*You find a small brown book with a strange cross on it*
My name is Nadya, Nadya Molotovkova. I was born and raised in Slovakia, a small village named Lozorno was my home. I wish I could say something bad about it, it was boring and mundane with how old everyone was compared to me. It just felt like a walking graveyard, it did not take me very long to move in with my brother who lived in the proud Capital of Bratislava. Money was always short on hand but we always managed to make ends meet... sooner or later. It wasn't easy, but it was freedom, something we all lacked most of our lives. Closing this chapter of my street life proved more difficult than I had imagined. It all began when I turned 15, realizing this was just not worth it, living on cents and having to learn to live without electricity. I had been working as a paper girl for a few months at this point. One fatefull day giving out these papers a woman approached me, giving me a ten euro note and a small bag. She gave me a warm smile telling me to keep it at the bottom of my pile of papers and give it to a man named Victor. This was the start of my life having the upturn I wished for. Until the 19th year of my life, I spent my time helping underground communities around Bratislava. When I first started they had me be a pickpocket in the town square, once I became eligible for punishments I enjoyed helping in the manufacturing of narcotics and distribution. This allowed me to fund my studies and help my brother with rent.
Ever since I was young, I was always drilled to do my best to preserve my own, my family's and my country's freedom. The generations that followed World War II and the dissolution of the Czechoslovak Republic held these not only to heart but made it their life's mission. Despite my country standing in good shape, no one really believed that it would stand for itself if threatened. A close friend of mine, named Vojtech, always joked that in the end, it will be up to us to defend ourselves; that our country will never stand tall unless we do. It did not take him long to tell me about a militia being formed in the Gabreta forest, he was convinced that us joining it would be for the best; it would get me out of my small apartment, which was not in the best of neighborhoods. I stood on the idea for far too long, but I decided that I will go and see if I can make a change for myself and what I was told to believe in.
I told my brother that I was offered an opportunity abroad to study, something that made sense at the time with my applications to foreign business. I think he knew, but If I ever told him I am not sure how he would have reacted. He never enjoyed the patriotic zeal of the military; being conscripted left him feeling sour toward the idea of professional armies. I spent my last night with him watching movies, talking, and smoking. In the morning I left him breakfast with a note; I did not want to disturb his sleep, I knew it was tough on both of us. I tried to clear my head and just find my bus.
The ride was long thanks to poor road planning. Vojtech and one of his friends, a lovely girl named Ana, provided all the company I needed. We could have been sisters, Vojtech said the entire ride there. She seemed to agree but something prevented me from ever protesting or agreeing. A faint smile is all I could muster. Once we arrived we had to take a hike down to the Gabreta forest. The place was secluded and sure was a pain to get to; Vojtech and Ana kept busy.
We found the location, or at least the men who would lead us to it after near an hour of walking. They eyed me up and down, concern and confusion covered their face. They shared that sentiment toward Ana. Not much was said but it was clear we were not wanted. Vojtech, of course, reassured both of us.
It took convincing for them to allow me to serve as they believed women were too important to be put into the line of fire. Vojtech was close childhood friends with one of the men at the Barack. He managed to convince him that I should at least be allowed to help him with weapon manufactury. I mostly did cleaning and rebuilding with my spare time seeing me at the shooting range. I loved every bit, it was calm as long as I remained in the workshop.
*The next page has a key taped to it, the key fits into the small metal box. Inside you find an old cassette. It plays reluctantly*
"Training Camp, Gabreta Forest, 0200, 06 05 2016. Your name is Nadya yes?"
"Place of birth.."
*The man pauses, leaving only the grey sound. A breath can be heard before he continues*
"You are lying"
*A sharp cutting sound could be heard followed by a high pinched flinch*
"Muts born by traitor whores daughters cannot hide from what their family did"
"Good. Both parents are deceased, with no relatives capable of parenting available. Yes?"
*The cracking of a chair can be heard*
"You understand there is no turning back, not even now. Yes?"
"I will defend my country until the last breath, I have no care for turning back"
*The chair can be heard cracking yet again as his voice goes deeper*
"No, Sir. I will defend this country"
"No, You will prove to me that you understand what it means to defend this country"
*A metal door swings open, echoing in the chamber. Footsteps follow, the male voice continues*
"Ana, Nagykova, Lozorno"
*A deeper female voice answers*
*A metal object being placed onto the steel table can be heard followed by a heavier one, before the male grunts*
"Your time starts now"
*A similar metal sound and be heard before loud distorted sounds break the audio apart. The Journal continues*
When we heard of the outbreak "Kyiv enterprises" reached out to Gabreta, they asked us many other local groups in the Balkan region for aid, many of these groups involved in the Revolution of Dignity. My squad "zatmenie" was sent to Ukraine to hold the line against the the panicking masses. We were given a day to prepare before we were sent out. A lot of the men in my unit seemed to have a severe dislike of leaving the country during these times but orders were orders.
Ukraine felt dead silent, PMC's as far as the eye could see alongside concerned civilians. Either fortifying or trying to flee. The next few days made me wish I had their train of thought.
I can barely remember a that now, two days after in Ukraine in which bullets were echoing the streets, blood-curdling screams chasing after the shots or demonic howls filling the night. Hope dies last but it was in short supply, like a poorly written book the infection just broke the steady momentum of fear and turned it into horror. No one seemed to want to help each other not even the damned pmc's and military there to help, all we had were the weapons we could manage to maintain, the armor Kyiv supplied and the people around you. We lost nearly all of that.
We lived in a metro, there isn't much to say.
We manage to secure a military vehicle depot, we escaped it narrowly alongside a helicopter and four Urals. Everyone took a vehicle and set for different directions all with an intent to protect what's left of their country. Vojtech and I, on the other hand, kept heading east, we knew that going back through Ukraine would be our end and that our best bet would be finding a different route.
One night our radio woke us up, a man in a familiar to our own accent began speaking.
"This is Anton of the CDF, we are in need of abled bodies to..."
We never found him our found out what he wanted, we had spent a little over two years in what was once called Ukraine and were not too fussed. The man we thought, sounded Slovak, maybe Czech so we saw it as a just cause. We will be arriving in the morning, the wheels of the truck seem to be giving out. Hope we find something soon to replace the parts we need.
*The journal ends blank pages follow.*