164 - On the edge of the void

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athina Kehagias

In Switzerland. On the edge of the lake.
Stepan and Voinov are seated on a park bench opposite the lake.

Stepan, with a paper in hand
The political party made its decision: Within two weeks I ought to be in Moscow .

When are you leaving;

Stepan, with determination
As soon as it is possible. I’ll take the first train there.

Voinov, startled
You seem disappointed.

I would prefer a nearer date. But orders are orders. We ought to obey: this is our strength.

I don’t understand you Stepan! You, who are so independent and opposed to any form of ruling power …

Stepan, in a harsh but friendly tone of voice
There’s nothing to understand Alexis. Orders are always clean. We are nothing but pawns in a revolution in progress. No initiative will be tolerated. We are like the immortals of the final battle: Just, inflexible and most importantly replaceable.

Voinov, consenting
You are definitely right.

Stepan, changing his tone of voice
Did you learn about the massacre?

Voinov, with rebelliousness
Yes! The whip fell again in St. Petersburg.

This time around, we’ll get revenge. We’ll take it to the end …

Toward sacrifice?

Stepan, smiling
Even further …

Your smile is weird Stepan .

Do you see this lake? It constitutes the image of the human soul: great, beautiful and bottomless; in vain in other words.

How could you say that? Our soul is what characterizes us. The essence of our existence, that of our entire nation.

I am like the fire: I can’t live but by destroying. I don’t purify but only by burning.

You must’ve been hurt a lot Stepan …

Pain is nothing against the revolution!

Yes, but for what purpose?

The void!

Silence. Voinov seems overwhelmed by this confession.