Ah, Prypat.

Cold, Cruel Prypat.

A Proud City that once housed a good 50,000 engineers that were the grease of the engine known as Chernobyl, but when that engine broke down, the grease had to flee, and technically speaking not by choice, but by radiation.

You...

Ah, yes I remember you, that cold hearted son of a bitch that wouldn't waste two bullets on a dying S.T.A.L.K.E.R. if you knew that he was suffering before his death, piss off. Your not welcome in most parts of 'The Zone', not here either.

Reacher's usual attire of slagging off unwanted S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S was one of the few infamous traits about him, its probably one of the only reasons that he was famous in fact.

But the insult fell upon deaf ears, and the figure stood still, unmoving.

Unclipping the AN-94 'Abakan' that lay on his shoulder Reacher slowly took bead on the figure's head. Still no movement.

Then finally the figure spoke.

'I want to know about 'The Zone'.' it said

Reacher lowered the 'Abakan', for the first time he had been asked, his vast and deep knowledge of 'The Zone' had earned him the respect of several of the Individual Faction leaders, and many other S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S, he gave a long sigh.

'Come, sit' Said Reacher pointing with his hand, almost reluctantly the Figure agreed.

'You know...' He began '...Its ironic really, how a 30 Nuclear Fuel Rods no more than 30 Inches in diameter could contaminate 30km of land with enough Gamma Rays that would outclass the Nuclear Fallout of Hiroshima, only those people didn't suffer the kind of hellish nightmare that we now call 'The Zone'.

Reacher placed down the 'Abakan', signalling the beginning of what would be a long and gruelling 'History' lesson.

'26th April, 1986, 1 O'Clock in the morning, the day that the workers of the Lenin Memorial Nuclear Power Plant would never forget, and a day that world would never forget. Its still hard to believe that a simple Emergency Coolant Test coupled with a Rookie Technical Team would create Mankind's worst Nuclear Disaster, and pave way to a new breed of terror. Basically when they began to run a loop of Reactor 4's Coolant System the System failed to stop a chain reaction from occuring and causing a Nuclear Meltdown, this meltdown, quite literally, allowed the semi-molten fuel rods to melt through the bottom of the Reactor and into the cooling pools of water below. Now you might think that the water would effectively put out the Molten Uranium. But the fuel rods were so unbelivebly hot that a chemical reaction took place as a result creating a steam explosion that blew the 2,000 Ton 'Bio' Shield off of the top of the Reactor and send out a plume of Radioactive Fallout that rendered 30km of Land around Chernobyl uninhabitable for decades.'

A faint rumble in the distance sounded and Reacher looked out towards the direction, he turned back to the figure to continue.

'Anyway, that was only the first incident that happened, afterwards the second would pave another path to something way more destructive and blood thristy than the first accident. Well, at least we had a choice of leaving 'The Zone' after the first accident.'

Reacher scratched his chin.

'I'd like to grable on about my philosophies of human error and greed but thats not important right now. Well, after the first accident the 'Liquidators', the 700,000 Man Army taken from the poverty stricken homes in communist countries and made to clean up all of the Radioactive Waste that the accident created, afterwards they built this huge beast of shield known as the 'Sarcophagus' over the reactor in order to contain the Radiation from the 200 tonnes of half-melted Fuel Rods and graphite moderator, not to mention the hurrendous amount of Solidifyed Radio-Nuclides. But for the first 20 Years the Sarcophagus worked even if 'The Zone' itself was still heavily radiated and contaminated, but 2 years ago, probably when you were just slippin on that suit the second accident took place.'

'Nobody, not even the top-notch scientist's could have guessed that the very shield, the very countermeasure designed to tame Reactor 4 would become its undoing. But not guessing is a far cry from not realising that the dorment danger held deep within the walls of the Sarcophagus would now create the deadly and dangerous environment that we now live in, and as you've probably seen or heard, Radiation is the least of our problems.'

A flicker of wind passed through the negative space between the two S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S, Reacher huddled in his hood from the cold, the other figure just sat motionless, although likely that it still wanted to hear more.

'So much so, when the Sarcophagus collapsed in on itself it sent of a shockwave of Lethal, Radioactive and Anaomalous Energy that decimated 'The Zone' and sealed it off to the outside world. But for the outside world the shockwave was more of Political, Financial and Social horrors, the USSR of Ukraine (Which still functions to this day) recieved a hail of hurrendous gunfire of protests and angry rebuff's from all of the surrounding countries and even the US and UK after some of the Nuclear Radiation was detected in there cities. It was then that the USSR decided to fully close and seal off Chernobyl, backed by Barbed Wire, Tank Traps and poorly constructed walls the Internal Troops were given a shoot to kill order on anyone who forcibly tresspaseed into 'The Zone'. 'The Zone' itself was born out of the fear by the USSR that the accident site would expand and dangerously engulf the surrounding areas eventually swalloing up tracks of land, well the Troops didn't do a very good job, 'The Zone' is expanding all the time. And it isn't going to stop now.'

'Anyway this perticular shockwave created a new 'Zone', now the clusters of altered physics known as 'Logicals' thrive in the grounds of 'The Zone', and the Mutants created by the Extreme Radiation Levels. And the borders of 'The Zone', the inescapable borders that block all progress into or out of 'The Zone'. The only way out of here is by a body bag, or simply just no way out of here.'

'And the future? Hah, there ain't no way that this is all going to calm down and revert back to its 'Natural' state, well at least the one before it was pumped full of Radionuclides. We can only hope and pray that what ever lies in the center of 'The Zone' is worth running, crawling, shedding blood and dying over, because if not. Well, lets just say I won't be the one cleaning up the bodies. And that's my knowledge, or theory really'

The last words drifted off into the breeze, the Figure continued to sit derelict, unmoving.

Reacher's eyes slit harshly, picking up the Abakan he clicked off the safety and sat the gun down onto his lap, the barrell facing the Figure.

'Alright I'm gonna make this very clear, you don't spill it on who you are or why your so silent...' Reacher pulled the lever back on the Abakan '...all you can expect from me is a 7.62mm Lead Round between the legs'

The figure was like stone, not so much as a flicker of life. It was eerie, very eerie. Reacher sighed, he didn't like killing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S without any proper reasons. Yet as if he was being mocked as he took aim between the Figures legs, it spoke.

'I wanted to see what kind of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. you where. Checking wether you were 'Worthy' to walk my grounds'

The voice was deep and penetrating.

Reacher snarled, 'Worthy to walk 'The Zone'? If that bastard knew what I have seen and done he wonder if I'm even human' he thought, But a sprig of curiosity flourished under the deep dark emotion known as anger, 'Why did he ask that question? Am I 'Worthy?'

Keeping his aim Reacher spoke again, his voice filled with disgust and rage.

'And what makes you think that you can judge my honour?' he snarled.

The figure slowly moved his arms reaching for the helmet, Reacher kept his aim, but focussed his red eyes on the helmet.

Finally after there conversation Reacher would be able to see what this bastard looked like.

Reacher had never really been afraid about 'The Zone', he had become used to the horrifying mutated monstrosties and the inhumane bandits and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S, but never, never in his life had he seen anything like this, he never would again.

As the helmet came down of the suit, Reacher's eyes widened plagued with fear.

Nothing.

There was nothing behind the helmet.

No eyes, no nose, no hair, no mouth, no face, no head, just the green material of the protective suit.

Reacher trembled, shaking violently.

'Who..w...what are you?' he said staring at the space where the figure's head should be.

'I am the zone' it said.

A loud clatter aroused as the Abakan dropped from Reacher's now shaking hands onto the hard concrete, the words spoken infected Reacher enforcing an horrific fear through his body.

Slowly the figure outstretched a hand towards Reacher's head, grasping violently the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. attempted to reach for the combat knife in his holster but he couldn't, he couldn't move, he was paralysed.

The hand came closer, Reacher's face became a tangle of distorted emotions, he could scream, he could shout, but no one would hear him, no one was there.

Yet before the hand could touch Reacher's forehead blackness swirled into his eyes and he fainted motionless onto the concrete, his face still fear filled.

The figure withdrew the hand, it looked down and quietly replaced the helmet onto where its head should be, still devoid of thought or feeling, then resuming the position it had done during the revelation about 'The Zone' a clear mist descended onto the rooftop, and as if by magic or something more sinister the figure began to fade into the white leaving nothing but the clear sky behind.