Chapter Six: Off to Siberia
The sharp, icy wind of the Siberian tundra stung their faces as they disembarked from the plane. They squinted against the stark brightness of the winter sun reflecting off the vast expanse of snow. It was a raw, inhospitable landscape, miles and miles of nothing but white. It was the perfect place for someone to disappear.
“Nice place for a vacation,” the younger agent quipped, pulling her coat tighter around her.
“I’ve seen worse,” the older one responded, scanning the desolate airport. He’d been to places even the most hardened men feared to tread. But this place, it was different. It was eerily quiet, like the calm before a storm.
An old, battered jeep awaited them, the driver bundled in layers of clothing, a thick beard the only visible part of his face. They climbed in, the vehicle protesting under their weight, and set off.
The landscape was a blur of white and blue, the horizon indistinguishable from the sky. It was disorienting, and the biting cold didn’t help. But they had a job to do.
“So, where exactly are we heading?” the woman asked, pulling out a map. The man pointed to a small dot, barely visible. “An abandoned research station. Last known location of one of Karkarov’s associates.”
They arrived at the station, a dilapidated structure half-buried in snow, the once bright colors of its walls faded by time and harsh weather. They stepped out, the crunch of the snow beneath their boots echoing in the stillness.
With weapons drawn, they entered the abandoned station. Snow had made its way inside, covering most of the furniture. Papers lay scattered on the floor, ink barely visible. There was no sign of life.
“Doesn’t look like anyone’s been here in a while,” she noted, rifling through the papers. He was quiet, his eyes fixed on a spot on the floor. He knelt down, brushing away the snow. There, barely visible, was a trapdoor.
With a grunt, he managed to pry it open, revealing a hidden basement. They descended, flashlights sweeping the room. It was filled with old computer equipment, dust-covered and long abandoned. But there was something else. A single, fresh set of footprints in the dust, leading to…