A week passed and John decided that it would be safe to resume their night time patrols. The patrols would be limited to 6 patrols with 2 people per group. They saw several HK patrols, but did not try to destroy them. John was hoping that Skynet would lower its guard if the patrols returned safely. Hopefully it would think most of the humans had been killed in the attack on the factory.

The group held daily meetings to decide where the patrols should go, who should go out and whether or not they should send groups out of the city to find survivors. After talking with Colonel Perry, John decided that they should send a group led by Patrick Brooks south towards San Diego. There would be 4 people in the group. They would leave in one week and travel on foot. Carlos would also lead a group into Mexico to see is they could find food.

The two groups left just after dark, hoping to be able to get well away from Los Angeles before daybreak. After traveling for almost two weeks they came across a small town on the outskirts of what had been San Diego. Carlos' group left the others and made their way into Mexico. Patrick's group made their way cautiously into the town, hopeful that they would find some sign of human life.

"Stay on your toes. If there are any people here, they probably have guards posted somewhere, and they might not be too trusting. They might also attack to steal our weapons and supplies" Patrick cautioned remembering the attack by Silas' group.

Just as he finished speaking, a voice called out, "Stop where you are and identify yourselves, and don't try anything we have you surrounded."

"My name is Patrick Brooks. This is Emily Gordon, Gus Hadley, and Mark McBride. We are from Los Angeles."

"What are you doing here?" asked the unseen person.

"We are scouting for survivors." answered Patrick.

"Stay where you are." ordered the sentry.

Six heavily armed people approached Patrick's group. One held the leash of a large, unpleasant looking dog. The dog sniffed each person, and when it did not react, the men lowered their weapons.

"Sorry about that, but you can't be too careful. Last month we had a bunch of robot looking things come in here. They were all dressed like people, but when our sentries got close they could see they were machines. They killed most of them before we could react. We destroyed them, but we figured there are more out there so we don't take chances now."

"No problem, we understand." replied Emily.

"We'd better get undercover." cautioned one of the men. "We can make our introductions then."

Patrick's group followed them to a badly damaged building. They entered it and then descended the stairs to a lower level. It was dark, and damp, Patrick could smell the mustiness and hear the constant drip of water. The tiny room was very crowded. There were roughly 65 people hiding there, including a dozen children. None of the people looked like they had a decent meal in a long time.

The man who had been doing all of the talking began to introduce people. "My name is Alex Salinas; this is Miguel Rojas, Lydia Woodard, Sylvia Vazquez, Max Phelps and Norman Blake."

After the introductions were made, Patrick briefly told them why they were there. It didn't take much to convince the group to return to Los Angeles with them. They were almost out of food, ammunition and medical supplies.

It only took a couple days to get ready for the trip. The trip back to L.A. was uneventful, but once they actually got to the city they realized they had problems. There were twice as many HK patrols out. They decided to break up into smaller groups, each one being led by a member of Patrick's patrol. Patrick led the first group, taking half of the children with him. It took over two hours to get all of the groups past Skynet's patrols. They could only travel a short distance, and then they would have to hide from the patrols. As soon as they were all safely underground, Patrick introduced them to John and the others. They settled them into sleeping quarters, and then made sure they all got something to eat. Once again, John began to worry about supplies for this large group of people. He had over 200 people that he was responsible for. Carole Phillips had some success with growing vegetables in the tunnels, but not enough to feed everyone. He knew that the supply of MREs that Colonel Perry brought would be a great help too, but they needed real food, especially for the children. He had to keep these people healthy and strong if they were going to be able to fight Skynet.

At the nightly meeting Patrick told John about their trip, and how they had found the newest group of survivors. After telling about their trip, Patrick asked John about the number of HKs patrolling the area.

"Not long after you left the patrols started increasing, they had them out night and day, firing on anything that moved. Our patrols have had to be very careful. We managed to destroy a few bipeds, but we also lost 3 people. They are using more airborne HKs, and all of them are equipped with infrared scanners so they can find us even in the dark." explained John. "The factory we hit just before you left has not resumed production. My guess is that Skynet has other factories somewhere. We need to find those factories and shut them down too."

Colonel Perry stood up, "I agree. We need to follow the HKs and see where they are coming from. It will be difficult though, with the extra patrols, and the fact that Skynet knows we will try to find their other factories."

A few nights later Carlos' group returned from Mexico. They brought pull carts loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. They also brought 11 people who wanted to join their group. Kate was elated to have fresh food for the children, John was happy to have more soldiers.

They spent the next few days making more pipe bombs and planning strategies. John and Kate decided that patrols would be sent out again at night to see if they could locate other factories. Each patrol would consist of two people, heavily armed and ready to follow the HKs to their base. The newest arrivals would be given time to regain their strength before they were sent out.