Introduction to The Company – The Interpreter

The Interpreter

Finally, a suspect that spoke his language. It was rare to come across a Ruskan speaking suspect in Anglia, nowadays it was mainly Arikans and they were usually innocent. The man across the table from him was pleading guilty to a terrorist attack on a small weapons factory on the outskirts of the city. The police, however, weren’t too sure. It was the way he had confessed to them and his Anglian was poor so they had brought in a professional.

“Mr Baikov, my name is Yuri Kamensky,” he said in Ruskan. “You have been arrested on suspicion of a terrorist attack on the twelfth of January two thousand and ninety-five. Where were on this date?”

Mr Baikov sighed heavily and interlocked his fingers.

“I was at the weapons factory, throwing grenades through the windows,” he replied in Ruskan.

Yuri leaned forward and looked the suspect in the eye. Why was he lying? The police were almost certain it wasn’t him, so why keep it up?

“We know you’re lying,” Yuri pressed. “Are you covering for someone?”

Mr Baikov was silent but his face said everything.

“Who is really responsible?”

Mr Baikov leaned forward and glanced at the officer standing present in the room.

“She doesn’t understand us?”

Yuri shook his head and Mr Baikov began speaking quickly.

“He said he wanted to make a difference,” he said desperately. “He said he wanted to stop the pointless wars in Arika before they spread too far. His brother is fighting out there; he just wanted him to come home safe. I can’t let my son go to prison, they’ll kill him.”

Yuri swallowed. It was his job, his duty, to report what Mr Baikov had just said to him, but he couldn’t do it. He’d watched his cousin sent down for alleged terrorism and he hadn’t lasted to the end of the month. The Anglians had become ruthless in the new world. Not just the Anglians, everyone. All with the arrival of one man with a vision to unite. But to unite you first had to conquer – that was how the wars had been described to the public.

“What did he say, Mr Kamensky?”

Yuri turned to the woman at the door and cleared his throat.

“There’s no doubting that he’s guilty,” he told her in Anglian.

The officer nodded and escorted Mr Baikov out of the interrogation room. As he passed Mr Baikov said only one thing.

“Thank you.”


As Yuri left the Inquisition his gut was churning at the very thought of what he had just done. His briefcase usually swung at his side with a jolly demeanour.  Now it was moving stiffly in accordance with his stride. Perhaps he should just go back inside and tell the Inquisitors what Mr Baikov had really said. No. A foolish thought. He would be imprisoned or worse. Besides, his  feet were still walking away from the Inquisition. Damn conscience! Why the Hell’d he have to lie like that? Was it for his fellow countryman? Was it for his cousin who was long dead? Was it a stand against the Anglians?

A young man buffeted his shoulder as he ran past; Yuri barely noticed. He did notice the furious scream the young man issued to the Inquisition.

“Smertʹ Inkvizitsii!”

Death to the Inquisition. Yuri spun around in time to see a grenade smash through the large window to the Inquisition. The explosion followed shortly. Yuri had no time to react, he still wasn’t sure what was happening. Bright yellow light scorched his vision, he was deafened by the sound. Pain seared across his face. He couldn’t see anything. It was agony. Everywhere was red and excruciating. He brought his hands up to his face. There was something stuck to his face; shards of glass and shrapnel and stone. He screamed and found himself shaking in the rubble. He couldn’t do anything but scream and scream his voice was hoarse and red faded to black.

~ by Jess Wiles on February 14, 2011.

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