General Trinh is delivering papers
by: Walter Guest
Rudmetkyn was a mysterious man in a land of mysterious men. Few had ever heard of him but among those who had he was known by only the one name in a country where everyone was commonly known by three.
He lived twenty miles outside Moscow in a small villa when he could afford the most luxurious apartment in the center of the city. He had no military rank or government title when almost any could be his for the asking.
Rudmetkyn was a genius. His particular genius was in an area that might have left him undiscovered in a different culture in a different time. But he lived in the Russian Federation at this time and he thrived. In a land of suspicion and mistrust, it was the schemer and conspirator who ruled. That was the area of Rudmetkyn’s genius.
Over the years Rudmetkyn had built a reputation of absolute trustworthiness among the people with whom he worked. Every co-conspirator knew that he would do exactly what he said he would do.
He also had a reputation for ruthlessness toward people who crossed him. Several men had lost their lives or mysteriously disappeared after failing to fulfill a promise made to him.
It was interesting how these last events would occur. Word would be circulated that a certain prominent individual had gone back on his word to Rudmetkyn. For many that this rumor reached it would be the first they had ever heard his name. The prominent individual would suddenly die or disappear. Rudmetkyn’s name would be etched in the minds of all who had heard the initial rumor.
The power of these events went beyond reality and worked on men’s imaginations, sometimes creating rumors of rumors. Once, when a premier died after a short term in office, men would as themselves, “Had I not heard that the Comrade Premier had failed to live up to a promise made to Rudmetkyn?” Men would very discreetly ask the same question of each other. Thus was created a rumor of a rumor.
Very few people failed to fulfill a promise made to Rudmetkyn.