The Red Square

The Red Square

Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure

Summary

The book 'The Red Square' consist of a novelette plus thirteen short stories and the title above is the novelette title. The novelette's plot relates the story of an American secret agent in Moscow. He is sent to get in touch with certain locals and organize a net, that's his mission and that's how he was briefed back home. After several days he realizes that he was betrayed, while the Russian SVR puts a siege on him and tries to persuade to defect

Summary

The book 'The Red Square' consist of a novelette plus thirteen short stories and the title above is the novelette title. The novelette's plot relates the story of an American secret agent in Moscow. He is sent to get in touch with certain locals and organize a net, that's his mission and that's how he was briefed back home. After several days he realizes that he was betrayed, while the Russian SVR puts a siege on him and tries to persuade to defect

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Red Square

Author Chapter Note

The book 'The Red Square' consist of a novelette plus thirteen short stories and the title above is the novelette title. The novelette's plot relates the story of an American secret agent in Moscow. He is sent to get in touch with certain locals and organize a net, that's his mission and that's how he was briefed back home. After several days he realizes that he was betrayed, while the Russian SVR puts a siege on him and tries to persuade to defect<br />

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 18, 2013

Reads: 624

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 18, 2013

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THE RED SQUARE

 

 

 

HAIM KADMAN

 

 

 

The plot of this book "The Red Square"  is a work of fiction, and is a product of the author's imagination. The protagonist and the different, characters names, and the plot's background descriptions are fictitious; any resemblance to actual persons living of dead, events or places are coincidental.

 

Copyright © Haim Kadman 2013 – all rights reserved.

 

 

THE RED SQUARE

 

It’s him again… Paul realized disappointed, as he watched the small middle aged man approaching him, pushing his way through the crowd on the train terminal platform. The way in which this operator of his almost undermined his self confidence during his last mission, floated vividly in Paul's memory, and this man was supposed to encourage him, apart from bringing him news, letters and means…

Couldn’t they send someone I could trust, instead of that…? He thought frustrated clearing his throat, dispersing vapor mist in front of him, as if he wished to smoke screen Sam; that was his operator current alias, and that was all he knew about his detested compatriot.

‘Hello John,’ smiled to him his moon faced operator. ‘Long time no see, eh?’ He added extending a right gloved hand.

‘Oh hello,’ Paul answered with a stern face, shaking his operator’s hand.

‘I stink,’  Sam declared smiling still, as if he was expressing his joy of being tailed by a group of counter intelligence agents.

Why didn’t you postpone our meeting then? That angry question was on Paul’s tongue’s tip, but in a quick second thought he remembered where their meeting was taking place. His operator did not burn him, every foreigner was tailed in the Soviet Union, and in Moscow in particular.

’Do you know any foreigner that doesn’t stink in Moscow?’ He asked his operator with a faint smile. Trying his best to get in some terms, with the man he so much disliked.

‘You maybe, up to this very moment.’ Sam replied laughing cheerfully in Paul’s face. ‘It's too cold here, let find us a warm place, the terminal restaurant, or you got a better idea?’

‘Let’s take a cab to my hotel, lead them straight to where I stay, and thus play the innocents that have nothing to hide.’

‘Sure, let’s get out of the terminal first.’ Sam answered with a grim face. The idea was right, but to hear it from someone who did not have his years of experience in the organization – was an insult.

‘Any news?’ Paul asked in almost a whisper, expecting  a sign of life, from a dear soul which he left behind.

‘No letters lover boy!’ Sam declared cheerfully, sneaking a look at Paul’s face.

They came out of the terminal, and boarded one of the empty cabs parked right in front of the terminal’s entrance. There were several more cabs awaiting commuters, most of the crowd that arrived with the last train took the underground.

‘Well how do you find life here? Sam asked as they were riding to Paul’s hotel. They did not look back to see whether they were followed, simply because they knew very well that they were covered rather closely. The driver could have been a KGB agent that speaks English, or he could record their conversation – thus the best option was to speak freely and say virtually nothing.

‘Well not bad, it’s a bit cold here though…’

‘You’re well provided as far as I can see, a fine coat, gloves and a fur cap; you look like a real Ivan.’ Sam could not refrain from adding. ‘How is your hotel by the way?’

‘Oh it’s a real plush hotel, excellent service, excellent food.’ Paul noted with feigned enthusiasm, the lavish compliments were intended for the driver’s ears.

‘I may board it but to rely on your taste, and your taste in women in particular…’ Sam added with a chuckle.

My God, must he tear off the masks of our faces? I carry a diplomatic passport just like him, but I in spite of it might be bumped off in a staged accident, while he with his behavior serves them as if he were on their pay roll; he isn’t, I’m sure he isn’t, but why for God’s sake doesn’t he think before speaking? They’ll never touch him he’s a gold mine as far as they’re concerned…The way he keeps blabbering, that’s all they need… Paul thought frustrated but didn’t say a word. It’s the second time that he teases me. What bothers him, or was he instructed to do it, and to what purpose? Paul went on thinking but kept his mouth shut tight.

Getting out of the cab in front of the hotel Sam watched its dark facade with a scornful look; while Paul paid the cab driver and thanked him in hesitant Russian. Sam was watching the hotel’s surroundings with interest but he did not express his views yet, he took his time.

As Paul joined him they went towards the broad entrance, and entered the lobby.

‘So that’s what you call a plush hotel.’ Sam remarked quite aloud, while they were passing next to the hotel’s reception counter. ‘I won’t join you in here, sorry pal I’m used to much higher standards.’

It was well timed and was the one and only remark that Sam declared at that particular meeting, which Paul could be completely emphatic with. It served their ends according to the rules; though it didn’t serve them even a bit to beguile their pursuers, they were watched very closely. Sam chose a far corner table and they sat next to it gloomily, facing each other.

‘What will you have?’ Paul asked after a few seconds, that seemed to Paul a rather long period of time..

‘Coffee just coffee I’m on a diet, and I haven’t much time left. I just stopped by to see you, doing your parents a favor.’ Sam replied and made a short pause, letting his inferior get hold of the precarious situation he was in, according the Sam's allusions. ‘Your parents are worried…’ He added and watched Paul with a long worried face.

So they aren’t satisfied at Langley, who? Your boss the one who sent you, the one who dictates these bits of nonsense to you... Why, I’ll have to find out the reason why, and I’ll find it out so help me! A wave of fury was flooding Paul’s brain for a friction of a second. He filled his lungs with air in an effort to calm down, avoiding his operator’s face. He looked around the small lobby; as if he was looking for a waiter.

If the place isn’t bugged there must be one or two of them behind the counter who are able to read lips, and in several languages not in Russian alone… So I’d better keep my mouth shut.

‘How are you getting along, found some business associates, who could sale the company’s goods?’

‘Not yet, I looked around a bit, but I’ve to master their language first – it isn’t easy.’

To Paul’s relief a waiter was heading to their table. What in any other circumstances was an annoying moment, was to Paul at that certain instant the short break he needed so badly. He ordered with the few words in Russian which he had already mastered, and when answered by that waiter before he left their table Paul nodded his head as if he understood what the waiter had to say,. For all Paul cared the waiter could fetch them a bucket of borscht or a bottle of vodka.

‘Well, you aren’t doing bad at all.’ Sam remarked with a slight chuckle. ‘A short affair with a Russian female might work miracles for you, don’t you think?’

‘I’ll have to change my taste first…’ Paul answered with a short laugh. Got you, haven’t I? You sly fox, if a woman would cast a look at you, that’s what I would call a miracle.

The waiter returned with a platter and two cups of coffee to Paul’s relief. So he must have asked me if that’s was all I wanted… I must have been so upset at that moment… Didn't he get on my nerves my operator…? Does he really think that I would make a pass at some KGB agent? With these thoughts Paul sipped his coffee, praying to god his operator would drink up and leave.

A few more seconds of silence passed. Sam was looking around pondering; something was bothering him it seemed. He did not try to hide it. He raised his cup to his lips, watching Paul again.

‘I got to go!’ He announced right after having dried up his cup. He seemed to be anxious to take his leave, all of a sudden.

 

Near the hotel entrance just before crossing its threshold, Sam with his back to the reception counter, swerved from side to side and squeezed his body between Paul and the entrance post, as if he was in a hurry for some reason – as he moved forward he pushed an envelope into Paul’s coat pocket.

A cab was waiting already in front of the entrance. While he was shaking his operator’s hand Paul asked him: ‘Shall I see you to the airport?’ It was the right thing to do. They had to show their pursuers that they have nothing to hide.

‘Thanks, I won’t get lost…’ Was Sam’s answer with much disdain, and he went straight away to the waiting cab.

Well, what an encouraging meeting it was… Paul thought as he watched the cab driving away for a few seconds, trying to get a glimpse of a following car – but there was no car following his operator's cab.

It looks as if Sam is riding on without any kind of an escort… They know that he’s bound for the airport, they’re waiting there, to see him off; and the cab must be monitored in some way or another. Paul summed that little riddle up and turned about to walk on, without any idea where to.

As he strolled on the pavement along Ulitsa Varvaka, trying to find his way to the Red Square as any other tourist would do; and he is some six weeks in this majestic capital already and hasn’t been there yet. He might check surveillance meanwhile he thought a bit encouraged. It might revive my spirits watching their difficulties in tailing stealthily an object matter on a huge empty square.

‘Sprechen zie Deutch?

‘No I don’t speak German.’ Paul answered surprised, watching the lovely features of the young woman that accosted him. He was accosted several times before already by good looking young women, who turned to him in hesitant English. This one except her original style of approach had an extremely captivating smile, exposing her even white teeth and a thin line above of dark red gum – and her exceptional full and red lips. He could not ignore her and walk on, as he treated her few colleagues on the few previous occasions.

‘You’re a Frenchman then?’

‘No I’m American.’

‘I see, lost your group? I’m a tourist guide.’ She hastened to declare with that alluring smile of hers.

‘Natalie of the Red Square I presume, the one that certain French singer misses so much…’ Paul suggested laughing.

‘Oh I know and love this song.’ She answered with a sweet chuckle. ‘My name is Tania, I’ll be glad to show you around and help you find your way.’

She speaks perfect English, with perfect pronunciation of a skilled pro. She doesn’t try to hide it like her predecessors with Pidgin English, they think I’m ripe for defection, well they’re dead wrong. Alright I’ll play your little game, according to my own rules. ‘Mine is John.’ He said and kept watching her smiling face and her dark blue eyes.

‘Oh, nice to meet you John, is there a site that you’d like to see?’

‘Well, I haven’t got the slightest idea yet, but we’ll have to sit somewhere and see.’ I’ve rejected some of those females already, and if I wish to play the dumb tourist that has nothing to hide, I must change tactics – even break the rules, up to a certain limit. He thought watching her exceptional beautiful features, unable to make up his mind whether it's his desperate need to beguile his pursuers or the charms of that young woman that made him change his mind.

‘I know a very nice place not far from here, let’s go then.’ She added touching gently his arm and off they went side by side.

She wasn’t tall, her head with her fur cap was hardly an inch above his shoulder; and she wore high heeled boots. An elegant black coat covered her body, it didn’t hide the good figure she surely has. He thought eying her curiously. She caught his look smiling with tight lips.

‘The best things come in small packages…’ She said beaming, as if she read his thoughts.

I’ll be damned, I’ll be rather very careful! She must be the best specimen they have… He thought smiling back to her.

‘We turn here to the left.’ She said looking up to him with a curious smile, checking his reactions.

Has he got so far from his hotel, Paul wondered. He was so buried in his thoughts.

They turned left at the block’s corner, made a few more steps and reached a staircase before the second building, which led to a cellar. A broad sign in Russian was hanging above it; they passed under it just like crossing under an arch. Faint notes of sparkling music reached their ears, as they descended the stairs down to the cellar. It reminded Paul the notes of a banjo. Tania squeezed the button at the closed door side; the husky that opened it right away, threw a short glance at Paul and let them in without a word. As soon as the husky turned to shut the entrance door, Paul turned to Tania feigning discomfort: ‘Ask him where the service rooms are’.

She looked up at Paul with a quizzical look for a second, but turned to the husky in Russian. The latter led Paul right away to a small cabinet that serves the restaurant’s staff.

As soon as he shut and locked the door behind him, Paul pulled the envelope Sam pushed into his coat’s pocket, opened it and counted the Ruble notes inside it. It's the usual amount that would last me a couple of months. He thought as he tucked the envelope in his jacket’s left inner breast pocket. He checked his coat’s pockets making sure nothing was left there, pulled the cord, waited a few more seconds till the noise of the gushing water subsided and came out. The husky was scratching his left whisker looking down, as if he was watching his own shoes, Tania wasn’t there.

As Paul walked on along the corridor he could hear a female’s voice singing a slow and sad tune in Russian, accompanied by balalaikas. A female attendant took the coat off his shoulders at the wardrobe and right after a few more steps he reached the restaurant’s hall. As he watched the restaurant’s hall with its dancing square and the tables around it, the music and the singer’s voice turned into a stunning crescendo... Tania was seated next to the closest table about two yards away smiling to him, without her fur cap, attired in dark blue uniform that accentuated her beauty and matched so well her dark blue eyes. It took Paul a friction of a second to recognize her without her cap and coat, but as he was getting near her the singer and the three musicians that accompanied her ended up in a shattering climax; while the scarce audience applauded the group enthusiastically.

Sitting down opposite Tania, he turned his eyes back to the singer watching her. She was bowing to the few guests smiling and thanking them time and again. A dark featured buxom, middle aged woman, very good looking though.

‘She’s a gypsy and it’s a famous gypsy song, doesn’t it remind you something?’

Sure enough, love making that’s what that song reminds me so vividly, just in its rhythm; and how clever of you to insinuate it, and pretend at the same time as if you may have meant something else… Paul thought as he watched her beaming face.

‘A gypsy song you say, well yes it’s a lovely tune,’ He muttered clearing his throat. They know exactly in what state I’m and of that delicate matter in particular, it’s so obvious… Jesus Christ I miss Alicia so much, six weeks have already passed by now, and I haven’t told her a thing about that mission of mine. I’ve lost her for good, the fool that I’m. He took a long breath of air into his lungs and exhaled it slowly, watching Tania’s lovely face. She must be thinking that I’m pondering what my next step is going to be, should I cross the Rubicon or… In other circumstances I would have laughed openly in her pretty face.

A waiter reached their table greeted them politely in Russian and handed Tania the menu, it was written in Russian of course. Tania raised her eyes to him with a mute but very clear question.

‘You choose and double it.’ Paul told her.

‘I’ll have just caviar, I’m on a diet.’ She said with a cheerful laugh. ‘But go ahead tell me what you’d like to eat.’

‘Oh, I’ll just have something to drink a double scotch or…’

‘Let’s have champagne instead and celebrate our meeting.’

‘Okay, it’s a good idea.’ He agreed and kept watching her. She’s sure I’m under her spell. No wonder, she’s a rare beauty and she’s the first one I didn’t reject. Paul thought somewhat worried, looking around him he noticed that the little group of musicians including the gypsy singer cleared the stage, and were not to be seen anymore, soft background music hardly audible reached his ears, and an unseen pianist played it in a far corner.

Incredible, they’re taking pains not to disturb our ‘amorous chat.’ Paul kept thinking amused and worried at the same time.

‘Shall we draw an itinerary, your private itinerary, what would you like to see?’ She asked. The waiter has not returned yet, and Paul ignored her right forearm laid invitingly on the table at easy reach. He had better be very cautious, the situation was too delicate and precarious still.

‘I was on my way to the Red Square, as for other sites well…’

‘You’ll have to rely on me then.’

The waiter was back at their table unloading his platter, before Paul managed to answer her.

Smiling politely to each one of them in his turn, the waiter pulled the champagne bottle from the ice bucket, released the cork with its cheerful pop noise, and poured its liquid into their glasses. Having put the bottle back in the bucket, he made a courteous small bow and left.

‘Well nazdrovie’ Tania declared raising her champagne tumbler.

‘So be it, nazdrovie’, Paul echoed after her, raised his own tumbler and clinked it with hers. Bottled tap water that’s what it is… He thought with scorn as he put down his empty tumbler on the table. Without wasting any more time he pulled out his wallet laid before Tania’s dumbfounded eyes five notes of one hundred rubles on the table.

‘Sorry I’ve got to meet someone, I’ve almost forgotten.’ He told her rather briskly, got to his feet and left.

At the wardrobe a few steps from Tania the attendant had trouble it seemed to find his coat. He could have a look at Tania’s pale face, if he would have turned back, but he did not. Nevertheless, he had to wait some five minutes till the attendant finished fumbling in frenzy, and came at last with his coat.

They’re desperate it seems, they hope I’ll change my mind…It could have been real fun if I won’t have to pay dearly for it – they were sure no doubt that I’ve given in, they’ll be after my hide now…

The husky at the entrance did not seem hostile or threatening to Paul, on the contrary he stared at him with a puzzled look as if he was wondering “He’d such a chance and he gave it up?”

Once outside in the cold early afternoon, Paul felt much better. He did not bother to check surveillance, he knew they were behind and in front of him; two crews at least plus a car or two to facilitate the exchanges to prevent exposure.

He had a short minute of elation of having won the bizarre game; he did not succumb to temptation, to beastly urges out of fear or self pity. It did encourage him a bit his small victory, but it was not over yet. His days in this hostile capital were numbered. He did not think they will bother to bump him off, he was not that important and he was ‘burned’ from the very beginning, he did not manage to harm any of their interests yet. It seems as if they were informed of my arrival long before I’ve boarded the plane that flew me over here, though it’s just an assumption – a wild one. He kept brooding turning thoughts in his mind, as he was walking among the few pedestrians on the broad pavement.

After some twenty minutes of walking in a regular pace, he reached the Red Square with the Kremlin towering far off at its end. In comparison to its huge dimensions, the Red Square could be termed as empty. Paul could see a few dots of individuals or a bit bigger specks of tiny groups here and there, the gaps between them were rather wide. It made him smile with satisfaction; he was right his pursuers will have to stay behind far behind.

He went with a quick step up to the square’s heart, and turned around in every direction, a shade of a smile lingered on his face. Come on; get your binoculars, your telescopes, your electronic gadgets, you miserable devils! He almost shouted with delight. In other circumstance, in close range it would have been a stupid mistake, but they may conclude from that far range that I’m impressed by those rare sights. So I’d better recall where I’m and be rather cautious. He reminded himself in a second thought. He roamed there a few more moments, got closer to the Kremlin wall, walked along it and watched the impressive towers; but as it grew darker under the clouded sky, Paul decided to return to his hotel – he had enough for one day.

He noticed two of his pursuers as he left the square, they must have lost their patience – or have they suspected that he might meet someone under their noses… He had to bite his lower lip not to laugh in their faces. But just fifteen minutes later while he tried in vain to hail a cab, he was not hilarious anymore. The several empty cabs that passed him without stopping were a bad omen, he was left with two options the underground or walk back. Take care my boy, open your eyes! He told himself with growing apprehension. They’re after your hide! Don’t forget it. He went on thinking quite perturbed. He preferred to walk on the wide pavement, feeling much safer among the few pedestrians, than descend the bad lighted underground stairs and passages, and push his way in a dense crowd – where anyone could stab him with a syringe needle or some pointed and poisonous umbrella end.

After he crossed several blocks and nothing happened, he relaxed a bit. Go straight ahead, he told himself. Don’t tie your shoe laces; don’t watch shops’ window panes to have a glimpse what’s behind you – no surveillance checking not even out of curiosity or out of habit – no tricks.


© Copyright 2019 haimkadman. All rights reserved.

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