Metro Chronicles: Short Novella Chapter 7

Chapter 7: The Execution

Coming out of reverie, Mia could visualize what was happening beneath this desolated, bombed-out world where humankind had made their retreat; in the Metros. Now that secluded world also spewing out poison for them. According to Dmitri, poison would take a day to take effect on lethal level which was necessary considering the time for “special” ones to follow the instructions and reach “The Arc”. Dmitri told Mia to follow path of upper world as he could not allow any risk to the bearer of the anti-dot while reaching the meeting point. This would also serve other purpose for Mia as she had to detonate all the traps from one single accessible location via detonator. Mia had to accept the genius of Dmitri in preparing the plan to minute details. This surface location was at optimal distance from where it was possible to reach almost all the required traps containing deadly poison which was calculated to fifth decimal point in meters by Dmitri considering the transmitting radio wave range and distortion of obstacles.

After detonating the traps Mia had discarded radio transmitter which was securely held by her like a baby since last three to four month while she and Dmitri setting up traps all over Metro. Mia knew she stayed too long outside than what was planned. Her dosimeter crackling continuously like a buzzing mosquito continuously coming back to you after fierce swatting. She could make out reading that her air supply also going to run out in few hours. She was also not having any more air filters. She had to move now. She had to work on her plan. She was the only one who had all the powers to save whatever left of humanity. With anti-dot in one hand she laboriously rose from boulder, she was so accustomed to that she felt like sitting on recliner. Mia stared at star studding sky. It was clear night with all the clouds cleared out as of metaphor for clearing the doubts harassing Mia since the revelation of the surface world.

It is vast and beautiful. Yes, this is beautiful. And if I love things now than I cannot imagine how spectacular it was before. How could mankind manage to destroy such beautiful things? How could they do this and still want to run away from wrath of it? Living in the Metro for so many years without experiencing upper world has been the curse of my life. I was always looking for perspective, looking for purpose and objective of my life. This is it. Pure revelation.

****

She thought that Dmitri was happy as he was always aware of his demise.

No regret. No Pain. No Rage.

He attained salvation through death in his last moments. Clutching the bullet wound on chest which was pouring out blood in liters. Only agony Mia could see in his deep set eyes was fruition of his well-executed plan.

Chaos was everywhere. Poison’s effect were settling in now with confirm death penalty. Weak already turned into corpses lying here and there. Whoever left and not having Dmitri’s “Special-pass” were running and shouting and making their way blindly through tunnels. Mia knew that those were lost souls. No one knew where to hide from this invisible unexpected danger. But Mia did not belong to them. She was very much aware of what she wanted to do once she realized how pathetic such effort is of humankind to fight back. She needed to find Dmitri on urgent basis. Amid chaos and collapse she managed to catch Dmitri near one of the station leading to “the Arc”. He was surprised to find Mia there as they had to meet again at “Arc” in a while as per the plan. Before any clarification took place, Mia drew the same Walther given by Dmitri and fire bullet right through his chest to crash whole equation of hope. Dmitri observed tears rolling out of Mia’s eyes.

No regret. No Pain. No Rage. Salvation it is.

You have to die Dmitri. Its good people like you who should be the face of humankind. Not these swarming rat-like mass who could only bring devastation to world. They never thought of preservation, maintenance and betterment of world and still people like you save others from extinction. Human race was doomed to die as soon as they started raping and mutilating the beautiful nature. They doomed to extinct as soon as even after multiple grave warnings they never understood consequences of nature. They doomed to wipe out as soon as only thing they improve was the ability to hold nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Hell, they are already doomed. This is just remaining trace of garbage which needs to be swept clean. I am just giving finishing touches to otherwise perfect object of art.

****

Mia was sitting beside large broken statue, examining the sky, looking more beautiful now without any glass visor. It was dark now both above and below in the metros. With helmet of the haze mat suite lying beside Mia, she decided to strip out suit itself and feel the wind. Dosimeter cackling crazily now. She felt faint tinge of radiated wind along her entire body. In the distant, something growled in anticipation of food. Mia closed the eyes, imagining the world as beautiful painting, filling imaginative colors to grey-scale landscape. She mumbled,” Let’s start with the green.” And with that she crushed the green anti-dot vial on the boulder as first stroke of creator.

The End.

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella Chapter 6

Chapter 6: The Pool

Silence prolonged till eternity for Mia as Dmitri ended the tale of most bizarre and at the same time of important findings. Dmitri held out his hand. Something clutched in his fist which was on offer to Mia. She stretched out her palm to accept whatever on offer and Dmitri put his old fragile hand on Mia’s palm like both were lover and taking oath that they will always be together; in life and death. Suddenly Mia realized how old Dmitri looked. She could see his hand crisscrossed with creases underneath where blue veins were pulsating weakly. Dmitri released a glass vial filled with green liquid and closed the fingers of Mia’s palm with assurance of elder passing his all-life earnings and legacy to new generation. She knew that somewhere Dmitri felt that he found his heir who could continue his fight and bring end to all of this so that he could die in peace. But still she was not aware of what was going on in Dmitri’s mind.

“Now here’s the last part.” Dmitri continued. “After I found all of this. I visited surface lot many time. I had became frequent visitor of library through that tunnel. If you still not realized then let me clear the fact that tunnel was secured due to the same lichen and moss. The puddle in which I was plunged myself was most important in keeping the monsters at bay. I kept searching for more details and tried to come up with scientific application of this lichen property. At the same time another plan was forming in my mind which was necessity, considering what power could do to man as evident from that diary.”

“I captured creatures for research. Now, it was easy to capture these beasts with power of new knowledge. I dissected them to know what was it which make them run away from moss. It seems that there is one kind of bacterium which has found its place in animals’ digestive systems. Mind you this bacterium is very lethal to humankind. Like a poison. Moss and lichen has somehow; no not somehow; definitely due to evolution developed anti-bacterial properties for survival. It was like more lethal poison to animals. As evident from diary that this unknown person finds out by mistake that it also save you and grant protection against radiation. With such medication humans have chance to come out of this rat-hole and live again as a dominant species. That’s where it struck me that if this is the chance to create the world anew, why not create as “New world”; far better; far more understanding; and far more superior. If we were left with clean slate again then let’s draw beautiful picture rather than cluttered noise. This is the chance for selective breeding in terms of humans. Chance for cultivating “right mix” of genes and trimming the weeds.” With these words Dmitri’s eyes gleamed like they already seeing the bright beautiful future world.

Mia stood speechless but she knew that last blow was still left. There was something else, held back, revelation of which was going to be unexpected. So she asked.

“But where would I fit in all of this? “

Smiling coyly Dmitri added,” My dear Mia, You are intelligent and beautiful. By now you have already guessed what your role is. I have created the deadly contaminant from the very bacterium of animals which would kill all the remaining human societies surviving in metros except few who are fit enough to continue the next generation and hence build perfect new world.”

Now all the pieces fitting the big jigsaw puzzle, Mia exclaimed,” We are going to build traps which will be triggered through this remote radio transmitter. Traps will release your death package to poison the air and water. All will die. You found me so that you can expedite process with my knowledge and work. All these time you were not wandering but finding those people who are fit mentally and physically to retain their lives. Specimens fit for survival. I guess you have given me antidote which can save those who are infected and doomed to die by your contaminant. But then why didn’t you administer the anti-dose first and spread the epidemic later ? “

“I always wanted to play this close to my heart. No one should know anything before pandemic. And let me tell you I have chosen people not randomly but through proper examination routines and IQ mapping. They vary in talent. Some excel in sociology, some in combat, others in art, some more keen to science, politics, IQ,EQ, family genealogy, past medical issues, and what not; but all of them excel. There is no place for mediocrity. These gene pool which is by the way arrived through minute calculation is such that gene shuffle still yield superiority with high probability. We going to have world, far better and far superior for lot many centuries. This is going to be Renaissance”.

Mia didn’t utter a word for a while. She might be contemplating whether to have faith in Dmitri’s plan or consider it as fickle of madman. After giving a thought, she agreed,” Ok. So how we want to proceed from here? I guess you want electro-mechanical traps which can be triggered via radio frequency of this transmitter only.

“Perfectly true. I have all the vial ready with deadly poison. We have to travel and secure strategic locations across all the Metro. At the same time I have marked one special location where we need to gather after our contamination. I am going to call it “The Arc” where we need to administer anti-dot and reveal greater plan for survived special ones. “

“How these selected people going to reach there?”

 “I have given special instruction to all those chosen that in condition like this you need to gather at the Arc. Maps given with strict instruction of keeping it secret and enclosed. It must only be opened in time of emergency.”

“How you plan to identify each of them? What if they bring other people along with them?” Now Mia’s mind racing like Formula One, producing and hence removing every doubt which could crash the grand plan.

“I have marked people with special tattoo.” With that Dmitri produced piece of paper containing crude image of arc. “As far as others apart from special ones concerned, we have to restrict them from entering the Arc. Whatever it takes.”

Dmitri rummaged in one of the drawers and finding what he was looking for, turned towards Mia and handed her 9mm Walther P9. Very useful handy weapon.

 “Are you telling me to kill someone just like that?” exclaimed Mia, not liking the idea much of firing someone who was anyhow going to die due to poison.

“So what you propose!!! When your traps going to set off, is that not killing of all through epidemic? They are anyhow going to die over time. Either via poison or some creature or radiation or war and if not all these, then they will fight over things again and kill each other off. We are just controlling the killing by saving those who should not be eliminated. Look, we are doing the good work here. What do you believe? That humankind could come out of this misery and live again on surface on it’s own? No someone has to take lead. Wheels are in motion now. Someone has to intervene with his deft touch and build the pottery from lump of clay. And that is you Mia, You are the chosen one to restore balance to the world”.

To Be Continued…..

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella Chapter 5

Chapter 5: The Diary

Day 1: After nuclear wipe-out…

I have all the time in the world now, but there is no world left. I survived!!! Somehow!!! Don’t exactly know how!!! It’s not exactly first day after wipe-out but I am not sure which day this is. I am counting from now on so…. Day1. Don’t remember how I got myself into this huge library. I don’t remember my previous life. May be dementia caused by that bright light and explosion which is the last thing I remember. Don’t know how many days I was unconscious and why the hell these hell-creatures never found me. May be they don’t like rotten meat. Like tigers and lions and other predators of old earth (Yes, now it has to be old earth), they believe in fresh hunted food. It is horrible to stay awake all the time. Hunger bites at every cell and nowhere to find food. Luckily I was trapped in room where dripping water had provided some respite. Definitely water is putrid, irradiate may be. But it’s also definite that I am not going to last long. But you may ask why diary, no one going to read survivor madman’s ranting for sure. I say it’s because I have nothing to do apart from hunkering down here, awaiting slow approach of death. And maybe, just maybe I will find something worth noting down which can bring back my beloved old earth. Ha Ha Ha Ha ……. So amusing.

Day 2:

I am hungry….I am afraid….I am tired….I am injured……I am thirsty of clean water. Somehow I managed to get deeper in dripping water pool. Sewage tunnel passing underneath is exposed. But it’s so dark that I don’t have courage to escape through it. On second thought, escape to where, nothing left. It’s better here. I can hear growling and screeching noises of god knows what, but these abominations never crossed the altar of my secluded shrine. I eat moss today….scrapped from sewer tunnel. If I dig deeper I can find more to satisfy my eating. And that’s what I am going to do. Dying man cannot have luxury of good food.

Day 5:

My stomach is destroyed. Twisting so hard that it’s going to turn inside out. Growling like the creature outside. Don’t know if it asking for more lichen or no more lichen.

Day 10:

I am surprised that I am still alive. In fact I am feeling bit healthy and recovered. I have prepared plant bed. Dripping water is my drip irrigation. Soil I scooped up from collapsed sewage tunnel. I hope to have any plant seed ready to grow. Mostly it’s some form of lichen and moss in moist soil.

Day 48:

I have seen the beast today. Gazing at me from threshold of the room, clutching something oozing with blood in its massive jaws. I cowered in the corner out of sheer fear. It dropped the thing clutched in the mouth in anticipation of fresh food. Suddenly there was roar and hearing that it was darted away like following some clan call. I tried to eat the thing covered with blood to change the taste. Too raw. Covered it with usual lichen and moss. Still to raw and disgusting to eat. After two small chewy bites I throw it away again outside broken door and get back to mouthful of moss again.

Day 52:

There was some fighting between those hell-creatures last night. Too much howling and noise of tearing the fabric of thick skin. I can see dead creature at threshold of the door in the morning or what is left of the creature. It was torn apart. Don’t know who or what can do this.

Day 90:

Now I am having idea why I am still alive. There is something with this moss and lichen. Somehow it gives longevity in this radiated place. Something in it is repulsive to all the creatures. I can sense that the food I tried to eat with marinating lichen had taken life of that poor creature long time back. That’s the reason that no creature ever tried to enter the room. They are sensing presence of something sinister. Something which can bring doom to their fit for survival gene. At the same time lichen and moss are finding their own way to establish their kingdom over now desolate world. All these survived species are now fighting for dominance once most destructive factor called human is out of equation.

Day 101:

I can roam freely. Can you believe this?? Today I roam to various part of library without fear. I can sense multiple hunters eyeing me from their secluded corners. But they now afraid of venturing near me, attack me or most important get food out of me. I will try to venture more in future days. Try to find out other survivors.

Day 105:

Day by day I am increasing my “special” food intake. Now I can search it outside also. I will try to get out and see how world looks now.

Day 110:

I love Charles Dickens. I gather few of his books from literary classic section along with other classics. I will also fulfill my desire of reading “Pride and Prejudice” and Ernst Hemingway which was never materialized due to abrupt ending of the world.

Day 111:

Sun was never to be seen. Dark clouds hung indefinitely blocking sunlight for good whole day. World is torn apart and destroyed like someone has mopped the LEGO creations in haste. I need to find someone and pass my knowing. It has the potential of bringing back humanity in its past form.

Day 150:

Yes. Dried moss and lichen along with roots of few post-war vegetation, grinded to fine granular powder is my new tonic. Working like magic. I was never such a healthy person before. I feel the ultimate godly power I hold. I feel like messenger of God. Hell, I AM GOD.  

Day 215:

Beasts and creatures are scurried away as soon as I stepped on their soil and I smile gently towards them, ignoring them as not-so-important species like some midget. “You will all die and flee as humanity will again take control of their home. Live now what time given to you.”

Day 251:

I happened to encounter blood-sport today. And good one!!!! A lone STALKER fighting it out with multiple beasts. I tried to help him by presenting myself in sudden way to scare the beasts but STALKER just brandished his gun in my direction in utter amazement and fear. Let him be the sacrificial lamb for showing no gratitude to God of new world.

Day 299:

Metros. They all leave in Metros. Surviving in hell. I will spare them if they accept my dominion. YES!!! I need to prepare good prophet speech and demonstration of my power to make them succumb to my will.

Day 305:

“I was dead. I know I was dead. Faint fading memories tell me that there was I am standing in bright light conversing with someone; may be Almighty. I asked for redemption of humankind. When I woke up I was there amid desolation and destruction. I realized after spending so long in hostile world that it was not dream or delirium. I was given second chance by none other than Almighty himself; to spread the god word, to relieve humankind from more suffering caused by their prodigious mind enabled them to believe that they are greater than the ONE. This is the chance. I am the messenger. Spread the good word and bow to Almighty for redemption.”

I know that religion is the only powerful weapon to make humankind submit without question to most illogical phenomena. Ultimate weapon to rule them. It’s done in the past. I will use it for future. This little speech looks good enough to establish myself as living GOD.

Day 316:

I plan to approach the human settlement in Metro tomorrow.

Day 317:

Irony it is!!!! I plunged   right in to that d**n dike full of stale and rancid water in front of the Metro subway stairs. First time I saw shrimps size of a dog. One bite to my leg and almost chew away the limb at ankle. I am not feeling well since.

Day 323:

I need to conclude fast as it seems that I am poisoned. It must be that shrimp. Of course it is. They must be immune to effects of moss and lichen as well. Ohh… God. In my pursuit to attain the level of God I forgot about evolution. In nature nothing is superior. There is always something to outwit one or the other species; except human. Human had tried to dominate and in this effort destroyed the earth. It seems not much time left for me.

Day 325:

I am dying for sure. No cure now. All my plan shattered before start. I hope someone will find the log. This knowledge must be passed on. I know humans are resilient enough to find the cure to survive and rule the world again. And destroy it again. Not sure if there is cure for human foolishness though.

To Be Continued…..

Chapter 4: The Findings

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella Chapter 4

Chapter 4: The Findings
Oleg, known as “The Captain” was leading the group of four when Dmitri voluntarily joined the expedition. “New world order” medic team had found a small tunnel padlocked since time no one could fathom. Dmitri had called upon his best recon team to check out and clear the tunnel, if required. As per the Metro norms, it was foolish move to invite trouble without any specific gain as evaluated against the risk taken. But Dmitri had intuition that this would turn out good for them. Also there was an element of surprise on why such feeble “padlocked” door had been shut for such a long time without any intrusion. Metro was known for their heavy steel sluice gate designed doors barricading stations and as a result cutting them off from outside world. This “cut-off” was necessity as “Surface world” was bursting with fierce power to get poured into the Metro whenever opportunity presents itself. So this “exception” in the rule was hard to understand for Dmitri. And hence he donned his heavy protective army gear along with his trusted SVDK to join the recon team to get to the roots.
As the door opened, stale air prisoned inside the tunnel hissed out to shower the team. Already everyone had their gas masks on with respirator system working in full flow. According to Oleg, two sets of air filters were enough to check out the things. If the tunnel led to surface, more than two sets were never required as one would run out of ammunition to fight with monstrosities rather than running out of air supply. They entered the tunnel in a single file with Dmitri first and Oleg “The Captain” at last. It was strange battle formation employed for Metro expedition where leader had to be at last as “anomalies” found to fry the brain of any battle hardened soldier, once encountered. No particular effects in order and hence leader had chance to gather his wits for better command and control once he identified attack pattern to first poor victim. It didn’t mean Dmitri was on lower rung of rank ladder. He knew very well that if attack was such that he himself was compromised than there was minimal chance for his team’s survival.
With night vision on, claustrophobic darkness turned into grainy radiated green. On few occasions, Dmitri had stopped the party with silent army gesture of raised fist on encountering sharp green laser reflection of scurrying tunnel rodents’ eyes. It was not long tunnel but careful penetration had taken few precious hours out of their digitized wrist band watch. Dmitri had checked Geiger-counter on regular basis for any sudden radiation spike. At last Dmitri observed faint light filtering through what seemed to be tunnel exit boarded up with wooden planks. In sudden anticipation Dmitri moved forward quickly and tripped. He fell facedown into small pit covered in slime. For a while, Dmitri saw someone standing near the exit with his arms spread wide covering the blockage. A dark shadow in green, writhing in pain and agony, stitched to the wooden planks. It was bad omen warning against entering the world humankind choose to destroy long time back. Someone supported Dmitri to get up. Swiping out the slime from mask visor, Dmitri found vision also swept sideways giving view to dark green reality again.
“You, all right?” First echo thundered after their inception.
“Yaa, I’m fine.” Replied Dmitri.
As soon as Dmitri with help of two others, tore through blockage and door, they were greeted with blinding sunlight overpowering their Rod cells to imprint bright ghostly vision to linger on for a while even after quick shutting down of their night vision. They found themselves in a caved in basement of large destroyed building.
From the wreckage of shelves, Dmitri immediately realized that they were in one of the most famous and revered hotspot of the city; center point of all the learning and knowledge; temple of the intellectuals; The Great Library. Even after so many years passed, lot many books were in good condition to read. It was lost knowledge, humankind never cared for while fleeting away to Metros. Team spread out with keen eye to spot any abrupt movement while Dmitri rifled through few of the large volumes scattered on the floor.
During the military sweep of the Library, Dmitri surprisingly observed human footprints on dust covered floors intermingled with multi mutant-prints. It could not be STALKERs as they would have large armor boot prints. These were relatively small as someone had taken a stroll in regular floaters. Before he could alert the team about the findings, communication radio cackled with raspy voice of Oleg with clear intent of warning,” Attention team, it seems we are not the only ones occupying the Library right now.”
Without making any noise Dmitri swiftly swiped the surroundings through telescopic sight to provide backup to the team and identifying the danger. As a long range specialist he took the higher position on upper foyer looming over the large reception area where team had made their lookout. Suddenly there was blur to right corner of the hall, a faint voice erupted on communication channel of the radio and then Dmitri sensed something lobbed in the air almost to the height of foyer 50ft above the ground. In an instance, he captured the object in telescopic sight to fire and froze solid with the horror it represented. Dmitri could clearly identify severed head of Oleg with trailing crimson mist in its wake from the ground. With all the force he could muster, Dmitri screamed like madman,
“RUN…………They are already in the Library.”
The great hall was amalgamation of various sounds playing the orchestra where every sound was out of tune; continuous screaming wrapped in noise riddled radio voice, chatter of AK74 supported by echo of .45 caliber empty shells resounding to the tile floor, ominous growling punctuated by blood curdling tissue slashing and bone crunching. Within few minutes, show was over with no spectator left except Dmitri.
Dmitri ran towards adjacent corridor blindly once massacre started. He took refuge in one small study room covered with moss and lichen. Surprisingly “creatures” ran past the room without giving any attention. One stopped right at the threshold of room, looked towards Dmitri as if evaluating its prey for quality. Took one step in the direction of Dmitri and then stopped as if sensing some trap. It growled and flew back again with herd without entering the room.
After Dmitri got his senses back, he examined the room for his mysterious escape from death. There must be something with the room which had stopped the monster from entering the room. He found a rumpled but in good reading condition diary lying on the center study table. With curiosity sky high, Dmitri opened the diary. It was kind of a personal log. Dmitri would have not paid any attention if first page monolog had not been titled as ‘Day 1: After nuclear wipe out’.
To Be Continued…..

CHAPTER 3 : The Revelation

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella Chapter 3

Chapter 3: The Revelation

“You are the chosen one to restore balance to the world.”

With Dmitri’s proposal still playing in the head, Mia observed the underground lab facility which Dmitri called “The base”. With clinical peculiarities, large space in the middle of the room was full of various stretchers adorned with attachments she could not make out. In one corner she could see bubbling liquid simmering in various flasks via small burners underneath; set atop set of tables. Lots of them were interconnected through glass tubes, transferring contents or vapors to others. One side of wall was covered with shelf full of filled jars and flasks and test tubes safely held together in holders. Opposite wall was accompanied by large stout desk with stakes of large volume books above it. Not singed and not burned books were so rare to find for reading in the Metro that such collection could act as treasure trove for person like Mia. She could also see litter of papers with various diagrams, sketches, formulas, maps, designs and traps gracing the floor here and there.

As she approached to the middle of the room, she met with peculiar stench of formaldehyde. She could also make out now that stretchers were not totally unoccupied. Some of them had remains of “something” smeared with red blood. One of them was occupied with large body of upper world grotesque creature cut open with all its entrails spilling out. Few of them had outlined of human body enclosed in white coveralls with patches of red dotting the incision points. Entire scene was photographic capture of some mad scientist laboratory.

While Mia was busy examining the volumes on the desk, Dmitri went over to the other corner, removing the worn-out carpet over there to reveal small opening in the floor like manhole but this one was covered with small pressure pads with number embossed from 0 to 9. He swiftly pressed some of them and Mia heard a “Click” from the manhole cover. Dmitri removed the cover, reached deep inside the hole and fished out something covered in dirty cloth padding. He put the same into hands of Mia.

“What is this?” asked Mia.

“Humankind’s salvation.” Replied Dmitri.

Mia unwrapped the handover and found a small radio transmitter.

Reading the doubts on Mia’s face Dmitri started, “Before I explain what this is, I have to explain you why it is here.”

“Once I used to be the part of group which was known as “New World Order”. I know it’s clichéd but the aim of all the members of the group was to establish new world in Metro after nuclear war. Everything was in chaos. Rampant looting, thievery, rape and murder was norm once people realized that Metro was going to be their new playground after destruction of upper world. Objective of the group was to establish balanced way of living as we did in the real world. We were aiming for kind of a “Renaissance” which will restore the humankind’s faith in knowledge and wisdom again. First thing to do was to reduce death rate. Lot many of us acted as doctors and medics, searching and researching traumas and disease and injuries to cure them and also make them available swift medication. We help people design and built safe holdouts, better protection gear and also improved fighting mechanisms against mutants. “The Collective Subconscious” was also outcome of such research. In fact, that rule was actually identified and proposed by me. Even though we succeeded in reducing the death rate significantly, we faced entirely opposite challenge afterwards.”

Dmitri sat on the stool nearby, rifling through one of the large book unconsciously like reading a story to Mia,” For us still renaissance was nowhere to be seen. In fact, people multiplied with much higher rate because of lower death rate and they are getting to their natural “breeding” behavior with utmost contempt and carelessness for women. This is what still going on. You know that, right? It’s like upper world history repeating itself with only difference is that this world is small, very small as compared to what we had before. You don’t have natural resources like jungles and all to destroy but definitely resources are scarce which will be running out at some point. Once Society used up all the resources, it will collapse unto itself like a dying hollowed out star. To complete our objectives “New world order” needed to act fast. To think up something drastic and at the same time effective. We were out of our wits until….”

“Do you believe in Fate, Mia?” Dmitri asked abruptly in between.

“NO. I don’t think there is something like fate as if it exits it shouldn’t allow a person to suffer in such hell.” Mia replied.

Dmitri smiled faintly and continued,” But my special recon and rescue team members were strongly believed that that was fateful day when we went for rescue of survivors of collapsed tunnel at one of the most secluded and frightful corner of the Metro. During the search, we found small tunnel opening like a secret door padlocked securely. It was small and wide enough for single person. Definitely tunnel was meant to escape into Metro during the time of war and someone had padlocked it after arriving at Metro to stop others. We were much interested what was there on the other side. We were always prepared for such reconnaissance missions, as you can see.” With that he pointed out in one corner where Mia could see top tier high radiation protection recon suit with armor plating along with high caliber SVDK.” What we found other side was way more than we asked for.”

To Be Continued…..

CHAPTER 2: The Proposal

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella – Chapter 2

CHAPTER 2: The Proposal 

“You are the chosen one to restore balance to the world.”

Blurted out Dmitri with grim face to back up the seriousness behind the proposal.

“But How!!!! This seems highly unlikely…..”Mia barely managed to reply.

“You don’t have to worry about particulars. I have thought it out everything. I already worked on my plan since last few years. Only thing I need from you is your cooperation to carry out the execution with perfection. “Interjected Dmitri without allowing Mia to raise any more concerns.

Mia realized during frequent ventures to various Metro stations that somehow Dmitri was attracted towards her; not the usual cruel interest like other men but keen interest in something else which Mia skilled to perfection by now. She was extremely good at avoiding attention which was rare considering Mia was young girl and also beautiful one by any standards considering the low-life of Metro women. Mia also got accustomed to Dmitri, observing him from the corner of her eyes whenever opportunities present themselves during their excursions with other group of people.

Dmitri was soft-spoken person who also not liked to converse with others; same as Mia. And hence they got together easily. Once she was creating catapult which can be armed with rotating wheel mechanism of the motor sledge and throw Molotov through feeder belt without need of two persons to man the back side observation post for mutant attacks while traveling through tunnels; Damitri had helped her out with exact dimensions to carve for maximum torque. He also made her learn formulas to carry out calculations. Mia was impressed and then it became norm to learn something each time they conversed. Damitri was considered by many as born genius. He was immensely knowledgeable and experienced, apparent through greying hair and taut chiseled face.

On the other hand, others considered Damitri a freak. Sometimes he could be seen spending months on single metro station, doing what could be described by him as “Research” and sometimes roaming around various metros. He could don the role of any particular as and when required; some day he would be mechanic, someday medic, someday biologist, someday statistician, someday advisor, someday researcher and many more and Mia knew that whatever role he was playing, he practiced excellence in everything. People also believed that he had pact with “The Dark” during so-called research expeditions where his entire party was diminished over black corner of the tunnel nearby surface except him. His brain “short-circuited” in result. But Mia knew that metro harshness has reduced the sharpness of human mind to concentrate on survival more than to spend grey matter to betterment of humankind or for just sake of knowledge like Dmitri.

Once spending time together on one of the trade stations for further journey, Dmitri asked Mia to join him on his research expedition, although not giving away what it could be. Mia was looking for such opportunity as she was also keen to explore the world she believed barely knew. She tagged along with Dmitri wherever he went, experiencing the Metro universe first-hand, before that she always had to rely on spoken words. For Mia, it was strange and incomprehensible. Even though she saw interconnected Metro network map, she could not think of anything beyond that map boundary. She heard about “outside world” but didn’t have a slightest idea of the size and scale of that world as compared to her Metro-world. She couldn’t comprehend why people are so hell-bent on killing out of fear and at the same time mass producing like sewer rats.

“These pockets of Metro stations are nothing but like countries on themselves with their own governing bodies and laws, you know!!!” Once Dmitri explained to Mia while passing through border guard posts through one of the main stations.

“But who will control them.” asked Mia.

“That’s the point. No one. Those lucky ones or should I say unlucky ones who survived nuclear blast due to timely entry to Metros started this Metro civilization. There was no central authority and no one was in condition to think of that. And what do you think they start concerning about once they settled down?”

“Food!! Home!! Clothes!! ….No idea…..”

“Guns. Can you believe that? Ammunition was the first mass produced thing again after humankind’s exile to this god-forbidden place. I can understand the need for protection against outer forces and mutants, but once you put AK74 to someone’s hand and sooner or later they get twitchy fingers.” Dmitri answered with disdain.

“To add fuel to the fire, once people got their bearings and control over metros they started grouping up. Not for supporting each other but based on similar political propagandas and interests. Even after the end of world, lust for power never vanquished. Now you also have borders in Metro also.” Continued Dmitri.

“But this situation is not going to last. I have a thought or rather idea. And you need to help me out with that.” Said Dmitri leading Mia to small opening in the wall of Metro station.

“Help!! With what?”

“With this…..”

Dmitri opened small creaky door to some kind of large underground opening. Mia was not sure what it could be used for in pre-war era. Damitri flicked the lights on and entire room was bathed with warm yellow glow to highlight each object with feverish sharpness. Mia gasped with surprise. This was not she expected.

To Be Continued…..

Chapter 1: The Extinction

Metro Chronicles: Short Novella

CHAPTER 1: The Extinction

“You are the chosen one to restore balance to the world.”

Words which had soothing effect few months back has cursed undertone now with demonic intent along with preposterous responsibility for which Mia was never prepared. Setting her green eyes, matching the color of poisonous gas vomited by small green goo filled puddle few meters away to setting sun which resembles dying out sodium vapor lamp through smeared out visor glass and rising mist and vapor and radioactive waste particles, she could only have her imagination to help her truly realize the beauty of “the upper world”. Future of the mankind now lays on her hand, in fact considering the current situation, laying in her hand as she clamped fingers around small glass vial containing green liquid safely; competing against green of her eyes and that poisonous gas. And this is the only color left in the world laying in front of her as mankind has chosen to utilize broad deep brushstroke in darker shades of grey and blue to paint the canvas of the world. Crumbling concrete structures which had been once heralded as homes of millions of families, now stood like crumpled paper toys with metal girders poking out like broken bone; misplaced and utterly painful; acting as massive sarcophagi entombing those who were not lucky enough to get shelter and of those brave STALKERs who chose to embrace courage and exploration over cocooned stale life in the metros worse than death.

It had been 40 years since “The Moment” when mankind decided to introduce nuclear weaponry in the war on massive scale, wiping out almost entire humankind and reducing better part of the earth to nothing but radioactive nuclear test site. Millions years of fit-for-survival biodiversity had been swept clean with single stroke. Radioactive clouds hung in the air had choked the life out of plants and vegetation within few years, leaving numbered few which survived due to transition from photosynthesis to fulfilling nutrients requirements from dead rotting meat. Known animal species were replaced by grotesque creatures so foul that it seems that they were drawn out of some hell-hole created by nuclear crater. Mankind also survived, in vast connected metro networks and underground silos and bunkers.

Sitting at the base of fallen statue of old-world forgotten leader Mia was well aware of Metro entry lying nearby for quick escape. But more than sudden attack of predators of upper world, Mia was much concerned of thoughts playing out currently in her mind which she feared only going to be climaxed in tragedy. She wanted to remain here in this “real” world forever without her hazmat suit and air-filters and tangled connectors and tubes; just in plain clothes to feel the real air and smell the real earth.

Few years back, Mia’s world consists of her own metro station along with few neighboring ones which she travelled on occasions and that was also in keen observation of his father. After her father’s sudden demise due to severe radiation poisoning through pork meat; she feared to be alone and vulnerable to harsh metro conditions. She knew there was no place for young girl like her in such a lawless world. Community made of men where only primary objective in life is to survive and nothing else to do is major contributing factor to women objectification and “misuse”. Still Mia was different. Even though she was not the fighter, she was intelligent enough to avoid unnecessary attention and find her way through proper channels. She was good at setting up traps. Handmade from whatever available and if required, death traps. Her trap for mass-cremation of massive swarm of tunnel rats with the use of few solvent canisters and radio controlled trigger detonator earned her reputation of savior of her station from over flooding of tunnel rat migration with only downside as complaints of burning meat for weeks.

Things were changed after death of her father as if some conspiracy had snatched the protective cover to make her exposed to sadistic society. She could feel the attack on her fabric of dignity with weapons of malevolent gaze, sneering comments and twitching hands to find the opportune moments, waiting for Mia to let down her defense, exposing weaknesses of womanhood which once found could be taken advantage of and eventually used to tear apart whatever left of her self-dignity. So she decided to move out to those big hub stations where rare combination of good work and safety was not entirely unfeasible.

Not that Mia was afraid to travel alone but uncertain, unexplained and unexpected “anomalies” were frequent happening which would make one disable of living life and worst devoid of easy death. It was mandate to travel in groups to reduce death toll. One logical thinker had also come up with “The Collective Subconscious” rule which set lower threshold value of group comprises of human to 4 which had dramatic but effective reduce in “anomalies” effect over last decade and also death rate.

During the search of such traveler groups, she met Dmitri, the old man known in Metro as “The Dmitri” whose sole objective was to travel through Metro, scouring different stations on the way and conducting “his special work”. At that time she was not aware that he would give her opportunity to attain ultimate salvation and hence the purpose in the life. He would give her power to perceive the real upper world which she never thought existed before along with excruciating pain and burden of her own existence.

To Be Continued…..

Literary Lion: Space

Loop

“Before the thing out there kill me I have to testify my theory.”

Running through dark and claustrophobic corridors of his high-tech advanced research lab, David can only conjure up image of him being caught and lost in some alien spaceship. It has been two weeks when something has invaded their research lab and killing everyone. No one had chance to identify or whoever done that was now no longer alive.

They were so near to success. Only obstacle was to clear that space-time continuum drift problem. They couldn’t manage to come with solution even after so many genius minds involved. Being labeled as “secret research” they did not have comfort of having external help. They were about to throw the towel when David had this sudden spark of tweaking some variables involved. Precisely at that moment series of unnatural death has terrorized this little scientific community.

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Even before someone could spread the word or get the news out, everyone was efficiently picked and dispatched except David. Now facing sudden death any moment, David could only think of applying his solution which would be his pinnacle achievement and might present way to cheat death. He entered one massive lab space mostly occupied with large contraption sat in the center of hall. He tweaked few dials, entered few commands to the super-computer attached, entered into one human-size pod and prayed for his success.

“If this thing works than I can still get what I always wanted. Time-machine was always my brainchild. I was the one who initiated the project. I should be the one who end it. More than prize and praise, I will hold ultimate power with invention of this Time-Machine.”

One large flash and everything bathed into bright blinding light. Somewhere space-time fabric tore. David could sense passing through space filled with dark matter.

When he opened his eyes he was there in his lab but he could hear sound of others celebrating something. While silently observing the milling of his fellow scientists he could perceive his own image there among them. This was two weeks back. David can remember it. With devilish thought forming in his mind he deduced the success.

“Now only thing I have to do is kill everyone one by one except me.”

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Thanks Laura Gabrielle Feasey for providing inspiration and cause to put up my writing skill on run from it’s initial lazy state.

Flash Fiction word: Space

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