“Dear Muscovites and guests to our capital! The Moscow metro is a form of transportation which involves a heightened level of danger!”
These words, they greeted commuters at the start of every day in Moscow, but that was 20 years ago, before the bombs fell. I have never seen the world the old ones say existed before the war, I have lived underground all my life. The subway, known as the Moscow Metro, is a cruel mother only the strongest and luckiest survive life underground. The city above is irradiated; the few who dare go out there have heavy protection from the radiation and even more heavy weapons, to combat the horrors that came to existence after the war. And all of this for some measly piece of rations or something to drink, that the long gone inhabitants of the dead city stashed for themselves. We call the people who dare cross the wasteland, Stalkers.
But the rest of us you ask? We continue our lives underground, squatting to survive, fighting each other and the abominations from the top, killing to survive and to protect the ones we love. You see, when the bombs fell, there was this thing called the Central Metro Authority, the remnants of the previous elite, having the task to keep us together to repopulate the topside and restore civilization. It didn’t last long… years passed, we forgot what lead us to the subway, people started separating into groups and the Metro stations of Moscow shattered into a patchwork of independent states, forming confederations and alliances, even fighting wars, and trading, among other things. We are again, doing the same mistakes our forefathers did, and we can’t even see it.
With money becoming difficult to locate and maintain, it lost all purpose. In time, the inhabitants of the Subway switched to using 5.45x39mm cartridges, they became the new morbid currency in the post-apocalyptic world because the technology to manufacture them had been mostly lost and any counterfeiting attempts were severely limited as a result. Ironic isn’t it, each bullet is somebody's life. A hundred grams of tea costs five lives, a sausage - mere trifle fifteen, a nice leather jacket on sale - only two hundred and fifty. Market station daily income could well be more than the number of all surviving humans in the Metro.