Petya is dead.
It was a short burst that ended him. Shame, we had plans to travel north to do some artifact hunting in that region. It can get dangerous up there, and that elite was to be my shadow and protector. Now he is neither.
That stalker came across as the aggressive type, someone who could handle himself when it mattered. At least, that was the impression he gave me, and I believed him. Mercs are known for their talents, so why should this one be different. That said, he should have been more prepared, a little resistance would have given me time to intervene, you know, help keep my companion alive. Sadly, that moment has passed.
Ever since the faction overhaul was introduced. Zone relations grew ever so dynamic. One was never sure who was, or was not your comrade. At any given moment, a faction once considered friendly, would no longer honor that code. Needless to say, caution had to be shown everywhere and anxiety was at its highest.
Over time, alliances were created and there was talk of peace. Ecologists and bandits called a truce along with the loners. Freedomers and duty lessened their hostilities and the military drew down on their aggressive policing. What a time to be in the Zone. Still, the monolith remain stubborn, and with the aid of their undead subjects, would initiate some form of crisis, at places where paths crossed.
Stalkers of all factions could be seen passing through this little village. Unfortunately, that drew unwanted attention, causing the occasional disruptions throughout Limansk. Had there been trouble nearby, any trouble, someone would call out, all would respond, problem solved. But, there was nothing in chat this time, and the problem is here, wandering around outside.
But why Limansk?
It has become a place for foreigners to conduct business, and as a foreigner to the zone, I find it to be my shangri la. I am at peace here and I hope that someday, this quiet little village will be another hub for stalkers to congregate and help build a stronghold against incursions from the north.
A pipe dream I know, the Zone will never be that place. Not without women and lots of mods. To me though, Limansk feels like that woman, like being inside somewhere I belong.
It was the gunfire that startled me. Had hoped it was my companion hunting game, but no, that merc is no longer on my radar, will not respond to commands and his last location hard to determine. Fair to say he was on the business end of that blast.
I readied my rifle, night vision and crouched as quickly as I could. It was pitch black outside, perhaps the reason my merc got blindsided. Was it the undead, or an operative? No, not the undead, I don’t hear the lazy shuffle of the mindless, only the confident steps of a stalker, who clearly doesn’t know there is another inside.
There was no desire to negotiate. Just a need to exact revenge and as intended, that operative fell without a struggle. A silenced shot to his head, was all I had to offer, as he casually wandered through the cottage towards the living area, oblivious to my presence.
Petya is still dead though and I should mourn. But before that, mister monolith has been a very busy boy. This one had on his person an impressive collection, which included items donated earlier to my gunner. Saved me a trip it seems
Also recovered a number of rare artifacts buried deep. This is indeed my lucky day, I am sure Sakharov, will pay handsomely for these.
Maybe then I will retire.
A poorly written short story based on a random Stalker COC game-play. The adrenaline was real. Believe me.