By HotSauceMagik 2 Comments
War. War never changes. It was the tagline to an old game I used to play back before the war. Back before...all this. Its been nearly a month since the power went out. I don't know if the military shut it off, or it died from neglect. Doesn't matter. Its gone. Ain't comin' back.
Life wouldn't be so bad if that were the only problem. Hell, with most of the population gone, I could make a pretty damn fine life for myself here in Chernarus. Well, If it weren't for those....things....I guess. Don't know where they came from but it sure as shit don't look like they're goin anywhere. Some fucked up government experiment maybe. I dunno...who the hell knows what those commie bastards were up to down in their secret steel caves. All I know is they ain't friendly, and I'm pretty sure they think I'm dinner.
How'd I get here, you ask? Heh... well that's an easy one. Don't really know. I was stationed a few clicks inland. Small town called Stary Sobor. Camp was set up to be a military checkpoint. We were keeping an eye on the locals who were traveling between the coast and farther inland. Can't say it was very exciting, but after what I've seen, it was a welcomed change. I suppose we got pretty complacent in the months we were stationed there. Boredom will do that to ya. Between chasing the local pussy, and trying to find out what was so exciting at the bottom of all those vodka bottles, I guess we sort of forgot why we were there. Eventually we saw the same people traveling back and forth. Became pretty lax with our duties. That's what killed most of us.
I think it was a Tuesday night. The days lose their meaning when you spend them in either one of two places, your post, or the bar. We maned the guard shack 12 hours at a clip. 12 on, 12 off. Ad nauseum. Most guys hit the town the second they were off shift. Get as much booze and tail as you can in the next 8 or so hours, sleep for 4, then back to the post. If the Russians weren't gonna kill us, this lifestyle was. Then it happened.
It had been an unusually early night for me. After a few days on the "Russian Diet", as we had come to calling it, most guys took a breather by sleeping straight through one of their off shifts. I was so exhausted from last nights escapades, and today's little slice of Purgatory that I nearly collapsed in my bunk. Wild, fever dreams danced though my head. I've never had much of an imagination so I'm chalking it up to the vodka, but all I could hear was screaming. Her name was Danuta. It was late. Really late. I don't remember much about that night; My memory being more like a photo book than a movie. Snapshots of a few small details. She was tall for a woman. Reddish hair. Not a particularly pretty face, but her curves made up for it. She was standing near then end of the bar looking at me. She was next to me. Her smile. Our clothes on the floor. A glass falls off the nightstand. She's screaming in extasy... She's screaming in extasy...darkness... It was a good dream. But why can I still hear her screams?
What I woke to was worse than any nightmare. Being torn from sleep by the sound I heard that night have made damn sure I'll never get a good sleep again. At first it was screams, then gunshots. But not enough. Why isn't there more shooting if we're being attacked? Training had taught me to leave my BDUs and boots in the same place every night. I was getting dressed on auto pilot. As I grabbed my rifle and ripped open the flap, I'm not really sure what I expected, but it definitely wasn't this.
Should I be relieved is wasn't the Russians? Probably at first. I'd give anything to be fighting them now. I guess to say it wasn't a Russian army wouldn't quite be accurate. Some of them were. Some of them were simple villagers. Plumbers. Grocery clerks. Bakers. Mechanics....Once of them spots me. With a growl that sounded like he was partly choking on vomit, he turned towards me. Its at this point that my whole fucking world was turned upside down. This guy...or really, I don't know what it was, had huge gashes all over him. It almost looked like he had been chewed on. Whatever had happened, he was sprinting towards me. Before I could even tell him to stay back he was on me. I raised the butt of my gun up to his chin just as he slammed into me. He dropped like a sack of dead flesh. I didn't stop to see if he was alive. Sprinting towards the end of the camp I dove into the bushes and lay silent. Held my breath for so long I felt like my lungs were going to explode. There was no one near me. The one I had struck laid motionless 50 yards away. Gunshots. I stayed there for what seemed like hours. Every growl, every rustle of leaves freezing me in my breath and thoughts. I watch two other soldiers shuffle into a tent nearby. Not sure if they were running from something or just looking to hide. It had been minutes since I had heard anything now. I crouched from my prone position, trying to get a better view, finally standing up after deciding there was no movement. What I saw has be seared onto the backs of my eyelids forever. On the tarmac, next to our tents lay most of my company. The whole road was stained red. Men in their fatigues, men in nothing more than their boxers and t-shirts. They were all equal now. The faces of horror. That's what I'll always remember. These guys were eaten alive. They were in various stages of consumption, but all died of the same thing. Stumbling backwards at the sight, I turned to puke. Between the heaves, I heard more gunshots, saw a squad mate sprinting to the old farm building. Those things. They were chasing him. He turned around and fired two shots. One of the man-eaters fell. He disappeared into the barn. I started running towards him using the abandoned warehouse for cover I peaked around the corner. Nothing. Jumping from cover I sprinted to the side of the building, then inside. As I ran through the door, he fired a few more shots. I saw one of the eaters fall as bullets slammed into the wall behind me. FRIENDLY!!!!! I yelled. But the bullets kept flying. I stumbled back and saw more of them rounding the far corner of the building, ready to make him dinner.
Maybe firing on them was a bad decision but it doesn't matter now. I stumbled back to the warehouse. Turning to kill a few of them as I ran. I scrambled up a ladder to the catwalks above the warehouse floor. Falling into the corner I turned to train my crosshairs on the ladder. But they never came. Sure I could hear their moans and growls, but somehow, they never made it up.
Its been about 9 hours now and I was starting to get really hungry. The eaters were all around, but I think they had forgotten about me. I had to make a move soon but where? They were covering most of the ground around the structure and I didn't have enough ammo to kill them all. I stalked around the catwalks looking for an opening. Didn't seem to be much movement down there. A few of the eaters hopping around, most just shambling along. Started to think this was the end. None of the conceivable options I could think of were all that promising. I wasn't crazy about the idea of suicide, but I couldn't see how any of the many avenues I could take wouldn't lead to my death. Gotta keep focused though. I can wait this out a lot longer if I need to. As I was gazing back a the camp I had spent the past few months at, I caught a glint in my eye. The sun had come up and was reflecting off something in the bushes. That's when I heard the crack of a gunshot. I remember feeling a dull pain and looking down. It looked like someone had opened a valve, blood rushing to be free of its prison of veins. Confused, I stepped forward, heard another crack and with a thud, I faded to black.
All of the pain was gone. There were no bodies, no eaters, no military base. Just a warm light. The ocean. I always loved going to the ocean as a kid. The salty sting of the wind. Grains of sand running between my fingers. Warm rays of sunlight bleaching my hair... I sat up. Where am I? Looks to the left and right saw nothing but beaches and trees. What happened? Last thing I knew, I was miles inland. I felt a tickle on my lip. I had at least three weeks worth of a beard going. My head hurts. It was then that I noticed the coyote pack on the ground behind me. It was a beat up old military pack similar to the ones the Russians used in World War 2. I opened it up to find a few cans of beans, some bandages and few other odds and ends, and....a Makarov?
What I though were the events of the last few hours were apparently weeks ago. I don't know what happened, or who the hell brought me here, but I sure as shit aim to find out. I've got to get back to Stary Sobor and find out if there's anything left of my Company.