This is Sfiery. Here, the Slavic nations are a superpower.


Ah, the Syrian underground... Much is forged down here. It's not all dangerous enough to destroy Sfiery...but a lot of it is sure on the way there.

All alone, what looks like a sarcophagus sits atop a stone pillar. From the barrel vault above, a shaft of light shines down upon it, spotlighting it. Good thing the sarcophagus isn't made of actual wood. The sunlight might ignite it... And that would be self-destructive for the MacGuffin inside it.

At a desk/lectern nearby, an albino Aramaic plays with a coin. He spins it, like a top, around the desk. It'd be easier for the coin to gain momentum of the desktop didn't slant from seat to edge...

Meet Kaleb. He's part of a labor union that acquires some of the most dangerous treasures on Sfiery. One time, they acquired a nuke. One of his coworkers foolishly sold it to a crazy neo-fascist named Richard Dressler, who... Wait... Is Jack Ryan an actual person in this reality?

One other time, they acquired a superhuman woman from England, who had psionic powers. They were so strong, she could forge weapons made from pure psionic energy. Lucky for Kaleb, she got to become his bodyguard. Alas, another superhuman, who'd just woken from a very long sleep that began in Ancient Egypt, came for her, augmented her powers, and... Wait... Is En Sabah Nur an actual person in this reality?

With a laptop on his desktop, Kaleb does books. His union's got many accounts. Most of them are cheap. Alas, they'll all get a very generous deposit, once someone comes in to bid on the submarine-tracker that's inside that sarcophagus...

Bored, he opens CADD software, and sculpts a woman's breasts for a while. This is fun. As tempted as he is to jerk off, he dares not. He's at work, after all...

As Kaleb's guard is down, a much-better-endowed Mauritanian man comes in. He's Sheikh Ahmad. He's an amateur submarine-hunter...and he's a lot more desperate to enter the big leagues of submarine-hunting...if there are such leagues outside of country's navies...than he should be.

On a rug near a stone-cold grate, an albino cane rat sleeps. He wakes, and blinks his pink eyes, as the Sheikh comes in.

At his laptop, Kaleb continues to sculpt the fictional female's hooters. He just might post this on DeviantArt, if this goes as well as he'd like...

A small velvet bag of coins lands on the desk. In a flash, Kaleb saves his progress, and minimizes the software's window, once it becomes clear that the "saving" process will take too long for him to wait for. Ah, technology; it's never as perfect as the world wants it.

The Sheikh expresses his interest in the submarine-tracker. He virtually sings its praises. But then, that makes sense: the name "Ahmad" means "to praise." 'Tis a fit name for a Muslim.

"I appreciate your offer," Kaleb stammers. "But this tracker is VERY expensive."

With that, the Sheikh drops another velvet bag of money onto the desk, doubling his payment.

"Let me rephrase," Kaleb continues. "This thing can be very dangerous. The government might try to arrest you and take it from you, if they find out what it's capable of."

The Sheikh doubles his last payment, thus quadrupling his first one.

"This tracker is very dangerous, in the wrong hands. It can be a self-destructive weapon."

The Sheikh doubles his last payment, thus octupling his first one.

Kaleb sighs. "Very well. It's yours." He drops a clipboard in front of the Sheikh. "Fill this out."

The casket's got an electromagnetic levitator under it. Men from Kaleb's union come, and turn it on, via a button that's plastic-pasted to its bottom-side. The casket levitates to a meter off the top of the pillar. Via tethers, the men take it to the loading dock, where they will soon load it on the Sheikh's transport.


Hours pass. In Kaleb's chamber, there's an aquarium. It's full of tilapias. They swim in circles, occasionally snarfing down whatever live shad is occasionally ejected into the aquarium with them. White mice are ejected into the aquarium just as often.

With that done, Kaleb goes back to developing the femme's hooters on his CADD. Whoever thought that a CADD user could be such a cad?

As he "works," a new customer walks in. She's Kartvelian. She's in a spec-ops force uniform. A fur hat covers her head. Her lips are big. She walks slowly...which is the sole reason why her stilettos don't sound like a Clydesdale's hooves on the hard floor.

She stands before Kaleb. He doesn't see her. She lights a very long cigarette, and smokes it. The smoke is what eventually gets Kaleb's attention.

She too, expresses interest in the submarine-tracker. Her story is that she needs it for Georgia's military. Odds are, it's just a cover.

Kaleb, of course, apologizes, and reports that it's already been bought. But if she puts her name on a mailing list, his union will be sure to let her know when (and if) a second submarine-tracker falls into their hands.

At this, the near-defeated Colonel removes her fur hat, and flaps her near-red hair. (It's mostly brown.) She blows more smoke into Kaleb's face.

"Well then," she croons, in a hot Slavic accent, "I suppose you wouldn't mind telling me the name and address of whoever bought it from you? Perhaps I can," her eyes gleam, "bargain with him?"

Kaleb smiles and shrugs apologetically. "Under the protocol of servant/customer privilege, I cannot disclose such info."

"Well, then." She pulls a submachine gun out of her jacket, and aims it at Kaleb's head. "Perhaps I can use the name 'Mikhail Kalashnikov' as a reference?"

Kaleb swallows hard. "I didn't," he says in falsetto, before calming down. "I didn't know Kalashnikov made submachine guns."

"They do now," she says, unyielding. With that, she blows more smoke into his face. "The man and his house...or your head all over this place, albino Semite."

"My name is Kaleb."

"Of course...Kaleb. WHERE THE FUCK IS HE?!"