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Cipher

A Short Description of Mac James

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Cipher    0

There are very few men that would go into an active war zone to write and take pictures. Mac James is one of those few. Born in a declining, run down neighborhood in the Pittsburgh area in 1992 and raised by the hard, gritty streets, Mac was exposed to a world where friends would turn on each other as soon as times got tough, and any sense of volunteerism or giving back was nonexistent. Instead of being consumed by the streets, he rose above it, and committed himself to giving himself to a greater good whenever possible. After graduating high school with honors, he went off to art school to persue a major in journalism, with a minor in photography. In 2014, he graduated art school (just barely) and recieved his degree, giving him the credentials to walk into many news stations and obtain an entry-level position - or so he thought. After being denied at NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and even Gawker Media over the course of a few months, he scraped into a position at VICE News - notorious for reporting in active war zones. The next week, a crisis broke out in the Chernarus area. No war correspondent at VICE took the story - as the reports from the area got more and more gruesome and abhorrent, fewer and fewer journalists dared to enter the active crisis zone. Only one remained who hadn't abstained from the job - Mac James. Higher-ups at VICE pleaded for hm to take the story, and he accepted. He enlisted his cameraman, Earl P, also a new guy at VICE, and toegether, the pair travelled to the Chernarus area. When they hit the Chernarus-Russian border, they were turned away by the Russian soldiers that were stationed there. Not fazed by the denial of entry, Mac and his cameraman infiltrated the border under the guise of volunteers under the banner of the United Nations. Once they entered Chernarus and got to the border town of Novodmitrovsk, they realized just how bad the situation was - and why nobody else took the job. Call it being "young and dumb". The pair carried on interviewng coherent and sane citizens, and avoided close scrapes at the height of the crisis. They even got the infamous mass shooting at the Chernorussian border on video. Soon enough, the atrocities commited were too much for the pair to keep being a bystander, and the situation looked too bleak to come back from. Almost all of the UN forces and volunteers were nowhere to be found. The town of Novodmitrovsk was diminishing, and the cries of humans were being quickly replaced with the distorted shrills of monsters. It was obvious that there was no way they were getting back across the border, so they needed a plan.

"I used to be a crewman on a fishing boat before I switched professions," said the cameraman. 

They travelled East, avoiding the monsters that were out to kill them, both living and undead, and they reached the Eastern port town of Sevtlojarsk, and found an old tug boat, long abandoned since the outbreak. The plan was clear now; escape the country by boat, go out far enough to not get spotted by border patrol, and then circle back into Russia. Mac was to bring up the rear as Earl piloted the boat to safety. But, like most plans, the plan to escape didn't unwravel quite perfectly. The pair was spotted fairly quickly by a passing Russian border patrol boat.

"Turn around, now!" The Russian seaman blared over the megaphone in Russian, then in English.

The boat continued to move, faster now.

"Last warning!'

No change from the tug boat.

Suddenly, gunfire erupted from the Russian patrol boat. A heavy machinegun, what appeared to be a PKM, filled the dingy tug boat full of hundreds, if not thousands of holes. The boat sunk in less than 10 minutes. Mac jumped overboard as soon as the guns started firing - Earl did not.

A few hours later, after nightfall, a body washed up along the shores of Chernarus, badly wounded from shrapnel and near-hypothermic, coughing up sea water that once filled his lungs. But he was alive.

He was the only survivor of the attack.

Mac took refuge in the now mostly quiet Berezino, and tended to his wounds. He mostly drifts from town to town, hiding from anything moving, living or dead, scavenging what he can in the night.

He's been a nomad for two years now, and the loneliness set in long ago. Not much more he can take before he goes completely insane.

It's time to make a change.

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