“Not to be a pessimist, but do you really think anything you say is going to make a difference?” Shelly glanced over at the other group of survivors, “We don’t have anything they need.”
“Unless you’re talking a merge.” John was standing unnaturally still, which did little for Shelly’s nerves. “We aren’t, are we?”
“No.” Simon finished unloading his eclectic collection of personal weaponry. “No mergers, no concessions. I’m tired of letting these groups bully us around.”
“Oh God,” Shelly grabbed Simon’s sleeve, “don’t kill them, please? I know this is really—”
“I’m not going to kill them!” Simon tugged his arm free, “I’m going to scare them, if needed, I’m not going to hurt anyone.”
John gave him a skeptical look, “And if they try to hurt you?”
“Then I’m going to let them.” Simon unhooked his necklace and bracelet, handing them over to Shelly for safekeeping. “And you are going to run, got it?”
John glared at him for a moment, then stooped to pickup his rucksack. “Fine. Whatever. If I’d known immortality is apparently an excuse to get the shit beat out of you, repeatedly, I would have left you in the church.”
“Wouldn’t change anything.”
“Yes it would.” John snapped. “We’d either be merged or dead, and I wouldn’t haven spent the last seven months living in a B-grade horror movie.”
“Did you want to merge then?” Simon had gone still.
“No, no, I just—” John finished tightening the rucksack’s straps and looked over at the other group. “I just want to avoid them. Go around their territory, not thought it. They can deal with their own monsters.”
“We should at least warn them.” Shelly offered, “Tell them what it is, and how to kill it.”
“And if they still blame us?” Simon had relaxed, but only slightly.
“Then we run.”