Chapter Six


Startled onlookers cried my name as I passed but no one approached. Doors were opened for me as I approached. I stopped at a secretary outside my former office, and asked who was in charge. The woman rose, speechless, and merely opened the door to my office. I entered and found an old associate, Kornilov, sitting at my desk. He rose, joyously, calling my name, rushed forward and embraced me in a great hug, which is the custom of my people. He kept repeating my name, looking at me with tears running down his cheeks. Finally, he pulled himself away, fumbled for a handkerchief, and dried his eyes.
"You don't know how long I've prayed," he said, "I've begged them to speak with you, to call you, but they would not. They said you would come, in time. Things here have not gone well, Lenin, they have not gone well."
I put my hand on his shoulder. "We were not great friends," I said, "but I know we will be, now. What is the procedure here? How may I help?"
Kornilov motioned to his desk, as if to give it to me then and there, but then stopped to think. "We have elections here," he explained, "every five years. The next one will be in a year. I will not run again, of course. I doubt if anyone will oppose you. I can step down and ask for a special election, and we could have a vote in less than a week."
I shook my head. "Kornilov, I need time, a year would be very good. If I could have a small office, someone to teach me how things are done here, I think it would be much better than if I just jump in. I have heard it said you are doing a good job. I would rather have you finish your term, as it should be."
Kornilov nodded. "Of course," he said, "you were always smarter than me. That is very wise. I have a house outside the city...plenty of room. Will you stay with me?"
"Of course," I told him. He hugged me again, then opened the door of his office. "Kathelina!" he called. The secretary entered. "Assign an office to Comrade Lenin, and, a secretary. He is to be given every courtesy. For the time being he will be designated as my advisor."
"Yes, Comrade President!" the secretary sharply responded. "You will come outside, Comrade Lenin," she continued. "I will arrange your offices, and, a secretary. Please be seated."
Those waiting in the outer office stared at me, bewildered. After a few minutes a young man in a soldier's uniform appeared and approached me nervously.
"Comrade Lenin," he announced, "I am Comrade Peter, your secretarial assistant. If you will accompany me, I will show you to your offices."
I followed him through the halls and we entered a pleasant set of offices. There were only desks at the moment, no other furnishings. I sat down at my desk.
"Well, Comrade Secretary," I said to my assistant, "I think we need some furnishings. How is that arranged?"
My secretary went into his office, opened a drawer, returned with a clip board, order form, and catalogue.
"If the Comrade Advisor will go through this catalogue selecting the items he wants, they will be requisitioned and the office appropriately furnished this evening. Specialty items such as pictures of family members and such, may take a couple of days, Comrade Advisor."
I nodded. "Well, while I am looking," I asked, "what would be the chances of a meal? Some simple sandwiches and coffee would be nice. I find myself increasingly hungry of late!"
"I will return shortly, Comrade Advisor," the secretary announced.
In short order my office was comfortable, and my secretary was teaching me all those things I would need to function in this new and wondrous World. It was not long before the visitors began coming. My secretary stepped in nervously one afternoon, as I was reading the rules for Parliamentary procedure.
"Comrade Advisor," he announced, "Czar Nicholas is on the phone. He wonders if you might have some time this afternoon."
"MY Czar Nicholas?" I asked.
My secretary nodded.
"Tell him my time is his," I continued, "the whole afternoon, if he wishes it!"
"Yes, Comrade Advisor!" my secretary answered, and departed.
We ate a great lunch in the office with my secretary reading to me from the Hashon legends. I had grown extremely curious of this wondrous race.
Finally we straightened up and waited. Promptly, at one, the Czar arrived. My secretary shut the blinds to darken the office and asked me to keep on but one light. This was new to me, but I followed his instructions.
I greeted the Czar at the door with a handshake, and motioned him to a chair. I remained standing as I began to speak.
"Czar Nicholas, there is a matter I wish to make apologies for...that of your wife and children. Those in a cause can sometimes be over zealous, and, difficult to keep in control."
The Czar raised his hand and I fell silent. "My dear Lenin," he announced, "the fate of my wife and children is MY responsibility, not yours! If I had been a good ruler there would never have been a need for your revolution. You were a man who made mistakes. I was a man who committed crimes. That caused the differences in our circumstances. I paid the price for my crimes and continue to pay it. I can ask no others to hold any blame. You can lie to no one here, least, yourself. So let us speak no more on that subject. Do be seated. It is I who should be standing here, not you."
I took my seat and studied the Czar for several minutes as he studied me. He wore a high collar but I could see marks on his neck, and there were signs of fading scars on his face. His gloves hid his hands, but I judged some of the fingers were twisted.
"I am considerably healed," the Czar announced. "It took me a long time to gain the courage to face people. It is to me annoying how forgiving they are. But let us get down to business.
Those who served me still serve me here. I have the extra burden of their crimes as well as mine. But in order for any of us to survive we must undo that that we have done. And it would be senseless for us to work at crossed purposes; to duplicate our efforts.
Therefore, I have come to offer my services and, the services of my followers to you. We will place ourselves completely under your control, taking whatever assignments you wish us to take.
Our goal is a free Russia, where the people can speak their mind and enjoy the fruits of their labors. We do not care if it is Communist, or, Capitalist, as long as it is free! Will you accept our help?"
I rose from my desk, went around to the Czar, and he rose, also. Without a word I embraced him strongly. At first he hesitated, then returned the embrace. As we parted I seized his shoulders and said,
"For Russia, brother!"
When my hands fell away his rose.
"For Russia, brother!" he agreed. Then he seemed to weaken. "You will have to excuse me," the Czar continued. "My strength ebbs and flows. I must rest often. We will set up a joint command, and I will take whatever post is offered. If you will excuse me, I must depart."
I opened the door for him and watched him leave. An aide in the uniform of the Czar's guard met him in the outer office and escorted him through the hall.
A couple of weeks later President Kerensky of the Russian Republic arrived. His was a bright and airy visit and he was a considerable help to me in understanding how things were done here. He stayed for several days giving me excellent and helpful advice. He, too, offered an alliance, if we were to work for a democratic Russia. His acceptance of my sincerity still surprised me.
People's openness in this Realm Of Existence is so refreshing compared to the half truths that everyone tells in the material world. It seemed like I had just returned when it was time to begin to speak for the elections, and, as my first public appearance approached at a gathering in Red Square, I found myself as nervous as a schoolboy about to read his first essay!
It was with hesitant steps I rose to the platform, and took my place. The crowd fell silent and for several moments I fought to find my voice.

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