A/N: Yes, I know its been a long time since I did a Walking Dead story. Now that I have more experience under my belt, I felt like its time I gave it another try. This is Negan vs The Governor, take 3!
Chapter 1: The More Things Change
Phillip Blake watched the group from the tree line, anger building up in his chest. After 6 months of trying to move on from Woodbury, from Penny, from these fuckers...
They were right next to them the whole time.
His hand moved to the gun in his holster, eyeing Michonne and Hershel as they tended to the garden. They were alone, unarmed...It would be so easy, he could do it before anyone could do anything, and...
No. He brought his hand up and sneaking back into the forest. He had to put that behind him now, for Lily, for Megan, and more importantly, for himself.
The Governor was dead. Phillip Blake was dead. Brian Heriot was alive.
It was time to act like it.
Knowing he couldn't move past that part of his life with them right next door, Brian called a group meeting the next morning.
"Folks, I'm afraid I have some bad news. Mitch and I have been taking stock of the resources here, and it doesn't look pretty. All of our scavenging runs have come up empty, and our supplies here are running low. We have maybe a month left, but after that we'll have to start seriously rationing. And I don't want any of us to starve."
"What's your plan?" An older man called out, quiet murmrs of agreement running through the camp. Now was the part that Brian had to work to sell.
"We need to move on, and I don't just mean out of the area. Georgia's a dead zone, there's nothing here for us. I say we find our own place out there. Where that place will be, I don't know. But it's better than waiting to die out here."
The rest of the group was concerned, but eventually came to accept the necessity of the move. Brian smiled, knowing he was doing the right thing.
"Pack up everything you can. I want to be out of here before noon."
The large group dispersed, beginning to take down tents and anything else they would need. As Brian moved to walk off, Lilly stopped him.
"Brian, are you sure this is a good idea? We know this area, its safe, its-"
"Its running dry, Lilly. Come Winter, we'll be sitting ducks."
"But out there on the road? How do we know there's anything left?"
"We don't. But we have to take this chance. For Megan."
Lilly remained silent for a minute, but nodded.
"Yeah. You're right. I love you Brian."
"I love you too."
A short while before they were to leave, Brian returned to the lake nearby to take care of some unfinished business. Staring down into the murky water, he found the zombified corpse of Pete Dolgen reaching up from its depths, snarling in a futie attempt to reach the prey above it.
Brian watched it for a moment, contemplating the dead man as he drew out his revolver. At one point his life, he would stare at dead one's just like Pete in order to steel his resolve and prepare him for the new world. A reminder that they died because they were weak. That he was alive because he was strong. Now it was nothing more than a morbid reminder of what he once was. A man he never wanted to be again.
A shot rang out as the corpse reeled back, sinking to the depths with a fresh bulled in its brain, putting it down for good. The moans of others could be heard from the other side of the lake, but Brian paid them no mind. He would be long gone before they could reach him.
Satisfied that his work was done, Brian left the area to start his new life. Woodbury was gone, but he had a whole world ahead of him to find a new one.