Arkady Renko, Secret Service. White House Detail

 

Arkady Renko marched into the Oval with the somber ceremony usually reserved for duty at a memorial service. And while one might assume that his demeanor was out of respect for the victims in the murder case that he had been assigned, it was actually more for the death of something else. Four political idealists had been murdered in this, the city of his nation’s capital. Their identities ripped away by a savage smear campaign. Their names obliterated, hidden as if covered by a blanket of thick snow. And Renko, Renko had been summoned to the Oval to report on the progress of his investigation.

But what was there really to say when it is always best never to say too much? Speaking and acting carefully were survival habits for the politically aware. Many citizens knew enough to speak only clandestinely and to log into social media only under a pseudonym. The smarter ones knew to use a VPN as well. The really smart ones took the batteries out of their phones until such time that they actually needed to make a call. Still, all of them, including Renko, knew that the knock at the door could come at anytime.

Now, staring at the enfeebled commander of the Oval, Renko knew that any report he might make was not for the ears of the old man. Long past the point of cogent discourse, the best that the commander could muster were ineffective insults meant to assure himself of his thoroughly lost dominance, obvious confidence patter that he obviously believed was slick and effective, and pitiable rambles of word salad.

No, Renko’s report was for the other man in the room, the man who clearly held sway over each of the commander’s “decisions.” And this man was far more dangerous: charming, wily, and likely with an agenda separate from both the office in which he presently stood and the officer next to whom he presently stood – separate despite the considered and measured rhetoric that this man also had at his command.

Renko did not want this case. The question of why it was assigned to him only added to his sense of unease. It should have been assigned to the national intelligence and investigative services. But, in all likelihood, agents of those same services were somehow involved. Renko had seen similar things involving inconvenient citizens before. And the suspicion of such similar things was both widely held and clandestinely discussed. However, the commander of those services would, of course, just deny everything.

Then there was the wealthy foreign businessman whom each clue implicated. A man seemingly intent on selling this nation’s most precious asset – the Liberty of its citizens – to a hostile, foreign power. Dooming those citizens to a life in fifteen-minute prisons, to breed, and to produce, and to die “own[ing] nothing but be[ing] happy” – lives and dreams, once feral, now broken, and sold like pelts of caged sables. A man who was very well connected to, and held in high esteem by, the man who controlled this very room in which Renko was to make his report.

Renko stood at attention and knew that his every word now must be as measured as the rhetoric of the man in control of the Oval, and that his every suspicion must be held back for clandestine conversation elsewhere. And just as he was about to speak, Renko thought to himself, “Someone really ought to make a movie.”

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Good to see you, Rick! It’s been a while. And your post is intriguing.

    • #1
  2. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Good to see you, Rick! It’s been a while. And your post is intriguing.

    Thank you, Susan.
    And thanks for reading.

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Dan Bongino has been through this, at the NYPD and in the Secret Service, but before it got bad enough to see it as clearly as it can be seen today. I had an offer to work for the FBI when J. Edgar Hoover was the Director. I was fortunate enough to have been close friends with someone already in that realm so that by the time elapsed between my application for that employment and the actual offer I learned enough about the associated inconvenience that I turned away. I did that a couple of more times during the period of my employment by others. Many people in past times have skirted many of the effects of this through self-employment but pressure has always existed to reduce or eliminate those options.

    The real question today: Is the inconvenient enslavement that all common people exist in today an inevitability that is unavoidable. Americans have lived under a system created by its founders with a view that gives us hope that it is not. 

    A wonderful post @rickpoach, Javier Milei is my spirit animal. Let’s hope he succeeds. 

     

    • #3
  4. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Good to see you, Rick! It’s been a while. And your post is intriguing.

    Thank you, Susan.
    And thanks for reading.

    @rickpoach I thought you were a satirist?  I don’t know the proper label for my comment. (sarc)?

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Gorky Park. I’ll have to watch it again soon.

    • #5
  6. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    “Some day, this will be you.”

    • #6
  7. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    A wonderful post @ rickpoach

    Thank you, Bob.
    And thanks for reading.

    • #7
  8. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Good to see you, Rick! It’s been a while. And your post is intriguing.

    Thank you, Susan.
    And thanks for reading.

    @ rickpoach I thought you were a satirist? I don’t know the proper label for my comment. (sarc)?

    I only say that I’m a “satirist” because it’s the defense that I’ll claim when the knock on the door comes.

    • #8
  9. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Gorky Park. I’ll have to watch it again soon.

    That should be easy enough.
    It’s on every cable news channel.

    Thanks for reading, Percival.

    • #9
  10. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    BDB (View Comment):

    “Some day, this will be you.”

    Virst, you eat zee bugz, zehn zee bugz eat you.

    Thanks for reading, BDB.

    • #10
  11. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    It’s good to see you back, Rick!

    • #11
  12. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    It’s good to see you back, Rick!

    Thank you, Randy.

    And thanks for reading.

    • #12
  13. Autistic License Coolidge
    Autistic License
    @AutisticLicense

    And thanks for reintroducing Arkady Renko.  Folks, if you haven’t read them or downloaded the Audibles, a few brief words:  Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Wolves Eat Dogs, Stalin’s Ghost, Three Stations…

    If you’re old and impressionable like me, you’ll go beyond loving the writing and make Renko your imaginary friend.  

    • #13
  14. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Autistic License (View Comment):

    And thanks for reintroducing Arkady Renko. Folks, if you haven’t read them or downloaded the Audibles, a few brief words: Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Wolves Eat Dogs, Stalin’s Ghost, Three Stations…

    If you’re old and impressionable like me, you’ll go beyond loving the writing and make Renko your imaginary friend.

    Thanks for reading, A.L.

    • #14
  15. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    • #15
  16. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    You mean Iamskoy?

    Yeah, everyone kinda overlooked him.

    Thanks for reading, iWe.

    • #16
  17. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    You mean Iamskoy?

    Yeah, everyone kinda overlooked him.

    Thanks for reading, iWe.

    The bath-house crowd.

    • #17
  18. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    BDB (View Comment):

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    You mean Iamskoy?

    Yeah, everyone kinda overlooked him.

    Thanks for reading, iWe.

    The bath-house crowd.

    Renko’s Rule: Always bring a gun to a sword fight.

    • #18
  19. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    BDB (View Comment):

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    You mean Iamskoy?

    Yeah, everyone kinda overlooked him.

    Thanks for reading, iWe.

    The bath-house crowd.

    For those of you who don’t know the story, this is an hysterical comment.

    I wish I could like it more than once.

    • #19
  20. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    I think you give Obama too much credit.

    You mean Iamskoy?

    Yeah, everyone kinda overlooked him.

    Thanks for reading, iWe.

    The bath-house crowd.

    For those of you who don’t know the story, this is an hysterical comment.

    I wish I could like it more than once.

    Thanks!

    • #20
  21. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    By the way, for those who have neither read the book nor seen the movie, please do the book first.  And I can’t really tell what Renko looks like, but I know that he looks nothing like William Hurt, who was merely popular at the time, and always played William Hurt.  Sigh.

    • #21
  22. Rick Poach Member
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    BDB (View Comment):

    By the way, for those who have neither read the book nor seen the movie, please do the book first. And I can’t really tell what Renko looks like, but I know that he looks nothing like William Hurt, who was merely popular at the time, and always played William Hurt. Sigh.

    Yeah, but that shocked look on Hurt’s face when he sees just how dementiafied the general was (the pic at the top of the post), that look was just perfect.

    • #22
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