I was travelling with a friend when I spotted a deer stand through some trees. We decided to check it out. We made our way to it. 100m from the stand I spotted a survivor next to it. I asked my friend if he was next to it as the server was laggy and we kept warping around on each other's screens. It wasn't my friend.
We hit the dirt. I quickly found a nice spot in tall grass besides a tree. The survivor's nameplate popped up, "Josh". We watched him scale the ladder and poke around the goodies therein. I could have shot him dead at any time, one silenced round through the cranium. I've had plenty of practice with my rifle and I know the bullet-drop the SD rounds. There's many a goat and cow in some pastoral corner of the sfterlife that could attest to that.
He finishes searching and descends the ladder. I've made a decision. If he comes this way, I'm shooting him. If he doesn't, then he lives. He starts to move away, perpendicular to my aim. I feel relieved. No need to shoot this poor lone survivor. But then he stops, he looks our way. He's spotted one of us or at the very least a nameplate. He looks right in my direction. I keep the red dot of my rifle's Aimpoint on his upper torso, ready to double-tap him into the next re-incarnation. He suddenly dashes to the right.
I catch a glimpse of him through a gap in the foliage. I take the opportunity to roll behind the tree next to me and watch for him to emerge again. Make sure that he is fleeing for good. But he doesn't re-appear at the next break in the trees. Crap. My buddy has lost sight of him too. Josh did the only smart thing you can do when outnumbered and taken by surprise. Run across the enemy's field of view and dive into concealment.
Had he run for the hills, we would have let him go, but he couldn't know we'd do that. Playing cat and mouse with him was an option but far too risky. If we tried to find him, he'd fight for sure. But if we retreated, he could take a potshot at us. Ideally, we want him to leave first, guns aren't going to work. It's time to talk.
"We don't want any trouble"
No reply, maybe he didn't see my nameplate and doesn't know I'm the one of the guys holding him in check. My next message I intentionally keep measured, efficient yet subtly loaded. Designed to sum up the encounter and suggest the outcome that favours us.
"Josh, we could have shot at any time"
After a surprisingly short delay a figure rises from the grass, promptly turns away, and then runs off. We watch him until he disappears from our view. Confident that doubling back would be a bad decision for him to make. We leave in the other direction.
I wonder what he found in that deer stand.
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