After the disbanding of the Rangers, Theo drifted for a while, returning to some of his older campsites in the far north to avoid the dangers of the big city. As much as he missed the tall skyscrapers and tight back alleys of Chernogorsk, he knew that it was unsafe for one kid to venture to. As spring took its full hold on the country, either desperation or curiosity drove him back south. Hearing rumors of a medical camp near Novaya Petrovka, he sought out the haven of Camp Hope, imagining that any Free Medics or old friends would likely end up there. He found what he was looking for, though not what he knew he was. What he found was a second iteration of Homestead, a neutral grounds ran by Dr. Hope Pisces and Noah McKaine, a man barely into his twenties that Theo would come to respect. In this camp, he helped as much as he could, running supplies, keeping order in the doctor's absences, and eventually brushing the dust off of his medical skills learned in the Free Medics to save a man's life. He also found a few good people to put around himself, a task he holds near and dear to his heart; Michael Fletcher, a rough and tumble lone-wolf type, barely a year older than Theo, unknowingly provided Theo with a sense of brotherly camaraderie that he hadn't experienced in years. Hell, Fletch and Theo's actual brother even shared a name. Camp Hope built Theo, dubbed Teddy by the inhabitants, a new shell, a harder one, one more ready to tackle this world. Helping a gravely wounded man into camp, he had his first brush with the death of another human. The man was bitten, infected, and turning. Leaving shortly after he arrived, the man was later brought back by a group of angry Chernarussians under the banner of D7, and left to bring havoc to the camp. Teddy drew his pistol, offering the husk of a man his apologies, and pulling the trigger.
Teddy left camp a few days later for what would be the last time. Dr. Pisces ordered a scattering of the inhabitants due to rising hostilities towards the doctors in the camp. A textbook end to those who help others, as far as Teddy was concerned. He found a place to call home as he bode his time in an apartment block of Severograd, a handful of kilometers down the northern highway from Camp Hope. It was a clear but chilly April night when Clancy Road stumbled upon Teddy's campfire, introducing himself and sitting down to share a meal. The two bonded over a shared world view, that everyone is just trying to survive at the end of the day. The two acknowledged their own insignificance to the infection, but also their perseverance to do good deeds regardless. Teddy grabbed his rucksack and rifle, making his way to a summer camp to the south alongside Clancy, meeting Markus, Kaine, and Liam. He laid claim to a 10 of Hearts, and together, the five of them made up the beginning of a new group in Chernarus: "Fifty Two."
Teddy sank in with the Fifty Two rather quickly, but felt like an outsider, the youngest and only American member. This faded quickly, it was forced to. On a supply run back to Severograd, Teddy set out with Markus and Kaine expecting a quick run into the city, go down the "to-grab" list, and get out. This plan changed when the trio was confronted by three men: a doctor, his brother, and a drunkard. These three referred to themselves as, "The Order," and as far as Teddy was concerned, are disgusting, vile men that deserve no mercy; not from him, not from anybody. The Order forced Teddy's trio into the woods, stripping them of their belongings and preparing their knives. The three men took a liking to Teddy, as he was the youngest, the cleanest slate to mar. Kaine tried and tried to take Teddy's place, but the Order had none of it. Carving the letters, "TO" into Teddy's neck, the men drug him away from his friends and forced him to the ground. The doctor made sure Kaine and Markus watched as he left a clean cut, straight down the length of Teddy's spine before sewing it back up with a large needle and leather straps. Kaine received a burn for speaking out of turn, and Markus got out with only the memory of Teddy's flayed back as punishment. The Order eventually released the trio, offering Teddy his father's rifle back on the condition that he bring the Order supplies on a regular basis.
The Fifty Two was home now, even if the conclusion of such was rushed. Kaine offered his life for Teddy, a gesture Teddy would never forget. Leaving the forest, Teddy stopped the group in a train station, allowing Kaine to remove the sloppy handiwork of the doctor and replace it with clean sutures to stop bleeding or infection. The trio had a job to finish in Severograd, regardless of the events, and finish it they did. The three returned back to Camp Fifty Two with the supplies they set out for and a handful of extra injuries. Teddy's brain had been racing with ways to weasel his way out of his deal since he made it, and now he had a group of people bonded to him by blood to help him. The day of trauma ended as quiet as it began, and Teddy found himself cleaning his rifle and pondering his options. One kept crossing his mind, however it was novel, new, strange to him. He had never killed a man, not a live one. But, he figured now was as good a time as ever to start.