A KGB Christmas
A KGB CHRISTMAS – L.Liu
The plan was set. On Christmas Eve, a small group of men from the KGB would go to the North Pole by an amphibious vehicle and take Santa Claus and his wife as hostages. They would demand to remove Christmas from the calendar because it was “too capitalistic.” If they accomplished their mission successfully, then each one of them would get a vacation on the beaches of the Black Sea with their family plus some spending money. The ten men were selected by an “Executive Decision Maker” from Radio Shack. The boss of the KGB bought it when he pretended to defect to the U.S. on a spying mission when he was just starting as a KGB agent. Each man had just completed a mission in America by capturing defectors.
The trip began on December 23, 1985. They carried enough supplies of food, matches, water, and Russian vodka to last for several weeks. A whole arsenal of exotic and conventional weapons was carried on board the vehicle. A small gun was located on the outside and it was lightly armored. The armor was made up of an alloy composed of titanium, zinc, copper, and boron. It was built to withstand extreme cold and heat, but it couldn’t withstand any type of projectile larger than a 44 Magnum’s bullet. Any well-placed shot or fire near the ammunition hold would blow them to pieces. The men were waiting on the frozen ground for the helicopter to pick them up. They were shivering in their heavy down-filled coat and snow-covered boots as the Soviet cargo helicopter flew into view. They got their first glimpse at the vehicle as the helicopter approached them. A ragged rope ladder dropped from the helicopter and dropped in front of Dvek. He grabbed on and started climbing up, with the others following him. The ladder was pulled up after everyone was inside, then the helicopter moved toward the northern coast of the the U.S.S.R.
Dvek looked out of the small window in the helicopter to see the snow covered coast of Northern Russia and Arctic Ocean below. The helicopter started to slow down as they approached the landing spot, a big red “X” in the middle of a circle on the snow. In a few short minutes, the helicopter landed in the circle and dropped off the men, supplies, and vehicle on the snow. Dvek and the other men quickly scrambled into the vehicle they called “The Anti-Christmas Machine.” Dvek turned on the batteries to start the electricity flowing into the electric engine. Vlstav gabbed the controls of the machine and barked orders to seal the airlocks. He grabbed the controls and pushed them forward. The car moved forward with a sudden jolt. The shock of the sudden start threw the men from their controls to the back of the cabin.
The machine silently slid into the cold arctic waters and started moving at a moderate pace. A red light bathed the men in an eerie glow as they tediously worked at controlling their machine. Oxygen levels were monitored and Dvek watched from the front window to scan the horizon for any icebergs. The sky was clear and the air was frigid, it was very easy to spot any icebergs. Then, after a few hours of clear skies, a low fog came out of nowhere, and enveloped the car. Dvek looked at the fog as it covered the car, then ran to the back to his command chair. The jumped into it and waited for it to to adjust to his spine and back. The chair groaned as he turned toward his panel bathed in the eerie red light. He was looking for the radar panel, but a quick check turned up none. He panicked, then an idea popped into his head.
“Quick, load the gun,” Dvek barked to the gunners. They immediately loaded the gun with an explosive red missile marked, “Do not open until Xmas.” Dvek ran to the front window again to scan the horizon and the calm, but dangerous Arctic Sea. Dvek was frozen in his seat, held there by suspense. He sat there for minutes, maybe hours, but then, from out of the fog, a huge shape loomed up ahead and was drifting straight toward him and the car.
“Fire!” Dvek shouted at the anxious gunners. The gunners, Boris and Becker, pushed the fire button which was covered with their nervous sweat. A red missile came out of the nozzle and streaked toward the large object which loomed ahead. Seconds later the iceberg exploded in a bright flash and was turned into small ice cubes. Dvek smiled and thought that the “Christmas” missile for Santa Claus’ sleigh would be a very effective weapon.
It was lunchtime, so they took turns eating their lunch of Russian caviar, roasted pheasant, and vodka carefully packed in a picnic basket with a note and a small screen with several wires hanging out of the back. The note explained that the screen was the radar the KGB forgot to install in their vehicle. It said that it would also guide some of their missiles. Dvek took the radar to his own panel and started to try to install it.
Now, usually, an average person from the street would not be able to install a piece of sophisticated electronic equipment in a control panel. But, amazingly a few hours later their radar was installed. They installed it by connecting the blue wires to the blue wires and the red wires to the red wires, and so on. Dvek tested it by tracking an iceberg with the radar, then he barked at Vlstav to move the machine toward it. Vlstav stopped several feet away, far enough so the iceberg would not sink them. Boris flicked the red switch next to him labeled, “Cook reindeer for half a second with this.” A stream of super-hot plasma which was 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit shot out of a small hole in the vehicle onto the iceberg. The whole iceberg melted in a few seconds in the searing heat. Even Dvek felt hot when he was watching it melt.
The few icebergs, that were encountered on their way there, were either destroyed or melted. They reached the 89 degree latitude near 11:45 PM on Christmas Eve. When they were pretty close to the North Pole, Dvek turned on the radar and scanned the area. A “big” blip appeared ten miles to the west. Dvek barked to Vlstav to turn to the west and proceed at a slow speed. He nodded and turned toward his navigation control. Everyone crammed into the front window to see Santa Claus’ house or sleigh. Boris was the only person not in the front. He was in his seat reading “101 Ways to Cook Venison.” Since Vetlav was on his first mission, he was very nervous all the time. He knocked the book out of Boris’ hand and scolded him for reading a book that was insulting toward Christmas and that Boris wouldn’t get a present for sure this year. Vlstav checked his watch and saw it was already Christmas.
“Quick, raise the gun and get the ‘Christmas’ missile ready,” barked Vlstav to Boris and Becker, who were sitting in the back of the room twiddling their thumbs. At that command, they jumped to their feet and feverishly started to work at their control panel. They worked so hurriedly that they raised the gun too far up and fired it nearly straight up. The missile streaked up several feet and landed in front of the amphibious car and exploded in front of it. The car was thrown out of the water and flew through the air, backwards. A jagged projection from an iceberg tore open a wide hole in the side of the car.
“Jump out, quick,” Dvek shouted at the crew of the car as he noticed that a fire had been started near the ammunition dump. KABOOMMM!!!!! The car exploded in a fiery ball, throwing the only survivor of the accident, Dvek, out onto the frozen iceberg. He started to slowly crawl away from the wreck, but a shard of steel flew from the wreck and drove itself into his thigh, splintering his bone. A scream of pain echoed through the icebergs, causing several avalanches and startling several polar bears. Dvek collapsed in a twitching heap.
After several hours of lying face down on the iceberg, Dvek awoke to find out that his face was frostbitten and a pool of frozen blood had formed under his legs. He got up and immediately fell down, screaming Russian language that isn’t fit to mention in this story. Dvek noticed that there was a piece of jagged metal stuck in his leg. He tore off a piece of his dark blue pants which were already stained with a dark splotch of dried blood. Then he bandaged his leg. Weakened by the massive loss of blood, Dvek passed out onto the ice.
A faint glow appeared on the horizon after Dvek passed out, and grew brighter as it came closer. Brass bells jingled as the object, a sleigh drawn by 13 reindeer, came closer to Dvek. The man swathed in red clothes lined with white fur, guiding the sleigh, saw the crumpled figure of Dvek and then guided the sleigh down toward him. The sleigh floated gently down to the ice and stopped. Santa Claus picked up Dvek and gently put him in his sleigh in the back. Then he took off, flying into the night sky.
The sleigh went from the North Pole directly to Russia, and he dropped Dvek at the front door of a local hospital. Inside his coat, Santa Claus left a Christmas present for Dvek, a reminder of his adventure.
Dvek awoke with a low groan and found himself in a hospital room with a bandage around his leg and his clothes in a pile near his bed. A nurse came into the room and started to talk to Dvek.
“I see that you have woken up,” she said to him.
“What happened?” Dvek asked the nurse who just walked in his room.
“You were found on the steps of our hospital, ” she replied. “You’re a KGB agent, aren’t you?” she also asked.
“How did you know?” he asked her.
“The hospital went through your clothes, and they found this,” and then the nurse pulled from under his bed a small present wrapped in a shiny wrapping. Dvek then thought that the mission to the North Pole wasn’t a dream after all.
* * N O T E S * *
I believe this dates back to 1985 and a literature world dominated (for us, anyways) by The Hunt for Red October (the obvious pun on the two gunners’ names all but confirms it). It’s printed on fanfold paper, which makes it likely that it was before we got the Macintosh but after we were using the DEC Rainbow (the characters have a suspicious LA50-look, 9 pins of dot matrix fury, about them). It was interesting re-typing the text; I found myself trying to turn phrases my way after a few words into each sentence. Minor corrections applied to spellings, but otherwise, it’s the same story my brother wrote nearly twenty-five years ago.