As a young boy, Radan spent his whole childhood in forests with his brother, friends and family. There is where he played, learned and grew up, it became to him so much more than just collection of trees and wildlife, this was his second "home". Growing up, his passion and respect towards animals, forests and nature as a whole grew. It wasn't suprising really, given his father, like his father before him were both foresters (lesnik rus.). Forester occupation wasn't just a job for Perov family, it was a tradition and upmost respected profession. Radan given his passion towards nature, felt proud to be a son of a forester and as it was eventually became one himself.
Radan, oldest of two brothers has felt heavy burden on his shoulders, ever since the loss of his parents. Though grandparents raised them up, he knew that he needed to learn the responsibility and the know-hows to take care of his younger brother and himself in the future. So he spent most of his time, after each school day, learning from grandparents as much as he could by helping around the house. The little free time he had, he spent in forests: hiking, observing wildlife and helping grandfather out on his work.
After finishing public school, there was no question what Radan wanted to do with his life and so he got ready for University of Tartu, to get his Bachelor's degree in Forestry. But that had to be postponed, because life had other plans for him and so it was, that Radan had to go through manditory military service. As much as he hated the idea, given the history of the country and his worldview, he had no other choice.... the only comforting thought was, that even there, he will more than likely spend most of his time in his favorite place, the great and beautiful forests of Chernarus.
The story of our family and how we ended up owning a house in the heart of the Black Forest begins in the Soviet Union during World War II.
Our grandfather and grandmother used to live in Tuapse quiet close to Ukraine, Takistan and Chernarus. In the year 1944, our grandmother was pregnant and was about to give birth.
Soviet troops marching through Tuapse.
The day when Soviet troops and tanks rolled through town square making their way towards front lines, our grandfather realized and was scared of being recruited into the Red Army, to take part of the Great Patriotic War (Russian: ВеликаяОтечественная Война) as it is known in the former Soviet Union and in modern Russia and decided that the only way to stay with his wife and see the birth of his child, is to run away from home and avoid fighting the Germans.
A good friend in Tuapse advised them to escape southeast, to Chernarus, he said it is possibly the safest place for them and their child. After a few days this friend came up with a plan that was bound to succeed. He packed their bags with supplies to survive for at least a week and also told them, that from this day on, their story should be something along these lines: " Our home back north was destroyed by artillery fire and with that, all our documents and belongings burned with it."
He drove them to the local train-station and with the help of a local worker he managed to get them both onto a cargo train.
This train was heading straight to Novigrad.
Their new names were:
Mikhail “Миша” Perov & Alyona Perov
The train ride was cold, dirty and obviously not suitable for young couple to travel in, but it would have to make due. It took them 2 days to arrive in Chernarus.
As soon as they noticed that the train started to slow down they jumped off and managed to "sneak" into the city without anyone noticing them.
The supplies and money they had with them were enough to keep them alive for at least 2 more days. Our grandfather figured that the best place to ask for some advise were to find a job was in a bar at the town square.
A few beers someone told Mikhail to look for a man called Jakub Poláček at 2PM in the administrative office inside the town hall.Jakub was described as a very friendly and warmhearted person. Apparently he was quiet popular in and around Novigrad. A few years later our grandparents actually found out that he became the mayor of Novigrad and stayed in that position until he died.
Novigrad in 1944.
They went to visit him on the next day and were lucky enough to actually find him upon entering the office. Our grandfather said that he kind of bumped into the office and everyone was staring at him for a minute. Jakub walked towards our grandfather straight away and asked him why he came to the office and what he wants.
The response was quiet simple:" I am looking for work".
Jakub started laughing and took him into his private office.
Mikhail had to answer a few basic question regarding his person. But the longer the conversation took the more Jakub got ...... . He realized that our grandfather wasn't telling the truth and straight up said:" Was that all ?" "Yes... we lost everything"
Jakub stood up and paced back and forth, it looked like he was thinking about something.
As soon as he sat down into his chair again, he looked our grandfather into his eyes and said:" And now tell me my son, why are you here really and what happened".
Mikhail told us that he was in shock in that second and was actually scared of getting arrested or something worse. He remained silent for a few minutes and didn't know what to say.
To his surprise Jakub put a hand on his shoulder and said:" Don't worry, these are hard times for all of us and I don't want to separate you from your family".
Mikhail and Jakub talked for more than one hour and in the end Jakub said something like:
"Ok... I understand why you took your wife and ran away, and I don't want you to leave them behind."...he almost brakes down "I don't want you to end up like my son, may god be merciful, who died somewhere at the eastern front. His body or none of his belongings were never returned to me. I don't want your wife and child to go through the same as me and my dear wife did, she is not the same ever since."
"So here is the deal... I can assign you to a job of your choice, somewhere here in Chernarus... and that's actually it. I wanna do you a favor."
Our grandfather couldn't believe his luck. Of course he agreed and Jakub gave him a list with jobs that currently no one is assigned to.
But, Mikhail couldn't really make a decision, Jakub noticed that and gave him another advise.
"Mikhail, I would recommend you to take the position of the forester in Gorka, South Zagoria."
It is not an easy job, but a young man such as yourself would be more than able to handle it, I'm sure. With this job you would also get a house for your wife and your children. It is a lovely place and the best choice for your future, also I have connections in Soviet Chernarus Forest and Lumbering Commission Offices and thanks to that I could keep an eye on you."
Our grandfather quickly agreed and thanked Jakub for his help and support.
When Mikhail was about to leave the office, Jakub told him one last thing:
"I will take care of everything regarding your documents. Meet me in few days at the train station, I will tell you everything else you need to know there, until then... goodbye and good luck".
Mikhail rushed outside the building and told his wife - who was waiting on the stairs outside - everything that just happened.
- 2 days later -
Our grandparents met Jakub at sunrise at the train station.
"Ok, I have to apologize but I do not have much time today so I'll just get to it. Here are your new documents and the train tickets. You will arrive in Chernogorsk, a man called Jan Šmerda will wait for you there and will take care of the rest. The house is already in your possession and Jan will give you the papers regarding that and your new job. One thing I wanna mention, the house comes with the job. If you lose the job for some reason, the house is gone as well. *Jakub smiles* But I am sure it will not come to that."
Jakub gives them both a hug and sends them on their way.
TO BE CONTINUED