Zemlya, again.

I woke up dazed on the highway. It was dead in the night and my head was reeling. The neon and sodium dots traced hazy patterns across my vision as I teetered forward. Each step on the dark asphalt was a painful shot, setting my head the right side up with violent jerks.

Some distance away and over to the right I could feel a concentration of lights. A window, … with the light from it sprawling across the lifeless rocky desert ground till it gave itself up to the waiting darkness.

As I went closer, I could gradually see something like a small covered parking lot in front of that room with the window. There was a short drive way leading up from the highway to the lot.

My head danced like jelly with each thudding footstep. I thought I could make out some machines, some equipments, mostly red, scattered on the parking lot, bathed by a half-absent grey light pouring from the roof.

I thought I saw a dark silhouette pass behind the window with the lights. The form was projected across the desert ground.

I knew I was dreaming. Nobody lives on the trans-Zemlyan Highway. There’s nothing in Zemlya, except a long, long tireless highway and the unbroken line of streetlights in perennial vigilance, guarding the asphalt against the ocean of darkness that clothes this timeless landscape.

Nobody, I am sure, lives in Zemlya any more.

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