Tomorrow I will be handing the reins over to my favorite curmudgeon...Armand Rosamilia, This guy is a straight shooter and definitely somebody you can hang out with over a cup of coffee (or a beer for the consumers of alcoholic libation). However, today it is my pleasure to introduce you to the newest villain in the DEAD series. So, settle in and meet Major Wanda Beers...
Hanover, Ohio—Major Wanda Beers looked back at the column marching alongside the few vehicles that they were still able to maintain. The fuel tanker would need to be topped off again very soon, she thought, if the gas was still even any good.
She turned her attention back to the front. The blue piece of cloth fluttered from the street sign indicating that they were still on the right track. That idiot Paul James better not screw this up; she grimaced at the idea that her entire outfit was at the mercy of possible one of the stupidest men she had ever met in her life.
He had been one of the first to sell out his group during their last stop. He had been under some delusional state of mind that the military could help his wife. The only help for that snarling, drooling, walking sack of guts was a bullet in the head.
Once the appropriate arrangements were made for all the supplies to be loaded up and all the willing recruits had been conscripted, the rest of the citizens were forced outside of the walls of their little barricaded outpost.
Wanda had taken great pleasure in throwing this particular group out into the wild. This was one of those gated communities full of people who bitch and moan about the military, protest their actions, and elect politicians who don’t have a problem cutting defense spending so that little Johnny can go to school and be a juvenile delinquent. They all drove around in their Hybrid cars and chanted things like “No blood for oil!” What did they care? It wasn’t like those rich pricks or any of their children would ever serve. None of them would ever hold a dying friend in their arms that had just had his lower half blown off by an insurgent’s IED.
The day before they were set to leave she had informed Paul James that his daughter would not be joining them on the journey. The girl was positively useless. She had failed in every task assigned and done nothing by cry and complain when they had placed her on kitchen duty. The only other choice was to put her with the whores who serviced the soldiers. He had absolutely refused.
Wanda had created the “Brothel Brigade” early on. As a student of history, she knew that it had been common in the ancient times for armies to have useable whores travel with them—usually in the rear, and they normally performed other menial tasks like laundry and such to earn their place. Apparently what was good enough for the father was too good for the daughter—Paul had been put in rotation with the men and women in the brothel tent after he had proven to be loyal but useless. Sadly, he wasn’t much better as a whore.
Paul had come to her tent the night before they were prepared to roll out. He said that he knew of another outpost. He admitted that his group was just getting ready to approach them with an offer of joining forces. Ironically, they were concerned with the possibilities of raiders coming along and trying to take over their happy little homes.
He went on to say that this other group had even fewer people, but that they seemed exceptionally well organized and supplied. He didn’t want to reveal the location unless he had assurances that his daughter would be allowed to remain with the group. He said that he would even take a second job to pick up her slack. She could have brought his useless daughter Mary in right then and held a knife to her throat to convince him to talk, but she was feeling generous that day.
“You and your daughter will go with you,” Wanda decided. “A group might be hesitant to take in a lone man. She will help soften them up. You will leave blue strips of cloth as markers and an indicator that you have made contact.”
She could roll with the direct frontal assault, but she didn’t want to waste precious manpower if it was not necessary. Having a man on the inside was the perfect Trojan horse scenario. He would gain this new group’s trust, and then open the gates to allow their access.
Yesterday, one of her scouts returned and reported that blue banners had been spotted. She had slapped herself in the forehead with her palm when she looked on a map and determined the direction led straight to the Longaberger Golf Course. This little tidbit of information had put her on a higher state of alert. There was the possibility that this group might be better prepared and actually led by somebody who knew what they were doing.
When the next round of scouts returned to report that a military vehicle had been spotted, Major Wanda Beers actually considered cancelling the run. She decided to risk one scout who would attempt to get inside the wall and observe.
Four agonizing days passed and her people were starting to run low on supplies—keeping a hundred and thirty-five people fed was no easy task these days—when the scout returned. Yes, they were very well fortified against the walking dead, but there were no signs of soldiers anywhere. In two days of observation, the only people seen coming and going besides Paul James and his useless daughter were a couple of young females and one male who was often seen using a set of crutches.
The sun was just coming up…somewhere. Here, it was a solid blanket of dark clouds that threatened snow. They stopped at the front entrance to the country club. There were several vehicles in place as a barricade. No sense adding to the chaos by allowing the possibility of zombies to come in during their assault.
Major Beers sent her men and women over the wall. Like any commander worth a damn, she climbed over with the first wave. All the concern turned out to be for nothing. Besides her Trojan horse, all they discovered were three young females between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, one male with a severe leg injury that looked to have received expert attention, and a severely disturbed black girl with Down’s syndrome.