Flying the Flag


Scene 1:


NARRATOR stands before audience.

NARRATOR:         John le Carre said. ‘I would believe almost anything of the state of Russian intelligence at the moment, which is on the one hand closely involved with Russian crime, on the other hand it is the crucible of the new Russian imperialism. It is a complete mix. It contains people who want Stalin back. It contains people who just want to make a buck. It is a vast, amorphous organisation. Somewhere in that organisation were a bunch of Neanderthal intelligence officers who really believe we should do today what we did in the past.’

US Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. ‘Russia’s being assertive, Russia’s being more aggressive, and we have to change the way that we deal with it because we can’t be in a situation in these areas of conflict where we are being pushed around by another nation.’



DEMITRI and PITOR enter.

DEMITRI struts around the room examining every detail.


DIMITRI:                 This will do admirably.

Nervously, PITOR stayed at attention near the entrance.

The pain of the past again returned to him as it did every day when he stood still.

DEMITRI turned towards PITOR.

DEMITRI:               Relax, come in.

Get used to the place.

The Comrade General would expect you to be at home here.

Go on feel it, be it.

PITOR moved and looked around, like a lighthouse beaming across the apartment.

PITOR repeated the action once, then twice and moved forward into the room centre, his hands now out in front rubbing each other slowly.  He smelled the fresh polish.

PITOR turned to meet DEMITRI face to face.

PITOR:                   I will make it so, Commissar.

You can rely on me.

DIMITRI:                 Good.

It’s part of your recuperation.

You need to get used to it again.

We shall see.

I still have high hopes for you.

PITOR:                   Thank you, sir.

You shall not be disappointed.

DIMITRI adjusted hi black leather coat and looks PITOR straight in the eye.

DIMITRI:                 Yes.  It should be so.

DIMITRI swaggers out of the room leaving PITOR on his own.

PITOR looks out of the LARGE WINDOW, where he looked for people; waiting; watching; recording.

PITOR (audibly whispers):      He will come.

OFFICER enters.

OFFICER:              The General.

GENERAL TCHACHANKO first officer of the FSB enters the apartment

and stands at the WINDOW.

PITOR:                   Welcome Comrade General

OFFICER sweeps the apartment and in completion nods to the GENERAL

OFFICER exits.

PITOR watches the scene from near the window.

GENERAL:            And your name is?

PITOR:                   Piotr, sir.

GENERAL:            What kind of name is that for a Russian?

PITOR:                   I am Lithuanian, sir.

GENERAL:            Well yes!

And I suppose that you know that my name is Ukranian?  But it does not make me any less a Russian.

Is it not so?

PITOR:                   Yes Comrade General.

GENERAL removes his coat and hurls it across the room to the empty CHAIR.   He THUMPS down on the SOFA and puts his feet up on the SMALL TABLE in front and KICKS over the VASE.

GENERAL:            Come here Piotr.  I want to talk.

Come over here and sit down.

PITOR sits on the opposite side of the table on the SMALL STOOL that backs onto the WINDOW.

PITOR:                   What do you want to talk about sir?

GENERAL:            I want to talk about you.

Tell me about you.

PITOR:                   I was born in Vilnius.

Both my parents survived the war.

We were lucky.

I went to school at the Academy

and then to University in Moscow.

I studied International Affairs and English.

When I graduated I went into the service

and the rest you know, sir.

GENERAL:            Oh you think so?

And why should I be interested in the likes of you.

PITOR:                   Because, sir, you’re careful.

You need security and know even a man servant

could put you at risk.

You do your homework.

GENERAL:            I do indeed.

And I know all about you.

Your successes and your accident.

How is your right side now?

Are you whole again?

PITOR:                   It was in the line of duty,

but being hit by a car is not something I want to repeat.

GENERAL:            And the British?

How were they?

PITOR:                   There was not much trouble.

They held me for two months and got nothing.

They are convinced that I am small beer,

not worth the trouble.

They took me to the Lithuanian Embassy.

Of course, they took me in with a smile

and now I am here.

GENERAL:            Yes. Yes.  I know this.

Tell me about the British.

But, first get me a Scotch with ice,

I just love irony.

PITOR:                   Yes, sir!

PITOR goes to the BAR and takes out a BOTTLE OF MACCALLAN and pulls the CORKPITOR dribbles a large measure into the GLASS and turns to the FRIDGE.

From the FRIDGE he extracts the ICE TRAY and quickly loads the CUBES into the GLASS and returns to his STOOL, passing the glass to the GENERAL

GENERAL points to the BAR.

GENERAL:            Go on have one yourself.

PITOR returns to the BAR, via the WINDOW, staring out.

PITOR prepares himself an equally ample MacCallan, but with no ice.

PITOR goes back to his STOOL and sits down

The bleary eyes of the GENERAL fix upon him.

GENERAL:            Schast’ya i zdorov’ya!

GENERAL watches PITOR take a swig of the whisky.

GENERAL smiles and then does the same,

continuing to watch PITOR’s GLASS.

GENERAL:            No ice!

So those British have got to you?

GENERAL’s head now rolling from side to side.

His empty glass topples to the floor and smashes.

PITOR:                   Yes, Comrade General they have.

And now through me, they’ve got to you.

I hope the cyanide in your ice works quickly or they’ll run out of film.

GENERAL convulses and dies.

PITOR rises and goes to the WINDOW.

PITOR looks out and raises his glass.

PITOR:                   It’s a wrap!






About Lindsay Craik

Writer & Poet Poetry, plays and short stories
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