Here is a sample, the first page, of a fanfic short that I composed in the World War 3.1 universe for John Birmingham.

Sergei Petrov couldn’t remember his parents at all. For some reason on this stuffy June night that mattered. The muttering of the guns and the idling diesels punctuated his thoughts. Everything stunk. The chemical reek of ordnance. The violated earth. His squad mates disgusting funk, especially that Ukrainian pig Oleg and the stupid blackass Ibrahim. The reeks choked him, his skin itched with revulsion. 

The Red Army had held few surprises for Sergei, a product of Orphanage Number Sixteen. The fine institute was located outside of what could have been the place of his birth, Vyazma. He snorted. Where he had been born meant exactly nothing, except for a starting point in his graduation through a succession of organs of the State. 

His earliest memory was of being beaten by older youths over scraps of bread. He shrugged. That must have been in the Great Patriotic War against the fascists. Times back then had been hard, he remembered how precious a steaming bowl of kasha was, or dried fish. Shriveled cabbage. Moldy bread. He had learned young not to look too closely at what he ate. 

The Russian that he spoke, mat, was as filthy as his ass. Every other word was “fuck,” and most insults had something to do with the mother that he had never known. What he did know was soul-crushing work and the brutal discipline of the State. He had done a little of everything. Helped with the harvest. Industrial cleaning in the grease pits of a steel mill. Assembly line work for microprocessors, operating a shear press in a Kevlar factory. 

He frowned. The press had been the best of jobs, although half his coworkers were missing a finger or two. He had had no such luck when the Commissars of the People’s Red Army showed up at the factory looking for numbers to fill their quota. Sergei’s foreman had fingered him, the moldy cunt, and four businesslike, unsmiling men threw him into a Black Maria with the other suckers. 

Now here he was, in a slit grave along with his fire team. They were a bunch of shits who wouldn’t have lasted two months in the Orphanage, where the inmates were no better off than zeks. Enemies of the State, orphans, criminals, what did it matter? All of them ended up in the infantry, where everyone was equally miserable and totally fucked. 

He shrugged in the darkness, the diesels of the tanks behind him muttered and ticked. His company of motor-rifle infantry were deployed in ambush hides in front of the main line, the theory was that the Stalin heavies would shoot and burn the fascist’s armor at half a kilometer. Whoever made it past that would have to deal with his battalion, the poor foot soldiers were dug in forward of the main line. 

The fucking tankers called them “crunchies.”

The rest is behind the paywall at my Patreon site.

2 thoughts on “The RPG

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