Stuck in Zaton for so long I’ve lost track of time. Days blend into nights, nights to days. Not so bad really. Skadovsk has everything a stalker needs and Zaton provides ample distractions. It’s early, the sun has yet to come out and the fog is still holding strong. At this moment I am lounging on the ships stern, absorbing the ambiance and monitoring the network. It’s All quiet now, should change momentarily.
Normally at about this time I begin my rounds, do some shopping. Decided to take the day off and reflect on things. As a part of the daily routine, I would try to keep a number of bases mutant free and available to travelers. Occasionally, useful items are recovered from the mutants and travelers often are willing to do some trade. Everybody wins. Except the mutants of course. This isn’t terrible work at all it. Keeps me fed and occupied. Bonus, Interacting with travelers can provide a little insight into what they have on their person. Nice to know if and when you hear of their demise. That’s how I got this rifle. From a lone freedomer. Outfit and mask were a pleasant surprise.
His outfit has been a godsend. As a disguise it allows me neutral relations with loners, mercs and bandits. The three main factions that currently occupy this area. I’ve only met one freedomer during my time here and no other. I suspect opening the hidden passages would attract new factions into this area. Not quite sure, cross that bridge whenever. Until then, I’ll relish in the comfort established thus far with my stalker bros and accumulated equipment. Though a bit worn, I love this M16. I am on the lookout for restoration parts, but they are hard to come by. Same goes for ammunition, I have to buy, so I am forced to be frugal. Just wish I hadn’t sold the AK. Another stupid decision.
Mutant traffic around Skadovsk is at a minimum. Understandable as mutants are all immediately gunned down when near. Hunting typically requires traveling far out yonder and since I don’t hunt much. It doesn’t matter. At the moment I lack the equipment to profitably harvest from corpses thus rendering a hunt not worth the ammunition spent. To my left and in the distance. The rusted out remains of the container ship Shevchenko sits silent. It is by no means a safe place to spend time relaxing. Too accessible. Other than that broken bow and the very top of the ships cabin. There is nothing separating its occupants from an invading mutant horde showing up unannounced. A bandit squad is currently stationed at that base. They don’t seem to need my help. Best of luck to them. I am sure I’ll be harvesting their equipment in the near future.
To my right and far up in the hillside, there is this barely visible cave. I can’t seem to get close to it. The psy activity around that cavity is off the charts. I think a controller lives there and I do not think him the social type. From the safety of Skadovsk I would often survey that spot with my scope. Hoping to catch sight of whatever lives there. If seen, I could perhaps approach it with some caution. Get a little close. Then put a few shells in its head. The other option would be to gobble down a handful of psy pills, stagger into the cave well armed and pray. Both strategies best accomplished with better gear.
Found my first artifact the other day. A Jellyfish. Saw that thing swimming in and around the anomalous field down by the Dredge Station. Almost killed myself trying to fetch it. Between the toxic water, the radiation and poor preparation. I crawled away with over a fifteen hundred mSv’s and counting. The journey back to Skadovsk at that time was filled with so much anxiety. At any moment, any one of the zones finest could happen by and put and end to it all. Back at Skadovsk, no one seemed impressed when I burst into the room riddled with radiation, stinking of cigarettes but joyous to be alive. Beard himself was only willing to offer me a paltry three thousand rubles for my effort. I declined his and everyone else’s offer. They didn’t seem to understand my grievance. That Jellyfish now waits patiently in storage for the right container to come along. When that happens, I can attach it to the available slot on this suit. Harness that power.
Still resisting the urge to buy my way out of Zaton. Despite the fact that I have an obscene amount of hidden container locations out there just begging to be recovered. Again I wonder about the decisions made. I mean I have the money. Just not the motivation. Not yet. Traveling is such an arduous task, I have decided to put it off till further equipment upgrade or I stumble across the passages myself. With progress coming along slowly, I may be here for a long time. Stuck on Zaton.