I was in the air force when this all started. My team was the first to be sent out, we were told. “Figure out what it is and put a stop to it.” We were the ones that were supposed to handle anything crazy. We were SERE specialists, which stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. Our mission was simple, but all of us failed, everyone one of us except me. I was able to get a large group of survivors out of Atlanta, I was proud of that, until they all started drying and turning.
It’s just me and a few other survivors now, fighting out hardest in the dog eat dog world. They still look to me as their leader, it’s hard, but they trust me. I don’t do it all alone; I have a co-leader named Mike Delfino. He is hot headed, but he makes good decisions when it comes down to it.
About 10 of us live in this old farm house off the highway, when we got here it seemed like other people were once here. There were a lot of dead heads roaming around when we first got here, but they weren’t a problem. Mike and I figured the people fled when the dead arrived, but they never came back, so we took the place. We kept the farm going, along with the cattle.
It’s a beautiful place, whoever owned it kept good care of it. I know the families name, they were the Greene’s. I sit on top of an old RV with Mike we are keeping watch through the night. Mike leans his head back on his chair staring up at the stars. “You know Cass. We should somehow put walls up, and then we wouldn’t have to keep watch like this. It’s not very often dead heads even stumble upon this place.”
I lick my lips as I also lean my head back against my chair staring up at the beautiful Georgia sky. “Walls would be nice, but the ten of us couldn’t do it. No way. We need more people Mike.” I sit up to face him.
He closes his eyes and crosses his arms over his chest, “We’ve talked bout’ this Cass. People are more dangerous than anything else now.”
I cross my legs, lean forward and prop my head up against my hands. “We could figure out a way to make sure they people are okay. We can do this.” I slowly shift my head to see Mike’s reaction. I can already tell he is getting mad.
He sits up and bangs his feet against the roof, “God damn it Cassandra. I’ve told ya’ once and I’ve told you twice. We are not letting other people join us. Don’t make me tell you again.”
I pierce my lips and squint my eyes, “Don’t fucking talk to me like that Mike. May I remind you I was the one who rescued your sorry ass from the hoard of dead heads?” I shift my whole body to face him, “I didn’t know ya’, but I saw a person in need and I helped, we have it good. We could help.”
Mike looks out at the forest line and then back to me, he sticks his tongue out the side of his mouth. “Cass. If the opportunity presents itself to us, we can try. Kay?”
I roll my eyes as I slide back down in my chair, “Fine.” The two of us go back to silence as we wait for Lucas and Gabby to come take watch. We have a system here, a system that works. We haven’t lost someone in over 9 months, I am proud of that, and so is Mike. Without rules things crumble and fast, especially in times like these.
We all cram ourselves into the farm house, but it’s nice to have the comfort of a home. Mike looks down at his pocket watch, “How much longer. I’m beat.”
He slaps his thighs and turns to face me with a smirk on his face. “1 hour and 30 minutes.” I roll my eyes mad at myself for even thinking we were almost done.
Mike rubs his five o’ clock shadow with the back of his hand, “Ya’ know Cass, there’s a lot two people could do in that period of time.” He says turning to me with this leer on his face.
I gradually turn my head to face him, a fake grin forming across my face. “And what’s that?” I lean forward and stare him in the eyes.
He places a hand on my thigh and I about throw up in my mouth, but I don’t break character. “You know Cass. Things.” He says raising an eyebrow.
I bite my bottom lip and lean in closer, Mike leans in to kiss me, but I stop him with the palm of my hand pressing against his forehead. “Mike. Stop flirting with me bastard.” I say laughing. He scoots back in his chair also lightly laughing.
“I was screwin’ with ya’.” He says while he holds his gun tighter in his hands. I turn away from him, shaking my head. I’ll admit Mike was some fine material, but I want more than just looks. I know it’s the apocalypse, but I still have a slimmer of hope that someday things will be different.
We sit there in silence as we listen to the peaceful night sounds. I furrow my eyebrows as my ears pick up on something unnatural sounding. I turn to face Mike who has also noticed the sound. We wait a second and the sound grows louder, it’s a car on the gravel.
I signal to Mike and we crawl down the RV’s ladder. We lean our backs against the RV as we wait for the intruders. The people are driving an old hatchback, dust is all over it, they must of hotwired it. Three people step out of the car, a brunette in a purple shirt, an African American man with bandages around his shoulder and an African American woman whose frizzy hair is up in a ponytail.
They look around our wonderful safe haven. I nod to Mike as we come out of the darkness. “FREEZE. PUT YOUR WEAPONS DOWN.” I yell assertively. The three of them turn to face us, raising their weapons in return.
I can tell by the look on their faces, that they are lying, they are out of bullets. I shake my head at them. “Look! We mean no harm! I can tell you don’t have bullets. NOW PUT YOUR DAMN WEAPONS DOWN.” The three people look at each other and finally comply with my orders.
Mike and I walk over to them with our guns raised. Mike kicks away their weapons. I lower my weapon and Mike also does so. I stare at the brunette she looks vaguely familiar. “What’s your business here?” I ask as I try to recall where I’ve seen this girls face before.
She speaks up, “This is my family’s farm. We- we need to stay here for a while.” She says hostilely.
Then it hits me, she’s Maggie Greene. My mouth almost drops, I can hardly believe it. “Are you Maggie?”
The woman takes a deep breath and nods. I extend my hand to her, “You guys are welcome to stay. It is your farm. We can give ya’ some food and water and you can even stay in the RV till we figure something else out.” Maggie stares at me for a moment, shocked that we are actually being kind.
The other woman speaks, “Maggie, how do we know we can trust them?” I step closer and hold myself inches from her face.
“You don’t, but what other options do you have?” I say. I take a step back and extend my hand to her, “Name’s Cassandra. Cass for short.” She slowly takes my hand and shakes it.
The other man introduces himself as Bob and the woman’s name is Sasha. Mike pulls me away from him for a moment. “What the hell Cass? Shouldn’t we talk about this first?”
I widen my eyes and shake my head, “Nope. We already did. Remember, you said if the opportunity presents itself than we would try. Well looky here. The opportunity presented itself and we are going to try.” I smile wildly at Mike as he looks down at me and rolls his eyes.
We all look to the dirt road as another car pulls into view, I look at the new arrivals and they shrug their shoulders. Mike and I raise our guns as we go to meet more people.
A man and a blonde women step out of the car. The man has his crossbow raised at my face. I can’t tell what he looks likes until he slowly lowers his weapon, I lower my weapon with my mouth hanging down. We stare at each other in shock. “Daryl..?” I say in astonishment.