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My Name is Yuri Orlov, This is my story.


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The direction of the wind changed causing the cigarette smoke to blow into his face, burning his eyes.

"16 hours, 16 fucking hours." He said.

They were late. He peered out over the town, not much good it would do, the rain reduced his visibility to almost nothing. He could see faint outlines of the buildings in the distance. Stay on the outskirts of Petrovka, report of any changes. Lot of good that would do, he hadn't heard from H.Q. since last night.

"I'll give it one more hour then head out." He sighed, taking the last drag off his cigarette.

He retrieved the pack of cigarettes from his chest pocket.

"Fuck, only two left."

This is going to be a long day.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

When the outbreak initially occurred he was a soldier attached to an artillery battery. He was tasked with providing artillery support to Russian sympathizers on the Ukrainian border. Under the cover of darkness, they would shell the pathetic country. Putin told the world it wasn't a military action. No one believed him, but they were to cowardly to confront us. This is Mother Russia, try to stop her. New orders had come in, we were to be relocated to the Cherno/Russian border.

"Great further away from home."

I was on the border later that day. It was strange, they never moved us that quickly. Usually we packed up and rode in a caravan to our destination over a period of days. I was given an hour to pack my stuff and be at the tarmac.

"Hey Romanov, what gives?"

I'd known Kliment Romanov since we were kids. Growing up in Belgorod, we were collectively known as the local troublemakers. Romanov was originally from the Ukraine, born in Pripyat. He lived there during the Chernobyl disaster. That same incident claimed the life of his father. I used to joke with him about shelling his homeland. He didn't care, he hated that place. He blamed the government and country for the loss of his father. I guess he never really got over it. Romanov was my best friend, I could always count on him to have my back.

"No clue Yuri, I've never been reassigned this quickly." He said as he shrugged his shoulders.

"Whatever it is, It must be important." I remarked.

Once there, what a sight. There had to be hundreds of AN-70's taking off one after another. The ones not on the runway were being loaded by military personal. Some with supplies, some with heavy armor, but mostly soldiers.

"And I thought the reassignment was weird, it looks like we're staging a full scale invasion over night." Romanov chuckled.

I just looked at him and shook my head. Our artillery battery was quickly ushered to a AN-70, we loaded up and promptly took off.

"What was going on Sergeant?"

Our Sergeants name was Ilia Filatov. He was a burly quiet man. The only time he really spoke was to give you orders or tell you, you were fucking up. He had taken over our unit five years ago. After some drunk nights I found out he was from Cheremkhovo. He was set to marry his school sweetheart after graduating, but was robbed of that. Somebody had a little to much vodka before driving home. She was hit while on an evening walk to Filatov's house. Sergeant joined the military after the funeral. He moved through the ranks quickly for his willingness to go on any assignment no matter the danger. He was searching for death, to take revenge he felt was due. He never found him.

"I don't know Corporal." Filatov grumbled.

No one seemed to know anything, or if they did they wouldn't say. Whatever was going on, it was urgent.

There was no time to relax once we landed and we were forced out of the plane quickly. The plane was refueled and back up in the air disappearing in the distance.

"Sergeant, you ever seen an operation conducted on this massive of a scale."

He didn't reply.

There was a large contingency of Spetsnaz soldiers roaming through the base. I recognized them by their insignia, Putin's super soldiers.

"Bet you a pack of smokes they're all on steroids." Romanov said while patting me on the back.

"I dont like to lose my smokes, no gamble."

Sgt. Filatov interrupted us "Once you get your shit, load up in the third V3S by the second hanger."

We walked over to the supply depot, I was given two more bags to carry. The bags were abnormally heavy, I looked into them once aboard the truck. One was full of ammunition, far more than the standard issued amount.

"Did you see how much ammo they gave us Yuri?" Romanov said.

"Yea, why did they give us so much, did they know we are an artillery unit?"

"Probably not, but don't go ruining the fun."

The other was full of food, enough for a couple days. I closed the bags and put my head back. The engine roared to life and we were moving.

A couple hours later we arrived at a small military setup.It was hastily set up in the middle of nowhere in the Black Mountain Range. Crude, but effective with a couple barracks and a single office building in the compound. There was a small town a couple of miles down the road but other than that nothing.

"Maybe I can find a cute local gal to show me around, Romanov."

Who was I kidding, I'd been deployed for over a year and by the looks of this it was going to be much longer. I didn't give a shit about the town, I wanted to get laid.

"Good luck with that, I know how you are with the ladies. You have a better chance standing in a rainstorm and coming out dry." Romanov retorted.

I never found out what the name of that town was. Sergeant Filatov told us to get some rest in the barracks, we were to be up bright an early for a mission at 0300 hours. A mere five hours from now.

"Get the fuck up!" Sergeant Filatov yelled into the barracks.

I rolled out of bed, right into my boots. The base was a bustle of activity. There were shouts from commanding officers yelling at their men. The churning sound of diesel engines idling in the background. But the sound I recognized above all others was gunfire, lots of gunfire in the distance. We still hadn't been told who the enemy was.

"Hey Romanov"

"Yea Yuri?"

"They tell you who we're supposed to be killing?"

"Naw I'm just the shell man, I'm not privileged with that information."

We were briefed on our objective. Our orders were simple enough, drive to a small radio installation on a nearby mountain and deliver some communication supplies. As simple as it was it didn't make sense, we weren't a Supply or Transportation Battery. We were an Artillery Battery. Why were we providing close fire support to a supply caravan, where was our artillery hardware? Sergeant Filatov couldn't answer any of our questions, he was in the dark as much as we were. I loaded my gear into the V3s, checked my weapon and took a seat next the Sergeant.

Oh well, I thought "At least we're still in friendly territory"

"Damn and I was looking forward to a real firefight." Romanov chuckled

Little did we know how close the enemy truly was.

We arrived at the radio installation just before dawn. There was concrete walls erected around some barracks and a small building. There was a large radio antenna in the center of the compound, it was easily over 100 feet tall. The compound lay just outside of the Chernarus border still in Russian territory.

I was surprised by the amount of soldiers patrolling the compound. We were waved through the gates and parked next to the building. A couple of the soldiers came over and started unloading the truck.

"Finally we get the respect we deserve."

One of the soldiers shot Romanov a dirty look.

I followed the Sergeant into the building. I noticed a room that had been converted into a makeshift cell.

"Whats with the cell?" I asked one of the soldiers.

"Quarantine" Was all he said.

I wandered around the office looking at the pictures. I wondered why we were here. I sat down in one of the chairs. I closed my eyes accidentally drifting off to sleep.

"Yuri Yuri" Romanov shook my shoulder.

"What" I said groggily.

"You have to see this come out here." With that he turned around and walked out of the building.

I followed Romanov outside, he was heading towards the radio tower. Romanov walked into the radio tower and I followed him inside. It was damp and musty within the tower, there was a locked door and a ladder going straight up. Romanov grabbed a rung and started to ascend the ladder. I looked up, following the ladder, it seemed to go to the top of the tower. I grabbed a rung, continuing after Romanov.

I found Romanov outside on a platform once I reached the top of the tower. I walked out and peered over the ledge. I could see over the entire valley.

"Wow" I exclaimed.

"Yuri, Look at this."

I walked over to Romanov. He handed me the binoculars he was using. I inspected them, they were military issue, but from a past generation. His grandfather had used them during the Soviet occupation of East Germany. They were passed on to his father on his sixth birthday who kept the tradition alive, passing them on to him on his sixth birthday. It was his last memento from his father. I lifted the binoculars to my eyes and looked through them.

What I saw would have me questioning the entire occupation.

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I started walking down the road heading south. Abandoning my post would get me severely reprimanded. I didn't care, I was almost out of food. I had packed very little because it was only a two day assignment. The rain was coming down pretty heavily.

"Glad I listened to Viktorovich." I said aloud.

Fyodor Viktorovich was a mathematical wizard, he was a genius when it came to numbers. Why he chose to apply his mind to aiming an artillery cannon we could never figure out. Perhaps he had a penchant for destruction because hidden behind his square framed glasses was a mad man. Viktorovich grew up in a broken home. His father was a drunk who took his aggression out on his mother. As he grew up Viktorovich tired of watching his mother take his fathers abuse. One day he decided to intervene, he was a small boy, he stood no chance. From then on his father took his aggression out on Viktorovich. It didn't bother him at all, because for once his mother didn't have bruises on her. That small boy grew up one day and became a man, a man capable of overpowering his father. His father left after that and never returned. He joined the military after that and would send his paychecks to his mother so she could raise his sisters in a better home.

Viktorovich had known of the region before we came here, said it rained 350 days out of the year. One of the few things I did pack was my rain gear. I figured I would follow the road until i ran into Romanov and Viktorovich, the truck had probably broken down. Neither of them could properly change a tire, let alone deal with any engine complications.

I walked for an hour without any incident and thankfully not coming into contact with any runners. I rounded the bend and almost walked right into him. He was wearing combat fatigues and a blue helmet signifying he was a U.N. Peacekeeper. I knew the U.N. was operating in Chernarus, but not this far north. Perhaps he had gotten separated from his unit and wandered north, doubtful. I called out to him in my best English.

“Hey man are you lost?” He didn’t respond.

With the rain coming down as hard as it was, I assumed he didn’t hear me. I stepped closer and raised my voice.

“Are you alright?” He heard me and turned around, big mistake.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

I could see a large platoon on the outskirts of a town I later learned was called Lopatino. They had heavy armor support.

“What are they doing?” I asked Romanov.

“Just keep watching.” He replied.

I looked into the city, but it looked abandoned. No lights were on in the buildings, no vehicles driving about, no people milling around. Strange, where were all the residents, then I saw it. Just barely, movement within the city. It was a young teenager, fifteen or sixteen by the looks of it. Then more movement behind him, perhaps a dozen or so people coming around a building. The group of people moved very erratically, it was hard to explain, but not at all human like in nature.

“There’s civilians down there.” I said

“I know, but keep watching and listen.” Said Romanov

I heard a faint siren in the distance. It came in the direction of the town. The group of people turned and started running, running towards the troops and heavy armor. Then all at once, orange flashes one after the other from the muzzles of the troop’s weapons. I watched in Horror as the group of civilians dropped dead before making it to the troops.

“What the Fuck!” I exclaimed.

“I heard rumors” Said Romanov. “Last night after you hit the sack, we are here to quarantine a disease.”

“What? Since when is that our job, where is W.H.O.?”

“They’re here, At least they were. Same with the Red Cross and M.S.F.” he replied.

“What do you mean?”

“The disease makes you violent, violent to the point of attacking everyone you see. Apparently the first W.H.O. team here was attacked by them, subsequent teams were killed. They couldn’t risk sending in more W.H.O. personal here because they kept getting killed.”

“I don’t see how that’s the Russian militaries problem, why isn’t the C.D.F or the U.N. here?”

“They are, same with the Ukrainian, Georgian, Takistani and every other nation with a military worth a damn.”

“I haven’t seen one of them.” Said Yuri, while looking towards the battle.

“Because they’re working the coasts, we’re here to guard the Cherno/Russian border.” Romanov stated while leaning over the railing.

“I still don’t see how this disease could call for such a large military incursion.”

Romanov sighs “ It has a 100% mortality rate.”

“There are plenty of diseases with a high mortality rate, but you don’t see us entering those countries and performing genocide. They just need a vaccine and they sure as hell won’t be able to make one if they’re the ones killing them.”

“Yuri, no disease kills you in six hours.”

“What?” Yuri replies.

“The disease has a 100% mortality rate six hours from the time of infection. That’s the best case scenario. They say children, the elderly and the infirm are dying in less than two hours. They can’t make a vaccine because they die to fast.”

“How can that be?”

“Death isn’t the end.”

Yuri looks at Romanov quizzically “Huh?”

“They say the disease arrests control of your body after death and seeks out the uninfected to kill them.”

“Alright now I know your fucking with me, you mean to tell me people are turning what amounts to zombies?”

“I don’t know Yuri, have you ever seen a military operation as large as this, let alone this big of a joint operation, on this small of a country.”

Romanov spit over the railing “We are the sarcophagus to this countries disaster.”

I still didn’t believe Romanov, he was easily convinced, I was not. I had heard of parasitic infections taking control of their hosts, but that was only in insects, right? I still wanted answers; I couldn’t stand by and watch civilians get murdered so helplessly. I climbed down the ladder and went straight to my sergeant. I walked into the building where I last saw him and saw two soldiers standing by a door.

“Is Sergeant Filatov in there?”

“Yes he is, but you cannot go in there, he having a private meeting with the Commander.”

“Bullshit.” I pushed myself past them and entered the office.

“Sergeant what the hell is going on?”

The Commander stood up abruptly. “Who is he, this is a classified meeting, get the meathead out of here.”

The Sergeant replied in a low growl. “Watch what you say about my men, What are you complaining about Corporal?”

I told the sergeant what I had just witnessed as well as what Romanov had told me.

“And you believed him?” The Commander said laughing.

Sergeant Filatov interrupted him. “Enough bullshit, if you expect my men to do your dirty work then you will tell me and them what you know.”

“Nonsense, you have your orders Sergeant.”

“What’s that supposed to mean, what orders?” Yuri asked.

“Corporal find Romanov, Viktorovich and the others we are leaving.”

“Sergeant need I remind you of the consequences of not following your orders?”

Staring the Commander in the face Sergeant Filatov “Corporal you heard me, we’re leaving.”

“Guards if these men try to leave, shoot them.”

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The U.N. man turned around and looked at me. The front of his uniform was stained crimson with blood. The front of his shirt was torn apart. His abdomen was ripped open exposing his entrails, or rather what was left of them. The man’s jaw dropped as he let out a guttural howl.

I had enough time to get my hands up before he was on me. His momentum combined with his sudden aggression knocked us both to the ground. He landed on top of me, lunging his head right for my throat. My survival instincts triggered, my combat trainings kicked in.

I grabbed the man around the throat with my right hand to prevent him from securing a would be fatal bite. Trapping his left arm with mine, I hooked my left foot around his. I planted my right foot and thrust my hips using my right foot as leverage. I rolled him off of me and landed on top of him, breaking his left wrist in the process. Pinning his head to the ground with my right hand, he clawed helplessly for my face. I retrieved the knife from my chest harness. With my free hand i plunged the six inch blade through his eye socket incapacitating him instantly. It happened in a matter of seconds, but now it was over.

I stood up, staring at the lifeless corpse. I noticed the name patch over his breast pocket. It read "Pvt. Madigan." A pang of sorrow hit me, to have your life ended in such a brutal fashion only to come back and inflict that same punishment on others.

I wondered what kind of choices he made in his life, to only have it ended here. I wondered about the family he left behind. Was there a wife at home waiting for an evening phone call only to go to bed wondering if he was safe, was there a child looking through a window, waiting to see their father pull up the driveway. No, the only thing that family would receive is a knock at the door followed by broken hearts.

I reached down and removed his nametag. Noticing the wedding ring, I took that off of his broken hand. I didn't know how, but I was going to make sure both made it home to his family. His family would not live the rest of their days wondering what fate he suffered; His family would know he died a hero. I placed the nametag and ring in my pocket. I zipped the pocket closed so I wouldn’t lose them.

I heard it; I cursed myself for being so careless. I should have checked my surroundings after the fight. The telltale sound of a racking shotgun and the unmistakable click of a safety.

Right behind me.

____________________________________________________________________________________

A buckle snap and blur of motion later. It happened so fast no one else in the room had a chance to respond. Sergeant Filatov had his Makarov trained right on the Commanders head. I swung my AKM around and had it trained on the two soldiers, they responded in-kind.

"Your people may gun us down, but not before I kill you. You choose your next action very carefully Commander." Sergeant Filatov growled.

With a long drawn out sight the Commander spoke

.

"I asked for someone that wouldn't be afraid to die, I guess they delivered. Lower your weapons."

Everyone lowered their weapons except the Sergeant, he stood steadfast. The commander waved the soldiers out of the room.

"I guess its only fair you know the whole story. This is classified but not that it will make much of a difference you won’t live to make it back. "

The commander got up and walked over to a desk in the back of the room. On top of the desk was a decanter filled with the recognizable amber hue of whiskey. He grabbed the decanter and poured himself a glass; he turned and offered the Sergeant and I one. We both refused.

"It was reported as a rebel uprising. That’s how the C.D.F. wanted to portray it to the media. In truth they didn't know what was really happening. Our government saw it as an opportunity. Emboldened by the world’s response, or lack thereof, to the Crimean Annexation, Putin decided to take control of the Southern Zagorian region of Chernarus. We sent in a specialized unit to find these rebels. Their orders were to persuade them to fight as sympathizers for the Russian Government when called upon. In exchange we would arm them, train them, provide them with aid and when they succeeded in overthrowing the regional government we would give them control of the region. After they won they would host a fixed election followed by a vote of secession from Chernarus. We would claim them as ethnic Russians on a righteous cause and in the process gain another port to the Green Sea.”

The Commander paused. “Sound familiar.”

The commander grabbed a pack of cigarettes out of his desk drawer. He fetched one out and lit it up, inhaling its toxic smoke. He turned the pack towards us as an offering. I accepted while the Sergeant shook his head finally lowering his weapon.

“Continue.” The Sergeant said in a gruff voice.

“Well they flew the team to the border not a couple days walk from the hotspot, Zelenogorsk."

____________________________________________________________________________________

“I’m not one of them.” I said, hoping that’s why he had the gun on me.

“Drop the Knife and thrown your weapons on the ground.”

I followed his directions, careful not to give him a reason to shoot me.

“Put your hands up and turn around slowly.”

I did as he requested, finally facing him. He was an older man maybe in his early sixties. He was wearing a black rain coat and blue jeans. Behind him, poking her small head around his waist was a girl no older than six or seven.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Shut up, Don’t talk unless I tell you to.” Was his response

In a rough voice he asked “Whats your name?”

“Yuri.” I cleared my throat. “Yuri Orlov”

“What are you doing here?”

“Looking for my fire team.” I responded.

“You military?”

I looked down at my uniform, thinking that it was fairly obvious. “Yes”

“Russian.” He asked.

“Yes”

“Why aren’t you on the border with the rest of them?”

“I’m on an assignment”

“What kind of assignment?” he asked

“I’m looking for someone.”

“Boy if you keep being short with me ill smash this gun upside your head.” He replied.

“I was on an assignment; I was to watch over the town of Petrovka and report if I saw anyone alive or leave the village. That was over 30 hours ago; I haven’t had any contact since.”

“Why would they send you out on your own?”

“I wasn’t, my team went back to retrieve some supplies and never returned.”

“Who are you looking for?” he asked

“A doctor by the name of Lev Petrokof”

“Why? What good is he to the Russian Military?”

“That I don’t know, but he’s me and my platoons only ticket across the border.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

“What happened” I asked.

The Commander took another drag off of his cigarette.

“The team made it to Zelenogorsk. What they found was not a rebel uprising.”

He took another drag.

“It was a sickness. A disease was ravaging the town. They originally thought the C.D.F was enforcing a check station. They weren’t , they had the city surrounded.”

____________________________________________________________________________________

“Dimitri I don’t Suppose you have an idea how to get through?”

Dimitri Gregorovich was the team leader. He began his military career young. A troublesome teen, he was ordered by the courts into Military Finishing School. It was his calling. He graduated at eighteen at the top of his class. He had enlisted before then. As an infantryman he progressed through the ranks due to his skills and efficiency. He transferred to the elite Spetznaz where he became heavily decorated for his performance in the First and Second Chechen War. His fearlessness was only matched by his skills with a rifle. He was feared by his enemies and respected by his subordinates. It was these reasons why he was chosen to lead a covert ops team to assist in the rebel uprising in Zelenogorsk.

It was called Operation Urban Sword.

The covert ops team sat at the base of a tree line overlooking Zelenogorsk. The team consisted of five members. Igor Berezin was the team medic, Ivan Kozar was in charge of communications and logistics. Anatoli Nazarov was master heavy gunner and demolitions while Fyodor Pastukh maintained over watch as long range support. This crew was hand selected by Dimitri for their past accolades and battlefield reputation. They were only given two days to complete the operation and be at the evac point.

“Lets watch them for a while. Let’s find the weak link in their fence.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

To be continued.

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