in the Directorate bunker consisted of challenging yet mundane maintenance tasks such as unclogging the toilet, unclogging the food supply tubes, unclogging the generators, and unclogging the air intake.
The last of which had led to the demise of my former life as "Dr Gromov" and the beginning of my life as "Engie in Captania".
Life in Captania consisted of running away from horrible monstrosities, pain, various degrees of suffering and the mentally challenging task of arguing with Captain.
Today Engie's quest was to "SHOVEL THE COLD SEASON AWAY". I tried to convince Captain of the incredible pointlessness of the whole endeavor but Captain was adamant about "WRAPPING UP WINTER" and even told me a not very convincing tale about how in a million years a new race of 4 legged beasts will emerge and will continue to preform the ritual of wrapping winter away, as foolish human beings have muddled up the weather patterns, creating a perpetual cloud cover that can only be blown away by magic of love and something-something friendship or other.
I didn't listen too much into Captain's babble, worrying too much about our quickly disappearing food supplies and only paid partial attention when Captain performed a song about the same subject. Captain's song promised to deliver spring tomorrow, was about changes in fashion, welcoming spring and saying goodbye to winter. I was also featured in the song, and apparently I was a newcomer boob who didn't have a clue about his role in winter wrap up.
When Captain got to the lyrics of "RADIOACTIVE CRITTERS HIBERNATE UNDER THE SNOW AND ICE!" I started to slowly back away and closed the door behind me.
"...YOU MUST WORK SO VERY HARD!" Captain's voice boomed through the door.
"DO YOUR BEST TODAY!" was the last thing I heard as I turned the corridor.
Slowing down, I looked at the shovel deciding whether I should continue to carry it or even attempt to do anything with it, or even bother to think about wrapping up winter.
A faint buzzing noise grumbled overhead, catching my attention.
I lifted my head upwards to discover a very odd sight.
A cluster of what looked like huge, red and black striped bees was rumbling overhead, crawling all over the old and dusty glass skylight.
I froze in place, terrified, trying to play dead.
The bees crawled back and forth in a strangely recognizable pattern. A sudden realization struck me- it was words!
The bees on the skylight spelled out "YoUr PErfOrMaNCe Is MoNiTorEd".
I wasnt completely sure whether captain somehow smeared the glass in honey to achieve this terrifying effect or whether the bees had evolved a collective consciousness and were attempting first contact of sorts. The buzzing message shifted and vibrated furiously.
Probability formulas ran in my head.
Mass of beehive versus old skylight.
What do bees eat if all flowers are dead?
My hands gripped the shovel in panic.
The skylight frame shuddered as the number of bees increased.
It looked as if the swarm, noticing my indecision had begun to form another, far longer sentence.
It was at this moment that I decided to run.
As my boots thundered down the corridor, the skylight frame had exploded, raining down a slurry of jagged glass shards and angry radioactive bees.
Panting heavily, I emerged out of the tower.
Surprisingly, I didn't fall through the floor and nothing had fallen onto me.
Disobedience of Captain's orders generally lead to greater and greater probability of something horrible occurring.
I noted this pattern in my mind, and grudgingly set off on the quest of "winter wrap up", dragging the shovel behind me through the snow.
Art Director: Vitaly S Alexius
2nd May 2013