15th February 2033

The train to D6 clatters underneath me as I write this. For the past few hours we have been making our way through empty tunnels and deserted stations in this armoured monstrosity, the only glimpses of the outside world through gun slits and tiny gashes in the sides where a lucky nosalises must have tried to get through.

The train itself is one of the old Metro ones, sheathed in armour plating scavenged from a T-90 battle tank some lucky stalkers found out near Sparta base. I remember the mission we undertook to bring back these hunks of metal, having to repair some ancient and frozen delivery vans to cart back the metal after our men cut if off with heavy duty construction gear, all the while me and my men watching the ruined buildings around us for demons and watchers. We almost lost the entire squad to a pack of demons before we managed to get the last of that godforsaken armour plating back to Polis and, to be honest, I don't know if it was worth it. We had only had it in our workshops for a few days before some of our engineers turned out to be fascist spies and by the time we found out they had already sold half the armour to the Reich for the panzer tanks.

Still though I'm glad that old Anastasia is our ride to D6. An hour ago a horde of nosalises came at us from above and if it hadn't been for this armoured beast, and the boys on the flamethrowers and heavy machine guns, our little D6 expedition would have ended in a bloodbath before we even reached the gates.

I've only just finished speaking to Artyom before I managed to write off this little piece. The poor boy actually looked scared at the prospect of going back to that bunker.

"Are you sure it's necessary?" he said, a slight twinge of fear in his normally calm and level headed voice.

I nodded in what I hoped was a reassuring manner.

"Look this time we have a hundred others with us, not just the four smartarses that were my old squad. As for the biomass…"

"We'll destroy it." Artyom said simply, a defiant look in his eye.

I didn't have the heart to tell him what happened last time I saw people try to fight the biomass. The screams of the faces along it side as it crawled down that corridor like something out of a Lovecraftian horror, and the cries as men around me were torn apart or absorbed into it are sounds I will never forget, however long I live. I couldn't tell him how our guns proved worthless and our courage futile in the face of that nightmare.

And yet, just maybe, this time will be different. I noticed when we went into the depths of the bunker, that the biomass seemed less powerful than when I witnessed its horrific power all those years ago. Weaker even. The fact that me and Artyom, with nothing but some old AK 2012s and a lot of balls, were able to get so close to the creature and survive may go to how that this monster is weaker now than it was. The old foe that shrugged off RPGs and grenades like nothing may have degenerated somewhat since the bunker was abandoned.

I'm not going to say it for sure but, now that I think about it, maybe we can actually do this thing.

Maybe we can score a victory for humanity.