The Zone II: Rebirth - Prologue

The look of fear on the young reporter’s face is evident as she continues her report on the catastrophic events taking place as she speaks. She does her best to compose herself, fidgeting and glancing nervously around as she continues talking. “As you can see the damage is catastrophic. The area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is charred and destroyed and the plant itself is nothing short of an inextinguishable inferno.”
She continues to stare into the camera, remembering to maintain her somber look and tone as she reads the words scrolling on the prompter in front of her. The newsroom is chaos in the background. People run around frantically to keep up with the latest updates and developments in the breaking story as they occur, “The latest reports indicate that the military occupation of the facility, which was seen headed away from the plant in a fleet of Humvees and other military vehicles, is apparently in retreat. It has also been reported that a large flock of animals followed in their wake. Some speculate that the animals came from the facility and the spread of the fire burning inside forced them out of their nesting grounds.”
She does her best to stay composed but the background distractions are becoming more and more of an annoyance, “…Now, obviously there is a lot of speculation circulating the airwaves right now as the situation is drawing international attention.” She turns to her left and addresses her guest, “Adrik, what on earth do you suppose… I mean how can you even begin to describe what you believe is happening  and what could have caused it all?”
The light goes off on her camera and she uses the time to take a deep breath as Adrik takes over, “Well, Katia, we don’t yet have sufficient details to say anything beyond the shadow of doubt, but let me be the first to ask the question that is on many of our minds: what is such a large concentration of the Russian military doing there? To see Russian forces occupying wherever they care to occupy is nothing new… but it begs the question, have we been infiltrated or has our government willing allowed them access to an ecological disaster zone located within our borders?
Whatever the case, I believe we’re now witnessing first-hand, for the second time, the carelessness of a government. Whether they were invited or just pushed their way in, the Ukrainian people knew nothing about it and for that we should be asking these questions. We need an answer and we need it now. We demand it!”
He pounds his table on the desk in front of him for emphasis and stares directly into the camera, challenging all watching.
Katia inhales deeply as the camera switches back to her, “What are your thoughts on the scene as it develops? What is the Russian military doing in the Zone of Alienation, how did the fire start and why is there no attempt being made to put it out?”
The camera switches back to Adrik, “I think it’s safe to assume that there is some top secret military project going on there… that might explain why there are so many “animals”, as you called them, fleeing the facility along with the military. It’s been known among some that when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union there were a lot of military testing facilities in the area rumored to be focused on mind-control research.
The current disaster taking place is good indication that whatever it was they were doing had a tragic end. As for why the flames to continue to burn… well, we really don’t know how much unspent nuclear fuel could still lie below the reactor after the 1986 explosion. If history is repeating itself, my guess is they pushed that place to its limits and now we’re left to deal with the consequences. If that’s the case…”
He pauses, turning to face the camera and points into it, “The threat we face, whether military, nuclear, or political, is a serious matter of which the repercussions will soon be seen.”
Katia stares into the distance, wondering about the possibilities of Adrik’s claim. She snaps suddenly out of her daydream as the camera man coughs nervously, indicating that she missed her cue. She quickly composes herself and resumes her somber stare into the camera, “Thank you Adrik. Adrik Oleksienko is a former Chernobyl worker who became a political activist in 1986, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He focuses his efforts on exposing Soviet crimes against its citizens in the past and claims that many of these crimes are still committed by the Russian government today. Stay tuned for more updates as we maintain watch on the Zone of Alienation, the 30 kilometer quarantine zone around the Chernobyl NPP. I’m Katia, and you’re watching News Channel 9.”