Yes, the game decided to throw a poltergeist at me as the high level mutant du jour. When you first meet them they're really scary. It helps that it's underground and dark of course. Out here in the open they're not so bad.
The main thing about them is their method of attacking you. As the name suggests, they levitate any stuff that's lying around on the ground, debris, bones, barrels etc and then they throw it at you. They can do this from some distance away and with multiple objects too. So you'll be on the other side of a hill or upstairs in building from one and the barrels next to you will suddenly float up in the air and whack you. Disconcerting to say the least.
But this little stretch of Cordon must be the cleanest place in the Zone. No rocks or junk to be found anywhere. So all polty can do to me is fizz 'round in the air. I could kill it, but the dogs don't like it and chase it around the place. So by leaving it alive I get to save bullets and keep the dogs occupied.
The road up to the crossing is also, amazingly, free of anomalies. Free, that is, until I get within sight of the building itself. Then I notice I've walked in between a couple of Whirligigs and they're quite close. This happens about the same time that I'm out in the open and the bandits guarding the gate spot me and open fire. My situational awareness/combat readiness leaves something to be desired. Good thing there's only two of them (bandits that is).
My (exorbitantly expensive) MP5 is at least paying for itself. Resigned to whatever fate, I crouched down and aimed. I spent about six rounds on the two of these guys and then was free to take some care getting around the anomalies.
That's that then. Almost too easy. Now it's really getting late. Going back is the best move now. The poltergeist still running (or floating really) around gives the dogs something to do besides chew on me.
Incidentally, up this end of Cordon is the wrecked death truck surrounded by corpses. It doesn't say anywhere for certain that it's the death truck but I guess that's what they're implying by leaving it here. It's far too radioactive for me to get near it, unfortunately.
The trip home is uneventful and scenic. Sunset is surprisingly late, past 2000. I do a bit of quick trading and hit the sack. Tommorrow it's time to take a run at the Garbage. It occurs to me that I haven't noticed any blowout forecasts. I hope that means there weren't any.
Slept fine apparently but now it's still too early to really go anywhere. But I'm not tired anymore and can't go back to sleep. This is not something I have a problem with in real life.
With nothing much to do for a couple of game-hours I decide to make a proper go of it. Casting stinginess to the wind I get my armour patched up and buy all the mp5 rounds I can afford, as well as medkits and bandages. I already know the events ahead are bad enough as it is. Then there's Life in the Zone to consider as well.
0500 - ish. The sun just peeks over the hill. Time to go.
I'm reflecting on how quiet the journey is by taking scenic snaps. But as I cross the embankment I can hear gunshots up ahead. It's still pretty dark, so I take it slow. The gunshots stop. A little tweeted note informs me Fox has been killed by a dog.
I guess it's just a quiet time for me.
0632 - The crossing looks clear on binocs, but it's hard to tell. I'm about to get closer when someone emerges from behind the wall.
It takes me a while to work out what's going on here, and it's not that obvious from the picture, but that's a bandit wearing a Duty uniform. Duty are a tough but mostly neutral (to me) armed faction from later in the game. I can tell this guy is a bandit from the way he mutters to himself. He must have had some adventures to find it. Pity I can't get it off him.
Where there's one bandit there's four (if they've travelled to fill somewhere previously empty, at any rate). This is something that could be a problem. I'm pondering my next move when all hell breaks loose behind the wall. Sounds like enough guns for a two way firefight instead of some monster. The Duty bandit turns to run back inside and help out. That's when I make my move.
My hero! *swoon*
The firefight was caused by a band of stalkers coming through from the Garbage. And these boys cleaned house, let me tell you. I didn't even need to shoot that bandit. They just got it done and strolled off into the, er, sunrise. One of them stopped by for a chat. I try not to fawn too hard on him. It's a shame they're not going to stick around and make it easier for when I come back.
Nothing now stands between me and the Garbage.
Almost as I made that note I got a tweet: The blowout will be in about 6 hours, give or take. To hell with it. I'll just have to do the next bit quickly, won't I.
0725 - The Garbage
Crossing through, I'm deposited by a gate in the road. Around it are a collection of derelict vehicles partly blocking the way. Immediately Sid tweets through a bounty he's giving on the local bandit leader. No time to worry about that just yet. Up ahead there's a robbery taking place.
As you can see above, there's a lone stalker being held up by three bandits. You can hear them demanding his cash and artifacts. He protests that he has none. About the only thing I can think to do is try and take out the bandits quickly.
0751 - Oh. Well, he wasn't lying about not having any loot. Alas, poor Yurik here never stood a chance. As soon as I open fire on the bandits, killing one, the others scratch those itchy trigger fingers before even bothering with me. At least, I don't think I hit Yurik myself in all that. I've got loads of cover so a short exchange later I win against the rest anyway.
Here in the above image we can also see a new problem. Where I've previously been scrounging desperately for every little thing I can use or sell, now I've almost got more stuff than I can carry. It's all worth money, but I'd have to hike all the way back to Sid's to do anything with it (the guns in particular). If I stash some of it somewhere, some stalker will probably just happen by and steal it all. And if I cross my weight limit I'll tire very quickly from just walking, with the occasional dash (vital in firefights) leaving me gasping for breath and a sitting asthmatic duck. It doesn't rain, it pours.
I get a radio message from a guy called Bes. He's calling anyone in the vicinity to help defend a vehicle junkyard up ahead from bandits. I'm supposed to at least go and hear him out.
But first things first. Ladies and Gentlemen: The Garbage!
Hoo-bloody-rah. Only took five attempts to get here. There's better scenery further along really, but over on the left you can see a glimpse of the vehicle junkyard where I'm going. Beyond that, just a little to the left of centre, is one of the eponymous piles of half buried garbage.
0815 - Well I guess I'd better see what these guys want.
Here are the lads themselves. That's Bes on the right, with the authoritative mo. They want want me to help defend this ...place from the bandits who want it back. I guess it's something to do with the group of bandits camped a little further along on the other side of the road. If bandits are camped here as well they'd control both sides of the road to Cordon, making life difficult for guys like Yurik.
These bandits are coming from the valley to the west in unknown numbers. There's these two guys here, another lookout and me. These guys are pretty well armed though. I've also got a couple of grenades from the muggers.
Bes is very happy. His mate the lookout comes running in to warn us that the enemy approaches and we take up positions. My position is running up the left side of the yard and hoiking both my grenades in the general direction of the attackers, covering my head and running the hell back to the entrance.
0837 - We win! The bandits came in a firing line of about seven over the short rise behind the yard. I flung both grenades. I saw the first at least score a couple of them and scatter the rest before I ran back. The remaining force seemed to mostly have shotguns. No match for the rifles of the other guys and my peppering assistance.
Bes asks me if I'll accept a reward. What a question. I probably should have waited to talk to him as now his pals are off looting the corpses of my stuff. In what's left I find nothing better than I've already got and I'm already carrying too many shotguns and other junk. I really could use one of those rifles. I don't really feel like venturing outside the fence to the west though. There's anomalies, radiation and quite often more bandits turn up.
0856 - Bes and one of his friends just got killed walking along the crest outside the fence. I've lingered too long. The bandits are coming back. They're still behind the hill though. Maybe I can take a couple of their heads off before they spy me if I can get higher up.
- The Marked One was killed by a grenade blast after being shot off the helicopter propellor he was climbing.