It was a tall black building, weathered by war, so that silver flecks of steel showed, like gray hairs on a distinguished face. Ivan, took the elevator to the tenth floor, even though, there were only nine registered in blinking yellow lights, showing the numbers, as each floor zoomed by in the elevator. This was building 348, declassified after the Soviet Union fell, but nobody knew its real secrets, not among the living, anyway. And Ivan had spent years trying to get a janitorial post in his old building where he had been a Colonel. He missed being called, Comrade Colonel. One government crumbles, and he found himself at the bottom of the heap.

His nephew was running a ballet school in Florida. The States were decadent. He wondered about his nephew, and why he wanted to dress-up in tights and teach girls all day, but when he called Alexi on the phone, he understood. Legs were twirling above doll faces, as Alexi stretch them out, criticizing them for eating too much. In the shadow years, there was no time for beauty; beauty was for seduction; and seduction was for espionage and murder. Good for Alexi, Ivan thought. He wondered if his plan was going to work. Surely, the government shut this project down when the iron curtain fell, but there were too many lose ends to tie-up, perfectly—and much was forgotten.

The elevator stopped, but the doors didn’t open. A threatening voice came-over the intercom. Punch in your 9-digit access code, and say your name and rank. Ivan pulled the faded card from his pocket; it had been over 30 years since he used it. He held his breath while he punched the numbers.

“Your Name!”

“Ivan Vasilevski, head of Spy Division X.”

“Welcome, Comrade Colonel.”

Ivan exhaled. Why did he feel he needed a cigarette? That’s right. He smoked two packs a day, on the 10th floor during the cold war.

The steel doors opened and Ivan walked inside. It was like stepping into a museum. Nothing had changed. There were AK-47s on the walls, and 40-year-old computers lined the global grid in the center of the room. Everything was turned off. Ivan knew better than to turn it on. A short circuit, and the guidance systems on lost satellites would make the cold war, hot. Besides, he knew what he was after. He past the vault. There was money in there, loads of it, completely useless, but what he was after was flesh and blood. Ivan walked to the wall and pressed a black screen. Nothing happened. Then the wall collapsed, revealing a room, still cold, colder than he remembered. That’s right, he wore artic clothes when he visited.

There were Russian girls, two of them, indoctrinated at birth, hooked up to the soviet literature plugged inside their brains. They were frozen in ice, ice cold. Ivan felt lust in his fingertips, as he pressed the button to warm their perfectly preserved bodies. The steam started to fog the test-tubes they were floating in. Their naked skin brushed up against the glass. Ivan searched the room for clothes, but he couldn’t find any. The water started boiling. He had to let them out before they got burned. Where was that button, to drain the tanks? He found it, and pressed it. Warm water washed out onto the tiled floor. They swam like fishes, cold, and perky, to his feet, and Ivan spoke to them; they immediately stood at attention—their bodies tight, and alert.

“Permission to speak, Comrade Colonel?”

“Permission, Number 1.”

“Why are you dressed in a grey jumpsuit?”

“We have to take a flight to Florida.”

“Yes, Comrade Colonel.”

Ivan looked at them without lust. The mission was in his mind. They could get inside any man, inside any government, which meant he could stop scrubbing toilets and cleaning floors. They would do anything for him. The cold war never ended; he was about to make it hot!

To be continued…

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