He wasn t quite sure how he felt about this new 'safe haven' . Since they'd escaped from the CDC by the skin of their teeth, the dwindling group had been traveling with an increasingly desperate and hopeless air clinging to them. It took them nearly a week of scavenging for gas and food, heart stopping encounters with walkers and a dismal lack of at least somewhat safe places to stop and rest in to find their current camp... but still. It was a camp. Outside. Again. He may have had a solid grasp on how to survive in the great outdoors and now that it was the not-so-great outdoors he still had a better grasp on it than all of the others, but it still seemed that this was no longer a good idea. They should find an actual shelter; a building that they could reinforce and fortify, somewhere that they had a chance and if they were to be attacked again there'd at least be a higher chance to escape. They'd be less likely to be trapped on all sides. No, staying outside was not a good idea, not at all. It's one thing when he went out hunting, but this was not the answer for the whole group.
Daryl shook his head to clear his mind of these dreary thoughts. At least it's a break from traveling, they had an opportunity now to rest (to some degree anyway), regroup and perhaps come up with a better course of action; besides this was the safest place they'd come across in days, they may as well use it. He looked around the camp at everyone milling about, setting up and settling in and decided he should probably head out and go hunting. None of them had eaten a decent meal since leaving the CDC, he was the main provider of protein in this group, they all needed it right about now.
At first, when he and Merle'd joined up with these survivors he didn't care much for any of them. He found them weak and there were too many races in the mix anyhow; in some ways, he'd rather not have joined them at all. But there's safety in numbers and it was better to be in a group of living strangers than two against a legion of dead. Thus, the Dixon brothers had opted to stay. Although, he'd seriously considered leaving when they'd left Merle for dead up on that roof, but again, the usefulness of numbers won out. Not that Daryl couldn't take care of himself, it would simply have been a foolish course of action to take, so he'd stayed; and to his surprise, these people had begun to grow on him. He'd even begun to care about them, and if he was right, the feelings were even reciprocated. Now that he was no longer in his brother's shadow the others could see that, while he could still be rather volatile, he was nowhere near on the level that Merle had been. Merle had practically raised him and Daryl loved him for it, even if he'd beat the ever loving shit out of him on occasion; but he also knew his brother, and he had no doubt that, in truth, it was Merle's own damn fault for getting himself handcuffed in the first place. Merle was his family but he could be a fucking pig's ass sometimes. These people, they were a new family to him, and a hell of a lot nicer to boot!
Daryl stood up from the log he'd been sitting on as he contemplated things, slinging his crossbow over his shoulder and heading over to Rick who was talking with Shane, Lori and Dale. He briefly considered where to begin and decided just to dive right in; no doubt they wouldn't be too pleased with the idea of moving on so soon but it needed to be discussed.
"Hey, I don't think that we should stay here for too long. I mean look what happened last time we set up an outdoor campsite. This is all well and good. It's the safest place we've come 'cross and we need to get our bearings straight, but this ain't the answer. We need to find a building and lock it down. Daryl spoke in a matter of fact tone.
Daryl was surprised when Rick turned to him with a smile and Shane glared at him.
"Well that settles it!" Rick sounded a bit excited, clapping Daryl on the shoulder he continued, "That happens to be exactly what we were just discussing. Now Shane here was a little leary about heading out so soon but Dale, Lori and I agree, we need to find something safer and more permanent."
"It ain't that I'm leary Rick," Shane replied, his voice clipped and agitated, "it's just that we haven't had a chance to stop since the CDC, these people are spent. They need a chance to rest, we can't keep pushing them like this, I just don't think it's a good idea to be setting off on these plans right now."
"That so?" the drawl in Daryl's voice was just a bit thicker being perturbed. "You're right. They're spent. But that's part of surviving and none of us are gonna make it if we keep up this way; we don't have time for this shit Shane and you know it, we gotta take action now. We'll get things settled when it's actually to our benefit. I'm not saying we drag them all off this minute to go searching, but I do think that we should send out scouting parties to search for something promising, and that does need to start soon. Now ya'll can figure it out, I'm going hunting; we could all use a decent meal. 'Specially the little ones."
He could feel Shane's stare burning a hole in the back of his head as he stormed into the woods, but didn't give the tiniest little fuck. Yeah, this group was growing on him but not all of them, mainly Shane. That man had a bug up his ass and it was making him dangerous; Daryl knew the others thought he was volatile, but it seemed that the former officer was becoming more and more unstable. Sure the world ended, it sucked. Still, to survive they had to adapt, humans were supposedly great at that... one wouldn't know it from observing Shane.
Rick watched Daryl head off towards the woods. When he'd first met him, he'd thought the redneck would be a problem for the group, but as it turned out Daryl was not only a great asset he considered the man to be a friend, maybe not real close just yet, but working on it. It was evident that even with Daryl beginning to integrate with the group there was still no love lost between him and Shane. Rick eyed the later as he continued to glare daggers at the tree line in which Daryl'd disappeared to. "Well, I think we should go ahead and scout around now, how bout you guys?"
Shane shifted his heated gaze to the former sheriff now, "You've got be kidding! We've only just gotten here, camp's barely set up at all."
"Daryl's right, we don't have time to waste, besides it's still early in the day; maybe we'll get lucky. If we don't today, then there'll be less ground to cover tomorrow." Rick maintained his rational demeanor, trying to calm his friend.
"Yeah, well who do you suggest we send off on this goose chase? Daryl's already gone off into the woods, who knows when he'll make it back; we can't send too few, it'd be too dangerous but we can't leave the camp unprotected either." Shane was getting more worked up the longer this conversation went on.
"Come on now Shane, I never said anything about leaving the camp unprotected, you know I wouldn't do that. What if T-Dog and Dale stayed with the camp and you and I and Glenn went scouting?"
Looking from one to the other, Dale interjected, "That sounds like a pretty decent plan if you ask me." Lori nodded in agreement.
Shane visibly bristled then reigned it in, he was outnumbered and knew it; T-Dog and Glenn would side with Rick and Dale, he was the odd man out. "Fine," he caved before heading off to his jeep to gather what he needed. Rick, Dale and Lori exchanged a look before searching out Glenn and T-Dog to inform them of the plan.
Daryl hadn't been hunting long and so far he hadn't come across any game, but he did find some deer tracks that he was following, excited at the prospect of some venison. "Damn, it's been too long since I've caught anything but squirrel and rabbit, deer'd be fucking awesome!" he thought to himself. Suddenly he heard a twig snap and was instantly alert. Tensed and with crossbow at the ready, he spun in the direction of the sound, only to have his mouth drop open and his heart come leaping from his chest. He gasped audibly in utter shock, "Merle?"