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This article, Zero Hour, was written by Anonymous ONI agent. Please do not edit their fiction without permission. Thank you!


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I played Makarov like a card.

That damn bastard thought that he had been sneaky; that he had covered his tracks well. But there isn't much that a man like that can truly hide from the CIA. Of course, I let him think that he had been sly. After all, my plans relied on it.

With a bit of "assistance", Makarov learned Allen's identity. He reacted just the way I had hoped he would.

Makarov had the men, the resources, and the know-how to start my war. But there was one thing he didn't have. And that was a piece of evidence so convincing that there would be no doubt in the Russians' minds that America had attacked them. I was able to give that to him, all because he thought that I was his enemy. All because he thought I was trying to prevent my own war.

I gave him a body.


Day 3, 2016, 08:32:25: Terminal 4, Zakhaev International Airport

"Anya, don't go running off! It's crowded here; stay with mommy," Natalya Ervikov instructed her seven-year-old daughter.

"But mommy, I wanna look in the stores..."

"We can go shopping when daddy gets back, Anya. Right now mommy's busy."

"But mommy-"

"Anya, I already told you that mommy's busy. Behave."

Anya pouted and sat down on a nearby bench. Normally Anya was very well behaved, but today of all days it appeared that she had decided to be difficult. Perhaps the excitement of going on her first trip outside of Russia was making her antsy.

Natalya dialed her husband's phone number again. It rang for a few moments, but again it went to voicemail. Her husband had gone back to the parking ramp to grab a bag that they had forgotten in their car, but it had now been over twenty minutes, and it was only about a seven or eight minute walk back to the car.

She called again, and this time someone answered.

"There you are! What's taking you so-"

"Hello? Who is this?" The voice was not her husband's deep baritone. Instead, it was somewhat high, and rather raspy, and the man's tone sounded cool and calm, if not slightly irritable.

"Oh, uh, sorry sir. I must've dialed the wrong number."

"Oh. Alright. Have a nice day."

She hung up and sighed. Where is he? she wondered.


Elsewhere in the Airport

The dead man's cell phone rang yet again, and Vladimir Makarov growled.

"Alright, I can't take any more of that. Lev, give me that damn phone."

"But shouldn't we just-"

"Shut up. I can't take that fucking ringing anymore. I'll think of something."

Lev sifted through the corpse's pockets and pulled out the phone. He tossed it to Makarov. By then the phone had stopped ringing, but sure enough a few moments later it rang again.

Makarov flipped it open with an exasperated sigh and answered it. A woman's voice greeted him quite rudely.

"There you are! What's taking you so-"

"Hello? Who is this?" he asked the woman, cutting her off mid sentence.

"Oh, uh, sorry sir. I must've dialed the wrong number," the woman apologized. Makarov could by her tone tell that he'd startled her.

"Oh. Alright. Have a nice day," he told her. The woman simply hung up without responding.

Dumb fucking bitch, Makarov thought as he tossed the phone aside and crushed it beneath his foot. Must've been that poor bastard's wife. Oh well, she'll be joining him in Hell soon enough.

The man to whom the cell phone had belonged had run into Makarov's group on the parking ramp, so they put a bullet in his head.

Makarov slung his M240 onto his back and picked up his M4A1. "Let's go. There's no time to waste, my friends. Thanks to that bastard Yuri, it's only a matter of time before the authorities get here."

Lev, Viktor, and Alexei headed for the elevator, but Makarov stopped Kiril as he tried to follow them there.

"Alexei's CIA," Makarov whispered in Kiril's ear. "Don't hesitate to shoot him if you think he's about to try something funny."


About Ten Minutes Earlier


Yuri twiddled his thumbs anxiously as Anatoly searched for a good spot to park the van.

He had been friends with Makarov for many years, and he had never exactly been the nicest person out there, but ever since Zakhaev died, something inside of Makarov had changed. His murderous tendencies were no longer inhibited; he killed indiscriminately now, and Yuri had put up with it for too long. This massacre was the last straw.

Yuri had anonymously tipped off the authorities about Makarov's plan. But now at the last minute Makarov had decided to carry out the plan ahead of schedule, and had brought along Alexei Borodin, the newest Inner Circle member, along with them.

Anatoly pulled the van into a parking space in a relatively secluded area of the ramp, and Makarov, Lev, Kiril, and Viktor all filed out of the vehicle. However, as Yuri exited, Kiril and Lev grabbed him by the arms and lifted him off of the ground. He kicked at their legs defiantly, but the two men simply chuckled at the futility of his efforts.

Makarov emerged from behind a pale yellow sedan, arms crossed behind his back.

"I know what you have done, Yuri," Makarov began. "I know what you have told them."

Shit, Yuri thought.

"My friend. My ally. My betrayer."

Makarov paused for a short moment, then continued.

"What happens here today will change the world forever. Nothing can stop this. Not even you."

Yuri tried to respond, but before he could do so Makarov retrieved his Desert Eagle from behind his back.

Bang.

Pain ripped through Yuri's abdomen, and he collapsed onto the concrete as Kiril and Lev released him. Makarov didn't even bother trying to finish him off, instead just leaving him on the ground to bleed out.

Hatred welled within Yuri as he faded in and out of consciousness. I'll kill you someday, Vladimir Makarov, Yuri vowed. I swear to god, I will kill you, even if it's the last thing I ever fucking do.


08:40:50: Terminal 4

The group readied their weapons; M240s and M4A1s with M203 grenade launchers. Kiril flipped off the safety on his Striker.

Fuck, thought PFC Joseph Allen. I forgot to ask Shepherd about whether or not I should shoot anyone...

Allen had been pulled out of the 75th Ranger Regiment and sent to Russia to serve as a deep cover agent for the CIA. There he posed as a Alexei Borodin, the latest member of Vladimir Makarov's Inner Circle.

Makarov had been a criminal since the nineties, but he didn't gain notoriety until 2001, when he bombed a circus in London using a subway train filled with explosives, killing just over four hundred innocent people. However, after 9/11, the world forgot about him for a while as its focus shifted towards Osama bin Laden. But after bin Laden was killed, and the Russian government fell to the Ultranationalists, he popped back out of obscurity when he briefly took office as one of Boris Vorshevsky's political advisers. However, he was too much of an extremist, and the Russians feared he would damage Russia's reputation, so he and his followers, the Inner Circle, were expelled from the Ultranationalist party. Since then, Makarov had been killing thousands of innocent people, trying to enact vengeance upon Vorshevsky and the Russian government. And now he was trying to start a war between Russia and the United States. Or at least that was what the CIA had told him.

Now this psychotic mass murderer stood beside Allen, clad in kevlar and brandishing a pair of automatic weapons. Understandably, this made Allen feel incredibly uneasy.

I don't get it, Allen thought. Why me? Why not someone with experience with this kind of shit, instead of an Army Ranger fresh outta training? I'm trained to follow orders and shoot anything that shoots at me first, not how to be a deep cover agent in the middle of fuckin' Moscow...

Kiril suddenly broke the uneasy silence, although his voice was only slightly more than a whisper. "My uvereny v etom?"

Makarov grabbed Kiril by the throat and pinned him up against wall. He looked at the others. "S nami bog," he told them all in an unsettlingly calm tone as he released his grip on Kiril.

God is with us.

The elevator stopped, and as the doors opened Makarov turned and looked Allen directly in the eyes with a crazy, mad-dog gaze. Allen tried his best to keep a straight face.

"Remember, no Russian."

*******

Nineteen-year-old Eva Satokovich loaded her luggage and shoes onto the conveyor belt as she stood in line to go through the metal detector.

It sure is crowded here, she noted. I hate crowds...

Eva was a model for a company called Kryl'ya Angela, and she was headed to Paris to take part in a fashion expo. Unfortunately, her agent, Andrei, screwed up and lost her pre-paid tickets at the last minute, so in order to get to Paris on time she had been forced to buy tickets herself.

When this is over with, Andrei is-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud metallic click-clack sound that came from behind her. She, as well as everyone around her, whirled around to see a terrifying sight.

Five men stood in a row in front of the elevator, carrying large firearms. In unison, the men lifted their weapons to face the crowd.

They stood there motionless for just a second or so, but it felt like an eternity to Eva.

The dead silence was then broken by the sudden eruption of gunfire. People screamed and ran, only to fall like dominoes as a hail of bullets cut them down.

Sharp, searing pain exploded in Eva's chest and stomach, and she collapsed to the ground. Blood spilled out around her, but she didn't give that any notice since every fiber of her being was howling in unbearable agony.

One of the gunmen walked up to her and kicked her over onto her back. He casually pointed his weapon at her as he pinned her in place beneath his foot. She tried to utter a plea for mercy, but she couldn't get anything intelligible to come out amidst her hysterical sobs of pain.

The man fired, and she saw chunks of her flesh flying and splattering everywhere. She gasped for air as the bullets shredded apart her lungs and she tried to scream.

The pain was absolutely intolerable now, and she could no longer breathe. She tried to hold on to consciousness, but it was useless.

Everything went black.


As Yuri regained consciousness he found himself ensconced in blackness. Sharp, searing pain broiled in his gut, along with an unhinged rage unlike any he had ever previously experienced.

Before this, stopping the massacre had only been a matter of morality, but after being gutshot and left for dead by a man that he had thought was his friend, Yuri was hungry for vengeance.

Yuri's vision soon returned, albeit blurried, and he regained his bearings as best he could. He was thinking tactically now. Gone was Yuri the Ultranationalist; he was once again a Spetsnaz operative, a soldier and a servant of Mother Russia.

Somewhere above him, Yuri heard Makarov and the others preparing their weapons. Good, he thought. There's still time.

Before him was an elevator, jammed open somehow by Makarov, perhaps to make sure that no one would try to flee down through it. Hopefully it would still work for him. Yuri pulled himself towards it with his right hand, and pain erupted in his abdomen. He forced himself to ignore it.

Left.

Right.

Left.

Right.

Left.

As he pulled his body all the way into the elevator, Yuri kicked the button on the control panel, closing the door. The pain in his chest was unbearable, but Yuri closed his eyes tight and felt for the correct button on the panel. Once he had found it, he kicked it, and, thankfully, the elevator began to ascend. He allowed his body to go limp, and he found himself panting from the strain he was putting on his injured body.

Yuri could hear voices above him. "Remember, no Russian," he heard Makarov instruct the other men in excellent English. Just moments later, the sound of gunfire and the terrified screams of innocent people erupted from direction of the terminal.

Fuck, it's started. I need to hurry.

Yuri felt the elevator stop. He opened his eyes and staggered up onto his feet, using the walls for support. The bell rang as the doors slid open, and he looked outside.

Yuri's heart skipped a beat. People laid sprawled across the floor in pools of blood. Even after years serving in the Spetsnaz and fighting alongside the Ultranationalists, never before had Yuri witnessed such a gruesome scene.

Makarov will pay dearly for this. I will see to it.

He stumbled out of the elevator and over to the body of a dead airport security officer. A Walther P99 sat beside the corpse.

A weapon, he thought, checking to see if the handgun was loaded. The magazine was full, and Yuri almost smiled. Convenient.

He pulled back the slide and hefted the weapon out in front of him, grunting with effort. His arm felt like lead.

Past the metal detectors, Yuri could see Makarov and the others. He staggered towards them, firing the pistol as he did so, but he found himself unable to use the weapon's iron sights as he struggled in vain to keep his hand steady.

His body screamed at him to stop, but he ignored it; Stopping the massacre was all that mattered. Still, however, his body kept fighting against him ever harder.

He squeezed his muscles tight, fighting with every fiber of his being to stay on his feet and keep moving, but his body soon became so tight that he could no longer breathe. His vision became increasingly blurried as he deprived his body of oxygen.

Finally he could no longer keep going. His body forced itself to relax so that he could once again breathe, and his legs gave out. He collapsed to floor in a heap, and the pistol clattered to the ground.

Helpless, Yuri could only watch as the blackness embraced him once again.


08:41:38

The guilt made Allen sick to his stomach.

He had made a split second decision to open fire on the civilians, deciding that not shooting would make him look suspicious to the others, and that the CIA likely cared more about him maintaining his cover than they did about the lives of these people. But that didn't mean that he didn't feel guilty.

Just keep firing, Joe, he told himself. Follow Makarov's lead, and shoot anything that moves. Don't look suspicious; stay alive. That's all that matters right now. You'll have time to think about it all later.

He saw a young boy, no more than about nine years old, crawling away from the attackers in a trail of his own blood, crying out for his mother as he did so. Allen fought back the urge to vomit, shouldered his M4A1, and shot the child in the head, ending his suffering and spattering his brain matter all across the floor.

Ahead of them, several men and women raised their arms above their heads and slowly walked towards the gunmen, mistakenly believing that Makarov and the others would show them mercy if they surrendered. Lev strafed at them with his M240, tearing their bodies apart and spraying stringy, blood-drenched chunks of flesh across rows of leather seats.

Allen shifted his thoughts to something happy, trying to blot out the atrocities unfolding before him.

Please God, let it end soon. Just, please, let this end.


Makarov relished every moment of the bloodshed.

He cared not for the lives of these people. They were pathetic things; gutless cowards whom had spent their lives in the sheltered comfort of normal society, pledging their hollow support to ideals without being prepared to kill for them. He had no use for them besides this. All Makarov was concerned with was revenge, both on the Russian government and the Western World.

How dare Vorshevsky and his followers call themselves Ultranationalists? They made Zakhaev a national hero, then tossed his ideals aside. They were spineless hypocrites; every last one of them.

Makarov knew that he and the Inner Circle had no chance of defeating the West or Vorshevsky on their own, so he would make them destroy each other. He would ignite a conflict between Russia and the West, and he would fan the flames of war until each side had exhausted their resources. Once he had done that, he would rebuild the great Soviet Union anew from the ashes of Vorshevsky's pitiful Russian Federation. His fellow Russians would hail him as a hero, a twenty-first century Peter the Great or Vladimir Lenin, and backed by their undying support he wipe all remnants of his foes from existence.

Tensions between Russia and the West had been building for a while now. This massacre would be the spark that would set off the powder keg.


The DSM from Makarov's hideout contained a copy of the security footage from the attack, as well as bits that the Inner Circle erased from the system. There's no doubt that the CIA would have wanted it eventually, and if they got it then I'd be as good as dead. Locked up in Guantanamo and left to rot, remembered only as a traitor to the country that I was in truth trying to protect. Like hell I would let that happen.

The footage was... unsettling. But at least I can take comfort in knowing that these people didn't die in vain. They died so that I could make this world a better place.

For too long, numerous nations have used military power to bully the common man into submission, and used politics and the threat of nuclear war to ward off intervention. I learned that the hard way five years ago. Thirty-thousand brave and honorable men and women died like dogs when those OpFor pieces of shit detonated that nuke. A nuke supplied by the Russians, who in turn made it using technology that Americans created to prevent lives from being wasted in an invasion of Japan back in 1945.

But that wasn't even the worst part. Not even close. The worst part was that the world didn't give a damn at all. Sure, they were shocked at first, but did anyone stand up and say that shit had to change; that something had to be done or it would happen again? No. They just went back to their cozy homes to sip fancy cappuccino drinks prepared for them on demand in cute little coffee shops, while poor innocent people remained brutally oppressed by gluttonous, power-hungry dictators. It was fucking disgusting. We are Americans: the brave and noble guardians of liberty. We should be better than this. This should have been a wake up call.

No more. No longer shall we sit and watch idly as oppressive bastards use the implements of modern war to abuse their power and make miserable their citizens. No longer shall they appease us with hollow words spoken by brainwashed politicians. It ends here and now. I've taken matters into my own hands, and I will make damn well sure that the thirty-thousand men and women whom I so ignorantly sent to their deaths that day are properly avenged. I owe them that much.

I will see to it that America cleanses the world of militarily enforced oppression, and begins an era of true liberty for all. That we create a world in which the power to destroy is wielded solely by those responsible enough to resist its temptations. A world in which the threat of nuclear retaliation is eradicated, and in which the superfluous frivolities of politics are long gone. A world that is at peace.

All I have to do now is tie up a pair of loose ends in Afghanistan...


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