Chapter Four

Hogan raised his eyebrows. He had several ideas. First of all, he asked "what is the man's name?"

"A Major Vladimir Burlunkin," noted Colonel Ying. Sensing concern on Hogan's face, he asked "is there a problem."

"Yes, there could be, if he is the same man." He posited this explanation. "I know a man by that name in the KGB with a very severe drinking problem. He spouts off in absurd ways, says ridiculous things, and so on."

Ying asked the corporal how Burlunkin appeared on the phone. "Just fine," came the response.

"Probably had not had a drink in several hours; I would not be surprised if he has by the time he gets here." He chose not to go any further; even a lay person could smell alcohol on someone's breath, and Ying, being a doctor, would be able to tell if the fellow was intoxicated. Still, he had left the impression that the KGB major would utter some untrue or ridiculous statements. That would buy some time if he was not able to intercede right when the major arrived.

He thanked Ying, then returned to the medical complex. Jogging over to the radio, he began transmitting a request for information on the KGB major - not that they could receive it right away, of course. He would maintain radio silence till they had a chance to get him out of their hair for a while.

"Is there a problem?" inquired BJ.

"Just some KGB agent coming for dinner," deadpanned the general.

"A Russian?" Hawkeye inquired. "A real live Russian?"

BJ shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I don't intend to spend my life in a gulag."

"And you won't have to," Hogan reassured them. "Got anything to put him out for a while till LeBeau can get to where he can slip him a sleeping pill?"

"Sure," Pierce agreed.

Newkirk stepped forward. "Sir, why don't we just give 'im too much an' kill 'im on the spot?"

"I'll have you know as a doctor I should be very offended at that," Hawkeye began, "but as an American right now my guts are screaming for me to recant my Hippocratic Oath."

"Don't worry, they'd ask too many questions if a KGB guy just dropped dead on the spot. We need a couple days to get these men out." He paused a minute. "Besides, if they suspected only later that NATO did this they'd just start right back up again."

"And be on the lookout next time."

"Right, Newkirk."

"What if this guy doesn't speak Korean," inquired Pierce.

"We already found out neither that corporal nor the colonel speak more than a couple words of Russian, if that," noted Hogan, "so Burlunkin must know some Korean."

"Which means you'll be speaking what now?" The query was BJ's. Hogan told him he'd switch to Russian, then back to Korean for the Koreans. He had another idea or two, but decided it was best to leave them in the dark.

Hogan had not told them of what the corporal was carrying. However, he knew what Hawkeye and BJ would say - let that kid come back with us. After much experience with Carter, he was accustomed to people with soft spots. He was grateful for them - Schultz had certainly been one on the German side. However, at times like these, things became a little complex when they were around.

Hogan walked into Ying's office. The KGB man had not yet arrived, giving him time to discuss things with the Korean colonel. "Colonel Ying, there have been some things which disturb me," he reported. "First of all, did I not just see a baby being carried a while ago?"

"Yes, he is a Korean orphan," explained Ying.

Hogan hummed. "This does not sound like the kind of activity Comrade Stalin would approve of; supposing one of the Americans were to spot it? He may decide to kidnap the baby and escape with him, the capitalist swine think they are protecting the children then."

Ying nodded. "My thoughts exactly; which is why I've ordered my man to take him to an orphanage as soon as Mr. Burlunkin leaves."

"If I may," Hogan noted, "Comrade Piersinski is in search of a child; he is on Comrade Stalin's personal medical team, and I am sure Comrade Stalin would love to showcase this child as an example of the fine compassion shown by the Communist people." He was taking a chance that the KGB agent would not know every single doctor caring for Stalin, but the language barrier would cause enough confusion, and he felt that this man would likely not know everything. He could always fool the Gestapo for a little while, after all. He might have Newkirk cut the phone lines a little later, though.

Ying bowed and picked up the phone. "An interesting idea, I shall contact a plane and have it take the baby to...where for him?"

Hogan placed his hand over the receiver. "That...won't be necessary, he would gladly take the baby with him. We plan to sedate the Americans before we take them; he can take the child on board then." As they spoke, a sergeant walked into the office and announced that Major Burlunkin had arrived. Colonel Ying ordered him brought into the office. Immediately, Hogan noticed a resemblance between this man and Major Hochstetter - both were short with pitch dark hair and mustaches. Burlunkin's hair and mustache were much fuller, though. The general immediate spouted in Russian. "Comrade, very good to see you," came Hogan, hugging the stunned man.

"What is meaning of this," scowled Burlunkin in Russian. The Koreans only noted anger and what they thought was shock, though they couldn't understand the words..

"As you can see," spoke Hogan in Korean, "the man is having a spell caused by being away from his precious vodka for too long; he desires a large drink."

"What are you saying," hollered Burlunkin. He instantly remembered himself and switched to Korean. "Colonel Ying, I do not know what this man is saying..."

"Do you deny you drink vodka," came Hogan's Korean inquiry. Burlunkin stayed in Korean.

"Of course I drink vodka, almost every Russian man drinks vodka at some time," noted the KGB man. "That does not mean..."

Cutting him off by holding up his hand, Hogan again spoke in Korean. "Not sure it's the same one or not, you heard him say a lot of Russians drink, probably a lot get drunk." Sensing Burlunkin was now angry enough to start speaking Russian only, Hogan would now find out his mission without the Koreans getting suspicious of his queries. "What are you doing here, Vladimir?"

"It is Major Burlunkin to you, you..."

"Major Hoo Chin La, Korean secret police," came Hogan's friendly reply. "When I was in Russia I heard much about the wonderful way in which all the workers are equal in Russia, that it is paradise for workers."

Burlunkin fumed, addressing him in Russian. "There are still such things as formalities!"

Hogan switched back to Korean, allowing Ying to understand. This time, he would interpret correctly - probably for the last time, though. "He says there are formalities in the Soviet Union - the workers' paradise. He must be lying or an imposter."

"I am not..." Burlunkin began in Russian before switching to Korean. "I am telling the truth, I am not lying or an imposter. I am here to check how the mission is coming, the gulag should be ready in a couple weeks."

Hogan wasn't expecting this, but now he knew that the Koreans were to hold the Americans here for at least two more weeks. Time to push up the time frame, he deduced. In Russian, he announced "that is not good enough, I was told to have them out in a couple days."

"By who..." The major realized that he was automatically responding in Russian when Hogan spoke in Russian. He could tell Colonel Ying had trouble understanding even the simplest Russian. "Please, let us all speak Korean, I know it well." Hogan nodded. "By whom were you told..."

Hogan would need to have this argument in Russian. "It does not matter by whom I was told this, Vladimir."

"Stop using my first name, we are not that familiar," insisted Burlunkin in Korean, trying hard to keep himself from reverting to his own, familiar language.

"Okay, Vladimir."

"You dare to insult me, I am KGB," insisted Burlunkin.

Hogan grinned. How he wished Klink had stood up to Hochstetter the way he himself was about to stand up to a major. "You cannot scare me," came the scathing Russian from Hogan's lips, "I am a colonel and I can order you to do anything, call you anything..."

"I do not take orders from a Korean!" The major, now too angry, was doing what many foreign people did in the U.S. - reverting to his native tongue when angry. Hogan had noticed a thick Russian accent in the KGB man's Korean, now any trace of Korean was gone. However, the word "Korean" was still intelligible enough for the Korean colonel to understand.

"You are not supposed to give or take orders, Vlad," exploded Hogan, "you are to act as a comrade, the way I have tried to do to you. If you will not treat us as comrades, though, we will surely stoop to giving orders."

Burlunkin was raging now - the very familiar Vlad had been used. He half-expected the childish Dimri to be used next - and if it was, he was going to deck Hogan. Luckily, Hogan didn't even know of the cute name his grandmother had used. "You ingrateful Koreans need to learn to show respect for your comrades in the Soviet Union..."

Hogan acted insulted, turning to Ying and explaining in Korean "he's saying we're inferior and need to follow his orders" before switching back to Russian and hollering "if you think you can give orders to us you're wrong. I served many years under the glorious auspices of Comrade Stalin's military in preparing for this mission, and have never heard of such a notion. We are all comrades, all tovarchies!"

"I am not your tovarich. I am your comrade. Only tovariches call me Vladimir," exclaimed Burlunkin.

"Kim Il Sung expects it differently when you come into Korea," explained Hogan, noticing that Colonel Ying's ears perked up a little at the name of their leader, though Ying still failed understand other words. "You are his tovarich, and Comrade Stalin is his tovarich."

"Comrade Stalin is a comrade, not a tovarich."

Hogan switched to Korean. "He just said Stalin wasn't a friend to our illustrious leader," came the feigned incredulity. "What else will he say?"

Burlunkin took a deep breath, glad to be back to Korean. He explained "I do not know why Colonel Hoo is saying what he is saying, but I did not mean it that way..."

In Korean, Hogan shouted "so you admit you said Comrade Stalin was no friend of the Koreans." He could tell Ying was getting a little upset. He hoped to give Burlunkin time to cool his heels so he could talk to Ying before telling Newkirk to cut the phone wires.

Burlunkin, to hear a friendly Russian voice as much as anything, walked to the phone. "Let me settle this misunderstanding, and find out who this man is." He intended to call KGB headquarters in Vladivostok, which would hopefully be able to help or to patch him through to Moscow.

Hogan deduced what the major wanted to do. In Russian, he ordered "halt, I forbid you to do that!"

"You are forbidding me," came the incredulous KGB agent.

"Yes, and so is Colonel Ying; if you are not comrades you are just military like us, and you will obey your superior officer!"

"I am KGB and I take my orders from Comrade Beria," exploded the KGB agent.

Hogan grabbed the receiver from Burlunkin and slammed it to the ground. "You claim to take your orders from him because he is a superior, correct."

"Well, da, of course..."

"First, if you have superiors then your workers' paradise is a lie. Second, you are not in Russia, you are in Korea, and we are your superiors here."

"It is...the means of production must can you...Look, I am here on his orders, in two weeks..."

Hogan could tell he was flustering the man. "Go to the guest quarters right now, and await further instructions." He was tempted to suggest the possibility of arresting Burlunkin, but knew that would be provoking an incident before they were ready.

Burlunkin could tell Hogan was standing firm. "I will be back," he stormed as he left the office; he would locate the young enlisted man and be taken to the guest quarters to quiet down. He didn't want to say something to further infuriate the Korean, who was for some reason very hotheaded. This was, after all, a delicate matter, for he knew his superiors could think he had somehow planted in their minds that Stalin was no friend of the Korean leader. And if that were to happen, he might be the one in a Soviet gulag.

Hogan turned to Ying, confident that LeBeau would at least try, as instructed, to get Burlunkin to have a drink with him to calm down. "You did the right thing, he's got this superiority complex about the Russians, that's all. They're not all like that. Luckily, I was able to defend our peoples' honor quite well."

Ying appeared somewhat shaken; screaming like that normally didn't happen anywhere in Korea. "What all did he say; I mean, you told me some of it, but it sounded like it was just a misunderstanding."

"Well..." Hogan sighed. The drinking angle could still come in. "It's possible, but even more, I bet we find him on the ground with a bottle of vodka nearby."

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