Vladimir smiled, approving of the esteemed leader’s cunning ways. The remaining audience members of the midnight council strode out from behind the curtain and took their seats around the already seated pair. Vladimir craned his neck to try to identify the other attendees but was distracted by the sight of the Commandant lighting up a cigarette.
The superior officer, observing the surprised look on the soldier’s face, offered him one from his pack. Vladimir accepted and inhaled deeply as the man lit the cigarette. He couldn’t believe that he was sitting next to the single most powerful person that he had ever met, let alone that he was smoking with him; the entire scene was almost too surreal.
As Vladimir was about to ask what the meeting was about, the light on the lectern was turned o...
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