Ángel (Chapter 3)
“For the happiness of all mankind Russia requires that this treaty holds, and will not negotiate with you."
Chepiga’s bluntness was a quality that Ángel Bastardo always appreciated, until now. It was true, a debt to the Black Bear had to be paid. After all, it was Russian intelligence that led to Bastardo’s early disappearance on the onset of the Great War of Africa. It was also true that he helped coordinate the swift exit of La Plata’s assets, placing it in real estate and in virtual currencies around the globe. The wealth of Bastardo rose into the clouds of unaccountability. Lavish but untraceable was his wealth. But now Ruslan was here giving orders, in Ángel Bastardo’s continent.
Bastardo bit back “Uruguay?! They are farmers, and they hate me. Best put one of those bullets in me now Ruslan. I will not go”.
“You will” replied Ruslan, as he pushed a small envelope towards Argentina’s Most Wanted. The seal was unbroken and Bastardo recognised its mark immediately: Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol. Ruslan continued: “Montevideo has long been a neutral port, and the AUF have been clear in their intentions to protect you. There is no love for the Americans there”.
His words sent a chill as Bastardo continued reading the letter. The conclusion: AUF were to make him Óscar Tabárez’s heir, the next u20 Manager of La Celeste.
Ruslan continued: “The Americans will soon close in. Your outpost here is neat, but the Americans won’t hold back like they did with Escobar. They will invade and kill all”.
Bastardo grimaced at the thought of the people dying around him. The foot soldiers he employed had been always disposable, but the Venezuelans? This jungle had changed him.
“I’d take the boy-man Hugo with you too. You will one day need a successor” Ruslan smiled. His dark black hair with hints of grey glistened in the moonlight that filtered into the room.
Bastardo paused. If Hugo goes, so does his nurse mother. He had laid with her twice already, enjoying the warmth of her company each time. But if she goes, then so do her fellow nurses and all the immediate patients they care for too. One-by-one everybody in the outpost would have a reason to join Bastardo in Montevideo.
“He’ll do his duty and remain here”. Bastardo replied. The pain visible on his face as he built the courage to finish his sentence...”Like I’ll do mine and serve the Uruguayans”.
Ruslan slowly nodded with approval, before moving on to the real reason for his visit. “Now your debt Ángel”. His words hissed, the Black Bear poked the Lion. But the lion would bite back.
It was now Bastardo’s turn to pass over an envelope, sliding it across the table...avoiding Ruslan’s glass of vodka.
“Every Colombian shipping lane and eventual destination in Mexico” Bastardo said sternly.
Ruslan unfolded the map and smiled uncontrollably. His eyes studied the potential that Bastardo presented him. The possibility of another continent’s contraband under his control.
There was now a different Ruslan Chepiga in the room. As he rose he folded the map and tucked it into his inside blazer pocket.
Rifle in hand and moving towards the door, he gave one last comment: “The debt is more than paid comrade. Welcome back Ángel Bastardo. The World awaits...”
Note from the Editor - Sometimes in stories, you need to go around the houses in order to get to where you want to be. With Bastardo, I wanted another crack at South America…it's honestly the most fun I've had in Football Manager. But in order to get him from Argentina to Uruguay, I took the long road: invasions of Africa, assassinations in Russia and migrants camps in Colombia. But, after a year of doing all of that, we're finally at the stage where we get to see Ruslan Chepiga playing the part of the Greek bearing gifts.
I've got aspirations and desires from what I want out of Football Manager 2020 and I hope my introductory posts will lay the scene for another great save and story. I hope you can join Ángel and I…