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Sidrev's Mission

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  20:20:53  5 May 2007
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On forum: 05/05/2007
Messages: 6
Sidrev's Mission

Hi, this is the 1st part of a Stalker story that i am writing. I spent the last 3 or so hours writing it and i hope you like it. Please offer any thoughts, criticisms etc. on my work.

It was 1:24 AM. The night was pitch black and only the occasionally anomaly gave any light to its surrounding trees. A single building stood on the base of a hill. It was a perfect place for a hideout but it was already inhabited.

They camped in the building, an abandoned one-room bunkhouse. Fourteen bandits, one awake and standing by the door and thirteen more sleeping. It was a clumsy configuration because a single sentry could not possibly warn the others in a surprise attack. But these brigands were amateurs, young and careless. Sidrev took notice of the camp’s layout and after a scant minute of planning, he signaled to his men.

Eight men, all wearing exosuits with attached gas masks, moved into various positions within 50 meters of the house. One of them, a sniper with a noiseless, flashless VSS Vintorez rifle took a prone position, setting his sights above the lone sentry’s head. He hand signaled to Sidrev, and he signaled back. The shot was taken and the sentry fell backwards onto the floor. A few sleeping bandits stirred but none awoke.

Sidrev signaled to a second man and he approached the building from behind, taking position by a window. Another man followed him but instead went to the other side behind an adjacent window. Sidrev sent two more of his men to stand by the house’s only door. To the men by the windows, Sidrev’s hands were indiscernible, so he flashed a laser sight twice at the closest man. That man signaled to other by the window and they counted to three before they threw one grenade each into the building.

There was a popping sound, the building quickly filled with smoke, and the bandits began shouting and screaming. One by one, they came out the door crying and vomiting. The two men stationed there worked as a team, one wrestling each bandit to the ground and the other fastening their hands with zip cuffs. The eleventh brigand who wandered out carried a double-barreled shotgun and instinctively shot the wrestler in the stomach. The man with the zip cuffs tackled the shotgun bandit and apprehended him. Two more men in reserve came from their positions and assisted in capturing the remaining bandits.

The thirteen thieves lay side-by-side on the grass with four men watching over them. The man charged with binding the bandits helped the wrestler get to his feet. The wrestler cursed and spat, forgetting for a moment that he wore a gas mask, and then limped over to be with his comrades. Finally, Sidrev approached with the sniper right beside him.

The bandits were all struggling and shouting and whenever one tried to stand, he was kicked down. After a minute and with a few verbal threats of being shot unless they were quiet, they stopped talking and only a few moaned in pain from the gas exposure. One of the four men guarding the bandits walked over to Sidrev and salutes were exchanged.

“One enemy dead and thirteen enemy captured sir,” the man spoke proudly, “One wounded friendly.”

“See to him.” Sidrev commanded.

The man took leave of his commander and helped the injured man remove his black and red exosuit. The wrestlers pale skin showed in the darkness underneath the assisting mans flashlight. The wound was quickly found and identified as a bruise, no broken bones. “Its hardly a scratch,” the wrestler assured his helper in an unnecessarily loud voice, “bastard can’t shoot for shit!” He got up, grabbed the dropped double-barreled shotgun and walked over to the bandit lineup. He picked out his attacker, approached him and beat the weapon’s stock over his head, “Learn to surrender like every other beaten coward you slime piece of shit!”

He raised the weapon again for another strike but his commander intervened. “That’s enough Pyotr,” and Pyotr stopped, then limped over to grab his rifle and stand guard, still without his upper armor.

Sidrev examined the bandits. “You are all guilty of murder and banditry on Duty territory. The punishment of your crimes is death. Those who speak truly and cooperate will be shown leniency in their sentencing.” The bandits were quiet and transfixed on the speaker.

“Why don’t you just torture us then kill us so that it’s over with,” one of the bandits arrogantly proclaimed.

Sidrev turned to him; his mask still strapped tightly over his face and then spoke to the brigand. “Torture is a barbaric and inhumane practice that I do not condone the use of.”

The bandit realized the implication and then responded, “I know how you Duty men work, all executions have to be carried out in public after permission is granted by your leader.”

“The good General does not know how many I captured does he? Perhaps they all resisted and had to be shot. No inquiries would be made. He could care less about the lives of cattle.” Sidrev then approached a nearby Dutyer and whisper to him, “Abdur, lets start with the one on the right and work our way left.”

Abdur was skinny but his arms were strong enough to handle great recoil. On the commanders orders, he shouldered his Groza OC-14 and withdrew a USAS-12 automatic shotgun. He then approached the farthest bandit on the right, who sat cross-legged on the grass and kicked him hard on the chest, forcing him onto the ground. Abdur held his shotgun 10 centimeters from his head. The bandit was in pain and genuinely terrified of the Dutyers.

“Your gang has ambushed three very-heavily armed groups traveling up and down the main road. Why don’t you ambush weaker party’s like every other brigand clan?”

The interrogated man looked to his right down to his leader and his friends. He then looked back and spoke with a quivering voice. “Our group is strong and we only attack those who provide a good challenge.”
Sidrev stared at the bandit’s face, then gestured to Abdur. As ordered, he fired the shotgun, exploding the bandits face and spewing blood all over the grass and the next closest bandit. The remaining 12 men began screaming in outrage once again the guarding Dutyers aimed their weapons closer to the brigands and though they were now petrified in fear, they quieted. The dead body twitched and its bowels emptied, but only the bandits could smell it because the Dutyers all wore gas masks.

“Those who lie will die.” Sidrev warned, and then ordered Abdur to start with the next one, placing his foot on the bandit’s chest and holding the shotgun over his head.

Sidrev repeated the question and the bandit quickly replied. “We attacked the heavily armed ones because their weapons could be sold for great sums of money. Please if you’ll let-”

Sidrev gestured to Abdur without even letting the man finish his sentence. He was shot as well and more blood spread over the grass. Now there were only eleven bandits.

They started on the next bandit and he finally spilled the truth. “Please, ill tell you everything. We are gathering weapons for our cause. Our leader ordered us to get heavy firepower through any means necessary.”

Sidrev was interested now. “Is your leader the warlord who is uniting the gangs?”

The bandit nodded and Sidrev made a different gesture to Abdur who stepped off the criminal’s chest and shouldered his weapon. Sidrev then took the cooperative bandit aside and asked him more questions about where his stash was, what kind of weapons the warlord was interested in and where the hardware was to be delivered. A few minutes later Sidrev felt content with the responses and ordered the bandits to stand.

The bandits stood and they started on their journey, with the Dutyers as escorts, to the Bar area. Sidrev knew Voronin would be pleased with the results of this operation and wandered what reward he might get. Voronin was renowned for his generosity in rewards.
  21:18:23  5 May 2007
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Lief Siddhe
Senior Resident

On forum: 04/11/2007
Messages: 169
Nicely written! Keep it up
  02:06:16  7 May 2007
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On forum: 05/05/2007
Messages: 6
I'm glad you liked it. Here is the second chapter of this saga. Again, any thoughts and criticism, positive or negative are more than welcome here.

6 hours later…
It was 7:09 AM. October 14.

The sky was grey, as usual. Autumn was rapidly coming to a close and snow would soon start to fall on Chernobyl. Sidrev examined the weather as he walked at the front of his party. Behind him was a single-file line of ten bandits, bound in zip cuffs. At each side of the line three men walked, all five meters away from the prisoners. Another man stood 8 meters behind the bandit line, ready to shoot escapists. There had been eleven bandits when the journey started but one tried to escape and was shot down by Gustav, the team’s sniper.

Gustav stood at the rear of the group, carrying his Vintorez rifle in hand. He was from Malmo, Sweden. Most men in the Zone were Russian or Ukrainian but he spoke the language to a satisfactory degree. He had no military training but the Zone broke him in well enough. In the fourteen months he had been there, he had killed thirteen men, not including the two bandits he killed that day. He was emotionally crippled and spoke rarely, not because he was shy, but because he felt he had little to add. His nickname amongst his friends was simply “Swede” because they did not know what else to call him. They might have used “Bulls Eye” or some other cliché sniper name but he was not a perfect shot and definitely not the best marksman in the Duty ranks.

To Gustav’s front left side, Pyotr walked with a slight limp. He had been the Duty man shot that morning during the assault. He was a country boy who enjoyed picking fights more than working a plow. His accent and poor language skills were attributed to his home schooling by uneducated parents. He learned how to wrestle from his uncle, and has since developed new techniques for personal use. He was in charge of Duty’s close quarters training, and was regarded as one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Zone. His nickname was “Knuckler” which made little sense because he rarely used his fists. He embraced the name regardless.

In front of Pyotr, Abdur walked with an OC-14 on his back and a USAS-12 auto shotgun in his hands. Few non-whites lived in the Zone but Abdur thrived there. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon and was a devout Muslim. When he was young and ignorant, he planned on joining the insurgency in Iraq. He studied the practice of creating improvised explosive devices, a skill that was highly valued in the Zone. On his hip, he carried a scabbard with a sheathed scimitar. This may seem comical and that was the intention of his good friend Aleksey who bought the authentic collectors edition sword from a looter. Abdur laughed in amusement when Aleksey gave him this gag gift, but he began to take it seriously after reminiscing in his childhood dreams of being a great Hashshashin, an assassin for Islam. He learned how to fight with his scimitar and has actually killed a man who insulted his god with it. His nickname was “Raj,” a word that he and his friends did not understand but it was allocated to him because it sounded vaguely Arabic.

To Abdur’s front was his good friend Aleksey. He was quite good looking and had a sense of humor to match. He left his hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia because he had an adolescent dream of spreading his seed all over world. Fortunately for Earth’s women, he ran out of travel money by the time he reached Ukraine and had no other choice but to enter the Zone. His wit got him out of many dangerous situations that would have otherwise killed him. By surviving in this manner, he gradually picked up the skills that were necessary to be in an elite Duty squad. During the assault on the bandit bunkhouse earlier that morning, he and Abdur made up the two men in reserve who came in after Pyotr was shot. Abdur and Aleksey were good friends because Aleksey admired Abdur’s devotion to Islam, and Abdur was satisfied to meet a Westerner who fit the Arab worlds stereotype, an affable and lazy playboy. Aleksey’s nickname was “Orphan” because there was a joke going around that he was responsible for all of the bastards born out of wedlock in Eastern Europe.

To Aleksey’s right was a bandit. To his right was Vladimir, the oldest in the group. In the six years prior, he made a great reputation and was something of a legend. He was in the first wave to enter the Zone, and was among the dozen or so who survived that long. Many myths and legends were spread in the bar, about how he killed five Bloodsuckers with his bare hands. That story was only one-fifth true because it was just a single, wounded Bloodsucker that had been shot many times. He had contacts from multiple factions all over the Zone, which allowed him and his fellow squad mates to roam the area with little problem. His experience and knowledge of the landscape gave him significant importance in the squad. During the assault on the bandit house, he was the man who zip-cuffed all of the bandits that were subdued by Pyotr. The nickname given to him was “Wiseman,” for obvious reasons.

Guarding Vladimir’s flank was Dmitry. He was born to wealthy parents in Kiev, Ukraine. He was the best-educated man in the group because when he was younger, his parents paid him all the way through medical school. He came into the Zone wanting an adventure story that he could tell his grandchildren someday. Doctors were a rare find in the Zone, so the Duty faction picked him up quickly and taught him how to fight. He was the better of the two medics that Duty had at its disposal. Although he was a profound medical practitioner, his “Stalking” abilities were greatly lacking. Sidrev employed him as his second in command and chief advisor because of his educationally enhanced intelligence. Dmitry’s nickname was “Med Dick,” a crude play on words that came about after he became roaring drunk and pretended his prick was a doctor. He has been a careful drinker ever since.

Right behind Dmitry, was Nikolay. He was a big man, just like Pyotr and carried a PKM light machine gun and sported an RPG on his back. He and Sidrev were the only ones in the squad that had authentic military training. He was a Ukrainian conscript-soldier, trained in using heavy weapons emplacements. His patriotism and devotion to his country wore out after fighting in the Zone for a year, causing him to desert (with his machinegun) and become a stalker. He left the military but soon started to miss it. He could never go back so he did the next best thing, he joined Duty. He liked being under orders and the Duty faction’s strict disciplinary code reminded him of the army. The nickname given to him was “Hunter” because his favorite pastime, when off duty, was machine-gunning packs of blind dogs and other zone creatures.

Then, there was Sidrev, the squad leader. He had once been a sergeant in the 98th Russian Airborne Division based in Ivanovo. His military dream involved being an officer but the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation thought he would better serve as an enlisted man. After his tour expired he joined the French Foreign Legion and was stationed is Kosovo. It was there that he first killed a man. He quit the foreign legion because he could never get officer status there either. Hardened from his experiences, he came into the Zone, no longer content with the outside world. Unlike most stalkers, Sidrev preferred life in the Zone instead of normal life. When he joined Duty, he adopted their purpose as his own and thoroughly believed that destruction of the Zone was the only way the world could go on. He employed whatever tactics he deemed necessary to achieve his goals. General Voronin liked Sidrev because he got results when taking on missions. Voronin gave him a squad command and has led them for a while now. Much to the dismay of his followers, he did not ever refer to them by their nicknames because he thought it was too informal. His formal rank in Duty was major, meaning that he finally got his officer rank, although he no longer cared.

A neutral stalker walked close to the front left side of the traveling group and Aleksey pushed him away. The neutral stalker spoke wistfully to Aleksey, “Oh c’mon man! Just let me spit on one of those cockroaches.” He pointed at one of the bandits.

“Don’t worry, my friend. These roaches will hang before the next morning.” Aleksey responded. The stalker was disappointed but seemed content with the response. He made a detour around the group and continued walking towards his chosen destination.

The group walked around and bend and the familiar site of the bar city came into the view. As they entered the town, many stalkers came to see their procession. Many were outraged at the thought of bandits entering their town and projectiles were thrown both at the bandits and the Dutyers. Before Sidrev could give the order, Nikolay fired his machinegun into the air. The stalkers, who realized they had crossed the line, pulled back and allowed the party to move onwards towards the Duty base.

Reception was better there. The Dutyers at the base congratulated Sidrev and his squad. Salutes and embraces were exchanged rapidly while another group of Duty members took hold of the ten-bandit group and led them down to a holding cell. They were right to be proud of Sidrev’s squad, rarely could so many prisoners be taken at a given time, even if they were just small time bandits. The officers at the base got a hold on their men and ordered them to return to their posts. Sidrev and his squad were led downstairs and General Voronin debriefed them. As Sidrev expected, Voronin had a gift ready. It was a simple pay bonus, not a new weapon like Sidrev hoped for, but it was satisfying enough.

Voronin took Sidrev into his private office. It had once been a boiler room but the machines were taken out and replaced by a pinewood desk, a picture of Voronin’s family, two desk chairs and an incandescent desk lamp, all of which were purchased from Ikea. How the furniture made it into the zone, Sidrev never knew. Colonel Petrenko, the faction’s second-in-command, stood in the corner than saluted when Voronin and Sidrev walked in.

Voronin was straight to business. “So what did you learn Major?”

“It’s just like we thought sir, the bandit raids on large groups and the new warlord are connected.”

Petrenko chimed in, “What proof do you have?”

Sidrev sighed. He and Petrenko rarely got along. “Just the testimony of a bandit, he told me exactly where to find his groups stash. Is that proof good enough for you? Or should I look for a reliable priest who witnessed the whole affair?”

“Enough!” Voronin was annoyed by their relationship. Sidrev gave Voronin the coordinates of the stash and Voronin called in a sergeant who he then assigned to recover it.

“What we need to do, is find out what this warlord guy is up to.” Petrenko said.

“Maybe he just wants a strong united bandit force to get all the more loot.” Voronin suggested.

Sidrev leaned back in his chair. He was worried now. The bandits made up a large portion of stalkers. They were enough of a nuisance when they fought amongst each other and the other stalkers, but if they united, they would be a true force to be reckoned with.

“Maybe,” said Petrenko, “or there could be something more sinister at work. Maybe,” he paused to think, “maybe he has a single operation in mind.”

Sidrev pieced it together, “That would explain the need for heavier firepower.” Bandits were all individually armed and gathering more weapons was more of a hassle.

“This stash better give us some more clues, we could postulate maybes until the Sun falls out of the sky.” Voronin said as he wrote down on his ledger. “But that wouldn’t do us any good would it?” Petrenko put forth a “no sir” and Sidrev just shook his head in agreement. “Ok, Colonel Petrenko, until we get the information from the stash we have to assume that the warlord will increase his activity in the region, assuming he knows what happened to his men. Step up patrols around the city and along the major roads. Major Sidrev, try to find out more about our new enemies intended mischief. Oh and if you do capture this warlord, I want him alive, better to make him an example in public.”

The two officers saluted and left the room. Track down the warlord, that was Sidrev’s mission, and he intended to accomplish his objective.
  06:59:52  10 June 2007
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Senior Resident

On forum: 03/31/2007
Messages: 246
great! i like the duty touch

i wanna see where this story is leading....
  14:21:07  14 June 2007
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Bulgarian Stalker


On forum: 04/30/2007
Messages: 1160
Great story!!! Me wants more more
  06:46:17  26 October 2007
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On forum: 10/25/2007
Messages: 10
WOW! Great story, I've been reading a bunch of stories lately and this has got to be one of my favorites. I love how each character has a unique background, yet some of them are similar in ways. Really interesting and I'm wondering where it's going. Keep up the great work! Keep em coming
  06:27:40  9 April 2010
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On forum: 04/09/2010
Messages: 3
good work. but the muslim guy is sort of stereotypical
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