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Server time (UTC): 2021-10-18 07:06

Why am I even doing this?


Mace

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We had been together since I was in high school and I bludgeoned her head in with some random rock I found on the ground. This was the woman I lost my virginity to, the woman who took care of me whenever I was sick, who I had proposed to. We were going to start a life together, and I left her with a gaping head wound and her infected brain sloughing off onto the pavement.

I found this old journal on the body of one of them, hoping that they had something more in line with some keys for a vehicle so I could try to get out of here, wherever here is. Everything's in Russian so it's not like I'll understand it but I don't have the heart to rip it out. Maybe if I can find someone who knows the language and they don't end up being the person who kills me I can find out who the man was, and what happened to him before his end found him. It would make me feel better.

Never go to the city unless you have to. Look for bigger buildings that might have some security or police presence in order to look for weapons. Haven't shot a gun in years, decades maybe. Not since I was little at my paw-paw's house. Never thought I'd actually need to remember how to hold a shotgun to my shoulder and not get a bruise, but everything I find is jammed and useless. Made for some good beating sticks, but I have to be careful about weight.

Stay in the forest. The creatures...I don't want to say the "z" word, can't bring myself to write it. They get confused easily in the trees. They find a branch and they'll chew on it like it's an arm or a leg if they've got the smell of food. Hide in the trees and chop their legs. Big thick pine trees around work best, cram yourself into a crevice and drop them, doesn't take a lot with the putrefied flesh to actually break through to the bone and do major damage.

They just keep coming though. Gotta remember that cutting off a leg or an arm doesn't stop them. They don't care about pain, unlike me. They keep coming. They crawl or hop and drag themselves at whatever smells, looks, or sounds like food. Don't know what it is that drives them. Eyes look like they have thick cataracts but I don't dare try to use what rudimentary knowledge of medicine I have to try to figure out how they "sense" things.

Why am I writing this?

People are dangerous. Stay in the woods. Never let them see you, but if they do try to let them know you're friendly and keep a hand on your weapon, no matter what it is. Sometimes running is better than fighting, and I don't think I have it in me to end another life, not a real life. Someone with a pulse. Listen for vehicles on the road, and look out for choppers if you think you hear one.

I thought this would help. I thought it would make me feel better, but the more I write, the more I sound like some bipolar asshole. I've read over everything five times now, maybe six, I have to keep stopping and listening. They groan out in the fields, and sometimes it's hard to tell just how close they are. Sleep in the trees. It's not comfortable but as long as you stay warm they won't find you.

Stay out of the open. That one's obvious. They can see you, other people can see you. Why am I giving myself advice? I haven't spoken to another person in a long time. I'm losing track of days and hours and minutes are a thing of the past. Hold your hand up to the horizon after noon. The number of fingers between the sun and the horizon should be approximately how many hours you have left. I think that's the trick, saw it on an old survival show and it stuck with me.

I'll need a lot of pencils or pens. May look for a calligraphy shop, take ink wells with me and get fancy pens I can load. Weight is a factor. Need to carry food and water, everything's canned and unnecessarily heavy. Maybe I can find an animal. Tired of beans and raviolis. Used to love them and she never understood why.

I'm sorry.

I love you.

I need sleep.

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[Just sent in my whitelist request, so while I'm waiting I might as well make another entry.]

I managed to crack the head open of one of the "scramblers" as I've taken to calling them. They walk along unnaturally on all fours, hopping and scrambling, hence the name, but they are perfectly capable of standing up and running like the rest of them. I never would have imagined fast (There are furious smudge marks from an eraser over which the word "creatures" has been written) after all the movies I watch.

I actually slept last night. Lukewarm beans and franks and some dirty creek water that will probably come back to bite me. I couldn't tell if the things had been traipsing around in it but I had to take the chance. It had been almost a day without water and I have to keep moving. Don't know where I am. May need to try to find a compass but that would require going into a city.

They aren't as thick in the forest. I don't think they pay attention to animals, or deer and the like are simply too fast for them. That's not the worst part though. I don't even know if I should write this down in case I re-read my entries later for whatever psychotic reason. The scrambler I hit. He chased me until I dove into a tree I had made something of a base. He was moving around and I heard something. I want to say it was a mistake, that it was my imagination, but deep down I know it wasn't. I heard a voice, something guttural, pained. It sounded like he said "I'm dying" and I still cringe thinking about it.

Do these things still have some semblance of sentience? I thought about them like, well, what I've always thought of them as. Do they still feel, do they still think? That makes me remember her, what I did to her. She was always like me, a geek, and she made me promise if she ever turned to kill her. She said that living that way was worse than death, but we both thought of them as just unthinking bags of rotten skin that tried to bite into whatever they could. What if they actually have thoughts, personality. Did I kill her for no reason?

No.

No.

no.

no

no

She told me to kill her, not to let her live her life like one of those things. Even in Sean of the Dead she told me she didn't want to be kept like that. She said she'd do it for me, that it wouldn't be me anymore. That's what I've got to believe.

It doesn't help that I dreamed about her again. Not what I did to her, but before. I don't even remember why we came here now, my memories are muddled flashes of passing forest and the sight of whatever outlying houses I could try to loot for whatever the other raiders hadn't taken.

I dreamed about the ring I got her. The one she had when we got together was made by her grandfather. A spoon turned into a ring that she wore everywhere. She said she never wanted a diamond ring, that it was a waste. She'd rather have that money put toward a house or gaming computers that we could use to play together.

I found ring that she could turn when she got nervous, she always did that. It spun around. She had it on that night. I wish I would have taken it. I wish I had something to remember her by. Some link that would let me think about her as something other than what I left her as.

I know I'm a coward.

If I remembered where it happened, if I could read a damn sign or get close to the main roads I'd look for her. If I knew how many days it had been. I'd have a proper burial. I'm sorry I couldn't.

You deserved better.

Doesn't matter if you break their bones they keep coming. Blood loss doesn't seem to affect them. You have to seriously disable them. Enough blows to the chest pulverizes whatever is left working in them to get them to drop and not get back up. Don't know if they can still bite. Should check next time.

Head shots count. Haven't had a gun with bullets in forever. No working gun. Lost it at the house where I had to dive out a window. Damn things were almost sneaky. Scrambler came behind me and a dasher was waiting outside. Those are the ones who just run around. Scrambler, dasher, bellies, the ones that crawl. Need different names, can't call them that word. If I call them that it makes it real.

I need a gun. Don't trust myself though. Any bullets left and I'd probably take the easy way out. She wouldn't want me to though. She'd be pissed, but I may get another glimpse at her. Would seeing her scowling at me, cursing at me when I went to whatever damnable region waits be worth it?

Need to make her proud. No easy way out. Gotta work hard.

Need to find a case for my glasses. Carve something if I find a knife. Just need something to protect them. Things are blurry without them but I could manage. Should have gotten lasik. If I get a gun I need to remember them. Better shot when I can actually see the difference between a head and a knot on a tree.

Fire's going out, ruining my eyes reading and writing in this light. She'd be pissed and tell me to just go back to sleep.

I hope I have sweet dreams.

I'm sorry.

I love you.

I miss you.

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Humanity? Only had one can of beans left, thought I was safe to go forage until the sound of someone running woke me up. Horde, pack, whatever I'm going to end up calling them, they came through hard. One can of beans, a flashlight, and some scrap cloth. That's all I managed to actually pull into my arms before I had to abandon the campsite.

I ended up going through one of the bigger cities. Names are still mostly gibberish, more on that later. Found guns, working guns, and a few bullets. Still a shitty shot. No sense in blasting away anyway, for rotten bags of teeth and claws the creatures hear for what seem like miles around. Wish I had studied more about real life weapons than how to properly swing a broadsword and what the difference between a highland and lowland claymore is.

Found him then, running around. "Are you friendly?" I offered him a bit of food and water, just a few of the things I'd scrounged up. I found a couple of backpacks, stuffed them full of food and drink and thought I might try to show some semblance of humanity, of common kindness to another human being. Probably the first one I've seen in...Days? Weeks? Doesn't matter.

Matthew. He knew the city, talked, told stories. I kept expecting to get shot in the back every time I didn't have him in my field of vision. I'd seen what people did to each other. I remember hearing whispers on the wind at night when I'd camp too close to the raiders, to the people who embraced the anarchy that the end of the world brought. Pillaging, shooting people just to put another tally mark on the butt of their rifle.

I think she'd like him. Nice guy, younger than me I think. Funny, we swapped a few movie lines, just the tattered vestiges of what we had once taken for granted. "If you want we can go together." A trip to the grocery store, trying to find some backpack that might have been left behind by one of the raiders or one of the humans who weren't themselves anymore.

We hit a hospital, lots of blood bags, drugs, pain killers. A passing familiarity, remember morphine from my own time in the hospital. Another memory of her, there at my side holding my hand. Looked around some of the residential areas. Churrno. Cherno. Like Chernobyl? I remember hearing about a big concrete dome after the accident and I don't see it, so it's not that. May be close.

He keeps talking about the different places, sounds younger than me but already knows a lot more. We keep searching, switching weapons and then I find an axe. When I role-played, when I wrote about the kind of hero I wanted to be, he always had an axe. Not a sword, definitely not a katana, an axe. A weapon that saw its use in battle based on necessity, a tool-turned-killing device.

We start to exploit them. They can't charge in small spaces. Whatever they use to propel themselves, they have to turn it off when they get indoors, probably because they aren't good at tight turns. Some kind of self-preservation so they don't end up tearing arms off on door frames. He's got some rifle, he said the name but I don't remember it.

It's loud though.

I sit just inside the doorway, wait for them to get close, then come up and chop them. A couple of scratches, a couple of bites, cuts and blood, but I can bandage and we've got plenty of drugs. The important thing is that they're piling up. Does it matter? Will it ever matter? Probably not. For all I know he and I, and the few people we saw riding helicopters and driving around, are the last people on the planet.

Us against the world, even if we were highly trained and working in perfect unison it would be impossible, let alone with a couple of ragtag survivors and people who may just want to kill us.

Heading west to "Bell-awh-ta" I'll ask how to spell it later. Nothing. We found a bike but someone stole it while we were trying to repair it and destroyed it. Matthew's heard a few things, about where we might be able to find things.

We find someone, "TOR" seems to be a theme. They protect the south coast, the one thing I've come to rely on to keep my bearings if I don't have a compass at hand. Lets us take whatever we want, doesn't ask questions. Humanity?

We got split up. I gave up the axe, that was it probably. I took an assault rifle, an AK of some make, and we were heading toward an airfield in the north. They followed us and just as we were about to make a stand Matthew got attacked. I tried to help, but I got knocked for a loop. Backpack, rifle, axe, I gave it up, all of it, so I could scramble away.

I think I saw Matthew running too. Hope he's okay. He was nice. She'd like him.

I'm back to just the basics, no food or water. I'll have to try to remember more survival tips. Not drinking my piss though, not unless I have to, and even then not without some kind of soda. Maybe Mountain Dew.

I'm still thinking about you.

I love you.

Have sweet dreams wherever you are.

Night night.

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  • Legend

I like where this thread is going.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while. Lots to write about but I don't want to waste too much space. I didn't know a bus could pop a wheelie but apparently if you hit enough rubble with enough speed it can go a fairly good ways vertical. Got a buddy named Ash for that. He, Matthew, and I found a bus, took a while to actually get it up and running but it didn't pay off. Oh we got it working but we were hijacked, I got hit and the next thing I remember I'm far away from the firefight.

I think you're protecting me, that beautiful woman, the valkyrie I'd always talked about actually offering me some modicum of protection and safety in the world, or what's left of it. I like to think that, so it's what I'm going to stick with. I love you.

I can't stand big guns. Carrying around the clips weighs too much, I've taken to using axes. Hatchets, wood axes. They're a lot lighter and easier to handle. They don't even need to be too sharp to properly take a scrambler's legs out from under it. No bullets, silent, not a bad weapon. I always used an axe when I role-played in the old world. Seems kind of fitting in a weird way doesn't it?

Been mostly doing runs between the towns. Learned from some of the people I've helped that the two big ones are "Elektro" and "Cherno" though they have much longer, much stranger (to me) names that I can't properly pronounce. I also found out with my friend that there is a trading post. Some semblance of humanity and order. People understand and come into it on equal ground. No violent action taken. No stealing.

I've been staying here, thinking I might help. I watched you cook and we watched a lot of those shows together, I'm hoping that the butchery I learned might actually come in handy. If I can find people who are interested in helping others I might just try to settle down here. It won't be easy. Need to carve out a niche in a society that's already well-established. Hunting, cooking, a bit of medical work. Zombie killing and a bit of protection for the people who go out into the town down the hill.

I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch. I'll trade some medical supplies for blank books and writing utensils. I have to go, I think I hear someone speaking Russian.

I love you.

Have sweet dreams.

I miss you.

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That was definitely a strange night. I never got to sleep until well into the day and probably missed out a bit on my self-appointed caretaker duties, but at least I was sure to shore up whatever weak spots I saw in the walls of the trading post, though no matter what I do the animals seem to find a way to sneak in or just trot right through the primary gate when it's open.

The Russian I heard last night was a man named Dima, he and his friend Artyom came and we had a nice chat. I'm starting to feel like there might be hope between people like this and the Outpost Rangers. Not to mention the various medical groups I've met who go out of their way to help others. No squabbling over supplies or demanding payment. It's a good feeling, like perhaps I've found one little place that's like the Old World.

Dima barely spoke English, but he seemed to understand it well enough, and Artyom worked as the translator between us. Dima enjoyed throwing flares and after an interaction with a random person who came to the outpost, was obsessed with finding an M14 to use. I'm not sure exactly why, I always thought vodka-guzzling Russian bears like that guy would want an AK. Maybe that's just me being stereotypical.

I remembered an airfield that's just called "The Northeast Air Field" close by, past a small town from the post. I suggested we go there, thinking maybe we could find the gun he wanted in the piles of items that are still left. It takes a while to rummage through all the rubble and pry open whatever broken gun cases they actually have, and looting the bodies like it's some kind of RPG can reward a person with rather interesting items.

We set out after dark, and I start to remember things I never wanted to admit. I have horrible night vision. That and the nearsighted nature leaves me rather at a major disadvantage when it comes to moving at night, but luckily Dima had a gun with a flashlight attachment, and I could keep my own light trained on him. I only got lost a couple of times but I wasn't too far off. Something of a personal victory, however small and insignificant.

The "raid" on the airfield went nicely, though we weren't able to find what we needed. Chopping things up with the axe never gets old. I'm starting to develop muscles from the ladders at the post to look for animals and all the chopping I've been doing. Just like the Dwarves I used to like to play in games.

Dima was upset, naturally, but we were able to calm him down and get things settled. Lots of cooked meat, as usual, and whatever I happen to be drying or salting for longer preservation and maybe some better meals. Trying to remember all the recipes I saw on Good Eats hoping that I might be able to find ingredients at the various supermarkets I travel to.

That's when it started getting weird. Weird even for a zombie apocalypse where I'm left taking care of an outpost where killers and raiders will sit there and laugh with you after having pointed a gun at you a few days before.

Dima, Artyom, and I decided to do a bit of hunting. I had mentioned that there was probably going to be a lull in the meat supply if people kept coming along. With no form of night vision and my horrible sight I couldn't really examine the area from the watchtowers for animals even in the moonlight. We headed out into the woods around the Trading Post to look, and that's when it started.

Shots, a lot of them. Dima found me and said that Artyom had been attacked. He wouldn't say anything about zombies, but only “anomalies” and “demons” which, I have to say, is rather unsettling in broken English from a man that looks as tough as Dima. We looked about for him, and headed back to the post in hopes of finding some help. A member of SDS landed in a helicopter looking for fuel, though the reserves were a bit low, and couldn't help. After he flew off Artyom returned and began to tell us about the strange event.

Bloodsucker? He said he had heard about them on an island called Namalsk. Some creature, other than the zombies, that had been created, or released, to feed on us. We went out to search, but it was Dima that was attacked this time.

We couldn't find him, even after sweeping the area. Returning to the post, a man named Cheko showed up, saying that he had found a corpse with its limbs torn off on his way to the trading post. We went to investigate but couldn't find anything, not even the telltale buzz of carrion that has become so quick to move in on a human body these days.

Returning to the post, we found someone named Ed, a man that looked to be in shock, mumbling about a little girl, covered in gore that had been moving about in a pack of zombies as if she wasn't really there.

It seems like every time we so much as moved apart something happened. Cheko became lost after going out to look with Artyom, and other survivors came to the post only to see Dima, or what we thought was Dima, return, saying a phrase that Artyom had taught me. I can't remember it well, and I fear writing it down will only offend any real Russians who read this later, but it was something along the lines of Das Stravoitchnit? Please don't shoot. It was the only thing he would say.

He simply walked about, repeating the phrase before producing an axe and attacking Artyom. I did my best to get between them and repeat the phrase, trying to get him to calm down. He walked away, simply opened the gate and left after a few minutes.

We returned to check on Ed, and while we spoke to him we heard a little girl's voice, taunting us, giggling and laughing. To be honest I thought it was all a bad dream at this point. We looked about, doused the fires and tried to bait whatever the “thing” was out. It was then we noticed a man who simply stood in one of the netted bunkers by the entrance of the post. He swayed back and forth almost like a zombie, and refused to respond to any stimuli.

The night was spent around the campfire after that with a couple of other survivors. Alek and Connor I believe. We talked about our favorite weapons, the training we had, if any, and I was left feeling woefully unprepared for the New World. I'm not sure if this was nothing but a drug-addled dream, if maybe the hookah that was passed about did something even if I didn't directly partake of it.

Cheko returned, and the men began to filter out. Artyom left me the gear they had found of Dima's. We never found out what had caused the strange voice, or what became of the little girl. By the time I finally went to sleep the sun was rising, and when I woke Ed had finally managed to get to his feet and leave.

I'm trying to remember that phrase, just in case Dima is alive. He seemed like a good man, if a little excitable. I hope to see Artyom and the others again.

I never realized how lonely it could get staying in one place. The Trading Post gets quite a few visitors, but there are times when it is barren, and I think about you. I miss cuddling up to you with nothing better to do than to talk about crazy things. Tanks for toddlers to protect them, the best kind of kitchen appliance/weapon. It still hurts, but I think the scar tissue is covering it up a bit. I know it won't ever be better, but I know you expect me to be strong. I've got more people to take care of now. Even if they don't appreciate it. Even if it's just passing out food and offering what little medical supplies I can scrounge up or trade for.

I'll show them that there is humanity left, among myself and the few people here that still want to try to have some kind of society.

If the world is ever rebuilt, I'll write about this night. I'll turn this into the book I always wanted to write. And the people I've met who have been lost will be revered and given special mention.

It's getting late. I spent a lot of time writing this, trying to make sure I didn't come off as some crackpot who simply lost what few marbles he had left. I still have to make sure the primary and secondary gates are lowered and there aren't any scramblers around the perimeter.

Sweet dreams.

I still miss you.

But I'm getting better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I lost control today.

I was with a couple of people, one of them was a member of 7th squad. Special Forces or so they say. They actually seem to have their act together enough that I'd believe there was military training of some type going on with them. A shitty little car, driving around and checking out areas for more "high grade" things like heavier firearms and perhaps even a better backpack after an unfortunate car accident and rescue left me without a pack and what I think might be a slight concussion.

Northwest Air Field. It's a death trap. Not the zombies, no, they're the least of your problems. I've heard the stories of people who sit there, just waiting to rob whomever comes across them looking for heavier weapons, some kind of armored security clothing, a better backpack meant for carrying larger loads, anything. You never go there. I never go there. I stay with the Trading Post. I take care of the people who need it. I don't need a machine gun when I have my axe.

There was something, however, that welled up within me when we got there. We had already checked out another military barracks at a place called Guglovo...Gulglove. [A few scratch marks are visible marking out various spellings of the location]. Whatever it was called. I got a few scratches there, and the people I was with were able to find some interesting gear that they either needed or they could pile into the trunk for trading later. I'd been sitting in the back on the way up there, and simply watching the creatures stumble about, standing with no point in existing unless they caught a glimpse, a whiff, a sound.

We rode onto the airstrip with our shitty little car, and I saw something I didn't expect: A smoke grenade. Green clouds billowed out of one of the large hangars, seemingly larger than the ones I saw at Balota but never really inspected unless I was desperate. Someone was there, and I knew that throwing smoke was a good way to get away from the zombies. The sudden movement, the strange shapes it took, it was enough to draw their attention and have them running for something they thought might be food.

I don't know why I did it. Maybe I'm just too sentimental, too soft. I saw a glimpse of someone running, and I threw myself out of the car. I barely had time to get my seatbelt off before the rest of my body was halfway out the door and my axe was in hand.

I didn't count them. I couldn't have. They were a clawing, biting, ravenous horde that came at me from every side, but I didn't care. For the first time since this all happened I could feel every iota of my body resounding with a simple phrase. Two words to these unnatural creatures, these ghouls who had taken from me, from us, everything we held dear. It screamed inside meat the situation, at the city, the country, the world if so much as a single zombie stood groaning outside the borders of this forsaken hell hole.

Fuck you.

I found myself growling the words as I turned, muscles aching as jagged, yellow nails tore through the jacket and found purchase in my skin. I cleaved through heads, I lopped off limbs. At my best estimate it was forty I cut through before I was picked up again, and most of them were in that initial rush, trying to help someone I didn't know, someone who could have just as easily shot me than suffer through speaking to me, but I didn't care. It was like a hot ball of lead in the pit of my stomach. It anchored me, and it helped me recall everything I tried to remember from those nights I'd stay up when the post was empty.

Part of it was pain. This damn stone is taking its time. I don't have enough pain killers to properly ration them. Nothing that would come close to dulling it the way I need. I have to speak with Injected again about hydrocodone. Hydrocodone and Apap I think. Something like that. They should know. Lorcet 10's, those were the good ones.

All I had to try to dull that searing nettle in my kidney was dime store Motrin, or whatever they call it here, and it doesn't do its job very well. That had to have been part of it. Hurting, frustrated, angry. I always played a barbarian when I could in RPGs. I liked the idea of letting go, just once. I didn't want to be the mild, mostly soft-spoken if vitriolic sidekick that I was in real life.

I wanted this. I wanted, however briefly, to let go. To give in to what many of my RPG characters would call a blissful sensation. There was no bliss, however. There was no elation, no great feeling of joy in this fight. It was me culling a herd, a useless herd that couldn't even be butchered for parts. Forty bodies, at least, littered the ground before the second lieutenant picked me up again. We managed to give the man I had fought to protect a vehicle so he could stay safe. I hope he didn't get killed or robbed.

He called himself Bomberman. Made me think of an old geeky song based on a video game, but that wasn't enough to bring a smile to my face. I'd yell at them, scream obscenities, unsure if their feelings could be hurt or if they were just responding to the volume and direction of my voice. I barred doors and funneled them in to slow them down near the end, after I had taken damage and felt light-headed, but the rest of it, no, the rest of it was in the open.

I fought them on their own ground. I juked and lashed out at their jarring, spasmodic movements. I'm learning how to prepare myself, how they look when they're going to move. There's a sameness to it all, almost like a hive mind controlling them, making them all display the same signs, the same tells.

I want to make it seem like an astounding victory, but it wasn't. I hope I'm immune, or I have some kind of resistance. I don't know what this is or how it's passed. If it's just bites, if you have to die first, I don't know. I'm writing this with toilet paper bandages and spare clothing ripped up to keep things cinched as tightly as possible without risking my circulation while I sleep.

I lost control, and I got beat up. I won, but I don't know if some of these marks are bites or if I was just too frustrated, too angry to feel my skin split open from their clawing grasp. It didn't matter then, they all got a blade through the brain. I'll make sure that's how it ends.

I'll have to try to wave down a Free Medic the next time I see one. I need stitches I think. Can't bring myself to cauterize the wound. I run the risk of messing up my tendons and there's no way to fix that, even if I knew a surgeon. Maybe I'm just afraid. Maybe the rush is wearing off and I'm trying to hedge my bets so I won't just die.

I'll write again soon. I need to find another journal I think. More pens, more ink. Luckily very few office supply stores were ransacked as thoroughly as other places. Even if it's just some printer paper and a few Bics I can keep writing.

I'm not going to turn.

I refuse to.

[OOC: Fixing where this should go. Will be updating the "training in the night" thread later.]


Gotta keep things clean. Boiled water mixed up with some antibiotics whenever the skin splits back open. Lots of scabs and healing cuts and gashes. Nothing that seriously hampers my ability to move or fight, at least not for a while. If I try to summon up that same anger I had before I can feel the pain, like it's too much for my body. It's almost like it pushes me apart from the inside, at least hurt like this.

Hunkered down in a hospital room in Cherno at the moment. Seriously injured, need medical help but damn if I can figure a way to signal someone. Got a signal mirror, got a gun. Thought about trying to shoot SOS with it but I doubt anyone that heard it would notice the Morse code. Even if they did I don't remember any of the other letters, maybe enough to spell my name, not that it would help. Problem is that the zombies are too keen right now. I tore through a dozen or so on my way down here, trying to find supplies for the Trading Post.

I came here because we need medicine, and the hospitals here, not to mention those old military tents from what I'm guessing were an attempt to fight back the outbreak, offer a decent supply, even now. I can always find a new crate, and there are "care packages" left here and there from some unseen source. The government? Which one? Doesn't matter.

Lost my backpack after I nearly got bit. Pretty sure I'm immune to whatever it is, still don't know if it's just saliva, or some kind of bacteria that gets into wounds. Don't have enough medical knowledge to suss it out on my own, but I know a couple of doctors who might be able to help. Managed to bandage everything up, and I've got a decent barricade set up in the hallway. I chose one of the upper floors since it's not like I can run in this position.

Reminder: If your back is to a wall you don't have a place to run, but it's also harder to get flanked and impossible to get surrounded. A few bottlenecks, some "murder holes" where I can take an IV pole and just jam it into their heads before slinking back into my room if they get too curious. Trying to remember all the tricks I had my Goblins do in D&D to annoy the players.

Just have to wait for now, see if I can find someone passing through. Someone who might be able to at least give me a blood transfusion. I can't find a vein right now, can hardly write even with the pain killers and I need someone to at least watch over me while I sit here trying to get revitalized enough to actually get out of here.

Was in hospitals like this a lot, the beds aren't that bad. I might come back if I can find a vehicle and steal the mattresses, see if I can try to make some comfortable seats or beds for the travelers at the post. Just have to make sure that I make it back up there.

As soon as I get better I need to start training again. Maybe find another robe. People don't seem to pay as much attention to me as a priest, and what little spiritual advice I can offer, however hollow the succor might be, at least helps a bit. Non-denominational spiritual adviser. I liked the title, and if nothing else people can laugh at me wearing a robe until I start chopping faces.

Starting to feel sleepy. The scramblers outside are moving. Think I heard a vehicle. It'll draw enough attention away that they should forget about me, but I'm going to make one final pass, use the tools I found in the industrial district to try to improve the barricade, maybe take off a few doors and crack them into splintered pieces, make staves to set into the ground so they'll just impale themselves.

They don't have a sense of self-preservation from what I've seen. They won't run off a cliff to get you, but if they don't "see" it, they'll put their foot in a crack and snap their leg off at the ankle trying to get a bite.

I'm going to do a sweep, see what I can fortify, and get some sleep. Might tie a sheet to one of the poles outside the hospital, see if I can find some paint or just use one of the bloodbags to write out "HELP" and get some attention. Could get me killed, but I doubt it. Death won't come for me yet, I think he's just having fun watching me.

Sweet dreams.

I'm still alive.

Not going to turn.

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Guest Marcus Williams

I love how at the end you keep adding "I love you, sweet dreams" like you'd never forget her! Sweet live


Love*...rather

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You think that things will never get worse. That maybe man in his infinite and vast fallibility and flawed existence will one day hit a rock bottom from which they can start to pull themselves up.

I met two women today, actually. I didn't get the name of the first one, but I helped her and a man get parts for vehicles and led them down to the southern coast from the Trading Post. She seemed nice enough, a surprise really, as I'd started to look at some of the members of TOR as if sizing them up for a dress and a wig.

The second one was the kicker. A woman named...Terror? Terra? She had an accent that made it a bit difficult to understand. Talked about being surrounded by a bunch of black guys who thought about raping her. Won't say I haven't been sending future generations to their doom on the grass now and then, but still. You expect people to have some kind of standards. You expect some kind of humanity.

The other guy, I saw him before. Never did catch his name though I feel like I should know it by now. Made our way up to that airfield again. Tried to keep track of how many zombies I killed, lost track around one hundred and twenty. Took a few hits, felt a bit slower because of the wounds that hadn't already healed properly. Definitely need to contact Injected about those pain pills.

Had a car for a while, drove it, only knocked a few things over. New record. No crash, no explosion, no waking up somewhere else with a medic or a slightly less-than-friendly face looking back down at me. Kind of proud of that, actually. May need to try to find another one. Big plans for the trading post.

Five tents now. Two in the back, side by side, for food and drinks, one on the left for trading supplies, one of the right for medicine, and a tent for people to throw their empty cans so others can boil water. It's a nice little system if people will actually pay attention to it. Don't talk nearly enough about the post. It's a home. My new home.

Gotta take care of what you love.

My arms are tired, heavy, from all the combat. Writing this is hard but I want to keep going. I want to try to remember every little bit, to recall every detail so that I can write it down for someone...For me? Maybe whoever finds it on my dead body.

Just a note while I'm thinking about my grisly death that will probably come sooner rather than later:

To you, the person reading this. If you find this clutched in my hands, if I've been eaten, if I was shot in the back by cowards who can't make their way in the world without having to prey on others. You have a choice. You can choose to hold onto what we had before. You have the choice to be human. Not just a person, a wastelander, focusing only on survival no matter the cost.

We spent thousands of years building ourselves as a people, and it was brought down. It's up to you, whoever reads this, whoever you show it to. It's up to each and every one of you to remember that we can do horrible things. We kill, we rape, we steal. But we can do magnificent things as well. We laugh, we joke, we love, we protect. That flawed humanity, no matter how you think it came about, is a gift that shouldn't just be squandered as a nagging thought in the back of your mind as you commit atrocities.

I can't do a lot. Sight's not good enough, coordination, navigation, reflexes. I can handle the zombies easily enough, learn how they jerk and move. I can't go out and be some avenger who destroys those that oppress the weak. I can try to show them though, that there is something for kindness, an immutable strength that though it may be tested and pushed, never quite breaks.

I think the pain pills I took with that soda are just making me write weird things. Still need those damn lorcets from Injected. [The next word is written and scratched out a few times before the best spelling that can be mustered is used] Solichny. Something like that. They're supposed to have something there. Back to the southern coast.

I need sleep. Hope I pass this damn stone soon.

I'm getting better.

Sweet dreams.

Still not beaten down.

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Guest ParaHaXz

We had been together since I was in high school and I bludgeoned her head in with some random rock I found on the ground.

32685640.jpg

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Failure. Worthless. Can't count how many times I got lost in a throng today. Just being torn at, bitten, clawed, drug and tossed around before I could beat them back and retreat. I can't tell if they're getting stronger or all the damage is making me weaker as I go along.

I look at myself sometimes, in the reflection of a bowl of water when I'm taking a whore bath to conserve what we have in the well, never knowing if it's going to go dry one day and cause a riot. A patchwork of scar tissue and muscle that wasn't there a year ago. I've still got a belly, don't think that's ever going to go away, but now.

I look like one of them.

I'm not rotting, I'm not craving flesh or brains. Only showed a couple of people my arms to give them an idea. Muscles are getting stiff from all the work, if it's not chopping wood to supply the Trading Post with fuel or hunting things and tackling them instead of using a gun to draw the damn things up the hill, it's the damage.

I think I'm immune, either that or I'm turning incredibly slowly. I wrecked a bus in Cherno heading toward that place where the old Trading Post used to be. Prig-something. Didn't even see the concrete divider on the road in front of me. Never drove a bus before the outbreak, don't think I should do it again for a while.

Slight concussion, I think. Keeping myself awake for a while just in case. I never knew why you weren't supposed to go to sleep, maybe in case there's swelling where the brain hits the skull? I need to find someone who can read Russian and start work on translating medical and survival books into English so I can learn.

Everything's been slightly fuzzy, my reflexes are shit. Used to be able to pick them off in the middle of those crazy sprints, now they're on me and clawing me before I can react and get them off. It can't be them getting stronger, right? No. I'm getting weaker. It's wearing on me. Fighting them like this. Everyone with a brain uses a gun by now. A rifle, an AK of some kind you can find damn near everywhere, even a double-barrel shotgun would probably do better.

But I can't.

I can't bring myself to use them for long. It's not right. I killed her that close. I looked her in the eyes. The rest of them deserve that much, I think. To get finished off like they were still something resembling human? Maybe I'm just feeling guilty and want to get hurt. Hah, there's that psychology class from college rearing its ugly head. Didn't even get a minor in it, but it sounds right.

Maybe I want them to do it. To tear me apart so I have to be stitched back together. My penance for what I had to do. Not what the world forced me to do. Not what she forced me to do. No, not what I had to do. I chose to do it. I can't push the blame off on the state of the world. I had a choice. I took it.

People used to, hell they still talk about me. The way I use an axe, killing zombies, chopping them up and protecting the people I know, the people I've come to care about here. Silent, never needs reloading, just a bit of maintenance. Cover doorways, bottleneck them in, and just chop them up like a woodchipper.

I remember, only a few days ago, running through that airfield and killing them in the open, when their strange sense of spatial perception didn't make them slow down so they wouldn't go injuring themselves or crashing into walls. I fought them in the open. I fought them like a man. Only took a few hits. Today, today I took too many. Careless, stupid hits.

I'm going to get a sheep soon, kill it and start practicing my stitching. Don't need the fancy suturing techniques since I don't really care if it scars. Just need to sew myself closed so I can keep going. Can't let them stop talking about me now. Can't let them down now. They're depending on me, in however small a part. I can't help, I can't try to shed some light in this hellhole if I give up, if I just roll over and rot, or come back to get shot in the head from half a mile away by someone.

I have to start training again, even if I can't pass this stone. It's going to be big. May need to talk to the Free Medics about that procedure, but I wouldn't be able to be anesthetized. Don't know if I could take that kind of pain unless they just chloroformed me. Going to try to find some of that stuff I used before, Pyridium, helps numb the ureter and works to lower swelling.

Need to pass this and recover. It's not acceptable. I can do better.

Going to pour alcohol over everything, wash myself in it so there's no infection tonight. Going to stay up late. Try not to sleep in case it's a concussion. Probably sing sea shanties while I'm alone up on the hilltop.

Sweet dreams.

I'll get stronger.

For you.

For them.

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Dear colleague, first of all, I am grateful for all the work you. I cannot count how many times the only thing standing between me and starvation was the food you supplied the Trading Post with, after I gave my own supplies away to someone less fortunate.

I feel much safer knowing that there is someone who is doing the same thing for me.

Makes me sleep better.

About the medical training, I think I can help you. Just don't get yourself killed until that time.

((OOC: Good story Mace, one of the few I'm following. Keep up.))

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  • 5 months later...

Feels like it's getting harder.

It's been too long, my last journal was lost in the Trading Post before whatever really happened went down. I still don't know if what I've heard is true and it was some kind of air raid. I have my doubts. I'm not sure why anyone would want to bomb a place that was actually making something happen. It was relatively safe, at least from the zombies. The humans were the real problem.

I suppose it doesn't matter though. I've been sleeping on top of the shipping containers that I can climb up onto. The zombies can't do well with the corrugated exteriors, they slip and can't find enough purchase to climb up the ones that are slanted. My white noise lately has been the scraping of rotten, cracked nails on rusted steel and their constant groaning. Unintelligible demands that I give myself up to them, to allow myself to be taken, to simply give in.

I've been trying to make it better.

It's hard work. Supplies are rare, and so far I've only managed to find a couple of those hedgehogs, or porcupines, whatever you call them. They used to be used a lot for roadblocks, but I'm going to be setting up a perimeter here with them and, if I can find them, some sandbags. Something to keep the shamblers at bay and if one happens to topple inside it won't be backed up by a horde of its pals. Just a thwack in the head.

Training's going poorly. Muscles are still stiff from all the injuries, and I've been catching diseases left and right, though I've managed to get back into contact with the Free Medics, but none of them even seem to remember TOR. I've got my patch from when I was finally made a Ranger. I keep it on me so maybe when people ask for ID I can show it and they can have some sparkle of recognition. Some inkling of what it was, of what we did.

They're probably all dead now.

It isn't prudent to hold out false hope that they're alive and happy somewhere and that I just haven't found them yet. It's like a child still waiting up to try to spy Santa after their parents say he isn't real. You want to believe, you feel like you know they're wrong, but all you've got in you is hope, and if that hope gets deflated it can be devastating. Devastating for a kid. I can't imagine what would happen if I just believed really hard that they were still around only to stumble on their corpses in a ditch somewhere, or worse yet to see their faces, diseased and lifeless, staring at me while their jaws snap and try to take a piece of me home with them.

The camp is pitiful. A bedroll on a shipping container, a couple of little caches that I can't keep stocked. I've met quite a few nice people though. Jerry and Ele, Tim, even that group who had a mishap up at the trading post with someone they didn't like. Told them it was my home and they didn't even try to disarm me, said they wouldn't take it away from me. I always wanted the Trading Post to be mine, I took care of it as if it were. As if I had some personal stake in it that made it more mine than the merchants and mercenaries that really kept it going.

I suppose now I'm the only one who still cares about it. I still put the fires up at night. I keep the couple of gates that are still standing up as if anyone is going to want to park here. I worry about it. It's an injured child and I feel it's because of my neglect that it became this way. The zombies come in droves, shambling, groaning, scratching even now at my roost.

Training's been difficult. I don't have a safe place to practice at night, though getting rid of most of the zombies and working on one or two in "single combat" is helping me to get my reactions back to what they used to be. Scars are hurting more, piling up, going through antibiotics like candy from some of the more decomposed ones landing lucky swipes or bites when I'm not paying attention.

Going to Berezino, Berenzino? Whatever, that place south of her, a lot more often. Free Medics seem to be coming through to raid anything but they need it, blood bags, pain killers. Can't blame them. Haven't met one yet that didn't come off as a good guy to me, all they want to do is help. I like to try that as well, that's why I want to do it. Why I want to try to rebuild, to give people a place where they can come by and get what they need. I'm not trying to one up Haven or even put people like the medics out of business.

We've just got to find our own ways to help. Mine still comes down to just chopping the undead bastards in the face and watching whatever they have that resembles "life" leave them on the ground.

Need to find my pain killers. Scars are hurting again.

Love you.

Have sweet dreams.

I will rebuild.

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  • Sapphire

This, is magnificent.

Very glad I met you ingame! :)

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The rebuild is beginning.

It's slow going, but I managed to finish getting the caches up and I need to consolidate what goes where in them. Medical items when I have them, food and drinks, extra items like compasses and maps that I stumble across. It should all work out fine, but there's something nagging at me. I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something in the back of my mind lately that has made me think I've been hearing people when they aren't there.

I managed to get some sandbags lately and I've started to create a wall once more. It's not nearly as complete as what used to protect the Trading Post, but if I can at least slow them down and make them topple over the walls it'll make picking them off easier. I've only managed to construct a couple of walls so far, trying to create a workable perimeter and it's going to take a long time and a lot of resources to make it something that will actually make someone else feel safe.

I've been thinking, late at night. Since I was with The Outpost Rangers, and I seem to be the only one left alive, does that make me The Lone Ranger? That's the kind of joke she'd smack me for or roll her eyes in that cute way as if she were quietly pondering why she had ever said yes when I knelt down during the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Some people still seem to recognize the patch I have with me. That's good. I may not have been a large part but I don't want their good deeds to be forgotten.

I'm getting better with my axe again. Muscles are still sore, and I've been popping more pills than I care to admit, even when I don't have a kidney stone. I might be addicted, but there are just some things that I've got to deal with. I'm sure the Free Medics could help or, if I ever needed it, set me up in a place to detox if it got too bad. Good guys, I'm glad I started to help them out in the few minor ways I could. It's nothing compared to what they do for other people, but I think I do all right for one man.

Damn zombies are still clawing at the shipping container where I sleep. I'm not sure what I can do about it, but it's becoming a gruesome lullaby I'm afraid I'll grow dependent on. If there ever was a time when this whole thing ended...*The following portion is viciously scratched out and marked over.*

I can't start thinking like that. Get too hopeful and the only thing that's going to happen is that you lose sight of what's important. Help out where you can. Get things rebuilt. Get some sleep. Maybe just a couple more pills. This damn headache just won't go away.

Sweet dreams.

I love you.

I have to do better.

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