Author Topic: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic  (Read 3990 times)

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2017, 03:19:48 AM »
“Yes,” agreed Mikhail. 
   No one spoke after that.  Artyem drove at a moderate speed for the next twenty minutes or so before pulling into what looked like a stonemason’s yard, somewhere on the southern edge of the city.  Mikhail could feel himself getting anxious again as the Fiat pulled to a stop.  He and Natalia had slid fresh clips into their Brownings in the green Mercedes.  Lazar, Nikita and Artyem were armed, too.  Still, they were now all entering the most vulnerable phase of the mission, completely in the hands of others of whom they knew nothing except that they were not their own people.
   The Fiat drove away, leaving them standing on the soft, sandy soil, in front of some low sheds filled with half-finished tombstones. A little distance away, on the open ground, two small Packards were parked, perpendicular to each other. The driver in the second Packard was smoking.  Mikhail could see the glow of his cigarette in the dark.
   Instinctively they fanned out as they approached the two cars. As Mikhail walked slowly, about 5 arshins from Lazar, the idea that flashed through his mind was that the concept of “zero risk” was really a bad joke. Certainly as it applied to them, at this moment.
   On the other hand, they had done the first job.
   The engines of the little Packards came to life.  Nikita and Natalia were already getting into the first one. The driver of the second was stubbing out his cigarette and opening the door for Mikhail and Lazar.  Whatever might yet happen would not be at this spot or at this time.
   Outside the city limits, the two cars turned south in the direction of Voronezh.  Mikhail could see that they weren’t taking the main highway, but a smaller secondary road.  He caught a glimpse of a sign. They were headed toward the small town of Michnevo.

   Minutes later, Adrian Bylinkin, his staff officers, and Miroshnichenko, who had made the dangerous journey behind enemy lines to personally oversee the mission, received word from Yuryev.  The signal released the tension in the air. Officers went from pensive waiting to quick action, gathering papers and packing bags.  Within four hours, all the Intelligence Department officers and combatants, from Miroshnichenko to the most junior member of the O squad, had left Moscow by train and automobile.

   Several hours later, 13 of the 16 team members were sitting around a table in a safe house in Michnevo.  The gramophone was playing Tchaikovsky.  Lazar, Nikita, Mikhail and Natalia were drinking vodka, a little sloshed.  Nikita was drinking happily; Natalia was drunker and more glum.  Mikhail was tense, watching the door, waiting for something.
   Yuryev, Andrei and Samuil walked in, looking very tired.  This was what Mikhail was waiting for.  Andrei sat next to Mikhail.  The others watched.
   “Well, what do you want me to say?” Andrei demanded.  “He’s dead.”  He reached in his pocket, and took out a bullet casing.  He tossed it to Mikhail, who pocketed it.
   “Have some vodka,” said Mikhail.  “We’re celebrating.”
   “Well—that’s one,” said Lazar.  “As a matter of curiosity, would you like to know the cost?  Give or take a few kopecks, he cost us, by my calculations, roughly seven hundred and four thousand rubles.”
   Mikhail raised his bottle.  “To the martyrs,” he said solemnly.  The others raised their bottles, toasted and drank, and a sorrow descended as they remembered.
   “It was so easy,” said Mikhail.
   “Perhaps too easy,” said Samuil.  “And if it’s that easy for us, it’s that easy for them.  All they have to do is find us.”
   Mikhail nodded.  “Have you ever killed a man?” he asked.
   Samuil shook his head.
   The "Grande valse villageoise” from Sleeping Beauty was playing.  Mikhail got to his feet, then pulled Natalia up and they started to dance, Natalia heavy, stumbling a little.  Yuryev joined them, throwing his arms around their shoulders.  Mikhail pulled Andrei in, and soon they were all out on the floor, dancing out of time, awkward, self-conscious, as a strange sort of closeness settled in.

   The investigation into the murder of Medvedev was never closed.  The Cheka almost immediately shot several hostages in retribution, but they made little progress in finding the actual killers.  They picked up clues from the assassination site, including the rented getaway cars, in one of which they found an unfired 7.65mm cartridge, but they all lead to dead ends.

               
Ann, with regards to forms of address, I read one source that said that in the Russian army before 1917, gospodin could be used to address military superiors.  So couldn’t that be translated as “sir”?
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2017, 01:20:21 AM »
April 15, 1919
   
   Reinholds Berzins had not been expecting a personally addressed envelope.  For the past four months he had been working as inspector of the Latvian Army.  When he had arrived at his office this morning, he found only one guard on duty outside.  After exchanging salutes, Berzins asked where the other guard was, and was told he had gone to get a bite to eat.  Satisfied, Berzins continued into his office and began reading the report he had received the previous night. 
   He was two-thirds of the way through when a starshina arrived with a bag of mail.  It was Berzin’s orders to record all incoming mail, so the starshina took the bag into the mail room and began making his daily log of what had arrived, from where and from whom.
   About five minutes later Berzins’ phone rang.  He picked up the receiver.  “Yes?” he asked.
   “An envelope marked ‘Urgent and Confidential’ has arrived for you.”  It was the starshina.  “It has the security clearance marks on it.”
   “Very well, I will come collect it,” said Berzins.  He put the report down and walked down the hall to the mail room.  There, lying on the table, he saw a slim envelope with his name written on it in bright green ink.  Since most of the mail was addressed to “Inspector General, Workers and Peasants Red Army of the Latvian SSR,” Berzins became instantly curious.  When he tore open the envelope, he released a tiny spring, which hit a detonator smaller than an aspirin tablet, and set off the two five-dyuim strips of gelignite.   Although they weighed less than a zolotnik, the explosives triggered a powerful blast, sending shrapnel into Berzins’ face, chest and arms and ripping off two fingers on his left hand. 
   Berzins was rushed to the hospital, where he required surgery to stabilize numerous broken bones.  In the months to come he would require numerous further surgeries on his hand.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2017, 02:00:58 PM »
Fair point about gospodin, but it's also used to address God (as westerners say 'Lord'), so 'sir' doesn't really carry the nuance.

Are you going to include a glossary of Russian weights and measures?

Reconstructive surgery didn't really exist in 1919, so I suspect Berzins would end up losing his entire hand; if you give him gangrene, the entire arm.

Ann

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2017, 01:32:55 AM »
1 sazhen = 7 ft (1.336m)
1 arshin = 2 1/3 ft (.7112 m)
1 dyuim = 1 inch (.0254 m)
1 zolotnik = .152 oz (4.26580 g)
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2017, 01:55:45 AM »
Many thanks.

A zolotnik - what a lovely word.

Ann

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2017, 02:35:55 AM »
April 16, 1919

   L.S. Sosnovsky, the editor of Pravda, was in his office chatting with an assistant editor and a reporter when the envelope arrived.  “This is important,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for it.”  He was expecting a reply from Lenin to his report recommending a new system for educating and indoctrinating provincial editors and journalists.  The envelope was heavier than he expected; later, he would remember the weight in his hand.  He tore it open, but when he did the only thing he saw was a green wire.  The next moment the bomb exploded in his face.  His eyes were gone.  The explosion lifted him off his feet to the ceiling, breaking the ceiling tiles with his head.  His world was black.  He could smell the blood.  He began to crawl to the door, but he couldn’t feel his arms.
   Soon a doctor arrived and began working to save Sosnovsky.  The doctor wiped away the blood and administered morphine before transporting Sosnovsky to the hospital, together with the assistant editor and the reporter, whose injuries were less severe.  Sosnovsky asked for a mirror, but of course couldn’t see anything.  His family came.
   The doctors did the work necessary to save him, but they offered little hope.  After their examination they told Sosnovsky’s family that it was not possible he would get his vision or his mobility below his neck back.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 02:37:38 AM by Nictionary »
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2017, 09:02:23 AM »
May 20, 1919

   Varlam Avanesov was sitting at the kitchen table when his daughter brought in the day’s mail.  Looking through it, he noticed a padded brown envelope.  There seemed to be nothing unusual about it.  He opened several other letters before coming to the brown envelope.  He had only made the tiniest tear in it when it exploded.  Hands burning and unable to see or hear, he was thrown backwards, screaming and experiencing a pain he didn't think was possible. Then he was plunged into darkness.
   15 hours later, he awakened in a haze of morphine.  “Hello,” said a voice.  “Welcome back to the world, Comrade Avanesov.”
   He looked around, taking in his surrounding.  “Where am I?” he asked.  He saw he was in a bed, and a doctor and two nurses were standing by his side.  He looked down at his left hand, only to find that where it used to be, there was now a bandaged stump.
   “I am so sorry, Comrade,” said the doctor.  “The explosion tore off all the fingers on your hand, and we had to amputate to save your life.  We want to keep you here for another week or so to observe you, but unless complications set in, we think you will be out of danger by then.
   Avanesov would eventually be fitted with a mechanical hand, which relied on gears, springs and cogs to flex, rotate and grip objects.

   Elsewhere in Moscow, Pavel Gorbunov settled in his office.  After the fall of Ekaterinburg, he had been given a job with the State Planning Committee.  Having just returned from a vacation at his dacha in the suburbs, he found a stack of mail, including a padded envelope, sitting on his chair. 
   Ripping open the envelope, smoke billowed out, and then a flash.  Gorbunov headed to a nearby bathroom to wash his eye out before discovering a more pressing concern - he was bleeding profusely.  Rather than wait for help to arrive, he hobbled down five flights of stairs and across the street, where a small clinic was fortuitously located.  Had he waited, he likely would have bled to death, doctors told him.  When he got there, he had a blood pressure of zero.  Investigators later found one of his shoes in his office - where shrapnel sliced through metal filing cabinets - and his bloodied shirt strewn on the staircase.  The bomb had severely wounded his abdomen, chest, face and hand, and he would never be able to use his right hand again.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 09:04:50 AM by Nictionary »
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2017, 02:29:18 PM »
May 21, 1919

   When Isay Rodzinsky walked into his office, he didn’t notice the bulky letter addressed to him in a rough scrawl until he sat down behind his desk and bent down to get something out of the bottom drawer.  Because the security stamp that stated “Clear of Explosives” was clearly showing on the envelope, he felt it was safe to open it.  He also thought that Smirnov, the man responsible for double-checking the Vladimir Cheka’s mail, had also checked everything for explosives.
   He proceeded to open the envelope, but no sooner had he done so than he realized that something was amiss.  Why was the letter so large?  He started to toss it away.  It was at that moment that the bomb exploded.
   The explosion ripped into Rodzinsky’s arms, chest and face, shattering windows and blowing out his office door.  His fellow Chekists came running.  They rushed the still-conscious Rodzinsky to the nearest hospital.  His left arm was so badly mangled that it had to be amputated just below the elbow.

   The Bolsheviks responded to the letter bombs with another spate of summary executions, but as with Medvedev’s murder, they were never able to identify the actual perpetrator. 

   Ok, I promise that’s the end of the letter bomb campaign.  The next scene will rejoin the team.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2017, 02:43:46 AM »
Nick

Apologies for all this pedantry, but I rather doubt they had padded envelopes in this period. There was an IRA letter bomb campaign in Britain in the early 1970s, particularly book bombs, and I think each time it was a smallish flat package. I distinctly remember that one was sent to the Catholic Bishop to the Forces, and he said in a newspaper interview that it was very fortunate that the villains sent him a bomb in a Bible, as it was the one book he would not have immediately started to thumb through.

Ann

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2017, 02:11:06 PM »
Please don't apologize, Ann.  I welcome corrections and criticism.

On a related note, do you think I'd be stretching it if the next scene involved a remote-controlled bomb?  I know that Tesla first demonstrated the concept of RC in the 1890's, and during WW1 the Germans used FL-boats that were operated by RC, except they were controlled via a spool of wire unwound behind the boat.  The first RC airplane was demonstrated in 1917, but my understanding is that it wasn't until WW2 that military use of remote control really took off.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2017, 07:13:37 PM »
Some comments and errata from me:

There were no remote controlled bombs ect back then a time bomb with a clock should be possible.

You have the hit team using 4 cars in Moscow where in the Russian Civil War a working car was rare. Then you mention a rented car not possible in Moscow at this time.

Letter bombs I don't think were possible back then. A bomb in a package was possible. or a egg type hand grenade in a package could be used.

The IDF trains its soldiers to carry semi-auto pistols with the chamber empty and to work a round into the chamber and fire quickly. These shooters back then would have had rounds in the chamber ready. this is the way John Browning designed his auto pistols to be carried. and I don't think they would stop to pick up their fired shell casings ballistics was a new science back then.

As for most of them heading for one safe house this is bad security. Too many eggs in one basket. Also going there by car would make you stand out back then

If they were going to leave Moscow in April 1919 when it is starting to thaw out they would all have to go by train or horseback any car would soon get stuck in the mud.

Note medical care for the reds even in Moscow was poor. One or more of the bomb victims would probably die as a result of infection ect in a few weeks or months time. This happened to a number of WW I wounded.

You mentioned Drivers licenses? I think they would be rare then. I also believe I have read that peasants passports had no picture ID in the pre WWI Russian Empire.

In the SR plot the wounded Lenin they split Moscow in to 4 sections each containing a two person team one scout and one shooter. The scout found out where Lenin or Trotsky would be and notified the shooter who would carry out the hit.

I will have more:

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2017, 07:59:46 PM »
As far as letter bombs, I had read that Vice President Thomas Marshall was the recipient of one in 1915.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2017, 09:05:56 PM »
Also with regards to all of them being in one safe house: Mossad didn't learn that until after the Lillehammer Affair, when four members of the kidon were arrested at a safe house (after two others were arrested while trying to use the getaway car to reach the airport).  So if one of the world's top intelligence agencies was practicing bad security as late as 1973, it's not unthinkable they would have done it over 50 years earlier.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2017, 01:11:53 AM »
May 29, 1919

   Aleksei Kabanov was a soft target.  True, he carried a gun like all Chekists, but he had no nervous tingling on the back of his neck, no instinct to look over his shoulder. 
   Kabanov lived quietly in an apartment on Mozdokskaya Ulitsa in Astrakhan, where he was now employed by that city’s Cheka.   He appeared to have tightened his security slightly after Medvedev’s death and the letter bomb campaign, but the Whites could easily have killed him in the street.  Kabanov, however, was selected for a more dramatic death than Medvedev, one that would frighten his comrades.  Killing Kabanov required the White hit team to devise an intricate plan.  The agents spent at least two weeks conducting intense surveillance of him. 
   Artemiy and Lazar had meticulously explored the bustling, crowded neighborhood in southern Astrakhan where Kabanov lived.  Driving in a small tarantass, they practiced the approach and escape routes for two days.  They experimented with the morning traffic routes, deciding that the best escape route after the hit would take them along Kubanskaya Ulitsa, across the Varvatsievsky and Kommerchesky bridges to their safe house.  The way the operation was set up there would be no need for them to abandon any vehicles.
   “He leaves the apartment at about 0800 hours,” Nikita reported to the rest of the team, as they gathered at the safe house one evening.  “He travels about five blocks, picks up a woman.  It could be his mistress, or a secretary, I don’t know.  Then on to Cheka headquarters.  He returns alone at about 1700 hours, although every now and then he’ll go back to work for a few hours at night, presumably to shoot people.  That’s it.”
   “Well then,” said Yuryev, “probably the best time to do it is after he’s come home for the evening.”
   Getting to Kabanov was relatively easy.  But although the O squad had followed his every move for the last two weeks, Bylinkin and his staff officers had been unable to draft a solid plan.  They knew they had to act promptly: soon Kabanov might catch an appraising stare or feel the heat of a tail.
   Bylinkin sought assistance outside the hit team.  Although Bylinkin hated the idea of bringing in outsiders, Miroshnichenko ordered him to summon Raduga - Rainbow, the Intelligence Department’s burglary unit, which specialized in covert breaking and entering into locked apartments, hotel rooms, safes, and factories.  The tiny unit was commanded by Innokenty Korotayev.
   On a  morning in late May, Samuil stood watch and waited until Kabanov had left for work, whereupon he signaled to two Raduga agents, who proceeded to make their way to Kabanov’s apartment and quietly examined the lock on his front door.  They picked the lock with a bent wire.  Slipping inside, one agent kept lookout while the other snapped photos of the apartment from every conceivable angle.  Bylinkin’s staff officers pored over the snapshots and decided that a small individual-sized bomb would be the best way to kill the former Life Guard.  The photos showed an electric lamp located on Kabanov’s bedside table, and it was decided that this would be the means of Kabanov’s death.  Two explosives experts, Robert and Zinoviy, were brought in especially from Omsk for the job.  The exact date of the hit would be predicated on how soon their explosive device could be designed, manufactured, smuggled into Astrakhan, and put in place.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2017, 01:13:13 AM »
The making of bombs, where safety and selectivity were not factors, was relatively simple. The main explosive would be a comparatively stable substance, like dynamite or gelignite, which could then be fitted with a small detonator—a tiny amount of very unstable explosive often of the nitric or sulphuric acid family—which could be set off by anything from percussion to a small amount of weak electric current. It could be activated mechanically by, for instance, an alarm clock. 
   The next day, one of the Raduga agents broke in again and examined the lamp.  He lifted it and wrote down on a notepad the model serial number.  He placed the lamp on the pad; he outlined the lamp’s base, then measured its height with his fingers and made marks on  the pad corresponding to this measurement.
   May 27, a Tuesday, found Robert and Zinoviy in the safe house with a lamp identical to the model in Kabanov’s apartment.  The rest of the team gathered round to watch, as the two explosives experts put the finishing touches to their bomb.
   “So, we fit the gelignite in here like this,” Robert explained.  “And I hope that’s enough.”
   Yuryev looked nervously at the device.
   “Don’t worry, it’s not connected yet,” Robert reassured him.
   As Robert explained the plan, the bomb was installed in the base of the lamp in front of them, which would then be switched with the lamp in Kabanov’s apartment.  When Kabanov turned on the lamp, the current would travel not to the light bulb, but to a detonator, which would set off the chunk of gelignite in the base of the lamp.  “And… good-bye, Kabanov,” he concluded.
   Yuryev thought the device, as described, was almost accident-proof. Almost.  “Zero risk,” he reminded Robert.
   Robert shrugged.  There was no such thing as absolute zero risk.  His device would reduce the risk to as near zero as possible; but if even this was too much risk for Yuryev, they would have to think of an entirely different way.
   “All right,” said Yuryev, after a little hesitation. “Make sure you don’t make it so big we kill everybody in the whole damn building.”
   “I have a different problem,” Robert said. “I’ll have to make sure it’ll pack enough punch for the Bolshevik standing right next to it. There isn’t much room in this lamp.”
   The bomb looked very light, as Yuryev held it in his hand.  Hardly enough to harm a man, except Yuryev remembered seeing the damage a zolotnik of gelignite could cause inside a letter bomb.  “Let’s hope it works,” Yuryev said as he handed the box back to Robert.
   That same day the team split up into two new safe houses.
   Now, finally, today, shortly after Kabanov left for work, the two Raduga operatives picked the lock on his apartment one last time, allowing Robert and Zinoviy, who were dressed as telephone repairmen, to enter with the bomb lamp, which they carried in a valise.  Robert estimated that the work might take twenty to thirty minutes, less rather than more.  Yuryev, Feliks, and Angelika waited outside the building, which was usually quiet late in the morning, to warn Robert and Zinoviy if Kabanov should return home unexpectedly.  In the event, Feliks and Angelika would engage him in conversation until Yuryev could get the others out of the apartment. 
   Inside, Robert unplugged the lamp and replaced it with the bomb, while Zinoviy stood gingerly behind him holding the valise.  “I hope you know what you’re doing,” he said, as Robert worked.  After they had finished, they checked that everything was in place before leaving the apartment.  They left no sign of their presence.  Once they were outside, the two Raduga operatives replaced the lock, before they and the explosives experts parted ways and left via separate exits.
   For about fifteen minutes, Yuryev, Feliks and Angelika had stood alone on Mozdokskaya Ulitsa.  Yuryev wished he had brought some chewing gum.
   Then, almost before there could have been time to pick the lock, Robert and Zinoviy came strolling back across the street. 
   “You’re joking,” Yuryev said. “All set?”
   “Well, I don’t know,” Robert replied. “I guess we’ll find out tonight.”
   The O squad’s surveillance of the apartment continued for the rest of the day.  At 1630 hours, Artemiy, Lazar, and Samuil took up their posts in the tarantass, parked about 85 sazhens away; Nikita on horseback, standing a little closer to the main entrance; and Andrei at a kiosk on the next corner, browsing through what few magazines there were.  The latter were acting as guards.  In a command room not far away, Bylinkin, Miroshnichenko, and several staff officers from headquarters waited.  A few minutes after 0515 hours, Kabanov returned home.  The O squad’s job now was to watch to make sure everything went according to plan.  If nothing happened, Robert and Zinoviy would break in again the next day to adjust the bomb.
   A little after 2230 hours, the sound of a dull explosion crackled in the still Astrakhan night.  Boom!  Yuryev could see a sudden shimmering of the air along the front wall as if a little shiver had run through the entire building.  And he could see a criss-cross pattern of thousands of cracks appearing in one of the large windowpanes that the percussive force had shattered.  The glass seemed to bulge outwards, but it held.  A few passers-by stopped and looked up.
   Someone was opening the French windows on a second-floor balcony, coming out and first glancing down into the street, then craning round trying to look up at the windows above him.
   They had done it.
   They had done it again.
   The following morning they were not so sure, sitting in one of the safe houses, looking at the late editions of the papers.  Kabanov was still alive.  Hurt badly, without any doubt, but it was impossible for them to tell from the reports whether or not he would survive.  Artemiy was flipping through a magazine.  Yuryev was grinding herbs in a pestle, preparing lunch.  It was silent when Zakhar walked in.  “He’s at Aleksandro-Mariinskaya Bolnitsa,” he reported.  “I don’t know how badly we hurt him, they aren’t saying.”
   “Another four hundred thousand rubles, more or less, to eliminate number two,” said Lazar.
   “If he’s been eliminated,” said Artemiy.  “We should stick with guns.”
   “No one notices a shooting,” said Yuryev.  “Bombs accomplish a double objective: eliminating targets, and terrifying the Reds.”
   “That only works when the bombs work,” Artemiy returned.
   Kabanov had been critically wounded, the apartment blown apart.  He had remained conscious long enough to tell astonished Astrakhan detectives what had happened.  He had been taken to Aleksandro-Mariinskaya Bolnitsa on Ulitsa Tatishcheva - the other hospital, Bolnitsa Skoroi Meditsinsko Pomoshchi, had been a little closer, but the ambulance had probably been pointed the other way.  The authorities were baffled by the source of the explosion and mentioned “sabotage” as only one, remote possibility.  Yuryev was not unduly concerned; even if Kabanov should survive, they had taken him out of action for a long time, perhaps forever. 
   The team spent two more nights in their Astrakhan safe houses, before leaving the city by separate routes.  At that point, as far as they knew, Kabanov was still alive.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein