The sun shimmered through the clouds. The mist had finally dissipated. The wall was repaired, the windows barricaded, and the dangerous fog sucked out of each room. Dirt, soot, dust hung on everything, a reflection of the attack a couple weeks prior. The bar was empty as a few figures shuffled in, then on out. Pausing for a moment, a woman pulled a cigarette from between her lips and exhaled, calmly stepping towards the bar and leaving a small tome on the counter. Her hands fumbled along the worn, moleskin, thumbing the familiar crevices and cracks that had found their way into the book along the way. Letting go, she turned, exhaled a puff of smoke once more, and slid out of the bar, heading outside. The slap of doors, the start of an engine, and the fading sound of a truck driving off. Pages have been torn from the journal. It opens as thus. Droplet stains coat the pages. "Tanya Fedorova, first leader of the Neutral Economic Zone. I wish you all luck. For most, your humanity long gone. Your lives are all you have left. It's crazy, how fast all of this went down when it first started. I was stuck in my apartment in a small town outside of Chicago (with Mi crossed through with pen) alone. Only after a couple weeks did I leave. I found my family, and my next door neighbor; and I ran. I found Fairhaven, where this shit began. I didn't see anyone, though I didn't try to find people anyway. I went into town in the dead of night, hid, crawled, and ran when I needed to. There was a compound nearby, but we stayed well away during the day. We started a radio station. "Radio Moscow". She was "The Red Minx", and I was just "the Blue Wolf". I don't know if anyone listened in, but it was fun playing tunes out. It gave us something to do. It kept us alive. We played DDT and Kino, Michael Jackson and Queen, and so much more. Sometimes people would try to come and find us, so we'd go dark, but it was still great. And then the fire fell. We had been hearing that Chicago was on fire, that Fairhaven was next. We had everything packed and ready to go. I had found a motorbike, what I now know was from some Mongol Honcho. H.H. were scratched into the side. It was gassed up and ready to go, but we stayed. We had built up our station. We didn't want to give it up. But then the fire fell. We didn't see anything, but an eruption of flame. Holding each other, we just cried, screamed, struggled and cried some more. Our house hadn't been hit, but our resolve, shattered. We rode past the charred compound, the burnt out hotel, through Fairhaven, now blackened and smoldering. We rode over the bridge, past White Horse, and went west. We lived, town by town, but kept going. Groups kept harassing us where we tried to stop. Harvey's Trainyard, the Lumberhouse, Marcus' Bar, they all tried to steal and use us. So we kept on and on. We found ourself in a place called "Port Falmouth" and began to build up there. It was here that I met some of you. I had hurt myself, and grown sickly. Rodney found me and brought me back...how things change. Rafael and Timo cared for me. Even took me back into town. And from there, we found Nataru. She was nice, though a bit rash in retrospect.. but it was nice. We set up ourselves in the middle of town and got to work starting up a base, what would become the NEZ. But the center could not hold. Tensions flared between the Mansion and the Mongols.We were caught in the middle. Things seemed to go well enough for some time as we built the place up. Rafael, Alex, and Timofei had joined us. Things were starting to look up... Raf and I were talking about how we could improve the NEZ, make it nicer when a stream of black vehicles poured in, a shriek of honking piercing forth. The Mongols had arrived. Rafael told Nat and I to go. So we did. Timofei and Rafael begrudgingly joined the Mongols. We snuck in and got our things and headed out east to a farm Raf had detailed. I don't know what I'm trying to say, rewriting everything that happened.. I guess the point is I want to remember everyone and everything that happened. I'm not just a footnote. Nobody is just a footnote.. I've lived through this for nearly six months, and watching the deterioration of humanity and civility... It's terrible. Getting shot only brought it to light. It's no longer a "Neutral Economic Zone". It's not my NEZ. But that doesn't matter anymore. In the end, it is the memories that are important. Marisol told me of the 'three deaths' of people. The first, when the heart ceases to beat, the second, when the body lies beneath the soil, and the third when all that knew and remember them have come to pass. In writing, at the very least some can remember them. (Tear stains grow far more prevalent)Ivan Fedorova - A loving father. He taught me everything I knew about radios and electronics. He was born in the Soviet Union and came over when it fell. Hard sometimes, but I know he cared. Alisa Fedorova - The best mother I could ask for. Always looked out for me, even when she was angry, I know she only wanted what was best for me. Always a lullaby or song on her lips. I miss her.. Dedushka -The voice of reason in our family. He fought the Germans, yet wasn't necessarily angry at them. He taught me a lot of what I know about humanity and the struggle to keep it, even in the face of adversity... I wish he were here. He could talk some sense into some people. Babushka - An absolute sweetheart, always doting on me and my siblings. I hope she and the rest of my family are okay up there. Luka and David Fedorova - My older brothers. They're in Virginia and New York respectively, hopefully still studying. I hope they're okay. Even if they were a pain growing up, I still love them both. Minka Pavolova - My childhood friend and my first love. Minka was the best singer in town. No, the state. She always wanted me to make a radio station and get big like that. She was definitely gonna go far but... Minka was the only person I could count on growing up... The only person I could confide in. I know she's in a better place now. I just hope she's not mad at me. Nataru Hirano - An amazing mechanic that loved her pick up Melody, she helped build the foundations for the NEZ. She was quick and resourceful, and always nice to have around the fire. She's in a better place now. Marisol Ruiz - Loving and dependable, she always wanted to do everything with me. A great friend and lover, she was a bit fiery and quick on her feet. I just hope she's okay out there, wherever Santiago took her. Jack Miller - A caring older brother, Miller was always hoping to get down to Arizona and find his brother. He was smart, loyal, and good talking with, even after he lost his leg. It's a shame that he had to go the way he did... Amanda Cooper - My successor after Nataru and I were removed from the NEZ. She was a capable leader despite what some people may say. Had she only been more respected and understood by those beneath her, I feel she'd still be around. It's appalling how quickly people forgot about her after she died. David Frederick - One of Amanda's successors following her suicide. While he's a nice guy usually, he's honestly fairly inept at making tough decisions, especially when composure is needed. Can be quick to anger. Paul Walsh - A good hearted man with a difficult past. Though he was part of the Mongols once, he did his best to distance himself from them... Though that came back to bite him... He was a good teacher, showed me how to use a gun properly. I'll always be thankful to him for that. Dominik - A bit brash, to be honest. He's blunt and completely profit driven, Nemetskiy. I do hope he's safe though. Even if he's a bit rough, he's got a nice underside that he shows sometime. Rafael Garcia - One of the few people I can still call decent after all this time. Rafael has been there for me since I met him, and he's extremely reliable. A capable leader, good with firearms and weaponry, and calm and composed when needed. If there's anyone that should lead the NEZ at this point, it's him. Cody Sheppard - A nice enough guy, but he's a bit oblivious at times. Helo - Didn't deserve to die the way she did. She was a good person, even if she was infected. I wouldn't have wanted to have her on my bad side, but I hope she's in a better place now. Serena - Nice enough. She's honest when she needs to be, and I'm grateful for that. Keep Rafael in check and don't let him do anything too stupid. He needs you, I feel. Jonathan Walsh - The Commander wasn't someone I really liked overall. I think there might have been something inside him, but the end of the world turned that sour. Killing Helo was a mistake, and your death, though I don't agree with how it went about, was some form of retribution towards her. Frank Booker - A complicated man with a lot on his plate. I know there's some good inside him, and I'm sure he does too. He just has to learn to give up on some aspects of his past and let go...It's eating him up inside, otherwise. Thais - Flip flops on issues rather easily. Strange how quickly she got over the death of Amanda, considering the two were 'lovers', but I guess that's easy when you have someone else to fall back on like that... Luna - Conniving, clever, and manipulative. She's a lot smarter than she may seem to the untrained eye. I heard rumors of her killing innocents, and I'm frankly unsure of what to think of her anymore. Only looks out for herself. Killed Jessica Seelon. Burned Amanda and took her things. Santiago Ruiz - You were a good father, though far too much of a helicopter parent. I don't care how much gang life he had to deal with, but taking away Mari...that's just unforgivable like that.. Arthur Monroe - He was a good guy, I think. Didn't do anything notably bad. Was just killed off by Rodney just cause of some rumor that he was a Mongol spy... Jessica Seelon - Annoying, and a pain, but she didn't deserve to die like that, even if she insulted Amanda. Timofei Sokolov - A fellow Russian, strong and very capable. Though a little bit superstitious. I wish you luck, Timo, you're really one of the few dependable guys out here. Locke Hawthorne - A fun and lovable guy that could make friends with a rock. Stay safe, you're honestly one of the few good men out here. (The writing just dissolves into names, people that should be remembered, even if never had a chance to properly get to know them) Catherine Hori. Nilda. Aaron. Taylor. Joe. Kent. Marlowe. Michelle. Todd. Sally. Andy. Ralph. Ash. Milo. Carter. Michelle. Mariana. Maria. Anton. Jay... (the writing trails off. That's all that's left.)"