Red Crisis: Chapter Nine
NOTE: Due to Christmas being next Friday, the next post of Red Crisis has been moved to Monday, the twenty-first. Merry Christmas!
Lisa held her arm with her right hand, trying to stop the bleeding. Diatchenko hadn’t slashed her too hard with the knife, but it was enough to break her bravado and let a few tears drop.
She’d heard Cecelia’s voice on the other end. Even in her present situation, it was enough to help her remain strong. Cecelia’s okay, she’s with the police. They can’t get her now.
Yet her mind continued to return to the same thought over and over again. But what about me?
Slobozhanin and Roskoldikov stood in a corner in quiet conversation. Diatchenko had stormed out of the room to gather some last minute supplies before they left their hideout. Wherever that is.
She’d been unconscious when they’d brought her here. Lisa hadn’t the faintest idea where she was.
“…this is going too far…decision…I know he’s in charge, but…no, it’s wrong.”
“No,” Roskoldikov shook his head. “This isn’t how it’s done…I don’t know what to do, he is over us in rank…I don’t want to face the frying pan, and that’s where he’s…no, bad idea.”
Slobozhanin got louder, his brow furrowed and he clenched his teeth. “Roskoldikov, if we leave him in charge he’s going to get us killed,” the young man growled. He scratched his blond head and continued. “The FBI will dog us every step of the way to Mexico, then the CIA will pick up the chase. He’s going to kill the kid, no question about it. I don’t care much for her either, but that wasn’t part of the plan.”
“What do you suppose we do, turn ourselves in and shame our motherland?” Roskoldikov shot back.
They both glanced at Lisa at the same time. She jerked her gaze away and pretended to stare at her arm.
“No, we can’t do that,” Slobozhanin agreed. “But we could let her go.”
Let-me-go? Suddenly it didn’t matter to her if they knew she’d heard them. All she wanted to do was get out of there.
“Oh please,” she whispered in their native tongue, “please do that. Somehow, please, just don’t let Diatchenko kill me!”
Both men exchanged looks of surprise, and then Slobozhanin groaned. “Great. Forgot she knew Russkiy.” He shot her a look. “Where’d you learn it anyways? Are you Russian?”
She shook her head. “No, my good friend Ivan is and he taught me.”
“Defector,” Roskoldikov muttered.
The idea hit her over the head like a hail ball, and she could have smacked herself for not having thought of it sooner. Of course! “How do you two feel about defecting?”
If they’d been surprised earlier by her knowledge of their language, they were shocked now by her suggestion.
“Defect?” Slobozhanin stared at her. “And disgrace mother Russia?”
“They wouldn’t have to know,” Lisa replied, choosing her words carefully. “For all they’d know, you’d been caught and sentenced to death. The FBI could make the paperwork look real enough for them to buy it.”
“And how would you know that?” Roskoldikov countered.
“I don’t, but I’m sure they could,” she argued.
Slobozhanin shook his head. “No, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t defect to your country. I’m sorry.”
If ever there was bad timing, this is it. Lisa gulped.
There stood Diatchenko in the doorway, his eyes ablaze and his fists clenched. “You two are going to defect?”
“Diatc-Diatchenko, you don’t understand,” Roskoldikov stammered.
Click! Diatchenko whipped his gun out and clicked the safety off, aiming it right between Roskoldikov’s eyes. “You two are soft,” he mocked. “I should have known you couldn’t stomach this mission. Our job was to teach the Communist agenda to American children. We were to introduce the idea into their minds subtly, to let them become comfortable to the truth and to defy their American ideology. That girl-” he gestured to Lisa, “-stands for everything we’re against. That’s why we worked so hard to keep her out of the exchange program, why we’re in this fix now! It’s her fault!”
He cocked the gun. “Guess I’ll have to finish our mission on my own.”
It happened too fast.
Slobozhanin leapt forward and tackled Diatchenko. The gun went off. Lisa screamed. Roskoldikov fell to the ground and uniformed men appeared out of nowhere, yelling their heads off.
Then suddenly a man engulfed her in a hug, and she let loose the torrent of fear that had plagued her for the last five hours.
“It’s okay Lisa, you’re safe now,” he assured her.
Thank you God, she prayed. Thank you God.
She was safe.