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  19:46:14  5 July 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
 

Message edited by:
Danlo
07/05/2009 19:48:04
Messages: 5198
Part 3 - revised and completed

Part 3 - “All hope abandon, ye that enter in!”

Anton looked up from the microscope and massaged the bridge of his nose. He was going cell-blind he was that tired. He’d been staring at cells cultured from blinddogs all day and he still couldn’t see anything in their cells that would allow them to resist radiation and certain anomalies. Horoliuk would be pleased. He had guessed that it must be something in the animals DNA that gave them their abilities to survive. Anton stood up and stretched his back muscles and watched Ivan through the plastic partition that separated the halves of the lab. Ivan was busy dissecting what the Stalkers had called a “snork”. Someone had written a few lines from Carroll’s Hunting Of The Snark on the creatures toe tag:

He had softly and suddenly vanished away
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see

The odd thing was that Anton had found out that it had been written by a Senior Soldier, not a scientist as he had originally thought. He wasn’t sure what he had been more surprised at, the possibility of a scientist on this mission with a sense of humour or a classically educated soldier.

Anton walked over to the plastic wall and stared at the face of the snork. Here was a very strange creature indeed. According to autopsy results, which Ivan was confirming now, and DNA scans this creature was human, or at least related to humans, more closely related than apes, but still not quite Homo sapiens sapiens: more like Homo sapien degenertus, damn that wasn’t even real Latin – I can’t remember what it should be called, Anton quietly thought to himself, the Zone was starting to affect him now. The snork ran around on all fours, could jump a tremendous distance, were extremely aggressive and their faces were a strange combination of a snorkelled gasmask and lipless animal with a mouthful of small sharp teeth. There was no real idea how these animals could have evolved, or devolved so quickly, especially as they appeared to be wearing what was left of military combat uniform. It was of the many mysteries that the Zone had been throwing at them daily since they had entered here.

Of course the snork had given fuel for Horoliuk’s theory, he was the head researcher. He claimed that the Zone was a manifestation of “cross dimensional contamination”. Of course it was a wholly improvable, unsubstantiated theory that he had been spouting since before the mission to Town 32 had even been proposed. He said that the original incident back in eighty-six had managed to seriously weaken the walls between dimensions, that the area was already a place where the walls between the dimensions were thin, and that the incident last year just tore a hole through to another reality. Of course if did explain why the geography here within the Zone was different than the maps said it should be. Either the fabric of space/time had been severely warped or they were no longer in pre-Second Incident Ukraine. Prypiat had moved south from where it should be and a whole new city had been found. It was more than enough to make a man go mad.

Anton had enough of the lab for the day and needed some air.

‘To the devil with devil dogs and devil men,’ he said loudly to the air as he practically ripped off his lab coat. ‘I need a drink. I hope those soldiers have got that damn still working right,’ and he stormed out of the lab. Ivan took no notice of him; he though Anton was too highly strung and paying him attention would only encourage him.

Anton took deep breaths as soon as he was out of the lab and in the fresh air. The lab was nothing more than a sealed environment created inside one of the low barns that dotted the village that was called Town 32. He stretched again and turned and headed towards the soldiers barracks to see about a nice drink of moonshine vodka. It didn’t surprise him that the soldiers here knew enough chemistry to create a still; he suspected that it was one of those skills that all soldiers had as an innate ability. As he crossed the main street he glanced at the main gate and noticed that the latest patrol had brought back another specimen. This was one causing some commotion. All thoughts of booze vanished from his head and he sidled up to the front gate to get a look.

The four man patrol had brought in something roughly man-sized and shaped. Yet, there was no way this thing could have been a man.

‘...ook two full mags before it stopped trying to grab me.’ One of the soldiers was saying. ‘But it didn’t go down until we pumped another two mags into it. Damn thing was hard to stop.’ Anton got a good look at it: it was bi-pedal and appeared to be wearing trousers; it had two arms, no neck, a head and that was were all resemblance to humanity stopped. Its torso was a mass of twisted muscles and its skin was a sickly yellow. It face was also disfigured, with ropes of skin and muscle swathing where the neck should have been, and covering the lower part of the jaw. It was bald and the head was swollen at the rear. Of course the whole body was riddled with bullets; one of the arms had nearly been detached by gun fire.

‘You will all die!’ Anton looked about for the voice he had heard, and noticed that no one else had heard it. Then the eyes of the deformed corpse opened and it smiled directly at Anton.

‘Holy Christ,’ he screamed. ‘It’s still alive.’ He back away knocking people out of the way. He grabbed a pistol out of a soldier’s hostel and turned to shoot the horror. But it was dead. He could see that. He looked up and everyone was staring at him. They looked scared of him! Couldn’t they see it had moved!

The Stalker, Pyotr, walked over drew his own desert eagle pistol and stood over the horror that lay on the floor. He pulled the trigger on the handgun twice, firing the rounds directly into its head.

‘We need to burn it!’ It was Pyotr’s voice. ‘It has friends and they seem to be near.’ He turned to Anton and took the pistol out of the scientist’s hands. ‘Don’t worry, it didn’t happen.’ He said quietly to Anton and put a warm hand on the man’s shoulder. ‘It didn’t happen!’ He said again. Anton nodded and back away. Pyotr watched as the scientist ran towards the scientists barracks.

‘Someone better go and make sure he’s ok!’ He said to the general crowd around him, he then turned to the nearest Master Sergeant and told him to go get the Major. The soldier nodded and ran off. When the Major turned up two minutes later Pyotr took him to one side.

‘It’s a Controller,’ he said.

‘What’s one of them?’ The Major asked.

‘Some sort of experiment in mind control that went wrong and escaped from the deep labs when the Second Incident took place. They can rip the mind right out of you and turn you into a mindless zombie. They can make you see anything they want and eventually do what they want.

‘Snakes, snakes everywhere,’ was suddenly screamed by a guard up in one of the towers. He began firing his rifle at the ground and then he screamed in agony. He must have shot himself in the leg. A cry for a medic went up and several soldiers began running to the tower.

‘This is only the beginning,’ Pyotr told the Major. ‘We have only one chance, if we stay we die.’

‘It’ll take about two hours to get the specimens and computers together and packed up.’ The Major said.

‘Major we don’t have fifteen minutes.’ Pyotr pointed towards the barracks. Two men had just dropped into sitting positions. They removed their helmets and smiled at each other as the pulled their service pistols out. The raised them directly at each other and fired. They both died smiling. The Major began shouting orders but no one was listening. Men were screaming and running about.

‘Get into your billet and stay there. Let’s hope they lose interest with us.’ Pyotr said.


The two days were long, boring and in some cases extremely frightening.

The first night was definitely the easiest for everyone: no one knew what was coming, the vodka was still flowing and hope was still alive that the Controllers would pass them by. The next day the Stalkers went out to check on everyone.

Most of the houses that the soldiers had used as billets were all clustered together near the main gate; the scientist lived in homes not far from the two barns used as labs. The Officers lived between the two, along with the Stalkers.

Konstantin examined the soldier’s billets and found most of them in good spirits, asking questions and generally waiting patiently. He checked the house closet to the main gate and found a window smashed inwards and two of the three soldiers billeted there were gone. There was a mass of blood and the third soldier was barely identifiable from what remained. He checked the area and found bi-pedal tracks made by an animal with a long gait. He had seen this type of tracks before in the Wild Territory beyond the Factory north of the Garbage. Keeping his mouth shut he went to find Pyotr.

Yuriy never made it into the officer houses, he was distracted by the tracks he found outside them. Small paw prints made by a four-legged animal. They looked similar to that of a dog, only bigger with more pronounced claws. He counted about ten animals. He too started looking for Pyotr.

The scientists hadn’t fared as well as the soldiers. Mostly they lived either on their own or in pairs. None of them had slept all night and they told Pyotr of voices in the night, of ghostly animals appearing to them and vanishing when they attacked. Two of the remaining nine scientists had died of fright, and third was catatonic, a forth was tied to his bed as he had attempted to kill his roommate and then when he failed tried to take his own life. The man’s mind had gone; he just kept giggling and smirking to himself. Anton was found giggling to himself.


The other two Stalkers found Pyotr just outside the Officers billets.

‘We’re in trouble!’ Konstantin stated. ‘We need to leave as soon as we can.’

‘I have to agree,’ Yuriy said. ‘I’ve seen tracks for quite a few psuedodogs, and Konstantin has seen evidence of at least one bloodsucker. If we stay any longer none of us will live through the night.’

‘I can only agree.’ Pyotr said as he headed for the Major’s house.

‘It’s going to take about two hours to strip the hard drives out of the computers and to secure all the specimens for transport. And I’m only going by the fact that five people can do the job.’ The major said after he listened to what the Stalker’s said. ‘One of my officers and I will get the hard drives if you three could secure the specimens.’ The three Stalkers agreed.

‘What about the men?’ Yuriy asked.

‘You’ve seen them, would you trust them with delicate work. If my own feelings are anything to go by they’re too terrified to leave their billets.’ The Major answered. ‘I’ve been on the radio to one of the sergeants and going to get some men on the roof tops to keep an eye out, but I’m afraid that’s all we’re going to get.’


Two hours dragged into three. Eventually the hard drives and specimens were loaded into the back of one of the BTR’s. Due to the number they had lost it was decided to leave the Kamaz trucks where they were. It was just after noon when the Major gave the order to evacuate. Only three BTR’s were filled. The other men refused to move. The catatonic soldiers and scientists were loaded in to one truck with the specimens and data, the officers who were able to leave and the Stalkers. It was a tight squeeze but they managed ten people in one truck, and thirteen in another.

Despite calls to those that refused to leave no one else left their billets. The two BTR’s were on their own.

‘We have to go Major. Either we go or we all die.’ Pyotr said over the sound of the two sergeants shouting at those in the houses. It was a little after two and the sun was starting to descend. They had about two hours of daylight left and they wanted to be across the river by then.

Sickening cry went up, ‘They’re here!’, and ‘They’re coming for us!’ filled the air.

Pyotr climbed on top of the BTR and scanned the tree line and cold easily make out about twenty Controllers. They were just standing there watching. They seemed to be waiting for something. Pyotr climbed back inside and told the Major what he had seen.

‘We can’t wait any longer, but which way.’ Pyotr told him that he not seen any mutants to the North so the Major gave the BTR drivers their orders and the two vehicles started off.

‘May God forgive us for leaving these men behind, and may God protect us.’ The Major whispered as the two vehicles roared out of Town 32.


Full revised version here:
http://www.4shared.com/file/116130545/f2d5dbe2/Town-32.html
  00:10:37  6 July 2009
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Cmdr. Vasily Kutnetz
Cordon Commissar
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/03/2007
Messages: 673
I'm liking this, It reminds me of the story I had written a long time ago, very similar, in fact. though I went to yantar.... I hope to see more
  02:00:02  6 July 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198
Thank you.

Nearly at the end of it now.

Its gotten to be quite a tale - over 8,000 words (damn nearly a novella in its own rite) - if I had known it was going to be long i'm not sure I would have started it - but I'm gald I did.
  17:43:34  8 July 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198
Part 4 – Out of the Frying Pan

The two BTRs that escaped from Town 32 only contained twenty three people. The vehicle in the lead was Major Viktorych’s, and contained the three Stalkers, two scientist, three officers (including the Major) and two enlisted Soldiers; it also contained all the research material they had managed to gather in the six days that they were at Town 32. The second vehicle contained one officer and twelve enlisted men. All the occupants of both vehicles were praying for their lives and their souls.


The main road that led away from Town 32 was twisted like corkscrew but seemed to lead them someway from the town. As the town quickly vanished behind layers of brush, trees and undergrowth the survivors of the expedition started to breathe easier. Maybe it was all a dream, they thought. Maybe it never happened. It was a defence mechanism only, everyone knew deep down that they could never forget what had happened.

The Major was hoping that the aerial photographs he had been given were accurate as they said that this road led to a bridge across the Prypiat. Yes the road led further north towards Prypiat City and the NPP, but there seemed to be enough land that would be traversable by the BTR’s between the river and the Army Warehouse. Or even, if they could get across the hills, to the relative safety of the Dark Valley; at least the BTR’s would protect them against the nests of snorks the Stalkers said lived there.

The BTR’s barrelled down the uneven, broken road as close to their maximum speed of 85 kph as the drivers thought was safe. They passed small broken houses and farmsteads. They occasionally caught sight of mutated animals romping around the fields on in and out of the broken buildings. Their feelings of optimism that they had had when they had left the town quickly vanished when they realised that they were still in an alien world. Even the Stalkers, who thought they were used to the Zone, began to feel that humans didn’t belong here anymore. This was a world of mutation and alteration. The relatively safe human world was gone, and probably would never return.

The sanguine mood returned when the land began to slope downwards towards the river. The road cleared a low set of hills and there was the river stretching like a blue wall of freedom. A quiet cheer went up from both vehicles when they got their first glimpse of the river and the bridge. The cheerful mood didn’t last long. Both BTR’s skidded to a halt and the Major climbed out with the Stalkers to have a look at the bridge.

The photographs that the Major had said that this bridge was fully intact; however, in reality it was only half there. Something had cut the east side of the bridge completely away. Two hundred meters of empty air stood between where the road joined the bridge and where the bridge actually began. Through his field glasses the Major could see that the bridge had been cleanly cut, there was no wreckage in the river, nor any on this side of the river. The Stalkers said that it appeared that an anomaly had done this, but they had never seen one large enough to do this sort of damage.

‘We’ll have to do a river crossing!’ the Major said to everyone and they set about making sure that everything was secure, evenly spaced about the vehicles and made sure that both BTR’s were still watertight. After ten minutes work they drove down a slip road towards the wide but turbulent waters of the Prypiat River.
  14:14:51  9 July 2009
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Racemate
Loner
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/11/2009
Messages: 1252

---QUOTATION---
‘It’s still alive.’ He back away knocking people out of the way. He grabbed a pistol out of a soldier’s hostel and turned to shoot the horror.
---END QUOTATION---



Hi Danlo,

Do you really think that a regular man able to grab a pistol out of a soldier's hostel so easily ? Probably yes, if he is a guy from Special Forces, but not scientist.
Just my opinion.

Still reading.
  14:43:05  9 July 2009
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-=Grunt=-
Cake Muncher
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 01/08/2009
Messages: 4114
Great story Danlo.



You don't know what a man can do with his rage.
  15:18:38  9 July 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198

---QUOTATION---
‘It’s still alive.’ He back away knocking people out of the way. He grabbed a pistol out of a soldier’s hostel and turned to shoot the horror.

Hi Danlo,

Do you really think that a regular man able to grab a pistol out of a soldier's hostel so easily ? Probably yes, if he is a guy from Special Forces, but not scientist.
Just my opinion.

Still reading.
---END QUOTATION---



the whole thing is that they are already being influenced by the Contollers surrounding them - good point though - might need to add something about that.

Thanks Grunt - appreciate it.
  07:37:49  10 July 2009
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Racemate
Loner
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/11/2009
 

Message edited by:
Racemate
07/10/2009 11:08:57
Messages: 1252

---QUOTATION---
‘Snakes, snakes everywhere,’ was suddenly screamed by a guard...

‘This is only the beginning,’ Pyotr told the Major. ‘We have only one chance, if we stay we die.’

‘It’ll take about two hours to get the specimens and computers together and packed up.’ The Major said.

‘Major we don’t have fifteen minutes.’ Pyotr pointed towards the barracks. Two men had just dropped into sitting positions. They removed their helmets and smiled at each other as the pulled their service pistols out. The raised them directly at each other and fired. They both died smiling. The Major began shouting orders but no one was listening. Men were screaming and running about...
---END QUOTATION---



It seems those two guys, Pyotr and Major, are not influenced by Controllers in any degree, or, if their mind are more resistant, they don't behave according to the situation. Especially Major who has never been in the Zone before. One way or another, they are seen as they are out of the situation, like onlookers. They just fall out of the stream.

edit:

---QUOTATION---
Eventually the hard drives and specimens were loaded into the back of one of the BTR’s. Due to the number they had lost it was decided to leave the Kamaz trucks where they were. It was just after noon when the Major gave the order to evacuate. Only three BTR’s were filled. The other men refused to move. The catatonic soldiers and scientists were loaded in to one truck with the specimens and data, the officers who were able to leave and the Stalkers. It was a tight squeeze but they managed ten people in one truck, and thirteen in another.
---END QUOTATION---

.

I think it's just typos.


---QUOTATION---
...Major Viktorych’s...
---END QUOTATION---



I think you meant Major Andrey Victorovich's or just Major's. Since there are no other Majors there.

All those are just my opinion.

The rest is really cool.
  14:24:44  10 July 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198
Good point about Pyotr and the Major - I should have pointed out that all the Stalkers would be more resistant and the Major used to command and order would probably fight off the effects better - yes that section needs a snother rewrite -

Racemate - you would make a great editor - you have a natural flair for it and your less brutal that most of the other editirs I've worked with.

Yeah it was a typo - trying to correct different things and missed some - thanks
  14:55:30  10 July 2009
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Racemate
Loner
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/11/2009
Messages: 1252

---QUOTATION---
you would make a great editor - you have a natural flair for it and your less brutal that most of the other editirs I've worked with.
---END QUOTATION---



Thanks mate. It was my pleasure to communicate with you.
 
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