Onega, USSR – Port
One of the crewmen, who befriended Kent during what seemed like a long, never-ending journey, shook Kent awake. He looked at the ship worker, confused. Kent had been discovered by another member of the crew shortly after they left the port in Benghazi. The captain had a mind to toss him overboard, but the crewman, who was now standing in front of Kent, told the skipper that he was short a man. The captain reluctantly agreed to let Kent stay. The work was physical, and Kent ached from head to toe for the first week of the journey. He played up his limp, compliments of Kevin Thompson who shot Kent in the knee in North Carolina, to avoid the most arduous of duties. “What do you want now?” Kent asked with a spiteful tone in his voice.
“To give you your money and tell you we are in port. I no longer need you,” The crewman responded. “Get off this ship and don’t come back.” Over the weeks at sea, the man regretted saving Kent’s life. He threw the money at Kent and left the sleeping chamber.
Kent picked up the money, stuffed it into his pockets and exited the vessel. He glanced around, trying to determine where he was. The chill in the air and the grayness of the sky told him he was somewhere north. As he placed his foot on the dock, he noticed a sign that told him exactly where he was. The port town of Onega, USSR welcomed him as he started on his way. He walked inside the nearest restaurant and ordered something to eat by pointing to an entrée on the menu. He hoped it was something he liked. After he finished his meal, he roamed around the town until he found a train station which posted a map. It was then he discovered he was almost nine hundred miles from Moscow. It would be a couple of days travel. There was a train that would take him to a larger station. From there it would be another day’s journey before finally arriving in Moscow. Maybe it was time to check in on Nicole and Sean, he thought. He smiled when he reflected on the trouble he could cause. The smile left his lips when he realized he didn’t have a passport or any identification. He needed to get back to France, and he needed help doing so. He didn’t know the language, but he did have a comrade he could contact. Through him, he could get what he needed to get him safely home.
Kent made his way to the train station, knowing he had to get to Moscow before he was able to contact his trusted informant. With some difficulty and a short temper, he secured passage on the next train to Leningrad. From Leningrad, he could catch another train to Moscow. Kent tried to cheer himself up by telling himself at least his train travel was better than being aboard the ship. He found a quiet, out-of-the-way corner of the train station where he sat down to wait. He rather enjoyed people-watching. There was no lack of entertaining people around him. With no interest in striking up a conversation with anyone, he kept to himself. His laughter at some incidents never left his lips. To the people of Onega, he looked and smelled like a grumpy sea-faring cargo worker. There were too many of them around town for anyone to take an interest in him.
At one point Kent’s thoughts turned to Maggie and how resourceful she was to him. He did not doubt that she would be of great help in his current situation if she were with him. He brought his hands to his face and tried to squeeze the thoughts of her from his memory. It was over now. She was gone. She was probably dead, and there was nothing he could do about it. He missed her. He wondered if he had fallen in love with her. He couldn’t have. But then he told himself he never knew what true love was, so how would he know? He closed his eyes, and he could see her, sitting in the sunlight back at the chateau, reading a book. How could he have just left her in Cairo? He sat back, shook the vision of her from his mind and cursed. At least on the ship, he was busy. He didn’t have time to think about her.
His thoughts then turned to the day of Seddik’s assassination. It played out in his head again. The Egyptian soldier jumping from the troop truck, throwing grenades and then riddling Seddik and the grandstand with bullets were clear images. Why did Ashear hire him? An assault such as this did not occur in happenstance. The assassination was carefully planned out. Was he being set up? Was MI-6 or Sean behind the assassination? He scolded himself for even thinking of that. Of course, they weren’t involved. Seddik was their ally. The proper question that he had no answer for was whether he was being set up to take the fall for whoever concocted the coup. He began to understand why Saverio was never interested in dealing with the Middle East.
Kent’s thoughts swirled as he waited for the train. They centered around Maggie, his work as the Serpent, his hate for Sean and Nicole, and one new thought. Other than causing some trouble for Sean and Nicole, he realized he didn’t have a plan for their deaths. He decided he enjoyed toying with them, but he had no concrete plan for killing them. Did he want to continue the cat and mouse game that Saverio had started? Sean knew he killed the Serpent in North Carolina. What would be Sean’s motivation to continue the game? There wasn’t one unless Kent targeted Nicole. With all that had happened to Kent in the last few months, was Kent that interested in killing Sean and Nicole? It was a question he knew he had plenty of time to consider. He wondered how the presence of Katrina was affecting Sean and Nicole. He could only imagine the worst. It confirmed that he needed to focus on what interested him the most. That wasn’t necessarily Sean. He wanted Nicole. For the first time in weeks, Kent was beginning to enjoy himself again.