Sabre Dancing with the Dead Ch 43

Tokonosu, North Eastern quadrant. May 07 20xx

Day 23.

07:45

Nothing much had happened over night. The sentries picked off a couple of dozen wandering stiffs with the crossbows, but overall, it was quiet. Literally. Everyone on site was actively doing their best to maintain absolute silence. So far, the dead had remained a good distance away after the nixies had drawn them out of earshot of the Library.

Major Sagawa had immediately seen to removing the bodies, and now one of his first jobs was to get rid of them, so that as they rotted, the stench wouldn't effect his people and to cut down on the chances of some disease springing up from them. Neither Shizuka, nor Dr Hasegawa had any idea of what sort of diseases or pathogens lurked on those bodies, which had been quietly deteriorating since the outbreak started.

Detailing a crew again, all of them wearing the protective gear, he had them collect the corpses and take them to a parking lot across wind from the Library. Very quietly. Several times he radioed one or another of the nixie teams to start the music if it looked like some of the dead might be hearing things. There in the lot, they were stacked, and doused with diesel fuel. When they'd all been moved, the fuel was set off with a couple of road flares, and the corpse burned. While they might not be totally destroyed, the flames would kill any surface biologicals or viruses, and hopefully the heat would destroy any within the bodies. It wasn't the best way but it would suffice.

Inside, Kat and Shizuka were starting to look at the first gleanings from the shelves. The five teens were working on Engineering, Agriculture, and Medical. Those were three of the main categories. Within those three were subcategories, each broken up into even more subcategories.

Wolf and the engineers had come up with a simple way to make sure the doors on the ground floor would be secure. With the measurements they'd gathered, they got out some drafting gear and made up drawings for the pipes that would fit across the door openings, effectively preventing the doors from opening. These were simple, 75 or 100 millimeter diameter pipe, with plated welded either end. One end had a hole drilled in it, and a large diameter nut welded to it. By inserting a long bolt into the nut, the bar could be lengthened to fit tightly against the concrete, an inch or so in front of the door. A second nut could be torqued down and lock the bolt in place. They figured a 50 millimeter bolt would be plenty strong enough to wedge the bars in place.

One of the engineers got on the radio, and called up the JSDF base. Getting the engineer Colonel on the horn, he described how the bars were to be made, and the lengths needed. There was plenty of pipe and large nuts and bolts in the yard, so it was a matter of cutting the pipes to length, cutting the end plates, drilling them, welding the nuts on and loading them and other nuts and bolts onto the Super Stallion. The Colonel figured he'd be able to get them all done by the end of the day.

Wolf spoke to the General, giving him the game plan and got the OK to have the chopper make the drop as soon as the pipes were ready. He figured the Stallion could carry them all in a sling and drop them onto the ground near the door. Nixies would then draw the now swarming deaders away again.

Come morning, Wolf and the engineers would assemble some help and see about getting the pipes in place. Placing them on the outside would keep outward opening doors shut, and the few that opened inward would get the same treatment after the inside walls had been pulled so they could lock directly onto the concrete walls. The pipes would be spaced about 300-350 millimeters apart, so six or seven were needed per door.

That done, Wolf headed back inside to help with assessing the books. While he couldn't read Japanese, engineering and other technical skills used the same notations, and he could get Kat or Shizuka to give him details he couldn't puzzle out.

The categories had been organized into six major groups. Engineering, Agricultural, Food Sciences, Sciences, Trade Skills and Medical. Each of these had numerous subcategories, which were also broken up into subcategories.

Library search catagories.

Engineering

Construction

Civil

Mechanical

Housing/Warehousing

Surveying/mapping

Diesel/Gas mechanics

Bricklaying

Materials

Heavy Equipment Mech

Housing/Warehousing

Bridging

Mill equipment maint.

Road planning

Marine systems

Road construction

Marine

Electrical

Electronics

Historical Ship building

House Installations

Solid State Electronics

Naval Architectue

Generation

Digital Electronics

Steam power

Transmission

Computers

Port systems

Storage

Programmable Logic

Celestial Navigation

Surveying/mapping

HVAC

Aeronautical

Design

Systems

Maintenance

Sciences

Physics

Chemistry

Materials

Pharmaceuticals

Mining

Glues/paints

Logging

Fuels

Processes.

Metallurgy

Biology

Smelting

Genetics

Food sciences

Water purification

Primitive cooking

Food Preservation

Bread Making

Canning

Native Herbs.

Salting

Native plants

Cold cellar construction

mushrooms

Wild berries

Agricultural

Crop types

Animal rearing

Weaving/spinning

Rice

animal illnesses

Fibrous plants

Wheat

animal medications

Oats

Breeding

Fruits

Butchering

chickens

horses

cattle

pigs

Tanning/Leather working

Trade skills

Carpentry

Plumbing

Electrical

Welding/Fabrication

Mechanic

Stone Mason.

Foundations

Pottery

Blacksmith

kilns

Pottery

Finishing

Medical

Surgical

OB/GYN

Pharmaceuticals

anatomy

Prenatal Care

Childbirth

The kids had managed to collect a fair number of books in their first round, before it got too late. Both Kat and Shizuka were working their way through them, keeping some, rejecting others. They kept only one or two books on general knowledge of a subject, these could be used as introductory teaching tools. They spent more time looking at the detailed books, putting them into different stacks, to be loaded onto the trucks as the day progressed.

It seemed they were coming up short on some of the subjects, particularly agricultural. The university was strong on Science, especially Medicine, but not much call for Agriculture in this part of Japan. Kat instructed Saya, who was looking at that category to pick up everything she could find. Sciences, were well covered, and they had already picked up a fair number of basic, intermediate and advanced texts on those.

Medicine? Whole stacks full, with every subcategory well covered. Shizuka had been ecstatic as she watched the book carts come to her, loaded to near collapsing with books she'd already studied, and others she'd been looking forward to. She would be putting M.D. behind her name, come hell, high water or zombies. She'd had long conversations with Dr. Hasegawa on the trip to the library and they were getting to know each other as he determined her current level of training. He'd already agreed to take her on as his "apprentice" so to speak. He was also sure the other doctors at the JSDF base would be glad to assist in her training.

The veterinarian, Dr. Shijou Korehisa, had also agreed to start learning human medicine, in case they needed another pair of hands, but he'd be training some of the club people the basics of animal medicine, as caring for the farm animals they intended to raise would need that service. Thinking about that problem, Wolf started to dig around to see where he could find information on the various universities in Japan. Somewhere, there had to be one which was renown for it's agricultural sciences. It was looking like another library mission was in the offing. Probably going to be a real cast iron bitch too.

The day progressed, and the stacks of books being piled for loading into the trucks got ever larger. Major Sagawa detailed a squad to take them down to the first truck, which had been completely emptied. it's cargo now stored in a room on the second floor along with the other two loads. He figured on doing this in the early afternoon, and once again at dusk. The sentries were keeping an eye on the wandering zombies, and picking off any that got near, with the crossbows. Being much more familiar with shooting in general, their accuracy was much higher and the range they could take down a target had extended out quite a bit. They were keeping an eye on the supply of quarrels, and figured if need be, they could send out a squad to go collect them from the recently re-deceased.

The research crew broke for lunch at about 1pm, and ate out on the patio. It was a beautiful spring day, and the temperatures were starting to climb towards their summer peak. They all enjoyed the peace and quiet, silent mode did have it's good points. After an hour, they all headed back into the building and Wolf asked Kat if she'd have a look at what he figured was a list of Japanese universities, part of a global list of several hundred. The list had names and photos of various place he recognized as Universities, U of T, Oxford, Cal Tech and some others.

Kat had a look, and indeed he'd guessed correctly. She quickly went through the listings, and found three in Japan that had high scores for Agricultural sciences. He wasn't too impressed when he found out where they were.

The first was Kyoto university. Next, the University of Tokyo, and thirdly, Hokkaido University in Sapporo. Crap...

Going back to the stacks he found an atlas, and opened it for a look see. Tokyo was easy to find, just about East South East, roughly 200 miles as the crow flies. Kyoto he had to search a bit but found it, South South West, about 120 miles. Lastly, he knew Hokkaido was the Northern Island and found Sapporo quite fast. That was a good 520 miles out.

Snagging Kohta as he came up with a cart full of books, he had the young man look at the info on each, and make note of where they were on a road map. Finding city maps was another fun challenge, but the two of them found local maps for each of the three, and with Kohta's help, the universities were plotted on the road maps. These he took down and put them into their APC. He'd have to do some serious thinking about this.

As he came back into the library, Kohta stopped as he was taking another cart full to the sorting area.

"You are planning another mission?" he asked.

"Yeah, and they are gonna be cast iron sonsabitches."

Kohta grinned. "Count me in when it's time' and headed onto the sorting area.

By the time he got back to the center tables, Kat was already giving him the stink eye. He'd be hearing all about this for the next few days. There was nothing he could do about it, so, back to work he went.

The day progressed and books were being stacked for the next load, when they heard the distant sound of the Super Stallion. Wolf glanced at his watch and thought, "they put them together faster than I'd expected". With that he wandered out onto the patio to watch the huge chopper come towards the library building and pull into a hover just a hundred feet off of the building. The pipes were in a cargo net slung from the belly hook, along with some boxes and this was lowered gently to the ground and released.

That part of it's mission list completed, he saw the aircraft commander salute as he pulled pitch and climbed up and off for what ever his next task was.

Major Sagawa watched as the horde came in from all sides. As the sound of the chopper faded, he clicked on the transmit key on his radio and spoke to the Nixie crews. In less than a minute, the nixies were blaring, and like magic the deaders turned away and headed back across the lawns to the different Nixie posts. This part of the op was going flawlessly. There hadn't even been a need to pick off some of the shuffling, rotting corpses.

The rest of the day was uneventful, and the list was getting whittled down gradually. The kids were doing a great job and Saya added some items of her own that they'd not thought about. Wolf, Kat and Shizuka were all happy with the progress. They worked until dark again, with a short break for dinner, and ended up relaxing on the patio til about 10pm. Tomorrow was another day.

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Author's notes: I don't own HOTD, or any of its characters. I just get to play in their universe. All characters in this story other than those listed below are (So far) my own.

Komuro Tadashi

Miyamoto Rei

Miyamoto Tadashi

Miyamoto Kiriko

Busujima Saeko

Takagi Saya

Hirano Kouta

Marikawa Shizuka

Marasato Alice

Minami Rika

The Library search list is just something I hammered together, and lists only a handful of things, being the six main, and 34 secondary catagories. I've added some of the tertiary catagories, but its only a skeleton. There are a lot of things that people would question why include them? But remember, this group of people is thinking long term, not just subsistance survival. They anticipate building a new future, and knowledge needs to be preserved and passed on.

EDIT: My apologies for the way the listing turned out. It was in table format, but that didn't transfer. If anyone can tell me how to put a table in, let me know and I"ll fix it so it makes sense.

Reviews gratefully accepted, as long as they are constructive and non-abusive.

Some progress on the map, URL as follows.

sabrekai/art/New-Tokonosu-20km-x-40km-956877662

The model the Type 96 APC, is currently stalled, have several aircraft models down from the "shelf of doom" (Kits started and then dropped for various reasons) and am working on getting them done before I start up on new work.