Visiting Sid's All Night Eating and Rip-Off Emporium isn't nearly as much fun nor as time killing as I'd like. Plus there's that blowout coming in the "morning". Maybe it'll pass soon and I'll get the daylight all to myself. Yeah right. For now I hover around the edges of camp and twiddle my thumbs.
It's a really moonless night. The kind that makes the headlamp range seem just that much more pathetic somehow. I think if I wandered out there I'd prefer to turn it off. If sudden charging death is a split second away I'm not sure I want to know.
Stalker Nights (artists impression)
So instead I hang around with the gate guard listening to the trilling of some anomaly in the distance, the odd howl from some horror of the wildlife, the guy on the PA down at the army post berrating his men all night long. I wait for the light. Patience; that's the key.
Waiting sucks. I'm going for a wander. The pre dawn light isn't too bad once you get used to it. (picture some doofus squinting inches from the screen). I head up the road.
While I have to admit I can't see much, nothing kills me right away so I keep going. There's little to see but as I cross the bridge I can hear something. The familar sound of gunfire. Coming from the Garage as always.
I creep down the hill and find this guy.
This is a good time to mention that AMK alters the inventory somewhat. The things that can only fit in the small weapon slot has been expanded quite a bit. This basically means you can't equip a pistol and a shotgun or MP5 at the same time. So situations like this give me pause. I change to the silenced pistol to avoid alerting any other enemies. But if I miss or get spotted and I need to switch to something with more oomph, I'll have to open the inventory and change it manually. Realistic yet daunting weapon juggling.
I creep forward, potentially exposing myself to dudes in the dark, preparing to attack a guy who could have company right nearby that I can't see.
But I shoot the guy, avenge poor German Normal, and nothing happens. Hope no one feels robbed by all that build up.
So, who the hell else is here then? I creep and listen for a while and hear...pain. From inside the other building a strange light emanates.
Now there's something you don't see every day.
It may not be entirely clear what's going on there, but that's a bandit curled up on a roaring fire barrel while his mate nonchalantly warms himself. What are friends for?
I put warm-er and warm-ee out of their respective pains and one of them has an AKsu. Which makes this silly trip rather worthwhile all of a sudden.
Still some hours until the blowout is likely. Back at camp I kill some time by sitting up on the hill and taking potshots at the soldiers down by the cordon. They run around for a bit but that's all. Questionable behaviour, but I probably made their day immesurably more interesting. It's practically charity I'm giving here.
Boring, boring, boring. I decide to gear up and wait for the Blowout up at the Garage. Something to do and I won't have as far to go afterwards.
Wandered around. Climbed the proverbial walls. Climbed the literal roof. Shot at a dog. Jesus. Hurry up giant radiation storm!
Great. At some point my restless hopping up and down attracted attention. These two boars try every avenue they can to get at me, circling around and inside the building and never giving up. (It's actually quite fun to watch. They really look like they're trying to figure out a way to get me.) I'm feeling a little smug standing up here on the crest of the roof. But it occurs to me, these guys aren't leaving, and having to suddenly find a blowout hiding spot could get awkward.
As I was saying
Thank buggery that's finally over. In case you hadn't worked out, I did indeed have to make a mad dash for a hiding place as the blowout hit. And the boars did indeed think that was a great time to get me. I survived though.
So now, clear skies ahead and somewhat lighter on health and ammo, I head north.
A boar and a dog delay my arriving in time to save Fox from some dogs. Sorry old chum. This seems to happen quite a lot doesn't it.
The road to the crossing is fairly quiet and only two bandits guard the post. But they had their hands full with some dogs and my passage is pretty easy in the end. Time to blow this pop stand.
The Garbage and some muggers to deal with.
Or fail to deal with. I creep around there listening for a good while, plotting who I should shoot first. but it really doesn't matter. Yurik himself is no help, seeming even more stunned when I start shooting than the bandits.
Bes is calling again. That sirens call of money and completed game objectives.
Sadly that's not one of the available options. I look very hard at the option to refuse for a while. The risk is high and the pay isn't great. Honour or duty or something gets the better of me (actually I think habit is the front runner).
As Bes's friend runs in to warn us the battle is starting, a dark fast moving shape bounds in from the hills and disappears behind the ridge.
To be continued