STALKER Call of Pripyat (Epilogue)

The evacuees sprinted towards the helicopters. Blades were spinning and the engines were spooling up ready to take off. Automatic fire streamed from west, east and south. Cutting the party like whips on already thrashed dogs. They leapt for cover and tried to advance.

One fell, cut down from a flanking burst, and the others killed his assailant. Obscuring scrub seemed not to hamper the attackers and they fired with accuracy as if guided by a higher power. Another evacuee tumbled to the concrete and his companions abandoned him.

Into the square the fought. The final two. A veteran stalker and an agent of the OSS fighting back to back in the centre of the square. They were within a short sprint of the helicopters when another force of Monolith advanced on them. Concrete planters that were intended to hold the vegetation that grew around them were the pair’s only cover. One fell and the OSS agent was left alone. Bullets hissing past his head and kicking up sharp clouds of fragmented concrete as the Monolith kept firing.

He seemed to prepare himself then leapt up firing and sprinting towards the helicopters. Tracers streaked into his armour, punching through, hitting the man within. He staggered and reached for the helicopter door to be pulled in by the crew. The helicopter door slammed shut and the machine took to the air in a whine of turbofans and chop of rotor-blades.

The crewmen swore angrily at their commanders. They were to rescue five and because of the lack of funding they went in with their guns empty. For the sake of a few hundred roubles they could have provided fire support and saved all the men instead of just lift off with the only one lucky, and armoured, enough to make it into the helicopter.

Cardyan’s missing friends: lost.

All of the men on the Pripyat tunnel mission: lost.

All of the crew of the Stingray mission: lost.

The mysterious client of the mercenaries identity: lost.

All of Strelok’s knowledge: lost.

Another chance to solve the mysteries of the Zone: lost.

And Collington Splatterov? Another man lost to the Zone.

Listrom - Stalker

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STALKER Call of Pripyat (Epilogue)

STALKER Call of Pripyat Journal Entry 17 (Final)

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Journal Entry 17

I leave the Skadovsk and head back to the dock cranes. It draws me for a reason I can’t identify. As I close on the cranes I hear some activity and some automatic fire. Quickly I climb and get a vantage point on one of the cranes.

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A small group of stalkers is fighting off a pack of psuedodogs and a Chimaera. I lend support with Tide best as I can, trying not to hit any of the stalkers. I take out the pseudodogs and there’s one stalker left. The chimaera hits him before I can shoot it.

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He falls. I feel terrible. I kill the chimaera but it seems like a token selfish effort. So I climb down the ladder and loot the bodies. I sell everything at Skadovsk then hire Pilot to take me to Garry at  Yanov, who will take me to Pripyat. 4000ru later and 3 hours: Pripyat. The Captain needs me to do more running around after him. Find lost soldiers, find more lost soldiers, find a lost lab. I hide in a basement during an emission.

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After I come out I realise when I’m staring at the leaping flames of an anomaly that I’ve been in four more battles. It must be post-traumatic stress disorder: PTSD.

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I keep wandering Pripyat and head into an apartment building. It is meant to contain a clue about these X-labs. The building is full of zombies and when I get to the higher floors there’s Monolith fighters everywhere. There must be a connection.

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The elevator is meant to lead to the basement. I see some power still here and don’t start thinking about it. Might make my mental state worse.

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It looks little better than a rusty lump of casing. I head back downstairs and see a dead man in a green environment suit: like the one I helped Solokov acquire from the scientists back near Yanov.

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He has some necessary bits and I get the elevator machinery working. The stink of ozone is strong and I make my way down to the lab. It is horrible. Wet, smelly, and lots of nasty hostile creatures. Again I’m so scared and caught up in staying alive that I take no pictures. There was a good little model of the reactor, in there. When I get back to the Captain he wants me to investigate a kindergarten where more of his soldiers went missing but I see Garry slugging down vodka so I talk to him.

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Mercenaries in the complex just nearby. I rush over to see if I can catch them. Nothing. For hours I wait and nothing happens. I head back to see the Captain and his missing men, find them dead, again mission. I do it just so I don’t have to look at him any more. Sending these boys out to die and for no appreciable gain. I hate him right now and want to shoot his smarmy face. So I do his mission instead.

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It’s dark and I feel psi-activity. The soldiers that are meant to be here are dead. I can’t tell what killed them but one of them has some demolition charges which I acquire and use one to enter the kindergarten. Now that I’ve got my exo armour I’m quite confident of surviving just about any encounter but I put the Moonlight in my artifact container and the throbbing in my brain fades away to just colour distortion.

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Monolith are in here and I fight my way to what I can best describe as an antenna. It is the source of the psi-effects. I reach for a charge to destroy it. I used it to get into the building. I throw grenades into it until it stops. Almost instantly I hear banging from below. I investigate and find the medic has locked himself in an oven or fridge. I’m so frayed I almost shoot him dead where he stands but he’s coherent enough to make it back to the laundromat.

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I sleep before talking to the Captain. There’s some radio-signals that are moving about. He wants me to track them down thinking they are monolith. After being attacked by blood-suckers, those nasty little rat-mutants, and a burer we realise that the signal is coming towards the laundromat: underground. We form up and make ready to fight to our deaths but a lone stalker approaches. His name is Strelok and it gives me goose-shivers to hear it. The legendary stalker who turned off the brain-scorcher and found the wish-generator.

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He says he can help the OSS figure out the zone and get the helicopters to land safely. Based on this information the Captain and his remaining men can be evacuated and I can complete my mission. A blowout occurs and we will have an opportunity to leave as soon as the blowout is over.

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The Captain paces about. I fidget walking from the windows, to Strelok, to the Captain and back again. We’re all set to go. This blowout seems to take so long: three times as long as any other. Then it stops. We form up and head out into Pripyat. The landing zone is to be up near the Prometheus Theatre: right in the heart of Monolith country. I can’t believe it. There’s a good piece of vacant land near river front but north of the hospital. I see a sign that takes my fancy in amongst all of this.

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We fight our way past Zombies, Monolith, creatures and a controller that makes the medic just stop. The Captain won’t go on without him so I have to go back for him. I’m tempted to put a bullet in the medic because he keeps shooting at Strelok. Strelok has been superb so far. Keeping us alive. Finally the medic comes with me and we clear the technical school grounds.

More Monolith, many more. The fighting is furious. They are using armour-piercing rounds and my exo armour is severely damaged. Strelok is killed. The Captain is killed. The medic is killed. I’m pinned down in the square outside the theatre and the helicopters are about to take off. I have to run now or I’ll never make it anyway…

[That is the final entry of my STALKER Call of Pripyat Journal. If you want to find out what happened after that, leave a comment.]

STALKER Call of Pripyat Journal Entry 17 (Final)

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 16

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Entry 16

When I awake and go to see Cardyan again he’s back in reality. He explains, without asking for any booze, that he worked at a lab nearby that developed the weapon in my hands. He says he could make power-cells for it with electrical artifacts or pieces thereof and offers to do that for me should I need it. He also gives me a pass-card to access the lab which is under the Iron Forest.

It seems that this is what the helicopters were here for. To retrieve that weapon and take it out of the Zone for further research and development. I take the passcard from Cardyan, who says that he can fix the rail-gun but he needs calibration tools. I thought that would be the case and since I’ve scoured Zaton and the area around Jupiter, the only place left is in Pripyat.

Since I’m in Zaton I head to the Iron Forest and look for an underground entrance or stair or something. In a small shed at the back of the lot I find it and a heavy door with access control panel. The card slots in and the door opens. A blowout starts as if I cued it by slotting the card. Even underground it is very disturbing. Instead of rushing into this lab I wait out the blowout at the door.

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There’s a stairwell around a lift shaft but it is blocked by a locked gate. I try to shoot out he lock but only threaten my own life with ricochets. I really thought the armour piercing rounds I had would do the job.

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I creep into the lab suddenly alert. I hear shuffling and moaning and there’s zombies in there. I guess they found passcards of their own and then became zombies in here. That puts me on greater alert because a controller is likely in here, too. Some of the zombies are in exo but all of them have their helmets off. Tide does its job.

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I find an old control board and whilst I’m looking at it there’s a massive thumping sound from what looks like a rail workshop outside the grill and below. Peeping down there I see a massive form with little vestigial legs sticking out of its rear-end, like odd tails.

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I’ve hard Stalkers talk of these things called psuedo-giants. They are meant to have telekinetic powers and be very aggressive. I take a shot but mess it up because of the mesh. That alerts the thing and I feel the whole place shaking. Then I realise the equipment and the dust is not moving at all. Perhaps the pseudo-giant is using some psi-powers?

It takes a long time for the creature to settle down. I creep down to the same level it is on and prepare my magazines for the assault rifle. My first attack is a grenade. It barely seems to injure the creature. The psuedo-giant comes stomping around towards me and I unload a full magazine into it. Still it is barely injured. Another grenade. It seems to know what they are now and it stomps away. After the grenade detonates the psuedo-giant comes back and I unload another magazine at it. It stomps one foot and a force streaks at me kicking up dust, then knocking me backwards. I run for cover. This becomes a cycle: I shoot, throw grenades, then hide when it raises a foot to stomp that force at me. My assault rifle is very hot and smoking when the psuedo-giant finally dies.

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I look around the lab, still concerned there may be a controller in here. At the far end I see what looks like the rail-gun but upscaled to the size of a field artillery piece.

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There’s a mounted sheet of steel about 200mm thick and a neat hole in it directly in line with the cannon at the other end.

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I can’t see a way into the room that holds the cannon-sized railgun. I look around and there’s a ladder leading up and some air-ducts that do lead into the room. I make my through and into the railgun cannon thing’s room.

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It’s an impressive looking weapon.

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I find documentation about the development and figure maybe Cardyan can help translate the technicalities. With this in mind I leave the lab and go back to the Skadovsk.

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 16

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 15

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Entry 15

Although the Captain is lower ranked than me, at Major, he is in the field and tells me that he will retain command. I have no problem with this since I don’t know what’s going on and after my experience in the tunnel, where everyone in my team died, I figure he is a better leader anyway; since he has quite a few men alive. Infinitely better than my zero.

I don’t really have time to even debrief from the tunnel and I’m still hyped on adrenaline when the Captain wants to see me. There’s Monolith fighters taking over the hospital to the north and they’ve got some kind of super weapon. Go there, suppress the Monolith fighters, recover the super-weapon. Great. Sounds like suicide and I’ve barely got through that tunnel of snorks with my hide intact.

We run up there, keeping low, but it’s before dawn and we’re unlikely to be seen. One of the men is put in position on the machinery building as sniper. The rest of us enter the west wing of the hospital and split up; presumably to spread out our targeting abilities. The Lieutenant says he’s in position and everybody get ready. Then the shooting starts and I don’t know what’s going on. There’s bullets firing everywhere. I’m hit numerous times and hide in a stairwell where the concrete is presumably thicker. I hear a strange weapon fire that sounds like a lightning strike. Then a powering-up sound of coils charging.

I bandage and use med-kits and try to shoot the Monolith from in the stairwell. They’re all like special forces and snap shoot with alarming accuracy. I wish I had my exo-skeleton armour is all I can think whilst I continually take hits from their weapons. I’m soaked in sweat by the time I’ve seen where the soldier with the super-weapon is. He’s up high and I think his first shot would have hit our sniper on the machinery building. The Monolith soldier spots me and I see him aiming so hide behind the concrete of the stairwell. The weapon fires, sounding like a lightning strike and I see a blue-flash from its shot. Whatever it is it made the stairwell shake with the slug’s impact and if I didn’t have a full mask I’d be choking on the concrete dust.

For all their firearms skill the Monolith have terrible urban warfare tactics. The try to flush me out or kill me with grenades but they all roll down the stairs and just make my ears ring. Then they try to creep up the stairs and surprise me but that’s when my grenades come into play. There’s only two left after that group are dead. Super-sniper and someone in the yard.

Tide is with me and I take a quick look for super-sniper from a lower floor. He’s watching the floors above where he saw me before and I duck back, put Tide to my shoulder and snap-shoot him. The first slug hits his arms so I shoot rapidly again, two, three, and the fourth hits him in the head. He drops off the roof of the hospital, thankfully with the weapon, but his body lands on top of the weapon with a crunch from both.

Yard-patroller sees me and opens fire with an assault rifle. Again I’m wounded and I race up the stairs as I stuff clotting-gel in the hole. I think I’ve lost a lot of blood and I feel very weak. I lose track of yard-patroller and wait, listening carefully. Suddenly I see his shadow. I can’t comprehend how quietly he is moving since there’s spent brass everywhere and pieces of concrete and shrapnel. I must be deafened from the grenades. Tide doesn’t let me down and I double-tap slugs into yard-patroller’s head.

I lie there for some time waiting for the sun to rise. Then I make my way carefully, in case there are more Monolith, to super-sniper’s corpse. The gun is damaged. It has big cooling fins and modules built into the barrel.  I think it’s some kind of rail-gun. When I’m very close to it my anomaly detector flickers just a little and I wonder about its battery; having read that the only reason these aren’t all over the planet is that battery technology is not up to the current draw to power such weapons. Again, like a jackdaw, I loot the dead and head back to safety. I’m sure the Captain is going to be upset. All up 7 soldiers died.

The Captain is upset but he hides it well with concern about the weapon.

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“Get it fixed”, he says, “and find out where it came from”.

Sure, I’ll just take it to the local rail-gun service centre and it’ll all be fine: but I don’t say that.

Too exhausted to do anything else I decide to sleep and as I’m heading downstairs I see Garry leaning against the wall.

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I talk to him and he says he can take me to the station or even to the Skadovsk. The old rusted barge suddenly seems like home and I say let’s go. He doesn’t even charge me.

We get to the Skadovsk and I don’t know how I made the journey but I’m there. Cardyan may know something about this rail-gun so I head straight to him. I figure he can look at it all day and I’ll sleep. I ply him with two bottles of vodka, like normal, then show him the rail-gun. He really gets upset then incoherent, something about X-labs and number 23 or such. Then he passes out on in a mumbling mess.

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Why does everyone lose it or die when I need them most?

Sleep is more interesting than answering that question, so I do.

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 15

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 14

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Entry 14

The tunnel opens and the large doors show a dark tunnel. Instantly our detectors pickup anomalies.

Snorks leap to the attack and we have to fight them whilst picking our way through anomalies for cover. Strangely the Snorks seem unaffected by the anomalies. We battle our way through into another tunnel and Zulu falls to a leaping snork. I rush to his side but it’s too late. Strider falls almost straight after and again there’s nothing I can do for him. Vano, Solokov and I advance. A large gate is closed and just as I get it open Vano falls to another snork.

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Solokov and I advance into a huge domed-roof chamber that is also a rail-turntable. It is an amazing place. There’s anomalous activity about and massive catwalks on the inside of the dome.

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Solokov and I find a door at the far end and more snorks. We manage to take them out. Solokov is becoming increasingly panicked. The door needs power to open and there’s some kind of a generator back in the domed-chamber. I head back looking for a way to open up the door. Solokov hides whilst I try to find a switch. Suddenly Monolith are firing on us and Solokov is killed. I fight and run, using trains as cover, falling back to a room partially bordered by anomalies. It works and the Monolith troops seem to lose track of me. I sneak back out and pick the rest off with Tide but by the time I’ve cleaned them up I’m almost out of ammo. Luckily the last one, whom also had a Vintarez based weapon, provides some more ammo. And the door is still not open. None of the doors the Monolith troops came out of will open. I figure the control room up high must have something there.

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In the overlooking room that controls the cranes I get the door open. As soon as it opens Monolith snipers shoot me and I barely make it out alive. I can hear more Monolith approaching on foot and ambush them on the stairs.

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Finally I make it past the Monolith and find a drainage tunnel littered with zombies. These ones are very old and look like they’ve been that way for a long time. I hope the military never finds out how to do this to people on purpose.

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Finally I find a ladder leading up.

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It must be to Pripyat.

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And it is, but I’m met by patrolling soldiers. Time to break out the OSS identification and in a round about way all I can really say is “Take me to your leader.” When they show me into the building I’m too tired to do much more than let them know my mission and they let me know they were on the Stingray helicopters. They need my help to push back a force of Monolith troopers situated in a hospital to the north of this laundromat they’re holed up in. I say I’ll do it but not right now. Then I head downstairs to sleep.

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 14

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 13

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Entry 13

Back at Yanov I talk to Nitro about the generator in the Jupiter plant. He says,

“Sure I’ll help you but I’m not going in with just us two. It’s too dangerous. Put a squad together and we’ll have a deal.’”

“Any suggestions?”

“Try Zulu in the tower near here. He’s a capable leader and could train anyone who doesn’t have the combat experience.”

“Great: thanks.”

I’m familiar with Zulu even though he never talked to me. I would have taken over that tower of his if he wasn’t in it. Such a great spot. I head up there to talk to him about it. There’s vodka bottles all over the place and I notice that he’s a very large man. We chat and he says he’ll do it.

“Let’s drink to it.” He says.

I do and he asks me who I think could join the squad. I mention Vano. Zulu thinks that’s a great idea and will keep Vano out of trouble. We drink to Vano being out of trouble.

Who else?

How about Solokov, the chopper co-pilot?

It would be good to have a solider. We drink to Solokov.

Who else?

I’m running out of ideas at this point. How about Noah?

I’ve worked with him but he’s gone a bit nutty last I heard. If he’s okay to join up, bring him along. Let’s drink to Noah and his pseudo-dog.

Sure. I’m getting really drunk now and Zulu just gives me the 1000-yard stare.

Who else?

I don’t know. I pass out about there.

In the morning I’m sick and have to eat before I feel like I can move.

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Going down the stairs is hard and I head back into Yanov to get some water and gear out of my storage box.

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Vano agrees to come but needs to buy his suit back. I give him the 5000 to get him out of there and not hear his loud overly exuberant voice. I actually need a closed-cycle respiratory system suit, too. Hawaiian has a SEVA for sale but I think I’ll see Nimble and hopefully he can get me something better, like when I asked for a sniper-weapon and he brought me Tide.

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I head back up the tower and make sure Vano is there. I’d hate to have to hunt him down for ripping me off but he’s there and limbering up as if we’re about to leave.

Next I go see Solokov but he doesn’t have a suit. The scientists have one but they won’t just give it to him. I talk to Ozersky and see what he wants for it. There’s some psi-emissions in a tunnel that need to be investigated. He’s mentioned this before but I didn’t want to do it. Now I’ve got a good motivation and agree. With Timko and the stalkers from out front I go to the tunnel and start the measurements.

I equip a Moonlight that I found and head into the psi-emissions. There’s electric anomalies everywhere and I pick my way through. Some good ammo is found on some shelves and that’ll help cover the cost of repairs to my exo-armour after I step in an discharge that damages the servo’s.

I find a strange artifact that is like a stack of small safety-cones. But it’s not the source of the psi-emissions. On the way out Timko and his comrades are all holding there heads and speaking gibberish. One of them starts shooting me and I return fire to stay alive. All of a sudden a controller appears and scares me almost to the point where I wet myself. I empty a full magazine into and it nearly bursts my brain. I hide behind the wall. Timko is shooting at me, too, now. I have to be careful not to shoot him. Luckily he passes out or just falls to the floor. When I come back shooting at the controller I use armour-piercing rounds and I manage to get two of them into its head. It dies and all the stalkers slowly get up with their senses. Timko is ready to go and does so straight away. We get out of the tunnel and back to the scientists’ bunker. Mission complete and Solokov heads off to Zulu’s tower with a militarised version of the scientist’s suit.

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I talk to Zulu to see if we have enough but he says another pair of hands would be good – still, the decision remains mine. I take his advice and notice for the first time the huge PK machine gun on the shelf on his wall.

Who can I recruit to the squad? That remains my question as I head back to Yanov. Trapper might be a good choice. I talk to him but he’s not interested. What he needs is someone to kill a chimera at the ventilation complex. I agree, thinking it might make him change his mind, and head out straight away. I recall that there are a few platforms quite high up that I could use to take out a chimera without fear of it being able to get to me. It sunset just as I reach the ventilation complex.

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With the binoculars I make a sweep of the area and then sprint to the ladder that leads to the highest platform. From up there I hear the chimera. It came in behind me and can smell my trail. I open up on it with Tide and it starts leaping at shadows. I keep shooting it and it hides behind the main ventilation structure. I have to go down to get at it. The exo-armour does its job and the small amount of extra plating makes a difference. Although it hurts me I have been much worse off in my CS3a armour with snork claws ripping me up. I swap to the SPSA14 and finish it with 8 shells of buckshot.

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Trapper is very happy but still not interested in joining the squad. He gives me his pump-action shotgun but I don’t really want it. He insists so I take it anyway.

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I go to sleep and then in the morning talk to Pilot. We get to Zaton in three hours and I speak to Nimble about a suit with a closed-cycle respiratory system. He can get me one for 25,000 – and we have a deal.

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I do some artifact hunting to raise more cash and kill the time. In the exo-armour I feel quite safe from everything except chimera and more than two snorks. Nimble comes through with the goods and I head back to the Skadovsk. The suit is a plain SEVA. I totally wasted my time. Could have bought it from Hawaiian for the same price. At least I found some more artifacts including a Firefly: that greatly accelerates my healing. I can almost watch wounds close over when I have that in the artifact-container on my armour. Add that to my two Bubble artifacts and a Goldfish that lets me carry about another 12kilograms and I’m well set.

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Back at Yanov I hear about Monolith fighters. I suddenly remember that I’ve talked to a group of Monolith fighters and that I’ve not mentioned them in this journal. Especially since I intended to get them into Yanov station so they can have some decent shelter besides that bridge over a run-through connecting two swamps.

I work the people at Yanov and eventually Freedom comes around. Having exposed Magpie and helped Uncle Yar put me in their good books enough to trust me. Strider is thankful and I ask on a whim if he’ll join my squad to head into Pripyat.

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Zulu is a bit freaked out by Strider’s full Monolith armour and seems wary. Strider doesn’t give me any bad vibes. I check with Zulu about being ready and he says we’re good to go. We check out gear, tell Nitro via PDA, and head off to the Jupiter plant.

{If you enjoy my writing check out my free novel, “Bounty for the Taking“.}

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 13

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 12

Collington Splatterov (OSS)

Entry 12

The weather is clear and the scientists mission is agreed upon. They still want me to check psy-emissions from a tunnel. They never say which tunnel exactly so I’m not in a hurry to complete that one. What I aim to do now is find the crashed helicopter.

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I head south towards the Jupiter plant. According to my PDA the helicopter is crashed just near there. Heading up a small hill I pass wrecked cars. Moans and garbled speech of zombies meets my ears but I avoid them. As I get closer to the site I see barbed wire and mine-field signposts.

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The helicopter can wait until another time. There is too much activity and I can’t risk being charged now. A pseudo-dog attacks as I retreat from the minefield and I finish it off in a hail of buckshot. The moans of zombies attracts my attention and I investigate.

A railway tunnel leads into the hillside, almost underneath the crash-site of the helicopter, and I see a zombie in exo-skeleton armour. One headshot from Tide finishes a life that was already over.

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I clear the tunnel and find someone’s stash of meds and ammo. It makes me realise that exo-armour must not have very good psy-protection: particularly if you take off the helmet. I keep note of this.

A structure nearby catches my attention. It is where I sheltered from an emission whilst waiting for the stalkers that wanted to rescue their friend from bandits. There was a bit of loot left in there when I departed so I go in to check for any remaining valuables.

The place has large ventilation tunnels that lead eastwards. I follow out of curiosity.

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Each time I reach this point I realise that I’m being somehow displaced back a hundred metres. It is very disturbing. I think it had happened three times before I realise that there was an odd noise occurring. At a sub-basement I see strange sparks and test them with a bolt.

road to oasis1

I walk through and feel nothing but it is very intriguing. The corner with the light is ahead and I am displaced back to before the sub-basement. I see a second sparking field and walk through them. This time I make it past the corner with the light and see what must be the oasis.

oasis

The scientist Ozersky wanted proof so I take the glowing orb hanging from the tree. Almost instantly a pseudo-dog attacks me from behind. I finish it with Tide and its all over. I climb the ladder out of there and find myself at the top of the main ventilation shaft of the marked complex on my PDA map. When I make it back to Ozersky he is very pleased.

Enlivened, possibly from my time in the Oasis, I decide to harden up and go back to the crash site. After I’ve done that I will check Jupiter plant for the last crash-site of a Stingray helicopter from the Fairway mission. I successfully pick my way through the minefield and find one of the crew from the chopper. The helicopter holds few extra clues but a recording that the headed for the rendezvous point is interesting.

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The Jupiter plant is a scary place in the dark. I am very careful, using the high-contrast sight of Tide, to scout my path and make good observations before moving to pre-decided cover.

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Creeping through the abandoned corridors is nerve-wracking. I find documents about a secret lab and that its evacuation is being shuffled between departments. I never thought I’d end up on a paper-chase in the Zone but here I am creeping through Jupiter plant looking for documents.

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Dawn’s light starts to make it a little easier and I pass into the plant itself.

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The way is blocked by a truck and I have to find another entrance. Further south I find the way into a workshop of sorts. Perhaps I can find some tools for Nitro or Cardan.

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My ability to move quietly must be improving because I get the drop on a pseudo-dog. Tide happily puts that obstacle out of my way. I make it to the helicopter. Again the crew seem to have tried for a rendezvous point in Pripyat.

I further explore Jupiter plant and find that there is an evacuation tunnel that has been sealed off and filled with gas. The generator looks like it might work again to open the doors but I don’t have the technical knowledge to complete this. A visit to Nitro seems apropos.

Since I’m in the plant I explore more thoroughly in the hope to find tools and maybe some more documents about these X-series labs. I scour the place and find neither. At the last room  I look in I find some information about X-8 laboratory carrying out some kind of psi-emitter experimentation. As I leave I come under fire by mercenaries. They look somewhat familiar: especially considering how much alike they look. I fight may way through 6 of them and the last one I recognise: Black from the scientist’s bunker. I’m very puzzled.

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Besides the very hi-tech G37 assault rifle I retrieve from Black his PDA. A ‘client’ wants to make sure that the X-series labs remain a secret. This makes me think that the secret-arm of the military are involved. When I return to the scientist’s bunker to make sure that it was Black I am proven correct. Only the stalkers that do measurements are there. Seems the scientists are going to require new guards.

STALKER Call of Pripyat: Journal Entry 12