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Dead Man's Hand

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*Viktor wipes the blood and bile from his mouth, taking a moment to catch his breath after the wave of pain and nausea. He takes care to disguise his pain and takes his gloves off to hide the blood stains as he walks back into the camp. He sits down to open his journal, and finds the page where he first met Kyle and his mentor George. He takes out a blood-stained 10 of Clubs with unique embroidery, and stares at it. Nostalgic, he presses down on the PTT and raspily talks for a while over several channels, hoping for a reply.*

"This message goes out to old friends and comrades. I have no clue if any of you will hear this, be it Saggs, Hank, Sumata, or Kyle. Allah willing, you are all still alive and well. I don't think we ever got to say got to say goodbye. Perhaps it was the death of George that drove us apart without farewells. After the raids, and finally the murders, I couldn't blame you all for putting the past behind you. I heard of Kyle and Panzer near Novo from a beautiful old woman named Agnes, and I can't get memories of the parties and nights out in the wilderness, with nobody for company but my brothers."

"How long has it been now? Months on end. I cannot say that I have been well in that time. I have found those who seek justice, and committed my life to that end. I still breathe, even if it is ever more laboured. Eating has gotten harder. Much harder, in fact. The pain is intense, and long lasting. Like running with a knife jabbed into your gut. More recently I took a bullet to the stomach, which only exacerbated the tumors. I guess that's why I'm reaching out."

"I don't think I've said it out loud since you all found out. In fact, you are the only people I have told. But the fact is, I'm dying."

"I don't know how long I have left. It isn't more than a year, I can feel it in my gut. No pun intended. Before I go, I want to see the first people who offered me family. Friendship. All the cheesy ooey-gooey shit that died with the old world. Maybe, if Allah is listening too, you will hear this. But I will not hold my breath. Allah turned his back on the caliphate, and humanity. I doubt he has time for a dying soldier."

"Perhaps instead, I should ask George. If you're out there, you scoundrel, listening in from on high, let me see my brothers one last time. Stack the deck, and let me lay out my

Dead Man's Hand."


*Viktor releases the push to talk after his long-winded rant, and takes out his cassette player. He pops in the cassette he once found with Saggs, labeled "Guitar #3" and presses play. He takes off his boots, and lays down to look at the stars. After another fit of coughing, he takes some Alprazolam and Codeine and fades off to the sound of guitar and radio static.*

Guitar #3

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*Still on the Fifty Two's private frequency Kyle hears a familiar voice. After listening to the radio messages, he pushes the PTT and begins to speak. He sounds shocked and sad*

"Fuck me fam.. Why didn't you tell none of us bout dis? I'm gonna come meet you, where you at? By da way, I'm gonna be wid Panzer, we don't spend a minute apart deez days and I aint gonna leave her. Hit me up G, dis frequency.

*He releases the PTT and begins to chat with Panzer about the whole thing*

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*Viktor wakes up to the radio message, and sits up quickly. He is forced back down by pain, but after a few minutes manages to get himself back up and grasp his radio.*

"Kyle, it's good to hear your voice. I heard you and Jane were up by Novodmitrosk from a woman named Agnes. Are you still in that area? I could meet you sometime soon."

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*Delighted that he got a response he grabs the radio and pushes the PTT*

"We can meet in Novod- whatveer you said in like 1 hour or so, if you can make it dere for den? Contact me on my private frequency, it's da same dat I used to use back in da day when we was part of da fifty two"

*He releases the PTT, clips his radio onto his belt and begins to climb the ladder*

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