FIRST TEMPORAL LINE 


During the eighties of the magnificent twentieth century, human kind finally faced what science-fiction authors had foretold in countless odd ways – and what the generation of space flights waited for three decades…

We met an extraterrestrial civilization!

It was entirely different from what we expected. The Earth was… visited. They came and went away without making a real contact. They struck six points in the surface of the Earth – six zones, arranged in an even curve, each with a roughly circular form and radius of tens of kilometers...

 



 

…And they left something behind.

Inexplicable, abnormal radiation – "anomalous radiation".

Or at least the term was accepted to cover the absolute helplessness of human scientists to explain the newly discovered physical and biological phenomena. Nothing in the zones was as it should have been. Every solid and tested natural law was flawed by exclusions and anomalies. It turned out that things like concentrated gravity, fluctuations in time and space, feeding and breeding inanimate matter, disturbances in the chain of causality – as we understood them – actually existed.

We saw how little we know and how much from the perceived we cannot understand.

 

 

But what was the reason of all this?

This question is still disputable. Despite the fact that the common belief is that the zones are alien invasion, it's still discussed what is it's purpose. To destroy the human kind? Or reverse, to help in it's evolution?

...Or, of course, the partly offensive theory that other civilization went through our planet without even noticing our presence in its zeal for other places and dimensions. That we are just road diversion.

A roadside picnic.


 
https://sites.google.com/site/zonetales/story/2012
 

But lets leave aside the theoretical speculations. We are facing serious practical consequences.

The Zone is a source of fortune and knowledge. It's deadly secrets, which desperate enthusiasts drag out with risk for their life, later got into the hands of military cartel, criminal organizations, plain crazy people. And, at last, in the hands of the government labs. A race started, threatening to lead to a new Cold war.



 

"There are various dangers in the Zone...
The Corporation recommends
entering with caution!"


To stop this tendency, with the intermediary of the UN was created the Corporation for control over the Zone. With the hardly achieved international agreement the whole monopoly over the extraction and research of the alien artifacts was given to the Corporation.

The Corporation managed to withstand international pressure. It managed to consistently account for anywhere between 95 % and 98 % of the traffic of alien technology. Due to the equal access to them that was granted by the Corporation, human science and technology entered a golden age.

 

by GraHaz

"All artifacts found within the borders of the Zone
are property of the Corporation and should be sold
solely to its representatives!"


Some aspects of the Zone, however, remained largely outside of the public eye. The so-called "orbs of wishes", which for a long time were considered to be just a myth, were proven to be the main reason for the spontaneous increases of anomalous radiation.

It is considered that their activity led to the large increase of the Balkan Zone in 1986, the anomalous whirlwind in Kazakhstan and Russia in 1999 and the tragedy with the mass mutation of 2011 when the last remaining active Zone closed itself and shortly after it became isolated from the outside world – the Quarantine.

 

"You are always protected
with the Corporation at your side!"

 

This also caused the dispersion of another misapprehension – the mutants in the Zone. It was thought that so far as they exist, they are only a few individuals who were caught by the Visit and had turned into aberrations as a result of it.

However, the newest research shows that the mutations in the Zone are much more similar to genetic selection. But what is the purpose behind it? This remains secret to this very day.

 

"The mandatory medical examination upon
leaving the Zone is an expression of our concern.
Our proffessionals will take care of you!"

 

On the other hand, all kind of rumors about the hazards of using anomalous technologies outside of the zone are rampant. Most of them are based on the base human fear from change in the set and comfortable way of life and are almost entirely due to lack of information or intent to spread fear. Fantastic stories about mutations of normal people, of furniture and appliances coming to life have created more than a single Hollywood movie, but one must not forget that this is just cinema.

The real and measurable consequences of the introduction of these technologies have ushered in a technological Golden Age. This happened quite rapidly and a period of adaptation will be necessary with all the new problems of the consumer society, but with the intellectual and management potential of the Corporation, all of them will find their solution.

 

by GraHaz

"The Corporation provides you
with everything you need!"

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.”
- dr. Kon Lao, biologist,
xenotechnology expert

 

Nowadays only one of the initial six Zones is a source of interest. Their current condition is described shortly from west to east:

– Zone 1 (Latin American Zone): situated in the territory of some former countries – Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua. It is considered neutralized with the joint effort of the Corporation and the US government with the mass use of robotized stalkers.

– Zone 2 (Atlantic Zone): There is no information about increased mutagen activity as far as the zone is more than 4000 m under sea level. Despite of this sailing in the area is impossible and overhead flights are highly discouraged.

– Zone 3 (Saharan Zone): Located near the North African shore. It hasn’t expanded after its creation. It is considered that the limited human presence in the area has hindered the accumulation of genetic material for mass mutation

– Zone 4 (Balkan Zone): On the territory of the now all but deleted from the political map Balkan Peninsula its center is the now non-existent state of Bulgaria. It is the only zone still active.

– Zones 5 and 6 (Kazakhstan and Yakutsk Zone): The two zones joined at the territory of the current All Russian Union. According to satellite photographs it is completely annihilated by means of unknown combination of unconventional weaponry. The authorities in Kremlin do not allow Corporation personnel for evaluation of the damages to this day.


 








 

It is thought that there is still life in the Balkan zone even nowadays. Despite the anomalies with the use of satellite photos and other methods it was possible to identify quasi-humanoid activity. Theoretically it was possible that these were the survivors among those scientists and their security personnel that were caught at the so-called "Bar Purgatory" by the Quarantine. However, it was much more probable that this last bastion of humanity would have been swallowed by the Zone.

The station did not have sufficient amount of medicines and supplies to withstand 5 years and with the technologies available at that time it wasn’t possible to sustain any production in such a hostile environment. Before the Quarantine modern matter transmuters powered by anomalous radiation were not developed. However, as it was found out later, the scientists closed in the Zone had managed to create one.


"Trust the Corporation."

 

Lately the Corporation has been working on the so-called ‘Project Ariadna’ – a mobile matter transmuter with integrated power field that would allow the entry into the Zone of a small, but highly specialized exploratory team and even the carrying out of rescue operation should survivors be found.

The end goal of the ‘Zone utility vehicle (ZUV)’ was the creation of a new research base at the place of the old one and the use of the available facilities and infrastructure.

The mission of the Corporation was a partial success in so far as valuable information was gathered and emitted to a satellite – there is sentient life in the Zone!



The team of Ariadna, however, faced mutants from the Zone as well as the surviving degenerates that live in the so-called bar ‘Purgatory’. It is thought that the latter had ambushed the team. According to the data from the machinery the losses of machinery and personnel are 100 %.

The mission of Ariadna was not completed and the degenerates in the one failed to stop the tragedy that unfolded after that on their own: the Zone-developed alien super-sentience completed the construction of an Arrhythmic Anomalous Activity (AAA) transmitter. Nowadays this device generates regional centers of anomalous activity worldwide on an almost daily basis. The efforts of the Corporation’s well-trained crews were aimed at the prevention of an apocalypse of planetary scale and the preservation of humanity.

 

Our whole civilization is endangered.

 

The best scientists of the Corporation think that the goal for the construction of the AAA-transmitter was to xenomorph the entire planet Earth. This would lead to it becoming a huge Zone, uninhabitable by human beings.

Under pressure from the circumstances, the prototype of the second ZUV  – Persephone, was completed at astounding speed. It was formed a team from valiant scientists and Corporation cyber soldiers together with officers from the army of the European federation. They were sent in a desperate attempt to destroy the AAA-transmitter in the name of the future of the human race.


 

by Cindy Nyan

TRUST THE CORPORATION.
WE KNOW BETTER.

It became impossible to complete the mission.

The ZUV took some serious damage and was later abandoned. The required artifacts were not found even after a frontal attack on the Lair and the AAA-transmitter could not be destroyed in time.

Seeing the Corporation and the Lair waging a war the degenerates of the Bar took the opportunity to terraform more parts of the Zone and learn new technologies for using its resources. In turn the inhabitants of the Zone succeeded in creating a second Protomutant through medical surgery.

 

by Cindy Nyan


There was no place for the Corporation in this fight for survival. The mission was failed and the only thing left for the team to do was leave the ZUV and retreat out of the Zone - back to the headquarters of the Corporation for Eastern Europe.

Could they have assumed that the people from the Bar would follow them craving for some contact with the human world once again? Probably, yes. But did they know what had been left of the civilization?

Won't the way back home become a way to Hell instead...?

 

Gameplay Trailer


Later it was revealed that the scientists of the Corporation have been conducting in their Base series of daring experiments with anomalous radiation. During one of the anomalous bursts there was an overload of their machinery, which has led to tragic results.

Yet the Corporation team managed to group with the few survivors from the crew of the devastated base, but they have met enemies on every step of the way. The degenerates of the Bar, however, were able to avoid mass confrontations with the monsters which were lurking within the bunker's ruins. Even more, they restored and activated one of the secret programs of the Corporation - project "Procrustes", which had the goal to partially adapt human beings to the horrors of the Zone.

The mutants themselves were also able to use the technological wonders of the past by powering up the project "Prometheus". This unfinished development should have created a Protomutant in lab conditions.

 

Could somebody foresee that the simultaneous powering of both projects would lead to a collapse of the systems of the third one? Maybe, but when it happened, it was already too late. Project "101", the top-secret plan for time travel, didn't work properly. It wrapped the whole base in a bubble of frozen time. Some of the Corporation crew and some of the Bar remained trapped in there, while the world outside was changing.

The mutants were preparing the whole planet for some Second coming which was known only to them; the humans were going wild and their society steered back to the tribal structure, while they revered the mutants as gods and tried to appease them with human sacrifice; the few people who left at the Old Bar dug into the roots of Human ethics and tried to lead an isolated life in their own oasis of terraformed land, slowly turning into a religious order - the Church.

ill. by Nikola Yordanov

The dreamless slumber of Mankind continued for more than a century. For this time, the future of the human civilization was ravaged by the plague of the anomalous radiation.

Until in Earth orbit appeared a space ship which came from the direction of the AAA-radiation. It should have traveled toward us all this time during those 142 years from the Visit to this day.

Ancient automated security systems emerged from the dust and activated a series of events which united the remains of mankind for one last stand. The chrono-bubble ceased to exist, the Church intervened and the Tribes rebelled against their mutant masters.

 

ill. by Nikola Yordanov

It was a bloody time of confused ethics. Even then, against all odds, Mankind made its move: using the power of the project "Thanatos" we managed to repair and finish the legendary project "101" for time travel. Now we had the ability to send a small group of people back in time to the first years of the Zone's existence, with the goal to bring a warning for a change of the future events.

The others who remained... We stayed in our sleeve of time to put up the last resistance to the invaders and stop them from following our strike team back in time. We were doomed to be forgotten, but hopefully - not in vain.



 
 

Educational brochure What do we know about the Zone,
published by the press center of the Corporation for Eastern Europe Directorate.
Edited by Dr. Koon Lao (apocryphal manuscript).

 



 SECOND TEMPORAL LINE

 
This was our second chance. After we reached the turning point back in time, we did our best to change the Spiral of Time for the dangerous course of events, and it seemed we succeeded! We have built some cooperation with the scientists from the past, we overcame the mistrust of the military and together with the stalkers from this timeline we have stopped the mutagenic plague. We helped them develop the technology for terraforming parts of the Zone. Together we even developed a new invention: a bacteriological strain which affected the mutants. Now is the moment for mankind to hit back and take back our beloved Earth before we lose it!
 
We were the hormone which was about to wake up the body and prepare it for the fight. The body itself the muscles, veins and bones these were our ancestors from the Cordon, the Bar and the Institute. Surprisingly, the traditional struggles between them did not stop them from uniting into a fight for reconquest of our human Earth from the grasp of the Zone. Despite our differences we managed together to close the rupture in Time, to start terraforming the Zone and to develop the Zone Utility Vehicle technology.
In time, however, ideological differences took the place of the institutional ones. The scientists discovered the long known to us ability for genetic adaptation for the anomalous effects, and started to research it with enthusiasm. They even generated an experimental anomaly in the Institute.
As if this isn't enough, against our warnings many stalkers and soldiers reached and activated the Golden Sphere. And what did they wish for? PEACE and CHANGE. This had political and social meaning to them: they wanted change of hopelessly derailed totalitarian system but they didn't know that the Sphere cannot read their wishes from a Human point of view.
Of course, there was a change. Wishes from the Sphere always come true... But let's not forget that the Latin word for change reads like this: mutatio.

Well, we can't blame an alien technology for our human problems.
Because the question never was: Us or the Zone. The question is, should we terraform and control the Zone, as we always tried to, or should we adapt and use it for our purposes.
There were struggles between those who supported these ideologies, and in the end, the new Bar "Purgatory" was formed near the center of the Zone. At this place, all experiments are allowed and even human mutations are welcomed. The people there were stigmatized as "renegades" but who knows? They may as well be pioneers.
The Wind of Change has blown.