It was a cold, rainy night, something not uncommon to the already unstable Zone, when our story begins....the dark of night hid the figure of a mysterious man, someone who was of vital importance to the events that would happen in the not so far future.
Our story begins in the loner territory known as The Cordon, a place known for being the location of the trader and former veteran STALKER Sidorovich...a person of adquired tastes, if you will, but that is only natural from all the time he had spent on the zone
the small village seemed very quiet at this time of night, wich surprised our mysterious figure, as it was not common for the STALKER's of the cordon to be quiet at any moment at all
on the far back of this little improvised village, composed by just destroyed houses and some salvaged tents, was the entrance to an underground bunker, wich is where this strange man was headed.
Despite being a really old structure, this bunker looked like it could resist anything, from the fire of a STALKER's guns to even the attack of a bloodsucker mutant. Knocking three times and looking at the video camera outside of the door, the figure called out "Sidorovich! it's me". The camera turned slowly towards it, stopping and staring at him for a few moments, the red blinking of the camera gave it a somewhat paranoid feeling.
"I tought i told you that i only made business when it's not the middle of the night, Eli..." a voice could be heard from the other side of the well fortified door, the raspy voice of an old man echoing through the walls of the bunker
"Just let me in already...i've found something that might interest you". a few moments of silence acompanied that statement, and not too long afterwards, Eli could hear the sound of the door's locks opening, he entered the old bunker quickly to not get himself wet anymore, taking off the cloak he had put on to avoid getting his clothes wet he said out loud
"GOD. DAMMIT. i swear, no matter how many times i get shot at, i still think the crazy weather is worse" the figure of the old man was now standing next to the door, in what seemed to be somewhat torn off clothes, his arms were closed and he was staring firmly at the now uncovered character, a black cat with a few parts of his fur blue, wearing casual clothing along with the usual armor that stalkers wear...something uncommon for most people, but familiar to Sidorovich, as he knew this person from before
"Stop your usual Whining, Eli, you know you're better off here than on the real world...what use could they have for a STALKER with amnesia who only remembers how to shoot a gun and avoid anomalies?".
"Shut up, will you? i only have to stay here untill i find out the truth...speaking of wich." Eli quickly pulled out a PDA, it wasn't his own of course. Badly damaged and with nothing to determine of what faction it was from
"A broken PDA?...what's so important about this piece of scrap metal?!" Sidorovich had become angry now at his visitor, as he never really liked dealing with the worthless loot newbie STALKERS brought him
"Calm down...here, listen to this, you'll see what i mean"
Eli powered up the PDA, and chose a specific audio file, it seemed to be the only one on the start menu of this old PDA, wich was the only thing accesible without hacking it with better equipment
slowly, the PDA started playing out a recorded file that seemed to be someone's last journal entry...
"It's evil!" some say... It's a gift to humanity!" others say....
whatever the truth is about The Zone, it's far from what we can grasp.
there WAS one person who could...who could tell us the truth...the one person who managed to get into the center of the zone...."
Sidorovich interrupted "the center?...." he seemed rather perplexed, but something about his reaction told Eli he had heard something like this before
"His name was Strelok...heh...just like the myth said...i always tought it was just that, a myth, a legend....and yet i can honestly say now i've met the one person who managed to do what everyone else tought impossible..."
Sidorovich quickly reached out for a chair, he clearly was in shock...just like everyone else, he tought that name to be a myth, to be something of a fairy tale STALKER's told each other to give hope...but it seemed now it was something more than that
"Something went wrong though" Eli interrupted the file here "Now's when it gets good"
"Halfway there...we lost contact with Strelok...something attacked us, i'm not sure what...or why....all the rest of us....all 5 are now dispersed....dead....or doomed like me.
i know that i have a transporting anomaly next to me...it would kill anything organic, but at least this message will get through....for whoever gets this, don't be fooled! Strelok exists!...and i know he's still alive, he couldn't have gone down just like that...unlike me...there's one other person who might have survived...but i'm not sure if Strelok even decided to help him out or not....
Please...Find him...the truth must be uncovered..."
after those last few words, you can hear the man let out a yell, and the sound of the PDA hitting the ground on the other side of the anomaly
"....Give me that thing" Sidorovich got up quickly and grabbed the PDA away from Eli's hands, he took it with him to his work desk, he wanted to search through every single piece of information
"wha- HEY!" Eli tried to follow Sidorovich, but he only pushed him back
"Give me some time, i'll dig up all the information from this PDA i can recover"
with a loud sigh, Eli couldn't do much more but to listen to Sidorovich...after all, he HAD saved his life, and helped him get back on his feet even with the amnesia
a few hours later, Sidorovich called Eli out
"well....this WAS pretty important allright...look at this" Sidorovich pointed out a place on the map "THIS, is the last location of their safehouse...at least the last one recorder, it was over 6 months ago, but if we want to start of anywhere it's there"
"whoa whoa, wait, -We-? what on earth makes you think i'll follow you along THIS time?"
Sidorovich had a large grin on his face, and showed Eli a picture he found stored in the PDA as well...it showed him, along with 4 other stalkers, all were in casual clothing, all had his same get up...and they all seemed to be really close
this came as a shock, for a few years now he had no clue to his past at all except his name, and now he had a photo, and what appeared to be old acquaintances...
"If we find Strelok...maybe he'll be able to answer you something more than just the truth about the zone, Eli. I've pulled some strings here and there...some people will meet you on this location" he pointed out a place in the map
"they're experienced...for the most at least...i have the feeling for this you will need more than just guns, but a group to follow you"
Eli let out a sigh again, and he leaned his head backwards a bit ".....Fine. I'll do what you say...again" with a huff, he turned, and opened the door
Sidorovich let out a yell "OH! and Eli? Flash is coming along with you..." Flash was a new guy to the zone, someone who Sidorovich was using for his little odd jobs as he had no other way to get the money to bail off the zone
"gah...shoot me in the leg why don't you..." with that, he closed off the door of the bunker, and went his way towards the meeting point, wich was far to the southern part of the Cordon...he had no idea who he'd meet, or how would things fare from now on, but one thing was for sure
Things would get worse before they would get any better anytime soon