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Metro: Beyond

Death is for the Weak

Joseph Sousa

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Voloyda gave a small smirk at the story then nodded to himself, thinking back to the first time he meet Joe.

"It's been....what?....Going on a few years now. Five years or so, I believe. Give or take." Voloyda began then shrugged. "The years have just sort of blurred together with her and the other rangers. I was still a cadet in The Order's training when she showed up. I remember she ended up causing some shit with us, got into a fight with a ranger from what I heard through another cadet, and apparently that got some people impressed and she joined up and here she is now. Went through training with her and the others, been on many missions with her and the other Rangers as needed. She's a friend as far as I am concerned, family to me as the rest of them are.” Voloyda said with a shrug. “And…and that’s about it. She’s good as a ranger. A good fighter, a good leader when she needs to be, even with her “attitude problem” as one of our superiors put it….”

It had taken Misha a good half an hour of walking around and ignoring the stares of people at the injuries on his face, but eventually he found someone who not only moved away from him but was willing to talk to him.

“God—what happened to you?” The man asked, seemingly on the verge to run off like the others but just brave enough and seemingly compassionate enough to stand his ground and help Misha.

“I…I’m looking for someone." He said. “A ranger….” He continued, thinking on how best to learn where Joe lived. What would they believe in this place…?

“I….She saved me, I was up in the Dead City and some watchmen got to me.” He began, finding it odd that the truth would serve his lie. “She saved me from being eaten and got be out of the city with her rangers and they brought me back her to get patched up by some of your doctors. I…I think her name was uh….Joe? Joe Sousa Or something foreign like that. I wanted to thank her…I know it’s stupid or silly or unnecessary, especially for a ranger, but it’s…just something I need to do you know?” Misha continued, trying his best to sound desperate. Perhaps he was, just not for the reason this man believed.

“So…would you know where to find her?” He asked, hoping all the years spent around Grischa had rubbed off on him and he had perhaps picked up the old man’s talent for believable lies.

“Ranger Sousa?” The man asked, scratching his short beard and looking around. In that time Misha looked the man over, more so out of a habit he had picked up from Grischa rather than choice, judging by his uniform he seemed to be one of the workers in the station, a Brahman they were called, at least from what Misha had been told. Unlike the Kshatriya and the Rangers, they seemed a lot more trusting of strangers.

Misha nodded in response to the Brahman.

“I did some electrical work at the part of the platform for the Rangers who bothered buying a home. That’d be towards the southern edge of this station. Their like nicely built shacks. You can ask around but not a lot of Rangers own homes, most live in the barracks at Smolenskaya or elsewhere in Polis, so it would not take you long to find her.” The Brahman continued and just got the words out before Misha said thank you quickly, hurrying off in that direction. It took a few more minutes of stumbling around the station, moving quickly to not be stopped by concerned passersby but soon towards the end of the station he could find the homes that had been set aside for the Rangers.

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Jospeh settled to continue to eat as he listened to the man. It seemed about right but of course he would rather hear it from his daughter. "The leader thing I do not doubt. She was supposed to take over the family business someday before all of this," he indicated with the spoon to just around them although he just meant the situation in general.

Meanwhile Joe was back in her room and on her third shot of vodka when Misha came to the door. "Oh Fuck me. Did you come back for more puta?" she asked him as she rolled her eyes at him. At the moment she was uninterested in teaching the fucking vulture a question. She had other shit on her mind, like how bad she fucked up with Ilia making it to where she really didn't have anyone to turn to right then when she needed someone.

The only other thing she was thinking about was how much vodka it would take to make her dad disappear. She wasn't sure there was enough vodka in the metro for the latter though.


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Volodya nodded.

"That family business you won't mention....you know, Mr. Sousa the only time someone is this secretive about their professions it's usually illegal..." Volodya explained then shrugged it off. "But the old laws no longer apply here, you could've been a drug dealer or a killer and it doesn't matter nowadays....but why get your kid involved, at least tell me that--You said she was here with you on business, why get a kid involved in that sort of thing?" Volodya asked.

Misha had been thinking up how to best piss her off as he walked over to her house, what to say, what faults to point out, everything, but now he found himself silent for once in his life. Her face was all bruised up from there fight, her home reeked of alchohol.

She's a drunk and angry ranger--Don't poke the bear fool, leave! His mind demanded of him.

My face aint much better....he thought back after a few seconds.

"...Not much ranger Sousa....you seem to be doing well, what you got there?" He asked, ignoring the lecture his concious and mind were giving him and trying to piece back together whatever insults he had thought up.

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"When you're a single father you tend to keep your family close," he advise. "To Joe, coming here was just a vacation and really it was," he advised. "We came to see the bears," he chuckled at his own joke. "But really we came for business but for her it was education," he explained. "Nothing really too important just wanted to meet a new business partner face to face," he advised.

"This is what I call leave me alone juice. Its the juice that if you don't leave me alone... I may just hurt you more," she took a shot of it. "And I swear to god if you call me Butterfly one more time no one is going to find your body," she advised him. "So... go on and try me vulture. What have ya got?" she said picking up the bottle and taking another drink.


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Volodya nodded once more, knowing he truly wouldn't be getting anything more than that from Joseph. 

"Well, I'm sure once Joe comes back we'll learn all about this business of yours and your business partner. So, next question: How do you think we should get Joe in here? I've tried to make her see reason, I'm not great when it comes to convincing her though, and there's no way I could pull her in here physically, and she out ranks me, so me pulling rank is out too." Volodya continued.

"Call you butterfly?" Misha asked. "Joe, I....No, I've learned my lesson on that..." He began.

Please, please, please for the love of God--Don't do it! His conscious began to beg. 

"I wouldn't dream of calling you that anymore, it's a stupid name anyhow." Misha continued.

What are you doing!?--For Katya's sake and your own, stop this! Stop before it's too late, Misha!

I'm tired of her shit...

She'll fucking kill you!

"Whoever named you that was....a fool in my opinion, I mean you're more like a bear now that I think about it." Misha began to explain. "It's been decades since I've seen a butterfly, but I remember they were beautiful, graceful, kind, joyful things....you though....well, I'm sure you take pleasure in the way you are. " He continued, now forcing his conscious and mind down and going on autopilot more than anything else.

"Uh...angry, short tempered, brutal, unkind, horrible...I'm sure it helps you as a ranger though...." He said, forcing a smirk that was just starting to form to leave his face, knowing this would go south soon enough, eventually. 

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Joe took another swig of the bottle, a wistful but dark smile coming across her face as she listened before she laughed and grabbed MIsha by the neck and turned him around. She gripped him tight as she moved in, her drunk vodka breath hot as she leaned into his ear. "Why don't I show you pundejo?" she said as she started to shove him forward back toward the infirmary that he had just escaped.

Joe was less thinking about things and more acting on drunken impulse but if he was going to make fun of her name he may as well see the big fuck that gave it to her. He was all rugged desert and prison. She pushed him back into the infirmary and straight past a confused Arseny.

"Well that's one way," Joseph said as the man came stumbling in.

"Vulture.... my dad. Dad... the vulture that seems to think that calling me butterfly is okay," she said taking another drink of the vodka in her hand. She was tempted to leave but really she wanted to see what her dad did.

"What did you say Miha?"

"I don't remember what he said. Care to repeat it?" Joe said to Misha as he shoved the man closer to the bed from her hold on the back of his neck.

Joseph shifted to sit up moving his almost gone food to the side as he fiddled with the restraint on him. "Yes... please repeat it," he said.


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"Joe--what the hell are you--" Volodya started but realizing how wasted she was he knew yelling at her would work.

"Arseny, you useless bastard, get in here!" Volodya ordered, turning his back on the family and Misha for a minute and gesturing the still confused private over.

"You're father?" Misha asked, confused and slightly afraid by now, Joe didn't seem like a daddies girl, why else would she bring him here....how dangerous was he?

You stepped in all of the shit now!--Apologize, for the love of God, apologize now!

Ignoring his conscience once more, Misha straightened up and ignored the grip from Joe.

"So you're Mr. Sousa......Yeah, I told her what I thought of her name, old man. I said it didn't fit her." Misha began to explain, getting ready for whatever came next. 

Surrounded by rangers, what have I gotten myself into now....

"I said she was more like a bear..." Misha said then turned to look at Joe.

"Angry, brutal, savage--mean and cruel, not anything like a fucking butterfly!" He shouted into her ear. 

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Joe had let go of his neck by now and stood in the way of either Voldya or Arseny from coming back in without intercepting her angry ass first which both of them would know would be a bad idea at the moment.

While the man wasn't wrong about Joe, he was telling the wrong person. He was telling the person that his little girl wasn't his little girl. Which while he knew she was grown, didn't mean shit to the large man. "I see. I see," he nodded to him as he moved to get up. The restraints were no longer on his arm, dangling from the bed he was on.

Just like his daughter, he was taller than Misha, he was also thicker in the shoulders, especially after the last ten years of hard labor at the Carnival. He looked like he had been in the son for way too long and had dried up, thus his wrinkles.

"Did I ever tell you miha," he said grabbing the man but the throat pressing his thumb and forefinger into the sides without blocking his air passage yet, "why I made your middle name butterfly?" he asked her.

"Yes but please educate the man," she said stoically as she held back Voldya and Arseny with a single look.

"I was once left in the desert to die and I was trying to get home.... it was all I wanted to do," he explained. I was dehydrated, exhausted. I fell onto the hot desert ground," he explained as he tightened his grip. "Do you know what saved me?" he asked leaning in close to the man so they were nearly nose to bandaged nose as he lifted up on his throat just enough that his feet were on tip toes.


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Misha gasped at Joseph grabbing his throat, grabbing the older man's wrist as he did. While he felt fear coming in, it was soon replaced with anger; he looked Joseph in the eyes and ignored the grip the old man had on him.

I'm getting fucking sick of this family!
"I'm guessing a fucking butterfly...or you're little fucking girl!?" Misha gasped out angrily, gripping Joseph's wrist tighter.

While Joe and Joseph where watching Misha struggle, Volodya leaned over to Arseny.

"Go and get someone before they kill him--NOW!" He whispered to Arseny as quietly as he could, Arseny for his part gave a scared look before slowly taking off, using every bit of stealth training he got to keep his footsteps as quiet as they could be as he walked down the platform.

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“That’s right,” he said tightening his grip around his throat. “Saved my life,” said as he pulled the man in closer. “You make fun of my miha again pundejo I’m going to take you to the carnival,” he said. “See how your mouth does there under the strict rule of the Nemes family,” he said. “Unless you’d just like me to end it now.”


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A carnival?--Maybe his Russian isn't that good?

"A carnival--What the fuck are you talking about?!" Misha tried to yell at the man. "What are you gonna do, put me on a Ferris wheel, show me some clowns?!

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"Well you made it through so it can't be that fucking hard can it, old man!?" Misha tried his best to shout out. 

"Fucking...Sousa's and your....b-bullshit!" He continued.

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"Same guy that said that he rescued my ass from the dead city papi," she said to her father taking another swig.

The man chuckled. "You don't appear to be able to rescue yourself from a cardboard box," Joseph said the  man.

Joe grabbed the knife off of her belt and handed it over to her father. “Do what you do best,” she offered. She knew Joseph wouldn’t despite being drunk but it was a fun scare tactic that she’d be able to tease him about later when he wet himself.

”Thank you miha,” he said as he took the knife from her in his other hand and flipped it around deftly as he had when he was a young boy. “It’s a nice knife,” he said moving to put it up to the man’s throat throwing him against the wall, his IV coming out as Joe still defended the door.

”Just watch,” she said.


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"Should've stayed home, should've stayed a fucking electrician--Never should've joined these fuckers!" Arseny muttered to himself as he hurried back into Polis proper, away from where Joseph was being kept and began to make his way around the station, asking for wherever his commanding officer, Major Valkov, most of the rangers either shrugged or said they didn't know but eventually he learned that the old man was with the chief of the Kshatryia, Belikov, for some damn reason no one bothered to tell him, with that in mind Arseny practically sprinted over to the chief's office.

For most of that day, after that damn fool Misha got his ass kicked by Joe, Grischa had been forced to sit through lecture after lecture about this law and that from both of the old men, he had been thinking of every possible way to convince these men that this would never happen again; and so far it seemed to be working.

"We do not like working together, Mr. Blok." Valkov began, for what seemed like the hundredth time.

"I know." Grischa began.

"Or rather not over something like this...Polis is a civil place, if you're...'friends' cannot control themselves around my rangers-" Valkov began with an annoyed look that seemed to be permanently carved into the man's face.

"And in the city my Kshatryia protect-" Belikov butted in, with a similar look but a harsher tone.

"And I promise you, both of you, none of this will happen again; like I've said it what just some old beef between the two, we hardly ever come to Polis so I don't see it as a problem for much longer, and I'll keep an eye on that dumb ass more in the future, you have my word." Grischa explained once more, hoping it'd get through their skulls this time.

"See that you do." Valkov said.

"Now--as for that girl of yours." Belikov continued, seemingly wanting to end this 'Misha' topic once and for all. 

"Katya." Grischa clarified and Belikov nodded.

"Yes, her. Normally I could have her arrested, and for a long time too, for going into parts of Polis very few are allowed into...but as your friend we'll look the other way, it already took alot for her to stay in the hospital with Misha." Belikov continued to explain, but seemingly more tired as he did, and not wanting to get into any more details on how many strings he had to pull with the Council to allow this.

"And we thank you." Grischa said, sitting up in his chair, getting ready to leave. As he began to say his goodbyes and shake both of the men's hands, the doors to Belikov's office opened up.

"What the fuck?!" A female voice shouted out.

"Sorry!" A male voice soon followed.

"Katya?" Grischa asked, looking over his shoulder as a ranger came rushing in.

"What is it now?" Belikov growled angrily.

"Sorry, Chief--Major, Sir." Arseny began, trying to catch his breath as he spoke.
"Yes, Private?"

"It's Sousa, sir; she's drunk, brought some civilian over to the prisoner--I think their going to kill him, I-" Arseny began.

"Kill him?! Blok, this better not be your man!" Valkov shouted, Grischa ignored him, looking to Katya, hoping and praying she'd say where Misha was and have some other problem.

"I can't find him--I've searched and asked around everywhere!" Katya explained, trying her best to contain her worry.

"Damn it." Belikov muttered, pulling his makarov from his desk, by now Valkov had left, pushing past Grischa and Katya, dragging Arseny along with him.

"This better not be your man, Grischa." Belikov started, leaning over his desk, getting as close to other man as he could, placing his pistol on his desk.

"If it is...we're done, no more favors, no more looking the other way!" Belikov shouted, Grischa just nodded and got out of his chair.

"Come on." He muttered, grabbing Katya by the arm and leaving with Belikov as they ran for where the rangers had set Joseph up.


Just as Joseph ran his knife over, Misha's throat, Volodya rushed forward, having enough of this, and pushed Joe aside with more force then he should've and gripped Joseph's wrist just as Misha's jaw began to move. 
"Enough--Both of you!" He yelled, trying to separate Misha from Joseph, Volodya was about to say something else just as Misha used the last of the strength in his lungs to spit out, the phlegm hitting Joseph on the chest, seemingly not where Misha was aiming but none the less shocking Volodya.

"Fuck you!" Misha shouted through strained breath. "The Dead City is nothing compared to you or Joe, so go ahead...u-use your fucking knife, I've been through worse than anything you could do with it anyway!" Misha shouted, this time louder, finding more anger to force out his yelling despite the tight grip from Joseph.

Before anyone could react the hall leading to where the group now found themselves was filled with the heavy footfall of military boots.

"Sousa!" Valkov shouted, soon reaching the tent with Belikov, Arseny, and that vultures family in tow.


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