The Meeting

From the Story Arc: The Sleeper Awakens

Next Story in the Arc: Memories by Khrushchev (Monday, May 16, 2005)

(posted Thursday, May 12, 2005)

Soviette knocked on the door before letting herself in. She was somewhat startled to find all of the Commissars in the office sitting at the table with Saviour. Untermensch, Bestial Boy, People's Blade---

"Ah," she said, taken aback. "It is good to see you all, I'm sorry…Am I too soon Red?"

"No you are right on time, as always, Comrade. Come, sit down with us" Saviour pulled a chair out next to her.

"Spaciba." She sat. I'm sorry to question but I was not expecting all of you…I thought this was just a meeting between the two of us".

"I thought it might be best to have everyone here for support and to let you know this was a joint decision".

That had an ominous sound. "Support for what?"

Red Saviour's expression was unreadable. "There comes a time when we need to set aside our feelings and do what's best for everyone. Every so often when a door is shut another one opens, revealing so much more than we knew before".

Soviette gazed around to see if anyone else understood this. "What are you talking about?"

"Life is like…"

"Like a box of chocolates, can we please skip the blah, blah, blah and tell me what this is about?" Soviette began to feel a sense of urgency; her heart began to beat faster. No one else was saying anything, and Saviour seemed overly cautious in her choice of words. She watched as Saviour took a deep breath and placed both of her hands on the table.

"At this point we have determined that it would be better for all of the CCCP, including Young Champions, if we removed Comrade Khrushchev from life support". There was a deafening silence throughout the room.

Soviette was rendered speechless, and her jaw dropped. Saviour began to tear up slightly and Blade passed her a Hello Kitty hanky. "I am sorry to have to tell you this but it has been three months and there has been no progress in his development, we feel at this time we need…"

"Is this some kind of sick joke? Because I do not find it humorous at all…" she paused to see if anyone would interrupt her. "We are talking about a human life here…I mean…"

"Comrade I understand your sadness. Believe me, I didn't want to do it either, but in the long run what is to be gained by keeping him like this?" Bestial Boy spoke; it was clear that he was trying to be as reassuring as possible, even when he was in so much distress that he had turned a paler shade of green.

Soviette pushed her chair back from the table. She held out both hands in a gesture of entreaty. "I just need more time, I need to re-run some tests…give me something…please".

"We have made a decision. I am sorry you do not understand, but the decision is unanimous and final. I understand your frustrations…" Blade tried to be firm, yet caring, but was interrupted by Soviette.

"No! You do not know! No one understands! Most of the people here don't even like him, because no one ever gave him a chance!”

"No one questions Khrushchev's skills or abilities; he was a fantastic leader and a great hero" Bestial Boy spoke proudly in response.

"I'm not talking about the killing machine everyone wanted him to be, I am talking about the person, the kindness he showed to everyone here---". Soviette tightly placed her hands onto her forehead pushing them through her hair. She had to think. She had to stall them somehow. "So what are we talking about here…huh? What kind of time frame. When are we talking about?"

"It will happen tomorrow evening. We will inform the rest of the group today and then if they chose they can pay their last respects".

"Tomorrow!" Soviette shouted, overwhelmed by shock. "Tomorrow? Well---well---that's just---great" she stood up quickly pushed the chair over and began to walk out.

"Comrade please where are you going? Please we have more to discuss" Saviour spoke softly as if she knew her pain.

"Where am I going? To say goodbye to an old friend" she grabbed the door and slammed it shut.

A picture fell off the wall; the glass cracked as it hit the ground. Untermensch walked over and picked it up carefully so as to not be cut by the broken glass.

"It is a picture of Comrade Khrushchev…are we sure we are doing the right thing?" Untermensch sighed as he looked at the others.

Nevertheless, no one answered; no one would say a thing.

As the evening continued, Soviette worked desperately. Piles of books were stacked upon her desk; notes from all of her work were thumb tacked to her walls, like a paper collage of Khrushchev's last three months. Her eyes became heavy from reading the seemingly endless pages of code and studies.

"I just need to rest my eyes for a second just enough to…"

Within a heartbeat, she had fallen victim to her own stress and succumbed to the sleep she so wanted to avoid.

Seconds turned to minutes, and minutes became hours. At two in the morning, she awoke to a loud continuous tone. She rubbed her eyes for a moment and tried to focus on her computer screen. Khrushchev's vital signs had flat-lined over five minutes ago

"Damn! They told me I had until tomorrow! How could they do this?"

She ran as fast as she could knowing the inevitable had already happened, but not willing to believe it. Entering the room, she brought up the lights. It took her a few seconds to get acclimated to the bright fluorescents. She stood next to the bed and picked up a bandage and one of the many electrodes that had been monitoring Khrushchev's status.

The bed was empty. She couldn't understand, how could have they gotten him out so quickly, she was sure he could have lasted more than five minutes without help from these machines.

"How could this have happened?"

"Because of you".

Soviette turned around slowly, looking up at the large figure in front of her. Khrushchev tried his best to smile. Soviette placed both her hands over her mouth and began to cry. She was not sure if she was dreaming. Reaching her hand out slowly she placed it on his chest, "It's really you?"

"Yes comrade, you have done it. All of your work paid off. You saved me".

Soviette lunged towards Khrushchev hugging him as far as her arms could get around his bulky torso.

"I can't believe you're here…my God! You're ok!” Khrushchev went to place his arm around Soviette, but he was still bandaged and badly bruised, it hurt to do anything more than walk.

"I missed you too"

To be continued…