Martin Jupfjord Martin Jupfjord was born on a cold, January morning by his two parents, Hjalmar and Erika. Due to complications during the birthing, Erika had lost her life giving birth to her son. Still, his father would take his newborn child in his arms and give him the name Martin. His father never talked much about his mother, but from the little he said, Martin could conclude she was a nurse who had had issues with her health for quite some time leading up to her death. Martin’s father was in a totally different career, as he was one of Norway’s most prominent writers during the 1980’s, often publishing horror and/or thriller fics. Martin’s upbringing was brought about by a lone father, who had lost his touch for writing after his wife’s death, which shaped Martin to be used to the loneliness himself. In his early days, the young boy would be a stubborn learner, who only wanted to spend time playing with his father instead of gathering the know-hows of the world. His father and he lived together in a small suburban area to the south of Oslo, where the word crime was a distant concept. As he grew older, Martin had troubles socializing with the other kids in his neighbourhood. There was one though, named Oskar, who was the same age as him and lived a few houses up the street. At first, Martin was spiteful of Oskar and his ‘perfect’ home. This went away as they spent most of their time together and became better friends. Most of the time, they would do things such as collecting sticks, play hide and seek in the woods and stalk wild animals. Martin knew that other kids his age were out playing football and tag, but didn’t care. He felt as though as long as the two of them had each other, the others didn’t matter. Eventually, the two of them grew more bold and started experimenting more with their hobbies. They would play with the carcasses of dead animals and build traps to catch live ones. The feeling of being in total control was new to Martin and he liked the feeling. As the two of them became of age, school started for both. They were quickly deemed to be outcasts, rarely socializing with anyone other than themselves. Every day after school, they would run home to see if any rabbits or large rodents had been caught in their traps, where they would then be dissected or mutilated. The rush that this gave the boys was insurmountable and they quickly develop somewhat of a longing of this feeling. Martin’s father had no idea what Martin was doing when he wasn’t home, sometimes not even then. His father would often just shut himself in and try to forget all about his son, most likely because he blamed him for his wife’s death. However, Martin would often seek his father’s validation and respect, with little to no prevail. This marked the beginning of Martin’s true nature, as someone desperately seeking the love of others. Years passed, as Martin and Oskar crammed their way through school. Martin was a very hectic student, who would often forget to do his homework and would sometimes ditch class completely. Instead, he would often cheat during tests and copy other’s work. Although a relatively small and weak guy, his friend Oskar would carry himself proudly alongside Martin, who was both larger and stronger than him. Oskar knew that Martin was struggling academically, but didn’t force himself upon Martin. Martin figured that school was worthless anyway, that he could become a hit write like his father no matter what happens. The two of them continued doing what they wanted, such as poke sticks at their neighbour’s chained up dog. Rumors spread about them, claiming they were ‘unwanted’ children and sadists. Although angering to Martin, he found peace in the fact that his friend and him were together and that the opinions of others, ultimately, didn’t matter. But there was one that was different from the rest. His name was Jöten and went to the same class as Martin and Oskar. He was somewhat of an outcast himself, coming from the rural mountains in the north. He had issues socializing, just like Martin did, which made Martin empathize with himself even further. The other kids would often pick on Jöten, often throwing slurs at him and lightly tossing him around. Jöten would follow Martin and Oskar to lunch and with them on recess just to avoid the other kids. One day, Jöten came up to the two boys, explaining the bruises and scratches on his face. The other kids, in particular one named Harald, had attacked him, calling him a ‘hillbilly’ and had struck him many times. Martin could feel himself boiling and looked at his friend. In the eyes of themselves, they saw both hatred and excitement. Using the tools and knowledge they had acquired from all of the years trapping wild animals, Oskar and Martin began stalking and mapping the routines of Harald, looking for an opportunity for revenge. Harald was a large boy and they knew they could not approach him head on. As they started to be able to predict his schedules and movements, the day to attack grew closer. The two of them knew that every day after school, Harald would shortcut through a small hip of forest, which would prove to be the perfect spot for an ambush. And so, they planned and came up with a plan to attack Harald. Martin wanted to hurt him, for he considered Harald to be scum of the earth. And so, on a cold December afternoon, Martin took his trusty baseball bat with him and met with Oskar at his house. From there they would make their way to that small hip of forest, waiting for their prey. The plan was simple; Oskar would come running with Harald behind him, at which point Martin would step out from behind a tree with his bat and hit him. Martin stood and anxiously waited for Harald to come along. He could feel the hardwood through his gloves and it felt like his every breath pulsated through the bat. He admired his breath, which formed as a heap of smoke emanating from his mouth. Suddenly, shouting could be heard and branches cracking from Oskar dashing through the forest. Another set of footsteps could be heard coming from behind him and Martin’s grasp of his bat tightened. As Oskar passed the tree Martin was behind, Martin stepped out and raised his bat high. Harald, coming at full speed, was met with a single blow to the forehead, where the two objects’ momentum had collided with each other. Instantly, Harald fell to the ground and a small flow of blood coloured the snow next to his head. Filled with rage and adrenaline, Martin leaped on top of Harald, screaming and yelling. He told Harald that if he ever laid hands on a kid again, he’d be dead, as he started swinging left and right, striking the young man over and over again. Suddenly, a chill ran down Martin’s spine and he wondered if it was really okay to go this far, to show his friend this anger that he had built up within himself. He stood up again and stumbled back to his friend, Oskar, who had just witnessed the whole ordeal. “Tha’s enough, ain’ it?” Martin asked as his breath was still coming back to him, the air cutting his throat like a razor. He questioned himself, if he had gone too far. Seeking the validation of Oskar, he looked at his friend with a curious face. “No. Not quite enough.” Oskar looked at Martin and continued; “Look at him. He will get through this, and then, will be back to doing the only thing people like him can do.” Oskar walked over to Harald’s side, still admiring the young man’s situation. “Please, no more.” Harald begged to Oskar, who stood over him like a wolf who just caught a deer. Oskar then set his foot down atop Harald’s hand, causing him to yell out in excruciating pain. “I know you’re right handed, Harald. I know you use that to hurt someone that I like. That is why I must do this.” Oskar said and turned his heel, which was placed in Harald’s right palm. Martin looked on as his friend crushed every bone in Harald’s hand and looked at his friend’s curious face. Harald’s face was like an echo in Martin minds, filling him with a strange, yet familiar feeling. Eventually, Harald went quiet, probably due to losing the sense of feeling in his right hand. Oskar backed up and dipped his boot in the snow, to wash some of the blood off it. Martin walked over to the, now unconscious, boy and tilted his head slightly, in an almost curious way. “Le’s break his fuckin’ arm, Oskar.” Martin said and raised his baseball bat again. Oskar came over and held Harald’s left arm up, at which point Martin swung his bat down. The force of the swing was enough to crack the bat’s outer layer and completely break Harald’s left forearm, causing him to jump back into consciousness and continue screaming. The impact sent a shockwave along Martin’s bat and along his entire arm. He could feel the bat breaking, along with Harald’s forearm. Harald jumped back into consciousness and resumed his screaming. Suddenly, a voice could be heard from the edge of the forest. It was someone who had heard the screams and was looking to investigate. Knowing the danger ahead, Oskar and Martin dashed away and ran straight home, washing their clothes and boots. Harald didn’t come to school the next day, or the day after that. Talk had sprung up and rumors spread but no one knew anything. It wasn’t until the police came two days later that the talk subsided and people realized what had happened. Harald had told the police who was in that forest that night and it was concluded that both Oskar and Martin could be tied to the location due to the footprints in the snow matching the two boys’ boots. From here on out, the two boys were separated. Martin was sent away and lost all contact with his father. From here, he did not hear anything about what happened to his friend or what will happen to Harald. His life continued in his new home, which was very different from his previous one. Martin’s continued adolescence was quick and filled with many small adventures. He lived alongside other delinquents like himself, who quickly became his friends. His life continued with them, often bringing themselves trouble while doing their mischievous acts. As the years passed, Martin became more and more invested in his group of friends, who was growing steadily. Soon enough, they became somewhat of a gang in an eastern city in Norway, with ties to the narcotic and arms trade happening all over the country. Martin was often getting himself into fights with strangers and used narcotics instead of doing his schoolwork, quickly causing his already low grades to plummet. Martin had his head in the game and was quickly becoming more and more respected by his peers. He dropped out of high school as soon as the opportunity for it rose and began expanding his criminal side full-time. Martin’s reputation as a promising fighter and criminal quickly spread amongst the ones close to him. He would often compare himself to gangsters from the movies, like Tony Montana and Frank Lucas, claiming that, one day, he would become as great as them. Each day that passed, Martin worked harder, doing the only thing he wanted to do. His father had now passed away and he no longer had anyone to look for guidance but himself. Age comes for us all and soon enough, Martin became an adult. He lived with a girl he would sometimes call girlfriend and was enjoying the life of a young delinquent. His erratic nature had developed to the point where he would no longer think about his actions and would just do them. He had had run-ins with the police many times and always managed to either talk or brawl his way out from their grasp. He was bouncing from place to place, making money wherever he went due to his enormous influence. He felt truly happy and content with himself and his life. But not all things last forever. At the height of his, now, criminal conglomerate, Martin slipped. He had attacked a young man in a bar, when two policemen came in. He was taken in and was quickly convicted of the charge of assault and battery. He served six years in jail, where, to his surprise, he was not met with the praise and glory he was used to. He was an outsider again, who kept to the shadows and didn’t wet his nose in others’ business. Soon, the visits from his friends became few and far between, leading to Martin becoming more and more used to the solitude of his cell. As his twenties turned to thirties, Martin was let out of jail. He headed for the streets, the only home he still had, to little to no prevail. His friends had all gone separate ways and no longer upheld the massive reputation they once had. Desperately, he called his old friend, Oskar. He explained that there weren’t anyone else he could call, that no one else would pick up. Oskar was quiet on the phone, before telling Martin to come over to his apartment, where they could speak further. The two of them reunited and Oskar let Martin stay at his place. Quickly, the differences between them became clear. Martin explained how he had dropped out of school, had become gang affiliated and eventually caught up in the middle of it all. Both of them found each other in the fact that even though they had grown up surrounded by others, they both felt completely alone. Oskar managed, partly due to his minor reputation, to land Martin a job at the school he worked at, as an ‘extra’ teacher that would help out children with special needs. It was something that would propel both of their futures forward, together again. The time came for the two of them to step up to a trip. All the classes at the school they worked at were going someplace and the one Martin and Oskar was in charge of was going to a small country called Chernarus, to learn about special species of fungi. The two of them left with their class and began their stay at a hotel in a town called Chernogorsk. Their days there were mainly calm and consisted mostly of trips up the mountains to look for mushrooms. On their last day of the trip, the class and the two men were undergoing a speech in a small daycare center, outside the town of Balota, when the increased military presence finally came to a halt. The sighting of the first infected shocked Oskar and Martin and they quickly began barricading the daycare. They would rip the floorboards from the floor and stack them against each other, covering both windows and doors. Many screams could be heard from the outside and many more from the panicked children in the daycare. Eventually, the constant crying caused the ever-growing number of infected to start bashing themselves against the walls of the daycare, causing Oskar and Martin to panic. The place held up though and Oskar and Martin was close to running into a new problem; nutrition. When the last apple was distributed amongst the children, Oskar took Martin into another room to have a chat. After searching for alternatives for a long time, Oskar and Martin came to an agreement. They would lay their humanity aside and begin eating the only way they could. Every day, they would promise that they could sneak one of the children out, through the kitchen back door. It was there they would do what they did, to provide the rest of the class with the nutrition they needed. None of the children seemed to notice, or perhaps care. They did not speak up but just quietly accepted the meals as they came, waiting for their turn to sneak out. This continued for weeks, until one day they could not continue this any longer. When Oskar and Martin were the last to stand, along with a eight year old child, the decision to move away was made. With their sanities left behind, Oskar and Martin enjoyed their last meal in the daycare and headed out into the wasteland.