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Seven days in Chernarus Part One: Death at Balota Harbour

Declaration: This is a true account, some lives are missed out, but each journal entry recorded here is true to my recollection in all details bar those expressed for narrative.

I hope that in reading whoever should discover this journal shall fair better than myself, in whatever tragic end.

“Ye May Gang Faur and Fare Waur.”

Part One: Death at Balota Harbour

* @author Jonathan HW Halkett
* @date August 2012

My first tentative steps into Chernarus were as expected…short.

Waking on the shores of a flat unobtrusive shoreline, I took in my first realtime glimpse of DayZ.
With forests a frame setting the horizon, concrete architecture to my right and distant houses to my left, it felt like a good start to what I ‘knew’ I understood to be a game of patience, persistence and subterfuge.

Little was I prepared for just how much of those said qualities were lacking in my brain as I “ventured forth!”

If a distant voyeur had been watching through scope or binoculars I’m sure they’d have witnessed a noob at the waters edge clap his rubbing hands together eagerly as he strolled off the sand in the direction of certain death. ‘Bets please gentlemen, is a minute generous?’

For those unfamiliar with DayZ; to quote the wiki “Day Z is a zombie apocalypse mod for the military simulator Arma 2 and its standalone expansion pack, ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead”. In essence it’s a sandbox survival game set in the persistent world of Chernarus, a zombie ridden post-soviet landscape. Ammunition and supplies are scarce and so is human compassion as the greatest threat is other people.

Short lived, out of breath and a bit wet is my first tale from DayZ. Balota, on the southern shores of this world, boasts a industrial complex and a friendly population of ravenous sprinting undead.

Eager for my first sighting I headed towards the concrete structures nearby. Within seconds I could see a shuffling form followed by another and another. If zombies were the prize, I had indeed hit the jackpot. Having watched many a guide into survival tactics mid zombie apocalypse, I quickly adopted the crouch walk. Hugging a nearby wall peering though the cracks and listening for my new friends I went in search of my first weapon. The task seemed straight forward, see that building, sneak that building, pick up the goods and blast some zombie brains.

…three seconds later I was running for my life towards the nearest open building with the growing zombie horde hot on my six.

Angry growls and the patter of many feet followed me, my view swinging from side to side as the double tap sprint seemed my best option to outrun failing flesh.

I had heard the undead can only walk through houses, whether it be through some distant memory of life distilled by civilised behaviour ‘thou shalt not run indoors!’ it was indeed the case. Pity I had chosen a home who’s owner was the peculiar type of soul who rebelled against regular social ideals…refusing to install a back door to his modest abode.

Bleeding now, my fictional betting public would witness their noob fight his way free of the front door, continuing the sprint with his horde continuing the chase snapping at his heels.

Hopping fences and attempting to confuse my competitors in the steeple chase with complicated garden geometry, I zigzagged around town attracting more and more attention.

Out of breath and running out of options near the shoreline a thought fired across my mind. Water, swimming…could my blood thirsty fan club manage either of the above!?


I died 20 feet from the coast, in my imagination, ripped limb from limb and drowned. Credit goes to the gym teachers of the Chernarus educational system, for even in death those who grew up here DID NOT in point of fact…forget the breast stroke.

By Jonathan Harry Watt Halkett

Part 2 here

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