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Interview: Kassian Irinarhov, Part 2

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Jun. 6th, 2007 | 12:19 am



Transcript 2, pages 1-30 [Irinarhov, Kassian]


liadovnikanor (3:14:40 PM): [Click of button. Tape hiss]
liadovnikanor (3:15:09 PM): You were saying, Captain Irinarhov, that someone had accused you of this murder?

irinarhovkassian (3:16:09 PM): No. You mentioned you didn't find me particularly suspect. If I were you, I wouldn't find someone like myself particularly suspicious either.

liadovnikanor (3:24:41 PM): Oh, I see. But you mentioned 'the person who did'. What did you mean by that?

irinarhovkassian (3:25:29 PM): I meant, the person who did do the murder.

liadovnikanor (3:28:52 PM): And what are your thoughts?

irinarhovkassian (3:29:27 PM): All right. Bear with me. I've been thinking about this for a while.

liadovnikanor (3:31:11 PM): Of course. Take your time.

irinarhovkassian (3:36:31 PM): It seems to me that when a man kills because he wants to...or when he's driven to, he does it in a way that pleases him. A way that lets him use his skill, but also...show it off. I don't think he did that to the body to have it never be found.
irinarhovkassian (3:41:38 PM): Earlier when you told me about how he was killed, the bare-handed punch...I don't think that's his specialty. He's obviously well trained in order to do that, but...
irinarhovkassian (3:58:24 PM): ...the thing that really showed the most skill was the use of the knife. Even though the body was charred, those cuts were even. In the same place on both legs. The face was cut off, Isaev said. And the genitalia...I saw that up close. Very cleanly cut. I've seen men take trophies in war. An ear has to be sawed off, and a finger takes effort, even with a sharp blade. To cut everything like he did, so precisely...that takes a lot of skill. That's what he was showing off.

8:52:38 PM liadovnikanor: [pause] I agree, absolutely....of course. Green bone is incredibly hard to cut.

I had the same thought, but I wondered if perhaps I wasn't overly eager to dismiss the blunt trauma manner of the killing for...personal reasons. Wishful thinking.

I'm almost relieved that someone else came to the same conclusion with more objectivity.

9:01:14 PM irinarhovkassian: I'm not sure if it means much. I'm not trained. I have no education. This isn't my job. But there's something you said, earlier. About the killer hating Molokov. I don't mean to disagree with your area of expertise, but...I see it differently.

9:04:50 PM liadovnikanor: I don't think the killer hated Molokov, Captain. I think he resented someone else.

Someone's infidelity, more to the point.

9:12:13 PM irinarhovkassian: I see. It seems so removed to me. Detached. Molokov was just a thing to him. Art. It didn't seem like he was angry when he did that. Or maybe...he just controls it very well.

10:03:02 PM liadovnikanor: ...so what would you call anger, Captain, if not that?

And how do you explain the significance of the yellow roses? The odd numbers?
10:03:18 PM liadovnikanor: Even, rather.

10:34:23 PM irinarhovkassian: I just mean I think that he had control of himself when he did this. It wasn't done out of anger, even if he was angry. I think he was trying to make a point, probably about infidelity like you said. But I'm just speaking to his state of mind at the time of the murder. Someone who is angry is tense. His hand is clenched on the knife. He can't make cuts with precision like that. That's what I meant.

10:44:15 PM liadovnikanor: ...but the murder was over in an instant.

How much time does it take to stop a man's breath, Captain? To crush the life from him? To shoot him in the head? To stop his beating heart?

The killer had already exorcised his rage. Don't confuse the hatred of the strike with the leisured pleasure of the sated aftermath.

10:46:51 PM irinarhovkassian: Is death enough, though, for someone like that? Especially one that quick and simple?

10:49:37 PM liadovnikanor: It wasn't enough. That's why I think it won't be the last.

I put it to you, Captain- if a man could kill with such blase impunity, why would he bother with such elaborate mutilation?

10:52:07 PM irinarhovkassian: The death itself wasn't the point. The mutilation was. It was a message.

10:53:16 PM liadovnikanor: But not an angry message.

10:56:18 PM irinarhovkassian: He has to be angry about something. Something that was done to him, maybe. But he wasn't feeling anger when he did it. That's all I mean.

10:58:44 PM liadovnikanor: Wasn't feeling anger when he took his time to calmly carve up Molokov like a Christmas roast...

or when he thrust the heel of his hand deep into his larynx and shattered his hyoid bone with his bare hand?

11:03:00 PM irinarhovkassian: Maybe he was feeling anger when he killed him, but not after he was dead. Not when he started with the knife. All I'm trying to say is that you're looking for someone who can control himself very well. Someone who can detach himself from his emotions. Someone who could look you in the eye and lie to you.

11:07:08 PM liadovnikanor: You must think I've never met a sociopath, Captain. [laugh]

Yes, they can all look you in the eye and lie to you. Enjoy it, even.

Do you know anything about...the cycle of escalation, Captain Irinarhov?

11:07:40 PM irinarhovkassian: No, I don't think so.

11:09:56 PM liadovnikanor: Well, let me see if I can enlighten you. Purely seeing as you seem to have a keen human interest in pathology. ->
11:21:34 PM liadovnikanor: The sexual serial predator- be he rapist, pedophile or murderer- has a carnal need, Captain.

[pause]

In the way that you or I might desire...sex.
11:23:45 PM liadovnikanor: As men, you or I might find our physical needs increasing over a period of days. That urge will generally require expression. If an accomplice is not immediate, we may take matters into our own hands.
11:25:06 PM liadovnikanor: Once the act is complete, the pressure is taken off. The kettle has been bled, and we are able to continue unhindered.
11:26:44 PM liadovnikanor: But the cycle is not arrested; merely deferred.
11:30:40 PM liadovnikanor: We may have a temporary reprieve, but the slow ascent of sexual tension mounts over time, until we find ourselves in primal need again, driven to find expression again, at the precipice of that tenuous place where we can think of nothing else.
11:31:14 PM liadovnikanor: [pause, quiet laugh] Or perhaps I'm the only one.

11:31:43 PM irinarhovkassian: ...I don't think so.

11:31:54 PM liadovnikanor: Good to know.
11:35:23 PM liadovnikanor: In any case, that cycle- the escalation- is not always predictable and definite. A woman's menstrual cycle is more or less predictable, but human arousal has many more factors inherent.

It may simply go according to the cadence of our physiology, and manifest with some regularity- or it may be triggered by small things. Smells, sights, touch. Even nostalgia.

...Have you ever gotten hard, Captain, simply at a well-spoken word from the lips of someone you covet?

11:36:46 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes.

11:42:39 PM liadovnikanor: Or perhaps you'll smell your lover, Captain, on your bedclothes, and respond despite his absence?

11:43:36 PM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
11:43:49 PM irinarhovkassian: We were talking about the murderer?

11:51:23 PM liadovnikanor: It was merely an illustration, Irinarhov.

My point is, we understand the idea of....Need.

11:51:47 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes.

11:58:12 PM liadovnikanor: As we have natural drives, the sexual psychopath has his unnatural drive. After a kill, he may feel the profound relief of his anxiety. It's the climax.

11:58:49 PM irinarhovkassian: And...then?

11:59:11 PM liadovnikanor: ...What do you do after you climax, Captain?

12:00:52 AM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
12:01:58 AM irinarhovkassian: Talk.

12:07:10 AM liadovnikanor: Well, he might find his conversation a bit one-sided. [laugh]


12:09:28 AM liadovnikanor: But I'm being crass. I apologize. After a while the humor becomes black. On a case in Petrograd I once told Lasha...
12:10:02 AM liadovnikanor: ...

[pause, papers shuffling]

12:12:07 AM irinarhovkassian: ...what ha - never mind.

12:17:27 AM liadovnikanor: [apologetically]

...ah, what I should have said, is...what else do you do, Captain? Talk. But you don't always talk.

The last time you fucked your lover, Captain. What did you do?

12:18:31 AM irinarhovkassian: Why are we talking about me?

12:19:49 AM liadovnikanor: Because that's how you force a personal understanding. Immerse the mindset of the observer in the killer's perspective, using terms and mores they recognize.
12:20:18 AM liadovnikanor: Perhaps you don't conform to the mindset I was seeking to evoke.
12:21:18 AM liadovnikanor: So I'll come right out and say- most people like to steep in the aftermath. Bask, idle, luxuriate, relive.
12:21:49 AM liadovnikanor: Perhaps we play with our lover, idly, as we played with our food as children, once we'd become full.

12:22:13 AM irinarhovkassian: All right.

12:25:04 AM liadovnikanor: Perhaps we chide them. Perhaps we tease them.

...Perhaps we feel shame.
12:29:12 AM liadovnikanor: I absolutely agree with you, Captain, that the subsequent posing and abuse of the corpse was intended to send a message. The saw cuts were clean and expert, but it was not done clinically.

No, Captain Molokov was deconstructed lovingly, and with artistic expression.

12:30:06 AM irinarhovkassian: And then what?

12:30:10 AM liadovnikanor: Horrible and misguided, but erratic and impressionistic. He gave us a Dali, comrade. A fucking melting clock.
12:30:34 AM liadovnikanor: And then what? I don't understand. Isn't that enough?

12:30:49 AM irinarhovkassian: I mean, what now. What is he doing now?

12:31:54 AM liadovnikanor: [soft laugh]

Yes, you're no idiot conceived by a finger. You would ask the next logical question.
12:32:31 AM liadovnikanor: ...between kills, the down time between escalations, when the urge is sated and the killer can breathe again...is called the "Cooling off" period.

12:32:58 AM irinarhovkassian: But it won't last.

12:33:17 AM liadovnikanor: No. [pause] It never does.

12:34:01 AM irinarhovkassian: There's no way to catch him until he does it again.

12:34:26 AM liadovnikanor: An unpopular truth.
12:34:40 AM liadovnikanor: ...one I don't articulate.

12:34:59 AM irinarhovkassian: I see.

12:40:19 AM liadovnikanor: Morale is paramount. I can't very well tell the Colonel that we're going to need to wait for another strike before the iron returns from tepid.

You learn early on in the Internal Service that men must see definition in your words and infinity in your words.
12:40:57 AM liadovnikanor: ...you have a great instinct, Irinarhov.

Why didn't you apply to the MVD?

12:41:25 AM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
12:41:28 AM irinarhovkassian: You're not serious.

12:41:37 AM liadovnikanor: Dead serious.
12:42:04 AM liadovnikanor: What's so incomprehensible about it?
12:42:14 AM liadovnikanor: You have the goods.

12:43:04 AM irinarhovkassian: ...I'm a sniper.

12:43:45 AM liadovnikanor: That rifle didn't gestate along with your placenta, Captain.

12:45:09 AM irinarhovkassian: I've been doing this since I was seventeen. I don't know how to do anything else.

12:47:21 AM liadovnikanor: Yes, of course. I assume too much, in any case. Perhaps you weren't even aware of the internal service.

12:48:17 AM irinarhovkassian: I knew what it was.

12:50:35 AM liadovnikanor: But no boyish dreams of a sleek grey uniform and a broad, steady gaze?

12:51:22 AM irinarhovkassian: No.

12:54:39 AM liadovnikanor: No? Was it because of the Kiev notoriety? There might have been the issue of the coincidence, what with your father sharing a dissident's name, but a few phone calls would have resolved that and exonerated the mistaken identity to everyone's satisfaction.

12:57:07 AM irinarhovkassian: ...they took me away to fight in the war. I didn't have the opportunity to choose my vocation.

12:58:05 AM liadovnikanor: But surely there was no need to continue on a career military path-?
12:58:29 AM liadovnikanor: The Politsiyja is a natural extension of a military stint.

1:01:52 AM irinarhovkassian: I was in Berlin at the fall, and the end of the war. I was stationed there for months afterward. Spetsnaz came to recruit me. I would have done anything to get away from there. So I went.

1:04:00 AM liadovnikanor: ...Why is it that I want to ask you things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand?

1:04:28 AM irinarhovkassian: I don't know.

1:05:18 AM liadovnikanor: You interest me, Irinarhov.

1:05:34 AM irinarhovkassian: Why?

1:05:46 AM liadovnikanor: ...does that concern you?

1:06:16 AM irinarhovkassian: Should it?

1:06:43 AM liadovnikanor: I don't think so.

I suppose it began at your inquest.
1:09:05 AM liadovnikanor: Your eyes were like obsidian, comrade. Carbon coal, and expressive only in their expressionless.

I wondered what manner of a man might look so compassionate...and yet so cold.

1:10:51 AM irinarhovkassian: ...I'm not concerned. I was just asking.

1:11:46 AM liadovnikanor: And now you know.

1:11:55 AM irinarhovkassian: All right.

1:14:20 AM liadovnikanor: [clears throat] Did you witness the detonation of the explosives that leveled the greenhouse?

1:14:56 AM irinarhovkassian: I saw the result.

1:15:20 AM liadovnikanor: Where were you when the actual charge was deployed?

1:16:22 AM irinarhovkassian: On the roof, but not immediately in the vicinity of the Fury or Major Ocelot.

1:18:09 AM liadovnikanor: And what were you doing?

1:18:33 AM irinarhovkassian: Looking in the opposite direction.

1:18:42 AM liadovnikanor: Reaaally.

1:18:57 AM irinarhovkassian: Major Ocelot seemed to suggest it would be a good idea.

1:19:33 AM liadovnikanor: Ah.

So perhaps the Major witnessed the actual commission of the act.

1:19:46 AM irinarhovkassian: Yes.

1:21:37 AM liadovnikanor: We'll leave it at that.

What precipitated everyone's migration to the Greenhouse to inspect the wreckage?

1:23:18 AM irinarhovkassian: Lieutenant Isaev came to report to Major Ocelot that someone had found a body in the greenhouse.

1:23:39 AM liadovnikanor: ...Really.
1:23:52 AM liadovnikanor: And did the Lieutenant say how he came by this information?

1:24:22 AM irinarhovkassian: Someone informed him and the others who were playing cards, I believe.

1:24:41 AM liadovnikanor: Did he seem surprised?

1:26:48 AM irinarhovkassian: He seemed urgent. That the Major needed to know this information immediately.

1:31:15 AM liadovnikanor: And did this behavior seem consistent with Lieutenant Isaev's general comportment in intense situations?

I'm aware you've only been a part of the squad for a few weeks. Just attempt to answer as best you can, based on your limited knowledge of your comrade's character.

1:32:20 AM irinarhovkassian: ...yes. Everything seemed perfectly normal. >
1:32:28 AM irinarhovkassian: You don't suspect him, do you?

1:32:36 AM liadovnikanor: ...
1:33:34 AM liadovnikanor: [pause]
1:37:17 AM liadovnikanor: You and I both know, Captain, that he would be looked at strongly. Because of his specialty.

...And because of the Frenchman, despite the fact that it's a matter entirely unrelated. The ink will never dry in his file over that, even if it congeals and obscures itself by sticking the pages together.

1:38:23 AM irinarhovkassian: The Frenchman? ->
1:38:27 AM irinarhovkassian: No. Never mind.

1:38:41 AM liadovnikanor: You don't know?
1:38:45 AM liadovnikanor: ...
1:39:03 AM liadovnikanor: It's immaterial.

1:39:10 AM irinarhovkassian: That's fine.

1:43:51 AM liadovnikanor: If I make the effort- extend the gesture to investigate Andrei's motivations and suspicions- it will be germane. It will not necessitate further consideration from Moscow.

1:44:45 AM irinarhovkassian: That's good.

1:45:05 AM liadovnikanor: It's a gamble.

1:45:13 AM irinarhovkassian: Why?

1:45:31 AM liadovnikanor: I'm betting he didn't commit the murder.
1:48:53 AM liadovnikanor: It paints me into a corner, somewhat. [tapping of a pen]

If it turns out I'm wrong, my options become severely restricted. My hands become tied.
1:49:38 AM liadovnikanor: On the other hand, if I had the slightest inclination he'd done it...I wouldn't have bothered with taking the bet.
1:50:01 AM liadovnikanor: I would have already called Petrograd and set the whitewash in motion.
1:50:07 AM liadovnikanor: [pause]
1:50:23 AM liadovnikanor: [tapping of pen, continued]

1:51:04 AM irinarhovkassian: ...you're not wrong. He didn't do it. You don't need to worry about it anymore. You can focus on finding the killer.

1:52:25 AM liadovnikanor: You Ukranians.

What are you, a psychic from the old country? Would you like to read my Kirlian exposures or my tea leaves?

1:53:42 AM irinarhovkassian: I'm not psychic. I was with him that day. He wasn't out of my sight long enough to kill anyone and cut them up.

1:53:55 AM liadovnikanor: You were assigned to the same shift?

1:56:25 AM irinarhovkassian: Yes. We had a special assignment earlier that day, and then we began the extra weapons training that Major Ocelot ordered as well.

1:56:45 AM liadovnikanor: What was this special assignment?

1:58:28 AM irinarhovkassian: We had to track down an Ocelot that we thought went AWOL off the base.

1:59:40 AM liadovnikanor: [sound of penscratch]

And Lieutenant Isaev never left your sight during the time you tutored him?

2:00:22 AM irinarhovkassian: No.

2:00:35 AM liadovnikanor: Did anyone see you at the range?

2:01:17 AM irinarhovkassian: I don't know. No one else was there practicing at the time, though.

2:02:00 AM liadovnikanor: And you saw no one in your time with the Lieutenant?

2:03:09 AM irinarhovkassian: No.

2:03:34 AM liadovnikanor: I see.
2:04:10 AM liadovnikanor: And after this session, it was still some time until the evening, I imagine.

2:04:24 AM irinarhovkassian: Yes.

2:05:04 AM liadovnikanor: And Isaev remained under your gaze the entire time?

2:07:18 AM irinarhovkassian: Yes. We ate mess together. I think he went to relieve himself once or twice.

2:10:34 AM liadovnikanor: ...Lieutenant Isaev claimed an off-duty mid afternoon nap in his written deposition of the event, which was submitted prior to our arrival.

2:13:18 AM irinarhovkassian: ...Major. If you feel like you have to be especially thorough with him because you're afraid you'll be too easy otherwise, because he's your comrade's brother, don't. You don't have to do that.

2:18:15 AM liadovnikanor: Was he or was he not out of your sight during the early evening, Captain Irinarhov?

He's either lying about being in his barracks, or you're covering for his absence.

2:18:54 AM irinarhovkassian: He wasn't lying. I'm not covering for his absence.

2:19:05 AM liadovnikanor: ...
2:22:20 AM liadovnikanor: I'm not going to press the issue. If you want to play games over it, I'll assume you're feeling paternal and doing a stupid young bastard a favor. Will that do?

2:23:04 AM irinarhovkassian: If it works for you.

2:24:02 AM liadovnikanor: ...What would work for you, comrade?
2:26:57 AM liadovnikanor: I'm surprised your lover doesn't get the wrong idea if you spend an entire day with someone like Andrei. He must be quite a patient Grishenka.

2:28:32 AM irinarhovkassian: Do you honestly suspect him?

2:28:53 AM liadovnikanor: Do I suspect the young man I knew in Petrograd? No.
2:29:00 AM liadovnikanor: Never.
2:29:31 AM liadovnikanor: But I have no way of knowing what this place has done.
2:29:52 AM liadovnikanor: I always lead with caution.

2:30:28 AM irinarhovkassian: Are you sure it's not another reason?

2:32:08 AM liadovnikanor: Another reason? [sound of tapping pen stopped]

And what might that be?

2:32:24 AM irinarhovkassian: Isaev's brother.

2:34:45 AM liadovnikanor: Are you insinuating I would bring my personal rift with Ilarion to bear on Andrei's well-being?
2:34:54 AM liadovnikanor: You're insane.
2:35:33 AM liadovnikanor: Andrei is....
2:35:37 AM liadovnikanor: No.

2:36:18 AM irinarhovkassian: Nothing like him? Is that what you were going to say?

2:38:00 AM liadovnikanor: ...
2:40:28 AM liadovnikanor: Decided to read those tea leaves after all?

2:44:03 AM irinarhovkassian: [sigh] Major...maybe we should take a break.

2:48:48 AM liadovnikanor: Fine. How long would you like?

2:49:09 AM irinarhovkassian: How long do you need?

2:50:27 AM liadovnikanor: I'm perfectly favorable, comrade.

You're the one who requested armistice.
2:51:21 AM liadovnikanor: But if you prefer, we can resume this discourse at a later date.

2:51:39 AM irinarhovkassian: No, if you're favorable, let's continue.

2:52:26 AM liadovnikanor: A man of my own mettle.

[grim laugh]

2:52:50 AM irinarhovkassian: Maybe I should have applied to the MVD.

2:54:01 AM liadovnikanor: Maybe you still should.
2:54:25 AM liadovnikanor: You never know, Captain.

Groznyj Grad may not stand forever.
2:54:45 AM liadovnikanor: ...if you can imagine that.

2:55:44 AM irinarhovkassian: I've seen too many things, Major. I imagine anything's possible.

2:56:18 AM liadovnikanor: ...What is it you think you know...about Ilarion Alexandrovich?
2:56:38 AM liadovnikanor: Call it unprofessional curiosity.

2:57:28 AM irinarhovkassian: I don't know much of anything, other than gleaning a few things about the kind of man he is from Lieutenant Isaev, and you.

2:57:47 AM liadovnikanor: Andrei speaks of him...fondly?
2:58:08 AM liadovnikanor: Of course he must. He took care never to...

2:58:22 AM irinarhovkassian: Never to what?

3:00:49 AM liadovnikanor: Lasha grew up very tall in his father's shadow.

He always swore that Andrei would not.
3:01:08 AM liadovnikanor: Everything came down to Andrushka.

3:03:31 AM irinarhovkassian: It's more complicated than that, isn't it?

3:04:42 AM liadovnikanor: [sigh] Complicated. Of course. Isn't everything? In what manner of speaking?

3:05:20 AM irinarhovkassian: Relationships.

3:06:32 AM liadovnikanor: Ilarion took the yoke.
3:06:36 AM liadovnikanor: ...
3:07:18 AM liadovnikanor: Along with all the sins of the ChekHa before him.
3:08:01 AM liadovnikanor: He would have shot Andrei's knees out before allowing him to follow.

3:09:25 AM irinarhovkassian: And now?

3:11:13 AM liadovnikanor: I don't know what you're asking me.

3:11:50 AM irinarhovkassian: Never mind.

3:13:49 AM liadovnikanor: No, Irinarhov. Tell me, why do you care so much for the history of a man you've only just met?

You owe me at least that much.

3:14:12 AM irinarhovkassian: Isaev and I are friends.

3:15:10 AM liadovnikanor: Has he...said something to you?
3:15:28 AM liadovnikanor: Something out of the ordinary?

3:15:54 AM irinarhovkassian: ...I don't know what you mean.

3:17:24 AM liadovnikanor: I'm sure he told you about his family.
3:17:39 AM liadovnikanor: His mother. Surely he spoke of her.
3:18:06 AM liadovnikanor: His sister, that stupid Persian cat.

3:20:12 AM irinarhovkassian: He doesn't talk about his family much. It seems to...pain him, somewhat. I would rather he tell me what he wants me to know, when he's ready. I don't want you to tell me everything.

3:21:15 AM liadovnikanor: I wasn't planning on it.
3:21:58 AM liadovnikanor: I don't know anything about Andrei, aside from what he is to me, and it's been some time.
3:22:08 AM liadovnikanor: I was always older, indulgent.
3:22:22 AM liadovnikanor: But closer...to his brother.

3:23:02 AM irinarhovkassian: Lasha. Your comrade.

3:23:14 AM liadovnikanor: Yes.

3:23:21 AM irinarhovkassian: But not anymore.

3:25:55 AM liadovnikanor: He would have it otherwise.
3:27:20 AM liadovnikanor: But after a lifetime of straw houses blown in by the wolf...the camel that carried the materials suffered a strain.
3:28:40 AM liadovnikanor: ...

I called him Likerion. After the martyr. And for the wolf.
3:29:12 AM liadovnikanor: It was a pet name, nothing hard about it. Soft, always. Until that day.

3:30:23 AM irinarhovkassian: The day you started hating him?

3:30:56 AM liadovnikanor: ...I don't hate him, comrade.

I left before that day could come.

3:31:19 AM irinarhovkassian: I see.
3:33:19 AM irinarhovkassian: Every old baba tells a story about a prince who was handsome and vain, and somehow rewarded for it. Prince Ivan, who steals from the garden of earthly delights as if it's his birthright, and rides away on the back of a wolf.

3:33:36 AM liadovnikanor: ...

3:33:48 AM irinarhovkassian: Lieutenant Isaev told me that, about his brother.

3:34:15 AM liadovnikanor: Vivid mouth, that creature has.
3:34:31 AM liadovnikanor: ...I can't refute it.

3:34:51 AM irinarhovkassian: I wouldn't expect you to.

3:35:08 AM liadovnikanor: He could be kind.
3:36:35 AM liadovnikanor: No one could ever be more protective. More in your corner.
3:38:26 AM liadovnikanor: When Andrei used to have bouts as a cadet, and later in the army exhibitions, Lasha would always take his corner. Press his cuts with a towel. Murmur encouragements. I could see him whispering, and how intent he would look.
3:40:30 AM liadovnikanor: When I first met Ilarion...it was the first time I ever thought to wish I'd had a brother.

irinarhovkassian (2:47:52 PM): I never had a brother, either. I can't imagine what that would have been like.

liadovnikanor (2:49:21 PM): I don't know. But seeing Ilarion with Andrei and Mariyja- mostly with Andrei, really, as they were closer in age- I certainly felt the loss keenly.

irinarhovkassian (2:51:36 PM): The loss? No...never mind. I don't mean to be overly personal.

liadovnikanor (2:52:23 PM): No, not at all. Of not having a brother. It was like something you never knew you'd wanted, suddenly in front of you.
liadovnikanor (2:53:14 PM): Of course, I did gain a brother in a sense. Andrei was always very much a younger sibling to me, by extension.

irinarhovkassian (2:53:24 PM): That's good.

liadovnikanor (2:54:07 PM): But of course, there are some inborn levels of closeness and intimacy that blood only can bestow, I suppose
liadovnikanor (2:54:27 PM): I was very close to my mother. And I never knew my father.

irinarhovkassian (3:00:04 PM): And now? Do you have anyone?

liadovnikanor (3:01:21 PM): My mother is alive in Petrograd. And...I married a woman.

irinarhovkassian (3:01:38 PM): I see.

liadovnikanor (3:02:57 PM): I was rather taken in by the Isaevs, for what it's worth. Just another blue eyed son.

irinarhovkassian (3:04:12 PM): So...do you think that's the reason why you feel you have to be harder on Lieutenant Isaev than you would someone you've never met?

liadovnikanor (3:05:30 PM): I'm not being harder on him, Captain. I'm simply asking the hard questions so that no one else will do it first.
liadovnikanor (3:05:57 PM): ...Here's proof that this tape is for our ears only, Captain. ->
liadovnikanor (3:06:20 PM): ...If I found that Andrei had done this, I would bury it so fast your head would spin.

irinarhovkassian (3:06:57 PM): ...all right.

liadovnikanor (3:08:03 PM): But it's better I find out first, if there's any chance he's responsible. Before anyone else would.
liadovnikanor (3:08:14 PM): You don't believe he did this.

irinarhovkassian (3:08:19 PM): I know he didn't.

liadovnikanor (3:09:14 PM): You know. You truly know, or like Lasha, you'd make it so no matter what.
liadovnikanor (3:11:19 PM): I understand now. He's like a younger brother to you, as well.

irinarhovkassian (3:17:58 PM): ...Major. I've looked you in the eyes and lied before, but I'm not doing that now. Lieutenant Isaev was with me the entire day. He didn't leave my sight long enough to commit the murder. You must have the window of time when Captain Molokov was killed. If he had been missing too long, or didn't show up for his flight, it would have been noticed, so it happened that day, correct?

liadovnikanor (3:18:26 PM): Five hours before, is Rakitin's best estimate.

irinarhovkassian (3:19:15 PM): All right.

liadovnikanor (3:20:27 PM): I believe you, Captain. But you know that he will likely be called under scrutiny. Rakitin seems rather incited toward suspicion based on his interview with your commander.
liadovnikanor (3:21:33 PM): Your word will be helpful, as a new recruit and a recent friend with no ulterior motives to defend him.

irinarhovkassian (3:22:06 PM): ...and if I did have ulterior motives, it would cast my testimony in doubt?

liadovnikanor (3:22:32 PM): Listen to what you've just said. [chair leaning back, laugh]

irinarhovkassian (3:22:56 PM): [sigh] Right.

liadovnikanor (3:23:16 PM): I'm telling you, you're a natural for the Service.

irinarhovkassian (3:23:44 PM): ...I'll try to take that as a compliment. No offense.

liadovnikanor (3:24:26 PM): Not offended. We're an oddly striped breed.

irinarhovkassian (3:24:42 PM): I'm realizing that.

liadovnikanor (3:25:04 PM): ...I'll try to take that as a compliment as well. [laugh]

irinarhovkassian (3:25:43 PM): [snort] All right.

liadovnikanor (3:32:45 PM): So belligerent, suddenly. [pause] Did hit I a nerve?

irinarhovkassian (3:36:39 PM): No...I just... The MVD...the NKVD...was different. Before the war.

liadovnikanor (3:37:03 PM): Ah. [pause] I know. I know that.
liadovnikanor (3:37:14 PM): ...not all of us are different now.
liadovnikanor (3:38:50 PM): Things have changed since I first began. I can tell you, it was far worse.

irinarhovkassian (3:39:26 PM): That's...good, then.

liadovnikanor (3:42:01 PM): I could tell you something about me, comrade, of my early years in the post-ChekHa and how it changed me irreparably.

But it's irrelevant. The look you just gave me...you leveled that same look at me in a windowless room in Moscow, once.
liadovnikanor (3:43:01 PM): But your record...you had never been in that chair before. I was surprised by the loathing in your eyes.

irinarhovkassian (3:46:24 PM): You had mentioned, at the beginning of this interview...a notorious dissident. Dmitri Irinarhov. From Kiev.

liadovnikanor (3:50:38 PM): Yes...Lieutanant-Colonel Isaev often used him as an example, a cautionary tale, if you will.
liadovnikanor (3:52:31 PM): Apparently he tried to scale the perimeter fence at one of the lower camps- you know they have no barriers at the Siberian camps, there's no need- and found himself jolted from this earth.
liadovnikanor (3:54:43 PM): He shorted out all of the prison, and surrounding cabins. They left him there for two weeks as a warning to the other prisoners. Then at last Captain Isaev came to inspect the damage, and ordered him cut down and buried.
liadovnikanor (3:55:56 PM): But Irinarhov is not a rare name in Kiev. I was merely nudging you.

irinarhovkassian (3:56:44 PM): He was my father.

liadovnikanor (3:57:30 PM): [silence]

irinarhovkassian (3:57:51 PM): [silence]

liadovnikanor (3:58:20 PM): ...did you know?
liadovnikanor (3:58:48 PM): Is that why you...
liadovnikanor (3:59:07 PM): Don't bring him into it. He's not one of them.
liadovnikanor (3:59:52 PM): ...

I'm at a lack of words, comrade. A rare and utter loss.

irinarhovkassian (4:00:59 PM): You've been honest with me. I thought you should know.
liadovnikanor (4:01:51 PM): It's not in your file.

irinarhovkassian (4:02:50 PM): I don't know why it wouldn't be.

liadovnikanor (4:03:24 PM): Your birth certificate. There's a line, as if your mother didn't know...
liadovnikanor (4:03:33 PM): a dash, and nothing more.

irinarhovkassian (4:04:25 PM): ...I don't know about that. Maybe it was deliberately done to...

liadovnikanor (4:04:38 PM): Who would have...?

irinarhovkassian (4:05:09 PM): ...I don't know.

liadovnikanor (4:05:35 PM): Omon Spetsnaz.
liadovnikanor (4:05:45 PM): If they wanted you badly enough.
liadovnikanor (4:06:11 PM): They excised your paternal link.

irinarhovkassian (4:06:21 PM): ...
irinarhovkassian (4:06:51 PM): I see.

liadovnikanor (4:10:58 PM): Are you all right?
liadovnikanor (4:11:06 PM): Water, comrade...or...
liadovnikanor (4:11:23 PM): [sound of a flask unscrewing]

Here.

Irinarhovkassian (4:13:24 PM): I'm...all right. [pause. small slosh. slight swallow.] Thank you.

liadovnikanor (11:27:34 AM): Take as much as you need. [pause]

I hadn't expected our meeting to reveal so much.

It was fortunate that OMON took such measures, or your court martial might have been a true crucifixion.

irinarhovkassian (11:29:12 AM): ...I can see that, now. All this time, I thought -

liadovnikanor (11:29:31 AM): What?

irinarhovkassian (11:30:51 AM): I thought that was why. I thought everyone knew. I thought they were...judging me.

liadovnikanor (11:31:49 AM): ...does Isaev know?

irinarhovkassian (11:32:39 AM): No. I tried to tell him, but...I couldn't.

liadovnikanor (11:35:08 AM): ...I see. I'm sure it doesn't matter, anyway. Some things are best left unmentioned.

[rapid shuffling of papers, clicking of pen]

...But you saw the men who took him?

irinarhovkassian (11:37:15 AM): I was there when it happened. It was a long time ago.

liadovnikanor (11:37:44 AM): When they took him? Was it before you went to Berlin?

irinarhovkassian (11:38:02 AM): Yes. It was before the war.

liadovnikanor (11:39:43 AM): And when he died? You were sent a telegram?

irinarhovkassian (11:41:32 AM): I received it after I found out, actually. I had been in the hospital and after they released me, they gave me time to go home and see my mother. I found out then.

liadovnikanor (11:42:00 AM): ...when you arrived home?

irinarhovkassian (11:42:30 AM): They came to the door to tell my mother not long after I had arrived.

liadovnikanor (11:43:01 AM): The Chekists.

irinarhovkassian (11:43:13 AM): Yes.

liadovnikanor (11:51:45 AM): Did you know these men before that day?

irinarhovkassian (11:52:53 AM): These men...the men who came? No.

liadovnikanor (11:53:08 AM): And would you know them now?

irinarhovkassian (11:53:39 AM): No...why would I?

liadovnikanor (11:54:16 AM): I would think their faces would be indelibly branded into your mind.

irinarhovkassian (11:57:54 AM): They were uniforms, not men. But there was one...a young man. Younger than me. I remember his face.

liadovnikanor (11:58:24 AM): Younger than you are now, or younger than you were on the day?

irinarhovkassian (11:59:27 AM): Younger than I was. He seemed too young to be doing such work.

liadovnikanor (12:00:14 PM): He was likely a junior MENT, a cadet, if he was under 18.
liadovnikanor (12:01:08 PM): Often a legacy position, a family affair.

irinarhovkassian (12:01:16 PM): I see.

liadovnikanor (12:02:27 PM): Why do you still remember him, of all the uniforms?
liadovnikanor (12:02:58 PM): A page among kings?

irinarhovkassian (12:03:39 PM): He was the one who was enjoying it.

liadovnikanor (12:04:10 PM): ...

The others? Did they seem remorseful?

irinarhovkassian (12:05:43 PM): No...I wouldn't say that. Distant, businesslike. Like it was a routine thing.

liadovnikanor (12:09:52 PM): And this boy- was he a boy? Or a young man?

irinarhovkassian (12:12:41 PM): A teenager.

liadovnikanor (12:14:01 PM): Seventeen? Eighteen?

irinarhovkassian (12:14:23 PM): Perhaps.
irinarhovkassian (12:14:47 PM): He didn't look like he'd been through the war.

liadovnikanor (12:15:38 PM): ...no scars?
liadovnikanor (12:15:59 PM): Or something more? What told you that?

irinarhovkassian (12:16:46 PM): Just a feeling I guess. The look in his eyes.

liadovnikanor (12:19:03 PM): What did he look like?

irinarhovkassian (12:19:33 PM): Cruel.

liadovnikanor (12:19:52 PM): ...

irinarhovkassian (12:20:21 PM): ...Major. You aren't asking me these questions for no reason.

liadovnikanor (12:20:40 PM): No. Perhaps I should stop.

irinarhovkassian (12:20:54 PM): Why should you stop?

liadovnikanor (12:21:32 PM): ...Was he with another man, to his right, perhaps? When you saw him?

irinarhovkassian (12:21:50 PM): Yes...

liadovnikanor (12:22:44 PM): And there was a resemblance, I would guess. If you noticed anyone else but the Junior Militsioner, that is.

irinarhovkassian (12:23:45 PM): There was one that - yes. There was a resemblance. ->
irinarhovkassian (12:23:47 PM): ...

liadovnikanor (12:29:16 PM): That man did not strike you as cruel, however. You did not...remember him.

irinarhovkassian (12:33:03 PM): Harsh. Cold. Not cruel. He could have...well. See, the boy...the young man, he said something to us, my mother and I. That we should be taken away too, and sent to the camps. And -

liadovnikanor (12:34:53 PM): ...the boy said that?

irinarhovkassian (12:35:24 PM): Yes...

liadovnikanor (12:35:53 PM): An icy statement.
liadovnikanor (12:36:07 PM): ...and what, Captain?

irinarhovkassian (12:36:29 PM): ...and I hit him.

liadovnikanor (12:37:27 PM): ...I don't blame you.
liadovnikanor (12:38:09 PM): How did he take it?
liadovnikanor (12:38:47 PM): I imagine he wasn't accustomed to such treatment. [grim laugh]

irinarhovkassian (12:40:41 PM): No. He was outraged. But the man told that he deserved it, and sent him to the car. Then the man told me that if I did something like that again, I would go to the camps. And then they left.

liadovnikanor (12:41:29 PM): Compassion? Or was it simply an avoidance of paperwork?

irinarhovkassian (12:42:01 PM): As I look back on it...compassion. Perhaps.

liadovnikanor (12:47:30 PM): This young man...was he...fair?
liadovnikanor (12:47:42 PM): Tall?

irinarhovkassian (12:48:52 PM): Yes...

liadovnikanor (12:49:38 PM): I see. What else do you remember?

irinarhovkassian (12:51:24 PM): About that incident? My mother was...upset. To put it mildly.

liadovnikanor (12:52:04 PM): Of course she was. It's a terrible insult to injury.
liadovnikanor (12:53:06 PM): ...is there anything else you remember about the young man? Can you still picture his face?

irinarhovkassian (1:35:01 PM): It was a long time ago, but...yes. ->
irinarhovkassian (1:35:05 PM): ...why?

liadovnikanor (1:37:09 PM): Would you know him if you saw him again?

irinarhovkassian (1:39:12 PM): I don't know. He would be older now, an adult, obviously. This was...twenty years ago.

liadovnikanor (1:42:56 PM): Yes. He would be in his thirties, would he not.

irinarhovkassian (1:43:31 PM): ...are you trying to tell me something?

liadovnikanor (1:44:25 PM): What could I possibly have to tell you, Captain? I am merely curious as to whether he's someone I know.

irinarhovkassian (1:46:56 PM): [sound of chair creaking] Your questions are very specific for someone who's merely curious.

liadovnikanor (1:47:23 PM): Perhaps I'm a little more than curious.

irinarhovkassian (1:47:41 PM): ...

liadovnikanor (1:48:35 PM): Perhaps I'm relatively sure.

irinarhovkassian (1:48:57 PM): That...?

liadovnikanor (1:51:01 PM): That I know him.

irinarhovkassian (1:51:43 PM): I see.

liadovnikanor (1:56:36 PM): Didn't leave any marks, did you? [laugh]

irinarhovkassian (1:57:21 PM): ...I guess not. ->
irinarhovkassian (1:57:43 PM): So...what happens now? Is this going to be a problem?

liadovnikanor (1:58:31 PM): Why would it be? This was twenty years ago, after all.

irinarhovkassian (1:59:05 PM): Some people carry grudges.

liadovnikanor (1:59:20 PM): Do you?

irinarhovkassian (1:59:33 PM): ...no.

liadovnikanor (1:59:45 PM): I'm surprised.

irinarhovkassian (1:59:52 PM): Why?

liadovnikanor (2:00:52 PM): This boy sounds like the kind of sapling who grows into a carnivorous forest.

irinarhovkassian (2:01:56 PM): It's not my problem.

liadovnikanor (2:04:28 PM): But you remember him- after all these years. His cruelty. His words. His face.

Why?

irinarhovkassian (2:06:14 PM): There are some things you just remember. For as long as you live.

liadovnikanor (2:06:36 PM): Do you remember how it felt to hit him?

irinarhovkassian (2:07:04 PM): ... ->
irinarhovkassian (2:07:07 PM): Yes.

liadovnikanor (2:07:24 PM): ...did it please you?

irinarhovkassian (2:08:46 PM): Yes. I was angry. But my hand hurt afterward.

liadovnikanor (2:17:26 PM): You hit him hard.

irinarhovkassian (2:17:37 PM): Yes. I was lucky I didn't break my hand.

liadovnikanor (2:17:49 PM): Lucky, for a sniper.

irinarhovkassian (2:17:51 PM): Yes.

liadovnikanor (2:18:00 PM): Did he bleed?

irinarhovkassian (2:18:09 PM): ...yes.

liadovnikanor (2:19:17 PM): Nose? Mouth?

irinarhovkassian (2:19:25 PM): Mouth.

liadovnikanor (2:19:52 PM): I bet you gave him a split lip. Or at least a swollen one.

irinarhovkassian (2:20:04 PM): Split.

liadovnikanor (2:20:45 PM): What I wonder is...why didn't he strike back at you?
liadovnikanor (2:21:05 PM): We're trained to always retaliate..
liadovnikanor (2:21:31 PM): Do you think he was so shocked that anyone dared raise a hand, that he was paralyzed?
liadovnikanor (2:22:42 PM): Do you think he was afraid of you?

Or is it something else?

Had he only been seeking one kind of bloodsport, and found another?

irinarhovkassian (2:25:33 PM): No...he wanted to retaliate. He wasn't afraid. He was...he wanted a fight. But his superior stopped him before he could.

liadovnikanor (2:25:47 PM): ...His father.

irinarhovkassian (2:25:55 PM): His father.

liadovnikanor (2:31:44 PM): Yes. A ministry director now. At that time an MVD Colonel.

irinarhovkassian (2:32:27 PM): ...and the boy?

liadovnikanor (2:33:28 PM): He excelled at his duties.

irinarhovkassian (2:34:38 PM): And then something happened to him?

liadovnikanor (2:34:57 PM): No.

irinarhovkassian (2:35:05 PM): So he still excels?

liadovnikanor (2:36:06 PM): ....yes. He's a high-ranking investigator within the MVD. Lauded, feared, admired, hated. All those things he loves.

irinarhovkassian (2:36:36 PM): Is he happy?

liadovnikanor (2:36:55 PM): No.
liadovnikanor (2:37:12 PM): ...but is anyone?

irinarhovkassian (2:38:16 PM): Why can't they be? Why can't they enjoy the things that are good in their lives, and be grateful for them?

liadovnikanor (2:48:54 PM): You sound as if you're an expert on the subject. [laugh]

irinarhovkassian (2:49:15 PM): I'm not an expert.

liadovnikanor (2:53:22 PM): Perhaps the good things have flown. Perhaps they've become someone else's good things. Perhaps some people can't be sated.
liadovnikanor (2:53:56 PM): If you saw that boy again, would you recognize him?
liadovnikanor (2:53:57 PM): I wonder.

irinarhovkassian (2:54:43 PM): It sounds like I should. Would he recognize me?

liadovnikanor (3:00:42 PM): I guarantee he would. He has a long memory, and a longer arm.

irinarhovkassian (3:01:17 PM): He would...want revenge?

liadovnikanor (3:03:12 PM): ...if he wanted revenge, he would have taken it by now. You can bet he'd have found opportunities- and if not, he'd have made them.

irinarhovkassian (3:03:42 PM): Who is he?

liadovnikanor (3:04:12 PM): ...a friend.

irinarhovkassian (3:04:15 PM): ...

7:51:53 PM liadovnikanor: Did you want to return to the original line of questioning, Captain?

7:52:01 PM liadovnikanor: Or was there more?

7:52:58 PM irinarhovkassian: We can return to the original line of questioning.

7:53:14 PM liadovnikanor: ...Wish I remembered where that left off.
7:53:24 PM liadovnikanor: [papers flipping]

7:53:54 PM irinarhovkassian: I don't remember either.

7:54:37 PM liadovnikanor: We spoke of...

Yes, we spoke of Isaev, and his coming in from a card game. And then, it seems, we digressed a little.
7:55:03 PM liadovnikanor: We had gotten to the point of everyone being down at the Greenhouse.
7:55:19 PM liadovnikanor: We spoke of the Fury somewhat.
7:55:29 PM liadovnikanor: So let's begin at the Greenhouse.

7:55:53 PM irinarhovkassian: All right.

7:56:03 PM liadovnikanor: Who was the first respondant?

7:57:33 PM irinarhovkassian: I don't know. There were already GRU there when we arrived. The Fury also was there before Major Ocelot, Lieutenant Isaev, and myself, because he went via jetpack.

8:02:46 PM liadovnikanor: ...jetpack.
8:02:54 PM liadovnikanor: ...fabulous.
8:03:17 PM liadovnikanor: So at what point was the body examined?

8:04:02 PM irinarhovkassian: After we arrived. Major Ocelot ordered Lieutenant Isaev to do the examination.

8:04:26 PM liadovnikanor: And had anyone touched or otherwise displaced the body or things relating to the body?

8:07:05 PM irinarhovkassian: The Fury was standing near it. I don't know if the other soldiers had done anything to it before we arrived, but it was still half-covered by dirt.

8:12:39 PM liadovnikanor: Did the Lieutenant find anything in his examination?

8:15:02 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes. It took a while. At first, we thought it was a woman, because of the manner of dress. But Lieutenant Isaev determined it was a man. And that he had died before the explosion.

8:16:02 PM liadovnikanor: By manner of dress, I take it you mean the...shreds of flowered silk that Rakitin was able to recover.

8:17:44 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes. The garment he was wearing. It looked like a woman's.

8:18:02 PM liadovnikanor: An undergarment.

8:18:54 PM irinarhovkassian: Lieutenant Isaev called it a 'teddy.'

8:19:39 PM liadovnikanor: ...He was familiar with such undergarments, then.

8:19:54 PM irinarhovkassian: Apparently.

8:20:40 PM liadovnikanor: Well, it does seem to be a thing one sees among Moscow night butterflies.
8:20:55 PM liadovnikanor: Certainly more so than Captains of the GRU.

8:21:07 PM irinarhovkassian: I would think so.

8:21:26 PM liadovnikanor: Although perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.
8:21:59 PM liadovnikanor: Did Isaev ascertain anything else prior to the official examination performed by Lieutenant Rakitin?

8:24:31 PM irinarhovkassian: In the throat, he found the genitalia, and a yellow rose.

8:29:23 PM liadovnikanor: Anything else?

8:31:49 PM irinarhovkassian: No.

8:34:45 PM liadovnikanor: The German was brought in, as I understand it.
8:34:55 PM liadovnikanor: Somewhat hysterical.

8:41:03 PM irinarhovkassian: He seemed more incoherent. He was mumbling in German. Wondering why everyone hated him so.

8:41:24 PM liadovnikanor: ...do they hate him?

8:43:02 PM irinarhovkassian: The Fury and his men seemed to dislike him greatly. But when Major Krauss collapsed, the Fury was the one to catch him, and show him mercy. As if his hatred had turned to pity.

8:46:41 PM liadovnikanor: Odd. Well, I suppose that happens. A humbled adversary is like a flaccid cock.

8:47:42 PM irinarhovkassian: True. I don't know the history between them. I heard Colonel Volgin say that he didn't think that Major Krauss did the killing.

8:49:04 PM liadovnikanor: I don't think so either. Krauss is a man who likes people to die out of sight.
8:49:43 PM liadovnikanor: He's also a man who wishes he were a greater evil than he is. He spends inordinate amounts of time revising his image.

8:50:15 PM irinarhovkassian: Why?

8:50:33 PM liadovnikanor: I don't know. It seems to me there are plenty of evil men.
8:51:02 PM liadovnikanor: I believe as a former Nazi, he's not comfortable with the idea of anything in greyscale.
8:52:51 PM liadovnikanor: He feels disenfranchised as anything less than jet black- as in his mind the only other choice is glowing white purity and decency.

8:53:58 PM irinarhovkassian: There are plenty of shades in between.

8:54:21 PM liadovnikanor: ...yes, many.
8:57:00 PM liadovnikanor: Do you think the Fury brought the Major out, humbled, in front of his mutilated lover as a final insult?

9:00:29 PM irinarhovkassian: Oh. I didn't realize. But we didn't know who it was at the time. The body hadn't been identified yet. Unless the reason was to make him realize it later. But the Fury seems more...straightforward, than that.

9:00:43 PM liadovnikanor: And his men?

9:03:57 PM irinarhovkassian: His men...I've seen them around. They're like starved dogs. Lean and hungry.

9:06:01 PM liadovnikanor: Yes. Interesting story there.
9:07:42 PM liadovnikanor: Major Krauss kindly brought it to my attention that there are two among them whom I sent to the Gulag.

9:08:11 PM irinarhovkassian: What did they do?

9:08:47 PM liadovnikanor: The one I remember best was a serial killer of young girls and women.
9:08:58 PM liadovnikanor: He left them all over the city like trash.
9:11:48 PM liadovnikanor: I came down on him as hard as I could. I pushed for a bullet.
9:13:20 PM liadovnikanor: But the State wanted labor in the prison camps.
9:13:35 PM liadovnikanor: So he was sent to Magadan.

9:14:02 PM irinarhovkassian: ...what is he doing here, then?

9:15:42 PM liadovnikanor: That is exactly what I wanted to know.
9:17:27 PM liadovnikanor: As it turned out, it was Krauss himself who signed for their release.
9:18:13 PM liadovnikanor: Under the pretense of using them for an experiment- when in reality, they were brought here, to flesh out the Fury's flame patrol.

9:18:35 PM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
9:19:08 PM irinarhovkassian: There are women who work in the offices of the administrative wing. Secretaries.

9:20:33 PM liadovnikanor: I know that. It doesn't please me.

9:22:05 PM irinarhovkassian: Could Captain Molokov have been mistaken for a woman?

9:22:52 PM liadovnikanor: Not from what I saw of him. The lingerie affectation seems to be purely that- affection.

9:23:01 PM irinarhovkassian: All right.

9:31:45 PM liadovnikanor: As I understand it, the two have a new obsession, so perhaps the steno pool can breathe easy tonight.

9:32:39 PM irinarhovkassian: What - oh. You.

9:33:11 PM liadovnikanor: You were apprised of why you're following me, I assume?

9:33:43 PM irinarhovkassian: I wasn't given all the details. Just that there was a threat.

9:37:48 PM liadovnikanor: After the murder was discovered, what was done?

9:40:23 PM irinarhovkassian: Colonel Volgin ordered that Major Krauss be taken to the infirmary to see Doctor Khostov. The body was to be sent there too. After that, I don't know. Major Ocelot dismissed Lieutenant Isaev and myself for the rest of the night.

9:41:38 PM liadovnikanor: And what did you do, once you were dismissed?

9:43:04 PM irinarhovkassian: We...headed to the shower room. Examining the corpse had been highly unpleasant.

9:44:22 PM liadovnikanor: I imagine. And then?

9:45:38 PM irinarhovkassian: After we were clean, we returned to the barracks.

9:46:22 PM liadovnikanor: What time did you bid Isaev good night?

9:47:10 PM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
9:47:49 PM irinarhovkassian: I slept in Lieutenant Isaev's barracks room that night.

9:49:07 PM liadovnikanor: I understand- you're a good man, Irinarhov.
9:49:26 PM liadovnikanor: Imanov's bunk would have been empty.
9:50:11 PM liadovnikanor: And while I know Andrei is strong...well, despite and still.

9:50:51 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes.

9:52:14 PM liadovnikanor: Very kind of you.
9:55:30 PM liadovnikanor: That is the kind of brotherly act Lasha would have enacted, without a thought.

9:55:53 PM irinarhovkassian: ...I'm sure.

9:56:34 PM liadovnikanor: Was he all right?

9:56:50 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes. Eventually.

9:58:04 PM liadovnikanor: Eventually? What was his behavior prior to that?

10:00:56 PM irinarhovkassian: He was...troubled. It's difficult to process something like that. The shock of it.

10:08:33 PM liadovnikanor: Argumentative? Belligerent?

10:10:33 PM irinarhovkassian: No. He asked me why it was different. What the killer did, and what we do. He was trying to make sense of it. What separates us from the person who did the murder.

10:10:48 PM liadovnikanor: And what did you tell him?

10:11:22 PM irinarhovkassian: I told him it was the difference between having to kill, and wanting to kill.

10:12:41 PM liadovnikanor: Funny, that he would...worry.

10:13:20 PM irinarhovkassian: If he didn't worry, it would be more concerning.

10:17:05 PM liadovnikanor: Well, except that surely he knows...there's a difference.

10:18:11 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes. He knew that. But he didn't understand it, I think. Couldn't put it into exact words.

10:25:48 PM liadovnikanor: And you helped him understand?

10:26:24 PM irinarhovkassian: I think so. I think he just needed to talk. We both did.

10:31:34 PM liadovnikanor: Did you get along with Isaev from the first day?

10:32:36 PM irinarhovkassian: There was a bit of tension at first, but...it resolved itself.

10:35:37 PM liadovnikanor: Tension over what?

10:36:13 PM irinarhovkassian: My arrival. I wasn't very outgoing or friendly.

10:36:57 PM liadovnikanor: You don't seem like the fight-picking type.

10:38:55 PM irinarhovkassian: No, I'm not. I just wanted to be left alone. But Lieutenant Isaev...well. He was concerned for the squad. It's very tight-knit. An outsider who insisted on remaining distant from the others would be detrimental to the squad.

10:39:36 PM liadovnikanor: ...

Nice try.

...he wouldn't let it go, would he?

10:39:58 PM irinarhovkassian: ...no.

10:40:35 PM liadovnikanor: [laughter]
10:41:02 PM liadovnikanor: And you relented-

10:41:31 PM irinarhovkassian: ...yes.

10:44:07 PM liadovnikanor: ...

Relented.

...
10:44:12 PM liadovnikanor: I...

10:44:33 PM irinarhovkassian: ...

10:46:59 PM liadovnikanor: ...Ah, never mind. [laugh] I...had a moment of confusion.

10:47:17 PM irinarhovkassian: ... ->
10:47:27 PM irinarhovkassian: All right.

10:49:10 PM liadovnikanor: Ha, I suppose I still have an overactive imagination after all this time.
10:49:20 PM liadovnikanor: I'm sorry.
10:49:42 PM liadovnikanor: Can you think of anything we haven't covered?

10:50:35 PM irinarhovkassian: ...no. I don't think so.

10:51:04 PM liadovnikanor: Wonderful..then I suppose we're..finished.
10:51:45 PM liadovnikanor: At least, this interview.

10:51:58 PM irinarhovkassian: Yes. I understand.

10:54:36 PM liadovnikanor: I'll stop tape.
10:54:41 PM liadovnikanor: [click]

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