Diary: 2015 February PART 4.

8th feb 2015

8am That was a long night. I stopped writing when the zombies started banging on the windows so I’ll carry on from there. We all sat tight in the bedroom and listened to the sound of banging on the shed panels covering the windows. We were too scared to move to the back bedroom to see what was going on once they were definitely in the garden. The banging continued every so often all night until it started to get light, then they started wandering off. We saw maybe 30 or 40 walking up the street over an hour or so. They seemed to move in small groups of 6 -10 with the odd straggler. I recognised many of them as locals. they all looked like they’d been sleeping rough, dirty clothes, messy hair, some had what looked like bloodstains on their faces and clothing. The thing that struck me the most was their eyes. Like the man at the front door the other night. Their eyes looked dead. The other thing we all noticed about their eyes was that even the little bit of moonlight seemed to reflect like cats eyes. They looked like their pupils were huge, like red-eye on a photo. By the time it was light an hour ago they had all gone. We’re giving it another hour then we’ll go and have a look if there’s been any damage downstairs.

9.30am The barricades held really well. A couple of the slats on the shed sides had come loose but nothing major. Rob and Paul are nailing them back in place. There are smears of blood on the boards which we assume is where they were banging on them. I gave Rob and Paul some rubber gloves and face masks from my medical stores. Every book/film/website assumes that zombies spread by blood transfer. I’m not saying that is correct because I’ve seen no proof but I’m not taking chances. The chicken coop is looking a bit beaten up. I don’t think they were after the chickens because in all honesty if they’d wanted them badly they’d have got them. I think they just bumped into the coop. There is a little bit of cloth stuck on the chicken wire. It looks like someone caught their clothing on the sharp bit. Maybe that’s what’s pulled the run out of shape. The fleece covering my root veg bed is covered in muddy footprints and I haven’t had the heart to look at the plants underneath yet. We heard engines earlier. I figure the army are on the move somewhere close. I wonder if we will get our “less friendly” visit today.

11am Wow. We did indeed have another visit from the army. They were really nice and now we have some idea what we’re up against. We had a knock at the front door around 10am ish and when Rob answered it was  2 guys in uniform. They introduced themselves as Major Bavister and Sergeant Major Leech, both of the Welsh Guards. We let them in. They sat in the living room and explained that the bombs had released a virus similar to rabies. The infected become aggressive and will attack randomly. They told us that the virus damages their eyes and makes it painful for them to be out in daylight. They asked us to accompany them to their base for our own safety. Apparently the people who were evacuated have been moved to army bases around the country, when I asked about Mum and Dad they said if we go with them they’ll find out what base they are at and will take us to them. Ash and Paul could go with their families too. They said they don’t yet know how the infection spreads for sure but they’re pretty confident it’s not air or water bourne. We asked for some time to think about things and they told us they’ll come back in 2 hours. That gives us one more hour to decide what to do. I’m tempted. I miss my parents and the thought of being somewhere safe is really getting to me. Paul wants to go. He’s ex army and I guess he trusts them more than us. Ashley is in bits. He doesn’t want to go but at the same time he doesn’t want to be parted from Paul. I’ve left them to talk it over. Me and Rob talked about it and we’ve decided to ask the girls. I know they’re young and I’m not leaving the final decision in the hands of an 8 and 4 year old BUT their opinions do count.

11.50am We are going. We’ve emptied the Landy and packed what we think we’ll need. I had my bug out bag already but I’ve repacked. The rest of my stores have been jammed under the floorboards upstairs. I can’t shake the feeling that I might need them at some point and I’m worried about looters – hell we’ve done it ourselves now! Ash and Paul are putting the carpets back down while I make us one last brew before we leave. Lukewarm coffee and powdered milk, my last gas canister just ran out before the water finished boiling. That was the breaking point really. We only have enough water for today and no more gas. There’s plenty of food but water is more important. My plan was always to bug out at the first sign of trouble to somewhere with fresh water, hence the boxes of puritabs. The girls are packing some toys, I don’t know how much they’ll let us take so I told them one small bag between them and one toy to carry in case they can’t take the bag. I’ve put my survival file flat in the bottom of my bag. I really want to take my webbing, I hope I can. We need to quickly change into our heaviest clothes and boots. I’m packing this diary. It’s helping me work things out in my head by writing everything down and it’ll be something for the girls to read when they’re older, I hope things will be back to normal and all this will be a distant memory by then.

9th Feb 2015

The army guys came back 2 hours later to the minute. They loaded us and our bags into the back of a 4 tonner, god it’s been such a long time since I was in one of them! I forgot how uncomfy the bench seats are. Maybe I just didn’t feel it so much in my teens. There were 2 armed guardsmen in the back with us. Major Bavister said how pleased he was that we decided to come. I asked him why he wanted us clear so badly and he said they wanted EVERYONE evacuated for their own safety. He said we were the last family to leave in our area and that now we were leaving they soldiers could be more aggressive in clearing the infected. I was worried and relieved by this comment in equal measures. I asked if there was any cure and he looked sad and said they hadn’t found one yet. He said they were trying to round-up infected and take them somewhere safe until they could find a treatment which is why they wanted us clear. The infected were trying to get into houses to find shelter before daylight, unfortunately if they came across the inhabitants they reacted with extreme aggression. This is why they needed everyone as far away as possible. I was glad to be getting some answers but also quietly cautious, I worried he was being too forthright, too open.

We travelled for hours. In the back of the truck it was difficult to tell where we were going – I’m used to seeing roads from the front, not behind. Obviously I recognised that we were heading into England, I recognised the motorway right up to Keele services. Such a short time since I was there last but so much had changed. We took an exit shortly afterwards and then I was lost. I was feeling pretty car-sick by then and was having trouble concentrating. Paul got chatting to the two soldiers with us after a few attempts. They were really guarded but opened up eventually when he started talking about his regiment. He was a Royal Welch Fusilier, These were Royal Armoured Corps, part of a special division for chemical and biological warfare. They were both in their 30’s, career soldiers, too wily to be tricked into divulging too much info. They did however tell us that we were headed to a barracks in Yorkshire. I asked why we were going in the wrong direction and they looked uncomfortable. They said it was the safest route. I guessed that they were avoiding the motorways around Manchester although we were pretty damn close to Birmingham.

When we arrived I recognised the barracks. I’ve been here before in my teens as an army cadet and also once as an adult instructor with cadets. We’re in Ripon. They parked up and took us into a huge field hospital set up in the parade ground in the middle of the camp. It extended over where I remember there being a helipad and blocked view of the naafi building which I knew was over behind it. Inside the khaki inflatable hospital we were taken to a small desk, a Lieutenant took our names, addresses, date of birth, national insurance number and asked about our medical history. They asked us to sign a form to release our personal details so we could be traced by our families. I asked about finding Mum and Dad and the officer said most people from our area were either here in Ripon or at Catterick. I know Catterick is a huge camp but I just can’t get my head around all those people fitting in there. After taking our details we were led through into a cubicled area where we were asked to undress. We refused at first but they said they couldn’t let us in until they’d checked us for injury and infection. It made sense so we went into our seperate cubicles and undressed. They’d put surgical gowns out for us to put on while we waited. Our clothes and boots were taken away in plastic bags. They said they’d be brought back. I insisted on keeping the girls with me and nobody argued, everyone was being nice. A lovely female Captain from the 16 Medical Regiment came to us. She examined us individually and declared us fit and healthy. She was so kind with the girls. She asked to take a blood sample from us all. We were a bit hesitant but I allowed it. We were then led to a series of chambers. We had to stand in a chamber each and be sprayed with something to make sure we were clean. It didn’t make you wet even though it felt like a jet of damp air. I was unhappy about letting the girls through and Seren became a little hysterical but I got her calm and we all went through. On the other side we were scanned by an xray machine like you get in airports and they ran a long blue light all over our naked bodies. Once this was done a soldier brought our clothes back, they were slightly warm like they’d been tumble dried. The Captain explained they’d been UV sterilised to make sure there was no infection on them. She’d also gone through a chamber and was on the other side with us. She passed us on to the biggest man I’ve seen. He was like a bear and introduced himself as Staff Sergeant Davies. Despite his size he was not intimidating and Carys and Seren were obviously enchanted. He gave us our bags which until then I’d forgotten about. They too were warm. Once we’d picked up our things he led us out of the field hospital and out into the sunlight. As we walked towards the gate in the fence surrounding the billets we heard the sound of children laughing. The girls were pleased to hear other kids and so was I. SSgt. Davies explained that they were holding lessons in one of the lecture buildings near the stores and it was playtime. We were taken to the furthest billet. I’d been in here before, it was used as the girls and adult female billets when I was here last. He showed us into one of the smaller rooms. He said that rather than seperating us into male/female dorms he’d let us stay together until we’d found our families.

I’m sitting in the cold February sun in a small grassy area boxed in by the billet. I’m having my first smoke in hours and loving it. The girls are playing on the wet grass. Rob is asleep, Ash and Paul are having a shower – they have hot water here! (it is rationed though). In the morning they will have the location of the camp Mum and Dad have been taken to although it’s possible they are here. We might bump into them at the canteen later. I do hope so. There haven’t been many people around, the kids are all at the army’s camp school and the adults are being sent out in work groups. I spoke to an older lady earlier and she filled me in on what happens here. They’re starting to prepare the training area for farming and are digging furrows in the frosty soil. Able bodied adults are taken in groups to help with the farm work or are given jobs to do around camp. People seem happy enough.

I’m glad we came. I feel a little tearful now we’re here. I think it’s relief. I feel bad though. It occurred to me after we left that we didn’t open the chicken coop. The poor birds will starve. I hope those shamblers come back tonight and knock the coop run down enough to let the birds escape in the morning.

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3 Responses to “Diary: 2015 February PART 4.”

  1. YAY, it’s all coming together so quick! Oh, wait… that means… this is the end so soon? or this is just the start of the troubles…

    Keep it up still addicted….

  2. I have fond memories of many different training camps from my time with the Cadets, happy days 🙂

    • Me too, very fond memories and some of the best times ever. I learned so much with army cadets. I am trying to teach Carys some map reading skills, Seren is much too little yet!

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