We decided to top off our fuel at the closest depot left by the good people of Sparta before we moved on to our next (and long delayed) stop. The consensus among the team is that we had little choice with the Bunker but to leave. We told Bill about it, and he agreed with us. That kind of surprised me, given his natural predilection toward compassion.
I feel bad for the kids and the more reasonable adults at the Bunker, but the risk of staying there wasn't worth it. Bah. On to other things. I'm gonna get all guilty and maudlin otherwise.
Our next stop is a little town on the edge of the desert that houses an impressive number of people. We've had pretty constant communication with them for a good long while, but never managed a visit. We're told they've got a population of better than a hundred, which doesn't sound like a lot until you remember the area we're in and how hard resources are to come by. I can't tell you the name, again for security reasons, as the folks there just use the actual name of the town. No cute nicknames like the rest of us.
A few people have sent me messages expressing concern over us taking Bill on. They're saying we don't know him, asking how we can trust him, things like that. The simple answer is that no, we don't know him, and any man capable of surviving on foot on his own for any length of time against the zombies is someone to be reckoned with.
That being said, his ankle is broken. He can barely walk. Give us a little credit--we took his weapons away. Bill seems like an upright kind of fella, but my suspicious nature leads me to believe that my best friend might, at some point, be inclined to stab me in the neck while sleeping.
I've been known to bring that out in people.
Bill is okay with our requirements. He had survived on his own, and had to fight his way out of some tight scrapes with other survivors. He knows what betrayal is, and how hot tempers can get in some situations. Our caution is as natural as breathing. He gets that.
So he'll be travelling with us for a while. Bill has some interesting stories to tell, a few of which are a LOT more off-color than I'd expect from a man so devoted to god. That's one thing about him a enjoy: Bill lacks conceit about his faith. He isn't one of those guys (at least not anymore) that pushes the small details. His message is bigger, more sweeping. It's enough to make me remember why I chose to become born-again when I was in middle school.
The others seem to get along with him as well. Will most of all. They've been huddled together in the trailer with me as I write this, and from the bits and pieces I've caught, Will seems to be telling Bill his story. How he came to be at the compound when it was still called that, and all that's happened since. There's been a lot of friendly pats on the shoulder and body language that says, "I understand". I think Will even teared up at one point. I know the poor guy still feels guilty over some of his decisions.
If Bill can make him rest a little easier, I'm all for it.