26 November 1990

Anatoly crept through the woods in an area northeast of Moscow, Russia. There was a ground fog lifting off the snow-covered leaves, as he slowly and soundlessly moved along. The final rays of sun of the day thinly streamed through the tall trees. The air was dry and cold and Anatoly breathed through his nose to limit the sound and signs of his breath. He breathed evenly and slowly as he tracked his prey.

Anatoly noted a short sharp sound to the left of him and watched as a bunny hopped towards him from that direction. He noted the location and then veered to the left ensuring each footstep landed silently as he walked along hunched over to keep from being sighted. He drew closer to the origin of the sound and dropped to the ground to listen and watch for signs. “There!” A slight rustle, now just to the right of him. He peered through the underbrush and saw a shadowy figure looking through the woods and heading in his general direction.

“Khorosho, he will be here soon.” Anatoly silently calculated the distance between the two of them, and his own reaction time. Anatoly was a large, muscular teenager, but he could move much faster than a smaller man could. He sank further into the freezing leaves and stilled his breath to become one with the forest floor.

A foot came down within his reach and Anatoly grabbed it and brought the other man down as he leapt on top of him shoving his head into the leaves with one hand and snaking a noose around his neck with the other. He held the man down with his body weight, feeling him struggle as his breath was cut off. Anatoly loved the feel of the death throws beneath him.

Anatoly checked the other man’s pulse and rolled off of him. “Aga! My mission is accomplished,” he rejoiced to himself. “Now I can go to the KGB school in the Ukraine.” He looked down at the body of his fellow cadet. The trainers had warned all the cadets at the indoctrination that only 1/3 of them would graduate from pre-cadet training. At the time they hadn’t realized that the other 2/3 would be brought out in body bags. “It is good. They ensure our training is all kept secret. Only the strong make it through.”