The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Part One

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Part One

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by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga

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The third book in Robert Kirkman's New York Times bestselling series: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part One!

The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman's iconic comic book, continues with The Fall of the Governor – Part One. From co-authors


The third book in Robert Kirkman's New York Times bestselling series: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part One!

The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman's iconic comic book, continues with The Fall of the Governor – Part One. From co-authors Kirkman, creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic as well as executive producer of AMC's blockbuster TV series, and Jay Bonansinga, Stoker Award-finalist and internationally acclaimed author, comes the gripping third novel in this richly woven, page-turning literary saga, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

In Rise of the Governor, uber-villain Philip Blake journeyed from his humble beginnings directly into the dark heart of the zombie apocalypse, and became the self-proclaimed leader of a small town called Woodbury. In The Road to Woodbury, an innocent traveler named Lilly Caul wound up in the terrifying thrall of Phillip Blake's twisted, violent dictatorship within Woodbury's ever tightening barricades.

And now, in The Fall of the Governor – Part One, the Governor's descent into madness finally erupts in a tour de force of action and horror. Beloved characters from the comic book, including Rick, Michonne and Glenn, finally make their entrance onto this nightmarish stage, and fans of The Walking Dead will see these characters in a whole new light. Simmering grudges boil over into unthinkable confrontations, battle lines are drawn, and unexpected twists seal the fates of the innocent and guilty alike.

Editorial Reviews

In this Walking Dead trilogy topper, Philip Blake, a.k.a. The Governor, and Rick Grimes meet in a tour de force final showdown. All the stress, tension, and violence of the previous episodes reach their boiling point as memorable characters from the cult-favorite comic book series finally make their entrances. A looming finale that unfolds up to expectations. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher

“The books are a really fun read...It's an interesting look at the universe that you already know and you might learn some things about your favorite characters you never knew.” —FANBOLT on The Fall of the Governor: Part One and Part Two

“An entertaining read.” — on The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury

“The novel fleshes out . . . backstories and connects them, giving depth to people who remained largely mysteries in the comic books. For comic book readers, the novel is full of easter eggs and surprise connections, making it not only entertaining, but necessarily for filling in the gaps left by the comic books . . . ‘The Road to Woodbury' is an essential read for any fan of ‘The Walking Dead'.” — on The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury

“Zombie-apocalypse stories are perfect for miserable winter weather regardless, but for those obsessed with The Walking Dead (such as yours truly), this is essential reading. This is the epitome of a page-turner, and makes subway rides just breeze by. And, that end -woof.” —REFINERY29 on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“An excellent companion to the The Walking Dead comic books. The story is enriched by the novel format, and the characterization of the series' most hated villain is something no fan will want to miss.” — on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“This book stands alone and is a compelling read for fans of the series or just fans of zombies. Watch out though, because once you get a taste of the particular Kirkman brand of zombie mayhem, catching up on past issues is just around the corner.” —The Ossuary on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“The story makes a great novel. You'll get sucked in and can easily visualize everything that is happening. It's simply a great read.” — on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“It takes great advantage of the literary medium in a way that most tie-in books would not.” — on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

“Not for the faint of heart, this book runs on pressure-cooker suspense, graphically described bloodshed, and dark acts of brutality...This riveting character study adds a new dimension to the oeuvre by fleshing out established characters and plot lines.” —School Library Journal on The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

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St. Martin's Press
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Walking Dead Novels Series , #3
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The Walking Dead

The Fall of the Governor, Part One

By Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 Robert Kirkman, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-02064-2


Writhing in pain on the ground, Bruce Allan Cooper gasps and blinks and tries to catch his breath. He can hear the gurgling, feral growls of a half-dozen biters coming for him, moving in for a feeding. A voice in his brain screams at him: Move, you fucking idiot! You pussy! What are you doing?!

A big African American with an NBA forward's physique, a shaved, missile-shaped head, and a grizzle of a goatee, he rolls across the scabrous earth, barely avoiding the clawing gray fingers and snapping jaws of an adult female biter with half a face.

He covers maybe five or six feet until a dagger of pain shoots down his side, radiating fire across his ribs, seizing him up in paralyzing agony. He lands on his back, still gripping his rusty fire ax. The pick head is caked in blood and human hair and the black, viscous bile that has come to be known among survivors as walker-droppings.

Momentarily thunderstruck, his ears ringing, one eye already closing up from the swelling of a broken nose, Bruce wears the tattered army fatigues and mud-caked jackboots of the unofficial Woodbury militia. He can see the Georgia sky above him — a low canopy of filthy dishwater-gray clouds, inclement and nasty for April — and it taunts him: You're nothing but a bug down there, Brucey-boy, a maggot on the carcass of a dying earth, a parasite feeding off the scraps and ruins of a vanishing human race.

All at once the panorama of the sky above him is eclipsed by three alien faces — dark planets slowly blocking out the heavens — each one snarling stupidly, drunkenly, each pair of milky eyes geeked perpetually open. One of them, an obese adult male in a soiled hospital smock, drools black mucus-gunk that drips on Bruce's cheek.


Bruce snaps out of his stupor, finding an unexpected reserve of strength. He lashes out with his ax. The pointed end arcs upward and impales the fat biter in the soft tissue under the jaw. The lower half of the thing's face detaches and jettisons, a gristly phalanx of dead flesh and glistening cartilage pinwheeling upwards of twenty feet in the air before coming back down to earth with a splat.

Rolling again, scrambling to his feet, Bruce executes a one-eighty spin — fairly graceful for a big man in excruciating pain — and hacks through the putrid neck muscles of another female biter coming at him. The head falls to the side, wobbling for a moment on threads of desiccated tissue before breaking free and tumbling to the ground.

The head rolls for a few feet, leaving a leech trail of black spoor, while the body remains upright for an agonizing moment, twitching with insensate arms outstretched in horrible blind instinct. Something metallic lies coiled at the thing's feet as it finally sinks to the ground.

Bruce then hears the strangest thing that can be heard — muffled in his traumatized ears — following in the wake of the carnage: cymbals crashing. At least, that's what it sounds like to Bruce's ringing ears — a throbbing, metallic crashing noise in his brain — coming from the near distance. Backing away with his weapon at his side, spurred on by the sound, Bruce blinks and tries to focus on other biters shambling toward him. There are too many of them to engage with the pickax.

Bruce turns to flee, and without warning runs directly into another figure blocking his path.


The other figure — a thick-necked white man built like a fireplug, his sandy hair cut in an old-school flattop — lets out a war cry and swings a mace the size of a horse leg at Bruce. The spiked club whizzes past Bruce's face, passing within centimeters of his broken nose. Bruce instinctively rears backward, tripping over his own feet.

He topples to the ground in an awkward display that sends up a cloud of dust and elicits another series of cymbal crashes from the hazy middle distance. The ax goes flying. The sandy-haired man takes advantage of the confusion and roars toward Bruce, the mace poised for action. Bruce grunts and rolls out of range at the last minute.

The mace head slams down hard, stick-pinning into the earth mere inches from Bruce's head.

Bruce rolls toward the fallen weapon that lies in the red dirt about ten feet away. He gets his hand around the wooden shank, when suddenly, without warning, a figure lurches out of the haze to Bruce's immediate left. Bruce jerks away from the biter, which is crawling toward him with the languid twitches of a giant lizard. Black ooze issues from the female's slack mouth — its sharp little teeth visible — its jaw snapping with reptilian vigor.

Then something else happens that brings Bruce back to reality.

The chain holding the female in place suddenly clangs, the monster reaching the limits of its bondage. Bruce lets out an instinctive gasp of relief, the dead thing only inches away, flailing impotently at him. The biter growls with inchoate frustration, the chain holding fast. Bruce feels like digging the thing's eyeballs out with his bare hands, like chewing through the neck of this useless piece of rotting shit-flesh.

Again, Bruce hears that weird cymbal-crashing noise, as well as the voice of the other man, barely audible under the noise: "C'mon, man, get up ... get up."

Bruce gets moving. He grabs the ax and struggles to his feet. More cymbal-crashing noises ... as Bruce spins, and then swings the ax hard at the other man.

The blade barely misses Flattop's throat, slicing through the collar of the man's turtleneck sweater, leaving a six-inch gouge.

"How's that?" Bruce mutters under his breath, circling the man. "That entertaining enough for ya?"

"That's the spirit," the stocky man murmurs — his name is Gabriel Harris, Gabe to his cronies — as he swings the club again, the nail-studded head whispering past Bruce's swollen face.

"That all you got?" Bruce mumbles, jerking away just in time, and then circling around the other way. He lashes out with the ax. Gabe parries with the club, and all around the two combatants, the monsters keep growling and gurgling their watery ululations, straining against their chains, hungry for human flesh, stirred into a feeding frenzy.

As the dusty haze on the periphery of the battlefield clears, the remnants of an outdoor dirt-track arena come into focus.

* * *

The size of a football field, the outer edges lined with cyclone fencing, the Woodbury Veterans Speedway is surrounded by the relics of old pit areas and dark cavernous passageways. Behind the chain link rise latticed bench seats, sloping up to huge, rusted-out light stanchions. The stands are now filled with scores of cheering Woodbury residents. The cymbal-crashing sounds are, in fact, the wild applause and jeering voices of the crowd.

Out in the miasma of dust swirling around the infield, the gladiator known as Gabe mutters under his breath so only his adversary can hear, "You're fighting like a goddamn girl today, Brucey" — the wisecrack punctuated by a roundhouse swing of the club at the black man's legs.

Bruce vaults into the air, executing a dodge that would be the envy of a World Wrestling Entertainment star. Gabe swings again and the club goes wide and strikes the head of a young male biter in ragged, greasy dungarees, a former mechanic perhaps.

The nails embed themselves in the thing's cadaverous skull, sending ropy strands of dark fluid into the air, before Gabe has a chance to dig the mace out and mumble, "Governor's gonna be pissed with your bullshit performance."

"Oh yeah?" Bruce counterstrikes with the handle of the ax, slamming it into Gabe's solar plexus, driving the stocky man to the ground. The ax arcs through the air and comes down within centimeters of Gabe's cheek.

Gabe rolls away and springs to his feet, still muttering under his breath. "Shouldn't have had that extra serving of cornbread last night."

Bruce moves in for another swing of the ax, whizzing the blade past Gabe's neck. "You should talk, fat boy."

Gabe swings the mace again and again, driving Bruce back toward the chained biters. "How many times have I told ya? Governor wants it to look real."

Bruce blocks the onslaught of mace blows with the ax handle. "You broke my fucking nose, motherfucker."

"Stop your bellyaching, dickweed." Gabe slams the mace down again and again until the nails stick into the ax handle. Gabe pulls the mace back and wrenches the ax out of Bruce's grip. The ax goes flying. The crowd cheers. Bruce dives away. Gabe goes after him. Bruce cuts and runs the other way, and Gabe lunges while simultaneously swinging the mace under the black man's legs.

The nails catch Bruce's fatigue pants, tearing a swath and superficially lacerating flesh. Bruce stumbles and goes down hard. Thin tendrils of blood loop across the pale, dusty daylight as Bruce rolls.

Gabe soaks up the frenzied, frantic applause — the clapping is almost hysterical — and he turns toward the bleachers, which are filled with the bulk of Woodbury's post-plague population. He raises his mace Braveheart-style. The cheers swell and rise. Gabe milks it. He turns slowly with the mace over his head, an almost comical look of macho victory on his face.

The place erupts into pandemonium ... and up in the stands, amid the waving arms and whooping voices, all but one onlooker seems transported by the spectacle.

* * *

Sitting in the fifth row, way off on the north end of the bleachers, Lilly Caul turns away in disgust. A faded linen scarf wound tightly around her swanlike neck to ward off the April chill, she is dressed in her customary ripped jeans, thrift-shop sweater, and hand-me-down beads. As she shakes her head and lets out an exasperated sigh, the wind blows tendrils of her toffee-brown hair around her once-youthful face, which now bears the lines of trauma — the wrinkles nested around her aquamarine eyes and along the edges of her mouth — as deep as the grain in burnished cowhide. She isn't even aware that she's mumbling under her breath, "Fucking Roman circuses ..."

"What was that?" The woman next to her glances up from an insulated cup of tepid green tea. "Did you say something?"

Lilly shakes her head. "No."

"You okay?"

"Fine ... just peachy." Lilly keeps gazing off into the distance as the rest of the crowd yelps and hollers and emits hyena howls. Still only in her early thirties, Lilly Caul looks at least ten years older than that now, her brow perpetually furrowed in consternation. "You want to know the truth, I don't know how much more of this shit I can take."

The other woman sips her tea thoughtfully. Clad in a dull-white lab coat under her parka, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, she's the town nurse — an earnest, soft-spoken girl named Alice — who has taken a keen interest in Lilly's tenuous place in the town's hierarchy. "It's none of my business," Alice says finally, speaking softly enough to go unheard by any nearby revelers, "but if I were you, I would keep my feelings to myself."

Lilly looks at her. "What are you talking about?"

"For the time being, at least."

"I'm not following."

Alice seems vaguely uncomfortable talking about this in broad daylight, in plain sight of the others. "He's watching us, you know."


"Right now, he's keeping tabs."

"You gotta be —"

Lilly stops herself. She realizes that Alice is referring to the shadowy figure standing in the mouth of the vaulted stone passageway directly to the north, about thirty yards away, under the defunct scoreboard. Draped in shadow, silhouetted by the cage lights behind him, the man stands with hands on his hips, watching the action on the infield with a satisfied gleam in his eyes.

Of average height and build, clad in black, he has a large-caliber pistol holstered on his hip. At first glance, he appears almost harmless, benign, like a proud land baron or medieval noble surveying his manor. But even at this distance, Lilly can sense his serpentine gaze — as cunning as a cobra's — scanning every corner of the stands. And every few seconds, that electric gaze falls on the spot at which Lilly and Alice now sit shivering in the spring winds.

"Better if he believes everything is just fine," Alice murmurs into her tea.

"Jesus Christ," Lilly mutters, staring down at the littered cement floor beneath the bleacher seats. Another surge of cheers and applause rises up around her as the gladiators go at it some more on the infield, Bruce going postal with his ax, Gabe getting boxed in by a cluster of chained biters. Lilly pays little attention to it.

"Smile, Lilly."

"You smile. ... I don't have the stomach for it." Lilly looks up at the grisly action on the field for a moment, the mace tearing through the rotten craniums of the living dead. "I just don't get it." She shakes her head and looks away.

"Don't get what?"

Lilly takes a deep breath and looks at Alice. "What about Stevens?"

Alice gives her a shrug. Dr. Stevens has been Alice's lifeline for almost a year now, keeping her sane, teaching her the nursing trade, and showing her how to patch up battered gladiators with the dwindling storehouse of medical supplies stored in the network of catacombs beneath the arena. "What about him?"

"I don't see him playing along with this hideous shit." Lilly rubs her face. "What makes him so special — that he doesn't have to play nice with the Governor? Especially after what happened in January."

"Lilly —"

"C'mon, Alice." Lilly looks at her. "Admit it. The good doctor never shows up at these things, and he's constantly grumbling about the Governor's bloodthirsty freak shows to anyone who'll listen."

Alice licks her lips, turns, and puts a warning hand on Lilly's arm. "Listen to me. Don't kid yourself. The only reason Dr. Stevens is tolerated is because of his medical skills."


"So he's not exactly a welcome part of the Governor's little kingdom."

"What are you saying, Alice?"

The younger woman takes another deep breath, and then lowers her voice even further. "All I'm saying is, nobody's immune. Nobody's got job security around here." She tightens her grip on Lilly's arm. "What if they find another doctor, one who's a little more gung ho? Stevens could very easily end up out there."

Lilly pulls herself away from the nurse, rises to her feet, and glances out at the ghastly action on the infield. "I'm so done with this, I can't take it anymore." She shoots a glance at the figure silhouetted in the shadow-bound cloister to the north. "I don't care if he's watching."

Lilly starts toward the exit.

Alice grabs her. "Lilly, just promise me ... you'll be careful. Okay? Keep your head down? As a favor to me?"

Lilly gives her a cold, enigmatic little smile. "I know what I'm doing, Alice."

Then, Lilly turns, descends the stairs, and vanishes out the exit.

* * *

It's been over two years since the first of the dead reanimated and made themselves known to the living. In that time, the larger world outside the rural backwaters of Georgia gradually winked out with the slow certainty of metastasizing cells, the pockets of survivors groping for purchase in abandoned office parks, deserted retail outlets, and derelict communities. As the walker population incubated and multiplied, and the dangers increased, tribal alliances among humans formed themselves in earnest.

The township of Woodbury, Georgia, in the county of Meriwether, situated in the western part of the state, about seventy miles south of Atlanta, has become a virtual anomaly in the realm of survivor settlements. Originally a small farming village of about a thousand people, spanning a six-block stretch of main drag and railroad crossings, the town has been completely fortified and buttressed by the makeshift matériel of war.

Semitrucks retrofitted with fifty-caliber machine gun placements have been canted across the outer corners. Old railroad cars have been wrapped in concertina wire and positioned to block points of egress. Down through the center of town, walled ramparts surround the central business district — some of the barricades just recently completed — within which people live their forlorn lives clinging to memories of church socials and outdoor barbeques.

Making her way across the central walled area, striding purposefully down the cracked paving stones of Main Street, Lilly Caul tries to ignore the feeling that she gets whenever she sees the Governor's goons strolling the storefronts with AR-15s cradled high across their chests. They're not just keeping the walkers out ... they're also keeping us in.

Lilly has been persona non grata in Woodbury for months now, ever since her ill-fated coup in January. It was obvious to Lilly, even back then, that the Governor had gotten out of control, his violent regime turning Woodbury into a death carnival. Lilly had managed to recruit a few of the town's saner denizens — including Stevens, Alice, and Martinez, one of the Governor's right-hand men — to snatch the Governor one night and take him for a ride out into walker country for a little tough love. The plan was to accidentally-on-purpose get the Governor eaten. But walkers have a way of gumming up the works of the best-laid plans, and in the midst of the mission, a herd had formed out of nowhere. The whole enterprise reverted to a survival struggle ... and the Governor lived to rule another day.


Excerpted from The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga. Copyright © 2013 Robert Kirkman, LLC. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

ROBERT KIRKMAN is the creator of many popular comic books, including Walking Dead, Invincible, and Super Dinosaur. In addition to being a partner at Image Comics, Kirkman is an executive producer and writer on The Walking Dead television show. In 2010, Kirkman opened Skybound, his own imprint at Image, which publishes his titles as well as other original work.

JAY BONANSINGA is a New York Times bestselling novelist whose debut novel, The Black Mariah, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

ROBERT KIRKMAN is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics, as well as Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on The Walking Dead television show.
JAY BONANSINGA is a critically acclaimed horror novelist whose works include Perfect Victim, Shattered, Twisted, and Frozen. His debut novel, The Black Mariah, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

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The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its cool and gets into more detail
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books are going from decent to worst. Struggled to even finish this one.
ZazuMK More than 1 year ago
I usually love all things "Walking Dead." However, this book seemed to be cashing in on the popularity of the series. It rehashed an old story line with gore and cruelty. As always the characters are fully realized and well done. The plot was spotty. The writing didn't reach these authors' normal standards Not my favorite of any of the series, whether it be the television show, graphic novels or books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read this book I had the same reaction that I did when I read Road to Woodberry...... I get the impression that the authors did not want to write these books but was contractually obligated to do so.... They both felt forced.. The very first book rise of the governor was the best and remains in that spot.. Also in these other two (later) books.... characters use some of the same mannerisms and speech that Brian, Phillip and Nick used among themselves... Could have used more editing before pub....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Must read for walking dead lovers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok. The end was disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Expected more but still a good read!..thought they were gonna go as far as when the governor goes with the tank to the prison..nope..bu like i said still a good read..1st 2 way better....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your here also arent ya?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carl i love u
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the walking dead it is a (good book!!!!) (,)(,)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The wajlking dead seems like a great book to read so im going to read if,
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
best book although it has a lot of cursing
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG!it was awesome if you love the show and watched it last night respond to #TWD:):)lolthe walking dead!!!!!!! Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Res one main area res two u r here res three bios res the rest barren lands but res five is the city!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Watch the second half of Season 4 of The Walking Dead starting on February 9, 2014 at 9/8c only on AMC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fall of the Governor part 1 is probably the best Walking Dead novel yet. Much of this is because its the first novel in the series to directly intersect with the comics. Just like the previous novel the story is told through the perspective of various Woodbury residents and The Governor himself. As comic fans know the events that happen to the characters(Prison and Woodbury alike) during this story arc are pretty extreme and seeing them from a Woodbury/Governor perspective only makes them more disturbing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She grabbed her gun."Alex!!!" she screamed for her friend. He ran in and saw leo and donnie pushing her against the cool hard ground. Leo had a dagger in hand and Donnie was on a testing device. Donnie turned his head to see Alex carrying a sheath and sword. Leo saw Alex heading towards Donnie pointing his gun at Donnie. Leo stood up and stared he grinned. "Well isn't your poor boyfriend" he said crossing arms. Avi had warm tears running down her cheeks. Alex bit his lip "she isn't my girlfriend!" Anger slipped in his throat. Donnie picked up Avi and shoved her into Alex. April walked in staring at Donnie. "What's going on?" She asked Leo with a strict face. Leo didn't respond he just put his head down. April walked over to Avi. Avi turned to her and gave her a soft small hug. April brushed her tears away. Zombies made some noise. Avi looked up and heard the mysterious noise. "ZOMBIES!!!" She screeched. April had horror in her eyes. Leo smelled gas coming from upstairs. "We better go!" He replied giving Avi a glare...a happy one. He walked over and put his finger on her chin. "Until next time" he said getting closer. Avi pushed away groing and cursing under her breath. April put her hand on her shoulder. "Let's go-fast!" She frowned. Part 2 coming soon at res 3 byyyee.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looked t the two, and seeing no bandages and no primal zombies trying to kill her, lovwered her gun. Looked at daryl. My name is jenna.