Stalin was raging inside. His mind was reeling with the possibilities of this calamity. Where had they come from? Where were their bases? They must be sought out and destroyed. This was why we attacked Britain so they could not attack the motherland and now they had unleashed their atomic bombs on the our homeland. That was what this whole war was about. It was to prevent them from every attacking us again. They were supposed to be regulated to attacking the buffer zone of Europe. They were supposed to have to lay waste to the old capitalist and fascist capitals and spend their wealth raining terror on their former allies. Beria had failed him and now he was going to have to hoard his oil. He was going to have to rein in his armies and air force over Britain. He had one chance to stop more bombs from falling and that was to find the bases and expand the buffer zone even further.
Novikov hadn’t officially reported but from other sources he had learned that the bombers had come from Egypt. So Egypt is where the army will go. The Red Army always ended up saving the Motherland. Yes the other arms of the military supported but the army was his key on the Eurasian continent.
Oil the lifeblood and curse of modern war and empires. Japan and Germany had died because they were bled to death. A death of a thousand cuts. The Americans had just opened a gaping wound in his supply chain.
America had triumphed only because it had oil in abundance. He had it in abundance until yesterday. Luckily it was still there. It was just under a cap of melted and poisoned earth. The die was cast he had to invade the oil fields of the British in Iran and take the bases in Turkey and Egypt. He would have to use the last of his stockpile of oil to accomplish this over arching goal. They would have to dig in on the Pyrenees Line and curtail his attacks on Britain until the matter of oil was solved. Moving on Iran solved two problems it starved the British and provided him with a new supply. Taking Egypt would close off the Eastern Mediterranean and finally free the motherland from attack.
At least until the cursed capitalist pigs developed some new weapon of nightmares. The only answer was to be as innovative in the arms race that was developing. Beria and his spies had kept them informed and Sergo produced for the Soviets what Western Europe invented. Sergo’s program of educating and developing talent was bearing fruit everyday. With the assets of Western Europe now at this disposal he was confident it could be done.
He started to calm down. In six months he would once again have as much oil as the cursed Yankees. He would once again attack Iberia and put an end to capitalism on the Eurasian continent. In six months Baku, Plestoi would be back online producing more than ever. Sergo was going to have to release some of his workers to die in an atomic wasteland in order to bring production back but it would come back. Then he would concentrate on a navy that could get him across the water separating France and England and eventually export the revolution to South America, Africa, Central America and isolate the Amerikosy like they were trying to do to the Soviet Union.
He was starting to think of the future again and not the past. Beria would live another day and if Novikov prevented anymore calamities from happening he would live as well.
Some movement caught his eye outside and he went over to the window. It was hardly ever open anymore. He preferred the night and the dark. He slept most of the day and was up most of the night much to the chagrin of the Ruling Seven who had to produce results during the day and help entertain him at night. It was an old babushka bending down to pick up a lump of coal that fell from a coal wagon. Here he was thinking about how to change the world for the workers and there was one of them right outside his window. What was she thinking of? Was this her lucky day? Could she and her family enjoy one more hour of heat tonight while he designed plans to destroy capitalism once and for all? Was that what she was thinking? He very rarely even thought about anyone but himself and that was why he was Stalin and she was a ghost.
He couldn’t remember caring about anyone anymore. It had been a long time since he tried or even thought about trying. People where just a means to an end. You had to have them in order to have real power or what was the point? Who could be the supreme leader if you had no one to lead? He couldn’t let them all die otherwise he was king of nothing. He pushed a buzzer on his desk and his newest assistant quickly and silently entered the room and waited.
“You see that old mother out there? The one who just took some coal that did not belong to her?
The aide looked past him and spotted the lone women.
“Yes Excellency...shall I have her arrested?”
Stalin turned slowly towards the aide and pierced him with his dead eyes.
“No...we can’t kill everyone. Send someone to take her home and then give her family a months supply of fuel. You just can’t kill them all you know. What’s the point if everyone is dead. There has to be some left to rule and to do the work. Some left to honor your legacy. On second thought give her a years supply if she has young children in her home. Then bring me her right hand for stealing. No make that her left. We don’t want to be too cruel. Yes taking her dominant hand would be too cruel. ”
“Yes of course Excellency.”
He turned towards the window and watched long enough to see two NKVD agents help the old lady get into their car and drove off. One of them took the lump of coal from her and appeared to assure her that she would get it back. And he felt nothing. He never felt anything anymore except when he watched the movies and especially that American Charlie Chaplin. He had Beria assign one agent buried deep in the film industry to a very special task. He was to pay whatever it took to get a copy of the newest Charlie Chaplin movie to the Kremlin within a month of it’s release in America. So far he had not failed or was it a she. He could never remember. Yes Beria would live through another failure as long as he got his movies.