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The Job

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  16:38:27  2 August 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010
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Chapter 15
The three of them ran along the road leading to Yantar, and the scientist’s bunker. Sage had his regular gear back, armoured vest, VAL, and the rest of his gear. Shadow had his silenced Viper, along with the GP37 he had collected. Ivan still carried the TRs he had obtained earlier in the night. They passed under the burner tunnel, long since blackened and scorched by the burners, which had burnt out after a while, leaving a blacked shell of a tunnel, and the ashes of those who died in their flames. The trip to Yantar was uneventful, apart from the shooting of a stray zombie along the way. It took several hours, and a few short breaks, but they made it, standing atop the hill overlooking the Bunker, resting in the dried lakebed.

Of course, at this time of year, the lakebed wasn’t so dry. After completely shutting down the brain lab, and switching off all the systems, the cooling system was no longer drawing water from the lake, and as a result, the rain was slowly filling the lakebed back up. The bunker had already been lifted up, and put on concrete blocks, to keep it out of the water, which was about a meter high so far.

“Here we are, Lake Yantar. The Military’s considering moving the Lab up onto one of the hills, just to keep it out of the lake as it refills.” Ivan told Shadow and Sage.

“Bet Shakarov’s waiting for that. Rumour has it; he hasn’t left the
Bunker in several years.”

“Really Shadow? We should stop in and ask him then.” Sage replied.
Shadow opened his mouth in reply, but a flash of lighting, followed by the sound of thunder, and then a far off rumbling noise coming from the north interrupted him.

“We’ll ask him while were taking cover from the emission.” Ivan yelled over the thunder and rumbling, which started growing in intensity, before running down the hill.

Sage and Shadow followed, and started sloshing through the water, surprised at how warm it was. Somehow, despite Ivan’s head start, Shadow arrived there first, with Ivan behind him and Sage taking up the rear. Shadow moved to the side, and pressed the intercom button, just as the bunker door swung open. None of them wasted any time, cramming into the airlock, while the door behind them swung shut before the door leading into the lab swung open, resulting in the three of them falling forward onto the floor of the lab.

“Well well, Sage, Shadow and friend, playing sardines in a can with our airlock again” said a voice from in front of them.

Ivan, Shadow and Sage picked themselves off the ground. Standing in front of them, grinning, was Smiley, so named for his tendency to well, smile or grin all the time. Sometimes, it would cheer you up. Other times, it made you want to stick your fist in his face.

“Well Smiley, what have you been up to lately” Sage asked, picking himself up off the ground.

“Oh, the usual, cataloguing artefacts, sorting out notes on the Miracle Machine, the usual. Wait, here comes the shock wave”

“How in the Zone’s name do-” Ivan started to ask, before, with a resounding BOOM, the Bunker shook, causing all of them to fall over onto the floor.

“My friend” Smiley said, still wearing his trademark grin “I’ve sat through plenty of emissions in this bunker, and after a year or so, you can tell when each phase of the emission will occur. Unfortunately, the Energy and radiation will have made the Yantar area unsafe to pass through, so you’ll have to wait a while. But please be quiet; Sakharov’s trying to get some sleep. He’s been up for the past 48 hours, and the Emissions probably woken him up.”

“Yeah, that’s all good and all Smiley, but when will it be safe to go back out? We’re kinda in a hurry.”

“Have to catch up with Reaper, I would guess Shadow. And who’s the new guy? You’ve never really brought others on your jobs.”

“The names Ivan. I’m helping Sage and Shadow out on their latest assignment. It’s part of the contract.”

“Let me guess, a Military contract, since both Duty and Freedom know better than to send some of their people along with Sage and Shadow unless they ask for it. This makes you the Military Stalker in charge of overseeing its success.”

Looking at the surprised expression on Ivan’s face, Smiley grinned wider and added: “And I have a degree in Logic and Reasoning, in addition to my Biochemistry Major. Now, while we wait for the energy levels and radiation to drop to acceptable levels, how about something to eat and drink?”

“Probably a good idea, I don’t think any of us have eaten since yesterday.”

“Agree with you there Sage.”

“Seconded. Army rations play havoc with ones stomach.”

“Alright, I’ll see what we can spare for you three.” Smiley turned around and went back into back. They all heard the sound of an airtight door being opened quietly and then close again.

“OK Sage, how long must we wait here? Reapers gaining ground on us every second we sit here.”

“At least half an hour before we can chance it with antirads, provided you’re not planning on having children at some point Ivan. Three quarters of an hour before it’s safe to go out as we are now.”

“Alright you three, come get it” Smiley voice called out.

Ivan, Shadow and Sage picked themselves up off the floor, and went around to the office. Smiley was there with a large plate of cold meat and salad, along with half a loaf of bread.

“It’s not much, but it should get you back on the road. Jugs boiling, so there’ll be hot drinks shortly.”

The three of them attacked the food, building sandwiches and eating them as fast as they could. They didn’t release how hungry they were until they started eating. Smiley came back a few minutes later with a large jug, and three empty cups, which they helped themselves to.

“Ah, decent coffee, not the instant army crap they serve all the time.”
Smiley grinned even wider, if such a thing was possible, but his attention was caught by something on a nearby monitor, which he leant down to investigate.

“What does the army coffee usually taste like Ivan?”

“Well Shadow, it tastes like –”

“Shit! There’s a stalker out there. Duty uniform, coming down from the Wild Territory Road. Shadow, grab one of those suits in the decontamination chamber, Sage, grab the medkit in the back” Smiley ordered, looking up from the monitor, and jumping through the serving window, and running out to the airlock.

“Odd guy.” Remarked Ivan, stepping aside so Shadow could get to the protective suit within the chamber.

“Yeah, used to be a regular Stalker with a degree, before he started work here. Now even the Military thinks he’s legit. Still just a stalker with a Zone pass.” Sage replied, grabbing the closed circuit breathing unit, and helping Shadow put it on.

“Must have driven all the other stalkers crazy, smiling constantly like that.” Ivan responded, as Sage stepped aside to let Shadow pass, before jumping through the serving window, heading for the medpack in back.

“Dunno, didn’t hear of him till he started work here. Here, grab this” Sage said, passing Ivan the medpack, and then jumping back through the window.

They didn’t have to wait long. Shadow and Smiley were back, carrying the Duty stalker. He was unconscious, and had the deathly pale look about him, one who had been exposed to gravely dangerous levels of radiation. He was only wearing a standard Issue PSZ-9d suit, and carrying an Akm 74/2U.

“Sage, anti rads and stimulants now!”

Sage opened the pack, and grabbed the various syringes that Smiley asked for. He set up the portable neutral monitor as Smiley injected the stalker with potentially life saving medicine.

“Sage, you have to see this.”

“Damnit Shadow, can’t it wait 30 seconds?”

“Sage, you really have to see this. It was sent from Freedom about 15 minutes after we left the Wild Territory, to Duty, addressed to you.”
Sage looked up, and saw Shadow with a grim expression on his face, removing a set of ear phones from the Duty stalkers PDA, and Ivan standing next to him, fuming silently.

“What is it?”

“A video clip. You better see this.” Shadow passed the PDA to Sage, who took it, and pressed the play button. The clip was short, about 30 seconds.

“Dear Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into?”
  15:03:03  21 July 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010
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Nice to know people are still reading. Making it up as I go along at this point. I just sit down, and start typing, then sit back and read what I've typed, and then change a few things, and correct typo's. Wonder how long I can get this to last. And how many plot twists I can throw in.
  10:01:13  21 July 2010
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Senior Resident

On forum: 10/28/2009
Messages: 429
Good chapter Fluffy
  09:06:49  21 July 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010
Messages: 6342
Chapter 14
Sage could hear the children sobbing in the room behind them, while all three of them trained their weapons on the door. The fire fight was still ongoing, and whoever it was, definitely had ammo to burn. Shotguns, grenades, a few AK’s, but most of the rifles sounded like they used larger NATO SS109 round.

They all then heard an echoing battle cry, and the answering cries to it. Ivan swore, and tightened the grip on his weapon, while Shadow and Sage relaxed a bit. Despite the noise of the gunfire, and the building they were in, they could hear it quite clearly:

“За Свободу!”

Both Shadow and Ivan looked at Sage, who looked back at both of them.

“What the hell is Freedom doing here?” Shadow asked.

“No idea, and it doesn’t sound like a patrol. More like a strike force.” Replied Sage

“Stinking stupid short sighted anarchists and terrorists” interrupted Ivan

“Yeah, and Duty is short sighted as well.” countered Shadow. “They can never seem to grasp the concept of ‘kill a mutant, and another takes its place an hour later, which might be even more dangerous’. And they don’t deliberately mess anything that can shoot back except Freedom.”

“Alright you two, stop it. Ivan, until the Military gets here, Freedoms your best friend. And with that TRs, they’ll probably take you for a neutral. Now, the shootings died down, so let’s go out carefully. I’ll go first.”

Sage headed towards the door, and opened it, walking out into the orange sunlight. Sure enough, green flecktarn vests were everywhere in sight. Most of them had guns pointing at him. Shadow and Ivan followed him out. He could hear Ivan gulp behind him.

“Sage, my friend. Where’s your VAL? Decided to start using decent equipment at last?”

“Vitaly, what are you doing here?”

“Well, we were on our way back to base a few hours after you passed, and we just passed the old Rostok Bar, when a Military helicopter flies over and lands, then takes off back south. We went straight back to the base, told Lukash, and the sends a force over here to take a look. Who’s the new guy? And where’s Reaper? And what are you doing here with dead Merc’s and Zombified?”

“Long story, and our current contract. The new guys Ivan, and Reapers AWOL. Listen, you seen any Merc’s heading away from here?”

“No, not personally. I’ll ask my scouts; see if they’ve seen them. Reaper didn’t show up? That’s not like him, not like him at all. Military contract, I would bet. We’ll be keeping an eye on your new friend.”

“What’s also not like Reaper is to lead us into an ambush, and then reveal he’s been working with the Merc’s all along.” Shadow said bitterly.

Vitaly’s jaw dropped, along with several others who turned to face them upon hearing this. “You’re joking right? Reaper, a Merc? The same Reaper you’ve always worked with? And we let that cocksucker into our base?”

“Yes, yes, and yes. And –“

“Cocksuckers dead meat when I find him. Those bastard Merc’s are responsible for far too many of our boy’s deaths!”

“Look, take a number, and join the queue. You’re behind me. And there’ll be more helicopters carrying the good part of a Spetsnaz platoon in a few minutes.”

“Thanks Ivan, I was getting around to that part. Vitaly, you might want to get you and your guys away from here. We can guarantee the army’s not going to shoot us, but I cannot do the same for you.”

Vitaly nodded. “Well, I’ll get people looking around for Reaper, and the Merc’s he’s with. You might want to try and find a road to the Dead City. There’s one at the Military Warehouses. There’s supposed to be another at Yantar.”

Helicopters Inbound. Three of them!

“Well Sage, that sounds like our cue to leave. Until we meet again.”

Sage watched as Vitaly and his men left, and could hear the sound of the helicopters coming into land behind him.

“You think Vitaly will keep his word about finding Reaper Sage?”

“Shadow, we weren’t in the zone when what happened happened. But Freedom has never really been on good terms with them since. They attacked them in the Dark Valley, weakened them to the point where the Bandits drove them out, and they were spying on them in the Warehouses not long ago. The practically have a shoot on sight policy with the Merc’s these days. They’ll help. And we know Lukash personally. When he finds out that Reaper is a Merc, well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes hunting for him-”


“Uh, that’s the Colonel from the outpost. I’ll get rid of the prisoner.”

“And leave me to face the music. Thanks. Ask him how to get to the Dead City while you’re at it.”

Sage turned around to see Colonel Sergei walking toward him, with Ivan in tow. “Morning Colonel, what can I help you with?”

Sergei stopped just short of Sage, and then pushed in the chest. “How about telling me where you four clowns screwed up? That’s how you can help me.”

Sage took a step back before speaking. “Sir, with all due respect, we didn’t screw up. Reaper betrayed us to the Merc’s. I was not expecting that.”

“Then what the hell were you expecting?!”

“For you to screw us over somehow.”

The Colonels eyes literally bulged out of his eye sockets at this. “What? And after what we were offering? And you expected us to screw you over?!”

“Yes sir. The amount of cash you were offering looked too good to be true. Looks like I was wrong.”

“Well you were almost right: you better get a move on, and complete the damn job, else I’m cutting your pay on this job. Ivan, don’t screw this up, or you know what will happen.” Sergei turned and stormed away towards one of the helicopters, leaving Ivan standing there. Sage watched as he climbed in, and the helicopter powered up and flew off, along with the other two, leaving several squads of Spetsnaz behind.

“Sage, do me one thing.”

“What’s that Ivan?”

“Next time you see him at a distance, stick a round from that SVD into his head.” Sage looked sideways at Ivan when he said this. Ivan looked back. “Don’t ask, but he’s long overdue for a good shooting”

“We better catch up with Shadow; we’ve still got a job to complete.”

“Where is he anyway?”

“Getting rid of that Merc. And trying to find a way to the Dead City via Yantar.”

“Sounds good. When do we leave?”

“Once I get my gear back.”

Sage turned back towards the Building and walked in. He found his gear the Merc’s had taken, minus his artefacts and PDA, on a table in a side room. As he was putting it back on, a thought hit him.

“Ivan, why did the Military leave several squads here? Why not fly the hostages out on a Helicopter?”

Ivan shrugged. “Convoy they said would be easier. But helicopter would be faster and safer. But you know Military planners, they never think of the most logical and reasonable option.”

“True. Alright, lets catch up to Reaper, and this ‘Claw’ guy.”

  02:19:22  13 July 2010
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Dabur - Stalker


On forum: 06/20/2010
Messages: 601
hi ,

nice story fluffy


have a nice day

ps your last link ' looking for a few ' is dead in your sig
  19:35:08  20 June 2010
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On forum: 04/11/2010
Messages: 90
Judging by the fact that it's shotguns I'd say the bandits.
  08:15:49  19 June 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010
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Chapter 13
Sage took a moment to orientate himself. He was standing outside one of the southern buildings, judging by the positioning of the other factory and work sheds around him. Gunfire could be heard from the west, probably coming from the Lake Yantar road, which meant zombies.

“Most likely zombies from Yantar” Sage said, looking around. “Which way Ivan?”

“This way” Ivan replied, breaking out into a light jog. “Zombies, is that good or bad for us?”

“Both” laughed Shadow quietly. “They’ll take a bit to go down, and the Merc’s probably haven’t dealt with their sort before, which will mean, once they think they’ve finished, they’ll bugger off, only to have the zombies get up again, and resume attacking, starting the whole thing over again. They do take a fair bit to go down, and then a bit more to make sure they stay-“

“Stop. Round the corner here” Ivan interrupted. “There should be one guy in the shack, and one on guard. No idea why they would’ve brought a radio with them.”

“I’ll cover the rear. You two, since you both have scopes, hit them when they’re not looking this way. And they’ll need the radio to keep in touch with whoever hired them for this job. And to call for reinforcements.” Sage told Ivan, and to a lesser extent, Shadow, who was on the ground peering round the corner.

“Alright Ivan, cross... now” Shadow informed Ivan, who quickly ducked across the gap to the cover of an old rail cart, giving him a thumbs up when he had gotten across.

It took about 10 more seconds, and then Shadow fired a short burst. From where he was standing, Sage saw Ivan duck quickly around the corner, and fire a short burst as well. They waited a few more seconds, while the sound of gunfire slowly began to die down; however, a few shotguns were still firing way. Then Ivan moved for the shack, Shadow copying his movements, with Sage watching the rear. The background gunfire now mainly consisted of shotgun blasts, the short barks of AK style weapons, and the occasional crack of a high powered rifle round, probably a 7.62mm. Sage grabbed the dead Merc Ivan gunned down, and dragged it to the shack, before looking searching it for anything useful.

“Damn Shadow, you’re a lousy shot, the buggers still alive” Ivan said.
“Not my fault, it’s the damn NV scope, I couldn’t see properly. Stick a bullet in him; put him out of his suffering.” Shadow replied
“No.” Interrupted Sage, standing up. “Ivan, give me your Firefly, and get on the radio. Shadow, keep watch.”

Ivan looked at Sage oddly, before complying, handing across his Firefly and then getting to work on the radio. Shadow walked out, and crouched down in the shadows of the buildings, keeping an eye out for anything hostile.

Sage looked at the artefact in his hands, and then down at the Mercenary, who was looking at the artefact, and Sage. Sage held the artefact against the Mercenary’s throat, and watched the virtually instantaneous effect: The damage from the bullets the side of his face, jaw and neck, began healing at once, the cells dividing and rebuilding the damaged tissue, and replacing lost blood. Sage counted to three, and then put the artefact back into his pocket, just as Ivan managed to contact the military on the radio. The Firefly didn’t stop the bleeding though, and blood still trickled out of the wounds. The mercenary looked at him before speaking laboriously.


“Why? Because I need to know where the hostages are. And the reasons for taking them, if you know anything. And if you cooperate, I give you a 2 minute head start to get out of here. If you don’t, I tie you up for a bloodsucker somewhere. Got it?” Sage told him sharply.

“They’re in a... warehouse, not far from where... Wolfhound and his gang shot down... one of the Military helicopters last year... slightly south-west of it. As for why... Reaper and Claw knew. They said something about... a Duga or something.”

“Uh, guys, what shambles and moans, and can take a shotgun blast standing?” Said Shadow, ducking back around the corner.

“Sounds like the zombies won. Ivan, you done yet?” Sage asked Ivan, who held up his hand, and continued speaking into the radio. Sage looked back down at the Merc, and grabbed him by his vest, and pulled him up. “You want that head start, you’re coming with us. Unless you want to ask the zombies for one”

“Do I get a... weapon?” asked the merc, swaying on his feat. The blood was coming out from the wounds a bit faster now

“Ok, done, help’s en route” Ivan said, throwing the radio receiver down, and picking up his weapon. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Right, lead the way pal.” Sage said, pushing the mercenary ahead of him, while still holding onto his vest. After walking for 5 minutes, the last few which required Sage to start dragging the Merc, they arrived at a door, which Ivan kicked open, and Sage went through first, using the Merc as a shield, followed by Ivan and Shadow, who pushed the door shut behind him.

It was dimly lit, a few trash fired were burning low, and sunlight streamed in through cracked and broken windows. Shadow and Ivan fanned out along the sides, searching for any hidden dangers. Somewhere ahead, he could hear gentle sobbing. He dropped the merc, and pulled a bandage from his satchel, and bandaged the bleeding merc’s neck, and then held the Firefly to his neck for another three seconds.

He heard the sounds of a door being kicked in, and sudden screaming from ahead, which died off quickly. He looked up, and saw Ivan and Shadow standing either side of a door. After a short wait, Shadow quickly ducked around and through the doorway, prompting more screams. Ivan followed him through, while Sage walked up to the door. Ivan very quickly came back out and headed straight for him, meeting Sage mid room.

“We’re missing 5, and if there were any guards, they’ve bolted out the side door. It’s closed now. Shadow said our gear is in a room, off to the side.” Ivan informed him.

“Shit, so there are only 14 there? Where the hell are the other 5?

“Don’t know. What did that merc say about who’s in charge?”

“Reaper and some guy called ‘Claw’, who I guess is the mercenary commander. They also knew why they wanted them. Something to do with a ‘Duga’ or something like that.”

Ivan opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by a sudden burst of gunfire from outside, which quickly escalated, with grenades and shotguns very quickly joining in, becoming a fully blown firefight.
Ivan looked at Sage and said “That better not be another merc taskforce, or else all this, would have been for nothing.”

“Could it be the military?” asked Sage hopefully.

Ivan shook his head. “Too soon, if it was 10 minutes from now, and heavy machine gun fire, then it would be a safe bet to say it was the Spetsnaz reinforcements.”

Sage checked his rifle, making sure the safety hadn’t accidentally flicked on, and a round was definitely chambered, before raising the rifle, and aiming it at the door. Beside him, Ivan did the same, and they were shortly joined by Shadow, also aiming directly at the door.
  12:26:22  8 June 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010
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Yeah, sorry for the long wait. Didn't like what I wrote the first dozen or so times for this chapter, so spent a bit of time rewriting it.
Who thought they knew how Sage and Shadow were going to get out of their predicament at the end of chapter 10? (tried my best to make it seem like a low point in the story, hope I succeeded )
Any ideas on who might be having a shoot out with the Merc's?
  11:04:57  8 June 2010
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Cake Muncher


On forum: 01/08/2009
Messages: 4119
Good stuff Fluffy, keep em' coming!
  05:07:08  8 June 2010
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Ex modder, Zones only ferret and will someday release a game


On forum: 02/20/2010

Message edited by:
06/08/2010 5:07:40
Messages: 6342
Yay, Update

Chapter 12
They hurried down darkened passages, before reaching an open door with the flickering light of a fire coming through. Through it, they could hear the voices of several Merc’s joking about. Shadow held up his hand, and Sage and Ivan stopped. Shadow slowly crept up quietly to the door and looked in, before coming back down.

“At the moment there are eight of them: three with sunrises, four with standard suits, and an Exo. Four of them are snoozing on mattresses, and three sitting around the fire, while the Exo stands watch. He’s not looking this way.” He informed them quietly.

“Ok, how do we deal with them?” asked Ivan.

“Normally, Sage would toss a smoke grenade; Reaper would switch on his infrared scanner, and go in and gun them down using the smoke as cover.” Shadow said.

“That Exo’s going to be a pain.” Ivan said, pulling the magazine out of the TRs, and removing the first three bullets, and replacing them with three from his pocket. “Took out a Merc sniper, suppressed TRs with an Infra Red scope, perfect for spotting anything approaching at night. He also had a few spare boxes of ammo on him, including some AP rounds. Now all we need is a distraction.”

Sage reached into his satchel, and pulled out one of the smoke grenades he took from the dead Merc’s. “Distraction enough Ivan?”

Ivan just grinned, and moved down towards the door. Shadow moved ahead of him, and looked around the corner, before ducking across to the other side. Sage held the grenade in one hand, and moved next to Ivan, while Shadow raised his hand and peered around the corner. Sage grabbed the pin and prepared to pull.

Shadows hand came down; Sage pulled the pin on the grenade, and rolled it into the room. It began billowing smoke almost immediately, green in colour. Ivan ducked through after the grenade, and they heard him fire a three round burst, and the Merc’s sudden exclamations of surprise at the smoke. They could hear the them going for their weapons, and the soft sounds of Ivan’s rifle firing, the casings hitting the ground, and the sound of a body falling to the ground. Then one of the Merc’s opened firing, shooting the walls above his head, and then several more guns joined in, before they were silenced.

“Clear.” Ivan said, and Shadow and Sage came through.

“Guards down, Barracks down, only a camp full of angry Merc’s left to go. Let’s rock!” Said Shadow.

“Don’t get too cocky Shadow, remember, Reaper’s out there, and he know how we operate. We’re probably going to get into a pitched fire fight with these guys, so stock up on ammo.” Sage informed them, while looking for the bodies in the smoke. He found one with a TRs, and took the magazines and passed them to Ivan, who in return passed him a few SIG magazines.

“Oo yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.” Said Shadow out of the blue, or in this case, green.

“What did you find Shadow?” asked Ivan.

“Nothing, except this Exo had a nice GP37 with a night vision scope, and plenty of spare ammo, which I’m claiming as my own.” Shadow said back.

“Good, we need to get to their radio, and then I can call the Military, and let them know the situation. There’s an entire Spetznaz company on standby.”

“Good, you know where it is Ivan?” Sage asked him back while searching a body, and noticed something of interest nearby.

“Yeah, scouted the camp, and took out a few guards, took their guns and ammo, and left the bodies in the shadows. Radios in a shack, not far from here.”

Just then, they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the other side of the camp, and it quickly intensified. They could hear the sound of the Merc’s TRs rifles, and several shotguns firing, along with AK’s, and the occasional loud crack of a sniper rifle.

“Sounds like somebody’s started the part without us” reported Shadow dryly.

“Good, while their distracted, we hit the radio shack. What do you have their Sage?”

Sage turned around, holding a large rifle carry bag in his hands. He unzipped to reveal a highly polished, and well taken care of Dragunov SVD sniper rifle, as well as several spare clips. “At a guess, a trophy taken from Freedom.” He zipped the bag back up, and slung it over his shoulder. “How long will it take for the reinforcements to reach here Ivan” he asked, heading for the door, while the gunfire continued outside.

“About 15, 20 minutes, once I make the call.”

Sage nodded, and grabbed the door handle leading outside. “You two ready?” he asked Shadow and Ivan, who nodded in reply.

He turned the handle, and opened the door, running out into the cold Rostik Twilight, where, on the horizon, the first rays of a new day's sun could be seen, with Shadow and Ivan following him.
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