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On the Journey Back Home by Simon Lax

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  10:45:12  25 November 2006
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On forum: 03/02/2005
Messages: 7378
On the Journey Back Home by Simon Lax

We made a stop on the journey back home.

It was Fall, the air was cool , moist. My clock pointed to 17:36. I sat down on the warm grass and gazed at the sunset. I was all over the world. Asia, Europe, South America, South Africa, Afganistan, Uzbekistan, You just name it. I have seen all the landscapes in the world, But nothing compares to the beauty of this sunset.

But like all beautiful landscapes around the world, this one comes at a price.

I kept on sitting , stroking my ak-47 as if it was my child, listening to my friends talking and laughing while they were drinking vodka. I didnt feel like joining them, my mind was overloaded with thoughts at that moment. I tried to stop thinking about the zone, about my life, and about the landscape, but I failed. I kept on staring at the sunset as I exepted that fact.

We were on our way back to the encampment after a 2 day voyage in the Zone. Not many stayed at the Zone that long and lived to tell about it. The artifacts were in a special conteiner, which stood near the group of my mates. One of them approached me, blocking my field of view.

"What do you want?" I asked bitterly...

"Payment, how much?"

"How much? enough," I replyed. "The ammount will sum up to 'bout 1500 for each one of us..."

"'enough'?" He said in a rather angry tone. "Thats nothi..." -

-- "...Its enough for the week and for ammo, Anton." I interrupted. "I hope you didnt fool

yourself into thinking that the Zone will get you rich..."

He remained silent for a moment.

"You... Tell me old man , Didnt you have any dreams? Any expectations? Did you

plan on staying here for the short rest of your miserable life?"

I got angry, felt the blood rushing to my head, I was ready to rip the basterd's head off

but I remaind silent and still.

"You are nothing, you worth nothing. Your sole is as dark and rotten the Zone itself..." -- I was about to reach for my knife but I stopped myself. By looking at his eyes I could tell

that he has predicted my move, that bloody pig... For his hand was in his pocket too, ready

to pull the long sharp dagger and cut through my weak old throat. I remained silent and still.

Sometimes people had to be reminded where they are, and what is their status. In the Zone we

must keep our feet on the ground, stay focused, stay vigilant.

As Anton moved back to the group, I started thinking about the rookie we lost on our voyage.

The Zone sucks all human emotions away from you. For when you are in the Zone, you fall back

to using your primal instincts.

When we desided to go in a group of 5 people, we traded stealth and maneuverability for

manpower and firepower. I almost forgot the sight of the rookie beeing torn alive by a large

pack of blind dogs. Almost forgot the way he was screaming as we moved away from him. Desperate screams. Not 'HELP ME' not 'COME back' , but sreams of pain and despair, he screamed for he had nothing else left to do as he was slowly disassembled by the dogs.

We didnt look back, thinking only about preserving ammo and delivering the artifacts unharmed. But he was negligible, for no one wouldnt care for his death, and others will soon come to take his spot.

We stalkers dont cry over our dead, unless they could help us with getting our greedy hands

over another artifact, or a sample of some new kind of mutant.

Comming to think about it, we are not better then the zombies out there. For we both share the same lack of emotions, lack of freedom, lack of control over our lives.

I stood up and walked towards the group. They were talking about the Zone, about the next

place in which we will prowl for bounty in the realm of mutants. I filled up a glass of vodka,

and drank it without caring for the others. The cold liquid left traces of fire in my throat,

all the way untill it sank in my stomach, warming me from within...

"Lets pack up, we move in 5..." I said in a cold voice.

The sun has sat, and darkness fell over the earth. The Zone lost its beauty, insantly turning

into a toxic cold and black land. The sky was full of dark clouds, only illuminated by the

flashes of lightnings that came from a storm far away which was heard over the horizon. A light and soft rain fell straight on our metal helmets. We have reached the border, the week rusty fence revealed itself. As we crawled through the hole , we came out of the Zone, only a few minutes away from safety.

On the journey back home, I looked back, and saw emptiness and death.
  21:24:19  19 March 2007
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On forum: 03/19/2007
Messages: 42
wow this is really good, did you write this? i enjoyed it
  19:56:51  9 May 2007
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On forum: 05/09/2007
Messages: 2
I really like your writing style.
You succeed in creating the right atmosphere and don't make the often made mistake of using too many adjectives.
Well done!
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