November 29, 2010

The Zone: Mutants

Canis Caecum AKA "Blind Dog"
These mutated dogs roam the Zone, usually in packs. They are not too physically different from their ancestors. besides the fact that their skin is typically burned, leathery and hair is only found in small patches if at all. They are also exponentially more aggressive and will eat almost anything.

Another unnerving feature about them is their eyes. Usually the eyes are either dead from birth or dying - some even covered by a patch of skin. It's obvious they rely heavily on their other senses for survival in the Zone.

Homo Forum AKA "Bloodsucker"
Excerpt from a report filed by Ukraine Security Service:

A creature of legend to those who have been close enough to the more experienced Stalkers during the fires at night.

Eyewitness reports claim the creature is bi-pedal and is believed to be a human mutation, though certain characteristics also suggest a possible bear origin.

Stories tell of 4 tentacle-like obtrusions branching from the sides of the mouth and highly-reflective eyes that can be seen "floating" towards you.

Other accounts also state that the creature can camoflague itself, which is why the creature seems to be more legend than fact.

Little else is known, other than the reason for the name "Bloodsucker". The creature - whatever it may be - does leave behind undoubtable proof of its existace; a trail of human bodies deprived of any trace of blood.

Suggest capture and qurantine of creature for scientific study.
Sus Mutatur AKA "Boar"
Boars are very similar to their ancestors, besides increased size and aggressiveness.

Boars usually travel in packs and are very territorial. They will defend their territory against anything, whether human or mutant. Most of the time they will graze lazily or sleep, but when hunting, they are extremely fast and tough.

When provoked a Boar will grunt and charge an opponent, either ramming them or spearing them with it's tusks. Especially dangerous is a Boar stampede - when it is traveling with its pack. Do not be caught on one of these.

Homo Medium AKA "Burer"
Report from the Ukrainian Special Service: The result of secret service genetic experiments on criminals under the program of human telekinetic abilities development. A humanoid-type creature of hypertrophied complexion clad in shreds of shabby overalls. Afraid of bright light, therefore dwells in dark and gloomy undergrounds and caves only. Feeds on dead bodies.

The Burer, called "Dwarf" by most Stalkers, is a surprising adversary without fore-knowledge of its abilities. As a direct result of testing in the fields of psionics, the Burer has the ability to shield itself from bullets and other incoming objects with a telekinetic shield it creates around itself when in trouble. If that weren't enough, after blocking most forms of damage, it can also put it's abilities on the offense and hurl objects several times its weight directly at its would-be attacker, killing them with ease without even lifting a finger.

Allegedly, the best way to kill one is to take cover while its shield is up and wait for it to either exhaust itself or find a way to distract it and go for the kill. Extreme range might also be an option, but the creature is almost always found dwelling in small, dark interiors.
"Chimera"
One of the deadliest mutants ever encountered in the Zone. It's most distinctive feature is its' two heads, which it uses to its advantage in a fight. It is extremely aggressive, fast, and powerful - with thick, leathery skin second only to the Pseudogiant. It is a hunter, using its keen sense of smell to track Stalkers for miles across the Zone, toying with them until its ready for the kill. The Chimera uses its powerful back legs to pounce over several yards, and it's strong front arms and enormous claws to tear its victims to shreds in a matter of seconds. The only known way to kill one is from extreme range with armor-piercing rounds.
Homo Imperium Mente AKA "Controller"
The Controller can be the deadliest mutant in the Zone, depending on the number of "zombified" beings under its control.

The Controller's origin is undoubetdly human, like the Snork. It is thought to retain some of its higher brain functions, unlike most other human mutants in the Zone.

A Controller should be avoided at all cost. It can generate a small psionic emmission field around itself that can enter the mind of its target, effectively destroying its descision-making process.

Deadlier Controllers will have a following of enslaved being around it, whether zombies, zombified Stalkers, and in some cases - animal mutants. But it seems to favor ex-human mutants as slaves for an unknown reason.
Another ability it has, is to create a "psionic push" that forces the target backwards, and can cause brain damage over a period of time.

Should you encounter a Controller, either run or make sure you are heavily armed and ready to expend a lot of ammo to take it down. It's skin has hardened into a thick armor plating, presenting no real weaknesses.

Sus Carnem AKA "Flesh"
The Flesh is thought to be the result of mutation in pigs within the Zone.

Hideous disfiguration makes the sight of one of these a little unnerving. Featuring 3 eyes, elongated stilted legs, increased size and aggressiveness, and a terrible smell, making the Flesh can be an intimidating foe. It is not as resilient as most mutants, having nothing more than thick layers of fat protecting it from melee attacks and  small arms fire it is susceptible to larger-caliber weapons and explosives. 

Homo Fractura AKA "Izlom"
These mutants, obviously a human variant, walk on all fours, like a Snork, but have extremely long arms and an elongated neck. One of the arms seems to be longer than the other which, although causing the mutant to run in an unnatural pattern, doesn't seem to affect the mutants speed all that much. It's mutation is consistent with birth defects seen in "Chernobyl Children" - the offspring of Liquidators who helped stop the radiation leaking out of Reactor 4 after the 1986 explosion and were consequently exposed to high levels of radiation. It it rumored that these mutants were actually born in the Zone, unlike most former human variants who are supposed to be Stalkers or people who were otherwise exposed to fatal amounts of radiation.

Felis Vocalis AKA "Luller"
This creature can imitate any voice. This allows luring its victims and scaring off pursuers. Coming across a man the monster doesn't necessarily attack, it may simply lure them into a thicket and run away. This creature is a mutated large cat covered with tufted gray fur. Monster's front part of the body is somewhat wider and taller then the opposite. Upper part of its head is also quite feline despite the fact it's being disproportionately large. Difference comes with the jaws. They are extremely powerful and protruding. Resonator bags hang from around the throat.

Luller has very good sonic memory and can reproduce anything it heard. A phrase uttered by one man can be easily reproduced with a voice of another. The monster's pretty high intelligence allows it to figure out what sound works best under given circumstances. What's more, Luller can purr on the frequencies inaudible but perceivable (ultra- and infrasound) for a human. This purr slowly lulls to sleep.

Example of Luller's action:
A stalker hears baby cry and woman coo in the ruins of a house, "Here, baby, here… Calm down, sweetheart". The man is at a loss - a woman and baby in the zone? He could pass by, but the instincts tell him different. Now you tell me who on earth can pass this by? So the man sneaks closer, looks carefully into dark doorway. There is nothing there. He realizes he'd better get the hell out of there and slowly turns around… only to see something shaggy jump into his face with sharp-clawed paws bristled.

Dionaea Insidias Hominis AKA "Man Trap"
First encountered by Virtue and Nimbus west of Limansk in an unknown forest. As they entered a bog deep in the forest, the ripples they made in the water caused the plants around them to move in an unnatural manner. Nimbus was pulled into the water by a vine or stem of some sort and slowly towed towards the  mouth. Reportedly, the plant itself was relatively weak, but the stems it deployed offensively and defensively made up for that weakness.

Omnicorporis AKA "Omni-body"
This supposed mutant is a mound of flesh composed of the collective bodies of it's victims, which are absorbed into its mass after consumption. It has the ability to shift it's mass around, mimicking the features of its victims once absorbed. Little else is known about the mutant and it is largely believed to be a hoax. The only reported sighting of this mutant was deep in the Red Forest, surrounded by a large pool of blood.

Spiritus Iratus AKA "Poltergeist"
The Poltergeist is a creature of rumor and mystery. Thought to exsist solely in the minds of Stalkers, most pass it off as fiction or a ghost story.

But, the the believer, the Poltergeist is a deadly adversary. It is said, they can move object with their will - sometimes multiple objects depending on their "anger" level.
Their presence is typically dictated by a low hum or buzz of electricity in the air. More aggressive ones will emit a "static roar" like a growl coming through a speaker.

Most disturbingly, is the supposed ability of being able to "talk" to anyone who tresspases on their territory. Some even say they've seen images projected onto their minds - most of death and suffering as though to threaten and scare them away.

Whether fact or fiction, the Poltergeist is by far one of the creepier instances of mutation in the Zone.

Canis Falsitas AKA "Pseudodog"
The Pseudodog, despite the name, is actually the descendant of the wolves who roamed the forest around Chernobyl - most specimens thought to come from the Red Forest area.

The Pseudodog and Blind Dogs have formed a pack-like relationship, allowing their primal instincts to unite them in their cause - food. They often travel with Blind Dogs and will almost always be the pack leader.

A form of Pseudodog is also rumored to have an extraordinary ability; it can cause its prey to hallucinate making it a hard target to kill. Survivor reports claim the victim will see the dog split into 3 copies and open shooting one of these copies, it will vanish in a pop and another takes its place.

Gigantis Falsitas AKA "Pseudogiant"
The origin of the Pseudogiant is disputed amongst scientists with no real evidence towards any known mammal.

But what is known is what it is now capable of. The mutant has the ability to "stomp" the gound, sending a shockwave of highly-compressed air our from underneath of it, knocking anything nearby to the ground.

After that, the target is easy prey and can be killed either by stomping it to death with its extremely powerful legs, or crushing weight. It can also use its small arms in front to claw or its sharp teeth to bite.

It can be found just about anywhere in the Zone, though it tends to favor dark, quiet places.

Also, hardened skin and a thick bone structur make killing one near impossible without the assistance of explosives or armor-piercing rounds.

Rattus Chernobyl AKA "Rodent"
Rodents, as the name suggests, are small mammals such as mice or rats who do no real damage by themselves, but can be distrubing when encountered.

Rodents are thought to be among the first species mutated after the Chernobyl Incident because of their ability to survive in harsh environments and squeeze through tight spaces into sealed areas.

Unfortunately, like their anscestors outside the Zone, they have begun over-populating and now pose a real threat in the Zone.

They are aggressive, and travel in packs - moving in large seas of other rodents, effecitvely "washing" over their prey, engulfing it and tearing it to shreds.

Beware this creature; if you seen one, there is likely more nearby and you may find yourself over-whelmed if you find a nest.

Homo Extenti AKA "Snork"
There's no doubt as to the origin of these creatures - humans. Whatever extreme conditions might have caused this twisted mutation are unknown, but the there is no doubt about the effects.

Snorks are extremely dangerous, especially when traveling in "packs".

They are easily identifiable by their clothing, typically a torn uniform and gasmask as well as the way they move on all fours.

From a distance, a Snork may look like a Stalker or other personnel, but do not be fooled - Sorks are deadly and can pounce on a target with great agility, reflex, and accuracy.

Equus Diabolus AKA "Tark"
This rare mutant is not often seen in the Zone, but it is hard to mistake where it originated from. With it's four, hooved legs, large ripped body, flowing mane and flat teeth (minus its sharp, protruding incisors) this former horse is not something to admire from afar. It uses it's hooves primarily to bludgeon it's target to death, typically only using it's sharp incisors to tear through flesh once the target is dead. Don't let it's sickly appearance betray you; though it is an omnivore and generally keeps to itself, it will jump at the chance for fresh meat whenever possible.

Homo Mortuus AKA"Zombie"
Zombies of the Zone are similiar to the zombies of urban legend. If not for their slow speed and generally un-intelligent behavior, they could be the deadliest thing in the Zone.

Most zombies will retain some resemblance of their former human selves such as features, clothing, and habbits they had as humans.

Zombies survive off of ingesting radioactive substances like water or food that has been covered in radioactive fallout - but they have been known to eat other mutants and even humans if given the chance.

Most zombies are thought to be the creation of Controllers who effectively "kill" their targets and reprogram them to be undead puppets of their wills. But evidence suggests zombies are born through some other means also.

It is unfortunate, that most zombies can be seen in work clothing from old facilities within the Zone, including many workers form the Cherobyl Plant itself. This suggests that many workers did indeed survive the First and Second Incidents, but never made it out "alive" - instead becomming permanent residents of the Zone.

Zombies move through a means of their own wills and do not require blood, oxygen, or a full set of arms or legs to move. While their brains are intact, they are a threat. They will engage anything that moves into their line of sight immediately, desiring to end any life they come into contact with.

Homo Insanus AKA "Zombified Stalker"
Zombified Stalkers are a direct result of a psionic emission, or other type of artificial emissions within the Zone.

The Controller is the primary contributor to the zombification of human or ex-human beings, using its psionic abilities to enslave the mind of its target.

Artificial sources, such as the Brain Scorcher, are similar to the Controllers psionic ability, except it is generated artificially through an unknown means.

Zombified Stalkers retain whatever skills they had before zombification, including weapon skills, but are slower to react under the weight burdening their minds.

Zombified Stalkers can be identified by their eyes, which are rolled back into their heads, and the way they shuffle around aimlessly.

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