July 14th, 2017 - Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo
In the morning hours of the 14th, Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division Fox Company were returning to the American base dubbed Camp Bondsteel after a successful night patrol of the Prizren district. These Marines were on a temporary assignment from their 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the region as part of the KFOR or Kosovo Liberation Force. Their patrol was a joint operation with German forces in the area as their first assignment as a peacekeeping force.
After returning to the base, all Officers within the Division were called in to the headquarters where they met with NATO commanding Officers and on screen figureheads around the world. It was learned in this meeting that a crisis was brewing in the Chernarus region and that Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit were already en route to assist with peacekeeping operations. The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines were ordered back to their ships which were currently sitting off the Greek coast, and to standby for further orders.
July 16th, 2017 - USS Iwo Jima - Aegean Sea
The 2nd Battalion Marines having boarded their ships and resuming their duties as the 24th MEU, and awaited orders. Information from the Chernarus region were sketchy at best and it was learned that Marines from the 26th MEU would be touching down in the province the following day. It was learned that these Marines would unite with other NATO forces in the region and proceed to Elektrozavodsk.
Captain John Shields of Fox Company waited in anticipation for their order to move to assist. All that was known was that unrest had broken out among the citizens, open conflict between Russian and Chernarus forces had begun, and some sort of viral outbreak was being reported throughout the nation (and quickly spreading). Captain Shields ordered an immediate and aggressive training regime aboard the three ships. Marines were to engage in hand to hand combat training, rifle marksmanship, and biological response operations. Some of this not conducted since their work up in February when they disembarked from Camp Lejeune, NC.
July 19th, 2017 - USS Iwo Jima - Aegean Sea
All of the Commanding Officers within the MEU were called in to meet with the Battalion Commander and Sergeant Major. In this meeting it was learned that all communication had been lost with the 26th MEU Marines and that the last transmission received was that help was needed. Orders were requested through Naval Command and they were told to hold position and await further orders.
Captain Shields returned to his unit and briefed his Officers on what he was told. Television aboard the ship had been turned off as well as e-mail and internet access. The last anyone had heard was that the virus was spreading and the situation in the region was all but lost. Morale, was low.
July 23rd, 2017 - USS Iwo Jima - Aegean Sea
Captain Shields went directly to the Battalion Commander and spoke in length to him about the current situation. Marines were getting restless and likely to start becoming a problem on the ships. They still had not heard from Naval Command and all further attempts over the last 4 days to reach anyone failed. They were completely in the dark. Captain Shields pushed the Commander and explained that Marines from the 26th MEU had asked for help. That men were likely dying everyday and needed to be helped. After a lengthy, aggressive, and near hostile discussion, Captain Shields was able to convince the Commander to allow his Company the opportunity to deploy to the region via Super Stallions. They would take the majority of their Marines and a few Navy Corpsman along for the ride.
July 24th, 2017 - Black Sea - South of Chernarus
With elements of Fox Company, Captain Shields and his men began their approach on the region. They planned to approach the coast from the South near Kamenka, skirt towards the East and ultimately touch down near Elektrozavodsk. This would be the last known location for the Marines of the 26th MEU.
On approach to the coast the Marines began taking anti-air fire. The four helicopters assigned to the mission broke formation and veered in different directions. Captain Shields looked out of the window and watch one of the Stallions take a direct hit which caused it to plummet towards the Sea. His pilot did his best to avoid a similar fate but his helicopter too was hit and began to crash. Calling out to his Marines to brace for impact was the last memory he had before the helicopter struck the ocean water.
July 24th, 2017 - Chernarus - Unknown Coordinates
Captain Shields awoke in a small hut on the shore. He had no idea how he had gotten there. His BDU's were gone and left with him were civilian clothing. There was no telling where his clothing would have gone and most of his gear was likely still on the helicopter (which was secured). He dressed in the simple green shirt, pants, and oddly enough the right size of shoes then set out into the cold. He took a moment to take in his surroundings but there were not enough landmarks yet to pinpoint an exact location. He had studied the sand tables and maps extensively with his other Officers and ran them through enough scenario based training that given enough information, he should be able to narrow down where he was.
He saw no signs of the helicopter at the coast, or of his Marines. He had no idea if he was carried from the crash, floated, picked up by boat, or any information to determine exactly where he might locate the helicopter. He just knew it was nowhere in sight. He would assume based on the fact that his clothing was taken, that his Marines were not responsible for his rescue. They would have likely established a base of operations or some form of makeshift headquarters and he saw nothing like that near him.
John Shields would set out now in search of his men, in search of the people responsible for bringing him to safety, and determine who was to blame for shooting down his helicopters. He assumed the Russians must have done it, given that they entered the closed airspace. But he was not entirely sure. He had many questions, and so few answers. He took his first steps forward guided only by his intuition and his skills.