The Let's Play Archive

Republic: The Revolution

by Olive Branch

Part 40: Mergers and Acquisitions

Chapter 40 - Mergers and Acquisitions

Piotr Prokofiev had managed to convince Vikenti Anisimov to help the Novistranan Coalition with a mixture of intimidation and blackmail, making him the first inner circle member who had been pressed into service rather than convinced to join out of their own will. Despite the circumstances of his joining, Anisimov became a loyal and efficient lieutenant, drawing everyone's but Nasarov's and Churnyeav's appreciation to his resolve and talents. He also became the key to toppling Alexei Konstantino, who at first appeared to accept Anisimov's departure with resignation.

Thanks to Anisimov, though, Prokofiev had an "in" with Konstantino, and by following his advice in completely conquering Zarya Green's support, Prokofiev managed to convince Konstantino to sell out his empire and merge with the Novistranan Coalition. This level of cooperation, on the surface, shocked the working-class and the elite of Novistrana alike, but under the hood, everyone knew that it was Prokofiev calling the shots.

Rostislav Petrov's capture to Vasily Karasov's Secret Police, however, would be a large setback to the Coalition's plans to take over Novistrana's Stock Exchange, as well as giving the revolutionary and his inner circle members pause as to how much Karasov was chasing after them...

* * *

Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Alexei Konstantino's Stubbornness: 21/04/1996

Piotr Prokofiev,

Not only do you try to turn my people against me, you actively blackmail them into your faction with "offers they can't refuse"?

I find your actions offensive. Having already politely asked you to reverse your policy I will simply repeat what I have said to you before: under no circumstances will you break our will or independence.

That is all I have to say to you.

Alexei Konstantino

Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-thirty-ninth Entry: 21/04/1996

Vikenti Anisimov has joined me, even if I had to rely on threats and coercion to make him help us. The man has made a life for himself as a greedy mogul with plenty of backing for his industries, and according to our intelligence, his joining the Red Matroyshka only served to drive him to the shadows and maintain his circle of friends closed. He requested to work from his home, which I promptly refused. I want to see exactly what he's doing and who he is talking to when he's at headquarters.

Konstantino still seemed to be resolute at losing one of his right-hand men, but Anisimov explained to me that this was "classic Konstantino", behaving as if nothing was wrong when his world was collapsing around him. These moments came more often nowadays now that we were in town, something that warms my heart. Nevertheless, he has to be dealt with, so I had to come up with another plan to break his will. Anisimov was the answer once again: Konstantino never held total control of Zarya Green, so if I managed to get all of the district rallied in my favor, then Konstantino would probably come to see how resistance was futile and capitulate to our demands.

There is something they call "the Lodge" in Zarya Green, a sort of business circle that the elite flocks around to discuss finances and wealth. Said "Lodge" is tepidly pro-Konstantino, but Anisimov suggested I take over the circle and have them press the bastard. Apparently it would be a personal crushing blow, losing all of that lifetime support. Works for me.

* * *

The Novistranan National Archive - Berezina Herald Article on Rostislav Petrov's Arrest: 21/04/1996


This morning we have received word from the Presidential Palace that they have recaptured Rostislav Petrov, a recognized priest from Berezina and an ex-member of the Novistranan Coalition. Petrov was found and detained at the Berezinan Central Station attempting to flee the city via bus, and was quickly taken away by the authorities after protesting his innocence. Petrov is accused of fomenting dissent against our President and taking an active role in leading the national strike that took place last week, effectively making him a traitor and a terrorist in the eyes of the law.

Despite Petrov's life of serving the Church by taking extended trips to the Far East and converting many as a missionary, President Karasov explained to the Herald in a rare exclusive interview that Petrov was working to undermine the nation's order, seeking to encourage and organize acts of domestic terrorism to put fear in the heart of hardworking Novistranans everywhere.

He went on further to explain that Petrov's anti-corruption quest was in fact a personal vendetta against the established hierarchy and appointed bishops. Proof of this was found in letters written by Petrov and follow-up questions with Yelizar Kassavatiz, Berezina's metropolitan bishop and strong supporter of President Karasov, who was frequently a target of Petrov's accusations.

"It is disgraceful," Kassavatiz noted to the Herald before one of his weekly sermons in the Cathedral, "that a man of the cloth like Brother Petrov would abuse the name of the Lord and his Church connections not only to ravage our fair motherland, but also to unbalance the order of the Holy Church. Such a man I cannot call my Brother, and I wish to see justice served to all who would follow his path."

Rostislav Petrov has been indefinitely detained in the Ministry of the Interior, with no further details to report. Due to his charges of domestic terrorism and treason, he is not expected to have a public trial or to remain affiliated with the Church.

* * *

Novistranan Coalition Dossier - Yelizar Kassavatiz: Priest

Bishop Kassavatiz is the right-hand man of the Archbishop of Berezina. He does much of the day-to-day work involved in running the country's religious interests. He is most famous for his rousing sermons and charitable work.

* * *

: Did you read today's article on...?

: Oh god, yes I did.

: What are we going to do?

: This is not good. Not good at all.

: Is there something I'm missing?

: Yes, and I would blame you for what just happened, maggot!

: One of our ex-members, Father Petrov, was arrested!

: Hardly sounds like my fault, Churnyeav.

: Watch it or I'll-

: Comrade, come on! This isn't helping!

: We need to tell Piotr.

: Someone get a hold of him!

*Vilnov takes up a phone, dials.*

: Piotr, no time to explain. Petrov has been arrested. We need you!

*Vilnov hangs up.*

: Why didn't we put him in a safe house?

: Sir, Father Petrov refused to go to one.

: Why? What the hell was he doing?

: Mr. Vilnov, we don't know. Only Piotr does.

: He should have forced him to go into a safe house himself!

: Mr. Prokofiev probably thought it was for the best to let Comrade Petrov go...

: No! It was a stupid decision and now we're all going to pay for it!

: Then what do we do?

: We have to move out of here, now! If Karasov questions Petrov, and believe me, he will, he's going to tell them everything! Including where we are now!

: Shit!

: Exactly. We have to go. Pack your things, now!

: No disrespect, Mr. Vilnov, but it's Piotr that-

: Forget him! He clearly has not thought this through! Now listen to me and do it!

: Fine, Jesus. I liked you better when you were just talking politics and writing your books.

: I say bring them on! Let me get my Alpha Squad ready and we'll-

: We'll what, Chunyeav? Hold off one wave of cops only to get the entire army on us? Are you hoping Karasov himself shows up to raid the place? We go NOW.

: Hell no! I'm not going anywhere!

: Then you can just leave us right here and now and get arrested too! Pack, damn it, pack!

*The group scatters and begins to pack. Churnyeav sits fuming for a minute, but then joins them. Five minutes later, Prokofiev arrives.*

: What happened? What's going on?

: The priest got himself arrested, sir.

: Fuck fuck fuck! Then what are you-

: We're packing up shop, Piotr. Your teacher, Vilnov, told us to move out to another HQ.

: Okay, good, good. I wanted to tell you to do it yourselves, but it looks like he's still on the ball. Okay, I need to breathe a second.

: Sir, this is a bad idea. I don't like running.

: Churnyeav, we have to run now to live and fight another day. Think tactically.

: God damn it. Fine!

: Where are we going, then?

: I don't know, I don't know. Let me think.

: Comrade, we don't have time for that. I've already thought of a place.

: What is it, Tresori?

: We're moving to the Chersonesus Estate. It's enemy territory, but we have some loyal people there with a large slum dwelling there we can convert to our use. It won't be as big as this place but it's just as secretive and well-hidden.

: Fuck...

: No time to waste, my student. Go! Pack your things!

: Oh man, oh man, oh man... Poor Comrade Petrov...

: Sorry to say this, comrade, but we have to worry about our own hides right now. Piotr will fix it up later, right Piotr?

: Y-yeah... Yeah, I'll try.

: ...

: It's a good thing I don't have much, then. I'm ready to go.

: Then help me out here!

: Mmmm... no. I think I'll begin moving my things out now. Where do I go, Vilnov?

: No. 66 Pallavsovka Prospekt at the Chersonesus Estate. Look for the Novistranan Coalition graffiti logo and go from there.

: Very well.

: Hey!

: Churnyeav, just get going! We'll bicker later!

: *grumble* Fucking bean counters and their goddamn money...

: Piotr, you've made another grave mistake.

: I know, Tresori, I know! I'm going to fix it!

: I hope so. I also hope you know Petrov is going to die.

: Don't say that.

: Only voicing the inevitable, Piotr. Karasov will do what he can to get him to talk. After that, he will be killed.

: ...

: You can break the news to the others later.

: C'mon, Piotr, don't just stand there! We have to go before dawn!

: A-all right... God damn it, Petrov, what did you do...?

* * *

"Oh, Father Petrov, Father Petrov. What did you do?"

The voice lulled the semi-conscious priest back to a form of lucidity, slowly scaring away the darkness. The pain had been blissfully numbing with his slip into unconsciousness, but something had brought him back into reality. A reality of agony and unbearable pain, of unrelenting torture and punishments cruel and unusual. With blurred eyes he managed to tilt his head to the left, seeing a white-coated man mess with something before stabbing it in his arm carefully. The plunger went down, and Petrov slowly, slowly became more aware of the white-hot burning throughout his body. He opened his mouth to scream, but only breathed out something like a wounded animal.

"I just couldn't wait to play with my new toys," the voice said again, but coming from his right. He managed to flop his head in the voice's direction, not out of his own will but because he couldn't do anything else. He was restrained... not that he wanted to move with the fire burning in his limbs.

As the medicine took effect and brought Petrov fully back to consciousness and horror, the face came into focus. Karasov. The dictator was looking at him with a mixture of concern and enthusiasm. He was the one who had been administering some of the torture, and Petrov wanted nothing more than to be whisked away into the realm of the Lord, escaping this horrible fate.

"You want the pain to stop, don't you?" whispered Karasov close to the priest's ear in a soothing tone. "You want me to let you go."

Petrov, all but broken, gave a whimper. At hearing that, Karasov nodded, and whispered again.

"It can all end, Father. It can all end with two questions. Can you answer two questions?"

Petrov nodded, moaning weakly, then the pain of his wounds became too unbearable to continue. His wincing and guttural noises of a dying man made Karasov nod to the man in the white coat, who rapidly administered a dose of some other chemical. Then, the darkness mercifully came over the priest again.

* * *

Boris Churnyeav did not enjoy running from an enemy. He hated it much more when it was Karasov that he was running from.

Prokofiev had convinced him that fighting the tyrant was patriotic, something worth fighting for. He had taken those words to heart, and despite having betrayed his trust once, Prokofiev accepted Churnyeav back without complaints. He saw potential and power in Churnyeav, and this made the veteran proud.

But he did not like having to play defense. The Ironman never played defense.

He wasn't stupid, but he was impulsive at times. This was one such time. Despite the likelihood of the priest confessing to everything, Churnyeav had to stick his neck out now for the sake of the movement, even if it meant sucking up to the rich bastards he and Nasarov hated so clearly. He had rung up Deadeye and Woodstock for one major recruitment and drafting drive at the Tsvetayeva Fields, with the goal of picking up the final wavering support from Zarya Green. Nasarov had weakened Konstantino, and Churnyeav was going to grab it.

What surprised him was that when he revealed his plans to the rest of the Coalition that morning, it was Vikenti Anisimov, the goddamn bean counter, who expressed the most interest... as much interest as he could express, anyway.

"You want to run an army draft with the intent of sucking in some of the Lodge members?" Anisimov had asked. Puzzled at what he meant by the 'Lodge', Churnyeav agreed. Anisimov nodded. "Very well. I'll speak to some friends about your little drafting. Carry on."

And now, at the army draft, Churnyeav was surprised to see a number of wealthy-looking types actually checking out the field, asking questions and signing up for things. He approached his friend Karimov, who had just finished talking to one such rich-looking man.

"Hey Deadeye, who was it you were just talking to?"

"That guy was someone from Zarya Green, some big-shot warehouse owner," Karimov replied. "Says he got a hot tip from some mook friend of his called Anisimov to check this out. He likes what he sees, Ironman. These guys are big on patriotism when it means they can stick their sons in a cushy officer position so they don't face combat."

Karimov was going to continue talking to Churnyeav, but another rich toff pulled him aside with the intent of asking just how powerful the Novistranan tanks were. Churnyeav was left alone, confused, but then actually realized what Anisimov was doing for him and became grudgingly thankful to the bastard. He was helping Churnyeav win the war.

* * *

Memos to Piotr Prokofiev - Alexei Konstantino's Offer: 22/04/1996

Piotr Prokofiev,

You have achieved what I never thought possible, and was never able to do myself. In a way I have a modicum of respect for what you have accomplished in the Lodge. Whilst there is nothing you can do to force me to submit, I might be prepared to assist you in exchange for a suitable fee.

I have some very useful information regarding the current Finance Minister and am prepared to part with it, for a price. I will even go as far as joining you in a merger if your offer is good enough. I'm sure that we can come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial.

Arrange a meeting with me when you have NR1,000,000 and we can discuss this further. That is my fee and it is non-negotiable.

Alexei Konstantino

Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-forty-second Entry: 22/04/1996

I have been able, if just barely, to move our essential communications and some key personnel to our new headquarters. The rest will have to be destroyed and the base sealed off, possibly for good. Father Petrov is not a military man: Karasov has likely tortured him for our plans and headquarters location, so the movement was necessary for our safety. Boris doesn't agree, but he always did prefer to bash other people's heads in rather than using his own.

I can't do anything for Father Petrov. Goshnov was also disposed of, and he was the only man who had the greed and willingness to go behind Karasov's back in these times. With his elimination, Karasov's men will be fully loyal and I won't be able to bribe anyone off. I hate to do this, but Petrov will have to wait until the revolution ends... If he lasts that long. I can't think of it.

I need to think about our plans. Taking over Zarya Green and the Lodge entirely was surprisingly quick, thanks to Churnyeav's stubbornness. Our work has paid off and the Lodge suitably pressed Konstantino to fold, even if his memo says otherwise. Buying him and his conglomerate out will pay off nicely in the future, and his claim of information intrigues me. We have around a million roubles, at least in net worth, so it's time to use it and destroy the Cartel in the best way possible.

I'll meet Konstantino this afternoon at the Strastnoy 5 restaurant in Zarya Green. The Lodge has some members there, so the deal should work out well with a little bit of business pressure.

* * *

Prokofiev walked out of the metro station, thinking hard about the buy-off he was planning with Konstantino and fighting to keep any thoughts from Father Petrov assaulting his mind. He couldn't help but wonder what sort of horrors the priest could be experiencing, but at the same time he feared what sort of confessions he might make. It was a good thing Prokofiev had managed to move everything in time, and thanks to Vilnov's initiative, they had gained a head start on the Secret Police and probably covered all of their tracks.

While he heard horror stories of people from the Petropavlosk Estate, it seemed that the code of silence he had instilled was holding. People were actively misdirecting the police under threat of arrest, and the trail to their new headquarters was growing cold. Karasov was truly combing the city for them, but Prokofiev was proud of the people for standing up for the revolution and the movement. They could feel change in the air, and it was coming soon.

Now, as he waited in front of the trendy hole-in-the-wall restaurant for Konstantino to show up, Prokofiev figured that this merger would be exactly what they needed to unite the ideologically opposed workers and their elites. At least it would give Prokofiev a vast pool of resources to draw from for the rest of his movement.

Soon enough, Konstantino himself appeared, exiting his limousine far from the restaurant and walking down the street with a determined gait. As he approached, Prokofiev wondered whether to sweeten the deal by offering more money than the agreed-upon million, but he would have little money to work with afterwards as it was, and a man like Konstantino did not deserve any more money than he already had.

Coming face-to-face with Alexei Konstantino himself, Prokofiev couldn't help but notice he was quite old-looking for a young man. Stress and the cutthroat world of business aged him badly.

"Charming to meet you, Piotr Prokofiev," Konstantino began as the two men shook hands, then looked at the restaurant with a sneer. "My god, you couldn't choose somewhere classier to meet rather than this dump? No wonder you dress like that all the time."

Prokofiev only stared daggers at Konstantino, who didn't seem to care for the glare and turned his nose up at Prokofiev.

"I trust you've gotten the money before we discuss business?"

"The money is ready to be transfered to your bank account, but we'll have to talk over the details of our merger before I give you anything," replied Prokofiev, not wanting to waste time with this child's petulant observations.

"Fair enough, old chap," said the mogul, drawing a chuckle from Prokofiev.

"I don't think it's quite right to call us 'chaps', 'comrade'," Prokofiev said, shaking his head. "Not two days ago you were threatening to send over hitmen to kill me and my good friend Josef."

"Dreadfully sorry for that little bother," Konstantino sniffed dismissively. "The world of business can be quite cruel, and I'm afraid I've got to take a strong tone with my enemies."

"Before or after you murder them?" asked Prokofiev sarcastically, trying to get a rise out of Konstantino, and he certainly got one.

"I suggest you drop any further talk of that, or this meeting ends here and now," Konstantino replied icily, his face stone serious. Prokofiev was happy to needle the man, but he nodded and gestured to the tables.

"Let's grab a seat and talk, then."

The two men walked over to the tables, ready to discuss business. They took a seat, ordered expensive food and wine (as Konstantino was footing the bill), and began their negotiations when the waiter returned, pouring their glasses and dropping off some bread.

"I must admit I'm still quite surprised at how you managed to utterly conquer Zarya Green," Konstantino said, sniffing the wine and taking a sip from it. "I never expected the Lodge to band together like that so rapidly."

"It helps I've had support there before, but your boy Anisimov sure knows how to help a good army draft," Prokofiev replied, guzzling his own wine down and helping himself to another cup. "You should have kept a closer eye on him."

"Clearly," replied Konstantino, disgusted at Prokofiev's brutish behavior. "I suppose I should have kept him even more secret."

"Wouldn't have helped," grinned Prokofiev. "You may have a brain for business, but I have a brain for secrets."

"Let's move on to actual business propositions, shall we?" requested Konstantino as he took a bread roll and began to butter it. "I will state up front that I will dissolve the Konstantino Industries, and the political entity known as the Konstantino Cartel will join you utterly and support you in any endeavors you take them in. I will also reveal to you the information I was hinting at."

"That sounds like what we've agreed upon," Prokofiev nodded, purposefully taking an entire bread roll and biting roughly into it. Konstantino sneered in contempt and daintily continued to butter his roll as Prokofiev asked with his mouth full, "What do you want in return?"

"I want a million roubles for my personal expenses and a place as a supervisor of the Stock Exchange," Konstantino replied, carefully chewing a piece off of his roll. "Not as Minister of Finance, mind, but something big enough that my decisions matter. I may be joining you as a servant, but I will not be a slave."

"Only a million?" Prokofiev asked, eyebrow raised. "You certainly sell yourself cheap."

"The million is only for my information, really, and to see if I could speak to Marxists like you," Konstantino replied with a hint of pride. "My business empire is worth millions, and selling it off will make me quite wealthy indeed. It's a shame to scuttle it, but we must all cut and run at some point, eh?"

"Well, that's fine then," smiled Prokofiev. "I wasn't going to give you the position as Finance Minister anyway. I need loyal men there, not people like you."

"What a shame, I could have worked great wonders for you if I was so inclined," Konstantino shrugged. "Are my terms acceptable?"

"Before I agree to anything, I want to know what kind of information deserves a million-rouble price tag," pressed Prokofiev, which make Konstantino laugh. "I managed to spring a man from the Secret Police jails for a quarter of that."

"Knowledge is power, Mr. Prokofiev," grinned Prokofiev, who nodded. "Ask yourself this: what could possibly be worth a million dollars?"

"That's what I wanted to know," frowned the revolutionary. "I'm asking you."

"Oh, use a little imagination for once," quipped Konstantino, clearly enjoying himself. "Let's see just what you think it's worth."

Annoyed at having to play this game, Prokofiev nevertheless began to guess. "Does it have something to do with Karasov?"



"Again, tangentially."

"The Lodge?"

"Yet again, tangentially."

Prokofiev's patience with the man had run out. "Fucking what, then?"

"Language, language my dear Prokofiev!" Konstantino chided with a chuckle, seeing their soups coming out from the restaurant. "A good businessman always keeps a diplomatic head about him!"

"And a smart one gets to keep his head," muttered Prokofiev, beginning to slurp his soup.

"Fine, I suppose I should tell you, you won't guess it anyway," the young tycoon shrugged. "I can testify to fraud and corruption in the Stock Exchange, Mr. Prokofiev. And I'm talking nation-breaking fraud."

At hearing this, Prokofiev stopped eating and slowly looked up to face Konstantino. "Go on."

Pleased at Prokofiev's attentiveness, Konstantino continued. "You know the crash of 1994? Well, let's just say that all that speculation on the market wasn't possible without some heavy subsidizing and 'overhead costs' from the people."

Prokofiev slid the soup aside, giving Konstantino the attention he craved. "Go on."

"The Finance Minister, Sergei Shkvartsev? He masterminded quite a little coup on the nation's funds with people from the Stock Exchange and the state banks," Konstantino revealed smugly, opening his arms wide like a playwright. "What he did was a work of art. I have never seen so much perfectly-synchronized embezzlement and capital plunder done so... masterfully."

"How do you know this?" growled Prokofiev, his stomach knotting. "How do you know this?"

"How do I know it?" Konstantino repeated. "My good man... I took a great part in it. How else do you think my Cartel and my conglomerate grew so fast?"

"You're fucking scum!" accused Prokofiev, pointing at the young tycoon angrily. "How dare you sit there with that fucking smile on your face when you put so many Novistranans out of work and into poverty?"

"Only the strongest survive, Mr. Prokofiev," Konstantino replied darkly. "I was doing all I could to make damn sure I was strongest."

It took quite a bit of willpower on Prokofiev's part to neither get up and walk away or clear the table and begin wailing on the tycoon. His blood was boiling now, and he wanted to make Konstantino and all of his enablers pay... but that would have to wait. He swallowed his bile.

"You've got quite a will on you," Prokofiev tried being diplomatic, keeping a strange smile on his face as he struggled to remain polite. "I take it you have evidence of all of this corruption?"

"I do, and I'll part with it willingly if we merge," Konstantino replied, then frowned. "I'll add now, though. I want to be free from any sort of judicial investigation or anything of the sort. I walk, got it?"

"Don't worry, you'll be immune," Prokofiev told the mogul. From that, anyway, he thought to himself, making a mental note to seize Konstantino's assets after the revolution. He and a lot of his enablers would be redistributing a little wealth.

"Anyway, the point is, I can prove when, where, and how much was embezzled in that crash," Konstantino explained as he tapped the table. "As a matter of fact, I can give you all of the evidence that proves how much more fraud has taken place in the past two years."

"You're still a part of it?" Prokofiev asked, thinking the young man sickening.

"Only marginally, enough to keep a heads up on what's going on," Konstantino replied, sipping his soup and wine. "I receive small payments here and there, but by and large my conglomerate is legitimate. The Finance Minister and his men, though, have sticky fingers. They've got a nice system going and they won't stop anytime soon."

"So they're still robbing the people blind," Prokofiev snarled, throwing his hands up in disgust.

"Don't act so surprised, I'm sure you and your cynical little communist buddies were saying as much before you knew about this," Konstantino said, turning his nose up again and smiling smugly. "You just happen to have a little proof of it now... as long as you pay me."

"Oh, you'll be paid for it, all right," Prokofiev said with surprisingly little vitriol as the main meals came to them. The two began to eat in silence, and both men's minds were racing. Prokofiev had to get his hands on that evidence, and Konstantino was thinking of any possible outs he could give to his own loyal supporters when the hammer came crashing down.

Fifteen minutes later, both had finished their meals and began talking to each other again.

"All right. A million roubles for the evidence, and you and your faction join the Coalition and do our bidding," Prokofiev listed. Konstantino merely nodded. Prokofiev took out the contract from his coat and showed it to Konstantino. "Read this and make sure it's right, with all that legalese of yours."

Konstantino took Prokofiev's contract gently and pored over it for ten minutes, carefully reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading it, making a face here and there at whatever was written, but he finally nodded and took out his fountain pen. He signed it with his flourishing and gaudy penmanship, then returned it to Prokofiev.

"You'll get your money tomorrow morning, rest assured," Prokofiev said, putting the contract back in his pocket. "Just make sure you get your Cartel on the line and out of sight before then."

"Don't worry, they'll be joining you before the day is out," smiled Konstantino and raising his glass. "I already had the paperwork ready before I came here."

The two men toasted, downed their drinks, and stood to shake each other's hand.

"If you'll excuse me, Mr. Prokofiev, I must get back home and engineer my own company's downfall," smirked Konstantino as Prokofiev took his seat, walking away.

"Fair enough," Prokofiev nodded to the man, then added to himself when he was out of earshot, "just as soon as I've planned your own."

* * *

The Novistranan National Archive - CIA Agent  CENSORED 's Daily Report to Langley: 22/04/1996

Prokofiev has moved out of  CENSORED  to a new location we'll try to  CENSORED  as soon as possible. Their new address is at  CENSORED , and Karasov for all accounts has no idea of the move.

This is a major setback. We've  CENSORED  and now we're scampering to find the details. Rostislav Petrov probably gave under pressure of torture and revealed the Coalition's headquarters and their plans. At least Prokofiev was smart enough to foresee this. To his credit, he didn't give up his goal of taking over the Konstantino Cartel, which he managed to do this afternoon.

Now, Konstantino Industries and the rest of his cabal are under Prokofiev's wing. With their help, he may be able to take over the Stock Exchange as he planned. It would certainly put them at an advantage against Karasov. Agent  CENSORED  and myself will continue to monitor the situation as best we can.