Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Part 7, Total War; Chapter 7, Todd Wainio.
It’s been a while since I had time to read for the fun of it, this is the last chapter of Total War and it makes sense that it’s Todd Wainio who closes the 7th part of the book.
The man who survived Yonkers & all the shit during the outright & total war against the ghouls has had some tales to tell.
This chapter focuses on the closing stages of the Z war, the meticulous search for any remaining enemies in America. How they used a staggered line approach as they would search for plane wreckage in our time frame, or a crime scene.
Weather was a major obstacle, as was night-time.
They were reluctant to move during the night, it doesn’t surprise me as there would be less light pollution and so night would truly be pitch-black. Fog was another problem as the world climate would’ve changed rather dramatically. As evidence suggests, the nuclear winter has drastically changed the global temperature and winter’s are now especially long & harsh.
Todd was one of many soldiers during this time, slowly pushing from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast, reclaiming their country literally inch by inch. It apparently took three years to clear the way and I would imagine the mountains would have proved the most difficult. The three main army groups (North, Centre, and South) had to move as one long line, covering every inch of America, sounds like an extraordinary effort and I can only hope they had enough radios (or similar lines of communication) to make sure nothing slipped through their net. Which is where the idea of the Force Appropriate Response came into effect, destroying the minor zombie threats and allowing the units to leapfrog their way across the country while keeping the line unbroken.
Effective but it must have been extremely difficult in practice.
He is more than aware of the similar predicaments of other countries, he states that a BBC film showing Britain’s clean-up operation creeped him out enough without the extra “mood music”. He seems especially grateful that he was discharged from the army prior to the clean-up operations in Canada & Mexico, who obviously didn’t have the same access to manpower & resources as their neighbours.
Ah, so that’s how he got that scar on his cheek.
He’s talking about how the predators have evolved during the whole zombie panic & subsequent war.
Bigger, better, faster, stronger.
Law of survival I guess, Todd had three F-lions jump at him while he was inside a Starbucks as part of a clean-up.
I thought maybe those facial scars were from a zombie or three due to the claw like parallel pattern.
I guess I didn’t realise that the non-human survivors would have to become a whole different animal. Thinking about it now, of course that would happen. Like tame house cats gone feral, they get nastier and can survive damn near anything, they have to.
Evolution is a great process, even if we tend to forget that humans are not as superior as we like to think.
Just shows, I momentarily forgot that too.
Dealing with feral creatures (human & animal alike) is one thing, but LaMOEs & RCs brought a chuckle to my lips.
Last Man On Earth was a great film with Vincent Price based on the even greater “I Am Legend” novel. It was also filmed recently with Will Smith, but the LaMOE of the Z war is probably closer to the interpretation of “The Omega Man”. Charlton Heston. That movies sole human survivor (Robert Neville) sounds as daft as as the one’s Todd has happened across.
The cooler & saner of those LaMOEs got a better nickname.
RCs aka Robinson Crusoes, people who had survived the onslaught but had retained enough sane & rational thought to not care about being King of anything. I imagine they were the ones who were blissfully grateful to have another human being to converse with at long last, not like the gang holed up in Chicago’s Sears Tower. They were Kings & didn’t want to lose their kingdom, not to Zack, not to anyone. Poor Todd, having to deal with that kind of obstacle must have been hard to bear but nothing, I suppose, compared to losing friends (& an unrequited love) to disease (like Spanish Flu), booby traps or derelict & unsafe buildings.
The worst he mentions is a church in Kansas.
We once broke into a church in Kansas where it was clear the adults killed all the kids first.
I wonder if this is the same church Sharon, the feral child from an earlier chapter, had come from. Or perhaps that same situation had become so common as to be similar.
Little wonder there were psych casualties.
Including his own squad leader who was at The Battle of the Five Colleges.
Remember the tall, amazon chick with the ditch blade, the one who’d sung that song?
Yeah, her. Sergeant Avalon. Didn’t think she was the kind to fold but I guess she finally reached her breaking point. Seems so many others did. For Sergeant Avalon, it was the rare sight of a turtle. For others, seeing home once more or the familiar smell of some brand of perfume.
It’s always the little things that make us break isn’t it.
Todd though, he made it from Yonkers to Hope and back to Yonkers, clearing the way and even becoming squad leader himself without so much as being kindly led away by the “good doctor” for a cup of tea & a chat.
He’d made it.
When so many others had not.