Part 46: Inside Cut-throatUpdate 21 Inside Cut-throat
Whew. Got here just in time.
Inspect the phone booth
Nothing suspicious about this booth.
Good to know. Now, the mysterious caller said that I would meet my contact in the alleyway behind the hotel. I'll head there now.
Inspect the alley
Doesn't smell too good.
I hope I don't have to wait here too long.
Inspect the shadowy figure
It's a man whose coat collar is turned up. The brim of his hat hides his face. He keeps to the shadows, one hand in his coat pocket.
You read too many spy novels.
We give our ID to him, like the phone call instructed.
Just the remains of a Cuban cigar.
Mm. You know that Agabekov never buys cigars. It would be interesting to know who offered it to him. Find that out. You've been clever so far. You were supposed to get some information. You'd better not lie to me; I know most of the answers already.
Is he really quizzing me on this?
Mechulaiev and Savchenko.
Yak? What the hell can I do with a nickname? What's the full name?
Yakuchev, eh? That name's not unknown to me. I'll see what I can find out about him.
Viktor Matsnev handles the transport of the tapes tomorrow.
Crack. Viktor Matsnev, whoever he is, takes out the tapes and brings in the drugs.
(Another dialogue option is Obukov. Not sure who Renko is.)
Good. Agabekov is clearly corrupt! Listen to me, Rukov. I represent people who are interested in truth. A rare commodity, like so many others. For a time I thought it would triumph, but you need only read the newspapers to see it is once more going out of fashion. Our press tends to hide the truth from us.
You, it would appear, are going to discover it; tomorrow will tell us that. I don't know precisely what your mission is, but I will answer any questions if I can. One more thing, captain: make no attempt to follow me or discover my identity. Any questions?
Are any members of Department 7 involved in criminal activities?
If every corrupt KGB officer were fired, there would remain very little of the service! The problem is state security surely. Some corruption may be tolerated. What must be stopped is any attempt to destabilize the Soviet Union. Is it more important to arrest a drunken driver or a psychopath? Both are guilty, but one is more dangerous. Use your head!
Is it true that Kusnetsov is a criminal?
He may abuse his position for personal profit. Who doesn't?
Are any of the foreign intelligence agencies unusually active?
I have heard of a female CIA officer. Her objectives have not yet been understood. She has only recently been reported to our service. I know nothing more about her.
Why is Drobnitsa considered unenthusiastic?
Drobnitsa appears to have no privileged relations with either Kusnetsov or Agabekov. He has no private allegiances we know of and therefore enjoys no protection. Our knowledge of him goes no further.
You wouldn't happen to have a cigar?
I dislike cigars.
What exactly is Chapkin's interest in Mechulaiev's gang?
That is of no interest. He and Kusnetsov may be dishonest but they're under control and are not considered a threat. Any links they have with criminals need to be monitored, naturally, but are of no importance. I cannot stay much longer. Have you more questions?
Why is Agabekov in contact with Mechulaiev's gang?
I don't know. Any such links should be closely monitored. Agabekov's attitude is not to our liking. His activities have up to now escaped our surveillance.
Why do you suspect Agabekov?
It is not necessary for you to know. Simply stated, he may represent forces against whom my group is currently engaged. I must go. I can answer one more question.
Why did you contact me? What does your group want?
We believe that the Soviet Union can be saved, in spite of the present situation. This can only be achieved, however, by maintaining a sufficient degree of balance between opposing factions at the policy-making level.
Intelligence must be objectively gathered and objectively forwarded. Your mission happens to concern, albeit indirectly, certain members of Department 7. It so happens that Agabekov interests us. We would advise you to monitor his activities. It seems he may be in contact with foreign spies who favor destabilizing the Kremlin.
We've talked long enough. Look for me here at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning. I'll inquire into Yakuchev. You try and learn about Matsnev. Oh, one more thing; we are interested in any information you might learn concerning something called NEW BIRTH.
With that, he leaves.
I don't trust Cut-throat. It's true that Agabekov is involved in some nasty business, but so is Chapkin. Cut-throat seemed a little quick to underplay that. Maybe he works for Kusnetsov. Still, I'll try to gather information for him.
We go back to our apartment.
My handler will be here in a while. Nothing to do but wait...