A story by /u/n1ghtsta1ker
Jack sat at the top of Black Mountain castle listening to his radio.
He had made the trip to St Joe’s to make contact with the Guardians, but on the way he had gotten intel from another group that an element of former Black Paw had taken over and were killing anyone who showed up. Jack had climbed the hill to the southwest and observed for while. He saw nothing. St. Joe’s looks empty.
Now he was doing his nightly attempt to contact the rest of the Outsiders. After a half hour or so, when he was about to turn his radio off, there was a crackle of static and a weak transmission *”Jack, you there? This is Matt!”*
Relief swept through Jack as he keyed the mic “Matt! Good to hear your voice, buddy. Where are you? You sound pretty far.”
“I’m East of Elektro at the moment.”
“OK, I am near Krasno. I’m gonna head that way. Unfortunately we have unfriendly territory right smack between us, so it may take some time. I will meet you in Staroye.”
Jack ran through the dark woods, tree branches smacking him in the face, getting hung up on bushes, and stumbling over rocks. As he reached Vyshnaya Dubrovka the sun was starting to rise. Jack stopped at the creek in Dubrovka to top off his water and purify it (he didn’t trust using the well in town, it was a great place to get held up or sniped). Then he continued south. He knew there was a small military checkpoint near the T intersection south of Dubrovka. Jack looked through his PU scope and sized it up. A couple of infected. No other movement. He scanned the hills. No sign of snipers. He sprinted across the field. The camp was empty.
Jack sprinted up the hill into the trees to the south and then angled east. He carefully picked his way through Shakovka, headed south through Pass Oreshka and cut across the field towards the Staroye checkpoint. Matt was close. Somewhere just south of Staroye, approaching the gas station. Suddenly a shot rang out. Jack sprinted for a tree. Was it from the tents? Then a snap near his head and a split second later he heard the shot, on the hill to his left. Jack jumped a fence and ran for the cover of a barn. Several more shots landed near him or whizzed by his head. Jack weaved and dodged. Trying to make himself a harder target to hit while he crossed the open. It was definitely a Mosin shooting at him. Jack made it to the barn and pulled out his own Mosin, peeking around the far side. He could see something at a large tree by the wood line. He sighted in and fired, then ran towards town, chambering another round. More shots came in close but Jack made it to the cover of the houses on the northeast side of town. He weaved between them, trying to put cover between himself and the shooter. Then he followed the creek to the east and climbed the eastern hill.
Jack was pissed. He wanted this guy.
Matt met Jack on the hill, and after exchanging weapons and ammo, they headed north to try and find the sniper. Matt made the ballsy move of running to the tents to draw fire while Jack waited in the trees for their target to reveal themselves. No dice. Either they weren’t taking the bait or they had moved on. It was possible they had flanked west and were continuing to hunt Jack based on where he had headed. Jack met Matt at the tents and while they were figuring out where they should go, they heard more shots to the Northeast, towards Dolina. It was a Mosin. This was their guy, guaranteed. They both headed out, sprinting as fast as they could.
Several more shots confirmed the direction. They were getting closer to their quarry. Jack scanned the town with his PU. Nothing, then he moved into position in the trees south on the hill with a good view of the PD. He waited. “This guy is going for PD, I know it. I’m just gonna sit right here and wait.” Jack told Matt.
“OK, I’m gonna move down the road and wait for him on the west side of town, see if I can spot him.”
They waited. And just when Jack was going to get up and move into town, he saw a man with a red or orange drybag run up to the PD and stand outside the door.
“I see him. Red/Orange dry bag. Looks like maybe a blue bomber jacket. Mosin on his back. This is our guy. 100%. I’m taking the shot.” Jack put the man in his sights, slightly below the top of the sight post, and pulled the trigger. Jack didn’t see where the round went, but it didn’t hit him. FUCK. Alerted to the threat, the man sprinted off out of sight.
“I see him, he’s running towards me.” Matt said. Then Jack heard a Mosin shot. “He’s shooting at me.” Matt said.
Jack was sprinting towards the town. “He has infected after him, he’s running north, into the trees.”
Jack met up with Matt in the town. They searched around a bit but decided it was probably too dangerous to pursue their prey directly now that he knew he was being hunted. Jack had missed his chance. He check his range on the PU. 100m. That was maybe a 200 or 300m shot, but he had adjusted for distance by aiming high. How had he missed that?
Seemed like poor shooting had enabled both of them to live today.
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