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Bladewraith & Wingnut

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Question/AnswerMake Oldest Up Sort by Ascending
  22:30:59  11 December 2012
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007

Message edited by:
12/11/2012 22:31:19
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Who said anything about shooting you? Now, get back to your room and start typing, okay?
  20:45:31  11 December 2012
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On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306

Yeah, you better get back to rewriting AND writing, you hear?

Will do, i've finished chapters 1,2 and 5, so only 3 and 4 to go, both of which i've already half rewritten, so providing work don't bother me too much i should be finished the first five chapters in a few days, so i'm hoping to post the new Chapter 1 on Monday if possible, don't shoot me if i don't, so check back then.
  18:44:13  11 December 2012
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
Messages: 1941
Yeah, you better get back to rewriting AND writing, you hear?
  13:24:43  11 December 2012
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On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306

I haven't checked up on this in a while, but I'm still very much interested.
As for me being in the story, do whatever you want.

Good luck. I'll be reading.

Sound, I’ve finished the rewrite of Chapter's 1 & 2, some big changes in them, just to make the story... "Flow" better.

To give you an idea:
Chapter 01: Original=2082 Rewrite=4775
Chapter 02: Original=2246 Rewrite=Combined with chapter 3
Chapter 03: Original=1892 Rewrite=????
Chapter 04: Original=1839 Rewrite=Part Rewrite Complete
Chapter 05: Original=1659 Rewrite=Part Rewrite Complete
Chapter 06: Original=3243 Rewrite=5348 (Bunker)
I plan to make it up to at least the bunker before i post those first few chapters, as some of the biggest changes I have planned are in the post Bunker sections. as described, the bunker in chapter 6 will now appear in chapter 5, and I’ve tried to include more of everything, I’m hoping it isn't too much or the chapters don’t drag on, but I’ve actually got a sequel planned out, and that's where there was too many missing points from this story, so got annoyed and stopped. The sequel is a little bit grandiose to say the least, but it’s a story I’ve been trying to write for years and Bladewraith and Wingnut gave me the footing to do it properly

Anyway, enough babbling, best get on with the writing... err rewriting.
  07:06:12  10 December 2012
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27
I haven't checked up on this in a while, but I'm still very much interested.
As for me being in the story, do whatever you want.

Good luck. I'll be reading.
  12:36:34  15 November 2012
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Hello, this is a message to whomever may be interested, mainly Dino and money, i stopped writing the story a while back, i have every intention of finishing it, don't worry, but i had too many ideas that i wanted to put in, but couldn't because they need planting further back in the chapters that i've already posted, and a lot of glaring errors and typos that need fixing, so i've been editing the story from the very beginning, i plan on creating a new thread, under the Title "New Horizons: End of Exploration" which is my new working title.

The story is going to change a lot, the main story will remain, but things are going to change, if anyone featured is worried, im not going to kill you off, if you don't want to read it again, i understand so just hang on and once i've finished editing i'll continue to last few chapters, it'll still make sense (to a point) without reading the new additions. to give you an example, Chapter 1 originally had 2082 words, i'm about half way through adding to it and i'm up to 3448! if anyone has any ideas they want to throw in for chapters 1 and 2, let me know before i post the new version. i'll see if i can work them in

anyway, back to the rewrite
  09:24:02  1 September 2012
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27
Well damn! It's been a while, but I'm sure glad to see you.
I'm also happy I haven't died yet, but knowing my luck, it wouldn't be through enemy fire that I'd die. Most likely a friendly bullet gone way off or an accident with the propane heater while trying to make coffee.

Anyway, sorry it's been so long since I've commented, but as always, I really enjoyed it. Keep it up.
  12:25:13  19 August 2012
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On forum: 05/07/2008
Messages: 146

Hey buddy,

Is the story still alive - keep it going!
  17:35:59  1 May 2012
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
05/01/2012 17:41:22
Messages: 306
Hey, sorry about the delay, problems in the real world have had most of my time recently, hope this will keep any readers i have left happy, for a while at least

Chapter 27

Bladewraith, Wingnut, Tamara and Davis, didn’t bother to stay with forester, they needed information, why did they want Tamara, how did they know she was with them, and how did they no she was in the Zone at all. The jogged down the muddy paths of the Red Forest, boots splashed through puddles as drops of water thrown out catch in the pull of a Vortex and dragged out of sight; Tamara watched in fleeting amazement and proved how close to certain death they were coming. Wingnut led, watching closely and jumping off the path when blocked by a spiking Geiger Counter, or the beep of the anomaly detector. He missed nothing, within 20 minutes they approached the crumbling stone gateway leading out onto the old Limansk Road, there they stopped. Watching carefully, the old tunnel long since destroyed by an unknown force, the tower in front of them watched over the Bridge to Limansk, they were too late. The Mercs were nowhere in sight.
“Shit… they must’ve gone across already.” Remarked Wingnut
“Well there’s nothing we can do now” Replied Bladewraith
“Oh well… can we… at least rest… a bit please…” Tamara was out of breath; she gulped in air and fell to the floor in exhaustion, the trip to the Ranger Station, then straight through the forest to here without a rest had taken everything she had to keep up with the experienced Stalkers and Sergeant Davis.
“Ok fine, Davis, keep an eye on our rear, Wingnut Front… I’m gonna go check out the Bridge”

Bladewraith walked quickly across the road towards the lookout tower. Beyond that was the river that tomorrow would be the extraction point to get Tamara out of the Zone. The river gently flowed at a snail’s pace south beside the tower, Bladewraith cautiously peered round the corner out the tower to see across to the other shore and froze, he watched several figures patrolling north to south, travelling across their own footprints in tell tale Navy Blue BDUs and Black vests “More Mercs” he said to himself, another merc was watching the Red Forest side of the river from in front of the bridge control box; any sudden movement would grab his attention and alert him to an intruder. Bladewraith slowly moved back round the tower and out of sight of the Guards. He considered radioing Wingnut over, but didn’t want to risk the Merc’s intercepting the transmission, so he jogged back across the road, keeping the tower between him and the enemy presence.
“Mercs” he explained
Wingnut pulled Tamara and Davis behind the stone wall,
“Where?” asked Wingnut to which Bladewraith grinned
“On the other side of the river” he replied, Wingnut dropped his head and allowed Davis and Tamara to sit up once again.
“Come on…” the group stood up “I need you to stick to Wingnut ok” he explained to Tamara, who nodded in agreement. They all jogged across to the foot of the tower.
Bladewraith moved up the metal staircase and checked out the higher floor, it was empty and he used the extra height to get a better view of the Mercs on the other shore. He kept himself low to avoid being spotted and used his scope to view each target closely, none of them acted as if they’d spotted him, two patrolled the shoreline, one stood watching the opposite shoreline and a couple were sat chatting beside a fire, but they were too distant to know what they were discussing, he carefully moved back down to speak with the others.
“5 of them, AKs, M4s… and… a Remington…They don’t look like they’ve seen us.” Explained Bladewraith, Wingnut’s ears piped up a little, but didn’t question any further, he knew there was no way to see if it was his, from that distance.
“Good, I say we just avoid them all together and keep heading south.” Added Davis
“We can’t” replied Wingnut, and Bladewraith nodded, “This is the extraction point”
“What?” exclaimed Tamara and Davis in unison.
“Yup, in a little over 16 hours a boat will travel up the river and meet us less than a hundred metres over there” gloated Wingnut pointing past the tower.
“Look all we have to do, is wait, when the boat comes up it’ll distract the mercs and allow us to take them out, we get on the boat, long before reinforcements arrive and jobs done.” Explained Davis in a very matter of fact way.
“We can’t do that… can we?” shyly asked Tamara
“Actually, it’s not that bad an idea… we’ll have to act quickly, but it might just work” replied Bladewraith
“Can’t we at least warn the rescue team?” enquired Tamara
“Can’t risk giving our position away if they detect the radio chatter.” Advised Davis
“It’s gonna be dark in a few hours, whatever happens we need somewhere to sleep”
“In the tunnel, go down far enough, providing its radiation free, it should mask any light and keep us safe from the weather.” Wingnut explained. They turned towards the tunnel, and suddenly faint commotion reached their ears, Bladewraith carefully peered round the tower to inspect the uproar. What he saw made him react instantly,
“Davis Stay there, cover Doc… Wingnut come here, move… now!”
What is it, Wingnut checked round tower as well as Bladewraith, six Stalkers we’re being marched to the concrete edge of the river, two of the Stalkers wore Duty uniforms, another Freedom, and the final three were dressed in sunrise suits, all of their suits were bloodied in different places, at least two of them had bullet wounds that didn’t look dressed.
Wingnut jumped back
“What the hell?”
“We can’t let anything happen to those Stalkers” explained Bladewraith
Bladewraith looked through his scope and inspected the Stalkers and Mercs alike
“Bladewraith, Our mission is to get the Doc out of the Zone” commented Davis
“Forget about that for minute will ya?” exclaimed Wingnut
“Shit!” Bladewraith could easily see who a few of the prisoners were “Petrenko, Cold, Dania and Dino, what the fuck are those guys doing here?” he watched as several of the mercs turned and left through the tunnel they’d come from. It left the original five plus two more with the prisoners. Bladewraith quickly but covertly move up the steel stairs and took aim on the mercs closest to the prisoners, Davis shook his head and moved to the other side of the Tower and took aim also.
“I’ve got the left, you take right, fire on my command”
“Got it” was the simple but precise response. Wingnut still wasn’t sure about his new rifle; he hadn’t had any time to scope it in, ‘just have to aim for body mass’ he thought to himself. They both watched as the mercs lined the prisoners up by the edge, they seemed to speak to the prisoners, and pointing at the river. They were giving them the choice of jumping, and letting the toxic waste and radiation kill them, or take a bullet and fall in anyway. None of them choose the former. The mercs by the fire had put their feet up to watch the show, and the other decided to stop patrolling and watch also, only the one watching the shoreline inhabited by the three would be ambushers stayed vigilant,
“Wingnut, take the Stationary guard, then move to the patrollers, Davis take the left executioner and the two sat down, I’ll take the right then any you two don’t get to first… fire on my command”

“Now!” CRACK CRACK, a double tap of 7.62 ripped into the neck and skull of the Merc executioner on the right, two 5.56 rounds followed into the chest of the left, knocking him down, a short burst of 5.56 tore into the guard on watch, the body slumped to the ground leaving the bridge controls splattered in blood. The Freedom Prisoner reacted quickly and lunged forward at the closest merc only to receive a shotgun blast to the stomach, the force throwing him backwards into the river, the other prisoners dropped to the floor. Another round from Bladewraith’s 417 burst through the jaw of the left executioner as he tried to get back up, the two mercs by the camp fire had quickly jumped up suddenly realising what was going on and returned fire randomly across the river, watching from muzzle flashes and smoke and adjusting their fire accordingly, as a few rounds chipped the rock beside Bladewraith and Davis, the second patrolling merc received a burst from Wingnut from thigh to chest, and Davis shot into another as the last two dove for cover behind some old wooden crates. The prisoners kept down avoiding drawing fire, except Dino who ran over to the control box and grabbed the M4 off the metal grating and manically unloaded a magazine into the wooden crates…

Bladewraith and Davis stayed motionless for several long moments, Petrenko grabbed an AK, and moved over to the boxes, a quick glance round the side and he stood calmly, the other survivors got to their feet and checked each merc to make sure they were dead. Eventually Petrenko put his hand into the air
“Clear” spoke Wingnut calmly
“You guys ok?” Bladewraith asked Tamara, Wingnut and Davis, before standing and quickly running across the bridge, still keeping his eyes peeled in case any more mercs came to inspect the commotion, he hoped they would assume it was the prisoner’s executions. Wingnut stayed behind to cover Bladewraith as he crossed the bridge should any more Mercs present themselves
“You lot ok?” he asked the five remaining prisoners?
“Yeah” came from four of the them
“No!” came from Petrenko “I just lost my squad, except for the corporal here, of course I’m not ok… but I’m not hit at least, if that’s what you mean?”
“It is”
Bladewraith looked over to Dino, the shivering mess he’d been in Rostock had been replaced by a much more composed Stalker, people have to learn fast in the Zone, and he’d done just that.
“Good work Dino” Dania patted a stunned Dino on the back, as Bladewraith turned to address all three of them
“What are you guys doing here anyway, I thought you were going to Zaton” asked Bladewraith
“We did, when we got there, these fuckers laid an ambush for us… they knew we were coming!” replied Cold
“What did they want with you?”
“Well… they wanted information about you lot”
“What… Why”
“Something about that chick you’re escorting around?”
“Right… I’ll explain tomorrow…” said Bladewraith “Sorry” to this they looked a little put off but let the matter drop.
“And what about you, what happened” he addressed Petrenko
“we got into the heart of Limansk, with no resistance, we were beginning to believe our intel might have been wrong when we got ambushed, only one Freedom made out alive, but” Petrenko looked into the river “he is not now, me and the corporal, got knock down and captured…” it was obvious Petrenko was ashamed about this “when we not tell them anything useful about duty defence, they take us out here for death!”
“You reckon, there’s a mole in Duty?”
“Never! Must have been Freedom Mole…” Petrenko didn’t like the accusation “Fucking freedom Scum!”
“Hey, that’s enough, it could’ve been Freedom, but it could just as easily been Duty, or a free Stalker for all we know.” Petrenko stayed silent while trying to work it all out.
“I wanna find out what the Mercs are up to” came a voice from behind, Bladewraith turned to see Wingnut standing behind him, holding his Remington. “At least I got her back” he explained while gently caressing the length of the barrel.
“I must go back to Rostock and explain what happened, see if I can found out who mole is” explained Petrenko
“Ok… right, guys can you look after Doc and Davis, they’re on the other side of the bridge, me and Wingnut are going into Limansk” Dania and Dino nodded their agreement and Cold stepped forward “That’s fine, but I’m going with you”

End of Chapter
  07:52:42  21 April 2012
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On forum: 05/07/2008
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Bladewraith you still keeping this story going? You have readers that are still eagerly awaiting your chapters broham!
  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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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.
  19:01:51  7 July 2011
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It's been more than a month...

I need my fix man!

Or at least show signs of life... I really liked the story and it would be a damn shame if it was over already...

Yeah sorry bud, reality keeps getting in the way, i'm about half way through the chapter after getting a block as well. hopefully get round to completing the chapter soon
  18:17:40  6 July 2011
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It's been more than a month...

I need my fix man!

Or at least show signs of life... I really liked the story and it would be a damn shame if it was over already...
  14:02:50  27 May 2011
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The Colonel should have been Sanders, it would have gone well with Mike...

But Colonel Sanders is American, not British.

With those plot twists, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Also, naughty school child? Really?
Doesn't matter though, it's your story.

Don't worry, i'm not done with you yet boy!

P.S. You forgot one of the annoying duty guards.

i was going on the basis that he'd been killed/injured
  02:36:15  27 May 2011
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The Colonel should have been Sanders, it would have gone well with Mike...


With those plot twists, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Also, naughty school child? Really?
Doesn't matter though, it's your story.

P.S. You forgot one of the annoying duty guards.
  19:23:23  25 May 2011
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Sorry guys, just a short quick chapter for this next bit

Chapter 21

“Yes Sir, it’s me.”
“Clear the Room!” was the only response from the Colonel
Bladewraith looked at Wingnut and Tamara and they both took a step back due to the ‘You heard him’ look on Bladewraith’s face, they both exited the room without a word
The door clicked shut “It’s clear Sir”
“Staff Sergeant, would you like to explain to me what the HELL is going on? What are you doing in the Zone?”
“What does it matter sir”
“What does it matter? You went AWOL 4 Years ago after your last tour of Afghanistan and you say ‘what does it matter’!”
“I didn’t go AWOL Sir, I quit.”
“Special Forces don’t quit!”
“I quit Sir, I signed my documents, and came to the Zone, that’s all you need to know”
“What? How dare…” The colonel’s angered voice faltered, he sighed audibly over the background static “We’ll have words about this later…” He sounded exhausted “You saved the doctor did you?”
“Yes Sir, my companion and I discovered the facility and found the doctor inside.” There was a very long, uncomfortable pause.
“Right… I’m organising an Evac chopper as we speak, 51.403141, 30.036085, 48 hours”
Bladewraith noted down the co-ordinates into his GPS “But sir, this is near the Jupiter factory!”
“What’s your point Sergeant?”
“Sir, flying a rescue chopper that far into the Zone is extremely dangerous, there are too many airborne anomalies towards the centre to enact a safe rescue, I’d recommend something further from the Plant”
“Well, it’s a shame because that’s where the evac’s taking place, take it or leave it.”
Bladewraith paused for a moment “We’ll be there Sir, but you better have a bloody good pilot!”
Only static emanated from the radio
“Well that just great!”

Bladewraith emerged from the Radio Room to see Wingnut and Tamara looking at him with a mixture of confusing and anger. Cold, Dania and Dino, who were all stood at the bar turned to face him He approached them but didn’t stop walking. He spoke quickly, as soon as they opened there mouths to ask what was going on. “Not here!” he snapped at them before heading out the door. All five of them followed him as they walked out of Rostock passing through the warehouse heading north, the Stalkers that had left 100 Rads earlier filled the warehouses, checking over the corpses for anything of use, and removing the bodies once everything was gone. No sooner had they gotten out of sight and ear shot of the Duty guards, then Wingnut grabbed Bladewraith’s shoulder and swung him around,
“Do you want to tell us what the fuck is going on?” screamed Wingnut
“How do you know the Colonel, why didn’t he want us in there with you?” added Tamara
“Calm the fuck down, both of you!” Bladewraith looked around to ensure there was no one around to listen in, he turned and continued walking, and explained while they followed, he made sure not to give too much away, with their three new companions following close behind.
“I’m a former Soldier; Colonel Edwards was my CO. I quit 4 years ago and came to the Zone straight after leaving”
“So why didn’t he want us in there?”
“That’s classified”
“Fuck off Classified!”
“What does it matter? You’ve spent the last 4 years not knowing anything about my past, why does it matter now?”
“I didn’t know your secrets would catch up to us like this.”
“What were you, SAS or something?” asked Tamara
Bladewraith turned “guys head on I need to chat to these guys a moment” he spoke to Cold, Dania and Dino
“Where are we going” asked Dania
“We’re going to Jupiter, you guys are going where ever you want, I’d recommend Zaton”
“Can’t we stay with…” Dino started but stopped when he saw Bladewraith’s disapproving look
The three of them walked on, once they were a distance apart Bladewraith began his explanation
“Ok, I’m only gonna say this once, so listen carefully… no I wasn’t SAS, everyone always assumes SA fucking S”
“So what were you?” asked Tamara
“Her majesties SBS…” Bladewraith watched the confused look on their faces, obviously not knowing what he was talking about “The Special Boat Service, like the SAS but specialised in naval operations. During my final tour, a high value target escaped, we got his group, but not him, and a friend was killed in the process, I vowed to hunt him down and make him pay…”
“Ali Barber?” remarked Wingnut as a few old pieces he’d long forgotten about all fell into place
“Who?” asked a confused Tamara
“the Target moved here to the Zone, when Colonel Edwards refused to send me after him I quit, and made my way here, on the way I met Wingnut and another Stalker and we set off to track him down, all we knew is he was known locally as Ali barber”
“Wait…” Tamara just turned to Wingnut “And you just blindly followed him?”
“I had no idea what I was going to do in the Zone, he had a plan, so I followed”
“Now Doc, the colonel is sending a rescue chopper, it’ll be in Jupiter in two days, we need to get moving, I’d rather be early then late” explained Bladewraith
Without another word Bladewraith turned and walked on, a quick glance at each other and Tamara and Wingnut followed.

End of Chapter
  19:52:34  24 May 2011
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On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
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Chapter 20

Dania and Tamara walked cautiously through the deserted derelict warehouses of the Rostock Plant, the bodies already seen by Wingnut and Bladewraith lay strew about the floor, small streams of drying blood dribbled through the cracked in the concrete floor, the lingering smell of sulphur wafted gently on the calm breeze. Dania led the way, the pain in his back had lessened considerably, but still twinged on occasion, Tamara walked cautiously behind. Tamara’s naivety in the Zone had diminished quickly, she looked at the bodies and her mind no longer filled with fear, instead anger.

Dania remained silent as he reached the twisting walkway to the bar, he approached the open door of the bar gingerly, he edged round but he hadn’t even managed to swing his G36 round the corner before he was presented with a Kalashnikov pointed at his head, the guard that normally sat in his small office part way down the stairs had moved to the door after the earlier events.
“Who the hell are you?” the guard asked
“Just a couple of Stalkers”
The guard gave them a once over but kept his rifle raised
“Lower the weapon mate, they’re with me” Wingnut spoke from behind the guard
“Ok then, come on in.” Dania and Tamara just looked at each other for a moment, but this was obviously too long for the guard
“I said come in, don't just stand there!” the guards voice didn’t carry its normal happy go lucky tone, instead it was more of an order.
Dania and Tamara moved past the guard and joined Wingnut, and they continued down the hall way, several Stalkers were packing their bags in the hall way including Dino who stayed silent and didn’t move to join them, the trio pasted him and entered the bar, however considering the attack on the plant, their entrance went almost completely unnoticed. The bar was packed; obviously a lot of Stalkers had retreated here for safety during the attack.
“I’ve never seen this place so full” explained Wingnut to no one in particular
“They’re must be over 30 Stalkers crammed in here!” the Stalker stood almost shoulder to shoulder around the bar. A Stalker did eventually take notice of them and walked over “Well look what the chimera dragged in”
“Nimble! Fucking hell mate, what are you doing here!”
“Yeah well… what can I say?”
“So you still running errands for Sidorovich then?”
“Nah, I’ve decided it’s a bit too risky for my liking”
“Well, how many people warned you about it?”
“I know… I know” Nimble raised his hands in defeat “But… the money weren’t half bad”
“Yeah… anyway….” Wingnut raised his hands in front of his chest as he spoke to emphasize his point and end the topic “So what you up to now then?”
“I’m heading back north; some Stalkers have set up a base in an old ship”
“The Skadovsk” explained Wingnut
“Yeah, that’s the one, haven’t seen you there?”
“We haven’t been there in a few weeks; Beard had only just finished the bar when we left.”
“Ah, off exploring again I assume.”
“Pretty much, so what you doing round the Skadovsk”
Nimble picked up his bergan and held it open towards Wingnut displaying a couple of custom Pistols “I’m making my living supplying specialist weapons and armour at a good price.”
“Yeah… a ‘good’ price” Wingnut thought for a while before pulling the large bag from his back and placed it on the table in front of Nimble “how much would you give me for this?” Nimble looked intrigued and opened the bag, revealing Max’s beautiful Rifle, “It belonged to Max”
“Hmm… I’ll give you 10,000 Roubles for it”
“Fuck off! This is worth at least 20”
“No chance… I buy it from you for that I’ve got to sell it for at least 25 to make it worth my time… 14”
“Ok, half way, 15,000 that’s my final offer!”
“Hmm… ok then, done” Nimble pulled a wad of notes out of his pack and counted out
“Jeez mate, you’ve got over 100 grand there and you’re squabbling over a few thou?”
“Hey, I made this much being careful how much I spent on anything… here” Nimble handed Wingnut the money and Wingnut handed over the rifle. “So what’s I like up top then?”
“It’s a mess up there” just then the guard walked down with a Duty technician and addressed the gathered Stalkers
“Ok guys… topsides all fucked up but it’s clear” with that, most of the Stalkers got up and left, within minutes the bar was almost empty, and the Duty tech made his way behind the bar. As one of the final Stalkers to leave made his way out Bladewraith walked in. “Alright guys” this time Dino had moved in behind Bladewraith, but kept his gaze low, like a naughty school child.
Bladewraith scanned the room, only a few other Stalkers remained.
“Afternoon…” Bladewraith didn’t wait for the greeting to be returned, instead he simply placed a few hundred Roubles on the bar “Any chance I can use your radio”
“Transmitters down at the moment, damaged in the attack; I’ve got the Duty tech working on it. And once it gets back up, I’ve got more important messages to send out.” The low gravelly voice sounded almost annoyed
“Any idea how long?” trying not to sound pushy
“Day or two”
“Right, ok then.” With that Bladewraith returned to his companions. “No go for a couple of days.”
“So what are we going to do?” asked Tamara “we can’t just wait round here.”
“Why not? It’s as safe a place as any” replied Bladewraith. Wingnut stood,
“Right, you guys get some food. I’m gonna go a pick up some other supplies” with that, Wingnut made to leave
“Don’t forget the gas for the stove” added Bladewraith, he nodded and walked out the door leaving Tamara, Bladewraith, Dania and Dino in the bar. They made their way to one of the tables and lent on it.

Bladewraith explained to Tamara all about Rostock and Duty. She listened carefully but was constantly shifting her weight and fidgeting. When he asked her what she was doing, she only moaned about having to stand so he grabbed an old wooden box and dropped it behind her so she could sit. Half an hour later Wingnut returned with another Stalker walking close behind, with a AK slung across his back, and a large bag on his shoulder.
“Look who I found skulking around the arena.” Said Wingnut
Bladewraith turned to the stalker “Cold… Jesus! ain’t seen you since…”
“Since my faction got destroyed?”
“I was gonna say the end of the wars, but whatever floats your boat.”
“Yeah well, since then I’ve got by”
“Fair enough… Doc this is Cold, a pathetic excuse for a Barman and fighter, and all round dirty bastard.”
Tamara looked at Cold then back at Bladewraith and Wingnut, Cold looked at her and grinned and evil grin
“Stop me if you’ve heard this one: This guy was walking down the street and this hooker says, ‘Say, wanna have a good time?’ ‘Sure,’ he says and they were off to the nearest motel. She takes off her clothes and he keeps staring at her. She says, ‘Is this the first pussy you seen since you crawled out of one?’ The guy says, ‘Nope, just the first one I've seen big enough to crawl back into!’ with that cold erupted into laughter, as did Dania and Dino surrounding, even Bladewraith and Wingnut couldn’t hide a snigger.
“That’s Disgusting!”
“As I said, an all round dirty bastard!”
“But, I watched you two, you laughed, well grinned uncontrollably at least.”
“And?” replied Wingnut
“It’s a Joke Doc! Calm down”
Tamara huffed and folded her arms,

Wingnut walked over to Barkeep, who was sat bored out of his skull, his temper had calmed luckily
“Listen, my friends and I need to send a message, I’m a technician…”
“I’ve already got duty working on it for me!”
“I know, but I’m willing to go have a look to see if I can help… if I fix it, I can use the radio”
“Fine” Barkeep waved his hands “but you get 10 minutes to send your message then you’re out. I’ve got important business to discuss”
“Deal” Wingnut moved to the doorway leading out back, the guard stood his ground
“You can’t go there!”
“It’s fine let him through” ordered Barkeep, The guard stepped aside and looked at Wingnut “Don’t go causing any trouble” Wingnut walked past him and into the Radio Room. A few minutes later the The Duty Tech stormed out of the room, muttering under his breath in Ukrainian, so quickly Bladewraith couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
“Wonder what that was all about” asked Tamara
“Duty thinks they are the best at everything, so some foreigner coming in and telling them what to do rarely goes down well.”
Bladewraith sipped at his water, while Tamara drank her coffee generously.
“So what are you guys gonna do after I’m gone.”
“Not sure yet… properly gonna.” The old wooden door squeaked as Wingnut walked out, his hands were brown with rust and he was wiping them with and old rag equal in colour. Wingnut walked to the side of the Bar and spoke with the Bar Keep, who waved Tamara and Bladewraith over to join Wingnut.

“Ok guys, take your slot, you’ve got 10 minutes.”
“Cheers” was all Wingnut said, Cold, Dania and Dino stayed put as the trio moved into the cramp room, containing the extremely old radio transmitter, it looked like it was made of rust as oppossed to covered in it, and took up an entire wall of the room, but they couldn’t argue, it was enough for their means.
“Got the frequencies? Asked Bladewraith, Wingnut fished through his pack, for the ring bound folder. Pulling it free, Wingnut carefully turned the dials into the correct position to correspond with the frequency they needed.
“So what was wrong with it that the duty guy couldn’t fix it? But you could in 5 minutes.”
“Not much actually, the duty guy just couldn’t find a wire that had come free, he’d already fix the transmitter on the roof and done most of the hard work. Once I moved the cables, it worked fine.”

Tamara waited for Wingnut to say go then clicked the hand set to transmit.
“Research Team Alpha to Base Come in over.”
The radio responded with nothing but static,
“Perhaps, they’ve stopped monitoring the frequency since it’s been inactive for so long” suggested Wingnut
“No, they’d monitor it in the background for a few years at least.”
“Research Team to Base, come in over”
After several long moments a voice came back to them
“Who is this, identify yourselves, and how did you get this frequency”
“This is Doctor Tamara Johansson, of the Research Team Alpha” the voice that returned suddenly became deeper as someone else picked up the mike
“Johansson, is that really you?” something about that voice sounded familiar to Bladewraith
“Yes Colonel, it’s me”
“What happened? When you lost contact we feared the worst, where’s Hunt?”
“Dead Sir, everyone else is dead!”
“OK, I’m sorry to hear that, but how did you survive by yourself”
“I managed, until I was rescued by two Stalkers, they…” she was cut off by the man voice
“Doctor, I don’t want to diminish what you’ve been through, and what the Stalker’s did, but I rather not speak about this over the radio, we need to get you out.”
“Yes sir, thank you.”
“Are the Stalkers that saved you still with you?”
“Yeah we’re here.” Shouted Wingnut as Tamara clicked the hand set to speak
“Wait, there listening now… Dammit Johansson, what do you think you’re doing”
“Sir, I know it was a risk, but you can trust them”
“Right then Gentlemen, how much is it gonna cost to keep you quiet?” Wingnut grabbed the handset from Tamara and shouted.
“Listen Colonel whatever your name is, we saved your girl, and we’ve got her here to talk to you, and we want to get her out. Stalkers aren’t as bad as you obviously think we are.”
“How dare you… this is ridiculous.” Responded the Colonel
Before Wingnut shouted again, Bladewraith grabbed the hand set and released the transmit button
“What’s the Colonel’s name?”
“Colonel Edwards… why?” Tamara was confused; this radio conversation hadn’t gone at all how she’d imagined it. What was more confusing was the grin that was appearing across Bladewraith’s face as he clicked the set onto transmit
“Evening George”
“George… who the on God’s green earth is George?”
“You Sir, you’re George, and tell me, have you seen any sign of Baldric after we snatched his turnips”
Wing nut and Tamara both looked at him with utter bewilderment strewn across their faces, and on the other end of the radio, the colonel was now realising he knew that voice as well.

End of Chapter
  20:28:40  16 May 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Hi everybody, I’m back… fantastic time away, kinda wish I was still there. Anybody, that gets a chance to go to Morocco, seize it. It’s an incredible country, and incredibly friendly people.

@ Davis: not a problem my friend, read at your leisure.

@ Dino: I’ll see what comes to mind

I’m gonna sort a few things out at home before starting the next chapter, but hopefully will have it up soon.
  21:58:39  6 May 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


On forum: 04/16/2010
Messages: 530
Hey Blaidewraith! Sorry for my absence, I need to catch up from Chapter 16... Been a long time, ey? But I'm back now

I need to get to bed now, but I'll catch up tomorrow, k?
  02:38:56  28 April 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27


Any preference, remember you've got pack containing god knows what???


(Going with the game's names)
Either a TRs 301, a SGI 5K or an Obokan (Probably a good idea since I'm a rookie in your story).

A Makarov is fine.

In-game I mainly use use artifacts that boost my energy (Flash and moonlight).

I enjoy picking up other guns and ammo just to waste on any mutant (I drop the guns or sell them after).
  02:49:42  25 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Well Guys at 14:30 the boat leaves and i'm on my way for a trip of a lifetime. Cheers to everyone for the good luck, (i'm really hoping i won't need it, but ah well) i'll be back in 3 weeks and start the next chapter.

Once again, thanks
  03:41:58  22 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
04/22/2011 3:43:25
Messages: 306

I'm in the story and I'm not dead yet!

i'm still on the fence as to whether to kill you off or not...

If I'm still alive or there in the next chapter, could I have something else than an AK? It doesnt matter how I get it, as long as it can hit something when it's on single fire and the target ain't moving.

Any preference, remember you've got pack containing god kows what???

I wasn't expecting you to put out a new chapter so quickly, but the have a nice trip still applies.

as always cheers. worrying thing is the trip motto has become "better here then there." all 6 bikes and 3 landies have experienced some form of major potentialy trip ending incident in the last 3 weeks and only managed to get it sorted this week, mine was my Injection pump... slightly blew, so it was pissing out diesel like you wouldn't believe. but ho hum. better here then there
  21:59:51  21 April 2011
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On forum: 01/11/2011
Messages: 27

I'm in the story and I'm not dead yet!

If I'm still alive or there in the next chapter, could I have something else than an AK? It doesnt matter how I get it, as long as it can hit something when it's on single fire and the target ain't moving.

I wasn't expecting you to put out a new chapter so quickly, but the have a nice trip still applies.
  18:17:18  21 April 2011
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On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
I Thought you'd like that, hopefully Dino won't be annoyed with his character being a rook. unfortunatly there won't be anymore chapters for a few weeks obviously. but any suggestions i'll work them out afterwards. i'll be leaving on Monday for the trip, so you'll hear from me again before i go, i always think about... how can i say this without it sounding like man love... i always think of the Community...
  13:06:25  21 April 2011
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
Messages: 1941
Thanks for thinking at us before your trip. Have a great time in Morocco

Looks like Dania is a real badass. Hope he's not just having it in the mouth
  11:42:27  21 April 2011
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On forum: 10/21/2010

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Messages: 306
“Guys, I’ve found some bodies” Bladewraith’s voice came over the radio “just inside the first warehouse, they’ve been dragged here… the three Duty guards and… 2 Loners”
“Ok copy” Wingnut spoke back into his mic clipped onto his jacket.
Dania, lent back against the Sandbags gingerly, the warmth radiated out from the Flame artefact taped to his back, he’d occasionally feel a muscle twitch or pull, sending pain throughout his nervous system.
“How you feeling?” asked Wingnut as Tamara paced up and down the small stretch of road.
“Not bad, still hurts” Dania looked around then down at his Mossberg, then slowly remembering he had no ammo left for it so put it down. Reaching to his holster strapped to his thigh, he pulled his Colt 45 out and inspected it; the age old design still worked happily, but as he pulled the slide back to inspect the mechanism, cocking it in the process, the sound of grinding erupted audibly. “Fuck it!”
“Well, a couple of the sand bags must’ve split… whatcha gonna do?” Wingnut asked rhetorically.
Dania reached into his pack which lay beside him, and pulled out a small rolled up piece of Olive Drab Canvas, and untied the knot holding it together. He pulled the slide back and pushed the pin on the right side before flipping it and dragging it out the other. Releasing the slide and it came forward sand dripping out. “Fucking hell…”
“When is he gonna be back?” Tamara continued pacing
“He’ll be back in a bit, we only need to worry if we hear gunfire.” Replied Wingnut
“What’s her problem, why she so panicky?” Dania asked Wingnut while he brushed
“She’s a rook… what else can I say.”
“Fuck you Wingnut!” Tamara responded sarcastically “I’m worried about him ok”
“What about, that he’s gonna get himself in trouble…”
A single low calibre report echoed out, originating from further within the plant “Shit…” he reached down and clicked his radio to transmit “Bladewraith come in, what’s happening bud.”
“Right that’s it…” Wingnut shouldered his Remington, and walked towards the inner sanctum of the Rostock plant before stopping and thinking about the two he was there to protect “Dania, can you move?”
“Aarggh…” Dania cried out as he tried to move, the pain was less, but still too much “almost, but not quite”
“Doc, I need to go check things out”
“Guys… something fucking weird is going on under our feet” the crackled interference smothered voice emanating out of the comms unit. Worry flood across Wingnut’s face.
“Right, I’m coming in, what was the gun shot?”
“I’ll explain when you get here, meet me by Arnie’s office”
Wingnut disappeared out of sight round the corner without hesitation, leaving Dania and Tamara alone; Tamara clutched her ____ tightly in her hands, she didn’t shoulder it, her lack of training showing true, she merely held it to her chest, for any feeling of safety it might give her.

Wingnut appeared around the corner shortly after
“Looks like it’s your lucky day Dania” Wingnut exclaimed as held out a G36K, attached torch, Sling and 3 loaded magazines.
“Fucking hell” he inspected it carefully, a few scrapes here and there but nothing major, grabbing the cocking lever and retracting it, inspecting the breach and movement of the bolt, shouldering it to check the sights. “That’ll do nicely, you got any buckshot?”
“Sorry bud, only enough for my remmie. Look after the Doc will ya” Wingnut ordered rather than asked before running off round the corner. Once again, Tamara and Dania were alone; Dania looked down at his Mossberg and sighed before returning his gaze to Tamara
“So doc… you single?”


Wingnut passed the bodies in the warehouse once more, single hits, no casing anywhere to suggest they fired at their aggressors. And none of the kit had been taken, even the G36 he’d given to Dania, which was the strangest thing. No Stalker leaves decent kit behind, not even Duty or Freedom. Checking his arcs he moved out of the warehouse, turned left, and into another, always watching every direction, he kept to the left wall walking carefully just in case until he reached the large doorway leading into the courtyard; once again spotting every movement, whether it was leaves blowing across the ground or loose cables and swinging silently in the breeze.

Peering round the corner Bladewraith was sat lent up against the wall of Arnie’s office, right leg cocked, with his right hand resting atop it. his fist was clenched loosely except for a single finger which was out stretched nonchalantly. Bladewraith didn’t look at him just stared intently at the warehouse towards the southern checkpoint. Wingnut watched him vigilantly, and took the hint carefully scanning the area just in case before taking his set of binoculars out and checking what he could see of the warehouse in more detail, a muddy denim clad leg of a Stalker was showing just inside the doorway. After another check of the area, Wingnut moved quickly and deliberately, towards the bar hoping he hadn’t been seen. Another glance towards Bladewraith confirmed his fears, Wingnut was definitely in his peripheral vision, but his gaze didn’t wander, there was a leg on the ground just behind Bladewraith but Wingnut couldn’t see enough to know if it was still attached to anything further. Wingnut closed the distance between himself and the doorway, ensuring whoever the leg belonged to would be within deadly shotgun range without precision aiming. Pointing the Remington at the door way and taking three paces backwards
“Come out; Come out, whoever you are!” Challenged Wingnut, followed by a few scuffling noises from within

A scrawny looking stalker emerged from the southern warehouse, his simple leather jacket was all that had protected him this far into the Zone and it was scratched and frayed and displayed the rookie status of this would be attacker, his AK shook violently in his hands, he looked like his legs were about to buckle, Wingnut surmised this would either be because of deadly cocktail of severe fear and fatigue, or because he was carrying too much in his pack. What worried him the most was the shaking, a Stalker with steady hands isn’t panicked, they know what they are going to do and he could base his decisions on that, but this guy was definitely terrified or panicked at least, he didn’t know what he was doing and the slightest wrong move could mean biting a bullet.
“Put… the Gun… Down… or I… will… shoot you” ordered Wingnut
“But, no… you put yours down… I’m not kidding around here” the guy kept shifting his aim between Bladewraith and Wingnut, not sure who to aim at.
“I’m not putting lowering this” Wingnut indicated his Remington before raising his voice displaying his anger “so you need to calm the fuck down, and lower your weapon.””
“You’ll… you’ll shoot me if I lower this”
“I’ll shoot you if you don’t!”
“But… I… You…” he appeared to be weighing up his options, before just dropping his AK onto the floor, the clatter of the metal smashing into the concrete echoed out as something audibly snapped. “Ok, just don’t shoot me… please”
Wingnut kept his aim on the guy, walking up to him slowly, then when he was only an arm’s length away lowered his Remington.
“What Happened?” Wingnut asked Bladewraith
“The bastard shot Va…”
“Shut the fuck up rook!” interjected Wingnut, and the guy’s mouth continued to move but no words came from it.
I came through, found him trying to save his mates life,” Bladewraith pointed towards a body just down the door to Arnie’s office. “But there was no chance” he shook his head Wingnut walked over and inspected the body, two impact wounds to his leg, and four to the torso the blood was already coagulated to some extent and what hadn’t was pooled beneath the body, dripping slowly out of the exit wounds, the fact that he was still alive when Bladewraith had got there was remarkable in itself, the entry wounds were small, 5.56 most likely, but there was a single slightly larger hole directly into the heart, small brun marks on the tarnished green of the corpse’s Sunrise indicated the 9mm weapon was at either touching, or almost touching the body when it was discharged. There was blood around the mouth, at least one of the rounds had pierced a lung and the former stalker would’ve been chocking to death on his own blood as it slowly but painfully filled to the brim.
“Berretta?” asked Wingnut without even turning around from his inspection, to which Bladewraith merely nodded
“And you disapproved?” Wingnut turned to the guy
“We could’ve saved him.”
“No, you couldn’t have, in fact trying to save him would’ve caused him even more pain…” Wingnut looked over his shoulder at Bladewraith “He did the kindest thing”
“This guy got angry with me after I fired and pointed his weapon at me, told me to bring my friends round to witness my death” the last part came out incredibly sarcastic. The guy’s legs finally gave out and he collapsed to the floor, smashing his back pack into the ground, with an audible clatter.

“I need to check out Duty,” Bladewraith turned and looked behind them towards the duty base, there was no movement, and a few slim towers of smoke rose up from unseen fires behind the walls of the Duty bases’ courtyard several bodies were scattered around the entrance way, only one in Duty colours, another in a Sunrise, the rest wear in the tell tale greens suits of Freedom “you go check the bar”
“You can’t” the guy jumped in
“Why not?”
“It’s locked… from the inside”
“How do you know… what happened here?” Wingnut realised they hadn’t bothered to ask the first and most important question.
“Freedom attacked, only the killed everything that moved, Duty, Loners, it didn’t matter” the guy pointed at the body of his friend “Vasa told me to hide behind the pipes in there… and then he drew their fire and hid in the office.” The guy was almost in tears explaining the story “after a few minutes of fighting, they just… ran off. I overheard one of them asking about the bar, and another said it was locked from the inside… I waited until they were gone and… and… I tried to save him, I tried…”
“Hey! Calm down… it’s done now, there’s nothing we can do about what’s happened ok.” Explained Bladewraith
“But I”
“What’s in the pack?” Wingnut changed the subject
“Just some stuff… I got off some Bandits we took out… Why?”
“Looks heavy”
“Yeah… I never really think about what I’m taking, I just take it all”
“OK, I still need to check on Duty, go see if you can contact anyone inside the bar”
“What about him?” Wingnut asked
“He can do what he wants, but I think he’d be safer in the bar if you can get in” Wingnut nodded and Bladewraith turned, raised his weapon and walked on towards Duty base. Wingnut grabbed the guy by the hand and heaved him to his feet
“What’s your name kid?”
“Well, I’m Wingnut and your coming with me” Wingnut flicked his radio on “Doc come in… how’s Dania?”
“Disgusting” explained Tamara of the crackly radio
“Can he walk?”
“Yeah, he’s up and around now”
“Well you guys meet us at the bar, some heavy shit’s gone down here, and we’ll need all the help we can get”
“Ok, umm… where is… oh Dania knows where it is, see you soon” the broken voice ended the radio conversation Wingnut stared at Dino
"Come on."

Bladewraith approached the entrance to Duty Base when suddenly a 20 man Duty squad exited. Bladewraith stopped and raised his 417 instinctively, before dropping it, luckily the Duty Squad who had also done the same, didn’t just react and shoot, like Bladewraith they took aim on instinct, but held off and lowered their weapons
“Who are… Bladewraith?”
“Petrenko? What’s going on? Where are you going?”
“Were going to go find what’s left of the squad that attacked us, and…” Bladewraith cut him off
“Wait… I know it looked like Freedom attacked you but it wasn’t them!”
“Yes of course not, they’re not organised enough, nor have big enough balls to attack us like that!”
“It was…”
“Mercenaries,” it was Bladewraith’s turn to be interrupted “Yes we’d already found out that, we’re off to Limansk, our scouts tell us there’s a big Merc Camp there at the moment”
"But you’ll have to go through Freedom Terri…" Bladewraith was cut off again
“Yes but thanks to Lukash contacting me about a bunch of imposters posing as my forces and having their ass handed to them. He’s sent a squad of his own, we’re meeting up for our first ever joint mission to wipe out the Merc Camp, this could lead to other things… maybe even peace”
“So what happens when you come across each other then?”
“Well to put it simple…” when on a mission, or at certain locations… Red Forest, Yanov Station, we are peaceful, anywhere else we continue as normal.
"So... how did you know it was Mercs?"
"The Cigarettes, how else?" Petrenko, looked at the floor, showing a faint sign of grief “12 Loners… 9 Duty, they will pay!” with that, Petrenko and his squad turned and continued on, Bladewraith watched them disappear past the church, what was once left of its spire now lay strewn across the road, and a gentle smouldering pile lay somewhere inside, sending a thin trail of smoke drifting into the air. He turned and made his way to the bar to meet with the others

End of Chapter

Hope you all enjoy, it was slightly rushed but hopefully not obviously so.
  04:01:26  18 April 2011
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Messages: 27
Looking forwards to the next installment!

Anyway, you don't have to put me in the story, but you have my permission. As for the red shirt thing, I don't mind because, well, it would most likely happen in the zone, judging by how I play... (No accuracy whatsoever and a tendency to pick up EVERYTHING)...

I hope you have a great trip to Morocco!
  10:04:53  14 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Can't be sure i'll get the next chapter hammered out before my trip, but i'll try.

@Dania, not a problem, i tried to figure out a way that might actually work with what i had, so i figured the Tape could work a little like a back brace, the heat from the Flame would work a little like Deep heat, and the healing properties would... well heal. i'll try and sort out your weapons, and i figured shotguns are pretty common, and i prefer the Mossberg out of the game shotties, in RL its the Remington that Wingnut carriers.

@ Dino, Cheers and i'll try and fit you in if i can, can't guarentee anything, if i do, you might have to be a... red shirt...
  04:00:39  14 April 2011
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Messages: 27
Yey! Hippy killings!

It's a very strange coincidence that my back has been hurting for the past 2 days...

Great work! Keep it up and enjoy Morocco

I wouldn't mind being implemented in the story... Heck you could even kill off my character seeing as I haven't even beaten the game on easy-modo... Although I would rather live...

I can't wait to see some anarchist crushing
  00:18:58  14 April 2011
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
Messages: 1941
Thanks for fixing my back

Wish it was so easy in RL.

How did you know the Mossberg is my favorite in-game shotgun?

Now, where did my G36 go, I've run out of ammo but that doesn't mean I throw away the gun.

My sidearm is a Colt M1911

Can't wait for the promised long chapter
  02:25:31  12 April 2011
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Short but good stuff, keep it up!
  14:20:03  11 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
04/11/2011 18:09:15
Messages: 306

Naaaa, don't worry, they're hippies, almost no one will miss them in the zone.

I like them, reminds me of my mates, a lot more then Duty at least

A short chapter I’m afraid, I was going to have this and the next as one, but the next one might be a long one, so this added on as well means it was too long for my liking. anyway, hope you enjoy

Chapter 19

It was Midday by the time they reached the outskirts of the Rostock Plant. The long twisting asphalt road beneath their feet was cracked and crumpled. The entire length of the walk had been strangely quiet, the background Gunfire they were accustomed to was still present, but there were no Mutants, not even any crows. They'd found the bodies of 3 stalkers killed by the same squad that attacked Freedom, all their equipment was gone, only the tattered remains of their suits. Other than that,they’d walk past stains of dried blood, the stains themselves were no different to any road in the Zone, but unlike the normal roads, there was no evidence of what the blood had come from, normally they’re would be a bone or some feathers or fur, but nothing. They rounded the final corner and were greeted with the view of the heavily rusted truck, which marked the entrance to the plant.

They approached the truck cautiously and stopped. Bladewraith took aim at the single solitary Snork that was limping across the road, it saw him, and stopped itself, the last image it saw was a flash of light, before a 7.62 round passed through its eye and it collapsed to the floor. The report echoed around the empty walls surrounding the northern road.
“Why was it limping?” asked Tamara as they approached the body
“It’s already been shot” explained Bladewraith as he dragged a leg out the way revealing several small impact holes in the hip of what was once a man, as disgusting an idea they all felt it was, the holes could only have been made by buckshot.
“By who?” the trio walked gingerly round the corner of the building, that made the corner, behind which was Duty’s northern gate. However, the Dutyers weren’t on guard. One of the sandbag walls had collapsed, with the body of a Snork lane against it, and a stack of boxes behind lay strewn across the road.
“So… where’s the defence team? And where’s the guy that shot that Snork?”
A rumble erupted from behind the collapsed Sandbag wall. And Wingnut and Bladewraith aimed their weapons towards the noise.
“Help…” a faint voice came out
Bladewraith moved round the sandbags, but no closer, he’d seen bandits trick Stalkers before with the simplest of cons. Wingnut stay vigilant where he stood. As Bladewraith moved himself round, he was able to see further round. He could clearly see a pair of legs clad in Denim. The Stalker was laying face down covered in Sandbags
“Stalker, What faction?”
“Huh… What Faction? I’m not in a Faction you retard!”
“He’s telling the truth…” Wingnut spoke; he’d opened his PDA, and was checking the Contact Data “He’s a Loner, Names Dania”
“Yeah, it is… not would you get this crap off me!”
“Yeah alright, hold your horses” Bladewraith and Wingnut slung their weapons and began moving the sandbags that were pinning him down, eventually they managed to pull him free, however, doing so caused him great pain.
“Ah fuck… Stop, stop!” they laid him down on his back “My Back… fucking hell that hurts!”
“Let me have a look” exclaimed Tamara, as she walked over and crouched beside him, gently rolling him slightly to see his reaction at which he winced in agony, she then pushed him hands underneath him to see if she could feel and fractures or lacerations.
“Well, he seems ok on the outside; I can feel a few scratches, but no bad ones, and no obvious fractures, might be a trapped nerve or… worst case scenario, damaged spinal cord” she turned her attention to Dania once again “Can you move your feet”
“Yeah, I think so.” He moved his feet with ease, and little pain.
“Listen Dania, we’ve only just got here, do you know what happened?”
“No idea, I was on my way back from Yantar, and these fucking pieces of shit Snorks chased me, I took a few out, but decided to run for the gate.”
“Knowing full well, that the Duty guards would take out Snorks for you.”
“Pretty much, I was low on ammo and my… wait where’s my shotty?”
“Umm…” Wingnut looked around under the sand bags and found the Mossberg. “Got it”
“So what happened when you got here then?”
“There was no one here, I had to fight them off, and I was covering behind the sandbags, one jumped, I shot it and it crashed into the sandbags tipping them onto me; that was about 3 hours ago.”
“Ok, Doc, rub some ointment onto it for now, I might have an effect. Dania, you said you’d just come from Yantar, what artefacts have you got?”
“I sold most of mine to Sakharov, but I’ve got a Gravi, Flame and a Wrenched.”
“Ok, clip your Wrenched to your belt, what I need to do is strap the flame directly to the damaged area, it might heal the damage, the warmth will stop the muscle contracting painfully, which added with the ointment, should hopefully sort it out.” Explained Bladewraith
“We’d have to bend his back to attach it all though.” Added Tamara
“That’s a risk we’re gonna have to take, the way things are going on round here…” Bladewraith looked around him, then at the dead Snorks “If we leave him here, by himself, he’d be dead before nightfall.”
“And if we carry him anywhere, it’ll do just as much damage. Besides we’ll want to bend his back so the muscle can heal properly.” Tamara looked at the duo, then at Dania, she didn’t want to cause him harm, but it was the way of the Zone she figured.
“Yeah alright”

Wingnut searched his bag, until he found his back Duct tape, pulled it out and began tearing segments off.
“You’re going to use black and nasty?”
Both Bladewraith and Wingnut turned to look at her, Bladewraith was just confused she’d called it Black and Nasty, Wingnut on the other hand was offended
“How dare you… Gaffer tape it was of the most important tools anywhere let alone in the Zone” he looked genuinely angry at her for her comment
“OK, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to…” his look of anger slowly turned into a grin “oh I get it… make fun of the new girl”
“It’s like the Force, it’s got a light side and a dark side… and it holds the universe together!”
Meanwhile, Bladewraith had managed to turn Dania onto his side incredibly carefully, with no small amount of wincing from Dania.
“Ok Dania, I going to ring your legs up towards your hips, this should stretch your back out. I’ll do it slow, tell me to stop if you can’t bare the pain.” Again, Bladewraith moved slowly and carefully, Dania’s face was white and displayed his pain and anguish clearly, but he didn’t tell Bladewraith to stop, he just bit his lip until it drew blood.
Tamara lifted up Dania’s Leather Jacket and shirt beneath, revealing several bruises across his back, she ran her fingers down his spine slowly “Tell me exactly where it hurts” she got half way down his back before her soft and gentle touch caused a shiver to run up his spine. “Oww!”
“What there?” asked a confused Tamara
“No, the shiver hurt, it’s lower down” She continued down gently once more until he marked the point where it seemed to hurt the most, there was some bad bruising around it. She sensitively rubbed some of the healing Ointment into his skin, her warm hand massaging it until a faint sheen was left over the bruising, Bladewraith then placed the Flame artefact, against Dania, it’s spherical mass shined a bright yellow, and warmed everything it touched. Wingnut taped the artefact into position tightly, the pain still intensely shooting up Dania’s backbone,
“Ok, guys I want you to stay with him, I’m gonna scout ahead.”
“But, what about…” cried Tamara
“Let him go” Wingnut butted in.
Bladewraith checked his rifle and moved past the crumbled stack of crates on the corner of the building beside them. Disappearing out of sight.

End of Chapter
  05:39:07  7 April 2011
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Messages: 40


Cheers Dino, comments noted.

i hopefully will have my next chapter up before i head off to Morroco, which is only 17 days away... Crap Crap Crap, i have far oo much to do before i go... hence spending most of this week and the weekend in my Engine!

Hopefully no one will be annoyed with me destroying half of Freedom Base...

Naaaa, don't worry, they're hippies, almost no one will miss them in the zone.
  04:21:42  7 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306

After almost a month, I am mucho pleased!

That was pretty intense, the wait was well worth it.

It might be cool if you made a little: "Previously on Bladewraith and Wingnut" kind of segment when you make a new chapter and at one point your wrote panned instead of planned (saying the attack was well planned).

Appart from that, I really enjoyed and I'm looking forward to next months chapter

Cheers Dino, comments noted.

i hopefully will have my next chapter up before i head off to Morroco, which is only 17 days away... Crap Crap Crap, i have far oo much to do before i go... hence spending most of this week and the weekend in my Engine!

Hopefully no one will be annoyed with me destroying half of Freedom Base...
  23:23:55  6 April 2011
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Messages: 27
After almost a month, I am mucho pleased!

That was pretty intense, the wait was well worth it.

It might be cool if you made a little: "Previously on Bladewraith and Wingnut" kind of segment when you make a new chapter and at one point your wrote panned instead of planned (saying the attack was well planned).

Appart from that, I really enjoyed and I'm looking forward to next months chapter
  15:11:51  6 April 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
Messages: 306
Hi Everyone, sorry i took so long to post this up, but i've spent the last 4 days crawling around my Land Rovers Engine Bay, damn reality

@Dino, cheers for you comments, point out the good and bad as much as you can, the more feedbadck i get on the bad bits the more i'll be able to spot them in future chapters. this is a slightly longer chapter so i hope you enjoy. things get a little bit more interesting

Chapter 18

The hut had descended almost into silence since the argument, only 10 minutes had passed but Wingnut was sleeping peacefully, Tamara looked like she was asleep, but was turning over constantly, obviously she still wasn’t used to sleeping rough the noise of her shifting seemed deafening in the otherwise quiet room. Bladewraith looked through the cracks dotted around the walls of the hut, first light was showing already, only half an hour or so until sun up, and they’d move out. He returned his gaze to Tinny; she was curled into the foetal position, unmoving. He moved his attention to Tamara and Wingnut, Tamara had stopped shifting in her sleep. And the silence grew stronger.
“She really is rookie isn’t she?” came the whispered question from the other side of the room.
“Yeah… she is” Bladewraith agreed… knowing Tamara knew a damn site more about the Zone than most Stalkers, let alone Tinny
“You ever think about what could have been?”
“What are you talking about?”
Tinny very slowly began to creep across the floor, as quietly as possible, Bladewraith didn’t move, she was no threat to him, his 417 rested against the wall behind him, and his Berretta nestled between him and the wall he was leaning on, if she tried anything, he’d act quickly.

Tinny, latched onto Bladewraith hugging into him gently but firmly
“You remember… that first night at village…”
“That was three years ago Tinny”
Her hand slowly and deliberately grazed the inside of his thigh. The warmth of it resting in place atop the crotch of his trousers affected his baser instincts. His heart rate increase slightly, and blood flow was diverted to greet the feel of her touch.
“You remember… second night , in the village” she gently began rub him through his trousers
“Tinny, we shouldn’t, we’ve…” an explosion sounded out to the west followed by a small shudder that swept the ground, huge amounts of weapons fire, originating from the same direction followed after. Bladewraith grabbed his 417, and holstered his Berretta in an instant ready to greet the attackers if it came necessary. Wingnut was up, and grabbing his Remington, when several stray rounds flew over head, three impacts rang out as stray bullets penetrated the thin walls of old barracks building.
“Oww… that hurts” exclaimed a stunned Tinny
Bladewraith looked at her and even in the darkness, could see one of the stray rounds had impacts her shoulder, he could tell how badly it was bleeding, but the dim first light gently shined on the fresh blood.
“Fuck! Doc, get over here!”
“What is it?”
“Tinny’s been hit!” he pulled his torch out and wrapped his hand around the end, clicking it on. His hand restricted the amount of light that came out giving him enough to see, but not enough to be seen by whoever was attacking. The Size of the wound was wider then he’d expected. “It’s 9mil!”
“With that range and power, 9 times 39… Full auto… Grozas!”
“Fuck it, a Duty attack squad”
“Right we need to get out of here” cried Wingnut
“I’m not leaving her!” he pointed at down at Tinny
“Fine, let’s get dirty then”
“Ok, give me your Med Kit!” ordered Tamara, Bladewraith grabbed his out of his pack and chucked it to Tamara,
“We’ll draw them off.”
With that they ran out the building moving to cover.

Bladewraith Ran across the short open ground before diving for cover behind an old T64 Tank. He moved towards the front, hoping to put the tower between him and the attackers. Another dash and he’d be behind cover, strong enough he’d be safe and be able to fire with relative safety and at that range make every round count. He glanced behind him watching as Wingnut crouched behind a broken Statue.
“What would you think of this comrade?” Wingnut asked the Statue before firing Slug rounds towards a hole in the western wall. They’d heard the rumours about an attack about a month ago which left a small section of the wall destroyed. Freedom had barricade it up, but it wasn’t anywhere near as secure as they’d needed it to be.
Bladewraith dashed forwards, jumped and rolled behind the cover of the watch tower. He quickly switched to a left handed grip of his rifle, and tilted his body enough to see the hole crouched on his knee, he raised his 417 up, and a few more bursts were sent forward

Wingnut charged forward darting in between Screw’s piles of unserviceable crap; several rounds bounced off, hissed and whizzed past the scattered debris. Finding a small hole in the junk Wingnut aimed and fired slugs as fast as his forearm could rack the 12 gauge. He ducked down as a return volley aimed his way from the right side of the hole.

A sudden streak of light and smoke sprinted trough the air, an almighty explosive sounded directly above Bladewraith, a RPG had struck the Watch tower, in the centre, the metal twisted and bent, it buckled and swayed before the most constant of forces took grip upon its structure, Gravity pulled it and the metal eventually gave way before it crashed to the ground, landing with a heavy ear piercing crash on the bridge over the railroad, the eastern side giving way and crumpling underneath the force delivered to it. Debris rained down on Bladewraith partially burying him in small chucks of twisted metal.

Wingnut looked to his right; he could see Max taking cover behind a container. Occasionally leaning out and taking a shot or two at random intervals so the Duty Squad couldn’t predict his movements. Several other Freedom members were firing, from various other containers and walls
“Max! On 3… I’ll cover you.” Shouted Wingnut
“Ok… 1…” replied Max in a similar tone
“2” Wingnut opened fire, attempting to draw the attention of the Duty Squad away from Max
“3” Max leant out and took an extra half second to aim and fire piercing a round through the chest armour of one of the Dutyers. And another shot striking the head of an Exoskeleton Armoured attacker.
“Another!” cried Max
Wingnut was reloading “give me a sec!” a dull thump rang out across the fire fight, as a 40mm grenade was fired from atop the hill, time seemed to slow to a crawl as he watched it sail through the sky towards the camp fire, he remembered Bladewraith’s comments from years earlier, when you know about an explosion, don’t close your mouth, keep it open and breath out slowly, this equalises the pressure and reduces the risk of perforating an eardrum.
“DOWN!!!” screamed Max, as he turned away and crouched into the smallest ball he could in the time he had
The Explosion erupted outwards from one of the rear containers. The concussion wave knocked Max off his feet, several other Freedom fighters were knocked about, and one disappeared completely as two Fuel drums located nearby exploded. A fireball shot upwards and a second concussion wave flew out, Max was lifted up and thrown across the road crashing into the concrete wall on the other side. Wingnut was far enough away, he was safe but the size of the explosions allowed him to feel the warmth of the fireball, and for a few seconds it was as bright as day across the small battlefield, his ears rang loudly, but they were intact.
“Shit Max.” Wingnut broke cover ran across and jumped down from the old helipad to the level below near to Max, covering himself behind one of the concrete supports dotted along the wall. Max was a couple of metres away, coughing his guts up. Wingnut jumped towards him and grabbed the back of his collar, then dragged backwards behind the concrete protrusion as quickly as his strength allowed. Max’s SVU was still attached to him by a sling wrapped loosely around Max’s arm and dragged across the floor next to him.
“Max… can you hear me” asked Wingnut, Max stare was glazed over, he was dead, and he knew it.
Max coughed in response, each cough projected more blood out onto his ruined suit, “Le… eve… me! I… I’m dead…”
Wingnut looked over max noting most of his Limbs were bent at strange angles or in abnormal places indicating severe breaks. Max shakily lifted the SVU he used for so long and handed it to Wingnut. And then his head collapsed backwards and his body went limp, he was gone. Wingnut stared at the SVU for a few moments, before shouldering it and leaning out firing two rounds each directly into the chests of two of the attacked Duty Members.

Bladewraith had climbed out of the rubble and was once again firing at the Dutyers, his scope had been struck by the falling debris and it was shattered. Bladewraith himself was covered in cuts and lacerations but he continued to fight, a few very angry, but well placed shots later and the Duty squad was retreating. They only saw two of them run; the rest must have been killed. Bladewraith got to his feet and ran down the kill past the train yard before turning and climbing the hill from which so much destruction had come. Several Freedom Fighters ran with him. When they approached the top, the Duty survivors were nowhere to be seen. Bladewraith quickly ran down the hill and charge past Wingnut shouting as he went.
“You OK”
“Yeah I’m fine… check on the Girls”
Bladewraith waved his hand in acknowledgement, as it was exactly what he was doing he practically jumped in through the doorway. Tinny was sat upright leant against the wall. Her arm and shoulder wrapped in a bandage and a sling taking the weight on her neck
“Your guys ok?”
“Yeah we’re fine.” Replied Tamara
“Healing Ointment eh?” asked Tinny
Bladewraith looked at Tamara then back at Tinny “It works”
“I hope so”
“The bullet’s still in there but she got lucky, it didn’t hit anything important and unless she gets an infection, she should be ok with it where it is, I’d cause more damage trying to get it out.”
Wingnut appeared at the doorway “Bladewraith… Leshiy wants a word with us”

Bladewraith emerged from the hut to a dreary faced Leshiy. He’d removed the Gas Mask he usually wore revealing his facial expression for the first time to the Duo.
“Leshiy, what the hell happened?”
“We’re still trying to figure it out, I was on gate when it started, but I heard gun fire from swamp just afterwards, I’ve ordered Cap to send a couple of boys back to help, and they check the swamp over on way.”
“Who put you in charge of the clean up?” asked Wingnut
“I’ve just been informed by Lukash, that I’m in charge of Max’s Duties now…”
“Fair Enough… shame it had to happen like this though”
“Indeed, I’m also to thank you for helping”
“Anytime, but…” Leshiy raised an Eyebrow “We need to keep our involvement quiet…”
“I understand, you’re loners, and need to stay neutral, You were never here, how about that.”
“Perfect, you reckon you guys could look after Tinny?”
“What, I’m fine” a shout came from inside
“Really…” The boys could hear Tamara saying “Stand up.”
Tinny shot a look at her, and then tried to stand but the pain in her upper body, forced her to sit back down quickly
“Ok fine…”
Bladewraith walked back in and crouched beside her and kissed her on her lips “I’ll be coming back for you… you’re gonna finish what you started!” with that Tinny was speechless and he picked up his bag and walked back outside shortly followed by Tamara, her pack over her shoulders and carrying Wingnut’s out to him.
Wingnut presented Max’s SVU to Leshiy “It Was Max’s”
“Keep it, we’re not sentimental about that sort thing round here”

“Leshiy!” shouted a Freedom Soldier as he ran down the now partially ruined bridge panting lightly, Leshiy turned to see the runner. It was one of the three Men Cap had sent.
“What is it?”
“There was a shooter at the Swamp Cabin, but he wasn’t Duty”
“Explain” demanded Wingnut before Leshiy could even open his mouth
“we found the remains of a man in the cabin, surrounded by small calibre shell casings, 9mm, there was a NATO Sniper Rifle dumped in the swamp, whether on purpose or by accident I don’t know. There was only two 7.62 cases on the floor of the balcony.” Explained the Stalker
“What happened to the shooter?”
“Attacked by a couple of boars from the looks of things, not much left of him, I think that’s what the 9mil was from, him defending himself”
“Other than the Rifle, which he probably dropped while dodging the boar, what makes you say he wasn’t Duty?” Asked Bladewraith before Leshiy had even finished processing the information he’d just been given.
“These…” the Stalker produced a half empty packet of Marlboro Red Cigarettes, the type only Mercs smoked.
“Ok, things are a little more complicated then we first thought.”
“Leshiy, check the bodies of the Duty Squad, just in case” ordered Bladewraith
They turned towards the temporary morgue at the bottom of the hill, and it was the first time Leshiy had noticed the sniper in the watch tower overlooking the farmstead to the west. He turned his attention to one of the runners from Cap.
“You, get up that tower and keep watch report to me whatever you find up there as well.”
“What is it Leshiy?” asked Wingnut
“They only thing the Swamp Shooter could’ve hit from the Cabin, would’ve been the Sniper towers, if he had taken out the sniper watching over the farmstead from back there…” he thumbed behind him towards the swamp. The body would’ve slumped forward onto the Sandbags, and looked like he was still up there; any other angle and the body would’ve either fallen flat on the deck or off the edge, alerting us to the attack.”
“This was well panned whether it was Duty or not.”
The group then walked back down the gentle slope to where the bodies of the Duty Squad had been placed, seven bodies, they removed each of the armoured masks to see the faces. Leshiy walked up and down looking at each on, while the others checked for anything suspicious. Wingnut found another pack of Western brand cigarettes on one and Leshiy recognised another
“Makari… what were you doing here?” he asked himself
“What is it?”
“This guy, Makari, used to be one of my team”
“What do you mean” questioned Tamara
“I used to be a Merc, but shit started going downhill and I got out and joined Freedom a few Months back… but Makari, he stayed, I heard a rumour that my old team joined up with a larger Merc group.” Leshiy kicked one of the corpses “These fuckers I presume”
“So, the Mercs attacked a while back, did you guys ever find out why, or who hired them?”
“And they’ve done the same again” added Wingnut, stating the Obvious
“But why? who?, what would they have to gain?”

End of Chapter
  02:22:09  15 March 2011
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Messages: 27
Great stuff!

I'm sorry for not having replied earlier, but I wanted to read everything until the end.

The story is great and although I haven't finished SnorkBait, I do believe your characters are more interesting.

The whole SCIENCE part was pretty interesting and I loved how you incorporated the artifacts into your story, I'm looking forwards to more of that.

You do a pretty good job describing the weapons, but the more the better!

Can't wait to see the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S. in Rostock.

If you would post the link to the side story it would be great.

P.S. I did notice a few spelling mistakes, but I was too lazy to write them down, however I will try to point out any new mistakes If there are any (or at least the obvious ones), if you don't mind, of-course.

Anyway, keep it up, I'm loving it!
  18:53:24  11 March 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
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Chapter 17

Tamara eventually became more aware of her surroundings, she’d slept well all things considering, her eyes were still shut, wanting to keep the first rays of sunshine out, the light outside evident through her eye lids. She could hear the wind blowing gently through the holes in the roof, the rain water dripping through the roof had all but stopped, that had to be a good thing, but there was voices, quite angry sounding voices actually, then the sunlight that was trying to wake her disappeared, ‘odd’ she thought, some heavy clouds, but it was strangely sudden, she crept her eyes open to check.

It wasn’t sunlight, it was a torch that had been shined briefly in her direction, and the voices were those of Bladewraith, Wingnut and another stalker. Tamara’s eyes were still heavy, her brain didn’t want to be awake yet, and it took a few seconds to survey the scene. Wingnut was on his knees… with his hands behind his head, Bladewraith stood with his rifle shouldered beside him aiming at the other stalker, which was holding a pistol to Wingnut’s head. “What the fuck?”

All eyes snapped onto Tamara then back to their previous positions.
“Tinny… Lower… Your… Weapon!” ordered Bladewraith punctuating each word,
“Shut up Bladewraith! Wingman here needs to know when to keep his mouth shut”
“It wasn’t an insult, you psychotic bitch!” answered Wingnut
“Oh, you really know how to talk to a woman don’t you.” She replied in her thick Latvian Accent
“Tinny… I’m gonna ask one more time… lower, your weapon.” Tinny looked at her options, get what she believed to be just vengeance on Wingnut, and a bullet in her form Bladewraith, or take the high road… it wasn’t as easy an option as she wanted it to be.

Wingnut stared intently between Bladewraith and Tinny, there was nothing he could do, he knew in hindsight he’d been wrong 3 years ago, he hadn’t meant to cause her as much trouble as he had, but there was nothing he could do about that now, maybe he could’ve greeted her with a little more respect when he awoke to find her standing over him Makarov in had aimed at his head, he looked briefly down the end of the short barrel, maybe he was wrong, but looking at her now, he could only believe he’d been right.

Bladewraith didn’t bother to look at Wingnut, he knew how she felt about Wingnut, she didn’t even know his name had changed; she kept referring to him as Wingman, he weighed up his options, shoot Tinny, something he didn’t want to do, not only would he be shooting the women he’d forgiven years ago, but if he shot, Wingnut was definitely dead, it was a Mexican standoff. The next move was hers…
“What’s it gonna be then Tinny?”
She looked at them both once more, and then at her Makarov, slowly and deliberately she de-coked the pistol, and held it out, pointing the barrel at the floor.
“I’m not the same person I was… OK!”
Bladewraith lowered his 417 Wingnut slowly and carefully climbed back to his feet, Tamara was still sat in the corner, and all was silent for several seconds
“What the hell has just happened here?” asked Tamara heavily confused
All three Stalkers looked at her, tinny spoke first
“Your new piece of meat?”
“She’s a Rookie. We found her way too far north, and we’re escorting her out”
“Ah, isn’t that nice of you, shame you guys weren’t so kind a couple of years back!”
“Tinny, I’m sorry ok.” claimed Wingnut
“You have no idea the shit I’ve been through because of you!” she explained looking at Wingnut, who was about to say something, before Tamara jumped in once more
“Umm… Hello,” She waved her hand at them “still absolutely no idea what’s going on!” her voice conveyed her irritation
“Doc, this is Tinny”
“Hi nice to meet you…” she was filled with sarcasm “Could you tell me what’s going on?”
“I met these two a couple of years back, we entered the Zone about the same time and met at the rookie village”
“Ok, so why were you pointing a gun to his head” Tamara pointed at Wingnut
“Just after we met, we got recruited to help some other rookies take out a Bandit camp, I fucked up… I missed one Bandit and that Bandit shot one of the other Rookies, Wingman here…” she pointed at Wingnut and Tamara looked confused
“You mean Wingnut” asked Tamara
“What, no Wingman” responded an equally confused Tinny
“Wait, look long story short, I used to be Wingman, now I’m Wingnut… Ok!” interjected Wingnut
“What… Why?” asked Tamara, before his gaze told her to carry on. “Blamed me, and got me kicked out of the camp.” Tamara looked at Wingnut scornfully
“Is that it… you got her kicked out for missing someone?”
“Hey, I’ve said sorry… don’t make a big deal of it.”
“A BIG deal? Because of you, I had to go east, to the swamps, where I got caught up in a fight with the Renegades, they shot me, captured me, fucking… did things…” She spoke with gritted teeth “and I escaped, not before they’d taught me my lesson for resisting” she pulled the sleeve of her Sunrise Suit up to reveal the wide deep scars up her arms, they were old, but they still looked painful.
“Tinny! Calm down… Wingnut was wrong to do what he did… but there’s nothing he can do to change that now!”
“Drop It! that goes for you two as well” all three looked scorned but Bladewraith abruptness, but none of them argued they just fell into silence. Bladewraith could tell if this continued then there was a chance it could kick off again. An important lesson he’d learned a long time ago, was speak with authority and people will follow, they will be naturally submissive to the loud shouty person.

A few moments passed all eyes looking at the floor except for Bladewraith who scanned the group, a quick check of his watch told him it would be light enough to move out in an hour or so.
“Wingnut, Doc, get back to sleep, we’re moving out in an hour. Tinny… do whatever you want”
Reluctantly, they both sat back down in their previous positions and laid down. Bladewraith sat with his back to the wall and rifle in his hands. Tinny, looked around and found a dry corner on the opposite side of the room, where she laid down also…
‘This is gonna be the longest hour of my life he thought,’ as he watched the other sleep, he kept himself on guard, just in case

End of Chapter
  13:54:27  11 March 2011
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Message edited by:
03/11/2011 13:55:33
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I just read your whole story to date.

Sometimes there are sentences which are awkwardly worded or spelling errors but the story itself is highly engrossing.

Great read. I'm waiting on the rest!

Thank you D, i'm all for constructive critisism, it helps me know what to concentrate on more, need to get things right, i admit, a lot of my writing is... well not rushed, that's a bit strong, but i get too keen to carry on so don't do all the error checking i should do. since reading bits and pieces now that i've posted them, i realise there are some big holes, and contradicting bits, so i have to try and fit them in later on. i am going through my old chapters and rewriting a few bits, expanding others. so hopefully once i'm finished i'll have to story down a bit better so it makes a bit more sense, but at the moment it's over 50 pages long which is an incedibly large amount for me so give it time.

PS i'm also working on a second story as a sideline, when i struggle to write this one, it's the prequel if you will to this story, explaining Bladewraith's and Wingnuts entrance into the zone and there first two years before the events of this story.

again Cheers for the comment, hoping to have the next chapter (a short one i admit) up this afternoon, unless i get busy at work of course
  07:43:42  11 March 2011
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I just read your whole story to date.

Sometimes there are sentences which are awkwardly worded or spelling errors but the story itself is highly engrossing.

Great read. I'm waiting on the rest!
  14:14:51  10 March 2011
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Hell, I've been away from this forum too much, awesome things have been wrote . Good stuff you wrote there, actually makes me think about restarting my old story or maybe another.

Cheers bud, nice to know i've still got some readers

i whole heartedly encourage you to start writing again bud, the story section here has gone a little quiet of late, be nice to have some fresh reading.

Sorry to anyone else who's reading it's been awhile since my last chapter, real world has been taking priority. i'm doing a 3 week trip across Moroco in my Landy in just over 6 weeks time... Shit only 6 weeks, and that's not much time to sort the very long list of things i need to do. i won't bore you with the details, i hope to have the next chapter up, later today or tommorow.

once again, cheers for reading.
  03:04:46  9 March 2011
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Hell, I've been away from this forum too much, awesome things have been wrote . Good stuff you wrote there, actually makes me think about restarting my old story or maybe another.
  11:01:47  23 February 2011
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Chapter 16

“Identify yourselves!” Demanded the freedom barrier guard, the barrier hadn’t seen action in a couple of weeks, since that Stalker had come through and de-activated the Scorcher, but that didn’t stop freedom keeping guard on it.
“Bladewraith, Wingnut, and…” he tried to think of something normal but gave up quickly “Doc”
“Oh cheers for that!”
“What would you prefer? TJ?”
“Alright, you can pass” the guard interrupted the bickering
As they got closer Bladewraith thanked the guard and they got on their way, the previously built up defences had mostly been knocked down after the scorcher fell, Duty sent a massive force through the warehouses to get to Pripyat, destroying half the Barrier blockades on the way.

They moved along the main road, very few mutants roamed around the area, with Freedom keeping all the entrances clear and doing regular sweeps, well everywhere except the village off course, no one was sure how many Bloodsuckers were in the village, they would hire some guys to go in a clear it once in a while but most came out saying they’d killed a couple and no others had attacked, those that stayed any longer, rarely ever came out at all. And when the next group go in, they find a body sometimes, shrivelled up and dry. Not enough fluids in it to decompose properly, but most were never seen again. Raising the belief that Human’s transformed into Bloodsuckers; one thing was certain, no one wanted to find out for sure. And having Tamara with them meant they would be keeping clear at all costs

They walked along the road casually but ever vigilant, until they could hear chanting and cheering, the same religious style speaking that many Stalkers, Bladewraith and Wingnut included, had heard coming from Monolith forces. “What’s that noise” Tamara asked?
“I was about to ask the same thing.” Replied Wingnut
The village and road they were on was separated by two large earth banks that formed a natural amphitheatre. They silently ascended the mound and lay on the ground as they reached the top, to listen in. I couldn’t be monolith, surely. They peered over the top and Wingnut and Bladewraith let out a sigh of relief.
“What? What is it?”
“Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none” the young preacher exclaimed
“You could almost mistake the ramblings for Monolith preaching!” said Bladewraith they seen these clowns before, religious nut jobs that convince stalkers to part with cash or artefacts for salvation in the eyes of the lord. Worst part was there were three of them, a old guy and young guy and a middle aged guy, cutely named: The Father, The Son and The Holy Stalker in that order obviously. Bladewraith, Wingnut and Tamara looked on in awe; this small group of Stalkers looked inspired by the ranting of these three men. Tamara was confused by the whole think and listened carefully.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter… This is the end of days my friends” explained the Father
“What’s he on about, I haven’t seen any fallen stars” she almost laughed saying this.
“Problem is, he’d quoting stuff that all ties in to actual events, or supposed events.”
“What d’you mean”
We look at this and think he’s a nutta. But they don’t” she said as he pointed at the crowd “think about it, the Aztec calendar says the end of the world happens in 2012, remind me what year is it?” Tamara nodded as that part worked if you believed it.
“The Monolith or wish granter or whatever, is supposedly a meteorite that fell from the sky” explained Wingnut
“And apparently the Russian translation of Wormwood… is Chernobyl”
“Think about it… many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter … Radiation” added Wingnut
“Oh my god!”
Hey, stay with us here, it’s just a load of bull to us, so don’t get sucked in. there just like bandits, except they don’t demand anything they wait for you to give it to them.”
“Well, can’t you ruff them up or something?”
“What for… excepting gifts, if they threatened people, someone would deal with it, but…” Bladewraith shrugged his Shoulders and the three carried on walking putting the religious nonsense behind them.

They walked down the old road, the asphalt crumpling underfoot. The preaching was a faint memory behind them; Wingnut looked at the sky and sighed. It was clouding over and blocking out the late afternoon sun
“It’ll be getting dark soon”
“Yup, and there’s a storm coming, I reckon we should stop in at Freedom Base”, they were just reaching a junction in the road, Right went towards Rostock, straight on to Freedom Base, they carried on straight.
“Who’s freedom?”
“Didn’t you guys gather any information about the Zone before you came out here?”
“Our security did, they knew what was going on, but Dr Samuels, Brown and I didn’t need to know. As far as we were concerned we wouldn’t be leaving the base”
“Well… Freedom is just one faction among many in the Zone.”
“They believe in free access to the zone, that’s it, a wonder of the world that’s been ‘given’ to humanity” added Wingnut
“You don’t sound impressed” remarked Tamara
“I’m not, they used to have a base down south, and someone or something was attacking their squads. And because we were nearby, they assumed it was us, we spent a week prisoners in their base, even though the attacks continued, before some guy came along and discovered it was mercs and they let us go.”
“Normally we’d of stayed and helped, but fuck that, we left”
“But if the attacks continued, why did they continue to hold you?”
“They wanted to rule out all possibilities”
“And you want to spend the night there!”
“Look it’s an hour’s hike to Rostock from here, 2 hours at our current pace, and we’ve got half an hour of light left, at most.”
“But what they did to you…”
“They didn’t do anything, we weren’t tortured or badly treated or anything like that. Just held prisoner. Wingnut’s making it sound worse than it was.”
The trio walked on towards the main gate of freedom base, before coming into view of the guards, all three raised their weapons aiming at the newcomers. Tamara watched her companions as they let their weapons hang on their slings and moved their hands outwards, to their sides open palms facing the guards; she took one more look and copied their movements. The central Guard who was wearing a bright orange Freedom Exoskeleton, something that always confused Bladewraith and Wingnut, lowered his G36 but the two with scoped SIGs kept their aim.

“What d’you want?” one of them shouted, it was slightly muffled behind their Gas Masks
“Leshiy! How about a night with your mum?” shouted Wingnut
“Wingnut you cheeky bastard, what’s your obsession with me ma?”
Twig and Leshiy, lowered their SIGs, and relaxed, the trio walked up to them with their arms relaxed as well.
“What’d you three need then” asked twig
“It’s getting dark, need a place to hole up for the night.”
“Oh really? And who’s this, I thought you only travel as a pair, no more, and even rarely by yourselves.” He pointed at Tamara
“We found her on the other side of the forest, we’re escorting her out.”
Leshiy looked Tamara up and down. Then at Bladewraith and Wingnut.
“Go on… fuck off” he said as he thumbed inside the perimeter wall
The trio strolled in and made their way to the first Barracks building on their left.

They stashed their kit up against the wall, and sat on the floor leaning against the wall.
“I thought you didn’t like Freedom?” she asked Wingnut
“I don’t, Leshiy’s not like the others in Freedom, and he used to be a merc, a trustworthy one at that.”
This interrupted Tamara’s train of thought “Fair enough” was all she could say.
“Try and get some sleep, you’re going home tomorrow.”
Wingnut hunched up to sleep and Bladewraith closed his eyes. The sound of the storm overhead actually soothed Bladewraith minds, the constant noise, and not quite pitch darkness thanks to the occasional flash of lightning followed by rumbles of thunder distracted his subconscious mind his troublesome past.

Tamara struggled against her natural fears to try and sleep, she looked at Bladewraith and then Wingnut, both were asleep already, the thunder the sound of the heavy rain pouring down onto the tattered roof above them, the water dripping through the holes didn’t bother them. ‘Sleep is sleep is guess’ she put her head down onto the ruff but soft edges of her pack once more and tried to block out the sound.

End of Chapter
  18:32:55  21 February 2011
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Chapter 15

Bladewraith Wingnut and Tamara spent the rest of the afternoon checking their equipment and preparing themselves, Wingnut had his suit, the Python in the leather holster, his Remington and his Bow, Bladewraith had his Berretta in his Shoulder Holster, his HK 416 and his new Aus Hat, of which he was very proud.

Bladewraith looked around the armoury, checking if there was anything else he wanted to bring, as he looked, old memories returned to him. He walked over to the cupboard and pulled out a red dot sight, next was a high scope mount for an MP5, then the MP5 itself, with built in Fore Grip Torch, and a silencer. After putting a sling onto it he packed it carefully into his pack, the barrel stuck out the top slightly even after taking the silencer off, but not too much. He loaded four MP5 mags with Fully Metal Jacketed rounds, two more with Hollow Points, and placed those into his pack. A Ration pack went in and then his eye glanced onto a cupboard under the counter, which they hadn’t opened yet. Lifting the lid most shocking to say the least 40 bricks of Plastic Explosive, and inside a spate box inside that one, was 30 timed detonators and 30 Remote Detonators.
“Note to Diary… Jackpot!” he spoke to himself
Placing 4 bricks, plus two of each of the detonators into his pack, he lifted it to check the weight. It was heavy but not overly so. ‘That’ll do’ he thought right before noticing the Kukri tucked into the corner of one of the cupboards “Mine” he sheathed it.

They all slept soundly that night. Wingnut wasn’t kept awake by Bladewraith’s snoring, Bladewraith didn’t have dreams of the past and Tamara slept peacefully all night, they awoke in the morning and readied themselves, they had a lot of travelling to do that day, and needed to get going, the loaded their packs into the Land Rover outside and were about to set off when Wingnut had an idea. He jumped out and ran over to the helicopter wreckage. And grabbed a long pole, he attached the pole to the bonnet of the Land Rover so it hung 3 metres out from the front, and then hung several lengths of rope with bolts threaded into it around the end. Bladewraith knew exactly what it was for.
“What is that for?” Tamara asked
“Simply put, as we drive, we can’t guarantee the road will be free of anomalies, so we won’t be driving fast, and anomaly we’re about to drive into will make the ropes and nuts move well before we drive into it”
“Very clever…” she responded
“Not really, we could just attach our anomaly detectors to the front, but we don’t them to risk falling off, or getting damaged, it the… budget model, shall we say.”

They then set off, several times watching the pole dance in front of them, and they took evasive action. The Land Rover fared better then they had thought, bouncing happily over the heavily rutted road, it was strange how on foot, the ruts didn’t seem that bad, but from a vehicle they were much larger. The journey that had Taken Bladewraith and Wingnut 2 and half hours, from the village to the tunnel on foot, only took half an hour this way. Soon they pulled up outside the boat house which contained the RIB, Wingnut immediately dismounted and grabbed the compressor, and Bladewraith jumped out and walked over to the door

The chain was on the floor beside the door; Bladewraith immediately pulled his 416 to aim on the door, and then crouched, sweeping the area. Wingnut looked at him and pulled the Remington up, Tamara looked dumbfounded put crouched just on instinct. Wingnut noticed the chain that had spooked Bladewraith senses.
“Dude, it was only held together with a bit of wire, probably fell off”
“Fell off, and through itself to one side in a little pile?”
“Fair point…” the pair looked around checking for anything else out of the ordinary.
“The boars gone!”
“Yup, no dragging marks though.” Added Bladewraith, Tamara was staying quiet; she was learning quickly that only the most important things get said at this point.
“Right there’s nothing out here, inside!” the two men quickly formed on each side of the doorway, before Bladewraith, kicked the door open and they moved inside, Bladewraith left, Wingnut right. Bladewraith encountered an empty room; Wingnut on the other hand encountered a slightly different room.
“Bodies! 3 of them…” Bladewraith moved around the other side to see “Bandits”
“Shit, reckon they’ve been following us again.” inquired Bladewraith
“I fucking hope not”
Bladewraith crouched down to inspect the bodies, they’d been dead a few days “no obvious wounds, must’ve been killed by the emission the other day.” He explained “right, get this RIB inflated, I’ll have a look around.”

Tamara had stayed outside was waiting to come in. as Bladewraith left she carried the heavy compressor in. and Wingnut got started filling the tubes up. Bladewraith finished his sweep of the rest of the hamlet and found nothing else. When he returned one side was already full and Wingnut was moving around to the other edge. Bladewraith set about removing anything of value from the bodies of the dead bandits and stashed them inside the Land Rover, he then drained all the fluids and proceeded to remove the battery and stash them in a box in the back. He didn’t want an emission to cause a leak and leave it unserviceable. He loaded their backs into the boat and checked the engine and fuel tank, luckily it all looked good. A few minutes later the boat, Wingnut Bladewraith and Tamara was ready to go. Bladewraith felt inside his pocket at the coral artefact he’d found underwater. All the other artefacts had been left behind, but he’d found that one and he was keeping it.

The journey across the water was bizarrely uneventful. The water was reasonably calm, which was good, Bladewraith kept the speed down, for two reasons; he didn’t want to risk a puncture out in the open water. He’d done it before and it wasn’t fun. And he wanted to be able to find a decent place to hide the boat so they could come back to it later. Eventually the settled on a area to the east of the Red forest, by their guess, they’d be able to hide the boat, climb one of the old paths, and then drop down into the red forest nearby to the lab that housed the scorcher.

The climb was easy, they’d found a path that looked like it hadn’t been used in years, but the trek down was much more difficult, they searched the area on top of the ridge for a safe place down for several hours, working their way south until they found a safe enough location, Wingnut climbed down first, carefully working his way from ledge to ledge
“If only we’d thought to bring some of the climbing equipment that was in the bunker”
“Hind sight’s a bitch!” was all Wingnut had to say about the matter
Bladewraith then lowered Tamara down, allowing Wingnut to care for her towards the bottom, Bladewraith on the other had seemed to storm down, barely loosing foot once. It was a mere 20 minute walk and they would be at the northern edge of the warehouses, and beyond that… Rostock.

End of Chapter
  17:51:19  18 February 2011
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I hate my brain!!!

I've just written IMO 4 really good chapters in two days, but i can't post them, because it wouldn't be in the correct order, and every time i try and write the next chapter. i can't ijust thinkof ideas for chapters further ahead! AAARGH.

Where's my Whiskey?
  13:30:18  17 February 2011
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Chapter 13

Door opened and Wingnut walked back in, dragging the box labelled Land Rover Spares behind him.
“I thought I said to get some rest.”
“You did”
“He made an ointment. Do you know how to make this kinda stuff?” added Tamara
“No, I know how to improve things with artefacts and anomalies, hence the power. He deals with the healthy side of things” Wingnut turned his unimpressed look upon Bladewraith and held out his hand. Into which Bladewraith placed a tin of the ointment.
“Right, then, I have a Land Rover to fix, how’s the documentation going?”
“Almost done” she held out two of the clear document folders filled with documents and a disk. “One more to go”
“And I’ll finish prepping the kit.”
Bladewraith moved to walk out the door when Tamara grabbed his arm gently, take this, it belonged to Manning. She passed him the Aus hat, which he looked at appreciatively and placed it atop his head before turning and he walked outside and the door closed behind him, Tamara disappeared back into the Lab, Wingnut looked around the armoury, there was far too much kit her to ever need, but he didn’t want to part with any of it. the tools alone were far better than the one he had, but he didn’t want to risk losing them, so didn’t pack them. He shook his head free of his thoughts, ‘Tamara’ he thought ‘I’ll start with Tamara’ he rummaged through the combats and found some basic DPM trousers, and a jacket he got the sizes he thought she was out of the selection and carried them through to her in the lab
“Here, Try these on”
“Huh” was all she managed to get out before the combats were flying through the air at her. She stumbled as she struggled to catch them. And he walked back out to give her some privacy, as much as he wanted to stay. A few moments later a sheepish voice came out
“Umm… have you got a belt?”
“Little loose are they?”
“Yeah… not bad though, good guess.” He walked back into the main room and shouted through
“What size shoe are you?”
“Size 8” he proceeded to collect a size 8 pair of boots and a belt and carry them through.
She took the belt and fed it through the loops on the trousers, and then took the boots, looking at them for less than a second
“I meant Size 8 Women’s”
Wingnut sighed and took the boots from her hands and walked through, eventually he took notice that there wasn’t every size, just a pair of certain sizes and a couple of others
“Duh!!!” Wingnut said to himself joined with a light smack to the head. He grabbed the smallest pair and brought them to Tamara.
“Ah perfect” she seemed much happier with these.
“I didn’t think that you guys would’ve only brought the sizes that fitted you.”
“So are you saying there might be a better fitting jacket and trousers out there?”
“You’re more than welcome to finish this up and come through and look yourself”
Tamara put her hands up in surrender; she turned to get on with her work. Wingnut grinned and went back through to the Armoury. He remembered the western style revolver holster she’d offered him before, 30 seconds later he’d found it on the floor behind the counter, ‘it must’ve fallen off’ he thought to himself as he wrapped it around his waist, it was a little tight so he unhitched it and moved the buckle down a notch. he collected a box of .357s from the cupboard and loaded 6 in the empty chambers and holstered it. “Awesome” he looked around and his thoughts returned Tamara and her kit
“Hmm” he said to himself, “what else is she gonna need?”
He walked over and picked up a Glock 17 from the shelf, then a drop leg holster for it and a spare magazine. He loaded both magazines and placed one back in the gun; which in turn he placed in the holster, with the spare mag in the pouch on the side. He placed the now loaded holster on the counter and looked around, trying to figure out if there was any weapon she could easily carry and use “Ah Perfect!” he said, once again to himself as he picked up an MP5 and collected 3 extra mags and loaded them, just as he was finishing loading the third mag of the four Tamara came out the lab and placed the 4 document folders on the counter. Keeping one separate, Wingnut eyed them, noticing the separate one had several disks inside rather than the others that only had one.
“That one yours then?” he asked
“Yup, got all the videos with us being obviously English on them”
“Ok, get yourself some combats that fit”
“Umm… ok.” Tamara looked carefully through the shelves and picked out some DPMs and walked back in the lab to change
“Spoil Sport” Wingnut shouted out to hear
“Perv!” she shouted back, before coming back in the room in the new combats that fitted a lot better with a fairly large grin on her face “So is that the only reason your helping me… you want to see some flesh?”
“No… how dare you say that” Tamara looked shocked, she thought she might have actually offended Wingnut with her last quip.
“It’s only half the reason, the other half is I really like your stuff” he said with a huge smile holding up the MP5 he was loading, before the pair erupted into laughter.

“Ok, next thing,” he searched around for a lightweight Kevlar Vest, and eventually found one, it wasn’t gonna stop the higher calibre rounds but it’d stop pistol rounds, and protect against dog attacks. “Put this on” this one he passed to her and she climbed into it. Wingnut walked around her and did up the straps so it would rest correctly on her.
“Right, this is yours” he passed her the Glock in the holster, and then the MP5 and so is this “He gave her a pack from on the way, again small and lightweight” inside it was her tin of Ointment, the spare MP5 Mags and a couple of Medkit.
“Hmm… ah,” he raised a finger in the air and walked into the pantry and came back out with two British Army ration Packs. Bladewraith had told him stories about trading kit with the Yanks, and the one item they had that the US forces never said no too, was the ration packs.

The main door opened and in appeared Bladewraith dragging the box of Spares,
“Right the Landy’s running”
“What time is it?” asked Tamara
Almost 3, we’ll have another 4 hours light at most; I suggest we wait until tomorrow before we set off

End of Chapter
  11:09:29  17 February 2011
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What a shame if only davis and I read this story. This story is on par with Snorkbait.

Not that i don't appreciate the sentiment, but i don't think so, Snorkbait's Story is on par with The Zone series, and IMHO my just doesn't cut it compared. but still, thank you very much

Wishfull thinking: Can Blade make an artefact ointment for me too? I suffer from incurable backpain so I need something that at least removes the pain while I sleep so I can get some genuine rest. I haven't felt really rested for years.

In Reality: depending on how old you are bud, i would recommend an epidural. sorted out a few of the older boys i know.
In the Zone: i might be able to work something out, be aware that i don't know the cause or attempted treatments, i'll have to guess.

And you'll both have to wait until the trio get closer to rostock before meeting other Stalkers again.

PS, i wonder when Snorkbait is gonna resume his writing?
  23:00:20  16 February 2011
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
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What a shame if only davis and I read this story. This story is on par with Snorkbait.

Wishfull thinking: Can Blade make an artefact ointment for me too? I suffer from incurable backpain so I need something that at least removes the pain while I sleep so I can get some genuine rest. I haven't felt really rested for years.
  20:38:08  16 February 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


On forum: 04/16/2010
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Agh, nevermind! I'll just use existing ones I'll e-mail my idea to you. Dunno if you'll be able to use it but I think it fits in these two's line of work!
  19:57:16  16 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

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Its a great story, and a great idea! Its a pleasure

I will be consulting the muse later tonight! I have an appointment [evil smile] May the artifact be a new one? Or an existing one? Bubble's are the green artifacts right?(haven't been in the Chernobyl zone in a while, only the Koeberg one =P)

Yeah Bubbles are green that remove Radiation with no Negative

If you want to create a new one you can, but i'll need a description of it and what it does, negative and positive.
  19:19:17  16 February 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


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Cheers, tell you what bud, come up with an idea of some medicine, or even food that could incorporate artefacts and i'll build something around it and name it after you.

PS: You know Davis, i'm beginning to think you and Dania are the only ones still reading, so thank you very much to both of you

Its a great story, and a great idea! Its a pleasure

I will be consulting the muse later tonight! I have an appointment [evil smile] May the artifact be a new one? Or an existing one? Bubble's are the green artifacts right?(haven't been in the Chernobyl zone in a while, only the Koeberg one =P)
  19:04:40  16 February 2011
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Oh, I loved this last chapter!! Its an excellent idea! wish I had come up with it... =P

Cheers, tell you what bud, come up with an idea of some medicine, or even food that could incorporate artefacts and i'll build something around it and name it after you.

PS: You know Davis, i'm beginning to think you and Dania are the only ones still reading, so thank you very much to both of you
  18:54:01  16 February 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


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Oh, I loved this last chapter!! Its an excellent idea! wish I had come up with it... =P
  18:08:52  16 February 2011
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Chapter 13

“You know, I’m starting to get pretty bored of scrambling around in the dark”
“But there hasn’t been an Emission this time.”
Wingnut clicked his torch on and picked the python up, pulling the level back to release the chamber “Empty” he put the python back down and picked the SIG back up and made his way to the door and then outside. The tunnel was clear and his first thought was of Bladewraith. He ran to the Generator Room, the electros buzzed and hummed, but another noise was evident in the black, I low wincing noise. Wingnut shone the light around the room until it came upon the shelves where he spotted his friend, clasping his hands in his shoulders wincing from the pain. He carefully dodged the anomalies until he could reach his friend.
“You alright there bud, what happened?”
“Oh, fine and Dandy. What d’you think?”
“Right come here” Wingnut held the torch between his teeth and grabbed Bladewraith with both hands and dragged him out of the shelf until Bladewraith was able to stand
“Come on, let’s get the doc to check you over”
Wingnut aided Bladewraith as they walked back to the main door, but as it slowly opened, revealing Tamara waiting patiently Wingnut remembered the power.
“Take him, I’ll go sort the power out”
Tamara grabbed hold of Bladewraith and Wingnut disappeared off, returning them to the pitch black of the main room
“One of these days I’ll remember to get a torch”
“Belt…” was all Bladewraith said through the pain, his hands were shaking slightly
She felt around his waist trying to find the torch he spoke of but quickly pulled her hand back when she accidentally groped his backside in her search
“Hey… you gotta pay extra for that.” Bladewraith tried his best to laugh
Eventually she laid hands on the pouch containing his torch and clicked it on before moving him over to the couch, to have a look at his hands.

Wingnut looked around the room, he assumed when the anomaly had discharged it had moved the cables he had used to harness the power, but it was worse than that. Only one of the cables had moved, and it had been thrown into another anomaly, and difference in power is what had caused the outage, it had cross phased and blown the buffer. It would take a while to fix, so he went through and explained the problem to Bladewraith and Tamara. When he walked in he saw Tamara bandaging Bladewraith’s hands.
“How is he?”
“I’m fine!”
“Pretty bad burning to the hands, luckily it looks like that’s the only major problems he’s got?”
“He was close enough for it to have killed him.”
“He said he was on the shelf… perhaps it acted as a faraday cage.”
“I said I’m fine!”
“OK, we heard you the first time, you’ve blown the buffer, and I’ll have it fixed in a couple of hours. Get some rest!”
Bladewraith ignored the last part of the comment, and watched Wingnut leave, and before Tamara could turn to order him to bed, he’d got up and walked over to the armoury, in the faint light given off by his torch which Tamara had laid down on the table.
“Where’d you think you’re going, she asked”
“Bring the torch over here would ya.”
Tamara picked up the torch and walked over and handed it to him.
“If you can’t hold it yourself, then you’re going to bed.” She knew full well he wouldn’t be able to hold it with his hands bandaged like that.
“Fine” was his only response as he took it from her with both hands and placed it in his mouth; he continued looking around the armoury
“That’s not what I meant!” she argued but quickly realised he was ignoring her.
He looked through the cupboards for the first time and realised they were full of boxed ammunition, spare mags, silencers, scopes and importantly, torches. He grabbed one and clicked awkwardly, but nothing happened, he clicked it again before putting it down on the counter and search again for batteries, it took all of 30 seconds to find several boxes on the bottom shelf. He picked one out and handed it to Tamara along with the torch.
“There you go…” she looked at what she’d been given and understood his actions a little better
“Bribing me with a torch, doesn’t mean you get to stay up late.”
“It does if you’ve got a flame back there somewhere,”
“A what?” Tamara looked dumbfounded, and Bladewraith was confused until he remembered the notes, everything was AT-something or other, the team hadn’t known what Stalkers call them
“An orange sphere artefact”
She disappeared into the back but after a while came back with nothing, and shrugged her shoulders
“Ok, get me one that looks like an eye, only it’s a sort of orangey colour” once again she disappeared into the back and after another minute, shouted out
“I think I’ve found the right one, but it’s radioactive.”
“For god’s sake,” Bladewraith stood up and walked through the lab. He didn’t need his torch in the artefact storage room, each container shone out lighting up large portions of the room. He found her with a worried look on her face,
“Why’d you want it?” she sounded genuinely worried
“I assume you tested it, and know it can heal wounds.”
“Yeah but at the cost of flooding the damaged part of the body with radiation”
“It’s fine” he opened the container with difficulty and put his hands inside, quickly the pain began to fade, away, and once it was at a level he was comfortable with he took his hands out and walked over to the container filled with three bubble artefacts. And repeated the process, but left his hands inside much longer.
Tamara looked on completely bemused. Until he pulled his hands out and closed the container. He began to remove his bandages and one they were off, the wounds were almost completely healed, and he had full movement back in his hands.
“That’s… scary and amazing all at the same time”
“Listen, you look at things from a scientific viewpoint, we look at things for survival.”
“But is the radiation gone?”
“Should be. Bubbles are very effective, never tried combine the power of three at once I have to admit.”
“Incredible” was all she could say the grin appearing across his face almost made him look demonic when highlighted by the green glow emanating from the container with the Bubbles.
“Now how’d you like to learn something you’d never learn outside the Zone?”
“Like what?”
“Come with me” replied Bladewraith, as he left the artefact room and clicked his torch back on following his beam of light to the armoury. He searched the cupboards for some Heavy duty gloves, a camping stove and gas, a mess tin and a Medkit. Tamara then followed him to the kitchen where he put all the items on the counter and collected some tin foil, an empty jar, a bottle of olive oil, a wooden spoon, pestle and mortar and some lemon juice. He set the Gas Stove up and lit it on a low heat placing the mess tin on top to warm it up, he strapped his head torch on to make things easier.
“Ok, so today on Ready Steady Cooking in the Zone, we’ll be preparing a simple but effective healing ointment, we want the mess tin warm not hot.” He ripped some sections of tin foil away from the roll and laid them out on the counter. Tamara merely looked on and nodded occasionally. Bladewraith then put both gloves on one hand just about and made his way to the artefact room and came back for a Jellyfish in one hand and an Eye in the other with the gloves on. He placed the Eye in the Pestle and Mortar and began grinding it up
“What are you doing!” cried Tamara, obviously shocked that he was destroying such a valuable artefact
“It’s ok, don’t worry. This stuff is expensive to make, for obvious reasons but it’s worth it.”
“Umm… ok” obviously still panicking as he finished grinding and gently poured the fine powder onto one of the tin foil sheets.
“Ah, could you get my pack of my bed” Tamara didn’t question the request, just disappeared and reappeared a minute late with his old back pack. He finished grinding the Jellyfish up and poured it out onto another tin foil sheet, before shuffling around inside his pack and pulled out three old Kiwi boot polish tins. Opening up the Medkit, he pulled out some Antiseptic Cream, and a box of Painkillers. He broke open the painkillers and placed the powder contents on a piece of tin foil

He got rid of everything he didn’t need and was left with a pile of Ground Jellyfish, another of Ground Eye, a smaller pile of Painkiller powder, the Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Antiseptic Cream and the wooden. He poured an ample amount of olive oil into the now warm mess tine and poured each of the powders into the tin as well and gentle began stirring the mixture with the wooden spoon he picked up the tube of Antiseptic Cream and squirted a small dollop into the mix, followed by a small dash of lemon juice.
“Ah Bugger! Stir this gently” Tamara walked around the side and stirred away while Bladewraith quickly dashed into the pantry and grabbed some bicarbonate of soda. And poured a little in. and took over stirring again
“Ok… the Eye heals wound right” Tamara nodded “but it gives off Radiation, the Jellyfish on the other hand removes Radiation”
“Ok, but so does that Bubble artefact you used before”
“True, but one Bubble removes as much radiation as three Jellyfishes. And the Eye artefact gives out the same amount of radiation that the Jellyfish can remove. So rather than using three Eyes and a Bubble, which is rather expensive 1 Eye and 1 Jelly Fish works out cheaper and is more than enough for personal use.”
“Ok, it’s a cost thing then”
“Pretty much, the oil helps mix the artefacts up and allows the mixture to be absorbed into the skin faster. The Artefacts don’t however fight infection, that’s what the antiseptic cream is for, not brilliant but a lot better than nothing.
“And the painkillers numb the area so the cream doesn’t sting I assume.”
“Correct” the mixture was starting to thicken and he turned off the gas. And took scoops and scraped them into the old Polish Tins
“But what about the lemon”
“If you were hurt and I came to help with something that smelt as bad as this stuff, you wouldn’t want it.”
“You mean you make it smell nice.”
“Pretty much” Bladewraith poured the rest of the mixture that didn’t fit in the tins into the empty jar for easier storage. He then handed her one of the tins, “one for you, one for me, and one for Wingnut”
“Where did you learn this stuff, a guy we met a couple of years back, taught us, they say he was the first ever Stalker”
“Wow, but how, why, I thought you Stalkers sold everything you found”
“Most do, take into account, me and Wingnut, we’re not Artefact hunters, we’re explorers, which by definition means we’re far away from help most of the time. Most Stalkers, get hurt, make their way to a safe area, and get treated by a Medic, this is something for carrying around and is bloody expensive to make, and this is the first batch I’ve made for some time. But you can make a lot of money making this stuff, providing you get the mixture right.”
Tamara’s response was interrupted by the lights coming back on.
“Ah, Finally” Exclaimed Bladewraith

End of Chapter

As always, post comments i want to know what people like and don't like, the artefact science and ointment thing is something i've been toying with for a while, i like it but does anyone else?
  11:39:46  16 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

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Next Chapter

Chapter 12

The duo stood up and looked at each other, silently trying to figure out what needed doing to prepare them to escort Tamara all the way to Rostock. It would’ve almost been easier to go to the Cordon and get Sidorovich to send the Transmission but, he’d listen in and try it on and it was too much of a risk. Barkeep had a secure… ish room to use for the radio and we could make sure no one could listen in.
“Right, I’m going to check if that Land Rover out front will ever work again.”
“Shouldn’t I have a look at it?”
“Listen, Land Rovers are my sort of vehicle, I’ve owned and repaired plenty, in know what I’m doing.”
“Ok, fair enough, it’d massively reduce travelling time anyway; I’ll get the compressor and transmission frequencies and a few other things together, and then meet you out there if you need any help.”
“Sound, see if you can find something for the Doc” with that Bladewraith clicked the main door controls and walked through casually, it slowly closed behind him.

Crack Crack… Crack Crack 9mm reports travelled though the door almost instantly straight to Wingnut, who grabbed a SIG P226 from the armoury counter and darted for the door hitting the controls in his haste, as the door slowly opened Tamara ran out of the Lab to find out what the noise was. Wingnut raised the pistol to aim as the door opened; a final report rang out as Wingnut stepped out, to see Bladewraith crouched aiming straight down the tunnel.
“What you got… you ok?”
“Fine, just a few rodents, decided to make home in our tunnel here.”
“You hurt?”
“Nah mate I’m fine, it’s all clear.” Bladewraith stood and continued forward towards the damaged Land Rover as Wingnut made his way back inside. From what he could see the Land Rover was in ok condition as far as the Engine bay and lower half the structure was concerned. However, when the Merlin had crashed and slid down the tunnel, assumingly at great speed to have travelled so far, it somehow only clipped the Land Rover, tearing the Windshield, Roof and Side Bulkheads off. He pulled the Bonnet release and it popped up with ease. It was drivable, all for half a tank of fuel that had. Metal rusted much quicker inside the Zone for some reason, some thought it was the increased acidity of the rain, others thought the Radiation effected it, most thought it was a combination of the two, no one was ever certain. But this Land Rover looked in relatively good nick, apart from the upper half. The only reasonable explanation was the tunnel had protected it.

Bladewraith unclipped the air filter and peered inside. “Paper filters, thank god for that” he unscrewed the casing and banged it on the mangled panels; massive clouds of black dust flew out. A few minutes later and the clouds ceased. And Bladewraith put it back together. Checking the oil, it was low, not by much but enough so make a difference. The water had all but disappeared from the radiator and the fan belt Rubber was cracked and warn. After another ten minutes and he’d checked the other fluids and parts and all looked reasonable enough, bits and pieces would need fixing or replacing after a while, but it’d get them to the boat. Bladewraith made his way back inside.

Wingnut turned to see the main door main door opening; he’d managed to find the frequencies in a simple ring bound book. But he’d been staring intently over a 6” Colt Python for to long, he hadn’t got any of Tamara’s kit ready yet. Tamara was just coming of the Lab, placing the final set of documents and a disk into a large, transparent, waterproof Zip Lock folder. Wingnut was searching through the armoury for some kit for Tamara.
“How’d it go?”
“Need a bit of work, but nothing major. Did you notice any spares or fluids lying around?”
“Umm, I think so actually, large box at the back.”
With that Bladewraith went back outside and into the Generator Room, only to lay eyes on the box at the back which clearly stated ‘Land Rover Spares’, only problem was the between Bladewraith and the Box, was a fairly large electro Anomaly, the one that was powering the base in fact. The only way he could see of getting to the box was to crawl along the shelf and drag it back. So he climbed onto the shelving that was running along the back wall, and tried to shuffle along, however the upright supports were a squeeze to get through, especially as he had to be careful, hoping not to set the Anomaly off. He got to the uprights before the box, but they were twisted slightly, and not big enough to fit through. Reaching at the his full length he could almost touch the box, he tried and tried but couldn’t quite reach it, after 5 minutes he gave up, he need something to grab it with.

He began shuffling backwards to get off the shelf, when a small tin that had been on the shelf dropped off and rolled into the room, as the Electro burst into life, bolts of electricity appeared from nowhere arching across the floor and into the air with explosive speed, arch flashes made contact with the shelving, and his hands, that were in contact with them jolted involuntarily as the current passed through them. A single arch made contact with his forearm burning the skin painfully. A small bang came from the other side of the room.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

“Umm, I think so actually, large box at the back.”
Wingnut put the Python down as the main door closed once more, he liked it, he wanted it and he would have it. There was no point in spending too long staring at it; Tamara however watched his eyes on it. Never before had she been worried about the minds of her new friends. But watching Wingnut pay more attention to a gun then… well her was almost upsetting. She put it to the back of her mind. I guess when you’re fighting for your life, Guns are more important than women.
“You know, I think Manning had something you might like.” She disappeared in the sleeping room and returned a few moments later holding a Kangaroo Leather Aus Hat, minus the corks and a leather revolver Holster for the Python, it had .357 rounds looped into the belt for easy access. He smiled as he laid eyes on the holster, the hat wasn’t to his liking, but the holster was perfect. He was about to speak when they were plunged into darkness once more.

End of Chapter
  01:44:39  16 February 2011
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Senior Resident

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... and comments or suggestions are always welcome.
Comment: great story that slowly gets better so it can't be much better.
Suggestion: Keep writing, the longer the story gets the better.

Comment: thank you very much

Suggestion: duely noted, with the current arch i've got there's plenty chapters of similar size to come, i'm currently aiming at around 20 - 25, so doubling the current number, problem is i now look back at the already posted chapters and realise how much more i could've done. shame but oh well.

Hopefully... i'll have the next chapter tomorrow, depends on how busy i am at work. but keep the comments coming, any suggestions will be taken seriously and worked in if possible.
  22:37:14  15 February 2011
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The Dane


On forum: 09/22/2007
Messages: 1941

... and comments or suggestions are always welcome.

Comment: great story that slowly gets better so it can't be much better.
Suggestion: Keep writing, the longer the story gets the better.
  19:04:12  15 February 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
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Oh yee man!! This is awesome! Loved the line of "If the bandits find out we are carrying these documents, tough will be a walk in the park!" =P Never heard that before!

Cool, thanks!

I've some how out of no where got a massive story arch that sprnag to mind. but putting it together is proving difficult so that it all fits. hence the last couple of chapters have been shorter then the others, trying to include everything i need to carry on properly is... time consuming... but hey, it's better then doing my real work.

Again cheers for the comment, nice to know someone's still reading. and comments or suggestions are always welcome.
  17:54:48  15 February 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


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Oh yee man!! This is awesome! Loved the line of "If the bandits find out we are carrying these documents, tough will be a walk in the park!" =P Never heard that before!
  17:13:40  15 February 2011
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Chapter 11

Shots whizzed past his head, his own fire suppressed any form of aimed shot onto him… but each time these men took a blind shot over the top of the barricades, sand would burst up from the ground informing him they were getting close, in fact if it hadn’t been for the recoil on their AK 47s more of their shots would have impacted ever closer, he covered himself behind a mud wall, it always amazed him, that this most simplistic of structures could stop 30Cal, let alone the pathetic calibre the insurgents were sending his way. Even then it felt to him like it was getting smaller and smaller, and he was an ever easier target, each round he sent down kept their heads at bay but was returned tenfold. The street was all but empty now, he looked towards Abdul… he’d stopped twitching, a circle of blood stretched out around him and this face was pale… if he wasn’t dead yet, he would be soon, there was nothing that he could do for him now, shots rang out from left and right, two Snatch Land Rovers appeared from the east firing away with their 50 Cal Brownings while a foot patrol appeared from the west, he kept his head down waiting for the all clear.
“Medic!” he heard one of the Marines to the west shout. “Man down!”
“Shit” replied was his only response, more to himself, he leant out and fired several suppressive bursts, until the breach on his M4 locked back informing him he was down to his last mag. “Shit” he said once more.

Bladewraith fired another two volleys before the building he’d been watching with Abdul suffered several missile strikes, sending debris flying everywhere, it was then he was able to hear the AH-64 Apache Longbow nearby obliterating the insurgent’s defences. Several explosions later and chunks of debris began landing all around Bladewraith, he covered his head from the bulk before a support beam crashed down on top of him.

Clunk, the sound of the door to the sleeping room closing sprang Bladewraith from his slumber.
“Wakey Wakey rise and sh…!” shouted Wingnut before remembering not to surprise Bladewraith like that as he looked down the barrel of Bladewraith’s Berretta. His natural reactions had forced him to wake, open his eyes and draw his Pistol to aim all at once. It had saved their lives before, but always scared Wingnut when he was the cause. Tamara on the other hand looked positively terrified. Bladewraith lowered his gun and exhaled; he holstered it and looked at the pair apologetically.
“Sorry… Sorry, you know what I’m like”
“No it’s fine, it’s fine… Cuppa?”
“Sure, sleep well?”
Wingnut shrugged, Tamara still looked pale but a while later, and after a brew and a tin of All Day Breakfast she seemed a lot happier, with much more colour in her cheeks. She excused herself to the bathroom.
“So what’s the Plan?” Asked Wingnut
“Well, that depends on the Doc.” Wingnut merely nodded “If she wants to, I think we should get her out.”
“It’s gonna cost…”
“I know, but have you looked at the research notes in the place, it would more then cover the cost.”
“First things first… we need to ask her what she wants to do.”
Tamara re-entered the room to a quick hush, something that didn’t go unnoticed
“OK… what’s up?”
“We were just discussing what to do next…”
“Any thoughts?” Added Bladewraith
“Well, I don’t know, I’m stuck here now so I thought I might be able to come with you.” Tamara was genuinely worried about them leaving her alone again.
“We thought… we might be able to make contact with your superiors back home, they might be able to get you out.”
“Really… but how?”
“There are plenty of ways out of the Zone… for a Price of course. But we figured a copy of the research notes you’ve got here would more then cover the cost.”
Tamara nodded; she had no trouble with the document being used to buy her freedom. And she knew that the duo would sell most of the kit in the base so that would help them as well.
“Sure, but I think I’ll need a copy for my superiors as well.”
“Well why don’t you print out… 1, 2, 3 copies… keep the originals for yourself, make it look like they weren’t copied, one for us, one for Sakharov, and one for that new lab that’s just started up near Yanov.”
“It’ll be worth a lot… more than enough to cover your costs, as well as pay for a few thing for us. Once you’re ready, we can move out to Rostock, it’s a long journey, but Barkeep, will have a transmitter we can use. Do you know the frequencies?”
“They should be written down somewhere, look through the desk” she pointed at the computer in the armoury that’s the… was the main uplink.“
“Right, get started, we’ll figure out the best route and get some kit sorted for you. And any videos that don’t have names in them download them to disk, that’s be worth it as well” Tamara looked questioningly at Bladewraith for this last comment “Anything with names in them would point to a NATO presence in the Zone… Plausible deniability!”
“Ok.” Tamara disappeared into the lab and Bladewraith and Wingnut sat a while longer
“I wanna keep this place a secret. It’ll be our hideout in case things get rough.”
“If the Bandits find out, we’re carrying these documents; rough would be a walk in the park.”

End of Chapter
  15:19:24  14 February 2011
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Next chapter

Chapter 10

Tamara looked into the emptiness of the room, a great void inside which light couldn’t exist, ‘if only one of them had left me a torch for God’s sake!’ she thought to herself., she felt her way around the couch, before the incident with the controller they would keep emergency supplies hidden in every room, dotted all over the place. She hoped that one of those places would be underneath one of the two couches. Her hand reached underneath, and found something hard and she pulled, only then did she realise that the hard object wasn’t a box of any variety, just part of the chair itself. Her searching hand continued along the underside of the chair, she reached the end of side of the couch, nothing. She sat back down on the couch and stared out into the darkness.

Tamara was sat on the couch she’d already checked, but the other couch was facing her, with a coffee table in between, all she had to do was reach out, find the coffee table, walk round it, check the other couch and hopefully find the box underneath. But in complete and total darkness it’s not the simplest of things to do. She leaned forwards and reached out for the table starting high, she lowered her had down, waiting for it to come into contact with the table, her hand lowered to the level she believed the table to be at but she felt nothing, she continued to lower it a little further until her fingertips touched nothing, she leaned further forwards and repeated her actions until she was rewarded with the feel of wood, she stood and braced herself on the table as she walked along its edge, until she’d rounded two corners, by logic she must have been on the opposite side of the table now. She reached back with her foot until it made contact with something solid, she thought about trying to reach over with her hand but when she tried she realised she was off completely balance, she’d found the couch but she’d need to… she flayed her arms wildly as she lost balance completely and hit the floor hard on her side. “Oww!” was all she managed to say to herself. Suddenly the room burst into light, and the door began to open. She jumped to her feet and quickly sat back down on the couch she’d been sat on hoping they wouldn’t have known she’d been trying to walk around in the dark.

“All fixed!” Exclaimed Bladewraith as the duo walked back into the room.
“What happened?” she asked
“basically we made a very simple buffer system out of the one in the old generator that was out of fuel, we’d linked this to the Electro Anomalies in the room to provide power for the bunker” Explained Wingnut, obviously very proud of the work he’d done “Emissions move anomalies, sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot, the emission moved the Electro we were using about 2 feet, not far compared to some we’ve seen, but enough to cut the circuit.”
“So we’re ok until the next Emission?”
“Maybe longer… but yeah”
“Right then campers, feel free to carry on ‘Chatting’ but I’m gonna go work on a few things out here,”
“Crack on. I’m going back to bed.” Replied Wingnut
“Yeah same, I’m tired”
Bladewraith raised his eyebrows at Tamara, whose look of distain spread across her face. ‘Was everything a cock joke to this guy?’ she thought. They made their way back inside as Bladewraith made his way to the kitchen counter and set about making himself a cup of tea. The water boiled quickly, he thought it odd but know more than that

Bladewraith looked over to the table and noticed two half empty mugs and realised Wingnut and Tamara had boiled the kettle recently, which was why it had boiled quickly for him. He took his brew and went through the lab and into the Artefact room. They hadn’t cleaned the place up since his scuffle with Tamara. He looked inside the containment chambers; they must’ve collected hundreds of thousands of Roubles worth of Artefacts before the incident. Eyeing clipboards attached to the chambers, he picked one up a gave it a read. He noted the name of it was AT-013, he assumed that was its designation, seeing as the team never made contact with the Stalker Community so they probably never found out it’s more common name of Mama’s Beads. Most of it was scientific mumbo jumbo as far as he was concerned, all about causing increased platelet count on subjects allowing the body to heal quicker followed by graphs and charts explaining the theories as to how it does what it does, he put the clipboard back down. He made his way to a chamber containing 3 Stone Flower artefacts, to see what the board said about the artefact Bladewraith had given Wingnut.

Bladewraith gave this board a proper read for curiosity’s sake, he understood Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but nowhere near the level that was explained on the boards in front of him.
AT-023, Formed by pieces of Granite like Stone, succumbing to Powerful Localised Gravitational Forces present in the Zone Anomaly SA-06, the result is extensive crystallisation in the rock and alteration of Base Structure Elements, beyond that which occurs in Nature.
Bladewraith had to read this sentence several times to fully understand it.
Average size ranges from 80 – 100mm diameter at the widest point of the non uniform structure, weighing in at between 489g – 507g. As with all Granite rock, the emission of Radon Gas (RN - 86) is present however the radiation released appears more highly concentrated and as a result becomes more ionized. Thus resulting in the artefact being mildly radioactive, however not highly compared with other Artefacts that we have discovered. Namely AT-007, AT-008 & AT-010 which are 3 times more ionising.
At this point Bladewraith’s attention was drifting. He decided to skip ahead to the positive effects, which he knew were protecting Stalkers from Psi-Emissions, to a point at least.
It appears AT-023 has many beneficial properties. The primary of which, is similar in effect to Cannabidiol (CBD), it presents mild sedative effects, however studies on the indigenous Wildlife namely S-001 suggests it increases alertness, and temporarily alters the Metabolism in the Liver, the beneficial properties of the artefact also appear to reduce, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea, as well as inhibit cancer cell growth. This is extremely important on the world stage; possible medical benefits include the use in conjunction with Chemotherapy to reduce the damage done to the Non-Cancer affected regions of the human body by inhibiting cell mutation caused by the antineoplastic drugs. These effects of AT-023 appear 3 times greater than that of CBD commonly found in Cannabis. In November 2007, it was reported that CBD found in cannabis reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness. As well as research that suggests that CBD acts as an anti-psychotic and may counteract the potential effects of THC on individuals with latent schizophrenia.
Bladewraith’s eyes and brain were beginning to strain. It was only 05:00 hours after all. He skipped ahead past the graphs and charts to single line summary at the bottom of the page
highly recommended for further Analysis, Testing and Trials.
“Fucking hell!” Bladewraith said to himself “I gave him something quite special then.”

With that Bladewraith put the board back down and walked out of the room and sat on the couch and finished his cuppa. Wingnut and he weren’t in the Zone for the massive money making, they were there for the freedom and to look out for each other, but he couldn’t help but realise that the equipment and artefacts here would make them rich men, but research in this place, would make them millionaires in the outside world.

End of Chapter

As stated above, sorry if you don't like the Science Stuff, it's been something i've been working on for a while, i've written up loads of documents about artefacts and how they would do the things they are suppose to do, in the real world.

The things i do when i get bored!

Thanks for reading
  10:25:28  14 February 2011
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On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
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Thanks Davis, i was beginning to worry people were seeing the Contradiction on Chapter 1 and just ignoring the rest of the story because of it. nice to know someone's still reading it.

i'll see if i can get a Mod to remove the problem.

as for the next chapter, i'm going for the science aspect for a bit, hope no one minds, please give feed back so i can try and aim the writing in the right direction
  07:43:10  12 February 2011
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Scared shitless by Bloodsuckers


On forum: 04/16/2010

Message edited by:
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Messages: 530
Hell yes!! I love your story!

Yeah, that "Edit" thing is very irritating! Happened to me too... =| Nothing to do about it other than asking a moderator to change it for you(Don Reba).
  11:53:51  10 February 2011
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Ok, to anyone that's still reading, i'm confused, it appears that i somehow posted the first chapter twice under two threads, i don't remeber doing this but it looks liek i have, only just noticed. also i read through the first chapter agian and realised that i contradicted myself about Wingnut's name. my apologies, anyone know how i can edit this now, i don't have the edit option anymore for that post.

PS, i kinda hit a block, can't remember where i was going with the story for a while, so sorry it took so long to post that last chapter
  13:42:54  7 February 2011
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Next Chapter

Chapter 09

Bladewraith pushed his bicycle through the deep sandy back roads of Lashkar Gah this once busy city had been evacuated when British and Us forces forced their way in, over time people had returned to their homes to find them either destroyed or ransacked, many had nothing left but hatred for the westerners and they wanted revenge. Bladewraith fingered his long beard, and then ran his dirty hands through his long hair, how he missed the feel of a shower, 2 months living in this hell hole, always watching his back. He passed several stalls in the Market until he came to the food court he’d been to everyday for the last two weeks “Ah Asif, it is good to see you…” the assistant said in his native Afghan tongue “the usual?”
“Yes please Abdul… you honour me with your fine food” replied Bladewraith in fluent Afghan
“Please, please… take a seat.”
Bladewraith sat down at his normal table and watched the world go by. However he watched more carefully the two discreet cars on the other side of the street, they’d come to the same house each day and two men would walk inside both wearing fine suits ‘if only they had tailors cut they jackets a little wider, that way their guns wouldn’t give their tell tale bulge.’ He thought to himself

Abdul walked over and placed a plate of steamed vegetables in front of him and sat down beside him. “They’ve begun transporting crates out late last night…” speaking in English quietly
“What’s inside them?”
“Don’t know… but they’re heavy” replied Abdul “It takes two men to lift one… and the truck was riding low”
“How long?”
“One… maybe two more nights, and it will all be gone.”
Bladewraith picked a Mobile phone out of his pocket, he listened to its ring, once it connected he spoke quietly into it “George come in, this is Blackadder” Bladewraith grinned slightly, he loved the call signs his CO used
“Blackadder, this is George”
“George, Baldric is removing the turnips, repeat Baldric is taking removing the turnips”
Suddenly two men wearing traditional robes walked up behind each of the sitting men and placed knives at their throats, “Fuck” was all Bladewraith could say as he discreetly dropped the phone inside his Shemagh, however then man behind him fished it out immediately. Bladewraith studied the men quickly, standard dress, nothing bulging anywhere, ‘No other weapons’ he thought, the attackers were obviously ready to die, the looks on their faces almost pleaded with Bladewraith to react, to send them to their heaven 72. Bladewraith stared back, his eyes pleading with the men not to give him a reason to do so.

The Man behind Abdul looked Bladewraith in the eyes and sliced the knife across Abdul’s neck and blood splattered over the ground in front of him as Abdul dropped to the floor. Bladewraith acted quickly, his hand grasping around the man behind’s hand, and twisted it quickly before getting to his feet and pulling his Kukri out and Pushed it into the attackers chest, the other attacker lashed out almost instantly with the knife slashing Bladewraith’s arm, the instant pain seared through Bladewraith’s mind as the blade sunk half an inch into his flesh cutting its way through the toned muscle with relative ease

Bladewraith woke suddenly; gentle rumbles shook the ground inside the tunnel, he lay there awake for several moments, he rubbed the scar of his left arm, he thought quickly about the scar, it never bothered him in the Zone, only on the outside, the peacefulness of real life made him think of it, the Zone was different he never had time to think of the past… in that way, the Zone was one of the most peaceful places on earth. another rumble jarred him from his thoughts, he rolled over and picked up the his flashlight he’d left on the counter beside the bed and clicked it into life, he looked around the room, his eyes still barely wanting to open their dryness almost painful, he blinked several times willing them to moisten and open more completely, as he scanned the room he quickly realised both beds that were occupied when he had closed his eyes were only a few hours ago were now empty “Interesting…” he said to both himself and no one. He walked over to the door and gently turned the handle, opening the latch slowly, he opened the door and a feint light emanated from the room beyond, Bladewraith flicked the light off and opened the door.

He soon saw Wingnut and Tamara looking directly at the main door, both still clothed he thanked his luck for that, he’d seen and done almost everything life had to offer, and although the idea of walking into a room to find Wingnut getting friendly with Tamara had been his instantaneous thought at their absence, it was not something he wanted to see. He allowed the door to swing shut behind him as he strolled towards them
“What’s going on?” he asked
“I think it’s a just a blowout” Wingnut responded
“It is, but we’re safe down here” interrupted Tamara
“Ok then…” Bladewraith replied, joining them watching the main door. As they looked towards the door silently, the rumbles worsened, gentle shaking the bunker’s sturdy walls and they were plunged into darkness

Bladewraith quickly clicked his torch back on once more as the rumbles receded. “So then… anyone care to explain”
“The Blowout must’ve cut the power” replied Tamara
“No shit Sherlock!” answered Wingnut. Tamara looked down at her feet; she figured Wingnut wanted to keep up his hard man persona in front of Bladewraith
“How we gonna get out then?”
“The doors are on an emergency battery, they’ll only last for a day or so, but they should open”
“Well bud we’d better go check it out” Bladewraith said as he looked at Wingnut while pointing towards the door.
Wingnut hung his head and walked towards the door, he looked down at himself, in the dark noticing his lack of suit or tools, he turned and made his way back to the sleeping room, where he got himself dressed

Bladewraith stood in the main room with Tamara his flashlight wondered over her. “So what were you two doing then?”
“Just chatting…”
“Really… well if that’s what you kids call it nowadays!”
“What! How dare you, I…” she started before mentally kicking herself realising he was just taking the piss, “Oh very funny!”
“Yeah, well…”
Tamara walked back towards the Sofa and took a seat, Bladewraith used his torch to guide him to the nearest leaning position where he could watch over the door and wait
“So what brought you to the Zone then?”
“Lots of things… too many to mention”
“Try!” Tamara sounded almost annoyed about the loss of power
Bladewraith stood from his leaning positions and turned towards her
“Look… all the who, when and whys… theres no need for them here in the Zone, no one cares, and no one wants to talk about them.”
“But Wingnut did… he seemed a lot happier chatting about his past”
“Fair enough… but I’m not Wingnut” Bladewraith wandered over to the armoury and picked up an MP5 and a pair of Night Vision goggles, and then wandered back to the door, as Wingnut walked out of the sleeping quarters, now suited and booted and over to the door. He flicked the switch and the door opened slowly, he quickly turned back and nodded to Bladewraith, who followed him out into the dark tunnel switching his NVGs on, a gentle whining hum piercing the silence, Wingnut clicked his Head Torch on and turned towards the Generator room before disappearing into the darkness beyond, the door slowly closed behind them Tamara was alone once more.

End of Chapter
  13:41:07  18 January 2011
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Next Chapter

Chapter 08

Wingnut was woken during the night, he lifted his heavy head off the pillow and opened his eyes, he hadn’t slept so soundly since they’d entered the zone, and the room was as dark as the sun bright, and completely silent, except for the gentle snoring of his friend; yet another incredibly rare treat in the Zone, at any normal point there would be the growl of mutant, or the sound of gunshots throughout the night, and when neither happened, it was the sound of the rain or extreme wind on whatever shelter they’d be sleeping in that night, but being so far underground, meant no light, and no noise something to be savoured in the ever changing turmoil of the Zone. He laid his head back down upon the pillow and closed his eyes once more… a few moments later he could hear yet another noise in the background, he opened his eyes once more but made sure not to move. He could hear a gentle sobbing coming from the other side of the room. He quietly reached across and collected a glow stick from his pack, one that he’d salvaged from one of the lockers a few days before.

CRACK . The noise of him breaking the fluid of the stick was excruciatingly loud in the silence his ears had become adjusted too. The sobbing stopped instantly, Wingnut got to his feet trying to avoid looking directly at the stick due to its immense brightness in the pitch darkness, he walked quietly over towards Tamara’s bed, the only evidence to his movement was the now bright green stick seamlessly floating towards her, in the pale light it cast out, Wingnut could see her lying on her bed, eye shuts, lying on her right side; as her stared at her face, he could see the green glowing light glint from the side of her cheek and bridge of her nose, and on closer inspection her eye were not only closed but almost clamped shut by her eyelids, in a vain attempt to refuse exit of anymore tears. Wingnut tapped her gently upon the shoulder before placing his finger on his lips, she opened her right eye fractionally, still pretending to be asleep, upon seeing him standing over her, with his finger over his lips, she opened her eyes, tears flooded out as she did. Wingnut stared at her for a few moments, his thoughts returned to countless women in the outside world, all but one had let him down in one way or another, and they’d usually begin the charade by starting crying. Wingnut took a deep breath and used his silencing finger to tell her to follow him, he stood and waited for her to get to her feet, she managed this barely, and her weeping and lack of sleep taking its toll on her already exhausted body.

Wingnut led her out of the sleeping quarters and into the main living area, it was also dark until Wingnut turned the light over the armoury on, so as not to be so bright as to hurt their eyes, it had only been a week since they arrived in this place but it already felt a bit like home. He pointed down at the sofa, ordering her to sit, while he made his way into the kitchen and put the kettle on. He turned and looked at her while the water heated up.
“So…” he asked
“So…” she responded hesitantly, she’d been scared of everything that moved and several things that didn’t since her friends had been killed, and his standing position was not entirely comforting, although this momentary distraction held back her tears, and her defences returned slightly
“I understand how you might be feeling right now.”
“Really? I’m sorry to say I find it hard to believe, Stalker’s don’t care about others!” this remark hit Wingnut hard
“Really… Until we came along, how many Stalkers had you met?”
“Well none, but that’s not the point!”
“Isn’t it? There are some Stalkers… the Bandits for example, that don’t care, but near enough everyone else does on some level or another, I would’ve hoped that us being here and looking after you would’ve proved that.” His point seemed amplified by the clicking of the kettle as the water finished boiling; he continued listening while he placed tea bags into two mugs.
“I guess on a small level it does, but you did have me tied up,” Wingnut went to say something but she put both hands in the air as if to block his comment “I know, I gave you guy’s good reason to… I’m not holding it against you” Wingnut finished pouring the boiling water into the mugs and returned the kettle to its stand. He stood and stirred the tea mixture into the boiling water before removing the bag, he walked over to her and passed her one of the mugs.
“All I’m saying is I understand. Ok.”
“How though, if you say so the fair enough but… how can you?” she spoke as she sipped on the bitter tea. What I’d do for some fresh milk, she leaned forwards and picked up a sachet of sugar from the coffee table, ripped it open and poured it in.
“You’re upset because…”
“I think I’m a little more than upset!” She butted in.
Wingnut paused then continued “Because you have lost 7 people you worked with… surely your research into Zone before you came here would’ve told you it was a risk?”
“Yeah it did, but we didn’t figure that a single creature would cause the entire team to go insane and killed each other!” she began to become slightly angry at his words, almost patronising her, she’d worked hard her entire life to get such an important position and to have it all ended by a strange mutated creature was very hard for her to except, so this guy, coming along and berating her about the mistakes they’d made, really wasn’t helping.
“You lost people… those you worked with. All I’m saying is that I understand ok” he was getting angry at her taking his comments so personally, she always used to do that as well. He tried to bury his thoughts of the past.
“Well what have you lost that’s as important as 7 people you worked so closely too?”
Wingnut stared at her, he’d managed to keep his past hidden from everyone, including Bladewraith for all this time and he was trying to help this woman and she was forcing his hand in just a few days, of course this was mostly down to the fact that Bladewraith never pushed him for information, he understood private matters and so did Wingnut, who also knew nothing about what brought Bladewraith to the Zone, they trusted each other to look out for one another and that was that; not like this ‘oh so clever girl’ he thought to himself. He stared her in the eyes for almost a minute, no emotion coming to his face, he had none left to give. She stared back at him waiting for his answer, a small amount of pride came from his initial silence, she believed she’d put him in his place.
“My wife and Son” Wingnut said Tamara heart sank, her anger waned instantly and she began to feel very sorry for being so stupid as to pry into his personal life and summing he’d never lost anything important, it did occur to her however that he’d said this in a very matter of fact way.
“I’m sorry” was all she managed to get out while sheepishly looking at the floor
“I’m a Murderer Tamara…” Tamara locked eyes with him, is he about to kill me she thought, his face was still completely void of feeling, he cared not for what he’d done, “I used to be a mechanic, I worked in a garage, good hours, simple work fixing cars and trucks… I was happily married and had a 6 year old son… Things were great…” Tamara watched him intently, hoping to see some essence of humanity left in him… something to let her know he wasn’t going to kill her for pushing him to this point “then one day these fucking pathetic kids turned up, driving around causing mayhem on the roads, one of them was a known drug dealer… and was on the run from the police… my wife worked in the little shop next door, she always believed in the justice system… as soon as they came into view she’d phoned the police… I’d always told her not to get involved… that was the way the world was…” he began wave his hands around exasperatedly, and his voice cracked slightly “but she didn’t realise that there was this little kid in the shop at the time playing with my son… there were about the same age… That snot nosed little shit, he was playing my own son” at this point small tears were beginning to run down his face “he was the dealer’s son, so when daddy came in and picked him up, and the little bastard told the dealer son of a bitch that the nice lady had phoned the police, he burned the place to the ground, my wife and son inside” Wingnut was sniffling and crying into his hands as he uttered the final word. Tamara felt so pathetic, she knew everyone on the team, and worked with them for years… but she didn’t love any of them, she almost broke out in tears once more out of sympathy.
“So… how does that make you a murderer?” she said through broken tears, she no longer feared Wingnut like she had done a few minutes before, but she did fear the answer to her question.
“They arrested the dealer, it took almost 6 months for it to go to court, I wallowed in self pity every second before the trial, and the fucking snivelling little arsehole lawyer got the dealer off scot fucking free! Lack of evidence apparently! So I set out to punish him, to cause him a small measure of the pain and anguish he’d caused me, it was cold and calculated; I mixed a few of the chemicals from around the workshop together and blew his troublesome friends to smithereens, explosives linked to their starter motors. I then Blew up the lawyer’s home with him inside, then when I eventually captured the dealer and put him in the back of his car, tied up and beaten half to death, I lit it on fire and pushed it off a cliff!” Tamara Stayed silent, she knew she hated all these things Wingnut was saying, she feared his anger, but at the same time tried to understand why he’d done what he did. “I left that snot nosed little boy fatherless… that was the one thing I felt bad about, but it was too late, only problem is it didn’t make me feel any better, I still had no wife… no son… nothing, my hatred kept me busy, took my mind off my loss, but onec those I hated were gone, I had nothing I was an empty shell… to make matters worse the police found some of my DNA in a few of the crime scenes they allowed me out on bail because of my” he brought his hands up and quoted the air “traumatic experiences”, and I legged it, I’d heard about the Zone on the news and figured if I was going to hell… I might as well turn up early…” Tamara pitied Wingnut at that moment; she knew and understood his feeling of emptiness.
“So how did you meet Bladewraith then?”
“We met on the plane to here, I’d managed to get a fake passport and got out of England, we weren’t the only men on board destined for the zone, but we were the only ones that had planned ahead and managed to get through customs. I managed to use a fake letter inviting me to a real funeral” Wingnut’s tears had stopped by now, and Tamara’s slowly followed
“I’m so sorry”
“Don’t be… it doesn’t help… just understand my loss, like I understand yours.”
Tamara completely understood, and looking at him, she stopped her thoughts of self destruction, of pain, and instead remembered who her companions for the people they were, good hard working people. She still had admiration for them and she would always miss them, but only remember the good times.

“So out of curiosity, why didn’t your employers investigate the reason you’d gone dark?” she thanked Wingnut silently with a smile for changing the subject.
“Because it could draw unnecessary attention to the base, and the fact we were here.”
“But what if your radio went down, but you’d all still been good?”
“Then our orders were to place some form of radio beacon outside the tunnel, and they would send out a Predator UAV, to find us, if that UAV couldn’t find us they would classify us all MIA and close the case, so after the helicopter Crash that killed O’Brian and Hunt and took out the antennae array, he placed the signal outside but nothing came”
“So what happened to the UAV?”
“We never found out. I figured that the Radio Beacon’s battery would have run out after a few days, perhaps it took to long to organise, they beacon died and it… she stopped as a small tremor was felt through the ground. Wingnut walked towards the door, and placed his head side on to it, listening to any noise that was coming through, a faint whisper could be heard as the tremors became stronger and longer.
A clunking noise was then heard behind them as Bladewraith closed the door to the sleeping room, obviously still half asleep he staggered in
“What’s going on?” he asked
“I think it’s a just a blowout” Wingnut responded
“It is, but we’re safe down here” interrupted Tamara
“Ok then…” Bladewraith replied

As they looked towards the door silently, they were plunged into sudden darkness

End of Chapter
  10:31:59  18 January 2011
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Message edited by:
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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

Thanks, i've never really thought much of my writing ability, (It took me 3 attempts to pass GCSE English) i was more writing this for myself, otherwise i just randomly think of little bits here and there, putting it down on paper helps me organise it.

i'll be honest when i put it up i was questioning whether or not to continue posting new chapters, thinking i'd just right the story for myself and keep it there, but after Disabled Dino's comments i figured i'd continue posting, once each chapter is written. i'm also open to suggestions, if i can work them in i will, i'm afraid as boring as it may sound the next chapter is going to deal a lot with character background info, hopefully it will give greater understanding of my characters.

Again 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
  18:47:12  17 January 2011
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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
  04:12:44  15 January 2011
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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!
  17:52:32  14 January 2011
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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...
  17:50:18  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
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Next Chapter

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
  17:46:44  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010
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Next Chapter

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
  17:45:14  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
  17:43:04  14 January 2011
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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
  17:40:59  14 January 2011
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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
  17:38:37  14 January 2011
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/21/2010

Message edited by:
01/14/2011 17:41:57
Messages: 306
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
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