Take the job, she said. "Go to Chernarus and you'll be back before you know it. We can get married next summer, Ana will look adorable in her little dress." These words still haunt me and take the breath out of me, like a good old punch in the gut. Sure, my relationship with Alice had ended before I even left for this disaster of a country. I'm not even sure I would have been a good husband to her...nor a good father figure for Ana. But it was the only time in my life that I felt like i could have normal life...not like before...nor like now.
Would you believe this ain't my first trip to this country? Yeah, back in '09 when the Chedaki got delusions of grandeur. Back then it had been a few months since I had left the Army for the private sector. Hell I was good at what I did, figured i could make extra money instead of living on poor military wage. My first big assignment came when the US military contracted the firm i worked for. Yeah the irony was not lost but the pay was good. They assigned us various tasks in the war torn Chernarus. Officially, the government had contracted the firm for support purposes, no actual combat outside perhaps of the few security detail jobs. The reality was a lot more messy than that. Anything deemed too dirty for the Army to handle, they would send us in. Zealous Chedaki unit holed up in a village, send the mercs. Potential use of chemical warfare by the enemy reported, send the mercs. Low probability of success on mission deep behind enemy lines...you get the idea. I did things i'm not proud on these missions. "Geneva convention?" my superiors would say:"We ain't in Geneva and we sure as hell ain't at a convention boy!" Bad humor meant to make you feel good about all the bad things they asked of us. When the Chernarussian Movement for the Red Star finally surrendered, I had had enough. All i had wanted until now was the life of action, the thrill of the battlefield, the life on the edge. But after Cheranus...I hadn't lived on the edge, i went over that edge and stayed there too long. It was time for a new beginning, a brighter tomorrow and a better life.
Upon my return home, I quit the firm and went into various small jobs. Nothing related to the military in any way. That's about the time I met Alice. At that point in my life, I was struggling to find my peace. She turned that around and made me taste that wonderful life of normality. She had a little girl already when i met her. named Ana. Sweetest little thing with an attitude and she liked me a lot. Hell I liked her too...no i loved them both so much. First time in my life i felt like a man was when i would take care of both of them. I had never felt this sort of satisfaction. Ali pushed me further than i ever thought i could, even found a great use for all skills and knowledge I had: Strategic Consultant for the United Nation. I was only a low level contractor but I could finally do some good with everything i had learned. I knew terrains, the politics, maybe i could help keep people safe everywhere. I was a new man...for a time. Ali and I then started to talk about getting married and buying a property. I know I make it sound like a damn fairy tale but we had our trouble like every other couple. Baggage, that's what they call it, me and Ali both had some, I guess maybe I had more.
In 2014, the UN gave me a big secret assignment out of the country. Alice and I had barely something resembling a couple life but we were both still trying to salvage our relationship. I believed it was possible for a while. Then I learned where I was assigned. In Chernarus of all places.Apparently something bad was happening over there and the UN needed eyes on the ground to assess the situation, something about a viral agent, maybe the works of terrorists, maybe worst. My knowledge of the lay of the land and my previous experience were the reasons I was chosen and "asked to go". Everything bad in my life can be traced back to this country...or maybe I just hate this place so much because it has defined me for so long.
Once I arrived in Chernarus, well everyone knows that part. People eating each other and a little more month later the country's gone. I tried to leave when the...infected took over. I even gathered some people and made our way to an airfield, determined not to die in this hell hole. We made it in time to see the guards defeated by the crowd, them too determined not to die here. Ultimately the army shot down the escaping plane killing everyone on board. I understood that day that the powers that be weren't going to let any souls out of Chernarus. We were doomed to remain. I traveled with my newfound allies for a time but like everyone in my life they either died or left or turned against me. Days turned in to weeks and into months. I haven't seen people in months, I just lived for a while scavenging what was left in the outskirt villages when one day I realized that there was no more purpose. The world was dead and gone and i should be too. I had an old Magnum and i took it my temple one morning. I almost pulled the trigger too but then it dawned on me, I had taken for granted the great things in my life and i wished only to have them back. Wished it so badly it hurt but I was never gonna have that back. Alice and Ana were likely dead and too far for me to do anything. But there were people here...trapped like me, that needed help. And i would do what i could to help...it's a better way to go I guess.I threw that damn magnum in the river like an idiot. Guess i always had a penchant for the dramatic. Time to pick yourself up and keep people safe Will.
-Will Stevenson , survivor in Chernarus 2015 month unknown...too many.