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The Beatnik

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Andrew Donovan was used to the road, he had been hitchhiking for 6 years now.

He was used to borders, checkpoints and bribes. It was only two days before that he had crossed the border from Georgia in the cab of a truck driven by a friendly Muscovite called Gregor.

Last night had been rough, sleeping under an overpass outside of Sochi, the highway had been packed with cars and vans heading for the city, it seemed at times like the traffic didn't move for hours.

He had managed to find someone heading towards Chernarus and had hiked from the village he had been dropped of at towards the border for the last few hours. His mind was occupied with thoughts of the night ahead, he hoped he wouldn't be held up at the border for too long, although the US dollars in his breast pocket were sure to make his entry easy.

While his immediate thoughts were on food and shelter, in the back of his mind he never forgot his targets and goals. His personal pilgrimage had taken up the entirety of his adult life. He had visited Notre Dam and Koln, he had trekked from Rome to Santiago. He had taken rides to Morocco to pray at the Hassan II Mosque, and from there worked his way between temples, churches and synagogues across North Africa and the Middle East.

In Jerusalem, on the Mount, for the first time since he was a child, he felt something move inside.

He talked to the Priests at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, perhaps it was the Orthodox faith that had it right, perhaps it was within their holy sites that he could find inner peace.

After a month of solid prayer in the Holy Land, he set of on the road again, determined to visit all of the holiest sites of the Orthodox faith, his first destination The Church of Christ the Redeemer in Novy Sobor, Chernarus.

Looking up, Andrew recognised the distinctive shape of a border checkpoint. Smiling at the thought of approaching his destination, he practised the few Russian phrases that he knew and reached for the few notes he had left, he had faith that god would see him the rest of the way.

He didn't notice the silence until he had reached the red and white pole that stretched across the road. After waiting patiently for a good 15 minutes he went for the door to rouse the obviously sleeping guard inside.

The checkpoint was empty, it was obvious that it had been abandoned in a hurry.

It seems that something is rotten in the state of Chernarus.

Still, an abandoned border post wouldn't be enough to stop his pilgrimage, he had skirted around Gaddafi's militias in Libya in 2011, he had managed to avoid conflict in Gaza in 2014, he was sure he would be fine. So he took to the road, and just kept walking.

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