Monday 29th April
‘All right mate anything new happen?’ I asked entering the guardroom.
The dim light of a chilly morning filtered through the smoke tinted windows, contrasted strongly with the artificial light pouring down from within.
‘We lost another guy this morning ’ replied the desk-guard looking up, he was idly leafing through an infantry tactics manual.
I felt my insides tighten in reflex to the knowledge of another one of our own dying ‘# that’s the third guy this week!’ I exclaimed at him. He
flinched, taking a drink from his coffee, nervously looking away from me, we’d all been through uncertain times, uncertain times taking a turn for
the worst. I calmed myself down, considering the options. Unconsciously glancing outside, saw the gates still held fast, as did the camp fencing,
but that didn’t do anything for the knot in my gut. Only a matter of time before those bastards find a way in I thought. The machine gun post next
to the gate had been reinforced last week by an engineer detachment, the reinforced concrete and sandbags sanger emplacements inside the wire were a
mute testament to their skill and speed. Untested though it was I noticed with a grim feeling inside that the number of dead wandering the perimeter
fencing was increasing. Soon enough the defence's will be tested I surmised.
“You okay Rick?” A voice called.
I looked away from the tri-laminate window, it was the sentry, and he looked as though he’d not slept properly for a while. But then I hadn’t
either with all what's been going on.
‘Yeah, just thinking. What happened with this guy?’
‘No-ones sure, the Prowler Patrol found the body this morning outside the fence, one of the things still on him…’ He replied.
I listened to the fresh-faced private without commenting but inside I was raging, there should have been two man patrols out last night! But the
Commander wouldn’t listen to reason, his verdict was that the surrounding area and fence needing to be secured, and that meant patrols outside the
wire, and with us all being low on manpower that meant one man patrols…
“Has the Commander been told?” I quizzed.
“Yeah, but he just said bury him with the others, nothing more”
“No surprise there then” I thought aloud, ‘stupid bastard that he is’ I thought inwardly.
After he’d finished going through the radio logs and the routine crap that came with being on guard I dismissed him to his sentry post. The
grateful sentry he relieved now tramped into the guardroom he was freezing but glad to have finished, I passed him the cup of coffee.
“Thanks mate” He said.
I wasn’t due to start my watch in the guard room until the night-shift started at 2000 hrs, but I liked to take in and see the reassuring sight that
the guardroom was still in our hands and catch to up on anything new. knowing that if was taken the base would fall within the hour. Seeing that it
was quiet, I made my way back the accommodation block. Gunfire echoed across the hills from nearby village of Grifton, I shook my head at the orders
which forbade protecting non-designated zones and entered the two storey block, and moved through the maze like corridors to my quarters to get some
piece and quiet.
‘Three guys we’ve lost now!’ I thought. The first one, (called Steve I think) had become separated from his night patrol, all hell had broken
loose that night, looters had started a raid on one of the outlying villages, after the patrol had rove them off they heard screaming from behind one
of the houses. The things had pounced on Steve in the dark and confusion, by the time the patrol had regrouped, it was too late, he was already
turning when they put him and the creature down with a volley of desperate rounds.
As I entered the room I saw that my room mate wasn’t in, he was on duty judging by having no kit by his bed. I flopped down on my bunk and sparked
up a cigarette, the autumn weather had turned for the worse as wind howled and whistled through the air-vents, my mind raced along with it as I worked
out what the hell to do next.
Most of the locals from the nearby village were in various aid stations in all directions of the compass, the closest being Station Alpha Niner under
Lt Mobry's command. I knew her, from before the plague began, a good officer who was cool under pressure and not afraid to go against the bull# which
came with being in the forces. That got me thinking of the Commander. Incompetent came close to describing him, perhaps worse was he didn’t listen
to his subordinates. I cast my mind back a month… there I was standing on parade with all the base personnel (except the sentries and fence
patrols) outside the command centre, as he read out the daily situation report from HQ London Brigade. The outlook was looking grim, soldiers from
the nearby garrisons of Aldershot and Colchester had been deployed in attempt to prevent the capital from being overrun by the dead but they were up
against it. North of London was nearly contained but this was compounded by looters and armed gangs. Every bridge across the Thames had been heavily
barricaded to stem the onslaught of the dead. Most of the population centres were in the #; Scotland was struggling to gain the upper hand, though
the geography was a good defence in favour of the living. Elsewhere though the north was having a rough time, Birmingham had been hit hard, though
tanks, APC's and even tractors with troops riding atop were holding there own as they crushed or cut down great swathes of them. Wish they’d get
there arses down here I thought. He briefly mentioned that volunteers were required for a weeklong detachment at the various aid stations, I toyed
with the idea of going but decided against it. The Commander concluded with a shoot to kill policy on any looters and/or armed civilians threatening
violence. I remembered his closing speech “The security of this base and all it contains is everything, forget about what those things outside the
fence can do, they’re slow, weak and thick. If you keep your wits about you and move quick enough we can win this!” He finished, added a flourish
from his arm. As if in some kind of defiant response the undead moaning started to pick up from outside the wire.
‘He’s going to get us all killed one of these days’ I said to myself quietly, its almost as if he thinks we were capable of making it all back
the way it was. I’d given up on that after it became more widespread than mere villages and countryside, cities were at stake now! Some may fall
before the week is out I thought.
Most of us here at the base were from different Regiments of the British army all brought here to bolster its meager guard force contingent who only
numbered at thirty. I’d been based in the remote Garrison of Hohne in North Germany with the Armoured Infantry. It was my second posting in
Germany and by chance my name along with a two thousand others was selected for Local Defence Service in the UK. On board the Tri-Star flying over the
North Sea a lot of us joked that the problem would be over by next month. During the Hohne sightings encounters let alone attacks were rare. This was
partly due to the lack of any large towns and also due to the lethal response by armoured Battalions of tanks and helicopters. Now though it much
worse, fuel supplies were short, morale low and the government had abandoned parliament. They now ineffectively lived-on in an underground bunker,
rumoured to be joined to other's around the country.
I’d been planning for all eventualities, but they were slowly dwindling to but a few options left open, I knew that it was a slow death sentence to
remain in the base, even with supplies being in fair supply. The main problem lay in the fact there was just too much damn fence to cover! The
fencing was solid enough, it was capped with continuous razor wire all along the perimeter; discouraging even the most desperate climber. Even as I
thought this I shuddered, any looter as little as a set of wire cutters could clip away to his hearts content if he was careful enough, be through and
inside the base inside five minutes. The walking dead wandered around here and there at the fence and away from it. They acted as an unexpected
blessing though, as any sounds of gunfire to drive them away would surely be heard from the numerous listening posts set up. Even so I knew that the
equipment, weaponry and fuel stowed all over the camp would tempt even the most cautious of the gangs.
That got me thinking, only two weeks ago a Warrior class Armoured Fighting Vehicle was delivered on a low-loader to our base. It was assigned to be
deployed to an aid station in North London following refuelling and rearmament here at the base. The day before it was due to be taken there a
distress transmission came in from an aid station. I spoke to the guy on radio watch-keeper that day, and he showed me the log and told me what he
heard hardly hear what was being said such was the ferocity of the attack. It was barely a page long and it started with urgent requests for armoured
support following a heavy assault on its main gates by multiple gang members. It concluded with the operator stating the commander was ordering an
emergency evacuation, and then it ended. The news travelled through our base in no time “How can low down scavengers and criminals attack let alone
breach an aid stations perimeter?” Was many incredulous responses. “Probably over reacting on the transmission” I heard the Commander remark
dissuasively. ‘Why mention an evacuation if overreacting? Something terrible happened there.’ I thought, silently praying a nearby friendly force
heard the distress call and acted swiftly. A day later our thoughts were answered when a number of us myself included were sent to join an armoured
column sent to its relief. Leading the column was a Saxon Armoured Car, behind it two Leyland DAF trucks filled with over twenty of us. Bringing up
the rear was another Saxon, but no Warrior, . With our body armour with ceramic kevlar plates, helmet, rifle and ammo we felt more than confident,
some of the lads more so, with unofficial supplies of 'Zest' keeping them on edge and ready to fight. But I couldn’t shake off a bad feeling that we
were going to need the rescue, for as we drew closer the reports kept coming in...
edit on 27-5-2011 by WatchRider because: (no reason given)