BACKGROUND/TLDR: In the shanty town of Hull, next to the capital of Canada. Lives a young man who is in love with photography, his name is Jacob Lafleur. Right now, he's a college student, learning the art of imagery, and he is planned to graduate in early April 2017. Excited about finally being done with school and studies at the age of 23, Jacob decides to search for plane tickets to anywhere and develop his portfolio, he also wants a break from his everyday life. Miraculously, he finds a really cheap one-way ticket to Novigrad, Chernarus, around $300. It has been his dream to go to Europe and Asia since he was a child, so now it's his chance to see a bigger part of the world. However, the country Chernarus didn't ring a bell to him. He did his research, learned about the civil war in 2009. That didn't stop him either way, proudly saying to himself: "Tons of wars happened in the past, but it's different today, the world is peaceful." He didn't know what he was getting himself into. Jacob bought the ticket in early March 2017, he graduates on the 10th of April, his plane for Paris leaves on the 15th. Then he takes another to Novigrad. He brings all his essentials with him, like his trusty camera, his laptop and a few notebooks to write in. He meets two Chernarussian who bring him on a road trip to Elektrozavodsk. From there, things spiral out of control and Jacob's fate is questioned every minute. He meets an American immigrant who has been living in Chernarus for many years and they head back for Novi, but it wasn't as easy as they thought. They get stopped at Chernogorsk by military roadblocks and their plan quickly goes underground, they are asked to be evacuated by the airstrip near Vybor on the 12th of July. Unfortunately, for them, that plan didn't work for them either and for the first time, they got their answers to their questions. A real zombie apocalypse, like in the movies and video games was going on, a flood outbreak. They set foot to go back to Chernogorsk quickly. While in the forest, his friend gets attacked by wolves and they decide to camp out for the rest of the night because of his injuries. The shock and anxiety made his friend lie about his pain, and he didn't want to be a weight to carry. He completely bled out by sunrise, mainly from a deep neck wound. Jacob packed the stuff and booked it for Cherno, but he lost his guide, instead of going completely South. He completely went North. The first weeks for him went fine but he doesn't understand Russian, he couldn't find his way towards Chernogorsk. He encountered few zombies on his way and always stayed in the woods to camp out. He learned to hunt and handle weapons throughout time and lived off the forest for over 2 years, staying away from danger as much as possible. He met few people on his way, but never bothered to become their partners. Until, Jacob woke up one day and he was mugged. His tent, equipment and resources were robbed from him while he was sleeping one night. By then, he started going out to loot more often, and now he is out in the streets of Chernarus to survive and get an update on the world's news. BEFORE THE OUTBREAK: Stepping foot in another country was a breath of fresh air, like starting a new life. He is planning to only stay until early July, he didn't buy his ticket to come back yet since he wanted to save money for the actual trip. He exchanges his Canadian Dollars to Rubles, and starts; what he thinks, is going to be a small easy life in Chernarus. He books a motel room in an old building that looks like it was built prior to WWII, he already loves it. He also takes pictures of everything he sees on his path, to him everything is much more different than back home. He heard about the terrorist attack, but didn't bother about it, and he instead took advantage of the situation by taking pictures of the protests that went on after the attack. Jacob would then meet a few Chernarussians in taverns and restaurants that spoke a few words of English and he would have a few nights of drinking with them, sometimes they would have deep conversations with themselves, unfortunately couldn't understand a word of what they were saying, but they often looked scared through the mugs full of alcohol and laughter. In early June, while looking around for plane tickets back home. One of his new friends offers him to go on a road trip with one of his buddies to Elektrozavodsk. He needed to go see his family and he wanted to show me more of Chernarus at the same time, he said Novigrad was boring compared to Elektro anyway. Jacob accepted, he also that same day bought his plane ticket back to Canada. His flight would be scheduled for July 15th. They left for Chernogorsk on the 30th of June. Like always, Jacob would take pictures of everything mildly interesting he would see. At one point, when they were just 30 minutes away from Cherno, his Chernarussian friend asked him to put away his camera, without a reason. He obliged, perplexed he asked why. His friend didn't respond. They passed through Cherno, and Jacob noticed the ambiance was way different than back in Novi, but he didn't really have the words to explain how. Then they set road for Elektro. They arrived late at the friend's family home at around one in the morning. They had a few drinks on the day of arrival, and Jacob had some small chats with the family members, they had an extra guest room just for him to spend a few days there for free. Jacob obviously couldn't refuse, it was his plan from the beginning to go on adventures. A few days passed, both his friends would bring him on tours around the city, they went to the local bars and restaurants, they were a few fun ones. They tried to wing-man him a few Chernarussian girls as well. On the sunny morning of July 8th, the mood in the house changed. Everyone was again at the television, looking at news. He still couldn't understand a word, but this time. He stood by and listened, the family's voices were trembling and all had 2 common word they were saying. What seemed like "otpusk'' and ''voyna", a few hours passed. He was smoking a cigarette outside with his two friends, he tried asking what was going on. But, they wouldn't respond to him, like they couldn't understand him. However, they spoke surprisingly fluent English before the road trip... He snapped, curious and stressed about the recent ambiance, he had to know. "What the fuck does ''otpusk'' and ''voyna'' mean? What the hell is going on??" furiously asked Jacob. War, they responded. They say that war is about to break soon and that they are thinking of leaving the country, right now. Thinking this whole thing is a prank, he laughs it off and goes back inside to make himself coffee. But, he doesn't completely ignore the possible threat. The television inside is still on, the other family members left for a few errands, he thinks. A shot of a military helicopter is shown on the television taken from Twitter, then a few pictures of people getting evacuated by soldiers. Now, he knew it was real. He went back outside and asked his friends when they are leaving. They are waiting for their family to come back, they went to Kamensk to pickup their other relatives. For the rest of the day, they decided to go grab a few supplies like food and water, just in case. The next day arrived, and they were no sign of the family coming back yet, no calls or texts. Which is weird, because Kamensk is not that far of a drive even with the traffic, said his two friends. Not really knowing what to do, they decided that they would drive to the relatives house in Kamensk to check on them. Jacob tagged along, bringing all his stuff. They got close to Severograd, and it is where reality started to kick in for Jacob. There were tons of homeless people everywhere, refugees? Is war really going to rage out here on his long awaited vacation? Is he this unlucky? They got close to Kamensk; they got there at around 21h coming up from the north road going out Severograd. Unfortunately, they got stopped by military patrols and turned back around. Before going back to Severograd, his friends asked if they saw his family's car. Apparently, they couldn't tell because they turned back many other cars. Defeated, even with calling and texting their phones every minute, no sign of life. We decided to book a motel room in Severograd and wait the night. Jacob was having a breakdown that night, and he couldn't sleep, he felt like he was hallucinating helicopters sounds and imagining what war would be, he was regretting coming to Chernarus after all. How did he end up in this situation? Thunder, thunder woke up the bunch the next morning. The sound of distant explosions and planes passing over the region was a horrifying wake up alarm. Jacob jumped under his bed as soon as he woke up, stayed there till his friends came crashing in the room and dragged him out in the car. It was decided, they were leaving Chernarus for good. Leaving everything they have behind. They bolted out Severograd and they weren't the only ones, Jacob had time to grab his belongings, he was taking pictures of the race out with his DLSR. He managed to take a shot of a fight happening in the street, looked like a man was getting gang robbed/beaten. Their momentum was quickly stopped by traffic jams. Luckily for them, his friend had a 4x4 Jeep suited for off-road. They made their own path through the fields and forests around the region of Dubrovka and managed to crawl to the outskirts of Berezino before the vehicle was starved of gasoline. It didn't stop them from leaving, and they headed for Berezino for gasoline tanks. Without any luck, they spent all day getting more supplies in town, then they headed back to the Jeep to sleep in it. Jacob was really tired, he woke up really late almost past noon. He was alone this time, and his friends were nowhere to be seen around the car. Confused, he got out the car, screamed their names, nothing. He got back in the car, the supplies were still there, what confused him even more is the fact that the gasoline tanks were now full. Like they filled them up for him before leaving? He filled up the car, got on his phone and called his friends. No luck, he started the car and went down to Berezino. He parked to the only gas station, closer to the coast, and went inside to ask if they saw his friends. Apparently, they came in earlier this morning looking sick and really tired, asked to fill up their gasoline tanks and just left. Jacob got back in the car, this time he was shedding tears. He didn't know what to do at all, and he crippled in the car and sobbed, until he heard what felt like paper in his plaid shirt pocket. It was a note left by his friends: ''We are deeply sorry, Jacob. We both fully regret bringing you all the way here to Elektro and Severograd. Our province is going down, it is way worse than anyone or we expected. We left you the Jeep and most the supplies with gas tanks for you, go back to Novigrad immediately and take the first plane out of here. We, on the other hand, are going to hitch a ride back to Kamensk. We don't want to leave our family here, and I hope you understand our feeling and decision. Again we are deeply sorry, good luck and do not come looking for us, I beg you.'' Now, with a clearer mind. Jacob understood, he started the car and rushed out of Berezino unto the coastal road. He was going fast, way faster than the speed limits, but nothing was stopping him. His lack of knowledge behind the wheel, due to the fact he doesn't even have a license back home, made him under steer coming in the tight turn on the main road just before entering the town, he sent the car flying into a couple barrel rolls and stopped back on his wheels in front of a house. The resident, speechless about what just happened, got out the house and started screaming in Russian to Jacob. Fortunately, he was okay. He clearly made him understand that he couldn't understand, but luckily the dude was an American immigrant. They had a chat, the American's name was Paul. He suggested staying at his house for the moment, since Jacob mentioned he didn't even have a license back home and he's a tourist. The police would screw him up really easily here. He didn't need to go to the hospital either, and Paul dragged the car with his tractor behind his house and Jacob picked up the bits of the car and thrown out supplies. Paul knew what was going on, more than Jacob or his two friends. He was a veteran from Takistan, also took part in the civil war here in 2009. He had contacts with many high graded military personnel in NATO and more specifically the CDF. He shared what he knew, Jacob then replied that they should leave the region right now before it explodes. Paul agreed, not wanting to see another war at over 50 years old. He said he would pack his car and they would leave tomorrow morning. And so tomorrow came, it is July 12th, his plane leaves in 3 days. This time Jacob had time to get out of bed without any explosions waking him up. However, he could hear chatter going on outside. It was Paul and a few citizens, with what seemed like their whole house in their luggage. He stepped outside, Paul immediately went up to Jacob and whispered to his ear: "We have to book it right fucking now." Jacob's eyes widened up, he was ready to go this time. He went back inside and packed his things. He made sure to fully charge the batteries for his DSLR Camera and his Laptop. He goes towards the door and hears a gunshot right in front of the house. Scared, he lays flat on the floor, then slowly crawls to the door, gets up and opens the door to see what is going on. The citizens are running in the distance; Paul has his pistol pointed towards them. "They tried to steal my god damn car man!" screamed Paul. Baffled, Jacob hops in his car and Paul says to hold on, he has to get something inside before they go. He comes back out the house with a long green back, it looks really heavy. "What do you have in there?" Jacob asked. "Oh, just camping supplies just in case." says Paul. He didn't ask any more questions, Paul dropped the bag in the truck bed. Paul's vehicle was just a regular pickup truck. It had seen better days, seemed like it lived through all those wars with him. He got in the driver seat, put his pistol on the dash and started the car. We're on the road for the airport in Novigrad. It went well, for a good few minutes. Yes, I am about to say it. Until, they got stopped by a military checkpoint in Chernogorsk. You really thought it was going to be that easy right? Anyways, Paul tried to argue with the soldiers, but he said too much. He mentioned Jacob came down from Severograd, he is on vacation and needs to go back to the airport. Unfortunately, for them their time has come. The soldier tagged Jacob has part of the "Exclusion Zone" residents. They requisitioned the car; they put them directly inside a military medic tent for an inspection? What is going on? Did Paul really know what was going on? Is it a disease outbreak instead of a war? Or worse, a nuclear outbreak? There wasn't any time to question it, and Jacob was focused on not losing Paul from his line of sight. They moved them from the medic tent to another, they went through several medical tests. Everything was in check; their health was okay. It was around noon, and they were still in the second medical tent they were moved in, a person dressed like a General came in. He saluted Paul and asked him to follow him. Jacob got up to follow him, the military person obliged that he should stay in the tent. Furious, he argued with Paul that he doesn't want to be separated since he's a foreigner. Paul translated to the General and he then accepted. They still talked in Russian, so Jacob wouldn't understand and they still went into a private room so the soldier could show him documents. Paul came out, white like a bed sheet. He asked him to follow. They were giving back Paul's car with everything inside it, but there was a slight change of plan. They have a ride out of Chernarus waiting for them at the military air space, North of Vybor. They set off for the base at 3 in the afternoon, little did they know what was going on over there while they were on the road. They had to stop at about every village for gas, Paul's truck had a bad gas leak, and it wasn't like his truck was reliable already. There was refugees running south everywhere, using every space possible in a vehicle. They were stopped by a few traffic jams, asked for help and almost been intentionally crashed by people. Jacob's mental state was disintegrating, he was becoming more and more scared every second that flowed through his body. They got closer and closer to Vybor and the houses and towns got emptier and emptier. The people looked worst every minute we were rolling. It was getting grim, we could see smoke pillars raising to the clouds as we approached the airbase. And we were late, very late. It was 18:45 on the clock, it was complete darkness in summer Chernarus. There were tracers and fireballs in the distance, at the military field. Paul knew the area, and he got on a dirt road heading North East towards the airfield, out of Kabanino. Then, they saw the airfield. He stopped abruptly and went off the road up a slope to see it better. The whole airfield was overrun, but it seemed like only one side was shooting, ours. ''We're here and we are too late.'' Paul says as he grips the wheel tighter. Jacob got out the truck and took a picture with his camera. They weren't going any further, some muzzle flares and tracers were getting closer and closer. Two soldiers emerged out of a bush just in front of them while shooting from the hip behind them. They saw our headlights and dashed towards us; Jacob was able to take one last shot before he got back in the passenger seat of his truck, Paul yelled at them and they hastily jumped in the bed. He puts it in reverse and in the range of our headlights, there was bloody people sprinting towards us, the only way Jacob could describe it. Bloody, ugly and dead people. He smashes the gas pedal and brings us back on the dirt road with the people still running at us. We are still reversing, the two soldiers get up in the bed and again start shooting the bloody corpses. Jacob was shaking, hearing the sound of gunshots right up to his ears for the first time was an all new wake up call. These were zombies like in the video games he used to play, or the movies he used to watch. But no, they are real, very real. It is a real zombie apocalypse. They managed to get out off the dirt road, but the horde of zombies just started for them, groups of them start forming on them from the North and East side. They decide to make a dash out the city, aiming South West. The men in the bed ran out of ammo, they were now conserving their pistol ammo. Due to the bad gas leak Paul's truck had, it quickly ran out of gas just between Pogorevka and Pulkovo. One of the soldiers told him to head towards there since he had a house in the village, and the contagion was only in the North East for now. With the last momentum of the vehicle, they made it on the dirt road heading to Zelenogorsk. The soldiers decided to part ways with Paul and Jacob, without any communications with other military personnel, they at least had to report back to an outpost in Zeleno. For Paul and Jacob, their story wasn't over yet, we will never know what would happen to those 2 soldiers today, but bless their souls. Paul opened the bed door, packed a few essentials in 2 hiking bags, gave Jacob one. He proceeded to transfer all his stuff in it. Paul dragged out his long green bag towards him and opened it. It had 2 hunting rifles in it, there was also one at the bottom, it was a Russian assault rifle. He also had a compartment in his bag with loads of magazines and ammunition for all the rifles. He gave Jacob a Karabiner 98K and a survival knife, the rifle he bought on a trip in Poland. Basically, they geared up, Jacob's bag was full of food and water, Paul's bag was full of camping supplies like a tent and cooking supplies. They set foot for Balota and hoped to get there before the flood does. They went through the forest in pitch black darkness. The only thing that kept Jacob's eyes on his partner was their blue glow sticks Paul cracked on their bags. Paul was glued on the compass he brought, they got to a small village after the woods and continued their way directly South while following a stream, heading for the coast. They could still hear the sound of distant gunshots and explosions North. They walked for what seemed like an hour maybe two, but at the least, they could hear the sound of helicopters and planes taking off. Jacob felt a feeling of loneliness in the forest, walking in a foreign country, he wasn't alone, though. He hears other footsteps coming behind him; Paul is at least 10 to 15 meters in front of him. He turns around, but at night with all the trees, he couldn't make out what it was. In a split second, Paul screams and Jacob dodges a creature that jumps at him, it dashes straight towards Paul. Jacob sprints towards his partner and he finds him on the ground getting mauled by wolves. Uncertain of what to do, he takes the Kar98 to his hip and blindly shoots one of the wolves, they scramble. Paul was struggling, but he said he was fine and he shouldn't worry, Jacob says they should camp out for the night so he could rest. Jacob had the same tent back home, so he set it up quickly, made a comfortable spot for Paul and he fell immediately asleep, he was probably tired. Jacob made a spot for himself next to him and he got some rest as well. Jacob woke up before Paul, he made a fire to heat up the surroundings, he got back inside the tent to wake up his partner. It was morbid, Jacob couldn't believe it and he immediately fell to the ground and cried. Paul was obviously dead, the tent's floor was covered in blood and his blanket was a sponge of it. His explanation was in the darkness, he couldn't see his wounds and from the shock and trauma, lied to Jacob about his injuries. He probably bled out before sunrise. It was game changer for Jacob, he couldn't stay here for long, he was now alone, he doesn't know the country at all and most importantly, there's a fucking zombie outbreak going on. He removed half the food there was in his bag, grabbed everything he could that was useful out of Paul's bag, plus his assault rifle. The only thing that he did forget, the compass. It was in his partner's back pocket. He left him there in the tent, it is not what he wanted to do. He promised to himself that he would come back and bury whatever remains he had left, his last thanks for help, but right now he couldn't stay. He took what it seemed like, the fastest way out the forest. He ended up back at the starting point, but he didn't realize it, he was too focused on where he was going to go. He needed to go to the shore, but which way is it? He followed the stream like Paul said, and North he went without a clue. He stayed in the woods, so he would minimize his chances of seeing zombies. He first saw one about an hour away from the tent, near Sosnovka. It took four shots, only one to kill it, but he missed three. He knew he needed to get some practice on that. He camped out in the middle of a patch of trees next to Pustoshka, but he quickly packed out because he was getting attacked by hordes of zombies repeatedly. His Kar98 quickly ran out of bullets and the recoil of the AK was way too much for him. DURING AND AFTER THE FIRST WEEKS OF OUTBREAK TO NOW: He built a fear of zombies over the next set of weeks, and for what he didn't know, would be 2 years of secluding himself in the forest because of that. He learned how to hunt and perfect his aim with the Kar, developed his survivalist skills and kept himself away from the outside danger. He was now part of nature, and back down the food chain. He sometimes tried looking at signs, or asking strangers for the way to the shore. But, he couldn't understand a word of Russian. He took precautions though, even if he asked strangers. He would keep an easy handle on his rifle or any weapon to defend himself. Since he got attacked by a group of people on the second week of infection. He camped for days, weeks and months in the North East woods of Novaya Petrovka. Only after a few days, he forgot his main goal, finding the coast. He was mainly focused on not dying every corner he turned. It seemed to him that everyone was out to kill Jacob. He kept himself away from danger for too long he starts thinking, maybe it was time to find a way back to his real home. Until, one day he woke up with a freezing breeze on his body, it was winter. His tent was ransacked, and almost all his supplies, equipment and resources were stolen off of him. He started heading out more into the nearby villages, using the water pumps and stealing the remnants of food in the empty houses. Now, he felt really alone in this world. On the first day after being robbed, he walked all the way to Vybor and inspected the airfield. Carefully, he sneakily went through the base looting the surroundings. He found some stuff that could replace his old equipment, like a tent and a portable stove with a full propane tank. He headed back to the forests, but instead of living the sedentary life in the forest. He decided after 2 years, it was time to live the nomadic life and finally find the shore of Chernarus and get the fuck out of this shit hole. Damn, didn't think I was going to write a novel. More to come in the ''Stories and Journals'' forum board. Jey, out.