We Have A Problem

Where: Brunete Cemetary
Who: Konstantinov, and the Board of Shadowy Figures
When: After the storming of Brunete

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Theatre is : Brunete

Coordinates : 4 5

A Catholic cemetary, surrounded by a wrought iron fence, about four feet high. Thick marble headstones, and monuments of saints and angels litter the grass in this broad patch of ground on the outskirts of Brunete-town.

It is currently dusk.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Headstone
2. Statue of the Virgin Mary
3. Headstone
4. Statue of Saint Barbara

With the sun setting over the field, the command of the Republican 45th Division is gathered among the trappings of the Catholic cemetary. Several Commissars, a major or two, and a lieutenant colonel stand in the lengthening shadows thrown by the bullet pocked and blood splattered monuments.

Konstantinov has joined his fellow commissars in the gathering of communist officers. He's done what he can to make himself as polished and presentable as possible, but that's difficult to do in Brunete at the moment. Besides, there are more important things in the air than his own personal looks. He does not speak to the other political officers. He does as much as he can to avoid drawing attention to himself. With rampant mutiny in the Brigades, it is probably best not to be the most visible political officer at the moment.

"We have a problem," are the first ominous words spoken. The discourse is in russian, the speaker being the lieutenant colonel, in a soviet uniform. "Six companies of the XI, and XIV International brigades mutinied on the field today, refusing direct orders. General Kleber has instructed me to discover why, and recieve recommendations how to address this." the lets the words hang in the air for a moment.

Konstantinov stiffens, wincing. He spent a good deal of time during the battle today being tended by medics, but he can't avoid having heard the reports. One of those companies was his. He adds nothing to the discourse for the moment. He stands stock still and straight. His jowls, however, twitch somewhat. As close as he'll get to squirming.

The Lieutenant-Colonel goes on after passing a look about, "Commissar Konstantinov," let the jowls twitch further.. "I understand you were wounded today, and were not present for the incident involving your Company. Sufficed to say, K Company's act of mutiny was quite.. prominent. Colonel Modesto himself has taken an interest. thus, before going any further, General Kleber must know: is there much subversive sentiment in your Company?"

"Yes, Comrade Lieutenant-Colonel," Konstantinov pipes up quickly. "Yes. I was wounded." He holds up a bandaged hand, as if to prove it. "I assure you, Comrade, had I been present, my men would never have behaved in such a fashion. They were no doubt caught up, Comrade, in the fury of those around them. They are not, under normal circumstance, given to rebellion." Yeah. That sounds plausible. "It is the hardship, Comrade Lieutenant-Colonel. I fear they were not prepared for what they would face in Brunete. They no doubt require reeducation. That is my responsibility. But it is only a sign of the strain. Not full subversion. These men are committed to the Republic's cause, comrades. And our cause."

The answer is let to stand for a moment, before he echoes, "Re-education. Begin this immediately, Commissar Konstantinov. Even if General Kleber chooses to make examples of any Companies, we cannot allow this rebellion to re-appear, or spread." Another Commissar is addressed in a similar manner, and the hotseat passes away from Kons for awhile.. And another. The stories are much the same: exhaustion, poor supply, and in many cases, alleged incompetance in superior officers- invariably non-communist spaniards. Some take the opportunity to single out disliked soliders under thier commands for blame, other answer much as Igor had.

Konstantinov nods along in firm agreement with his fellow commissars. Exhaustion, quite. Poor supply, exactly. And all the fault of the Spanish Republicans and their poor leadership. He looks, for a moment, vaguely regretful he didn't use this moment to single out the soldiers he…isn't fond of. But perhaps that wasn't necessary, in his case. And, if it was, he can always scramble up some names if it becomes necessary. As the officers work their way through the commissars, Konstantinov begins to look almost…relieved. Perhaps this won't fall on his head, after all.

Once the circuit is completed, and a deep breath is drawn, the Lieutenant-Colonel addresses all the men assembled, "Comrade General Kleber wished me to be very plain on this point, comrades: Had any one company behaved so, they should all have been shot, out of hand." That statement is let to stand for a moment, "The fact that so many soliders acted in rebellion- and the damage to morale that executions on such a scale would inflict upon our remaining men, is the *only* thing that forestalls such a reply. Any further acts, words, or even whispers of dissent will be answered harshly.. and the officers whose duties lie in assuring the loyalty of these troops will share in such an answer." A freshly drawn breath as flat brown eyes pass over each man present. "Is this clear?"

Konstantinov swallows, his jowls doing some more quivering. He answers in unison with the other commissars. He certainly doesn't want his voice to be heard above the hoard in this. "Perfectly clear, Comrade. Any trace of dissent shall be dealt with. They shall know what it is to be true communist soldiers."

"The valour of the foreign volounteers has been well marked prior to this point, Comrades. See to it that no further shame marrs our accomplishments. Any officers with further recommendations for General Kleber's consideration may remain. All others are dismissed to your units."

Konstantinov has no recommendations for the brass. He's likely relieved he's leaving here without a bullet in his back. He tries to get himself in pack of commissars before giving his superiors a fist-raised salute and then shuffling off to rejoin K Company.

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