3:27 AM, the Sun is slowly rising.
We’re waiting, observing, securing each other. Not even drowsy, due to the adrenaline’s appearance. Micklas on his position in the bushes, I – Weyk on the tree, Hristph is setting spikes. Everything’s looking perfect, but we always have to be careful.
When we locate a potential target, we need about two weeks for arrangements. Firstly, flight of the Battle-Drone, then airdrop of Mobile Infiltrating Unit. After a quick reconnaissance, we must get it out of (un)known area. Next step is about estimating passages that security takes when patrolling. In this case, they weren’t complicated, so we figured them out during the first flight. The last thing is finding a way into the building we have to get in, which is usually the hardest part of infiltrating process, so it was this time. We’ve noticed that hole in the wall which we’ve found earlier is repaired now. There were no entrance on the ground level, so I had to find another one, undeniable that located higher. Sitting on the tree, I was trying to transform my flashlight into monocular. Useful and compact gadget which is necessary in our profession. Mine current position allowed me to look for any possible entrances. Building, which we were about to infiltrate had a few “balconies”. One row was connected with ladder, with which we could achieve seemingly opened window on the highest floor. If it is not shortened, naturally.
Suddenly I felt vibration on my right wrist – my watch was clearly showing, that it is high time to jump off the tree.
We begin in 15 minutes.
I have managed to forget how good duo is our trio. I would like to say something more about minute from 4:20 to 4:21 AM but I was already inside the building. Everything went automatically, sorry. A few seconds later I heard last muted sound of entering man.
Four levels of pure loot, what a story!
Gasmasks on our faces – let’s go!
When all around you,
Tons are being packed,
Right into your friend’s bag,
But in the room neighbouring,
You hear weird sound, devouring,
Despite another sack packed,
Feeling some kind trapped,
Looking at them stunned,
Until you have found,
Being seriously harmed
Willing to escape,
Perceiving the shape,
By fiend tormented
(As a result of idiocy)
As it is in such moments, quick and proper assessment of situation can be essential in keeping yourself alive. Another (most) important factor is distance from the source of danger. Hristph, who was digging in a pile of documents, did not expect that breaking the seal on really old-looking paper, will be his last mistake in his life. The very first, and only words that his comrades heard before tearing apart guardian of old document was something like “1917, yeah, for sure…” said with words that, person who eyewitness releasing cursed Gorynych, would rather be noted in one’s memory as: 1917, yeah, for sure….
Anyway, Hristph died immediately, treated with tremendous amount of venomous spit. Just try to imagine, Invisible Observer, that you are this cursed mythical serpent, imprisoned for about 99 years in a small piece of paper decorated with seal. Simultaneously, you are being paralysed, unable to any, even smallest, movement. Furthermore, all these years you have to gather spit in your mouth, because of motoric inability. You have three heads by default, you are 6 to 9 meters long (depending on your day), and you are really, really venomous. So imagine, how much of your saliva you could stock. Then read again how long you were imprisoned. Finally think about first thing after releasing from curse. If this thing is spitting out (anywhere) your oral-luggage, then you were thinking right. Gorynych did it perfectly, killing one out of three visible opponents.
Exhausted by hex reptile fell on the uneven structure covered with its own vaporous slime. There was a corpse of looter under massive creature. Another one, who had his mask taken off a while earlier, was about to fall into third’s arms. It is really important to cover your teammate.
Two sacks were in the middle of this incident. First was filled with brackets, rebars, heating pipes, tubs, ladders, metal doors, metal air, platforms, walls, grids and so on, and second diplomatically contained scrap.
Gorynych needed recovery.
Partially alive looters needed to escape.
Narrator needs a break.
Goddamn it, what an idiot! Didn’t I say “pack only scrap”? No message reached the destination! Now I have to escape with unconscious Micklas, and also I don’t know what happened to this naughty Hristph… Perhaps I have to think of him like of dead one, considering what acid did to surrounding, and how it dazed the carried one. I don’t remember how I made it to the stairs. Next picture was showing hall with big backs (big distillery thing). Next to it there was a room with big amount of pendant scrap and some reggae scrap. I’ve started to feel tired of carrying, so I had to find relatively safe place. Relatively, because I had to consider fact, that I may be forced to face this deadly snake.
On the same floor, there was a small room, probably distribution center, or something related to electricity. It was dark like in some kind of tomb, but at least I had an option to separate us from the surroundings. I put Micklas leaning against the wall, and turned flashlight on the ceiling, as reflected from walls gave me better visibility. Afterwards I looked on my mate’s face for the first time since he fainted. I barely suppressed cry, as his face was frozen, something like turned into stone, but without turning at all. What the hell am I supposed to do? I took off my mask, feeling that I’m about to vomit. I wiped off sweat from forehead, and kept calm, as I had to face the reality soon.
Not really interesting situation.
Single slap – did he wink?!
-Can you hear me? – I’ve asked quietly.
Deduction, why you do this to me?
Paralysed, but conscious mate, wonderful!
What should I do?
I didn’t think, didn’t know. Hopeless situation, mental chaos. Maybe after opening door of our temporary shelter I will look into eyes of this evil creature? I would rather not think.
As he said, he did.
He arised, gripped universal flashlight, carelessly opened the door.
He had tremendous luck, but he didn’t notice. Forging ahead, armed and dangerous, he was holding a rebar in a way, like he was eating sushi with sticks for the very first time. He went through stairs trampling down pieces of glass. He didn’t feel any pain,he forgot even about breathing. When Gorynych appeared in his sight, he didn’t notice that two of his three head are not able to function, looking like they were dead. But this only enhanced his deadly nature, I suppose. Few seconds later Weyk fainted, falling straightly on his face. The reason was probably oxygen deficiency. As you can see, Invisible Observer, even omniscient narrator sometimes has a worse day, and moments of uncertainty. In such situations we usually use word probably, to protect ourselves from eventual accuses due to incompatibility with the original. And to be nice with you. Going back to Weyk, it came out that he saved himself by not putting his mask on, and forgetting about very important life activity called breathing. Why saved? Not so quick, you bastard, wait a second!
Someone interested in medicine would say that he is dead, but someone without this knowledge, and is not a bloody ignorant, would know the difference between clinical death and biological one. Sometimes what we see, is not actually true.
It is high time for some conclusion. After removing the curse, three-headed Gorynych appeared. Every head was alive and efficient, although it has litres of venom in its mouth. First died at the beginning, as he killed first looter. Second, to be honest, did it just a second later, as such ancient creature do not recognise if his victim is dead or just paralysed. If it do not react to surrounding, it is automatically considered as dead. Everyone who did ever functioned with three heads, would know how hard it is to decide of something. Big price instead of massive effectiveness, but who did say that you will get anything for free? Exactly, no one did.
Then authentically it is clear that after annihilating the potential danger, mythical serpent is turning off, randomly chosen head. The only problem is about its intelligence, and when turning off his head, it do it permanently. As I have mentioned earlier, paralysis is just paralysis, but death may not be irreversible from the aforementioned point of view. Unconscious deceit of the brave, but scared, rogue.
But it was not as good as it looked, because before he woke up, something got into his mouth. Something, means in this situation, posthumous venom of Gorynych.
What, how, where, when, why?
I. Hate. Too. Many. Thoughts.
How bitter, what the…
Unfortunately, sometimes life is brutal.
None of looters won.
One died, but it is not even scary, because the other two may be considered as invalids.
Nonentity, infirmity and some kind of defect, or literally: death, being a cripple and bitter taste in mouth until the end.
And everything because of bags filled with:
- brackets, rebars, heating pipes, tubs, ladders, metal doors, metal air, platforms, walls, grids and so on.*
*delete where applicable.
Creature called Gorynych was made basing on post-apocalyptic books of Денис Шабалов (Denis Shabalov), although it is also partly compatible with Slavic myths, and coherent with thought unit of the author.
What seems to be invisible, may not be at all.
English bonus: explanation of original title.
Gory-ny-cz | Gorynych
Unfortunately, original, Polish title can’t be translated precisely into English. Main reason results from the difference between words; “Gorynycz” can be translated as “Gorynych”, but “gorycz” means “bitter taste in our mouths”, which isn’t familiar to first word. However, consider the fact, that this title has two meanings in its original form.