Exhumation is a slow process. It reminds R of farming, something that he remembers mostly from borrowed memories. They till the earth and plant the seeds. Some come up and grow and become a part of life again. Others lie fallow, obstinately refusing to change from the seed they are.
Colonel Grigio is still a seed, R thinks. The whole world is changing around him but Grigio resists change. He leads the charge against the bonies because that’s what he knows how to do – kill the undead – but he doesn’t know what to do with the ones that have come back. He doesn’t know what to do with R, especially when Julie is so fond of R. They’re not allowed alone together in the house, not when Grigio is home but Nora’s gotten good at running interference for them. Still, it’s stifling and Julie chafes under her father’s watchful eye.
R’s one of the lucky ones, the ones who’ve found someone – a living one, a human – to help. Not all are as lucky but they have each other at least and R knows that the time will come when everyone is as lucky as R and Julie. He even has hope for Marcus, who still plays the charming ladies-man.
They’ve given the former zombies a section of the compound, what once was a museum but now is a house of their own in the already crowded shelter behind the walls. No one wants to live with them. Not yet. Not until the seeds have all sprouted or fallowed. Not until exhumation is complete.
That will change in time.