Strung together at the wrists, you and the other slaves stand at the crest of a small hill. Mitch, the leader of the Slavers who are responsible for so much of your sorrows, argues with some other leader-type in a scrappy meadow below. There are only four of the original eight Slavers left, and the other group of (you assume) Slavers is much bigger. Maybe fifteen.
The other leader looks pissed, probably because so few of you slaves survived the long journey across the Waste. In the back of your mind you can still see the horrors that eviscerated and ate members of your group. They didn’t discriminate between master and slave.
It is practically a miracle that you survived, given the radiation storms, monsters, tornadoes, lack of food and water, and your “leader’s” penchant for “making examples.” Hard to be thankful, though, with your hands tied behind your back and about to be sold, again.
The sun is barely glinting above the horizon, but you can still make out the other leader-type waving his (rather large) pistol in Mitch’s face.
Sandro and Kuno guard the group of you. The wicked smile usually splashed across Sandro’s face (the most unpredictable and violent of your captors), has turned upside-down. He nervously thumbs the hammer on his pistol, as if he expects the argument to end poorly.
Shattering the twilight, men with torches appear, encircling the meadow and the hill on which you sit.
“Put ’em down, motherfuckers!” A hard voice shouts. “Yer surrounded!”
Entirely confused, the Slavers (both groups) point their guns in the direction of the voice. A shot rings out from behind them and a Slaver screams in pain.
The other leader raises his hands above his head, and his men and Mitch follow suit. Mitch’s lieutenant, Jam, eyes Sandro, so Sandro and Kuno put their hands up, too.
Two men wielding formidable-looking shotguns step forward. They wear common clothes: dusty jeans, grubby boots, etc. The shorter one has a backwards red baseball cap, and the taller one is balding. They both wear body armor.
The tall one has the hard voice. “Listen-up, I want all-ya-all to put down yer guns. Yer surrounded, so don’t fuck around, ’k?” He and the man in the backwards hat join you on the hill. The man in the backwards hat points his shotgun at Sandro, “Untie them.” He nods in your direction. Sandro’s frown deepens, but he complies.
Faintly, you perceive what seems like singing coming from north-ish. It’s getting louder.
“..oah…ehvin li’ch a li,shi,dow..”
The Slavers and the unknown (saviors?, you wonder) give pause, listening.
Closer, now, it sounds like an ancient rock song that sometimes play in city bars.
“Whoah, heaven let’chor light shi down.”
dicka deeer deeer
“Whoah, heaven let’chor light shi down.”
A cloud of dust, music blaring, two open bed trucks screech into the meadow. Some people in silver, spiked body armor and boots hop out. Ten or so, you think, and there are others inside of the trucks. They have much bigger looking guns.
Their trucks, guns, armor and bodies/faces are adorned with white (or green/black for the tattoos) crosses, symbols of allegiance to some thing or one, you guess.
Sandro chews the inside of his right cheek, and Mitch, down in the meadow, looks pretty hopeless.
The metal-clad people join you all on the hill.
A long-haired, square-jawed man from the metal-clad group addresses the two dusty saviors, “Walkers, this is the jurisdiction of God. We will take these Slavers into custody.” And then to the Slavers, “Slaving in this territory is illegal. Put down your weapons and we will take you into custody for a trial-by- consul.” His comrades move in a small squad formation toward the Slavers.
“Now wait a-minute, this is Trinidad. So you can skip-it, Shane.”
“Walkers have jurisdiction in Trinidad proper, only.”
“We never agreed to that!” He snarls.
“But the people of Trinidad did.”
Shane turns back to the Slavers. He and his metal-clad men and women herd the two groups of Slavers into the the back of their pickup trucks. You notice that they seem to miss your two guards. They speed off in a cloud of dust and music, north.
The Tall Man grunts, then spits.
He turns and walks off to the East. The Guy With The Backwards Hat motions to his friends, and they untie you. They take Kuno and Sandro into custody.
[The Guy With The Backwards Hat]
“Hi.” He addresses the group. "I’m Brent, but call me ‘Smiley.’
He grins with abnormally large and straight teeth.
“Welcome to Trinidad.”
You follow Smiley and his friends east, you hope, to a hot meal and a warm bed.