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Epicenter (Chapter 1?)

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  16:48:04  31 January 2005
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Tripping on waste


On forum: 03/06/2004
Messages: 1524

Additional note goes to your title. Epicenter for what?

Well, actually, I came up with that, due to it being a conspiracy, starting with a betrayal... a betrayal that has grave consequences, that is.
  17:03:44  31 January 2005
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Senior Resident

On forum: 04/07/2004

Message edited by:
01/31/2005 17:04:43
Messages: 825
Second chapter . I really tried avoiding all those cliches you told me, but I think I may be getting a bit better because I never wrote any of them when writing this chapter. And I tried to avoid character's history when it wasn't necessary (in fact, not at all in this episode) but still add a bit deeper feelings. Anyway, here goes:

That was the sound of Piotr's heaving. Damn, it's been less than 2 hours since he left Ivan's meeting place, and in the meantime the sky managed to darken, and Piotr managed to get caught with no cover to shield him from the upcoming Blowout, and the horde of mutant pigs running after him. He was running away with no cover from the Blowout in sight, and the pigs were getting closer and closer. Hell, even he'd find a cover soon enough the pigs will ram it over. He's been in many life-threatening situations before, both in the army and in the Zone, but this one seemed doomed, that's what he thought as his breath was getting quicker and his strength was deteriorating from his body.

He tried to remember, in his mind, the tips the stalker he was with before, the one that qualified him as a Zone stalker, to see if he has anything left for this kind of ordeal. Sergey, that was his name. A blonde, blue-eyed, muscular guy with zero tolerance for foolishness or stalker newbies. The only reason Sergey accepted Piotr as his prodigy was because he wasn't a complete Zone newbie – he knew how handle a gun, he could aim, sneak, navigate pretty good and survive quite some time without any food or water, due to his former profession. He ran through the images and the conversations in his training. "Mutants… stalk… soldiers… Blowouts… anomalies… god damn it!” What was he going to use? But the answer he found wasn't in the useful tips Sergey gave him, but rather the location one of their conversations took place of. He recognized the place he was in now, this forest! He needed to take a left here he remembered! Yes! In the next left turn lay the place he remembered, such luck. There was a dimly lit old shack with a half broken bridge. They used the shack to hide away from the Blowout and store supplies, which would be his answer to cover against the Blowout. But the more immediate problem is the pigs that were quickly pacing up! He thought of the counter to that problem while getting closer and closer to the shack. Maybe… no there was none of the stored supplies he could remember, and probably after 2 months someone robbed that place. But the answer came to him while he was running – on the bridge. He took out his only fragmentation grenade, took the pin out and stopped – he looked around looking for the stampede. It was still behind him, at about a 5 seconds reach. He quickly placed the grenade on top of the bridge, and ran to the shack, kicking the door open. After getting in, he closed the door shut and closed his eyes in preparation!

He could hear the squirming of the mutants who fell, blew up and were forced to stop behind the blown up bridge. But not was all well, still. In a matter of minutes, one of the pigs was blown away, right into the shack, THROUGH the think wooden wall. Not only that, one of the pigs' larger teeth impaled Piotr's hip, which was standing behind the door. He screamed in agony but came to his senses quickly. He lodged himself away from the pig, screaming in agony once again, kicked the pig away with his healthy leg and shot him with his pistol to confirm the kill. But, the Blowout was still a threat. The new hole created in the wall would have to be covered by something. Piotr found it quickly enough – a closet. He closed all the curtains, put the largest items he could find next to them, including his backpack and rifle, and got in small, isolated and dark room inside the shack, pistol in hand. And inside that small dark room – a surprise! All those supplies from two months ago, conserved by him and Sergey, lay there, untouched. He looked for any medical kit, and there should have been one if his memory wasn't deceiving him. He found one, and stopped the bleeding and covered his eyes with a black cloth.

The Blowout was frequent, and it could have been heard and seen all over the Zone. Supposedly, by what Sergey told him, it came from the 04 reactor, that for some reason exploded every once in a while. Although, the only way he could have told one was coming was by the animals running away for cover. Each time a Blowout occurred, anyone without cover would be sprayed with large amounts of radiation and blacked out for a couple of hours. The only time he was blacked out, about a month and a half ago, he was lucky enough to have Sergey with him to save his sorry ass. Piotr woke up, exhausted and with a severe loss of blood. He would have to get to the nearest stalker meeting place, a quite, nice one, quickly so that they will take care of him. But, any good stalker knew, any artifacts brought to that meeting place would have to be carefully observed. But, lucky for him, he didn't have any at the time, and that maybe-important document he was carrying would probably go unnoticed among those wounded, stuck-up or drunk stalkers who went there. He looked for anything else useful he would gain from those stored supplies, but found nothing of interest, but decided that place may have been so well hidden and preserved, it may be of interest – so he marked it on his map and made a note on his journal. He exited the shack with his equipment and rifle in hand, hurrying to the stalker meeting place using his compass and map, ever watchful of the Bloodsuckers that he may attract with his bleeding hip.
After a quite-enough 40 minute walk, Piotr has reached the stalker's meeting place, an old bar inside the ruined city, which only those would be brave enough to inspect the inside of would notice the underground culture ever existed.
"Password?", the big, muscular man in radiation suit asked of Piotr.
-"It's… err… wait a minute let me remember, I know I have it somewhere in here…" Piotr replied while limping and checking his pockets are backpack. After a 30 seconds search, in which the "bouncer" was getting annoyed, Piotr found a little note – on his injured leg. He pulled out the note from his pocket, all full of blood. "Look, I'm on the brink of feinting and I need medical treatment. Please, let me through…"
"Okay, but you're coming with me." The bouncer grabbed Piotr by his arm, dragging him down the stairs and through a large metal door, housing a shelter in which Doc, an experienced field medic sat in and made his money taking care of wounded stalkers.

"That would be 500 Rubles, as always, Mr. Strugorvsky."
-"Never thought you'd remember the name, Doc", Piotr replied while heaving.
"Okay now, I can see you're tired and you need some rest and treatment. Money first – you know my motto."
- "Look, I'm seriously hurting over here… I promise by my mother's name, I will pay you quickly, just do your magic…"
"Fine, fine… just show me were you're hurting…"
Piotr raised his leg, achingly, and revealed the large wound on his hip.
"Damn! That is nasty! Did you get hit by a cannon or something?"
- "Pigs… long story. I think I'm about to lose too much blood. I walked 40 minutes to here."
"Okay, fine." The doctor finished talking and started treating the hurtful Piotr.
After an hour-long treatment, Piotr awoke, still hurting.
"Ahhh!" he screamed.
- "Don't move! Otherwise the stitches will be ripped open and I'll have to redo them. Please, just stand still. Now, about the payment…"
"Yeah, yeah…" Piotr grunted.
"Hey, where's the paper I had in my backpack?"
- "What, this?", Doc showed him the paper he held in his hand and asked.
"Yeah, that! Give it to me, now!"
-"Okay relax… what is that anyway?"
"It's… err… a letter. Yeah, a letter. To my sick mother in Russia."
Piotr handed him over the letter.
- "So, the payment? It's 500 Rubles, just to remind you."
Piotr handed him over the Rubles from the large pile of bills in his pocket and lay on the bed again.
- "Stay here. Rest. Wait until the morning. The dealer also said that he has a couple of missions for anyone willing, you might want to know."

Piotr slept with his weapons and backpack close by, and woke up at about 7:30. He got up from bed, stretched, with his slightly aching leg and picked up his equipment, and left. Outside, it was calm. The sky was bright; the sun was blinking from afar. This was Piotr's favorite time of the day… Just like waking up in the army base, drinking his cup of coffee and training with his friends – but this was no army base, this was the Zone. And Piotr knew that. He readied his rifle, and set out to the dealer Doc was talking about, located inside one of the ruined buildings.

"Yes…" The dealer answered, "Come in!", aiming his shotgun at the door. Piotr came in, and noticing the flash the sun created of off the barrel of the dealer's shotgun, he dodged away, sticking to the door.
- "Come on, it's me!" Piotr shouted.
"Oh you… then why didn't you say the password, asshole?", lowering his shotgun.
- " Sorry, haven't been here in a while…" Piotr entered with full confidence.
"Sorry about that… but some of your guys reported military activity around here lately. Got to keep my store alive, you know."
- "Yeah, I know, I can understand. Now, straight to the point…"
"I take it you heard about a couple of assignments I'm looking someone to accomplish. Okay, here's the thing… last week, I appointed one of your guys an assignment, bring me an artifact… I told him the location, information, everything… I have connections, you know… So, this fool closes himself in a house, not far from here, each time putting another note under my door, teasing me. This lunatic thinks he's got something on me?! Huh! I eat 10 of him for breakfast!"
- "So you want me to… kill him, take the artifact, and come back here, right?"
"Okay, you've got it right, pretty predictable, but I also want his body as a proof. Oh, and don't you even THINK about running away with it, I'll have you hunted down too."
- "Okay, be back in 1 hour!"
As Piotr was arming his rifle and preparing to leave, the dealer stopped him:
"Hey wait… Look, this is a general map of the area I THINK he's located in. Don't take me on the word, but I think this is where he is. Oh, and I got another guy to scan the area for him. Just do me a favor and don't kill him if you see him, huh?"

Piotr left without saying a word, slightly annoyed at the dealer for appointing another stalker for his mission. He took out his map, looking thoroughly at it. After about 5 minutes of inspecting it, he headed out in the general area the dealer pointed him to. Some 20 minutes later, Piotr, an advanced navigator, found a small, lit cabin. He raised his gun, careful to attract attention to himself, and walked slowly towards the cabin, aiming his gun at the door and keeping an eye out for a small window in it. But all his stealth was cut short by one loud burst from… a machine gun, perhaps? It was followed with two other bursts all aimed at the cabin, some of the bullets even went through the wooden wall and whizzed near Piotr's ears. He crouched near the cabin, hoping the shooters won't shoot again. "Ha-ha! I think we've got him!", the one who Piotr assumed to be the shooter shouted. But who was he shouting it to? Damn, more than one guy? Piotr listened carefully to the shooters' footsteps, slowly moving away from their sight with each footstep. He looked at his grenades, inspecting what his chances are. They ran towards the cabin's door, and from Piotr's other side, fortunately to him. Hmm… One gas grenade, one flash bang… The smoke should give him more time, but the flash would prove to be more visible through. So the flash bang it is. They entered through the door, noticing the body of full holes leaned against the wall, rejoicing for their victory. Now was Piotr's time; he took out his grenade and threw it right through the small window in the cabin. He waited a couple of seconds, all the while bringing out his silenced pistol. The men inside were confused… Bang! One second later, the men were crying out in pain, screaming that their eyes were sore. Now was Piotr's chance: He entered like a trained member of SWAT, shooting both large men in the head. Victory was his once again. As he expertly shot both his victims to death with two precise headshots, he pondered about how useful his Spetznatz experience was to his ventures in the Zone. But, like every time he remembered the army, he saw his commander's face, and was annoyed. He searched the 3 bodies for any useful items and found none, then looked for the artifact – a slippery one he had never seen before. He tried to catch it with his artifact container, and after a few minutes he got it inside. He then holstered his rifle and carried the "lunatic", a dark skinned and mildly "full" guy, back to the dealer, with a break every couple of minutes.

After collecting his reward and resting a bit in the stalker meeting place again, he set out again… bored. Terribly bored. He pondered for a while what he could do, until Ivan's keycard slipped out of his backpack suddenly. He inspected it, looking at Ivan's face… he then decided. Arrogantly enough, he decided to go in Ivan's base alone, not asking anyone for help. After another night spent at the stalker's meeting place, he set out once again. After an hour of trying to remember where Ivan's base was, he suddenly realized he had marked it on his map. Damn… this was pretty far. It was at the other side of the zone. He then remembered… his Niva. He will retrace his footsteps from his Sergey's cabin and find some place where he could cross the demolished bridge. Hell, now with his foot almost intact, it should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. And so he did, after retracing his footsteps, and finding a narrow passageway consisted of rocks near the bridge, against a rocky wall. He found his Niva, still intact, waiting for him, at the rise of the moon. "Wooooo!!!" He recognized these howls, these were Bloodsuckers. Still, with the Niva now closer by, it wouldn't be too hard to avoid them. Or would he even reach the car safe and sound…?

At first he thought it was silenced gun shots, but he quickly saw a small dust cloud rise about 2 meters in front of him. He dodged backwards quickly, aiming his gun nervously, scanning the area where the dust cloud is, trying to find a distortion somewhere in his sight that would indicate to the Bloodsucker's location. He could feel the wind the back of his neck, quickly turning around shooting simultaneously. It happened again, maybe three times more, and Piotr finally realized: This son of a bitch was playing with him!

And so it happened, that every time the Bloodsucker touched him, he turned around nervously, firing a burst. Eventually, Piotr snapped, and started shooting around him his entire magazine.

The sound of an empty magazine. The nervous Piotr listened quietly, to determine where the Bloodsucker was. Maybe he should have evacuated the 3 bodies inside Ivan's meeting place, thus not attracting the Bloodsucker. Or, even if he didn't, this idiot should have taken the Niva and drive away before he saw those mutant pigs! Why, oh why, didn't he do it, he thought to himself. He finally saw a little cloud of dust, which he didn't see in a lot of time, because this Bloodsucker was good enough to not create these, and ran the other way into cover, one of those abandoned buildings inside the base. He searched for anything he could have used… anything. What could uncover this freak's location for sure? But Piotr knew, since this thing is playing with him, once he locates him and shoots him he needs to kill him outright, because if he'll annoy him he'll most likely be killed.

Piotr found a couple of paint canisters, but they were all too dry. Nothing here, absolutely nothing… but then he remembered… why was this thing called a Bloodsucker. It sucks blood, makes holes in people and sucks blood. In a moment of brilliance, and perhaps over-confidence, Piotr ran over to the building where the MI6 agent, the Hungarian agent and Ivan were lying dead. He looked for any of them. AHA! He found it; a neck severed half way through. As much as this might have disgusted Piotr, it would be his only chance. He took out his knife, and quickly cut his head down completely. This thing's doing would be his undoing. That, and Piotr's handy knife. Then, in an exhibition that would make anyone on the outside either laugh or call the police, Piotr started to fling around Ivan's head in hopes of marking his opponent with the blood on the neck. After a couple of laughable spins with a severed head, Piotr hit something, stopping Piotr's hand in its tracks. He hit it, the Bloodsucker. The Bloodsucker, now annoyed of the trick he realized Piotr had pulled off, struck Piotr with the back of his hand, flinging him to the nearby wall. He made a small "Ouch!" when hitting the wall, but regained consciousness quickly enough. When he did, he heard the Bloodsucker drawing closer… but, luckily for him, his plan worked; he saw a smear of blood… hovering in the air. He took out his rifle, put in a magazine, and the Bloodsucker, arrogantly enough, kept walking, by what Piotr could make out of the sounds, slowly. He put the rifle's shooting rate on full automatic, and aimed it at the general direction of the hovering blood stain.

*bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang*
Something fell down; Piotr heard the thud it made. He then walked cautiously forward, scanning for anything "unnatural" with his legs. After he hit something, he aimed at its direction, and fired another burst.

*bang, bang, bang*
Now Piotr could hear it; the creature's last breath, the screeching sound. Piotr breathed heavily, exhausted. The base would have to wait for tomorrow, but at least he had his Niva, and this would be a hard lesson to his ego, and maybe keep him safe tomorrow at the base, now that his arrogance has been reduced.

And so it was that Piotr took his Niva, drove off to Sergey's secluded shack and slept there. In the night after, that was when Piotr has did the deed to change everything that he has gone through so far in the zone.

He stopped about one kilometer away from the base, and started his sneaking into the base. At first it was easy, just avoiding the patrols around the base and the guard towers, and even getting in using Ivan's keycard. "22314867… good, got it!" Piotr talked to himself while entering the code and watching the door open. He entered, and observed the base like any skilled infiltrator; he peaked around the corners while hiding behind one, counting the number of enemies, their locations and their patrol route, including his weapons to see what his odds are if he ever gets caught. They had really good weapons; each was equipped with a Vepr, the Ukrainian assault rifle. Some of, what seemed to Piotr like, the higher ranked soldiers even had night vision goggles and thermal vision goggles. High tech and advanced couldn't even describe their equipment. They had even all sorts of tanks stored in warehouses, and even two dusty Hinds, probably used every now and then and given a "shower" to wash away the radiation. As if the almost endless number of men in the base did not suffice, they were also transporting each other in jeeps, so they would be able to discover him more easily. He needed a plan, maybe a distraction… but an explosion would alert them too much. Maybe a classic power cutout would do the trick? As long as they wouldn't be alarmed by that, he had a pretty good chance. But… that may cause them to tighten security, thus reducing his chances of sneaking undetected. Hell, if it would have been daylight now, he wouldn't stay undetected for more than 2 minutes! "The power cutout would be my means of escaping", that is what he decided.

"Okay now… let's see… the weapons storage warehouse may be a good place to start looking for new weapons, seeing as this base is filled to the brim with high tech equipment… after that, maybe the equipment storage warehouse will have something interesting. I should avoid the garage, probably a lot of technicians fixing vehicles. Sticking to the shadows would do me well. And if, if I zip through the dark warehouses and avoid the ones bright lit, I should do fine for myself. After that, I can go and check out the heavily secured building…"

Piotr though to himself that, with all that high tech gear, they could have at least afforded high maintenance. But he stopped laughing while he saw 2 workers shutting the hole with cement. He'd have to do this quick, to reach the building and knock both of them out, and then get in and out quickly, all the while looking for any artifacts within.

"Then… right next to it. The generator room. This would be how I escape."

He headed out, careful not to kill anyone or make contact with anyone, because he will, he'll have this entire post on his ass. Killing anyone would also prove to be inefficient, because Piotr knew damn well the bodies would be problematic. He started out in the base's back entrance, where he got from using Ivan's keycard, and crouch-walked silently all the way to the weapons storage warehouse.

In the warehouse, there were two soldiers replacing weapons specifications, arguing which bullet is better for specific situations. "Meh… probably rookies." Piotr thought to himself as he carefully avoided them. He checked out the weapons in there. Incredible! This was probably the finest collection of guns he had ever seen! All manners of assault rifles from different countries across the globe! But, one weapon caught his eyes; the silver, Belgian FN 2000. He picked it up, looked at it a bit and aimed at the soldiers for a few seconds… just to see how it feels. It was so tempting... but no. He can't. He discarded his current rifle, the LR300 ML and its ammunition, and then he put all it's attachments on his newest weapon. And, knowing obtaining ammunition for this weapon would prove difficult, he stocked up on ammo for it, which lay, conveniently enough… right next to it. He also refilled his supply of grenades, carefully putting them in the pockets on his uniform appropriate for grenade concealment. He then headed out once again, this time for the equipment storage warehouse… in this warehouse, there was only one guy, probably keeping tabs on the equipment with his little notebook.

"Thirty thermal vision goggles… forty night vision goggles… and you… my little sweet…" The soldier took a small silver box, complete with a small lock. He entered the numbers using the rotating circle on the lock, and took out… a tube? He looked through it, gazing at its capabilities. "With this thing in our stock… soon enough… I want to see any mutant come close!" He then… kissed it… and put it back in the small box, and left. Now that the coast was clear, Piotr headed out to see the strange tube was. He inspected the box, and saw a "Prototype" sticker in Ukrainian stuck to it. He put his ear closer to the lock, and slowly rotated the circle with numbers on it until it opened. Inside the box, on a furry plastic nest, lay… a scope. But what is so special about this scope? He took it out, inspected it, and then put it on his rifle instead of the other scope, and looked at it, closely. He looked through it… wow. Pretty long range, but was he really that excited about this?! He looked at it from its other side, inspecting to find hidden options. "NT vision… what does this do?", he though to himself. He flicked on the switch, and looked through it again, amazed. This wasn't too special per se, but it was definitely high tech. What he saw from that scope was night vision, pretty high quality, but he also saw the soldiers in red and yellow colors. "Night and thermal visions combined!" Piotr was pretty excited, almost like a 5 year old with a new toy. Now, not only did he acquire a good scope, the best he had since he entered the Zone, hell – the best he'd ever seen, but now he won't have to take any of these night vision or thermal vision goggles. Good, now these fragile goggles wouldn't take his space or time to switch. He checked for other equipments; he saw those "obsolete" goggles, a couple of binoculars, some maps… and another three boxes all titled "Prototype". Hell, if he hadn't known better, he'd think this the military main source in the Zone of equipment. He cracked one of them open, again using his ears, and saw a laser sight device. He took it out, clicked on it a few times… not functioning, perhaps? The red light is not even blinking every time he turns the switch on and off! He aimed at his eye and almost screamed in pain. This thing was powerful! But, it doesn't even show where he's aiming the laser at! He had an idea… he flicked on the NT vision of his newly added scope and turned the laser on again. "Aha!" So this laser is concealed from normal sight completely! Only he or someone lucky enough to carry night vision goggles would see it! He dumped his old attachments in place of the new ones, very satisfied from this visit to the base. He closed this box and moved on to the other… But alas, he was too late, as five soldiers came in with dirty magazines to smoke and "read". He exited quickly out of another door he found.

Next was the tightly secured building and the two builders cementing the hole in it. Where was it created from? "Doesn’t matter..." Piotr thought to himself, "This is one of the most opportune moments I could have to sneak in". He waited for both workers to be too bust to notice him, and when the moment arose, he ran to them, knocking both their heads on the wall, throwing them inside the hole and then knocking them out with the butt of his pistol. Then he hid their unconscious bodies and headed inside… He found a scientist observing one of the artifacts, amazed… There were two more and he's going to get them all. He headed forward, loading a clip into his new rifle and aimed using the scope…

A single shot sent him to the floor. He took out 3 containers and picked up the artifact the scientist was holding and placed it in his backpack. He did it with the second one, a slimy glowing artifact, and when he reached the third artifact…

Vaporized. Piotr muttered a swear word in Ukrainian and muttered a swear word for his failure to catch the third artifact.

He exited, and then very quickly headed to the generator room. He entered, and using a piece of sharp metal he found nearby, he tore the cords right off, causing a cut in power. Fortunately, they didn't have a backup generator. He saw the base in pitch dark, soldiers muttering, not understanding what happened and it allowed him to freely breeze through all of them… until;

All the lights were back up. Piotr muttered a curse word about the apparent second backup generator and ran, hoping they won't find him. But that is when the alarm went on… He ran like crazy, a couple of soldiers almost noticed him. He ran all the way to where he entered the building from and leaned against the wall, breathing heavily, unprepared. And from the building he was leaning against… A soldier sneaking on the roof with a knife in hand. He jumped on Piotr!

Piotr hardly noticed anything until he felt the blood raining down on him, but the soldier above him was filled with holes and fell right near him, the blood smearing all over his radiation suit!

In the distance, while trying to figure out what the hell happened, Piotr noticed a couple of armed men marching up the hill… but they weren't soldiers! From what Piotr could make up, they were yelling "For Freedom!" and planning tactics simultaneously. They were trying to… attack the base?! Are they mad?! Who the hell were they, anyway?

It didn't matter for Piotr though, because he had to take cover. He plunged right into the building he was leaning against, sticking to the corner and shooting some soldiers that entered it, also for protection. His gun was doing a great job, not that he could noticed, because he was in the middle of a firefight, considered an enemy by both sides fighting!

He was going to rush them out, his only chance is to try and carefully pick off the soldiers. One, two, three, four… Piotr had to reload. While he was reloading, another soldiers popped in front of him, running towards him and shooting. A couple of stray bullets whizzed near his ear, and he was closing his eyes in preparation for his demise, but a savior emerged; a sniper, one of the other combatants should this guy in the face with a sniper rifle, dead on. Maybe these guys weren't so bad after all… or maybe they're just trying to kill everyone in the base and the sniper couldn't see him because of the angle. He finished reloading, and went out to fight again. He spotted two soldiers trying to double-mount a jeep with an embedded machine gun, so he set up his scope, and shot the driver first, the gunner later. Two more were trying to board the Hind and to get all of the others to board it, but they were eventually picked off by the sniper. Then the sniper probably remembered the two Hinds that were located in the base, and shot both their engines out to make sure no one escapes alive. This guy is good; Piotr should probably stay in cover until an opportune moment arises. In the mean time, on the other side of the base, the other combatants from the sniper's side charged the Ukrainian soldiers, and although their high tech gear, the combatants outnumbered them and appeared to be better trained in combat… pretty surprising, considering this is the Ukrainian army. Bullets were shot, grenades thrown, and throats and guts torn open by knives. The combatants sure knew their thing; Piotr peeked a couple of times from kill to kill, and not many of their men were killed. In a last effort to escape, three Ukrainian soldiers boarded one of the Hinds, and actually managed to get airborne despite the broken engine, but were quickly dispatched with… using a rocket launcher?! Holy shit, these guys were a lot, they could fight and they had equipment too! The last remaining survivor was Piotr, who tried to smoke the combatants and make a run for it, but they had gasmasks on! He tried to rush them, but from around the corner he was running around someone tripped him and held him in an arm lock! He pulled out his knife, took it upwards and… "Stop!", the voice of one of the combatants was heard. Piotr took that opportunity to release himself from the arm lock, disarm the attacker and point the knife to his throat, then he lift it upwards but met the nasty barrel of a gun. The gun holder ordered him to drop the knife and get up, and Piotr did exactly that. As he got up, the man aimed the gun, prepared to shoot him, but when the combatant that ordered the stop the other combatant from knifing him, he yelled "Stop!" again. Then, he came closer and closer to Piotr, and slowly removed his gasmask. It was… Sergey!
  22:39:28  1 February 2005
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Fanfic Reviewer


On forum: 10/06/2003
Messages: 168
You've certainly cut down on the number of cliche's, etc. But there are still some problems I'd like to point out:

First, is just a request for more detail. Need more detail on combat, for one. When the stalker gets gored by the 'pig,' I don't really know how he feels. I mean, it must really hurt. You say he screams in agony, but you should describe it. Try to imagine how it feels to get gored in the leg, and write that down. Or when the Hind is blown apart by a rocket launcher, describe that. Does it just blow apart into little pieces, or does the explosion shear off the whole side of it and send the other spinning into a building?

Second, is improbability, tied to struggle. In other words, there are things that happen that seem too unlikely or coincedental, that make it too easy on the stalker. Remember, the thing that makes a story interesting is struggle. If things aren't difficult for the character, it's not very interesting. The way the base is described makes it seem like an impentrable fortress, but the stalker seems to be able to just waltz in, and these Ukrainians with all their hi-tech equipment and tanks and Hinds and night-vision/thermal goggles can't detect him, or defend against the attackers.

Despite this, you have obviously cut down on the number of problems. My last problem with this installment is that I'm not sure how it ties into the overall story. The development with Sergey coming to his rescue was interesting, but perhaps if there was something more important in the base it would help. There are artifacts, but none of them feel especially important. Emphasizing the importance of one or two would also help. And the decision to go to the base seems more like whim than decision. After what happened in the first chapter, it would seem that he would immediately decide to check the place out.

Ok, I know it's harsh again, but I can't help it. With the rate you've cut down on the errors though, I'm sure Chapter 3 will be much more interesting (no pressure )
  05:34:58  2 February 2005
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Senior Resident

On forum: 04/07/2004
Messages: 825
Thanks again. I think chapter 3 will be much more interesting, but thanks for your critisicism .
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