9 submachine gun. Jeff’s much older Ruger sub gun should never be confused with my much better B&T MP9. I wonder who had squirreled such a unique, old and outdated sub gun. The Ruger Mp9 made in very limited numbers was never a very common weapon unlike the MP5.

After the permanent AWB and the confiscation of all class three weapons, I am surprised at both the quantity and quality of weapons. Later when all firearms bearing optics, regardless of configuration were labeled as “sniper rifles” outlawed, and then confiscated, I never expected to see so many previously banned weapons that I assumed were gone from private hands.

Jeff’s sub gun is often referred to as the “poor man’s Uzi” despite the fact the Ruger MP9 had several improvements over the original Uzi. One of the best features of the Ruger MP9 is the fact that it has a three position fire selector with options for safe, semi and full auto fire.

Despite being Israeli, I never really cared for the Uzi. I have only seen Ruger MP9s in pictures and never had an opportunity to handle one. Maybe I can convince Jeff to let me examine his weapon. I preferred the MP5 or, my favorite sub gun, until I received my B&T MP9, was a suppressed Sterling.

If I needed a sub gun I much preferred the Sterling, but for a rifle I preferred the short Micro Assault Rifle (MAR) Galil commonly called the Micro Galil. Extremely rare in the US before the AWB, the Micro Galil is impossible to find today. I wish I could have brought my MAR Galil from Israel with me when I was hired by the NSA. Even with my connections, there was just no way it was possible at the time.

I wonder how many smart people squirreled weapons away when the government banned them. Unfortunately, most law-abiding people followed the laws. In a massive pandemic, the law-abiding found themselves lacking one of the items most sorely needed. With a slate clearer such as KCAP, even a plethora of weapons might not save the human race.

Perhaps our time as a species has elapsed. Prior to the emergence of KCAP, the Ebola and Marburg Viruses were considered the two most likely slate cleansers that had the possibility of wiping the human race from the earth. Those early estimates never accounted for an unprecedented, unpredictable mutated manmade bioweapon virus that was particularly designed to be resistant to countermeasures.

Finishing my tea and oatmeal, Shack takes the empty cups from me. With a light kiss he heads for the cook’s truck and trailer. While Shack is gone, I wander over to see how Nikola, Shen and Carol are doing. Shack and I will need to help them set up the radio shack and all of its gear.

After the radios are set up and operational, we will need to put up our sleeping tent and spread our gear out. Shivering in the light hail, I help Carol pull assorted radio gear out of the truck and trailer. Towards the end of her second trimester, Carol has really started to balloon.

Carol insists that she is fine and has no trouble lifting the heavy gear from the truck and trailer. Nikola has gotten a few of the Russian lads to help us set up the radios and the tents. The smaller radio tent goes up first and all of the radio gear is connected and powered up.

While Shen and Carol are powering the radio equipment, Nikola helped by myself and Shack along with a few of the Russian lads, quickly erects our sleeping tent. Putting up the motley sleeping tent makes me remember the first night that I spent in this tent in the middle of I-5. As Carol and I are carrying our sleeping cots and bags into the tent, the Princess walks up and lets us know that Sarah is having her babies.

Apparently there is quite a large crowd around the medical tent. Doc Jamal had to clear some of the pressing crowd away as there are many things that need to be completed in camp rather than waiting for Sarah to deliver her twins. Not sure the sex or the status of the second baby at this time.

From the Princess’s description it sounds as if the first child, a boy, is a real brute, weighing almost 12 pounds. The child is hairless, has the telltale pallid white skin with dark black veins showing through the skin.

Then the Princess drops the bomb that Sarah’s first baby is positively infected with the KCAP virus.

  1. medicine man permalink

    Amazing. I had a feeling that Sarah was carrying a KCAP kid. But with the differences in size, heartbeat and the exchange of blood from the mother to the of twins in utero, Is it possible that the other child is not infected? It would seem that the KCAP baby would have absorbed the life giving portion of the other child, if the other child was not a KCAP baby. She must have been raped by a person who was a cannibal in the making. Is Sarah somehow immune to KCAP but a carrier of the virus? I don’t expect answers, but you are doing a great job of keeping us on the edge of our seats. Great story as usual and thank you for the recent updating of your story.M.M.

    • I know that I did tip my hand a little, but you are correct that one twin is infected with KCAP while the other twin (to be born in the next chapter) is not infected. You are correct that Sarah was raped by someone infected. Sarah is not immune to the KCAP virus. Doc Jamal will explain how the twins are different in the next chapter which will be posted Saturday, late PST.

  2. Raped? I thought this was a Spetz baby.

    A 12lb twin? Wow, usually they are no more than 6lbs each. Sarah must have been enormous…

    • Sarah was raped many, many chapters ago in a FEMA camp that was overrun by a group of 1% gangsters. You have caught the subtle hints though that one of the other young Spets lads has taken a shine to Sarah.

  3. medicine man permalink

    A superb addition to the convoy and it’s movement. However…. If we have a KCAP infant in their midst, What do we do with the baby zombie?. Do we “sanitize” the child as soon as possible?
    We cannot have a zombie in the midst of a group that hopes to evade the KCAP life as it is.
    Yes. a baby born, but carrying the very thing that has ruined life as we know it. Perhaps the infant could be secured, confined and used as the possible cure for the virus… you really have got me thinking my friend. So many options, so little time. and what of the other child? perhaps the other unborn (as yet) child may contain the antidote. Thank you for such a well thought out story. M.M.

    • You have thought of many of the same variables that I have considered in this story. It should be interesting to find out how the convoy members deal with a child infected with the KCAP virus.

  4. medicine man permalink

    Sorry my fellow readers and to the author for hogging the board, but I wondered if you have read “Alpha Dog Journal”? I liked it a lot.
    Kathy’s story was most awesome and I drooled all the way through it because of the foods that she provided to them and eaten due to her cooking skills ( no freaking sauerkraut for this man). They also went through some serious situations.
    None of them have achieved the “flavor” that you have mixed into the story of Ruth and her bunch. Continue on and be well. M.M.

    • No I have not read Alpha Dog journal but I liked the idea of the food variety. One of the many problems of a survival scenario is the lack of food variety.

  5. medicine man permalink

    Alpha Dog can be found on Squidoo, Kathy’s story is there also and goes by the acronym “MJOTZY” AKA
    Moms Journal of the Zombie Years, Great story but you have the lead as far as I am concerned.
    Sorry Kathy , But I hope you are reading this and are enjoying Mr. Allen’s tale of Ruth and the Convoy. Alpha Dog is a tale of a guy across the pond who “Bugs In” and survives, really cool, pictures too. M.M.

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