Off the coast of Nicaragua
Far below the waves of the black, blue Caribbean, a vast underwater leviathan of a craft named the Black Mermaid hulks its way gradually toward the surface. The vessel is forty kilometers off the Eastern coast of Nicaragua, sloshing and bashing the waters. It cascades aggressively. All of these things happen in depths of the sea and black of the night as its crew makes way toward New Shoreham; a tiny settlement on Block Island. An enclave off the shores of Galilee Rhode Island in the United States of America. Which for this aging Soviet era refurbished Akula nuclear submarine, is about a fortnight away.
Says Kudzai, a Shona Warrior, biochemist and alleged member of the Trinidadian Special Forces, “A quite stupid name for a town overtaken by the mere name of its own island,” and he knows about such things being a Trinidadian. Knows about proud yet isolated things from being born in Zimbabwe. Kudzai- which certainly isn’t his real name is inherently skilled in both second guessing postcolonial island nation nomenclature and storming small seaside towns.
Adelina Anatolievna Blazhennaya with her soft auburn hair tied behind her head has just graduated from a prestigious Sharashka in Seattle, Washington. This particular Bureau of Experimental Design funded by covert Chinese direct investment. Therefore into her recent studies were incorporated elite techniques for parapsychology, the studies of human manipulation and magic. The Chinese colonization of the Americas began in the 18th century but has accelerated in the 21st century as the Pax American wanes. These artful deceptive trade secrets cultivated over 4,500 years of Middle Kingdom. Adelina was born in Tank City, the closed Soviet City of Chelyabinsk. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, she fled like millions of others. Some fled, and some were ordered to pretend to escape. To hide amongst the exodus. Take jobs they didn’t want and were over qualified. Like the engineers driving taxis or fine art students stripping. Doctors were working secretly in Brooklyn basements. To wait for the right time to be patriotic. Hold on, just soldier on a bit longer, despite the degradation of being treated like a gangster or whore in the land of the imperialist enemy. To ready themselves strategically to participate in the supposedly imminent counter offensive anticipated by the organs of the inner Party, which was to take a new name called United Russia. Then something in the plan for resurgent Russian resistance went very wrong. Over ¼ of the union was lost forever. The former intelligence services gradually took over the state, got drunk on the spoils of that and handed it to the new oligarchs or became them. The vast underground abroad took the hints; they lost morale and purpose. They became self-interested and cynical in a way unknown in any previous human experience on record.
They grew up abroad feeling used but for no real use. Former Soviets and Post Soviets of all shades and convictions left their motherland in raid and ruins. They saw the values, the dark but high minded ideals they grew up with utterly betrayed. Adelina was one of the ones who left young and waited ten years for nothing to be reborn. The USSR made Chelyabinsk a secret, closed city. There were nuclear reactors and silos there. Past the mountains, in the mountains to keep building the tanks and stage a nuclear war. If the West had ever overrun the East as it nearly did in 1943, this was the fallback location. Along with Yekaterinburg. Her whole city was a tank and steel factory. Her entire town has a slow cancer. From three reactor incidents similar to Chernobyl, but secret and therefore not dealt with appropriately. Her whole city has a slow cancer now. Her brother has a heroin addiction. She sends money back when she can.
At the University of Washington where she enrolled in the late 1990’s she studied Slavic Linguistics by day and parapsychology by night. As well as approaches to shamanism for those aspects of the Mezzo-Americans that are in the writings of Carlos Castaneda. She’s got developed fourth-dimensional powers and uses them seamlessly. In early life, they were scary and unpredictable. With training, she got stronger and more focused. After the fall of the USSR, she used them with beliefs and also pressured patriotism. These days for the money.
Adelina had arrived like many Post Soviet young women in the United States on J-1 visa in the early 90’s. Assigned by the Federal government to a below minimum wage job in some disinteresting local in Oregon, she made a new American friend and escaped that bondage into another type. She married a handsome American cop at age 19 and received a green card. He married her, supported her bachelor’s degree in linguistics. He paid for everything, as was the 1990’s terms of Russian immigration by mail or by sea. But like many of the Russian American unions of this period, there were shall we cultural barriers. Things became hostile, if not somewhat emotionally abusive. He never beat her, but he did begin to cheat. Shortly after Adelina’s graduation, she took steps to divorce him and move east. Patrick was his name, and he was neither ugly nor fat nor particularly stupid, but he, of course, had an American mentality unsuited for dating Russian women long term. Unless of course, he provided a lot more than he could as a cop. To his credit, he did learn some Russian and did, in fact, travel with her back to Chelyabinsk in the West Urals to ask her father for her hand in marriage, unnecessary, but charmingly American. But, in the end, he did not ever evolve in his mind to meet her more than immediate needs. Then, sexually things began to stagnate. Finally, she took the instance of her America paperwork husband’s constant infidelities, if not also aggressive homosexual tendencies, to promptly divorce him, pack and leave. Green card in hand, English perfected without an accent she left Patrick and moved to Philadelphia where she found her next patron in Andre, a Ukrainian American construction contractor.
That honeymoon ended about a year later. Andre got her pregnant against her wishes. She aborted the baby. Then Andre choked her on the bathroom floor, gave her a black eye, threw her laptop out the window and put her on the street. She headed immediately to Russian Boston, never in her life had wanted to end up in Russian New York.
She’s now doing her make-up, red lips on child like features. She is very agile looking, big brown eyes and light cedar brown hair. She hasn’t aged in a decade. She looks through the mirror into the eyes of Emma Solomon, her employer and commanding officer watching her from the rusty portal door.
“The greatest trouble with Russian men is that they are animals, though quite good at being men in all other regards were we all measured by our fuck and our fight, our bite and our valor. The greatest trouble with Americans is that while good at being gentle, in many regards they fail at being men for they are quick to make and break promises,” reads Emma Solomon from a book with black leather binding she has picked up off the metal nightstand entitled, American Refugee.
“I have never read his writing deeply, only between the lines, but I hear from others that he makes some pretty sweeping cultural generalizations throughout his various novels. Many of which are harder to Americans than is fair and certainly reflect that he did indeed grow up here and not somewhere else,” Adelina says while painting her face for war.
“And I don’t think you can lump them and us into simple gender roles, mentalities and generalizations,” Adelina adds.
“I’ve read them all,” says Emma Solomon, “he’s trouble to read after all, and they get bleaker as the serial progresses. The poems I cannot stand I have no idea how that little traitor whore got so many poems.”
“I’ve never read his poems either.”
But, Adelina would indeed soon read poems made just for her soon. This was Sebastian’s device, his means of being even more dishonest about his goals in this life to the women surrounding him. And Adelina did know that already from reading his Kaba files. Adelina could see the future in her dreams as well as her coffee. Clearly and concisely. Congruent and in parallel time space- not some foggy Hollywood acid flashback. She’s never physically met Sebastian, but in reading about him had come to know him part way. Her powers of future site painted the rest of the picture about her mark.
“You’re missing nothing. Think hypersexual Communist Dr. Seuss with a slight swagger of Mayakovsky,” Emma says.
“Well, I think highly of his contributions to the resistance. I could give a damn about his artistic abilities if you want to know the truth.”
“I didn’t marry him for art,” Emma says.
“Husband? Is that true he’s your husband?”
“Well a long story is a long story, but suffice to say a need for documents was once involved, on his part.”
“No one marries for love anymore, just for Golden tickets,” Adelina replies.
“Ah. Well that doesn’t concern me either.”
“You’re a magnificent creature dear Comrade Blazhennaya; your work will not be so hard. We have to identify a chain of small cells his cadre has built up and down the Eastern coast. I will see to that, but you have a sensitive task. You must make him love you and trust you. Mostly with a mobile phone and radio, but you’ll have to engage him in a variety of emotions, and positions. He will probably try and put himself inside you several times- lovingly and also uncomfortably.”
“I know my job, tovarish.”
“My husband, our target has a lot of potential to kill a lot of people. And get a lot of people killed.”
“So I’ve read. A sort of profound contradiction for someone trained in medicine no?”
“His healing is like is like is writing and poems, just a hat. A mask and a means to an end,” Emma replies. She places the book back on the night stand.
“The Oligarchy knows the general date for their uprising. I mean how could they not? There is a camera in every bedroom and a listening device in every pocket. Numerous operators were compromised due to sloppy work on the American end, not his fault, but it’s locked down tight as a drum over there.”
“Tight as a drum?” asks Adelina, though trained as a linguist and a parapsychologist she sometimes misses the vernacular which comes out of hip hop and American movies.
“It means solid and completely under control. It’s been that way since they deported and exiled the Wobblies back in 1914. They hunted out the Communists in the 1950’s. They tightened it again after Weather Underground and the Panthers in late 1968. Everything was in place, then after 11 September, the hard cage came down. What was left of the resistance movement has evaded the American State Security apparatus for one hundred years. Everything is going according to plan. But it’s frankly the worst place on earth for a revolution.”
“Well, no one I talk trust thinks it will work out well,” Adelina responds, “They have fluoride in the water supply. They have nanobots and chips in the general public. They made it fun and cool to film everything and report on each other via Social Media.”
“Well men plan, but women can prophesize,” says Emma with a smile. She has a warm trust inducing smile that goes well with her charisma and disarming ability to lead and listen.
“The dry run last year was mopped up in under three months,” Adelina, “Russian intelligence is spreading the story that the American security apparatus coordinated the occupations so they could flush out everyone into the open and biometrics everyone. But, I know that’s not true.”
“It’s all according to plan,” Emma replies.
“Or, according to prophesy?” asks Adelina who can converse with the higher power when she feels she must, but trusts completely in the Baraka, the divine charisma of Emma Maya Soraya Solomon. Commander Solomon. The hidden candidate for Messiah of their generation. Known in Jewish cults as the Tzaddik Ha Dror.
Emma nods and flexes in her dark green uniform and then places her left hand on Adelina’s shoulder.
“Little darling, we’re gonna take a lot more than New York City.”
“What’s in New York that’s so important anyway?” asks Adelina.
“The end of the world or the world to come.”
Adelina looks at her bulky satellite watch made by an Israeli company called SAM; Superior Alien Military. In seven days’ time, she and her hastily although systematically assembled unit will be launch from this briny abyss via a hermetically sealed fast boat. In that electric coffin motor boat they will then land on Block Island and be taken to the aged but hippy Hygeia Hotel; given some new identities and “Strategically Americanized in the greater Boston area.”
“I would like to examine something that the Prophet Muhammed wrote, and Avinadav read to Sebastian in the summer of 2001. Before my capture and crucifixion, before the infamous martyr operation which killed so many at the Millennium Theatre,” says Emma taking out a green leather bound manuscript from the shelf in Adelina’s little metal cabin.
“It is called Sura 81, Al-Balad, the City,” she explains.
Emma reads, “I do call to witness this City. And thou art a freeman of this City. And the mystic ties of the parent to child. We have created man into toil and struggle. Think he, that none hath power over him? He may say boastfully; Wealth have I squandered in abundance! Think he that none watch him? Have We not made for him a pair of eyes? And a tongue, and a pair of lips? And shown him the two highways? But he hath made no haste on the path that is steep. And what will explain to thee the path that is steep? It is freeing the slaves; the giving of food to the hungry in a day of privation. To aid the orphan with no claims of relationship. Or to stand for the indigent down in the dust. Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, constancy, and self-restraint, and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the Companions of the Right Hand. But those who reject Our Signs, they are the unhappy Companions of the Left Hand. On them will be Fire vaulted over all round.”
“That’s a very different kind of poem, Adelina says, “I’ve never been a student of anyone’s religion though. I’m not afraid of anything you know,” states Adelina to Emma.
“I know you’re not, my fearless one. That’s why you were selected to keep Sebastian Adon under control. His mind is now in a dark and treacherous place. He’s been in the field for too many lives. He’s losing his mind; lashing out at demons all around him without any guidance or realization of the consequences. They have taken him out of objective reality to torture him yet again. They hate him and refuse ever to end his pain.”
“He loves you very, very much,” Adelina closes her eyes to see.
“He loves a person that was here on this earth a very long time ago, and he sees her in in the spirit of candidates. He will love you too, and it’s not dishonest love, but he knew me for only nine months when they got us. He’s using this love, this shattered memory to keep himself from dying. He just isn’t in the world of man anymore. He’s living every single human tragedy all at once, and it’s propelling him a down murderous road.”
“I will not fail you, Commander Solomon,” Adelina says, “He always has loved me and always will though he hasn’t met me yet.”
“I know my little sister,” she smiles, “And when it gets crazy in American Babylon, which it will, you can rely on the rest of your unit. Oleg the Bear, Yuliana Romanova, and Mr. McIntosh are, well suffice to say we don’t use anything but the best players when we’re this close to being forced off the edge of the game.”
“We’ve never been this close to the edge before,” Adelina replies, “We’re trying not to lose, our, heads.”
Emma winks, Adelina nods. Then both of these powerful women go back to being calm, cool and collective. The black mermaid stays its course.