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Boris Ivanovich Petrov
Fictional Character
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): Grantville Gazette VIII
1636: The Kremlin Games
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Russia
Occupation: Bureaucrat, spymaster
Children: Pavel Borisovich Petrov
Created by: Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett


Boris Ivanovich Petrov was a Russian bureaucrat and spy with the Embassy Bureau/State Department and a very educated man. When Czar Michael sent Prince Vladimir Gorchakov and Grigorii Ensheevich to Grantville, Patriarch Filaret insisted that Boris accompany them to keep the czar from looking too foolish for having sent them.

The group had early hints of the town's existence upon seeing cars and APCs as they came closer to Grantville, but what convinced Petrov was actually seeing the physical evidence of the Ring of Fire, after which he observed that anyone who could fake it would have too much power to need to fake it. Despite being dumbstruck by what they saw, Petrov, ever the practical man, almost immediately began setting up Russia's spy network, knowing the impact Grantville would have on the world.

On a quest for information, Petrov visited the local public library. He received the book Russia Under the Old Regime and an unnamed second book from librarian Cecelia Calafano. Some time later, Calafano handed him an old magazine (unnamed, possibly a news magazine) from the last years of the Soviet era.

Petrov was overwhelmed and confused by the largely modern terms, which were unfamiliar to him. While he could read 17th-century English, 20th-century American English was another matter. Calafano suggested that the information Petrov needed was available at the National Library and Research Center at Grantville High School, but would be scattered. She recommended that he either hire a researcher, or take the high school's basic library science course, then pay the research center's usage fees. Otherwise, he could put in free information requests that the library's researchers would get to when they had the time.

Petrov shared his discoveries with his men. All were disturbed by the knowledge that Czar Michael and his father Patriarch Filaret were not destined to last long in their respective positions. Calafano did suggest sending aspirin, with the hope that it would help maintain the Romanovs' health. Petrov was hesitant to hire a personal researcher as he/she could edit the reports and even sell the reports on Russia to other foreign agents. Instead, the group decided that Vladimir Gorchakov would enroll in a library science course, and they would hire a researcher for some limited questions.

After spending several weeks in Grantville, Petrov learned from a French spy of Cardinal Richelieu's plans to join with Spain in opposition to the Americans and Gustavus Adolphus[1] Petrov later shared with Gorchakov what he had learned of the American ideals of democracy and equality, ideas which could pose a threat to the Russian feudal autocracy. However, he pointed out that Grantville's radical notions would be part and parcel of understanding and adopting modern advancements. Petrov and Gorchakov decided that they must find one up-timer researcher that they could control, and at the same time have one of their group stay in Grantville. Gorchakov volunteered. Eventually Bernie Zeppi was hired. Although Zeppi was of only average intelligence, he could interpret advanced English words and phrases well enough for Russia's purposes.

NotesEdit

  1. This scene does not appear in 1636: The Kremlin Games. It may be pre-empted by the adjusted timeline of The Kremlin Games, as it has Petrov leaving Grantville in November of 1631.

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