On April 26, 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history. At the time of the accident seven million people lived in the contaminated territories, including 2.2 million in Ukraine. A report prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization attributed 56 direct deaths to the accident and estimated that there may have been 4,000 extra cancer deaths.
On 4th March, 2006 a blinding light illuminates the sky high above the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The incident lasted two full hours before subsiding, with witnesses reporting it disappeared as if power suddenly failed. Just over a month later, the skies are once again lit by intolerably bright light. The clouds evaporated from the sky, followed by a tremendous thunder crash, lasting far longer than normal. After the thunder faded away, there was an ominous silence, followed by a 6.9 Richter earthquake. The glow in the sky continued, spreading over the entire region, while deadly energy disturbances raged through the Zone, making any rescue effort impossible. Subsequent investigation turned up the fact, that the center of the explosion was a kilometer away from the nuclear plant itself, evidently the nuclear fuel dump going up. A few months later The Zone abruptly grows five kilometers bigger. Most of the military securing the perimeter perished, together with laboratiories and their crews. Panic-stricken people from nearby villages were evacuated.
Five years later, information, that the Zone is once again, at least a bit, safe to live in floods foreign media, sending in a wave of people seeking fame, fortune, or just trying to escape their past lives. They become the inhabitants of the Zone - STALKERS.