Lab X18…Part 01

Rain…hmph, its raining again. This godforsaken hellhole does nothing but rain. Bullets, fangs, lightening, blood, it all rains down on me. It is amazing that I am still alive. This…this “Zone of Alienation”, the name is apt. Between the anomalies, mutated creatures, various warring factions and radiation, just surviving is a task in it of itself. And here I am, right smack in the middle of it, fighting to survive. I would sure like to know what my past life was thinking, going to this place.

“The Marked One” they call me. All because of this tattoo on my arm which says: “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” an acronym for Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber. How appropriate, considering the types of STALKERs I have run into thus far. STALKERs are the workhorse of the Zone, doing anything from fighting off enemies, collection artifacts and to braving the elements to earn that grand prize. One such grand prize is a rumor. A rumor that at the center of the Zone is some mystical object that grants wishes…but it seems like a fairytale to me. No doubt to give the STALKERs something to work for.

I don’t know who I was before, amnesia took care of that for me. Everyone simply calls me the Marked One or STALKER. When I first awoke, it was next to a trader. All I had on me, besides my clothes, was a PDA telling me to kill a STALKER named “Strelok”. My mission is to find Strelok, see if he has answers and kill him if necessary. Along the way, I am surviving and finding what information about the zone I can.

And here I am, basically born in “The Zone”. The Zone stretches between the borders of Ukraine and Belarus of Russia. It was created by the “second event” near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 20 years after the first accident in 1986 which had massive amounts of radioactive material thrust upon the land, this hostile land is supposedly under military lock-down by the Ukrainians…what a laugh. If the stories are true, the military is allowing stuff to get in and out. A corrupt government military, how typical. The second event sparked emissions which go off at irregular intervals, which are deadly radiation bursts that can kill humans. Due to that second accident, many mysterious and deadly anomalies were formed. Many people were killed from what I gathered and there are entire towns abandoned, a shell of what once lived there. Radiation contaminants the lands like some sort of plague. Mutated creatures stalk the area. From zombies to controllers to psy-dogs, we have truly unleashed a new horror upon us. This new horror that is a playground to scientists and a war-zone to the military…

I have no idea why emissions continue to go off. They are frightening demonstrations of power, a power that we have unleashed upon ourselves that will probably kill us all. I also have no idea what caused the Chernobyl incidents or the emissions themselves. Maybe mankind stretched his hands too far with this nuclear technology and it finally bit back. Whatever the reason may be, the consequences are bad and couple possibly spiral out of control, especially if the zone were to expand further than it currently does.

No, my problem right now is what lays ahead. I’m sitting at an intersection in a place called the “Dark Valley”. This hunk of bread in my hand my sustenance. The weapon at my feet, a modified AK-74 with rapid fire, scope and grenade launcher. Actually, it was Strelok’s weapon that I found in one of his safe places. I found it along with some ammo and a flash drive that has helped me track him. I dunno why he left either items there. I use the gun only because its the only good weapon that I can afford in this wretched zone. Beggars can’t be choosers. Though it is a fairly good weapon. Makes a good sniping alternative when you need it and its a good mid-range weapon. My M5 is in my backpack, not modified or anything and meant for up close and personal damage. Only a few hours ago I unloaded an entire clip into one of those damn bloodsuckers that snuck up behind me while I was looking for a neutral STALKER. Nearly jumped out of my skin as I unloaded into the creature which probably had not counted on me using an M5. This frightening zone….

I am well equipped, which is good as the building off to the distance is named the X18 laboratories. Only in whispers has this place been talked about it…filling me with dread. But I must go into it, to find some Dwarf that lives in the very lowest of levels within the structure. Not feeling too confident you know, considering no STALKER or other human has come back out alive. Why did I sign up for this again? Ah right…Strelok. *sigh*

I finish off the bread, pick up my gun and starting running toward the building. When I reach the outer gate, I hear a few people, raising my gun I go through the gate. Despite the storm going on, I see a bandit sitting near a fire. A few shots later and I’m sifting through his stuff, taking his bullets. I hear raised voices and animal noises from somewhere nearby. Probably his buddies. I sneak around the entrance to the building and find four bandits, killing them one after the other with no shots hitting me. Just lucky I guess. Helps that I’m dressed dark as night too. After looting more bullets, med kits and bandages, I move on. Looking for the entrance to the X18 labs. I spot a door with a light spilling out onto the floor down a flight of stairs. I throw a grenade down as I thought I heard a voice. Weapon drawn, I head down the stairs, listening all the while. Turning to face the door entrance, a bandit stood not 10ft away from the door. He goes down with a few bullets to the head. I walk over to him and then I realize a pressure is building on me. I loot through his backpack and then turn to the right and there in front of me…is a big metal door. The kind of door you only see in bunkers, which considering this was a bunker…

Upon seeing that door, my body screams in defiance. Ever have a part of you, I guess your intuition, warn you of danger? This door seemed to repulse me. Everything to the core of my being warned me of danger associated with the door. I figuratively dragged myself to the door and used the keys I had gotten from Borov and the Trader. The door unlocked and I swung it back, creaking all the way. A rush of air passed by, filling me with dread. I walked…more like stumbled…into the small room. The small room contained only a single door. The door bared a message of warning. Warning anyone foolish enough to come this far to go away. Oh how I wish I could….

Shutting the big, concrete door behind me, I sit down in a corner. I grab some spam from my backpack and begin digging in. My body starts calming down with the mediocre nourishment. All I can do is stare at the door with the warning message, wondering what evil things could be below. My eyes began drooping…

-King Isaac Linksr

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  1. Pingback: The Stalker Files… « A Paladin Without A Crusade…

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