| 17:21:49 2 September 2011
On forum: 09/02/2011
Very astute. |
It's me - Wish was taken, so I'm Hauuu. I listen to all feedback good or bad, and try to answer all questions to do with Zone, Freedom, Atrophy, my other work, whatever. Thanks for reading.
So yeah, everyone, please share your feelings. In a manly stalker way, not like therapy. (Therapists are not to be trusted.)
| 20:04:50 1 September 2011
On forum: 06/22/2010
I'll try to bring him here. If i tell him there are people with feedback and questions that he would not hear from otherwise he has to come.|
| 02:26:43 31 August 2011
On forum: 06/22/2010
I would comment on the story if I could.
yeah the comments are a pain, but you can send him email too. I like to spam him with PMs on a forum he's active on. He's easy to reach.
we ALL need to get on him to step it up with new atrophy.
| 03:02:02 28 August 2011
On forum: 06/22/2010
I am not the author, but he's very lazy and the more people who read and give feedback the harder he works, so I spread it around (with his permission) to places like here and FF.net |
i'm going to start a blood demon for stalker 2 petition
| 02:54:22 16 August 2011
On forum: 06/22/2010
from the blog: |
I touched down, switching my light on and sweeping the immediate area. The place was hard to describe. It was just ugly. I saw moldy bricks, boarded-up doorways, rusted pipes, and a lot of things I was beginning to get used to. Sagaris was right beside me.
“Let’s keep it quiet in here,” he murmured.
“Wouldn’t want to wake anything up.”
“They come in to sleep during the daytime.”
“Will those guys out there come in after us?”
“I doubt it. They’re gutless; that’s why they set a trap instead of doing their own hunting.”
“Should’ve brought a shotgun,” Sagaris said to himself, and I silently agreed. We weren’t armed for this; the building was big, but this room was downright claustrophobic. I switched off my chest light and slung my carbine, taking out my Glock and a hand light.
“Don’t use that unless you have to.” He checked his HK91’s magazine. “Things go bad in here, we don’t get out.” That sounded pretty serious coming from a guy with a Russian accent.
I gave him a neutral look. “Let’s not be here any longer than we have to be.” He nodded, and I started toward the door.
The corridor was a nightmare, cramped, and thoroughly unattractive. Panels hung from the ceiling, clumps of unidentifiable growths clinging to them. There was some kind of anomaly on the floor that we didn’t know what to make of. We could feel it gathering around our feet, but when we shone our lights down, there was nothing there. We moved quickly to get away from it, but blundered into some webbing that struck me as disturbingly sturdy. After we clawed our way free, we found ourselves on the edge of a vast chamber, maybe some kind of production floor. By unspoken agreement, we decided we had better chances in corridors, where we only had to worry about attacks from two directions.
The desiccated corpse of a stalker lay at a junction, a Desert Eagle still in hand, rusted beyond any possible use. We left him alone. There were some dead snorks in the next hallway, but it looked like they’d been there for a while. Rats occasionally skittered around our ankles, but not in quantity. I wasn’t worried about them – I knew what to do if they decided to swarm.
The building was as quiet as it was labyrinthine. I’d tried to choose a path that would take us closer to our goal, but we quickly lost any semblance of direction. It was mutually understood that we’d take the first exit. If there were hostiles outside – well, then there’d be a fight. The unknown had previously seemed like a good alternative to a losing battle against ambushing bandits. Now I wasn’t so sure. There was something cloying about the place. There was a pressure on my chest I couldn’t explain. Mild claustrophobia, maybe. I wanted out, and I could tell Sagaris did too.
The walls turned from brick to tile, and I almost stumbled over just about the most awful thing I’d ever seen. It was a spider, and it probably weighed as much as I did. With legs extended, it would have been six or seven feet across, easily.
Fortunately, it was dead. It lay on its back in the middle of the stained, communal shower, its legs curled above it. Even in the glow of my light, Sagaris looked a little green. I probably did too, and that’s quite a feat, since I’m Asian.
We stood there and stared at it for a while, not out of fascination – well, that too – but because neither one of us wanted to try walking past it. When we finally got the courage up, it didn’t move. It really was dead and dried out. That made us feel a little better, but as we got deeper into the locker rooms, keeping a careful eye on the ceiling as well as the walls, we began to find the real lair.
The webbing was all ancient. It was dry, even crumbly to the touch. But it was everywhere, making an already hideous place borderline nauseating. I’d put away my Glock; I didn’t know what we were up against in here, but I was no longer confident in a 9mm to do the job.
Remember what I said about the spider being the most awful thing? Forget that. I turned a corner, and the light on my AK lit up the main attraction at the nightmare expo. We’d agreed to be quiet, but neither of us could help swearing aloud at what we saw. Like the spider, it was dead, held to the wall by ancient, petrified webbing.
I estimated that the creature was eight feet tall. Maybe eight and a half. I had to look up, way up – just to see a face I’d rather not have seen at all. The thing was humanoid, and it brought to mind the blood drinkers that haunt almost every corner of the Zone. But it was not a blood drinker – at least, not the kind we were used to.
First of all, it was gray instead of brown. It was also too big. The blood drinkers – the normal ones, if you can call them that – look more or less like twisted, muscular men, except for their faces. That wasn’t the case here. This thing was bony, and there were cruel-looking spiked horns growing out of it all over. It had to weigh six or seven hundred pounds, all of it muscle. The face was that of a blood drinker, save for additional spines and horns around the crown of the head.
The skeleton was scaled up along with the rest of the body, and I shone my light on the enormously heavy brow. It had to be an inch thick. Try getting a bullet through that. The tendrils making up the thing’s mouth were frozen, splayed out in something like a scream. I supposed the venom from the spider must have seized them in the place.
I hadn’t been aware that something like this existed, and by the look of Sagaris’ face, neither had he. I wondered how the stalkers at the bar would feel, knowing there was something like this so close. Would they be able to sleep? I wondered if I could.
I swallowed. “We need to go.” Sagaris nodded, looking a little wild about the eyes. We moved on, wanting to run, but too afraid to do more than walk, checking every corner with our lights.
Sagaris abruptly angled his light down, and reached over to force mine toward the floor.
“Lights out,” he whispered. I didn’t hesitate; I turned it off, feeling a flash of apprehension at the sudden darkness.
“What is it?”
“You smell that?”
There was something on the air, something more than the mold and decay that pervaded the rest of the building, but I hadn’t the faintest idea what it was.
“What is it?” My voice was barely audible. I could hear myself breathing.
“The bulbs don’t like the light. If you shine it on them, they release spores.”
“They make you very sick. You’re throwing up and you can’t see for two days,” Sagaris replied.
In other words, a death sentence. In a place like this, at any rate. Swearing, I blinked rapidly, trying to get some kind of night vision. No point; there was absolutely no light. We stood in perfect blackness. I tried to calm my breathing.
“Find the wall,” I said finally, reaching out and feeling my way down the corridor. The wall ended; we were in a room. Blindly, I started out into the dark. I thought I could see something, but I wasn’t sure. It might have been daylight peeking in through a crack in a wooden shutter. Sagaris was thinking the same thing. “There,” he whispered.
“Yeah.” I sped up just a little, but it was enough. There was suddenly no ground in front of me, and I plummeted about eight feet to hit a metal grating. Hard. I know how to fall, and I was armored – but that only did so much. I couldn’t help but let out a groan of pain, and I know the fall had made plenty of noise.
“You okay?” Sagaris’ voice floated down from above.
I groaned, then stopped and held my breath.
“Hey,” Sagaris hissed. I made shushing noises. They would have sounded ridiculous at any other time, but he got the message. I listened. It was there. A regular sound. No, not regular, but sort of rhythmic. Footsteps? It was kind of like marching.
It was coming from beneath me. I gingerly felt the bars I was lying on. It was some kind of drain.
I listened to the sounds and rustling. It was quiet, but not too quiet. Something – somethings – were moving down there, and they were doing it in almost absolute silence.
Aw, hell. There were solid bars between me and whatever was down there. I was still clutching my hand light. I angled it down, covered it with my hand, and switched it on. I spread my knuckles just enough to let a narrow beam fall down for just a fraction of a second – and that was long enough for it to shine on the parade below. I had only the briefest glance; I didn’t dare keep the light on any longer, but I saw.
I don’t know what they were, but there were a lot of them. And they were shambling through the tunnels beneath Rostov like they had a purpose.
The pilots were dutifully playing Little Richard, but the cabin wasn’t bathed in red light. The music almost drowned out the thudding of the chopper’s rotors. I wasn’t sure if that was in good taste or not, but I didn’t want to think about it. I wanted to relax; I didn’t know when I’d get another chance.
Someone prodded my shoulder, and I opened one eye. There were two other men in the rear of the chopper with me – two men, and one large, cloth-wrapped object that I couldn’t identify. These guys had been talking for the entire ride, but I hadn’t been able to hear them over the music. They were both white, and both wore identical gear, so I assumed they were together. One was brown-haired and brown-eyed. I would forget what he looked like the minute I turned away. The other had overly bright red hair, and a build like he was made of chopsticks. He wore a pair of goggles, which I had a feeling were prescription. He was the one poking me.
“Where you from?”
I considered that. “Hong Kong,” I replied. It wasn’t a lie. I could tell from his looks and his voice that he was American. West coast, I decided.
“You got a name?”
“Yeah,” I said. I was being a jerk, but at least I was doing it for a reason – I didn’t want anything to do with these guys. Why? Look at them. This one had arms like noodles. It couldn’t have been more than two or three years ago he was president of the chess club. He was probably wearing a pocket protector. I’m not even thirty, but this guy was hardly more than a kid. Or maybe he just came off as young. He and his friend were probably around my age – but they didn’t seem like it. Maybe my expectations were unreasonable.
Anyway, I’d concluded that these men were idiots an hour ago, just by looking at them. Forget their air of childish excitement – look at their gear. The thin guy had a high-capacity Benelli. Sensible enough, but his companion was bringing an AR chambered in .50 Beowulf. It was actually a pretty solid choice of weapon for where we were going, I thought – but they weren’t thinking ahead. If they lived long enough to use up whatever ammunition they’d brought, they’d be left with a thirty-five hundred dollar paperweight. On top of that, the ammo was big and heavy, so they couldn’t possibly be carrying very much.
The same went for their Belgian Five-seveN pistols, which they both wore on their tactical vests. Good guns, but not thinking ahead.
The guns aren’t the point – the point is that their choice of weaponry hinted at a staggering shallowness of thought. If bullets are going to fly, you don’t want guys like that at your back. No, sir – I was not making friends with these guys.
They’d obviously done their research before coming, but they hadn’t made good decisions with the information. These guys weren’t going to live long, and I didn’t want to be there when reality decided to put them in their place.
“My name’s Slayer,” the geeky one said, pointing to himself. Yeah, I thought. I’ll bet it is. He jerked his thumb at his friend. “He’s Dixon.”
At least they were dressed right. Gray fatigues and tac vests over Kevlar. Not fancy, but at least there wasn’t anything blatantly stupid about it. “Hey, man – I really dig this.” He tapped my shoulder. I was wearing motorcycle armor custom-lined with Dragonskin. He couldn’t see the Dragonskin, but the armor did look pretty cool.
“Thanks.” I closed my eyes. “You guys have had a lot of baggage.” I couldn’t help myself; they did.
“Gear for the blog.”
“The blog. The world’s first Zone blog.”
He seemed to sense the effect those words had on me, and went back to his seat. I hoped the two of them had taken the time to learn a little Russian, or at least brought along a phrasebook or something. I understood that English was widely spoken in the Zone, but a little local lingo might help these morons come off less like the dumb Americans they were. At least Dixon looked mildly fit.
‘Long Tall Sally’ started to play, and I grimaced. We were probably getting close. All the meditation technique in the world won’t keep away some trepidation at this point. I opened my eyes and pulled on my gloves. Dixon looked up when the song came on.
“Oh, hell yeah,” he said.
I just shook my head and checked my slim pack. Everything was in order. I checked the buckles on my armor, my bandolier, pouches, holster. I checked my boots, and made sure my knife was tight to my shoulder.
We were descending. I grabbed the handle over my seat and held on as the Americans scrambled not to tumble around the cabin. The landing was surprisingly gentle – and I was surprised. I’d figured they wouldn’t even land, just get us a meter off the ground and tell us to get out. I wasn’t complaining. The rotors didn’t stop; the pilots didn’t intend to stay long. I unstrapped myself, and the copilot wrenched open the side door. I’d expected some light, but didn’t get any.
What I did get was a shattering crash of thunder, and a rush of icy water. It was storming out there like a hurricane, and the wind was blowing it all right into the chopper. Shielding my eyes, I grabbed my pack and my AK-105 and jumped out. The air crackled, and the rain pounded on the chassis of the chopper like bullets, clearly audible even over the thunder and the rotors.
Chain lightning broke the sky, making my ears buzz. We were in a field of tall grass, which whipped around in the storm. The sky overhead was dark, but to the east it was even darker.
The Americans were getting down behind me. I pulled on my pack and attached the lead from my carbine to my armor, stepping away from the chopper. The pilots had the rear hatch open now, and were wheeling the cloth-wrapped object down the ramp.
Something wasn’t right. I didn’t know if it was fear or paranoia, or my actual instincts – but I wasn’t comfortable. You’re not supposed to be comfortable in the Zone, but this went beyond that. I watched the Americans struggle with their baggage for a moment, then turned to scan the grass around us, holding up an arm against the rain and wind. I didn’t see anything, but that wasn’t surprising in these conditions.
The pilot and copilot seemed to be in a pretty big hurry, but that didn’t surprise me either. They got the package off the chopper and closed the hatch. Without a word, they were getting back in. I took a few more steps back, and the Americans struggled to move out of the way as the chopper rose into the air.
I watched it go for several long seconds, oblivious to the rain. A streak of lightning crackled not far away, and the chopper banked smoothly, fading into the dark. Its running lights started to grow faint. If I was ever getting out of here, I’d have to make new arrangements, or do it myself. But I’d known that coming in. I pulled up my hood and turned around, only to find myself at gunpoint.
The man was almost invisible. He had on a long, hooded coat in a very authentic camouflage pattern. I could see frayed, fingerless gloves that had once been white, and dark, calloused hands. The rest of him was a blur in the rain, though he was barely ten feet away – but I could see the shotgun just fine.
My carbine hung from my vest; my hand wasn’t anywhere near it. My Glock 34 was in my drop leg, held there securely by a nylon button snap. But even if I’d had a gun in hand, it wouldn’t have been any good. He had me dead to rights. It was only a pistol-grip 12 gauge, but even in the dark the muzzle looked about a mile wide. My armor would stop buckshot, but he wasn’t aiming at my chest.
Weeks ago, when I’d been planning this out, I’d considered a ballistic facemask. I could have had one made. But in the end, I decided I valued situational awareness over being bulletproof. After all, bullets weren’t the only things I had to be afraid of. Maybe that hadn’t been such a hot decision.
I shifted my stance, moving my eyes to check the Americans. Another guy had them covered. His coat was black, but that made him even harder to see than his partner. Was there another man in the grass? I didn’t want to move too much or too suddenly. What would set these guys off, I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t need to find out. To their credit, the Americans hadn’t stupidly gone for their weapons and gotten us all killed. No, they were paralyzed. Their inner monologues probably read something like: Oh, this place really is dangerous. Oh dear.
If these people had been approaching as we were getting off the chopper, I would have seen them, even in this mess. They’d popped up just a little too suddenly, and I decided that meant they’d been here from the start, lying in the grass.
And they hadn’t fired yet. The one in front of me moved forward. They hadn’t just gunned us down. Why? Because they knew who I was. There was no other explanation. The pilots must have sold me out.
These guys knew who I was, but they didn’t know me. I wouldn’t be taken.
My hand moved toward my drop leg. One flick and that snap would be undone. If I drew and evaded at the same time, the first shot would miss. Could I beat the second? Yes. Yes I could. The Americans were on their own; they’d known the risks when they decided to come here. I doubt they’d have lasted long anyway.
This had to be some kind of record. Two minutes in the Zone and already people were going to die.
Then there was shooting.
only problem is stalker 2 will never live up to this