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A Masquerade

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This is a long one...but yes 100% true story. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy.


It’s late afternoon and the sun has started reaching for the horizon as the end of the day nears. I find myself running through the Northwest Airfield, Glock 19 in my hand with a full mag loaded and ready to put down any of the dead who stumble across my path. It’s been over 600 days since I last saw my wife. I know she’s still out there- she has to be. I stop at the rows of military tents towards the south end of the airfield to scavenge for a couple of minutes. I need a new vest; the one I’m wearing is starting to deteriorate due to many long hours on the road and exposure to the elements. Don’t find much; the first row of tents seem to have been picked clean. A tent rustles a few meters away and a stranger quickly comes around the corner wearing a Gorka jacket and black tactical vest. He has a black military style bag on his back and a sub machine gun which he carries casually below his waist. Says to me in a light German accent, "Hello der friend". 

I respond back with a wave, "Hey there how's agoin? Are you alone?" 

He says" Yes, and you?" "Yup" I say, “Just scavenging. What's your name?" I ask. 

His response is garbled but sounds like "Mitch", I don’t bother asking him to repeat himself.

 "And yours?" says Mitch. "I'm Samson Sloan" I respond.

I break into the same tired conversation that I bring up with any new survivor I run into about looking for my wife, "Have you seen a women come through here lately? She has blonde hair, one blue eye and one green." I don’t know why I bother asking anymore- the answer is always 'no'. 

Mitch responds, "Vhat's her name?" "Mel" I answer.

He continues, "Hmm...Actually I think I have seen someone like that recently." 

Astounded, I reply, "Really? Where" When?" He mentions that just recently out in the woods he may have seen someone who fit her description. He offers to take me there if I’d like. Mitch seems nice enough, but something about him seems a little…off, if you know what I mean. So instead I tell him I'm waiting on a friend who is late meeting me here and that I want to stay and see if he shows up. In actuality, there is no friend coming to meet me- I just felt it was a smart idea to make it sound like I wasn’t alone and that I had some backup coming in case Mitch felt like trying something funny. 

He asks “Do you have a radio?

“I do, but my friend has been off the frequency for a while and hasn’t responded. I’m just going to wait for him I think.”

I stay and loot the tents some more, Mitch stays too and we continue to talk. More looting, talking casually asking each other about one another. We go through the standard questions you ask when getting to know someone, “Where are you from? How long have you been here? Do you know so-and-so…?” I ask him if he has ever heard of the Clowns. I had just had a close call with them the previous day and wanted to make sure they were nowhere near us. He says yes, he has heard of them but hasn’t seen them in a while. I notice the tone in Mitch’s voice changes ever so slightly when I mention the Clowns. He almost sounds excited, but it’s hard to say why. He starts asking me about how I know them and if they know me. I tell him about the recent standoff I had the other day. But in truth nothing really happened- a group I was tagging along with ran into some Clowns but no one had the guts to initiate so we all ended up going our separate ways. As I am explaining by recent encounter a stranger peeks out from behind a tent a short distance away.

Mitch yells, “Hey, you! Come out here-stop shpying on us! Why are you schneaking around over der?”

The stranger holds his position, keeping the majority of his body hidden behind the tent. The stranger’s voice shoots out from behind the tent, "Who are you?" We explain we are just looking for some supplies. The man replies and says he is just a hunter looking for ammo for the rifle he’s carrying on his back. Makes sense to me, he does look like a hunter after all in his dark green brimmed cap, camo jacket and black pants. I can see his scoped hunting rifle slung over his left shoulder. Mitch still doesn’t believe him and insists the hunter is up to no good. I try to ease the situation and cool Mitch off. The hunter, still visibly uncomfortable with Mitch’s hostile attitude, decides to run off into the woods from the same direction he came. As he leaves our view Mitch throws out, “Don’t you be schneaking on us anymore!” and the hunter vanishes into the trees.

We finish looting the tents and continue to talk. I ask if there is a settlement nearby where they may have seen my wife. Mitch tells me yes- just down the road through the woods there was an old medical compound with some doctors who may have seen her. I take him up on the offer and we head off on a dirt road into the forest, alone. The sun begins to hide itself beneath the horizon. 

We make it about 100m up the road and Mitch stops- “Somevon is following us.” I look around but don’t see or hear anyone but us on the road. “Did you see something? I ask.

“I just have von of those feelings that somebody is out der” Mitch responds while scanning the woods around us. I tell him not to worry but we will keep our eyes open just in case.

A few deer run by through the trees. Another few hundred meters up the road and Mitch stops again. Before I can say anything Mitch turns 180 degrees and starts shouting "I see you! I see you!" And takes off back down the road to chase a fleeing man as he emerges from a bush 50m away. Eventually Mitch catches up to the man and with his gun drawn yells, “Put up your fucking hands and drop your weapon! Now!”

As I catch up to them Mitch remarks, "I told you we were being followed".  I look at the man on the ground and realize I’ve seen him before- it’s the hunter from earlier. 

"Who the fuck are you? Why are you shpying on us?" Mitch yells. 

“I’m not spying! I was just hunting some deer, they were headed in the same direction as you” replys the hunter.

I say to Mitch, "We did see those deer run by a minute ago. He could be telling the truth." 

"Bullshit- he's lying, I know it" Mitch declares. 

The hunter isnt making the situation better- he begins hurling insults/curses at Mitch during our whole conversation. Mitch says" How can we be sure he isn't with somevon, getting ready to ambush us?”

I suggest “I guess we can check for a radio...just to be sure." 

Mitch agrees and tells me to search his bag. I search the hunter and find nothing out of the ordinary and no radio. "Seems clean" I say.

 "I still don’t trust him" Mitch says. Mitch wants to kill him...I can see it in his eyes. But I'm determined to end the situation by non-violent means.

 "Can’t we just let him go?" I say.

"Fine, but let’s handcuff him first." says Mitch. He removes a pair of handcuffs from his vest and gives them to me. I handcuff the hunter-who by the way is still shouting insults at us the whole time. Mitch is satisfied and we begin to head back towards the road. As we start to walk away Mitch yells back to the hunter, "Don’t fucking move, count to 100 and then after that struggle your way out of the handcuffs- no sooner!”

We leave the man handcuffed in the woods. Mitch comments, "I dont like when people are shneaking around on me. I hate shneaking." 

"There's lots of sneaky people these days..." I respond.

We continue up the road for another kilometer, Mitch is still very paranoid that someone is out there watching us... We continue talking. 

"It doesn’t look like you carry many weapons with you, why is that?" Mitch asks.

"I tend to have better luck talking to people and getting information if I seem less threatening. I have my axe on my back and my Glock here," which has been in my hand the whole time, "and that's all I need really. Honestly the Glock is really just to fend off the dead anyways." "Interesting" he says. 

I fail to mention the CZ 61 submachine gun that I keep concealed under my arm strapped to the rear of my left hip. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him about the submachine gun, it just seemed like a good idea to have an ace up my sleeve, just in case things took a weird turn...

After about a kilometer of jogging through the woods we reach a walled compound which I assume is what Mitch has been referring to as the settlement. We open the gates to the compound and walk inside and see two small sheds, a 2 story building and a water pump in the middle of the compound. There also seems to be a recently erected military tent that someone may have been living out of. Unfortunately it’s abandoned along with the rest of the buildings. We decide to hang around and loot what we can, fill up on water from the pump and have something to eat. I take a look inside the 2 story building first. The building has double doors which open to a short hallway with a singular jail cell directly on your right when you walk in. Just past that is a straight staircase which leads to the room upstairs. The 1st floor hallway turns right, underneath the stairs, and leads to another room on the first floor. Not much as far as loot goes unfortunately. Mitch goes on the second floor and paces around while looking out over the walls...he still thinks someone is out there, but i haven’t seen anyone for over 30 minutes. We head back outside to the pump and decide to drink and eat. I look in my bag for something to eat, I see a bag of rice, two packs of powdered milk, and a can of Tac Bacon that I have been saving for a special occasion. I offer to Mitch if he wants the powdered milk and tell him that’s all I’ve got...I mean come on, I’m not giving this stranger my bacon or rice... He takes me up on the offer and we eat powdered milk together around the pump. We continue to talk. 

"I wonder if something bad happened here and that’s why no one is still around" I comment. 

Mitch replies, “Yes it’s been a while since I’ve been here- might be something happened". 

"I wonder if it was the clowns..." I continue to think out loud. 

Mitch looks at me suspiciously. He says "Tell me again how you know the Clowns?"

"Like I said, I don’t really...just had some close calls with them here and there. They don’t really know me and I don’t know them and I'd like to keep it that way. What about you?" 

Mitch's voice changes slightly, he sounds a bit more confident for some reason, "I know some of the clowns actually, and I’ve even been to their headquarters before." 

I look at him, puzzled, "Really? Been to their base...That sounds kind of weird to be honest. I mean from everything that I've heard about them you don't just hang out with the Clowns. How did you manage to get in there and get out alive?" 

Mitch puts down his pack of powdered milk and looks at me for a moment. He puts his hand in his vest and to my horror, slowly pulls out a white clown mask with red and blue makeup which he then places securely over his face as he raises his gun towards me. A slow, building cackle seeps out from under the mask which turns more and more psychotic with every passing second. I am silent- stunned by the sudden and unfortunate turn of events. 

"So...what do you think now?" he continues to laugh. 

The only words I can get out come out mumbled, "Well, fuck." 

Mitch stares at me through his clown mask, "Let’s go inside and have some fun.” The sun sets behind the trees.

With my hands over my head Mitch directs me into the two story building. "It all makes sense now" I think to myself. Asking me if i was alone, if i had a radio, wanting to know about what weapons I carried, being paranoid that there was someone else watching us...it all made sense. He must have thought the hunter we ran into was my friend trying to help me and he was worried that would interrupt his grand plan. Unfortunately he was wrong, and I was in fact alone- completely alone. 

With my hands still raised I begin to plead with my captor that he doesn’t have to do anything crazy and that I'm just trying to find my wife. "I'm telling you the truth man. Really I'm just a guy looking for his wife. You can take whatever you want- weapons, ammo, food, take my bag- it's all yours."

He continues to spout some kind of incoherent psychobabble rant as he leads me inside; I barely hear what he says as my mind is running a thousand miles an hour. Then I remember- the ace up my sleeve (quite literally); the CZ is still tucked behind my left arm and he hasn’t noticed as it is concealed by my jacket. He takes me to the end of the hallway on the first floor behind the stairs and tells me to put my back against the wall so we can start to have some fun. I'm still shitting bricks by the way. I don’t have a plan but know that time is rapidly running out for me. Mitch tells me to turn around with my back to the wall and drop my pistol and axe on the ground. I quickly comply so as not to anger him. I continue to plead with him to take anything he wants and just let me go. 

"But we haven’t had any fun yet!" he crows.

I'm starting to get desperate. Quickly I suggest something to prove my story, "Check inside my bag! It has a letter in it from my wife before I came here. It even has a date on it- really that’s the only reason I'm here!"

I do, in fact, always carry my letter with me. It's the last communication I had with Mel so many months ago, it also makes for a good statement of proof when trying to plead my case to a lunatic, pretty convenient right? 

Mitch says "Ok, I'll check but don’t try anything funny!" First take off all your clothes!"

I slowly start to remove my clothing. Time is running out. Off comes my boonie hat, my hiking boots, my vest, my green khakis, and my M65 jacket. I am now standing there in my underwear and undershirt, still with the CZ strapped unseen just behind my left arm. Mitch starts to rummage through my bag on the floor a couple yards away. He finds something in my bag and stops searching. To my duress he pulls out not the letter, but instead the can of Tactical Bacon and bag of rice. 

"So! Only have powdered milk eh? You've been lying to me it seems..." Mitch orders me, "Now turn around!"

I'm out of time. If I turn around the CZ will be completely exposed and I don’t see this psychopath letting the fact that I’ve been hiding a gun from him go easily. I back into the corner and slowly start to turn around, keeping my left side away from him for as long as possible. 

Mitch is still rummaging through my bag and doesn’t have his gun pointed at me. No more chances, it has to be now. I take the opportunity. As I’m turning around i drop my hands and pull out the hidden CZ, with a fully loaded 30 round mag. Without a word from either of us I fire all 30 rounds from the hip straight at his center of mass. Mitch goes down in a heap. The only sound is that of the .380 shells coming to rest on the tile floor between us. In a panic I retrieve my clothes and my backpack from the ground; in my hurry to leave I forget to pick up my Glock, my axe and any of the gear he had already removed from my bag. I sprint from the building and run off into the woods, never looking back. The sun is down, it's dark. 


"If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat.

They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word."

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I loved this story. It reminds me of my first few days on the server and my first hostile encounter and how terrifying and exciting it was. great job man, I hope to see more of these.

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This wasn't a bad read!! I'm glad seeing you as a new member got to experience some enjoyable RP!

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