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Metro: Beyond

Long travel, little haul


Xander Nishe
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Xander waited as the entrance was opened by the guards and they were let into the station, the escalators behind them filled with the rubble of the old world, a world neither of them remembered so much as heard about in drunken ramblings from the older generations. The ones that spoke of blue skies and green grass and heat so unbearable that people were hosing themselves down with water.

Clean water wasn't exactly abundant and it didn't sound like a good use of it but they listened, or he did mostly.

As the door opened enough for them, they walked in and had their passports checked before they were let further into the station so they could find a place to figure out what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to sell. "Normal place?" he suggested to his companion.

@HalesTheComet

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As the pair made their way into the station she cast a sideways glance at him. She heard his muffled words, but also read his lips at the same time, so she was able to understand him with relative ease. She gave a nod of her head, readjusting her bag on her shoulder. 

"Might as well. It's our best option right now."

They hadn't exactly had the best run, but she had already heard whispers about a promising spot. However, no one had been willing to attempt it yet, seeing as it was almost impossible. But Lisova liked a challenge. She figured she would mention it to him after they already settled in.

@Morrigan

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Xander led the way off to a dimly lit bar where they went to at this particular station. It was convenient, they could get some vodka and split their cut. He had better opportunities then she did normally. Sometimes it was a good run but this one was barely enough to pay for the vodka and maybe a room for a few nights.

Once they were settled and he had ordered them each shots he relaxed back.

As he often did he waited for their drinks before he pulled out what he had gotten and settled it onto the table.

”Almost feel like the city doesn’t have anything left,” he admitted as he sat back.

@HalesTheComet

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The first thing Lisova did, however, was take her shot. She had long since gotten used to the burn of the strong alcohol, but she snorted softly regardless. Setting down her shot glass, she reached around and pulled her bag onto the table. He had gotten more than she did... but among the things she did find was something she felt could really help things look up for them.

She slid two pieces of paper across the table to him, both worn and stained by time. She then neatly started to organize the few bullets and scrap parts she found. She had even found a hammer. She felt she might keep it for herself until she found something a little more useful in defending herself. But really, Xander had been helping to protect her for as long as she had known him.

"Now those," she pointed at the folded pieces of paper, "are a map and a corresponding letter. It was in some backpack. Whoever had it probably got dragged off. But... just read what is says and look at the map.

The letter was written in some scratchy handwriting, and the ink was faded, but you could still make out the words. They told of a place outside the Metro that supposedly had still been untouched by anyone since 2013. The author of the letter also made it a point to write down notes about how to get to the destination on the map. 

@Morrigan

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Xander looked down at the pieces of paper skeptically before he looked up to Lisova. "What has you so interested in this?" he asked her as he drew the pages closer but didn't actually start reading it. "And what makes you think that it has any sort of truth to it. We've both seen mad ramblings. The radiation gets to some stalkers heads," he reminded her as he finally took his shot and pulled his pack into his lap to pull out the things he had found topside.

He wasn't dismissing what she found yet but at the same time it was likely just another made man's ramblings of treasure that would get them stuck in some precarious situation with bandits.

Wouldn't have been the first time he heard of something similar.

@HalesTheComet

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"I'm interested because this wasn't my first time hearing about a place like this. There's no... treasure. But supplies. Supplies we all desperately."

She reached across the table and pointed her finger at a certain spot on the map.

"That would be where we go. And if you look - right there, yeah - there's supposed to be a hospital there."

When she looked up at his face, though, he was obviously far less enthused than she was. Letting out a soft sigh, she leaned back in her chair and rolled a bullet between her fingers. He was probably right after all, as he often was. 

"Alright... then let's just forget I found those."

Lisova said with a shrug as she started to reach back over to take the papers.

@Morrigan 

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"Lis," Xander said with an exasperated sigh as he tugged the papers out of her reach. "Why is it that you do that? You do realize where this is right?" he twisted the map around to show her where she pointed. "Its on the edge of central Moscow. Not even the Rangers like to go there and they are the meanest fuck's down here. You've heard about the ghosts right?"

Xander was just trying to be cautious. It was likely the most dangerous place on the surface, certainly had the most amount of radiation, that was for sure.

@HalesTheComet

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"Of course I know where it is! It's not that I want us to go... but at some point the supplies here won't be enough."

She frowned and crossed her arms over her chest as she leaned back once again. At the mention of the ghosts she shuddered. It wasn't so much that she feared them, but she felt a deep sorrow for them, especially since she could have been so close to being one of the victims of the blasts, now left to nothing, no longer having a past or a future.

"Look I wasn't saying we go right now, we only just got back. But I think it's something we need to seriously consider... which means we might need help if you do this with me. However, I won't push you if you say no."

@Morrigan

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She wasn't wrong about the supplies on the surface dwindling but that didn't really make a good reason to risk their lives to try and get some. There was always another dead solider or another dead stalker that they could take their stuff, it was just the way the world worked.

"Maybe we won't have to. Did you hear about the..." he snapped his fingers. "That pope or whatever. He seems to think that there is a person that was living on the surface, had been there for years or something. At least the rumors that have been trickling down the lines. Maybe we can finally leave this place for good," he said. It was another pipe dream like her special supply cache but he was hoping to distract her with something a little more feasible if still impossible.

@HalesTheComet

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Lisova couldn't help but smile before dreamily looking upwards at the ceiling as if she could see a blue sky far up above them. She chuckled softly and gave a little shake of her head before she brought her gaze back to Xander.

"Tell me something. If we could actually leave this place and never have to come back... where would we go?" She was still smiling, so it was clear she actually wanted a real answer.

Leaving for the surface permanently really was a dream. She dreamed about walking through trees with a bright blue sky above her, with birds singing in the air. Lis sighed. Her head was way too far in the clouds, and they both knew it.

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"Home I guess," he shrugged. "Anywhere," he said after another second. "Not like I really remember anything outside of the Metro. I was only here with my parents because my father had cancer. Its been so long I don't know what I'd do being outside of this place. This place is home," he admitted to her.

He sat back. "Where would you want to go?"

@HalesTheComet

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She didn't even hesitate to answer his question, leaning forward onto the table as she looked into his eyes.

"I want to find somewhere green. There has to be a place out there that is."

Lis smiled, looking away as a memory came to mind. It was a bittersweet one, though, and she let out a soft sigh. She rested her hands on top of each other before she looked back at Xander.

"My father once told me this fun fact... The human eye can detect more shades of green than any other color."

The woman looked up at him before giving him a lopsided smile.

"He had plenty fun facts to go around."

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"Yeah. You've never been shy about sharing some of them," he said to her with a smirk. He bobbed his head from side to side as he thought about it. "Okay. Someplace green. You think there is still someplace green out there after the fire fell from the sky?" he asked her.

They had heard rumors of places beyond Moscow, but that's all they were, rumors. They were barely hanging onto the threads that was civilization here. Death was all that laid out beyond the city. Everyone knew that.

It was just bones and rubble, just like in the city itself.

Right?

Now Xander was questioning himself with his friend so excited to get out. "Maybe we'll get on the next train. Follow the ranger traitors."

@HalesTheComet

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"Well isn't fire supposed to cause new growth?" She asked as she quirked up an eyebrow at him.

She hoped that it would be that way at least in some places. Lis gave a small shrug and sighed, now laying on her outstretched left arm on the table. Her gaze flickered up to Xander and she gave him a sad smile.

"But that might just be a pipe dream too."

Then, at the suggestion of taking the train she perked up. They had never even talked about that as being a possibility.

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Not the kind of fire that had them stuck in the Metro but he didn't say that out loud. No, this sort of fire destroyed everything it touched and left no survivors except maybe cockroaches.

"Its all a pipe dream until someone does it right? So maybe if we get enough we will. Can't know until we try. Maybe we will get the opportunity to try."

@HalesTheComet

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