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The Runaway

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  13:17:32  20 April 2006
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
The Runaway

Here I am trapped once again, trying to find a way out of this mess. Every trip takes me deeper into the zone. Last time I was lucky to get out in one piece. I keep telling myself that each time into the zone will be the last, but I am a sucker for a hefty reward. This payoff will be my biggest one yet. A wealthy couple has lost their son. They think he has ventured off into the zone. If I bring him home, I won’t ever have to risk my life again because I will have more money than I will ever need.

The mutants are lurking around outside waiting for me to come out. They hunger for my flesh. If I walked out now, they would tear me apart. These lost souls weren’t always like this. They used to be normal human beings until the devastating effects of the nuclear reaction took place. Now these helpless victims are isolated from the outside world and must fend for themselves. My only way of escaping is to wait until dark. I just want to find the kid and get the hell out of here.

Nightfall finally came, and I was ready to get out of this rat hole. Looking through a crack in the wall, I did not see any movement on the other side. I kicked open the door and quickly ran into the darkness. After a ways, I stopped to catch my breath. Just when I thought it was safe, I felt someone or something behind me. I slowly reached up and turned on the almost dead night goggles. This wasn’t a good idea because what I saw paralyzed my body. An enormous monster was glaring at me, waiting to gore me with his huge horns. He was so close that I could feel every hot breath that he took. I just stood there trembling with fear. Suddenly something moved in the bushes and the bull-like creature immediately turned and galloped off into the night. I let out a sigh of relief. This must be my lucky day. I did not waste any time turning off the goggles and fleeing deeper into the zone.

Hours have passed and the light of dawn began to break. I could see the top of buildings in the distance. The city was close. I was careful not to make much noise as I hurried through the woods. I came across two sets of tracks that lead straight into the city. One set looked like a child’s footprints and the other was large hoof prints. If the kid is still alive, I will find him.

I followed the tracks into a warehouse filled with various things. This must have been a major distribution center. A loud roar coming from the far end of the warehouse broke my concentration. Heavy hooves pounding against the concrete floor deafened my ears as they raced towards me. It was the massive bull I had encountered last night. This time I was ready for him. I clutched my shotgun and began to take aim when I heard a voice shouting, “Stop! Please stop!” It was the boy. The mutated beast halted abruptly. The child had befriended this beast which in turn has helped keep him alive. The boy ran over to me with a puzzled look on his face. “Who are you?” he demanded. I am what others refer to as a stalker. You must be Noah. “How do you know my name?” “Your parents sent me. I have come to take you home.” Noah looked at me as if I was crazy. He became very upset and started begging me not to take him back. I felt uneasy as the powerful bull stared at me, ready to attack. Gradually I focused my attention back onto the child. He told me that he felt safe here. He was not afraid of the zone, for it was his refuge. He feared his heartless father more than the rotting zombies that roamed the zone in search of food. His father was a scarier monster. He was an alcoholic. After a bad day at work, he would get drunk and take out his frustrations on Noah by calling him names and beating him. I couldn’t take Noah back to suffer more abuse, but what kind of life would he have here? How long would he survive? Why do I even care? My mission is to recover the boy and collect my reward. That’s the plan. The kid is not my problem, or is he………….
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