Near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.
It was getting darker sooner, and brutally colder, and their time was up. Time for them to go. Markov had spread the word among his men that they would be on the move tonight, that the fishing trawler would meet up with them at the arranged time and place, to take them to a place only he knew at this moment. To this point, he had been successful, and he hoped that it would stay that way.
All the men met up where they had stashed their boats a couple weeks before and dug them out, began inflating them for the quarter-hour trip back. Halfway through the chore, a patrol of NKVD Frontier Guards passed by them...they stopped what they were doing and hid in the shadows and hoped that nothing out of the ordinary was noticed. A short while later, the NKVD patrol went away to investigate something more worthy of their malevolent attention. The men resumed, with renewed haste, their task and promptly cast off from the shoreline. During the trip out, Markov couldn't help but review the information that they had gathered in his head: there was little in the way of Red Fleet units here, as most of them had been transferred west before the war, to supplement the Baltic Sea and Black Sea Red Banner Fleets. What the Red Fleet had at its Pacific Headquarters was pathetic: an ice breaker and a motley collection of coastal gunboats, most dating back to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. All the modern equipment was going to the NKVD Sea Frontier Guards. Navy men would grumble a bit about it, but never too loudly, for fear of disappearing into of one of the many infamous bottomless salt mines that the region was notorious for. As for the Red Army, there were mostly Category B units, mostly manned by invalids from the last war, still wishing to continue doing their patriotic duty. Who was Uncle Joe to deny them that? All the first-line Army units were either west, occupying Europe, or in Manchuria, training the Chinese communists, who got whalloped shortly after the new Chinese president came to power. The Red Chinese took a hard hit, but the rumor has it that they're gearing up for a counter-offensive, and just received tons of captured equipment from western Europe that they're trying to make usable...
Markov notices a bright wavering light on the water: fire, and in the spot where the trawler was supposed to be. He passed the word along for his men to be ready, especially as they slowed the rubber boats down and began to use paddles to maneuver silently around the flaming oil slicks and debris on the water. Markov spotted it first: an NKVD Sea Frontier Guard Lend-Lease patrol torpedo boat. At that moment, he decided that he and his men were going to take it. Markov signaled to the men to creep as close as possible to the PT boat without being seen. In what seemed like hours, Markov and his men finally reached the side of the ship and rushed the boat as savagely as possible, taking out the crew as quickly as possible, killing a few outright, and tossing the rest into the freezing waters of the Sea of Japan, to die a slow and agonizing death of hypothermia. They quickly pull their rubber boats aboard to deny the Russians any chance of escape, and open up the throttle to head to the friendly waters of Japan, if they had enough fuel. Markov hauled down the NKVD ensign and hoisted the Stars and Stripes, the one that he'd stowed with their escape gear. They would still get their information back to Far East Allied Headquarters and the plan might yet still proceed.