Following the end of World War II, the Soviet government began to face the new challenge of the West: their fight against the workers, against the progress of humanity. For the next forty years, the militaries of both the East and the West would challenge each other with new and increasingly outrageous technologies. In the West, they attempted to perfect new weapons such as stealth technology, nuclear arms, satellite missile systems. While the Soviets recognized the merits of these, they saw an opportunity to improve not only the soldiers’ weapons, but the soldiers themselves.
Dr. Arkaday Vladigerov, a ranking professor at the Academy of Sciences and a distant relative of Lenin, was given free reign by Moscow to create a new soldier, one that was strong and easily controlled. Vladigerov saw merit in the work of one Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov, a Soviet biologist of the early revolution that was eventually arrested for his so-called dissidence and unnatural crimes. Using his considerable political weight, Dr. Vladigerov managed to get Ivanov’s research released to his laboratory. After reviewing the research, Vladigerov concluded that it was not Ivanov’s methods that necessarily failed him, it was the animals themselves: chimpanzees, gorillas, and other apes were of inferior stock. A greater beast would have to be found. Unfortunately, he could think of not one that would due. So for three years, Dr. Vladigerov fiddled with military trinkets like biological weapons and dirty bombs, wistfully dreaming of some perfect creature to create the new Socialist soldier.
As fortune often seems to strike scientific endeavors, in 1948, Vladigerov received a memo from his brother, a colonel in the Red Army. A Chinese expedition into the Himalaya Mountains had discovered some new species of ape, a large and aggressive breed that seemed designed for icy climates. The Chinese Communists, busy fighting off the Kuomintang Nationalists, had sent their captured specimen to Arkhangelsk for study. Dr. Vladigerov immediately caught the next train to Arkhangelsk to study the creature.
Winter. The final frontier. For who truly knows, if spring will ever come.
This months quest revolves around the concept of winter, in all its hoary splendor. Cold, death, decay, and torpid hibernation. Snow, ice, and frost. These are the ubiquitous images of the long, bleak season.
We are looking for the finest examples of winter-themed submissions. The winners of this major quest, will become worthy recipients of frosty mugs and glasses, engraved with odes to victory, courtesy of Scrasamax! Good luck to all. Don your mittens!
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