Part 38 - Flying the coop

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Smoke was everywhere. The choking intchyness hit the back of my throat again, my throat began to seize up, causing me to cough again. Gun shots rang through my ears, we had ran on the main road of Woodbury, his hand still wrapped into mine. People were screaming and running for cover from the incoming gunfire and ricochet. We started to run and head towards the wall, Rick let go of my hand and assumed the position and began to shoot into the mass of smoke. "Run for cover!" Rick shouted, raising his voice over the sound of gunfire, I looked for a place to run to, I saw a huge marble arch doorway, it was deep and wide which would come in handy, it could protect me from gun fire and ricochet from flying bullets nearby. I ran to the arch and crouched down waiting for Rick to come and get me.

It felt like hours before I heard Rick shout my name, the smoke was still thick and deep, o couldn't see anything past my nose. I slowly got up and started to shuffle forward, "Rick!" I held my hands out in front of me, feeling the air around me. The giant wooden door that was connected to the great marble archway, opened. I turned my blinded gaze towards the door, I could see clearly now. The Governor lunged towards me, pistol whipping my face. I flew back in shock, he had hit me hard, but not hard enough to knock me out and incapacitate me. I pinched my now bleeding nose, and stared at the Governor in a dazed fashion before he lunged again and dragged me in doors.

"This has gone on long enough!... you obviously can't be trusted here without you trying to escape every five minutes!" He marched me down a long hallway and came to another door. I was still to dazed to do anything, I had double vision, if it weren't for him holding me, I'd be in a heap on the floor. I was dragged out into a fire lit arena type place, I felt like I had a hangover... god what I would give for one of those... to feel human again. Everyone was screaming and shouting which rang through my ears, the flickering light of the torches began to play tricks on my mind. The Governor stopped and put a long sharp blade to my throat... okay I was beginning to snap out of my dazed behaviour. "How about we see how strong your little family really are" he contorted himself round so I could look into his eyes, well... eye. He had a bandage on one of his eyes, it must has been back because blood had started to come through it. What did he mean see how strong they really are?

"What can I say? Hasn't been a night like this since the walls were completed...

And I thought we were past it-- past the days when we all sat, huddled, scared in front of the TV during the early days of the outbreak. The fear we all felt then, we felt it again tonight.

I failed you..." I almost sniggered at the Governors false sincerity, He applied more pressure of the knife to me throat.

"I promised to keep you safe... You know, I-- I should tell you that we'll be okay, that we're safe, that tomorrow we'll bury our dead and endure, but I-- I won't, because I can't... Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of terrorists who want what we have..." Terrorists? Who is he talking about. "They want to destroy us! And worse because one of those terrorists is one of our own... Merle the man I counted on, the man I trusted..." Merle? I thought Merle was like his right hand man?

"He led 'em here... And he let 'em in... It was you. You lied, betrayed us all. This is one of the terrorists!" He pointed to me, wait what? how am I a terrorist? He was the one who locked me up! I want to speak but he shook me off and applied the knife to my throat again.

"And this one!... Merle's own brother..." Wait, what? A man was dragged and thrown into the middle of the arena, he had a bag over his head. He tumbled to the ground and the bag was ripped from his head... "Daryl?" I questioned in shock that I had just heard the he and Merle were related.

What should we do with them, huh?" the Governor questioned the roaring crowed, one person yelled, Kill them! Kill them! Kill them! The Governor let out a hearty chuckle, "You wanted your brother...Now you got him"

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"Let me go!" I began to struggle, not caring about the 6 inch blade against my throat. The Governor held me tight against his body, not letting me go, he was too strong for me.

"Let me g-" I repeated my demand but my sentence was cut short. "Philip!" A tallish blonde girl came running up to the Governor, but was held back by two men. She began screaming out over the roar of the crowd. "Stay out of this!" The governor screamed back at the woman, I couldn't see her face, she was squirming and struggling to get free. "He's my friend!" she spoke again... hang on I recognise that voice, that voice... I haven't heard in... Oh my god... "Andrea!?!" She stopped squirming, and looked to me, "Oh my god... Jess?" she looked back to the Governor "Phillip please stop!!!"

"It's not up to me anymore! The people have spoken" he shouted above the low him of peoples voices, which caused everyone to fall silent. "Prove to us, where your loyalties lie! Prove it to us all... Brother against brother...Winner goes free... Fight to the death" The once silent area was once again teaming with flailing arms and roaring voices. "No you can't!" Andrea and I both said but it waa no use, no one could hear us Daryl and Merle began fighting each other, but in a matter of seconds they revealed to be fighting the walkers... maybe they were going to escape?

Suddenly, the arena began to fill with smoke, and quickly too. Gun shots and screams began to fell the air, I felt this was my cue to get the fuck out of here! I moved my arm forward and drove my elbow into the Governors stomach, I struggled free and managed to get away... Ow... my neck hurts... I lifted my hand to touched my neck and felt a warm sticky liquid I had come to know so well dripping down my chest. Oh god, the Governor... he must have cut my throat when I struggled free. I felt physically sick and though I was going to pass out, my neck killed. My legs began to go weak, I started my journey from my upward stance, to becoming a large crumpled heap on the floor. Arms wrapped around me and held me up, well.. dragged me up. I turned my glazed over eyes to see who it was. Ricks, electric blue eyes met mine. "You're gonna be fine Jess" He told me as he picked my up bridal style and slipped through the gap in the fence that I had slipped through. "Stay close! Daryl! Merle, come on!" Rick shouted over the continuous gunfire, My vision began to darken... was I about to die?, my neck was still bleeding badly, Daryl ripped off his sleeve and placed it on my neck "Put pressure on it, I'm not losing you now" I just nodded and places my hand on my neck, trying to apply pressure with the strength I didn't have. I began to feel sleepy, my eyelids got heavier and heavier, "Jess stay with me!" Rick's voice seem to echo and become quieter, before everything went black.

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