AWOL Part 1

(posted Friday, February 18, 2005)

Natalya skimmed through the documents and leaned back in the office chair and sighed deeply. Her desk lay with stacks of papers which deceptively looked like mere clutter. Despite the distance CCCP had from Moscow, Russian bureaucracy still had it's tendrils in nearly everything and Natalya seemed stuck in a mire of paperwork with the recent departure of Mojiotok.

She glanced up and spoke to the figure before her in native Russian, "Comrade, I am surprised you are still compelled to run when the KGB barks an order. I thought you left your life as a solider a long time ago."

Untermensch stood before her desk with his arms crossed and snorted, "Nyet, for the KGB I learned to tread lightly around assignments they ask us to do. But this is a request from the GRU. The intelligence reports they have are surprising. They need superpower operatives on the ground."

"But South America?" Natalya leaned forward and quietly placed the documents on her desk, "Georgi, this looks like a quiet private war. You have an ill defined enemy." She flipped though several pages and photographs. "This seems like scattered reports and poor intelligence. And with this you are ready to jump into fighting these rebel factions. How can you be so sure their motivation and funding is from displaced 5th Column?"

Untermensch shifted a bit, "Commissar, as you read, that is uncertain but the GRU feels that activity is eminent. And there may be several countries under pressure from these fascists elements. And that could lead to greater pressure to overthrow Castro in Cuba."

"Cuba! Govno, Georgi!" Natalya slammed her palms flat on the desk, "I think Castro is under more threat from the United States that some ethereal fascist group. The Council and the 5th Column are here in Paragon City. They are out on almost every street corner with their 'political protests'. You want to fight fascism?" Natalya thrust a finger towards a cramped window, "It's right here, Georgi!"

Natalya, rested her head on one hand and with a pencil slowly began to circle a name on the documents she had held. " I understand you feel needed elsewhere. But CCCP also needs you. We have had several new recruits coming in and several of the old guard leaving." She quietly looked at another stack of papers, "And this odd business with Comrade Chug. I am not going to beg you to stay Georgi... but I cannot say I will be pleased with you leaving."

Untermensch stared off for a moment, "Russia needs me, and I go where she asks. I fear communication will be limited once in the field, but I hope that GRU can forward any news I have."

Natalya stood up abruptly, quickly took the intelligence reports and placed them in a file. "Very well, Comrade Untermensch. I ask that you leave your communicator with the supply officer. You are dismissed, good luck."

"Spasiba, Commissar" Untermensch looked down, "I... ah.. appreciate the guidance and tactical leadership you provided our team over the years. And I will miss..."

"You are dismissed, Comrade Untermensch.", snapped Natalya. Her eyes narrowed with a steely glare.

Untermensch stiffened, gave a quick salute and quitely walked out of the office. Natalya slowly tapped the bulging file on her desk trying to neaten the contents. She turned, slowly opened a cabinet drawer, and quietly placed the folder inside. Looking out the window for a brief moment, Natalya slumped a bit. But only for a moment. She quickly squared her shoulders as the firm resolve of duty seemed to surge through her again. She sat down at her desk, scanned the stacks of paperwork, picked up a pencil, and diligently began to go over the field reports for the day.