Volkov was nothing more than a nuisance to Karpov when he came aboard with Inspector General Kapustin in Vladivostok. Karpov called him a lapdog, but
Volkov, who’s name translates as “Wolf” in Russian, became something very much more in this story. Pursuing Fedorov along the Trans-Siberian rail, he comes upon the railway inn at
Ilanskiy, stumbles down that stairway and finds himself in 1908, just as Fedorov once did. But unlike Fedorov, who’s brief time there ended up profoundly changing the history of the 20th
Century when he warned a young Sergei Kirov of an impending plot to take his life, Ivan Volkov never came back. Instead he used his foreknowledge of future events, the data stored in his service
jacket computer, to co-opt the White Russian movement after the revolution, unseating Denikin and establishing his private little empire, the Orenburg Federation.
In time he hoped to easily
defeat Kolchak’s fledgling Free Siberian State, and by so doing place himself in a position to challenge the Soviet Union, now led by Sergei Kirov, who murdered a young Josef Stalin as a result
of Fedorov’s errant whisper. Then along came Vladimir Karpov, defeated in his second attempt to seize control of the ship named for Kirov, lost, forsaken, alone, and adrift at sea. But not for
While the other main characters aboard Kirov, and the ship’s crew, harbor mixed feelings as they commemorate his apparent death, Karpov survives, makes his way to
Siberia, and soon applies his unique personality and will to quickly rise in the ranks of the Siberian power elite. This is that story, of his fall in that last terrible moment aboard Kirov off Oki
Island in the Sea of Japan, and his meteoric rise from the ashes, Phoenix like, to seize control of the Free Siberian State. In so doing, it is inevitable that he comes into conflict with his
neighbor state to the west, Volkov’s Orenburg Federation, shocked to learn the real identity of the man behind it, and dedicated to his demise.
Here is their story, the clash and contest
of wills between our saga’s two arch villains that became Vendetta. In presenting it here, re-edited into one continuous narrative, I also include what might be called “outtakes,”
deleted scenes, and occasional new material that never appeared in the original Kirov Series. Consider it my “Director’s Cut” for this long intriguing subplot in the saga, all
things Ilanskiy, the mystery, the mayhem, and oh yes, the Zeppelins!