“Does it hurt?” Sergey patted his comrade sympathetically on the back, trying not to touch the shoulder muscle recently pierced with a thick needle. “Still?”

“It’s my soul that aches with pain, Serge. What a shame for the state and people!” Vasily reluctantly waved away, diligently rubbing his numb hand once again. “There were so many traitors around!” he added, spitting in frustration into the gutter bordering the roof of the building.

“They are abominations, all of them…” Sergey hastily agreed with him. “They infected so many people, took us with impudence, no matter what. And what for? Where do they need this money now, and where has all their earthly power gone?” and he waved his hand in the direction of the city square, as if its current silent inhabitants could still give him the answer to this uneasy question.

“Natasha’s legs failed yesterday, her whole body ached. Today she feels a little bit better, but she still can’t walk.”

“And the syndrome?”

“You mean the fever?”

“Yeah. They say if, after the initial injection, all this synthetic crap in the brain begins to self-synthesize, then the first few days it fevers wildly, and then the addiction starts to form after one or two months, and that’s when new and new injections will become needed endlessly. Big Pharma, fuck it! Well, what’s it like to get all of us hooked on it, huh?! Drills! Salvation! The fuck-cine!

“No… she wasn’t feverish,” Vasily choked, trying to swallow the lump that appeared in his throat. “It won’t… I hope. My only hope now goes for God, and not for these… traitors in white coats!”

“You know… they’ll probably be hanging on the streetlights soon, too. As well as those aliens,” and Sergey waved his hand towards the square once again.

“We will soon run out of lanterns supply,” Vasily chuckled darkly. “One can only hope on God’s Judgment and the Second Coming.”

“Look, these ones have already rung off by themselves before his arrival,” Sergey confirmed his thoughts, nodding towards the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, clearly visible against the background of the clear evening sky - or what was left of it in the end, anyway.

And the lanterns were indeed shining. Their night lights softly, like a wild cat carefully crossing the road, illuminated rare snowflakes gently falling on the sidewalks, and those, obeying the imperious call of the wind circling around the square, curled into heavenly snakes and earthly snowdrifts, now and then bending into all-new bizarre patterns.

Here, from the roof of this high-rise building, Sergey and Vasily could clearly see the most famous among tourists Red Square, which from now on and forevermore became the last earthly haven for traitors and murderers. A few soldiers - a small night military patrol - kept measuring their pace, slowly marching back and forth alongside it. The wind rocked the bodies of the powerful of this world who had gone to God’s Judgment on the gallows and thus lost all their imaginary strength overnight. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, destroyed by the earthquake, no longer made a single sound, silently glittering with cracked domes in the light of evening street lamps. Somewhere in the distance, a television tower blazed like an unquenchable torch. And only the tank, which had crashed into the mausoleum while moving on all sails, added at least some enthusiasm to this evening picture.

“The evening balls… the e-v-e-n-i-n-g b-a-l-l-s…” Vasily sang out the words of his favorite song, wiping his suddenly for some reason wet eyes with the edge of his jacket. “A pity that they will call upon us soon, too. I don’t want to die like a slave waiting for a new dose… I want to die like a warrior! Well, at least our children will be wiser than us… Not infected with all of this… all this… earth dirt.”

“Have you forgotten, or what? Russians never surrender! We’ll live to see the other day, you’ll see! We’ll live to see the Second Coming!” Sergey slapped his friend on the back once again with all his might.

“Always an optimist…” Vasily smiled timidly. “Well, so be it, I’ll take your word for granted. I don’t feel like sleeping at all today, especially after such events. Well, what are we going to do?”

“Let’s go to look out for constellations?”

“Let’s go!”


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