“Go find this woman, she’s very important. The US Army is looking for her, don’t let them get her. Get her back to the Soviet Union…”

“I told your predecessors I’m out.”

The bar was like countless others Sokolov had found across America. Full of rundown stools with rundown workers. He liked them. They reminded him of home, of workers coming back from the collective farm and sipping homemade moonshine while trying to work out who had told of the Krushnov’s to the Party.

It seemed fear of one’s government was a universal truth.

The baby faced agent sat beside him, ordering a beer in an accent so thick Sokolov wondered why the bartender didn’t just come straight out and ask if he wanted vodka instead. In the Academy he had been taught to avoid habits. Habits made you predictable, easy to track. Easy to trap.

And now he would have to move on again. Washington was cold this time of year. Maybe he could head South. Florida perhaps?

“The Resident needs you to find someone. This is simple collection.”

He slid a black and white photograph across the bar. Sokolov sighed, but scooped it up before anyone else could see. He only needed a glance to memorise a face and hers was especially beautiful.

“Collection you say? And when she leaves on boat for Moscow, what then? She disappears into gulag?”

The agent took out a pack of cigarettes. The good kind, American-made. He offered one to Sokolov who shook his head. Lighting up, he motioned to the television mounted above one end of the bar, a baseball game taking place.

“Three weeks ago, we liberate comrade from this nation. He worked on Project Gillespie,” the agent said, awkwardly trying to form his mouth around the foreign word. “He make only one request. His wife, she was left behind, matter of timing. He had asked for her. He will continue his work, only when she is with him.”

“Then why not go back for her now? Why,” Sokolov looked around, “the need for me?”

“The Americans know their man is no longer their man. The wife, she is vanished. Gone. We think it is FBI, but all of their intelligence agencies are looking for her. She is like golden egg.”

Sokolov finished his drink and paid his American dollars. The agent turned to leave with him, but Sokolov put a heavy hand on his shoulder.

“No. You wait. She’ll be delivered in three days, for a fee.”

“This is for the Motherland!”

“Capitalism,” Sokolov said.

Prompt originally posted by SAYARIAsayaria on reddit and received 9 upvotes.

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