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Third Fireside Tale: Survivor

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  18:01:13  12 October 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198
Third Fireside Tale: Survivor

(This is the last story for "Tales From The Zone" - in fact I'm sending the 30 pages off to a publisher today or tomorrow)


Cordon Village
Wednesday, 2nd May 2012

Dodger was new to the Zone. He'd been here about two weeks and was wondering what he should do. A couple of others were thinking of moving out to the Garbage and then to Rostock, but he was unsure. He had heard tales of the Bandits and how they had helped destroy the only attempt for the neutral Stalkers to form a coherent group. He had heard that it had left the Bandits bereft of their own leadership and shattered them into small groups that terrorised the lone Stalkers that wondered the Zone.

So the Garbage wasn't as dangerous from Human's as it once had been. Of course this was all relative. The Zone was a dangerous place, what with Bandits, other Stalkers (who had been hired for assassination jobs), the occasional dust-up between Duty and Freedom, the Ukrainian Military and their own Stalkers, and then there was the mutants. Of course you couldn't forget the anomalies. All in all after two weeks Dodger was beginning to wander why he had even come to the Zone in the first place.

He was sat next to one of the many little fires that scattered the village and was trying to warm himself after a cold night. Spring was late this year and the night had brought a covering frost for the morning. Everyone in the village was cold, and everyone huddled as close as they could to the fires. Dodger had never been so cold. He had never thought that you could be so cold.

He looked up and saw several Stalkers he had seen before slowly walked down the dirt track that the village was clustered around. They were coming down off the main road that practically ran north south through part of the Zone. Each of the Stalkers wore green stalker suits and a shoulder patch he didn't recognise.

'They're Freedom,' Dodger's friend Dohdan said to him as he sat down by the fire. 'They come here once a month to see if anyone is interested in joining up. Duty do the same thing. The recent Faction Wars decimated them as well as us Stalkers and the Bandits.' Dodger looked at his friend. He had been here exactly three days longer than Dodger.

'How the hell do you know that?' He asked a bit sharply.

'I just asked Wolf!' Dodger nodded and went back to the looking at the fire and holding a cup of coffee so hard in his hands that he was in danger of fusing his skin to the ceramic cup.

'Jesus, look at that poor bastard,' Dohdan said and nodded towards the last Freedomer. He was slightly shorter than the others, dragged his left leg and seemed to lean over to his left in general. His left arm was crooked up against his chest and he walked somewhat slower than the others. Dohdan got up and walked back over to talk to Wolf. After a couple of minutes he came back and settled himself back near the fire. Dodger didn't understand how he could keep getting up from the warmth of fire all the time.

'They call him the Survivor,' Dohdan said. 'Apparently he survived being caught in an anomaly.' Dodger suddenly straightened his and turned sharply to look at the crippled Stalker. He survived an anomaly!
  17:32:00  14 October 2009
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Racemate
Loner
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/11/2009
 

Message edited by:
Racemate
10/16/2009 14:54:22
Messages: 1252
Third Fireside Tale: Survivor

So far so good. Waiting for the next bit.
  13:58:33  16 October 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
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Survivor (continued)

'So what do they do just sit about and wait for us to come talk to them, or do they do some sort of propaganda speech?' Dodger asked as he continued to stare at the crippled Freedom soldier. Dohdan looked at him but as Dodger wasn't looking at him he guessed he didn't see the look on his face.

'How the Hell am I supposed to know that?' He said indignantly. Dodger turned back and smiled at his friend.

'I thought you knew all about it!' He teased. Dohdan threw a stone at his friend.

'Well I'm not going back to ask Wolf. He'll think I'm funny for him or something. Besides it's too cold to move now.' Ah, finally you notice its cold away from the fire, Dodger thought. 'Wait,' Dohdan whispered, 'he's coming over here.'

'Who is?' Dodger asked thinking Dohdan meant Wolf.

'The Survivor!'

Dodger turned and saw the crippled man slowly walking towards them. At this angle he didn't seem to be dragging his leg as much as he had when he had entered the village. As he got closer to their fire Dodger and Dodhan made room for him and watched as he slowly, and painfully, lowered himself down to the fire. Dodger could see the looks on the other Stalker's faces. He could see that every single one of them, except maybe Wolf, had the same thoughts going through their heads. It was the same thoughts that were going through his own head. There but for the grace of God, or I won't let that happened to me. Even, how can he keep going after that was done to him. And it occurred to Dodger that he kept going because he was a real Stalker and Stalkers didn't give up unless they were dead. The fact he was in the Zone was what kept Dodger getting out of his sleeping back in the mornings and maybe this is what drove this crippled Stalker as well.

'Cold!' He said and began to massage the withered arm with his good hand. After a few minutes he pulled his lame leg from under him and began to massage that as well. He seemed oblivious to the stares from the two young Stalkers.

'So you two not been here long then?' The Survivor asked. Dodger and Dodhan both mumbled there agreement and felt like they were talking to someone's parent. Jesus, you think I only got here yesterday. Dodger realised that maybe to this experienced Stalker he had only just got here.
  16:15:38  16 October 2009
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Do0mzday-Jesus
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 09/01/2009
Messages: 211
This is pretty cool.
  17:54:22  16 October 2009
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Racemate
Loner
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On forum: 02/11/2009
Messages: 1252
Waiting for the next part.
  18:14:11  16 October 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198

---QUOTATION---
Waiting for the next part.
---END QUOTATION---



Pushy
  22:46:22  16 October 2009
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Racemate
Loner
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On forum: 02/11/2009
 

Message edited by:
Racemate
10/17/2009 7:14:35
Messages: 1252

---QUOTATION---
Waiting for the next part.

Pushy
---END QUOTATION---



Never

Rather incentive.
  16:36:13  28 October 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198
‘Not that I had any idea that this was going on. When it came down to fighting I was usually left out of the loop as it where. I was off doing what I did best and what most Stalkers want to do: I was artefact hunting. It’s what we all came here to do, usually.

‘Ah, I see you two don’t know anything about artefacts do you. I bet you expected to find them lying around on the ground?’ The two young Stalkers nodded. ‘Well they used to. Then an enormous Emission changed the nature of the Zone and artefacts are now more difficult to find. They are more imbedded in the anomaly fields. Hmm... I shall explain a bit more. Anomalies are basically minor discharges of energy from the Zone. These discharges vary in wavelength and vibration, and where they erupt determines what kind of anomaly they become. If these energy discharges come in contact with organic matter, or a high carbon based inorganic material, they form artefacts. These used to be found on the edges of the fields, either internal or external edges, but now they seem to dance around inside the fields themselves discharging energy when they hit the edges of the anomaly fields. Only a specially tuned detector will make them reveal themselves. Does this make any sense to you at all?’ Both young men laughed and shook their heads.

‘Sounds like my old physics lessons,’ Dodhan said. ‘I could never understand them.’ All three men laughed again.

‘Okay, back to the story.’ The Survivor said and continued. ‘My favourite haunt in the Dark Valley is the area around the Hanger, which south of the unfinished Factory at the north end of the valley, which is where Freedom have made our base. It is basically an enormous hanger with an administration building on it. No one has any idea what it might ever have been used for, but there’s an entrance in the basement to some sort of underground facility and maybe the Hanger is just the top part of the facilities underground. Who knows these things?’ The Survivor shrugged. ‘Not God, that’s for sure. He abandoned this place a long time ago.’


Part 2

Dark Valley, sometime during the summer of 2010

Deadeye pulled out his artefact detector and began scanning the anomaly field in front of him. The Dark Valley Hanger stood huge on his immediate horizon, and an abandoned mobile office appeared to be the focal point for this particular anomaly field. He wasn’t too happy at being woken early that morning and being told that a new anomaly field had appeared by the Hanger. Why do they always send me to find artefacts? Because you’re good at it. You don’t get hurt collecting artefacts! He was starting to feel better as the artefact detector began to glow. The little display took up over a third of the detector and showed any artefact within a certain distance in an arc in front of the detector. The detector would beep when it found an artefact and the beeping would grow more and more insistent as he got closer. Highly efficient bit of kit, Deadeye thought, almost makes findin’ the bloody things a bit too easy.

Of course finding out where the artefact was was the easy bit. Actually getting to it was the tricky bit.

The north side of the Hanger was an artificial platform that was walled off and had an eight feet high drop away that had caught many an inattentive Stalker unawares. Deadeye was stood on the brick lined drop-off and looked at the field in front of him. Short lived electrical discharges jumped up into the air or crawled along the ground. Fortunately most of the discharges only lasted for less than a second and only covered a metre of space. But, as he stood there he had counted at least eighteen discharges in an area about twenty metres square and it looked as if the artefact was sitting in the centre of the field. He was glad of the respirator fitted to his field suit as the smell of ozone was almost overpowering and the noise of electrons being ripped from atoms by the discharges was like sitting in a field of miniature lightning flashes. It was beautiful and disturbing to watch.
  17:30:50  29 October 2009
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Racemate
Loner
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 02/11/2009
Messages: 1252
This one is done well. There's the only one question - Hanger or Hangar?
By the way, how's your publishing?
  13:10:20  30 October 2009
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Danlo
The Lazy Writer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/21/2008
Messages: 5198

---QUOTATION---
This one is done well. There's the only one question - Hanger or Hangar?
By the way, how's your publishing?
---END QUOTATION---



your right with the spelling - on the zone map it has Hangar - i wonder if its one of those english worlds that the rest of the world spells differently to us english - like colour - i'll see what my copy of word says.

I haven't heard anything so far - this can only be a good thing I hope - it hasn't been immediately rejected - so fingers crossed.
 
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