He looked at me for a couple beats. Then over his shoulder he said "Boys, pull the cart off to the side and take a break while I talk to this gentleman." He scratched himself. Then he said "All right if we sit down somewhere? My legs are talking to me."
"Yeah. Sounds good." I indicated the car that Ricky was behind. Then I gave the hand sign for him and Loco to form on me. I watched his eyes. The old man was good but I knew that he had not seen either one of them. They were good but I found it curious that he was that bad. Damn. Here I was hoping the dumbasses in the gene pool had been thinned out and it was looking like some of them had had survived. Yet, there was something wrong here. The feeling of being watched was back even stronger. Plus them boys, they weren't relaxing right. I did a quick caution hand sign as Ricky and Loco came up. They didn't say anything. They just continued on and walked over to the boys.
The old man started talking "Where you coming from? How's the road?" While he was I noticed Loco had split from Ricky and was at an angle from him but in one of the boys blind side. I like that and relaxed a hair. We were taking a lean against the side of the car and the old man was looking at me -- waiting for my response. "Funny. I was going to ask you the same things."
He laughed "Well, we could take turns."
"That we could." I looked around. "You feel like you been watched along the way?" He looked startled for a second. Then looked away and spat. He almost made the grass. "Yep. I figure every step of the way we are going to be watched by somebody. If it ain't the gov up in the sky it is going to be some assholes in the woods. Supposedly this area was swept by one of the police battalions they got." That got my attention. "Regular Army or the Guard?"
"Shit. What I hear is that there a mix of all kinds. The one that went through here was mostly Guard. There supposed to be heading for the National Forest down the road. Got some real assholes living in them woods." He shuddered and I don't think he even noticed he did. "Got some fucking, pardon my language, Eaters running around still."
"Yeah. We called them Gnawers where we come from. Same thing I suppose." I told him. He spat again. "Yeah. So I've been running my mouth. What you got?" I thought "Yep. Nobody wants to stay on the subject of what and who ate what for very long." So I decided to give him some information. "We're headed for Iowa out of DC."
"Iowa?" He laughed. "Jeebus. You got a hell of a long walk ahead of you. We're headed for West Virginia. Got family there. I suppose the gov will be showing up there eventually but they will pay a hell of a price rooting us out."
"What makes you think they'll bother?"
He looked at me like I was an idiot. "Son. They want us all where they can see us."