The leader of this settlement was called "Lucas Mason" an ex ranger who had returned to his family a week before a terrible attack at another outpost. He's been surviving for years and throughout those years, he built this settlement he renamed "Rattle Snake Outpost" a safe haven to traders, merchants, survivors. Anyone just passing through and the occasional one willing to stay and contribute to this society.
I only stayed there for about a week or two. This guy named "Daniels" (He never gave me a full name) let me stay at his place as long as I helped him during scavenging runs in the area. I was fine with it, he gave me some good clothes and equipment to gear up. I remember us having a conversation while searching the local city ruins. It went a bit like this. "So, is this that is the only settlement near this city?" he looked over to me and shook his head as he responded with his thick southern accent "Nah. I mean, there's only one other settlement but it ain't that big. It's more a pit stop, get food, water, ammo." he looks forward and there was a dog in the distance. Looked like a german shepherd of some sort.
We approached it slowly and since I was used to hold-ups at this point, I looked around. I saw the silhouette of a person in one of the buildings windows. I looked back to the dog that was strangely not moving an inch close, or away from us. As Daniels tiptoed over to the dog, I grabbed him by the back of the backpack and yanked him backwards. A bullet went zinging past and hit the dog in the throat. Wasn't even a high caliber obviously, the dog starting yelping and whimpering. It fell to the floor and started wiggling around in a circle, as if it was trying to itch itself but it couldn't.
Daniels looked at the dog in pain. He pulled out his Glock 18 from it's holster and he said "Sorry, buddy." and shot two rounds into the dog's skull to stop it's whimpering and suffering. "Who shot that bullet?" I asked Daniels as he and I broke into a light jog heading back Rattle Snake. "I'm thinking some of the local raiders in the area." he climbed up over a truck that was blocking the main street to get back, using all his upper body strength to pull himself up, he raised his right leg up and over to climb up. I slid shouldered my rifle with the strap and held my right hand up to Daniels as he got on one knee and grabbed my hand to help me up.
I was halfway up when his jaw dropped and he gasped for air. I looked up to his face and felt his hand slowly letting go of me. His blood dripping onto my face as I saw a blade go right through his back and out his chest. He was still alive, he looked down to the machete as it slowly slid its way back out of his body. He let go of me and I fell flat on my ass, he fell forward and fell right ontop of me. I heard multiple footsteps on the top of that truck, so I held my breathe and tried to use Daniels's body to hide.
Three men leaped down over the truck and passed me. "Where'd the other one go!?" one of them asked, I could see him cleaning the bloody machete that butchered my friend. He was using some dirty rag clearly stained in blood from prior victims. One of the other men had a FUCKING FLAMETHROWER! He had the huge gas tank on his back and the gun in his hand, he jabbed at the dead dog with the barrel of the gun. "Shit, Wyatt missed and shot the dog." he said. As they were all approaching the dog, I took this chance to grab whatever I could off Daniels quietly and made a run for it, climbing the truck in a hurry and bolted.
I wish my story ended here for today. But it got worse. As I got back to Rattle Snake Outpost, I rushed directly to Lucas and explained to him the entire situation! He told me to stay here and they'd send a group of ten men out to hunt these guys down. I was still breathless and winded. I went back to Daniels's apartment room and set down his stuff on the dresser next to his bed. I was pissed. I took the rifle from the dresser and went to his desk, he had lots of tools for weapons so I started to clean the rifle and get it ready for whatever was about to come.
I remember awaking in the middle of the night to gunshots and the screams of a woman. I got out of the bed slowly, the minute my feet touched the apartment's wooden floor. I felt a shiver run down my spine from the warm floorboards. I walked slowly over to the window and moved the curtain to look outside, only to see people being burned alive, shot, beaten, stabbed. It was a fucking bandit frenzy! I rushed to put my clothes on, grabbed my backpack and Daniels's rifle. Loaded it and opened the door, leaning out to check both ends of the hall for anyone. I proceeded down the stairs and the main lobby was completely torched, there was flames up to the ceiling and the fire was getting bigger every minute!
I made a run for the fire exit across the hall, the door was blocked from the other side. Not by something heavy...Something moving...I leaned my ear against the door and listened...I heard a bunch of men piled up against the door. I backed up from the door and then heard gunshots. I imagine people were being executed so I looked around for another exit. I saw the managers office and kicked the door open, looking for a window of sorts to crawl from. I spotted one at the top right corner that was above a desk. I stepped onto the desk and climbed up through the window, pulling myself through and getting out of that building.
I crossed the street from the burning apartment. I was on the other side of the wall, so the raiders were on this side. However there was an old makeshift fence that blocked me from them. They were too distracted by the screams on the inside of the Outpost. I stared at the burning building and I just, somehow lost hope. I turned around and started walking down the street. Ignoring any gunshots or screams. There was nothing I could do, I'd just get myself killed with everyone and everything going on. I got the hell out of that outpost and went back East...Back home.