Alfred Interviewed

"Interview: You Won't Be Shot…Today"

Who: Konstantinov & Alfred
When: October, 1936
Where: Puerta del Rey, Madrid

What: Konstantinov interviews defecting POW Alfred and decides to put
off having him shot for awhile.

Puerta del Rey
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The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION
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The main entrance to the park consists in a tall and sturdy stone gate
that locks its sullen arms along the fenced perimeter to the park. A deluge
of grandeur and solemnity is embedded in the stone structure that rises
high to reserve its name: The King's Gate. But the honor and solemnity that was
once invested in its building is long gone. The many carvings are damaged by
splinters from exploding bombs, and the tiled paths that depart from
here
seem abandoned, soulless.

It is currently daytime.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Limestone Building
2. Front Line Trench
3. Foxhole

(Item 1) Dynamite Ranged Weapon
(Item 2) Vickers Gun Ranged Weapon / 1. Limestone Building

West East
South North

Konstantinov is supervising the digging near the front lines today.
He's set up a little place for himself in the building, including a table and
his papers. He's even managed to get himself a pot of fresh, rich-smelling
coffee. He's currently sipping it, and going over his roster for the
day with a pensive frown.

Alfred gets escorted in under guard. Rather nervous guard, given the
glances he keeps giving the soldier. Never letting his gaze leave the bound
German, he knocks on the door of the building to announce himself.

Konstantinov motions to a convenient rag-tag volunteer on guard nearby,
to open the door for Alfred and his guard. The commissar doesn't need to
get up, himself. He sips his coffee, eyeing Alfred over the brim of the cup
as he's brought in. "What is this, comrade?" he asks the guard, motioning
to Alfred's bounds. "This, it is not necessary. This man, he has seen the
rightness of our cause. I am sure he will be peaceable while
we…talk." The commissar is flocked by a handful of men and women, some volunteers and
a couple actual PCE, all armed. And he wears a pistol himself. Not
peaceable would not be wise. "Untie him. And sit, comrade. Sit." That last is
directed to Alfred, with a cordial smile. "Do you speak English? Spanish?
Russian?"

Alfred ahs, slowly rubbing his hands. "Climbing rope, is not best for
tying." he says, looking down before snapping to attention in
recognition of the officer. His salute, is the traditional one, not your seig heil
type. Told he could sit, he does so and then ahs gently. "It's not so much
the rightness of your cause, but the wrongness of my homeland."

Konstantinov smiles at Alfred when he delivers a proper, Soviet-style
salute. He nods his head slightly. "You would like some coffee?" he
offers, starting to pour even before the man accepts. "The Spanish, they have
good coffee. Even in these times, if you know where to get it. Yes. Your
homeland." He takes out his paper and pen. To make some little notes,
written in graceful Russian script. "You did defect from the fascists."
He almost spits the term. "You will tell me why."

Alfred ahs softly and then thinks. "It's complicated." he says, taking
the offered coffee. It's something he hasn't had in…well, some time. "I
was a Oberleutnant…uh, I am not sure the words but I think that is a
Lieutenant. My storm group was ordered to destroy an enemy radio location."
thinking some he sighs. "It would not have been a hard operation, had we not
discovered the location was set up inside a hospital. My orders from
command were clear. Kill everything. Man, Woman, Nurse, Civilian, Soldier, and
wounded. I…I couldn't do it."

Konstantinov's cold little eyes get thoughtful at Alfred tells that
story. But his outward reaction, at least, is one of sympathy and horror.
"Monstrous!" He thunders it with such emotion, one could almost believe
he truly felt it. "But, I cannot say that it is surprising. That is the
fascist way, comrade. They seek to turn good men, such as yourself, into
monsters. But you resisted them, yes?" That last is prompting, for the rest of
the story.

Alfred ahs some shrugging. "I was not alone. Four others of my group
disagreed. Our comrades in arms tried to kill us. I escaped into the
mountains with the others and we came south. It was strongly suggested we seek
out your divisions, since it was more likely the brits would shoot on
sight. Still, we thought that it was more likely the whole affiar was a set
up. We, who had survived the night of the long knives, the internal purge of
all communists…"

Konstantinov lifts his eyes with more interest to Alfred now. "You are
a communist, then, comrade?" He smiles. "I would not be surprised if it
were a set-up. The fascists, they are diabolical. They have no hearts, no
convictions. They think only of power. But you are different, yes? What
do you believe in, comrade?"

Alfred nods. "I did not vote for the little corporal." he says rather
openly. "I think, a people need direction and guidance from the
government, but not at the cost of innocent lives. I must admit, while the facists
call themselves socalists…it is far from true. I belive…that yes, I will
die. I can only hope, I am able to take some of them with me when that time
comes. Maybe then, I can redeem myself if not in your or your officers
eyes, at the very least here. In this poor soldier's heart."

Konstantinov nods to Alfred, with all apparent sympathy. "That is a
fine wish, comrade. And yet, you know, your situation…it is not regular.
Were I a cold man, I would be well within my power to have you shot, here and
now." He smiles and drinks his coffee. "But I, I am a Communist. I was there
the day we toppled the Czar, and brought freedom to the people of Russia.
And I will be here when we bring freedom to the Spanish. It is a naive dream,
perhaps, but it stirs my heart still. My poor old soldier's heart." He
chuckles softly, all nostalgic. "I shall offer you a chance. A chance
to redeem yourself. But there will be…conditions."

Alfred nods. "I expected as much. I am a very simple light trooper when
you get down to it. I know how to follow orders…" he says and then has to
laugh. "When they don't come from a german ass who's never seen
combat." he adds shrugging. "Name your conditions, and I will sign whatever you put
before me."

Konstantinov smiles to Alfred in an almost fatherly manner, nodding
deeply. "First and foremost. We must know that you are trustworthy, comrade.
That you are a man of merit, who can overcome what you have been. You will
swear an oath to join the PCE, and become a communist soldier, in truth. This
is not something I ask lightly. The communist soldier, he has incomparably
more duties than a mercenary man. He must be an exemplary warrior, always be
in the forefront of the battle, to lead others to the places of greatest
danger. He must be a model of discipline, conscientiousness and
courage. At the front and in the rear he must offer others an example of careful
treatment of public property in general and army property in
particular. Only such a model soldier has the right to the name of Communist.
Otherwise he is a wretched pretender who must be called to account with
twofold…severity."

Alfred ahs some and then nods. "I will do so. I will offer all my
training, my experiences, my skills to you. For your commanders or you to use as
you see fit. I am, a trooper, and that I must always be. In this, I entrust
my meager life to you, knowing that any sentence you would have for me,
would be a mercy compared to what if my homeland found me."

Konstantinov nods to Alfred. That was one. "Second. You must show that
you are our friend, comrade. And friends, they have no secrets, yes? You
will tell us, the Captain O'Callaghan, in specific, all you know of the
fascists. The numbers of men you saw, their training, where they come from, what
they are armed with, their plans. You will leave nothing out. And if we find
out your information has not bee good, comrade…" He takes a pause to sip
his coffee. The taste makes him smile. It's a fine blend. "…then we shall
not be friends any longer. And any who is not a friend, they are an enemy.
You understand, yes?"

Alfred nods. "I was trained to observe. I also expected as much. I
have, some information now, but it pertains to operations over the Pyrinees.
(sp, i know.) I suspect that is best sent up the line to your commanders.
And the last conditions sir?"

"You will never call me 'sir' again," Konstantinov says. Still smiling,
but his eyes are hard. "You are to be a communist soldier. You will address
me as 'comrade'. Or we will not friends. As to the others, that will do
for now. You will still be under guard for a time. Until you have proven
your comradeship." He gives no indication of how long this might take. "You
will report to Comrade O'Callaghan and give him your report on the fascists.
All he wants to know. And if he misses asking a question because he is a
fool, you will volunteer such information. Now, I believe we are finished
here."

Alfred nods and stands to issue another salute. "It will take some
getting used to comrade, but I will do my best. I belive, a saying we had in
our corps, is fitting. You never drop a man, even when he seems ready to
fall. I will prove myself, even if it costs me my life."

"You will prove yourself, comrade," Konstantinov says firmly. "Or it
will cost your life. It will pain me, for I think you a good man, but that
is my duty. So do not grieve me." He nods to his PCE guard. Not the one that
was leading Alfred before. This man seems to be one of his hand-picked own.
"You will watch our new German comrade. See that he is not treated badly.
And see that he is…trustworthy." There's an implied 'shoot him if he's not'
order in there. "You are dismissed now. Welcome to the fight, Comrade Peters.
For now, you truly are fighting for something worth dying for."

Alfred looks over a moment and then looks to his guard. "Promise me
something comrades." he says slowly. "No matter what happens, you will
not let me fall into german hands. Promise me, that you will not let me be
captured." Oh yes, it's the shoot me if they capture me request.

Konstantinov smiles at Alfred. "We shall not give you up on, comrade."
And he can take that any way he'd like. "You have my promise, as an officer
of Soviet army."

Alfred nods to his "guard" and heads out to see if his pack is still
floating around. That and find the Comrade Captain.

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