Community Spotlight – January 2024

Oz

3 weeks ago

Community Spotlight – January 2024

Welcome to the January 2024 Community Spotlight! The snow has finally melted and the DayzUnderground community is kicking off 2024 with a bang! January was packed with awesome content from interesting new stories to immersive livestreams to narrative videos and media. Let this serve as a massive shoutout to the entire community for putting in the time and energy to create story-driven material and put it out there for everyone to see. Despite this article including a number of great submissions – there is so much more to be found on the DayzUnderground subreddit.  If you are not already whitelisted for access to the booming private subreddit, go ahead and apply!

The mesmerizing world of DayzUnderground is alive and well with a strong pulse. No story is too big or small, so get out there and make your mark!

This video gives a face-to-face perspective into a few different interesting characters on DayzUnderground. As always, Legit-POP does a great job of immersing his viewers into his shoes and giving a peek into the DUG world from his eyes!

Video by Legit-POP

“The Medic” by [SMC] Jack

“… I.. I can’t feel my fingers. They don’t work, I can’t get this bandage unrolled… “

I look over to Guardner, who is peering out from the safety of our attic window, eyeing the ongoing feud between the wolves and the infected in an epic battle of supremacy. Moments ago, we were coming down the hill into Svergino; not a care in the world, carefully slinking and zigzagging through the infected that still inhabit the abandoned town.

First it was a lone dog, clearly rife with rabies and looking for a fight. No big deal. I pulled out my silenced Kolt to deal with nuisance. Just as I peered down the sights.. “Wolves!”

I look to my left to see 7, maybe 8 wolves skulking down the hill; One of the largest packs I’ve seen since arriving in South Zagoria. We had wolves and coyotes back in Arizona, but the cunning intelligence of a chernorussian wolf was like nothing I’ve experienced back home. It’s almost as if they knew we spotted them, because in that instant the broke into a full sprint.

I quickly neutralized the stray mutt in front of me before turning my attention to the wolves.

BANG

Before I could utter a response, a shot rang out from Guardners sawn off Mosin and one of the wolves drop. Great, we’ve just introduced a third factor into this.

The next few moments are a chaotic blur. Shots ring out in every direction. Fists and teeth whiz by my face, grabbing and gnawing at my clothes and other precious belongings.

GET INSIDE! I yell at my comrades. Guardner and I head up the hill to a small house with an attic and slam the doors shut. “Where’s Alex?”

Guardner climbs up the stairs to the confined attic space and looks out the window. “It looks like she’s heading down to that small electrical building.”

I open to door leading that direction and I see a trail of infected running down the hill. Leading them down the hill is Alex, one wolf firmly clutched onto the back of her leg, another making leaping attacks at her hands and arms as she flails her way to the door, clearly motivated by pure adrenaline in this moment.

BANG

Guardner takes another shot at one of the wolves further behind. Several of the infected pursuing Alex suddenly turn their attention on us. Well, that’s good I tell myself quietly.

“Get inside and close the door!” I yell down the hill. She gets her hand on the door handle and with one swift motion, the wolves on her pant leg receives a generous boot to the face as she opens the door and slams it behind her.

Safe

The radio crackles with activity. “I’m bleeding pretty bad,” Alex says, “.. I can’t feel my fingertips.”

“Okay, stay put.” I lean a little further out the door to observe the surrounding hills. The humanoid creatures running full tilt in my direction and they’re closing fast.

“..I don’t think I’m going to make it. I don’t have the strength to get this bandage unrolled..”

I don’t have time. This is the only chance.

“Guardner, stay here!” I yell behind me as I pull the door closed on my way out.

As I’m running, I imagine myself telling Alan we lost Alex. That what was supposed to be a routine run over to see Odyssey turned into the last for one of our members. I felt shame. How a singular moment of panic and chaos can be so destructive.

I did 5 years in the United States Marine Corps as a combat medic.

Five years.

And I probably only remember the first 6 months. After that, it’s just flashes, like a night of drinking where you get blackout drunk. When your body enters fight or flight, it stops recording information, it doesn’t need to. All it needs to do is figure out how to survive.

The wolves have themselves distracted with the walking corpses as teeth gnash and blood flies in every direction. One wolves acknowledges the fresh meat making haste down the hill towards them and breaks away from the pack heading in my direction. I pull my Kolt from its holster and quickly put 3 rounds of .45 into its abdomen. A second sees the commotion and lunges in my direction, grabbing ahold of my backpack.

I manage to shake him off just as I reach the door. I slam it behind me as I enter the nearly pitch black interior of the electrical building. I see Alex laying on the floor in front of me, now practically motionless in a pool of ever widening blood.

Procedure

I kneel down, and without a second thought get to work. Bandages, morphine, epinephrine roll across the floor as I dig into my bag. Shots from the house on the hill ring out as guardner tries to deal with the wolves.

And then it’s done. The bleeding stopped. But she’s still barely responsive. Alan’s face flashes in front of me.. “We did what we could Alan.. it just.. unfortunately it just wasn’t enough.”

What would become of Alan? Losing Alex likely meant losing Alan, too. At least, the Alan we came to know.. the one we admired.

And then I remembered.

Saline

My motto was always; Expect the worst, hope for the best. And boy am I glad that I did.

Soon enough, Alex becomes more responsive. She sits upright and looks at her hands; moments ago they seemed like they didn’t even belong to her anymore. Her fingers move once again.

Relief.

Before too long, we open the door and we’re back on the road. There’s a calm silence in our walk. Fear. Maybe a realization of the fragility of life itself.

“I thought I was dead..” Alex mutters quietly.

I look down to the sleeves of my shirt, darkened with blood.

“Not today, Alex.”

“Memoranda” by Joe

Amidst the deafening retort of thunder and relentless rain, I jog hurriedly toward a seemingly-abandoned townhouse. The door groans open, revealing a dishevelled yet remarkably comfortable interior. The house is adorned with undeniable traces of life – a faint warmth lingering in the air from the embers of a fuel-starved fireplace, a patch of dust lifted from a ramshackle chair, and a beaten leather-backed book laying open next to array of stationery scattered across a broad oak table. Exploring tentatively in the dim light of the forgotten farmhouse, I pick up the book and turn it over in my hands to examine the cover, hoping to find some clue as to the previous occupant.

FORSAKEN LOYALISTS M.C. – OPERATIONAL LEDGER

The first collection of memoranda I set eyes upon was penned in tidy, methodical handwriting and emerald green ink. In some places the words had been etched away with neat lines, preventing me from grasping their full meaning.

09/12/2023 – ████████ were told directly that the club would be expanding its operations South, and they could choose what that expansion looked like. Despite our blunt manner, they seemed immediately eager to make an asset of themselves. Were they perhaps too eager? […] It’s clear that they are expecting a war soon – likely with ██████- and will need supplies to that end. They were uninterested in construction materials, but are willing to sell us any pertinent information for a fee.

16/12/2023 – Admitted they were having some trouble with █████… Two Kalashnikovs with magazines, 180 rounds of ammunition and two lock hammers exchanged for two plate carriers in good condition. They seem very well-equipped and willing to pay good prices for specific high-tier gear. Could be instrumental trade partners in the coming months…

Turning the page with growing interest, I continue to read. This strange ledger was clearly maintained by several authors. Although the same neat emerald block print described the next entry, it had been carelessly appended by further footnotes in hastily-scrawled black script that spoke of a lack of patience for record-keeping or business.

16/12/2023 – The allotted time was missed by twenty-three minutes, and we were originally greeted by a member with no authority to speak on group matters […] ███████ was informed of our expansion into their region, and encouraged to make his group an asset to the club. ███ regrets the previous actions of ████ […] They intend on paying their outstanding debt by dead drop […] non-committal on trade, suggesting they would suffer if such a relationship became public. I asked him how many of our other clients he could name…

03/12/2023  They are looking for nails and hunting rifle calibre bullets. ████ may be especially useful as an informant on groups and people in the North […] They have heard about our rivalry with █████, and seem to believe we are looking to capture a specific member. They offered help achieving this goal, but there isn’t enough trust to even confirm, let alone agree.

16/12/2023  They seem reluctant to trade high tier gear. They told us that ████ wanted to kill us but couldn’t remember when they heard this, so it could be old news. Could they also be sharing info about us? Told them not to change the code so we could continue to drop off ███ – they said they wouldn’t, but we do not trust them…

The same black ink described the next section, but frustration was evident in the brief summary. Unable to contain my curiosity, I continue to immerse myself in the writing.

17/12/2023 – █████ said they’d heard from a dozen people that we’re bad business partners, but wouldn’t give us names […] They are small fry, not worth our time. They arrived late, lacked high-grade weapons and armour, showed disrespect,and were clearly uncomfortable in our presence. They are likely relying on larger groups for protection – no prizes for guessing who…

Even when the sensation is totally foreign to you, there is no mistaking the rough caress of a revolver against the base of your skull. The sudden chill races down my spine as the cold steel presses against the soft nape of my neck, a stark reprimand for my dumb curiosity. Time stretches, and the air thickens with an oppressive tension; a malevolent force that engulfs my senses in pure horror. My heart beats in my chest, and I feel the canals of blood thrumming behind my eyes as they flood the darkest recesses of my cartilage, sinew and fast-twitch muscle fibre with pure adrenaline. My would-be murderer speaks, his voice tinged with a hint of melancholy; the subtlest hint that he took no pleasure in what he did next.

“I really wish you hadn’t seen that.”

My breath, once iron steady, now quivers with uncertainty. A deafening scream wells on the precipice of my lips as I prepare to turn and fight.

Suddenly, there was only fire.

And then… nothing.

“Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – Damien’s Story” by Cpt. Painkiller

I used to live about a few dozen miles north of South Zagoria before the world fell into ruin, trudging through the obstacles of the everyday like everyone else. I was being taught the ropes of being a park ranger by my mentor when the infection hit. Lucky me, I guess – being in an isolated woodland and being very familiar with basic survival skills and medical aid. That luck lasted a while, at least it did until these days when I am writing my story.

When I ventured south, I came across a group of what I can only describe as “mercenaries” in a town called Dobroe. Their establishment, a pub called “The Rusty Pitchfork” was located at the heart of the settlement – it was above all a wretched hive of scum and villainy – there are no better words to paint the picture more accurately.

The leader of this gang was a Russian man by the name of Sergei. He wore a black tanker helmet with a shemagh as a scarf around his neck, and his most recognizable piece – the striped telnyashka. He was a crude man, a scoundrel, a bandit, and a thief – but he offered me shelter within his town, and for a while gave me membership within his gang. Above all, he wished that the Rusty Pitchfork remained free, a place where bandits and killers could tread without boundaries and no rules to weigh them down. That freedom, however, was being challenged.

When the Merry Men first came to Dobroe, asking us to bring some of their newly-found citizens to live within our town, Sergei became… enraged. Needless to say, he turned them down with a firm warning – not to trespass anywhere near his pub. And for a while, things were calm.

It wasn’t the robbing and the overly-territorial leadership of his that eventually turned me away from Sergei and his gang. I suppose… we just parted ways one day, with no questions asked.

Sergei, ready to liberate the Rusty Pitchfork

While I was still figuring out what path I was going to take from that point on, I learned from someone that Sergei had joined the Forsaken Loyalists, seemingly abandoning his town in the North-East. Though I wasn’t surprised at hearing the news, I was partially disappointed.

Months later, I managed to make my way to Severograd and rekindle the decent relations I had built with the Odyssey whilst I still lived in Dobroe – hoping to pursue a dream to open up a shop of my own within their borders – something I had wished to do side by side with the Rusty Pitchfork in the past. After a few good conversations, Forest and Emerson helped me pick out a decent household that I could call home, and a few others eventually helped me in building it up. I’ve already owed them for defending my previous house once or twice before, and now they’ve helped me once more.

I was soon to build my shop, finally, but my planning was cut short by some news that piqued my interest: Sergei had returned to the North-East, and he was on a crusade against the Merry Men and their citizens, terrorizing them and slaughtering those who did not meet his demands. Of course, I had to see this for myself.

It wasn’t too hard to find him, then we finally had a chat to catch up. His prospecting for Forsaken Loyalists had only lasted a week or so, as he was hoping that they would help him fight against the North-East, but then abandoned that cause and fled South instead. He had returned, however, with a new gang of murderers that were capable of fighting against an army if they had to – and they would enjoy every moment of it. Sergei believed that the Merry Men were tyrants, trying to impose their reign upon the town he used to live in and the adjacent settlements, overcrowding the place with their filth. His methods of removing them were very straightforward: shoot first – threaten later. Needless to say, he raised hell in the North-East. I could hear the fireworks from miles away, and they lasted for weeks. Despite the amount of casualties the Merry Men and their citizens suffered, they hadn’t recalled their forces or responded to any of his demands. Stubborn perhaps, who knows…

Eventually, I ended up hearing word from Sergei himself. He wished to speak to the leaders of the Merry Men and negotiate a deal, and he wanted me to be his messenger. Reluctantly, I complied – whether or not it was because I owed the man a debt or I simply didn’t want the bloodshed to continue, I do not know. All I know is I complied and went to Sherwood point to establish communication between the two warring sides. To my surprise, things went well, and I heard they came to an agreement: the Merry Men were to recall their citizens from Dobroe and give back the Rusty Pitchfork to Sergei, and he would cease his attacks. Things seemed calm for a day or two, but the storm was on its way regardless.

Sergei was not the same person I once knew. What was once an honest bandit who wished to create a thriving haven for his kind, was now a battle-crazed man with a bloodthirst that could not be quenched. Things didn’t have to end that way – but there were no words I could say that he would heed, no voice of reason he would listen to. Things escalated, and the person I once called friend turned into an enemy but for a moment – and I was only but a moment faster than him.

I ended up telling Mick what I had done. He understood how difficult that was for me – though I don’t believe that he nor the other Merry Men will ever know the extent of the slaughter that I had prevented by doing what I had to. And I don’t really want them to… It feels so strange, to know that some might praise you for killing their enemy, but that kill feels nothing like an accomplishment to you. It was the right thing to do that feels so wrong. Above all, he was a friend, and I will carry this burden for the rest of my life – though I would not soon be permitted any time to mourn his passing…

A new associate of mine by the name of Vadim asked me to accompany him on a drive towards a few locations. Eventually, we ended up in Pavlovo, where a group by the name of Golden Peppers resided. Vadim had some business with them, and I established some profitable trade deals with them myself. Though their behavior didn’t seem abnormal to me, my associate noticed it was unusual – to say the least. They all had an incredibly nasty cough, as they had been breathing in too often the toxic gases of the nearby military base – which is where they sought solitude and protection from their tyrannical neighbors – the 506th. They seemed addicted to this gas, and completely unaware of how badly it was affecting their physical and mental health. Vadim tried to break it to them, but they insisted that they were fine.

Our first visit at Pavlovo.

Needless to say, Vadim came up with a bit of ruse to try and knock some sense into them with. We went up to Kalinovka and beckoned Dr. Emerson to accompany us back to Pavlovo in order to perform a medical check-up on the Peppers, hoping that they would listen to reason if it came from a medical expert instead of us. She agreed and we ended up persuading Cob to go through with the inspection. Vadim and I spoke to the rest of them, who seemed to stare straight through us as we attempted to understand their perspective. When Emerson was done, we left the piano building and hopped into the car. As Vadim slowly drove out of their compound, they just stared at us… watching us leave like a flock of lions observing a gazelle limping away from their sight. Moments later, we heard an array of gunshots from their home base. We pressed the pedal to the medal and went on our way back to Severograd.

Our visit with Emerson, convincing Cob to take his medical exam.

If there’s one thing we confirmed during both our visits, it’s that things were very very wrong with the Golden Peppers – and Vadim and Emerson had a plan on how to fix them. Vadim, Sean and I were to kidnap one of them – preferably Cob – and bring him to Emerson, who was going to attempt to heal him with some steady and calculated dosages of P.O.X. medicine, then keep him away from the gas as long as possible so he doesn’t succumb to withdrawal symptoms and go back into his deadly habits. With hope, Cob would then be of clear mind and able to help the rest of us heal the other Peppers. Of course, in typical fashion when dealing with Vadim – things did not go as planned.

The Golden Peppers were not home when we drove into Pavlovo with the intentions to “kidnap” one of them. However, one was conveniently visiting Odyssey at Pebble’s Pub in Kalinovka. Vadim went to Lewis, asking him to grab a P.O.X. injector and follow his lead. We called the Golden Pepper – Regi – over to the former Dugout Church. Where Lewis, under Vadim’s instructions, handcuffed Regi in order for us to try and help him. Regi, of course, did not like that. We explained to him the danger he was in, and though he wasn’t so willing to accept it – he didn’t fight back too much at the time. We showed him the medicine and explained to him that it might help him, though unfortunately we did not have the luxury of having Dr. Emerson present to confirm that. The five of us – Lewis, Vadim, Sean, Nukdal and I – did our best to comfort him. While I was in the middle of explaining to Regi that we would not involuntarily inject him with the drug – that careless bastard Vadim jabbed the needle straight into his arm before any of us could stop him. Regi began to panic and sweat, wriggling out of his handcuffs and taking his jacket off, before violently throwing up onto the church floors – thrice! His condition was unstable, he was mumbling, lightheaded and extremely disoriented.

Lewis, Vadim, Sean and I talking to Regi.

Luckily for us, Beuford – who is a very good therapist – came just in time to calm him down and bring him back to some form of consciousness. Regi was complying and responding to Beau’s therapy, though he said some unsettling things during his “interview”… Such as the fact that he was able to see and speak to his dead “Mee-maw” right there in the church, as he also showed us that he carried her bonified remains and metal hip in his backpack.

Beauford’s Therapy Session

Things turned dark and eerie in the old chapel, then Regi took a deep breath and got up. He placed a gas mask onto his head and injected himself with a bag of blood he carried on his person, before dropping a tear gas grenade at his feet and started booking it towards the door. Thanks to a number of spectators that had accumulated during this “intervention”, his path to the outdoors was blocked, though he did not hesitate to punch his way through the human door that barred his escape. Things escalated, people were shouting for him to stop running and trying to figure out a way to stop him from running without hurting himself – he even popped an epipen to give himself the extra boost. It didn’t help that a pack of wolves ambushed the lot of us as we exited the church. Bullets, bolts and arrows flew at every direction, everyone tried to make sure none of the wild animals made their way to Regi. Sean managed to stop him finally, by administering a shot through his leg – a painful, but effective method.

Regi fell to the floor and sighed and breathed deep. And under that breath we could hear a muffled:“I’m gonna eat your fucking fingers!”.

There was a silence that was louder than the storm that preceded it.

We got him off the ground, and pulled him back into the church. Things became more tense with every moment that passed by. Though eventually, we “convinced” Regi to stay the night at Pebble’s Pub with Lewis and get the help he needed in the morning when Emerson would be around. They took him to his room, as Beau, Lewis, Vadim and I consulted at the altar. Lewis was unhappy with how Vadim roped him into tying Regi up like that, and I was equally unhappy with his choice to unwillingly inject him with drugs – as well as giving him vodka to drink afterwards (though Beau believes that the vodka may have actually helped a little). Either way, things went a lot harder than they should have.

I saw Regi the next day running with Odyssey, he seemed well enough apart from a headache – though he hasn’t forgotten the amount of unnecessary suffering we put him through the night prior. The day after that, I met with Odyssey again but there was no sign of Regi. They had told me that Golden Peppers came knocking at their doors demanding they returned him to them. They also mentioned that they were very angry and Vadim, Sean and I – and I can’t say that I am surprised at all. Things went out of hand, and instead of us helping someone – they believe we only did harm. Emerson also confirmed that the blood Regi took was contaminated with the toxins from the gas, so even after our P.O.X. antidote cleared some of that poison from his system, he injected himself with more. Same with the filters in his gas mask – they too have been tampered with. Are the Golden Peppers so hooked on this gas that they are willingly injecting themselves with more of it? Or is someone brainwashing them to do this and leading them down a much darker path than they could realize?

What a fucking mess, and after what I went through beforehand as well… I still haven’t had a single day to set apart to mourn the loss of my friend, let alone a day to fight this dread that I carry and the guilt that pairs with it… What the fuck do I do now? How do I help them? Can I even help them?…

Why do I even try? I didn’t come here to be a fucking hero – saving people that wouldn’t accept my aid…

I know I have my demons, many of which I would never write about in these papers… but why can’t I CATCH A FUCKING BREAK??

I just wanted to open up a goddamn clothing shop…

“A Light to Extinguish – Part 2” by Lewis

A sharp chill swiped Lewis across the face, drawing him out of thought and forcing him to focus on Cain’s disjointed proclamations. “The Messiah” was back, arrogance in tact.

Lewis couldn’t help but look Crowley up and down. When he was a part of the SZPA, Crowley and Odyssey had a quick blooming chemistry. Before him, though, stood “Cain’s Servant”, a shell of the person Odyssey had grown to know and love. Lewis’ sympathy was limited. There are consequences for following a known manipulator, especially one as storied as Cain the Messiah.

“We’re disarming you Cain but Crowley can keep all his things. I need to make it clear that as long as you are around, Odyssey and Black Sun will have issues.”

Odyssey had travelled to the North East looking for members of Black Sun but finding Cain on the outskirts of the region, half an hour into their patrol, left Lewis entirely unprepared for their conversation.

“What happened to Torchwood?” Lewis asked.

“They viewed Chernarus as a lost cause. I decided to stay.”

“What is Black Sun?”

Everyone Lewis had asked in the North East was unable to define Black Sun. Cain’s inflated and inconsequential explanation furthered his belief that Black Sun was a front. They were apparently trying to start anew and Cain desired to help “rehabilitate” people who have committed sins. Since he was still a religious man himself he decided to join the Federation of the Four Faith’s, choosing to hold hands with The Dark Angels, whom Emerson and Odyssey had found torturing unarmed individuals in Berezino a few days prior.

Cain was linked to the death of a beloved member of The Dugout, Hoover, after suicide bombers ran into the community camp and screamed “For the Light!”. Jarge, Forest’s brother, was ex-Torchwood, a title that is usually accompanied with a manhunt. Ted from The Vigil, Shifty’s old group, was made to stand in a fire on behalf of The Messiah. Luckily he lived, unlike others who were made to do the same.

During past quarrels, Cain was prolific in the semantics of debate. Now, though, he was playing dumb. It felt as though he was banking on people forgetting his crimes. The North East was home to many new faces and groups, so it’s no surprise Black Sun chose to put roots down amongst them all. But there are still those who remember the crimes of Torchwood.

“What made you guys decide to start defending yourselves anyway?” Cain quipped.

“We always defended ourselves. Things unraveled and we had to take a more proactive approach. Maybe if you and Torchwood had focused more on fighting Dark as Midnight or the Forsaken Loyalists, instead of targeting the neutral few for trying to stay out of it, we wouldn’t have needed to become Odyssey again.”

“We did fight them.”

“Well y’all did a shit job at it.”

A gunshot rang out about a hundred meters to the west. It was Oski, a friendly trader who called the North East home. His appearance was evidence they’d been stationary for far too long and it was time to cut them loose.

After fumbling his own words multiple times, Lewis made it clear to Cain that Black Sun and The Dark Angels were not to be seen in Odyssey territory. The nature of Odyssey’s next encounter with Black Sun was up in the air, and The Dark Angels were going to be apprehended on sight and questioned about their torturous activities.

“Both of you make your way down the hill. Break free from your restraints when you get to the bottom. I’m friends with that man down there so if you try to recuperate your losses by robbing him Cain, he’ll tell me about it.”

“Rob him? You just robbed me!” Cain replied.

“No, we disarmed you.” Lewis said with a smile. Life for the wicked deserves to be difficult.

Odyssey made their way southwest. Seeing the Temple of Selene in the distance reminded Lewis of something Runa had told him. She had spoken with Harry Churches recently and The Messiah was a part of that conversation. What Harry had told her solidified the concerns Odyssey had already presented to the Wolves of Selene, as well as the ones she had herself.

“We need to take a trip to Pusta. Soon.”

“Trust” by Harry Churches

We had arrived at Zolotar castle with clear intentions. The Wolves of Selene along with the Dark Angels and the Order of The Isle had formed the Federation of Four Faiths, including Cain’s rebranding of Torchwood known as the Black Sun. I had last seen Cain only days prior at Sherwood Point, he was there with another member of the alliance haggling the Merry Men for support. Despite claiming to be starting a new, his methods remained the same. He had the same distain for those who would not vow their total and unwavering dedication to his righteous cause of the week, and I was having none of it.

My motives for warning the Wolves about Cain and his likelihood to betray them just as he had the Fireflies, the Black Cross, and every other group who he was able to get too close to, while rooted in earnest concern, wasn’t without an angle. I have watched Cain cross good people one to many times, and I not only want Cain separated from the alliance, but I plan to put that lying bastard down once, and for all.

The Wolves of Selene atop Zolotar Castle.

“He’s not someone you can trust.” I told Raphael. In fairness, trust was something that I had very little of for anyone anymore, but to say I didn’t trust Cain would be an understatement, and that seemed to be a sentiment Runa already agreed with. Before the Dark Angels had arrived I explained to her the reason I had travel all the way from the south east to their home was to warn them of Cain, only to be met with the words I had prepared being taken out of my own mouth.

Having Runa already on board proved useful, one less person I had to convince. Raphael, however, wouldn’t be swayed as easily. “Well, maybe it’s time to see if Cain has truly reformed.” he said, as if he had not quite heard me telling him in great detail about the atrocities of Torchwood, involving child slaves, and the burning alive of innocent survivors. “That’s a lot to change from.” Runa interjected, supporting my argument against Cain.

Raphael of the Dark Angels at Zolotar as Harry warns him about Cain.

I found it odd that Raphael appeared to react so glibly to what I had just said. For someone who I’d heard was quite harsh on survivors for their “sins” he was quick to Cain’s defence. Almost as if he didn’t really care about who Cain actually was, and dismissed my concerns on the basis that he was still useful to the Dark Angels. If that is the case, then perhaps Cain isn’t the only person in this alliance who I should be keeping my eye on, and if the Federation of Four Faiths is to become three, I’m going to have to find a way to drive a wedge between Raphael and Cain.

Regardless, there was no more I could do to warn them of the backstabber in their midst for now. Weather they were smart enough to heed my warning and remove that man from their alliance before he did them any damage was their call, but for the moment, the only thing protecting Cain from joining Captain Biscuits was his pawns. If he was to be ousted from the Federation of Four Faiths before the Black Sun manages to find their footing, it would leave him with no one to protect him, nothing to leach off, and no more lies to spin to his credit. Cain would finally see justice for his crimes.

As we left the compound at Zolotar following Raphael’s assurances that he would “look into” the matter. Myself and Bobs from the Black Sheep began the long journey back to the south east. Bobs was one of the few people in this land that I could truly trust. Unlike those who I had a good perception of with much being left in the air, Bobs is someone I know for certain to be a good man. He has never wavered in his honesty towards me, and he has shared many personal secrets with me over the years I’ve known him. He is the closest thing I’ve had to a best friend since Kel died.

Harry & Bobs leaving Zolotar and beginning their journey home.

With all the talk of Cain’s snake like ways, I found myself appreciating Bobs’ loyalty more than usual. “You’re my brother Bobs, you know that.” I said, almost surprised with myself for actually saying such a strong affirmation aloud. “There are many people in this world Bobs who I’ve known and considered friends, but it’s rare that I come across someone who I can trust like they’re family.” Bobs responded perhaps a little taken a back, “The only person who’s said that to me before was… Brokk.” I don’t think either of us are particularly great at conveying how we feel, but regardless he thanked me and reciprocated the gesture.

In a warzone like Chernarus emotions only serve to slow you down and hold you back, fear is something to be overcome, rage will blind you to reality, but love to the point of brotherhood, that is powerful. It is a reminder of the humanity that still existed amidst the chaos and it showed me once more that all that we had lost was not beyond reach.

Harry Churches arriving in the south east.

As Bobs and I trudged through the snow, surrounded by the bleak and desolate landscape of Chernarus, we noticed that the snow was finally beginning to thaw. Soon the cold would be gone, and winter with all the suffering it brought, would be over. The fight ahead against the wrongdoers of Chernarus remained, but with Bobs by my side, I faced the future with a renewed sense of purpose, a purpose fuelled by the bonds that had withstood the trials of Chernarus.

“Nebulous” by [GP] Cob

By my estimation yet another year has passed and as I sit here writing I am struck with just how at peace I am with the unusually cold weather that has been enveloping Chernarus these last three months. The storms have been blanketing the entire region in snow…a once-familiar sight that I’d nearly forgotten. It has provided a change of pace, adapting to the chill and, at times, blinding blizzards but I can’t shake the feeling of being comforted by it in a way. There is a calmness in the air, a stillness once the snow stops falling where all is quiet and, briefly, at peace. A welcome feeling I’ve felt only one other place here.

It of course didn’t start out this way. Yet another of those earth-shaking storms brought about mass chaos and destruction, flattening all that once was. Once the worst of it was over, the rebuilding & regrouping process ensued as it always does; albeit with some changes to how we set things up at the compound. Gone was the large courtyard where many were hosted not so long ago, the desire to build for solitude supplanting that of solidarity. Regi, Ross, Rowan, and Trev all unwaveringly pitching in effort and sacrifice to get us back up on our feet. The storm also brought a group that took up residence in Zvir. Arriving not long after as The Mantle, remnants of the Lost Legion which were themselves remnants of the SZPA. We had gone back to those founding days of the SZPA and still had good relations with a few we recognized. Unfortunately, a fracturing occurred and the remaining folk reformed yet again. Still seemingly well-intentioned, we have taken a few on some adventures in an attempt to help them broaden their contacts. From there we focused our efforts on a project we had started a few months prior to the storm, something I have grown very fond of. Something that provides a tranquil solace.

As with most things, this tranquility is unceremoniously interrupted with gunfire and the like more often than not. On one such morning I awoke to find structures torn down, tents missing, and our truck a smoldering wreck. Being indoors, I was perplexed… surely it was the work of a drunken fool. I approached the exit and was met with the sounds of someone chopping away, I said a few surprised words before watching them scurry to a corner and readying a gun; they did not survive. But it was a long-standing mystery until we spoke with another group that was able to confirm who they were due to their boastings. That however, only deepened the mystery as what they proclaimed we had done to them had never been done by our hand nor had we knowledge of. They seemed convinced that we lorded over the Pavlovo Military zone, killing all who entered, and while rumors of our building there had spread far and wide, I was unaware of this one. We have in fact watched many come and go, unharmed, since before the storm. Regardless, we know where they live and what happens from here will depend on a myriad of factors. Presently, I’ve become more concerned about broader events and the harm they wrought upon my fellow Golden Peppers.

The entire region now seems wholly consumed by, and engulfed in, a conflict between a patchwork of religions teaming up against the 506th with even the Boys of Brena joining the fray. All of this largely relayed ad nauseum via a barrage of radio ramblings and proclamations. Until recently, it was only something to discuss. That changed when Trev, Regi, and Ross decided to take Dill and Nightingale of Zvir to visit the 506th and after failing to make contact, found themselves the target of their weapons from afar. Both Dill and Nightingale were severely wounded in their own town of Zvir while Regi caught some in the legs and Trev & Ross dodged those intent on killing them. By the time I got to Zvir I heard Trev giving old Franco Montana the business, explaining that a horde had set upon them and the group had tried multiple times near Mother Base and Zeleno itself to contact 506th only to be later fired upon, falling back to Zvir while being tracked and shot at. It all boiled down to a case of mistaken identity according to Elias who showed up about the time I did and essentially confirmed what I’ve long pondered but hoped wasn’t the case; elements within 506th ran unchecked and often uninformed, giving free reign to those possessing overly-eager trigger fingers.

The rub was that days prior to this incident we had what I considered a productive meeting with the 506th, garnering good will and a mending of fences to a degree, especially with May. Previously, it was her that I assumed shot me at Sherwood Point many months ago, and she was paid back in kind by Rowan at our compound shortly after. However, recently Regi had been in the northeast on a bit of sabbatical of sorts when Runa revealed to him that it was her that pulled the trigger, May also confirmed this and elaborated on why she hadn’t tried to reach out since; making valid points. While I don’t know what lies the pair were going to tell me those many months back when they came to talk, it was clear May wanted to move past it and the hatchet was buried, with her at least.

But now… now this conflict has shown, yet again, the unquenchable appetite man has for violence. How quickly we’ve all forgotten that we are the small number immune to the virus that ravaged most of humanity. When blinded by bloodlust with fingers lapping at triggers, anyone with a pulse is a target it would seem. Each side pressing those who haven’t chosen to join in or judging for not having done so and the like. This is nothing new of course it’s the same play with different actors each time. I’ve always considered myself a misanthrope with a bit of an ironic hopeful streak but… if I’m being truthful, my hope burned away during the last days of the incursion with the Brenans. My fellow members expressing similar attitudes about the state of present affairs at least. As such, we left word for those passersby & whom we’ve called friend at the compound, well pump, and on a correspondence board tucked away in town.

There is only one place I want to be, one place that quiets all of the flapping gums, the chest puffery, the demands; one place that gives me clarity.

“Logs 1-9” by Regi

5 January 2024

Log 1

It’s been a few days since we began our move into the gas. So far so good. It took a lot of work and a lot of charcoal but the fundamentals are done. You might still find us lingering around the old farm if you’re lucky, we still have quite a bit to move over and likely won’t be fully gone from there any time soon (or ever).

I forgot how quiet it gets in there. Just some shambling corpses and the breeze. Sometimes I think I hear doors opening or shutting but that’s just my imagination. Probably comes from how restrictive these suits are. They make me borderline claustrophobic.

P.S. We will try to be on 96.6 between the hours of 9pm to 11pm. We might be on the radio outside those times if you’re lucky.

7 January 2024

Log 2

Business as usual. I haven’t seen anyone visit the gas since we
moved in. Either they are staying out or it occurs while I’m out on a
run or asleep. I’ve only heard one person on the radio and they
weren’t even trying to reach us.

17 January 2024

Addendum 1

Apologies for the lack of updates. I only just returned from being a prisoner to some folks in the north who I had once considered friends. I had many folks from other groups, both friends and neutral parties, witness what occurred and they did nothing to help me. I’m not so sure about friends these days. There were some logs I had written but not yet posted before I was taken. I will post these now in order to catch up.

Additionally, some of my prior logs have been taken. They will be reposted here on the noteboard with the original date added.

8 January 2024

Log 3

Today while I was on patrol in the gas, I got jumped by more zombies
than I could handle. I had to hide in a shed and shoot through the
window to take them out. I wasted almost half a filter on my idiocy.

When I stepped out of the shed, I could have sworn I saw someone
out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned to look, they were
gone.

If whoever that was happens to read this, I’m a friendly dude and I
wouldn’t mind having a friend in here.

9 January 2024

Log 4

Nothing too exciting happened today. Some shots to the north but a pretty low chance they’re on their way here so nothing I had to worry about. I did notice something last night when I left the gas for a break. While I was out, I just felt like putting the gas mask back on. I had neglected to take off the spent filter so it was a little hard to breathe out of it, even to the point of gasping for air. But even with that, I felt that blanket of calmness wash over me and that smell of freshly cut grass that we’ve gotten so used to inside the gas.

10 January 2024

Log 5

I’m starting to get a bit worried; I keep seeing a person, a shadow,
standing just in the corner of my eye. When it started it was only
happening in the gas, but today it happened at the farm too. Fight
Night is coming up soon and I could really use a break. Usually being
in the gas is calming, but repeatedly thinking I see someone in my
peripheral is stressing me out.

11 January 2024

Log 6

I talked to some of the other Peppers this morning and told them that their little pranks weren’t appreciated. Maybe I didn’t say it quite so nice but they still insisted they hadn’t done anything. This was after I was trying to get some reading in before falling asleep last night and I swear I started to hear someone outside the hospital whispering. I couldn’t figure out what they were saying and when I looked out the windows or over the edge of the roof I couldn’t see where they were. I’m not really sure what to think about this idea anymore.

11 January 2024

Log 7

Vadim and Damien stopped by again today, this time they ambushed
us by bringing along Dr. Emerson from Odyssey so that she could
examine Cob. I had considered mentioning some of the things that
had been happening to me but I was too busy finalizing a trade with
Damien to do so. They seemed to be in a bit of a rush getting out so
I didn’t bother to say anything else. Nothing else really came of their
visit, both Cob and Emerson claimed everything was fine. Vadim
didn’t seem convinced so I expect more bullshit to deal with.

15 January 2024

Log 8

This might be a bit of a long one, and I’m not sure when I’ll even get to post this, if ever. I went to Fight Night on the 13th along with Dill and Tim. Everything was going fine and I was enjoying my time, not even thinking of the gas or anything else that was occurring. Shortly into round one of the fights, I noticed that whispering again. At first I just chalked it up to the many many other people who were attending the event, but there was just something wrong with it. It didn’t seem to be drowned out by other sounds; it didn’t seem to get quieter when I tried to walk away from it. But still, it felt familiar. Like it was the voice of someone I already knew. I won’t lie, I was feeling the panic rising in my chest again so I did the only thing I could think to do. I put on the gas mask with the spent filter and took as many deep breaths as I could before people started to notice. I had to do this a few times throughout the night.

The voices didn’t go away but the panic certainly did, and as I watched the fight, part of my mind was listening intently trying to decipher any words I could. And when it started to come together, all of my concerns just melted away.

The next day was when I was kidnapped. There is far too much I could write about this but I’ll try to keep things brief so that this note wall doesn’t get too crowded.

I went to visit Odyssey on my way home. I was hoping that since Emerson said that everything was fine that I might be able to barter for some filters as I had done at Sherwood earlier that day. Additionally I was hoping I might get a chance to speak to Emerson. I had already told British Paul that morning about my concerns about Vadim, about his paranoia over Cob’s health, and was hoping to get advice from Emerson about it. I couldn’t have been more misled.

Only moments after I arrived I was escorted down to the Church by Vadim himself, his henchmen, and Lewis of Odyssey. Lewis handcuffed me and the rest asked questions about the gas.

They injected me with something against my wishes and when I started to have a bad reaction, they fed me pills and vodka. I don’t remember all that much about what happened at the church, but at some point I started to hear the whispering, fainter than ever but still so familiar. Despite the constant questions from the Odyssey folk, I was able to focus enough to pick up her message.

Use.

The.

Blood.

It clicked in my mind and as I inserted the IV into my arm I could already hear her voice getting louder. Most of the rest is a blur but I had tried to make a run for it, the result of which was a bullet through my leg and her remains turned into a brittle powder.

More talking.

It’s the next day as I write this. I was forced to sleep in the upstairs room of the pub last night, and was glued to their hip throughout today.

I managed to get into radio contact with the Peppers. Dill made it home from Fight Night without me, expecting me to already be home when they arrived. The Peppers started to move back north and within range of my handheld radio. They’ll be here soon, I just have to play nice for a while and I’ll be home in no time.

The thing that baffles me the most is that people unaffiliated with Odyssey witnessed what they did to me. People I called friends. I pulled some folks aside today and told them what happened. No one believed it. No one tried to help.

You didn’t help.

26 January 2024

Log 9

Apparently it’s been eleven days since I’ve written here and this is the least I’ve wanted to. But if I don’t do it now then who the fuck knows when I’ll actually get around to it.

They came to Pavlovo. They claimed they wanted us to bring them into the gas so that they could see it from our perspective. They lied.

I’d believed them at first, but when they returned for the actual trip, they were so fucking suspicious. Even Mee Maw was saying something was just *wrong*. When I heard the first taser fire, all consideration or calculation that was going on in my head was replaced with alarm bells. I only remember having two thoughts before losing consciousness. “Move,” and “Make them regret it.”

I didn’t fully understand what had happened until after I woke up. Until after I saw her.

When I had pulled my gun, I just pointed it at the closest one to me. And it just had to fucking be Emerson. The only one of them that I still give a shit about, the only one of them that I actually believe when they say they want to help and I fucking shot her.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand why. Why did it have to happen this way?

I don’t know what to do. I haven’t really slept since. When I close my eyes I can’t help but see her in my mind. The blood, the wound, the glassy look in her eyes. And when I have managed to slip into sleep it’s just nightmares of being chased through the woods, hunted.

I’m fucking scared. I don’t know for certain if she’s dead, but damn that was a lot of blood. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’m scared that I’m going to be hunted down. I’m scared of what will happen to my Peppers. I’m scared of a reality lacking Emerson’s kindness and compassion.

I wish it had been any of them except her.

Don’t expect any new updates here any time soon. I’m going for a walk.

Thanks For Reading!

If you’re interested in staying up to date with us and our community be sure to join our Discord and apply to join our Whitelist and start viewing hundreds of stories, artwork and videos from our Community via our private Subreddit.