Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Than Never

*a sequel to Coldscapes

He hates seduction. Despises it, in fact. It always makes him feel dirty. But, someone somewhere sometime, as the old saying goes, decided that he was too attractive not to be assigned to details that somehow always involve women. He loves his country, to be sure, but he is married to his college sweetheart, and the "national defense" excuse is wearing thin.

If all had gone according to plan, he would've been done with the human intelligence portion of the operation, having already mined the woman for information. She was a beautiful woman and, let him be honest, it had made things easier. Still, he thought he was done with the raven-haired, pale-skinned Russian whose parents were born in Lithuanian. But the team he had sent out missed their last two check-ins.

She's more than happy to see him lying next to her as she wakes up in the hotel room in Mytishchi, just outside of Moskva to the northeast. She's falling in love with her mysterious Canadian businessman. He had told her he was a salesman of precious metals, but she knew enough about the game to know that this was not the case. In fact, she was sure he was American, though his mastery of French - as well as the Montreal accent - made her doubt her conclusion. Still, she was rather inexperienced overall, and even though the FSB briefed her many times to not discuss work with strangers - particularly attractive ones - she couldn't help herself. He looks at her so longingly, though perhaps not lovingly, when she talks about work. He always seems impressed with her responsibilities as a mere secretary and would even joke that she was probably more than just.

"How did you get off of work today?" he asks, gently rubbing her shoulders.

She rolls over to face him, giving him a lustful look. "My boss had to leave yesterday, so I have nothing to do."

He returns the gaze and leans in for a kiss. "Ah, the always pleasant supervisor emergencies." The irony is not lost on him.

She kisses him back. "Yes."

He withholds a sigh. He doesn't have time for this. Every second that goes by is another second closer to failure, and that was no option. Despite himself, or possibly in spite of himself, he rolls himself on top of her and does the very thing he had been trained effectively at doing.

By the time they were done, he knew where he needed to be.


Sporadic gunfire hides the sound of snowmobile as he races it through the Russian forest. He can tell that most of the weapons are of Soviet make, but there's at least one American-made carbine spitting bullets among the din.

Only one? If that's the case, then there might not be anybody to extract by the time he joins the fray. Were he to follow protocol, he would be heading to the exfiltration point and waiting a short period of time. If nobody shows, then he would leave and that would be the end of that. Protocol most certainly does not provide for him to drive towards the sounds of battle. But these were his boys; he sent them here. To this cold, miserable place.

As he gets closer he realizes for certain that, yes, there is only one American here. He has no idea if the rest are simply elsewhere, but instinct tells him that they're probably all dead. A fire-team of Russian soldiers finally notices the snowmobile and they turn to engage him. He smiles as he squeezes the trigger on his HK. Too late... for them. Before anyone else can bring their weapons to bear on the vehicle, he ditches it and flings himself into the snow. If he had gauged their positions correctly, he and the surviving American should be to the Russians' flanks. If one could refer to single shooters as flankers, that is.

Still, it's enough. As the last Russian goes down, yelling something in Nogai, everything goes ghostly quiet. There's the faint echo of a snowmobile idling somewhere, but he doesn't bother to locate it. Instead, he turns his attention to the American. He notices that the scope is missing off the American's carbine, then notices that the soldier is limping.

"Where are the others?" he calls out.

"Dead. I'm it." The soldier nods towards the snowmobile in the distance. "Is that our ride?"


"You're late."

He laughs, tired. "Yeah, well..."


  1. I LIKED it! Sounds like the opening to a James Bond flick! Happy TT!

  2. Yes, indeed! Very Bond-ish. Great segue from scene to scene.

  3. What did you do during the Cold War Daddy? Nice post. Happy TT.

  4. Gosh, I love all things Russian, so this is right up my alley. I agree, tres Bond!

  5. Very cool! Do we have some more coming??

  6. Another Bond sequeal...amazingly similar. Great writing!

  7. i love it...all it needs is the bond music int he background...great tak on the theme jeff!

  8. Very nice, can definitely tell you like reading as well as writing these tales.

  9. I love a good spy story. Can't wait to read more.

  10. Spies and intrigue...can't go wrong with that!

  11. I really enjoyed this post! Good job.

  12. Ditto ditto on the bond-esque ness and the segue between scenes - perfecto!

  13. I'm trying to put 'which' bond in the role.... -j

  14. Bond-ish indeed! So, when are you writing the script for this???

  15. Great tale and yet so based in reality.
    Happy TT

  16. You write very well and I have an inkling there's a little 'experience' in here (not sure whether it's in the bedroom or on the battlefield, perhaps both). My future daughter in law is Lithuanian . . very beautiful, dark haired and dangerous! At least to the wallet!