I was surprised at how large and well setup they were and told him so.
"Yes sir. It was designed to function as a holding area for entire farms in transit. We just finished it a couple of months ago as the previous facility was considered inadequate."
"What were you using before?"
"An empty body shop down the road and a old barn. People didn't like it. I didn't like it. We had an couples cow freeze to death and they got angry. Real angry."
"How angry is real angry?"
"Oh...angry enough to drive back to the processing center and shoot four people before they were neutralized."
"I've been angrier than that." I told him. "So that's why you have a stock pen." We had stopped and we were looking the place over. I told Freemen "You put in some seating and you could have yourself a rodeo here."
We kept going. The place was clean. I smelled less animal than I expected but it was in the air along with the smell of hay and fresh built building.
"What do you think Zane?"
He grudgingly nodded his head and told me "I want to see where Woof is going to stay."
I had heard a lone dog barking since we had entered but what had surprised me was how empty the building was. Even brand new there should be more animals in here or even a deeper smell of animals that had passed through before. I found that interesting.
We passed through another set of double doors that led to where Woof and his type were kept. I knew this because of the sign that said "SMALL ANIMAL AREA." I was right. I like being right. Not because it made me feel better, well, it did, rather I knew the penalty for being wrong could be harsh.
We walked through a row of small silver metal cages. Almost all of them were empty except for two that held cats who were asleep. Then it was dog land. This was where all the action was in the Animal Kingdom we had toured. There wasn't much. Barky the dog, a Pomeranian, went nuts when we walked into the pen area and then shut up, backed up as far as he could go and pissed himself. The other two dogs, Both nice looking black labs looked up, got to their feet and started beating the air with their tails.
The dog pens I recognized right away. "Not bad. We're checking Woof into Guantanamo Bay." I looked at both of them to see if it registered. Neither one knew what I was talking about. "Which one is Woofs?" Zane asked. "Your choice young man." Zane wandered off with Woof inspecting dog runs and asking Woof which one he liked.
"So what's the deal Freemen? This gold covers questions too."
"What do you mean?" He replied giving me the stone face. Damn, Not having weapons made all of this shit so much more difficult. I patently replied "Don't jerk me around. Why no animals and y'all being so nice. You're the government not the fucking Salvation Army."
He laughed, saw my expression, choked it off, and held up his hands "Sorry sir. That was the funniest thing anyone has said to me for days now." I saw his body and face lose some off the robot righteousness he had been wearing since we started. The change in his voice confirmed it. "Yes, I know. It's a policy change from the General himself. My version is if we are going to recover as a country we need happy productive citizens. The Zones are going to be marketed as the place to come to do that. As the quality of life expands it will attract more people who will tell others affirming that this model is the one to bet on."
"You went to school didn't you?"
"No sir. Not really. I can read and think tho."
"Yeah." I handed him the gold. "Let's get the dog settled so I can see what all you got to eat around here."