| 12:47:23 16 November 2005
Arthur Gordon Pym
On forum: 07/28/2003
Ok here it is.|
I wrote another story about the Zone, the subject of this game is so interesting and opened, that's difficult not to build a personal view on the place and the events.
This time, i decided to sketch something that had to deal with more then just a few hours on the Zone, but actually with the whole meaning of it, and with a guess of what could have happened to it and what can be found in the centre.
That one of my guesses, as actually i have more then one, but i decided to develope this one for no reason.
It's just one possible theory.
To do so, i needed something more then 5-6 pages.I needed more, and so, i decided for chapters, or sections.
I have to say sorry to you all: English is not my mother language, and i can rarely practice it, writing or talking.While i talk, i can directly think the sentences in english, but it's really difficult to do it while writing a fiction story. I want to expres things in my language with my words and construction, and it' s almost impossible sometimes with double meanings and such.Sorry.
Also, this is a rough draft, and i didn't check it. I had the time to make som
e grammar corrections, but i still can't check for any hole. I hope it's worth your time.I'm more then opened to comments.Sorry if you don't like it and you think you wasted time, i hope it's not all that bad.
And: thank you for writing those fanfics, as the game it's not coming out, but you'll granting me some errands in the Zone as well while reading. Thanks to everyone.
4 nov - I edited with some little grammar corrections, and a phrase i forgot to put from a footnote in my original word document on section 4.
11 nov - Still a few fixes.Wonder if anyone is interested in it.
| 12:44:56 16 November 2005
Arthur Gordon Pym
On forum: 07/28/2003
Section 4# out of 4 – DID YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT TWICE?|
The Zone’s Core, 11 february 2010
The scientist had his problems after all. He wasn’t in risk of his life, but felt quite sick.
Too much errands in too few days were quite strenuous, adding to the fact that because he was short on money he couldn’t afford to buy enough food, and because he run out of water since one day, he took advantage of the rainfall to drink some water that filled the top of a closed barrel.
It wasn’t all that bad, but gave him a bad dysentery.
The suit could contain the bad smell of his low parts, but his sickness forced him to rest on the sofa for the moment.
He made a sign with his hand to Anna to calm her, then continued:
“You know what? A government has it’s secret projects, but if you give some elite scientists illimitate funds and you hide them somewhere, you can’t pretend they will limit themselves.
Anyway they were paid for not giving them limits.
They went too far, more then the government knew and could control, as the results were that good.
Unfortunately for us, of course.
They heard a crack behind them. It was nothing. The place was old, and had it’s noises.
The scientist went on:
“Behind there, there’s the main laboratory. Not much chemicals, almost all computers and devices” said while pointing with his finger behind the twos.
“ They started at the end of 2006 with a project regarding the possibility to control physics and the objects, and it was a precise research requested from the high quarters, to be used in case of war.
Every technology has it’s birth from such a purpose.
Programming and building some device that control gravity, weight, movements, and everything
was the first step of the new born project.
They did it perfectly.
But amazed from the results, they started to decide by themselves what direction it should take. They thought that if the anomaly was about to be used during war, then it should be more effective on people’s will to defend, then to let some object disappears.
So they opened a new path, called project NIKTO: on this dossier that comes from the archives back there" - the scientist touched a plastified notebook laying on the floor with his left foot - "there’s the development diary".
Project Nikto objective was to find the most INNER FEAR shared by all the human beings.
When a human being is desperate, he can’t do anything but stand still, and can’t act.
This is the perfect solution, to win a war without a single bullet being shot, without a single drop of blood being dropped. Completely experimental, impossible to achieve, it was the most ridiculous and vanagloriosus trait that those scientists shared that let them believe to achieve such a result.
Going from materials disappearing to control of human psyche? Bah, nonsense, even with illimitate funds..fools.
Nikto….why project names always sounds so stupid? They should pay someone to work only on the names, if they want to make history.
They came with the idea that the most inner fear was the fear that pervades you when you’re about to loose what’s important to you.
Loose your mind, loose your dignity, loose your family, loose your life.
If you fell in such way, your gun will fall from your hands, and the only thing you would been able to do is sweating or desperate yourself.
The most influential device was about to be created.
A direct ascent towards the peak of mind control with only the push of a button, making propagandas a ridiculous effort.
The scientist was just didactic on his explanation. Like a junior high School teacher who pretend to be and act like it was your second father.
But they were boors, peasants from the lands to him, and they had to understand.
Understand it all, live, and spread it.
“ That’s….” pronounced Christof. He was shocked, and couldn’t go further than that. Anna had both hands on her mouth.
The scientist again:
“ Well, seems they couldn’t finish it.
The first results were that the anomaly, from the state of being able to control physics was developed to the state that was only able to provoke the loss of something material, literally: it was about objects, it was able to let objects disappear.
They couldn’t develop it to the stage of psychological fear, nor to the state of controlling fears on the direction they hoped too.
I suppose it was too difficult after all, an impossible project.
Then the explosion occurred, and everything still is in that stage.
It’s interesting to see that in the opened little apartments you see there, that’s the experimentation set, the anomaly worked perfectly in making object disappear.
At least that was useful by itself for a war, wasn’t it?
Anna asked anxiously - “ Does the anomaly function then? You said that the project is still in this stage?”
“ Yes.” He stated – “I’m here since two hours and a half more or less, and before being so sick I spent all the time gaining those informations.
It’s everything as it is seems. If only I had more time to study the actual state of things, but opening the core gate was quite difficult. Anyway the device is quite easy to activate, there’s everything written on the security panel.
I’m amazed on how everything still seems so new inside here.
By the way, take a look at those experimentation set. They recreated all sorts of places that has to deal with human beings, from offices, to kitchens, to army storages to laboratories.
All set used to test from psychological implications in such places to calculation about the anomaly’s powers on the objects.
Anna raised up and started walking towards the “television set” look-alike side of the core.
Walking from recreated computer offices, with coffee and calendars, and everything, to a kitchen like she never saw one, from a weapon storage were tons of weapons were lying on the tables and walls, and then taking upstairs towards a garage full of mechanical parts, passing by a hospital surgery operational room, directly into a bedroom, where she seated on the soft, dusty bed.
She started to act like she was deeply thinking, then shouted:
“ So you’re saying the anomaly still works…I still can’t understand, if everything works, what caused the explosion, and where, and so the end of the project.
What created this…Zone?”
The scientist replied with a sad smile:
“If you don’t want to show your limits, you should be able not to try to surpass them. Those people should have count that.”
“ What?” – those words puzzled Anna, but she understood their meaning an instant later.
“ The first step is to control physics. Achieved.
The second step was to control the loss, the disappearance of objects. Achieved.
That’s almost the point that the government asked to reach. But the team decided to venture in side paths, even more experimental theories, to force the bounds.
The next one was beyond the objectives planned, to control inner fears: it was their try to achieve this result, but what they faced at the end, was just the proof of their vainglorious nature. Failed, then.
The last one would have been to bring loss from physics to psychological state, towards those fear. They couldn’t make it. Clever…
So where exactly the project stopped?
It was a little bit after venturing further the simple loss of physical objects: They stepped in a field called -space time equilibrium-, and the anomaly, badly programmed, fell out of control.
It started to fragment pieces of space and time, and up to now, still it’s this way.
Those fragments are still in effect, they are the anomalies that we suffer and witness everyday.
“Did they caused the explosion..?”
“Seems so. Don’t know where or what, anyway.
But the most interesting thing, is what the last entry in the diary reports is.
The anomaly at it’s current state, is being able to let objects disappear, and can interact with them.
INTERACT, you hear? Amazing.”
The eyes of the scientist started to spark, to get lucid.
“Can interact with their meaning, with their metaphoric counterparts, with their components, with everything related on them.
Can interact with their history.
Can interact with all the objects like that, or made with that materials. Can interact with time and space, and everything in terms of LOSS!
But Is completely unstable and out of control.”
“ What do you mean?” – they both exclaimed.
“I mean that I am sitting here since I was forced to by my stomach, thinking on whether or not to use the anomaly power on this development diary and all the archives, hoping that it will not let the diary or all paper in the world from past to present disappear creating a history meltdown, but that could react with it’s contents letting the project itself disappear making this lands free of every anomaly.
I mean that I can’t know or predict on what side of this object it will react: his written contents or his materials.
It’s a matter of taking the risk, but I can’t afford a mistake.”
Anna was shocked. Christof was still like a statue.
The scientist was breathing. What they managed to found inside the core, was the choice between of two directions. Good, and bad. Life, and doom. Future, and paradoxes. Something, and nothing.
Suddenly, another noise. No one paid attention to it in that moment, but this time it wasn’t something coming from old cracked walls.
It was coming from the core’s steel gate, left opened.
A small malformed dwarf, unseen, took a peek inside and after seeing with surprise the presence of three people, felt the joy to dismember them to look what was inside their bodies, like toys.
It made a rush towards the scientist slapping his face with joy, and terrific results, as the nose and the occipital side were completely broken, killing him.
Christof didn’t have the time to react, and the dwarf in a hurry, like dancing childishly, arrived in front of him, grabbing his chest and his left hand with his arms, fell, and started rolling on the floor emitting some strange kind of verse, like a whistle with his lips.
This until then they stopped, when Christof managed to stick a pen he had on a pocket with the map, the only thing he could ménage to retrieve with his right hand, inside the dwarf’s forehead.
That hurt enough the dwarf to force him to let Christof go, that suddenly kicked him inside a room that was behind the dwarf, then closed the door immediately, and pushed an archive on the front of it to prevent the dwarf to free himself.
Anna, from the bed on the second floor of the little experimentation building, shouted towards Christof.
At that moment, the dwarf started to push the door with no results as it was quite solid and made of steel, then making noises of all kinds, something like a kid that doesn’t want to be confined in his room for punishment, and then clearly a telekinetic field started in that room: Christof took a few steps backwards to protect himself, while finally the dwarf, probably too angry to control his powers, exploded in a mess of limbs and blood, that destroyed half the door and tinted in red Christof from head to feet.
By the time Christof regain control of himself, and was sure to be still unharmed, the colour had turned from red to brown by the blood drying up.
He was barely recognizable.
Anna was still panicking from the building, in a rapid breath.
Christof looked at her, saying: “I can’t stand it anymore…”
Anna took her sanity back immediately: “ Did you listen what the scientist said? We have to take a decision. Don’t you agree? If we use the anomaly, we can interact with time and space….we have to decide priorities, and to act. This Zone is growing bigger and bigger, suddenly it will spread too much to take control of it.
We have to act, also if this means making a worst mistake. At least it’s worth a try.
After this devices will fall in the corporations hands, humanity will loose everything that’s remained anyway”.
The two companions, took a look at the objects surrounding them.
Then went where the anomaly device was, and it was where something was shining.
A big device with a shape of a prehistoric dolmen, with some tubes and other devices attached was standing under a protected crystal sphere.
“ Seems a sculpture with four limbs of plastic tubes and mechanical parts” said Christof.
Anna looked at it seriously, then at the console near it, then at the covered buttons on the side of it with “test process activation” written on them.
“ We have to choose what to use it with. I don’t want to pretend we have to agree on a single decision, nor we have to take the risks of one’s choice, as if I make a mistake, I don’t want you to pay for it or to accept it without trying something for your own.
Christof, we will both decide. Just be sure to think about your choice.
I think that it’s still the possibility to change our world to something we can live better. We have to try with something that could disappear in it’s present and past form, that could not change human history more then in a better direction if the anomaly interacts with time, and let’s hope for the best.”
Said so, she took from the weapon storage room a gun.
“I think I have decided for myself. It’s time to throw a gun in the anomaly.
It’s time to hope that every gun will disappear, because I damn want to live in peace, and I don’t need anything more than eat and sleep”.
Saying so, she put the gun on the designed place, Christof activated a test process, and an automatic door opened under the gun, letting it fall on a steel container on the ground in front of the anomaly. Then a charging noise, and a single loud bang.
The anomaly interacted with the object.
Seemed that no space or time paradox was caused.
Seems that the anomaly didn’t react with the materials themselves letting them disappear, but with the object itself only.
Christof turned towards Anna with an expression of satisfaction, but equally nervous.
Perm, 11 February 2010 2:32 AM
Anna awoke shouting in his bed, sweating, like after experiencing a bad nightmare, an hallucination.
It took a while before realizing she was in a bed sleeping, because actually she just thought to be on the ground of the Zone’s core, and probably had fainted.
But no, she was in a bed, really.
Suddenly, a nurse came in rush from the door:
“ Ania, another nightmare? Don’t worry, it’s all gone, it’s all gone. I’ll bring you some hot water with lemon, and meanwhile calm yourself.”
Anna started to think with a loud voice - “ Yes, I see, it’s all gone…it’s all gone….but what…. “.
She understood that her decision had it’s effects.
But why wasn’t she still in the Zone? Making that gun disappear, or all guns, couldn’t have deleted the Zone to her.
…Was it real, wasn’t it?
Probably deleted all wars, past and present, and history has changed. Anna agreed that she doesn’t exactly know what kind of world there’s outside his room, if she was in Nytva or somewhere else, but she didn’t know this nurse.
Tried to wake up, but couldn’t. Her back was completely stiff, she couldn’t make a single move. Her legs were paralyzed.
Then, started panicking, while the nurse came inside the room with the hot cup of lemonade at the same moment, saying:
“ No Anna, calm down. You know that you can’t. Look, I’ll read you a book, you agree?”
But that instant she removed her bed sheets, looking at her legs, at her ankle, skinny small yellow-white ankles, and at different surgery scars on her pubes, and suddenly understood that the gun that killed the rapist could not have been existed, cancelled by the anomaly that decided to act in the past of guns, and wasn’t there to help her escape the violence of that man.
Oh, Maybe if only wasn’t her that touched that gun placed in the anomaly…? But was she there, wasn't she?
She felt more paralyzed then she just was.
A terrific look appeared on her face.
The nurse while taking the sheets back on her legs, was babbling, she could barely hear any word: “ You know that doctors tried to help your situation Ania, you have to gain faith in future. The damages reported from that man beating after the violence were so bad on your vertebral column, but you have to continue living my friend, do you understand? I don’t want to loose you, agree?”
The Zone’s Core, 11 february 2010
Christof was terrified.
What could have happened. Did he thought about it enough?
Can the anomalyreally cause a time or space paradox?
He was tired.
He was dirty of dried blood coming from another human being.
He was hopeless, the room was so humid.
He was desperate.
And he had nothing to worry, to him nothing could go worse then this.
That’s why he decided for gaining everything, or nothing.
He put the device itself on the door on the floor that hosted the objects that had to be tested.
Then put the entire device on it. He activated the test process.
The door on the floor opened, the device disappeared, and Christof was still there.
The building became empty, nude cement, like an old factory.
But this time, the mistake was even worse.
Christof couldn’t recognise it there, but he would have soon, after walking back to his lands.
This time, world changed again, in something darker then it was.
This time, the anomaly acted unexpectedly towards the meaning of itself, not only towards the project itself.
The anomaly deleted from the human behaviour the "fear of loosing".
And when someone have nothing to loose, just act straight without consequences right?
Excesses, fear, desperation, recklessness, money thirst, passion, love, and everything fused with having nothing to loose, driving the societies to a dystopia that anyone could even imagine.
Air outside the core was cold, but the sun still had to rise.
Christof started to walk towards a barrel, sitting on the top of it. It was already morning, and he wanted to rest a bit before going back….no need to wait for helicopters, anomalies should not have existed anymore.
He looked towards the horizon, and saw that big columns of black smoke were rising from familiar lands.
A bizarre, deep orange brightness was colouring the clouds, coming from some unidentified source kilometres away, maybe another factory, or a new big city, something that was part of the new changes that Christof couldn’t think about now.
Or was he thinking about it, on that barrel, while saying:
“…..did I…………………………………….. thought about it twice?”
| 17:25:00 7 November 2005
Arthur Gordon Pym
On forum: 07/28/2003
Section #3 out of 4 – THE STORY ABOUT TWO PEOPLE THAT WALKED INSIDE THE ZONE’S CORE, AND WHAT THEY FOUND IN IT.|
The Zone, 11 February 2010.
What to do next?
Actually, it was just a matter of choosing between covering the distance that goes from their shack to the safe side of the countryside, but currently the anomalies were completely active there, and walking back at the camp, and then further into the Zone.
“Not just inside the Zone…inside the Core” pointed out Christof - ”You know what? I don’t want to know what’s inside, nor to deal with it I hope, but It’s our only possibility to make it alive. When everyone understands what’s happening, they’ll realize that not only the Zone is safe, but the Core can be approached, and they’ll come with helicopters to steal everything’s possible, every artefact that doesn’t need to be found or conquered by any stalker anymore, any damn object or information they dreamed for. And we’ll contract a hitchhike on one of those helicopters then.
We just have to wait there, that’s also probably the safest place, as dogs and malformed creatures are still roaming in the buildings…the emergency generator is giving an energy supply to the electrified perimeter’s fence, keeping them inside”.
“ Glad we have a try. I deserve to live longer.” – answered Anna.
Anna and Christof had already started a long walk back towards the Zone, and meanwhile they were just trying to figure out what could have happened.
Meanwhile, an helicopter passed on their heads, coming from the Zone and going towards safer lands.
It was quite evident that the soldiers that were at the camp fled with it. They looked at it thinking that probably that would have made their rescue faster, a matter of just a few hours.
Anna was silent, thinking, and Christof was trying to make a rational reading of the whole situation:
“We came here, and everything was as usual. Then the generator exploded, and now anomalies are outside the perimeter. We don’t know for sure, but I suppose that somehow the explosion inverted the previous balance.
If before this event, the Zone’s core was the epicentre of the anomalies, and outside the perimeter there was a safe zone, at the moment the epicentre is probably more or less where Pripyat is, as we didn’t have to witness anything unusual unless we walked towards the city”.
“It was just forty minutes from the perimeter, and we witnessed the first anomaly” – pointed Anna
”that’s because the perimeter was still the most far land from the new epicentre, and our house was the exact space where anomalies started increasing”.
Christof continued: “Yes, it must be so. I don’t know how it happened, but seems possible”.
‘’……..but where are all the people? Died? Where is Vlad?”
Anna thought to figure it out completely - ‘’ Escaped, I believe. Probably he realized what was happening before the Zone inverted itself and managed to run away from the shack towards the country and obviously in the opposite direction of the Zone. I suppose Vladimir is there, waiting for us.”. Probably she was right.
The two walked towards the soldiers’ camp, now empty.
She took some food supplies, and water. Christof took a rifle, a compass and a map among other things.
They pointed the Zone Core on the map, and again pointed at the dark shapes of the buildings, and started walking with an unnatural feeling of being about to step inside as first time astronauts venturing on a new planet.
It took them two hours to reach the core.
How strange was this place. Anna did never realized she was living near a paradox with the shape of a factory. There were flowers, but they had different colours from the usual, tones of greens and whites, that kind of tones that copper and silver have when they’re unclean. They still have petals, but they are sharp like razors, like the little metallic tongue that comes off when you open a soda can.
More then once they could hear the voices of the people working there, the scientists.
And like an expedition of alpinists on a high mountain climb to the peak, the more they walked, the more they found out human bones and ripped clothes, asking themselves who they were and what was their story, how do they died..
The buildings seemed so black looking at them in the horizon, and they were still black too looking at them from a few meters.
Humidity had painted the outside as the inside of them. Everything was rotten.
They even wandered about any stalker being inside while the incident occurred. But they didn’t meet anyone.
Two hours passed? What a joke.
Covering the distances walking with a companion gives us a suggestion that something lets time flow faster, but the fear of encountering creatures, despite the lead of a professional guide like Christof was, and the desolate landscape helps time to flow slower than the usual: the result was that two hours had passed, and their knees felt it as their minds.
But the core was there, finally, in front of them.
That's one small step for two companions; And one giant leap for mankind, but towards what?
They entered, reaching their only possibility to make it alive, and about to gain knowledge on what the great mystery was all about.
The sarcophagus of the core, so called, seemed to be erected by itself, like a miniaturized Babylon tower.
And inside the core, they witnessed what it seemed like an extraordinarily big laboratory. At a first glance, seemed that a small building, opened on the sides like a television set, was constructed in the middle of it, while something gigantic and shiny was behind it.
While the two tried to look what was behind the little building, a lower whisper caught their attention.
A stalker in an orange outfit was there, on a sofa, licking a wound on his left arm.
Christof took the rifle, but the man replied not to shoot. Then, after a few seconds, he spit out something more:
“I’m a scientist. Don’t shoot. I can tell you what’s inside. I didn’t make such a long journey to being shot at. Are you here to recover artefacts? You want to know what’s inside here? I can help you. Don’t shoot”.
Anna and Christof looked at themselves.” We don’t want to shoot. We’re here to wait for helicopters to carry us back, we’re from the outside. Are you a scientist stalker? What are you doing here?”
At that point, the stalker asked for water. After a few sip of it, he replied serenely:
“You don’t know anything about it, don’t you? You don’t even expect anything from what could be buried here, don’t you? You just want to live…But you’ll spread what’s in here, so no one will carry you back on your cooked vegetables and a warm fireplace.
A woman….damn, you’re remembering me my neighbour….look at you, you got the same red ears with humidity……..I’ll explain everything. Then you’ll go away, survive and spread the knowledge. Try to activate a radio on a soldiers camp, and just the signal will be enough for an helicopter to stop by, and with a low fee you’ll take a passage back to your dears. Rest your legs, seat”.
Saying so, he started to talk:
“After the first explosion in 2006, everyone talked about the possibility that the government covered up something more serious then the explosion of a nuclear plant.
But this was just the most fashionable and worth talking about theory for medias, and lots of people knew that the radiation was just a small fraction of the problem, as the RBMK1000 reactor leaked radioactive materials and gasses only because it was just a 30 year old junk at the time it was being used.
The real question was: Why did they need the factory?
To gain energy of course, but most of it was used for another, more important and covered project on the same territory. Precisely, one kilometre from the nuclear plant, in a building that it’s in the fields that are now called The Zone. That building is this one, the core.
A large amount of scientists were working here, me too: It was a new research centre for the development of new technologies.
Unfortunately the reactor problem caused an unclear explosion in that project compound, and that incident caused what we now call the Zone.”
The two were silent. He was telling them everything, like a grandfather tells tales near the fire, except this was all the truth they never expect to hear in their entire existence.
“This is nothing. Don’t you understand? This is just what regarded the first explosion, the one in 2006. No one cares about that anymore. We’re talking about the explosion in 2008. That’s the real problem.”
“What happened in those two years?” said Anna.
“Everyone died, and the Zone was born.
But before being full of anomalies, something happened.
First of all, the government invented and spread out a theory for the ones that likes to create conspiration theories: It was about the nuclear factory used for creation of experimental mass destruction weapons, like bombs.
Then, a selected team of scientists immediately entered the new territory, the Zone, but this time to establish them there, locating them again in the same building as before, the core.
To join the team you had to sign a document that more or less sold your life to the project: quit your family, forget the outside.
The reward was about to be paid 15 years later, high amount of money and privileges, and a complete new life and independence anywhere in the world.
A sarcophagus was built on the factory’s exploded reactor to cover the radiation, and then the other reactors were used. This damn new squad of scientists managed to enter the territory of the Zone before serious gravitational anomalies started to seal them in, and continue working on the project, suffering only this brief pause.
It was a pause, and they needed to use one reactor less, but the fact that the lands were evacuated and the unexpected presence of anomalies was so useful to hide their presence inside. Once in a while, the army gave them food and goods in secrecy.
But the problem started in 2008. The Zone this time exploded again. But what caused this explosion?
I looked all my life to find what happened that second time. No other reactors melted. The explosion came directly from the main project. I came all the way to find it out, the incident that happened this night gave me the possibility to approach the core after years of tries.
And now I know….we’re in the centre of the world”
Saying so, he almost fainted. Some more water was poured inside his mouth, it felt like mercury while flowing on that exhausted throat.
Unexpectedly, Christof turned back looking at Anna: she was angry, fierce, in haste breathing, her eyes were completely opened, and about to shout:
“Don’t stop! What caused the second explosion? What’s wrong with you? TALK!”
End of section 3.
| 17:24:11 7 November 2005
Arthur Gordon Pym
On forum: 07/28/2003
Message edited by:
Arthur Gordon Pym
Section #2 of 4 – THE ZONE IS OUTSIDE THE ZONE.|
Fields near Pripyat and Chernobyl, 11 February 2010.
“It isn’t true what people usually said, about this countryside nowadays. Pripyat, Chernobyl and the surrounding zone is everything but a no man’s land. It’s full of people, on contrary. Tens of stalkers trying to approach the factory, tens soldiers patrolling, and some of us decided to live here also when the government advised that the radioactivity would have killed us. Sometimes, strange vegetables grew on our field, but we eat them only for emergencies and..”
Anna turned here face from the window, to look directly in Vladimir’s eyes, that took himself her speech out of her mouth by continuing it:
“ …and You’ll stay here forever. We know.
Anna, you never explained us what’s keeping here and why you are so attached to this country, and we never wanted to be so rude to ask…we still remember you coming here, knocking, our grandfather let you coming in and be part of this house and we were just kids.
But actually, I and Christof decided to keep this shack as a house after the factory explosion just because we need to live near the Zone. I mean, it’s our only possible job to steal technologies from there, as people don’t want to work anywhere with people from the radioactive zones…we have to live here, but what about you….go away, live your life somewhere, find a man, another house, you can cheat on where you’re coming from, as your place of birth is not this one! No one will suspect that you spent some years in the same lands of the accident. Why you came here? Did you ever get married? It was because of this you came in this region, to flee from a bad marriage?”
Anna sadly looked her feet, and scratched her forehead and her nose. Then passed both her hands on her face, took a seat and started talking while looking at him.
Words came out by themselves, almost: “Let’s make this clear. It’s been a long time ago anyway. I came here because I was forced to kill a man. He was trying to abuse of myself, and I used his gun against him. As I couldn’t years ago, I still can’t go anywhere, someone can recognize me. I can’t live anywhere then here, and I will never step inside a city anymore.’’
“ You said it – after all this time? Will someone still looking for you?” – pointed out Christof.
“ I’m afraid. It could be possible. I don’t want to discover it when it’s too late” – she replied.
A sound of something falling broke up the silence. It was Karol, Vladimir’s brother, that after listening such revelations, let the clock he was cleaning fell on the floor, breaking it.
After all, he tried to fix the atmosphere then the clock, by saying the first thing he could think of, in a voice tone of a tenor –
“Damned cold tonight, isn’t it?”.
Anna explained the rest of her past: how can a 49 years old woman, that almost look like a 55 years old woman because of the tiring and hard life she had, even think about a new life?
Her goal was to live there, as that’s just what she has, and is so still grateful to the two men’s granddad, that let her inside his house as a housekeeper when she was just 21 and they were just two kids, that feel almost at home. Home, something that Anna couldn’t build anywhere, never, with no one, especially now or in the future.
Everyone knew that in the room, and they started to be just very proud to be able to stand such difficulties in their life.
But stomach was hurting because of starve, and as the two stalkers didn’t get any new objectives lately, they decided to go to the soldier’s camp.
Actually, Karol and Vladimir were quite grateful to Anna, as when they couldn’t find a mission in the Zone, the only possibility to gain clean food was to ask the soldiers, that were sometimes pitiful to the women that decided to live in the radioactive fields. The woman was quite good on harvesting and farming too, but they knew from malformed vegetables that it was so much dangerous to eat that stuff. Hunting was another possibility, but it was expensive to buy bullets, and they were vital for surviving the dogs inside the Zone.
Anna took a coat, and Christof went with her, dressing like an old man, with a wooden stick and a green coat covering his head and face.
After a good fifty minutes walking, they reached the soldier’s camp, while a rainfall was just starting. Unfortunately their shack was poorer then the abandoned city’s house, but it was quite near the Zone, as from Pripyat you needed like two hours walking, with dark and mud under your feet.
There was a thick veil of fog growing, and all the soldiers were smoking outside the houses looking at how the Zone looks like a penitentiary full of mutated prisoners, and how they were prisoners too if they had to live always on it’s perimeter.
The national army invested lot of efforts in covering the Zone’s perimeter to avoid anyone entering, but the stalker’s activities were quite active in the army too, even started by stalkers that joined the army to better control the area and take advantages over the other corporations. Nowadays, hidden from the army’s high ranks in the headquarters, the guards were like any of the other corporations, willing and trying to gain their benefits from runs inside the Zone.
Anna and the camouflaged Christof went all the way to the camp, located at the main gate of the fence, and the rain was now falling heavily, they could see behind their white vapours of breath how melancholic is the Zone when every creature is covering from rain inside the buildings making it seems empty.
Here it is, our damnation, and our source of work and food.
The buildings were so destroyed by the explosion and the time passing by, even if the last explosion was only two months before… almost grey as the sky that they will see tomorrow, as two more days of rainfalls were supposed to come.
Standing towards the camp with a few other old women, was way too much embarrassing for her, as the soldiers were just corrupted as much as the whole land was, but you have to make such sacrifices to beg someone for bread. So suddenly, a soldier looked at her and gave her a piece of rusty and wet bread.
”Please, something more, I’m with my father here, we’re two, and I have a kid, please.” - Begged Anna pointing at the figure behind her, that was Christof covered by the coat. It was a overused trick to bring covered companions, but no one of the soldiers did ever revealed it.
The soldiers then gathered together in front of her, saying: “More? Don’t you care that asking for more means that another woman will miss her portion of free stuff? ”- and they started to laugh, giving her a brown paper sack and a push that made the sack broke, revealing rotten apples full of worms, almost impossible to eat.
Anna felt so embarrassed, almost angry. Started shouting against the soldiers, throwing those apples at them while they continued to laugh to her face, and while this sad scene was about to reach the highest point, an immense amount of light lightened the sky and the buildings in front of the perimeter: a stray dog, following one of the rotten apples up to the fence, touched it, causing an incredible explosion of electricity.
The explosion was so fierce, that the great generator, that was big almost as a little factory, melted, causing a complete black out on the Zone. An emergency generator rapidly started to function, giving electricity to almost the whole electrified fence and to some emergency reflectors placed on the camp and inside the zone.
Anna was shocked, knees on the ground, with still the light of the detonation in her eyes. The noise of rain falling was ruling the night, and everyone realized that no one of them as ever saw such an enormous flash in their life, and were hoping it was some Deus Ex Machina that finally could take care of that damned place... unfortunately no. Such thing doesn’t exist. It was just a spark, a malfunction, and almost did cost their lives.
While all the others were still shocked on the ground, and the soldiers were already trying to dash to the generator to solve the damage, Anna and Christof started to move back towards their home. Their main thought was they didn’t want to have troubles: it was a mistake made by destiny? It was just a disgraceful event started by human hands, like everything in this land.
The two paused their walk a little bit after forty-five minutes, while Anna finally broke the silence: “ It’s tough to walk in the mud, while all the lights are out. Zone’s light are out of order, and moon’s covered by clouds. Damn, I wonder why the bang didn’t woke up anyone: look, Pripyat is right there “ said Anna while pointing towards a barely visible city-like shape towards the horizon “ and I can’t see any firelight of people gathering like last time”
“Yes, when the army decided to detonate some charges to take the nearest building to the fence down…really don’t know….anyway: Let’s hurry home” - Said Christof.
While they reached home, they immediately felt that something’s strange. No light’s in the house, no signs of Vladimir inside or outside, and after a few steps more, the house’s rooftop caught fire by itself, furiously.
It was an anomaly. Outside the perimeter. Impossible until that moment.
The two did run back for fifty meters, and another gravitational anomaly started a good twenty meters ahead of them. What was happening? Anomalies never started outside the Zone. It was impossible, but they were starting right under their eyes for sure. Some explosions were heard in Pripyat too, and the result that no one showed up or any light or presence was seen inside the buildings, made them realized the city was empty and anomalies were spreading everywhere.
Anna took a deep breath. Christof looked at her with a funeral expression. Some seconds later, he sentenced: “The zone is outside the zone now.”
The day’s has still witnessed three acts: A revelation of a killing, an explosion of which light fulfilled the sky, an impossible event regarding anomalies so far from the Core. If it was a tragedy, what would they had expected from the other two acts?
By now, only three things were moving during those long seconds: white breaths of the twos, and a ten meter high fire.
End of Section 2.
| 11:37:20 3 November 2005
Arthur Gordon Pym
On forum: 07/28/2003
Message edited by:
Arthur Gordon Pym
“The 'four limbs of mechanical parts’ sculpture”. A four sections short story about the Zone.|
An incipit to let you involve in the will of reading all these words.
I won't give a synopsis, but i'll try to give you an idea of these sections linking them with colours - every colour can be reconducted to a mood and to some elements in that section.
Section 1 - Roman Red.
Section 2 - Lapislazuli Blue, Deep Blue.
Section 3 - White, Pale White.
Section 4 - Light Brown, Dirty Orange.
Section #1 out of 4 – FROM DIRT GROWS THE FLOWERS.
City of Nytva, CCCP, 30 march 1986.
One of the best experiences about a beautiful spring morning comes from a possibility, that maybe the night before could have rained. Air smells that good, yes, that good, and you can almost feel to earth, and green, to get inside your nose, not just the smell. Every odour is alive, and let you think that finally winter is over.
Anna was cleaning his shoes, looking at a distant window, that was actually the only source of light inside the room. The night before, luckily, it rained, and she needed some kind of waterproof pair of shoes, otherwise would have ruined the good ones. Big, resistant boots, there they are: got them for free from a guest staying in one of the rooms on the 4th floor, and after such a rainfall they are quite perfect for that kind of muddy fields that separates the Clinic from the rest of the neighbourhood.
Anna had quite a long day in front of her, tasks like getting the food supplies and then make beds would have fulfilled her whole day, and actually felt so lonely working there. At least could go out before being buried in the bed making routine, but would have preferred to go to the square to meet the others, and to make a run with naked feet instead of wearing those boots.
It was just a year that started work in this clinic, it was incredibly dirty to be a clinic, but it wasn’t Anna’s fault. They needed funds. For the most of the year it was so empty to force the director to rent rooms to occasional guests, as a possibility to gain more money to pay the salaries and the supplies, because even more funds were cut from the government. Every furniture was brown and yellow, once was white like a snowflake. Bathtubs were so dirty, that a kaleidoscope of greys and browns became their natural colour. But any dust can be found: someone cleaned those decadent apartments perfectly.
Suddenly, she took the red raincoat, the money and the list, and when was about to leave the infirmary, a new guest came in. Oh what a misfortune, she thought, I hope it doesn’t waste my time more then the usual.
“Yes? May I help you” – pronounced.
When the figure left the door place and became clearly visible, Anna was quite surprised. A middle age man, he was quite nervous, and quite well dressed to be a local.
He had a hat, like those kind that detectives wears, and those kind of expensive coats that usually chief policemen and politicians wears, with a brown tie, and a blue suit.
She didn’t ask who he was, but understood that was way better for everyone to treat him right and to avoid any trouble.
“I need a room. And bring me a phone” – said the man, shaking his hat, revealing black hair, turning the same grey as the bathtubs one.
“The line cannot reach the rooms. You have to phone from the surveillance office, that’s on your room’s floor…..here’s your room key, it’s on the 4th floor, it’s vacant now. Room n° 412.
Inside the surveillance office you’ll find the nurse in turn, you’ll just explain her all your needs.
Please, sign me the guestbook to complete the acceptance, sir.” –said so, gave him a stylographic pen and the register.
“I’ll get a pair of hours of sleep….my car broke here in Nytva, and I just need to call back some people. Wake me up with some tea.”
After babbling those words, he just made his sign – Aleksandr Shmatkov - and headed towards the stairs, and the two got divided by their priorities.
4 hours later.
Anna knocked the door, uncertainly. What if he could have gone mad? He said two hours, but she didn’t finish her tasks till now. And it was four. The tea cup was shaking and dinging while entering, and it was making her more and more anxious.
Fortunately, the man was asleep, and actually he didn’t mind about being woke up at the right time.
“ Leave the tea on that chair, and take a seat on the bed…do you have any other responsibilities to do? Someone is waiting for you?’’
“No sir, everything is completed now, clinic’s empty..” - answered Anna – “ actually I was late to be sure to conclude everything, as the nurses in the surveillance rooms always go home before time.. This is the only occupied room in the whole floor. Someone’s is on the 2nd floor too, a pair of rooms”.
“They go home before, leaving their work to you, alone? “ – he looked at the colour of the walls – “Bitches. Well, my damn car broke up while I was driving from Kazan to Perm. I’m almost at destination, but I’m quite in a hurry. I have to wait ‘till this evening ‘till my car is repaired, so I wouldn’t mind if you’ll stay here with me if your work is done. I appreciate to have some beautiful young lady in my room once in a while, so be my guest. Accommodate yourself. How old are you?
“Er…yes, sir…..25, sir’’ – she replied.
“25? You look much younger…with those tiny pink knees you got. Look, I would like to have more tea, and something to eat.. I don’t care about fund lacking, and all those bullshits every place says so. I’m paying my rent, and I’ll have what I want. Bring me brown bread, cucumbers, cheese, and more tea. I’ll have a bath in the sink, then you’ll help me cleaning my coat and trousers, they got mud on them, all right?” – said the man. His shirt was wet by the sweat absorbed during the sleep.
He took a towel and headed towards the bathroom.
Anna answered with a lower, submitted voice. I’ll do it, and maybe I’ll getting good money out of it, need them to make a decent living, she thought. “Yes, sir”.
After 30 minutes, Anna was cleaning the trousers sitting on his bed, and evening was almost coming by.
The man was cautiously putting his second sock on his foot, but he kept the towel on him, and was pulling some other bread and cucumbers down to the little cup of mayonnaise, and then down his throat in impatience, waiting for her to finish. Silence in the room, and a boring atmosphere ruled over the thousands of tries to make a dialogue they had before the bath.
She was trying to do her best, and the trousers looked cleaner, and that success did let her waste a smile in appreciation. Her smile got immediately cancelled by a fist.
Anna was thrown against the wall and fall off on the chair that was against the window. She tried not to loose consciousness, and couldn’t make a single scream.
The man pushed the wardrobe against the door, grabbed her hairs, and released another fist, cautiously aimed to the neck preventing her to scream. Then he took the pillow, and pushed it against her face, towards the end of the bed.
Anna couldn’t hear any noise but his ranting breath and a metallic sound made by the bed, and the sensation of the damp towel being pulled off. Anna felt his cold stomach skin while he was approaching to use violence on her….one minute that could last as a century. She tried to struggle, but he was quite heavy on her, and after all he pushed her against the wall, on the bed.
The poor girl felt like dying, and she would have to, as couldn’t stand that shame for the rest of her life. She thought, oh, why I can’t kill myself, I want to shoot myself in the head, to cut my wrists, to poison my blood. And suddenly realized that the metallic sound was made by a little gun inside a small fake-skin holster, one of those little guns used to be attached on the calf of a leg, that was dancing on one of the arms of the bed near the pillow, hidden between the wall and the mattress.
Probably he put it there before falling asleep, and did wait to get the trousers before hide it again on himself. His last mistake of his life was forgetting about it, while thinking with what’s between the legs instead of what’s between the ears.
Anna took the gun and fired one shot on his foot, and when he fell off to the other side, turned herself and while he tried to say something, she shot him in the face, on his chin and on his nose.
Anna was breathing heavily, sweat was overflowing from her foreheads, from her upper lip, from her breast. Who could have heard such a shot? During the afternoon she was always alone in the Clinic. You looked for it, bastard. You deserve it. What do I do now? What to do?
The gun fell off her hands, and immediately put the towel on his face.
Took the wallet from the chair and opened it –Politic Police, 5th department, inspector Nikolaj Esenin.
I have killed a government man. I’ll never pass trough this. Then a long pause. And then she run through the door, and again run to the first floor to get everything could get in a sack, stole moneys from his wallet, and throw it along with the gun’s holster and the coat inside a bag.
This was her last day on Nytva, for sure, and wandered how many more days would have survived before being caught. As a last thing, she threw the bag inside the fire that was burning in the boiler’s room, as thought that maybe this would have made the identification of the body slower, and that would have gave more time to flee to her…maybe, just maybe, hopefully.
Done that, fled to the train station, and no one saw her anymore.
In fact, we have to point out that the last thing she did was quite useful.
Mr. Esenin was driving from Kazan to Perm to bring important documents to some counterparts against the communist party secretary, by selling confidential information about the secretary’s usual locations and whereabouts, and when the car broke up he decided to use a clinic and not an hotel as he feared to be recognized.
As the political police believed that someone instead followed him and decided to retrieve the documents, probably to avoid paying, and that’s why nor the coat, nor the documents could be found. So in fact, they didn’t realize at first the connection with a young missing nurse, and that was enough time for Anna to flee towards the west, with the only purpose of wasting herself in the countryside, until she didn’t even know where she was. Finally, after a week, decided to stop by a few country houses near Chernobyl, as thought it was enough far from her pursuers. Knocked on a door, hoped to be in a good shape with her hair.
A man came by the door, she smiled:
“Greetings. My name is Anna, do you need an helping hand with the cleanings or the farm?”.
End of section 1