I need to come up with a witty reference that is the exact opposite of the Jinx Fairy. The best I’ve got so far is the relatively lame “guardian angel.” Why do I need to do this? Because every once in awhile I realize that someone out there is setting up big old dominos that always seem to fall at the right place, at the right time.
Like for example Mike. Mike totally and completely saved our asses, while we were trying to save his ass. It was… creepily awesome.
I’m also now hoping that someone out there is looking out for Blake, because he’s hurt badly, and he’s touch and go right now. Blake took what Mike said was the majority of a shotgun blast to his stomach the other day when they got captured by the Outsiders, and he’s laid up with Doc Lindsey right now. She says she needs a lot of blood, and Caleb and I both donated a pint each earlier today for the effort. There was too much for me to do though, so I had to take off. Caleb is there now and they’re doing a direct transfusion I think. Blake has eaten up almost all of the IV bags we had on hand, and that fucking blows asshole. Not like there is an IV bag tree floating around anywhere.
So as you’ve probably figured out, we went after Mike and Blake after they didn’t come back the other day. I radioed Patty at MGR we were inbound, and after stopping there and telling her Mike might be in trouble, she got real angry, and then got her guns. It was amusing and scary at the same time. She didn’t have the power to help save Charles when he died, but she sure as shit had the power to try and save Mike.
We rolled almost the entire way there in what appeared to be a ghost town. I think we passed a grand total of 10 undead the entire way there, which seems like a conspicuously low amount. Powers that be pulling strings low amount. I am not complaining to be fair. I want that to be clear. I am pleased there were no large amounts of undead. It was one less problem to deal with.
I knew where Mike and Blake were going to park the Prius. We’d discussed a few good spots, so when we got near the place, it was just a matter of checking them out. We wound up finding the vehicle at the second of the three places we’d agreed on. From there, it was just an old fashioned fuck it. We brainstormed in the street for about fifteen minutes, and made the decision that there was no way we’d be able to really track them. Our best bet was that we should move on foot to the area, scouting some of the sniper hides Mike and I had discussed. If we found any evidence from there, we could decide to move on the Factory.
Abby and I made the move out on foot to the few locations I knew Mike would go to for observation. Ideally, you wouldn’t use any place more than once, but a couple of the spots were pretty tight, and I knew he’d go back. I found a few small bits of evidence that they had been there, so I moved along to the other places, and eventually, we had run out of ideas. I felt like we’d exhausted our resources, and basically decided to just hit the Factory hard, and say fuck it. I was losing my temper.
Abby was the voice of reason as I was getting really angry. She suggested that we check out the other side of the Factory for signs of their movement, and that perhaps we’d find some kind of evidence that they were over there scouting. After all, that was the final area we needed to check out before any real move on the place was made. It made sense that the two guys would hit that area.
Abby and I made a return to the vehicles, and we gathered everyone up and drove them around to the other side of the Factory on some side streets. We parked about five hundred yards from the club and started to check out buildings for signs of fresh entry. It didn’t take long before Abby found the worst kind of evidence. A pool of dark, dried blood at the door of a factory. Right near the pool of blood we found a large assortment of spent casings from a nine, and they were reloads. I recognize them because they looked just like the reloads Mike had done for us. He was experimenting with making subsonics for the Berettas. Something to get the noise down further.
I knew instantly it was either Blake or Mike’s blood, and that hitting the Factory was going to happen one way or the other, right then. She and I sprinted back to the trucks, told everyone what we had seen, and once we got Patty in a fairly normal state of mind, we decided we’d start moving on the building. We had no real strategy. We were running on anger. Piss and vinegar as Gilbert might’ve said.
The basic idea was roll up, look for a way in, and use the ram blade on the HRT as the great equalizer. If we had to, I’d smash that front fucking door down.
We decided to approach the building from the side we were more familiar with, the front. Not knowing what we were dealing with from the rear, it just seemed smarter. I think we were maybe 50 yards out when we started taking fire from the rooftops. I stopped the HRT, and the other vehicles followed suit. As is usual, we dismounted from the trucks, and used them as cover as needed. I decided I’d sneak as best I could on foot to try and get close to the building to try and hit the shooters as the maneuver element.
Essentially the girls and Alex, George, Chris and Caleb were sitting ducks to draw fire while I made my way on foot to the building. I can’t recall why, but I definitely grabbed a shotgun as well as the M4, the Kimber, and the Beretta. It was the most heavily armed I’ve been in some time. It felt good. Maybe a bit like overkill, but fuck it. When in Rome, shoot the hell out of everything that moves.
As I was moving on the building it was getting fairly late in the afternoon, and things were getting dark. The weather had been kind of shitty off and on all day, and it was clearly about to get nasty soon. I felt a raindrop hit me on the head, and when I looked up, I saw a huge metal gangplank spanning between two buildings. I was assessing what to do about it when I saw a guy running across it, falling back in the general direction of the Factory. I acted on impulse immediately as soon as I saw a second guy step onto the bridge and sent a shell into the far side of the bridge thingy. The metal kicked sideways, and the dude lost his balance. I racked up a second slug and shot again, and the house of cards came tumbling down. The dude fell all the way to the pavement, and ate shit, losing both legs to about six breaks.
I waited for the asshole on the roof to shoot down at me but he never did. I think the near death experience was enough for him. I crouched down to the dude who just fell, and had a brief chat with him. He was fucked up, and I told him so. His legs were shattered, and I told him we might be able to patch him up. He declined, and I frankly I just think it was his time. I asked him how we could get in the easiest, and he said the roof. Unlocked doors on the roof I guess, and he said there was a fire escape I could climb. He also told me where the good folks were inside the building, and he said the “bad guys” were moving around, and the innocent folk were all locked up. I believe it was like that to prevent them from acting up during our attack.
I went to the fire escape immediately. I got to the roof and after switching to the M4, I took down three hostiles on the roof edge. All three had their backs turned to me when I took my shots. I know I know… I shot them in the back. Starting to see a trend here? Yes, I shoot people in the back. Get the fuck over it, they were trying to kill me and my friends. I’m sure they were awful people too. The kind of assholes that cheat on their taxes and eat all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms.
And then there was Mike. On my shoulder he came across on the radio, and I fucking knew instantly he had something to do with the dudes I’d just shot. Mike had been captured, Blake was hurt, and Mike had managed to get two men inside to switch teams. One of which was the dude running their security, which I now know was pretty significant. They had a full camera set up in the area, and had been watching us all along that day. I later found out that’s how the saw Mike and Blake the day prior.
Mike misinformed the remaining guards/lackeys, and the rest of the work on the roof became a joke. Not one of those assholes turned to look at me or shoot me the entire time I was moving around. I radioed to Abby that the road was clear to breach the front door, and I went in the roof top entrance to clear the building.
The way down was remarkably clear. Mike kept me in the loop and steered me through the halls so I didn’t waste any time or ammunition on rooms that didn’t need to be cleared. In fact, he had the man with him radio straight to the hostiles where to be so I could shoot them easily. I almost started to feel guilty.
I made my way to the security room pretty quickly, and met up with Mike. He had two guys with him, the security guy was a vampire named Andy. Pale as hell and nerdy. The other guy he had I recognized instantly. His name is Jason Dresser. About six four, about three fifty. No neck. Small beard, short hair. He had a machete in his hand, and I was a little afraid of him using it on me. I was relieved to see him on some levels, and a little weirded out to see him as well. You see… Jason had a thing for Cassie when she and I started dating, and it was kind of awkward when he found out we were fucking.
In fact, I think he quit and took the job here at the Factory because he couldn’t handle Cassie and I being together. I’m not exactly sure how this will pan out now. I don’t think he likes me. As in, I think he kind of hates me. I should probably talk to him about this. He deserves to know Cassie is dead. He was friends with her too.
After that I had Mike with me, and I was thankful I’d taken the extra weapons. I passed the 12 gauge and the Beretta off to him and the two of us made our way down to the bottom floor to find the sisters and end this fucking circus. With Jason and Andy going after the innocents locked away, we lost our eye in the sky in the security room. Mike and I ran into three more hostiles who were holding court in the main lobby of the club. I let Mike move forward to take the first shot with the Beretta. I will say the subsonic rounds are quieter. Not entirely silent, but when he fired the shot that dropped the first asshole crouched at the bar, I was pleasantly surprised that my ears weren’t ringing. Of course that lasted about a tenth of a second, because I opened up on the other two with double taps from the M4. Hello chest, hello neck, meet my friend, 5.56.
The front door was opened then, and the whole crew was inside. Patty nearly killed Mike with a hug. We found Blake in one of the stripper changing rooms and got him out to the HRT on the stretcher. We got more IVs in him immediately, and I checked the wound. I remember it being nasty.
The sisters wound up locking themselves in their office with a few of their most loyal dickheads, and despite my most ardent efforts to get them to talk with us about surrendering, they decided to say nasty mean things back, and they even shot at us a couple times. After far too much time spent listening to them not listening to me, I walked the fuck away. Of course I asked the women who happened to be there to light the room up like a dropped match at a Chinese fireworks factory. They turned the office into swiss cheese. I was a little pissed after the fact that they blew over a hundred fifty rounds doing it, but you know what?
Fuck it. Peace through superior firepower. Can’t engage in proper diplomacy, you get no carrot, just stick.
That’s when things went to shit. I checked on Blake again, and he was stable, so I went out back to check in on the folks who were the “captives” we’d heard about.
There were 18 survivors. I didn’t know any of them, which was a pleasant change of pace after the Jason meeting. 12 of the 18 were female adults. Three of the remaining six were men, and the other three kids in their early teens. One of the men was Barry. The fact that he was locked up told me a lot about how he was regarded in the club, which also told me he was far more trustworthy. I’m not gonna give him my bank account number or anything just yet, but you get my drift. He’s on the level.
We returned that night to campus to get Blake medical care. Doc Lindsey shat a brick when she saw the hole in Blake, but she go t right to work on him. He did desperately need blood, and between Caleb and I, we got him a bunch. I don’t think it’ll be enough, but the good news is we’re both universal donors. Go Ring family blood. We are the shit.
Speaking of which, I just got a radio from Lindsey. She said Caleb is a dried up husk and she still needs more blood. I’m gonna go let her poke me and give some more to our dear Blake.
Mallory is with Kimberly right now over there, keeping her company as she watched Blake cling to life. It sucks that he might die. His kid really needs a father, and Blake is a good dad. I hate that my friends and family keep getting hurt like this. It breaks my heart.
I’ll write more tomorrow I think. We need to finish figuring this whole Factory thing out. 18 new mouths to feed is a lot, and there’s also the space issue to contend with.
For that matter, are those fucking people my responsibility? We liberated them, are we now responsible for putting their lives back together?
Oh yeah, we are. See: Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.