It started out like any other day in Chernarus, the sun was shining, the zombies were glitching and there was the ever present sound of gunfire in the distance.
Seemed like a nice enough setting to unwind with friends and casually play a game. Little did we know that betrayal was in the air. Let’s call my friends Andrey and Tony, because those are their actual names.
Tony was a DayZ pro, he was our natural leader. I had played a bit, but still squealed like a little girl when conflict inevitably reared its head, and this was Andrey’s first time playing. It also turned out to be his last.
After gearing up and managing to avoid all round dickery from other players, we started to make our way up north to check out the airbase.
As we trotted along, slowly looting houses and braining zombies on the way, we saw something every player dreads, an armed stranger heading straight towards us. It was three on one, but we were still furiously chatting away on our headsets as to how we should deal with it. Our leader Tony took point as we circled around him to close off any escape.
Axes were raised and Mosins were cocked, after several tense seconds the guy chimed out “friendly”. We talked for a bit, he was out looking for a friend, we traded supplies and he warned us of a small gang patrolling in the direction we were heading. After he left we faced a dilemma, keep heading north and face a potential fight, or head inland? Tony made the call to head north, that airbase would be ours.
After carrying onwards for about half a mile we came across a house, Andrey and myself went inside, Tony said he would keep watch whilst we looted. After finding some mouldy fruit and a hat we heard something that would change our group dynamic. Gunshots. Lots of them.
We heard Tony cry into our headsets, “fuck, I’m dead, they’re heading your way.” Safe to say Andrey and myself broke down. This game can be emotional torture at times. We quickly ran to the top of the stairs and aimed our guns at the door, anyone coming in would get a face full of bullets, or so we thought.
At that moment my hand to sweat ratio was way off, I was convinced the mouse would slip out of my hand. Andrey was going full Bill Paxton in Aliens “what do we do? Should we log out?” No, it wasn’t game over, not yet.
More gunshots hit the house, we could hear them ricocheting off the wood, it was alternating between machine gun fire and pistol rounds. When we were both virtually in tears, the door burst open. In walked Tony, laughing. “You guys are way too fun to fuck with.”
This is when a conspiracy reared its ugly head. Our leader had lost the faith of his troops. Something needed to change, fast.
That’s right, we were planning to murder one of our best friends, through text messages, completely behind his back (just to clarify, any typos in messages are due to my body furiously shaking from the adrenaline). As we carried on up north we made sure Tony was in front. He was blissfully unaware of what was transpiring behind him.
We weren’t quite sure when or even how to do it, half an hour passed, if we were going to do it, it needed to be soon. Tony pointed out a well for us to stop at and refill our bottles. When he had lowered his rifle to drink we knew what had to happen.
I can still see it so clearly, the moment Andrey stepped in front of Tony, who was down on his knees drinking, the way the Mosin was slowly raised, the plume of smoke that came out the end of the rifle, the way his body slumped forward with blood spraying out. The cracking noise of the round smashing through Tony’s skull would herald in two solid minutes of silence.
Honestly, that silence was fucking disturbing, we usually laugh and talk a lot when gaming. Nobody said a fucking thing for what felt like an age. Eventually the silence was broken. “What. The. Fuck. Was. That?” You could hear the venom. Nothing else was said. I called Andrey, we panicked, had we gone too far? Tony’s character had been around for months and had accumulated militia levels of ammo.
Some time passed as we stood around our friend’s corpse, we said we’d guard his body so he could at least take back his lifetime of possessions. After about 15 minutes a freshly spawned player ran towards the body, we watched on from the bushes with our guns on him, not sure what to do.
“It’s me guys, it’s fine, come out.” Tony had sprinted straight back to the scene of his murder, but was he really as cool with what happened as he was acting? As Andrey stepped out of the bushes Tony drew a magnum and emptied every last bullet into him.
To this day Andrey has never touched a survival MMO.
Tony has become a lone wolf in Chernarus, stalking the lands he once ruled.
I never got my comeuppance for the part I played in the coup. My character from that day still lives on, occasionally I dust her (I play as an old Asian lady, deal with it) off and take pot shots at people because I’m a dick like that.