It was another cold day in Vladivostok, and Mumiy Troll were sat in Ilya's house yet again, watching TV and doing other unproductive things. Except for Yuri, who was tapping away at his laptop as usual.
"Why does anyone even watch the news any more?" Yuri asked, looking up from his laptop, "Man, nothing ever happens on it."
"It's my TV, so I get to choose what's on," Ilya said, "Besides, it's not like there's anything on the other channels anyway."
"All the channels suck these days, there's the news where nothing happens, the constant Flintstones re-runs, and uh, what was that thing you were watching the other day Ilya?" Sdwig asked.
"The Swiss Eurovision selection?" Ilya asked.
"Yeah, that, the Swiss thing," Sdwig said.
"I wonder who will represent us in the Eurovision this year," Ilya said.
"Oh yeah Ilya, I wonder who'll represent us in the Eurovision too, oh no, hold on a second, looks like I don't give a shit," Oleg said.
"You're all just sour because we didn't win it when we entered," Ilya said, looking back to the TV.
"Oh yeah, like we'd even want to win that load of horse shit, what a joke," Oleg rolled his eyes.
"So... anything going on in the news recently?" Sdwig said, changing the subject.
"There's never anything going on," Oleg said, "That's why there's never anything on the news. The most exiting thing that happened was probably that Moscow Mall thing back in November."
"That was ages ago!" Yuri said.
The news stories came up, there was one about a baby panda in a zoo, one about a new bakery that had just been opened, and one about the weather.
"Damn it, boring shit again," Oleg said.
"Well," Sdwig said, "That's the price of peace. It's boring as shit."
"Well I just wish something would happen around here, something good enough to be on the news and not just these stories about how great everything is," Yuri said.
"What Yuri?!" Ilya said, "You'd rather have things exploding all the time and horrible crimes going on?"
"Actually, when you put it that way, no," Yuri said, "But the news people could like, invent some crimes, or something. That way no one will get sick of watching it."
"Yuri, go back to tapping on your laptop," Oleg said, "They're not going to 'invent some crimes', the news is supposed to be the truth, not some made-up television show."
Suddenly, the words 'BREAKING NEWS' flashed upon the screen.
"Hello Russia, I am reporting to you today live from Moscow," the news reader on the screen said, "And we have some breaking news! We, the people of Russia, have discovered a terrible thing! The radiation that covers America has gone down enough so that we can collect items from there... and... it's terrible. Some of Russia's most top secret documents have been discovered inside a safe in the ruins of the White House! This means that somehow, the Americans had all of our secret files! Oh no! This is a catastrophe!"
"Oh man, how in the hell could that happen?!" Yuri said.
"Well, there you go," Oleg said, "Looks like something has happened after all."
Ilya looked down to the floor.
"G...guys..." he said, "There's something I have to tell you..."
"Hmm? What is it Ilya?" Oleg said.
"Well, you remember that time you three were held hostage in the bank by those Brits, right?"
And they remembered it well.
It had been a sunny day in Moscow in 1999, and Yuri, Oleg and Sdwig had gone to the bank. But while there, they had been held hostage some Brits, and they were only released once Ilya had given them some of Russia's most secret documents. It was a good thing Yuri had been hacking into the Kremlin's files and had printed them off that day.
"Yeaah, I remember it," Oleg said, "Why?"
"Well, the only reason you guys were let go, was because I gave them some secret documents in exchange for you guys, Yuri had printed them off. The Brits must have given them to the Americans," Ilya looked to the floor.
"What?!?!" Yuri yelled, "Wha... you... what?!"
"It was a tough decision but, I'm pretty sure I made the right one," Ilya smiled.
"Hell yeah you made the right one," Sdwig said, "How could you think anything else?"
Suddenly, Ilya's phone rang.
"Hello?" Ilya answered, "Who is this?"
"It's Putin, get to the Kremlin immediately! Oh, and nice new album, by the way. But still, get to the Kremlin!"
And with that, Putin hung up.
"I better get to the Kremlin and explain myself," Ilya sighed.
"No, don't," Yuri said, putting his laptop away, "You can't go by yourself. I mean, it's because you did that that we're still here today man, we'll go with you. Right guys?"
"Right," Sdwig said.
And so the four of them got up and made their way to the Kremlin, which was nearby as it had been moved to Vladivostok because it was more peaceful there.
They looked up at the huge building towering in front of them.
"You guys don't have to come with me, you know," Ilya said, "I'm sure Putin will understand anyway."
"We're coming in with you Ilya," Oleg said, "Whether you like it or not."
They walked up to the entrance of the Kremlin.
Dmitri Medvedev was waiting around outside the building.
"Oh, hey guys," Dmitri said, "You're here to see Putin, I guess?"
"Yeah," Ilya said, "We've got to see him."
And so the four of them went into the Kremlin building. Putin was sitting there in front of a desk, on a massive, fluffy chair.
"Vladimir I-" Ilya began.
"We knew about it Ilya," Putin said, "We knew about it already."
"Don't bother me with excuses. We know all about it. The bank situation. We've always known about it. Back in 1999 we knew about it. Everyone in the government knew about it. I knew about it. Despite the fact that it wasn't your fault, the old Kremlin wanted you all to be executed, you know, but Brezhnev didn't want that. Brezhnev loved you and your music, he ordered the KGB to stand down. He wouldn't have anything happen to you. And they had to listen to him as it was because of him that the Soviet Union lasted as long as it did. Hell, when he left the position of leader a few weeks later, the Soviet Union collapsed. And besides, your little stunt actually helped us during the Cold War. Strange, isn't it?"
"How did-" Ilya began but was cut off by Putin yet again.
"It's ironic isn't it, that such an action would actually help us in the Cold War. But we knew Yuri was hacking into our documents, as usual. And so we put up decoys. Fake documents."
"Woah!" Yuri said, "I never saw that coming!"
"So..." Ilya said, "What you're saying is..."
"Yes Ilya," Putin smiled, "The documents that you gave to the Americans were fakes."
"But that means that..."
"Yes, you didn't do anything wrong and you helped us during the Cold War, so I guess you're off the hook," Putin said.
"Oh," Putin looked up, "You're still here? You're free to go, you know. Now leave before I change my mind."
And so the four of them left, and walked out onto the snowy streets outside.
"Gee Ilya," Yuri said, "Looks like we got out of that one, huh?"
"Sure does," Ilya said.
"It's a good thing too," Sdwig said, "I guess our celebrity status means that we'll be ok."
"You know, I think Putin may be a fan of ours or something," Yuri said, "I can't see any other reason that he'd give us so many second chances."
"Maybe it's because we actually deserve those second chances, Yuri," Ilya said.
The four stood there for a while, looking at the frosted landscape around them.
"So," Oleg said, breaking the silence, "What now?"
"We go home, of course," Ilya smiled, "And switch on the TV. Again."
"You know Ilya, I think I don't mind this whole peace business after all," Yuri smiled, and the four of them went back to the house.
Ilya switched on the news.
"Well, sorry about the mistake before," the news reader said, "Apparently those documents inside the American safe were fakes. All fakes. Thanks to our leader Putin, for clarifying."
"Well," Ilya smiled, "Looks like that went... reasonably well."
"Yeah," Oleg said, "That sure was lucky."
"I still miss America though," Ilya said.
"Oh Ilya, you still going on about that?" Yuri laughed.
And so the day continued as normal, and the news went back to showing peaceful things, as snow fell over the busy Russian city.