We had come our here looking for bandit camps. I'd only just spawned and I'd been picked up near Solnichniy in the Hilux. We'd been to Cherno, the FireStation, where I'd picked up some chem sticks and and AK with no ammo. While we were there I checked the Hilux and in the boot there was raw meat. I helped myself to a few pieces, then we'd driven north through the night, off the edge of the map, north west of the last blades of grass.
I'd laid down to sleep and when I woke up, the sun was overhead and there was no sign of the hilux. I had no water or food, no ammo, no survival kit, no map, no compass, nothing. I didn't even know how far from where the maps started again I was. Hoping it was morning, I put the sun at my 10 oclock and started walking. By the time I got back to the map, I found myself at the end of the road down Grozovoy Pass. What to do? Risk the bandit-thick country in the North West to simply find food and water, or risk a march further East to a reasonably safe place. If I went south, I'd probably be killed by a bandit. If I went west southwet, I might perish on the long march to Pobeda Dam. With a resigned sigh, I began to run.
Hoping against hope, I ran along the northern border of Chernaus, through the black mountains. There was a chance, however slim, that I might find a tent out here. If I didn't, I was counting on being able to recognise the lay of the land west of the dam, having spent some time around there looking for vehicles and tents in the previous weeks. I hadn't spent much time there, but I hoped I would recognise something.
The first pangs of hunger came up like a familiar friend. The desire to eat, the salivation at unbidden thoughts of forgotten treats, thoughts that become cravings. Sausages. Herb and garlic sausages, that's what I was trying to stop daydreaming of. I could almost smell them. I remembered the last timne I ate them. I remember the texture, the aroma. This first part of starvation wasn't so bad. Since the infection came, I spent nearly half my time feeling at least this hungry.I tried to put the thoughts of food out of my head and just kept running. I was pretty sure of my direction, but on cresting one hill, I saw a massive valley I didn't recognise from my memory of the map. I was presented with a choice. Stay on track and trust my sense of direction, or detour back northwards to the edge of the map and head west to more familiar country. There was a chance I was right on path for the dam and was just feeling lost because I was crossing unfamiliar territory. Then again, there was just as good a good chance I'd gone too far south. I decided without even stopping that I would continue to trust my sense of direction.
Thirst came next. Not just the dry mouth, that was something survivors need to get used to. It was the dizziness and weakness of physical dehydration. My main focus became keeping the sun at the same angle off my direction of travel. Hunger and thirst hit me like a gunshot. I felt half dead all of a sudden, and could feel myself getting weaker. I still didn't recognise any landmarks. The life and death side of this march which I'd been aware of the moment it began was, at last, a physical reality. I'd mentally prepared myself for this, accepted that I might crawl into that barn at Pobeda Dam and find nothing but empty cans. Or worse. Made peace with the knowledge I might not even make it as far as the dam. Even though I'd prepared for the inevitable, I still wasn't going to submit to it easy.
Through the trees I saw a wide meadow. I was angeling towards it so I held my course and kept running, watching through the trees, hoping for a glimpse of a tent but seeing nothing. As I approached the treeline I had a mad flash of recognition. This looked like a place a I knew. Within twenty steps I was certain, I'd stopped here and taken ten minutes to watch my six to see if I was being followed. I knew exactly where I was, but my vision had faded to the point where I could hardly see colors, and I still felt myself growing weaker. I was still two and a half clicks from the western end of the dam, and even though I knew where I was, I didn't know if I had the strength to make it. All I could do was keep going and hope.
I crossed the long grass meadow west of the dam and plunged into the forest again, running for my life. With each step I grew more sure of where I was, I was able to see myself on the map in my mind, I knew I wasn't lost. the only questions, would I make it to the barn, and would I find anything there to prolong my life? Down the last hill and across the last meadowe to the last row of trees. I paused near the treeline before the building out of habit, before I remembered I'd made for this place because nobody should be here. I had nothing to lose. I Didn't see any zombies, but my vision was grey and blurred. With what felt like the last of my strength, I crossed the barn yard and made for the side door.
I didn't even stop when I heard the zombies inside. It sounded like more than one, but I was past caring. I entered the building, one zombie on the other side of the building, the other on my right near the back door. The front door was clear. I saw some empty cans and a double barreled shotgun. My heart sunk. No food. No drink. Not even a canteen to fill at the dam. My hopes were dashed, but I decided in an instant not to give up, even though the situation was hopeless.
I went for the shotgun as the zombies raged and started towards me. I dropped the useless AK. Taking the new weapon with a steady hand, forcing calm on myself, I broke the weapon open and loaded the two shells I'd found beside it, and raised the stock towards my shoulder it as I clicked the breach closed. The barrel came up on the chest of the closest zombie and I blasted his ribs back across the room. I turned to face the second one and he walked forehead first into the barrel and screamed at me. I unloaded the second barrel into his face. I took a step towards the nearest body and fainted at last from hunder and thirst. Five seconds earlier, two zombies would be eating me.
Seconds later I awoke. I crawled to the zombie carcass in front of me and went through it's pockets. No treasure hunter ever felt the elation I did when I discovered the beans in the zom's jacket pocket. I peeled open the lid and poured the cold beans down my neck. The second body, miraculously had a can of soda on it. Refreshed but by no means saved, I picked up the remaining junk and took it outside. I retreated to the woods west and waited.
When i saw more zombies, I knew it was time to look again. less than 1000 blood. I decided to wait . Like clockwork, I passed out again, and as soon as I woke, I got up and ran for the barn. Inside this time, a hatchet and two more zombies, a jerry can and more junk. I ignored the zombies and went for the hatchet, dropping the shotgun and picking up the little axe. I wheeled around, the nearest zombie was almost on me. I swung blind, twice and the first zombie went down. As I turned to the second one, he rushed me and tore at my neck. My hand on his chest, trying to hold the thing away from me, keeping it's snapping teeth back. I guess it was instinct that made it grab my arm and try to bite it. As his head lowered, I buried the axe in the top of his skull and he went down hard, but I was bleeding too. I forgot everything else. One bandage in my pocket. I wasn't even sure if I'd bleed out while i bandaged myself, or pass out befiore I finished. I'd danced along the razorblade line of life and death for long enough, at some point, I was bound to fall. But the bandage went on, and I managed to crawl away from the barn, down beside the lake. And here I lay. About 150 blood left. Alone. No supplies. One weapon, and using it means getting close enough to die. One more hit and I'm a dead man. all this way, and the battle for survival goes on. But now, I'm tired. Too tired. I need to sleep. I need matches. I have enough meat to change my luck in a an instant, and no way to cook it. I have a dam full of water, and no way to drink it. I am inches away from the line between life and death, and I've crawled along it long enough. Enough. Sleep. Care tomorrow.
Last edited by Noises; 23rd June 2012 at 12:12 PM.