The scenery passed them by as the train tugged on to it’s hopeful destination in the mountains. Yamantau was where they were heading, hoping for a new home since they can’t return to the Moscow metro.
Skylar watched as the world passed her by, the world she never thought she’d see ever again.
She was only a toddler when the bombs dropped, her family visiting Moscow at the time and were lucky enough to have found shelter in a nearby metro. A few years later their station was overrun by new found creatures, Nosalis soon they would be called, and she was separated from them. A day or so later Miller found her and took her in, raising her alongside his daughter Anna.
“You alright kotyonok? You’re offly quiet.”
She turned her attention to the man next to her, a soft smile on her face. “I just have a lot on my mind moya sladost, that’s all.”
He sat up, moving closer to her. “Why don’t you tell me?”
The sound of Nastya’s voice hit her ears as she overheard her talking with uncle Tokarev in the near distance. She moved her back against the wall and brought her knees up to her chest. “I was so young when the war started, most of my life was underground. Now we’re on the surface, traveling across post-apocalyptic Russia in hopes of finding a new home. Do you think we will Alex?”
“I hope so. Russia is big, there has to be a place out there suitable for us.” He moved some of her chestnut brown hair behind her ear and gave her a small smile. “A place where we can settle down and not have to worry about mutants or bandits.”
“I hope there’s a place like that. A place where we can have children of our own, the children I tend to dream about a lot.” She chuckled. “I wouldn’t be surprised if dad starts to mention it to me and Anna at some point about making him a grandpa.”
“You have been having more of those dreams since we’ve been on the Aurora.” He grabbed her hand and held it between his. “If you want we could always try for that child.”
“I know we talked about not having children in the metro knowing the risks. We’re not there now, we are on the surface and we have Katya to help.”
Skylar went quiet as she contemplated his words. He was right, the only reason they weren’t parents right now was because they didn’t want to have a child in the metro, it was the same reason Anna and Artyom don’t have a child yet either. Too many risks in the metro. Now that they were top side, the possibility was far greater. Katya has medical training and would no doubt help with labor and delivery, but the thought of being pregnant and giving birth on a train didn’t seem too pleasing.
“Let’s wait and see what Yamantau has in store for us.”
“Da, da of course.”
He motioned for her to lay down and she obliged and he laid down behind her, wrapping his arm around her waist. It’s been a few weeks since the Volga and since picking up the new members of the Aurora. The cabin they resided in on the train was just about big enough for them both, along with their equipment. But in a way they both missed their place in Polis.
She let out a sigh and turned on to her back and looked up at him. “I can’t help but think back on the lives Katya and Nastya lived before we came along...with that Siliantius, stuck up in that church. And Katya doing all she could to protect her daughter. I’m happy that they’re with us now.”
“I am too, and Stepan has taken quite the liking to Katya.”
“He has, hasn’t he?” She chuckled. “I think they make a good pair.”
A few seconds later there was a knock at their door and they both sat up, wondering who it was.
“Come in.” said Alex
Anna opened the door and walked in, leaning against the small table in the room. “I came to steal my sister for a bit. You’ve been in your room for almost the whole day Skylar, come outside with me for a bit and get some fresh air.”
“Alright.” She gave Alex a quick kiss and stood up, following Anna out of the room.
Pretty much everyone was out of their rooms and in the kitchen section of the tram. Duke was talking about how he ripped his uniform again, while Sam was cooking dinner for everyone. Tokarev was at his work bench with Nastya asking a bunch of questions, that made her chuckle.
“Ah look who's out of her room?” quipped Duke
Skylar rolled her eyes and scoffed. “Maybe I wanted to stay in my room Duke and just relax.”
Duke let out a laugh and shrugged his shoulders. “Alright, alright.”
She laughed and followed Anna to the front of the train where Yermak and their father were. It wasn’t long till both of them noticed they had visitors passing through.
“I see you finally got your sister out of bed.”
“Why is it so bad I wanted to stay in bed today?” She looked between Anna and Miller seeing the worried looks on their faces. “Okay what is it?”
“We are all worried about you Sky, you haven’t been the same since the Volga.” said Anna. “You’re more quiet than usual.”
Skylar sighed and leaned against the table near the back of the tram. “Back in Moscow all we had to worry about were mutants for the most part. Out here, you forget what people are capable of, or what we’ve always been capable of. And this whole Yamantau thing doesn’t sit right with me.”
“That’s nonsense, Yamantau could be a safe place for us.”
“We don’t know that dad, we could be falling into a trap for all we know.”
“I don’t think arguing over this is the best choice.” Anna interrupted. “She does have a point dad, we don’t know what we’re going too, maybe we should be a little cautious when we get there.”
Miller pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. “You’re right arguing over this won’t do us any good. We will just have to wait and see.”
Skylar and Anna left after that, heading outside for some fresh air. As soon as she hit it, Skylar took a deep breath, exhaling it a moment later. It felt wonderful knowing they didn’t need to use their gas masks all the time while on the surface, not like how they would in Moscow, only in certain hot spots.
She leaned against the train, watching more of the scenery pass them by before speaking again. “Alex mentioned that he wouldn’t mind trying for a child. The child I tend to dream about a lot nowadays.”
Anna leaned against the train right next to her and looked over at her. Even though she kept her attention in front of her, Anna could tell Skylar’s mind was riddled with a lot. Something she hasn’t seen since D6.
“What did you say?”
“That we should wait until Yamantau.” She finally looked over at her, meeting her gaze. “And that I don’t know how I feel about giving birth on this train.”
“Maybe we’ll find that place Artyom has always dreamt about, no mutants, no radiation. A place where both of us can fully settle down.”
“I hope there is a place out there like that.” A small smile started to spread across her face. “Where we can raise healthy children.”
Anna hummed in agreement and looked out in front of her, seeing the trees pass them by. “I’m really glad you weren’t angry like dad was when I left Polis.”
“Never. Though I was a little shocked about you becoming a mushroom farmer.” She chuckled. “I never would have pictured it.”
“Well it wasn’t my first choice.” She lightly shoved at her arm and laughed. “Would you have left Polis if Alex lived in another station?”
Skylar went quiet, contemplating her words. Would have she left if Alex lived in another station once they were married? She honestly doesn’t know, maybe? “I honestly don’t know, maybe we would have, maybe we wouldn’t have.”
They both went quiet after that, enjoying the fresh air and scenery, and each other’s company. Even though they weren’t blood related, they were sisters and looked out for each other, and always had each other’s backs. Skylar has no idea where she would be right now if Miller never adopted her, probably dead or worse.
Now that they’re both into their twenties and married, she can still recall them running around Polis and causing a ruckus. It was nice to have those memories of them being normal children and not having to worry about the state of the world.
A few moments later both Alex and Artyom joined them and all four of them watched the sunset in perfect harmony!
“Dad said we should reach Yamantau some time tomorrow.” said Skylar as she entered her room. She set her cup of tea down on the table and took a seat on the bed. “I think that fresh air did me wonders, my mood is getting a lot better.”
“That’s good! I don’t like seeing you that way, I haven’t seen you that way since D6.”
The battle for D6 wasn’t something they liked to think about, all the men they lost. Losing Ulman was the hardest for Skylar with how close they were, and she wished he was still with them. But she’s thankful for the Dark Ones for helping save the remaining members and stopping the enemy for seizing control. Deep down she wished more mutants were like that.
Before she could speak she began coughing again, and she felt his hand on her back, rubbing up and down. “Damn cough. I was hoping it would be gone by now.”
“You and Anna have been coughing a lot as of late, hopefully you’re not coming down with something.”
“It was probably that stupid bunker we fell into.” She scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Stupid of us.”
“Don’t say that kotyonok, it could’ve happened to anyone.” He gave her a small smile and placed a kiss on her temple. “I’m just glad Artyom and I found you guys when we did.”
“I am too!” She took a sip of her tea and then snuggled up next to him. “I’m not afraid anymore, knowing no matter what happens you’ll always come for me!”
Alex slightly pulled away, placing his thumb in the dip of her chin and gently moved her head so she was looking at him. “Forever and always kotyonok! Forever and always.”
He let go of her chin and leaned down to place a more passionate kiss upon her lips before pulling back with a smile on his face. She mirrored his smile back and snuggled up next to him again. Tomorrow would be the day if she finds out if her intuition was right or not. And she hope she’s wrong.