|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
As the last rays of sunset crested the horizon, taking away with it the warmth of day, the ghostly figures above began to stir in their hunt for living offerings.
In spite of the soldiers’ warnings, the desperate survivors continued running forward single-mindedly. They had long wished to leave this hellhole, and now that the exit was just right in front of them…
“No! Something’s wrong, everyone get back now!” I yelled as loud as I could.
There were just too many things wrong with this scene -those strangely still machines, and that blaring warning by the soldiers ahead – something had to be up.
Unfortunately, it was already too late, or rather, there was no point from the beginning.
“Ke, there’s no point, it won’t work.” Bitong told me with a sigh.
She was right, no amount of persuading would work here… whether it was the exosuit-wearing survivors who had followed me the longest, or those unprotected survivors who only joined us near the tail end.
Even if they knew there might be danger ahead, the chance of leaving was too tempting to pass up. I could only pray that their luck would hold out.
However, if Southern Plains could be likened to a desolate desert, and us, desperate trekkers in search of water, then that exit that lured the survivors in with a false hope of escape was no doubt a mirage of death…
As those survivors drew ever closer to the exit, the ghosts began to dance wildly against a backdrop of ever diminishing light, as if the night was the herald for a horrific feast of the dead.
Like ravenous monsters, they dove at the survivors, passing through their metallic shells with no trouble at all, finally penetrating into the cockpit…
With every attack, the number of exosuits who went silent grew steadily. First they convulsed violently, then silence… Deafening silence, like they had been petrified into statues by some sort of medusa. Only the ghosts remained active, swimming about like fish in water.
“What’s going on… why are these monsters penetrating the exosuits…”
“Who cares about that now, we need to get out of here…”
Amidst the chaos, the exosuit-wearing survivors finally made the right choice. They frantically rushed backwards, as if the maws of death itself were on their heels. Yet it would seem that they were the maws instead…
Originally, I had arranged for the unarmored survivors to stand in the middle of exosuits as a way to protect them. Because the exosuit-wearing survivors had rushed ahead of the pack thanks to their enhanced abilities, these vulnerable survivors were now stationed in the very way of those who were supposed to have been protecting them.
Lives threatened, the exosuit-wearing survivors rammed through the unarmored survivors without any heed for their fleshly bodies. Lest one forgot, these exosuits had the force of a hover car when they struck!
Just like that, we had failed to prevent another tragedy…
“You…” The words were immediately stuck in my mouth as I watched the exosuits trample over living human beings in seconds… and I was helpless to stop them.
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“Hii–” Qiaoqiao screamed as she tried to shield her eyes away from the carnage.
“We need to back away and put some distance between us and the ghosts.” There was no time to lose. I swiftly led the girls as far away from the exit as I could, hoping that those ghosts wouldn’t try and chase us. If I wasn’t wrong, this should be the first time ghosts had appeared in Gaia. Against an unknown foe like that, the only safe choice would be to run.
The ghosts continued chasing the survivors for another five hundred meters before they finally came to a stop. Or rather, they were swirling about an invisible boundary, one that they seemed deathly afraid of crossing.
Then like monsters in a game which had lost interest in the players, they abruptly turned around to return to the outskirts. From the looks of things, they were merely put there to prevent any human from leaving…
****, are they trying to turn us all into their own?!
Now that we were safe from the ghosts, I turned around to do a quick head count. Other than the girls and I, there were only twelve survivors left. All of them clad in exosuits… anyone not wearing one had already been trampled to pieces…
In the face of those ghosts, we were nothing but sitting ducks, well, running ducks. Because there was no time at all for anything else, by the time we came to a stop, we found ourselves in a remote location.
According to Bitong and her map, this was the port region, number B15. We quickly swept the area clean of zombies, then found a nearby warehouse to use as a temporary base.
We were safe at last. But strangely enough, no one dared leave their exosuits. Right now, the skies outside were dark -most likely past seven pm.
It was time for dinner, and even though the survivors weren’t too willing to leave their suits, their fragile human bodies said otherwise. Silently, they gathered around for a gloomy meal of rations we had brought out of Joyworks Game City.
Looking at them, I was suddenly struck by a sense of loathing. Selfish, was what they were. If they had really wanted to, they could have easily scooped up those unarmored survivors. Had they done that, everyone would have survived. All it would have taken was a couple of seconds…
But looking at it from another standpoint, their actions were only to be expected. As ordinary citizens, the best one could expect was for them to look out for their own interests.
Even so, I had made my decision to distance us from them. If they were able to trample over another human being so easily, they would definitely do the same to us if we were to ever find ourselves as helpless as those unarmored survivors.
Besides, they still had their exosuits with them – ordinary zombies shouldn’t be able to harm them. Unless those Scorpid skeletons popped up once more, they could look after themselves. And it seemed like those survivors had noticed my decision to distance ourselves as well, or perhaps they just couldn’t bring themselves to approach us after that mess.
Of the twelve survivors, only four were female. Their ages numbered around the twenties and thirties. As they continued eating, they discussed quietly amongst themselves. From time to time, they would throw us a look, only to look away the moment we noticed them.
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