• Published 8th Dec 2012
  • 5,114 Views, 169 Comments

The Zone - Rostok

This is a story of what happens when inhabitants of Equestria are shown a wasteland of decay, depravity, sadness and death. A S.T.A.L.K.E.R crossover. An experienced stalker and wanderer is teleported far, far away into a land of happiness and joy.

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1: The End / No Turning Back

Garry woke with a start, breathing in deeply. Everything was black. Gasping air into his aching lungs his hands shot towards his face, searching for his eyes, when a hand swatted them away, holding them down.

”Stop. Do not move.”

“Wh.. why?”

”Do not speak. Listen. You are an intruder. You do not belong here. None of you intruders do. You should have left. The warnings in the past have been ignored. You all should leave as soon as possible.

“I do... don't think that-”

You will all leave or we shall hunt you all down and kill every single one of you.

“My eyes...”

They will be of no use to you. You are a defiler, a desecrater. You and your kin are beyond forgiveness.

The hand yanked him upward, pulling against his unwilling body. He tried to stand, but in silent response he was pulled further, dragged along like a doll, his dangling feet scraping against the ground through his shadowy world of nothingness.


In front of Hiker stood a village. The village. That place he was so unceremoniously taken at the start of this mess. It was time for them to see the true mean of life. The be all and end all. The inevitability of fate. Death.

He would show them, that he, not they, ruled his fate.


“Get up, all of you. I don't care what abominations you all are, or who you are or why you're so important or any other bullshit. I am Kremen, and I am in charge here. With me are Kostyan, Hog and Sickle. I don't mean you any harm, at least not without good reason. Things are in deep shit as you can probably imagine. We are moving out of here now before things get worse.”

The four humanized ponies stood before the four stalker veterans, all clad in exoskeletons, bearing large firearms. Whether they were captors, saviors or guards was a difficult question to answer. Outside the tunnel, in the murk, lay so – called unspeakable horrors. To Rainbow Dash, this claim seemed to be wearing slightly thin.

“Hey, big guy, I'm pretty sure we can look after ourselves, and anyway, what is this 'deep shit' anyway. Sure this place's weird, but it's nothing I couldn't handle. We've got a guide of our own thank you very much, a guy called Garry. I say we're waiting for him here, eh girls.”

Indecision flashed across Twilight and Luna's faces, while Zecora remained as stoic and resolute as always.

“I must say I agree with Dash; to move from here would be rash.”

“Exactly, this tunnel's safe enough, we'll just wait for Garry to return and be done with you people.”

Kremen's booming laugh was distorted by his mask. Reaching up, he unclasped it and took it off, revealing a bald, scarred black man, with a mirthful look in his fierce eyes.

“You can't be serious. You four, survive? If I'd wanted I could be wearing your skin right now, and you wouldn't have been able to do shit about it. Feel free to have a go little rainbow girl, just bear in mind that I could kill you with a single punch to the face.”

“Yeah, well, I...'

“You'd get eaten alive, literally, out there. Sure, Garry knows the Zone like the back of his hand, but that's not gonna help him now, he isn't a fighter. The Zone's changing, more than any of us can comprehend. How long's he been gone?”

“Since around mid-morning maybe,” said Twilight.

“That long? We lost Grizzly and his squad to a controller two days ago; those three were hard stuff, and they didn't stand a chance. He's probably dead already. Trust me; you don't want to be hanging around in the Zone much longer.”

“If you insist. Girls, we know that we are persuaded that this is the best cause of action. Are you?”

“We're with you, Princess.”


Hiker strolled at a leisurely pace towards the town in the distance. All he had was a makeshift spear from the woods, and his pocket knife. The town looked positively serene in the early morning light. He'd never seen it like this before, glowing with happiness and harmony. All around his feet flowers were starting to bloom for the day, glistening with dew. The orchard a short way off was covered for acres and acres of bushy apple-trees, all bearing luscious ripe apples, red and juicy.

They would make an excellent final meal. He stepped across the pitifully short fence, and plucked one from a nearby tree. He took a bite of pure ecstasy, sweet and firm. He could practically taste the lack of radiation taint. For a few minutes he just stood there, savouring the taste, letting the sun shine on his back. He wandered along further. How out of was he here? A dark being with vicious intent, come to kill and be killed.

Suddenly, he paused; he heard voices. Crouching by a tree, he scanned for signs of life. Not a soul moved in the serene orchard. Still, the voices were there, boisterous and excited. Moving carefully now, he crept from tree to tree, slowly and silently. The voices went quiet. He turned around sharply. Three small ponies stood at the base of a makeshift ladder, apparently hanging down from tree dwelling. For a fraction of a moment the two parties just stared at each other.

The middle of the three screamed

“Cutie Mark Crusaders Monster Hunters!”

The faces of the other two brightened up considerably. Hiker stood there as they stole furtive glances at him, whispering in hushed tones to each other. Hopefully they weren't being serious. He was three times their height. Whatever they were talking about, it sounded inane, from the few words he caught. He clutched his spear in both hands, feeling it's woody texture.

The three broke out of their huddle. By the look of it two of them were urging on an orange and purple one on a scooter. Donning a helmet, she flapped her tiny wings, propelling herself along towards him. As she gained speed, she jumped, scooter in all, into the air. Time seemed to slow.

She detached from her scooter, continuing on collision course through the air towards Hiker's body. On instinct, he raised the spear ahead of him, pointing at the minuscule threat flying towards him. The small pony adopted some pseudo-karate pose, stretching out one of her lower legs towards him, her forehooves raised above her head. His hands held the spear tightly between him and the pony. Time sped back up.

The high velocity pony zoomed towards Hiker in a flying kick, and suddenly made contact with the spear. The point went straight through the front of her face into the skull, slamming through into the back of the helmet. The sudden weight made the point drop suddenly. The impaled pony slid off the spear with a wet squelch, a hole bored straight through her head, pouring blood onto the pristine grass.

The two others stood there in shock. The white one collapsed, as the yellow one shook involuntarily. Stains of blood and grey matter covered Hiker's hands, and small lumps of flesh still hung in the knots of the wooden spear. He dropped it and ran.


The unlikely group of eight advanced through the rapidly deteriorating Zone. The sky rumbled and flashed in the distance, over the murky outline of the NPP. Overhead, the ever-present grey cloud smothered the sky, showering them in light rain. Cold winds blew from the east, knocking the Geiger counter reading up ever so slightly more with each gust. Nothing roamed the wilderness around Yanov now, not even the mutated creatures that filled the dark caverns and foul swamps.

Kremen and Kostyan took point ahead of the rest, carefully leading the group north along the railroad from the tunnel, past rusted carriages and engines. The chilling sighs of the bushes and trees around the railway tracks were the only sound, the stench of the quarry below them to the left the only smell. Barrenness reigned. Dash and Luna stayed in the middle, with Hog. Unlike Kostyan or Kremen’s bright yellow detailing, his armour was covered in grey block patterns, breaking up his outline underneath the exoskeleton’s hydraulics.

“I was a mercenary you know, used to head up a squad south of here, in a place called the Army Warehouses. Nasty place that was, for sure. I met Kostyan there; saved me from the jaws of a bloodsucker. He’s a nice guy, if a bit prickly to outsiders. When Duty and Freedom started to collapse, I headed north with him. Kremen was his friend of his from years back at the start of the Freedom faction, that’s why he called on us for this little mission. The yellow is worn by all of Freedom’s best, not sure why though…”

At the back Twilight lagged behind, unaccustomed to exercise in a foreign body in a foreign land, accompanied by Zecora. Sickle stayed behind them as rearguard, silent as the grave. Even when they were resting together, the three stalkers all sat noticeably further away from him. The only clue to his identity was a strange badge on his shoulder. It was blue, embossed with the shape of a man’s head. All around it swirled trails of particles. On the man’s chest was an eye, open and all-seeing. Below boldly sat the word МОНОЛИT. He wore the same colours as the Giant, the one that Garry killed a few days ago.

As Twilight struggled onwards, Kremen suddenly held up a hand, halting the group. He called the rest forward, to his position. They quickly jogged towards him, as he pulled out his rifle. Some distance ahead, a corpse sat sprawled against a tree, stained with blood. It was the first thing they had seen all day. Kremen and Kostyan slowly walked towards it, with Dash and Luna behind them.


Hiker ran, in a state of shock, through the town. Guards were converging on him, the blood-stained beast, the monster, the fiend. He was weak after his journey through the woods. Ahead more armoured ponies were running towards him, brandishing lances. He stumbled to a halt, hacking and coughing. He sunk to his knees, physically and mentally spent. He had killed innocent creatures, sentient beings far more deserving of life than any human. He had killed a child, for heaven’s sake. He’d killed over a dozen other humans, in his time a stalker. He deserved this death, really.

As the guards formed a ring around him, surrounding him with vicious spearheads, a shining white figure, brighter than the sun, flashed into existence before him. As a bolt of the celestial fire struck him, a voice rung out in his head, powerful beyond imagination.

You sicken me. You are a brute, an animal. I hope you realise you are beyond all the forgiveness that harmony and friendship can ever hope to offer. You are nothing to me.


As Luna approached the body, she shrieked. It was Garry, and he was still alive. Barely.

His eyes were gone, mere pools of blood, streaming rivers of the fluid down his face and chest. His weak mouth, slowly drowning under the blood seeping into it, opened.

“It's coming for you... a trap... run...”

He choked, coughing up more congealed blood, slumping forwards. Kremen and Kostyan were both on full alert now, guns raised, as something huge and dark materialized out of thin air behind Rainbow Dash. The four all wheeled toward it, Kremen and Kostyan opened fire without hesitation, spraying lead into it.

Shrugging off the gunfire, it clasped Rainbow's head in its hands with inhuman speed, lifting her up screaming into the air. In the momentary pause as the men stopped firing, fearing collateral damage, it unleashed it's ghastly maw, taking a bite directly out of Rainbow's skull, shattering it like an egg. Luna screamed once again, paralyzed with fear.

Dropping the corpse, it swept like a storm into Kostyan, knocking him to the floor. The other stalkers in the distance were firing now too. In a flurry of blows it shredded the front of his chest and face, ripping and tearing. Kremen kept firing in vain. He knew he was completely and utterly fucked. The monster rose up, impervious to the hail of bullets.

It almost sauntered towards the big man, taunting his helplessness. Batting his gun away, it's clawed hand dove into his chest, impaling him. His gasps and screams cut off as it pulled his bloody heart from the gaping hole in his torso. It turned to face Luna. It's eyes were like white dots in a black hole, devoid of all life and emotion; it's semi-corporeal form shifting and coalescing under the showers of blood.

It thrust it's hands into Luna. She went cold. The pain seemed as if it was miles away, a distant though. She felt a wellspring of immense power erupt in her, flowing through her. In a flash, it released her into oblivion.


From where the others stood, an explosion of dark blue fire flashed into existence, swirling and flowing into a dark portal. Lightning bursts illuminated the sky. Of Luna and the beast, there was no sign. Just the bodies....

End of Part 1: No Turning Back…

Some years later

Yar lay in his hospital bed. These were his last hours. The pain in his bones was everywhere now, the cancer constricting him from within. He barely registered the din of the ward in the background, the sounds of other patients, the words of the nurses, the words on TV. He remembered his best years, the years of his prime, hunting in the Zone...

Something on the TV stood out. He strained his dying ears.

“...first discovered fleeing the Zone, are now in an unprecedented event in our history, the first meeting between humans and this sentient species. It is taking place at the UN headquarters in...

It was the end of an era, and the start of a new age. Humans and these ponies? What did he care, it wasn't his problem. He'd got everything he valued from the Zone, and now it was his time to give back. He smiled.

Author's Note:

Phew. Expecting that?