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Edgeford

The Log of Karl Ulanov

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25 February 2019

It has been three days since Dmitri died. The last of the water went and the food two days before that. I knew I had to come out of the woods. What I found was not what I was expecting. At first I had no idea where I was. Crawling out of the forest I stumbled into some forgotten rust bucket of a hamlet, scrounged together some measly scraps. Met a strange man, called himself T bird, scavenging off of carrion like me. Only I got to it first. I thought he would put a bullet in my head for my trouble. Why bother scavenging when you can just kill the man who did the hard work? So, I acted nice, all I had were some empty guns and a sledgehammer after all. He seemed to play along but was none to keen on letting me stick around. I tried to buy him off with a useless gun when all the prattle brought a few zombies on us. They clawed this T bird pretty bad, but a whack or two to the back of the skull took care of the creatures. I was fortunate they found his flesh more succulent than mine. Particularly after he fired that damn gun. We split ways shortly after that. He seemed to take a shine to me but couldn’t do anything more. He claims to be with some murky group, “mean guys” to quote him. True or not I’m in no rush to meet them.

Some more scavenging later and I found myself in the airstrip outside of Chernogorsk. I remember them building it, all in a flurry and a panic. I meanwhile couldn’t get out of the damn city in those days. Some medieval wannabe stashed a sword in his home. As silly as it may be, it cleaves pretty well, so I think I’ll hold on to it for now. I had to spend far too long hiding in sheds from those shambling things. But when I got to the airfield I was able to grab a pistol, sub-machine gun, ammo for both. I’ve yet to fire either, probably for the best. I barely know how to hold one of these damn things.

Hunger drove me into the capital. Whilst scavenging a gun shot caught my attention. I was on a balcony and around the corner came a man in camouflage and a black cowboy hat. The idea of killing him crossed my mind, I wont lie. Not to these pages. He had no idea where I was. I don’t know if I could have hit him, never shot a man, I’m in no hurry to. But even I knew the moment was perfect. Instead I called out. Took him a few moments to see me, then he took shelter behind a greenhouse. A wise move but I am not about to just start killing strangers on sight, even if I should.

I am glad I didn’t pull the trigger. His name is James, helpful man, kind man. A German soldier apparently, but not here on deployment, just a holiday gone very wrong. As nice as he was he was still NATO, so I had to bend the truth a little. Fortunately he couldn’t tell my accent was Russian, rarely have I been more grateful for a Validvostok accent. These westerners think we all sound like we’re from Moscow! I bluffed I was a local, but kept embellishments to a minimum. My rumbling stomach forced me to trade a little ammunition I wasn’t using for some food. A worthwhile trade. He lives in the woods to the West, sensible. He hinted that he had been with a group that… ended. He didn’t give details and I wasn’t about to press him. I had what I needed, and fond of him as I was I can’t afford to get too involved with non Russians.

A little later I met another fellow at the town hall. I was going back there to clear up anything that might cause me or Moscow some problems. Of course there was nothing incriminating in my work there, but the whole world is looking to hang Russia these days, and I’ll be damned if I give them anything. I may only be an engineer but I’m still a loyal citizen. The name of this second fellow escapes me, but pleasant enough. It’s what he said that interested me. A group of Americans, 8 or 9 of them, had taken a sample of his blood on the northern edge of the city. Looking for a cure apparently. The collectors moved on but I’ll have to investigate the region. If there is a cure or progress towards one I want to see it work. But I can’t help but wish it was the motherland that held the secret. America will bleed my country dry for the cure if it could. But that’s a problem for tomorrow. Before the day ended I met James again, he helped this new guy out as well, food for bullets. He’s a kind soul, we arranged radio contact with one another. 91.3, I must not forget it. He may not be Russian, but he seems to be a good man. Perhaps one day he can learn more. But not today.

The sun is growing low in the sky, and I cannot barricade the door any more. I must sleep, even in the middle of this cursed city. What I wouldn’t give for a fellow countryman to stand guard over me at night though.

((OOC: If any of you know how to make this look like it's paper as I have seen on others DM me, I can't work that out. Thanks))

Edited by Edgeford

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26 February 2019

I write this entry to the sound of guitars and singing outside, hearty voices laughing and talking. I wasn’t sure I would ever hear that again. Even now I cannot quite rest easily, knowing I am only here because of a lie, worrying for what they will do if the truth comes out. It very nearly did, I ran a test, it was stupid.

The day started slowly, I ran through several towns, villages, even a military base and not a soul. But that changed at Pustoshka. As I was creeping from house to house, keen not disturb the locals, I came across three interesting people. Elly, Khandra, and Dr Kevin Shark. I must confess, the sight of Elly stunned me, a child! A child here, in the heart of it all. True, a child of some 14 years but a child none the less. Her nature may have been queer even for a young girl, but we must forgive that of children in the apocalypse.  Still, she was touched in some way. Her elder sister appeared far more sensible. Dr Shark, a psychiatrist he says, seemed pleasant enough but it pays to be cautious of shrinks. But that was just the start of this strange day. Shortly after the Dr left we were joined by two men, there was a brief exchange of words, greetings and what not. They pressed me on my accent, and the day had been going so well, and the atmosphere was so friendly, I did something stupid. I was honest. It’s the last time I’m doing that to a stranger. The moment this man learned I was Russian the mood instantly soured. Perhaps it was my imagination, but I could see his fingers playing close to his gun and I found my own hand drifting towards my pistol. The pair left shortly thereafter, threatening me a little, trying to remind me what my nation supposedly did to theirs. But they left in peace. I wonder if these people realise just how much better their lives would have been if this patch of land had never played at being a country, and instead embraced their future with their kinsmen as part of the Federation after the wall came down.

But such idle speculation is for another time. On Khandra’s advice I reverted to my old policy, let the strangers think I am German. But how I long for countrymen I can be honest with, safe with. One whole other group of 4 passed through not long latter, a pair of newlyweds were amongst them. It did my heart good to see families still forming and growing even in these dark times. Sentimentality got the better of me I must confess, I gifted them some supplies and ammunition. I worry that I will miss those 30 NATO rounds at the vital moment. But since I lack the weapon to use them, I think I can afford it. It’s worth it anyway, if it can save them and the new life the mother should hopefully soon carry within her. For what is a family without children?

Indeed, family has been a theme today. Through a series of seemingly happy accidents Khandra, Elly and I had soon gathered around us a cluster of her extended “family” and I use that word loosely. A strange man who refused to use a name, and got named nipple hat for the day due to his ridiculous head wear, a slight young thing by the name of Allison and most significantly a dour man who called himself War, and a man who only had the ghost of a throat left by the name of pestilence. It was at this point I started taking more seriously what the child had been saying before, about becoming “the 5th horseman of love” I had written it off as the playful imaginings of a little girl in a harsh world. But joined by two other horsemen of the apocalypse it rang a bit more true. I even overheard Khandra referring to herself as “the lamb” at one point when speaking to someone else.

I was worried that I had gone from being amongst friends to being surrounded by one of those lethal doomsday cults you hear so much about. It’s at this point I start getting confused as things began to happen quickly. A fellow named Pavel stormed in, telling everyone to run, shortly followed by gun fire close by. I and nipple hat did as instructed but the rest lagged behind. By the time we two knew where we were the rest had been lost. My friend was worried that they had become the victims of an ultra-nationalist attack. It was the first I was hearing of this group, but I cannot say I am surprised. Their tactics, including staging fake gun battles to lure in victims, are ruthless and I was concerned that the one man from earlier had gone telling that there was a Russian in Pustoshka and that they had come for me. Happily, this was not the case, the whole thing was a massive state of confusion and we were able to rally in Vybor. It was in this time I heard a lot of names, names I still don’t know the story to, but I must be attentive for they may feature again someday. Names like Yuri, Lagothand, Mallory and Alarik. I may have misheard some of them, but still there is a rich tapestry here. There were also tales of local survivalists separating the weak from the strong in this region. Apparently Khandra and perhaps Allison were captured and interrogated recently. Khandra at least was found to be strong. I must confess, that ruling does not put me entirely at ease for the poor girl.  

By hook and by crook we moved through towns and villages, the one that called himself War seemed to be their ad hoch leader. A pleasant if glum man, and very helpful. He brought me up to speed on some key elements of their group, and the special nature of the two sisters. I must confess it tugged at the heart strings a little. But happily, it also seems they are not some fanatical death cult, merely observers to the end of the world. I am not sure I agree with their analysis, but I was confident they weren’t about to kill me.

Eventually we got as far as Novaya Petrovka, a bustling settlement, bumping into a fellow named Cam on the way. This place is the closest I have seen to civilisation in a long time. Music, drinking, trading, people organising radio broadcasts for missing persons. It’s a marvel. A tragic, alcohol soaked, filthy, stinking marvel, but a marvel none the less. I tried to learn more of local goings on but to little avail. War said some…. Questionable things, at the end. About his very self. I did not have time to press him, I needed rest. But, deluded as I think he may be, I have no doubt of his decency. He had no water bottle so I gave him my spare and bade him good night.

As I lay here, two things play in my mind. I worry that this town will discover that this “German” in their midst is not what he says he is, and I will wake to find myself strung from a lamppost. But more than this, this War told me that the virus had broken out in patches all over the world. I had thought my parents and sister safe in Vladivostok, the thought gave me comfort. To learn that may not be true troubles me, deeply. I have seen a great deal of family today and been reminded just how much I miss mine…and love them. I can only pray that Vladivostok has held out. If I survive all of this, only to find out they have not…. I cannot even think of the words to write in these pages to express what that will do.    

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27 February 2019 

It seems my worries were well justified, I only hope any future doom saying in these pages is not as prophetic. No sooner had I stumbled out of the house I had spent the night in at Novaya Petrovka than I came across the budding nationalist who had scolded me for being Russian. But this time I was alone, and he had two friends. At first, things were tense but empty, and his American friend seemed to wish to defuse things. But it was not long until the American decided the act was funny, and the mood turned sour. I was accused of being a spy, a communist, a Nazi, a military agent and apparently somehow involved in a bombing that had happened there not long ago, an incident I know nothing about. Their leader’s ignorance was astounding, he seemed unaware of the fall of communism and the ridiculousness of being labelled both a soviet and a Nazi. Nor was he interested in any attempt to tell him about the good work I did rebuilding this land for them. I wonder how many of his relatives visited the hospitals that had electricity only because of the renewed power grids I helped create! Ironically I’ve done more for Chernarus than that dog ever will.

Not wanting to deal with a three on one fight I began to back away before things got out of hand. But their leader decided to introduce me to his barb wire wrapped baseball bat instead. Fortunately he never got close enough, and a gun gave him enough pause for me to make good my escape. Still, I could see some of his friends giving chase, I had to pull a double back and crawl into a mud soaked hole to hide from them. I heard their boots run right past me at one point, mere inches away. Burst after burst of gunfire at I don’t know what. I suspect at imagined sightings of me.

I have no interest in killing Chernorussians just for the sake of it. But these ignorant bastards will drive me to be exactly what they already think I am at this rate. The need to find a safe haven with my fellow Russians is all the more pressing and poignant now. But I had to take more immediate action as well. I was recognised due to my equipment a distance off, so I’ve ditched almost all of it. Hopefully I will be unrecognisable to the casual observer in the future. If I am lucky a pack of wolves will take care of this nationalist for me. 

I had a run in with a bunch of wolves myself today, those bastards move fast. But a ladder and a sturdy rifle proved more than a match for them. I dread to think what I would have done were I in the wild woods when they came.

I made contact with James, or Jamison as I should say, today on the radio. It was a relief to hear a friendly voice. But the signal was garbage, mauled words and half formed syllables. I only hope I will see him again soon. I don’t think he was in trouble, what I could hear did not seem distressed. Just a technical fault.

As part of my reequipping I have gathered a gas mask, some NBC equipment and a host of medical supplies. My curiosity is driving me north, the Kamensk military base seems to be the heart of all of this. But perhaps I should seek some more local wisdom first. I still keep my ear to the ground for that team working on the cure. I heard more tell of them yesterday which I neglected to mention in my last entry, so swept up was I in all the rest of it. Again they were moving north, but there isn’t that much more north to go until you reach Russia.

Having the motherland so close is tantalising, but I know to try and cross the border without proper escort, forewarning and authority is death. I am still stuck in this blasted land that choses to spit on me even after I helped it. But best not to dwell on that. I can only hope there are more like War, Khandra, Jamison, Elly, Allison and Pestilence in this land… grief, what an absurd notion. That I would hope for more people like “War” and “Pestilence” two of the worst things ever to descend upon mankind. Maybe they aren’t quite as mad as I thought.

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28 February 2019

Kamensk military base is a place that does not feel as though it belongs on this earth. The air seems colder, sharper, every sound is exaggerated. Every shadow feels as though it contains a pair of eyes you cannot see, staring, unblinking, at something behind your face. The sensation of gossamer light fingers about run down the back of my neck plagued me at every step, only for me to turn and see… nothing. The heavy echo of my breathing in that gas mask did nothing to calm my nerves.  I went unmolested the whole trip, but still checked my NBC suit every few paces for a tiny hole or rupture that would have spelt my doom.

I searched through that place for any answers I could find, but only discovered more questions. Why would this place be unguarded, why no warning signs? What happened in that sealed off pit, with corpses stacked up beyond counting? Who put them there, when, why? The dead number several villages strong, but by the time the outbreak was out of control that place was already abandoned. It could not be the case that the CDF were staging infected containment efforts from that base and the pit was their corpse disposal. It is true people can be “disappeared” with little comment. But not that many, not in a country this size and with modern media. Someone would have noticed, someone would have said something. At the very least whole settlements would have just gone silent, and people would have noticed when grandma just stopped picking up the phone one day.

Again, Russian forces had long pulled out of the region by that time as well and if this was a Russian led military base then evidence destruction, containment and the removal of any bioweapons would have been far better executed. Certainly the motherland would not so sloppily shell the installation knowing that there was such a biohazard on site that may break loose. Nor can I countenance the idea that my home would do this intentionally. Not for reasons of ethics, but practicality. Unleashing such chaos so close to our own border and in a land we were so involved in would be the height of utterly predictable self defeat.  No, I think it far more likely that the Chernorussians, blinded by their hate for the motherland, and forced into desperation by their own tiny scale and military irrelevance, were foolish enough to develop a weapon they could not control. A mistake we are all now paying for. None the less I would like proof, some of the other military installations here may have some clues.

I was equally disappointed by a lack of any trace of that group of survivors seeking a cure. Their trail has now gone truly cold, only happenstance will allow me to find them now.

I made my way over to Novya Petrovka after that incident, all be it with some reluctance, pausing only to dig a pit in which to burn my NBC suit once I was well out of the area the locals had warned m about.  I was grateful not to bump into any nationalist idiots, but I kept up the German pretence none the less. I was allowed into their compound, did a little trading, got a little more local information, even made an acquaintance or two amongst the saviours, never know when that will come in handy. But most importantly I got a through medical inspection. The treating physician was aware that I had been to Kamensk, and he kept an eye out for any signs of trouble. Fortunately he found nothing but gave me a few preventative treatments just to be sure. Happily I am symptom free. The suit was worth the scavenging for. But I cannot rest easily. Those eyes from the base, eyes that were not there. I can’t help but feel like they are still watching me.

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Posted (edited)

1 March 2019

After the bustle and activity that was yesterday, today has been a day of almost alarming tranquillity.  Trekking through the forests, walking old hiking trails,  it was if the apocalypse had never happened. At times I think I forgot it had, I paused for a while at a little wooden foot bridge over a stream, just admiring the simple, peaceful beauty of it all. Even in this world we can find moments of calm. An unexplained rustle, a sudden silence of birds could still startle me like a paranoid deer. But other than that, just a pleasant day.

I have found a small little abandoned building, in the middle of nowhere, off every beaten track imaginable, but in the midst of great beauty. If I can make this place safe I might just call it my new home. Now, as I write this entry in the light of a gently dying fire I have laid in the home’s hearth, I must confess it feels… comfortable. I do not relish the idea of settling in this land, I still wish to return home, to Russia, to my family. But even if it never becomes a home, it can still be a base.

 

2 March 2019

This day has been the tale of one man, Flynt, and his drive to help the place he calls home. He bases himself in the wrecked ship near the lumber mill. Apparently he had a decent sized crew there, six or seven survivors at last count. They made a go of it, trading and foraging. I can think of few better ways to eek out an honourable existence in this world. Particularly for a group of foreigners with no place here. But, it seems hard times had befallen them, harder than Flynt knew.

He had been sent out, the last health person aboard, on a mission to find military grade water purification tablets, as something had gotten into their own supply. I met him at Novaya Petrovka, shortly before he planned to go to Kamensk. I am glad I could persuade him not to go to that hellish place. Sadly for him however, the situation was compounded by damage done to his long range radio. Some of it had been prepared but he needed a new battery. I felt sympathy for the man, another foreigner in an hostile land, a sympathy that only increased as he revealed he had also fallen foul of the nationalists that roamed the hills. He even had a run in with the Jackals, watched a friend die. I had the urge to help him. But there was a selfishness to it as well, in exchange I thought myself likely to get a safe, warm bed and a group to shelter with. Things I miss so dearly.

But luck was not on either of our sides. Our journey took us through much of the northern stretch of this land, all the way to the north east airfield where at last I found the battery for his radio. The man was almost overjoyed at the sight of it. But even once restored to full working order no one was answering, the ship had fallen silent. The vessel was tantalisingly close, and at my urging we passed through the various check stations his crew had set up, and to the broken craft itself. Empty… all empty. No corpses, no blood, no messages, no explanation. Nothing. Flynt held up admirably but you could hear the crack in his voice. It almost punched me in the gut, but there were his crew, almost an extended family. Truth be told, they are dead, or so lost as makes no difference. But I didn’t have the heart to confront him with that. So I clutched at straws. “maybe they left in search of water.” Or “maybe they were captured and shipped of for hard labour, that’s why there’s no blood.”  I wanted to give that man something to hang on to. I even pointed him towards that journalist woman whose doing all those announcements on the radio, a missing persons broadcast. Vain hopes perhaps. But a vain hope is better than none at all. I wonder what is going though his mind as he sits outside, guarding over me as I sleep, the fire slowly dying. I can’t be sure. But I wish you the best of luck, you lost British sailor.

 

3 March 2019

*Karl’s normal, neat script is jagged and shaking, as if written by nervous child, his hand just wont stop shaking.* 

Pizdets…. Pizdets. Damn this blasted land to hell. Get me out of this god forsaken shit hole of a country and drop the fucking tsar bomba on these inbreed goat fucking arseholes!  I want to hear them screaming as the fat boils beneath their skin and sloughs from their bones like wax!

 As I roamed the country gathering supplies for setting up that base I had been thinking of mere days ago a roving band of red arm banded thugs saw me and broke away from the road. I tried to run but I was too slow. In a heart beat some ten of them had surrounded me. Despite the smiles in their tones their sheer numbers made it clear this was anything but friendly.  They began quizzing me on who I knew, what I knew, who I was friendly with. I tried to play it neutral and truthfully, but neutrality and truth were not what this band of thugs were interested in. It swiftly became clear that my life would be forfeit unless I gave away my sword. The blood sucking parasites have no honour, but what choice did I have? Worse still they pressed me hard on any relationship with the saviours. I told the truth, that my relations with them were brief acquaintances at best.  But their drug rotten minds could not accept such an answer. To them it was black or white, love them, or hate them. Shades of subtlety seemingly lost on this crew. So, I read the air as best I could and chose against the saviours. I suspect that’s why I am alive. But they didn’t let me go without yanking the chain just a bit more.

They made me sign a contract, a useless bit of paper. No contract under duress is valid and I used a fake name anyway. But for now at least, some of the practicalities make it as genuine as it needs to be. They will be in further contact with me by radio, they expect me to farm their filthy cannabis on pain of death. Deliver shipments where and when they need, speak of this deal and their activities to no one. Refusal was not a course open to me. Then they dare act like this is all some friendly business deal! Their leaders, Luca and Caleb will surely burn in hell if there is one. I wish them both a speedy and painful trip. Luca was practically coughing out her lungs, I can only hope they collapse beyond all recovery. She is in desperate need of a doctor. I am unsure if I should find and send her one to buy my release, or to send her a fraud who can slip a poison needle into her.

But perhaps my anger at the next group of people is causing me to judge that band just a little more harshly than they deserve. No sooner had I made my way to the next little set of tents in an attempt to find equipment that a new figure rounded the corner, alarmed by my weapon. His fear and unease was just a front, buying time. He played ignorant and nervous, and foolishly thinking my day could not get worse, I was unalert. Two or three friends appeared and suddenly there were guns in my face, duct tape around my wrists, greedy hands clawing every scrap of worthwhile gear from me, right down to my most basic tools, food and water. Again they interrogated me, after I had already told them of everything except that mob that had robbed me earlier, I kept that secret to myself.

I’ll remember one of their voices for a long time. One of those foul gutter accents  the British underclass have, nasal and devoid of all soul or elegance. Just pure aggression and ignorance, the sort of defect best cured by extracting a man’s tongue through his nose. What was it those English called it? The word was so close to scum it was apt…. scouse! That was it… scouse. I am sure I will hear that voice again one day, when I do….

But I was not there only captive, a man with even less spine than me, claiming to be this John Johnson of John Johnson incorporated, was my fellow prisoner. He asked questions of me when the captors backs were turned, and my nerves snapped, my patience and sense gone for the day. I yelled at him to shut the fuck up. He pleaded with my captors that he took no offence by it, but I still took a good beating to the face and stomach for it. My face must be black and blue under this balaclava, and it hurts to breath too hard. But before my vision had even really cleared from the pain I found myself being dragged outside, gun to my head, shovel in my hand, digging my own grave.

It is a strange sensation to be so directly confronted with the end of your life. The pit of your mortality staring you in the face. John Johnson, a fake name I suspect, as fake as the name I had given them, kept pleading. But his words were like white noise at that point. All I could hear were the demands to keep digging, and the strange sound of the metal shovel head sliding into wet earth. I was afraid, upset… not yet tearful. But I almost wanted them to just kill me by that point. This nation that I had come here to help rebuild was forcing me to dig my own grave, beating me and pressing me into growing drugs for their criminal scum. I almost wanted it to be over. I tried to take it with some scrap of dignity. Though I had little left.

But Johnsons’ pleading must have worked. No sooner was the grave prepared that they cut me loose, I confess I barely remember a word they said other than “go”. I scrambled away, thanking them profusely in German, remembering to keep up that part of the charade at least.   I grabbed my bag and what little was left in it and ran.

I am not surprised that men like that exist in this world, they always have. Just, eternally disappointed.

And they were not the last, one more village along and some other punk with a gun tried to shake me down, I lacked the tools to resist even if I tried, my body was shaking, my throat dry, stomach empty, head sore. I was in no shape to resist this third assault in a day. I barely even recall his cold, limp hands riffling through my pockets, only to discover I had nothing left to steal. He left me with strict instructions not to move or turn around until after a long count…. I was just grateful for the rest.

But somehow…. Somehow… it got worse. Or I did.

Dragging myself to Myshinko I discovered a barrel, laden with food and narcotics. I thought this one of the red arm bands stashes, Generation Zero they called themselves. It matched their MO. So I robbed it blind with barely a thought, took all the drugs I could, so I could later give it back to them as my crop. I ate all the food I could, destroyed what I could not take to leave nothing for them, and made off with the barrel to serve as a foundation for my own enterprise. I made good my escape, struck gold with some equipment salvaging and was heading into the country.

I must have tripped and fell, the barrel tumbled into a ravine, lost. Doubling back into an industrial region to try and find a new barrel I came across another stash! The same as the 1st. I again busied myself with looting it, convinced it belonged to these bastards! When a voice spoke from behind me. I thought it was Luca…. I thought I was dead… I didn’t care anymore. But no, it was some shy, fresh faced angel, Sarah Tyeson. An agricultural and botanical expert turned farmer.  Eeking out a living here, producing fast surpluses and stashing them about the countryside. I thought she was a slave to generation zero as well, but no. She could have been lying of course, keeping her secret as I was supposed to. But I was in no fit state to be discreet, here was some piece of drift wood I could cling to, so I grabbed for it. She was kind…. Sympathetic. I bluffed that I had been going though the barrel but not looting it dry. I think I got away with it. The other barrel was hers as well… but I bit my tongue. In my desperation and need to stay alive, I had robbed an innocent. My intent was not that of the three robbing bands I encountered today, but my effect was much the same. I must make it up to her somehow, even if she never knows why.

Gun fire drove us our separate ways, but I hope to see her again. Like me she came to this land to rebuild it, and now hides from the very souls she came to save. I have now struck out far from that place, set up a small camp far, far from any of this and from any place where I met anyone that day. My stashes are set, the soil is tilled. Soon I hope to plant the cannabis, as soon as I can find any seeds!  

What have I fallen to… I am a civil engineer, a loyal Russian citizen, a servant of the government with a name and accomplishments to be proud of. I have obeyed the law, been kind to my fellow citizens and my fellow man. I have been strong without being foolish, upright but not arrogant. I have been a man of virtue.

*A solitary tear mark hits the page*

But now, I curl up in the dark, my ribs aching, face swollen, soon to grow drugs for an intellectual underclass no better in competence or virtue than the common street gangs of so many cities. I have stolen, I have lied, I have run in craven fear. I hide my name, my voice, my country. I hide everything! But I am alive.

Zhizn’ ebet meya.

We shall see what the morning will bring. But at this moment only one way out seems to exist.

Pamyati.

But we shall see what the morning brings.  

Edited by Edgeford

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I like your writing 😉

Hope to read more! Was nice meeting ya ingame! 😄

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4 March 2019

It seems that heaven is punishing me, though for what I do not know. Maybe God really does hate Russians here. But as I struck north towards the territory I was told Pamyati would occupy, I found nothing but uncopied fortifications and scavengers. Have they been destroyed, driven off, on a patrol or simply relocated? I cannot say. I will visit that region again, but other concerns drive me south. More normally I would have made a brief stop at Novaya Petrovka but it appears all hell has broken loose. Reports are still vague but it would appear as if John Moody is dead and the Saviours are broken. Apparently John Johnson had something to do with it, though judging by the state of that man when I met him I doubt this. What is clear is that Kamenci were chiefly responsible for all of this, and seemingly control the region. I have never dealt with them directly, but word of mouth makes them seem like exactly the kind of ultra nationalists I need to avoid like the plague. The need for safe harbour only grows greater. The loss of Novaya Petrovka as a relative safe zone will only make life harder here for any non-native Chernorussians. In a stroke the most common hub for meeting, trade and the passage of information has been lost. Doubtless that was just one of the reasons why these bastards chose that location.

The saviours and I may not have been close, but their loss will doubtless encourage more banditry, mutilation and violence in the region. I only hope Kamenchi turn their attention south, where other criminal gangs roam, and they smash into one another. Should those lunatics press east towards Cavalier territory, those red coated aristocrats won’t be able to stop them. But for now, the sector of this blasted land that is simply too dangerous for me to enter, grows larger.

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5 March 2019 

This day has been pleasantly uneventful. Jamison has however, been able to get in touch. He has apparently linked up with a UN base on the other side of the country. As impotent as the United Nations may now be in this time of war, their blue helmeted soldiers are unlikely to execute or imprison me for simply crossing their path, and isolation has proven far too dangerous to tolerate. I continue to horde what narcotics I can in case those blasted Generation Zero parasites call on me, but this soil simply will not grow this crop, it is as if the very earth rejects the filth. I have already plotted a course to this new base, but fresh reports of running battles at Green Mountain only expand the exclusion zone. I must thank those broadcasters from Green Mountain and Karmen Rowe. As depressing as their news can be, I would far rather be pessimistic and knowledgeable that dead and ignorant. Now however, I must avoid everything from Topolnik to Zaprudnoe in the north, forming a corridor to Zelenogorsk to Pulkovo in the south. I had already begun to make my way when Flynt got in touch, asked that we meet in Myshkino. The town is a little too close to the corridor for my comfort, but for Flynt I was willing to risk it. Sadly he brought only grim news, his crew is dead. They were not aware of the dangers posed at Kamensk, wandered right into it. There were no survivors. It does not gladden me to know my prediction was right. Flynt is a good man, he does not deserve to have this loss inflicted upon him. I only hope he can recover. He would do well with the U.N. It might give him some greater purpose in this place now. I told him of the location of their outpost, it’s no secret after all. If I am lucky, I will see him there.

But, Flynt inadvertently reminded me of a valuable truth. I am no spy. I think he smelled that I wasn’t quite what I said I was, he dogged me with questions about Germany and Russia. I was a little vague on the former, too well informed on the latter. Eventually he asked so many questions I slipped. When speaking of Russians I said “we” rather than “they.”…. a foolish mistake. But I’m an engineer, a civil servant! Not an actor or secret agent! Truth be told, I am impressed I kept it up this long. I am fortunate that Flynt proved understanding of my reasons. But I do fear what he will say under torture. No one of that calibre is hunting me… yet. But Flynt has been put under the knife before. Subjected to enough pain, all men talk. But, they often lie. I only hope he has such fortitude.

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Posted (edited)

6 March 2019

I was pursuing a deer, the skittish thing ran right up to a cliff edge, and turned hard to avoid falling in, dashed into some bushes and I had to give chase. It turns out I am less agile than a deer, the ground subsided a little under my weight right at the edge, down I went. I must have hit my head, I remember sheer rock falling past me, then black. When I came too I was slumped roughly against the cliff, much of my clothing torn, the rest strangely absent.  Some may have floated down the stream that ran by my feet, but I suspect someone thought I was dead, and scavenged off of my still breathing body. I can not say I would not have done the same. Particularly given what happened later on.

As I was limping away I came across a woman named Samantha, who it turned out occasionally called herself Abby as well, a soft spoken, timid thing, prone to emotional indulgence. So much so I am not entirely sure she was being entirely genuine. But regardless, she showed me kindness, escorted me to a few decent place to at least scavenge an axe, food and water. As we moved we bumped into Strauss and two of his colleagues, they claimed to not be working for any organisation but taking orders from the President. I very much doubt that they are receiving any such orders, but from their gear they did seem uniformed and equipped to military standard. I was in no position to deal with them, nor was Samantha, nor did I desire to do so. It appears as though they had taken up residency of Green Mountain, I can only hope that the radio crew is safe and well. The trio wished us well, I doubt they would have had I been better equipped. Particularly given the fact that Strauss said if I ever met with those dogs from Kamenichi that I should just tell then that I know him. I will of course use this out should the opportunity ever arise, but I must be cautious of Strauss none the less.

But it is not Strauss that troubles me. Samantha linked up with her team, and brought me along for the ride. They were a pleasant bunch, so long as you had an in. By sheer chance we happened upon a pair of travellers, and faster than I thought possible an idle chat turned into armed robbery. One of the two men decided to try and bluff his way out, citing friends in the next town, and solidly refusing to hand over his equipment. He is now laying face down in the street, and his pistol is at my side. The second fellow, a man named Rick, was more sensible. After Samantha and her friends had their pick I got his sack and this automatic .45.

But Rick was not just released, he was briefly interrogated by the groups leader, who came specially to deal with the situation, a man named Brandon, Samantha’s husband apparently, though I may have misunderstood that bit. It seems all of this was a case of mistaken identity, a man is missing the back half of his skull because of mistaken identity. My pack seemed somehow heavier with this thought as we moved to the next town. I had not taken part in the robbery, the murder. I had no weapon with which to do so. But I profited by it, willingly took the spoils. He was dead… what did it matter?... somehow, it matters.

But that death was not the only one to define today. A man named Lemon joined us later in the day, bringing news to Samantha of the death of a man named Seth. Her reaction was beyond all reason or sense. After a few moments of barely coherent mumbling about how it couldn’t be true she dashed off without a word of explanation, as soon as Lemon told her his grave’s location. She did not even try to inform the rest of the party what was going on, Lord knows what her husband thought. But this woman had been kind to me, and like a fool she was running off into the wild, on her own, shortly after having been directly involved in a murder. Both revenge and the stupidity of grief were real dangers. So, I gave chase, as did Lemon.

That woman threw off half of everything she owned just to run and sprint harder. I’ve never pounded dirt so hard in my life. Her self centred stupidity in this mad effort was infuriating to say the least. I was tempted to bind her until she calmed down she was so reckless and self destructive. She didn’t even pause to deal with the hordes of infected that ran after her, or stop to think about paths that would avoid other highwaymen. Grief is only an excuse for so much stupidity. Still, we made it there in one piece. Only when I arrived, and this place was explained to me, did I realise just how foolish we had all just been. I was standing in front of John Moody’s grave. John bloody Moody. I half expected Saviour hunters to jump from the tress and gun us all down. Who in their right mind would ever come here again? Suddenly, every shadow seemed to hold a hidden threat, and I wanted nothing more than to be out of that death trap.

But she stayed, falling to her knees in front of a small grave to Moody’s side. Apparently Seth, overcome by the fall of Moody and his clan, had killed himself right there, in front of the dead body of Moody and gathered Saviour mourners. She and Lemon began talking about the past, about the man that had so clearly treated her like a sister despite his own mental troubles, whilst she went on about how his suicide proved he did not care for her. I did not feel able to comment on that in any detail, nor did I want to prolong our time there, simply move on as fast as was possible. So I offered her some platitudes, and made sure we were on our way.

I left her shortly afterwards, she was traipsing back, half way across South Zagoria, back to where we came. I must confess, my patience with her antics had ended. Perhaps I judged her too harshly, she was kind after all. But I was so frustrated I could not bring myself to repeat that journey again. So instead I made my excuses and left.

Not long ago, perhaps only an hour or two, as I was moving through the trees, wolves set upon me. This sub-machine gun saved my life, one earned from robbery and murder. Had that man not died, I would now be dead, instead of simply roughed up and low on ammo.

It is a fact worth reflecting on… as unpleasant as it is.

Edited by Edgeford

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"Strauss" lol

I will say, you have gotten very close to some serious lore shenanigans with your deductive reasoning here, details of which will become clearer later on. 

Fun running into you all the time Mr. Russian.

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Posted (edited)

Well why thank you, I hope to find out more, likely by accident, as long as it doesn't cost a bullet to the head. I thought Strauss might be wrong as I just ran the name and a few variants through the search function to ensure I was spelling it right, and nothing came back that looked right. So I don't know if I was faked named or whatever but Strauss is the name I dotted down on my little note sheet when the name was said, so maybe Karl just needs better hearing but as far as he knows IC that was the name.... bugger. I really need to catch up on these. 

Also, Russian... there are no Russians here, only a German... *wipes sweat from brow* 

Edited by Edgeford

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11 hours ago, Edgeford said:

Well why thank you, I hope to find out more, likely by accident, as long as it doesn't cost a bullet to the head. I thought Strauss might be wrong as I just ran the name and a few variants through the search function to ensure I was spelling it right, and nothing came back that looked right. So I don't know if I was faked named or whatever but Strauss is the name I dotted down on my little note sheet when the name was said, so maybe Karl just needs better hearing but as far as he knows IC that was the name.... bugger. I really need to catch up on these. 

Also, Russian... there are no Russians here, only a German... *wipes sweat from brow* 

Its Straz.

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13 March 2019

It has been several days since my last entry. But until today, there has not been much to say. After the storm came in, wrecking much of what the survivors have built here, the wolves came out. I have seen more thievery and cold blooded murder in the past few days than I care to contemplate. Fortunately I have evaded it all, hidden in bushes, lurking in trees, placing my cross hairs on the backs of their heads just in case one laid eyes on me. But now my only real contact with the outside world is this radio, and I dare only listen. It would appear that the Green Dragons and Generation Zero are both tearing this land apart. Sadly, they pay too little attention to one another and instead pick this land clean between them. Efforts to resist have seemingly been made, but the sheer weight of firepower and numbers held by the Green Dragons appears to overwhelm everyone. I can only hope that Brandon and his comrades remember the aid I gave his wife should we cross paths again. I doubt they will however, I for one did not work out who they even were when we met. It was not until the next day that the truth dawned on me.

 

I fear for Green Mountain as well. Without them, well I would not just be even more isolated. I would be dead. And Karmen… I never met her, but to have her head mounted on a pike? Why, what possible crime did she commit? Seemingly according to that thug on the airwaves she had merely entered Novaya during the Saviours days without the goal of killing Saviours. Is that the standard now? They will have to kill this entire land. These men are devoid of reason, decency, proportionality or mercy. They exist only to hoard and destroy. They are cannibals as surely as the man who roasts his brother’s flesh. Sam’s last broadcast, the gun fire… If there is a God in heaven I pray he will extend his hand and shelter her. She must not be lost, nor those that allow her voice to ride the airwaves. To loose her would be to witness one of the brightest candles left in this land be snuffed out. The world would grow that much darker.

 

I had hoped that by evading the corridor I would evade the worst humanity had to offer. I was wrong. The Green Dragons and Generation Zero have pushed out the smaller bandits, who now roam the land around the corridor and the south. Three times in recent days have I seen small groups of men approach me on those occasions when I was forced to break cover, fanning out in an effort to cut off my escape. Fortunately my skittish eyes caught them soon enough and every time I have melted back into the trees. On rare occasions I have attempted to approach a lone wanderer, but they seem as keen to be away from me as I am from the ravenous hordes that roam the corridor. On one occasion, by pure chance, I stumbled into a duo around the corner. They were more surprised than me, that alone saved my skin. With my weapon drawn already, but not aimed, they didn’t dare reach for theirs, and I had the more advantageous position. I attempted to talk with them amicably, provide useful advice about what lay outside of town. But I could see one of them slowly trying to edge around me as we spoke, adjusting as I adjusted. Quickly I managed to make my excuses and leave. Something has happened in the past few days. If I meet one man, he will leave peacefully but quickly. If I meet two, I will be robbed… or shot.

 

Today alone I have managed to hide from 3 groups roving the southern highways. I had been making my way to Cherno, but a need for hunting pushed me away briefly. That likely saved my life. I had been hoping to meet with that strange band of men who seem to be trying to build something worth building, away from the dangers of the corridor. But the radio informs me that the corridor came to them, a slaughter, and if the chatter is to believed the Green Dragons stand victorious. Are their bellies not already fat enough with their spoils? Must the destroy everything others build simply for the sake of it?

 

If this is the state of South Zagoria, I am not sure South Zagoria deserves to survive.

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The madness of the Green Dragons, the slaver gangs and constant assaults drove me into the woods. Keeping a log there would have almost been pointless. Sun rose, hunted deer, ate, sun set, slept repeat. At times it can be a relief to go a day or two without speaking to another soul, an emotional recharge. But weeks? You start to think the birds are talking to you. My life line was the radio, tuning in to Sam and the folks at Green Mountain, listening to the news, the chatter, the awful music. Then, one day, it just went silent. I hope to hear them again, even though I somehow know that I wont. I hope Sam managed to get back home, even though I also somehow know she’s dead in a ditch. But part of me has to know for sure.

I came out of the woods yesterday, my loneliness was driving me to stupidity, I approached strangers on the road, something I learned not to do long ago. Although it amuses me to think how many people have run right past me, my scope on the back of their head, the constant hiding was taking its toll. And so, I walked out into the middle of the road, and said “hello.” Fortunately, no one tried to rob me, and at least I was cautious enough only to do this to lone travellers. But alas, none of these people could really help me. None of them knew of the fate of Green Mountain radio, nor did any of them know of any patches of civilisation to which I could head. Although this ignorance did at least tell me that the Cherno settlements had suffered the fates I feared they would.

All I discovered that day was a vacant fortification at Severograd. One I thought was occupied by Cavaliers. When I revisited it the next day I learned the scale of my error. I had expected to see polite British men in riding pinks pop their heads over the barricade. Instead I saw paramilitaries with broad Chernorussian accents. Immediately my heart rate soared and I subtly looked about me for an escape. But if I ran they would simply have captured me as a suspected thief caught red handed. However, even my German persona can get me killed in some places. Lord knows what these men would have done to me if they discovered that I was actually Russian.

Improvising desperately, I stuck to my German guns. I had to make up a surname on the spot, an inevitably cliched one but I just blamed it on the parents rather than my own lack of imagination in a crisis. The rain was driving hard, which worked in my favour. None of us could be outside too long and they let me in after less of an interrogation than I might have expected. I voluntarily paid for their hospitality in construction materials, which I think bought me a few brownie points. What followed was several hours of surprisingly pleasant conversation about these peoples struggles and experiences. The nationalist monsters who want to string up every foreigner in their land became a lot more human. I even ended up liking several of them. They even defended me when one of their number arrived late and instantly talked about assaulting this foreigner in their camp. Such talk made me cautious about revisiting the region, but it was reassuring to know more of them defended me than wanted me dead.  I stuck to my usual policy, telling them the truth about everything other than my homeland. That seems to work best, and the less I lie the less I have to remember. I can only pray that if my heritage is discovered, all the good work I have done for this land will still count in my favour. I left on good terms after aiding them with a little run. Perhaps unwisely I left one of them with my radio frequency, in case they ever needed a civil engineer. But despite it all, I still want to leave this land a better place than I found it, and if I can help rebuild I will. Even if that does mean watching my back around the nationalists.

Once I left, I followed the rumour of Camp Hope that I had gleaned from the nationalists. If anything, the rumour did not do that place justice. Such a small camp was a bustling hive of activity. After so much time with nothing but my own thoughts the constant cacophony of voices was overwhelming. I almost had to sit down and close my eyes just to cope with it all. I had been expecting to meet Dr Shock or Dr Hope again. Dr Shock was absent, but Hope was there, but far too busy with other things. In truth I have nothing really to say to her, I just remember our last encounter. But two people stand out from that day. Dimitri, the lovable fool, and Kharliah… who, I cannot readily classify or describe. Something about Dimitri’s affable, warm, open, slightly odd nature just made him instantly likable to me, a welcome streak of joy in this increasingly grim world. I must confess, when he first offered to take me hunting I was worried he was going to rob me in the woods. But, I overcame my hesitation and took a chance. I cannot help but feel that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Kharliah though, is a different matter all together. Dimitri would have been happy enough without me, but she was in a rut. I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to brighten her day, make her smile, make her laugh, and the poor creature had such little taste that she seemed to lap it up. When the D7 mob threatened to smash down the door, and there was a bizarre “safety inspection” by very angry men with guns, all I could think about was if she was going to be okay. The fact that we were segregated at separate ends of the camp damn near drove me mad. I am unaccustomed to being this concerned for the welfare of someone other than myself. Sure I will help other people, have their back in a tight spot, but my stomach doesn’t twist with anxiety for them. It did for her, and after only a few hours of conversation. Bizarre. I can only hope I see her again, and soon. And as we discovered in one of the lighter moments of the day, I need to get her a hat to match mine. She really does suit it better!

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