Sunday, December 25, 2005

(This story is set during the Great War between the Alliance and the Independent Forces. It focuses on the history of the 8th Guards Regiment of New Russia and its final battles before the end of hostilities.)


It was still dark when Dmitri entered the cramped room. In it the tired men and women of 3rd Platoon slept fitfully on the hard wood of the floor. He crossed to a corner and looked down at the bundle of blanket, coat, belts, and weapons which covered a sleeping man. He kicked. A low grunt was heard coming from beneath the pile. He kicked harder. “Arkasha, get up.” The bundle stirred slightly. Dmitri kicked even harder, and the pile sat up. “What.” It wasn’t a question, only a tired statement, “He wants to see you.” Arkady stretched and moaned as his sore muscles protested the hard floor. “Did he say why?” Dmitri lit a cigarette and passed it down to Arkady. “Does he ever?” Arkady grunted and stood up. He was eight cms taller than Dmitri who stood at 1.64 meters and weighted an even 140 kilos. He’d played rugby before the war, and even on bad rations carried his weight well. Arkady turned back to the pile of cloths and found his patched brown jacket and put it on over the white and blue striped shirt. He reached down again and picked up the rough cloth patch and slipped it over his head to cover the scarred socket where his right eye used to be. The Captain didn’t like to look into the hole where the twin to the left blue eye used to sit. The Captain was like that, though. He had his funny quirks, thought Arkady to himself. He finished getting his uniform on and buckled the ammunition belt around his waist. Slinging his submachine gun over his shoulder he stepped out of the small room as Dmitri took his spot on the floor. Arkady stepped outside the small building and nodded to the sentry. It was turning cold again. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his trousers and headed out into the dark. He crossed the yard and turned left down the thin dirt trail. He stopped a few paces down and unbuttoning his trousers urinated into the bushes. Finished he buttoned up as he walked along towards the Company Command post. The sentry snapped to as he approached. “Fuzzy Bunny,” The sentry whispered into the dark. “Electric Strawberry,” Arkady answered and stepped closer. “How’s it going, Krinov?” “Good, Senior Sergeant.” The sentry relaxed as Arkady stopped to chat. “How’s the little guy?” he asked tipping his head toward the house. “About normal. He’s got a visitor,” the sentry lowered his voice, ”A red cap.” Arkady grunted. A red cap? That wasn’t good. What did counter-Intel want with the Captain? He nodded and pushed on into the small house. He walked through the radio room situated in the former kitchen, pausing to pour a cup of coffee into a tin mug and walked into the CP. As he entered Captain Donilov looked over at him, scowled and continued his conversation with the second officer in the room Arkady watched the exchange and took in the new arrival. He was tall and slender and towered over Captain Danilov. On his shoulders he wore the rank of Major and his red officers’ cap was pushed back on his dark curly haired head. He was an aristocrat, it was obvious even before he spoke, and Arkady felt a bad situation getting worse. The Aristos never came down to the muddy side of fighting unless it was important to them, and that meant dangerous to the soldiers who ended up doing the dirty work. “I don’t have the resources to man such an operation, Major. I told you that.” Donilov’s voice was full of anger. “…and I’ve told you that you will execute this mission.” In contrast to Donilov, the Major’s voice was cold. Arkady lit a cigarette and leaned against the nearby table. ‘This mission, “continued the Major,” Is of the utmost importance to the State.” Domilov scowled and began to speak but the Major cut him off and turned to Arkady. “You are Senior Sergeant Renko?” Arkady blew out a thin cloud of smoke, “Yes.” Donilov face grew redder, “Renko.” Arkady rolled his eyes, ‘Yes…sir.” The major smiled. “I have a little mission for you Senior Sergeant.” And the Major proceeded to tell Arkady just what was so important.

It was growing light by the time Arkady made it back to the tiny house that sheltered his Platoon. Whoever had lived here before had gotten out before the war came this way, leaving almost everything they owned behind. At least, that is what Arkady liked to think. He hadn’t gone and looked around for any shallow graves.

Dmitri was urinating against the wall as Arkady approached. Arkady lit a cigarette and waited until Dmitri had finished before walking over to a woodpile and sitting down. Dmitri came over and sat down beside him. Arkady passed the cigarette to Dmitri. “Well?” asked Dmitri after he took a puff. Arkady looked out across the yard. “We have a mission.” Dmitri snorted. “Really? I though he was gonna offer us some leave in New Moskow.” Arkady looked over at his friend and twisted up his face. “Why do you always sit on the right side?” growled Arkady, “You know I have to turn half way around to see you then.” “’cause it pisses you off.” “Yob vas.” “Yob vas.” The two sat there smoking the cigarette. Finally Dmitri spoke again, “So, this mission. Where?” “Across the river.” Dmitri’s hand paused on it’s way to hand the cigarette over. “Across the river?” Arkady nodded. “Did you tell the little guy that there are Alliance on the other side of the river. A lot of Alliance?” “I mentioned that. The red cap wasn’t impressed with my analysis of the tactical situation.” Dmitri stiffened and lowered his voice. “What the yob is a red cap doing here?” “It’s his mission.” Dmitri pushed his cap to the back of his head and blew out a big breath. “Yob, tovoy u Mat!’ Arkady smiled. “Yes. I believe so.” Dmitri shook his head, “This mission, across the river. We going fishing?” Arkady nodded. “Big fish or little fish?” “Big fish.” “How big?” “Big enough.” The two sat and smoked for a few minutes.

After Arkady left the Company Command post Major Kinski turned to Captain Danilov. “That is your best man? “Yes, sir. Renko can be a bit of a problem, but there is no one better for this sort of work.” Kinski looked over the map spread over the table. “How long has he been in the Regiment?” Danilov frowned, “He was here before I got here. You know, of course, most of the records were destroyed when St. Ivan fell.” It was Kinski’s turn to frown. “What do you know of him?” Danilov spread the personnel file across the table. “Born in Kiev. Married. She died in the Alliance invasion. He was a machinist or something, I think. Called up just before in invasion.” “So, he has reasons to hate the Alliance.” Kinski’s lips set in a tight smile. ‘Good. A man is a sharper weapon if it is personal.” “Renko will accomplish the mission, Major.”


Monday, December 26, 2005 11:14 AM


Gotterdammerung definition: myth about the ultimate destruction of the gods in a battle with evil. GREAT title for this, dutch. And resurrecting Arkady (Arkasha to those of us who love him) from Gorky Park is a holiday prezzie. LOVING that.

Also liked "he" wants to see you, then you allowing us to get what he is to them by the flavor of the conversation, only finding out later who the little man is.

You write like a dream, or like a picquant screenplay. Got more like this? Get back to writing, quit fooling around with your version of Vera over there in the dust, and get typing more for us, neh?

You've got a gift. Need to keep sharing it.


You must log in to post comments.



Gotterdammerung 1.3.1
Joseph Stalin- A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.
Adolf Hitler- Any Alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.

Gotterdammerung 1.3.0
Thorwald's History of the Galactic Civil War: "It is with sadness that the Alliance now admits that some 'troubles' happened in regard to the operations on New Russia. However, even today, the top levels of the Government will not admit that a 'final solution' to the New Russian problem was ever an official practice.

Gotterdammerung 1.2.0
Chin’s Encyclopedia: New Russia, Planet in the Decari system settled by Russian Royalists after their defeat in the Russo-Sino war. Later annexed by the Alliance. See also Czarina Alexandra, Battle of St. Ivan, and Stellar Gulag.

(This story is set during the Great War between the Alliance and the Independent Forces. It focuses on the history of the 8th Guards Regiment of New Russia and its final battles before the end of hostilities.)