James was away on holiday in Turkey when the infection spread across Chernarus. Noone believed it was a threat and that the issue would be contained and cured after a few months, unfortunately that never happened. He ended up stranded in Turkey for the next few years helping out the locals and the camps being made as the infection spread.
He joined up with a group that owned a camp outside of Istanbul and trained to use a bow and arrow as the resources started to run out. Not only did him and his group have to deal with the infected but they also had to deal with the climate. Water started to run out and the camp were forced to migrate following the coast of the Black Sea east. The move was cursed, day after day people would die to the infected, bandits or simply due to exhaustion. In the end they found a small town with supplies and plenty of water from the nearby wells. This was a luxury for the group but with a price, the place was a gold mine and eventually a group of bandits showed up that wanted what Jame's group had. They failed to negotiate and in the end the bandits opted for war, in the chaos James managed to get down to the dock and into a boat. He waited for more to follow but no one came and the gunshots and screams started to fade. Wasting no time he pushed the boat off into the Green Sea and drifted for several weeks living on the scraps of food and water he had stored on the boat prior to the attack. He now finds himself landing on the shore of Chernarus needing to start a new life.