The day the Gatineau Line fell (part 1)

(Ported over from a page on this blog in 2015, when I had no clue how to blog properly)

It all starts somewhere. Some event that brings chaos and other big words. Take this as you will, but remember, a metaphor is no replacement for being even remotely prepared. You are the first responder for your family. Keep them safe.

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The Day the Gatineau Line Fell (Part 1)

Shit. It never fails. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. My cell rang bedside, 0240, 16 October 2015. “Really? WTF”, I thought.  The number was vaguely familiar, but when I heard my supervisors’ voice and her statements, I wished I never answered the call; but if I hadn’t, you would not be reading this:

“Bob”? “Yes, Diane, uh, wait one, ugh, what’s up”? Long pause. “Bob, you know your interest in odd shit; undead, camping, homesteading, prepping, and, um, fuck me, uh, zombies”?  WTF, AGAIN? “Yes, Diane. Why a call now, at this time of night? I have enough problems with the Frat House behind me”.

“Bob, there seems to be a problem just over the river in Gatineau”. “Nobody seems to be able to put a name to it, but it looks like you were right, in some messed up way”.

I had yet to clear cobwebs; trying to maneuver a dog off my one good leg while trying to not wake my partner. “Ma’am, why are you calling me? No-shit answer, please”.

Very long pause. “Bob, from what Higher has shared down to us, there seems to have been some sort of outbreak; I don’t know what, but our channels tell us that people are not dying after being shot by police; worse yet, hospitals are reporting folks who are VSA, yet get up to attack staff”.  Heavy Silence.

“Bob, we are calling a Fan-Out, all pers to report to the office” “Gatineau Police, Ottawa Police and the RCMP have requested Canadian Forces assistance, Aid to Civil Power”.  A very long pause on my end. Very damn long. “Bob”? “Bob”? “This is an order from on High”. My reply was simple; likely even ingrained from the age of 12. “If this is what you describe it as, and if this isn’t some kind of joke, and IF it’s what I think it is, going into the office is the worst thing we could do. Let Higher set up a response team in Petawawa. It’s 2 hours away; it will give them and us a chance”. Pause. “Diane, if you or I go into the office, we’ll be dead in less than 12 hours”. “All it takes is one person who’s been bitten, IF this real, and the entire building is lost. Hell, the office is less than 10 minutes away from Gatineau, we have no way to defend ourselves; it’ll take days for the Chain of Command to issue us our weapons and appropriate ammo. Jeez, we are not a line Unit”.

“Give me an hour to get my shit together, dress, check bus schedules, see what the News has to say and let Stephanie know what’s up, then I’ll get back to you”. A very pregnant pause from Diane, then “Is it possible?” “Is it real”? I told her I didn’t know; I’ll get in touch in an hour.

I never spoke to her again. I tried over the next few hours and days, both cell and work phones. Nothing.

You do the math.

I swung my messed up leg out of bed, checked CBC News, and didn’t like what I saw. Shabby video footage, from reporters, choppers, people-on-the-street. All the same. None of it good. I checked CTV News. Same, but different footage. Footage of people apparently rioting. Footage of people attacking everyone else that wasn’t like them. The last CTV feed I saw showed a woman being bitten, screaming, being attacked by more people who did not appear to be behaving normally. The camera-person rushed in for a closer shot, and the light of the camera or breathing, or noise caught their attention. The very last scene showed teeth, heralded screams from the camera operator, then snow.

I shook Steph, gently, then more so. She looked at me with sleep confusion, blurred and blundered; “wha, ugh, hey, what, why”?

I replied simply: “Check your phone news feeds. Looks like an outbreak of some kind in Gatineau; people are biting one another, dying and getting up again. This is for real”.

Her reply, simple and perfect: “Seriously”? “You serious”? “Your hobby real”? “Shit”.

I kissed her quickly as she got out of bed and stumbled off to the john. Damn well figures. Something I’ve thought about, readied myself for for years, studied via pop culture and fellow fans, discussed over many beers long into the morning actually happens; not far away, not to be watched from a great distance via CNN or CBC or BBC or Al Jazeera, but right literally in my backyard. Less than 45 minutes away, depending on traffic.

I swung back to my side of the bed and reached for my crutches. Of course it has to happen now, when I’m a tripod, waiting another couple of weeks to see if I can start standing again, then the slow process of learning to properly walk, move and eventually run, hopefully. All because the Military medical system missed that I was walking on a broken ankle for a year.

So, despite everything I knew, thought I knew, and the steps I had taken to ensure we had some semblance of a chance in case of a disaster or emergency, I was no longer an asset. I was a liability, something to slow everyone else down.

That’s not even the worst part. My son lives an hour and a half south of Ottawa. I can’t drive right now; drive like I need to, to get him, fight like I need to, to protect him.  I can’t even properly protect my current location, can’t drive, can’t contribute, except for words. I can’t get to family or friends in various areas near Ottawa. Not alone. I just seriously hope folks I know were listening when I shared tidbits of “odd info” and Zombie related lore. Because right now, we are all we have. We are survivors, as long as we can get our shit together.

Echoing Steph and her perfectly simple musing of not even two minutes ago, “Seriously”?

More to come…..if I’m not bitten. Stay safe, Ottawa. God save you, Gatineau.

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Categories: wwz, zombies, zombocalypse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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