Personal Journal Log: Entry 1
Date: January 3, 2013
Time: 1430 Hours
It had been four months since the South Valley Safe Zone fell. Four months since I had turned my back on everything I loved for the plan i made. The need to put as much distance from that place as I can drives me to the point of madness. I write to keep my sanity in check. I have to keep moving, can't stay here. I knew it should hurt to move, but I'm numb. I can't feel the pain, the fatigue from my own cowardice drowns me. That, and the liquor that makes me comfortably numb. I have to keep myself moving, hence the reason I am in my current predicament. I had to cleanse the land of the filth that those survivors created after Campion.
My current target was a small colony. I had intercepted a radio transmission four days ago, from a small colony based out of a local high school, begging for aid from a local militia. The militia did not respond to the desperate cries, that meant that they themselves weren't strong enough to assist. This is just what I needed. I needed to cleanse the land, but I cannot do it alone. This may be the answer I have been searching for. I have the chance to gain a base of operation and support for my plan. Adjusting my tattered gray trench coat slightly, I hurried towards my destination with my next goal in mind.
I encountered several of the undead on my way to the colony. I quickly dispatched them in the most basic way. They would come towards me, arms outstretched, and I would sweep their legs out from under them or kick them in the chest, before stomping in their skulls. They began to bore me and almost made me miss the runners. Almost. I only had to use my sword once, when a small hoard approached from an empty house. they were quick work for my blade, seeing as they were so decomposed, all I had to do was large swings to take two or thee of them down at a time. I looked at them in disgust, soon I would have my plan in effect. Soon I could rid this area of those horrible creatures that took my life from me.
I arrived outside the school and took in the sites. The fortified walls were broken, they looked almost like they were blown to shit. With a frustrated sigh, I took off my helmet, I was too late. It was quiet. The kind of quiet you'd hear before a storm, the kind that puts one at a constant sense of unease. I needed to search for information on the militia, information I could only find inside the former settlement. I slowly put my hand on the hilt of my blade and began to walk inside. I could already tell I wasn't going to like this.
I climbed the wall and almost slipped in a puddle blood on the floor. I knelt down and ran my fingers through it, still fresh. I looked around suspiciously. There was blood, but where were the bodies? With how fresh the blood was, they couldn't have changed so fast. They could have just completely eaten the person, but there is always a remnant of them, tattered rags, chunks of meat. I looked a little farther to see the boot prints leading inside the compound. There were too many to . They all scattered in different directions, too fast to be a zombie, too close together to be a runner. I frowned as I finally realized I was wrong, zombies didn't do this, humans did.
I stood up and slowly began to walk through an open door, following the bloody drag marks. My boots made a loud squish from the slightly drying blood as I lifted each foot up and stepped forward into the hallway. I needed to find someone who knew how to get a hold of the militia. I kept walking before finally getting something. A man, beaten, bloodied, but still alive, was laying in a doorway with a blanket wrapped around him. I quickly ran up to him, the questions in my mind burning. He looked up to me, shock written on his face as he pulled the blanket over him tighter. He began to back up farther and farther away from me until he was cornered.
I slowly walked towards him, intent on asking my questions. He reached under the blanket, I wouldn't be having that. As he drew his pistol, my blade was already at his throat. he was quick to look into my goggles, probably only seeing his reflection. He slowly set his pistol on the ground. I kicked it away, it slid on the smooth tile floor before encountering a sticky blood trail and slowing to a stop in the darkening liquid. I sighed as I sheathed my sword back in it's holster as I slowly reached up and took off my helmet and goggles. I rubbed my eyes, the light burning slightly as I tried to readjust to the brightness. After I had my bearings, I knelt down in front of him, making sure to keep my hands visible so as to keep him from worrying. He seemed to relax a little as I spoke in a gentle tone to him.
"What happened here?"
He looked scared at first, then angry as he replied. "They did this! We paid them to protect us, and they come and do this! Those fucking backstabbing pricks!"
I looked at him slightly shocked before placing a hand on his shoulder and speaking again. "Where are they now? How do I find them?"
He looked slightly shocked before answering my question. "They went down this hall. They are probably still in the gym." he looked at me warily. "What are you planning on doing?"
I looked at him again, saying nothing as I pulled a migraine pill pouch out of my pocket and gave it to him. He may not have had a migraine, but those sure did help with a concussion. He gratefully took them as I offered out my flask, he took it and downed the pills and half my flask. I took the flask back and gave him a deadpan stare as I saw the scotch already taking effect. His cheeks grew slightly pink as he drifted off to sleep. I swished the liquid around in my flask, he didn't have to drink so much of it, scotch is hard as hell to find. I wiped the mouth of the flask off on my dirty coat before taking a small drink myself, no sense going to a negotiation stressed out.
I walked over to the gun that rested in the blood. I picked it up and examined it. It was a little snub nose revolver. I checked the chambers and grinned, fully loaded. I stored the gun in a small pouch inside the wrist of my sleeve. I looked at the sleeping man, scotch for a weapon, seemed fair enough. I looked to the end of the hallway and saw a sliver of light peeking through under the door that, I assumed, led to the gym. I sighed as I slowly began to walk to the light, the blood caked to the bottom of my shoes and making a sickening crack with each step I took. I walked, step by step, to the door. It came closer and closer, I could feel my heart pounding, hear it in my ears, as I stepped up to the door. I rested my hand on the door handle as I took a final breath before quietly opening the door.
The first thing I noticed was the smell of sweat and the shouts of the men. They were all facing a stage against the opposite wall, away from me. They didn't seem to notice me as I slipped on my gas mask. It covered my mouth, nose, and lower jaw, saving me from that disgusting smell, before I slipped on my goggles and helmet. The men continued to face the stage as I finally focused on what exactly they were yelling about. There, on the stage, bound like livestock, was a girl no older than 13 years. I clenched my teeth as the man holding her rope paraded her around. He must have been the leader. If there was one thing I hated worse than the endless ghouls, it was the corruption that makes beasts of men.
He made another parade of the young girl as the men cheered and held up objects of value, hoping they held the most valuable one so they may possess the girl. They seemed to be armed with only baseball bats and other blunt objects, much to my relief. I could only shudder as I imagined what they would do to the poor girl, she was going to suffer a fate worse than death. I was about to speak when I heard a man near me yell out louder than the others.
"Why are we fighting for her? She's just a kid! Why are we doing this?! I had a daughter older than her! For God's sake, she shouldn't even be up there!" That man was quickly silenced by a mob of men who jumped on him. Less than a minute later, the poor man was laying in a bloody heap on the floor. His words were not useless though, as I saw several other men with looks of unease on their faces. I grinned under my mask, almost time to make my move.
The bidding continued for several minutes. I saw the girl was crying, but she held her head high in pride against the men. I grinned as I turned the speaker volume on my mask all the way up before holding up one of the decorative swords from inside my coat and yelling out above the others my offer. They seemed to quiet at once at the sound of my voice over the speaker before turning at me, their anger clearly shown as they yelled out curses and began to take a couple of steps towards me. I reached to the sword strapped to my lower back before a loud bang was heard and everyone was quiet. I looked to the stage to see the man holding the girl's leash in one hand, and a large pistol in his other. The barrel smoked as the gun pointed straight up in the air. He fired another shot before yelling out to the others.
"Now boys, we got ourselves a newcomer here, but his money seems good. Come here boy and show me your offer!" His souther accent made me sick.
I began to walk up to the stage, holding the blade firmly but the scabbard. I walked to the man who was beaten and inspected him. He was beaten badly, his nose broken, and holding his ribs, probably broken. I offered my hand to him. Several of the men laughed, the man on the ground stared at the hand before clasping with my own as I pulled him to his feet. He looked at me as I turned the volume down and spoke to him quietly.
"If you have any friends that share your ideals, I recommend you find them and stay with them. I will speak to you again after this. Got it?" He nodded and began to push through the crowd. I turned and resumed my walk to the stage. The looks that the men were giving me were angry, hateful even. I finally reached the base of the stage and heaved myself up.
The man looked at me, his ugly brown cowboy hat tipped up, showing his beady eyes and unkempt facial hair. I could see the bits of food and other matter stuck in his beard as he leaned forward and grinned, his teeth dark yellow from the chunk of chewing tobacco that was clearly visible inside his mouth. He grinned another disgusting smile as he holstered his pistol and held out his hand. I handed him the sword, which he greedily took and examined very thoroughly. His greed, his appearance, he himself, made me sick. he wiped the scabbard and hilt on his dirty brown leather jacket to better the shine of the elegant details. He looked it over and went to remove the sword from it's scabbard, only to hold the hilt with no blade attached. He looked to me with a confused and angry look on his face as he practically shouted out his thought.
"What the hell is this?! You hold up this beauty, but it has no blade? What are you playing?!"
At first I chuckled, then I laughed. He started to chuckle too as I spoke out between my heaves of laughter.
"I'm sorry. I couldn't help that one! The look on your face was priceless! Now this," At this point I pulled the blade out from my sleeve, the intricate gold dragons trailing up the steel."This is what you are looking for. It is a quality blade, but it is not just for show! Oh no, this baby has saved my ass on several occasions." I continued to laugh as the cowboy laughed along with me and held out his hand to see it. I laughed harder and he laughed along with me. Even some of the men laughed with us. Everything was going so good, we were all having a good time as he patted me on the shoulder and held out his hand again.
I moved quick and precise, just like I had been taught, and dug the sharp steel in between the Cowboy's ribs, into his heart. He lurched onto me as I held him up and whispered venomously into his ear.
"The blade wasn't part of the deal... That'll cost you extra, my friend. That's a price I doubt you can pay." I began to laugh again, a real laugh this time. It was loud and maniacal, showing my blood lust, as I took the Cowboy's nice jacket and cleaned my blade on it before taking his gun out of the holster and staring at it, a Desert Eagle. That is a tough gun to find. I holstered it to my hip before turning back to the men, they seemed stunned at what I had just done. I laughed again, long and loud, as I finally stopped and yelled out to them.
"Does anyone have a problem with what I did?" Several men came in an uproar to the stage and climbed onto it. I smiled as they drew closer, bats and chains in hand. I slowly drew my best sword from my hip. The black color of the metal, mixed with the combat machete style, made this weapon intimidating. I grinned again as I stood into the basic fighting stance as I spoke again.
"You look like you have a problem. Anything I can help you with?"
They didn't even bother to answer, they just charged me. I scoffed at their brutish behavior as I quickly dug my blade through the first one's stomach, into his spine, killing him instantly, while giving another a kick to the gut, and the last I let hit me. I felt my shoulder armor bow into me as the needles in my shoulder pad dug into the man's bat, sticking it to my shoulder. He was quick to let go and back up as I pulled my blade from the dead man, snapped the bat off my shoulder, and put both hands on the hilt, and separated it into two separate yet identical blades. The man who hit me with the bat backed up slightly, nervous suddenly. I could only grin as the one I kicked stood up, he was dazed. I took my opportunity and quickly ran behind him before delivering a chop to the back of his neck with my blade, resulting in a sickening crunch and one less problem in this equation.
I turned to the last man and began to laugh again, the poor bastard looked to be having an internal debate on what he should do. I started to walk towards him, my feet thumping on the hollow stage loudly in the quiet room as the men in the crowd stared. He quickly snapped back and stared at me as he drew a small sword from his belt, I could only grin and lick my lips in anticipation, he might be fun after all. He ran towards me, both arms on the handle as he held it high above his head and charged. I sighed, he wasn't any good with the damn thing. I sidestepped his downward slash and hit him on the back of the neck with the pommel of my blade. The blow caused him to fall forward onto his hands and knees, his sword falling out of his grip and sliding across the stage. He stared at the ground as I slowly walked up to him, clicking my blades back together as the internal magnets held them together. I could hear his breathing, his deep pants of exhaustion. I could only chuckle as I raised my blade high above my head. As I was about to swing down, I heard him speak.
"Mercy." He spoke in a groveling tone. I hated groveling. I grinned as I spoke my sentence with the words I had been taught to speak during my training.
"I am showing you mercy. Can't you see it?" He looked up at me hopefully. That's the moment I brought my blade down and severed his head from his body. I laughed again as I wiped my blade off on his dirty coat and sheathed it. I spoke loud enough so that the others may hear it.
"I am showing you mercy and saving you from this pitiful existence. You had sealed your fate for me to deliver punishment. If I hadn't spared mercy, I would have cut off each finger, toe, arm, and leg at the joint into many little pieces while keeping you conscious. I showed you the ultimate form of mercy; death in a quick and painless form."
I turned to the other men in the crowd, it was time for my plan. Turning to the young girl, who by now had taken to cowering behind a small bit of debris, I walked towards her. She didn't move as I came closer. She looked at me warily as I turned her around roughly and cut the ropes that held her. By now, some of the men had grown enough courage to speak.
"Who are you?"
"What the fuck? You killed our meal ticket!"
The rantings and angry shouts continued as i turned to face them. I pulled the small gun out of my sleeve and aimed into the crowd. They grew silent at once, just what I wanted. I continued to aim at the crowd as I spoke loud enough to be heard by everyone.
"I know your leader is dead, and for that I am not sorry. His greed sealed his fate. I am here to offer to you now a position to follow me but first, where is the man I helped from this crowd?"
The men looked around confused until the man I recognized as the one I helped, climb onto the stage. I turned to him and held out my hand, which he looked at confused and then began to shake it with his own. I grinned and spoke to the man again in a friendly tone.
"Will you join me? I need good men by my side and you seem to have what I'm for. So what do you say?"
He appeared to be in thought before he nodded his affirmative. I grinned before speaking to him again.
"That is good. I didn't want to have to kill you. Since you know these people better than me, I'm going to have you pick out the men. No more than 15. I don't like having to worry about too many people."
He nodded again and began to call out people's names. One by one, they stepped up, and I was impressed. They seemed strong, but smart. I only hoped they were good at heart.
They all stood in a line. I walked by each of them before yelling out my questions.
"Do you swear to follow me? Do you promise you will follow my orders, or face death? Will you follow me, knowing that I will always provide for you, feed you, keep you well armed and comfortable? Are you ready to actually fight for something that will make a difference?"
They all seemed confident as they gave out a yell of their affirmation of my proposal. I grinned as I turned to the men down in the crowd. there was only a dozen or so left. That was even odds for a fight, but I still didn't know how trained my men were. that was a risk I was not ready to take, so I switched to 'Plan B' as I yelled out to them.
"I know a lot of you are confused, but listen to me. You will leave or die. You will pick your new leader after you have left, and maybe, in time, we may make a truce between us. Until then, I am telling you to leave or face death. You are not to return until you have picked your new leader. Any survivors or treasure here that you have taken, are to be left here."
I felt a pressure wrap around my arm. A moment of anxiety took my as I reached my other hand to my blade out of reflex before looking down to the source. The young girl who I had cut free was clinging to my arm. She was about 5' 4" and looked to be about 100 pounds. She was dressed in ragged clothes and had brown hair, cut short like most people these days. She had her face buried into my sleeve, and I could feel the moisture leaking through my sleeve, soaking my arm. I reached my free hand away from my blade and patted her on the head. I hadn't really had to comfort anybody since my nieces in the South Valley Safe Zone before...
'NO! Stop thinking that! They are gone now, and even if they were alive, they don't matter! You need to focus on getting this done. Peace must be restored first! Your own needs come second!'
The voice in my head was right, I had to take care of this land before myself. It always amazed me to see the different personalities of the voice. When I was on the brink of suicide, it consoled me, made me feel wanted and gave me purpose. When I ventured to depression, it reminded me of my current objective. The scary thing is when I fought. It screamed out in joy, called for blood, gave me the strength in battle that I needed. I loved and hated that voice for all it did to me. It made me human to others, and my current objectives seemed pure. At the same time, it possessed me in fights, made me feel a sense of joy that nothing else has brought me for a very long time, as I cut and hacked away bits of flesh, and ended lives. It always made me feel refreshed after I spilled blood.
I looked as the men in the crowd dropped random objects and left. Someone went to a door in the corner and unlocked it before opening it wide. Several dozen people cautiously walked out of the room, looking from me and the others on the stage, to the men who were leaving. Some gave a cry of joy, while others just stared, pale looks on their faces. I felt bad for them, they had probably had lost one or more of their family. I motioned for them to come over as I pried the girl off my arm and faced her towards the crowd. She looked at them before dashing off the stage, to be received in a hug by an older woman who looked similar to her. They seemed happy together. I turned away from the people as the painful feeling of nostalgia hit me, I used to be like that. I brushed it off as I turned back to the men on the stage.
"You are all dismissed. Go and help those families or rest. Someone find the leader of this place and bring them to me. I need to talk to them." The men nodded and left. I pulled out my flask and took a small swig.
Less than ten minutes later, one of my men walked up with an older woman in tow. He nodded towards me and walked away. The woman walked up and began to shake me hand fervently. She kept on speaking her thanks as tears slid down her cheeks. I held up a hand and she silenced herself, but still held my hand. I slowly pried my hand away. I took off my helmet and goggles, my brown hair falling in front of my eyes. I slowly pulled my gas mask down around my neck, my face finally being exposed to the cool air inside the gym. I looked at the woman before me, she was in her 60s. Her gray hair fell to her shoulders. Her wrinkled face was one that looked to have held a lot of happiness at one time. She wore a faded holiday sweater, the once bright colors were a bleached memory of their former beauty. She was about as tall as the young girl I had saved, give or take an inch. She held an aura that just screamed out how she was a loving grandmother figure.
She stared at me, slightly confused as to why I silenced her, before I spoke.
"I am here today to give you an offer. I ask that you allow me to base here with you and work from this place. In return, I will give you all the protection you need. I don't want money or treasures. All I want is room and board for me and my men. We will help where needed and do what you ask of us as long as it is not too drastic. what do you say?" She seemed happy as she nodded and spoke in a friendly tone.
"That sounds like a good idea. My name is Lora. Anything you need, just come to me. Can I know the name of our new protector?" I looked at her and nodded.
"My name is Gabriel." I lied, but gave her the name of my cousin. "My last name is not needed to be known"
That seemed to satisfy her, if the look on her face and her toothy grin was anything to go by. She thought about it again before speaking her thoughts again.
"Okay, but what should I call your group of men? Surely you have a name for your organization." I looked at her thoughtfully before hearing that voice in my head again.
'Call them Sin Eaters. You were always fascinated with them' He was right, yet again. I looked to her before speaking in a confident tone.
"We are the Sin Eaters. We shoulder the burden of our past, along with taking the burden of others so that peace may settle. This, more than ever, is when peace is needed, and if we have to kill to achieve it, then so be it."
She nodded and walked away, giving out small orders to the people. 'Sin Eaters'. I wish it didn't have to be so biblical, but it was the name that fit closest to my goals. I needed to rid this land of filth, both undead and living, so the fighting may end, so the undead can rest in eternal death. Now, under the flag of the Sin Eaters, I am finally seeing my plans being more than another pipe dream of a madman.