I opened my eyes along with my senses, which were immediately attacked by the smell of sweat and dirt, and loud shouts were heard. My eyes were slowly beginning to adjust, when suddenly I felt a tug at my clothes. I felt the weight of a body on top of me and I wriggled, trying to get away.
The shape of a gruff man formed and slowly each detail came into place. I began to squirm even more trying to escape, but the man held me down, beginning to rip at my shirt.
But suddenly another man came up from behind him. Before I could even cry for help, the man answered my prayers, pulling at the Gruff Man's collar, dragging him off of me.
Immediately he threw his fist into the Gruff Man's face. I quickly got up, and without looking back, I hid for somewhere dark.
I didn't know where I was, so I kept my face down, never daring to look into the eyes of the other men I passed.
I didn't think many noticed me fortunately. I saw a small corner, with few crates surrounding the side. I quickly went there and sat down, huddling up and trying to make myself as small as possible. I tried to figure out what was happening.
First of all... Who was I? I glanced a tad bit at my clothes. I immediately knew I was a female. I wore a I wore a tight-fitting dress that went down to my knees. It was white with short sleeves and lace at the collar.
I continued to stare, in awe of my own confusion. How could I not know who I was? I couldn't have just randomly be put in this place without a reason.
But I didn't even know where I was.
I looked around me quickly. From the looks of it, I would guess I was in a prison. Men in uniform walked around, keeping an eye on the prisoners.
I continued to think deeply on it until the man who saved me walked by quickly, glancing around.
I got a chance to look at him. He was tall, and wore a thick coat and his head was covered. His untrimmed goatee looked untamed from months of neglect along with his hair, which peeked out here and there from his hat.
Suddenly, his eyes found mine, and my body went numb. What would he do?
He glanced around again before walking over to me. And when he spoke, his voice was covered with a thick Russian accent that was both calming and exciting at the same time. "Miss, what in Mother Russia's name are you doing in this type of place...?"
I didn't quite know what to say, for I didn't even know myself. I whispered, "I don't know..."
He stared into my eyes, trying to figure out the answer that even I wanted to know. He took off his jacket and handed it to me.
"Put this on, Miss... what is your name...?"
Again I didn't know what to say. "I don't know..." I repeated myself, worried of what he would think.
The man scratched his covered head as I put the jacket on. He looked at me again, thinking deeply. He glanced at my dress. "You're going to need a pair of trousers if you want to fit in here." He said, smiling a bit.
I smiled back weakly.
"Follow me,." He instructed "and keep your head down, don't look anybody in the eye." I did as I was told, and followed him until we got to a clearing. where a another man stood waiting.
"Reznov." The man grinned. "You ready?"
Reznov. I now had some sort of title for my savior. But who was this other man?
"As ready as I'll ever be, Mason."
Reznov grinned. He glanced back at me. "Until I say otherwise, keep in the shadows and stay hidden."
Mason glanced at me, and his eyes fixed on me, in confusion. I stared back for a few seconds, but then did as I was told. I stood in the shadows of the room, watching them as they suddenly began to fight.
I wasn't sure what was going on, but it surely attracted a large group of men. They crowded in a circle around them cheering. One almost backed into me, his lack of hygiene reeked and attacked my nose. I backed up against the wall as much as possible.
A guard came up, attempting to stop the fight. But the next thing I knew, he was hitting Reznov and Mason quickly attacked the guard, knocking him out.
Mason grinned and helped Reznov up.
"Mason," he grinned. "Every journey begins with a small step..."
Mason smiled back as Reznov grabbed the keys from the fallen guards belt.
He raised the keys above his head. "THIS IS STEP ONE!" Reznov yelled as the other prisoners cheered, giving my skin goose bumps.
The prisoners ran through the tunnels, heading towards their freedom. Reznov threw a knife to Mason, telling him to take down the guards. After Mason left, it was only Reznov and I.
He looked at me and smiled, walking over. He took my right hand and shook it in greetings, and I realized he was also putting a knife into my possession.
"Viktor Reznov, at your service." He grinned vibrantly.
I smiled back, feeling suddenly a bit better.
He began to go into the tunnels yelling, "NEXT STEP, VORKUTA!"
I glanced at my bare legs and then at the guard lying on the floor.
I walked through the tunnels, glancing at the people taking down the guards. Strangely enough, all this bloodshed didn't bother me at all.
I finally reached Reznov, who was trying to get the elevator open and going. He looked over at me and chuckled.
"Very good, Miss." He complimented.
I had stolen the guard's pants, belts, and boots, and covered my hair with his hat (after any symbols were ripped off).
The pants were of course too large, as were the boots, but the belt held the large pants to my much smaller waist and the ends of the pants were tucked into the boots. The size of the boots I would just have to deal with.
The point was, I wouldn't get very far in a dress and pumps. Therefore I had simply adjusted.
The large metal elevator opened, and people quickly got in. I didn't want to get left behind so I threw myself in with the men.
One man glanced at Mason and I, then spoke to Reznov.
"You trust these Americans?"
Reznov nodded. "With my life." he said. "We are not so different. We are all soldiers... Without an army. Betrayed. Forgotten. Abandoned. In Vorkuta, we are all brothers."
Most of the other men nodded in agreement and with high spirits.
Viktor looked up at Sergei, a monstrous size of a man. "Sergei, you know what to do." He nodded in understanding.
As soon as we reached the floor, the door opened and Sergei jumped into action... by shoving an axe into a guard's back.
From my throat a cheer erupted immediately, which was followed by the cheers of the men surrounding me. The men ran forward and Reznov stopped at the guard's body.
"Here Miss, you must protect yourself... do you know how to use one of these?" He said, grabbing the guard's gun and handing it to me.
I looked down at it.
"Come on _, I'll show you how to use one of these!" A familiar face said, smiling down at me. I smiled back and followed him into the field, where he set up all of our empty cola bottles. He handed me a sleek pistol.
A woman's voice yelled from behind. "Joseph, are you sure she is ready for this?"
He glanced over his shoulder with a big grin. "Of course she is, she is 'gunna be taught by the best, right?"
"You know how to use one of these?" A teenage boy with rebellious hair asked me. He had a cigarette hanging in his mouth as he spoke, in which he did well from years of practice. He handed me a pistol, one he had stolen from his stepdad.
He also handed his cigarette to me. I put it to my lips and grinned. After I breathed out the smoke I spoke. "Course I do. I learned from the best..." I aimed the pistol at the empty beer bottle he had left in the grass and shot it into several pieces.
"Miss...?" Reznov interrupted my thoughts. I gasped and glanced up at him, my head feeling dizzy.
I restrained myself from stumbling and scratched my head. "Sorry." I looked back down at the gun he was holding out to me. "Yes, I do know how to use a pistol... I think..." I took from him and aimed it at the guard for practice, rememorizing the familiar feel of metal in my hands.
Mason, who was still there, spoke up. "Come on, let's catch up with the others."
Then all there was to see was bloodshed as we traveled our way out of the prison. I shot guards down, and surprisingly it never phased me once that I was killing people... for some reason it just seemed normal.
Then finally, we reached sunlight. We ran out into a large area and Reznov pulled us behind a metal cart. Him and Sergei pushed it as Mason and I protected them from the guards who shot at us.
Eventually we reached another room, where we found better guns. Reznov told Mason to take down a nearby helicopter with a harpoon, and then Mason ran outside. I glanced at Reznov, then back at Mason.
"Are you ok, Miss?" Reznov asked me.
"Yes, thank you... Mr. Reznov..." I answered awkwardly. He chuckled.
"Just call me Viktor."
I smiled and nodded as Mason shot the harpoon into the side of the helicopter, making it run into the side of another building.
And so on we fought. I stayed close to Reznov and Mason and shot every guard I saw. Dodging explosions and gunshots seemed strangely normal to me, as it obviously did to my... friends...? But then again, they were probably soldiers of some type, so they were used to this. But what was I?
And into another room we entered, when Reznov grinned.
We all got on separate ones, ready to go. And through glass we crashed through and onto a dirt road. I still held my gun and tried to shoot guards as we flew away from the Hell named Vorkuta.
We stole a truck with a mounted machine gun in the back, from a couple of guards and hopped on it. Reznov drove and Mason used the machine gun. I sat in the passenger's seat and stuck my head out the window trying to shoot people. The wind blew off my hat and I felt my hair become loose.
A train went by, and Reznov grabbed my shoulder. "Miss.! Jump when I tell you to!" He said as I glanced out the window to the train roaring by. Mason suddenly flew across the gap between the train and us. He landed in a boxcar, and after regaining his foot, he held his hand out.
"Jump Miss, jump!"
My heart pounded as I felt Reznov give me a quick shove out of the truck and my feet weakly pushed off the truck and into the air.
I thought I would miss the train, and I almost did. But Mason grabbed my right hand and held on tight even though my feet didn't make the boxcar floor. My feet dangled close to the rocky ground rushing by.
I heard Reznov yelling, but wasn't sure what he said. All I know is that I could feel the wind pulling my body towards the treacherous wheels of the train.
But Mason managed to get me into the boxcar and we fell onto the floor, the two of us gasping for air. My sweaty palms pushed me off the ground immediately so I could try to help Reznov.
But I didn't get a chance to help him.
He leapt for all he could but it wasn't enough.
The world was in slow motion as the blood splattered across the boxcars.
"VIKTOR!" I screamed uselessly. My mind was spinning as Mason pulled me back down to the wooden floor. I tried to get back up but he held me close to him. I was powerless.
"Miss..." Mason said calmly. "It's ok! He'll be fine!"
I clutched onto his jacket. "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN? HE JUST DIED FOR GOD'S SAKES! HE'S DEAD!" Tears ran down my face insanely.
Mason stared at me. "He's fine. Don't worry, he was captain of his army, he'll find a way out."
I stared back at him, my breath raspy and quick. "B-but he-"
He laid me down on the side of the boxcar.
"He died I swear!" I protested as I tried to get up.
He glanced back at me. "He's fine Miss. Vorkuta can fuck with your mind a lot, just try to rest."
I laid back down and stared at the ceiling, feeling the vibrations of the railroad tracks underneath me. I tried to make sense of all that had happened. And soon enough, I was asleep.