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Thaddeus Lake, Notes from a forsaken soul

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A weathered man in his mid twenties lean back against a blood stained wall of an abandoned house.  His eyes give off a look of someone who has seen much death, aged beyond his years some might say.   Across the narrow room from him slumped against the wall a corpse of a woman who couldn't take this hell any longer.  He looked at her and smiled, "At least maybe now she is at peace." he muttered to himself.  He pulled from his military pants a small dairy and pen.  He tapped the pen on paper trying to figure out how to start.  "Fuck it, mights as well start from the beginning."

'This is SGT Thaddeus Lake of 1st Ranger Battalion, Bravo Company for those who care.  I guess I'm writing this dairy in the off chance I die, maybe someone can get this back to my parents. 

It all started a month after the situation in Chernarus took place.  The boys and I were about to return to the US from active duties in Takistan when someone higher up shit kicked a new mission down to us.  "Enter Chernarus and find and extract CIA assets"  That was our mission.  Fucking simple we all thought, country in ruin with some mystery virus.  No one would give a fly fuck about a few Rangers roaming around going to CIA safe houses looking for someone.  I should have trusted my gut when that blackhawk took off.  Something deep inside me screamed that we are all going to die, but being a good ranger is suppressed that feeling.

When we hit the ground the country was in chaos bands of undead roaming around and few survivors to speak of.  We didn't really get to talk to the locals they usually ran at the sight of us.  The first CIA safe-house in Elektrozavodsk was empty no sign of asset so we moved down the coast.  We didn't think much of the locals, this was our first mistake.  As we neared Cap Golova out of the tree line came some from what I remember local police and UN troops.  They were crazed and didn't even try to talk and opened up on us.  The firefight caught our team in open with no real cover.  We fought it out like rangers should toe to toe with those fuckers, but the gunfire was a beacon in the dark for those undead.  Soon it was a three way fight with hundreds of zombies.  My men and I were overrun and slaughtered.  I fell back to the water and dove in.

I don't remember much just swimming till I couldn't swim any longer.  I remember rolling over onto my back so tired that I couldn't move without feeling pain.  I thought at that moment if I sank and drowned it would be alright.  At this point I was completely and thoroughly fucked.  I wasn't operation lead so the CIA didn't give me a map of the safe houses so I couldn't finish the mission.  This mission itself was black so no call for extraction possible, not until mission was accomplished.   I floated there letting the tide rock me back and forth and I passed out on my back. 

The next day I awoke my face down with a mouth full of sand.  As I stood up looking around I decided the only way I was going to get out of this hell alive was to hide and wait.  Maybe if I was lucky a new team would be sent.  It was then I became a loner a...'

Thaddeus stopped writing the noise of undead moving outside of his building startled him.  He carefully tucked the book and pen away and smiled.  "Well ma'am time I be on my way."he said to the corpse as he slipped out and open window and made a mad dash for the treeline.

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Thaddeus sat shaking within a house on the edge of Dolina, his heart pounded within his chest.  Recently the victim of a random shooting in the town of 'learning'.  He slumped against a wall pulling free his dairy, "Maybe a few scratches on this will calm me down."he said to himself in the dark.  He looked at what he had written and sighed, "Well someone someday might find this helpful."

'Well I became a loner to protect myself and my sanity.  I couldn't take the thought of being with anyone I didn't know for long periods of time.  How can I trust anyone anymore?  This world, the things I have seen it all makes me sick.  People becoming monsters and turning on each other, robbing, killing, raping.  These things are the new normal and I will not be apart of it.  It's far better staying in the woods out of sight, but always watching.  

When you are alone you have a lot of time to think and ponder about things you could have done differently. I for one have thought about our tactics on the coastal road.  We should have had a scout in the tree line, but we didn't and because of that everyone died.  I have long given up hope of a rescue or of a new team being sent in.  The CIA has probably already buried all the evidence and our families have been informed we all died in some 'accident'.  If they did send someone it would be to make sure we are all dead.  This means my returning home will never happen, but I refuse to die.  I will not let them take me.

I have adopted a new persona when I am around people to ensure I live longer.  I have taken on the attitude of a weakling, someone so small that those with large egos wouldn't even want to step on me.  So far it has kept me alive, I figured being a hard headed ranger would get me laid out.  The Americans who have been killed in front of my eyes have all had one thing in common, they were loud and proud.  For now I will keep my true nature under wraps till I need it.'

Thaddeus finished writing his nerves much had calmed down and the urge to run into the darkness and shoot someone had subsided.  He smiled to himself, "I wonder if I should write about the Chedaki?" he questioned himself.  He sat back against the cold wall and pulled out a cigarette and lit it.  Taking a long drag he blew the smoke out of the corner of his mouth, "Fuck it I'll do that some other time.  I wouldn't want them to come in and see me writing it."he looked out at the dark night sky.  "What a night."he said starring off losing track of time.

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Thaddeus sat at a desk for once the dairy before him.  He tapped the pen against his lips pondering what should be included next.  He thought of the events and people he had met.  What event or person would be worthy of noting within his book.  He smiled, "Hans."he said in a cheerful voice.

'I have met a lot of strange people since I have found myself stuck in this shit hole, but none of them so far can compare to Hans Ulrich.  I first met him one evening in Dolina.  I think it was about midnight or shortly after that time.  He arrived with a few other men with what sounded like 'Russian' accents.  Hans seemed friendly enough he had a short chat about his brother and their 'trade'.  He didn't stay long and went off into the night.  I didn't think much about it at the time but he and I would cross paths a few more times.

The second time I met Hans and Company was again in Dolina, I like to pass through town and talk about recent events.  It's how I get my dose of human contact to keep myself from going insane alone in the woods.  He was asking about selling some people and some American took offense to Hans and threatened to shoot him.  Needless to say the man was loud and proud and well Hans blew his chin off with a shotgun.  Hans soon moved on with his Russian friends.

My third encounter wasn't as friendly as the first two.  Hans and his men had a fight with some 'local' and everyone was ordered to drop their weapons.  Lucky enough for me I think Hans remembered me enough to not have me killed or taken into slavery.  He gave me my weapons back and even offered me a slave the next time we met.  My overall view on the man is this; though I do not like slavery he seems to be reasonable and I won't fault him for making a living the way he does.  If this book is found on my body I would suggest the reader not step on his toes and try and be friendly.  Hans seems reasonable enough that you can develop a rapport with him and have nothing to worry.  Also maybe get a nice slave girl out of it?'

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Thaddeus sat with his legs crossed on the ground near Severograd, he was using a hard copy of The Red Badge of Courage as a writing surface.  His face scared with a rather large 'S' upon his right cheek.  This paled in comparison to his missing right ear, which turned him into a monster.  Thaddeus looked at the dairy and began to write.

'Well it has been sometime since I have written something in these pages.  I guess I should start with my recent run in and consequentially joining of a group of guys called 'The Jackals'.  Not sure if we actually go around openly calling ourselves that so I chose to er on the side of caution so I don't call us that in open.  They are a tight nit group of 'brothers' and a 'sister' I have yet to meet.  I found a group I am willing to fight along side and if need be die for.  This feeling of brotherhood is something I missed and have longed for since the death of my ranger brothers.  It's odd having this feeling in my life again and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I joined them.  I am happy for once in a long time.

I also have suffered recently more so then ever before.  Sure IED blasts or daisy chained IEDs in compounds was terrible, but nothing compares to waking up in a pile of corpses with a shotgun wound and a missing ear.  I also was shot while defending my brothers from a crazy Frenchman who kept asking them if they were Eric.  I think he is dead not sure though.  Anyway back to the ear I don't remember what happened so for now I have to gather intel on who likes to take ears.  When i do find out that person or persons is good as dead.'

Thaddeus finished his entry and sighed, "I fucking wish I could date these, but I don't even know what day or month it is anymore." he muttered to himself.  He looked at the gas-lamp just in time to watch it flicker out because the fuel was all gone.  "Great, just fucking wonderful....."he muttered to himself in the pitch black night.

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