Sisyphus, Part Three

“Dead. When I got there, it was a mess. The buildings had been burnt, the pipeline was slashed, and I’m not even going to say what happened to the bodies.” The nocturnal predators of Sisyphus were known for their appetites.
Pavlov nods, and looks out over the waste towards the west. Somewhere out there, twenty or thirty clicks along the pipeline that feeds the diggers who cower in their holes, is the mound formerly known as Hill 232. Now it is nothing, an unnamed graveyard with nary a monument to mark it. A bloodstain on a generation of outdated maps. Larssen shrugs, lights his cigarette, and leans against a pipeline support. After a short silence, he speaks.
“Someday, we’ll get off this rock.”
“Larssen, were you born here?”
“No. Been here fifteen years.”
“You’ll never leave. It’s in your blood. I’ve lived here my entire life. It’s not a disease. It’s not loyalty. It’s just a malaise. A lifetime of picking grit out of your food and cursing the dust."
“Fine then. Someday, I’ll get off this rock.”

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