I am still alive.
And that fucking Factory will be a tough nut to crack. On many levels.
Lemme lay the shit out for you.
The Factory is in a small town just north east of the city, just like I thought. I headed out from campus late in the afternoon in our trusty electric Toyota, and drove as far as I could, as fast as I could blacked out. It was pretty damn frightening knowing that I had to pass through the same bottleneck we’d pinched them in the day before. There’s little reason to think they wouldn’t hit me the same as I hit them.
I did have the added benefit of not having to take the same exit to get to their neck of the woods though. There are at least three exits leading into the city that I could take that would put me on surface streets I could take to get to them. I didn’t have to use the same approach to get to them. I made damn sure I went a different way that night to help ensure a safer infiltration. I didn’t get hit so I’ll chalk my plan up as being successful. Huzzah and shit.
I wound up parking in a small garage attached to a tiny house in a fairly crappy neighborhood about a mile and a half away from where I thought the Factory was. Turns out it was more like two full miles, which is an alarmingly frightening distance to cover in the dark, in an area you haven’t ever been in on foot. I was nervous as balls. I think it was about… maybe 10 or 11 at night. Late as hell for me. I’m an old man now, and we rarely stay up late unless we have to.
I had an old street map from one of the glove boxes in a car in the school parking lot to help guide me, and I was easily able to get to the street where the dealership was. Barry said the dealership was nearby the Factory, so I knew once I found that, I would be close. I was right.
First off, the dealership is almost identical to the one we had our impromptu ambush in the other day when we interrogated our talkative friend Barry. I’d say the parking lot is half the size of a football field, and the dealership building itself was about a hundred feet long, with a three bay garage. It was also a pertinent fact that the bays were very large. Large enough to accommodate a semi, or large diesel truck like the box truck we saw the other day. Industrial sized garage doors.
In the lot I saw 17 vehicles, and I took notes describing each one so I could identify them later on if we saw them moving. My guess is that they have at least one capable diesel mechanic on hand using the shop, otherwise they would be having a lot more trouble getting these damn things running. What’s of note here Mr. Journal is that the entire dealership is surrounded by cars made into a wall just like how Westfield had them set up. Inside that was a hastily built chain link fence, complete with small slats of plastic inserted to make the fence opaque.
They had set their automobile wall up to have three exits. Each exit was simply a chain link fence with a pair of large 4x4 pressure treated beams across it. Clearly not intended to stop a vehicle, but more designed to repel the aggression of the wandering dead. Easy pickings for a quick vehicle borne attack.
I found the Factory about a quarter of a mile down the road. It isn’t a factory at all. I can’t believe I didn’t make the connection before this. Talk about a fucking senior moment.
The Factory is a strip club. It was inside an old factory building that was renovated and turned into new businesses about ten years ago when this area was renovated and revitalized.
It’s a fucking strip club.
I used to work at strip clubs, and I can remember when this place opened. It was right when I was getting out of the bouncing gig for good to work at the school. I remember Cassie and I talking about how funny it was that another strip club was opening just a half hour’s drive from the place we worked and met at. Apparently the men of this region have a strong sex drive, and a powerful need to pay money to look at naked women they can’t fuck. Ever.
I know the two sisters who ran The Factory. I met them once when they came into the place I worked at. They were in their 40s at the time, and had that “we used to be strippers” look. You know the type. Nice hair, nice face that’s starting to show signs of age, and clothes that are about a decade too trendy and tight for a woman like that to wear. Those types of women look like they are trying… just a little too hard, especially at their age.
I remember saying hello to them, and making small talk before the club opened one day when they were waiting to talk to the owner of the place. They must’ve been there visiting checking the place out right about when they were opening their place up. Scouting the competition or working out some kind of cross promotion I imagine.
My basic recollection of them today is that they were arrogant. Smart, pretty, but definitely full of themselves. Righteous. Maybe even a little bit crazy. That explains a lot when I see and deal with the rest of the people they’ve taken in at the fucking club.
Speaking of the club… I was able to observe it from both ends of the road over the course of the night of the 16th, all day and night of the 17th, plus most of yesterday before I made my way back here to campus. I went over my findings and my photos I took with the same digital camera Blake used to take pictures of The Farm back in the day. Man that seems like forever ago.
Anyway, when it was open for normal business, The Factory had naked bitches prancing around in it, so the doors are heavy duty steel, and there are no windows. None. That’s the kind of business where window shopping is generally discouraged. Generally if you’re interested in their kind of merchandise, you go right in and start spending. There were three vehicles parked out in the street in front of the main door. One was the slightly converted box truck we saw driving the other day, one was a van, and the third was a large pickup. We must be putting a huge dent in their vehicle coffers. We’ve taken what? Five or six of them so far at least. God it has to be more than that. Ten maybe.
Here’s the bad news. They’ve put up another set of chain link outside the business complete with the plastic slats. On the outside of that they’ve arranged more vehicles blocking the way, creating a fairly substantial wall. The fence and cars are close to the sidewalk in front of the business though, and they are RIGHT on the street, so they are not set back at all. The other bit of bad news is that there is NO WAY of seeing inside the place. Zilch. We’d have to breach and clear the hard way, and we’d kill or hurt a lot of folks that didn’t need it. Very much hesitant to do anything along those lines. Seems dangerous, and a waste of life.
We need to pull them out of that building. We need something that will pull only the bad guys out. We need something to happen that will get their attention and force them to respond in such a manner that ONLY the bad people will stick their heads out of the building. If we can get that to happen, then we can deal with the hostile remnants inside with persuasion, or something quite literally along the lines of smoking them out. Shit if we have to, I’ll spray the dozen cans of pepper spray we still have inside the joint and breach that way. It isn’t tear gas, but in a pinch, it’ll do.
It worked well on The Farm, so in theory it’ll work here too. Folks don’t like being set on fire, or pepper sprayed. Generally speaking that is.
After I returned late last night Otis was happy to see me. Possibly even more so than Mallory, which is saying something because she was REALLY happy to see me. Otis was all up in my shit for an hour. It got to the point where I had to physically remove him from my chest and face and put him on the floor so I could talk to Caleb Abby and Mike about a plan to hit the place, or a plan about how not to hit the place.
The obvious weakness they have is the dealership where they are getting their cars. We could easily infiltrate the place at night and torch, destroy, or disable all the vehicles there to render their ability to drive largely null and void. That would either result in their leaving the Factory, allowing us to engage the hostiles in a more proactive way, or it would just make them less of a threat to us. If they can’t drive out to us here on campus, then we need not worry quite so much. It seems very much win/win-ish to us all.
We’re going to recon the place again in a day or two and get a better feel for how we can set up an ambush that’s large enough to be effective. If we can’t sneak enough guns close enough to make it worth it, then we shouldn’t bother with trying to attack them. We should just fuck with their cars and leave.
Now that obviously doesn’t address the fact that shady bullshit is going on there, and we really ought to be the better people and help the folks that are being used and abused inside that place. Seeing as how it was a den of wanton debauchery before the end of the world, I can only imagine that the sucking dick stories are remarkably accurate to what is actually going on inside now. I shudder to think what might be happening.
Oh, I should also mention that all of my time spent in that area was spent dodging far too many fucking undead for comfort. The streets weren’t filled with the dead, but it was impossible to move around in any open spaces without attracting the attention of at least one or two within a minute or less. It sucked ass. Take thirty steps, then freeze and wait to see if anything saw or heard you. I had to drag at least three or four bodies a hundred yards or more away from where I was moving to dump them in rancid old garbage dumpsters to hide them. The last thing I wanted to do was leave fresh dead bodies and spent shell casings anywhere that might be suspicious. Leave no trace.
Sadly, or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I didn’t get to shoot any bad guys while I was out. I would’ve liked that, but the few I saw moving about weren’t a threat to me at any point, and killing them would’ve been a frivolous waste of our secret knowledge of their whereabouts.
So, the Outsiders live another few days, courtesy of the benevolence of yours truly.
We’re going to recon the area again tomorrow night for a single day with a fresh set of eyes other than just mine. It always pays to have multiple people assessing situations, and this is no different If we can come up with additions or subtractions to the plan we’ll do it, and start the appropriate preparations.
This could really suck. Like, really suck. This place is a fortress for all intents and purposes. Heavy fence, heavy doors, no intel on the inside happenings, and no idea how heavily armed they are either. I’m venturing a guess here that they’re saving their best weapons for protecting the homestead. I can’t imagine they haven’t picked up some AR style rifles by now.
More on that front later. Quick update on my own homestead. It’s been a long time since I talked about Bastion here.
Crops are great. We visited Lenny and his farm is yielding strong for us right now. The food is great right now. Better than I have had in a year. Over a year. Our fields are great too, but not quite at the level of Lenny’s. Construction has begun on the barn for the cows and chickens for this winter. Ollie has been roughing out beams from trees with help from some of the folks, and the super structure/frame was completed late today. He’s thinking he needs another eight to ten days of work to complete it. Fortunately weather has been awesome, although the nights are starting to get really cool. Fall is almost upon us.
Not excited for our wood and gasoline consumption. I’m also kind of surprised that Blake did a fuel run yesterday without me. He’s starting to stockpile fuel here on campus which I am really not keen on. We’ve got an arsonist/murderer here, and I don’t like the idea that we’re putting hundreds and hundreds of gallons of fuel within easy reach. He assures me it’s all “safe and sound” and that he has a plan for keeping it that way, but I didn’t have the time to go over his master plan with him yet.
He also said that gas station we’ve been hitting regularly was finally empty, and we are now going to have to go to one of the other two to get gas. Kinda sucks, but at least we know what we have to work with. Theoretically at least. I just hope that one of the two gas stations still fucking has fuel left in it. Last thing we need is to go to the other two places and find out that neither of them have any fuel. I’d blow a gasket quite frankly.
I’d fist a nun.
So yeah. Recon tomorrow night with Mike. Once we are good to go after that we’ll start planning shit. Then I guess we’ll see what happens after that.