Tales from DayZ recounts the experiences of John and some of his friends in the post-apocalyptic world of Chernarus where the zombies will kill you and so will every other survivor you meet.
After the events at the church in Berezino, Chris and I had started running low on military grade rifle ammo. We also needed hunting rounds for the recently pilfered Mosin rifle Chris had retrieved from the lifeless corpse of our dearly departed friend Mr. Green Motorbike Helmet. After my leg had had time to heal and I could walk and run again, we set out for the airbase near the southern coast.
Against my better judgement we went to this airport because we figured that it would lead us to more ammo and supplies quicker than the safest airbase and more safe than the largest airbase.
After what seemed like an eternity of walking and making sure there was no one following us the airbase was finally in sight. The hangers being visible from quite far off. Choosing to be more careful than we normally were we approached from the tree line and moved steadily along the fence so as to attract the least amount of attention.
I guess my earlier brush with mortality at the church had me more cautious and ever more paranoid that someone had me in their crosshairs waiting to put a bullet in the back of my head.
Chris and I eventually reach the first barracks building and swept through the place like we knew what we were doing. We picked up a few clips of ammo for an M4 as well as some revolver rounds but not everything that we needed. We moved on to the AT tower and Chris began the sweep through the building while I took perch at the top with my scoped SKS rifle and kept lookout.
While sweeping my scope through the various buildings near the town, I leveled my gaze on the cluster of barracks about 300 meters away and sat there for a minute. I saw movement. I kept the rifle trained on that area to make sure I saw someone come out of the barracks and sure enough I did.
He was toting a mountain backpack and had a fire ax strapped to his back and a rifle in his hands. This guy was packing a significant amount of killing potential.
“I got someone moving outside the barracks,” I tell Chris.
“Alright, I’m coming up to you then,” he replies.
I quickly tell Chris to hang on, we needed to wait until the stranger had gone back into a building before he started climbing all over the tower. The man finally goes into another barrack and allows Chris enough time to get on the roof and go prone before emerging again.
“See him?” I ask Chris
“Yeah, I don’t have a scope though, can’t hit him from this far,” Chris replies.
After a little debate, we decide it is in our best interest to wait until the guy crosses over towards the hangers and gets closer to us to try to take him out. Of course, we resolve to kill him though––there would be no attempt at contact or civil behavior. The guy was on an airfield and that meant he was ready to fight for the supplies.
We patiently wait and watch the man rifle through a few buildings for supplies. By now we have concluded that he is acting alone. We sweep the rooftops and find no snipers and no backup around. It’s just us and him.
Finally the guy makes it to the hangars and Chris starts to get a little anxious. I urge Chris to keep calm and not take the shot until it is a for sure thing that it’s gonna hit.
Chris sees an opening and takes a shot.
That’s the last time I put faith in Chris’s shooting skills. The shot is wide and hits the pavement behind the guy as he is walking in our direction. Our prey rushes into one of the hangars to avoid being clipped by any of Chris’s repeated attempts to shoot him.
“Really,” I ask Chris. “You shoot at him and miss from less than 100 meters away.”
I train my rifle on where the guy had disappeared into a hangar. With only one way in and one way out he had effectively trapped himself. What we didn’t know though was that he knew exactly where we were perched. He comes out of the hangar with his own firearm pointed right at us. Chris and I both take shots at him, and the stranger shoots at us as well. I see a stream of crimson come from the man’s head, just before my screen goes black.
“I dropped him, one shot to the head,” Chris says to me.
“That’s great. Unfortunately I’m now dead,” I reply over Skype.
Death in DayZ is never an unexpected thing, and when you die with just a flashlight and a can of beans it really doesn’t hurt that badly and doesn’t induce rage. But when you are running around armed to the teeth with enough food to last you for a while, in addition to water containers, death can give quite a sting, especially when it could have been prevented with better shooting accuracy. Our attempted ambush was spoiled by a risky shot and a very itchy trigger finger, so the adventure begins anew for me.