Balancing Act

From the Story Arc: The Lecture

Previous Story in the Arc: Flicker by Rack (Thursday, April 26, 2007)

Next Story in the Arc: Steps by Comrade Hero (Wednesday, May 09, 2007)

(posted Wednesday, May 02, 2007)

Dr. Petrov Shulenko was not amused. He frowned as he looked up from the stack of papers he had been reading and stared at Comrade Hero with his one good eye.

"They blackmailed Moscow?"

Comrade Hero shifted uncomfortably as he weathered the unflinching gaze of Commissar Disinformazia.

"Comrade Doctor, the American's give with one hand and take with the other." said Comrade Hero in exasperation.

The one eyed Commissar offered a thin smile. "I don't need to be psychic to guess that, Comrade."

Commissar Disinformazia sighed softly as he stood up from his desk and crossed his arms behind his back.

"So how tightly is the City Representative squeezing your balls on this one, Nikolai?"

The Commissar didn't mince words. Disinformazia could read the surface thoughts of most people around him with ease. He cut to the chase in a practical, if somewhat blunt fashion.

"Very tightly." Comrade Hero replied evenly. "Azuria and Agent Indigo are pulling the strings on this one. They want this Rack badly."

"So does Moscow, I gather. Two puppet masters. Not a good situation to be in my friend, not good at all."

Comrade Hero nodded. "Suggestions? I've already decided to bring in Aleksander and Carolyn on this one."

Commissar Disinformazia stroked the wiry brown hair of his beard as he paced back and forth.

"Good idea. Aleksander has two centuries of experience on his side and I doubt that Rack would have heard of him before. And Carolyn was always an unconventional magic user, techno-mages aren't exactly common."

Comrade Hero kept silent as he watched Commissar Disinformazia.

"Let Azuria and Agent Indigo pull intelligence for you. They may as well run around for you if they're going to make you run for them. I'll keep going over the reports and footage they have sent over and update you if I come across anything that can help you."

Commissar Disinformazia ran his fingers through his hair.

"And remember that not even the best laid plan survives the first encounter with the enemy intact. No matter who has prepared it. Don't expect Rack to play along nicely."

Comrade Hero nodded. "Spasiba, my friend."

Commissar Disinformazia arched an eyebrow. "And do try to keep the property damage to a minimum this time."

Comrade Hero grinned as he turned away. "Always."

Commissar Disinformazia eased back down into the chair behind his desk. "It's good to have you back Nikolai. But don't neglect your other duties. You have that lecture to give tonight over at the University."

*Disinformazia used with permission.