Over the last month my guide's been getting us through the remains of East Germany and Poland until we finally made it across the lines into Sosozov. To say that the landscape is the stuff of nightmares is an understatement as everything we've seen is either dead or dying, and that includes the people of these countries. Countries isn't the right word, more like wastelands. Nearly every major city and even the smaller ones are shells of their former glory. The glass is gone from the skyscrapers and what's left on the ground is nothing more than ground up sand. Buildings are riddled with bullet holes, walls completely gone, dust is everywhere as are the remains of those who didn't make it out in time.
The country of Sosozov is no better, at least not directly across the front lines. Regardless of the time of day we can still hear the sounds of gunfire and artillery somewhere in the distance. As my guide has told us countless times "If you hear rocket find cover. If you hear bullet it too late." By now I don't flinch when I hear the sounds of war that surround me and I've gotten used to the ground shaking when a shell or plasma bomb hits the earth somewhere close. I'm not claiming to be a battle hardened warrior, but you do get used it. Jenny, my colleague, is still not quite used to the sounds but she's stopped jumping every time something pops off. She's even become accustomed to holding her .45 without hesitating.
Unless you've been living under a rock, which if you were here I wouldn't blame you, here's some background on the country of Sosozov. In 1989 the main habitat of the Van'stishi collection ship crashed in the southern part of Belarus between the cities of Pinsk and Mayr, south of Salihorsk. The resulting devastation from something the size of New York City impacting a planet is unimaginable but if it weren't for the ships anti-grav drive the death toll would have the total extinction of the planet instead of several million thanks to low population of the area. Not saying that a few million people dying is something to brush off your shoulders, but still it's better than what could have happened.
Soviet "aid" was quick to respond sending in "Protection Forces" as well as medical supplies in what we always knew was an invasion force under the guise of a white flag. Finding hard information about what exactly happened next is near impossible as the Soviet Union keeps those records locked away where I even doubt Comrade President Yanslyn can get to them today. The best that can be guessed without having the information or even sources within the Pentagon is the survivors of the Van'stishi crash met with locals and performed their own aid with (at the time) advanced medical techniques making them almost god-like in nature. I can say this because it's a known fact that within three months the Soviets were pushed out of Belarus in retreat. President Gorbachev declared open war against the "Alien Invaders" and began the air campaign in December 1989. Obviously it didn't succeed as by February 1990 airstrikes ceased but the ground campaign continued.
May 1990 saw the official end of the "Cold War" when President Gorbachev asked for help from NATO to contain and cleanse the country of Belarus of this alien species they dubbed the Van'stishi. NATO of course agreed and the rest of the story is pretty much written in the history books. The people of Belarus and the Van'stishi joined in repelling the Soviets, NATO, and Warsaw Pact forces with great success due to the advanced tech and weapons of the aliens. June 1994 saw the "final" withdrawal from Belarus by the allied forces though, as should be evident from this writing, covert operations still continue.
August of 1994 was the beginning of "The Liberation Expansion" where Belarus and the Van'stishi began to move into northern Ukraine and eastern Poland. By October the capital cities of Kiev and Warsaw had been taken and the country of Sosozov was born. In January 2021 Moscow fell but it was also the end of the expansion period. Most people think the Sosozovians just stretched themselves too far into other countries so they had no choice until they could build up more troops both human and alien but I think it had more to do with the rest of us, aliens and humans, having had enough and finally holding a line so to speak.
Yes I know I'm simplifying more than twenty years of conflict but in the age of the internet with information at your fingertips it's fair to say that you can find out more on your own. Right now we're about to meet with "Sergi" and his "Oktober Guard" in the city of Kaspivodsk about 200 miles south east of the former city of Hlusk. "Sergi & Company" as they like to be called are all Soviet military that were caught behind the lines during the last big push by Neo-Soviet forces in the fall of 2019. Our agreement is that he'll give us an exclusive interview about life in the Konflikt Zone in exchange for a few items as well as getting letters to the families of his comrades. We should be at the location within an hour...