13:10 Local TimeHello brother scavenger! Do you feel well today - it looks like your packs are full. Please, please - my hands are open! I mean you no harm! I'm sure you've had some unfortunate encounters in the past judging from your response - but I propose something far more mutually beneficial. I happen to be scout for Galilee.
Yes, I understand your suspicion about not seeing anywhere with that name on a local map. We have had slightly more pressing things to do than update the old street signs mind you. But I assure you its a real place. All the enclaves of New Birmingham are name for sites in the holey land. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, Mount Tabor, Hevron... um... Tel Aviv - no thats a modern city... there are currently fourteen at any rate, even if my memory fails me on all the names.
My comrades have a vehicle, and if you like, you may accompany us back. A chance to get off your feet, sell your finds in a civilized place, and stock up on new supplies. At the very least have a good supper - my wife makes wonderful chicken and dumplings and pies one would almost sin for.
13:20Not such a long trip, was it? But there you go, the double gates of Galilee. Yes, you're not the first to have likened those double chain liken fences with barbed wire on top to those dreadful pictures of camps and prisons of wars past. But really - they look like freedom to me - if you don't focus on the links you can still see through them - we're not cowering on the upper levels of some old building or hiding in welded together shipping containers. This enclave alone is about eight city blocks that one can walk about freely. Provided you're not carrying a rifle anyway- you're going to have to turn in that long arm at the guard house between the fences.
You may continue to keep that pistol, though. Its your right, nay - duty - after all as an adult male to cary arms to protect the women and children. The unfortunate rifle limits is simply because we don't like the risk of something over-penetrating a wall and putting others at risk. If there is a need, you'll get it right back - or even one of ours. All the churches act as a second line of defense with their own gates and stocks of supplies should the outer fences be breached. God protects the prepared faithful and the faithfully prepared.
As you can see, we still have our own homes and shop lined streets. Over there is the main park - we're a little late for the usual pot-luck luncheon, but it takes a while to clean up after-wards, so there should still be some leftovers to tide us over. Ah look - Father Bartholomew and Mayor Swan are still there - come, let us give them a kindly hello. Bartholomew is one of the pastors in this enclave, and local leader of the Council of Inquiry - the local internal enforcement of peace and righteousness, while The Sheppard's Hand is our general military and what I'm subordinate too. I'm sure he won't mind delivering a short benediction over the food again before we eat - he is one of the nicer Inquisitors I've met - they do have quite the important job and its all to easy to become a little short tempered from the strain.
How can you find it odd that we have such a service? Don't you think a bit of religion is what this world of gangs fighting over scraps and walking abominations needs? I, I admit that sometimes they are a little overly intrusive - or a lot overly intrusive. I wasn't too religious before the event. But the chance of aliens showing up is trillions to one, and the dead walking - only god has that power. I don't think Jesus is going to show up in another two years leading an army of angels. But these times - they do seem to stretch beyond human hands. This is a test of some sort - one of faith, or at least one where faith will help see you through.
But please, please - don't tell the father I said that. He is nice, but some of his underlings are less understanding, and it is his job to pass on such conversations...