The Accursed Paths of Pripyat

Chapter 7 " A Past Far From Good pt.3 "

A man covered in mud rises from the water as someone who was drowning. His eyes were reflecting the constant lightning, his face was covered in clay and hair drained from the face. Soaked and confused. He just realized that he was sitting on a pool of water. To his side there was a man faced down in a puddle of bloody water, It was Choma, with a body full of bullet holes. So far, Slonim had no idea why he had survived the shooting, the holes in his vest were soon checked by his fingers. Apparently, a ceramic chestplate held most of the shots, but not all. Some shots had penetrated the vest lightly, causing bleeding and pain.

Looking at the surroundings, seeing only a blurry darkness, he stumbled a few steps looking for shelter, a small house, the same one where he and his team had stopped moments earlier. The building was humid, cold and empty. Slonim was still confused, dazed and wounded, a bit more and he would be begging for a bullet in the head.The worst thing was not the pain, but it's effects, which were preventing him from thinking properly.

A corner wall was his best friend now, he was tryng to protect from the cold, he pulled some newspapers to cover himself, but those were too much humid, making the idea useless. Still in shock, could'nt think of anything, including the cold.

His arms were folded against his chest, his eyes were looking at the ground, almost without any shining. The body was there, suffering the physical pain, but the mind was still away, trying to assimilate what had happened.

Before the first sun rays could appear trough the broken windows, Slonim, still semi-unconscious, heared heavy footsteps coming towards the house, his eyes rose towards the door, a flash illuminated his face in that instant, the legs were heavy, just as the rest of the body. Recognizing the seriousness of his condition, he accepted the fact that he could'nt do anything for himself at that moment.

Seconds later, a strong flash of light appeared at the door, blinding Slonim as the sound of heavy boots flooded the dark room. For a brief moment, nothing is heard, and then some footsteps echoed through the room.

"Who are you? What is your name?" Said a silhouette with a slightly robotic voice behind the light.

Slonim failed to say something short and could barely let his hands raised to protect his face from the excessive light.

"Are you ukrainian? Know what I am saying?" Said the same voice with an impatient tone.

"Yes .." Muttered Slonim with difficulty because of his dry throat.

"Sova, give him some water." Said the silhouette.

Immediately, another figure came up alongside, revealing a man in heavy armor. He took out a canteen and poured some water into Slonim's mouth, who accepted without resistance.

"What are you doing here, so near Pripyat without a proper suit ? Why are you hurt?" continued to ask the silhouette behind the light.

"My name is ... Slonim, and I'm just a loner ... I've been hurt in a fight and my friends ran away, leaving me here." Said Slonim with some effort.

The light is finally deviated from Slonim and the silhouette gave away place to a group of men, using heavy armor and eastern weaponry.

"You my friend, was lucky not to be one of those swine foreigners attending the Zone." Said one of the men in heavy armor.

The group used the flag of Ukraine on the uniform, similar to the army, but anyone could clearly see that they were not from the army.

"Can you walk?" Asked one man.

"I'm afraid not for too long." said Slonim.

"Well, one of my men can help you... you got lucky that we're getting away of this location."

Slonim had nothing to lose, his condition was serious, without those men, he would probably bleed to death.