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Contacting Ivan Lynch (Old Private Frequency)

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*hesitated before securing the battery in place and tuning the radio to an old, seldom used private frequency, and pressing the transmit button, the voice coming over the radio is low and raspy sounding as she begins to speak*

Ivan....I don't know if you still listen to this frequency.....maybe I'm talking to empty air, but I need to speak with you....I have some questions that I think you are the only person who might be able to answer them or at least give me some insight.....you see...

*the voice breaks off as she is overcome with violent coughing, the transmission stops for a few moments then the voice returns, sounding more hoarse then before and the breathing has become noticeable for how heavy it is sounding*

You see Ivan....I've been wandering the towns, watching from the trees.......I saw something the other day that it couldn't have been possible to see......maybe it was the fever....I don't know but what I saw I couldn't have possibly have seen......maybe you have the answer.......

*some hoarse coughing is heard again and she returns sounding even weaker then before*

I'll leave the radio tuned to this frequency, please..........I'm waiting to hear from you......

*the transmission ends on a wheezing breath then goes silent*

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*Ivan stood over the body, a cold expression on his face as he looked down at its dead, empty eyes. His bloody coated gloves slowly clench into a fist and he lets out a shuddering sigh. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry he did this to you." He muttered in a low voice, his tone betraying the remorse he felt. He crouched down, and slid his hand down the mans face, closing his eyes. It was then that the radio at his belt started talking. He paused and listened, staring into the face of the dead man, not moving a muscle. He had not heard the voice in so long, it took him a while to realize who was talking, and when he did, his eye widened slightly. Once the speaking stopped, Ivan immediately got up and walking away, leaving the body in the woods for the wolves to find.

Moments passed as he walked, staring at the ground in front of him, almost bumping into trees several times. Eventually he stopped in his tracks and pulled out the radio. He pressed down the PTT and spoke in a soft voice.*

"A lot has happened. A lot has changed. But through it all, I kept listening.... waiting. I waited in Solnichniy for days, for you to show up. I had a lot of time to come to terms with the fact that I may have to kill you, to stop you from hurting my family, your family. I was going to give you a choice. Either walk out of that house with me, and come to terms with the fact that they were NOT the reason Chief died.... or option two, where only one of us would be leaving the house alive. I was tempted.... so tempted.... to let you kill me, make it so you had no other choice.

And I had a LONG.... time.... to think about it.

A lot has happened. A lot has changed. Things got better, then they got worse. It's getting worse.... he's getting worse.... and I think I'm letting him. I know you want to speak, but I'm afraid.... that it may not be me you'll end up speaking to. And you and I both know what he's like, the things he's done, the things he DOES.

If.... if you're willing to take that chance, I'll meet with you. I know a place.... ONE place, that nobody would think to look. But this frequency.... it's old, and it may be compromised. Use the last one I contacted you on. I know that one is secure. I'll tell you where to meet there.

.....take care."

*Ivan releases the PTT and clips the radio to his belt. He changes direction and begins walking again.*

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*jerks awake from the doze she'd drifted into waiting for for the radio to come alive, she realises it's still in her lap and grabs it, slowly lifting it to her lips, her body aching and sore she changes the frequency and hits the transmit, beginning to speak in her hoarse, wheezing voice*

I'm sorry to hear your having a hard time Ivan, I wouldn't wish that on you.....However travelling to meet you might be somewhat of an issue....

*she erupts into a fit of coughing, releasing the transmit for a moment but as it subsides she presses it again and continues to speak*

Forgive me, it's the reason I may not be able to travel.......to much time spent wandering in the cold rains......been doing that a lot lately. I just need to ask you....a few questions...

*a slight pause is heard again and the voice returns, somewhat stronger but still devoid of any characteristic emotion or warmth*

Just so you do know........I never planned to meet you.........felt to much like a trap..............

*she pauses for a moment then continues*

Ivan? What does it feel like..........to lose your mind........from grief when the one you love has been taken from you?.........Do you see things....? Do you.........see them walking around.........like any other day.............?..............I saw him.............walking the road.............I froze and watched.............till he was out of sight........a ghost maybe? We'll.........talk..........here....

*the transmission ends on a gasp as more coughing starts but is cut off as she releases the transmit*

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*Ivan listened for a while, before pushing down the PTT slowly. For a few long minutes, all that can be heard is the crackling feedback. Ivan closes his eye, a vein throbbing in his temple, before he begins to speak.*

"Do you want the truth? Will you be able to believe the truth without it being in front of you? Seeing it, hearing it, feeling it? You probably won't.... I wouldn't.... I didn't... not until it was right there, staring at me. This is the truth:

Chief.... is NOT.... dead....."

*Ivan waits for a moment, for the words to sink in. His next words are spoken slowly, clearly, each one critical.*

"I was in Chernogorsk, meeting with some old friends. I had a moment.... a moment where He was trying to get out. My senses were fuzzy, and whilst I was in that state, two people showed up.... two men. The sound of new voices snapped me out of it. I grabbed my rifle and walked down with the others to meet them. One of them had taken cover in a nearby building and the others were talking to the other one. My friend, Scarlett, she told me quietly that she thought the other man had sounded like Chief.

For a while we talked, and I asked the man if his friend would reveal himself. I explained that I thought he was an old friend, and after a short discussion, the other man came to greet us..... I had trouble believing that Axel was standing in front of me, and things were soon explained. His death had apparantly been ochestrated by slavers, in order to ensure that nobody would come looking for him. He was taken somewhere far, and eventually stumbled across this man. They escaped together.... and had been making their way back here ever since.

We went back to the camp down at Komorovo, for the others to see. Marshal, Jimmy, Logan, Solace, and all the rest.... they all saw it. Had trouble believing it but they all saw it.

Chief.... is.... alive.

You never watched him 'die', you only believed it. You were willing to go after these people, OUR family.... based on what someone told you. If that was so easy for you to believe from them.... then this shouldn't be any harder to believe from me."

*Ivan let out a pent up sigh. His next words are cold, dead, and weak.*

"How does it feel to go mad with grief over loosing a loved one, Nyleea? How does it feel to see it with you're own eyes, to do it with your own hands, knowing that it's already too late, that there is no other choice? I found her.... on the same day I learnt that the world had ended.

For me.... the world ended twice in the same day.

That's.... how it feels."

*Ivan drops his radio, overwhelmed by old feelings, and he just stands there, staring into nothing.*

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*listened to the man speaking in disbelief for a few minutes then brings the radio back to her lips, pressing the transmit*

Well I guess it was a good thing..........that I never acted. You speak of how I never saw.............him die so why did I believe it..............it was that 'family' whom I trusted who told me of his............death.......why shouldn't I have believed them........

*she pauses for a few moments to catch her breath, her breathing becoming increasingly laboured*

I tried Ivan.............tried to be a mother to some.....sister to others.......friend to the few..........and a lover to one............but I have lost that all now by letting myself wallow in my grief over his loss........even you....someone I believed knew what it was like to..........to go mad with grief........to strike out at those you thought responsible.......

*she pauses again to regain her breath, her voice growing tired*

I always held you in respect Ivan......deep down I know there is a man of honour there..........and the other...........I respected him as well.......but loathed him most of the time.........for what he did to you, the pain he causes you......but it seems that has been lost to me to.........leaving me truly alone now...........

*a soft sigh of regret is heard before she speaks again*

And with this cold that has settled in deep...............comes the loneliness of the losses I have endured.......I shall listen for a time I guess..........listen on the old family frequency, just to hear them all speak..............one final time.

*the radio goes silent as the transmission ends*

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*Ivan stood atop the hills, looking down at Severograd, his old home, where him old family once resided. Now it was quiet and dead, just like everywhere else. He raises his radio and speaks into it, his voice full of anger, but layered with concern, and at some points, gentle compassion.*

"You make it after all this, and let a cold kill you? You never got to kill them for taking away your son, you never got to see Axel after you thought he was dead, never got to speak to him, to the rest of your family, and you're just gonna.... let it happen? Let yourself go?

You're still here, we're ALL still here, because we didn't give up. Everyone thats alive today has been through hell and back, having to do the worst of things just to make it this far. Giving up? After just learning that your husband is still here? These people CARE about you, Nyleea. They're WORRIED about you. You said that things were going to happen, that you were going to make them pay for what they caused, but NOTHING happened. You didn't harm them. You couldn't. They're your family.

Nyleea.... they just want you home. We, want you home.

It doesn't have to end here. Not after everything, it can't.... end here."

*Ivan sits against a tree, resting his radio hand atop his knees, tugging off his beanie and face mask and running his hand through his hair, letting out quick, shuddering breaths.*

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