06:08 AM #
Pete just put my plan into action. Well, the first part of it, anyway. He announced to the Reaper POWs that they will be put on trial today.
06:11 AM #
He said that evidence has already been gathered, but each of them would be able to make any last pleas before sentences are rendered.
06:14 AM #
When Pete spoke, he was surrounded by his lieutenants, who, as we planned in advance, avoided eye contact with the prisoners & looked stern.
06:17 AM #
Pete spoke with the authority and gravity of a man who had come to a very tough decision. Some got the message: death sentences may await.
06:20 AM #
He repeated the speech in both barns where the Reaper prisoners are under guard. The reactions of the prisoners were the same, at first.
06:23 AM #
But when Pete said religious counsel would be offered--though Reaper cult rites would be specifically prohibited--their reactions differed.
06:26 AM #
The "hard core" prisoner barn erupted into angry taunts at that news. In the barn with the less zealous prisoners: just a wave of murmurs.
06:29 AM #
All the prisoners are being moved to one barn for the trials. They will be tried in alphabetical order. That should ratchet up the tension.
06:38 AM #
I'm in position now, with a few others, in the old milkhouse adjacent to the trial barn. We can watch the proceedings without being seen.
07:03 AM #
Pete is moving fast with the trials. The first has already begun. It will end after a perfunctory recitation of known Reaper crimes.
07:23 AM #
The first Reaper prisoner has been declared guilty. Pete then announced that the sentence, due to extenuating circumstances, must be death.
07:30 AM #
The 2nd Reaper prisoner, this one a real nutcase who's bought into the whole zompocalypse rapture cult, has quickly been sentenced to death.
07:41 AM #
The 3rd Reaper prisoner, the guy who said he had no choice but to join them, has also been sentenced to death. ...The prisoners get it now.
07:44 AM #
The prisoners now know that ALL their trials will end in death sentences. #zombie #zombies #zompocalypse
07:47 AM #
Pete has paused the proceedings to announce that those in the sentencing area should now register their religious affiliation for last rites
07:57 AM #
The trials have just been interrupted by a man who rode up to the barn on a horse at full gallop. This is where things get interesting.
08:01 AM #
After the bedraggled rider made a few urgent, though hushed whispers into Pete's ear, Pete asked aloud, "How many?" Later: "an exchange?"
08:03 AM #
Pete has put the trials on hold. The prisoners are still under heavy guard, but are purposely being ignored as they react to these events.
08:06 AM #
As we expected, one or two of them have "figured out" that a Reaper attack has occurred. Some are pleased. Some are scared. #zompocalypse
08:22 AM #
I just overheard some Reapers theorizing that the trials were real, but the last rites offer was meant to identify reluctant cultists. Good.
08:25 AM #
If all goes according to plan, this will throw them off the scent of the real test. We have to keep them overconfident, but off balance.
08:41 AM #
Distant gunshots began to be audible a few minutes ago. Sounds of activity outside the barn are increasing. The Reaper POWs hear it all.
08:59 AM #
A group of guards just came rushing into the barn, ordering all the prisoners to an interior wall. One cried out, "You can't just shoot us!"
09:03 AM #
A flurry of gunfire can now be heard outside. It is getting closer. The nuttier cultists are refusing orders. Time to make this more real.
09:06 AM #
Some of the guards just shot the worst of the non-complying hard core cultists. It seems to be having the desired result, cowing the rest.
09:09 AM #
One of Pete's Lieutenants just came rushing inside in reaction to the gunfire. He saw the dead men and said, "No more! We may need them!"
09:15 AM #
The gunfire outside is getting still closer. To the cultists, it must sound like we're under heavy attack by a big Reaper army.
09:18 AM #
That lieutenant returned, arriving in a bus pulled up outside the barn. To the POWs: "You're being exchanged. We need to end this fight."
09:21 AM #
Some of the POWs are reacting to the news with horror. It's clear they DON'T want to be released back to the cult. So we're grabbing THEM.
09:32 AM #
On cue, after the last of the prisoners who obviously don't want to go back to the cult got on the bus, more gunfire broke out very nearby.
09:35 AM #
Screams of pain and calls to "Fall back!" are audible now outside. Some of Pete's people are good actors. I'd swear it was all real.
09:38 AM #
The bus with the first group of POWS on it pulled away. A second one is replacing it, but the door is still shut to the recent gunfire.
09:41 AM #
An explosion a short distance away. A yell: "They hit the bus!" Then: "Every man to the inner wall!" All the guards leave, barring the door.
09:48 AM #
Gunfire continues outside with some of it actually hitting the barn's stonework foundation and the barnwood walls above. Very convincing.
09:52 AM #
The POWs, left to themselves in the secure trial barn, are arguing about what to do. Some want to wait. Others are looking for a way out.
09:55 AM #
Believing they're alone, some of the cagey ones are finally revealing their true nature, breaking furniture and arming themselves with clubs
10:01 AM #
I'm disappointed...I thought more of them would turn out to be regular people who regret their circumstances, their choices...#zompocalypse
10:04 AM #
Well, they have one last chance for redemption. Our little milkhouse observation team has given the signal for the endgame to those outside.
10:07 AM #
From outside: "We need more at the south wall! Offer the prisoners amnesty if they'll fight!" The POWs heard that clearly, as we planned.
10:10 AM #
Sadly, some of the prisoners have taken up ambush positions around the barred door. A single person is outside, opening it...
10:13 AM #
Time for this to end.
10:19 AM #
Just as the Reaper prisoners were about to jump the person opening the outer door, our observation team revealed itself, guns drawn.
10:23 AM #
We called out to Pete, who was the person waiting outside the door, and he whistled. All sounds of gunfire outside ceased.
10:26 AM #
Based on the prisoners' reactions during our little charade--the POWs' true trial--all but 5 of prisoners will be put to death.
10:32 AM #
The five POWs that will be spared were the ones that got on the exchange bus. They feared going back to the cult more than anything else.
10:35 AM #
Those lucky 5, of course, didn't die in the bus--it was never hit. That was all just part of the show, a ruse to get them separated & away.
10:38 AM #
I'm told that when they saw the flags of truce on the bus they said, to a man, that going back to the cult was worse than death.
10:41 AM #
Once down the road a bit, they saw our people generating all the fake battle noise. As realization dawned upon each face, so did real joy.
11:23 AM #
The people who staged the fighting outside the barn did a convincing job. It's fortunate ammo is in good supply. They sure didn't hold back.
01:41 PM #
The Reapers' death sentence will be carried out tomorrow afternoon, up on Rib Mountain. Reps from other area survival groups will attend.