(Written in the first-person by Yuri Górski in his native tongue, but for our readers convenience it will be in English)
An alarm was ringing, the lights were dim and my head was spinning. I had a difficult time breathing. I noticed there was a respirator attached to my face. When I tried to remove it, my lungs would burn. Air was thick with some sort of gas, similar to sulfur-oxide bicarbonate. As I gathered myself and arose to my feet. Out of the darkness, attackers rushed me, yelling something in a foreign tongue. I pointed my sidearm at these perps and squeezed off a round by instinct. The clip was empty. As I fell to the ground from the gas, one of their attackers handed me a cup of water. I lowered my guard, this act of kindness took me by surprise. Before I could assess my surroundings. There was a commotion at the airlock door and some of these militia people ran out. That’s when I encountered it
It was dusk outside, but through the dying light, there was a massive man. What I gathered was a man. As he got closer to the airlock, its face was melted similar to a burn victim it had no real facial features. This was right out of horror, I was paralyzed with fear. Two of my prior foes ran out of the airlock to stand off against this faceless man. They cut and stab him an unhuman amount of times yet the faceless man didn’t appear to be slowing his advance. Was he the reason the alarms were blaring? I found a lead pipe, which in the coming days would become my friend, and laid pipe into this monster. The 3 of us were overpowered. The shielded man was seriously injured and he was carried inside. They were yelling something at me but I couldn’t understand. I held the airlock closed to buy them time. The monster overpowered my strength and pried open the airlock. He swiped me with a claw or fist and sent me across the room. The faceless monster was inside. When all was lost in my momentary existence and all hope was gone. This makeshift party of militia returned. They finished off the faceless man and rescued the shield barrier from his demise. Though I couldn’t understand the conversations among themselves. However, they made no hostile actions toward me.
Clean air and monkey business
I followed the militia into a large open concrete hall. They were speaking very quickly, Italian perhaps or English, I wasn’t sure. 3 of them grabbed benches and broke them apart. I was gestured by their leader Jax to follow them outside. As we circled to the outside of the building there was a massive hole in the side of the ventilation unit. That’s when it dawned on me the alarm must have had something to do with air recyclers and the gas I was breathing. This must have been a result of the faceless man trying the get inside. The group broke down into specialized roles. Few were mending the hole and others watched for danger with guns and bows ready to fire. That’s when I encounter the second threat. Gosh darn monkeys! There was screeching and hooting heard from the darkness. Then wave after wave of these darn monkeys would appear. These animals must have had rabies or something it was unnatural for these monkeys to try and kill our group. For every monkey we killed another would appear. The group was getting worn down. Luckily, the vent was fixed and as we moved inside one of the monkeys dropped a bag. The airlock closed with a key card. A key card I had in my pocket with my name on it.. what is this? I thought.
As I followed the group into the large hall a second time. The alarm stopped and the air vapour started to clear up. One by one the party would remove their masks. I followed suit. Only a faint smell remained in the air for the next hour or so. I sat down with them at what appeared to be a work table. They removed the filter from their masks and scrubbed it clean. This looked simple enough to do so I followed their action. The whole time they were talking to me about something unintelligible and I nodded in response. Cleaning another party member’s filter and this pleased my capturers. When all the filter cleaning was done. They brought out the bag from the monkey. There was a bloodied ID sleeve, a locked chest, and a monkey math problem. Which may have been a calculus equation. The group struggled to solve this basic math problem. Hours passed and every attempt at opening the lock failed. Finally, sleep deprivation presented a solution. They broke open the chest with a knife. All sorts of items were in the chest. They would sort all these items and place them into a storage unit. Then leave it open, I’ll rob these fools in the morning and be off into the sunrise. This was my first thought. I followed Max a field medic to a dorm where I found an empty bunk.
Time to leave
I awoke from my slumber in my bunk. For the first moment, it felt normal before reality clicked in. I followed the long corridor back to the main hall. Breakfast was waiting for me and a magical drink dispenser. Every combination imaginable of beverage except alcohol. I picked up a few words as the group was planning out their day. They were definitely speaking English. More would join their ranks as the morning progressed. Their artificial Lifeform “AL” showed me how to operate the airlock with my ID card. The group was around a large hand-drawn map planning their next objective. At the same time, I was planning my escape. I would follow them on this errand and slip away when no one was looking. As the group was preparing to leave I did the same. With a new filter, we were out of the airlock. Within 10 feet of the airlock, the noxious gas was lingering and it appeared to get thicker the further out I got. This would limit my time to the life of the filter. As the group made its way to a distant building we were once again attacked by darn monkeys. After clearing the way into the entrance of a building there was a combination lock and a dead computer. The group was running out of airtime and couldn’t open the combination lock. An opportunity presented itself when 2 men in banana suits were carrying a body bag in the distance. The fighters ran off after the 2 men. I look towards the forest, I could be gone in seconds. Then what? I only had 10 minutes of clean air and those monkeys were still out there. Disappointed in my options, I followed the group back to the bunker.
Stupid game, stupid prizes
I provided value to the group by cleaning their filters yet again.. in fact, cleaning filters seemed to be one of those important daily tasks I would find myself doing. I would pick up a new word here and there from the group. They were trying to have a dialogue with me however it seemed like only their robot understood me. That’s when I knew I might as well just accept this lot as my own as living solo out in the waste would be to my peril. Brice handed me a couple of rounds for my revolver. I attempted to lighten the mood by playing a game with them. A fun innocent game. Single round in the gun, spin it, and shoot. Drink laugh and repeat. So I spun the revolver and pointed it at my head. I think they were yelling, cheering me on. So I pulled the trigger. I woke with Val patching up my head. Luckily my aim is really bad and the round just grazed my skull. They took away the remainder of my rounds. But our next outing was on the horizon and I’d soon get them back.
Does Yuri know stuff?!
The group managed to solve the combination for the door, we trekked out a second time into the stink. Made it there and the darn monkeys were yet again uninviting. The new code worked instantly and the group would work its way into the building. They looked through the rooms looking for scrap and questionable edibles. One of the party members Patrikcus was some computer wiz. He managed to get that old computer beeping and bopping quickly. Though most of what he was doing escaped me, on one of the monitors there was a periodic table and some basic formulas. I verbalized the chemical formula as if it was a grade school test. This made Patrikcus pleased and he shouted out to the rest of the team about my narcotics knowledge. I can only assume they would like me to produce downers for them to be able to rest in these stressful times.
Don’t bear the lake house
On another “Excursion,” the group was looking for food since rations were running low. Jax and Cletus had managed to track down a bear. We got some fresh filters, then there was a long trek through the woods down some hills and an open lake. There was a small dock and a boathouse. This was very peaceful and made me reflect on the world. They must be a way to push back this gas so we can enjoy the world. Moments later we encountered the bear. It was a bad news bear. It was a long and difficult fight. I wasted all my ammunition on the bear. Finally, we were able to kill it. However, as we were dragging the carcass back to the bunker. A darn vulture kept trying to steal our kill. It was such a grueling endeavor to get a little bear paw soup. Even the little things I have come to appreciate more.
We are leaving shortly to go to some nearby building I think the group is saying that it is another silo. Not sure. I can hear a piano playing in the great hall. The aroma of Ceci’s delicious cooking floats gingerly in the air. I’m sure we are leaving shortly. I should finish up here. Although my group doesn’t understand me, maybe one day they will be able to read this journal.