I shot one of the three prey. It fell over. But it was still moving. The prey that the three were hunting burst out into an even louder laughter. “Great! Great!” Blood splashed against the inside of the prey’s visor, coming out of its mouth, covering its vision. It ripped the dome off its head, discarding its greatest source of protection. Its eyes were unfocused, looking in two directions at once. The prey attacking it recoiled, taking steps back. Why? They should’ve taken that chance to advance, stab its exposed head. But they didn’t. It looked like the prey would die at any moment from the blood pouring out of it. Maybe that’s why the two prey didn’t attack.

I readied my bow again. But the two prey ran out of my field of vision. There wasn’t a way for me to shoot them through the window, not without ruining my posture, leaving myself wide open at the same time. That’s probably why they ran. But they left behind the prey that I shot. The prey without the dome stared at me with a wide smile. “Thanks, buddy. But who are you? Ain’t one of our people, that’s for sure. We don’t wear janky helmets like that.”

The prey that was on the ground reached forward. It pulled at the dirt, crawling forward. The prey without the helmet snickered before stomping down, crushing the crawling prey’s hand. “Where are you going? Want to run? After stabbing me so many times, you want to run? Oh, that’s right. You can’t. There’s an arrow in your leg.”

This prey’s dangerous. It should be dead. Or on the ground. Blood is pouring out of it. I can smell it even though the whole air in the garrison stinks of rot. The prey bent down, picked up a knife that was on the ground. Then it raised it into the air. The prey on the ground whimpered. The knife came down, over and over. Even after I was sure the prey was dead, the knife kept coming down. While the prey was distracted, I fired the arrow that I had prepared. It struck the prey’s face, a little underneath its right eye. The prey staggered backwards, raised its head. It opened its mouth. Blood poured out. It gurgled while walking towards me, its mouth opening and closing as if it were speaking. Was this an infected or a prey? It reminds me of the prey with spicy brains.

I dropped my bow, switched to my spear. When the prey came up to the window, waving its knife around, I stabbed its head, through its eye, attacking its brain. It collapsed. I pulled the spear out, licked the tip of it. There was a faint taste of spiciness. Were all the new prey like this? I’ll die if they’re the victors. The chokepoint won’t work on them unless I can kill them in one strike. They’re like others, unflinching. But unlike others, they’re still agile. I have to help the old prey kill the new prey. But I have to find the right timing. I don’t want to help the old prey too much; they have to be weakened enough for me to survive once all the new prey are dead.

But it seems like the prey have completely forgotten about me. The new prey shouldn’t know about my existence in the first place. The old prey don’t have time to attack me; the new prey are a greater threat to their survival. Can I take this opportunity to escape? I’m not sure what condition my motorcycle’s in. But since the new prey are here, the southern road is safe to go through now. Maybe they left their motorcycles behind too. I didn’t hear them during the shouting match between the prey. But there’s no doubt the keys to the motorcycles are on the prey. Would there be one on the prey I just killed? Since it doesn’t seem like anyone’s around this area behind the building, it should be safe enough to climb out to check.

I can’t climb through the window with my bag on. I could push it through first. But what if a prey runs by, snatches it away? What if a group of prey appear around the corner, not letting me retrieve the bag while I’m forced to retreat. This bag holds everything I need to survive, including food and tools for preserving food. I can’t afford to lose this bag. I’ll go to the entrance of the building, see if there’s any prey around. Maybe I’ll get a better idea of what’s happening. The shouts aren’t as loud, aren’t as frequent. But there’s still fighting going on. Neither side of the prey have run away yet. But it’s going to be soon. There weren’t that many prey in the first place. If they all split up into groups like this one I encountered, the results will appear quickly. One side doesn’t flinch. The other side has strength in numbers. I wonder which one’s winning.

I didn’t encounter the strong prey on the way to the front of the building. I wonder if it’s still downstairs. Too bad I can’t dig holes in stairs; I can’t trap it. I don’t have metal spikes either, used them all on the southern road. But it shouldn’t matter. I don’t plan on sticking around to fight it. Unless I can’t find any motorcycles to use. If there’s no motorcycles available, there’s no point in leaving the garrison.

The front of the building was clear. The three corpses were still blocking half the door. There wasn’t any prey in sight. There’s no way the prey would stay around in one place when they’re being shot at with arrows. Either they’d find a defensive building to take shelter under, or they’d charge the prey with bows. Whichever the case, they left the immediate area. I pulled one of the corpses off the pile to make space, just enough for me to crawl through with my bag and weapons. Then I circled around to the back of the building, where the prey with the spicy brain was. The sounds of prey came from far away. They must’ve moved closer to the fence. Is it because the old prey pushed the new prey back? Or did the old prey retreat that far? I think the old prey retreated. The new prey don’t flinch, don’t waver. There’s no way they’d be the ones to leave the area.

I checked the dead prey’s body, searched its pockets, searched the bag on its waist. I couldn’t find any keys. Didn’t it come on a motorcycle? Why didn’t it have a key? But motorcycles are pretty rare. What if more than one prey rode a single motorcycle? Then not all the new prey would have keys. This is troublesome. I’m all alone, surrounded by prey. The prey are killing each other. But they have allies amongst themselves. There’s no one to help me. Every prey is hostile. And I have to find a key to escape? Maybe I should just find somewhere to hide instead. At least I’ll live a little longer that way.


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