Part III – Sergey McClane
Last time, I circumvented the military blockade by dancing through a tunnel filled with living electricity. Now I’m on the far side with more jobs to do, goods to scavenge, and a man whose face is in desperate need of a bullet. Let us see if I can find him without dying, yes?
[This is my first experience with Shadow of Chernobyl. It all began here.
I’m playing it with the STALKER Complete 2009 mod after community recommendations, and the FOV Switcher after a headache kicked in.]
My first point of business is to find and help a Stalker named Fox. He is apparently rather close, and with any luck he might be able to give me some intel or gear that will help me on this side of the blockade. I can no longer simply run back to Stalkertown when I need to rest and refuel, so I need to plan my next steps carefully.
The place marked on the map is a small shack. I take a look with my binoculars, but I can’t see anything except the light of a burning bonfire. I cross over the road and look to the skies – there are birds flying overhead. Are they carrion birds? Am I too late for Fox?
I approach a corpse, and kicking it over realise it’s just a mutant dog. Fox lies nearby, looking almost as bad as the dog. I patch him up with a medkit and he staggers to his feet. He tells me his brother knows more about Strelok, and tells me where to find him… then he starts telling me about the mutants that are still chasing him. Before he even finishes the sentence they’re on us – a pack of dogs.
I spend too much ammo taking them down, but Fox is grateful enough to pay me 1500 roubles for the trouble.
This is real shitkicker work, collecting some arsehole’s backpack, but it is on the way to meeting Fox’s brother.
As I get nearer I can hear a lot of gunshots, but by the time I clear the foliage all I can see is a pack of dogs around a dead body. I pistol-snipe one and the others start to rush me. I swap to my double-barrelled sawn-off and dispatch the first two dogs that get near me. I keep killing, losing track of the number of dead dogs littering the ground, until eventually the last two flee.
I start towards the corpse they were likely eating, but get stopped by four even more vicious-looking dogs appear directly in front of me, out of thin air. One dog is standing on top of another, like some sort of ridiculous double-decker dog statue. I put them down.
The corpse, when I finally get to it, only has some ammo and some food on it. Romka Tails, your corpse was not worth the ammunition and effort I expended in recovering it. I will leave your arsehole body for the next pack of dogs that miraculously materialise out of thin air.
Just as I’m leaving I spot another corpse. This one only has bandages on it, but the noise coming from my їҎDД seems to suggest his body was one someone was looking for.
There’s a crashed truck further up the road. It looks like it was carrying soldiers, but an anomalous area flipped it and now they’re all dead. I rub my hands with glee thinking of all the military hardware I’ll be able to steal – I mean scavenge – and head straight for the truck. The H.R. Geiger Counter on my belt starts beeping at me and I ignore it and reach for the nearest body.
I nearly fall over bending down to rifle through the pockets, and decide to actually check my rad count.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
I’ve taken a lethal dosage of radiation and I haven’t got shit to show for it. I back away from the truck, grab the only dose of anti-rad drugs from my pack and inject them. I can feel the radiation sickness dissipating, but I still feel weak. I have a proper Ukrainian breakfast of bread and vodka to give me strength, and menacingly wave my pistol around when a mutant dog comes near.
I look at my їҎDД again, and sure enough, this hidden stash is definitely in the back of that truck.
I could ignore it, but I haven’t passed on a job yet. I walk around the truck and spot a loose backpack at the very rear – that has to be it. I run in, grab it and run out. Still too long, still too many rads for this sorry Stalker to handle. I drain the rest of my vodka, and stumble away.
Everything is blurry and nothing hurts. I couldn’t see an anomaly now if my life depended on it (it does), so I stagger slowly and deliberately, listening closely to H.R. Geiger.
I have no food, no vodka, no anti-rad drugs, but I’ve got guns, bullets and a nice buzz going on.
I don’t stumble more than ten metres before some bandit arsehole yells at me in Ukrainian and opens fire. I run back and put him down from behind cover. He got some good hits on me, but now…
Ho, ho, ho, I have a machinegun. I have no ammo for it, but it’s a goddamn AK and I’m in Eastern Europe, so I’ll find some soon enough.
More bandits come outside of their little bandit stronghold to see what the gunfire was about. I stow the AK for now and make do with the pistol. It’s accurate at range, and I’ve got rounds to burn.
I put them all down, loot the corpses and head into the compound. Formerly a military outpost by the look of the vehicle that’s holed up inside, but it looks like it’s been in Bandit hands long enough for infighting to take root, because these two dead arseholes near the APC aren’t mine.
I now have enough guns to free the West from its nightmare of capitalist slavery, and I have a little bit of food for my journey to the Garbage. Yes, that’s the name of the place. Yes, I’m sure it will be lovely.