SCP Proposals And Stuff

15 February 1941
Army Hospital 10/74
Khimki, Moskovskaya Oblast
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

“You have a visitor, Starshiy Leytenant.”

Natalia Prugova’s eyes fluttered open.
Where the fuck am I again? she wondered in a moment of confusion, taking a moment to recognize once more the familiar yet strange sight of her hospital room.
Prugova grunted slightly, pushing aside the bedsheets and propping herself up on one arm. “Who is it now?” she asked the apparently disembodied voice of Dr. Malinovsky.
“He hasn’t said,” replied the doctor, walking into the room, clipboard in hand. “Looks important though.” He leaned up against the wall, a neutral but vaguely benevolent expression on his face.
“Dammit, Konstantin. I told you -”
“Starshiy Leytenant, I can’t lie to people whom want to visit you.” He took a few steps towards her bed, lowering his voice slightly, as if confiding in her. “Natalia Ilyinichna, you must remember that the Party considers you to be a hero.”
“So I’m told,” she replied flatly. “Send him in, then.”
“Of course, Starshiy Leytenant,” he replied, turning smoothly and walking towards the door, his manner reminding Natalia of some sort of highly-paid butler from Tsarist times. Opening it slightly, he addressed the unknown visitor.
“You may come in, Major,” he said politely before exiting the room.
The man who entered Natalia’s room was dressed in a spotless, pristine uniform of some sort and carried a cheap, imitation-leather briefcase. His features, accented by his graying black hair, were unremarkable yet seemed oddly fatherly.
“Starshiy Leytenant,” he said, nodding at her as he set his briefcase down.
“And you are…?” she asked a few seconds later, feeling as if she should have somehow known who this stranger was. He paused for a moment and seemed to instinctively swivel to the right, whereupon he noticed the door was open. Closing it, he walked back to the end of Natalia’s bed.
“Major Yuri Yatchenko,” he said as he extended his hand for her to shake. Natalia struggled for a few moments and tried to reorient herself to be able to reach him, but to no avail. After a few moments, he withdrew it, taking a seat in the room’s lone chair. “Sorry. Should have thought of that. I imagine it’s fairly difficult-”
“No, no, it’s fine,” grumbled Natalia, visibly unhappy with her current condition. She took a moment to reorient herself into a comfortable position once more. “If you don’t mind me asking, why’d you come here? You clearly have something very specific in mind.”
“Natalia Ilyinichna, I have a…proposition for you.”
“Explain,” she shot back skeptically. Major Yatchenko stood back up and stared at the wall for a moment, as if trying to compose himself.
“Have the doctors told you -”
“Yes. That I’ll never fly again because no one has ever done so without a right leg. Which is -”
“Okay, okay,” the Major continued, beginning to slowly walk back and forth at the end of the bed as he spoke. “So, with that in mind…where do you think you’re going to spend the rest of your career?”
“I’m going to fly,” she almost spat, her eyes electric with determination. “and I don’t give a fuck -”
“Natalia…let’s be realistic-” Despite Natalia’s worsening temper, he was somehow remaining perfectly calm.
“Douglas Bader lost both of his legs, and he’s flying for the goddamn RAF!”
“Hear me out for a moment-”
“If you’re another one of those STAVKA -”
“Hear me out, Starshiy Leytenant. Hear me out. Okay?”
“Fine.”
“See, the thing is…you’re perfectly capable of flying. If the V-VS had half the sanity of the RAF, they’d let you fly. But they won’t let you. You know why?”
“Hold on a minute, Major. How the heck do you know any of this for sure?” Yatchenko turned his head and shot her a confiding glance out of the corners of his eyes.
“Sources,” he said, seemingly without any real thought. He paused for a moment, retracing his own train of thought. “Anyway, here’s the thing - the Politburo doesn’t see you as a soldier anymore. You’re a national hero. They see you as propaganda. Therefore, they can’t risk possibly having you die when there are thousands of pilots who could take your place.
“So you know what they want to do? They, Starshiy Leytenant, are going to give you some shitty-ass desk job, because there they don’t have to worry about you dying.”
“At least I’d be working in the V-VS, I guess…” she said, her voice dripping with a lack of enthusiasm for the prospect. She didn’t want to believe what he was saying, but, on a certain level, she knew he was right. Major Yatchenko walked over to the end of the bed and lowered his voice, preparing to deliver his punchline.
“Natalia Ilyinichna! Come on! Do you really think that this whole ‘women in combat’ thing is going to last beyond the end of the war, presuming of course that we win? Stalin’s only doing this because we need more pilots!
“I guarantee you, Starshiy Leytenant - if you end up at some V-VS desk job, you are getting let go the instant Berlin falls.”
“Major, with all due respect, I know where this is going. Whoever-the-hell -you-represent wants to offer me a job?”
“Bingo.”
“Alright, I’ll admit, you’ve given me a few half-decent reasons to believe your shit. What are you proposing?”
“Starshiy Leytenant Prugova, I work for a branch of the GRU.”
“So you’re from military intelligence?”
“Not exactly. I’m from a subunit of the GRU. The GRU Psychotronics Division, to be specific.”
A painfully long pause hung in the room as Natalia did a double-, then a triple-take.
“Why the hell does the GRU have a unit of fucking ‘psychics?’”
Major Yatchenko sighed. He was used to this reaction. Admittedly, the organization’s name had never done its recruiters any favors. And, to be fair, he had been warned that Prugova was rather hot-tempered.
“Relax, Starshiy Leytenant,” Yatchenko reassured her. “The name’s a bit misleading.”
“So then what do you do, then?” demanded Prugova, who was becoming seriously annoyed with the Major’s vagueness. “Witchcraft?”
“Starshiy Leytenant Prugova,” Yatchenko began in a grand tone as he folded his arms behind his back as he began to slowly pace back and forth by the end of her bed. He was clearly enjoying this part. “The ‘P’ Division deals with the unknown.” The Major stopped for a moment, straightening his cuffs. “Doctors and scientists would have you believe that we live in a world governed by reason and logic and scientific axioms.”
“They, however, are wrong. Our universe is full of holes. There are things out there that do not make sense - things that spit in the face of the laws of nature.”
“And I should believe you because…?” asked Prugova, half-convinced that this was just another grotesque daydream brought on by the myriad of different painkillers and other drugs Dr. Malinovsky had prescribed her.
“Have a look at this,” he said, pulling a small, brass-colored metallic object out of his pocket and walking over to the maimed pilot’s bedside. Her curiosity getting the best of her, Prugova sat up, ignoring the intense pain now coming from her stump of a right leg.
In the major’s hand was what appeared to be be a brass egg, which he let Prugova visually examine for a few seconds.
“What is this thing?” she asked, puzzled. Yatchenko didn’t respond; instead, he pulled a small flask out of his pocket and poured a clear liquid onto the egg.
A moment later, it hatched. A small, wriggling mass of living bronze rapidly emerged from the egg, absorbing the fragments of the egg into its own mass before morphing into the form of a tiny, apparently living, brass snake no more than twenty centimeters long.
“…The fuck?” Prugova stammered as she instinctively recoiled from the creature slithering in Yatchenko’s hand, not as much out of fear than from sheer surprise. Moments later, he appeared to somehow crush the snake, collecting the metal into the palm of his hand. After a few seconds, it coalesced back into an egg once more. As Yatchenko moved onto the next few points in what was now clearly a presentation he had practiced many, many times, Natalia found that her mind was still reeling. Granted, she had never been the staunchest believer in the rationality of the world. After all, thanks to her grandmother’s influence, Natalia had grown up in a world populated by tales of the grotesque monsters, demons, and abominations of old Slavic folklore. This, however, was something… different. Something strange, alien and yet infinitely more visceral than her grandmother’s bedtime stories.
And for some reason, in that moment, she simply couldn’t tear herself away.
Yatchenko, for his part, was pleased. He had gotten a good reaction out of her - a better reaction than he usually got out of prospects, as a matter of fact.
(To be completed)