It is late afternoon and the sun is on its way down.
On the beach lies what seems to be a lifeless body of a middle aged man.
He is wearing some jeans and a red and blue checker colored shirt.
After a short while he slowly starts to move and looks around.
On his belt he got a holster with a .357 Python and a flashlight.
“Where the hell am I” he mumbles to himself as he starts to walk to the west and turns north as he comes up to the road.
As he walks he starts to remember what happened.
“what the hell happened to that guy?” he mumbles to him self
“He must have died after that explosion…wait he was dead, I felt no heart beat”, He thinks to him self
He stops for a moment as he thinks
“I can’t remember seeing him before. Was he a saboteur?”
He continues to walk.
“It is a possibility if it leaked out what that ship was carrying”
Suddenly he can hear a loud cry; he stops again and draws his python
A woman comes running toward him as she comes closer he notices something is odd about her and calls out “Stop or I shoot”
He raises his gun as she comes closer and calls out again “Stop or I shoot”
She doesn’t stop and just as she makes an jumping attack he fires his gun hitting her in the chest.
It is a shot that would kill any human but yet she stands up again.
She is so close, he can see her eyes are odd, a red taint seems to be in them.
He fires another shot, This time it hits her strait in the heart but fails to stop her.
She raises both her arms and is about to attack him again when a low pitch boom can be heard.
Her head twitches to the side as a bullet passes thru her and she falls to the ground.
He looks to his left but all he can see is some houses.
“Drop your weapon and face down” The voice comes from a close by house.
He shows his gun in a non threatening way holding it with two fingers as he slowly places it on the ground.
He then turns away, lies down and puts his hands on the back of his head.
He can hear two people approach from the behind and one of them grabs and puts hand cuffs on him and moves the arm down to his lower back and cuffs them together.
He then pulls him up to a stand and turns him around.
“Name” He asks with a broad Russian accent.
Another voice from inside the house can be heard
“Sarch?” This voice seems to come from a young man
“Another military man from USA? What are you two doing here?” the Russian man asks as he turns his gaze slightly toward one of the houses.
“All I know is that me and my team was tasked to guard a ship as it was moved to a location that I do not know” Aron answers.
“all I know about this mission is my men we was a total of 15 men, what we moved or to where I have no idea”
“A ship you say, come with me”
The man removes the restraints and starts to walk north along the road.
“I will keep your gun for now” he says
As they walk Aron starts to talk
“So what was that back there? My first bullet would have killed any human and the second one was strain in her heart”
“How long have you been out on the ocean?” the Russian asks.
“Five weeks give or take a couple of days “
“Then you and your team left harbor about the same day the grim reaper went on a vacation”
“You heard me, Yes that was the living dead or as you Americans call them Zombies that you did not kill but I knocked out…put a new brain in it and it will attack you or anyone else again”
Aron can’t believe what he is hearing.
“We are here, we can’t go any closer”
“Let’s make camp and you will see what I wish to show you tomorrow”
The men sets up a tent and goes to sleep for the night.
To be continue
It is early morning when Aron wakes up and looks around in the tent.
The others are still sleeping as he carefully makes his way out of the tent.
It has been a frosty night and some of the frost is still on the ground.
As he looks around he soon notice it is really quiet, not a single bird pip nor any other noise that nature use to make.
“Is the entire world dead?” he asks himself.
No more than a second after he thinks that a loud high pitch human scream can be heard.
He spins around in the direction of the sound and can see a zombie come straight for him.
He takes a fighting stance and as the zombie jumps at him, he spins around and places a well aimed kick right in its center mass sending it flying in the other direction.
He quickly goes to the offensive and jumps on top of the creature sending his knee down in its chest, instantly cracking a few of the creature’s ribs.
As it raises its head, trying to bite him, he grabs the head and twists it hearing a loud cracking sound from its neck.
To his surprise the creature is still moving as he stands up.
As the creature makes another attack he spins around it jumps up on its back and leans his entire weight on its back forcing it to fall forward.
He takes a new grip and smashes its head repeatedly against a rock until he can see its head splits open and it stops moving.
“You are a good fighter”, the voice comes from behind him and carries the Russian accent.
Aron Turns around seeing both the men have come out with weapons drawn, no doubt because of the noise he made while fighting.
“You have me in a disadvantage now, you know allot about me and I don’t even know your name”, Aron answers.
“I’m Vadim and this is Arkady. His English is not to good”
“It is a pleasure to meet you both” Aron answers politely “So, You mentioned you wish to show me something yesterday”
“Yes I did. It is only a few hundred meters in that direction” he says and point in a north east direction
“But let’s eat first, we do not have much but I’m sure we can share”
Vadim and Aron starts to make a fire as Arkady and Mitch getting the food ready.
As the walk around picking some dry wood Vadim breaks the silence
“That 357 of yours it have a special marking on it, what does it mean?”
“It is the family crest, dating all the way back to early 1900’s”
Vadim nods slowly
“I do not know many Americans that holds there family history that dear to their heart, are you first generation military?”
“No I’m 4th my father was a marine in the afghan wars, grandfather was a fighter pilot in Vietnam and my great, great grandfather was soldier in the 2nd world war”
“So what are your qualifications?”
Aron goes silent for a while, considering if he is to tell him after all he have had more than a few missions here in Russia.
“I’m mainly just the average marine grunt but I have started my marine sniper training”
The truth is he finished his training over a year ago and started with advance sniper training roughly a month before he left the states.
Vadim looks at him for a short while seemingly in thought
“We might have use of you on a mission that we will conduct in a few days, But it is a mission where you will need allot of trust from us”
“I will not ask you what this mission involve but what would you need of me?” Aron asks
“We will need your snipers skills, me and Arkady will be in your line of fire. We are here”
Aron looks at Vadim and then turns his head in the direction he is pointing.
In the distance there is a cargo ship half way up on the stony shores the hole in its side cannot be missed.
“Can I borrow those binoculars?” Aron asks
Vadim hands Aron the binoculars.
The first thing Aron notices is that the ship has been blown from the inside out.
He slowly scans the ship from stern to aft for something he would recognize.
He stops at one of the windows that leads in to one of the crew quarters.
There it was ship registration number etched in to the glass.
“Yea that’s the ship I came with”
“How do you know? There is thousands of cargo ships that looks like that” Vadim asks
Aron hands the binoculars back to Vadim
“Lower right hand side on all the windows ERB 491 it is the ship registration number. But what I wonder is what could have made a hole like that?”
“Torpedo?”, Vadim asks
“No it is blown from the inside out”
“Looks like it”
“What did you transport on that ship and don’t say you don’t know”
“When you trust me enough with a gun I might tell you, All I can say is right now is that we was badly of course”
“The opposite direction we was suppose to go in”
The two of them starts to go back to their camp to regroup with their friends
To be continue
As the finish there meal of beans and some rabbits Vadim and Arkady starts to talk in Russian to each other.
Aron can understand some of what they are saying but not enough to really know what they are talking about.
Their conversation seem to intensify and almost sounds like they are arguing and when the word “sniper” comes up Arong know exactly what they are talking about.
Aron choices to keep his understanding of their language as a secret as he continues to listen.
“Let’s go Aron” Vadim says with a slight irritation in his voice
Aron follows Vadim in silence and after a while when they got a bit further away from their camp he starts to speak.
“So what was all that about?”
“It was all about trust” Vadim answers with allot calmer voice now
“All right, so what’s up now?”
“We are going to Svetlojarsk”
The two of them walks in silence and as they cross the railroad Vadim stops
“I will give you your gun back now but do not shoot unless you really have to”
“It seems easy to gain your trust Vadim” Aron says as he takes his gun and holsters it
“My father was an American and a soldier I know your code of honor”
“Well that would explain why he is so good at English”, Aron thinks to him self
As they enter the city after passing the first few houses Aron stops and can barely believe his eyes.
“Did the walkers do all this?” he finally asks
“No…mostly the panic when the soldiers retreated north” Vadim answers in a slightly lower tone
I have seen war zones less damaged then this, Aron thinks to him self
Thought the evidence of mass panic is there crashed cars, busses and trucks.
Aron almost jumps as the bells on the city cathedral makes there hourly chime.
“Two times” Aron says to him self
“We are lucky now we know where all the zombies are” Vadim says
The two of them walks in to a house and closes the door behind them; across the street is the cathedral square.
After a few minutes the zombies comes to the square and one by one they enter the cathedral.
“I had no idea the walkers was religious” Aron says with a tone of joking
“Well maybe they find the light when we lock them in their” Vadim answers with a grin on his lips
After a short time of waiting the two of them starts to exit the building
“Ok you take the far end door, I’ll take the closest one and lets lock them in their” Vadim says as they carefully moves over the street and over to the cathedral.
As they retch there position Vadim nods and they start to push the doors closing them.
“Well that was not to hard” Vadim says with a smile
Aron looks up at Vadim and notices a zombie are almost at Vadim and quickly draws his gun shoots it dead center in its head.
Vadim spins around just in time to see the zombie hit the ground.
“We need to leave now!” Vadim says as the door to the cathedral starts to flex outwards as the zombies tries to come out
“I owe you my life” Vadim says as the two of them runs down the street leaving the city.
It is almost time for dinner when Aron and Vadim enters the camp.
Arkady looks up from the small fire and Aron can clearly see that he is not happy to see that Aron have his gun.
“Next time don’t question my people judgment, Aron saved my life back there”, Vadim says in English to Arkady
Without saying anything Arkady continues with their meal.
To be continue
Aron looks at the frying pan containing some small pieces of meat, for all he knows it could be rat or some other small creature.
Next to it is a pot with what he thinks is some beans judging from the empty can standing next to the pot.
“So what’s for dinner Arkady?”; Aron asks with a smile
“Do you really want to know?”; Arkady asks.
“Well unless it is from a different planet I’m sure I have eaten it before”
Vadim smiles slightly apparently knowing all to well what’s in the frying pan and the pot.
“Most lightly rat or some other small rodent, if we are lucky maybe a rabbit to”, Vadim answers
“That doesn’t sound to bad. I definitely eaten worse”; Aron answers as he turns his gaze at Vadim
“Worse? What could be worse?”; Arkady asks with a bit of surprise in his eyes
“oh the usual…Ants, beetles oh and let’s not forget snakes”
Aron looks back at Arkady who have turned slightly green in his face.
“I guess he is not military”; Aron asks as he turns his gaze back at Arkady
“nop…”; Vadim says in short as he starts to fill up some plates with food
“How can you eat food like that”; Arkady asks
“You will be surprised what you can eat when you starve. But as a side note It is mostly in your mind…let me ask you how do you think a roasted beetle would taste?”
“I don’t know…not good?”; Arkady answers
“Well first of all if you eat one at the time you most lightly would not taste anything. If you eat more then one it might have a slightly salty taste”
Arkady asks Vadim what Aron just said in Russian and Vadim seems to translate
“Maybe you can show me some day what can be eaten”; Arkady says.
Aron smiles and nods at Arkady as he eats
Vadim and Arkady talks to each other in Russian, To Aron it sounds like they are planning to move south along the coast to some city he have not heard of.
Aron decides to make his understanding known and starts to talk
“Maybe we should make that trip tomorrow, it is getting dark soon” Aron says as he finishes his meal
“You speak Russian?”; Vadim asks
“Just a little”
“You are full of surprises Aron…We are going to Elektrozavosdk”
“I never heard about that city, how far is it?”
“It is…ten maybe fifteen kilometers”
“That’s going to take a few hours to walk, we should wait till tomorrow”
Vadim nods “I agree”
“Mitch! Do you have any idea what happened to the ship?”; Aron asks as Vadim and Arkady moves away.
“No sir! I just heard a loud bang…I think we hit something. When the ship started to bank I did not take any chances, I grabbed a life jacket and jump ship…come to think of it…I did see the shore line before I past out in the cold water”
“The ship did not hit anything. I believe it was sabotage”; Aron says in a low tone
“Sabotage? How do you know sir?”
“The ship is roughly a hundred meters in that direction”; Aron says as he points in the direction to the ship
“So that was what Vadim wanted to show you”
“I think who ever sabotaged the ship killed some one”; Aron continues
“What makes you think that?”; Mitch asks
“I’m…pretty sure I did see a walker on the ship”
“Hmmm that is troubling”
“So what do you think about Vadim and Arkady?”; Aron asks
“Vadim seems like a nice and honest guy, but Arkady…I don’t know I get the feeling he knows more English then he letting us know”
Aron nods and looks over at Arkady and Vadim who seem to prepare for the night.
“Keep an eye on him and try to get to know him. Ill keep an eye on Vadim”
The two of them stands up and walks over to help Vadim and Arkady before they all go to sleep.
To be continue
The gun shot wakes up Aron, Arkady and Vadim.
As they scramble to get out of the tent they see Mitch standing with a Blaze 95.
“Sorry for waking you all up like this, but I just solved our food shortage”
As he turns around he also takes a step to the side and all three of them can see an elk on the ground not more than thirty meters from them.
“That’s a nice catch…I have not seen an elk for some time”; Vadim says as he start to walk over to it.
“I guess we are eating elk for a few days”; Aron says as he smiles at Mitch
The group eats breakfast in silence for the most part.
After they are done Arkady starts to clean up the place as Aron Vadim and Mitch starts to plan their rout to Elektrozavosdk.
Aron looks at the map and can see some prime snipers locations as the terrain starts to rice along the side of the main road.
“I suggest we move like this”; Aron says as he moves his finger across the map in a really detailed manner seemingly avoiding any kind of ambush due to the mountains terrain.
Vadim nods slowly before coming with a second opinion
“I think we should check these houses mainly because of the terrain, people might have avoided them due to the hazardous terrain across the road”; Vadim says as he points at three small houses and what looks like shacks at Krutoy Cap.
“That is really risky, It looks to me like prime sniper location”; Aron says
“Well good thing we have a trained sniper here, where would you be located if you wish to shoot someone from there?”
“The map is not detailed enough for me to tell…but somewhere around here or here”; he says as he points on the mountain slope and the isle just of the coast.
“Well then we know roughly where to look” Vadim and Mitch says in unison laughing slightly.
As the group starts to walk Aron looks around and is really impress of how well Arkady have cleaned the ground of any traces of their presence there, only a small pile of dirt and sticks can raise some suspicion that there was a fire there a while ago.
“You did a good job hiding the camp”; Aron says as he walks up next to Arkady
“Thank you”; Arkady replies in short
It doesn’t take them long to reach the small town of Berezino.
As they do Aron’s hand leans heavily on his Magnum as he scans his surroundings.
“We should get off the road. This place is picked clean any ways”; Vadim says
“I agree. What town is this?” Aron asks as the group starts to heath east closer to the coast.
“It is Berezino…Me and Arkady use to live here”
Vadim looks toward the police station before it gets obscured by the small railroad station and some warehouses.
“I’m guessing it have changed allot”; Aron says as he looks at Vadim again
“Yes it have. The apartments are not even there anymore”
As they walk there attention is drawn to some distant gun shots.
Aron can recognize the first two are from a shotgun, but can’t recognize the last one.
“Heads up! That can’t be more than three to four hundred meters”; Aron says as he again grabs hold of his Magnum.
“We should investigate this, someone might be hurt”; Mitch says seemingly concerned.
“The world have changed allot, so we need to be careful. Me and Arkady will hide close by while you approach the person”; Vadim says as the group starts to turn toward the gun fire.
Arcady and Vadim stays on the main road as Aron and Mitch takes the road leading thru the main city.
As they get closer the old fire station Aron can hear some strange noises and emotes to Mitch to stay behind him.
At first he looks toward the main road and can see Vadim and Arcady peaking around a corner. Vadim makes a gesture that he can see someone at the fire station and Aron grabs his gun with both hands as he quickly turns to face whatever awaits him there.
To his surprise there is a boy there about the same length as the Musin he is holding in his hands.
“Please for all that’s holy drop that gun and don’t force my hand”; Aron begs the boy who is no doubt no older then twelve years old
The boy jumps slightly hearing Aron’s voice
“Please don’t hurt me”; The boy says no doubt in fear of his life
“I don’t wish to hurt you but please do as I say and drop your gun”; Aron’s hands are shaking slightly not because he is nervous but of fear to have to do the unthinkable.
Finally the boy places his gun on the ground and places both of his hands on his head
“I had to shoot he says…he tried to kill me”; The boy says with allot of guilt in his voice.
“I know Aron says, this is only for our safety”; as he can see the man lying dead have a shot gun.
By routine Aron scans all the windows and doors around him as he moves closer to the boy,
Mitch keeps his hand on Aron’s shoulder and moves just behind him as he have been trained to do as Aron leans down and picks up the rifle and hands it over to Mitch.
“Are you hurt?”; Aron asks the boy as he gently helps the boy lover his hands.
“No…But my father is”; the boy says as he stands up and slowly turns around and looks up at Aron.
“I might be able to help him”; Mitch says
The boy lower his gaze and says nothing. A hint of a tear can be seen in his eyes
“How long have he been infected?”; Vadim asks with a surprisingly gentle voice then the others have heard before
The boy looks up at Vadim who by now stands next to Aron
“A few hours…I could not do what he asked me to do…I’m weak”; the boy says
“No, no your strong, strong enough to keep hope going and no boy should be asked to do such a horrible act”; Vadim says as he kneels down in front of the boy.
Vadim seems to hide the boy as he gently brushes away a tear in the boys eye as if he wish not to show the others the boy is almost about to burst in to tears
“This is our secret”; he then says in a whisper so no one but the boy can hear.
“Show us where your father is and we will help you and your father”; Vadim says with a normal voice.
The boy nods and starts to walk to the north
“I’m Aron, so what is your name?”; Aron asks as he looks down at the boy
“Artyom, Aron…promise me one thing”; he answers in a slightly low voice
“Anything”; Aron answers
“Don’t kill my father until he truly is lost”; Artyom says and looks down in to the ground again as they walk
“I would never do that. As long as he lives there is hope”; Aron answers and looks over at Vadim and Arcady.
After about another half hour walk they retch a small tent a few hundred meters in to the woods.
As they get to the opening, first Artyom then Aron and Mitch they can see a man lying in there covered by some animal pelts.
His face is ash gray and his breathing is shallow and a hissing sound can be heard as he breaths in.
Mitch walks over to him and starts to inspect his bite wound that’s located on the mans arm.
The wound is covered with some clean rags and as Mitch removes them the not to deep wound is to his surprise still bleeding.
“How long ago did you say this happened?”; he asks
“It is several hours by now”; Artyom replies
Mitch does everything he can to keep the man alive but even if he had a who’ll hospital to use as help everyone knows nothing will help against this sickness.
From time to time the man wakes up and when he finally lets go of his life everyone feels as the father and his son had seed there good byes.
Artyom slowly puts his hand inside his boot and slowly pulls out a hunting knife but even thought his father is still dead he seems unable to puch the knife in to his father’s head.
Vadim kneels down next to Artyom and gently takes the knife from his hand.
“You should not have to do this, let me do this for you”; he says with a low and calm tone as he slowly helps Artyom out of the tent.
Vadim looks over his shoulder as the boy leaves before he pushes the knife thru the man’s head.
He then says a short prayer as he covers up the face of the man with a clean white rag and cleans the knife before he goes out and hands the blade back to Artyom.
To be continue
It is late and the sun is about to set as the small group of people starts to move again.
They give the new grave a quick glance a last time before they increase their pace.
After about thirty minutes of silence; Vadim breaks the silence.
“It is late, we should make camp soon”
“I know of a barn we can make camp in”; Artyom says still with some sadness in his voice
Vadim nods in response and lets Artyom show the way.
It is almost completely black outside when they finally retches the barn.
The doors are slightly open.
“Vadim come with me, the rest of you stay here”; Aron whispers in a low tone
Vadim and Aron moves closer to the barn and at first they just listen for any sounds before they slowly opens the doors and can see several crates and some hay.
On each side of the walkway there are stairs leading up to a 2nd and 3rd floor that do not span the entire barn but just a small portion of it.
In a quick but silent pace; Aron and Vadim searches the barn for any people in it.
“Clear” Aron says with not to loud tone and soon gets a reply from Vadim.
Arcady, Mitch and Artyom Soon enters the barn after hearing the clear call.
“Well we are indoors but I guess no fire tonight”; Aron says with a joking tone.
“Well I’m not hungry so I’m going to sleep strait away”; Vadim says and yawns loudly.
It doesn’t take to long until all of them are sleeping including Arcady who did have the first watch.
Aron wakes up next morning and soon notice Arcady and Vadim is already awake and have prepared some breakfast containing some fruit and canned food.
“Good morning…Where is Artyom?”; Aron asks as he looks around.
“He left before we awoke”; Vadim answers with some concern in his eyes.
“I’m sure he is just out looking for supplies”; Aron says seemingly trusting the boy.
“The sun was not up when I awoke…I find it strange going out looking for supplies in the pitch black”; Vadim says
Aron don’t say anything else but in silence do agrees with Vadim.
After waiting for a short while the men start to walk again.
Not much is said just Vadim and Arcady exchanging some words in Russian.
“We have covered allot of distance in a short time”; Vadim says as he looks around
“Where are we?”; Aron asks
“I believe we have past Solnichniy by now”
No more than a few minutes after stating that, the group find them self on a road leading east to west.
“Yes this road leads down to Solnichniy”; Vadim says
“So where are we heathen?”; Aron asks
“Balota, to be more exact Balota Airbase”
“What do you expect to find there?”
“Best case a aircraft that can get us away from here…worst case just some guns”
Aron looks up at the sky as it gets dark again
“We should get a camp going, it is getting dark”; Aron says in a low tone
“Yea but no fire tonight, if we are where I think we are, then we are between Kamyshovo and Elektrozavodsk. So there might be people around”; Vadim says.
“Well I guess another meal of cold elk then”; Aron says smiling and tries to keep the mode up
After eating a cold late night dinner, the men set’s up the tent and goes to sleep.
To be continue
Early the next morning Aron wakes up from the sound of a loud explosion.
He grabs his gun and rushes out with Vadim, Arcady and Mitch right behind him just to discover a black hawk have crashed in to the ground just a few hundred meters from them.
“We must look for survivors”; Aron says as he runs toward the wreck
After a minute or two they are all there only to see the pilot and three passengers are all dead.
“No fire at all and no apparent damage from an external source…as hard as it is to believe, I think they ran out of fuel”; Aron says as he looks at the evidence
As they look thru the wreck he notices a familiar gun.
“This might come in handy”; Aron says as he picks up an UMP and shortly after finds three magazines in a plate carrier that one of the soldiers is wearing.
Aron inspects the gun carefully for any damage to the weapon.
“Is the gun in working order?”; Vadim asks.
“I will have to field strip it first, but a first look tells me it seem fine just some wear and tare”; Aron answers as he puts the gun and the magazines in his back pack.