After the Apocalypse
Chapter 101: Willing Volunteers

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Deacon Whateley was very excited as he gathered his shepherds. The prospect of bringing his son's killer to justice drove him to make a rash decision. He would send in the shepherds to retrieve the killer by fair means or foul. His basic assumption was that the killer and his cronies would probably not cooperate. Based on what his operatives had observed the other day, the so-called Boy Scouts were hardened killers.

Not only had they gunned down his son in cold blood, but his operatives, combined with some intelligence he'd received from the Razers led him to believe they had kidnapped an elderly woman and her two grandchildren just to get their hands on some supplies. When the Razers had tried to stop them, several men had been badly burned when the scouts lured them into a trap. His shepherds would have to be careful.

Seeing that the last of them had arrived, he spoke: “As you know, a group of interlopers has raided our town. They killed my son, stole supplies, and nearly killed several of the Razers. They need to be taught a lesson and I intend to be the one who teaches it. I have recently been informed that the interlopers are holed up at D-A Scout Ranch in Metamora. They are hiding the man who killed my son. I want that man brought to justice, our justice.”

“Excuse me sir, but do you think they'll just give him up?”

“No, Bob, I'm afraid they probably won't. Instead, I'd like to send a small team of elite soldiers to get him. I want him extracted from their custody and brought into ours.”

“Sir, I'd be happy to go on this mission, but I'm a little nervous. Do we have any idea how many of these scouts there are or what kind of equipment they may be carrying, particularly when it comes to ordinance?”

“Good questions. Our information suggests that there are about 30 of them and that they have only minimal weapons. Chances are they're just huddled up somewhere hoping their mommies and daddies will come to save them.”

Most of that wasn't true or wasn't corroborated, but the Deacon didn't care. He wanted his son's killer brought to justice and these men were his best hope. He was certain they could accomplish the task once they set out on it and he didn't want to scare them away before they even made the attempt.

“Who will go upon this journey?” he asked. He wasn't surprised when nearly every hand went up. He chose five men, all of whom he believed were very loyal to him and all of whom had previous combat training. He hadn't announced it, but he was pretty sure the scouts would be shooting back.

“I appreciate everyone's ardor in this task. Believe me, your enthusiasm and dedication have not gone unnoticed. When the time comes, you will all be richly rewarded. Those of you whom I've selected should report to my office immediately following this session, which is now dismissed.”

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