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To William "Tex" Mitchell (Private Frequency)

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*Sitting alone in the now empty house she shares with Tex, Darra picks up the radio and presses the PTT*

"Tex, if you can hear me, please let me know you are OK.  I thought I was strong, but, it turns out I'm not.  And because I'm weak I put you, my best friend, my protector, in harm's way and I am so very sorry for that.  Please forgive me.  Please don't let Cowboy come between us.  I miss you Tex; please come home."   

*Darra releases the PTT and with the radio still in her hand, rests her head on the table*

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*Hears Darra's voice over the radio and fills with a deep sadness and a deep sense of resolve. Tex takes his radio out of his side pocket on his backpack and thumbs the PTT key a few times. Thinking to himself that Darra is new to this violence. A wedding photographer, stuck in this shithole. Zombies being the least of her worries, where people are the main enemy. Me...I'm almost used to it after doing my share in warzones. Iraq, Afghanistan, and because of my affiliation with the 160th SOAR my fair share of raising hell in two bit dictator countries...

Tex thumbs the PTT again, trying to find the right words, he presses down*

Darra...I'm fine. I took off not because I was angry at you. You are tough and sweet at the same time, but you are also very blind to the evil that men do. I had to leave not only because the potential harm I could bring to the camp, but to you.

I have been in contact with Cowboy and want to work out any differences in opinion we may have. We were friends once so I hope he can put aside any preconceived notions of wrongs I may have done to him and his crew. I just want a chance to speak with him man to man.

One of two things will happen...we work this out, or he will just do with me what he thinks he needs to do.

Once I'm done meeting with him...Ill be back. I promise... if I can come back.

Don't worry...when I left I made sure some of the 101 folks knew. And they promised to have your back. Be safe out there....

*Tex releases the PTT button and angrily spits on the campfire. Goddammnit... just when I thought we found a place to settle down, find some peace... fuck me*

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*When she hears Tex’s voice, Darra slowly raises her head and looks at radio.  She waits until Tex finishes speaking, then picks it up and presses the PTT*

“Tex, I thought we were partners.  I thought we were a team.  I thought we were together.  Maybe I was wrong.”

*She releases the PTT, pauses, and then presses it again*

“You should have discussed this with me first.  Instead you left me alone and went off into the woods to try to arrange a meeting with that monster!  Were you afraid I would have tried to stop you?  Well, you would have been correct.  So, I get it; I understand.  I don’t like it, but I understand.”  

“I have to tell you I haven’t felt like myself since that night. I can no longer control my rage; my blood has almost reached the boiling point.  I still can’t believe he captured and roughed-up probably one of the only Northerners who never had heard of Zinnia Jackson.  And I can’t believe I felt guilty, that it was my fault they tortured Aaron Mitchell.  Now I know the real reason they came to our home.”

“I’m so angry at everyone that now I’m actually glad you are gone.  Because if you were here with me, I’m afraid I would say something I would later regret.”

*Darra releases the PTT, tosses the radio on the table, stands up and starts to pace back and forth angrily muttering to herself*

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*Darra runs back to the cabin, opens the door and rushes over to the table. She picks up the radio, pushes the PTT and with a breathless voice says*

"Tex, I hope you can hear me. I just got word that someone put some sort of contract out on you.  Based on the description of the guy, my guess is it was that snake Dexter Cutler.  I'm not certain why he did it, but, my gut tells me he wants to use you as an "in" with Cowboy.  Dear God, you need to be more cautious than ever now.  I don't think you should come home until this blows over or things settle down with Cowboy."

"Tex, the most important thing is your safety.  Please don't do anything rash.  I'm going to try to find Cutler and do whatever is needed to get him to cancel the contract.  Why do I keep messing things up?"

*Darra releases the PTT, sets the radio down, and walks over to the window.  She stands there for a few moments staring out before heading to the bedroom to pack a bag*

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*Hears Darra as he is packing up camp after talking with Cowboy for possibly the last time, picks up radio and pushes the PTT*

Darra... you are correct. I knew you would try and stop me. That's why I had to do this alone. Well it appears Cowboy wont talk to me unless I take you hostage to him.

And as PISSED OFF as I am at you for talkin to folks about me, given you KNEW I was a marked man, (tex pauses and breathes to regain his composure).

I'm sorry.... you just don't understand the shit world we live in now. You cant trust ANYONE.. Not Anymore.

And darlin... you better hold on to that anger. And you better be damn ready to shoot that AK you carry. If you stay with me...you will have to in order to survive.

Meet me in that secret place that you and I know of. We need to talk.

*releases PTT and starts walking out of the woods*

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*When Darra hears Tex’s voice coming over the radio she immediately stops walking, kneels down, takes her pack off her back and quickly searches for the radio.  She finds it and holds it in her hand as she continues to listen to Tex’s transmission.  When he finally finishes, she press the PTT*

“Tex, I understand why you are angry with me.  I really do.  And I don’t blame you one bit.  But, I can’t talk about that now because there are more important things we need to discuss.  I’d tell you over the radio, but, it’s no longer safe.  Cutler . . . Cutler has the frequency.”

*Darra releases the PTT, tilts her head skyward, closes her eyes tightly and whispers, “Oh my God, Cutler has the frequency.”  She takes a deep breath, lowers her head, and after a slight pause holds down the PTT*

“We need to make some decisions and we need to make them quickly.  That’s all I can say now other than . . . Tex, sweet man, I’m on my way to our secret place.”  

*Darra releases the PTT, places the radio back in the pack, stands up and puts the pack on her back.  She pulls her compass out of her pocket and determines which way is south.  She starts walking again, this time to find Tex.*

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*Dexter grabs his radio and holds down the PTT

"Hello, Mr. Mitchell. I belive, if I'm not mistaken, you told me to give you twenty-four hours to make a decision on our arrangement, times up Mr. Mitchell, time is up."

*Dexter releases the PTT, with a sinister grin on his face*

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*As Darra is sleeping, Tex picks up his radio and walks a few meters into the woods. Checking to insure Darra is asleep.... he quietly hits the PTT*

Mr. Cutler.... your deal is on sir. I agree to your terms. Lets meet and talk details as soon as possible..... You know where I am.

*Tex hangs his head. GODAMMIT... I cant believe Im agreeing to this. He looks back at Darra.... thinks "If this was your wife...what would you give for her".... answer is easy. EVERYTHING... Tex grabs angrily at his pouch of long cut tobacco and stuffs a wad in his cheek, looking like a lopsided hamster and spitting on the ground.*

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*Dexter grins and then pushes the ptt*

"I believe we have an accord, Mr. Mitchell, if I'm honest, convincing you was easier than I thought. *He chuckles* Well I can't wait for our reunion, Mr. Mitchell.

I do enjoy these talks, I must admit."

*Dexter releases the ptt and he begins to contemplate the possibility of a trap*

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*Pushes PTT.... with annoyance*

Sir...its not that I was easy to convince. My mind was set thinking of what was best for my friends and family...

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one).

*Releases the PTT, rolls out his bedroll and goes to sleep*

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*Pretending to sleep, Darra lies still in her bedroll while Tex prepares for his hunting trip.  After she is certain he is out of hearing range, she gets up, walks over to her backpack, angrily grabs her radio, and presses the PTT*

“Mr. Cutler, I overheard the conversation you and Tex had last night.  I’m only going to say this once . . . Tex is a good man; stay away from him.  If you value my friendship at all, you will not involve him in your unsavory dealings.”

*Darra releases the PTT, pauses, then presses it again and whispers*

“I don’t know what game you are playing, but, I know I don’t like it.  And yet, like a moth to a flame, I am drawn towards the fire.”

*Darra sighs as she gradually lowers her arm and releases the PTT.  She begins to slowly shake her head back and forth muttering "what have Tex and I gotten ourselves into now." And then she prays that Tex forgot to turn on his radio before leaving camp.*

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*Dexter hesitates for a moment and then presses down the ptt*

"Miss. Darra, I don't have any friends. Friends get in the way, friends hinder progress. You are becoming too comfortable with me, Miss. Darra. *his voice changes to a more bitter tone* Consider this your first and final warning; stop being a hindrance."

*Dexter releases the Ptt and grits his teeth*

*after a brief break, he begins to hold down the ptt again*

"I don't play games Miss. Darra, this is not a schoolyard, I am not a child, this...this is business, Miss. Darra and I take it very seriously.

Mr. Mitchell is a grown man, he can make his own decisions, if he choices to broker deals with the Devil, then so be it. if you don't the spine, Miss. Darra, then just walk away. I will not tolerate you being a saboteur no longer.

This "outbreak" is the true death that the preachers had been singing as gospel since Jesus himself. The outbreak, the burnt, twisted metal and the death it left in its wake, has given me another chance. From darkness, spawns darkness. It is the currency that every rotten man left alive feasts on. I plan to cease every moment of it, Miss. Darra, I suggest you do the same."

*he releases his ptt*

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*Darra raises the radio to her lips and holds the PTT*

“Mr. Cutler, you are correct, this is not a schoolyard.  And yet, you act the part of a schoolyard bully.”

“And thank you for making me realize how naive I was to think we had a growing friendship.  Now I understand just how cold and calculated and heartless you really are.  Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are is just a means to your reprehensible ends.”

“Regarding Mr. Mitchell . . . he is indeed a grown man.  But, he is my man.  And I will fight for him until I draw my last breath . . . out of love and not out of fear.  Can you even understand what it is to love someone so much you would give your life for them? "

“Do not use the outbreak or religion or anything else to justify your actions.  You and you alone are responsible for the choices you make in life.  I hope you realize you are just one of many evil men who use the outbreak as an excuse to wreak havoc on the land and its people.  Some men rise to the occasion while others, like you, fall.  For you have really fallen this time, Mr. Cutler.  And one day, you will be held accountable.  One day, we will all be held accountable." 

“I wonder if there is even one tiny speck of humanity left inside you.  Or are you just a soulless shell of a man?”

“Desmond Tutu said, Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”  

“I am far from perfect, this much I know.  And I do regret some of the choices I have made in life, but, I have hope that I will learn from those mistakes and become a better person."

"I still have hope, Mr. Cutler.  What do you have?”

*Shaking, she releases the PTT*

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*He takes a moment to think about what Darra has said and then holds down the ptt*

"Miss. Darra, you are fighting a up-hill battle. Mr. Mitchell has made his choice.

Instead of making this easy for him, you are making it worse. If he is your "man" as you put it, then stand with him.

I am not here to squabble, Miss. Darra, put up or shut up, it's that simple."

*Dexter slams his radio on a table*

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*Darra grabs the radio and tightly presses the PTT*

"Be a good little girl and stand by my man, is that it?  Mr. Cutler, I am standing up for my man.  Why can't you understand that simple little concept?"

"And stop be so condescending.  You are starting to piss me off."

*Darra release the PTT and begins to pace back and forth*

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*After regaining his composure he picks up the radio and presses down the PTT*

"I am a "cruel necessity", Oliver Cromwell once said that, Miss. Darra. Cromwell beheaded a Monarch, though I don't agree with what he did after that, I do admire the fact that he removed all authority from the land, even if it was for a brief moment.

Mr. Mitchell has made his choice clear, Miss. Darra, either stand by him or get out of my way.

You say you have hope, but hope is a fallacy, it's just a false sense of security so you don't have to act, it's for spineless cowards like yourself. Revolutions are not won on hope, Miss. Darra, they are won with swift, calculated actions. "Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking" Another Cromwell quote.

At-least when I am held accountable, Miss. Darra, I can proudly stand up and say I fought for something I believe in and not have stood idle. *He chuckles*

I'll leave you to think about that, Miss. Darra. Farewell.

*he releases the ptt*

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*Darra once again grabs her radio and holds the PTT*

"The fallacy is you and all you stand for. Regarding Cromwell, wasn't he thought to be posthumously executed . . . you know, his body hanged in chains and thrown into a pit and his severed head displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall?  History has not been to kind to Mr. Oliver Cromwell, the man who would be king.  Keep that in mind, Mr. Dexter Cutler."

*Darra releases the PTT and says, "Where the heck is Tex?"*

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*Tex angrily picks up his radio, annoyed at the chatter while he is trying to hunt. He pushes the PTT*

"Darra ENOUGH already. I know you think you are doing well but all you are doing is making my life harder. Mr. Cutler and I have a deal. A deal I did not take lightly and feel I'm treading on a razor's edge between dark and light, good and evil. But its a balance I alone must strike.

And the more you let your temper control what you say, the darker I feel I must become to keep us alive. Just please...for love of God stop. In the days I have known you I feel like we are a team, that I am your protector, and in some ways more than a "friend". But you make it harder for me to defend you when you keep pissing off every two bit bad guy or dangerous foe"

"Mr. Cutler...its time to finalize plans. We must meet soon"

*Tex releases the PTT, feeling dirty having to admonish Darra and speak of "deals" with the likes of Cutler*

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*Darra softly presses the PTT*

"Got it, Tex.  I don't need you to protect me.  Guess I'll see you around sometime.  The cabin is all yours.  Enjoy your new life with Mr. Cutler."

*Darra releases the PTT, drops the radio on the floor and gathers her belongings.  Sobbing, she walks out the door.*

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*Tex sighs....my god she is worse than my wife was back in the states, or maybe just like her. Tex presses the PTT*

"Darra...don't be rash. I know you don't NEED me to protect you. But we need each other..life is easier when someone has your back. Maybe we both need to get away from the camp. Let things cool down... and keep the radios at camp while we are out..."

*Releases the PTT. Damn stubborn woman is gonna get us both killed*

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*The man hands Darra his radio, she thanks him as she takes hold and changes the frequency.  She presses the PTT*

"Tex, I'm sorry for interfering in your business, but . . . *she sighs* . . . no, I'm not going to say anything more about your deal with Cutler.  You are a grown man and I've meddled enough already."

"I just wanted to let you know I'm OK.  I'm going to head south for a bit to visit an old friend.  I don't know when or even if I will return at this point.  I just need time to think things through.  I also need to right a wrong."

*Darra releases the PTT and smiles as she hands the radio back to kind the gentleman she met on the road south.  She tells him "goodbye" and "stay safe" and then begins the long journey to find her friend.*

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*Tex picks up his radio, wipes the tears from his eyes, and presses the PTT*

"Darra... why would you go an not talk to me first. I would not have tried to stop you if that was your decision. But I do want to know what I did to make you turn away. Or maybe I didn't do anything and something else is wrong.... IF someone is threating you I will NOT stand for it. But if I don't know...I cant help you"

*Tex pauses for a minute. Sets the radio on the table where we would share meals together. Laugh sometimes at Tex's silly jokes, or laugh at Darra's rolling of the eyes when Tex's jokes were exceptionally bad. Gripping the edge of the table until his knuckles turned white, he picks up the radio again and presses the PTT*

"Darra...just call me if you need me. I will give you space for now...but know that.... know that my heart is conflicted. I have grown....grown to think of you as my best friend. Ah...hell.... sometimes I wonder if there is more there than "just friends"."

"You right that wrong sweet lady... get your head straight. And as much as I don't want to see this fucked up world change that sweet innocence you have, I hope it will steel you and form you into somone not afraid to pull the trigger on those wishing you harm. When you are ready Ill be here...you know how to get a hold of me"

*Tex releases the PTT...kicks the kitchen chair across their small but homey cabin. "Goddamnit! Be safe ..... and please come home"*

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*Darra is about 50 feet down the road when she hears, "Miss, someone is responding to your message."  Darra stops, walks quickly back and takes the radio the man holds out to her.  She smiles as she listens to Tex's voice.  When he's finished transmitting, she stands up straighter and pushes the PTT*

"Tex, again I'm so sorry.  You are right, there is something bothering me deeply and it has nothing to do with anything you've said or done.  Though your harsh words a couple days ago were my breaking point, my running is not your fault."

"Something happened a few nights back in Novy Sobor that I cannot, will not ever forget or forgive.  I can't bring myself to go into the details;all I'll say is there is a side of me that frightens me to my core.  I can't come home until I come to grips with what I saw and what I did or didn't do that night.  You keep telling me I'm too sweet and innocent, but you couldn't be further from the truth."

"I should have protected them, Tex . . . But, I didn't.  And I'm going to have to find a way to live with that.  God, I'm such a fraud."

*She releases the PTT, pauses, the presses it again*

"Tex, please be very careful.  Don't trust Dexter Cutler . . . He'll betray you the minute it's profitable."

"I do love you, my friend.  I hope you can forgive me one day.  I hope I can forgive myself." 

*Darra releases the PTT and hands the radio back to the man.  She reaches over and lightly touches his hand as she says, "Thank you."  She turns and once more heads south to find her friend.  She mutters to herself, " If anyone can help me, it will be him."*

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