Survivalist - 24 - Blood Assassins

BOOK: Survivalist - 24 - Blood Assassins
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Title : #24 : BLOOD ASSASSINS

Series : Survivalist

Author(s) : Jerry Ahern

Location : Gillian Archives

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One

The knife in his hand—it was designed and executed after the style of a British implement of war, but no matter—was double-edged, forming a triangle with long equilateral sides and an extremely narrow base. The sides made the double edges, and they were sharpened past any usefulness as a working blade, good only for shaving and one thing else.

That one other thing was taking life.

Helmut Spitz, hands double-gloved in leather over synthetic rubber (this to protect his hands from injury and guard against blood-transmitted infection), drove the blade of his dagger into the sentry’s carotid artery. Spitz’s left hand was closed over the about-to-be-dead man’s mouth in order to stifle any sort of sound. Spitz was not worried (concerning his eyes) over the blood spray that the torn artery would produce, because he wore a gas mask fitted with goggles.

From historical records, Spitz knew that in the days prior to what had come to be known as “the Night of the War,” commandoes were taught to attack the

femoral artery on the inside of the thigh whenever possible and to be cautious should a hand blow be delivered to an opponent’s mouth lest the skin of the knuckles be broken, all as a precaution against communicable disease. Many of mankind’s physical ills had been conquered since those days, but Spitz was careful; there was no reason compelling him to be otherwise.

The sentry’s body sagged into Spitz’s arms and only then did Spitz withdraw the weapon, the knife a copy of the Fairbairn-Sykes commando blades of World War II. Two wars and six and one-half centuries away, in the hands of a descendant of the Nazis for whose killing this knife was originally designed, it was still marvelously effective. Spitz was a student of edged weapons, and for that reason he carried more than one: a general-purpose pocket knife of the type still called “Swiss Army Knives”; a heavy, short, stout, fixed-blade utility knife; and, this commando dagger.

Helmut Spitz dragged the dead body back into the shadows, holding his breath in order to enable him to hear any sounds which might trigger a mental alarm; his left hand was still over the mouth of the now-dead man, on the off chance that there might yet be a death rattle. There was a sound indicating that the dead man’s bowels were loosening, but there was no way to prevent that.

It was so still here that, had Spitz used the knife against a kidney or along the inside of the sentry’s thigh or merely plunged the knife through the chest and into the heart, the sound of steel cutting fabric might conceivably have been heard.

That was why he went for bare flesh.

None of the sentries in this vast hall was helmeted and that was a positive advantage to Spitz and his unit, aiding in unhampered access to the neck and voiding any possibility for potentially noise-producing headgear to tumble to the marbleized synthetic stone of the floor. The cryogenic storage facility at New Germany in Argentina, perhaps because of the two bodies still entombed here, seemed cathedral-like—ceiling of great height, vaulted and buttressed, but the walls windowless. The floor of this, the main room, was enormous, nearly adequately sized for a soccer field, barren of ornamentation.

And the guards were sworn to secrecy concerning this location. Although chosen (it was supposedly a great honor to stand watch here) from among the most trusted men in the crack units of the Trans-Global Alliance, they filled a need that was essentially ceremonial. After all, the cryogenic facility was fully self-contained and self-sustaining, located in such a remote spot that most conventional forms of access were impossible. The entryways were guarded, equipped with computerized sentry systems and armored against anything short of a nuclear strike.

The slings of the guards’ energy rifles were white synthetic leather, as were the pistol belts and holsters for their energy pistols. And they wore dress uniforms.

The man whom Helmut Spitz had just killed was a German, but the guards at the entryway, killed only moments earlier, were Chinese and American, the latter a Marine in “dress blues,” as they were called.

It was a Chinese, a descendant of one of the survivors of the Second City, who had betrayed the installation, allowed Spitz and his commandoes entry. The man

harbored hate for the Rourke Family, the Rourkes causing the defeat of the Second City and responsible for its fall from power. The Chinese was among the few surviving believers who worshipped in the Second City’s death cult. Spitz had the man killed for his troubles, because he disliked traitors. -

The two bodies which slept in this supposedly impregnable repository were, at this point in human history, of enormous value. One of the sleepers—Spitz heard closer to dead than alive—was Sarah Rourke, the wife of the hated Doctor John Rourke, nemesis of the Fuhrer, Deitrich Zimmer, and the Fuhrer’s son who was leader of Eden and heir apparent to the Reich, Martin Zimmer. Sarah Rourke was also Martin Zim-mer’s mother.

The second sleeper, by all reports fully healthy, was another historic enemy of National Socialism. He was Generaloberst Wolfgang Mann, key to the overthrow of The Leader one hundred and twenty-five years ago and the establishment of the hated democratic republic of New Germany under the betraying leadership of Herr Doctor Deiter Bern. Next to the Rourke Family, with whom Generaloberst Mann chose voluntarily to sleep one hundred twenty-five years ago, Mann was the Reich’s greatest enemy.

The Bern government still survived through the generations, still harbored racial inferiors within it, still pandered to the democracies of the Trans-Global Alliance led by the United States, still condemned National Socialism, without which it would not have existed in the first place.

AH of that would soon change, and the work done here would facilitate that circumstance, Helmut Spitz believed, because he was told so in a private briefing by Deitrich Zimmer. Destiny.

In the days prior to the Night of the War, the descendants and some few survivors of the Third Reich—men who had actually touched Hitler’s hand, heard his voice, seen his glorious face, marched in his heroic armies—planned for the destruction of the lesser races in the aftermath of inevitable warfare between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America. These magnificent few planned for their progeny to survive, return, rule. For this purpose, in what was then Argentina, a mountain redoubt was built at enormous expense and populated with the cream of Nazi youth from around the world.

For five centuries, while the Earth’s surface was uninhabitable, the civilization which would rule the new Earth prospered. Science, technology, all disciplines thrived under the enlightened leadership of National Socialism. But, gradually, because persons of inferior race had been able secretly to insinuate themselves into what was known as “New Germany,” a small group of heavily armed traitors arose. They were led by Generaloberst Wolfgang Mann and, with the help of the infamous Herr Doctor Rourke, overthrew by violence and deception the rightful government.

Evidence subsequently came to light, Spitz recalled, that Generaloberst Wolfgang Mann’s great-great grandmother was suspected to be a Jewess.

Spitz inspected the knife wound in the dead sentry’s throat. The men under Spitz in his Abteilung each knew the historic purpose of what would be done here this day, and to a man the brave young ones were ready

to die for the SS, for the Party, for the mission, and for their Hauptsturmfuhrer, Spitz himself.

One of the humblest of the Abteilung’s number, a mere Rottenfuhrer, but as brave and as dedicated as any man in the SS, brought with him a disc player. As the Abteilung travelled here by aircraft before the High Altitude, Low Opening parachute insertion some miles from the facility, the young Rottenfuhrer played on his machine Richard Wagner’s immortal “Siegfried’s Funeral Music” from Der Ring des Nibelungen tetralogy— played it in order to remind them all of the gravity of what lay before them. Before the green jump light was lit, however, the fellow changed his music to something which inspired them with purpose and courage. Its heroic strains still rang within the corridors of SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Helmut Spitz’s mind, filling him with determination and pride. The music was, of course, that unparalleled theme, telling the tales of Wotan’s daughters, the “Ride of the Valkyries.”

The body of the sentry was now fully withdrawn behind the support pillar at the entrance to the main gallery, and Helmut Spitz wiped clean his blade on the dead man’s clothes, silently sheathing the steel.

Soon, the assault.

The hall was longer than it was wide. Pillars of shimmering synthetic marble were set every four meters apart, ranking from the low, arched entryway where Spitz crouched to what had become a shrine to the forces aligned against National Socialism. At the hall’s furthest end, before the ranked flags of the nations of the Trans-Global Alliance, lay seven coffin-shaped transparent chambers, five of these open, two only—one just to the right of the centermost chamber, which had been that of Doctor Rourke, and the other on the far left side—operational. These latter two cryogenic chambers were illuminated from within, swirling clouds of gas, a translucent blue in color, surrounding the bodies cocooned there.

In the chamber just to the right of that in which the vile Herr Doctor Rourke had slept, Frau Rourke lay in uneasy repose. In the other chamber was Generaloberst Wolfgang Mann.

But all of that would change.

Very soon.

Spitz looked at his wristwatch, counting down the seconds. Had any one of the men of his Abteilung not been in position, the radio receiver built into the gas mask which Spitz wore would have been used, alerting him. Had one of his men failed, an alarm would have been sounded, at the least an energy weapon discharged.

The digital readout on the face of his wristwatch arrived at the zero hour and, in that very second, pneumatic weapons were fired from both sides of the great hall toward the two guards patrolling just before the seven cryogenic sleeping chambers, both men crumpling to the floor, before any alarm could be sounded, Spitz hoped. Each of the sentries, as did sentries of all the world’s major armies, carried an alarm signal strapped to his palm. If danger seemed imminent, the sentry could pre-activate the alarm so that any release of pressure would give the signal. These men would not have detected that which had been about to claim their lives, therefore their alarm signals would not have been preset, would have required that extra split second for manual activation. Swiftness robbed them of their chance.

Now all potential for resistance within the hall was quelled.

And Helmut Spitz stood up, hissing into his radio, running across the vast emptiness toward the cryogenic chambers, “Quickly! Quickly!”

The vidcams monitoring the hall were computer linked and would, by now, register that there was something terribly wrong, but as long as silence was maintained there might still be some precious moments before there was a full alert and the rest of the small but well-trained garrison turned out. Already, the two men of Spitz’s Abteilung who had dispatched the last two guards (the young Rottenfuhrer who liked Wagner was one of these) had reached the two remaining cryogenic chambers.

Without being told, Spitz’s men set about laying out the explosive charges on the two still-occupied cryogenic chambers. Soon, history would be changed forever.

TWO

Paul Rubenstein stared at John Rourke, watching the lines in his friend’s face etch more deeply, it seemed, by the second. And, John’s hands were alternately twisted together as if two violently opposed living entities were struggling with one another and covering John’s face.

John paced, sat, stood, paced again across the private conference room adjoining Admiral Hayes’s office at Pearl Harbor.

Michael sat slumped in the far corner, Natalia standing beside him, nearly as motionless as a statue. Periodically, Natalia’s hands would move as John would walk past her, as if to touch him. But she never did.

Annie merely sat and stared at the wall, tears periodically overflowing her eyes and spilling down across her cheeks. Annie, Paul Rubenstein knew without being told, was undergoing an empathic experience with her father, adding his grief to her own.

Thorn Rolvaag, the vulcanologist, was already

airborne in a high-altitude observation craft for the purpose of studying the eruption of Kilauea, which had nearly claimed all their lives. Both Rolvaag’s graduate student and the pilot of the helicopter—which had brought Rolvaag in but could not get him out—were hospitalized and in good condition.

One thing was in doubt, another a certainty.

That which was in doubt was the fate of Commander Emma Shaw, who had violated orders, endangering her life and her aircraft in what turned out to be a successful attempt to rescue the persons stranded on Kilauea. She had saved all their lives—except for those of Annie, Michael and Natalia who were still en route to the site of the eruption when Emma Shaw arrived there—and Paul did not delude himself as to why Emma Shaw had done so.

BOOK: Survivalist - 24 - Blood Assassins
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