Chapter 13

A black van pulled into the area and a man dressed in the same uniform as Lars stepped out. He spotted his leader kneeling beside a brunette and went over to join them. "Sir," he saluted, "The medics have arrived."

Lars, while still looking down at Sergei, whispered, "He may not make it in time. Tougo, I'll need you to transport him to our current headquarters immediately."

Asking no questions, the Japanese man nodded and together, both he and Lars loaded Sergei into the van while the other two medics checked the lifeless bodies of the SPETSNAZ military. Seeing as how they were already long deceased, they decided it was best to leave them and let their own group take care of the bodies.

Once they secured Sergei's body to a seat, Lars shut the door and placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Have a nice drive, Tougo."

Just as Tougo was about to enter the car, Anna, who hadn't spoken since Lars' arrival, spoke up. "Wait a minute," she called to Tougo, her haughty tone returning, "I'm going with you."

Lars looked at her and frowned. He needed to learn about the happenings concerning Jin and needed some headway. With her friend's injuries, he doubted he would have another time to speak with her. Not only that but he didn't necessarily want her in the way of the medics' work. "Actually," he said gently, "I'd prefer it if you ride with me in my car."

Anna raised a slender eyebrow. "You're not hitting on me, are you handsome?"

Lars gave a gentle smile in return. "I'd be a fool if I were. After all, I don't seem to want to get on your friend's bad side, now would I?"

She smiled. "No, I guess not. But still, I have to be there for him if he happens to die. At least that way," she began to mutter to herself, "I can apologize." Without saying anymore, she headed into the black van while Lars looked on.

Tougo looked at Lars and whispered, "Should I…?"

"Just go on, Tougo. I'll find another time to speak with her." Lars approved as he began walking off to his own car.

When they left, leaving the streets deserted, Aleksander stepped out of his hiding place and looked at the mess that had once been a decent part of the city. He looked at the ruined body of his own soldiers and snarled. With all his frustration, he kicked the nearest body and yelled, "You idiots! We had Sergei in our grasp and you failed!"

As Tougo drove on down the road, the medics were busily working on Sergei in the back. Within the short time span, they had managed to remove the bullets and were at the moment stitching him up. Anna watched from the side and began to realize that SPETSNAZ had never really wanted to kill him at all. His injuries were indeed severe, but that was only because of the many bullets he had received. They had shot him in areas that were quick to heal. If they had truly wanted to kill him, then she was positive at least one soldier would have a decent enough aim to go for the head even if he were running. Aleksander really didn't want to lose his war machine, did he?

As Sergei was getting stitched up, his mind was wandering in a dreamworld.

He was entering his home after a long day's work. His living room was different than it was in reality. In this room family pictures lined the walls. As he stared at a picture that hung over the mantle, a beautiful figure stepped out of the kitchen and it was his wife. Behind her was a little boy, his son.

"Nikolai," his wife said, "Look, Daddy's home."

The young boy looked up to see Sergei and almost immediately he came running to wrap his arms around his father's legs.

Sergei picked the child up in one swoop and walked over to his wife who greeted him with a sweet kiss to the lips. "Welcome home, dear," she said. "I missed you."

With his son still latching onto him, Sergei pulled his wife into an embrace and smiled. He was happy…

However, as the hug continued, he suddenly felt his family's cling to him weaken. As he pulled away, both his wife and child collapsed to the floor, becoming cold lifeless corpses. He stepped back in shock and just as he did so, the lovely room was contorted and twisted until it became a cold drab building he recognized as the interior of the SPETSNAZ headquarters.

He, along with his family's corpses, stood alone in this place until suddenly he heard footsteps begin approaching him. Turning around, he discovered it was Aleksander and Mikhail, both of them wearing a smug look on their faces.

"What, Sergei? You actually think you can live a happy life like this?" Aleksander started. "Don't delude yourself. Deep down you're just a machine, a cold-blooded, heartless creature who has never looked at another person and felt any true feelings towards them. Because you know, just like the rest of us, a person's never done any good for you."

"Yeah, Dragunov," Mikhail said with a disgusting smirk on his face. "Even if you were to ever fall in love, how long would you be able to stay with that person? As soon as you die, you guys will never see each other again. You might as well get use to me. After all, we're both destined for hell."

The scenery transformed once again and this time Sergei found himself surrounded by fire. He stepped back to avoid some flames and soon felt a scorching, unbearable pain come from his back. Looking down at his stomach, he found that a spike had impaled him from behind.

"Sergei…" He heard a familiar voice call his name. Turning toward the voice he found it was Anna. She was standing in a field of flames, weakened and dripping blood. Before Sergei could comprehend what had happened, her body caught on fire, emitting a scream from her.

"Anna…" He opened his eyes and found himself in an unfamiliar room surrounded by people equally familiar. He was attached to all sorts of tubes and suctions and he was beginning to think that he was back in SPETSNAZ until he spotted Anna amidst all the faces.

"Well look who's awake," she teased, running a finger along his jawline.

He gently reached for her hand to reassure himself that she was real. The warmth it admitted was no lie. It was all just a dream he had.

The medics around him gave a sigh of relief and stepped back. "Thank goodness," one of them muttered. "One of you, go inform Commander Lars about this." A young female medic gave a nod and exited the room, scurrying to find Lars. Once she was gone, the other doctors began to slowly leave the room as well, allowing Anna some alone time with Sergei.

Once she was sure they weren't going to be interrupted, Anna plopped down into a seat at his bedside and pinched his cold cheek. "You're such a reckless idiot, aren't you?" Sergei passed her a confused glance as she smiled. "You go through all this trouble just for my sake…How am I expected to leave you if you keep doing this?"

She was back to teasing him which made his insides warm up. He squeezed her hand even harder than before and wanted to ask her so many questions, but as usual, he didn't feel like speaking. He would prefer to enjoy her presence now than receive answers on what had just recently occurred.

Anna leaned her body over his and gave him a wet kiss to the lips. Sergei wrapped his arms around her, deepening the kiss. When she pulled away, she whispered into his ear, "When you get better, I promise I'll reward you."

Their sweet moment was interrupted by the sandy blonde who stood at the entrance, clearing his throat. "Ahem," he began, "I'm sorry to ruin such a moment, but I have some questions to ask if you wouldn't mind."

Without either of them answering, Lars let himself in and planted himself at the chair down by the foot of the bed. "I'm sure you both are wondering where you are so I'll be brief. You're in the current headquarters of Yggdrasil, a rebel force against the Mishima Zaibatsu. And I, Lars Alexandersson, am the leader." He paused and studied both of their faces, hoping they knew what he wanted out of them. "With Jin running amuck and causing chaos like he is, it's our duty to subdue him and create… 'peace'."

"And," Anna started, "you want to know if we know anything about him?"

"Not specifically him in general, but rather why he attacked and if possible, any leeway on where he's headed next."

Anna turned to Sergei as he stared at Lars. Slowly he opened his mouth and began speaking in his deep tone, "I know nothing of Jin Kazuma other than that he attacked SPETSNAZ for his own purpose of eliminating any obstacles."

"SPETSNAZ…?" Lars repeated.

"They've been interfering with Jin's plans since he took over the Mishima Zaibatsu."

"Is that so? However, it seemed odd to find all of them dead if they expected Jin to attack. After all, didn't they blockade that part of the city to prevent any civilians from getting hurt?"

Sergei narrowed his eyes. "Aleksander doesn't do things for the sake of the people. He blockaded that part of the city to prevent SPETSNAZ's image from being sullied when he attempted to capture the two of us."

Confused now, Lars passed the two of them a perturbed look and asked, "Capture you two?"

Although it was odd for Sergei to be so…open with another human being, Lars held a sort of air that Sergei seemed to trust. Despite being not much older or younger than him, the Swede had managed to persuade the hearts of hundreds to join his rebellion against an entire organization through sheer charisma. Perhaps it was that charisma that led to this trust or perhaps it was the fact that Sergei was desperate, but either way, Sergei began to explain his current predicament to Lars, shocking Anna with his directness.

Aleksander arrived back at SPETSNAZ headquarters after he called for reinforcements to come pick him up and clear up the bodies. The only thing he was grateful for during this event was that although Jin had killed his entire regime, the attack set up an excuse as to why the city had been evacuated. They wanted to protect them from the Mishima Zaibatsu, is what the civilians would think.

He entered his office where he found his big chair being occupied by an all too familiar man. He let out a sigh and settled down on his sofa meant usually for guests. He wasn't in the mood to deal with Mikhail and his problems just yet. Not after his disappointing ordeal at least.

The two sat in silence until at last, Mikhail's gruff voice mockingly asked, "So how did it go? Came back empty-handed I see."

"Enough Mikhail. I'm not in the mood." Aleksander replied tiredly.

Mikhail rose from his seat and made his way over to the aged man. Hovering over him he smirked. "Tsk, tsk, tsk…You sure do fail a lot. You had an entire regime with you and you still failed to catch one man."

At this comment, Aleksander's blood began to boil. "And what would you have done when Kazuma's soldiers came storming in to kill us all?"

"You played with him for too long, Aleksander," Mikhail continued. "You shouldn't have killed Kliment…That would've spared you a few seconds."

"As if you're one to talk about 'not playing' with the enemy." Aleksander retorted.

As if he had never heard him, Mikhail continued speaking. "I believe you're getting a little too old for this position, Aleksander. Maybe it's about that time where you consider getting replaced."

The older man looked up at his soldier. "What are you talking about?" He watched as Mikhail began to pull out a gun from its holster, causing him to begin to panic. Rising to his feet he took a few steps back. "W-What are you doing Mikhail?"

"The guys and I have been talking about it and we think it's time a change takes place." He aimed the pistol at Aleksander's forehead. "But they did think that we should give you a fair chance before you get replaced." Aleksander remained silent as Mikhail began to explain. "You see, this pistol holds up to six bullets, but only one is in. You get the idea, right? Well, I'll fire it three times and we'll see how lucky you are."

"Mikhail, I'm warning you, don't do this! I'll give you what you want."

Mikhail smiled. "So you'll just shoot yourself for me? That wouldn't be fun."Aleksander's face froze. What had brought upon this change in him? "Now," Mikhail began, "let's begin." Without warning, he pulled the trigger. Nothing. "So far so good," he commented. "How 'bout the second time?"

Aleksander turned his eyes to the red button just to his left which in turn caught Mikhail's attention. "Oh? You wanna' press this button? Here, I'll help you." Just as he said, the soldier clicked the button, making the phone in his pocket ring. "Did you forget, Boss, that the button locates only to my phone?" Seeing his superior's face pale made him burst out laughing. "See? Now you're even getting Alzheimer's! It really is your time!"

As his laughing slowly died down, he wiped a tear from his eye and resumed his task. "Now, where were we? Oh yes, the second chance. Here goes…" Once again he pulled the trigger and fortunately for Aleksander, it was once again empty.

Mikhail, like a child, pouted and looked into the barrel. "Boy, you're lucky. Well, you know what they say, 'Third time's the charm.'"

"Please don't do this Mikhail," Aleksander begged. "Please, s—"

Ignoring the pleas of his boss, Mikhail pulled the trigger and…BANG!

Aleksander slumped to the floor, dead. Mikhail looked into his pistol, the part which held the ammo, and smirked. "Well lookee here. I had put in four bullets. My bad…Father…" Casually he planted himself back into the big chair and looked out at the snowy streets below. Everything looked so beautiful under this grey, drab sky and the future of SPETSNAZ looked even better…

Author's Notes: Ta-Dah! And there was Chapter 13! I was contemplating where I should end this chapter since I had some other things I wanted to include, but I thought that Mikhail taking control of SPETSNAZ was a good place to stop. What awaits Sergei now…?