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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in Scraping by at the End's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 12th, 2007
11:25 pm
I haven't had much time to myself lately. The men in fatigues have had us working around the clock digging ditches and raising fences. They're fortifying the building complex, like a colonial coastal town if that makes sense?

These guys can't all be military. Most of them are wearing the old-style fatigues and not all of their gear matches. Don't know where they got the tanks, maybe a local base?

The building is getting more crowded. Choppers have been dropping people in the compound over the last few days, more of these paramilitary types and their families. They marched a load of ordinary people in through the gate. I'm sharing my cubicle with two other girls now, there's no privacy.

We seem to be an expendable labor pool. We're still on short rations and we're working long hours. Everyone works, if you don't work you don't get water.

And then... hell. A couple of the guys I don't know tried to knock out the pair of guards at the front of our floor. It's not like the movies -- these guys have radios. They made it halfway down the stairwell before the backup, radio'd by the other guards on the floor, overwhelmed them.

They didn't shoot them. They dumped them in the ditch outside the fence, and made us watch the zeds go to town.

They're pretty careful about how much they say in front of us, but I think these guys aren't just an isolated group. They allude to other cells all over the country.

All things considered, I'm safe for now. This place is well fortified and the zeds aren't converging in great enough numbers to get past the ditches. We're all filthy and exhausted but I don't think we're in danger of being taken out behind the chemical sheds and shot. Is it worse than being stuck as a non-expert civilian on a military base? Maybe, maybe not. Either way I want out.

With the firepower these people have, nothing but the National Guard is going to turn this around. I'm watching their patrols, trying to be quiet and helpful, if I'm lucky I'll find out more and at least get the information out onto the Network.

Knowing you are alive and free makes me hopeful, so if you're out there, sound off. Tell me where you are and what you know!
Monday, July 9th, 2007
7:14 pm
I ditched the safehouse. I haven't been seeing as many zombies, so I figured it'd be safe to try and move. Plus, with the infared hunting and all, I figure that many humans in one place is a big glowing target. I'm heading to Brielle, where my family's still holed up. Might look and see if I can find any survivors we know out there on my way, namely George. Last message I recieved from uncle Joe was that they're running out of food. So I hotwired one of the least damaged vehicles I found in the streets (amazing what I can remember from my time as a juvinile dilinquent), and I'm raiding grocery stores along the way. Lack of license be damned, I can, in fact, drive well and it was a sick kind of gratifying to raid a Pathmark. The little girl that was following me around the compound is with me, wouldn't stay back with the others. I'm keeping her safe. I took a hunting knife with me, wouldn't touch guns, but I haven't had to use it. There's no zombies. She talked for the first time after we left the camp. Her name's Lizzy. I nearly cried when I heard her voice. She still doesn't talk much, and won't say anything about what happened to her family other than to tell me they're gone, but maybe she'll get better. Uncle Joe's a shrink, maybe he'll be able to help her better than I can.

Susan, you're not the only one that's seen the freaky military types. I spotted them and veered away as soon as I saw them. I don't like solider types. I have an inherent mistrust of authority, espeically authority with guns. Saying something for the stepdaughter of a cop, right?

Annie Annie, if you're looking at this, I know I sent you this site last time I was able to pick up signal, I'm coming.
2:44 pm
I was called out to the fence today by the commander.
Apparently the Zombies that had been surrounding the base for weeks have started to turn on each other.
I think it's the heatwave. It's 98 degrees out right now. Close enough to body temp that they are warming up in the sun and they are starting to think the other members of the Zombie horde are living people, and so they are attacking each other.
10:45 am
I made the mistake of discussing zed sensory abilities and offered some theories as to how they hunt and such a few weeks back. Next thing I know, the base commander is telling me there is a scientist on an aircraft carrier off the coast of the Jersey shore I needed to talk to.
I should have expected what I found. They converted the aircraft carrier into a zed lab. I was not pleased.
"You guys don't watch the scifi channel much, do you? have you also made giant komodo dragons and super intelligent sharks in your spare time?"
The main scientist understood my skepticism, but still asked for me to just observe for a while. The chopper that had flown me in had already left for a mission, and so I was stuck until it, or another chopper, returned.
Apparently, Zeds can see in infrared, and that is their main method of hunting. It kind of makes sense, they're breathing is too erratic and their own stench is too overpowering to allow for scent tracking, and their pack behaviors and moaning make sound tracking difficult as well. Plus, I've heard stories of night bandits training themselves to see in infrared, so the capacity may be there naturally anyway.
I was asked my opinion on how to get better results with behavioral modification. They are wondering how they might control them.
I told them that there is no good reason to try to control these things, you need to just kill them. There are two possible uses for zeds, in my opinion: slaves and biological weapons. neither uses is particularly palatable, and both would end up with uncontrolled outbreaks, more death, and incalculable collateral damage.
"What if something remains? What if people can be brought back?"
"Their bodies are degeneration. They would have to slowly be brought back from a state of non-consciousness to consciousness. The families and friends are probably dead, and they may have been the ones to kill them. they've killed how many others. If you brought them back, the strain and trauma would not keep them sane for long. They are better off dead."
He asked me to at least finish looking over the data, and check out the facility.
There was a cage on the deck with a hole cut out in the deck. they called it the "Zombie shoot" Choppers would catch and net zeds, drop them in the cage, and they would eventually fall through the shoot into a lower holding area. There, armored men would try to wrangle a zombie to take it into a lab when needed. It was all neat and controlled and perfectly safe to anyone who didn't read Jurassic Park.
Well, long story short, for some reason, someone's collar blew up, somehow enabling the Zombies to escape, and it became the USS Zombie Feast. I threw on some armor, hopped in the freezer for a bit, duct taped some frozen goods around me as camouflage and then tried to find survivors. We set the nuclear engines to overload, steered the ship the ship to the deep blue, and then made our way to the beach on the escape rafts.
From there we had to survive long enough to contact the base, and get rescued and be brought back to base.
So yeah, I'm now considered one of the few surviving Zombie behavioral experts. Woo-hoo, more rations for me.
5:46 am
Who the hell ARE these people?! They're wearing generic kind of fatigues, no insignia. You can tell who's in charge by who's shouting orders. Over the last few days I've seen them clearing buildings, getting cars off the road and clearing the way for bigger stuff, building roadblocks and patrolling. They're definitely military, who else owns a goddamned tank?

I'd been keeping a safe distance, but I'm not military, I'm not even one of those crazy militia types. I'm just paranoid and that doesn't mean I've got the skill to avoid being seen.

They found me watching them, hustled me off to their base at gunpoint. They're not wearing those collars you talked about, Zach. I don't know what that says. The base is an office complex that must have been pretty nice before...well, you know. The ground floor has plyboard all over where there used to be glass. Out on the grounds and in the parking lot are these things that look like army-issue buses along with the tanks, Humvees and things I can only try to identify. There's some construction stuff too. At least that's a good sign?

There are other people here. Refugees. Dammit. It's an ugly word when it's applied to you. Maybe a hundred of us, I wasn't counting. When they brought me in I had to see their doctor for the checkup...ulgh, don't even want to talk about the full round of tests. They checked my backpack for weapons, but they gave it back to me after they grabbed my Swiss Army Knife and cell phone.

Bastards took my trail mix and chocolate bars too. Dammit.

I've still got my DS. Our building is powered by generators, so whatever the hell else is going on, we have air conditioning and my DS has a charge. Yippee.

They won't talk to us. We try to talk to the guards, try to get outside news, nada. They bring us food --we're on short rations, but we're not moving much-- and check up on us, but they won't answer questions and they won't speak up in front of us.

So yeah, I'm twitchy right now. I'm in a cubicle, under a desk and with my DS half in my backpack, I'm afraid of losing it when they find out I'm still communicating with the outside world.

Tell me it's not like this everywhere?
5:36 am

Zombies are fun, but I'm feeling the dystopian government thing today. Don't worry about continuity, if you're posting you can include or ignore it, whatever.

When I was in gradeschool I used to read anthologies of kids' stories revolving around monsters, aliens, ghosts, stuff like that. The editor of these books did a story with a chapter in each book and incorporated the book's theme in each chapter. It was a convoluted story, but it looked like fun to write. Play along if you like! I'm thinking aliens soon.
Saturday, July 7th, 2007
2:30 am
Anyone alive out there?

Posting from a McDonald's in...god knows where. I got a charge on my DS and somehow the wireless is working. Whatever, I'm not going to complain.

I'm not seeing as many zeds out there these days. Lots of tanks, people in uniform clearing the cars off of the road. What the hell's going on out there?
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
4:16 pm
Truck got a flat.


I managed to get the spare out of the back and put it on, but its still kinda running weird. I cut open my arm on the trunk, and cleaned it up and bandaged it, but it hurts like hell. I went to Georges, I got nothing. Maybe he headed out without me. I dunno. I'm heading up your way now Paul. Its raining and humid down here. I can see some of the remains of either people bits or zombie bits, and they stink to high hell. I've got the windows rolled up with the AC on, but I can still smell it. The raido stations went off a long time ago, so I'm listening to some of the CDs my dad kept in here. Nothing like Asias 'The Final Countdown' to make the end of the world a little worse hm?

I can only drive a few hours at a time, I ran out of my own medicine a day ago. I'm starting to hallucinate from time to time, and my blood pressure is though the roof, or so low I can hardly lift my head from the steering wheel. I'm not supposed to take the caffeeine pills because of my stomache, but I started, to take the place of the ginkoba and other mediceines. I started to vomit late last night, but its passed for the moment. I can hardly wait to get to all of you....I need a hug and some serious med attention....

I went into a WaWa to scrounge up some food, because I dont want to open any of the vacuum sealed stuff and found Andrew...well...whats left of him. I went to school with him back though our secondary and high school years. He was still human to an extent, but I knew that he wasnt going to live long with a pole sticking out of his gut. So I sat there with him amongst the shelves of over turned food.

"Hey Jill?"

"Yeah man?"

"Am I gonna turn into one of those things?"

I couldnt respond. One side of me wanted to say no, because I didnt see any bites or gashes on him, but I couldnt be sure. Turns out he had been running from a crazed survivor who thought he was one of them, and had speared him on a peice of re-bar. I remember picking up his hand and realizing how cold it was, and I knew that he didnt have alot of time. So I just shook my head and smoothed his hair down and squeezed his hand.

"Nah man. Shut the fuck up alright? Your gonna be fine."

I remember hearing him laugh as he broke down into coughing. I'm not a nurse, but I could tell that he didnt have lot of time left in him, his breaths were getting throaty and really wheezy. He smiled at me, and laughed once more.

"Your so fucking dumb Jill, you know that? And your bedside manner is horrible."

"Yeah, well your a shitty patient."

A moment went by and I didnt get a response. I looked down and saw that his face had gone calm, and that his fingers were rolling open. I remember sighing and looking at my watch. It had only taken a half an hour. A half an hour for someone I'd known my entire life to slip out of my fingers.

I grabbed some more caffine pills, several boxes of muffins and some gatorade and got back in the truck. Started her up and now I'm back on the road again.

Dont give up on me guys.

Current Mood: scared
3:23 am
The city is burning. The blaze started somewhere east of Broad. My guess is that some idiot used fire as a weapon... never use fire on zombies. They don't feel pain, and then you've got a flaming zombie on your hands for as long as the thing's still staggering around.

We watched the fire from the roof as it spread. Even the rain tonight isn't enough to put it down. We're going to have to move, the smoke will be oppressive soon.

It's a mixed blessing for us: the zombies stare into the fire, ignoring us. And I can't smell rot anymore, just charred meat.

We'll be leaving at first light, headed west on foot. There are forty of us, but the roads are too congested with wrecked vehicles for us to commandeer a bus.
Saturday, June 16th, 2007
9:28 am
I stayed behind at the base while some of the others went to get supplies. There's wounded here, and I figured I could try and be of some help, I've got some basic first aid training and since I can't bring myself to even touch a weapon seems this is the only thing I can do. Injured myself enough that I needed to learn. Been helping the few medically trained people that are here.

It's getting crowded in here, but what can you do? This seems to be the only safe place left. There are some kids here, a lot of them without parents. I've kind of turned into a surrogate mommy for a few of them. One of the little girls, she doesn't talk, I don't know if that's how it was before or if it's the shock, she's been following me around since I got here. I wonder what it was she's been through, I wonder if she'll ever be able to tell me about it. The other ones, some of them can't say my name right... I've started answering to "Ewin" and many other variants on that theme when they try and get a hold of me. It's funny, I always used to say I hated kids and sick people, and here I am, patching up hurts and telling bedtime stories.

I'm worried about the group that went out there. Seems I'm doing nothing but worrying lately. Worrying about the people still out there, the others. I hope these lines stay up for a little longer. I've tried calling George's house line, since cell towers are useless now, but... no luck. He must be on the move or something. I hope he's on the move. I got an email from my aunt last night, she's alive, or was as of 3 this morning. The rest of my family, the ones that survived, are holed up in Brielle at my uncle Joe's house. He did a stint in the Air Force as a medic, said he'd get in contact soon and see if getting here to help would do any good. Seems like Aunt B, Annie Annie, the boys, Aunt Loretta, and Uncle Dan, and Uncle Joe are alive. Chrissy got it... poor girl didn't have a chance, she's blind you see, couldn't see them coming. It's good to know a few of them are alive though. They've got enough food and water to last them a while, which is good.

Never thought I'd be spending my 20th birthday in what amounts to a war camp, but it looks like that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. Haven't slept more than an hour at a time since it happened. Yet every time I do get some sleep, I hope that I'll wake up in my bed, and that Mom and Warren will be whispering in hushed tones about what to do about my birthday, and that the first thing I'll smell when I wake up will be coffee and not death.
Friday, June 15th, 2007
6:30 pm
Update again.
Been a pretty quiet day. He have a few crews out clearing some of the main roads out here to make for easier travel, one of which caught Erin riding toward us. She's safe and sound inside our base at the airport, and I'm glad for that. Jill and George are supposed to be on their way, soon, too. and Susan's still in the Philly library. I hope they can all hold up okay for now.

Military came back today, but not like I had suspected. Three or four guys came up, I went to the gate to meet them, and they asked if they could have some food and cigarettes. Apparently the military's rations are getting way smaller. I asked them to lay their arms outside, they happily agreed, and came in for a meal. They asked if they could stay, which surprised me. They told us about the living conditions and food situation at the nearby military encampment, and I was inclined to agree. They offered to smuggle in some weaponry, ammo and supplies, which sounded like a good deal. These four guys were willing to trade a lot more eagerly than the military itself; they refuse communication with me. Bigots.

Took one of the Cessnas out to do a little scouting, and things aren't looking too pretty. Harrisburg airport is so overrun I couldn't even land there. All of the larger cities are pretty much lost. Even spring Grove is going up in flames.

Tomorrow, we're getting a few more supply groups out to try and get into the local Wal-Marts. We need clothes in bulk, cleaning supplies.. just general living kind of things to keep morale up. Signing out for now.
3:46 pm
Still Kicking
The Truck is going whacko. I think the transmission is getting weired from all the undead bennys that get in my way. I'm really scared guys. I managed to find a back road that isn't festering and got on the laptop. My hands are shaking so bad that I can barely type. I'm heading your way Paul, just as soon as George responds...if...he responds. I told my family that I was heading with you all, and that I would see them soon. I havent heard anything from them since yesterday morning, and I fear for the worst.

I 'liberated' some stuff from the gun shop down the street. Who knew that I could fire a shotgun? I also picked up a pistol or two, plenty of ammo, and I found a crossbow. No fucking clue how to use it, but I'm sure I can figure out how. The other reason I got the truck is because I've packed some medical supplies I got from work. I snagged Aderol, Morphine, Asprin, Anti-Diarehhal, and I think Oxycodone from the pyxis at my job. I had to use a chair to knock it open, but I got it. I also have several first aid kits. If we need medical supplies, I've got them. I snagged a box of sharps, (thankfull unused), and some stuff from a phebotomists cart. I've also got some blankets, gauze, burn salve and rubbing alcohol and peroxide. I'm comming guys, dont you worry.I'm a mobile fucking Rite-Aid Plus right about now.

I grabbed some of the non perishables from a Cumberlands late last night. THe story was empty, so I grabbed canned milk, hard rolls, caffiene pills and some energy bars among other things.

I didnt sleep well last night. I pulled the truck into some brush and covered it up with mud and pine branches so it looked like an abandoned car. I slept in the back, but I still didnt sleep much. I can hear the moaning from everywhere, and it doesnt exactially let you sleep well. I didn't dare put my Ipod on because I think they can hear it. Fuck, I think they can hear me BREATHE.

I read once on Rachels vest 'It will all be okay in the end, and if its not Okay, then its not the end'

And its obviously not ok...so its not the end...right guys? We're gonna save you Zach, and I'm gonna meet up with Paul and gonna get George. We're all gonna be ok, we just need to keep holding on to hope.

Current Mood: numb
1:04 pm
Check In
Alright. I'm in Thomasville with Paul's group. He grabbed me early in the morning the day after... well, yeah. I grabbed everything I could think would be useful that I could carry. My stepfather's medication, he won't be needing it anymore, and I didn't know if there would be any diabetics who could possibly need it, all our first-aid supplies, blankets, my laptop, the knives, my stepfather's nightstick from his corrections officer days.

I left my mother barracaded in the bedroom. She'd been infected, though she hadn't been attacked. I read somewhere that it was some kind of mosquito thing. I took a pretty bad gash from an exposed nail trying to fight her back into that room. Cleaned it well and wrapped it though, so I'm fine. Never thought I'd have to beat my own mother back with a stick. Before she went crazy she begged me to kill her, and... I couldn't. Someone will find a cure, right?

It was frightening that my stepfather's police scanner was silent for the last hour I was in Jersey... You'd think the chatter would be ceaseless, but it stopped. Guess that means things are bad there, right?

And I was shocked to hear that the military had prepared for this. Collars, really? Why didn't we know? Why didn't they warn the general population? They knew that there was something that could turn us into zombies and they didn't warn us!? I don't trust them. What else aren't they telling us? For all we know they could have a cure that they're keeping under wraps. Don't believe everything they say.
8:34 am
The radio turned to static last night. We were getting broadcasts from the Eastern State prison group on the shortwave... not getting them anymore.

One of the kids had been hiding a big slash across his belly that festered and became infected. He bit two people before we put him down, and his mother's barricaded herself in one of the offices and won't come out. Probably better that way.

Good morning, Philadelphia. Looks like we'll have some lovely weather for the end of the world.
3:37 am
Status Update: Thomasville Survivor Base
Things are holding up well here. Mel managed to bring a whole cache of weaponry up to the base, and Dad is apparently doing fine; he just drove in earlier today with a few trailers carrying M88A2 Hercules and M109A6 Howitzer military vehicles from BAE systems (some of you may know it by United Defense). So, saying that we're well fortified here would be an understatement. Dad brought with him some of the guys from the plant he works at to train a few individuals here on the use of the vehicles; we have about eight in total.

Made a scavenging run into Hanover yesterday to see what we could get out of the shops there supply and survivor-wise. The city is completely over-run; we only managed to pick up three survivors. I fear the worst for my sister, niece and nephew. Plenty of stuff we got from Home Depot, Lowe's and Aldi's. Wal-Mart was too overrun to risk going in. A crew got to work on re-enforcing the fence around the airfield to maximize security; I went along with on security duty for a while, and looking out across the road is depressing. Some of the houses around are destroyed or burnt down, and we've already got all the survivors we can find in a five-mile radius.

One outbreak last night in the sleeping commons; we lost fifteen survivors before we got the situation under control. We now have sentry working 24/7 around the entire 'base' to keep these outbreaks under control. We need to find a cure as soon as we can.

Military came knocking only a few hours ago telling us that they were taking over operations here, and I essentially told them to go to hell. We're willing to work with them, but not for them. The truth is, though, that we're running out of space for people to live here, and we're going to have to start sending them _somewhere._

Guys, we're having trouble finding you. I know where Fort Nix is, and I know better than to send anyone over their airspace. Jill, Susan, George, you guys need to send me your location info as best as you can manage so I can at least send you some supplies. The moans are getting louder, I want you guys safe.
Thursday, June 14th, 2007
10:35 pm
I finally found a computer I can use. I've been told that to aid the coordination of  the survival effort, Armed forces have secured several communcation hubs that provide internet access. My friend Sue set this site up to try to link to survivors, and I'm going to make sure I can do what I can to make sure people get help.

As for me, The three of us survived the night. We spent hours on the little island. We tried to sleep, but couldn't. We would look across the river to the banks, and see the lumbering forms against the lights and flames. When we closed out eyes, we could still see them. Half way through the night we heard a helicopter. I broke out my flashlight and signaled. 3 short flashes, 3 long and then 3 short again: Morse code for "SOS." It got their attention, and showed we were too intelligent to be zombies.
     The Helicopter was military. two armed soldiers got out and and questioned us, asking the our names, the date, and anything else they could think of to make sure we were all concious, thinking creatures. The said they were searching for survivors, and would bring us to an outpost to await transport to Fort Dix. Before we could get on, they made us put on some collars, and locked them on. They told us they would monitor our vitals. We told them we were fine, and they told us everyone tells them they are fine. We found four more survivors and made our way to the outpost. On the way, our armor became the subject of light conversation, at least until someone asked if they were completely zombie-proof. I when we mentioned how we found out that the cardboard loses it's protective ability, silence overtook our companions.
     When we got to the outpost, we were coralled into an office building and directed to a room that acted as a makeshift infirmary so we can be examined. My friends check out fine, but they noticed my burn. I tried to explain that it was just a burn, but they said the rules were clear, I had to be held in the observation room room overnight and check my blood in the morning. If everything checked out, I would be shipped on the next transport where I would be reunited with my friends at Fort Dix.
    The observation room was a glass conference room with some military cots, and two additional survivors. at about 4 am, I found out what the collars were really for. I woke up to hear the collar on the cot next to me buzzing. A soldier opened the door, gun raised, and shouted for me to get the hell away from the cots. withing 30 seconds of the start of the buzzing, the gentleman sat up with a dead, glossy stare, and an explosive charge within the collar went off, killing him again. We were moved to a second observation room while a hazmat team rushed in.The other survivor dragged out cots to the opposite sides of the new room, and we watched each other from across the room until exhaustion overtook us.
     We were allowed to awake on our own. When we did, we were sent for a second physical that included a blood test. Both of us were declared safe and loaded onto a transport. Throughout the trip, the collar began to itch and irritate. It was purely  psychological, I wanted it off. After pulling at it once or twice, a soldier leaned over and said "trust me, you don't want to play with it" he then showed me the one he was wearing "we all have to wear them outside the base, you'll get used to it"
     When we landed behinf the gates of Fort Dix, we were greeted, and liberated from our collars. Before I could get oriented, I was asked to go to the office of one of the base commanders.
    "I've been told you were in training to be a clinical psychologist before this all started."
    "Yes Sir"
    "You haven't been conscripted, you don't have to call me 'Sir.' At any rate, we're short staffed and need people to work with the soldiers and refugees, We need to keep them stable."
    "I'm still just a student. I've had all of two clients on my own. I'm not qualified to do this."
    "Fine, tell me who is qualified to deal with the emotional stress that arises from an apocalypse involving the walking, animated dead, and I'll fly them in. Until then, we need people who have at least some training, and we have some people to supervise as well."
    "I'm still not sure..."
    "It would be in your best interests to help."
    "In thought I wasn't conscripted."
    "Let me put it this way. right now we have food in our freezers, and a relatively small population. A week from now, we'll be surviving on rations. Resources will be doled out according to how likely you are to help us survive. The more crucial you are to the base, the better we can afford to feed you and your friends. You have a chance to both help your race survive and do so with a little comfort. What do you think?"
    "Who is the supervisor?"

    So now I'm part of the small team keeping an Army base full of refugees sane and stable.
    Now who's going to keep me sane and stable?
6:10 pm
Never did make it out to Paul's rescue at the York airport. Hell. My cell phone is dead, but it wasn't working anyway. Verizon was the first thing to go, but what's new about that?

I'm holed-up in the main branch of the library in downtown Philadelphia. Tried to get over to find Jarod last night, no luck.

Anyone alive out there?
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