Reached Target

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of "how could it be" in Soviet Russia (USSR), if they actually adopted communism. Most characters are real or partly-real.

Submitted: May 15, 2016

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Submitted: May 15, 2016

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31st of December 1979. USSR.

On 31st of December 1979, five minutes before New Year 1980, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Head of state of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev personally congratulated Soviet people with New Year. It was slightly unusual – last several years, announcer of Central Television, Igor Kirillov, was reading congratulations instead of Brezhnev.

At first, it was nothing strange in his speech. Leonid mentioned that Soviet Union provided fraternal international assistance to Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, reported about successes of Soviet Union in industry, agriculture and culture during last year. He also said that Moscow is going to host Olympic Games in next year.

When only one minute was left until 1980, Leonid looked from the screen on multimillion Soviet nation, sitting at festively laid tables and said:

- As you remember, comrades, on XXII congress our Party accepted program of building the basics of Communists society and promised that todays’ generation of Soviet people will be living in Communism. I will not hide the fact, that lots of people considered it as impossible. But we, communists are used to be responsible for our words. And to fulfill the promises me give. That was taught by Vladimir Lenin, that is how we are living. I want to gladden you, dear comrades…

Leonid made pause, coughed, and continued:

- From 1st of January 1980 our country switches to communism. I congratulate you, comrades. Right after New Year Holidays Central Committee will contact the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union with sentence to rename our state to Union of Soviet Communist Republics. But for now, happy New Year, dear comrades!

The silence covered the whole state, from Lvov to Vladivostok, from polar stations on Novaya Zemlya to Kuschka on south. Soviet anthem was playing on TV, but millions of people were sitting still and quiet near their TVs, forgetting to open their bottles of champagne. And if this silence could be translated to English, the text will be very short: “How is that possible?”.

 

4th of January 1980. CIA Headquarters, Virginia State, USA.

- Hey Jack, long time no see! – said deputy director of CIA, getting up from the table and holding out his hand to Jack Vinstock, who just entered cabinet.

- Yes, it was long time ago, - agreed Vinstock. – You got a really nice position, Bill.

- Congress does not offend me. How is your wife doing?

- Ayris? She decided to leave me only my library and our cat after the divorce. Her lawyers are digging around.

- I sympathize. I from my side will not stay in this chair for a long time. New president – new people.

- And what are you going to do?

- I will have a rest. First that story with Iran, then Afghanistan, now these Russians… got crazy.

- Yeah, I have already heard.

- Strictly speaking, I invited you here because of it. – both sat in leather armchairs near window, deputy director offered a Cuban cigar to Vinstock and lit his own.

- What are you thinking about it?

- About what? – Decided to clarify Vinstock.

- About communism in Russia.

- Nonsense. Russians had difficulties with food supply, had very big problems with consumer goods. Its either some venture… or…

- Or?

- Or some sort of game that we don’t get. It might be political company, linked with changing of leadership. At the same time – Russian forces in Afghanistan. It may have some relations. May be they are getting ready to invade Iran? But it is too early to conclude, I have to familiarize with information from there.

- Yes, - said Bill. – You know, here we have a problem.

- What problem?

- All the rest - is closed information – warned deputy director. – In CIA and State Department from first of January special crisis commands are working and tracking all the information from Russia. From our diplomates, from spies, interceptions of radio and TV programs, listening to open and closed telephone calls – everything as it should be.

- And?

- Everything is as usual.

- What do you mean?

- No changes. – Vinestock frowned.

- Wait, what a nonsense. Brezhnev four days ago announced, that Russians built communism, from first of January they have no money system, they switched to direct distribution of goods, and no changes? – Deputy Director seemed pleased and even slapped his palms on his knees.

- You got it! That’s it. No looted shops, no unrest, no demonstrations of bank account holders. Nothing. Silence.

- And what says our embassy in Moscow?

- On 1st of January all the shops other than groceries were closed. These brochures were given in those shops. They were printed tens of millions. Somewhere in KGB typography, I suppose. – Bill passed Jack a thin book in soft cover, on cove of which was written “We are living in communism!” in Russian.

- It was send from Russia in a special plane. It was translated today at night; President already has a copy.

- And what’s in there?

- You know Russian, have a look. Vinstock leafed through. “… getting rid of money system… all groceries, goods and services are provided as needed… From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs… A dream of mankind became true”.

- As needed? – reflectively said Vinstock. – What a nonsense.

- Yes. We have a nice joke: Groceries store in Russia; Announcement on the door: “Today there is no need in sausages”. Jack already heard that joke, but he could not keep his smile.

- I don’t really get it.

- Me either. – agreed deputy director of CIA. – that is why I invited you here. Jack, you are one of the best specialists on Russia, you worked with us since Cuban crisis. We want you to go there and understood what the hell is happening in Russia! – Deputy director with anger stubbed out his cigar.

14th of January 1980. J. Kennedy International airport, New York, USA.

Jack get to the rack, where was written: “Aeroflot. USCR”. Lady, staying at the rack, smiled to him and asked with slight accent:

- Good day! Can I help you?

- Yes. I want to buy ticket to Moscow.

On the desk Jack noticed announcement on Russian and English: “For citizens of Union of Soviet Communist Republics tickets on flights of Aeroflot are free of charge. For citizens of other states tickets costs are according to price-list”.

- How you, working in the USA, look at it? – politely asked Jack woman, who was checking his visa (which was made in a hurry) and other documents. Aeroflot employee looked on Jack, and Jack pointed on the announcement.

- Are you talking about communism? Of course I feel great about it. I haven’t been in Soviet Union yet, but others, who arrive from there, says that everything is so good now, so… cool, as you will say. People are like they got changed. Everybody has a nice mood, no one swears. It’s like a party. I can’t wait to return back home.

- Aren’t you offended? It was so prestigious to work in USA.

- It was earlier. – said lady, typing something on keyboard. – but now not. Now it is better in Union. We have communism after all.

 

2nd of February 1980. Moscow, USCR.

Dissident and human rights activist Valeria Starodvorskaya was eating black caviar. Word “eating” was not precisely describing what was she doing. She was boxing up her mouth with caviar, hardly, with tears on eyes. Constrainedly, she was swallowing it and then was boxing up more caviar from big basin in her mouth.

Jack Vinstock was looking at her with compassion. While eating, human rights activists was talking.

- I take a kilo of caviar in their shops every day. I would take more, but I can’t eat more. Valeria was sitting on a TV. She had a lot of TVs in her small flat near center of Moscow – some were unpacked, some still in boxes. A lot of fur-coats were lying on boxes.

- If at least one million of Moscow citizens would take a new TV and a kilo of caviar every day, their bloody communism will fail. Because they can’t give goods to people without ration stamps and restrictions. I stay in front of the shop with sign “Take black caviar!” every day.

- And? – asked Jack. Starodvorskaya constrainedly swallowed, then belched. Some caviar berries fell out of her mouth.

- Sorry! – and continued. – They don’t take it! Those zombified by communist government idiots just pass through!

- They don’t take caviar at all?

- Some people take. Hundred grams. For children of for birthday party.

- Why is it happening? What do you think, Valeria?  - Dissident stopped eating and said:

- I think communists are zombifying people with some sort of radiation. Some secret weapon. That turns people into zombies. That is why they limit their needs to the minimum. I don’t see any other explanation.

- And you are not affected by this radiation?

- No! – proudly said Starodvorskaya. – I am immune to it.

- Does anyone else has immunity? – asked Vinstock.

- Sergey Kovalyov had it. He also took a lot of color TVs and six cars at the first day of this damn communism. And two washing machines.

- Six cars? - raised eyebrows Jack – Why did he need so many?

- To prove that their communism is a fiction. Yes. And on the next day, when I came to him, he was returning all the TVs. On foot.

- And why didn’t he use car?

- He didn’t have a driving license. And he also returned cars. Radiation affected him.

- What is he doing now?

- Went to Siberia, to teach biology in a local countryside school. His immunity could not resist radiation.

- And there is no one else? Like you?

- Yes! – said Valeria and tears showed on her eyes. – I am alone now. Even my brothers in the fight against communism from Ukraine and Georgia got zombified. Even Crimean Tatars and Balts. Sakharov with his wife moved to America, they could not watch what communists are doing with people. But while I am alive, I will be here. And I will eat their damn salmon, their black caviar and their cervelat, I can’t fight with them another way. At some point other people will join me and together we will fress the communism. She took another spoon of caviar and boxed up her mouth.

- For our and your freedom! – said Valeria with full mouth.

 

3rd of February 1980. “Motorist” shop, Moscow, USCR.

Jack and his neighbor in hotel “Rossiya”, Finnish correspondent Sakari Helmi were standing near shop where Soviet cars were staying and waiting for their owners. There were no customers around. They were standing there from the shop opening time, and without flask of coffee, where Finnish guy poured some cognac, which was bought in monetary bar for foreigners, they will be frozen to death.

- Jack lets go inside and talk to the shop assistant. – finally surrendered Sakari.

Young man, or seller – if that’s how workers in shops are still called in state where trade was abolished – happily rushed to the newcomers, but as he read their otherness, that mean not belonging to the citizens of Communists State, he immediately faded.

- Foreigners can only buy cars, and only for dollars – sadly said seller.

- We will not buy any cars; Can we please ask several questions? – Asked Jack. Seller kindly agreed.

It turned out that people take 2 or 3 “LADA” cars, same amount of “Moskvitchs”. The worst situation was with “Volgas” – in two weeks not even one car was taken, and three more cars were arriving from factory on next day. That is why sellers driven cars to schools and orphanages. Jack was trying to ask seller what would be if all the cars would be taken and person would come for the car but shop would be empty.

- More cars will be delivered from factory. – confidently answered seller.

- And if they would be taken as well?

- More will be delivered. – perplexedly shrugged shop assistant.

At that moment one customer entered the shop. Now he was definitely local. Young man rushed to him. Customer – middle-aged man in hat felt very timidly.

- You know, - said he to the seller. – I have a country house – in countryside – but my wife is not feeling well, it is inconvenient for her to get there by train, that is why I am thinking to take car.

- Sure! – said seller. – That is what you need, counting on health of your wife.

Man laughed:

- I am not really sure… May be somebody need car more than me?

- Don’t worry. You can take a car.

- But I heard that not all veterans have cars – timidly said man.

- This question is being solved, - said assistant. – Today in “Pravda” newspaper there was an article about it. Our state has too many foreign money, we are still trading with western countries, that is why it was decided to buy cars for veterans of the Great Patriotic War in FRG. It will be very symbolic – our veterans driving German cars.

- Yes? – asked man – Well thought out. But… - hesitated he – What about many children families. Some of them might need car much more than me.

- Workers of our shop have a list of many children families that might need a car. Don’t worry, they will not stay without cars.

- Well then, - said man. – What do you have now? – assistant became happy in no time.

- At this moment we have that models of cars from Soviet factories…

Jack looked at Finnish correspondent, who also new Russian. Finnish guy stayed with open mouth and looked at man and shop assistant with such an eyes as he saw angels coming from Heaven to Earth.

 

4th of February 1980. Embassy of USA, Moscow, USCR.

They decided to gather in Strategic room of embassy, which was also called Black Box. This room has absolute defense against all kind of spying devises, especially Soviet devises. Ambassador of USA, cultural attaché -  who was also CIA resident, military attaché and Jack Vinstock sat at the table. Ambassador poured out whiskey, and motioned it to everybody. Everybody took their glasses.

- So, Jack, what would you say? – asked ambassador. Vinstock laughed.

- Truth is, that I can’t really tell anything. I understand not more than before coming here. – everybody else exchanged glances. Face of CIA resident became despaired.

- It is some sort of hellish conspiracy. – Ambassador looked at him with irony.

- What am I supposed to report to State Department? Hellish conspiracy?

- Yes! – said attaché. – You got it right. I got an information from our spy in KGB. It was his last message – he didn’t get in touch with us since then. Along with other spies. So… Resident opened his folder, looked through several pages.

- According to this message, last year cryptographers of KGB finally got Bokiy cipher.

- Who is Bokiy? – asked military attaché.

- Director of Special Branch of GPU – predecessor of KGB. That Branch did lots of stuff, including paranormal activities research in 20th and 30th. Bokiy by himself was sentenced to death during Stalin repressions in 1937. So, according to our information in his notebooks, that KGB was able to read only several years ago, new method of controlling people with special codes was described. Something like Neurolinguistic programming. – Ambassador skeptically looked at resident.

- And how KGB managed to program all 266 millions of Soviet people?

- Using complex methods! – said resident – TV, radio, newspapers. Special programs were embedded, which zombified all Russians.

- NSA analyzed all the informational sources. No deviations or special commands were found. – said attaché.

- That means that they were hided very deep.

- Then why they are not affecting us? – asked Jack.

- We are not Russian.

- Estonians are also not Russians. And Latvians. And Lithuanians. However, they behave the same as people in Moscow, Leningrad and Sverdlovsk. People live, go to work, where they don’t get any money; After work they visit shops, where everything is free. And there is enough everything for everyone. Though… Ambassador opened his folder.

- Here is the article from one regional newspaper – “Kamishinskaya Pravda” – for the last week. It was given to me from analytics. It is said that in one of the shops, there was not enough sausages for one customer. And, attention please, the next day by military jets ten tons of sausages were delivered from Ukraine. Head of town’s trade got rebuke from party. – Ambassador closed folder.

- It is nonsense. It can’t be true. – Attaché looked very miserable.

- I think, aliens. - said military attaché.

- What? – asked ambassador.

- Russians hold a huge program on searching for aliens in 60th. It may be, that they got a contact with some powerful civilization and got a technology to control people with some unknown to us sort of radiation. Or came into contact with UFO. People say, that their air defense shoot UFO in Siberia… - Ambassador sighed.

- Zombifying from GPU, aliens, UFO. Is that what I must say to the President?

 

10th of February 1980. Gori, Georgian SCR, USCR.

- Come in my dear guests! The table is set, meat is just from fire, vine is just from the barrel! -  American TV reporters entered house. Host in a good costume, white shirt and tie pointed on the table. Table brought to mind some pictures of Late-Holland master; Filled with big bottles of vine, dishes with fruits, meat, still smoking from heat. Women in black clothes were fussing around table.

- Have a seat, dear Americans, we will have a meal, we will have a talk. -  Everyone sat down. TV reporters turned on their cameras. Jack, being an interpreter during this meeting, turned on his dictophone. However, repast seemed to last too long – women were putting more and more plates on the table, and host just had time to toast for Fraternity of peoples, for Peace in whole World, for America, for Georgia, for USCR. After toast for Politburo of the Communist Party and personally for comrade Brezhnev, Jack had time to ask one question:

- Tell me please, dear Mikhail, how do you personally like communism?

- Listen, very good. How I cannot like communism? We were building it for so many years, strived a lot. We have endured such a big war, beaten Hitler, yes. And we built communism, now it is good for everyone, everything is free, everything on demand, yes. Now we live very good, have no troubles, everybody envy!

- Mikhail, but is it true, that you were a thief before? – asked Jack. Georgian paused.

- Dear, why do you recall bad things, why? I was a thief, but when was it? There was no communism then. Birthmarks of capitalism, yes. Because socialism is like an inner porch to the communism. It can be cold in there. Even some snow can get there. Yes. So, I was that birthmark, yes. But now, in communism, there is no more Misha Georgian, yes. But there is Mikhail Kantarashwillie, citizen of the great Communist Union. Do you get it?

- Don’t you feel a need to return back to the criminal road?

- Listen, why do you want offend me? What kind of criminal road? If you were not American, from stick-in-the-mud America, I would be offended. But I am not, because you are my guest and I am your host. How can any criminals exist in communism? Everybody is equal, everybody are brothers and sisters, just work honestly, plant grapes, feed rams, make vine for people’s happiness. Why do you need to become criminal, why do you need to steal? Besides, there is no money, you understand? - Jack wanted to ask something else, but host already lost his patience; He stand up and took a horn with vine from a woman:

- Let’s drink for comrade Joseph Stalin, who was born in this town. They say, that he spared neither friends nor enemies. Anything could happen. But we would not have any of all this, what people were waiting for and for what were dying, without him. And that’s why we drink for the great Stalin! – And he swallowed vine from the horn.

 

26th of February 1980. Building of Central Committee of Communist Party of Soviet Union, 4 Nogin Square, Moscow, USCR,

Conference hall was overcrowded. Soffits, cameras from the main TV channels, hundreds on mics, standing on the table, behind which stayed empty chairs with high backs.

- Comrades, ladies and gentlemen, press-conference of the member of Politburo of Communist Party of Soviet Union, the secretary of Central Committee Mikhail Suslov is declared as open. – Man, who Jack would call apparatchik, had spoken in mic in a good English, French and German.

Right after his words, Suslov appeared somewhere from the door behind the scene. He took his chair.

- Please let me publish some preliminary results, which our State achieved after entering communist formation, - with dry, senile voice started Suslov. He was reading prepared paper. His speech abounded with numbers and percent; On so many percent grew labor productivity, on so many percent reduced defects in industry and agriculture. Finally, he finished his speech and, looking around everyone in hall, said:

- You can now ask questions. - There were lots of questions. Suslov’s assistants hardly were managing to answer all of them.

- Is it true that books by Solzhenitsyn will be published in spring?

- Yes, it is true.

- Aren’t you afraid that it can cause crisis in Soviet society? – Suslov perplexedly looked on correspondent:

- Why would it cause crisis? Solzhenitsyn is our enemy, heritor of White Guards and Vlasov, who were defeated by Soviet people. History shoved, who was right, that is why we look at books of this person as no more than a historical curiosity. I don’t think that someone would even read this wastepaper, but in communist era, there could not be any bans or restrictions of information, that is why we allotted some paper for trial edition of this author’s books. For sure, it is waste of paper, and we could use it for more useful literature.

- Is that true that commission on history of Party was created?

- Yes, - said Suslov. – Now, after victory of communism, we decided to open all archives to tell people everything, including tragic moments of our history, so that people would know how hard was our way to communism.

- Is that true that people got hypnotized, so that they would not take extra products in shops? – Suslov smiled.

- It could be seen that the question was from the representative of the capitalist state. Soviet people are not consumers, who think only how to eat more and how to take more goods to their homes. Soviet people are people who have other goals in live: education, culture, science, sports, family. And for us, for communist party it is a main goal to provide that, let’s say “product” – libraries, schools, universities, planetariums and other palaces of knowledge. And we have a lot to do in this area.

- Why on 31st of December Soviet people were standing in ques for sausages, and it was not enough of it, and on 2nd of January you have sausages in every shop? Don’t you think it is strange? Had people changed in two days? – Questions were asked by French lady, sitting next to Vinstock. Suslov twiddled his glasses and shrugged.

- I could tell you a long story about dialectics, the law of switching from quantity to quality. About what was done to create a new human, a human of communist era. But I think, that it will not be interesting to you. That is why I would say that Soviet person not just entered new historical period, new communist formation. But he built it. This path was not easy, and we, our party, sometimes made big mistakes. But our people believed us even in the hardest times and we, the party, believed in people. That once again proves the unity of Soviet people and its Communist Party now in a new, communist epoch! - French lady sat down, wrote something in her notebook and angrily mumbled to Jack:

- Oh that old knave! He just told me lots of slogans, but had not explained anything.

 

15th of March 1980. Hotel “Rossiya”, Moscow, USCR.

Vinstock turned on TV. From the last week American channels were added, herewith in two variants with Russian translation and without it.

- … Yesterday demonstration, which today covered all city, took place in Poland, in city of Gdansk, on shipyard named after Lenin. Today a new independent Labor union “Solidarity” was formed in Gdansk, leader on which, electrician Lech Walesa announced the requirements of strikers in the afternoon: “Resignation of first Secretary of Polish United Workers' Party Gierek and starting of negotiations with Soviet government about entering Union of Soviet Communist Republics.” Due to coming information workers from Katowice joined demonstrations…

Vinstock found blank piece of paper. He wrote: “To deputy director of CIA. Top secret. Dear Bill! For the first time I have to tell you that I not just didn’t complete your request, eventually, we had failures before, but I have to say that I am completely lost. Because I don’t know what to do next. And I don’t understand what is happening in Russia. So, long story short, my mission is failed. I was not able to find answer to any question…”

Vinstock looked up from the letter. The television showed a long line of cars.

- Army and police units of Eastern Germany, which submitted a request to join Soviet Union, started to disassemble the Berlin Wall. At the same time, mixed building units of allies are building their own wall to prevent citizens of West Berlin and FRG to move to East Germany. As reported, about ten thousand people moved to GDR last night…

“Bill, I have more to tell you. You can think whatever you want, that I was radiated, hypnotized or witched in Moscow (there is also a version, that Russian found Holy Grail, and this explains what is happening in the State; It must be version number 201), but I decided to stay in Moscow. I was offered a position of history professor in Moscow University in modern history department; And after Communist Party and KGB archives were opened, Moscow became Mecca for every person, who interested in Soviet history. At home only Ayris with her layers is waiting for me, so I don’t have any intention to return to USA. And there is so much interesting work here, there is so interesting experiment, which had not and will not have any analogue in future…”

Vinstock gnawed his pen, grinned and finished:

“And yes, Bill, everything is really free here. For those, who work”.


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