Cyril Fietznyak was brought up the stairs of the large building and to a long, dark corridor on the first floor. He didn't have much of an opportunity to look around, but he could smell must and rising damp. The corridors were dimly lit and looked menacing and dangerous. Simple Cyril didn't know what to make of such a place.
One of the doors was opened, and Cyril let inside. It was dark, suspicious-looking, mean, and cold inside Dragomir Possehl's apartment. Around the grubby kitchen table, where Cyril Fietznyak now sat, two other young men glared at him suspiciously.
–Tatjana, you've got to be mad,– said the first.
Tatjana looked at Dragomir sternly. She threw together whatever was in the cupboard (it happened to be a packet of crisps, peanuts and some old salad), and gave it to Cyril in a plate. He ravenously ate.
Once he had satiated the worst of his hunger, he looked at the people around him. They looked exhausted, and they didn't seem to talk much. Cyril was anxious to make new friends in the City.
–Thank you for the meal,– he began. –But please, I am new to the City. Could you tell me a little bit about this place, and yourselves?–
Krasimir gave him a look that said shut up.
But Tatjana replied. –The City's a dire place,– she said. –It's pretty horrible here. You must be from the Country...–
–You should have stayed there. It's terrible here.
–We're oppressed,– said Krasimir, now jumping into the conversation, –by the Police.–
–Oppressed? Whatever for? How long has it been that way?
The people in the room reacted to his sociable nature gradually. –It's really complicated,– began Rouben Waletzko after a while, –but there were pretty bad riots around here about a month ago.–
–Riots? Really? Against whom?
–The Government? We would never have dared! How bad were they?
–They ended in the execution of the Head of Police,– said Tatjana Koblinska.
–Gosh! You killed the Head of Police?
–Collaboratively speaking, yes,– replied Tatjana carefully.
–And now what? I did notice that there were an awful lot of Police about...
–There are,– said Rouben. –It's so bad we can't go out. We can't get jobs or money easily, we're all being scrutinised in the most invasive way, and...–
–Everyone has to be indoors for the six o'clock curfew,– added Dragomir sullenly, –and everything is monitored.–
–But if you killed the Head of Police?...
–They just installed a new one,– said Krasimir Dulka sullenly. –To be honest, we should have seen it coming.–
Cyril Fietznyak put a peanut into his mouth, and chewed it pensively. –If you don't mind me giving my own opinions on this event,– he mused, –I'd say that you really ought to start with a peaceful protest.–
–We can't protest,– said Rouben Waletzko firmly, –It's out of the question!–
–Like they'd listen to us,– explained Dragomir. –Just a bunch of people chanting outside the Government buildings. Seriously.–
–Actually,– said Tatjana, –It's a sound idea.–
–She's right,– Krasimir continued. –Throughout History, the most violent of Revolutions, though they may have initially been successful, usually relapsed into the old ways. We need a gentler way to change people's hearts.–
Rouben was the picture of dejection. –All right, all right. What are you going to do, then? Throw flowers at the Court of Justice?–
–I'll give the peaceful parade a try,– said Tatjana, ignoring Rouben. –I, and anyone who wants to come with me, will go to the Main Square tomorrow and we'll parade completely peacefully.–
–Now, it's my apartment!– protested Dragomir. –And we know, that violence is the only way people will listen...–
–I'm sure it isn't,– Cyril interjected now. –Besides, if you aren't violent, and the Police are, well, they're in the wrong, aren't they? And hopefully you can all reach a conclusion by delegation.–
–This guy's a nutter,– muttered Rouben.
–Perhaps you can come with me tomorrow, Cyril,– said Tatjana. –Everyone's awfully unhappy, and they all want change. Hopefully, we'll be able to sway the Government's decision, with the utmost love in our hearts.–
Rouben's disparaging snort was ignored by all.