Bo was an archaeology student travelling around Eastern Europe with Mike, Tony and Sara, researching his dissertation on the Byzantine Empire. The group had travelled through Russia and entered Chernarus through its Northern border. Trying to save money they had been camping and had spent a week in the woods south of Severograd when they were awoken in the middle of the night by the sounds of explosions. The rest of the night was interspersed with aircraft noise and further explosions which seemed to be getting closer.
In the morning the group agreed to head South East in the hope of keeping safely away from whatever conflict they could hear and try to discover what was going on. As night fell the group came into the town of Gorka and managed to find a local who spoke some English. He told them of some kind of infection breaking out, chemical warfare by the Russian he speculated. He explained the news said the explosions were the Russian and Chernarus air force fighting over the borders trying to contain whatever virus had been unleased. The group were sceptical and not trusting this apparently eccentric local decided to camp in the woods north of Gorka for the night and plan their next move.
As the sun rose the group decide to head east to the larger city of Berezino to see if they could find a more reliable source of information. As they came out of the woods they found themselves on a hill overlooking the southern part of the city and what they saw stopped them in their tracks. A steady flow of people were heading South on foot as the roads around the city were grid locked with cars. As the group watched from their vantage point they could see fighting going on between people. Some were just rushing at anyone around them, attacking them savagely with their bare hands while people defended themselves with whatever was at hand, beating each other to death. Terrified of what they were seeing the group headed back into the woods. They decided to head south to the City of Chernogorsk hoping to find safety and answers as to what the hell was going on.
They avoided the couple of towns they saw for fear of being attacked and stayed in the woods as far as possible while heading in a southerly direction. As night was falling on the second day of their travels they spotted a military checkpoint with a few soldiers manning it. On approach the soldiers where openly hostile making the group drop the gear and strip down to their underwear. After the inspection the soldiers demeanour changed and they relaxed and welcomed the group in. A few of the soldiers spoke English and explained to the group about the outbreak. The told them how the infection manifested itself so they could identify early if any of them had been infected and the horrific reality that should this happen, they would have to kill them for their own safety as there was no cure. The soldiers let the group stay in one of the tents for the night but explained they would have to leave in the morning. They advised them to head to South to the city of Elektrozavodsk which should be safer and probably their best chance of escape as the land borders had been closed.
Bo barely slept that night. He couldn’t believe what the soldiers had told him, the crazy ramblings of the man from Gorka didn’t seem so crazy now. As he lay awake trying not to panic he heard the soldiers talking and moving around camp. Gun fire shattered the relative quiet of the night and fearing the worst Bo went outside. He found one of the English-speaking soldiers who told him there were infected and gave him a rifle, some ammo and a quick lesson how to use it. The rest of the group emerged from the tents and were also given weapons. They were split up and given positions on the perimeter of the camp.
Bo heard them before he saw them, a low guttural moan interspersed with a terrifying screech. Then out of the darkness they came sprinting at them. There were dozens of them and Bo was frozen in fear until he heard a soldier shouting at him to shoot. He took aim at the closest one and fired, the kick nearly made him drop the rifle and when he looked up again he could see the infected still coming at him, his guts spilling out of a hole in his torso, he fired again and felt sick as the once human head exploded only a few meters away. The sound of gun fire was deafening as they desperately tried to fend of these inhuman beasts. Bo could see they would soon be over run. The soldiers quickly realised this too and the order to retreat was given. The soldier next to Bo grabbed his arm and dragged him to the far side of the camp and into a tent. He threw him a backpack and told him to run. Bo came out of the tent looking round hoping to see one of his friends but was faced with the terrifying sight of half a dozen infected coming straight at him. Bo turned and ran, heading straight for the woods hoping it might be easier to lose these monsters in the forest. He had about a 10m head start as he pushed through the barbed wire perimeter and into the woods. He’d only run a short distance when he saw a hunting stand and decided to take a chance and climbed up and lay down flat. He heard the infected coming through the woods but it was too dark to see them and he prayed to the God he had always denied believing that they would not find him. As he lay there he could he the screams of people being killed by the infected and the gun fire slowing down as they gave up the fight and ran for their lives. He heard the infected moving around him but thankfully he remined undetected. He hoped his friends had managed to escape, hoped that he might find them again. He laid there terrified, waiting for one of them to sense him and then it would be the end.
He must have fallen asleep somehow as he jumped awake as dawn began to break. He daren’t move and laid still listening intently for any signs of the infected. He could see the faint outline of the camps perimeter but saw no movement and heard no sounds except the bird’s dawn chorus and the tress rustling in the wind. He was terrified to move from his place of relative safety but he couldn’t stay here, he was freezing cold and feeling hungry. As silently as he could he removed the backpack and looked inside. He found some military jacket and trousers, some cans of food and drink and a couple of boxes of ammo. He changed into the warmer clothing and drank one of the cans of drink.
Poking his head up he could see a clearing with a couple of infected wandering aimlessly around in the distance but they were clearly oblivious to his presence. Looking through the woods into the camp it all seemed clear. He waited for another hour or so to scared to move until he decided it was safe. He needed to get as many supplies as he could if he was going to survive so put his pack back on and slowly crept towards the camp with his rifle at the ready. There were bodies everywhere, soldiers and the infected, and he tried not to look at any of the dead as he made his way through the tents. He managed to find some more ammo for the rifle, some military boots, cans of food and drink and a vest in which he could store more items. Loaded up with as much as he could carry he began making his way back into the woods when he froze. Sara’s lifeless eyes were staring at him, her body a bloodied mess. He bent over a threw up as tears streamed down his face, poor Sara what a horrific end. He forced himself to move on a took refuge back in the hunting stand and tried to keep the noise of his sobbing a retching to a minimum. The nightmarish images of the dead flashing through his mind. Sara’s lifeless eyes would haunt him forever.
Bo spent the next few days in a state of shock barley able to move. Terrified of the infected he occasionally heard roaming and traumatised by the images of death he had seen. On the morning of his third day he heard distant explosions and poked his head up to check it out. The infected in the clearing had also heard the noise and they all began heading towards it. So they were attracted by sound, Bo filed away the information for future use. With the clearing emptied of infected he decided now was the time to move. He headed across the clearing and into the woods which he followed up to the top of a hill. There were no signs of infected in the woods so he decided he would camp on top of the hill in a small clearing for the night.
Bo spent the next few days slowly heading south keeping to the woods which so far were free from infected. As he approached the city of Elektrozavodsk he came across a medical facility. He was gathering supplies when he heard voices. As they entered he called out to alert them of his presence and reassure them he wasn’t infected. Luckily, they were friendly and informed him that the country was over run and they were heading north to try and make it into Russia. Having been told the Russian border was locked down decided to head West to see if Chernogorsk may offer some refuge and hope of escape.
Travel was slow as infected seemed to be more concentrated the further south he went. He took several days hiking through deep forest and mountainous terrain until eventually Bo found himself on a hilltop overlooking the city of Chernogorsk. A fire raged from one of the buildings, he could see hordes of infected roaming the streets and surrounding areas. What hope he had of escape had just died.
Bo was at a loss of what to do. Could he find sanctuary somewhere? Were Mike and Tony alive? Could he find them? Sticking to the woods he headed north with no idea of what he would find and how he could survive in this harsh new reality.