полет для мира
Part I

The abandoned and decrepit apartment building felt as if it could collapse any second. Yevgeny Novikov (Евге́ний Новиков) sat with patience on a wooden chair that had seen better days. His weapon that he found near the body of an Armed Volunteers soldier a few months back rested in his lap; his hands laid on it, ready to use it at any moment. It was a RS-100cal. Hand Laser, a handy weapon that was able to shoot an infinite number of laser "bullets" that were equivalent to a 100 caliber round, if there ever was such a thing. In addition to that, it was capable of deploying a sword, made of the same lasers that the weapon shot, for close quarters combat.

Yevgeny's prized weapon was created by Fringe Armstech, the weapons contractor that aided the Armed Volunteers, the organization dedicated to stopping the menace that much of the world had now come to fear: the Ruffians. Originally, the Ruffians were genetically engineered animals that were created by the Japanese, in an effort to provide a solution to the strained food resources that were once plentiful across the world. The project was eventually successful and received universal praise - until the blessing quickly turned into a horrible damnation.

The animals began to rapidly mutate for reasons unknown and soon turned rabid, breaking free of their confines and ravaging through Japan in little time. It wasn't long after that that the Armed Volunteers formed and began their assault on the Ruffians. It was around that time, however, that Tokyo was mysteriously decimated by a flood of red water. Immediately after that, the Armed Volunteers suffered serious damage at the hands of the Ruffians and what they claimed to be terrorists. And the climax to these unprecedented events was a meteor storm that laid waste to various parts of the world.

As perilous as the times were, Yevgeny did not concern himself too much with those matters. He was only one man, and as only one man, he dedicated himself to the one thing he had control over: his family's safety. For nearly three months, he, his wife, Alonya Novikova (Алёна Новиковa), and his brother-in-law, Pyoter Yevtushenko (Пётр Евтуше́нко), had been living in the now desolate town of Anadyr (Анадырь), near the Bering Strait. Months ago, the town was attacked by Ruffians that made their way north from Hokkaido, Japan and soon to follow were the Armed Volunteers, trying to stop them before they destroyed everything. Despite their efforts, the town eventually was forced to evacuate, but not everyone was able to make it out. They, along with handfuls of others, were left to fend for themselves in the cold winter of northern Russia with hordes of Ruffians all over the land.

As Yevgeny sat silently in his chair, looking out into the white winter landscape of the barren streets, he suddenly sat up in his chair as something caught his interest. A gargantuan Spider Seemer marched proudly down the street right outside of the building. If there was one thing they never had to worry about, it was food; after all, the Ruffians were designed just for that. He stood from his chair, RS in hand, and walked out of the apartment's staircase common area. His ushanka kept his head surprisingly warm, despite the biting wind chill and his thick coat, pants, and fur-lined boots stopped any hint of cold from affecting him, despite the large amount of sweating he was doing under the clothes. He tended to his footsteps carefully, trying not to make the deep snow crunch loudly beneath his feet, lest he alarm the beast into attacking him too early.

The Spider Seemer continued crawling down the street in ignorance. Its blue-green body and yellow eyes made the creature look immensely hideous, but he was in no position to choose his food. He could only take what God gave him and be satisfied with it. Yevgeny took aim with his RS as he came ever closer to the Ruffian. He took aim at the Seemer's leg, aiming to cripple it before it tried to attack him. With the pull of the trigger, the RS sent a salvo of red lasers at the creature. It let out a disgusting cry as it turned around to face Yevgeny, limping slightly from the wounds his leg took. It reared up slightly on its back legs and began to spin a thick web. Yevgeny jumped out of the way of the web and fired upon it once more, causing it to stumble back as it took hit after hit. Despite the heavy buffeting the Spider Seemer took from the RS's laser fire, it rushed at Yevgeny in a rage. Yevgeny stopped firing and switched the RS's mode, engaging its sword, and then he charged at the mad Ruffian. The Seemer raised a leg and brought it down to impale Yevgeny, but he sidestepped just in time to dodge it and retaliated, severing its leg from the rest of its body. It roared in pain as it attempted to retreat from Yevgeny, but he did not allow it to escape; he finished the job, stabbing the creature through its head. Dark yellow blood dripped from the wound as it let out its last hiss and collapsed to the snow-ridden street.

Yevgeny switched the RS to safe as he let out a sigh of relief, happy to have caught a meal for the coming night. The only good thing about the severe cold of the winter was that it prevented the meat of the kill from rotting, allowing them to ration a Ruffian's carcass for days before having to rid of it. Unlike normal animals, the cells of a Ruffian were more unstable, causing them to break down at a faster rate than a normal post-mortem creature.

"Yevgeny Alexandrovich Novikov! I see you have yourself a fine kill!" a voice called from down the street.

Yevgeny looked around to see a heavy-set man walking his way. It was Viktor Ivanovich Tolstoy (Виктор Иванович Толсто́й), one of the few people that were left behind in Anadyr. He carried an SVD sniper rifle on his shoulder as he walked closer.

"Yes, it wasn't difficult to take down. And you?" Yevgeny responded.

Tolstoy came to a stop within a few meters of Yevgeny and held his rifle at port arms. "I wish I could say the same, but they tend to be elusive around this time of day, at least for me," he answered, giving a slight chuckle.

"With a Ruffian this large, I don't think we'll need the whole thing. You are welcome to take some back to your family if you want."

"Thank you, you're a very good man," Tolstoy thanked as he approached the deceased Ruffian.

"Which part will you be taking?" Yevgeny asked as he also drew near it.

'Hmm, I'll take a leg. It'll be enough for me and my wife."

Yevgeny deployed the RS's sword and slashed a leg from the creature and let it fall to the snow. "Will you need help moving it?"

Tolstoy picked up the leg and hung it over his shoulder. "No, I should be able to carry this little bit. Thanks again, Novikov!" he thanked as he walked to the other side of the street into an apartment building adjacent to the one Yevgeny stayed in.

Clumps of snow fell to the floor as Yevgeny stepped inside of the apartment room that he and his family stayed in. Since there was no working electricity in the city, they had no heat or radiators to warm them. They, instead, used a 55 gallon drum that Yevgeny cut in half to start fires in, from the fat of the Ruffians they ate. Yevgeny moved the large Spider Seemer leg into the living space of the room and sat it down on the dusty carpet of the floor. From another part of the room, a woman came out, seeing who it was. "Oh, you're back already?" she asked.

"Yes, my dear. This time we have plenty to fill us," he answered with pride.

The woman was Alyona Novikov, Yevgeny's wife of two years. Just as she entered the living space, a man came in also after her. It was Pyotr Yevtushenko, Yevgeny's young brother-in-law. He lived with his sister ever since their parents died almost a year ago. He wasn't quite old enough to live on his own yet, but he was old enough to hold his own when it came down to it.

"Hmm, another Spider Seemer? Those things have a gross after-taste..." he grumbled as he entered the room.

"Hey, we are in no position to complain, Petya. We have to take whatever we can get our hands on," Yevgeny scolded Pyotr. Petya was the name Yevgeny used for him, finding it more comfortable to say than his real name.

Yevgeny went to an old chair in the room and sat down. "Did you make any progress with that generator?"

"No," Pyotr said, shaking his head with the word, "I'm getting close to fixing the short on it. Once I do, we'll have enough power to run the electricity in this room for about a week."

"If you could do that," Alyona started, "Then maybe we can charge that radio we have and call out for help."

"Nonsense, the Armed Volunteers would have returned by now if they were interested in saving out lives," Yevgeny pessimistically stated. "Not even our own government is concerned enough to come save us. The only hope we have is ourselves."

"Even if it is true," Alyona began as she walked over to him, "It wouldn't hurt to try at least," she finished as she stood behind him and hugged him.

"I've been doing a little thinking...about this whole mess were in," Yevgeny started, staring down at the unclean carpet, "I've heard that America has yet to be attacked by the Ruffians."

"Don't tell me you're thinking about going to America, brother?" Pyotr exclaimed.

"Making the attempt is much more productive than simply waiting here to die like the rest," Yevgeny rebutted. "How much longer are we going to hope? We've been abandoned by the Armed Volunteers and by Russia! It had fallen to us to make our own escape," he passionately pleaded his case.

"How would we even make our way to America? Most of the city's gas has been used up or has frozen up. We couldn't drive a car or boat, much less fly," Alyona contested.

"But there is one way," Yevgeny hinted.

"What do you mean?" Pyotr asked.

"If we can fix that generator, we could power one of the snowmobiles and ride our way across the Bering Strait, since it is frozen currently,"

"But it couldn't possibly last long enough to reach anywhere worth mentioning. We would die," Pyotr answered.

"But we'll die here if we wait any longer."

Rather than another response to Yevgeny, they all were silent as his words rang through their minds. Deep in all of their hearts, they knew that those words were true for everyone that still waited for hope in Anadyr.