Six months they said. No problem I thought. Shortest contract ever. Get paid $180K tax free for escorting a couple of docs and running the occasional crowd control op. I've done worse for less. Just another job in another post civil conflict shithole on the other side of the world. Easy work, and I'd be home in time for Elk season. Maybe I could take a mini vacation in Cyprus before I headed back. And hell, at least I wouldn't be in the sandbox again. That was three years ago. Or maybe two, I dunno. I lost track. I hope the company paid out my life insurance. I hope it was enough to cover what they need back home. I hope there is still a home left and that this thing didn't spread to the states... I hope. Though less now than when things first went sideways. We landed in country on the 17th of July. Our support units pulled out less than a week later. New orders stopped coming a couple three days after that. After it became clear we wouldn't be getting any relief, support or extraction we geared up as best we could and hauled ass North thinking we could get up to Russia and out of this cluster F***. Maybe we coulda made it to Sochi. My buddy Greer said that's where they had the Olympics in 2014. It didn't matter though. We met another group coming South from that way. They told us Sochi was gone. Apparently whatever restraint that had led to this place becoming a Necromancers paradise was no longer an issue. If what they said was true, the only reason the bombing runs here stopped was because they were redirected to new more "defensible" lines. The folks from up North told us the Russians, EU and U.N. were leveling any place with a whiff of infection outright. One of em even said they saw a mushroom cloud over Novorossiysk and that's why they turned South. I wouldn't have believed it. But If any of the top brass had gotten a look at this place they would sign off on any response put forward be it conventional, non or otherwise. After that, our groups merged and we all holed up in a decent spot up in the hills between of Tisy and Stary Yar. That lasted nearly a year. One by one though, they would go out on a supply run and never show back up. Then our food storage got a leak and most of our stockpile was ruined with mold. A couple of guys tried stealing what was left and taking off in the middle of the night. I made sure we burned their corpses. Not for fear of them comin back or nothing silly like that. I just didn't want them stinking up the place and maybe spreading something. Regular disease hasn't taken a break just because there is a new kid in town. Plus a match burns less calories than a grave. I left our little homestead shortly after that. First I headed back to the coast on the off chance there was a functional boat. That was a bust. Even If I had found one though, where could I go? From what I gathered, the whole region was just as screwed. Though I suppose a change of scenery would have been nice. Now, well now I'm just trying to survive. Anyways, here I am, wandering through the cold side of hell with the rest of yall. Ya know you can make some real good friends in a place like this. Just don't write down their call signs in ink. Most wont last long.