Rouben Waletzko locked himself in Dragomir's living-room, refusing to see or speak to anyone. Because the door wouldn't quite close properly, Dragomir, who was in a haze from a small bout of fever, could catch glimpses of him typing avidly on a small, black laptop he had come back with at some point the day before.
Tatjana had made sure Dragomir had gotten better from his fever and pepper-spray attack, while she and Cyril had gone out to protest, noticeably better-armed than before. Krasimir had also escaped the confines of the house, because he had called together a meeting of non-protesters. Dragomir spent the morning lying in his bed, sweating and shivering, while scenes and people flashed before his eyes. Around mid-afternoon he started to feel better so he went to the small, ancient fridge in his kitchen.
Rouben was already there, with his head buried inside it.
–Rouben,– sighed Dragomir, –it's my fridge, just remember that.–
Rouben grunted in reply, and tipped some yoghurt into his mouth. Dragomir grimaced. His head hurt and there was no aspirin in the house. –What are you doing, anyway?– he asked woozily.
Rouben shut the fridge. To Dragomir it sounded like a cannon explosion. –I'll show you,– and Dragomir noticed how his friend's eyes were filled with that manic light that glowed from inner passion and excitement.
He led Dragomir to the small black laptop. A black-and-white document was on it, and the first words Dragomir could make out was No gods, no masters.
–Seems quite controversial,– Dragomir said, still hazy from the fever.
Rouben looked at him. –Oh, come on. You've got to be kidding.
–Well, I don't know. Just think of those religious Anarchists: there are a fair amount of them here.
–That sounds like something Cyril would say.
Dragomir sighed. –Why do you hate him so much? He's with us.
Rouben made a disbelieving noise. –But do you know what it is?– he asked.
–It's an insurrectionary pamphlet,– Rouben said.
–Rouben, what the hell. I've got fever.
–Shouldn't make you any the less clever,– Rouben replied, adding, –I'm going to print these out: loads of them: and then I'm going to leave them in public places. It'll put the people in the mood to fight, and seize the State...–
He stopped because Dragomir was squinting at him. –Come on, what?– he said, somewhat tetchily. –You can't seriously believe all this oppression will just disappear on its own? You're not a Cyril Fietznyak, are you?–
–No, course not.
–Society will eventually evolve to leave Capitalism behind, but it's like catatonics.
–Yeah. You can have a reaction between two substances, and that might be quite slow, so sometimes you use a catatonic to speed things up.
–You mean 'catalyst'.
–Right. Whatever. Anyway, you know what I'm saying: that Society will evolve to the point that it will leave the State behind, but a Revolution will speed things up a bit. Here, when you're feeling better, go up to Fifth-Floor Danica, and ask if I can use her printer.
Dragomir had asked for the printer, brought it down for Rouben, and then collapsed back into bed to sleep, only to be awoken again by Rouben shaking him violently, holding a large wad of leaflets. –Dragomir,– he said, –I'm going out. If the others aren't back, please have the courtesy to open the door for me.–
Dragomir privately doubted he would be conscious enough.