A Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons Multiverse Story
By Matt Crowther
In the air war, allied bombers were slaughtered in mass by new German jet fighters. As Britain slid closer to defeat, the Americans pulled from the war as their losses grew high and President Harry S. Truman gave in to protests at home and concentrated on defeating Japan. Hitler encouraged by defeating Russia in the summer of 1944, turned his full might on Britain. He waited until July 1945 –allowing forces to build up- to launch the Second Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe overran the RAF in a matter of weeks and continued raids until September.
On September 1, 1945 the Germans launched Operation Sealion the invasion of Britain. The Germans were ashore quickly and it took a week to march on London, in the subsequent Battle for London Churchill was killed defending Whitehall. Surrender came, but it wasn’t until October that all fighting stopped.
In January 1946 some months after Japan gave in, the Americans refused Hitler’s offer of surrender. Furious, Hitler told Goring –head of the Luftwaffe- to send his new force of jet bombers to New York. In a raid that lasted two hours, twenty-four Arado Ar555 jet bombers bombed New York. Still, a shocked Truman did not give in and for two weeks raids went on against New York, Washington and Boston. Finally Hitler ordered a last reserve.
On February 2, 1946 a solitary Heinkel He177 flew the Atlantic and dropped a nuclear bomb on Washington. Hundreds of thousands died including Truman.
Cordell Hull –Secretary of State- succeeded Truman as he had been in Boston at the time. He made plans to make a peace and at the Zurich Conference in March the Zurich Treaty was signed ending conflict. Hull made Boston the new US capital.
In the nineteen fifties, in the grip of a Cold War, Adolf Hitler orders a special unit to be created with the security of the Reich as its top priority. The unit is called Spectrum.
In 1969, Spectrum will be tasked with a new foe that is not afraid of the Master Race…
Hauptsturmfuhrer –captain-SS- Konrad Turner tugged on his boots as he sat on the bench in the changing room at the rear of the spaceport on Lake Aquarius. He wore the astronaut uniform, a shiny material that was plain as the far side of the moon. His SS uniform hung on the front of the locker nearby. The standard SS tunic and trousers, but instead of a brownshirt he had a black one. On the tunic sleeve above the swastika armband was a circular patch. On the patch was a single crooked S imposed above a rainbow that exploded from the centre like ripples on a pond. Turner belonged to a crack elite SS unit named Spectrum, specially created by the Fuhrer to deal with enemies and tasks that Special Commandoes could not deal with.
Turner’s codename was Black, it was apt considering his dark hair and eyes. He mused to himself that five years ago he had been a simple SS trooper in occupied Russia who had been born in Hamburg and now was Spectrum’s top agent. Course, his dedication to the Party was absolute. Without the National Socialists, Turner thought, the Reich would’ve slipped into a Jewish conspiracy.
Enough of that, it wasn’t a rally now.
Turner walked out to see his three crewmen waiting, two were part of the Space Force and the last was also Spectrum but he was not an officer. Beyond the windows they stood by, he could see the grey expanse of Aquarius and the twinkling stars. Earth hung beyond, half in shadow. By the window, at the end of an umbilical tube was their Werewolf Land Craft.
“Men, the base detected a month ago strange signals emanating from the far side of the moon. We came here on the special V2 rocket to find out what it is, the Fuhrer himself is most interested. It could be useful to the Reich, I trust you are ready and brave?”
“Ja Hauptsturmfuhrer!” they chimed with gleaming smiles.
Black stepped towards the tube and turned, he brought his right arm up.
“Heil Hitler!” they echoed and followed him in.
The Werewolf was big enough for ten men, but five would suffice for this. The Werewolf had caterpillar tracks and was box shaped with green sides emblazoned with swastikas. Black glanced at the base as he sat down. The base was named for the designer of the V1 and V2 rockets. Werner Von Braun designed the space version of the V2 –the A9- at Peenemunde after war. The first Germans on the moon had been two Luftwaffe pilots in March 1961. Hitler screamed triumph from Nuremberg and hailed so loudly that they must’ve heard in space. Since sixty-one, they had created Von Braun spaceport and Hanna Reitsch spacesport. Reitsch was the female test pilot that had become the first woman to fly in space for the Reich in sixty-eight.
Black began the
start-up sequence. Next to him, Crewman Hythe hummed the Horst Wessel,
The Horst Wessel was the Nazi
Black recalled what Spectrum’s commander Standartenfuhrer –colonel-SS- White had told him before leaving for Peenemunde a week ago.
The Fuhrer is anxious about what might be there, if it is something useful it can be turned to support the Reich and be invaluable in the years to come.
Black flicked some switches and the Werewolf’s engines started. The machine then moved forward, rumbling across the lunar landscape under Black’s guidance. Black was used to barren landscapes, the vast unending Russian steppes had been like that. Months of that was enough to drive anyone insane, no wander the Einsatzgruppen had gone from town to town quickly.
It took three hours for the craft to tranverse, its engines were supported by rockets that sometimes added boost to the craft but were mainly for flight to rendezvous with a mother ship. Black watched the landscape get darker as the hours ticked by, also the outside temperature dropped.
Hythe whistled. “Colder than Stalingrad in 1942.”
Black had served in the deepest of Russian winters and shivered. “Thanks, Hythe.”
“Anytime, Hauptsturmfuhrer,” grinned Hythe watching the temperature gauge still.
Five hours, then seven and now, deep inside or rather across, the far side of the moon where the Reich had not yet explored. TV serials in the Fatherland thought that little green men lived here, or that the far side was really made of cheese. Thankfully for Black and his men, it was not made of cheese or the Werewolf would fall in. On the horizon a bright light shimmered, not the light of stars but a steady pulsating light.
“Do you see that, Hythe?” asked Black.
“I do, sir,” Hythe checked his instruments. “It’s the source of that signals, Crater 101, sir.”
“Crater 101,” echoed Black. “Let’s check it out.”
They drove to it. As they got closer the crater opened up and sloped downwards. The Werewolf halted at the crest, its nose angled downwards. Black swore.
“My God, have you ever seen something like that?”
At the bottom, twinkling and glowing like festive lights in Aachen at Christmas, sat several structures. Each structure seemed to be smudge, as if out of focus. Little vehicles moved about between them. Black slapped a gloved hand against his steering column.
“Obviously, sir, with the greatest respect,” Hythe said quickly and wiped his brow. “What do we do?”
As Black began to unbuckle his belt, Hythe gripped his arm eyes widening.
“Sir! Something’s moving!”
Black froze, sure enough atop one of the fore structures a cylindrical object swung towards the Werewolf. Black settled back and mused silently as the object stopped, facing them. “They’re hostile.”
“Damn!” swore Hythe as he switched the weapons on.
“Standby concussion missiles,” ordered Black.
Four missiles streaked from the Werewolf, the craft recoiled as they were released. The missiles struck the complex head on, explosions blew grey dust into the air and it fell slowly. As the dust began to cover the complex, another brace was fired and then another. Explosive convulsions tore the complex to shreds, the area fell dark as it exploded silently in the cold vacuum before the flames were extinguished. Black whooped and Hythe slapped his armrests excitedly.
Black turned to the crew in the back of the Werewolf monitoring the outside.
“Lang, suit up. Collect some samples.”
The blond Lang stood. “Jawohl Hauptsturmfuhrer.”
As Lang began to put on his suit, Black noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Something that the SS officer couldn’t put his finger on. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Hythe.”
Hythe didn’t answer. For a blue beam was being swept across the crater from an unseen place. Black swore as the ghostly outlines of the complex came into being. Never in all his years in the SS had he seen such a thing happen. He had heard about laser experiments in occupied Norway but this was different. “Lang, wait. Record this.”
Lang swore to himself but sat down and activated the craft’s monitor.
The complex solidified before the stunned Black’s eyes. It was there, as if it had never been wiped out by the missiles. Black began to sweat, fear swelled inside his body. His heart hammered frantic Morse against his rib cage. Get me out of here.
The radio crackled. Black looked at the microphone. Was it Von Braun spaceport?
No Germanic accent came through, but a monotone unearthly voice that permeated throughout the Werewolf.
Earthmen, this is the voice of the Mysterons. We are a peaceful race that means no harm to you, however in this space of time we are angered by your attack. We would not have attacked you. For your unprovoked attack we will seek revenge upon you all. As of now, your so-called German Empire is the enemy of the Mysterons. Our first target is the being you call the Fuhrer. Adolf Hitler will be exterminated, hear us Earthmen! Exterminated! To help us with our mission, we will use one of you. You have not heard the last of us, Earthmen.
The voice faded away, Hythe was shaking and the others were pale faced. Hythe looked at Black and swore. “Hauptsturmfuhrer, are you okay?”
Black was corpse pale, his black eyes even darker and lifeless. His look penetrating but not seeing. It was as if Black were dead and living. Slowly the SS officer looked at Hythe.
“I’m fine,” his words were slow but sure. “Take us out, Hythe.”
Hythe didn’t argue, in a blur of dust the Werewolf reversed.
Crater 101 fell silent.
Following the victory over the allies, the Fuhrer allowed his trusted friend the architect and munitions minister Albert Speer to redesign Berlin. By the mid fifties, it had been achieved with some areas yet developed. The city centre was circular with the Great Hall at its heart. The Great Hall was where the Reichstag would convene; the Hall’s dome stretched 1000 feet into the air. At its base was two buildings either side that formed Adolf Hitler Platz with an entrance onto the Avenue of Victory. Left side of the Platz was Wehrmacht Headquarters and the right was the Fuhrer Palace. The Avenue of Victory stretched for kilometres northwards from the Great Hall, it passed the Brandenburg gate and halfway up near the Space Command building, below the Arch of Triumph that was ten times the size of the Arch d’Truimph in Paris.
In the backseat of a Mercedes staff car with swastika pennants fluttering, Standartenfuhrer White pinched the bridge of his nose and rested his right hand on the officer’s cap on his lap. White was a picture of authoritativeness, his uniform was pressed just so and his hair was combed neatly. The hair itself was the colour of snow, his dark eyebrows and blue eyes contrasted with the hair. His jackboots glistened with polish. The commander of Spectrum was used to order, he had been in the Wehrmacht –the Army- aged twenty when the Fuhrer came to power. At first he went with the politics, it had been in part to the Army that Hitler’s Nazis had come to power in that January of 1933. White rose through the ranks to become Lieutenant General in 1943 and command the attacking force into Leningrad. Back then, he was simply Karl Grau, serving the Fuhrer as an army officer. Yet in the mopping up of Russia from 1944 to 1950, Grau witnessed the extermination of whole villages by SS Special Commandoes. He complained to his army commander, the famous Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Rommel understood Grau’s dilemma and said that to do anything about it was to risk the SS’ wrath. So Grau fumed silently, his opinion had hardened of the Nazis and secretly hated them. It was one thing to rage war on Britain and her allies, but not innocent Russians and Jews.
As the car paused at traffic lights on where the avenue met the East-West Axis, White glanced at the SS officer seated next to him wearing an identical uniform. Except whereas White’s shirt was indeed white, this one’s was sky blue. The man’s features were what they in the SS Racial Bureau as ‘Aryan Grade One.’ He was the archetypal product of Hitler’s Germany, blond hair and blue eyes. Recruiting poster material.
“Is there something wrong, Hauptsturmfuhrer?” asked White.
Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue looked back at White; he shook his head and spoke in soft tones.
“Nothing at all, Standartenfuhrer.”
“Meeting the Fuhrer and Reichsfuhrer is something that most SS men look forward to with great excitement, Blue.”
“That is true,” Blue glanced again at White. “But sir, you transferred into the SS from the Army. Does that exclude you from the equation?”
White smiled and nodded. He had transferred, only because Admiral Canaris head of the secret service –an old friend of White’s- wanted someone he trusted at the head. It got complicated, for Canaris then recommended White to the Fuhrer for Spectrum CO. Nevertheless, in 1966 White assumed command of what was then Spectrum.
“In a way it does, in a way it does not.”
The car resumed its journey down the avenue that was known to Berliners as the North-South Axis. It was all Axis’ in the Nazi capital that was the capital of the Germanic Empire that stretched from Britain in the west to Vladivostok in the east, North Cape to the south of France. Down the avenue were symbols of Nazi victory. Russian and British tanks from the two invasions of 1941 and 1945 respectively, artillery pieces and even an American B-17 that had not left Britain with the rest of the Americans. Most startling of all, casting a shadow over the Luftwaffe headquarters was Nelson’s Column. Brought from London to Berlin as a showpiece of victory.
The Great Hall loomed before the car, it passed into Adolf Hitler Platz without any problems. The square was open to the public and even now Hitler Youth marched around the square watched by a square faced leader. Japanese tourists milled before the Fuhrer palace, before them were two black uniformed and white gloved SS troopers. Above them was the balcony on which the Fuhrer made speeches, he had last done that in 1964 for his seventy-fifth birthday.
The Fuhrer was eighty now, mused White stepping from the car and collecting his briefcase. Blue joined him as he walked to the entrance, they stepped past the tourists and were saluted by the troopers who snapped to attention. Inside, the building smelt of order. A large portrait of the Fuhrer from the forties in a grey greatcoat scowled down at them. SS uniforms both black and grey milled around, angry shouts came from open office doors. For a week now they had been in a state of motion, which was why White and Blue were here now.
They walked up marble steps, the staircase rounded towards the rear of the building. Up here a black uniformed lieutenant appeared as if by magic. His hair was combed over, his eyes bright. He looked twenty to White, a sign of the Reich growing up.
“I am Standartenfuhrer White, this is Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue from SS Spectrum. To see the Fuhrer.”
The lieutenant bowed and clicked his heels together. “One moment please, Mein Herren.”
He disappeared down the corridor behind him; swastikas were tiled into the floor on the walls and even on the ceiling. A picture by the lieutenant’s desk showed the Fuhrer addressing troops in Britain after Victory in Britain was declared.
The lieutenant momentarily returned. “The Fuhrer will see you.”
White and Blue followed the lieutenant down the corridor, their boots clicked in rhythm as they walked to the office. They paused, the lieutenant opened the door. The room inside smelt like a study, a fire crackled in the corner. A swastika banner was encased in a frame above the fireplace, it had been a swastika present at the Munich Putsch of 1923 and bore blood from Nazi legend Horst Wessel. As White and Blue stepped in, the lieutenant closed the door.
White saw Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler standing by the window that overlooked the platz below. Himmler was white haired now, the SS leader still bore his prince-nez glasses. He stood ramrod straight, White’s eyes followed to a seat by the fire. It was now, his eyes picked out Adolf Hitler.
Hitler’s hair and toothbrush moustache were snow white, his eyes were a blue brown. He looked frail in his traditional SS style uniform but White knew better.
“Mein Fuhrer,” White and Blue brought their arms up. White’s was not as stiff as Blue, he knew the blond officer’s politics as were most SS officers decidedly Nazi.
“Relax, Standartenfuhrer,” Hitler’s voice maintained that nasal Austrian accent. He stood, nobody moved to help him. He was a little stooped now but walked to White.
“Well, what happened on the Moon?”
“If Mein Fuhrer sits, I shall show him.”
“No, Standartenfuhrer,” Hitler said sharply. “I’ll stand, use the table.”
They walked to a large table that dominated the room beyond the window. White rested his briefcase on the table; he opened it and brought out still photos. It showed a mysterious complex.
“Mein Fuhrer, these were taken by the Werewolf exploration craft commanded by Hauptsturmfuhrer Black. This is the alien complex.”
“I am familiar with this,” Hitler was gruff. He tapped the images with one hand. “I hear that Black destroyed it and it was reconstructed.”
“This is true, Mein Fuhrer.”
“Who are these creatures?”
White bit the inside of his lip; creatures to him meant those underfoot. Rats, and other vermin.
“They call themselves the Mysterons.”
“If they have the power to reconstruct objects, they can be of paranormal importance to us.”
Hitler’s eyes glowed with fervour, by the window Himmler nodded. His glasses reflected the fire near him. “Yes, they will be most important to our cause.”
Hitler might have heard his comrade, the one he called Der Treue Heini but looked to White.
“What is your assumption of the Mysterons?”
“Black returned to Earth along with the crew for debriefing at Cloudbase, but he disappeared upon landing at Peenemunde. The crew reported that he had been acting strange since discovering the complex, it is my belief that Black is under the influence of the Mysterons and on that I believe them to be hostile and unfriendly. I also have evidence to confirm this.”
Hitler’s eyes blazed. “Black is possessed by them? He’s SS! He swore allegiance to me!”
As did I when I joined Spectrum. White was silently angry with his leader.
“Black had no control; the Mysterons have powers that even we cannot hope to understand.”
Hitler fell silent. White produced a tape. “With permission?”
Hitler and Himmler simultaneously nodding. White put the Mysteron tape in a machine by the table, soon the eerie voice was booming out.
They listened quietly, all the while Hitler’s head straightened. Hs paced, his arms behind his back. The message clicked off after a few seconds, it had been short.
“So they threaten me?” Hitler murmured. He paused and looked at the two Spectrum officers. His right arm shot up. “They will not succeed! I am the Fuhrer, the leader of the German Empire. I am untouchable! The Mysterons are as foolish as my enemies once were, we will fight them wherever we have to. You, Standartenfuhrer White, will use Spectrum as our tool, defeat the Mysterons!”
White could see that Blue had been taken by the brief speech, he felt some stirring but nothing on the size that many Germans did. He saluted. “The Fuhrer’s orders will be carried out.”
Hitler’s right lowered and flicked at the elbow. “Good day, gentlemen.”
White collected his case, saluted with Blue and left.
They had work to do.
The black and silver Spectrum Pursuit Jet built specially for Spectrum by Messerschmitt, sped at high speed towards Cloudbase. White never ceased to be amazed by it, for it was truly an engineering triumph.
Cloudbase was the world’s largest zeppelin designed by Graf Zeppelin’s son, the size of two football pitches. Powered by hydrogen and sometimes-solar power. Panels had been placed along the edges, the balloon was covered in thin metallic fabric. Below the expansive balloon was the command and main structure, at its head was the bridge and control room. As you went along, crew quarters and other areas for personnel. At the rear, the hangar for six Me462 jet fighters. The fighters would be launched by being lifted through lifts either side of the hangar and on top. It was this part of the balloon that was not occupied by hydrogen, for where would the lifts be otherwise? The fighters would then take off horizontally, the Me462 was a Vertical Take Off Landing and the zeppelin made it advantageous. Swastikas were everywhere here, the structure was red and the swastikas painted white along. Cloudbase had to stay over German airspace, the Americans and Germans were in the grips of what observers in both countries called the Cold War. However, when you considered that German airspace stretched half of the world it wasn’t all that bad.
The SPJ carefully landed at the rear of the zeppelin and stopped in the centre. The black Me462’s bore the Spectrum logo and the swastika. These fighters belonged to the Valkyries, the elite fighter squadron allocated to the unit. What made them all remarkable was that women piloted them. White had lobbied hard, had gone against Hermann Goring and won. They were the toughest of Bund deutscher Madel graduates. The BdM being the female equivalent of the Hitler Youth, the women were all in their early twenties and some of them almost as fanatical towards the Fuhrer as the colour coded captains.
White strode with Blue into the main part of the command structure; the decks were clean and glistening. Most doors had the Spectrum logo, some had a black swastika emblazoned over them. White stepped into a lift, Blue joined him. White pressed a button and then flicked the intercom button.
“This is Standartenfuhrer White, Oberfuhrer Green assemble the officer’s in the conference lounge.”
The German who held the SS equivalent of lieutenant replied in the cool measured tones of a Rhinelander. “At once, sir.”
The intercom switched off, White looked at Blue. “What do you make of our situation, Hauptsturmfuhrer?”
Blue shrugged. “We are in a tight spot, the Mysterons –from what I know- have the ability to be anywhere.”
White stepped from the lift as it stopped; the corridor ran below the bridge. Beneath the bridge was the conference lounge, it was circular and the wall and carpet were in two shades of blue. Two portraits hung on the wall by the main window; one was of the Fuhrer and the other of Himmler.
Cloudbase had cost millions of Reichmarks to make and further money for craft and equipment. White had had to convince Himmler, even though it had been the Fuhrer’s idea for Spectrum.
When Hitler has a great idea, Germany has a great idea! Joseph Goebells, the Propaganda Minister would proclaim.
White and Blue sat down; Green came in with the other officers seconds later. They all bore the rank of Hauptsturmfuhrer and colour coded. Scarlet, Brown, Grey, Indigo, Ochre and Magenta were the best that there were in all the Reich gathered from the three main armed forces. They took their seats. Green sat at a separate table to make notes.
“No sign of Doctor Fawn?” asked Blue to Scarlet, seated next to him.
“He is busy,” Scarlet answered.
“Okay,” White thrust his chin forward his blue eyes meeting his officer’s one by one. “You are by now, familiar with the threat posed by the Mysterons and Black’s mission to the Moon that failed. The threat is directly aimed at the Fuhrer, the Fuhrer wishes us to come down hard on the Mysterons whatever the cost. We’ve lost Black and we must press the advantage.”
“Sir,” Hauptsturmfuhrer Brown’s accent was hard like granite. “Has Black been killed?”
“No, he is now possessed by the Mysterons.” There were looks from the gathered officers. White coughed. “The powers of the Mysterons appear, right now, to be beyond anything we know on this planet - but back to the assignment. Scarlet and Brown,” the two captains stiffened in their seats, “you both are to go down to Berlin and stay with the Fuhrer as he makes his visit to Munich for post birthday celebrations. Nothing is to happen to him.”
The last few words were delivered with titanic stress. But White may as well have told a cheetah to run fast to catch prey. All SS swore an oath to the Fuhrer and God, in that order. The SS’ own motto was Honour is Loyalty. White had sworn the oath upon becoming Spectrum’s commander but believed more in God than the so-called divine power of Adolf Hitler.
“We leave now, sir?” asked Scarlet.
“Yes, the sooner the better,” White sighed. “The Mysterons, as I have said, have powers that we can’t comprehend, be wary. Their eyes are upon us, dismissed and Heil Hitler.”
“Heil!” chorused the officers and dispersed.
Scarlet’s name was Paul Metz. He had been born the day German tanks raced across the border into Poland and began the Second World War. He went into the Hitler Youth, as all youths did, and did his duties there as any youth did. Metz was with his Munich brigade when he came to the attention of the Munich Gauleiter –governor- for initiative whilst on survival trek in the Obersalzburg near Munich. The Gauleiter was taken by Metz’s dedication to the cause and read with great interest, an essay about the Years of Struggle. The Years of Struggle were the pre-power days of the Nazi party, from its weak beginnings under Anton Drexler to ascension into power January 1933. Metz met Hitler for a couple of hours, the Fuhrer coming down from Berlin to meet old party comrades.
Metz remembered it well and had been well taken by the Fuhrer, the older man telling Metz about the Putsch and how he led the crusade against the Jews. Years later, the Fuhrer signed Metz’s entry form to the SS Sepp Dietrich Academy in Berlin.
Metz spent the four years after that and before Spectrum, fighting Russian bandits in the Ural Mountains. Russia might have fallen when Moscow fell, but fighting continued in the vast country even if the occupied land stretched to the Pacific. Metz was approached by White to join Spectrum. He needed someone with valour and honour, a man who was dedicated to the cause. Metz agreed to join and was one of the first captains to join. He was also one of five captains’ in Cloudbase to be a party member.
Scarlet and Brown collected a sleek BMW car from the SS men who met them. They drove out of the airport and into Berlin. Even from the airport, the Great Hall could be seen. Lit up like the moon against the clouds.
Scarlet glanced at Brown. The older man was a Norwegian; on his armband he bore the Nordland patch that told everyone as such. He had brown hair and startling green eyes. He had joined Spectrum from the Luftwaffe where he had been a test pilot and had shown skills required for the unit. As far as Scarlet knew, he was a dedicated Nazi. Then again, from what Scarlet knew of Norway in the war, you had to be dedicated if you were a Norwegian joining the Armed Forces.
Brown shrugged his eyes fixed on the road before them. “No, but protecting the Fuhrer is a monumental task.”
“Indeed it is, but we must be prepared for the Mysterons to attack,” Scarlet turned towards a bridge that spanned the River Spree further upstream from central Berlin. It was darker now; lights twinkled along the road from streetlamps. Passing pine trees seemed to grow taller. Flashes of lightning zipped across the clouds, rain pelted the car. “Quick change of weather,” mumbled Scarlet.
“Berlin is always like that,” Brown said. “Balmy as hell.”
“Right,” Scarlet chuckled and switched on the headlights. The beams of light shone through drops of rain that was falling like shellfire. Scarlet was reminded of coming under fire from partisans above his platoon on a ridge in the mountains. Except, this was rain and it wouldn’t kill them. Lightning now lit the horizon in greater frequency, thunder rumbled ominously like artillery fire.
“Even so,” Scarlet pondered quietly, “this isn’t right.”
Both officers’ were blinded as a lighting bolt slammed into the bridge before the Spectrum BMW. The BMW skidded as Scarlet’s hands flailed up to cover his face, the car made wailing noises like a dying whale and lurched towards the bridge’s side. It crashed through the barrier on the side, in a swirl of screeching metal and tyres the BMW dropped into the raging waters of the Spree. As the Spree claimed the car, the waves began to calm. From above, the black clouds scudded to the south lightning and thunder dwindling. Two figures walked onto the bridge by the crashed barricade and looked into the now calm waters.
Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet turned to Hauptsturmfuhrer Brown.
“The order of the Mysterons shall be obeyed.”
Adolf Hitler smiled as he saw Munich appear beneath the special Junkers Ju352/4 jet named Luftwaffe Alfa. He looked at Scarlet who sat across the aisle in the plush seats of the personal aircraft of the Fuhrer. “Munich is more my home than Vienna could ever have been.”
Scarlet nodded stiffly, Hitler shrugged to himself and looked away. Scarlet had said few words since boarding the aircraft with Brown to escort Hitler. Hitler had been used to SS men like that, they had sworn an oath to him and that had been enough.
Within minutes, flanked by Me362 jet fighters, the jetliner began to descend towards Munich International Airport. The airport rushed up to meet the aircraft and there then came the thump and squeal of tyres meeting the tarmac.
No sooner had the aircraft began slowing and approaching the reception party did Scarlet and Brown stand and head towards the front door of the jet. Other members of Hitler’s bodyguard –the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler- assumed positions along the aisle behind Hitler’s compartment. The Ju352/4 was parked neatly by the Luftwaffe pilot at the mobile staircase bedecked in swastikas. As the engines began to whine down, the excited screaming of adoring Germans replaced the hum. Hitler stood weakly, he was eighty years old after all and despite German advances in medical science, it wouldn’t stop him dying of old age. Brown walked down the steps first, at the bottom were one Mercedes limousine flying the Fuhrer’s pennants and two Munich police cars their sirens flashing brightly. Crowds were held behind a barricade before terminal two, the building itself was designed by Speer in 1955 and was the second biggest airport in the Reich. Next to Berlin, naturally.
Hitler came to the top of the stairs and flicked his right arm up. The screams became ordered, regimented. German.
“Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” the chant was repeated; it made Hitler’s heart swell.
Scarlet followed Hitler down; the crowd’s chant was getting louder. Behind Scarlet, members of the bodyguard came down, their hands near their guns. Scarlet tapped the butt of his Luger carefully. The Fuhrer paused by the rear door of the limo that Brown held open and extended his arm fully. The crowd now simply shouted victory!
“Sieg! Sieg! Sieg!”
Hitler climbed into the car, Brown got in beside him and Scarlet in front with the driver. Scarlet said in clipped tones to the driver. “The Burgerbraukeller.”
The Fuhrer’s motorcade made off, quickly leaving the airport and into streets flanked by well wishers. Uniforms dotted the crowds, Hitler Youth, Bund deustcher Madel and the armed forces. Yet, black uniforms of SS troops held them back. Stern faced and revealing little as the motorcade passed deeper into Munich.
“You and Scarlet are taking no chances, Hauptsturmfuhrer,” said Hitler watching Brown who was seated before him with his back ramrod straight against the bulletproof partition.
Brown’s green eyes flicked to Hitler, the Fuhrer saw hardness in those eyes. He knew from Himmler that Spectrum was made up of men who were tough as nails, men who would not hesitate to take a bullet for their Fuhrer. “Your safety is of chief importance, Mein Fuhrer.”
“That is good and that is how it should be,” Hitler looked out seeing crowd flying flags, some with banners of Hitler. “I’ve had many enemies, many of which are now gone.”
Resettled to the East, the official line of the Party but Hitler knew what anyone else suspected. He smiled. He had never signed his name to that.
“You’re enemies now are more powerful than Jews, Mein Fuhrer.”
Brown’s calm statement made Hitler narrow his eyes at him. “One of the SS is not accustomed to making comments like that, Hauptsturmfuhrer, even to the Fuhrer.”
“So be it,” a cold monotone response.
The entourage stopped before the Burgerbraukeller, it was here that in 1923 that Hitler attempted the Putsch. But his attempt at overthrowing the government was betrayed by those close to him, his supporters –and himself- were gunned down in the streets by government troops and police. Hitler spent nine months in prison. There he wrote Mein Kampf, his blueprint for the New World Order. His enemies thought they had seen the last of him, yet from 1924 to 1933 the Nazis took more and more seats in the Reichstag. After the Reichstag fire of 1933 he had the backing of millions and in 1934 sealed his destiny. The war was a footnote to all the Years of Struggle, but an important footnote.
The Fuhrer stepped from the shiny black Mercedes between Brown and Scarlet, the two captains still wore their peaked officer caps. Other SS men wore their helmets. Before the entourage was a red carpet stretching inside the beer hall. Either side of the carpet were Hitler Youth standing ramrod straight and proud. Behind either rank of Youth boys were more people cheering the Fuhrer, Hitler began to walk down smiling at the crowd saluting. He paused on the carpet to shake hands with some of the Youth members. One boy, of about sixteen wore a Putsch badge. Hitler tapped it.
“Where did you get this?”
“My father, Mein Fuhrer,” the boy tried to stand straighter. His blond hair was cut short, eyes were blue. “He was at the Putsch with you, he helped you escape.”
Hitler smiled and patted the boy on his shoulder. “A true German, well done.”
Hitler moved on inside, the beer hall was as it had been for forty-six years. More swastikas adorned pillars, some were embroidered with gold. Some men waited by the front, the hall was full of uniformed party members and their families. Hitler walked quickly to the front, some of the old fire returning. Scarlet and Brown came with him.
The men at the front were all old party comrades from the Years of Struggle. Each was overcome with emotion at seeing their old comrade at close hand. The Fuhrer kept his emotions hidden, he did allow himself to look touched by the gathering.
He took to the stage, Brown stood before the podium. Hitler looked for Scarlet, but the other Spectrum captain was not present. Expectant eyes looked to the Fuhrer.
“Comrades, Sieg Heil!”
“Sieg Heil, Mein Fuhrer!” came the rousing cry that threatened to lift the rafters.
“Forty-six years ago we fought to achieve our destiny, although it came ten years later we must never forget those days and those who lost their lives to the forces of those Jewish puppets!”
Clapping and cheers. With a single flick of the wrist he silenced the crowd before looking at the words on the sheet lay down before he had arrived. Goebells had written it, but he was in Berlin, he had sent it ahead by telefax.
“The war showed the world not to trifle with the Third Reich and even now, the United States is still trembling!”
More shouts, another flick of the wrist, more silence.
“Italy was subdued due to my foresight that the Allies would use the subsequent civil war to stir them against us, but we held firm! Italy is now nothing more than a serving ally. Britain is nothing more than an extension of this great Empire, the occupation there will remain for the Reich’s existence. Their punishment for fighting the destiny of the Reich. But we must not forget that Spain are making advances, since the death of our ally Franco the country has been fighting off growing democratic pressure from within! The USA wants elections in Spain, but the true country folk are against this and so are we. Do we really want a democratic Spain?”
“NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!” came the screaming reply.
Hitler allowed the shouts to wash over him, before him Brown was totally impassive. The Fuhrer smelt something, like burning but he ignored it.
“A democratic country is corrupt!” he shouted.
“SIEG HEIL! SIEG HEIL! SIEG HEIL!”
He extended his arm outwards and watched as his audience stood to salute, he then waved them to silence. As silence came, somebody from the front row in an Army uniform shouted.
“Mein Gott! He’s on fire!”
Hitler frowned and looked down, smoke was licking Brown from inside. Wisps of smoke curled from his neck and into the air. Some of the audience gave up their composure and turned to run. Three SS soldiers came running down the aisle, shoving people aside. Hitler gripped the podium, as the smoke got denser, it was as if Brown was on fire within.
Just then, the world went black and became an instant Gottadamerung.
Standartenfuhrer White folded his hands atop his console in the command bridge of the mighty zeppelin. His blue eyes took in the Fuhrer, Blue and Scarlet seated before him. Scarlet looked ill at ease, sitting rigid as if constantly at attention.
“Mein Fuhrer, it is providence that saw you escape the explosion.”
Hitler looked at White with a look that had often struck fear into generals.
“I am immortal, Colonel,” he nodded. “Saved by divine providence. But what I want to know is, what of Hauptsturmfuhrer Brown? Was he really a bomb?”
The head of Spectrum felt irritated with what Hitler said but did not show it. The fact that Scarlet appeared from nowhere and bundled Hitler out of the building as Brown exploded was down to luck and nothing as divine. And the fact, that two hundred and fifty supporters had been crushed to death by the falling masonry did not seem to affect Hitler as much. White sighed and opened the folder on his desk. He dragged a forefinger down the pages that were still warm from the telefax machine. “The evidence suggests as such, Mein Fuhrer, it appears he was a bomb and not simply carrying one.”
Hitler sniffed loudly. “Brown was a Russian sympathiser.”
White looked sharply at Hitler. “Hardly, Mein Fuhrer, Brown was one of my best men. Before Spectrum he was the top test pilot of the Luftwaffe, without him we wouldn’t have the jets we have today to challenge the USA. Brown was dedicated, loyal and keen for his duty. The fact he would sympathise with the Russians –those that are left- is inconceivable.”
Blue glanced at Hitler, the Fuhrer was unmoving and unaffected. “What is the other solution, White?”
“That he was a Mysteron.”
“What!” shouted Hitler. Standing he placed wrinkled hands on White’s desk looking down at him. “You suggest that, that man was an alien?”
“Perhaps, the Mysterons did reconstruct their complex on the Moon it is possible that can reconstruct people. It would explain why Brown was a bomb, not carrying one.”
Hitler lifted a hand and waved it about angrily. “How could he have been reconstructed?”
“I said it was possible he was reconstructed, Mein Fuhrer,” White said patiently. “Not that he was.”
“Twist your words then, Standartenfuhrer,” hissed Hitler. “But bear in mind White, it is not wise to make an enemy of me.”
White maintained his calm. “So be it, Mein Fuhrer.”
Hitler sat and White nodded stiffly. “Might I suggest that you are taken to a Spectrum safe house? Until this threat is over.”
The Fuhrer waved a hand in silent acceptance. White looked at Scarlet.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet, take the Fuhrer to safe house beta.”
“Jawohl, Standartenfuhrer,” Scarlet stood and clicked his heels before looking at Hitler. “If you’ll accompany me Mein Fuhrer.”
After the two had left, White sighed loudly and caught Blue looking at him.
“Something on your mind, Blue?”
“Nothing, sir,” Blue said quietly.
“Good,” White closed the folder. “Be on readiness, Blue, I might need you soon. Dismissed.”
Blue saluted and left. White turned his console to look out the viewport at the front and tapped his chin in thought.
Fifteen minutes after Hitler and Scarlet left on a SPJ for the safe house, Cloudbase changed course. It was routine to do so, the American spyplanes had always tried since Cloudbase’s construction to pinpoint the base’s route to no avail. However, at this time, the base received a transmission. This in itself was not unusual; the base had to report to SS headquarters often.
Oberfuhrer –lieutenant-SS- Green was from Breslau in Upper Silesia in what were formerly Poland and now an extension of Greater Germany. His dark hair and complexion belied the fact that he was Silesian and was more of an attribute from four years training in Italy. Green was the communications expert; he was also fluent in six languages which considering the Reich’s scope was extremely helpful.
The telefax machine was built into Green’s console ten feet behind White’s console near the entrance to the command bridge. It began to churn the sheet out as it did when processing and so Green waited. The ACTHUNG! Emblazoned across the top of the sheet drew Green’s attention. He took it out.
From the Berlin SS and Police, interesting.
“Standartenfuhrer White,” he called to White. The colonel was writing and did not turn.
“Incident report from the Berlin Police and SS.”
White swung his console around eyes narrowed. “Berlin, that is most interesting. What branch of the SS?”
The Kriminalpolizei –nicknamed Kripo- was the criminal police and had been incorporated into the main SS in 1938. The greater part of Kripo men were non-party members, those that were party members were for greater pay and opportunities.
“Read it, word for word, Green.”
Green’s eyes flicked to the neatly printed copperplate.
“Crash scene of Spectrum BMW found near Spree bridge in eastern Berlin. Wreckage pulled from Spree, car virtually intact believed crashed through bridge barrier. Bodies of two SS officers pulled from car, ID cards found in tunics identity them as Haupsturmfuhrers Scarlet and Brown of Spectrum.” Green exhaled and looked at White. “That’s it, sir.”
White looked as if he had seen the ghost of Stalin rise from Russia to avenge himself upon the Reich. “Re-read the last bit, Oberfuhrer.”
“Identify them as Haupsturmfuhrers Scarlet and Brown of Spectrum.”
White looked down at his folder and then at Green. “If the Kripo has found the bodies of Scarlet and Brown it is possible and likely, that the Scarlet and Brown that accompanied the Fuhrer to Munich are impostors.”
“Standartenfuhrer,” Green’s face was scrunched into a frown. “If that is the case, than doesn’t that mean Scarlet is a Mysteron? He’s with the Fuhrer!”
Realisation dawned on White’s face and he snapped off an order.
“Green, launch all Valkyries!”
The Wagner Room was the changing room and resting area of the Valkyries pilots. The women were hardened pilots, as part of their training for Spectrum they had gone through rigorous commando training in Russia and North Africa. A picture of Hitler beamed down from the wall between the two tubes that carried Valkyrie Two and Three to their jets.
Klaxons began wailing and not the ordinary launch klaxons. The alarms were whooping and loud. Valkyrie Two –a redhead by the name of Destructor- stood.
“What could be the cause of all this?”
Before anyone could say anything, Oberfuhrer Green’s voice came over the intercom.
“All Valkyries launch, this is not a drill! Report all Valkyries launch immediately!”
Destructor and a fellow Valkyrie, Executor rushed to their seats. High above as they readied, the lead Valkyrie –Avenger pressed the turboboost on her jet and rushed down the deck that laid across the zeppelin’s dorsal side.
Destructor and Executor joined her in the air moments later; the jets were sleek looking in the air and deadly looking in their black colours. As they streaked away from Cloudbase, White’s voice came over the squadron intercom.
“Valkyries, this is White, the Fuhrer and Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet are on course zero-two-zero. Scarlet is a Mysteron agent, stop him at all costs but the Fuhrer must not be harmed. I am readying a support crew. White out.”
“SIG,” Avenger said her accent husky and French. She was one of a dozen or so Frenchmen to join Spectrum. Since 1940, it had not been unheard of for Frenchmen to join the Germans. Indeed, there is a SS French division.
She banked her fighter with the others following and jetted north.
“So that’s the situation,” White spread his hands. “Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue.”
At White’s desk Blue suddenly looked up. “Sorry, sir.”
“I appreciate you and Scarlet are close friends, but he is, I’m afraid, a Mysteron agent. I am putting you in charge of an assault team, choose your men.”
Blue swept his eyes over his fellow officers, he pointed. “Magenta, Ochre and Green.”
At his console, Green brightened. “Thanks, Hauptsturmfuhrer!”
Blue did not smile. “Relax, Green, you’re coming as my comms officer.”
Green calmed and White nodded. “Very well, Blue, take a SPJ. Hopefully the Valkyries can force Scarlet down and you can take him.”
“Take him out, sir?” asked Magenta.
“Yes,” White looked pained. “Take him out.”
Hauptsturmfuhrer Magenta was, like so many in Spectrum, an anomaly. Despite his dark hair, blue eyes and strong build he was not German. Magenta had been born Patrick Donaghue, least German of German names. Born in the Republic of Ireland before the absolvement of the north, he wanted to do something different. So he fell into crime, but was caught on a job breaking into a house. The Irish police sent him across the Irish Sea to their German neighbours and he ended up being put into a SS battalion extension of the British division, Britisches Freikorps. In the Freikorps he leant to appreciate the Fuhrer and became a party member on his last day of the tenure. Day after, he joined the BFK and then was taken into Spectrum, for White needed someone who wasn’t afraid to break the rules to achieve his objective. In fact, whilst training with the others in Russia he stole several items from Scarlet, Blue and Black and sold them to Russian peasants. Nobody knew until a peasant was seen wearing Scarlet’s uniform helmet.
Magenta lifted a German Wolfgang machine gun, it was an automatic and had a fixable magazine. He chucked it to Blue who caught it deftly.
“How many mags, Blue?”
“Five each then,” Magenta handed the magazines out and reached for stick grenades. Stick grenades were thrown like javelins in some ways, but had changed little since the war. They were nicknamed potato mashers by those in the Wehrmacht.
“Think we’ll need potato mashers?” he said in his Irish accented German.
“Yes,” grunted Ochre. Ochre was a former Kripo man, chosen for his investigative skills. Ochre had a past darker than some of the others.
“You don’t say much do you?” quipped Magenta with a wry grin.
Ochre lifted his own gun and scowled. “Stop with the stupid jokes, Magenta, we have work to do.”
Blue stepped between them, ever since joining Spectrum the two hadn’t got on. Ochre as a Kripo man hadn’t been a party member but Magenta was as Nazi as most Spectrum members. You didn’t have to be a member of the party in Spectrum, but if you weren’t you were frowned upon and it didn’t stop Magenta and Ochre clashing.
“Come on, guys, to the hangar.”
They walked off out of the Armoury, Oberfuhrer Green stood by Blue’s shoulder.
“Think they’ll be okay, sir?”
“Have to find out won’t we?” Blue glanced at Green. “For now, we’ve got bigger fish to catch.”
Scarlet gently moved the throttle lever and banked the SPJ into northern Germany. Beside him the Fuhrer was quiet, Scarlet had not spoken to him and it had been so vice versa. When the radar screen on the console began beeping with three incoming aircraft, Hitler looked at Scarlet.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer, what is it?”
Scarlet did not answer, instead he banked again. Hitler visibly flinched as three black jets screamed past, their afterburners blazing. Swastikas stood out white on the tailfins as they slowed and banked to match the SPJ’s course. German countryside blurred green and brown far below cloud scudded skies.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer!” shouted Hitler.
Scarlet levelled, the radio crackled and a female voice came on.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet, this is Avenger Valkyrie. Return to Cloudbase immediately, repeat return to Cloudbase or we will fire.”
Hitler could only sit there as Scarlet dived the SPJ in a manoeuvre wholly unsuitable for it. Wind whistled past the SPJ as it dived, further behind Avenger dived her jet with the others following. Hitler’s eyes watched as the altimeter dial slid past 10,000 and into four digits.
Scarlet pulled back and levelled once more, they were at 8000 feet. Avenger roared past and slowed to stay in front, Destructor and Executor hung further back.
“Scarlet I have been in contact with Standartenfuhrer White. He wants you to return, if you do not I have orders to fire.”
Scarlet did not respond, instead he brought the SPJ’s concussion missiles online. In Avenger’s cockpit, the computer began screaming a missile lock warning. She pulled to starboard as missiles sped past. “Your time is up.”
At Avenger’s calm statement, Hitler looked at Scarlet. “Damn it, Scarlet! What’s going on?”
“You’ll see, Earthman,” said Scarlet quietly and reached for the ejector buttons.
Scarlet and the Fuhrer were hurled into the air on their seats, Avenger’s warning shots clipped the SPJ for it had begun to tumble out of control. The passenger jet exploded. Avenger looked around.
“Standartenfuhrer, Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet and the Fuhrer have ejected.”
“Very well, Avenger, stay with them. Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue and his team are on route.”
Ever since the days of the Putsch back in 1923, Hitler had kept a pistol –even through the remainder of the Years of Struggle and the war he held onto it. Today would be no exception, as the chair hit the grassland and tumbled over Hitler fervently undid his belts. He clambered out and drew his pistol. He could see Scarlet’s crash seat further along but no sign of the traitor.
Suddenly, Hitler was punched from behind and his vision exploded purple. He fell to his knees but was roughly dragged up, he felt the muzzle of a Luger against his belly. As for his pistol, no sign.
“A foolish mistake, but the Mysterons have plans for you, Earthman.”
“Scarlet, you damned traitor! I’ll have you shot for this!”
“Unfortunate for you that you will not live to have that done.”
Scarlet prodded him in the ribs with the Luger. “There’s a road, go there.”
They began to walk there, overhead the Valkyries screeched past. Avenger reported the position and gained some more height. All the same, the Fuhrer of the Greater German Reich felt a cold feeling deep inside his stomach.
Blue checked the console and smiled at Green in the co-pilots seat beside him. “This is new for you isn’t it?”
“Yes, sir, my first field assignment.”
“Enjoy it whilst you can, Scarlet’s our enemy now.”
Blue looked forlorn as he watched the sky ahead. He was a Swede, during the war they had been neutral but it hadn’t stopped some coming over to the Reich and joining. For you see, Hitler counted them as Aryans for they were Nordic and all that. Blue had been Adam Svenson, born in Stockholm in 1938 during the Munich Crisis. His parents were Swedish and had German heritage, the heritage was close enough to entitle Adam to going to the Reich. So he packed his bags at twenty and made his way into occupied Norway, there he joined the Scandinavian SS division Nordland. The Nordland was the elite of all the foreign SS divisions including the Dutch Nederland division. Adam leant everything he needed to know for a substantial life in the Reich. When he was in Berlin in 1964 for the Fuhrer’s seventy-fifth celebrations, he swore an oath to him in a massive street ceremony. There and then, he became a fervent National Socialist and two years later was taken into Spectrum. Blue was concerned with the here and now; stories of so-called death camps during the war did not affect him. First of all, he was Swedish and during the war the Swedes were not involved and secondly it was the sixties and the war was long ago.
Blue was snapped from his reverie and looked at Green. “Yes, Oberfuhrer?”
“Avenger reports that Scarlet and the Fuhrer have now taken a car and are heading for a Baltic coastal town. Adlersburg, some miles from Rostock.”
“Never heard of it,” Blue shrugged. “Never mind we go where the Fuhrer goes, adjusting course.”
Blue had become good friends with Scarlet during their training, Scarlet joined him in attending party rallies in their off time and told him of his encounter with the Fuhrer as a Hitler Youth. Blue had not been as fortunate.
Blue watched the screen below the radar that showed the German landscape on a computer screen, it was the Reich Positioning Satellite. The Reich had three satellites in orbit, one was for TV and the other two reputedly for RPS but one must be a spy satellite.
On the screen the word ROSTOCK appeared in glowing yellow letters, then a wavy yellow line came above it and beyond the line did the word BALTIC mark where the sea met the line. “Where the blazes is this town?”
Green typed into the RPS keypad and a small word appeared on the coast over a bay.
As they neared the town, three Valkyrie jets came into close formation.
“Avenger to Blue, they have stopped at Adlersburg. We cannot see them, but they have not left.”
“Are there any townsfolk?” asked Blue through his headgear looking at Avenger’s jet.
“None, it is a fishing town and have all gone south for this month.”
Blue shrugged. “Very well, Avenger, stay near. We’re going in to land.”
The landscape tilted onto its side as he banked downwards.
Standing at the upper floor front window of Adlersburg’s pub, Scarlet watched the SPJ disappear behind the houses of Adlersburg. There was only one road into the town, so it had to go past the houses that made up the residential area. Behind them was the pub, town square, two buildings for surgery and shopping and then the harbour with a small pier and a cove for the boats.
Scarlet turned to Hitler, the Fuhrer was tied to the bedpost of the small bed and squatting on the floor. He glared at Scarlet.
“Foolish,” Scarlet murmured. “Your fellow Earthmen are coming to rescue you, but the Mysterons will get here first.”
Suddenly Scarlet’s head cocked to one side and a ghostly, eerie voice filled the room. Hitler flinched.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet, this is Hauptsturmfuhrer Black delivering instructions on behalf of the Mysterons…”
“YOU DAMNED TRAITOR!” screamed Hitler struggling at his binds. Scarlet looked at him as he continued to shout. “Damn you both! I’ll have you hung, then shot –no I’ll have you hung by piano wire like the animals you are!”
Scarlet lifted the hand with the Luger and brought it down, Hitler sagged against the post unconscious with blood tricking down the side of his head. Scarlet stood back.
Black’s dead voice continued as if uninterrupted. “We will send a helicopter to pick you up. This will take you into the Baltic where we will take you back to our complex. Be patient, Scarlet, the Mysterons will be avenged.”
“Yes,” Scarlet’s eyes gleamed with intensity. “The Mysterons will be avenged.”
Blue’s team all wore black helmets like their Army counterparts, the SS logo was emblazoned on all of them. They carried their Wolfgangs at their chests, tucked into their belts were stick grenades and personal Lugers. They walked down the roadway into Adlersburg, the houses were pre-war and looked old and dingy. Wind whistled through the town, the buildings covered the sound of the Baltic crashing on the shoreline.
Blue looked around constantly. If only for a Panzer, he thought.
They emerged into the small town square, in the middle of the square was a fifteen foot high statue of Hitler with one arm outstretched and etched into the base, with dirt streaking from its groove was the simple legend. ‘DER FUHRER’.
To the left was a building marked as a surgery, to the right was a shop behind them the road and in front a pub. The wind continued to howl and it made Blue’s skin tingle. He glanced at Magenta standing beside him, the Irishman said. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Suddenly, gunshots blew up dust at Blue’s feet and he dived forwards, taking cover behind the statue. Ochre, Magenta and Green found cover in the doorway of the shop. The shots ceased and Blue peeked around, he tilted his helmet back and shouted.
He could just make out Scarlet, standing at the window. “Never, Earthman!”
One more shot blew stone off the statue. Blue looked up and prayed that the Fuhrer wouldn’t fall on him. That would be ironic.
Blue turned onto his back and waved at the others, when Magenta acknowledged Blue tapped his digital radio on the belt next to his Luger. Magenta waved to show again he had acknowledged and soon his voice was whispering over the radio.
“What do we do, Blue?”
Blue spoke into his radio quietly. “Scarlet can see everything we do; we might have to storm the pub.”
“That’ll look good, the Fuhrer killed in crossfire.”
“Then suggest something instead of criticising,” Blue said haughtily. “Time is short.”
Blue stood, he peeked once more around the statue’s edge and could not see Scarlet.
“Where are you, Paul?” he murmured.
Blue took some steps into the square and then he saw him, poking out from behind curtains. His Luger was poking out the window as he leant forward. Blue cursed and brought his Wolfgang to bear and fired. His gun chattered, stitching bullets across the frame. Scarlet did not flinch and fired. Blue hit the ground and rolled, he grunted as he rolled on his grenades and then laid still. He feigned injury and, when no more shots came, ran towards the corner of the pub.
“Blasted fool!” hissed Magenta from the shop doorway.
Blue wiped his lips and waved the others forward, but as they emerged from cover, shots forced them inside. An idea came to mind and Blue brought his radio up.
“Magenta, get the others onto the roof of the shop. You can do a rooftop crossing.”
“Are you mad?” came Magenta’s reply.
“I’m still waiting for your own suggestion,” Blue shot back.
The radio crackled with Magenta’s sigh. “Right.”
Magenta, Green and Ochre soon disappeared into the shop. Blue pressed his back against the wall and inched towards the pubs door. As he neared his radio went off loudly with an incoming message, cursing he pressed the speak button.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer, this is Avenger. There is a Spectrum helicopter incoming, from the east.”
Blue frowned. “Maybe it’s from a local command, giving us support. Check with Cloudbase.”
Blue reached the wooden door of the pub, the name was faded but Blue could make out –Fisherman’s Wharf. He pushed it open, it swung inward quietly. Inside, the pub smelt of stale beer and cigarettes. Try as the party had to make smoking illegal, it still wasn’t working. There were stairs at the rear of the pub, he hurried towards them as from above he heard the steady thumping of rotor blades.
The roof of the shop was startlingly flat. Magenta pushed the fire exit hatch open and pulled himself up. When he emerged he rolled to one side and waited for Green and Ochre to emerge. The other captain grunted as he saw the Baltic beyond the pub, grey and menacing.
“Relax,” Magenta said. “We’re not in it yet.”
They crawled towards the corner nearest the pub and could see the open window from which Scarlet had already fired. Magenta began to stand when he heard a helicopter, he turned and saw a sleek nosed Spectrum chopper come in. It was painted black with a large swastika on its belly.
“Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue, please respond,” crackled Magenta’s radio at his hip.
“Avenger, this is Magenta, what’s the problem?”
Avenger’s voice was calm but fringed with concern. “Blue does not respond to his radio.”
“Most likely inside the pub,” said Magenta. “Pass your message, Avenger.”
“The helicopter is not Spectrum’s. Spectrum Rostock reported it stolen two hours ago!”
Magenta watched the helicopter come speeding in.
Right at them.
“Hell! Get down!” shouted Magenta pressing himself flat.
The helicopter came in like a screaming banshee, bullets stitched across the rooftop chipping slate into the air and pinging off the Spectrum men’s helmets. The helicopter raced off into the distance to return, Magenta lifted his head up to see Scarlet begin to drag the Fuhrer onto the roof of the pub.
“You bastard,” he whispered. Magenta reached for his radio, his hand was stung with pricks of blood caused by flying slate. “Avenger, destroy the helicopter. This is a direct order, destroy the helicopter. It is considered hostile.”
“Spectrum Is Green.”
Avenger selected missiles and thumbed her intercom. “After me, girls.”
The Valkyries worked as fluently together as any unit inside the Reich, they gave some of the best tactical squadrons in the Luftwaffe a run for their money and were even more dedicated. They took their oaths to the Fuhrer seriously.
Avenger watched the helicopter bank over Adlersburg Bay to come in again. Avenger came racing in and fired, her missiles struck the side but the helicopter shuddered and held firm.
Destructor began her run and licked her pale lips. She came in close, her console screeched collision warning and then she fired pulling away sharply. The helicopter began to smoke from the rear, it circled and then plummeted into the bay. Swallowed by the grey waters.
“Avenger to Magenta, SIG.”
“Thanks, Avenger, I owe you one.”
Blue reached the bedroom in time to see Hitler’s boots disappear upwards. He ran to the window and slung his Wolfgang over his back. He could see Magenta and the others on the shops rooftop, Magenta waved and pointed above Blue. Blue nodded and stood on the window frame, he then began to climb up. Wind howled past him and he gritted his teeth, mountaineering he had done in Norway but not scaling a pub’s front. His hands scrabbled across the slate and then he was over on top. He stood and felt the wind buffet him, at the other side of the building’s roof was Scarlet. His gun was pointed at Hitler’s head, the Fuhrer was kneeling looking down.
“Paul!” shouted Blue.
Scarlet’s head whipped around and centred on Blue. “There’s nothing that you can do, Earthman.”
“Surrender, you’ve failed. There’s nowhere you can hide!”
“NEVER!” shouted Scarlet, his voice was missing something sounding almost dead. Scarlet’s finger tightened around the trigger. “The Mysterons orders will be carried out.”
“Damn it, Paul! If you shoot the Fuhrer, the whole world will be plunged into crisis.”
“You believe your own lies,” Scarlet cocked the gun.
Blue drew his gun and fired twice, the two bullets struck Scarlet in the chest. He staggered back, his Luger clattered to the rooftop. He clutched his belly and stared at Blue. The Swede fired twice more. The final shots lifted Scarlet over the edge of the roof and hurtling to the harbour side. Gun in hand, Blue ran to the Fuhrer and knelt by him.
“Help will come soon, Mein Fuhrer.”
“Thank you, Blue.”
Blue stood and walked to the edge of the roof, looking down at Scarlet’s figure he cursed once more.
Hitler stood back in the conference lounge and saluted. “Congratulations, Hauptsturmfuhrer Blue.”
Blue looked at the Knight’s Cross-on his breast and saluted back. “Heil.”
The gathered officers and the Valkyries – all except the standby Valkyrie clapped and then saluted the Fuhrer as he turned to face them. He looked at Standartenfuhrer White standing nearby.
“A job well done, yes?”
“Jawohl, Mein Fuhrer,” White hesitated. “But the Mysterons remain, Mein Fuhrer.”
“We will defeat them, in time. It will not take days or weeks but maybe years, but in time they will be defeated for they are unwelcome and unwanted!”
“Sieg Heil!” chorused the gathered officers.
Doctor Fawn ran into the conference lounge, White looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Something wrong, Doctor?”
Fawn caught his breath. “Its Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet, he’s alive!”
There were breaths of astonishment, Hitler scowled. “What!”
“Doctor,” White said calmly. “He was shot four times and fell forty feet.”
“I know, but he’s alive I tell you.”
White, Hitler and Blue followed Fawn to sickbay, once inside they saw Scarlet lying on a biobed. They went to his side.
Blue looked at his friend and said softly. “Paul, you awake?”
Scarlet’s eyes fluttered open and Hitler’s scowl deepened.
“Doctor, I want this man dead.”
Fawn shook his head. “I’m sorry, Mein Fuhrer, but he appears to be recovering fully. I will not perform a mercy killing on someone who is healthy.”
“How, doctor?” asked White.
“Something to do with the Mysteron effect, I can’t elaborate more for it’s too soon. But the Hauptsturmfuhrer could be indestructible, shot, flamed, and maimed. He will return.”
Hitler looked at Fawn. “Nothing can harm him?”
Fawn shrugged. “I have to make more tests, but it appears that way.”
Hitler looked in wonder at Scarlet, the Spectrum officer was blinking.
“Then Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet will do the Reich a great service. He could be the future of this Reich.”
With that, the Fuhrer turned on his heel and walked out. In time, the others but Fawn left and on the table Scarlet rubbed his head and looked to Fawn.
“In time I’ll tell you, now rest.”
Fawn laid Scarlet down and walked off to his office.
Hauptsturmfuhrer Scarlet will return in time, to save the Fatherland from more Mysteron dangers.
SS CAPTAIN SCARLET WILL RETURN IN “GREY MIST”
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