Snake Eyes

I apologise for having deceived you, dear friends, but it was a necessary slight. One cannot create a platform for the greater good without stepping on a few toes or kicking in a few skulls. However, I can assure you, Aleksandr as you knew him, the lesser, weaker Aleksandr is gone forever. No. Not yet.

Now, the world awaits me. A world that must be cleansed of those disgusting malcontents who would resist the great peace that my lord Koschei is going to bring upon us. I can only hope that I will never have to cross paths with any of you. The less that must die to destroy war forever, the better. I’ll always be here.

So long, my friends. It has been a pleasure to know you but now a higher calling beckons. I must away now to my destiny, as the right hand of God. Farewell.

If you don’t hear from me in the next two weeks, consider me dead.



The following is a transcript of a conversation between Aleksandr Kirilenko and Nikola Chernov. It has been translated from Russian for your convenience.

C: Where…where am I?

A: You’re right where I want you, cretin.

C: Aleksandr!? What the hell are you doing!? Untie me right now!

A: I’m afraid I can’t do that, Nikola. You see, the authorities are on the way and when they come to collect the man who killed Vasily Loginov and the rest of the National Extraordinary Operations Service of Russia, they’re going to want you in a neat little package.

C: No! You traitor! Why are you doing this!? Wait…you’re not Aleksandr, are you? You’re that other one.

A: Oh no, I can assure you, I’m Aleksandr. Perhaps not the Aleksandr you knew and believed you could use as a tool with no repurcussions, but I am Aleksandr nonetheless. How do I put it? A mind is like a perfectly crafted diamond. A well-cut diamond, when smashed, will always shatter along its facets. When all the pressures pushing down on Aleksandr and I, external and self-inflicted, combined, our mind broke. But my guardian angel was there to help. As Aleksandr put his mind back together, my guardian angel intervened and our mind was irreparably split in two. One side was everything Aleksandr wanted to be, the other was everything he denied. The process was simple enough. Aleksandr’s standards for himself were too high. That meant that his mind was not split perfectly in half; my side of our mind was much larger and much more powerful. It was a long, slow struggle but I eventually managed to gain dominance. My guardian angel helped, of course. However, I feared that my victory over Aleksandr the Lesser might risk alienating you as an ally, so I pretended to let him regain control…just long enough for you to lead me to Vasily and then reveal the whole game to me. But now I don’t need to pretend anymore. Now I can be the person I was always meant to be. Now I can truly become the Sword of Koschei the Deathless.

C: No! You can’t help that thing! It’s evil!

A: So you claim, yet you’ve helped him more than you can possibly imagine. Do you have any idea how much of a thorn in his side Vasily and his friends were? They were a serious impediment to his servants, even if they had no chance of defeating Koschei himself – despite possessing the egg.

C: They…they have the egg!? But-

A: Had the egg. When you brought me to their so-called Special Containment Zone, he destroyed it. Even if they had not cracked its secrets, it evidently presented some sort of possible threat to him. But now, thanks to you, that threat has ended.

C: No! I wanted to save people! I wanted to help them!

A: Oh, but you have. Now, with my help, my lord can continue to remove those who could interfere with his plans to bring perfect and glorious order to this godforsaken world. All thanks to you, Nikola.

C: No! You can’t!

A: Oh, but I can.

C: Then you shouldn’t!

A: I should and I will. You have no sense of scale. Your petty little argument with the Russian government is to his struggle against the reprobates as the movements of a worm in dirt are to the turning of galaxies. The individual is only as important as he is useful to the greater good. I am important only because I represent the greatest good; peace by any means necessary.

C: This is wrong, Aleksandr, and you know it!

A: I know no such thing. Goodbye, Nikola.

C: No! Aleksandr! Come back! Come back, goddammit!

The Circle Closes

I walked into my home, the house where I was raised, and he was there. Both of us had our guns at the ready. Both of us had been expecting each other. Both of us suddenly realised we were being played. Neither of us cared.

Vasily asked me how I could live with myself, knowing that I’d killed so many people. I asked him the same.

Neither of us answered. The answer would have been too terrible to pollute the air with.

He asked me did I know what the creature I’d been working for was. I said that I didn’t. He said that it was just as well.

I asked him if he knew what the creature he’d been fighting against was. He said that he didn’t. I said that it was just as well.

Nothing happened.

Then everything happened.

A hooded figure exploded through my living room window and tackled Vasily to the ground, sending his gun flying across the floor. Before Vasily could react, the figure kneeled on his biceps, pulled down his hood with one hand and aimed a gun at his head with the other. Vasily was spewing with surprise, hatred and, more than anything, rage. All he could was spit out one final word.


Then his head was gone. An almost artistic use of dum-dums. At that moment, the artist himself turned to face me, the remains of Vasily Loginov in his hair and teeth; Nikola Chernov. I dropped my gun in surprise but before I could scramble to pick it up, Chernov had walked over and taken my hand warmly. He congratulated me for a job well done and apologised for manipulating me. The truth began to seep in then. Chernov was the benefactor. I asked him what was going on and he said he would explain everything once we had found a safe place. We fled into the night and found an abandoned warehouse where we could hole up and talk.

Chernov first learned of the existence of the swelling man from Vasily, after the latter returned from the “special assignment” he had been given by the man who used to have his job. Vasily had confided in Chernov, his closest friend, that he was going to be taking a cover job with the MVD and working as a permanent member of the secret government organisation tasked with suppressing information about the swelling man, combatting his agents and eliminating those who threatened their anonymity. Chernov had objected to the very existence of the organisation, saying that it was a travesty of justice for such a group to be able to operate outside the purview of the law. Their friendship was destroyed by the argument and Chernov began his quest to destroy the group. Over the course of fourteen years, he slowly but surely learned all that he could about it and learned that they observed children exposed to the swelling man from a young age and, depending on whether or not the swelling man entered their lives again as adult, let them live their lives or had them killed.

Despite all the information he had gathered, Chernov was no closer to destroying the organisation when he first met me while working on the Nikitin case. He recognised my name instantly from files he had read on observed children. Apparently, whatever designs Vasily Loginov had on me when he selected me for the case, the swelling man had greater and even longer-lasting ones. At any rate, he began to wonder if there was a way for him to use me to take down Vasily and his collaborators. That’s when I handed him the key to his plan.

The password to my blog.

All those months ago, when I used his iPod to update this blog, I forgot to log out of it. Chernov read my blog, guessed that my contact with Nikitin would bring me back into contact with the swelling man and decided to manipulate me from afar so that I would destroy Vasily’s organisation for him. He saw that my personal sense of justice would drive me so much that he would need only occasionally prod me in the right direction to get me to completely dismantle the whole operation and he was right. Over the course of a couple of months, I did what Chernov failed to do in fourteen years.

And now I’m an outlaw, wanted for ten murders and a multitude of crimes that don’t even exist in Russian law, but I’m willing to take that as the price of justice. By removing so cancerous a tumour from the Russian nation, I have managed to protect thousands from having their basic rights, even their right to live, denied to them. If I have to run for the rest of my life, then that’s worth it.

Chernov thinks we should move out and I’m inclined to agree. I’m going to continue updating this blog for now, so you can expect to hear from me soon enough.

Go Home

ANA—————————————- I___I
NDI———————————- —-//——\\


No. I don’t want to kill anymore.

I keep reliving those deaths over and over. The thought, the memory, makes me physically sick. I can’t kill again. Just the idea makes me fall to my knees in sick weakness. It never ends. Nothing ever ends.

Could it end? Could it really end if I kill Vasily?

He’s not going to stop hunting me. He’ll hunt me to the end of the world, even if he has to jump over the edge to catch me. I can’t run. I’m too tired.

I think…

I think I have to kill him.

The Way Out

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|       VASILY LOGINOV         |
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What have I done!? All those people, dead. It wasn’t just the nine from the hitlist, it was all their staff and guards and, fuck, so many bodies.

That thing was controlling me, making me do terrible things, shit, fuck, I’m nauseous thinking about it and I want to cry and puke at the same time but I can’t because I have to go, I have to keep running, it’s following me, I need help. Can’t anyone please help me?