Born to a humble home in Connecticut, a state not renowned for anything truly notable, Connor Atway was raised as any average American child would be. His parents were modest, working-class people, and, as such, raised him with a respect for work and a respect for authority. From a young age, Connor had an idea of what he wanted to become as an adult: a police officer. He wanted to help and save people, and he thought being a cop would be the best way to do such a thing, however, just like many children before him, he eventually changed his mind.
Connor, since learning of the United Nations’ existence in his teenage years, had always dreamed of becoming a member, but never truly questioned why. The diversity of the individuals combined with international appreciation and the chance to save lives made for a compelling job opportunity. All he ever wanted was to be seen as a good person. He wanted to go down in the history books as someone who did good deeds and helped people.
Initially intending to serve in the Police division of the UN, known as UNPOL, Connor enthusiastically pursued a degree in law enforcement. However, after a mere seven months of schooling, he realized his talents could potentially be put to better use elsewhere. With most of the material he was asked to study revolving around the mind-numbingly stagnant topic of “protocol,” he quickly became bored, and wished to be able to utilize his scientific mind more efficiently.
In 2010, During his final few weeks studying law enforcement, Connor was made aware of a Malaria outbreak, which was believed to have originated in Ghana. This phenomenon caught his attention. He wondered how, with all the technology available and research documented, such a large-scale disease could go unnoticed until the last second.
Because of this curiosity, Connor began looking into careers as an Infectious Disease (ID) Specialist. He desired to learn more about these situations, and, he hoped that somewhere down the line he could be one of the many to halt such an outbreak, and save lives in the process. Unfortunately, being an ID Doctor didn’t allow for much field experience, so Connor began looking elsewhere for similar opportunities, when he stumbled across an open position for an Epidemiologist. This position lied within the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency working within the United Nations. With very little understanding of the title itself, he restarted his research process once more, and found that it was exactly what he’d been looking for. Being an Epidemiologist would allow for actual in-person research to be conducted, and would fulfil his desire to learn more about epidemics more than any other profession available.
An on-site residency which would last three years on top of an already mandatory four years of schooling seemed both challenging and intimidating, and Connor wasn’t sure of his dedication to the profession, but, trusting his instincts and his motivation, he hurled himself onto the entirely new path. He would still get to work alongside the UN, as he’d always hoped for, but as an Epidemiologist rather than a Police Officer, he’d be able to help millions of people simultaneously, and also be intrigued by the work itself.
Passionately pursuing this new career goal of his, Connor put his mind and his heart into his studies, liking the sound of the job more and more as he got further into the education. In 2014, around the time his four years of base schooling had passed, a new, seemingly small infection had sprung up in Brazil known as “Zika.” As a part of his on-site residency, Connor, along with many others with similar skill sets and aspirations, were sent to the location to study the infection, and attempt to prevent it from spreading at an exponential level.
That once-small infection quickly became an outbreak, and Connor, a student with little field experience thus far, struggled to find ways to properly assist his colleagues, but with time, he learned to work under pressure and to cope with the stress he felt almost constantly. At first, he was only supposed to spend one year of his residency in Brazil, and then he was to head back to the States to write about what he had witnessed and discovered while there, however, the virus was spreading at an unbelievable rate, and quickly it became apparent that he would be spending his entire residency there, studying and learning.
During his second year in Brazil, Connor presented a theory about acetaminophen being used to stop the spreading of the symptoms, and, through just a few months of testing, the hypothesis was deemed correct. Feeling accomplished, he began to work harder than ever before, studying and learning all he could about the virus from those who had been afflicted by it, trying to notice patterns between them.
By the time his residency had ended, Connor was still in Brazil. He had moved individual locations just a few times, but the research that he and his colleagues were providing was essential, so, though he was an official WHO representative, he stayed, and continued studying, receiving only a letter of acknowledgment as his “graduation.”
In 2017, an infection broke out in a country just south of Russia known as Chernarus, and some of the initial symptoms seemed to be similar to those of the Zika virus from years prior. Because of their invaluable knowledge of the disease, Connor and the majority of his WHO colleagues were called to be sent over to compare the symptoms of the two, and, if possible, identify whether or not they were related.
The vast majority of the other doctors and scientists headed to Chernarus had at least five, sometimes even ten more years of experience than Connor, however, his in-depth knowledge of the Zika virus made him an asset, and he was happy to go and investigate. Alongside them were at least one hundred UN troops, all with different mindsets and different backgrounds, but the same goal in mind: to protect the doctors and scientists. Connor wasn’t entirely sure what threats might lie in South Zagoria, where he was to be stationed. In Brazil, there were UN peacekeeping forces present, but nowhere near this many.
Being both nervous and excited, he joined his newfound “team” referred to as the UN/WHO South Zagorian 1st Response. At the time, he didn’t know what dangers and mental torture lied ahead, but the uncertainty didn’t unsettle him too much. He simply wanted to be able to be of some use, and help people as he worked.
Day 29: I haven't written anything in this journal until now. Part of me sees everything I've done as pointless, and another part simply lacked the motivation.
In short, we've been living with constant fear of the infected hordes ruling the country, while we should have been focusing on our fellow survivors. In an unforeseen invasion, we were pushed out of our camp by Chernarussian Defense Force troops. There was no discrimination based on threat; scientists, doctors, peacekeepers, and civilians were mistreated equally. The luckiest of the group managed to escape during the attack, but there were many who were less fortunate. Many were killed as they attempted to defend themselves against the native soldiers, and others were captured and dragged away. I was one of the lucky few, but I can't help but feel ashamed of my actions.
Assuming my belongings don't get confiscated, I'll continue writing.
Day 30: Surprisingly, the CDF have set up a temporary refuge camp in place of the UN one which they ransacked. I am no longer wearing my easily identifiable blue beret, nor am I wearing a lab coat. I've been forced to removed anything that could label me as someone affiliated with the United Nations. We're not being actively hunted, however, if we show our face, there's no guarantee that we'll live to see another day.
Yet again, I am one of the more fortunate individuals, only having shown my face to any CDF operative once during my time researching the virus. Others, such as Dr. Capella, were frequently seen, and are now spread across the country, desperately hoping for survival, and hiding their true selves by any means necessary.
Our research has been rendered useless. There isn't any point in keeping the documents that I attempted to save, nor was there a true reason to be researching anything at all. Even if we had stayed at the camp long enough to discover some sort of cure, which is incredibly unlikely as it stands, who would we have delivered it to? There is nobody left in this world who has the means to administer a vaccine to to the entirety of Earth's population. We're a very small group of people stranded in a fairly remote location with no working technology or any means of international transportation. My research has done nothing to help this world, and that will not change in the future.
I agreed to come to this area so that I could help people, but since arriving, I haven't helped a soul.
Day 30 (cont.): Someone from a trading group known as Kovar's Market arrived at the camp just a few moments ago. He seemed panicked and unsettled, and claimed to have a message from "The VDV." He said that he had been forced at gunpoint to be their messenger, and that he was incredibly sorry.
Like all of the other civilians who were present, I'm not aware of the message that he gave to the CDF soldier in charge, however, based on his reaction, I know that it was not one of peace. This country truly is going to implode.
Day 31: I met two individuals today, Angus and Gordon Rattray. I had heard quite a bit about their group, the Rattray Corporation, but I didn't expect to happen across them so soon. They were very willing to talk, and in little time, I was accepted into their organization.
Maybe I've finally found a stable place to stay, even if it's only until tensions with the UN die down.
Day 33: I killed two men. Their blood is stained on my hands, and their souls embodied within my guilt. They were two United Nations peacekeepers, presumably deserters. I suppose at this point I'm a deserter as well, as I no longer have any intention of going back.
If people who traveled from all over the world simply to serve could become so desperate for their own survival that they turn to thievery, murder, and manipulation in just over a month, then I don't know why I'm trying so hard to remain steadfast in my good intentions.
I need to find a doctor as soon as I can. Each of the four bullet wounds that now scar my body have gone all the way through, so there should be no surgery necessary.
Day 35: It has been a short while since I've written. I've been constantly moving from place to place, never truly settling in anywhere for fear of anyone who might be stalking me. I have, however, been frequently visiting Kovar's Market. There are good people there, and I finally feel as if I might be able to help out.
They seem to be really passionate about building their business. I wonder if Angus would be willing to make a trade arrangement with them.
Day 38: I almost died yesterday, but I'm not glad to be alive. I am not thanking any divine being for allowing me to continue my meaningless quest for purpose in a world in which I will find none.
I almost died defending children, one ten years old, and one thirteen, Kovar's grandchildren.
That is the world in which I have found myself stranded: a world where the lives of innocent children are valued less than household firearms and petty ammunition. A month and a half into the public-proclaimed apocalypse, and people have already become so vile that they refuse to recognize the existence of human life outside of their individual groups.
A large number of men and women just risked the lives of two children, and attempted to end those of at least six others helping out at the market, in order to gain a few weapons accompanied by ammunition.
Murder of innocents, adults and kids alike, has now become a reasonable method of obtaining the means to survive for just a few more days. I am unable to think of anything I can truly do in a country governed by such sick morals. With these people, and others like them, still at large, I doubt I'll make it to the next journal entry.