Not the longest chapter...but not the shortest, either. Please forgive the long delay, but I was plagued by sequel ideas. I finally just sat down and wrote this - I hope it ties things up nicely for you all! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
The car that pulled into the driveway of the secret Bratva residence was met with the usual caution and suspicion. Guns drawn, the guards posted around the house crept in as a driver stepped out and moved around to the backseat passenger door. Trying not to get shot, the nervous driver opened the door and shakily gestured for the passenger to step out. And step out she did.
The guards all raised a simultaneous eyebrow at the slim, tanned woman who slid out of the car. With slim red gloves, a deep red, V-neck top, and a long, slim red skirt, she dressed more for a upper-class catillian than for a visit to a mafia stronghold. Nonetheless, her white smile was simultaneously frightening and cold. A few of the guards stepped back as the woman stepped forward, allowing her driver to close the door.
"You will take me to see Alexi Iconovitch." She commanded in Russian, walking straight up to one of the guards. The man gulped and glanced at his companions for assistance, but none of them wanted to come closer. "I'm sorry, did I not speak clearly?" The woman inquired, her eyes hardening, though her smile never wavered.
"N-no, no, miss…" The guard stuttered, backing away. "H-he is right this way….but he is currently busy with-"
"I don't care." The woman swept past the guard, her heels clicking on the flagstone path. "You will take me to him, and he will see me." The guard blinked, scrambling to think of a comeback. Unable to make one, he looked around for support - but the other guards had all retreated to the relative safety of their posts. The driver, the only one left standing there, shrugged apologetically. The guard sighed and hurried after the woman.
"Yes, ma'am….may I inquire as to who wishes to see Alexi, so that I may announce you properly?" He asked, half out of necessity and half out of curiosity. The woman smiled coldly.
"You may simply call me 'La Asesina'. It is the most well known of my names." She replied. The guard nodded quietly. 'La Asesina'…no, he hadn't heard of her. But if she was anyone important, Alexi would have. He led the woman into the heart of the house, toward Alexi's study. He asked her to wait while he announced her, and slipped into the study, closing the door quickly. Alexi looked up from the book he'd been reading with a frown.
"I thought I asked not to be disturbed." He growled. The guard gulped.
"I'm sorry, sir…but there is a woman here to see you. She calls herself…'La Asesina'." Years later, the guard would realize that the look that dawned over Alexi's face was one of fear, and then resignation. The aging Bratva leader sighed and closed his book, not bothering to mark the page.
"Alright…." He stood up and crossed the room, pulling another book down from a shelf. This book was hardcover, with the once-golden lettering fading away. Across the cover was a leather strap, and an old, rusty lock kept it shut. Alexi walked to the guard and handed him the book. "Send La Asesina in, please….then make sure this is sent to my daughter." He ordered. The guard nodded and left the room with the book.
"Ma'am," He addressed the woman. "Alexi will see you now." La Asesina smiled, and walked into the room. The guard hurriedly walked away. The faster he could put distance between himself and that creepy woman, the better.
Five hours passed before anyone had the nerve to knock on the study door again. No response was given - not even a command to leave. Suspicious, the butler who'd knocked summoned a few of the guards, who had to break into the now-locked study. When they finally broke into the room, they found a shocking sight.
The bookshelves were emptied, their contents hurled about the room like toys. Alexi's desk drawers were wide open, and every important document was gone. The window stood wide open, with the curtains swaying in the spring breeze, Alexi himself was sprawled across the floor, surrounded by the shattered pieces of the ceramic bear that had once stood upon his desk, and his own blood. The pencil that had killed him stuck out of his forehead still, like some gruesome flag of victory for the killer.
The guards rushed to action immediately, but nothing could be done to save their leader. They started an investigation, sent out squad after squad, and diverted nearly all of the Bratva's attention in the search for 'La Asesina'. But after six months of exhaustive searching, they were able to find nothing.
Eight month's after Alexi's death, a woman named Catherine Carriedo walked onto the scene. She took control of the still-in-shambles Bratva, adding them to an extensive network of international organizations she controlled, under the name of 'Mano de Hierro'. Within the month, Catherine had the newest branch of 'Mano de Hierro' running smoothly, though she never shared the organization's goals with the 'elected' branch leaders of the former Bratva.
As she sat in her office, desk covered with organized stacks of status reports and intel from numerous branches posted worldwide, Catherine Carriedo began to smile to herself. She reached into her shirt and pulled a small key out of her bra. Bending down in her chair, she unlocked the drawer at the bottom of her desk and slid it open. She pulled out a large folder, closed the drawer, and replaced the key. Flipping the folder open, the woman chuckled.
"Laura Archer." She read the name at the top of the last file Alexi had added before his 'unfortunate' murder. "It's been a long time, hasn't it, mi amigo de larga duración?" She spread the pages of the folder out across her desk, revealing five more names, including that of Alexi's 'daughter'. "My, my…you've gathered quite the little flock, haven't you?" She mused to herself, smiling. "Poor little sheep….they have no idea what their future has in store…"
"Children of the Nation" is OVER! I know a lot of things weren't addressed or wrapped up, but hey, I need material for the sequel! Yes, Catherine's last name should sound very familiar...also, the fanart offer still stands! If you draw fanart of "CotN", I will draw/write you anything (almost - I do have limits) you'd like! But I do have one thing to add...to the person who requested some Fem!Canada and Germany...what was your penname again? I'm sorry, but I accidentally deleted your note! Forgive me! :(