We survived. New London stands as the last city of earth, capable of surviving the mightiest storm. Now if only it was so simple from there.
Some changes to the Lore:
-1 game day is equal to 3 real days. (Meaning the Storm happened around the 3rd Month)
January 13, 1888.
No one understands how arctic elk survive the frozen North. The snow and ice blankets everything under a blinding sheet of white. No grass or green for hundreds of kilometers. Hell, the last time anyone saw a blade of grass, wearing 4 layers of cloth was still just an option for a human being.
Yet here they were, a small herd of twenty alongside a lean creek. A few calves move clumsily through the herd, never straying too far from their mother cow as they chase each other and the snowflakes that fall gently to the frozen earth.
But they are not the target of the hunter. Too small. A waste of ammo. The mothers too. Never a smart idea to kill the provider of future food.
No. His sights were set on one the bulls. Which one to pick was the question. The largest one in the lead watches carefully as his herd grazes. A mighty prize, but not what the hunter wants. Too much chaos. Not to mention the danger.
“Over there. Young bachelor to the left, right between the rocks.”
A whisper catches the attention of the hunter who turns his sight away from the sights of his gun towards his companion, a woman clad in head to toe in snow gear. The only visible part of her face is a little glimpse of the skin around her goggles. She breaks away from her binoculars to point her finger at a potential target. The hunter with the rifle nods and turns a bit to the right
In between his crosshairs is one of the smaller, opportunistic males along the edge of the herd. Not the biggest, but definitely a little bigger than the cow. That one could definitely feed a few families for a week or two.
He lines of his rifle and breaths. In. Out.
A loud, thunderous blast from his rifle roars through the frozen tundra as he pulls the trigger. The herd scatter away from the hunters, soon disappearing behind the mound of large snow hill. All except for one, who was down on his side, but weakly struggling to moves its legs as it bled.
The hunter groans in annoyance, while his spotter scoffs amusingly.
“Sloppy shot. A little more, and I would have congratulated you for hitting the broad side of a snow dune.” She says with laughter in her voice.
“Forgive me, Syndey, for trying to get a perfect hit from 50 meters in this bloody wind.” He grunts as he stands up from their rocky hideout, making his way towards the downed elk. He was soon joined by his companion who was pulling a sled behind her.
“Says the great Jackson Runner, self-proclaimed “best shooter” of New London.” Syndey teases.
“Yeah, Yeah. Whatever.” Jackson dismissed as they got closer while pulling a blade from a sheath on his belt.
The two hunters, wearing thick white coats with heavy grade boots, reached the distressed elk after a few more seconds of banter. Its rapid breathing produces clouds of vapor along its face every second with its eyes moving in panic. Jackson felt a bit of pity for the elk and he took it to heart, relishing the feeling of human emotion that he rarely can show. He knelt down beside it and aimed his blade for the animal’s throat, reciting a short apology as the blade touched the furred skin of its neck.
“I’m sorry for causing you suffering. Thank you.”
He cleanly slices the animal’s throat, allowing it to give one more cry of distress before falling limp. Both hunters remained still for a few seconds before Jackson stands up and starts cleaning his blade.
“I still don’t know why you do that for every kill. It’s not like the animal can hear you.” Sydney inquires with curiosity in her voice
“The Freeze has taught me that being grateful goes a long way for yourself. Sometimes it’s for me.” Jackson answers calmly, looking over the newly cleaned blade before putting it back in its sheath.
A faint light touches the ground as they talk. Both hunters look up to see the rising sun peaking over the mountains to their east. A signal to show that their trip will soon be over.
“I’ll set up the marker for our location. The Rockwing should be passing over us within the hour. Better get the elk ready for transport.” Sydney says as she takes a rope out from her belt and throws it to Jackson.
“Got it.” He answers while giving a nod.
Sydney nods back before heading back to the rocky outcrop they stayed at, leaving the small sled with him. Jackson looks back at the deceased elk and begins to tie its legs together. A while later, he grunts as places the corpse of the animal on the sled and starts to make his way back to the outcrop, now where a red flag flies on a short pole.
Jackson soon lands on his rear immediately after reaching the outcrop, sitting beside a portable radiator that continued to give heavenly heat to his gloved hands. He pulls down his goggles to his neck, revealing dark blue eyes that were only focused on the heat-providing machine in front of him.
Syndey was on the other side of the radiator, placing a few lumps of coal on the fuel chamber before moving towards Jackson. She sat closely beside him and extended her own arms towards the radiators, enjoying the warmth on her fingers. The wind howled above them as it was deflected by the jagged rocks that the hunter pair hid behind. They continued to wait in silence, with Jackson’s mind only on the thawing of his hands.
“It’s been a week now.” Syndey says out loud, breaking the silence. Jackson turns his head towards her to see she also put her goggles down, looking at the radiator with dark grey eyes. A small strand of brown her escapes the thick hat on her head to hang just in front of her face.
“Since?” Jackson asks.
A week. A week from the miracle. The male hunter sighs, vapor coming from his masked face as he looked up the partly-clouded blue sky.
“Right. It’s still amazes me, you know.”
“That we actually survived.”
The moment triggered the memory in Jackson, how he huddled with his family as the glass around their house broke as the cold continued to eats its way through their walls, through their doors.
His family… minus one.
He shivered despite the radiators warmth.
“I’m not. I always knew we would pull through. The Captain made sure of that.” Sydney says with a confidence in her voice.
“Do you think you… trust the captain a little too much?” Jackson simply inquires. He looks back at his companion to see her staring at him with surprise in her eyes.
“No way! If it wasn’t for him, we would be all dead like those Londoners. Damn fools they are.” Syndey says with scoff, before looking around and talking back to him with concern.
“And you should be careful about saying stuff like that. If the guards heard you-“
“We’re in the middle of nowhere and I have no intention of ousting the captain. It’s just… he almost signed a proclamation declaring martial law, remember?”
“And he didn’t because he listened to us. We all protested that it was not supposed to be that way and he dropped the bill. It was a terrifying moment for all of us.”
A memory also triggered within Jackson. It was a hard choice. Morale was breaking, and there was panic. He remember seeing the Captain with the rarest look of uncertainty on his face. An uncomfortable feeling of dread entered when he saw their leader also felt fear, fear as he watched the two sides of New London screamed at him regarding the fate of their freedom.
“Hmm…” Jackson hummed, remembering it all.
“We were close to extinction, Jackson. If we broke down, we would have died out. Just like Win-“
“Just like Winterhome. Like Tesla. I know”
He remembers. The fear. The uncertainty. The hope that diminished after hearing Winterhome’s demise.
“I know. And I know the Captain could have been a lot worse. It’s just, are we even still British? Still part of civilization that we know?”
A moment of silence passed again between them, only the soft howling of the wind filling their ears.
“What do you mean?”
“Everything we done, this whole Order of New London, there are just so many things that happened, and…”
He just stopped. Syndey continued to stare at her still friend, waiting in curiosity and concern. Suddenly he shakes his head and looks at her with dismissal in his eyes. Yet she remains concerned as she sees some sadness in them.
“…No. I’m sorry. It’s been tense. Ever since my Father went into the min-“
Jackson was silenced by the wrapping of an arm around his shoulder that pulled him closer to Syndey. Through layer after layer of coats, he could still feel the warmth that radiated from her.
“Shhh. He sacrificed himself so we can live. You know that right?”
He remains silent for a moment.
“I’m not asking you to get over it. I just want you to know I’m here for you. That we are here for you.”
A deep roar breaks the conversation the two shared, suddenly raising the alarms their minds mentally blasted as danger. Jackson stands up and grabs his rifle, joining Syndey who was already looking through her binoculars at the source.
“Oh no.” She says with worry and dread.
Jackson then looks through his rifle sight to see a massive polar bear sniffing around the bloodied site where he shot the elk. The beast must have taken the elk’s scent, as the bear took a couple more sniffs around the air before turning his head towards the very same outcrop the hunters were waiting at with their own bounty.
“’Oh no’ is right.”
So since there is no fanfiction category for Frostpunk yet, I wanted to write this short chapter that was on my mind. Will definitely transfer there if it ever goes up.
I just want to explain the 1 game day is to 3 day ratio: There are so many reasons why, like hunger after 1 day and the building a city in 45, much more a house within 5 hours. While 3 days is still pretty fast for a house being built, I would like to imagine they have auto-techs to help with construction. Also to let the story run a little longer.
I would appreciate the feedback. I'm not the best writer but I would like to be, so any constructive criticism would be nice
© Post "AfterFall: A Frostpunk Fanfiction [Spoilers]" for game Frostpunk.
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