The Last of Us: Apocalypse 101 – Rule #88, Don’t Be A Martyr


Rule #1, Cities Are Bad

Rules #13-17, When You Kill Them Make Sure They’re Dead

Rule #27, Only Carry What You Need (And Weapons!)

Rule #49, Learn Not To Feel

Rule #58, People Aren’t Better Than Monsters

Rule #73, Look For The Light

????, 2033

-Iggy Bigby

I don’t know what day it is. I spent 20 years of the apocalypse keeping track. Funny I would die not knowing.

Let’s just get it out of the way – this is probably my final journal entry. I thought I could talk to people, help them understand what the world needed to heal. Make them see the light.

I was wrong.

We raided a Hunter settlement. Tried to bring them into our fold. We severely underestimated how many of them there were. They killed everyone in my mission, and now I’m in a cage on the way to sacrifice. Well, execution really. Being “thrown to the beasts“, an example for anyone else who might dare oppose them. Sacrifice just sounds better in my head. Doing it for the cause, and all.

I haven’t slept in… a while? So, I apologize if any of this sounds delusional. It’s hard to sleep when you know you only have a little time left. They took all of my things, but one of the guards left me my journal. Maybe he’s just curious what I’ll write. Like an insane social experiment. Obviously, he doesn’t know what I’ve got in here. The second half of my life. A series of events you clearly shouldn’t replicate.

If this is the last hurrah, though, I guess I’d better make it count.

I started this survival guide when I was only 22 years old. So much hadn’t happened yet. I didn’t know how humanity would change, or what might happen on a planet filled with monsters. I was just scared, and alone. I told myself I didn’t care if I died, that I wasn’t afraid of death. But that was bullshit. A lie to make myself feel better, while I listened to gunshots every night. Never sure if they were aimed at people or the infected. Never sure when they’d be aimed at me.

Now, they are. Metaphorically, of course. Literally, I’m being fed to a herd of Clickers. I’ll try to fight back – of course I will – but like I’ve said before, that fungus ain’t just for looks. It’ll hurt, I’m not looking forward to that, but maybe I’ll manage to get one last laugh in before I go. Of all the ways I thought this world might take me, gladiatorial combat against the undead was NOT on the list. It’s sorta hilarious if you’ve got a morbid sense of humor like mine. If you don’t, I suppose it may come across as tragic.

Either way, I’m trying to keep my spirits up. I think I had a pretty good run, all things considered. And, if you’ve somehow found even just a handful of my rules, I’d like to think I saved a life or two during the ride. Based on what I’ve heard, I should have just enough time to get one more lesson down on paper, and I’m not really doing anything else at the moment, so why not?

It’s an obvious one, keeping the circumstances in mind. However, now that I’m old (in apocalypse years), I’m gonna try to throw a little wisdom in there as well. Really flesh out the topic. It’s the antithesis of my current situation, the solution to the mistake that finally did me in. I believed in something, and for the first time, I wasn’t afraid of dying for it. I knew it could get me, but somehow I never really thought it would. So, please, if you’d like to avoid becoming plant bait, do the following –

Rule #88, Don’t Be A Martyr

What I’ve come to learn is that people aren’t designed to be satisfied. Survival is not based around ideals. Its foundation is simply the next thought, the next need that must be met. That’s where this country has landed, and that’s where it will likely stay. Honestly, there’s a good chance it was always headed towards this – whether a fungus took us there or not.

Humanity will always run towards perfection, just to throw it away. We get bored. Salvation is too easy. We make our own problems because deep down, we love the chaos. We love the sensation of hating something from the bottom of our stomachs. It makes us feel better to think everything else is terrible because then we don’t feel as bad about ourselves. It’s sickening, but it’s just how things are. I thought I could fight against that, change it even, and instead I learned the world has become exactly what it was meant to be.

Society was too complicated for us to handle. It was overstimulating. We were always supposed to live in tribes, hunting for basic needs. That’s what we have now. No borders, no government, no money. Just animals, roaming the land. Anyone who allows themselves to think higher thoughts, or commit to something bigger, has already written their future on the wall. People, as we know them, will never change.

I remember when we were still concerned about “Global Warming.” Someone told me it was narcissistic to think we would kill the Earth. That it was more likely the Earth would kill us, like the parasites we are. And, they said, that it was most likely a meteor would take us all out before any of that happened. The universe would hit the reset button, the only true method of bringing about peace.

Maybe a meteor is what we need. We’re too full of hate and greed to let anything else in the door. So many stories end with people being too stubborn to let their feelings go. To do what’s right in the name of the bigger picture. But you have to let go if you ever hope to move forward. Move forward, or you’ll die with the past. Don’t be a martyr. Just hold your loved ones close and keep yourselves alive.

I wasn’t able to do any of that. I let my emotions get in the way. I thought too much. Now the universe has cut my rope short. Thankfully, I have my writings. A legacy. Something for you to remember me by. In a weird way, my life has become devoted to you. The ones who can still make it. If I have to be a martyr, I’m hoping it’s worth something. That I can make you among the last of a drowning breed – those who decipher between good and evil, and know when to use both.

So, if you’ve found this journal, use it well. Enter this world knowing how it works, and learn to survive. I’ll see you sooner or later. Let me know how it goes.

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