Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 60


  He grabbed the door’s handle and pulled it down. The hearts of thousands of dark ones far below were ignited with joy and hope. The darkness before his eyes dissipated and, putting the binoculars to his eyes, he saw that hundreds of black figures on the distant ground had stopped still. It seemed to him that all of them now were looking at him, not believing that so long awaited a miracle had occurred and the senseless fratricidal hostility had come to an end.

  At this second, the first missile drew a fiery smoky trail in the sky with lightning speed and struck the very centre of the city. And immediately three more of the very same meteors streaked across the reddening sky. Artyom jerked back, hoping that the salvo could still be stopped. But he suddenly understandood that everything was already over. An orange flame swept over the ‘ant hill’, a pitch-black cloud shot upwards, new explosions circled him from all sides and the city crashed down, emitting a tired, dying moan. It was clouded by the thick smoke of the burning forest. From the sky more missiles fell, and each death reverberated with a melancholy pain in Artyom’s soul.

  He tried desperately to discover in his consciousness at least a trace of that presence which just had filled and warmed him, and which had promised salvation for him and all mankind, which had given meaning to his existence. But nothing was left of it. His consciousness was like a deserted metro tunnel. Artyom keenly felt that the light by which he would be able to illuminate his life and find his way would never appear again.

  ‘We really gave it to them, hey? They’ll know not to bother us!’ Ulman was rubbing his hands. ‘Ah, Artyom? Artyom!’

  The whole Botanical Gardens and VDNKh were turning into one fiery mass. Huge puffs of fatty black smoke lazily lifted into the autumn sky, and the crimson glow of the monstrous fire blended with the delicate rays of the rising sun. It had become unbearably stuffy and close. Artyom grabbed his gas mask, tore it off and, greedily, took a full breath of the bitter, cold air. Then he wiped his falling tears and, not paying any attention to the cries, began to descend the staircase. He was returning to the metro. He was going home.



  Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033



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