для читателей старше 18 лет
Aelita has reached her room, sat on the bed and stared at the wall. There was no more tears, there was no thought, there was no force, only despair and sorrow in all its essence. For what? How will she now live further without Bakhtiar and Tara? He was for her the meaning of her life, her air. How now to breathe without him? And Tara, her beloved dog Tara, how will she be without her? Why did they die? From her throat escaped some wheeze, she started to tear her hair out with all her strength and wheeze. Instead of ‘‘for what’”, use “why’”.
“Maybe it’s still the true, and we will be together again?” — thought Aelita.
She began to remember how they were happy and thought took away her in the past, and how it all began…
It was 2020. She came to conquer the capital. Astana, how she wanted to live in this city. She was eighteen years old. She was an orphan. There was no one who could help her or support. Since her parents died, six years have passed, and since then she is always alone.
Parents names were Marat and Gulnara. These were the two parts of one whole, who have found each other and were happy until a drunk driver knocked their car.
They have a beautiful daughter, whom they named Aelita. She had beautiful eyes, snub nose and plump lips. Up to twelve years she was the most spoiled and happy child in the world, not knowing rejection in anything. In that terrible day she was in the car with her parents, but only she survived. In the future, orphanage, ordeals and deprivation in anything. When she turned eighteen, she gathered up the suitcase and went to Astana.
Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. How she dreamed to live in this city. It was the most beautiful city. City-fairy tale, dream city.
There were several districts in Astana. The first district was called a closed city. It was under a glass dome. There have never been the winter all year round bloomed plants. Every one dreamed to live there, but lived only the richest people. The entrance to the city was strictly with the identification cards or with the permission of the inhabitants of this closed city.
The second district — the left bank. Middle-class people lived there. Third district — the right bank. Poor people lived there. In other districts of the capital lived people who had neither their homes nor constant work and odd jobs.
The first five years in Astana were very difficult for her. Sometimes she spent the night on the street. She did not have a permanent job, and she was always desperately looking for work. Aelita believed that someday everything will change for the better. And everything changed, but only when she stopped believes in the best.
She was twenty-six years. Eight years since she arrived in Astana, and eight years of wandering and humiliations. Luck finally smiled at her, and she went to work as a seller in a men’s clothing store. And there she met the man of her dreams. He entered the store, and she immediately realized that this is he. His name was Bakhtiar. He was twenty-six years, and he was beautiful, young and rich. He worked in the most prosperous companies in Kazakhstan. They fell in love with each other at first sight. Six months later, he presented Aelita apartment on the left bank and the flower business. Aelita loved Bakhtiar to madness. He was all for her.
In 2029, Bakhtiar presented Aelita puppy. It was a girl, red Boxer, with white paws and a white breast. It was the most beautiful puppy in the world. Aelita named her Tara.
In that terrible day in 2030 Aelita together with Tara went to meet Bakhtiar. The day before they had agreed that in the morning he would come to her. He needed to go by the subway. Aelita went with Tara and went down into the subway. The train arrived, the doors were opened, and Bakhtiar went out. Then there was a flash, the siren started howling, and all the doors, located to the entrance of the subway, automatically shut down.
Three months have passed since the nuclear Flash. Subway was new, it was built in 2029. Everyone who was in the subway, survived, become friends, support each other, some even found a mate. In total, in subway were 522 people, of whom 56 were children. Everyone had a question, when will the rescuers come. But at heart everyone understood that there was a nuclear war and nobody will come to save them. There were a lot of different shops in the subway: Grocery, household shops, clothing and footwear stores, furniture, bedding, tableware, fur, books stores, and even a shop selling gas masks and protective suits. Food and water were to end soon, and rescuers steel didn’t come. And perhaps they will never come. Adil, a retired colonel, lived in the underground. He claimed that he heard his general talked about a bunker, which situated in a closed city. There was everything in the bunker. Products, equipment, weapons — all for living in this bunker for many years. It was created for high-ranking officials and their families. But where exactly the bunker located, Adil didn’t know. He knew only that it was in the closed city, not far from the presidential palace. Men have decided that they have to go and look for the bunker and move there everyone.
Ten men gathered to go and look for the bunker: Bakhtiar — he lived in a closed city and knew him very well, Valera, two twin brothers Oleg and Sasha, Erlan, Roman, Timur, Nurlan, Peter and Sultan. And two women, Aelita and Tanya. How Bakhtiar neither persuaded nor ordered to Aelita stayed in the underground, she was going to go with him. Tanya wanted to go, above she left her husband and four children. And although she did not tell anyone, but everyone understood that she was hoping that they are still alive, and she will find them.
They had no weapons. There were knives, rubber gas masks and protective suits. Each wore two protective suits just in case. No one knew what awaits them there. Doors were opened quickly, as Valera promised, who was by specialty engineer and handyman. Then they automatically shut down again. Checking again each other suits and gas masks, they headed to the escalator.
All were ready to see the worst, but what they saw exceeded their expectations.
Corpses lay everywhere. Bodies lay everywhere, and they all had some kind of weird and unnatural. Aelita have hair on his head began to move from fear. Nobody could figure out why, but something was wrong with them. Dead skin was gray. Timur cautiously approached one of them. It was a man, he was lying on his abdomen. Where they were to be his blade bones, there was something, and that something was stirring under his shirt. Timur cut remnants of shirts and froze. It were a little hands, sticking instead of blades, and they moved as if applauding. Aelita started screaming like crazy. In several places something beginning to stir at the corpses. In one woman some dripping sting got out from the throat. Bakhtiar grabbed Ajelita and ran upstairs. All ran after them.
Light, unusual glare, cutting through the eye masks and even hurting the eyes caused them to bend in half. It was everywhere, this bright light. It was impossible to see anything. Oleg cried out that they must return. All ran back, trying not to look at corpses. Valera could not open the door, he had strongly shook hands. Finally the door opened. Once all went into the subway, Tanya lost consciousness.
It has been past three weeks since their failed attempt. Food and water were running out. Everyone was scared. Only Tara carelessly ran on subway, she makes fun for all and raised everyone the mood. It was a good and educated dog.
It was decided to go again. This time prepared more thoroughly than the first time. Adil proposed to make torches, and if something or someone is attacking them, ignited the torch and burn them with everything that moves. Eye mask covered with black tape. They could see through it, and the bright light won’t dazzle they eyes.
All gathered to see them off. It went the same team except Tanya. Someone was praying for them, someone told them the words of farewell. They came out.
When they reach escalator, they saw that all the corpses have disappeared.
— It’s not a good sign — said Valera.
— It is military has already collected the corpses.
— I think the animals dragged it away.
Stepping cautiously out of the subway into the blinding light, they were convinced that the light does not blind eyes through the tape. Bakhtiar moving first, followed by Aelita, then Sasha with Oleg and others. Standing dead silence. There were only heard their steps and the terrible silence of the wilderness. If they were stuck in a frozen time and space. Everyone was terrified.
The buildings were all intact, only without the glasses. The cars were scattered everywhere, as though someone scattered them with the huge hand. There were no corpses. No one. Dead city. Gray leafless trees were standing, greenery was not anywhere.
— Maybe try to start the car?
Approaching the car, they saw that it had opened the tank. There wasn’t petrol. After checking dozens more cars, they found that all vehicles carefully drained of petrol. It means that someone was living upstairs? It means people still survived? All were delighted.
— There are live! We are not alone.
All immediately forgot about the bunker, decided to look for people.
— It is necessary to climb up to the roof and write on it, that we are in the Underground, — said Sasha.
They began to look for, something to write. Went to the supermarket. Everyone mood has risen. There were people abovep, and therefore, all saved. Finding paint, Oleg and Sasha went to the roof.
— It is necessary to stock up on water and food. Take all lung to go light.
Started to collect water, chocolates, cereals, potato chips. Everything was sealed in packages. On the street there was a noise resembling the roar of jet aircraft. Sultan ran out shouting that it’s people. Everybody followed him. Sultan ran into the street first. Above his head was formed some kind of cloud, and he instantly started to disintegrate into pieces. Initially, dropped his head, then hands, torso, legs. Roman, unable to stop, ran up to him, and also began to disintegrate. Bakhtiar silently pointed with his hand that it is necessary run deep into the store. Taking Aelita’s shoulders, he shook her, but she was standing in a daze. Then he picked her up and ran. All silently ran behind them. Run into some Office and closed. Aelita started to cry.
Suddenly over the loudspeaker, they heard the Oleg’s voice:
— Guys, come out. They will save us.
Timur wanted to open the door, but Bakhtiar did not let him do it.
— It’s Oleg — Timur said.
— Wait, here’s something unclean, — said Bakhtiar.
They heard Sasha’s voice very close:
— Guys, run away from here.
Opening the door, they saw Sasha. He crawled, and he had no legs. Dragged him into the room, they tried to stop the bleeding. The suit was torn. His thighs were visible, which bubbled as if they been poured with acid.
— What happened? — Bakhtiar asked.
Sasha ripped off a gas mask with the face and quickly began to speak:
— When Oleg began to paint, I walked away. There were satellite dishes on the roof. I know something about them and wanted to take one small dish, so to transmit signals through it in the subway. And then I heard the noise and saw the cloud, it moved inside as a living, and It has taken different shapes. It could stop abruptly, could fly very quickly. The cloud stopped on Oleg and Oleg became destroyed piecemeal. I didn’t even have time to say anything, and cloud had flown. I ran up to Oleg, fell to his knees and began to collect him. I do not understand anything, I did not believe my eyes. And then I felt under my feet thrust some red-hot iron stick and cut off my legs. It happened very quickly. Turning around, I saw that it was some kind of huge worm, it was like a huge earthworm. I don’t know what it was. It pounced on my feet and was eating them. I started to crawl. Guys, there is no living people, they could not survive. Something terrible is happening, run back to the subway, or you will all die.
— It is necessary to carry Sasha back. In the subway there nurse, Victor, he will think up something to cure you. We have tie your legs to stop the blood, — said Nurlan.
— Look at me, I’ll be dead soon. Don’t waste your time on me, run as soon as possible. Don’t you see that I am infected? My skin bubbling, I’m dying. Run away! — Sasha croaked.
It was obvious that Sasha barely talking and grits his teeth to keep from crying out from pain. Suddenly he grabbed Yerlan’s arm and started earnestly whisper:
— Kill me! My bones are burned from the inside, it is unbearable to endure. Please have pity on me.
Nobody wanted to do that, in spite of his anguish.
— Have pity. Be human.
Peter came to him and cut his throat in one motion. All stood speechless. Peter shut his eyes and recited the prayer “our father”.
Nobody knew what to do: search for bunker or search for people.
— Guys, who then shouted with Oleg’s voice? What is going on? There are live or not? And what is that giant worm? Where are the corpses?
— And what kind of cloud? Guys, something is going wrong! -Timur said.
— We need to calm down and think logically, — said Bakhtiar.
— We need to collect the products that are packed, water and medicine and take to the subway, -said Aelita.
— I agree with Aelita. First of all, we need to carry the products into the subway. It is not known whether we will find people, bunker and return back at all?
— Well, then. Everyone takes themselves trolley and collects itself into the trolley food and water. So the more we can carry. First make sure that at the trolley wheels do not squeak, in order not to attract attention. Timur, you find large bags and go to the pharmacy department and raking all medicines to the bag. Any medication will be useful for us. Each acts as quiet as possible. Do everything quietly, quickly and in an orderly manner, Yerlan said.
All came out of the room and began to collect supplies. Did everything in silence. Timur found large bags and walked into the Pharmacy Department. When he has reached the Department, he suddenly saw in front of a girl.
— Over here! — He shouted.
Before him stood a bald girl with a huge swollen head. She stood facing him and somehow strangely smiling.
— What is your name? — asked Timur, departing from her slightly away.
— Olesya, she said. And behind her came a man’s voice. The voice said:
— But I am a worm.
There was nobody next to her. Guys ran up.
— Where is a worm?
— I’m behind, — said a male voice.
Timur carefully sidestepped Olesya and started looking around. There was no one. Turning, he saw that in a nightmare could not have dreamed.
Olesya was a huge swollen head, which seemed about to explode. It throbbed, and inside through the gray skin in the head could be seen moving long worms. In front was a great girl’s face, and behind it was a terrible great face covered with many small rotting eyes all over his face, a rotting mouth from which something dripping. The creature had no nose.
— My name is Worm.
Timur cried. All bypassed Olesya and gaped at the worm.
— Mother of God, what is this crap? — Valera said.
It was impossible to look at the warm without terrible disgust. Everything had rotted and dripping. In oder to not look at it, all faced Olesya, after moving away from her.
— Olesya, have you seen people?
— Yes, I have. All moved to the closed city and live there, — said Olesya.
— Who’s everyone? — asked Nurlan.
— All those who survived, we are many. Not everyone still recovered, but everyone who can walk, moved. And the rest, as soon recover, immediately move there, — said Olesya.
— Tell us what happened to you? — Aelita asked.
— I was at home with my brother, when an outbreak happened. My brother died at once, and I was sick for a long time, could not walk. It is always was a headache and pain in bones, the skin was covered in blisters. I thought I was dying. Then I woke up healthy and very scared, someone spoke behind me. Worms were crawling on me. I saw a worm in the mirror, and he talked to me. Since then we are always together, — said Olesya.
— Are there lot of people like you? — Timur asked.
We are all different. And there are many of us, — said Olesya.
— What do you mean “different”? — asked Timur.
— Just different. We have a teacher, his name is the Messiah, — said Oles.
— What’s a Messiah? You mean Jesus? — Valera asked.
— He protects and saves all of us. He can make wonders, — Olesya said.
— Olesya, come close to someone.
Olesya came quickly to Timur, turned back to him, and from Worm’s mouth came out a long worm, who grabbed his hand. Bakhtiar quickly realized to ignite the torch and began to burn the worm. Suddenly, from all eyes and cracks of Worm huge nasty worms have begun to emerge. Bakhtiar started burning Worm’s face. Olesya yelled and began running away. Everybody ran behind her and started to burn this fiend. The girl was burned to the ground. They checked Timur’s suit, a suit appeared intact.
— Listen, it turns out they’re all infected? And all the monsters? Nurlan asked.
— Let do not spend time for discussing now. Collect all what we can, and run to the subway. We will discuss everything at home. The most important thing for now is water and food, — said Bakhtiar.
Then they all heard some champing. Running up to the place where it was heard, they saw a dead Roman. A monster was sitting beside him and happy eating him, smacking his lips. Burn it quickly. Together with him burned even Roman, so that no one else touched his body.
Silently and quickly gathering everything they need, they headed to the exit. Stopped, gathered with the spirit and rushed to escape with shopping carts.
After running about three hundred meters, they heard laughing. It was a children’s enthusiastic laugh. It was approaching. Hiding behind the house, they saw something from which all the hair stood on.
It was a creature that rapidly moved on four huge furry paws. From the back, it was a spider on the other side it was a boy, they were fused. This child of hell moved quickly on its feet. The boy lay on spider’s back and laughed, shouting: “Faster, faster!” Running past without noticing them the creature ran on.
Having waited, when it will go away, they silently ran. Finally they got the Underground and went down. This time Valera opened the door immediately.
All excited, seeing them, even with food, medicines and water. Erlan left a wife and two children in subway. The wife, her name was Arailym, and two daughters were joyfully hugging him. The older girl was seven years old, her name was Gulnara and the youngest one was a year and a half, her name was Elnara. In that terrible day they were riding by subway to the shopping center “Khan Shatyr” to have fun on the beach.
— Where are the rest? — asked Adil.
— They died — quietly said Bakhtiar.
They told everything that happened to them.
— Do not remain normal people? — asked Uncle Vanya. It was an old man. And though he was seventy-eight years old, he was thinking clearly.
— Should stay. In the bunker, the other subway stations. Should! — Adil said.
— Accurately. There should be people in the bunker. If this bunker created for the people from the government, they should have known about the explosion and take refuge there, — Erlan said.
All agreed with that and became happy.
— Not for nothing this bunker built in advance. Therefore, they knew that this could happen, and therefore, took refuge there.
— But how do we get there? In the closed city living all infected monster. And we do not even have weapons — Timur said.
— I know where to find weapons, — said Adil, — there is a weapon shop in the residential complex “Northern Lights”. I was there and I know there are automatic weapons, weapons and ammunition. Even powerful flamethrowers are available.
— Why did not you say that? We could die without weapons, — Yerlan said.
— Sorry, I did not remember. Just now I’ve thought about this, — Adil said apologetically..
— Okay… There are two ways: We reach the “Northern Lights”, getting arms and go into the closed city, looking for the bunker. The second way: We sit here, doing raids on shops and
waiting for our rescue. With two versions think about what the consequences might be. Today everyone think what to do, and tomorrow will vote and decide, — Yerlan said.
All agreed. Noisy and joyful all supped tightly. Tara lay near and did not depart from Aelita. Aelita kissed her and sniffed without end her ears and paws: “Fufki, fufki! The most adorable smell for me in the world, — said Aelita laughingly.
Tara was in euphoria. Sat down and did a funny face like her grandmother, from what Aelita generally come in emotion and Tara knew it. Even when Tara was little, she, like all puppies, learned to manipulate their hosts and she knew tricks, from which Aelita and Bakhtiar went into raptures.
— I had a neighbor, she said: “If there is a dressed without dog hair on man, it’s not normal,” — smiling, said Valera — always wondered how I live without a dog. She was a kind woman. Rest in piece.
After supper, the children put to bed. Everyone slept on the wagons seats.
Uncle Vanya built a small fire and burned it. Without an agreement, all men gathered there.
— I think we have to go and look for the bunker. If we stay here, in each of our attack we will lose people. And every day it will be less and less of us. And if we find the bunker, we’ll move all in there. I don’t know how, but we will move. If we stay here, infected may track down and get us on the subway.
— I think so too. Just moved into the bunker, we will be able to survive. We can not stay here for a long time, — Yerlan said.
Uncle Vanya said strictly:
— Yerlan, you should stay here with your family. If, God forbid, something happens to you, who will take care of them?
— I need to go, Uncle Vanya. I know that I’ll go and find the bunker in any path and way. I don’t have another choice, — said Erlan.
Leaving decided early in the morning.
Saying goodbye to everyone they move out. Bakhtiar, Aelita, Erlan, Valera, Peter, Nurlan, Timur and Adil have moved out. To reach the “Northern Lights” they had to go two kilometers. Ran light jogging. Ran light jogging. Ran a kilometer without seeing anyone. All ran stressful and were ready for any trouble. Suddenly the mist appeared in front of them. The fog was amazing, some silhouettes were seeing through it. All frozen. Decided to bypass it. Bypassing the fog left, realized that it’s small, about forty meters long and twenty wide. Looking closer, they saw people inside the fog. They seemed did not know that terrible has happened. They lived they ordinary life as before the outbreak. People hurry about their business, did something, bustled. Didn’t know the grief and pain from the loss of loved ones. Peace, tranquility and order prevailed in it.
— What does this mean? — excitedly asked Timur.
— Maybe it’s a parallel universe? Perhaps, indeed, there are parallel worlds, and this is one of them? — Peter asked.
— Yes, exactly. I saw a program on “REN TV” about parallel worlds. They exist. Maybe if we enter this fog, we find ourselves in a parallel world? — asked Nurlan with hope.
— Scary. — Timur said.
— I don’t believe in it. There are no parallel worlds. Just before the outbreak the mist was somewhere, and after flashes after somehow it captured our previous life as a reel of film. And that’s all. Watch “REN TV” less, guys, — Adil said, laughing.
Timur, Peter and Nurlan started to speculate that perhaps this is indeed a parallel world. Everyone started to voice their guesses. What if someone try to enter there, and he will be in another world?
— Guys, moved on. Let us not be distracted, everything will discuss later. Now do the main thing, — Erlan said.
All at once came to their senses and calmed down. Surprisingly, no longer met anyone or anything in their path, reached the “Northern Lights”. Carefully entered into it. The store was open. Going into it, they found that someone had visited the store before them, there were neither weapons nor ammunition. Adil from perplexity scratched his head, forgetting that he was in a gas mask.
— And how should we understand it? — asked Peter.
— Someone was here before us. But who? -said Nurlan.
Suddenly Adil cried out and began to talk excitedly:
— There must be a warehouse. I don’t know where, but it should be here. Somewhere nearby. But location is not in the store. Guys, let’s find it.
Began to inspect everything. Saw the entrance to the basement and went down. In the basement found the armored door.
— It is certainly here.
Valera began to cast over the door, pulled out his tools. Fifteen minutes later the door opened. All went inside and closed the door. There was everything. Guns, automatic guns, with instruments that measure radiation, bulletproof vests, special radiation suits, patrons. Adil switch on radiation meter, shown just above the norm.
— Guys, radiation presents, but not strong. Let’s change the suits quiсkly. This special Nanosuit created from biological and other weapons. They have such material that is impossible to break. It’s supersuit! They are perfect for us. Even if we will have to shoot at close range, burn us, suits all survive — happily said Adil.
— Even if we would shoot, the costume will not miss a bullet? Did you mean this? — Timur asked.
— Yes, that’s what I exactly mean. And even if someone wants to fry your balls, the suit will protect you, — said Adil.
All laughed. Everyone took his suit and began to dress quickly.
— Due to the fact that there is armored door, there is no radiation here. We brought the radiation on our suits. Therefore, a little higher than normal shows, but it is permissible. Guys, maybe have a bite here? When else will be able to eat and drink, do not know — Adil said.
Quickly cooked food. Meal very tight and fun. Everyone mood has risen. There was hope that now they are exactly reach the bunker. Bakhtiar hugged Aelita, and they are quite silent.
Here and now everything was good, and there was a hope for the future…
— It is necessary to take more filters for old costumes. These costumes don’t need filters and old would be useful for us. Now we know where the warehouse, and can always visit it when we need, — said Adil.
All men put on flamethrowers. Because they could bombard bullets and throwing fire. Adil took another sniper rifle:
— When I was younger, I was a good sniper. Now, however, it is not the same years, but it is time to revive old.
— And how old are you that you should revive the old? -Yerlan asked.
— I’m fifty-two, -said Adil.
— Wow, it’s hard to say, — said Nurlan.
Aelita took herself two automatic guns. The flamethrower was too heavy for her. They took lot of ammunition, filters for costumes, and each took a device that measures radiation.
Sat down on the track, quiet for a while and came out. Valera closed the door.
Coming out of the building, Adil pulled out device that measures radiation the device rolls over. Ran light jogging. To the closed city was about ten kilometers to go. Adil made a sign to stop and said:
— How do you think what if we find the car near any gas station, refuel it and will drive? It’s not a matter if we get tired when we reach the city? -We can try. If there will be gasoline in gas station, — said Erlan.
— Each gas station has a tank buried in the ground. Maybe they do not touch? Ah, in the stock was the metal detector, I did not take it; I thought it was the extra load. Now with its help, we would have quickly found a buried tank. Well, try and find a way.
Bakhtiar has seen in five hundred meters from them gas station with auto parts store and said:
— Guys, let’s be careful. Not for nothing gasoline drained from all the cars, so for someone needs it. And that someone could be near the filling stations and guard them.
Not reaching the refueling they stopped, look around, there was no one. Nurlan said:
— It seems everything is clean.
Chosen a jeep. It was a brand new Jeep with a large hatch in the roof. Everyone had an idea what, if anything happened, it will be possible to open the door and shoot from there. Gasoline from the car was merged; they started looking for a tank. They have been looking for a long time, but never found. Suddenly Peter cried out:
All hid. At first heard moaning. Then they saw two hideous monsters. Even in the worst nightmare of a human brain could not think of. They walked painfully and groaning. They had the gray bubble skin, big eyes, got out and reaching the beginning of the head. They had no hair. Some rot have dripped from their mouth. They were a man and a woman. The man’s knees were turned as if they turned upside down, legs bent and front to back, as he walked. Behind him was a huge thick tail, like lizards. When he walked, he leaned tail on the ground. The woman was of epic proportions of lower body, starting from the waist. As if she poured a ton of water. And at the bottom of this incredibly bloated body, reaching down to the ground, stuck two feet. They went to the gas station. Timur gestured it is necessary to kill them.
— Not yet. Let’s see why they had come, — Erlan whispered.
Going to the gas station, they looked. Satisfied that no one and no one is watching them, they fell to the ground and began to dig with hands. To get to the hose, they began to drink from it in turn. They drank for a long time. Finally drunk, they stood cheerful. As if they drank a living miracle drink, and they have increased energy and strength. Carefully burying everything back that there were no visible traces they are left.
When they do not become visible, they all stood up.
— What are they drinking, I wonder? — asked Nurlan.
— I think, gasoline, — said Adil.
Going to this place, quickly began to dig. Finding the hose, keep digging until they ran into the tank.