Z-LAND Timeskip: Month 1

The next season of Z-LAND will take place 5 years after the last.

To get you ready for it, Rycon has written what happens during those 5 years and we’ll be posting them here so you can follow along with what happens to the survivors.

Last time we covered the first week of the group’s stay at the Marine Discovery Centre. This time it’s the next month.

Month 1

Having returned successfully with medical supplies and prosthetics Scott begins to work and refit one of the legs to work for him. Schalk refuses to use an arm and continues to live a somewhat isolated life atop the Accom Roof.

Schalk’s rooftop home keeps him isolated from the others but he still share meals with the group, but refuses to share the information he has gathered over the radio. The harbor around him has remained calm. No sign of watercraft or aircraft for that matter and as the month draws on a renewed sense of isolation begins to set in… almost, if not for the series of beeps he has begun to communicate with. The person to which he “speak” reveals very little about themselves other than the fact that they had no idea that anyone was still alive on the mainland. They have made the assumption that Schalk’s signal isn’t coming from where ever they are based. His communication with this person surrounds nothing of strategic importance but rather the mundane aspect of their life and Schalk’s. Over the passing days something of a bond has been forming between the two of them, but then as the month begins to draw to an end the communication abruptly stops and is replaced once again by the same routine transfers of information: longitude and latitude for locations down the West Coast of New Zealand.

These night time communications weren’t his only responsibility, however, and during some days of the week he cycled out with Frank and some of the other survivors, helping out with the construction efforts. While on their look out the other survivors took point atop the Red Hill, the location of which the skeletal remains of two children were found. The hill has a great view of the surrounding area so the others are fine to leave Schalk’s roof top abode alone, with a few of them imagining his arm bone or other pieces just laying about (rumors have been a foot).

Over the month Scott continues his mornings fishing with Charles. The lines are still biting and they’re both careful to take only what they need as the community is still limited by what they can preserve and store. At request of Jake, Charles & Jonah have begun sailing lessons for the group. Scott, Charles, Jonah, Jake and Nic travelled on the Second Chance back to Little Barrier early in the morning, arriving just as the sun began to rise. Looking out from the boat in the dull light Scott witnesses the blackened remains of the bunkhouses. He doesn’t seem to see any sign of the powder that was once dropped on the cove but the decision to stay on the water remains. Piloting the Second Chance, he drops Jonah and Charles off at two of the eight sailing vessels that remained anchored in the bay, Jake and Nic having split themselves between the two ships. Six of the sailboats remained anchored in the cove as the three piloted ships they all control make their way back to Goat Island.

After the successful mission, lessons are held before lunch each day with every member of the community attending except Willow, Lulu, Schalk and the children. Early on in the month Scott begins the process of constructing a Blacksmithing Workshop in the garage beneath the MDC Lab 1 Block. Thankfully many tools were already present at the MDC, acetylene torches, welders both above and below water varieties and the space to begin constructing a forge. Coming across an anvil substitute was difficult but at the beach hire shop close by a large oblong piece of steel seemed to fit the bill.

To start off, Scott begins working on small objects, arrowheads in particular after Chloe asked if it would be possible. Frank had taken an interest in the project and worked alongside Scott in the creation of the forge and the subsequent arrowheads. As the month drew on the two of them became more proficient at their work as well as repurposing objects around into new forms. Frank floated the idea of making bracers to protect the arms and legs when the group inevitably left to scavenge and the next stage of the project began.

Chloe and Lulu have become temporary guardians of the two little ones Olivia and Elsa. Lulu spends most of the time with them as Chloe leave the Accom to work on the barricading the MDC accom (once her leg was good enough to walk on) with Frank, Jake, Nic, Schalk, Jonah and occasionally Willow. Once the project is complete and seeing that Scott was attempting to create his first few objects in his newly created workshop, Chloe requests he try make some arrowheads. Chloe wrangles Jen and the kids into a craft project of sorts using duct tape to create fletching for arrows while Chloe attempts to learn how to use some of the woodworking tools the workshop contained. It took many attempts but as the month goes on Chloe gains the capability to make passable arrow shafts and, once combined with Scott arrowheads she had her arrows. In that time Chloe had also made a bow for herself and Jen, and while they’re not incredibly effective, they are enough for the two of them to practice with.

Chloe sets up targets out the back of the MDC by the four large tanks and it was there that the two of them practices during their downtime.

As one of the heads of the barricading effort, Nic assists Jake who seems to be project managing the endeavor. During that time Nic also helps Scott become accustomed to his prosthetic leg, helping him move easier in it and adjusting it as it’s needed. Nic also continues to watch over Chloe as she recovers from her shooting and bite wounds. Schalk’s arm seems to be coming along nicely and there has been no sign of infection, and redressing will no longer be required.

Early in the month Nic takes the time to take stock of all the medicine and medical equipment they have at the MDC. Whenever anything is needed he checks it off the list and a protocol is established that if something is needed they’ve got to come to Nic first. That way nothing should go missing. At least he hopes.

Willow has been a difficult issue for everyone to deal with and the woman still chooses to live alone in the house on the hill. Jen brings her food each days and seems to be the only one to have talked to her. Nic has seen her as she helps with the barricading, always working but always silent. Lulu suggests that seingas it seems that they’ve lost their nurse that the group will need another one, insinuating Nic.

Nic spend the evenings using what little light is left to read the emergency first aid manuals that he’s come across while scouring the MDC. He also notices that Lulu has setup a small lab of her own in one of the existing labs with the hopes to produce medication somewhere down the line. It seems like a pie in the sky plan but he assists her where he can.

With everyone working on the barricading on rotating schedules it’s finished early in the month with all windows on level one sealed with silicon across the whole window with chicken wire reinforcing the glass and finally covered with plywood boards. Furthermore lavender bushes are replanted near the base of the building and in small pots hanging from the second story windows to cover any human smells that might drift. Around either entrance to the building a fenced off “airlock” is built using plywood and fencing posts. Essentially allowing them use this “airlock” to limit the chance of something entering behind another.

On the upper levels of the Accom stairways are reinforced with slide out barricades that sit at waist height limiting the ability of an attacker on the stairs. Curtains are stripped from the other buildings and layered over the existing curtains to create a blackout effect limiting light leak to the outside.

On the second level two rooms are set aside as contamination rooms which have an extra level of sealant around the entrances. A drop plank barricade is set on either door too, to keep an occupant locked inside. Once the first stage of construction is complete Jake begins his sailing lessons alongside the others. In the afternoons Jake, Nic and Jonah scout the surrounding area, searching the houses for supplies and tools. On one of their first trips out, a house close to the MDC is discovered to have two large solar panels on its roof and a storage system. The three of them disconnect it and return it to the MDC, choosing the top of the Accom building as the prime location for the panels. Schalk assists Jake in setting up the panels on the roof and will be wiping them clear of any debris each morning. The battery system is stored on the third floor with the cables entering through a gap in one of the windows that is again sealed with silicon.

On sunny days they find themselves with a fair bit of energy and power is always left in reserve for a bit of nighttime light. On the energy front the MDC is discovered to have its own emergency generator which can provide power to the whole complex. However fuel reserves are low and the decision is made by the group to leave the generator for emergencies only.

Manual washing machines are set up, just a drum on an angle with a few paddles attach to the internal side of it driven by a push bike. Two stations are used, one for home gear and one for scouting gear, always washed separately.

As the month draws to an end Jake prepares himself mentally for what is to come. He will be leaving, but will he tell the others before he does, and does he intend to ask Nic to join him?

The month is quiet on the dead front. While searching the nearby properties it becomes clear that many left the area after the longest night. Some grizzly scenes are still found in bedrooms and nurseries as the scavenging teams search through them. Corpses nearly eaten to the bone and smashed windows where the creatures had exited into the wider world. As the month continues the group slowly starts to become more of a community with everyone taking up a position of some kind. Some learning new skills, others practicing old ones. They’ve all remained quite, enjoying the change of pace. For the first time in many nights they find themselves sleeping well in their recently reinforced building. New friendships begin to form between what once was two groups, but a collective unease around Willow still remains.

Everyone has participated in the watch at some stage with The Red Hill being chosen as the best spot to watch over the complex and the wider Goat Island region.

Food has been plentiful thanks to the marine reserve and water has come clean from the collection tanks on the complex. They could get used to this, the pace of life and a chance to breath after what has felt like a none stop sprint from the longest night till now. Roots have the planted and projects have begun but this is only that start of Goat Island. What will the next year bring?

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