Ealdorman Johanna was nervous. Rick had never been gone this long before, and when he was gone for long he would always send a scout back every hour. He had sent someone out to try and find him and the scouts he had with him, but he has had no word from him. He tried to keep the fact that Rick had not yet returned back to the fortress a secret, he didn't want his men to worry, but it will be quite clear that there's something wrong, many of the resistance are friends with him and they will start wondering soon.
He sent the man to find them about four hours ago, of course it's expected for him to take a while - it's harder to track people on foot - he would have to look at where they were last reported to be seen and go from there.
As usual the Ealdorman was impatient and was thinking about sending another man out. But if he did that then there would be even more of a chance of someone getting captured and information tortured out of them. The last thing that the Ealdorman wanted was for the Plague Soldiers to find out where his fortress was. It was quite obvious where it was really. It's the place where they know nothing about because no Plague Scouts has ever come back. Maybe they were all fools and thought that they all deserted, or maybe they had too large a force that they could not keep track of what has happened to everyone. They must have hundreds of deserters everyday. That's not suprising because most of their army was forced to join - even in their world - and the rebels are glad that they were forced because they are getting more and more deserters from the Plague Army joining everyday.
Then a knock at the door interrupted his train of thought.
"Come in." The Ealdorman said, feeling gloomy. The door opened and then a man walked through. It was the soldier that he sent to find Rick, "what news?" He asked, his spirit slightly lifted.
"They are safe, but," the soldiers hesitated, not sure whether the Ealdorman would like it or not.
"But what man?" The Ealdorman questioned. The man still hesitated, thinking about how to phrase it. "Are you going to tell me or what?!" The man then remembered the message that was given to him by Rick.
"Rick gave me this." He said hastily before the Ealdorman clouted him. He was so nervous that he almost forgot to give it to the Ealdorman, and then remembered and handed it over. The Ealdorman broke the seal and read the contents of the letter.
"What is he thinking!" He bellowed. It didn't even need an answer. No one knew exactly what he was thinking. "What else did he say to you?"
"Just what was in the message."
"He must have told you something else,"
"No, well, actually he did say something else," again he hesitated because he had never seen the Ealdorman this angry.
"Are you going to tell me then boy!?" He asked with a raised voice.
"He wants you to send out someone everyday to find him so he can send word to you, and when he tells them where our fake camp is he wants you to make signs that indicate you were there."
"Sweet God, why does Rick do these things to me." The Ealdorman said. "You can leave now boy. At dawn tomorrow you go out and look for him. I want you to do this everyday from now on, now go get some sleep boy."
"Yes sir," he said, saluted and then walked out towards the barracks.
"Wait until I get my hands on your Rick . . ." The Ealdorman said to himself.