Five Years Ago... Valentin shot up from his cot to the cracks of gunfire. Before he could react, an AN-94 rifle was pushed into his arms by his squad commander,
“Soldier Kafelnikov, get your jacket on and get outside! Now!” Without question, Valentin got up, put on his jacket, and ran outside to the dozens of other soldiers lined up behind walls and sandbags. Once again, he found his squad commander, and upon asking for orders, a grenade would detonate right beside him, and everything would go black.
Valentin shot up from his bed. It had been so long since that day, but he still felt every moment of it; the dirt on his clothes, the sweat on his forehead, the rifle in his hands… everything. The Zapadoslav Wars had ended nearly three years ago, but the scars would always remain.
Despite the shock of the memory he had to relive, Valentin would get up and make something to eat. The time was 4:22 AM. While he was watching the plate of day-old pasta spin in the microwave, Valentin thought about himself, and where he would be had he not been put in the reserve. Certainly, he thought, he would not be here, in this small apartment making spaghetti, but instead in some tiny cot in a room filled with the army of living dead. That is, after all, what all soldiers were, whether they knew it or not; just cows before the slaughter.
Valentin, without any great haste or motivation, would put on a plain outfit and walk to work, arriving half an hour later. Work didn’t start till 6:30 AM, he was almost one and a half hours early. Nevertheless, Valentin would wait outside the enormous steel plant, where he would help create the guns used all too frequently for the wrong purposes. Five years later, Valentin Kafelnikov would be appointed Commissar of Military Intelligence.