"Discipline, privation and hardship must be imposed for the deadly and sinister vampiric entity to blossom forth from your particular shell of potential. You yourself must not simply fantasize about the dark nature of the vampiric, you must live it - in the physical realm. To actually perform Sinister Chant while sitting upon a corpse in the cremation grounds. To live as a walking corpse, eating no physical sustenance, living upon the dark rays of the moon deep within the forbidden and wild hinterlands. To manipulate and use force for the furtherance of the Sinister Dialectic.
This change will be enacted (amongst other methods) via SHOCK, TRIAL, ORDEALS AND TORTURE OF THE MIND BODY AND SOUL. You must effectively die to the self and the ego which you now consist to step into the glorious undeath which you seek. You must feel and experience first hand the glory of horror and the purity of pain. Transformation must be enacted if you wish to reach into the higher stages of BREAKTHROUGH and beyond…” - Discipline of the Gods, Discipline of the Gods/Altars of Hell/Apex of Eternity, Tempel ov Blood, Ixaxaar 2004
"At night he would cruise the streets of Moscow seeking out teenage girls," Antonov-Ovseyenko has said in an interview. "When he saw one who took his fancy he would have his guards deliver her to his house. Sometimes he would have his henchmen bring five, six or seven girls to him. He would make them strip, except for their shoes, and then force them into a circle on their hands and knees with their heads together. He would walk around in his dressing gown inspecting them. Then he would pull one out by her leg and haul her off to rape her. He called it the flower game."
In intelligence organizations, agent handling is the management of agents, principal agents, and agent networks (called “assets”) by intelligence officers typically known as case officers.
A primary purpose of intelligence organizations is to penetrate a target with a human agent, or a network of human agents. Such agents can either infiltrate the target, or be recruited “in place”. Case officers are professionally trained employees of intelligence organizations that manage human agents and human agent networks. Intelligence that derives from such human sources is known as HUMINT.
Sometimes, agent handling is done indirectly, through “principal agents” that serve as proxies for case officers. It is not uncommon, for example, for a case officer to manage a number of principal agents, who in turn handle agent networks, which are preferably organized in a cellular fashion. In such a case, the principal agent can serve as a “cut-out” for the case officer, buffering him or her from direct contact with the agent network.
Utilizing a principal agent as a cut-out, and ensuring that the human agent network is organized in a cellular fashion, can provide some protection for other agents in the network, as well as for the principal agent, and for the case officer in the event that an agent in the network is compromised. Assuming that standard principles of intelligence tradecraft have been strictly observed by the principal agent and the agents in the network, compromised agents will not be able to identify the case officer, nor the other members of the network. Ideally, agents may work side by side in the same office, and conduct their clandestine collection activities with such discipline, that they will not realize that they are both engaged in espionage, much less members of the same network.
Since an agent can sometimes identify his or her principal agent, however, or reveal information under interrogation that can lead to the identification of a principal agent, the protection provided by cellular network organization can be time-sensitive.
If principles of intelligence tradecraft have not been strictly observed, it is also possible that compromised agents can reveal information that exposes other members of the network. In the real world of espionage, human lapses are very much the norm, and violations of the principles of tradecraft are common. It is for this reason that agents are ideally trained to resist interrogation for a defined period of time.
If an agent is able to resist interrogation for a defined period of time, the odds that other members of the network can be alerted to the compromise improve.
A case officer is an intelligence officer who is a trained specialist in the management of agents and agent networks. Case officers manage human agents, and human intelligence networks. Case officers spot potential agents, recruit prospective agents, and train agents in tradecraft. Case officers emphasize those elements of tradecraft which enable the agent to acquire needed information, as well as to enable the case officer to communicate with and supervise the agent. Most of all, case officers train agents in methods of avoiding detection by host nation counter-intelligence organizations.
Agents, spotting, and recruitment
By definition, an “agent” acts on behalf of another, whether another individual, an organization, or a foreign government. Agents can be considered either witting or unwitting, and in some cases, willing or unwilling. Agents typically work under the direction of a principal agent or a case officer. When agents work alone, and are not members of an agent network, they are termed “singletons”.
The identification of potential agents is termed “agent spotting”. Identifying potential agents, and investigating the details of their personal and professional lives, involves the granular verification of their bona fides. Such activities can include uncovering personal details that leave potential agents vulnerable to coercion, blackmail, or other inducements, such as sexual approaches.
The recruitment of potential agents is an art form, and it is the raison d’être of the intelligence case officer. Approaches to potential agents can be multitudinous and considerable time can pass before the potential agent is maneuvered into a position where a recruitment “pitch” can be hazarded.
Agent training often includes techniques of tradecraft such as clandestine communications, including cryptography, the use of one-time pads, the construction of concealment devices, and the employment of dead drops. Other elements of tradecraft include elicitation, surveillance and countersurveillance, photography and the emplacement of audio devices, sensors, or other transmitters. Case officers generally train agents one at a time, in isolation, including only those elements of tradecraft needed to penetrate the target at hand. Case officers will also teach agents how to develop cover for status, and cover for action, meaning how to establish credible pretexts for their presence and behavior while engaged in collection activities. A well-trained and competent agent can conduct his or her clandestine tasks while under close surveillance, and still evade detection. More advanced agent training can include resistance to interrogation.
The field marshal sat at the edge of the forest as a blood red sun began making its descent behind, illuminating the crest of the mountains before him to the east. Weather permitting, it would take a week for his small unit to cross over the mountains on foot and then several more days march through the foothills before reaching level ground and the base. As he watched the dying rays of the sun casting its crimson light over the wooded mountaintops the field marshal considered what would be happening back at headquarters during this time of day. Most shock troops and other organizational sectors not on duty would be engaged in evening classroom training sessions on a wide variety of topics, including the history of the land’s descent into societal breakdown and nuclear war, which had reached its zenith more than seventy-five years before. As such, almost no one living, except perhaps a few isolated individuals (whom he nor anyone he knew had ever met) would remember what the world was like before that time except through books, carefully censored, which had been stored at the institutional library which was accessible, in a controlled degree, to most members of the organization over a certain security ranking.
The field marshal certainly did not remember what the world was like before the apocalypse, as he himself was born right in the midst of the blood and fire of societal anarchy several decades after the collapse. During those days in the territory in which he and his mother lived, in a land north of the organization’s present headquarters, there had been considerable more diversity in the armed groups that were in operation. However, operating according to long defunct political and religious ideologies, throw-backs from the old days, coupled with a biological attunement toward obsolete methods of waging guerrilla warfare, their groups were easily absorbed into, forcibly taken over or exterminated by the organization in time.
The field marshal had always admired the organization from the earliest he could remember. His mother worked as an informant against the so-called “sovereigns” who lived around the area of his birth and who spoke of the organization with fear and loathing, referring to them as communists, criminals and other epitaphs which made no real sense in terms of what such designations meant before the states of the world had cannibalized themselves, with mass loss of human life and permanent loss of advanced infrastructure, in a time that may as well be considered prehistory with the way things were run now.
In exchange for spying against the people in their area, many of them related to her (not that that meant so much these days - and any person with the slightest hint of organization-leaning ideology would understand clearly that familyism as it was practiced traditionally was disgusting, nothing more than a bourgeois aberration), the field marshal’s late mother received ration packets, black-market liquor, edged weapons and clandestine ideological training material, all of which she received on a regular basis and all of which was carefully concealed beneath the floorboards in a small abandoned structure in the forest behind their residence.
His mother actively taught him to read at an early age and actively encouraged him to peruse the organizational pamphlets and related materials that she received. This, along with a passion for practicing with the large, serrated-edged weapon that his mother entrusted him with, seared into his consciousness the goal of becoming an enlisted member of the organization as soon as he was of age. At the time the organization recruited at eleven years of age and above, now the age bracket had been lowered considerably and there were many children that were sent on dangerous missions as young as six, having spent their life from the cradle being trained for inflicting death, conducting espionage and executing other sophisticated facets of political and military science according to the needs of the group.
Raising himself from the rock on the outcropping, the field marshal looked one last time toward the east before returning the way from which he had come, back toward the camp. He had finished his report ahead of schedule, allowing him a brief respite and view of the mountains, rising in all the grandeur, in the the east, before sunset. At that time his escorts had still been sporting with the woman, her muffled screams of grief and horror being too much for his head to bear after filling out fifteen pages of mandatory documentation and entering more than that in electronic data, all of which was now secured in a padlocked box which he carried with him on all missions outside of the organization’s territory. ‘Outside of organization territory’ was almost a misnomer at this point in relation to his current area, as the few inhabitants they had encountered were little more than savages, existing alone or in small packs, emotional and fragile creatures that marked them as the detritus of the fallen civilization. Detritus is trash and it was amongst the purview and job description of his commission to exterminate such trash, to sweep away the past so that the organization and it’s brutal, future ethic, could take total hold without any traces of pre-apocalypse humanitarian contaminant left to mar their historic work. Like chaff, those who simply lived but did not imbibe the fuel of fanatic desire for geopolitical domination and control could, as simply as that, be blown away suddenly by the incoming, violent wind.
Back near the area where the lone mother and child had been ambushed by the field marshal and his elite guard unit earlier in the day, the level of atrocity had continued apace, managing to maintain itself steadily at an unspeakably horrific pitch, a great success considering the intensity of the inaugural actions taken on the unfortunate victims prior.
After the field marshal had left his two internal security attaches with the woman and the dying child, said attaches who had formerly worked as punishment camp guards for the organization before moving up the ranks into the prestigious position of the field marshal’s personal guard, they had availed themselves and taken the blessing of their superior officer quite earnestly when they were instructed to enjoy themselves to the very hilt.
The guards came from a background much like the field marshal himself, albeit being less prodigious in the military sense as normally understood. Both had been exposed to organization ideology early during their childhood, except in their case they had been born in an area that had just recently been taken over by the commander’s forces and which contained very little opposition in regards to organizational program.
In areas that were only beginning their new local identities as organizational strongholds, it was considered imperative to make organizational presence dramatically known and to commit at least ten to twelve punitive actions against real or perceived local dissent to organizational control on a regular and consistent basis. In cases where no actual dissent to organizational control existed, the shock troops and associated personnel would perform punitive raids and public criticism rallies and executions aimed against individuals who were earmarked as being potential future problems depending on their background and personal and social history within their respective communities. The investigative work leading to making the choices in this respect were executed by intelligence officers on the ground, information on potential targets being fed to local intelligence handlers by domestic human sources located throughout the area.
Without such repressive political theater as exhibited in the criticism rallies, raids and executions, any potential future dissent would be given the de facto green light to bolster their operations, incipient or active, and loyalists who supported the organization’s mission would be demoralized at the lack of mechanistic and applied social brutality. Seventy some odd years since the last nuclear warhead sent the genocidal rays of its radiation sun shining gleaming death on all known continents, only a considerable amount of bloodshed, butchery and violence would manage to get the attention of the people. The populace had been effectively and realistically ruined for more subtle means of political communication.
The men who were now pulling security for the field marshal both grew up in the same territory. Although they did not interact in their youth, their shared background provided ample basis for strong solidarity in their adulthood and professional lives, especially in the hermetic atmosphere of the field marshal’s personal service.
Embedded deep within their psyches lay impregnable imprints from the mandatory propaganda rallies put on by the enlisted organization forces which they had attended as children. In the organization all propaganda activities were formulated and managed exclusively by the intelligence directorate, removing the need for another separate internal branch to handle tasks such as producing literature, forming curricula and holding public events. The purpose of this conglomeration did not intimate, however, an attempt to cut corners, or bespeak any lack of acumen of order on the part of those so concerned, as propaganda was of an unequivocally vital importance to the organization’s mission, particularly in the arenas of recruitment and the harvesting of human resources.
With propaganda activities being managed directly by the intelligence branch, the commander could be satisfied that those responsible for the imperative tasks of said propaganda had the full measure of military and intelligence-driven psychological warfare methodologies and advanced police coercion techniques and training at their fingertips at all times. Especially in the context of public rallies, the effaciousness of such an arrangement could be seen dramatically in stark relief on the parade grounds, as the officials orating and the hand-picked individuals from the local populace recruited by intelligence in the crowd could coordinate seamlessly amongst themselves, in concert, for mass group effect.
Aside from more specific desired results and specialized undertakings, in general, the mass rallies were designed to cultivate an attitude of hubris, total identification with the group and fanaticism for the organization’s objectives and leadership in the demographics of moderate to heavy supporters and, in contrast, to inspire blood-curdling terror in those who might possess even the slightest latent seeds of rebellion in their minds. The rallies almost always followed the same formula wherever they were held and invariably began with a shock troop contingent marching through the main strip of town or along the main road if held in a strictly rural environment.
Usually a group of forty shock troops would make up the bulk of the procession, divided into ranks of five abreast. In front of this would be a section of the baby brigades as they were informally referred to in the organization, the youth corps which consisted of boys and girls from five to eleven years in age. The pontifex of the local youth corps, the organization’s bizarre equivalent to class president or valedictorian, would head the parade carrying a torch made of a burning human head. The head was always that of a member of the organization itself, not an external enemy as might initially be thought. The pageantry aimed at driving home the commander’s policy towards external rebels would come later on, at the end and zenith of the propaganda rally.
The tradition of parading a human head fashioned as a macabre flaming torch had began early on in the organization, back in the days during which the symptoms of overt radiation poisoning had been seen everywhere as part of the hideous direct aftermath of the worldwide nuclear conflagration. In those days and in days since, the particularly fanatical members of the group would volunteer to commit a grisly act of ritual suicide as a sign of their absolute and total commitment of individual members of the group toward the aims of the collective whole. In those days, closer in proximity to the wars, the volunteers would often be drawn from amongst those who had been adversely affected by radiation, putting the continuation their of long-term service to the organization into question for practical reasons, despite their all-out ideological elan. The esoteric reason behind the ritual suicide was as old as combat itself, being based on the practice amongst certain ancient cultures of offering a severed human head as a sacrifice to the goddess of war, death, night and destruction in exchange for the boon of achieving victory on the field of battle. The practice of turning the head into a burning symbol of martyrdom to be paraded before supporters and potential enemies alike seems to have apparently been the organization’s own innovation, although many held that such a practice had been executed within certain formations similar to the organization long beforehand.
In a private ceremony, held directly before the rally and attended only by uniformed members of the group and leadership, the martyr, chosen amongst the volunteers, via secret selection by a special committee composed of ranking members amongst the shock troop and intelligence community, would perform his or her act of martyrdom in a solemn and grim rite.
Amped-up on a specially manufactured liquor laced with stimulants administered by an organization physician, the actual narcotic element based on the original methamphetamine formula as developed and utilized by the Nazis during World War II, the martyr would be led to the stage, flanked on either side by women (or men, in the case that the martyr was female), who acted as the martyr’s pleasure concubines and personal attendants in the last few days time leading up to the ceremony. A large bonfire and myriad sacrificial pyres contained in large metal urns would be used to light the ghastly scene as the ritual took place.
On a plinth, beneath a large black banner bearing the insignia of the organization, laid a long and large knife of the survival combat variety with a sawing blade on one end and a compartment for holding essential supplies hidden within the handle, a quality piece crafted originally for one of the now defunct governments existing well before the nuclear wars and maintained religiously ever since. Painted black, except for along the edge, which had been sharpened to the keenness of a razor, the bleak and gory instrument lay oiled and gleaming with an evil light, a blasphemous and impersonal idol inside a cult forged within the very nuclear zenith of death.
The insignia of the organization featured a profile image of the commander, dressed in a peculiar black mask embedded with his personal crest, worn only by himself and his own elite guard unit, minutely painted upon the area centering around his third eye. Bandoliers of high gauge bullets crossed his chest, medals covered his width and knives and firearms burst from various military belts attached to his arms, belt and legs, holding sheathes and various holsters custom-made for the armed-to-the-teeth dictator of the organization and supreme authority over all the human inhabitants in areas his forces controlled. His blistering eyes, blank yet enraged simultaneously, stared forth into an even more nightmarish future than anyone could possibly dream. A motif of an enormous bat rose up from behind the leader’s profile, prolonged fangs with pouring streams of blood dripping downward, anointing the image of the commander and bringing home the horrific, insane and malicious nature of the organization and its ultimate leader.
Several members of a specially selected youth musical corps, picked from the most succulent and beautiful amongst the children, stood ground-level on either side of the stage, dressed in obscenely revealing uniforms, sounding hideous trumpets and beating strange rhythms on military-style drums. Deranged older men and women, totally destroyed physically and psychologically from that radioactive residue which still permeated its life-destroying poisons from deep within the earth, looked on with milky eyes and pathetic sexual longing upon the lithe limbs and figures of active youth in all their sublime glory.
“Don’t shout or I’ll shove it straight up your ass, little bitch!”
A youngish girl with black hair arrayed in a hasty bun upon her smallish skull bucked wildly around, situated on all fours, her pert and youthful buttocks rotating round in a primitive rutting gesture as the lieutenant rammed his cock into her slick genitalia in measured and energetic strokes. At the lieutenant’s admonishment, her animalistic grunting tapered into a low, sick hissing sound, not unlike that of an enraged cobra ready to strike.
The lieutenant was attending one of the conferences put on by the elite political figures within the organization, held on a secret base consisting of a vast number of corrugated steel building linked together by corridors, containing various meeting halls, residential rooms and offices, the second of which the lieutenant and the daughter of a high-ranking organization military figure now inhabited.
The site of their cohabitation in mutual lust was adorned with all the basic amenities befitting visiting organizational liaison members from abroad. A chest-of-drawers, a bed of variant size depending on what was available and some tables and chairs outfitted a medium-sized room lit by pressurized oil-lamps of the variety that were utilized by the old-order Amish during the era before the wars.
Small, bee-sting tits bobbed chaotically as the lieutenant bore into his night’s lover with schizophrenic abandon. His eyes lolled back into his head wildly as spittle dribbled down his handlebar mustache, pooling on the female’s upturned buttocks and then streaming in pools upon the dirty desert-tan sheets equipping the dilapidated mattress upon which they now performed their conjugal pastimes.
The lieutenant’s flesh was marred with various wounds, inflicted by the enemy and self-inflicted both, bearing testament to the atrocious mental state that the lieutenant, one of the top brass within the organization, wore with an inflated and unapologetic ego. In a group in which insanity was a mark of distinction, the lieutenant was by anyone’s account extremely distinguished.
Along with the tell-tale signs of lacerations from razors, combat knives and other edged tools of similar intended purpose, the lieutenant’s sadistic-looking frame also carried scars from several gunshot wounds, many years old. Surviving gunshot wounds in the era post the wars was extremely rare, as medicine in general was on the decline and those who were educated in the questionable medical training centers run by the organization had much different priorities than physicians of the former era. Manufacture of stimulants used to increase propensity for violence and battlefield stamina over long periods of time without sleep, truth serums for interrogations and experimental chemical and biological weapons and the methods of their application were the top priority for anyone with medical training or scientific know-how.
Hidden deep within the monolithic complex of steel buildings with no external windows, the residential areas for visiting brass were infamous for being stale and airless. This made the exertions of the lieutenant’s intercourse even more pronounced as evidenced by the fact that both he and the girl were drenched in sweat.
The lieutenant massaged the girl’s buttocks, moistened with perspiration and his own saliva, which fell from his mouth involuntarily in grotesque rivulets as he took in the beauty of her pale, flawless skin in counter-pose to her night-black hair. Now looking straight forward toward the headboard, the girl’s ocean-blue eyes stared from deep rings of black, fashioned with homemade eyeshadow made from soot and the fat of wild swine, obtained from her kitchen at home. Her father, an official in the clandestine armaments business, was an ample sportsman and wild boar still proliferated, having strong constitutions and proving highly adaptable to post-nuclear environs, flourishing as the earth began to naturally reforest itself, providing ample ideal habitats for the tusked beasts.
The girl turned her head, looking backward toward the lieutenant and drawing his attention however briefly away from the upturned curvatures of her delicious derriere, exposed in full swell as he continued to thrust into her moist vagina. She looked at him with a petulant pout, extending her bottom lip and widening her eyes in feigned innocence.
“I don’t think you will, lieutenant - all threat!”
“All threat then? We’ll see about that!”
The lieutenant’s eyes also widened, not in feigned innocence but in increasing amazement at just how turned on she was making him. She was pushing all the right buttons. They had been fucking since the second night of the conference and now, four days in, this was the next to the last night before the delegates returned to their various assignments elsewhere in the sprawling southern territories now controlled by the organization. The lieutenant slowly inserted one moistened finger into the girl’s arse, sliding it back and forth, widening it ever-so-slightly for the coming sodomy. The girl cooed in delight and her face began to tremble in perverse premeditation of what was to come. Not that this move on behalf of the lieutenant came as any surprise. Manufactured contraceptives no longer existed, all manufacturing being strictly based around military need, not consumer desire. Enlisted personnel and non-military members of the populace were all encouraged to apply more creative ways of preventing unplanned pregnancies. The lieutenant continued to massage and then removed his stiff member from her slit, inserting it between her buttocks. The girl, now fully in the swing of things, let loose with a snarl of excitement as they finished each other off in grecian courtesan fashion.
Afterward they dressed and checked the time, which informed them that it was now late enough in the night that most of the after-session functions for the attending personnel were already well past, unless they wanted to drink rot-gut with varied drill masters and specialized intelligence personnel around burning barrels of refuse in the open-air courtyard at the center of the compound. As they had already enjoyed themselves considerably tonight as it were, they decided that they would pass on seeking out other companionship and instead enjoy their next to last night together and alone with one another in the confines of their room. The lieutenant had a bottle of liquor that was much better than rot-gut the lower ranks would be drinking and some cigars that had been given to him after a military campaign near the coastal regions and he intended to enjoy them with a beautiful girl, not out amidst the rabble. This girl in particular was a treat and a lesson in contrast, he could associate with shock troops and spooks from internal security anytime and usually, due to the rigors of his profession, the association was more frequent than he might desire.
The couple now sat at one of the low tables in the corner of the room, studying each others faces as the lieutenant poured a portion each of the harsh smelling brown liquid into metal tumblers, passing one to her along with a anise-scented cheroot, part of a stockpile of the same that had been given to him by one of his subordinates during the campaign in the east after his man had found them, naturally humidified in a dank cellar, in the home of one of the many family’s that he had butchered, exterminating to a person as per organizational edict in relation to persons inhabiting that particular region. The girl, now dressed in her tailored black uniform, lit a punk on one of the gaslights and began taking long draws, causing the burning ember at the end of the cigar to pulsate and sending large billows of white smoke circling round her face.
“Are you going back to headquarters after you finish here lieutenant?”
Even with their previous activities withstanding, a pronounced degree of formality recommenced once the sex was over. The lieutenant, although technically lower in rank than some of his peers, was indisputably one of the commander’s favorites. The lower rank was a technicality, part of the political games that sometimes reared their heads within the organization, making the lieutenant a target from some sectors due to his undisguised psychosis and inability to play well with others as the case may be. Be as it may, ninety-nine percent of the group brass would give the lieutenant a wide-berth under any circumstances. His violence and insanity were mirrors of the commander’s own violence and insanity, a similarity that had been well noted by the commander. Within the organization making an offense against one of the commander’s favorites was tantamount to making personal offense at the worshipful feet of the commander himself, an act considered by no one except those lusting for a slow and painful death. Those who had been so foolhardy to do the latter often did so unknowingly and after so failing, in a military world dictated by a highly sophisticated but unwritten etiquette, they were quickly dispatched, disappearing into the hells of the internal security department forthwith, often never even understanding for what reason they had been ruined. For the girl, cohabitation with the lieutenant was not only quite pleasurable, it was an honor, and, particularly for a career-minded organizational operative such as herself, it was a potential gateway to better things - or worse - depending on one’s perspective. She considered herself innately psychotic and lusted for a partner with whom she could thrive in a bleak world based on ever-dangerous games of one-upmanship amongst competing rabid beasts with the countenances of humans.
“Not this time, Nadezhda.”
Nadezhda thrilled inside, as this was the first time he had called her by her given name. As far as the Nadezhda was concerned, she knew better than to ask him his. No one knew the name of the lieutenant and as no one ever asked he was as ever simply known as the lieutenant, a practice of anonymity that was applied amongst the most sensitive of personnel in referring to them only by rank, even within internal organizational documents. There were various rumors within the organization concerning this practice as it was applied to the lieutenant specifically and also as to why he had not been promoted to a higher outward ranking. Some say that when he originally received the rank of lieutenant that he went berserk and assassinated several men in his unit, not because of any rationally understood enmity existent between them but rather as a violent and fratricidal celebration of his moving up in rank, his joy - their sorrow. Those who were more in the know concerning the events surrounding the incident believed that the commander himself was directly responsible for the lieutenants promotion and sent a personal secret message via a headquarters-based courier informing him of the names of several individuals within his unit whose immediate executions were personally commissioned, along with detailed instructions of how and where to perform the deed. The opportunity of committing further, unusual and extraordinary bloodshed was the commander’s personal award to the lieutenant on the occasion of his promotion and the fact that the orders had been personally issued assured an ever spiraling level of elation in the lieutenant in the ferocity and detail with which he went about his orders. With that act, enemies of the commander had been executed as needed, the lieutenant had been forever cemented as a loyalist and, due to the obscurity surrounding the incident, a legend was born concerning the lieutenant’s excesses.
Nadezhda nodded her head in assent, pulling a rough slug from her tumbler and taking a deep draw on her cheroot. She knew better than to ask for any details without their being proffered. If he was about to go to the field on a mission it was not her business to know. Secrecy was lifeblood within the organization, without the importance of secrecy remaining heavy in circulation, the organization would collapse. That had been the fate of the less brutal, less malevolent post-nuclear war paramilitary outfits that had risen in spats during and after the nuclear winter. As always it was old ideas, outmoded thinking and a tendency to look back upon a perceived golden age of “ethics” that spelled the demise of such groups. The laws of survival were not dependent on how well one cultivated an atmosphere of civility amongst chaos and as far as members of the organization were concerned, civility within chaos was an aberration and an impossibility, well worthy of being smashed with extreme prejudice. What the people really lusted for was order and there was no better order than dictatorship, which was exactly what the organization offered.
Nadezhda had grown up firmly in the bosom of the organization and had even been dedicated as a child by the commander himself, although she was too young to remember it, back in the days when the commander would be seen more frequently amidst the higher brass and unlike the present, in which he was wrapped in almost complete obscurity. Nadezhda’s father was a particular prize within the organization to this day and especially in the years in which the organization was undergoing its formative stages of consolidating their power and authority. His father, her grandfather, had been a professional gunsmith and amateur lathe operator before the wars, his choice in profession no doubt testament to the fact that he could see the writing on the wall as the geopolitical scene wratcheded up towards the boiling point which caused nuclear death to reign down, obliterating untold numbers of the earth’s inhabitants. His skills had been passed down to his son at an early age and Nadezhda’s father had proved to be a prodigy in the realm of the manufacture and maintenance of a wide variety of small arms. Coming from an area of the land known in former times as the foundry due to it’s proliferation of industry, Nadezhda’s father had migrated south and away from the large metropolitan areas in the hideous nearly several decade period of nuclear winter, but not before pilfering a significant amount of equipment from government facilities on his trek down through northern Virginia, famous for its military installations and bred-in-the-bone gun culture.
Once into the deep south he linked up with the organization, who readily rolled out the red carpet for someone of his considerable mechanical skill and know-how, not to mention the fact that he had arrived in the southernly clime with both ample supplies of armaments manufacturing equipment as well as a considerable personal arsenal, which he gladly donated to the organization in exchange for assurance of lifelong security and occupation in the furtherance of their mission. Supplied with a decent residential living situation for himself and his daughter, his wife having died of radiation exposure soon after the child’s birth on the journey south, the armaments officer settled down near organization headquarters, equipped with a full staff and a facility to work with, and set about the business of manufacturing the sought-after instruments of death that were essential to maintaining current organizational territories and expanding those territories into uncharted areas where life was said to be even more unpredictable and fraught with danger.
Some of Nadezdha’s earliest memories were of learning to read in the large glass cubicle formerly utilized as a guard shack in the abandoned cannery that now served as the organization’s main armaments factory, located deep in the woods a few miles southwest of headquarters, the location which was guarded heavily both by contingents of shock troops, surveillance teams and via secrecy of the location itself. Once refurbished as a weapons facility, the quaint dimensions of the interior guard shack inside the building itself seemed almost comical in comparison to the machine-gun toting black-masked nightmares who roamed the roof, perimeter and surrounding areas at all hours, thus Nadezdha was bequeathed with this daytime residence so that her father could keep closer supervision on her, easily seen through the plexiglass, while he roamed through the large hangar, trouble-shooting and advising the workers in the finer points of firearm craftmanship.
The lieutenant smoked his cigar, inhaling deeply and exhaling through his nostrils in great stream of smoke that made him resemble some fire-breathing beast as Nadezdha studied him from across the table. She had been attracted to the lieutenant since an early age, having heard about his various exploits while associating with her school mates in the youth corps academy. Various of the girls would stand around the foyers of the administrative officers, featuring large poster renderings of the various military commandants and officials who had received medals and various other honorifics due to the severity of their repression of opposition on the battlefield. While her mates had favored the field marshal almost to a person, she had always favored the lieutenant. Whereas the field marshal appealed to the youths as a sadistic yet somehow grandfatherly figure, the lieutenant was all punishment all the time, unpredictable, privileged within the framework of the commander’s favor and always horrific in execution. This fondness for extremes put her in good standing with various of the more brutal elements in the academy, including many of the boys, who she wiled away hours with practicing ambush maneuvers and interrogation techniques long after the mandatory day’s training sessions were over.
Now she sat across from him, having mutually enjoyed with him in a conjugal fashion for several nights time although speaking very little of serious matters until the present. Sitting through hours of tedious programming lectures during the day at the conference, Nadezhda, like the majority of other attendants, was mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day. Except for those inhabiting the perpetual “situation room” (field marshals, generals and other war theater decision-makers), whose positions mandated their continued attention long into the night, most of the other attendants sought some sort of diversion in the evening. Getting smashed on the liquor provided for the attendants, discussing events along tables of food (fresh meat hunted with firearms being a welcome delicacy, especially for those from headquarters who subsisted the majority of the time on strange substances laced with pharmaceuticals that kept them going long past the time that they would have passed out under natural circumstances) or, for the loners, holing up in their residential quarters with some propaganda magazines or simply their own dark paranoid minds.
The lieutenant poured himself another snifter of liquor and took a deep drink while keeping his eyes evenly boring into Nadezdha’s.
“So I assume you will be back at headquarters yourself soon correct?”
“That’s correct lieutenant.”
She was pleased with his inquiry, but did not show it, keeping the tone of her voice monotone and without inflection. She had no intention of showing her cards or any vulnerability to his attentions until she could better ascertain the situation. Having heard the tales for many years of the lieutenants split-second moves from amicability to cruelty and also well aware of his tendency for forced rape and murder of past lovers, or dropping an oblique false accusation to internal security that would, due to his rank, almost assure a sudden extraction, she wanted to keep well on his good side.
“What detail do you work in?”
“Code clerk and intelligence analysis, internal security administration.”
The lieutenant took another drag from his cheroot, now burned to the end and snuffed it out on the ashtray, his mustache twitching slightly under the stress of his exhalation.
“What would you ideally like to be doing for the organization, Nadezdha?”
Now the kicker had come, a surprise for her. Her answer to this question could take several possible courses depending on his mood and his base intentions in asking the question. It could be merely small talk or even a provocation to draw her out concerning her ambitions, or it could be something else altogether. Rather than beat around the bush, Nadezdha decided to answer honestly.
“I would like to work for torture center, incarceration, at HQ internal security.”
The lieutenant was impressed and pleasantly surprised at her proclivity to work in what was considered a dirty assignment even within the sadistic confines of organizational life. Internal security were pariahs in any case, although being the commander’s favorite operation, and torture center, housed in a separate secure building adjutant to the inquiry center, was the height of nastiness, the crown jewel of human rights abuse for internal subversives and high-level spies and espionage suspects. Having worked in intelligence analysis of suspect elements within her own organization however, the thought that she might want to move from shoring up investigations and expanding them through interrogation seemed a logical progression from his vantage point.
“Have you put in for a transfer?”
“I have attempted in the past, but internal security said that they rely on me for decoding and associated activities and that there are more qualified individuals lined up for posts at the torture center.”
The lieutenant snorted with disgust, no doubt her higher-ups were referring to personnel from the shock troop units and guards from the military concentration camps. He instantly disagreed with their decision, a femme fatale with deeply rooted ties to an armaments background and present employment in intelligence analysis was exactly what torture center needed to add a layer of sophistication to their grisly tasks. He intended to do something about it.
“Ask and you shall receive, Nadezdha. You want the rank of Agent along with it correct?”
Nadezdha did not pause before answering.
“Special Agent in charge.”
The lieutenant showed no reaction, but Nadezdha seemed to intimate that there was the slightest hint of a smile around the corners of his mouth. She reached over the bottle and poured herself another draught, raising the cup to her lips and consuming the majority of it in one swallow. They were well on their way to getting piss-drunk and she was enjoying herself to the hilt, both the intoxication and the interesting turn of events that their post-coitus discussion had taken almost immediately.
“Well officer, I will see what I can do, in fact I will do more than that. I am surprised that you want to stay at headquarters though, most headquarters staff are ready to get out and see the rest of the world outside - see what the organization is doing in the field, perhaps take out a few enemies on the field, do a little hunting…”
The lieutenants eyes glazed over slightly and he could feel himself begin salivating, considering both the exquisite taste of animal flesh and human flesh alike. Post the nuclear wars, meat was meat and judging on how he had seen the progression over the years, cannibalism was a trend that was going to accelerate. A fresh kill always tasted better than eating some diseased dehydrated corpse on the compound, which was the extent of natural protein available at headquarters unless a person wanted to go out of their way and risk potential punitive response, that happened sometimes too.
“Have another drink, SAC.”
The lieutenant grinned discernibly this time and reached into the pocket of his black jacket, removing a small wallet and taking out a personal credential card, embossed with a personal insignia and contact information of his headquarters liaison secretary at the base. The personal insignia, not a group insignia of one of the organizational subsections such as intelligence, internal security or the shock troops was a particularly significant distinction, as it marked him as not belonging specifically to any of the known sectors of the organization. Some speculated that the lieutenant was part of a secret outfit reporting directly to direct emissaries of the commander and engaged in secret work. The lieutenants’ uniform bore only an organizational crest and no other markings, which could designate him as anything from construction security in armaments to interrogator in intelligence. He removed a small ink-pen from the other pocket, a water-proofed variety issued to organizational personnel, and wrote several lines on the back of the card before re-sheathing the pen and handing the card to Nadezdha.
Nadezdha took the card and turned it around. The words written on the backside of the card meant nothing to her, a string of several unrelated words followed by a set of number. Her code clerk training began to go into effect but she was not able to readily ascertain the nature of the code.
“Don’t bother Nadezdha.”
The lieutenant looked at her with a bemused expression.
“You will not be able to crack that code, although feel free to give it a shot when you back to your room later. Don’t do too good with it though or they will never let you out of the code office.”
Nadezdha smiled back and put the card into her pocket. She would have to have faith in the good graces of the lieutenant, although she would most certainly attempt to decode the message before she retired for the night and most certainly before she would hand it in to anyone. The ciphers on the back of the card could just as easily be instructing that the person turning the card in should be executed or incarcerated as it could be instructions for assignment.
“Hand that card in to the internal security administration secretary, not your direct boss in internal security. Better yet, put it in the night slot that way you won’t have to deal with anyone directly. Once the person who needs to see the message gets the card then you will see that everything will work itself as it should.”
Nadezdha managed a slight smile although the paranoia concerning the potential intentions of the lieutenant bothered her. If she did get promoted to torture center, and at the extraordinarily influential post of SAC no less, without having to work her way up through the ranks in the usual fashion as a clerk, then promotion to Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, etc. then it would be a dream come true. If something else was written on the back of the card, well, she’d rather not think about it at this time. She poured herself another drink and took a long draught to steel her nerves. She was fucking the lieutenant, she was drunk on particularly potent and good quality alcohol and it looked like she may be in charge of her very own chamber of ghastliness in the modern dungeon that was the torture center. Life was good. Apparently the lieutenant was pleased with her thus far, she intended to make sure that she had some insurance on her side.
Finishing her drink and standing erect she crossed her arms over her chest, staring down at the lieutenant, his face now ruddy and flushed with intoxication, beginning to overheat in the atmosphere of the enclosed room.
The room was the lieutenant’s own room, she had been barracked in another several corridors away and other than sleeping it had been barely lived in during her tenure at the conference, as she had been spending most of the time after meetings with the lieutenant in his own quarters, during which time she had gotten to know the lay of the land. She paced over to a chest of drawers and removed from between several uniform shirts a rolled piece of leather.
Taking it and letting it unfurl in her anorexically-small right hand, the object was seen to be a utility belt for field missions, more sturdy than what was usually worn at conferences. It was thick, black and highly polished and still smelled of the animal from which it had been made.
“Dear lieutenant, you have put a lot of trust in me in this sudden promotion, I am glad that we are making a strong mutual impression on one another. I think maybe you should give me a forewarning about how life is like in the torture center. Coming in at your recommendation, I want to make sure that you have full confidence that you are sending in a well-disciplined human resource.”
Nadezdha walked to where the lieutenant still sat and placed the belt on the table in front of him, before slinking down onto her knees and beginning to gnaw on the lieutenants arm. The lieutenant shook her off, knocking her to the ground in surprise, before taking the last draught of the liquor from his cup. He stood, inadvertently knocking the chair over as he grabbed the leather belt, coiling the end around one hand and smacking the thick leather onto his other hand.
“Bend over the bed, my little pet, so I can see what exactly you are made of.”
Nadezdha complied immediately.
"Before him glared the face of a sinister looking bearded fellow, an Inner Circle member of the same cult Gwydion was with. Below the picture, a recent article by the same…
"…and so the vampire must act, they must become the embodiment of evil in the flesh - and so affecting those who come into contact with the vampire; those who shall be duly infected with the alien-based energy which emits from the undead flesh the way radiation emits from a nuclear core-rod…"
Alexis skipped down past the remainder of the article, he had read it several times a day since it was posted over a week ago.
Though much of it was a bit incomprehensible to him, the parts of the essay he did understand were most zealously implemented by his person. And strangely, even with the parts of the essay he did not understand, the language itself excited him in a way he could not quite put his finger on and he felt powerful simply reading it.
Further down on the webpage were hyperlinks to more articles and some delicious pictures of what looked to be extremely brutal female on female corporal punishment pornography, boldly framed with dark praises to “the Undead Goddess - Her Ladyship Erzsebet Bathory” and links to rituals by which one could summon the same. At the very bottom of the page was an address, discreetly placed, to an obscure name in some obscure town in an out-of-the-way province.
Alexis stared fixated, reviewing the same information which he had reviewed with the same amount of ardor thousands of times before.
Although Alexis was cynical, even disdainful about many things, the thought of being cynical about the propagators of what he considered to be the prophecies of his “dark destiny” never crossed his mind.
At all.” - excerpted from A Long Reach: An Object Lessons in Influence and Sinister Social Engineering, Tales of Sinister Influence, Tempel ov Blood, Ixaxaar 2006
FORT HOOD SHOOTING: IRAQ VET WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES KILLS 3, HIMSELF; 16 HURT
An Iraq war veteran who suffered from mental health issues opened fire on fellow service members at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three and injuring 16 before turning the gun on himself, military officials said. The attack was the latest mass shooting at the post since a 2009 massacre that left 13 people dead.
NBC News identified the deceased gunman as 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier Ivan A. Lopez, but military officials declined to name him Wednesday night, pending notification of family members. Military officials said the gunman’s rampage was stopped after he was confronted by a female military police officer, which led to the shooter turning the gun on himself.
Officials said there was no indication the shooting was terrorism-related. The gunman’s motive remained unknown, officials said, although NBC News reported that the rampage may have resulted from an argument with other soldiers in the motor pool.
More than four hours after the shooting, all-clear sirens sounded as the lockdown at the post was lifted. Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, many including children who had been kept locked-down in schools since gunshots were first reported at about 4:30 p.m.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, though officials confirmed that all are military personnel. Their names will be released 24 hours after all family have been notified.
Portrait of Gunman Begins to Emerge
The gunman had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and had known mental health issues, Fort Hood’s commanding general Lt. Gen. Mark Milley told reporters Wednesday evening.
There is no record that Lopez saw any combat during his deployment, a time when the U.S. was withdrawing from Iraq, military officials told NBC News.
He was under diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder but had not been officially diagnosed with PTSD, Lt. Gen. Milley said. He was undergoing behavioral health care for depression and anxiety, had a self-reported traumatic brain injury and was not physically injured in combat.
The gunman was armed with a single weapon, a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he had recently purchased, Milley said.
NBC News also reported that the gunman served with the Puerto Rican Army National Guard and was an E4 in the U.S. Army.
NBC 5 spoke with Lopez’s neighbors in Killeen Wednesday night. They said Lopez moved into the apartment complex about three weeks ago with his wife, and young daughter.
"They seemed real sweet," said neighbor Xanderia Morris.
Morris said when Lopez’s name was announced on TV news reports, his wife came out of her apartment hysterical. Morris said she comforted her until authorities arrived a short time later and escorted her away. Their daughter apparently left with relatives, Morris said.
Temple Hospital Takes Fort Hood Patients
Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple confirmed it had a command center in place and received nine patients from the post.
All patients were in the intensive care unit, three in critical condition and six serious.
Dr. Harry Papaconstantinou, Chief of Surgery for the hospital, told NBC 5’s Jeff Smith that three patients remain in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
The other six patients still listed at the hospital are in serious condition as of 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Papaconstantinou. Doctors are hopeful the patients will be upgraded to fair condition later today.
Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital’s chief medical officer Glen Couchman said Wednesday evening that patients were being treated for wounds to their chest, abdomen, neck and extremities.
"This is another sad day for Central Texas," Couchman said.
Officials at Baylor Scott & White said the blood center would be open for donations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Several other patients were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood.
Female Military Police Officer Praised as “Hero”
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commanding officer at Fort Hood, called a female military police officer a “hero” after her confrontation with the gunman ended the shooting rampage.
According to Milley, the officer drew her weapon and confronted the suspected shooter after he “reached out under his jacket” to pull out a gun that he used to shoot himself in the head.
“What she did was heroic,” Milley told reporters late Wednesday. “She did her job and she did exactly what we’d expect from U.S. Army military police.”
Lopez had been assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The suspected gunman had fired shots at individuals in the 1st Medical Brigade, Milley said Wednesday evening.
Milley said the shooter then left that building, got into a vehicle and continued firing. He then went to another building at the post, went inside and opened fire. When a military police officer confronted him, the gunman put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger, Milley said.
Nothing is being ruled out as a possible cause of the attack, Milley said. The investigation is being conducted with the support of multiple federal agencies, the Texas Rangers, The Texas Department of Public Safety, military police, Army CID, the Killeen Police Department and the Harker Heights Police Department.
During the lockdown of the base, officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety were called in to help to secure the perimeter of the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services.
Obama, Gov. Perry Respond
President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in brief remarks in Chicago, where he was attending a fundraiser Wednesday night.
"We’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now … I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," he said. "We’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement Wednesday as well. “Today, Fort Hood was once again stricken by tragedy,” he said. “Fort Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again.”
Perry was one of several politicians who tweeted messages following the news of the shooting, many of whom called for prayers for the post and Central Texas.
Mom Stuck at Fort Hood With 4-Year-Old During Shooting
Charlotte Spencer was picking up her 4-year-old son from soccer practice on the Fort Hood post when Wednesday’s shooting occurred.
Spencer said her son had just climbed into the car when a woman came over a loudspeaker telling everyone to shelter in place immediately.
“The siren came over, and she was like, ‘This is an emergency. Get in your homes, lock your doors, lock your windows, turn off your AC units and turn off your heaters if you have them running. Just stay in place. This is an active emergency,’” Spencer described.
Spencer said she tried to delicately explain the all-too-familiar situation to her young son.
"It Sounded Powerful"
Antonio Ortiz, 30, who lives a quarter of a mile from the east gate of Fort Hood, told NBC News he heard a commotion and went outside to hear alarms going off and announcements for people to stay inside. He went back in and turned on the TV news, then soon after heard a barrage of gunshots.
"It sounded powerful,” Ortiz said, adding that while it seemed to be coming from the base, he couldn’t rule out the possibility someone in the civilian neighborhood was shooting.
"I’m scared for my son. He’s 7," Ortiz said. "But I do have a 12-gauge pump shotgun."
Tayra DeHart, 33, told The Associated Press she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
"The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband," DeHart said.
Tragic History at Fort Hood
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire on dozens of people at the post. Hasan was paralyzed during an exchange of gunfire and, in late 2013, was sentenced to death. He is awaiting execution.
In February, officials at the Central Texas Army post said the site of the 2009 massacre, a processing center also known as Building 42003, had been razed.
Hasan’s rampage isn’t the most recent mass shooting at a U.S. military installation. Last September, a lone gunman with ties to North Texas, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 when he opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard.
Largest Active-Duty Military Base
Fort Hood covers a total of 340 square miles and supports multiple units, a corps headquarters and a robust mobilization mission. It is home to two full divisions, the 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 12 additional units.
Around 50,000 soldiers work at Fort Hood, and there are an additional 150,000 civilians who support the base.
The post is about 60 miles north of the capital city of Austin, 50 miles south of Waco, 160 miles south of Dallas and 150 miles north of San Antonio.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth