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Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #172 Reflections on life moving through Baker City #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL

April 24, 2016

We take a circuitous route towards Flower’s territory. Last time we visited Flower, she was at war with the neighboring tribe of feral children. We hope not to get caught between the two conflicting sides again.

Riding beside the wagon, I notice that Iain is wearing his thick, red leather arm guards, the ones with the black and white Knights Hospitaller symbols on the outside. From the rough, scratches and the heavily worn condition of the guards, I believe the arm guards to be very old.

I have never asked Iain if he is either a Knight Hospitaller or a Knight of Malta, but I wonder. The arm guards, due to Iain’s size, must have been custom-made and had to have cost a fortune. While leather is really not my thing, I can spot quality work.

The brass-studded leather arm guards cover Iain’s forearms from wrists to elbows. I watched Iain crush a mans throat with his forearm sheathed in the thick leather guards, without even breaking a sweat.

The only time Iain wears his arm guards is when he is expecting a lot of sword use. The thick, leather arm guards pins Iain’s usual, heavy plaid shirt to his arms, reducing the chance of snagging his shirt.

Iain is always cautious. He has an almost preternatural sense of danger. Through the years, I have learned to trust Iain’s intuition as it has saved my life more than once.

Stopping to water the horses at an old fountain filled with rainwater, Iain watches while red-head and I tend to business in the bushes. Red-head takes longer than I do, so I have a chance to talk to Iain regarding our new companion.

Iain thinks that perhaps, red-head is either mentally retarded, or has a slight mental illness. Perhaps in the previous world, red-head would have been monitored and proscribed drugs. Neither Iain nor I are any kind of mental health specialist, but we both know a nurse that used to work in a mental care facility.

Perhaps on the way back from meeting Flower’s tribe, we can drop red-head off with Bobby’s group living in the old cement plant above the Powder River. Iain regularly trades with Bobby’s group.

I know Bobby’s group well, having spent the first several months living with them while I healed. I do not know exactly how long I was with Bobby’s group because I was in a coma for part of the time.

Iain is very cautious, he does not give out the location of our bunker to anyone – ever. Iain thinks Bobby is crazy letting strangers come to the cement plant. Iain never lets strangers know where the bunker is and takes great pains to ensure its secrecy.

Iain worries that some stronger group will take over the cement plant, but that has not happened yet. Bobby and his group have managed to keep the cement plant safe. While I lived with Bobby and his group, Iain would come by and check on me every few days. Iain and Bobby knew each other before KCAP, and while not exactly friendly, I would say that the two men are not enemies.

If we drop red-head with Bobby’s group, there are several other women there, as well as Bobby’s wife who was a nurse in a state mental care facility. As red-head joins us again, I wonder if she would benefit from living with Bobby’s group.

Iain tosses red-head back in the wagon with careless hands on her ass, which causes me to raise my eyes and my face to glow. The sudden flush of jealously is not something that I have felt in several years.

Iain and I have never formally spoken of commitment, but now I wonder if I should speak with him. I never got a chance with Shack. I do not want to miss out making my feelings clear to another person before it is too late again.

We pass multiple burnt out cars, and lots of abandoned electronic garbage from the last world. Tablets, IPads, cell phones, lap tops, electronic watches and other devices such as Fit Bits litter the streets and sidewalks.

There is so much electronic detritus that I wonder how people survived suddenly deprived of their electronic toys. Electronics so permeated our life before KCAP that I believe, some of the early deaths were related to sudden electronic deprivation.

Now granted, those deaths were not directly related to electronic deprivation; but were a result of people becoming completely lost and uncertain what to do minus their electronic leashes. Many people had forgotten how to function and even think without their electronic gadgets.

Suddenly deprived of electronics, many people were lost and did not know how to function without electronics. Electronics had so permeated every function and aspect of life that the sudden loss of electronics rendered most people incapable of independent thought.

Use to getting all their information and directions from various electronic devices, most notably the rapidly improving and expanding smart phones, the sudden loss of those electronics rendered many people unable to cope with a world without electronics.

Only those flexible enough to adapt rapidly to the loss of the electronics and others, such as the Luddites who eschewed the use of electronics, were able to overcome the loss of electronics.

Passing yet another burnt out cell phone store, brings to mind one of my favorite quotes by Nietzsche: “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything – Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 – 1900).”

Why would you waste effort robbing a cell phone store when cell phones became useless almost immediately after KCAP? As I found out in SeaTac airport, electronics, especially cell phones became useless almost immediately.

We ride in silence for a while. We start seeing crude painted stylized flowers on the sides of buildings and abandoned cars – sure signs that we are within Flower’s territory. There is some similarity between the old gang tagging in the pre-KCAP world and how the tribes mark their territory now.

Passing a small, central park in the center of an open air shopping center, Iain suddenly brings the wagon to a hoof-clattering halt.

Leaping from the wagon seat, Iain effortlessly rips his sword from its sheath with that familiar evil hiss. What the fuck!

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