Part 54: The AmericansUpdate 25 - The Americans
Not too many people here. Just foreigners and working girls.
Inspect the blonde with glasses
An attractive young woman with dollar signs in her eyes.
We talk to her.
Mind if I join you?
She's certainly rude.
I'm looking for Sliunkov and Burlatski.
I'm not a missing persons' office.
What's your name?
Let me buy you a drink.
I told you. Russians don't interest me. Leave me alone, or I'll have you thrown out of here.
Never mind her. That American fellow looks like he might know something.
I'm Otis Z Levitus and I'm selling you guys the right choice in soft drinks for today's market. The fresh American flavor that many hi-profile sport and show-business personalities drink when they're face-to-face with thirst!
Let me buy you a drink.
You can buy me as many as you want, ha ha ha. Just my joke, Ivan. American sense of humour. Little sophisticated for you guys.
Are you here on business?
Why else? To sample Soviet cuisine? Ha, ha. Lemme tell you about our new line in classic diet colas. They give maximum drinkability without impairing athletic performance or adding on those hard-to-lose pounds. Many rock-stars prefer our product. Try some and you won't WANT to switch back to your current soft drink!
I don't have a current soft drink.
You will, Boris, you will. Hey, you heard the one about the guy in the gulag?
Well, this poor guy, let's call him Ivan Ivanovich okay? Anyway, he gets sent to the salt mines and when he arrives, another prisoner comes up and says:
Hey, how long you get sent away for?
9 years, answers Ivan.
Gee, that's too bad, says the other guy. What'd you do to get sent to the gulag?
Nothing, says Ivan. I did nothing at all.
Liar! says the other guy. Nothing's only a 5-year rap!
Get it? Great joke?
I've heard better.
What do you think of Leningrad?
Lemme tell you, Ivan. You Soviets are just gonna love drinking from our new-style slim-line cans. They're hand-friendly and research PROVES they have enhanced machismo, know what I mean? I'm talking raw sex here, the raunchiest family soft drink on the market.
Are you staying at this hotel?
I have been, Ivan, but I'm escaping tomorrow. Escaping. Get it? You heard the one about the Russkie who wants to join the communist Party?
Yes. Very amusing.
I saw a bunch of commies today. Maybe they're gonna install a cold-drink dispenser in the Lubianka? You're a commie, Ivan? Wanna bomb the U.S. to hell?
Not all the US. Just certain places. Where are you from?
Philadelphia. You wanna defect to my house or what? Hey, you were making a joke, right? Yeah, real funny.
Now that was funny.
You Americans admire comrade Gorbachev.
Gorby? Lemme tell you this one:
Whole bunch of world leaders die, right? And go to heaven. So George Bush says to God, When will America finally get rid of taxes?
God answers, You'll be long dead before that happens, George.
Then what's that guy's name, the Brit.. can't think of it. Anyway, the British Prime Minister asks God, When will the Northern Ireland problem be solved?
And God says, You'll be long dead before that happens, my son.
So then Gorbachev asks, When will Perestroika give some results?
And God scratches his head and says, I'll be long dead before that happens!
That was actually pretty funny. Not bad, Levitus.
We don't have anything else to say to Levitus. We can mention we're a KGB agent, but it's doubtful that would do us any good.
I think I'm done with him. Hopefully that blonde girl will know something useful.
Inspect the mini-skirted blonde
A sharp blonde bombshell.
The receptionist mentioned that one of the girls used room 304. Maybe she is the one.
She turns to look at us.
Well, she's certainly blunt.
What's your name?
How much do you charge for a night of unbridled passion?
Worth it, though!
I'll have to think about it.
Dream about what you're missing!
She turns away, but we keep talking to her.
What room do you use to entertain your clients?
You know room 304?
That's one of the rooms Tamara uses. She has two.
Why does she use two rooms?
Ask her. If she's not here, she'll soon show up.
Two more people come in: a Japanese businessman and an attractive brunette.
Inspect the brunette
She seems very self-controlled and sharp.
She looks at us.
She seems more polite than the others. I'm not sure that I trust her, though.
Are you Tamara?
I'm told you use a couple of rooms to entertain guests.
One of your colleagues. Why two rooms?
Why do you want to know?
I'm superstitious about numbers.
I know it is, but my cat only eats caviar.
Heh. I like this girl. She's probably hiding something, though.
I don't have that much. How about rubles?
Sorry. Come and see me when you've got the money.
Two more people enter the bar: a well-dressed woman and an old friend.
Nathaniel Greenberg was our cell-mate when we were captured by Verto. We helped each other escape. He's a very mysterious fellow with a thick American accent.
He seems in good condition, if a little tired. He also appears to be a little wary of you.
His passport said he was a journalist, but I kind of doubt that. What the hell is he doing here?
Inspect the elegant woman
An expensively-dressed westerner, wearing a thick layer of make-up.
We start to approach Greenberg, but...
She sounds American. How did she know my name and rank? Guess I'd better find out.
She leads us to the hotel lobby.
You're mistaking me for somebody else.
Maksim Mikhailovich Rukov, Department P, Moscow KGB. Please don't be alarmed, captain; I'm a friend.
A friend? Can you be more precise?
I believe you know my colleague, Greenberg. You spent some time together in a very small room in Moscow. Remember?
Yes, I remember. I take it you are American?
I'll make this as brief as I can. My name's Carla Wallace. I work for the CIA, just like Greenberg, the American you spent some time with in a very small room in Moscow.
You're CIA? Why should I believe that?
I'm CIA, just like Greenberg. You don't expect me to show you my ID, do you?
I'd rather speak to Greenberg himself.
Don't go near him, Rukov! The barman is an informer and Greenberg doesn't want to be seen talking to you. He asked me to speak to you in his name. Anyway, it doesn't matter whether you believe me; the thing is, I can help you with the investigation you're doing.
Greenberg can't afford to be seen with you. He's willing to exchange information, anything that concerns the case you're on. We want to get the people behind those video nasties. We think there's a whole nasty can of worms involved.
What I need is American money.
I can give you $100. No, $150. It's all I have.
That was awful nice of her. I guess she really wants me to trust her.
Do you know who uses room 304 in this hotel?
Room 304, no. But I know that Kusnetsov and his son-in-law run the prostitutes here. They report anything they pick up from foreign visitors.
Have you heard of a certain Matsnev?
Matsnev?! Let me think... The name's familiar. Sure! Wasn't he the KGB colonel who defected in '84? No, that wasn't his name. I can try and find out.
Do you know of Savinkov?
One of your people, right? We've never had contact with him. Our files say he's an efficient officer and pro-Gorbachev.
Can you tell me about Sliunkov and Burlatski?
Burlatski, no. Victor Sliunkov, if that's who you mean, is a hired killer. He got mixed up in some criminal affair a few years back and was arrested by a local KGB officer called Chapkin. Since then, Sliunkov's rumored to handle dirty work for Chapkin in exchange for money and freedom.
Can you tell me about operation New Birth?
That's a code-name used by an unofficial KGB group. We've learned little except that they keep known KGB hardliners under surveillance. We believe there's a faction of top KGB and Soviet military who're waiting for an opportunity to oust Gorbachev and replace him with a hardline communist. We have no evidence of any such plot.
Does the name Yakuchev mean anything to you?
Not a thing. I've given proof of our good faith, Rukov. Greenberg will contact you tomorrow afternoon or evening. He expects to have important information which he'll be willing to share in exchange for whatever you've learned. Goodnight, captain.
That's quite a lot to think about. I'm not sure if I can trust her, or what her motives are, but she's certainly willing to share a lot of valuable information. Hopefully my meeting with Greenberg tomorrow will shed some more light on this case.