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The Story of Steele

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(you're walking on some dirt road through the woods looking for a place to settle for the night and notice a small fire not too far off the trail. From where you are, you see just one man tending to the flames with a stick. As you get closer he looks up at you. "well if your here to take my things they're all over there by the tree, take what you will and leave me be. If you're looking for a hot meal have a seat, i can always open another can of beans. As you sit down, apprehensive of the man you've just met he starts talking, almost as if to himself.)

My name is Joshua Steele. I am...was a cook by trade. My father and i would make our yearly hunting trip from America to Chernarus every fall. We would set up a small camp north of Toploniki deep in the woods. Periodically through out the trip it was not uncommon for us to run into town to get some supplies we either forgot (my father always forgot batteries for our flashlights and lanterns) or to restock some things we didn't bring enough of. It was a normal morning like any other, and my dad had taken the pickup we rented into town to get batteries...those damned batteries *wipes a tear from his eyes* The sun was coming down and he was taking longer than usual so i grabbed up my rifle, a dyeing flashlight, a bottle of water, and started toward town. After all it was only a half hour walk or so. it wasn't that far of a walk. As i got close i could hear people screaming, i could see people running around panicked. I heard gunshots, and i hid behind a tree. As i peeked around it i could see a small group of people kneeling on the sidewalk just outside the shop my dad and i get our things from. There was another group of men standing before them all armed, pointing their guns at the people kneeling. I could see one man behind them pacing back and forth yelling something that i was just out of ear shot to hear clearly. But I've seen enough war movies to know that these men were going to kill these people. So i took up a better position in the trees and raised up my rifle...then i saw my dad. He was laying face down in a pool of blood. He had been killed as an example of what they would do if the others didn't listen. A rage filled me, and it was as if everything around me just froze. There i was, rifle raised pointing at the men that had killed my father. My heart was pounding, all sounds blurred together and i saw nothing else but these men. I gently squeezed on the trigger and the man standing closest to my fathers dead body ceased to exist. The others scrambled in the panic, and the innocents cried out in horror thinking another one of them had been killed. I managed to kill two more of the men before the rest escaped in my fathers rented truck. I ran over to my fathers body and hopelessly tried to wake him up. I knew he was dead, i just didn't want to believe it. One of the innocents thanked me before running off, another tried to get me to leave with them. But i couldn't just leave my dad there. So i sat there holding his lifeless body for what seemed like eternity...its been a long time since then. And I've been through too much to just let that kind of situation keep happening. Enough is enough.

(the man leans over and grabs a log from the small pile next to the fire and throws it on sending some embers into the chill night air)

i woke up this morning in yet another abandoned house, and i dragged myself over to the sink. i looked at my reflection in the mirror, but i did not recognize the man staring back at me. as i looked at his face, i noticed that there's a few new scars, his hairline has receded just a little bit more, and even though he had just shaved, there was some stubble left on his chin. i looked away, and slowly ran my hand over my face, wiping away the sweat of the nights heat. then i looked back at the man in the mirror. this stranger with whom i was having this wordless conversation. but this time i looked in his eyes. there were dark bags under them, "hes not getting enough sleep" i thought. "well, when he does sleep at all" his eyes were slightly bloodshot. he had been up all night...yet again. then i took a closer look into his grey eyes...my grey eyes, and i saw a tear run down his cheek. i felt that tear hit my hand on the counter. i was crying because i didn't know who this man was. i know who i am! well...who i was. but i refused to believe that this man, this stranger in the mirror, and that i were one and the same. i was a man that knew what i wanted from life. i knew what i wanted to do, where i wanted to go, and i knew...at least i thought i knew, how i was going to get there. but the man in the mirror looked lost, he had given up hope, made mistakes, and done more than a few things that he regrets. he looked beaten down, I felt defeated. i looked away again, this time wiping the blurring tears from my eyes. thinking about...thinking about everything. i looked back to the man. this man who lost his father, this man who had some of his closest friends turn on him like he were their worst enemy. i then reached up and touched my face. i was startled to see him do the same. i followed as he traced his scars, and was filled with horror to feel them at my fingertips, i followed still as he traced his hairline, and scruffed his chin, only to realize that i bore those curses as well then it hit me, and i realized that i was this man in the mirror. a changed man, and the old me was lost long ago.

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