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Hiding in Exclusion

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  19:43:33  9 September 2010
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On forum: 04/16/2010

Message edited by:
09/11/2010 18:53:28
Messages: 43
Hiding in Exclusion

After buggering my knee off of a pointy rock, I thought I would contribute my own piece of drivel to the community. It's my first time writing a STALKER story, but I hope you enjoy it. If not, feel free to call me a timewasting cunt

A few notes before starting;
My story is set a few months before Strelok is found at the death truck.
I may take a while to upload more parts (if people are interested in it) as I have to juggle time between work, exercising and annoying the poor blokes at the ACIO.
The main characters name was purposefully left out for this chapter!
Constructive critisism welcome!

Hiding in Exclusion - Part 1

The short, stump man spoke. “Twenty thousand. No more, no less.” He lifted his water bottle and took a small gulp, sweat slithering down his forehead. “My services aren’t cheap. Do you know how hard it is to get one of my own guys, let alone you, in that place?” The man drank again. “If you can get the money soon, I might be able to get you in by next week with a few of my guys. No promises though.”
The dimly lit orange light was coating the side of the man, sitting on the tattered office chair behind an iron desk riddled with paperwork and cigarette butts. I looked at the man, a gruff expression on his wrinkled and scarred face. I began to quietly speak, “Next week? Hmph, not a problem.”
“Good....Remember, twenty thousand. I don’t care where the money comes from, as long as it isn’t mine.”
I nodded slowly, biting gently on my lower lip. The sweaty man leaned forward on his chair, resting his elbows on the cheap desk.
“Well, I shall be hoping to see you again very soon.”
“ too.”
I turned around slowly to leave, hearing the man take another drink from his bottle.

I left the building and relaxed a little, emerging onto a gloomy alleyway hidden amongst the blocks of Kiev. Swinging a left and heading out of the alley, I was amongst the hustle and bustle of the Kiev rush hour. People were pushing by each other, running in front of traffic. A typical day by the looks of things, only the eagle eyed or people in the know noticing the few persons clad with heavy anoraks and backpacks. The few people trying to do the same things as me I thought, gain entry to the zone of alienation that was only about 130 kilometres North.

You see, I quit my job at a run-down garage on the outskirts of the city around six months ago. I didn’t really know much about cars, but it seemed like something to do at the time. I thought I could learn a thing or two about it. All I learned was how to overcharge the few unlucky customers that ended up there and where a few bits and bobs went. After I left the dump there wasn’t really any jobs left, so I ended up sitting at home taking up space. Three months after leaving, I had to sell my flat and moved in with one of my mates. He introduced me to a few of his friends and, after many months of drinking excessively and pretending to be hard, things began to look even more shit. It was only one week ago that I was accused of attempted murder on some bastard that pulled a knife on me. He came at me, so using my instinct I leapt out of the way and watched as he fell and landed on his knife. The police didn’t seem to believe that so I figured I would do a runner and go into hiding.

I had been told of strange things going on in the zone of alienation around the Chernobyl area for quite a while, even seen some people that had been there, and now I figured my best bet was to go there. After all, the authorities wouldn’t look for me in an exclusion zone and the stories I heard told of great fortune after the second incident. Using some friends of my friends, I eventually landed at that fat bastards office trying to get a one way ticket. In my head, it was just one large camping trip.

I strolled nervously through the main entrance of the bank, hands placed firmly in my pockets. Walking up to the cashier I uttered, “I’d like to take out a loan.”
  15:49:43  11 September 2010
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On forum: 04/16/2010

Message edited by:
09/11/2010 15:50:39
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Hiding in Exclusion - Part 2

“Okay....just sign here sir.”
The female accountant signalled to the bottom of the page and I raised the pen. This was it, a decision to leave resting on one signature. My signature. I scribbled my name roughly on the paper.
“Thank you mister....”
She glanced at the form.
The accountant forced a smile, her brilliant white teeth shining at me. Shuffling back in her seat and crossing her legs she cheerfully spoke again.
“Well, the money will be transferred to your account shortly. You know the terms and conditions, so that is that sorted then. I shall see you soon sir.”
I slowly nodded, full well knowing that that wasn’t going to happen. Now that I have probably done the last thing that a wanted criminal shouldn’t do, I knew I had to leave soon. Otherwise the police would be too close for comfort.

I left through the entrance of the bank, heading back to the secluded, forgotten alley where I had done my previous dealing in the musky room. The sun was setting now and the all familiar sound of a siren crept through the streets. I headed into the alley and down the side stairs into the basement office, opening the door I was greeted by the sight of six rough looking men, all crowded around the scarred mans desk. Only a few turned to notice me, the rest were listening to what was being spoken.
“Change of plan boys. As it turns out, we won’t be able to fly you into the zone in the Hind. Too many dangers have been reported in the air, along with AA sites on the perimeter. If your cover was blown, chances are that you’d all be blown up along with it.”
Some of the men shuffled a little uneasily, quietly sighing or tutting to themselves.
“But, we still have another way to get you there. The only problem is that it involves driving through the perimeter. One of my contacts has got his hands on an old Ural truck and our mechanics are touching it up as I speak. The plan is to kit you all up as Ukraine’s army boys and send you straight through. After that, it’s a straight forward drive to a base set up by some of the guys. Everyone understand?”
The group nodded slowly, mumbling “Yes”.
The Scar looked by the group of men and noticed me.
“Ah! Adrik! There you are. I assume you heard all of that yes? Good. Have you got the money?”
I walked forward, the group shuffling to the side to make room. Reaching into my pockets I began to take bundles of money out.
“Twenty thousand, just like you said. It’s all here, count it.”
Scar shook his head. “No need, I believe you. If not, well I’m sure someone will kindly teach you not to lie.”
The group laughed, their eyes fixed on me. Scar looked around the group.
“Boys, this is Adrik. He’ll be going with you, treat him well.” Looking to me Scar spoke again, “Adrik, we leave in two days, feel free to stay here and get acquainted with us for that time.” He pointed behind him to a narrow doorway. “Your room is through there.”
  21:30:38  21 September 2010
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On forum: 08/08/2008
Messages: 40
liked it so far, keep it up!
  20:59:17  23 September 2010
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On forum: 04/16/2010
Messages: 43
Part 3

The room was a fair size and even though it was filled with luggage of the six other men, mattresses and one or two cabinets, it felt homely. The mattresses, eight to be exact, were organised against the walls. There was quite a uniform feel to the room. It wasn’t nice, far from it, but it was what would be expected in a military barracks, excluding the fact it was dirty and lacked bunk beds or proper furniture. I spotted a mattress that had no gear or clothing strewn on or around it and decided that I would be spending the next two nights on that one. I was tired, the time was only around 10PM and I already felt half zombified, needing some well earned rest after spending an entire week on edge and fully alert. I settled onto my mattress, the springs creaking and groaning as my body sprawled the entire length of the thing. I closed my eyes...

“Hey! Buddy, get your ass up and stop being anti-social!”
The lively sounding voice spoke again.
“Get up!”
A light kick was delivered into the side of my torso, waking me up immediately.
“Gah, fuck! I’m awake! I’m awake!”
“Took your sweet time sleeping beauty, now how about joining us in a game of blackjack?”
“Huh? Oh, I don’t have any money on me, I gave it all to-” The lively character interrupted me.
“What do you need money for? It’s only a casual game, where the losers need to take a shot....of vodka of course!”
“Sounds fun...alright, I’m in.”
“Good man! I’m Andrei by the way.” He held out his hand to shake, or to pull me up from my bed. In the end I pulled myself up while he shook my hand in the most awkward handshake/hoist ever.
“Adrik. Nice to meet you.” I replied.
Andrei was quite a tall character, roughly the same height as me. His brown, scruffy hair draped down to his brow and his 5 o’clock shadow patched his face. A small mark lay on the bridge of his nose, indicating it was probably broken at some point. I didn’t doubt it was for saying something to someone.

As I stood up, I noticed that the mattresses had been re-arranged into a semi-circle with their owners lying belly first on them. One man was holding a deck of cards while the others glanced occasionally at me to see if I was joining in. I followed suite and lay down on my stomach, waiting for the cards to be dealt.
The man holding the deck of cards had a completely bald head, looked clean shaven and had a squashed look to his face, as if his features didn’t fit properly.
“Hurry up Victor! We’ve not got all night!” Andrei shouted, his cheerful tone taking away all seriousness from the statement.
Victor shuffled the deck and dealt each person two cards. Then he handed each person a shot glass filled with strong smelling vodka.
His deep Ukrainian voice jeered, “May the best man lose!”

We continued playing long into the night, socialising well with each other. They all seemed like my type of people, much like the type who my old friend introduced me to. Throughout the night of playing I learned the identities of the other four men.
There was Igor, a ragged looking blonde man who was very laid back in his actions.
Mikhail was a black haired, well built person who seemed to have a good sense of humour and liked to make himself heard.
Grishka was an average fellow with a shaved head and a goatee who liked to watch what was going on, but got himself involved.
Then there was Petya, a quick witted individual who liked to crack jokes on every occasion. His scrawny figure adding to the hilarity of his cleverness.
After what felt like 3 hours of playing blackjack and drinking shot after shot due to so called ‘bad luck’, everyone curled up where they lay and passed out.

The next day consisted of eating, drinking, sharing stories and telling each other about our hopes of what to achieve in the zone. Which all seemed to include either ‘get richer than I am now’ or ‘a little bit of adventure, y’know? ’ After spending the next day doing little to nothing, we got our final good nights sleep before leaving.

It was around 5AM when Scar came into the room shouting loudly to get everyone up and get dressed. All seven of us moaning and protesting in harmony while this continued. Eventually, we gave up and got dressed, before being directed outside into a beat up looking van. Most of us slept on the journey, everyone remained quiet with the odd yawn or cough breaking the silence. The journey was over as soon as it begun. Suddenly we were dumped on a desolate farm with a military Ural truck and two men in Ukrainian army uniforms, AK-74’s slung behind them. The rising sun was barging through every crack, hole or gap in-between the farms abandoned buildings and plant life had invaded the insides of the stone structures. As soon as we piled out of the van, which made a U-turn and left the farms courtyard, one of the military-clad men began to speak.
“Don’t let these uniforms fool you; we are as military as all of you here. I guess you all know the plan?” The man gestured to the back of the truck. “Your gears in there, I want everyone suited up and ready to go in fifteen minutes, you got that? Go!”
The group of us staggered over to the back of the truck, forming a line as one of the uniformed men handed black bags out to everyone. I got my bag and tore it open, dropping its contents onto the gravel. A camouflaged uniform fell out along with a pair of scuffed black boots. I got undressed and started getting the kit on, the two men making sure we were passable as a bunch of grunts. Petya spoke out to one of the men, “Hey! These boots are too big! I could get both feet plus a leg in here!”
“What size are you?”
“Size 7!”
“No, you’re a size 10, like everyone here! Stop complaining and put the fucking things on!”
Petya muttered something under his breath, and slid his feet into each boot before tying the laces tightly.
I slipped my foot into one of the boots, it fitted well but wasn’t the most comfortable of things. But I wasn’t expecting designer footwear. About ten minutes later the group was ready, all of us were ordered into the back of the truck where we picked up poorly conditioned AK-74’s with slings attached. I could hear a door slam shut at the front of the truck and the engine rumbled to life. One of the men came round the back and opened the covering, “There’s no ammo in those guns by the way, just to make sure you don’t ‘accidentally’ shoot yourself...or each other.” He closed the covering and I heard another door open and close at the front of the truck. Every one of us in the back seemed fascinated that we were holding a gun, a real weapon. So I figured that no one here was ex-military due to the excitement on every ones faces and the mysteriousness of the metal device we were holding in our hands. We all seemed to forget we were about to go on a trip to the most dangerous place in the world and were fascinated by our new toys and new look. The truck lurched forward and began its long drive to the zone of alienation, the roar of the engine accompanying us on the journey.
  21:25:39  23 September 2010
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On forum: 01/15/2010
Messages: 3940
Hiding in Exclusion

Keep it up, I love it.

  23:12:19  12 October 2010
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On forum: 04/16/2010

Message edited by:
10/12/2010 23:18:20
Messages: 43
Part 4
“Checkpoint is a click up the road. Remember guys, shut your mouths and let me do any talking.” The man looked out from the cabin around all seven of us, who were slouched on the side benches– fatigued from the early start. “And at least try to look fucking professional!”
Everyone sat up straight, positioning their weapons in-between their legs. Looking at us now compared to five minutes ago, we looked half decent. Unless whoever was on the checkpoint inspected our AK’s, we could pass for a bunch of clueless rookies. For the last few quiet minutes of our journey there was the occasional cough and sneeze to break the silence.
“We’re approaching, hush.”
The Ural gradually slowed down, eventually coming to a squeaky halt. Everyone was sitting upright and motionless, probably trying to listen to what was going on like myself. There was a small knock on one of the cabins doors followed by some talking I barely managed to make out.
“There a reason this trucks here?”
“Got a fresh delivery of sprogs to take into the zone, fancy letting us through?”
“Mmhhmm....Got your papers with you?”
I could hear some rustling coming from the cabin, before the smuggler spoke again.
“Right here, now open the damn gate.”
“Need to see what your carrying first.”
I could hear the crunch of feet on gravel coming from outside the cabin and going to the rear of the truck. Every one of us were trying our best to stay quiet or avoid unnecessary noise. The covering was swiftly opened and a figure in a beret and uniform stared at us. We stared back.
“What an unsightly bunch, you look like you should be coming out of that place, not going in....guess the economy has affected us too.”
The covering was closed again and a harmonic sigh came from all of us as we slouched back in our seats again. The Ural dragged slowly forwards again.
“That went well. Now listen guys, the place you’re all going to is called the Dark Valley. Don’t let the name fool you.” The smuggler paused for a moment. “It’s like Disney Land up there..... Anyway, it’s a few kilometres from here. Although it’s a long drive. We’ll be able to take you through an old tunnel and drop you off at the other side. Follow the road and you’ll be there in no time. “

The truck was driving extremely slowly now and it was pitch black in the back of it. There was only light from the cabin and a dim beam from the headlights to re-assure us that we weren’t dead. I guessed we were in the tunnel now. I watched the driver cautiously weave in and out of strange green glowing puddles in the ground. For the long remainder of the tunnel drive the smuggler explained what the green puddles were, fruit punches. He also told us the basics of scanning for anomalies and about the artefacts they produce, that attract so many visitors. Before we knew it we had emerged from the tunnel into the light again. We were ordered out from the truck and told to wait by the side of the road. Although nobody could help but stare in awe at the scenery surrounding us. Grass was waist high and painted a dark brown colour, trees protruded from the ground at strange angles with branches pointing straight to the golden sky. It was a sight to remember, a sight that so few have seen.

The smuggler hopped out of the cab and left the driver to perform a U-turn so the truck was facing the tunnel again. He guided the driver round and then came over to us, the awe-struck group of rookies.
“Stop your day dreaming and listen in. You will follow this road North. When you reach a large factory complex, go inside and wait for someone to deal with you. They are expecting all of you.”
The smuggler jumped into the truck and we watched as it slowly entered the tunnel, disappearing into the black mouth.
“I didn’t listen to a word of what he said!” Jested Andrei.
“Something about amollallies or something like that.” Replied Petya
“Anomalies you idiot.” Mumbled Grishka.
Mikhail stepped forward and turned to face the group and spoke loudly.
“I can’t of been the only person that listened to that bastard can I?”
The group gave him a blank stare while I nodded very un-noticeably.
“Okay- Well...We need to be organised while going to this factory. Everyone get in some sort of formation.”
Mikhail was met with silence and more blank looks.
“For fuck sake! Three of you on that side of the road, three of you on that side. I’ll walk at the front in the middle.”
We split into the different sides. Andrei, Grishka and me on one side while Victor, Petya and Igor took the other with Mikhail in the middle.
“Was that so hard? Right guys, look like some Hollywood heroes and follow me.” We set off in what could be classed as the ‘dead beetle’ formation. I held my AK into my shoulder and marched behind Grishka and Andrei who were equally trying to look impressive. From a distance we could have passed for a military patrol. Up close we looked like a group who had watched too many action films. Either way, everyone was excited at the fact we had a weapon. Mikhail brought a clenched fist up signalling for us to halt, before realising what he had done then uttered, “Stop!”
Mikhail brought his weapon up and scanned the road up ahead. We all looked ahead and seen nothing but on closer inspection one would notice slight air distortion.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Anomaly, dead ahead.” Mikhail replied. “Adrik, go check it out.”
I raised my weapon and slowly walked toward the distortion, I could feel my feet sinking into the concrete of the road. It was like walking on rubber. I carefully approached the ‘anomaly’, coming to a halt a few metres from where I thought the distortion was. Something was pulling at me, the closer I got, the stronger the pull. I decided not to go any further and observed the distortion. The road below it had been ripped away and small chunks of stone flew around the distorted area. The chunks would be pulled into the centre, then pushed upwards and out before being pulled back in and vice versa. Through smart thinking I realised this wasn’t normal and decided to head back into ‘formation’.

I walked casually back, Mikhails eyes fixed on me. I gave a shrug gesture toward him.
“Well what was-“ A deafening crack pierced the air and Mikhail fell to the ground screaming.
“Fuuuck!! My leg!” Blood was squirting from his thigh. I dived to the ground and the rest of the group followed suit. More cracks burst through the air and rattled the grass and concrete all around us. We were being shot at, by who remained unknown. Confused shouts went in unison with the cracking noises.
“What the fuck is going on!”
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
“I’m hit!”
I lay flat to the floor breathing heavily and crawled frantically towards Mikhail. Concrete was being churned up all around us and I could hear a few more screams of pain filling the air. I took a deep breath and shouted, “Don’t move! Don’t anyone move!”
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