Part VIII – Danger Zone
After taking some time off to explore the open roads of the US-and-A, I’m back in the Ukraine. The tunnels beneath Chernobyl are a little quieter than the world above, but just as deadly. Bandits, mutants and new anomalies all conspired to ruin my day, but I am still alive. Now it is time to get back to the surface, and find this arsehole Strelok.
[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.]
Last time I’d found one of Strelok’s secret porn stashes in the tunnels. There was also some information on the flash drive along with the porn which should help lead me to Strelok.
I decide to rearrange the artifacts strapped to my belt before proceeding further. Just as I finish I see the shadow of an automatic weapon creeping along the wall. What the shit? A soldier comes into the tunnel and I unload into his arsehole face. He doesn’t even spot me, crouching in the pitch-black opening to Strelok’s little love cave.
Two more soldiers wander into the danger zone, and two more soldiers fall to a shower of lead without even having a chance to release the safety on their guns. It is a good day to be a sneak fuck Stalker.
I take their drugs and ammo, and move on. Round a few corners and there’s another soldier disorientated by the darkness in the tunnels. Another soldier to perforate with my new rapid-fire AK74 – which has been scientifically proven to be 27 betters than the AK47.
I come to a spiral staircase that looks like it leads to daylight. There are two more soldiers than haven’t heard me sneaking towards them in the darkness, so I drop them both before they know what’s happening.
Geiger doesn’t like the tunnel, and neither do I. I get near the exit when I sense something behind me. I turn around and there it is. Some strange, shadowy terror – at least it isn’t invisible. It attacks with some sort of psychic blast that rattle me too much to keep my gun up and aimed at it. I fight every instinct in my body and charge at it, pulling my combat knife out between steps. It tries to walk away, but I relentlessly slash at it until it falls.
I check its corpse for any psychic mojo, but it doesn’t have any pockets left in the tattered remains of clothing that still stick to its skin.
I leave it face down in the dirt and exit the tunnel.
Ok, where the shit am I now? I pull up my їҎDД and have a look at the map. Fuck shit. Remember that military compound that I recently found to be impenetrable? I am now inside it.
I sneak around one of the barrack buildings and see the main building ahead of me. There doesn’t seem to be anyone patrolling outside, but there’s a wide kill zone out the front. I take out my trusty 74 and sprint across.
Over the threshold and into the building – there’s a soldier to the right. I gun him down and head for the stairs. The alarm klaxon starts blaring, but after a few seconds it stops. Is someone helping me? Or are they so used to drills that they’re sick of hearing it?
I get to the second floor and clear it. At the other end of the building is a second set of stairs, so I take that up. Three soldiers between me and the military documents I’ve been tasked with stealing. Three bodies on the ground for me to loot.
I grab the briefcase and old mate Trader gets on the blower to tell me to take the case to someone named Barkeep. I wonder what he does for a living? Teacher? Priest? Mechanic? To answer that question I’m going to have to get out of this military compound, and there’s no fucking way I’m going out via the tunnels.
I take out my map again, and it’s a long fucking walk to the Bar. I go up to the roof because it’s the highest point I’m going to get to climb to for a view in the foreseeable future. A Hind flies past majestically. I don’t even shoot at it.
The soldiers converge on me at the exit of the military building. The way they walk at me in single file formation makes it like shooting fish in a barrel. Except the fish are arseholes and the barrel is a military compound.
After there’s no more soldiers to kill I leave, sprinting past the sole remaining soldier in the lookout post. Perhaps he can spread word of my legend throughout the Zone – the Stalker who cleared out a whole military base, killing lieutenants as if they were sergeants, sergeants as if they were privates and privates as if they were scum-fuck bandits.
I kill some more soldiers on the way towards Garbage and collect some artifacts.
After a quick, uneventful stroll I find myself back in the Garbage. Ahh, the Garbage, the nicest place I’ve yet found in the Zone. The bandit infestation is back, and this time they’re pissed… at me, because of all their friends I killed.
Hey, fuck you buddies. I’ve just been slaughtering soldiers wholesale and you think you and your fucking tracksuit pants are going to stop me?
I head back into the Stalker compound and do some trading. I’ve got more Artifacts than I could ever use, a hospital’s worth of bandages, and a pack that’s about to break because it’s overflowing.
I start heading towards the point marked on my map – the path from the Garbage to the Bar – when a voice comes over the radio. A horde of mutants is about to attack the bar; they don’t say they need help, but they seem to be promising a reward for anyone that comes to their aid.
What the hell. Let’s go kill some mutant arseholes.
I start sprinting, but I’m a bit late – I empty some rounds into the pack of mutant boars, but it’s apparent to everyone there that they had it under control without me. Still, I trade with them for some more AK ammo, and then gain entry to the bar – the barkeep told them I was coming apparently; he must have been talking to the Trader already, ‘cause that arsehole is the only one that knows my movements.
Let’s go to the bar, shall we? I’ve got over 20,000 rubles, so the first is on me.