A Stalker's story

Zwei’s eyes fluttered open, her mind slowly booting up thanks to the beeping of the alarm clock next to her. Groggily, the petite German shifted under the large blanket, landing her hand on the holographic clock, shutting the blaring alarm clock off for the meantime before snuggling herself into the warm comfort of her bed and her spouse Barfleur who subconsciously wrapping her arms around the girl’s waist.

A couple of minutes passed with the German girl having successfully booting her mind back to working order, now slightly coherent though with a slight tinge of fatigue and drowsiness, the girl hesitantly separates herself from Barfluer and the bed itself, sitting at the age where her feet gingerly touch the cold carpet floor.

Slowly but surely Zwei made her way towards the apartment bathroom, shivering slightly to the cold ceramic flooring as she made her way towards the bathroom basin, staring at the reflection of herself.

Zwei could vividly remember how pale her skin was before, the small bags under her eyes due to the general lack of sleep thanks to the constant nightmares, the grime, and dirt that coated her face or body in general, and how thin she was as well. Now, most of it was gone thanks to the efforts of this Solas Tempus organization, her skin now held a healthy shade of pink and now clean for the first time in all her years in the depressing hellhole she was born in, though the bags under her eyes somewhat remained, but was less prominent than before.

A soft smile graced her lips at the positive changes to her body and overall environment, yet Zwei could feel a part of her missing the hostile environment she was forced to thrive in, the cold air, and the peacefulness of the zone. Activating the tap to wash her, splashing the cool water against her face, washing away the drowsiness from her system while at the same time thinking of what today’s plan was, and instantly recalled that they have a meeting with this social worker name Suzanne. Ther very same woman who has tried to help them phase into modern society and culture given as to how they have insufficient knowledge of today’s mannerism.

Shutting off the basin tap, cutting off the running water. The petite German girl raises to see her reflection once more only to be greeted face-to-face with the grotesque and rotting face of a roaring Bloodsucker. A fearful scream left Zwei’s mouth as the frightened girl landed butt first on the ceramic floor and was crawling backward unable to take her eyes off of the feral lambent eyes of the mutant beast before her that was sliding out of the glass mirror, moving towards her with its tentacle mouth stretched open.

Her eyes shrunk into pinpricks in fear the moment when she felt her back hit a dead end and as the feral mutant beast rose to its full height. Desperately, Zwei look all around in the bathroom, trying to find something she could defend herself with but unable to find anything of use and found herself helplessly watching the Bloodsucker raised one of its gnarled clawed hands and brought it down upon her with Zwei raising her hands and screaming.

ZWEI!!!

The bathroom door was slammed open with Verniy and Teruzuki followed by Barfleur charging in with their pistols raised and sweeping the room left and right only to find nothing dangerous, not even a shimmer in the air but instead a fearful Zwei who was on the floor, against the wall with her arms and legs tucked in. Immediately Teruzuki was the first to be at Zwei’s side, hugging the frightened petite German to which she returned the gesture, holding on to Teruzuki’s arm like a lifeline, raising her head to show her frightened and fearful expression to the Japanese brunette and shakingly turn to where she thought the bloodsucker was, only to find nothing at all besides Barfleur and Verniy with their pistols’ in hand.

Even now, after being separated from the zone for so long, the scars gifted from the harsh environments and tortures of the Zone still long remained with them, reminding the four that no matter how far, the Zone would always follow the one way or another. Such is the life of a S.T.A.L.K.E.R and denizen of the Zone herself.

@cyclops
//the group will be meeting the social workers at the Solas Tempus park facilities

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/* I want to say that is a beautifully crafted post. */

Suzanne was actually excited to get to know the girls better. She had prepared somewhat but, what could you really do to prepare for this kind of encounter? She knew they had extensive trauma but it was up to them where to start. All she could do was guide them. Still, she tried to get ready as best she could. She reviewed what previous interviews with them had told Solas Tempus about the environment they had been living in. Quite frankly she couldn’t imagine existing there, nothing in her life would come close to prepare her to even say she understood what they went through. It was going to be a difficult but rewarding meeting.

One of the entrances to one of Nimbus Station’s many park terraces slides open, revealing the large room to the four survivors. The group was in for quite the sight as they found themselves entering into a semi-forested area of oak trees, noting the eerily peaceful atmosphere that reminded them too much of the deserted forests they had once traveled through.

Still, the four proceeded to enter the park, noting there was a balcony floor above the forested park. Though as they walked down the seemingly natural dirt path, turns out their choice of attire, being the Sunrise suits made them rather out of place amongst the crowd where passerby would look at them weirdly as to why a group of teenagers dressed in what looks to be combat gear from some time in 21st century though chalk it up to cosplay.

For the stalkers, it was rather a norm for them to wear their combat equipment, gas masks, knives, pistols, rad-detectors, and all despite being provided with clean and proper civilian clothing to make them stand out less. This is majorly due to the years worth of routinely wearing some form of protection on them alongside with the constant paranoia bred in a hostile environment.

As the four post-apocalyptic survivors reach the meeting point which was near to a large and deep koi pond, the girls, fueled by their active paranoia, made sure to keep their distance away from it, paranoid that something in the water would suddenly climb out and drag them into a watery grave or an anomaly that could kill them in numerous horrible or painful ways.

Though the woman they were supposed to meet was already there, waving at them. The leader; Zwei, who was still shaken from the recent PTSD episode an hour ago, put up her usual calm and stoic front similar to that of her wolf-eared spouse, greeting her with similar gesture.

The social worker Suzanne Kemper was there with her assistant Annabelle Garaan in XIA form. Suzanne was sitting on one of the benches, Annabelle was perched on a nearby tree branch. Suzanne stood up and moved to better greet the women, extending a hand to them, “I’m so glad you all could make it.”


For reference, this is what the park area looks like (per request of Chaos). Please note that while the design is similar, the aesthetic at play is one which matches the aesthetics from Stargate Atlantis being shades of mud-red and browns with an emphasis on natural lighting.

The image above is taken from this game Star Trek: Theurgy.

Seeing the offered hand, Zwei accepted it with a hard shake of her own later greeting the social worker. “To you as well.”

As the petite girl greeted the social worker, her spouses remained just behind, keeping an eye out for any subtle threats with their hands near or resting on their sidearm pouch.

Suzanne noticed how tense everyone was, but doesn’t directly address it. Instead she smiles and says, “I thought this would be a nice place to talk, especially about anything difficult. I find it helps to be among green and growing things. If you all would be more comfortable in another venu, just tell me.”

“No need,” Zwei spoke, looking up to the sharply-dressed woman and her mini companion resting at one of the tree branches. “this will do.”

“So where you want to start?” The petite German asked as she broke the handshake, planting herself on the grass along with her spouses.

Suzanne looks and considers, “Anywhere you like, I find things go the best when I let people talk, but if that makes you uncomfortable I can ask a question or two to get the ball rolling.”

“Ask ahead.” Zwei spoke, passing the ball to Suzzane. “What is it you wish to know?”

Suzanne nods with a smile, “Alright,” she considers, “Tell me about how you lived, right before you came here?” It was an open question and she hoped it would let the women get into the lives they had in this zone. She read some reports on what they had already said and on the possibility of a zone-like area appearing on Soteria. While that wasn’t her concern exactly, she wondered what the ladies thought of it.

The petite German girl would let out a mirthless chuckle at the question about where she and her spouses supposedly live. Though she answered it nonetheless, staring Suzzane with cold dead eyes. Eyes that would be seen in a scarred veteran of a war that shouldn’t belong to one so young.

The others: Verniy, Barfleur, and Teruzuki had similar looks as Zwei, the small group now reminiscing about the hellhole they originated from, the suffering they had the unfortunate time to bear witness, the horror to see their friends of varying age died to numerous horrible manners be it an anomaly or the hungry maws or mutants while some turn into mindless husk in human skin with their minds flayed by the storms they feared.

Zwei would break the seemingly long haunting silence between them and the social worker.

“I can remember is how dark and cold it was. How gray clouds covered the sky releasing with lightning being an everyday occurrence while we hid in rural towns made of whatever scrap metal or material we could find, others lived in the metro tunnels of the so-called country named the United States.”

“Gone was the old world, all that is left is the ruins of a great nation they say. Now corrupted with the influence of the Zone, festering with mutants that hunger for human flesh, anomalies that indiscriminately kill those not careful or unfortunate to stumble upon them, and lastly great storms that would flay one’s mind leaving a mindless husk whose sole’s goal is to attack anything in sight. This was the reality we were forced and born to face…as the old ones say; Humanity must now pay for its sins.”

Suzanne listens, “So the entire world as it was before was gone. Did you live in this previous world before the horrific one you describe?” It was a simple question, but her voice was full of compassion. “Were there others, like yourselves, who were just trying to survive that you met?”

“The old world?” Zwei questioned.

The petite German shook her head in a negative. “No. We were born when the world was already consumed by the Zone. From what our elders told us, 35 years ever since the Great Cataclysm.”

“We never had time to dwell on what the old world was like, as we were prepped by our parents to survive the harsh world outside.” For a brief moment, Zwei paused in her speech, reminiscing her time with her parents with a visible look of melancholy. Though Zwei cut that line of thoughts short, returning to the conversation at hand.

“There were many like us trying to survive and have met many. Some were kind, others care not and went about their business or wish harm to get what they want. But there are some who wish to see me and my team suffer a fate worse than death.”

Suzanne nods listening to what was said, “So, you grew up with others your own age? Man I ask what that community was like?” It was a simple question and her tone was very much sympathetic but not full of pity, as she knew that could come off insulting.