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Bladewraith & Wingnut

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  18:40:17  12 October 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Chapter 26

Wingnut awoke in a daze; he’d fallen asleep while on guard. The first time since his first week in the Zone, there was the sound of heavy footsteps emanating from above them several Stalkers seemed to be running around it was then his ears adjusted an could hear some shouting, he was sat against the wall beside the stairs, he reached out for his shotgun…
“What the fuck… where is it?” he spoke out to anyone that could hear while franticly searching. He looked beside him to ask Bladewraith, he was gone, he looked for Tamara, she was gone. “What the fuck is going on” he racked his brains trying to remember what happened last night, why did he fall asleep. ‘I’d been up late chatting with Nitro about movies… Bladewraith took first watch… 2 hours then I took over’ he thought to himself, carefully, suddenly realising the Stalker beside him the one who always just stood there and didn’t say much… he was only just waking up as well. Wingnut checked his watch to reveal it was only 05:13, most of the Stalkers upstairs should still be asleep he thought,
“What’s going on?” the Stalker asked him
“I don’t know, my friends are gone and so is my shotgun”
“I never sleep, I’m an insomniac, I’m fine on about an hour every couple of days!”
“What’s your name, is anything missing” asked Wingnut, as the Stalker probed his pockets and pack
“Nothing’s Gone, Name’s Tracker” he explained as he racked his brain trying to remember the last few moments before he lost consciousness.
“I’m Wingnut, I’m gonna find out what the hell’s going on!”

Tracker followed Wingnut upstairs, where they found Duty and Freedom arguing intensely
“If you didn’t who did?”
“It wasn’t Freedom, maybe it was you lot, trying for an excuse to retaliate again!” answered a freedom member, Wingnut walked over to Hawaiian.
“What’s going on?”
“Haven’t you heard, one of Duty’s Guards was shot last night, no one heard or saw anything”
“My friends are missing and so is my shotgun”
“And someone knocked us out” added Tracker
“What?” asked Wingnut this time?
“I remember a canister falling down the stairs, it must’ve been knock out gas”
“What about Gas Masks though?” Questioned Hawaiian
“I didn’t wear one” explained Wingnut “Neither did I” added Tracker, just before Wingnut’s Radio crackled into life
“Wingnut, this is Bladewraith come in!”
“Bladewraith! Where the fuck are you? What happened last night?
“Follow the railroad tracks south, and you’ll come to a Station I’m there!”
“What happened?”
“I’ll explain later, get Davis up and get here ASAP” Wingnut didn’t hesitate, he ran into the Medic’s room, waking Bonesetter in the process
“Davis you lazy git wake up”
“Wuh, what’s going on?”
“Just get your sorry ass out of bed and move it”

Wingnut carried Davis over his shoulder for an hour before they arrived at the Station, by which time light was slowly creeping over the horizon bathing the area in dim colour, Bladewraith and Tamara were waiting patiently beside the platform, Tamara’s eyes were red, as if she’d been crying, Bladewraith stood on guard with his 417 at the ready, beside him were several bodies, dressed in navy blue BDUs and black tactical vests. When they spotted Davis and Wingnut, Tamara and Bladewraith ran over and helped Wingnut Bladewraith scurried them inside the station.
“What’s going on”
“Merc’s… Again!”
“What this time?”
“They’re after the Doc, they obviously know who she is somehow, they came in, knocked you out and carried her off”
“So how’d you not get passed out?” asked Wingnut
“And how’d you get her back?” inquired Davis
“We’d only just swopped duty, remember” Wingnut nodded in agreement “I was still awake, heard the gas can bounce down the stairs, when I realised it was spewing gas, I held my breath”
“Hang on, how did you manage to hold your breath for so long”
“The Coral…” the realisation dawn on Wingnut “you smart bastard” Davis looked on in confusion
“Exactly; there was six of them that came down, one of them liked the look of your shotgun and nicked it, and the others checked we were all asleep. I had to pretend I was, because I didn’t stand a chance against 6 while holding my breath, with no cover.” Bladewraith looked at Tamara, they carried Doc off and as soon as it was clear I followed them, they waited here for the Doc to wake up, half of them went on ahead, and the others waited here with Doc.”
“And you took them out, all on your own?” Davis was curious
“Yeah, I did… element of surprise”
“Where’s my shotty?”
“the other guys must’ve taken it” Wingnut hung his head “I piled up the bodies over there” Bladewraith pointed at the heap of corpses beside the platform “check them for a shooter and let’s get going, we might be able to catch them up” Wingnut didn’t say anything, he simple walked outside and began searching the bodies, picking out a G36K, and several magazines
“How you doing Doc” Asked Davis, her face was still red, but less so then before. Bladewraith had turned and was watching out the window, covering Wingnut the best he could from his position
Not bad, considering I’ve just been kidnapped by men wanting to kill me
“They didn’t want to kill you! If they did they would’ve done it already” Advised Bladewraith still with his back to the pair. Wingnut walked back over and rather than coming in, he merely shouted through the window
“Come on then…”

Bladewraith and Wingnut followed the Standard issue US Army boot prints left by the Mercs out of Jupiter, and a few hours later they reached the edge of the red forest. They stood atop the bank beside the road leading south to the old Ranger Station, and east to the Military warehouses, an old KAMAZ truck lay in front of them dripping rust onto the road beneath, they crouched low while Bladewraith and Wingnut inspected the road ahead of them.
“Tracks finish on the asphalt” exclaimed Wingnut, while Bladewraith searched around trying to find tracks in the mud anywhere else.
“Well they’re either going south or east” Bladewraith signalled Tamara and Davis to descend the bank and join the conversation
“They wouldn’t be going east, they’ve pissed Freedom off enough, I doubt even the Mercs are stupid enough to try it again”
“True” agreed Bladewraith “well, we’ve got to go south anyway, to meet the boat, but it won’t even be here until tomorrow!”
“Well, what are we gonna do then?” asked Davis
“We could stay with Forester for a couple of days?”
“Let’s go” the group set off south still watching for tracks on their brief way south

Soon the Ranger Station came into View, its brick walls, crumpling yet still standing strong against a barrage of emissions that had flattened stronger structures elsewhere in the Zone. The metal mast had long since passed into unserviceable condition. Wingnut led the way inside, while Bladewraith covered them from outside. One flight of stairs, and Wingnut knocked gently on the door an old friend.
“Greetings my friends are you here on business or just taking a hike” greeted the old Stalker as the group entered the room
“Hello forester, long time no see, we need a place to stay for a day or so”
“Of course you can stay here, but just to warn, you, there’s been a lot of dodgy types around here lately”
“What do you mean?”
“Well just a few hours ago, there was a bunch of Mercs came running through, in a mighty hurry they were”
Bladewraith and Wingnut simply looked at each other…

End of Chapter
  14:34:28  12 October 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306

Curse youuuu!
The population of the zone demands more
*agreeing muttering*

umm... okay, i thought the muttering was in my head, well i seem able to produce short chapters in fairly quick pace so i'm almost done the next, yet another twist to come, but i reckon the total chapter count will just about breach 30, to give you a clue at where i'm at. hopefully have another one up later.
  23:23:10  11 October 2011
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Colonel Skull
On forum: 11/07/2010
Messages: 95
Curse youuuu!
The population of the zone demands more
*agreeing muttering*
  17:15:16  10 October 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Unfortunatly, yet another short read, in hind sight i should've combined 24 and 25 into one. oh well i think about that for the rewrite

Chapter 25

“What? No! That doesn’t make any sense!” cried Wingnut
“What are you talking about… it makes perfect sense, if they’d used…”
“Is everything alright round here?” asked Bladewraith as he walked into the technician’s room, into the middle of an argument between the tech and Wingnut.
“Yeah, just a friendly argument” explained Wingnut
“Bladewraith” he introduced himself to the technician
“So should I assume, we’ve got problems with the radio?”
“What? No?”
“Yeah, that’s fixed, we’ve moved onto something different”
“Ok then, where’s the best to transmit around here?” he asked Nitro
“Well Zulu’s gone to Pripyat so use his tower, should be unlocked.”
“Cheers, I’ll take this outside, leave you guys to your argument” he spoke, as he picked the radio up off the counter, and then reached into Wingnut’s pack for the booklet containing the frequencies.
“Later…” Wingnut turned his attention back to Nitro, “Now, where was I… ah yeah… Shatner”

Bladewraith walked out of Yanov Station, after a quick check, there wasn’t anyone else around, a gentle breeze was blowing a dense fog in from the south, and a distant howl of a dog, told him he was alone. He made his way to the Zulu’s tower, the front door was unlocked as suggested, and he climbed the stairs to the top a step creaked half way up. A quick check around suggested Zulu had taken everything with him, all that was left in his room, was an empty shelf and a few wooden boxes. He walked cautiously to the window, keeping his distance checking the area as he moved round for a better vantage point however the fog had managed to cover most of the ground. Setting himself back from the window he flicked the Radio on and picked up the mic
“Research Team Alpha to Base, do you copy?” Bladewraith decided to use the same call signs as before.
“This is the Colonel… that you Blackadder?”
“Yes sir, you chopper didn’t make it”
“We gathered as much, after watching it drop off satellite tracking.”
“I’d hate to say I told you so sir.”
“Shut up Staff Sergeant. Any survivors
“One sir, Sergeant Davis”
“Well, my hands are tied now, no choppers into the Zone until we get an accurate Scan of the Airborne Anomaly Fields,
“I wouldn’t bother sir, they move after an emission. Any map you make will be useless almost as soon as you use it.”
“Well what would you recommend then?”
“A boat sir”
“Explain” the Colonel ordered
“The river passes into the Zone via the Swamps; now… it’s not been possible to navigate into the Swamps by foot for the last few months but,”
“Hold on, let me check the map” The Colonel butted in
“But providing your team can navigate through the wreckage of the old railroad bridge to the north of the swamps, the river winds around until it reaches Limansk, we can make it there in a couple of days.”
“What about Anomalies, Radiation?”
“we scouted that area last year, although the water level has dropped it should be enough this time of year for a Rib to get up, and the anomalies mainly stay close to shore in the swamps and the rest of the river, at least the part of it closest to Limansk is reasonably clear, a team in Hazmat suits should be fine, and bring a couple of spares for the Doc and Davis of course” The Colonel didn’t speak, as if contemplating the idea.
“Sir, you used to trust my judgement”
“Sergeant, any favours I owed you flew out the window when you quit on me.”
“Sir, with all due respect any authority you had to order me around, flew out the same window.”
“I’ll have the boat ready to leave in 36 hours, they’ll wait south of Limansk until you radio them in, if they don’t hear from you with 12 hours they turn around. Got that?”
“Yes Sir”
“It’s strange, you quit all that time ago, yet you still call me sir?” The colonel asked, however Bladewraith didn’t answer, he merely turned the radio off and sat for a moment.

Creak… the floor boards on the stairs let out an audible disagreement to pressure of footsteps. In a second, Bladewraith had his 417 trained on the top of the stair well, the top room was dark, but some remnants of light pooled in through the glassless window, slowly creeping, he moved backwards planting himself low, to the side of the window, any attempt, by his visitor to look in his direction would be hampered by the keeping him in the shadow. He waited for what felt like an age, before a head popped up through the gap, even with the man’s head facing away, Bladewraith lowered his rifle.
“You up here buddy?” cautiously asked Wingnut
“Jeez, you muppet! I could’ve blown your head off!”
“What I do?”
“Forget it, we need to get some sleep, we’ve got to be in Limansk in two days”
“Why is that colonel giving us orders all over the fucking place?”
“He’s not, I suggested Limansk; they’re coming in by boat”
“Whatever, come on then” Wingnut led the way back down by torch light in the ever failing light.

End of Chapter
  20:45:06  6 October 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Hi again, another shortish Chapter this time, enjoy, Comments good and bad are welcome as always.

Chapter 24

4 hours had passed since Wingnut had left for Yanov, Bladewraith, Tamara and the newest member of their ragtag group Sergeant Davis, had made their way to the cement factory, noticed the area, was unsafe and moved on, they sat calmly by the old substation. Bladewraith stood guard while Tamara looked after Davis.
“Wingnut, Come in…” he spoke calmly into his radio, he still hadn’t shook the unsettled feeling, like he was being watched.
“Bladewraith, this is Wingnut, I’m on my way back to the factory.”
“Factory’s a no go; too busy… we’re at the substation”
“Ok… be there in a few minutes”
“So then Bladewraith… you’re obviously Ex-Military?” implied Davis as he carefully took his SA 80 apart in a vein attempt and making it useable.
“What’s your point?”
“Who’d you serve with?” asked Davis
“Not your concern Sergeant!” responded an increasingly irritated Bladewraith
“What is it with you men? Why’d you keep goading each other?”
“I’m sorry Doc, just boys being boys” Tamara shook her head at the pair of them. A few minutes of silence passed

Bladewraith raised his hand to Wingnut as he neared.
“Got everything this time?” he questioned
“Yeah yeah, shut up”
“What are you doing here? I thought we agreed to meet at the cement factory” inquired Wingnut
“We did, but freedom and Duty where fighting over control of the tower, so I figured it was best to keep clear.”
“Good call… I didn’t think the truce would keep for too long,” Wingnut reached into his pack and produced a basic Sunrise Suit and a PDA, “hey…” Davis looked up at him with a nonchalant look “put this on and don’t lose this” he spoke of the suit and PDA respectively.
“Fine,” Davis set his rifle down and began putting the suit on carefully over his injured leg
“Yanov Safe?” Asked Bladewraith
“Yeah, that said Freedom and Duty are behaving there at least, I checked the radio over and just need some transistors and solder before I can get it to work, apparently the local tech has a box of them, but he headed off to the plant buildings earlier this morning, so we’ll have to wait until he gets back.”
“Fair play… wonder why?”
“Dunno, Pilot said a few Stalkers we’re going for some tunnel to Pripyat.”
“Maybe they need the tech to open the front door for them.” added Bladewraith.
“You finished yet?” Wingnut asked as the final zip was pulled up sealing Davis into the Sunrise and the PDA dropped gently into the leg pocket.
“All done!”
Bladewraith checked his watch, 2 hours till sunset “Right let’s go!”

They walked towards several old huts and diggers, but as they rounded a corner of one of the huts, they came face to face with a pack of dogs, Wingnut and Bladewraith said nothing; they just reacted, raising their weapons and training them on the closest of the dogs. Tamara was confused, they were just some dogs, but Wingnut and Bladewraith just stayed still and didn’t move. Tamara froze when she realised the dogs had spotted them, and growled a fierce deep growl, that penetrated her ears and sent a shiver running down her spine and they darted towards them, without warning, without pause, Bladewraith fired a short burst, into the first dog, which fell to its side, Wingnut fired a single slug into the second and as the entire pack ran at them, the duo fired away, loud reports echoing in Tamara’s ears she spotted a dog running at from the side, and she got a proper look at it, it’s eyes were closed, and looked swollen, with small boils or something similar around them, it’s flesh looked torn and it’s skin was nonexistent in places, her mind filled with terror. She fumbled at the MP5 Wingnut had given her back at the bunker, but as of yet not having a reason to use. She pointed it in the direction of the dog and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened “Shit!” she looked at the gun and flicked the selector switch to the top, marked with several red bullets in a row; She closed her eyes, turned her head away and tried to keep the gun pointing in the same direction as she began firing, she’d held it loosely and the gun jumped and swung about in her hand until she’d fired off the entire magazine, and it locked forward. Slowly she opened her eyes to look at the dog to see it lying on the floor, only a few rounds had hit their intended target but by a miracle they’d done enough damage to down the creature. However as soon as her eyes even glanced in its direction she looked away, dark thick blood was slowly oozing from the wounds. Everything had gone quiet as Bladewraith and Wingnut had finished off the rest of the pack. And the smell of burnt gun powder slowly faded away on the wind
“I… I killed a dog” she was shocked at herself
“No, you didn’t!” exclaimed Davis as he lowered his SA 80, “I did”
“You aimed far too high, and then fired without even looking; you didn’t hit a damn thing!”
“Oh, I’m sorry ok, I’ve never used a gun before”
“Forget it, let’s go!”

A short walk later and the doors of Yanov Station opened before them, a few Stalkers stood at the bar turned to look at them and then back to the table, most didn’t even bother to look around.
“So, what we doing here again?” Davis genuinely didn’t know why they’d come here.
“We’re going get you looked at, get some rest and then head south tomorrow, and get you two out of the Zone… any questions?”
“Nope” replied Tamara before Davis decided to try and wind Bladewraith or Wingnut up again.
“Come on then, let’s find the medic” Bladewraith explained to Davis “You guys get something to eat” With that Bladewraith and Davis headed off to the right. Wingnut and Tamara made their way left and checked to see if the technician was back yet. After being greeted with an empty room, they made their way downstairs to set up their bedding for the night. One man was stood downstairs but didn’t speak to either of them, so they kept to themselves, the floor boards above them creaked occasionally as Stalkers walked around above them.

“I’m gonna head upstairs and check on the technician, you ok here?”
“Yeah I’m fine”
“Ok, I’ll be upstairs if you need anything” With that Wingnut turned and left.

A few minutes later Bladewraith came downstairs, and said hello to the other stalker before coming across to check on Tamara, who was gently climbing into her sleeping bag,
“You ok Doc”
“Yeah I’m fine, Wingnut just went upstairs too…”
“Yeah, the tech’s here now, so their working on the radio as we speak.” Bladewraith cut in politely
“Oh ok”
“I’d get some sleep, the medic’s knocked Davis out for the night and we’ll collect him in the morning, his leg’s in a splint and he’ll need a walking stick until we can get him out of the Zone and have it X-Rayed.”
“In that case I’ll take your advice and get some sleep, Night.” She closed her eyes and shutout the noise of footsteps above her.
“Night Doc” said Bladewraith as he left the basement to check on Wingnut.

End of Chapter
  04:25:21  20 September 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27

Holy damn, I thought you died in the chopper!

Also: "Davis shock his head in frustration"
and something about "you pet" instead of your pet"

It's great as always, tune in next month or two for the next installment!

No but really, I'll be waiting as always

Keep up the good work,

  16:34:39  16 September 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
09/16/2011 18:43:29
Messages: 306
hey guys, sorry it's been a couple of months, hopefully gonna get back on track with this story, let me know what you think

Chapter 23

"Quickly Guys, there might still be survivors" shouted Bladewraith
Wingnut approached the wreckage the metal appeared to have aged in areas, almost rusted, yet the rest appeared brand new. The cabin had managed to stay intact although the metal structure of it was twisted and bent in every panel. The tail was spread in several pieces several metres back, the main rotor was snapped, bent twisted and melted on every prop bar one which was embedded in the ground, securely holding the wreckage to the ground.
“Is there anyone alive in here” Wingnut asked aloud to which he got no response
“Friendly’s coming in” explained Bladewraith as they rounded the edge of the wreckage and got their first view inside.
“Holy Shit!” Wingnut turned away for a second, he’d seen mutilated bodies before, but what he saw was beyond that. Nothing survived travelling through the centre of a vortex anomaly, a lucky stalker with the right kit can tolerate the edge of its gravitational strength, but the anomalous core was a different story; and this Chopper had flown right through it, only it’s speed and momentum had allowed it come out the other side. There was several bodies strewn about the cabin, the pilot’s bodies were deformed, they looked like they’d had their chests burst open and crushed in at the same time, any visible skin was charred and burnt as well as crumpled and swollen, nothing about them made sense.
“Right bud, get the radio out it might still be working,” Bladewraith turned then stopped, “and once that’s done get the computer drives out, we might need that data, and we need to get the Black Box.”
“K, what you gonna do?”
“Check the bodies” Wingnut didn’t envy Bladewraith that task and set about what he was doing.

“Urgh…” a simple groan barely audible over the silence reached Bladewraith’s ears
“We’ve got a live one!” Bladewraith jumped forwards to located the source of the sound, and found a soldier much like the other bodies, he’d been thrown from the chopper but his safety line which was somehow still attached had stopped him falling completely, a quick look told Bladewraith this man wasn’t going to live, his arm was shredded, and his legs trapped under the wreckage, blood dripped from his mouth like a leaky pipe.
“kuur… muu” the sounds were English or this man’s best attempt at it through the suffering he was enduring, Bladewraith looked in the one eye that remained barely open, it was glazed and bloodshot, the man knew he was dead his body just didn’t agree yet. Bladewraith placed his hand over the Soldiers mouth and nose, he held tight the man twitched for several moments then nothing, a quick yank pulled the man’s Dog Tags free and Bladewraith placed them in his jacket pocket; A few minutes later and it contained 7 tags

“How’s it going in there?” asked Tamara, who all this time had been stood outside, so as not to see the bodies.
“I’ve got the computer Hard Drive out, and found the radio but it needs repairing.”
“Can I come see?”
“You can but, remember to can’t unsee anything in here.”
“I’ll just stay he…” Tamara went silent
“Wingnut looked up from under the Controls and tried to see through the cockpit window, but the glass was coated with a thin layer of black, from the smoke, and shatter marks adjourned the glass where it had been warped and cracked out of shape”

Tamara looked down the barrel of gun, pointed directly at her head, the man, a survivor had come from behind the wreckage, his head was bloody, he limped and looked to be hurting, he was close to passing out, and his rifle shook as he tried to tolerate the pain.
“What… do you… think… you’re doing?” he paused as he composed himself from the injuries he’d sustained
“I, we… I”
CLICK, the unmistakable sound of a hammer being pulled back reverberated in the man’s head, as he felt a cool metal barrel gentle touching the back of his neck.
“Shoot me… she dies!”
“Shoot her, you die… lower your weapon soldier and you live.” Bladewraith checked the man out, his limp was pronounced, indicated a possible break, but the leg itself didn’t look misshapen like a severe break, a small amount of blood had stained the front of his trousers on the knee, his head was cut, though not severely which explained the blood on his face, a small length of rope was still attached to him via a carabineer, probably from the safety rope, he was covered in mud and ash, but Sergeant Stripes were still visible on his shoulder, his skin wasn’t warped or mutilated so he must’ve fallen from the chopper before hitting the vortex. He carried an L85, the sight had been destroyed and the body was scratched and chipped, probably from the fall, Bladewraith doubted whether the rifle would even fire.
“Put it down!” repeated Bladewraith, eventually the Sergeant compiled, Bladewraith took the rifle from him and kept his berretta trained on him and moved round between the Sergeant and Tamara. Getting the first look and his front properly, the Sergeant’s surname was stitched to the front of his Jacket ‘Davis’.

“Got the Black b…” Wingnut appeared out from behind the Chopper apparently unaware of what had just happened, “What’s going on here then.” He asked as he raised him Remington
“Just making friends as usual”
“Now Sergeant, this” Bladewraith pointed at Tamara “is the Scientist you’re here too collect, we’re her escorts”
“And? How was I supposed to know that?” Davis shock his head in frustration
“That’s not the point I’m merely introducing you.”
“Right… Nice to meet you doc, you’re the one that’s so important, my men needed to die getting here for”
“Hey, you better quit now pal before you end up in an anomaly” replied Wingnut
“What, and you gonna do that big man?” added Davis
“You’re hurt, we get, but you need to watch your mouth” Explained Bladewraith
“Gentlemen, everyone needs to calm down” interjected Tamara
“Right… Wingnut everything sorted”
“Yeah, Black Box, hard drives and Radio, only the radio’s busted need to look a bit closer at it.”
“You guys can’t just nick what you want from that chopper!”
“Sergeant!” snapped Tamara, and Davis refrained from adding any further objection
“We’re taking it so no one else can, it’ll all be wiped and destroyed later!”
“Fine!” said Davis through gritted teeth, He sat down gingerly, the pain in his leg finally coming too much for him to stand on. Bladewraith reached into his pocket and pulled the Dog Tags out, and tossed them to Davis
“You might want these” Davis merely nodded

Wingnut typed quickly onto his PDA, and sent a message to the diggers Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman. Informing them about the downed chopper and potential salvage opportunity. Just as he’d sent send, Bladewraith lobbed a couple of Grenades into the still smouldering wreckage.
“Why’d you do that? I’ve just messaged the diggers”
“That’s British Tech, can’t let it fall into the wrong hands, its fine with the hinds, but… sorry.” Bladewraith and Wingnut had always messaged the local digger groups about downed choppers for salvage, things like that always kept people friendly towards the duo. But they’d always been the outdated Hinds the Russian military flew around. Bladewraith’s Military training was hard to overcome. And in the military, you don’t let your equipment get seized by foreign forces.
“I’m glad you did that, I think you pet might have got angry if I’d done it.” explained Davis obviously referring to Wingnut
“What did you call me?” Wingnut’s arm drew back ready to strike a blow in his anger, but Bladewraith grabbed his arm.
“Don’t let the gob shite wind you up.”
Davis smirked and shook his head.
“Let’s move north, and get to Yanov Station, it’s the safest place we can hold up for a while
“We can’t, we need some kit for dip shit over there… or else any Stalker within a mile will spot him and start asking questions, we don’t need asked.”
“Hang on; I’m not wearing any of that radioactive crap they make in here”
“Yes you are so deal with it you spastic moron” ordered Wingnut
“Now you fuckers listen to me you pieces of…”
Bladewraith cut him of sharply “No! You listen to me! I don’t take orders from a Sergeant got that” before Davis could interject Bladewraith carried on.
“You have two choices… 1! Argue with us and get left here to die! Or 2… shut the fuck up! Do what you’re told! Don’t touch anything that glows! And you might just live long enough to have it all classified!”
“Fine!” was the short simple reply through gritted teeth.
Okay you go ahead and get the kit; we’ll meet you at that factory nearby, an old Cement Factory according to the map.” Bladewraith explained as he checked the OS map in front of him.
Bladewraith & Wingnut backed away the Medkits and gear, but Wingnut got this strange feeling a stopped before the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and he froze still. Tamara noticed
“What’s the matter?”
“Something doesn’t feel right” Bladewraith scanned the ground around them carefully, no movement to be seen, no light reflecting off sights or lenses, nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual Zone backing track of distant AKs and growling.
“Okay guys, you hold up here, I’ll head to Yanov and fetch some gear for our dear little soldier here”
“Hey… fuck you!” responded the Davis
“See you in a bit, check in every 5” was all Bladewraith had to say, before turning and picking Davis up off the ground and started dragging him north, towards the old cement factory.

End of Chapter
  01:30:42  24 July 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27
Oh goody!

"Hell its about time!"

I had a sneaking suspicion that we wouldn't be saying good-bye to Tamara yet...

As always its good to see more development in the story and I will eagerly be waiting for your next installment. Keep up the good work!

- Dino
  19:39:20  21 July 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Sorry about the wait

Chapter 22

Bladewraith reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of Roubles, handing several high value notes to Shaky, the guide they’d picked up in red forest to lead them the fastest route to Jupiter
“Spasiba” said Shaky before turning and carrying on
Bladewraith stood for several moments, waiting for Shaky to get out of ear shot, before picking out his PDA, there was a layer of dust on the screen that he wiped away. It had been long time since he’d used it. He didn’t like too. He preferred maps, actual maps you can follow and don’t run out of power the moment you need them.
“Ok Shaky’s brought us in too far west; we need to make our way east,” he checked his watch, “six hours.”
“Where exactly are we going?” Asked Tamara
About a mile west on the other side of an old quarry
“Plenty of time” remarked Wingnut, even he didn’t know this for certain; it was the first time they’d been to Jupiter.
A quick visual scan of their surroundings confirmed their location on the GPS, Container warehouse to the west and a relatively steep hill to the east.

They started north east, climbing the torn and broken asphalt, they reached the old ventilation complex, the metal pipes rusting out in the open Zone air, the concrete flooring cracked and crumbling. Approaching the edge of the hill they looked out over Yanov station, the old rail yard and tracks filling most of the view, a few Stalkers walked about between the yard warehouses. A slight haze holding over the ground, blurring the view.
“Heh, bloody typical…”
“What?” asked Tamara
“Look there…” he pointed to the west of the Station house “Duty and Freedom guys arguing away” explained Bladewraith
“Didn’t think the truce would last for long” added Wingnut
“Right, there’s a research bunker there… let’s check it out before we head off to the meet” Wingnut and Tamara didn’t speak, they just started off behind Bladewraith towards the metal bunker

“Okay guys wait here; I’ll go chat with the scientists” explained Bladewraith as he walked off to the door of the bunker, he clipped his 417 to his pack and walked in shutting the airlock door behind him. Wingnut looked around; three Stalkers were hanging around the side of scientist’s bunker. Another group of Stalkers sat upon some old crumpling logs stood further back, directly in line with the bunker door, but Wingnut didn’t recognise any of them so decided to hang back.
“Wingnut… is that you?” called out one of the three Stalkers to the side, Wingnut approached to get a better look, sudden realisation dawned as he realised who it was
“Alright guys, didn’t know you’d left the Garbage?”
“Yeah the bandits took control again and it was either move on or join them” explained one of the stalkers with a thick English accent standing on guard as the others ate.
“Yeah and that’s not something we’re willing to do!” added the second, in a thick Scottish accent between chunks of meat sausage disappearing down his gullet.
“Don’t blame you”
“So who’s your friend?” asked the third as he finished washing his food sown with a bottle of water
“Ah, where are my manners… Doc, let me introduce to you the best diggers in the Zone, this is Englishman,” he pointed at the particularly hungry looking Stalker that was on guard “This is Irishman, and that’s Scotsman” he pointed at the other two sat having lunch.
“Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman; what is this some kinda joke?”
The diggers clenched their teeth and rolled their eyes in irritation. Scotsman stood up as if to move for her, but instead just stared down at her, before passing a glance at Wingnut who quickly moved between Tamara and ginger haired Stalker
“Sorry guys, she’s a rook”
“Put a leash on her Wingnut” explained Irishman before Bladewraith emerged and noticed the disturbance.
“Now now, gentlemen… don’t want to be picking fights now do we?”
“Ah, alright Bladewraith…” answered Englishman noticing Bladewraith had evened the numbers
“We’ll be on our way” Wingnut ushered Tamara on and Bladewraith kept himself between the two groups. He and Wingnut had a good enough reputation in the Zone to get away with a lot of things but they were always respectful. “Sorry Guys, she hired us to escort her… you know how it goes…”
They said nothing, just grunted and waved them off. Bladewraith jogged back over to Wingnut who was hurrying Tamara away.
“Doc, You can’t just go around and make jokes about people round here.” Explained Wingnut
“But it was funny?”
“Maybe… but had me or Wingnut said that, it would’ve been fine, but they don’t know you.” Added Bladewraith
“Ok I’m sorry.”

They set forth for the other side of the Quarry. Passing several railroad tracks and groups of Stalkers from both Duty and Freedom in the process, they decided to visit Yanov Station once they’d evacuated Tamara in case she decided to offend any of the Stalkers inside. They only had to manoeuvre around one party of Bandits luckily before they set their sights on the GPS location. Unfortunately there was a Quarry in the way, it took half an hour to walk around and followed the single train track running north/south.

Eventually they reached the GPS location they’d been given and waited. They were only slightly early and the gentle pace they had set in Zaton had worked out well. They sat beside the wreck of an old train car, waiting for a sign or a signal. Eventually the distant rumble of a chopper sounded out from the east, it grew louder quickly indicated the high speed at which the evac chopper was flying.
“Let’s get out of sight!” exclaimed Bladewraith
“But… surely that’s the…”
“I know what it must surely be, but you can’t be too careful.” Bladewraith
“They’re going too fast!” claimed Wingnut as the silhouette of a Merlin Helicopter appeared over the horizon, they were flying low, obviously trying to avoid detection
“I know”
“What do you mean too fast? Why?”
Suddenly the silhouette appeared to twist and warp, or at least the air around it did, faint flashes of light and fire sparked out, the lack of sound was unnerving, Bladewraith and Wingnut watched in an obtuse mixture of anger, horror and shock they’d hit a Vortex anomaly, one strong enough to turn the chopper sideways and tear off sections of the fuselage, a few tortured moments later the craft crashed to the ground, the sounds of ripping metal as the body scraped sideways briefly before turning on its side the rotor blades impacting the ground and shearing off, flying out left and right, eventually skidding to a stop to, teetering on the edge of the concrete cannel… followed by silence.

End of Chapter
  20:40:25  14 July 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27
Well, it's good to know you're alive and have not given up on the story, but I understand that you have other things to do... Take your time and maybe play one of the games for more inspiration.
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