Where worlds collide and days are dark

Alex Alvarova
11 min readDec 28, 2021

(Excerpt of the book Feeding the Demons by Alex Alvarova)

This chapter tells the story about a secret meeting of the two most dangerous men in the World: The Head of Russian Spies in America Grigory and the Mobster in Chief of the RU Mafia named Borya.

Moscow Region, Forests around Pushkino, 2016

When ordinary Russians want to take a break from their dreary reality, they head for their dachas. In the area around Moscow, low hills and rivers valleys provides ample space to build timber weekend huts boasting varying levels of comfort. Normal Muscovites are lucky to have a wood cabin — other, wealthier individuals have taken the concept further, constructing huge villas as their dachas.

Borya Kustich’s dacha was almost the size of a small town. Several villas for his own personal use and for visiting friends were set amid Japanese gardens, a golf course and several outdoor pools. One of the buildings even contained an indoor pool equipped with a wave machine. Bosses of Russian, Italian and Balkan mafia groupings would meet up here to report to Borya on their “business activities”, and to look for Borya’s consent for various goings-on. Now and again the place would host high-ranking business figures, bankers, investors and IT magnates.

Acres of immaculately kept grounds were ringed by a high fence sporting anti-drone technology. Part of the land was roofed in a kind of mesh, a simple covering that overly curious satellite cameras couldn’t penetrate. Beyond the fence stretched a marshy, inhospitable landscape inhabited by millions of mosquitoes and ticks, and dotted with scrappy patches of birch wood. A single road led to the complex, and only those with permission could use it — a whole twenty kilometres before the entry gate, an automatic barrier was guarded by uniformed officers and several cameras.

It was the first time Grigory had been invited. At the barrier he showed the guards his permit — it took him a full twenty minutes to drive to the spot where Boris Kustich had created his amazing complex in the back of beyond.

He handed his car key to the porter and gave him permission to drive it down into the underground garage. He wasn’t too concerned about the bug that would be installed by the time he left. He had hired it for this one trip.

Kustich’s butler showed him to his accommodation, an entire wing of the main house on the south-facing side. The entrance was via a glass tunnel. Grigory wasn’t much into opulent luxury, but whether he liked it or not, he had to admit that Borya’s weekend place was an impressive set of digs.

Kustich probably did want to make an impression as he had given him the presidential suite, normally reserved for politicians and CEOs. Grigory had realised the meeting that awaited him might be tough. He pulled a simple pair of canvass trousers and a long-sleeved T-shirt from his case and, having changed into these comfortable clothes, took up the lotus position in the middle of the floor, something he always did when he needed to clear his head. It wasn’t meditation, just deep thought.

„What’s he doing?“ Borya asked the waiter who had brought his tea, a staff member who also doubled up as security guard responsible for monitoring the cameras that watched over the complex.

„Nothing. He’s just sitting there gawping. He’s been there over an hour now.“

Boris bit his lip. „Tell him dinner will be served at six.“

The internal telephone rang. It was a kind-sounding receptionist who informed Grigory that the master of the house was looking forward to seeing him at six and that dinner would be served in the large dining room in the main building. She gave him instructions on how to find it. Grigory thanked her and put his suit back on. It was quarter to six. He was calm. Chess and yoga were his saviours.

He went down the steps as the receptionist had instructed, trying to remember where all the cameras were positioned and where side corridors led off. He always did this — his training kicked in whether he wanted or not. He didn’t expect he would need this mental map.

In the hall, one glass side giving onto a garden, stood a huge oak table, above which hung an old, Russian crystal chandelier that had once graced the Kremlin. Borya left him waiting for a moment — Grigory was used to this. It was just them and two waitresses, otherwise the hall was completely empty. Outside you could hear bird’s calling from around a nearby lake.

„When did you decided to abandon our wonderful Russian cuisine, Boris?“ Grigory joked in attempt to break the ice. The pheasant in red wine sauce was superb and Grigory had to admit it was a surprise.

„In the gulag we called crusts of bread dunked in tea pheasant in red wine sauce. I like to recall those great days…“ Borya urged his guest to have another helping.

When the meal was over, they took seats at a small table on the terrace with views of the lake. Coffee was served.

„What a wonderful view. I just love the tranquillity of this place,“ professed Borya. They sat smoking quietly.

After a few minutes, the master of the house broke the silence.

„Firstly, I’d like to give credit where credit is due, Grigory. Really. None of us genuinely believed it could actually happen. Did you hear what James Clapper said on the radio? The Russians have succeeded far beyond their own expectations. His words exactly. That guy must have friends in high places. How would he know otherwise? How could he know we weren’t expecting things to go as they have?“

Grigory nodded: „We’ve done everything possible. I’ve left nothing to chance. The hardest thing was coordinating data compatibility — we needed so many inputs from different sources… Sometimes we were afraid the cat would get out of the bag.

They’d not even considered the small incident with voting machines in black areas a significant development. They simply didn’t get the “thousand steps” approach. By the way, that Chinese military strategy, is several thousand years old. A dissociated structure is not vulnerable.“

After coffee came high-quality cognac, the best Grigory had ever tasted. Now he knew it was time to talk business.

„I have a lot of respect for you,“ said Borya, looking Grigory steadfastly in the face.

„It’s all about training,“ said Grigory slowly. „A lot of the credit has to go to Scott Brennan. Without him we would have achieved very little. He found weak spots. And the best thing is, he gets his inspiration from Russian history. The past inspiring the future.“

„No idea what you’re talking about…“ laughed Borya. „Listen, Grigory, you’re currently ahead in the game. You have more people in White House than I do. But I’d be careful if I were you. The only person Kemp will never fire is his daughter. And she’s mine.“

Grigory pricked up his ears. He knew this was the moment he’d been invited for. Evidently Borya was about to lay his cards on the table.

„You’re a strange customer. You’ve never accepted any of the gifts I’ve offered you.“

„I prefer to view the world through my own eyes, Boris. That’s all there is to it.“

„That’s a good quality to have. We should join forces. You and me. Stronger together.“

„You have so many allies everywhere. You don’t need me.“

„But now is when you could help me most. Money is no object. The first thing Kemp must do in office is fire the state prosecutor Rajiv Patel. We’ve set this as a condition — we support your campaign, you get rid of Patel. The only thing is, Kemp isn’t keen.“

„You started this game, Boris. I understand the threat you face and how Patel goes after your people. I understand it all. But it would be far too obvious. Kemp would do well to wait. It will take two periods in office for irreversible change in America’s highest institutions of state to be achieved. Two! This is a marathon, not a sprint. We mustn’t show our hand straight away. He respects the rules. This is a much more complicated game. When it’s all over, our rivals will be weakened and ripe for the taking.“

„Rules. Your rules! I live by my own rules — that’s the only way I got where I am today, sunny boy. Now listen well, you know-it-all. If the gulag taught me one thing it was this — to get what you want, you need just two things. Money and fear. All of you lot constantly think things through, weight up options, speculate, formulate fucking strategies. Money and fear! As simple as that. Nothing else. You have a family, sunny boy?“

„No, thank goodness. And I don’t fear you.“

The atmosphere had suddenly become very tense. Both men looked at each other trying to assess which would leave the defeated party.

Boris regained his composure. „It will be a relief for all concerned. I won’t meddle in whatever you have planned beyond that. All I need is to take down that rat who’s getting in my way and putting my people in jeopardy.“

„I’ll say it again: this is not the right way of going about things. We would blow our cover. It would be too obvious we were serving the interests of the mafia,“ Grigory explained patiently.

Borya was not used to anyone opposing him. Despite his advancing years and overweight frame, he bend right over the table and hissed: „You’re a state employee, so you’ll do as we tell you.“

Grigory didn’t bat an eyelid. „What do you mean by we?“ he asked calmly.

This sent Borya gasping for air. Such incredible impudence was something he hadn’t expected. It dawned on him that if he answered, he would reveal his hand completely. Grigory had manoeuvred him into a corner. He sat silently, a slight wheeze to his breathing.

The silence lasted a heavy half minute.

It was Grigory who spoke first. „I am indeed a state employee. Perhaps it may come as a surprise to you, Boris, but I don’t do it for the money. I do it for Mother Russia. And for the thrill of the chase. And I think I am pretty good at what I do.“

Borya was now breathing heavily and spoke as if he was on the verge of a coronary: „Don’t think we don’t know how much you’ve amassed during your time in America. You bet we do — I own half the world’s finantial data. It was my best aquisition ever. I can easily find out where you’ve hidden it all.“

Grigory gave a smile: „I can tell you that myself, Boris. I have invested it all into my life insurance.“

Kustich’s wheeze came to a sudden halt as he stared at Grigory in genuine astonishment. Grigory continued: „Perhaps you’ve noticed that since our old Vladimir took over, we have lost a few generals, secret service officers and the like. A good half of them died in unfortunate circumstances. I knew many of them. Some of them had in their possession a certain video tape, which I believe you also have.

General Parkhomenko made an extra copy when he visited you once. Before your guys bumped him off, he managed to get it to me. Now I have thirty copies hidden in various places across the planet. You might find three or four of them, but all of them — never. If something were, god forbid, to happen to me — you know the sort of thing, I fall from a window, end up under a lorry — the Russian people will learn it all about you guys, they will see everything.“

Boris suffered from high blood pressure and his doctor constantly advised him to take things easy and look after himself. If he had seen Boris at that moment — eyes popping out, his face red, his breathing quickened and sweat beading on his forehead — he might have recommended immediate hospital admission.

„Forget it, my friend. Why do you think we control most of the media in Russia? Soon we plan to shut down the internet, and you can go whistle in the wind. You’ll have to play that video out of your window for anyone to see or hear it. Then you’ll beg to take orders from us.“

To the old mafia boss’ surprise, Grigory started laughing in a very laidback fashion, long and seemingly without a care in the world. Boris thought he was going to pass out — his head was pounding and his mouth was suddenly parched.

When Grigory’s laughter subsided, he got up, slung his jacket elegantly over his forearm and said calmly: „Boris, no offence, but I have to say you are living in the past. We’ll shut down the internet! That’s really funny. Do you think the world wide web is a sort of tube you can block? You would have to shut down all the power stations, force people to use candles and torches, like in the Tsar’s days. Neither you, nor our great leader, have any idea about anything.

Ask the guys from 2650 or Bauer what they think about such a stupid idea. You might be able to limit access to some of the internet like the Chinese do, but there will always be some way people will access it, of that you can be certain. Good day to you, Boris. Ask your servants to have my car ready.“

Borya sat wondering whether he should just tell his honchos to just do away with this pesky spy in his off-the-shelf jacket. But he didn’t. He let him go. That evening, the butler who brought him his tea could hear Borya raving at the wall: „I control money and fear. Russia will light its houses with candles again, if I so wish. Everyone will die, if I so wish. And what do you have? You’re like a church mouse, sunny boy. And the cat is on your trail.“

About the book:

The tragic story of the conquest of America didn’t start in 2016. Actually, it al began in 1995 on a summit of Russian-speaking gangs in a small brothel in the outskirts of Prague. The FBI and Czech police set up a large raid to arrest the “brainy boss” Borya Kustich.

Borya, capo di tutti capi, didn’t show up. Someone spilled. Other Russian bosses got arrested and Borya could take over their newly developed criminal territories in New York and Miami. Fast forward 20 years later, Borya becomes the most powerful man of the World of Crime, who can afford the Big Tech propaganda machine and change the world.
To achieve his goal, he needs the services of the most talented propaganda wizard Scott Brennan, who knows how to play with America’s hidden demons.

You can buy it on every national Amazon. Here is the link to Amazon.com:

More about author:

In the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution in Prague 1989, Alex gradually gained recognition as a journalist, a publicist, and an author of numerous essays and commentaries on current events, media theory, and foreign policy issues. Widely recognized for her ability to put complex events and developments in the proper context, in 1996 Alexandra took a position in political marketing and has worked in communications, political marketing and election-campaign management ever since. At the pinnacle of her career, in the aftermath of Russia 2013 hybrid-warfare invasion of the Czech Republic, Alexandra relinquished her post in the European Parliament (Communication Adviser to the Chair of the Legislation Commitee) and, citing concerns for her children’s future, relocated her family to Canada.

Here, in 2017 she wrote The Industry of Lies, a Czech language nonfiction work centered around a core concept: “Russia used the 2013 presidential election in the Czech Republic as a trial run to perfect its hybrid-warfare aggression for altering the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential elections”. Feeding the Demons, her second book is a dark spy thriller, which tells the story of an anti-hero, a talented propagandist, a dark character inspired by Steve Bannon.

more at https://alvarova.com



Alex Alvarova

Author, podcaster, propaganda expert. Vancouver B.C. Looking for an agent for her new thriller.