Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #22

“I wish I could play, but I’m stuck in this fleabag motel tonight.”

That was the latest text from Eraser, I mean Razor, to our online chat room. He’s one of our team of five that plays DayZ together. Having five of us together had only happened once, and it hadn’t ended well. Razor joined the other four of us without identifying himself, acted weird, and we blew him away.

DayZ is just kinda like that.

But with five of us, it was getting more and more common to get two or three of us togther. We were trying to get a couple more people to join us, so that there’d be less chance anyone would have to solo. We’d all learned how nice it is to have another set or two of eyes in the game, and nobody liked going alone any more.

Tonight we would have three of us online. Razor would have made four, but he was somewhere between somewhere and absolutely nowhere out on the road. Closer to nowhere. The picture he’d posted of the motel’s sign was not promising. Who would even name a place “Axe Clown Inn and Suites” anyway? You’d have to be very, very careful asking for that place with directory assistance.

We commiserated with him in the chatroom, then set up voice chat so that we could talk freely as well played. It took us forever to find one type for voice chat that worked for everyone, though what we’d settled on was a pain in the tookus for me. I had one set of headphones on my ears, and other with a better microphone hanging around my neck.

Trigger found us a good server, then we logged on. Every so often, we’d drop a note in the chatroom so that Razor would follow along to some degree.

“Dang, the airfield is untouched! And the only other players on are ‘LuZer’ and ‘BruZer’. Two to our four. Bet they don’t even want to touch us.”

“That’s great guys,” posted Razor. “If you find an M4, can you get it for me? I’ve already got all the stuff for one.”

“Even the buttstock with the Richard Nixon commemorative coin inlay?” asked Boomer.

“Mine’s got Lyndon Johnson,” posted Razor.

“Does that mean we have to be enemies?” posted Boomer.

“I...don’t even know what you mean,” from Razor.

“Never mind.”

We went through several buildings on the airfield. We couldn’t believe the stuff we were finding. It was absolutely untouched. We got clothes, backpacks, guns, ammo, medical supplies, and, most surprising of all, storage boxes to put it all in. We’d never been so well supplied.

“My inventory is full, but I think I can carry this M4 for you, Razor,” I posted. “I just can’t use my own rifle until I give it to you.”

“What’s its condition,” he replied.

“Pristine. Everything I’ve got it pristine. I’ve been tossing aside ‘worn’ stuff and replacing it with pristine on everything. Even my bootlaces are pristine. You wouldn’t believe the stuff we’ve been finding tonight. Boomer is throwing away shotgun ammo.”

“No way. I’ve got to get in on this. There’s got to be some way I can get on.”

I looked at my screen. I had a red ‘link’ symbol, meaning that my computer wasn’t talking to the server any more.

“Anyone else getting a no-contact message?” said Trigger, over voice chat.

We all came back, we were all getting it.

“Must be server reboot time,” said SoldierA. “You know what that means?”

“Find another server?” said Boomer.

“No, it means we log back in to the same server, and it’ll be totally restocked.”

“No way!”

There was a lot of jubilation on voice chat over that, though we were all stuffed to the gills with everything we could ever want. By the time we actually got kicked off the server, though, Trigger and Boomer decided they were going to call it a night.

“I don’t know what else I’d get,” said Boomer. “I’ve got four plastic cases stacked with shotgun ammo, a can opener, and, like, two cans of beans. Oh, a box of cereal, too, but I think all that’s left is the prize in the bottom.”

“And I’ve got work early tomorrow,” said Trigger. “Maybe we can log on at lunchtime and give some of this stuff away to bambies.”

“Yeah, then they won’t be bambies any more,” I said.

“Right,” said Trigger. “Which means we can shoot them.”

There was a moment of silence.

“If,” added Trigger, “they, you know, become bandits or something.”

“Right,” I said. Funny how there were always more bandits around when Trigger was there.

We dropped a message or two into the chat room letting Razor know what was up.

He came back, “I think I’ve got a way. My laptop’s up. I’ll log in as soon as I see you guys on. You’ve been driving me crazy with all the stuff you’re getting.”

SoldierA and I logged back on. In a moment, Razor was there, too. Even in voice chat. He was a little choppy, but we could understand him just fine.

“Got the internet password from the lobby?” I asked.

“Yeah, but their internet kept kicking me off. The ten minutes I managed to stay on, I couldn’t even get to my email,” said Razor. “Now it’s dead. I called the lobby, but they said the technician won’t be in to fix it till morning. I tried to get them to reset their router, but the lady up there is scared of it. She thinks it’s nuclear, like a microwave oven.”

“Microwave ovens aren’t nuclear.”

“I know that, but she thinks they are because everyone says they ‘nuke’ their food. So I’m on my own, here. Are we going to loot this place or what?”

The three of us backtracked over the course we’d taken before the server reset. The place was packed with stuff. As good as the first pass was, the second was even better.

“SoldierA, did you even know there was a platinum-covered can opener in this game?”

“You’re making that up.”

“Here, look at it,” I dropped it to the floor. A pristine platinum coated can opener. To be honest, I’d been sorely tempted to leave it behind and take the pristine aircraft-grade screwdriver on the shelf next to it.

“Armor piercing ammo!” said Razor.

“Is that good for my Mosin?” I asked.

“No, it’s for my M4!” said Razor. “Wow. That and the underslung M203 grenade launcher. Am I loaded for bear, or what?”

“They’re supposed to add ammo for the grenade launcher next week,” said SoldierA.


“Well, that’s what they said in this morning’s progress meeting, but one of the devs texted to his wife that he thinks next week’s schedule isn’t going to happen,” said SoldierA.

“Where do you get all this stuff?”

“A guy on the boards found the NSA tap on the dev’s phone, so all his texts go out on this Twitter account he set up now. Most of it’s stuff about their kids and cars, but every so often there’s a little gem like that.”

I shook my head. “Insane.”

“You’re the guy who paid for a game where the paint cans kill you,” said Razor.

“Twelve time,” I replied. “Point taken. Are you full on storage boxes yet, Razor? I’ve got a yellow one here. Pristine.”

“Uhhh. I’m looking for a green one now, actually. I want to color code them.”

SoldierA laughed. “Would you listen to us? Now we’re fussing over what color our pristine stuff is! Who would have ever thought we’d get equipped like this?”

“It is amazing,” I said, as I tossed a ‘worn’ trauma plate aside for another ‘pristine’ one. “Too bad they fixed the bean can bug. We’d be driving pristine T-72 tanks if they hadn’t.”

“What?” said Razor. “Tanks?”

“I’ll tell you about it another time,” said SoldierA.

“Portable blood bank,” said Razor.

“What?” said SoldierA.

“I just picked up a portable blood bank. It’s got like twenty slots, with prepared I.V.s of type O positive blood. It was right behind the three hundred round ammunition drum I picked up for my M4. It was full, too, by the way.”

“Guys, we have really struck it rich tonight,” said SoldierA. “Those items weren’t even supposed to be in the game yet.”

We heard a scream and the argh-I’m-dying sound of a character being seriously injured.

“What was that?” I said.

“Bandits? Razor, did you just kill someone?”

“Couldn’t have been someone killing him,” I said. “Not with all that armor on.”

“I don’t see him. Razor, were you by the stairs?”


I closed the door of the building, then crouched inside with my rifle.

“What do you think got him?”

“I don’t see him. Razor, hello?” he was using the in-game audio to call him, in case the voice chat connection had dropped out.

Then we saw something rise out of the floor. A body. It was like a ghost. It floated up into the air, hovered at waist height for a moment, then disappeared into the ceiling above.

“Was that a sign, or something?” I asked.

“Watch the door. I’m going upstairs,” said SoldierA.

“Don’t walk in front of any windows,” I said. “Darn bandit snipers!”

While he ran up the stairs I was wracking my brain, trying to think of whether there was any other way to get in or out of the building. I was reviewing the cover and concealment we had outside, trying to plan a route of escape. If they really had the drop on us, we might have to just log out here.

“He’s not up here. No body, nothing,” said SoldierA.

“Can’t sleep, clown’ll eat me...” I muttered.


“Sorry, nothing.”

“Guys? Hey, guys?” It was Razor!

“We hear you,” I said.

“Sorry about that. A call came in on my phone. Do you see me anywhere?”

“No,” said SoldierA. “I’ve been all over. Did someone shoot you?”

“I don’t know what happened. I think I’m dead. But I don’t know where. Can you get my gun? I really don’t want to lose that gun. I’ve think the flares for the Very pistol will shoot out of the M203 until they get the new ammo loaded. I really don’t want to lose that gun. I’d just upgraded the buttstock to the JFK commemorative model, too.”

“Wow,” said SoldierA, “the boards say that one makes it 14% more accurate than either the Nixon or Johnson commemorative buttstocks. We’re looking. You were still inside, right?”

“Yeah,” said Razor. “I was up near the head of the stairs. I went to answer the call, then when I came back the screen said I was dead.”

“Bandits,” I said. “You were right next to a window there. And probably silhouetted, at this time of day.”

“Darn. You can get my stuff, right?”

“I’ll drop my portable surgery,” I said, “and grab one of your containers. If we can find your body.”

“I guess I can give up the vehicle diagnostics kit and the Jerry can of gasoline,” said SoldierA. “We can probably get new ones before they add the vehicles in, anyway. But your body isn’t here.”

“Maybe it went through the wall,” I said, slowly. “Like when I died that other time.”

“When Boomer and I were with you,” said SoldierA. “Yeah. That means it would be outside.”

“Don’t go near the window!” I said.

“I’m not stupid,” said SoldierA. “Usually.”

We sat in the gathering darkness and thought. Razor let us know he’d started a new character, and was running in from the coast. Apparently the rest of the server was in good shape, he’d already picked up a screwdriver and a can of spaghetti, was wearing a Sid Vicious hoodie and a pair of cargo pants.

“They’ve got more pockets than usual, but I think I’m moving slower if I put stuff in the top pockets. They’re like, right at my crotch. Have you found my body?”

SoldierA and I looked at each other. Or, our characters in the game did. I did the ‘winding up’ movement, then moved over to open the doors and rush out. Maybe the bandits figured they’d got the only person here and moved on. There was probably other stuff in the game we didn’t know about yet, like one of those Austrian sniper rifles that can blow over a coffee can at a hundred miles. Maybe they were on a mountaintop somewhere, and not even looking at the airport now. Though SoldierA usually knew about that stuff.

I popped the doors open, then swept from side to side, looking for a target. Nothing. He rushed out, to the north side of the building.

“I found him.”

I rushed out. Fortunately, the body was laying in a clump of bushes. He looked so...peaceful. Except for all the weapons on the body, of course. The chainsaw bayonet on the M4 looked particularly wicked.

“We found your body,” said SoldierA.

“Oh, thank goodness!” relief just melted off Razor’s voice. “Just get the gun. And one of you might want to take the blood bank. You can have it. And anything else off the body. Just, please, bring me the gun.”

SoldierA and I were going through our inventory, deciding what to drop. We’d decided to get as much stuff back to Razor as we possibly could. Bad enough having to spend a night at the Axe Clown motel without losing the coolest equipment you’ve ever had on your character.

“I hate to have you drop the torsion bar,” said SoldierA, “because once they get the tanks in the game that’s the repair item that’s hardest to find.”

“So the Norden bombsight, then?” I asked.

“Yeah. The chances of us getting a bomber back in the air with only five of us are pretty slim. Besides, if we put together a gunship we won’t need a bomb sight.”

We were chucking incredible stuff all over the ground around us, making room. Finally, we’d each given up about a third of our inventory. We came back to the body.

“I just ran past Brezhneviola or something like that,” said Razor. I’ve got a good set of clothes on and a wood axe. Just grab the gun and start running toward me, please?”

SoldierA and I looked at each other. How could we tell him?

“Um,” I started, trying to break it gently, “we can’t get the stuff off your body.”


“It’s all here, we see it. It shows up in our inventory. But when we try to take it, it just pops back up in your inventory.”

“You’re kidding,” his voice could have frozen lava.

We heard a scream and arrgh noise over voice chat, then nothing.

I turned to SoldierA. “I’ll give him my .45 with the auto-targeting sight. And the electric can opener.”

He said, “I’ll give him my radioisotope thermonuclear generator so that he can run it. Is it AC or DC?

“I think it’s 220AC, 50 cycles. Looks like a British plug.”

“I’ve got the adapter for that. Yeah, I dropped it over here. Let’s get this stuff up and head toward him.”

“Think we’ll find another M4?” I asked.

“Like that one? No way. Never again.”

“Think we should tell him?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Hey, guys? You there?”

“Yeah! Razor?”

“Yeah. Well, I just figured out what killed me. Whenever my phone rings it kills me for some reason. I just died again. I’d just found a robot dog or something, too. I was trying to figure it out.”

“Oh, right,” I said, “you’re getting internet through your phone.”

“Did I hear you right?” he said. “you can’t get my stuff?”

“No, we can’t,” said SoldierA. “But we’ll give you some of our stuff, and we’re looking for another M4 for you.”

A dark cloud hung on the other end of the voice chat. We could feel it.

“Look, don’t bother,” Razor said. “The chances of another pristine match-grade Matthew Simmons signature U.S. Olympic Team 2004 M4 rifle with custom trigger job turning up tonight are negligable. I’ll probably never see another JFK stock, either.”

A heavy sigh came across the line.

“At least you know what killed you,” I said. “Can you block calls? I’ll cover you on another airport run tonight. I’ve got nowhere to be tomorrow morning. There’s only, what...two other players on. We’ll practically have the place to ourselves.”

Another sigh.

“No, forget it. I think I need some time to deal with this. I think this killed me before, too, when I gave you all that stuff, Goose. Every time I get stocked up in this game, I die. I’ll talk to you later.”

We heard the line drop on his end.

SoldierA and I looked at each other.

“What are you going to do?” I asked.

“I’ve got work in the morning,” he said. “I’m going to go out into the bushes then log off. What about you?”

“I can stay up a while. I’m going to run for the coast. I’ll pick up some extra food and an M4 if I see one. I’ll be nearby when he comes back.”

“Sounds good.”

What didn’t sound good, though, was the pair of gunshots that came out of the woods to the east of me and SoldierA. LuZer and BruZer did well that night.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #21

“I’ve got a bug for you,” said SoldierA.

“What, like the last one? Everyone was safe but me?”

“No, you’ll like this one,” he said. “It’s just”

“OK, lay it on me.” I sighed at my keyboard. I’d just managed to get a couple of cans of beans and a can opener after starting another new character. Other than that I had some clothes, and ammo that would be useless until I found a gun. I was still a 45 minute run from everyone else in our group. Chances were someone would kill me long before I got that far.

“You got ammo?” he said.

“Yeah,” I’d given him my inventory not five minutes ago.

“And a can opener?”

“Uh-huh. Which is how I know someone’s going to kill me. I’m safe with screwdrivers, but as soon as I pick up a can opener, some bandit pops me. This can opener is Pristine, so I’ll probably die horribly this time.”

“Load the ammo into your can opener.”


“Just do it.”

I shrugged. I was as good as dead already. At least he didn’t have me fiddling with spray paint cans. Ammo hadn’t killed me yet. At least, not in my own hands.

I opened my inventory window, then drug the box of 7.62x54R ammo onto the can opener. It turned red, then popped back into the inventory slot it had come from. I unboxed the ammo, then tried again.

I heard a noise, like the working of a rifle action. Then my inventory showed a can opener with 20 rounds of ammo loaded.

“What?” I said.

“Hold it in your hands, then shoot it,” said SoldierA.

I looked around. Out there, at long distance, there was a zombie just standing in the field. It was hardly more than a few pixels, but those pixels had that look to them--you knew it was a zombie. I carefully positioned my reticle over the zombie, then clicked my mouse.

Bang! A moment later the zombie dropped. Dead. Well, really dead.

“Incredible!” I said.

“Did I do you a solid, or what?”

“Yeah! What kinds of ammo will it take?”

“Until tomorrow’s patch, anything. And it all acts like high powered rifle rounds. Even the .45. It’ll drop a rhino.”

“There aren’t any rhinos in the game,” I said. “Are there?”

“Not yet, but if it’s like the mod we’ll have lots of animals someday. Have fun with your can opener, and we’ll see you at the airfield tonight, right?”

“You bet! I can’t wait. I’ll go up in a tower and shoot bandits with my can opener.”

As we’d been talking, I’d gone toward a town and knocked over two more zombies with my little can opener. This was great. I almost considered getting a video of it, just for remembrance’ sake. Almost--then I remembered that the video recorder app was why my character was undersupplied and halfway across the map from everyone else.

As I came up to town, I saw a fracas in the middle of the street. Some other bambies had been caught by three fully geared-up guys with burlap sacks over their heads. It looked like they’d handcuffed them. One of the geared up guys shot one of the bambies. He'd been cuffed, and all he had on was a ball cap, jeans, and a t-shirt. Daaang.

I got close to a wall, lined up my can opener, and fired. One down. The other two scattered, leaving the bambi in the street.

I shifted to another building, looking.

One of the bandits appeared.

“Hey, you! Did you just shoot?”

I held up my can opener. “I don’t have a gun. Just this. Please, just take it and let me live!”

“Get out of my way. There’s a sniper here, dumbass!” He pushed past me.

I turned and let him have it, right between the shoulder blades. Yeah, good guys do shoot people in the back, jerk!

I peeked out in to the street. The bambi was trying to roll off to one side while handcuffed and laying on the ground. It looked like he was going in circles. I still didn’t see the other bandit. And there might be another on overwatch, though they didn’t seem that bright.

There. I saw Bandit 3. He’d just shot into a three story building, looking for altitude, no doubt. I positioned myself where I could watch the upstairs windows, then went into what, on a rifle, would be “scope” mode.

A movement. A head. I fired. Down! I waited, just in case. Nothing.

I ran to the building, can opener up. I went in the door, up the stairs. There was his body.

I grabbed his stuff. Tac vest, ballistic helmet, two pistols and an M4 with all the goodies. Sweet! Tomorrow I’d be set. For today, however, I had my can opener!

I went back down. The bambi was struggling to get out of the handcuffs.

“Sorry, I don’t have a key. There’s lots of stuff on these bandits once you get out, though!”

“There’s one more!” he said.

I looked up. Right there, at the end of the street. Another. Burlap sack and everything. He had something in his hand, and he was coming toward us with a look of determination.

I raised my can opener. I fired.

A ricochet. He was still coming. Huh, that’s what I get for taking a snap shot. Whatever was in his hand, it wasn’t a gun. He was closer.

I fired again. Still nothing! I ducked into the doorway to check my ammo. Yeah, inventory still showed it loaded with ten rounds. I came back out, I wasn’t going to miss this time.

As I stepped out I heard the bambi moan and give the death cry. The bandit was right on me. I opened up with the can opener. Bang! Bang! Bang!

Nothing! Did they do a hotpatch?

I went to switch to the M4, but it was too late. The guy bowled me over. Was that a grenade in his hand? No, it was just a can of stinking beans.

I heard my character cry out and die.

The screen was black.

What just happened?

“Hey Goose!”

“Yeah, SoldierA?”

“I got another one for you. Remember how I told you there were vehicles in the mod? Well, the code for one snuck into the last update. But you’ll never guess--”

“It’s the bean can,” I said.

“Right! Did you find it? It’s a T-72 tank. Pretty cool, huh? I’m driving around the castle, up in the woods, right now, with a can of beans in my hand! Too bad there’s no ammo for the main gun.”

“Yeah, SoldierA, that’s just great. Crush a rabbit or something for me, will you? I’m logging off till after the patch.”

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #17

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #18

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #19

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #20

Monday, February 17, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #20

“It’s real,” said SoldierA.

“No,” I said, “you’re pulling my leg.”

“No, really. I’m on the live feed now. Lots of people are confirming it.”

SoldierA is our tuned-in, tied-in player of the group. He knows the Twitter feed of DayZ developer Rocket’s barber. We don’t know how he manages to hold down a full time job, be father to several kids, a good husband (well, we haven’t heard threats of her leaving yet), and know all this stuff. Probably because the rest of us spend too much time on other things, and just haven’t had as much time on the game as him to build up the contacts in our social media and links in our browsers. He played the Mod, we just joined in on the DayZ standalone.

One thing, though, is that you can usually count on what he says. If what he says turns out to be wrong, there’s usually a correction from the dev team the next day saying he should have been right.

“I’m not going to test it,” I say. “Even paint cans are too much for me.”

“What’s wrong with you? They fixed that over a week ago. Hey, Boomer’s coming in. Howdy, Boomer!”

“Hey guys, what’s happening?”

“There’s a cool new bug,” said SoldierA.

“Sweet! Is it as much fun as the exploding paint cans?”

“Better! This one won’t kill you.”

“What is it?”

“No falling damage.”

“Whaaat? Really?”

“Yeah, I’m watching the live feed on bug reports right now. At least a dozen confos.”

“I’ve got to try this out. Goose, where are you?”

“Just south of the complex, near where we logged out last time.”

“I see you. I’m coming down.”

He runs down the hill.

“Watch this!”

He climbs a ladder up the side of a building. Then he drops.”

“You OK?” I ask. I haven’t got a thing for splints, and my medical supplies are low. “I can hit you with morphine.”

“No, I’m fine. But I think I hit the dumpster on the way down. That wasn’t a good test. Hang on.”

“Is he jumping?” says SoldierA, over our voicechat outside the game. “Where are you guys? I want to see.”

“We’re over at that military base you showed us. You know, the one that’s kind of hidden?”

“On my way! Don’t die before I get there.”

“Here I go!” Boomer is on top of a sentry tower. I see him drop to the ground. My stomach churns.

“Whoa! That was cool! You should try it!”

“You’ll find me with a paint can in my hand first...”

“No, really! I didn’t even grunt. Here I go again!” His body falls again. He gets up.

“Hey, there are some really tall buildings in town. Can you climb up the water towers?”

“The tallest things in the game,” says SoldierA, “are the communications towers.”

“Yeah, but I want to do this where someone can see me!” says Boomer. “Hey, let’s go to that tall building in the big city down there.”

“Fine,” I say. “Maybe I’ll try a molehill.”

“Chicken,” he says.

“I’ll meet you there!” says SoldierA. “I’ll record video! We can put it on the internet. This is so cool!”

“Great. Hey, we can go together! Tandem! Goose, can you record video on your system?”

“I’m sure I can, somehow.”

“Here’s a link,” says SoldierA. “I’ll meet you guys at the construction crane.”

“Too bad we can’t, like, let people know. You could go around collecting admission.”

“Collecting bullets is more like it,” I say. “Just lead the way. I’m following, but I might lag a little. I’ve got a download for John’s video recorder software going in the background.”

On the way, Boomer climbs a few buildings then jumps off them just for the heck of it. I watch a couple of times, but mostly I pop out to check my download, then install the app, while he’s doing his birdman routine. Every time I see it, it makes me a little sick. I’ve seen my buddies take a bad step or miss a ladder one too many times. Then it’s a long run back to the coast with a spare can opener and food.

I got the movie recorder ready, and we collected up at the foot of the construction tower.

“There, that one,” said SoldierA, pointing at a building. “That one has the longest drop in the game, other than the communication towers. I’ll record us from above. Goose, you get us from the ground. Then we’ll do a second jump, and you can record us from up above as we drop. Sound good?”

“I’ve got to go up there, too?”

“If you fall, you won’t get hurt. Why don’t you believe me?”

“Because these things always seem to bite me in the keister. OK, I’ll go up there for the second run. First, I’m going to just stay down here on Terra Firma.”

They climbed up the building. I had my rifle out, sweeping for bandits. They stood out on the edge of parts of the building as they climbed time after time. It’s like they forgot where they were. It’d be just our luck if someone with a Mosin took them out right before they jumped.

“OK, we’re in place. Ready?”

Boomer and I both said we were. I hit the key combo to start the recorder, and a little red dot came on at one corner of my screen.

Boomer jumped just before SoldierA, so that he’d show up in SoldierA’s recording.

They came down, down, down. Man, that’s a long drop.

Boomer hit the ground, then SoldierA.

There was a horrible groan. The death sound.

“What happened? What happened?” said SoldierA.

“I”m fine! I’m OK!” said Boomer.

“What happened?” I said. “My screen is black. Do you see me?”

“’re gone!” said Boomer. “You were right there!”

“Wait, there he is!” said SoldierA. “Whoa. Freaky!”

“What? What?”

“You’re body. I just saw it rise up into the air. It flew up next to the building. I think it’s up there somewhere now.”

“Can you get my stuff? My rifle!”

“Yeah, I see it,” said Boomer. “Up there, stuck in that ladder.”

“How did that happen? You guys didn’t hit me! I was ready for that. There I was, thinking, ‘Now’s the time you get it, Goose, because they won’t suffer any falling damage but they’ll run into you and surely crush you!’”

“You are so paranoid!” said Boomer.

“I’m dead!”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t say that you don’t have a reason to be paranoid.”

“Did you get the video?” said SoldierA.

“Yeah. I think so. I’d just stopped it...hey! Do you think that video app killed me? I heard myself die right as I hit ‘Stop’ for the record controls.”

“Yeah. It does that sometimes,” said SoldierA. “Didn’t I tell you?”

“No! No you did not tell me! I never heard the words ‘by the way, the video app will kill you sometimes, sure you still want to run it’, not once!”

“Oh, well. There you are. Now you know.”


“Should we meet you at the coast or something?”

“Can you get my stuff?”


“Nope. I tried climbing up to where your body is. I tried the ladder first, but I couldn’t get to your stuff. Then I went inside, because, y’know, your body was kinda sticking through the wall. But when I walked up and clicked when it showed me the gun and bullets logo, your body just disappeared. It’s not anywhere around here.”


“Yeah, I swear. It’s gone.”

“I haven’t even restarted,” I said.

“No body, anywhere," said Boomer. "I’ve got an extra can of beans, and we can probably find an axe around here somewhere.” You could tell from the sound of his voice that even he thought that sounded lame.

“Want to send me that video?” said SoldierA. “I was looking the wrong way when I fell, so mine is useless.”

“Yeah, I can’t wait to see it,” said Boomer.

“File...delete.” I said.

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #18

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #19


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #21

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #22

Saturday, February 15, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #19

Daytime, City

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!”

SoldierA appeared.

“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.”

“Yeah. SoldierA?”

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!

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #17

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #18


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #20

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #21

Friday, February 14, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #18

Daytime, Outside a Small Town

I’m online, chatting with Boomer as we play.

“So we’re agreed, right?” I say.

“Yeah, OK. Whatev’s.”

“No,” I say in my speaking to children voice, “that’s not good enough. How many times has it killed you now?”

“I don’t know. Two, three...maybe ten times,” admits Boomer.

“And about a dozen times for me, too. You with me on this? I’m sick of chasing back to the coast to pick you up, and I’m sick of going from badass to bambi.”

“Yeah, I’m with you. No playing with spray paint cans,” he says in his talking to teachers voice.

“Right. Where’s Eraser?” I ask, keeping my eye out for bandits. We’re laying among some bushes in the middle of nowhere. We’ve each got some equipment and food, but not a whole lot yet. We were supposed to get three of us together for a raid on an airport to get back up to snuff.

“I don’t know, he was supposed to meet us. I don’t see him in the player list.”

“Hey, guys!”

“Eraser! You in the game? We don’t see you on our server.”

“I’m there. I’m Razor now.”

“Razor? Really?” I couldn’t stop myself from saying it.

“Yeah. It’s shorter and easier to say. What’s wrong with Razor? ‘Cause I’m sharp!

“It’s because of your hair cut, right?” says Boomer.

“What? Not because of my hair cut...”

“Yeah. That girl asked you if you wanted a razor cut, then said you look sharp when she was done.”

“No, I...”

“Hey, I don’t blame you. She was really cute.”

“I just thought Eraser was too hard to say. Anyway, you guys see the patch notes?”

“There was another patch?” I ask.

“Yeah,” says ‘Razor’. “You were right about the paint cans. They were totally bugged. Got some nerve gas code in there or something.”

“Nerve gas? We’re going to get WMDs in this game?” I saw a bogey crossing the field. I put the sights of my .357 magnum on them, and kept an eye out for others.

“The important thing is it’s fixed now,” said Razor.

“That’s what Boomer said last time. You remember how that ended. Boomer, bogey incoming.”

“No, really. That’s me coming up to you guys. Check this out!”

The bogey stopped and raised his hand to wave.

“What are you wearing?” I asked.

“Geez, you’re so paranoid!”

“Blame the game.”

“Red ball cap, blue backpack and a Mosin rifle with a custom paint job.”

“That’s you,” I dropped my pistol.

“Niiiice paint job, dude!” said Boomer.

“Thanks!” said Razor.

“No!” I said.

“What?” they both said.

“No paint cans!”

“It was a bug. You heard the man.”

“I’ve got the rest of my paint right here,” said Razor. Several paint cans dropped on the ground.

I ran. I just plain ran.

Sure, all I had was a pistol with three rounds of ammo, a motorcycle helmet, a knife, two cans of tuna and a backpack, but that’s enough to bring value my character’s life. Especially with the number of snipers hanging out near the respawn zones.

“Chicken,” said Razor.

“I’ll wait over by the barn,” I said. “You do what you’re gonna do. Paint your gear. When you’re done, leave the cans over there. Then we’ll hit the airport. I’ll just chill here.”

“Your loss,” said Razor.

He and Boomer got into painting up Boomer’s helmet. Boomer had an extra in his backpack, so they painted that one up for Razor. The compared each other’s helmets, then tried painting everything else in their inventory.

“That about does it,” said Boomer. “Who’d have guessed you can paint the bean cans. Sure you don’t want to paint something up, Goose?”

I thought about it. Maybe they were right. They’d been dinking with those cans for over twenty minutes without one single mishap.


“I’m good. You guys ready?”

“Sure,” said Boomer. Then Razor asked him if he wanted to see something cool that he’d seen in a video.

“You guys coming?” I asked.

“On our way,” said Razor. But they were up to something.

In the game, I heard the sound of an explosion, punctuated by screams. The barn rocked.

“What happened? You guys OK?” They were laughing up a storm.

“Guys?” They couldn’t stop laughing.

Finally, Boomer got himself under control, a bit. “Oh, that was totally worth it!”

I was looking out of the barn, toward where they’d been. I didn’t see them.

“Guys? You in the grass?”

“Yeah, kinda,” said Razor, trying to recover his breath. “More like all over it!”

“We shot the paint cans!” said Boomer.

“They all went up!” said Razor.

“It was glorious. Till the screen went black,” said Boomer.

“We’ve got to try that again!” said Razor. “Get all the paint cans you can, then let’s meet north of that Star-yacht city. Goose, you in?”

“You’re dead, right?”

“I’ve never been so dead!” said Razor. “You should have seen the colors. Hey, Boomer, look out for propane cans, too!” He was still laughing. So was Boomer.

I shrugged.

“I’ve got my .357,” I said.

“Excellent!” said Boomer. “We have ignition!”

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #16

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #17


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #19

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #20

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dayz, Diaries of the Damned #17

Daytime, Countryside

"Hey, check out that gun!" Boomer has finally caught up with me. We've both run halfway across the stinking map to meet up. Boomer is loaded up--ballistic helmet, gas mask, tac vest, guns, ammo, the works. He even has a can or two of beans left.

But what I'm looking at is his custom-painted M4 rifle.

"How did you get a paint job on your gun?"

"It's the new patch. We can paint them now," he says.

"Wait, does that mean..."

"Yeah. I used a paint can."

My head reels. We've had almost as many deaths by paint can as we have from starvation. In a zombie game.

"Playing with fire? You're kidding."

"No really. I think maybe they were bugged before or something. It was OK."

"Well, alright."

Boomer gives me a collection of stuff, including a handgun, shotgun, half a can of sardines, and a few medical supplies. I've still got the wood axe and screwdriver that got me this far, as well as a pair of cargo pants and a hoodie.

We set out for a small town nearby, looking for groceries. He takes out a zombie on the outskirts of town while I dart through the nearby houses.

"Look out, hacksaw!" I call out. I don't want him taking his hands off at the wrist like I did to myself once.

"Hacksaw?" he says. "You can use that on the shotgun now."

"No way, I've lost my hands to those too many times. I'm not touching it."

"Fine," he runs up and takes the hacksaw. "Then I'll do it. Give me the shotgun."

I drop it, he drops his M4 and takes it. A moment later he drops it then picks up the M4 again. Dang that paint job looks sweet.

I pick up the shotgun. It's a sawed-off shotgun now!

"See, there were just bugs in the items before. They've patched it." He drops the hacksaw. "Now let's go find some more food. Sissy."

"Right," I go back to searching.

Twenty houses and two zombies later we've each turned up one can of food and I've got a small backpack. He opens the cans with his can opener, gives me one back, and we move on.

Next town, we're out of food again, searching for more.

I've found a great house. Two cans of food downstairs, and a can opener upstairs! I go back downstairs then see something I missed the first time. A can of paint.

Reflexively, I dodge it. Then, I look at it. Fire Engine Red. Really? I've never seen that color before. Usually it's just green.

OK, let's see if I can pick it up. I won't use the cursor, I'll just get close and drag it into my inventory, so I don't accidentally activate it and spray myself to death.

OK, done.

Whew, catch my breath. I'd actually stopped breathing, for real, when I did that.

Let's see. Drag it over the shotgun. Drop down appears. "Paint shotgun?"

I click it. Oh, this is going to be cool! And we'll see who's a sissy now.

What? My display is all red. Let's move.

I can't see! Everything's red. My character is coughing. The color fades out of the solid red. I still can't see!

"You jerk, Boomer!"


"You told me the paint cans are working!"

"They are!"

"I'm dying over here!"

"On my way!"

"You idiot!" says Boomer.

I've gone unconscious.

Boomer goes on, "Why did you go and paint without at least a filter mask and sunglasses? And inside the house! Didn't you inspect the can? Eye protection, ventilation, and a breathing mask. Duh!"

I've died.

Stupid paint cans.

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #13

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #14

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #15

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #16

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #16

Nighttime, City

Respawn. It's dark, but the Moon is up. I consider the ethicality of adjusting my video settings to allow me to see in the dark. Then I think about how this game has beaten me up, taken my stuff, and kicked me around. Bag ethics, let's turn up the video settings.

I can see things around me in a sort of black and white. I'm on the edge of a city again, who knows where.

I put my battery in my flashlight.

I walk into the first building that I encounter with the doors still closed. Finding one has taken about 20 minutes, during which time my character has started to complain about thirst and hunger. Inside it's dark. I turn on my flashlight. It keeps lighting the area off to one side of me. Then I remember to raise it up. Because, like, it's important that the game makes you do that.

I find a rotten kiwi fruit in the pantry.

I pick it up.

No, I'm not going to eat the thing. It'll just sicken my character, make them go unconscious, then we respawn again. Because that's part of the wonder of DayZ. A million options to make your character sicker, weaker, and deader. But if you want to get better, stronger, and live you need to have a half a hundred things go your way without anything bad happening in the meanwhile.

So I picked up the kiwi. Carefully. Because I really, really don't want to eat it. At least they don't make your character wolf down bad food when they're hungry automatically.

I check my inventory. There's a kiwi in my pocket. Hurray, my pants aren't buggy! I carefully, carefully, extract the kiwi from my pocket then drop it. This was just a test.

Next test. I pull off my t-shirt. Good, it works. OK, my clothes aren't bugged. Now I can get down to business.

In the side room I find a hoodie. Now we're getting somewhere, I've got more pockets.

I go out to the barn. There's a motorcycle helmet and a black pen in there. I don the helmet, and take the pen even though I have no idea what it's good for. I've got to find some food!

I run out of town, into a gully. Sure enough, there's a pond at the bottom. I drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink...jeez, how long is this going to take? Long story short, I drink until my stomach feels stuffed.

The computer says, "Your stomach feels stuffed. Your stomach grumbles violently."


I run back to town. I've got to find some food.

I run up to a closed door. Just like a million times before, I open it only to have it push me backward off the porch. I sigh, then run in.

It's dark. I switch on my flashlight and sweep the area. Something?

It's a red pen. Oh, good. I am now prepared to do accountancy, I have a black pen and a red one. But no ledger. I'll bet those are in the warehouse...ugh.

The pens are new. I can only wonder how much less food I'll find now that there are different colors of pens spawning in the game.

I move to the kitchen. Nothing. Well, there appear to be matryoshka dolls in the cupboard, but they're just window dressing. Right now I'd be willing to see if they're edible.

Next building. Aha! A can of tuna. And me without my can opener. sigh

Next building, empty. Next, also empty. What the hey? I know these buildings, I got plenty of stuff out of them before. Is some joker looting them then closing the doors behind them. Or are the spawns not working? Aaargh!

I'm on the edge of starvation.

"Boomer, where you at?" I ask over our group's ongoing Skype call. I see him on in the player list.

"Uh, I'm next to some apartment complex."

"Can you see a big construction crane?" I'm trying to find a landmark, hoping he's nearby.

"Yeah, I mean, I can't see it now, but I saw it a while ago."

"Got any food?"

"Yeah. I've got a box of cereal, a can of sardines, and some beans that are almost gone."

"Sweet. I'm starving here. Think we can meet up?"

"OK, I'm good with that. You don't have any spray cans, do you?"

"No! No more spray cans."

"Good, because if you did I'd tell you to go off somewhere and die."

"Let's try to meet by the crane."

"No way. There are a bunch of guys over there. They killed me three times. Once they got me right as I spawned. Axe in the back."

"OK, make for the woods to the west? Follow the power lines till we meet? Put the crane due east of us?"

"Yeah. On my way."

I head out of town. I'm lucky enough to come across a well near a junkyard on the way. I stop and fill up again. Drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, ad infinitum. I finally just quit before it tells me I'm full, I don't want to put off meeting up with Boomer for too long.

I reach the power lines, then turn south, to put the crane right south of Casseiopeia. Watch the path, not the sky. Oh, and turn out the stinking flashlight so that it doesn't give me away to bandits.

I get to where I think I should be.

"Boomer, how you doing?"

"I think I'm there."

"I think I am, too. We should be close. I'll blink my flashlight to the south, so look north."

I blink my flashlight.

"See anything?"


"Look south, I'll try blinking to the north."



"Nope," says Boomer.

"Can you blink your flashlight?"

"No, it's broken."


"Yeah, tell me about it. I've been blind this whole time. I walk into buildings, then try to see if anything's nearby in my inventory."

"Hey," says Eraser, "I'm on now. I've got lots of food, but I won't get to you guys in time to save Goose. Goose should just lay down, so he doesn't starve. Then Boomer, you just go to him."

"Yeah, but I don't know where he is," says Boomer. "I've got no clue which direction to go, and I don't want to run up and down looking."

"I'll go back to where the power lines cross the road," I say. "Then I'll lay down in the grass right under the power pole. How does that sound?"

"OK. I think that's north of me. Here I come."

A while later I say, "How are you doing, Boomer?"

"I don't see you. I've been all around the road, checking out the electric towers."

"I'm right next to one. Wait, what kind of towers?"

"The big metal ones. You know."

"Mine look like letter 'T'."

"No, the other kind. The big ones."

"We're each following the wrong line. I see the high tension lines off in the distance. What road are you on?"

"The one that goes west out of town, I think."

"That's what I thought, too. I'm coming to the high tension lines."

I get up and go. Immediately I start getting messages about how I'm starving. Great, I'm going to find my buddy then die right in front of him.

I get to the high tension lines, then look for a road.

"The lines cross roads in both directions," I say.

"Just run toward the coast. We can meet on the beach."

"I don't think I'll make it that far." The starvation messages were getting more and more insistent. I might not make it ten more feet, I thought to myself. But I kept going.

"I see you!" he said.

I saw a shape in the darkness coming toward me.

"You're a chick," I said.

"Yeah, something went funny when I respawned. I don't care any more. Here's the cereal."

He dropped the cereal box. It disappeared.

We waited. The computer told me I was starving to death.

"I don't see it," I said. I moved around a little, just in case.

"Here's the rest of my sardines. I ate everything else on the way here."

He set down the sardines. They disappeared.

"I've got a can of tuna," I said. "You can open it, right?"

"Yeah, but don't give it to me here. I think we're losing stuff on this dirt. Let's go over to the road."

We relocated to the road a hundred feet away or so.

"Eraser, is there any way for him to give me the can directly?"

"Uhhh, I don't think so. You have to drop it."

I dropped it and held my breath.

"I've got it!"

"Good, my vision is going, I think."

"I don't want to take a chance of losing this. Can I force feed you?"

"I don't know. I think I'm about to pass out."

"Yes! Here you go."

I got the message that Boomer was force feeding me some tuna. Then I got it again. Then again.

"The hunger marker is back to amber now," I said.

"I'll give you the rest," said Boomer.

I got one more force feeding message.

"It's yellow now."

"Good, so is mine," said Boomer. "Eraser, which way are you coming from?"

"I'm coming in on the railroad line from the north of you guys."

"Great, we're coming your way."

I followed Boomer to the railroad tracks, then we turned left and ran.

"I see the town," said Eraser.

"We're almost out of town," said Boomer.

"I've got four open cans, ready to go."

"Good, I'm in deep amber," said Boomer.

"I'm starving again," I said. "Back into the red."

"Not far now."

"When we get there," said Boomer, "just force-feed him. Don't take a chance at losing more food."

"OK," said Eraser. "Say, how long did you guys wait for that stuff to appear?"

"It seemed like forever," I said. "Why?"

"Because when I dropped some stuff a while ago, it took like a minute for it to appear on the ground next to me."


"Boomer, I bet there's a box of cereal and a can of food out in that field."

"Yeah, you're probably right. I can't believe we lost that food. I'm in the red now, too."

"I'm coming!" said Eraser.

Eraser finally arrived at the site of our bodies. We had already respawned, neither one of us knew where. I'd been chased out of town by a guy and up into the hills before I could get my bearings. I only got a chance to stop after going over a hill, across a road, and through another small town where he had to stop and fight a zombie that jumped us. I kept running, because a second one had come out of the trees for me. Boomer was respawning for the third time, he'd been killed by bandits twice by the time I stopped running.

"Anything you want me to get off these bodies?" asked Eraser.

"No," I said. "It's not like that's my lucky hoodie or something."

"Can you save my broken flashlight?" said Boomer. "That's the only flashlight I've had that didn't get me killed--

"Dangit!" yelled Boomer.

"What?" I said.

"Someone just shot me again! Frikken' snipers!"

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #12

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #13

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #14

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #15

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #15

Daytime, City.

Respawn. I hate it. It's just so much worse an experience than it has to be.

I'm standing near some buildings, along some railroad tracks, in the who knows where. If any of my compatriots had survived, they'd now be a couple of hours' travel away. But, it was a green spray can we were up against. No survivors.

I'm on my own for a while. Nothing but a t-shirt, jeans, a flashlight and a battery to start with. I put the battery in the flashlight, so that I don't have to do it at night and...

Some guy plants a knife in my back.

Respawn. Did I mention I hate it?

I run for the nearest building. At least I'll be out of sight before I load the flashlight. This time I spawned on a road near a billboard trying to sell me a beach vacation, right on the beach. I'd comment on the bad marketing sense, but there's already just way too much gone wrong here.

In the building, I get away from the windows and hunker down. I load my flashlight, then look up.

I'm still alive.

OK, that's step 1. Now let's look around.

I find a rotten banana, and a t-shirt. Well, I can make the t-shirt useful. I tear it up into rags for bandages then stuff them into my pants.

I race to the next building. Hopefully nobody saw me.

Can opener! Good gravy, there's an honest to God can opener! Woohoo! I've never been this lucky this early before.

I grab it.

There's a can of soda pop here. Good stuff. It counts for both fluid and food, and it doesn't require an opener (though I've got one, haha!) I grab it.

Next building. I thought I saw movement out there, but after peeking out the window, I'm not seeing anything. Hopefully it was nothing.

What's this? An entire case of water bottles? No way! But it's got to be too big to carry, right? I hover my pointer over it. It says "Take Case of Water". Wow, I guess I'll have it into my hands or something till I find a backpack. I hit F and it's mine.

The back room has a scope for a rifle. Taken!

Next building yields a box of ammo and a speedloader for a .357! I cannot believe my luck! Taken!

Next house, two cans of food. Woohoo! Beans and Spaghetti. Taken!

I run for the next building. A guy in a motorcycle helmet and a clown mask pops out. He stops, then says to me, "Why are you running around in your underwear?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Look at yourself."

I pop into third person. He's right!

My pants aren't showing.

I open my inventory. There are the pants, right there.

Hey! Where's my stuff?

"You're weird," the other guy says, then runs off.

My pants show as empty in my inventory. Nothing in the pockets. No water, no food, no gun stuff, and...

I begin to choke up...

No can opener.


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


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Monday, February 10, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #14

Daytime, City

I was with two buddies, picking up some groceries before we headed out to re-stock on medical supplies. We were just doing the usual, belaying from building to building, picking up cans of food, swapping out the occasional item for something slightly less busted. You know--surviving.

Then came the call.

"Bunch of stuff in here. But look out. Spray paint can."

He tried not to over-stress it, but we all knew what that meant. We'd all lost enough characters to paint cans to learn.

"No problem," I said, "just stay cool and stay away from it and we'll be fine."

We started to file in.

"Actually," said my slightly crazier friend, "maybe we should pick it up."

We froze.

"Are you insane?"

"No, really. I picked up another paint can and it was OK."

Two of us pointed our weapons at the third.

"You've got spray paint?" we said, in unison.

"No, I dropped it..."

We both froze. I felt ice run down my spine.

"You mean," I said slowly, "there's a second spray paint can around here somewhere?"

"Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap..."

"Keep it together!" his panic steeled me. "Where is it?"

"Actually, I dropped it way back. Remember those bandits that were dogging us?"

"You mean the guys with the pair of M4s and the shoot-you-soon-as-I-can-see-you rifle?"



"Whatever. Yeah. What about them?"

"I dropped the can behind us, where they'd be sure to find it."

We were silent for a moment, then we all burst out laughing.

"Oh, man, you are too cruel!" I said. "I don't like the idea of carrying around one of those little death bombs, but what a brilliant idea."

"We haven't seen them since, have we? So I thought maybe I'd pick up this can and save it in case we need it."

"Wait, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" said my milder friend.


"There's a body back there where you dropped that can. And those guys were coming from the direction of the hospital. It's a cinch they were loaded down with medical supplies."

"So one dies, and the other two take the stuff. What's in it for us?"

"If they were all loaded down, they're going to have to leave a bunch of stuff behind. They can't take it all."

"I remember where I dropped the can. I can take us right back to it. Can't be more than five minutes."

"It's worth a look."

"OK. But no touching the spray can," I said. "You got lucky once, but let's not risk our luck."

Everyone nodded.

A short while later we were all gathered behind a bush at the foot of a long, clear slope.

"You guys thinking what I'm thinking?" I asked.

"Yeah, if some guys wasted one of my buddies and was planning on coming back..."

"...this would be the perfect place to ambush them before going back east to pick up the respawn."

"I was afraid of that," I said. "how much patience you figure these guys have got?"

"They were chasing us for over half an hour."

"But it's been over ten minutes since he dropped the can. If we'd been planning to come back, we woulda dropped it, circled around, and hit them right away, right?"

"Maybe. What are we worrying about? We've got guns."

"We've got handguns. They've got rifles. You take point."

"Why me? You take point!"

"You dropped the freaking can."

"Fine. But if I die, I'm going to haunt you before I respawn."

"OK, fine. Sheesh. The dead I can deal with."

"I'll make you feel guilty. You'll see."

"Will you just go? We want some daylight left for the hospital, you know?"

"I thought you said they cleaned out the hospital."

"The other hospital. In case we find the body and all that's on it is crap. It's an hour walk, at least."

"OK, I'm going."

We waited. Nothing happened. He made it to the top, then into the bushes. The other two of us each trotted up after the other, one at a time. We kept moving.

Then we found them.

"There's where I left the can."

There was not one, but three bodies piled there. Backpacks, guns, all intact.

"Oh, man...the can got all three of them!"

"See? See?" I said. "Those cans are too dangerous! Don't touch it! If it got them it can get us, too."

"It's at zero percent now," said my slightly crazy friend.

"Leave it alone! You've got me about crapping myself here. Just-don't-touch-it!"

"Fine, fine. I'll leave it alone. Can I have one of the M4s?"

"Go for it."

"Come to papa! I've got a Limited Edition U.S. Army Commemorative Stock with an Inlaid Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial medallion waiting in my backpack for you, sweetheart!" he lifted up the M4 and replaced his axe with it. I saw it sprout a bayonet, strap, sling, and various other things that have probably been cluttering his inventory since our trip to the airport. "Who was Lyndon Baines Johnson, anyway? Some hard-ass Army Terminator dude?"

"He was the President of the United States."


"He picked up dogs by their ears."

"Dang...Wait, wasn't he the guy that got attacked by a rabbit?"

"That was Carter. Anyone mind if I take the Mosin-Nagant?"

"Not if I get the other M4," said my milder friend.

"It's yours."

"Score! Look at all the medical equipment. Hey! His helmet's only 'Slightly Damaged'."

"Go ahead and take the upgrade, buddy," I said.

"Good-bye to my old 'Beat All To Hell with Several Bullet Holes' helmet. You've served me well," he said.

We were having the time of our lives stripping these guys. We worked our way through our stuff and their stuff. By the time we were finishing, it was sunset. But we felt as buff as could be. We'd never been so well equipped.

"Ready to kick some zombie and bandit ass?" I said, when we finally seemed to be winding down.

"Yeah. Wait a second..." my milder friend paused. "Where's the paint can?"

"Move a little bit, maybe?"

"It was right here. I was keeping my eye on it."

"I tossed it over there," said my slightly crazier friend, "to get it out of the way."

"Crap! I though we said we weren't going to touch the can!"

"I just picked it up and dropped it. No 'F' key involved. Keep your pants on."

"Well, I just wanted to know where the can was."

"Why, do you want it?"


"OK, because if you did, it's at zero percent. But I've got the other one from back in town. It's full."


"It's cool. I've got it right here. See?"

A brief scuffle ensued.


In the darkness, the bushes parted.

The Survivor, who had traveled alone from the coast looked out. He'd gone west, to get away from the madness. He had made his way this far with nothing more than a screwdriver, two cans of beans, and a hoodie. Below him now, he saw a pile of six bodies, laden with backpacks and weapons.

"Wow. M4, backpacks, helmets, it's all here! I guess this is my lucky day!"

He was wrong.

The spray paint can was still at 25%.

It was just enough.

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #12

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #13

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #15

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #16

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #13

Daytime, Evening, City

So my friend and I are all geared up and feeling good. We're hanging out near the coast still, just picking up some groceries before heading west. I brought back enough handguns for both of us, some axes and can openers and a good selection of clothing in addition to what he got on his own before we met up.

I've still got a lot of crap in my inventory, stuff I'll never need, really. Some beaten up cargo pants, an extra tactical vest in a crappy color, the screwdriver that I used to open cans with, that sort of thing.

I see movement between a couple of buildings.

"Company to the east," I say.

"On it."

We advance. A shape darts between a couple of buildings. It's a newly-spawned Survivor.

"Let's give him some of this extra crap," I say.

We go into the building. He sees us, and goes right to the floor.

"Don't kill me! Don't kill me! Take all my stuff but dear God don't kill me again, please!"

"Whoa, take it easy. We just want to give you some stuff."

"Here," the Survivor says, throwing a paint can and a beanie onto the floor. "It's all I've got. I'll give you my t-shirt and jeans, too."

"Seriously, dude," I throw down the tactical vest and cargo pants, "here, take this."

He pauses. Then the stuff disappears. He's got it.

"Are you for real?"

"Yeah. Got any food?"


I drop an opened can of beans and the screwdriver.

"Here's a can of beans opened up so you can eat them. And a screwdriver, that'll open cans for you till you get your own can opener."

"Wow, thanks!" He starts to wolf down the beans.

"Got any weapons?"

"No, just the screwdriver."

"Here," I drop our spare fire axe. "This thing goes right through zombies like you wouldn't believe."

He picks it up. "Wow, check this thing out..."

"Aaaaaah! You dirty bastards! I cut my hands off with that freaking axe! Ahhh! I'm dying! I'm dying! Damn you!"

My buddy and I look at the dead body and bloody mess.

"Wow, that was crazy," says my friend. "Let me get our stuff back. What's this can? Paint? Aaaaah! I've painted my eyeballs! I can't see! I can't see! Argh...breath...stopping....ungh."

I look at the two dead bodies. I carefully pick the pistol off my buddy's body, and get out of the city before night falls.

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #11

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #12

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #14

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #15

Saturday, February 8, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #12

Daytime, Remote Woods

A friend has joined me on DayZ. Hurray! We'll be a team. This'll be so nice. Someone to watch my back, share stuff with, we can heal each other. It'll be great. We're texting each other to communicate until we find each other in the game.

"Do you see yourself on the map, yet?"

We're using an internet mutual map tracker thingy so that we can find each other easier. It's taken half an hour of fussing around outside DayZ, but I think we're there now.

"Oh, yeah, I'm up here under the gray bar."

"OK. Wow, you're way up north. I'm heading toward you now. Just head west, first, then go south after you've gone inland a way," I say.


I'm all equipped and loaded up. I've been well to the west, where I got all the gear, and I've come back to the east where the spawn points are to meet him.

"Watch for signs. I've been navigating by dead reckoning in the dark, so I'm not sure exactly where I am, either. The map shows my best guess. There's a town up ahead, I'll find a sign and update my location once I see which one it is."


About five minutes later, the "town" turns out to be a single building, but I recognize the area. I'm at a dam north of "Electric Station".

"OK, I just updated the map," I say. "Heading due north now, I'll pass through a town soon where I can do some grocery shopping and maybe pick up some goodies for you."

"OK. It says I'm getting hungry. I've got a can of beans but it won't let me eat it."

"You need a can opener. You can also open it with something sharp."

"It won't let me use my wrench."

"I've got a can opener. But keep looking around, because I might not be able to get to you before you starve."

Five minutes later he says, "I found a sign, but I can't read it."

"I'm guessing you don't know Cyrillic?"

"No. It looks like 3Rekrn-something. Wait, there's another sign."

"What does it say?"


"Oh, hey! You're right where I was five minutes ago. Take the road toward Staroye (ctapoe), I'll come back down and meet you."


He's hungry. I open up one of my cans of beans so that I can give it to him right away when we meet. I also fill up my water bottle at a pond along the road. A short while later, I see a guy in jeans and a T-shirt running toward me.


"How do you talk like that?"

"Caps lock"


"You got it. Here, take this and eat it."

He eats the beans.

"OK, I'm not hungry any more."

"Keep eating. At least once more. You actually still have room, and it'll make you stronger. Here, have this can of tuna. Give me your can of beans, I'll open them for you."

I drop the tuna. He drops his can of beans. I get it, open it with my can opener, then drop it for him to pick up.

"OK. Now it says I'm thirsty."

"There's a pond over here. Get a drink."

"Aren't we supposed to disinfect the water somehow? I saw online that you can get sick if you drink some of the water."

"It didn't make me sick. I've never gotten sick off the water."

"It said that it can take a while sometimes. How do I drink?"

"Crouch and face the water. You might have to go in it a bit. When it says 'Drink Water', press 'F'."

"OK, just a second."

"I'm getting sick."


"I drank the disinfectant."

"What? Why did you do that?"

"I thought it said it would purify the water."

"There are purification tablets. You drank disinfectant?"

"Yeah. It says 'Chemical Poisoning' now."

"Crap. I've got a first aid kit but I don't know how to use it. Drink water."

"I did."

"Drink more. Keep drinking."

"It says I'm stuffed now." He comes out of the pond. He's crawling.

"What's happening?"

"You're barfing now. I think that's good."

"Am I still barfing?"


"What does it look like?"

"It just sort of looks like mist coming out of your mouth."

"How can I tell if I'm getting better?"

"I don't know. I'm Googling 'Dayz Chemical Poisoning' on my other system."

"My vision is fuzzy."

"Dangit, this says 'No Known Cure.' Something about water and blood loss. Can you drink more water?" He's just standing there now, looking blank.

"It says I'm unconscious."

"You're standing now."

"The screen is black. Can I do anything?"

"I'll try to give you water." I hold my water bottle and face him. The cursor says 'Force Water'. I click 'F'. A short while later, the cursor says 'Force Water' again. I press 'F' again. It doesn't come back.

"Still unconscious," he says.

"I'll refill the bottle, hang on."

I go to the pond. It says 'Drink Water'. I hit the scroll wheel. I don't see 'Fill Water Bottle'. The space where my water bottle was is a white outline now.

"My water bottle is gone!" I come out and look around for it. How did I lose it?

"Still unconscious. Am I moving?"

"No, you're just standing there."

"Darn, I was hoping you could just guide me while I was blind or something."

"I think my water bottle disintegrated. It was pretty worn, it must have worn out completely when I gave water to you with it."

"Or I dropped it, and can't see it," I said.

"Or it went into the void," I said.

"Or it's just lagged and it'll pop up any minute now. No, I think it'd be back by now. So it's gone," I said.

"OK. Now what do we do?" he says.

"I don't know," I say.

"Sorry about eating all your food before I died."

"Don't worry about it."

"Safety tip. Don't drink the disinfectant."


DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #11

Nighttime, Open Fields

I just don't care any more. I ran straight out of the city in my t-shirt, tennis shoes, and jeans with nothing. Zombies chased me up the road and wouldn't stop, but it didn't matter because I was faster. We passed a sign that said I'd come two emerods from Yekatonostril, and they were still chasing me. Hungry zombies.

I don't care. This guy is going to just die like all the rest. I'll pick up a can of beans and beat myself to death with it by accident. Or cut a major artery with a piece of paper. Or something. My money is spent and I just don't care any more. I hear there are shotguns in the game now. Maybe I'll find one and accidentally blow my foot off. I just don't care. Let's just go and see what happens.

When you stop caring, you are free.

I run across the dark fields. The stars are over me. The zombies are lost somewhere behind me, I can't see their outlines any more. I have a flashlight, but that would just attract them or one of the six other players on the server right now.

Maybe I'll run over a cliff. I just don't care. Maybe I'll starve or die of dehydration as I run. What's the difference?

I run. I run. I run.

The sun is rising. How long have I been playing?

Cripes, I've been running for hours without food or water. I haven't had a single thirsty or rumbly tummy message. Well, what the heck. There's a village. Let's check it out.

Ah, a well. I drink, drink, drink, drink, drink. I don't even stop to look around. Who cares? Tummy's full. OK, let's check out these buildings.

Here, zombies! Here, zombies! Huh. Nobody home. Well, that probably means this town's been cleared out by another player. Let's go haunt the empty houses. It doesn't matter.

Wow! Check this out! A hoodie, a backpack...a tin of sardines! Cool.

Eat, eat, eat, eat. Can's empty. No point saving some till tomorrow. Ooh, tummy is too full. So what, am I going to puke? I guess not. OK, on to the next building.

Cartridges. A magazine. Fun. I hope the bandit that kills me has a gun that can use these. I just don't care any more.

Ooh, a pipe wrench. Fire extinguisher. Medical kit? Wow! I've never found one of those before. Cool.

Cargo pants. OK, let's change pants. Gives me a chance to die with my legs bare. Here I am, in the middle of the road, dropping my stuff and taking off my pants. No zombies, no bandits. What a rip. Oh, well, here I am, being alive for now with lots of good stuff for someone to get off my body.

Water bottle and two cans of beans, OK, now I'm supplied. The barn's got what? A combat helmet and a semi-auto pistol? No way!

Whoa! The guest house has a tactical vest. It's almost done for, but hey, the pockets work. Duct tape. I've never had so much stuff.

More food. Still no zombies. A fire axe.

Wow, check this out. I'm just staring at my inventory here. Plenty of food, can opener, a spare tin that I can open by hand, medical supplies, antibiotics, bandages, an ammo can full of ammo, a handgun, a real helmet, a gas mask. Well, my time is about up for the night. Let's find a good place to log off.

This has been...pretty cool. I'm all loaded up now. OK, DayZ, I'm starting to care again. I'm done for the night, but I can't wait to log in next time and play with some of these new toys.


I can't believe what I found last game. Let's log back in, it's daytime now, maybe I can find out where I am.

Logging in...what?

I'm dead? Just...dead? Whyyyy?

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #10

Daytime, City

I've got a small stash of stuff in my cargo pants. An open can of beans in in my shirt pocket, along with some bandages. My axe made quick work of the zombie, now it's time to check this place out.

Sweet! A revolver on a shelf. Let's grab that puppy.

Cool, now I am ready, and...dang. I shot myself and I'm dead. Where the heck did that "Russian Roulette" command come from, anyway? And I wasn't even near the 'F' key.

Dangit, dangit, dangit.

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #9

Daytime, City

Huh, can of green paint here. I guess I can tag my kills. Inspect. What? Dangit. Now I've painted my face. I've blinded myself and wrecked my breathing passages.

I'm dying...

DayZ, Diaries of the Damned #1


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