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To the North

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  05:23:31  14 May 2010
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Eager Amphibion
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 07/15/2008
Messages: 675
To the North

I felt my small pocket alarm ring and I slowly awoke from my slumber. I noticed the sun was disappearing over the treetops.

"Shit...Damn watch..." I whispered to myself, I looked at my watch, "Great....Nearly 7...." I stood up, stretching after our long over sleep, "Get up you two, now!"

I kicked Scientist and Scavenger and they slowly stood up, looking at the quickly darkening sky, "What? What time is it?" Scientist asked.

"7:05.....We need to move on." I picked up the rucksack and threw it over my shoulder, approaching Ruslans KAMAZ.

Ruslan grinned as he saw us approach, greedily rubbing his hands together, "Ah! My friend! I see you're back, back for the Groza maybe? It's still in stock...."

I shook my head in disbelief of Ruslans greed, "No, I don't want anything, unless I have to pay per question?"

Ruslan grunted, his grin disappearing, "What do you want?"

"What is the best path to the Military Warehouses?" I asked.

"The Warehouses? Damn, I haven't been there in ages.....If I recall correctly it was directly Southwest of here." He replied, pointing to the Southwest.

"Ok, thanks." I walked away and stood beside a Stalker groups campfire with my companions, "Well, looks like we're heading into the woods." I said, looking at the gloomy woods, standing out like an evil fortress against the setting sun.

"Looks like a charming place..." Scientist grumbled, Scavenger nodding silently behind him.

"Well, it's our only-" I stopped talking as a Stalker approached. He wore a leather jacket with a fur collar, much like the one I was wearing, but underneath I could see a military kevlar vest and an AN-94 Abakan with a scope and underbarrel grenade launcher hanging at his side, "I heard your conversation, you said you were headed into the forest, towards the Military Warehouses?" He said, calmly but with a cold voice. He was obviously a man who had killed before, and he looked and sounded the part.

I turned to him, "Nice to see people still eavesdrop on private conversations." I said.

"I'm sorry," The Stalker apologized, much to my surpise, "But you see, I really need to get there. It is important..."

"I don't trust him!" Scavenger yelled, Scientist was holding him back.

"Stop! You fucking idiot!" I yelled, shoving Scavenger back, "I'm sorry," I said, turning back to the Stalker, "Why are you telling me your problem?"

The Stalker stared at me for a moment, "I can't get there alone..." He finally admitted.

"You can't get there?! You have some good equipment on you....You lying to me?" I replied, trying to find out who this man was.

The Stalker looked at his Abakan and then to me, "Fine, listen....I'm....I'm military."

I slowly stuck my hand into the ruck and switched the saftey off, keeping my hand on the handle, "Military? I thought the military up and left..."

The Military Stalker eyed my ruck, "We did, only a few of us Military Stalkers were chosen to scout the Zone....Mainly Berkut and other special forces, but listen, my mission is classified and I've already told you too much. All I'm looking for is a person to Guide me to the Warehouses, I can pay."

I thought for a moment, we needed money and an extra gun wouldn't hurt, esspecially since he was trained....On the downside, he was Military and not to be trusted, but I gave in, "Ok, you can come....But try anything and you're dead, I'll leave you in the middle of an anomoly field should it come to that."

The Military Stalker smiled and stuck his hand out, "My name is Vasyl, Senior Lieutanant."

I cautiously shook his hand, "I'll call you Soldier, no need for names when you're with me. This is Scavenger and Scientist." I gestured towards my comrades, who stared at Soldier.

"Nice to meet you all." Soldier said, "So are we off?" He asked.

I nodded, "You stay in the front with me, got it? No funny moves..."

He agreed and we slowly walked towards the gloomy forest.
  01:50:06  15 May 2010
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QuaNTuMbenxh
Albanian Monsteя!
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/05/2008
Messages: 918
Now it is awesome, lets just hope that this military bloke, doesn't think he rocks and rolls too much though.
  04:16:50  15 May 2010
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Eager Amphibion
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 07/15/2008
 

Message edited by:
Eager Amphibion
05/15/2010 4:24:41
Messages: 675
To the North

I slowly walked behind Soldier, giving him directions and watching his every move. Not standing the silence any longer, I spoke, "So, Soldier. Why do you need to reach the Warehouses?" I asked.

Soldier kept moving, but turned his head back, "Classified, sorry."

I was getting sick of all my questions being answered with a 'Classified' or some other bullshit, what was I going to do anyway? Tell one of the other genious's in the Zone and they'd launch a large scale assault on Kiev or something? Either way I grunted and we silently went on.
The forest itself was now dark and the only light was our headlamps, which provided little help in the suffocating darkness. I could constantly feel something staring at me just beyond my vision, and dreaded what it was, if it was anything at all. At last we came to a large clearing and I halted the group.

"Why're we stopping?" Scavenger asked impatiently, obviously wanting to get out of the dark forest as fast as possible.

I scanned the edges of the clearing, "I could have swore I felt somethings presence back there..."

Soldier spoke up, shouldering his Abakan, "I could too..."

Tension was up now, Scavenger and Scientist got behind Soldier and I and began panicking, heatedly whispering into our ears. As we heard rustling in the grass we both aimed our weapons, preparing for something of quite some size.....But to our amazement, about two dozen rats began running at and past us, into the darkness.

"Ha! Rats!" Scavenger exclaimed. I too smiled and lowered my weapon, but Soldier remained at the ready, "You do realize they are rats right?" I said.

Soldier shook his head, "They're scared....And running."

"Running!? From what?" Scientist blurted out, now just as scared as Scavenger.

"I don't know..." Soldier whispered.

Suddenly the deathly silence was shattered by several bloodcurdling roars which would bring even the most experienced Stalker to his knees in fear. We all turned and ran, including Soldier who sprayed randomly back into the dark forest. I exited the clearing and got back into the dark forest. I could hear my companions yelling get further and further away, we were seperated at a really shitty time. Nevertheless I kept running, not looking back at what was chasing us, roaring. I felt outside of my body, I couldn't feel anything besides a cool feeling of my hairs raising and my heart pounding in fear.....Naturally though....I felt myself tumbling in a mad spiral and landing in the dirt, my headlamp rolling away. I screamed and crawled like a madman for my headlamp which lied not two metres away. As I grabbed it and put it on my head I rolled over and saw two brightly shining eyes staring at me blankly, a large gaping jaw opening slowly in front of me. I closed my eyes, waiting for the Bloodsucker to finish me when I heard several shots and felt warm liquid splatter on my face. I opened my eyes and saw the Bloodsucker running off, only to be replaced with more terrifying roars. Looking over I saw Soldier, covered in blood and a large wound on his shoulder, running towards me. He picked me up, yelling.

"We have to move! Come on!"

I ran after him, "Where is Scavenger?! Scientist?!" I yelled.

"Forget them! There is about 5 Bloodsuckers back there and they are unarmed! They're finished!" He replied.

My heart sank at the thought, esspecially the thought of me travelling alone once we reached the Warehouses. I had gotten used to Scavengers constant nagging and Scientists obvious facts, "We can't leave them!" I yelled.

Soldier stopped and spun around, aiming into the darkness, I stopped beside him, "You really think they're alive? It's a living hell back there, and I saw more than one anomoly back in there." He said, catching his breath, placing his hand on his wound.

"Yes....I think they're alive...." I replied.

Soldier sighed, "Ok....Fine. Listen, we can come back in the morning. The Bloodsuckers will be gone and I can patch this wound up.....Please?"

I nodded and we moved on, every step making my heart ache for leaving my companions in the dark woods. At last we reached the edge of the forest and across a field about a mile across was the Military Warehouses, "Welcome to the Warehouses..." I said, both to Soldier, and to myself.

We walked across the field, dodging a couple of gravity anomolies and finally we found ourselves at the walls of the Freedom compound, a sign written on the wall:

DUTY AND MILITARY SCUM WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT!!!

There was a Military poster under the writing with an anarchy symbol painted over it and various swear words scattered across it.

"I'd keep silent here if I were you..." I said to Soldier, he quietly agreed.

We walked around the gate and found a guard post, a large Freedom Stalker in an exoskeleton and armed with a PKM stood guard, "Who're you people?!" He yelled, slightly raising his PKM.

I stepped forward, my hands in the air, "My name is Guide, this is Vasyl my personal guard." I nodded back to Soldier, who silently stood in place, pulling his jacket tighter over his kevlar vest.

The brute Freedom guard looked us over, his eyes darting back and forth from behind the exoskeletons built in gas mask, a skull appropriatly painted on it, "Ok...You can enter, but any, I mean ANY issues and I'll gun you down myself. Move on!"

I stepped onto the bridge leading into the base and slowly crossed it, whispering to Soldier, "These southern Freedomers are not as cheery like they used to be. They're like terrorists now, killing Duty convoys for no reason, even though a cease fire has been called in most Northern locations."

Soldier nodded, obviously tense and quite scared by being surrounded by the anarchists, "I say we get my arm patched up and we go back for your friends, this place isn't exactly what I thought....And my mission won't be easy either, but that's not your concern, lets go faster please..."

We moved onwards, asking one of the Freedomers the location of the medic. As we finally reached the medics hut we stepped inside. There was a man sitting at a table, with some medical supplies, but mainly screws, wire, and other items one would find if repairing a car, the room also smelt like vomit and vodka.

I stepped forward, "Are you the medic here?" I asked.

The man looked up, and drunkenly smiled, "Yes, I am *hic*"

I sighed, "You look more like a mechanic to me buddy...."

"That's because I am! Most call me Screw *hic*, I can repair any car *hic*, or human. *hic*" He replied, trying to reach for the Vodka bottle right in front of him.

"Have fun..." I said to Soldier.

______________


After several hours of standing in the corner of the room, watching Screw nearly operate on Soldiers leg instead of stitching up his arm for example, Screw had finally finished. Soldiers shoulder was a mess of messy stitches and blood. Since Screw was so drunk, we managed to sneak out without paying, and much to my surprise, it took Screw several hours. The sun was slowly rising, and it was time to go back for my friends.

"Ok, let's go now. We can come back and rest once my friends are safe." I said, turning to exit the Freedom base.
  19:31:38  17 May 2010
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QuaNTuMbenxh
Albanian Monsteя!
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/05/2008
Messages: 918
not smart leaving Scavenger there

and also, I wanna get shot, Could you?
  00:11:49  18 May 2010
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-=Grunt=-
Cake Muncher
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 01/08/2009
Messages: 4114
Keep it up HardcoreGamer.
  02:35:18  18 May 2010
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Eager Amphibion
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 07/15/2008
 

Message edited by:
Eager Amphibion
05/18/2010 2:36:44
Messages: 675
To the North

*Thanks for feedback*


We finally came to the edge of the forest in the early morning rising sun. It looked totally different in the light, it no longer seemed to have an invisible presence before you even entered.....It was almost beautiful, almost like the real forests outside of this hell hole.....But then I remembered the previous night and shook out of my stupor.

"Ok," I said, turning to face Soldier, "We go in, get my two companions, and get out. If fate is on our side, the creatures will be sleeping....If not..." I nodded towards Soldiers Abakan.

He nodded, "Understood."

We slowly moved into the woods, watching for any signs of movement and not saying a word. The wind blowing through the trees was the only apparent noise, no screams, no roaring, not even the usual caw of a crow or a bird chirping. At last we reached the area where I fell, the ground still showing the imprint of the bloodsuckers hands.

"Look." Soldier whispered. I approached him, my weapon at the ready. He held a large leaf in his hand with blood on it. At first I thought it to be from the Bloodsucker, but after looking nearby I found Scavengers coat.....Covered in dried up blood.

"God damn it!" I yelled, disturbing the silence of the forest. I picked up the coat and examined it. It didn't have any tears, and besides the dirt and blood, it looked fine. Maybe he simply threw the jacket down in a hurry? I liked the thought, as slim as those chances were and followed the trail further into the forest. Several large, bloody hand prints and blood stains were on some trees and bushes, and after following the trail for a little longer we came to an opening. At first it looked like the rest of the forest, but after examining it further I saw several warped trees with pulsating movement within, the wind blowing harder as we approached the trees.

"What is this..." I whispered to myself.

Then I realized. I'd only ever heard rumours of these anomolies from highly experienced Stalkers and people returning from the Northern reaches such as Zanton and nearby the Jupiter Factory......Entire parts of forests warped due to mass anomoly formations, roads and the ground itself split apart, deadly anomolies of all kinds waiting within. Sure I'd seen minor formations in the south, such as when I tried passing through the Red Forest and the Brainscorcher territory, but never one of this magnitude. My anomoly and artifact detectors beeped almost constantly on my belt as we got closer. I checked my gieger counter and found it was starting to tick faster and faster.
I motioned for gas masks and we both pulled ours over our heads and slowly entered the warped trees. The wind was extremely fast inside the trees due to the mass anomoly formations, which were easily seen. I noticed more than enough gravity anomolies, and various acidic based ones with terrible smelling steam rising from the ground, the warped trees in the area of the steam melted apart.

"Bad idea..." Soldier droned through his gas mask filters as we moved further inwards, but I only had one thing on my mind....Get my friends out alive.
  07:21:09  21 May 2010
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Eager Amphibion
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 07/15/2008
 

Message edited by:
Eager Amphibion
05/21/2010 7:28:20
Messages: 675
To the North

I slowly made my way through the anomoly formation, turning back every now and again at Soldier who was keeping up with me rather well for a grunt. From the inside of this place it seemed like a different world....Well at least as different as things get in the Zone. I felt like one of the astronauts exploring an unknown planet like in the old stories from my childhood, what with my gas mask and thick gloves. Finally I halted.

"Don't move..." I whispered back to Soldier, "Stay right there...You'll know whether to run or not."

Soldier nodded, his breathing becoming heavier, and crouched into the grass behind a large warped tree. I moved forward, feeling the ground rumble as I moved forward. I crouched low into the grass and pulled a weak warped tree limb out from in front of me......About 10 metres away from me was a slightly smaller than usual, but still deadly looking, Pseudogiant. It was patrolling just outside the anomoly formation Soldier and I were within, sniffing the air, apparently trying to track something.....Or someone. I quietly rose the tree limb back in front of me and went back to Soldier.

"What is it?" He asked.

"Pseudogiant..." I said, exhaling deeply and listening to my breath through the gas mask filters.

"Well that changes things? Huh? Your little peashooter can't take it down and I don't have any AP rounds left in mine, just two clips...." Soldier replied, showing me his last two clips.

I glanced back at the anomolies we took so long to cover, then back to the Pseudogiant, "Well....We can't go back, it'd take too long." I said, thinking, "One of us will have to create a diversion...It looks like it was tracking something, and it wouldn't be able to pick anything up in here, so it's obviously not us and it can't be a Bloodsucker, they are too smart to hang around a giant.....So it's one of my companions."

Soldier nodded, "Listen, give me your weapon and I'll have enough firepower to get it on my tail."

I went to cut him off but he instead rose up, "Listen, I'm faster and can carry a heavier load, don't worry about me, just get your idiot friends out alive and then worry about me."

I nodded, passing him my AK74u and an extra clip, "Be careful.."

"Don't go running off without me...." Soldier said before standing up and bravely crashing out of the trees. I looked from the tall grass and watched Soldier take a rifle in both hands and fire them off, the bullets harmlessly striking the Pseudogiants thick hide. Soldier screamed some obscenities at the beast and jumped out of the way as the giant charged, crashing nearby to my hiding spot. I got lower and saw Soldier running off into the forest, yelling and firing at the giant. The Pseudogiant stood up, as if it didn't damn near knock a tree over and chased after Soldier. After it was safe I stood up and walked out of my hiding spot, unarmed except from my rucksack, which the only weapon within was a small knife.

I called for my companions but received no answer except the shots from Soldier which were gradually getting further away. When I was about to give up and thought I had lost all my companions and was destined to be alone in the Zone, I heard a low whisper.

"Hello?" I asked, thinking I was going insane.

"I'm over here...Be quiet..." I heard the voice say. I looked around and suddenly saw a small hole, just large enough for a grown man to crawl into. I lied down and shined my light within. Inside I saw not just Scavenger, but Scientist.

I crawled inside and looked at them in the light of my flashlight. Scavenger was lying down in a corner of the hole, Scientist sat over him. They were both covered in dried blood and dirt, their suits and clothing ripped.

"Are you guys ok?" I asked.

"Yes..." Scientist replied, "But Scavenger....He ran into one of the anomolies just outside in that large formation, it didn't rip him apart but it tossed him into a tree, knocked him out cold....He's been out since last night..."

I looked at Scavenger. He had a large chunk of skin ripped off his side, which was revealed by his ripped and burnt shirt....I could only guess he also was harmed by one of the acidic anomolies. In his current position the was no way he was about to move by himself.

"Ok." I finally said to Scientist, "We need to move him out of here. You can carry him with me, yes?"

Scientist nodded and we pulled him out of the hole. I took one shoulder and Scientist took the other and together we headed off towards where Soldier had run off to, hoping we'd not only find Soldier, but an exit. We followed the easy to track tracks of the Pseudogiant. Trees were knocked over and the ground was full of it's large footprints, how Soldier was fast enough was beyond me.

"Break!" Scientist said, dropping down to the ground, breathing heavily. I looked at him, then noticed his gas mask was severly cracked.

"Shit!" I yelled, I grabbed Scientist and looked him over. He clumsily lifted off his entire gas mask and vomited all over the forest floor, traces of blood were mixed in with the bile. His skin was red and he constantly complained about a headache.

Radiation Poisoning....And not minor. If Scientist had it, the completly unprotected and injured Scavenger would definatly have it.

I shook him, trying to keep him awake, "Don't die on me! Stay awake! Here...." I gave him some water and he could barely open his mouth, he wasn't going anywhere. I cursed to myself, I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the only answer I got was my own echoe. I lied Scientist down beside Scavenger....Without a weapon I couldn't even end their suffering, let alone protect myself, so I simply lied down. There was no more headed north, no more travels, no more talking. It was over, all of it....Death was all that awaited, my filters wouldn't last forever. I closed my eyes and slept.



"There....This is them?"


I woke up to several voices in the darkness. The moon was nowhere to be seen in the cloudy night and I could barely see my hands. People...Hopefully people, were moving around. I could see bright lights in the distance which looked like it was on a vehicle.

I knew it couldn't be Duty, they had enough honour, unlike Freedom, to actually obey the cease fire, and henceforth wouldn't tresspass on Freedom territory. Who could it be? I slightly rose my head and squinted as my eyes became adjusted to viewing the night through my gas mask.....I felt a shiver go up my spine. An entire squad of Berkut Military special forces, along with a man which looked like Soldier. They all looked like demons with their heavy gear and gas masks. They all carried rare military weapons which most Stalkers would pay everything for, modded Groza's and VSS Vintorez's....They whispered among themselves for awhile when one noticed me sitting up against the tree.

"This one's awake." the robotic drone of the mans voice through the gas mask filters was enough to send any one running. I attempted to stand when I felt two strong hands grab me. I felt myself helplessly being pulled through the forest towards the lights, which up close I saw to be a BTR-3, with another right behind it. They opened up the rear hatch and tossed me inside, also inside was Scientist and Scavenger, they wore white medical clothing, but both were unconcious and hooked up to various medical systems. A man also sat inside, he looked like a military medic, he looked me over and finally spoke, "You can take your mask off. It's safe in here." He said, before going back to monitoring the equipment.

I took off my mask and tapped the soldier on the shoulder, "What is happening?" I asked, confused as all hell.

"Our man came back to our firebase, screaming about mutants, stalkers, and some other nonsense...We simply heard Stalkers and mutants and we came running....Not much action seeing as we're not supposed to be here...Officially..." He replied, grinning.

"You going to kill us?" I asked.

The soldier laughed, "If we were going to kill you we wouldn't have come for you. From what Senior Lueitenant Vasyl reported, you can help us."

I looked at the ground, helping the Military wasn't usually my thing, but I went from helping a lone soldier, to possibly helping an entire squad of Berkut. As I was thinking I felt the APC rock and the radio came to life, "Returning to base, all units accounted for."
  22:17:41  21 May 2010
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QuaNTuMbenxh
Albanian Monsteя!
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/05/2008
Messages: 918
now you make me wanna crave this!
  22:37:53  21 May 2010
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Thrashdude
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 01/15/2010
Messages: 3940
Me as well...
  03:34:09  22 May 2010
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-=Grunt=-
Cake Muncher
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 01/08/2009
Messages: 4114
Yep, the last chapter is great. Keep it up HardcoreGamer.
 
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