Jillian signaled the caravan to halt as they rounded the corner. Their horses shuffled nervously as the riders stopped them and dismounted. The road had been blocked by a wrecked school bus.

“Bandits. Of all the days. We’re already three days late with these supplies,” Sam said, looking warily to the hills around them.

“Well if you and Bryce hadn’t gotten knock-down drunk back in Dallas, we’d probably have missed them,” Jillian scowled.

Sam laughed as he walked back to his horse. The old drunk always laughed it off when Jillian tried to scold him. Jillian always had a tough time with the older men on the crew. They didn’t particularly enjoy being bossed around by a young woman.

Jillian had just pulled her rifle from the saddle when she heard a deep voice behind her.

“Weapons down and hands up, or I blow her head off!”

Jillian hesitated, glancing at her crew out of the corner of her eye. About half of them had rifles in their hands, aiming in several directions. They were surrounded.

“Now! Drop the guns and hands up!” the man with the deep voice repeated.

Jillian nodded to the crew and slowly placed her rifle on the ground, putting her hands up as she stood back up. Everyone else followed her lead. She slowly turned around to face the man who belonged to the voice. He was a large man covered in tattoos, with cracked, leathery skin from too much time in the desert sun. There were at least a dozen men with him.

“We don’t want any trouble. We got women and children to provide for. We just want your supplies,” the man said.

Jillian muttered to herself, “Of all the low-lifes to be born Breeders….”

“What’d you say, little girl?” another bandit near her shouted, “Bill, I think she’s insultin’ us!”

“Easy, Paul. Easy. I said we don’t want no trouble,” Bill replied. He inched toward Jillian, his pistol still steadily aimed at her head, “Now I know you didn’t mean to insult our reputation, so I’m gonna make you a generous offer.”

Bill’s awful breath filled Jillian’s nostrils now as he leaned in close to her. She was trying very hard not to tremble.

“If any of you women in this crew is Breeders, we’ll take one of you and let everyone else go, with your supplies.”

Jillian swallowed hard and started to answer when Sam interrupted, “Well looks like you’re just going to have to settle for the supplies. No Breeders here.”

Bill shoved Jillian to the ground and walked over to Sam, putting the pistol to his head.

“Well ain’t that just a terrible disappointment. Kill ’em all, boys,” he ordered.

Eleven bandits cocked eleven guns. Jillian scrambled to her feet and yelled, “Wait! Wait,” she was breathing heavily, “take me. I’m a Breeder.”

“Jill, no—,” Sam started.

“Is that right?” Bill grinned wickedly, “Looks like we have ourselves a deal then.”

Bill grabbed Jillian by her hair and led her back towards the hills. His men began to follow him. Paul jogged up to his side and gave him a curious look.

“Oh that’s right, how forgetful of me,” he said to Paul, “kill the rest.”