Alex, Promised Land, Virginia
Alex took Alma down to the kitchen and found everyone gathered in a group surrounding a tall, skinny red headed girl that was wearing a straw cowboy hat. The group turned when they noticed him and Alma.
They all flooded into the kitchen and stood around as they got food for Alma and the red head.
He held his hand out to the freckled girl.
“Hi, I’m Alex, Alma’s brother,” he said.
“I gathered that. I’m Cassidy. I told her she needed faith and looky here. You’re alive,” the girl said with a toothy but infectious smile.
“It’s good to meet you Cassidy. Thanks for taking care of my sister.”
“It was my pleasure. She does have good taste in music,” Cassidy said.
“Thanks to me,” he said.
“Yes, he taught me the love of a Heavy Metal,” Alma said.
“So, you guys drove all the way from Vegas on a one in a million chance that he was alive? How did you expect to even find him?” Jennifer asked.
“We tried not to think about it,” Alma said.
“We went on blind faith,” Cassidy said.
“You guys are crazy,” Spencer said.
“We’re crazy, but we were right,” Cassidy said.
They all helped make a big pot of chili and they sat down on the porch (their unofficial meeting place) and ate and talked.
They went step by step from leaving Vegas, going up through Utah, through Colorado and driving across country. It took a while and the whole time Alex found himself staring at Alma. He still found it hard to believe that she was sitting there, bowl in hand and smiling. This was surreal. He had long assumed her to be dead. D
“What’s that rifle you got there?” He asked Cassidy.
“Broadsword. Made by the same guy who made Alma’s gun,” Cassidy said.
“What? You met Gundoc from Crusader Weaponry?”
“Yeah. We traded ammo for this. I have to say that this rifle is only the most awesomest rifle I’ve ever shot,” Cassidy said.
She handed it over for him to look at. It was lighter than he would have thought. Everything on it was top of the line. It would make a great competition gun and a battle rifle.
“If I thought about it, I would have gotten you one,” Alma said.
“We have a whole pile of M4’s and M16’s,” he said.
“We have a small arsenal as well, but we had to leave it in Buena Vista where we ran out of gas,” Alma said.
“We’ll go get it tomorrow,” he said.
“We also got some food and other supplies. And if you got fuel we got a working car,” Alma said.
“Cars we have. Fuel we do not,” Jennifer said.
“We have horses though,” Alex said.
“Horses?” Alma asked with look of surprise mixed with disgust.
“Yeah, you know, like cowboys? I’m sure you’ve heard of them,” Cassidy said.
“I wasn’t born in a barn like you,” Alma said.
“Oh, this is going to be great. Alma will have to learn how to ride! Maybe we can get you a cowboy hat as well,” Cassidy said.
“Adam, Spencer, take a cart and go to Buena Vista to get their stuff,” Alex said.
They told them where to find their stash and Alma told them to bring a big cart.
“So, this is the famous Alma Attaway,” Rebekah said.
“What have you been telling them?” Alma demanded.
“Nothing but the truth.”
“Oh, sure. You probably still blame me for those missing concert tickets.”
“They went somewhere.”
“Is it true that you’re the best shot in Nevada?” Rebekah asked.
“Well, I’m the best female shooter of my age class,” Alma said. “So, yeah, I guess I am. Now that I’m in Virginia I’m the best shot in Virginia as well.”
Yup, surreal was a good word for this.
“So, you got a nice farm here, bro. Anything else going on? Any neighbors? Other survivors?” Alma asked.
“Well, yes. There’s another group of survivors. They’re not good neighbors.”
He told them everything they knew about them and everything that has happened.
“So, it’s a shooting war now and I bet they’re going to come looking for us,” Alma said.
“That’s pretty accurate statement,” Jennifer said. “They don’t know where exactly we live, but we’re not hard to find. And when they find us, they’ll bring more guns and more men.”
“Good thing we showed up. Well, not good for us,” Cassidy said.
“Let’s not talk about that right now,” Alex said.
After they ate and talked for a few hours Cassidy insisted on a bath and they split up to all go do their own thing. He took Alma up to his room so he could continue cleaning the guns while they talked.
“Who’s the angry little Chinese woman?” Alma asked.
“That’s Lisa Fang. We found her in Richmond where she had been working at a Chinese buffet.”
“She’s become very good with a gun and I trust her.”
“She doesn’t seem to like me much.”
“She doesn’t like any stranger much.”
She picked up his M14 that was leaning against the wall by his bed.
“You always wanted one of these,” Alma said.
“Got it free from the Marine Corp.”
“Very nice. So, besides shooting things, what needs to be done around here?”
“Farming. Finding fuel. One of the books said we can find natural gas in the area, maybe rig a truck to run on that, but none of us know how.”
She was staring at him with a funny grin on her face.
“What?” He asked.
“I knew you were alive. Well, I didn’t know, know, but I knew.”
“Because you’re crazy.”
“Maybe I am. I came to look for you and here you are, leader of a group with a nice farm.”
“It could be worse. It could be much worse. You said you found a few surviving towns. I wonder if there are other towns around.”
“I would assume so.”
“I guess we should find you and Cassidy a room. There’s one in the guest house.”
“You guys have a guest house?”
“I was hoping I could have a room in this house, with you.”
“I’ll see if someone’s willing to trade.”
“Thank you bro.”
“Why can’t I ever say ‘no’ to you?”
“Because you love me.”
“No, maybe I’m just scared of you.”