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 finished off the first year after the group came to the Marine Centre. This time we look at the next 4 years that roll by.
Life At Home
As one year bleeds into the next the people of The Reserve and the MDC are slowly getting used to their new lives, each with their own role in supporting the growing community. Over the four years no new souls have been found, only the dead. After Nic, Jake and eventually Chloe left no one else felt the need to answer the call of the road. It was clear that the outside world was still incredibly dangerous and that the MDC was nothing more than a small place of sanctuary among a violent and deadly storm.
Outside the reinforced walls the ground is tilled and food is grown. The seas has remained plentiful but the numbers at the Reserve have dropped off slightly over the years. With no other commercial fishing ventures in operation the seas are safer than ever for larger populations of marine life.
In addition to growing a crop ,consisting of mostly wheat, a smaller vegetable garden is maintained within the walls. What uninfected mammals persist outside the walls are trapped in cages and snares. Their meat, fur and sinew are processed by Schalk the trapper who’s become adept at using almost the entire animal, but trapper isn’t the only profession belonging to the newfound bushman. At night he secretly scans the airwaves picking up voices of the outside world, logging them, making sure that the Reserve remains hidden.
Kate, his contact, has been a welcome voice to shake up the day-to-day of the Reserve, but over the years her positive outlook has slowly wavered. Maintaining their own self-imposed rules no talk of locations or names had occurred. To the rest of the community Schalk has just seemed like the kind of man that appreciates his privacy, so they give it to him. Atop the MDC his shack has evolved into a full-on home with all of his tanning and drying supplies. When the two young girls Olivia and Elsa attempted to break in to see the supposed arm bone of Schalk, the bushman scared them off without even trying.
One story down from the roof, are the rooms of most the residents, each unique to the owner and well lived in after four years. The pool table at the centre of the room has faded and the television, once the focal point of the rec-area, was long since moved into storage. It has been replaced with a large bookcase full with fiction, much of which has been read many times over. The bathrooms still operate using gravity fed tanks atop the MDC. Refilling them is a pain when the rains are low, but it allows the residents to stay hygienic without much trouble. The toilets operate in a similar way, thankfully, sparing the community from latrines.
Another level down, the kitchen often has wonderful aromas travelling from it with Jonah and Lulu working away, attempting to keep the meals interesting and fulfilling. Olivia, now fourteen years old, assists them while watching out for her little sister Elsa, who’s much more trouble at the age of eight. A diet of bread, vegetables, fish, shellfish, bird, possum, rabbit and stoat has kept the Reserve healthy and fitter than most in the new world.
Finally, the bottom level is where much of the action happens. Outside, the washstation is often manned by Willow with her four year old son Philip, taking care of the laundering of the eleven residents’ clothing. Whenever an injury or sickness occurs she’s quick to jump into action. She and her young one still live outside the main walls in the house closest to the MDC, but all of the medical supplies are kept in the hospital ward created on the second level of the complex.
At the rear of the MDC Lulu’s garden can be found. Here she works with Olivia and Elsa, keeping plants for eating and for medicinal purposes. Just outside the walls the archery targets still stand, Jen being the only member to continue to use them after their creator Chloe left. Now twenty years old, Jen has grown into a tough and capable woman. She’s honed her skills as an archer, easily becoming the best shot with a bow at the Reserve. When she isn’t practising her archery or assisting Scott and Frank on runs, she works the forge alongside Scott.
The two have grown much closer over the years, something her Father Charles was very much aware of. His opinion wouldn’t have stopped Jen, but the man came out in support of the relationship. While it has been a slow burner, the two have become quite enamoured with the other. Charles, however, did disapprove of her joining Scott and Frank when they went beyond the walls of the Reserve.
Trips outside the walls were difficult. The vehicles had remained in good repair thanks to Frank, but the fuel that ran them had spoiled years before, making the pink ute and the Swift all but useless.
The three of the them used bicycles to travel quietly and with a bit more speed than walking the roads. They were always careful to only travel so far. Years prior, soundtraps were set up in each neighbouring town luring any infected creature towards that rather than the Reserve. A combination of reflective wind chimes and small solar garden lights helped catch the attention of the starving masses that swept through the towns.
Luckily the members of the reserve never had to deal with swarms of rodents that plagued many other townships. The trips out were quick and with purpose, sometimes with no other object than to acquire a new book or a specific tool. Clad in chainmail, the three were a sight to see.
The fights with the dead were precise and tactical. If a fight could be avoided it was always preferred. Successful, the three would return home. Scott and Jen would retired to the forge and work until the late evening on whatever the community required. By now even though it wasn’t required, every member of the Reserve had a set of chainmail custom built for them by the couple.
In the morning Scott would rise early to assist Charles who had become the primary fisherman of the Reserve. The two always fished from shore keeping the boats moored since to travel in them invited unwanted attention. Come rain or shine they brought food in from the sea. The two men had become close over the years and Charles had stayed true to his sobriety pledge.
Here at the reserve life had fallen into a pace with the seasons and the cycles of nature. They lived a life of peace. Curiosity of what the rest of the world looked like was always there, but the decision to remain was unanimous. There was never a vote, rather everyone had grown to enjoy the lives they lived away from the pain they had left behind. They had lost so much to reach this point and finally they could reap what they had sown. As the fifth year after The Fall began that peace would soon be shattered as the outside world would find its way back into the lives of those at the Reserve
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