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Mace

Hell in a hand-basket (Open Frequency)

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"Howdy, folks." The soft, southern tenor that had been absent from the radio waves lately suddenly chirped up, though his tone sounded weary and pained.

"I wanted to apologize for not keeping up with my little tidbits of survival help on the radio, but I'm sure most of you know enough to keep you alive until spring, hopefully. Sadly, despite all my own advice, I ran into a fairly large pack of wolves that got the better of me, and at the moment I'm fairly sure my stitches are at the point where I can walk without assistance and not pop them."

"I've tried, since this all started, to help people. I took up a job I wasn't sure about because I thought it could help others, and I like to think I did a fairly good job at it. I've tried to share the bits of knowledge I hoarded before all this happened in the areas where it was appropriate because I'd rather not see people die. We've all lost people. I've said this to everyone who has come to me and told me a story about having lost family, loved ones, friends, or folks they had just met. No matter the color of your skin or what you believe, you've lost someone by now, and I wanted that...Understanding of loss and what it means to try to bind people together and help them understand that we're all still human, but I'm said to say I failed in that and I'm sorry."

A faint, pained groan shot through the air with the sound of a body shifting continuing for a few moments afterward before the voice returned.

"I've tried to trade, I've tried to give things away, I've tried to share and teach, and each time it seems I come back a little less sure of ways in which I can help people. It's folly to think I can hold everyone's hand and guide them through every hardship they're going to face, but is it so unreasonable to want to be able to look back on the last few months and think that there have been people who would remember you fondly that aren't those you spend your time around?"

"Some of the happiest moments I've spent, when not sitting with good people and trying my best to give them some respite from the world, are just listening to people ask if I'm the 'leatherman' from Tortuga, and telling me they knew someone I had made clothing for and how well it had served them, and I can't even do that now. Even if I had the equipment I don't know if I'll have any more nerve damage thanks to being a favorite chewtoy of the lupine population."

"After I'm confident I can move on my own and not leave myself wounded and exposed in the middle of a road somewhere, I'm going to be trying to find a quiet place for myself away from all of...This. I can hardly shoot a gun these days, and even my bow is an iffy prospect. I think it's time I took what I have and hibernated, but I couldn't bring myself to do it without one final message."

It was then that the sound of a sharp breath being drawn in through his teeth was audible, exhaled as if the clean air had pushed some foul miasma from his lungs that made him groan in relief of some facet of whatever he suffered from.

"I'm scanning a new channel, 131.3. Thirteen-thirteen. If you need help with survival tips, cooking tips, places that might be good to look around for game, or anything that's worth asking, I'll see about trying to keep people alive with my brain, since my body's not doing so hot. I'm not going to be able to travel long distances for at least a few weeks while I convalesce and try to prepare myself for the snow that's coming on the heels of all this icy rain. Maybe, when I'm in better condition, I can try to offer some kind of mobile aid if people need supplies, but right now I'm afraid all I can offer is a glimpse into what I've learned in my life."

"Stay safe folks, bundle up, and please remember that the people you're looking at down your sights are still human. When you take that away, when you start to say 'it's us or them' then things get worse than they already are."

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