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Quotes / Mutant: Year Zero

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"How did the world end? Some Stalkers and other braggarts say they know what happened. That a great plague swept the world and killed everyone. That the bosses of the Old Age fired their weapons of mass destruction at each other and drowned the world in flames. That the gods among the stars, the Ancients’ overlords, had enough of mankind’s hubris and decided to end it all in fire and brimstone. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s just lies and tall tales. The truth is, no one knows for sure. Except maybe the Elder. And he refuses to talk about it. We learned as children not to ask, he would curse and rave at us every time the subject came up. But I’ve heard him mumble in his sleep. He said that the Ancients ended themselves."
Hanneth, Chronicler

“Do you remember what it was like before the Elder got sick? He used to walk around in the Ark and talk. Talk and help us with anything we needed. During the days, it was school time and he taught the People to read and count. At night, we’d sit around the fires and listen to stories about the Old Age. The Elder said he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, but that he had read books and seen moving images that showed what a fantastic time it must have been. When the Elder got sick, all that stopped. Maybe it’s the Rot that finally got to him. Maybe he’s just old. I don’t care which. I just want to sit in his lap again, to hear him talk about the green fields, the blue lakes and the great cities full of people.”
Silas, Chronicler

“Did you ever think about where we come from? About the source of our mutant powers? The People have lived in the Ark as long as we can remember, everyone knows that. But before then? Are we born here, or have we come here from somewhere else? The only one with answers is the Elder. And he always refused to tell us. ‘Don’t look back,’ he’d say. ‘The past holds nothing but death and destruction. Look ahead. Build a new and better world.’ Now he’s on his deathbed, they say. Now we might never know. Unless the answer is in Eden.”
Victon, Chronicler

“Our days are numbered. The People are doomed to wither and die. We’re not like the wild mutts or the Zone-Ghouls that seem to multiply every day. Not like the Ancients, who filled the world to the brim with their offspring before the end. We mutants cannot breed. We are barren. No children are born in the Ark. You know that, you say, everyone knows that. Sure. But there is hope. We must go into the Zone, seek contact with others. They say there are other Peoples out there, that we can join to grow stronger. What if we are only barren to each other? What if there are artifacts that can help us? Listen to me. If we just stay here in the Ark, we will perish. We have no choice. We must go into the Zone. We must search for others.”
Astrina, Chronicler

“No children are born in the Ark. So what? I think that’s a good thing. During the Old Age, men were in charge and women had to take care of the children, did you know that? Not any more. Now I call the shots.”
Marlotte, Boss

“The Elder always took care of us. Protected us, comforted us, gave us grub. There was a stockpile of canned grub, and he knew how to grow more right out of the ground. Now the stockpile is almost gone, and nothing is growing. Grub is scarce and what little there is, is controlled and rationed by the Bosses. Soon there won’t be any grub left. Then we’ll starve – unless we learn how to grow grub or kill beasts and eat them, like the Ancients did.”
Maxim, Chronicler

“Why do we burn the dead? Why not just throw the corpses into the Zone or bury them in the ground like they did during the Old Age? Because we have always done so. It’s the People’s way, like the Elder taught us when we were children. When our bodies burn we rise to the sky with the smoke, back to the other world from whence we came. So said the Elder. Do I believe it? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. We have to do something with all the corpses. We can’t have them lying stinking in the Ark.”
Danova, Chronicler

“There are many dangers out in the Zone, but trust me, the Zone-Ghouls are the worst. They are wretched creatures of the Rot, spawned by the Zone itself. They are skinny and short like children, but don’t be fooled – they hunger for mutant flesh and don’t have an ounce of humanity left in them! Thankfully, there are ways to avoid them. First of all, only move through the Zone during daytime. The Zone-Ghouls can’t stand the sunlight, not even through the smog – that’s why they all dress in hoods and wrap up their heads and hands with cloth. Some say the Zone-Ghouls aren’t even living beings at all, that they are evil spirits from the Old Age. But I know better. I know they can bleed, I know they can die. My advice – bring a scrap rifle and never let them get close. If you see one Zone-Ghoul, you can be sure there are at least two more nearby.”
Franton, Stalker

“Some nights, when the smog lifts, you can see faint lights at the horizon. Have you seen them? Some say they are just a mirage or some Zone phenomenon best left alone, but I don’t think so. I’m sure there is something over there. Something important. I once walked as far as I could in that direction, before the grub ran out or the Rot got me. I didn’t make it all the way, but pretty far. Do you know what I saw? Other mutants, just like us. Believe it if you want, but I’m sure there is another Ark out there. We are not alone.”
Krin, Stalker

“So, you want me to take you into the Zone? You think you have what it takes? You have no idea what it’s like out there. No idea. Let me tell you about the Rot, and we’ll see if you still want to go after that. The good kind of Rot is the kind you can see. Green sludge floating on a still pond. If you get it on your body, it will seep into your wounds, your mouth and eyes. It will slowly break you down. The bad kind of Rot is invisible. You won’t know it’s there until your bones and muscles ache. If you go too close to the hotspot, your hair will fall off. You puke blood. If you don’t get away quickly, you’re done for. How do I survive in the Zone, you ask? I know where to go, and where not to go. I know what water to drink, what food to eat. And I know how to endure pain. The Rot hurts more than you could imagine. Are you still sure you want to go?”
Yassan, Stalker

“When the world ended, not all people died. We are proof of that. They say some people fled the Apocalypse. They dug deep underground, dove to the bottom of the ocean or left the Earth to build floating cities in the sky. These sanctuaries were called enclaves. But the Apocalypse didn’t let people get away that easily. They say a great war broke out between the enclaves, that the last people tried their hardest to annihilate each other. Mighty weapon-strikes crushed underground enclaves and felled others from the sky in a rain of fire. How the war ended? Who knows? Maybe it’s still going on?”
Hanneth, Chronicler

“Us rabbits stick together. When we move through the valley to graze or dig for roots we do so as a pack. The pack are those closest to us. Kits, siblings, cousins and friends. Someone always sees or hears danger approaching since we almost always huddle together closely. The pack is safety, something to defend and sacrifice oneself for. Just as important is the tribe, a gathering of packs. Together we stand strong, ready to face any danger.”
Zidane 77, Rabbit Elder

“When I was young, tales were still told about the Feral Ones, our ancestors. They were animals like us, but walked on all fours. They could not speak, only howl, yelp and bark. Many were afraid of the Feral Ones, but still admired them. The Feral Ones were strong, they seemed to be able to survive anything. I don’t know why there are no Feral Ones in the valley anymore. Perhaps they were so angry they all killed each other. Or they live with the Watchers, deep down in their secret lair under the mountains.”
Salming 07, Old Seer, Bagder Tribe

“The humans lived here in the valley a long time ago. They looked almost like us, but walked on their hind legs all the time and had no fur except on their heads. They were always cold and wore several layers of clothing. It is said the humans and the Watchers built the houses and facilities we live in today. The humans were powerful and lived in huge tribes. Some believe they still live in their habitat somewhere beyond the mountains. But I doubt it. I think the humans are gone forever, and maybe that is just as well. Us apes can take care of ourselves.”
Bohr 15, Elder of the Ape Tribe

“The Labyrinth is the habitat of the Watchers. It’s hidden in massive bunkers in the innards of the mountain to the east. Along with others of our tribe, I was forced in there when I was young. Strange Watchers that we never see out in the valley did horrible things to us animals. They cut us and stitched us and stung us with needles. When they weren’t tormenting us we were locked in tiny cages. It was horrible. Those of us that made it out alive had wounds that would never heal. That is how I went blind. I swear by all our feral ancestors that I will avenge these cruel deeds!”
Sniff, Seer of the Rat Tribe

“I am Bigger. It is my chosen name. Us young animals want to live our lives with names that suit us. Others settle for the names given them by the Watchers. The old names. Slave names. Your name shows who you are. Which name do you choose? Something the Watchers have picked out or something of your own choosing? The choice is yours!”
Largo, Gorilla, Ape Tribe

“A long time ago, when I was still young and strong and swung between the treetops, a number of other young gorillas suddenly went missing. We looked for them in the woods and up the mountains, but none of us could understand where the gorillas had gone. I assume the Watchers had made a wise decision and made sure these young animals were put to good use in a holy experiment. However, there were those in our tribe who thought the gorillas had managed to go over the Outer Fence and out to that thing they call freedom. Personally I think that’s just absurd delusions. Our home is in the valley, as it has always been and will always be.”
Einstein 25, Ancient Chimpanzee

“There is something out there, beyond the Outer Fence. Hunters know this, since we go up the mountains daily and see far and wide. Sometimes we have seen fires on mountains in the distance. Creatures sit around these fires. Who they are and what they want we do not know. Perhaps they are humans going places we don’t know. The world out there must be big. Very big. We have seen an old road that winds between the mountains. The road is clogged with old car wrecks. Where the road leads, no one knows. Perhaps all the way into the sun. Perhaps to the habitats of the humans.”
Tracker, Hunter of the Cat Tribe

“Why we hate rats? Need you even ask? They eat everything, shit anywhere and every day they multiply. You can find their stinking tracks in every little corner of the valley. And the rats have always caused trouble for us cats. They should leave us alone and not bother us while we hunt and fish. I swear by the holy spirits of the wildcats that I am ready to die for our tribe’s hunting grounds and fishing grounds. A cat’s life without real food is not worth living!”
Nightclaw, Lynx and Tribe Elder of the Cat Tribe

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