After the Apocalypse
Chapter 88: Council of War

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Jameson couldn't believe what he was hearing. He'd just finished briefing his group on the latest development and they appeared to have mutiny on their minds.

"But sir, they're Boy Scouts", began Parker, before he was interrupted by Jameson.

"Boy Scouts who killed Nick Whately and kidnapped three of our people, taking their supplies with them."

"I don't think it was a kidnapping sir," interrupted Sumner. "I think Emily wanted to go with them. The old lady didn't really approve of us."

"I don't much care who she approved of, I'm not going to have a bunch of thugs, Boy Scouts or not, running around putting us all in danger."

"No kidding," said Zaluski, "that could just as easily have been one of us as Whately. I say we kill or capture the lot of 'em and I don't much care which."

"Maybe we should talk to them, sir" suggested Miller hopefully. "They might not realize the danger they're putting us in." Miller didn't believe there was much danger at all, but he kept it to himself. He was the radio operator and he knew that almost every frequency was dead - it was likely that the US had, in fact, launched a retaliatory strike. Odds were the Russians, along with every other power on Earth, were in complete disarray - they were probably more concerned with eating than with further bombing.

"Talk to them? I don't negotiate with terrorists who rampage through my town stealing and killing. I put them down for good. I want them killed or captured and I want that radio silenced."

The men paused to look at each other for a moment, no one speaking. Jameson was the one who had organized the militia. When the bombs had come and civilization had ended, he was the one who had kept them on track and alive. No one really wanted to deny him his due and no one was really sure he was wrong.

Sumner spoke first. "Very well sir. I'd like permission to lead a scouting mission. The camp has had a lot of development in the last few years and our maps may be out of date. We also need to know what defenses they have, what sort of weapons they have, etc". Secretly, he hoped he could find out enough during the mission to either render them harmless or to make them seem so strong that Jameson would reconsider.

"Very well," agreed Jameson, "although I doubt a group of Boy Scouts will offer much in the way of resistance. Take Zaluski and Abrams."

"Begging your pardon sir, but I'd rather take just one other person. I plan to infiltrate them - I'd like to take my daughter."

"That won't work," interrupted Zaluski, "Emily and her brood would recognize you in a heartbeat. I think it's a good plan, but we'd better send Miller."

"Miller?!" said Jameson, looking at him. Miller was surprised himself; everyone knew he was the screwup of the group.

"Yes sir, I don't believe they've ever met him."

That much was true; Miller had been pretty new to the group. "Very well," said Jameson. "Miller, you'll take your orders from Sumner, he'll brief you on what's known and on his plan. Don't screw this up!"

"Yes sir," said Miller, proud of his important assignment and, at the same time, secretly praying that he wouldn't screw it up.

"Zaluski, you're with me. The rest of you are dismissed," said Jameson. The men stood, saluted, and departed in rapid order.

"Yes sir?," said Zaluski, curious about being asked to stay.

"I want you to get over to the hospital and let the Deacon know what we've discovered. Even if these candy-asses won't attack a bunch of whiny boy scouts, I think the Deacon and his shepherds might be just what the doctor ordered.

"Yes sir," said Zaluski.

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