From the Story Arc: WCO Report: Operation Black Lotus

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(posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005)

Untermensch peered at the photos intently stoking his short beard. "Da," he spoke in halting, broken english, "is Chug certain. What is he doing near submarine in North Pole?"

"That," People's Blade gently clasped her hands together behind her desk, "is what I was hoping you could provide more information on." Fei Le sighed, "I have received an urgent message from Chinese State Security this morning. Apparently these images were taken three days ago. The State Department and Pentagon from United States are extremely upset. Some senator on a security committee is screaming about Russia and China violating NASP and how CCCP should be expelled as spies from America."

"Is govno," spat Untermensch, "America is having many heroes for intelligence and army I have met over years. They accuse us of breaking NASP?" Georgi flashed his teeth. "Is propaganda made from CIA am thinking."

"That may be true," People's Blade steeled her dark eyes at Untermensch, "but my country takes violation of the Nonaggression Superbeing Pact very seriously. I certainly hope that Chug is not involved with Russia in some old business."

Georgi barked a laugh. "Nyet! Chug was being too stupid for any of our work back then." Untermensch drummed his fingers on the desk staring intently at the photographs. "Besides, I think this not being work of KGB."

"Then I fear something darker at work. He has disappeared over two months ago. We hear of nothing save some cryptic message from some unknown organization in Russia. And now we hear accusations from American military he is working as some spy. This is why I requested you be ordered back to Paragon city. Red Saviour was the only person I knew that had close contacts with Russian Intelligence. In her absence I was hoping you could shed some more light."

"Bah," Georgi slowly shook his head, "is nothing coming back. Commissar Red Saviour speaking truth. Work in Central America not more than chasing shadows." Untermensch picked up one particular photo. The black and white image was a rather amazing convergence of events. Only the hull of the submarine could be seen breaking through the ice. But peering inquisitively were several polar bears at the unusual trespasser to their barren world. And among them was the unmistakable figure of Chug, cheerfully waving. "Such simple idiot Chug is," muttered Georgi.

"What?" Fei Le's eyebrows arched.

"This," Untermensch stabbed a finger at the bears in the photograph, "is why you seeing Chug at North Pole."

Fei Le's soft oval face bore the look of bewilderment. "How does that explain how he is there monitoring NATO maneuvers?"

"I remember story from Cuban Intelligence." Untermensch's face began to give a dark sneer. "Chug was with Cuba for some time long. He decide go to America. Castro refuses. He leave any ways. He just jumps out of his compound and begins swim to America."

Untermensch leaned back in the stiff office chair with his hands behind his head and continued, "Castro screaming at Russia about how we dump Chug on them. How Chug going to get Cuba into war with America. We scramble submarines. Stage "naval exercises" with Cuba trying find Chug. Three days later he come back to Cuba."

Untermensch shook his head. "Idiot goes in ocean. Comes across many dolphins. Plays several days with them swimming all over. Comes back and forget why he was in ocean in first place."

"Although," Georgi snorted, "maybe not complete idiot. Six month later Chug given permission from Castro to leave to America."

"That," Untermensch tossed the photograph across the desk to People's Blade, "is why seeing Chug. He is off somewhere playing with bears. Is why Commissar Red Saviour and Red Menace place strict rule for Chug only having hamster pet. If not ordered, Chug make CCCP headquarters zoo. He is off wandering is all."

"I certainly hope you are right, comrade." People's Blade picked up the photograph. "It sounds like some amazing coincidence, but I hope that is all this bizarre event truly was..."