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- Posted: Fri, 03 Jun 2011 05:23:32 +0000
T r a i n W r e c k_ xo
BASED OFF OF Real life and my imagination
CHARACTER ONE NAME Alexander Pinkerton(…does not like his name)
birthday: May 29, 1912.
- PERSONALITY Gemini
Physically speaking, Alexander Pinkerton has bright blue eyes behind thick rimmed-glasses and expressive mobile traits are somewhat birdlike but well-defined. He is of slim build and of average to tall height, with a lithe, slender, and nervous musculature with quick, darting eyes. The limbs are long, and a bit gangly. His look gives an impression of fineness and swiftness, with a seemingly controlled yet laid-back style, and has very expressive hands. He often seems scattered. The thing is, he does pay attention to almost everything around him, but it doesn't seem like he does. A lot of people who don't realize this and find Alexander rude or completely flippant. He does listen however, even while he's talking, and he has a great memory. It's a rare moment when he doesn't give the impression of being preoccupied with something, be it the surrounding people or some private inner brainstorm. When it comes to the more conscious expression of his typical mood, there is an interesting thing to look for. Alexander is highly communicative and verbal, but while he seems loud and verbally forceful (often argumentative for controversy's sake) he typically masks a certain sensibility of mind, a wavering refinement that is abhorrent to all forms of crudity. Furthermore, he is something of a social chameleon capable of adjusting to most situations and rapidly correcting his appearance according to the context and to his best interests. His favorite colors are black and white.
- QUICK BACKGROUND
Erm... not exactly quick, but it is relevant...
History: Alexander Pinkerton was born in Albany, New York in 1912 to a mother he never knew and a British father. He attended Boston Latin School(high school), and Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences(though he was forced to leave two months before completing the program when the funds ran out). He was fourteen when he married his wife, Diane, as their parents had arranged(neither were very happy about it). After was 'finished' with his schooling, he broke off all ties with his father and encouraged his wife to pursue a nursing degree, which she achieved before becoming pregnant with their son, Richard. The family did fairly well for themselves(though he and his wife almost broke up a couple of times due to some misunderstandings and character clashes-they do honestly love eachother, but sometimes they wish they'd had enough of a backbone to tell their parents to take their marriage proposal and shove it, before the two had gotten in to deep to stop), Alexander managing to run a successful small business, and employing many people before the stock market fell, and having invested in stocks he had thought were fool-proof, he and his are left with little, but his business, which collapsed in 1930, In 1931, Amtorg the Soviet trade agency in New York advertised that 6000 jobs needed filling in Russia, and they received 100,000 American applications to their offices in Manhattan, in 1931 alone. Pinkerton was just one of the many American automobile mechanics who immigrated in that year to the USSR using a tourist visa during the Great Depression. In the 1930's the US was going through an enormous economic decline and rampant unemployment with over a quarter of the work force being unemployed. The USSR seemed attractive to many Americans: the country was stabilizing after the October Revolution, in the middle of what was considered a grand social experiment - the first communist country. The consensus of opinion, even among the bright thinking people, was that America's financial collapse was the collapse of capitalism. The depression, the poverty inflicted on people, the unemployment. People without anywhere to live were living in shantytowns in every single American city. So this all seemed like a collective proof that capitalism was collapsing and that socialism would inevitably replace it in a Marxist notion of history. And that was very much a conceptual opinion in the early 1930s. There were intellectuals like George Bernard Shaw who had been to Russia, came back and bought time for a lecture on American National Radio, saying that this was the future, this is the answer to their terrible unemployment. Walter Duranty, who was the chief Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, was writing in a similar vein. Alexander, whose family of three was forced to live with four other families(48 people in all) crowded together in one-room, just wanted to believe that a place in the world existed where a working man would have a fair go and he was blinded by his own desire for it, the idea seeming very exciting to him at the time, feeling a little like the original American pioneers looking for fortune in an unknown land- visiting a young country that had just overthrown Tsarist rule and was trying a new, radical form of government. Hearing about the thousands of Americans who were emigrating, searching for work and prosperity, he went off by himself, reluctantly(and temporarily) leaving his wife and child, because, while both were curious at the prospect, being offered a chance at a job that wouldn’t be taken away from them, where their son would be given free education, they would receive free health care and there was a degree of security promised to them when there were few jobs of Alexander's caliber to be had in the United States, neither were sure what to expect from Russia, and his wife was not risking the safety of their son for the prospect of unsure prosperity abroad. So the objective was for him to work in Russia and send money back so that his family would have enough to survive the issues of the time though his wife also worked (his wife was a 'male' nurse. With the onset of the Great Depression most women were the first to loss their jobs. Women returned to their homes to support their families and more importantly, to support their husbands. Because the family needed her to have a job she masqueraded as a man. As for their son, no kid in the Thirties grew up without some little job. Their son ran errands for neighbors, climbed poles to hang clotheslines for ladies on the block, and helped on a Dugan's bread truck on Saturday. His best pay, however, came from picking up numbers play for a candy store owner who doubled as neighborhood bookie). So he went overseas, arriving in the “Workers Paradise” confident that he was leaving the miseries of unemployment and poverty behind him. Inevitably his optimism would prove to be short-lived, but it didn’t immediately seem that way. Russia in the 30's even had American-style jazz clubs, baseball leagues, and English language newspapers. Americans after finding work had set up baseball teams and they taught their Russian coworkers to play. There was a beginning of a league, and this was all endorsed by the Soviet sporting authorities who wanted to use baseball as a Russian national sport. And there were some Americans who started a newspaper, The Moscow Daily News, and they had their baseball scores printed in the newspaper every week, as well as scores from the United States, so they could follow what was happening to the other baseball teams within Russia. Being a major fan of the sport(his team is the Brooklyn Dodgers) Pinkerton signed up and that was where he met Anna Zakharova, a female Russian Army major, who was also captain of the baseball team. In baseball, a captain is an honorary title sometimes given to a member of the team to acknowledge his leadership. In the early days of baseball, a captain was a player who was responsible for many of the functions now assumed by managers and coaches, such as preparing lineups, making decisions about strategy, and encouraging teamwork. Slightly perturbed that a Russian woman was in charge of a mostly American team, he declared it his mission to oust the woman from her position, the mechanic being a skilled player, gradually they become friends, and both come to enjoy the rival ship, but the Russian's refusal to acknowledge it was Anna's way of messing with Pinkerton as the American always managed to give such a good reaction(she found his exasperation amusing). When the competing gets serious, they competed well together. But the competition was usually over things like cleaning the field, making the best calls, holding a group research sampling of tobacco brands to determine which brand of cigarettes were better(Pinkerton preferred Lucky Strikes which was the top selling American cigarette in the United States during the 1930s, Anna preferring Parliament-expensive English brand), painting the dugout-during which Anna discovered her friend was also a competent, if not skilled, artist. Meanwhile, Stalin was industrializing the Soviet Union. It was the first Five Year Plan, and there were these grand schemes of buying American factories from people like Henry Ford and creating a new Soviet automobile industry from scratch. Henry Ford did good business with Stalin and helped him set up an automobile construction plant, manned by American engineers and workers. They literarily bought the factories from Detroit and started to build the Soviet Model A cars. Alexander was one of the many people hired, because they needed American labor to be working in these factories, as they had the knowhow and they were there to teach the Russians how to build cars. They had 700 to 800 Americans working in a factory in Nizhniy Novgorod, and the same thing took place in the tractor factory in Stalingrad, where Pinkerton was hired. That was the reason why he and others like him were invited, for their skills to help build socialism. Of course, once they had got there and they taught what they had to teach, these skills became less important and so they became dispensable.
Unfortunately this proved too good to last, the level of foreign intervention in the Russian Civil War, the lack of international recognition of the new state (America recognized the Soviet Union in 1933), internal power plays, Stalin, and repeated espionage attempts led to what's often termed a "siege mentality"(thinking everyone was trying to kill you) in the Soviet Union — materially, this meant a massive military budget and repressive domestic policies aimed against spies and saboteurs. So, in the second half of the decade, the Stalin regime started becoming more paranoid, arresting and detaining some of the original revolutionaries in its drive to consolidate its power. This process would become completely unhinged as the years went by, leading to the arrest of hundreds of thousands of people --- including the American immigrants. The foreign nationalities within Russia most often had their passports revoked. Most were stripped of their American passports soon after their arrival. Quite often they would walk into the American Embassy and then be snatched by the NKVD outside the embassy, because the embassies were viewed by paranoid regime as being the centers for espionage and so on. Of the ones who were arrested there seemed to be two consequences, either they were questioned and executed fairly quickly, within months if not weeks, or they were sent to the camps. Considered ideologically suspect by Stalin’s paranoid and totalitarian state, the foreigners were swept away in the Terror - and the American jazz clubs, the baseball teams, and English-language schools where they once gathered, quickly vanished with them. American passports were used by the Soviet authorities, and sometimes their identities had been used for espionage, other people would travel using the American passports back into the United States, and that was a scheme devised by the NKVD(The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs-Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del). During the early years, in public, the Americans had learned to follow the Russian example, and never mention the words “GPU”( State Political Directorate-Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie) or “NKVD” aloud. Instead they cracked jokes about the Soviet secret police as “the Four-Letter Boys” or “Phi Beta Kappa” or “the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Bolshevism” or any other whip-smart euphemism designed to confuse the listeners and informers who surrounded them. The bar at the Metropol Hotel had once been the weekly venue for an American party, where young couples danced around a circular fountain kept stocked with fish. Many of them ended up in the Gulag "corrective labor camps" - concentration camps in Northeast Russia, mainly there to mine gold and later uranium in the most horrible circumstances. Gulag is an acronym for Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovyk Lagerey i Koloniy, which in English roughly means (now take a deep breath) "The Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies" and was the name of the NKVD wing that administered the prison labor camps. Note that a similar labor camp system existed in Tsarist Russia, but it was only used to imprison actual revolutionaries, not merely tellers of anti-Tsar jokes. It was also much nicer—Lenin himself noted that it was one of the best times of his life, with the rich Siberian countryside doing wonders for his health and lax policing leaving plenty of time for the revolutionary prisoners to fraternize and catch up on their reading. When he and the Bolsheviks took over, they went out of their way to show those incompetent Tsarists how prison camps are supposed to be run. The winter temperatures there can fall to minus 40 degrees and below, with insufficient clothing and food, it was just a physiological inevitability that they would die very quickly. The vast majority of the prisoners died within a few months of arrival, necessitating ever more new prisoners to keep the gold flowing. The guards would summarily execute prisoners for no reason, the physical slave labor was beyond exhausting, and in the summer months the prisoners were "fed" only bowls of water so many died of starvation. It's hard to wrap your mind around the amount of people who died in those camps.
Meanwhile, the American embassy in Moscow was completely ineffectual in trying to protect US citizens or get them released from the Gulag system. One American ambassador actively misinformed Roosevelt to protect his own lavish lifestyle. The fact that most of the immigrant Americans had been forced to release their passports and take on Russian nationality didn't help. The end result is that thousands upon thousands of Americans were basically abandoned to their fate. (Even more heartbreaking is the fact that some of the prisoners who managed to survive the camps had been released after the Second World War, only to be re-arrested when the Cold War broke out in the years after WWII.)
Alexander Pinkerton was one of the lucky few who got out alive. He was sentenced to a camp in the Soviet gulag system, accused of being an American spy. He is innocent, only there for work, but is nonetheless punished by the government for being a spy and sent to the Special Project Prisons (or Sharashkas). These were low-security prisons attached to special research institutes. Useful engineers and scientists were picked from the prison system to work at these. They had much better accomodations than at normal prisons. Cryptography, nuclear weapons and the Soviet space program all used Sharashkas. Those in the camps found everyday life extremely difficult. For example, one rule states that if the thermometer reaches −41 °C (−42 °F), then the prisoners are exempt from outdoor labor that day—anything above that was considered bearable. Alexander matter-of-factly thinks that the harshness of the conditions are worsened by the inadequate bedding and clothing. The boots assigned to the zeks rarely fit, in addition cloth had to be used or taken out, for example, and the thin mittens issued were easily ripped.He survived because he managed to also find a job outside the regular labor camp working for Anna, who had come up with the brilliant idea of using the American's artistic skill to paint propaganda signs. He survived miraculously but his weight had dropped to about 90 pounds at one point, and he tattooed his name on his body so in case his body was found, someone would know.One day begins with Alexander waking up sick. For waking late, he is sent to the guardhouse and forced to clean it—a minor punishment. When Alexander is finally able to leave the guardhouse, he goes to the dispensary to report his illness. Since it is late in the morning by now, the orderly is unable to exempt any more workers, and Alexander must work regardless.
The rest of the day mainly speaks of Alexander's squad (the 50th, which has 24 members), their allegiance to the squad leader, and the work that the prisoners (zeks) do—for example, at a brutal construction site where the cold freezes the mortar used for bricklaying if not applied quickly enough. Alexander also details the methods used by the prisoners for survival; the whole camp lives by the rule of survival of the fittest. Leonid Brezhnev, the foreman of gang 50 is strict but kind, and the squad grows to like him more as time goes on. Though a "morose" man, Brezhnev is liked because he understands the prisoners and he tells them a lot and does a lot to help them. Alexander is one of the hardest workers in the squad and is generally well respected. Rations at the camp are scant, but for Alexander, they are one of the few things to live for. He conserves the food that he receives and is always watchful for any item that he can hide and trade for food at a later date.
At the end of the day, Alexander is able to provide a few special services for Andrej Hramyka, an intellectual who is able to get out of manual labor and do office work instead. Hramyka is most notable, however, for receiving packages of food from his family. Pinkerton is able to get a small share of Hramyka's packages by standing in lines for him. Alexander then goes to work for Anna, which he considers his 'down time', painting signs while she does paperwork, they talk about various subjects, and then she brings him back. This day ends up being productive, even "almost happy": Alexander went to sleep fully content.
The prisoners were assigned numbers for easy identification and in an effort to dehumanize them; Alexander's prisoner number was Щ- 001(the letter Щ is called "shcha" wink . Each day, the squad leader would receive their assignment of the day, and the squad would then be fed according to how they performed. Prisoners in each squad were thus forced to work together and to pressure each other to get their work done. If any prisoner was slacking, the whole squad would be punished. Despite this, a surprising loyalty could exist among the work gang members, with Pinkerton teaming up with other prisoners to steal felt and extra bowls of soup; even the squad leader defies the authorities by tar papering over the windows at their work site. Indeed, only through such solidarity can the prisoners do anything more than survive from day to day. Eventually, in 1939 he had saved up enough money to pay for the return trip, which was about $80 to give to the shipping line ($1,018.91 by today’s estimates), and Anna successfully smuggled a gun onto his person which allowed him and six others to get out(one is shot, however). The escape occurred during the slowest period of the day when there would be less surveillance of certain locations like the maintenance area — during lunch and at count time. Most of these plans involved one of the six calling someone over, while another hit the unsuspecting person on the head from behind. Once the victim was subdued, they would remove some of his clothing, tie him up, gag him and place him in an electrical room behind a locked door. Eleven gulag officers and three uninvolved workers were bound and gagged. The five stole clothing, money, and identification from their victims. The group also impersonated prison officers on the phone and created false stories to ward off suspicion from authorities (five were Russian). At 3:25, a Gaz AA truck bringing food supplies arrived and the former prisoners held the driver hostage at gunpoint told the driver that he was going to help them escape. They tied his foot to the clutch and told him where to drive. At 3:50 the truck left the gulag, and soon after the prison, carrying all 6 men. Anna met them half-way through and provided clearance (the driver was knocked out before he could see her), directing them to the appropriate destination. The five(six if you count that poor driver) headed south, avoiding towns. There, they knocked out the driver, and paid for the tickets, each bound for a different location. Alexander got on board the SS Pułaski, a Polish passenger service ship to North and South America. When he got back home, World War two had started.
- ANYTHING ELSE ...I hope not... None, unless you see something, you'd like expanded upon.
CHARACTER TWO NAME Anna Ivanova Zakharova
Ethnicity: Ethnic Russian
birthday: November 7, 1902.
Physically speaking, Anna Zakharova is quite sturdy and has wide, strong shoulders. In any case, she is well-built and very resistant. Her face is square with clear-cut features, penetrating and magnetic blue eyes, and well-defined sensual lips. Her hair is light wheat brown and thick. Her general appearance conveys an impression of charm, power, secrecy, and friendliness at the same time. There is one thing one must remember when probing her mood- look again. The key is almost always her eyes. Anna knows her strengths as well as her innate capacity for provocation, and she never needs to resort to a gaudy look in order to assert herself. By nature, she is quite secretive and prefers a serious, even sober, look which contrasts all the more strongly with her essence which is sheer concealed power. Her favorite colors are red and black.
- QUICK BACKGROUND
Profession: eventual Brigadier (general)
History: Born to a poor religious family in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, Zakharova lost her parents when she was young. Her father had left her at a tender age; her mother also died before her seventh birthday. Anna was brought up and home-schooled with her two brothers by her grandfather before being sent to an orphanage at eight years of age when said grandfather was killed by a mugger. She was recognized for her technical prowess, and provided the money to attend a technical high school in Yelabuga and enrolled in the shipbuilding department of Petrograd Polytechnical Institute. During the First World War, she desperately wished to join the military effort but because she was a 12 year old girl she was not liable to be drafted. This did not dissuade her from trying, and her opportunity came on September 16, 1915, when she was finally accepted by the Women's Battalion which recruited women between the ages of 13 and 25. She was placed in the Reserve Battalion and sent for basic training. With her training complete in December, she joined the Frontier Regiment of the Russian Expeditionary Corps, which was sent to dislodge the Ottoman Turks in Persia(Iran), participated in several battles in Asadabad(a city located in western Iran. It's the capital of Asadabad County.), Hamedan( believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world, Hamedan is the capital city of Hamadan Province) and Kermanshah(Kermanshah is the capital city of Kermanshah Province, located 525 km from Tehran-Iran's capitol- in the western part of Iran and about 120 km from the border of Iraq.), the Russian victories here sending Ottoman forces(Turkey) reeling towards Anatolia(Anatolian peninsula, Turkey). For her efforts she was promoted to Senior Lieutenant (Starshiy leytenant). When the Russian Revolution broke out and the Russian Army disintegrated, Zakharova returned home, but later joined the White Guard army of Aleksandr Kolchak(whom she'd heard of, and respected on reputation), who headed all the counter-revolutionary anti-communist White forces during the Russian Civil War. Then she actually met the man. There was brutal repression committed by Kolchak's regime: in Ekaterinburg alone more than 25,000 people were shot or tortured to death. In March 1919 Kolchak himself demanded one of his generals to "follow the example of the Japanese who, in the Amur region, had exterminated the local population." So she deserted in 1919 and joined the Red Army, 'liberating' a 1916 Mercedes-Benz 4.5 Liter from it's (dead) wealthy owner along the way(No, she didn't kill him. The owner had committed suicide. Think of it like finding a dollar bill on the ground, only a little more bloody, and a lot more expensive.) In the Russian Civil War she served in the 51st Rifle Division, commanding an artillery battery. She was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1921, and promoted to Captain (Kapitan), life was starting to look good for her. Unfortunately matters were headed downhill politically, Lenin was incapacitated by a series of strokes in the early 1920s, and this allowed Stalin to begin a slow and methodical rise to power. First, Stalin managed to get himself elected to the position of General Secretary (in those days, an actual secretarial position, although one with a great deal of power due to its control over the rank-and-file membership; Trotsky referred to him as "Comrade Card-Index" and the name stuck), which made him powerful but not that powerful. Shortly before his death, Lenin wrote a testament which said that Stalin should be removed as G-S. But Stalin intercepted it and buried it in an obscure state archive for decades. At the same time, Stalin began promoting his supporters to key positions, and he deftly navigated the complex world of Soviet politics, switching sides on the debate between developing Soviet communism or promoting world revolution twice to remove his rivals. After he got all the power he wanted (sometime around 1930), Stalin initiated a huge industrialization and collectivization scheme in the USSR, overseeing an astonishing period of economic growth and initiating programs that would bring mass literacy and a greatly increased life expectancy to what had been an impoverished, rural populace — at massive human cost, especially in Ukraine. Zakharova obtained further military education, graduating from the Artillery course in 1926, joining the local baseball team(in Stalingrad) later that year, graduating the Higher Academy course in 1930, meeting Alexander Pinkertonin 1931, and graduating from the prestigious Frunze Military Academy in 1933(Officers usually enter when they are between late twenties and thirty-two years old with the rank of Captain or major, depending on whether they pass the competitive entry examinations-she did, and was promoted to Major -Mayor-). In 1936, Zakharova was among the first officers who attended the newly founded Military Academy of Red Army General Staff, from which she graduated in 1938. From 1936, she was head of artillery in the North Caucasus Military District(which included Stalingrad). In 1937 she was appointed as lecturer in tactics at the Dzerzhinsky Artillery Academy. In 1938, she finished her first research publication. This was the period of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. To say Stalin was a bit paranoid is a bit like saying Mount Everest is a bit tall. The man saw enemies everywhere, and a culture of denunciation developed in the USSR big-time. Stalin purged (read: fired, imprisoned or killed depending on the situation) pretty much every high-ranking communist who didn't bend over backwards to show loyalty to him. By the time the war against Germany began, Stalin had killed every single leader of the original Bolshevik Party, and replaced them with his cronies. He also "revised" history to make his role in Red October much bigger and had statues placed of him across the USSR. (Lenin originally had prohibited any statues of communist leaders because in his opinion "A statue is a pigeon's best friend." The one exception was a pair of statues of Marx and Engels in Moscow. This was disregarded after his death and Stalin had statues of Lenin placed throughout the country as well.) He became rather concerned about a man named Sergey Kirov, who was actually becoming more popular than him. On 1 December 1934, Kirov was heading to his office in Leningrad, when he was shot in the back of the neck and died. Whether Stalin was involved was never proven. Kirov was publicly mourned by Stalin and got a lot of things named after him. Determined to deal with his enemies (real or imagined) and with Kirov 's death as an excuse, Stalin first set up a bunch of show trials. Senior Bolsheviks like Bukarin, Kamenev and Zinoviev were subjected to the Vanya Fermer Confession Obtaining Technique, of the psychological sort and the stuff that leaves no marks i.e. sleep deprivation. If they didn't agree to confess to completely false (sometimes even impossible) charge and appear in a show trial, they got introduced to a Nagant M1895 revolver.
If they did, often to save their families, they were placed on "trial" in front of cameras, with the footage broadcast around the world and with foreign observers, many of whom were rather left-wing(pro-communist). Then they were shot. Under the NKVD leadership of Nikolai Yezhov (known as "The Poisoned Dwarf" on account of his general shortness and uber sadism), a series of events was implemented that has been variously called "The Great Terror", "The Great Purge" or "The Yezhovschina". Whatever you call it, it was bloody. Soviet archives state that 681,692 were shot during 1937 and 1938, which might be an underestimate, and that 800,000 went to The Gulag. During this time, she secretly joined underground movement dedicated to helping refugees, and others she viewed to be innocent evade capture by the NKVD(they had to be capable of paying for the shipping line, though. It was the easiest way to get them across, and she is the sort of woman who aided people who are willing to help themselves.) Alexander Pinkerton was one of several people she assisted. Zakharova was in sympathy with the american as a person and highly appreciated him as a sportsman. During this time families were informing on each other, often just for telling anti-Stalin jokes. "Ex-kulaks" and "kulak-helpers" (which pretty meant anyone the NKVD were inclined to purge) were arrested. The people of the USSR lived in fear of a knock on their door at midnight, which would only mean The Gulag or worse. The CPSU itself was purged. Of the 1,966 delegates to the 1934 Party Congress, 1,108 were arrested and nearly all ended up dead. In 1938, Stalin and his cohorts realized they'd gone too far. They purged Yezhov (a lot of the purgers ended up purged themselves), introduced him to a bullet and replaced him with Lavrentiy Beria, who may well have been a sexual sadist and multiple rapist. During this time, Stalin decided that since Germany and the Western Allies were going to fight, he could let them get on with it and signed a pact with Nazi Germany. This pact meant the USSR invaded Poland in 1939 and proceeded to annex what would become the states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova (then kept them). The USSR invaded Finland and won, but it was a pyrrhic victory. All Finland became was a democracy that defeated Soviet in the military front (outnumbered 4 to 1 in men and 200 to 1 in tanks) and the problems of the USSR were exposed to everyone- including Nazi Germany. Stalin's 1930s purging of the officer corps destroyed whatever dissent there was and thus strengthened the state, but the quality of the military declined significantly, precisely as important doctrinal innovation was taking place under the terminally stupid Marshal of the Soviet Union Mikhail Tukhachevsky(he once claimed he was advancing for five weeks... without knowing where the main enemy forces were) and others. It took years for training and tactical quality to be regained. The purges were toned down (with Yezhov being blamed for "excesses" ), but repression continued. It was about this time that Zakharova aided Alexander Pinkerton and five other refugees from the camp in the middle of the November Blizzard of 1939. First she had held a dinner masquerade banquet at her gosdacha to commemorate the anniversary of the October Revolution (November 7, and yep, the Soviets, paranoid as they were, actually held them- I looked it up), inviting Mikhail Kalinin, a Bolshevik revolutionary who she had fought with and 'befriended' (trusted her enough to come to a large dinner party with her to eat her food, and consume her booze while he was watched like a hawk by NKVD officers) during the Russian Civil War and was currently the nominal head of state of the Soviet Union. She waited until after the dinner guests were sufficiently drunk (and a little drugged) and, having a 'loyal' maid (read: appropriately terrified, jewish, and smart enough to know that if she ratted her mistress out she'd most likely be killed as well) switching places with her, she set out in his secondhand Mercedes-Benz her having given orders to the others where to expect her and delivered the exit visas necessary for them to escape Russia, before saying goodbye to Pinkerton. She then sat in her car for a moment, reflecting the insanity of life, before driving quickly back home, to ‘enjoy’ the remainder of the evening, including the showcase of her fireworks display-the people loved it and she was commended on being a good hostess. The next day she was interrogated, as to her whereabouts as one of the men she’d employed, Alexander Pinkerton, had successfully escaped. Zakharova was close to being arrested, but in the end survived thanks to the timely intervention of Mikhail Kalinin and several other higher ranking Soviets, who told other authorities she'd been present at the dinner party the entire night, and so after much drama, and a few bribes, she was released, and continued to rise in rank. For a long while, this would be the last time she would directly involve herself with helping others evade capture, it was no longer safe for her or for those she could help to do so.
- ANYTHING ELSE
Anna(russian diminutives being 'Anya' or 'Nyura') Ivanovna(daughter of Ivan) Zakharova
Regular forms: Anya; Nyura.
Tender forms: Anechka, Annushka; Nyurochka, Nyusha.
Somewhere between regular and tender: Anyuta.
Rude forms: An'ka; Nyurka.
Tender and rude simultaneously: Al'ka.
In Russia, when you're referring to someone in a formal setting, you don't just use their first name, but their first name and patronymic, i.e. "Anna Ivanovna" or their diminutive. Note that unlike in the West, dimunitive names are never used in formal situations — only full ones. Oddly, even though addressing a person by the first name and patronymic is very formal, addressing them with the patronymic alone is seen as highly informal, even less formal than addressing others by just their first name.
When it comes to name orders, Russian does not stick to just one, unlike English or Japanese. The most formal order is family name first, followed by given name, followed by patronymic (e.g. Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich). However, this order is only used on official documents and when introducing or referring to people in a very formal setting (for instance, dinner at the Kremlin or a courtroom in session), never as a direct form of address. This does not differ too much from the equivalent Western usage; think of the situations someone might use the phrasing "Smith, John Michael," and you have a rough (but hardly complete) idea when "Zakharova Anna Ivanova" might be used in Russia. The more Western order of given name-patronymic-family name (Anna Ivanova Zakharova) is a less official, but more commonly used way of giving someone's full name. When the patronymic is left out both the Western (Anna Zakharova) and Eastern (Zakharova Anna) orders are acceptable. The media nowadays uses the Western order almost exclusively (which also means that most official anime dubs reverse the Japanese names, just like they do in the West), while in schools and colleges the Eastern order is generally preferred. The only strict rule in Russian naming orders is that the patronymic can only be placed immediately after the given name (so "Anna Zakharova Ivanova" is always unacceptable). The surname alone is used in some formal situations as surname and first letters of name and patronymic in many documents. It assumes authority of the caller, such as of teacher in a class.
The Russian equivalents to Mr. and Mrs. aren't really used save in older literature. Lack of an easy pronoun to call someone actually became a problem a few years ago. "Gospodin" or "gospozha" (equivalents to Mr. and Mrs. respectively) were only recently returned to use and are used mostly by businessmen or civil servants to address each other, very formally. (Don't call a Russian the equivalent of "citizen"; that's how cops address a perp, so it sounds offensive.) The address "comrade" is used only in the army and in the Communist Party, which works in this setting. The most common forms of address between common people are the Russian equivalents of "man", "young man", "woman" or "girl". Note that "girl" ("devushka" ) is MUCH more preferable then "woman" ("zhenshina" as the latter is used for middle aged women and may and frequently will be interpreted as connoting significant age and thus offensive (in this sense, it's a lot like Ma'am for people residing outside of the Southern United States). Children mostly address unfamiliar adults as "dyadya/dyadenka" and "tyotya/tyotenka". These words literally mean "uncle" and "aunt", but they do not imply family ties in this case. Similarly, in the predominately Muslim regions of Russia and the former USSR it may be customary for young and middle-aged people to address all elderly people as "father" and "mother", saying either "otets" and "mat'" in Russian, or a corresponding term in the local language.
When writing full Russian names in English, you either skip the patronymic, initial both names, or do it in full. Usually. Some people get the "Name Patronymic-initial Surname" treatment, most famously Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, frequently called "Vladimir V. Putin" in the Western press.
-continue character section if there is more-
These guys kinda steal the show, but if you'd like more info on any minor characters, I'm more than willing to give it.
WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING TO GET OUT OF THIS ( Are you wanting a romantic encounter, a cute scene, whatever - pretty much, what do you want me to write about)
This is the time period: 1930s
This is the setting: Russia and the US.
This is the genre: Drama/Horror
This is what it's about: Two people are thrown together by the unusual circumstances of the time, and become kinda friends.
May you please send it to me: by PM(or e-mail), Please.
LENGTH ( Every 500 Words is 1,500 Gaia Gold OR 10,000 Words is $5.00 USD, please note that 1,000 is a page in Microsoft Word ) Chaptered, but however long you feel would best illistrate the story. Gaia Gold.
TIP Umm... do you accept items as payment?
PRICE ( Tip + Actual exert ) Could you give me a good ball park estimate of how long you feel would best illistrate the story?
YOU COOL WITH ME USING THIS AS AN EXAMPLE? Um... I'd... kinda prefer it if it wasn't... but if it would make you more inclined to write it, I'm game.