From the Ashes, Part One

From the Story Arc: From the Ashes

Next Story in the Arc: The Journey Begins by Madame Molotov (Wednesday, December 29, 2004)

(posted Monday, December 13, 2004)

Tanya Rasinov was hurrying as fast as she could go. She fumbled with her keys and finally was able to get both locks opened on the door to her apartment. The ringing of the phone continued. Tanya could just let the answering machine pick up but her phone hardly ever rang- it must be important! Tanya opened the door and rushed inside, tossing her knapsack on the table. Tanya had just completed an exam in her American History class an hour earlier and was finished with classes for the day. Tanya was looking forward to a quiet weekend but first she had to answer the phone. Tanya grabbed the receiver and answered "Hello" slightly out of breath. The voice that responded was one that she had not heard in many years.

"Tanya," came the gravelly voice from the other end, "is that you? I must speak with Tanya Rasinov." Tanya had heard the voice before but was uncertain who was calling her.

"I am Tanya Rasinov" she replied. "Who is this?"

"Tanya, you must come home at once. My name is Viktor Gregorvitz. There is no time. Your father is dying."

Tanya recognized the name of Viktor Gregorvitz. He was once known as Count Crimson many years ago and was once the leader of a team of heroes called the Supreme Soviets. Tanya had met him once when she was five years old. Tanya had many questions. What happened to her father? What on Earth was happening? Tanya began asking the caller many questions and soon learned that her father was indeed near death. He had been attacked by someone and left for dead. He may not live throughout the night. Tanya did not know what to do. How could she get from the East coast of the United States back to her home in Russia in a matter of hours? The caller told Tanya that he had booked a flight for her to come home at the earliest opportunity but she would not reach home until the following evening. If only her father would hold on that long. Tanya threw some things together and left for the airport. Viktor would be waiting to pick her up when she returned home.

The flight was the longest flight she had ever been on. Tanya had flown this distance many times since she began taking university classes 3 years ago in America. Her father had remained in Russia and Tanya had returned home several times to see him. He was, after all, the last family she had. Tanya had experienced loss before- the fire that claimed her mother and brothers many years ago continued to haunt Tanya’s dreams. As Tanya flew home she felt helpless. Her father was lying dying in a hospital and she was unable to be there. How can this happen? What would she do without her father? Who would do this? Why? The questions continued to swirl in Tanya’s mind. If only she had stayed in Russia and not gone to America. Perhaps she could have been there and her father would be fine. But she had journeyed to America because of his insistence. She knew her father wanted the best for her and this included the best education- something she could not get in Russia at this time. But Tanya felt lost. She had questions but no answers.

Tanya finally arrived. Exiting the airport, Tanya saw a tall man standing next to a car. He was wearing a heavy coat, much like everyone else during the winter months. But this man was distinctive. He had a head of hair that was silvery white and stood up several inches above his head. Viktor Gregorvitz was a strong and proud man. He was now 72 years old and his hair was white and silver and his face had a few more lines of wrinkles then he was used to. But he still exuded the confidence of a man in control. He was once the Soviet hero- Count Crimson, the leader of the Supreme Soviets. Count Crimson had powers that originated from a large ruby that had been passed down throughout his family. The ruby was said to have been magically endowed with powers from a gypsy woman who died hundreds of years ago. The bearer of the ruby was granted enhanced senses along with superhuman strength and the ability to fly. The ruby was no longer with Viktor Gregorvitz and had been stolen nearly a dozen years ago.

"Tanya, I am sorry to see you in these circumstances" Viktor stated. "I am truly sorry. Your father died two hours ago."

The words were absorbed by Tanya and she knew them to be true. Tanya was silent. She truly did not know how to respond or what to do next. Viktor ushered her into the waiting car and drove.

"He was very strong. He wanted to wait for you, but his injuries were just too severe." Viktor’s voice was steady. Much like many great leaders, Viktor knew that little could be accomplished by dwelling on a tragic loss. Great leaders can inspire even when all hope appears to be lost. "Your father and I had been working together again recently. There are some things you should know."

Over the next few hours, Viktor informed Tanya that her father had contacted him about helping restore the Motherland to its former glory. Russia has been lost for many years since Communism fell and by many accounts seemed destined to continue its downward spiral. The lack of leadership and lack of a strong government that knew what was best for its people had gone on for too long. Tanya’s father had a plan to return the nation to its former glory and had recruited Viktor for that plan. A new revolution would help restore the Soviet Union to its prominence as one of the world powers and perhaps Viktor could help lead this revolution. Tanya’s father had begun to look for recruits for a new team of Soviet heroes to serve the Motherland. Tanya’s father was looking forward to her completing her school and returning to Russia to serve on this team.

Viktor had recently learned of an operation involving the 5th Column in Russia. The Column as recently stepped up activity in several places around the globe. Viktor had warned Tanya’s father that recent conversations with his contacts revealed the 5th Column was planning an operation against him in an effort to disrupt his efforts. Tanya’s father had dismissed this talk, and felt the will of the people would drive out these Nazi infiltrators. Viktor had learned that Requiem himself (one of the 5th Column leaders), had recently been in Russia and ordered Tanya’s father to be removed from the picture. Viktor was unable to offer any proof that Requiem personally made this request and Tanya’s father continued with his plans. Tanya’s father was attacked and left for dead when he was on his way to meet Viktor and some of the new recruits he had recently found. Viktor had heard the ambush and arrived but was too late. Tanya’s father was barely alive, but he had put up a fight. He had ripped the emblem off one of his attackers. This emblem was a symbol of the 5th Column.

"Many years. Many years I knew your father. He was a good man" Viktor continued. "I will miss knowing that he is there beside me. His dream has ended."

"He is still here," Tanya said. "His dreams will be fulfilled. He will live on through me. His death is the beginning of a new era. You shall see."

"Good," Viktor replied. "I can see now that you are ready. Your father was right about you."

Tanya began to understand. Her father’s ideals and hopes for the Motherland were a threat to many. There will be those who will stop at nothing to keep Russia in disarray and confusion. There are many that do not wish to have the Soviet Union rise up again and take its place as one of the supreme powers of the world. Her father was silenced for keeping his dreams alive and dedicating his life to making his country a better place. Those responsible must pay for their ignorance. They must be made to understand that these dreams cannot die. Tanya decided that she must go to Paragon City to avenge her father’s death. By doing so, it will send a message that her father’s dreams will not die. They will rise up and come back stronger then ever. Much like the Motherland- it too, will rise up and come back stronger then ever. Tanya’s journey has begun. She will go back to America and seek her father’s killer. They will know the error of their ways soon. But first, Tanya must bury her father…