|“||Now in this purgatory we live in, I am the only voice they dare listen to||„|
— The Preacher
The Preacher was initially shown as a crazed religious fanatic in the live action short. His survivor story expands upon this, displaying his vast authority in the metro as a religious figure. He is likened to a shepherd, leading a flock of sheep who are desperate for hope. He appears power-crazed, and rightfully so. Metro citizens seem to worship him, overcome by silence when he appears in public to preach.
Official Video DescriptionEdit
Before the blast, he was a well-known feature of the Moscow streets preaching at the top of his voice at all hours of the day, but now, after a period of soul-searching, he has become a beacon of hope and spiritual advisor to the hopeless denizens of the Metro.
Nobody knew for sure what had driven him, one day, to abandon his life and take to the streets, holy book in hand. His young wife was shocked, and for weeks she would visit him every day on the square, pleading with him to come home, to return to his job, to see his baby son. He would talk of a moment of divine visitation, a blinding light and a heavenly call that he was powerless to refuse. Others talked darkly of delusion and breakdown, shook their heads and pitied his family.
He became a familiar sight on the streets of Moscow, familiar enough to be near-invisible to those going about their daily routine. For ten years, he preached of repentance and apocalypse, never wavering in his certainty that soon a day of judgment would come. His wife no longer visited him; his son had forgotten his face.
The moment the missiles began to stream through the sky, he collapsed to his knees in rapture. What he had always known was at last coming to pass – a divine reckoning in which his sacrifices would be honored. He clutched his bible to his chest and wept with gratitude as all around him feet pounded on the concrete, the whole crowd streaming in one direction. And then his chest tightened, and he looked up at the sky once more. For the first time in years, he was unsure; he felt fear. His feet carried him to the Metro station, but his mind was empty, and he could not remember in the days that followed how he had traveled from one place to another.
In the chaos below ground, an old woman recognized him as the preacher from the square, and knelt down before him, convinced that he would have the answers, that all along he had known the truth. Others joined her, most of them stricken with grief as they thought of loved ones left behind to die on the surface, all of them unable to comprehend how this could be God’s will. He thought he had made peace with such things long ago, setting aside all earthly companionship and attachments. But he was tortured by the moment of doubt he had experienced as the missiles filled the sky, and was unsure how to respond to their pleas. In ten long years on the streets of Moscow, no one had sought his counsel, and he had thought only to preach of the apocalypse, not to tend souls.
Confused and distraught, he wandered out into the tunnels and disappeared. When he returned, a year later, he seemed filled with calm. He knew now that his previous certainty had been vanity, that this new calling would truly allow him to prove his devotion to God, and atone for his sins. He would bring comfort to his small flock, and spread peace in this confused and fearful new world.
|“||Once I was the rich beautiful girl who was showered with diamonds. Now I scrabble for the only currency that has any value in this world.||„|
— The Model
As compared to the Preacher, the Model paints a vastly bleaker picture of survival. Stripped of her pre-war glory, the Model is treated like scum in the metro. Hardly living by selling her body, her destitution and vagrancy only serve to highlight her once bright past and now dark future.
Official Video DescriptionEdit
From a career carved out as a spoiled model and socialite (increasingly the latter), she was plunged into a world of darkness, where celebrity means less than nothing. In order to survive she started out selling her body, but now she makes armor for rangers, a proud and fiercely independent woman.
Born into a humble family, the middle daughter of five, she was expected to care for her younger siblings and was accustomed to being ignored in favor of her more confident older sisters. But on a family trip to the city it was she, not them, who was spotted by a modeling scout on a Moscow street at the age of 15. Caught up in a swirl of modeling contracts, she was a millionaire before she turned 18; by 20 she had become tired of the long days and endless travel, demanding pampering and luxury, and eventually refusing to work at all.
Dropped by her agency, but famous throughout Russian society, she spent her early twenties being chauffeured from party to party, squandering her wealth and seeing little of the family she had left behind. She found that there were more than enough men prepared to buy her the things she desired, and eventually she married one of them – an extremely influential man with a cruel reputation and a dark past, who indulged her whims.
From the back seat of her limousine, she phoned her husband – afraid of the rumors of bombs and missiles, but certain he would know what to do. He answered from the steps of a bunker on the outskirts of the city, and suggested, in a scornful tone that struck her like a blow to the stomach, that maybe this once she could look after herself. Her bodyguards swept her into the Metro before the missiles struck, but from the moment the doors of the station were closed, it was clear that they wanted nothing more to do with her. There were women down there that reminded her of her sisters, but their eyes were filled with bitter triumph at the sight of the rich girl now humbled. Wealth and celebrity now valueless, she was truly alone.
When hunger and fear overtook pride, she found herself forced to sell the only asset she valued – her own body. For years she survived that way, living day-to-day, struggling to maintain some semblance of glamor, shunned and whispered about. But alive. More and more often, she thought of her sisters and her mother, all of the women of her family now alive only in her memory. And that memory gradually made her stronger, more determined.
|“||Once I commanded the respect of a regiment. Now they call me dog, traitor, murderer.||„|
— The Commander
Official Video DescriptionEdit
His life charts the downfall of a career soldier in charge of marshaling the terrified populace into the safety of the Metro system, to an outcast living on the periphery of the subterranean society, contributing nothing and living by his wits.
He was a career soldier from a military family; one who had seen active combat many times and earned both the respect of his superiors and the loyalty of the men who served with him. After several foreign tours, he was stationed back in Moscow, charged with passing on his combat experience to metropolitan troops accustomed to ceremonial duties. The posting was frustratingly uneventful, but it allowed him to live in barracks with his wife and two daughters, after years in which he had missed out on their first words and first steps while stationed abroad.
The orders came in an hour before the bombs began to fall. An imminent attack on Moscow. The Metro system could only offer limited protection. Preparations had to be made; panic had to be avoided. He was ordered not to divulge the information prematurely – not even to family members. And so when his designated station had been prepared, he ordered his men to guard the doors, and he paced, alone, deeper inside the empty station. His wife would be walking their daughters home from school; the three of them, hand in hand, on the streets of Moscow. Laughing together. He heard a growing roar approaching the station, and he knew the time had come.
He gritted his teeth and followed instructions; watching the desperate horde stream into the station, waiting for the moment when the limit had been reached. No matter how many were let in, the crowd behind them grew larger and more frantic. And no matter how intently he focused on his orders, he kept seeing flashes of his family in the faces of the strangers sprinting past. It was a relief to fire a shot into the air – the signal to his men that the gates had to be closed. The noise of the crowd increased in pitch and intensity, and it was then that he saw her: a young mother, newborn in her hands, just beyond the barrier formed by the soldiers. Her voice was pleading, but her eyes, focused intently on him, seemed filled with accusation. As he turned away, holding the child to his chest, he could picture his wife looking at him with those same accusing eyes. There was an inhuman wail of despair behind him as the gates were finally closed.
From the moment the explosions began above them, it was clear that the old regime, the one to which he had given his loyalty and obedience, had crumbled. The orders he had followed, the sacrifices he had made – all now seemed meaningless. To the survivors, he was the man who shut the doors too soon – the man who condemned their wives, husbands, children, to a painful death. There was no escape from their gazes.
Ostracised, he survived as a defiant outsider, resenting those who judged him and his decisions. That resentment fuelled his determination to scavenge, barter and beg for survival. But he’s getting old now, losing the will to go on living out of spite – and as he does so, the old faces and the old screams stream back into his mind – and above all, the terrible sound as the gates of the station were closed.
The child he rescued was taken from his hands soon after he descended into the Metro station, and its identity has always been kept from him. As he pleads for scraps, tired and resigned, he wonders if the young man passing by without a glance could be the one. If he knew, would he embrace him for the life he was gifted? Or curse him, for his lost mother, for all of them left behind?