Apocalypse origins, p.14
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       Apocalypse Origins, p.14

           R.A. Neely
 

  ***

  The day passed uneventfully. After lunch, Greg pitched in where he was needed and then just mingled until it was time for the evening krav maga session. Greg was really looking forward to it. The more that people were able to defend themselves, the better chances they had of surviving an attack. He briefly wondered if Richard would still be alive if more people had been able to fight. Not everyone was happy with the mandatory training. They were still used to the idea that a select few could protect them while they were able to sit back and enjoy the benefits. They'd been lucky at the trailer park. Everyone had to be able to defend themselves to some extent. 

  Greg reached the training area which was basically an open space cleared of any obstacles. Greg joined James and they spent the next hour showing some basics. When they were done Greg felt that none of them were ready for a fight but they had to start somewhere. After the workout, Greg found a spot where he could be alone, Stephen kept watch from a few feet away. He retrieved a pen and paper, precious commodities now, and began writing down some of his thoughts.

  Later that evening, Russell Stubs returned to escort Greg to dinner. Greg had planned taking Carol along but James insisted on coming as well for his protection. They walked past the campers they saw on their way in and took the trail that Greg had seen earlier. Russell led them to a large two story home that looked like something from the Victorian era. There was a porch that ran the length of the house and a turret that stood above the roof line.

  "That's impressive," Carol said looking up.

  "Welcome to Freyfield Park Bed and Breakfast," Russell announced with a flourish.

  The group chuckled and Russell led the way inside. They entered a foyer where a large chandelier hung over head. The walls were covered with soft wood paneling and carried portraits of various nature scenes.

  "This place has been here since the civil war," Russell explained as the group looked around. "Follow me, dinner should be ready." 

  The group followed and Russell led them down several hallways, each covered in the same wooden paneling from the entryway. There were also portraits that depicted various moments in a family's life. Greg assumed it was Byron and Kelly since they were the owners. They entered the dining room and saw a large table covered with a white tablecloth. Surrounding the table were eight wooden chairs that had the look of being handmade. 

  "Why don't we get comfortable," Russell said. "Byron and Kelly should be here any minute."

  They took their seats and a few minutes later they looked up as Melissa and Cody entered the dining room. Behind them were two people that had to be Byron and Kelly. Byron looked to be in his late thirties with a muscular build. Not the type of physique you'd find at gym but from working outdoors. Kelly also looked to be in her late thirties. She also had the look of someone that worked outside a lot but it didn't subtract from her femininity.

  Greg stood as Byron approached and they exchanged a firm handshake. "Nice to meet you," Byron said. "I'm Byron Oates and this is my wife Kelly. I hear you've already met Melissa and Cody."

  Greg nodded, "Greg Lyons. This is Carol Reed and James Ruckley

  "Russell said your group might be willing to help us out."

  Greg nodded, "We are but it may not be as much as you're hoping for. I explained a bit to James earlier. We had a big fight a few days back, had to leave our place to escape from infected. Asking the men to defend their families is easy, I'm not sure how they would feel about this. 

  "I can understand that," Russell replied.

  "Having that said, I'm definitely willing to help myself."

  "Thanks," Russell replied, "I appreciate that. Maybe I can tell you how everything started." At Greg's nod he began, "We've been getting along pretty well since the outbreak. There were a few campers that turned that first day but we were able to handle it. After that, being way out here takes care of the rest." Byron paused while two young women entered the room carrying platters of food.

  They set the platters down and Greg's mouth watered at the sight of sliced venison, string beans, and potatoes. It was silent for a few minutes as everyone took the time to load up their plates. Once everyone had served themselves, Byron resumed his story.

  "I imagine we had it easy compared to be people caught in the cities. We've got plenty of food and I don't have a problem getting fresh meat," he said with a nod towards the platter of venison.

  "When did the bandits show up?" Greg asked.

  "About a week ago now," Kelly replied. "They showed up and demanded all of our food."

  'You can't give in to people like that," Byron said. "You give in once and they'll keep coming back."

  "One of them shows up every day around noon and makes the same demand. I don't know how long it'll be before they just try to take what they want," Kelly said worriedly.

  Byron nodded, "We're really the only ones that know how to use a gun. The campers really don't have any idea of how to survive."

  "If they attack, we've been thinking of having everyone come inside and hoping for the best," Kelly said.

  Gregg nodded, "I think it's not as bad it seems." At everyone's look he explained. "Here's what I'm thinking. They've been here a week and haven't attacked yet. That makes me wonder if they can. I mean why would they wait otherwise?"

  "Maybe they just want an easy victory," Russell said.

  Greg frowned in thought. He wanted to help these people but the situation reminded him of when he had first met Dawn. Everyone had seemed friendly at first then too. He felt they were genuine but he didn't want to find himself in the middle of another civil dispute. It had worked out then, he now had thirty armed men under his command. It would probably be best if he could verify some of what they were saying for himself.

  "Do you know where they're operating from?" Greg asked.

  Russell nodded, "I followed their guy back the first day he showed up asking for our supplies. I followed him again yesterday to make sure their camp hadn't been moved."

  "Alright," Greg said, "I'd like to see the camp for myself."

  "I’ll take you first thing in the morning," Russell replied.
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