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Entry 1: "A New Home, A New Hope"

Found this old notebook in a drawer of a house I passed through a few weeks ago. Kept to start fires with the pages inside. Though, I think I found a better use for it now. I am a man alone. Regardless of how many friends I meet along the way, this world doesn't remember people anymore. Those still alive just move on and forget. I don't want to be forgotten. If I'm being honest, it is my greatest fear in life. To me, a small part of someone stays alive if someone remembers them and tells their tale. That's why I'm writing this. I will recount my journeys here. So whoever finds this knows. They will know I was a man who walked many a path. I won't just be another dead survivor. I am Kobe Grey. I was alive.

I guess I should start this journal with what changed the course of my miserable life forever. Four wheels and a frame were able to bring hope back into my life. During the last winter I had gotten trapped in the northern part of the region. I was struggling to not freeze to death up near Severograd. When the thaw came, I took the opportunity to move south. I wasn't going back up there unless I was forced to. That place is hell. I had the idea of getting to the coast and following it until I found somewhere stable to settle and stay for a while. I found something even greater. I had just passed Solnichniy struggling to take each step. I was starving. I was cold. I was exhausted. Then I heard it. It was like the sound of an angel's song. I was blinded by a bright light and I immediately thought that this was the end to my miserable existence. This was the light so many people had spoke of. No. Instead of bring death, this light brought a promising future and hope. It brought me home.

These blinding lights belonged to a vehicle. It rolled past me twenty feet before stopping. I couldn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. The driver opened the door and shouted, "Hey! You need a ride buddy?" I laughed. I don't know whether I considered it a joke at the time, or I was just completely shocked and the only thing I knew to do was laugh. "Yeah", was the only thing I said when I was finally able to process the situation at hand. I walked up to the car. It was only twenty feet away, but I felt like I walked for miles just to get to the door. Once I got there, the passenger of the car stepped out and pulled the seat back for me to get in. He introduced himself as Han Lee. I've met a whole lot of people during my time in Chernarus, but this man was by far the strangest of them all. Han Lee was about as Asian you could get. He also had this strange obsession with changing his outfit as much as possible. Weird thing to be worried about in the literal apocalypse. Once we were settled in the car, we made our way down the southern highway of Chernarus I knew so well. It felt a lot different riding in a car though. The driver introduced himself as Destin. I didn't know him for long. Just that twenty minute car ride, but he was real nice fellow. Destin told me that he knew of a place I could call home. There was a group in Chernogorsk called, "The Lost Highway". They were a group of rag tag survivors that were just trying to get by and had made their home in the old Chernogorsk quarantine zone. My old home.

We didn't say a whole lot during the car ride to Chernogorsk. I was still in a little shock. It wasn't long before the car stopped in front of gates. Seeing the base for the first time was like laying eyes on the Walls of Jericho. The place was the strongest fortress I had laid my eyes on in the country. They used the geography the apartment complex sat on as defense. The quarantine zone sat on a man made island and there was only one way in, the fortified gate in the front. I did not think that I would ever feel complete safety in the walls that once imprisoned me, but I did. As I was walked through the gate in the front I was greeted by a handful of these, "Highwaymen" as we call ourselves. The leader, Dima, greeted me by telling me to remove my jacket. I was wearing a Russian military jacket I found in the back of a broke down car. It was warm. He took the jacket from me, threw it on the ground, and proceeded to shoot it. This struck some fear into me. I thought I was about to get a round as well. Instead, Dima handed me another jacket saying that, "We don't appreciate Russians around here". 

Over that day, the Highway welcomed me into their fold as if I was apart of their family. I guess, in some way, we are a family. We are a group of people with nothing left but air in our lungs and blood in our bodies. They gave me a tour around the base, explaining what they did. We are a group of people that helps others when we can. First and foremost we survive and we help others survive. The base had space for everyone to comfortably sleep and have their own space. They took advantage of the apartment complex that is located inside the quarantine zone. They gave me my own room. Though, I'm gonna have to find my own cot and storage though. After I they gave me my own little space, they showed me the rest of the base. It was a different from what I remember when I was trapped there all that time ago. They even had a stocked armory! There were more guns in there then I had seen anywhere else in Chernarus. They even armed me. I was given an old Cold War SKS. I was fine with it. A gun's a gun after all, plus my Dad had one the same model as the one they gave me. Made me feel a little homesick. It had been a while since I thought of Dad.

That night we gathered in the courtyard. There were about twelve of us that night. No person in the group was anywhere near the same. We all came from different backgrounds, all over the world. As we sat around the fire, we exchanged stories, told jokes, and sang songs. I felt more at home in that moment than I had since I left the United States. I felt safe for the first time since I could even remember. Tears started rolling down my face before the night ended. I hadn't felt this way in a long time. I couldn't remember the last time I even felt anything but pain at all. I had found home. I had found a purpose. I had found Hope.

P.S. Someone keeps taking my fucking Starbucks cans out of my fridge. Stop that. I will throw hands with a fella over Iced Coffee. Don't try me.

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