In the end, am I no different from a dogman?
I had made a pretty penny at the junk market. Guns, nanobots, sleeping bags, or anything I didn't need that was over $100, I sold to that merchant. In my travels I had learned how to take down any enemy I encountered. If they grouped, retreat and stalk each individual who dared face you. If they ran after they decided to size you up, give chase. If they asked for mercy, answer it with a cold, bloody crowbar to the face. The way I figured, an enemy I don't kill now will kill me later. Most importantly, I loved the thrill of battle that came with killing these bandits. It meant more loot to sell or use, less enemies to fight, and more meat! No one taught me these lessons, he wasteland that taught me. From the first day I breathed my first breath of air after being in cryo-stasis for so long, I was being judged by the wasteland with a lone dogman who skulked the facility. When I saw him, did I run? Hide? Block his path to me? No, I met him face to face, animal to animal. When I broke his neck, I knew that the wasteland had given this obstacle to show me what was necessary to survive after the end. In all my travels though, I wanted to be a nice person. Whenever the weak needed the strong, I was there to help them, even if it meant a cost on my part, but with so few innocents to help, nothing helped extinguish the flames of my brutality. Not the carnage I left behind when I left an area, not the valuable loot I found, not even the moments where death had found me and I had stunned him when I yelled in the sternest voice "No, it is you who will die if you touch me." I did the worst things imaginable to anyone who crossed me, or if I crossed them. This was all fine with me being a wastelander, until I did something I'll never forget.
As I made my way back to the cryo facility, I had encountered several enemies. "Strong and tough" was what their stats read, but what I read was "kill." Groups of enemies kept trying to overwhelm me, but I'd overwhelm them one on one. It seemed like the whole world was trying to kill me while I stood my ground against the inevitable. I had had a long day and I began to set up camp. However, it was early evening and I saw new prey. I figured I may as well kill the bastard while I could see him, so I got up and marched to his position. This individual happened to be a looter. Feeble and frail, this guy was a weakling. I started walking to him and sure enough, he was trying to desperately retreat. As I, the heavily armed, strong adversary was closing in on this weak morsel, I couldn't help but remember my first days outside the cryo facility when I would retreat into zom zoms as the bandits circled me and hoped to starve me out. I remembered the fear I felt as I'd venture into the buildings knowing that once I found something, I had better bolt. As I got in range of the looter to smack him with my crowbar, he still kept trying to retreat. I decided to give him a smack. He was left bleeding and was in a lot of pain from the looks of it. Rather than trying to dodge my attacks, he kept trying to retreat. He had moved four away from me. In anger, I lured him into a trap. he fell and was in severe agony. I closed in on him and noticed something. I don't care if you couldn't see or hear what I was, this man was crying. Seeing the bloody crowbar in my hand as I stood over him, he knew he was going to die. I kept kicking him and banging him up with my crow bar as he laid on the ground. With each attack, he was sounding like he was in more pain and his crying was getting even worse. Seeing the hopelessness in this mans eyes made me angry. I tried to never attempt to examine the faces of my prey. I tried to never think it was a human I was attacking, just a smaller, weaker dogman. I was trying my best to stop the look in his eyes and to stop the sound he was making, but he'd get a glimmer of hope as he'd manage to get up and attempt to escape only to be thrown down again to face more abuse. After a battle that seemed short, he finally fell unconscious. I began to loot him and take what he had. As part of my after battle ritual, I'd deliver one final blow to give them a final goodnight and be done with them. This incident though stopped me. I looked down on the ground at my unconscious adversary and began thinking about this whole battle. He did nothing to me, not before the battle or during. I walked up to him to fight him and while he wanted to leave in peace, I wanted to leave with blood. As I looked into his unmoving eye, I began to see his eyes were like mine and in their reflection, I though I could see the eyes of a dogman. I was frightened at first, until I realized those weren't a dogman's eyes that had scared me, they were mine.
I couldn't take it anymore. I had won, I had gotten my prize, and he was too weak to be threat. I refuse to finish him off. I have lost control so many times, but I won't today. I searched my menu, laid a pain killer and extra crowbar by him, and I left for my camp. I had asked myself once what made me any different from a dogman since I stalked victims and was just as violent to my adversaries. It was after that battle I had answered my own question. While Dogmen have no choice, but to follow their instincts, a man can choose his own actions and while he can make all the violent decisions that a dogman can, he has one option that a dogman doesn't have, mercy.
Proud member of the International Federation of Looters, Bandits, and Raiders. "Divided, we stand. Together, you better have athletic skill!"
With Crowbar, will travel