The Rabid: Fall

The Rabid: Fall by J.V. Roberts

Book: The Rabid: Fall by J.V. Roberts Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.V. Roberts
bus; I’ve got the window seat. She sits with her back turned towards me and her feet stretched out in the aisle, her scowl turned up to eleven; that girl can hold a grudge like no one’s business.
    Sonny sits in the back, curled up in the seat, a rag draped across his eyes, catching up on some much-needed rest.
    One of the tweed jacket clad warriors is manning the rig, steering us along at a steady pace. Judging by the way he’s navigating the twists and turns, I’d venture to guess that this isn’t their first rodeo.
    Guy is stretched out on the seat in front of us and has been eagerly filling us in on every detail of their settlement. “I wouldn’t even call it a settlement. It’s turned into more of a community…more of a town. We call it Próta,” he says the name as if it should somehow be familiar.
    “And that means what, exactly?”
    “It’s Greek for first . Hell, to be fair with you, I didn’t know till they told me. Trask likes to read a lot, so it was sorta his thing.”
    “This Trask guy you keep mentioning, did people vote him in as leader?”
    “More or less, yeah.” Guy straightens up in the seat, the back of his head propped against the window. “He was one of the original founders, sort of the glue that kept everyone together. It was Daddy Trask, or Ronald Trask if you’re trying to keep it formal, that cleared out the first block. He led a small team. They cleared the houses and started taking in survivors. Trask really organized things: the division of labor, security, supplies. He’s a brilliant guy; you’ll see when you meet him.”
    “These people, are they ex-military?” I ask.
    “Trask isn’t. His head of security, Daniel, definitely is; you’ll meet him. Some of the other guys might be; I haven’t asked and they haven’t told. Ronald was some big businessman back before all this stuff started: hotels, casinos, golf courses, that sorta thing. I guess the people figure if he can build and run so many successful businesses, then he’s the guy to help lead us as we try to rebuild humanity, he’s the guy that can make us great again. He’s a good guy, lots of good ideas; we could definitely be doing worse.”
    It occurs to me that our country was never founded as a business. It was founded as a democracy, pretty much the exact opposite of a business. But right here, right now, it’s not a point worth arguing. If Guy is impressed by Ronald’s resume and thinks that qualifies him to lead a small sect of society into the new world, then more power to him. “What do you know about some refugee camp out of Washington?”
    “That’s us. You heard the radio broadcast?”
    “Last night.”
    “Yeah, that’s us, we’re an extension of them; they’re the body, we’re the arms…or legs. They’re the ones that sent Ronald out to establish Próta. If folks want to go on to Washington, then we help them get there. We’ve got a security transport that runs people up there every couple of weeks or so. But we’re happy to take in anyone that wants to stay. We’ve definitely got holes that need filling.”
    “So y’all are…what? Recruiters searching for new talent?”
    “Believe me, I wish; it’d be a lot more glamorous. Think of us as your local police force, keeping the citizenry safe from the forces of evil.”
    “Your uniforms leave something to be desired.” Katia doesn’t look at Guy as she passively insults him. Her arms are crossed and she’s sitting so close to the edge of the seat, it’s a small wonder that she hasn’t fallen off; the ride isn’t exactly smooth.
    Guy is unshaken by Katia’s prickly demeanor. “Ronald has encouraged us to aspire to be our best, in all areas. The thought behind the thought is that if we’re going to be the face of this new nation, then we need to present the freshest face possible. Who says you have to kill Skin Eaters clothed only in rags, mud, and blood?”
    Katia looks sideways at him. “It’s a hell of a lot more

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