Beyond The Schemes

A thrilling fiction novel in the works

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Please keep in mind that most of the content here is in the drafting stages! I may update the page as I get time to, or if I change something that makes anything on this page completely wrong, but please don't make assumptions that anything is set in stone.

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Russian Cover

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Patya Fedorenko has held a mid-level posistion in the Kremlin's finance ministry, happily, under Dimitry Medvedev for much of his life. Once Mr Medvedev stepped down, his successor, Vladimir Putin displaced all of Medvedev's appointments, Patya included. He didn't mind that, it's just business as usual. However, when his younger sister gets kidnapped and forced into marriage to an appointee of the new government, Patya's had enough! He started researching his new brother-in-law and did not like what he found. His poking around upset too many people and he was forced to hide underground. There, he tries to invalidate his sister's marriage, free her, and get his, hopefully ex, brother-in-law fired. But, Patya finds it's not easy to get assistance working against someone who holds the president's favor. Hopefully Patya finds a sympathetic voice to help him save his sister!

ONE (Ipatiy – Moscow, mid 2011)Click here for a printer friendly version of this chapter

I yawned as my stomach rumbled it's displeasure over skipping lunch. I sat on a bench, the only one, in this strip mall's parking lot which had to have seen better days. Pulling my phone out, I stopped mentally cataloguing all the disrepair and general uncleanliness and began looking at memes. I was only able to see that the first meme included an angry looking feline before an anguished scream coming from inside the building instinctively knocked me off my seat and into a crouch.


“Sergei, I heard a woman scream from inside. I'm going in,” I reported before disconnecting. My mind processed his demand that I remain where I am and that he was close, but I had already made my decision. I thought of what I would do if my sister was held hostage and it wouldn't be hiding and waiting for the police to arrive! Neither would I expect another man to wait for backup if they knew a woman was in trouble...


I couldn't see inside the building as its windows were covered in limo-dark tinting, but it was go time so I took my jacket off and draped it over my arms. Then I pushed the door open with my hip. The door chime alerted everyone inside that someone was coming in and I realized I was likely not welcome as I took in who was inside. Two men, standing in the middle of the tiled room had swiveled to face me with a man and woman on the floor behind the strongmen. The man on the floor was sitting up, the woman was lying down on her stomach with her face into a moth-eaten rug. I never met Inessa, but I assumed this young, slim and blonde woman, so like my sister, was her. The standing men appeared nearly identical in their heavily muscled body type, light brown hair and skin coloring, but only one had facial hair, a soul patch, and the other had a smooth chin.


“Hello Vasily's Cleaning, I'm sorry to have intruded. I wanted my jacket dry cleaned, but I take it you're busy and I should come by later,” I said and took a step backwards out the building.


“No. Come in and shut the door after,” said Smooth Chin, gesturing me forward. The gesture displayed a gun holster on his hip, likely intentionally. Fine, I'll not put up a fight. But you may not be so lucky... I fought back a smirk wanting freedom, remembering Sergei saying he was nearly here.


I walked in as instructed and saw the man, who been sitting down next to Inessa, stand and dart deeper into the building. “Uh, I hope you're okay that the other man who was sitting down over there just left?” I asked straight-faced, still holding my jacket draped over my arms.


They turned to see I was correct as Smooth Chin ran in the same direction the other man had gone. The remaining man, Soul Patch, furiously demanded, “You! Who are you? Did Viktor ask you to come?”


“No, I don't know anyone named Viktor. I just wanted my jacket dry cleaned...” I explained, still holding the jacket up, over my arms.


“You sit down by her. We'll talk more when my brother returns.”


I slowly walked closer to the woman who had pulled herself up to sit. The skin under her left eye appeared slightly inflamed and redder in color compared to her other eye. My mouth tightened as I realized her scream may have been from being struck. I asked her as I sat, “You are Inessa, right?”


“Yes, who are you?” She asked, searching my face, her wide tear-streaked eyes pleading.


“Stop talking! Now, who are you?” Smooth Chin returned empty-handed and was standing above me. I hated when someone aggressive is standing over me. Because he has the high ground, I have to be submissive. No. I turned away from him.


“Tatyana's my sister. She asked me to find you,” I answered. Loudly enough for the men to hear me. Soul Patch must have pulled his brother away as the oppressive feeling I'd had while Soul Patch was standing over above me dissipated.


“Brother, we still have her. He'll have to return with our money if he wants her safe and... untouched. We promised we wouldn't touch her for a day as long as he returned with the money he owes up, but if he doesn't come in a day...” the men paused, laughing like villains. “Then we have a very attractive woman, yes? To do whatever we please with!”


“I called the police before I came, so keep steady,” I whispered to Inessa. My phone then decided that now was the perfect time to accept a call and blare my ringtone, startling all of us.


“You better not be thinking you can hang noodles on our ears! Gimme that phone,” Smooth Chin growled out. “I heard you talking, who were you talking to?”


“I was talking with her.” I turned back around and held my phone out for him to take. It continued to ring. “I was suggesting she break up with that Viktor person.”


“So you do know him then,” Soul Patch said as he began fiddling with the gun in his holster.


“No, I stand by what I said earlier. I do not know him, but look, he leaves her here with you guys, who I'm sure are fine citizens, but I can understand some women may find your guns scary. But still, this Viktor runs away by himself, apparently not caring for her mental or physical wellbeing?”


“Yes! He is a sniveling pathetic child! We never should have trusted him with our product, right brother?” Smooth Chin said, looking towards his brother for confirmation, who nodded. “He took it all, offering such a markup... how could we not accept! But then tonight, he was to pay us our money but he was full of excuses and ran at the first opportunity!”


“I am so sorry to have caused you both extra stress and trouble. Is there any way I could convince you to let me leave? With my phone also? I'd even pay for the girl to leave too and we'd get out from under your hair.” I smiled wildly in the friendliest way I could figure and pulled out my wallet to show I meant it. I had taken a considerable amount of cash with me for the bribe I thought I'd be paying out, hopefully it was enough to pay ransoms for both of us...


“No.” Soul Patch or Pavel, bit out sharply. “For only you, yes. I'm sure we will come to an arraignment, but the girl is worth millions to us. She is our security, poor though it may be, that Viktor will be back.”


“I see, I hope you can understand that I had to try? Anyway, let's get my phone and myself out, yes?” I said. He was right, I couldn't have planned to have millions on my person. But I didn't need to worry anymore, I realized as my glance at the window told me. I opened my wallet and started fanning out the cash, exchanging a stack of bills for my phone and then counting more for my safe passage out slowly and acting clumsy. I dropped some and happily noticed Smooth Chin bend down to grab the cash.


I knew it was coming, but I......

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