There were five of us now.
It took forever, getting all five of us together. Well, four right now, but number five was on his way.
Someone is always dead and running in from the coast, it seems. Usually at least two someones. Plus there's the fact that we're all loose cannons to one degree or another. We delay running to meet each other to go do something else. Sure, it starts out being food to keep from starving before you get there, but before you know it, you’ve been searching for ammo under beds for an hour and they have to log off for the night.
We’d all done it, and been victims of it. Which meant nobody really waited any more. If you did just run straight to meet someone, you’d find out they’d moved on. They’d step away to check something out in a nearby building, next thing you know you’re at the meeting place and they’re halfway across the map from you.
Fortunately, Trigger was a good influence on us. He dropped comments that got us to shape up and get together, finally. His combination of deeply seated cynicism and good humor that kept him from seeming snarky.
At least, I (Goose), Boomer, Trigger, and SoldierA were together. Razor was running up the coast. He’d been blowing himself up for fun earlier, so he was newly respawned. We were working our way through a town, collecting supplies for a trek to the far west, where we’d be a long way away from the craziness on the coast.
Tonight, we had four guns between us. A pair of shotguns (me and Boomer), and a pair of .45 pistols (Trigger and SoldierA). We each had an axe, as of our last building, for hand-to-hand combat. We had the smaller backpacks on every back, and a decent, and growing, supply of food and medical supplies. We were sweeping from house--the usual drill. Kill the zombies as they came, someone watches outside while the others go in and get what’s worth taking.
I was watching the doors this time. Corner house, so I was crouching where I could watch both doors and the side streets for approaching zombies. Every so often, I’d do a 360 to keep from getting blindsided, hopefully. They were supposed to keep an eye out of the windows of the building as well, at least sometimes.
“Hey, there’s someone in here!” yelled Boomer, in our voice chat channel.
I heard SoldierA’s voice come over through the game audio. “You in there! We won’t hurt you if you put your sit down. I’m coming in.”
“He closed the door!” SoldierA said in chat.
I turned from the street to watch the building. “I’ve got the doors covered!” I said. “He won’t get out.”
“I can’t believe he did that!” said SoldierA, still in chat.
“He probably doesn’t know how many of us there are,” said Trigger. “Tell him there are five of us. I’m on the ground floor, but I’m coming up so we can storm the room. Please don’t shoot me. Again.”
“OK, I’ll try not to,” said Boomer.
“But there are four of us,” said SoldierA.
“He doesn’t need to know that,” said Trigger.
“I see him!” I said. Up above me, in a cantilevered window bay, I saw a guy in a ballistic helmet and gas mask. He was looking down at me.
Then I noticed the little “shot” marks on the wall of the building. He was trying to shoot me through the wall!”
“Bandit! Bandit!” I yelled. “He’s shooting at me. Take him, guys!” I raised my shotgun up, aiming through the glass, not the wood he was shooting through (amateur, shooting from the hip!) I fired, and he went back. I fell back behind the edge of the building, then peeked around. He came back into the window bay, with his gun raised. I saw him shoot again.
“He’s shooting at you?”
“Yes! Take him! He’s a bandit. Kill him!”
“Did Goose say he’s getting shot at? Who’s shooting at him?”
“The guy in the building!” I was trying not to get too exasperated, but what were they waiting on, a vote? “He’s shooting at me. He’s a bandit, he opened fire. Kill him, already.”
“Oh, OK,” said Boomer. “Goose says we should kill him.”
“Yes,” said Trigger, “I suppose he means something today, too. What do you think SoldierA? You’re the one blocking the door. Would you like to go in and kill him, or shall we break out a deck of cards and see if he reforms himself?”
I heard gunfire.
“He’s down,” said SoldierA. “I tried to handcuff him, but it didn’t work.”
“I got him,” said Boomer. “Boom! Shotgun to the kisser.”
“Good work,” I said, ignoring the time they’d delayed while I was being fired on. “I wonder if he thought it was just me or something. He must have heard you guys stomping around in there while I was out here.”
“Maybe he just wanted to thin the ranks a bit,” said Trigger.
“That was stupid,” said SoldierA. “We weren’t going to kill him. What did he do that for?”
“Bandit,” I said. “He just shot at me. Didn’t wave or anything. He could have put his hands up, and I would have told you guys. But he just went and shot.”
“Check out his equipment,” said SoldierA. “Wow, check out these storage boxes!”
I decided it was time to go inside.
They were all clustered around. Hopefully this guy didn’t have any friends nearby.
What the heck, I joined in.
“There’s a rifle for you, Goose,” said Trigger. He knew I was still steamed about losing my Mosin with a pristine scope.
This was just an SKS, but what the heck. Besides, Boomer could use my shot shells and quickloaders. I dropped them in a different corner of the room and let him know. It happened to be a corner where he could look out the windows and keep an eye on the street.
I grabbed the SKS. There wasn’t much ammo left in it. Just four rounds. Everything else in the guy’s inventory was in plastic boxes.
“Can I have his boots?” I asked. “I’m still in tennies.”
“Sure, go ahead,” said Trigger. “What’s up, SoldierA?”
I grabbed the boots and swapped them with my tennis shoes. I was seeing other items pop out of the dead body’s inventory then pop back in.
“I can’t get his stuff,” said SoldierA. “It keeps leaving my inventory and going back into his.”
“Have you tried dragging it out to the floor,” said Boomer.
“Yeah, it’s not working.”
“I’m getting nervous,” said Boomer. “We’ve been in here a long time. Maybe we should get moving?”
“Now you’re sounding like Goose,” said SoldierA. “I want this stuff.”
I tried grabbing things. I’d gotten the SKS and the boots OK. Maybe it was just a problem with SoldierA.
The same thing was happening to me, though. Anything else I tried to take just popped out of my inventory and back to the body’s.
“I’m going to try logging,” SoldierA suddenly disappeared.
“I think I saw someone,” said Boomer.
“Where?” said Trigger, joining him at the window.
“Over there, by that brick building,” said Boomer.
“Which brick building? They’re all brick, except for that log cabin.”
“That one. The red brick building.”
“That narrows it down to four. OK. Goose, what do you think?”
“This is hopeless. They guy’s body is bugged or something. I can’t get anything off it. I want that helmet, too!”
“Ima get those boxes!” he declared.
“Right,” said Trigger, in his cynical drawl. “You do that. Boomer and I are going downstairs to watch the doors. Goose?”
“I’m with you. But let’s get out of here. I was lucky that guy didn’t get me.”
We were down on the bottom floor. Trigger and I had our guns pointed at one door. Boomer was watching the other. He was up to something, though.
“Cool!” he said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“The hacksaw turned my shotgun into a sawed off shotgun. Anyone else want it?”
“It’ll wreck my SKS. Or take my hands off at the wrists.”
“They fixed that bug, Goose! Darn, it still won’t fit in my pack. I was hoping I could take both shotguns with me if I sawed them off.”
“It should fit in the larger pack, when we get one,” said SoldierA. “OK, guys, I give up. I’ll grab the shotgun, but just hold onto the loads, Boomer. I’m good with the .45 until we get an M4.”
We moved out. We went out the door away from the direction that Boomer had seen movement.
“Let’s go get the hospital,” said Trigger. “Razor, where are you?”
“I think I’m just about caught up with you guys,” he said.
“Which direction are you coming from?”
“South. I left the ship a little while ago.” He was referring to the ship, the one that, according to DayZ lore, was the start of the whole zombie outbreak. At least, that’s what SoldierA said, and he was our Oracle when it came to game lore.
“The guy I saw was north of us,” said Boomer.
“Yeah,” said Trigger. “OK, Razor, be careful when you get to the city. We’re going to the hospital, but there’s somebody roaming around up here with us.”
“Roger that,” said Razor.
“OK, let’s go,” said Trigger.
We went through the spaces between the buildings. Boomer and SoldierA were up front. SoldierA could lead you anywhere in the game, he practically knew every bush. Boomer just liked to be up front with a shotgun so he had first crack at the zombies.
“Boom! Take that, zombie!” he said as the report from his gun echoed around us. “Boom! Try to sneak up on me in your miniskirt, will you?”
We were outside the hospital. Suddenly, a guy in a motorcycle helmet ran up to us from the gap in the fence to the north.
“Hold it right there!” yelled SoldierA in the game.
“Put your hands up!”
The guy put up his fists. He wasn’t holding a weapon. SoldierA backed up, his .45 leveled. Boomer had his boomstick up, and I was back behind them, with my SKS up, but keeping an eye on the perimeter. This guy smelled like a distraction. He probably had a friend with an axe sneaking up on us.
“Look buddy, put your fists down or I’m going to shoot you!”
The guy swung around wildly. He started pummeling the wall of a storage building beside him. He continued to turn, his turn was going to bring him around to Boomer. What? Did this guy think he was going to punch out Boomer and get his shotgun? With SoldierA and Trigger watching him with .45s? My shoulderblades itched. Where was Mr. Sneakyaxe?
Boom! Boomer let the guy have it, point blank.
“Oh, man!” said Razor.
“What?” we said.
“You guys shot me! I can’t believe you actually shot me!”
“Hey, man, was that you?” said Boomer. “You were coming at me with your fists up!”
“I was punching the wall. All I did was punch the wall. And you actually shot me!”
“What the heck were you doing?” I said. “You’ve got four guys with guns standing around you, and you go and put your fists up? What were you thinking?”
“I heard a sound,” said Boomer. “It sounded like gunfire.”
“I was punching the wall. Seriously? Are we bandits now? Shooting anyone?”
“I heard a gunshot,” said Boomer. “And you had your fists up. You should have put your hands up, or sat down, not started fighting!”
“I can’t believe you did that, Razor,” I said. “What were you thinking?”
“I just wanted to jerk you guys around a little.”
“Yeah, that worked,” said Trigger. “I feel jerked around.”
“I heard a shot,” said Boomer. “So I fired. You were fighting me, dude.”
“I didn’t shoot! You shot me. I don’t even have a gun!”
“Sometimes an axe makes a sound like a shot,” said Boomer. “Goose scared the crap out of me the other day.”
“I slipped,” I said. “I chopped a steel support in a building where we were tracking bandits. It scared me, too.”
“You shot me. You really, really shot me. Can you at least save my stuff?” said Razor.
“Sorry, dude,” said SoldierA. “I’m looking at your body. Everything on it is ruined but you helmet and your tennis shoes.”
“Ohh, yeaah!” said Boomer. “Sawed off shotgun, for the win!”
“That’s not funny,” said Razor.
“Guys,” I said, “there’s still someone else around here. Shouldn’t we do our business and move on?”
“Yeah,” said SoldierA. “Let’s clear the hospital, then get out of town.”
“Not even a stinking can of tuna...” said Razor.
“Just get up here and we’ll meet you outside of town,” I said. “This time, tell us what you’re wearing. Protip: When you’re unarmed and four guys with guns tell you to raise your hands, raise your freakin’ hands!”
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