Marek Čermak was a kid on the sidelines. Calm and quiet and not a very outgoing type. With only his grandmother to take care of him, he always sought any type of work to maintain his wallet - working the field, construction, watching over livestock... His hands were no stranger to hard work.
He wasn't into politics, but he was against violence the politics eventually brought. The 2009 conflict brought much change in then-young Marek. Still underage at the time, he did not understand why people were fighting and why friends have become enemies overnight. A seemingly ordinary night out in Chernogorsk with his best - and only - friend Ženjka turned out for the worse, as Ženjka was gunned down in the street by an unknown assailant and bled out right there on the sidewalk, and Marek coulnd't do a thing to help his friend.
This event could be described as an end of age of innocence for Marek. It remains forever engraved at the back of his skull.
After the conflict, his grandmother fell ill and eventually died. With no one left now, Marek retreated from the workings of society and went seeking serenity in the calm Chernarusian landscape, seeking peaceful and simple life. He sold his old family home in Šahovka and bought a piece of land in the countryside.
He rarely went into town, usually for groceries and farming equipment. He didn't exchange many words with other people more than was necessary, at least not more than he would with his friend on his grave. Since the incident, Ženjka's family blamed him for it, and more so for even "having wits to come to his grave". Heated arguments at the graveyard would ensue.
At times, you'd see him sitting alone in one of the bars in the Chernogorsk outskirts, always sitting at the same corner table, always alone and always drunk. That is, until a group of regulars in the bar moved to include him in their circle, but couldn't completely pull him out of his grief that he tries so hard to drown in alcohol. After many attempts to talk to him, once they, in a group effort, finally got him to open up about it after some good old homemade rakija. This was the first time he, after much time, let someone in.
After so long, Marek finally had someone knock on his door - he had someone to talk to. The trio of his new coeval friends would visit him on the farm from time to time, and sometimes even pull him out and go downtown and get trashed together.
As much as he tried to stay out of the loop, his new friends couldn't not bring up current events in their discussions. Political situation, fearmongering, military presence...
All that lasted until, one day, a peculiar visitor stumbled upon his farm. Erratic beatings on the walls and windows woke Marek up and made him grab his shotgun. He could see a man in his 40s, of pale skin and bleeding from his eyes, menacingly hurting his arms and seemingly not feeling a bit of it. Any words would make him even more erratic. Something was horribly wrong with this man.
When someone breaks through your window and just impales himself on the broken glass that remains on the window frame without even realizing it and just grabbing at you while growling and not responding back, you know something's up. So Marek aimed the shotgun at the poor soul's face and, closing the eyes, pulled the trigger. Ears ringing, he could clearly see the morning sun rays finding their way between the broken glass on the window, revealing the pink mist at the spot where the man's head once was. Blood was everywhere. It wasn't long before a military helicopter flew above.
Something was definitely up. Marek grabbed his shotgun, his bag of supplies and after a moment walked away from the farm and toward the uncertainty that were the happenings of civilization....