I didn't play Far Cry 2 for very long, maybe just due to fatigue. I really did enjoy most of it. Some part of the following story, which I'll call "user fiction", has been sitting on my external hard drive for about a year now, and I've just gotten around to editing it. It was originally intended to be a fiction feature on The Escapist, but I missed a follow-up email and it never happened. As so often happens with these things, now it's going onto my blogs.
I'd like to make the distinction between fan fiction and user fiction; user fiction is more or less New Games Journalism -- first-person stream of consciousness that drifts between the voice of player and avatar. Fan fiction is a fan written story using a game world and game characters. There is no shame to be had in fan fiction (really, not all of it is terrible), but I just want to clarify that this all actually went through my head while playing. The following is compiled from notes I scribbled, without pausing the game, while playing Far Cry 2. I was all kinds of shocked at the conclusion.
Paul Ferenc has a plan. I'm out here to destroy a gas compressor being used by the UFLL to repair their vehicles, and the APR is covering the cost. I'm toting a brand new SVD rifle purchased with my advance payment, an Uzi submachine gun, and an RPD light machine gun. God help anyone who gets in my way.
Back to the plan -- I'll be staying a bit longer than expected. Paul wants me to grab a map of the trucking route for him; black gold. After that I'm going to burn the place to the ground.
I grab an old car left at the bus stop and head to the refueling station. But there's a hitch; a roadblock. I stop just short and get out. Keeping low, rifle in hand, I creep up to a shack and peak through. I see two figures. I carefully bring the rifle up. Through the scope I can see one is sitting, visible from just above his midsection, and one is standing. They're talking about something, but they're too far to hear. There's no way around this. I'm not ditching the car.
I wait for the sitting man to stand up, and just as they prepare to part ways I send a bullet into the man on the right. I move the crosshair left and squeeze again. They're both down, and cleanly.
I reload the rifle and look around. I'm sure there's nothing to see, but just as I turn away I come under fire. Bullets thwack into the rotten wood. I quickly duck into the shack I'd been peering through. Rifle fire is snapping at the rickety siding and pieces of tinder burst and float to the ground. Through the dust and splinters I get a glimpse of my attackers. The rifle is out of my hands quickly and I bring the Uzi out, squeezing off a burst. After a few seconds of its usual rattling spit the Uzi jams, producing the hollow click of a dryfire. I smack and jostle the chamber but it's taking too long.
Kneeling in the dirt I look up to see one of them, right outside the shack, closing in and ready to finish me. With a click the Uzi clears its chamber and I pour what I hope wasn't the rest of the magazine into his chest with another short burst. Hoping there is still something left in the magazine I stand up to see the second attacker, take aim, and squeeze off a burst. Then another.
I check all my gear and make sure I haven't been shot. Light is filtering through the bullet-riddled shack, and with the dust blowing outside it looks very much like a scene right out of the Wild West.
Nothing useful in their camp, so I check my map and head towards the refueling station. I'm actually really close; I didn't need the car. I come over a hill and am surprised to see it already. I scope out the compound with the Dragunov. Big gas tanks, armed guards. I guess this is it.
I start scanning the ground and sprint for a good sniping position. I can't find any good cover, so I just kneel in the tall grass. I start to scan the camp when a bullet whizzes past me. Whiz is good, it means he missed by a bit. When you hear a crack you're hearing the bullet break the sound barrier. I'm glad it wasn't a crack. Panicked, I scope the top of the compound for guard towers or a wall or a roof or something. I shoot the first man I see, but I'm sure he hadn't seen me. I'm dealing with another sniper, and I can't see him. I check the large gas cylinders, sure enough there's a guard on top. Just as I sight him a bullet grazes me. That's much closer than a crack. But he's too slow to load another round and I shoot and he goes limp, and collapses.
I load a fresh magazine and start down the hill. I seem to have garnered more attention; one guard is trying to supress me with automatic fire as his buddy moves up through the grass with a shotgun. Nuh uh. The rifle rounds are coming wildly as the shooter moves and shoots. I put a bullet in his chest and he falls below the grass. His partner turns to look at his friend, or the absence of his friend, and he disappears below the grass as well.
As I walk into the refueling station compound I hear gunfire. Someone is firing a pistol in my general direction, but their aim is lousy. Still, this someone needs to die, and fast, before his aim improves. Some of the rusty shanty buildings to my front ping with gunfire. Before I can turn I make out one more ping, and an oil drum explodes behind me. Everything is ablaze, and as I scramble away I turn and see a body. He was right behind me, slumped up against some sheet metal acting as a fence for the compound. Too far to hit me in his condition; just close enough to the oil drum to blow himself up. It looks like the explosion killed him (not to mention the rifle round in his gut). I walk away as the fire washes over the body.
Right, the map of the truck route. I pull out my Uzi and check one of the larger buildings. Nobody home. I run back down a ramp just in time to see a lone guard running for some box cars. I squeeze off a burst that hits him in the back, but he keeps running and I try to keep up. I let off a second, longer burst. The magazine runs dry, but the last round makes a bloody hole in the back of his head. He drops dead to the dirt, face down in an oil slick. I feel kind of bad for shooting him as he ran.
In a small building I find a box of syringes; the better to inject my wonder drug. In the other room a t.v. flickers on a desk; right next to it is the map I’ve been looking for.
I check my cell. Paul left a message. If everything looks good, go ahead to the junkyard, he says. Can do.
I hop in a truck and head out. For a second I consider lighting the entire compound on fire before I leave, but decide against it. I’m a nice guy.
As I pass back through the roadblock I take fire from somewhere. I thought I killed everyone up here. I try to drive past but instead make straight for a support beam. Shit. I get out and hear an engine start, so I turn to a line of trucks to the right of mine and squeeze the trigger. No more than three bullets exit the barrel when the gun jams. I duck, and on the other side of the truck someone’s firing at me. The gun un-jams, I stand up, and I pump thirty rounds into his chest. That was close.
I’m driving again, and this rickety truck is making good time down some hilly terrain. As I rocket through another roadblock I swerve to hit a gunner, and he’s crumpled on my hood for a few seconds before he slumps off. I pull through unscathed, left ‘em in the dust. Or, so I thought.
A small yellow car speeds down the dusty road ahead, coming right at me. I use my heavier truck to nudge him off the road. I slam the brakes as the yellow car spins to a stop in the brush, get out of the truck, and spray the car with submachinegun fire. The bullets spatter through the windshield and up into his arm, causing him to twist and fall as he scrambles to get out of the car. I duck as more gunfire sparks against the hood of the car. A jeep has crashed into the back of my truck. I pull down on the trigger and the spray catches the heavy machinegunner in the neck and he rolls to the ground.
After picking up a shotgun from a local weapons dealer I make my way to the junkyard to destroy the gas compressor. The bridge to the junkyard looks undefended, but I swim under it just in case. Probably not good for my malaria.
As I climb out of the water and start into the junkyard I spot one soldier, with his back to me. I pull out my machete and slice from behind. He falls and I stab the machete into his gut. It’s shady and I think I see something in the shadows ahead, so I pull out my shotgun and move in slowly. As I move into the open I take a shot to the back and scramble behind a large tree and stab a syringe into my wrist. When I peek around the tree I see a face in my shotgun sights; I squeeze and it’s gone.
I skirt around the tree and sprint forward and over the body to see the buckshot has hit another guard in the hand. I quickly introduce the shotgun to his chest, and then it’s silent.
I walk to the middle of the compound and take fire again and I hide behind another tree. It’s too dark here to see anything, but I think he’s in a building just ahead of me. I freeze. I peek around the tree and look at the building, but a burst catches me in the shoulder and I get back behind the tree. I caught the muzzle flash though; he’s in the window crouched behind a bed. I fire twice wildly into the window. Silence. I feel naked without the SVD, I no longer control the fight. I move out from the tree and nothing happens, so I move along.
I’m moving further into the heart of this rusted junk heap. I see nothing, but they must know I’m here. I spot a patrolling guard and shoot him in the chest; I don’t have time to be stealthy. Now I start taking fire from the hill to my right. I blast one soldier in the open and another through a crack in an old fence. Out of the corner of my eye I spot the patroller limping, trying to lean against a box car. I fire a shot as he slumps to the ground and the buckshot catches him in the face, jerking his head violently into his chest.
I step around a corner and a kneeling soldier nearly guts me with AK fire. I fire back and use one of my last syringes. Time to blow this gas compressor and get the hell out.
Someone shoots at me from above some tin sheeting stuck into the dirt to act as a fence. I fire some Uzi bursts and see a red spurt from behind the tin sheet. I notice ricochets right in front of my face and turn just in time to gun down a guard. Again to my right, on the slope, I see movement. I pull out the shotgun and fire at an oil drum. It sets off a chain of explosions and when the air clears there’s nothing left on the slope.
I shoot two more guards and set off an ammunition cache, which pops and crackles into a firestorm. I fire some shots into the smoke, but I get the idea they’ve taken cover in a concrete building near the cache. Once the crackling ammo store dies down a bit I rush in. Turns out the shotgun fire did get them, and they’re stone dead slumped on the floor. In the next room are two more soldiers, and the gas compressor. I walk into the room and shoot them both. To my surprise they both start to get up. Boom, boom. Sheets of paper from a desk nearby fly and tumble into the air, and they’re both dead.
I decide the best way to blow this thing is to stand in the doorway and shoot it. As I head into the doorway a guard runs through it. We both get off a shotgun blast but we both miss. I’m faster and my second shot doesn’t miss. He’s still alive and I shoot him again on the floor. Another guy comes running up to the doorway, kneels, aims, and takes buckshot to the face. I position myself diagonally in the doorway, half outside, and fire some shots at the gas compressor. It explodes in a fireball and I duck out of the doorway.
But it ain’t over yet. Paul gives me a call to say a truck is almost there, about to pull in for repair. I run up the road to meet him.
As I walk up the dirt road out of the junkyard and into jungle a huge explosion erupts just up the road. Damnit Paul. There’s a man firing at a bus and I take him out from behind. I can see the wrecked tanker, and I take out another soldier as I run through some wooden supports in the brush for cover. I see Paul by the truck. I run to him; he’s lying on the dirt road in a cloud of smoke and I kneel down next to him. I reach for a syringe, but I don’t have any. I used all of them. Paul puts his sidearm into my hand, but I’m thinking of where I can get a syringe. Maybe there’s a box back in the junkyard? And then he’s dead. Lying in the dirt with smoke rising up to the shifting jungle canopy above. The filtering light flickers over him and the wind starts to blow harder. Bye Paul.