Brief for players
The rotting bodies of stalkers after the civil war have fed new waves of mutant attacks from beneath Dublin, and the Duty patrols hunting the mutants have gone missing. Their last garbled transmissions ended in gunshots and something about a black cube turning people mad. Duty’s Sgt. Voodoo wants you to investigate before stalker outposts in the Bayside frontier are overwhelmed by mutants.
The party began on the Skadovsk, picking up rumours and supplies from the trading post inside the beached ship. Two new stalkers joined the DoZER group, a catburglar who wants Instagram fame and a photographer who will do anything for good footage inside the Zone. Rumour among the stalkers are these new mutants are like the bloodsucker they fought in the Dracula Experience, but are active in the day, and have an uncanny ability to mimic their surroundings, making them hard to spot and fight. The party use their good reputation to buy some paint buckets and make some flour bombs to try mark the bloodsuckers. The last point of contact with the Duty Patrol was near Sutton Dart Station, so the party made their way across Bull Island and the swamps at low tide. On the way, they stopped into the legendary stalker Noah, who again warned them of the coming ‘wave’ which he says will wash away the sins of the world. He showed the party some choice artifacts like a ox’s jawbone that grants superhuman strength and fighting ability to prove he is chosen by the Zone, but says that nothing of this world can last and to find faith to save oneself.
At the ford, the party noted they were being trailed by mutants, and laid some paint traps on the bridges to catch the invisible bloodsuckers. The party also pushed ahead through the swamp, encountering some zombified rookie stalkers still clinging to tatters of their humanity. However, they were well positioned and expertly dispatched the swamp bloodsuckers. The photographer got some great footage of the catburglar crushing the skull of the zombie stalker as the zombie attempted to reload, but instead pulled out a photo of its wife and child. They investigated the slain swamp bloodsucker, and noted its human-like physiology, but it lacked any surgery scars like the Controller mutants. One body has a barcode tattooed on its flank.
The party made it to Sutton as the corrosive mist rolled in. They spotted a military convoy from the North that had been ambushed recently. On the other side of the station, the golf course now looked to have a black cube covered in antennae and surrounded by trenches. What sounded like a garbled call to prayer plays over distant megaphones. The party began to suffer headaches and psychic disturbance. They took a breather here and tried block out the sound. They picked up some electrical equipment and investigated spent ammunition and bloody bandages scattered around the station – it looked like military survivors sheltered here for a time before being overwhelmed. Terrifyingly, the battletank up the road was destroyed by a single solid shot that punched clean through the tank and ploughed through the road behind. At the convoy, they found the PDA of the commanding officer and discovered this was a mission to deliver nerve gas to Duty for clearing mutant lairs, and due to the extreme danger of the weapon, it could only be released to Duty by two authorised keys. The other officer and keybearer is missing… but there’s signs of a retreat to a pumping station nearby. This is also a potential mutant lair flagged by the other stalkers. The party made a brief attempt to get inside the tank but it was buttoned up tight. The party gave up before they made too much noise. They were spotted by the mysterious faction across the water as the mist cleared and start taking sniper fire from the trenches and retreat to the pump house.
Down below, they came across a warren of tunnels. There were drained bodies of stalkers from all different factions, including some from the SAFE military. They rerouted the flow of radioactive sewage from deeper in the pumping station to continue forward and discovered a map for a pipeline to the Airport. Crossing the sewage stream, they discovered a nest of sleeping swamp bloodsuckers who stood in a dormant state, twitching. They skillfully picked their way through the room despite the fear tests and recovered the key from the other SAFE officer.
Back topside, the party moved from cover to cover to the convoy as they begin to take more fire from the golf course. To add further pressure, an element of troops from their mysterious enemies moved to assault them. They recovered the nerve gas with the keys and returned to the pumping house, fighting a rearguard action to delay the incoming assault. One donned the Scientist Suit and spread the novichok agent to destroy the nest. The rest of the party escaped through the tunnels to avoid the incoming assault and dying bloodsuckers. They had succeeded in their mission.
Duty reward the party with:
·An underbarrel grenade launcher that fits to almost any NATO rifle and 6 frag grenades. This can hit a large target about 150m away with good accuracy, or hit a rough area up to 300m.
·A brief tour through the Duty base, followed by an award ceremony where they receive the Bronze ‘Protector of Humanity’ Star, second class. This allows the party to enter the Duty base.
They also gain the following info/gossip:
· The SAFE EU military are supplying Duty with next generation chemical weapons, and liaising with them regularly. This info could turn many free stalkers against Duty, as the military cracks down heavily on stalking.
· A mysterious faction are guarding the Bayside frontier and stopping anyone from passing the coastal route. They seem to worship a black cube and have a weapon of terrifying power capable of defeating battle tanks.
· New mutants are appearing in the Zone, and have been tagged by a human intelligence.
· There is a secret way to the Airport through a drainage tunnel, that is heavily polluted and has unknown amounts of mutants in it.