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Bladewraith & Wingnut

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  17:38:37  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

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01/14/2011 17:41:57
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Bladewraith & Wingnut

First of all, this is my first real effort at a Story, so bare with me i gets better, sorry about anyone that might be offended about use, or future use of strong language, it use was essentially to the styles of the characters, also i know i use far to many puncuations i'm sorry about that as well

Chapter 01:

As the final bolt was tightened into place, Bladewraith relaxed his grip on the worktop he’d been supporting.
“Well then buddy… looks good.” He remarked to Cardan as he lit a cigarette he’d rolled some time before.
“Yeah, if only all your work looked as good” responded Barge
“Shut up you prick… I break one gun… ONE, and you won’t let me live it down” replied an exasperated Cardan
“So then, how long until the workshops finished?” Bladewraith slowly puffed away on his cigarette.
“Hopefully, only another week or so… problem is the lack of tools, I’ve got my spanners and whatnot, but…”
“If I see anything lying around, I’ll give you a shout”
“Cheers Bud”
“Yeah, if you find a brain as well…” Joker left it at that… the disgruntled look obvious across Cardan’s Face
“I’ll keep an eye out.” Bladewraith left the bickering trio and went downstairs leaving the sounds of “Do you think it’ll be strong enough” behind him, he made his way to find Wingnut. As he walked into the forward hold, he raised an eyebrow; he should’ve known Wingnut would be slacking

“You know Beard… this Boar Stew is fantastic…” Wingnut finished his mouthful before changing the subject “Know anything about the Stalkers that were cut off?” asked Wingnut
“I haven’t heard anything… fucking typical isn’t it… we finally get past the Brain Scorcher, get into Pripyat and no sooner had that happened and a massive Blowout comes out of nowhere, it completely destroyed the route from red forest. That’s why everyone’s coming round here… and going to Yanov Station of course, a few boys are trying to make camp in there.”
“Bloody Typical” exclaimed Bladewraith coming into the conversation, Wingnut suddenly put his plate down and moved as if he was still working, when he realised that the game was up he sat back down and continued eating as Bladewraith eyed the stew.
Beard passed Bladewraith a bowl then poured a ladle of the stew in “With your help, it the least I could do. Spasiba.”
“Don’t mind if I do… spasiba.” Bladewraith tucked into the stew, Wingnut was right, it was delicious, he’d always been impressed how so many British and American Stalkers entered the zone and got very hostile welcomes, where as Bladewraith and Wingnut had always been fine, he knew the fact they were British was better in this part of the world then being American, but they’d always made an effort to help out, and always got along with everyone in return. Of course there were the typical problems with Bandits, but apart from that everything was good. Bladewraith and Wingnut where explorers, they found new routes to places new and old, gathered artefacts if they found any and did their best to map anomalies, they always sent the data on anomaly fields out to anyone with a PDA set to receive. A few years back, bandits used this generous stream of data to track them when they were off all alone, after half an hour’s fighting, and Wingman getting shot; the Bandits were no more, Wingman was taken back to the Freedom Base in the Dark Valley, were they patched him… unlucky bastard got his left bullock shot off completely, his meat and other bullock were fine, but his name was changed to Wingnut ever since. Ever since that day, they sent the Anomaly Data a couple of days after gathering it.
“Why they call you Bladewraith and why you Wingnut” asked Beard curiously
“Me… it’s just a nickname I got when I was younger”
“Just don’t!” exclaimed Wingnut, Bladewraith knew why, Wingnut was once called Wingman, again just a silly nickname that he’d got when they were younger, until they got to the zone at least, and there first trip out of the rookie village, Wingman, got attacked by a group of dogs and after the Bladewraith realised that Wingman was in trouble, he fought the dogs off his friend, however Wingman lost a bollock in that attack, ever since then his name had changed to Wingnut

The duo finished their stews and checked over their equipment, they watched as a very dodgy looking fellow, probably a bandit, never quite sure, was carrying boxes upstairs,
“What’s you name friend?”
The man merely looked at them in disgust…
“Як Вас звати”
“Owl…” he replied in the most sarcastic Ukrainian accent they’d heard in the Zone.
“Peche mon Scoer!” responded Bladewraith, growing up on an island with its own language often allowed him to make derogatory comments without the backlash if they took offense, Owl continued carting his boxes upstairs, without any further notice, Wingnut walked towards the door
“Come on then lets…”
Suddenly Wingnut was pushed to floor landing with a heavy thud
“Out of way… English Pig” ordered an overly aggressive Bandit
“What… you wanna go some cocksucker???” Wingnut jumped back to his feet and the two men were chest to chest.
“Wingnut… down big fella!”
“Now now… you don’t want to upset the neighbours do you knuckles” A slimy bald individual walked in behind the bandit, obviously a bandit leader, he was short, much fatter than any normal Stalker, it was obvious he made money without getting off his ass.
“Now what seems to be the problem…?”
“No problem… just a misunderstanding.” Answered Bladewraith
Bladewraith and Wingnut knew, although they weren’t scared of these idiot Bandits, making an issue out of it would only result in harsh treatment on other Stalkers, something they didn’t want to be responsible for. He put his hand on Wingnut’s shoulder and pulled back gently, encouraging him to leave it. As the pair made their way to the door a sudden loud crashing sound resonated throughout the ship, emanating from upstairs, followed by cheers and clapping.
“Ah Shit” cried out Cardan
“Time to leave me thinks” Bladewraith opened the door and left, followed quickly by Wingnut.

Bladewraith turned his head to Wingnut whilst walking along the broken tarmac road.
“So then… what’s the plan” Asked Wingnut
“Well, everyone’s heading South… so I say, we head along the river bank and cross to the eastern bank,”
“More swimming?” asked an exasperated Wingnut
“It’s good for ya bud!”
“Yeah sure, except it took 2 weeks to dry my suit out afterwards!”

The duo walked and walked, the river bank was peaceful, except for the squelching noise coming from underfoot. They carried on, until they reached the mouth of the river, which Zaton comes off.
“So why’d you think the water level is so low” asked Bladewraith
“Don’t know… don’t care… it just means I don’t have to swim so far!”
Bladewraith removed the inflatable ring from his pack, and started blowing it up. They’d done this so many times they both knew the routine. Wingnut removed his binoculars and began scanning the other edge of the riverbank. He did wonder why the water had dropped so much but rarely gave it any thought. On the other side of the river he could see trees… bushes… trees… bushes… trees… oh, some boars having a drink, we’ll avoid them he thought to himself.
“Ready to go,” explained Bladewraith
“Group of Boars upstream, but the current will take us away from them”
“Good Good”
The pair took their packs off and tied them to the ring; it kept them and the contents dry and also took a little weight off the swimmers. They began swimming across, slightly with the slow moving current dragging them downriver, it was only when they were half way across they both realised that they’d crossed rivers and streams in this way before, but this was definitely the widest. Bladewraith handed the rope attached to the ring to Wingnut and dived down to check out the riverbed, the visibility was poor, the current wasn’t strong so it wasn’t silt that was being picked up by it, but the water was a murky green. He dived down almost twenty feet before hitting the bottom; he quickly scoured the bottom for anything of use, typically he found nothing in the few seconds he had before returning to the surface for air, when he returned he’d only drifted a few metres downstream, he swam back to Wingnut and dived once again, once again he reached the bottom and began searching, this time he swam back the way he’d come covering a different area of the riverbed, and the water cleared slightly, he had much further visibility, he noticed a fresh water fish, that was swimming around a small outcrop of coral. This shocked him, coral… in the Ukraine he thought, he decided to try and spear the fish with his knife, it’ll be food for later he thought, and he’d have to be quick as he was quickly running out of air once again. As he approached, the fish continued to swim as if it had no fear of him, he got very close before the need for air was two great and he had to surface. He swam hurriedly back up and gasped for air
“What’s taking so long down there?” Asked Wingnut
“I’ve found… a fish… a big one… for dinner!” he was still gasping for air.
“Well what you waiting for up here.” He was treading water holding onto the ring for added buoyancy.
Once again Bladewraith dived down, and found the clearer patch of water, the outcrop of coral, but no fish… the bugger’s swam off, he thought, he decided to inspect the coral, he placed one hand on it and felt something strange… an odd feeling within him. And as if without any effort a chunk broke off, he held it up, and inspected it, still feeling odd. He placed it in his pocket and decided to check it out later, as he looked up, the fish was back once again… Little Bugger! He thought to himself, and decided he’ll get that fish with his knife or if all else fails drop a grenade down to bring it up. He swam towards it and began to realise he didn’t need any more air at the moment, in fact the more he swam the more he realised he didn’t need any air… the Coral, it must be an artefact… he breathed out slightly to test it, something he later realised could’ve been a very stupid idea, but he was right he didn’t need any air, he decided to leave the fish were it was. It brought him to the coral; it doesn’t deserve to die for that.

He returned to the surface, but kept his head under, he breathed out completely, and tried to stay under, he soon realised that he needed some air in his lungs for the artefact to work. He snapped his head back out of the water, gasped for air, coughed and spluttered…
“Jesus, bud… I was getting worried you’d been down there so long”
“That was a stupid idea!”
“What was?”
“I found this…” he held the piece of coral up showing Wingnut; it neither glowed nor showed any of the usual signs of an Artefact. Wingnut didn’t look impressed “It may not look like much, but when it was in my pocket, I could hold my breath as long as I wanted”
“Bladewraith looked up and noticed the clouds were coming in fast… ”
“Yeah I’ve been watching them come in… we need to get across to the other side as quickly as possible”
They continued on and eventually reached the other side… they walked up the mud bank as the rain came down… they sort cover underneath the overhang of some rocks, removing their suits and Wingnut began drying himself off with dirty rags… Bladewraith walked out into the rain and collected some firewood before it all got soaked through, they lit a fire and began warming up, Bladewraith removed his tobacco and papers from his still dry pack and rolled a couple of cigarettes and lit them passing one to Wingnut, who took it and placed it between his lips, Wingnut looked around, it was somehow greener on this side of the river, he thought to himself the age old say ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ he look back at Bladewraith as he began to snore, “It’s the middle of the fucking day… and yet you’re asleep already” Wingnut said aloud to no one. They’d never travelled to this side of the river and had no idea what awaited them.

Side note
i know theres things in here that don't quite fit with the normal storylines as we know them from the games but... well, i couldn't think of anything ese

End of Chapter
  17:40:59  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Next Chapter

Chapter 02: The Blowout

Bladewraith awoke, a few hours later… the slow scraping of Wingnut’s knife witling yet another long straight stick to a pointed end, felt like he was witling Bladewraith’s brain…
“Buddy, why… why do you have to do that, right next to my head? Whilst I’m asleep?” Bladewraith’s irritation obvious in the tone of his voice.
“Hehe… you made me swim… I whittle… Problem?”
“Cock!” Bladewraith sat up, the rain had eased but not stopped, the heat from the fire was very slowly drying their suits; Bladewraith picked up his Coral Artefact and inspected it…
“You want to be careful with that… How many artefacts have little or no adverse effects?”
Bladewraith grabbed his Geiger counter and held it up to the coral; the slow faint clicking was less than the surrounding area…
“Well, it’s not radioactive…”
“What about impact resistance”
“What do you mean?” Wingnut suddenly turned and punched Bladewraith on the arm as hard as he could.
“Ah you twat! Yeah it hurts but no more or less than normal, because the Artefact.” Bladewraith then got out his knife and cut himself slightly on his forearm. And blood came out far too thin and quickly.
“Shit… it thins the blood, yeah ok… that’s not good!” Bladewraith covered his arm and applied pressure with his other hand attempting to stop the bleeding dropping the artefact, hoping the effects aren’t long lasting, Wingnut dropped his stick down into the small pile he’d made, and threw Bladewraith a bandage which Bladewraith took and wrapped around the small but fast bleeding cut. The bandage turned red very quickly, but didn’t leak, he could only assume that once he’d put the artefact down, the effect had ceased…
“That’s a bit better…”
“What now?”
“It all makes sense now… the water was clearer around the coral; it had thinned the water so that’s why it was clearer. Why didn’t I think of that before?”
“Well isn’t it obvious… you’re an idiot”
“You’re so helpful!” Bladewraith watched as Wingnut gently pushed some crow feathers into the now pointed stick, making yet another batch of arrows
The rain began to ease further and the duo put their suits back on, slowly sliding into the soaked material what not pleasant to say the least. No sooner had they packed camp then they noticed an increase in noise coming from all around them, birds squawking and taking flight. The pair had known for some time to watch out for these simple signals, especially when the crows fly away from the centre… the pair watched the birds in silence, as they turned and headed in the opposite direction from the CNPP “Shit… Blowout!” it was rare the duo were caught off guard by blowouts they seemed fairly regular, but this time they weren’t expecting one for another few days, easily long enough to reach one of villages in the area, but this time there wasn’t any within reach, they threw their packs on their backs and ran in the same direction as the birds, all they had to do was follow the birds, they’d eventually land in a cave somewhere that was safe… that was all they… the ground fell away underneath them. They fell into the ground covering their already soaked suits with a thick layer of mud and dirt, their bodies went limp as they hit the floor with resounding thuds, covered in soil. As they’d run they’d not noticed their anomaly detector faintly beeping in their pockets, they ran over a cave system filled with Gas anomalies and the roof of the cave simple collapsed under their weight.

Bladewraith brushed the mud from his face and opened his eyes; Wingnut was just sitting up beside him. “We had to cross the fucking river!” Bladewraith rolled his eyes back with exasperation; he looked up and saw the sky turn a vibrant red, “well, at least we’ll be safe down here from the Blowout” Wingnut turned towards him with an equal look of exasperation on his face, “well at least we’ve got this big hole to cover in…” as mass of bullshit sarcasm started spewing from his mouth with obvious irritation “thank god we’d crossed the river and found this hole… you know the entire time I was eating that boar stew with beard I was think… It’s nice here but nothing compared to being stuck in a hole covered in mud and soaked to the fucking bone!” Bladewraith got to his feet and took his detector out with pocket, he figured it’ll take a minute or two for the blowout to pass so he might as scan the cave for artefacts, while Wingnut looked at the reddening sky and tried to figure out how they were going to get out.

Bladewraith listened to the slow beep of his detector and guided himself around the glowing green gas anomalies, slowly spewing toxic fumes out that dissipated quickly, eventually the artefact shone brightly in front of Bladewraith, its outer shell reacting to the signals sent out by his detector, it sparkled a dull yellow, Bladewraith picked up the dull yellow triangular artefact, it was only a stone flower as it had so nicely been named by some unknown stalker a few years ago, compared to some of the artefacts they pair had found it was pretty cheap, but would still net them a fair few meals at least. Wingnut looked at the opening to the hole, ignoring the bright flashes and loud cracks of lightning that always preceded the blowouts; his best option was to throw his grappling hook up and hope to snag something strong enough to hoist them out. He unpacked his climbing gear from his pack and the ropes from Bladewraith’s. By the time he looked up again, he watched as the wall of plasma like energy passed overhead. Followed by several more electrical bolts, the final bolt struck something out of sight and sounds of snapping and cracking could be heard, followed by a loud thud.
Bladewraith returned to Wingnut and handed him the Stone Flower he’d found “Now, quit your bitching! Any ideas?”
Wingnut turned his head to Bladewraith “Well by stroke of luck, its sounds like the Blowout just felled a tree nearby, I reckon we can hook it and pull ourselves out.”
“Excellent…” as Bladewraith uttered his cheeriest of words, a gently snarling approached from behind and quickly became fiercer and louder, Bladewraith turned and pulled his pistol onto the sound and fired off 2 rounds into the darkness of the cave tunnels… both audibly hitting nothing but the cave walls
“Well needless to say, carrying on through here isn’t the safest route.”
Meanwhile Wingnut had reached down to his pack and picked up his bow placing an arrow onto the string and drew it back to his cheek. The snarling creature, most defiantly a Snork, obviously took the warning and faded back out into the tunnels. Both men lower their weapons waited quietly. It was rare a Snork would ever back away from dinner.
“Odd?” exclaimed Bladewraith. However no sooner had he said this than the snarling quickly grew louder once again but this time followed by more.
“You have to jinx it every fucking time don’t you?”
Bladewraith grabbed his H&K 417 and loaded a round into the chamber and Wingnut brought the string back to his cheek. Bladewraith pressed the pressure switch taped onto his drop handle and his weapon mounted torch illuminated the tunnel containing the snarling noise, as soon as the light came on, Wingnut released his string and the arrow flew straight and true into the head of the first oncoming Snork piercing the remaining glass of its old worn Gas Mask and burying itself several inches through the mangled hole that was once a human eye socket. Bladewraith fired 3 rounds into the remaining two Snorks that followed. “Get that line up, I’ll cover!”
Wingnut jumped to his feet without another word and picked up his grappling hook and threw it to the surface, he dragged it back desperately hoping to have snagged something, but the hook dropped to the floor beside Bladewraith followed but yet another coating of dirt “Little too close for comfort bud!” exclaimed Bladewraith, followed by another short burst of fire.

The empty brass shells erupting from the rapidly shifting breach; falling onto the muddy floor beside his right foot. Wingnut tried once more but managed to throw it further this time and was delighting when the rope went taught at his pulling and he knew he’d snagged something up above, he linked the rope to his harness, threw his pack over his shoulder and pulled himself up, as soon as he reached the surface he turned and dropped the rope back down, then dropped his pack to one side and removed his Remington 550, and aimed at the tunnel entrance, while Bladewraith grabbed his back and started climbing, Wingnut only fired a single shell while his friend climbed the rope to safety.

Bladewraith finally emerged from the hole in the ground, they looked around them, the rain had stopped completely and the faint outline of sun barely visible through the thin grey clouds was very low on the horizon. “We’ve got about an hour of light left” advised Wingnut, “better find some shelter for the night then” they consulted their maps and reckoned their might still be a few standing buildings in one of the unnamed villages to the east. They recovered their climbing rope and packed it away, before setting off into the slowly thickening forest; hoping to find a safe place to spend the night. Wingnut secured his bow and Remington back on his pack and Bladewraith reloaded his magazine as they walked

They walked through the dense forest, the sounds of dogs howling in the distance, and a thin fog setting in as the night grew closer, the pair continued on, guided by their detectors. Bladewraith stopped suddenly… Wingnut turned to look at him, seeing the curious look on his face, he realised why Bladewraith had stopped… the crows had gone quiet, silence stretched its claws through the dense forest floor. Wingnut reached round and unhitched his Remington from his pack, bringing it to his chest and releasing the safety catch. In an instant… a breathy pant rushed towards the pair… Bladewraith dropped to one knee and spun towards the sound, unleashing a short full auto spray into the bushes the loud crack of the 417 resonating around in the otherwise silent trees, splatters of thick dark red blood sprayed across the tree trunks followed by grunts of pain emerging from nowhere visible, the panting faded away… Bladewraith and Wingnut turned back to back, waiting… the panting returned this time from the other direction. Wingnut fired two shells, the force of the blasts visible on the slowly thickening fog. Again they waited… until the panting returned once again.
“We’ve got to get out of here” Wingnut declared in a nervous voice
“It’s injured… just keep your guard up!” responded Bladewraith
However the panting circled the pair and was slowly joined by fierce snarling from several directions…
“Snorks!” cried Bladewraith… followed by another short burst of full auto… he activated his weapon light, casting a beam of bright white light out into the darkness, almost blinding them both as the light reflected back on the fog. Several bodies were moving towards them, bouncing and crawling along the ground, the light reflecting off the creature’s eyes.
“We’ve got to move!” Bladewraith finally agreeing with Wingnut
“The only ways forwards…” replied Wingnut; his concern was warranted; travelling through unknown terrain was dangerous to say the least.
“It’s either that or death!”
The pair ran forwards, turning often to suppress the mutants chasing them with volleys of 7.62 and buckshot, their detectors would beep occasionally, but fade out after a while, the only constant sound was the breathy panting following a short distance behind them. Somehow by chance they’d managed to choose a safe route, every so often turning and laying a few shots into the darkness behind them, every time they would hear nothing but leaves and trees. They ran for another minute before stopping and deciding to stand their ground against the Bloodsucker, the Snorks had seemed to have given up there chase, primarily because of their territorial nature, a trait shared by Bloodsuckers also, but this one was obviously hungry.

They stood waiting for an audible sign of invisible creature, they scanned the trees with torches, hoping that faint shimmering outline would give away its position; the Bloodsucker never attacked… they’d managed to outrun it, “We’ve never had a Bloodsucker give up?” Bladewraith looked at Wingnut, pondering his comment
“No… I don’t suppose we have”
“So what’s its game then?”
“Well… maybe it couldn’t run for too long because of us injuring it?”
They checked their gear and realised they’d fired off a few more rounds then they’d thought, they always carried more ammunition then most stalkers, knowing full well that exploring meant they wouldn’t be in contact with others to trade for some time. They consulted their GPS maps and figured they’d managed to run south almost parallel with the river bank, they were another half hours walk through the dense forest and fog from a small fishing hamlet. Once again they set off into the night the clouds slowly dispersing allowed an almost full moon to dimly illuminate the way forwards.

End of Chapter
  17:43:04  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Next Chapter

Chapter 03:

It was 01:30 hours by the time they’d reached the fishing hamlet, a small springboard field had slowed them down but not by much compared to the Scar Anomaly came across, a long 10 foot wide gash in the landscape, perfectly straight all the way along it’s length, they had to walk all the way around it, but eventually they arrived, taking note of the normality of the village, very dilapidated and overgrown with grassy vegetation, they followed the narrow beams of their torches to a hut with a still mostly intact roof and set up camp for the rest of the night, last thing they wanted was to find themselves out any later, by the time they were ready it was almost 02:00. “Another hour or two and we’ll be out of the real trouble” Bladewraith knew exactly what Wingnut meant by that, Chimera’s tended to hunt at night, but tended to head back to their lairs about 3 or 4. They checked over the house to make sure it wasn’t being used as a lair by anything, and apart from an abundance of crow droppings it was safe. The house, like all houses this deep in the Zone had been completely cleared out after the explosion of 86, years before the Zones Creation.

Bladewraith took first watch; up for an hour while Wingnut slept, then they swapped, however shortly after Bladewraith fell into a gentle slumber, Wingnut shook him gently to wake him up, there was a rustling noise coming from outside, Bladewraith woke silently, many a Stalker had died thanks to their murmurings as they woke. The duo listened intently trying to figure out what it was, keeping themselves low to avoid being seen through the nearby window; there was defiantly 4 feet, and it was heavy… Bladewraith looked at Wingnut briefly, “we’ll be safe in a couple of hours eh! You moan at me for jinxing us” Bladewraith whispered to Wingnut. They silently unhitched their weapons and drew them into their shoulders, aiming at the doorway, they could hear sniffing and scratching just next to them on the other side of the wooden walled building, followed by gentle grunting, both of them relaxed instantly and almost started laughing, and the grunting became louder obviously hearing the pair inside, he trotted around to the entranceway. In these few seconds Wingnut reached down and grabbed his bow and waited for the boar, it came through the door and noticed them quickly but as it readied itself to charge it was greet by an arrow that pierced it’s skull killing it instantly.
“And you were worried?”
“Hey you thought the exact same thing!”
Bladewraith returned to his sleep while Wingnut dragged the carcass outside and left it there, the rest of his hour went by quickly and he woke Bladewraith once again. Bladewraith watched Wingnut go to sleep with envy and then went outside and set about cutting as much pork as he could from the cooling carcass mainly for something for breakfast a small payment for waking him up. After ten minutes of cutting and carving several chunks of meat were free, he took out a couple of sachets of Salt and sprinkled them over the meat, then hung them up to allow the blood to drain. The rest of the night passed by uneventfully; Bladewraith took the last hours sleep and by the time he woke at just before 08:00 hours, the sun was glistening down through the window; the clear blue sky without a cloud in sight was a rare occasion for the Zone and Wingnut was cooking the steaks on their gas stove, the gentle aroma of cooking pork encouraged Bladewraith out of his sleep he woke groggily and noticed the smell once again,
“You’ll have to wait… I might have forgotten to buy a new gas cylinder so I’m cooking them on a gentle flame”
“I can’t trust you to do anything can I?”
“Shut up!”
“How long”
“About another 5 minutes, I managed to find some wild flowers for a bit of extra flavour”
“Great!” Bladewraith Sarcasm was once again obvious, Wingnut was by no means a good cook, he unpacked his cleaning kit, wrapped in cloth from his pack and began pulling the cleaning clothe down the barrel of his 417, Wingnut passed the steak over to Bladewraith sheepishly.
“So how much gas we got left… Honestly” he pointed at Wingnut while he said this with his knife
“Enough for a couple of days… if we push it…”
“Just great… well thanks to that, we’ll keep going for a couple more days then make our way back.”
“Right… we’ll cook on open fires just in case”
The pair collected their things and made their way out of the building, however they noticed that one of the buildings, an old shipwrights was completely intact… they’d only noticed thanks to the daylight, Bladewraith went over to inspect it while Wingnut checked over the sleeping area making sure they hadn’t left anything behind. Bladewraith noticed that the main doors were locked with a chain, he circled round wooden building to try and find another entrance, but every entrance was blocked or chained.
“Any Luck?” asked Wingnut as he walked over from the house they’d slept in
“Nope, it’s all blocked up.”
“Odd, I didn’t find anything interesting in there” he pointed at the house
“Well get to it” Bladewraith motioned to Wingnut, who quickly got his lock pick set out of his pack and started working on the latch, for 5 minutes he tried and tried, but the mechanism was rusted shut “Nope, go on then!”
Bladewraith went back to the main door and pulled out his Silenced Berretta 9mm and aimed at the lock on the chain, it wasn’t like in the movies, just shoot the lock and it’ll break apart and allow them in, he had to aim carefully so that bullet wouldn’t impact the metal and break up, usually crushing the mechanism and jamming it shut, this meant he had to fire almost straight into it, and this increased the likelihood of the round ricocheting and hitting either of them, shooting a lock was always a last resort for that very reason. Bladewraith pulled the trigger and the hammer rocked forwards; the crack of the 9mm was suppressed by the silencer, the slide rocked back and rammed forwards, loading another round at the same time. The lock pinged loudly as the bullet impacted it breaking it apart with ease.

The pair opened the old doors of the shipwright to see a Rigid Inflatable Boat parked on the launching ramp, it was in fantastic condition on first inspection
“A fucking RIB!” shouted Wingnut
Bladewraith’s eyes almost pooped out of his head until he looked a little closer and noticed every section of tubing on the over side was completely deflated and those on the side nearest him weren’t exactly full, however his joy and disbelief which had quickly turned into irritation then turned to curiosity, the boat was in very good condition in fact it was in far too good condition apart from the lack of air in the rubber tubing around it. Nothing survives that well in the Zone, while thinking this Wingnut still hadn’t realised how deflated it actually was.
“Mate we’ve got a fucking boat! No more swimming for me!”
“Bud take a closer look, that thing will never float in that condition”
“What…” Wingnut finally realised “ah for fuck’s sake” Wingnut almost stormed out of the door
“Bud what a minute… how old do you reckon that is… cause this entire village looks like it’s been abandoned for decades, but this thing looks like it’s no older then a rookie”
“Hehe… yeah I guess you’re right… no idea.”
“Well, do you reckon we could hook up a compressor and fill the section up…”
“Maybe… I’ll just nip along to the store a buy one shall I?”
“Yeah sure, you can pick up some gas as well”
The pair inspected the rest of the building and found some interesting documents, they were just the manuals for the boat, engine and a few other things but they were all in English, this surprised both of them, but didn’t give it too much thought. Obviously an Englishman or American had come along at some point, either a researcher or rich stalker and left it there, what had happened to that individual was not obvious; they’d definitely not been there in quite some time. As they checked everything else, they found nothing of any use to them. Bladewraith climbed into the boat and checked the jerry cans, one was full the other about half full, he noticed a piece of paper on the floor of the vessel and picked it up, it had the number ‘260486’ written on it, he had no idea what this number meant but kept hold of the paper anyway.

Bladewraith rolled a cigarette and lit it, while Wingnut sorted the chain. When Wingnut turned around, he noticed Bladewraith smoking and reached into his own pocket and pulled out his pack of pre-rolled cigarettes and lit one.

The duo decided to put the chain back in place and merely held it together with a little wire they found inside; when they went back outside they managed to find a small path that although it hadn’t been used recently, at least by anything other than the boar, it led away from the village into unknown territory, they decided to follow this path, to see if they could find any more about what happened to the owner of the boat.

After a few hours walk carefully through the undergrowth they came across the remains of a crash Hind helicopter, it was almost completely orange with rust all over, listing to one side up against the foot of a small cliff face, they carefully searched the area around it knowing full well that these sorts of things were often used as a den or lair by some mutants. But after finding no evidence of tracks leading too or from the chopper they looked inside, the inside was in a similar condition to the outside, mostly made of rust, they searched around the wreckage but didn’t find anything of use.
“Another waste of time” Wingnut remarked
“Yeah I suppose so… come on then” Bladewraith stepped down out the side door and began walking on the same path
Wingnut rolled his eyes back and then followed; Bladewraith continued and expected Wingnut to keep up, and although he did he wasn’t making any real effort to catch up. They’d only travelled 30 metres from the wreckage, when Bladewraith stopped without warning, when Wingnut eventually did caught up, he saw exactly what Bladewraith had seen, they were atop a small cliff, no major drama there, the path followed a windy route down the cliff face, but what was most shocking was that the path then led to an old Vehicle Bomb Shelter built into the Cliff face heading back in the direction they’d just come from, the concrete shell extruding the cliff face was heavily worn by the weather.
“We have got to check that out”
“Indeed, I suppose you still think we shouldn’t have bothered to cross the river”

They set off down the steep path.

End of Chapter
  17:45:14  14 January 2011
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Chapter 04: The Tunnel

As always they checked the outside of the shelter first looking for signs it was being used as a lair, unfortunately this time there were massive signs of the area being used regularly, and they were everywhere, these ranged from prints in the mud, to droppings and old bones, with teeth marks all along them. The pair inspected these markings and droppings and figured it was most likely a pack of dogs. They both relaxed a little but not completely, Blind dogs didn’t scare either of them but Wingnut had an unnatural hatred for the Pseudodogs. Bladewraith always thought it was a Pseudodog that took his nut from him.

They both activated their torches as the approached the dark tunnel of the shelter, it was easily 10 metres tall. And twice as wide they couldn’t see anything stirring, but the rest f the tunnel was a complete mess. Vehicle parts lying in ruins all over the place wooden crates strewn across the floor and several pipes and cables that ran along the ceiling of the tunnel were hanging down. They couldn’t make out exactly what was at the back of the tunnel, but it was big with large scratch marks leading towards it. Appearing it had been dragged there and was very heavy. They carefully made their way in.

They’d managed to go no more than a few paces inside when they heard the growling snarl of Pseudodogs and quickly Wingnut became very irate shouting and taunting the hidden creatures, when one of the creatures jumped out of nowhere and threw itself at Bladewraith, Bladewraith turned and fire a single shot into the head of the oncoming beast, however as soon as the round penetrated it’s head, the creature simply turned to mist, that gently wafted away on the gentle breeze coming down the tunnel “Psi-Dog!!!” shouted Bladewraith, both men now used their torches to search the dark tunnel for the actual dog, not the images that it was sending out, anytime one of the projections reached them they would fire a single shot into it and it would turn to mist like the first. But their torches didn’t seem to reach far enough to make anything out clearly, especially as they had backed out of the tunnel slightly. Bladewraith dropped his pack on the floor and pulled his HK69 40mm Grenade Launcher and loaded a flare Grenade into it with a click, while Wingnut covered him, Bladewraith raised it to his eye and fired the flare down the tunnel, it reached far beyond the range of their torches and bouncing off the rear wall, and silhouetted everything between them and it, they could finally see the larger object was another crashed helicopter, this one appeared to have caused the marks going the length of the tunnel. As if it crashed and slid down the tunnel. When they moved their eyes across to find the dogs, they could see any one dog, there were loads of them, the only explanation was there was several Psi-Dogs down there and had already made many of their projections.

Finally when Wingnut shot one of the dogs jumping at him it fell to the floor dead, and several other dogs instantly turned to mist. “One down! God knows how many more to go.” Grunted Wingnut. While doing this, Bladewraith had cleared the shell casing and loaded a normal grenade and fired that down the tunnel as well. However it didn’t explode, they could just make it out hovering above the dogs, and the pair glanced at each other, before the grenade flew back at them, narrowly missing Bladewraith and exploding into the ground behind them, they felt the concussion wave pass them lightly
“What the fuck was that!” Bladewraith asked himself, both were completely confused before they noticed the silhouette of a Burer, a mutated dwarf behind the dogs, somehow the dogs weren’t attacking the dwarf, it had somehow caught the grenade mid flight and threw it back.
“That little bastard” the pair fired several volleys down the tunnel, managing to see several of the dog’s silhouettes turn to mist before the flare eventually died out, and once again they could see anything they were aiming at. Suddenly several boxes and pieces of scrap metal around lifted into the air and were being thrown at them by the Burer’s telekinetic abilities,
“We’ve got to fall back!” cried Wingnut, Bladewraith agreed and shouted go, covering his friend before running towards the path as well, they both charged up the path and look down on the tunnel from above, a few of the dogs came out to find them but a few rounds sorted them out with ease, including killing one of the real Psi-Dogs.

Bladewraith and Wingnut moved quickly back towards the wreckage of the Hind, when they reached it they stopped and covered each other as they checked their ammo in turn, the results were not good, Wingnut was down to less than a dozen Shotgun Shells and half a magazine for his SIG 226 Pistol, but he still had plenty of arrows left, Bladewraith on the other hand, had 1 and a half magazines for his 416, 2 for his Berretta and 3 grenades for the HK 69, one of them being another flare, they looked at each other with a small amount of worry
“If we can get to that rib we might be able to get back to safety”
First the boat probably won’t float… he looked at Wingnut’s irritation to this
“Second, I don’t like the idea of walking through the night” Bladewraith pointed at their weapons, “not with so little ammo”
Wingnut agreed and they climbed into the wreckage of the hind, closing the heavily rusted door behind them.

Bladewraith immediately grabbed his pack and flattened it out on the uneven surface while Wingnut grabbed the pack of cards out of his own pack, they passed the time while there was still enough light to see playing Blackjack and Shithead. Every so often getting up and checking out the broken glass windows of the cockpit to check for mutants. Eventually they began to tire and Bladewraith got the first hours sleep, Wing nut sat awake listen to the sounds of the forest around them thinking of the Skadovsk and a wishing he was there where they could both get a decent night’s sleep.

They changed shift each hour as usual, and once again it was Wingnut that woke Bladewraith up at about 02:30 to a rustling outside, they carefully grabbed their weapons limiting the noise they made, when whatever creature was outside caught their scent and jumped on the side of the wreckage tilting it further and then began tearing the away the exterior metal with its sharp claws “Chimera!” Shouted Wingnut, as he saw a claw ripped open the side of the Hind like a can opener, and long 2 inch wide slash was now cut into the side door of the Hind. The gap was large enough to see the large muscular bulk of the extremely dangerous predator, Bladewraith fire 6 rounds into the side of the beast from the cockpit window to only have it jump on top of the cockpit partially crushing it, Bladewraith jumped back into the cabin narrowing avoiding his leg being crushed. The Wing nut tried to aim through a hole in the wreckage and fire two shells at the beast, this appeared to only anger it more, Bladewraith moved to the other side of the Hind and tried to open the side door, but the list meant the door merely pushed into the ground.
“Fuck it!” Wingnut shouted as he smashed his rifle but through one of the still slightly intact windows of the lower side of the craft it was only just big enough to fit through and he jumped through it, slashing his arm open on the broken glass. Bladewraith watched and ran to the window and saw Wingnut stand on the other side waiting for him, Bladewraith threw their packs through the window and then climbed through himself. The chimera bursting through the hatch just as Bladewraith dropped to the ground outside, it then tried to reach its claw out the same window, narrowly missing Bladewraith’s Shoulder. Wingnut ran over and dropped a hand grenade back into the wreckage and the men dove for cover, as the wreckage blew into several pieces, the rusted metal did not have the strength to hold together around the blast.

They waited carefully, weapons trained on the smoking remains, when they noticed the small trail of blood dripping onto the floor in front of them. They carefully approached, to check the beast was no more.
“Thank Fuck for that!” panted Wingnut
“Cheers bud, good thinking with the window!”
“I Don’t care about the RIB, we shouldn’t have crossed the fucking river!”
“Hey, we discovered a new artefact…” Bladewraith rummaged through his pack and pulled out the coral “And you’ve got a Stone Flower.”
Wingnut’s head couldn’t take Bladewraith’s eternal optimism anymore his voice raised into a ranting shout “Yeah great! A Bloody Stone fucking Flower… whooped de fucking doo! We’ve got almost NO ammo left; we’ve been attacked by a Bloodsucker, Boar, Snorks Twice! God knows how many Psi-Dogs for Christ’s sake and last but not fucking least a Burer who threw you own fucking grenade at us!!!” Wingnut kicked the ground in front of him in anger and managed to kick a solid rock in the darkness, severely hurting his foot in the process. It was so painful it made his eyes water and voice break slightly, something Bladewraith noticed immediately
“Fine… ok… Ok… I’m sorry; alright… you don’t need to cry about it… jeez…”
Wingnut responded through gritted teeth “I’m not crying… I’ve just kicked a bloody rock and think I’ve broke my toe!”
Bladewraith looked at Wingnut before bursting into laughter,
“Fuck you!” responded Wingnut before eventually bursting into laughter also.

Bladewraith shone his torch at the ground in front Wingnut and they both realised he’d kicked a large Concrete slab with a metal hatch in it. Wingnut limped towards it as Bladewraith gently opened the hatch and looked inside, there was a ladder that went down a fair way, he then shone his torch down it and could see the bottom
“This must be some sort of escape hatch for the tunnel.” Bladewraith pointed towards the path where they had found the tunnel earlier
“If I can climb down there and shoot the Burer whilst it’s unguarded we’d only have to worry about a few dogs!” Wingnut was getting a little ahead of himself.
“Surely I should go; I’d at least be able to climb down there quietly, without wincing in pain every step”
After settling it with rock, paper, scissors, Bladewraith attached his larger silencer to the end of his 417 and Climbed down the ladder as quietly as possible, eventually reaching the bottom, Wingnut watched from above, waiting for any sign from his friend.

End of Chapter
  17:46:44  14 January 2011
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Chapter 05: Getting Inside

Bladewraith stepped off the ladder at the bottom; gently placing his feet on the concrete floor covered in years of dust, small crunching noises came from under each footstep, to him them seemed incredibly loud, with a slight worry, he used his hand to cover the end of his torch and then turned it on, slowly removing his hand, allowing some of the light out, so he could see what he was doing, without shining his light brightly into the face of any dangerous mutants that might or might not be there. He saw there was a metal door in front of him. He tried to pull the handle as quietly as possible and then open the door in one smooth motion. However the door handle clunked and the door squeaked. When he eventually shone his torch through his hand into the larger room beyond, he could see he was defiantly in the tunnel, he could easily see the helicopter wreckage, and there were 6 sleeping dogs all around; he looked around further and noticed the Burer was also asleep slumped up against the ruins of the chopper.

Bladewraith moved across from the entranceway to the ladder and quickly looked around; he couldn’t see anything of any use so took aim on the Burer with his 417 and pulled the trigger, the Burer stiffened instantly then slumped back to almost the same position he was in before, once of the dogs woke to see what the quiet pop was, and that was that, he growled at Bladewraith waking the other dogs, he quickly took aim and fired on each of them, a single shot to the head, except the last which managed to dodge the first shot, when it jumped straight at him. And knocked him to the floor, only to stiffen and fall to one side, with an arrow sticking out side neck, Bladewraith climbed to his feet, to see Wingnut stood bow drawn at the entrance to the ladder
“I thought I told you to wait up top”
“You’re Welcome!”
Silence from Bladewraith restated his original statement
“I got bored!”
“Well, Thanks…”
The Pair searched the area to make sure all the bodies were no more, they proceeded to inspect the large blast door at the end of the Tunnel, there was a lever to open the doors but there was no power going to it. they searched the rest of the area, and found another door, on the opposite side of the large room to the ladder, but this was locked, wing nut unpacked his kit from his pack and set about trying to pick the lock “This might take some time bud” Bladewraith turned away just as the lock clicked “Or not” said Wingnut with a cheeky grin

They walked carefully into the next room and stood in shock, just behind the door, was too wooden crates stacked on top of each other, next to a fold out metal chair, on top of the chair was an MP5 SD6 and a Gas Mask, on top of the crates was a Benelli M3 Super 90 Shotgun with a torch built in and another Gas Mask and in front of the chair, on the floor was an M4 A1 Carbine leant against the boxes next to a Kevlar Helmet. They walked into the room expecting a trap, but there was none, as they shone there lights around the room they noticed that it was the generator room, Wingnut picked up the Benelli and walked over to inspect the Generator when he sudden felt static all around him…
“Electro Anomaly!” Stated Wingnut, carefully navigating around the fields of electrical discharge, to reach the Generator.
In the meantime Bladewraith opened the wooden crates and looked inside, unfortunately both boxes were empty baring a few loose rounds of 5.56, still it was a welcome addition to the one magazine that was in the M4, which he picked up and let his 417 hang down to his waist.
“It’s empty!” spoke Wingnut, Bladewraith turned to see what Wingnut was referring to
“What is?”
“There’s no power… because there’s no fuel, all these oil drums are empty”
“So you can’t get the doors outside open?”
“Not unless you happen to carry generator fuel around” both of them shrugged, they wanted to find out what was inside, it felt like there was more to this then met the eye. Wingnut became more irritated by this on top of what had happened
“Fuck it… something is in there… something important!”
“Yeah, whoever was here… they were here officially.”
“Why’d you say that” asked Wingnut
“The RIB, everything in there was in English, we’ve got a lot of NATO gear in here as well, and I can see more kit around here, all of it NATO or at least not Warsaw!”
“Well… the generator controls are in Russian, but there are some documents in English lying around.”
“Hang on”, Bladewraith stepped out for a few minutes, Wingnut stayed inside waiting for him,
“The crashed chopper… it’s British! A Merlin!” Bladewraith shouted through as he came back into the room
“So we’ve got a NATO team that went wrong?”
“God knows bud… the answers are in that room” Bladewraith pointed out the door.
“Right I might… I stress might be able to rig something up to buffer the discharge from the Electros to the Generator… might be able to.” Wingnut’s voice stressed the difficulty of what he was suggesting.
“Give it a go, I’ll check over things out there” Wingnut set himself to work, while Bladewraith walked out into the main hall, ad walked the length of the tunnel, looking over the parts of broken vehicles and the chopper, all he was able to find was a couple of med kits, and some, bottled water that had gone green. Until he came across an open topped Land Rover, its windshield was smashed and the seat covered in dust, but the engine looked in good condition apart from needing some more fluids.

Bladewraith therefore spent his time skinning the Psi-Dogs, Pseudodogs fur was soft and what many considered a pleasant brownish red, but Psi-Dogs, there fur was the same but a much whiter colour, and with six of them he’d have plenty of skin to tan and treat. Bladewraith had perfected the art of tanned pelts a long time ago, but his creativity in the Zone was unbeatable, he would crush certain artefacts in order to mix them into the tanning agents and their effects would benefit the wearer. His best accomplishment was the blanket that used artefacts that increase energy recovery, and one that would neutralise radiation which meant wearing during the night gave people by far the best night’s sleep ever. Unfortunately they were too bulky for him to carry around.

Two hours later and the light outside was beginning to fail, but Bladewraith had finished skiing the Dogs, he piled them up on the other side of the chopper and left them there, he went and checked on Wingnut,
“This isn’t gonna be finished tonight!”
“Fair enough I suggest we sleep in here with the door locked, just in case”
Wingnut had laid all the cables out and was still trying to modify the alternator on the generator to except a direct current and to change it to an alternating one.

The next morning they awoke, it’s was a rare occasion to sleep without interruption throughout the night, even though they did shift sleeping. While Bladewraith was awake he’d scraped the hides and had them ready for tanning the next day. While Wingnut was awake he’d continued to work on the power. They shared a cold breakfast together not wanting to use the last of the gas and Wingnut got back to work. Bladewraith dragged the carcasses outside and dumped them a decent distance from the tunnel entrance, only the dwarf was too heavy to move alone. When Wingnut took a break he helped drag it to the pile. Then went and relaxed while Bladewraith made a small fire and set about tannin the skins with the tanning agent he always carried around with him.

“I think I’ve got it” came a voice over the radio, Bladewraith packed his kit and put out the fire before returning to the tunnel and into the Generator room, as he approached Wingnut pushed a button on the generator and the lights came flickered on, they hurried into the main hall, as other lights in the hall and a few in the tunnel lit up. They both collected their gear and took aim at the main doors as Wingnut operated the lever control for the main blast door; it slowly creaked into life and began a painfully slow ascent, allowing them to get their first glance inside, however they were even more irritated when it was up enough for them to see in properly to find it covered yet another door, this one had an access code that it required to open. Wingnut slumped in irritation, and looked at Bladewraith, who was also annoyed
“What do they want to keep us out of?” Asked Wingnut

Quickly remembering the note he’d found on the boat, Bladewraith reached into his pocket and pulled it out.
“I found this on the boat, worth a shot” explained Bladewraith
“260486… I’ve heard that number before, I’m sure of it”
Bladewraith typed the code into the control, and he was about to press enter when Wingnut spoke again
“26 04 86… the 26th of the 4th 86… the 26th of April 1986, the date of the first explosion at the Plant! Are you kidding me! That’s their super secure pass code!”
“Fuck… your right… well in fairness; would you waste your time trying it?”
Bladewraith hit enter anyway and was rewards with a message in green stated it had been accepted, the doors opened much quicker this time and they stepped inside

End of Chapter
  17:50:18  14 January 2011
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This is where the story gets a bit Dues Ex Machina (God from the Machine, for anyone unfamiliar with that term) be warned but stick with it.

Chapter 06:

The Duo walked carefully into the room, the smell of stale air, hit the back of their noses; another distinct smell went along with it, rotting flesh. all the lights flickered on slowly lighting up each area one at a time, as the door closed automatically behind them, their eyes were wide with disbelief, they were stood at the entrance to a large rectangular room with an open room to their right, the wall opposite them was a plain white with two doors leading off of it, between the doors stood a large Television mounted on the wall, and couches pointed in the direction of the wall. To their left were another couple of doors and a small kitchen type area and living space, this amazed them, but not as much as what lay in the open room to their right. A large open Armoury, it was split into two halves, on the right was all of the tactical clothing, helmets, harnesses, webbing radio equipment and importantly a compressor, next to it was a Ducati sports bike. On the left was several racks of weapons stood on end, with more above that hanging up, on the shelves stood boxes of magazines for the guns and countless grenades of varying types. On the end wall stood several cupboards and tool rack, and on the left hand side stood several types of Rocket Launcher. On the floor underneath the racks of rifles shotguns and all other variety stood two Gatling Guns. Between the two sides there was a work bench with one rifle being laying in pieces on the bench; the Tech must have got distracted whilst taking it apart thought Wingnut. They truly had hit the mother lode.

Bladewraith turned as if to leave “You’re right we should never have crossed the river… it was a stupid idea… come on.” explained Bladewraith in a very sarcastic, patronising voice.
“Fuck off… you cocky bastard!” replied Wingnut calmly
The pair rushed into the room and went straight to the armoury, Bladewraith first walked over and picked up an M136 AT4, and began inspecting it before moving onto the other weapons, Wingnut did much the same but went to the tool bench and bike instead. They both hadn’t paid much attention to the workbench between them, until they turned at almost the same time and stopped…

The body of tech was slumped behind the desk; it had shrivelled up some time ago, and bared no resemblance to whatever the man used to look like by now, they couldn’t find any obvious reason for his death. They put their play things down and decided to search the rest of the place to see if there were any more bodies. Bladewraith searched the two rooms on the wall opposite the door and Wingnut search to two on the side. Wingnut moved through the first door and found what had been the sleeping area, there was several bunks on the back wall and an equal number of lockers on the wall to the right. The body a soldier who had obviously died during his sleep was still lying in his bed; the sheets underneath the corpse had been stained and tarnished horribly by the decaying body above. it was wearing dog tags but they were so covered in thick dried blood he couldn’t make out the name only that he was a Corporal, it appeared his head had been caved in. it wasn’t something he wanted to think to heavily about, then he noticed the sledge hammer lent up against the sideboard covered in blood. There were no other bodies in the sleeping room, so he walked out, a chill running down his back when he turned and layed eyes on the sledge once more.

Bladewraith decided to check the left hand room; he opened the door to be greeted with a very different but equally foul stench, he used his Shemagh to cover his nose and remove some of the awful smell that was attacking him. He looked around, and there were shelves around 3 walls of the room, all filled with different food stuffs, at least one of the walls lengths of shelves was filled with once fresh vegetables and meat, now all little more than a pile of rotting mess. The other shelves were filled with tinned and bottled goods, most of which look ok. It was obviously the pantry, one the non shelves wall was another door, he walked through into a very small room, and this contained the Boiler and Water Purification Systems, something that Bladewraith look forward to using. With little in the way of bodies, Bladewraith decided to leave the pantry and check the next room.

Wingnut made his way back into the main room and turned into the to the next room on his side, it was the toilet block, there were 2 toilets, a sink and 2 showers, it would have been very communal, he found another body clad in a once white lab coat, now a dark grey with brown streaks of decayed flesh stained into it., lying on the floor of the toilet block; there was a pool of dried blood all around it, and several bloodied razor blades in sink., Wingnut inspected, body, and it hadn’t just had it’s wrists cut, it had had its wrists shredded. He made his way to find Bladewraith.

Bladewraith Walked through the right hand door to find himself in a lab, there was all sorts of medical equipment around and clinical white cupboards all around but there was a thick layer of dust on all the flat surfaces, a metal gurney was situated in the middle of the room, there was a door ajar on the over side to him and on the end wall was a large Metal Door, on the opposite wall was Blood Splatter, but the gurney was between him and whatever sort of body lay on the floor below. Bladewraith took one step forward into the room hand on his pistol just in case, when he stepped on a shell casing he reached down and picked it up, “9mil” he said aloud to himself, he look left around the tarnished white cupboards and noticed the body of a Soldier, he was wearing his fatigues, but they barely look like DPM anymore, soaked through with the juices of the decomposing body. It lay slumped on the floor knees bent and a Berretta Pistol in what was left of his hand, a second empty shell casing lay on the floor next to the body, Bladewraith approached covering his nose with his Shemagh trying to block out the smell. The skull of the man was just showing still stained with blood, but with a large hole in the top of his head. ‘Must have shot himself’ he thought when, he then looked around the gurney and saw the body of a Scientist, again slumped to the floor, knees bent but with a bullet hole in the centre of his head the body was now barely holding onto a key in its right hand. Bladewraith kept looking at the partially open door hesitantly, so he decided to leave his investigation to check the next room.

Bladewraith slowly and quietly pulled his Berretta out of his holster and aimed through the gap in the door, the first thing he noticed was a tranquiliser gun hanging on the wall, when he turned his head he saw the cages; there were several of them on the floor of the room. Each had a long dead mutant locked inside; there were a couple of dogs, what he assumed to be a flesh, only it was a lot thinner due to the decomposition, impressively one of the cages held what appeared to be a Controller, then he found the next cage appeared to contain the starved body of a poltergeist, that said Bladewraith and Wingnut had never actually seen the body of a Poltergeist, since they tended to explode when they were killed, but he’d seen drawings from a Stalker that went into the labs in the Dark Valley, somehow these pictures had ended up in Sakharov’s bunker in Yantar. He was looking carefully at it when Wingnut walked in.
“Two bodies in the…” Wingnut stopped short when he saw the cages; he looked around the room and saw the tranquiliser gun.
“Test Subjects… I’ve never seen whatever this is before…” explained Bladewraith
“Weird… it looks a bit like those drawings from Yantar”
“Yup, the drawings of the poltergeists”
“But, if it is… or was a poltergeist, how did they cage it, and in one piece”
“Bud, something creepy was going on here, I’ve no idea why, but the two bodies I found… one had his head caved in with a sledgehammer; the other slit his own wrists!”
“Well, the military guy, shot the scientist then shot himself” both Wingnut and Bladewraith were on edge, finding corpses was part and parcel of being a Stalker, but everything in this place just seemed to be wrong, out of place and nothing made sense. He got to his feet and made his way to the main desk next to the armoury

Wingnut Followed Bladewraith to the counter and watched as Bladewraith picked up the digital camera that stood there, he linked it to the laptop, with one of the cables he found on the desk. Bladewraith new that the batteries on both the Laptop and the Camera were likely to be dead and long past the point of recharging, but they should be able to run of the mains which was now being fed an ample supply of power from the Electro Anomaly linked to the Generator, he was rewarded with a quiet beep as the Laptop passed its Power On Start-up test. Bladewraith knew that in all matter mechanical Wingnut could fix it, something that had come in handy several times throughout the pairs history in the Zone, however Bladewraith was originally an IT technician, a trade that he never thought he’d be able to use in the Zone, but had the Laptop not worked, he was the most likely to get it working. He allowed the Laptop to reach it’s Ctrl + Alt + Delete screen, however they quickly realised he would need to hack through the security to get in, something Bladewraith couldn’t be bothered with, so he turned to the camera and looked through its video library, eventually find the first video and he pressed play, the duo moved closer to inspect the images being displayed on such a small screen.

The first video showed, a two scientists doing an autopsy on a blind dog while a third scientist, this one female was observing, they introduced themselves for their record keeping as Doctor Samuels, Doctor Brown and Doctor Johansson, Johansson was the observing doctor. Bladewraith and Wingnut continued to watch the video but it was the large amount of Medical jargon that was being used that encouraged them to skip on. Most of the videos were much the same they’d introduce themselves to the camera then explain what they were doing. Occasionally it would only be one of the doctors doing the test while another observed, others it would be all three actively taking part. They scrolled through the videos one by one, with very little of interest, Wingnut did mention that Sakharov or maybe Hermann would probably pay well for the videos, but Bladewraith was hesitant at showing anyone else what they’d found, the fear of too many questions.

The guy in the video was Doctor Brown, he was talking to the camera which appeared to be mounted most likely on the desk in front of them, because they could clearly see the cupboards in the background, the scientist was talking about how they’d seen this glowing electrical disturbance and how tried to move away from it, when it followed they stood and watched as several objects were lifted out of nowhere, the doc explained that Sergeant Green shot it with the tranquilizer gun and it fell to the floor after a while, but not before Corporal Manning was struck in the leg with one of the floating objects, they brought it back for testing and sent Manning to bed to get some rest and let his leg heal and that it would take several days to get better. Just as he was explaining how the creature appeared to be dying as a result of the tranquilizer, and that they were going to do some tests on it before it died; when suddenly they were doing a loud smashing noise that obviously shocked the scientist, he got up from the desk and ran away, there was some very agitated shouting and screaming in the background but Wingnut and Bladewraith couldn’t make out what they were saying clearly. They waited and waited but eventually someone turned off the camera
“I’ll bet that that crash was the chopper!” mentioned Wingnut
“Well there’s only one more video on there so let’s have a look”

Bladewraith pressed play on the final video and once again Doctor Brown stood in front of the Camera, obviously very agitated “They’ve all gone mad… Samuels wants to release the bloody mutants and the military are holding him at gunpoint, I went to check on Manning but there was something on his head so I hit it with a hammer…” the Scientist was clearly going insane, he was holding his head while explaining it all… often he almost seemed to smile at what was going on he continued “Then bloody manning refused to talk to me.. Just lay there… I hadn’t hit him! … Only the thing on his face! Bastard! Oh I shouldn’t swear… its wrong you know, I…” a Gunshot could be heard in the background followed by a long drawn out scream… then a second gunshot… “Ha ha!!!” cried the scientist “I told you they were insane… this one was, had to stop him… he was trying to report us, trying to use the radio!” he looked down below the counter presumably at the Soldier that was behind the desk “You can’t use the radio! Give away out position! Stupid grunt!” he turned back to the Camera “Had to stop him…” he held up a syringe and showed it to the camera, he seemed very pleased with himself but slowly became more and more agitated then started looking at and rubbing his wrists “Oh god it’s inside… inside my wrists…” he was now clawing at his wrists before running off screen and shouting “I have to get it out” mixed with fear and laughter, the video continued filming but there was nothing more; It was chilling to watched to say the least.
“It couldn’t have been the Poltergeist surely…”
“We know they’ve got Telekinetic abilities, but…”
“There was the body of that controller in there… it must have been him… must of!”
“Whatever it was, that guy was insane!”
Both of them were fully aware that at no point in the videos did they ever see any of the Soldiers.
“So how many did you find then”
“Well there was one in the toilet block, he’d slashed the hell out of his wrists, and there was blood everywhere… must have been him” Wingnut explained pointing at the camera. “Other was a soldier whose face had been smashed in with a sledge hammer, in his bed of all places” Wingnut didn’t say it, but Bladewraith knew straight way that this was the soldier Corporal Manning that the on screen Doctor had mentioned. “You”
“As you saw… one soldier one scientist, but the doc was defiantly male… I could tell that much.” Both looked each other, they knew that there should’ve been more than 3 soldiers to protect three scientists, so where were the others.
“How many beds where there?”
“I didn’t count…”
The duo walked into the sleeping quarters and saw there were 4 bunk beds, making 8 places to sleep. Obviously there was 3 scientists, which meant there was probably 5 soldiers, still less than they expected, but still more then they had bodies for. They searched the lockers in the room and found a few personal things belonging to each of the soldiers; each locker had the surname of the person on it. they looked at the lockers and found the names Manning, Jackson, Hunt, Forest and O’Brian, after searching through them briefly, they realised that both Jackson’s and O’Brian’s lockers were tidied into boxes, as if they were using them, then to add to the suggestion that these weren’t in use, the soldiers Dog Tags were also in the box when Wingnut searched through Jackson’s box, he found several books about piloting and manuals about maintaining the down completely destroyed Helicopter outside, they figured he must have been the pilot, and O’Brian either the Co-Pilot, or just another soldier that was killed in the crash.

It was then they decided to treat the bodies, at least with a little respect; in discovering what had happened to them, they felt a little more connected then when they’d previously found the bodies of Stalkers and Bandits alike. First they carefully removed the dog tags belonging to Manning and placed it in his Locker, they then wrapped his body up in the blanket he had been sleeping on, and tied the body up in it. And placed the package by the main entrance, they then looked around through the stores to find several more sheets and blankets and did the same to the Soldier behind the counter. After looking at his tags, they discovered he was Corporal Mike Hunt. They next proceeded to wrap the insane Scientists in the toilet block, before moving into the lab. They had just finished wrapping the Soldier, Sergeant Jo Forest, and had begun wrapping up Doctor Bladewraith looked once more at the large metal door. He walked over to it abandoning Wingnut, half way through the wrapping process and opened to the door, inside was what he couldn’t even describe in words, it wasn’t a large room, but not small either, with containment chambers all the way around two walls, each of these chambers contained different artefacts, several chambers contained more than one of the same artefact, there was also a metal table in the centre of the room with several loose papers scattered on it and on the floor, as well as many strange devices he didn’t even dare guess what they did. He surmised this must be where they did tests on the artefacts they found. Bladewraith inspected the room carefully; there was a sink and several small empty boxes, all of which were open next to a DPM rucksack, as he moved further into the room to investigate, Wingnut came to the door to look inside
“Fucking hell… Jackpot or what!”
Bladewraith merely waved his hand at Wingnut and looked around, something was not right and he wanted to find out what, when a figure jumped onto his back, and tried to strangle him, Bladewraith twisted his body, grabbed the arm of whatever it was and threw it over his shoulder, impact the floor in front of him. The attacker didn’t move for several seconds after it hit the floor and Bladewraith and Wingnut were able to get a could look at who or what it was.
“Doctor Johansson?” Asked Wingnut

End of Chapter
  17:52:32  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
01/14/2011 17:53:47
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Next Chapter

Chapter 07: the Good Doctor

The doctor’s eyes opened in daze of confusion, as then locked on Bladewraith as he stood over her and she darted back on he elbows before getting to her feet, with rage still in her eyes
“Doctor Johansson?” Bladewraith asked
She charged at him once more, her fists flying all directions, Bladewraith ducked and blocked every punch she threw, she obviously had no training in hand to hand combat, where as almost every Stalker did, whether it was professionally trained or just picked up as they went along; Bladewraith was fortunate enough to have taken several Krav Maga lessons before entering the Zone. He continued to block every punch that came his way, but he was getting very annoyed that she didn’t seem to be tiring, on occasion she would either get a punch through by chance or she’d kick out, all the time Wingnut watched in amusement from the door, however she was getting more irate with every failed punch and kick, so jumped back and picked up a scalpel from the counter and began lunging at Bladewraith with it, he continued to block, but this spurred Wingnut into action, both men were of the same upbringing that they shouldn’t warm a women unless their lives depended on it, so his own moral compass struggled with what to do until he ran out of the artefact room and grabbed the tranquilizer gun off the wall in the cage room. Running through pulling the bolt back and loading a dart into the breach, he tried to aim at her but she was moved behind Bladewraith too quickly.
“DUCK!!!” cried Wingnut
And Bladewraith instinctively kicked his own legs out from underneath him and dropped to the floor, she was left punching into thin air when the dart impact her shoulder, she looked at it confusingly, before her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she passed out, dropping down and collapsing onto Bladewraith.

Bladewraith pushed the doctor to one side, she was nothing more than dead weight so she flumped onto the floor, he got to his feet gingerly and looked at Wingnut, an oblivious amount of irritation was evident across his face “What the fuck took you so long!” he shouted
“… Sorry?” was all Wingnut said
“Jeez… give me a hand to put her on the table” they picked her up and carried her through to the examination table in the lab, and used the old straps to tie her down
“How the hell did she manage to last so long by herself?” asked Wingnut
“God knows mate, but she did…” he checked her over looking for injury evidence to her first name, he rifled through her pockets finding very little until he came across a couple of belts she wore under her lab coat. Attached to them were a number of artefacts some he recognised, other he didn’t. Bladewraith set about removing these belts, meanwhile Wingnut walked back into the room and picked up her pack and looked inside, he slowly walked back into the lab his hand deep inside the bag.
“You got lucky bud…”
“and Why’s that…” he replied as he watched Wingnut pulled his hand out of the bag, 2 fragmentation grenades along with it. if she’d been truly insane she wouldn’t have hesitated to blow herself up and take them with her. They looked through the rest of the bag, and found she’d had, if rationed properly, a month’s worth of food, and the bodies had been decaying for much longer then that

They sat there for hours waiting for her to regain consciousness, in the meantime they had finished wrapping the bodies and then placed them out in the tunnel waiting to be taken and burned, they’d also dragged the bodies of the mutants out as well, and slowly but surely the smell in the bunker was getting better, the last job which was left to Wingnut was to clear all the rotted food from the pantry and put that out in the tunnel as well. Eventually after 6 and a half hour she opened her eyes, as soon as she saw the men, she tried to escape before realising she was tied down to the table. She struggled against her restraints for some time while Bladewraith and Wingnut attempt to talk to her, she spit her words out with vile hatred on her voice.
“Let me go you freaks!”
“Doctor… calm down we’re not going to hurt you… what’s you name?”
“Liars… if it wasn’t for you they’d all still be alive” At this she burst into tears, they didn’t know what she meant by this, but she’d at least stopped struggling against her restraints.
“What d you mean… if it wasn’t for you?”
“Don’t bullshit me… you bastards shot down the Lieutenant.” She managed to say this through her tears.
“We didn’t shot anyone down… I give you my word”
“Maybe not you but your friends… they did it! Fucking Military grunts!” at this the penny finally dropped for Bladewraith, the Ukrainian Military had shot the chopper down
“Listen, Love… we’re not the Military, we’re Stalkers!” it suddenly occurred that the use of the word stalkers and stalking in front of a women might not be the best idea, but it was too late now
“Stalkers… well if that’s true then you’re not Military grunts” she seemed to have calmed down at this “you’re thieving fucking scum!” and alas it was back to the shouting and struggling
“Whatever love…” Bladewraith walked out of the room, Wingnut along with him. They walked out of the room and discussed what to do… Wingnut suggested they take all the gear and leave he in there, Bladewraith just looked at him. He’d always wondered what it was that had happened to Wingnut that made him detest being round women, he knew Wingnut wasn’t gay, but he still questioned it.

Wingnut decided to go and burn the bodies of the mutants and erect a pyre for the former residents of the bunker, Bladewraith walked back in and no sooner had he sat down on the stool next to her, then she’d spat in his face. He wiped the spit from his face with his Shemagh, and then sat quietly, waiting for her to fill the void with information; she struggled with her restraints eventually started talking
“I won’t tell you anything you know!”
“I don’t expect you too.”
“Yeah right… there’s probably hundred of questions running through your head right know… your just too stupid to know which one to ask first”
“Whatever you say love…” Bladewraith picked up a bottle of water and poured it into a glass and drank a few sips, he then offered her the rest of the glass
“Tell you what… I give you this glass of water, in exchange…”
“See! I knew you wanted something” he was quickly cut off by her remark and he sipped more from the glass, then refilled it
“In Exchange” he emphasized these words to make a point “I want you to stop struggling against the straps, your only gonna hurt yourself” he watched the thought go through her mind, before she turned her head and continued struggling.
“Very well… have it you way, he drank the rest of the glass and left the empty glass and the full bottle on the work top to tempt her” he then left to go and check on Wingnut, when he heard Gunfire he turned into a sprint.

He got outside to see a pack of dogs attacking Wingnut, several lay dead on the floor, but there was far too many and they were circling him when one jumped at him from behind and bite down into his upper arm and held on. Wingnut punched the dog away and fired a single shot into it before another dog attacked from his other side knocking him to the ground. Bladewraith ran out pistol drawn as he’d left his rifle inside as he fired off the magazine into 6 of the dogs, felling 5 of them, he dropped to one knee and changed magazines and fire of half of that one, before all the dogs were dead. He ran over to Wingnut whose arm and leg were completely covered in blood, Bladewraith holstered his Berretta and grabbed hold of the loop on the back of Wingnut’s vest and dragged him rapidly back down the tunnel. “All the while, Wingnut was shouting at him for leaving him to do the dirty work.”

Three days had passed since the dog attack on Wingnut, and he was still recovering in one of the beds, Bladewraith would come in and play cards or hand over some food before doing the same thing for their female prisoner, who had eventually agreed to stop struggling for some water and had even accepted some food as she seemed to be starving, however she’d been giving Bladewraith the silent treatment since, so he filled the silence by explaining what had happened to Wingnut, and even how he was treating his friend’s wounds, hoping her medical instinct would be to help and give advice, but she hadn’t her resolve to ignore Bladewraith except to look at the food and water he was bringing was holding fast. Suddenly the good Doctor decided she’d had enough silence…
“You asked me my name… it’s Tamara”
“Well.. It’s… err… nice to meet… you Tamara…” Bladewraith was taken aback by this sudden change in her attitude
“and your name is?”
“Bladewraith, just call me Bladewraith”
“Wow… strange name… your mommy give that to you”
“No… a Rookie Stalker I saved from some bandits did.”
“Wow, a real hero… and what about your friend… Wingnut was it” Bladewraith realised he’d mentioned his name a few times when talking about his treatment.
“Yup, but I’m not gonna tell you how he got that name… that’s his business” Bladewraith felt a smile come to his face
“What did you do with my friends?”
“Nothing yet, we’ve wrapped them respectfully in sheets and we were building a Pyre when Wingnut was attacked, we’ll continue when he’s better.”
“That’s more than I’d hoped actually.. I figured you just dumped them in some hole”
“Stalkers aren’t as bad as you think…” Bladewraith paused before carrying on, not sure as to whether or not to ask during this brief chance of speaking. “What happened here… why did they all kill each other?”
Tears came to Tamara’s eyes “everyone went insane, they were the most caring group of people I’d ever spent time with, and they went insane.” Tamara was now crying a lot, she turned her head away from him
Bladewraith stayed silent, not wanting to push. Bladewraith pulled out his Berretta, and her tears of pain turned to tears of fear, until he reached down and unclipped the straps holding her arms, he knew that she would still not be able to reach the ones around her legs and body, but it was meant as an act of faith on his part, but also let her know that he was ready if she tried anything. A small smile appeared on her face then quickly disappeared as she continued crying.

Wingnut was on the mend now both physically and mentally, he wasn’t sure why he was so angry with Bladewraith over Tamara. He took over watch duty while Bladewraith slept, he did demand that her hands were tied while he did this but she seemed to understand. He asked her how she survived for so long stuck in that room. As she began to speak, Bladewraith staggering in, still fairly dreary from just waking up, but once he was there Wingnut agreed to allow her hands some freedom. She managed to explain this time. The research team had entered the Zone under cover, and so long as they kept this side of the CNPP, and kept low, the interference stopped the USS detecting them, they’d managed to find this old fallout shelter and after a few weeks convert it to what they see now. It was incredible the species they were collecting, and that continued for many weeks, they would take the chopper once a week for fresh supplies until one day Hunt and O’Brian had managed to capture a Controller, they’d never seen anything like the power the creature possessed and managed to sedate it and that neutralised it’s abilities, they had been experimenting on him for almost a week, and had managed to keep him sedated enough that he wasn’t a threat with his mental abilities. Then Hunt and Manning had managed to capture this strange creature they’d never seen or heard of before…
“The Poltergeist?” Wingnut Asked
“We never knew what the Stalker called them, however it was dying, we assumed it was a result of the sedation, so we set about running some tests on it before it died, getting brain scans and what not…” Bladewraith and Wingnut merely nodded “but because we were so concentrated on it we didn’t give the Controller its sedative that day, we all went to bed and when I woke in the morning John… Dr. Brown was doing his video report while I made myself a coffee, they guys were off had been getting the supplies as normal in the chopper… when it crashed…” She began to develop small tears once again Jackson and O’Brian were onboard and killed instantly, however the crash damaged the antennae and we could radio for back up. Then Sergeant Hunt took charge and held us together, but then Dr Samuels began to act differently, I was working on a few of the artefacts to take my mind off things, while the Sergeant was talking to me, when Samuels came in and picked up the key for the cages, the Sergeant asked him what he was doing, but Samuels was strange he didn’t focus on anything, just the key, the Sergeant ordered him to stop, but he wouldn’t the Sergeant shot him to protect the rest of us, but Dr Brown ran off screaming I was still in the artefact hold, which has shielding to protect against the effects of the artefacts, when the Sergeant was holding his head in pain, his hand pointed the gun at me but he was struggling to pull it away, he knew something was trying to control him and shot himself to stop it. I shut myself inside and locked the door; the Sergeant had left his pack inside the room when before he shot Samuels, so I ate the food he had in there but tried to drag it out. I kept up my studies on the artefacts to take my mind off what happened. I then discovered that some of the artefacts could stave off hunger, so I used these but also had to use other to stop the radiation, I then used some that slowed my heart beat as a side effect, which made me every tired, I would sleep for days wake and eat a really small amount and feel full and drink some water then go back to sleep, I’ve no idea how long I was in there, by the time I decided to try and leave I hadn’t noticed the power was out. And the door was sealed, when I woke up the other day I could hear you talking about the bodies and hid, but when you came in I didn’t know what to do…” she’d managed to keep the tears back this time “I’m sorry”
Both men were shocked, they looked at her belts and figure that if used correctly, they could almost work like a form of stasis for the body.
“I assume there’s no rescue mission?”
“We’re not officially here… if we went dark, we stayed dark”
Bladewraith looked at Wingnut for approval, and Wingnut nodded, knowing what Bladewraith was planning, he then reached down and unclipped the rest of her restraints. She sat up for the first time in a week and rubbed her body where the straps had been
“We’re sorry too, ok… but you did try and kill me when we first met”
“Yeah… sorry about that, I was a little scared.”
“Well, I think it’s time we burn the Pyre, it’s all ready for you to say goodbye”
“Thank you…”
They made their way outside and she inspected the pyre, and said a silent farewell to each of them, then took hold of the lighter from Wingnut and lit the fire, they stayed in front of the fire for 4 hours until it had died down they spent much of that time in silence, but soon the light began to fade and they made their way back inside, when they returned they went straight to bed.

End of Chapter

Well that's everything for now, feel free to ask me to keep going as well as tell me to stop. i like my story but i might be biased...
  04:12:44  15 January 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011

Message edited by:
01/15/2011 4:27:04
Messages: 27


Corporal Mike Hunt.

Really? REALLY?


On a side note, the story is very interesting so far and I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment. The whole scientist part is pretty original and I'm enjoying how you talk about the artifacts.

Great work, keep it up!
  18:47:12  17 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306


Corporal Mike Hunt.

Really? REALLY?


Yeah well... i thought it was funny



On a side note, the story is very interesting so far and I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment. The whole scientist part is pretty original and I'm enjoying how you talk about the artifacts.

Great work, keep it up!

Cheers, it's taken a good couple of weeks to write those ones but every time i try and contniue it, half way through the chapter i think of something else, so it's a constant write... edit... re-write... whiskey... write... delete drunken Gibberish... and so forth, but i'll keep trying

agian thanks
  00:40:02  18 January 2011
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
Messages: 1941


Cheers, it's taken a good couple of weeks to write those ones but every time i try and contniue it, half way through the chapter i think of something else, so it's a constant write... edit... re-write... whiskey... write... delete drunken Gibberish... and so forth, but i'll keep trying

agian thanks

Well, IMHO it's really worth it, the way you write makes me see it. I guess your re-rewriting is pretty close to how the big authors work

-well, maybe without the whiskey unless you are a descendant of Hemingway
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