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Irontober

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Dawn comes too early, you wake to a stiff back and throbing knee perplexed as to how you survived the night, surly they should have torn the doors down and torn you apart...but you woke, alive but alone to an empty trashed store, light trickling in through the dusty glass windows, all the noise was gone and the world outside dead, no birds or bugs...just silence.

It was unerving but and part of you wanted to hide, a small part of yourself telling you "I should stay... it's safe here" but your instincts were wise, they screamed at you to never linger too long, and those instincts won the war of logic in your head.

You shove the first aid kit into your backpack while hooking the crowbar into your utility belt, and begin carefully making your way out of the trashed convenience store.

Peeking out the crushed in door before stepping out onto an empy sidewalk, the place is trashed. But that's nothing new...these.. things they destroy unbiasly, like a plague of termites on a sick tree.

Your stomach growls viciously but you ignore the hunger pains, leaning your weight on the crow bar as a makeshift can you make your way deeper into the city, previously your groups goal was to make it to the disaster relief refuge center somewhere in the pit of the city.

A month and a half ago Saladin picked up a broadcast on the on his antique mini survival radio, the promise of protection and rations motivated your group to leave Radegast's empty loft and brave the trip despite your blatant skepticism.

As much as a cynic as you were, you all knew non of you were really left with a choice, the infected were slowly burrowing their way inside, the sounds of them within the walls was a clear warning that it was only a matter of time before they found their way in.

You still stick to the plan to hid there, hopefully...if you manage to make it you can meet your friends there, you prey to god they make it, the thought of someone becoming one of those... Things left a bad taste in your mouth.

You find yourself ambling through what looks like a abandoned shopping district, its still eerily quiet, and the feeling that your being watched has intensified.

But nothing confronts you save for overgrown foliage determined to reclaim society's landmarks and countless road signs directing to a dead mall, a McDonald's and a gas station that's more likely then not siphoned dry by now.

You consider investigating the McDonald's... by now it's mid-day and the only thing you've eaten in the past 24 hours is 4 Excedrin pills and a half of bottle of water, hunger pains have given way to a dull fatigued nasious.

But with your waning energy and the likely hood of only spoiled food left if anything at all, you deemed it too risky to investigate.

The sound of a screech and clattering trash cans shatter the silence startling you out of your deliberations, you stiffen as a metal lid rolls around the corner only to fall flat, beyoned it is a large looming shadow, there's a tense second you raise the crow bar ready to bash the culprits's head in the minute it rounds the corner.

But in a flash, brown and black steaks past you before you can even propely swing the crowbar down, you whip around to face the creature relief immediately flooding your vains as you realize it's just a dog.

A large shapered of some sort you'd suspect, you were never good with species, but what has you more intrigued by ita preasence is the plump rat in it's mouth and the peculiar antennaed collar around it's nack.

The dog stares you down with curious but untrusting eyes no doubt, frightened by your previous but sad attempt to bash it's head in.

Desperately you try to appeal to it's better nature, slowly setting down the crow bar and beckoning to it, trying to make yourself as least intemidating as possible, but for all your best efforts the dog runs and so does the promise of food, but your hungry and the idea of meat is motivation enough to recklessly chase after the skittish beast.

By all rights you shouldn't have been able to keep up, not with you bad leg..but the dog runs abnomally slow, stopping every block or so, to seemingly waiting for you to catch up before taking off again.

You don't stop to consider where it's leading you, or if the trap your likely walking into is worth the rat in it's jaws, but your hungry and desperate.

It leads you into the mall, only a few lights work, part of you screams for you to turn around, never tread in dark places, but hunger drives you on, in the past months weeds have started sprouting from every the corner and crevie hat light shines, the escalators have frozen covered in dust and scattered abandoned belongings.

You dont take the time evaluate why the state of the place makes your heart drop, it should be expected by now..
You've It's been quarantined for months why wouldn't it look like this...

The dog takes a sharp right, darting into a small gap in a half gate locked barns and nobles, you quickly follow suit.

Thinking back on your foolishness your pretty lucky the blow of the rifle's butt against your head wasn't a bullet altogether.

You collapse, blacking to out to the sound of the dog's barking and foreign and familiar voices above you.