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Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

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  • Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

    Day Zero.
    I open my eyes. (*1)

    The sound of water hitting the land is overwhelming (*2), I'm on a shoreline... but where?

    I check myself for belongings, My rucksack is still attached to my back. I have a side arm, some ammunition, some tinned beans and a water flask and some medical supplies to treat minor injuries... luckily I don't need them at this time. I seem to be in one piece.

    Suddenly I hear a voice, it sounds like a radio transmission (*3) so I rummage further into my rucksack. The voice coming through is familiar, I recognise it's distinctiveness instantly, its Marshall John Canavar, my former platoon leader. Then I hear who he is talking to, another familiar voice. It's a member of my platoon, Private Clint Volchok, he's 5 months fresh from selection, a good guy.
    I try to send a communication but something is wrong (*4), my radio isn't sending my transmission. As I try to figure out what's wrong I listen in on the conversation for a while. It seems Private Volchok is in a situation similar to my own, he too finds himself in unfamiliar territory.
    Marshall Canavar explains that this is his 10th day wondering alone since the infection started to spread, He's been moving from town to town trying to scavenge what little supplies he could. It gets worse.
    He says that every town he has passed through so far had been well... full of... zombies!... the walking dead. Crazed creatures of a human form, yet without a shred of humanity left in them. Whatever happened here had done a lot worse that just kill off the local population. It seems crazy I know, but somehow, it's happening.
    This was followed by more bad news. Since almost the entire population were either dead or indeed, walking dead, those that had survived were split mainly into two types of persona's, those who wanted to survive, and those that would do anything to survive. You see, some people were not content with scavenging and killing whatever zeds they came across, for some people the meaning of survival had gone to a whole new level, they were hunting anything that moved, including humans, to take their belongings and add them to their own. These groups of people had become known as bandits.
    He continued filling in the gaps, explaining how everything had changed and no one except those you truly know can be trusted.

    Finally my radio works (*5), I send my transmission, both John and Clint are glad to hear my voice, as indeed I am to hear theirs respond to me. We quickly agree that we need to find a way to rendezvous, the biggest problem being that neither Volchok or myself know our exact positions. We spend the next 30 minutes scouting our respective immediate surroundings, relaying our findings to the Marshall, whose knowledge of the area is much greater than our own. After we had passed all the information we could about various landmarks and where they were in relation to one another, we eventually concluded that Volchok and I were situated in two neighbouring towns approximately 3.5Km apart (*6) on the southern coastline of the island. Volchok, located in the town of Chernogorsk and myself, in the town of Elektrozavodsk.
    John had also informed us of his position, he was located far to the north east somewhere south of a town called Krasnostav, however, he had made his way there from a position not too far from our current ones and he was confident he could make his way back to us in good time since he was familiar with the terrain that he would be encountered with.
    We decide that Volchok and I should set off to meet one another somewhere in between our current locations. John advised us to get away from the town as soon as possible and avoid the roads at all costs. Out of sight, out of mind!... We forged a plan.
    We would try and get ourselves on the north side of our respective towns (unfortunately we were both currently located on the south side, close to the ocean), from there we would follow the power lines, using them as a guide, that ran through the mountainous forest areas from a power plant in Elektrozavodsk towards Chernogorsk, and would meet at a point approximately in the middle of the two towns where the lines crossed a road.
    And so, with our objectives in mind, we set out.

    Unfortunately I would have to head in the wrong direction to ultimately reach my destination, everything I could see to my west was not inviting in the slightest, an urban area full of roads and buildings. John advised me not to go that way, as it would almost certainly lead to confrontation of one kind or another, so I set off heading north east, along the coast. The land inward elevated above my line of sight about 15 meters in, so visibility wasn't great, John advised me to stay low and quiet, keep a decent pace but make as little noise as possible... More than anything, that's what the zeds were attracted too, their other senses seemed as lost as their humanity, but their sense of hearing had somehow become so much better than it was when they were human.

    Then I hear Volchok on the radio, his path is completely blocked by zombies and they don't seem to be moving. He has no choice, confrontation is not an option considering his ammo count, he must cut the corner and swim round them.
    He braves the cold waters and begins his swim. A few minutes later he's back on the radio. Disaster! His rucksack had come loose due to the rough sea and it sank to the bottom, along with his drinking flask. Disgruntled, he must continue, now the rendezvous has become of the up most importance for him, he will not survive long in this heat without water, and even though he still has his side arm, tackling zombies alone while you are dehydrated is no ones idea of a good way to spend your Friday afternoon.

    I had made decent progress so far, updating the Marshall with intel as he guided me from afar, I could see some kind of dock ahead with a road and a railway line running parallel along side which were separated by a stretch of grassland around 60 meters wide.
    I approached slowly, this would be the last set of obstacles I would need to overcome before I made it to the relative safety of the dense forest. I slowly edged further forward and as the view opened out before me my heart sank... zombies... everywhere!
    At that very moment i heard a noise, I drew my pistol, looked down the sights and began scanning. Again, a noise. I scan to the right, nothing... I scan to the left, nothing, then Just as I'm about to scan right again I see movement about 20 meters out behind a bush, It's a zed. I freeze, my pistol locked on the target, then, like a greyhound out of the gates it begins to charge straight for me, screaming wildly with a lust for blood and fresh meat.
    I fire a shot in its chest... nothing, the zed keeps coming... I let off another round... nothing, now its bearing down on top of me and now I'm starting to panic...I fire 3 more shots in quick succession and the zed hits the floor less than a meter from me. My heart's racing, I keep my pistol sighted over the zeds head just in case. It's dead. I quickly reload and ready myself to begin scanning, but just as I take my eye off the dead zombie I see another one heading in at pace from my left side, I quickly take aim and fire off 5 rounds. It drops dead a meter away from the first. Now my adrenaline is really pumping and I remember what Marshall Canavar had told me about zeds being attracted to noise... well if I had rolled down the street with a marching band it would probably have been quieter than what I had just done so now the panic really starts to set in. I spent the next minute crouched still, scanning my sectors, it seemed I had got lucky this time. I could see plenty of Zeds around my vicinity but none of them were heading my way faster than Usain Bolt doing the 100m so that was good enough for me.
    I had survived my first encounter unharmed, which is more than can be said for some unfortunate souls. I calmed myself and slowly began to move forward to scout the route ahead. It wasn't looking good.

    As I looked onward I counted in excess of 20 zombies in and around my path, and those were just the ones I could see. John urged me to turn around and find anoth route... but where?... how? there was nowhere else to go! In all other directions it was either houses and roads or the ocean. This was the only path, and its a path I had no choice but to traverse, it was the only open patch of land where I could actually see what I was up against.
    I watched as each zed slowly lurched its way around randomly, I could hear the groans and slurs. I was crouched low and began to move slowly forward trying to predict the zeds movements ahead whilst trying to make sure I didn't get blind sided.
    I continued onwards, slowly weaving my way though the maze of zombies, it was too late to turn back now even if I wanted to, I was past the point of no return, there was no doubt that if I was to be attacked now it would certainly be my demise. Onward I go... weaving... watching.

    I'm nearing the end of my undead maze, desperately resisting the urge to move faster just to get the hell out of the mess I had put myself in, just a few more meters, I must remain calm. I continue on a little further than necessary to ensure I give myself ample clearance of the docks railway station before turning 90 degrees to my left and heading over the road and then over the rail tracks and into the forest.
    I made it, somehow, I had just traversed a maze containing in excess of 20 zeds and I'm still alive to tell the tail. I can hear the relief in the voice of my former platoon leader and between you and me I think he reckons I'm a bit crazy for even trying it.... and to be fair I kind of agree. But I'm in the forest now, out of sight.

    While I had been zombie dodging, my fellow platoon member Clint had made excellent progress, I guess he's able to move a bit faster without his rucksack and water bottles. He'd made it to our agreed rendezvous point where the power lines crossed the road so he decided to keep moving towards my location. Well after all, he knew I had water on me and he was probably just getting a bit thirsty.
    We eventually made contact, found some cover and decided that after our journey a few minutes R&R was the best option (*7). As we relaxed we noticed a barn through the tree line about 100m off our position, we scouted it out for a couple of minutes and all seemed quiet so we decided to check it out. We slowly approached covering each others advance and entered the barn. It was all clear. We had a look around and found some nice trinkets for our troubles. We got a new canteen for Volchok, a Lee Enfield rifle with 1 clip, a Winchester 1866 without ammo, some M1014 slug and pellet rounds and a Markov clip. Not bad for being nosey. After we had a good look aound we fell back to the forest and debated our next move. Our original plan was to follow the road that the power line crossed north to a town called Pusta. However, since we had now found a canteen for Clint we decided instead to follow a power line which ran north from Elektrozavodsk to Topolka Damm where we would stop to rehydrate and refill our water supplies.

    In the mean time Marshall Canavar was making great progress towards us and by the time we stopped to refill our canteens he was now moving past the town of Shakovka, around 3Km from our water source. He had travelled around 5km in what must have been a Guinness world record time for traversing zombies filled terrain, if such a thing existed.
    With canteens full of water we continued heading north under the relative safety of the canopy afforded by the forest, taking a wide berth of a property swarming with 8 zeds around the grounds. It was too many to risk alerting our presence to them and John was making his way ever closer to our position so we continued moving onwards.
    Clouds had started forming overhead as we had made our way to this point and now the rain started falling, the sound of droplets drowning out the wildlife and visibility had been reduced to around 200 meters, the rain wasn't overly heavy, more of a light summers shower, but the cloud was thick in mass so it somewhat darkened our surroundings. It went light now and again as the sun broke through patches in the clouds only to darken once more as they passed above.

    We decided to rendezvous near a small town called Staroye, at a point where a power line crossed a road just to the south of it. We put ourselves on the correct side of the road to make the rendezvous and moved into the tree line, we was less than a kilometer from the meeting point. Private Volchok decided he couldn't wait any longer, he had to relieve himself (*8). He moved into cover 30 meters from the road and I decided to move onwards towards our objective to scout ahead. Marshall Canavar advised me he had reached our objective and was taking cover, I told him I was inbound on the high side 15m off the road side. As I made my way through the foliage towards him he confirmed visual contact. Finally we were reunited! We fell into cover off the roadside awaiting the arrival of Private Volchock who had made his way back closer to the roadside and was inbound to our position (*9).
    Then, over the radio Private Volchok relays a visual contact, "I think I see you John... 20 meters ahead, in the gillie suit?". "NEGATIVE" Marshal Canavar quickly says "Contact is unknown, prepare for engagement". Marshall canavar quickly moves into higher ground further from the road side and I draw my Lee Enfield rifle which we had scavenged earlier in the day and hit the ground, prone, facing the direction of Volchoks location, scanning the foliage ahead for movement. John confirms visual contact from his higher position, an unknown contact running full speed towards my position. I continue looking for movement. "I have visual" I relay to the Marshall. "30 meters..... 20 meters....", I continue tracking the target as he fast approaches my position, "wait" says John, "10 Meters......... FIRE!". I hear the command and instinctively squeeze the trigger, letting off a single round. The sound echoes around us, there is no more movement.
    "do we have a confirmed kill?" the Marshall asks. "Negative" I reply "I lost visual immediately after took the shot". "move in and confirm" John orders. I rise from my prone position and slowly begin moving to the targets last know position, remaining crouched as my allies move in on opposite flanks to my approach. As I slowly move through the undergrowth I catch a glimpse of a rifle "visual confirmed", I move in closer... "kill confirmed, contact is down". My friends approach my position from either side of me as I stare down at the corpse below. "Check his body" the marshall orders and Private Volchock carries out the command. He didn't have any form of identification on him, but this guy, whoever he was, had been around the block a few times. His large ALICE pack was filled with supplies; A Lee Enfield with 7 mags, a M1911 with 2 clips, a hunting knife, smoke grenade, some flares and chem lights, a hatchet and matches. A map, compass, binoculars. 6 bandages, 2 blood bags, 1 morphine auto injector, a pack of pain killers and 2 cans of beans. yep, this wasn't his first pick-nick... but it was is last... my heart sank, I felt terrible.

    Who was this guy? why was he running full speed at my position? did he not see us? after all, we were not wearing any form of camo. The Marshall tried to reassure me that we had made the right call, he explained that after everything he had seen over the last ten days and after everything we had been through today, we couldn't risk having one guy run up on top of us and have the possibility of it being one of us lying dead on the ground. There wasn't enough time to make proper contact, it all happened so fast and we had no way of knowing if this guy was a bandit or another survivor running for his own life. I knew what he was saying made sense and I was gratefull of his reassurance, but even though we now had much needed supplies and, most importantly we still had our lives, it didn't make me feel much better.

    John told us we should move on in case he wasn't alone, we quickly gathered up our unknown contacts possessions and headed north-north west towards the town of Staroye. We found a suitable spot in the middle of the forest and I maintained a watch as John and Clint done an inventory and spread the supplies between us, my mind still racing with questions of what had happened only moments ago. They tried to lighten my mood cracking a few jokes about my shooting, and I began to realise that in our situation, in our surroundings, with all the unknowns about what lay ahead for us, I needed to man up and move on, learn from the experience. There is no one I can apologise to, and I've never really believed in redemption from a higher being, the only thing I could do is promise myself that I would try and put the possessions we now had towards a good cause, to fight the good fight. I cant let myself become vunerable and risk the life of my friends. I put on a brave face, it was time to move out.

    We continued along our current heading and positioned ourselves on the west side of Staroye in the wooded high ground. There was a cattle barn below us and we decide it was worth checking out. We observed for a few minutes counting the zeds we could see below us, we had at least five in the immediate area. John took point and I followed him as Clint took the six as we moved towards the large structure. We made entry and began making our way to the other end. There was a small room on the right side and the Marshall provided me with cover as he ordered me to enter and check it out. As I enter the room, slicing the pie, I see a small package on the floor, there's no zeds around. I pick up the package, some more bandages which I hopefully wont be needing. I check the far side of the room and see a rifle, a CZ550 to be exact, with a long range scope attached. Unfortunately there is no ammo in sight so I report my findings. We can only carry so much and we decide that even though we don't have the ammo for it yet we should take the rifle as it may be of great use for over watch in the future. I pick it up, leaving my Lee Enfield behind (*10). It was time to move on.

    We slowly exit the cattle shed and John reports a zed contact heading our way 20 meters out and others blocking the various routes away from the barn, he decided to lead us to a small out-house about 10 meters away that has 2 doors leading in. We make entry and John closes the door behind us. We all draw our weapons and face the remaining open door, The Marshall orders us still. A few seconds pass and the zed he reported heading our way earlier comes into sight as it begins to hobble right past the open door. we are all frozen still, weapons aimed at the zombie as it lurches past, groaning. We give it time to clear before making our exit and head up to the tree line to the north, we'd seen enough of Staroye, it was time to move on.

    Dusk was starting to fall as we left Staroye and continued heading north towards a small town called Shakhovka, once we hit the forest we decided now would be a good time to make a fire. The rain we had endured thus far had sent our body temperatures tumbling and John, fearful of infection decided we needed to warm ourselves and bring our core temperatures back up again. We also decided now would be a good time for food so we peeled open some tinned beans, ate and got warm by the fire.
    Once we had finished our meal and we were warmed up again, we kept moving onwards through the forest until the sun finally fell below the horizon. It was pitch black and even though the rain had now ceased the cloud coverage meant that the night sky was empty of all light. Luckily the Marshall had a flash light that worked. We positioned ourselves in the forest area south west of Shakovka and decided to bed down for the night.

    That was it, Day zero had finally come to an end. As I lay down I reflected on the days events, the incident with the unknown contact still weighing heavy on my mind. I tried to fill my thoughts with optimism of the future and what that may bring, but for now it was time to get some rest in preparation for the next day, I have a feeling that things aren't going to get any easier. But at least I'm not alone. (*11)

    (*1) I logged in
    (*2) Ouch! got to sort out those audio levels!
    (*3) Teamspeak
    (*4) Something was wrong with my teamspeak, I couldn't talk when I was ingame
    (*5) Teamspeak sorted!
    (*6) Need's clarification
    (*7) time for a RL break!
    (*8) Vol lost connection, and the server kept booting him with a weird battleeye error.
    (*9) Vol finally manages to get back in game.
    (*10) My enfield dissapeared!!! dang
    (*11) Time to log out!
    It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.


    "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
    - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

  • #2
    Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

    Very good read and thanks for sharing this with us.


    • #3
      Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

      Great stuff, thanks.
      "So Far, So Good................So What"


      • #4
        Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

        Fantastic read. Thanks for posting.


        • #5
          Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

          Nice write up!

          "I was never much a fan to playing anything online without having to manage my own private server. The Internet Gaming community has evolved to cater to the lowest common denominator and practically ruined my desire to have any part of it. But not here. It is something wonderfully different." - frozenchrome

          "Teamspeak doesn't make the tactics in DayZ any better. It just let's everyone share in the agony of waiting to connect." -Warlab

          Proud Former member of the 19th Mechanized Infantry


          • #6
            Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

            Amazing AAR Fine. Thanks for adding a great story in our memorable moments book :)

            Story continues with the following updates...

            John_C in his 16th day feels more secure and happy now. After losing his buddy Dok and trying to survive alone for days, having a solid team again is what he needed. Dok, if you are reading this, get in touch. We are also ready to offer help and support to any lone survivor out there. Being a part of a team with like-minded buddies is the ultimate loot you are going to find in this game. Dont hesitate to get in touch with us if camaraderie/teamwork/tactics is what you are looking for... Operation time: 1800 GMT / 1300 EST.

            We operate based on well-established 1stMIP SOPs... Fire teams, formations, AOR, tactical movement, ROE and communication/radio standards. Basic idea is to have 360 situational awareness at all times and minimize chaos in firefights (who is there?, who just fired?, is that one of us pointing that ...) I guess you know what I mean :) Serious fun.

            Team (Finestyle, Volchok, E-male, John C) deployed last night. Second human contact in Gorka. We had to engage. Injured contact retreated into a nearby house. No information on his status as it was too risky to check. Surrounded by alerted zeds, coming as close as 1 m, we maintained back-to-back formation, fingers on trigger. Staying calm and still until they dispersed. It was quite tense to say the least.
            Last edited by John CANavar; 06-19-2012, 04:56 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

              Oh almost forgot... I`d like to give a big props to Sarge for helping Michael, Volchok and Finestyle in setting up the mod. He is an amazing guy, spending hours in TG TS to help out anyone in need.

              Thanks Sarge, you are an excellent example of what it means to be at TG !


              • #8
                Re: Day Zero (AAR - Long!)

                Agreed. Thank you to Sarge for spending time getting me set up on several different occasions.




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