The Task at Hand

From the Story Arc: Radoslav: The Chronicles of Agn Stratonik

Previous Story in the Arc: M.A.T.A.H.U.R.I.A. by Agn Stratonik (Thursday, January 20, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Saving Comrade Khrushchev, Episode 1 by Agn Stratonik (Friday, February 18, 2005)

(posted Thursday, January 20, 2005)

"Kon govno," I yelled as I reached for my knee. "What in the hell is all of this?" I had just returned back from a place called New Orleans in the state of Louisiana and was much pleased in my two week vacation in "Cajun/Creole Country"...whatever that means. Walking into CCCP Headquarters, the first thing I met was a chair, who gave my knee a good welcome home bruise. It had been turned over onto the floor and left there.

I looked around the front entrance of the HQ and wasn't sure I was in the right building. The place made a pig sty look hospitable. Beer bottles, Mountain Dew cans, twinkie wraps...all over the damn place!! "Red Brigade," I muttered. In my short time in the CCCP, I've gotten to know several of my co-members quite well, some of which are in the Red Brigade. I've always thought them to be pretty squared away, but something made me wonder about this. It was that fact that right before I left I heard Comrade Khrushchev mumbling about how rowdy they were under his breath as he cleaned his gun and again as he shot the crap out of a wall in a back alley near the HQ.

As I trudged into the room, I felt like I was walking through a shallow bed of muddy water because of all of the trash on the floor. The first room I encountered was the living room where Commissar Fei Li, Commissar Red Saviour, Zach, Carpathia, Ursa Minor, Gato Rojo and Soviette were all sitting in, or around the sofa staring adamantly at the new television set Commissar Saviour had just purchased. "Oh Bobby!" "Oh Jill!" It was soap opera day. The constant, love struck whining coming from the television made me want to upchuck last week's chicken and sausage gumbo. "Hey Agn, how are you," Zach said looking up from his seated position on the floor just long enough to notice I was there. "Uugghh...," I muttered incoherently as I walked out of sight and to the sleeping quarters. Inside Commissar Kostyak, Bestla, and Heavy Brother sat around the other television and played videogames. "I OWN YOU MOFOS," Heavy Brother stood up and shouted securing his dominance over Bestla and Kostyak in head-to-head, Need For Speed Underground 2 racing. "What it is brother," Heavy Brother asked me with a smile. Shaking his hand, I just smiled a little then walked over to my bunk. Kostyak looked at me, then at Bestla and shrugged at my silence. Khrushchev was over on his bunk, cleaning his gun as usual. I nodded to him, not wanting to disturb his seclusion. Comrade Untermensch was dancing in his boxers, might I add, to some fast-paced German techno music not too far from Khrushchev’s bunk. Commissar Mojiotok and Red Star were sitting over at a table in a room adjacent to the sleeping quarters talking about new material to add to Mother Siberia's class sessions.

I placed my luggage near my bunk and removed my jacket. I put on an old shirt and old jeans and shoes and headed over to the kitchen. I got all the cleaning materials I could muster and began scrubbing and cleaning all around the HQ. Five hours later, I was done. I trudged back to my bunk and laid down on my bed, falling face first into my pillow.

Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Bestla. "You know Agn; you look pretty dirty and icky. How gross!! Haven't you heard of a shower? You make this place look dirty!" My eyes widened and I stood up staring at her with fires burning in my eyes. As she stood staring back, unperturbed, I walked past her and to the locker room for a shower. "Agn," she yelled, "Why do you smell like pine sol?"

I began to think to myself that the Red Brigade needs a touch of discipline and militaristicism to it. Later that evening, I requested a transfer to the Red Brigade through Commissar Red Saviour. “Maybe I can bring some class to this rag-tag group of rowdy leftists,” I thought.

Underneath my reasoning was a façade, though. During my vacation I thought of all that Julian had told me. I began to see my mother country in a new light. I sensed something was a midst and wasn’t very comfortable with conforming to certain things that the came with being a Communist. I had never felt this way before, yet I knew how to deal with it. It was time to watch from outside the mix of things.

The next morning, I went to the roof of the CCCP HQ for some meditation. About ten minutes later, Mojiotok came looking for me. “Agn,” he said for quietly, standing right behind me as I sat in a yoga sitting position and meditated. Seeing fit to not break my meditation, I spoke to him telepathically. “Da? How can I help you, Commissar,” my questioned echoed in his head. “Matahuria,” he replied.

Without hesitation, I stood up and faced him. “What do you know?” “That day, when fascists were trying to steal serum, I investigated further. They were trying to steal serum for research and mass production…do you know what the serum is?” Why did he ask me? He already knew the answer was yes, but how did he find out? I remembered that these days, in these times, people know something as small as what the colour of a person’s urine was when they urinated at 3 o’clock in the morning. So it didn’t surprise me very much, yet I still wanted to know the source.

For whatever reason, I told him all that had conspired the night I met Colonel Sorrow. I told him about my father’s works and about the M.A.T.A.H.U.R.I.A. program. “Ah,” he said as he allowed it all to soak in, just as I did. “It makes sense then, Agn. The Nazis must be tryink to steal Stalingrad serum for to make Super Heroes. If this were to happen, it could mean end of Paragon City and the world…” “Da, it could,” I muttered just loud enough for him to hear me as I bowed my head with the thoughts of the repercussions of such an occurrence racing in my mind.

“Agn,” he said as he turned around and began to walk off, “find out what you can, okay?” “Da, Commissar. I will do my best.” After a short while of thinking and staring at the sky, I ran downstairs and suited up into my costume. I raced out of the HQ and headed toward Independence Port, one of the main harbors of Paragon City. As I waited to arrive on the tram, I noticed the heavy breathing of a Hero standing behind me. I turned, looking over my shoulder to see what resembled a 13 yr old child in a hand stitched costume his mother made for him. He was wearing glasses and breathing so heavily I couldn’t hear myself think. As he inhaled to say something, I heard the globs of spit in his mouth as he sucked on it. He wheezed and said, “Hi.” Being that I wore a mask that covered my face and goggles that covered my eyes, he could not see the stare I was giving him. I just faced forward again, waiting to get off of that damn tram. What was his name, “The Marvelous Jackass?” America is truly a strange place.

After disembarking from the tram, I hit the streets in search of Nazis. While I was gone, a new threat entered Paragon known as The Council. They weren’t in cahoots with the 5th Column, but still Nazis nonetheless. So, I had two enemies to look out for. I went from group to group, beating the living crap out of any 5th Column I saw and trying to divulge information from each. After an hour, I got no answers.

I traveled to Talos Island next. After 30 minutes, I found much of the same; nothing at all. I stormed into a group of Nazis in complete and total anger and landed a Dragon’s Tail kick, which sent them all flying. “I NEED ANSWERS,” I screamed. “You want answers,” a voice chimed in from behind me. I turned around to see a man standing next to 5 Mechanized robots and 4 other men. They were all clasped in metal so shiny it hurt my sight to look at them. “The Council has answers for you.”

I glanced over behind me to see the 5th Column cronies I had just knocked around pooling together. I was now the center of a Nazi sandwich. “Deirymo,” I muttered…”Come at me then!”