Sorry about the hiccup yesterday. Sometimes you just sleep on through, and it was a long night before that. I spent most of the previous evening being useful as heavy labor over at the Box, assisting my brother and his growing team of construction workers in maneuvering a lot of heavy materials and machines around the place.
Which segues nicely into the bits of news I hinted at in my last post. The Box is being outfitted pretty lavishly, all things considered, as a machine and wood shop. There are lots of old-school hand tools that can be run purely through human power. Some have been salvaged and repaired, others fabricated piece by piece. There are also many powered machines in a wide variety. All but one of them are 'dumb' machines--not computer controlled. Just big and powerful and running on a current.
That one exception is a CNC machine, what Dave promises to be the first of several. He wants to program them to make metal parts we have trouble forging or casting, and he has been poring over the operator's manual for a day. He looks pretty confused by the thing, but hey. You never know. He might surprise us all and somehow get it to work properly.
Even if he doesn't, the rest of the equipment here is going to make New Haven capable of a lot of work in very short order. Projects that have been stalled will be able to move forward, and it's thanks to the efforts of many people to move as much of the huge supply of fuel from the northeast down this way. Not just diesel fuel and gasoline, but with so many able bodies we can canvass a lot of area and scour every pound of propane. The Box has a big-ass generator, and it runs on all three of those fuels.
One of the first orders of business to come out of there once production of finished materials can begin is to make what we need to convert the nearby buildings in the little shopping center the Box is in into giant greenhouses. It's going to be a lot of work, but with a hundred people cleaning out those areas every day and modifying the buildings to grow food in, it shouldn't take a prohibitive amount of time. There are all kinds of plans on how to make the shopping center into greenhouses that don't need electricity to stay warm. It'll mean a year-round supply of food. Like, a lot of food.
Which is another segue into more news: we have a few less mouths to feed.
In all the expansions and work being done, it becomes easy to miss things. Central--the original area that the rest of New Haven grew from--has had escape routes built into it for a long time. As we've moved things around and expanded outward, many of those bolt-holes became unnecessary or redundant. Some have been filled in, others repurposed. One or two were forgotten entirely. The one between Central and East was of the last sort. Forgotten.
Until one of the newcomers' children crawled in there while he was playing and set off the trap in the bolt-hold no one remembered. This was a few days ago, and many are still in mourning. It's one thing to lose people to violent humans or ravenous undead, but this was an avoidable situation. Poor kid was only seven.
Worse, the loss of that child pushed Will and the council into action, ordering a comprehensive sweep of all the old bolt-holes and passages, which meant putting a lot of our people in the roughs outside the walls. The few undead that are brave enough to wander about made it a point to harass our folks. They kept at it even when archers started putting arrows through their eye sockets. Persistent fuckers actually got two people before we could cut them down.
On top of that we've had some indications that the tactics and behavior of the New Breed are changing again. The weather has not been kind to them so far, them being less able to deal with temperature extremes than their slower and less dangerous cousins. The New Breed hereabouts have begun to disengage from the swarms, moving in small groups as they did when we first encountered them. They move at night, walking from place to place on the wall, trying to climb in quietly. We've had to triple the number of guards just to make sure none slip by.
We've had good and bad both in the last several days, and with it being so ungodly cold lately, I can't help but feel somewhat negative. I worry that the hard times we've been through aren't over. It's probably the Strangers making me feel that way, ineffective and relatively harmless as they appear to be. They're an unknown, and I hate questions I don't know the answer to. Especially when not knowing the answer is potentially fatal.
God, I need sleep. I'm still not wholly recovered from the flurry of activity over the last several days.
Hey Josh, my group was reading over your post this morning when one of my guys yelled out a triumphant YES! Seems that when he had finished his tour long ago, he had gotten a job working with, and working on, CNC machines. He has asked me to ask you if you want his help. I would be willing to let him go, but also need someone to replace him. Unfortunately, he's one of our "experts" on diesel mechanics and I don't know if you would be willing to part with someone like that.ReplyDelete
Please let me know as I think he could really help NH out a lot.