Shorts of The Metro

A/N: Sorry, guys, for not continuing the story arc involving Neiman and Sergei, now that I put them together. However, a flash of inspiration came to me as I saw Life of Boris's latest video. Here's what happened.

Disclaimer: Metro 2033 is the property of Dmitry Glukhovsky and 4A Games. Everything else not mine belongs to their respective owners as well. No copyright infringement intended. Any appearances of real people in said fic are entirely fictional.

Chapter 20: Soup...

One day, a traveler came upon a small station to rest. He was a stalker who ventured far and wide topside looking for goodies left behind from the old prewar world of Moscow to trade back underground. However, winter has come (well, it's always been there) and now the pickings were slim. It was one of his bad days and he returned to the underground with nothing but his trusty tools of the trade.

He was hungry, tired, cold, and twitchy as he decided to knock on the doors of hovels in the outskirts of the station. No one answered. Undeterred but desperate, he continued knocking on different residences as he tried to fight back the flashbacks plaguing his mind, of the horrors of the dead city attacking him and the countless expeditions he was on, of seeing his friends get chopped down by mutants, ambushed and robbed by bandits, arrested by by various factions of the Metro, sodomized by anomalies during the wee hours of the morning, and being haunted by dreams of world-ending madness.

Of course, not everyone was pleased by his door-to-door, which often punctuated by shouts of "Get out of here, stalker!", followed by gunshots. Such selfish bastards, driving away the man who literally risked his ass getting them the good shit from above and repaying him with death threats and lead. But such was the breakdown of traditional values before the war, which were displaced by the heretical worship of Neoliberalism in which Hansa hosts its MGR-grubbing cathedral, preaching pure capitalism and exploiting one's fellow man for monies until it was bombed by Trotskyite extremists, which was then followed by their Satanist allies who promptly attacked the still-burning "cathedral" for bodies to eat, roasting themselves in the fire in the process.

The hour grew late and the stalker had tried yet another neighborhood, quieter this time. He felt a chill as he looked over his shoulder knocking the door. Then the door opened slightly and poked out of it was an old lady. "Goodness, who are you? What do you want, young man?" she asked softly.

"Oh babushka," cried our hero, "I've had a bad day and traveled at the surface and got nothing to trade. Can you spare some food for me?"

"Blyin, I have no food to spare," answered the old lady. "There's nothing I can give to you."

The stalker sighed in despair. Then he spied something behind her in the corner of her hovel. And his tired, scarred mind came up with something. "Okay, you have no food. What about the hatchet in the corner? That looks delicious. Why are you hiding it from me?"

"Huh... that thing," she said, astounded looking back. "Why would you want to eat my hatchet?" She silently cocked her sawed-off double barrel behind the door jamb.

"Hatchet soup is my favorite," he said with twitching eyes.

"The hunger in you has gotten to your head," the crone said, "you cannot make soup from a hatchet and you can't take away my hatchet."

"I'm not here to take it away," he responded, eyes twitching some more. "Why not we eat here?"

"If you insist," the babushka smiled as she remembered the fish-gutting knife in her drawer. "Come in, I'll get the pot ready." So the stalker let himself in.

"My, my, you're skin and bones, what a pity," she added as she allowed him to sit by the fire.

"I had a rather bad day," he said as he warmed himself by the fire.

"Ah, and you need your babushka's homemade soup," she crooned as she got the pot, hammer, and knife from the closet and got behind the stalker, who was having flashbacks of doom and madness...

Later that day...

The entire neighborhood joined the old lady and the stalker for some hot Metro soup as after he fixed her pot. 'Twas indeed a joyous gathering as everyone contributed to the pot and had some shroom beer on the side.

"This is such an exquisite soup," said one of her neighbors, "the shrimp goes well with the mushrooms."

"Man, you put to good use the potatoes I had bought from Polis," said another, "I thought I have to wait for them to mold."

"The only reason you want them to mold is so you can get high," laughed a third, "man, I thought my cabbage would go to waste."

"I like shrimp heads," said the weird one as he bit off the head of a shrimp and crunched on it.

And amidst all this laughter in a banquet of some simple soup, the stalker faced the screen. "What? You think this will end in a Donner Party? No, my friends. We are having hatchet soup, a delicacy based on our most cherished fairy tales, where someone gets everyone else to share ingredients to make a seemingly ridiculous soup. Morale of the story: it's good and fun to share with people, especially in the most trying times. Now, let's see how everyone else in the Metro is doing with their hatchet soup."

Red Line...

"We are making Hatchet soup," declared a commissar, "only the finest the Red Line has to offer."

The soldier with him looked down on the pot. "There's nothing in it. There's not even fuel."

The commissar smiled on. "Exactly."

Fourth Reich...

Reich troopers were singing the Horst Wessel Lied so badly that they sound like screaming cats, as they surround a steaming pot.

"Alright, boys!" declared the Reich sergeant. "Das Bootesuppe is ready!" He fished out a pair of yellow rubber boots from the pot.

His squad cheered like they won the World Cup. Well, having anything to eat at all in the Metro was like winning a World Cup.


"Look at my most delectable gourmet soup!" declared the proud, snide Hansa Merchant. "Made with one hundred percent organic sawdust. The best part is that I'm not sharing it with you!" He started eating that soup like the capitalist pig that he is. How's he gonna digest that?

A special from an American among the Spartan Rangers...

"Today, we are gonna try this 1957 can of borscht. This dated from the Kruschev era and was part of emergency rations distributed in nuclear bunkers across the Soviet Union. As you can see here, this a fairly rare variant of borscht called Mushrooms and Sprats, made by the Kazan Food Works in Factory No. 81." He picked up a can opener. "Let's open this up." He cut the top, letting loose a slight sigh of air from the can. "Nice hiss." He smelled the air. "It smells like a bowl of borscht than been left frozen during the winter and left to thaw out the entire spring, with Italian sardines sprinkled in as an afterthought."

"Let's get this on the fire." He placed the open can in the fire. "Oh no, the aroma is beyond description as I cook it. It's from a can that had clearly seen better days."

As the soup was done cooking he looked at the inside. "Reddish brown with a hint of black, looks like an entire ecosystem was living in here. I think I hear screaming from inside of it. Not very appetizing... I wonder if this stuff is still edible..." He took a spoon and take a taste.

His faced scrunched. "Ugh, this is awful. ...actually it's not that ba-aahhhrghdgh, what is, ughshfrrhh, something's not right. So rancid, my mouth is covered in rancid oils. What am I doing with my life? Why did we blow ourselves up. Uhhm, well, just one more bite." That he did.

"Oh God, some poured vodka and soap shavings in this can. My mouth is numb. Just one more bite to be sure." Then he spooned it for the last time.

"Blergh! Blergh! I wouldn't recommend this. This is far way past its prime. Perhaps some mayonez and horseradish can mask the taste of this horrid ration, very decadent though. Still leaves the question of what it would do to your insides. This alone would cause the fall of the Iron Curtain three times over. Catch us on the next video. Stay safe, guys."

Tune in with us again for more expired ration reviews... if he still lives...

Where the former Finnish embassy used to be...

"Oi, Perkele!" said a man who used to be its head of security. "You little bitches complain about winter but I never had a better time in my life." He fired his shotgun upward and a nosalis landed squarely on the table.

"Good! Dinner is here!" he cried, raising his hatchet. "Now we make some Nosalis stew. First we start skinning-"

Nevermind. Now, at some corner in what used to be a home economics school...

"Today, we are going to make some wonderful pork soup," said a beautiful long-haired lady whose dark hair and winter gear contrasted nicely to her pale skin. Omsk can be seen photobombing the scene. "Now, to make the stock."

The door flashes to the same Hansa merchant struggling in fear as he was hogtied and manhandled to the boiling cauldron. He was being made dinner against his will.

"Isn't he so excited for dinner?" She smiled sweetly and she picked up the hatchet.

Back to the neighborhood...

"Now you see how universal soup is across the Metro and before this, across the world," said the stalker. "That's all for today, folks! Stay safe, stay warm, and stay full. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

A/N: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year indeed to you guys. This would be my last upload for 2020 and I hope you had a great time this holiday season, you've earned it with everything that happened this year. The story above is loosely based on Life of Boris's vid on the hatchet soup fairy tale from Eastern Europe, part of stone soup theme found across different cultures across the world. And the skit of the American trying a can of borscht is my shoutout to Steve1989MREInfo on Youtube, who specializes in trying military rations including old ones, becoming a meme in his own right for it.

-End theme plays - Country Roads, Guiter + kazoo cover by Sg. Bash plays as ghost of American trying out Borscht with Mushrooms and Sprats floats aimlessly over Moscow-