Chapter 1 – How It Starts...
The rain crashed down against the hard concrete slabs. The moon illuminated the MP, which stood on guard rain soaked to the skin. In
the distance head lights blared as the army truck approached the encampment.
The truck slowed to a stop near to where the MP stood; reacting instantly he opened an umbrella and pulled the truck door open as wide as it could. Out stepped, in black high heels and a white
science coat, a young blonde haired woman. She stepped side by side with the MP until they reached what seemed to be a bunker; the bunker itself was shaded from the rain so the MP stood at
attention once the woman had left his care. Stepping inside the building and passing all the very secure security terminals she finally entered a single office. “Locking me up down here it’s
barbaric really.” She flipped the top up of her laptop and pressed in the password and user name. Beside her stood a figure, almost transparent, it was only a foot high but stood proud, its figure
was slim and female across her image scrolled numbers and letters vertically. It had long hair just brushing its shoulders the figure was female for sure but not real merely a computer animation.
“Welcome back Dr Nelson. I have finished the analysis of the subject and is at 85 percent regenerating exponentially.”
“Good just the way I want my STALKERS. Cassandra open the system file please I want to take one more look before I release the subject.”
The screen flickered onto a file which opened before the Dr’s eyes
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S Project – Specially Trained Augmented Logistical Kinetically Enhanced Reconnaissance Soldiers.
Trainees are orphans extracted from their care homes and trained until the age of 16 in military warfare. At the age of 16 they begin the Augmentation project and from there they are fitted for
their C.R.I.S.I.S suits (if Augmentation is successful.)
The subjects undergo extreme psychological and physical alterations to allow them to pilot the C.R.I.S.I.S suits.
First process - Bone Grafting - The subjects have an extremely strong but light metallic compound grafted to their bone
structures allowing them to fall from extreme heights without breaking bones. (Please click above for more information)
·If The subjects undergo growth spurts the metal layer may start to falter and make it unable for subjects to move.
·If The compound is grafted to thick the white cells wouldn’t be able to reach the blood causing fatal problems.
Second process – Protein Injections - The subjects undergo multiple protein injections into their muscles (Approx seven a day)
Increasing muscle mass and reaction speed almost 10 fold to a normal human. (Please click above for more information)
·Subjects can experience more heart attacks due the muscle increase in the heart.
·Subject’s muscles may increase too much and cause Parkinson’s and other muscle conditions.
Third Process – Retina Enhancement – Subjects retina’s are continually heated and cooled in a special solution allowing
subjects an increase in normal vision including the ability for more light to enter the eye during dark periods. (Please click above for more information)
·S Subject’s eyes may reject the new retina stopping the process from taking place.
·Subjects may experience blindness if the retina is removed for too long a period.
Fourth Process – Neural Uplink – Subjects are given a crash course in everything from Bio-Chemistry to Martial arts. Given them
in depth knowledge of how the world works making them suitable for any field of work. (Please click above for more information)
· Subject’s Brain may reject the information leaving the person a vegetable.
·Subject’s neural pathways may begin to deteriorate with the rate in which new information is processed.
·Few test show subjects may be overwhelmed with new information causing Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions. Along with
“Madam if I may speak the risks are great as we know but the benefits are exponential creating just a single S.T.A.L.K.E.R is your
life’s work and I wouldn’t stop and throw that away if I were you.”
“Noted Cassandra, now I want to see the subject” She paused and picked up the file on her desk “Subject Alpha – Max, as I understand he has just been through the final phase of Augmentation is that
correct?” The hologram nodded
“Yes ma’am we’re just finishing the process now subjects neural pathways at 99 percent ma’am, waking him from cryogenics now.” Gas hissed and the front of the pod, which was encased in an icy
shell, cracked slightly and rose on hydro-pneumatic hinges. Inside a boy slept gently, peacefully. He was 16 and an orphan both his parents served in the army and Dr Nelson knew this. This was why
he was picked for the program. His hair was shaved clean off and she rubbed his head gently. “I’m so sorry for the pain we’ve cause you, I want you to know I’m here for you through all this and
I’ll make sure that you’re given peace again.”
“Dr is that a claim you should be making? Surely if you had cared so much in the first place he wouldn’t be in the chamber now would he?” The Dr had handpicked Max and had become very close to him
and couldn’t bear to think of him dying, though she knew better than anyone that Max wasn’t just strong and fast from the age of 4 he was lucky, and that’s what the army needed, luck. “I’m entitled
to make that claim he’s like a son to me and that makes him special.” The hologram knew this was the time to start pressing buttons “Would you have put your own son through what we put him
through?” Dr Nelson couldn’t bear it and she shut down the A.I. Cassandra was brilliant specially designed just for Max though through the years Cassandra had slowly begun poking and prodding at Dr
Nelson to get a reaction out of her. Cassandra was a ‘smart’ A.I meaning that she could learn and adapt to new situations where as a ‘dumb’ A.I was given and job and would do it until new orders
were given. Cassandra was based and created by Dr Nelson and for this she was very proud of her creation because it was based on her she knew that Cassandra would feel attached to Max once the
process was completed. Max’s eyes twitched slightly, “Max its Dr Nelson the augmentation was a success but it will take a while to get used to your new...” She searched her mind for the right word
“Improvements.” Then she wandered if that was the right word at all considering what he had been through.Max’s eyes flickered open and he closed them again instantly as the light flooded in “Dr
Nelson what’s wrong with my eyes?”
“Nothing Max it’s just one of the side effects you’ll be fine I promise.” Meanwhile Cassandra was learning as much as she could about Max from the files kept on the system she was intrigued by what
she found, Max wasn’t the first candidate there were actually five put up for trials all of them stronger faster and smarter than Max was, so why was he picked? She racked her memory banks for an
answer that would fit but it seemed that the files were missing from the system. Max stepped out the pod opening his eyes fully he rubbed his head slightly and looked down at his body, before
augmentation he had an athletic body slightly toned however now he felt he was looking at someone else’s. His muscles were incredibly toned and large for someone his age. Where his once flat
stomach was were six incredibly hard muscles. He wasn’t the smartest boy but from his muscles he managed to work out his weight he reckoned he must’ve weighed at least seventeen stone and he
figured he stood at least two meters tall. He saluted at Dr Nelson who stood before him “ma’am”
“its okay Max we can skip the formalities would you like to follow me to the training simulator?” Max nodded and together they walked into a large concrete room.
The room was filled with all sorts of combat exercises such ones he had done during his training but something was different. He scanned the room at lightning speed and looked back at Dr Nelson
“What’s the objective?”
“To capture the flag of course and bring it back to me.” He looked over to one end of the course where a concrete bunker with flag on top stood “Understood.”
“Well go get kitted up soldier you’re on in 5.” Max saluted and walked out of the room towards a shelter labelled ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R – Alpha’ he knew that ‘Alpha’ was him, it was given to him during
the first day of training from one of the commanders he told him something that stuck with him forever ‘You have the power to change the world. You’re the first.’ He
had then told that Max that he was the Alpha and since then the code name stuck with him through everything. Dr Nelson had mentioned neurological implants and that his knowledge would be expanded
but he had no idea that the things he knew were important. He concluded they just ‘downloaded’ him with everything. Tying his last shoe lace, nice and tightly, to his black army boots he looked at
himself in the mirror, the black armour fitted him nicely and exaggerated his muscles, which he had now become fond of. He clipped on the black helmet and walked out the room towards Dr Nelson.He
saluted and the Dr returned the favour he looked across the course and Dr Nelson spoke up at last “You ready Alpha?” He nodded in reply and she flicked a switch which blacked out the room. Max
blinked a few times and his eyes adjusted rapidly to the dark. To him the room was just as bright as it had been before; he headed towards the start and looked at what awaited him. It was a barbed
wire path; he knelt down but noticed there was no room underneath to crawl through, the barbed wire stretched out 15 meters ahead of him, he calculated the speed he’d need to jump, he’d need to run
at 40 kph he knew in the back of his head it wasn’t possible but he stepped back 20 paces and flicked his head up ripping the air apart behind his head. Tensing his muscles he pushed off the ground
ripping apart the floor as he ran towards the barbed field. His legs pounded as he pushed himself to the limit, jumping at just the right point he tore through the air and landed on the other side
perfectly. He looked down at himself, he knew about the augmentation process but had no idea what it would include, and this had obviously been what Dr Nelson was talking about earlier. During the
injections Max had felt extreme discomfort as his muscles expanded but he had no idea that he’d be able to push himself that far. He moved quickly and quietly to his next challenge who knows what
would be waiting to test his new found abilities?Max hung close to the wall checking around the corner without revealing himself too much. Ahead of him lay six
soldiers all in full combat gear and a bunker, through the dark he saw the experimental t-600 fully automatic chain gun – nicknamed ‘the ripper.’ Max knew this challenge it was based on stealth
however during basic training the weapons where filled with blanks, he doubted this’d be the case today. Waiting till the soldiers backs where turned he dashed and rolled behind a sand bag bunker.
‘This is better.’ Max shook his head
‘It’s Cassandra, you’re personal AI’‘And how’d you get inside my head?’‘I’m not really I’m inside your suit which unless you move to the right bunker now will be riddled with bullets.’ Max rolled
over quickly and watched as the soldier came past him ‘Cassandra give me ten on the clock’ a countdown appeared on his visor. Moving like a panther he struck the soldier across the back of the head
knocking him out silently. Borrowing his gun and extra ammunition he stood up and ran towards the other 5 soldiers, sliding across the floor he took out two with single shots then finished the
other 3 without shooting his gun. His final challenge awaited him, the bunker fortified by ‘the ripper.’ The gun powered up letting off 200 rounds a second which tore the sandbags apart seam to
seam. Max reacted quickly with the help of Cassandra he dashed and ducked through the turrets blind spots. Raising his gun to shoot the soldier a bullet flew from the corner of his eye shooting the
gun through the barrel leaving it useless. Max span and threw the shattered gun across the encampment at the soldier smashing his skull to pieces. ‘That wasn’t very nice now was it?’‘Right now I’m
just worried about staying alive and stopping this damn turret.’The turret slowed almost to a stop and Max used this opportunity dashing from behind the pillar he jumped into the air almost 10
meters high and landed atop the bunker caving its roof in and rendering the soldier unconscious. Max brushed the dust off his skin tight black
combat outfit. “That was impressive.”
“Thank you, Cassie.”
“It’s Cassandra thank you.”“I prefer Cassie though.” Cassandra scrunched her face, in the back of her head though she was happy that he had opened his arms to her so openly.
Max excelled at all the other challenges laid out ahead of him and climbed the last
bunker to claim his flag, the air fell still and silent, something wasn’t right. “Max to your right.” Cassandra blared and he grabbed the flag at lightning speed and dodged the incoming missile.
The missile crashed into the back wall and shook the bunker violently. Max picked up speed and dashed across the floor towards where him and Dr Nelson had been standing, around him debris and
bullets flew past his head. Pushing himself even harder he ran at almost 50 kph and skidded to a halt in front of Dr Nelson, a horn blared out and all activity stopped at an instant. Max removed
his helmet and rubbed his shaved head, slamming the flag through the floor millimetres from Dr Nelson’s feet. She outstretched her hand and Max took it shaking gently “congratulations Max welcome
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