Wake The Dead
the walking dead
The dead do not wait for petty human disagreements. In the wake of the raid on Woodbury, Rick and his crew attempt to escape only to find themselves one man short. The Governor practices his version of justice. An encroaching herd, attracted by the noise, makes all men equal when its approach interrupts plans on both sides.

Woodbury, Outside Woodbury

"Stand. Down."

Searchlights scour the vehicle graveyard in front of the barricade, cutting swathes of light over musty windows, catching on broken glass, creating monstrous angles out of wreckage. Distant shouts die second deaths across the landscape; echoes bloated, muffled, and spat back out by clouds of wafting, leftover, smoke. Ducked beside a half-tilted train-car, a mangled group of so-called "terrorists" huddle in their own hoarse argument.

"Where are the rest of your people?"

"They got Oscar," chokes out Glenn darkly, gun steady despite a sight clouded by a pinkly swollen eye.

"Daryl's missing," rushes out Maggie, frantically overlapping Glenn's tighter words, "Did you see him?"

Rick thrusts forward. "If anything happens to him— "

"I brought you here." Michonne's counter is swift, clipped but fluctuating with previously unstated feeling. "To save them."

"Thanks for the help."

"You'll need help. To get them back to the prison, or—- to back in there for Daryl," She stares Rick back: a sight, bloodied across her face, sword-less, her back to the careless graffiti from another time splayed across the train's old red paint. "Either way… you need me." Rick shifts backwards, discontentedly swaying with a grim, displeased, sense of understanding. A rustle nearby, off Maggie's left shoulder, spares him answering: someone's approaching.

The rustle puts Rick on edge, and there's just a glimmer of hope that shines in his eyes. After the events of the last few months, the feeling is foreign. Even if it comes to naught, there's an oddity in the hope that the rescue mission had been successful. Silently, he holds up a single finger. No one is to say a word. A glance is given to the ground, and he catches a glimpse of the shiny metal of a crowbar, likely from the tilted train car. He slowly bends down and retrieves the crowbar, his silent weapon of choice should he need it. Not that it would do much good against the governor.

"Cover me," he whispers back to the group. He slides away from the train car, stalking a little closer to the ground, and silencing his own movements to the best of his ability while sliding away from his own crew just a few paces. All the while his fingers clasp around the crowbar.

Maggie tightens her grip on her pistol. Despite Rick's orders, most of her attention is directed toward the wounded Glenn. With Oscar killed and Daryl shot, she wraps an arm around him to give him some support to lean on. Her weapon will only attract the attention of both Woodbury and whatever Walkers may be around. If Rick and Michonne can silently take out whatever is ahead of them, she can help Glenn to a safe place so they can figure out the next step. They can't leave without Daryl.

Glenn's senses are dulled thanks to the beatings he's endured over the last few days. He doesn't react to the rustle until Rick moves towards the sound. Maggie may feel his efforts to stand on his own against, but his body doesn't cooperate despite himself. The black and blue of his face is reflected elsewhere, but he tries not to let on. He bears what he can as best he can. He groans quietly as he shifts his weight again, evidently his body isn't willing to let him. Not yet. Two things had helped him personally move on: adrenaline and hate. Anger had its way of helping him push through. Now though, now his body can manage to find some semblance of relaxation. At least for a moment.

She may not be the most conventional of Rick's group, but it's Michonne lending the strictest sense of 'back-up' as Rick advances. Prowling a safe distance behind his heels before she slinks forward; a dark hand addresses the sword's hilt clutched by him, quietly, firmly claiming skilled possession before she falls, unarguably, to be his second. Blood may mar her nose, not her senses. Hunter's instinct prickles across her skin, lighting up drying sweat with sensitive goose-bumps. As the rustle from within brush turns to a crusty groan, her hand darts for Rick's shoulder— just as the foliage breaks under the restless stomping of a decaying creature, what hair remains on the right side of the slouching face matted and coated with grit. She lurches straight towards Rick less with awareness as a blind drive forward— a single eyeball has survived the desecration of flesh.

Despite the fact that she wants to be able to hold Glenn with both arms and personally drag him out of harms way, Maggie knows she can't. She needs to keep her grip on the pistol. The few seconds between pulling out the gun and flipping off the safety could mean life or death for the both of them. Instead, she gingerly keeps a strong arm of support around his waist. "Just lean against me, okay?" she tells him softly. "We just gotta keep goin'." Following a safe distance behind Michonne's sword range, she attempts to keep up with Rick.

Maggie can feel Glenn's weight a little heavier at her encouragement. As much as he wants to deny his own damage, it's worn on the outside, unlike the scars worn by others within. His breath becomes quieter as he limps forward. "I'm fine," he suggests rather than argues in a whispered voice punctuated by a wince. There's much to discuss, but little to do right now. Words are for later.

Michonne's hand along the hilt of the sword has Rick relenting the weapon in turn. It's a silent relent, all too aware of whatever danger may lay in wait. He stalks a little more, the near-silence of steps acting as their core advantage against whatever approaches. His body instinctively shifts, leaving only his side truly exposed to the unknown as he quietly shuffles onward, thereby making himself less of a target to whatevers lays in wait.

Branching to the opposite side of Rick's press, Michonne finishes the silent ambush. Nearly pitiful, as the stumbling zombie, one eye glazed and pointed upward, drifts in-between the two without realization. Metal slices clean through the malleable nature of rotted flesh. She gets the once-woman straight across her brain, pulling out to shake a clinging eyeball from off her sword. A tic of Michonne's mouth; it's almost humor. An eye and… an eye.

It's gone quiet again. Nothing barrels further at Rick. Michonne lifts her head to silently pass a sentiment to him, an eyebrow arched in estimation.

Just as half a dozen staggering walkers break from the trees— echoed by more behind; echoed in tens and twenties.

A herd.

Stretched around the auditorium seating, soaring rusted facades shield the gathering of Woodbury counsel from the outside world— from those that dared try injure their sanctity. Citizens, lit by barrels of roaring fire, hiss fervently to each other of fear— anger— as their mighty figure-head prowls within the circle, flanked by his trusted men— and Merle.

"It was you." No more than the Governor's swift accusation before others lay hands on the traitor, stripping his stub of its armaments. "You lied. Betrayed us all." The crowd's hissing rises in volume and violence as a struggling figure, head clothed in a hood, and arms bound behind him, is led toward the circle. With a stumble he's released, blind.

"This— is one of the terrorists." Striding easily behind the captive, the Governor grabs for an arm, wrenching it backwards to get the hood beneath his hand; he tears it straight off, revealing the dirtied, apprehensive face of Daryl Dixon. "Merle's own brother." He soaks it in: the residents' uproar, the stunned expression damning Merle across the way. "What should we do with them, huh?" So blithely asked, it causes an immediate stir.

"Kill 'em!" Shouted by one— then by all; within seconds, a cacophony of judge and executioners. "Kill 'em!" Glorying in the call, the Governor baits: "What?" And the cries louden, almost deafening, as stray gas from the attack floods their feet in an ominous blanket. "KILL 'EM!" And he challenges: "Is that what you want?"

Blood! They want blood

Shouting— it's not coming from the rabid mouths of the crowd in the arena, but further, out on the protective wall around the city. "Biters! We've got biters!" Echoed by one, two voices, and the loud blast of a gunshot, cleaving Woodbury's attention. From outside, a man juts into the inner sanctum, blinking through smoke and fear. "We need more guns! I've— never seen so many!"

Something to be said about being loud enough to wake the dead.

There's a grim smile, fully content, fully wolfish, and undeniably determined in his blood lust at the shouts of his people. All the Governor wants is blood. It's so close he can smell it, so close he can taste it. He raises his hands, urging silence so he need not speak over the din, of course, the silence never comes. Not when the shouting comes from the edges of their town. "All hands on deck!" he yells across the auditorium. "All able bodied that have been trained to shoot, go to the weapon's locker and get a firearm — " And then, more grimly than before, in his slow southern drawl, he addresses Merle and Daryl in turn, while a smile creeps across his lips once again, "We'll deal with both of you later." There's an all-too-satisfied grimness in the twinkle in his eyes. He is eager. Of this there is no doubt.

Andrea stands, mouth agape when she sees Daryl pulled out into the arena. Merle being a traitor and Daryl being alive and at Woodbury are difficult to process. Eyes widen and she barely hears the call to arms to defend the town. Dots start to connect in her head, the people who attacked the town involved the people from the farm? They wouldn't try and take over the town; there's not enough of them and they're smarter than that. Why would Merle be a traitor? He loved this town. He may be a son of a bitch, but she doesn't think him the type to run an elaborate plot. This makes no sense. She places one foot in front of the other until she realizes she is running toward the men guarding Daryl and Merle. "Daryl?!"

Distraught, Merle's gaze flicks between the Governor and his brother with indecisive twitching from still-widened eyes. He lumbers a step towards the chaos, easily shrugging off a hand on his arm, when some wise-guy swoops in to snatch up Daryl's tied elbow, aiming to steer the younger Dixon as he wrestles his shoulders, twitchy no better than a wild animal in captivity. "Don't'chu— " a slur, a heavy shake of the man's shoulder, before the cock of a gun interrupts him. It means more, when driven against Daryl's temple; it means Merle stops.

"Sonnuvabitch— " grunts Daryl, half-bent, spitting on the trampled ground.

It's a stand-still, as activity blazes them by; each hand can hold a weapon sprinting for one. Panic spreads like wildfire, like someone kicked over one of the barrels and it might engulf the population in its hunger. In the chaos, what is one more set of pounding footsteps. Already tensed to stone versus the imposing leer of Merle's ferocity, the third guard hears Andrea's approach and responds by swinging his pistol straight towards her— a ward, an overreaction of one.

Using the benefit of the chaos, Andrea looks over the emptying out stadium and then back at the guards. Quickly, she throws her hands up to show she means no harm and that she doesn't even have a weapon. If she wants to find out what happened, she'll have to talk to Daryl alone and. Knowing Daryl isn't going to help her in this situation. In fact, it hinders her. Unless…

"This son of a bitch left me to walkers this winter," she hisses, affecting pure rage. Then, she adds, curious. "Aren't you going to the wall to defend the town? The Governor gave an order, didn't he?"

The third guard maintains his aim, but only for a moment before lowering his weapon. Revenge is something he can wrap his brain around. "Didja really leave a lady fer dead?" he snarls towards Daryl before using his pistol free hand to take a swing at the prisoner's mouth. As one of Woodbury's scapegoats, Daryl has lost his personhood, and is little more than flesh, little more than a biter himself. The guard spits on the ground, a smug action to prove his presumed authority here. "The Gov'ner gave the order for th'others. I had my orders already — watch the prisn'rs 'r else."

On the cusp of syllables that might've been Andrea's name, Daryl's head rears back with the force of the crack. "Fuck you— " he illustrates out of a freshly split lip. Apprehension at being outnumbered, the central beating heart of this crazy-town body, flips to the ferocity of the fight. Staggering to catch his balance with bound arms, he charges the few steps into the third guard, ramming with a shoulder and elbow. And fuck authority! In the same cue, Merle roars, swinging his stumped arm at the closest head— anything fleshy.

The arrogant guard that had dared hit Daryl collapses underneath the momentum of Daryl's body. He groans as he stumbles. The unexpected nature of the hit is enough to get the jump on him. The pistol slides away from his hand as he attempts to catch his breath — being winded was not on his list of things 'to do'. The second guard receives a deadly blow to the head from Merle's arm.

Much like the guards, Andrea is quite taken aback by Daryl's decisive move into action. However, propelled forward merely through adrenaline and an instinct to make sure that both Merle and Daryl don't get killed, she jumps on the remaining guard. In the struggle, she attempts to knock him to the ground and grab the weapon. If she could just get some sort of advantage, she might be able to calm what is going on here and get some answers without bloodshed.

Andrea is on the last guard. He stumbles to the ground from the unexpected blow, but he continues to clasp the weapon as he tries to push her off of him.

Fatal as his arm was, Merle follows the guard down, repeating the bash with the base of the stump, blood-lust contorting his features as he caves the man's cheek in. No victory dance for Daryl; the younger brother's as thrown by the blow as his target but where he's less coordinated he's no less fierce, stomping on the man's foot to get his head back then cracking their foreheads together to a gush of blood from the guard's nose. A hop-skip backwards lets him spin, showing Andrea's scrambling efforts of camaraderie, lowering eyebrows on Dixon but— hell— no need to make the moment complicated. He skids forward towards the flailing weapon due to threaten the blonde woman, kicking wildly and shouting, "Yo, Merle!" as if it were better akin to "dumbass".

And then the drawled Southern accent rings out over the auditorium. "Andrea," the Governor barks. His good eye makes him look all the more menacing as it narrows. The second eye concealed by the eye patch. In his hand is a large shotgun that he's more than capable of using. "Freeze. All of you. Andrea, you're needed at the wall." The brothers Dixon, however, will receive a far more sinister treatment. There's something severe and tense in his very manner of being.

In the scuffle, Andrea steps on the guard's wrist and twist. She possibly breaks the bone, but more importantly, he drops the gun. Scooping it up, she points it directly at the guards still going after Daryl. "Move back," she tells him icily, eyes narrowing in on the man.

The sound of her name from the Governor startles the blonde. She thought he had gone off to defend the town. Unsure of what to do, she freezes as commanded. But, she doesn't lower her weapon. However, she does look at the man, her eyes softening just slightly. "You tried to stir the town up into a riot. That's not justice of any kind - it's murder. I'll go to the wall when I know they'll be safe."

Having kicked a knife off of its steer toward Andrea, Daryl paid with his upright position— he's back on the ground, wrists trapped beneath him, when the Governor's command stills him; the man over him had already stopped due to threat of bullet, barely believed with hardened eyes uncertain of Andrea's dizzying straddle of allegiances. The younger Dixon growls: a cornered animal. His brother rises, chin flecked with the brain matter and spare bone marrow painting his stumped arm; Merle's look flicks indecisively between the Governor and his brother, vulnerable, on the ground. "Governor…" he wheezes— ready, on a flip, to bargain.

"Why ya'll talkin' to him, anyway?" challenges the lower Dixon, scowling with fight and fervor, fighting up to almost sitting, hands braced behind him. "He's the one got Maggie and Glenn all bloody." An accusation nearly petulant. A child fit to be punished by the father.

And the father punishes as the father sees fit. The shotgun is lowered, but just for a moment. His eyes trail to the side and then back to the auditorium, calculating something in his head. The wolfish smile resumes, even amongst the chaos as he steps forward, casting monstrous shadows with every step in the firelight of the auditorium. "Merle," he nearly growls. Something inside him has decided. Something inside him has broken. "It's not murder when people skulk into our territory in the dead of night to take what isn't theirs." His jaw tightens, "And this is a democracy, our people have already spoken…" His lips press together as he weighs something in his own mind. "I will have them put in a holding cell until such a time as we can address these things."

The gun wavers at Daryl's assertion. "Maggie and Glenn are here?" Andrea gives a puzzled look to the Governor before returning her gaze to Daryl. "What do you mean bloody?" She can only imagine that they were caught in the cross fire. "They still alive?" She's asking both the Dixons and the Governor, but then she focuses on the man with the shotgun. "I didn't see any voting booths, Philip. I thought this place was supposed to be better than out there. This is a community - we shouldn't have a mob mentality." As for putting them in a holding cell, she frowns. "Fine. But, I want to go with the guards, everyone's already stirred up."

"I mean he had 'em roped up and beaten here. Why you think we even came to this ass-backwards place?" Anger cuts all the lines in Daryl's face, indistinguishably aimed at every living, twitching, person in the vicinity; Andrea is not spared. "Y'just ask Merle here," now his tone lowers, gruffer, as his gains a sullenness in judging— in accusing— his kin. "He's the one done it."

Looking down the barrel of his brother's fierce gaze, Merle flashes a toothy grin, gracious only in acceptance, and none in guilt. "Jus' doin' my job, little brother…" Hearing a general consensus on holding cells— knowing their purpose intimately— twists him towards the Woodbury benefactor, "Governor, man… I ain't never betrayed you— but you leave my brother out of this and you can trust me."

Amognst all of the other gunfire near Woodbury's walls, the shot from the shotgun into the air would have little reaction from the Governor's more loyal denizens. Two of his loyal lackeys finally catch up to their fearless leader — one on each side. "Kowalski," he addresses the one to his right. "Take the brothers Dixon to the milk shed." His lips purse before he turns to address the man on his left, "Lieberman, clearly Andrea is too emotionally invested in all of this. Please take her to the infirmary and have the doctor supervise her under lock and key until she is convinced that calmer minds prevail — "

"What?" Andrea's eyes drag between Daryl and the Governor. These are two men she trusts. Daryl is rough around the edges, but he doesn't lie. And the Governor…he took her in when she was almost dying. When Michonne left, he comforted her. He created a refuge which Daryl invaded. But, if what he's saying is true, then there is a much darker side to Woodbury than she could have imagined. Was Michonne right from the beginning? She just forced the woman out at gunpoint. What is happening?

The end of Philip's address is met with a look of dismay. "Excuse me?" She looks right at Lieberman. "Hold it. I am not too emotionally invested in anything. I don't need to be locked in any infirmary. I'm going to go out and fight walkers."

While Andrea appeals to the Governor's questionable better side, his henchmen advance on the Dixon prisoners; Kowalski's hooking capture of Daryl's arm keeps Merle at bay, attempting another, "Governor— " above the noisy ruckus of Daryl kicking up sand, wrenching his shoulder, as the bloody-nosed guard retrieves the cloth bag from off the ground, not bothering to dust it off before violently shoving it over the younger brother's head, turning curses into muffled noises. To still the thrashing— and because his nose burns something fierce— the man lobs his fist into Daryl's stomach to slow him before rounding on Andrea as his pals start to escort the prisoners off-site but while he stares scathingly at her above a crooked mar of blood, complaints stay muted in the Governor's presence.

"Emotions are running too high for you, Andrea," It's a simple fact in the Governor's mind. "Go to the infirmary now! Clearly cooler heads have prevailed. In the last five minutes, you have jeopardized the safety of this town twice over. You will go to the infirmary." He gives a firm nod to Liberman, "Take her there now! We need to deal with the wall!"

The scathing looks from the guards are not a surprise to Andrea. She did just attempt to knock them out and take their weapons. "I defended this town!" she emphatically replies to the Governor. "I just want to know what is going on! Knowledge doesn't jeopardize anything!" With a shake of her head, it's evident that she's not going to go to the infirmary without a fight. Hurt, she turns on Philip with a pained expression. "I have done nothing to jeopardize the town. How can you even say that?"

And now she's done it. The Governor tramps up to Andrea, "How dare you question that! You defended this town before, you are jeopardizing it now! These hands could be better served at the wall, but you have to have a meltdown in the middle of a goddamn biter invasion!" He raises a hand in the air to punctuate the point, "Get in line and go to the infirmary so the problem can be dealt with. This town has endured a full-scale attack tonight and I will not have you further jeopardize it by getting in line with goddamned instigators who bothered to attack us in the first place!" And then he makes his final point, "Stand. Down."

"I'm not having a meltdown!" However, suddenly, Andrea realizes that everything she is doing to argue with the Governor is merely proving his point. The Governor has now crossed a line with his final point. He has decided not to trust her and to lock her up. With an angry shake of her head, she lets the gun she forcibly took from the guard fall on her finger so that it is useless. "Fine. Take me to the infirmary." However, the angry glint in her eye certainly gives the impression that this isn't over.

The herd in all their glory create that nauseated feeling in the pit of Rick's stomach. He falls back a few steps, but only to give them a little more distance, a little more time to prep for what lies ahead. "Glenn, Maggie — " he braces himself to break the bad news "— brace yourselves, herd — " that said, his eyes madly scan the area. What they need is a getaway vehicle, if it can be found.

Covering the distance he seeks, Michonne stays ahead, swinging for the fences— and faces; cleaving head from neck of the first snarling walker to reach her. Where it can't be seen, her eyes widen for the sheer number and are soon to narrow, accompanying the grunt of force with which she slices the next approaching in two, sliding around to end the job with a harsh stab through the forehead.

Seeing the herd turns Maggie's face white. There's only four of them against a herd of walkers. Plus, Glenn is injured. How are they going to fight they're way through this? However, she's not about to give into destructive thoughts. She needs to stay strong and they will make their way through this. She's not about to let them die here after all they've been through. Re-wrapping her arm around Glenn, she gives a fierce nod toward Rick. "Let's go," she reassures Rick. "We gotta reach the road. If we can make it to that shopping mart with the baby store, that's where we got taken by Merle. The car's still there." She looks over to the east. "Think it was thatta way."

Refusing to be more than deadweight despite himself, his condition, and his body generally being in pain, Glenn straightens against Maggie. There's no way he can walk by himself, but adrenaline, the truest wonder drug allows his body to kick into fight or flight ode. Which this is a little of both. "We fight through it," he hisses through his teeth. Sometimes anger is a good thing. Hopefully this is one of those times.

"Then we make for the road." While Rick had a firearm going into Woodbury, he chooses to use the crowbar as his weapon of choice instead, thrusting the pistol into Glenn's non-Maggie hand. Within seconds, he's at Michonne's side, wielding the crowbar into a walker's forehead.

Squelching greets his hit, as flesh and bone collapse, spreading out from impact with gory enthusiasm. With but a spare glance behind at Maggie, and her burden, Michonne begins to carve their path, across the uncountable swath of walkers in the herd. There's a man left behind, but it ain't much prettier out here for those that escaped.

The glance toward Maggie and Glenn is met with merely a steely determination. The woman will get Glenn to the road no matter what. Looking back will get them killed. Raising her pistol, she marks a walker and squeezes a shot. Dark, villainous blood oozes from the target's nose as it collapses. With so many of them coming in their direction, the noise of a shot will barely make a different. "Go!" she urges Michonne and Rick. They need to keep moving forward without regard if they're going to make it. Her point made, she all but drags Glenn after the sheriff and the zombie-ninja.

Following Maggie's shot comes another from Glenn's pistol. The crack of gunfire has both positive and negative effects. On one hand, it clears the path as Glenn's shot, much like Maggie's melts another corpse, it's head nearly melting thanks to its level of rot and decay. If he were more aware and less adrenaline'd, the entire visual might make him queasy. In this case, it's only thought of as success. On the other hand, the shots only attract more of the heard.

Maggie doesn't have to urge Rick twice. Crowbar in hand, he lands the sharp end in the temple of yet another walker. One swift movement gives a slurpy sound much like ketchup from a plastic bottle. Not that there's time to think or reflect on such things. "Watch our backs!" he instructs those behind. If he and Michonne can handle the front and clear a path, maybe maybe they can all make it to the car in one piece.

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