Part 6: Early Release
Chapter 6: Early Release
There is goon participation in this chapter!
The Novistranan Coalition was quick to realize that their efforts convincing the town of Ekaterine to join them wouldn't be enough if they couldn't show hard proof of Karasov's tyranny. It was common knowledge that the man was a ruthless dictator, but without real evidence from a witness that had seen the horrors he had caused, there would be nothing legitimate to get the backing of every Novistranan. Testimony of the regime's atrocities would be essential for the revolution.
* * *
Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Tresori Vilnov's Suggestion: 21/02/1996
Piotr Prokofiev, it's so good to be back in touch once again.
I have some shocking news from Berezina. Next year's "People's Progress" revisions will be a major upheaval and will probably see most political prisoners disappear permanently, to gulags or to shallow pits in the ground. It is important that at least one of them can escape to provide an historical record.
There are two people working inside the prison in Vostok Green that may be able to help you free some of the political prisoners held there. I cannot say who they are in case the information falls into the wrong hands. Good luck my young comrade.
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Seventeenth Entry: 21/02/1996
Tresori, my teacher, you never lose sight of what is important. These atrocities must be remembered.
The prisoners surely have knowledge and skills that will be useful to our struggle. It is a shame that we cannot save them all. It will only be safe to free one using the method I have in mind.
If we release the prisoner without having a solid support base in Vostok Green there is a high probability that someone will notice and report it to the authorities. Once we have sufficient support we must find out who might be willing to help us on the inside and then convince them that this is a worthy thing to risk their lives for.
I must speak to Josef and Father Baturin about this. Even if they are part of the borgeoise, if I can convince Vostok Green's citizens to join our banner at least they'll provide us with resources we can use in the future.
* * *
"Vostok Green. I see," Oleg Baturin sat back, fingers steepled as he pondered the maneuver. "Do you have someone in mind that can help us?"
"Not yet," said Prokofiev, taking out his scouting notepad and flipping through the pages. "I've spent time scouting the area before, but I didn't go near the penitentiary."
"Trying to get in touch with men on the inside won't be easy either," fumed Josef Nasarov, arms crossed and chin to chest. "If others find out we're trying to spring a prisoner by sweet-talking the guards, we're going to be thrown in a jail cell the next day."
"Don't worry about this," Prokofiev soothed the unionizer, patting his shoulder. "You and Father Baturin should continue to gather support in the industries and the courtyards of the parks. When it's time, I'll let you know to focus your efforts on Vostok Green itself."
With that said, Prokofiev got up from the table, and the other two men followed suit. They all shook hands.
"Tonight I will find out who we need to liaise with, and in the next few days I will talk to them," explained Prokofiev. "Make sure you keep your activities away from Vostok Green until then."
"Of course, comrade."
"As you say, Mr. Prokofiev."
The three men then turned to their own desks in the apartment headquarters, taking care of loose ends before departing to their night-time activities.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive: Video Interview with Venedikt Shulgin by Eduard Berezin - 14/07/2004
: This is Eduard Berezin. Welcome back to the Ekaterine Emissary.
*The Ekaterine Emissary's theme tune plays.*
: Tonight, our special guest: we interview the ex-governor of the Vostok Green Penitentiary, Venedikt Shulgin. Mr. Shulgin, welcome.
: Thank you very much, Comrade Berezin.
: Mr. Shulgin, with the incumbent Novistranan Coalition Party attempting to retain a hold on Parliament in the coming elections, I want to go back in time to 1996 and explore the psyche of the Coalition's leader, Piotr Prokofiev. The Emissary discovered that you assisted Prokofiev in releasing a political prisoner from the penitentiary in the early days of the Coalition's movement. Is this true?
: That is true, yes.
: Which prisoner did Prokofiev try to release?
: I cannot answer that, comrade. I can tell you that many other prisoners were freed after the Third Glorious Revolution.
: Eh, we're not interested in what came afterward, we're interested in the then and there!
: Comrade, I do not want to tell you who it was we released.
: All right then. Can you tell us how you met Mr. Prokofiev, and what you talked about?
: Seeing as you already know that much, yes. Comrade Prokofiev approached me at some point in February of that year. Not sure exactly when, but it was February. I had been reading my morning mail when a guard handed me a note telling me that it was for my eyes only.
: And what was this note?
: It was a note telling me to take my afternoon shift off and meet the note-writer at Vladimir's for lunch. The note told me that I would be well-compensated for the meeting.
: The note was written by Prokofiev?
: Yes, Comrade Prokofiev was the writer. He introduced himself as the leader of the Novistranan Coalition. At the time I heard it was some new party riling up the workers, but some of my friends in the police union were also their supporters. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.
: What did you two talk about?
: We talked politics, comrade. Comrade Prokofiev was trying to convince me that I should release one of our political prisoners for his Coalition. At first I was unconvinced, but then he pointed out that anyone who wasn't in lockstep with Karasov at the time was in the risk of getting thrown inside himself.
: Yes. One of the Ekaterine police force's captains was in a prison cell. He was a loyal man, but when he had refused to raid an underground faction's HQ, he was quickly thrown inside as a dissident. That shook us all up at the penitentiary. One slip, and we'd be jailed ourselves.
: So why did you help Prokofiev if really was a one-strike-you're-out political climate?
: Because of three things. First, while I wasn't honestly convinced that Prokofiev could lead a successful campaign against Karasov, a lot of my men were loyal to his cause, more than Karasov's supporters. It would be bad for me if I didn't help. Second, we all had something to fear in those times.
: What did you have to fear?
*Shulgin stops and stares at Berezin, who shuts up and almost impercetibly nods.*
: ...Third, I couldn't release a prisoner by myself. I would have to share the blame in case something went wrong.
: You would have to share the blame? With whom?
: With my chief guard back then, Efim Novikov. He had a lot of men at his side, but if Comrade Prokofiev could convince him like he had convinced me, he would be allowed to free one, and only one, prisoner. It would be too high-profile to risk releasing any more.
: What did you do with the ones that Prokofiev did not release?
: That, comrade, is none of your concern.
* * *
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Venedikt Shulgin: Police
Shulgin is the sadistic governor of the Ekaterine Penitentiary.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Efim Novikov: Police
There's a rumor that Novikov is the true man in charge at the Ekaterine Penitentiary. Certainly nothing happens without his say-so.
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Twenty-third Entry: 26/02/1996
We have both of the key contacts within the prison on our side. We have prepared the people of Vostok Green by gaining their trust and loyalty so that they will not report this to the authorities.
With all the groundwork laid, now is the time to act and to free a prisoner who will be able to testify about the atrocities committed within those impenetrable brown walls.
I travel this afternoon to speak to my prison contacts. The question I must ask myself before then is, who to free?
* * *
It is time to spring one lucky man from the Vostok Green Penitentiary, the keyword here being "one". Whoever we free will alter the course of our struggle in Ekaterine, focusing on the ideological approach they follow. We will need to hire them to our inner circle, but if we so wish it, we can kick them right out after hiring them and getting our next mission objectives.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to vote on which political prisoner to free from prison. The others will be S.O.L. So, who will it be? Here are our possible new lieutenants...
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Pyotr Chenko: Police
Chenko used to say that honesty is the best policy, but a few years in Ekaterine Prison has taught him otherwise. After refusing to take part in a raid on an underground political party, Pyotr found himself arrested.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Robert Tarasov: Academic
Robert Tarasov was the charismatic leader of the now-disbanded Democracy Now Party. A forthright and daring man, his public campaign had featured rallies and demonstrations demanding free elections.
Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Artem Churbanov: Media
Artem was a journalist for the local newspaper. After writing a story praising an underground faction for standing up to Karasov he was arrested and placed in jail.
Remember, whoever we free will guide the second half of Ekaterine's takeover by Force, Influence, or Wealth respectively. Choose wisely...