In the dream, I wake to a call in my dingy apartment, answer the phone, and then run and grab a web vest, tactical gear, and one of those Russian pistols that look like a Colt .45 acp.* I nod at my partner in the other room, as he is grabbing the same sort of gear, and loading a similar pistol.
The next thing I know, my partner and I are speeding through the surf in a rubber boat with a bunch of other mercenary-looking toughguys. We all have AK-47s, and random other assault weapons like grenades, and such. The guy assigned to our fire team is that guy from Die Hard who broke the display case to grab some candy bars when they were repelling the first SWAT assault. He also tortured Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.****
Anyway, we end up assaulting a beach, and a system of bunkers that guard a drug processing operation. It looked like heroin and opium, but doesn't really matter. Most of the defending troops looked like Latino extras from Red Dawn, or Predator. While we were tearing our way through their defenses, Candy Bar Guy ends up with a puppy. Some of the cartel dudes had some puppies, and their mother had been killed or something, so they were seriously pathetic. While we were taking cover behind a concrete wall waiting for the flamethrower guy to show up, Candy Bar Guy feeds the puppy, and waters it, and then sticks it in his vest. He leans over and says in English, "always wanted a puppy." Everything said so far had been in Russian.
While we are clearing the encampment or resistance, I realize that this is probably a CIA operation, and that my control will probably want to know why I helped destroy it. I glance at my partner, and he shrugs at me, meaning "maintain cover." A giant Soviet Army helicopter swooped into a clearing to pick us up, and Candy Bar decides to stay and "enjoy the war." I toss him an AK, a bunch of magazines, and a box of ammunition. Then I take my seat with the other mercenaries.
When we are back in Moscow, I contact control in the usual manner. (I think I put a flower pot on my fire escape, how Woodwardian.) Then partner and I go for a walk to meet control. We are walking toward an area that we know control likes because it has a number of busy bars that we can use as randomly as humanly possible to avoid a pattern, when these two college looking girls approach us and give us the signs that they are control. This is new.
They look like they're eighteen, dark, mousy, both wearing dark blue, puffy winter jackets, and they keep using stupid language like "report about your last mission." I keep tying to use code like "I'm a Canadian hiking enthusiast" and "let's go enjoy some local color at a bar I know." These two morons don't understand that surreptitious meetings in dark alleys draw the most eyes.
We walk along until I see a sign outside a loud bar that says in English, "Good Service. On Tap." Signs like this are becoming fashionable in Moscow, or so the dream tells me. "Hey, look! They have good service on tap! This looks inviting!" I say, and drag the stupid girls into the bar despite their protests about drinking on the job, and using agency funds for illegal activities. My partner circles round the block to check for tails, and get a paper and some woefully bad Soviet cigarettes.
I smile and tell them to grab that booth by the bathrooms, and I will get the drinks. The bar turns out to be a Sparta Praha-supporting bar, and my orange-y red baseball cap is the exact color of the team. I make some stupid sports talk with he dues at the bar who all love my hat, and are surprised that a Canadian journalist would support Sparta.***** I tell them that I studied in Prague, which is true in the dream, and why I know Czech and Russian.
I grab the beers, probably all #9s, and sit down with the sour looking young agents. My partner enters from the kitchen door, and gives me the "no tails, back door is clear" signs. He sits with us and throws his arm around the other girl's shoulders. The next time the team scores, I jump and yell and clap hands with crowd. Then I sit down and give the girl a kiss, and whisper in her ear, "shut the fuck up before you get us all knicked by the KGB. Use proper craft, or I'll leave your carcass in a shallow grave." I have decided while getting the drinks that the reason these two idiots have been assigned as our new control is because someone at the Company has decided that we are dead men because we did exactly what we were supposed to do to maintain cover, and are being sacrificed to the tender mercies of the KGB. I make the arranged signs to my partner of "cover blown, disappear, home not safe, good luck."
And then I woke up.
(Please excuse any typos or wordos, typing on my touch screen is annoying, and this interface makes it difficult to edit as well.)
* I would normally link here, but my phone is not connecting very well this morning. On the other hand, all I hear is crickets chirping in the field and walnuts dropping from the sky.**
** This is why I have a walnut helmet.***
*** Some parts of this statement may not be accurate.
**** And no, I don't mean Mel's memories of his murdered wife and fighting Vietnam, I mean actually tortured him with electricity.
***** I have the real life, and possibly quite wrong, impression that this team's fans are the worst hooligans in the Czech Republic. I think I got this impression solely from the movie "Up and Down."