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Lone Survivor
Lone Survivor
Posts: 3
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 2:26 am
Lone Survivor

A Wild and Wonderful Wasteland.

Postby Lone Survivor » December 30th, 2015, 2:40 am

It’s amazing, the things I ran into. Events so obscure they tested my grip on reality. Most just crashed into my senses and demanded my attention as soon as they appeared. I had grown used to them, or at least they weren’t as jarring anymore. One of the perks, I guess, of traveling alone for so long was that I forgot what was supposed to be ‘normal’. Then again, nothing’s ever been ‘normal’ for me in the Commonwealth and I’d like to meet someone who can tell me how things should be otherwise. So far, no one really has.

“Hey Mike!” I shouted and ducked as bullets chipped the thick wall at my back. “Mike, right?”

Mike, having spied a glance outside through a hole in the wall, passed me an affirmative nod which set me on edge. It wasn’t the nod specifically; it was the way he did it. A group of raiders closed in on our position. I chose this house because it was the only one still standing, though I swear I’ve felt the foundation shift. This location and what was outside shouldn’t elicit a calm, firm, nod. It warranted a hurried look, a rushed reaction, something else to ground him to the very real threat of a rusty demise at the hands of a bunch of crazies who could call a spiky dumpster a decent home. A collected nod from a cool gaze sizing up approaching death was not normal. If anything that nod confirmed this guy, ‘Mike’, knew danger like this, or worse. Red flags barely began to describe what my gut told me about him. How could I be certain he won’t turn on me after the raiders are dealt with? I’ve only known him for a few minutes.

With a fresh .308 chambered in my rifle I snapped into the door frame. Some of the raiders began to reload and revealed an opening. My aim wasn’t the best in such a scant moment and a few pot shots flung splinters into my forearm, but my iron sights were accurate and adrenaline was always a hell of a stimulant. A gawky teenager, clad in scrap metal and chain at first glance, reloaded above his cover and I took my shot.

Direct hit in his chest, though he dove for the ground. I snarled and regained my cover. Raiders were a pain to deal with. They were scavengers adept at fashioning armor from damn-near anything and I should have recognized the combat armor sooner. Of all the dangers the Commonwealth of post-war Massachusetts had, raiders were by and far the worst. I made a note to spare that kid and ask where he got that armor if all went well.

I established a better position inside the dilapidated building and scoured the room for Mike. The foyer was empty, the dining room across from my new position on the stairs was empty, and I failed to hear anyone moving in my vicinity. That keyed me on to one thing.

Mike the asshole abandoned me, which is what I got for offering hasty asylum to him after he crashed through the roof and took a tumble down the stairs a few moments ago. I decided he could get tetanus for all I cared. I didn’t need his help to get out of this and I was glad to be rid of the liability. Besides, no one just recovered on the spot from an entrance like his.

The lingering pause was unsettling. I approached a window at the corner landing of the stairs to peer outside. The sun started showing in pockets across a desolate terrain of irradiated puddles and broken suburb. One shaft gave me a clear view of the raiders. Their woven movements through the debris of shattered concrete, splintered wood, and rusted cars closed the gap between us at an alarming pace. Maneuvers like that took coordination and I didn’t hear orders being barked out. A series of hand signs and silent signals guided them I assumed, which meant someone in their gang had a military background. There went my advantage.

One of the raiders lobbed a grenade, though his aim was off and it bounced a foot into the dining room, well away from my old position near the entrance and far from where I relocated to. Where the hell were they aiming? Were they even trying for the foyer? What the hell kind of grenade even looked like - Realization struck harder than the flash-bang's burst of sound and light.

Doubling over from the fire in my eyes I scrambled back to the stair way corner and knocked over a lamp stand. I lost grip of my rifle and fumbled for my knife. They were going to rush me, no doubt about it, and I was determined to take at least one of them with me.
Last edited by Lone Survivor on December 30th, 2015, 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lone Survivor
Lone Survivor
Posts: 3
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 2:26 am
Lone Survivor

Re: A Wild and Wonderful Wasteland.

Postby Lone Survivor » December 30th, 2015, 9:40 pm

Crouched on the landing I felt my way down two steps. My head throbbed and my vision spiraled in triplets but it was enough to prepare an ambush. I’ve dealt with raiders before and I was hell bent on sinking this blade into one of them.

Metal steps charged up the porch and I didn’t bother to time it: I lunged, knife forward, and drove it hard into the solid mass in my blurred vision. It sunk in, I lost my balance, and the sudden change of angle turned my stomach. A raider yowled and one of his group members shoved him out of the way. He was screwed even if he managed to pull it out. I serrated the edge of that knife and it definitely went into something vital. I hoped.

There wasn’t much I could do about the other raiders, though. The second guy drove a spiked boot into my ribs and punctured through the thick leather. The impact mingled with the pulse running through my skull as the vertigo began to wear off. I managed to get my arms around my head, but that wasn’t going to help the rest of me.

Another raider with two more behind him entered. Five total, I counted. From what I glimpsed between kicks the kid I shot wasn’t there, which meant a fragment of my original plan could still work if I could find a way out of this. Some new armor would be amazing, especially right now.

A massive blow to my gut sent me rolling to the dining room entrance. I landed on my back and tried to wrangle my senses. My vision improved to double from triple and from there, coalesced onto a shadowed figure crouched at the edge of a large hole in the ceiling. Whoever it was they were going to get my fist by the end of this if I lived. Who the hell would just sit there and watch?

None of the raiders pursued and I had enough time to prop my back on a door frame. Breathing hurt so I took it slow and eventually stared down the barrel of the fanciest looking revolver I’ve ever seen. How the last few minutes even happened were beyond me. Who were these men? What did they want? They weren’t normal raiders after I got a better look at them. Sure their armor appeared garbage, but now it seemed that effect was on purpose. I was glaring at mercenaries who were likely paid to kill me.

“Who,” I forced my stomach down, “Who sent you?” Indeed, who sent them? I thought I was such a nice person.

The lead man smiled, which I would have reciprocated had he not shot the wall next to me.

“No business to a dead man.” He drawled. Great, they were professionals and my underestimation of their strength would be my downfall.

I had a good run of things, being out of the Vault for about a year or so and I couldn't help by reflect. Seemed I hadn’t learned some important lessons along the way though. I probably stepped on more than a few toes so really I brought this on myself. I closed my eyes and prepared for the end.
Last edited by Lone Survivor on January 24th, 2016, 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Lone Survivor
Lone Survivor
Posts: 3
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 2:26 am
Lone Survivor

Re: A Wild and Wonderful Wasteland.

Postby Lone Survivor » January 1st, 2016, 5:02 am

A death cry was the first thing that kicked me out of my pessimistic stupor. It came suddenly and everyone was slow to react. Another quick cry of effort from a mercenary followed which was silenced before my eyes opened. My renewed will to live inspired an embarrassing crawl around the door frame and into the dining room. I figured it better to get cover before I got a glimpse of what happened.

The mercenaries lost their composure and I recognized the leader’s voice inside the thick of it. He shouted orders to reform and calm down until it ended in a gurgle with the familiar lifeless thud of a body to the floor. I dared a glance and a stray bullet clipped the wood frame and I gained new splinters in my face. I hated splinters and decided it best to keep hidden.

Silence ensued. More silence followed. I took another look and saw Mike wiping blood from a truly massive knife, no, a machete or something, on the steps. This was the first time I got a good look at him.

As his knife, the man was massive. Easily a foot or two over six and wide enough to intimidate me seated as he was on the stairs. Likewise his armor, leather by the look, was thick, heavy, battered, and dark and appeared to weigh almost as much as he did. What caught me most were his eyes; a rich hue of faded gold like wheat in summer matched a healthy head of hair bound in a ponytail. He stared back at me in silence and I felt something I hadn’t since I woke up a year ago out of cryo: Fear.

His expression softened and he sheathed his weapon with an occasional glance at his handiwork. I couldn’t keep my attention off of him. How could I? He took down five trained killers with a knife and now gave off a body language I’d associate with boredom.

“You gonna get up or am I gonna need t’ carry ya?” He patted around the mercenaries and moved his attention to them.

“Fuck you, give me a minute.” I stood and limped past his pick-pocketing until I found my pack in a chair near the stairway closet. I don’t usually rely on stims, but damn I needed one or two.

The reading chair was still together, so I sat and injected a stim to my arm and one to my leg before I picked out what splinters I could. I started to get out of my armor, which was easy considering how tattered it was, and braced myself. I forced in a full lung of air and pushed out the pain as my lower ribs reset. There was no way I’d inject a stim and risk the bones healing weird. I could feel Mike watching me.

“Th’ hell are those?” Mike asked, holding a stim-pac he looted from one of the mercenaries.

“Are you joking? You’re joking.” There was no way he didn’t know what stims were. It’s clear as day he wasn’t a Vault dweller. There was chainmail under his leather armor; legitimate chainmail. He had to have been traveling somewhere, maybe not the Commonwealth, but somewhere damnit.

He looked my way and we locked eyes, again we sized each other up. He could read people, that much I could tell, so the fact he chose to talk and not stab meant I was closer to the all-clear. The stim-pac he held landed in my lap.

“If those help, then use theirs. Don’t waste yer own.” He went back to his looting and I went back to my first aid. I focused on my health before wondering who this man was and where he may have come from. By his accent, I assumed he was from the south, maybe Georgia or South Carolina, or Texas? I was about to ask before he got up and went outside.

I decided not to follow.

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