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Day 3, 2016, 10:00:00: Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki Headquarters, Yasenevo District, Moscow

The terrorists continued marching through the airport, slaughtering anything and everything that moved even slightly. No emotions were visable on their faces; it was as if they were mindless robots who knew only death and destruction. The FSB troopers attempted to halt the campaign of carnage, but to no avail, for they fell just like the rest. Men, women, children...all were slaughtered.

"Turn it off! I cannot watch anymore." said President Boris Vorshevsky, who was visibly upset.

Pyotyr Andorov, Director of the SVR, nodded his head and switched off the survellience footage being played on the conference room's viewscreen.

Vorskevsky resisted the urge to vomit. What he just saw was horrible beyond words. Never before in the history of Russia had there been an act of terrorism this violent, this extreme.

"I need to call an emergency meeting. If there is a new terrorist threat in my country..."

"Sir," began Andorov, "I think it is a greater danger than simple terrorists. The FSB later investigated the scene and found one of them, dead."

"And...?" asked the President.

"Sir...he's wasn't Russian." he began, a hint of anger in his voice now. "He was...an American. An Army Ranger, by the name of Joseph Allen."

One Hour Later, The Kremin, Red Square, Moscow

Vorshevsky sat at the head of the table in the main Presidential conference room as he watched his cabinet officers slowly file in. Director Andorov stood silently next to him. He wondered briefly what was going to unfold.

I cannot afford to have internal struggles now that a squadron of Americans have massacred hundreds on civillians on Russian soil. If Imran were still in charge, he would have immediately charged into a war with them. But Imran Zakhaev never was a politician. He was an arms dealer and, despite his noble cause, a warmonger. And if he charged into conflict, he would be no better than Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's sociopathic attack dog, whose list of crimes and acts of terror was so long, it made people like Osama bin Laden - who'd been dead for five years - seem like civil people. But the hardliners who are still hardcore supporters of Zakhaev's methods will want a war. He needed to compromise. Somehow. But how can I compromise when thousands of innocent people are now corpses because a group of Americans decided to go on a killing spree? Vorshevsky calmed his mind. He would resolve the internal conflict somehow. He did not want to go to war...but if it came to that, then so be it.

All of his Cabinet officers were now present, except one: Konstantin Vedeneyev, his Minister of Justice. He stood up. "Where is Minister Vendeneyev?"

Vasili Zhukov, who served as the Minister of Internal Affairs, stood up. "He is with his family. His brother, Mikhail, was an administrator for the FSB and was killed in the massacre this morning. He told me to let you know." Vorshevsky felt as if he had just been kicked in the stomach. A member of his own Cabinet had lost a brother in this massacre. He felt his anger rising, but quickly calmed. Boris, you must maintain control. You cannot become Imran Zakhaev. You vowed to reform the Ultranationalists. We need to find a way to resolve this conflict peacefully.

"Then I am sure all of you have heard of the catastrophic event that took place at Zakhaev International Airport earlier this morning?" All of them nodded solemly, several of them were visibly disturbed, some maintained a poker face.

"Then I need not go on about it. This was an act of pure terrorism and it threatens our country." He then turned to face Director Andorov. "At the moment, our SVR Director, Pyotyr Andorov, would like show the FSB's report."

Vorshevsky stepped aside. Andorov took his place and turned on the viewscreen. Brief camera footage from the massacre was played from various angles. The camera feeds were in black-and-white, and were a little blurry, but short burts of radio played their voices, and they sounded American.

"The footage of the massacre taken from Zakhaev Airport's security cameras was analyzed by the X Directorate earlier today." He looked back at the screen; several diagrams of American assault rifles. "They have confirmed that the weapons used were American in origin." Andorov shifted to the next image. It showed one of the gunmen, dead. There was a bloody hole in his chest and a look of shock on his face.

"This gunmen was discovered dead by the FSB. The footage captured reveals that this man was not one of the terrorists that the FSB managed to kill." Looks of confusion spead across the faces of the Cabinet members. "Yes, that is sligtly confusing. But his killer's identity is not as important as he is." He shifted to the next slide: It showed a document:It appeared to be a military profile; it showed a picture of the man in full combat gear, beneath which was the subtitle: "Private, First Class Joseph Allen - United States Army Rangers, 1st Battalion, 75th Regiment." Beneath that was a list of battles and engagements he had participated in.

"This man was a member of the United States Army Rangers, Private, First Class Joseph Allen. Further...intelligence also suggests that he was an agent for the CIA, whose history against our country is well known."

Vorshevsky noticed that Andorov hesitated for a few moments before he said "intelligence". What does that mean? Was there more to this attack then they believed?

Director Andorov stepped aside. Vorshevsky stood back up. "Based on this information, it is safe to say that those terrorists were American."

Defense Minister Nikolai Torkamentov stood up. "We must retalliate! Invade the United States! We must strike at them back before they commit any more atrocities like this!"

Vorshevsky stared at the Minister of Defense. Torkamentov, during the beginnings of the war, had been one of Zakhaev's best tacticians. Because of this, when Vorshevsky became President, he made him his Defense Minister. Yet he knew that he still preferred "direct action", which was a political term used to describe Zakhaev's methods.

"Would an invasion solve anything? I understand your thirst for revenge, and an invasion would be justified, but it would not solve anything. We need to find out why they did this and not just charge headlong into a war." replied Vorskevsky.

Anya Kovaleva, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, agreed. "He is correct, Nikolai. And if we declare war on them, it would threaten out relations with other countries too."

"Anya, this isn't their problem!" burst out Zhukov angrily. "Thousand of civilians were just massacred on our soil and all you care about is our relations with other countries? They're likely to see us as a country that punishes its enemies for their crimes!" Vasili stood up again and spoke to the Cabinet members in general. "And unless I am mistaken, the brother of our own Minister of Justice was one of the casulties of this massacre."

He paused for a moment and let that fact sink in. Vorshevsky keep his face straight. This is starting to get out of hand...just as I feared.

Torkamentov turned to face Vorshevsky. "Mr. President, think about this for a moment: If Vladimir Makarov took a group of his thugs and conducted a massacre at some American airport, how do you think the Americans would react. Do you remember the bombings that took place in September of 2001. Osama bin Laden sent passenger jets to crash into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many were killed. What did America's then-President, George W. Bush do? He went to war with Afghanistan for over a decade. They would do the same to us."

Vorshevsky thought about that for a moment. That is true, the Americans did invade Afghanistan because of terrorist acts. Maybe they were right. Maybe an investigation was the wrong way to go. By the time they got an answer, they could commit more acts of terror, or even worse. But it wouldn't solve anything. he found himself thinking. Would it?

Vorshevsky remained silent for a long moment. The eyes of his Cabinet officers were on him.

He then announced his decision. All of them nodded, some looked worried, some nodded in appreciation, and some maintained stoic faces. As they left, Vorshevsky sat and found himself wondering.

What are the consequences for what I've just done?

One Hour Later

[From the Office of the President of the Russian Federation: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TELECAST FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. WE WILL RETURN TO REGULARLY SCEDULED PROGRAMMING AT THE END OF THIS TELECAST.]

"To the People of the Russian Federation...I am sure that most of you know by of the horrible massacre that took place at the Zakhaev International Airport in Moscow this morning. Over 200 civillians lost their lives in this horrific event that can only be described as sheer terrorism. The SVR presented evidence to me that the terrorists were American soldiers. For them to do this on our soil is inexcusable. I do not want to do this, but I see no other choice. As of three o'clock today, we are preparing an invasion of their country. Those responsible will pay very dearly for what they have done. Thank you."

SVR Director Pyotyr Andorov watched the President's speech on the television in his office. He knew Vorshevsky didn't want to launch a full-scale invasion, but he obviously had no choice, especially with the hardliners constantly in his ear. Sometimes I wonder if Vorshevsky is really running things around here, or if he's just a puppet being manipulated by Imran Zakhaev's disciples. Andorov thought.

At that moment he heard his cell phone ring. He picked it up and answered it.

"So...did you tell them everything they needed to know?" said a deep voice on the other end.

Andorov paused briefly when he heard that voice. He didn't know who it belonged to, and he refused to give his name, all he told him was that he was an "informant" of sorts. It was this man who told Andorov that the man who was listed in SVR's database as "Alexei Borodin" was really Joseph Allen, a former U.S. Army Ranger and CIA operative.

"Yes. President Vorskevsky just announced an invasion of America on national television. I have a feeling that we are heading towards a full-fledged war." replied Andorov.

"America's defenses are too advanced." replied the Informant. "You need to catch them unawares. Here, I've sent you a copy of some very important data from an ACS module that went down in Kazakhstan several days ago. It can be used to bypass the early warning systems of NORAD. They will never see you coming."

Andorov looked at his computer. Sure enough, the file appeared on the screen.

"Thank you for that, we will need this." replied Andorov. "One final question: Why are you assisting us?"

"Because some of us are looking for justice to be done. And if war is the only way you can do that, then so be it." he replied.

"Well, once again, thank you." replied Andorov. "I must go. I have plenty of work to do."

"Hold on, Director Andorov. There's something I want you to do for me."

"What?"

"Always remember: History is written by the victors."

And the line went dead.

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