All I've ever known is fighting. I was born into Hell. I was raised in Hell. My rifle's been my pillow for a long as I can remember. Gunfire and screams of the dying have been my lullabies. The faces of the friends and family are nothing but a distant memory. My skin's torn and calloused from scars and near-misses. My eyes no longer see people: they see targets. I've spent so much time dodging bullets that ricochets whizzing past my head no longer scare me. I know how to kill with a knife, a gun, my hands. I can go for days without food or water or sleep. I can shoot anything that moves. It's the law out here. If you have a gun, you have a chance to survive. If you can fight, you have a chance. If you can kill without batting an eye, you've got the best chance. You adapt to survive, and that's what I've done.
This wasteland we live in is Hell. There's no hope. There's never been. Ruins are the only thing left from the old life. No trees. No houses. Even the rivers are just acid now. Can't even drink them. Anyone still kicking has enough weapons and paranoia to kill everyone. People sleep on whatever rooftop they can find, pray to whatever God they believe in that they'll see the sun again. A lot of those prayers go unanswered. Night comes, and so do the mercs. They find you, they kill you, take your gear, and leave you for the vultures. Those are the lucky ones. Sucks to be a woman out here, cause now you have something they want. They're not keen on asking, either.
Most of my days are just walking around, keeping my head down and finding whatever food and bullets I can. If I'm lucky, maybe a clip and half a sandwich are what I walk away with. If not, a few more scars and a lot less bullets. At night, I camp on some roof with my rifle and watch. Anything moves, I drop it. I don't care anymore if it's a mother or a merc. It's a threat, and I plan on seeing the sun come up. The sun comes up again, I check the bodies for gear and keep walking. Routine I've kept for more than a few years now.
Even if I feel safe enough to sleep, I can't. There's too many faces staring back at me when I close my eyes at night. Not just the people I killed, but the ones who died around me. I'm not some savior, some wandering hero who tries to help everyone. Playing hero gets you killed. I've seen kids sent running so a merc can hunt them like game, parents beat in front of their kids, girls raped in broad daylight by groups of mercs. I've watched that through my scope, and I didn't pull the trigger. If I did, I would be dead by now. That's the math. Better them than me. If they're still breathing afterward, I'll toss them some food, but not a lot else. I can't spare anything else. I keep telling myself that, but my conscience and the faces don't like that answer.
Honestly, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of hiding. I'm tired of seeing atrocities happen daily. I'm tired of being alone out here. I wish it would just end. I wish I could go somewhere better. I wish I could live, not just survive. I wish... I don't even know. Wishes aren't worth anything out here. That's why I quit wishing. That's why I quit hoping. That's why I quit caring. If I'm going to stay alive, that's what I have to be. Cold. A killer. A survivor. A heartless bastard... Guess it comes with the territory.
But there's something new now. I don't know why I'm still here. I don't know why I took her with me. She's not going to see the sun again. The knife cut too deep. She's been asleep for days now, barely among the living. But there's something making me stay here, trying to bring her back. Maybe it's her gold cross around her neck. Maybe it's her age, the exact same face I still have. Maybe those damn faces are trying to make me change. I don't know. But something about her's making me stay here. Something is making me try to keep her alive. Something won't let me put her out of her misery. I'll still fight, though. I'm not letting them get me. I just have to fight here. Maybe this is that better thing. Maybe this is what can make my life actually worth something... Just maybe...