So, you want to hear another story? A story about friendship, heroism and battles for the greater good? If you don’t, bad luck, I’m telling you anyway.
Our story begins in the year 1983. The world encountered a massive “research block” in the year 1950, which slowed down the world’s technological progress. Nothing new was invented, life didn’t change at all. Until year 1983, when a group of scientists discovered an unknown element in Koldland. It was believed that it was an element that could withstand almost any damage, and then regenerate itself. It also seemed to live, in the literal meaning of this word. The science decided to name the material Cyberium. They believed they could use it for the greater good if studied further, like inventing technologies that were simply left forgotten – better cars, television, weaponry, architechture, or just brand new stuff that nobody even dreamed of: domestic robots, unbreakable dams, or even saving people from death using Cyberium’s regenerative effects. However, some people decided that they’d find a better use for it. A major company director, Gaige Newman, decided to use it to create an army of deadly robots – not only they shot, they were also capable of thinking, regenerating and much more. Using those robots, Gaige raised through States’ ranks, mainly using the „blow everything up” version, and then she became the president of the freakin’ United States! Then, she conquered the surrounding areas, like Democratic Democracy or Galgania, so her plan of becoming the world leader would become a reality. Until she found an obstacle that she couldn’t ever pass – New Russia, a country that also knew about Cyberium’s existence. She decided to „cooperate” with them, making NKVD and FBI, the biggest “secret organizations”, exchange information between each other. That was a part of her plan - to make sure that she always knew what was happening in the US and when she could strike at them. But that never actually happened, so you’d guess that they lived happily ever after. These countries also exchanged their knowledge and stuff, making the „scientist dreams” come true – research went full throttle, bringing brand new technologies like computers to the world, the Cyberium was finally used to make people stop aging or change their body, even after their death. Yes, that’s true, you could bring people back from the dead, but it was so expensive that almost nobody was able to afford it. Despite that, the citizens of US and New Russia were incredibly happy, seeing their bright future, but unfortunately, some people, like Galganians were kind of unhappy while under the US’s occupation, slaughtered for slightest crimes or even innocence.
But back to the „they lived happily ever after”. Well, they did, until the year 1997, when a NKVD member, Viktor Panzer, was dispatched to get some of the FBI’s intel.
Act 1 – The PrequelEdytuj
Chapter 1 – The Galganian IncidentEdytuj
It was early in the morning on the streets of Reichenberg. The mist seemed to take over the almost empty streets of the eastern part of the city. Pools were slowly drying after the rain while a man walked towards the border with the US. He was wearing a black coat and a matching fedora. He had a round half-frame glasses in front of his gray eyes. His shoulder – long hair dropped from below of his hat, waving slightly on the wind. With his hands in his pockets, he approached the western checkpoint, where a bunch of American soldiers were guarding the border. With the grim looks on their faces, they didn’t look like they wanted to let anyone to interrupt them. He, however, didn’t seem to care about it when they saw him coming closer. He was already used to dealing with people disrespecting him just for the fact that he came from another country than they did.
-Who do we have here? – Said a soldier closest to the man when he stopped in front of the checkpoint. – Another one that got tired of living in the communistic hell? No, you’re staying there, pal. Turn around or I’ll have you shot.
-I need to meet with your boss, and I don’t want any delays. – said the stranger while handing his documents to the soldier – Especially from a hamburger like you.
-Hamburger? Do you know who you’re dealing with, asshole? – shouted the soldier, grabbing the documents in a hasty manner.
The soldier lifted his rifle slightly, aiming at stranger’s leg. He noticed it, but didn’t do anything about it – he knew that a single man couldn’t do anything against him.
-Viktor Panzer… Russia… NKVD agent… Highest clearance… Where did you get these papers? Who did you steal them from, dog?
-If you count two years of service “stealing”, then you can ask my employers. Are you jealous because you’re just a private? – Viktor said, noticing the patch on the soldier’s uniform, seemingly taken from the Second Spoonland War.
-Get out of my sight. – the soldier handed back the documents, visibly angry. – Just don’t make me see you again.
-Thank you for allowing my entry, mister. – sarcastically replied Viktor, passing through the now open barrier. Once again, he stepped into the “better country with more opportunities”. He slowly walked through the streets of the western side, looking at all the “new life-improving technologies” that he saw on every monthly trip to this side of town – military patrols, dead bodies on the streets, ruined buildings, burning cars or trash that nobody wanted to take care of. The Cyberium definitely improved the quality of life of US citizens, but it definitely didn’t help anyone outside of It, especially in Galgania. He was told many times by his employers that he shouldn’t intervene, as these people weren’t the citizens of Russia and he couldn’t help them. He obeyed the orders, seeing families being tortured on the cold cobbled streets, with their blood slowly sinking In the water pools or flowing to the canals. He ignored every comment from the people that despised him, he ignored every cry begging for help. He stayed loyal to his country for two years. But this morning, something broke inside of him.
Viktor was on his way to the American Embassy, where he was supposed to meet with the FBI’s local director. It never took him more than an hour – he never wanted to stay in this place for long anyway. But while following the signs to his destination, he saw something. A family, composing of an elderly woman, a middle-aged pair and two children on their knees, in front of three armed men – one of them wielding a flamethrower. “Did you see that?” one of them, probably a sergeant shouted. “They had guns in their house, and these weren’t even American!” Two of them laughed, keeping eye contact with the bound civilians. “How about we burn their house down, and then burn them, too, starting from the kid?” The old woman begged them not to do it, but they just laughed again. Suddenly, someone interrupted them.
-Let them go, burgers. – said Panzer, grabbing the sergeant’s shoulder. He turned to him, showing his bearded face and one blind, one brown eye. He hit Viktor’s hand, then pushed him back slightly.
-Whoah, who the f- who are you to touch me? Want to join them? Documents, now!
-I said let them go. – he repeated.
-I said: DOCUMENTS!
-Here. Now, I demand you to let them go. – he said, throwing his papers at the soldier.
-You’re not even a true American, how dare you talk to me like that?! Ryan, get this guy in the line, I think he wants to join these bastards! – sergeant replied, looking at a young corporal standing next to him.
-Think about it, you don’t want to do something you’ll regret later. – Viktor stayed his ground, not giving away any signs of fear. – This could end badly for all of you.
-I won’t take that from you, commie! Sergeant launched himself at the agent, about to hit him with his rifle. The punch was easily dodged, however, and Viktor managed to counter attack the soldier with ease, hitting him with his own rifle in the jaw, then delivering a punch to his stomach, making him fall. The other two soldiers just simply stood there, shocked.
-Corporal Ryan, let these people go. – Viktor said, giving the boy, possibly 19 years old, a cold stare.
-Wh-what – how do you- Why?
-I can sense the emotions in you, I see you’re confused. Just listen to me, and I’ll explain everything later.
-Don’t… do it! – grunted the sergeant, still lying on the ground.
-I know you’re a good man, corporal. Let them go.
The young man looked at the ground, then at the civilians knelling on the street. After a while, he took out his knife and approached them. He took a few swings and cut the ties, setting them free. The other soldier, confused, just stayed out of the entire situation.
-See? I promise you that you’ll be rewarded properly for that. Now, get out of there. – Panzer said, then he resumed his journey to the embassy. The sun started setting on the horizon, and the fog started getting thinner. The sergeant, however, couldn’t take such a humiliation. He recovered, stood up, then ordered his men to chase after the agent. They hesitated at first, with confusion drawing on their faces, but obeyed the order. The agent, not being deaf and blind, noticed them behind him and started hastily running along the street, looking for any alley he could hide in. Fortunately for him, there was one along the way, but when he entered it, it turned out that it was nothing but a dark, littered dead end. “He’s trapped!” the soldiers thought, following him in. However, he was nowhere to be found. Could his black coat blend in with the darkness of the street? No, couldn’t be, the sun was setting already, and they wouldn’t get fooled that easily. With their guns in their hands, they started the search. With their backs turned to the entrance of the alley, they didn’t notice Panzer to silently drop from a window ledge and slip out of the alley. As he expected, nobody ever looks up.
A few minutes later, he got to the embassy – a tall, not that big white building, standing mainly on pillars, slightly resembling a Greek temple. There was only one flag hanging on its poles – the American one, with the others remaining empty. It was pleasing for eyes of most people, however Viktor got sick of its look, especially when he thought why it was here – to help torture citizens of this city. With disgust in his eyes, he got inside. Almost everyone knew him there, so there was no need for explanations or identifications. He headed straight for the director’s office, walking through the wide, white and windowed corridors with red carpets in them. He got inside the office on the first floor, mainly empty, with nothing but two plants and a desk with a bald, muscular man sitting by it – the “ambassador”, or rather the FBI agent sent to the city to supervise military’s actions. There were also two high-ranked soldiers in the room, with their rifles near their chests, observing the man that disturbed the peace in their empty room.
-Take a seat – calmly said the bald man to Panzer, unaware of what happened earlier. – And you two, give us some space – He looked at the soldiers, who left the room at once, locking the door behind them. – So, how are you this fine morning? It’s been three weeks since I saw you, Ruski.
-I’m here for the intel, Tangleson. – Panzer replied, coldly. – I don’t have for chatting.
-Something wrong, Ruski? – Tangleson said, not shocked in the slightest, he even let a slight smile appear on his face – You were always so talkative before, is the mist getting to you? Or the fact that you’re abroad for like, the hundredth time this year and you still can’t get used to the fact others have it better than you do?
-Better country that kills its own people? People that are just poor civilians and have no chance to fight back? Our “poor country” is above that.
-Took ya just a year to notice that, you know? – he leaned towards Panzer. – Do you think we’re doing it for fun? They are criminals, we need to show them-
-Criminals? Guilty of living here at the wrong time?! – Panzer stood up, hitting the table with his hands, twitching a mug that was on it, making some coffee spill.
-Whoah, easy! – the other man stood up, his smile disappearing in an instant – You weren’t getting in our shit this whole time, why would you do it now?! Disturbing our peaceful actions?! Is there a reason that you-
Before he could finish, the door opened, revealing the same sergeant from before, accompanied by the two guards from before and one of his men, corporal Ryan. They all pointed their rifles at Panzer, who turned around, seemingly shocked, putting his hand near his revolver.
-You! – Sarge yelled across the room – Thought you could hide? I’ll have you shot right now!
-What the f- what are you doing, Curfew?! – ambassador yelled back – HE is OUR informant!
-Yeah? He assaulted me and my men during our operation, he’s not helping US at ALL!
Panzer quickly pulled out his revolver, and after a second he pointed it at the floor, then calmly scratched himself behind his ear. He knew that they couldn’t do anything to him, after all.
-What is the meaning of this?! – FBI agent didn’t hide his confusion, throwing his eyes between everyone present in the room.
-I’ll have him killed! Nobody disrespects ME! – the sergeant kept yelling, keeping his gun pointed at Panzer, eager to pull the trigger. – Nobody gets in MY WAY when I AM doing MY JOB!
“Quite a ray of sunshine, aren’t you…” thought Panzer, but he didn’t say it out loud. He knew that they couldn’t touch him because he was their informant, but with a man like Curfew standing in front of him, he couldn’t be sure about anything. Except the fact that he could get shot because his finger slipped.
-HE assaulted ME and MY team while WE were peacefully asking some locals accused of having weapons stored in their house, and HE appeared and KILLED one of my men! I won’t leave it like this!
-You’re a liar. – Panzer said, fixing his hat with his left hand. – You weren’t asking anyone, you were KILLING people. While I didn’t kill anyone.
-Viktor, how impolite! – Panzer turned to Tangleson, who had his arms crossed on his chest – We were best friends all the time, and you decided to throw it all away. How impolite! I think it’d be a shame if it turned out you never came to our meeting and some street thugs got to you. Real shame. The government would send more funds for Galgania’s rehabilitation methods though, if it turned out that people are still dying… Why are you looking at me like this? Do you think they can’t replace you? Do you think you’re the only one in the entire NKVD? They’re not a secret to the people, and they’re bigger than you’d expect, son.
-I am an agent on NKVD, I know EXACTLY how big they are. And I am the one that supplies you extra information. More than anyone else would. I’m an asset to you, don’t you understand it? I thought you would after a year. Let me go, Thomas Tangleson.
-I’m afraid that the thugs will get you in the mist… Oh, I’m sorry, Ruski. Any last words? – he said, pulling out his own pistol.
-Actually, yes. – Panzer said after a moment of silence, broken by some gunshots somewhere further away. He hid his revolver in his holster again. He turned his head to the corporal next to the door, the same one who agreed to free the people earlier – Corporal Ryan? Get your head down.
All the men dropped dead in just a second after a few Russian agents rushed into the hallway and opened fire. The windows and floor were painted red, matching the carpets’ bright colors. Panzer stood up, telling the only survivor, Ryan, to do the same. A high-ranked NKVD member entered the room shortly after, seemingly upset.
-Viktor, the blyat did you do?! When we got your backup signal we arrived as fast as we can, but if the US finds out we basically killed everyone in their embassy, that might start a war!
-I saved people. That’s what we’re doing, right? Also, spare that hamburger, he did a good job.
-Saved people? You mean some folks on the street? If US finds out and declares war, we’ll have TONS of dead people, it’s nowhere close to saving a few- - He got interrupted by Panzer.
-If I did nothing to them, they would continue killing people here. Nothing’d change. Is that what you wanted?
-I don’t care about these people, I care about the fact that they might kick me out because I didn’t hold you on a short leash. Do you understand, you idiot?!
-So, that’s all you care about? Your position? I thought you believed in the ways of socialism, Kobrachev?
-Look, Viktor, you know I cannot keep someone so insubordinate in such organization, right? You understand that we might all end up dead for THAT?
-You dodged my question. So, what do you plan for me?
-I you’re so interested in helping people, then why won’t you go ahead, find some friends and donate money to some charity? That’d be the best, because if you want to stay with us, then I think it’s impossible, “comrade”. I give you three days to leave or we’ll be both in big trouble, got it?
-Does that mean it’s in the end of my career in NKVD?... – Panzer said, with a smile coming to his face. He chuckled slightly, then looked at his comrade straight in the eyes – If it’s so, then I’m fine with that. Also, thank you. I think you helped me make my decision on… Something big.
Viktor left the room. On his way out, he looked at the bodies of US soldiers, realizing that what he planned could be something that’d help him to “make the change” he always wanted. He wanted to help people.
He created The Spoons to help people.