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A New Life

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  22:24:25  16 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 07/24/2008
Messages: 188
A New Life

Authors Note:

Hey all, your local Lithian Lord here. I have decided it was time to post a story written by myself and try to contribute more to this community than random questions and witty comments.

It will be a multi-part project, written chapters at a time whenever I can fit it into by busy schedule. Comments, complaints, and suggestions always welcome.

Chapter 1: Awakening

Devs Vakolari was a man of average height and weight. He had no distinguishable features, nor did he have any remarkable qualities to him. Always apart of the crowd, he was just another cog in the great assembly line that others would call his culture. These many things that made him, or did not make him, were the reasons he hated his life. His mind was filled with a steadfast aggression that constantly pushed him to charge into situations and try to break free of the monotony of his daily life. This is why the moment his feet stopped their movement on that day was the single period within his life he had ever been afraid.

The vast region seemed to stretch out for eternity before him. Trees seemed to twist from their base and the grass seemed to cripple from the wind. The air surrounding him created a cold chill that sent a shiver down his spine that lingered as a growing sensation of dread. With all of this before him, he knew within that moment that he was not intended to go any further. His body shifted slightly to give his eyes room to gaze behind him and then back to compare the two environments separated by the man. Nothing had changed since he first started to tread within the forest, yet everything about the landscape before him was different in his eyes.

"This is the last chance you have to rectify your decision. Within this moment your life will change forever, one way or the other," the man leading him said at the sight of his companions movements. His hand slowly motioned towards the destination before them.

Devs looked once more at the environment behind and before slowly responding to the man, "I can not go back? I payed you to guide me in, could I not hire another guide to lead me out?"

The man before him smirked at the response and his arms motioned again to the environment in the direction of their destination. His smirk continued as he said heavily, "I can assure you that you will not come back. This is where you will die."

Devs thought for a moment about his guide's words and the life before him. The assembly lines, the social occasions, the formalities, and all the traditions. His mind thought briefly about continuing his life along the lines of his father and his father. Though the thoughts remained, his mind had already been up. His feet started their motion again as he pressed onward towards area the media had called the Zone. He stepped next to the man before him and motioned for them to continue moving. A grim look came across his face as he whispered, "I was never alive, Mikhail."

Their long trip had continued its pace through the tall trees that had formed around them. Minutes turned into hours as their pace slowed. Devs followed behind Mikhail at a similar speed and tried to move exactly as he did. He was instructed to simply follow the movements of his guide exactly and to never ask questions as to why. Devs had anticipated sneaking past a military outpost and risking his life to do so, but instead he was disappointed to find they simply went into a secluded forest around the cordons.

Confusion rang through his mind as he watched Mikhail reach into the satchel that was slung on his side and remove a utility bolt with a white cloth tied to it. The bolt was thrown before him and a sweeping motion before Mikhail would follow behind its path and pick it up to repeat the process. This pattern of behavior had slowed their travels to an almost halt, which began to annoy the man following.

"Why do you do this? " Devs asked in slight annoyance.

"Before stepping into the unknown, one must always make sure their path is clear for them to continue," Mikhail replied without turning his head. The repetitive motions continued as they went further into the woods.

Devs shrugged as he continued to follow the same path as the man before him. Stories of old-war landmines tearing limbs from children and elders alike weaved through the follower's mind as they continued. He figured this method was a way for locals to test for landmines along a new path taken. This confused the man further though as he was sure the guide would take a path he had before and known well.

The movement of the men continued to quite some time before they reached a small fence that stretched in both directions. The wood that had kept it standing was rotted, while being supported by rusty barbwire that hung loosely from the posts. The fence had seemed to have been old and dilapidated for years, yet it continued to stand strong without falter.

"It is almost night. We must hurry," Mikhail said quickly as he approached the gate. A swift motion of his hand had lead to the bolt contained by it to fly to the other side of the fence.

Devs moved his head around to observe the landscape. A light in the distance had caught his eye, but his attention was shifted to the man before him as he stood back from the fence. Mikhail motioned for Devs to follow and ran towards the fence to jump over it roughly. He was followed by Devs who took a running start to clear the fence. His dive had shown short as apart of his heavy factory pants were torn by the barbwire before him.

"Shit," Devs cursed as he bent down to observe the damage. This activity was cut short by Mikhail, whom grabbed him by the arm to pull him up and along with him.

"We can not stay still, we must get to our destination before sunfall," Mikhail said sternly before letting go of Devs.

Their pace was speed up as they started in a soft sprint across the small valley they had jumped into. The landscape around them was of a cleared out are of the forest. Fewer trees had stood before them with the land stretching out. The grass seemed to engulf he area and keep the foliage on its continues expansion. Soon the light Devs had noticed got brighter as they now faced it, their pace continuing.

Mikhail continued to throw his bolt, but at a faster pace and with less frequency. It was almost out of habit that he continued now to throw it. Devs flinched at the sound of dogs in the distance. Something about their howls seemed wrong to him. His mind started to try and identify the sounds they made, but stopped when a road appeared before them. At this point Mikhail had put the bolt back in his satchel and continued his quickened pace directly in front of them.

It was at the site of buildings that Mikhail had stopped his sprint and slowed to a normal pace. There were only a few buildings that lined themselves down both sides of a small road that connected to the one they had just passed. Much like the barbwire, they were all in a state of much needed repair. One had already collapsed, while the others were supported by rotted wood and rusted supports.

Devs had realized the light he had been following was a campfire set up in the middle of the village. It hung off to the right of the road and had men gathered around it. At this sight, Devs had realize the village was populated by many people that gave no notice when he and Mikhail entered. They were dressed in many different garbs with some being in simple coats to others in gas masks and utility outfits.

"And this is where everyone comes the first time. This is where you will learn how to survive in this place and where you will most likely die," Mikhail said as he stopped near the campfire.

"Is this a military outpost?" Devs asked as he gazed around his surroundings while shifting his body to do so. As he asked this question, laughter broke out amongst many around him.

"You don't tell your clients anything Mikhail," One laughed from the campfire.

"I give him 12 hours," someone else said with a grunt from behind him.

Devs suddenly felt out of place. All eyes seemed to quickly gaze at him from all corners of his vision. Laughter had filled his psyche with doubt as he shifted in his place nervously. The eyes shifted off of him as everyone went back to their activities or conversations. Devs stepped backwards to lean against a fence for support wanting to try and act natural in this new environment.

He glanced around at the activities of various men that had inhabited the village. He watched to try and analyze what they were doing and social regularities of the place. He continued to observe the environment and listened to campfire stories told by the men gathered around the light.

Stories were told of foreign lands unknown to Devs. Stories filled with mutants and strange occurrences that too both the psyche and life of brave men who went searching for fame. The stories rang similar to many that Devs has heard of before, but the places and creatures from these tails were completely unknown to him. The shiver down his spine emerged as the crisp wind bit at his ears.

One story had made him shutter the most as a man near the fire told it in almost a whisper. His voice was rough and he had a stern look on his face as if telling a true story.

It was about a group of men who wandered into an area of energy producing complexes. The land was twisted and scarred from a great incident that happened long before the men had ever ventured into the area. They had heard of an undistributed building that still housed treasures long forgotten by most. They believed this rumor so much that they spent everything they had to equip themselves for the journey. Four men in combat gear equipped with assault weapons marched deep within the Zone to find this place. After much struggle and hard work they had found not only the area of twisted earth, but the complex that housed the treasures. They had quickly found a way in and rushed to gather what valuables were inside. As they ventured deeper inside the complex, horrible sounds echoed through of rusted metal grinding and animalistic noises emanating from the shadows. The weaker of them became paranoid and ran away in a panic to desperately find his way out. Shortly after, the remaining men could hear his screaming far away as gunfire echoed down the halls. Silence spread for a moment before the remaining continued down into the complex. They finally reached a large room filled with long forgotten generators and equipment. They fumbled to find a way to turn on the equipment and after many attempts it seemed hopeless. As one kicked a barrel in frustration, growling could be heard from above them. Suddenly they had shut off their head-lamps to mask their presence to what had taken the one that had run. They gathered in a group at the edge of the room with their weapons at the ready. Once the lights had turned off they spent the moment in panic as their eyes adjusted to the darkness. Slowly, each noticed they were not alone. Eyes had been watching them from every corner of the room. The eyes observed them as more appeared from the entrance and rafters. The eyes followed their movements as the growling began again. Gunfire began as the men panicked, but in the end they were consumed for their greed.

Devs nervously heard the recalling of the tale as a silence fell over the group. Many had began to stutter at certain points and many seemed to be shifting nervously. Glaces went around the fire as the tale began to take a toll on the group. The story was told with such skill that it was almost believable that something like this could happen. Devs was happy when it was over.

After what seemed an eternity of hearing the horror stories of the men, Mikhail finally removed himself from the group and found his way over to Devs. He faced him with a broad stance and simply held out his hand to Devs with an open palm.

"Fee," Mikhail said as he motioned to his hand.

Devs stared at the man before him with a questioning look on his face. He tilted his head slightly as his mind raced to find an answer to the statement presented before him. The sudden realization hit him are as he remembered that he had only just hired this man to lead him in. He quickly fumbled about to find where he had place the currency as he searched the pockets of his pants and the loose brown duster he worn over a tattered work shirt. Slowly he removed the money from his right front pocket and placed it in Mikhail's open hand.

"You will sleep in that collapsed building tonight after you have had your fill of conversation. The canned meat I told you to buy before you came will feed you for now. Tomorrow find a man named "Wolf" in this camp and ask for a task. Tell him I sent you." Mikhail said this all with the tone and pace of a task he has done a thousand times before. He place the money in his satchel and turned around completely to walk away towards a building closer to the edge of the village.

Devs stood against the fence in his original position. His entire being was in a state of shock as he felt suddenly alone in a village of many. He shifted nervously as he tried to place what Mikhail had said to memory. The collapsed building had entered his gaze as he turned to try and spot a place sleep. He walked over to a spot underneath the remains of the structure that was once called a home. The area he had decided to place himself was a small patch of grass that had been uncovered with the removal of rotted wood.

The cold wind had made the decision for him to keep the coat on and use a loose piece of wood for a head rest instead. He lay down only to suddenly be hit with a thousand thoughts all leading back to that one moment he decided to enter this "Zone". His previous life had given him nothing but regrets and so he wanted to make this one promising. The campfire stories still lingered in his head as he pondered whether he made the right decision.

The thoughts drifted through his conscious until the day of travel had caught up to him and sapped his remaining strength. The man slowly drifted asleep as the hustle of the village died down around him. A flicker of light still remained from the campfire on the other side of the fence. Men who patrolled around the village made little noise and the night was almost silent. The world was calm and right before he fell asleep, Devs realized this was the first time he felt detached from everything.
  12:40:35  17 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
My Honest Opinion

It will be a multi-part project, written chapters at a time whenever I can fit it into by busy schedule. Comments, complaints, and suggestions always welcome.

Busy schedule i understand, but you've made a very good start here, and i want to read more. Keep up the good work!
  23:00:19  20 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 07/24/2008
Messages: 188
Chapter 2: Revitalization

Devs stepped into the dark corridor with caution as the dim lamp fastened to his shoulder strap illuminated the environment to a faint glow. It was silent as the only sounds that could be heard were the creaks of the ancient foundation below him. He wore a military uniform with a tactical vest wrapped around him to hold the massive amounts of equipment dangling from him. His hands held an Vintorez that was almost held together by all the tape that secured a mismatched model reflex scope.

The gun swung around as he checked out room connected to the dark corridor he slowly walked down. Room after room, he made sure each creak or clang was not by another's involvement. Slowly he walked down that corridor as he felt himself being drawn to the end. The corridor stretched vastly onward as each step gave no sign of an end. The darkness consumed Devs as his lamp did little to penetrate through. A noise of something falling on the rusted metal that made the floor of the complex rang out across the corridor and into his mind. The sound echoed through body and rattled at his psyche. He wanted to run, he wanted to hide, but his body hadn't stopped its slow march to the end. As soon as he had gained any amount of control within him, the eyes appeared.

Those bright eyes that penetrated the darkness from the end of the corridor. Devs looks around for a place to hide, but his eyes could no longer find any rooms connecting to the corridor. His path had only lead down to the eyes. He slowed his breathing the best he could and crouched down to try and avoid its gaze. What seemed like hours past as his eyes watched the bright ones. Time stopped as they continued to stare back at the man and penetrate the dark. After an eternity of this happening, a loud roar came from the end of the corridor. It was rough and deep in tone. The way it echoed through Dev's mind was unworldly and removed any trace of bravery from him.

Devs turned around and began to sprint to the opposite end of the corridor. The rooms he had previously checked had vanished without a trace. His path now lead to the other end of the corridor while he tried to escape the eyes. He dared not look back as he continued to sprint until every muscle in his body screamed out in agony. The environment changed as the walls and ceiling now comprised of the same rusted metal he had been walking upon. All hope of escaped were lost as he run straight into a rusted fence that kept him from going further. The fence was twisted and stretched from the floor to the ceiling, barb wire wrapped around it like a snake ready to strike. The man tried to open the fence, but the wires would not bend or bulge. Another roar made him turn to face the eyes. His run raced up to a firing position, but he could not find himself to pull the trigger. The eyes seemed to be the same distance as if he had never ran and were brighter than ever. They penetrated him with a devilish glare and his body shook in fear. The sound of something rushing towards him had caused him to regain some control and fire with his weapon. The gunfire blasted loudly into his ear and rang out so he could hear nothing else. He felt something close to him and fear raced in his body. Without warning, something had crashed into his side. He gasped for breath as he tried to find his assailant, but the darkness just continued to consume him. A second strike was thrusted into his side as a searing pain rushed through his body.

"Wake up you lazy bastard! Wake up!"

Devs was shot out of sleep as he sat up quickly with a dazed look. The man beside him had his boot out ready for another blow, but stopped in midair with the realization that he was awake. The man said something, but Devs could not comprehend his words as all his scenes rushed back to him with a fierce stinging sensation in his head.

"I am awake! No need to..." shouted Devs as he rubbed his head with two fingers in a back and forth motion. His eyes were closed when doing so, but opened up when he felt a splash of liquid hit him followed by a loud noise. This stopped his sentence short and forced him to look over at the man who was now on the ground. Slowly, Devs tried to understand the situation as he sat there dumbstruck. His hand slowly moved to his face and wiped off some of the liquid with one finger. As he moved his finger into view, he realized it wasn't water that had hit him as previously thought. The red substance sat on his finger in a think glob that ran down his finger to drip on the ground.

This is when his view went back to the man on the ground. His body was slumped down and bent from a piece of the foundation left from the dilapidated house they resided in. Devs looked at the mans face and violently turned in shock as he did so. A pool of blood formed around the man's head and leaked out from a new hole found from the entrance of a foreign object. An arrow had found its way through the back of his head and through the front as it still continued to remain inside of him. His skull had fractured by this with blood and brain matter flowing out of the gaping hole. His eye had been torn apart with the arrow and had splattered against his face. His head was now resting at an angle on the back of the arrow.

Devs quickly fell over to his front and pushed up with both hands to life him up. His scenes had come back fully to him as he realized the men that had sat around the campfire that night were now racing towards the entrance to the village. He watched them to try and figure out what was going on, but was shaken by gunfire that opened up on the other side of the fence he was still behind. He moved quickly at this and sprinted to a standing house on the opposite end of the road.

Bullets, words, and gunfire echoed through the air as the battle heated up around him. As he dashed across the road, he head turned just enough to see a small group of four men in black coats outside the village. He watched one fall to a bullet wound before reaching the home. Devs raced inside and found a small room to hide in. It contained the structure of a bed without a mattress and a small desk made from rotted wood. The gunfire continued outside as he tried to hide himself from the action. A door was something he wanted more than anything, but the home seemed to have worn those out years ago.

His motions lead him to a corner not visible to anyone except those looking directly inside the room as he heard someone enter the house. The soft mutters of two men in conversation could be heard from another room. Devs place his ear against the wall to try and decipher what the two were saying.

"Why are we even-" said one. It was hard for Devs to understand what they were saying from the other room.

"These.....don't have anything!"

"Just shut your mouth and keep-"

Devs couldn't fully understand what they were saying, but he figured they were just here to take any valuable they could find. The fighting outside must have been a distraction, but he did not know how to warn anyone. Without any form of weapon, Devs couldn't find it in himself to try anything but hide from the two men. He feared they would check his room and it would be all over before he had any chance to make anything of himself. Just another victim to the greed and violence of this place. He realized he should have found a room with a window and was trapped.

He scrambled to find a way to hide. The room was bar and the only furniture did nothing to hide him or block the door. He cursed softly to himself as he heard the men get closer. He started to shake and his mind raced with thoughts of his death. He knew if these men would kill to steal, their mercy would not be enough to spare him. Just as he found himself read to face death's door, Devs head shouting and gunfire from the other side of the wall.

Slowly, he moved himself to the entrance of the room and peaked his head out to see what had happened. The man who had told the story of the eyes that night had opened fire on the men inside. They wore the same black jackets as the men outside and held on them old looking equipment. They bother wore hoods that hide their faces from view. Devs watched as one had dropped with blood spraying on the wall. The other yelled and continued firing the assault rifle in his hand out a window before him.

Devs moved slowly to the corpse of one of the men that had fallen backward from the room they were in. He slowly moved his hand out and picked up an assault rifle that the dead man had once used. Devs raised it to the other man still shooting out the window and stood there for a moment. His hands shook and his mind went blank. The thought of killing a man was one thing, but actually doing it left him without a trace of realization. Devs could not bring himself to kill the man so close to him, he could not bring the end to another human being.

As Devs stood there in shock, the man in the black coat had heard him and turned quickly to face him. His face was riddled with scars and his expression was stuck in a constant scream as he turned his gun. Devs could see that the man went to kill him, but when he saw the man's eyes he lost control. The eyes in his dream flashed across his mind and lead him to act quickly.

Without thinking, Devs swung the assault rifle in his hands at the man before he could fire. The end of the gun connected with the side of the man's face and fractured into his skull as he dropped. Devs continued to swing his weapon at the man in violent thrusts as the gun impacted continuously with the man's head. Soon he stopped moving, but Devs continued his assault. Panic swept him as he tried desperately to stop thinking about the glare of the bright eyes. It wasn't until the gunfire outside had stopped that Devs snapped back into reality. The gun's end was not twisted with the face of his assailant no longer looking human.

The situation had occurred to him as he dropped his weapon in shock. He rushed out of the house and fell back against the fence in front of it for support. He slid down it to a seated motion and closed his eyes. Breathing became a difficult task and his mind raced to reexamine the situation. The headache came back as his mind was racing miles a minute to keep up with his trail of thought. As he lay there in the early morning, he could only consider if coming here was a good idea after all.
  18:37:52  24 February 2011
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On forum: 02/14/2011
Messages: 42
This is great and how the story goes it really has it place in my interesting reading material. The story is full of drama but amazingly you made it simple. So same here, Keep up the good work! a thumbs up.
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