Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Safe and Barren Land

Finally made it. I fucking hate hiding, whether it's from zombies or people with guns.

We managed to get on the road late yesterday afternoon, and we carefully marked that town's location as a possible place to go back and take a careful look at in the future. They didn't fire on us outright, which is a good sign, but they did chase us for a long while. If we weren't on a timeline here, we might have gone back.

We are surrounded by people here, at our intended destination. I still won't be telling you exactly where in southern Michigan we are, but for the sake of having a name to call this place, let's call it Diego. That will work as well as any other random name, I reckon.

Diego is a fair sized town, perhaps forty thousand people before the fall. But clearly not a place that, before the zombies hit, had a lot of economic diversity. It reminds me pretty sharply in appearance of the old labor towns that used to be built to house workers around major projects like the hoover dam. This place is packed with factories and plants of one type or another, machine shops to supply them with repairs and custom parts, and all the supporting businesses that you would expect from an industrial town.

I am sitting at a table in a well-lit room. It's all stainless steel around me, and there is a big plate of steamed brown rice in front or me. They have a lot of power here, for reasons that excite the hell out of me.

See, the zombie apocalypse came right when a lot of things were going on in government to try and fix many of the problems in the economy. Michigan got a lot of help, some funds to help businesses get started to create more green energy, and tax breaks for them. So you have the building I am in right now, which was a plant that employed about a hundred people, that made solar panels, and the chemists here were working on some exciting new ways to make and store energy.

I'm thrilled at the possibilities.

Courtney is in her third meeting with their leader, an older man named Jack. He was a supervising research scientist here, and he has more degrees than I can count. He's also a damned good leader, to have managed to save so many of his fellow employees, and so many from the surrounding factories.

But he also hedged his bets a little as well. I admit that I was somewhat confused as to how three hundred or so people could be running low on food so quickly, but Jack was masking the true numbers here. It's breathtaking to see so many in one spot, more than seven hundred in total.

I can see why he wanted to keep this secret, but his reasoning in this case is faulty. I know of no groups even half his size, and none of them well equipped or with enough manpower to try and get here to capture any of his folks. The sheer numbers that he can put out as watchers and guards are his est protection, and now that he is more aware of how things in the outer world are going, he's very happy to know just how safe they are.

But it does make clear just how desperate the food situation is going to be around here before too long. There is a lot of canned stuff, and literally tons of rice and grains, but all of that will last maybe six months. Just long enough to run out before winter. And since this giant factory is in the middle of an industrial park, there isn't a lot of bare earth to work with. But we have plans, never fear, and the helpful part is that what they lack in food and landscape, they more than make up for in manpower and equipment. Give us time and machines, and we southerners will gladly help you make a farm.

We begin tomorrow.

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