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The Line between Humanity and Inhumanity - By Siro

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  06:54:51  21 March 2005
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Who said English is my first language? English is my third language (I'm a Malaysian, in SE Asia, but have recently migrated to New Zealand ). The key is to keep practising your skills by keep pumping out stories/fanfics. If you check my first story you'll find plenty of similarties. [GSC messed up the title ]

BTW - Grisly, how about doing what you should be doing
  08:58:19  19 March 2005
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Local Law-Enforcement


On forum: 03/02/2005
Messages: 7378
Sorry, english isn't my first language . But I tried. this story was written purely out heart, not just to impress people [but if it does, that's even better ] I'm not expecting anything good, but thank you!! Thank for helping me!!
  05:09:16  19 March 2005
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
1st off - Paragraphing. Too many thing in a paragraph. You'll need to space out your stuff if you want to continuely sustain the readers' interest. For example: seperate thoughts into one paragraph, action into another, conversation into the next, and so on.

Haven't went into your story yet because I'm qutie dizzy from editing your story into posted form, but I'll say you have a problem with using symbols. For example, for thoughts, we usually use ' ...... ' , not just Italics.

Well, for content, I caught the bits and pieces. I'll say the genre is the action genre, which after 3 years in the contest I am already damn bored with it- but still you can expect some slight audience from the rest. I'll definitely suggests you read a story call "Fallen" by Double Edged Sword (the guy who wrote "Through the eyes of a sniper" ). That is the kind of story I'll say is good. Give it a read

I'll be around if you need me.
  05:01:05  19 March 2005
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
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The Line between Humanity and Inhumanity - By Siro

this is not Amoki's work. This is strictly the product of Siro @ Dennis T*****. In any circumstance, if you have any comment/review, please direct it to him. I am only here to help post it in the forum.

The Line between Humanity and Inhumanity
Hope is Futile

He was thinking about a possible plan of escape. All of his time is spent staring at the cold emotionless computer monitor, which was his principle. The principle has to be constantly protected. The principle cannot be allowed to be harmed or damaged in any way. This particular principle has to be constantly maintained, its information files updated, or else the Superiors will cut the string on the sword of Damocles hanging above his head. His principle,his job, his friend, his prison, is the emotionless computer monitor. His confinement is a one bedroom apartment with both rooms no larger than seven feet by seven feet, devoid of a kitchen save for a microwave. Food is delivered via a small helicopter that drops the care package via a zip-line onto the eigth floor balcony of room 499. This the only structure in the whole Zone that has electricity thanks to a strong automatic generator resting on the balcony of the apartment. The apartment was safe and secure from all of the goings-on in the Zone. An atmospherically sealed, concrete, one room, eight story prison. Spending one year in total confinement can lead the human mind to utter insanity, but what if that mind is as souless as the computer it is working on? What if: that is the question, the question that this almost-machine has given up trying to answer. Questions like What if I did not accept the offer? What if I stayed with my family? What if I wouldn't have suffered immediate bankruptcy after declining the first time? questions that signified the fact that this soulless husk of a person was human. American industries cannot ignore the new Mount Everest. Ever since the second disaster in 2010, the 30-km area around the Chernobyl power plant has become exactly that. Countless adventurers seeking quick wealth piled into the Zone, unbeknowing of the horrors behind Checkpoint Number One. Each company with the desire of skyrocketing wealth used its own tricks, but one in particular has taken a liking to changing the definition of what it means to be human, adding that humans are capable of being machines. So thinking, the companies sent their own experiment into the Zone, giving it the objective of updating their files with new information about the Zone. The motivation? The only motivation cannot even be guaranteed: Your family will still be alive when you return home, IF you return home. That does not even matter anymore. How can I escape? After two more years of complete isolation, this experiment's humanity is slowly returning.

He was tired, sick and tired, just like the phrase that Americans liked to use. Anton Sokolnik was just absolutely ecstatic with the fact that all of the shit he went through was over. He needed to buy a new functional radiation protection suit, food [ he knew its impossible to find in the Zone, but he just wanted a good 100% angus cheeseburger with a large cup of fresh kvas], an anomaly detector that actually works, food, more .44 magnum rounds, food, a new helmet, food, a new vehicle, food, more tin foil, and most importantly: Food! Anton hadn't eaten for a week, save for drinking water. As Anton nears the Stalker village, he thinks that the time he spent without a protective suit in the Zone has taken its tole on him. The suit he had worn was taken over by one of those damn Infectants and slaughtered the other poor saps traveling with him.It just got up on its own and grew claws while I was sealing it! There is just no way that could have happened, but I saw it happen... Anton thought. He finally reached the pub, bought 10 boxes of canned corn, beans, and bacon, and went up to the room he rented. Anton lied down on the bed [if you would call it that], and started dreaming about the love of his life fall victim to a criminal who liked her car a little too much.

Chris quietly crept up to Koshei Bezsmertniy's room. This guy has to be good if everyone calls him Koshei the Never-Dying. Chris heard a lot of Russian folktales involving the mythical figure named Koshei. He opened the door to Anton's room, and almost suffocated from the ensuing laughter that attacked him. After all of the weeks he spent in the Zone, Chris has never seen anyone sleep with a half-ton of gear on their back. How is he not suffocating?! Chris started to question the idea of taking this guy with him to the strange crash site that the Dealer asked him to investigate.

How can I escape? The man sitting behind the keyboard has finally returned from his three-year trance, he has finally realized where he is. The former-senior manager got up from his desk and walked over to the wooden crate sitting in his bedroom. He lifted the top and fell to the floor after he saw what was inside: countless pistols with ammo clips. If he was going to escape, he'd need all of the weapons he could find. He checked the clips, and realized that they were empty. He searched all over the apartment, but couldn't find anything. Not even a single bullet! That did not deter him. He was going home no matter what, he was as determined as ever. A Glock 17 9mm and two clips were taken out of the crate. Even though he had no ammunition, he would definately find some... he just had to. He put the surprisingly light pistol into his right pocket, feeling the smooth plastic frame of the gun on the tips of his fingers. He approached the door, unlocking it. He put pressure on the knob, and an explosion echoed throughout the world. The string holding the sword of Damocles had been cut.

"Yo, dude! Wale up!" Chris kept poking Anton with the fireplace poker he found in the room. Maybe he did suffocate" Chris thought. He noted take-out containers and cans scattered all over the room, and an empty, two liter bottle of vodka next to the slab of concrete Anton was sleeping on. The American was starting to get pissed.

Anton "Koshei Bezsmertniy" Sokolnik woke up, and winced at the pain in his head. His head felt like an infected APC BTR-70 rolled over it all night. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a tall, young, brown-haired American steadying himself to deliver a strong killing blow to his already hurting head with a fireplace poker. Finding out the man's nationality was easy because his protective suit had an American flag painted on the right shoulder. Anton rolled out from under his huge backpack and whipped out the BIG-daddy gun: a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum. The American froze and dropped the poker. "Whoah, shit!" The American screamed. Anton heard more footsteps in the hall, then two men in gas-masks toting M-4 carbines ran in two the room. Anton held the magnum with his left hand [being one of the the few lefties in the world] and braced himself with his right while still lying down on the "bed". The American ducked. Anton tried to avoid firing the ridiculously overpowered pistol with one arm, but he had no choice in this situation. He pulled the trigger and almost flew back into the wall on his right side. The .44 caliber slug went right through the first man's helmet and into the second man's chest. They were dead before their souless corpses fell to the floor of the shack everyone called the inn. Anton's shoulder blade felt dislocated, but he still managed to put his aim back on the American. "Friends of yours, Uncle Sam?" Anton said with a strong Russian accent."WHAT?!" Anton was afraid that the Amercian became deaf after the booming gunshot of the Desert Eagle. "Damn, that was cool! I've never seen anyone pull off a stunt like that! Doesn't it hurt to do that?" Anton was puzzled, this guy was acting as if Anton is a celebrity. "Yes, it hurts very much when shooting pistol of such high caleebr." Anton responded. "That's not a pistol, that's a frikkin' cannon! And what's caleebr mean? Oh, you meant caliber!" Anton had a feeling his English has gone to hell. The 90kg Russian stood up, brushed the bits of corn and beans off his moustache, and adjusted his Spetsnaz uniform he kept ever since leaving the Russian anti-terrorism unit. The American seemed to pose no threat, since he was apparently unarmed. "Tell me, were those men your friends?!" Anton still had to make sure the person standing in front of him didn't have any ill intentions. "No, obviously! I just wanted to tell you about a new mission that little fat guy in the cellar of the old house has given me. I heard about all of those stories about you and I decided to take you along. Wanna come?" Anton did not think that it was obvious that the guys that attacked him weren't his friends. Then he remembered about some people being jealous about his car and the magnum. Why did they attack me though, didn't they find it? I didn't hide the car too far from here. He then remembered the mission the American Mentioned. " Little fat guy in cellar? You talked to a Dwarf?!" Anton did not think that the evil green cellar-dwelling midgets could talk. "No dumbass, that Dealer guy you stupid prick!" Anton was getting annoyed. "Ok, easy to make mistake! Now tell me, what job?" Maybe Anton would get enough money to replace everything he lost in the last mission he accepted from that bloated frog. 500 Rubles is only enough to buy twenty 12-guage shotgun shells for his SPAS-12 shotgun, a new protective suit, and five boxes of ten .44 magnum shells. "Well, a helicopter went down, and the fat prick wants to get it so he can sell it for parts. Look out the window and you'll notice a flare marking the site, apparently someone wants to be rescued. The Dealer will give us 700 Rubles each and let us keep whatever cargo the aircraft was carrying. The scientists camping here will also pay good money for the corpses of the pilots if they don't make it back alive, if you know what I'm saying. They want to test what effects a new creature they found will have on organic tissue. Also, there is one other person coming with us." Chris finally finished describing the job. "You like to talk alot don't you?" The American smiled, "You have no idea." Anton made up his mind. "I accept. I am Anton Ivanovich Sokolnik." Anton shook hands with the hyper American. "Christopher Kenneth Carson. I am American and I lost all of my guns to looters." Anton almost strangled his partner.

Thankfully, all of Chris's other gear was intact. Anton solved Chris's problem by giving him the M-4s Anton's would-be assasins carried. He didn't take them himself because in his opinion, the Colt M-4 carbine is a "piece of American crap." So the total man count is three, counting Anton. Anton is armed with a Desert eagle Magnum with fifty rounds, a Spas-12 assault shotgun with twenty shots, and his modified Avtomat Kalashnikov with four 30-round clips. Chris is carrying nothing but an outdated M-4 carbine with four 30-round clips. Nelson, Chris's friend was well prepared: a Colt XM300ML assault rifle with three 30-round clips, a Makarov PM pistol with five 7-round clips, and a Vietnam-era M-79 grenade launcher with three anti-armor grenades. Everyone had complete protective suits, thankfully. Anton also found a working anomaly detector in the backpacks of his would-be assasins."Mr. Skokolnik, we won't get far without a vehicle after we leave the truck at the contact point." Nelson said. "I know!" Anton was worrying about that even before he accepted Chris's offer. The three man team was walking along the road leading out of Stalker Town toward the old house where the Kamaz truck they were going to use was parked. Each thinking their own thoughts about what lies in the area the flare is marking.

That is the job of the so-called Stalkers, people entering the Zone seeking wealth and glory. Accepting jobs and just trying to survive another day. Anton was different, he came to the Zone so he could get a brand new life, a brand new identity, to escape his past memories. Living in Moscow for most of his life, Anton got bored of the city, so he went to Japan. He heard great things about it, like it having great buisness opportunities, and plenty pretty women, but the main reason he stayed in Japan was Aiko Zakara. She was not like other women, most women need constant proof that their companion loves them, but Aiko didn't need proof, she knew. She might have been the only rational-minded person in the world. Anton always had enough time to spend with her, since their jobs started and ended at practically the same times. Anton always had a thing for the Japanese culture, the people were so respectful and polite. It was just the perfect culture for him, he fit in so well that the natives even considered him a native. Anton went from being a "gaijin" to a native in Japan, something next to impossible for a foreigner. Aiko and Anton lived a perfect life, until they got married.On the first day of their marriage, Aiko was driving home from her job at the Nissan Corporation's national headquarters in her brand-new Nissan 350Z. A bunch of kids looking for a cheap thrill stole some pistols they found on sleeping policemen at a bar, they were walking home through the neighborhood Anton and Aiko lived in when they noticed the metallic-orange convertible pull into a driveway. The leader of this gang liked the car, so he ordered his friends to go get the car from the woman driving it. As Aiko was getting out of the car, the kids surrounded her and demanded the keys. As anyone would do in such a situation, she refused. Three pistol shots echoed through the neighborhood as Aiko's lifeless body tumbled to the ground. Anton was making a surprise for his wife in the kitchen when he heard the loud crack of a Beretta 84 through the sizzling of the skillet. He grabbed a katana hanging on a wall, there is no right to bear arms in Japan. He walked outside to see his worst nightmare, Aiko has been killed. Blinded by rage, he unsheathed the curved sword and charged towards the murderers while clutching the sword with both hands. He swung upward with the sword, and so doing bisected the upper half of a nineteen-year-old drug addict. As the teen's remaining two friends comprehended what was happening, Anton thrust forward and impaled the second teen as he was trying to bring his pistol to bear. The third teen, the leader, the murderer, raised his pistol and fired five times as Anton rushed toward him, holding the sword high. The bullets went ito Antons body, but he was not fazed. Since the Beretta Model 84 pistol holds only eight rounds, after the fifth shot, the slide moved to the open position and the gun clicked empty. Anton didn't want to waste his mercy on the likes of the murderer standing in front of him, "You took another human being's life, and for WHAT?! Tell me what, goddamn you!" Anton screamed out of rage and despair in perfect Japanese. As the teen was trying to find the right way to insert a new clip into his pistol, Anton separated the murderer's head from his shoulders. Anton cradled Aiko's lifeless body, tears dripping down his face. He kissed Aiko's soft lips one last time, for he has departed from humanity. He had become no better than the people who killed Aiko, he had become inhuman. As Anton was holding Aiko's soft, still-warm body, the first raindrops started falling from the gray sky.

Chris was nearing the the truck with his strange band consisting of a russian veteran Stalker, a British lawyer-turned-adventurer, and himself, an American former National Guardsman turned Stalker. He was already thinking about what he was going to buy when he saw slightly rusted blue metal through the bushes. "Holy crap!! A 2003 Mitsubishi Evo in the Zone! What kind of idiot would bring something like this here? I call it!!" Anton walked over to his car that he thought his would-be Asassins had stolen. "That is mine, a remnant from my former life. It is ideal off-road vehicle. I changed the springs to be softer and raised the suspension. All-Wheel-Drive is impossible to refuse." Anton said. "Crap, I always wanted a car like that!" said Chris. "Maybe you'll be able to afford one after this mission." Nelson interrupted. Chris and Nelson drove the Kamaz and Anton drove the Lancer. The trip was uneventful until a hail of gunfire practically ripped the blue rally car apart. The Kamaz screeched to a stop and Anton jumped through the windsheild behind the truck. Chris and Nelson kneeled next to him. "No!! My car!!" Anton yelled in despair. He vowed revenge on whatever did this to his dream-car. An Armored Personnel Carrier BTR-70 rolled out of the brush concealing it. Anton noticed that it was no ordinary APC, it had parts on it that seemed to be covered with red skin, and a clawed arm was protruding from its right side; it was an Infected APC, just like the one that attacked him after he ran out of the house where he was resting with his last team. He remembered how determined it was to kill him, but a small 276 hp rally car can easily outrun a lumbering APC. "I've Never seen an APC like that!!" Nelson yelled. "Of course you have not, this one is comandeered by Infectant!" Anton answered. Nelson started taking out his M-79. "No need,I have prepared for this situation!" Anton said as he loaded a Rocket-Propelled-Granade into its launcher. "Eat this, Hell-Beast!!" and Anton Launched the grenade into the APC as Chris and Nelson gaped in awe. The Granade hissed as it flew toward the APC and detonated, gutting the APC. "That thing is like a living animal! How could something like this happen?" said Nelson as he looked into the rib-cage of the Infected APC. Just then, a tank shell flew by his head. "Get down, Moron!" barked Chris, Nelson obeyed. An infected tank rumbled from behind the trees. "Anton, you're the one with RPGs, so shoot it!" Chris yelled. "I would love to, but that was last granade!" yelled Anton in response as he climbed into the truck's cab. Chris and Nelson jumped onto the bed of the truck. "Floor it!" Chris ordered. "Do what?!" Anton asked. "JUST DRIVE AS FAST AS YA CAN, YA RUSSIAN PRICK!!" Anton decided to forgive Chris for that comment, and sped away from the tank, laughing as he watched it hopelessly rumble after him.

Since Anton advised that they should move out as soon as sunlight spills from the horizon, Chris and Nelson willingly got up at five in the morning as the veteran Stalker instructed. It is always best to move out early morning in the Zone so as to have as much time as possible to complete a mission before nightfall, for all the really nasty creatures are nocturnal. Anton lit a ciggarette and puffed away, watching as the smoke signal from the flare got less and less distant.He tried the radio, but time tooks its tole on the rusted remnant of Chernobyl's industrial fleet. He was thankful that Chris and Nelson were on the bed of the truck, where he couldn't hear them; listening to their conversations for three hours could make the average person's head start bleeding. Just as Anton was finishing with his ciggarette, the truck entered the clearing where the helicopter crashed. Well, landed is more appropriate. The helicopter was resting in the middle of the clearing, and it did not seem to have any pilot at all. All that was in the pilot's seat seemed to be a camera, a flare gun hooked up to an actuator, and a bunch of machinery that is usually used to pilot things remotely. "It looks like it was remotely piloted!" said Chris. "No shit, Mr. Sherlock." Anton said his favorite line in response to Chris's unneeded observation. Anton stumbled out of the truck, feeling lightheaded after the "buzz" of the ciggarette dissipated. "Chris, we are goin' to have to camp out after we drop off truck at contact point. The contact point is half way to Stalker town, we won't make it back before night comes on foot." Anton had to remind Chris of their situation because he had a bad habit of forgetting where he was. "Don't worry Antoshka, we can just fly the Helicopter back to the Dealer's!" Chris was smoking something too, and it obviously wasn't tobbacco. "The gas tank on helicopter was jettissoned before it landed." Chris was puzzled. "How do you know that?" Anton was amazed. "You see that empty round cyleenderr? That is the damn gas tank!" Anton yelled, Chris's stupidity was reminding him of a particular blond male actor he absolutely loathed. Chris noticed a bright yellow container inside the helicoper which was marked To any willing Stalker Chris, ever the curious one of the group, opened the container. Inside was a boombox sized tape player, which came to life after he took it out of the container. "Gentlemen, thank you for answering our call. We have an important job for you. If you are accept, we will give you further details." a distorted voice droned from the speakers, most likely distorted to hide the identity of the person speaking. "Well, do you accept?" Nelson asked. Without thinking, Chris pushed accept on the odd tape player. "Good, we had an odd incident at one of our forward observation posts. We need you to go to the marker on your map and neautralize any living beings in room 499, floor 8, lobby 4 inside an apartment building in Pripyat. If you are successful, the reward will be this helicopter, along with one-thousand rubles for each of you, if there are three in your group. Thank you, and good hunting" Anton felt how sinister the voice was even behind the distortion. "In Pripyat, the goddamn core of Zone, Chris! Think what you are about to do!!" Anton yelled. Chris and Nelson were naive, they proved it by forcing Anton to go with them at gunpoint. "No need to point wapons at me. I am coming anyway." Anton said. [i] I need an honest way to die anyway, from an honest defeat, from my own mistakes or lack of skill. Suicide and walking into an anomaly or mutant infestation willingly are out of the question./i]

Anton, Chris, and nelson loaded the helicopter onto the truck and tried to sell it to the Dealer, they told him that the 'copter had a lock system in it [it won't fly until an "unlock" signal is recieved] and that it'll unlock after they complete another mission. "Well then, you'll get your money when you complete that mission. I'll also be needing my truck rental fee. Plus a citation, since you brought it here insted of leaving it at the contact point." Anton wanted to set this fatass's blonde hair on fire, break his legs even more than the broken they are right now, and impale him with a wooden stake right through his white tanktop into his heart, but then again, who didn't? Nelson angrily handed the Dealer two-hundred rubles. "Now if you don't have anything you want to buy, get the hell out of my house!" the Dealer cocked his shotgun with his one arm and pointed it at Nelson. "We need a vehicle." Nelson handed the dealer a thousand rubles and the dealer handed him some rusted car keys [while wearing a glove] that had accumulated a large quantity of Rusty Hair on them. Nelson took them and threw them to Anton [who was also wearing gloves] because his hands started burning and blackening as soon as he touched the keys. Anton, Chris, and Nelson walked through the doorway, collecting their weapons from the sentry at the door. They could hear the Dealer laughing his ass off inside the house they just left. Anton handed Nelson a file and Nelson started to scraping off the blackened skin on his hand. "I'm going to become broke at this rate!" Nelson said while filing his hand. "We didn't have any money, so we had to choose someone to pay. We voted, and we chose you." Chris gloated. "It was unfair! You guys both ganged up on me!" Nelson complained. "It was fair, and that's the way of the Zone. You can't take the heat, get out of the Nuclear Reactor." Anton walked over to the Rusty Volga parked behind the house. "Hey, if the Dealer usually sells Moskviches, I think we were lucky to get something different." Chris observed. "A Moskvich costs one-thousand-two-hundred rubley, we paid one thousand. Use logic." Anton turned the key, and waited for three minutes for the engine to actually start. Finally, the engine hummed to life. "We seriously gotta work on your English, Anton.It's Rubles, not Rubley." Chris remarked. "Rubley IS Rubles, only in Russian." Anton said. Then a faint, sweet smell entered his nostrils, it smelled like perfume. "O.K. who is the faggot?" Anton asked, looking in the backseat. "Not me!" said Nelson, then a small spray bottle fell out of his pocket. Anton grabbed a spraycan out of the glove compartment. For the rest of the time Nelson wore his protective suit, he had a large yellow word on his back: FAGGOT.

Anton drove along the road that led to Pripyat in a white Russian rustbucket that resembled an American muscle-car in the 60s, he was thankful that the box on the helicopter included a security clearance. If it didn't, it would've taken three days to get to Pripyat. The military checkpoints were very helpful, they even gave them free gas. Anton was getting sleepy, so he gave Chris the wheel, not knowing that he made a grave mistake. He realized so when they got to Pripyat, Chris decided to park them in an lley with a Gravity Anomaly located conveniently in the spot Chris wanted to park. "Chris, what are you doing?" Anton noticed the Gravity Anomaly that Chris was speeding toward. "No Chris! Stop!! That is anomaly!!" Chris realized too late, and the front of the car started to get crushed. Anton pushed Chris out of the driver's seat, grabbed Nelson, and jumped out. Chris and Nelson watched in awe as the car was crushed middair, by an invisible force while Anton was fuming with rage. "You fucking durak!! You wasted our car, you svoloch!!" Anton yelled at Chris. "How was I supposed to know that an anomaly was in front of us?!" Amazed, Anton pointed at the wailing anomaly detector. Suddeny, an ear-piercing screech interrupted Chris and Anton. A huge mob of Zombies blocked the only exit out of the dead-end alley."Crap, I left my grenade-launcher in the car!" Nelson informed. The group remembered where they were; the city of Pripyat, epicenter of the Zone. The anomaly detector was wailing, blind dogs, rats and lullers could be seen fleeing the area, fog was encroaching upon the team's position, night was coming, and a Controller ordered his army to kill them while he sought shelter from the coming blowout. They were royally screwed. The ground started to shake, the world turned white, and a deafening roar filled their ears. They were royally screwed.

Anton woke up, he looked around and noticed it was morning. The morning seemed unusually brown, he then realized he was in Corrosive fog. The Zombie horde was nothing but a pile of crumpled corpses, and the area seemed empty. He got up and looked at Chris and Anton, who were still lying on the ground, unconscious. Anton was thankful that he told everyone to put on their gas-masks before they got to Pripyat. His Geiger-Counter and anomaly detector were going crazy, so he turned them off before they attract something nasty. A Controller jumped out of the window in front of him, it was wearing old ripped jeans and had a very large head. The Controller sood up from its crouch, scratching its mangled skin. Anton instinctively grabbed his Spas-12 shotgun, but held it at a neutral position. Some creatures could be reasoned with, and the tin foil in his helmet kept him protected from the Controller's mind-blasts and psychic control. I see you are not afraid of me, thank you, you are the first. A voice in Anton's head remarked. "I see no point killing someone that has no immediate threat to me, your army has been decimated." Anton tried talking to the creature. Yes, I needed them to protect me. I have no reason to live now, they were mindless bodies, but they were people I knew. Now they are gone and I have no one to give a purpose for life. I used to be a husband, but now all of that is gone. I envy you. "No, you should not envy me. I had person I loved, she was cruelly taken from me. I came here to seek new life, now I realize that I have no future. We are not so different, you changed into a form that kept you seperate from humanity, so did I. We both live a life in which we can just as easily have our own lives snatched from us, just like we snatch the lives of others. We are both willing to die honorably." Anton talked with no hint of fear about a topic he knew best with a natural enemy of Stalkers. I understand now, thank you. If you don't mind, could you please do me a favor? The Controller opened an old dumpster, and took out a mercury ball the size of a sixteen-pound bowling ball. He then put the mercury ball at Anton's feet and turned around and stood tall. Anton knew what he wanted. "What is your name?" Anton asked. Nicholai Yurevich Jurinich Anton took out his Desert Eagle .44 Magnum, loaded a clip and pointed it at Nicholai Yurivich. Thank you, friend. Anton pulled the trigger. Nicholai's headless body fell to the ground. A tear made its way down Anton's cheek inside his gas-mask. Anton noticed that the fog dissipated, and began to take off his gas-mask after putting the heavy-as-hell mercury ball into his special containe. He then realized that would not be such a good idea, since the Geiger counter registered about 2.7 R/h before he turned it off. He heard groans behind him a second later, Nelson and Chris woke up from their coma. Just in time, for a pack of blind dogs picked up the stench of blood and charged toward the bloody corpse of Nicholai Yurivich, hungry for flesh. Anton unslung his Spetsnaz AK-47, loaded a clip, cocked it and pulled the dumpster to block the entrance to the alley while deploying the bipod on his Ak-47 and placing it on the dumpster to fortify the alley the group was in. "Sobacki are coming!! Get your positions!!" Nelson and Chris ran over to Anton, resting their weapons on the dumpster to steady their aim like Anton was doing. The pack of dogs reached Nicholai's body and started ripping it to shreds. The dogs may not have eyes, but their psychic sight is what makes them more dangerous than any other breed of dog. The dogs that did not get to the corpse before their buddies started eating it charged toward the group. Anton let out a hail of gunfire, the dogs were so tough that even a well placed shot to the head won't do more than just slow them down for a second. Anton wasted have a clip on the first dog, which went down with a yelp, while chris and Nelson were already reloading because both of their rifles used the weak 5.56mmx45 round. Anton was glad to have the bone shredding 7.62mmx39 AK in his posession. A dog that Nelson didn't kill in time leapt over the dumpster, Anton sent it flying back middair with a 12 guage round from his SPAS-12 automatic shotgun. He then quickly reloaded his Ak-47 and continued. Nelson finally found a flashbang in his pack and pulled the pin, telling everyone elso to turn in the other direction, close their eyes, and cover their ears. The granade detonated, and Anton jumped over the dumpster with his Desert Eagle magnum in hand. Anton aimed with both hands and shot two immobilised dogs in the head before the effects of the grenade started wearing off. He quickly spent all of his remaining five shots on the three surviving dogs, the magnum clicked empty, Anton loaded a new clip and pushed the slide release so the new rounds could be loaded. Nelson yelled something, but Anton couln't hear. He thought it was because of the grenade's effect, but soon realized that it was from the booming shots of the Desert Eagle. Nelson yelled again, but Anton still couldn't hear. After a strong impact knocked him unconscious, Anton knew what Nelson yelled: "Watch out, there's a Snork behind you!"

Anton came to inside a clean apartment on a broken couch, he thought he was dreaming. "Finally, we thought you died. Hauling you here was hard, fatass!" That thought was quickly wiped from Anton's mind, there is no such thing as a good dream in the Zone. Anton knew it was his fate to suffer at the hands of the Two Idiots. Hey, that's the name of a show I used to watch when I was a kid. "Where are we?" Anton asked Chris. "In good ol' room 499, floor 8, lobby 4." Anton was glad that they reached their destination."A really big, hunched gas-mask wearing mutant knocked you out with a tank turret!" He got up and looked around. Anton noticed the signs of an explosion that occured near the door leading out of the apartment, thankfully the reinforced door leading out into the stairs was still intact. Nelson was lying in the comforteble looking bed in another room, next to a crate full of pistols that the group had no compatible ammo for. Lucky bastard. Anton then stumbled upon a charred body, whoever it was, it was the person they were sent to kill. Anton went back to the living room and found Chris looking up porn on the computer, drooling profusely. "Who is the unlucky person?" Anton asked. "That's my father." Chris answered. Chris then handed Anton a picture, and started telling his story. "I never knew my father well enough to feel any loss, he disappeared when I was two. I guess now we know where he was all this time. I came to the Zone to try to help my family. You see, I lived with my mother and sister and we had barely any money to afford food. $12 was deposited on her account every week, but that wasn't enough. She couldn't get a job because she didn't have any credentials, my father provided most of the money because he was rich. When he left, we became poor. So I came here on an English smuggler's boat to get some money for my family." Anton never heard Chris speak with such sincerity, he now understood why he acted like he did. "What about you, Anton?" Chris asked. "Well, I lived in Moscow for my life, born and raised. I used to be senior manager of marketing company. I decided to go to Osaka, Japan later." Anton said. "Japan, nice. Were there any pretty girls there?" A smile came to Anton's face. "You have no idea. I lived there for a few years, got married." The smile disappeared. "Wow, you have a picture?" Chris asked. Anton handed him Aiko's picture that he kept ever since it was taken at their favorite karaoke bar. "Hey, she's hot! Looks like she has nice tits, nice body too! Lucky man, Anton, lucky man!" Anton was starting to feel pain from the five bullets still lodged in his chest, especially the one half a centimeter away from his heart. "Had, the right word is had." Anton said quietly. "What?" Chris was puzzled. "We got married, and on first day of marriage, what is it Americans like to say? Shit got fucked up. I left Japan on car that got destroyed yesterday, and drove all way across Russia to Chernobyl after I was dropped off by ferry." Chris was feeling sympathetic. "Yeah, I know how you feel. I had some girlfriends, all of them were killed by a guy that couldn't convince them to become his "'hos" or something, I got over it." Anton was getting irritated, the pain from the bullets was reaching a new intensity. "No, you don't! You have not the slightest idea! She was not some girl I screwed! She was the love of my life! You are supposed to feel a dedication to them, that you would do anything for them! This is what I gave for her! My humanity! My mortal life! This is what I gave!" Anton opened his suit and showed Chris the scars from the bullets. "You are wrong, Anton. I may not have had that dedication for my girlfriends, but I do for my family. You should have noticed that. I understand what you mean." Chris then turned off the computer, and walked towards the couch. Anton noticed a folder with a logo on it lying on a table, he picked it up and was horrified to see what the logo was. "Shit!! Chris, wake Nelson!! We need to get back to Stalker town as soon as daylight comes!!" Anton warned. "Why?" Anton showed the folder to Chris. The logo was a view of the top of an umbrella which was colored red and white. "Shit!" Chris agreed.

Chris put his father's body on the balcony and nailed a cross to the barrier, he made the cross himself out of pieces of the broken door. As chris was finishing, a brown swarm was heading toward the building he was in, Chris noticed and went inside to warn the others. Anton said that as soon as they stopped dealing with the company, the better the chance was of them getting back with nothing bad heppening to them. The rat swarm was getting nearer and nearer as the team was getting ready to leave. They were about to leave when they heard sqeaking and thumps on the door, the rats had reached them. Anton heard the thumping of rotor blades in the distance, and saw a Mi-24 helicopter with the company's logo reaching the balcony and hovering next to it. Thankfully, the roof was low enough so the helicopter could get near the balcony. The pilot waved for the group to jump in. Not having any choice, they complied. The rats broke the door open, and Anton was shooting them, trying to keep them back while Nelson was sending a message to the company. Mission Complete. and Nelson hit enter. A message popped up saying their helicopter is now unlocked. Nelson jumped in, and Anton's AK ran out of ammunition. Anton disassembled it and put it into his pack along with some files while running towards the helicopter. The helicopter moved a little bit away from the balcony and Anton was falling down, away from the helicopter. So this is how I go... Anton felt someone grab him and pull him inside. He then blacked out from exhaustion.

Anton came to and stood up, knowing that the heli reached its destination. The pilot, who insisted on everyone calling him "Patsy" said that he is afraid that the military in Stalker town will shoot the heli with an RPG if he comes close. Patsy descended in a small town, and handed the group three thousand rubles, which the group split three ways. Chris,Anton, and Nelson jumped from the helicopter before ot reached the ground, not touching the grass which has stocked up a charge, becoming a meat mincer. Touching it would lead to death. "Hey, Patsy!, You're about to land on a Meat Gri-" Anton covered Chris's mouth. "I'll unload the car, the helicopter will land by itself." Patsy yelled through the roar of the rotar blades. As Anton expected, Patsy walked out of the helicopter, only wearing an exoskeleton and holding a huge mini-gun. Anton's expression didn't change, but Chris and Nelson were surprised. As soon as the helicopter touched the ground, it erupted into a cloud of metal particles, flame and Patsy's blood. "Crap!" Nelson said under his breath. Anton turned around and drew his magnum, pointing it at Nelson, who was obviously surprised. "I know who you really are!" Anton said. "Anton, you drank too much vodka, put the gun down!" Chris yelled. "I can see right through your act, Nelson. Masquerading as a British Stalker, I have to admit that is pretty smart. I know that you sprayed perfume to attract some creatures that would kill us. You just needed us to take you to apartment to check what happened there. You didn't want us to find out anything, which is why you tossed some files while you were cremating Chris's father. You also saw an oppertunity to get rid of me when the helicopter was rescuing us, which is why I almost fell to my death. Isn't that right mister Nelson?" Nelson's expression changed to a more serious one. "How can you explain the sudden combat skills that appeared while we were facing off with dogs, and the fact that your pilot dropped us off here instead of at the town? There are no RPGs there! How do you explain that, huh?" Nelson tried explaining himself. "You have no proof, my whole chest is covered with religious crosses. How could I?" Anton took out a file from his pack. "Sure, I don't. But you remember that picture that was taken at the pub, your friend from the company said he would destroy it. He didn't have the will to, so here it is!" Nelson pulled out his Makarov, he pulled the trigger and hit Anton's shin. Anton shot Nelson, whose head exploded into a shower of red rain. Anton fell down, his whole shin had been shattered to oblivion by the powerful 9mmx18 Makarov round. "Who is on the picture?" Chris asked. "Your father, it was a bluff." A controller took interest at what was happening in his town, and sent his zombie horde to intervene. "Chris, go without me! I can't come due to my mangled leg!" Anton finally found the death he was looking for. "I can't! Anton I can't leave you!" Chris was beginning to cry. "You're smarter than that, take that bicycle and go!" Anton threw Chris his pack, which contained food, his AK, the mercury ball, and enough files to incriminate the company. Chris, took it, along with the note that Anton left inside. He got on the bicycle [which was in good enough condition to work, thankfully] and looked back one last time at his hero. He pedaled off into the distance, with a last yell of goodbye and thank you. He heard the gunshots, and felt the tears rolling down his face.

Anton left a not saying:

"If you are reading this, I am dead. The mercury ball is worth enough to feed your family for a year, sell it to the scientists camped in the town. I also left all of my share in this envelope. Take the money the dealer owes us. There are also enough files to incriminate the company. Live freely, live well. I hope this helps you. I left my wife's picture in the envelope also, her name is Aiko Zakara, I hope that is enough for you to remember me by. Have a nice life.

Anton "Koshei Bezsmertniy "Sokolnik"

Anton was glad that he finally repaid his debt to humanity. He was not going to just give up and become one of the wandering zombies. He was going to show that he is not worth the trouble to take over, he will show that he needs to be killed. The last of the shells for his SPAS-12 were expended, and Anton took out his lifelong friend, the Desert Eagle .44 magnum. He fought back hard, almost decimating the zombie army. Finally, his killers approached; two zombies toting FN20000s, former military Salkers. Aiko, I'm coming! The FN2000s emptied their clips into Anton, forcing the soul to leave the body. This may seem like a sad end to a great man, but it was a happy end for him. Anton was finally reunited with his wife. He was finally able to touch her soft, warm body, she was just as he remembered her, and he was just as she remembered him. He was finally human again, truly happy again. He was finally the person he used to be. The line between humanity and inhumanity has been truthfully defined.

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