| 22:00:26 20 September 2009
On forum: 10/11/2008
ehm Wolfsblut, I think you posted in the wrong story section your talking about Snork Bait the SAS dude. This is The Zone Rebirth.|
| 06:28:58 21 September 2009
On forum: 04/15/2007
Burn-up on Re-entry|
Once again, here is the next installment of "Rebirth". This one took me forever to write for some reason... maybe the amount of detail and the thickening of the adding of characters/places.
We find Virtue heading through an unfamiliar part of the Zone, northbound, and hoping to find anyone that may know of activity deeper within the Zone - and hopefully word form his friends. After picking up a mysterious signal, he decides to investigate in hopes of finding friendly Stalkers, only to find himself with more pain than gain.
The sky begins to cloud over and the sunlight dims almost comfortably. Had the situation been different Virtue might be grateful for the pleasant change of weather, but the smell of fire and death fills his nostrils, dominating any other sense pleasant or otherwise. He begins to walk down the decline of the hill, letting gravity do the work for him as he walks to his destination.
Destination… that was something he hadn’t given much thought. Ultimately his goal was attempt to get word of his friends any anything else happening in The Zone any way possible but he hadn’t really given any thought on where to go. I’m bound to run into another Stalker eventually. He thought. Though whether the other Stalker would just shoot him on sight or be otherwise uncooperative was another question.
Suddenly he felt naked… realizing how short on supplies he now was after his journey to The Zone and the supplies used to aid in his recovery afterwards by the friendly old man and his wife. What were their names again? Dammit. They saved my life and in less than a day I can’t even remember their names. Virtue cursed at himself. But that was the way of The Zone: faces would always be remembered but names were so easily forgotten.
He sighs, letting the noises of bugs chirping and buzzing in the tall grass around him sing a song to him. Somewhere in the distance before and beside him distant gunfire and explosions continue to echo through the air. He sees the battles in his mind as he listens; Ukrainian forces being ambushed - either taken by surprise or overwhelmed by superior numbers. The world was going crazy out there… what was stopping reinforcements from coming in and smashing them like bugs? Hopefully it was because the revolts taking place were being led by the very citizens of the county the military was trying to protect; no longer content to go about their lives while the shadow of Chernobyl slowly crept into their very backyards. This was the last straw for them - things would change even if they had to force them to.
Virtue understood wanting to affect change – his journey was proof of that – but how long did they hope to interfere with the military operation in The Zone before they were systematically exterminated? You don’t just start destroying military checkpoints and not expect repercussions… yet this was their own military, their own fathers, sons and brothers. If one saw the other side of the fence when they shooting started would they have the ability to fire even if the cause is just? What about the Russian military occupation of the NPP - distant-cousins he supposed if he was to continue the analogy of the relationship between members of the current conflict. How would the military respond to that threat while they were being torn apart from the inside?
He didn’t know the answer to these questions, but he did know that the answer would come very quickly. The game was on, and it was the Ukrainian military’s turn.
He stops suddenly, searching for the source of a faint crackling noise coming from one of his pockets. The crackle slowly changes into a nearly-recognizable sound; a voice. Virtue finally finds the object in question, pulling out his PDA and brushing away the layer of dirt, blood and grime that has accumulated on it unbeknownst to him. He holds the device up to his ear as the voice becomes clearer. It’s a man’s voice. He’s older-sounding, but Virtue doesn’t recognize the voice.
[Unknown]: … seeking to fill… void in your life? Join… church… Doomsday. We’re closer than you think.
“We’re closer than you think?” Virtue ponders the meaning of that line in his head. But one thing is clear… there are humans nearby. He traces the signal back to its source using his PDA’s GPS function, which pinpoints the signal to the top of a hill somewhere northwest of him. What the hell, at least they sound friendly… he thinks to himself again. Of course, friend or not he intends to get as close to the source of the signal as possible and attempt to get as much information as possible before taking any definite action.
He begins heading slightly west on his northbound path on a course that will take him directly to the top of the hill indicated on his PDA. The tall grass begins to become more and more yellow as he walks… eventually becoming shorter in height as well. The sun finally peeks out of the clouds again, illuminating the hill lands before him in a golden light and the sun reflects off of the dried plant life before him.
Nestled between the base of two hills to the northeast is a small village. The buildings are mud brown and worn to near collapse by the elements. This is no doubt the oldest and most shambled of remaining villages Virtue has yet seen in the Zone. The one-road town looks like something out of the 1800s and for all he knows was built around that time. He decides that despite the age and obvious wear, it could still be the home of just about anything and steering clear might be a good idea.
He avoids the newly discovered road leading into the town just ahead of him, nearly invisible under a layer of dust and dried plants. He follows the road with his eyes in the opposite direction to the west. A lone structure stands at the top of a dried, weary-looking hill. The steeple on top gives it away as a church. Virtue glances back at his PDA. The source of the signal is definitely coming from there. He lets out a deep breath and slowly approaches the base of the hill. As soon as the cover of the grass is too little to conceal him, he drops to the ground and pulls out his binoculars.
He slowly and methodically scans the building from top to bottom, focusing hard on any openings for signs of life or any other activity inside. Not so much as a waving cobweb. He stands up slowly, unsatisfied with the results of his scan. *Someone* is in there, either broadcasting the message or maintaining the equipment that does. Though it could just be wishful thinking… it’s entirely possible the message is automated and the maker of it is long dead. It could have been running for days… weeks… maybe years already.
Crawling cautiously through the ever-thinning cover up the hill, he listens intently for any unnatural sound, any sign of activity around him. Still nothing. He crawls all the way to the overgrown plants outside of the building – obviously planted there long ago to enhance the aesthetics of the building and intended to be maintained. He crouches in the shade along the south side of the building, leaning his head against the cool wood on the side of the building, listening for any sound within and feeling for any vibrations that could spell movement. Dead silence.
He inches over to the door in a duck walk. Once more the sunlight begins to beat down on him as he reaches the front door of the small church. Several holes pocket the door, giving it the texture of an acne-ridden teenager. He slowly leans towards one of the larger holes, placing his eye socket against it and peering inside.
Sunlight shines through the stained-glass windows on the northern side. Dust dances through the air around the dark, weary pews. The alter in the back of the room is flipped over and paper litters the floors. A crucifix on the back wall stares back at him, whether as a warning or an invitation he’s not sure. He shifts slightly to scan to the more immediate left and right. He follows the length of an overturned pew to his right and is rudely greeted with the answer to the door’s sad condition. He stares into the black void of death – the barrel of a Winchester 1300 Defender.
He looks up, half-expecting to see it attached to someone but finds that it is mounted to the nearby pew – a thin wire leads from the trigger to a pulley behind it, which leads to the back of the doorknob. “Well… good thing I didn’t march right in…” Virtue thinks to himself, relieved. He leans back from the door, no longer willing to try and enter that way.
He surveys the area around the hill quickly to make sure nobody or thing has decided to take advantage of the situation. When that shotgun was rigged, he doesn’t know, but it’s obvious it was put there to keep unwelcome guests out. He can only hope that is he can find another way in he is welcome by whatever inhabitants may call this structure home. Though the possibility of living inhabitants seems to be getting slimmer and slimmer the more time goes by without a sound.
Still, that’s no proof of desertion or absence of imminent danger. If he’s learned nothing else from The Zone in his experience it’s that there’s no real safety anywhere at any time.
Determined to enter, he slowly creeps around the north side of the building. In front of one of the stained-glass windows, a pile of old furniture and boxes are piled to the sill. He approaches the rickety structure. The window above is broken, providing a suspiciously welcoming entry to the inside and the mystery within.
He tests the structure with one foot, putting a little weight on it at first, then a little more, then all of it. He lifts his other leg onto the top of the wooden crate below him, then shifts it onto an old, musty couch in front of him on the next tier of the structure. As he climbs on top, the structure shifts slightly beneath him. He mounts a greying, water-damaged table comprising the third tier of the structure - the pyramid of death sways in protest beneath him and the table creaks and groans with laughter. His muscles tense as he dares to put more weight onto the table, slowly, carefully pulling himself on top.
“Balancing acts should be left to the circus...” He thinks to himself as the wind picks up slightly and he tries to compensate for the increased sway of the pathetic makeshift staircase below him. His full weight on the table. The structure is suspiciously quiet but the tension can be felt it is still silently laughing at him as he climbs. Standing slowly, he reaches up and touches the high sill of the broken window, looking back at the state of the structure below him. He’ll have to pull himself up to get inside. “I get one shot at this…” he thinks. “If I don’t give it my all, I fall off, knock the wind out of myself, and the structure will probably break in the process.”
He braces himself, gripping the ledge above him tightly and tensing his muscles as he counts silently in his head: “1…2…3!” He grunts as he jumps, pulling his full weight up as he inches towards the ledge. The structure below him falls away from the wall, tumbling down the hillside faster and faster, pieces flying off as it goes.
He lets out a puff of air and inhales sharply, as he continues to pull his weight as well as that of his gear up with him. He can feel his face burning as it begins to turn red and sweat collects on his forehead. “Come on Virtue, dammit! Get up there you lazy bastard!” he scolds himself as his muscles begin to strain. His feet kick against the outside walls of the church in an effort to find some sort of foothold. They scrape against the side as he continues to push, using the friction of the treads in his boots to help push himself up.
In a final boost of effort, he clenches his teeth and pushes his arms up and his weight forward. Suddenly the resistance is gone. He can feel himself falling forward through the air, tucking under into a front flip and crashing into his back, taking out a pew in the process. The loud splintering of broken wood and the boom of his impact pierce the silence, reverberating in his head as it rings from the impact. “That’s gonna feel good in the morning…” he things to himself sarcastically as a sudden sleepiness begins to overtake him.
He holds his hand out in front of him as if expecting someone to take hold of it and help him to his feet. The face of Jesus nailed to the cross stares down at him in sadness as his hand begins to blur in front of his face. He lets out a small gasp of air in protest as the face behind his hand also begins to blur, the sadness still evident as Virtue’s pathetic cry for help goes unanswered.
A door somewhere beside the crucifix slowly begins to open. A shadowy figure emerges slowly with a long narrow object protruding in front of it, obviously a weapon.
“Looks like we have another lost brother looking for guidance.” The figure says.
Virtue slowly turns his head towards the voice. He loses feeling in his arm and it falls carelessly onto the broken wood under him. His eyes roll back in his head and the room goes black. He thinks he can feel himself being dragged across the floor away from the scene, but he can’t tell as the events that have lapsed since the last time he’s slept begin to play through his head and once again he finds himself in Chernobyl surrounded by the darkness of the abandoned, irradiated halls and the evil that resides within.
Check out my Stalker stories and other Zone-related stuff!
| 14:15:02 21 September 2009
On forum: 02/11/2009
Haha... I think you got the wrong story, bud... you're looking for "Snork Bait" by snorkbait.
Post there so I can jump to his defense. ^_^