|Molokov uses people as chess pawns (politicalchess) wrote in wariscoming,
@ 2012-02-16 12:03:00
|alexander molokov, svetlana sergievsky
Who: Molokov and Svetlana
What: Svetlana runs into an old friend on the street
Where: Streets of Lawrence
When: Afternoon of the 16th
Rating: Fairly low
Arriving in a strange town had not been on Molokov’s agenda. The flight was to go from Bangkok, Thailand to Moscow. He was not to suddenly find himself off of the plane in a strange city he had never laid eyes on. Perhaps something had been placed in his water or someone had skillfully injected him with a drug. Those were likely solutions. But he needed definite answers. As he wandered the streets of the city, he frowned as he noticed a few people speaking English (meaning there was a high chance he was in England or the United States) into devices held up to their ears like a telephone, but they were completely portable. How intriguing. Perhaps he had been drugged. Especially with all the strange car designs.
As he passed a newsstand, he paused and looked at the date on the newspaper. 2012? Kansas? How the devil had he gotten here? He straightened and adjusted his fedora. It was time he found out the truth. He began searching for a payphone to try and call a few of his English and American contacts. But there was nothing. No phone booths on corners like there should have been. Had he really gone over thirty years into the future? That seemed highly unlikely but at the moment, it was all he had to go on.
Svetlana was more than slightly confused by the latest turn of events that had taken place as of late. She and Anatoly had made some surprising headway in regards to their marriage despite Logan’s attempt to drive a wedge between them. It had been unexpected to be certain, yet that wasn’t exactly uncommon for them. Chess games that ended up with them once again teasing and flirting with one another after five years of silence and distance, conversations about who even knew what to the point they didn’t know what they were talking about yet followed along all the same. So really, she shouldn’t be that surprised by the events of Valentine’s Day.
With things slightly calmed down, at least, the Joker was dead and there wasn’t too much crazy going on, well, beyond future children showing up, Svetlana had decided to get some fresh air. Having told Anatoly she’d be back soon, the blond had ended up heading to the downtown area to go to a bookstore when she passed by a very familiar person. Oh, she didn’t have to even see his face, thanks to that alternate reality, she would know him no matter what. His scent, his posture, everything that made her skin crawl. True, she had been seeing him for eight months, but this was the first time she’d been this aware of his presence as she walked by.
Somehow managing to keep her breathing under control, Svetlana kept walking, praying that he wouldn’t notice her. She had done so well at avoiding him, at seeing him but him not talking to her. With everything that had been going on, the constant construction and deconstruction of her walls.. She was already dealing with the stress of PTSD in regards to the alternate reality, for him to finally come up to her? Mask in place, Svetlana kept walking, trying to make sure to blend in with the people on the street. He would not see her, he would not see her...
Molokov had just straightened from bending down to look at the newspaper and turned to the street. That was when he noticed a rather familiar gait. Only one person he knew of walked liked that. He would know that woman anywhere. Without a word he fell in step behind her, having a feeling she’d no doubt feel it. After all, many people in Soviet Russia grew crazy wary of being followed. So he had no doubt she’d feel him stalking her. So he needed to make sure she didn’t break away from him.
She could have answers that he needed of how they had gotten there. He quickened his pace just enough to fall in step beside her before grabbing her arm by the elbow and tugging her to a stop by a building.
“Svetlana. Surprising to see you here in America,” he said by way of greeting, a smile on his face that didn’t meet his eyes. He stared at her, his eyes measuring her body language. Thankfully not many Americans seemed a fan of speaking Russian so he didn’t have to worry about someone listening in on their private conversation.
Oh, Svetlana knew she was being followed. Following Anatoly’s defection, it had gotten worse which meant she always knew the second that someone fell in step behind her. And she knew the way he walked. While she didn’t quicken her pace, didn’t show anything, Svetlana was indeed looking for a way to get lost in the crowd and lose him. But before she could do that, his pace quickened and he had a hold of her elbow and was tugging her to a stop.
“People generally frown upon such behavior here.”
That was the only response she gave him at the moment, setting a glare on the man who ruined her life, threatened her family and in the alternate reality had forced her to sleep with him and be Anatoly’s challenger with her children’s lives on the line. If she hadn’t despised the bastard before, well, she despised him even more since that particular incident. Pulling her arm free, Svetlana kept her glare on Molokov, not even flinching.
Molokov just smirked at her glare. “Is that any way to speak to an old friend, Svetlana?” He reached up and adjusted his hat before returning his gaze to her. “Though I am curious as to how we ended up here. Last time I checked, we were in 1980 on our way home from Bangkok.”
He would see if Svetlana knew about how this came to pass. If she did, he would get answers from her. If she didn’t, he would get what answers he could from her then plan accordingly. Either way, he was going to get the information. It really would be best if Svetlana agreed to play it the easy way but women were unpredictable. At least, Svetlana Sergievsky was unpredictable in that aspect. Unless her family was being threatened of course. Then she behaved. Mostly.
“So, care to shed light on this little predicament we’re in now?”
“You are hardly an old friend to me and no one understands what we are saying so there is no need for pretense.”
Why was he asking this? He knew how they came to be here. He had been there as long as she and Anatoly had been. Just because no one else had noticed him didn’t mean that Svetlana hadn’t. She was just more apt at spotting him because of the constant fear she had of him once again finding a way to destroy her family. Threatening Mikhail following Erik’s death, the threat on the girls. The people who followed her, attacked her. She was always on guard for him. It was why not being warned more of Moriarty had upset her so much. Had she known who he was beyond a name, she would have kept him from seeing the post. She knew how to be careful.
But fine, he wanted to play the ‘Oh I’ve just arrived through a Biblical Seal of Hell and have no idea what I’m doing’ game then she’d let him play it. No need for him to know that she knew the truth.
“It is not as if you will believe me, but fine. For whatever reason, one of the seals covering Hell, the 33rd one if you wishto be specific, decided to drag you to a different world than our own. It’s similar enough to our own but obviously in the future.” Svetlana had the strongest urge to smirk at him and inform him that the Soviet Union had fallen but she’d hold off on that. After all, she had to give him information. The basics, but still.
“Either way, we’re in the middle of the Biblical Apocalypse. You know what that is, correct? I mean, with religion underground back in Moscow because of the censorship, I’m uncertain on just what references you would know.”
Okay, so maybe sassing him wasn’t the best of ideas, but the fact remained, he had no power here if he actually was new though she doubted that immensely. Oh she would still be wary of him, she would always be wary of him but with everything the bastard had put her through, she was going to have this one moment even as her stomach was completely knotted and her mind in a complete panic. What she wanted to do was escape, to make sure her family was safe and lock herself in the complex. But to do that would be to give Molokov power over her and she wouldn’t do that. She refused to do that. So she remained as she was, the ice queen persona firmly in place. Oh, he knew it. It was how she always held herself in his presence or in front of cameras on the rare occasion he felt it necessary for her to make a statement. Revealing nothing, every word perfectly chosen to keep her inner most feelings hidden.
“There is no way back unless the Seal decides to send you back, so you’re stuck here.” They all were. But she wasn’t going to tell him about the complex. There was no way she would let that bastard near her family if she could help it. She’d have to ask for help, something she was loathe to do, but in this instance, she would. Freddie had promised her when she first showed up that they wouldn’t let anything happen to her family and for whatever reason, she trusted him. He’d been there longer, he knew the people. If they had a way to keep Molokov from her family, Svetlana would bite her tongue and swallow her pride. She’d already sacrificed everything else for them, she would do that as well.
“You wound me Svetlana. We’ve known each other for how many years? If we aren’t friends then what would you call us?” he returned, the pleasant grin never leaving his face. As he listened to her, his eyes narrowed some. What kind of lies were these? And then she went about sassing one of the great nations. His nation that he had grown up loving.
“Of course I know what the Apocalypse is, Svetlana. There’s religion in our great nation. But if you expect me to believe that some mythical seal dropped me here on a whim, you are sadly mistaken.” His eyes lost their charm and grew dangerous. “Do I really have to resort to threatening your family for the truth, Svetlana? I had hoped we were past all of this.” He could ignore the sass she had given him. He was use to it after all. But he didn’t like it when people lied to him. So if he had to resort to threats of violence against her family to make her behave, so be it.
“Now, shall we try this again with the truth or do things need to get ugly?” he snapped darkly.
And there were the threats. Typical. But the problem was that she was telling the truth. Not that Molokov knew how to read her, she made certain he couldn’t because she despised the man so much. But that didn’t mean she’d lie when she knew he’d threaten her family. As if she’d gamble their lives away. It was the only reason she didn’t comment on religion in the Soviet Union. Because while it was there, it was discouraged and often prosecuted against.
“No, you don’t because I am telling you the truth. How else would you explain suddenly showing up in the year 2012 in Lawrence, Kansas of all places?”
Really, if he had a better explanation for that, she was all ears. She knew the truth, of course, she had been here long enough to know that there really was a mystical seal that decided to ruin people’s lives on a whim, but it also allowed people second chances. To show the good of humanity in a fight where it was on the brink of destruction. That was Freddie’s theory on her and her daughters being there, people like them without super powers and such. It made sense in a round about way. But how to make Molokov see that without revealing the complex? The information post gave that bit away... And she didn’t want him on the boards. This was a difficult situation to get out of. She had to protect her family, though. Above all, she had to protect her family.
Molokov was good at telling when people were lying to him. But with Svetlana it was hard to do. She had perfected an ice queen persona while in public. And given how often he had dragged her in front of cameras for over five years? Oh yes. She was good at hiding things.
“A ruse. Drugged perhaps,” he returned calmly. He rubbed his chin in thought as he processed what Svetlana had told him. If she was telling the truth, then this really was the future. “I sincerely hope you are telling the truth, Svetlana.” He pulled his hat off and ran his hand through his dark hair. He needed a place to stay. A place to make his papers and a way to reestablish his contacts and web of informants if this truly was the future.
“Is there anything else I should know about, sweet Svetlana? Is your charming rule breaking husband here by chance?” he asked. Oh he still needed to deal with Anatoly winning that chess match in Bangkok. More specifically, he had to make Svetlana realize the cost of failing to convince her husband to lose the match. After all, even as a robotized chess player Anatoly still listened somewhat to Svetlana.
Was there anything else he should know about? Well there was the whole possession thing. Oh she really didn’t want that bastard to be possessed. But with the amulets being kept at the complex... And the damn communication boards. She could hope he wouldn’t discover those, that he’d ignore the computers but if there was one thing that could be said about Molokov, it was that he was resourceful. He would find a way to survive, to learn and then he’d discover the boards and the complex...
“A very elaborate ruse, then. Changing all of the newspapers to have the year 2012, to have brand new technology in the form of mobile phones, the fashions. Please. You travel far more than I do and you know that this is not the clothing that was around in 1980.”
She hated him. He always put her in this position. Trying to defy him yet knowing he’d find a way to beat her. It was why she’d been so mad at Anatoly, claiming to have won to have power over Molokov when he returned, forgetting that the man would always win in the end. No matter what, Molokov would always win. At least, he would in Russia in 1980. But in Kansas in the year 2012? She wasn’t so certain. If he hadn’t already built up his contacts then that meant he currently had no power and if she warned people, wouldn’t get power. Then again, Moriarty had plenty of pull despite people keeping him out of things now that they knew the truth.
“You will want to find protection against being possessed by demons.” Honestly, he could take the amulet from her and she wouldn’t care, she could always replace it. It would at least keep him from finding out about the complex for the time being. Not that she liked him asking about Anatoly. She still wore her wedding band, and she was currently wearing the replica bracelet that Anatoly had gotten her for their ten year wedding anniversary. The next question... did she mention the fictional thing? Well, Alexander Molokov probably wouldn’t set off any warning bells unless someone was a huge musical theatre fan so if he tried to set up contacts, his name might not be deemed suspicious...
“As for Anatoly, yes, he is.”
Her voice continued to betray nothing. Even though hearing his voice call her ‘sweet Svetlana’ made her physically ill, took her mind back to that hellish week in Moscow, she showed nothing. No disgust, no defensiveness. She remained perfectly poised, as if her life depended on it. Perhaps it did.
Okay, Svetlana had a point. This kind of clothing hadn’t been around back in 1980. Still, it threw him off of his game slightly and he didn’t like that. He’d have to go about resetting up all those contacts he had made. No matter. He would do it. He would need leverage at one point or another for some reason and knowledge was power.
Hearing the bit about possessions, he quirked a brow. “Possessions you say? And exactly how is one to avoid being possessed I wonder?” He looked at her, his gaze sharp, looking for something, anything, that would show that Svetlana was lying or making any of this up. He kept his face impassive as he learned Anatoly was here as well.
“I do hope your two beautiful daughters are here as well. A shame if they’ve been left all alone in Soviet Russia, yes?” He let a slight smirk grace his face as he studied Svetlana. If the girls were here, he could use them to his advantage once his contacts had been made and he knew where the family was staying. Svetlana needed to pay for failing him. Molokov didn’t tolerate failure.
“An amulet, tattoo. It has to be specific though.” Okay, as much as she didn’t want to help the bastard... well, it was self preservation. As such, she pulled the amulet out from under her blouse. If he wanted it, he’d have to take it from her and while she didn’t really want to give it to him, it was his choice on getting it or not. Well, from her. Some things she’d keep to herself. Still, it was nice being able to throw him off his game. True she wasn’t the cause of it, but any time the bastard was off his game was good in Svetlana’s book.
And then he went and mentioned her daughters. Beyond her hands clenching at her sides and her eyes flashing dangerously, Svetlana showed nothing. But unfortunately, they would always be the ones who would break through.
“Time stops when we’re brought here. So we are there and here simultaneously, time just does not move and will continue on as normal once sent back. Well, if you get sent back, that is. People show up here from all different points yet have no recollection of those they know being gone.”
It was the only way to answer the question without answering it. Use the logic of this place in regards to time to explain that, if the girls had been in the Soviet Union, they wouldn’t be alone. But to say it as that would reveal that they were, in fact, here. So she would skirt the issue.
Molokov didn’t care how it looked on the street to passersby. He took the amulet, more of ripping it from her neck, and studied it closely. It was definitely religious in design, that was for certain. But he would do more research on it before jumping to Biblical conclusions. If in fact it did add up to a religious thing, so be it. If not, so be it as well. But he would have all his bases covered.
Dropping the amulet in the pocket of his coat, he looked at Svetlana as she answered his question but didn’t answer his question. Oh she was very skilled at this dance. Whether her children were here or not, he had a feeling she’d have said the same thing either way. He grinned some. “That is good to know, Svetlana. Because you failed me in Bangkok.” His eyes ever so slightly narrowed. “And you know how I don’t tolerate failure.”
He would build his base up and find out if Fayina and Jelena were here. If they were, something would happen to one of them to make Svetlana and Anatoly pay the price for failing and disobeying him. If they weren’t, well, when he was allegedly sent back to Moscow he could deal with the girls there. But one way or another, the Sergievskys would be sorry they hadn’t listened to him. He had thought that the year Anatoly had defected had been warning enough for Svetlana but apparently not. No matter. He would make sure she realized it now.
Wincing ever so slightly as the amulet was pulled from her neck, Svetlana said nothing on the matter, just watching as he examined it. Well, it was better he get it that way and not by walking into the complex. So help her, she would keep him away. But she didn’t exactly have a picture of him to release to the complex security people, if that was even a possibility. But no matter. She would figure a way out of this. She might not have had it in Moscow, but times were different here.
Still, she couldn’t let him know about the girls. She had already lost them once to temporary death and it had been luck alone that they were brought back. For them to die... because of her failure... well, she was still coming to terms with what had happened before. Could she really handle that loss again? Even with Anatoly becoming more and more humanized, she didn’t know if she could.
“You were the one who decided to ensure Anatoly stopped listening to me. It seems you got him to do just so to the point that it wasn’t an advantage for you.”
Svetlana’s words were laced with acid. It was no secret that she despised Molokov for taking her husband from her, changing him.
“You trained him too well in that aspect, it seems.”
She knew the truth, of course. She knew that Anatoly had initially thought he was doing it for them, thinking he’d have power over Molokov but that it was really his pride. That Freddie had told him to win for chess because he had already let everyone else down. And she knew that Anatoly had been throwing the match in Bangkok until that conversation. After all, Viigand had been Anatoly’s second, he knew his moves. And Svetlana was the one who taught her husband the game, so she knew what to look for.
Despite the acid in her words, Svetlana’s voice was conversational, though she had a feeling that, were Anatoly there and Molokov not being in front of her, a comment on her dropping the surrounding temperature would have been made in an attempt to get her to not be so rigid and closed off. But he was not and Molokov was and so she held herself with him as she always did.
Molokov remained silent as Svetlana snapped at him. Well, it was more of a snide remark into how well he had molded Anatoly. He shook his head. “No my dear. I doubt no matter what I would have done would have ever made Anatoly stop listening to you.”
He reached out with his hand and held her chin with his index finger and thumb. “Clearly you didn’t mention the danger your girls will now be in for failing me. A pity. He might have actually listened to you then.” He smirked darkly. “After all, the deal wasn’t just for him to come back to the Soviet Union, but to lose as well.”
Oh he knew he was giving Svetlana time to warn her children if they were here. But that was of no matter. She couldn’t hover around them 24/7 as much as she wished she could. Oh he could tell Svetlana was pissed off at him. Her words were laced with acid after all. But oh, he loved the challenge Svetlana gave him. No one else in his tenure at the KGB had given him such a challenge like Svetlana did. Oh sure, there were some close ones, but Svetlana seemed to play everything like a chess match. Moving each piece just so in order for her to win or entrap her opponent. It was mentally stimulating and he loved it.
“And he won, didn’t he?”
“Obviously you were wrong about that as he didn’t listen to me. Or Florence about her father. Funny, did you arrange that one as well?”
Oh, Svetlana knew he had thanks to that musical but no matter. He didn’t need to know about that yet. He knew Anatoly was there and it could be assumed that he had told her of that as well. Still, to hear that even Molokov felt that Anatoly would always listen to Svetlana on some level just reinforced her belief on why he had kept her husband away all the time. Because he knew she was the one who would get him to listen, the one who would challenge him. Oh she was getting far more angry by the moment, but that was common whenever she was around Molokov for too long.
And then he touched her again, this time holding her chin so she had to look at him. The second his fingers touched her skin, Svetlana had to control the urge to shove him off of her, to keep from shaking. It took all of her self control not to respond in a way that would reveal how sick she felt, how much she wanted to panic and run. Her mind was going into overdrive thanks to the alternate reality.
“I did tell him. But clearly he stopped caring about anything involving family in Merano.”
The smirk, oh how she wanted to wipe that smirk off his face. She was spiraling and fast. Her mind was going into full on panic mode. Taking her places she didn’t want to go to. Not here, not when she wasn’t in the safety of her apartment in the complex where she had her tea to self medicate with, a room to lock herself in if it got to be too bad. Somehow though, her breathing remained steady, and beyond the anger that was always blazing within her when dealing with Molokov, nothing else was shown.
“I know what the deal entailed.” She kept the comment of ‘rat bastard’ to herself. Mostly because she was known for her ability to hold herself together, of holding everything in when she had to. No need to give him amusement or something to use against her. Instead she managed to pull her chin from his grip, her glare never leaving his face.
“Yes. He did. No thanks to your training that winning was all that mattered.”
Yes, it was Anatoly’s pride in the end, but Molokov had fed it, forced it to grow so that Anatoly would be his to control. Anatoly could have said no, should have said no when they first met the man before her, but it was five years too late for that.
Molokov kept silent about the comment in Merano. That had been his most shameful mission, losing Sergievsky like that. His superiors had not been pleased. But given his track record, they hadn’t gone further than a simple reprimand. And then Molokov had spent the next year crafting a deal to get Anatoly back to the USSR.
Hearing Svetlana mention Florence, Molokov chuckled. “Of course. If Anatoly didn’t listen to her, he would listen to you or vice versa.” Watching her pull away from his grip, he smirked some.
“You say you know what the deal entailed then you should also know that I expect it to be fulfilled to the letter.” And since Anatoly had won and not lost, if Florence’s father was still alive he’d remain in prison along with a few of the other top people on that American’s list.
“And I trained Anatoly that doing what was best for the mother country was all that mattered. His winning was all that mattered at the time. It proved how great our country was. But then he defected. So his losing and defecting back was what was in Soviet Russia’s best interests.”
Molokov had invested a lot of time in Anatoly. So many legal espionage contacts had been set up thanks to his chess playing. Still, Anatoly would still have his uses as would Svetlana. Perhaps it would be Svetlana who he had to pressure into playing for the glory of the Soviet Union. After all, she had a brother, two children, and a husband. And accidents happened all the time. A pity if one happened to the few people left in her family.
Of course he had something to do with Florence. Well, she had known that. Instead, she merely rolled her eyes at his comment on Anatoly either listening to her or to Florence. But then he was talking about knowing that she should have fulfilled the deal to the letter and she scoffed.
“Here’s the funny thing about people. You can’t actually predict their every action or reaction. You can use blackmail, threats, violence or bribery as incentive, but in the end, there is still that small room for error. You can turn a man into a chess playing machine, but part of him will still be a man. After all, didn’t Anatoly do the unthinkable and defect?”
Yes, she was reminding Molokov of his failure, but he was doing the same to her, it was only fair. And it seemed he enjoyed their banter, because he knew just what it was. A chess game. He was right that she approached their conversations as such, because it was the only way to deal with them, to find a way to not reveal too much, to trap him if she could, to win. She certainly had been known to tear people down verbally back in Moscow as well, just never about the government or her husband.
“Of course, the best interest of the country. After all, he was nothing but a symbol head for you. Though I’m certain you can spin his return in a way that will fit your needs. The Soviet Union is so great that after only a year in the West, Anatoly realized the truth and returned to where he belonged. Only true chess greats can be from Russia and he realized that and fixed his grievous mistake of leaving in the first place.”
Bitter? Of course. Even though she knew the truth, even with her and Anatoly on the same page in their relationship and fixing it, even after admitting that they loved one another despite the distance and pain.... the fact remained that Anatoly had left her. Yes, it had started five years ago, nearly six given the two had been in Lawrence for eight months, but he had truly left when he defected and didn’t come home. And it had taken them eight months to get to where they were now because of the set backs brought on by the alternate reality.
Molokov kept his face impassive as Svetlana spoke of Anatoly’s defection. He kept a small smile on his face and merely adjusted his hat as if he were bored. “Yes, he did defect. And left you and your two daughters all alone to face the hardships every family faces when a loved one defects. All for a woman he barely knew. You should ask him if she was worth it. She looked like she was.”
He chuckled at how Svetlana had described what he exactly intended to do. Of course he would spin Anatoly’s return to suit his purposes. If Anatoly refused to cooperate, something tragic would happen to Svetlana.
“Perhaps I will spin his return. Or perhaps he can rot in a gulag prison for a few dozen years for committing treason.” His smirk deepened. “What do you think? Do you think he’d survive long in such a place? Perhaps you both can go and your girls to an orphanage to be cared for.”
He would find a way to make Anatoly’s return work for him then make sure he stayed out of the spot light. Deal with his punishment quietly. But Svetlana would not get her husband back right away. Oh no. He first had to pay for his crimes. Then if anything was left he’d return him to Svetlana.
How Svetlana managed to keep from showing a response to the reminder of Anatoly leaving for a woman he barely knew and how she looked to be worth it was really a miracle in and of itself. Anatoly had said it wasn’t worth it, that he regretted it. But Molokov didn’t need to know that Anatoly was once again humanized. Oh there were moments, but for the most part, her husband was back again and it was only because they had yet to deal with everything, to discuss it, that they weren’t further along with their relationship.
“Clearly she wasn’t if he returned to Moscow.”
There was so much Svetlana wished to say in regards to Florence, yet there was no one she could. Darcy was Florence’s best friend, Freddie was her fiance, that would bring up the things they were working up to discussing with Anatoly.... Logan was definitely out of the picture as she didn’t even wish to speak with him anymore following his display on Valentine’s Day...That and Svetlana wasn’t the most vocal on her inner most thoughts anyway.
But then he was speaking of gulags and orphanages and Svetlana had to remind herself that they were not in Russia and that he had no power to do that to them here. If they got sent back to Russia, well, that would be a different story, but for now...
“I could not say...”
They both knew of course that Anatoly would never survive in a gulag. The man tried to intimidate men who bothered her and she was the one who ended up making them leave. Still, she knew better than to give any sort of straight answer to Molokov.
“Though being thirty years in the future in America, we won’t have to find out, now will we? I mean, the East lost. The Berlin Wall fell... it’s a completely different world.”
At that she gave the faintest of smirks. He was getting too confident, time to throw him off his game again.
“Or perhaps he grew bored of her like he did with you and knew he could return home without having to start all over in a new place.”
Molokov grinned some. Oh he knew Svetlana knew how well Anatoly would fair. He was a thinker. He’d be lucky to last a few weeks if not a month in a gulag. But then Svetlana sprang a well played trap in mentioning the fall of the Soviet Union. The only evidence that it had gotten to him was a slight twitch of the brow, his grin slipping ever so slightly. He knew Svetlana would see it. She had a good eye for such things. But he would not let her get the upper hand. Not here. Not now.
“...yes, it is a different world. Here. But as you mentioned before, this Seal has a habit of sending people back from where they were taken from, yes? So, thirty years in our past, your precious Anatoly could still end up in a gulag. Or your daughters in one of the orphanages designated for children of traitors. Or perhaps I’ll take them in myself. Teach,” he sneered, “them what it means to be a true patriot of Soviet Russia.” And of course by teach he meant beat it into them. He had no qualms in making sure future generations saw how great the Soviet Union was.
And even if it did fail, he would never lose faith in his nation’s leaders. Besides, intelligence was neutral. It all depended on how it was applied that made it work for one side or the other. And so long as Soviet Russia, in whatever form she took, strove to maintain greatness and surpass all other countries, he would not lose faith in her.
The comment about Anatoly growing bored stung deeply as that had been what the alternate Anatoly had pulled on her. Said that the version she knew was just playing her because she was easy, why would he return to her? He had left, she was nothing, had never meant anything. That the death of their daughters was her fault. That her pleas in Bangkok should have been made sooner as he couldn’t be bothered to care anymore on their children. Oh, all of those hurtful words that had torn her apart were repeating, battling for control over the words spoken by Anatoly on Valentine’s Day. Yes, they’d had moments between Anatoly’s return and Valentine’s Day, but it was Valentine’s Day where Svetlana truly believed what Anatoly had said about loving her, about getting them their happiness back and that they’d survive because it was what they they did. She didn’t falter though, even with her mind at war, she could never falter in front of this man.
She knew he would counter her verbal check, but that didn’t mean she had to like it. Even so, while he had faltered, had revealed his shock, as minuscule as it had been, Svetlana showed nothing. Truthfully, she had no idea what Molokov had been planning for them back in Moscow though the eight months hadn’t made her forget about what was waiting for them there. She knew the second they returned, should they return, anything was possible. It could be happening as they spoke and she wouldn’t know. Her husband could be dead and she left broken. Her daughters could be at the mercy of strangers. Oh, if he thought she didn’t think of that possibility, he was sadly mistaken. Sometimes those fears haunted her dreams and she would awake with a start and have to ensure that Anatoly and the girls were still there, were still alive. There were reasons she hadn’t been able to sleep well ever since showing up here, with the intensity of her sleep issues fluctuating depending on her stress.
“I suppose we will never know. We are not there, we do not share a link with ourselves in our own world. It may happen, it may not. But right here and right now? That isn’t the case.”
Oh how she wanted to get away from this man. Her vision was swimming from her heightened emotions, the memories both mental and physical, the panic he was inducing within her, the fear and stress. This was why she had the ice queen persona. Ever since she first started with it, she had done it to protect herself. And that was what it was doing now. Protecting her from breaking down completely in the street in front of a man she had vowed never to see her break. Even the alternate him hadn’t seen her break no matter what he did to her in his bed, no matter what he unleashed on her for going to Anatoly to implore he lose. For it didn’t matter that he had lost in the end there, Svetlana had tried to trick him and had to be punished. But this version of Molokov? The one from her own world? He never did realize that Svetlana was the one who could always beat Anatoly. He seemed to know he would listen to her when he listened to no one else, but he didn’t know how deep that bond went with them. He seemed to know well enough to discredit Freddie as they shared a similar playing style and it could trigger memories and feelings in Anatoly, but he wasn’t smart enough to know the true danger Svetlana held to him in regards to her husband and she wouldn’t let him.
Molokov chuckled some. “Oh, I know my dear.” He tapped two fingers against the side of his head under his fedora. “I have plans within plans on how exactly best to deal with you all. Just because we are in America in the future does not mean I won’t be able to carry them out. I have contingency plans for my contingency plans. You should know this.”
True without the KGB there to back him up it would be harder to carry out his plans, but he could afford to take the time to build up a power base and get a suitable organization set up that would help his goals. Even if this were a different world, he had no doubt that there were still former KGB agents around. And if not, he’d find people willing to assist him. And he would of course pay. After all, just because right now he was focused on Svetlana and her traitorous family didn’t mean he wasn’t going to keep gathering information. Though he hated how he couldn’t use that information for the benefit of Russia, Soviet or otherwise. Still, he needed to find out more about this world. And that could mean sacrifice. After all, he needed to survive to get back home.
Swiftly grabbing her hand, he brought it to his lips and kissed the back of it like a gentleman and smirked at her. “Tell Anatoly of my being here and the consequences will be even more dire than you failing me in Bangkok, my sweet Svetlana.”
“Of course I know that you have contingency plans for your contingency plans. You wouldn’t have gotten as far as you have if you didn’t.”
Didn’t mean she had to like it, though. Even so, she held her own. She knew that he would have a harder time of it at the moment and she would use that moment to try and ensure the well being of her daughters and husband. Molokov wouldn’t win. Not here. She knew him too well. She knew he’d focus on her family but also on survival. There were FBI agents here, people from different branches of government that had to adapt and the bastard before her knew well how to do that. So long as he could help his country. Anything to survive.
As he grabbed her hand, she went rigid, suppressing the shudder that ran down her spine as she felt his lips touch her skin. Pulling her hand away as though she’d been bitten by a snake, Svetlana glared at Molokov, not even bothering to hide her hatred, especially as he called her ‘his sweet Svetlana’.
“I won’t tell him.”
Verbally, at least. There were loopholes that Molokov didn’t even know she had at her disposal. He didn’t know that they were the only ones from their world here. He didn’t know that Anatoly was human again and able to read her no matter how hard she tried to hide something. She wouldn’t have to say anything to Anatoly but he’d know. Either from looking at her or from her telling someone else and it getting back to him.
Molokov held back a chuckle as she snatched her hand away from her. He enjoyed seeing the hatred in her eyes. It made them more beautiful. Oh if only she were like him and loyal to Mother Russia. What they could accomplish together would be incredible. Still, she had her uses even if she resisted. And it was so much fun when she resisted.
“That’s good.” He took the time to adjust his coat, his eyes never leaving Svetlana’s. “I will be seeing you around Svetlana Sergievsky.” He lifted a hand and tipped his hat to her before turning and disappearing effortlessly into the crowd of people on the street. He need to find a place to make contacts and build up his network of informants. That was his main priority right now.
And he was gone. Her senses were on high alert. No, more than that. They were on overdrive. She needed to ensure that her family was safe. Her own safety didn’t matter, but the girls... Remaining where she was until she was certain that Molokov wouldn’t follow her, Svetlana turned on heel and started back to the complex. Only, she was employing every evasive technique she had trained herself in while in Moscow. Getting lost in people, switching side walks, back ways. Everything to lose a potential stalker. It took longer to get back, but it also ensured that she wasn’t being followed.
Even as she made her way to the complex, Svetlana kept her mask in place. She didn’t need questions. She couldn’t handle questions or looks or anything. Instead, she just focused on getting to the complex. Once she was safely inside, away from people, would she then be able to process what had just happened. Or at least attempt to.