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After the Dust has Settled - [Short Story]


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*Warning: Thread may contain a long story, I cannot be held liable for wasting your time*

// Hi guys, this is my new story, following Tomerans Lore this time, set ~400 days after the outbreak!

// It follows Eve Everest and Stan Delaney, two inexperienced survivors thrown into Chernarus. For Eve in game I'll be using text chat, so apologies in advance for slow typing if you meet me. Hope you enjoy this.

Eve woke up, a fierce winter wind whistled over her as she lay on the cold concrete floor. She pushed herself up into a seated position, her head pounded and her limbs ached. She looked around, still dazed from from waking up. She was in a poky corridor with nothing but her notebook which she treasures dearly, the floor she lay on hadn't been cleaned since the outbreak, and a thick layer of dust lay on the surface. Eve discovered the origin of the wind was from a large steel door left ajar, the light shining through was blinding and disoriented Eve as she slowly stood up. She could barely hold her own weight, and had to use the wall as support. She tried to cast her mind back to the night before, but all she saw was a hazy blur and a figure, Stan...

18 hours earlier...

Evelyn shut the door and propped a table up against it, the makeshift barricade won't hold, but it's better than leaving the infected to walk through an open door. Her friend Stan, his disheveled reporters jacket a musky brown in the setting sun, was blocking up the windows to prevent sounds and light from escaping. Evelyn paced around the former office, nodding with satisfaction, but deep down she had doubts it will hold. Nothing can ever withstand the horde forever.

Her and Stan had arrived in a foreign country not one week ago in a rusted out banger of a car, all the way from Afghanistan in search of a safer place. They thought the war torn region they had been tasked to report in was the worst it could get, and then they met the pandemic. For four hundred long death defying days they had survived, holed up in the British Armies Headquarters at Camp Bastion. But even that fell with time. Now it was just Eve and Stan, although Eve wouldn’t have it any other way, she just couldn’t let Stan know she thought of him in that sense. They only had each other out in the ex-Soviet state of Chernarus, everything else was an unknown. They were struggling to survive, low on provisions and a fuel tank that’s nearly empty, the pair decided it best to venture towards a city. They found a few leftover scraps, but also thousands of infected. It wasn’t before they had to bunker down and hide from the masses outside.

Stan broke the silent tension that had built up since they entered the derelict office. “Have we covered every entrance?” Before Eve could answer there was a loud thud from down one of the thin dark corridors, above the doorway the ominous sign of the fire exit sat as warning that it led outside. Eve’s words fell out with a sense of dread.

“Neither of us checked down there did we?” With trepidation, Eve approached the doorway, leaning against a wall nearby was an iron rod, which Eve took as an improvised weapon. They had a revolver, but it only had two bullets left; one for Eve, and one for Stan. She tightened her grip on the rod as she strode down the corridor,, she felt the breeze waft around the corner. As she drew closer, all she could hear was the beating of her. And then…

“That’s where I blacked out.” Eve was back in the present day, speaking softly to herself. The rest of her memory escaped her, and made her even more worried about Stan. She pulled the door open to reveal the winters day outside.Her numb feet stepped onto hard soil, she was in a compound. Eve surveyed the area, noticing a pile of bodies in one corner, some rubble and broken fortifications. She spun back towards the building she had just left, its sheer height forcing her to crane her neck upwards. It was a radio tower...

//Comments / Criticism welcome

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// Thank you Andrei, I hope I meet you as Eve or Stan, (Best Squad in Zelenogorsk Invasion :D )

Day Unknown.

This is my first day without Stan, we were split up during an infestation, I must of got away, and blacked out shortly after. I'm at an abandoned radio tower, with nothing but my notebook and my radio, which has seen better days. The casing is smashed, and won't turn on, I doubt I will find spare parts anytime soon. I am defenceless but fortunately, there aren't any infected in the area, apart from some dead ones. I'll wait to see if Stan returns, if not... well I will need to pluck up the courage to venture out on my own and search for Stan. I'm not leaving without him.

Before I left I climbed the service ladder of the radio tower to get a decent view of my surrounding, apart the chilly winter wind the weather was on my side, and I was able to pick out a farm to the west (I say West, without a compass I can't work it out, I’m going off of my navigation badge in the Brownies.)

Going to the barn was a good call, I found a wooden bat, which seemed to serve his previous owner pretty well considering the number of corpses surrounding him, right up to his death. There are signs on the road for two towns 3 miles away in opposite directions, I hope they are towns. I don’t know what the signs say, or the mysterious red letters sprayed onto the signs. Its one of the a walk, the next entry may be some time, if I make it out.

6 hours later…

Eve approached the airfield, her tiring legs were now shuffling along the ground as she walked. The small rucksack on her back contained the spoils of the last three towns she had visited, as well as the crossbow slung over her shoulder. She could now defend herself, the only thing she needed now was a safe place to rest. She stood on a small mound overlooking the airstrip to catch her breath.

“I wish I could fix that car a few miles back, but I had neither the tools nor the skill.” She realised she was speaking to herself out loud. It was easy to forget Stan wasn’t with her. “He’s always been there, and as much as we argued… in the end we survived.”

She set off once more at a brisk pace to avoid unwanted attention, figures hobbled aimlessly around in the distance, infected, too many to handle. She pressed herself up against the wall of the air traffic control tower to avoid the gaze of the dormant mob around the corner. Slowly, she sidled in the opposite direction in the hope the entrance was closed. She reached the end of the wall, taking a second to make a sweeping glance around the corner for any infected. Just one. It was, or used to be a soldier; luckily for Eve with no helmet. She crept up behind it clutching her bat and struck the back of its head with a crushing blow, it let out a raspy beast like sigh. Do these creatures even feel pain? She thought.

A few cross bow bolts later and Eve made it to the control room. From the third story windows she could see the many ‘zombified’ people shuffling on the ground below. A few dozen at least, too many for me, and they’re edging closer. Eve backed away from the window in case they looked up, and then noticed an object hidden under the desk. She reached down and wrapped both hands around its metal body. It was a gun of some sorts, either a shotgun or an assault rifle by the looks of it. The only knowledge Eve had of guns was what she picked up from the soldiers. Many of the male soldiers were more than keen to teach her back in the days before the outbreak, but she was no marksman. There was a loud bang downstairs; the doors had most probably been pushed by a stray, curious infected. Eve inspected the weapon more. It was metallic black, and a large magazine was clipped to the belly of the receiver. Time to find out how effective this is. She casually pulled the safety catch back and strode downstairs.

The intruder who had barged through the door paced about the entrance corridor oblivious to the gun trained on his head not two metres away. Eves finger hovered over the trigger, preparing for the dreaded kickback. Upon the press of the trigger, the intruders head exploded across the corridor as tiny pellets cascaded across the corridor, adding a fresh coat of blood to the already grimy walls. The recoil pushed the gun into her chest, and her ears began to ring. It's a shotgun. Was her first thought, before she focused on the task at hand.

Before the body had even dropped to the ground, Eve had launched herself towards the entrance and slammed the doors shut. She barred it shut using her crossbow. Hopefully it will hold long enough. She ran back upstairs, shotgun in hand. This place wasn't safe, she had to escape, she remembered the first thing she was taught by the soldiers. Every large building has a second exit, you just have to look. She kicked open the door in the control room to access the roof terrace, more importantly the fire escape.

She hastily descended down the rickety ladder, the handles were cold on her palms to the point where her hands went numb. Her grip slipped and she fell the last metre onto the grassy turf below. The air was knocked out of her lungs, and her muscles began to give into the strain. Eve rolled onto her chest, the top half of her body in pain.

She pushed herself until she was stood up. It was then she noticed the creeper, hunched on all fours, the deformed husk of a young man tried to take out her legs with large swipes. It's right claw scratched her left leg, she pressed the barrel against the top of its head and set its cranium flying in all directions. It wouldn't be long before the pack was on her, so she began to flee for the forest, hobbling as fast as she could.

// More coming Tuesday/ Wednesday, where I will send out a radio broadcast (on this thread) asking for help with something.

Edit no.2: I noticed an error, if you see any more, just tell me. These are usually written when I'm playing games.

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1 (Painful) hour later...

Eve limped through the forest, exhausted and disorientated. For the past ten minutes the odd infected could be seen trundling through the shrubbery, and between the trees Eve could make out the vague shapes of buildings. She left the treeline at hobbled her way to an apartment block. Its windows had been boarded up and the doorway had been barricaded in the past, but was evident it was breached long ago.

She stumbled through the entrance, dropping her shotgun and baseball bat so she would be able to make it up the stairs. Moving cautiously, she reached the top floor apartment after 5 minutes of strenuous climbing. After firmly shutting the door behind herself, Eve rummaged through the many cabinets in the apartments, the makeshift rags wrapped around her wound were wearing thin, she needed a bandage, antiseptic wipes and a lot of pain relief.

She grabbed a basket of medical supplies and tore through the contents. Once she found the things she was looking for, she undone her jeans to reveal the gaping wound on her leg. She wiped the wound clean several times, she wanted to make sure she didn’t end up with the fate worse than death. She jabbed a morphine syringe into her thigh, and instantly felt a wave of calm pulse through her body. With what little muscle capacity she had left, she fastened a new bandage to her leg, making sure it didn’t cut off her blood supply either, a difficult task when you’re riding the highs of morphine.

Time melted away as she sat in the bathroom, she tried to eat her rations and get enough sleep as she could. I had been hours, if not days until she had enough energy to stand up again. The air was stale, the room was dark, and the only thing she could hear were muffled vibrations erupting from outside.

She went to one of the windows and gently took down one of the boards to have a look outside. The town was ablaze with gunfire, she saw stray zombies running down the street away from her towards a line of men. Bodies tumbled to the floor in the hail of bullets. An almighty explosion sent a shock wave through the entire apartment block, overwhelming Eve and throwing her across the room. Her head hit the wall and she landed unconscious amongst the dust and debris.

Day Unknown...

*the radio frequency crackles into life, for the first few seconds all you can hear is some shuffling and the heavy breathing from a woman*

"... just gotta pray this thing still works... My name is Eve, and I need your help. I am in an apartment building, who knows where. I've just regained consciousness, there was a war here not too long ago, an invasion of some sort. But I am stuck here, I need medical help, I can barely walk 100 yards... *static* If you can hear this... You are my only hope."

* the broadcast cuts out*

The proverbial has hit the fan, I've gained a wound since my last entry, damn crawler tore my leg open. I escaped my pursuers by the skin of my teeth and eventually reached a city. I had no choice but to bunker down and try to survive. I found a radio in this apartment, who knows if anyone heard it...

There was a large battle... yesterday I think. Chernarus still has survivors , or did up until yesterday. I don't know what has happened to them, or the infected herd they were fighting. I've heard scattered shots today, perhaps vultures picking up the leftovers of yesterday's battle? I don't know. I tried to get their attention, I cried out to them (I won't do this in future, the infected stirred when I done it), I even used flares tonight. Nothing. I had broadcast on the frequency me and Stan use for our radios, I hope he is alive to hear it. These past few days have made me miss him dearly.

I'm saving up my strength for tommorrow, I'm down to my last can of food (I'm not sure what it is, it has no label) and my water bottle is nearly empty. If no one is able to come, I may have to head out, there's a hospital across the street. It's most likely empty apart from infected, I can't operate on myself without a professional, or at least a steady hand. No I will go out looking for painkillers, food and clean water in the hope someone will come... It always come down to that... Hope.

//I was saved! Will write it tommorrow. It's been a long day.

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Day 5 (?)...

Eve was slumped on the bed, still awake past midnight in the cold dishevelled apartment. The city still stirred, she had finished the last of her food and medicines and the radio had tried to use had cut out, and now lay in pieces on the floor in front of her. She does not know if anyone got her message almost one day ago. She had heard gunshots and vehicles throughout the day, but they too far away to get their attention. Eve was getting weaker; if she was still here at sunrise tomorrow, Eve concluded she had no choice but to take her chances out in the wilds of the city.

After an hour of being half sleep, she decided to make use of her time. She grabbed a flare and headed for the stairwell, where the roof access hatch was open, the lid slamming against the wall from the wind. She climbed up the ladder onto the roof, the remnants of a body staring at her made Eve jump oout of her skin. It must have been the lookout for whoever was holed up here before.

Poor guys didn’t have a choice but to hide, makes me appreciate how lucky I was in having the British Army protecting me for most of the pandemic… these people had no one but each other. The memories of Camp Bastion being overrun plagued her mind for a moment, and the thought that perhaps it was Gods way of punishing the Army for sitting on their hands. You can’t save everyone, but God can sure damn everyone.

She twisted the end of the flare, and a jet of sparks spewed out the other end. The warmth of the flare caressed her palms, making her realise how cold the apartment was. She had found a few heat pads in a draw, but they hadn’t lasted long. She dropped the flare on the roof, it's red glare unveiling the midnight shroud and revealing silhouettes of the infected below.

She promptly returned to the apartment, finally succumbing to her fatigue she lay down on the mattress. That was when Eve heard a beep, a small burst of a rusty car horn. Eve sprang to her feet and immediately tripped over clumsily, left dazed and helpless on the floor. She blacked out. When she opened her eyes once more she saw a pair of feet, she pushed herself away until she realised the figure looming over was human, his face covered by an emotionless gas mask.

Eve was still lightheaded, she didn't know if she was dreaming or this was real.

"Stan... Is that you? Damn crawler tore my leg open. Lost a lot of blood. Listen Stan... I need medical help. I... I..." Her voice trailed off, and the figure replied in a soft tone, muffled by the filter of the mask.

"Who is this Stan? No, my name is Daniel. What's yours?" Eve muttered.

"Evelyn... My name..." She fell unsciousness, but her last thought was a calm one.

Help had come.

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Daniel Yumatov peered into the night as the rusty sedan drove onwards, sat next to him was a semi-conscious Eve, in her own morphine fueled world. After a twenty minutes she was able to remain focused. She looked around the car, and then to Daniel, who in turn broke the silence with a long drawn out exhalation from under his gas mask.

"We need to find clean medical supplies... Food, drinks, fresh meat perhaps? Yes, you need the energy."

Eve replied, "You spoke of medics, are there others?"

"Yes, you see them from time to time, there are people surviving all across the region. But what are you doing here Miss Evelyn?"

"Me and Stan... We encountered a horde, we were split up a few days ago. I just want to find him again... I don't know where I am, we only came to Chernarus in the past week." She stopped herself going into more detail, she didn't like remembering what happened back in Afghanistan. Whenever it cropped up in her mind, a sense of guilt washed over her, as if she abandoned all those people to perish to the horde. And the months alone with Stan that followed, being without fresh water for days on end. It was a tough time that she has put behind her.

She looked down at her hands to see scratched skin and dirty palms, trying not to dwell on the past. Geez, when was the last time I used hand wash? A road sign shot past the window, Daniel spoke up once more.

"We are heading to another city, Elektrovadosk. Do you want to wait in the car?" Eve shook her head, sitting alone in the car whilst Daniel went out scavenging for supplies was a frightening experience, and was made worse by the thought of being eaten alive whilst Eve was unconscious. The car rolled to a stop in the field.

Eve got out wielding a flashlight in her right hand, and an epi-pen in the other. She didn't like all these chemicals flowing around her body, but she needed the extra adrenaline. She winced in pain at the small pinprick in her arm, it seems the morphine was wearing off.

Daniel took out a glow stick and attached it to the side of his rifle, which had a large suppressor on the end. It shot an infected close, causing a quiet ‘ping’ sound as the bullet made contact with skull. As Daniel made his way to the gas station, Evelyn hesitated and decided she was going to wait by the car. A few minutes later, Daniel returned with a small plastic can in one hand. He tossed into the trunk of the car and then approached Eve, pulling out a first aid kit.

"I found fresh needles, if we find a safe place I can fix your wound up nicely." He handed her a glow stick and a crow bar, which she connected using a patch of duct tape. She left her arms loose to get a feel for the crowbar.

"I have a rifle in the back of the car, do you want that?" Remembering what got her in this mess in the first place she declined.

"I'll be fine, I'd be more of a danger than I would be helpful."

"Okay, then follow me, stick close, the first sign of them chasing us we run."

And they ran, towards the heart of the city, carving a path amongst the masses. They made it to a church and closed the large doors shut behind them. Eve pulled back the rail on her pistol, she was down to her last round. Daniel passed her a pistol that was equally old and worn.

“I found fresh needles. It will give you a blood transfusion. After a rest your strength should be back up for us to investigate the rest of the city. But for now I need you to concentrate… Because soon you will be doing the same for me.” Eve rolled up her sleeve, knowing what blood type she had was not something she thought she would need to remember. But she remembered after donating blood after losing a drinking game, AB. Eve used to hate needles, but bludgeoning to death creatures that used to be human desensitized her, and bigger things like the end of the world plaguing her mind helped too.

Time passed slowly as they sat on the benches in the church. Eve wasn’t a religious person, nor was she atheist, she just stayed focused on her life rather than throw it all away like her parents had. She used this rest in the church productively, adding a grip to the handle of her crowbar with tape as well as repairing her radio with a bag of scrap electronics she had found in a shed earlier.

Daniel sat close by, also recuperating from scratches he had received from the number of close calls on the way to the church, he nodded to Eve.

“Do you want to practice using that pistol.” Eve didn’t decline, she needed all the practice she could get.

Eve stood in front of the large archway that was the church entrance, her pistol aimed at the door. Daniel stood to the side, one hand on the handle, with a gentle push he opened the door to reveal a shambling pack of infected loitering outside. They advanced on Eve, eyes full of hunger and rage that were abruptly halted with a bullet to the head. Eve stood there, frozen to the spot, wisps of smoke rising from the barrel.

It was time to leave.

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Morning was due to break as the pair climbed the hills on their escape from the ruins of Elektrovadosk. They had left their rabid pursuers behind and searched the rubble for anything of value, or more to point, what dead survivors had on their bodies during their last fatal scavenging runs. There was nothing left in the city, Daniel and Eve had come out with three cans of food (some without labels much to Eve’s distaste) and two cans of flat soda between them.

Daniel grabbed some branches from the solitary tree in the middle of the field and knelt down to form a fireplace. Eve took the chance and dropped onto the soft dew-ridden grass. It wasn’t so dark now, or she had grown accustomed to the light. The agony she had endured almost six hours ago had now been reduced to a dull pain she could put to the back of her mind.

She looked around, to her relief there wasn’t any movement to be seen, then her attention was caught by the majesty of the night sky above. It was a cloudless night, allowing her to see the multitude of stars twinkling like diamonds.

“The stars are so beautiful at night." Daniel responded with wit.

"If there's one good thing that came out of the end of world, it's that the night sky is much prettier." Both of them let out a weak chuckle, as if they had forgotten how to. It wasn't particularly funny to Eve, but after four hundred odd days of misery, it felt like the best joke she had ever heard.

It took a while for Daniel to make the fire, the wood was soaked with dew and the few matches he had were not effective. Eventually he got a fire going, cursing under his hollow, filtered breath at the amount of matches he had left.

"Can I ask why you wear that gas mask?" She asked, trying to make conversation.

"It makes me feel comfortable... Like a last line of defence between me and the zombies. Who knows what we can catch from these creatures." Eve understood, peace of mind was an important thing when you have lost everything else. She made a mental note. Perhaps I ought to get one for herself... Probably too late now though Eve. What if the damage has been done?

Daniel unwrapped some rabbits from a bundle of rags and placed one next to Eve. She had gutted animals before, and was pretty good at it. Stan was a wimp when it came to that sort of thing, given half the chance he would turn vegetarian to avoid doing it, so it was mainly down to Eve. The meat cooked quickly, and Eve stashed it away in some rags for tomorrows dinner. Daniel also kept his, and appeared to be totaling up his findings from the cities he had scavenged. Eve couldn’t see his face, but he looked disheartened.

“I won’t be coming with you Eve. I need to stay behind. You can take the car, listen to me carefully and take out your map.” Eve had been taught some of the areas by Daniel earlier, even down to just giving names of her own to each of the towns. There was a red ring around where they currently were, on the south coast of Chernarus, bearing the full might of the Green Sea. Daniel pointed to the north-east corner of the map, the furthest point away from them.. “You need to go there, there is a place for survivors in a fortified Desalination plant. Follow the coast around all the way to this city, Berezino… And you’re going to need this.” He placed the Jerry can next to her.

Eve couldn’t keep up, she didn’t want to be alone again.

“But what about you?” Eve was concerned, for both of their sake. She would have died alone hours ago.

“I have a tent, I will sleep in the forest, don’t worry. Just remember where to go.” Eve neglected to ask the reason, perhaps he wasn’t alone, perhaps he has other mouths to feed out there, and scavenging these cities was his only option?

“Ok. Desal Plant.” She committed all her memory to it, the last thing she wanted to end up in the same mess she had just escaped.“Thank you Daniel, for everything. Without you… well you probably know what would’ve happened. If I see you again, I will repay you.”

“No doubt we will meet again.” He said that with a tinge of optimism in his voice. The chances of survival were slim, especially if he attempts to re-enter Elektrovadosk alone.

“And if you see Stan, tell him… tell him I’m alive.”

“I sure will.” He began to walk towards the forest, as though the darkness was beckoning him. Eve waved until the darkness totally enveloped him. Deep down she was unsure she would ever see him again. The faceless man who will never be forgotten. With a deep breath, she orientated herself, and started to walk back towards the car.

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//Sorry it's been a while, been doing work and other things in DayZRP (shhh secret)

//Thank you for taking your time to read, being nominated for those awards was nice. And it's nice to know these are read, even if the readers all stay quiet.

Click.

The door was shut, and Eve felt safe once more. She placed her newly acquired pistol on the dashboard of the car in case she needed it quick. She clutched the steering wheel, giving herself a brief moment of silence to thank Daniel in her mind, and to think cheerful thoughts of finding Stan as she struggled to the car. It was an old rustbucket of a vehicle that no doubt had awoken the whole of Elektrovadosk, Eve felt frustrated as the engine wheezed into life and the car lurched forward. She switched the headlights on, hoping there was enough battery power to last the harrowing nighttime journey ahead.

She needed Stan right now, he always kept her calm whilst driving. She didn't know how to drive until he taught her. The luxury of driving was something she couldn't afford, and something her parents neglected to help her with. When she and Stan won the prize for Best Journalist she couldn't wait to be whisked away from her old life and do the job she always wanted to do. Eve remembered who was left behind that day. If she hadn't gone to Afghanistan, she wouldn't be here, she would be at home.

Or perhaps dead. The thought came from the dark corners of her mind.

The crack of gunshots up ahead snapped her mind back to driving. She was entering one of the back end streets of Elektrovadosk, it was the only road to the east coast without having to navigate the maze of country lanes criss-crossing the map. And; as Eve had expected, it came with risks.

The beams of light revealed a mass of infected in the street. Dozens, if not hundreds. To think that when me and Daniel ran through here, these monsters were only a few metres away. Amid the swathes of dead she noticed one figure that moved more fluidly, a human no less. Whoever they are, they aren’t going to last long, they have kicked the wrong hornets nest. Eve made a split second decision and pressed down on the accelerator, the car began to speed towards the mob. Eve used one hand to strap herself in with the seat belt and braced herself.

The rusty sedan caught the curiousity of the few unfortunate creatures to be in its path, glancing off the nose of the car and undoubtedly careering to the road in a bloody mess. Eve had misjudged how many infected were chasing this man and had to weave between the denser clusters of the dead to avoid losing momentum. The number of dead in front started to thin, revealing the solitary prey running with his back to the car down the middle of the street. A stray corpse walked into the path of the sedan and was launched over the hood and roof, causing tiny cracks in the bottom of the windscreen lined with crimson. The sedan rolled up beside the lone man. She pressed down hard on the horn, and let out a short mechanical shriek. The man understood the message and jumped in just as his followers reached the bodywork of the car. They clawed at the windows with their decaying hands, mouths dripping with hunger for meat, Eve and the stranger to be precise. Eve accelerated once more, but the car stuttered and did not move far before the infected had climbed on the hood. She tried the gas again, pushing it as far as she could go. The car is stuck on something! Out of nowhere it gave way, and the sedan shot forward, the infected on the bonnet attempted to stay there and reach their prey, but inevitably were swept aside and flung to the sides of the roads now exiting Elektrovadosk.

Eve didn't realise how heavy she was breathing until the wave of relief flowed through her body. I made it. She then acknowledged her passenger, a man who looked shaken up and suffering from fatigue. She broke the tense silence that had grown since escaping the hordes.

"Sorry, I was concentrating. I forgot to tell you my name. It's Evelyn, or Eve for short." The man muttered in a Russian accent, clearly still drained of energy.

"My name is Dima, Dima Karmov."

"Nice to meet you Dima. You're a lucky guy, if you hadn't arrived when I had... Well I dread to think how that would have turned out." The man winced in pain.

"I woke up with a few injuries, we were fighting and then..." His head throbbed as he failed to remember. "I don't know where my friends are, but I need to get back to where I live. Where are you headed?"

"A place called... the Desalination Plant?" The expression of the man changed, it obviously rung a bell with him. Eve asked to find out. "So, do you know where it is."

"Certainly, it's where I live."

As the car drove through the morning sunrise towards salvation, Eve couldn't help but think how lucky she has been. She wasn't a believer of destiny, but more of luck and coincidence. But someone was looking down on her, a guardian angel of sorts. It lifted her spirits out of the darkness and despair of the last few days.

Her name was Eve, and she believed more than ever that she will find Stan. They've been through so much, Taliban ambushes, the pandemic, the fall of Camp Bastion and the months of dire scavenging alone with Stan. Now they were split up. But there was one thought that dominated her mind as Dima directed her to the few strongholds of humanity left. We have more than hope, for we are not alone.

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  • Sapphire
Daniel unwrapped some rabbits from a bundle of rags and placed one next to me.

Noticed you accidentally slipped from third person to first. :3

Absolutely loving the story so far! I really hope to meet you ingame as I never have had the chance to ever since NGR D: <3

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  • Sapphire

Good read man.

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Daniel unwrapped some rabbits from a bundle of rags and placed one next to me.

Noticed you accidentally slipped from third person to first. :3

Absolutely loving the story so far! I really hope to meet you ingame as I never have had the chance to ever since NGR D: <3

Thank you for pointing that mistake out Doc, and I'm sure we will meet one day, it's a shame Eve had to flee Desal (spoilers). Once I've done with University I'm going be on most of the day, and you may bump into me at other settlements :)

Good read man.

Thanks, much appreciated :)

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// Been writing this over the course of the week, in a couple of days the holidays start and I can play/write all day :)

Day 6…

I’m sat here writing this entry from the Desalination plant. Finding Dima was a blessing, and for good measure I donated the car to his security team, they need it more than I. My plan is to stay here, to wait for Stan to walk through that entrance gate. Its been approximately a week now… I think. The people are so kind, there are civilians just like me of varying nationalities. Refugees, exiles and wanderers looking for the next meal. The settlers are protected by a group of Australian Soldiers, stranded thousands of miles away from their homeland, and also a group of Russian private military contractors, well ex-PMC anyway, I doubt they keep company accounts nowadays.

The residents looked beaten, the whole point of a Desalination Plant is that it converts sea water into drinking water, but the plans of powering it were snuffed out when the power grid was knocked out, and even fuel is a rarity. I was running on fumes just to get to the settlement in Daniels car. If it wasn’t for Dima I would undoubtedly still be out there, out of fuel lost without hope. The residents here weren’t just thirsty and hungry, no, there was more to it than that.

I heard talk of 'bandits', of thieves and savages that take the supplies of others rather than pick through the rubble.

We encountered people like them before. But that was when we were under the protection of the British Military at Camp Bastion. This is different, all these groups, it's like they want to control this territory. The Russians, adamant on reclaiming this country as their own, and the foreign soldiers stranded from home trying to do the same; but it's all they have left. Everyone has mouths to feed just like the old days, except everyone now has a gun in their hand… and there’s nothing stopping them from using it.

Day 7...

The camp needs food, I've heard the forests to the north are still teeming with wildlife and only plagued with the odd dead wanderer. My legs feels better now it has been treated by the camps doctor, and as long as I use the painkillers I can walk about again. Considering the help they have done for me in the past few days, the least I can do is give a few of the most desperate people a hearty meal.

Eve grabbed her pistol, a small axe and her bag from the locker. She was about to depart when she remembered something, she walked over to her bed and took a small note she had created last night. She approached the noticeboard by the entrance, greeting people as they walked by, Grabbing a spare pin, she stuck her note to the wall and headed off for the forest.

AzyE4Gp.jpg

//knocked up that notepaper in 30 mins. hopefully it looks nice :)

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I thought I had hope, I thought I was safe. How naive I was.

1 hour earlier...

The sun was setting below the forest canopy as Eve entered the field. On her back were a two rabbits. She was lucky to capture the ones she had due to her injuries. Although healed, the dull pain still impeded her speed in the hunt.

“Two’s still good for someone who only started hunting out of necessity.” She muttered to herself proudly, almost forgetting she was alone. The Desalination Plant came into view. Eve pictured Stan waiting there at the entrance for her, battered and bruised; but alive. Commotion was going down at the Desalination Plant, she had heard stray echoes of gunshots the past few hours, most probably a group of infected had stirred from the town, a natural occurrence as their numbers rise every day. Eve continued to blissfully walk towards the settlement, gazing in awe as the stark orange sky. The finer details of the camp came into view, smoke rose from the camp and lookouts on the gantries above the walls. Eve focused on the lookout. They looked… different. Her mind began to question what she was seeing.

They don’t look like the guards…

A loud crack like thunder burst from the gantry and a bullet whizzed past Eve’s face. She staggered in shock, her legs crumbled to the floor. Her first reaction was to find where the bullet hit, but after frantic padding over her body she realised it had missed. Another bullet landed a few feet in front of her, kicking up puffs of dirt. Warning shots. Eve felt as though she was reliving her days in Afghanistan, and immediately sprang to her feet and ran for the forest. Bullets flew around her, as though the sniper was taunting her and trying to intimidate her. Its working. She thought.

Eve’s heart was pounding, she threw herself through the treeline and continued running, the whispers of fear in the back of her head telling her she was not safe yet. After a few minutes of frenzied flight, the thickets and weeds began to slow her down until her body was crying out for a rest. She slumped down against a tree to catch her breath and go over what happened. She pulls out her journal and begins to write.

I thought I had hope, I thought I was safe. How naive I was… One of the last safe havens was attacked, bandits no doubt. I have to go back, there may be survivors in the forest. I need to help them, I need to know what happened.

I am writing this message as if it is my last, although that's like all my other entries, its the way my life has been for the past year.

Her pen trailed off and her heart sunk as the fact dawned on her. Her photo of Stan, still pinned to the noticeboard in the settlements courtyard.

After ten minutes of silent creeping through the shrubbery, a cautious and nervous Eve laid flat on the edge of the forest overlooking the Desalination Plant. She pulled her pair of binoculars and surveyed the area through the lens. People patrolled the area, fortunately none of them were looking in Eve’s direction. They wore face masks and balaclavas, either to conceal their identity; or to block the smell of the dead. From this angle Eve was able to see the true extent of the battle, a scene akin to the streets of Kabul. Two men were still organising the bodies into a pile, debris was strewn across the ground, some charred from an explosion of some sort.

Eve couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She had been away less than six hours, to return and find the remains of a massacre. The survivors guilt began to overwhelm her. Her thoughts turned to the photograph of Stan, her only tangible link to him right now, still pinned to the noticeboard. She would go back for it, but her gut told her it meant certain death. She decided to back off.

“There’s no turning back. I need to find Stan more than ever, for now I have nothing to remember him by but memories.” And once again she was alone, walking into the shadows of the forest.

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