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The Dead Among Us - Sky's Backstory


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Thought I'd do one of these. This isn't usually how I write. I generally write with a clearly laid out story and characters, in a style similar to how someone would write a novel. Still getting used to just sort of making things up as I go, so bare with me :)

Its very loosely based around my experience in DayZ, but enough so that its not all completely made up.

Day 251 - Eight months and nine days since Day Z: The day of the outbreak

It was hard to imagine that it had been just over eight months ago that the world went to shit. Not that the time had flown; every day since had been a struggle, but I could still remember life pre-Day Z so vividly. It really didn’t feel like that big of a gap between now and when I was just going through the motions of day to day life. The issues I was facing then feel so trivial compared to what I was facing now, so much so that I might even have found the comparison funny if reality wasn’t as shitty as it is.

Still, I missed the routine, I missed my old job, I missed driving my car, I missed playing video games, I missed... Sam. It was hard to think about her. If only I hadn’t been out of town that weekend, I could have been there when it all happened.

I try my hardest not to recall the images of what I saw when I finally snuck my way home the day after this whole mess began. Arriving to see the house torn apart, footprints of blood on the carpet and smeared across the walls and then finding my parents and my brother’s mangled corpses up against the wall in the master bedroom. The memory still horrified me, but I had come to terms with their deaths, I had moved on.

What truly haunted me was that Sam wasn’t there, or anywhere. I had searched and searched but to no avail. If only I hadn’t encountered that pack of Zeds near home. Maybe I could’ve continued my search and found her, maybe she’d be sitting here with me on this cold and overcast morning in the warmth of the camp fire.

No, I shouldn’t keep dwelling on the past. What was done is done, and the only thing left was survival. It was time I left anyway, I had a full days travel ahead of me. I knew that if I could make good time, I should be able to reach Black Mountain before by nightfall.

I packed up the tent as well as my cooking gear and the rest of my supplies, slung my rifle over my shoulder and continued on my trek. I prayed that whoever had been broadcasting the radio transmission the past few nights was still there. My food supplies were just about exhausted, so I’d been hopeful they’d be willing to share some of theirs in return for ammunition or medical supplies. The message was broken and choppy, but I was able to make out that they were a small group who've set up in the ruins atop Black Mountain, and they were offering shelter and trade.

It had crossed my mind that it could very well be a trap; it wouldn't be unlike some of the more notorious bandit clans to lure in unsuspecting survivors and send them on their way with nothing more than their lives. I was finding it hard to be optimistic, the signal quality of the message had been so poor that it was hard enough to make out, let alone get a read on its legitimacy. However, I was desperate, so I didn't have much of a choice. I would just have to be cautious.

~~

I kept a fast pace throughout the day, determined to make it to Black Mountain before sunset. The sun had broken through the clouds shortly after I set off, which was pleasant at first until the real heat set in. I took a short rest break around midday under the shelter of some large trees. The shade helped cool me off as I chugged down some water and finished off my half can of beans from this morning, before eventually setting off once more.

As I approached Black Mountain, I realized it was larger than I remembered it being. The sun was now half hidden behind the horizon; I wasn’t going to have much light left. I began the hike up the steep hill through the forest. I was close to half way when I was startled by the sound gunfire. I instinctively flung my rifle off my back and into my hands, dropped to one knee and spun towards the direction of the shot. It wasn’t near me, it came from off in the distance further up the mountain.

Doubt consumed me. Should I go back? Is it worth proceeding? After a quick second of deliberation I decided it was worth the risk. I didn’t have enough food to get me through tomorrow; I had to go on. I started to run up the hill, scanning ahead for anything that moved. As I drew closer there was more gunfire and I was starting to hear vague yelling and shouting.

As I was nearing the top, I was met with a hard thud as a Zed jumped out at me from behind a large tree, tackling me to the ground. It was on top of me, pinning me on my back as I was trying to hold it off me. It was clawing its hands at my face and snapping its jaw trying to bite at me; the blood of a previous kill dripping from its teeth. As it looked down at me with its intense, fixated, blood red eyes, my fatigued body was struggling to resist.

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Day 251 - P2

I shifted the weight of its torso onto my right forearm, allowing me to free up my left hand. I reached down to the hunting knife secured in its holder and pulled it out, then buried it into the side of the Zeds skull. As its body went motionless, I rolled its corpse off me and slid the knife out of its head. My heart was racing,“That was too close”, I thought, I’d have to be more careful. The gunfire continued up ahead, I wasted no time in continuing on.

I arrived at the southern side of the ruins; the gunfire was a little further ahead. I kept up my pace and wove through the broken stone walls until I came to the clearing. It was chaos. Zeds were tearing around the campsite, chasing after anything that moved. Several survivors were trapped in the corner of an old stone building that had been demolished, spraying bullets from their assault rifles at the wall of undead moving in on them. Another few were locked up in a UAZ at the other end of the camp site, with more Zeds clawing at their windows.

I ran down to help the cornered survivors and starting unloading rounds. I noticed a brief look of surprise on their faces as I approached, before their focus quickly went back to the Zeds. Enough of the undead switched their attention to me to allow the survivors some breathing space. I started backpedaling while continuing to fire, the recoil making it tough on my tired arms, while trying to be as efficient with my ammunition as possible. As they were closing in rapidly I heard a loud groan from behind me. I spun around to see a Zed just beyond arm's length reaching for me. I buried my boot into its chest, knocking it to the ground, then stood over it and put a bullet between its eyes. I turned around and dropped the last few Zeds that were giving chase, before my attention went back to the survivors.

The previously cornered group had cleared out the remaining Zeds that had been moving on them, and were now making their way to the UAZ; I rushed to join them. We moved towards the vehicle, dropping Zeds as they came screaming at us. These survivors were no amateurs, they were well trained and knew how to handle a gun. The last few Zeds fell as we made our final approach to the UAZ, adding to the large amount of rotting corpses already littering the ground.

I placed my rifle over my shoulder and stood back, watching as one of them rushed to the doors of the UAZ to check on their friends; the other three remained where they were, looking at me with watchful eyes. I couldn’t blame them; I knew well from experience that random encountered with other survivors often ends in bloodshed. In this world, you’re a fool to trust anyone but yourself and those closest to you.

Our exchange of glances was broken by high pitched scream off in the distance. I shot off in that direction, dodging trees and jumping broken stone walls; someone was in trouble. The struggle came into vision as I turned a corner; the Zed leaning over someone, snarling and grasping at them. I ran up, reached under its right arm and grasped its left shoulder, tearing it backwards and slamming it into the ground. As I pinned it to the ground with right my right knee, it lay there writhing to try to escape from under my weight, desperately trying to get close enough to sink its teeth into me. I reached down and unsheathed my trusty blade, raised it above my head and with one, swift motion, drove the blade deep into its skull.

Still perched on one knee, I felt like collapsing to the side and resting for eternity, but the day wasn’t done quite yet. I forced myself up, cleaned my blade before holstering it, and began to turn around to face the girl.

“Are you oka-”, I began, before freezing mid sentence. She lay in front of me with her back up against one of the stone wall; clothes tattered, torn and covered in blood, staring at me with the same amazed expression I expect I was wearing. A face I hadn’t thought I’d ever see again. A face I knew all too well.

It was Sam.

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Day 251 - P3

“S...Sam?” I stammered. “Sam is that really you?”

Everything was a blur, my mind couldn’t keep up. Could this really be happened? Had the Zed on the hill gotten me and I was just living out this fantasy during my final moments?

“Danny?” she whimpered, her voice wavering.

After a brief moment of silence she leapt to her feet and ran to me. I did the same; the soreness of my aching body seemingly forgotten.

“I can’t believe that you’re alive” I said, still struggling for words.

I was still in shock. I had lost countless hours of sleep worrying about her over the past eight months, wondering where she was and if she was ok, and now she was here with me, in my arms. I realised that my hand, which was resting on her back, was wet, and I recalled all of the blood she was covered in when I first saw her.

Panic hit me. I stepped back to see her properly.

“Are you okay?” I asked, looking down at her scarlet spattered top, “Are you hurt?”

“No, no, I’m fine” she replied, understanding my sudden concern, “I wasn’t bitten or anything, most of its not my blood”.

“Most of it?!” I exclaimed.

“I hit my head pretty hard,” she added, “I might have a concussion, but that’s all”.

I let out a sigh of relief, if she had been bitten I... I don’t know what I would have done.

Her attention switched to the survivors standing behind me, neither of us had been aware of their presence. She ran over and hugged the two standing at the front. I imagined that she’d probably been traveling with this group for a while now, she seemed to be pretty close with them.

“Is everyone okay?” She asked

“We’re all fine Sam” one of them replied. He was a reasonably tall guy, about 6 ft, fairly heavy set and wearing military grade clothing, his M4A3 CCO leaning up against the wall next to him.

“We’re just glad that you’re ok. They hit us hard and quick from the west, we weren’t able to get to this side of the ruins and find you on your patrol.”

“I was up in the outlook keeping watch through the trees when I heard the yelling,” She said.

“I turned to go back to camp when the floor gave out. Next thing I remember, I wake up to the sound of snarling and gunfire. My head was aching and I too disoriented to know what’s going on at first. I look up and see a Zed hobbling its way over to me. That’s when Dan showed up.”

They both looked at me. The guy walked over and offered his hand.

“Thank you” he said, “You had no reason to risk your life helping me and my friends, but you did anyway. That shows true character.”

“Hey, don’t mention it” I replied, shaking his hand, “ I did only what I’d hope others would do for me”.

He gave me a slight grin and then turned to move back to his group.

“You’re welcome to stay with us tonight.” He said, before starting to head back to the camp.

The others began to follow him back. I walked up to Sam, put my arm around her and we left as well.

I think had a million thoughts going through my head, so many questions that I wanted answers to. But that could wait. The prospect of a long nights sleep was not something I was going to turn down.

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Needless to say, things go south at some stage for my character :D But that's a long way off.

But thanks dude, I appreciate it. I'm due for another entry though, I'll probably write some more up soon and post another entry within 24 hours.

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Sorry for the delay on this one. My brain has been feeling rather uncreative the last few days.

Probably worth noting that, though my story features people I played with that have their own RP stories, they are NOT intertwined as I honestly couldn't be assed aligning everyone's stories. The name is the only thing that carries, the rest is moreorless fiction.

Day 252

I awoke the next morning to the sound of laughter outside the tent. I stood up and stretched; my body still quite sore, but I felt well rested and rejuvenated. After the events of last night, I don’t think anything could have put me in a bad mood.

I stepped outside the tent and saw Sam sitting around a campfire with some of the others. She must have heard me coming out of the tent; she turned around and greeted me with a smile.

“Good morning”, she said.

“Morning”, I replied as I walked over to sit with them.

Upon sitting down I was handed a bowl of what smelled like beef stew. I suddenly realised how incredibly hungry I was, and didn’t hesitate in downing it. I couldn’t tell if it was actually as delicious as it seemed, or it it was just so good because I hadn’t eaten anything but damn beans for close to a month. Once I had finished my stew, Sam introduced me to the rest of the group. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all but one were Australian, I hadn’t really noticed last night due to all of the chaos.

There was Scooter, a fairly quiet Brit. Jake, a rather large guy with a strong accent, who seemed to love his MK 48. Phil and Mitch, both fairly young guys. And then James, who was the one I’d spoken to the previous night.

Scooter had been visiting on a business trip when Day Z took place, James and Mitch found him in a grocery store trapped out back in one of the bathroom stalls when they were out scavenging for food. Those two were both stationed here in the military, James as a combat medic and Mitch as a pilot, but they’d been friends since before they enlisted. Phil and Jake both happened to stumble upon the group later on; Phil during another supplies run, and Jake when he pulled a gun on Mitch thinking he was an S-GRU member.

After she introduced me to everyone, we went back to the tent and talked about what we had both been doing for the past eight months.

She told me that her flight back to Chernarus had been delayed, so she had been out of the country on Day Z. Her delayed flight was then cancelled when the country was quarantined, but after several days of searching she managed to buy her way onto a media personnel helicopter that had been given military clearance to conduct their operations at the army base located at what is now known as the North Western Airfield.

She had them drop her off just north of Berezino to continue on foot. She’d desperately wanted to get into the town and try and find our parents, but it had been nearly a week since Day Z at that point; the town was crawling with Zeds and there really was no way in.

A sharp pain followed the realization that she didn’t know about our parents and brother. I decided it would be best for me to let her finish and explain it to her afterwards.

Whereas I had gone in-land after searching Berezino, she went south hoping that I was still at Elektrozavodsk. She managed to sneak partway into the city but to the density of Zed’s not being as bad as it was elsewhere. Upon arriving at the hotel I had been staying at, she found nothing. Rotting, bloodied corpses and more Zeds was all that remained.

She told me that at that point, she had given up hope and was struggling to keep herself going. A few days later she happened to find a group of survivors further inland while scavenging for supplies and decided to travel with them; which she did for several months before eventually having an encounter with a group of bandits. Her eyes welled up when retelling the incident, sorrow swept across her face; it was obvious that over the few months they had been together, they’d all become close. They executed her friends in front of her, beat her and left her for dead.

It was hard hearing her tell me that. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should’ve been there, that I could have done something about it.

Fortunately, another nearby group had heard the commotion and came to investigate. As it turned out, it was the group we were with now. They gave her medical treatment and took care of her for the following weeks until she’d regained her strength. They’d been traveling together for a little over four months now, raiding old rundown military encampments, grocery stores, production facilities and anything that might provide something of value.

They had set-up camp here on Black Mountain and were broadcasting the message I had received in an attempt to make trade for fuel. At Krasnostav, a town to the east, they had hidden a UAZ that had been “acquired” from two poor schmucks that had tried to hold up Jake on one of the groups supply runs, thinking he was alone. He wasn’t.

I told her about where I had been, how I’d arrived home a day after Day Z. I was unable to hide the sadness on my face, I could tell that she knew what I had found. I didn’t go into detail; there was no reason for her to suffer from the same imagery that I do. I explained that I spent most of my time traveling alone. I had spent short amounts of time with several groups, but never anything permanent. There were encounters with bandits and other survivors that I told her about, but I was very vague on detail.

There are things that I have done, things that I am not proud of, things that I know I had to do. This land has changed me for the worse, but it is the world we now live in and it is what you must to to survive.

What scares me the most is the realisation of how accustomed I now am to taking life. I had been holding onto a glimmer of hope in the back of my mind for a long time now, that someday, somehow, everything will eventually be back to the way it was. But as each day passed, I feared that any hope of returning to a normal life was dwindling.

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Day 252 Cont

About mid morning the group gathered to decide what would be the course of action. The UAZ hidden in Krasnostav was very low on fuel, and they’d already cleared the rest of the town and found nothing. It was decided that Mitch and James would go to west and search Gvozdno, while Jake, Sam and I would take the second UAZ and go search Dubrovka, leaving Phil and Scooter to keep an eye on the camp.

Shortly after, we began loading our gear into the UAZ in preparation for our scavenger run. The car seemed to be in decent condition, though it showed signs of it being involved in a firefight at some stage. I also noticed that both the driver and passenger doors had been painted black (and poorly painted at that), which was so apparent due to the rest of the car holding its original dark green coat.

“I call dibs driving!” Sam called aloud, breaking my train of thought.

Phil and Jake, who were standing nearby, both began laughing.

Grinning and slightly puzzled, I turned to look at her. The unamused and slightly irritated expression on her face making it pretty clear that she didn’t see the humor.

“No, I’ll drive”, Jake said, holding back the chuckles. “I think you still have awhile to go before regaining your driving privileges Sammy.”

“Fine...”, Sam said, trudging around to the other side of the UAZ and getting into the passenger seat.

There must be a good story behind that, I thought, making a mental note to ask about that one at a later time.

Once Jake had finished loading his gear, we set off down the western side of the mountain on to one of the side roads, then headed south to Dubrovka.

The plan was to meet back at the camp mid afternoon, and if we managed to find fuel then we would set off at first light the following morning. They’d been camped out at Black Mountain for four days now, so James wanted to move on before we attracted any unwanted attention from bandits. It wasn’t uncommon for them to monitor radio channels and pounce on unsuspecting travellers, however the location had been a smart choice.

The forest covering the mountain side isn’t particularly dense, making it very hard to approach without being seen. The high ground advantage, combined with the ruins providing excellent vantage points, would make it very hard for even a large bandit group to lead an assault on the camp.

The drive was uneventful. A couple of Zeds were spotted, but no signs of life. The main road heading inland that went straight through Debrovka was often used by survivors coming in from the coast, and it wasn’t uncommon for people to stop off to check for supplies, so we were very cautious with our approach.

Once we were close, we veered into the rear end of a section of forest, parked the UAZ in some thick bushes, and proceeded to the treeline overlooking Dubrovka and the main road on foot. We kept low and peered into the small town to check for any unwelcome guests. We surveyed the area for several minutes; the place appeared to be empty. Not a single person or vehicle in sight, and the Zed density wasn’t anything we couldn’t deal with.

The sound of a small engine became apparent off in the distance.

“ATV coming along the main road”, Jake said.

I looked down my SUSAT scope to get a better look. It was moving west along the main road from the coast. The driver was wearing a ghillie suit, with another on the back also in a ghillie, both with gun slings over their chests.

Something printed on the side of the ATV caught my attention, a logo that I recognized.

“These guys are Rising Freeborns”, I said, “check out the tag”.

“Mmhmm”, Sam agreed, “That’s definitely their logo”.

“Lets just hope there aren’t more in the area”, Jake added, the concern evident in his voice.

I looked over at him, slightly puzzled.

“RF are usually neutral towards survivors right?” I queried, trying to understand.

He and Sam shared a look, before his eyes came back to me.

“We... may have had a slight altercation with a few of their members, which may have lead to us taking them out and acquiring their UAZ”, he said.

“You’re joking...”, I said, hoping he wasn’t being serious.

“We were at the factory near Polana a few weeks ago looking for filled jerry cans for our UAZ which we’d hidden a couple of clicks away, and a couple of RF guys happened to be there as well.” Jake explained. “Turns out they were also looking for jerry cans”.

“They told us to look elsewhere and that these had been claimed by RF”, Sam continued, “But we needed them desperately. After refusing to leave, the situation escalated, and they took aim at us. At which point, Scooter, who was on overwatch, took ‘em both out.”

“We started taking sniper fire so we jumped in their UAZ and booked it up to Scooter, picked him up, and headed through the forest back to our UAZ”.

After a brief moment of silence, it dawned on me. I looked back at our parked UAZ, remembering the bullets holes and the poorly painted doors, then looked back at Jake.

“Great,” I said, “We’re driving around in a stolen vehicle, belonging to one of the most powerful groups in Chernarus.”

“Lighten up dude”, he said, “We painted over the logos so they won’t know its theirs”.

Right, I thought, Because that’s not obvious at all.

The ATV continued on through Dubrovka and took the road south. Once it was out of sight, we waited several more minutes before moving further up to a group of trees just outside of town next to the main road.

As we were about to move forward, the familiar buzzing of the ATV engine was heard off in the distance.

“Wait! The ATV is coming back”, I exclaimed.

We stayed hidden from the road behind the trees, and I looked down my scope to see the ATV again, fast approaching.

“There’s only one ghillie now”, I said, “He must have dropped the other guy off. Lets wait for him to pass, then we’ll go in”.

“Fuck that”, Jake said, “I want that ATV”.

“What?!", I yelled under my breath, turning to him.

But before I could protest, he walked out from behind the trees, MK 48 raised.

“Fuck!” I whispered.

I briefly looked at Sam and then we both followed him out, guns also raised.

The ghillie on the ATV began to slow, before coming to a complete stop several meters from Jake.

“Get off the fucking vehicle and take two steps to your left!”, Jake ordered.

The ghillie did as he was told, his hood obscuring his face.

“Now drop to your knees and put your hands behind your head”, Jake continued, still with his MK 48 sights set on the stranger.

The ghillie once again did as instructed.

Jake looked back to check that we had him locked down, before lowering his weapon and approaching the ghillie. He removed the assault rifle from over the strangers shoulder, placed it against the ATV and then tugged back on the hood to reveal the ghillies face.

The man was calm and seemed unphased by the situation, his expression exuded confidence. He looked at each of us briefly, before looking back at Jake.

Jake had a devilish grin on his face; he crouched down to meet the mans eye level.

“Your ATV?” Jake began, “Is now my ATV”.

They stared at each other briefly, the man's expression unaltered by Jake’s taunting. Jake stood up again and turned to us.

“Keep an eye on him, I’m going to bring down the UAZ,” he said to us. “We’ll load up his gear and send him on his way”.

While Jack made his way back to the forest, our captive, still seemingly unaffected by the gravity of the situation, had started humming to himself. The same look of unflinching confidence across his face, it was unnerving.

“I don’t like this,” Sam said to me, “This doesn’t feel right”.

“I agree,” I replied, “We should have just stuck to the original plan”.

As the RF stranger continued to hum to himself, I noticed something off in the distance. Far to the west, there was a spec in the sky. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but it appeared to be getting ever so slightly larger.

Accompanying a barely audible booming noise was the realisation of what was happening. The unmistakable sound of chopper blades grew louder as the dot continued to grow.

I looked down at our captive meeting his stare. A half smile spread across his face as he read my startled expression, his completely calm demeanor suddenly making complete sense.

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Day 252 - Pt3

“Chopper!”, I screamed at Jake.

As he turned to look at me, I pointed in the direction of the approaching aircraft.

I took a second to calm myself and try to focus, we were not equipped to deal with an encounter like this. They were however, they were ready to provide immediate backup; who knows how many RF members we now have converging on us. Our friend here must have radioed in as soon as Jake stepped out onto the road with his weapon raised.

As Sam and I were looking out over the open field towards Jake, I alerted by movement in my peripheral vision; the ghillie was lunging for his rifle. I whipped my gun up as he swung his towards me and I squeezed the trigger. He stumbled back and fell lifelessly to the ground, his body landing with a thud.

Sam had spun around at the sound of the gunshots and was looking at me with wide eyes. I checked myself in disbelief, not being entirely sure who shot first, but I couldn’t feel any pain and there didn’t appear to be any blood.

Our attention shifted back to the inbound chopper, which was now close enough to be identified as a Huey.

“Come on”, I said, starting towards the ATV, “We need to get out of here”.

As I leaned down to pick up the rifle that our deceased friend had dropped, I noticed a small radio attached to his shirt that was partially covered by the ghillie suit. I reached down and took it as he certainly wouldn't be needing it, and jumped on the ATV.

With Sam on the back, I hit the gas and we departed the road heading straight back across the field towards the forest.

“Its right on us!”, Sam yelled.

I looked behind to see the Huey had reached the road, and broken its direct line at us to begin circling.

Without warning, bullets rained down from the mounted machine gun. The loud sound of gunfire accompanied the continuous flow of rounds penetrating the ground around us. I started to weave and zigzag to be as hard a target as possible; the treeline slowly growing closer and closer as we approached

The sharp sound of metal on metal was heard, followed by the dreadful clunking of the ATV engine failing, and then loss of all power. As the ATV began to roll to a stop, we jumped off to the side and crouched down, using it as cover as best we could. The bullets were whizzing past our heads as the Huey continued to shower us with gunfire. We were too far from the treeline to start running, we’d surely be shot down.

I looked across to the tree’s to see Jake pulling up the UAZ and jumping out, MK48 in hand. He took aim and started unloading on the chopper, forcing them the break their circling pattern and continue over the tree’s to evade Jake’s fire. Now was our moment, they'd be back for another pass shortly.

I grabbed Sam’s hand and started sprinting for the woods. Jack got back into the UAZ and took off to meet us half way. Moments later he skid to a halt besides us, reaching across to help us in.

“You guys need a ride?”, he asked with smirk.

I glared at him briefly. What the hell makes him think now is an appropriate time for a joke?, I thought. He continued to smile, seemingly unphased by the gravity of what was happening.

The Huey caught my eye several hundred meters further down the treeline as it came back into sight, returning from over the forest and adjusting its course straight for us.

‘Go! Go!”, I yelled once Sam and I were in.

We’d taken off back to the trees, the engine roaring as we grew nearer, when the RF chopper resumed its assault. More gunfire came down on us as be broke through the tree line and into the woods, weaving in between the trees for a few hundred yards until we were certain to be out of sight. The brief moment of silence that followed the engine shutting off was short lived.

“Waahoo!”, Jake said, sounding quite excited. “That was some crazy shit!”

My body was tense as I sat there looking straight ahead, trying to contain my anger, but I couldn’t.

“What the fuck were you thinking?!”, I yelled. “You nearly got us killed!”

His expression quickly changed following my outburst, as if he were oblivious to the reasons for my frustration.

“You’re mad at me?”, he replied. “You’d still be over in the middle of that field if I didn’t save your ass!”.

“We wouldn't have even been there at all if you'd just stuck to the plan”, I said. “This whole mess is-”

“Shut up! Both of you!”, Sam interrupted. “This isn’t the time!”

We sat in silence for a moment, regathering our composure. It seemed like no one wanted to speak up, so I did.

“Okay... so what now”, I asked. “We wait until nightfall before heading back to camp?”

“We don’t know how many RF operatives are in on this”, Sam replied, “They could have men on the ground moving to forest right now for all we know”.

“Right”, Jake agreed, “We can’t wait this out”.

The silence resumed as we began assessing our options. While considering the best way to make our escape, I suddenly remembered the radio I had taken from the dead ghillie. I reached down into my lower pocket, unsure if it had fallen out during the chase, but it hadn’t. I pulled it out and hit the on switch.

“Where did you-”

“Shh!”, I said, cutting Jake off.

“Eagle-One, do you see anything?”

“Negative. Forest is too dense, can’t see shit from up here.”

“Strike-One, your status?

“We’ve just stopped at the treeline at the north end of town, coordinates 106 051, proceeding on foot.”

“Strike-Two?”

“In the forest sweeping south, no sign of target”

“Sniper team, report.”

“We’ve got the entire eastern side covered, no movement as of yet”.

“Eagle-One, proceed further north and see if the forest thins out, we can’t lose these bastards”.

“Roger that.”

“Now's our chance”, Jake said. “I say when the Huey leaves we book it west, then circle around and regroup at camp.”

“Sounds like a plan”, I agreed.

We kept quiet, listening for the sound of the chopper as it flew overhead and continued on.

“Alright, lets do this”, I said.

The woods south of Black Mountain were so large that there was no way they’d be able to track us or keep us contained, all we had to do was get there. A crackle came from the radio as Jake was about to start the car.

“Command, we’ve spotted something...”

We froze. I looked over at Jake, the same partially shocked expression on his face that I’d imagine was on mine.

“Green UAZ, 150 meters ahead. Its them”.

Fuck.

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  • MVP

I wasn't really happy with the last entry tbh, I was struggling to focus and it felt kinda sloppy. But I'm part way through the next atm, should be up in a day or two hopefully.

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Day 252 - Pt4

“Go! Go!”, I yelled as the engine roared back to life.

The sharp snap of bullets ricocheting off the side of the car was heard as we sped through the trees towards the open fields. The shooting ceased shortly after, as a new order came through radio, telling them to get back to their vehicle and give chase.

Their level of coordination added to my worry as instructions to reposition and cut us off were being shouted across the channel. Our only chance was the Black Mountain forest; if we were intercepted before that then we’d be completely boxed in.

I stuck my head out the window as we broke through the tree line and into the plains, trying to spot the Huey that was undoubtedly bearing down on us. It was not yet in sight, but after a moment I spotted a green camo Land Rover bursting into the clearing a few hundred meters further down than we had.

“Land Rover on our tail”, I called to Jake.

I ducked my head back inside, hoping that somehow we had made more ground that we should have, but it was not the case; our destination was still far off in the distance.

“Shit”, Jake replied, “We don’t be outrunning a Land Rover.”

I checked behind us again to see it was indeed gaining ground on us, rather quickly in fact. The Huey had now also come into sight, still far back above the forest, but it too was quickly closing.

I took a moment to try and think through our options. Looking around, I spotted a small fuel station alongside the main road just up ahead and slightly to our right. This gave me an idea.

“Jake”, I said, “Take us through that gas station”.

He looked over at me, slightly confused.

“This isn’t really the time”, he replied sarcastically.

“Trust me, just do it”, I said. “I have a plan”.

With a shrug, he made the slight adjustment in our course towards the station. The rear of the complex wasn’t fenced, so we’d be able to drive straight through without slowing or deviating much at all.

As we grew close, I check behind once more to see if they were following us on our current course, and they were. “Excellent”, I thought.

We flew past the main building, underneath the sheltered section and straight across the road onto the field on the other side. I took my rifle, hoping that they’d followed us through, and held it outside the window, aiming back at the externally mounted fuel tank out we’d past. Sure enough, they had taken the same path as us. I waited for them to come in line with the tank and shot at it several times.

On the second shot, the tank erupted in a violent explosion, swallowing the Land Rover in a flames. The UAZ shook slightly as it was met by the shock wave. Bits of metal and shattered parts of the building flew through the air out of the large ball of fire; its size holding shape for a moment before beginning to dissipate, leaving just the flaming wreckage and a tower of black smoke.

“One down”, Sam said with a smile.

“Fuck yeah! Nice shot!”, Jake added, looking like a child at a fireworks display. His case free nature in this situations still baffled me.

Unfortunately, the relief was short lived, as the Huey burst through the dark cloud of smoke and continued its approach. At the same time, another transmission came through the radio.

“Command, this is Eagle-One, Strike-Two is down. I repeat, Strike-Two is down. There was an explosion at the gas station.”

There was a short moment of silence before a response came through.

“Roger that Eagle-One, stay on ‘em, Strike-Two is inbound.”

“Sam”, I called, “We need to take this thing down”.

“I’m going to borrow your Mk, Jake”, She said. “I need the fire power.”

“Just don’t drop her please”, he replied.

I looked out the window again. The Huey had made significant ground and was moving up on our left to give the gunner a shot. Sam and I held our weapons out the side of the UAZ and starting shooting in short controlled bursts. The Huey gunner promptly returned fire, spraying bullets down around us.

After a short period of exchanges, I spotted smoke beginning to stream from the main rotor followed by the slight flailing of the Huey. Yes! We’d damaged it, I thought. I heard the crackling of the radio in between bursts, so I paused to hold it close to hear what was being said over the gunfire.

“Command, this is Eagle-One, we’ve been hit.”

“Status report?”

“We’re taking fire, main rotor has been damaged.”

“Can you pursue?”

“Negative. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be in the air, we have to back out.”

“...roger that Eagle-One. Head back to base, ground teams will continue pursuit.

I put the radio down, leaned out the window again and continued shooting. Moments later the Huey broke off its current line and turn back heading west.

“Its backing off!”, Sam yelled.

The smoke from its rotor was getting worse, its effects evident in the faltering of the chopper on its flight path. I searched the field behind us, looking for signs of the other incoming RF teams but could see nothing, they must’ve still been a while away.

Relief swept over the entire car as we broke into the forest. The seclusion of it was comforting, they wouldn’t be able to follow or contain us in here now that no one was right on our tales giving them directions.

I looked back at Sam and we smiled joyously at each other.

“Good job back there you two”, Jake said. “You showed that chopper who’s boss”.

“Hey, you were pretty good behind the wheel too”, I replied. “But lets save the ‘thank god we’re still alive’ talk until we’re back at camp, eh?”

Jake chuckled to himself as he took out a cigarette out of its box and lit it up. More radio chatter followed as we drove, but it only confirmed what we already knew. They had lost us and were unable to pursue.

We continued through the forest towards camp, hopeful to get there before night, however the sun had already begun to set so it didn't seem likely. After a while, once the adrenaline had passed, I stretched back in my seat, resting my hands behind my head, and tried to relax.

Despite still being relieved, something was bugging me; a niggling feeling in the back of my mind. I couldn't help but think of the people I’d killed earlier, it made me feel sick to ponder their existences before I abruptly ended them.

I felt conflicted. I would always do whatever is necessary to protect those I care for, but where do I draw the line? These people were trying to kill us, but in the world we now live in, if someone acts against you first, as we did, can I blame them for their acts of retaliation? How many lives would I end for a cause that I consider just. Twenty? Fifty? A hundred?

These were all questions I desperately wanted answers too, but my moral dilemma would have to wait as my conscious self was taken a hold of by drowsiness and I slowly faded away into darkness.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Emerald

yea im likeing the story

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