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Seven days in Chernarus Part Three: Miles off

* @author Jonathan HW Halkett
* @date August 2012

Read part 1 here

It was raining heavily and I was standing atop of a castle tower; Zub, a ruin fortress I had snuck into earlier that day. From here I could see far toward Vyshnoye as dusk set in. This safehouse had plenty of food, bandages and ammunition. What it lacked was a damn gun.

I had lost mine, a double barrel shotgun I picked up in Prigorodky; the site of a bloody set of murders of which I came out on top.

Hours ago life started once again, my third on the wheel. This time I started on the coast, just east of the infamous city Chernogorsk (referred to simply as Cherno by the living few). I could see the city, but knew it would take a lot more practice before I was anywhere near ready to venture into that hell.

So I headed north toward Prigorodky. I fared well,; the zombies were dumb and the farm buildings were large. In one end with an entourage of the undead, and like drunk revellers caught in a club, you were hoping to be alone when walking out the other end.

Rinse and repeat. It seemed that if I moved between the barns and a factory building nearby then loot would magically reappear. It was a decent tactic, out of which I sported an alice pack hidden near a pumpkin patch (the second largest backpack in Chernarus) and a fiddly crossbow. A weapon which takes arrow bolts, the only ammunition you can yank back out of the zombie’s head and use again…wiping the brains off first.

It was good, leading the hungry ones into a barn and practising my archery. Headshots were the aim, it seems a bolt to the chest bothers a zombie little.

Unfortunately crossbow bolts are easy to lose. It didn’t take long before I was out of ammo, and a hatchet seemed a better swap as a primary weapon.

On my way back to the barn is where it got heavy. Two survivors ran out of the woods ahead of me. Both unarmed they moved toward the barn. Hitting the deck in a prone position I watched as the pair entered the barn unawares.

I thought that if a couple of players had teamed then there was a high chance I could join the squad.

Before I could get to them however, things turned extremely ugly. I witnessed gunshots as the two men reappeared out of the barn, one man dancing as his mate, now armed, took shots at him, reloading and shooting again.

Boom, a final blast and he was down.

“Sh****te!” I thought. Here was I, armed with naught but an axe within range of a murderous bastard who just moments before unloaded a slug into his buddy’s head for sh*ts and giggles.

Running was an option, but I knew from reputation what a gun meant in this game.

The dinner bell had been rung. Every zombie in the vicinity had heard the gunshots and came running. The killer retreated to the barn, firing shots from the safety of its indooredness, as even with a shotgun to the face a zombie doesn’t run indoors.

It seems his mate was doubly unlucky, he wasn’t in fact dead, but lay dying. Before he could wake up and get back on his feet the zombie horde had broken up to finish him off. Eating him alive before he had the courtesy to perish.

Waiting, I considered my situation. Using third person to view the adjacent massacre I pondered that when the last zombie fell, the killer would need to take…inventory. A great distraction for the budding axe murderer.

When the guns fell silent I crept toward the barn, again using third person to view inside the doors. I found him crouched over a pile of spawned ammunition amidst a sling of corpses, as expected, completely engrossed in his inventory.

I buried the hatchet into the back of his skull with a satisfying click (or five). The shotgun was mine! And with 4 rounds of ammo it wasn’t too shabby.

So my adventure would continue a day later after I had made my way north west, past a pond in the hills and to a place I thought was on the doorstep of Mogilevka. I had a crossbow, a makarov pistol and a shotgun.

Food was the main concern, and in this place I had my first taste of …canned pasta. The first tinned food I had discovered in DayZ to slake the hunger pains.

Zub fortress was in fact where I sat, believing that perhaps there were some features of Chernarus not recorded on the maps.

When I explored the ruin and nearby cottage I discovered ammunition and supplies, but in my haste to swap out a torch and hatchet I was introduced to one of the games many bugs.

If your primary weapon is bigger than the space in your backpack, it disappears. And when a handgun is placed on the floor there’s a chance it won’t be found ever again either. Both events happened to me and the disappointment was palpable.

Here I was, standing atop Zub tower with a torch and hatchet in the failing light where was once an arsenal of close combat gear.

In the dark I played with the torch mechanics, trying to negotiate the stairs of the tower on my way down. I had to explore for more weapons and zombies were easier to sneak past in the dark.

Nobody told the population of Vyshnoye this though as I closed in on the town using the small cone of light from my torch. The horde had been spooked and trading torch for crossbow in the dark I stood little chance of getting a headshot firing crossbow bolts into the night.

In total darkness I died, listening to zombie groans, footsteps and my characters wails of agony.

Part 4 here

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