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This will be home to some of the best content members of the DUG community create. Expect to see a story spotlight roughly every two weeks along with other community creations such as music, videos, and graphics. Community Spotlight content will be our favorite new content on our Community Subreddit, so get out and start creating!
Our first spotlight is a story titled ‘Page Seventy-Eight’ from Incinatus aka Blake Tirty of the Forsaken Loyalists. It can be viewed by members here or enjoyed by all below! For our newer players and members, be sure to join our Discord, follow us on Twitter and Apply to our Whitelist so you can keep up to date with all the happenings regarding our server and community!
Page Seventy-Eight – Blake Tirty of Forsaken Loyalists
An improvised wooden panel was the only thing separating the dilapidated homestead from the outside world. Haphazardly constructed from pieces of scrap wood, it offered little resistance as it was pushed aside; scraping the floor in its final act of defiance. The inside of the homestead was equally oppressing. A thick mixture of dust and grime covered every exposed surface, while small pellets of rodent excrement littered the ground. A dense array of cobwebs inhibited free movement, although their owners had since long moved on.
The narrow beams of light filtering through the cracks of the boarded-up windows offered little illumination or comfort to the man now standing alone in the darkness, having returned the flimsy panel to its original position. The young biker adjusted his patterned green facemask, ensuring it covered his nose. It was a habit at this point. It still hadn’t really sunk in that he’d lost his sense of smell some months ago. His eyes slowly traversed the room, finding little evidence that this single-room house was ever anyone’s home. The bed in the corner of the room, however, finally drew his attention.
Unlike the rest of the house, the bed was in marginally better condition. There was at least some evidence that someone once used it, although the layers of dust indicated that even that time had passed some months ago. His eyes kept scanning. A teddy bear stared back at him from behind a small collection of books. It reminded him of Mr. Teddy, a gift from his older brother, nearly two decades ago by this point. Blake Tirty allowed himself to smile for a second, reminiscing over happier times. Could a family have lived here? Did they survive the initial infection, and lived long enough to barricade their home? Were they killed or did they leave? Did they… turn? He forced his mind to snap back to focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
Blake moved towards the bed and kneeled next to it, reaching underneath, searching. He found it. The floorboard, uncharacteristically clear of any dust, shifted easily, revealing a large wooden box. He pulled it out of its hiding place, and blew away the dust, revealing the text carved into the wood.
“Property of the Forsaken Loyalists Motorcycle Club. Hands off, and fuck off.”
Beneath the lid sat an old black waterproof bag. Opening it, he took out fifteen notebooks in various conditions of use. Some of the books were old and no longer used, while others were relatively fresh; constructed from high-quality scavenged bindings and paper. He picked up each one individually, reading the title and methodically placing them aside until he found the book he was looking for. It’s one of the new ones, he mused, but it’s already seen a fair amount of use.
“Forsaken Loyalists MC Operational Ledger: Redacted”
Against standard practice, the customer’s name had been deliberately omitted from the title – the club unanimously voted for it. Their dealings with this particular client were to be untraceable, the detail within, to be kept to the absolute minimum. Blake transferred his notes about the week’s dealings into the ledger. Six hundred rounds of ammunition changed hands – payment to be collected at a later date. He wondered how much death the club had indirectly caused. It didn’t really matter. The conflicts of South Zagoria were one of the most profitable drivers of trade. War is good for business, and business is booming.
Having finished his first assigned task, Blake returned the book to the drybag; his hand met a smaller green waterproof bag, resting at the bottom, somehow having escaped his original notice. He was curious, it wasn’t rigid, meaning it didn’t hold any trade ledgers. The zipper resisted defiantly at first, but eventually rapidly gave way, a small cloud of dust escaped with the sharp movement, invading the man’s eyes. If he could still smell, he probably would have recognized the odor of burnt ash. After wiping his eyes, he peered into the small dry sack containing small bits of scorched leather and burnt paper. He pulled out a relatively whole piece of cracked leather, wiping off the soot and revealing a title similar to the previous books.
“FMC Operational Ledger: The Guardians of South Zagoria“
He raised an eyebrow, Altradoran had said that the original FMC ledgers were long gone, and here was the definitive evidence of it. The stories that these pages would have been able to tell would surely cause numerous scandals, if anyone involved was still around to care. He closed the bag, wondering why they were still keeping these unreadable fragments around. Blake carefully returned thirteen books to the black bag.
The one remaining book was simultaneously the most aged and most frequently used copy in the collection. The pages were fairly tattered and it was obvious that the binding had been replaced many times, with more pages added as time required. Blake flicked to a random page and began reading to get a sense of the task that lay ahead.
21/01/2021 thru 27/02/2021:
- Construction equipment consisting of four sledgehammers, four hundred nails, four sharpening stones. Weaponry including two grenades, one KA-74 and one LAR magazine.
- Received “store credit”.
27/02/2021 thru 13/04/2021:
- One fully operational vehicle, one barrel, four medium tents, four canopy tents, one thousand four hundred nails, one plate carrier, one set of pouches, one VSD, four VSD magazines, one customised jacket. Somewhere between ten to twenty sets of assorted construction tools.
- Received “store credit”.
Joe Fraser was right. Even a brief glance at the records showed that the books were severely… unbalanced. The grace period had ended. It was time to cash in on the club’s accumulated “store credit”. Blake began from page one, and began the long task of summarising the goods that had flowed between the two groups, mostly in one direction.
\* \* \*
“…two KA-74s… and one… red plaid skirt?”
The silence that followed the summarised contents of the ledger was deafening. The man standing before the club was clearly unaware of the sheer extent of the debt they owed. That in itself wasn’t too surprising, the club habitually kept hyper-accurate records of its dealings. No bullet was unaccounted for. Most customers weren’t quite as diligent, and these people were no exception. In this case, their boundless greed meant they never stopped to think about what exactly five VSD magazines might cost them in the future. The bikers let the silence sit for some time, basking in its discomfort. Their client was forced to stew in his thoughts.
The man hesitated before replying, his tone clearly indicating that he was testing the waters, unsure about how the rest of the conversation might go.
“So… Do you want this repaid, item for item?”
Joe was quick to reply, barely letting a moment pass.
“No. We’ve got another idea for how you can repay us”.
The client seemed quite relieved once the offer was explained. It was a fairly simple agreement. He eagerly agreed, despite needing to clear it with the rest of the leadership, it was obvious what their answer would be. It was too good a deal to pass up, after all. With the sun rising, the meeting was quickly called to a close, the club was hoping to leave without any prying eyes. The party of four bikers began loading the car, saying their goodbyes to their business partners.
Joe barked orders at the pair of prospects Jackson and Deacon, to begin hot-wiring the car and preparing for the journey home. As Blake and Joe watched on, their meeting partner approached them, yet again seeking confirmation for a deal that must be too good to be true.
“So after all this, we’re square?”
“Yeah. We’ll forget about everything from up to page seventy-eight. A clean slate.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading one of Community Member /u/Incinatus’ stories that have been submitted to our Subreddit, here’s to many more from this individual! Be sure to keep an eye out for more from our community as we skim through and pick our favorites to show you in the future! Until next time…