Walter Cash was born, unbeknownst to most, in a small town in Southern Sweden, in December of 1997. He never knew his father, who disappeared without a word shortly after learning of his conception. His mother was of little means and little confidence, and not but seven months after his birth abandoned him to the doorstep of the local foster home.
He spent ten years in this place, growing up as a quiet boy who spent more time between the pages of a book than anywhere else. The other, more rambunctuous children considered him an outcast because of his demeanor, and would constantly attempt to bully him. As a result of this he never made friends, and grew up a loner in that place. He grew to be very defensive and trusted no one. So, there was very little surprise in the fact that when he was finally adopted, he only begrudgingly accepted his situation, and had no intention of showing this "New Family" any affection or care.
On the day of his departure from the home, he made his way into the caretaker's office. In his mind he was expecting some cliche couple in bright, uptight clothes who acted way too happy, but when he looked up the scene he was presented with was a a bit different than what he had expected. There stood a single man wearing a ratty, stained t-shirt, blue jeans, and hiking boots. He had long dark hair pulled into a tight ponytail and a scruffy outdoorsman's beard. James was intrigued, but still shielded himself from the idea of even friends, much less a father figure.
They departed there together, and made their way to a fairly unimpressive, unkempt house that was nestled deep in the woods of Central Mississippi. It was there that this man, Bill "Gator" Boudroux, began trying to form a relationship with his new adopted son. At first James was not responsive, as he didn't care much for the prospect of family, but over time they developed a close bond as Bill began showing James about much of the world that he didn't know.
In his nine years living with Bill, James learned to live off of the land and developed a deep respect for nature, along with a deep respect for solitude. He learned to track animals and craft basic traps and tools from nature, to hunt and fish and farm. He learned about basic firearms and gained an interest in the military from Bill's stories from his past in the war in Vietnam.
At nearly twenty years old, he began to develop new urges. He had spent so much time alone, he wanted to go out into the world, meet new people, and experience things he'd never experienced. So, one day he packed a bag of necessary items, bid Bill farewell and thanked him for helping him grow into the person he had become. Bill didn't object to his leaving, he simply looked up at the packed and ready-to-go James and said with a wry smile "Good luck out there!"
James left his adopted home, and decided to make his way South, to Florida. He hitch-hiked his way all the way down to Orlando, and there, using people skills he never knew he had, he made an agreement with a man to work temporarily as a local journalist in exchange for a bedroom that was situated above the newspaper company's headquarters. He did quite well in this field; he had spent so much time with his head buried in books as a child that he had a way with words that people seemed to love.
This temporary agreement worked in James' favor, as not long afterward, he got recognition from a National publication due to his work, and was offered a permanent position as a journalist for their 'Conflict' division. His job would be to cover major military events. As he had always had a military interest but no real urge to join, he saw this as a perfect opportunity. He would get to meet people from all over the world, get to see some front line action first-hand, and all the while getting experience and accolades in a seemingly quite lucrative company!
His first story came directly after he accepted his new job, in February 2009. He was to travel to a small, war-torn country just south of Russia. He was off to this new country, Chenarus to cover the American involvement in the civil conflicts that were occurring in the area. He was extremely excited for the journey. The very minute he obtained the funds for his trip, he was going about arranging a private plane to fly him into the area.
He landed at an airstrip in the North West area of Chenarus, just East of a small city known as Lopatino. Eager to begin work, he made his way into the city and found lodging with a friendly English-speaking old woman who had an extra bedroom available. From there he began to talk to the locals and gather information on the conflict in the area. In coming to this place, he got what he wanted in that he met plenty of new people and experienced things that he hadn't experienced. What he didn't expect, however, was the amount of death and destruction that this conflict had amassed.
He monitored this conflict from a distance, recording his data and stories, taking pictures and footage to try and put together something that his new bosses would approve of. In all this chaos he seemed to lose himself however, and in under a month decided he no longer cared to record other people's suffering for a living. He sold off all of his recording equipment, then sent in everything he had amassed to his employers, along with his resignation.
Due to his long background living in rural areas, and his experience surviving with very little, he decided he would make an attempt to start a new life here in Chenarus. He found the place beautiful, and he felt much more at home living among the forests here than he had in a long time. He stayed with the old woman a while, doing odd jobs to build up enough money, then he moved into a small shack alone in the woods near Msta.
He lived alone here for a a few years, mostly isolated from the world, only seldom making his way into the populated areas to resupply on anything he couldn't get on his own. He entertained himself by hunting and fishing, and reading old books alone, so he never cared to own a radio or television. Therefore, on October 12th, 2014, when a man riddled with bullet wounds stumbled onto his property covered in blood, moaning, headed straight for him, he was pretty surprised. His first instinct was to offer the man help, but he stopped short before that thought was able to be completed.. This man was shot, four times in the chest.. There is no way he should be alive, much less walking!
Panicking, James ran into his house and grabbed his hunting rifle. He stepped outside, and just to be sure shouted to the man to stop coming towards him and go elsewhere. When the man simply growled in response and sped up his approach, James knew that this was no longer a man. He put the crosshairs between its eyes, gave a quick "I'm sorry.." under his breath, and squeezed the trigger. The thing, whatever it was, slumped to the ground.
Being the type of person that he is, James decided not to go looking for who or what sent that thing his way. He simply made a quick grave for it in the thick woods behind his home, went back inside, and sat, alert, with his gun in hand. He waited this way for a few days, and nothing else came around. A week went by, and still nothing. He just assumed the worst happened the society around him, and decided to prolong his own life span by avoiding as much as he could.
Forty-six days went by before James decided to go anywhere in the area besides right behind his house to hunt and fish. On the Forty-seventh day he decided to make his way, quietly and cautiously, to the nearby town of Msta to see if he could glean anything about what was happening in the world around him. Only the quaint little town that once housed 100 or so people was now a ghost town.. There was no one in sight anywhere, so he made his way into town, and knocked on the door of the nearest house. No response. He peered through the window, and saw the floor just beyond the door drenched in dark crimson. He shuddered, made his way around to the back of the house and opened the back door quietly.
He stepped inside, looked around cautiously, and saw no bodies or anything else threatening. Just as he was about to breathe a sigh of relief, he heard a loud, feral yell come from behind him. He turned around just in time to get knocked to the ground. He looked up, struggling against the might of the creature, to see a thin woman in a bloody yellow dress, whose face was cleaved down the middle. He thought "This is it.. I'm going to get ripped to pieces by a dead girl!!" and heard a loud "BANG!!" as the arms holding him down suddenly went limp and the woman slumped to the ground at his side.
He looked up to see a hand extended in his direction. "Am I glad I found you when I did!" exclaimed a scraggly middle-aged man in a gray hoodie and black jeans holding a still-smoking revolver. He smiled at James, helped him up and asked about his business in Msta. When James told his story, that he had no idea of the current state of things and had been surviving alone away from it all, this man, who kept calling himself "Rebound" told him what he had seen recently. He told James that all of this was the result of a disease. One in which once you're sick, you just turn into a mindless, feral killer; A zombie of sorts. He told James that there were survivors though, people that weren't affected by the disease who were trapped in Chenarus, and were doing all that they could to survive in this destroyed and hostile world.
After hours of conversation, James thanked Rebound for all of the information, said his goodbyes, and made his way cautiously back to his home. Once he made it back he began to ponder over all of the information he had just been given. Slowly, he began to form a smile. As tragic as it was, he knew that this situation was perfect for him. He had lived most of his life in a manner that prepared him to live without society, and now, everyone he would come across would also be survivors, people who were living on their own terms, fighting the true dangers that this world has presented.
With that push, he made his way beyond the walls of his secluded shack outside of Msta. To this day he has been wandering Chenarus as yet another survivor; scavenging, avoiding the undead, sleeping wherever is safest, and generally just trying not to die.