I am...was a journalist sent on assignment to Chernarus. I guess I was the best option as I'd already covered the closing days of the civil war, so knowing the country reasonably well was sent in response to a Russian bombardment of the Severograd region, one of several they seemed to be pounding. This was in early July, even then I wasn't able to get far from the airfield that I'd landed at, this was somewhere just west of Lopatino. The situation, whatever it was, seemed to escalate faster than any of us could keep up with. Just days after my arrival in the country I heard that UN forces were said to in the south, so when I discovered that any travel north seemed to be out of the question, I thought it might be best to head south, meet up with UN Peacekeepers and find out exactly what was happening aside from rumour and some outlandish speculation I had been picking up from people. Communications out of Chernarus seemed to be irregular most of the time so I decided to get on with my job as best I could. Notes I compiled from interviews suggested I should be looking to a storage base further north, but with travel any further in that direction becoming all but impossible I had to let the stories about all that remain a tantalising enigma for the time being. I managed to get random transport of one kind or another as far as Pustoshka - Pustoshka! That's where things went bad. I was given shelter for the night at an orphanage, a place that like many others was struggling to keep going amid the military actions and the tales of increasingly bizarre activities with increasing frequency. The remaining caretaker staff told me that the authorities had abandoned their post and left a sickly old man to do his best for the kids, but he had fallen ill and had disappeared. 'Probably left to die alone', I was informed in a somewhat nonchalant way. But to cut a long story short I agreed to take the kids with me to Chapaevsk where authorities from the West could get them out of the country. Chapaevsk hadn't been my choice of destinations but it was in the right direction. So we set off and so single-minded was I on driving and getting us to our destination I ignored the three children beginning to cough and sneeze in that small and packed orphanage bus. I don't want to recall what happened, it's so vivid in my memory, burned into the forefront of my mind that I don't sleep much at night because of it. I should have tried to do something to save them. All I will say is that those three kids were the first infected I had encountered and couldn't know what was going to happen and couldn't comprehend what was happening as they attacked their friends. I scrambled from the bus and staggered away from the vehicle as one of the infected spotted my movements and made a run at me. The next thing I recall is standing over the body with a blood-stained rock in my hand, what had passed between me and the infected 12 year-old that now had a crushed skull was a blank. One further look at the bloody carnage taking place in the bus was enough to send me running in hysterical sobs - running as fast as I could away from the ongoing slaughter of all those children, the youngest of which was just 6 years-old. I ran and ran and ran, scrambling as far as I could from that horror. I'm reasonably fit but not been much of a fighter. In 1983 I did three years in the army but dropped in 1986 after a tour of Northern Ireland was over, I just didn't feel cut out for military life, not taking such levels of discipline very well. That's when I put my flair for writing into practice and entered the world of journalism. I have suffered Dyscalculia since - well forever - and my complete inadequacy with numbers drove me to excel with words. I constantly had my head in books and crossword puzzles and always thrilled when I discovered a new word - jeez, what a nerd! And I know how much of a nerd I was seen to be because I became the target for every school bully there ever was simply because I liked books and wore glasses, but did I care? not one bit But it made my eventual fall into journalism almost inevitable. It also shaped my dislike for violence which became apparent while in the army. Both my parents are - or were alive before the world went to Hell in a handcart. God alone knows who's alive and who's dead now. I wish I could sleep without those screaming children in my head.