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An Average Day in DayZ

This article is meant to simulate what it might be like to live an average day in the world of DayZ. DayZ is a standalone videogame currently available on the Steam gaming platform in alpha early-access release, based on a previous mod to the game Arma 2. The premise of the game is that players are among the last survivors on earth after some infectious apocalyptic outbreak, which has destroyed society and left most survivors as mindless and dangerous zombie like-creatures.

Mike's Day

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Before the war, Mike had enjoyed a good life. Not an opulent life by any means, but he was always comfortable, and he had always been able to provide for his family. His wife had be claimed by the first wave of the infected, back when the army thought they could handle the situation. They were very wrong. Mike took his children through the woods in a desperate bid to reach the safety of his cabin in the mountains. Along the way, his daughter ate a piece of spoiled fruit and became violently ill, and she died before he could get her to a hospital. His son fell victim to an infected a week later. Mike was devastated, and fled to his cabin in the mountains filled with rage and fear.

This morning, Mike awoke with pain in his stomach. His supply of Pipsi and canned spaghetti was running low, and he knew that at long last he was going to need to head back to the nearest town in search of food. He holstered his damaged pistol and grabbed an axe and a shotgun and began the long southeastern trek to the local metropolis where he hoped he could find some aid. Above all, though, Mike feared other humans. Zombies were trouble, to be sure, but they could be dispatched with ease. Zombies also had the distinct advantage of never being surprising. True, they had been able to sneak up on Mike and steal his son and wife from him, but by now Mike knew what to listen for, and without any doubt of what the zombies were after he could eliminate them before they truly proved to be a risk.

After the government released the bug, there was talk on the radio of imminent victory. Then that talk turned to doubt and fear. Soon, reports began to surface that the bug had mutated to evade the local vaccine programs. One day, there was no more talk. Anarchy had reigned since that day, and those who tried to provide to their fellow man often fell victim to them. The collapse of society allowed base fears to rise to the surface and enabled people to justify ruthless actions. It was these spiteful gangs of bandits that Mike feared the most. He knew they would be patrolling the military base that lay between him and his destination, but he also knew that he was low on ammunition and that was the only place to find more.

As he crept through the woods around the periphery of the base, he heard a cracking noise behind him. With the agility of a hunter trained in forest warfare, Mike was able to roll onto his back and thrust his gun into the gut of the masked man behind him.

“Don't shoot! I didn't come here to kill you!” exclaimed the stranger. “If I wanted to kill you I would have shot you miles ago. I'm just trying to find some allies out here; surviving alone is treacherous.”

“Drop your gun to the ground and get on your knees” growled mike.

The stranger complied, and Mike rose to his feet to remove the mask, while keeping the gun trained on the man at all times. With a quick flick of his wrist, the clown mask was cast aside, revealing a wholly unremarkable man that Mike had never seen before.

“Name?”'

“Evan”

“I'm going into this military base Evan; I need bullets and any other supplies I can find. I expect to run into bandits, and I mean to kill them before they kill me. You can come if you want, but if not then I suggest you run the other way right now”

“I'll come with you, but first let me share some food and water with you”.

The two men crouched behind a set of bushes near the outskirts of the base, and shared their meager supplies to energize themselves for any potential fight they might encounter. When they were fully prepared, they approached the nearest set of barracks. Mike agreed to stand watch outside while Evan quickly cleared the rooms inside and grabbed any worthwhile loot. They were able to quickly clear the four nearby barracks, and in the process they found several cans of food, a new backpack, and a first aid kit. With the barracks cleared and no bullets of bandits encountered, the pair turned themselves to the central building in the compound that loomed in a nearby courtyard.

The two story tall brick behemoth appeared far more ominous that anyone living before the days of the war could have possibly imagined. Though it contained no more than ten or twelve rooms, any of those rooms could contain a group of bandits with guns drawn, waiting for their next victims to approach. In order to maximize their chances of success, the pair began to slowly creep into the building to minimize the likelihood that anyone might hear them approach. Mike peered into the rooms downstairs and saw no people, alive or dead. Evan began to work his way towards the stairs. Just as Evan rounded a corner, Mike saw that a door at the end of the hallway was ajar even though he hadn't touched it.

“Shit, get down!” He screamed, too late, as a shot rang out and Evan's limp body toppled down the stairs. Mike ducked behind the stairs and held his shotgun, finger on the trigger ready to kill. He heard the group of killers talking above him, their voices only intermittently audible. Where there two? Three?

“…another one to… watch the… go…”

They were coming down the steps! Mike saw the door, but knew there was no way he could make it there without directly crossing their line of fire. Resigning himself to his fate, Mike thought of his wife, his son, his daughter, and all those that had gone before him. He was ready to see them again, in whatever afterlife might await him. He burst from cover and fired two shotgun blasts into the nearest bandit's chest, splattering the wall with his blood and leaving him sprawled on top of Evan's still corpse. As he sprinted to the door, a thunderclap suddenly enveloped Mike's head. As the bullet entered his brainstem, his hands dissolved away in a gray fog and he felt his head flying forward towards an infinite expanse of nothingness. He was ready to see his family again. And the world faded to darkness.

Mike awoke on the edge of the ocean. He sputtered to life in disbelief. He had no idea where he was, nor how he had come to be there. He remembered the firefight, he could still feel the searing pain of his death, but he distinctly knew that now he was alive once more. As he looked around, hoping to see lost loved ones, his heart filled with despair. The shoreline was empty, except for a pair of zombies that were limping towards him, their mouths filled with gaping horror. If this was the afterlife, then Mike had been dead since the war began.

He screamed.


Flash Fiction | Video Game


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