I'm orginally from Texas. My grandad travelled dem steam boat. Back in the early 1900s. Started a shop. Sold dem potatoes. Hustling is in my blood, y'know.
That's all my old man told about em. Made me think.. they weren't on good terms, you know what I mean. Back then.. the whole dad and son dynamic and relationship.. it wasn't as modern. More conversative. Traditional. You couldn't get away with it. I guess.
So yah. That's that. What else? Hm. Well, I didn't really go to school much. Got raised on dem farm. So most of m'time was spend around there. Tending to cattle. Milking dem cows. Chasing off dem coyotes. Oh hell, I saw a real mountain lion once. I kid you not! Almost shot it as well! Wanted to get m'mum a real trophy. I missed, though. Wasn't a good shot when I was 12.
"You're too small to hold the gun", my old man used to shout out, in his half American/Irish accent. "One day you'll grow up to be a real man."
From there on out, my dad passed. Kinda blurry what happened there. There was a gun. Some real Irish whiskey. And he was gone. Boom. Just like that.
I enlisted as Texas Ranger. I'll be blunt, I did it to get away from my bae. You know, she was driving me cray cray. Ended up getting rejected. Tried again. No nuttin'. So yea. Me think.. what else is there for a lad like me?
I decided to join the army. Be a fresh recruit. Pump some iron. Hunt coyotes. Kill some commies. It was back then. It was real "in", you know what I am saying?
A few years in, my bae sending me letters every week, stuck at base with dem other lads. One day, on a tour, out hunting some baddies. One of the lads stepped onto a mine. Blew his head right off! Got sum' shrapnel right in the side of m'head.
Saw some real bad shit. Y'know. Couldn't get it outta my head even if I cut it open. Oh and believe me.. I tried. Took that knife one night, put up to m'head, tried to cut it out. Cut the bad out. Just didn't work. The lads at the base started calling me Crazy Bill after that.
Soon after, I had to see an army therapist, talk about what I felt. Didn't see the point. But was ordered to. So I complied, y'know what I mean?
Because of the metal in m'head, the medic said I was bipolar. I must've been out. My name's bill. Not Roland. Didn't get what he meant. Must've been confused. Guess the shrapnel got me good.
So yah. That's my story from before it happened. I was deployed in the Middle-East, and we were scheduled to travel back to the States. But for sum' reason, no one knew why, we couldn't fly. There was some interference. So, the cap and I, we decided, let's ask for permission to head up a convoy, to an allied airbase in Turkey. So that's what we did.
Geared up the boys, boots off the ground, with heli overwatch and we left. After a few days, Turkish borders came in sight, but before we could travel to our destination, we received orders to stay clear from Turkish borders. The cap asked for clarification, but was told they didn't have any more credible intel at this time. We were told to standby for further instructions.
As we waited, we started noticing an increasing amount of fly-overs in the neighbouring area. Our overwatch wrote it off as NATO and US military exercises.
After a few hours, the cap was gettin' agitated and radio'd back in to command. No response yet. After a few more hours, we finally received response. A worried voice let us know we should head north, crossing into Georgia. State authorities should be informed that a US convoy will be passing through.
I looked at the cap, seeing his troubled face, and said.. we really going to head towards Russian Territory? He shrugged in disbelief, said Georgia was technically wasn't Russia and it should be fine.
After that, things got real blurry real quick. I remember traversing the border, being met by Georgian border patrol, although looked like they wearing rebel uniforms, but down here, you could never tell what's what anyway, so I didn't fuss too much about it.
Out of nowhere, a Russian Sukhoi Su-57 roared over our heads. I recognized it from running some of the training simulations with my bud back at base camp. From there on out, my recollection of the events detoriated quickly. Doc said I could experience some periodic memory loss, but nothing long term, due to the metal in my head.
As far as I can remember, shortly after seeing the Russian fighter jet, we heard not-so-distant gunshots. Our Georgian border patrol guide, who was instructed to bring us to an old army base, started shouting in a language I didn't quite understand. Our cap tried to radio overwatch, but we couldn't see the heli anywhere.
Moments later, I see smoke. Heli down. Cap on top of that hummer we sat in. Radios cut off. Distant and close-by gunfire. We driving full speed ahead. Taking enemy fire.
Few hours later, we ended up crossing the border passing by Sochi.
I woke up, we had lost half of our convoy. Cap was gone. Trevor was waking me up. Shouting at the medic nearby, I was bleeding.
I'm not sure what was going on. Was I hit?
He said something, but I couldn't make out what it was.
He said I was the highest remaining rank.
I was in charge?
Two privates hauled me to my feet, dragged me besides the hummer we were in.
The hummer was gone.
It was wrecked. Completely and utterly wrecked.
I said "what happened?"
But couldn't speak.
I tried to shout "WHAT HAPPENED?"
Trevor said, "we need your orders, sir"
I said "what?"
"Where are we?"
And he didn't respond.
I wasn't sure if he could hear me or not.
I blacked out again. The world went black in my eyes.
I woke up again a few hours later.
I heard Trevor talk to Jimmy.
About entering enemy territory and an abandoned army base.
They called it Cher.. something.
It sounded Russian. Then again, all these areas down here sound Russian to me.
We tried to make it to the abandoned army base, when we got there..
we thought it was..
I wasn't sure.
I couldn't really make out what I saw.
Our outlook shouted and gasped in disbelief.
There was thousands of people there.
Military, army personnel, hikers, wanderers, police, regular people?
But they seemed off.
They seemed like they were limping.
Cars were on fire.
A helicopter crashed.
It was total chaos.
When we got closer, they collectively attacked what was left of our convoy.
We opened fire.
We killed all of them.
Something was wrong.
They seemed sick?
It reminded me of that show, The Walking Dead, but that couldn't be real.
Could it be?
We set up a camp not soon thereafter.
Started heading out to survive.
We lost most of our squadron after that incident.
Some just went insane.
Took their own lives.
Now I'm on a mission.
To try and find out what happened.
And to survive.