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"I am the lone nomad who endures those places where one man cannot survive on his own. Every rule has its exceptions and I'm one of them. I'm invisible, I'm all around you, I am the night and the wind, fear me when I'm stalking you...”


 As the Decline grew more and more pronounced, the global demand for electricity forced national governments to turn towards the readily-available solution of nuclear power. Radioactive waste became a serious headache for many countries around the globe. A pro-industrial faction within the Ukrainian government came up with the perfect solution for this global quandary: since their country already had a the vast radioactive area (The Zone) created by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, what difference would it make if they buried a bit more radioactive waste in that specific location, and made the State some money in the process?

Things quickly spiraled out of hand, however, as black-marketeering did away with any attempts to control the influx of fissionable material into the Ukraine. The Zone became a living hell, and all living things warped and corrupted in its vicinity.

The corroded Chernobyl reactor Number Four sarcophagus was one of the primary targets of the terrorist strike of 2040. In a freak accident of physics, what started out as sabotage resulted in a nuclear explosion five times the size of the one that destroyed Hiroshima. The resulting devastation contaminated all surrounding territories, and life within what was once the Ukraine became impossible.

 

Yefim was born in Stanymyr, a small rural village in western Ukraine. With his family dying from radiation sickness and his village already contaminated, he soon realized that his only option was to run away. His mother’s brother was a physicist who had been working on developing a nuclear power plant for New Athens in Greece. It took him a year to cover the 1800 kilometers on foot, a feat many would consider a mythic Odyssey, but which Yefim considered all in a day’s work.

In his long journey he soon realized that many other countries had suffered a similar fate to his homeland. The search for non-contaminated food as well as the constant effort to survive bandits and raiders changed Yefim forever. He learned to move and hunt silently and invisibly, becoming a sniper, an assassin, a Stalker in his own tongue. Whatever was left of human morality buried itself within the depths of his soul, leaving only the primitive instinct of the hunt for all to see.