This is a third part of Namalsk stories series. If you want to read the previous one, click here.
I was sitting at the bus station, wondering if my family in Vladivostok is still alive. Trying to wrap my head around what happened to me in past two years and then suddenly, I hear something behind me. And then more, looks like someone walking. I get my hand gun and peek behind a corner. I see a woman slowly walking towards one of the houses. Her movement was generally calm, did not seem dangerous. Shed had some hunting rifle on her back and empty hands. I have decided to talk to her.
I went for an English hello as that seemed most appropriate. She quickly turned around and reaching for her rifle. I told her, again in English, that I have no intention to shoot. She looked a bit confused, but probably understood. She replied in Russian “put that gun away and we can talk”.
Her name was Krista. She could be like 50-60 years old, definitely looked like she has seen something over past few weeks. Given her accent, you could tell she was local. There were lot of oddities in her Russian, but we could talk to each other without much issues. She told me that she has been wandering around Chernarus for a while now, the situation is not good, but given her extensive outdoor survival and hunting skills, she had little troubles adapting to a life of a nomad. She however asked me if I have had any “normal” food, because she was eating rabbits for past few weeks. I gave her a can that I have found in the relieve supplies. She asked me how did I get here and well, she immediately got very confused, which I understand given the circumstances.
Apparently, she have seen plenty of the infected people, had to defend herself bunch of times, but she was not wearing any protection during those, yet she did not really seen any signs of the virus on herself. From what she knew, the incubation time is matter of hours, not days. This would confirm the info that I have got in the newspaper. Very likely that I am also one of the people somewhat resistant, or just lucky (or unlucky?).
When I told her about my plan to get to my country, she chuckled a bit. I asked why, but she quickly apologized and gave me a reality check: things no longer work anywhere. The society has collapsed. If you are lucky and you bump into some bigger functioning group, you may want to get the hell out of there, because people tend to do crazy things to stay alive now. I have asked her about the helicopter sighting I had earlier, she told me she has seen it too few times, not really knowing more though.
I asked her if anyone knows how this started. Her switched to her confused look again and told me that nobody really knows except the fact that one day, people accross the whole world started getting sick. It just appeared everywhere suddenly. Nobody had really that much time to react. Some suspect that the war between NATO and CSAT/Chinese in Aleutian Basin has something to do with it. But then again, why would someone just want to fuck things up this bad?
The moment she mentioned Aleutian Basin, I stopped listening to her and fallen into deep thoughts. Isn’t that where that Namalsk is? Why does this sounds way too familiar to me?
I felt soft bump into my shoulder, Krista was asking me what happened, why am I so frozen? I have apologized, just my mind trying to remember what I have been doing in my past. She indeed respected that as she was probably feeling sorry for me.
By that time, it was getting quite late. I have figured out I may stand higher chances if I stay with Krista. She was not really against it and so we have found a shelter within the village and decided to get some sleep before tomorrow. Krista told me she would want to try some hunting of a bigger animal so we could have plenty of food for both of us. She told me about hideout, where she can store the rest of the meat in a freezer for later use.
It was an odd experience to see another person in this chaos, but she seemed trustful. Maybe the world is not that fucked up. I have fallen asleep and surprisingly started dreaming. I was standing on a relatively bare grassy landscape, with oddly shaped mountains far away and with a huge gas giant in the background. It felt really surreal, but the real life now does too. So what is the difference?
Then I suddenly woke up, hearing a vehicle quickly stopping on the road next to the house we stayed. It was around 1 hour before sunrise. Krista was already awake, holding her rifle and carefully peeking out of the window to see what is happening. I have got my hand gun out too, waiting on what is going to happen.
We hear from outside car door smashing, multiple footsteps, some voice saying secure the perimeter. We also hear a drone flying in the air now. Krista gave a me look and was very silently asking are these guys here for you?
I peeked the window, seen a black transport vehicle and 3 soldiers in almost full black gear, automatic rifles in their hands. The drone was flying above the village now, probably scouting for any thermal movement. She told me about the back entrance and that we should run for our lives on her mark. Before I turned around, Krista aimed at the drone and shot it down. That caused an immediate panic on both sides.
The moment she shot, it was very clear for the soldiers outside where to look for us, they rushed to the building we were in, breaching the door with explosives. By the time they were in, we were already out and running in the backyard, trying to loose the line of sight in between them and us. They will surely notice the backyard doors though.
I do not think I have ran ever faster than this. Krista was surprisingly agile for her age and showed no sign of tiredness. We went past second house, then third house. For a second, I thought we may have actually done it, but that was really a short time thinking, those soldiers were still running after us. One of them decided to slow us down by spraying the general direction we were running away with his automatic rifle. Nobody got hurt, but it sure had an effect. After the deafening suppression fire stopped, I have clearly heard a helicopter approaching the area.
Shortly after that, we have bumped into rather an open centre part of the village. There was nowhere to hide except a small store in front of us. The soldiers were still somewhat unable to get on top of us, we ran past few abandoned cars into the store. Just as I was turning around to see if Krista is behind me, heavy rumble from the helicopter above started and everything around was shaking. Krista was at the store entrance, when I have seen her getting shot into her back. There was nothing I could do, she dropped dead on the store floor. I have screamed, grabbed her rifle and shot at the soldiers, which just showed up on the street. Then I hear a very high pitch sound and huge explosion. Few moments later, helicopter dropped on one of the houses across the street.
I was not waiting for anything now, there was a back entrance in the store, ran towards it and into the nearby forest as fast as I could. Turned my head around once more. There was a huge smoke coming out of the village now, nobody was chasing me.
I ran more.