The Union—Part 2

 After a few weeks I decided to talk out my concerns with another person other than Yura. I went to a close friend of both of us in KBG, Venyamin Russayev’s house. He welcomed me, but he looked like he was in a distress as big as mine.

After sitting down and sipping a cup of coffee his wife made us, he started telling me about what had happened to him in the past weeks. “Yura wrote me a memo,” he began, looking uncomfortable. “A full ten-page memo about the Soyuz-1 mission.”

I leaned closer to him to show my interest.

“But the KBG did not like it,” he said. “In fact, they hated it. Whoever had read, no, seen that memo, including me, will face great penalties. It was demotion for me.”

“What?” I asked in rhetoric. “That’s childish.”

“No,” he denied. “That is not childish at all. The memo contained a classified information. Yura should not have known that Soyuz-1 does not pass any of the qualifications. Yura should not have known his death. No one should have known that.”

“So, they know, Yura will die in the ship, correct?”

“Yes, but not in the intentional purpose to kill him,” he explained. “It is to celebrate Lenin’s birthday after all, Roscosmos has yet to send out their best cosmonaut, and it is Yura. And after all, there is still a chance he will not die and return back safely to home, it is said Roscosmos engineers are working on to fix those 198 errors…”

“It’s 203 now,” I interrupted. “And if there is a chance, it will be a very thin one. We could not risk a national hero in this rubbish, can we, Venya?”

“No, but—“

“But what? You want to see your best friend got killed?”

After a moment, Venyamin sighed, backing down. “So, what is your plan?”

I stood up, putting my coat on. I looked back at him, thinking twice about what my decision was—I doubted, but it was final, “I’m going to talk to Kosygin.”

“Then?” he asked me. “What are you going to do after talking to Kosygin? Replacing Yura to get yourself killed?”

“If that is the only option,” I said as I made myself a way out of the house.


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