Part 21

From the Story Arc: Changes

Previous Story in the Arc: Part 19 by Khrushchev (Wednesday, March 02, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Part 22 by Khrushchev (Tuesday, March 29, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, March 08, 2005)



Hours had become days, days became weeks, and weeks became a month. A month had passed since Officer Khrushchev had taken his last step in losing his mortality. CCCP and Red Brigade members mourned on their own, there was never a formal funeral, as it was difficult with the physical presence of Khrushchev still embodying a now lifeless form. Most were able to cope and continue on with life’s daily routines some found it took longer while others such as Soviette had the most difficult time of all. She had become re-focused on her career not only as a Hero but as a Doctor as well. Focused to the point of obsession, she would not leave her work, all interaction with others had stopped, and she had become socially inept.

By a direct order of the Commissars who felt it would be in her best interest to take a short leave. Soviette would go on a vacation alone to a resort in the Virgin Islands, it was there she would hope to find solace from the life which had drained her. Seeking the help of alternative medicines she met a former Soviet Doctor Alexei Yurov once a part of the head medical team for the Politburo in Moscow, Alexei had taken residence in the islands to practice medicine on those who truly needed it. He offered a series of dream therapies in an effort to cleanse her mind from her own demons. Nightmares had plagued her sleep for the past month, the last hours of Khrushchev’s life replayed in her mind over and over each time ending in the same result. During the next week he had introduced several herbal remedies and teas which she took before bed to help reduce the strain on her mind. They provided her with the rest she needed and trained her to deal with the truth, being there might have been nothing anyone or anything could have done to save his life. That at the end the choice was his.

“You may have a relapse when you return, it would be only natural to harbor some feelings when you see him again, but continue with we have accomplished here and you will be fine”. Alexei got up and gave Soviette a hug goodbye.

“Spaciba Alexei it was good to meet you, I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have this opportunity”. Soviette returned the hug, waived good bye, she got into a taxi and made her way to the airport.

Back at headquarters Khrushchev continued on what would have been his normal routines. He completed the missions assigned to him and continued contact with his reports. Everything he did was on his own now, no one joined him or teamed up with him for fear of what happened to him would carry over and have the same effect on them. No one really knew what happened to him but they all knew what did caused him be more of a machine now than man. Whispers and grumblings abound through the group, silent speaking of Khrushchev’s last day, the day he disappeared, where he went, who he talked to, why everything was held in such secrecy. He tried to question others who spoke his name but met with resistance and disregard.

“I am requesting assistance on a mission, according to my memory banks you show no activity at this present time”. Khrushchev spoke in his monotone voice to a couple of the newer red Brigade members.

“Ummm…something just came up we are busy” one said as he nudged the other in the side.

“Oh yeah very busy…” he laughed as he and his counterpart turned and walked away. “Plus we don’t work with robots”.

“I am not a robot I am a Cyber…”

“Yeah we know, we get it already, geesh give it a rest”

Commissar Saviour had witnessed the end of the conversation and approached Khrushchev. He stopped and saluted, “Commissar Saviour”.

“Why do you salute comrade? Do you do it out of respect?” Saviour inquired as she looked on with great intrigue.

“I do it because that is what I am programmed to do”.

“Da of course, forgive me sometimes I forget”.

“You do not need to ask for forgiveness, you will do it again” Khrushchev looked down at Commissar as she raised her brow.

“What do you mean?” curiosity was getting the better of her.

“It is in your nature to make mistakes, humans…”

“And you will not?”

“I have never made a mistake or distorted information. I am, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”

“Hmmm I see…you understand not everyone is comfortable with joining you in missions, they are concerned that with out emotion you may not be in everyone’s best interest”.

“I do not understand, without emotions they should feel safer as I will not make the mistakes they would”.

“I understand that Comrade it’s just…”

“Why do you call me Comrade? The name assigned to me is Khrushchev”.

“Do you know what Comrade means?”

“A comrade can be socially or politically close a closeness that is found at the etymological heart of the word comrade. In Spanish the Latin word camara, with its Late Latin meaning "chamber, room," was retained, and the derivative camarada, with the sense "roommates, especially barrack mates," was formed. Camarada then came to have the general sense "companion." English borrowed the word from Spanish and French, English comrade being first recorded in the 16th century. The political sense of comrade, now associated with Communism, had its origin in the late-19th-century use of the word as a title by socialists and communists in order to avoid such forms of address as mister. This usage, which originated during the French Revolution, is first recorded in English in 1884”.

Saviour scratched her head as she listened to Khrushchev rattle off verbatim the very definition. “It means a friend or a companion, and until you understand that you will not understand the human emotions”.

“Friends…would you like the definition?”

“No I would like the feeling” she looked up at him hoping he would understand.

“I do not understand feelings”.

She sighed looking down briefly trying now to get off the subject as it saddened her to see what he had become. “I see you are on a mission of great danger, I can assign some members to assist you, and it will be difficult with out them”.

“I have pre-calculated the mission, I will not fail”. Khrushchev bent down and grabbed his rifle case, saluted again and began to walk away stopping for a moment “Commissar Saviour”. Saviour stopped to also turn towards yes Khrushchev.

“Da”

“Were we friends?”

Saviour smiled and became teary eyed, “yes we were”. She watched as Khrushchev turned again and left the building.

To be continued…