These were two of the most powerful men in Crotobaltislavonia. And neither was calling himself "Big Brother". The first was middle-aged with dark curly hair and wearing an army uniform covered with decorations. He was General Alexander Radek, Minister of Defense for the second time. He was standing, pacing, stalking around the room, with one hand in a trousers pocket, the other hand waving around a cigarette to emphasize his words. The second was older with thinning grey hair and a stern demeanor. He was wearing a black sweater and black trousers. He was seated behind a desk, it was his office, as he silently watched the younger man move around and rail. He was General Franz Grossman, Chairman of the State Political Administation. "Tivo knew how to rule, but the ******* had to go and die. Then those damned monarchists put that foreign ***** Victoria on the throne and she didn't have a damned clue. I actually had hope for Pochenko. But when he started appointing his idiot cronies, my God! And now we have this ****ing joke in the Palace, a man who calls himself "Big Brother"! Dammit Franz, we've got to do something! Let's... let's just go over there right now and put a bullet in Farrago's head!" The older man nodded in sympathy. It's one thing to build a cult of personality and rule with flair; the proles eat that **** up. But this business with Trivodnia is fast getting out of hand, and to what end? Oil in the Polesian... unlikely. No, there is no point to it. Alex is right. But not immediately. "General, please, calm yourself. It wouldn't do for the Motherland to lose you to a stroke. I agree, we must act. But it's too soon for a counter-coup. Let's give Maxim..." "That little twerp Jedreck, who can't keep it in his pants? Give me a break." Radek scoffed with disdain. Grossman held up a hand. "I agree, the most Jedreck will probably accomplish in Kashtan is to knock up the honeytrap I sent along," and perhaps another if we're lucky, the old secret policeman thought to himself. "But he will be seen. And the Motherland will be seen. And on our end, I'm sure we can things under control for the time being." Radek didn't look convinced, but he had calmed down and took a puff from his cigarette. Grossman went on. "Farrago can be insulated from reality easily enough. He's already half-way there; he hasn't left the Palace in days. Order a stand-down at the border. There really is no need for those extra troops. The Border and Coast Guards are more than enough. Internally, I'll maintain the security crackdown for another... forty-eight hours. That should be long enough to capture Drago." Radek smiled. "Boris's son? He's in one of your nets, eh. Make sure that little ***** suffers before you kill him."