I just arrived in the “Zone” today, at about 2 p.m. I’m not alone though, because every newbie has to be taken in by a veteran so a faction won’t extinct. The Zone, rather a war between a human with anomalies and weird monsters, as I heard from my referrer, is more than a war between humans. It’s hard to survive when you hardly have any allies on your side to back you up. “Will I pull all of these off?” I thought. I was for the money, since just by collecting those “artefacts” or “things” for those researchers can earn you an enormous fortune. My referrer and a driver, Ivan, said to me. “Since most of the people here speak Russian or Ukrainian, I think you just better off stick with me. Is it your first time in such a cold place?” I nodded. It is really cold to me, even though I’m an ex-special force member of the Malaysian PASKAL Navy commando for 10 years; I still need some time to adapt the way of living in the Russian region. “We’re here.” Ivan told me. “I’ll talk with the guards, hand your documents to me and STAY in the car no matter what.” I do as he told me and he got out of the car, checked thoroughly by the guards, shook hands with them and show them the documents as well as some money for the “pass” for us to get through. It seems that he and the chief of the guard post are “friends” on certain degree. He came back and said to me through the car window, “hmm… blood suckers. Anyway we will continue-” BANG!!! A loud noise of gunfire shook us. We both turned to the direction of the gunfire’s source, we saw a soldier, holding a handgun, with a seemed-reluctant looking face, with unnatural and restrained posture, trying to shoot us. “WARGHHHHH!!!! WHOAAAA!!!!!” The next to our horror, one by one, four members of the guard house seemed bewitched and drew their guns and coming at us, with slow , restrained stances. “Shit, it’s a controller!” Ivan cursed while drawing his gun. “What, a controller? What the fuck’s that?” I asked him, curiously. “Well the good news is that a controller can only mind control 4 people at once, so we both are saved from being his slave.” “Mind… control?” I said in disbelieve. “What about the bad news?” “Can’t you see that we’re being surrounded? Take this gun!” He threw me a handgun, it is a Browning HP. Ivan pointed his gun at the chief, who was at about 50 yards away, ready to fire. “We gotta get that controller, if one of these guards’s down then he can control either you or me.” “Is there any way to avoid being mind controlled?” “Yeah,” Ivan answered me after he shot off a guard’s right hand and put another round on his right kneecap, sending the latter fell down on his face, crawling.“1: Kill the controller, 2: be killed or unless you have a mental shield or something like that to protect your mind.” “I don’t believe in God.” I said, while scanning the surrounding trees. “Too bad then, it can save you from going crazy.” “I am crazy now.” I s******ed at myself, “’cause I’ve come here.” “Ha ha!” He laughed, shooting down another guard. “You should become a poet or somethin’… not this job.” Finally I spotted a shadow on one of the trees, without thinking, I pointed at the unidentified creature and fired 2 quick rounds at a time, the creature were agile, able to dodge my shots! But I followed with 3 more shots and finally caught him on his abdomen. He immediately fell down from the tree and crashed dull on the asphalt. He managed to get up on his own, staring and howling eerie tones at us before Ivan shot several times on his face, piercing through his head, killing him instantly. The guards came around to their senses, and the dead, along with the mutant were sent to the nearest camp by an MI-24 Hind helicopter. The chief was grim faced, who can only blame on nothing except his team’s ill fate. We’re late for at least 2 hours when we got to the destination. When I saw the “base” I frowned. The base was in such a disarray shape. Researchers in several camps painted in white rushed in and out, corpses in body bags waiting to be buried, the injured waiting to be treated. Tons of waste and garbage piled up like a mountain. The place is as noisy as a market. To my disgust, some of them are even practising bayonets with living mutants! “Mutants have no use but to waste our ammo and our people’s life, so practising bayonets on them saves our ammo, and teaches our people what to do when they are out of ammo, just in case.” Ivan finished with a little laugh. “Follow me.” he said, “I’ll show you to your bunker. Have your dinner and rest properly, tomorrow I’ll bring you to our captain of this base while introduce you to everyone…” I thanked him and shook hands with him before settling down on my hammock, my bunker is capable of accommodate 10 people and it was empty. I cooked and ate my dinner alone, some luncheon pork and peach, corn beef and a glass of distilled water. I made my bed and started to write all of these things happened on me while recalling the horror-looking face of that creature that was dubbed “The Controller”. I hope I can have a good night’s rest even it is only 8 degrees Celsius right now. Good night, Zone. Day 2 I woke up at around 7 o’clock in the morning. It was too cold for me to sleep on so I might as well as jump onto my own feet and start finding some jobs to do before running out my own supplies and ended starving to death in here. I have been pretty sure that everyone here is on himself, and you have no one to watch your back. Buddy system is a rare phrase for the grunts here. I cooked my own breakfast, and drank 2 cups of coffee to warm myself as well as hitting my senses awake, boy, I’m gonna need those to ease some of the headaches then. Just then, my so-called tent-mate woke up, he saw me with a surprised look on his scar face. He was a Russian, in his late thirties, with a thick beard on his chin. He rubbed his eyes and asked me in English with a strong Russian accent. “Hey Friend… you got a light?” “I don’t smoke but yeah, wait a minute, I’ll get it for ya.” I replied while began to search through my kit bag, I found my lighter and lighted his cigarette for him. He drew one long time and hissed out from his nostrils with a contented look in his battle-proven face. “Thanks, new bird. Where you from?” He asked curtly. “Malaysia.” I replied honestly. “Malaysia…? You been a soldier before?” “Yeah, special forces.” “Woooo…. Special Forces…. Scary.” He teased. Somehow I’m used to it. Real Special Forces won’t budge on such small insults, if they can’t handle tortures and insults, they just like a piece of tofu ready to be squashed to pieces during interrogation. “My name’s Antonov. You?” “David Lee.” “Good name…” “Thanks.” He drew another one hard, long breath from his half-finished cigarette. “It’s rare thing for you a non-smoker, since you’re in the army before.” “Smoking, to me, isn’t a way to let go post-war-trauma.” “You speak boldly, kid.” His face turned grim. “It’s bad to show off your tongue at your new friend.” “I speak only the truth to my friends.” “We’ll see about that.” With a frown expression he left the tent, leaving me alone. Have I spoken something wrong? Hopefully I didn’t make an enemy. Making enemy in this strange place can get you killed, but luckily I can speak Russian, since it was required when I was sent to Ukraine for a new weapons and tactical training program 5 years ago by my government. Then, sad, bad things happen…. They apparently flashed back in the back my head like some kind of a projector, film by film, piece by piece… I fell into a daze but a chill wind shook me conscious. Now, what do I do now? It’s only 8 o’clock and things started to get busy around the camp. Looking out from my tent, I can see people walking in and out the area. Most of them sling an AK assault rifle; it seems that the term “friends” do exist even in this god-forsaken place, the best evidence of proving that human beings are social animals. I ate the rest of my cold breakfast hastily, and wash them down with one last gulp of my coffee, at the mean time, Ivan walked into the tent. “Harosho… you’re awake.” He said with a bit of a grim expression, “The post-war trauma guy just now was actually our vice-captain; you might have a hard time with him in the future since you… talked back to him, as a new guy to a post cold-war spetnaz veteran like him.” “Yeah… I know…. The next time you see him,” I stood up. “Uh huh?” “Tell him to return my lighter.” I patted his shoulder before I leave the tent. I heard him sigh behind me. “This is not the problem… you can’t work things alone in The Zone, David. You know… I might not be your partner.” “Take me to your Captain and I’ll try to make us AS partners.” Sighed, Ian led me through the “bayonet killing grounds” and we went into a huge concrete-bunker. In the bunker, several Stalkers, each armed themselves with an AK assault rifle, and all of them were wearing a hood, with gas masks hanging at their left cheeks. Their back pack and their side or hip pouch was a small one, but one can see that there was no empty space in it since it seems that they are going on a long trip. “Let’s go.” One of them gave me a glare before leading the other 3 Stalkers onto a jeep. I looked back at him and it was Antonov. Untouched, I followed Ivan to the bunker’s doors. Ivan opened the door and spoke to the guards, and when the door opened, we were actually in a fortress. I drew my breath as there were numerous heavy or GPMGs and even mortars aimed towards the outside. A lot of people were in it, and I was the focus of them all. Ivan led me to a small staircase and we went underground. After a short distance walking downwards, we arrived at a medium sized chamber. There were quite a number of chambers; most of them were fitted with berths and lockers. It seems to be a jail but the atmosphere says it isn’t so. Finally, after a long, dim-lighted hallway and we arrived at a counter behind bars, where there were radios and signal devices, and the person in charge deeply surprised me. Instead of what I thought, who is a veteran soldier, is a plump man, with a white singlet and a pair long pants and sandals. His face is fierce, but he doesn’t scare you at all, if not only kids. He wields a vintage Benelli M3S pump-action shotgun and sits on a chair, facing us from the opposite of the counter, while constantly turning to his employees and blasting commands. Everyone seems to be gotten used of his rude and boisterous manner. “OK, ask that fucking son of a bitch to get the fucking hell out of there!” He snatches one microphone away from his operators and started yelling away, regardless of his situation. “Waste those Monolith bastards and come back!” He shouts to the microphone. “Or forget about it if you can’t get the artefact! God dammit! What the fuck do I pay you for?” He threw back the microphone to the operator and turned to us. When he saw me, he immediately points his shot gun to me. Regardless of his old manner he was extremely fast, before I can react, he said with a cold tone, “Ivan, who the fuck is this kid?” “David Lee, boss.” Ivan seems relaxed. “He’s the one who were picked by you, 3 months ago.” “Alright, shut up and present him to me.” Ivan then nudged me and gestured, signalling me to go in front of the boss. “Hmm…” He looked at me sharply. “Not bad… say, can you shoot?” “Yes, of course.” “I have no fucking time to screen you, but then I might do it later… meanwhile I will get a job for you tomorrow.” “Boss, he hasn’t…” Ivan tried to say something, but was stopped by the Boss. “Shut the fuck up Ivan. I’m in charge of things now.” Ivan obeyed like a child, amazingly. The Boss turned to me and speak in a loud, harsh tone. “My name’s Santos, but you can only call me Boss. I’m the Dealer of this god-forsaken camp because I sell these bastards weapons, food and equipments. From now on, you work for me now because I own your yellow ass, got it?” I nodded slightly. “You got any weapons?” He sat down, resting his shot gun on his lap. “A Browning HP.” “That’s fucking all?” He sprang up suddenly from the chair and turned to Ivan angrily, “Didn’t I fuckin’ tell you to ask him bring his own mother fuckin’ equipment!? What the fuck ‘ave you been doin’?” Ivan gave a miserably looking expression. “You shiting blood suckers only know how ta get weapons from me, and my supplies ‘ave been running fuckin’ low! We’re damn short of people and equipments, that’s why we can only recruit 1 person per month and lose 10 in a fucking minute!” He then goes around ranting and violently searching for his equipments. A lot of loud noise was produced but nobody dares to stand up against him. In fact, I was deeply pissed off but I kept my cool. After 15 minutes of searching, he found some things and threw at my feet. “Listen up kid, I ain’t your sissy quartermaster back in your army days! This is the most I’ll give you and if you want more, go and get it from other dickheads, not me! You want ammo or weapons, I have them but that’s gonna cost ya. You think I’m gonna give you my whole bunker, go to hell and fuck yourself. Got it? Come back tomorrow and get your first mission.” “OK.” I say wryly, Ivan gave a sigh of relief and dragged me out of that hell hole. I took the equipments back to my tent and these were my equipments: 9mm parabellum FMJ rounds x 50 Hip pouch Raincoat with hood A pair of Cotton Gloves Cylinder shaped weird looking metal container x 3 Smoke Grenades x 3 2-way radio with headphones-cum-microphone I arranged those things and filled my backpack. It was a cool afternoon and I guess I’ll stop writing here. Really, I hate that guy and I am sure that I am gonna hate the mission tomorrow. With those thing I can hardly make a hole on a cardboard box.
"World's Best Boss"
14th August 2004
20th November 2005
Holy jesus enough grammar errors? Sometimes i lost ya in them.
You can either agree with meor be wrong.
12th November 2003
I sure hope that this is not just copied from the website.
Nope, I wrote them with my own fingers.
I'll post new ones on this...... all the way till 7 days.
It was a very cold morning and I woke up whenever I couldn’t sleep anymore. Checking my inventory, I now have: The ammunitions box mentioned last time 4000 Roubles A mini hand-driven/solar powered power generator US standard issue ALICE webbing and various pouches and bags One Water flask, 2 canteens, fork and spoon. 1 US M9 bayonet Pencil and a small note book Compass - “What are you doing here my friend?” It’s Ivan. “Just counting my items.” I replied shortly. “Lemme see.” He gestured towards my papers, and I handed him, and he smiles with his eyes becoming a line. “Come follow me, you will believe that you won’t need these, at least not in this place.” He later walks off. I quickly shoving all my things into my large kit bag and followed him. “I think it is now the time for me to take you for a tour around the base.” He said, while walking. “I think you know what that building is.” He pointed to his diagonal left, that is the building which we went last day and received lecturing. We further walked past several HMG posts and the “bayonet practice grounds”, and then he gestured towards another small near-crumble house. “That is our bar. You can purchase vodkas, or exchange information, or set up deals.” “Deals? What deals?” I asked curiously. “You will know later, David, but now the most important place we have is this building besides the command center.” He adds with a little laugh, “We called it “Egg”.” After around 150 meters of walking, we approach a building so special that is beyond my recognition. The building was at a small hill, with even more HMG posts and guards arming with AKs and even RPGs around. Its shape is a huge semi-hyperbole, with its materials seemed like a special glass. I could saw “bunny people” inside the building and Ivan spoke something to the guard leader before he gave us clearance for entry. “This is our research facility. Whatever we find in the Zone will be surrendered in here, which means any non-weapons, or even unknown creatures’ corpses.” Ivan explained while walking down the corridor that is full of operation tables with those “bunny people” working on various things: repairing technical items, negotiating prices with some other stalkers, or something even grosser: Performing autopsy on some if the mutants. “Ah, see that one over there?” He points in another direction. “The one you killed few days ago.” It was the mutant I killed that day. The bunny people were working on him. His internal organs were all taken out and hung right behind the operation table and some of them were conducting tests on the body parts. It was too much for me and I felt an urge to puke. “Who are… those bunny people??” I asked, with a twisted face, while covering my mouth. “They are scientists, come this way, I take you to this person. You will like her.” “Her?” “Yeah, one of the few hot ladies in this God-forsaken place. If you are lucky, you might even get to sleep with her.” “Yeah right, whatever.” I followed reluctantly. And Ivan led me to a small section where a few more bunny people were conducting research on various technology equipments. A bunny person turned around and took off her suit and helmet. It was a stunning young lady. “Er, let me… introduce you myself…. I mean…” Ivan seemed a little bit nervous when he was in front of this lady. “I know, David Lee, right?” I nodded, admiring her curves. “I’m Aiko Hamasaki, you can just call me Aiko.” Ahh, a Japanese, I thought. It is such a waste for a young lady coming all the way here and conducting boring technology researches. I felt sorry for her. “I conduct boring searches because I like science, but do not get me wrong David.” She smiles, while staring at me. “I’m not a nerd.” How did she manage to know what I am thinking? Before I can even speak, she laughs cheerfully and said, “Yes! That’s it! My experiment on my latest inventions is success!” She later took out a small earphone from her right ear. “This is a mini psychic receiver that seeks out brain waves and transferring them into voices, much like a radio.” “Ah, no wonder.” I said, a little bit unhappy. First time coming here and I’ve becoming a guinea pig. What am I? “Well, Dave, welcome to the Zone.” She said cheerfully. “I’m sorry that I was a bit fierce on ya… this little gadget had the tendency to alter users’ personalities.” “Glad to hear that.” “OK, I would like to chat further with you but since I am very busy right now at the moment… I know, Ivan, wait, and let me get his stuff first.” She stopped Ivan from pressing any further towards her machines. “What stuff?” I asked. “Your personal gear.” He replied, while staring at her butt. Shortly after she went into the next room, she came out with a big box. It was amazing that she can carry such a heavy-looking box comparing to her petite size. “Alright, let’s see….” She took out the things one by one and showed them to me. It includes a hooded overall suit with pants, a PDA-like device, leather gloves, gas mask and various other things She took out the PDA and another small device and started her mini lecture, “OK, this is your PDA. It has GPS capability and it can act as a dosimeter too. But do not rely on these two functions too much. You can mark a way point and also use it as a mission receiver to receive further notices. However, it is prone to ECM since it is all made from current existing technology. Do not use it at places with high frequency resonance.” I nodded and started playing with this new gadget. “And oh yeah, once I finalized this psychic radio, I will issue to both of you as a prototype testing subject to whether it can really work or not.” “Wait, us?” Ivan asked in disbelief. “Yes. Cos’ you two are the very first people to see me testing this. Sorry gentlemen. You come at the wrong time.” “Oh, I need a religion.” Ivan covered his face. “What’s wrong?” I turned to Ivan. “Nah…. Nothing, it’s my pleasure to co-operate with a beautiful lady” Ivan said this, while rolling his eyes and making funny, twisted faces that even I don’t know whether is he crying or laughing. “Alright guys, take this box with you but put on the suit first, it can block at least 75% of the original radiation. For the rest of it, ask Ivan. Now please go away, I still have a lot of work to do.” I did as she told. After putting down all of the things Aiko gave to me, Ivan brought me to the bar at approximately 2pm to have some lunch and a drink while getting connected with all the other stalkers. Inside the bar, there were not many people but all of them stared at us as long as we sat down near the bar table. “We will have a quick drink, get to know the bartender and go find Santos.” Ivan said to me quietly. I heard someone said something loudly at the back corner of the bar, and the crowds burst out laughing. When I asked Ivan about this, his face was grim. “Don’t ask.” He turned to the Bartender and ordered two glasses of vodka, while introducing myself to the bartender. The bartender looks like an average Ukranian Joe but something tells me that this is not so. His eyes were sharp, even though he looks like he is over 65 years old, his reflexes defy this allergation. “My name is Ilyushin. Nice to meet you, my friend.” “David. Same here.” My reply was direct. “So let’s have a drink my friend, And see if you can stay alive after completing Santos’ job for you.” He said while gulping down his Tequila. “I’ll try my best… but before that I have something to ask.” “No problem.” “What is the current situation here at the base?” “Well the situation is quite…delicate. We are doing our best to keep this base active and alive by keeping close relations with the Russian army.” “I thought this is Ukrainian territory.” “Yes, theoretically. But the Russians know the power of the artifacts that may be able to restore their once diminished superpower long gone in the 1990s. They virtually ‘force purchase’ this entire Zone by promising Ukraine cheaper petroleum and natural gas.” “I see… What is an artifact, then?” “The ‘artifact’ is basically an unknown object, often round shaped, that occasionally appears out of nowhere that found in the vicinity of the Zone.” He added with a mysterious look. “For the rest of the things, Ivan can help you out. He will be your mentor in this month. After that, if you’re alive that is, you will be on your own and truly call yourself a stalker.” Ilyushin explains. “After that? How do I ever go back to my home?” He gave a puzzled look at Ivan. I turned to Ivan. Ivan looked troubled as if he is hiding something. I started to have a bad feeling. “Can’t I go back?” “Of course… you can go back…” Ivan was perspiring. “But you will love this place… when you earn a fortune.” “Really?” “Look, trust me, after 3 months as we promised on the contract, you will get your promised 100 million Roubles and get out of this place, and find your dream home in anywhere of the Earth.” I drew a quick shot from the vodka, gulping it all down. “I hope I can live that long.” * * * As promised, both of us arrived at Santos’ underground bunker to receive his second “lecture”. Upon arriving, we were led to another deeper chamber where it was much wider and brighter. There were at least 40 men inside the chamber. In front of them stands Santos, the governor of the base of the Duty Faction and beside him, stood a tall, sturdy looking men, clearly of a military origin. His most striking significance is his red beret, which stood out from the crowd. I nicknamed him as “Colonel”. Santos saw us had changed into our gear; he looked at the watch and said, “Not bad, you are early.” I merely nodded, and Santos began his briefing by firstly switching on the board behind him and started his briefing. Antonov was there, too. He gave me a menace smile. The mission is like this: on approximately 7 days later we will be on our way to capture a strategically important place at sector B4 that will serve as our forward base for the Duty Faction. Since our collaboration with the Russian Army, the Russians will provide 5 Mi-24 Hind attack Helicopters and several Kamaz Trucks for our logistics and buildings. We will solely be on our fighting part. Tomorrow, 4 people will be deployed to sector B3, setting a LUP (Lying-up-point) to ensure surveillance to the B4 designation. A recon team will be sent to survey the area and on the appointed time, they will oversee the mass landings of 5 helicopters. They will designate the landing zones and call for the helicopters. As I thought, I have been selected as the Recon team. Me, Ivan, Antonov and another guy named Andrew will be deployed. “Sir!” It was Antonov who stood up. The “Colonel” stared at him. “We can’t let this Chink with us!” He protested loudly in Russian. “He is too green; he will be the doom of us all!” “Shut up and sit down! Antonov!!” The “Colonel” suddenly commanded with a voice as if it was thunder clapped on the side of my ear. My heart skipped a beat because of his loud voice. Everyone was startled. It was dead silence. Antonov was seemed terrified, his face was blush with shame and anguish. I chose not to look at him but heard the sound of pulling the chair and sound of hip crunching with the chair. Ivan shook his head. Santos then continued, after seeing everyone unmoved for about a minute. The team leader was Antonov. I saw he started to grin. * * * “Now let me introduce you, people, to Colonel Vladimir Nikholai Popovich.” He fought in Afghanistan, Chechen, Columbia-“ “That would be enough, Santos.” He speaks curtly, abruptly cut off Santos’ introduction. “…Of course.” Santos seemed a bit crestfallen. “A pleasure to meet you, gentlemen.” He scanned the crowd with his eagle-like eyes. They were bloodthirsty. And I can smell out the unusualness of his past. I paid no attention of his speech as if they were rubbish, I accidentally let my mind wandered around, hoping to rest on another surreal boat of fantasy, thinking about dozens of effects about the aftermath of this upcoming mission. Suddenly, I felt the heat of his stare. I looked up and he was indeed looking at me. “You, do you understand what I am talking?” He asked. “Yes, I am.” I answered carefully. I must admit that I do not like this guy because it seems that there is an ulterior motive inside of him. Trying hard not to let my cover blown, I really began paying attention. My job is like this: Me, Antonov, Ivan, and another guy called Andrew will be going off on D-Day -3 to set up a LUP to get surveillance on the Drop zone. There will be no fire support or even any transport so we are going there by foot. The entire journey is expected to be 18 hours, and I only have a few days of learning “Zone craft”. To avoid myself getting confused, I cook up a list to remind myself: Day 3 – Today, notifying of the mission. Day 7 – The journey to Sector B4 with Ivan, Andrew, and Antonov. Setting up a LUP. Day 10 – Actual D-DAY, 5 Hinds will land on the DZ Point, Sector B4. The briefing finally ends. Gotta sleep early cos’ Ivan said he is going to kick my ass. Sorta.
erm correction..... it's 40000 roubles, not 4000.
Pierce the Heavens
27th January 2003
Sweet, an update!
I always enjoy the fan stories that Stalker community members create and share with the rest of us. There are a lot of them on the Oblivion Lost forums, and loads of 'em on the official Stalker website.
My original (and corny :p ) response in this thread still holds true... I can't wait until I can settle down with a group of other Stalkers around a fire and fend myself from Chernobyl mutants. :eek:
Day 4 I was sleeping cosily when Ivan suddenly woke me up. “Time for your field training, David.” I hastily ate something for my breakfast, washed my face and wore my personal gear. Guess that my ALICE webbing is useless at here. “Don’t worry, it’s just an exercise. You can wear whatever you want in this zone. Just make sure that you can distinguish yourself from our enemies, that is.” Said Ivan. The first thing I do is to familiarize with the outskirts of the Base, which Ivan introduced me its terrain, and he certainly answered a lot of my questions. Finally, he asked me to go with him into the jungle where he said it will be “fun to watch.” There I saw it, a large, round-shaped, transparent object is situated right in front of us, about 15 meters away. “OK, this is what we called as an “anomaly”. Now, ” He said while taking out a small bolt. “Watch this.” He threw the bolt towards the anomaly and it did not went through it! Astonishingly, it floats right into the middle of the anomaly and simply became dust! “Huh, Crusher.... da!” He remain his stance for being staying low, to avoid himself being snooped on. I remain being prone, waiting for his orders. “Just wait.... and see.” He said, without taking his eyes off the anomaly. After a few minutes, the anomaly began to expand, then shrink again, while producing bright light and high air pressure. The vegetation around it began sway towards its center, and suddenly a loud bang occurs, and I instinctably shield my face with my left elbow. “Aha, here’s your first artifact, David.” Ivan smiles. “Go and see what is it.” I hurriedly tried to get up, but almost in a split second Ivan pulled me down, “Hey, ALWAYS look around before you wanna make any moves.” He stared at me, I was startled to see the sharpness inside his pupil. “Is the coast clear?” I looked around, “Yes.... I think so...” “What are you waiting for? Go!” Without wasting time I hurried to the anomaly’s site and found a small, burgundy in color, round shaped orb like object, sitting peacefully onto the ground. There seems to be something moving inside the object. As soon as I grab it, it grows with an eerie yellow color, as if it was welcoming me. “Nice orb.” Ivan said, “You can either sell it or keep with you forever as a souviner or something, but I always sell them.” “Why?” “Because although it will give you some pros such as for this one, reducing physical impact such as making the incoming bullets that hit you slower, all orbs gradually weakens our body’s immune system and anti-radiation capabilities.” He gave me a look. “I don’t wanna die because of radiation poisoning.” He adds. I looked at him, and then looked at the orb. “I’ll keep it.” “Oh yeah?” He took out a cigarette and put on a light. “For what?” “It’s my first orb-” Ivan instantly laughed out loud. So loud that he didn’t even know he dropped the cigarette out from the edge of his lower lip. “You’ll live to a ripe old age, my friend.” He drew a long breath from his cig. “Let’s go.” * * * We continue to walk for another hour when we decided to stop for a lunch. We saw a wild-boar-like creature trying to pull an object back into the swamp not far for us – about 35 meters away from us. Ivan took out his binoculars and watched it. He exclaimed, “It’s another stalker, hehe David, it seems like you’re one lucky bastard.” He immediately cocked his AK assault rifle and took up a prone position. I took his binoculars and helped him aim at the wild boar – I assume he must be aiming on it. RAT TAT TAT! The wild boar jumped, kicking on its buck and caught several bullets in its head, killing it almost instantly. Both of us, got up slowly, and moved swiftly to the scene in a silent manner. Ivan, as usual, looked around before he makes his next move. I followed suit, feeling like a fool. Finally as we got to the animal, it has swallowed its last breath. The victim, another stalker, seems to be not one of us, by its teeth-mark-ridden corpse, the type of suit he was wearing suggest that he was a Monolith member. Our base was basically directly opposite of their base, as shown on the map, and a Monolith member at about 6 kilometers means we are being infiltrated. Upon seeing the corpse, for a minute or so, Ivan’s face was grim. The corpse is wearing a suit, quite similar to mine, but it seems that theirs were more ragged and have no protective armor. His suit was black in color. “....” He stared at the corpse, staring at its half-left face. The brutal animal seems had his brain for breakfast before being shot. “Check around here somewhere, his things might still be here.” He commanded, while murmuring something unintelligable. I went around and searched for about 15 minutes and finally found something. It is a H/K G36C with an integrated scope. When I brought back the gun along with some of its magazine, Ivan look at it for a long time. “Whoa... finders keepers, man.” I told him. “This is my first gun in this place, I’m gonna have no matter what.” “Shut up, newbie.” Ivan suddenly stood up and said, “Who wants that gun anyway, when it’s hard to get its type of ammo in here? Don’t forget where this place is, David, western guns are for idiots. Look at the magazine, and all these empty cartridges on the floor. It makes it clear that he used up all his bullets – perhaps he was carrying too few for this beast. And got eaten up by it before he can even whip his fucking pistol out.” “Well, We gotta thank this beast for cleaning one-” “Shut the fuck up, David, if you don’t know anything, just shut up.” Ivan stared at me. Noticing the strange looks on my face, “I...I’m sorry, perhaps I drank too much last night.” “Could have guessed that.” I shrugged, man, is this guy somehow related to him? This dead man right here.... he was angry for his death. Why? Monolith faction.... Both of us took some time to dig a hole and bury the corpse. We didn’t strip him of his attire because it is useless since it was ridden with hole and bloody. Except that his PDA, his pistol (a Fort 12), some hand gun bullets and some canned food. I only got the previous mentioned assault rifle and 2 magazines (both empty), his hip pouch, which I am currently lack of, and his binocular. Ivan took the rest without saying a thing. Well, it’s his catch, anyway. I better don’t write too much here. I took a picture at the corpse and the scene. And man.... gotta buy some 5.56mm for this new baby which I’m going to polish and clean.