Chapter Two: The Soviet Union.
Commander Alexei Yeltin, accompanied by five conscripts, examined the village where Futuretech had previously preyed on for test subjects. As he walked, the peasants came out, overjoyed for a chance to meet the hero who had saved them from the capitalist corporation.
"Sir! Please! If you would accept this..."
"You saved my son! They were about to test on him! Please, take this as a token of my gratitude..."
It was one of the few times where he could be proud of what he had done since the Union's loss of the war. A few minutes later, he walked back into the building that the remnants of the Soviet army were using. With the Allied nations retreating from Soviet territory, they were now free to rebuild the Union to its former glory. With the destruction of the Sigma Harmonizer, Alexei Yeltin was officially cleared of anything the Allies attempted to charge on him in order to have him imprisoned. Although he was an officer, unlike his comrades Zhana and Krukov – that arrogant dog – he had not been arrested. He never knew why.
As he entered the headquarters, his communications officer, Dasha, handed him a message. "It's from the Americans." she reported.
Reading the message, he muttered. "To General Alexei Yeltin, you are hereby summoned to the international court in Geneva to testify against the actions of Futuretech board member Thornley regarding his actions involving the Sigma Harmonizer. The dates and locations are as follows..."
and on and on it went, with unnecessarily complicated wording typical of Capitalist messages, until finally, it read:
"Sincerely, Field Marshal Bingham, Commander in Chief of Allied Forces."
Putting down the paper, he thought about it. Perhaps he could take the time to meet with the Allied leaders. He had never agreed with the Soviet Leadership on their philosophy of world conquest; instead he was a firm believer in "communism in one country". Whether the other nations joined them in their revolution should have been completely their choice; even if they did not they should have been partners, not enemies.
"Dasha," he said after a few moments of silence, "Ready my Dreadnought. We will be taking a trip to Geneva."
"Comrade General, surely you cannot be serious." Dasha asked.
"...He is in Geneva as well. It will be an excellent chance for Soviet Russia to move on."
As the dreadnought pulled into the harbour, it still amazed Alexei that the day would come when he was not sailing into Geneva with the missiles on his ship ready to launch in order to lead an assault against it. Having been foretold of his arrival, several Allied escorts stood at attention on the dock, with the Soviet Sailors and the allied troops eyeing each other with tension in their eyes.
"Peace, comrades." Alexei said to the crewmen as he disembarked. The allied officer there immediately took him to the International Criminal Court, and Alexei still suspected whether it was a trick to arrest him instead. However, he relaxed as he was taken to a well prepared waiting room, filled with plush couches, fine wine and several books.
"Wait here until you are called." the officer instructed him, then left and shut the door, leaving him alone in the waiting room. Examining the books, he gave a sad smile as he saw a copy of the "Communist Manifesto."
"Marx, if only you knew just where your idea lead to..."
Just then, there was the sound of a door closing and a young man in the uniform of an Allied Officer entered. "Ah, you must be the Soviet Commander who destroyed the Sigma Harmonizer." the Allied Officer said. "Nice to meet you." He offered his hand.
Alexei hesitated, then took his hand. The American had a strong shake. "Alexei Yeltsin. General of the Soviet Union by default, I suppose." he said as an introduction.
"Nice to meet you, General. I'm Commander Andrew Garret, hopeful for America's presidency."
Alexei raised his eyebrows. This young man, who seemed so idealistic, hoped to become the next leader of the corrupt capitalist nation? If he recalled correctly, America's election was about a month away. "What would someone like you be doing here?"
"They called me to give testimony on military information, since the judges knew nothing about Futuretech's armies and military facts. I suppose you're here to testify as well?"
"Yes." Alexi nodded. "I'm surprised that I'm here as witness, not defendant."
"Well..." Andrew admitted. "There was a reason why we never arrested you. You see..." he looked around, then said: "We knew that of the Soviet Leadership, you were the one most willing for peace. We were hoping that you would lead your nation to a new age of harmony, just as I hope to lead mine."
Alexei was stunned for a few moments. A new age of harmony? He had advocated ending the war, but to bring about a new age...
and leading the Soviet Union! His mind swam at that single thought.
"...I will take what you have said. Thank you for telling me this." Just then, the guard knocked on the door. "General Alexei Yeltsin? The court is ready for you." The General nodded and turned to the American Commander one last time.
"Farewell, General." Andrew said with a smile. "I hope we meet again as leaders of our respective nations."
"I hope so too. Until next time... comrade." Alexei said, returning the smile as he turned and entered the court.
Perhaps the Americans were not as bad as he thought.
A few days later, when the trial of Thornley ended, he walked into another part of Geneva. This was a place he needed to go to confront someone.
"Prisoner number 001?" the guard asked dubiously. Why on earth would anyone want to visit him? "...very well, but you will require an armed escort." The General did not mind as four peacekeepers, fully armed, appeared and flanked him as he walked down the halls of the International Prison.
After a few minutes, he entered a chamber. Even though he was not supposed to be affected, through the uniform and the medals he could feel the chill of the cryo-chamber. There was a hiss, and the man he came to confront was thawed out for the visit.
With a hiss, the Capsule opened and the former Premier Cherdenko walked out.
"...Commander," he said, "what a pleasant surprise! Have you come to rescue me?" With that, the peacekeepers tensed, but Alexei shook his head. "I am General now. And... I have no desire to see you ever leave this place."
At this, Cherdenko's face hardened. "...you would leave me here? Me, who allowed you to rise the ranks!"
"You allowed me to rise only to use me as a puppet." Alexei hissed.
"You fool!" Cherdenko yelled. "I would have lead the soviet union to glory! It was my dream!"
"Your dream lead to the near collapse of the Soviet Union!" Alexei yelled back. "Leningrad and Moscow are in ruins! Natasha is dead, killed trying to launch you into space, for god's sakes! My good friends Oleg and Moskvin died trying to inherit your so-called 'dream' when they attacked the Empire in Vladivostok! And look! I tried to bring peace to the Soviet Union, even during the war, and now I'm still a free man while your and Krukov's zhopasare freezing in this prison!"
Everyone was stunned. Cherdenko was stunned. The four peacekeepers were stunned. Yet, Alexei did not falter. "I came to see you one last time for a reason. I came here, on behalf of the Soviet Union, to confront her warlike past and to leave it behind. This is where I say goodbye, Cherdenko."
"You... you would leave me here?" the former premier asked, except this time, he was not angry, he was pleading.
"I have no use for a man of the past." Alexei said bluntly. "Your dream was to lead the Soviet Union to world domination. Keep dreaming in this chamber. I will lead the Soviet Union towards an era of peace. Dasvedanya, Cherdenko." he said. Turning, he nodded and the peacekeepers pushed a yelling and pleading Cherdenko back into the cryo prison to stay imprisoned. He walked out of the prison complex and headed back to his dreadnought. As it sailed back towards Moscow, he found new resolve.
"To you, comrade." Dasha toasted him and drank her wine. Setting it down, she continued. "The people want to meet their new premier." Nodding, Alexei opened the door and faced his future.
The trial was a month ago. Now, on the balcony of the rebuilt Kremlin, he faced the cheering Russians, all cheering for their new premier. It wasn't hard. As the only top official left in the Soviet Union who was not arrested or killed, he was free to take power and leave behind the title of "General" to become Premier Yeltsin.
Premier Yeltsin. He liked the sound of that.
Holding a hand to silence the crowd, he began his speech.
"Comrades. It has been a long struggle, but finally, the Soviet Union is back on it's feet. However, before we regain our power, there are several things I must address before we may take our place as a world power once more.
First. Our previous premier attempted to dominate the world with the might of Communism. That was wrong." He could see the people stunned to hear that, but he pressed on. "Communism is a system where we, the common men, learn to throw off our oppressors. Not our leaders, but our oppressors. Cherdenko corrupted that ideal and became the oppressor himself. I will not allow us to make the same mistake.
That brings me to my second topic, comrades. I am not an oppressor. I am a leader, and Marx, Engles, Lenin and I believe that we are all equal. On that note, each and every one of you have the right to speak. You have the right to believe I am doing something incorrectly. You have the right to say that you don't think I am doing a very good job. If any premier in the future attempts to tell you you do not have the right to criticize him, that he is above you, remember that we are all equal comrades, and that, sometimes, unfortunately, you have to fight to remain comrades.
I will lay out several policies for the Soviet Union, yet these will be policies of peace, not war. They are as follows..."
As he spoke, he could see hope re-enter the eyes of his soviet comrades. It would not stop here. He would take this power-hungry country and turn it to a path of peace. The Red Army would, once again, return to being a protector of the people, not an oppressor.
As he ended his speech, amidst the cheering and fireworks, he yelled out one last slogan.
"The future is ours, comrades!" he proclaimed, "The future is ours!"