A Zona Alfa-Kontraband mission
Cape Cod Wargaming hit ‘pause’ on our current 5e campaign while John S recovered from surgery. (we had just broken through a magically sealed door to disturb what looked like a mini Beholder and we will need John’s Half-Elf Fighter) So the thrilling tales of five homicidal dirt muppets will continue when he returns.
In the meantime, the Institute contracted a crew to clear the Mertvyy District deep in the Exclusion Zone. The Head Administrator wants all hostiles and hazards dispatched or identified in advance a mobile lab being sent to the area. Apparently, there’s been a marked increase in ‘reanimation incidents’ in the area lately and dead things coming back to life is a fascinating field of study.
So a crew from Ushanka Security (No worries, comrade. We’ve got you covered!) slogged in to get it done. Three Stalkers and a Field Agent out for a weekend stroll.
Part 1. Speaking of Reanimation…
The crew arrived to find an area littered with salvage (10 POI) and four mysterious Anomalies. The main road was clogged the rusting remnants of some long-forgotten convoy, as well as what looked like its original attendants and escorts. Both the vehicles and the drivers were quite dead, the main difference between them being the former drivers were still moving.
The team promptly spread out, Vasily hopping up on a truck to provide cover while Yuri, Igor, and Pavel headed to the warehouse to clear the nearest danger sites.
“We’re getting paid AND we have rights to salvage and artifacts? Not a bad gig,” Yuri mused.
On top of the truck, Vasily shouts. “I got this. No problem.” His voice echos off the facades of the empty buildings flanking the street and every head turns – including the former convoy drivers.
Turns out the shuffling rotters move pretty fast. Vasily promptly drops one zombie only to have his rifle jam. Twice. Igor the Knife Man moves in for the assist. (Mag Pistol and Trench Knife… two great things that go great together.)
Part 2. Enough to wake the dead.
That done, Igor checks a nearby body – and disturbs what used to be a dog. (maybe?) Whatever it is, it’s ugly as sin. And hungry, very hungry.
Vasily’s rifle is still jammed and he’s not so hot with his backup Makarov, so Igor mixes it up in the street with the beast.
Meanwhile, Pavel and Yuri have shifted left to clear the next cluster of sites by the office building. “You guys got that, right?” Between their rummaging, Vasily’s cursing, and the brawl in the street, a pair of abominations appear. There’s a mad babble of voices from the faces that protrude from their swollen, hideous forms. A madman’s nightmares made flesh.
Everyone on the crew opens fire. No good – even wounded, the monstrosities keep coming.
The team keeps pouring rounds into the foul things until they explode in a disgusting spray of pus and ichor. A putrid stench fills the air as the gibbering flesh bags fall to the asphalt.
“What in St. Strelok’s name were those things?” Yuri muses. Even Pavel the Field Agent opts out of acquiring a sample for further study. “Leave those to rot in whatever hell spawned them,” he says.
The Zone being the fickle lady she is, our heroes then dealt with a second Zone Event. (the first was an Emission early in the game) This time, it’s Zone Security and they want all the artifacts the team has recovered so far.
Vasily – who has his rifle working again – drops one of the soldiers with a perfect shot. “No,” he says, and the rest of the crew opens fire. Security doesn’t even get off a round.
Part 3. Finishing Touches
A majority of the POI cleared and artifacts recovered from 3 of the 4 Anomalies, the crew wondered if it was a good time to go. After all, two Zone Events had occurred and who knows what’s still lurking on the far side of the warehouse and the office building. “The mobile lab will had guards, right?”
Leave sleeping mutants lie. Quit while you’re ahead. Any Zone run you come back from…
These are men of their word, however – and Ushanka Security always fills its contracts – so the remaining sites are checked and the entire site is cleared.
Turns out Saint Strelok rewards the faithful: despite another mutant, a nasty environmental hazard, several swarms of large rats that needed to be dispatched by incredibly unsafe use of hand grenades, the team found its most valuable salvage in the last of the POI and the final Anomaly. (a chest rig, a Bracelet Artifact, and vital MDR supplies to continue their journey.)
Backpacks laden with loot, the team members headed off the table just in time; a third Zone Event is rolled on the second-to-last turn.
Definitely time to go.
“Any Zone run you come back from is a good one,” is right.
Lots of close calls and tough fights to get that salvage and those Artifacts. Guess there’s a reason only Veteran Stalkers and Scientists risk the Deep Zone. All in all, it was good game and a good way to spend Tuesday night.
John S should be well enough to rejoin us next week. Generous souls that we are, we’ll let him lead the charge against the Beholder, in fact.
Have an excellent day. Good Hunting, Stalker!