Bureau of Monster Capture and Rehabilitation

Volume 1: Boot Camp

by Wulfric Van Howlietzer

Chapter 4: Slenderfoot?

The Siberian wastelands stood resolute. The frigid tundra scarcely made a peep; peaceful as it might appear, the frosty calm buried something sinister under the snow. Twenty feet below the terrain, a secret military compound furthered the extraordinary research of Dr Morozov, a successful Russian scientist who furthered Russian Military might. It was five years ago that he and Dr Cabra developed their most potent weapon.

Nadia Baranski stood at attention inside Dr Morozov’s office her eyes fixed straight ahead, never blinking, never looking her master in the eye. That would be a mistake–her last mistake.

She laughed inside. Though she was the powerful monster of his own design, she knew that he could kill her with the press of a button. Her eyes shifted to the cylindrical, handheld device that sat inches away from his right hand.

“Do you want this?” he asked, gesturing to the device. “Do you think you can take it from me?”

Nadia remained silent. ‘He noticed,’ she thought. She had no intention of going against orders. That would be another mistake. There were countless other devices all over the base, and every soldier there had strict instruction to use one if Nadia were to go rogue. And then… POP! Her head came off. She wondered if she would hear it? Would the noise be something she would take to the next world? Was there a next world for her?

Dr Morozov stared. “I hope you never give me a reason to use this. We’ve been planning this mission for five years now, and to think of all that work going down the drain, right before you were sent out… It would be a total waste of potential… An asset should know its duty and perform it to the utmost professionalism.”

Nadia remained silent.

“You remember your mission, correct?” he said, fingering the device. “Infiltrate the BMCR program at Ft. Wichmann under the codename: Slenderfoot; find what you can about US military operations around the world; copy schematics of paranormal research and cryptogear; and lastly, I want you to find out everything you can about Vault 23.

Your brothers will remain here, hunting cryptids in Siberia. Let me be clear: this is an arms race. The more monsters we have, the stronger our army. Petrokov will take you to the embassy. Don’t be found out! Now leave!”

Nadia saluted and rigidly walked out of the office. Just outside the office, stood Petrokov, waiting as he always did. She was sick of it. She kept her emotions inside; it wasn’t right to emote. For her especially, she could kill someone.

She stormed passed him and started down the hall to her room. He was no different. He only saw her as a monster. Why shouldn’t he? She’d killed her last two handlers on accident. If she wasn’t important to this ONE mission she would have been destroyed long ago…

She missed Dr Cabra. She treated her like a person. Nadia passed by some soldiers in the hallway on her way to her room. They looked her up and down, but when they realized who she was, their faces contorted into such disgust and disdain… It was almost flattering… both ways.

Disdain was better than the unquenchable fear others felt when they saw her. Fear is not comforting. Fear is disconcerting. Fear makes her angry…

“Miss!” said the familiar voice of Petrokov, “Slow down!”

She hadn’t noticed, but she had started sprinting down the hallway. She also missed her room. Embarrassed, she turned around, completely red-faced, “You’re a soldier! Keep up!”

They met at her bedroom door. She scowled at him as she swiped her ID badge over the lock pad. The door clicked and she ducked inside. She had everything packed in a large duffle bag, everything that she thought she would need. She had her sleeping bag, her tent, 550 cord, flashlight, extra boots, two uniforms…

“Miss,” he said, standing at the side of her entrance, “You won’t be needing any of that. They’ll issue you everything you need.”

She took in a deep breath and kicked the bag under her bed. It hit the wall with such force that it shook a nearby bookcase. There it was. Fear… Petrokov reeked of it.

She let one tear fall from her face. She only allowed herself one, the rest would have to stay in until… Well, it was best not to think about it. She had a helicopter to get on.

She turned around and walked to the open door. She looked over her shoulder, one last time. Clean. Spotless, like the day she arrived. She would almost miss it.

Petrokov led the way up a ramp that led to the hangar. The hangar housed all the experimental aircraft. One in particular that brought back some memories was the saucer aircraft, modelled after alien technology. Dr Cabra had made it.

“Best to take this one,” said Petrokov pointing to a Kamov Ka-60, a standard military grade helicopter painted in green camo. “I think it will be less conspicuous.”

She took her eyes of the saucer and onto the Kamov. She sighed. “I guess you are right. Shall we be on our way?” She attempted to smile, but it didn’t feel right. It felt faker than her fake smiles as if there couldn’t possibly be any reason to smile in this situation.

“Are you afraid to leave? To go into enemy territory? Your mannerisms are odd,” he said.

“It is my purpose. Just as yours is to get me there,” she snapped.

“Will it be good for you to meet other monsters?”

She flinched at that word. Her blood boiling hot. “It is not for me to say. If they get in my way, I will kill them.”

“I get the feeling you’re not as bad as everyone says. You may even make friends with them. Wouldn’t that be interesting?”

“The last soldier who annoyed me this much, Petrokov, I chopped off his head and ate it. I would love a silent flight if you don’t mind.”

Petrokov silenced. They boarded the helicopter and left for Ft. Wichmann.