Seven days in Chernarus Part Five: Patience is a virtue best learned
Start at Part 1 here
Shock horror, my eyes opened once more on the shores of Chernarus. Another day, another life had started over in the world of DayZ.
Pulling myself up on the sand, creeks in my joints and the faint suggestion of bite marks all over; I took in my surroundings.
I purveyed the southern coast once more; Cherno to my left, Prigorodky directly north. With old memories of bloody operations in this place there was no question which direction I should take and which course of action.
Shuffling to my feet, dusting myself off, I started my day.
Somewhere nearby, a man (we’ll name Bob) scratched his head and stood up from morning prayer at his local congregation. Ignoring the lump of rotten flesh which was now stuck under his finger nails, he (as though eternally drunk) made his way home back to his farmstead. Nodding to Father Semanov’s corpse he exited the church and stopped.
Farmer Bob was a zombie. Home was that way… it would be morning before Bob’s brain would realise, no, home’s actually the other way.
I raided the familiar Prigorodky for all it’s worth, which today netted me only some food and ammunition… ammunition for weapons I hoped in good faith would drop into my hands soon enough.
With hours spent in the wilderness, scraping pitiful loot from an agricultural community, I deemed the time had come to take a little risk and make moves on the hottest region I’d been avoiding for days.
Chernogorsk, a city many go into and few survive.
Although filled with it’s snap-happy population ready to feast on many a travellers weary bones, the threat here was not in fact the undead. Survivors a little more adept and certainly more armed used the hills around Cherno as a perch for live target practice.
Even as I sat in the woods just north of the city, I could hear gunshots emanating from the hills. Many a would-be survivor has been gunned down here without due cause. If there was ever a logic behind the killing of the few, it was simply as part of an arms race.
‘Keep the noobs as noobs and the hills won’t fill with competition.’
I had made my way into a barn (go figure) which allowed me some cover from the shambling horde. From here I could see a church, and my next move.
Keeping on the north side of the road I approached the bridge separating countryside from the city’s outskirts. Sliding down into the slope here I eyed up the area.
In the corner of my eye I saw them, up in the woods a survivor sprinted eastward. Going prone I hoped he was one of two things: unobservant or unarmed. Not so lucky. As I went prone, so did he. This was a marksman, sniper rifle in hand.
I’d been spotted and the third person camera ensured I could confirm it. He remained prone on the hillside just at the tree line. Waiting, patiently for me to pop my weary head up for a wee peek.
I didn’t give him the opportunity of a one-shot, but my problems were only just starting. Shambling in my direction, a walker cometh; a farm hand who in life had tasted his fair share of good food, his wobbling frame sporting a big belly.
I insisted in not being his next easy meal, but my options were timing out. Either make a move and risk the sniper’s bullet, or remain and risk the zombies stomach.
By this point a question was going through our snipers mind. ‘Did I actually see someone, or was that just my imagination?’
He was waiting for my imminent zombie friend to confirm it. As the seconds passed and the undead footsteps trod closer I imagined the sniper focusing down his scope waiting for that moment when the spooked 6 foot pigeon would spring up and attempt to fly away.
Farmer Bob wobbled along dragging his foot through the grass as he laboured on toward home. The birds chirped and the rabbits hopped merrily across the field. Flowers bloomed bright colours of red, yellow, blue and indigo in the sun which brightened up his vision in a bloom of light and joyous sunshine.
Happy was Bob’s mood; it was a brand new day and things were beautiful; Cough, splutter, groan. He winked and nodded to a man sat prone in the grass who Bob imagined tipped his hat in return “Good day sir!”…”Evenin!”.
Shambling on, Farmer Bob continued his journey homeward.
The sniper, now a little more sure he’s made a mistake, picked up his rifle and progressed along the hillside. My rotten dinner guest did me a favour and was now far enough away himself.
Here we go, time to make a break for the church walls I think. Peeking over at my potential assassins position and direction; He was looking the other way as he ran. I waited and made my move…
…right at the moment he turned to double check.
Rising from the grassy slope took the same amount of time for him to drop into position. Sprinting without consideration of the horde I made for the sanctuary of the church wall.
Snap!…the bullet hit something next to me, he had fired and missed, but it was too late to try again, I had made it behind the church. Cautiously scoping him from the opposite side to see his next move.
I needn’t have worried, the bastard had made such a noise with that one bullet that I had to laugh to myself…the killer was now hoofing it back up the hill with every zombie a mile around right behind him. Zombies passed me by as I hid myself against the church wall. You could imagine them bumping my shoulders as they pushed past like they’d missed the train.
He’d cleared every threat in the vicinity for me, but hell I’d figured looting a corpse for a sniper rifle would be easier than making another move on Cherno.
I’d reached the top of the hill, emerging safely on the other end of the forest. ‘eh!?’ Where was he? There was no sign of him running away in the open field ahead.
Snap!… ‘crap!!’, he’d won his life from the hungry dead and had spotted me before I could spot him. I’m usually good in a sniper duel on games like battlefield, but this was ridiculous. He’d gunned down the horde and composed himself without giving away his position.
Going prone and leaving the area I hung out at the top of the hill for 5 minutes. Spent 10 minutes raiding a nearby barn and returned.
The wind was blowing a cool fresh breeze. The trees waved slowly and the grass whistled calmly as if the world was at peace.
Crouched I proceeded over the side of the hilltop back into the woods. If the killer was still here, by now he would have gotten bored and focused back on Cherno. If…if I found him with his back turned laying prone with his sniper scope up to his eye crossing onto his next victim I’d…
Twas the last thought to cross my brain before my brain crossed the woods.
With one bullet he took me down, permanently. This pigeon was now in the brush waiting for the dogs.
The sniper had taught me that this was indeed a game of patience, certainly not a game like battlefield where life is cheap and mistakes easily turned around.
Life here is precious and patience a virtue worth more than bullets when weighed against such a costly thing as your mortality, here in Chernarus.
Part 6 here