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The Hunter

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  12:47:00  20 April 2006
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
The Hunter

You know, when I really think about it, I don't know who's hunting who. Am i the hunter, or the hunted? Such thoughts had been occuring more frequently, my stay the the Zone legthened. Some of the other Stalkers say it can mess with your mind, if you stay too long. "Well, one more reason to finish this now." I muttered, to no one in particular. It had all began well, as my brother Joesph and I began working the Zone. Some extra cash, some adventure, pretty good deal, right? We were both ex-military, and confident to no end. We had a good lead on an aritifact that a few dealers had been asking around for. Hold an auction, let capitalism work it's magic, and we'd be set for a long time. Then it all went horribly wrong...

"Joe, I'm going in."

"BS, it' my turn." Joseph has replied. He was always very gung- ho. Sometimes a good quality, other times not.

"You sure about this?" When faced with death, I thought it wise to defer to him.

"Yeah, in, out, and we're good to go. I'll grab it, you cover the door."

"Got it. Goodluck." I turned to cover the approach to the building. It was an old, abandoned house. I wonder if ghosts still linger from the incident? Did the family, surely dead, leave a legacy? At least I would not be the one finding out. I leaned up against the wall, set my rifle against it, and pulled out a cigarette. As the first smoke escaped my lips I heard a scream. The sound of an assualt rifle firing inside was deafening. Two quicks bursts, then silence. I grabbed my gun and stared inside. It was completely dark, and now, completely quiet.

"Joe.... Joe? What's up man? C'mon don't pull this shit on me..... Joe?"

I took a step inside, and flicked on my flashlight. It was a living room, old, dusty, but innocent looking. I crossed the room, to the entrance of the hallway. I peered down the barrel of my rifle. Nothing. Not a sound. There were three rooms down the hall, I checked the first. Nothing. As I swung my barrel through the second door, I saw something crawl out the window. It looked as if a man... but somehow different. A burst of rifle fire sent broken glass and wood chips flying. I ran to the window and looked outside. Nothing. In the last room I found the mutilated body of my brother. His head resting a full meter away from his body, which was torn open. I threw up. Repeatedly. I walked back outside feeling lost.

And lost I still am. I vowed that day to avenge him, which is how I find myself sitting in the middle of a field after dusk. This would be setteled now. I was standing on a rise in the middle of what must have been a park. Motion sensors were positioned around, nothing would be slipping past. One of the sensors picked something up. This would be it.

There was a broken down car in the driveway of one of the houses. That's were the signal was coming from. I crouched, aimed, and fired. Armor piercing rounds slammed into the car, blew holes it it, and flew out the other side. My clip emptied, I stood and reloaded. A groan sounded from behind the car.

"You feeling the pain, then?" I grinned, then laughed as another clip tore the car apart. No sounds emegered this time. Shoving another clip home, I walked carefully toward the car. I peered over the top, staring into the blank, dead face of.... a man. A Stalker I knew.

"Oh... hell." I set my rifle on the hood of the car and ran back toward my camp, for medical supplies. I reached into my tent and grabbed the first aid kit, it probably would not be doing him any good now, but I would make the effort at least. As I stood up, I saw it. Even in the darkness, I knew. It had killed my brother, and it had come for me. My mind flashed back to the dead Stalker, were those wounds from my bullets, or something else? I understood then, it was a trap.

"So that's it... I'm the hunted." I reached for my pistol as it lunged. It slammed into me, I felt a quick pain, faintly heard the sound of a pistol discharge, and then was enveloped by the darkness.
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