October 20th – This will be my last journal. 6 months and a wake up then I’m out of the Army. 20 years is a long time, I’ve spent more of my life as a soldier than I have a civilian since I enlisted at 17. I know your mother wanted me to keep these journals for you kids to read when you got older, so as usual I will try to keep things clean, hahaha. We received orders today, my team is going to deploy to some former Soviet country, a breakaway nation that has some kind of emergency. I know that my last tour in Iraq was supposed to be my last but this will be a short one, no more than 3 months.
October 21st – Spent all night on a C-5 Galaxy. We’re in the Ukraine right now and about to board a destroyer. I have my M-24 and Beliki as my spotter again so everything will be fine.
October 22nd – 0400 – Glad I got the chance to talk to you kids and mom before we deploy. We’ll leave at 0600hrs and we’ll be flying into a city called Chernogorsk. It’s a city located in the South Zagoria province of Chernarus, seems like we’re going to help the UN keep Red Cross and MSF doctors safe. This should be an easy mission.
October 23rd – What in the Hell is going on? They told us there was some kind of infection spreading in this place but damn!! Yesterday we landed and took up positions on the roof of some 3 story shop, When the rebels/infected began to pour in from the west. We were given the order to fire and I hit the first one in the liver, should have dropped him but the guy hardly flinched!!! The next one was straight through the brain pan and the guy dropped. Seems the only thing that kills them are head shots or massive damage to the chest, heart and lungs. I can’t understand this, are they all on PCP or something?
1315 hrs - The brass was having a meeting in the International Hotel when a plane slammed into it!! Most of the officers are dead. We are being overrun and under the command of a Welsh Major from fucking supply!!!
2237 hrs – Chernogorsk has fallen. We’ll link up with more UN troops at Elektrozavodsk. These people aren’t diseased or drugged but the dead!!! I watched through my scope as a Chernarussian Defense Force blockade was overrun, one soldier was bitten and I watched him bleed out, then a few minutes later he was back up and attacking his comrades!!! I haven’t slept since we landed, gotta get some sleep in the trucks.
October 24th – The dead are slowly advancing on Elektrozavodsk. I can’t help but think back to what a voodoo houngan told me in Haiti, in the end of days, when there is no more room in Hell, the dead shall walk the earth. We have to hold the dead here, Elektro has the power plant for all of South Zagoria.
October 25th – 0341 hrs – Elektro has fallen, pulling back to Berezino.
1100 hrs – Met with the Major, he wants all Spec Ops to escort a Finnish virologist to a town in the west, Vybor. This Finn, one Dr. Franti, believes he knows where this all started, some underground facility that could date back to the Soviet era. I wouldn’t be surprised if this had been some experiment gone wrong. We leave in an hour; we’ll be taking 2 Blackhawks and a Hip with Dr. Franti and his team. I’ve received more ammunition and even a submachine gun, a PM-73 RAK and an FNX Tactical handgun. We’re loaded for bear on this one! We’ll have just enough fuel to make it to Vybor and then on to the northwest airfield to refuel. Once the Doctor and his team have all the data they need, the helos will split up, mine will fly north to Russia, the Hip will fly to Novigrad, the nation’s capital, and the final Blackhawk will fly to the UN fleet where the WHO and CDC have some kind of research/ hospital ship. I’m finally leaving this nightmare country!!!
January 23rd – I’m finally able to get out of bed and write. Things didn’t go as planned for us. We made it to Vybor and after humping it into the woods from the LZ, we located the underground facility. It was extremely old, possibly pre-WWII. Dr. Franti and his team explored it quickly but not fast enough. We found out the hard way that the dead are attracted to helicopters and gunfire. No one was around when we first landed but after 20-30 minutes they came in droves!!! We expended nearly all our ammunition holding them off but we managed to get out at an alternate PZ with no casualties. The Northwest airfield was similarly deserted and Dr. Franti went to the ATC so he could make copies of all the research documents they found so each group would all have the same information. Some of it was in German with stamps from the Third Reich, that’s right, Nazis, but the rest was in Russian. The Doctor made several copies of all the German documents and the pertinent Russian pages, it appears he reads and speaks Russian, by then the dead had arrived. We exhausted our ammunition trying to get to the birds and were using bayonets when we climbed aboard. As per our orders, we split up and my bird headed north, what we didn’t know is that the copilot had been bitten during our pick up outside of Vybor, must have been when he jumped out to help cover us with his pistol as we boarded the helo, he turned and attacked the pilot. I wasn't the only one to survive the crash, the doctor and most of the team made it out reletively unharmed, and after leaving me with this family they headed north, to Russia.
January 24th – I was talking to Alexi, the patriarch of an old family of Russian nobles, Boyars is what he called them but I don’t know what that translates into. He and his family were the ones that rescued me after I’d been thrown from the crash. They brought me back to their ancestral home, an ancient ostrog or a tower fortress; I have a place of honor beside the giant stone fireplace, lol. Alexi was a doctor when Chernarus was part of the Soviet Union and he did very well for himself in the early 90s after they broke from the Soviets. He and his family have spent a fortune rebuilding their old family home and it has every luxury!! They had solar panels put in along with a well and septic system! Alexi told me they haven’t heard any Chernarussian news since the end of December and they think the government may have fallen. The UN has blockaded the harbors and surrounding countries have closed their borders!! Russians are shooting refugees on sight, so even though I’m less than a mile from the Russian border I can’t go that way when I’m better and winter is over.
February 3rd – Today I was able to explore the ostrog and found that four families actually live with the Polesovs, Alexi’s family. The estate is run like a commune. You can take the communist out of communism but you can’t take the communism out of the communist! LOL. They have solar panels, wind turbines, tractors for the farm, EVERYTHING!! I think Alexi is a survivalist.
February 11th – Alexi showed me a satchel full of papers today; it was the documents we took from Vybor, or at least one set of the copies. I asked him to translate some of it and this is what I could piece together, a timeline of germ warfare:
17 June 1908 - 0717 local time - Meteor explodes over Tunguska, Siberia with the force of a 15 megaton detonation flattening over 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest and releasing a non-terrestrial bacteria into the atmosphere.
Siberia 1930 - Leonid Kulik leads an expedition to Tunguska under orders from Joseph Stalin. The expedition collects samples, including the alien bacteria, for scientific research.
Vybor Research Facility, Chernarus SSR 1932 - Scientists discover the non-terrestrial bacteria and begin to study its mutagenic properties.
23 July 1941 - Nazi troops conquer Chernarus SSR and discover the Vybor Research Facility. Dr. Johann Valkenburg, a specialist in germ warfare is sent to study the Tunguska bacteria. He soon discovers the bacteria, although lacking a brain, seems to work with a hive mind and has the ability to assimilate foriegn DNA through an unknown mutagenic process, thereby changing itself to adapt to new environments. Dr. Valkenburg then begin to experiment with the bacteria's mutagenic properties by combining it with viral DNA.
17 June 1942 - Dr. Valkenburg succeeds in mutating the bacteria into a virus and then begins to cross it with DNA from Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis. The virus readily accepts the fungi DNA but still retains its viral properties. Dr. Valkenburg then moves on to animal trials and is able to infect lab rats. The new virus is dubbed the Tunguska Virus.
2 August 1943 - Soviet troops recapture Chernarus SSR during a successful, surprise offensive. Dr. Valkenburg and other Nazi scientists are apprehended along with their work. Joseph Stalin orders work to continue on the Tunguska virus in hopes of weaponizing it. Originally designed as a means of population control it shows great promise to the Soviet leadership. Soon scientists manage to get the virus to jump species and infect chimpanzees in late December.
13 May 1945 - First human trials are conducted on condemned criminals. Subjects prove highly resistant to death or incapacitation and they must be shot in the head, heart or receive massive trauma to the torso in order to kill them, they also show signs of 'heightened aggression and cannibalism tendencies'. Stalin orders research to continue in hopes of creating super soldiers when it is discovered that the virus' hive mind takes complete control of the subject’s body.
30 September 1949 - Unable to make the virus controllable, Stalin orders Dr. Valkenburg's execution in a subsequent purge. Dr. Ivor Pyotrovich is put in charge of the Vybor installation and the research direction is changed to that of an offensive weapon used against enemy soldiers and populations.
2 March 1953 - The Tunguska virus is perfected into its current form by combining its DNA with that of a man infected with Rabies and it is now easily transmissible. The virus seems to have either exhausted its mutagenic properties or they have recessed to dormancy but after an accidental outbreak Joseph Stalin orders the Vybor Research Facility closed, all scientists and employees are executed in his last purge, the facility and all its research is destroyed before the town of Vybor is erected over the remnants.
March 17th – Alexi says that within a month or so the passes will be clear enough for me to leave the Black Mountains. Every day he tries to change my mind but I grow stronger and stronger and I must find a way back to my wife and kids. Fortunately, the infection hasn’t spread very far according to the news coming in from Russia and other news agencies. I am thankful every day that he had the foresight to get a satellite dish. The internet is another matter though, with unsubstantiated reports of the infection in Russia, Takistan and Georgia. Chernarus has been almost completely dark since December the 19th but I have to find a way home!!
April 11th – Today I’m leaving Alexi’s home. I have spoken with him numerous times as to what would be my best route. Grozovoy Pass is the only way out of the mountains from here so I must go south, back through the no man’s land that South Zagoria has become. What I will do next is unclear. I still have the topographical map issued to me and I believe that I will head east to the coast. Maybe the UN forces were able to hold Berezino, if not I will follow the coast down to Novigrad. Alexi has given me plenty of food, clothes and supplies, even an ax and an old IZH-43 shotgun, along with plenty of shells. I hope to be home soon and with a little luck I will…..I know I can make it, I’m a survivor!