April 12, 2006, 02:33 p.m.
Chernobyl zone was lit by an intolerably bright light. The clouds were evaporating in the silver bright sky with a thunder and earthquake to follow. People fell on the ground facedown closing their bleeding eyes and ears. The glow spread over an immense territory which was subsequently called the Zone. People ran away saving their lives.
It looked like a radioactive explosion at the nuclear plant occurred. The army sealed off the Zone... The explosion epicenter was a kilometre away from the nuclear plant. Obviously, some tests had been held there and they caused the disaster.
Presumably, the entire personnel died within seconds, but still there was a probability of survivals among the staff. It appeared impossible to arrange a rescue operation, as the Zone was characterized by strange energy disturbances posing mortal danger to the explorers. Attempts to use robots were unavailing. Several months after the accident the crisis situation peaked when the Zone abruptly grew five kilometres bigger.
People from nearby towns and villages were urgently evacuated, and the peril of a difficult-to-imagine scope loomed over the world.
The Zone exploded, radioactive clouds covered vast territories. A dreadful amount of people, animals and forests perished. Thirty kilometres of the area got cordoned off by the army, scientists failed to explain what had happened.
The Zone grew, various death-bearing anomalies were spotted inside. Some invisible force tore living beings apart, inflicted awful blood-sputtering wounds. Expeditions faced mutant animals, unlikely to have appeared in the Zone through natural course of evolution. The catastrophe, mutants, anomalies, contamination? Everything appeared to be a consequence of some eerie phenomenon?
First expeditions can enter the Zone several kilometers deep without mortal danger. Amateur researchers, marauders and poachers, called stalkers, show up. They move around the Zone searching for various anomalous formations, i.e. artifacts, they would sell to various organizations.
Despite serious hazards, the human interest towards the Zone does not wane. Ever more adventurers tresspass the perimeter in hope to enrich on the mysterious treasures. The growth of s.t.a.l.k.e.r.s of any kind and origin encourages groups and clans pursuing their own interests to appear in the Zone.
Such a process, alongside the growing popularity of s.t.a.l.k.e.r.ism inevitably leads to inter-clan conflicts which soon turn into a merciless war. War for territories and spheres of influence involves practically all the s.t.a.l.k.e.r. forces in the Zone. It will take months for the gun heat to subside and the main factions finally occupy the territories captured.
Amidst the war, in the theater of operations there suddenly shows up and disappears a new faction, named Clear Sky. As rumor says, the founders of this faction are directly involved in the experiments to have led to creation of the Zone. Their traces, though, vanish in the depth of the Zone, just as many others.
Our time. S.t.a.l.k.e.r.ism has established itself as a phenomenon. The influence zones have been split, an underground artifact trade is organized, much has been discovered, yet even more is still to be explored and understood. If anyone would be able to understand the Zone at all...