44 Chapter 43: Cleaning Up and Last Conversation with a Friend
Looking around the farm Joshua was able to make out a lot of damage. The fire spear that had been used to kill the monster had landed near a field of crops. If they didn't do anything quickly then the fire might spread and cause even more problems. The screech that the monster had used when chasing Joshua along the walkway had destroyed most of it and had even damage the fence in some spots. Lastly one of the wooden towers had been completely destroyed after the beast had crashed through it while trying to kill Natalie. Large parts of the structure had fallen on to both sides of the fence, while some people were trapped under the destruction having not been able to move out of the way in time.
Luckily the sprinkler system for the crops had come on at the right time causing the fire's pace to slow down significantly. The rest of the destruction would have to be dealt with by their own hands though. Joshua started to rush over to where he saw some people trapped under the rubble of the tower with several men following him. "Let's get these people out of danger. Dave, take another group of men to put out those fires and prevent more damage." Joshua said as he and a lot of the men started pulling large wooden planks off of people underneath the wreckage. Dave nodded before grabbing a few people and heading off.
It took a while for them to clear up all of the debris. In the end they were able to help out several people that had gotten caught up in the collapse of the tower and some who had been found in worse case situations from the destruction of the walk way. Surprisingly no one was at risk of death from their injuries, but several wouldn't be able to move around well with a broken leg, or a damaged arm. While Joshua was finishing up with that Dave had brought along a couple of watering hoses to help out the sprinkler system. It didn't take him and a couple others long to put the fire out.
When everything was cleaned up to the best of their abilities Joshua got everyone together to help the wounded inside the mansion. It took a while for them to finish this, but afterwards they had to move on to a more gruesome task. Joshua and the three Carsen brothers came back out to collect any remains of the men that were killed in the attack. It wasn't a pleasant thing to do, the creature had made sure to thoroughly kill anyone it had targeted. This left them with basically arms and legs to gather up in the end. Even if that was the case, they would still cremate the bodies and bury the ashes. They deserved at least that much after death.
Joshua and Natalie were the two who were the most busy when they returned to the mansion. Joshua being the only person there with any medical knowledge whatsoever was left to help the injured. Natalie on the other hand worked as his assistant, gathering up all the things he asked for as he set broken bones or patched up deep bruises and cuts. For the next couple of hours Joshua made sure to take care of the ten or so people that were in bad condition. When the last man was properly bandaged up he took his leave and gathered every healthy person still around for an emergency meeting at the entrance hall. When everyone had calmed down and the room became silent Joshua stepped forward and started the discussion.
"Today you have all seen the grave threat that these new creatures pose to us." Joshua said with a hardened voice. He took a moment to glance around his audience before continuing. "Not only have eight men been injured to the point where they, won't be able to help for a time, but three others have been killed right in front of our eyes. As your leader I'm ashamed I couldn't have done more to protect them, but as a realist I realize that our situation has become far worse than ever before."
"What do you mean?" The mayor asked. He was one of the few people that did not witnessed what had happened earlier because he was inside the mansion at the time. He was able to view the aftermath, and feel the killing intent from the beast, but he didn't have to see it up close and personal.
"I mean before this even occurred Nathan and I saw a video from the chat box that showed something that might have led to this. It was from the same person that had posted the video we saw last time, but this time around instead of the monster eating people it showed it shooting out loud clouds of purple haze. They looked almost exactly like the one that crashed down just outside our front gate." Joshua said getting a nod from Nathan while everyone else seemed nervous at the new information.
"So then the reason that one of those abominations landed outside our front door step was because of one of the bigger creatures from the cities?" Dave asked.
"Exactly. It probably came from the nearest city and if these creatures from big cities can send monsters all the way here of that size…" Joshua stopped and let the idea linger in the minds of everyone in the room. For a while everyone was quiet but then someone finally decided to speak up.
"If that's the case then what do you plan for us to do? I'm guessing were not going to sit around and do nothing based off how you've handled things before." Madalyn said. She looked around at some of the depressed faces before continuing. "Though I'm not sure how much help you will be able to get. Most of the people here aren't built to handle a situation like this."
"That's why for the most part they won't be handling the situation." Joshua said gaining several looks of confusion in return. "Most of the people here aren't built for dealing with our current circumstances. We've been able to get by against mindless zombies, but if more of those larger monsters show up then the only people who can deal with them are me and the girls. If more than one of those things show up…I don't think will be able to handle it in time before several people are killed."
"Then what do we do?" Nathan asked. "If those creatures are constantly being created over time from the monsters in the cities then eventually will get over run by them. Even if a group like us was able to kill one that doesn't mean other groups that were attacked were able to achieve the same results. By the end of the week we could have several of those creatures attacking our base every day."
"That's why tomorrow we will be going to end this entire situation by killing the boss." Joshua said gaining several looks and gasps of shock. "It will be my small group that will be doing this. Before you ask you won't be going this time Nathan, this will be far too dangerous and putting you in that situation would be pointless."
"If you guys are going off to try to take down the boss then what exactly are we supposed to do?" Devin asked. "I highly doubt things around here will remain quiet while you're gone if those monsters from the cities remain active."
"That's why everyone here will be taking a far more defensive approach going forward." Joshua said getting odd looks from everyone. "If this doesn't end within a week's time then at that point there will be so many of those giant monsters roaming around that I doubt it will be possible to win anymore. So if we fail then our best hope would be in some other group succeeding within that time frame. The best way to make it that long is for you guys is to focus more on defense."
"How do you expect us to do that any better? We've already got all the defenses at the gate, what else can we do?" The mayor asked with lots of people seeming to agree with his point.
"Well first off you can pretty much forget about defending at the fence line." This statement caused everyone to look at him in surprise or confusion. "Although it works well against the smaller creatures or zombies, the bigger ones will have absolutely no problem with it. The one from back at the factory would easily rip the fence apart in a matter of seconds, while the one we just got through killing simply flew over it and started picking us apart. I highly doubt any other larger creatures that show up in the future will have any problem dealing with our current defenses before easily killing you all off with us being away."
"Then if we're not relying on the fence line for protection then what will we do?" Nathan asked a little confused. He agreed with Joshua, but didn't see any better way to defend themselves without use of modern weaponry of some sort.
"Tonight will set up some wood post to help hold up the fence for as long as possible. Even if several zombies arrive and bombard the fence it should last for quite a while. The main focus will be on boarding up the mansion and setting up several points from inside that you guys can attack from. If worse comes to worse and a sub boss or two arrives then everyone can move down to the basement and wait things out for as long as possible. Hopefully before you run out of food and water this will all be over." Joshua said before looking towards everyone for a response.
"That sounds like a last ditch effort if you ask me." Devin quietly mumbled out.
"Because it is. This will be our last stand. Things aren't going to be getting any better than they are right now. In fact in the next few days this will only grow exponentially worse. This will probably be our one and only chance to end things in a clear fight against the boss. Right now it has no other creatures around to help it, but if more and more of these sub-bosses continue to get made then we might never get another chance to fight it while it's alone. If we die then at least you guys can survive as long as possible down below. Maybe you'll get lucky and someone else succeeds, but the longer it takes the less likely victory will be the outcome." Joshua let his words sink in before getting ready to get to work.
"Alright, I agree." Dave was the first to respond. His two brothers nodded towards him while the others slowly started to go along with the idea as well.
"Good, let's get started then. First off half of you need to go put some post down to help hold up the fence line, while the rest get started on boarding up the windows and setting some defenses around the mansion. You've only got tonight to get it done so you should get started now." Joshua said before turning to his smaller group that he expected to help with killing the boss. "You guys on the other hand need to make any last preparations you think are necessary before getting some sleep. Will discuss our plan of attack in the morning." The girls nodded at him while Nathan rushed off to get to work on planning out some ideas.
Everyone was up and about as they got started on their work for the night. As Joshua was about to start helping out his phone started to ring once again. The only person who had called him thus far was Adrian so he wasn't surprised at whose voice he heard when he answered. "Josh it's good that you were able to answer. I don't have much time to explain, but things have taken a turn for the worse on our side." Adrian said with an uneasy voice that didn't really suit him.
"I'm guessing a sub-boss must have attacked you guys as well?" Joshua asked.
"So it's not just us then. Yeah not too long ago one of those monsters led an attack on the airport. We had a lot of casualties this time around. Mostly with the men who were assigned to defend camp while we were out looking for supplies. By the time we got back several people were killed." Adrian said letting out a sigh.
"Are you and Henry alright?"
"We survived. I got a bit banged up from blocking one of its attacks. It busted up my arm fairly bad, but we were able to kill it in the end. The girls were able to use the distraction to take the damn thing out with Henry giving them advice on how to take it down. Right now he's helping the others repair a lot of our defenses." Adrian explained.
"Tell him to worry about surviving from now on. No more scouting trips, things are far too dangerous for that now." Joshua replied.
"I'll let him know, but I don't think we'll be able to hold this place for more than a couple of days with how many of those things are showing up lately."
"If everything goes well on my end you won't have to survive more than one day. I'm going for the kill tomorrow, we no longer have the time to wait around." Joshua said as he waited for his friend's response.
"We'll hold up on our end Josh. Good luck, I wish I could fight with you, but for now I'll just have to put my hopes in your victory." Adrian finally replied. His voice was calm, but Joshua could hear his playfulness once again.
"Don't worry I won't let you down. I won't let anyone down…I'll see you guys on the other side."