Novels GG
Crimson Chaos: A Survivor's Tale

Author:   YamiMao

Chapter 2: In the Shadow of Decay

The world fades to black as the impact throws me into oblivion. In this darkness, time loses its meaning, and reality becomes a distant memory. I drift into a void where moments and centuries are indistinguishable. It is in this timeless expanse that I hear it—the faint, persistent call that seems to echo from the depths of the universe itself. The voice, ethereal and haunting, pulls me back from the brink of oblivion, back to the world of the living.

It is the voice that haunts my dreams, the same one that whispers promises of hope when all seems lost. And now, it calls me back, back to the land of the living, back to the fight that I never truly abandoned. With every fiber of my being yearning for life, I surge towards the voice, towards the light, towards my destiny. The voice, like a beacon in the darkness, guides me back to consciousness, back to the harsh reality of my existence.

“Wake up Ash! Wake up!” This spectral whisper slices through the fog of my unconsciousness, chilling me to the bone. It is as if the dead themselves beckon me from the shadows.

Groggily, against the darkness that clings to me like tar, I claw my way back to consciousness. My body feels like it has been hit by a freight train and not the fun kind you see in cartoons. Every nerve screams in protest, every muscle aches with the effort of movement. But I push through the pain, driven by a will to survive that is stronger than any physical discomfort.

My eyelids flutter open to a bizarre sight— I am stuck in some kind of freaky glass chamber, submerged in what feels like snot. Lovely. With a groan, I start pounding on the glass like a drummer gone mad. Each thud resonates through the chamber, a testament to my determination to escape this prison.

After what feels like an eternity of frantic banging, the glass finally gives way, and I burst out like a drowned rat. Gasping for air, I flop onto the floor in a puddle of goo. The cold, hard surface beneath me is a harsh reminder of the reality I now inhabit.

Surveying my surroundings, I catch sight of my reflection in a shard of glass. And let me tell you, what I see is not pretty. My face bears the marks of time’s cruel passage, aged beyond my years. The reflection staring back at me is a stranger, a visage marred by scars and a wild, unkempt beard. I touch my face, feeling the rough texture of my skin, the unfamiliarity of my own features. This is not the face of the boy who once fretted over exams and deadlines. This is the face of a man who has stared death in the face and lived to tell the tale.

The room is cold, clinical, and utterly silent, save for the soft hum of machinery. Tubes and wires dangle from the ceiling, some still attached to my body, feeding me life or siphoning it away—I can’t tell which. I rip them off, one by one, each pull a sharp reminder that I am very much alive.

As I stagger to my feet, wobbling like a newborn calf, the memories come rushing back—the pillar of light, the truck, the desperate chase. It all leads to this moment, to this… resurrection? Am I saved, or am I now a prisoner of some new hell? I can’t help but marvel at the absurdity of it all. Here I am, in some kind of mad scientist’s nightmare, with no clue how I got here or where “here” even is.

But there is no time to dwell on existential crises. I have to get the heck out of here before things get even weirder. And believe me, in my life, “weirder” is always on the table.

With a grim determination, I stumble forward, ready to face whatever bizarre twists and turns lay ahead. Little do I know, this is just the beginning of a rollercoaster ride straight to the heart of madness.

I look around what seems like an abandoned laboratory, for any clues to get out and for where I am. I find some worn-out encrypted logs lying beside what looks like a hi-tech computer from some sci-fi movie, and a detailed map of the laboratory, including an emergency escape route. What good people, perhaps they expect my arrival and leave me a way out.

I roughly memorize the map after a few glances and start making my way out by following the route. I am happy and satisfied, for the first time, the memory that I trained from studying for JEE comes in handy since the END begins.

Emerging from the lab, I find myself in the heart of a ghostly metropolis. The city is a shell of its former self, its once bustling streets now eerily silent. The buildings stand tall and imposing, their windows dark and lifeless. The air is thick with the scent of decay, a grim reminder of the world that once was.

The eerie silence of the deserted streets is suffocating. I can’t shake off the feeling of dread as I wander through the desolate cityscape, trying to make sense of my surroundings. The air is thick with an unspoken menace, and the buildings stand like silent witnesses to some unfathomable tragedy.

As I scour the ruins for any sign of life or sustenance, desperation gnaws at my insides. My senses are heightened, every sound amplified in the eerie silence of the abandoned city. The rustle of leaves, the distant howl of a stray dog, and the soft whisper of the wind, all serve as a constant reminder of my solitude.

Then, in a rundown building, I stumble upon a gruesome sight - half-eaten corpses lying on the floor. Before I can react, the corpse lurches to life, chasing me with a grotesque determination that sends shivers down my spine. It has been a while since I fought a zombie, panic grips me as I frantically search for a weapon to defend myself.

Amidst the chaos, another threat emerges - a dog snapping at my heels, its eyes filled with hunger and aggression. With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I kick the dog away, buying myself a moment of reprieve. But the danger is far from over.

Beyond the city’s edge, I fashion a crude weapon from scavenged steel rods. Weary yet armed, I venture back into the urban wasteland, ready to challenge the lurking nightmares.

The zombies close in on me, their relentless pursuit driving me to the brink of despair. Barely facing a handful of them, each swing of my improvised weapon feels like a monumental struggle for survival. Each blow a desperate bid to escape the clutches of death.

As the battle reaches its climax, I find myself running on fumes, my body battered and bruised, yet driven by a primal instinct to endure. The thrill of the fight, the rush of adrenaline, and the satisfaction of landing a killing blow, all serve to fuel my determination.

Having fought an arduous battle, I have to find a place to rest, to recover both from this physical fatigue and the mental strain of battling the undead. Imagine having to fight a battle with this old body, but something feels different. The more I fight, the more I can feel my primal instincts taking over—a hunger to fight, to kill. This is the first time I have experienced such a sensation.

I can feel my power growing with each kill, but there is no time to experiment with this newfound strength now. I have to focus on the immediate task at hand: finding a safe haven to recuperate. Somewhere away from the relentless pursuit of the undead, where I can tend to my wounds and regain my strength.

As I stumble through the desolate streets, my body screams for rest, but I press on, driven by the need to survive. Finally, I find a secluded corner in an abandoned building, where I can hunker down and catch my breath.

Collapsing onto the cold, hard floor, I allow myself a moment of respite. Closing my eyes, I drift into a fitful sleep, haunted by the memories of the battle I just endured. But even in my dreams, I can feel the stirring of something primal within me, a power that begs to be unleashed.

As I lay there, the sounds of the city’s decay echo faintly around me, and a sense of exhaustion washes over my weary frame. My mind drifts between the realms of consciousness and slumber, grappling with the surreal reality of my recent ordeal.

On the horizon, a solitary figure emerges, a stark silhouette against the backdrop of ruin. Instinctively, I tense, unsure whether this newcomer will bring salvation or further peril. With cautious curiosity, I watch as the figure draws nearer, its movements deliberate yet shrouded in mystery.

As the figure approaches, I discern the outline of a weary traveler, much like myself, navigating the treacherous landscape of this forsaken city. Relief floods through me, mingled with a flicker of hope that perhaps I am not as alone in this desolate world as I fear. I feel a mix of emotions - fear, hope, curiosity. Who is this person? Friend or foe? Only time will tell. For now, I must prepare myself for whatever comes next.

Summoning the last remnants of my strength, I rise from the cold floor and venture out to meet the stranger, not knowing this will be a turning point in my journey, and his. Perhaps this is fate. Perhaps… only fate can tell.

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