End of Act One
After leaving the Zone, the men get cleaned up at the sanitization hangar. Red ignores the clamor of people outside the Zone and heads to the showers to drink and to have a cigarette. He reflects on coming out of the Zone alive. Kirill arrives during this time and talks about Red’s pay; however, Red is still worried about Kirill’s back and decides he has to get drunk that night. On his way to the bar, Red escapes the reporters but is stopped by a captain of the police. Red acts like he has turned over a new leaf and is left alone. At the bar, Red has conversations with Ernest, an immigration agent named Aloysius Macnaught, and two of his associates called Gutalin and Richard. Later in the night, Richard gets a call, and when he comes back he informs Red that Kirill had died in the showers. Drunk and in grief, Red causes a scene at the bar, blacks out, and finds himself bloody in the bathroom. Realizing what has happened, Red takes a shrieker from his pocket and throws it into the bar, knowing it will cause a lot of damage. Afterward, Red quickly escapes and ends up running into Guta, his mistress (and later his wife). She informs him she is pregnant and wants to keep the baby despite fears of what happens to babies of stalkers.
Red has turned twenty-eight, and the act begins with him and Burbridge coming back from the Zone. They have managed to get a lot of swag, which they plan to sell to a man called Raspy. However, before the two managed to get the true spoils, Burbridge had his legs ruined by hell slime. Burbridge begged Red not to leave him. He promised to tell Red all about the Golden Sphere, which supposedly has the power to grant wishes. Red managed to bring Burbridge out successfully. After bringing him to the Butcher, a surgeon who has experience working on Stalkers, Red heads home. He cleans himself up, eats some fried fish with his wife, counts up the swag, and then says goodbye to his family before heading to the Metropole.
After a quick encounter with Richard, Red makes it to suite 874 to get money for the swag he and Burbridge obtained. Leaving Raspy, Red meets up with Dani, Burbridge’s daughter. It is implied she is not human but was born from the Zone and the Golden Sphere. She doesn’t seem to care for her father and tells Red that he blew his chance by saving him. Red then goes to the Borscht, where he talks with Ernest before being forced into another room where the police captain is waiting. Before he is captured, he escapes through the cellar. He makes a call to his wife to inform her about what happened and then to Raspy to make a deal. Red will turn himself in to the police, and Raspy will provide for his wife. Red lets him know that he can pick up the porcelain container that he wants at the phone booth he is currently using. Red promises future business and warns Raspy not to double-cross him.