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The Secret City/3

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Pyotr's already stone face froze even more as he heard the report. Crouching in the snow he absently gnawed on his gloved knuckle thinking about their options. He didn't answer and from his silence it was apparent he did not know the layout of the city. In fact, there was nothing about this that was expected.

His face turned the color of the snow he crouched on as a thought crossed his mind.

"This whole thing is a trap," looking up with earnest realization in his eyes he said, "Think about it. Two men alone were sent to secure one of the Motherland's prized secrets? The same two men who witnessed an unusual arrest but a night prior? Inexperienced in the art of intelligence, one a war veteran and the other a Moscow police officer. How could I not have seen this?"

He stood, color returning to his face, but now blushing anger.

"I said it before. Anyone that dies here will be kept secret, even by the politburo, less their secret get out. We weren't sent here to guard a secret . . . we were sent here because we knew a secret. If we go to where we believe our mission should take us, we will be ambushed."

And the final conclusion, perhaps a stretch, fell out of his mouth like marbles from a sack, "Those men were not KGB, they are traitors."

"I heard nothing and that may unlock this puzzle. I think we should take cover and reconsider our entire approach. What did you learn of the man that we arrested that night?"

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Cursing under his breath Alexei chanced another quick look around the corner and then crouched with his back against the wall. He was silent for a moment as he gathered his thoughts and tried to remember what the American told him in the warehouse. Finally he lifted his gaze and looked at Pyotr.

"Well, considering that he was in pain, he did not say much. A few short sentences. He begged, and said he was an American businessman. Something about working for an oil company. But, at the moment I was suspicious. He did carry a gun and he tried to shoot me. I don't see why that is such a big secret."

Pausing for a few more seconds Alexei slowly shook his head and nodded a few times after that.

"Maybe we are looking at this a wrong way. What if these people are indeed KGB? And what if the research was a success? And they are removing any witnesses? We don't know how long ago those people died. Maybe the 'American' was a researcher? And maybe he escaped? And they are worried he might have revealed something important?"

Another short curse.

"And maybe I am just being paranoid. Forget that story. It is too stretched out. Let us try to consider your version. The man we arrested knew something. Something they think important. And they believe we know that too. Now that you mention it, it does seem strange that Yaroslav sent me here. The same man who was out trying to catch the 'American' that same night. But, still the question remains what are we to do? If you are right we can not press forward. And I wonder if it is safe to go back to Moscow. If only I could see that 'American' once more and press him for some answers."

--Kerensky


Nodding he said, "It is easy to be paranoid, given the circumstances. The only thing we can do is find out what is really happening."

"The only Americans involved so far belong to an oil company. I would wager that the government might not be involved. It would be a sinister plot if KGB was working with capitalists, but there is a lot of oil in this part of the world and if a price is high enough . . ."

He shuddered to think of comrades falling into capitalistic temptation. Changing the subject immediately he said, "It is no use speculating. We need to find out for ourselves before we decide what to do."

"If either of us are remotely right, going to the research facility would be suicide. They are waiting for us there. This is where my skills end. What can we do that they won't expect and where do we go to find out what has happened here?"

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


"What troubles me most is all those dead people. Who would resort to that just to get the two of us. That American we captured and this whole mess are connected."

He just crouched there for almost a minute puffing into his hands. Just as the silence was getting tiresome he rose and glanced once more.

"As I see it there are only a few things we could do. Turn back and try to get back to Moscow and then just wait until they finally get us. Try to enter a research facility and die. Or, we can lure them into a trap. Make them come to us."

A wicked smile spread across Alexei's face as he spoke of this.

"we both agree that they are waiting for us in there. And it would be safe to assume that they know we are here. Now look over there." - Alexei said pointing around the corner to the square. - "It is nice and open ground. If we try to approach they could shoot us from a number of locations. But, also we could shoot them from a number of locations if they try to cross it. We are both armed. I say we try to find some good vantage points and wait. Eventually they will get worried where we are and send someone to get us. If they send a small group we can follow them and maybe even capture someone who can tell us what is going on. Under torture if need be. If they come out in force, we can give them a share of their own medicine. These automatic rifles are quite deadly if they are in the open. After we take a bunch of them out, we can then go and take a look at the research facility. They might even retreat and leave us here to investigate. Any other suggestions or do I start searching for good spots?"

--Kerensky


A calculated face split into a cold smile. Nodding with a touch of admiration, Pyotr said, "That is a good plan, comrade. We should split up, one on either side of the square, taking positions in taller structures.

"When the enemy comes out we fire and immediately change location before firing again until they are all down.

"We shall take no prisoners. They showed no mercy for those victims so we will return the favor."

Pyotr began sifting through the bag to pick the right weapons.

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei took a long look of the square trying to find a suitable position to perch himself upon. Once he found the perfect spot he turned back to Pyotr.

"Well, comrade, I'll take the other side of the square. Be careful and cautious. They may be at the same spots we plan to take. Watch yourself. If you don't mind, wait till I fire the first shot. I'll try to wound the leader so he can not get away. We kill everybody else. The leader dies after he tells us what really happened."

Another brief glance around the corner and Alexei started gathering his bags.

"If we can not take one alive no grief. But, it would be nice to gather some info. Take care and good luck. I am off."

With that Alexei turned back the way they came and tried to orient himself. He planned to circle the square and come up to in from one of the side streets on the opposite side. Once there he would easily find the building he needed.

--Kerensky


The soldier and the policeman went their separate ways, Pyotr to the east and Alexei to the west. There was a four-story structure that appeared ideal, offering a bird-eye vantage point on the square. It was unmarked and it wasn't until Alexei arrived did he discern the snow-covered beige-brick building was an apartment complex.

The gates unlocked and the grounds as abandoned as the rest of the town, it was easy getting inside. The make-do lobby was really a space to hold a staircase and lift.

The heat was still running and offered a pleasent climate for his climb. At the top floor was a hallway stretching in both directions and ten apartments on either side. He would have to break into one of the rooms to get to the spot he needed.

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei was just about to break the door open, when he remembered to be caustious first. Slowly he passed all the door and stopped and listened for at least half a minute at each. He even put his cheek down on the ground besides the door trying to see if the air that flowed beneath the door was colder than the one in the hall.

Finally, satisfied that there was nobody in any of the rooms, he approached the one closest to the Research center and tried the door handle.

--Kerensky


Cautious habits yeilded little rewards. The lack of sound and stale air from behind apartment doors suggested these rooms were as dead as the rest of the town. If there were people inside, they were hiding from the unseen threat. None of the soldier's enemies were anywhere near.

The door he tried was unlocked, as would be expected from a simple apartment building. Silence met him on the other side of the door. It was a single room with an adjoining washroom. A small cot rested in the far corner, a desk beneath the window overlooking the square and research facility beyond it, and a weathered sofa on the other wall. The bathroom door was slightly ajar revealing the profile of a shower stall and toilet.

His vantage point from the window was perfect. The glass double doors leading into the facility's lobby was in plain view. If anyone left, he would be the first to see them.

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei was happy that nobody was in the building. As the old saying went 'Better safe than sorry'. And he lived by that saying. ANd it saved his sorry hide many times during the war.

He took a long look of the square and then smiled with satisfaction. He tipped the table so that the board was towards the window as it would protect him somewhat and also give him a spot to rest his gun and steady his aim.

Unvoluntarily he winced at the noise, but did not pay much attention to that now. Going to the bed he took his bags of and sorted the weapons across the bed. The automatic rifle was already unpacked, and he left her near the table. Now he pulled that sniper rifle out and checked if it was okay from all the tumbling on their way here.

Satisfied with that, he pulled extra clips for his automatic rifle and loaded the sniper. He was a fair shot with the rifle, and the scope would give him an advantage in the first few shots. But, once the chaos started and the bllet were flying both ways, he would need the other rifle.

As an afterthough he pulled a single pistol, checked if it was loaded and put it in his coat pocket. All the while he glanced at the research facility from time to time, making sure he would not miss the yet unsees enemy.

All that remained was to open the window slightly and wait. He did just that, and he knew that the cold would keep him from dozing off. The danger was near and he could not affort to make himself comfortable. So he just pulled the chair closer and sat behind the upturned desk waiting. The cold on his face kept him awake although the warmth had made his eyelids heavy just moments before. The sniper rifle was across his lap and he already judged the distances on the square and carefully adjusted the scope so it would be accurate when the enemy reached the center of the square. Just in case he noted the approximate distances of a few buildings. The enemy might not walk straight across the square and he would be ready for anything.

As he waited he scanned the other side of the street looking for any sign of Pyotr.

--Kerensky


Set up and prepared for his mission, Alexei's perch behind the overturned table was ideal for a surprise attack. It just simply hadn't prepared him for another attack altogether.

An unshaved, wild-haired, starved man who's once-trim suit was stained and unkempt, charged from the bathroom. A cry of rage vomited from his parched mouth and in surprising speed, he tackled Alexei from his chair and onto the floorboards.

Now pinning the soldier on his back with his own rifle, the wild man howled, "I'LL KILL YOU TRAITOR!"

--Laveaux 09:43, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei was watching the entrance to the Research Complex so intently that the man caught him completely by surprise. As he heard the sound from the bathroom, the ex-soldier only half turned and froze when the man appeared. It was merely a fraction of the second before he reacted.

But, that fraction was all it took for the man to crash into him and the next thing he knew he was lying flat on the ground, pinned by his own rifle.

Possible solutions raced through the young man's mind as he struggled with his attacker. He could kill the man easily, but that thought was abandoned as soon as it came. He needed the man alive as it was obvious he knew something about what happened. And they needed the information if at all possible.

So, he decided to capture the man if he could. But, time was running short, and his survival instincts took over soon enough. Alexei rose his shoulder as much as he could, leaning slightly to the left. At the same time he pushed the rifle away with all his strength.

He was hoping to make it slide aside and allow him to break free or at least take the man's hand close enough for a vicious bite. He did not care about the man's hygiene. This was life or death situation. And he needed the man alive if possible.

He knew that if he bit hard enough the man would let go and that would be when he would strike. A quick punch and once he was free a pistol in his hand would give him time enough to talk some sense into the man.

--Kerensky


The civilian was hardly a match for the soldier. Trained reflexes, coupled with rage, caused Alexei�s motions and intentions to be unanticipated. Dropping his shoulder back, the screaming man lost enough balance to double his wrists forward. In the next instant, the soldier sunk his teeth into the man�s sweaty flesh between his thumb and index finger. Teeth sank through all too easily and it was almost certain he bit all the way through, possibly unable to control his strength from rushing adrenaline.

Rage turned into confused pain and fear. Reeling backward, the civilian leapt onto his feet only to be met with a stern fist. Twirling toward unconsciousness he doubled over and then scurried backward like a wounded insect. Weeping and gripping his bleeding hand he cried, �Please! Please! Just shoot me! Don�t take me in. Just kill me, have mercy!�

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Breathing rapidly Alexei, stood for a moment, holding the civilian at gun point. He forced his breath in deep and breathed slowly feeling the rage leaving him.

"Come down, comrade. I am not here to take you in. I'm on your side. I came to investigate what happened. KGB sent me from Moscow. I won't shoot you if you promise to remain calm. Here I am putting the gun away. But, pay attention. I will kill you if you try something stupid like that again."

Slowly Alexei put his gun away, all the while watching the man intently. As he slid his hand out, he reached his hand behind his back as if to scratch himself and pulled the knife out. Carefully he slid it into his sleeve. This time he won't be caught unawares.

Feeling somewhat more relaxed with a weapon at close reach he flicked his eyes towards the chair and moved there slowly. He kept his eyes on the man ready to spring into action at the first sign of trouble. He picked the chair up and sat, chancing a glance at the window and the facility beyond. As he walked he tried to pry some information from the man.

"Now, that we are calm, maybe you could tell me what happened here? And where did you think I would take you? Are there any survivors? I saw the pit in the woods with the bodies, but did not investigate. It smelled of a trap this facility and I decided to wait for them to come out and lay a trap of my own."

An encouraging smile appeared on Alexei face as he talked of the trap. He was not very good around people, but he hoped the man would relax a bit.

--Kerensky


Fear dissolved into confusion as the man sputtered for a moment at Alexei�s behavior. Recoiling and flinching he watched with stunned silence until Alexei pocketed his gun. Glancing around, perhaps looking for the trick he finally settled on the soldier, calm but skeptical.

�They were Russians. Traitors. They made a deal with the capitalists for oil money. I saw them side-by-side Soviet and American slaughter the people here. How do I know I can trust you?�

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei smiled and shook his head slightly.

"Who said you can and should trust me? And why would you?"

His tone made the question obviously rhetorical and his quick response confirmed that.

"Well, let me say it this way. You said they slaughtered all those people. Did they hesitate then? I could have shot you long ago. What could I gain by leaving you alive? If I were on their side at least. Look here. I work for the KGB. But, I am new. I saw something concerning the oil you mention. And they sent me here. Whether they sent me here because they wanted me to investigate or die is the thing that troubles me. But, if you take a quick look through this window here, you'll see that it overlooks the entrance to the research complex. And they must be there. Why would I keep a lookout of that armed to the teeth like I am?"

A bitter smile and another shake of his head. A few socond pause. And finally a shrug.

"I'll tell you what. Although every sane piece of my mind screams for me to kill you just to be safe I won't do that. I know I might regret that, but I just don't care. I am too mad and angry with those pigs who killed all those people. So this is what I will do. I'll give you a rifle. Is that a sign enough that you should trust me? I only need to know a few more things before we take our position again. How many of them are there? Aproximately. And do you know how to use a rifle?"

Cold sweat started to pour down the bak of Alexei's neck. He was quite nervous and under the different circumstances he would have killed the man silently with his knife. But, the things he saw and the man's look made him pause. But, that did not mean he was not afraid. Affraid that he was making a mistake. One that could cost him his life. But, he forced himself to remain calm and waited for the man's response.

--Kerensky


The man's blank stare faded into a furrowed distance. Running fingers through wild salt and pepper hair, he clasped his fingers on the back of his neck and stared at the floor. Forcing back what were apparently tears, he cleared his throat and stood, straightening his posture and extending his hand.

"I am Dr. Lyubov and I sincerely apologize. I haven't eaten in four days . . . all things that move have become my enemy. Please accept this gesture."

Gathering his wits together he then added, "I am a mathematician, your rifle is about as alien to me as the Pythagorean Theorem is to you. I will help in whatever way you need me, you will just have to tell me how.

"There were two dozen that I can remember. They came in on jeeps and spared no time before opening fire on the residents. The security was ill prepared and after a very short firefight, they were taken out.

"I know of at least twenty survivors, hiding in various locations. We have somewhat of a communication system going between us. It is very dangerous, but we haven't been caught yet."

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


"Well, comrade doctro, I can't help you with the food problem. We planned on going into civilization and thus we did not bring any food with us. A mistake it seems, but it is too late now."

Alexei seemed to remember something as his eyes fell upon doctor extended hand. He took a few steps forward and shook hand.

"Pardon my manner. My name is Alexei Sudarev, former corporal in the Red Army and now an employee of the KGB. Sorry about the bite and the punch, but you were trying to kill me. I had to restrain you."

A smile crept acroos the soldiers face. There was hope yet. Twenty survivors and not more than two dozen adversaries. If their initial plan worked the odds would be much better and they might even storm the research complex. He quickly recovered from that line of thought and focused upon the doctor again.

"Look here doctor. My plan was like this. I think the traitors know I am coming. And they have set a trap at the research complex. So I planned on waiting until they come looking. Then I take out as many as I can. Try to even the odds if you'd like."

Alexei stopped for a moment and pondered whether to reveal Pyotr's presence to the doctor. Shrugging he decided that it would be better to show fauth in the man and tell him everything.

"I did not come alone. I said nothing because I did not know whether I should trust you or not. In one of those buildings across the square is my coleague Pyotr. He will start shooting after I shoot the leader. But, now I am worried about him. What if he ran into another man like yourself? Can you tell me if there is anyone else close by?"


--Kerensky


Returning his handshake, Lyubov smiled a greeting and then recoiled slightly addressing the pain in his hand.

"If he is anywhere near as skilled as you are, I wouldn't worry. From my understanding there are no military men left. Just civilians, like myself.

"I will do my best to help you, even if my own skills fall short."

Waiting with him for at least a couple hours, the Doctor remained quiet as the soldier kept watch over the city. Eventually, as expected, a platoon of soldiers came filing out of the research facility. In full mobilization, the point crept forward and waved on five teams of two. They took position on one corner of the wall before ten more settled along the other corner. They wore white and gray fatigues and faces were covered with masks. Fully automatic weapons undernearth their arms and packs of gear on their backs, it was as if they were planning on leaving the city.

Once the scout was sure it was secure, he started the marching line across the square. Only then did the communications officer and the platoon leader step from the facility. As the march proceeded, they very cautiously went forward and five men stayed behind Alexei's target.

They were not in formation to protect against snipers.

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


As the men left the facility, Alexei turned to the doctor and smiled wickedly.

"Keep the ammo coming, I'll need it. Watch if you will, but keep the ammo coming at all costs and don't get in the way."

Waiting patiently before the lead secured the area, Alexei took the time to adjust his sights. Carefully he judged the distance to the facility and then decided to take his shot when the main force came about one third of the way across.

Another smile crept across Alexei's face when the communications officer and the leader stepped out. He checked his rifle once more and made sure the bullet was in the chamber.

"Now, my good doctor, you'll get your revenge. Stand ready."

Alexei steadied his breath and casually pointed the rifle at the leader. Only when he had him approximately in sights did he sight down the telescopic sight. For a moment he pondered whether he should keep him alive and then the picture of the pit where all the dead were flashed to his mind. Gritting his teeth the ex-soldier clamed himself one more and took aim carefully.

Slowly he tried adjusting his breathing to the man's footsteps and he steadied his hand. The crosshairs pointed a bit ahead of the man, but the target was his heart. Or the vital organ that pumped blood, because this was a heartless man. His finger squeezed lightly and kept in position just a fraction of an inch away from triggering the round.

Alexei's breath came out and the man's foot touched the ground. Gently the finger pulled back a little more and the bullet took off. Not waiting to see if he hit, Alexei ejected the bullet from the chamber and quickly replaced it with a new round. A quick search of the communications officer and this time a rather hasty shot at his chest. Even as the sound of the shot resounded he placed the rifle next to him and grabbed the automatic.

This time the aim was not so precise, but the number of round made up for it. A few short burst at the group that followed the leader and then he took his fire on the scout at the head of the line. The bullets came out in the groups of two or three and as soon as the magazine was spent he replaced it with a new one. Taking his fire down the line he knew he could not get them all, but he could at least try to force them to turn back the way they came. The first few round were meant to confuse them. All the while he kept his eyes on the ten man on each corner for they could easily endanger his or Pyotr's position.

And all that time, not a single sound came from Alexei. This was not the war. There would be no war cries. It was justice and he was its eyes.

--Kerensky


The first blast crackled through the winter air. There was no way he could miss. The entry was precise and immediately penetrated the man's heart. Unlike a shortrange blast this one bit him, not disimilar to the teeth of a small animal. Confused at first, he clutched his chest, keeling over. Looking for a fleeting moment at his bloodstained hands, he collapsed. In the next breath he would be dead.

The next shot drilled through the communication officer's upper torso, perhaps striking a lung. This one was far more dramatic then the last. The angle was such that the officer flew backward into the wall, before sliding to the ground. He was alive, but mortally wounded, lying uselessly in the snow, losing his life blood as a red river.

It took this long for the rest to mobilize. For one, it was too late. He got struck in his shoulder and back. Another took a painful blast into his stomach. Pyotr's rounds were firing almost as quickly. On the far wall, the back of a soldier's head exploded, followed by another skilled shot in the chest.

The leadership was down and five soldiers were dead or incapacitated. As Alexei moved to fire at the scout, he'd already taken cover behind a parked truck, although still likely in sight of Pyotr. The remaining five managed to scurry back inside the building to remobilize.

The doctor stood in shock after readily handing ammo.

"I can't believe you took so many down so quickly."

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Once the killing was over Alexei just stood there gazing down his weapon without a single word. The gun barrel released steam in the crisp winter air as it slowly cooled. The hiss as the metal shrunk to its original size was barely audible, but Alexei heard it clearly, his cheek still next to the rifle's side.

His gaze blurred and it was doctor's voice that brought him back. For a moment he was lost and then he remembered where they were. Keeping his gun pointed in the direction of the truck where the scout took his cover he waited for Pyotr to kill the man.

As he waited his mind raced through what the future held. Six are down. The leader and the communications officer. Two more shot by me and two by Pyotr. Scout is dead too.

Still five more soldiers remained. But, now they were scared and leaderless. A smile crept across Alexei's face as he thought of that. But, as quickly as it came it was gone. There is no pleasure in killing. It was duty. No smiles.

He glanced towards the doctor and nodded.

"It was an ambush, comrade. They had no chance. The scout hiding behind the truck is dead, although he knows it not. Either he freezes to death or Pyotr or I shoot him. The other five that managed to escape trouble me. But, they are the ones afraid now. You said it nicely. Many of them died quickly. So they don't know how many of us were there."

Finally a plan began to form in his head. He would wait a minute or two to see if the soldiers would try anything. If nothing happened, he would hand a gun to doctor and instruct him to just shoot if they showed up, while he goes to discuss the entrance to the compound with Pyotr. He even pondered the possibility of negotiating with the man and taking them prisoner.

--Kerensky


The moments after the firefight were weighed with anticipation. Quiet morning air pounded into the room. One more crack split through the sky and the limp hand of the scout fell out from behind his hiding place. Pyotr�s aim was true and by all accounts the police officer was alive and well. The enemy hadn�t had a chance to fire a single shot.

Alexei�s hesitation brought no new activity and he began his move. The doctor took the soldier�s instructions and dutifully, although nervously, took his place at the window, bundling a light jacket as he was exposed to the cold.

Down the stairs and out into the apartment�s plaza, Alexei still saw no evidence of the others coming from their hiding place. Around the bend of the courtyard, he could already spot Pyotr, rifle in hand, taking a safe position behind the corner of a redbrick building.

The two locked eyes, knowing they were out a new plan would be born.

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


A quick glance around the corner and Alexei was sprinting across the street towards Pyotr. He half expected to hear a gunshot and to feel the impact of the bullet. But, all was well and he collapsed near the policeman and panted heavily.

"Good work, comrade. Now we know how many there were, and how many there are. I have met a survivor and there are more. Doctor Lyubov. He said there were some forty or so survivors. Apparently these soldiers came and some of the guards joined them."

A quick glance around the corner and Alexei once more looked at Pyotr. A grim smile was upon his lips.

"What do we do now, comrade? We can try to storm the compound or we can try to arrest them. Call out a negotiation. Or we wait till they get bored and try to escape once more. Or maybe we can call in the reinforcements?"

--Kerensky


Pyotr took no time consider their options. A quirky grin appeared on the policeman's face and he said, "I say we round up the survivors and raid the damned place. Take only prisoners so we can get to the bottom of this scandal. I will not have our Motherland destroyed by traitors, even if these traitors are in the KGB."

"Did your man say where the others were?"

He looked around with a trained eye, not getting to comfortable and keeping position over their sieged building.

"If they are too difficult to gather, perhaps we should raid by ourselves. Swiftly, efficiently, and accurately."

--Laveaux 09:49, 9 December 2005 (CST)


Alexei pondered what Pyotr said and then just nodded. He rose and glanced around the corner once more.

"I'll go see, good doctor once more. He is not a fighter, but maybe some of the others are. He said that they had a way of comunicating to each other. If that fails I say we storm the place ourselves. See if you can get some hand grenades?"

With that he was off. He ran back towards the building he shot from and climbed the stairs without slowing down. Once he reached the floor where the doctor was he slowed downa nd paused to get his breath back.

Then he slowly creeped towards the door and stopped just beyond the sight. He knew that doctor was scared and did not want to startle him and maybe get shot by accident.

"Comrade Lyubov. It is me Alexei. Can I come in?"

--Kerensky


A timid voice sounded from inside, �Yes, come in.�

Upon entering an unexpected scene unfolded. The doctor was on his knees with his hands behind his neck. Behind him was a Soviet soldier in standard tundra fatigues holding Luybov at gunpoint. He was older, perhaps an officer. Battleworn face held cold and unfearing eyes.

The moment Alexei stepped into the room, the pistol turned on him. His first shot missed, grazing the doorframe directly next to him.

His finger remained trained and in his next shot he would not miss

--Laveaux 09:55, 9 December 2005 (CST)


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