Anomaly: Garbage, the leather outfit.

“I’ll take the leather outfit.” I told Savva.

He paused momentarily then reached over into his storage bag and tossed the package at me. He knew what I was up to. His disgust was palpable. There are very few good reasons a loner would want to have in his possession bandit gear. As relations with them remain low. Any and all association with that faction was frowned upon. At least where the free stalkers were concerned.

I nodded my thanks and wandered off to a quiet place to sit and look the gear over. Typical low level bandit armor. Can’t even protect against the chill. It was in good condition though and I need it that way. Always remember that a disguise works best when one is well dressed.

It is also possible that there is a bounty on my head. I have not been on my best behavior in the zone and non allies tend to shoot on sight. Can’t say I blame them. I have been trying to make amends. Often times I fail miserably.

“’sup bro?” A random loner said as he wandered up to me.

I looked up, and saw this well armored stalker standing before me. I could see he was still inexperienced and may have stolen his gear from a fallen ally.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

He began to spin a tale about some bandits, a kidnapped friend and blah blah blah. I was already not interested and tuned out mid story. I did wonder if somehow his kidnapped friend was being held at the same camp I had planned to infiltrate. If that be the case, I could, figuratively speaking, kill two birds with one stone. I could recover that hidden package and that idiot hostage. Very tempting I must say.

I mulled it over until I began to focus on that one negative. I’ve had rescued hostages go full blown suicidal before.

“Stay here!” I would insist. “Let me scout ahead.”

Sometimes they listen, sometimes not. When they chose not to listen it costs. Wasted resources, damaged gear and a drop in reputation. Allowing one of your own to fall victim to the zone is another thing that is frowned upon. We try to keep a handle on the death toll around here. Comes in handy, especially if you wish to recover loot from the bodies. Many artifacts were recovered that way. I’m not even ashamed to admit that.

I think I should stay away from companions until things change. I declined his request. Instead offered to trade and pawned off as much as I could. I will need to travel back to the Dark Valley to get to the camp and this bandit armor is added weight.