Part 60: Bonus Chapter 11: Alternate Ending - The Tank!
Bonus Chapter 11: Alternate Ending - The Tank!
On the day that Piotr Prokofiev and the Novistranan Coalition stormed Vasily Karasov's palace, the dictator had a plan of escape in mind. Although he knew he had lost, he refused to be captured, and attempted to escape via the large stained-glass window that decorated his office.
Unfortunately for him, the escape didn't work out as planned...
* * *
Drawing a long, final breath, and knowing what must be done with Karasov, Prokofiev turned to the others with a nod, his eyes telling them this was it. Standing at the center of the double doors, Prokofiev lightly put his hands on them as if they were precious relics, then pushed firmly, causing the doors to open almost majestically.
Karasov stood as Prokofiev and his retinue marched in, his expression unreadable. Not dressed in his customary gray suit but rather a pair of drag green pants and a gray sweater, Karasov looked downright grandfatherly. It was an odd site, to be sure, and it made Prokofiev uneasy.
The two leaders, the tyrant and the revolutionary, eyed each other over and said nothing. Prokofiev's stomach did a somersault as his body caught with up his conscious: he was standing in front of the very man who had arrested, and likely killed, his parents.
Suddenly, the last thing Prokofiev wanted was to let the bastard live.
Josef Nasarov, standing to Prokofiev's right and glancing at his lifelong blood brother, put a rough but calming hand on Prokofiev's shoulder, squeezing slightly. Prokofiev turned to face his friend, and a silent exchange went between them as Nasarov only shook his head slowly, understanding. Prokofiev's tense shoulders relaxed, his rage being caged back behind bars of reason. He faced Karasov again.
"Vasily Karasov, the tyrant, the dictator," Prokofiev addressed the President-for-life, every word dripping with venom. "This is the end for you."
"Piotr Prokofiev, the criminal, the usurper" replied Karasov in an unnerving repetition, expression neutral, voice just as unreadable. He looked at Prokofiev's allies. "You have destroyed the nation in order to overthrow me. That sort of dedication... I would have done the same, Prokofiev."
"Don't you dare compare us!" snapped Prokofiev, reaching for the knife in his pocket and drawing it, but not moving forward. "I am not like you!"
"Actually, you're right about that," Karasov said with a sudden lopsided grin, clearly mad but planning one last gamble. "Unlike you, I always have a backup plan."
"What are you talking about?" demanded Tresori Vilnov, stepping forward.
"What I'm talking about is... this!"
Without warning, Karasov suddenly turned around and leaped out of his stained glass window, smashing the remains of it and falling to the lower level. Prokofiev and his men ran forward, expecting Karasov to have died from the fall... and there saw a net, the kind used by circus performers, oscillating unsteadily as Karasov bounced and rolled off of it as fast as he could.
"Motherfucker's makin' a run for it!" Boris Churnyeav shouted, waving at the soldiers who were in the room. "Get your guns ready, boys!"
"We can't endanger the crowd!" Nasarov countered, watching as Karasov dashed through the courtyard brimming with protesters. Oddly, they didn't seem to notice him, or were too stunned from watching the crazy man jump out of a window and run away to give chase. Before they could do anything, Karasov had bolted through a small tunnel passage and popped out of the other side, the green lawns on this side of the palace clear of protesters or anti-Karasov soldiers.
"What crowd now, huh?" demanded Churnyeav, stepping back to give his soldiers a line of sight to fire.
"No, wait," Maxim Nazerov stepped in, holding down the two soldiers' rifles and nodding at something in the distance. "Look!"
The others looked in Prokofiev's direction. In the street, there was a crowd of protesters with Novistranan flags and soldiers allied to the Coalition... and rumbling down the street was a small squadron of six tanks. Vikenti Anisimov laughed bitterly. "Well, this should be interesting."
* * *
Panting for breath and pushing his legs as fast as they could carry him, Karasov began to laugh wildly as he bolted across the empty lawns, blinded to the protesters ahead of him. He had leaped out of his palatial office and landed on the net Barankov and his men had erected the night prior, as planned. He wasn't going to be captured like a dog. He was going to escape, he had to escape! And he had managed to do it!
His wandering mind and fleeting thoughts of flight from Prokofiev's grasp came to a head as he slammed into a group of protesters who were cheering an approaching number of tanks on the street. Bowling over them unceremoniously, Karasov got up in a daze as screams and threats erupted all around him. Before he knew what was happening, he was surrounded by a screaming crowd and soldiers pointing guns all around him.
"Don't fuckin' move!" ordered one of the soldiers when Karasov began to step away from the center of the circle. Karasov obeyed, standing straight in the center of the road, and now becoming aware of the approaching tanks. His heart sank into his stomach as he drew in one shuddering breath of fear.
"What...?" was all he said before a soldier fired his AK-47 in the air, sending the crowd screaming and to the sides. Karasov had thrown himself to the ground.
"Get up, scumbag!" another soldier yelled as he brought Karasov up roughly. A sort of sick hivemind was forming between the soldiers and the protesters, who saw the tanks approaching and, as one, knew what they had to do. "Now don't move or I'll blow your fucking brains out!"
Karasov obeyed, no less than ten AK's being pointed at him like a circular firing squad. The tank squadron stopped, save one tank which continued to approach lumberingly, ominously.
The overthrown dictator held his hands up in fear, pleading with his eyes as his voice failed him, for some sort of mercy. The soldiers and the crowd showed none as they jeered and screamed for his blood.
For a few moments, Karasov continued to step back away from the tank, not wanting to become a victim to its treads. The crowd continued to holler and egg on the behemoth, the driver inside clearly consumed by the bloodlust.
Finally, one soldier in the crowd lost patience and shot Karasov in the leg, bringing the dictator down... and right under the tank's treads.
* * *
: Goddamn, that had to hurt!
: Oooh. You said it.
: Well, I guess that solves that.
: So, uh, what do we do now? Weren't we going to send him to the Hague?
: Can't send a Karasov pancake, that's for sure.
: Well, this isn't the way I thought it was going to end, but... Mission accomplished, everyone. Let's go home and get our constitution in order.
: I can see the headlines tomorrow. "Death by Tank!" Is it wrong that I enjoyed seeing that?
: A lot of people are going to be happy that Karasov went out on such a flat note.
: Karasov's rule...
: ...was spread too thin.
: *sigh* ...Yeah.