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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s story #127 Shack & Ruth make up, Carol & Nikola get married, more radio traffic #SHTF #TEOTWAWKI

December 19, 2014

I mentioned earlier how sporadic radio traffic is. We received a lengthy Chinese broadcast that minus Shen took us forever to translate.  Nguen’s Chinese is still too erratic to translate such a long and technical broadcast.

Once finally translated, the message from the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine Beijing, China speculated that the KCAP pandemic may have knocked mankind backwards three or more centuries in regards to health, quality of life, medical care and society.

I have already seen some of the medical problems within the camp. We buried a young soldier yesterday who contracted an antibiotic-resistant staph infection in his face possibly from shaving. The young man’s face swelled up to the point the skin split along his jaw line.

Our Scouts scoured every building possible searching for different antibiotics to no avail. All the hospitals, dentist clinics, veterinary clinics and any other drug or medicine supply point was raided long ago. Our Scouts now search homes, hoping some forgotten antibiotics lay in a medicine cabinet somewhere.

The poor young man would have died in agony; we could not spare the morphine to put him out of his misery. When the infection spread to his spine, paralyzing him, Doc provided the proper medication to terminate his life if he wished. He wished.

Although we cannot find antibiotics, there are plenty of other drugs available. We share recovered goods with the Adventists since they provide housing and food while the convoy provides protection. The Adventists should be in good shape when we leave as there are several former members of the convoy staying.

Bill and his wives are staying. Carl and Nikola have not decided if they are coming or not. The birth of little Stiva caused his parents to reconsider staying with the convoy. Stiva snores contently during the day in a trendy rocker recovered from some hipster baby store.

Right now there are plenty of disposable diapers, but eventually we will exhaust the local supply. Practicing for the loss of convenient disposable diapers the camp mothers use sphagnum moss recovered from a plant nursery for swaddling.

Cattail and cottonwood fluff is also used for baby swaddling, something that Brenda said the Native American tribes used long before the presence of white man on this continent.

I watch the Adventists coached by some of our lads practice forming an Afrikaner laager. The importance of the laager drills is not lost on anyone. Our convoy members need to keep their skills sharp and when the convoy leaves; the Adventists require the skills to survive without us.

Interrupting my musings, the radio bursts with traffic, but it is only the Russian Yamantau Mountain radio attempting again to contact survivors living in the Moscow Metro-2 tunnels.

I listen to the Russian survivor living in the mountains, and wonder how he fares. There is desperation in his voice that I have not heard before. In the past few days, we tried to make contact with the survivor so far to no avail. I attempt contacting the Yamantau Mountain radio operator with no luck again.

I know that our transmitter works because we regularly talk  with our Scouts in the field. Eventually, I give up and relieve Shack cranking the fucking charging handles. Shack gives me a light peck on the lips before he settles his bulk into the seat before the bank of radio gear.

At least with Honey now a part of the night radio crew, we have a third person to crank the charging handles. I look forward to when the Adventists get the damned wind turbines and a water turbine in the creek completed. Maybe we will not have to spend all night cranking these fucking handles.

While I crank the charger, I let my mind wander recalling events from a few days ago. Shack and I made up both of us sorry for our actions. I blush as I remember the rather frantic bout of makeup sex. Afterward, lying in his arms I did not mention Honey’s masturbation, and Shack did not bring it up either. I am still not sure if he heard Honey or not, but he did not make an issue of it, so I am not going to either.

Yesterday was the wedding/handfasting ceremony for Nikola and Carol. Officiated by Pastor, the ceremony was beautiful if brief. Carol accompanied the Scouts for a few days searching for a suitable, non-bloodstained wedding dress.

Nikola accompanying another group of Scouts found a large rock somewhere set in an obscene amount of platinum. Someone once had a beautiful piece of ice; it is nearly worthless now. Junior, the ring bearer, of course, forgot the ring in the tent he shares with Jenny, so he had to run quickly retrieving it.

The flower girl Jenny, the eldest daughter of the Mercer Island princess resplendent in a gown of her own, had eyes for no one but Junior. Shack jokingly mentioned that no one had better contest the marriage. The sheer number of guns present alone might cause someone to mistake this for a shotgun wedding.

Carol is insanely happy and flashes her indecently-sized platinum wedding bands with its monster rock every chance she gets. The bitch rumor mill suggests that Junior and Jenny are probably the next couple headed for matrimony.

Shack and I spoke with Junior and Jenny after the ceremony while stuffing ourselves with extremely rare cake. The young couple still plans to travel north with the convoy. I wonder if their plans will change should Jenny become pregnant between now and then?

Brenda with her husbands might have started a trend in the camp. Doc suggested that because of the sudden population decrease resulting in a disproportionate amount of men surviving compared to women, polygamous relationships may become the norm, rather than the exception.

Back in the radio tent and the present, I watch Shack scoring with his knife light 12 gauge loads while listening to the poor Russian transmitter. He lightly cuts the plastic shell hull just ahead of the metal base. The light shot dove loads are all but useless. We have plenty of hunting ammo.

Shack keeps a stockpile of “useless” 12 gauge shells. At night while sitting in the radio tent, he scores the hulls with his knife, turning once “useless” 12 gauge shells into deadly ammo. Shot type does not matter much as even the lighter steel shot waterfowl shells are lethal once cut.

When fired the cut shells perform like a slug. Shack is using cut rounds in the 12 gauge Serbu rather than taking the scarce slugs. While Shack scores 12 gauge shells to radio static hiss, my mind wanders again back to a few nights ago.

A trio of lengthy messages whose translation took forever we picked up late near midnight on the ex-US Navy ELF receiver. It took forever translating the three messages in ancient Morse code. One message originated from Vozrozhdeniye Island, the second from Zagorsk, and the last from Sverdlovsk.

No one in the camp is proficient in Morse code. Using old textbooks and some ancient USN tech manuals we eventually decoded the messages. The first message from V-Island explained the presence of biological weapon (BW) material abandoned in a forgotten Kazakh Soviet Cold War bunker.

The second message detailed the shipment to the Kazakh bunker of some 20 metric tons of weaponized pulmonary anthrax, mixed together with Q-fever microbe and weaponized Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus. JE virus was once the leading cause of vaccine-preventable encephalitis in Asia.

The final message was the longest. Towards the end the transmitter speculated that some of the BW material may have come from the Scientific Research Agricultural Institute (NISKhI), the only Soviet BW research center in Kazakhstan specializing in viruses.

The concluding message explained the probability that most of the seed stock viruses that mutated into KCAP came from the Stepnagorsk Scientific and Technical Institute for Microbiology, and The Scientific Experimental and Production Base (SNOPB), both now a pair of highly radioactive craters.

The last message suggested the possibility that several of the virus strains were strengthened by the use of a linear particle accelerator. The message also mentions that the weponized viruses were probably “heated up” by exposure to vaccines and antibiotics, making the viruses impervious to current vaccines and antibiotics.

Viruses invade cells where they are safe from body’s immune system invulnerable to attack by antibiotics. Virus exists to find a carrier and reproduce. The weaponized virus strains exploited then enhanced the virus’s natural abilities. Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of viruses. Weaponized viral strains possess enhanced and increased speed of mutation and adaptation.

All three messages detailed movement of BW material after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Records covering that period of Russian history are sketchy at best. I wonder how records from this time period will compare?

  1. Robert Lamm permalink

    laager drills; took me awhile to find out it meant circle the wagons.

    • Thank you Robert for your comments. I did not explain that very well.

      I have always admired the Boers and their resistance to the British empire as well as the tenacity of the Afrikaners surviving in such a hostile location.

      I knew what laager drills were and assumed everyone else did too. As a writer I should have explained it better.

  2. phil permalink

    i’m still very much interested in keeping up with Ruth’s zombie adventures.

  3. Tim permalink

    nice chapter

  4. medicine man permalink

    Great Post , I turned a new person on to your story of Ruth and list of followers. He really digs your talent and the story, Just as I do. Be well amigo, Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • Thank you I am glad that you liked the most recent chapter, Got some more chapters coming, I hope to keep a Friday posting schedule.

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