"Push Natalia!" The Doctor ordered. The woman screamed with pain, but did as she was commanded too. A nurse was with the doctor, and held monitoring equipment. Her face was stoic in her work, but she feinted signs of discomfort & worry. She looked concerned, and whispered something to the Doctor. He looked at her as if she had just suggested killing the patient, and then sighed.
"Alright Natalia, you've been doing fantastic, but I need you to push once more, and use all the energy you have! Ready? 1... 2... 3!"
Poor Natalia used all her energy, and felt as if a thousand needles were going into her body. A rush of relief waved over her, the doctor and nurse moved away. She lay motionless on the bed, her mind clouded by the pain & morphine. She looked around, her husband nowhere to be found, still at his post at the People's Committee for State Security. Natalia also felt something else was off, but she couldn't put her finger on it. Then, once the nurse spoke up, it dawned on her: Her child wasn't crying, it wasn't making any noise. The nurse was feeding the little one oxygen, and the Doctor listening with his stethoscope. After what seemed an eternity of Natalia being helpless at her bed, she started hearing cries of an infant. The Doctor smiled, and picked it up, walking towards her husband. Surprised to see him, she smiled at her child & lover.
"I came in when they were working on him," He said, "Vladimir wouldn't let me leave until the hospital notified him. But anyways, have you thought about a name? I like Yakov still."
Natalia smiled, "Calm down Ivan, I understand how demanding your boss is. And yes, I like Yakov."
"Yakov it is!" Ivan replied.
It was time to leave. Everybody was hugging their families, and waving goodbye. Yakov kissed his mother, hugged his little brother, and boarded the bus. Slinging his bag in the overhead netting, he found a spot near the back. It didn't take a minute before another young recruit sat next to him. Brown hair, bags under his eyes, and barely awake.
"If you are this tired now, how will you make it when you've run 30 miles & done 500 push ups?" he joked. The boy did not seem enthused.
"I've just finished harvesting the wheat crop with my father on the farm. The only sleep I had was on the car ride here," the tired boy barked, "So you'll be the one on your ass begging for rest once we get out there!"
Yakov sat frozen, but quickly grew a smile and laughed, "Good, if I'm the laziest here we'll defeat the reactionaries in weeks. Name's Yakov," and offered a cigarette, the boy took it.
"Stanislav, pleasure to meet you," He replied.
"Soldiers, Comrades, everyone, gather around, I have news for you all!" Mayor Yavakov yelled out. The enlisted men & officers all listened with quiet attentiveness.
"At seven-thirty in the evening, yesterday, the 25th, comrade president Gorbachev officially resigned from his office as president of the Soviet Union. This afternoon, the Council of the Soviet Republics announced that they had voted to dissolve their legislature, and refuse to appoint Gorbachev's successor. This officially ends the Soviet Union, and ushers in the independence of nearly 20 new countries, including Chernarus! As we are now an army without a country, and as this base's operating commander, I am absolving you all of your duties. You are free to leave us, you are free to join the Cernarusky Obranné Síly, you can do what you want. There will be no court martial, or punishment in any way."
The Mayor stood silent, waiting for a reaction from his men. Some up and left there and then. It took several moments, but one stood up, it was Stanislav. He looked around tepidly, then shouted out at the top of his lungs "SLAVA CHERNARUS!" The others replied back, "SLAVA CHERNARUS!" and soon most everyone had ripped off their Red Army medals. All except Yakov, who carefully unpinned his & put them in his pocket. He wasn't sad, or upset, but... disappointed. While his Comrades screamed joys of nationalism, he stood back and thought of the future. Everyone mocking his family, calling him 'half-breed'. No chance for him to enter into the Moscow Military Academy. The absolute lack of money that would grip Chernarus with no funds arriving from Moscow. Were they all so blinded by nationalism that they failed to see imminent disaster that was ahead?
He snapped back to reality, to hear Stanislav still talking, "... and I know one of us who will be happy to join the new Chernarussian state! None other than comrade Corporal Yakov Moravec!" and Stanislaw motioned for his friend to walk forward. He uneasily complied.
"Well... comrades, I don't think there is anything else to say that Stanislaw Poporov has said. Today Chernarus starts anew, and we are the shepherds. Slava!"
He almost fainted saying that.
"I could have you shot you know. So easily I could claim you're a communist sympathizer, or worse, a Russian Spy, and have you on the next prison boat to that island, Storozh," said Polkóvnik Yavakov told him, "I could have done it a dozen times by now, but yet you insist on insulting me, this country, and everyone at this base. You make me sick."
"I understand Polkóvnik, which is why effective immediately I am resigning my commission as Mládshiy Leytenánt, and will leave this base and the Chernarussian Military as soon as you give me your approval," Yakov deadpanned in response.
He felt sick. The corruption and greed had gotten to everyone but him, it seemed. Seven months ago Yavakov was still a Major, but in that time he had jumped two ranks when he shouldn't have advanced any, the only reasoning given out was "to fill needed positions,". To Yakov and everyone else, it was total bullshit, clear favoritism, perhaps bribery or some other form of payment. Yakov knew the open secret that Yavakov was taking money from the mafia and looking the other way, but he was the only one brave enough to openly question it. This had landed him in serious trouble, and cost him a promotion to standard Leytenánt that was all but official. In the end it did not matter to Yakov, if the army was corrupt then he would not participate. The Polkóvnik looked surprised, somewhat stunned even, but eventually he grew a grin on his face.
"Very well then Mládshiy Leytenánt Moravec, I will see to it that you're fully removed from any obligations as an officer of the Cernarusky Obranné Síly. Because you are a good soldier, and not just a despicable communist scum, I will grant you an honorable discharge, and see to it that you receive whatever measly pension the government can scrape up for you. You will however not be granted any commendations, bonuses, or any further pay. Your next paycheck will be your final. Have I made myself clear?" He responded quite ominously.
Yakov simply stood up, saluted, and barked out "Ano, Polkóvnik!"
"Very well, see to it that you clean out your locker & room, you're out of here on Friday."
That night Yakov sat awake in his room, contemplating the decisions that he made. Was he truly ready to leave the army? What would his mother think? How would he even get to his mother? Where would he go? He decided to go to the showers to shave and think. After what felt like the longest shave of his life, he still didn't have any answers to his questions. He was about to leave when Stanislav entered and saw him at the mirrors. He simply looked and said one word to Yakov before leaving.
He pulled out the shotgun from underneath the counter. Sergei had gone in back and grabbed the Kalashnikov from the office. It was the third time in as many weeks the mafia had threatened him and his butcher shop. He flat out refused their 'offers' and not quite politely told them to fuck off. Next time they came with guns, and he pointed a shotgun in their face. This was his father's legacy and his livelyhood, and e would not give in so easily. Pouring all of his savings and his father's inheritance into buying the shop and the necessary tools, Yakov had found success by selling at low prices to a poor community in Berezino. Mafia payoffs would likely mean that he would have to increase his prices, meaning less sales and financial ruin.
He had hired Sergei when he learned the young man was also an ex soldier in need of pay. A doorman who he might be able to teach butchering too. Sergei was more than happy to do anything for a paycheck, which is exactly what Yakov needed. For the past few weeks they had successfully defended the shop from Mafia attacks, and the police chief although powerless to do much with his force of 20 men for a city of 10,000, was amicable and let Mr. Moravec keep his semi-illegal weaponry to help his defense.
"I told you three times now. I'm not paying no fucking 'protection money' or whatever the fuck your boss calls it. You can fuck off, and I won't come and shoot you all down like the pigs you are." He insisted to the two goons in front of him. Anyone else in the shop was long gone by now, just the four of them now.
"And I am telling you, Yakov Ivanovich Moravec, that if you do not start paying, bad things will happen. You can stay up all night keeping watch, but you have to sleep eventually!" The front goon taunted, while flicking a butterfly knife in his hand, "It's a shame, Yavakov said you would be more reasonable than th-"
As soon as he heard the name Yavakov Yakov pulled the trigger. If these were the men that the fucking corrupt stooge was being payed off by, then he would not be paying any of his bribe money. He cocked the shotgun and pointed it at the other goon, who had just missed the hail of buckshot that impaled his friend. Yakov said nothing, just stared him down. Goon two slowly raised his hands to show he was unarmed, walked backwards, and bolted out the door. Sergei kept the AK trained on him until he left. Then he lowered it, and looked around, realizing the damage done.
"You... you killed him Yakov." he stammered, "Wha... you'll go to prison..."
Yakov stood there as well, looking at the dead body on his shop floor. Replaying the scenario in his mind, remembering every moment.
"No, he pulled a knife on me, it was self defense Sergei," he remarked, "But listen, the police are coming, and for both our sakes, do not mention the name Yavakov to them."
A dense fog formed over the city on the quiet summer morning. Things were quiet surprisingly, as the Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star had just seized the town, and battle was taking place down the road a few kilometers. The distant artillery shell or rapid Kalashnikov fire coould be heard as Yakov sat in the city hall's main foyer. ChKDZ flags draped every visage and covered every wall. Outside the soldiers were burning Chernarussian flags & other nationalist symbols. The smell was seeping into the building, and it was starting to bother him.
"Yakov Moravec, please step forward" said a man popping out of a doorway. Yakov followed him, as the Chedaki had ordered all business owners to present themselves at the city hall this morning. It was worrying, but with his history Yakov did not fret too much. He followed the soldier down the hall and into a small office, and sat down as the man obliged him.
"Well well, Mládshiy Leytenánt Yakov Moravec, I am Commissar Stepan Yergov, Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star. Let's take a look at your history shall we? Born 1972, Novigrad, to a Secretary and a KGB Agent assigned to domestic operations. Drafted September 1990, completed training March 1991, assigned to a local division. Enlisted in the CDF January 1992... Released May 1995 as Mládshiy Leytenánt honorably with no remarks, odd. Opened a butcher's shop in Berezino 1997, which has slowly expanded to 3 farms and 15 stores across the province as of December 2008. Criminal record is non-existant, except for a murder in self defense of a mafia associate in 1998." The Commissarriy sipped his coffee and placed his report on the table.
"I must say Comrade Yakov Moravec, this is by far one of the most peculiar and interesting records I've come across today."
"I like to think I lead an interesting life, comrade commissar," he replied, "But we are not here today to talk about interesting lives, we are here to talk of Socialism."
Commissar Yergov smiled and laughed, "Ah, finally, a capitalist who knows that the end of the charade is near! Soon we will go back to the old ways of the Soviet Union, and we will be free of this nightmare economic system! But I get ahead of myself, I am here to serve you a writ of appropriation Comrade Yakov Moravec, unless of course you can convince me to wait until we have already won this war."
"I will not lie commissar, I am indeed a capitalist, but I am not a greedy capitalist. I pay all my workers handsomely, give them time off, and even ask their opinion often when I make a significant decision. I keep my prices low so the poorest of Chernarussians in South Zagoria have a place to buy fresh meat. I keep a modest lifestyle, I have a house here in Svetlojarsk, only 2 cars, and nothing much more. I don't adorn my home in gold and jewels, I adorn it in cloth and fabric one buys at the local stores. So if you wish to appropriate my business, then please, do so. But know that I would not let anyone starve because of this war, especially your soldiers." he replied, "All I ask is that there be some... deniability on my end so that if your worst case scenario comes, I am not hanging in Novigrad with you."
The commissar sat back and thought for a moment, read through his papers, and then he leaned forward reaching out his hand, "You, comrade, have yourself a deal."