Leshiy was a young man born into hardship, among the middle of the Cold War in one of Russia's many satellite states. They called it Chernarus. His parents, Petro and Ivana had immigrated here from the southern provinces of the USSR in one of the many, many mass immigrations from the country in an attempt to find work. Ukrainians, Bolivians, Georgians, you name it, many of the State's people had constantly been on the move in an attempt to survive. Food was scarce, work was hard, and it always seemed that there would be an outbreak of civil war at any point.
In his formative years, Leshiy grew up in a Russian neighborhood of Chernogorsk, with Russian friends, Russian shopkeepers, and a very Orthodox religion that came to study and pray every Sunday. Whilst not being in the USSR, its very presence and seeping normalities had made their way here. It was the only life he knew and thus it brought conflict. Not many people enjoyed Russia or its people, the Berlin wall, the police states, the famines, the authoritarian hold. But Leshiy knew no different, every radio station played pro-Russian music, spoke glowingly of the state, of Communism, of freedom, never did a bad word come to his ears and never did he notice the fear of those people that wished to speak out against it.
Thus, growing up was tough. The collapse of the USSR was the first thing, followed by more mass immigrations from Russia, lack of food and supply, civil war, mass exodus, fighting. Many people took the opportunity to get out in the ensuing chaos, but some stayed. In these times, with the skies open, people began to speak openly of Stalinism, Communism, and the great evils of Russia. But Leshiy was hardheaded, like any young boy grown on propaganda would be, he saw Russia for its beauty, for its provisions, protection, ideals, and comfort. Defiant, it got Leshiy into many fights, some he won, others he lost, but he would never be silenced. Many others were the same and it began to create a rift in Chernarus, a national split among those who proudly proclaimed themselves Russian and those who did not.
Groups, gangs, and secret meetings. Leshiy was a member of an underground Chernogorsk based Pro-Russian gang, the "Obyazannost' Natsii" (ON for short, or "Nation's Duty" in English). It all started simply, a few beatdowns here and there, jumping of Anti-Russian speakers, break a few windows, smash a few cars, but then things began to ramp up. In his early 20's Leshiy was introduced to a man simply identified as "Venkov", an extremist from out of Chernarus. He had power, connections, weaponry, but most of all, money. He gave work to the young lads, Leshiy for instance took up a position as a Mechanic in one of Venkov's shops, taking it under his own name. But for this, "Venkov" demanded things from the boys. Some innocent, reconnaissance on CDF bases, ships, and airfields. Others not as much.
Beatdowns turned into murders, those who once spoke proudly at town squares and on radios were silenced, either lost in the darkness of retracted from fear. Homes were firebombed with families inside, bombs were placed under cars, attacks were made precisely against civilian and police contacts. This was no longer a simple gang but an Insurgency, and it was nothing but invigorating for the young few like Leshiy. These boiling years cultivated into the eventual massive civil war in 2009, where Leshiy met his best mate, "Hog", a familiar young Russian man that has immigrated into South Zagoria. Right and wrong, grey lines, there was nothing but blindness. The easily influenced did as they were told, and so, Leshiy did. Kalashnikov in hand, he fought proudly for what he thought was right.
But soon the good times were over. "Venkov" went missing, many of Leshiy's closest friends has been lost in the fighting and were beaten down. Taken as prisoners, found as war criminals, the CDF had conquered the insurgency and stemmed the tide of the Russian nationalists, beginning even to hunt them down after the bloody conclusion of the war. So, Leshiy and "Hog" went into hiding, in plain sight some might say. They utilized their skills learned from the civil war, survival, tracking, map reading, and path creation to begin working as hunting and tourism guides. As the country had been blown apart, so did its tourism industry. Outsiders began to buy up land and industry and so it was booming again, and so the pair was able to slip into the shadows under different guises, quietly, awaiting another resurgence of their people to once again take back this land that was rightfully theirs...
Forwarding to 2017, the attack on the Chernarussian-Russian wedding, declaration of Martial law, and the resurgence of the Anti-Russian semitism caused Leshiy to grow weary. He and "Hog" were in their middle years, knowledgeable and better learned, they kept quiet as best they could. The two men had eachother as family and knew better than to interfere into what might again be another civil war. They had families now, settled, and wanted no part. But that all changed when the infection came. It seemed to be a blink, absolute chaos. NATO, Russia, and CDF all clashing. Storms, fires, and raids. Reports by mouth of crazed individuals with no remorse, emotion, or pain attacking others. Some charred and missing limbs, biting and scratching people, hospitals filled to the brink with casualties. Air raids, bombings, artillery. Leshiy and "Hog" did what they had learned best, survived. Taking their families inland, away from the fighting and the rumors, and the insanity.
A few weeks had past, the cabin they had holed up in had long lost power and would soon lose water pressure. Food supplies were low, but everyone was alive. The two man sat at the table, each sipping on the last of their stockpiled Kvass, illuminated by a single, burning candle. When a noise from the bedroom startled them.
Loud, wet coughing.