Apocalypse origins, p.36
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       Apocalypse Origins, p.36

           R.A. Neely
 

  ***

  Greg walked down the street at the head of his Gregorian Guard. Directly behind him walked James and Jackson. Behind them, the Gregorian Guard walked three abreast. Greg was sure they had to cut a dashing image, each of them in the colors of the guard. He saw that many of Lakeside's citizens were on either side of the street and was pleased that Brian had done his part. Fathers held children on their shoulders who waved enthusiastically and even the adults seemed to be pleased. Greg chuckled to himself. Maybe they were just happy about the promised feast. They reached the center of town and the procession came to a halt.

  Greg stepped forward and moved to stand in front of Brian. He'd officially hand over the town now and they'd then start preparations for the feast. At this moment his hunters were out scouring the woods for game. He had no doubt Byron would at least be successful but he hoped the other hunters would be as well. After all, he had promised everyone fresh meat.

  "Sir! Sir!" Greg looked towards the source of the shout and saw a guard running full speed towards them. The guard came to a stop and bent over as he pulled in lungfuls of air. 

  "What happened?" Greg asked.

  "Big...group...coming...this...way," he managed to gasp out between breaths.

  Greg frowned, "Why didn't you use the walkie? James asked.  "We could have already been on our way."

  "Tyler thought...they might...hear us."

  Greg glanced at James, "New recruit," he replied. "Pretty talented."

  Greg nodded, "Where are they coming from?"

  "From the west. Tyler and...the others are trying to slow them down." The guard stood up straight, recovered enough that his breathing was no longer affected.

  He'd have to meet this Tyler. Greg looked at the guard they had assembled. They were about one hundred and fifty according to James. The rest were either on patrol or guarding the camp. 

  "Did you manage to get a head count?" he asked.

  "Tyler said there looked to be about two hundred."

  "Should I call in the other patrols?" James asked.

  Greg thought for a moment. He'd have to leave some men here to guard the town. That would put them down even further but it couldn't be helped. He also doubted there was enough time to call in the other patrols. There was also the possibility that they just weren't being attacked from one direction. No, it was too risky to call in the other patrols.

  "No, there might be others. We'll have to make this work. Brian!"

  "Yes?" Brian asked.

  "Let's get everyone inside. Down into basements if you have them. Jackson, pick some men to remain behind, just in case."

  Jackson nodded and walked down the line, pulling a man here and there. "You're going?" Brian asked.

  "Of course," Greg replied. "I won't stay behind while my men go to fight."

  In that moment he won Brian's loyalty. This man wasn't some bandit looking to gain power. He genuinely cared about his people. "Be careful, sir," Brian said. "We'll hold it down here."

  Greg nodded and turned back towards the messenger. "Can you make the run back?"

  The man nodded vigorously, "Wouldn't miss it, sir."

  Greg nodded, "Good man. James, let's go."

  James nodded, "Alright! Someone's attacking our new home. Let's show 'em what we can do. Remember your training. Lion Guard, form up!"

  Greg glanced towards James with a raised eyebrow. "It seemed appropriate," he replied with a grin.

  Greg chuckled as a dozen men broke from the line and moved to surround him. He recognized the men tasked with guarding him on a regular basis and saw one other familiar face. He remembered, Justin Oller from the trailer park. "Alright, let's move!"

  They took off and set a hard pace. Fortunately, a significant portion of their krav maga training was conditioning. Otherwise, they would've arrived winded and been of no use to anyone. They covered distance quickly and a few minutes later they entered a forested area. Greg called a halt and looked around. It looked like the trees would provide adequate cover here. This was probably the best that they could hope for given that they were outnumbered. 

  "Alright, let's set up here." he said.
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