In the fourteenth year, late December, a man of god entered the metro.
His mother had been an unimportant employee of the Russian embassy to the British isles. From his mother, he received a strong mind and good education, wide cheekbones, and a name sworn to the lord. From his father, he was given a slender face, curious eyes, energy abundant, and a need for god. And the lord gave him loss, a love for man, and the resolve to travel East.
This journey is a grand tale, and worthy of the numerous retellings in its honor, but dredging these tales would only dilute my present purpose.
Gavriil came to the metro with a band of followers, several books, and all the emotions that accompany a man’s return to a ruined childhood.
His heart had been set to serve his lord, but in the cold confines of the cursed tunnels, the guiding words reveled in silence. To sate his greed to serve the lord, Gavriil searched wildly for the means to hear the lord’s command. In books and people, he searched for knowledge. He read the works of Socrates, Marx, Tolstoy, Sam, Thoreau, and a dozen others.
While lost, his faith in the lord’s power waned. He failed his test as a prophet, and abandoned the idea of obeying his will as a man of the cloth, but never forsook his faith as a Christian. It is difficult do describe in few words, but Gavriil, in his quest to assemble the knowledge to follow god’s will, slowly realized that his questions and needs were the very answers and purpose he sought.
It is important to note that it was largely the lord’s guidance, we are told, that compelled him on such a path. Odd an idea as it is, in several moments of indecision, the lord gave subtle guidance away from himself. And as his travels wore on, starting long before he saw Moscow, Gavriil relied on himself more by more, until, late in his journey, he no longer sought the signs of god’s will.
But, the present object of our attention takes place not in the fields, but in the tunnels.
In a moment of profound spiritual, religious, historical, social, and planetary significance, the lord, if the lord it was, conjured lightning, held it in a ball, and cast it down a tunnel unexplored. Gavriil gathered his strength and courage, and followed this ghastly blue tunnel. Downwards and deeper he sank, for four days, and all this time he was alone. Gavriil had many moments of strength and failure and sorrow; each time he fell upon the rubble, he sobbed his eyes dry, and his face burned, and there was nothing left for him but death and travel, and so he sank yet further into the depths of this blessed hell. And for three days, he was without food or water, and his dreams were visions.
At the far end of his sojourn, he found himself standing on the precipice of a grand pit, a perfect cylinder so wide and deep and dark that any man would have mistaken it for the depths beneath hell, where demons are cast to their torment for sins beyond the mortal coil. At regular intervals leading down, -every 50 meters- there were seen the entrances to smaller chambers that held within them great power. This one a great stock of food. That one there held room for a thousand to sleep in peace and rest. The one across held a room from which to survey the world. This one a store of oil and kerosene, adjacent a chamber for a hundred machines of war. And affixed to each of these was a closet which contained several rifles each, which supplemented the armory far below. And at the bottom-most level of this pit, there was a great machine that produced electricity, electricity enough to power the whole metro.
That day, the name was given to him, Gavriil Rus. From god’s strength, the warrior who founded the new Russia.