• Published 9th Jan 2012
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Flash's Journal - cesmaster644



Following the zombie infection, a young stallion records his life for others to learn from.

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1-10 A.I.

Flash's Journal

A Recollection of the Events Leading To and During the Zombie Apocalypse.

Days 1-10 After Infection

Written by cesmaster644

Disclaimer/Author's Note - This story is a semi-autobiographical account, based on my actual experiences as an Eagle Scout and as the Emergency Preparedness merit badge counsellor at summer camp. All references to camp life, actual camp staff, and Scouting in general are intended. Also, I will be using the names that I prefer for the background ponies I use, so, sorry if it's not your choice.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all affiliated characters are copyright Hasbro, Lauren Faust, Studio B Productions... That should be everypony, right?

I do not claim ownership to anything but a few characters.

*****

June 19, 2011
1 After Infection (A.I.)

It has been my misfortune to assume that art always imitates life, and life can never imitate art. I have always believed that fiction is quite simply just that, and that the realms of it's reach fall short of reality.

I speak, of course, of the undead. As I’m quite sure you’re aware by now, the subject of many a horror film has finally reached a hoof out to grasp at ponykind. Well, grasp in an awkward, limping way.

I’m writing this journal in hopes that, if something happens to us, then somepony will find this, and have a record of our settlement, and the history of the infection. Maybe even learn from our mistakes and triumphs. If you’re reading this, I pray you’ve made it out safely, and I wish you good luck.

I don't know how the infection started, exactly. Some say it was a prank of Princess Celestia's gone wrong. Others, a spell of Twilight Sparkle's with ill side-effects. Hay if I know. But they're out there now, feeding on everypony. I know it started in Canterlot, during the Summer Sun Celebration - that much is certainly true. The infection spread quickly at the celebration; the Princesses couldn't contain it. Some ponies escaped home... unwittingly carrying the virus with them. Canterlot, Manehattan, Trottingham, Hoofington, Appleoosa, Ponyville, even Cloudsdale. All were covered with the infected within hours.

I guess I should give a little background on myself. My name's Flash. I'm a pegasus pony, a stallion, but a younger stallion. I've been a counsellor at a Pony Scout camp in the mountains above Stalliongrad these past few weeks - yes, I'm an Alicorn Scout. Don’t laugh; we’re the ones that have the knowledge and skills to survive. I've been teaching the Emergency Preparedness badge. Usually, it's a boring lecture class about safety; so, when I took over, I made it fun! Foals these days are interested in adventurous stuff, right? I, ironically, set out to make it fun by making it Zombie Emergency Preparedness. If you can prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse, you can prepare for any emergency, right? That was my rationale. It was quite helpful for me; I actually learned a good bit about zombies - at least, the fictional ones - by teaching.

It was a weekend when the infection hit; most of the staff were back at their homes, relaxing. A minimal amount of us decided to stay up at camp, including a few of my friends and myself. I couldn't have asked to be in a better place.

You see... no, just, let me start from the beginning. Yesterday, Strickland - he's one of my best friends up here and one of the strongest ponies you'll meet - and I were goofing off. We were up in Mountaincraft, the area of camp where we do all the merit badges like Camping, Wilderness Survival, Pioneering, and outdoorsy stuff like that, planning what we’d do next week for our big Pioneering project. We had this awesome idea of taking some poles, tying them to the trees about 6 feet off the ground, taking an old tent canvas, and making a tent in the trees up there. We’d put in a floor, and add in the bunks, and...

I’m distracting myself. Needless to say, it was pretty cool. Anyway, so we’re sitting up there, making plans, when this mare walks by.

Now, normally, that would be no problem. But it was the weekend, and this pony wasn’t on staff. We didn’t know where she came from. And, being so high up in the mountains - at least a good ten miles uphill from civilization - we didn’t expect anypony to come all the way to us unless they were actually going to camp. We’re the first part of camp you pass as you enter, so I guess that’s why no one had stopped her.

She was... she was a strange mare. She couldn’t have been much older than the most of the staff, with a blue mane and a beige coat. She was limping slightly and appeared to be covered in bruises and cuts, like she’d been attacked.

Strickland saw her first, and called out to her to see if she needed help. She turned to look at us at the sound of his voice, and nodded - slowly, at first, but then with fearful vigor. Strickland and I rushed over to her, slid her forelegs over our shoulders, and carried her to the med hut. Fayth - the medic - was gone home for the weekend. She deserved the break, so it was no big deal. In teaching Emergency Preparedness, I had to know some first aid, so I did my best to help her.

She told me she’d been attacked - by another pony, nonetheless. She said they were everywhere, trying to eat everypony. I asked her what she was talking about, and she told me... zombies. The infected had gone crazy, their coats becoming disheveled, their eyes glazing over to milky whiteness. She said she’d barely escaped, and had been hiking up to our camp for the past several hours, wanting to get away, trying to get help like us.

I... I feel like a jerk for saying what I did then, but I know I had no choice. I asked her if she’d been bitten. She started to ask if we could help her friends and family down in Stalliongrad, and I cut her off. I asked her again, a little more violently...

She didn’t respond. Strickland and I looked at each other, and I checked her pulse.

She had flat-lined. She was dead.

Undead.

Her body, albeit shakily, rose up again several seconds later, her eyes glazing over. Strickland yelled out quite the oath, and we backed away, towards the door. She started to limp towards us, teeth gnashing, hooves scraping the floor with a piercingly sharp noise.

We looked around; the only thing that wasn’t too small to be an effective weapon or too large to wield was a water cooler. Strickland bounded over to it, grasped it in his teeth, and brought it down on the mare’s head. She groaned with agony - though, it may have just been because she was a zombie - and flinched back. I opened the door and looked outside; a broom sat nearby. I grasped it near the sweeping end and turned around, ready to help Strickland fight; but Strickland had already reduced our foe to a messy corpse and a blood stain on the floor.

Around this time, Lionhart, an older unicorn and our beloved camp director, burst in, demanding to know what all the noise was. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t believe the zombie tale, and quietly asked us to step into his office next door.

It’s always scary when Lionhart is quiet, because that’s when he’s mad.

Well, he left us there. He know’s we’re not bad kids, but, still actual zombies? I’m sure he was thinking that the whole Emergency Preparedness class had gone to my head. Maybe I had overreacted, and we had murdered somepony.

He left us there for hours, so he could go to Stalliongrad. Whether it was to talk to somepony or to check out the town himself, I don’t know. But, when he came back, he told us where he’d gone and that he believed us. The mare was right; the zombie apocalypse had begun, and, according to the news in town, it was spreading fast.

Word of the infection spread quickly through the sparse staff, and most everypony started to flip out. Loved ones were in the infected towns; what might become of them? What if the zombies came to us? How would we survive?

Lionhart took charge as soon as he realized how everypony was reacting. I'm glad he's around; he might be the only pony who could keep everypony calm and moving in this situation. He knows that panicking never helps. Once he had all ten of the remaining staff gathered and cooled down, he told us his plan.

The first thing he decided to do was split us into three groups. The first group was to go out to the shooting range. We were the first - now the only - camp to test the new sports merit badge, archery. It's based on this sport that's come up recently based on a new invention called a crossbow. The sport is designed to test a pony's accuracy in an admittedly quite fun way. You shoot bolts - wooden sticks with feathers on the back end and a small, slightly sharp tip on the other - from your crossbow at a target some 40 feet away, trying to get as close to the center of the target as possible.

The crossbows are quite complex in design. It’s this plank of wood with some sort of metal casing that sits on a leather pad the wielder’s shoulder. It’s got a spring in it that, when loaded with a bolt and pulled back, locks in place. When the pony using it pulls on a trigger, it releases the spring, launching the arrow forward. A belt feeds the bolts in, and, when one is fired, a second loads into place, ready to be fired.

I know I haven’t described them well; I don’t know how it works exactly, and it is rather confusing. I'd prefer to just call it unicorn magic and move on, really.

Anyway, we discovered that the tips of the bolts can be sharpened, and, as such, they should make very effective long-range zombie killers.

Anyway, the first group went to salvage the shooting sports gear. The second group was sent to the camp compound, about a half a mile up the entrance road, to get the ranger who works here all year long and as much supplies as they could. We stored a few crossbows and some bolts up there, as well as other tools and many a plank of wood.

The third group - my group - stayed back with Lionhart. He decided that we should fortify the dining hall - with all the food and such inside - first. Here, we hit a roadblock; I argued that the dining hall was too much trouble. The multitude of glass windows and plentiful exits made it a place that zombies could easily enter, unless we spent a great deal of our resources on it. Lionhart argued that the multiple exits made it better; if we were overrun, we wouldn't be trapped. After some debate - sad that we had to waste so much time - we finally settled on moving to the nearby trading post. The post has several refrigerators and coolers; we could move the dining hall food there. There's three doors and minimal windows, so we have an emergency exit without wasting resources. It's a tight fit, but it's a good start. As we get more resources, we'll expand.

The first crew returned with the crossbows, and started to help us bunker down. There's a back room that we've set them in. The second crew came back, dropped off supplies, and headed out again. There's a lot at the compound, so I'm not surprised.

It's taken us all day. This is where we are now; all inside the trading post, trying to sleep. A few have volunteered for guard duty, and are standing outside. Me? I'm inside. I can't sleep - writing this seems like a good substitute.

I can't sleep because I keep thinking about my parents; I'm sure everypony else is having that problem. I wonder if they're alright... Hoofington did get hit pretty bad, so...

I'm trying not to think about it. I know I shouldn't; I can't change anything about it. But... I'm worried.

Strickland is on guard duty. I think I'll help him. Maybe we can distract each other from this mess. Good night, journal.


June 20, 2011
2 A.I.

We started two projects today: fencing in a small field nearby for farming, and fortifying one of our carriages for going into town. We'll need seeds, gas, a generator... anything we can get, really. The carriage is looking pretty good, but I'm sure that they'll be extremely cautious when they go into town anyway. I think they're going in a day or two.

There were no zombies last night; I'm sure that our isolated position on top of the mountain will mean that it'll take a day or two before they even try to reach us.

The farming area is... rough. We've fenced it off, and connected it to the trading post, but I think a zombie could break through it if it wanted to. I think barbed wire would be in order; it might not kill ‘em, but should at least slow them down enough so we can stop them before they destroy our fortifications. hopefully we'll get it soon. Rationing food and water has gone over rather well. Nopony's complaining.

Oh! Lionhart set down rules today.

1. If you get infected, we will kill you. Sorry, that's how it is.

2. No taking food past your rations.

3. We're in this for the next generation's survival, and the generation after that, and so on. Not our own.

3a. As soon as you become a hindrance to the next generation's survival, we will cut you loose.

4. If you don't work in some way, you don't eat.

5. Sleep with a weapon nearby. Always be prepared to fight.

6. Never draw a weapon on an ally.

7. Double tap. (He then elaborated. This is a term he uses to mean, "make sure the zombie is dead, even if you must use more time and energy or another bolt.")

8. We're in this together; we're a family now. Don't think about yourself, think about the group as a whole.

I'm sure he'll make more later; but that's okay. The rules are good.

Let's see, what else... Vinyl Scratch, our resident Wubtrot enthusiast, is starting to freak out. She's worried she'll be too much of a weak link to survive. She... she’s blind. Her friend Octavia helps her around during camp, and she doesn’t feel like she can ask Octavia to spend her time helping Vinyl around. She even started thinking that we were going to kill her, because she'd become a hindrance to the next generation's survival.

Octavia and I spent some time calming her down; she now believes that we won't kill her, and that she's no burden, but that she'll be the first to be eaten.

I never really got to know the two of them during camp. I just happened to be there when she cracked... I'm glad it happened, though. Don't misunderstand! I'm not happy that she cracked, but her cracking had opened up the chance for me to get to meet them. They're good mares. I hope to become better friends with them.

... Poor Vinyl...


June 21, 2011
3 A.I.

A staff member returned this morning - Fayth. Glad to have the medic back. Despite being the one pony who had to see the most campers each day during camp, she’s the quietest pony around. She flew in from her Trottingham house, bringing depressing news for Maple, a nature-loving unicorn. The town's completely overridden; no "clean" ponies remain... including her parents. We all know how she feels... It's stirred up some bad emotions in all of us. Everypony's been trying to help cheer her up. She's put on a brave face recently... I hope she'll pull through.

Despite this saddening news, having Fayth back is nice. She's really kind, and it's reassuring to have a medic around. I kinda feel sorry for her, having to treat everyone now...

She also told us the state of Stalliongrad. Apparently, the town is relatively empty during the day. Lionhart decided to go ahead and send a small scouting party - himself included - to look for resources and survivors. They were gone for several hours. When they returned, we learned that the town is mostly empty of survivors - er, rather, the survivors aren't wandering the streets. There's many an abandoned house, and the supermarket appears empty. They're going back tomorrow. I'm worried; supermarkets are, if movies and games are to be believed, mighty dangerous during the zombie apocalypse.

I got the chance to hang out with Vinyl some more when Octavia and Fayth went to the garden to try to cheer Maple up. Vinyl's feeling better; I think sleep helped some. She's still convinced she'll be first to fall, but she's at least not being depressing about it. She has trouble doing any real work, due to her blindness, obviously, but wants to help. I think, if the zombies don't come tomorrow, I'll go to our science and technologies building and bring our radio system over. We need to transmit something to bring in survivors - and, with her musical tastes and visual impairment, this will suit her well. I think she'll be happy. She gave me a hug as I left, and thanked me for listening and being so kind to her.

Sheridan, another one of my best friends and an aspiring fiction writer, is loving the zombie apocalypse scenario. He's drawn a lot of inspiration from it, and has started planning out a story. He'll start writing when we get the materials or power for it. I hope he doesn't enjoy this too much.


June 22, 2011
4 A.I.

I... I don't know what to say, really, journal. We... I mean... We've got good news and bad news. Good news: we now have a generator, gas, more food, and pure water. But, the bad news... We also had our first casualty.

Lionhart... apparently had one of them sneak up on him. Once the crew realized what happened, they immediately brought him back for treatment by Fayth, but she couldn't do anything. Lionhart eventually asked her just to put a bolt in his skull so he wouldn't "have to turn into one of them". I don't know what we'll do without him.

Funeral's in ten minutes; then a meeting. I think we're going to elect a new leader.

More later, when I have the will, energy, and time to write.


4 A.I. Continued

Well, I’m back, journal. It’s nearing midnight. I’m on the roof of the trading post. I most certainly can’t sleep; I only hope that those beneath me can.

Lionhart is buried in the garden. A plank of wood, his name scrawled on, serves as a grave until we have better tools to carve a good headstone. The funeral was short. No one was quite sure what to say. I know I didn’t. I think most everypony was thinking the same things, though. He was a great stallion; kind to all, firm in his command, but never a tyrant. He’ll be sorely missed by all of us.

I wish I could better express in words what we’re feeling. I’m so thrown about by this mixture of emotions, feelings, thoughts... I don’t know how sane I’ll stay. I feel like I’m downplaying his death. No, his death is a huge loss, and everypony here is affected by it. I think I still hear Berry Punch, once the camp cook and a close personal friend of Lionhart’s, crying below.

There’s a lot to be done tomorrow. Supplies to gather, ponies to train... maybe we can even fence in from the garden to the shower house... though I don’t know if we have 50 feet of wood... plus barricading and cleaning it. Those are my next goals.

Oh... I just don’t know if I can do this! Their lives... in... my hooves? I... I can’t... I just... What if I fail? What if, by my actions... they die? What if, by my inaction, they die?! What if we’re the only group still alive... the fate of ponykind could rest in my hooves! What if...

I’ve gotten into my train of thought instead of the actual events. We had a meeting, to elect a new leader. Due mainly to the influence of Army, er, Armstrong, the Space Exploration counsellor, I’ve been elected the new leader.

Celestia help us all.


June 23, 2011
5 A.I.

We’ve gone ahead and barricaded the shower house. We haven’t gotten enough wood to fence between there and the garden yet; we’ve started to take down some old cabins tomorrow to try to make up the difference. Fayth’s taken a sample of the water in the piping in the shower house. We should know soon if it’s clean or not... even if it isn’t, we’ll at least have a good fortress.

Strickland and Sheridan started training everypony - save Vinyl - in how to use the crossbows. They’re doing pretty good with what they know, but we can’t get very advanced in our training, since we don’t know everything about them. The two of them are learning as much as they can so they can teach as much as they can. I wish Poniatowski - she was the archery director at camp - was here. She knew nearly everything about the crossbows. If only, if only...

Maple’s... starting to worry me. She was once appalled by the idea of violence, but she’s suddenly had an about-face in feelings. I think she’s excited about the idea of enacting revenge on the zombies who finished her parents. I hope this is just a phase, and not a long one. I don’t want her becoming obsessed. That’ll lead to bad decisions, and...

I don’t want to think about it.

I finally set up the radio system for Vinyl; she was surprised, but seemed overjoyed. She’ll be making regular broadcasts to try to bring in survivors - and play music.

We’ve started using the climbing tower as a watch tower. Army’s up there now. We had a few of the undead come our way late this afternoon; Strickland put on a crossbow and sent them packing. The bodies provided nothing of use, except a sample of the virus for Fayth to research.

I know, I know. Keeping a sample of the very virus that infects us is dangerous. I’ll have Fayth bleach it to death as soon as she knows how to identify it. I’m not going to worry about a cure; we’ll just have to keep ourselves clean and destroy anything infected. And if it’s a pony that’s infected... kill them before they become a problem. If we stick around long enough, we’ll get rid of the virus.

It’s a brutal thought, I know. But we’re in this for the next generation. Not ourselves.

I still don’t think our ramshackle accommodations will hold up if a zombie gets angry at Golden Harvest's carrots, and we really can’t afford to lose that. I think we’ll have to go into town soon and get some barbed wire.

Tomorrow is Octavia’s 19th birthday. Berry’s baking a cake for her. It’s nice to have one good thing to look forward to in these desperate times. I’m just sad that she’s going to have to spend it out here.

I hope I’m being a good leader. Everypony’s willing to listen to me, though I’m not sure how well my decisions are going over. I can only do my best...


6 A.I.

A lot happened today.

I sent Strickland, Maple, and Sheridan into town for barbed wire, food, and gas this morning. They came back in the late afternoon with more of the supplies than I could hope for - and more wood. Fayth's going to check the food for contamination first, but we should be good.

We managed to finally complete the path to the shower house - to the pleasure of everypony - and apply barbed wire to our fortifications. Scrubbing it down took us quite a while, but it’s at least usable now. I'm still afraid that the fence won't do much to stop an angry zombie, but it's better than it was.

I went to check on the garden and walked in on Golden Harvest and Army snogging. It shouldn't have shocked me that much; ponies pairing up would be inevitable, even desirable. We'll have to mate eventually, if we want ponykind to survive. Though some colts may just get the opportunity with multiple fillies. I know, it's a little disgusting, but... If we want to survive...

Vinyl's set up a work room/bedroom in our back room. She's got a divider between herself and the crossbows and bolts, and has the radio station set up back there with her. She’s taken the moniker “DJ P0N-3". Still no response to her program.

Octavia's party was a success; not only was she cheered up, everypony was too. The morale around here has gone way up. The cake was delicious... and moist. Amazing, what Berry can do with such limited material. I just hope this isn't her last birthday party, or the last one we throw.

We just finished surviving our first real wave of the undead. I was pleased; most everypony seemed to be getting better at aiming and using the crossbows. Unfortunately, we now have a pile of rotting corpses outside. I don't really want to burn them, in case the virus somehow is let into the air by burning the bodies. I think I'll gather the unicorns and we'll just lift them into a pit for a ramshackle burial.

I updated my previous entries to include a new date system - using A.I. to refer to the era starting after the infection. All new entries will have only the new date.


7 A.I.

Survivors arrived today, including some from camp! To add to our ranks of ten, we gained Ace - who was our Sports counsellor - and his wife Poniatowski, who I'm extremely grateful to have back. Noteworthy, a stranger from their hometown, came with them. Apparently, the radio alerted them to our presence. I made sure to thank Vinyl.

Poniatowski will be taking over as head of security and will be helping Strickland learn the advanced skills of crossbow use, as well as how to clean and care for the weapons. I have no doubt that we'll be safer with her around.

The water from the shower house is still clean, so we'll finally have a consistent source of water, and a place to clean off. Everypony's very happy about that.

However, we are starting to run out of room in our little trading post. There's a small pavilion nearby, I think we'll move sleeping areas over there and try to fence it in tomorrow.

More zombies tonight than last; less sleep. While we didn't have any problems keeping ourselves safe, I do think that our constant fighting and all the groaning will start to wear on us. Hopefully the new shelter will help keep that to a minimum.

With the addition of Ace, Poniatowski, and Noteworthy, I’ve decided to add a list of everypony, just to have a good record of the settlers.

1. Lionhart - leader (deceased)

2. Flash - leader

3. Strickland - security

4. Vinyl Scratch - radio

5. Octavia - assistant cook/security

6. Sheridan - security

7. Maple - security

8. Berry Punch - cook

9. Armstrong - medicine and sciences/security

10. Golden Harvest - agriculture

11. Fayth - medicine and sciences

12. Ace - fitness/security

13. Poniatowski - security head

14. Noteworthy - medicine and sciences/security


8 A.I.

This morning, Sheridan pointed out that some zombies may come from the woods behind us, not just in front. While there's no road to lead them up here, that doesn't mean they won't. The waterfront buildings by the lake are somewhat nearby; we went to check out if we could use any of them as an outpost, to fend off zombies that way. Unfortunately, the only building big enough to use is filled with boats and similar equipment; it'll take us quite some time to clear it out.

Army mentioned that a new moon would be coming up soon; we'll be losing the precious moonlight that gives us good sighting without sending a beacon to our whereabouts. I'm afraid that things might not be so pretty those few nights.

We fixed up the pavilion and moved all the mattresses we could find from the tents and cabins to try to make it more "homey". The trading post is now just for eating, storage, Fayth's science, and fighting zombies. Having the extra room is nice, especially in the area between us and the pavilion.

We also made a table for dinner, one big enough for all of us to sit at. I'm really enjoying the family we're turning into.

There weren’t as many zombies tonight as there were last night, so only Octavia and I had to take the first shift of guard duty. Even though we had to stay alert, it was... kind of boring. So, we made up a game. We start by clearing out all the nearby zombies, then getting on the roof of the trading post. Then we take turns shooting at the zombies in the parade field; who ever gets the farthest one out wins. Bonus points for taking out two with one bolt or causing one zombie to think another attacked it and make them turn on each other.

I'd never have thought that I'd be so amused by dead ponies.


9 A.I.

Finally got around to burying the corpses today. Glad to have the smell - and sight - gone. Just a shame that it'll build back up again later.

Started raining around noon; we haven't gotten much done on this lazy day. Most everypony sat around in the trading post and just talked. We found a travel chess board that had once been for sale; Octavia enjoyed beating everyone. Vinyl got the music going, and we basically had a small party.

I lost track of Golden Harvest and Army sometime during the day... I'm sure they're just trying to enjoy some "alone time".

But, I swear, if we get any foals this early on....

Noteworthy is a pretty cool guy. He has a beautiful singing voice, and knows tons of stuff. He and Fayth kicked it off rather well; I think she's deemed him her assistant. They spent almost the whole time talking science and medicine... I tried not to follow the conversation, lest my head hurt. Glad to see how well we've welcomed the stranger.

It's kinda funny, to look around at the sleeping ponies. Ace and Poniatowski are outside, but everyone else is all curled up in here. Frankly, it's adorable. Strickland and Maple are curled up together by a support post; they'd been discussing how to improve the crossbows before they fell asleep. Fayth's slumped across the desk she uses for a work area in the trading post; Noteworthy is leaning against the side of it. They were probably doing science or something along those lines, studying the virus. Sheridan, Berry, and Octavia are sprawled out over the floor, looking like they passed out from being drunk. That one really makes me giggle; Octavia's usually such a well-kept pony. I'm surprised she's letting herself look so disheveled. I guess it's the apocalypse, after all. Why worry? Golden Harvest and Army are completely entangled... they really do make a cute couple.

And Vinyl's wild blue mane is resting on my shoulder. We were talking about our favorite music from before the infection. I have to admit... She's really cute, especially when she's asleep. I... I think I like her. Though... I don't think I can tell her. I'm such a wimp...

Surprisingly few zombies showed up today; I guess they don't really enjoy the rain. I won't complain, though. Saves us bolts. Speaking of, we'll have to start making some melee weapons soon, in case we run out of bolts.


10 A.I.

We, once again, had minimal work today. It wasn't raining anymore, but, after adding some extra fencing to our walls, we just didn't have much else to do. We could have started emptying the waterfront storage building, but I didn't want to. It was a beautiful day, and everypony was in such great spirits... I didn't want to squander the moment.

The apocalypse is rough. Anything can go wrong at any time, and it will. So... you have to treasure the good times when they're there.

So, I demanded a group picnic. Berry packed up a lunch, we all grabbed crossbows and our saddlebags, and we headed out - making sure to lock up behind us, of course.

We went to Moon Rock. It's this giant white rock on the other side of the lake that's basically an iron deposit. During storms, it gets struck by lightning. A lot. So it looks like the surface of Luna's moon. There's a stream and small waterfall nearby too. It's quite beautiful. We splashed around, ate, killed a few zombies, and just enjoyed life.

Sometimes we get so caught up in things that we forget to enjoy life. Don't do that. It's too precious to waste. Enjoy it while it's here, and have no regrets when it's gone.

But don't enjoy it too much; you can waste it on superficial pleasure too. Make it a good balance, and try to enjoy what really matters.

This afternoon, Fayth killed the sample of the virus she had. She can clearly recognize it now, and I'm glad it's gone. That dang thing had me on edge every time I passed her work area.

Tomorrow's going to be the first night of the new moon.

Celestia help us.