SW&D: End of the World Challenge - Your Last Outfit - Page 2
It was time to move on. I’d picked up a couple of distant radio broadcasts from a village somewhere in France, broadcast on a valve set that had last seen service under the resistance during the occupation. With no means to communicate back and only rudimentary French I could only fill in some of the gaps, and the panicked voices soon gave way to the wall of static. Maybe they were still alive, but I had no way of telling. There certainly weren’t many of us left, with the cities and large towns falling within hours of their ‘unveiling’. It had been days since I’d heard a human voice and that was a distant scream.
It was clear that avoiding urban areas was the only hope of survival. They’d made their home in the cities as they infiltrated and shaped society. Their concrete jungle was their home, powerbase and now slaughterhouse.
Crossing countryside in the day would be safer than travelling at night. They weren’t going to shrivel up in the sunlight, but they were definitely more comfortable in the dark. Their towers of glass fitted with reflective glass that kept the light low as well as providing anonymity beyond their grey suits and immaculately knotted ties. Cries of ‘leeches’ at the lawyers had been closer to the truth than we’d guessed, and those bankers truly were parasitic as it turned out.
I needed to travel light to maximise the distance I could put between myself and what remained of ‘civilisation’. A couple of lighters to make a fire and a knife would have to do. I couldn’t afford to carry anything that wouldn’t stow in a pocket. The rip-stop trousers would hold up well enough if I needed to take cover in undergrowth and provide a degree of camouflage. A flannel shirt should wick away the sweat whilst keeping me reasonably warm, and if I couldn’t find shelter the oversized coat would provide some protection from the elements. Acid and Alkali resistant, the boots claimed. Whether they’d cope with what passed for blood in the inhuman veins of the predators remained to be seen. Hopefully I wouldn’t need to find out.
I was heading for the coast, looking out for abandoned farms enroute. Hopefully I could find a potato patch or some other crop I could gather. Carbohydrates were my priority – protein would wait, it was energy I needed, and once I reached the coast I could gather limpets or mussels. Wasting time hunting wasn’t in my plans. Keep moving forward. That had to be my priority,
No GPS to direct me. Fortunately my phone had died and in my haphazard approach to life I’d not got round to replacing it. That was how they controlled us; an ear-splitting series of pulses through our constant companions and we were rendered unconscious and ready for collection. I say we, I’m still part of the human race and surely can’t be the only survivor? Oddly, I don’t feel despair. I could put that down to being a long time West Bromwich supporter – see I still have a sense of humour. I’ll head towards the coast. Hopefully I can find a small boat that I can manage to get started. Heading away from the mainland and trying to find an island must be my best chance of survival. John Wyndham’s heroes fled to the Isle of Wight to escape his triffids, but it was surely too heavily populated to have escaped being attacked from within.
How had we confused them with human beings? How had we let them take over? Looking back there were clues enough. That ruthless disregard for others and their strange obsessive nature, should have acted as warning signs. We’d not even noticed them openly talking about wanting to appear more natural, obsessed with ‘natural’ shoulders on their grey suits that had to be millimetre perfect. We were oblivious to their true nature.
Nature, my only chance of survival. I would have to try and live off the land, scavenging food where I could like an ancient hunter gatherer. An island should provide enough for one man to survive on. I could gather eggs from seabirds, cook shellfish with seaweed and gather mushrooms. Would it be enough to survive on? I knew I could cope with hardship and deprivation. How many people had lived in Mid-Wales when Sunday’s were still dry and there wasn’t a pub open for 24 hours? John Christopher’s anti-heroes had relied on potatoes when the grass died and humanity faced starvation. Could I find some to take with me and plant? I could try and dig up wild carrots and other roots, but carbohydrates were going to be a problem. I could forage for berries later in the year, but the end of Winter and the start of Spring is a hard time for food. Chewing the newly unfurled hawthorn leaves might sate my hunger pains but wouldn’t sustain me for long.
It would be getting dark soon. I needed to find food and shelter for the night, I needed to keep moving away from the town, putting as much distance as I could between me and that urban nightmare. The world as I knew it had ended, but I was going to survive...
Ring-coat - Kapital
Shirt - EG
Trousers - Orslow
Boots - Doc's
Thanks - I'd considered an EG Explorer jacket, but when I wore it on Friday it was far too nice weather for the end of the world
I'm looking forward to seeing the other entrants efforts.
The anorak jacket was chosen because the gigantic pocket in the front should be able to hold a bunch of sandwiches. A baseball bat was the weapon of choice to fight off the zombies that have taken over, and the aggressive bums who frequent the spot of this photo-shoot.
No evil doers will dare fuck with this man, for he stay strapped.
Craig Green workwear anorak ss2016
Nom de Guerre paratrooper pants aw2010
Mugler creeper boots aw2011
Cool, diniro. And a bit scary. Did the aggressive bums give you much trouble?
I couldn't go out in this, still too hot here. I'd probably freak people out wearing this in public too (more than usual I mean).
Items List - Justification
- Jean Paul Gaultier Homme detached hood - Protection from the elements
- Unbranded neoprene vented face gaiter - Protection from the elements, insulating
- Junior Gaultier extended fleece MA-1 - Insulated, durable and can be slept in; carried easily when it is hot, slight water resistance
- Jean Paul Gaultier Homme nylon cargo pants - Insulated, durable, high-waisted and excellent freedom of motion, slight water resistance
- Nike NSW Cheyenne 2000 - Waterproof, insulated compartment for fragile items, separate wet storage pockets for food
- Nike ProCombat Hyper Warm base layer top - Strong compression and insulation, protect skin from the elements
- Nike Running paneled tights - Strong compression, light insulation, protect skin from the elements
- Nike ACG i95 - Water proof outer skin and zippers, foam inner, air soles, balance between lightweight and protective
- Nike Elite socks - Cushioned and a tight fit for long periods of walking
- Guerrilla Group ATC Quickdraw Holster - Lightweight, water resistant additional storage
- Ksubi sunglasses - Block the harsh ozone depleted sun, good face coverage to protect against airborne dust and debris
- Casio ProTrek PRG-90T - 10 year solar battery, compass, barometer, altimeter, multiple timers and alarms
I used a dark palette, but not all black, as camouflage to hide amidst the rubble when necessary. The Gaultier coat, hood and pants can be stowed or packed away easily when it is hot. Overheating can be remedied, but if it gets too cold I'll need the extra layers. The base layer provides skin protection from mosquitoes and the sun while being comfortable; can serve as its own outfit if necessary.
Narrative (Long, asinine and barely relevant; read at your own risk)Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Violent winds howled and whined against the hard, almost vertical cliff face. A dark figure swung first right, then left, then upwards, pausing within a narrow fissure bracing himself with each limb. Rais’ wiry form held still despite the vicious gale, huddling against the massive expanse of granite. An avian scream pierced the air, coming from somewhere below and he remained deadly still for fear of detection. The wind shifted and he took his chance; effortlessly hoisting himself up from the crevice he was poised on, using only two fingers of his right hand gripped in a crack less than an inch wide. Right arm bent, Rais extended his left arm and reached upwards. In a single fluid motion he kicked with his right leg against the cliff face and his body deftly swung over the precipice, ascending to the small plateau above. Now at the mountain’s summit, he could stop for the time being. Rais removed his sunglasses, fastening them to his vest. With keen, grey eyes he surveyed the landscape below. Hundreds of acres of temperate forest lay below him, disturbed only by a solitary charred blemish to his lower right: The Blighted Fortress. It’s back to the peak and surrounded by a dark woods infested with untold horrors; the suicidal climb he had just completed was the most viable point of entry.
He dropped his battered backpack on the windswept ground beside him and bent on one knee to open it. On the outside, the bag looked fairly innocuous; a simple satin coated rucksack. On the inside however, Rais had access to a surprisingly sophisticated storage system completely compartmentalised and with far greater capacity than what appeared possible from a cursory glance. Unzipping a shock-proofed pocket, he pulled out a pair of small binoculars and stood to his feet while raising the optical tool to his eyes. He switched the item on, a faint whirring sound emitted from the rubberised casing and a green light emanated within the lens. From within the binoculars, Rais absorbed a number of digital blue metrics that floated above his view of the fortress. As Rais had planned, this location was the ideal access point. It was still light though, and it would be some hours yet before he could proceed. The long climb had been necessary to avoid detection and now it was time to rest.
Rais braced himself against a nearby outcropping of stone, his garments blending seamlessly against the peak. Winds raged around him but the ledge provided an adequate amount of shelter. Still clutching the binoculars, he switched the telemetrics off and increased light amplification by rotating a control wheel with his right index finger. No longer focused on the citadel, Rais scanned the forests the encompassed it. The trees seemed to writhe and squirm in eerie, broken waves. The motion was wretched and forced; unnatural. Rather than swaying with the wind, trees snapped from side to side, seemingly randomly and without rhythm. Zooming in on a particularly lively copse of pines, Rais spied dark, monstrous forms, cloaked in darkness by the canopy below and indistinct but certainly real. The forest was teeming with movement and whatever they were, the creatures were large enough to bend and bow the great trees like thickets of grass. He switched the binoculars off. The battery drained fast and his solar charger took nearly a day to provide ten minutes of operation of the unit.
He put his binoculars away, careful not to disturb the delicate cargo stowed in the main insulated compartment of the bag, and retrieved the sunglasses from his vest, pressing them against his his brow. Rais removed a folded hood from a cargo pocket and placed it on, then unfolded the fleece collar of his coat up against the back of his neck. The vibration alarm on his watch was set, and now protected against the elements he laid back, closed his eyes and tried to sleep. However, instead of rest, the man only found terror within the violence of a reoccurring nightmare: one he had had ever since devils had taken reign and the world flipped upside down. But come nightfall, the demons that had plagued both his world and his dreams would know the taste of their own blood.
There's more than two weeks left and it seems in the past that the majority of entries are submitted in the last day or two. This is a really open ended challenge but with a lot tropes available for people to reference; and I don't even require a fit pic to join in, so I have hopes we'll get a lot of entries.
I'll try to post some more inspiration photos later and promote this in some of the brand threads to stimulate it a bit.
@diniro I knew you were just kidding around, I'm way too sarcastic for my own good.
Out in the elements, they say cotton kills. But so does a .357. And it's a lot more certain.
It's been three days since whatever happened happened. I wasn't ready for this. I'm no prepper. I didn't have a BOB or a BOL. I wasn't thinking about TEOTWAWKI. But as soon as the sirens started, and even more so when they stopped, I knew something big was happening.
The birds had stopped singing. Except for the crows. They cawed and cawed louder than I thought possible, like the war drums of an approaching horde. And it was dark. Darker than Los Angeles has been since the Tongva roamed these lands. The only thing I could see was the lights of a ghetto bird circling nearby with its spotlight shining down through the darkness. One eye illuminating a tiny slice of a massive tragedy. Then -- I felt it more than I heard it -- a deep, penetrating bass note, a disturbing hiccup squeezing the air. Quietly, gracefully, the helicopter fell out of the sky in a perfect Newtonian arc. For a second everything went silent, like all the white noise of the world was canceled. It was a beautiful moment, timeless for that brief period, until physics again intervened and the chopper met the earth. It burst into flames. After that the crows started up louder than ever, the only sound in the universe. That's when I knew I had to go.
I didn't stop to think about what I should be wearing. I just put on a fresh change of underwear, hurried into a pair of baggy chinos and a favorite t-shirt, and pulled on a beat-up pair of boots. The world was ending. At that moment, I just wanted to be comfortable. Wouldn't you?
I wasn't totally stupid. I grabbed a bunch of clothes more suitable to roughing it and tossed it all in the truck with camping stuff, some guns, ammo, water, toilet paper. Don't forget toilet paper. And then I drove.
I've only seen one other person since I left. It was at an abandoned strip mall near the Mexican border. He was a fat guy dressed in tacti-cool black and camo. Fancy looking milspec vest that his belly poked out of. I saw his tricked-out off-road rig in the parking lot, all dark and menacing with big tires and a big lift and bunches of stuff strapped everywhere. He looked like he had spent his life collecting gear, getting ready for this moment. He must have felt like his life finally had meaning. He saw me coming and made for his truck. Hoping to be a hero or live out his fantasy, I guess. We didn't exchange a word. I hadn't been planning to get in his way. I would have told him so. Too bad he was so out of shape that he was was almost hyperventilating when he got to the truck and reached for his AR. Really too bad he couldn't shoot for shit.
So far the weather has been pleasant. At some point I'll need to put on the wool and the technical gear. And figure out wtf is going on. But for now, I'm comfortable.
Edited by oisin - 4/4/16 at 5:10pm