AND ONE SHALL LEAD
“We think of ourselves dead walking….. Our lives, they have been forever changed…..
No longer, will we fight to reign in power of influence….. Right here, right now; we fight, to survive…..
We were the walking dead..... We lived to fight, and fought to survive..... now we survive to live.....
We live to make things right.....”
We came upon- an unknown survivor. This man, he didn’t know; who he was. He knew only, that- he had awakened; much like the rest of us: to lay his eyes upon- our world, now suffered by a living nightmare…..
Daryl, shook his head.
“.…. Man’s lying….. Probably, one of the Saviors….. Trying to flee the war…..”
Morgan, looked upon the stranger with some sense of understanding.
“There are times, Daryl; where all men, eventually lose themselves…..”
Rick, pulled fast loose his Colt Python .357 Magnum; from its holster, and threw back the hammer; the end of the revolver’s barrel, pointed straight between the man’s eyes.
“.…. One more time? Who are you, and what is that mark on your hand?”
Sweating profusely, fear rising in his eyes; the stranger cringed.
“Please, don’t? I, don’t remember anything….. I, don’t know…..”
Daryl, picked the trembling man- up by his collar, and slammed him; hard to- the cell wall.
“Your a liar! Who, are you?”
Maggie, stormed into the lock- house.
“Daryl?!” Maggie demanded. “Put him down!”
Rick Grimes, eyed the woman crossly.
“He- was found, attempting; to loot our supplies….. He is marked on the hand, by some kind of faction….. It is nothing we have ever seen before…..”
Morgan, patiently tapped his staff three times upon the cell floor.
“.…. I didn’t- build the cell, that we- may execute prisoners….. This, it was- to be a new means, of dealing with problems; a- better way….. Sounds, to me; the man’s, got amnesia….. He probably couldn’t take the change, not that anybody ever should…..”
Rick, shook his head.
“Daryl? Let the man down!”
Daryl, released his grip. The man crumpled to his knees.
“.…. Great! Chicken- wuss, he just pissed himself…..”
“.…. You, and Rick; out of here! Morgan?”
“.…. Escort this guy, to the doc! Get him checked out, and; for god’s sake, get the man some clean clothes and a shower!”
Rick Grimes, looked back- on Maggie. His impression, of her talents to lead; still- unchanged.
“Careful, Maggie….. Remember, it isn’t a good idea; to trust everybody…..”
Rick and Daryl, made a quick exit from the lock- house; on Maggie’s silent glare.
Tara, met the two; on their exit.
“We found- one other survivor, on our patrol……….. One woman, with- the same mark…..”
“.…. The girl’s whacked! She’s babbling, and incoherent…..”
“What’s she saying?”
“Something about the dead talking…..”
Rick Grimes, looked to Daryl; a silent question upon his thoughts.
“.…. Hey, don’t ask me….. I always knew people were crazy even before this dead problem…..”
“..….. Escort the woman, to the Doc….... Stay, paired up….... From now on, I don’t want any body scouting alone…..”
The sounds of an explosion, to the east; quickly drew on their attentions.
Rick Grimes, smiled.
“Sounds like, Carol and Ezekiel were successful…..”
Daryl, looked to the smoke bellowing east of Alexandria.
“Right! One more outpost down, many to go…..”
“You are, indeed; a woman of many talents, Carol…..”
“The dead- ones….. They’re coming!”
“.…. We, shall live; to fight, another day….. Mount- up! Back, to- the Kingdom!”
Simon, looked upon the burning outpost from afar.
“Ezekiel! Damned Kingdom! They took out another outpost….. Negan, isn’t going to like this…..”
Eugene, shrugged his shoulders.
“.…. In war, there are- many losses; and a few gains….. We, have bullets….. They- will run out…..”
“.…. To, the Scrapyard?”
“Screw, them junk- dwellers! We, have the greater need!”
“Negan, supports my decision; Eugene, as should you! Load- up! Double- time!”
Negan, stalked- menacingly; his path, of conscious selection. Three battered and kneeling Saviors awaiting his act of judging. Lucille held comfortably in his right hand, the- barbed end, of- Negan’s baseball bat; bouncing upon- his right shoulder. Dwight, stood, behind the three; with- one other loyal Savior, to each side. Their guns, aimed low; the barrels of the revolvers, pressed against the backs of their heads.
“.…. I, hear drums….. War, it is calling me onto the field of battle; and yet, I again must deal with: dissension; in the ranks…..”
One of the kneeling, started to speak.
“Shush! Now, it, is not the time; for you- to speak! Now, it, is the time; for you- to listen!”
Negan, nodded to Dwight. The scar-faced, third hand man to Negan, pointed the barrel of his revolver to the man’s right ear.
“.…. Now, that we are all listening; at attention, we have business to deal with…... You three, you were ordered- on a supply run….. You, were followed….. Dwighty- here, questioning- your loyalty….. You, gathered stuff; stuff, that was meant for the Saviors; and yet, you were seen; delivering the loot, to the Scrapyard…..
It is, painfully apparent; that I- may need, to: renegotiate, our alliance….. Dwight? Take that one, to the front gate….. Tell, your leaders; the Saviors don’t take too kindly to incursion….. You, can expect a visit from us; so we can collect that which is due…..”
Dwight, forced- the one; up onto his feet, and roughly guided the Scavenger; out from- the Sanctuary’s hall. Negan, scratched at- the stubble on his chin; as he walked his path before the two remaining.
“Why, do you people; continue, to bring me; to this point?”
Negan slammed the barbed end of Lucille down hard upon the unprotected skull, of the- kneeling Scavenger; to his left. The Saviors, nowgathered; scowled, in many a silent contempt; over, the gruesome scene; some turning away from the sight. Blood from the one Scavenger, splattered the others’ face.
Negan’s second swing, followed through to impact the others’ right side ear. The gathered- felt a genuine fear, from Negan’s wrath; as they are forced, by his soldiers- to stand, and to watch; the hostile demonstration. Raising Lucille- once again, Negan, hammered down upon the skull of the kneeling Scavenger to his right two times; and than swung back- to his left, bloodying the others’ left ear. Once more upon the skull of the Scavenger to his left, and Negan ceased his brutality.
“These- Scavengers…... They, have wasted- enough of my time….. Put them down, if there’s anything left of them! Get somebody to clean up this mess!”
“What do you think, doctor?”
“.…. I, can’t believe; we would have a need for psychiatry, but- yes; I think you’re right Morgan. They’re both- suffering, from amnesia. They’ve both- been traumatized, by something…..”
“.…. I, shudder; to think on, what that might be…..”
“Those marks, on their hands….. They seem like brands…..”
“.…. Brands?! You mean like cattle, from a ranch or a farm?”
“.…. Or, from some kind of camp…..”
“Great! Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse…..”
Carl Grimes, paced the floor.
“.…. Something bothering you, Carl?”
Carl, glared hard upon his father.
“I should be at Hilltop…..”
“.…. The girl, You’ve taken to her?”
“.…. What?! No! I just want to be a part of the action!”
“.…. It’s all right, Carl; and it is understandable….. I, need you here…..”
“Right! Always, here!”
“.…. We, will find ourselves; engaging in- many a skirmish, and- you won’t be left out…..”
“.…. I’m already being left- out!”
Rick Grimes, bowed his head; the man massaging his temples.
“.…….. Talk, to Maggie…….. If- she’s okay with it, you can join- the next patrol; to- Hilltop.….”
Michonne, eyed the two as she entered.
“Conflict of interests?”
Rick Grimes nodded.
“Some….. Quit, pacing about; Carl, and relax!”
Michonne smiled on Carl.
“you’re making him anxious…..”
“.…. The dead, whispering….. Talking, to me…..”
“.…. What, are the saying to you?”
“.….. We, are all: dead men walking…... Of flesh, tainted; with- the blood of life….. We, are being hunted….. Aberrations, mocking life…..”
Maggie, shook her head; eyes wide of concern.
“.….. I, know- what; you are thinking….. There’s nothing, I can do….. I hate- to say this, but in this psychotic state; these two may present an unnecessary danger.….”
“What, do you suggest?”
Unexpectedly, the man leaped- to his feet; a quick grab for the doctor’s knife out from its- homemade leather sheath, giving the stranger: a threatening edge; for use- against his unseen enemies.
“.…. Keep away from me….. I’ll kill you….. I’ll kill you both…..”
Maggie, drew her gun fast from its holster. The unknown woman now screamed and pounced upon Maggie’s back, like some feral creature; the insane woman began to rake at her face, and bite at her right ear. The other stranger, lunged at the doctor attempting to slash him; with his own knife. The doctor, grabbed desperately; for the wild man’s arms, attempting to avoid the recently sharpened blade.
Rick, and Daryl; stormed- into the home- based clinic, unannounced. Rick Grimes, took an immediate aim; of the man’s skull; one bullet fired quickly from his Magnum. The stranger, now threatening- Alexandria’s- new doctor, fell fast. Daryl, grabbed for his own knife; and stood ready, as Maggie wrestled with the woman.
Aiming- the barrel of her revolver, underneath- her left armpit; Maggie fired one round behind her. The injured woman- reeled back, and tumbled free of her. Maggie, quickly spun about; and fired one more shot. This bullet, aiming straight for her head. The insane woman dropped.
“.…. I told you Maggie….. We can’t just trust everybody….. Not anymore…..”
Daryl and Rick immediately proceeded to the duty of dragging the two fallen out from, the newly established clinic. Maggie, cursed aloud. The doctor sighed.
“There, are many challenges in being a leader, Maggie. Don’t give up. Everybody knows, you’ve got what it takes…..”
“.…. Right! Patch up my ear! I’ve got a battle to plan for!”
“Scavengers? What business, have you; here at The Kingdom?”
“.…. You have, we take!”
“.….. No! Long passed, are my days; of controlled existence…... Leave, my sight….. You have nothing to offer, and I have nothing to give…..”
“.…. Death, then?”
“We, all must die; someday, Scavenger; but it will not be today….. Carol, Jerry?”
Ezekiel’s first, the lady Carol; and his second, the man Jerry; stepped outside- the gates to The Kingdom,Carol at his left and Jerry; at his right. The guard’s walk quickly filled up with: armed knights, twelve strong; from spears, to- bows and arrows; and a limited number of firearms and bullets, the knights of The Kingdom took aim.
“The need, but to hear; my order, and you shall all fall…..”
“.…. Another time, perhaps?”
“.…. Perhaps! Be, gone with you!”
Rick Grimes, scanned the surrounding darkness.
Dwight, nodded in silence.
“.…. What, do you have for us?”
“.…. The Scavengers….. They’ve infiltrated the sanctuary…..”
“.…. What about the Savior and Scavenger alliance?”
“.…. It, still stands….. Negan, he can be: very persuasive.….”
“Right! Anything else?”
“Ammo stash….. You’ll find a supply of bullets at this location…..”
“Eugene? He’s becoming; Negan’s number one…..”
“Good to hear! When, the bullets run- down; we’ll- improvise, as we always have. Eugene, he’s found his place- in the world; and with or without Negan, The Sanctuary; and the people held up within, they’re an asset; toward a future alliance of those that survive…..”
“.…. Will Negan die?”
“.…. There are some, that are- understandably out for Negan’s head; for what he has done….. When time comes, we’ll do- what must be done…..”
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