His childhood was nothing out of the ordinary.
Ray Leikerzfelt was born in Denmark the year 1979, just outside the capital Copenhagen. He was an only child in a family with strict teachings and expectations, his mother an anesthesiologist and father a Lieutenant Commander in the Danish Navy. They both juggled a fair bit, trying to keep a balance between work and family, which proved to be rather difficult, as Ray was quite the unruly child, brimming with energy from an early age. He’d get into tussles with other kids, skip school here and there and generally just be a bit of a problem for all.
His actual problem was that he couldn’t sit still for a long period of time. He couldn’t keep his focus and attention locked for long enough, which his teachers most certainly agreed to. This in turn led to him starting as a swimmer, to put a dampener on his otherwise high spirit. And it worked! His grades started to better, and swimming quickly became a big interest of his, investing a large portion of his time in training, always looking for an opportunity to beat him self in a never-ending competition.
This trend continued as he enrolled with a Community College, studying to become a radiographer. Up until now, he’d changed both physically and intellectually for the better. He’d begun competing at an international level and won quite a few medals along the way, but alas, the burden of being both a student and competing at such high level clashed, resulting in him having to tone down his practice, but never giving up on the sport itself, as it was now part of him.
“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba
Years went by, now a trained radiographer with a specialization in radiation therapy, working at a University Hospital. At the same time, he’d begun a new side project; taking a Private Pilot License, as helicopters had been a fascination of his for some time now. He’d pass the first exam and then go on to get an Instrument Rating before finally acquiring a Commercial Pilot License.
With this in hand, and not one to stay in his own element for long, he couldn’t resist branching out and giving this a try. Working as an independent contractor, he’d do anything from regular tours to off-shore flights. Most of his flights had been within or just around his home country, but as he grew more proficient, he’d start looking out into the wide world for new, interesting assignments.
He arrived early morning at the Northeastern Airfield, 16th of April 2017, and got transported to the international hotel in Chernogorsk where he would live for the duration of his stay in this slightly, remote region of South Zagoria. On his way, he felt lucky that he’d managed to pick up this contract, as it paid well, probably due to the lack of interest because of the tensions surrounding the region, but it wasn’t something he’d dwell on, since heck, a well-paying job in a new and interesting place? Why, yes!
The first couple of days after settling in were slow; getting to know his new colleagues and getting a better understanding of the work, he’d be doing, and the region itself. The helicopter he’d be flying, an old Bell Huey variant, wasn’t close to being state of the art, but like most of its brethren it was robust and reliable, so he had no qualms with operating it. When he for the first time lifted from the airfield and took in landscape from above, it was beautiful and serene. He couldn’t help but crack a smile when he soared through the skies, as everything down below seemed so insignificant. He’d made the right choice coming here.
"I decided to fly through the air and live in the sunlight and enjoy life as much as I could." ~ Unknown
It didn't take long, however, for the serenity to end. Old festering wounds opened up once more, reigniting the conflict between Russia and Chernarus, resulting in martial law being declared. This meant a grounding of all non-essential aircrafts, leaving Ray well and truely stranded. Unable to do anything with the situation at hand, he'd pass time the best he could with watching the news, reading and taking a few walks, trying to keep his unease at bay. But, this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Rumors started trickling down from the Northern Region of riots and an increase in violence. This wasn't much of a surprise, given the current position the country found it self in, and he hoped it'd die down when everything else would reach a peaceful resolution. But, as days passed by, it became apparent that it wasn't an ordinary riot, if it could even be called that. People who'd fled to the south told stories that sounded like something straight out a movie; ordinary folk turned into emotionless monsters that'd attack any and all. At first many thought it was simply the trauma of war that played a trick on their fragile minds - wrong. The entire situation quickly got out of control, even with international intervention.
The small bits of information people received made it very clear the combined effort had failed to contaminate the threat, and then, everything broke apart; chaos and mass panic spread like a wildfire. Stores were being emptied and people fled, trying to avoid the coming apocalypse. In an attempt to stay optimistic, he wouldn't join the masses right away, still hoping the situation would turn to their benefit, that whatever it was could be contained. It wasn't long before it became painfully clear that there was no hope, nothing more could be done. With that in mind, he quickly gathered what supplies that had been left before securing himself a vehicle, only just avoiding to fight others over it, as he set off toward the northwest. From this point on, it was every man for himself.
"Adaptability is the key to survival." ~ Unknown
All of this happened what feel like a lifetime ago. While being out in the wilds, he had been forced to learn how to survive off the land, scavenge and handle whatever weapon that had been left behind, be it a simple hatchet or rifle. He saw the rise and fall of groups and organizations all over the region. They all had their own agenda and reasons, some more desperate and delusional than others. They were all looking to survive, constantly in conflict with one another. He too simply tried to survive on his own, helping the occasional survivor as best he could. Apart from this, he hoped to see the light at the end of this, long pitch-black tunnel.