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· Registered
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, ill be updating this thread as I write new chapters. Hopefully you guys will enjoy this...

Chapter 1

The wind was cold as it moaned its way through the oak and maples as the man slowly made his way towards the ridge. Pausing at the edge of a now defunct gas line clearing he lowered his pack to the ground. Choosing a sheltered spot on the leeward side of a deadfall, he waited. Ahead in the clearing, the snow was deep; much deeper than he would have liked. Had it been as shallow as under the trees, he might’ve been able to leave no trace of his passing, but as it was there was no chance of leaving no trail across the gas line clearing.

He was cold clear through, dangerously cold, but inside him still burned a fire that would not let him quit. Not now. He had lost too much, given up too much to quit and give his enemy the victory. The man knew he needed to make it to the small cave and build a fire to warm himself before frostbite could set in.

After a few minutes, he was satisfied the coast was clear. He stood and stamped his feet in place to attempt to increase circulation, then struck out with long strides to cross the gas line and regain the relative security of the woods on the other side. With clear skies still a shimmering blue, slowly giving way to the purples and greys of twilight, there was no hope of hiding his trail in the snow should any choppers come by and chance a look down at the gas line. The man swore under his breath, and prayed the cold weather would keep the choppers and small airplanes typically used for scouting grounded another day or so. The man prayed the wind that had been slowly picking up as the sun casting its weak rays gave way to darkness would drift the dry, powdery snow into his tracks and hide them.

His feet had once again begun to lose their feeling by the time the small shelter he made by hanging his small tarp across the back of the cave had started to warm from a small, smokeless fire. The man began to get out the beginnings of what would have to pass for dinner. All he had left to eat were some dehydrated vegetables, a pound or so of jerky, a handful of rosehips he'd gathered along a creek bottom, and some crabapples that the deer had been unable to reach. Melting some snow from the mouth of the cave in his stainless bottle over the fire, he let it come to a boil and then added some of the jerky cut up into pieces, a few of the dehydrated carrots, and the rosehips to make a thin stew of sorts. While the stew was cooking, he went back to the mouth of the cave and made sure that there was little to no smoke making its way into the sky from his fire. Satisfied that the brush atop the face of the cave was dispersing what little there was, the man went back to settle in for the night and eat his meager dinner.

Sitting Indian style on his sleeping bag, the man began to check his weapons. Confident that he had not been followed, yet still wary, he did not do as he once might have and empty his sidearm and rifle at the same time to clean them. Clearing his rifle first, as the pistol would be of better use in the close confines of the cave should it come to it, he set about cleaning it. His rifle was nothing special, having only what accessories absolutely necessary. Not only did this reduce the weight, it also increased his effectiveness in a firefight should it come to that.

Then, hearing a noise from outside, the man took up his pistol and loosened the tie-down on his belt knife, a wicked blade ten inches long he had forged from a huge machinist's file, and eased past the tarp partition, into the cold crept silently toward the mouth of the cave. Had a patrol followed him to the cave, he would be in for a fight there was a very high chance he wouldn't survive. Reaching the cave mouth, he soon caught sight of the source of the noise, a whitetail doe and her yearling. He debated taking a shot at the yearling for the fresh meat, but decided the risk of discovery wasn't worth it. Turning into his sleeping bag an hour or so later, he decided to find a suitable stave and build a bow as soon as he could.

· Registered
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chapter 2

The man woke with the coming of the dawn shivering, his breath condensing in the bitter cold. Rolling his sleeping bag tightly, he then gathered his things and prepared to head out.

At the cave's mouth, he paused briefly to check his surroundings. Confident he was alone and shouldering his pack, the man once again set out for his destination. Crossing the ridge, he was glad to see the far side sloping away more gently than the side he'd climbed.

By noon he was back to the outskirts of civilization, and his pace slowed. The mountain forest slowly began to give way for scattered farms, many of which were grown up and in general disarray. Stopping at one such, and ensuring the property was abandoned, he searched the house for anything of use worth carrying.

A thorough search of the house turned up only a few rusty cans of food long since expired and a few pairs of socks, which he promptly packed away. The barn held some assorted tools, but nothing of particular necessity.

He was rummaging through some shelving in the lean-to when he heard it. The unmistakable rumble of a diesel engine made his blood run cold. Quickly double checking his weapons and making sure they were to hand, he peered around the doorway of the lean-to. At the house a nondescript 3/4 ton pickup sat idling as a man stepped out. The driver then shut the truck off and joined his partner.

Thankfully it wasn't a Civil Freedom Corps vehicle, but both men appeared heavily armed. Whether these men were bandits, or only locals making the rounds made but little difference to the man. In either case, he was very unlikely to receive a warm welcome, unless you counted muzzle blasts as 'warm'.

Silently, the man watched as the newcomers stepped up on the porch and looked through the windows and door. While he had been careful, the possibility of having left tracks was still a threat. After just a few moments of looking, the men reentered their truck, turned around in the yard, and left.

Taking the appearance of the men as a sign, the man consulted his map, checked his bearings, and headed out once more.

Twice more the man efficiently searched run-down farms before settling down under some sycamore roots beside a dry creek bed. He used some dry grasses to supplement the insulation his sleeping bag and tarp provided, and as a tinder bundle to start a small fire.

After getting his fire started, and having built up a good bed of coals, the man then melted some snow and boiled a handful of pine needles to make some tea that he drank with his deer jerky.

· Registered
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chapter 3

Heading farther down the valley, the man occasionally skirted back up onto the lower reaches of the long, winding ridges to avoid clusters of houses. While, for most of the local population, precious little love was lost to the now deeply repressive government, there were Loyalists scattered in nearly every community.

The problem was that, even with the locals being sympathetic, the government could increase patrols and impose draconian measures to restrict food and other necessities at any hint of 'anti-patriotic activity'. This could be anything from not showing the proper gratitude for your weekly ration of food up to speaking out against 'duly appointed' government officials.

For those not fortunate enough to have a network of family or friends and a way to grow or trade for food on the black market, that could mean the difference between life and death. Especially in the cold winter months. This was policy used across the length and breadth of what remained of the United States.

Continuing as the valley widened, less and less cover remained in which to hide. Crouching in the shade of some shrubs at the corner of an old church, the man watched and waited to make sure it was safe to cross the road and enter the brush on the other side. He had seen no CFC patrols in several days, but had passed several households which were almost certainly Loyalists. A single phone call to the CFC would net the caller a healthy reward for turning in 'subversive elements', and would have a full-scale manhunt on his back.

Hearing a vehicle coming, and assuming a prone position, the man looked to see the source. It was a panel van emblazoned with the crossed spears logo of the CFC. As if that wasn't bad enough, they didn't continue up the road, instead slowing and turning into the church parking lot.

· just surviving
638 Posts
I like the CFC name, exact opposite of what it is just like in real world. Biggest distraction for me is "the man". Replace that with John, or Tom, or Rick (any simple name) and it would read much better. May be too late for this one, but whenever possible, tell it from either first person (being careful not to confuse reader by switching among different characters too much) or third person who was there rather than narration by an unknown (which makes reader wonder who is telling the story).

· Registered
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay guys, you finally get to find out our protagonist's name this chapter. "The man" was my poor attempt at poetically telling how when we are alone with nature, that who we think we are becomes secondary to what we are... anyway, here's some moar lol

Chapter 4

As the van pulled into the church parking lot, the man made himself as small as possible under the evergreen shrubs to the side of what had been the handicap ramp to the entrance of the church. Praying he wouldn't be spotted, he continued to watch the van.

After parking, he could hear the sliding door open on the off side of the van, then the shutting of the drivers door as he disembarked. The man counted five sets of feet. Praying he could make it into the scrub across the road without getting hit, the man prepared to make a dash for it.

Just as he was about to roll out from under the bush and run he heard shouting from the van, then a gunshot rang out, echoing loudly in the cold air.

Knowing he couldn't have been seen, he raised up to investigate where the shot had come from. What he saw made his blood boil. For the van was a prisoner transport, and one of the prisoners had tried to make a run for it, nearly making it across the road before taking a round to the back.

Carefully, rifle at the ready, the man eased his way around to the van's rear. Just as he was about to come around the back of the van, he heard one of the CFC thugs speak. "I wish both of you were as 'brave' as your friend there... it'd save us quite a bit of trouble to put a bullet in your ignorant heads instead of shipping your sorry hides all the way to Roanoke."

He heard what he hoped was the guard re-bolstering his pistol and stepped around the van. The driver spotted him, but took two rounds before he could cry out or pull his weapon. Two quick steps had the man's rifle barrel scant inches from the other CFC guard's face. "Go ahead buddy. Nothing would make me happier than to leave you here to rot." He then reversed his rifle, and knocked him out.

Taking the keys from the guard, the man released one prisoner, then handed him the keys to release the other then went to the road and checked the fallen man, who had died practically immediately. Cursing, he pulled him back across the road to the church parking lot.

When he returned, the guard seemed to have picked up a couple broken ribs, had been gagged, and was glaring with an unbridled rage. One of the prisoners handed him his knife back, and said, "Shore am glad you showed up, hoss. We figured we were goners for sure when we pulled in here. My name's Marty, this is Rick. Our friend's name was Dwight."

"Sorry I wasn't in a position to do something sooner, but from where I was, y'alls feet all looked the same, and I wasn't about to take on five CFC's. My name is Preston, and I'm sorry about Dwight."

· Registered
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chapter 5

The remaining CFC soldier, whose nametag read 'Wolford', was pressed into service to dig a shallow grave for Dwight behind the church. Having only an e-tool to use, it took some time in the frozen, rocky soil. Preston pulled the CFC van around behind the church, out of sight to casual passers by.

After the grave was dug, Marty and Rick said a few words over Dwight. Preston and the other talked amongst themselves over what to do with the CFC soldier as Wolford, once again trussed up and gagged, resumed his scowling while trying to catch his breath in the cold.

All three agreed that Wolford was a major threat to the three of them, though Preston didn't want to just execute the now helpless prisoner. Rick said, "I understand where you're coming from, but you may not realize the things these guys have done to folks like us when we get caught. This piece of garbage shot Dwight in cold blood, and as far as I'm concerned an 'eye for an eye' is an acceptable way to settle this."

In the end, Preston gave in, allowing Rick to execute a no longer glaring Wolford with his Glock 22. After the deed was done, the three men hastily covered his body and the other guard, whose name tag read 'Fleeman' with stones and fallen limbs to discourage scavengers from scattering the remains.

Going through the van, the men took everything of value they could carry. Preston took only some rations, an extra magazine for his AR, and a few rounds of ammo. Marty and Rick ended up with the guards' rifles and sidearms, ammo and mags for each, and two Molle assault packs.

Preston asked the two men if they had somewhere they could head to, and that if they didn't, they could come with him so long as they could keep a low profile in the woods.

Marty had lost his wife in the raid that had seen him become a POW in his own country, while Rick was a bachelor so neither had anything much to return home for or to. Both men were from southern WV. Preston agreed that the men could accompany him back to his small compound deep in the mountains so long as they could pull their own weight in 'the bush'.

Knowing the van would attract attention pretty quickly, even behind the old church, the three men decided to try to get it as far away from there as possible. Spotting a place just down the road with an opening in the brush, they decided to put the four-wheel drive capabilities to the test. Spotting for Marty, Preston guided him across the berm and into the brush beyond it. Then Preston cut some small saplings and brush from beyond the road to disguise the opening they'd driven through. Finally, he took a limb from a small white pine to attempt to clear the tracks from the shoulder of the road.

After a short distance, the brush gave way to fairly open woods, but navigating the rocky terrain was difficult in the top heavy van. After about a half mile, it was clear the men would have to ditch the van.

· Old School
823 Posts
Your New York Police Detective heritage is showing!

But where is the Tyler T-grip on the wheelgun or the leather sap?
Never was a Detective. I still have my 4 inch model 10 (in the safe) and my baton is somewhere around, as are my cuffs. They take your shield back when you go out, I wish I still had that.

The photo was just an idea for the story.

I tried Pachmeyers for a while, but they rust the gun real bad so I went back to the issued wood grips. Tylers.... no I never used them.
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