~~~ A Metro 2033 fan-fiction by Xmaster117 ~~~

Darkness. There are two little mushrooms, growing in the corner behind a support pillar, which are emitting a fade, but comforting green light. The air is cold and wet. The tunnel is long. Very long. The weak stream of light from the flashlight does not reach its end. Its batteries are old and weak. There is not a living soul nearby.

A man is standing on a wooden board, which used to be a part of a long stretching railway system, reaching as far as the tunnels. It used to be a magnificent place, the Russian Metro. Big, fast, silver trains used to speed through its tunnels every day… now no more. Decades have passed since the last man walked these places. Years of isolation have left their mark. Not much of a cozy place the Metro is, once new and shinny, but now old and rusty.

A man is standing on a wooden board. The ground beneath him is muddy and dirty, but his shoes are new and clean and after four days surprisingly still dry. The man hesitates, thoughts rush through his mind… from here on there are no more wooden desks to step on, but steeping on the iron rail would be risky. One wrong move and…

The air is getting worse and worse. The gas tank supplying oxygen to his breathing mask is almost empty and the torn mask isn't helping either. The man takes off his mask… the air is rotten, dead. Many brave men have lost their lives like this, saying: "But it's not poisonous!"… true. But the men died anyway.

The iron rail is pretty much the only thing left of the once long and strong railway, an old, rotten plank can be found here and there… but still, old iron rings and squeegees even if your step is like the one of a cat.

"Mmm, yeah, looks like it's time to get dirty" the man thinks before steeping into the soaking mud, carefully, so he doesn't step on a broken bottle.

The air is rotten, dead. He feels like he's lost in a jungle. He wants to shout out, yell for help. Stretching out for miles, the pipes on the wall lead to every corner of the Metro… maybe somebody could hear him! As a child, he used to spend the evenings leaning his head on a gas pipe, listening to the sounds of the underworld and sometimes, he could hear voices. Weak and distant, but definitely human voices. But he couldn't yell back. Yelling in the jungle is never a good idea, as there are vicious beasts hidden in the shadows, waiting for their prey…

"Mmm, umm, yup, I think I should remain quiet", he says to himself.

In his hands, the man holds a rifle. Old and held together with duct tape, with its magazine half empty, but nevertheless, a valuable weapon. He clings to it, like that last thing keeping him alive, like the last thing preventing dark thoughts from conquering his mind. But even that will soon not be enough…

The air is rotten, dead… but that's not all! Something is wrong, very wrong! The man stops as his boots sink into the mud. Al of a sudden he starts felling a light headache, his heart starts beating crazy and his ears are ringing.

The air is rotten, dead.

For years this place has been at peace and now this man, this, lost soul, dares to enter the one place no one would ever even want to talk about!

"I should have stayed at home…" the last sane thought of a once brave explorer…

Suddenly! The tunnel start shaking and rumbling, a sudden rush of air blasts through it, the grounds starts liquefying, chunks of rocks and mud start falling from the ceiling and walls, pipes shake and squeegee as they break of the walls and everything starts twisting and deforming! Someone starts running towards the man from behind! He turns around… there's no one there. He panics, he remembers not from where he came, or where he wanted to go. He wants to scream, yell for help. If only someone would be there to help him! He stumbles, starts running, he doesn't care about the mud or the glass or the iron rails. He hears footsteps, someone is following him, running behind him, but he dares not to turn around! His light starts flickering, it almost turns off, the man stops, grabs hold of his gun, turns around, squeezes the trigger and…

The rescue team found his body two days later. He shoot himself. He leaned the gun on his head and pulled the trigger. After four days of wandering blind in the darkness, he broke. Sadly, he didn't know he was only a mile away from the nearby trading outpost. He ran in the wrong direction, like he was chased by something. But there were no signs of a fight. Everything in that tunnel was the same way it's been for the last 20 years. Old and rusted.

"And THIS is what happens when you go out on your own, ''exploring'' the tunnels!" said the expedition leader, pointing at the body.

"And I don't want to see any of you without their masks on. This air is rotten"