Die Again

This is a short story based upon the events of the LARP Dystopia Rising and various characters created by the players in the game.

**********

With a sigh, Jeanie put her pen down on the pile of pages in front of her. Bits of cardboard, loose sheets of paper, a beat up notebook with pages of research and notes folded open to hold the page. Her eyes glanced around the basement room at the cobbled together reactor. The familiar hum and green glow from it was gone. Turned off at the beginning of the war. Now there was just the quiet drip of water through old pipes and the muffled sounds of music from upstairs at the bar. Though, for the town it was still a good place to sit and think.

Thinking was difficult.

Okay, so the thinking itself wasn’t difficult, just the topic of choice was. Thinking about research and data analysis was one thing. Trying to understand the pattern in numbers and various experiments was absolutely fascinating. Trying to piece together the pieces of your life so that everything is said before you join the horde? That was something else entirely.

She glanced down at the pages in front of her. Some pages were notes, scribbled and crossed out, of who she wanted to keep her belongings when she finally died. Some were letters, stories and memories, thanks to those she had grown to care about in the past two years.

Two years. Sometimes it was hard to believe that it was two years. Sometimes it seemed like it had been a lifetime since she had worked the assembly lines of the Iron Works. Sometimes it seemed like only days ago. The memories never went away. Especially when there were reminders of her life everywhere. If she was lucky, she would finish her research and remove her tattoo. At the minimum she would have started the research for the other Irons in town. She’d make sure Yossarian would have it in case someone else wanted to finish.

She grabbed her notebook and scribbled the word “research notes” next to his name and then returned the book to the pile.

Is this how it felt for everyone else? Was this how Medic felt before he died? Is this how Torch feels? Jimmy? Barnes? All of these people who are moments away from their infection taking complete hold. All of these people who spent every moment trying to stay alive because if they die, they don’t come back. Was this how they all felt? Did they all wonder if they had finished everything and found everyone?

Jeanie hadn’t found everyone yet.

Jeanie looked down at the pile of notes and letters in her lap. She sighed and felt her right hand reach up to the necklace she wore. Her hand found the little cog piece that said “craftsman” and she thought of the sister who had given it to her years ago in the Iron Works. The voice that was so clear in her mind and so clear from her last trip through the gravemind. Was it true that she was gone now, never to be found alive?

Jeanie shook her head and ran her fingers through her hair.

“I don’t want to die again.”

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