The first group of patrols went out the following night. At first they were so busy trying not to be detected that they could not follow the HKs. After a few nights their tactics improved and they were able to follow the HKs while they were on patrol. After following them for several miles, Kevin Hale and Lisa Parker finally arrived at the factory. They watched from a distance for about an hour; making notes about how many HKs they saw, where there were shadows that would allow them to approach the factory, and anything else that would help in their attack. Then they made their way home, making sure they knew how to get back to the factory with a larger, better armed group.
John and Kate were waiting up for Kevin and Lisa when they finally arrived back at the tunnels.
"Where have you two been?" Kate asked.
"We followed some HKs back to their factory. It's about half an hour from here. We drew a diagram of it, listed how many HKs we saw, and listed all of the best ways to approach it." explained Kevin.
"Good job!" exclaimed John. "We need to decide which night to attack, and how many people should do it."
"I don't think it should be a stormy night this time. They might expect that." added Kate.
"I agree." said John.
The next night John took a patrol led by Kevin and Lisa to the factory to see how many people should be in on the attack. Each person carried a piece of tarp or a plastic sheet to hide under so the HKs with infrared would not see them from the air. John and his patrol watched the factory for about half an hour before they returned to the tunnels to make their plans.
They waited almost two weeks to attack the factory, until there was a heavy early morning fog. Ten groups went out, with 3 people in each group. They left at 5 minute intervals so they would not all be in one group if they were caught by HKs. John took Alex Salinas with him. He was new to the battle, but John felt he had great potential and needed to be trained by him.
The fog was thick when they arrived at the factory. The lights gave it an eerie appearance, making it difficult to see their target. John was glad they had studied the layout when the weather was clear. They could barely make out the HKs going about their duties. Each group had an assigned place where they were to wait for the time for attack. John's group was going to attack first, and then all of the other groups would attack. Just before he attacked, he heard human screams and gunfire. At first he thought some of his people were under attack, but then he realized that the screams were coming from the factory. He tried to see what was going on through the fog, but it was difficult to make out what was happening. He could see HKs moving about, and when an occasional breeze would clear the fog somewhat he could see that they were forcing humans up against a wall, and then shooting them. John hesitated for a few seconds, unsure whether he should try to rescue these people or continue with the original plans to destroy the factory. The decision was taken out of his hands when the last scream faded and the HKs brought out no more humans. John and his group crept closer to the factory, lit their fuses and threw their pipe bombs. The explosions rocked the factory. The HKs barely had time to react before the other groups made their attacks.
The factory exploded in flames. Lightning like bolts of electricity crackled between the metal towers of the factory. The HKs that were not destroyed began firing into the darkness, trying to kill as many of their attackers as possible. Once again, John heard the sound of human screams. He could not let this affect him, because had known he would loose people tonight.
"Let's go." he said to his group.
"But what about the others?" asked Alex.
"They knew what they were getting into when they agreed for this mission. No one is indispensable."
Once again the groups all had orders to head back to the tunnels in different directions so they would be more difficult to track.
John's group arrived at the subway base roughly three hours after they attacked Skynet's factory. Two other groups were already there, along with the survivors from three other groups. Not long after John's group got back, Elijah Brown and Julie Baker returned. They reported that there were no other survivors. They had lost 17 people in the attack on Skynet's factory.
John and Kate decided that they needed to split their group into two or three groups so that if they were attacked, they would not loose everyone. They sent scouts out to find other tunnels or sewer systems. It only took a few days before they found what they needed. Less than a mile from their current base, they found two sections of subway that were not connected to their tunnels and could be used for shelter. Both were much smaller than their current shelter, so they decided to only send 30 people to each base. It took them several days to get everyone moved and settled, but it made them feel more secure to have people spread out in different locations. All three shelters were provided with walkie-talkies so they could keep in touch with each other. Alex Salinas would be in charge of base number 2 and David Perry would be in charge of base number 3.
John knew that they would need more people for their fight against Skynet. Alex thought that he knew where they could find more recruits for their battle. He remembered a group of people that he had talked to a year or so before he and his friends joined John's team. They were headed to Mexico where the damage had been less severe. He volunteered to lead a team to go find them. John agreed to let him take a group of 5 people to search for more survivors. They couldn't spare more than that in case something went wrong.
Alex's group left three days later. They arrived in Mexico two weeks after that. It took them less than a week to find a group of almost 100 survivors. It only took a few minutes to convince them to return to Los Angeles with them. The return trip took over a month; since they had such a large group traveling was difficult without being detected.
John was elated when he saw how many people Alex brought back. Kate was happy to see that the new people had fruits, vegetables and dried fish to add to the supplies. The children would get the fresh foods first since they were still growing.
John began to train the newest members of their forces. Kate taught them to make pipe bombs. While Alex had been gone a patrol had found another factory. John had already made sketches of the factory, and they had been busy planning their latest attack. John divided his people up into 5 groups with 5 people in each group. Once again they were heavily armed with pipe bombs and rifles that fired armor piercing rounds. The groups left at 5 minute intervals and arranged themselves where John had told them to be. This time the attack did not go as planned. John had decided to start firing the armor piercing rounds, and then use the pipe bombs, while the HKs were distracted. Unfortunately they were expected. As soon as they started firing, HKs that were waiting for them began to fire on them with plasma rifles. John's people didn't have time to use any of their pipe bombs. The soldiers knew to retreat if they were fired upon. They also knew not to head back to the main bases. Instead, they would go to the tunnels that Elijah's group had occupied. The three surviving members of John's group arrived there a few hours after their aborted attack. They waited for other survivors. Out of the 25 troops who were sent out, only 11 survived. Among those John had lost Julie Baker, Patrick Brooks, Dana Neely, and Eddie Carmichael.
Before they had time to do anything, an explosion rocked the entrance to the tunnel. "It's Skynet!" he shouted. "We have to get out of here!"
He and his soldiers headed for the air vent that opened into the parking garage. Hopefully Skynet had not found this one. They made their way cautiously out of the subway. There was no evidence of Skynet at this exit.
"Break up into pairs and make your way back to the tunnels. Take your time; make sure you are not followed. If you think that there is a chance you are being watched or followed, don't go back to the base. We can't afford to take a chance that Skynet will find our home bases." ordered John.
It took him almost 2 hours to get back to the subway tunnels. He stopped several times to listen and see if he was being followed. He even hid in the rubble of a parking garage for 20 minutes. Convinced that it was safe, he entered the tunnels through a back entrance. He immediately headed towards the meeting room. He had only been there a few minutes when Kate came into the room. He told her what had happened, and that the whole thing had been a trap.
As he was explaining what had happened, Alex entered the room. He had been one of the survivors from that evening's disastrous attempt on the factory. "Is anyone else back?" he asked.
"Not yet, the rest should be back soon." replied John.
Kate put her arms around John, grateful that he had made it back safely.
Later that night, when they were alone, they talked about the events of that day.
"We have to keep fighting. We can't let this stop us." John told her.
"They will be expecting us to attack their factories." Kate replied.
"Then we have to come up with a new strategy. We can send less people to take out the factories. We can't stop fighting or Skynet will win."