| 17:55:26 13 July 2009
The Lazy Writer
On forum: 10/21/2008
Part 4 - continued|
The crossing was mostly uneventful until they reached the half-way mark and someone looked back at the opposite bank. Everyone craned to look at the monitor for the weapons camera and they all could easily make out ten Controllers lining the ridge above the river. The mutants just watched the retreating BTRs until they gained the opposite shore and then slowly melted back into the undergrowth.
The vehicles came ashore about five klicks north of the bridge they had originally crossed the Prypiat on. But they where still inside the unexplored region of the Zone and about three klicks north west of the Army Warehouses, and about ten klicks north of the Dark Valley. The sense of hopefulness returned. They would all make it home. According to Andriy’s map the trees he could see at the top of the ridge was Red Forrest, the forest loomed to the west and sat on the top of the plateau that rose above the river.
The land gently rose to the forest and gave easy access to the hills that surrounded the valleys that made up the relative safety of the Explored Zone. The forest was about a kilometre away and there was literally nothing for anything else to hide behind; it looked as if they were going to have a clear run into the hills. The three Stalkers exited the vehicles and using both their naked eyes and field glasses scanned the sloping hillside in search of anomalies and pronounced the area relatively clear. There were some small springboards but they could easily avoid them.
Gunning the engines the much depleted expedition continued up the hillside.
The gunner in the rear vehicle reported movement in the tree line. The front vehicles turret swung around to verify and just managed to see a sudden flash as if something had exploded. He could just see the large projectile streaking towards the rear BTR and everyone heard the cry from the rear Gunner, ‘RPG!!!’
The rocket propelled grenade smashed into the rear of the second BTR. It exploded just over the rear wheels and slammed the vehicle’s rear which swung out to its left. The engine growled and the forward wheels turned but the vehicle was going nowhere. The first BTR had opened fire at the tree line. One hundred and fifteen millimetre explosive rounds impacted the exact point where the RPG had been fired from. The edge of the forest quickly caught fire. The gunner continued spraying cannon fire into the forest at either sides of the place where the RPG had been fired from, until the Major told him to cease.
- Major, there’s no way we can move this bloody thing. The rear wheels on both sides are gone, and two of the axles are either cracked or shattered. I’ve no idea what they filled the head of that RPG round with but it packed a hell of a punch.
- Ok, so what the plan then. We can travel slow enough to keep you covered until we reach the edge of the Army Warehouses.
- I’ve looked at the map, sir. I think we can cut across through the Red Forest on foot and reach the Army Warehouses in about three hours. We have enough men and armament to make sure we reach the fences.
- Senior Lieutenant, I’m not happy about it.
- Sir, there can’t be that many men in the woods. We’ll make it through. Besides the information you are carrying is the whole point of the mission. You need to get that to the base in Vyshhorod, as soon as possible. We were fortunate that none of the man were injured.
- Very well. If you are not at the meeting point in two hours I will request attack helicopters and a search party. We won’t leave anyone behind again.
Major Kuznetsov’s vehicle moved off, the vehicles gun turret scanning the tree line covering the soldiers that climbed away from the damaged BTR. Only a single soldier was left at the crippled vehicle. He pulled out two thermite grenades, pulled the pins and tossed them both into the vehicle. Two seconds later a great white light exploded out of BTRs and a bright red fire burned through the interior. The fire destroyed the electronics and any paperwork left behind.
OS: Windows Windows 7 BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Mobo: Gigabyte P55A-UD4
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 530 @ 2.93GHz K875 ~2.9GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM DirectX Version: DirectX 11 Card name: nVidia Geforce GTX480/nVidia Geforce GTX260
Display Memory: 2605 MB Monitor: LG M228WD-BZ(Analog)
Description: Speakers (X-Fi Extreme Gamer 7.1 soundcard)
Device Name: R.A.T7 (7-button mouse)