It had been nearly two weeks since Jake and Father Hoffman first met Sarah James and her son, Bryan.
And just a few days before, their group of four motley survivors had turned into a large group of twelve motley survivors.
While investigating an auto-repair shop near a stretch of highway, Jake ran into eight people who shared horrific stories of their mistreatment at the hands of Governor Lewis in the nearby town of Dalesbury.
After a short firefight with four attackers from Dalesbury, the twelve survivors decided to follow a map they found in the shop’s office.
The map indicated two towns were nearby. The nearest was nameless. The next town was called Fowler.
They followed the map to the first town.
They arrived in town at night, sometime close to midnight.
The town’s square, or what was left of it, was deserted.
A couple of restaurants, a church, shops, and a few houses were left in ruin. Every window on any of the buildings’ first floors had been destroyed.
Worse, the group couldn’t shake the feeling they were being watched.
Some even saw small shapes—smaller than an adult person—darting from shadow to shadow inside some of the nearby structures.
Tired and not wanting to stay outdoors, the group made their way towards the remains of an old Mexican restaurant, but not before they spotted a small figure dart into the restaurant’s dark interior.
Flashlights at the ready, the group entered the building.
Inside, they ran across five shamblers but no sign of the fast-moving figure.
None of them could understand how the figure could have avoided the shamblers.
Working together, the group took care of the zombies. After disposing of the bodies outside, they then barricaded the front door.
They each picked spots in several booths near the windows to guard against any attack from outside.
But before they could settle in for the night, they were suddenly attacked from outside.
Within moments, the group found themselves surrounded by seven children!
They looked as though their ages ranged from nine to twelve years old?
Who were they? Where were their parents?
And how did they manage to survive on their own?
The children looked feral. Their clothes were a motley assortment of colors and sizes. Some had strings of toys and stuffed animals hanging from their belts like some trophies from their past.
Each was armed with a sling and a bow which looked like it was fashioned from pieces of wood they found in town.
Father Hoffman tried to persuade the children to lay down their weapons and join the rest of the survivors.
However, the children weren’t convinced and threatened to stay and pick them off one by one, no matter how long it took.
Chris Bell, a young man from Dalesbury who looked like he was barely out of his teen years, told Father Hoffman to tone down the religious rhetoric.
Chris said that as a kid, he hated hearing his parents talk about religion. All he wanted was to be loved and cared for by them.
Father Hoffman decided to try a new approach.
This time, he promised the children that they would be safe and cared for if they joined the group.
The children lowered their bows.
After telling an incredible story of surviving without any adults for over four years, the feral children were invited to join the survivors.
The children talked about how the adults eventually became sick and turned into zombies. The other children either left town or died, leaving only the seven of them to make it on their own.
The children survived by using the ‘adult’ shamblers as guardians whenever others came into town. The children got pretty good at avoiding the shamblers’ attacks and would then lure unwanted guests into houses to be attacked and devoured by the undead.
The children were glad to have been rescued.
Now nineteen strong, the survivors decided to make their way towards the next town on the map.
They traveled to Fowler.
Leann Hopp, Tom Cook, John Buckley, Ron Rosen, Storm Wright (mid 20s), Richard Wright (Storm’s 11-yr old son), Isabella Blessing (Repair d6), Chris Bell, 7 Feral Children