Dawn of a new era
This is a second part of Namalsk stories series. If you want to read the previous one, click here.
When I saw that woman in Primorsk, I knew there was something seriously wrong. A biological hazard maybe. The shipping containers with the emergency relief supplies, perhaps something really bad leaked around the area. While probably too late, I have tried to disinfect everything after the encounter and managed to grab a face mask in one of the lockers I have found on my way through the forests, surrounding Primorsk. The way I took was mostly in the middle of a pine forest, rather flat terrain. I have figured out that while my supplies last, I should rather avoid going into any settlement in the area. Found a tourist map too, funnily enough, it looked like I was at the hearth of a tourist destination in the Black Sea. I have chuckled a bit, but it ended rather hysteric than anything else. Not far from the place I was, there was a hill called Bornyy. I have figured out I may as well get some height advantage to look around.
The weather remained clear over the day. Things sure got heavier when climbing the hill, but I have eventually managed to got on top of the hill before the sun reached horizon. I was rewarded by almost 360 view around the area. The Bay of Machovo looked calm, but the city of Primorsk in distance was still partially covered with a smoke. There was plenty of wilderness on north, some castle called Bezdez on east and bunch of small settlements and industrial sites in between. Smoke was coming from several smaller settlements around too. This meant that the problem was certainly much larger than just the town and the surrounding harbour.
I was not sure what to do next. If something went wrong in the area, perhaps the government tried to seal it. Looking at the map, the most logical step would be to try get north, perhaps I can bump into some living friendly being, ideally speaking Russian since Chernarus (as former SSSR) is sharing borders with Russia. But before I have really had a chance to think about it more, sun set and then the events of that day finally got me, I have fallen asleep.
Waking up to the mornings sun, the smell of the pine trees, hearing the birds around – for a moment, I thought the events of yesterday were really just a dream. But a quick reality check has reminded me of the hand gun, hidden under my jacket. Speaking of dreams, I thought that they may uncover something from the 2 year hiatus of my own, but I just don’t remember even having a dream. My guess I was just too tired to even dream.
First, I had to pick a direction I will walk right after I finish the breakfast. Going north through the Ralsko area seemed like a no brainer to me. The area seem to be old military area, mostly opened to public now with bunch of industrial sites scattered around. I should avoid the city of Ralsko itself, but may want to get to a nearby hill, just to get an idea of scale of this disaster. While I started measuring the distance and looking which trails I could use to navigate, I thought I heard something.
A helicopter, I was not hallucinating. There it was, flying over the bay. I have decided to not to follow my friendly instincts this time. Last time it got me almost killed. Since the upper part of Bornyy was rather small and open, I quickly packed things up and headed north.
Luckily, the helicopter was flying eastern direction, perhaps to the coast or Lyutyi island I found earlier on the map. Frankly, the helicopter disappearing was actually a huge relief to me as I am not sure what I am going to do when I will bump into another person. The explosions at the harbour, the gun fire, the bullet wounds on police officer. Honestly, it does not seem that this is just about some nasty disease affecting the local population.
First half of the day was behind me and walk through the wilderness has put me in a better mood except the fact I have sprained my ankle when climbing down the Bornyy hill. I blame the helicopter for making me almost run downhill. Nothing too serious, but always annoying when it happens. This will slow me down through the rest of the day.
I have got lucky for the weather again and even though its early autumn, it still was relatively warm. The nature here is really amazing, very different from what I am used to see. Pine forest mixed with older broadleaf forests, full of sandstone formations of various sizes. And the smell of it, I could be staying here all day. Except I couldn’t really.
I have bumped into a good look out position and have noticed a massive air strip in front with a village next to it. The whole area seemed to be abandoned for quite some time (not just very recently), so figured out I will try to scout through the village. Upon a closer look, seems like there is a whole air base hidden in massive pine and birch overgrowth. By walking further north, I bumped into a coal power plant, which seemed to be actually quite new, but it was certainly not operational at the moment. That got me wondering, is the electricity even running in here? The harbour in Primorsk certainly did not have one working and I have not seen any lights around me from Bornyy either. The village of Borek itself was probably abandoned not too long ago, no sign of any people though. I have stumbled across a bus stop, which had some newspapers laying on the bench.
This is where the reality check came in. The news papers were from 2nd of October, so probably few weeks old. But the things I have read in there. Apparently, this is how it looks pretty much everywhere. Something has struck the whole world. Some kind of a virus or something. It targets a specific parts of brain, altering human behaviour, turning them essentially into raging animals with unnatural stamina. Some people are thought to be immune against it, but given a very quick collapse, there has not been much learnt about it yet. And if so, it would certainly not be in these news papers. There is a list of a safe local strongholds, but it really begs a question how safe are they at this point. There are various pieces covering events in the whole world and also one mentioning NATO regaining a control over Namalsk. This got my attention, because that name is oddly familiar to me. But why?