"I remember reading somewhere that a diary helps clear your head in troublesome times. I guess this qualifies. For two weeks I have been in what seemed like one of my childhood nightmares. Its all because of the disease. What started with rumors ended in this... existence. Homes are left abandoned and the absence of the law has sent this country into total anarchy. Whatever laws bound men to the rules I know no longer has any hold over them. It all started with a semester abroad and my terrible habit to be the penny pinching dimwit I was cursed to be.
It all started back in Leicester. After starting in the second year of my studies there were several study trips I could attend. Some went to Paris, some went to South America. The only problem with all of them is that they were far too expensive. My parents were of the simple type. No dentist or surgeons to be found among the Miles'. I didn't get out much, which did not escape the attention of my family members. My parents had known such a chance might come, and had saved up some money, although I couldn't bear myself to spend the grand sum on a mere journey. I decided to work for the money myself and leave my parents' money at home as a suprise. There was one trip that was not that expensive. You can probably guess where that plane landed.
Two months went by and it was time for me to leave. I had spent my nights and free time working at a fastfood joint. Serving people numerous junk they really shouldn't be eating. Their eyes judging as I took their orders. The one stuck in such a job had to be a real dimwit without any talents. So ignorant of the depth of the life of others, there they sat pecking at their burgers. Needless to say I was happy for the prospect of it to end, and with the coming of the journey so came the end. I walked out with a smile on my face and the lesson my numerous customers never learned.
When the trip came, I put the money my parents gave me in an envelope with a lovely thank you card. Im feeling too tired to fully write it down, but it was basically thanking my parents for the chances they always give me and that both parties worked hard for this, and that this was my reward for all of their care. I worked for it and learnt a lot in the meantime.
It was time for my 'reward'.
Now I had one friend back there. His name was Casimir and he wasn't like me. Where I was happy in the shadows, not standing out or being noticed, he was present in confidence. Our friendship was an odd one. Whenever we walked the streets, the equivalent of two men walked the street, with me not contributing towards it. Casimir's great impulse and my overthinking were in perfect balance. His presence gave me the shadow I needed to live in. In turn I was Casimir's rational side. We spoke about this trip many times, and despite South Zagoria not being as 'awesome' as other countries he decided to come with me in the end.
So we departed and landed in the north-west. We arrived at the sixth of july. Our journey was supposed to continue by bus and pretty soon we were led to an old bus with a cranky chernarussian bus driver. It was a pretty mangy old bus and once we all got in it came to life with angry groan and it started moving. We drove around and pretty soon we were driven to several starting businesses, their employees numerous and content in the explosively growing economy of their country. It went on like for quite a while, and while it may not seem like much to the standard civilian, I was intruiged to see how Chernarus was slowly reestablishing itself in the industrial market. By the end of the week our bags were full of business cards and expensive goodies (Much to Casimir's pleasure).
Over next days, the mood of our busdriver began to vary. You dont necessarily need to speak the language to know someone's basic feelings. Him not being content by having to drive around a bus full of immature adults is easily noticed without any spoken words. So is fear for his life and that of his family. Over the course of the week, his mood seem to worsen and not necessarily in the same direction. News broadcasts on the radio were getting progressively longer and grim in tone. Our guide also seemed more on edge, but any attempt to get any information from her about it resulted in a "Oh nothing to worry about", which her facial expressions strongly contradicted.
The truth would not stay hidden forever, and one afternoon my parents called me. They spoke of national conflicts and things being blown up and urged me to come back. On their dime if need be. I comforted them saying that our trip would take us away from the conflict in the subsequent days as Novigrad would be our final stop. We never made it there though. Tension changed to unrest and unrest soon turned to massive panic. Music was now sparse on radios and what words I could were not promising. I woke to what seemed like a sea of car horns the next morning. The bus driver was nowhere to be seen, the bus missing. Our tour guide was now a mess, she did not take any more care of herself with makeup all over her face. Military units carrying flags of all kinds of nations set up checkpoints and roadblocks, monitoring the population. Thats when the coughs began.
We all felt we were on our own, as our guide clearly wasn't up to this challenge. Groups began to form and Casimir and I joined one of them. Despite my many suggestions though, they did not listen to the shadow. They had spotted a large group of boats in the harbor and wanted to try to get on one of them. Such a massive gathering on people in what seemed to me like a viral outbreak is not wise in my opinion, but I could not break through the panic, even Casimir disagreed. We rushed to the docks, trying to get on a boat. As we were walking I tried to appeal to Casimir. Numerous people all around us were displaying symptoms of illness, and by leading him up a small hill to see the number of people there, I managed to convince him. We tried to appeal to the group one last time, but I did not have their trust as I had Casimir's and that is where we parted with the group.
With the majority of the local population now gone, I considered the treat to be low. We requested sanctuary with the local military left in the city. It took us a while to get someone to communicate with, but it became clear it was the CDF. They took us in and we were given assignments. I took great care to avoid being recruited formally, something Casimir really wanted to happen. This meant that we were free to leave the camp if we ever needed to. So they gave us some tasks depending on our skillset. Casimir was trained with a rifle and put on guard duty. I was tasked with cooking and cleaning. How ironic. I spent two months cooking and cleaning just to do it all again miles from home cutaway from any news of my loved ones. In some cultures they believe in karma. I wonder what's waiting for me on the other end to be honest.
Several days after, Casimir didn't come back from his patrol duty. The entire squad went off com and didn't report in. The commanding officer didn't tell me where they went. I decided to give it another day. I left the next day under the cover of night. I did not take more supplies than I brought in and went on my way. Informing with the soldiers where they went in their travels didn't narrow it down at all, so for the first time I went in alone.
That would be my story up until now, I have been looking ever since. Casimir can handle himself in this world, he's strong and can definitely take any challenges thrown at him. I just gotta find the guy. But no point in putting off my sleep, I have been writing for far too long now."