of the Galaxy Rangers" and all characters, institutions,
locations, and/or situations therefrom are copyright 1986 Robert
Mandell, Gaylord Productions, Transcom Media Inc., and ITF
Enterprises Inc. No infringement is intended by their inclusion
in this work. The author makes no claim of ownership to any of
the characters, institutions, locations, and/or situations
associated with "The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers."
This is a piece of not-for-profit fan fiction. All original
characters, institutions, locations, and situations are copyright
Ann-Kathrin Kniggendorf and may not be used without
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The use
of historical terminology and insignia is only in context of this
story and does not intend any resemblance to real events –
historical or otherwise. No diminishing, reduction, or denial of
historical crimes committed before and during WW-2 is
Thanks to my betareaders – my courage never
before depended that much on you – and to everyone who
answered the listserv survey about umlauts.
Special thanks to
Sharon 'Trivia' Blank for editing and bearing patiently with my
impatience and nervous breakdowns.
about names, history, and a linked translation glossary of the
German lines at the end.
this began two days before yesterday, or thirty-two thousand
years ago, or 1933, or... I don't know when. I'm not sure I'm the
one who can tell you. I'm no soldier, no historian or
archeologist, and I have serious issues with this. I wish
It was late afternoon
in June, here in North America on Earth, in Commander Walsh's
office high up in the bulk of BetaMountain. The sun, coming
through the jalousie grille before a window projector installed
on the flank of the actual mountain, threw nearly horizontal
stripes of reddish light across the room and Walter C. Hartford's
He sat in a leather
armchair, designed to be comfortable. The commander's last office
chair had fallen victim to Goose's... cat claws earlier this
year. Six months were not enough time to give the furniture the
coziness gained only by considerable time in use.
long, slim hands were folded around a maximum-sized coffee mug,
half-full of coffee, double sugar, double cream. Half-full, for
any more and his trembling would have splattered its contents all
over the chair. Zach's right hand lay warm on his shoulder. Two
days ago, it would have offered comfort. Now he felt threatened
calm, deep voice came from the tall silhouette standing to the
side of the window projector. A voice that had more than once
managed to calm a mad supertrooper– the hacker looked up,
startled for a moment at the figure until it morphed into the
commander: calm, attentive, yet slightly worn – ever since
two of his people had gone missing on a routine mission. The
search was still ongoing, but hope had begun to
The thought helped
Doc to collect himself. "Maybe I should stop complaining and
just start at the beginning..."
cave was still dark, only the polished surface of the Great
Computer and the pale stone carvings lining the otherwise
unprepared red granite typical of Tarkon's Haunted Land reflected
some of the light his flashlight and the CDU's holographic
display emitted. Since his arrival two hours ago, Doc's attempts
to activate the interactive holographic interface of the amazing
artificial intelligence installed in the Great Computer had been
useless. Neither the wise shaman the system absorbed nor the pink
giant showed up. Nothing.
was only inside the cave because it had been already open at his
After the now
almost-legendary Battle of Tarkon and his successful activation
of the AI controlling the ancient defense systems of the moon
fortresses, the computer hadn't calmed down again, hadn't
returned to business-as-usual – which was how the commander
had put it in his order. Tarkon's moon fortresses had activated a
couple of times to give warning shots in front of anything larger
than a two seater explorer crossing Tarkonian space. Though they
didn't fire directly at the ships yet, it seemed to be only a
matter of time. The various interfaces scattered in Tarkon's
technophobe population remained either silent or acted
Maya had called BETA
when her pole had struck her with blasts of what she called red
light, giving her father reason to return to his notion of 'evil
technology'. Doc was sent to find out - in the words of Commander
Walsh again – 'what the heck was going on there'.
far, it didn't seem as if he was making much progress in that
direction. The all-seeing-eye wasn't really an option with all
the interfaces acting strange. He wasn't too keen to find his
eyes – or his brain for that matter – fried.
drew a deep breath, puffing it out, and wished, not for the first
time, to have a touchable interface at least to start with. But
whoever constructed the Heart of Tarkon had built no such thing.
ARE YOU HERE?~
whirled around, searching the darkness almost solidly filled by
the booming voice beyond his spotlight's reflections but no
hologram was glowing anywhere. Just the voice that made his ears
ARE YOU HERE? ANSWER.~
voice that was growing impatient. Oh great! Somehow he doubted
that 'my boss told me so' was a good answer. "You fired at
our ships," he said instead, and added hastily. "Recently.
Not in the battle with the Crown troops. We fly the white ones,
helped us when the Queen of the Crown was set to conquer this
together with Tarkon you helped us. And now you shoot at us and
scare the people of Tarkon who carry interfaces. I've been sent
to find out w–"
spots began to pour out of the band ornaments carved into the
otherwise unadorned stones, swirling across the cave but staying
at the edges of his perceptions, dots and blips of color in the
darkness. Doc waited for a hologram to finally form, but no frame
to address appeared.
The voice dismissed his reply. ~WHY ARE YOU HERE?~
are you?" he returned, not expecting an answer.
nearly cost him his sanity when it came anyway. All of a sudden
the swirling color spots surrounded him solidly, formed a picture
that became a scene that became a movie. The red stone at his
feet seemed to be a sightseeing platform in the middle of a
Quattro-D cinema with full sensory input. Something like driving
wind moved his hair, he smelled pines, green leaves, and...
exhaust fumes. The voice reappeared:
The four moons were unmistakable. Lush and green, covered by
forests, interrupted by an occasional ocean and cities that
looked decidedly Twentieth Century Earth. At least, Doc was
rather sure he saw what passed for industrial plants in the
cities' vicinities. Mountains loomed.
HAUNTED LAND. 32.000 YEARS AGO.~
indicated mountain range was much higher than today with bright
white snow caps and rugged flanks smoothed by what looked like
The focus changed,
turned to the orbit suddenly filled with foreign ships,
glittering black, blue, and silver. The speed of the pictures
increased. From high above Doc witnessed construction teams
disembarking from the ships, but was too far away to make out
their features, only that they were vaguely human: two arms, two
legs, one head, walking upright. In front of his eyes the Moon
Fortresses began to reach up into the sky, pointing outward, ever
sweeping the star-filled sky. A tactical display blended over the
movie, showing a galactic chart and the range the fortresses
covered, and faded back into the on-rushing change of
Other ships appeared,
marked with a sickening pus-like yellow. For each yellow ship
that appeared a blue-and-silver one left the orbit, intercepting
them. The film zoomed out, began to pan the local stars. Armies
formed, front lines appeared. Important planets glowed up in
bright light in midst of the zones occupied by whoever the dim
appeared in smaller frames floating in front of the main movie
around Doc. He twisted his back, trying to follow them all. Ships
were built in wharfs within the mountains of Tarkon. A second
frame appeared next to it, showed... scarecrows, and what they
were capable of if not stopped. That frame doubled, tripled,
multiplied, the single frames beginning to drop back towards the
galaxy chart still taking up the background, began melting into
the brilliant dots that marked the planets. They began to
flicker, some flared up and went dark.
first frame again. A contact delegation of the aliens met with
the Tarkonian authorities. No kingdom at that time, Doc noticed.
Somehow the aliens were always shown from behind. A construction
lab in the characteristic blue with a large, dull pink form in
one of the booths. The first person really visible was a young
Tarkonian man, brown hair braided severely, his face a mask of
solemn determination. His lips moved, his hands lay flat against
his chest as if in prayer. The next moment he stepped forward,
pressed himself against the pink frame's belly, and was soaked
inside. The prayer ended with a sucking sound intertwined with a
scream and a sizzle when the pink form began to glow and stepped
out of its booth, bowing to its unseen alien superiors. As if
fast-forwarding, the frame showed a horrified Doc a seemingly
unending line of Tarkonian males melting into the pink giants.
Then that was replaced by a frame showing the illuminated pink
giants fighting scarecrows.
speed of the main movie increased, making the ever-changing front
lines look like waves lapping over the spiral arm of the galaxy,
breaking over the planets caught in the battle with crushing
force as if they were pebbles on a shore whose sand rubbed the
thin layer of their biospheres off them. Once in a while the
mind-twisting rush of pictures slowed, showed single scenes,
crucial people, decisions.
appeared in the turmoil, mysteriously speaking Standard,
addressing, arguing about how to respond to the enemy's offensive
on Kartaq. Many demanded to charge. The last word was Retreat.
With two suns and an orange moon, and endless fields of what
looked like wheat, Doc didn't need long to figure Kartaq to be
A still picture
unfolded. Scorching wind touched his face. The scent of burned
soil and flesh assaulted his nostrils, and Doc saw Granna pretty
much like he had seen it on pictures taken before the
terraforming: a barren landscape of ash and mud.
movie rushed on, showed a disturbed front line structure. The
glistening blue-white fire of the moon fortresses burst out into
the darkness, again and again clearing the space around Tarkon.
Ships brought wounded and dead to be tended on the moons and
inside the mountains. The same ships carried pink giants away to
the stars. Now the waves of attacks battered against Tarkon. In
front of Doc's feet more and more Tarkonians walked not into the
giants but into what looked suspiciously like the Heart of Tarkon
to fuel it. More and more of them didn't walk voluntarily any
Then there was no one to
walk in when the energy was down. The blasts from the stars
wreaked havoc among Tortunian cities, melting the mountains,
burning the forests. Doc saw newly formed plains around the half
melted ruin of the range covered with blackened, burned bodies,
some of them writhing. He didn't know if they had tried to reach
the Heart to fuel it, but he had his suspicions.
frame froze. Another appeared, laid itself over the first one,
showed alien troops gathering, going up against the yellow ones
again. The shore of the lapping front lines was pushed away from
a Tarkon no longer lush and green...
movie faded. The last still frame of the burned bodies on Tarkon
remained, hanging suspended in mid-air. The stone slab supporting
Doc's feet folded itself back, became again the rocky floor of
WON. WE PAY FOR THE VICTORY.~
call that a victory?" Doc gulped.
Doc whispered. "How... does that work? Why...?"
FORCES OF LIFE AND DEATH ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN. WE KNOW
WHEN A DESTROYER IS BUILT. IF IT IS, THEN WE CREATE ITS
COUNTERPART. WE KNEW ONE WAS LEFT. SO THE SLEEPER STAYED.~
filled the hacker's face at the memory of all these people
walking into the giants. "Why?" He whispered again.
PEOPLE CALLED OUR NOTICE WHEN WE LEARNED ABOUT THIS~
single frame appeared, showed a farmhouse on what was clearly
contemporary Granna, from the outside. The picture zoomed in on a
curtained window, entered the window. Doc gaped at Niko, pale,
sleeping fitfully in a bed. She woke. She screamed. The view left
her when Goose burst through the door...
and Goose." Doc stared open mouthed. "But they are
LOCATION: EARTH CATALOGUE 17798. FEW PEOPLE EVER STOOD IN FRONT
OF A FENRIJ DESTROYER AND SURVIVED. TWO OF YOURS MANAGED. WE ARE
Doc shaky, tried to regain his diplomatic feet, his head still
swirling with the amount of information forced into it. "In
that case we might-"
YOU ENDANGERED OUR WARDS WITH YOUR DEEDS. WE CANNOT TOLERATE
attacked Tarkon, we defended it. Tortuna is your threat, not we
from Earth. We can form an alliance–"
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER US!~
voice's full power slammed again into Doc's head, made him
stagger as his maltreated eardrums trembled under the onslaught.
He screamed, unable to hear his own voice, hands clamped over his
ears. "If you are that powerful, why didn't you make the
threat disappear altogether?" He yelled. "Remove the
bitch but stop–"
WANT THE QUEEN REMOVED FROM TORTUNA?~ The voice boomed. ~THAT CAN
BE DONE. IF YOU ACCEPT THE PRICE!~
startled. "What p..."
he finished, standing in a cavernous hall decorated in various
grey and purplish colors.
shook his head, feeling slightly dizzy from the sudden change of
surroundings, then finally those surroundings registered. He
recognized them, there was only one place that looked like this,
but... that wasn't possible, was it? He was on Tarkon, not on
Tortuna, and - he swallowed dryly – surely not in the
Queen's palace. But–
Sie! Was treiben Sie hier?" 
didn't understand what the two brown-clad soldiers – human
soldiers! – barked at him, but their assault rifles
directed at his heart spoke an all-too-clear language. "I'm
sorry, I–" he began.
Sie gefälligst Deutsch!" the one who spoke first
snapped. "Ausweis?" 
me? I don't understand–" He searched frantically for a
way out of this situation. Heck, for all he knew he was still on
Tarkon in the chamber of the great computer and not on Tortuna
staring into the wrong end of two assault rifles.
of which was now directed a little more precisely towards his
sternum. "Ihren Ausweis!" 
raised his hands in defense. From the sound of it these gentlemen
were losing their patience with him way faster than the Queen
would have. He shrugged helplessly, giving them his best
soldier threw a doubtful look at his partner who kept Doc
precisely in his sights. "Der versteht kein Wort, Gunther."
immer auf meiner Runde." The other one cursed and shrugged
in fatalism. "Was soll's. Los, schaffen wir ihn zum
rough movement with a rifle had Doc scurrying down the indicated
corridor. He just prayed it wasn't to the Queen but out of
this... nightmare? The language sounded like German, but he'd
never bothered to learn more than a few phrases of it. So that
wasn't much help and–
wide set of double doors slid open in front of him. An angry push
with the barrel had Doc hastening into what turned out to be the
Queen's throne hall. Which was in a rather unfortunate condition
of disrepair and destruction, though luckily with no Queen in
standing at a field table next to the deserted throne was very
familiar. Zach! What is he doing here? Doc sighed inwardly
in relief, though he made sure not to provoke the two maniacs
escorting him. One of them stepped forward, obviously reporting
him. Surely Zachary would be able to sort this out and–
captain turned slowly around, said something in a harsh voice,
then his cold, narrowed eyes wandered dispassionately across
Doc blinked, shocked,
staring at the matte steel badge attached to the chest of the
strange long dark-grey uniform flapping around his high black
boots as Zach came down the curved sweep of stairs. At first,
he'd thought the badge had just been singed during a fire fight
with the now strangely absent crown troops so that the gold cover
was off but by the time the captain had reached him he knew that
wasn't the case. It was made of steel showing an engraved Griffin
in front of two crossed broadswords connecting it with the ring
sporting the unit's name: Where GALAXY RANGER should have been,
RAUMJÄGER was printed. 
swallowed. "Zach, what's going on here?"
soldier behind him pushed him in the back. "Herr Hauptmann
für Sie!" 
The hacker snapped, unnerved.
soldier raised the butt of his rifle, but a terse hand sign of
the captain prevented the blow. "Sie sind?" Doc was
asked again. 
no, not again! Doc thought helplessly. "I'm sorry, I
don't understand you. I–"
impatient sign of Zach cut him off. He flipped open his wrist
comm, waited briefly for a reply signal and spoke: "Hans,
ich hab' hier 'nen Fall für dich." 
Art?= The voice out of the wrist comm was vaguely familiar, but
Doc didn't quite recognize it. 
Mensch, dunkelhäutig, versteht aber kein Wort Deutsch.
Klingt irgendwie englisch, was er da plappert. Das ist dein
Zach's attention turned back to Doc who was no longer sure that
was a good thing. "Ihre Kennung?" 
Doc remained silent Zach's cold, black-metallic hand closed
around his wrist and shoved his sleeve up his arm. Doc's short,
shocked struggle did nothing to deter the... Ranger Captain?...
from the task, but earned him the painful sensation of an assault
rifle's butt hitting the small of his back. He winced as the
captain twisted his arm as if searching something before he
shrugged and dropped it to continue his call.
Ist vielleicht ein Schlüpfer." 
audible sigh was transmitted through the comm, then: =Schick ihn
durch die Erkennung. Ich bin unterwegs.= 
connection closed before any farewells were exchanged. Fox
frowned at his wrist comm before his wrath hit the soldiers still
watching Doc. "Ihr habt den Sturmbannführer gehört!
Überprüft ihn!" 
Herr Hauptmann!" 
was pushed roughly towards what looked like a steel container at
the side of the dais holding the throne while Zach – if
that was Zach at all – returned to whatever he was doing up
there without as much as a second glance at Doc. These guards
seemed to have a lot of respect for him, but...
on Earth does Zach speak German all of a sudden? And why didn't
he - and everyone else – understand me? the thoughts
raced through his mind. He gave me the order to go to Tarkon
only yesterday. We joked about him not being able to learn
foreign languages. And now he sends me to a holding cell? Why–
The metal door of the container slammed open and Doc knew. Knew
that he'd been wrong. That wasn't Zach up there on the dais
behind him. And this wasn't a holding cell.
da! Und keine Fisimatenten, klar?" 
Doc realized that he'd stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of
the container's interior. Less numbly, he knew what would hit his
back if he didn't walk in immediately. Wide awake, he knew he
didn't want to go.
He was given
no choice. The android, made of the familiar polished red metal,
reached out and pulled him with its superior strength into the
container. =Programmauswahl.= Rusty asked briskly, holding him
down by his throat effortlessly. =Erkennung, Lebendsektion,
Sektion, Tötung, Verwertung?= 
of the guards laughed out loud. "Erkennung, Rostig, du
blutrünstiges Mädchen. Wir wollen wissen, wen wir
erschiessen werden, in Ordnung?"
feared for his sanity – at least as much as for his
physical well-being – when the door slammed shut at a
sequence of beeps from the android. Halogen lights flared up,
bathing the whole cubicle in harsh, unforgiving light, flashing
off a stainless steel operation table, bent inwards towards a
drain running along its center, that folded itself out of the
floor in front of him. LEDs lit up, fractured letters scrolling
rapidly across two large, oblong monitors embedded in one side of
A light flashed
rapidly at an edge of the OP table, indicating a seat with
holding straps. He understood the moment Rusty gripped his throat
and pushed him down. The straps adjusted themselves, effectively
immobilizing a rather wide-eyed Doc, who watched horrified as
Rusty's right fingers flipped open and folded back into
themselves revealing a nice set of meticulously clean medical
instruments gleaming in the hard light. Doc squirmed.
Rusty, unimpressed and
unperturbed, protocolled her task. =Testobjekt Tortuna 14.496.
Programm Erkennung. Bereite Blutentnahme zur Analyse vor.
Testobjekt unkooperativ. Empfehle nachfolgende Züchtigung
nach Ermessen.= 
of the instruments, a rather thick needle, sunk into his skin. It
hurt, badly. But struggling seemed a bad idea with an android
apparently lacking any programming restraints holding on to his
throat, while surgical instruments protruded from its free
Doc realized that for once
he didn't have problems referring to Rusty as 'it'.
was kind of glad when the needle was pulled out and an adhesive
plaster soaked with a burning liquid was applied. A rather
discomfited part of him wondered 'what would be next'. Doc wasn't
too sure he wanted to know.
made sense. Normally, he'd have long-since tried to either
establish communication or make a run for it, but with this Mr.
Hyde version of Rusty and those creeps waiting for him outside,
neither seemed to be a good choice and–
blinding bluish white band of light began to scan his body,
beginning at his head and advancing towards his feet. For a while
Doc saw nothing but blinking stars and shadows, making him fear
for his eyesight. The container door to his side hissed open, and
another sequence of beeps from Rusty released Doc from his
abgeschlossen. Die Ergebnisse werden Hauptmann Fuchs mitgeteilt
so bald sie vorliegen.= 
The voice of the guard called Gunther came from the shadow which
made what seemed to be a rough, hurried gesture towards the door.
"Du. Raus da." 
sound of boot heels clicking impatiently on the glassed stone
floor outside made the two guards nearly jump as they pulled a
rapidly blinking Doc outside. When the source of the steps came
finally into view besides the dais, Doc's vision had restored
enough to have his mouth dropping open.
Normal. At least as normal as the man ever got! Just in his black
gear and – Doc stopped mentally in his tracks –and he
was missing with Niko in the Empty Zone. When were they found?
Or were they really undercover and the search was only their
The ST saluted
briskly to Zach, polished heels clicked together. Wait a
minute. Polished heels? Goose?! Zach looked up from
his work, answered the salute, and nodded in Doc's general
direction. "Sieh zu, was Du rauskriegst. Ich meld' mich,
wenn die Daten vorliegen." 
guards literally jumped to attention – with heels slamming
together and everything – under the calm green stare of
Gooseman, passing and dismissing them easily. Doc caught himself
from saying Yo, Goose. What's up here, man? remembering
just in time that it might not be too good an idea to blow the
other one's cover in whatever Rocky Horror Picture Show was
Trying again to
figure that out, Doc nearly freaked when a hard hand clamped
around his left upper arm and he found himself wordlessly shoved
towards one of the corridors. He needed two steps to regain his
feet, then he hurried to follow the implied order, pressing his
right hand across the pulsating plaster over the needle prick in
his left elbow. Goose's social skills at their best, my ass.
ST opened one of the doors embedded in regular intervals into the
corridor walls and let Doc enter. What was supposed to be yet
another of the Queen's tech chambers turned out to be an
apparently makeshift field office, parted by a heavily armored
container with "Hauptrechenmaschine" stamped on it, and
an all-weather panel nailed to the ceiling as a replacement
curtain. A desk covered with various files and papers was the
most prominent piece of furniture visible. 
Sie sich." Goose shrugged out of his uniform jacket, then
frowned at Doc's lack of response and repeated in slightly
accented English. "Sit down."
sat. And froze.
In front of him
stood a desk sign partially covered by scattered papers. What was
visible of it showed a hologram portrait of Goose. On the collar
of the uniform were the same insignia sported by the jacket now
carelessly tossed over the back of the office chair: small silver
The ST collected some of
the papers strewn across the desk, stubbed the pile into some
semblance of order and put it aside, uncovering the rest of the
sign in the process:
Johannes Ganter, Waffen-SS.
discussion of the next fifteen minutes was something Doc would
have liked to delete from his memory.
Lisa Fuchs fell into the hands of the enemy." Ganter leaning
back in his seat informed him coldly. "Her body was
destroyed according to regulation XC-36-7/B about soldiers under
she's dead?" Doc whispered in shock. "But
Fuchs acted correctly the moment the situation became obvious
and performed the execution himself." Ganter shook his head.
"These are hard facts, Mr... Hartford, which are available
in the annual reports of the Wehrmacht. Your fantasizing
he hadn't obeyed?"
would have shot him for being a risk to the state." Ganter
sighed getting up. "This won't get us anywhere. He,
Doc whirled round in his seat. The swift movement brought him
face to face with a Ganter all of a sudden pointing a Luger
unwaveringly at his chest. "Sit down!" he snarled.
"Slowly and without hasty turns. Now. And keep your mouth
wordlessly, sinking back onto his chair. A moment later, he was
glad he was sitting. The fragile being that stepped out of the
curtained corner had little to do with the energetic woman he
knew as Niko. She was thin to the verge of malnourishment and so
pale she looked nearly transparent. The light grey tunic with the
yellow circle on her chest did little to hide that. The few steps
she needed to cross the room and take a seat on the last vacant
chair on the narrow side of Ganter's desk seemed to exhaust her.
She breathed hard, perching barely on the edge of the
she asked in an unsure, accented German. 
er uns?" Ganter asked watching her with something like worry
in his eyes. "Oder lügt er?" 
Her hands twitched as if she tried to manually grasp for the
words. She threw a helpless look at the ST who had reclaimed his
seat behind his desk.
can do it in English, if you feel more comfortable this way,"
Ganter offered, leaning back into his seat so that he could watch
both Niko as well as Doc. "It doesn't matter much if he
understands us or not."
relieved smile appeared on her face. "He speaks the truth.
And–" She dropped her head, stubbornly studying her
feet. Ganter reached across the desk and – surprisingly
gently – brushed the hair away from her eyes so he was able
to look at her.
he asked sotto voce.
he doesn't belong here."
grinned. For a moment the boy he once had been appeared on his
features, just to be replaced by the wolf again. "I already
knew that, Mädchen."
did?" She looked up, astonished.
he confirmed. "He tells of an interesting variation of
"He might be
insane," she said faintly, unconsciously rubbing her arms
under the light grey cloth of her tunic, pointedly avoiding
looking at Doc. "Maybe that's why he isn't
coherent and his tales include too many facts to be ignored."
Ganter shook his head and took her hand, caressing her palm
soothingly with his thumb. "Whatever he's in for, it's not
noch so schlampig, Sturmbannführer?" 
face closed. The sneering voice from the door was obviously
unwelcome not only for Doc, who didn't have to turn to recognize
Ryker Killbane – or whoever he was now.
sollte meinen, das Hauptquartier hätte das mittlerweile
wollen Sie, Sturmbannführer Todt?" Ganter said icily.
"Ich habe zu tun." 
sehe ich." Bushy dark brows were lifted suggestively towards
Niko and Doc. "Obwohl ich dachte, nicht einmal Sie würden
weit genug für gemischte Doppel mit Minderwertigen sinken."
Killbane sneered, swaggering over to the seat in which Niko was
cowering. "Operation Andor ist abgeschlossen. Der
Obersturmführer erwartet deinen Bericht bezüglich der
wird ihn bekommen." 
Und sorge dafür, dass Fuchs nicht wieder aus der Reihe
tanzt." Killbane's stare dropped down Niko's cleavage. "Ich
sehe, Du hältst dir immer noch diese Kebse."
shrugged, uninterested. "Sie ist nützlich."
wäre sie bei Verwahrung im KZ auch." Killbane's hand
wandered suggestively across Niko's breast. "Und nicht nur
für dich." 
ist effizienter, sie gleich dabei zu haben." 
ja?" Killbane sneered. The telepath shrank deeper into her
seat, futilely trying to avoid the painfully groping hand. "Also
im Namen der Effizienz–" 
heard a very familiar growl from the other side of the desk.
"–solltest Du dich in Acht nehmen, Richard! Oder das
Hauptquartier erfährt, was wirklich mit den 30.000
Kiwi-Zwangsarbeitern passiert ist." 
ob das jemanden schert!" Killbane barked, but retracted his
schert die 48. Reichsstandarte, deren Vorräte wegen der
verfaulten Ernte nicht ergänzt werden konnten." 
did Goose say to make that psychopath leave?" Doc asked as
the door closed behind the two STs and he found his head still on
who?" Niko asked hesitatingly.
Doc stopped. "Err... Ganter." He stumbled over the
that." The telepath sighed in relief when she understood.
"He reminded Todt of his killing frenzy on Kirwin, which
could very well be Todt's death sentence when it becomes known."
She cast her eyes down, keeping her look fixed in her lap. "His
mistake caused a major... batallion to go with reduced supplies
because there were no hands to bring in the harvest last year."
A tremor appeared in her voice. "The... thirty-thousand dead
would be a minor issue but the hungry soldiers are not. That's
enough to k–keep Todt's h–hands off... another man's
whore." She swallowed hard and finally looked up, wide-eyed
almost defensive, at him. "Would you like some
Doc was too stunned
to do anything but nod and watch as she busied herself with
taking white china and a teapot out of the lowest drawer of the
file cabinet and making black tea, which she served with brown
Her sleeve slipped
up when she reached with a trembling hand across the table to put
the teacup in front of Doc. A black bar code above a fourteen
digit number was crudely tattooed into her white skin. Niko
noticed with a blush of shame and covered it quickly.
do you stand that?" Doc asked, horrified.
I know he doesn't mean it," she said quietly, taking
her own cup of tea and blowing softly onto the hot liquid. "And
besides that – what else do I have left since Xanadu
God," Doc whispered. "I thought this was
Niko shrugged, subdued. "I guess the Queen had no idea what
she bargained for when she intercepted a ship of the Reich."
She trembled involuntarily. "She was taught thoroughly. Her
war took less than two years."
eyes grew wide at that statement.
they attack..." Her voice trailed off and she shivered
harder, obviously lost in painful memories. "There's not
much what can stop them. Born from couples chosen for genotype,
indoctrinated from the very beginning to the Reich's ideology of
blood and superiority, drilled to their limits by a system that
culls the weak and calls it mercy, and led and reinforced by an
elite corps of genetically engineered killer
even more. Doc thought he heard her teeth clicking. "The
Queen believed herself superior. She was wrong. Xanadu believed
itself protected behind its psychic shields. It was wrong as
which Goo– err– Ganter? How come that you are. . ."
Doc stopped, embarrassed.
his bed?" She completed calmly and sighed. "I was on
Xanadu when they stormed it. We fought. We fell. They took no
prisoners.... I couldn't.... couldn't stand the deaths of all
those I held dear. I collapsed.... Hans... – Ganter –
Doc reached over
to cover her trembling fingers in a silent gesture of comfort.
The tea splashed from her cup onto her hands, as she jerked back,
shrieking as if burnt. The delicate porcelain shattered on the
carpet. "Let me help..."
retreated from him. "No. Don't. He'll be angry–"
She hid her face in her hands.
a broken cup?"
another man's scent on my skin." She whispered, rubbing her
hands, still covered with hot tea. "I have to wash my
hands... wash my hands... wash my hands..."
he watched her, moving as if she were sleepwalking, repeating the
words again and again on her way to the tiny sink in the depth of
the room. Like a marionette she reached for the soap.
fell screaming to her knees, her hand clawing into the soap,
carving long streaks into the white piece, bloodied where a dry
shard had cut under her nails. "Waldo....... Waldo........
Wal......" The syllables dissolved into pain-filled
Doc stood helpless. The
door behind him slammed open. Goose– no, Ganter. Ganter.
Must never forget that! – stormed in. "Scheissdreck!
Wann kapieren die Idioten das endlich?!" Doc was pushed
aside. Strong hands removed Niko's hand finger by finger from the
soap, then tossed it away as the Sturmbannführer pulled her
shivering form against his chest, rocking her soothingly, before
he got to his feet and carried her back into the shielded part of
the room. 
she... be okay?" Doc asked cautiously when the ST returned a
few minutes later.
Ganter bit off.
Doc needed all his diminished courage at facing the cold, icy
green stare as he pressed on. "...happened?"
soap." Ganter snarled as if that explained everything.
To Doc it explained nothing.
know that, but–" The green eyes zeroed distrustfully
in on him.
saying?" He said in that voice that sounded so much like
Goose if not for the accent.
could a piece of soap do to her?"
snorted. "Not the piece of soap. The slaves it was made
from." He ran a hand through his short-cropped hair in a
gesture so painfully familiar that Doc dropped his sight to his
own boots not to witness it. "The order says no slave
products to telepaths. Verdammt! Why didn't they just give her
protein paste right away?"
products?" Doc shivered. "Protein
distrustful look. "It's cheap and efficient." Ganter
shrugged. "But it will cost us the last psi we have if those
fools keep forgetting about it." He more or less shoved Doc
out and sealed the office behind them before he headed briskly
down the corridor. "Come."
are we going?" Doc asked, not sure he wanted the
wants to talk with me."
hat also nichts gebracht?" Fuchs clucked his tongue and
tapped, annoyed, on his read padd as he looked at Ganter sitting
in front of him. 
stood to the side, what should have been an advantage, if he had
a weapon and he hadn't known how fast the ST was with the oddly
shaped Luger in his holster. The rapid German of the two men
likely discussing his fate went over his head. The events of the
last hour had stressed him too far to try and understand them any
more. There was only so much his mind could take in before
shutting down to unimportant details. Details like...
pale-yellow colored lamp on the desk didn't fit the bleak
functionality of the rest of the field office. It was made of
leather, it seemed, with a mostly red-and-blue colored picture on
one side: a crude painting showed an American flag in motion: red
stripes and white stars in a blue field. It was surrounded by
bold text lines. Doc stretched his neck and deciphered: USMC and
the lamp puzzled him profoundly. He just couldn't quite place it.
It disturbed him.
Fuchs would like to know why you are staring at his wife's gift
like this?" Ganter interrupted his thoughts, apparently
translating smoothly what the Hauptmann had previously
Doc shrugged, trying to
appear nonchalant. "I wonder why someone would paint a crude
picture like this on such fine leather. I mean, it kind of ruins
the effect, doesn't it?" He shrugged. "Don't take
offense, but it's hardly en vogue, isn't it?"
wheat blonde brow arched as if in amusement. "It's antique.
His wife gave it to him as a present when she received their
first son. It's rare because there were never many of these skins
taken whole enough for utilization. And the continent in question
was taken over a hundred years ago."
why draw the picture?" Doc insisted.
picture is a feature of the skin used and wasn't added after the
of... But there are no animals that–" The hacker's
eyes widened and despite his dark skin he paled
"Hans, darf ich
wissen, was hier los ist?" Fuchs demanded to know.
Gefangene fragte nach der Bedeutung der Tätowierung. Ich
sagte es ihm." Ganter, seemingly relaxed, leaned back in his
seat, resting his hands in his lap. His green eyes sparkled as he
considered the observation he just made. "Ich denke, deine
Lampe hat ihn ziemlich schockiert." 
Fuchs snorted in disbelief. "So was Besonderes ist sie nun
auch wieder nicht." 
uns." The ST thought aloud. "Für ihn jedoch..."
He tilted his head, studying Doc like a rather strange specimen.
"Er ist wirklich nirgendwo erfasst?" 
the Hauptmann confirmed. "Er ist nicht aufgeführt,
trägt keine Nummer–" 
könnte sie entfernt haben." Ganter suggested.
wenn er die Narben vermeiden konnte, sollten sich
Tintenbestandteile in seinem Körper nachweisen lassen.
Rostig hat nichts gefunden." Fuchs shook his head. "Ein
totaler Schlüpfer diesen Alters ist reichlich
unwahrscheinlich, selbst hier am Arsch der Welt."
weiss." Ganter nodded. "Meine Telepathin sagte, er
gehöre 'hier nicht hin.' Ich denke, wir sollten zumindest in
Erwägung ziehen, dass 'hier' sehr viel mehr umfasst als nur
Tortuna." The almost bored gesture of Ganter's hand seemed
to encompass the whole world, before he crossed his legs at his
knees and tapped with the free boot tip against the makeshift
desk. "Wie Eugen von Neiner zu sagen pflegt, 'es sind oft
die Ausnahmen, die den Erfolg bringen'." 
müssen mich nicht daran erinnern, dass Sie den
Reichsführer-ST persönlich kennen, Sturmbannführer,"
the Hauptmann stated with sharp-tempered indignation. "Ich
bin keineswegs im Begriff, das zu vergessen."
sighed. "Das war nicht meine Absicht, Zacharias."
weiss." Fuchs studied the rather uncomfortable and fidgety
Doc out of narrowed, rather disapproving eyes. "Aber es sind
auch die Ausnahmen, die die meisten Karrieren beenden." A
brisk knocking on the door interrupted him. "Ja?"
young officer entered, saluted twice, once before the Hauptmann,
a second time in front of Ganter who answered the salute somewhat
disinterestedly. "Die Vorbereitungen für die
Hinrichtung sind abgeschlossen, Herr Hauptmann." The young
man almost vibrated with tension, either from eagerness or from
fear, as he repeated his salute in front of Ganter. "Herr
Sturmbannführer! Man erwartet Sie beide."
Gefreiter. Sie können wegtreten." Fuchs nodded,
returning his attention to Ganter when the courier had left. "Geh
schon vor, Hans." His cold, dispassionate gaze raked over
Doc before he took a set of electric handcuffs out of his desk
drawer. He handed them to the ST. "Und nimm den da mit.
Besser, er lernt mit wem er es zu tun hat." 
he was almost chased through endless corridors winding their ways
through the belly of the Queen's palace. For once, Doc almost
wished to see a crown trooper. Heck, even a slaverlord would be a
welcome change to the grey and brown uniforms of armed men,
soldiers of the Wehrmacht and SA-men lining the corridor in
equidistant intervals. But none appeared.
had actually dared to ask the ST about their aim but had received
nothing but a warning glare and a grunt. What seemed to be the
mouth of the corridor began to glow faintly in the distance. Doc
wasn't sure. Running with his hands cuffed behind his back
through endless corridors wasn't a usual part of his fitness
program. A soft rumble swelled up. More soldiers lined the
corridor walls. The noise made it difficult to hear even the
sharp clicks of Ganter's heels on the hard floor
"There'll be turmoil
afterwards. If it starts, disappear in the crowd."
Doc missed a step and was rigorously pushed forward. "You
really mean you–?"
mean nothing. Just disappear," Ganter said wearily. "And
whatever happens, don't stop, and don't let yourself be seen ever
again. Clear?" Doc nodded somberly. His thoughts raced.
"It's a pity that Fuchs put you in his files. The two SAs
wouldn't be a problem, but Fuchs is another matter altogether."
crossing of the corridor mouth into what seemed to be the vast
audience place in front of the palace forbade any question of
what he meant by that. Five lines of grey-clad soldiers formed a
shielded corridor to a long-stretched platform today not holding
a throne but a long upright pole on one end – and an
execution squad on the other.
mono-fibers formed something like a corral in front of the
platform, holding a collection of what passed for Tortunian
aristocracy. Behind that, cordoned off by power cords and armed
SA men, the population of Tortuna City – or rather, what
was left of it – stood in stunned silence.
creature that was drawn out into the unforgiving sunlight a
couple of minutes later bore little resemblance with their
eternal enemy. Gone were the spiky crown and the worst make-up
Doc had ever seen, replaced by a half-mask of dried blood where
something had ripped open the skin above one of her eyes. The
dark-brown made an ugly contrast to the greyish purple rags that
were all that was left of her robes.
almost pitied her. Almost. The screaming voice filling the place
with her screeching was still that of the Queen. The topic of
scattered body parts and eternal boiling in used dishwater as
well. It didn't even change when the shackles connected her to
the execution post.
sollten das abkürzen." Fuchs' voice came from behind
them with an annoyed timbre. 
besser." Ganter nodded. "Wenn Sie noch länger
schreit, verlieren wir den Lerneffekt, weil die Leute glücklich
sind, dass wir ihre Ohren retten." 
wir's hinter uns." Zach preceded them onto the platform. A
hard hand on Doc's shoulder forced him to follow. They took
position directly opposite of the Queen. "Exekutionskommando.
Nehmt Aufstellung." Hauptmann Fuchs crossed their lines to
stand in front of them, facing the crowd. "Im Namen des
Dritten Reichs verkünde ich..." 
rest was lost to Doc. The words rushed past him, as he realized,
that what he in blissful ignorance had asked for was about to
happen. The Queen would be removed from Tortuna. Once and for
A salvo of shots
rang out, disrupting Doc's thoughts. The blood-sprinkled rag doll
that had been their worst nightmare for over two years was hit by
a dozen projectiles and fell into the bonds that held the body
upright even in death. "Your Majesty!" A female alien
in black garb screamed, pushing forward in her bonds, nearly
cutting herself in half with the monofibers detaining the
aristocracy. The crowd of crown troopers and Tortunian citizens
began to mill around, pushed forward more from shock than from
rebellion. A strangely detached part of Doc's mind wondered when
Goose – No, Ganter! – had learned to read
people that well.
going!" An angry voice hissed behind him. A release card was
slid through his handcuffs.
didn't need another reminder. He slipped off the extended dais
and fought his way into the milling crowd.
Ganter's angry shout rang out of the noise. "Der Drecksack
haut ab!" 
heard the sounds of a Luger APG being prepared to fire. A shot
rang over the place, deafeningly loud. Something hot scraped
across his shoulder, throwing him forward. Somehow he kept his
feet and remained running – albeit stumbling because of
pushing people and burning pain – trying to reach the
tunnels, the streets, whatever there was, and...
into a wall where previously hadn't been one.
YOU ACCEPT THE PRICE?~
voice rang out all around him, reverberating in the deeply buried
hall of Tarkon's great computer.
stared at the glittering band ornaments carved into the red
stone, fighting for breath. "No..." he whispered,
dreading. God, was it only a hallucination?
his shoulder hurt, wetness trickled down his sleeve. Finally, he
dared look: his sleeve was soaked in blood from a scraping shot
across his right shoulder, barely missing his collarbone.
Ganter shot me...
he do it to cover his own ass or did he really meant to kill me
without Niko knowing any better?
shivered. He'd never know.
in the next minutes he noticed that the voice was gone. He
called. No one answered. His CDU lay next to what passed for the
great computer's main access board, where he'd dropped it. It
glittered in the soft light of the sunset filtering in through
the long tunnel from the outside. With what could only be called
a sob, Doc grabbed his belongings and fled. He expected cruel
laughter to follow him, but the hall remained silent.
he was finally sitting safely in Explorer-23, speeding away from
Tarkon and all the madness at the top speed his pilot skills
allowed, he couldn't help but wondering about it all.
had been a shock to see Goose and Niko healthy after they were
missing for so long. And then he had to learn that they weren't
What kind of a
species would leave a recording behind to explain some unwitting
intruder 32.000 years later, why it did what it did?
wondered if they really had looked humanoid or if that had been
an adaptation to make the events understandable for his –
in their eyes –undeveloped mind. It had to be: some
subroutine adding the forms and structures of the creature
stumbling into their heritage to the program so that the
unwitting beast wouldn't be scared to death.
else could they have known what they'd look alike 32.000 years
after they were gone? How else could they have known about
Earth's darkest moment?
activated itself – not cyber portal mode, no, just the
small embedded control screen as if the one responsible knew
anything other than plain text mode would reveal their actions
through the cockpit records – a line of text appeared on
WE HAVE NEVER BEEN GONE.
he dropped the CDU, but the screen was already empty. When he
reached BETA, he talked QBall into fine-probing the screen's
LEDs. The scientist detected a residual charge in the twenty
columns in the center, but no corresponding current in the
electronics. He said it could have been the ghost-text or
just Doc touching the screen with an electrostatically charged
stilled again, staring uncomfortably down on his knees. "Do
you understand now, why I didn't want to file that in a
report? I'd end up in one of these funny rooms with the rubber
silence lasted for a while, then...
were what?" Zach asked in a flat voice, for once forgetting
about command etiquette and leaning himself against the
commander's desk, hands clasped around his elbows.
were..." Doc whispered. "And Goose. N– Niko was a
slave. She had this bar code on her arm that you expected to find
on me and–"
expected nothing on you!" Zach snapped, unnerved.
down, Captain." It was the first the commander said after
Doc finished. "I believe this is rather disturbing for Dr.
is putting it mildly." The captain bit off.
please. It was... so real."
The captain all but growled. "Me, an NS officer with human
skins on his desk!? I should hope not!"
still have the lamp from Eliza on your desk, don't you?" Doc
Zachary stilled. It was a delicate lamp, designed for
illuminating a desk pad or providing background light for
late-night computer work. The screen was made of pale yellow silk
with fine-spun embroidery in dark-brown and deep-green one
corner: sequoia needles. The real meaning of that hidden away in
their shared memories. For a moment, Zach wanted to curse. Then
the horrific realization seeped into his face, and he threw a
helpless glance at his superior.
remained impassive, just gave a brief nod to continue.
Niko, you should have seen her..." The hacker shook his
head, his eyes darting, horrified, from Walsh to Zach and back.
"She... she was a number, a whore in their eyes and she
clung to Ganter as if he were a lifeline." He had another,
hurried sip from a refilled coffee mug, the slop burning acidly
on his tongue. "It was... surreal."
whole affair is, Doctor Hartford." Walsh said calmly. "But
we can't ignore it completely. If it were an illusion then the
means to create it are amazing."
if it wasn't...?"
the ones behind it are even more powerful." Walsh said dryly
as if by no means indicating what he implied there. "Either
way, we can't allow ourselves to put it aside. You mentioned
Scarecrow and the Sleeper on Tarkon."
not sure I got it all right," Doc whispered after another
sip of bad coffee. "But if I understood correctly then most
of the planets we terraformed or colonized so far were
battlefields, too destroyed or infected to be worth rebuilding
because no inhabitants were left." He shivered as if
being what, a landmine?" Zach asked,
"Yes, I think
so." The hacker nodded. "They called it a Fenrij
Destroyer. A leftover of the war forgotten on Granna till... we
activated it. Then it followed its purpose."
the Scarecrow is a creature of their enemies then we are better
off with the Protectors of Tarkon on our side."
aren't on our side." Doc corrected his captain flatly. "They
are on Tarkon's. They see us as a danger to their protectorate.
They warned me..." He slumped back into his seat and
shivered. "If they really can change history..."
Lieutenant. Let's stay with the possible." Zach shook his
head. "We don't know if it was a grandstanding illusion or
not. I kind of doubt that they could alter 150 years of Earth's
history in the blink of an eye. Even if we accept their
existence, we have to ask ourselves what kind of power they still
possess after 32.000 years of isolation."
think the moon fortresses are a rather solid manifestation of
that." Walsh said grimly. "In addition to me having a
report of Niko and Goose in my files that validates the replayed
scene on Tarkon. From Doc's report I'd say the Protectors got it
from the Scarecrow's point of view, which on its own is something
to ponder." Walsh's face had closed at the names of the
missing. "Whatever the implications, go and check the
coordinates Doc got. If nothing else it might disprove some of
the entities' capabilities. Meanwhile, I'll inform the Board and
the League Council about the new development regarding
"May I ask
what our further orders regarding Tarkon will be
self-restraint in contact until further notice, Captain."
"You do believe me
At the two rangers'
surprised look: "Whether I believe Hartford's ordeal to be
real or not is of no concern. But as a fact, we do not have
weapons at hand capable of outmatching the moon fortresses of
Tarkon. And that is of concern to me." Walsh waited a
moment. Then: "Get some sleep. Your destination is planet
17798 in six hours, Rangers. Dismissed."
Zachary Fox –- Hauptmann zum Raum Zacharias Fuchs
"Goose" Gooseman –- Johannes "Hans"
Ryker Killbane –- Richard Todt [Pronunciation: r
i x a: rd t o t]
Owen Negata –- Eugen von Neiner
writing on this story, I learned the common perception of the
Nazi forces – esp. SS, SD, and Gestapo – to be
somewhat distorted and twisted abroad. Since I based the story on
the historical facts & structures as they are known to German
historians, I give a very brief summary of the matter here.
Please keep in mind that I'm merely a layman about the ugly
history of my country. I don't attempt to give a complete
introduction or judging the "degree of evilness" of the
various forces here. I just try to get the facts straight,
without which this story might be misinterpreted or not
understandable at all.
I made one exception from following the historic data to
accommodate to the portrayed fictional characters: it was not
common or appropriate for SS-officers to seek comradeship or
fraternize with non-SS officers. Even off-duty, an SS-officer had
to insist on being properly addressed with SS-rank. So Fuchs and
Ganter using their given names is inappropriate conduct.
it is based on history books or collections of historical data
brought to the public. Sources are given below. The following is
mostly based on Guido Knopp's book "The SS".
"Sturmabteilung" (storm batallion) – SA –
evolved from the stewards at Hitler's first political rallies in
Munich. Essentially, it was a gang of thugs suitable for a broad
field of purposes, whose numbers grew rapidly to some ten
thousand people: a true mass movement.
"Schutzstaffel" (protection squadron) – SS –
with the mantra of "SS-man, your honor is loyalty", on
the other hand, was formed as an elite corps inside the much
larger SA and understood itself as a committed praetorian guard,
as the elite of the party, submitting to their leader in
Note that before 1932 the SS wasn't
part of the National Socialist presentation. It was the SA which
engaged in street fights, political brawls, and burning
synagogues. The SS kept a low profile. Its ascent to be the most
powerful NS organization was done in 1934 when SS-units and
police units, armed with weapons of the Reichswehr (army), killed
not only the leaders of the SA, but also - at the same time –
the more conservative regime opponents.
The true winner of the
inner rivalry of the National Socialist party was the SS under
its until-then fairly unknown "Reichsführer-SS"
The SS-boss wasn't an intellectual: he was
more gauche, fearsome and afraid of making decisions. He didn't
gain authority through his powers of persuasion, but through his
determined sense of consequential gain of power and his
consciously formed image of a relentless hardliner, which made
him an irreplaceable executor for the regime. His idea of the
ideal man was that of a sober-minded man of violence willing to
make sacrifices. His aim was to breed that man. He preached
sincerity, integrity, and morality to his people in the same
breath with which he ordered violence and mass murder:
mercilessness as a virtue, pitiless murder as strength.
performed the mass murders: it represented, like no other NS
organization, the concept of the master race.
In the end
Himmler didn't worry about the suffering of the victims, but
about the mental anguish of the offenders.
Heydrich, ordered by Himmler, organized the Sicherheitsdienst der
SS (security service of the SS) – SD – which he
grouped with the Gestapo and the police into the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Office of Homeland Security) –
RSHA – in Berlin. It was Heydrich who made the myth of the
Gestapo as a synonym for state terror.
Still, something has to
The Gestapo was much smaller than its legend
claims. Chronically undermanned, it was by far not the most
powerful or important department in Heydrich's RSHA. The famous
spy state worked only because of the unbelievable number of
informants throughout the country. Without them, the Gestapo
would have remained deaf and blind. Never before in German
history had it been so easy to get rid of an unwelcome neighbor,
rival, or just someone hated, to place them at the mercy of an
organization comparable only to the Inquisition – but with
the effectiveness and capabilities of the twentieth century.
agency with true power was the SD, led directly by Heydrich
himself, which collected data about the Jews and regime opponents
in Germany and in the conquered countries, organized the buildup
of Ghettos and their following destruction as well. It was
SD-divisions which committed the mass murders in East Europe
while following the front line.
Basically, the SD went out and
searched for their victims, the Gestapo leaned back and waited
for the people to tell them.
owed Himmler his ascent to power – and he repaid with
unquestioning loyalty and unscrupulousness. Himmler's racist
cleansing ideas and Heydrich's ice-cold sense of what was
possible were a fatal combination.
Heydrich was the prototype
of the new man the National Socialists wanted. He was a
protagonist of the generation of the absoluteness. Nothing
inhuman was impossible any longer. Every thing was possible, even
genocide and the murder of millions of people. Reinhard Heydrich
organized it, but didn't live to see its execution. He was
assassinated in June 1942.
What would have happened, had
The man was a vision of what Hitler's state
might have become: an SS-state. In a massive German Reich from
the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains, crossed by highways,
decorated with death temples, 90 million slaves would have been
controlled by the Nazis. 14 million were needed as slave workers,
about 30 million were to be killed, the rest to be driven across
the Urals into Siberia. Reinhard Heydrich, the rising star of the
SS, wouldn't have hesitated to make that vision of horror true.
this story, I am using roughly the situation as it was in Summer
1942 before Heydrich was killed, assuming the following events to
be carried out in the same inhuman precision as the earlier ones,
putting the nightmarish vision described above into use.
Therefore, I am using the SS and the Waffen-SS, especially as
they were in 1942.
Nuremberg's war tribunal one organization, which in the end of
World War II made up the by-numbers biggest group of the SS, was
labeled completely "criminal": the Waffen-SS
Opinions about the military branch of
the SS are still divided today. Was it an elite corps or a bunch
of criminals? An embodiment of a soldier's courage and
aggressiveness? Or Nazi thugs and butchers, carefully dehumanized
so that they were eager and willing to take on and down
everything under the sun?
There is evidence for both
The military wing of the organization, the Waffen-SS,
was known as the sharpest sword of the Nazi Empire. Especially in
the last years of the war, they had to support the Wehrmacht
(army), often with tremendous losses, and were known as extreme
relentless, merciless fighters on the front line, but they also
took the prominent place on the list of committed war crimes.
connection between Waffen-SS and the normal SS was quite close.
The officers were trained together, wherever they were meant to
serve afterwards: in a concentration camp, in administration, or
at the front line. They weren't soldiers "like all the
others". Their mentality of "To give Death and to take
Death." was only one of the things that set them apart.
already strict selection criteria for SS-aspirants were even
stricter for Waffen-SS-applicants. They had to be younger than
23, had to be at least 1.74 meters (5 ft 9) tall and had to have
perfect eyesight. They had to prove their "Aryan origin"
back to the year 1800, and extensive athletic tests were
Their further education was meant to create
fighters who fought for the fight, who obeyed without a thought,
hardened against physical pain and against all human feeling.
They were taught to despise all "inferiors" and to be
arrogant toward everyone not part of their corps, along with a
fierce esprit de corps, fully convinced that "impossible"
The Totenkopfverbände (skull corps) of the
SS, integrated into the Waffen-SS, executed the Holocaust, and
were put to use whenever extreme mercilessness and unquestioned
loyalty were needed.
They killed in the manner that was
expected of them: well thought-out, obedient, unscrupulous,
intelligent, and inconspicuous.
reason why I saw Goose especially in that uniform is the
following note in one of the history books:
1944 – D-Day. Britons and Canadians are able to overrun the
German defense line quickly, advancing to the interior. Too
early, the fall of the city of Caen is reported, when the
Canadians find a relentless opposition in the shrub-covered
country: very young soldiers, not even eighteen yet, fight grimly
for each inch of ground, attacking, obsessed, again and again,
finally overrun even the first line of the Canadians. They are
easily recognized by their camouflage uniforms: the boys of the
SS-Division "Hitlerjugend". They stop the advance to
Caen, defending the city against an overwhelming enemy for six
weeks. Lead by Waffen-SS veterans from the East front line and
indoctrinated by NS-doctrines, they fight back grimly, and often
relentlessly hard. Doug Barrie, an officer of the 3rd Canadian
Infantery Division recalls: "Most of those we took prisoner
were very young. Their officers and subofficers were experienced
soldiers, who fought in Russia already. But the young boys didn't
have battle experience – it was their first fight. Like it
was for us. But they were fighters. Many of them fought till the
very end, they wouldn't give up." On their side, the SS-boys
didn't take many prisoners, either: Canadian soldiers who were
surrounded by Germans, were killed.
[from: G. Knopp: _Die SS_
3: Glossary – Translation of the German lines and terms in
order of appearance:
– "Hey, you! What are you doing here?"
– "Talk German, will you?!" – "Passport?"
– "Your passport."
– "He doesn't understand a word, Gunther."
– "Shit, always on my patrol." – "Whatever.
Let's get him to the captain."
– RAUMJÄGER: there's a German military corps
"Feldjäger" [field hunter / field ranger] whose
duties cover a wide range of operation, including combat,
information, communication, etc. Raumjäger is my adaptation
of the name for space-faring forces. [Raum is a German word for
– "It's Herr Hauptman for you!"
– "You are?"
– "Hans, I've got a case for you."
– "What kind of case?"
– "Definitely human, dark-skinned, but doesn't
understand German. Sounds like he's ranting in English. That's
– "Wait a moment." – "Your ID number?"
– "None. He probably slipped through."
– "Check him through. I'm on my way."
– "You heard the Sturmbannführer! Check him!"
– "Yes, Herr Hauptmann!"
– "In there. And don't make trouble, clear?"
– "Program selection." – "Identification,
Vivisection, Section, Culling, Utilization?"
– "Identification, Rusty, you bloodthirsty girl. We
want to know who we're going to shoot, okay?"
– "Of course, Private."
– "Test object Tortuna 14.496. Program Identification.
Prepare to take a blood sample for analysis. Test object
uncooperative. Suggest punishment as is seen fit afterwards."
– "Taking of samples complete. Hauptmann Fuchs will
get the results as soon as they are obtained."
– "Fine." – "You. Get out of there!"
– "See what you can find out. I'll call when I get the
– "main computer"
– "You w...ish?"
– "Does he understand us?" – "Or does
– "Still so slovenly, Sturmbannführer?"
– "One would assume headquarters would have corrected
that by now."
– "What do you want, Sturmbannführer Todt?"
– "I've got work to do."
– "I see." – "Though I thought even
you wouldn't lower yourself so far as to consider a mixed double
with inferiors." – "Operation Andor is finished.
The Obersturmführer expects your report about the
– "He will get it on time."
– "Good. And make sure to keep Fuchs in line this
time." – "I see you still keep that whore."
– "She's useful."
– "Kept at the concentration camp she'd be useful,
too." – "And not only for you."
– "It's more efficient to have her right at hand."
– "Ah yes?" – "So for the sake of
– "–you should be careful, Richard! Or the HQ is
going to learn about the 30,000 Kiwi slave workers."
– "As if anybody cares about that!"
– "The 48th Batallion, whose supplies couldn't be
provided because of the rotted harvest, cares about it."
– "Fuck! When do these idiots get that!?"
– "So it was of no use?"
– "Hans, may I know what's wrong here?"
– "The prisoner asked about the tattoo. I told him."
– "I think he's pretty shocked by your lamp."
– "Excuse me?" – "It's special but not
– "For us." – "But for him..." –
"He's really not listed?"
– "No." – "He isn't listed, has no
– "He could have removed it."
– "Even if he escaped scarring there should be ink
particles detectable in his body. Rusty didn't find anything."
– "A total slip of this age is rather unlikely, even
here at the arse of the universe."
– "I know." – "My telepath said he
doesn't belong here. I think we should at least consider that
'here' means much more than just Tortuna." – "As
Eugen von Neiner uses to say: 'it's the exceptions that bring the
– "You don't have to remind me that you know the
Reichsführer-ST personally, Sturmbannführer. I'm not
about to forget that."
– "That wasn't my intention, Zachary."
– "I know." – "But it is also the
exceptions which end most careers." – "Yes?"
– "The preparations for the execution are complete,
Herr Hauptmann." – "Herr Sturmbannführer!
They are waiting for both of you."
– "Thank you, Private. Dismissed." – "Go
ahead, Hans." – "And take him with you. Better he
learns who he is dealing with here."
– "We ought to shorten this."
– "Would be better." – "If she screams
any longer, we lose the instructive effects because the people
are grateful that we save their ears."
– "Let's get it over with." – "Execution
squad. Take your positions." – "In the name of
the Third Reich I pronounce..."
– "Hey!" – "The scumbag's
making a run for it!"
Militärgerichtshof Nürnberg, Der Nürnberger
Prozess, ISBN 3-7735-2513-3 (vollständige Gesamtausgabe)
documente _Anatomie des SS-Staates Band 1: Hans Buchheim: Die SS
– Das Herrschaftsinstrument, Befehl und Gehorsam_ ISBN
Weyrauch _Gestapo V-Leute_ ISBN 3-596-11255-9
Knopp: _Die SS_ ISBN 3-570-00621-3
Knopp: _Hitlers Kinder_ Bertelsmann 04931-2