Red checkerd tabel cloths, buttermilk battered fried chicken, all the atmosphere of a church picnic. Well, it is a church picnic, despite the horrors my teammates were dealing with not more than a dozen clicks away. A broken leg had gotten me out of border patrol for a few days while the nano acreted extra calcium.
"Excuse, who is that?"
"What?" I asked, turning the the auburn haired woman who had appeared beside me.
"That guy, the statue, all the hanging pictures."
"I take it you're one of the scavangers we let in recently."
"Caravans and mechanic. I don't pick over other's bones." Feisty one, needs a husband.
"Right. That is Reverend Luther Powel. He is the one who made this all possible."
"The man behind New Bimingham."
"Our founder yes, but he is in god's hands now, not long after it was all settled."
"Can I ask how he managed that?"
"Of corse my dear, you don't learn if you don't ask. In the years before, he was dedicated to fighting back against the fall of society. He started a program to get every church in the area its own radio transnission towrer -afterall the sphere was full of distracting filth, but we colud have channels dedicated clearly to the lord. When the event happened, for a while the only things still on the air were national guard broadcasts and our ministry, and soon even the former stopped. For the better, it was their fault.
"I harly think the national guard planned on the country falling apart, in fact I;m almost sure their job was to prevent it.
"Certinly didn't act that way, considering how many people still made it across the borders, how they supported heathen rulers, and made such a poor showing againt the crime and corruption."
"You;re saying the aliens and reanimates are a second biblical flood huh?"
"Apt perhaps. Anyway, Reverend Powel worked himself to exhaustion helping organise communities, and despite his age, even led efforts back into infested areas to rescue more good christians. It was ar the point where some would think his vissions came more rom the lack of sleep than divine inspiration. He laid down clear rules while others were still realing - his military experince from he 2000s wars made him a take charge sort of man. But eventually it all caught up with him, and he went to join the lord."
"So who is in charge now may I ask?"
"We have both an eclisastical and secular council governing us. Mary Power, our founder's widow, and his son Duncan hold seats on the former. The secular gov is elected and helps with distirbution of goods, managing defense, organising repairs. The othe maintains veto power and controls the law and judges."
"In that case, would you knwo where anyone from the secular council is? My group still has some business to take care of today."
"See that guy in a red shirt under the rotunda? I think thats one of them, though I can't tell since his back is to us."
"Of course, ma'am. If you haveany further questions or need an escort I'll be here."