Written in 2007. Rediscovered in late-2010. Enjoy.
a short story by Rahul Dowlath
The unnatural, austere, white glow emanating from the room’s walls were enough to light the place. But bright, 100-watt fluorescent lights were fitted along the edges of the ceiling.
Three flat-screen computers gently hummed in unison, on a circular table, also white, at the centre. Everything about the place was in shades of white, adding to the futuristic appeal of the room.
General Vladimir Stukov stood with his arms folded, at the centre of the room, in front of a terminal. Beside him, dwarfed by Vladimir’s height, stood another individual. They were the only two elements of colour in the otherwise white room.
Suddenly, a white mobile phone, which was positioned at the centre of the circular table, began to ring. The General answered it. He did not even greet the caller, for there was no need to; there was only one person who had access to this number. He listened intently to what the caller had to say, and spoke only one word, in his native language of Russian.
“Understood.” The General ended the call.
Four thousand miles away, in the desolate and icy ghost town of Murmansk, Russia, a figure crept silently toward the abandoned submarine fleet that had once been the pride of the Soviet Union. He stealthily maneuvered through a broken barbed-wire fence, ran toward the only entrance, and sneaked up behind the solitary guard stationed at the wooden post. A sharp bang! Echoed off the icy snow and the guard dropped to the ground, blood running rapidly from the wound to his head.
“There is to be no evidence of this mission,” the Agent was told. “Any trace can be used against us, and then the whole Plan will be terminated. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your beloved Russia to be laughed at again now…?”
No, he wouldn’t. Russia was all that he had left now. And if it meant that a few hundred people were to die so that Russia could regain its once respected dominance, then so be it.
So, Agent Viktor Matvei ran the last few meters to the silent submarines.
In the 1900s, Russia was notoriously known for its lethal fleet of nuclear submarines. If detonated together, they could cause an explosion unprecedented by the Human race, destroying nearly half Planet Earth’s population with the mortal nuclear toxic waste.
Viktor approached the fleet. The abandoned vessels looked for the entire world a mass of innocent submarines left to rust in this barren land. But Viktor knew otherwise.
An icy chill ran through him, as the wind sliced through the freezing air, like the deathly sharp blade of a sword.
He silently jumped onto the first of the many abandoned vessels, and continued to leap from vessel to vessel with the accuracy and precision of a professional in this line of business. Finally, he stopped at a particular submarine – the oldest in the fleet. With great care, and immense strength, he wrenched open a rusted door, and swiftly slid in.
The inside of the craft displayed the aggressive arrogance and harshness of the former Soviet Union. There were rows upon rows of complicated machinery, hostile-looking and stained with the deaths of thousands. It was here, at the centre of the oldest submarine in the Russian fleet, that Agent Viktor Matvei placed the trigger – a lethal explosive that would make his beloved Russia the most powerful force in the world.
Immediately, the Agent hoisted himself up and out of the submarine, and swiftly, he headed away from the aging Russian fleet.
Standing in the middle of the harsh, icy land, Agent Viktor produced his mobile phone, and dialed the only number stored in it.
The call was accepted, but there was no reply. As expected; the sign that Viktor is to report on his mission.
“Sir,” Viktor began, in fluent Russian, just one of the five languages that he had the privileged of speaking effortlessly.
“The Trigger has been implemented in the submarine. We are at an all-clear. I repeat, you are at an all-go to execute detonation.”
Only one word was said in reply.
General Vladimir Stukov placed the white mobile phone back on the table. The man standing next to him, his assistant, picked up a device that looked not unlike a 2-way radio. However, this device had only one control, and it could broadcast a signal for up to four thousand miles. The man handed the deadly device to Stukov.
“We are at an all-go for detonation. The world will once again realize the power and authority that Russia commands. The Soviet Union will once again be reborn.”
And with that, General Vladimir Stukov pressed the single control on the device in his hands.
Four thousand miles away, in the ghost town of Murmansk, a fierce explosion occurred, destroying Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet. Every inhabitant of Murmansk, including Agent Viktor Matvei, were instantly killed. But that number would be nothing compared to the millions that would die in a few hours, when the noxious nuclear particles would engulf the entire planet…