taras_oleksei: (Default)
Taras paused in front of Liadov's office.

He was on his way back from the gym, after a good, hard workout. He wore his black tank and a pair of loose pants, and had a towel draped around his neck.

He'd gotten some stares and sidelong glances in the gym, soldiers who eyed his tattoos. Taras supposed that the worst ones were covered, but even just his bare arms and shoulders were enough to hint at his criminal resume, especially the barbed wire around his biceps, and snake and dagger on his forearm. Those said enough.

Taras hadn't been intending show any overt sign that he'd been up north, not in front of civilized people, but after the scene between Lasha and Liadov in the mess hall that morning, he figured the soldiers needed to see that the Ministry employed more than fancy pricks whose idea of fighting was rubbing up against a wall and grabbing each other's arms. And besides, all that whispering had been a little queer.

He felt good. Energized, muscles thrumming with energy to spare. It had been a while since he'd had a proper workout. Not since before he'd arrived. He'd hit the weights and kettlebells, and done some calisthenics. Now he could have a shower and a snack, and call it a night.

Taras eyed Liadov's door.

The fucker was probably gone by now, off to mess, off to bed, whatever he did when he wasn't stalking through the halls and pounding on people's doors. Maybe at the pathologist's lab. But then again, Liadov worked some strange hours.

Taras couldn't hear anything in particular beyond the door. He stood there for a few more moments, wondering if he should just break in again, but there was no point if no one was inside. He was about to turn away when he heard a noise.

It was soft, but had the particular ring of struck glass. Taras frowned. He hesitated for another moment, then knocked on the door, not loud, but polite.

The Hunt

Oct. 9th, 2008 10:13 pm
taras_oleksei: (Default)
The handwriting was familiar.

That was the thing that seemed the strangest to him, the detail that felt out of place.

Taras knew it from numerous old case files he'd gone through back in Leningrad, neat, organized notes, all written in an elegant hand.

Liadov's writing was distinct, artfully slanted. Not quite regular, but easy enough to read.

It was out of context here, in the darkened office, as he looked through Liadov's notes by penlight. Papers with Liadov's writing belonged in the records room back in the MVD building in Leningrad, testaments to a bygone era.

Except they really did belong here, he supposed, in Liadov's makeshift field office, in the Soviet army base they all now called their temporary home.

The office had not been hard to find, nor to break into.

Taras left the desk and its contents untouched, preferring to study things like the arrangement of objects, how Liadov kept things organized. What the man had brought with him in terms of personal items. How he had decorated, if at all.

He didn't know what compelled him to find out more about Liadov. Maybe because he didn't understand the story Ilarion had told him. Maybe because he didn't understand Liadov at all.

Taras swept the penlight over the desk again, then caught a slight noise from the office door.

He froze.

The sound of a key in the lock.
taras_oleksei: (Default)
"I don't get it," Taras said.

He was frowning as they walked, using the time to think. He actually lagged behind Isaev a little.

Ilarion never hurried anywhere, though today he strode down the hall, bootheels ringing with a clarity of purpose. Only Taras wasn't clear.

They passed a window. Outside, it was still foggy, a thick white mist that enclosed the MVD building like mountains of snow, insulating and isolating, as if they were in some remote place up north, not in civilized Leningrad. Taras didn't like not being able to see across the street.

He looked away, turning back to Isaev.

"This guy is under suspicion of..."

A secretary approached, clutching a stack of files to her chest. She stepped aside to let them pass, squeezing so close to the wall it seemed like she was afraid they would knock her aside. She murmured something as they walked by.

Taras glanced behind them, to make sure she was out of earshot, though he wasn't sure why.

"...muzhelostvo. And some other political shit."

Their destination loomed. The doors to the interrogation rooms were simple, marked with numbers, but nothing else. Almost benign.

Taras stopped at the first door, then imposed himself physically between it and Ilarion, putting his hand on the frame to block Isaev's entry. Ilarion looked at him as if he had finally noticed Taras was there. His eyes were narrow, slivers of ice. Taras stared back.

"This isn't a violent crime, Isaev. So what gives?"

Epilogue

Apr. 6th, 2008 10:44 pm
taras_oleksei: (Default)
Taras was hunched over the bar again, staring at the untouched glass of vodka in front of him.

Somehow he wasn't quite in the mood to get completely smashed, at least, not alone.

He glanced over his shoulder, looking around the room. Several guests were nearly staggering, leaning on each other and laughing, while others had broken up to smaller groups for quiet conversation.

Taras caught sight of the woman in black from earlier, though only briefly before she disappeared into the thinning crowd.

The party had definitely died off for the night. Even if Isaev hadn't had the confrontation with Liadov, Taras was sure he'd want to leave anyway.

Taras knew he was ready to go, and leave this place and what had happened here behind him.

August 2010

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