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A Pious Man (Part I)

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 06:41:58 EDT
Rating: 1.65 on 33 ratings (33 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

Sergei swung his legs out of his hammock and fumbled in the perfect darkness for the zippo he knew was hiding in the depths of his cargo pocket. The case opened with its signature metallic click and he struck the weak flame in the still air. He used it to ignite the old oil lantern before closing the cap to conserve its dwindling fuel supply. Sergei knew he had to go into town foraging again, today.

The wind howled outside the heavy door, Sergei could hear the clash of pine and cedar branches above his hideout. His hideout, he called it, was dirty and sparsely furnished. A bomb shelter made of steel and concrete that did little more than keep the weather out. Sergei had dismantled the six beds that had occupied the space to salvage the rusting frames and burn the mattresses shortly after his discovery of this place. He looked up at the web of rust colored moss leeching an existence in the cracked concrete overhead.

Closing his eyes, Sergei fell to his knees and pronounced the prayer he had offered every morning since the “attack”.

“O God of spirits and of all flesh, who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to thy world, please, the same lord, give rest to the souls of thy departed servants. I beseech thee to pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For thou art a good God and lovest mankind; take from us your holy fire, thy righteousness is to all eternity, and we have been cleansed.

For thou are the resurrection, the life, and the repose of thy servants who have fallen asleep, o Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory, together with thy father, who is from everlasting, and thine all-holy, good, and life-creating spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages.

Amen.”

Sergei kissed the pewter icon of Saint Michael hanging from his neck and stood. Donning his goggles and a heavy coat he hoisted the AK 47 and his pack over his right shoulder and made for the rusted door.

~~~~~

Sergei climbed the dozen steps to the surface level door and pulled the wire snips from their holster on his belt. He knelt on the steps and crawled close to where they met the surface. Bracing his back on the steel door he lifted it, slowly. Once Sergei had the door open a couple of inches he gently reached out and clipped the near invisible wire connected to the MON-50 landmine buried before the door.

That done, Sergei swung the door open, stepped out, and went about his routine of dumping his latrine pot, dousing the lamp, obscuring the entrance to his hideout and rearming the trap before starting the trek towards the abandoned city that had once been Nizhnevartovsk.

~~~~~

Sergei approached the road that encircled Nizhnevartovsk, he lowered his eyes. Biological terrorism, they had called it. It didn’t matter if the words were a poor reflection or not. The world knew what it wanted to know. There had been a plague in Russia. Millions died. The military of the Russian Federation quarantined the area and later developed a cure for the virus, the end.

There were over 200,000 people in Nizhnevartovsk, alone. The city had once had one of the busiest airports in the Russian Federation and had been a milestone in oil production and commerce. Now it was a lifeless husk of its former self, gray and stale the very streets seemed to cry out for retribution.

The plague swept through the populations of Megion, Molodezhnyy, Mosovaya-Mega, Nizhnevartovsk, Savkino & Izluchinsk as if Gabriel had cast down his horn and reaved through the land with a scythe instead. There was no day of judgment; God had chosen to punish all his children.

It had been six years. Medvedev, the “president” at that time had told the world that everything was under control. The culprits had been captured and would be tried, that the government would be returning refugees to their homes within a year. There weren’t any refugees. The military “quarantine” was in place before the first plague death: They had been test subjects.

The soldiers killed indiscriminately, no med check, no confirmation of carrying the virus; they just killed every man woman and child they saw, carefully maintaining logs of their victims for comparison to the virus’ mortality rates. After the first month, newly formed death squads started sweeping the communities. Within three months the virus, the military and hunger had killed almost everyone. Then the burners came and destroyed every structure they could find. Anyone who had survived that long froze to death, all but very few.

The destroyed city lay before him. Snow piled itself in the doorways of burned out houses and swirled in little wind borne eddies. Row upon row of houses were in ruin, their abandoned shells testament of the atrocities they bore witness to. Fifty meters ahead lay the mummified corpse of a little girl, frozen solid, with a bullet in her back.

Sergei swung the rifle from his back and removed the magazine. He pressed down on the 7.62 ammunition, making sure the frost hadn’t caused the spring to stick. Seating the thirty round banana clip in the receiver he yanked back on the bolt carrier and chambered the first round. Sergei stepped onto the road and proceeded into the ruin.


Michael.jpg
Michael.jpg


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Submitted by loki at 2010-05-24 15:10:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Ok I'm in

I think you should have been more mysterious about the background story but then everyone would say WTF why is he living in a hole in the ground?

The joy of uber is that you cannot win

Submitted by Wisher at 2010-05-24 04:25:59 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

You write really well as I've mentioned, and fiction~wise, so much like The Caes~~ wonder where he is now. {If anybody is friends with him, let me know, we used to talk off line a lot.}

Submitted by Soyware at 2010-05-20 23:32:26 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

The post-apocalyptic wasteland is my favorite genre, and I must say, you have me intrigued.





Wooo! That's one whole sentence without confusing my homophones!

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 10:36:32 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

I didn't say the firefight will be in the next installment. :)

I will do a bit more research and try to give you a reason why, in truth I know next to nothing about Russian politics, I literally picked a spot on the map and started researching :) I will consider it a challenge to write in a viable and logical reason why.

Submitted by X54 at 2010-05-20 10:32:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by ridiculous (user info) at 2010-05-20 07:28:39 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

I needed him to be armed for the upcoming firefight
---
Looking forward to that.

Why did Medvedev choose Khantia-Mansia for his preferred test location? He must feel some animosity toward the Ob Ugric people, to use them as guinea pigs instead of, say, the Chechens. Or maybe he's going to BLAME the Chechens and use Nizhnevartovsk as an excuse to really fuck them up once and for all. A little more background here would be interesting. Maybe it will come out during the firefight.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-05-20 10:05:18 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

I think I've only read HHGTTG itself...I'm sure the rest are equally good.

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 10:03:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

I have only read two books in the series, not even sure how many there are, but not the first book. I just remember laughing maniacally at a world some character or other was living on where he was exalted and revered for his ability to make sandwiches.

Submitted by TuTs at 2010-05-20 10:03:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

The babelfish is proof that God doesn't exist, or killed God, or something.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-05-20 10:01:25 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Oh aye the babelfish is in the book, think the movie was quite accurate to it.

The movie with Martin Freeman I mean, it was alright, not as good as the book though.

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 10:01:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

not seen HHGTTG

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2010-05-20 10:00:56 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

http://www.ubersite.com/m/119796#2814621

Add it...it's one of mine when I was banned for the 3298th time.

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:59:20 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

FJ gets points. I haven't thought about that series for quite a while. Should grab one next time I go on rotation. What did you think of the movie? (Was the bablefish in any of the books or just in the movie?)

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-05-20 09:45:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Or HHGTTG

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:41:59 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

haha... babblefish

sounds like something from a monty python sketch

Submitted by TuTs at 2010-05-20 09:35:09 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes (user info) at 2010-05-20 21:32:18 WST (#)
Ranking: 0

also, wouldn't he pray in russian?

LEARN RUSSIAN DAMMIT!






Then teach us so we can read it.
---------

Ha!

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:35:05 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Psygns,
I seriously considered writing the prayer in Russian. It is a common prayer for the sick and dying in the ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) but I wanted to alter it slightly to make it fit the situation. The problem then, was that I wasn't sure I could trust Babblefish for an adequate translation.

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:32:18 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

also, wouldn't he pray in russian?

LEARN RUSSIAN DAMMIT!






Then teach us so we can read it.

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:30:56 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Damn you FALLEN... Just... Damned you! *Shaking Fist*

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reaved

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:29:52 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Damnit! There are twelve Sergei's in 912 words!
Thats only 1.31%! Why don't you people complain about The? There are 90 of them! :p

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:28:42 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

needs more RAPE dontcha mean!?

Submitted by FALLEN at 2010-05-20 09:24:22 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

needs more reap

Submitted by FALLEN at 2010-05-20 09:22:26 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

needs more Sergi


Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:22:02 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Next one tomorrow. If not tomorrow I will likely hold off until Monday. It seems I'm the only one who Ubers over the weekend.

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:17:00 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Wes nee alter like.... I've actually been checking the site for the past say 3 years or so... only now bothered to actually register...

I do agree it has gone a bit 'meh' as of late, but hey, wor aint no writer so who am i to say whats good or bad.

[plus English may be my 'first' language, but I divvn't speak it!]

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-05-20 09:13:46 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes (user info) at 2010-05-20 14:11:09 BST (#)
Ranking: 0

Canny, whens the next one due!?! and will there be RPG's? Everyone KNOWS RPG's are the way to go!

~~~~~

Hurty, I really don't think we need a Geordie alter, thanks all the same.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-05-20 09:11:56 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Yup, that's what the AIDS will do.

This is alright, ridiculous.

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:11:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Psygns_of_the_Tymes at 2010-05-20 09:11:09 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Canny, whens the next one due!?! and will there be RPG's? Everyone KNOWS RPG's are the way to go!

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 09:10:23 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

WTF? Spell check argued with me about that too! I suppose it doesn't matter since it would appear (at this point) that I am making up words. In my head reaved & reaped are synonyms.

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2010-05-20 08:58:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Go back to the western you comb-over shit missile. Also, is "The plague swept through the populations of Megion, Molodezhnyy, Mosovaya-Mega, Nizhnevartovsk, Savkino & Izluchinsk as if Gabriel had cast down his horn and reaved through the land with a scythe instead." this supposed to be "reaped"? I'm not being picky just trying to decide how this should be interpreted as I found it an integral part of the soon to be storyline.

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2010-05-20 08:33:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-05-20 07:28:39 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Point taken on the Sergei thing. I kind of felt the same way but in a lot of places substituting 'he' felt wrong.

He is armed because the military is still maintaining the "Quarantine" and there are still animals and other people about, though not many. Plus I needed him to be armed for the upcoming firefight, duh! :)

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2010-05-20 07:20:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Good read. Too many "Sergei"s, and I was confused about why he's carrying a weapon if everyone else is dead. It's good to know that I can trust in my Zippo after the apocalypse. I haven't smoked since 1986, but I still have my Zippo. It has seven slashes on the bottom of the case, and it has an image of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) engraved on the side. You could only get that lighter onboard the ship, and that's where I got mine. That ship no longer exists. I have digressed. Good read. Too many "Sergei"s.


Well, I acquired it legally, you can be sure of that.

-- Homer Simpson
Treehouse of Horror VI