Authors: John Strauchs
Jared didn’t fully understand the concept of hate except in its strictly intellectual
But if he had been capable of feeling white hot hate, Professor Krebs was hated.
had stolen his youth and had stolen his parents.
He made Jared the man he was
far more than his biological father. He hated him for that. Jared could turn off pain when
he willed it, but it was far more difficult to deal with emotions.
He had no difficulty in
mimicking feelings and all common human sensibilities, but to feel true emotions was
extremely difficult for him. When he did feel, such as at his parent’s graves, it was like
there were two Jareds.
One Jared didn’t understand why it was important.
seen these people for more so many years.
Although his memory was vivid back to an
age of one, his memories of Karlis and Erika were only for a brief four year period. The
other Jared grieved. The other Jared cried silent, dry tears as he remembered the love and
kindness of these two people.
He longed for the warm embraces of his mother and the
safety and security of being in the arms of his father.
The two Jareds were ripping him
Jared knew better than any scientist or doctor who had ever examined him or
tested him who he was and what he was not.
For the first time since the dawn of man,
since the Southern Man, since Australopithecus erectus emerged, a man was born who
was a new species of human. There was no one else like him. He was alone. He had genetic memories that went back eons, but he had no irresistible drive to procreate. The
programming that kept the human race going for millions of years has now missing.
Jared didn't select women on the basis of a subliminal urge to find a woman who could
best bear his children and ensure the survival of his DNA. Feminine pheromones still
fired up his libido, but reproduction played no part in his decisions to have sex. He knew
who he was. He knew he represented a colossal leap in human evolution.
Krebs Institute had no understanding of genetic engineering, Jared could speak the language of his own DNA.
One time he traced his mitochondrial DNA and compared it with a world data
base. His many mothers had lived in the Baltic region for many centuries. A yet older
mother had come from an island off the coast of Greece, Euboea. He attempted to trace
his Y chromosomes, but the data base was still being developed. He was curious but otherwise was detached from the findings. But the other Jared pined for his heritage and to
know his roots. The unfeeling Jared was certain that his was the first great leap since the
Southern Man walked the plains of Africa. But he felt no kinship with that little primate.
Jared knew that he was totally alone. Both Jareds were alone and would forever be.
Sasha Sergeyevich Penkovskiy left the Bonn train station in a hurry. A light
spring rain had just stopped. The streets were glistening. It was a relatively short train
ride from Frankfurt but he had been traveling for two days since he left Moscow. He was
tired. He had been, however, looking forward to a trip to the Rhein Valley.
He liked Germany and Germans.
For better or worse, they were a people who
changed the course of the river of history from time to time over the past three thousand
years. Sasha prided himself on his impeccable German and used his language skills
whenever he could. He often dreamt in German.
Sasha was the First Political Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Berlin.
Officially, he was on vacation.
It was a little chilly in Bonn. He wore a heavy Russian suit,
poorly sewn but very warm.
The Rhein Valley didn’t get satisfactorily warm until the
beginning of summer. His top coat was an old Commissars coat. It had been his father’s.
Sasha was a man in his early fifties who knew how to be thrifty. He wasn’t the least bit
Russians are notorious for being sentimental—but not Sasha.
from the privileged class and they never get over-romantic. It just wasn’t done.
He stopped at a store front window from time to time to look into the reflection to
see if he was being followed. He would never turn his head to look behind. Never! His
tradecraft was second nature to him. It came as easily as breathing.
Gott sei Dank,”
he muttered. He was thankful that the walk to Kaiser Strasse
was only a few minutes. He was tired.
Krieg sei Dank
, Sasha,’ said a voice behind him.
“I was wondering who was following me.”
Sami ignored him. “There is
few doors away. We should buy pastries
for meeting,” said Sami in bad German.
“I don’t think we have time for that Sami. I’m sure we will be able to find something sweet in the club. Anyway, how have you been?” asked Sasha.
“Not well. My heart. Doctors idiots. All of them. Man who is only seventy-four
should not have to worry about heart. My father lived to be well over hundred.”
“I am sorry to hear that.”
Sami knew that Sasha’s wife was a doctor. Russia had more doctors than peasants, or so Sami would say. Sami Zhidov was a Bulgarian Jew who survived all of the
anti-Semitic purges in Russian, going back to the Stalin era in the early 1950s when he
was a street hooligan. He killed off his persecutors. By hand! If there was time, he tortured them before the
Coup d' Gras
In dealing with his enemies, he always started by
first killing children and wives. Then he would hide. This didn’t intimidate the target, it
emboldened them for vengeance. He counted on that. Blood feuds were common in that
region. Sami knew all this. It was carefully calculated and patient terror. When he came
out of hiding, he would kill off another family member and then hide again.
In time, he
would finally kill the target. This cycle was repeated for years until, eventually, everyone
was afraid to challenge him. They knew what Sami would do. He hides no more.
Now he was almost 75. He was short, corpulent, hirsute, and old, but Sami didn’t
feel old. His father didn’t stop farming until he was 91 and only then after he had a major
His father continued to help out on the farm until he died at 103. Sami was no
farmer. Rather, he had wanted to be a great wrestler. He had a pantheon of famous Bulgarian wrestlers to emulate, especially Nikola Petrov the Great. Sami excelled at wrestling
the short time he was in school, but being not quite five feet six inches, there were limits
to his physical abilities as he took on opponents in increasingly heavier weight classes.
He was both scolded and admired for being a dirty fighter. He was briefly admitted to the
State Wrestling School in Sofia but was later rejected for being too small, if not for gouging out the eye of a schoolmate. He worked hard at bulking up. He was proud of being
heavy. He never regarded himself as being fat. Wrestling was a good breeding ground for
being a thug, and at that, he excelled and prospered.
Today, his crime realm stretches across six time zones, not quite reaching the Pacific… yet. Barely educated, Sami had a natural understanding how threats and extortion
can make any business prosper. Image is everything. He weighed almost three hundred
pounds and sweated profusely no matter the temperature.
He was morbidly ugly but
turned his appearance into a professional asset. His body odor was something that people
who had to deal with him learned to get used to. He enjoyed making people uncomfortable and worked at it. His grotesqueness was a well-honed weapon.
Few knew his real first name.
His enemies began to call him Saami because of
his unusual facial features. They thought he look like a Lap. He embraced the insult and
began to introduce himself as Sami, dropping the extra “a.” He was Sami the Great.
There were no photographs of Sami.
The CIA did learn that he had married a
homely Chechen woman who bore him four sons and two daughters.
The two eldest
boys worked for Sami.
They had photos of the sons.
It was reported that his children
adored him and that he was a good family man.
Sasha and Sami walked up the steps to Klub 46.
The old German grandmothers
had already been out to mop the steps and sidewalk clean. The sidewalks gleamed in the
afternoon sun. Sami pushed open the door. It was a dark bar that reeked of bad cigarettes
The Americans were waiting for them at a table in the back. There was no
one else in the bar and wouldn’t be.
“Hey, Sasha, how’s the KGB doing these days?” asked Reisinger.
Franklin Reisinger held out his hand.
Reisinger was dressed casual. He had an
Irish wool sweater, corduroy pants, and a scarf wrapped around his neck.
No coat! He
could be easily been mistaken to be a German.
His clothes and his hair cut were European.
He looked like every man and he was good at that.
It was a well practiced art.
Reisinger was smoking.
It’s been a few years but Sasha and Reisinger have known one
another for a long time, back to the good old “cowboy” days when the CIA and KGB
were killing off one another. That was the golden era of espionage.
Sasha laughed. “What KGB. Don’t you read newspapers? The KGB is gone. We
are now the Foreign Intelligence Service…the SVR…the
Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki
But tell me, how is your wonderful CIA doing now that its reason for existing is gone?”
“We’re doing great, Sasha. We have terrorists in our sights. And, I don’t want to
hear that bull shit about the KGB being gone. You people just keep changing names. The
SVR is the First Directorate of the old KGB.
Not much has changed. In any event, I
don’t believe you’ve met John, that is…Mr. Anderson.”
John Comfort Anderson stood. He was wearing a perfectly tailored black HickeyFreeman suit.
His Allen Edmonds shoes were highly polished, if not spit shined.
small American flag pin was on his lapel. His white shirt was heavily starched, in fact all
of John Comfort Anderson was heavily starched, body and soul.
Small granny glasses
were perched on his patrician nose. In his fiftied, his hair was perfectly groomed and
didn’t show any grey, not even at the temples. He dyed his hair. His tie was red with thin
blue stripes. A small white pocket square neatly protruded from his breast pocket.
wore his Rolex watch low so it was always visible. He had a small gold cross around his
neck. It was tucked behind his shirt. No one ever saw the cross. It was crafted with very
sharp protruding edges so the wearer always felt its presence above his heart.
meant to be painful.
He didn’t smoke or drink and eschewed people who did—if there
was a choice.
“Pleased to meet you Mr. Anderson. I have never previously met a Deputy Attorney General of the United States. May I call you John? Please call me Sasha.”
“My friends call me JC, thank you.”
The truth was that hardly anyone called him JC. The obvious reference to Christ
was appealing to Anderson but it was like trying to prod friends to use a nickname they
didn’t like. Reisinger always called him John. Anderson and Sasha shook hands. Anderson flashed a typically American set of brilliant white teeth. It was almost a smile.
Sami hated Anderson the moment he spotted him across the room. He was everything that Sami despised in Americans.
“I am with the embassy in Berlin.
I am representing my friends in the SVR and
Speznaz. No, we are not entirely gone.” said Sasha.
Sami never bothered to stand. He had already sprawled into the nearest upholstered chair. He reached to a small table and poured himself a drink. The bottle was labeled
. It was vodka flavored with figs. He took a sip.
“Damn Germans ruin good vodka. Taste like shit,” said Sami in broken English
He abruptly put his drink down.
Without getting up, he spoke in a loud voice.
I am Sami.
You know me or you heard of me. Why I summoned to
meeting? Why wait year for meeting?”
Reisinger reached down to Sami. “Great to make your acquaintance, Mr. Zhidov.
Of course we know of you.” Most people had an urge to wipe their hands after touching
Sami, but Reisinger was a master at handling unpleasant people.
He did it for a living.
Reisinger’s job was to convince people to commit treason against their own country.
Most foreign agents were psychotic one way or another.
Sami was just one more nut
case to deal with.
“Yes, how are you. Why we here?” asked Sami.
Sasha stepped in. “We’re here, as you know quite well, to decide what to do with
this Siemels fellow.”
“Kill him. What is to decide?” Sami was loud.
“Sami, we don’t want to upset Putin and his new boys. This must be dealt with
under four eyes. You know that,” said Sasha.
“Ziemelis…Siemels…whatever he call himself…he insignificant. Why four important people spend days traveling to tiny German town…so we don’t leave tracks…to
talk about one shitty Latvian,” said Sami.
“Sami, my friend, we came to Bonn because now that the capitol is back in Berlin, no one pays attention to what happens in Bonn.
With regard to Siemels, I tend to
agree with you.
But for the sake of our respective interests, he has to be dealt with very
discretely and very quickly.
Your efforts to date have been very disappointing. Siemels
is important,” said Reisinger.
“There is nothing trivial about Jared Siemels.”
Anderson’s tone was harsh.
was meant to be harsh. “He is a product of Soviet genetic engineering and he is unnatural
and he is an insult to God. He is an abomination. He is evil Mr. Penkovskiy.”
“John, Sasha has repeatedly proven that he was not gene spliced. Why do you insist on bringing that mythology up again and again,” said Reisinger.
“That is alright, Franklin.
I understand that this has religious importance to Mr.
Anderson. I respect his strong beliefs,” said Sasha.
“I said it because it is the truth and no damn Soviet propaganda is going to change
the truth,” said Anderson.
chosen by God in humble midst?” declared Sami.
Everyone ignored Sami, even Anderson.
Reisinger leaned over to Anderson and
whispered in his ear.
means American, John,” said Reisinger.
Anderson was inured to social ridicule for being God fearing but he sensed that it
was time change direction. He was tacking into the wind.
“What brings you to Germany John?” Asked Sasha.
“I’m picking up my new Mercedes on this trip…an SL-550 roadster. I can’t wait
to get my hands on it,” said Anderson.
Jede putzfrau hat ein Mercedes
,” said Sami.
“Sorry,” asked Anderson. “I don’t speak German.”
“Every cleaning woman own Mercedes,” said Sasha.
“Thank you for explaining that,” said Anderson.
“You’re welcome,” said Sasha. I love Americans who don’t speak German. It can
be very funny. You remember when President Kennedy gave his famous Berlin speech in
1963. He said he was a pastry in front thousands Germans.”
Sami began to laugh. It was a foul and guttural laugh.
“Kennedy said ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ whereas he should have said ‘Ich bin Berliner.’ By adding the “ein” he declared himself to be a pastry made famous in Berlin.
pastry is called a Berliner.”
“Yes, that is a humorous anecdote,” said Anderson. “I’ve heard it before.”
Sasha saw that the meeting was not going well. It was time for him to get the gathering focused on the problem.
“We can talk freely. Our best sweeper has been here for a week to ensure that
there are no surveillance devices. He is living in a
in Bad Godesberg so he won’t
attract the attention of anyone in Bonn,” said Sasha.
“Sasha, I think it would be helpful for John if you explained why the Russians are
interested in this man,” said Reisinger.
“To be entirely frank, we don’t want you Americans to have this man. I know that
the CIA tried to recruit him a number of times.
We regard him as a being potentially a
serious long-term threat to the new Russia. If not him directly, then his progeny. And
since you Americans want to be rid of him as well, the matter becomes quite simple. Besides, he is a Russian. It is a Russian matter.”
“This Russian notion that he is some kind of superman is absurd,” said Anderson.
“He is nothing but a scientific freak, like finding someone with six fingers on his hand.”
“I am reluctant to convince you how important an asset you have,” said Sasha.
“If you want our continued cooperation, you have to convince me, said Reisinger.
“John and I obviously have different views on this matter. I believe that this genetic engineering business is bogus.
Could the real reason you want his head is that he has developed new technology that may eradicate the threat of weapons of mass destruction?
Isn’t that the real reason we’re here?”
Anderson’s face turned beet red. He glared at Reisinger.
“Now hear truth,” said Sami.
He was having a difficult time keeping his mouth
“The technology he is reputed to have developed…we still don’t have any proof
that it exists…the demonstrations could have been rigged…continues to be kept a secret
by Siemels. We don’t have it yet,” said Anderson.
“Has your President approved of the assasination?” Asked Sasha.
“There is no need to involve the White House is such a trivial matter,” said Reisigner.
“I like Obama very much. Finally America has its Lenin,” said Sami, laughing.
“And can we assume that our efforts are sanctioned by Putin?” Asked Reisinger.
“Of course,” said Sasha. It was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie but no one was
going to challenge Sasha.
“Sasha, the message you sent me last week was not exactly to the point, but it appeared to suggest that you had a new plan to rid ourselves of Siemels,” said Reisinger.
“Yes, in fact, it is in place. This is Sami’s plan, however. Why don’t you explain
Sami finally stood up. He had the floor now.
Too simple to call it plan. I have sleeper at M.I.T. who will kill Siemels on his little island in Maine. Soon!” Said Sami.
“Who is this sleeper? What are his qualifications? How is he going to kill him?”
Reisinger stepped in quickly. “We don’t need to know who he is, John.”
“It has been a year and so far Mr. Zhidov’s plan has been an abismal failure,” said
“Not secret,” said Sami. “We have best sniper in Russia but also professor. Name
Professor Ivan Smolenskiy.”
Anderson directed the question to Reisinger. “You guys know this Smolenskiy?”
“Not that I can recall,” said Reisinger.
“I’ll check. We probably have a file on
“I reveal name. You give protection until the job done?
After that, don’t care
what you do with him,” said Sami.