A character from my ongoing web novel, Revolving Door!
Full nameArtur Ivanovich Volkov / Артур Иванович Волков
BirthplaceVladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia

As one might expect of one living through a nuclear winter following an apocalyptic war, Artur is not betting on his continual survival—or the human population's. There's nothing to look forward to when your world is all blizzards and skies choked by nuclear debris: he lives each day as it comes, driven by the fear that he will not survive it and the very faint hope that what he is doing, day in and day out, is making a tiny difference.

He has always been a committed worker, the sort to grit his teeth and push forward with his duty, regardless of the discomfort or its seeming futility. This workaholism is what he has turned to to keep his will propped up in these utterly hopeless times. He does not ask questions or fantasise on possibilities; what is real and present before him is the only thing that matters in his eyes.

Artur has never been the most outwardly-oriented person, and his inner thoughts are rife with meandering philosophical musings that mostly end up bringing him face to face with his loneliness and loss repeatedly. He's prone to wallowing, but only in his mind where no one else will know of it. When it's time to get down to business, he is quick to do what's needed of him, with a diligence that makes him an asset anywhere.

He keeps his head down; he doesn't ask questions. Leave the thinking and deciding to the people whose job it is to do those things. What good could he possibly do by forging out on his own? Certainly nothing better than if he simply did as told.


After graduating from secondary school, Artur trained as a marine surveyor, a job that took him up and down the coast. His entire family died in the bombing of Vladivostok when he was sixteen, and then he was forced to move farther northward as the nuclear war worsened and the fallout spread. By the time things quietened down, two-thirds of the world population had been either wiped out or sequestered to unsalvageable regions.

While he was scrounging for survival in Murmansk, he was approached by prospective employers, and accepted the job of periodically ferrying a private company of researchers and oil surveyors to and from the Arctic, hoping to find oil reserves with which to keep the remaining population of the Arctic Circle alive, for a while. To him, it is the only thing he may do now to fill his days with meaning until their resources run dry and death inevitably comes.

SabinaThe only relationship worth remembering from the dark years of his life, he met and fell in love with the doctor Sabina Ilyenkova while they were both stranded in the port city of Dikson during a long blizzard. She left as soon as it was over, and he fears every day that she—perhaps the only person he has felt close to since the nuclear winter began—has already forgotten him.
VesperVesper is the first person to connect with Artur on some level after he joins the group: after all, both have seen the deepest horrors of war and bear a dogged commitment to duty (and have an affinity for storms, the fact that initially kickstarts this friendship). They're just two people who like to have the time to be quiet and thinky away from the likes of Hong Yi and Marcia every once in a while, and find each other good companions in this need.
  • Artur has certification in marine surveying: he's qualified to check your boat and provide his professional opinion on its compliance with standards.
  • Artur is of Nenets (Samoyed) heritage. He had few ways to connect to his culture in his youth, much less after the war took place.
  • His highest level of education is secondary school (ended at 15 years of age).