Coming to Roost

A/N: Hallo, everyone. Anime Borat here. I'm actually close to concluding this (although close is a relative term) fic that I've started five years ago. Here, the five settle their affairs before moving on. I'm sorry if I caused you to wait so long for any new update, my last chapter made two years ago. I hope to finish this before the year is over. I have a backlog of other projects, some of them set in what be would fading fandoms.

Weaver and Hudson stopped the car near an alley. The ice cube got out and said to Weaver, "Okay, Weaver. Stay in the car. I want you to park over there." He pointed to another corner of the street. "That should give you some oversight of this place. I'll keep in contact." He took a small earphone from his pocket and put in his ear while the miniature microphone hung inside his collar. They were attached to a small unit that resembled a Walkman, a milestone in communication technology. "Testing, testing, come you hear me?"

"Loud and clear," Weaver replied over the mike.

Satisfied that the reception was clear, he continued, "Good, you can hear me." He clicked off the mike and gave him a parcel. "I want you to deliver this parcel to our contact."

Weaver tucked it in his jacket. "Yeah, the drop is to be made besides the door of the shop."


"You're best protection is to stay in the crowd. I'll provide overwatch. Happy hunting."

Weaver found the send-off rather inappropriate for their situation since they're the ones who were still hunted. Still, he had a job to do so he shrugged off his worries and watched Hudson enter the shop. Inside, he casually laid the parcel by the door and scanned the crowd of shoppers for anyone out of the ordinary. He clicked on his phony Walkman com twice to indicate that he was okay. Weaver acknowledged with a radio squelch.

As Hudson emerged from the shop, a man folded the newspaper he was reading and adjusted the cuff links of his suit. He tucked the paper under his arm and picked his suitcase. He made his way to the shop. Above in a rooftop a sniper observed the man's entrance, then followed Weaver through his sights. He talked on his radio via encrypted channel. "Eagle One, I found subject one. Wait, he's entering the vehicle... He's with the driver. Both subjects are in the car."

"You have to subjects in the car, can you confirm them to Romulus and Remus?" Eagle one asked.

He zoomed his high-powered scope for better focus and studied the face. "I see... Confirmed. Positive ID? What should I do?"

"Red Hawk, be advised, Blue Bird One is online, ETA thirty seconds. Will take over surveillance on both subjects. Return to Hobby Horse and standby. Continue to shadow both subjects on vehicle."

"What about the contact?" He eased his finger on the trigger of his customized Remington M700.

"Contact is just the lead. We need to acquire both subjects, alive if necessary. Otherwise, mission parameters remain standing."

"Copy," he acknowledged. It goes without saying that another team was looking for Mason, Woods, and Reznov. He quickly dissembled his rifle, packed it up in a specially-made suitcase with foam-lined molds. He left the rooftop, suitcase in hand with no one else none the wiser, and discreetly made his way down and out the building.

Hudson and Weaver were taking another cruise around the city, seemingly to confound their pursuers. Their role besides providing Mason with intel was also to provide distraction for pursuers from The Company, take some of the heat of them and hopefully turned it around on them. They have been on the run for so long that it was almost natural for them now to slip over and under the radar at will, like ghosts.

However, he also knew that the Agency possessed heavy assets in country, namely in the form of United States overseas bases in-country and in neighboring South Korea with more from Taiwan, Philippines, and Guam if necessary, assets that the agency would procure when needed and, no doubt, already did. He already made a risk by calling a favor from a friend assigned to Japan. Years of nomadic existence have taken their toll on them. They can't run forever and the Agency will not forget them, will not forego the sanctions for capture or termination against them. Hudson deeply missed his family. He wondered how would his son grow up without a father, especially knowing that he remained missing for years. He'll probably think that I walked out of his life, he thought distantly, sadly. Weaver too wanted to settle down himself but he did not want to endanger his niece and grand-nephew.

Still, there was some good to be had. Revnoz had family washed shore in Japan during the postwar era. That family, the one that mattered anyway, was currently residing in the hills of Gifu in a little village called Hinamizawa. The Russian wanted to find his long-lost granddaughter and make up for lost time. Also, Reznov, without the use of his legs, would be more of a liability as time goes by.

The ice cube also had a personal reason for helping out, seeing that he can't see his family again. He wanted to make amends with Mason over torturing him during the Nova Six crisis of '68. Also, at least one of them can comeback to his family. It would be difficult but they owe him that. From what he's been through, he deserved one last moment of peace in this God-forsaken world gone mad.

While staying vigilant on the passenger seat, Weaver was thinking the same thing. Having saved his niece Kristina from that bastard Vanya, she and Mason had began a friendship that blossomed into a love for each other, enough for them to get married and have a son, David. This was incredible as Kristina had suffered so much abuse from Vanya, one point losing a child by beating-induced miscarriage, and Alex was a PTSD-ridden wreck. The love they nurtured healed them both. Having learned through the CIA's files on double agents, they helped her escape into Alaska to live with the Mason family but not before having her feed false information that sent Langley on a wild goose chase in their pursuit of the five. He wanted to help Mason settle down as well. Not in Alaska, of course. Too dangerous. Probably in some South Pacific island well way from the reach of Langley. Some place where they can truly raise a family. Peaceful environment, friendly people, a lot of sun, and remote enough too...

That musing stopped when he noticed a white Mitsubishi sedan on the side rear-view mirror. "Jason, isn't it that car that followed us here this morning?"

Hudson, without turning, spotted the sedan in the centerview mirror. "Yeah, it is." Then his eyes widened in surprise. "What the... I lost it that thing three times!"

Alarmed, Weaver said, "What!?" He reached into his jacket for his pistol but did not pull it out. "Shit! They changed plate numbers but it still has that dent near the headlights. It's gotta be him!"

"Fuck," Hudson muttered sharply.

"Let's loose this sonovabitch." Weaver tried not to look up again as whoever was inside the sedan was watching him.

Hudson gripped the stirring wheel. "No. We'll play it cool. We're gonna play his game against him. Let the bastard guide us to his bosses, then we'll have a little chat." He shifted gears and made a left turn. The sedan swerved out of its place and began following them. He slowly accelerated at a leisurely cruising speed but inside it was anything but. Weaver kept watch to his side of the car, looking out for trouble waiting for them. The car could be a beater driving them to a kill team or ambush out their can be an assassin or feeding info to their pursuers.

The ice cube swerved, gliding the sedan into an intersection. The white car revved up and quickly made its way through the traffic, much to the annoyance of motorists and pedestrians. It almost clipped a salaryman, who shouted angrily at them. Hudson decided there'll be no chase in the middle of the city, just a chess game The prize: disappearance in the metropolis's vastness.

"See anything out there?" Hudson interrogated.

Weaver, eyes all over their surroundings, replied, "Got nothing, Jason."

"Keep looking," he replied as he swerved into a busy street, slowly accelerating the car. "They may have backup here or on the way." As he did , a small tri-wheel van emerged from an alley, Hudson floored the brake, stopping the car inches away from the van and nearly startled Weaver, pulling up his piece in response. Hudson honked the horn angrily. From the rearview mirror, the startled old man quickly fumbled with his vehicle and backed away as his driving allowed.

Weaver saw the white car stuck in a gridlock of vehicles, unable to move but for how long? "Shit!" he hissed. "Get us outta here, Hudson."

"I'm trying." Hudson beeped the horn again, prompting the tri-wheeler to move forward. Judging the little clearance just enough to move through, he floored it and deftly glided out of the snarl. They were on now flowing with the rest of traffic. Still not out of danger. His eyes on the road, Weaver kept looking for anything else.

"Christ, behind us, third lane, four cars back, parallel." At Weaver's retort, Hudson spotted the bastard. Still persistent, he thought. Hudson started analyzing their environment, with an eye for an exit. Traffic was clear running but it would stop soon as the traffic lights loomed ahead. With time and chances of escape increasing, he floored the vehicle and began to swerve around the cars, overtaking as needed. The white car itself maneuvered to catch up but Hudson shifted gears, giving him a speed boost launching him forward in the last few meters.

The driver of the white car tried to catch up but their subjects had cleared well away and the red light flashed. He braked just short of the pedestrian lane and he had his last glimpsed of them before they disappeared behind a passing fright truck.

"Shit!" the driver swore angrily. He turned to his radio. "Romulus and Remus have crossed. Big Bird-One, do you have them?"

Up in the air, a small helicopter, designated Big Bird-One raced forward and watched the traffic below for the rouge sedan. The pilot and his observer used to be Forward Air Controllers (FACs) back in Vietnam, flying spotting and observation missions directing everything from airstrikes and artillery to supply drops between 1966 to 1972. But even with so much scanning with their trained eyes, they couldn't find the sedan. "Negative, I don't have eyes on subject."

"Well, keep looking, they're still out there somewhere. Out." He sighed in frustration. He looked about the three other occupants in the car. They all share his sense of frustration at loosing their subject. As soon as the light turned green, he lurched forward, venting his energies away. Cruising through the streets as he did searching for the sedan. "Big Bird-One, do you have eyes on subjects?"

"That's still a negative. No sign off... Hang on..." He spotted something. "Red-One, we have eyes on the sedan. I repeated, we have eyes on the sedan in an alley."

"Where?" He collected himself calmly. Big Bird-One radioed the location and he drove to it. As soon as he he reached his destination, he stopped and the four men emerged, walking as rapidly as possible, hands in their jackets. Taking speed over caution, they finally cornered the sedan and rushed to it.

It was empty, the front seats' doors left open.

"Damn," said the driver. He then radioed. "Red-One, the vehicle is empty. I repeat, the vehicle is empty. Subjects are on foot."

"Can you pursue them?" was the reply.

"Negative, they may have had a two- or three-minute headstart." He was deflated, they nearly caught them.

"Copy, Red-One. Return to Hobby Horse for debriefing over."

"Acknowledged." He had to force himself to speak calmly. The bastards slipped and they screwed up. He ordered his men to return to the vehicle, not bothering to search the abandoned car. They've already made a scene too many today. Everyone's gonna have bull-session about how they managed to lose two of the Agency's most wanted and no doubt, the inevitable bureaucratic hot-potato about whose-who in their part of it. As the vehicle drove out, Hudson smiled slyly as he watched out of a corner.

"Bingo." Weaver slipped a tracker underneath the white car just before they came out of the alley. "They're out, Jason." With that they quickly returned to the car, Weaver at the wheel, and began to follow the device's rather powerful signal from a safe distance. They were confident that whatever eye in the sky would not find them as their car was a common model using a common dark color paintjob, they're be hard pressed to distinguish so many cars up from the air.

It all seemed deceptively tranquil, smooth sailing really as they tracked the white car. Following its signal was a simple exercise but the two men tracking it, it was a both a big break and a ballsy move. Wherever the white car lead them would be a hornet's nest of hostiles watching out for them. Still, they've ran many risks since the late 70's, what could one more matter? They began to speculate, who was it was after them? CIA or the local Japanese intelligence? It had to be Langley; Koizumi was too cowardly and had too much to lose if a scandal broke out, which was what Hudson got on tape.

The signal got stronger. They were close. Weaver took the car to an alley where they hidden it and proceeded on foot. They moved to discreetly among the crowd of people, moving quickly yet casually like another face in crowd moving in a hurry. Their tradescraft, honed by the years of experience, was instinctive as they scanned the crowd and buildings for hostiles. They followed the signal to a coffeehouse, the lunch hour crowd was getting bigger. They discreetly continued until they were well out of sight in a street corner, almost at the ragged edge of the tracker's signal range.

"Are they stopping to pick up lunch?" Weaver commented.

"Could be and they'll have to skip it." Hudson checked his pistol. "One way or the other, we're getting answers." Inwardly, he cursed himself for having made contact with his friend at CIA station within the embassy.

"Right. Let's do this." Although he wanted to contact Mason first, there was no time and that will just give them away to an SIGINT listening in for them, plus the trio can handle themselves. Well, two of them anyway. Reznov, ballsy thought he may be, was on a wheelchair and hardly in a position to put up a good fight.

It was unplanned. It was spur of the moment but the opportunity to grille some questions from their pursuers was not to be missed. Hudson and Weaver kept alert as they approached the cafe. Wading through the multitude of the noontime crowd, their senses sharpened as the watch out for anyone who stood out. Spotters keeping an eye on them would have a hard time picking them out, and an even harder time to keep track of them. However, the further they go, the crowd got thinner. They'll stand out soon enough.

The first indication that they trod in a possible kill zone, a trap, was that they spotted the way some people moved, such as the turn of the head or hand gestures. It can mean anything, really, but they knew what they're in for.

One man broke from the crowd and took put a staggered position some distance from their five 'clock position. Then another man came out of corner. Then he noticed a few more. The trap was set, he thought, will they be able to get out? The upper reaches of the surrounding buildings may potentially hold a few snipers keeping their eyes on them, holding fire until the order or sudden move on their part instantly twitched their trigger fingers.

They closed distance to the cafe's outdoor section, where people can relax and eat under the sun. The ice cube can smell the fragrance of the food, wafting out off the restaurant. Hudson and Weaver had, without looking back judged their maybe four or five men behind them, keeping a discreet distance. And ready to close the trap at the right moment.

The two were in the center of the lion's den. They watched closely the movements of the people seating in patio chairs and tables. Sipping of a cup, the setting of lit cigarette on an ashtray, or the flicking of a page of today's paper by the patrons have heralded their arrival. Now in the center of this pleasant scene, Hudson and Weaver were about to confront their nemesis. They were was no need to scan the tables, what they sought was in front of them.

"Good day to you, Jason, Grigori," the man in the seat in front of them greeted. "I hope you're both hungry. The food here is excellent."

"Long time, no see, Poulus," Jason greeted neutrally. "How's Langley, by the way?"

Poulus sipped his coffee. "It's summer over there and we're having our hands full on Afghanistan, the Mid-East, and Nicaragua. "

"As I recall, the Boland Amendment says Nicaragua is hands-off," the ice cube pointed out. "Congress has left you high and dry."

"And we cannot ignore the biggest threat to our interest so close to him since Cuba '62." Poulus eyed them. "The Soviets basically got us by the balls. Not to mention their overtures to the Indian Ocean through their Afghan adventure." He turned to Weaver. "How are you, by way, Weaver?"

"If getting chased around by you guys is a workout, then I can do the marathon ten times over," Weaver answered facetiously.

Poulus smiled at that. "At least we did something right in that regard." He motioned them to the empty chairs. "Please, gentlemen before your knees drop."

Neither of them complied, remaining cool to the offer. "How did you find us?" Hudson asked quietly. You mean you want to drop us both.

"You'd be surprised to know that our capabilities have improved over the years," said the man in the suit. "We're not here to fight, Hudson. We're here to talk."

Hudson and Weaver remained wary. They had met such situations a few times, knowing a trap in the form of parley. There were times that parley was genuine, armed men hidden around were merely a precaution, often times it was truly a trap, and often rarely, some breakdown violently between the two parties. The trick was seeing through the whole facade. This, it seemed, can go both ways.

"So, what do you want to discuss?" Hudson asked neutrally.

"Rehabilitation, reinstatement," the suit replied. "And a full presidential pardon."

They did not react to the statement. That was too incredible for them. "You're joking." Even his glasses can't hide his incredulity.

"We spent a lot of trouble trying to look for you," the suit pointed out. "Who do you think is joking?" They weren't kidding when they said you were the best, he thought. Had to spend half my time searching the wrong places!

Hudson weighed the situation. He studied everything that he saw, heard and, felt within the context of their situation. Poulus, the son of Greek immigrants who had fought against the Axis powers as guerrillas, had graduated from a wide-eyed junior staffer to the CIA station chief of Laos back in the 60's to senior officer. He looked none worse for wear, mostly due to his devotion to physical exercise. The men with him were from Special Activities, probably Vietnam vets from the ranks of SEALs or Special Forces who came highly recommended for his performance in the service. Poulus had left nothing to chance. He had grown since he last met him and read his file.

They both took their seats. "So what makes gives you the authority as the emissary of peace from the White House, delivering Langley's olive branch so to speak." The ice cube's voice had a measured tone.

"You want proof? We'll talk to the President himself," he proposed. "My orders come directly from him and they are to make contact with you and bring you back home by any means necessary."

Hudson remained neutral, not letting his skepticism show. "So? Who was it that talked? Emery or Johnson?"

"Johnson from the embassy talked. We knew you were coming so we put out an alert for the entire Pacific rim. As a matter of fact, we purposely leaked to him that you were coming here. We watched him to see if you will contact him and you did. He was an old colleague of yours, right? A number of above-top-secret ops from '63 to '70."

"He was. Worked with me in Laos, Cambodia and a dozen other places."

"Well, Johnson is not gonna charged with treason, merely an administrative reprimand for a breach of security protocol." He handed Hudson an envelope. "This is for you."

Jason took the envelope, opened it and unfolded the paper inside. Behind the shades he studied the words with rapt interest. It was a Department of Justice legal document which stated that President Ronald Reagan had reviewed the cases against Hudson, Mason, Woods, Weaver, and Reznov, submitted by the CIA and went under review by the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney and, upon the office's recommendation, had hereby granted pardon to all parties involved, with the signatures of the president, the current head of the CIA, and the United States Attorney General.

Hudson had to read it again to make sure he missed or misunderstood nothing. He stared back to Poulus and handed back the letter. "This is either the most incredible legal document I've ever seen or the best and most blatant forgery ever conceived." He added, "Forgery of federal documents is a criminal offense if you intend to charge us at legal court."

"I'm aware of that. I don't intend to make convince you by a piece of paper alone, signatures that for all you know are faked. I intend not to insult your intelligence. The offer goes away with me."

Hudson's judgement told him that this was a trap. Yet, this was can be a sincere effort by Langley and the White House crossed his arms. "I'm aware that another step in convincing us that is not an agency ploy is in order."

"Indeed." He rose. "Step this way, please. You can talk to the president himself."

They both stood up. Weaver cocked his one eyebrow. Hudson replied, "He's here in person? We're a long way from the embassy, which we intend to go, and a long-distance call from here to the White House is out of the question."

"No need. I'm just showing the way."

Hudson noted an irregularity. "You're not gonna relieve us of our weapons?"

"Jason, you're too smart for that and I'm serious about this."

They were taken to the roof of the building where they meet a man setting up a folding card table and an unusual contraption on it. It was a radio-telephone set, smaller than that of the army with a parabolic dish pointing upward.

"Is that what I think it is...?" Weaver asked as he eyed the curiosity.

"It's satellite telephone," Hudson replied. "The wave of the future." Then he asked Poulus. "I see that were busy lately."

"This is still an advance prototype," he pointed out confidently, "but it holds promise. With this we can talk anywhere with our field operations."

"I remember Lyndon Johnson using one of those in a test for the Telstar 1 communications satellite," Weaver observed.

"We could have had it ready before 1964." He frowned. "Then those nuclear weapon atmospheric tests fucked the whole thing up. If you hadn't been screwing around with nukes in the air, we would have had superior communications anywhere in the world. Hell, we could've won the 'Nam with a lot less guys thrown in if we can talk with the satphones."

"And if falls on Soviet hands? Lubyanka would one happy boy when it finds that in its Christmas stocking." That put a smile of Hudson's face. It broke the frost that built up during the meeting.

Poulus smiled too. "Touche'. But not before fucking the whole thing up first." They chuckled, remembering a few jokes about the state of Soviet industry and technology. While they truly made a number of firsts in a number of areas and some of their products were indeed reliable, everything else was uneven. All three men approached the gadget laid on the table. "Hudson, I need you to dial this number on the pad."

Hudson looked at the pad before the satphone, picked up the handset and dialed the number. At that moment, the circuitry inside began their work. The signal was sent upward and was relayed by a military satellite orbiting at the precise moment over Japan and was sent to another relay station, who then connected it to the White House switchboard, the Oval Office's direct line. The satphone used high-fidelity boosters to strengthen the signal, preventing "static" and high-level encryption technology protected the message from interception by Soviet satellites. To decrypt the message, a powerful computer is required and the Soviets have none of that, still relying on human mathematical computation.

Hudson waited as the phone rang, or rather beeped electronically. A voice answered, "Hello? This is the President."

He knew that voice loud and clear! He watched a few of his movies when he was still an actor. In a subdued voice he spoke, "Hello, Mr. President. This is Jason Hudson."

"Jason," exclaimed Reagan excitedly, "how are you doing?" It began a lively, hour-long conversation with the most powerful man of the free world.

Inside their new hotel room, the three men were having a lively discussion of their, mainly to ease the knot in their stomachs. At this point, they were waiting for Hudson and Weaver to return. The clock ticked to twelve-fifteen noon. Had something happened to them? They were supposed to return at twelve flat. Yet, they did not come back. Yet, by unspoken consensus, had agreed this sort of thing had happened before, the delay can be due to mundane causes.

"You think they're stuck in traffic?" Mason asked.

"Yeah, could be," Woods answered.

"Or it could be another cause," Reznov observed. "But I'm confident that your friends will make it out of anything."

Mason chuckled. "It's the ice cube we're talking about. There's nothing in the world that he can't handle smoothly."

"Well, that we can count on," Woods commented. Then he looked at the assembled trio. "You know, this reminds of that wimp pussy group therapy sessions a lot of people have been put into."

"Hmm, sounds about," Mason noted as well. "The only one missing would be Weaver and Hudson us our psychotherapist."

"Dr. Ice Cube? Now that's a thought." Woods never had a high opinion on psychologists or headshrinkers. "Not that I like being turned into a wimp pussy by 'em, no sir!"

"Not do I share such optimistic sentiments concerning... 'psychologists,'" Reznov said. The concept was quite foreign to him, and was rather sinister to him, like it meant interrogation officer.

"Well, Reznov, at this day and age, psychologists are at the forefront for treating people with problems relating to trauma, that is violent experiences." It was Mason. "Especially back in Vietnam, where so many of the young kids we sent to fight came back home broken."

"I see." He nodded. All three men have been personal acquaintances of war and its cruelties. They have fought many battles, had seen the devastation on wrought by war, the toll it took on the lives of men, both the dead and the living. Coming home, survivors never felt at home with normalcy of civilian life, could not reconcile the peace of home with the violence they saw and inflicted.

Woods nodded in agreement. "I may not need a headshrink but the poor bastards we sent down the line certainly do. Hell, the reason I signed for the CIA after Korea was that so we never have to fight this sort of shit. Chosin, Pork Chop Hill,, hell the entire Vietnam War happened because we failed to get our shit together so no kid would ever have to die in some tropical jungle, no nineteen-year-old from New Jersey or Pork Van would have to see his buddy's life slipping through his fingers." The hardass put a hand on his face and shook his head. He can still remember the SOG marine back in that mission in Laos, front gunner for their PBR in the hunt for Kravchenko's Nova-Six.

"I understand your sadness, Woods." Reznov looked longingly into the distance. "Young men who died needlessly. Before Dmitri... At Barvenkovo..."

His first taste of war was at the Barvenkovo salient, during the Second Battle of Kharkov. He was one of the millions of raw reinforcements who participated in the battle, only he had the benefit some sort of pre-military training, thus making him Sergeant. Brimming with confidence, like all of the Red Army after the winter offensives that pushed the Germans back, he believed in his ability to lead men.

He was horribly, horribly wrong.

Striking out from the salient, Reznov's regiment encountered fierce German resistance with half its strength decimated it during the first minutes of the battle. Reznov tasted war for the first time in a small village which they attacked: The great thunder of guns, machine-gun fire which cut cut soldiers to ribbons to be finished by artillery, which completely destroyed their bodies. He saw for the first time of savagery unimaginable as he can sometimes hear the screams of dying men above the deafening, earth-shattering chorus of artillery. He was pinned down helpless a hurricane of ordnance that tore and rent the ground and anyone unlucky enough to be in it. Soldiers died in droves, sometimes horribly with limbs blown off or their organs spilling out of their bellies, screaming for their mothers' names. It made him think of his own fate, whether it end horribly like what he saw, dying in pain.

And here he was, the squad sergeant. He was supposed to know what to do to, how to get out of this predicament and fight the fascists! His men were counting on him, looked up to him and he'd then nothing to help them, no way to show leadership! Bewildered, confused, and frightened, in a violent alien world which he had set foot for the first time, the Russian wanted to scream.

But war had ways to turning even the most timid men into killers. The despair and shame in Reznov had turned into a desperation, a desperation to get out of the firing line and do something. It coalesced into anger, anger at himself for being indecisive at a time he was needed, angry the fascists for invading the motherland in an orgy of murder, angry the senior officers who sent him and his men into the teeth of the German defenses.

The gun duel between German and Russian artillerymen was slowly dying down. At that precise moment Reznov peered his head above the crater they took cover and he can see the Germans scrambling about in their line, trying to shore up their battered positions, his eyes on fire. The dying shelling seemed to herald the birth of the animal in him and when the last shell fell, Viktor rose up and let out a blood-curdling cry.


He charged headlong into the German position and with him, his squad and hundreds of men, the second wave. He ignored the desperate enfilade of the defenders which downed so many of his comrades. Yet he kept going until he jumped the trench. He let loose his submachinegun on the first group of Wehrmacht he encountered and he led the rest of the way, through the trench network and into the smoking ruins of what had once been the village. It became a scene of fierce fighting as Soviet and Wehrmacht fought viciously within arms length, go so far as to wrestling each other or resort to the knife or fist, hatred one side has to for the other had spilled over, adding fire to the fighting.

By the time it was over, Reznov's rage had ebbed. He looked around to see the aftermath. So many dead, the manner of death very much varied. Here a man whose face was blown face and in another what used to be one, tank treads from head to foot where the tank mashed him into the muddy ground. He can see wounded everywhere, so many dazed men covered in bloody bandages. Now everyone was consolidating their position in the village, repairing defensive positions and carting away the corpses. He might a man he recognized as a member of his squad.

"Private Koronov, reporting." He saluted.

Reznov returned the salute. "Koronov, where's the rest of the squad."

"Kulikov is taken back to the aids station, Vershinsky took a piece of shrapnel on the arm..."

"I see, and what about the rest?" he asked.

Koronov's face look distraught. "There back at the field, sergeant, along with the rest of the company." Koronov, almost in a trance took Reznov back to the field they started in.

The sergeant was appalled. On the field lay hundreds of Soviet soldiers, men from Moscow, Rostov, from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan lay dead on the muddy ground, their blood mixing with the earth. Never in his life had he saw such waste of life. He barely remembered the men in his squad. Who is supposed to break the news to their families? Sober of bloodshed he felt weak. His eyes misted.

"Sergeant?" Koronov asked.

"I'll take some rest...," he said in a hesitant voice.

Koronov understood. "There's an intact house next to the battalion CP." Reznnov nodded gratefully and went there with Koronov helping him out. In a quiet corner, Reznov wept quietly at the good men who died taking this village, taking it back from the fascists. He also cried for his failure to lead them properly, who otherwise would still be alive.

"The battalion lost three-fourths of its strength that day," Reznov continued. The old Russian seemed to holding back his tears. "And then the Germans counterattacked fiercely. First with a sudden Stuka raid, which sent me flying through the air, followed by tanks. I had been fortunate to taken by ambulance back to the rear, then to Stalingrad to recuperate. The first news I got after I recovered was the salient was cut off and Kharkov ended in failure. Such a waste of lives."

Everyone was silent. Reznov had suffered his first defeat and the first loss of lives had been an eye-opener for him. "What kept me going was the chance to avenge that defeat, to avenge the men who died there. Just as the memories of my wife and my friendship with Dmitri sustained me during the rest of the war. Then vengeance against Dragovich, Kravchenko, and Steiner, for killing Dmitiri, and destroying my life. Yet, hope after hope sustained me and I hope to meet my granddaughter again."

"You're not alone, Reznov," Mason spoke softly.

"Mason?" Reznov looked up from his slump.

"You kept me alive, you kept my soul alive back in Vorkuta. Even if you used me I still forgive because without you I would never have defeated Kravchenko, stopped World War 3 from happening. You had never left me back then."

Woods smiled. "Yeah, and you know what kept me going? I wasn't going to die in no fucking swamp! And I'm not gonna miss the boat on any trouble either."

Mason chuckled. "Well, Woods, I always wondered if you're looking for trouble or is trouble looking for you?"

"Well, you know me. Kicking ass and taking names is all I live for."

Reznov smiled as he watched the two ex-Marines reminisce of the better times they had together. He wished them well, especially Mason and his family, as well for Hudson and Weaver. How wished it could be the same with him and Dmitir. If he were alive, he thought, he would have been wearing the Hero of the Soviet Union in his chest. He'd we with his wise, and his daughter where he would have been there to raise her right. With tea served, Dmitri would have been with a wife of his own, maybe with a son or daughter who had the time to accompany them, and their grandchildren with them playing in the living room. It would have been a lively conversation.

That it was never meant to be. Dmitri died in the Arctic north, his deeds forever unknown. His wife was dead and his daughter a painful disgrace. All he had was Mason and his friends, and more importantly, his granddaughter, Rena. He wondered how he'll meet here. How would she react to him, especially the truth of their shared blood?

The phone rang, which prompted him to stop musing and the Americans to cease their conversation. Mason picked up the phone. "Hello? Hudson... Hudson, this is serious... They're being serious, are you kidding me? I trust you in this one. We'll be over there in ten mikes." He hung up. "Let's go."

"Hey, what's a the rush?" Woods inquired.

"What is going on, Mason?" Reznov asked.

Mason put on his jacket and checked his piece. "Look's like we got ourselves a family meeting."

The gang arrived at the Overlook, the one place that gave them a cinematic vista of the village. There they set their picnic up on on the stones that made up a seating for them. The fragrance of summer flowers filled the air and the sun slowly approached its zenith and shone brightly in the cerulean sky, dotted with fleecy white clouds. A breeze flew gently, its coolness complimenting the the noontime warmth. Birds and the cicadas chirped vigorously, lending music to the Overlook.

"Nothing like lunch on the Overlook," Keiichi announced. "The sky is blue and sunny, the view is spectacular, the wind is pleasant and good food is ready for lunching."

"Don't be too eager, Keiichi-kun," teased Satoko. "You might choke on a dumpling like last time."

"Of course not," Keiichi replied. Then his eyes narrowed into slits. "As long as you're not putting a trap behind me."

Satoko only laughed haughtily. "That wasn't me, Keiichi-kun~. I honestly did not know of that trap. Maybe, I laid it a month ago. Hmmm~..." She scratched her chin like she was thinking.

"Come on, Satoko, own up already," Keiichi challenged. "I am not about to be emasculated by a little girl."

"Hahaha, Keiichi, try to take life a little slow. It won't be good for you when you're-" Her face was shot off with with a jet of water.

"Oh, Satoko," he taunted while brandishing his water pistol, "you should learn better than to talk all the way. You might get distracted." Thus he hopped away laughing like mad with a wet and infuriated Satoko on his tail.

The rest of the gang watched the slightly comedic scene as they set up their picnic. "Sure have a lot of energy," commented Mion.

"Oh, naughty, naughty Keiichi," chimed Rena as she watched Satoko chasing the boy, "Rena should be chasing Satoko."

"You'll get your chance, Rena," said Rika with a smile. "You'll get your chance."

At that Rena turned to the shrine maiden and gushed even more. She hugged her. "And Rika-chan deserves a big, soft, and warm hug from Rena-chan." Rika was chafing under Rena's hug as she was stronger than she realized. The redhead was rubbing her face against the miko's.

"Hey, all of you," Shion called out. "Enough horseplay, the food's not gonna wait."

"Okay, Shi-chan~." Rena let go of her loving embrace of Rika and skipped to Shion and Satoshi. As for Keiichi and Satoko, they still chased each other. Rika decided to put an end to it. She casually walked to the field and stretched out her leg into the path of Keiichi, he promptly fell with a face full of grass.

"Hey, what gives?" he cried out loud. He realized his water gun was missing. "Hey, where is-"


The answer gave him a splash in the face. Satoko chuckled, holding the pistol in triumph.

"That's why don't mess you, Kei-kun." She let out her haughty laugh.

"Laugh while you can, Satoko," he replied in a mock-dramatic manner. "Pride comes before a fall."

"And you might fall hungry," Mion quipped. "Settle down for some of my delicious treats."

"Oh, goody, I get dibs on the ribs..." With that, everyone feasted under the noontime sun, talk was lively, the foods delicious and filling, and the juice brought with them ice cold and refreshing.

"Boy, I'm stuffed." Keiichi patted his stomach. "That unagi really was something."

"Shion made it special," Satoshi replied. "Isn't that right, my sweet?" Shion gave a play punch in arm in reply and hugged her boyfriend.

"Don't flatter me, Satoshi-kun." She tussled his hair lovingly. "You know I'm good."

"What a lovely day, right, Rika?" Satoko faced Rika as they lay on the grass.

"It sure is." Then Rika gave a look at Rena, who watched the village below at the Overlook. She wanted to voice out about last night but why spoil a perfectly good day? It can wait until tomorrow.

Rena never felt any happier as she looked out of the village. Much has changed since last year. There was no suspicion or ominous forbidding whose atmosphere hung heavily in the village. Ever since Takano was arrested in the summer of June 1983, her home has known true peace for the very first time. Life had become better for everyone. No more fights, no more murders, no more loops throughout time. Yet... And yet... there was a melancholy that she could not explain, especially after she looked at the items in her van, her unknown inheritance. Why'd she have them? How did her mother possess them? The answers could not be found looking down at the village. She'll have to start somewhere.

"Hey, Rena-chan," Mion called out. "Let's play hide-and-seek. And guess who's the it~?"

Rena answered with an excited chime, "Keiichi-kun~?"

"That's right."

Keiichi at that was fuming. "Ah, this is humiliating. I should not have taken that bet with Satoko..." Rena joined her friends, not noticing a dark sedan making its way to village in the direction of the Sonozaki mansion.

A/N: The Boland Amendment was three US legislative amendments between 1982 to 1984 which restricted overt American support to the contras fighting the Sandinista regime of Nicaragua. The amendment gained support from the American public, who refused to see tax dollars used to support the contras. This prompted the Reagan Administration to support a scheme which would later be known as the Iran-Contra scandal, an attempt to kill two birds with one stone by securing the release of seven American hostages held by the Hezbollah through supplying weapons to their chief sponsor, Iran, and use the proceeds to fund the contras. Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council was in charge of drastically modifying the plan in late 1985.

In the Black Ops menu, you can access the Central Intelligence Agency Data System in the menu if you can shake of your restraints, To access it, the player will need to enter a valid user and password combination for the CIA data system. Fortunately, CoD wiki has the relevant information for me. It includes data on a person which according to a fringe theory could be Alex Mason's mother, Kristina Raskova, a GRU operative who is a CIA double agent and Weaver's niece.

It's true that a president can pardon anyone and that the Justice Department really has an office for that, the Office of Pardon Attorney. And also, the first use of a satellite-routed phone call was by Lyndon Johnson in 1962 through the Telstar 1 commercial communications satellite, launched five years after Sputnik. He Fred Kappel on the Earth Station at Andover, Maine, along with 400 other telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television transmissions.. While largely successful, the technology fell victim to the Starfish Prime atmospheric nuclear tests, followed by the Soviet Union's Project K, which energized the Van Allen Belt, the resulting electromagnetic pulse overwhelmed its fragile transistors. After some success in bringing it back online, Telstar 1 went out of service in 1963. I believe that my heroes should be familiar with that of history and technology.

Reznov may not have grown to be the badass we came to know if he not his first taste of battle. Since it implied he was a native to Stalingrad despite being born in Petrograd(subsequently Leningrad before reverting to St. Petersburg after the Union's fall), his first battle would the Second Battle of Kharkov, which ended in failure due to a mixture of overconfidence, hasty training and logistics, and poor planning and intelligence on part of Stalin and the Red Army STAVKA. I made Reznov softer in their as he was naturally a bit of rookie before Stalingrad.

Source: Wikipedia, Smithsonian Magazine.