Ender Cain is a Roman history professor at a small college in Spokane Washington. When not teaching he moonlights as a nature photographer and once even had a photo published in an issue of National Geographic. He and his wife Cherie, a daughter of Russian immigrants and historical fiction writer, spend their summers in her family home in Sitka Alaska where they grew up together as kids. In early 2020 the two went on a backpacking trip along the Chernarus coast line, she was looking for inspiration for a new book based on her own family's history in the area and Ender would take photographs of the lesser known region to potentially publish in a travel series. They heard about a new deadly outbreak spreading through the area and chose to cut their trip short and stay in Svetlojarsk until they could arrange safe passage out of the country. Fortunately they managed to get on the list for a priority plane to take foreigners out of the country from the Krasno Airfield. Shortly after they arrived at the airfield a loud explosion could be heard from somewhere in the distance, people were charging the plane on the airstrip and in the turmoil Ender and Cherie are separated. They had agreed if something happens they would meet back at the apartment they had rented in Svetlojarsk but after several days Ender realizes that Cherie is not coming and he sets out to find her.