The Red Scare

Sergei Sokolov

[The camera widens, sitting at a table within his modest hut, deep in the Siberian wilderness we find Sergei Sokolov undressing bandages from his almost broken hands.]

“Hysteria can strike anywhere, anytime. When a person becomes stressed, the mind can make the body sick. Anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, insomnia, irritability, nervousness all of these are symptoms of the illness. But all of these symptoms are curable.

As the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s, hysteria over the supposed threat posed by communists in the U.S. became known as the Red Scare. The Red Scare led to a range of actions that had a weighty and continuing effect on U.S. government and society.”

[Sergei grimaces as he places his swollen bloody knuckles into a bowl of what appears to be steaming hot water.]

“Americans felt the effects of the Red Scare on a personal level, thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives dislocated. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs. While a small number of the accused may have been seen as aspiring revolutionaries, most others were the victims of false allegations or had done nothing more than exercise their democratic right to join a political party.

Though the atmosphere of alarm and suppression began to ease in the late 1950s, the Red Scare has continued to influence political debate in the decades since and is often cited as an example of how unfounded fears can compromise civil liberties. To this day the ties between the once communist Soviet Union and capitalist America remain hanging by the frailest of threads.

Even to this present day some 60 years on from the anxiety of the Red Scare, organised mobs such as Antifa plague the streets of America. They promote the values of a by gone era, an era my land was raised and ultimately fell upon.”

[The war that ensued at InVasion seems to have taken it’s toll, groggily Sergei stumbles to his feet. The fall off the ladder to the floor through a mass of tables would have hospitalised most men, but not the Bear.] 

“How do you compare, LH Harrison? You masquerade about the halls of the Tap Room inciting fear amongst those who you deem to be more contented than you. It is true that a tragedy is at the core of your madness but the ‘Hysteria’ caused by your transformation pales in comparison to that of the Red Scare.

People have known fear, people have been to the furthest reaches of dread, so far in fact that normal men such as you Harrison have been pushed to their limits, and in the process committed unthinkable acts.”

[Although in unfathomable pain, Sergei manages a grin as the thought of dissecting his next opponent fills his thoughts.]

“The people however, endure. At InVasion we learned the truth of your return. Mike Lane a man of unsurmountable courage and conviction, released you back amongst us, not because he was afraid, but because he used you as a tool. He used your madness to benefit himself, just as the communist party used the Red Scare to gain a stronger political footing.

That is all you have, and ever will be, Harrison. A means used by others, to get things done for their own personal gain. It happened with Mortimer, the Doctor, Smiley, Newton, even your arch nemesis the Shadow is now playing you for the unhinged fool you truly are. Not so long ago you was a top the mountain here in OSW, champion of the world. Now the hysteria you once embodied, like your daughters, is reduced to mere memory.”

[The scene begins to fade.]

“Come Monday, the Red Scare returns. Fear the Red Tsar, Fear Sergei Sokolov.”