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wausauloner - Tue Aug 28 2012

04:23 AM #
Kurt, Shorty, and I are re-tracing the route yesterday's missing patrol took. The patrol was also two men and a dog. It's worth a try.

05:15 AM #
Shorty's no bloodhound, but she's great at detecting zombies. She's in her element here. Hunting is not really so different since Z-day.

05:18 AM #
She gets a little distracted by squirrels, rabbits, and other game now and then, but she knows that's not what we're out here for. #zombies

06:31 AM #
Well, Kurt and I took our time. We let Shorty sniff around and zig-zag off the old overgrown road that runs down this side of Rib Mt. Nada.

06:34 AM #
If the men were thorough & stayed on the old road, it's unlikely they'd have gotten much farther than this before they missed their check-in

06:37 AM #
So we're going to hike back up the trail and see if we missed anything that might have taken them off the track. #zombie #zompocalypse

07:12 AM #
More searchers are above, below, & elsewhere on the mountain, plus a few well-hidden blinds like the one I do a shift in on Mosinee Hill...

07:15 AM #
Since we know where the blinds are (and the watchers in them didn't see the missing patrol pass by them yesterday), we can narrow our search

08:21 AM #
Standing still in the woods...so quiet and peaceful. We can hear pine needles hitting the forest floor. The chaos of the world is distant.

08:24 AM #
Shorty turns her head often, ears perked. Should we check out every sound that catches a dog's interest?...No, the patrol probably didn't.

08:27 AM #
...But some sounds would be more suspicious than others and would carry farther. Twigs snapping. Voices. Rocks falling... #zompocalypse

09:48 AM #
We're following up on the idea I had earlier about noises that might have gotten the attention of the missing patrol. We're in a rocky area.

09:51 AM #
It's a mostly vertical tumble of huge boulders below an old scenic hiking trail. Climbing on them is somewhat noisy, and kind of dangerous.

09:54 AM #
The sound of a falling stone could have lured the patrol here. Might Reapers have been hiding in these boulders, this close to the summit?

10:35 AM #
We've found no bodies, no signs of violence, and no remnants of even temporary camping among the boulders. Just a turkey buzzard nest.

10:38 AM #
Most of the tumble of boulders is hard to climb, so we're thinking that if the patrol did come this way, they'd left their dog behind.

10:41 AM #
If the men and their dog are dead (which is likely), this is probably not where it happened because they couldn't have been together here.

12:14 PM #
We're checking out another possible source of noise the patrol might have checked out. It's a slope covered with rock dumped decades ago.

12:17 PM #
It's an open area where small rocks from other places were dumped, probably back when the conservation corps built the park's facilities.

12:20 PM #
It's a relatively large area, a clearing devoid of trees that can be easily seen from a distance, so nobody's bothered to check it up close.

12:23 PM #
We can easily imagine a stone dislodged by a zombie or a Reaper making plenty of noise here--enough for the patrol to come check it out.

01:02 PM #
Resting. All this climbing is exhausting. Well, sitting still gives us time to look around, listen, and think. Still no sign of...anything.

01:10 PM #
Shorty senses something. She keeps looking off to one side of the rock pile we're sitting on. The wind shifted...maybe it's just the dead.

01:13 PM #
...but she's pretty used to smelling the distant stink of all the dead in Wausau. We're going to check out that side of the pile. #zombies

02:51 PM #
We found the missing patrol. Both men and the dog. They were all dead, each showing multiple arrow wounds. They were in a concealed hollow.

02:54 PM #
It was more like a small combat foxhole dug into a channel between exposed rocks. It was covered by a canvas and a layer of dirt & detritus.

02:57 PM #
It made for a well-concealed place to hide the bodies. but I think it was a shelter for Reaper infiltrators before becoming a shallow grave.

03:01 PM #
Shorty sniffed out a spot nearby where somebody has been burying their number twos, enough for several people over several days, probably.

03:03 PM #
The Reaper assassins might have been hiding here for many days, gotten the jump on our curious patrol, hid the remains, and bugged out...

06:30 PM #
I'm standing by Pete's side as he makes his nightly broadcast on the HAM radios. We know now that at least one Reaper team may be close by.

07:33 PM #
Pete is off the radios. He's staying here tonight under heavy guard. The in-close security team is quite large as the full moon approaches.