Chapter 0:

Welcome to Hell


Have you ever wondered how fragile life is? A series of chemical reactions between different molecules happened a long time ago. The resulting protocells captured bacteria and turned them into organelles - their little servants within themselves. The nucleus ordered to divide, multicellular organisms, tissues, organs, animals appeared ... These were the words of my professor of biology - Shulgin. More precisely, in microbiology. Deeply philosophical. Looking at myself, I would not say that I consist of about 30 trillion small living beings. All this in a person is controlled by the brain, but at the lowest level, where the reason for the appearance of this very brain lies -DNA. Physical laws govern the whole world, and the nucleic acids based on them govern life. They made me say all this. Why am I all this? Professor Shulgin, seeing in me a good ability for biology and cognition in general, attracted me to one scientific project ... on genetic engineering, that is, DNA control. I would have known then how it would all end and that it was only ... flowers! In English, it was still on the lot.

I walked along an ordinary street in the village of Kommunarka, in Moscow, where I lived. I already knew that something serious would happen that day, but I did not remember about it.
“It's cloudy outside the Moscow Ring Road today ... I hope the weather is better in Moscow, because today is an important date. I wouldn’t be late,” - everything was spinning in my head.

My gaze fell to my feet, I was once again amazed at how cool the brain automates the work of the body! The body itself follows the already known path, while the consciousness goes about its business. The subconscious mind is its own. Do YOU ​​control ... yourself?

Raised his head and right hand, fingers folded like a pistol, to the sky. Imagined clouds in the form of bunnies scattering from the shots.

“Bang-bang, oh-oh-oh! My bunny is dying,” - I remembered the words from the cartoon of the same name.

With my left hand I embraced the Sun, twisted it like a regulator. Adjusted the brightness.

“Music gives energy and sets the mood. Clear sky and maximum Sun! I will remember this bright day for the rest of my life!”

After that, I immediately fell into a puddle, returning to a difficult reality. It's easy to change the world in your head, but what about outside? While listening to music playing on headphones and pondering, I walked to the Kommunarka metro station.

Comfortably seated in a seat, I spent a long time choosing an audiobook: "The Brain and Soul" by Chris Frith or "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins? As a result, for some reason I chose Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Maybe because there the main character was also heading for the girl that he loves so much? Or maybe because I am in a dungeon, there is darkness all around and, although I am not 35 years old, but I have a feeling that in my 18 years my life has already reached the middle? No, it's all about the girl - not Beatrice, of course, but the name is just as beautiful - Lilia. A little older than me (19), she looked much younger. Her white short hair with curly ends and light brown eyes, like gold, coupled with a cute face, really resembled a flower and captivated. It's a shame to admit, but I agreed to participate in the project proposed by Shulgin, partly - perhaps more - because of her. Since she was already actively involved, being gifted in this area, maybe even more than me.

Having completely immersed myself in listening, I really got into the world of the book - hell. Gloomy surroundings, many people contributed to this. It was breathtaking until a small push on my left shoulder distracted me. It was some kind of stranger who was already fast asleep right on my shoulder. Apparently, she stopped at a nearby station. I even blushed a little from the situation, like a schoolboy. But this did not last long, as he concentrated on Lilia and the book. And after me, something suddenly pricked on the left side: either my jacket, or the stranger had something with her clothes. Without paying much attention, I continued to listen to the book, this time even deeper - the images migrated into my dream.

Light cut through the darkness and was already visible at the end of the tunnel. I woke up from an eerie hum. I clearly heard it, despite the large headphones, which have excellent noise isolation, noise cancellation, and the sound itself. Japanese firm RONYN, after all. But I was only glad, because it was my station - "Rumyantsevo". I got up and went to the exit, it was harder to move my body, as it happens after sleep, maybe a little more.

As I walked - this also happened automatically - I noticed that the space around me was distorted, as if the air currents took on visible outlines, the architecture of the subway became more gothic, as in Dante's time. And the fussing people resembled shadows - the dead sinners from the "Divine Comedy". So much I have never been imbued with a work that the imagination sticks out ... outward. Admiring and at the same time pretty excited, I quickened my pace to get out into the fresh air.

Coming out of the subway, I found myself in a real dungeon. Hell was in front of me.


Renya Yami