Dragomir Possehl hadn't actually expected anybody to come. His apartment was dingy and smelled of rising damp, and had three rooms - the expensive rent on such a miserable place was being paid for out of his dead father's money, which he was lucky enough to have inherited. Anyway, he was sitting, drinking a bit of vodka before he went to bed, at the grubby kitchen table next to the damp on the windowsill, when there was a sharp rap on the thin wooden door.
Dragomir went to the door. He opened it, and looked out. He did not recognise the couple in front of him.
–Dragomir Possehl?– repeated the younger woman.
–Here,– said Dragomir.
–You were at the scene yesterday...– began the woman hesitantly.
–Oh, right. Yeah. Come in.
The couple came in, and Dragomir shut the door. Almost immediately, there was another knock on the door.
Very soon, Dragomir's tiny apartment was bursting at the seams with people. Dragomir had locked his tiny bedroom, but the hallway, kitchen and sitting-room were so full with people that it was getting hard to move. Most of them were young people, but there were a few older men and women, and all of them were of the lowest class, like Dragomir, their clothes muddy, torn, and old.
Dragomir heard the door knock again, pushed through the crowds and opened the door, vowing it to be his last visitor.
It was Rouben Waletzko.
At once, a cheer went up, and applause. Embarrassed, Rouben gave a small, awkward bow, and caught Dragomir's eye. –May I come in?– he asked, and Dragomir let him past.
Apparently, posing in public came naturally to Rouben. He gestured for quiet, and then moved through. –Right,– he said, now taking his place in Dragomir's kitchen, –We've all got to ascertain why we're here.–
Dragomir's heart sank a little as he followed this odd radical through the crowds.
–Why are we here?– Rouben continued, asking nobody in particular.
–Why are you not in prison?– asked somebody else, and this was met with general agreement.
–All right, I'll tell you why.– Rouben took his place, which happened to be on Dragomir's kitchen table. He climbed on top of it, and regained his balance. –Because I, Rouben Waletzko, by the highest luck, blew up the police station on the night that most of the police in our area were attending a meeting. They are all dead, and there is nobody to arrest me.–
–Why haven't they been replaced?
–In due course, they will be,– replied Rouben. –We can count on it that they'll be coming sometime in the early hours of morning. Which means, everyone,– he continued, –We have a very small window of opportunity. We have one night to take control, and it's tonight.–
Who have I let into my house? thought Dragomir. Whoever he was, he was damn charismatic, because he had most people agreeing with him, Dragomir included.
–What are you suggesting?– he asked suddenly, once the cheer had died down. –A riot? They'll kill us!–
–Well,– said Rouben, mostly to the crowd in Dragomir's house than to Dragomir himself, –let's be honest. We're damn unhappy. Most of us don't have jobs. We have to pay high taxes and a lot of us are in prison or on the streets because we just can't. And whose fault is this?–
–The Government!– shouted someone in the crowd.
–We don't want a Government! We hate it!– roared somebody else, and there was a cheer. This is mental, thought Dragomir.
–Down with the Government!
–We want to be free!
–Now, now,– said a voice close to Dragomir, and there was instant quiet. A short, bespectacled, skinny young man holding a book. –I believe the term for that is anarchy.–
–Explain yourself,– said Rouben.
–Anarchy,– replied the bespectacled man, –is a stateless society based on mutual aid. There is no Government, no Police, no Banks and everyone owns his own property. I'm Krasimir Dulka, and I believe this to be your solution.–