Filbert Johnson here, but you can call me Old Man Filbert.
I was born on January 1, 1965 in Illinois, USA to a blue collar widowed-mother home. Though I lost my father to the second world war, my mom raised me right and made sure I had a good head on my shoulders. Growing up I got a simple education, I met my wife Sharon, and eventually got married. To support my household I picked up work in a power plant to get an honest wage for honest work. Sharon and I were never able to start a family, but we were ok with that. We were a God fearing couple and found community in our church. Anything we could do to help our community and those in need, we did.
Days turned to weeks, weeks, to months, and months to years. Before we knew life was starting to catch up to us and we decided we'd like to settle somewhere nice and live out the rest of our lives in peace. That was until Sharon got diagnosed with breast cancer. She was always a fighter but the cancer was too far gone. I lost her within a years time. I'll never forget that last summer of 2006 I spent by her side. The times following her death were some of the hardest I ever faced, but I eventually found some much needed peace. I decided after some time, that I wanted to spread her ashes at the remote lake we wanted to move near. I said my final goodbyes and decided it was time to move on. Time stops for no man and the year was going on 2009.
Back at the power plant I would try to pick up as much work as possible, but in the height of the Great American Recession with a struggling economy, they were cutting hours and jobs. Getting older and alone, money was not an issue but, it became harder to keep my mind busy when I couldn't work. In my free time I began to study wilderness survival. I had always been acquainted with the outdoors, but I wanted to prepare for a post-apocalyptic event if you will. I gathered tons of books to brush up on my bushcraft skills. From hunting, to shelter, to making bone hooks. I knew that if things went bad, I would have to use whatever resources were around me to survive. Once I felt adequately prepared, I simply would practice little things every week to stay on my toes. During this time is when I read of a place called Chernarus in the international section of the Illinois Times. They seemed to be nearing the end of a civil war. I decided to keep an eye out for more news from the region. As months passed Chernarus officially ended their civil war and began to prosper with industry booming. As a region rich in many natural combustible resources I figured I might as well give independent contracting work a shot. I had spent my whole life in the American power industry, so going to Chernarus should be a breeze, even if it was not as advanced. I made up my mind. On January 28, 2010 I made my way to Chernarus.
Upon arrival in Miroslavl, I found it harder to communicate with some of the civilians who did not know English, but unfortunately this old dog just could not learn the new tricks of a different language. I decide it would be easier to do some searches on a map or the internet to locate the larger power plants. It seemed one of the hubs was a city called Elektrozavodsk or Elektro for short. I went on my way. When I arrived I was able to easily find where the power plant was due to the rising smoke stacks. When I entered I was greeted and told to wait in line with the other civilians. When it was my turn the foreman sized me up, asked me some questions in broken English and handed me a hard hat. I guess since the Elektro power plant provide power for most of Chernarus, they needed whatever hands they could get. Pay was decent, but I had saved up so much that it was really only supplemental to what I wire transferred over. I set up in a modest apartment in the city and prepared for my new life.
As time passed I celebrated my birthday on January 11, 2017, but my only gift was the international tensions heightening in the area. It seemed like the country was at the brink of an all out war. In April 2017 things escalated when there was an attack on a wedding of a Chernarussian woman and a Russian man from extremists. This seemed to spark a series of troubling headlines of protests and unrest but I was not in any direct danger, so I found it best to just keep to myself and focus on my work. The times were unsettling, but as part of the machine, it was important to continue doing my job.
As the months passed, military operations began to take place in the beginning of July further North in South Zagoria. I just prayed that it would all be over soon. One night during a shift at the plant, the emergency alarm wailed and the foreman came over the PA: "Emergency! All workers report to the main warehouse immediately!" I, with all the other workers, showed up and patiently waited to see what could be so important. The foreman walked out onto the upper scaffolding and notified us all that there was news of a virus making people mad. Symptoms included blood coming from your eyes and secreting rashes. Doctors didn't quite understand what it was, or how to contain it, but they for sure knew these were the symptoms. Though this was happening, we were to return to work until more information could be gathered. With some eerie panic in the air, the disgruntled workers started to return to work. I decided that this situation did not seem right. I went to my locker to quickly gather my few belongings, and made my way to my apartment. This was it. The time had come and something that man could not understand was happening right here in Chernarus.
Holed up in my apartment I waited and waited. I had enough supplies to last for a while, but sooner or later I would have to venture outside. At the start, things were hectic and the chaos raged through the night. Things slowly began to quiet down, but this was not a peaceful silence; this silence represented the end of life as mankind had always known.