Islands of Rage & Hope | Chapter 17 of 41 - Part: 1 of 5

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“. . . atoll is zombie free, mates. We’re setting up best we can. Got the gennies running anyway and we’ve got a functioning loo! What a blessing it is to sit on porcelain again! Any bloody ammo is appreciated so we can start clearing . . .”

From: Collected Radio Transmissions of The Fall
University of the South Press 2053

“I need to admit something, sir,” Faith said as Colonel Hamilton perused the operations and logistics report.

“You got help?” Hamilton asked.

“Sophia was working on some of the same stuff, sir,” Faith said. “So we put our heads together on it. And some of the number crunching, I . . . delegated. I could do it, sir, with a computer at least, but I was trying to figure out what numbers had to be crunched, sir. But I figured out most of it myself, sir. And the rest was mostly Sophia asking questions. But I did get help, yes, sir.”

“That’s a lot of ‘buts,’ Lieutenant,” Hamilton said. “Which is understandable. If you’d tried to figure this out yourself from first cause it would have taken you a month, I’m sure. It would have taken any second lieutenant a month. Well, most. I agree on your three initial targets. I’d even say the ‘maybes’ like St. Croix are doable if we’re given enough time. You want to take five-tons?”

“I hadn’t worked with them until we got here, sir,” Faith said. “They really are the thing for land clearance. We can probably do it with scrounged transport. But the five-tons are way better, sir. They’ve got the gun mount and ground clearance. I’ve gotten stuck on bodies more than once in the Canaries, sir. It’s not just that you’re stuck with a wave of infected coming at you. It’s . . . There’s a lot of really raunchy stuff about this job, sir, but spinning out on bodies is high on the list, sir.”

“Duly noted,” Hamilton said. “I’ll put it in consideration. Did you happen to give consideration to how to transport them, Lieutenant?”

“All of these islands have ferry docks, sir,” Faith said. “Some of them are smaller than others. We’d have to find, survey and man a small ferry. But even a small truck ferry could carry at least two five-tons, sir.”

“I’ll take that up with Commander Chen,” Hamilton said. “It has merit. Your estimate for ammunition consumption is, I think, low. What’s it based on?”

“The Canaries, sir,” Faith said. “We compared the population, pre-Plague, of the towns to our ammo usage and then carried it over to the pre-Plague populations of the local towns. That’s the ground combat rounds. Soph and I both worked on that as well. I took all the ammo and batteries and Soph took the other consumables.”

“The point is, we used six times as much ammo in terms of similar conditions in Iraq,” Colonel Hamilton said, looking up. “Are you saying our current forces, undertrained as they are, are that much better?”

“Uh . . .” Faith said, thinking about it. “Zombies don’t duck, sir?”

Colonel Hamilton regarded her evenly for a moment, looked at the spreadsheet, looked back.

“Point again taken, Lieutenant,” Hamilton said. “The ROWPUs?”

“We always need more water, sir,” Faith said. “And I think that’s on the Navy side anyway, sir.”

“I am in the unusual position of being a Marine officer in charge of a Naval expedition,” Hamilton said. “So I have a similar report from, as you put, the Navy side. Did Sophia conceive the idea?”

“I . . . I sort of said we should take them, sir,” Faith said nervously. “I mean, they’re just sitting there, sir. Sophia asked about water ’cause it’s always a problem for the boats. I don’t really think about it since the boats supply it but she had a point.”

“And again I’ll take it under consideration,” Hamilton said. “It’s not a bad report. I’m going to tweak some of the numbers based on gut, red-line it and compile it with the Navy side for requisitioning. As I said, I agree with your assessment of the best objectives. Next: the captain wishes us to be able to arm the residents of the islands against the potential of, well, pirates as well as any remaining infected.”

“Yes, sir,” Faith said.

“There are apparently remaining weapons on the Iwo but it’s not worth our time going back to get them,” Hamilton said. “Especially since there’s a source closer to hand, if a bit . . . unpleasant. So we’re going to scavenge.”

“The weapons of the . . . fallen on the base, sir?” Faith said.

“Yes,” Hamilton said. “Wellington once said the only thing that could be worse than a battle won must be a battle lost. The truth, I think, is the opposite. The losers don’t see the results whereas we do. I’m not sure it’s the best conditions for you to get to know your new platoon, short as it is. But that is your next mission. Round up your platoon and go scavenge all the weapons and magazines you can find on the base.”

“Yes, sir,” Faith said.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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