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Jeremiah Walban's tale(concluded)

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*A wind rolls over a grassy field on the Eastern province of Chernarus a man lay there motionless*


*The man gasps briefly for air from waking from his comatose slumber and frantically looks about his surroundings completely unaware of where he is, what date it is, what had happened, or who he is*

               "Jeremiah Walban, I guess that's me, huh?" the man asked to the empty sound of grass blowing in the breeze while staring at a Washington state driver's license and glancing at a mirror on a broken down car. Jeremiah had no knowledge of who was when he woke let alone who he was before everything fell apart in the world. While staring at the license he figured to check the rest of his wallet to see if there was any other indications as to what kind of person he was and what kind of life he had. Within the wallets confines were four thousand Euro, a business card with his name and the name of the advertising firm he worked at a small note that read, "call mom," and it seemed as there was nothing left to see in the wallet. As Jeremiah began to close the wallet a small corner of a photo peeked up from with the center of the wallet. Jeremiah pulled out the picture and saw it was a photo of him and a woman with brown hair and green eyes. As he stared at the photo of what seemed like a tender moment between lovers a wave of ear splitting  pain overwhelmed him. Within the black of his blurred vision images and sounds began to play out before his eyes and ears. The cabin of a plane, the woman, violent shaking, and then...nothing. Within those hours Jeremiah had mustered up the mental prowess to gather he needed to find some food and water quick as the dryness in his mouth and pit of his stomach both beckoned it. After wandering aimlessly along the coast for an hour to his fortune a small house lay in full view of his vision. A short sprint and tumble later he reached the cozy hovel and proceed to rummage through the cupboards he finds what he can only assume by looking at the packaging is soda and some sort of canned meat as the printed labels are in a language he can't understand. As he savors every morsel and sip of his new found banquet a small realization comes to his mind, "Why was the door open? How come no one was in this house or around it?" With these questions beyond those initially caused by his amnesiac state Jeremiah stopped to take in his surroundings. A ravaged home windows shattered, furniture strewn about cabinet doors hanging by the hinges, and the side door lay in splinters. Signs of a severe struggle and most of all the odd sound of what seemed like an animal gnawing on something mixed with the sloshing of what sounded like mud. What caught his attention the most in the moment was this sudden overwhelming stench of rot. He examined his food and inspected the scent, it was not the food. A second after a rasping wheeze bellowed a mere few feet from where he sat. What look to be a person face and hands buried into an eviscerated dog. In the blink of an eye Jeremiah jumped and knocked down his beverage sounding a small clang as the half emptied can sruck the wood floor. The "person," stopped his gorging upon his canine prey slowly lifting their head to survey where the sound came from. As the figure showed their face Jeremiah was overtaken with a mixed of disgust and absolute terror as he gazed upon a being who had the entrails and bits of viscera of a dog between it's teeth as well as spilling out the portion of what was missing from their blood coated face. The gruesome being turned it's head and met Jeremiah's petrified gazed with it milky whitened stare. A snarl roared forth from their mouth. As the ghoulish figure staggered into a standing position cocking it's mangled head due to the apparent damage to it's neck.  Jeremiah looked frantically about him for some sort of means to defend himself from his soon to be attacker. Not much around the room seemed a suitable weapon save for a chair leg the lay on the ground next to Jeremiah, he hastily grabbed it and shouted, "STAY THE FUCK BACK!" To which proved to no avail for within the brief moment of silence shattering yelling the shambling horror lunged at him extending its arms. Jeremiah struggled against the fiend as it snapped at him with it's grizzly port of a mouth unrelenting in its effort to seize a fresher meal than the dog. With all his might Jeremiah found a means to shove his assailant off and jump to his feet clutching his makeshift club unsure if they would follow his action in suit. To his relief they did not but to his dismay a more ghastly display was wrought forth to his eyes. The fettered perpetrator began to claw the wood with its nails and slowly crawl their way towards Jeremiah. Terrified beyond measure Jeremiah tossed the chair leg at the deranged being and made for his escape from the house running as his life depended on it.               Some hours pass and Jeremiah stops and looks behind him unsure of what to make of the event that just happened. Wandering along the main rain braving rain hunger and thirst and avoiding any figures that seem remotely like his last conversation partner. He walks for miles to the city of Elektrozavodsk and it lay nearly in shambles. Buildings with windows and doors broken, cars littering the streets either abandoned or destroyed. What truly disheartened Jeremiah was how many more beings like the one in the house shambled aimlessly about the streets. Around every corner and down every alley it seemed as though there would be very few places he could openly trek through the city to scavenge supplies. A small ray of hope arose from his demeanor. A building which seemed to be a police station was but a few yards from him. Sadly all that separated  him from his hope of finding someone in authority that could explain to him what was going on was a herd of shuffling, shambling, and possibly bloodthirsty fiends. Jeremiah slowly made his way to a car that had one door open and hid within it quietly closing the door and making sure and the locks were secured. Sifting through the interior of the car Jeremiah found only a meager road flare on the floor of the car. Slumping in the seat Jeremiah decided to just lay in the back seat and get what rest he could hoping the ghouls would wander elsewhere in due time. As he went to lay himself on the rear passenger seat a hard mass met his side making the idea to lay down very impractical. Jeremiah lifted the blanket to find an axe was left in the car, he grabbed it with a small sense of security welling within him now. He waited til but a few remained near the path to the police station. Timidly he slowly stepped out of his temporary sanctum armed with the lumber splitting tool in hand doing his best to avoid making a single noise or God forbid bum into any of the wretched looking passers of the city streets. Thankfully he made it without drawing their attention but, the only issue that stood was there was no one within the building itself. Jeremiah checked each office carefully ensuring he was at least in this structure the only being inside. After securing the doors he began to look around and did not find much, a coat, a holster, a hat, a pistol with no bullets, and finally to his luck a double barrel shotgun and a box of shells. With the weapon in hand he fiddled with it for some time to figure how to get the shells into the barrels, a quick flip of a lever and tilt later the boomstick was ready to be loaded. Jeremiah packed up what gear he could onto his person and made for the roof to see if he could find a quick route out of the city past what appeared to be a firehouse and though an industrial park area. All that remained was making it to the fire station which in his head seemed simple enough save for one main issue, Jeremiah knew nothing of this city and its pathways. Aimlessly lost after only ten minutes of leaving the police station. Whilst trying to find his way point of exodus from this city Jeremiah made contact with the only normal human being he had seen so far. A danish man named Mark, Jeremiah asked him what had happened to the people and what city and country he was in. The dane explained as much as he could of how a virus spread over a East European nation called "Chernarus,' sadly when he asked what day it was Mark himself had lost track of time passed. After their brief and by far the most civil discussion Jeremiah could remember they parted ways. After finding his way to the firehouse as a thunderstorm took hold of the region and finding some dry firemen's clothes to change into Jeremiah made a straight go for the industrial outlet. Once making it there and about to just go right through to a broken fence a man clad in military fatigues and brandishing an assault rifle caught his notice from the corner of his eye at first Jeremiah thought it was another horrid monster that would try to maul him or worse some psychopath that would do far worse. However he did just find someone not insane or trying to bite him so Jeremiah rolled the dice and called out to the armed stranger. At first the man was confused believing he was just imagining the voice but upon turning around there was Jeremiah waving his hands and approaching him. The gunman held his rifle directly aiming at Jeremiah and demanded him to stop and place both hands on his head and to walk backwards to him slowly, and so Jeremiah complied. After having his hands bound and searched for what he had on his person and analyzing Jeremiah's demeanor he untied his hand and asked for him to step into a small supply building to shelter themselves from the rain but not before two more armed figured arrived startling the man who then realized it was his comrades. They question Jeremiah about who he was and where he was from and if he was alone in turn Jeremiah asked what had happened to the people of this country and explained how his only last memory was hitting his head on a ceiling on a plane and most importantly, what was the date after explaining to them the last time he knew the date was on the plane from a newspaper, October 7th 2014. The armed band explained that they were remnants of a UN peacekeeping force battalion and as for the when Jeremiah stated the date he last recalled it being they went quiet and stared at each other with concern. They group asked Jeremiah to wait where he was as they stepped into another room to converse about their new acquantence and whether or not he was a liar trying to lure them into a trap or if he really did have noe idea what was happening. As they trio wrapped up their talk and returmed the pain from when he woke up arrose from the depths when they asked him why he was in the country. After examing him and ensuring he wasn't having a stroke they told him to look for a doctor wherever possible and gave him a morphine self injector for the next episode and warned him of others who remained unchanged on the outside but within have become somethings worse than the shambling horrors in the streets around them.                        Jeremiah wanders for days on end unsure of his past, future, and more specifically his present situation. He had used the last of his food and drink he scavenged from what seemed to be a logging camp and simply trekked through the would until happening upon a complex with so many buildings within it some with writing on it some of what seemed to be military markings but the need for food and shelter as night fell upon him lay more important. Jeremiah took refuge in an abandoned hospital finding both a walkie talkie and battery in a crate just outside sending out a call to whomever would hear him. While sending out his s.o.s for food and water another blast of pain inside his skull rolled forth, he emptied his pack looking for a morphine injector but had used his last one during another episode while traveling. As the pain becam unbearable Jeremiah lost consciousness only to have all of who he was come back to him. Upon waking jeremiah set to scavenge the complex for food but upon clearing the front of the hospital a horde of infected lay in wait shambling and shuffling to and from not even noticing him quickly dart back around the corner. A sweat ran all about Jeremiah body as he trembled in fear of so many ghoulish beings being so close he knew he couldn't use a firearm as he was warned that it would only attract all other infected nearby, and he couldn't swing his axe for anything due to his hunger. Hoplessness began to overwhelm him but in his self pity he heard a noise sever in fact, the sound of paws sprinting thought the woods followed by an all but unmistakable howl of wolves. A pack of four wolves made their way into the complex and soon spotted the only living thing in the area they could claim as prey, him. Jeremiah mustered all he could to run but there was no way he would outrun a pack of wolves in his condition so he did the only thing that came natuaral to a possible victim of a predatorial beast that had enough, he fought back. Jermiah blasted buckshot shell after shell at the wolves. After killing all the wolves and collapsing from hunger he knew his purpose to find his beloved fiance, a Chernorussian woman named Soloana Mergozich.                            After waking somehow someone or something brought him to safety. So Jeremiah began his search with who he was intact for the most part. A couple days into his search he came across a small group of people, a Russian mercenary named Alexey, a nurse named Eden, a man in a cowboy hat name John, and a young girl in a mask named Luina. After formal introduction were finished Jeremiah asked them if they had seen a woman with brown hair and green eyes that answered to the name of his fiance. Upon hear the name the Russian spoke up saying he had seen a woman who answered to that name a few months prior only she had dyed her hair. The very mention of her being seen alive made Jeremiah frantic with anxiety and asked where she was seen. The mercenary told him a city called, Zelenogorsk. Jermiah spent a day gathering supplies and happened upon the young girl from the night before, Luina only now seeing her in daylight Jeremiah noticed the scars this girl was covered in and how the mask was forcibally attached to her face. Another woman was accompanying her, a woman named Sam. Jeremiah had noted a small cold was coming upon him so when to offere to go look for supplies while joinning the two women on a small trek to a town not to farr he gladly accepted. While on this journey Jeremiah learned of the horrible things done to Luina in her past welling a feeling of despair and heatbreak and disgust at the atrcities comitted against her. After a fruitless endeavour to find some cold medicine Jeremiah followed the ladies until they decided to take refuge in a nearby house and turn in for the night, knowing he had only recently met Luina and her admission of a distrust in men Jeremiah figured he'd continue his searxh and find a place for himself to rest as his cold grew worse. Throughout that night his stomach turned and cramped in pain until his vomitted violently, he had only experinced this type of intestinal pain before when he was in college and accidentally drank water outside of the hotel district in Mexico. After delaying his searxh by a few days to recooperate Jeremiah felt well enough to set out to the city where his beloved was last seen. He walked for many hours until he reache the outskirts of the city hoping to see a bustling refugee camp with armed guards fending off the infected, only that is not what he found what he found instead was a thriving hive of infected. Everywhere he looked more and more of the undead seemed to be and no sign of Solana. "Did that Russian guy lie to me? Or was he right about Solana having left since he saw her?" These question fluttered about Jeremiah head as he carefully made his way through the city. Once he found an isolated enough spot he tried his walkie talkie but the screen showed noe signal, frustrated he looked about and saw up on a mountain a radio tower thinking he could get a great signal from atop that. So Jeremiah made his way to the radio tower where he met a man who seemed distraught and riddled with grief and a woman who kept quiet. Jeremiah spoke with the man and learned he too was looking for someone, a girl named Olivia. After a common goaled heart to heart the man said his goodbye and left Jeremiah with a warning, to be mindful of a man named, Strawberry. Jeremiah heeded the man's words and proceeded up the tower where he searched every frequency he could  until he heard a man who oddly sounded like Tommy Chong. A brief and scattered conversation later the sound of gunshot to the North caught Jeremiah's ears. Unsure if it was wise to go in the direction of the shots but perhaps the might know something about Solana. After sometime Jeremiah bumped into a man who asked if he was apart of those who tried to kill him to which he honestly denied. Sometime after that a woman toting a submachine gun along with her companion convinced him in giving up his axe.                                     Almost two weeks have passed since the day Jeremiah woke in that field not knowing who he was but now he knew he had to search for Solana and would refuse to accept death until he did. Jeremiah traveled to the far Northern reaches of the mountains almost to the border of Russia itself. Failure after miserable failure in finding anything that could lead him to his fiance a feeling of utter futility loomed over him, until he decided to listen to his radio for the first time in days. An advertisement for the mercenary he met and his troops. Jeremiah bit his lip until it bled and then swallowed his pride and beseeched the Russian and his men to aide him and he would pay whatever price they asked. After a small, "disagreement" with the Russian's second over the radio on what misfortune might possibly befallen the love of his life a meeting was set to discuss payment for their services. Jeremiah met the mercenaries on an airfield and was greeted with a disgusting displaying of impromptu humor, the gist of which was lost on all others there aside from the the Russian merc leader Alexey and his second in command Yuri after which they told Jeremiah that the severed foot did not belong to his beloved Solana but to an infected. After offering what money he had in his wallet a look of utter anger rose from Yuri, "Where the fuck do you think that your money would still be useful?" he asked. Then they simply told Jeremiah that since his money was as useful as tissue paper they told him that ammunition and medical supplies are more valuable than gold now. Now Jeremiah gathers whatever he believes will make for adequate payment scouring the lands for military grade ammo and medical supplies hoping this was one deal he did not regret making.                                A few days pass from striking his deal with what he can only discern as a pair of slavic devils Jeremiah had amassed a good quantity of military ammo and was fortunate enough for some of it to find magazines for most of the ak ammo he found and a special trinket he believed no mercenary company leader could refuse. A custom special forces colt 1911 pistol with engravings on the slide as well as a skull printed on the grip. Having grown tired of infested military compounds and forests Jeremiah set out for Kabanino one afternoon. Upon reaching the town a man coming out of the town spotted Jeremiah, after a brief exchange of names and such the man warns Jeremiah that the town is not exactly the safest to be at the moment due to an increase in bandit like activity. Jeremiah noted the stranger's words of warning, but pressed on none the less deterred. While searching one house Jeremiah encountered a man asking for duct tape. Jeremiah had only heard small rumors over the radio and from some of the few people he'd met never did he think he meet one of these tape seeking hobos. After his pleasant exchange and donation of some duct tape to the nomadic vagabond Jeremiah encountered two men  at the edge of town and began talking to then. A few minutes into their exchange it seemed as if more and  more people began to show up. Jeremiah though nothing of it at first but in a split second many of the new arrivals to the town began shouting and pointing weapons demanding hands up and belongings on the ground. Fearing for his life Jeremiah complied whereas many of the other victims of this hold up tried to escape or defy their captures orders. After being brought to a house and held at gunpoint he was questioned about his affiliations with some Ukrainians and any others, only after say he was alone did he realize that may have spelt a more likely chance of just being executed then and there. To his surprise the only click he heard in the next few moment wasn't that of a gun being readied to fire but instead a pen, the man questioning him was jotting down everything  Jeremiah said. After the questioning had concluded the man writing notes stepped outside to use his radio to contact whoever it was to cross reference if Jeremiah was telling the truth or if the man who now stood in front of him with HIS own rifle would be ending his journey then and there. A few moments later the man who questioned him return and expressed how lucky Jeremiah was, despite his obvious feeling of bad luck in this moment. The band of robbers let him retrieve his belongings except for all the ammo, his rifle, the clip to the 1911, and gave him a pretty much useless and beyond repair m4 carbine as well as one condition. Face the direction he came from and start running and don't look back. Jeremiah reluctantly adhered to the demands and as soon as he made it past the church on the edge of the town all Jeremiah heard was more and more gunfire in the town. taking shelter behind what appeared to be a car that recently had crashed into the road sign outside the town, to his luck he found a loaded russian sks rifle within but did not want to linger for long as he knew the numbers of the muggers were far more than his new weapon could handle. Now forced to restart collecting the mercenaries' payment a wave of pure anger and depression swept over Jeremiah for a brief moment until in his rage he hit a shed door and decided to peak within its walls and found a crate filled with 5.54x51 ammo a lot of which was freely sitting in the crate and a couple in what looked like retailer packaging. He didn't care how they were packed in the crate he only knew that he'd have the mercs pay much sooner than he thought. As Jeremiah decided to take refuge in the shed for the night he listened to his radio to see if he heard the two slav soldiers of fortunes voices over the channels, but all he heard was a man calling for Yuri and another man saying that Yuri was dead. In a fit of anxiety Jeremiah asked the people if it was the man named Yuri who but just a few days prior pulled a sadistic prank on him was actually dead, and if his superior Alexey had met a similar fate. Jeremiah wandered the dark roads and forests that night in place of sleeping only to wander himself to the shore just across from the island with what looked like a prison on it as the sun slowly began to rise. Jeremiah in his exhaustion took refuge under a turned over boat on the beach thinking only, "Maybe she's there, safe and sound. Waiting for me, and here I've been running all over this hell looking for her." Thinking he may be able to just swim across. The only thought that didn't come up is if anyone was even on that island to begin with or if it too was riddled with infected? Another worry for another time for now he need sleep and the waves made for some superb white noise to help with that.                                 After brief rest Jeremiah set out to simultaneously search for the russian and his subordinate and look for clues to Solana's whereabouts. He'd listened to the radio from time to time chiming in on some conversations. Asking any and all who may have heard of the illusive merc captain and his underling. One transmission lead him to the town of Vybor. Only to trade with a band of vagabonds who seemed to have established a trade post all items in exchanges for rolls of duct tape. Though he thought the exchange system was mildly absurd but he figured some people value certain things he'd taken for granted before. One day while visiting Jeremiah met a few people that had knew of the mercs. this brought a level of ire out of Jeremiah especially when one contacted man had a direct line of communication to Alexei. After being notified that the russian and his men decided to flake on the deal Jeremiah planned to find the Russian and make him rethink the negotiation of the deal. Jeremiah had picked up a companion he really didn't care to really learn his name, but they shared some stories about their lives before the world fell apart around them. The exchange of one another's pasts soon came to a halt when a figure on a hill that Jeremiah had seen twice whilst at the Hobo Depot, seemed to appear again this time on the hills just outside the town Jeremiah and his new travel buddy decided to stop and drink from a well. Jeremiah approached the masked man having some recollection of  seeing a similar individual sometime before. It was in the brief moment his new "friend," decided to reveal his true intentions. The man who he was speaking to lightly about his past with but a few mere minutes ago admitted to being apart of a group notorious for kidnapping, murder, and other such horrible deeds. The two mask adorned men made Jeremiah drop all his belongings but, unbeknownst to the two captors Jeremiah had stowed away a glock in his coat as well as an extra clip. Jeremiah did not want to go down without a fighting chance. The one who tricked him prattled on and on of the atrocities he committed while his cohort the man known simply as, "Peaches," followed a fair distance back to ensure Jeremiah didn't flee or put up a struggle. After walking some time they came upon on a house to which the individual insisted was ideal for what he had in store for his newest victim to which from the ranting Jeremiah had endured the entire walk over could only spell his death. Jeremiah knew only two ways it could end, either he dies in a horrific manner left to rot until by chance someone discovers his remains, or he puts up a fight and dies on his feet. Personally he'd prefer some divine intervention of deus ex machina where a considerate person saves him or, and he could not believe he was thinking this, that the russian would show up and save him. Lord only knows how many more bullets he'd have to collect to repay that debt. Once inside the masked fiend demanded he stay still as they brought out some rope. In that moment Jeremiah thought of his father and how he battled lung cancer for 4 long grueling years and passed away sitting on a bench at the park where he used to play as a child. He remembered his father telling him,"Watching you run around and smiling, laughing , and waving at me to watch you go down that slide was my most precious memory and I never wanna forget that." A small tear rolled down Jeremiah' cheek as he pulled the pistol out from his coat and stood up and aimed at the Judas of his story. The whole world went silent to him as he held the gun there, the only sound he heard was his own breathing. "See you soon Dad, Mom, Solana...I'm sorry for failing you all." The last thought Jeremiah would have before pulling the trigger emptying the magazine into his assailant. Sadly his effort was met in turn with a shot from the man's rifle. Both fell to the floor the masked man's accomplice storming in seeing two bodies on the ground in pools of blood with bullet casings about the floor. Jeremiah had long since accepted the possibility of Solana's demise or disappearance. He had simply hoped to hard one last time in hopes of not losing someone so near and dear to his heart but his life slipped away as he lay there across from the psychopath who also was feeling the warmth of life leave their body. Jeremiah knew what evil in life he had done and he had atoned for his sins as he closed his eyes a small grin broke from his face. So ends the tale of Jeremiah Walban and his search for his beloved that he knew when he found her family's home in Novodmitrovsk and found the letter to him that she was dead. A hopeless romantic in a hopeless endeavour to find his lost love only to be cut down by a deranged psychopath who had returned from his brief hiatus of carnage and violence only for his newest victim to be his last.

Edited by Play3rFTW
concluded story

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