As civilisation draws its final, shuddering breaths, memories of humankind’s former glory are already obscured by a thick fog of fantasy and fiction. More than twenty years have passed since the day when the final plane took off. Corroded, rust-pitted railroad tracks lead off into nowhere. The great construction projects of the final great age lie in ruins, destined never to be completed. The airwaves are empty, and when radio operators tune in, for the millionth time, to the frequencies on which New York, Paris, Tokyo and Buenos Aires once used to broadcast, all they hear is a distant howling.
It is only twenty years since it happened. But man is no longer the master of the earth. New creatures born of the radiation are far better adapted to this new world than human beings. The human era is almost over. Those who refuse to believe it are very few, numbering mere tens of thousands. They do not know if anyone else has been saved, or if they are the last people left on the planet. They live in the Moscow Metro – the largest nuclear bomb-shelter ever built – in the final refuge of the human race.
On that day they were all in the Metro, and that was what saved their lives. Now hermetic seals protect them against radiation and monsters from the surface, decrepit but functional filters purify their water and air, dynamos built by amateur engineers generate electricity, underground farms cultivate mushrooms and breed pigs. But the central control system of the Metro disintegrated long ago, and its stations have become dwarf states, each with a population united by its own ideology and religion – or merely by loyalty to the water filters.
This is a world without any tomorrow. There is no place in it for dreams, plans and hopes. Here instincts take priority over feelings, and the most powerful instinct of all is survival. Survival at any price.
What happened before the events recounted in this book is described in the novel Metro 2033.
This novel is being translated into English and published on Amazon chapter by chapter.
This is Chapter 1.