Robber Barons

by Guest Writer Eric “Flanker56” Johnson


I awoke another restless morning. It was dawn and I contemplated breakfast. It had been quiet on the front, with small skirmishes. The 41st Guards Division were making small advances, despite my attack on the Division HQ a day ago. The loss has affected their morale, and communications on the front, but they are still stubborn. They have learned the ability to immediately work at lower levels. So in effect I felt I had done nothing. But the air campaign was still going good comrades, we were keeping the IRLF air force at bay and not suffering too many losses ourselves. The Russian air force has suffered only minor losses, while the Americans, British, and the Germans are also keeping them busy.

I lay there for a few minutes, wondering if I really wanted to eat. And since I was in my physical fitness uniform, I did not feel like putting on my flight suit. I sat up slowly, then walked to the bathroom, relieving myself. There were not many missions for us, as said, it is not as fruitful as normal missions that a ground attack specialist would be employed in. I washed my face with some cold water to wake myself, then groggily grabbed my room keys, then headed out the door and to my waiting UAZ jeep. The sun pierced my shaded eyes, and I managed not to bump into anything as I drove quite quickly to the mess hall. I parked it as best I could, then walked inside. Mostly in the morning the regular assistants were in there, as they had a normal schedule in which to conduct their operations. As soon as I hit the line, I saw Dimitri walk in. I smiled at him, and he walked over.

“Thanks comrade for waiting for me!”

He pushed aside an Air Force female, while young, looked quite attractive. As a man of 25 years of age, I felt that I could possibly have relations that could also be my undoing. Who said you cannot have international relations in wartime? I turned away, then selected a couple cereal bowls that said “Cocoa Krispies” and something called “Fruit Loops”. I felt I was daring enough to try something new. I selected a couple of grapefruits, and some scrambled eggs. I laughed inside, knowing that also represented my brain right now. Perhaps it was that vodka I had last night that is getting to me. I thought over the Division HQ strike again and again. I felt in some ways that I had failed, as it was not like me to miss my targets. However it was a secondary target, so the thought of failure was not too much.

Had I missed my primary target, then I would have to suffer shame. It is not me or Dimitri to at least miss our primary targets, unless God has a hand in my failure. I had also thought of Sacha. Perhaps we are not destined for each other? I try to keep my mind free of relations, it is not the thing to be thinking while at war, but then again, I fly less sorties than even a training academy. I flew more in the 115th than in this unit. However, the recognition was worth it. I was at least making some major differences in this campaign, but it is not over, nor did it feel like it would be over. I had signed for breakfast, and then sat down. Dimitri was getting his food, trying to hit on this American soldier. She was trying to ignore him, as he was really not doing a good job. He finally got the message, and joined me at the table.

“I see you are not having good luck this morning Denevich.”

“Yeah, she is probably loose anyhow. I bet the whole base went up in her.”

He smirked as he buttered some toast.

“Besides comrade, you are not with too many ladies yourself nyet?”

“Yeah, but I have better taste.”

Making a deadpan face towards him. After a smile, I poured some milk in this container that also held the cereal. It was a good idea. Saves work and trouble in finding a clean bowl. It is all right there, sealed in plastic. I tried the Cocoa Krispies first, as I do have a sweet tooth for chocolate. I poured the milk into the “bowl” and began to eat the cereal. It was good — perhaps the chocolate was too much — but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I heard some noises from it, and after eating my first spoonful, I put my ear onto it. Dimitri could not miss the opportunity.

“So comrade, what are they saying? You are ugly?”

He sometimes never knew when to quit either. It was a good morning, and he was about to ruin it.

“Nyet, they say you should be quiet so I can enjoy this morning.” He shrugged, then continued to eat. A smile was on his face suddenly.

“Alexseyevich, here is your buddy, Vasily.”

He nodded, then continued to eat. I caught a glare from him. After chewing on his food.

“I do not understand why he loathes you so much. You do nothing to him, yet he probably wishes you dead. I think he wants Sacha, and maybe you are a threat?”

“Maybe comrade.”

I tried not to get involved in this issue. I felt that I should let events unfold before me rather than trying to make my destiny. For right now it seemed like it was already set for me. I continued to eat in silence. Dimitri got the hint and started to eat his breakfast as well.

After finishing my meal, I gathered up my tray.

“So what have you to work on today Denevich?”

“Just checking on my aircraft that is all, I have most munitions should another mission come up… and speaking of the devil tovarisch.”

He nodded towards the entrance to the mess hall, and there was Major Grachev, looking tired himself. He was also in his Physical Training uniform, and sweat was all over his chest. Perhaps he did some exercise? He looked around, saw us, and then started to move towards us, the impending dread of being let known that a mission was coming swept over me. He had the serious look on his face, and I was pretty sure what he was coming here for. He approached the table, and sat on my side, a seat away from me.

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