A harsh wind buffeted me as I walked up to the President Hotel. Does Russia have a president? I wondered. I always thought Putin was a prime minister, but I guess not. A Russian hotel would hardly be named after a symbol of the United States.
“What’s she doing?” I muttered.
Cayce’s message was absolutely mindblowing, but I wasn’t sure if it was real. I trust her, but blowing the footage open the way she did was way too big. There had to be more to the story. Plus, I can’t help but be a little suspicious of that guy Bigend that Cayce said she’d be working with.
The first thing that I noticed was the Kevlar draped over the several men milling about the lobby. I guess high-class Russians need high-class security. The second thing I noticed was someone beating up a petite woman on the ground in front of the bar.
My gut dropped. Time moved in slow motion.
As I watched dumbfounded from afar, the hotel security dragged the aggressor off of the woman, but they were having a tough time of it. She was frothing at the mouth, screaming her head off. I could see her eyes rolling into the back of her head. I caught some of what she was saying: “water… lies… Mama Anarchia”
I had a sudden thought; was that crazy woman Cayce and the beaten up one Mama Anarchia? It couldn’t be true, and yet…
“Get her off, get her off! The girl, she put into the drink!”, the nearby bartender yelled. Did Cayce drug Mama Anarchia? Then why was she beating on her? Or maybe…
I stayed at the outskirts of the action. I might care for Cayce, but I’m not putting my neck on the line for any woman who’s just gone through a psychotic break.
The security began questioning the potential Mama Anarchia while others restrained Cayce. My suspicions about Mama were confirmed when she started making demands. No other woman would be so bossy just after having the shit beaten out of her.
“Take her to my room, I must deal with her myself!” she insisted.
The guards didn’t look too pleased with that response.
“Now Miss, there is a security risk. I would not have your life in danger again.” one tacitly explained.
“I don’t care, just get her to me now!” she said, stamping her foot.
Then three men in black trench coats walked in and everything stopped.
The guards hurriedly shushed Mama and practically licked the shiny boots of the three men. One took Cayce away, and Mama left with the others. It felt like a dream; a scene of violent assault had just been transformed into the drudgery of a hotel lobby.
There was too much for me to handle at one moment. I sat heavily down on a stiff leather couch and checked my email. Cayce had sent me the address of the woman who she claimed knew where the footage was made, presumably before she had gone full psycho. I emailed the woman, slightly suspicious but intensely curious:
"Hey, this is Cayce’s friend. My name is Peter Gilbert, aka Parkaboy. Are you Stella Volkov? I’m very interested in knowledge about the footage, and she says that you know who has made it. I hope you respond soon, cuz this is important."
I waited around a little while longer, wishing for some email back about Cayce, or hell from just anyone. A BMW pulled up to the hotel. More men in black trench coats got out and beckoned me. My heart jumped.
“Should I stay or should I go,” I pondered. Then I realized: I’m in Moscow, and I just saw one of my best friends get dragged away in the search of who made the footage. If I pussy out now, this will all have been for nothing. I got in the car. The mysterious driver looked back at me, nodded, and sped off.