It helps that I'm usually in the village at the time, where it is generally safe, and I remember how serious it all is shortly before the fence line.
Skipping is never a good idea in Stalker.
0539 1 - 5 - 2012
Cloudy but no rain today. I loiter around doing the usual gathering of goods in the village for a while until the light gets a bit better.
Petruha and pals await me on top of the hill. In all the aborted attempts and general terror of doing this mission, I could always just run away and leave it to them. The thought had occured to me. On the other hand, if they bomb out completely, I'll have to take care of the bandits myself. So here we go.
The way down to the Garage sounds thick with anomalies today. I always stick to the fence, which is usually fine. But the other guys aren't usually so careful. I hear them set off some anomalies on the way down. I hope we've got a full compliment by the time the battle starts. I can't bear to look.
The aftermath: It started badly, with your doofus truly running in and rustling the bushes, waking up the badguys. The bandits boldly made an advance to block the hole in the wall. I bravely decided to let them and retreated down the side of the Garage.
This proved to be their undoing as they managed to get themselves pincered by our, largely accidental, formation. That took care of the first three or four at least. The others made pretty much every mistake they could, consisting mostly of the guy on the roof, the guy in the gatehouse (why does a Garage need a double gatehouse anyway? With no windows on the drive/entrance itself? Anyway... ) and a guy in the main building facing our advancing and spread out force individually.
We nearly lost two guys though. One out by the fence and another barely won a toe to toe battle in the courtyard.
I would have helped, but Nimble decided to come out and do it for me.
The guy then went off and looted everything with the others while I talked to Nimble.
Still, all's well that ends well.
- "The thumping sound on the roof got louder and louder! And the policeman said "Just get out of the car and run towards me! Run! Don't look back!" So she grabbed for the door and ran. But she couldn't help it. She looked back and she saw....!!"
I go and fetch Nimble's Jacket right away this time, got the artifacts and cash out in a big way when I get back to camp. So I spend up and get that MP5 I've always wanted.
The Garage fight was tense but I felt on top of it. The road to the tunnel for the jacket was treacherous as always. A boar, five dogs and a pseudodog attack, not to mention anomalies, but I managed. Rich and well armed after the first mission. Could this be ...confidence?
Off to shoot some dogs for Sid with my shiny new gun. I need to replenish my cash supply in any case. The dogs are usually found in the gully west of the Factory, or there abouts.
I arrive at the Factory area to find a guy also with some dog trouble. His name's Kostic. Sadly for my potential scavenging options he's only got a pistol. He does alright though, against rats.
I decide not to follow him as he heads over the hill toward camp.
The dogs aren't where Sid said they would be. I've seen this situation before. They can get scattered all over the place. Which can often mean tracking down every dog south of the Embankment until I get the right pack
eliminated. *sigh* Since there's none right here by the tunnel I'll have to take a little walk.
I had thought Kostic was well on his way, but as I crest another small hill I find him taking on a pack of boars all by himself (or they're taking on him).
On the bright side, wandering over this way helped me find the last dog.
The reward for this mission includes a recipe for making a new recombinant artifact (One of the groovy things AMK puts in. Not sure if they came up with it). Ancient glass beads. Its ingredients and methods are things mostly found ages away toward the end of the game. Thanks Sid, I think.
Well, onward to the rail embankment (dodging anomaly in driveway).
1437 - somewhere on the road near the Factory
The soldiers guarding the bridge are fighting with something, sounds like a boar. Shame the boar will probably win and the soldiers will be all hepped up.
I manage to sneak over despite the exitement. I think the boar had some success, not that it helps me any. Fox calls me (or rather Sid on Fox's behalf), as is usual. I don't have a medkit to spare just now, yet again. So I go raid the building next door while he lies there and groans.
Be still my heart. A lone soldier walking across the road! Far from his pals. He must be reinforcements. They have such nice guns.
He hasn't seen me. He doesn't see me.
And now I have a nicer gun. No real bullets for it to speak of, but a nicer gun.
Oh right, Fox.
He's alright folks. We fend off the small number of dogs (sometimes it seems there's dozens of the things. Today, not so much). I don't hang around.
There's some activity up the road, however. A corspe appears on my map a lot closer than usual. Maybe dogs dragged it. I head over to check it out. Which is where I find this guy.
Meet Danilla Somethingorother, I forget. He seems to be one of these higher level guys who wanders though from time to time. I really want to see how he crosses the Embankment.
He handles it by walking straght into the soldiers, is how. Foolishly I try to help him out.
Danilla drops pretty fast after opening up on them. And now they're all after me.
He's down there somewhere. Not well.
When the shooting and shouting dies down a bit I try to edge back in and find Danilla's body before the soldiers do. It's a lot closer to the action than I thought and I end up creeping dangerously close. But dammit we had an impact. My scope shows only one left. They have such nice guns.
I tiptoe in trying to get the drop on who ever is left and end up on the bridge.
...waiting silently for what seems like ages. I see nothing. I hear nothing.
I back right off and circle right around the other side of the bridge.
Still no sign, yet the blip on my scope remains. Dammit, dammit. Flip it to auto and get down there and loot those corpses soldier!
It works. And I can still walk with all this crap too. It's getting dark now though. Someone still shows on my scope. I don't know where he is. Curled up in some piece of pipe maybe. Just in case I circle east and cross down the line rather than risk it.
Home sweet home. I'm so loaded I feel like giving gifts.
Hey there mister gate guard. That's no weapon for someone in such an important position.
Heck of a good day, if I do say so myself. Time to sleep.
To be continued