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The mighty Joseph Stalin was lying on his bed and he was dying. He didn’t how it had happened, but he was in immense pain from what official sources would claim to be a cerebral haemorrhage, although Stalin was certain that he had been poisoned. He passed out once more and Lavrentiy Beria yelled:
“Yes I did it, I’ve killed him!”
He had spat hatred against Stalin when he was out and had sucked up to him when he was conscious. Stalin awoke from his sleep and felt immense pain once more.
“My friend, Comrade Joseph, do you feel better? Get well soon, our glorious leader and comrade general-secretary, the nation needs your strong leadership!”
Stalin barely understood what he had said and passed out again only to wake up one last time. He saw a white light and then raised his arm as if he wanted to curse everyone in his room, as his daughter Svetlana later recalled. His soul left his body and Stalin, the most bloody leader of Russia died, leaving an empire with atomic weapons and the largest standing army in the world. His soul, however, did not pass over. A divine being was amused by Stalin’s rule and his great accomplishments and decided he might be of some use. As Stalin’s soul ascended to be judged, he grabbed him and stopped him from entering the underworld and took the shape of a bright light, a reminder of his angelic past.
“Joseph Stalin, do you wish to return to rule Russia and restore its glory once more?”, the being said.
“What or who are you?”, Stalin asked, “And why me? There are so many great names in Russian history.”
“I am many and one at the same time. I have had many names. They sometimes call me Legion. You may refer to me as Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, Mammon, Demogorgon or Moloch, take your pick. I am the Prince of Darkness and leader of the Fallen Angels.” The divine being paused.
Stalin was somewhat baffled. He had always been an atheist and now proof of God’s existence stood before him in the black void that he was in. The creature continued.
“As for the why, I found you tenure interesting. You have accomplished a great many things and I’ve decided to mess a little with the creation of the Big Guy upstairs.”, the being said, “I don’t think he’ll mind, I’ve owned the twentieth century so far.”
“And now what?”, Stalin inquired. He was curious.
“You’re going back if you want to.”, the being answered.
“And I don’t suppose there is a catch to all this?”, Stalin inquired further, still as paranoid as ever - even in death.
“No, now go and amuse me some more.”
The demon disappeared and Stalin was left in the black void, but wouldn’t remain there for long.
Stalin woke up feeling strange and he did not know where he was. He saw a lavishly decorated room with a portrait of Tsar Alexander II hanging opposite his king-sized bed. He was wearing an old-style night gown and beside him lay a woman who Stalin recognized as Alix of Hesse. He now knew who he was, he was Tsar Nicholas II, but he still didn’t know when he was. For all he knew it could be 1917 and Communists could come knocking on his door. He was terribly frustrated, because the demon had played a sick joke on him. He hated anything that had to do with the monarchy, although he had already decided to make the best of it. The only other option was suicide. He groaned as he reluctantly hoisted himself out of the bed. He noticed how young his body was, so he guessed it had to be before 1900. He moved about quietly so as not to disturb his fiancée or wife, depending on the date. He opened the door and stepped out into the hallway, which was rather frisky this early in the morning. He noticed how a guard approached him.
“Your Royal Highness, you’re up early today. You could go to bed and sleep some.”, he said as he snapped into a salute, “Do you require anything?”
Stalin was used to this subservient attitude from his time as the absolute dictator of the Soviet Union and reacted as if everything was normal, so as not to arouse suspicion.
“What’s today’s date?”
“I’m sorry sir?”, the guard asked, seemingly confused, “January 1st, sir, New Year’s day.”
“What year, you moron.”, the Tsarevich suddenly spat.
“1894.”, the guard stuttered. He seemed somewhat confused and shocked by the Tsarevich’s sudden response. Prince Nicholas was a soft and kind person. ‘Oh my, he’s grumpy today.’, the guard thought.
“I’m hungry. Wake the cook and tell him I want bacon and eggs.”, Stalin/Nicholas said, “I have lots to do.”
“Just bacon and eggs, sir?”, the guard asked.
“On second thought, I’d like some orange juice as well and fetch me a newspaper. That’ll be all.”, Nicholas said as he motioned the guard to leave.
“Yes sir.”, the guard responded as he snapped into a salute again and marched off to the cook, who would soon scurry around in the kitchen to please the Tsarevich, not doing so could have him end up dead, as he would soon learn.
The guard turned away noticing how the Tsarevich seemed subtly different. It wasn’t in his appearance, but in his character. He seemed stronger, more charismatic and had a powerful aura as if he was the Tsar already; he was radiant. He wouldn’t be the only one to notice changes in the young prince.
→ Forward to Chapter 2.