|Day 2 route.|
After eating some rations and drinking water from my only water bottle, I set off North down the hill towards the settlement of Msta. Keeping a wide berth of zombies along the main road through the village by ascending to the Northern treeline, I stumbled upon another wooden deer stand, surrounded by 3 zombies in Army uniforms. Avoiding their gaze I climbed the ladder to find myself staring at a mountain of equipment. More ChemLights, flares, bandages, tins of food, spare mags for an M9 pistol, and above all: an AKM with around 200 spare rounds. I hastily dropped my Enfield for the automatic rifle, confident that my inferior equipment problem was now out of the window. Moving east away from the roaming horde towards a barn a couple hundred meters away, I made the conscious decision to keep the weapon in semi-automatic; ammo would be sparse and it would be wise to refrain from going Rambo on everything in sight, despite the temptation.
Rounding the corner of a large haystack next to the barn, I set sights on a trail of dead zombies that led up to the main door. I soon heard the unmistakable sound of flies, the indicator of a dead survivor nearby. Entering the barn I found a mound of zombies at the foot of a some stairs, and the recently deceased player up on the next level. No loot was in the barn, but more worryingly there was no loot on the dead player, meaning he was either travelling with a group and they took what he had or someone had just been in the barn not moments ago. Imagining wild scenarios in my mind and slightly weary of unwittingly walking into a clever ambush, I crept out of the barn the way I came in and walked down the hill to the North East, keeping an eye on the road and treeline to my right for movement.
Pausing in a clump of trees, I stopped to assess my situation. Despite finding ample food supplies in the recent deer stand, I only had one soda can in the way of drink. This, along with trying to find a map or a compass, was my primary concern. At some point in the not so distant future I would have to investigate a town or residential area for the essential items. Not knowing how far I was from the coast, and having completely lost my sense of direction, I headed towards what I thought was East, but now looking back at a map it turns out was more North East. Crossing a main road between a hamlet near Solnichniy and Dolina my direction veered North before eventually turning North West. Had I looked West down the road towards Dolina I would have noticed a lake to refill my water supply, but I think I was far too occupied with being on the look-out for bandits now that I was inland to actually concentrate on anything other than the horizon.
The village of Orlovets completely eluded me as I kept heading to the East (actually North), because by sheer misfortune I kept to the West of a large ridge-line that kept me from seeing the coast on my right. Blindly following a wooded area I actually started to move further away from the coast.
After surveying the surrounding area on a small hill, and completely missing the fact there was a factory with a lake to the South and a deer stand just to the North West, I now continued in a Northerly direction on the Eastern side of the aforementioned ridge-line, still unable to see the coast because of the tree cover.
Begrudgingly I had to drink my last can, meaning I was completely out of water, but mercifully the trees cleared to unveil a main road and my first sight of the coast for many kilometers. Taken aback that the coast was on my right I thought, by the look of the sprawling town below, I must have walked a massive circle and ended up near Elektrozavodsk on the South coast. Not knowing it was Berezino I was thinking of making my way back to Msta to finish off my day which would have been to the East. Instead, I crossed the road and ended up heading further North. Further illustrating my completely misguided sense of direction I soon went over a smaller tarmac road to the East of Dubrovka, which meant walking under some power lines. Knowing there was a power station in the vicinity of Elektrozavodsk, this further reinforced my belief that I was in fact on the South coast.
Certain of where I was, I continued North whilst walking along a treeline next to another main road. Noticing a small hut on the opposite side of the road I decided to cross and investigate. Here I found my first zombies since all the way back in Msta, but unfortunately all I found loot-wise was a load of empty cans and broken tins. Dejected, I continued North. Upon reaching the end of a small line of trees I chanced a look to my left, where all of a sudden I saw a survivor in the open field running towards the hut I had just left, with a pack of 5 zombies chasing him down. I went prone behind a few trees, watching silently as he quickly dealt with the small horde with his Makarov pistol. Whilst he was searching the bodies I made my break across the open field to the North and another wooded area where I took shelter; luckily he was too busy to notice.
Taking watch once more, I saw the player run through the treeline I had just left and straight into the path of more zombies I had sneaked past at the hut. Taking him by surprise he only had the time to squeeze off a couple of shots before they were right on him. I then saw him sprint across the road with 3 zombies on his tail and disappear into the trees to the East behind the crest of a hill. Curiosity taking the better of me, I decided to follow.
Sprinting across the main road and into the forest to the East, I heard shots from what sounded like a pistol close by. Just before a steep slope Eastwards in the forest I paused to regain some stamina, and as I glanced around I saw the player no less than 50 meters away to my right bandaging his wounds, zombies obviously dispatched. Creeping behind a tree to observe, I lost sight of him momentarily. In that short amount of time he was sprinting up the steep hill to the South and almost out of sight. Deciding he must have a map or at least knew where on Earth he was going, I carried on East down the slope hoping to reach the coast soon.
My water problem was no more, as I found another deer stand to the North of the village of Khelm full of soda cans, along with spare ammo for my pistol. Looking back at the mountain behind me where I lost sight of the unknown player, I thought for a moment I had seen a silhouette of a human making its way further South and out of view. His recklessness reminded me of the survivor I met near Kamyshovo the previous day, and I wondered for a second if that was the same guy...
Finding a secluded area in a line of trees to the East of Khelm, I decided this was my spot for the night. The city of Elektrozavodsk would have to wait for tomorrow, I thought, still unawares to my true location tens of kilometers to the North. My seemingly quiet, incident free day would all change as I realised my huge navigational mistake, and started the trek South in Day 3.
Until next time,