Early the next morning, Vicktor went for a walk through the town he was staying at. It had looked like he walked back in time 40 years. The rounded, military-style trucks were few and rusty. The infrastructure was cracked and heaved from the repeated frost cycles. Clothes were drying on the clotheslines, and firewood was stacked everywhere. Vegetable gardens were prevalent, and the dogs’ rib cages were quite noticeable. This country and its simple, sturdy people could not possible be an invasion threat to the US. Their missiles and their military jets looked just like copies of US defense contractor’s weapons and magically appeared 2-5 years right after America released their versions. Could this be a ruse? A con? A deception, just to keep building up weapons so as to promote fear and huge profits and keep people employed. Looking around, Vicktor only saw people trying to survive. He did not see individuals hell bent on occupying another’s country, but rather people who would defend their homeland to the death if an invasion force took place. When Vicktor finished his walk, he gathered his suitcase. Through Nina, thanked his hosts, shook their hands, and left a gift. The entourage climbed aboard the Rusty Twinkie as the 3 were enroute back to Petropavlovsk and tomorrow’s departure. On the way back, the scenery was more focused and now those volcanic cones that provided the backdrop took on a new image. They became in Vicktor’s mind: inverted bomb craters that would appear if some insane plans were executed just to generate profits. Nature needs to take us now before that button is pressed. As the 3-some headed back, laughter became the main sound as all were content and relating funny stories.  The 2 males talked Nina into showing them her dacha that was just outside of the city. She was ecstatic that an American would be interested in her Garden of Eden. Vicktor grew up in Muddle (not a misprint) Class America. He knew about gardens and canning. 

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