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The Ford

Excerpts from the Journal of Ford Walker

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Enjoying reading the journal entries! I really like the format and seeing the evolution of the structure since you first started. Keep it up!

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Continuation from Previous Entry....

*Ford stretched his arm, his hand tired from writing. He shifted slightly and looked out the window, careful not to wake Hailee up. The sun was nowhere near rising...perhaps 3 am? He had never realized until now that he didn't have a watch. Never needed one since the world ended. You wake up when you need to, you sleep when you could. He was about to continue writing when he noticed Ben watching him. The man was watching him with a small smile on his bearded face. "My turn to keep watch young man." he whispered. "Best you put the writing aside and get some sleep. You'll need it to get back to camp. That leg needs rest." Ford nodded and grinned a bit sheepishly. "Lost track of time Preacher. Was just trying to get my thoughts down." He tapped his notebook and shrugged. Hailee moaned softly in her sleep and snuggled closer to him. "Mind if I take a peek at what you wrote?" Ben asked, keeping his voice low. Ford nodded after a moment of consideration, then slid the journal, open, to Ben. He started to close his eyes, and was asleep after a minute or two. Meanwhile, Ben settled himself with the journal in his lap and began to read....*

Ford and David readied themselves, their guns raised and their bodies poised, ready to attack, if the person inside the shrine was friendly, or not. Slowly, a man stepped out into the light, the sun illuminating him, making him seem ethereal, ghost-like, angelic. The men squinted, not quite making out the features, until the man took another step forward, and the sun slid behind a passing cloud. He was an older man, bearded and wearing plain clothing, a sawed off shotgun resting easy in his hands. Glasses sat perched on his face and a look of determination was upon him. David suddenly breathed a sigh of relief and lowered his gun. "Preacher!" he exclaimed, and took a step forward. Ford frowned and looked again, blinking the sun spots from his vision, before realizing his companion was right. "Holy cripes...Ben, you found us!"

.............

Ben crouched near a stream and wiped his glasses clean on his shirt, his gun rested across his knees. He looked at the two men across the little brook and chuckled. "I'm surprised myself that I overtook you...you left hours ago and yet, here we all are. Did you get into some trouble?" Ford shook his head. "David here keeps slowing us down with that giant pack of his, hell bent on carrying all worldly possessions with him." He sighed and splashed water on his face, then paused. "Did you see Hailee at camp Preacher? We left a note, which obviously you found. I was afraid she'd try and make the trek alone." Ben shook his head. He explained that he had not seen the girl for a few hours and had been poking around camp and had come across the note. He had thought about staying in camp and awaiting their return, but had felt an itch for adventure and felt the need to prove to himself that he could find his friends by himself. He recalled how they had found him and stood, stretching and then sliding his gun into a pocket at the bottom of his bag that he had fashioned himself. He quickly looked to see if the other men had noticed, and was secretly glad they had not. "I see you took my advice Ford, and approached an unknown person more carefully. I'm glad you're taking advice and not just discarding it. Again, I did not mean to insult you by calling you naive. Treating people with friendliness and kindness is a good trait, but in these dark times, you need to exercise caution. You did that today." Ford stood and shook water from his hands and pulled his gloves back on. He nodded and adjusted the backpack he wore. "Live and learn Preacher. Live and learn."

((More to come...))

Edited by Callahan

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Part 3, End.

The three men had been heading slowly and steadily towards Tisy. They had discussed, and wisely agreed to skirt around Sinistok and head north thru the woods. It was hard going, and the trees all blended together, causing them to get turned around a few times, before Ford's trusty compass straightened them out and back on track. They stopped once for water and a small food break, and then pressed on. Roughly 20 minutes later they emerged from the woods and were confronted with a barbed wire fence that seemed to stretch forever, vanishing into the woods. They followed it for a few yards before finding a breach in the fence, either cut, or damaged by the undead.  They passed through and made their way towards what they hoped was the military outpost. After a few hundred feet they came across a large two story building that appeared to be a prison and command post. They gave it a cursory look through and moved on, barracks in the distance catching their eye, where hopefully some weapons and gear still remained.

As they approached the first barracks, they heard a sound and immediately crouched, using the wall for cover, and inched their way to the corner, peering around the side. The rain had started up again, and was obscuring their view. Ford blinked away the rain, wiping at his sunglasses and leveling his rifle at the other side of the building. A figure emerged from the fog and rain. The figure was slight, short, and seemed unsure of themselves. They seemed to be staring at Ford and he quickly dropped back behind the wall of the barracks. Ford whispered to David and Ben. "One person..that I can see. Doesn't seem to be well armed. We should flank them on both sides and catch them...before they get us." The others nodded and David raised his AUG, and went around the left side of the building. Ben followed him and Ford took the right side, immediately realizing the figure was gone. He cursed silently and hurried along the wall, ready for anything, when he heard a cry. A woman. "Oh!" He rushed around the building and saw Ben and David standing by a cowering figure in a blue raincoat. A familiar woman. Hailee.

..........

"You scared me! I thought..I..thought you were going to shoot me..Ford, I was so scared." Hailee hugged him, her face dripping with rain and her body shivering against him. He held her close and shuddered, knowing how close they had come to shooting her. He kept telling her it was okay, she was okay. Preacher and David stood by, awkwardly trying to give them space, before David cleared his throat and said, "Ah...maybe we should, I don't know, maybe go see if there's anything useful we can grab...and go home?" The others agreed, and Hailee told them of where she had already looked through, and how she had beaten them to Tisy after reading their note, and knowing a much shorter, and direct way north. As they were checking the building where Hailee had almost met an untimely end, Hailee held up a hand and whispered, "Shush! I..I think I hear somebody outside!" The others frowned and tried to listen for sounds over the pelting rain, but could not hear what she did. They quickly took positions behind the bunks and readied their weapons, Ford quickly deciding to head outside to look. "Be careful Ford..." Hailee whispered as he quietly opened the door and went back into the rain. He returned in a few minutes, reporting he saw nothing outside. Hailee was dubious, and was sure she had heard something. They were about to run to a lookout tower, when Hailee shrieked and pulled out her gun. Ford whirled and saw, to his horror, a wolf, charging from out of the rain and was almost upon him, teeth bared and snarling. He grabbed for his gun, and realized it was too late...too late...when Hailee unloaded a barrage of gunfire at the wolf, driving it sideways where it fell, in a heap on the grass. They all exchanged numb looks, realizing how close to serious hurt Ford had been, and how yet again, Hailee had proven a valuable ally. Ford marveled again at how skilled she was, even though she always claimed to be useless. He passed a shaky hand across his face, and they moved on, guns ready for any other wolves that they might come across.

.....

They checked the hangars and a few guard posts, and to Ford's delight, found a larger backpack, a coyote brand of sorts. They hid inside a bunker and started a fire to warm up, while Ford took the time to move his gear into the new, larger pack. After having a bite to eat and catching some rainwater in their canteens and water bottles, they decided to leave, after Hailee informed them of the alarming lack of ammunition left in the outpost. They moved out, taking Hailee's path home, which shaved almost an hour off their travel time. The trip home was mostly uneventful until they reached Lopatino, where unfortunately Ford's bandage tore and his wound on his leg reopened from the abuse he had put it through in the last few grueling hours hiking. They helped him limp to a house on the outskirts of town where David treated the wound and applied new bandages. Hailee snuggled up to Ford and told him to lean on her and to rest, the others made themselves comfortable as best they could, before deciding on a rotation for keeping watch.....

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Heartache and Revelations

Spoiler

I don't exactly know when I fell in love with her. It was gradual. She crept up on me, and l never saw it coming. After Allie died, I swore I'd never find myself in a situation where I had to be responsible for another life, and now there's three lives I feel accountable for. David, Preacher, and...her. Every day we live and breathe, hunt and kill, just being together... I think about her every moment we're apart. I worry and drive myself mad until I know she's safe, and sometimes I feel as if I've lost my mind...and maybe I have....

I've been watching Preacher for some time now. I don't think he's noticed, or at least I hope he hasn't. There's something off about him, something I think he wants to keep hidden. From us for sure, maybe even from himself. His temper has been growing shorter and shorter these last few days. His profanity has been, shocking, to say the least, considering he's a priest, and the way he's spoken to us...AT us...it's a bit alarming. I've started to wonder if there's something in his history...Perhaps he was something different than he claims, before all this. Maybe he was a teacher, some sort of management. I have no idea. Hell, maybe he's actually military and is part of this somehow, an agent to watch the fall of humanity. Watching to see how his virus kills us all off, one by one. Fuck. That was dark. Best not ever let him read this journal.

We got up in the morning and were actually having a nice morning. Steak and eggs with a bit of pepper chopped in them. There was a chicken at the house when we first settled here and I took the liberty of building an impromptu coop for it the first day, in hopes of eggs. Glad I did that. Not sure many folks enjoy eggs and steak during the apocalypse, but we do. I'm hoping to find another chicken in one of the towns and bring it back sometime to increase our yield of eggs. Hailee and David are poking through the tents as usual, rearranging things and arguing about placement of weapons, food and such. The idle chatter is soothing, like a family during it's day together. Preacher has been taking walks behind the house, and I think he's been doing his broadcasts out there. There's a hunting tower/shack out there at the edge of the woods and I think he climbs up there for solitude, and perhaps to feel closer to God. Myself, I've been tinkering with the engine of our truck, trying to tune it and make it run smoother, get the sputtering to at least mellow out. I am crippled with the lack of tools and have been toying with the idea of returning to the Vybor area, more specifically the airfield, where I hope some tools may have been left behind. Most people go there for ammo and leftover gear, and the tools (If any) should still be there, abandoned and forgotten.

Spoiler

I love watching her get ready for outings. The little things like getting her ax adjusted on her back, simply tying her hair back to keep it out of her face...even checking the clip on her gun before sliding it in the holster at her side. She's becoming more and more confident in herself every passing day, and it's amazing, and yes, I'll admit it, a bit scary to watch her become something she'd probably never dream of becoming in her former life....a hunter. The zombies, the wolves, the human threats, these are all whetstones. Her body, her life, her spirit is the blade which they all work to sharpen and perfect. She saw me watching her and smiles, and I am struck dumb as I always am when she smiles at me, and I grin stupidly as I always do. She laughs lightly and goes about her preparations. Does she know how I truly feel about her? I never came right out and said it...I cannot. Does she wonder? How long will she wait before finding someone else? .....

So they all agreed to join me on this little outing. Vybor should be pretty quiet since the King's Men left for Pogorevka. We had heard someone on the radio by the name of Ling Long..Lane Long..? Not sure, but the voice claimed to be a trader. Maybe we'll find them on our way. The trip to the airfield was uneventful, the weather taking a turn for the worse as we arrived, the rain smattering down on us and forcing us to take shelter to change into our rain gear. We checked a few barracks and found a few spare rounds, deciding to head across the airstrip to check the big hangars, when it all went to hell...

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Explosions and Dancing Women

We were looking across the airstrip, trying to get a lay of the land before running over to the hangars, when a muffled explosion rocked the ground and made us drop to the ground, weapons drawn and bodies shaking. "What the fuck was that?" I whispered, laying flat on the ground, nose pressed into the dirt. Hailee shook her head and mouthed something, I'm not sure what. I looked over at David and Preacher. David had his rifle up and was scanning the airfield, trying to locate the source of the sound, and Preacher was laying next to him. I noticed with vague unease that he (Preacher) didn't seem scared. Worried, but not the shivering, unnerved mess that I was. I thought again that he was either a tough old bastard, or maybe hardened by some unknown training. We slowly got to our feet after a few moments of silence, and took a few steps forward, keeping ourselves hidden in the bushes at the edge of the landing strip. David muttered quietly "Where are they...where...?" I opened my mouth to suggest heading home, or maybe just go somewhere else, when another explosion ripped through the silence. We dove behind the bushes, and this time Hailee shrieked, clapping her hand over her mouth. I raised my rifle and this time we spotted it. Smoke, coming from a hangar, and we also saw a woman, dancing in the rain. "The hell is that bitch doing?" Preacher hissed. I Looked over at him, even in this moment, the fear and stress...I couldn't believe the language Preacher had been using these days. We watched the woman for a minute, trying to determine what she was doing. Dancing, and waving her hands in the air. I thought I spotted another figure in the hangar, but I wasn't sure. Hailee, meanwhile, had been watching the hangar intently through her binoculars and suddenly exclaimed aloud "It's her!! Quinn!! It's Quinn you guys!" I squinted and looked back through my scope. How she was able to see that far so clearly, is beyond me. I shook my head. "Even if it is her...we can't risk going down there. Why the hell is she throwing grenades, and how STUPID is she? She's going to bring all the zombies in the area right to her." Hailee stared at me, rain running down the brim of her hat, she wiped at her cheeks before replying. "What if she's in trouble? What if she's hurt and trying to get attention? We can't just leave her there, We KNOW her. David likes her!" I couldn't believe this woman. I couldn't believe it. What the hell was she thinking? We have met Quinn twice. TWICE. That is not knowing someone. "I don't care if she's carrying his kid! We are not running up to someone who is tossing grenades around! We have to keep ourselves safe!" I ran my hands through my hair, then shook it, the rain flying everywhere, then put my hat back on. "We are leaving. Now." I turned to go, Preacher nodding, agreeing with me, but David and Hailee stood there, adamant. She crossed her arms and stared at me. "We are not leaving. We are going to help her. What happened to you Ford? You used to want to help people. You used to be good to people who needed help."

I shook my head at her. No. Not after what Preacher said. He was right. Helping people is dangerous and stupid. Naive. I had to keep us safe. Us. We can't risk our lives for strangers. We just can't. I told her as much. We fought, argued. Ben Preacher and I wanted to leave. David and Hailee wanted to stay, try and help (if possible) whoever, Quinn, whoever...God. I gave up. I couldn't fight anymore, I couldn't convince her to see things my way. "Fine! Go! Take David and go see what the fuck is going on. Preacher and I will stay here and watch your back." *points at lookout tower* "I'll watch from up there. Shit." I ignored the look on her face and started climbing the ladder, as she and David started jogging across the tarmac. Preacher cursed and crouched in the bushes, watching the airfield with his binoculars.....

Edited by Callahan

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*scrawled in small, messy writing, Ford writes this at night, his neck bandaged and Hailee asleep next to him in the bed. David is in the other room with Preacher, and Ford's neck throbs with pain*

I told her I loved her. No. I yelled it AT her. I swore and ranted and raved like a lunatic. Is this love? Is this forever? Have I gone mad? I watched through my rifle's scope as they approached the figures in the rain. I wiped water from my face and squinted at them through my gun, my eagle eye, my far-sight. All is well is one hand raised, all is hell is two. I watch with nervous trepidation. My breathing is bellowing in my ears. I can't block it out. She raises a hand. I should go to her, we...we, Preacher and I should go to them. See who it is. I don't want to. I'm furious. She never listens. Never learns. Death looms close and I can feel it's cold breath on my neck. Nothing lasts, the bottom falls out. I should leave, should run, screaming through the woods before telling her I love her, need her. Instead I climb the ladder down to the ground and look at Preacher. "We're all dead." I say to him. Does he hear my words? A nod, barely perceptible. The rain is relentless. Days have passed and yet I keep reliving this day. The pain. The horror, the fear. The Unknown. I don't want her spirit diminished. I don't want the seeds of fear and hate to plant themselves in her heart, and yet...and yet...I myself keep trying to plant them myself. Water and nurture them until she's as cold as the rest of us are. Preacher hides it well. He's a killer. David is kind and a healer, but it's a cover. All doctors play at God. They lust after the feeling of power. Life and death in their hands. She yelled at me. I walked away into the mists of my mind. Alone I trekked across a field of dead roses. The smell was inviting. "Join us" they call. To lie down and be dead. To stop fighting the inevitable. A light in the darkness. I open my eyes and I see her walking towards me, arms outstretched. Inviting, calling me home. Scolding and begging. She berates me for my sins. I made her worry. I was gone. Why did I want to leave her? David and Preacher wander the deserts looking for me. They are watchmen of the human race. I, a mere child, sullen and skulking. I tell her that I love her, that is why I worry, why I must make her strong, to survive the dead, to survive me. She lashes out. She doesn't want to let the darkness in. She wants to fly. I want to be with her. Why must love be so fleeting. It's like a high. You must crash eventually. Love is a roller coaster. We kiss. I am beyond words. I want to tell her I'll be her forever. She is a beacon of light in a tunnel of nothingness. A bright flash of sound. We cower and hide. Father has come home and he is angry. We yell. Father is angry because we let him wander and now David is lost. We must find David. David is fighting atop a tower. He throws thunder down at his enemies and the dead pile up at the feet of the tower. We must go home, but home is gone. Everything we built, the trust and the love is gone. Where shall we go? Must love have such high a price? Preacher is a liar. Preacher is a liar...

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 Drunks and the Wise Man

Spoiler

The last few days have been a blur. I was injured, and David saved me. Again. I owe that man more than my life, but yet, as I stare at the page before me, I am filled with a great hatred and anger. He wants Hailee. I know it with all my heart because I see his face when he looks at her, and it is the same look I have seen on men in cabs as I take them and their women home after a date, an anniversary, a night of passion. He loves her. Simple as that. He cannot know the betrayal I feel or the hurt that now festers inside me. He is my brother, my new family. I want him to be happy, just...not at that price. She is the only tether I have to this life. I know he wouldn't want to hurt me, that it is unintentional, as love often is. We were in a city...I forget the name, bringing Eddie S. @Eddie Sorellahousewarming gifts. Pub warming gifts? It doesn't matter. We stumbled across a truck and saved ourselves both travel time, and also brought him a larger token of our friendship. We arrived amidst a chaotic argument and pulled the truck to the side of the road. The city was teeming compared to most towns since the outbreak. Drunken fights, shouting matches, people calling for more drink. Like the wild west of old, it was loud and untamed. David @darczon69quickly found himself inside the pub and had his canteen filled, barely making it outside before guzzling the drink, hunkering outside for a while, then inside, then moving outside to the truck where he squatted by the front of the vehicle. Hailee @Sophie was everywhere, flitting about as she always does, and I refrained from keeping her by my side, trying my best to offer her the freedom David always does. She was making new friends, reacquainting herself with old ones, and actually seemed quite happy. I thought, not for the first time, that she'd be better off with a larger group and able to be around more people. I was waiting for Eddie and his lady Alexa to come out so we could barter a few items for the truck when David's drunkenness caused an uproar. I shook my head, ignoring the shouting and finally getting Eddie's attention, we got to business and I was able to procure a few items I had my mind on. I suddenly heard Hailee shouting and I turned, seeing David in the midst of a crowd, who were, if I heard right, trying to get him to take off his coat for some reason. Hailee was blocking him from the crowd with her small body and I was galvanized into action. I grabbed Eddie's arm and asked what was going on. He seemed either too busy to care, or perhaps he just wanted to keep his hands clean, and all I could get from him and a man next to him was that David was wearing Army clothing, and the crowd wanted him to remove it, apparently harboring some hate for the military. Idiots. Just because a man wears gorka doesn't mean he's army. There were no patches or insignia on his clothes. He was working himself up, and I was afraid to interfere in case the added bodies on David's side were to enrage the crowd enough to actually harm us...I decided to hell with it, if I were to die, let it be with Hailee. I took a step forward, when my throat was grabbed with an arm around it and I was dragged forcibly into an alley. I started thrashing, and managed to elbow my assailant in the gut, loosing his grip and allowing me to whirl around, fists raised. I was caught off guard by a man dressed in simple attire, civilians clothes, almost like a normal guy, before the apocalypse, save for the two machetes hung on his belt. "You don't want to go out there." he said quietly, massaging his stomach where I'd hit him. "They won't shoot your friend long as he takes the coat off. Let them have their way, y'know? Your girl will be fine s'long as she doesn't piss them off either. These shits like gettin' their jollies off makin' people do what they want, and right now they have a hate for all things government. Didn't want you runnin' in half cocked and ready to throw down. Y'know?" He smiled and offered a hand to shake. "Eddie's a good enough sort, but he's got enough on his plate without botherin' with stickin' his neck out for your people. Name's Kurt. You're Ford aren't you?" Flabbergasted by this stranger, and still in flight or fight mode, I reached out and took his hand, shaking it. "Yeah. How'd you know?" I put my hand down to my holster and kept it near my glock. Kurt smiled and chuckled. "No need for that friend. Word gets around. You're the leather-man. It was an easy guess...not many go 'bout wearing shit they made themselves. Most would rather just raid a store or some shit." He pointed out the alley and motioned me over. "See? Your lady friend got it sorted out..and it looks like your bud lives to fight another day." We watched Hailee and David wander away towards a house and then Kurt beckoned for me to follow him. He proceeded to tell me of the groups in town and the goings on, and also made a request of me. He wanted me to make him a leather bag, but much bigger than my usual satchel-like bag. He wanted pockets and straps and even a zipper to close it. Much more complex than a drawstring bag, but I said I'd attempt it. He nodded like it didn't really matter. This man puzzled me. He offered me some food and we chatted about a few things for an hour or so. I was surprised by how much of what had happened to me in the last few days I told this complete stranger. He nodded and listened without interruption the entire time and then he stood, slapping his knees and cracking his neck. "I get where your heart is Ford....but it's easy enough to see yer a hot headed one. It's a dangerous mix. Love and anger...I'd suggest you try and work on that...for your lady friend and that other hot head...and listen, if you ever get that bag done, which I won't put any hopes on, hell, we may all be dead tomorrow...but..if you do, make sure you come through town by the apartments, and not just waltzing through downtown. This place has potential...but as you told me about Vybor and Pogorevka...nothing lasts forever." He nodded at me and looked out the window, checking the street, then opened the door and stepped out into the fading light. "Remember the apartments Ford. Keep the fire alive, but tame it. Use it." 

And that was it. He wandered out the door. I stayed inside, kicking the door shut and musing on what he had said. 

I'll wait til sun up, then go find Hailee and David.

 

 

 

Edited by Callahan

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Wednesday

Woke up early and was careful not wake the others in camp. Headed towards the river to get some early morning fishing in. Beautiful morning. Quiet and a bit of dew on the grass, looked like beaded glass. Found a nice spot and settled in. We had a talk about Eddie's @Eddie Sorellanew location last night. I like the man. He has guts, I'll give him that. I wouldn't want to be in charge of so many people...and in so public a place...But we decided we won't be returning anytime soon. Not after the encounter in town that David @darczon69 and Hailee @Sophie barely managed to survive. So we'll stay at camp. Rebuild and strengthen the fences, collect ammo and food. Just take it easier. Keep quiet. Maybe things will settle eventually. Hope the truck works out for Eddie and Alexa.

 

morning fishing1.jpg

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A King is Dead. Part 1.

Spoiler

The story is loosely based on IC events, and I apologize in advance for any dialogue that was edited due to me not writing down every word spoken. The broad strokes are painted, and I hope you enjoy it. If you wish me to change it at all, @Pontiff@XxGrAipYyxX, @Sophie, @darczon69, or @Eli Tate,just let me know. Editing is sometimes half the fun. I hope you all enjoy reading it. Parts 2 and 3 will follow shortly.

He came to us as a friend. He claimed he just wanted to help. The King lied to us. I should have shot him in the shed. I should have ended his miserable existence then and there. Preacher knew it. David knew it. Even Hailee had her doubts about him. I was blinded by my hope for humanity, my hope that people were good.

It all went down yesterday and today. It's my fault. I had returned from fishing and was sitting down to filet the fish I had caught. It was a good catch, four nice carp. A bit oily, but it beats the hell out of beans and apples. Even the wolf steaks were getting a bit tiring. I finished cleaning the fish and prepared to dry them. Drying is a popular method among people in the wild, according to Mason, perhaps because it doesn’t require equipment or a large supply of salt. Properly dried fish should keep for up to two months...or so he said.. Steps include: Clean and fillet the fish, slicing it into thin quarter-inch strips. Hang the strips out to dry in the hot sun with thread or thin wire. We used fishing line. After 12 hours, the strips should develop a dried protective coating but the insides will dry more slowly over time. Bring the fish in at night to avoid dew. Once dried, fish can be carried on your person and eaten at any time, in soups, or just like jerky. So after I finished hanging the fish up, I decided to take a small nap outside under a tree. I propped myself up against the tree and set my shotgun across my lap. I closed my eyes and tried to relax, pushing thoughts of the previous day from my mind. Getting grabbed in the woods, shoved in a car with another man and driven south. Thank God I escaped and found a radio. Hailee and David came and picked me up, brought me home. We need to leave this place. I hate the idea, but they'll come back here eventually. They'll realize after searching that I must have come back. I had just started to drift off when I heard a scream. I thought I was dreaming, and then the scream pierced the air again. Hailee. I scrambled to my feet and grabbed my shotgun. I looked down at it, then dropped it on the ground, pulling my sidearm instead. I ran for the house, then crouched by the door to the kitchen, my hand on the knob. I heard a voice inside, not David. Not Preacher. Not Hailee. Not King. His voice was muffled, but he seemed to be threatening Hailee, and she was giving him names. Fake names. Not ours. I turned the doorknob slowly, and peeked into the kitchen. Clear. I slipped inside and closed the door behind me. "Who is there? Come out with your hands up, or this pretty little thing gets a bullet in her Fucking skull!" No way in hell was I revealing myself. He'd shoot us both, or her, or me, and we'd both be dead. For Hailee's sake, I had to stay where I was. "Do you hear me? I said come out! I will kill her, I swear it!!" I paused and then lowered my voice, creating a batman like voice, and in another situation, it may have made me laugh, but I had to make sure Hailee didn't recognize my voice and try and make me leave, to save myself. "GET OUT OF HERE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE, WE HAVE THE PLACE SURROUNDED! YOU'RE A DEAD MAN IF YOU DON'T!!"  "WHO IS THAT? I SAID WHO WAS THAT?!" Hailee cried out, "I don't know, I don't know!" Good. Fooled her and hopefully made this asshole think twice. Hailee cried out in pain again, and the man laughed coldly. "Maybe I just kill you. Your friend told me where to find you." "Who told you?" She cried out, and I heard a brief struggling inside the bedroom. So that's where he was, and he had her in there with him. How was I going to lure him out, what the fuck was I going to do? "King. He tell me where to find you, he brought me right here!" No. He wouldn't. He...we trusted him. Shit. Never again. I'll kill the asshole. Hailee cried out again, whether from some unknown hurt the man was inflicting on her, or the realization that Ezekiel King had betrayed us. Suddenly I heard David, he must have been down in the village and just returned home. His footsteps were outside the front door. "Hailee? Hailee, what's going on?" "NO! David! Get out of here!" she cried out. "NO you don't! Get your ass in here or the pretty girl gets a knife in her back! I'll do it!" David's footsteps paused outside and I could sense him realizing the predicament. He called out "Don't hurt her, I'm coming in. My hands are empty. Don't hurt her!" He opened the front door and closed it behind him, then opened the door to the kitchen. His eyes widened when he saw me crouched by the kitchen cabinets, gun in hand. I held a finger to my lips and nodded at the door. He nodded and took a step towards the door to the bedroom. "I'm coming in! I am unarmed!" "Hurry up and close the fucking door!" The next few minutes were a sweaty, muffled blur. David pleading with the assailant, Hailee's sobs and cries for mercy. The man laughing with glee as he tormented them, cut Hailee, cut David. I heard their cries and could do nothing. If I charged the door, he'd shoot them. If I tried to go outside and shoot him through the window, he could hear me and kill them..or capture me too. I could only hope David could lure him out somehow....

Edited by The Ford

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twas rather epic. i really wanted to kill vanko off in style and i got to do it exactly how i wanted to. im getting new mic so i wont be so choppy.

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A King is Dead. Part 2.

Spoiler

Loosely based on IC events and special thanks to @Eli Tate, @Sophie, @darczon69, and of course, the good Preacher, @Pontiff

Ezekiel is a dead man. He just doesn't know it yet. I've been roaming the country, looking for him, my ear to the ground, so to speak. I have trusted friends keeping an eye out for him. Any word of his whereabouts are thoroughly checked out and verified. So far, all leads are either incorrect, or end up cold trail. I don't care if he did shoot Hailee and David's attacker. Covering his own tracks more like. We moved camp, Hailee couldn't stand to live there after what happened, and since we can't find Ezekiel King, we aren't safe there if he returns. Last word I heard over radio was that a man fitting his description was in the Lopatino area. There's a castle in that rough area, and maybe the bastard is hiding out somewhere close. I am filled with rage every day. Anger that I let him go. Disgust that I couldn't end him when I had the chance. I had doubts of his guilt. Turns out he was guilty. Turns out he gave up our location to save his own skin. Part of me can't blame him. Then I see the scars on Hailee's back and I realize THAT part of me needs to die. Someone wrongs us...they die. Simple. Sometimes I think Preacher is the only one who actually gets it. Scary thought. Kurt has been contacting me on the radio with tips on where Ezekiel may be hiding out. The man is resourceful, although none of his tips have technically panned out. Sure, I found a camp or two, but they seemed to be abandoned. Took what was useful, then moved on. Kurt tells me things he hears in the cities. Rumors. Whispers. Power might be coming back on. Anarchy is killing innocents. Severograd is falling into shambles. He makes me want to hide. Just say fuck it all and go into the deep woods and live out my days alone. He says fighting is useless, it won't solve anything. Is he a pacifist? Is he a coward? Why do my thoughts always seem to align with his words? 

A few days went by. Wolves, a few wanderers. No sign or word about Ezekiel King. I'm starting to think maybe he started the rumors of Lopatino and then headed East. I noticed the others watching me when I'm talking to Kurt on the radio. Preach is giving me that "Thinking" look. Hailee looks worried, as always. David keeps grinning. His demeanor is ...mocking? I see him talk with Hailee. She laughs. Why am I jealous? Kurt says that she flirts with men in the cities. Says she fancies big strong men. Men like Black and David. She wouldn't betray me. Would she? How does Kurt hear these things? He calms me down on the radio, tells me to watch them. "No harm in that y'know?" Yes. I know. She's young. She bores easily. I see it. Always wanting to go to the bigger cities. She touches David's arm as they talk. He looks over at me. Deliberate. He smiles and winks. I look down and my hand is on the butt of my glock. I get up and walk away. Kurt is the only one I trust now. He doesn't sugar coat life. He tells me the hard truths. She has moved on. With David....I will go into the woods and look for King. Let them be with each-other. Kurt's right. Alone. I am ALONE.

 

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*David chuckles with awful glee, his tone harsh, mocking and...darker*

 

He, he, he...Ford...little you know...Of course she likes Dav...me: big, strong and, most importantly, always there, risking life and limb, not hiding in the next room, "waiting for my shot" as you put it. Tsk, tsk, tsk. A real man would've raised his hands and walked in the room with that crazy fuck, sacrificing everything. A real man has the same scars she has...A real man was there, in Severograd, with her not running away scared.

 

Do what you do best, Fordy: hide. *laughs heartily and turns away* 

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May 11th, 2018

Spoiler

I had been on the road for some time. Taking my time, seeing the country. Why the hell not? It's not like I was in a hurry or had anyone to meet. I came across a man west of Balota around 10am. Seemed friendly enough, bit skittish. We parted on friendly terms after the man said he was headed north. I kept my eye on him as he went into the tree-line off the road. Better safe than sorry. After that the morning was uneventful. The Roamers were easy enough to elude, fighting them these days was not worth the gore you'd get on yourself. I figured Cherno was my best bet for camping the night..or the week. Plenty of supplies, big enough to hide in, and more importantly, deserted. Most of the people I knew of were living North. Big cities like Novaya or Svet. The coast was pretty much abandoned. I arrived about an hour later, I had stayed off the road by the airfield, which took me a while, staying in the tree-line...just in case some military nut jobs were still around, looking for weapons or tactical gear. I pitched my tent in an alley on the east side of town and then lucked out, catching a chicken for my dinner. I promised myself to search the city for other feathered friends so I might have more delicious meals, breaking up the monotony of apples and canned goods.cliff.jpg

 

 

Edited by The Ford

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Good and interesting story. Can't wait to see more!

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