I found out this morning that the folks staying in the abandoned Wal-Mart just down the road from the hospital have been busy, busy, busy. They've cleared out the store completely and have even given it a nickname: The Box. Kind of a joke about "big box" stores, I guess. They've been coordinating with craftsmen living inside New Haven and at the hospital to figure out what kinds of things we need to start making or need more of. They want to turn the Box into a manufacturing center where many kinds of goods can be produced. The idea is to be more efficient by sharing a secure space, and to cross-train our craftspeople in multiple disciplines more easily.
The irony of that building being used to fabricate locally-sourced items is staggering.
Apparently since my birthday bender a lot of folks have been in and out of New Haven, bringing things to the Box to help set up production areas. I'm excited to talk about some of the new stuff they want to make there, but for the moment the most pressing addition is going to be a massive woodshop. We've got a desperate need for structural timbers and rough logs to reinforce the wall as well as build new ones. The scraps will be added to our firewood supplies. There will be a full-time team of five people starting out, and Dave is so jazzed about it that he's stripping copper wire from a bunch of old power lines and searching for the right kind of magnets so he can build a dedicated wind turbine for the place.
Of course, we'll have to figure something out besides that to power the tools in there, but the turbine will at least let them build up a charge in the battery array they're going to install.
The only real negative is that all the traffic and work going on over there is attracting the undead. And that store sits just off the intersection of the interstate and the main state highway that serves Frankfort. There's a lot of zombie movement across that stretch of road, and they haven't missed the swarm of activity nearby. We can't easily put a wall around the store, and the deliveries have to be made on the ground floor (everyone else goes in through the roof via the small bridge connecting it to the hill behind the place). Most of the entrances are secured very well--some even welded shut--but larger groups of zombies have begun to filter in. We used a snowplow to push a bunch of the abandoned cars into a rough barrier around the front to slow the zombies down, but it's not a great solution.
We'll deal with whatever problems come up, though, because we need to get some major production going. I know food is going to be a concern next year when the current supplies grow thin, but shelter and infrastructure matter as well. If we could find some serious logging equipment, I'm pretty sure Dave would laugh maniacally and rub his hands together like a super-villain. He's hungry for raw materials to make his projects into realities.
We're diverting a small contingent of security people to the Box for the time being, both to handle the undead as well as scare off any potential living folks who might get ideas. It's insane to me how interconnected every aspect of our daily lives have become, and how important constant growth has become. I mean, think about it: to manage our potential food shortages, we need building materials to make pens for our rabbits and greenhouses to grow seedlings through the winter. To make those materials, we need to put in the time and effort to make the Box efficient and productive. To do that, we've got to arrange schedules and plan materials to be moved.
One decision leads to three others, and it all spiderwebs out from there. It's neat, and frustrating, and gives me a deeply positive feeling about tomorrow. So long as we can keep those fucking zombies away. Not to mention living enemies.