In another life, Jonathon would have come here on vacation, but this wasn’t that other life and the barbed wire fence surrounding the complex and the two men standing with assault rifles at the front gate didn’t look inviting or welcoming. But Jonathon approached anyway.

As Jonathon approached the fence he raised his arms, trying to come off as none threatening as possible – they aimed their rifles at him anyway.

“Stop.” One of them said, lining Jonathon up in his sites.

He stopped knowing that in this day and age where there was no law there was also nothing to keep one man from killing another in cold blood.

“I come in peace,” He said, feeling his arms growing tired from having them raised above his head.

“You armed?” The other guard asked, temporarily lowering his weapon.

Jonathon nodded his head and slowly opened up his long coat, exposing a pistol holstered on his waist. “Only for protection.”

“What is your business?” A third man asked, poking his head out through a small opening at the front gate.

“Just wondering if you can provide me with a meal? I have information to exchange in return. Valuable information” Jonathon slowly lowered his arms, doing his best to keep both the man at the front gate and the two men standing above him with rifles in view.

“What kind of information would that be?”

With that the gate, which was made out of assembled pieces of scrap wood and metal and buttressed by two large stone columns opened and a small gray haired man with a slight hunch appeared.

“Yesterday, around this time I came across an armed party of General Rowland’s men. I didn’t know General Rowland’s men traveled this far south.” Jonathon added, noticing the blank expression on the older man’s face at the mention of the name General Rowland.

“We don’t know of a General Rowland in these parts.”

“I figured as much.” Jonathon said mostly to himself. General Rowland’s name mentioned in any town to the north would have sent these three men into action warning the town leaders who would have quickly compiled any and all weapons and those able to use them into as formidable a fighting force as possible. This man just stood there, an honest look of befuddlement on his face.

“What is this man a General of? There are no more armies, there are barely any towns left. The world is completely lacking in any type of organization.” With that the elderly man turned and started making his was back through the gate.

Jonathon made a sudden move towards the elderly man, hoping to convince them that they were in real danger. He stopped when he heard the two-armed men above the entrance spring into action as they brought their rifles up and aimed at him, ready to shoot.

“You are right.” Jonathon blurted out, not sure what he was going to say next. “Don’t let me in, that’s fine, and don’t feed me if you don’t believe me, just let me speak to the town leaders. I’ll be happy to tell them all that I know. Just…I beg you, take the threat seriously. I have seen what General Rowland and his army have done to other towns.”

The elderly man paused just beyond the threshold of the gate. For a moment Jonathon was hopeful that the man was at least willing to listen, but just as suddenly as he stopped, he mumbled something under his breath and closed the gate behind him.

There was a loud knocking and the sound of metal sliding as the elderly man barricaded himself back inside.

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