Before the incident in Chernarus, I lived for adventure and just experiencing life. I guess I learned that from my naturalist hippy type parents back in Taos, New Mexico where I grew up. Regardless of the season, there was always something to do outside. Ice wall climbing was my thing during the winter. During the summer it was whatever peaked my interest at the time, camping, hiking, fishing, occasional hunting, mountain biking, I loved it all. Following college, I tried I did what you were "suppose" to do after college. I found a decent 9-5 and settled. Six years of my life wasted. I was 28 and burnt out. I couldn't stand it anymore.
I wanted to experience life first hand. So, I emptied my bank accounts and got rid of everything that I either didn't need or couldn't carry on my back. I bought a plane ticket and left to the UK first. There was no plan but to live and to take in as much of life as I could. It was the best time of my life. I was truly free. Although money wasn't really an issue I tried to use as little as possible. I figured it would force me to meet new people and experience new things. Get me out of my comfort zone. I worked odd jobs in exchange for food, residence, and transportation. My favorite job was open fire cooking. I got pretty good at it too!
At the outset of the infection I had made it to Sochi, Russia. By the time rumors turned into verified reports it was too late. The infection had spilled across the border. What happened after that is hard to remember. Fear. Panic. Chaos. A group of us took refuge in the Sochi National Park. We stayed up there as long as we could but we weren't prepared when we ran and our supplies eventually ran out. We needed to go back. We thought we weren't prepared in the wilderness, we had know idea what we were going back to. What happened thereafter was a living horror story. We were able to get some supplies but it came at a great cost. Only a handful of us made it out alive. From then on it was a shit show, bandits, in-fighting, tragic accidents, death. Eventually only one of us was left. Me.
I continued on my own, every so often running into survivors like myself. We would share stories and trade items we had scavenged. I never banded with any of them because of attention groups got from bandits and cannibals. I started hearing rumors of groups making it in Chernarus and just like when I left the States, I decided to take a leap. I set out for Chernarus in hope of a future.
When I reached the border I met a man who said he knew a safe way into Chernarus and where to find these groups I had heard of. He wanted to trade safe passage for supplies. I was skeptical at first but eventually agreed due to the excitement of being so close. I fucked up. That night I let my guard down and he took his shot at me with the butt of his rifle. Black. When I came to I could feel the welt pulsing on the back of my head. My head covered with a sack and my hands bound. I heard Russian and laughter. There was a group now. I thought this was it. I just hoped that they made it quick. I'm not sure how far we went or even where we were. What I do remember is the night I escaped.
The group had setup camp just before night in a small village. It was quiet. As I had learned to do, I fell asleep. I was abruptly awoken by scream. I had heard that scream many times over. The infected must have gotten him. Then commotion and shooting. In the fray one of them tripped over me, knocking the sack off. My eyes squinted and adjusted. This was my chance. I ran into the darkness and didn't look back. I ran until I collapsed.
This is where the next chapter of my life begins. I don't know what is to come, but what I do know is that I am alive. For now.