*a quick Anomaly terrain piece for ZONA ALFA/KONTRABAND.
Pavels at the 107
The Nuretsky brothers, Big Pavel and Little Pavel, are on a job for the trader, Savak Tul, delivering food and ammo to a stalker camp on the southern perimeter. They stop for the night near a well-known landmark: the ‘107’ – an abandoned BTR marked by a Portal anomaly. The body of an unknown stalker reclines against one wheel, seemingly in repose, his pack laid out beside him, a rifle in his lap.
The sun sets, stars come out, the campfire flames crackle and dance. The night sky is enormous with wind and the chorus of crickets. Lonely wolves howl in the distance.
Big Pavel : Hey… he moved
Little Pavel: Who moved?
Big Pavel: 107. The guy. He moved.
Little Pavel: What? The Sleeper? Cut it out.
Big Pavel: I’m not kidding. He turned his head and looked at me.
Little Pavel: No, he didn’t.
Big Pavel: Yes, he did. Right at me. I swear.
Little Pavel: Go to sleep. He didn’t look at you. He‘s dead.
Big Pavel: Dead, eh? … [pause] Then why do they call him the Sleeper?
Little Pavel: It’s sarcasm. A joke. [Big Pavel gives him a blank look] Don’t think about it. Just… He didn’t look at you, OK? The Sleeper is dead. You’re just jumpy.
Big Pavel: [grumbles. Long pause] If he’s dead, they should call him the Dead Guy or something.
Little Pavel: Stop.
Big Pavel: But –
Little Pavel: Stop.
Big Pavel: Aaaah! There! He did it again.
Little Pavel: [wakes up] What? Where? Who?
Big Pavel: The dead napper. He looked right at me.
Little Pavel: Oh for God’s sake – – You’re imagining it. He’s dead. Alright?
Big Pavel: No, it’s not alright.
Little Pavel: Calm down.There’s nothing to be afraid of.
Big Pavel: You’re sure he’s dead?
Little Pavel: Sure, I’m sure.
Big Pavel: OK, but how do you KNOW?
Little Pavel: Because I DO. He’s dead.
Big Pavel: Yeah, but have you CHECKED? What if he really IS napping?
Little Pavel: Of course he’s dead. Look at him.
Big Pavel: I DID look at him and I’m telling you—
Little Pavel: The Sleeper is DEAD. Now leave it, will you?
Big Pavel: So you DID check?
Little Pavel: *sigh* No. No, I haven’t checked.
Big Pavel: Ah Ha! So how do you know he’s really dead then?
Little Pavel: [yells] Because he’d been like that for years. Because everyone says so. That’s how I know.
Big Pavel: [abashed. quiet for a full minute.] If he’s been dead for years, then why hasn’t he been eaten? Or rotted away?
Little Pavel: Duh! Because of the giant glowing orb-thing above his head.
Big Pavel: The Anomaly? What’s that have to do with it?
Little Pavel: It’s an Anomaly, right?
Big Pavel: So?
Little Pavel: So, it’s got powers.
Big Pavel: [suspicious] What powers?
Little Pavel: I dunno… maybe it preserves him.
Big Pavel: Preserves him?
Little Pavel: Yes. Preservatives. Like sausage.
Big Pavel: [astonished] Like sausage?
Little Pavel: Exactly. Like sausage.
Big Pavel: Well… if he’s like sausage, he definitely should have been eaten.
Little Pavel: Aaargh! Why are we even talking about this?
Big Pavel: Because he LOOKED at me—