Few men have accomplished greatness. I grew up in a town roughly an hour or so outside Brisbane City. It was a small rural town, what can i say.. We had only had 1 shop, a doctor and a school. My friends and i spent most our time riding motor bikes in the woods, hunting dingoes and camping. Apart from that there was not a great deal to do in that town, I guess that is why i left pretty early on. I had only ever been to the city a couple as a kid but I always got excited. So many people, so many cars just so many different things happening at once.
I arrived in Brisbane when i turned 18. Finding a flat was pretty easy the hard part was finding a job. What can i say growing up in the bush does not really produce the most academic people. Also I had no real work experience. One night sitting in a bar a man suggested i give firefighting a go. He said the physical is the make or break, if you pass that your basically a shoe in. With no other options in sight, i thought to myself why not give it a go. Three days later i was beginning my first day of boot camp. I wont lie it was a hard experience, but i stuck with it and after three years my training was complete. Its kind of funny, not knowing it at the time but i think becoming a firefighter was the best decision i ever made. It actually led to me meeting my wife.
Now i would like to say it was a classic story of me pulling her from a burning house and that it was love a first sight. But the truth was actually, her running from her flat (which was across the hall) screaming "fire, fire". I opened my door to see her kitchen had caught fire and rushed in to extinguish it. I could tell she was super embarrassed. She kept thanking me and apologizing. It was then when our eyes locked. I remember it so clearly. It felt like had just seen a dear friend i had not seen or even known. I am not even joking it felt like time stood still. I later asked her about it and she said there was a similar feeling for her too but thinks it was after i cleaned my face from ash. Either way we got married 2 years later.
Claire worked as Doctor at the public hospital. She always said Healthcare should be free and that helping others was the only reason for what she did. I admired her for her beliefs. I guess that is why it was so hard for me to say no, when she was offered a position as a Red-Cross Representative. She told me it was what she had always dreamed of, travelling the world and helping the people most in need. I knew had to support her. Most of the time she would only be away for a few months at a time. We manged to make it work and we always made up for it when she was back.
But that all changed when she left for Chernarus. It was the first time she was actually going to be working in a conflict zone. She assured me that it sounded a lot worse than what it would be and that she would have more chance of getting eaten by a shark then getting attacked. Like I had done many times before i had no choice but to let her go. That was three years ago. Her stay was only meant to be six months, the longest one yet. We wrote to each other nearly everyday. She would tell me some of the horrific things she would see and then of how she helped and saved so many people. She was a special person and that is why i love her.
Shortly before her position was to end the conflict intensified. I spoke with her and she told me that she was safe and that the hospitals were the safest places to be. She also told me that she had decided that wanted to stay. And that she couldn't leave knowing people were in need of help. I knew i couldn't stop her but looking back on it perhaps i could have tried. I told her i understood what she did and that i wouldn't let someone i care about not pursue their aspiration. Things seemed ok for a while, I was obviously checking the news more often but Claire and I, we kept in contact as we always did. After another six months the conflict had seen no change. I had suggested several times that i was going to travel there so i could see her but she always convinced me that i would just be getting in the way. She had a knack for that. One year turned into two. Things had barely changed and I remeber thinking to myself when will i see my wife again. Then sitting down one morning while searching the news for details about situation, i get a message from Claire "we are being attacked, we will be safe, dont worry. I love you claire xx". I look up to see the news breaking. Heightened Tension in Chernarus.
I immeadiatly booked a flight to the closest city, somewhere in Ukraine i think. I knew I had to find Claire. I knew i wasn't really prepared for what i was getting myself into but i had to do it if i was ever to see Claire again. A couple weeks later through a lot of effort and determination i was able to organise transport Chernarus. I would first arrive in a small town on the Russian border and from there I would be able to take a bus to Chernarus. I was so close. The men who had organised everything said it was best if we leave at night. They were a little shady to say the least. They only spoke a little English and seemed to be sizing me up every time they looked at me. Not only that but one of the guys was always carrying an assault rifle which made me a little uneasy. It was a long ride and after a couple hours of silence i asked the men to turn the radio on. They seemed to ignore me, I was hoping to maybe hear some news like the conflict is easing or something. After a bit more pestering the driver eventually switched it on. The radio crackled It definitely sounded like a news broadcast but I couldn't understand a word. I asked the man to tell me what they were saying but he hushed me immediately. It was something important. The driver looked at his partner in shock they quickly started discussing what they had just heard on the radio. Then suddenly our bus slammed into something. There was loud thud, I was thinking we just hit a person. We screeched to a halt and the guy with the gun steps out to inspect what we hit. It was a person they were on the ground but they are still moving. The man with the gun stepped closer to the body. Then I cant describe it any other way but the body launched itself onto the man and starts attacking him, tearing at his body and biting his legs. He fires his gun and the body flies back onto the road. He stumbles back to the bus. The driver and him are yelling at each other. I turn around to look at the body again and notice a group of people emerging from the trees on the side of the road. There is something odd about there movement, they are walking unevenly and all look to be covered in blood. The man with the gun also notices the crowd moving towards the bus and then screams at the driver. Before I can get a good look at the people they are out of sight. I keep asking the two men whats happening what was that and what is going on. My mind was spinning. I know what i just saw but I couldn't believe it. The men kept arguing for ten mins or so the radio was still playing It seem like it was a recording though because i started to recognize certain phrases. Eventually they calmed down and i asked again what was going on. The driver turns to me says "We not go to Chernarus" "there is plague it kills people". I yelled at him i am not going back I need to find my wife she is there. The man with the gun seems to be slouching against the window with his head. He has not said anything in a while. In a split second he sits up straight and the immediately starts attacking the driver. The driver tried to fight him off but cant keep control of the vehicle. The last thing i remember is flying through the bus crashing and then darkness.