4.

The blizzard roared in its' very own silent way, with only the sound of cold, icy wind bothering the hairs on a naked pair of arms belonging to a lone man at his very own post. He didn't cover them up, because he liked the feeling of the blizzard against his arms. Small, and pudgy, the man met his lips with a cigar, inhaling the tobacco and then breathing out the smoke into frozen air. He ran his hand across his bald scalp, wiping snow off of the buzz-cut, before adjusting the hair that he still kept across and around the back and sides of his head.

The man walked along the trail into a military base out in the snow, a simple one story above ground one story below ground combat ready base. Thoughts rushed through his head, but he stayed calm. He knew that they were coming for him, and it wasn't until he found out that he noticed he was a wide open target in a big concrete fort out in the middle of northeastern Russia. Since hearing of his death warrant, the man had filled his base with more supplies than ever, along with soldiers and trenches along the outside perimeter, and a twenty-four hour patrol in four directions around, inside and along those trenches.

"I'm a very cautious man, Nikolai." He yelled in his best English, across the phone. "I am so cautious because I know how easy it is to kill a man, and I will not die, Nikolai. Do you understand? Hartman can sign all the contracts with the military that he wants, but not even the best killers can make me disappear!"

Silence assumed position. He waited for a reply.

Finally, a breath caught. Then a voice from the other side of the phone. A familiar voice. "Русский, пожалуйста, Petya. Я - только конвейер сообщения. Я жаль."

He slammed the phone down, hanging up. A fit occurred, and the phone was thrown, and the cable destroyed. A soldier stood beside his door, in salute. He yelled "Получите трахающимся из здесь. Получите меня проклятый телефон нового бога."

The soldier, prior nodding and saluting, walked out with haste, seeming emotionless and fearless. The man, Petya, leaned back into his seat feeling joy and pride in his soldiers, and the fact that they were hungry as wolves. Hungry for blood. "Come now, Hartman. Let us see who's dogs have the bigger bark, and who's dogs have the bigger bite." He said, with a smile on his face, and a thick Russian accent filling his cold, dry throat.

-

"Well that was easy enough." Montana stripped down to his bare, and put on a new set of Russian military standard clothes hastily, making sure not to freeze in the snow.

Jersey took out his rifle. "I'm going to find a position overhead the base. Once I figure out the patrol positions, and how many soldiers there are surrounding the place we can figure out how to go about this."

I'll also set up a spot. The base is bound to have blind spots for only one sniper, so it'd be better if we had two different states looking down on the fortress from different positions." Delaware chimed in.

"And now that we've got these nice uniforms, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi and I will be right in plain sight with the regular jerkoffs." Montana said, hick accent and all.

Kansas shivered. "This sounded like a great plan until you started babbling, Monty. I don't think it's such a great idea to have you four in the middle of the oven. Especially if it's a Russian oven."

Arkansas gave Kansas a look. A gaze. Kansas tried to look away from Arkansas's eyes, but couldn't bring himself to look away. He ended up shrugging, and shaking his head. "Fine, fine." He wavered his hands. "Just don't let Montana talk. His accent is so thick that, even if he knows Russian, they'll be able to tell he's an impostor within seconds."

"Yeah, yeah, Mom. Can I go out and play now?" Montana said.

"Keep a leash on him, Arkansas." Kansas pointed, and Arkansas, with a waver of his hand, left with the other three, without a word.

Kansas turned to the rest of the states. He counted them up. "Nebraska, Texas, York, Carolinas', Washington, Arizona, Minnesota. You all and I are that's left over. We'll be providing ground support in case things go awry while Arkansas's group lay undercover. Delaware and Jersey are going to provide long range rifle support. When the two report back to us we'll figure out just what our next move is." The group chanted their understanding, and then resumed the wait.

Kansas walked to a small ridge, watching Arkansas's group walk off into the distance and toward the road into the base. "Keep a leash on him, Ed..."

-

Petya shooed away the soldiers surrounding his office, and made his way to the armory. He walked, trudged more like, all the way across the base. He walked through the stone hallways, observing the cold, enjoying it even. The steps downward into the underground story of then base twisted and turned in his eyes, and he huddled up against the wall, trying to catch his balance. He lit a cigar, and took a puff of it, making sure to appreciate the warmth inhaled into his lungs. He heaved a sigh as the smoke exhaled from him, and electricity ran through his bones, like ecstasy.

Petya tackled the staircase, and began walking more rapidly, until he came upon a vault. The vault was normal. Big, made of reinforced titanium, and held a sort of number padlock that you had to define the code of to enter. Petya looked over the pad, and, after reassuring himself that no one was around to see him, he put on one glove and quickly ran over the pad with his fingers, entering a nine number pin, and opened the heavy titanium door.

The room was blank, as it should have been. A stainless steel table in the middle, and the shape was of the room was almost a perfect rectangle. The walls were lined with guns, whether they be American, Ukrainian, Swedish, German or even Turkish. Petya ran across the room to the wall opposite the entrance, and filled a duffel bag with pistols and smaller sub machine guns. When his duffel bag was filled he grabbed the SVD, which hung off the top of the wall. He held the rifle over his right shoulder and carried the bag on the shoulder opposite, and as he walked out, he spit his cigar onto the floor of the armory, putting out the already dim flame with his loafers.

He shut the door to the armory, and made sure that it was closed, and that it would be impossible to enter without the nine digit code. He slowly began walking away from the armory, making a pattern in his stride. He tackled the stairs once again, this time holding on to the rail and leaning onto it for support. He took each step slowly, and carefully, making sure to not suffer vertigo once more. Each step, one at a time, two feet each step, until finally, at the eighth and last step he let go of the rail, and fell onto the ground. Petya spit onto the cold concrete, trying to gain his balance. When he regained his consciousness he beckoned one of the soldiers standing guard by the case he had just emerged from.

"Предупредите каждого из их присутствия. Они - здесь к настоящему времени. Проверьте предместья основы, и удостоверитесь, что в нашей середине нет никаких глаз ястреба. Я буду наверху основа, ища воспаленные большие пальцы." Petya commanded from the soldier, who then proceeded to speak over an intercom that reached the whole base.

Petya smiled before letting out a maniacal and cold blooded laugh, which transformed itself into a cough filled with blood.

-

A Russian voice roared throughout the blizzard, "Американские солдаты, сдаются теперь и мы будем убивать вас быстро. Если вы не сдаетесь вы будете переносить последствия медленной и болезненной смерти."

Delaware's voice blared over Kansas's two way radio, "What are they saying?"

Kansas picked up the radio, "They say they'll kill us quickly if we surrender, but if we don't they'll give us a slow and painful death."

Jersey chimed in, "I'd rather die slowly and painfully. I could make jokes."

"Well, the point is that they know we're here, Jersey. They'll have patrols out at our locations now, so try picking them off where they can't be found but before they can find you." Kansas said.

"Roger that." Jersey replied.

Kansas heaved a heavy sigh, and looked over the ridge he was hiding in. Alongside his fellow sates were four dead and naked Russians, and Kansas could see this looking bad to passing by soldiers. He picked up his radio again. "What is Arkansas's companies location, Delaware?"

"Well, they're in the patrols, but now that the base has been alerted of intruders they've been told to look for themselves. Bit of irony, I'd say." Delaware chuckled.

"Okay, well were going to make a move. Look out for watchtowers, and cover us. We're going down to the first trench in front of the base, and once we get ourselves hidden in there we'll call Montana to make his first move, and then you'll need to get to work." Kansas looked over the ridge as he spoke into the two way.

"Gotcha. Jersey and I will have y'all covered." Delaware reassured Kansas.

Kansas took another heavy sigh, and thought to himself how he ever got to where he was. He shook the thoughts out of his mind and focused on the task at hand. A look at the states in his command, who all nodded or waved, signaling that they understood and were ready, and then another look over the ridge to be sure. As Kansas peaked his head over the snowy cap he found three soldiers, equipped with big guns and bigger dogs. Kansas quickly ducked behind the snow, and gave a bad face.

The soldiers approached, and were only about thirty feet away from their position. Kansas whispered as softly as possible, "I'm going to take a shot at them. Texas, get the dogs." The two equipped silenced carbines, and steadily aimed. Another whisper from Kansas, "Wait till they're about five feet away."

Texas focused, her hands shaking in not only the cold, but also in the mere adrenaline of anticipation. Kansas held his fist up, and Texas waited. She watched his hand, closely, and even then she watched it closer until, finally the fist was released, and she put down two shepherds. At the same exact time the three Russian soldiers fell down in "Oofs!" and "Acks!". Texas released her grip on the m4 and took a deep breath, wiping away the sweat from her forehead.

Kansas nodded, "Good job, now lets go." He shuffled out from the ridge, and hastily ran up to the newly deceased. "North, help me carry these kids behind the ridge."

North tripped himself up and onto his feet, marching towards Kansas and the bodies. The two grabbed the bodies and threw them behind the small cap of snow, joining their fellow comrades. Once finished, Kansas signaled the rest of the states, and picked up his two way. "Del, were going to the trench now Be on the look out."

The group ran and slid down the hill and through the snow, dodging trees, while at the same time dodging more Russians, as fast as humanly possible. The trench was further away than it had seemed, and there were so many more soldiers patrolling the outer rim that they were escaping than imagined. Finally, the group shuffled into the trench, making sure no one saw them.

"We're here, Del. I'm going to signal Montana to start taking people out, so be on the watch." Kansas whispered into the radio.

"Bit to late, Kansas. Montana gave away his position. He's been caught."

Kansas punched the dirt wall of the trench, and bit his tongue before he yelled a curse. "What, how?!"

"He went ahead without everyone else, as usual."

"And the rest of Arkansas's squad?"

"Safe. They were all undercover in different positions, so the others haven't been figured out yet." Delaware said.

"This isn't that bad then." Kansas thought hard. "Okay, change of plans. Don't open fire yet We're going to extract Montana from the base, and plant charges around it as we go. Tell Arkansas to not open fire." Kansas said as he reloaded his m4.

"Not much of a plan, is it?" Texas said.

"Best we've got, so unless you have a better way of getting the fuck out of here without killing any of the states and at the same time killing the designated target, I suggest you shut your fucking trap." Kansas scolded.

"Why not leave Montana to get himself out of there. I'm sure he won't have a problem with it." Washington chimed.

"He can probably kill every single man in that base, but he'll die doing it, so were going in to stop him from getting himself knocked the fuck out." Kansas said. It was apparent to the states that they weren't to leave without every single fourteen soldiers alive and well.

-

Montana felt the rope strangling his wrists, and the worn oak against them, and how cold all of it was. He felt his heart race faster and faster, and he felt just as relevant, that this was his own messy pile of shit. The walls, steel, dripped with something unhealthy

The doorknob jiggled and turned, and the door creaked open. In walked a decorated Russian officer. He took out a small pocket knife, and wiggled it in front of Montana's face, taunting him. Montana laughed, then spit on his shoes.

The man looked down and snarled, lifting his foot up, and shaking off the dirty saliva. He looked back up, and growled at Montana, whom growled right back. The officer grabbed him by the cheeks, and taunted him with the knife once more, "Почему вы здесь ? Где - остальная часть ваших расположенных людей?"

"Try English, Ivan." Montana sighed.

The officer stood upright, and loosened his collar while emptying his throat. In his finest Russian accent, "Why are you here, and where are the rest of your men?"

"Well! Look who knows how to speak like a real king!" The hostage put his palms together and applauded his captor.

The Russian grabbed him by the cheeks again, and put the knife to his face. He put down a slow cut on Montana's left cheek, and made a crooked smile when he heard the coiled scream. The officer repeated himself, "Why are you here, and where are the rest of your men?"

Montana's scream turned into a laugh, which then evolved into a sentence, "What men? I came alone." He bowed his head in exhaustion. "One man almost took down everything you have. You must be embarrassed."

"You don't honestly expect me to believe that, do you?" The officer backed up a few steps.

"Do you want to pray to your god now, or afterwords?" Montana brought his head up, and smiled at the sight of the officers' confusion.

"What?"

The ropes tying Montana to the chair loosened, and then fell off of him. His smile became a ghastly laugh, and as he rose he showed the officer his hands, which were empty except for one stylish and originally carved pinewood handle, and one very shiny, very sharp and very deadly blade at the end of it.

"I said," Montana reiterated, "Do you want to pray to your god now, or afterwords?"