I quickly reopened my eyes, hells bells I will not be caught sleeping this close to the labs. I might as well throw up a signal flare that says “SHOOT ME HERE” if I do that. I smack myself for almost doing that and take another look at the door. *Sigh*, I could just leave right now and give up this crazy and insane quest, but if I am going to find Strelok, this is the only way… I get up, stretch my arms and grab my AK-74 from the ground. Well, better now than never, right? I begin stepping towards the door. It seems like it takes me an eternity to reach the door as it continually gets larger. My arm finally reaches it and I put my hand on the old door. With some effort, I push it open and it creaks even louder than the previous door. I had just entered the infamous X18 Laboratories.
Walking through the door and shutting it behind me, I look into the room. All I see is a broken down elevator and a doorway to the left. From my position, I am pretty sure it leads to a stairway. I walk past a glass room, probably the remains of a security checkpoint for this place. As I step to the right of the elevator, I see a STALKER, dead on the floor. Who knows how long he had been dead. I’m not sure if its the smell of the place or the fact that I’m used to seeing death, but I can’t smell the dead body. Regardless, I walked up to the body and sifted through his backpack. He did not have much on him, just some bullets and spam I could use.
My backpack is pretty heavy so I drop some pistols I had been holding onto. I probably had them since the bandits I had killed a long while back. I turn to the windowed “office”. I flipped on my flashlight that’s attached to my STALKER suit’s head portion. Its a lousy light and has the downside of making me easier to find in the darkness but it still helps. I enter the office and on the desk is a bunch of rusty controls. This only seems to confirm that it was once a security office. My light also shines on a pile of bones on the floor. I shiver, thinking of possible ways that person could have died.
I hear a shuffle and a grunt behind me. Time seems to slows down as I check to make sure my AK-74 is still in my hands. I whirl about to look for the source of the noise, which seems to take forever, only to rest my eyes upon a short mountain. Correction, a mountain with blazing eyes. Before I knew it, my gun began firing bullets at the creature. One tends to shoot first, ask questions later in the zone. The bullets seem to be bouncing off some sort of…shield?…I can’t quite tell. The thing roars at me and raises its arms at me. Worrying that its some sort of weapon being aimed at me, I throw myself into the nearby wall. The same wall holding the glass window in the office. Despite emptying an entire round into the creature, it still stood. I quickly grab my M5 out of the backpack, check that it is loaded and move to get a sight on the creature. The M5 has better damage than the AK-74, especially at close range. I sure wish I had brought a shotgun… The creature roars again and quickly lifts its arms at me. I take a full force of something invisible. It hurts, but not that badly. I get a sight again and opened up. The bullets go whizzing at the creature, causing it to roar in pain and anger. I am still unsure if I’m doing any actual damage to it. It throws…idk, I’m just going to call it a telekinetic attack from now on, at me and I duck out of sight again. Whatever had been thrown had missed. I reload the empty M5 with a new clip and prepare to start shooting again. I step out to sight the creature but it was gone. Well, that’s odd.
I check for a corpse in the small room, but there is none to be found. I scratch my head as I step through the doorway where the creature had been in front of. Its a stairway and not in very good condition either. The way up is broken and I cannot see what is higher up. I had to guess that it was the roof entrance as I was still at ground level. The way down is not broken and there is an electric light glowing intently. Curious, I wonder if the dwarf I’m seeking is powering the entire facility still. Thinking about the creature I just faced, it must have been a dwarf as it was the only reasonable explanation I could think of anyway. From what I remember through the adrenaline rush of the battle, it was short, stocky, and clothed in some sort of robe. It had eyes ablaze, though I was unsure if it was the trick of the light here, and seemed humanoid, but I was not sure. I did not like the fact that it had some sort of telekinetic power, those are very dangerous creatures and it started to explain why no one had entered the X18 labs and lived to tell the tale about it.
I take a few steps forward and a weird sensation came over me. My vision began going red and I began worrying I was dying from internal bleeding, especially when a high pitched ringing hits my eardrums. It isn’t painful, but it doesn’t exactly help me see. After a few moments, the sensation passes and my vision clears. I have never encountered that before, but as I am still amongst the living, I can only assume that it is a creature that is affecting me somehow, possibly the dwarf. After all, it did have telekinetic abilities.
I start walking down the stairs and as I reach the middle of it, something big and metal clangs and crashes down what seems like a flight of stairs, perhaps the same ones I am on, but I’m not 100% positive. I do know that it scared the crap out of me considering that could have easily alerted anyone nearby I was around. Granted, opening up on a yelling dwarf is not what many would call quiet or subtle. Maybe I’ll get lucky and all the creatures of the night believe it was just the place falling apart. ‘And maybe I’ll live to see the sunrise again’ I thought sarcastically. Btw universe, that is really cliche to have something big and metal crash to the ground near the hero. Sheesh…
I continue down the stairs and come to the first level doorway. That “red mist” sensation hits me again as I peer around the door and my heart nearly jumps into my throat. Standing not six feet away was a mountain, I could only guess to be the same mountain I had shot earlier, and two ghostly-like creatures standing near the center of the room by a giant support pillar. I panicked. Yup, Mr. Experienced Stalker panicked. Not entirely mind you, as I did grab a grenade, pull the pin and throw it into the creatures mist as I ran back into the stairwell. The grenade went off with a bang and I thank the stars above that none of the creatures threw it back at me. I peer around the corner again and the ghostly…things…were quite dead. I walk up to them by the wall beside me which only extended about five feet from the doorway. The mountain was yet again not amongst the corpses, but as I approached them, my “sixth” sense went off so I raised my gun, and whipped around the wall’s corner. Only to find the glowing eyes staring at me…
To Be Continued…
-King Isaac Linksr