I write classic "good vs evil" creative writing pieces with smart twists inspired by vintage action cinema, gaming, and heavy metal.
The distant wailing of an approaching fire truck serenaded our escape from the burning hospital; we ran as fast as we could and more - jumping ditches, falling face-first into the dirt upon hearing anything that sounded even remotely human and desperately scanning the immediate area for anyone - even a wandering animal. Lucky for us, this was a rural hospital and therefore, the authorities had a long way to drive.
Fast forward to the present day, my new friends and I were on our way to meet a couple of defectors, allegedly Soviet army special forces. Their story was, according to what the leader mentioned, that they were "tired of being involved in corruption and guarding people who were oppressing civilians they've sworn to protect."
"This officer is trustworthy," the commander established, "his info was always good and he had never let me down ever since our operations on Soviet soil had commenced."
I was a bit nervous, the Russian army special forces, colloquially named "SPETSNAZ" (a combination term composed from the words "Spetzialnoe" i.e. special and "Naznachenie," meaning purpose hence, - SPECIAL PURPOSE) were extremely unpredictable and dangerous. I heard many things about their exploits during the war in Afghanistan as well as their brutal training during my hospital days. God only knows what will happen if this goes sideways. Fighting street thugs is one thing but highly trained soldiers with combat experience won't end well for me.
We drove out of the city through the many newly-placed police checkpoints, our "Moskvich" was great for keeping a low profile since it was a popular family car. Angel drove and did all the talking since his Russian was the best and I didn't have a license. What seemed like hours later, we started feeling the bumps and ditches of Soviet country roads.
"We're here," Angel announced as he slowed the car down in front of the town's landfill. Not a soul in sight and far enough to kill our entire group and disappear before the authorities catch wind of it. The commander came out of the car and headed towards 3 men that stood by a car wreck. He gestured me and Hyena to accompany him; we complied and flanked him a minute later. Before we exited the car, Hyena, turning the safety catch off, cocked his Belgian-American made Browning Hi-Power handgun and stuffed it into his secret back holster. At least I'm not alone in being nervous.
As we approached the stone-faced, hardened men, the commander and the man on the right shook hands. Although these men were in plain clothes, it was obvious that they were not civilians. After the handshake, the man, who we came to know as "Voron" (the crow: male) gestured the commander closer. Voron was a solidly-built man in his early 40s; clean-shaven and seemed to be missing his left ear.
"No tails or sideways glances?" Voron enquired.
"Don't worry, aside from checkpoints we had nothing else." The commander replied.
Suddenly, like whiplash and out of nowhere, our car took off in a large ball of flames and smoke. I hit the floor and for a good reason, because afterward, I heard several gunshots, they came from a large-caliber rifle judging by the heavy thuds reflected by the surrounding vegetation. Soon after, the commander joined me on the floor; he was bleeding from his mouth while holding on to this slashed throat. His eyes, as if to tell me, "You screwed up badly!" faded away and shut.
Looking up, I saw Voron standing alone as his men went to check the car wreck for survivors. He squatted next to me, studying and checking every inch.
"Get up!" he ordered.
I complied, hands still behind my head to maybe fool him into thinking I can't fight. This seemed to irritate the veteran soldier.
"Put them down." Voron said calmly. "I'm not arresting you."
"What happens now?" I asked complying, "I came with them."
"Those men were foreign agents operating on Soviet soil and all this was a part of an operation to take them down; my mission is over."
Voron's men gave a signal that the car is clear, he gestured them to return; moments later, I felt 2 barrels prodding against my shoulders. The men carried PP-91 KEDR PDWs.
"Follow me." Voron said as if I was his guest and we were going to sit down for dinner. The man's demeanor confused me; he wasn't arresting me yet standing me up with guns?!
"See, comrade Hospital Fighter," Voron began, "Someone very important wants you alive and well and I am delivering you to them; it is nothing personal, just a business arrangement I had made with a Western benefactor."
I was shocked, he took out the commandos for the same reason and yet still working with foreigners?!
"The Soviet Union's days are numbered," Voron continued with sincerity, "I fought in most of its wars and served it with dignity and faith but, I am not alone; my son is a very clever boy who can be much more than a servant to a corrupted system that isn't what it used to be and the only way to realize his potential is to move abroad!"
"So, this new benefactor is your ticket out of here?" I asked the veteran.
"Yes, only he can get me out; all I need is to deliver you to him, the rest is all done so, I ask you; come quietly please; not for me, not for a dying regime but for my son; a boy who can be much more than an underpaid and undervalued cog."
"What about you?" I enquired again, "I am a wanted man too."
"To the police you are but you are not my objective since I'm not with the police." Voron answered.
I didn't ask any more questions, I chose to come quietly since I don't have a better option; the green poison can rot in that same landfill for all I care now; there will always be a new corruption here and I can't continue this futile crusade.
"Alright, take me to your benefactor." I replied, "I am unarmed."
Voron came closer to me and in a very unexpected turn, embraced me like I was his long lost friend, I could feel this man went through a lot to get here; a mountain was lifted from his shoulders. He was a good man, I came to find out as we spoke during another long drive to his so-called benefactor. Voron saw the entirety of the Soviet-Afghan war and lost his ear during captivity; tortured and almost executed till a daring rescue by his comrades pulled him out.
Later on, he became among the most feared and thus most wanted Soviets in Afghanistan with the insurgents placing 5000$ "bakhshish" (bounty) on his life. He had a son whose mother died during labor; a son who Voron rarely saw due to his military career, however, this didn't stop the 2 being close. According to his word, his son was very gifted in maths and science and wanted to become an aeronautical engineer.
I also came to know that Voron was a devoted Christian, he'd hide it to avoid unwanted attention from the areligious Soviet society but his faith was strong, as he claimed, from the times when he was supposed to have died during the numerous operations he commanded. Even as we parted ways, we shook hands and he said he'd place a candle for my wellbeing next time he's at church. (An Orthodox custom to where lit candles are placed for the peace of the deceased and for the wellbeing of the living)
© 2020 Jake Clawson