Sgt. Bertram "Bert" Penson (retired)
Born: 2/22/85 (age 34).
I'm writting this in hopes that if I might perish out here, someone will know who I was. That I existed. That mine was a life spent in service to our future. It's funny, the little things make all the difference out here. Finding a working pen in all of this mess has seemed like christmas....god I miss christmas:
Born in Newport Oregon, son of a patrol officer and a school teacher, raised on the Oregon Coast. Being raised in a small coastal community I always had a strong desire to see the world. I attended OSU for a year (focus on Communications and Journalism), but I got restless and joined the U.S. Army at age 19. Deployed in Iraq, my company served alongside Special Forces units tracking down Al Qaeda forces and engaging them, most of our work was classified, I'm not at liberty to divulge the details of my deployment to anyone without proper clearance. It's funny, even though there's no one to spill secrets too, I still can't bring myself to betray the oaths I took.
After 2 tours, I transferred back to the states where I spent the next several years as a recruitment officer, finishing my degree and looking to settle down and start a family. I was Honorably Discharged, and started my career as a freelance journalist. During the conflict in Chenarus I hopped the first plane to the region to cover the events as they unfolded. And here I am still.
Using my knowledge from time spent with Spec Ops forces, I went into the wilderness in the North, looking for any sign of refugees of the war that may have fled in to the woods, that was when shit started to go south really fast. Over the course of the following weeks, I steadily made my way back south, where I knew I had a better chance of finding help. With the detonation of Nuclear devices my long-range radio wasn't working and my GPS was on the fritz, so mile by mile I headed back to the heart of Chernarus, the agreed rally point of my group of journalists should anything go south, hoping anyone would still be alive.
Along the way I came across a small town, they were sick with some extremely potent virus, or perhaps a chemical weapon used in recent airstrikes, so I kept my distance and moved along. I've been avoiding human contact this whole time...seems safer until I find out what's going on, and why nukes were used.
Caught in a terrible storm one night I lost my footing and fell down a steep embankment into a river. I woke up 3 days later in the first bed I've slept in in weeks. A group of locals had rescued me. Unfortunately my gear was swept away in the current; camera, film, radio, gps, compass, all my food supplies and MREs....everything. These lovely folks don't have enough for me to stay long term, but they've given me what little they can offer, and helped set me on my path back to people, and hopefully rescue.
Without a map or even a compass, and only a vague idea of where I am, I'm starting a new journal, and leaving these people to their fate. I hope I can see them again and properly document their story.
There are so many stories to be told out here....
New Entry: Days 5-6.
I'm not sure, but I think it's February already. Hell, maybe it's March. Hard to tell these days. It's been 5 or 6 days since my rescuers sent me back into the wild. I've seen no one since then. Well, almost no one...there's people around, but they're rabid and sick and reek like death. 2 nights ago I was trapped on the roof of an abandoned police station, surrounded by these peopl...no....these THINGS. All night they clawed at the doors, and all night I sat on the roof, watching them. I dangled my feet over the edge of the roof, just to watch them get stirred up. Why did I do that? Am I starting to crack already? God I hope not, Kathy would never forgive me if I lost my shit now.
Keeping the sun roughly on my left, I've made my way west over the hills from the coast. It was a long couple days and I'm exhausted, i have food and found a shotgun....I don't know why, but I feel like using it would only make my situation worse, best to stay quiet for now. I'm not trying to kill anyone anyways. i've had my fill of killing. There's a reason I transferred back state-side to take a desk job. I suppose I asked for this. Reckless, that's what my mom always called it. Kathy understood, she never liked it, but she got it.
Today I found a town that looks like someone was trying to fortify it. Pretty standard improvised defenses, looks like whoever did it knows a thing or two about preparing a fixed position. There's no one here though. Maybe they're out gathering supplies, or maybe they're murderers and looters and they're watching me as I write this. I'm staying here a day or two to see if they come back.
What I wouldn't give for a camera, I'd love to document this experience. Though I wonder who will be left to read it.
Bertram "Bert" Penson, AP Journalist, late winter 2019.
I finally made radio contact with my old friend John. We were in basic together. Now he leads Alpha Company 3-34, just trying to make this easier on the locals until something gets figured out. I had to make my way alone deep to the southwest. I stuck mostly to the forests, I'm in no position to handle bandits and those hardline former Ched's. No fucking way. I found a camera, I plan on making a photo journal of my travels, when this is all over i plan on writing a book based on all we've seen here. I think it's important to show the world what happened. The unpolished truth of it all. I still have no solid idea what happened, I'm hoping once I meet up with John and his guys i'll get some more answers. Until then i'll keep documenting what I see.
After 2 tours in Iraq, I tried to swear off this level of violence....funny how the universe makes other plans. Until recently I haven't touched a gun in years, with the exception of some target practice back home. Target shooting with dad was always fun, he was a lousy shot. I guess that's why Mom was the cop, and Dad the teacher.
The universe always has other plans.