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wausauloner - Sun Dec 09 2012

08:01 AM #
12 solid hours of sleep in a warm bed and a good hot meal: That's how you recover after a few bad days in the zompocalypse.

08:04 AM #
Here's what happened after I checked in off the coast of Milwaukee a few days ago: I found the St. Francis Seminary in bad shape. #zombies

08:07 AM #
The partially collapsed boathouse the survivors of St. Francis Seminary used to hide their boats was a mess--and empty of boats. #zombies

08:10 AM #
When I'd visited two years ago, the survivors were planning to enlarge their safe zone, using rolls of chain-link fence I'd helped locate.

08:13 AM #
There was no sign of the planned fences that would have created a safe corridor from the seminary grounds to the boathouse... #zompocalypse

08:16 AM #
There were, however, plenty of zombies around, as well as many downed zombie bodies in various states of decay--actually a positive sign.

08:19 AM #
The different stages of decay meant that someone had been re-killing zombies for some time. I decided to press on to the seminary grounds.

08:22 AM #
I found the hidden ladder at the appropriate spot in the fence and muscled my dog up and over. The path inside showed some signs of use.

08:25 AM #
Shorty gave me lots of warning signals that we weren't entirely safe, even inside the fence. I kept my bow out, an arrow nocked. #zombies

08:28 AM #
We followed the path through the overgrown seminary grounds. We saw many downed zombies all along it. I added two to the tally. #zombie

08:31 AM #
When I reached a cluster of buildings deep inside the grounds, I discovered what happened to the fencing: It was used to make an inner wall.

08:34 AM #
It ran between buildings, creating an inner keep to hold off zombies that got past the outer perimeter. I could see that it didn't work.

08:37 AM #
The path I was on branched off into several directions at that point. Only one route looked well-traveled, so I took it. #zompocalypse

08:40 AM #
To my surprise, it wound around to the back of the fenced-in area to the main seminary itself. Finally, I saw signs of human life.

08:43 AM #
The building was boarded up at the ground level--fully secured against zombie assault. And it looked like the defenses had been tested.

08:46 AM #
As I approached the seminary, a familiar voice called out. It was Nat, the fisherman I met on my first visit to the place. #zompocalypse

08:49 AM #
Nat opened a reinforced door to let me into the seminary. 62 survivors were inside. I was glad to see them, but sad that so few remained.

08:52 AM #
They told me what happened: A group of survivors who had been holed up in an office building downtown were forced to abandon it to the Zs.

08:55 AM #
Their flight took them to the beach in search of boats so they could get out of the city to someplace safer. They found the Seminary first.

08:58 AM #
They cut a hole in the fence to get in, their rear guard fighting off pursuing zombies that began massing faster than they could be put down

09:02 AM #
In their desperation, someone used a gun—something that had not happened at St. Francis Seminary since the dead began to rise. #zompocalypse

09:04 AM #
There was a reason why nobody used guns there. The St. Francis Seminary survivors weren't the only ones who suddenly knew something was up…

09:07 AM #
By the time people from inside the seminary grounds arrived, every zombie within earshot was heading to the scrum at the fence. #zombies

09:10 AM #
There were always many, many zombies outside that perimeter fence. Their disinterest was maintained by visual barriers and silence inside.

09:13 AM #
But with live prey in sight, zombies streamed to the fence, their excitement attracting more zombies even after the fence was repaired.

09:16 AM #
The seminary survivors tried to spear zombie heads through the fence like they'd done so many times before. But there were too many.

09:19 AM #
Thousands upon thousands of zombies from the Milwaukee horde became a tidal wave of decomposing flesh. Still, the fence held. #zompocalypse

09:22 AM #
Zombies at the fence were pushed into it by more undead behind them. Fingers were lopped off in the fence as the crushing weight built up.

09:25 AM #
The fighters tried to lure the horde to the sides, spreading them out. I'd seen the trick performed successfully during my first visit.

09:28 AM #
The mob of undead was too big. Eventually, the pile became a writhing ramp of bodies. Zombies began to spill over the fence. #zompocalypse

09:31 AM #
The human defenders retreated, scattering to the various buildings inside the seminary grounds. Each separate group became besieged.

09:34 AM #
Most of the buildings fell to the dead quickly. Those around the main seminary building held out, whittling away at the zombies for months.

09:37 AM #
When they had the opportunity, they used the cyclone fences I mentioned earlier to cordon off a larger safe zone. The attempt failed.

09:40 AM #
Necessary forays into other buildings for food cost the survivors many casualties and led the dead back to the new, weaker fence. #zombies

09:43 AM #
I'll continue the story of what happened at St. Francis Seminary tomorrow. Right now, I have a meeting with Dent and the nuclear techs.