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    Played By:: Ken
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    Mike Cleyburne

    Bridgend

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    Oct 4 2014, 09:50 PM
    Day 349, 1009 hours
    Bridgend Industrial Park, Bridgend, SC


    Mike's Outfit

    Mike walked out onto the roof of the main building at TRC Oil, following Silas. The day had already been an eventful one out in the woods, but now it seemed the action had moved into town. The first thing he noticed was how warm it was even five stories up. It was hard to believe it was the middle of November and the temperature had to be in the mid-70s. It had been much cooler this morning when he and the others got up before dawn to do some hunting. Already he’d shed his coat and watch cap. But that was fall here in the Deep South. He turned his attention from the weather to the situation at hand. Dave, who was supposed to be providing overwatch while they fueled up the vehicles, had sent Silas to get him. Another stranger in town. Ever since the episode with Los Dementes, that immediately put everyone on alert. Even though Art still pushed a policy of hospitality -- with caution, of course -- most of the group were wary enough to just let folks wandering through be. Only in special circumstances did they approach. The last time was the guy Art found in the bakery on Highway 99. He chose not to stay, and no one really regretted it in the least. If they looked to be trouble, the group kept watch until they left or other actions were needed.

    “Sure it was one guy?”, Mike asked Silas as he slipped the Savage off his shoulder. He’d selected the 7mm Remington to go hunting with rather than his M1A.

    “That’s what he said. We watched him for ten...maybe twelve minutes. Didn’t see nobody else.” Dave was standing on the northwest corner of the building, peering towards town with a pair of binoculars. A cigarette dangled from the corner of his mouth.

    “Where is he?”, the former teacher asked.

    “Over in the park...sitting on the swing sets,” Dave replied and pointed. “Looks like he found himself a bottle of hooch and is makin’ tha best of it. Lucky bastard.”

    Rollins Park was roughly 250 yards away, across a trailer yard and an overgrown field. Once it had been Bridgend’s largest recreational center. It had a playground, a walking trail, a bike path, several picnic areas, and even a couple of interpretive kiosks located underneath fancy gazebo-type structures. The basketball courts were popular for the teenagers before the outbreak, and Mike had been many times taking Emily back and forth to tennis lessons. Now, it was just another sad piece of a crumbling society. Mike dropped to one knee and used the steel rail along the roof’s edge as a rest for his rifle. Using the powerful Nikon scope, it only took him a couple of seconds to spot the man. He was a big fellow, barrel-chested with almost no neck it seemed. He had a huge salt-and-pepper beard with hide much of his facial features. The hat he wore had half of the brim pinned back, similar to what an Aussie might wear. The gray overalls and coat he had on were filthy...much like his general appearance. Just as Dave had said, the stranger had found himself a liter of some kind of brown liquor. In Mike’s crosshairs, he drank...he swung...and he sang.

    Dave chuckled again. “Takin’ a break from tha end of the world. Hell...it’s five o’clock somewhere still.”

    “He looks like a dirty Santa Claus without the outfit,” Silas chimed in. He’d brought a smaller pair of binoculars with him. “I don’t see anybody else.”

    “Nor do I,” Mike replied. He scanned all along the park that he could see and even gave a few of the buildings further down the road a good looking-over. “I guess that’s his big-ass backpack there on tha merry-go-round. I don’t even see a weapon.”

    As was his way, Dave picked the wrong moment to play instigator. Mike had become his favorite target over the last couple of weeks, although no one was certain why. Mike figured it was because Dave saw him as a threat, both personally since the former teacher-soldier never backed down from him and to his supposed position in the hierarchy of the compound. While everyone else had lauded Mike’s contributions to saving the Warehouse, Dave had singled him out for blame. He had been quick to point out that Mike had brought both Samuel and Anna back to the compound, which inevitably lead Los Dementes to their door. It was pure bullshit, but Dave continually grumbled about it to whoever he could -- whether they were in agreement or not. In typical Cleyburne fashion, Mike had ignored him for the most part. But Dave was becoming more and more vocal, plus more personal in his attacks on Mike’s character. “So whatcha gonna do…Mikey?”, Dave taunted. “We lettin’ this one pass or you gotta bring him home too, huh? Maybe he ain’t gotta gang of maniacs that’ll want ta come play with us.”

    Mike took a deep, cleansing breath but didn’t move from his spot. It didn’t work. Dave was in desperate need of being put in his place. Art was only going to be able to keep the peace so long. “I’ll go down and see if he’s just passin’ through,” he finally said...much more calmer than he was feeling. He stood up, walked over to Dave, and practically threw the rifle into his chest. “You think you can cover me and Silas from here...or do I need ta ask Camila to do it?” It was a deliberate shot at the mechanic’s chauvinistic nature. The two men exchanged hateful looks before Mike decided the playground antics were a waste of time. They were on a collision course and it was just a matter of who flinched first.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    He’d left instructions for the others to join him and Silas once the vehicles were refueled. They took the Subaru and drove up to the park, which was on Long Branch Road near the junction of Highway 215. Even in the newer cars diesels were a bit loud, so Silas cut it off and coasted the last 50 yards or so. Mike got out and looked around. He didn’t see any other people -- living or not -- lurking about. He decided to take a page from Art’s book and approach the man in a more non-threatening way. That meant leaving the heavy firepower in the car. Between the .45 and the khurki, he should be able to handle anything that popped up. Besides, Silas would be there to back him up. Dave...well, he wouldn’t count on him even if the shit did hit the fan. “OK...nice ‘n easy. Why don’t you take up position by tha gazebo. It’s good cover and ya should be able to watch me and the road from there. Don’t approach till I give ya the ‘all-clear’ signal.”

    “You got it. Be careful,” Silas said in a low voice. He crouched over and trotted off.

    Mike eased his way over to the playground. He decided to approach from the side instead of from behind. While the later choice gave him the element of surprise and more evasion options, it could also startle the man and trigger unnecessary conflict. Plus, Mike would have a better view of what the man was doing coming from the side, whether he was armed, and so forth. He paused by a big azalea bush. The stranger was even bigger up close. He had to be six-five or six-six and well over 350 pounds. The “gray” coloring to his attire was actually duct tape, which was wrapped around every stitch of clothing. Toss in the beard and the hat, and he was quite the sight. He was steady knocking back swallows of Southern Comfort, poking the ground with a home-made walking stick, and singing. Actually, slurring would have been a better word. Mike could still make it out, however -- I Drink Alone by George Thorogood. He then took a better look at the man’s backpack. It was one of those heavy-duty expedition types, bright red and well-used. It was backed to the gills and had all kinds of necessities hanging off it. A small frying pan. A lantern. A fishing pole broken into three sections. An industrial respirator. The only weapon he saw was an old hatchet that had been sharpened numerous times and needed a new handle.

    One final look around revealed no dangers. “Howdy. Hope I’m not disturbin’ ya,” Mike said as he casually walked nearer. His hand wasn’t too far from the pistol, regardless.

    The stranger kind of jerked his head back and pushed the brim of his hat up with the end of the bottle. He stared at Mike for a moment before giving him a big, dopey smile that even the scraggily beard couldn’t hide. “Hello, young feller! You’re not dis-s-strubing me...at all! I saw this-s-s park and well, where I come from parks are people places. No...w-w-wait,” he stammered, holding up a finger. “Not people, dang-nabit. Public! Public places. You aren’t going to...uh...run me off, are you? My cats are barking pretty good. Ah...hell. Cats...don’t bark, they...uh...mellow or something. It’s my dogs! That’s it...my dogs paws toes-thingies are barking.” He took another quick gulp off the liquor and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’s...found this here libation (making the ‘b’ sound like a ‘v’) over at the s-store over yonder, “ he pointed east, then west, “...no, yonder...with the big red cir-r-rcles. You wanna drink?”

    “No...thank you,” Mike said, a little amused. Besides being somewhat loud, Grizzly Adams there didn’t seem too dangerous. The store with the big, red circles was the liquor store on Highway 215. By state law, any business that sold liquor had to have them displayed.

    “That’s good!” He cupped one hand against his mouth, like he was going to tell a secret. “Cuz...like I’m a real stingy bastard s-s-since...hell...you know.” He took a real long pull off the bottle this time. Mike didn’t even want to imagine what this guy’s liver looked like. “You must be...a local, right? You aren’t loaded...with gear ‘n s-s-stuff.”

    “Yes sir...I was born and raised here in Bridgend. I’m Mike, by the way.”

    “Mike? I’ll be damn. Had a…*hic*...brother named Mike...was an asshole, though. I w-w-won’t hold against you, though,” he grinned. He stood up out of the swing and staggered a bit. Once he had his balance, he wiped a really dirty hand against his pants and stuck it out. “My name’s G…”

    The high-velocity bullet struck the stranger almost dead-center. The big man’s eyes went wide as the bottle slipped from his hand. Like a tree being felled, he tipped to the right and seemed to take longer than normal to fall. A small cloud of dust kicked up when he hit the dirt. The sound of the shot echoed through the park. Mike only saw the man topple from the corner of his eye; he was already diving for cover. The merry-go-round wasn’t the best thing to hide behind, but it was the closest. He was busy trying to get real small under the rusty metal and drawing his pistol. The shot had definitely come from the south. With his heart pounding and his eyes frantically searching for dangers, he waited. No more shots. No other sounds save the squeak of the swing’s chain. He lifted his head and chanced a quick peek. There wasn’t anyone in sight. His mind was now racing, but he already had a feeling who had fired the shot. Don’t jump to conclusions yet, Cleyburne.

    “Mike! Mike...you OK?”, Silas called as he peered around the gazebo.

    “Yeah. Ya see anybody?”

    “Not a damn soul. Sounded like it came from the oil mill, though.”

    “That’s what I think, too,” Mike frowned. “Sit tight for a minute. Let’s make damn sure…”

    ==Hey. You two assholes still breathin’?==, the walkie-talkie crackled with Dave’s voice. ==Mike? Silas? Yoo-hoo…==

    “Dammit, Dave...was that you?”, Silas asked angrily into the radio’s microphone.

    ==Yeah. Pretty good shootin’, wasn’t it? Oh. Ya’ll clear by the way. Be down in a minute.==

    Silas clammered to his feet...dusting himself off and cursing under his breath. Mike, however, didn’t move. He waited until he thought Dave would be down out his perch, then he crawled out from under the merry-go-round. His fist was clenched hard around his .45. It was time he and Dave had a little heart-to-heart to clear the air between them. But not here. Holstering his weapon, he walked over where the dead pilgrim laid. Another nameless face with wide, dead eyes stared up at him. Rolling his shoulder, Mike picked up the man’s walking stick...and stabbed it through the corpse’s temple. “Grab his stuff,” he told Silas coldly. “Tell the others to head home. I’ll be in the car.” His mind was churning, as it often did when trying to figure out the best way to deal with a man like Dave Truett. As skilled as he was with things that moved, his attitude and hostility towards Mike and others had addressed...and now. They’d pussy-footed around the matter for too long now.


    Thirty-minutes later…

    Back within the relative safety of the Warehouse’s confines, Mike and Silas’ returned made a little stir among her residents. Everyone was busy with chores -- whether it was splitting wood or washing clothes or clearing the fence of stray walkers, just to name a few -- and the daily forage parties returning was a pleasant distraction. Mostly people wanted to see what they’d brought in, like they were traveling salesmen. Each of them had a list of three or four items they would request for those scavenging supplies to keep an eye out for. Some where simple things, like Terri’s notebooks...while others were a little hard to come by, like Tommy’s harmonica. Similar to the postman of a past life, everyone gathered around to see if they’d gotten something delivered. Charlie, Jenny, and little Taylor dug through the red backpack they’d recovered, while Mike leaned against the Subaru with a hand on his hip. He was quietly glaring at the main gate, waiting for the others to return as well. Silas, perhaps sensing something was about to go down between the two men, disappeared into the Warehouse...most likely to find Art. But even Bridgend’s wise leader couldn’t stop what was about to happen, and in fact, was partially to blame. He tolerated Dave and kept Mike pacified instead of letting the inevitable occur. Now the animosity had grown to the point where words didn’t matter. A few minutes later, the Chevy pickup carrying the others came through the gate. Mike rapidly approached the driver’s side, even before it came to a complete stop. Dave hopped out and shouldered his rifle with a smug little smile. That was all the reason Mike needed and he grabbed the mechanic by his dirty shirt and pushed him against the bed of the truck.

    “Hey! What tha fuck, man!? Get ya goddamn hands off me!”, Dave barked angrily.

    “Shut up, asshole,” Mike fired back through clinched teeth. “I’m tired of your shit...and your little threats. Let’s finish this here and now.” Face flushed with hot rage, his eyes pierced right into Dave’s sockets.

    “What tha fuck are you on? What shit? What threat?”, he replied...trying to play innocent but failing miserably. He shoved Mike back, but the smaller man kept a firm grip on that dingy shirt and couldn’t be shed. Like everyone witnessing the action, Charlie knew this was coming. Yet he made an effort to break them up, and pushed himself partially between them.

    “You two...stop it! Mike...don’t,” he pleaded and struggled. The young man couldn’t match either of them for strength, much less control them both. For whatever reason, he chose to latch onto Mike’s arm and began trying to pull him away. Tommy was the next to get to the fight, and he grabbed Mike’s other arm seeing that he was the one initiating most of the fight. Unlike Charlie, Tommy had plenty of strength but still had to wrestle to get them separated.

    “What da hell’s wrong wit da two of youse?”, he demanded. “Stop it! Stop it, I sez!”

    “You shot that man in cold-blood and you know why,” Mike spat at Dave and struggled mightily against the people holding him. “It was a warning to me. Admit it.”

    “I don’t know what in the hell yer talking about,” Dave said smugly. “What I saw was a man making a threatenin’ move toward you. Hell, I was trying ta save yer life...and this is the thanks I get? Fuck you, Cleyburne. See if I cover yer ass again, boy.” It was the man’s taunting demeanor and snarky grin as he tried to turn the tables that pissed Mike off the most. Of course, he knew that’s what Dave wanted. Dickheads like him lived to stir up trouble and get under people’s skin as their own sick version of mental bullying. Playing real mind games was lost on a punk like Truett -- he was like a newbie poker player thinking he can sit at the big table and outwit the old gamblers. Thing about that was...someone would eventually call your bluff after you push all-in.

    “Oh don’t worry, chickenshit. There won’t be a next time,” Mike answered with an evil grin of his own. That was just enough to get the rise out of Dave that he wanted. The big man threw down his gear and charged Mike, obviously since he was being restrained and was such an “easy” target. But it was just a ruse to suck him in closer, and before Dave got two good steps Mike struck first. Using Tommy and Charlie’s bodies as leverage, he lifted both legs, drew them back, and double kicked the pain-in-the-ass mechanic right the chest. The impact pitched him backward, where he slammed into the side of the pickup. Dave staggered forward again, desperately trying to get air back into his lungs. Mike followed that up with a vicious kick to the stomach that sent the big man down onto his knees. He folded his arms across his upper body, trying to protect himself from more blows. The next shot was a thrust kick to the side of his head from Mike’s combat boot, and Dave pitched over into the dirt face first...unconscious. Mike, however, wasn’t finished. There was only one rational conclusion to take care of the “Dave problem” once and for all. People like him weren’t made for society, at least not a moral, fair one that they were trying to rebuild. He had to go. Everyone here knew it, including Art, but no one wanted to take on the responsibility of doing what was needed. Mike was Dave’s primary target because he was Truett’s primary threat, and once he’d gotten the teacher/soldier out of the way, nothing was going to stop him from taking over or running the Warehouse into the ground. To finish Dave he had to first get loose, so he swept the feet out from under Tommy with his leg and snatched his arm free as the older man fell. He then reached over and grabbed Charlie by the collarbone, pinching the nerve that ran along it. It was a terrible pain to experience, but not a lasting one...and it got Mike’s arm free. Maybe it wasn’t the best time or place to do this, but Mike took that shot to be a final warning. Pulling his combat knife free, he had no reservations that this was the right thing to do.

    “That’s enough, Mike,” Art growled as he stepped in between the two men. “This isn’t happening.”

    Cleyburne stopped and glared at the Warehouse’s leader. There wasn’t a stitch of fear in his face, but obvious concern. “You’re putting everyone here in danger by letting him live...you know that,” Mike fumed. “Including your daughter.” It was a cheap shot to incite a reaction to convince Art right here and now. Under normal circumstances, he would have never resorted to such a tactic...but this issue had to be settled once and for all for the safety of the group. “If he’ll murder a stranger standing two feet from me it’s just a matter of time before he goes after those that he thinks are a threat. I’m not going a lose a single night’s sleep wondering if that asshole will slit my throat in my sleep or shoot me in the back tomorrow. He’s never going to let this go...so step aside.”

    “No. I wanna know why he killed that fella and not you, if what you say is true,” Art replied stone-faced.

    “You’ll have to ask him that, but playing devil’s advocate isn’t going to work anymore. There’s more than just our lives that are at stake,” Mike countered.

    Art shoved one hand into his pocket and rubbed his beard with the other. “I let you at him...we’re no better than he is. This ain’t the way we do things, Mike. World’s a shitty enough place as it is without us being at one another’s throats. We get everyone together, listen to both sides, and make a better decision. We all got enough blood on our hands, partner. Emotions are too high right now, and I’m not letting you kill Dave right here in the middle of the compound.” There was a long, tense pause. Everyone was gathered around watching what was happening now. Some had passive looks on their faces...some had confused or concerned stares. Mike could feel their gazes, but he was more concerned with Art and Dave, who was just now starting to stir again. Should he push the issue? Would Art actually try to stop him? The older man wasn’t even armed and probably wouldn’t be that problematic to go through. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that Mike had a lot of respect -- almost fatherly -- for Art and considered him a friend. He was trusting the younger man not only to not hurt him...but also do what he asked. Mike pondered on it until his head started to hurt and his conscience started to eat away.

    Sighing deeply, he put the knife back in its sheath. I hope you’re right, his eyes seemed to tell Art. He stepped over Dave’s prone body and stripped him of the Savage and his pistol. He handed them over to Charlie, turned, and walked past Art. “Don’t expect Dave to give you the same considerations,” he warned and quickly vanished into the Warehouse.
    Jun 14 2014, 09:28 AM
    (A page from Terri's journal. She's an NPC, but her bio can be had HERE.)

    Day 151 since Hell Came to the Surface...

    We’ve finally reached Bridgend. I thought I would be much happier to get here, but things like happiness are fleeting these days. You dream about it, yearn for it...but it is just a cloud on the horizon that beckons you then shifts or evaporates right before your eyes. This world isn’t made for happiness. It devours it. I won’t waste my time feeding it anymore.

    Poor Mike. Despite his resolve and realistic notions, he’d still held out hope that he would find his family alive. Of course he did...he’s still human after all. I didn’t think I had any capacity for sorrow or empathy left after what had happened to me, but apparently I’m still human as well. To see your hero crushed and reduced to a hollow shell was very difficult to experience. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t cry ever again back in that semi on I-95. Well, I broke it. Seems I have some heart left. Maybe it’s a new figurative heart instead of the ravaged, dead one. I don’t know. All I know for certain is that I wept for Mike. I wept for his family that I would never met. I wanted to take his pain away. I’m good with dealing with pain now...better than I care to be. I guess I’m stronger now that way. But not strong enough. I haven’t found the strength to deal with what happened to me or fight off the nightmares...

    So, my new home. It was once an office room full of copiers, fax machines, and a water cooler. It has plain white walls, a tile ceiling, and dark blue carpet. It is about as drab and George Owellian as you can get. BUT I LOVE IT! My World Cubicle has brick walls, thick glass, fences, and guns to keep the world at bay for a change. The blackened teeth that shred I fear cannot get me tonight. I might actually sleep without one hand on my pistol. And drawers! Yes, I have real working made-in-China Wal-mart particleboard drawers to put MY stuff in! As my generation would say: it’s off tha chain, yo. Now I need shit to PUT in my new drawers. Careful girl. Giddiness leads to happiness, and we know what happens to that. Anyway, I got a clean mattress with clean sheets and a pillow that so soft it must have fallen off God’s bed...whoever that is.

    Yes, Bridgend will be home. I have no illusions that my family and friends back in Bayboro are still alive and eeking out some existence. Wow...that was harder to write than I expected. Well, because it was flat-out LIE!!!! I do miss you, Mom & Dad & Stacie. Maybe one day...I don’t know. Just...please don’t be a walker. I don’t know if my soul could handle seeing that. Mike and Charlie, they’re my family now. You guys were always worried about me finding a good man, well...I got two. Ha-ha. Imagine that.

    I’ve met so many people today. Might take me a while to remember all the names. I got the typical “oh, you don’t talk?” look about a hundred times, but what can you expect? It was awkward over and over again, because Mike won’t explain it. He just kind of leaves it to the imagination as to why I won’t flap my gums. I know he thinks he’s protecting me, but I would rather he just tell them. Hell, I would scream it to them all if I could. YEAH, SORRY. I WAS GANG-RAPED, YUNNO? I’M FUCKED UP IN THE HEAD BECAUSE OF IT. DON’T MIND THE DAMAGED BLONDE. (ok...I got it outta my system for now.) The survivors here...most seem like good people. They cling to good values, decency, fairness, family, stuff like that. I don’t know if that will get them through this, but as a person that has wandered the wilderness and had been stripped of much of what she was...I see hope here. I want some hope. I NEED some hope.

    I gotta go. My new roomie just came in and she’s a talker. Good thing I’m made for listening these days. Despite my hard-ass bitch exterior, Lily’s been nothing but nice to me. I hope she’ll put up with me long enough for me to return the favor. She knows what happened to me...I can see it in her eyes. Yet she doesn't treat me like a victim. Could be that she knows that won't help me, or perhaps everyone alive is truly a victim themselves and she has no time for my sob-story. Maybe I can start healing now. We’ll see.
    Jun 6 2014, 08:01 PM
    Day 281, 0838 hours
    DAX Pharmaceuticals
    Just west of Bridgend

    (Mike's Attire)

    Mike should have had some mixed emotions about coming back to DAX, but he didn’t. He was too focused on his environs and the potential dangers that lurked therein. His wife had worked here for years, making it all the way to the head of Human Resources. She had said many times it was like a second home to her. Not only was she here forty-plus hours every week, many of her closest friends and associates were also employed here. Mike himself knew many of them as well. But that was another lifetime ago. If there were any memories attached to the place, most died with Heather. From the Cherokee’s back seat, he kept his eyes moving...looking for walkers, but especially the living. The attack from Los Dementes was still fresh on everyone’s mind and in some sense, he meant to redeem himself for it. Although they had fought and won, Mike still blamed himself for not predicting the attack. It didn’t matter that they were a bunch of erratic, stupid punks led by an mercurial psycho criminal. Defending the Warehouse and those inside was his responsibility.

    At one time, DAX was a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical plant that was one of Bridgend’s biggest employers. Now, much of it lay in ruins. Fire had gutted most of the main building and the office spaces. Burnt and wrecked cars littered the parking lot. Portions of the fence were torn down and several of the small buildings ransacked. This had been a war-zone, plain and simple. Art had explained to him that early in the outbreak, many of the community leaders believed the plant had been responsible. Because it’s security was so tight (as it so happens it was with ALL such plants) and they did conduct medical experiments -- for a new decongestant -- folks began to wonder out loud. The military didn’t help by refusing people access. When the shit hit the fan, what amounted to a mob attacked the plant and did the damage Mike was seeing now. All they succeeded in doing was destroying and looting a huge stockpile of useful medicines and razing a structure that could have made a decent home for hundreds. Such are the irrational fears of men, he philosophized.

    Silas followed the paved road around to the back of the plant. Here the damage wasn’t quite so extensive. Maybe the rioters ran out of steam before they got here, as they were a good 350 yards inside the main gate by now. Besides a power supply building, there was also a waste treatment unit and a what appeared to be a storage building. He stopped the Jeep roughly between all of them, and the three men piled out. The cold morning air greeted them. Mike slipped on a toboggan, then walked a slow circle around the vehicle as he looked for things that might want to kill them. Jake popped open the SUV’s back hatch and pulled out a toolbox. Unlike the other two, the young man was especially giddy about being here. This had been his idea, and he was anxious to show the others what a good one it was going to be. By recovering the solar panel cells from the property, Jake hoped to rig them into the Warehouse’s power grid as an alternative source of power. It was a great idea, even though Mike wasn’t sure about the timing. People were still on edge after the attack. But Art and the others readily agreed to let the whiz try it. He went along with it...provided he was going to along to provide protection.

    “Where’s the first one, Silas?”, Jake asked.

    “On tha northeast corner of the main building,” came the reply. Silas was the one that had actually suggested the DAX plant after Jake’s idea got attention. He’d been an armed guard here for over five years and -- in his words -- knew every inch of the grounds inside and out. Plus, he had a master key. While the security system primarily used a card reading network, certain folks had keys in case of a power outage. Silas had “acquired” one for his personal use. “There’s a ladder ya can gain access to tha panels.” He jogged to catch up the younger man, while Mike hung back. He wanted to keep an eye on them and the Jeep.

    As they got to the corner, Jake looked up and shrugged. “Um...nothing up there.” There was a bracket and a couple of loose wires, but that was it.

    Silas stopped beside him and also looked up the side of the building. “Well shit. There was one there. Guess it got looted or broken or sumthin’. Come on...there’s another one on Building Three over there.” As they strolled over to that structure, Mike followed them with his eyes until they disappeared from view.

    “Damn,” he heard Silas curse. Apparently, this wasn’t going the way they had hoped. After a couple of minutes, he saw the former guard walking along the roof of the storage building. With a measure of frustration, he looked around for a moment then climbed back down. Mike wandered over to where they were at.

    “Now I know I ain’t crazy. There wuz a solar panel on tha plant building and several on this one. I guess someone had tha same idea as we did and took’em,” Silas explained. He slung his AK onto his shoulder and shook his head. I’m sorry, Jake. Looks like I dragged us out here fer nothing.”

    “You said they were several out here. Any chance the others might still be up?”, Jake asked.

    As they talked, Mike studied the buildings and yard more closely. While the roads were paved and grass covered most of the ground, he noticed a couple of footprints in a patch of dirt near a lamp post. He crouched down for a closer look. He’d never claim to be a tracker, but common sense dictated that these were fairly fresh. Unlike walker prints, these weren’t smeared or off-balance due to a random and uncoordinated footing. Narrow, small...not very deep. A woman or a kid? He glanced around for others, but didn’t see any. It was most likely nothing, but that voice in his heart still whispered words of hope about Emily. He stood up, ready to suggest they keep looking for the panels so he’d be able to look for more signs. Dammit, Mike...stop dreamin’. Get yer head back in tha game.

    “Looks like tha ones on the power building are still there,” Silas said as he looked skywards. Jake and Mike both shaded their eyes to the sun and gave the roof a look-see. At four stories, these building was easily the tallest at DAX. To Mike, it looked like they had their work cut out.

    “C’mon...I can get us in,” Silas grinned and made for the door. Not surprisingly, it was locked. He made quick work of it with the key. The heavy steel door swung open to reveal...light. The entrance and hallway had actual working lights, even though they were dim. All three men stood kind of transfixed for a moment. A year ago, this was as common as breathing. Now, it was like they had stepped into a fairy tale land of magic. Mike as usual was the first to react. He slung his rifle across his back and drew the .45. The walls and machinery made the spaces confined, and he needed a weapon he could maneuver more easily. Someone was living here, plain and simple...and since this was their backyard, they needed to know if they were dangerous or not.

    “Jake...put those tools down and let’s clear this building first. Your panels can wait.” The bespeckled lad nodded and did what he was told. He then drew his pistol and followed Mike deeper inside. For a place that had lots of moving machinery, piping, and wiring it was remarkably clean. Clean, but erie. Heavy iron walkways circled the building at every floor all the way to the top. On the ground floor, there were a couple of offices and a control room...all empty. “Silas, take Jake and head up the stairs. Take yer time and search smart, you hear? I’ll head downstairs and check,” Mike said in a whisper. As they split up, he dug out his tac-light and moved carefully down the metal stairs.
    Jun 4 2014, 02:31 PM
    This page is for plots and storylines pertaining to the Bridgend RP area.
    Jun 3 2014, 02:22 PM
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    BRIDGEND<br>

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    <b>GROUP INFO</B>

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    The survivors of Bridgend, South Carolina are a hodge-podge collection of former neighbors with a few wanderers thrown in. They call a former construction company business -- dubbed the Warehouse-- home. Reluctantly lead by Art Keith, they struggle daily to keep their little world safe, while feeding and sheltering themselves and the occasional newcomer. The land around them provides much of what they need, and they are always seeking to improve their lot. They do what they can to provide comfort and community for one another, but many dangers lurk outside the fences. Right now, their goals are limited and more personal, such as looking for lost family or trying to regain their dignity. More than one member, however, hopes to one day reclaim the town, rebuild, and return to some sense of normalcy. Can they do it, or are all their dreams simply smoke and oakum? (Click HERE to read more about Bridgend.)

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    <div style="font-family:rock salt;font-size:25px;color:#FF6600;margin-top: -20px; margin-bottom: -16px;">MEMBERS</div><div style="width:400px;background-color:#201e1c;height:20px;"></div>

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    <a href='http://dawns.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=311'><div style="width:400px; height:226px; background-image:url('http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq146/PDInfantryman/An%20Undead%20Living/7bd6d994-27e4-4878-9385-a8a09f5eca7f.jpg'); -moz-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px"></div></a>


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    ART KEITH

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    GENERAL MANAGER, 53 –- A native son of Bridgend, Art spent years in the construction business. After leaving the Air Force, he invested in his uncle’s pre-fab steel building company and eventually made GM. His was one of a handful of families that refused to abandon their homes after authorities began to turn Bridgend into a refugee camp. While that decision would cost him his wife, he and his daughter were spared the fate of many of their neighbors. Once the town had been overrun, Art and Jenny joined a large group of survivors along the river. Eventually, it too fell to the undead and Art lead a handful of people to his old workplace. Leadership of the Bridgend group has fallen to him, and while he has the skillsets...Art remains reluctantly in charge.

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    <a href='http://dawns.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=294'><div style="width:400px; height:226px; background-image:url('http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq146/PDInfantryman/An%20Undead%20Living/1d955981-d72f-4693-9d71-08252fd68658.jpg'); -moz-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px"></div></a>


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    MIKE CLEYBURNE

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    NATIONAL GUARDSMAN/TEACHER, 40 –- When the outbreak spread throughout his home state of South Carolina, Mike did what he always did: answered the call of duty. But nothing could prepare him or anyone for the onslaught of the undead. He left Bridgend with his unit to defend the capitol Columbia, only to see it and many of his comrades fall. Escaping with Charlie Reynolds and Terri Jacobs, Mike trekked his way back home through many dangers. When he returned, he found his hometown in ruin and his family obliterated. Eventually, he found Art Keith’s group and set about the defenses of the Warehouse. As his heart heals, Mike finds himself a key player in the new community. A former history teacher, his lessons now could mean the difference between life and death.

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    <a href='http://dawns.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=278'><div style="width:400px; height:226px; background-image:url('http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq146/PDInfantryman/4c05d844-81f9-4104-9d69-d6db3e686ee4.jpg'); -moz-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px"></div></a>


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    SAMUEL COULTER

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    CATTLE RANCHER, 41 –- Jackson, Montana had long been Samuel’s home. He grew up in a saddle, working livestock, and otherwise enjoying a peaceful existence in the wide-open country. A graduate of the University of Montana, he eventually took over the operation of his father’s ranch. When the undead rose, Samuel lost most of his family and his home. Climbing onto a horse, he first headed south to Las Vegas with his cousin. He found Camelot appalling, so he turned east making the long trek to South Carolina. It was outside Bridgend that he saved a young woman from being ganged-raped, which nearly cost him his life. Rescued by Mike and his companions, he recovers under the care of his Warehouse hosts and ponders his next move.

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    <a href='http://dawns.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=485'><div style="width:400px; height:226px; background-image:url('http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq146/PDInfantryman/95b7dd82-35ac-4cdc-8fac-49a5ef968f46.jpg'); -moz-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px"></div></a>


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    LACEY DAVIS

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    THIEF, 29 -- Given up for adoption at age five, Lacey spent years moving from family to family until she settled with the Davis'. Part of a secret government agency used to infiltrate suspected corrupt corporate entities, they taught Lacey how to be not only an exceptional thief but also a first-rate grifter. She would also go to work for a similar group working the private sector, until one job nearly cost her dearly. After being taken in by the Bridgend group, she keeps her former occupation a secret but tries hard to be part of the community.

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    <div style="font-family:rock salt;font-size:25px;color:#FF6600;margin-top: -20px; margin-bottom: -16px;">LOCATIONS</div><div style="width:400px;background-color:#201e1c;height:20px;"></div>

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    <div style="width:400px; height:226px; background-image:url('http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq146/PDInfantryman/f89285e1-9b09-4518-83c6-1c72258b851e.jpg'); -moz-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px; -webkit-border-radius: 40px 40px 40px 40px"></div>


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    THE WAREHOUSE

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    CLICK HERE FOR DESCRIPTION

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