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  #1  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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[IC] The End of the Beginning

'Five cars, five targets.'

"Put the knife down, Mr. Medvedev. I'm here to ask a favor of you."

'It was a simple concept, but one that was always bogged down in exposition and explanation. Why are you here? Where are you taking me? Who are you? What do you want from me? What do you want from me?

"So, Mr. Aleskeev, are you ready to serve Mother Russia . . . ?"

'We will ask the questions. That was the response that was given - and if they knew what was good for them, they would respect that. Our operatives are better trained than to let themselves be interrogated.'

"I hate this place, sir . . . gives me the cree-"
"Shh, here he comes! [Ahem]. KGB, Mr. Tarasov. We are here to extract you for the benefit of your country."


'So much hassle for such a small prospect, but it came from the Secretariat himself. He instructed us to find the best, and so we did. I wish he hadn't. You can not trust the best. You can only trust our men and women - the men and women who die protecting you.'

"Valeria Solovyova . . . I'm Colonel Gavriilov. We're here because the KGB requires your assistance. May we come in?"

'I suppose it's for the best. Better their lives at risk than our own - and if they betray us, then they shall meet a death swifter than the most cowardly of traitors. There is no room for betrayal in our organization.'

"Mr. Karpov, sir . . . the Motherland has need of your services once again."

"Sir?" a man in a dark blue suit asked, his glasses threatening to fall off of his nose.

Suddenly the surroundings came to bear. The man with a ridiculously long internal monologue was looking into a small and steel-plated room. Spartan only began to describe it, with simplicity being the sole instruction that the architect had been given. There was an oaken and worn table with small chairs lining its sides square in the middle of the room.. It was apparently a makeshift waiting room, though it must have - at one time - been an interrogation room. The sole obvious feature was a large mirror that ran up and down the room's side, along with a pair of doors, one located on the same wall as the mirror, while another stood immediately at its opposite.

Observing through a one-way window was a grizzly and well-muscled man with a long beard and a cossacks' hat, who promptly shook his head back and forth, as if to clear a thought from his mind.

Straightening up, he looked down upon his slim aide. "What is it, Djorkaeff?"

The aide pointed towards the adjacent room's door, which had just opened. "They're here." So it was - the targets entered the room, one by one . . .

Last edited by Krautz; Jun 12th, 2009 at 04:32 PM.
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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It was an absurd premise. She was supposed to go at once with Colonel Gavriilov of the KGB, with less than even all the traveling possessions she had packed for the trip to the cottage, wearing a blind-fold to ensure she could not identify their location. She was supposed to travel with the agents of the government that had for so long sought to suppress her bothersome efforts to some secluded, secret destination. And she was supposed to do it of her own free will.

And yet, the offer -- the plea -- had sounded nothing if not genuine. Truly, if they had wanted her dead, could they not have done so? There had been no fewer than six men stationed outside of her cottage that night, and if they had desired it, the game would have been over there and then, with not a witness to attest to their miseeds. Gavriilov did not threaten her with the facts. He did not have to.

"Miss, please excuse our late intrusion," the man said, more pleasantly than she would have imagined his weasel-face to be capable of, as his shoes struck the creaky ancient floorboards of the cottage following Valeria into the room where she had worked. The manuscript of her latest efforts still lay on the desk at the far end of her room.

"You see that page, Colonel?" she said softly, gesturing toward the work-desk. It took willpower to say the words she meant to say, but if she had been lied to and her life was in jeopardy, Valeria meant not to get her hopes up at all costs. "It's due for publishing in a few days. And you know what's on it?"

Gavriilov smiled. "This is not a case of mistaken identities, Miss. The government is well aware of your efforts, and that is precisely why they have chosen to contact you. They know that -- with this matter -- they can trust you. They can trust only you."

An absurd premise. And here she was, having completed the journey, carrying with her nothing but a notepad, a pen, and a change of clothes. Gavriilov had given her the time to slip into something more acceptable for making first impressions -- black pants and a snug-fitting, stylish, sleeveless top. But only just. She'd worn the blindfold, too, just as they had asked. And all that of her own free will.

She examined the others -- men young and old, savage and cultured, determined and curious. A particularly old soul who reminded her of her grandfather, and struck her as a gentleman, seemed to have resigned himself to whatever fate might hold in store. The others did not all carry themselves with such uniform good humor, and she questioned whether all had been presented with the option of refusal.

As she stepped into the cramped room -- assuming, at once, a standing position in a corner, her notebook in a purse slung over her shoulder -- Valeria watched her companions with great interest. Whoever they were, whatever they did, she was sure that with them lay the answer to the mysteries of this affair.

Last edited by pureWasted; Jun 13th, 2009 at 04:03 AM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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Sergei sat looking out of the window into the darkness. He struck a match, watching it flare momentarily, before settling into a faint glow. As he brought his hand up towards his face, his soft features were brought into sharp relief, giving a rare glimpse of the toll that the years had taken. Flicking his wrist, he plunged the room back into darkness, save for the glowing ember at the end of his cigar. Reaching into his top pocket, he pulled out his watch, and, after fingering it for a few moments, flipped it open. In the faint moonlight, he could just make out the time. Just a few more minutes. Twisting the watch slightly, he brought a sliver of light to bare upon the photograph of his wife, still in her early forties, still as beautiful as the day he had met her. The photo had been taken what, nearly twenty years ago now….

As if right on queue, tires crunched up the gravel path outside, bringing Sergei back to the real world. He crossed the room and opened the door into the chill night. “Professor Tarasov, are you ready? You have no personal items?” said one of the young men waiting for him.
“There is a case, just inside the door. My hands are not so good now.” As his breath misted about his face, Sergei climbed into one of the awaiting cars. A few moments later, his home of the last three years was already receding into the past…

Sergei had deemed the blindfold a little unnecessary, but the agent in charge had insisted. Upon its removal, he could see they were pulling up to a small building on the side of the road. There was no other sign of civilization as far as the eye could see. The sun had been rising for some time now, and the birds were busy with their morning calls. Once his eyes had adjusted properly, Sergei became aware of several other cars parked close by, and a number of other individuals being ushered toward the door.

Last edited by Neanderthal; Jun 14th, 2009 at 12:43 AM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Oskar wanted to tell them the blind fold was unessecary, that Mother Russia had his loyalty. Truth be told however the butterflies in his stomach were to all conspiring against his speech- so he sits in the car quietly. He idly wishes he could have taken his own vehicle but he had faith that while the KGB's tactics were less then ideal, their heart was in Russia's best interests.

Nervous as a schoolboy on his first day, Kalestrovo seems so far away from all of this. Memories come back to the horrible accident, a submarine with an expiremental drive had crashed off their coast as the investigation discovered. What happened to the crew was sad but they were military men in service of Mother Russia, they knew there were risks. The villagers of Kalestrovo were innocent victims of a horror the world was best left spared.

Images come back from the then 12 year old Oskar, images of villagers growing tumors and boils larger then their own heads before mercifully dying- the lucky one even bursting into flames before they knew something was wrong. Then there were the less then lucky. There was a local boy he knew, maybe a year older. Soon after Oskar stopped feeling the cold of the russian winter- and watching his father turning into some kind of monster before bleeding out- he remembered him. His skeletal system had become something liquid but he still lived, crying out for something to releave him of the pain.

And then they came, their rescuers sent from Mother Russia. Before they knew of Oskar he saw them, and he watched them relieve the other boy of his pain. At the time he didn't understand, but eventually he grew to understand- it was an act of mercy, an acknowledgment that sometimes this world isn't perfect and sometimes what one can do will always feel inadequate, but one can still help how one can.

"Are you alright, Comrade Alekseev?"

He must have shivered or something, a warning sign to those around him, "Yes, just bad memories."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure."

The agent nods and continues his vigil, Oskar has been at this long enough to know that it's best to not go into more detail in case the man didn't know of Kalestrovo.

Pulling up to the building in the middle of wilderness, Oskar saw the 5 cars and wondered of maybe they were gathering the remaining survivors of Kalestrovo, but a quick glance at the others cast doubt on this idea. Not enough to rule it out, but enough that he was looking for other ideas. What Oskar knew about the other survivors, he knew that there definitely wasn't 5 of them that still looked human.

The woman grabs his attention first, chuckling inwardly- the doctors at the facility making it quite clear that dispite all the mutations he was still a 19-year-old man. He could almost hear the droning speeches about aging and growing up again. Holding these memories as more pleasent he goes into the room, idly hoping she'd at least agree to a sketch.

Oskar Alekseev is a young man, 19 years of age with short but curly brown hair and blue eyes. Better then average looking for a male but nothing too special. He wears unusually light clothing for the weather, but nothing that couldn't be explained by eccentricity.
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Last edited by GleefulNihilism; Jun 14th, 2009 at 01:53 AM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Nikolay tried to take off his blind fold several times, but they didn't allow him to do it. They took him right from his hunting lodge... They just somehow managed to find him when he was leaving the village...

Mr. Medvedev, we need you for some important matter.

Three man, all dressed in suits. Nikolay could have simply refused... But somehow he didn't.

And there he was, entering the room with several others... Even a woman among them. They look pretty strange, so different, all of them... Nikolay moved past others, right to the man waiting in the room and said in deep and tired voice.

What is it you want from me? I did come, but I want to know, why!

And he stared right in the bearded man's eyes, as if trying to see through him...

Last edited by Fayon; Jun 14th, 2009 at 02:42 AM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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The door to the adjacent room swings open, and the grim-faced bearded man grunts loudly in surprise, as if he hadn't expected the group to try to open the door. His aide frantically scrambles, flipping a few pages on a clipboard as his muscular superior steps past him towards Nikolay. "You will get back in the room with the others. I will tell you what you need to know shortly, but the last two in your group have yet to come inside. I do not want to explain myself twice," he says with a twinge of disgust, before adding: "Now, if you please." He gestures towards the door.


[Just a brief note: Professor Tarasov (Neanderthal's character) is still outside, as is Alexei (RawrrawrBangBang's character). I was going to let everyone get inside, and let you all talk for a bit, before I started.]

Last edited by Krautz; Jun 14th, 2009 at 04:49 PM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 05:42 PM
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As he walked up to the entrance, Sergei passed a middle aged man who held himself proud and offered him a curt nod. "Very likely ex military", he thought. Stepping in through the doorway, Sergei looked about at the other inhabitants of the room. "A motley group indeed". Heading toward a seat by the mirror he mused to himself out loud "So, what is it that brings a group as diverse as this together I wonder?"

Last edited by Neanderthal; Jun 14th, 2009 at 05:52 PM.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 12:41 AM
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"I imagine something dire for Mother Russia." Oskar remarks, with a bit of excitement. Dreams of adventure dance in his head like in all his favorite books. Picturing them all on some grand Jules Verne-like adventure it almost slips out on it's own accord.

"So, what can you do?"

He mentally kicks himself a bit, but he's at least thankful we has ambiguous enough to not potentially reveal any secrets.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Waiting outside, Alexei took stock of the others as they entered. While he paid no special attention to any of them, his eyes were caught by the woman. He hadn't been out of self-enforced seclusion long enough in the last ten years to meet anyone outside of the small village and none of those women could compare to this lady. Once the last of them entered the room, he followed.

Glancing around as he entered the room, Alexei quickly took a mental inventory of those present. He closed the door behind him and glanced expectantly at the other door. His time in the military also led him to assume that the mirror along the wall was two way, although he couldn't know for sure.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Nikolay didn't exit the room, but stood back a bit, watching carefully other people in the room... with a bit rough glare, studying everyone, as if trying to understand, why him and all others are here...
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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""So, what can you do?" A strange way to phrase the question. Just nervous I guess. But then this kid does seem a little strange... He looks almost happy to be here. Well, I'll humour him."

"I'm a professor. I DO physics." said Sergei, as he reached into his pocket and pulled out an ornate cigar case. His fingers fumbled with the clasp on it for a few moments before it clicked open. His gaze was suddenly drawn to the very unsettled man with the big nose as he struck a match. His attention elsewhere, he almost burned his fingers and reflexively shook the match out without lighting his cigar.

Seeing nowhere to dispose of the match, he dropped it into his case. Clasping it back shut again hurriedly, he reached out his hand toward the young boy. "I'm sorry. Where are my manners? Sergei Tarasov. And you are?"
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 08:43 PM
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"I'm a professor. I DO physics," the old man said as he struck up a match, held it to a cigar distractedly. "I'm sorry. Where are my manners? Sergei Tarasov. And you are?"

"Professor Tarasov?" Valeria blurted out before she could stop herself. "The professor Tarasov?" Some of the others cast questioning glances at the physicist and her, and Valeria became suddenly aware that she had interrupted a conversation. With an added measure of forced enthusiasm, she explained.

"Tarasov graduated from Gottingen University. He's worked alongside Max Born, James Franck, Planck, Heisenberg . . . " she trailed off, looking at Tarasov with something like admiration. "That list is a long one, Professor. But last I heard, you were enjoying some peace and quiet in Krasnoyarsk. Why . . ."

Once again, Valeria had just started to drift off into personal curiosities when she realized she still commanded the spotlight. "But that is the question, isn't it? 'Why --" she hesitated, smiled, "we're all here.'"

Last edited by pureWasted; Jun 17th, 2009 at 08:55 PM.
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Old Jun 18th, 2009, 02:28 AM
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Nikolay suddenly just jumped in the conversation
I don't that much care why you are here... You are brainheads, they may need you. Why do they need me, a simple hunter, to do what? Hunting bears on Red Square?!
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Old Jun 19th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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The boy nods towards the elderly man, offering him a bright smile as his hand instinctually goes to shake the other's wrinkled palm. "I'm Oskar, sir, an honor to meet you. I'm hoping that everything's explained to us soon, myself," he says with reverent anticipation, drawing back the hand after a single, firm shake.

The door on the same side as the two-way window swung open as the woman asked her final question. Through it came a tall and well-toned man with a beard that would be more fitting on a monk than a soldier. He wore a brown fur hat with the hammer and sickle imprinted upon it. "I believe I can answer that question, Ms. Solovyova," he says, the faintest hint of disgust detectable within his voice. "Firstly - I am Colonel Andrey Marzt Lugovich, but you cretins may simply refer to me as 'sir', if you prefer a less syllable intensive workout. I am your superior." He pauses, regarding the hunter with equal animosity. "You are here because . . . "

His expression instantly tightens, as if he is loathe to admit what he is about to say.

[b]"You are to be a new division within the KGB. A sort of, eh, strike force,"[b] he says, sneering loudly. "But I have nothing but certainty that you will all die on the first petty, meaningless task we assign to you." He gestures his bespectacled aide forward, who seems much more polite than the booming and snobbish cossack.

"Erm, yes . . . uhm, someone has been, uh, killing . . ." he stops, opening his eyes wide as he takes a cautious step away from the hunter. "Someone is targeting KGB agents within the city of Leningrad and we need someone from the outside to investigate it. Three agents are already dead."
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Old Jun 19th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Alexei strides forward; while I will not turn down a chance to return to Leningrad, what good do you think we can do? From what I can gather, we aren't detectives.
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