[identity profile] zabytsya.livejournal.com
David was getting restless.

He had always been quick to heal from injury or recover from illness, even as a child, rarely sick longer than a couple of days at the most. He'd broken his leg in high school, tibia snap, bad fall on the football field, and was out for six weeks, then another six weeks of PT and he was good as new, even better.

It had been three days since he'd been brought in from the cold, poisoned. Suffering from exposure and hypothermia and other things, and now, he felt almost like normal. Maybe a little more tired, but that could just as easily have been attributed to being stuck in the infirmary with little exercise.

Three days.

He'd been able to keep up the amnesia ruse, and so far, the nurse hadn't found his tactical knife hidden between the mattress and bedframe. No one had come to haul him away for interrogation under suspicion of being an American spy.

So far so good, as they said, but David knew it wouldn't last.

He brushed a hand over his dark hair, which was cut in a simple soldier's crop, universal military. It wouldn't give him away, not like the thousand other things that could cause him to slip up - an idiom he didn't know, a joke, a concept. He might know the language and speak it with his father's muscovite accent, but that didn't make him Soviet.

David Petrovich Kerensky bled red, white and blue.

His time was running out, the mission had gone wrong, and now he was pretty sure the CIA had given up on him, sent the self-terminate signal to his CODEC, cut him free like a kite on a string.

He'd gotten caught in a tree branch, disavowed.

Thing was, if he didn't have the mission, he didn't have anything.

So mission it still was. He needed to come up with a plan of action, find Snake, figure out what to do about the Boss, stay alive, and get out of Russia, somehow.

David sighed, and lay back in the infirmary bed.

He supposed he had better get started on that.
[identity profile] zabytsya.livejournal.com
David woke with a start.

It was dark.

His heart thrummed, and his breath caught in his lungs, seized by a momentary panic. In those seconds, everything was alien to him, the strange sterile smells and the rasp of rough cotton, and the cold breeze that hit his face.

He couldn't remember where he was or what he was doing, and for long moments, it was like he really did have amnesia.

But then it came back to him: infirmary. Nurses. Poison. Antidote. Rakitin. The one true gap in his memory he couldn't reconcile, the missing time, and what he'd been told had happened to him in it.

His shoulders shook, but he drew in a steadying breath. He was fine. The infirmary was secure.

David closed his eyes, and lay back.

A second later, he recalled the cold air he'd felt on his skin.

It had carried with it the smell of night.

Adrenaline surged through him again, and he sat upright in bed, even as pain speared through him, tore at the deep wounds in his chest and back.

He knew he wasn't alone.
[identity profile] hajimenoippolit.livejournal.com
It was odd, Polya thought as he opened the infirmary door, armed with the antidote Khostov had provided from the base's medical supplies. These past days he had been preserving life more often than deciphering the messages left in the act of dying. It did little to balance the harm he had done to a man already lost and afraid.

Maybe in the interim he had remembered his name.

The room was cool and white.

"I've brought the antidote," Rakitin said quietly, loath to unbalance the delicate approximation of peace.
[identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Senior Lieutenant Arkady Sergeyevich Kolyin decided he'd underestimated.

He wasn't having a bad week. He was having a bad month.

He'd had no more than the equivalent of another nap when he'd had to go back out on patrol again, though at least this time Savva was stuck doing the same turnaround with him.

Misery loved company and all that.

Kolyin yawned. That made it perhaps around five hours of sleep in four days. Not exactly conducive to being alert enough to actually notice much while on patrol, but he was sure that sort of logic was lost on anyone else.

"Are you sure you want me to tell you?" Semeyonev asked.

"Sure, why not."

"I mean, it's a little freakish. Even for Groznyj Grad."

"Nothing can surprise me anymore, chuvak," Kolyin said, sighing.

"Well. This will. Dogs."

Kolyin blinked, then turned to stare at Savva, incredulously.

"You're dicking my ear, comrade."

"Dayu slovo, bratan. I wouldn't make that up, would I?"

"Well…"

His attention wavered as he heard pounding bootsteps coming in their direction.

Please, he thought, suddenly and urgently. Please let this not be another murder.

A GRU lieutenant appeared out of the night, pulling up sharply as he saw them, saluting.

Kolyin's stomach twisted with dread.

"Sirs!" the lieutenant belted out, briskly.

Arkady wasn’t sure why regular GRU treated them like superiors, even though they were technically the same rank. He supposed it was because of their elite status as Ocelots. That, and the fact that leadership from the upper echelon on the GRU side of things was…a little lacking, to say the least.

"There's someone…we found something," the soldier said. "Outside the main gate."

"Someone, or something?" Kolyin asked, frowning.

The lieutenant hesitated. "Someone, sir. A man. He, ah, didn't have any clothes on. No tags or gear, not even boots. We're not sure who he is."

Kolyin thought about Sergei, and closed his eyes briefly.

"Dead," he said, not a question. He wondered who it was.

"No sir…he's still alive."

Kolyin blinked.

"He is?" Semeyonev asked.

Arkady glanced at him. It was clear that his rankmate had been thinking the same thing.

"Wounded?"

The GRU lieutenant hesitated. "Well…there were some wounds, but nothing serious…"

Kolyin's eyes narrowed.

He could tell the soldier was holding something back, but decided not to press, at least not right then. "Where is he?"

"Captain Tabolov brought him to the infirmary, sir. He wanted us to alert Major Ocelot."

That was because Ocelot was the only senior officer who did any real soldiering, Kolyin knew, but he also knew Ocelot wouldn't be happy if he were woken up again in the middle of the night for something that wasn't strictly an emergency.

"Why don't you bring us to him?" Kolyin suggested. "We'll make the assessment and alert Major Ocelot if it's necessary."

Relief shot across the man's features. "This way, sir!"

Kolyin thought that would be the reaction.

They followed the lieutenant to the infirmary and slipped inside. Kolyin cast a glance toward the room where they'd brought Colonel in the other night, but it was empty. Ocelot had sworn them to strict silence regarding the Colonel's condition. Kolyin figured that once he was stabilized, Volgin had been moved elsewhere, for the sake of both security, and discretion.

Captain Tabolov lingered outside a door at the end of the hall, and turned to them as they approached. Tabolov had been the one who had cleared the bystanders from outside the Colonel's quarters a few nights ago, after the Colonel's decoy had been assassinated. He was dependable enough, if a bit indecisive.

Tabolov had his balaclava off, and looked between them expectantly, as if trying to tell if he knew them.

He wasn't much older than they were, Kolyin realized. Brown hair cropped close, narrow features, sallow grey eyes. Good-looking enough, but nowhere near as pretty as Major Raikov. Kolyin imagined he had followed his superior's example and slept his way through the ranks, though.

"Captain. Kolyin and Semeyonev."

"Lieutenants," Tabolov said, nodding to them, seeming relieved. It seemed like he was going to say something else for a moment, but paused and nodded to the GRU lieutenant. "That'll be all. We'll handle it from here."

The lieutenant saluted and departed quickly, seeming to be grateful to be absolved of the responsibility.

When he was gone, Tabolov sighed. "I'm glad you're here. I'm not quite sure what to make of this…situation."

Kolyin glanced at the door, which was closed.

"The lieutenant told us that you found a man outside the gates?"

Tabolov nodded. "He walked right up to the gate and said something, but I didn't catch it. He was shivering. No clothes. He collapsed almost immediately, and we couldn't revive him. He had puncture wounds on his chest and neck, and…"

The captain hesitated, discomfort seeming to deepen, gaze skipping away.

"It looked to me like he'd been raped."

"Shit," Savva said.

Kolyin winced. He understood the GRU lieutenant's earlier hesitance now, his reluctance to voice his observations aloud.

Arkady turned his gaze to Semeyonev, meeting his rankmate's eyes briefly. Supposedly all the men who had been killed – save Sergei, he reminded himself, firmly – had been raped, both before and after they'd died. Or so he'd heard. If this man had somehow gotten away from the killer mid…process…he might have valuable information.

Savva returned his gaze, his normally pale grey eyes shadowed. They were thinking the same thing again. Kolyin gave him a brief, grim nod.

"Who is he?" he asked, turning back to Tabolov.

"I don't know. Not GRU. I'd know him. I don't think he's one of you, either. Dark hair."

Kolyin frowned. "Older?"

"No, young. My age, or a little younger."

Savva shook his head. "Maybe he's a scientist."

"Maybe," Tabolov said. "Well-built, though. Muscular, like a soldier. I don't know what he would be doing outside the gates, in any case. The nurse said he's stable, but he didn't wake up. She thought he'd been injected with something. Some kind of toxin, she said."

Like the Colonel, Kolyin thought, frowning, though he couldn't voice his suspicions aloud, not in front of Tabolov at least.

"She called for the pathologist. He should be here shortly," Tabolov said.

"I see. If you want, Captain, we can handle it from here. It sounds like something Major Ocelot is going to need to be briefed on anyway, and it would be better if it came from us," Kolyin said.

Tabolov looked between them. "Are you sure? I'd appreciate it, Lieutenant."

Kolyin nodded. "Not a problem."

Tabolov took his leave of them. Hastily, Kolyin noted.

Semeyonev turned to Kolyin. "This is fucked up, comrade."

"I know."

"Should we call Ocelot?"

Kolyin shook his head. "Let's wait to see what the pathologist says first. I think we can probably wait until morning before we call Ocelot, especially if this guy isn't going anywhere."

"All right."

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The Groznyj Grad Living Novel

December 2010

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