The Flame Dies...

From the Story Arc: The Night the Light Went Out in Striga

Next Story in the Arc: Revelations or Treachery? by Madame Molotov (Thursday, July 14, 2005)

(posted Saturday, July 09, 2005)

Madame Molotov paced back and forth in the hallway outside the commissar’s office. A scowl spread across her face as she walked. Her thoughts were to turn and walk out of the CCCP’s headquarters and go back to her threadbare apartment and just drown her pain away with the bottle of vodka in her freezer.

“I am a fool” she muttered to herself. “The commissar does nyet have time for me. I must be elsewhere.” Molotov had just about decided to take her chances on exiting the building without being seen when the door to Red Saviour’s office flew open.

Comrade Communard stumbled back out of the office. The Commissar stood behind her desk and Molotov could barely make out her upper torso and head above the stacks of papers piled on her desk.

“…this is the third time this week your experiments have taken down the power in the building,” Red Saviour shouted to Communard. “You are Official, Da? Act like one. No more unauthorized experiments!!”

Comrade Communard turned and just barely missed running over Molotov. He mumbled something in French which she did not understand before whisking past her. Molotov sat down quickly on the small chair in the hallway, hoping that perhaps the Commissar would not see her.

“Madame, Comrade. You have requested to see me, Da?” the Commissar asked.

Molotov stood and slowly entered the office. What am I doing? she thought. Molotov stared at the floor. There is no time for this, I have to get out of here.

“Well, Madame? I have paperwork to complete. What is it?”

“Umm, uhh… I know it is not my place Commissar” Molotov began. OK. What the hell, do it and get it over with. The quicker the better. “I am needing to be asking of favor. I have received word that one of Council members who may have killed my father… he is on Striga….I must go…NOW…” The words flew out of her mouth and as they did the pain in her heart turned to hate. “I must go…he MUST pay!”

“Madame…I am understanding of this pain you have,” Red Saviour replied. “But the Council is very dangerous to face. The CCCP has faced them many times. You have just completed extra patrol and needing rest. It would be better to have others to stand with you.”

“But Commissar…if I do not go, this… this….this monster may flee.”

“Nyet, Comrade. We shall find him. Give us some time… we shall have to raise force to go. It is best to face Council in team, the more the better. Check back with me after a while. Go. Rest Comrade. I must file necessary papers and get perhaps get assistance from the Coalition.”

“Commissar… I must go. I cannot let this man escape.” Molotov pleaded as tears came to her eyes.

“Nyet, Comrade Molotov. Wait. Is trying time this is. Everyone at CCCP is experiencing difficulty now. Is stressful times we have dealings with. We have increased patrols and everyone is tired. Comrade Murdock’s situation, new recruits every week, plus Comrade Zach is dealing with new problems in Washington….. Ack, now I ramble on” Red Saviour said. “Nyet…we will do this right…let me get team to help. Come back later after rest Comrade. The CCCP will be there for you Madame.”

Molotov lowered her head again. “Very well Commissar…I…I apologize for speaking out of line.” With that Molotov turned and strode out of the office and down the hall. Molotov went through the open space where the door once stood and out to the sidewalk outside. If the front door had been in place Molotov thought how she would have slammed it shut. But Comrade Chug had apparently eaten the door the other day and the budget apparently did not have the funds to replace it yet. Paperwork!! Bah…The Council did not bother to file paperwork when they murdered my father!

Molotov stood outside for what felt like an eternity. What should I do? Oh, father… I could not be there for you. Forgive me father, but I cannot risk it… they must pay!!

Molotov had made up her mind. She knew the Commissar was right—The Council was dangerous and she would probably need all the help she could get. But she had searched for months for this opportunity. She might not get another chance like this one. She quickly flew to the tunnel to Independence Port. The last freighter to Striga Isle should be nearly ready to depart. Molotov knew if she hurried she could make it to Striga before sundown…

During the trip to Striga, Molotov tried to rest. However, every time she closed her eyes she felt pain. The Commissar was right—Things had been extremely difficult lately. Molotov had recently returned from a trip back to Russia to discover that her friend, John Murdock, was no longer the man he once was. In fact, he had no memory whatsoever of her. This was just another person Molotov had allowed herself to get close to and once again, they were just pulled away. Nyet…she thought…I must concentrate on the task at hand…

She had just pulled a double patrol and had taken down a portion of the Family in Independence Port earlier when her contact on Striga had called with an urgent message that someone big was going down. Rumor had it that Requiem himself might be involved and that he knew something about the death of Molotov’s father. Now is my chance… I must get answers!!

As the freighter entered the port at Striga, the sun began to set across the sea. The red and orange sky reflected off the water as the sun began to disappear over the horizon. Molotov knew this had to be a good sign. This whole island will be covered in red… the Council’s blood will stain the rocks for years after I am done with them…she thought. Molotov took to the air before the ship had a chance to complete its docking and headed for the place her contact had directed her… the middle of the Council’s base.

The darkened sky hid Molotov from the unsuspecting Council patrols as she flew overhead. Any other night and Molotov would have torched them where they were, but tonight she had to get closer then she ever had before. Her contact had mentioned a secret entrance or tunnel that the Council used… if she was not careful the Council would raise the alarm to her presence and Requiem would surely be gone before she ever got a shot at him.

The sounds of a scuffle ahead worried her. Molotov had gotten very close. Up ahead was what appeared to be a large cave that went into the mountain. Just outside this cave was a large Council patrol and three heroes she had never seen before were engaged in a fight. Damn!! They will ruin my chance!!
Molotov did not know what to do. She dropped down behind a rock out of sight to determine her best course of action. The sounds of the battle were just within earshot.

“Retreat,” shouted one of the heroes. “Captain Shock is down!!”

Molotov peaked over the rock just as one of the heroes disappeared as his emergency medical teleporter kicked in. Then the remaining two heroes were gone in seconds as one flew off in the direction of Port Noble and the other teleported away. Molotov bent back down and felt like she was going to be sick. Those fools have cost me my chance to find what happened to my father!! Damn them!!

Molotov thought she would begin crying when one of the Council operatives spoke over his radio:

”All Clear. Proceed with operation.”

Molotov sighed under her breath. She could not believe her good fortune. She looked back at the entrance… only two Council officers remained. Molotov knew that reinforcements had to be on the way. If she was going in, it had to be now. Molotov waited a few minutes until the officers had turned to face away from her. Then, flying as quietly as possible, Molotov was in the air and over them into the cave.

Molotov soon heard voices as she approached a large room filled with boxes and crates of all sizes. It appeared that some type of shipment had arrived recently. Molotov hid behind a stack of crates hoping to get a look of who might be present in the room. The lights in the underground fortress flickered as the ground shook occasionally. Apparently they were close to the volcano on the island.
“Quickly!!” the voice shouted. “Get these materials to the lab immediately!! There…those last two boxes”

Molotov could not see who was shouting directions as Council officers moved past. Molotov could hear the cries of Council warwolves and the sounds of boxes being moved and loaded onto a truck. Molotov knew that she had to act quickly or she might not get a chance to see who was giving the orders. Molotov decided to hover and fly behind a stack of crates just a bit to get to a higher vantage point. The dark room would provide cover and the rafters above would allow a view of the entire room.

As Molotov flew up and approached the closet rafter beam, a shape began to materialize in front of her. The outline of what appeared to be a human was leaning on the rafter above her. What is that? Who? Within seconds it was in the air and upon her. Molotov fell through the air and realized it was a vampyri and she was out of time! Molotov crashed through the air taking out the light fixture that was hanging from above as she hit the ground hard on her back. The Vampyr was on top of her. Molotov kicked and the vampyr flew over her head. Molotov swung around and rose to her feet.

“Ahhh…. It appears we have company” came the voice. “Let me see… I believe that uniform is the CCCP. So full of surprises it seems.”

Molotov looked around and felt slightly dazed from the fall. She was completely surrounded by Council officers and Warwolves. The vampyr that attacked stood as three more came down from the rafters of the other corners of the room. A large man in a mechanical uniform stepped out from behind the truck.

“I am Vandal, who might you be young lady?”

Molotov was disappointed… her contact had told her the leader of the Council would be here. Not only that, but now she was in way over her head. Just what had she been thinking? She did not even have a plan to begin with… she knew that this was trouble and she thought there was two possible ways to get out of this predicament. One…turn and run and hope to blazes she can fly faster then these things… and Two…. Burn as many of these monsters as she could and if she got hurt so bad she had the trusty Paragon medical team to port her out. It might not be the best plan, but at least she knew she would make it out. Might as well try to bluff…

“I am Madame Molotov of the CCCP. Surrender or Die!! The CCCP is here and we will take you down.”

Vandal laughed… “Ahhh...good Molotov…I think not young one…you think you made it into the heart of the wolf by skill?” Vandal laughed again. “No… you are alone child. Alone as we wished you to be. Finally, after all these years, you will come with us.”

“WHAT??” Molotov exclaimed. “Nyet…never…you will burn first, my father was murdered by you… you monsters….”

Vandal laughed….”Child you do not understand do you? Your father was working with us… he was a traitor to your precious Motherland… he was to have given you to us when you were a child…”

Molotov cried out…”LIAR… you cannot speak of my father…. He was hero to Soviet Union…I shall watch you burn!!!”

With that Molotov flung a fireball at Vandal as tears welled in her eyes. Vandal deflected the blast and laughed.

“Your father was a fool. He thought he could hide you. That is why he died. He can no longer protect you. Take her” he said.

Molotov barely had time to react as she was jumped by Council officers and Warwolves. Molotov tried to fight them off, but there were just too many. Minutes later Molotov was nearly unconscious as she was picked up off the floor by two Council officers.

“Well child…it appears you WILL be coming with us” Vandal said. “And do not worry…OUR medical staff will look you over.” From within his uniform he produced a small device which he waved completely over Molotov’s body. “That take care of the pesky teleportation device you have.”

Molotov was barely hanging on. She had failed. She had failed her father. And she had failed the CCCP. Why had I not waited for my teammates? What can I do? Why
…and then Vandal swung and hit Molotov and the world went dark…

To be continued…