Future Slant

By Paul Golding


Following the cessation of hostilities in 1953, the Third Reich settled into the rule over Europe. The race for the development of nuclear weapons had not been won by the Americans although the Yanks had still overpowered the Japanese by the use of two atomic devices early in 1946.

The Soviets had finally been subdued by the Nazi's in 1945. Hitler had used great tactical genius in the vast encirclement of the Kursk salient, although the Russians had prepared for the predicted pincer movement. Their defenses were up to seven miles deep there was no way that they could stop the concentrated use of the Tiger and Panther tanks that had performed so admirably on their first real use since coming into production. When after three days of intense fighting movement began to slow down, Hitler called into use for the first time the use of missiles as a decisive factor for determining an outcome of a battle. The new guidance systems developed by the Argentineans for the V2's had proved to be tremendously accurate and had helped disrupt the Soviet supply lines to such an extent that on day seventeen of the battle the German forces finally closed the trap capturing over 2,000,000 ground troops, 2500 tanks and 9,000 guns. Enraptured by the success of his new weapons Hitler ordered his tacticians, theorists and economists to draw up a plan to bring the Soviet war machine to a standstill using the V2 to surgically strike at key armament and manufacturing areas. The loss to the soviet war machine was never made good and on 21 May 1945, a surrender document was formally signed by the German high command and the Soviets, Stalin was shot out of hand by the Nazi's as were the rest of his cabinet.

  A demarcation line was drawn from xxxxx to xxxxx and from there the Soviets were left pretty much to their own devices. With the pacification of the Soviet union Hitler turned his full weight to destroying the British before the Americans could use England for a springboard for  the invasion of the European mainland. The British had remained stubborn and had refused to submit even with the renewed bombing of London and a limited landing by the Germans in the Newhaven area of 50,000 troops and equipment. Since the defeat of the Russians the Germans had acquired a large part of the Soviet fleet and this had enabled them in conjunction with the Luftwaffe to adequately defend the invasion force and secure for them a beachhead. Even with the use of the V2's and the new Armour however, the British stubbornly refused to give any amount of ground and the Americans were landing troops and equipment daily at ports and harbors around the British Isles.

Hitler eventually lost patience and on 15 November 1945, the German High Command delivered a 15 kiloton nuclear strike  by way of a V2 on Tyneside. The strike had been pre-warned by the Nazi's so the loss of life was greatly reduced. The British had continued to battle on even though the voice of opinion was now swaying away from armed response. Hitler then played his last card with the British and announced on November 17 he would destroy White Hart Lane football ground with a single missile, which he successfully did, followed by the announcement of the destruction of an individual street in Nottingham. The fear of such precise assured destruction then forced the British government to sue for surrender. American forces had ceased fighting with the British surrender and the Germans and American forces negotiated a cease-fire that allowed the Americans to withdraw from the British mainland without  further conflict. Hitler did not feel at that stage strong enough to contest with America for world domination. Britain had become part of the German super State.

January 1946 saw America defeating the Japanese in the Far East after the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Osaka, Germany had protested at the use of such weapons without warning on heavily populated center. They kept their protests to the verbal. For even with the year of peace in Europe and the development of the Tiger III and the V3.0A and the partial re-fitting of the Luftwaffe with the new Dornier jet fighters the German high command did not think they had the capability to successfully strike at the Americans as yet.

In July  Hitler take matters into his own hands. Still seething from his allies defeat, in a fit of pique, typical of a megalomaniac, he had ordered the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin the Scharnhorst and Gneiseau into the mid Atlantic. From the deck of the modified deck of the Graf Zeppelin fired a V3 missile at New York intent conclusively in engaging the United States in a war as he saw it to reshape the future face of the world for the next thousand years. The missile hit as planned but fortunately the payload failed to detonate. German and American diplomats had intense negotiations to try and bring the matter to a peaceful conclusion and Hitler  for the last time in his life was convinced that the course of action he had embarked on was not in the long run advantageous to the Reich. Their manufacturing capabilities were still below those of the United States and any long term  conflict across such distances would be all but impossible.

By September '46 America had set about the reconstruction of the shattered Japanese empire. The occupying forces are reduced to a lower level as the Japanese are now willing to co-operate fully with the United States and are seen by the rest of the world as becoming allies in the not to distant future. Hitler  set up an exclusion zone of fifty miles around Europe and engages the Turks in a lightning campaign that lasts twenty-one days and proves to the army the effectiveness of the Tiger III.

In 1949 after two years of uneasy peace China flexes it new found military might. Having seen the rest of the world at war for the previous ten years it has embarked on a huge re-armament and modernization program. On march 6 China invades Nepal, where it sees an opportunity to expand southwards and thence exercise complete control over the communication and trade and transport arteries of the region. Press coverage is high and the world is alarmed at the Chinese equipment and discipline.

June saw Hitler Visit London, reconstruction of the city is now well under way and Hitler is received well by the British  population. Of all  the German occupied states Britain is the only one where a large degree of self rule is allowed and encouraged. The German occupying force is minimal and the British begin to accept their role as Adolf's favorites. Hitler's and Himmler's codes of racial purity have not been implemented as yet, Hitler has given the undesirables two years to leave the Reich, which see tens of thousands of Jews, gypsies and communists fleeing Britain for  Canada, South Africa and Australia.

July and the puppet governments set up by the Germans in the Soviet states begin to lose control as food  and raw materials supplies begin to dwindle as the Reich siphons off more and more to help keep its struggling economy afloat. German expenditure on the military exceeds 25% of GNP. Rebels and partisans begin to be seen again in large numbers and Hitler is forced to sent in large numbers of Totenkopf troops to try and keep order. America begins to supply the rebels with military aid and goes as far as to send covert military advisers to the former Soviet Union. The Abwehr  finds traces of American operations and in retaliation begins its own supplying of anti-government forces in Belize and Nicaragua. Near the close of the year China consolidates Nepal and begins large military maneuvers near the Soviet border.

May 1950 and the world is shocked when the Fuhrer of the greater German Reich, Adolf Hitler, is assassinated on his way to Rally in Munich, despite his excessive security precautions, Chinese activists are able to destroy his armored Mercedes as his motorcade drives down the Autobahn. Two of the killers are captured and under interrogation confess to being sent by the Beijing government. Tension between Germany and China peaks as the Nazi's create a wave of reprisals against the Chinese populous in the occupied territories. The world holds its breath as to the outcome. In early June  fresh evidence of the affair comes to light which culminates in the arrest and eventual execution of Hitler's deputy and leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler. Several leading advisors are also implicated and are summarily executed. Goring, Hitler's successor is too ill to undertake leadership of the Reich and Martin Borman is favorite for the role of Fuhrer. However  in a vote by the Nazi hierarchy Admiral Doenitz is unexpectedly given leadership of the third Reich. The new government is seen by the free world as being far more stable than the previous one and world tension decreases somewhat in the following months.

In November 1950 Doenitz and the government change direction over the German policy of ethnic cleansing and the deportation and executions of Slavs and Jews is stopped. This is received well by both the Wehrmacht and by the majority of the SS that is now under the command of George Irwin Rommel. However many of the higher figures within the SS had risen to their positions under Hitler's regime and in a replica of 'The night of the long knives'. Doenitz has several dozens of the more extreme racists spirited away to ensure a smooth transition for the new policies.

Doenitz is advised by his advisers that Germany is overextended and on the verge of financial disaster. It therefore begins to withdraw troops and aid from various of its satellite states including Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria, Rumania and the southern soviet states. Sympathetic governments are installed and the Reich forms a large airborne rapid response force in the event of any insurrection occurring.

Nineteen fifty-one further re-organizations of war gained territories takes place. Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Armenia gain independence from Germany. The Reich has no intentions however, of relinquishing its grip over Russia, The Ukraine or Byelorussia. Germany launches its first satellite. Renewed fighting erupts in Russia as The United States steps up its supply of  military aid to the Russians. The partisans now are able to make parts of the Ukraine virtually impassable to all but the largest and most heavily armed convoys. Anti-aircraft missiles now are much more in evidence and the Germans routinely lose fighters patrolling over the former Russian territory. In the east China develop a nuclear capability.

Feb. 1952 Princess Elizabeth dies in a horse riding accident. The horse 'Applegate' rears when a fox bolts from a hedge in front of the cantering animal.  The German authorities declare a week of mourning. Princess Margaret ascends the throne but never replaces Elizabeth in the hearts of the British public. America puts first man into orbit and the X2 aircraft breaks the Mach three barrier. Germany puts pressure on Britain to show more solidarity with the Reich when the British press starts to glamorize once again the American way of life. At the end of August the world is stunned when communist China attacks Mongolia without warning. China commits Huge amounts of men and material to the attack. The small territorial army of the Mongolians is decimated within days. Once again media coverage is high encouraged by the Chinese government. Within days the army is on the move again as thirty divisions move into Kamchatka. The troops are well equipped for winter warfare and the Chinese spend the winter consolidating their gains. Both America and Germany cut diplomatic ties with the Beijing government and warn that any further acts of aggression could possibly lead to armed confrontation. Papers are found revealing that vast oil and gas reserves have been discovered in the former Mongolian territory. In another shock move at the end of the year China draws up a non- aggression pact with Russia to  protect its western flank in the newly gained territories and to ensure new markets for its commercial output.

Nineteen fifty-three China move armored divisions into Russia, German troops have fierce clashes with Chinese and Russian troops. The fighting slowly escalates with the Chinese throwing more and more divisions into the attack, part of the old human wave mentality is still to be seen amongst the Chinese military leaders. German troops on the ground do well and repeatedly throw off armored thrusts comprising of huge amounts of Armour. Their flanks are constantly threatened by Russian partisans and after eight months the German high command reach a historical decision and complete a tactical withdrawal to the Ukrainian borders where their troops move into fortified positions. Russia and China do not press on  the attack and seem satisfied working co-operatively together. During the height of the confrontation the threat of  a nuclear exchange had remained the major fear for the world. But apparently the threat of assured mutual destruction  had caused all warring parties to balk from their usage. This war saw the last threat to the world of nuclear weapons making them obsolete as an offensive weapon. On December 31 a new state is formed, the shattered remnants of the Jewish faith form the independent nation of Israel. World aid floods in to aid the few remaining million Jews. Up to ten million disappeared during the second world war and were never seen again. Horrifying stories of Jewish refugees from Europe swear that genocide has been carried out on their faith over  a ten year period. The stories of the few are believed by the world at large but the Germans fiercely refute any  such stories and refuse outside nation's access to sites where the alleged atrocities took place.

  In the early and mid eighties severe de-forestation of the world's rain forests and the huge amounts of carbon dioxide belched into the atmosphere by industries and automobiles lead to a greenhouse effect  subtly changing the world's climate and weather patterns. Low lying areas of ground found themselves inundated and in some places unrecoverable. Holland suffered most of all with its centuries old polders and dikes giving way to the onslaught Both new York and London are threatened with the Germans spending several billions on a new and larger Thames barrier. Clean air bills are bought in by the UN and the worlds' nations are aware enough that a major catastrophe is waiting round the corner and they rush to prevent the increases in carbon dioxide levels introducing green fuels and massively penalizing any companies who ignore the new bills.

In the years that followed a three way superpower cold war emerged. The United States and Japan forming one power, China and Russia the second and Germany the third each of the three vying for mastery over the others but none willing to face the others until success was guaranteed. Experiments with Chemical, biological, nuclear and viral weapons had continued with the occasional chance of using the weapons in a war situation. In South America fighting drags on in Venezuela as it has for the last twelve years. The cartel led armies financed by themselves and the Germans, the government troops funded and supplied by the U. S and Japan. In Afghanistan the Soviet- Chinese troops fight a never ending battle against the clans that leads thousands of young men to their deaths each year. The American and Japanese confederation appears as the strongest of the powers but dares not challenge either of the remaining two for fear of a joint assault on them. In the early nineties they attempted to strangle both Germans and Soviet- Chinese economically which almost succeeded but for the threatened attack on the oil rich Middle Eastern countries by both Germany and The Soviet - Chinese. An alliance the U. S and Japanese could not win against and eventually had to back down from. At the turn of the century world affairs took on another cant when the long heralded 'Star Wars' umbrella was finally in place over the world which saw the long awaited dismantling of the majority of the worlds nuclear missiles.

  The rest of the world had been pretty much at peace since the early fifties except for South Africa and it's neighboring states who frequently skirmish with each other and the Koreans who unsuccessfully invaded Vietnam in the late seventies. Some good things have emerged from the cold war, cancer is now 95% curable, malaria is now a disease of the distant past. The world's population  ceilings at 5.6 billion due primarily to the standards of education and improved health care. Pollution has been minimized with large fines imposed by the U.N. Carbon dioxide levels are dropping, the re-forestation of the worlds rain forests have been implemented. The American and Japanese have a permanently manned station on Mars with a population nearing thirty pioneers. The Martians spend eighteen months each on the Martian surface before being rotated back to Earth with the option of returning two years later. The only great failures have been the ever-present threat of war and the failures in the sixties to stop the extinction of several animals including the sperm whale and the Siberian tiger.


The world is overshadowed by the three main superpowers.

Stalemate has existed among the three for the last thirty years.

As the year 2031 approaches all three face the horrible conclusion that within the next twenty years, land based natural resources are going to be totally inadequate for their power and expansion needs. Demand for arable land is at an all time high. Serious advancements have been in the fields of agriculture and farm management, but as the third world began to develop in the early 2000's more arable land came under development as the big three strove to corner the new expanding markets.

The American and Japanese decided to expand and to find profitable and recoverable resources on the moon and developed a mining operation on the moon surface bringing back to earth the rare minerals and elements their nations were crying out for. Using the third generation of shuttles and the earth orbiting stations they are able to start to meet their own quotas. Having  began to solve their mineral and elemental needs, they look towards power generation. Solar and wind powers are more effectively harnessed and with the dwindling oil and gas supplies give the two allies virtual sufficiency. Thermal energy from the earth's core is seen as the only non-exhaustible and non-destructive power source to hand. However the technologies and the difficulties of tapping this power are in the meantime beyond their capabilities. On the agricultural front arable land has been hammered over the decades with pesticides and insecticides. In 2013 Japanese scientists working for the American government had come up with a new soil product that would basically restructure the soil nutrient composition, replace the nutrients that had been extracted with crop growth by exuding over a period of years a complex man made chemical compound. The new wonder chemical re-vitalized the decaying soils, and provided a huge boost to the economic system. Thousands could be fed from a tiny area.  

 After five years of heavy use, rumors  abounded of a massive increase in child deformities and miscarriages. The government surveys blame the huge increases on air pollutants and unhealthy lifestyles. However the now famous Davis report, completed by a number of private hospitals and health clinics directly attributed it to a chemical reaction to an imbibed substance or substances. Within the compound

Doctors discover that chromosomes collapse in the male sperm causing the deformities.  Eventually the new wonder drug in the soil was to blame. The soil that the chemical was use in is unusable until the chemical fully breaks down  which is about fifty years at best guess. All of this leaves the United states and Japan in a very tenuous position as they are forced import huge amounts of foodstuffs from neighboring states.

  China and Russia have had to face different problems. Land availability has been of no problem with the vast tracts in Siberia, Mongolia  and Kamchatka and the two billion inhabitants of this huge fused state have had no problems with expansion on that front. The quality of the land and the climates of the vast majority of the territories have presented problems on a colossal scale. Huge greenhouses have been developed and built out transparent lightweight Kevlar. These huge structures cover vast areas and are primarily for the growing of salad produce. They help alleviate food shortages but they will never be able to cure it. The vast oil and gas reserves that were found in Siberia and Mongolia hold the partners in good stead. Reserves are still estimated at forty years and Russia's coal stocks are set to last into the next century. As a result the pair trade energy for food whilst trying to curb their huge population.

Both states suffer from shortages of food produce and are desperate to find alternative sources.

Nazi Europe has suffered most of all. The population in Europe over the last decade of the twentieth century exploded due primarily to nazi ideology. For years the fascist hierarchy had been promoting large families through their racial programs. 'Strength through joy', 'German farmers league', the 'Hitler youth' and thousands of other organizations.  Suddenly all of the long term plans came together resulting in the sharpest rise in population anywhere in the world. Food shortages began to become evident. The Germans put more and more lands under the plough unfortunately German land resources were limited. Oil reserves were running out fast even with the new reclamation technology developed by the British and the Germans were forced to buy on the open markets. With the economy in a critical condition the fascists desperately looked round for an alternative. A turning point came in 2008. Archived documents from Belsen in the 1950's showed of research on human beings to find out the possibility of adapting people  to enable them to breath underwater for several hours at a time without air tanks.

  German scientists on discovery of these papers fell upon them with a vengeance. Research funds were made available of virtually unlimited amounts as the leaders saw a way out of their dilemma. The seabed had been seen for years as a possible way forward, with undersea farms, population centers and as importantly access to the deep oil reserves that were exceptionally not cost effective to recover at present. Research came on a great rate and within six years the German scientists had proved it would be possible to genetically manipulate human fetuses to be water breathing. However proof and practice are as always two separate issues. Although the German scientists were good there were certain parts of the puzzle that they could not break without outside assistance. Some technologies and information were not available to them and the had to look beyond the European mainland. South Africa and Korea were well advanced in the fields of genetic splicing but were reluctant to deal with Europe, in addition the Germans were afraid of the other two superpowers discovering what they were attempting to achieve. Germany therefore had to set-up and implement covert deals with medical and research facilities in south Africa and Korea by going through agents already in place within these countries.

This in turn enabled vast amounts of research to come into German hands and helped them proceed rapidly with the new developments. However the Reich economy was suffering to such an extent that the Fuhrer could no longer support  the research.  The research and medical institutes however were now prepared to work from their own funds as they realized the potential of the material they were working with. To recover the data they so desperately needed they turned to different sources, hackers, espionage agents, assassins, extortionists all gleaned from the ranks of the SS and Gestapo. For not only did they need the information to complete their dreams  it was also imperative the German eyes that the rest of the world were not party to this line of research.


Overhead the aircraft glided in on its approach to Gatwick, Its engines throttled back to reduce the amount of disturbance to the local residents. The third runway had been open for almost two years now and Gatwick was finally showing itself as Europe's third airport after Heathrow and Templehof. The Boeing 777 hung in the air like a bat its shape picked out by the runway lights as it came lower towards the ground. The gusting wind blowing between the Lufthansa and British Caledonian Hangers disturbed it not as its wheels touched the runway surface for a smooth landing. The computer on board making a perfect landing as it had done on hundreds of other occasions in the aircraft's twenty-six year career.

On board Duncan  J.  Johnson breathed a sigh of relief as the huge engines began to reverse throttle to bring the massive aircraft to a halt. Duncan wasn't the only one of the 546 passengers to be relieved. The lady who sat in the row in front of him shifted her weight. Her palms were sweating not only from the flight but also from the Knowledge that she had upwards of five million marks of cocaine strapped to her body and shielded to prevent discovery. Smuggling into German occupied Britain was considered the hottest of the smuggling destinations. Discovery meant death. A short summary trail and execution by firing squad, no reprieve, no forgiveness. Some people were willing to chance their lives though, some for personal gain, some for higher motives as was this ladies. Her child in Jamaica was dying of a wasting disease and the treatment was far beyond her modest means. By a seeming miracle two men had bumped into her as she shopped for  weekly provisions after visiting her daughter, they had shown a way to save the child. She was aware that what they were asking her to do was illegal and that should she be caught a long jail sentence awaited, but the men had persuaded her the chances of being caught were minimal and the money was so vital to her child.

The man next to Duncan was already unstrapping his safety belt and looking around his seating area for items which he may have put down in the six hours the aircraft had taken to fly from Kingston.  Duncan was happier now the aircraft was down but he still had no intention of unstrapping until the aircraft was at rest and the jetty was on the front of the plane. Even though he flew often the idea of being in a metal box in the air  didn't appeal to him. The flight was okay once the aircraft reached cruising altitude and once it had landed, but the ascent and descent absolutely freaked him out. Two large doubles and twenty milligrams of valium were needed for him to keep his cool. He glanced around at the other passengers chatting and laughing gathering up their belongings and felt himself start to relax. Duncan was a fairly large man in his thirties, he stood 1.8m tall, and was broad in the shoulder and narrow in the hip. Age was beginning to show on his face in the way of a few wrinkles, but his open countenance, ready smile and laughing green eyes made the majority of people gauge his age at the underside of thirty. His hair was a dull brown and basically lived on his head he had never been a great one for hair styles preferring to keep it short and therefore as he saw it under control. His girlfriend saw it differently though and she regularly wetted down the cockerel that sprouted from his crown after a nights sleep before he left in the mornings. Duncan was not the worlds smartest man, even when he wore a suit he still managed to have a disheveled look about him. He was the sort who after five minutes of tying the perfect knot in a tie it would have slipped down half an inch. Duncan was an open sort of a person he didn't give a toss about people's religion, color, sexual gender as long as they were pleasant company. He didn't however tolerate fools gladly and was prone to loosing his temper and whacking the odd person on occasion when he felt he had been rubbed the wrong way. Johnson worked for  Cross @ Bench data protectors PLC. As can be guessed the company was in the business of protecting individual or company data. By 2010  virtually every machine in the world linked by the Internet data had become more and more difficult to secure Hacking programs became far more prevalent with large institutions and corporations being the main targets. Software houses as Microsoft had attempted to corner the data security market but the diversity of the problem had made even the software giants blanch. This led to individual companies and firms tailoring data protection uniquely for each client that led to far greater security as products were no longer standardized. Firms like Cross @ Bench were pioneers in the early 21st century and were now at the forefront of the not inconsiderable market. They had exceptionally powerful clients on their books the CIA, The Gestapo to name but a few. Data protection was one of the few industries that had an infinite remit in their area of business. To get the trust of the cold war opponents Cross @ Bench's head offices were based in neutral Switzerland that had luckily survived Hitler's attentions in the war period of the forties. Having said that though they had offices in all the worlds major capitals.

  The aircraft came to rest. The ground crew chocked the nose wheel and suddenly it was a free for all the baggage handlers reversed onto the rear and forward holds, the caterers drove onto the front door. The steps were placed on the rearward door. The cleaners clambered up the steps the fuel bowser arrived and finally the water tanker began waste transferal. Inside the aircraft there was a similar sort of bedlam. Everybody wanted to be off at the same time the flight attendant's at the front had their plastic grins on saying insincere good-byes to all and sundry. Duncan disliked the disembarkation and remained sat in his seat until virtually everybody was off only then did he arise grip his laptop PC and wandered off nodding his thanks to the girls. Duncan walked down 400 or 500m of corridors down a few flights of stairs and eventually found the baggage reclamation area. At this time of the morning when the number of inbound flights reduced remarkably it was possible to be totally alone for short periods of time as Duncan found himself at the moment. Screens above him directed to the correct Area and he waited impatiently with the growing crowd for his bag. He was pleasantly pleased when after 40 or 50 bags appeared has battered red suitcase emerged he grabbed it and bustled his way up the escalators to the customs area. Here Duncan saw the first uniforms. CAA staff were present as well as the Custom's men in their black uniforms and deathheads badges. The men all had short cropped hair and deadpan faces, some looked directly into the passengers' faces, some into monitors that were linked to various scanning devices. Duncan hated customs, he never had smuggled but always felt guilty when going through and for that reason nine times out of ten he was pulled by the happy chaps. This time was no exception, a wave of a hand and he was summoned over to the counter. "Anything to declare." The man asked in a vaguely German  accent. "No." Duncan replied.

"If you you'd care to open the bag all the same sir." Duncan pulled his bag up on the counter and used the keycard to unfasten the locks. The customs man gave a perfunctory glance at the contents and dismissed Duncan with a "Sorry to have inconvenienced you sir." Duncan sighed and re-locked his bag. "No problem at all." He replied feeling as though he was still guilty. He picked his bag off and wandered out vaguely aware of two customs men searching a colored ladies bag who had been asked to one side as Duncan had.


            Duncan walked out of the North terminal into the rain that was Still hammering onto the pavement. The weather bit through his Driz-a-bone coat like a razor and he felt shivers to rack his body. Why when it was cold, dark and pissing  it down were all the sodding cabs off rank. You'd think that on a Tuesday night at 2.27am there would be cabs a plenty, but no not a sodding one. He turned and looked one final to his right into the teeming downpour and stopped as he saw a pair of headlights cut an arc into the gloom as a vehicle rode up the ramp and towards the airport entrance. The car pulled up sharply next to Duncan and the rear door opened. Inside a man leant across and called "Duncan Johnson." Duncan nodded. "Good get in the car we have been sent to collect you."

"Who sent you." Duncan asked, slightly perturbed.

"Your boss Mr Peterson, come on get in Duncan we haven't got all night. Unfortunately for you your partner in crime Steve Watson has been taken ill and you have been parceled with taking over his next job. You are to be briefed and then fly out in the morning, Peterson is waiting for you at the office to brief you now. Your wife has been informed and it's okay with her. Come on man get in you'll be back on Friday evening." Duncan sighed it wasn't the first time this had happened. "Okay." He said climbing in the car. The driver put his baggage in the trunk got in the car and then gunned the engine. The large Honda accelerated strongly sending Duncan to the back of the seat. 'Christ, he's in a rush to get home.' He thought.

At four twenty in the morning Mr.'s Johnson rang the airport to be informed that her husbands flight had arrived as scheduled. The information desk wouldn't confirm that he had been on that flight. But she did find out via the Lufthansa ground staff that a Mr. Johnson's bags had been aboard the LH4311 from Kingston. Sandra Johnson was now positively alarmed at her husbands' whereabouts. He always kept her informed when plans had been altered. She next called Cross @ Bench. A rather sleepy sounding voice answered her. The image was deliberately blurred and it informed Sandra that no her husband was not on the premises and no he was not expected in the office until 10.45am that morning. Yes, he did have a meeting with Mr. Peterson and no, (with an edge to the voice) it had not been rescheduled. Mrs. Johnson thanked the voice for her help and terminated the video phone link.  At 4.50am she took a temazipan to help her get some sleep as her mind was overrunning and wouldn't let her rest. 'He is probably at an all night bar or club near the airport.' She kept on telling herself even though he had never done that sort of thing since they had been married. Duncan's footloose days were well over.

Sandra awoke at 9.10am feeling like shit. At first as her head adjusted as she looked at the ceiling she wondered why she felt so disorientated. Suddenly memory flooded in and she jumped round in the bed expecting to see Duncan beside her. His side was uncrumpled and showed no evidence of having been slept in. Disorientation forgotten she leapt out of bed and down the stairs to the lounge. It was all as she had left it, Duncan's coat and bag were not there he had not returned after she had gone to bed.  The lounge curtains were still drawn and the room was still in twilight. By the armchair the half drank cup of coffee still sat where she had left it. Automatically Sandra picked it up and took it to the kitchen to wash it up. As the hot water poured from the tap over her hands she began to shake, tears streamed down her face and dropped the mug that shattered into a mirad of bits across the tiled floor. Sandra slumped down as the sobs wracked her body. Outside the sky was partially cloudy, the sun breaking through occasionally casting shafts of light down into the Johnson’s garden. Insects were at play and a blackbird sang. Inside Sandra’s mind there was no singing. A wave of nausea swept over her and she dashed to the bathroom to spew out the feeling she held locked within herself. Five minutes later she felt weaker but more able to cope Duncan had either had an accident or he had left her for another woman. Neither of these concepts she could deal with in her state of mind. As she gazed at the bathroom floor the videophone rang. She leapt from the floor her heart pounding she reached the phone on its third ring. Harry Peterson’s face stared at hers concern passing over his face as he saw the emotions on her face. “Mr’s Johnson are you all right.” Sandra pushed her hair back with one hand in a self conscious gesture. “I’m fine,” she lied, “Is Duncan there?.”

“No, which is the reason why I’m calling, it’s now eleven o’clock and Duncan has a meeting in five minutes. I presumed he was at home with you and had forgotten about his debriefing time.”

“Duncan hasn’t returned here.” Sandra choked out, her face struggling to compose herself.

“What!” Harry stated. “His flight come in as scheduled and he was confirmed as being on board. Do you have any inkling of where he might be.”

“No I don’t,” Sandra's replied now openly sobbing. “He never came home I’m so worried, don’t you know where he is?”

“If I knew Sandra I’d tell you.” He said leaning forward as her grief mounted. “Have you tried ringing friends or relatives, he might have had to go off and forgotten to tell.”

“You know Duncan, he would never go of without telling me.”

“Your right” Mr. Peterson hesitated the spoke again. “Sandra I don't like suggesting this but maybe you should consider ringing the authorities in case of an accident. We will do all we can from this end. Sandra, ring the authorities.”

“I will, to be honest I thought you might be them.”

“Keep me informed will you? I’m sure everything will be all right and if we hear anything we’ll ring you straight away.”

Chapter two: Mexico

The Binoculars whined as the small motor located within the casing adjusted the focus as the target vehicle approached the hidden observer. The operative lying hidden in a small fox hole tapped the small protrusion on the top of the viewer and a still of the image was relayed back to a computer at the apartment for examination later that evening. The man sighed and gingerly stretched his legs. ‘Ooh’, that smarted. The circulation began to flow again and pins and needles assailed both his feet. It was now 16.33 and Peter Schmelling was looking forward to being relieved at 21.00.

Peter a medium sized man with dark, short spiky hair. His fairly athletic build was starting to sag due to his love of beer and thus he has a slight paunch. He was raised in Stockport, Northern England. At the age of five he had been sent to a private school and only saw his family at weekends and at school holidays. When he was eight his father had been killed on the infamous M1 and his sister in the car with him had been severely traumatized needing mental care for the foreseeable future. The state took control of Peters life and when term ended he had been placed into an SS camp for fatherless boys in Derby. Peter was indoctrinated into the Nazi way of life and became a fervent supporter of fascism as he reached his teens. Due to his schooling and private life he led an exceptionally sheltered upbringing from the outside world. He was sixteen before he held a conversation with a female. Peter did well at school and at the SS camp and had graduated from both with full honors. The state then recruited him into the Abwehr and he has been with the secret service for the last 14 years. After six years in the service he had been promoted to field agent and completed missions in America and Italy as well as numerous jobs throughout the landmass that one was the British Isles. Peter has killed three men in his life, two in America who were compromising his position and one man in a bar fight in Torquay. He has been arrested for the Torquay killing but charges were dropped when the state stepped in on his behalf. At the SS camp Peter had  become an expert with the knife and small arms. Peter believes fervently in Germanys cause and will do anything to further the fascist goal. He has six children by three women and is encouraged by the state to have more as they value his pure stock. He last saw his sister seven years ago and has now publicly disowned her as to him her condition brings shame  on to the family name as he sees it.

 It had been another blistering day out here in the desert and Peter was looking forward to a cool refreshing shower. His shirt clung to his back, slick with sweat. The thermometer on his watch dipped below a hundred for the first time since the start of his watch at midday. He took a swig from the thermos to relieve the dryness of his mouth. Four litres he had drunk today and hadn’t needed a piss yet so quickly did he perspire away the fluids. The thought of being out here with no water made him realise his own mortality, a few hours and it would all be over.

The day had been another day of virtually no consequence, few vehicles had entered or left the San Tournando research facility.  The staff rotation was still another two days away and that would be when the observers would notice any personnel changes. Peter was all for a remote camera being installed in the fox hole and that could take all the photographs they needed. The cell leader insisted however, that one of the observers were there at all times in case an incident occurred that needed a human touch, as yet this had not been the case.

At 17.00 hundred the guards in the west tower changed over and Peter observed the company guards settling in for their nightly shift. At 18.00 the gate security would change, 19.00 the east tower and then each hour for the other two towers. Between the towers and gates stretched long smooth walls of Ferro-concrete topped with laser wire the walls themselves were fitted with infrared and motion detectors. Each of the towers had three guards armed with cannon and hand weapons. In front of the walls the area had been cleared to a distance of twenty meters. This area was mined and had acoustic sensors placed in the zone. Probes were sunk deep into the surface to detect any untoward vibrations. The gates themselves, normally the weakest part of a defensive structure were immense. The quadruple gates allowed people in the traditional style of a castle. The inner gates only opening when the outer were firmly closed and security were sure as to the people attempting to gain access. If there was a doubt there were corpes. The passage between the gates was covered and in an instant the area could be filled with a fatal gas. The surface of the tunnel was constructed of a conductive material that could be electrified if needed. Finally gun ports were mounted on both sides should any intruder still be resisting. The skies above the facility were protected by batteries of anti-aircraft missiles and orbiting laser mounted satellites in a geo-stationary orbit. Peter knew all this and more he even knew the names and address’s of the guards. The cell had been staking out the facility for over six weeks now and Peter for one was looking forward to the main part of the mission.

            To his right the glowing orange ball of the sun dipped to the horizon. The shadows near Peter growing quickly now as the sun plummeted downward. It looked almost to him as though it was filmed in time lapse so quickly did they lengthen. The dull glow that was Mexico City, now the most densely populated area on Earth, reflected sullenly off the strips of cloud as if in mockery of the beauty of the sunset that he had just witnessed. He looked at his watch it was now 19.40 not long to go. In two hours he would be back in their headquarters clean and fresh. It was virtually dark now and Peter risked standing up in a crouch to release some of the tension in his lower limbs. He tugged at the crutch of his trousers to relieve some of the discomfort around his testicles and buttocks. ‘Fucking desert,’ he hated it. The heat, the flies, the rubbing on of creams to stop burns that seemed to attract dust and grit like a magnet. The three of them though had made the fox hole as comfortable as possible, the odd cushion and a small solar powered fan to keep a breeze moving. The majority of the hole was covered in a tarpaulin coloured to be the same as the surrounding desert. Small comfort though when faced with the prospect of a nine hour shift every day for weeks on end. Peter was a Nazi through and through, but now even he was starting to curse the party under his breath.

The sky rapidly darkened ant the stars began to twinkle in the clear night air,  the thermometer next to him showed a rapid temperature drop now the suns' rays were no longer above the horizon. At first as always Peter sighed in relief as the baked feeling he had experienced all day subsided at first into a comfortable warmth with the heat captured by the ground around him still radiating off a warm heat. It didn’t last long soon he was feeling distinctly chilly and was obliged to grab his sleeping bag from the depths of the fox hole to keep himself warm. ‘You couldn’t win in this bloody land baking hot, then ten minutes later your balls were freezing off.’  He grumbled to himself. ‘Ah well,’ he thought looking at the glowing face of his watch, ‘Not to much longer to the end of this shift.’ His watch now showed the time to be 20.17. Peter checked the camera was operating properly end checked the  numbers of pictures left on the film, for even though the picture was directly transmitted back to the base, a hard copy  was also required in case  of  a transmission interruption. There were  still forty seven pictures left on the loaded film Peter himself had only taken seven today so there was no reason to change it over yet maybe he would do it during tomorrow's shift.

Today was Friday May 31, in seven days it would be his thirty fifth birthday Peter was looking forward to it, he always enjoyed his birthday. His mother would send a card and a present to the Abwehr center in Reims from her home in Stockport, England. It would be there waiting for him when he returned home from this mission. He would telephone and thank her anyway for the present as it would be the same as it had been over the years a jumper from 'Marks @ Spencer's'. Peter never wore a jumper and had told his mother on numerous occasions this information, she appeared to digest and absorb what he said but then went out and bought him a jumper for his birthday. Peters Father, Albert, had been dead now for twenty years and at last it appeared as though his mother was over his death, she had been morose and down for a long while. Peter in the end had taken her to a battle shock expert come psychologist  who had managed to draw her out of her depression.

He pulled the sleeping bag a little closer to himself as the cold air began to permeate through his body. One good thing had come out of the surveillance so far he had managed to the loose three kilograms in weight that his masters had been complaining about. The Abwehr were very strict  on weights and Peters career had been jeopardized by his paunch. The desert had rectified that. He could even indulge in his favorite pastime to greater excess here in Mexico as his increased beer intake evaporated from his skin within minutes of him consuming the alcohol. Thinking of beer made  him thirsty but  he really couldn't face any water  so he contented himself with the thought that soon he would be drinking a cold one from the fridge. It was now 20.42 Clive Tork would be on his way to relieve him, bent double, crouching and  belly crawling from where their vehicle was parked over a  half a kilometer away. It was left behind a hillock and draped with a shielded cloth that prevented the vehicle being observed by visual or heat tracing. The vehicle tracks  were obscured by air jets that washed behind the vehicle when it left the man made  carriageway. Clive would be on time, in the two months Peter, Clive and Stephan had been working together, Clive had not been known to be late for anything including his bowel movements. 20.58 and Peter heard a stealthy movement approaching his position from the rear. It should be Clive but a field agent who assumed things quickly became a dead field agent. Peter drew his razor sharp Bowie Knife from the top of his boot and prepared himself to leap at the oncoming figure now just visible in the gloom. "Hsst, Peter, it's Clive, put the Major Tom down." Peter relaxed and put the knife back into his boot top, not only was 'Bowie' a name of a knife it was also the name of the oldest Pop star alive, David Bowie, and one of his early hits had been 'Major Tom' hence the play on words. It was one of the codes the three had worked out to protect themselves when the changes of watch were performed. Clive slid into the hole and Peter performed the handover reporting anything of note that had occurred during his shift, even though it was all noted in the mini-note that resided in the hole with them. Peter bade Clive a goodnight and crept out into the dark towards the waiting vehicle.

Peter  scanned the car to assure a trace had not been placed while the car was un-supervised then climbed into the vehicle. He immediately hit the ignition, he just couldn't wait for the blower in the Land rover to start blowing out cooled air. One good decision that Stephan had made in Peters mind was their choice of vehicle. Not only was the new range of Land rover the best off road vehicle in the world it was also the most comfortable and had the best air-con system.

Once the engine had caught Peter put the infra-red heads up display  over his head and moved the vehicle towards  the road. The harsh red vision made his eye's water slightly but he knew full well that he would be unable to put on the vehicles' lights until he was well away from the vehicles present location for the fear of being seen. For the same reason the engine had been shielded with heavy cladding as was the exhaust so the vehicle's image would not be picked up by the geo-stationary satellites that guarded the research facility. Looking for unauthorised vehicles in the area. The drive back to Mexico City was eventful as usual. Peter joined the Southern Arterial back into the city that was at this time still very busy. Eighteen lanes the planners had thought would be sufficient, but as with  road planners throughout history they had taken no lessons from their predecessors. Two years after completion the road had been unable to take the growth in the amount of vehicles within the city and the surrounding suburbs. So in the day time the highway was one long snarl up, the only time to travel and move being late at night or early in the morning. Hence the amount of traffic as Peter drove in to the city. The majority of the traffics were heavy good vehicles as deliveries were now made during the hours of darkness to ensure that they arrived on time. As he wove in and out from the lumbering motors he saw the his first accident of the night. The Mexicans as drivers rated well below average and their lane discipline and lack of patience were world renowned. Going past junction four a red Fiat joined the traffic flow without so much as a glance in his rear view mirror. He shot towards the middle lane, unfortunately for him a 56 tonner articulated lorry was in that lane traveling in excess of 120 kph.  The trucker had time to blow on his air horns before he rammed and shunted the little car across the highway. The artic jack-knifed and the van behind ploughed in to it. Peter sighed and accelerated past the developing carnage.

"Shit!" He exclaimed. The cameras over the junction would have picked the accident up and his vehicle would have been within shot. Hopefully nothing would come of it but it was an incident he would have to tell Stephan in case the police traced the vehicle to question the driver about his view of the event.

Twenty minutes later saw Peter turn the vehicle into the property the three had been leased for them  for the duration of the mission. He pressed the actuator on his watch and the garage door rolled up and in. Peter looked both ways and drove into the parking bay. He climbed out and stretched his body, driving through the city always left him feeling tense. He then did a quick visual check and ran another scan to ensure the garage was un-compromised and went through to the lift. The building in which they were residing was part of a block of flats in one of the better parts of town. Each of the apartments had their own private lift to the rear entrance or there were the public lifts to the front. In working hours the threesome used the public entrance, but during the hours of darkness they always used the private lift. The lift halted at level 42 with the now predictable jolt. This jolt was caused by the interrupt in the lift's software set up by Stephan so a check could be run on the lift's occupant and to find out what equipment they were carrying. He had spent two days after their arrival trying to cure the rapid halt but had in the end had to concede defeat to the lifts' designers.

Stephan Krauss sat watching the city sky line, from the flats vantage point they had a good view of all  the city center. At night, when the shift pattern allowed and his reports had been documented, encrypted and sent to Europe, he enjoyed watching the lights of the city with the backdrop of the black velvet of the sky. It gave him a feeling of detachment watching the lights of houses, offices, vehicles and planes all with no sounds. it was a nice way to relax for ten minutes before Peter returned from his vigil. He checked the wall clock, 'bed time in a short while' he thought. He was glad, the constant pressure they had been under was mounting and sleeping was the only way Stephan had found to combat it. Stephan had been under stress before his days with Abwehr. At the age of twenty two he had joined the Kreigsmarine after doing a degree in Electronics at Bremen Academy. His first post had been as weapons programmer on the 'Wagner' . He was a popular crew member and had been rapidly promoted through the system to become senior programmer. His mettle had been tested at Scapa Flow, where an impasse with elements of the US navy had developed over fishing rights. After standing to for over a week the Americans made a move. Stephan's rapid thinking and reactions in reprogramming the Drone missiles put the Americans in a position where they were forced to withdraw. This act bought him to the attention of the Abwehr who were always on the lookout for new talent for their service. Once with the secret service he had been shipped to a training establishment in Reims and had again fared well. During his training he had built up an excellent relationship with a Franco German girl, Ruth Foyer. They purchased a house together near the training facility and had planned to be married in June 2025. Stephan, however had finished his training in the spring of that year and had been sent to Egypt on his first operation. On his return  in November he was a changed man. He had been living a different life for eight months and had been cohabiting with Maria Conteh a Portuguese lady  who worked for a research establishment. He no longer felt love for Ruth and the relationship slid by.

He swung his chair round form the window and drew his silenced revolver, if he was lucky Peter should be entering now... The lift door opened and the occupant dropped and rolled to his right, his weapon fixed on the chair as he gained cover behind the breakfast bar. "Hi Peter, good drive." Schmelling stood up and holstered his firearm. "Not bad though there was an incident I should tell you about." He opened the fridge and got out a can and slumped on the sofa. "Damm  Mexies must be the worlds worst drivers, There I am minding my own business when." Stephan sat up, this could be a slight glitch to their scheme.

After Peter had described the incident Stephan pondered on the possible effects contact with the police could have on  their cell. He concluded that the chances of being called forward were slight and if they did the police would not be investigating Peter they would only require his version of the incident.

"Okay Pete, that shouldn't be a problem, if for any reason you are called forward just play Joe average."

"Okay Stephan."

" So besides the drive home were there any incidents in the field today?"

"No, it was quiet as it has been all week, very few vehicles either in or out. The activity that there was, was all routine as far as I could make out. I ran checks on all the vehicles and they all checked out as being owned by the research facility. I've logged all the data while I was in the field it was so quiet but I'll  send it via the Net back to Riems now just to be sure."

"Okay Peter, I'll see you tomorrow night, hey, try not to drink to many and keep the TV turned down a bit will you." Stephan got up and wandered into the bathroom to have a wash. Peter flicked two fingers at his back and got another beer out of the fridge.

Stephan lay in bed, it was still very warm in the apartment after another baking hot day. Their building acted like a magnet for solar rays and over the last few weeks it had been barely tolerable in the lounge in the daytime. The air-conditioning was manufactured by a local firm and it didn't really cut the mustard. 'They should have bought German,' Peter had stated on several occasions and Steph had to agree with him on this point. German technology and engineering still led the world in the majority of fields. Stephan pulled the quilt back and lay exposed  and for a few moments he cooled down. Next door he could hear the TV, it wasn't blaring but was just loud enough to be disturbing, Schmelling would be very aware of how it sounded in the bedroom, but he was that sort of a guy. Twat, summed him up very well. Stephan turned his mind to their task in  hand and ran it over in his mind. Sleep would be a long time coming tonight so he might as well run through their plans again.

The cell had been in Mexico for three weeks now and they had to Stephan's satisfaction achieved their objects to date. In  eight days time on June 8, the  operation would be concluded. All the preparations had been made and they now awaited D-Day. The Abwehr had sent through details of the diversionary tactics that other cells had set-up in the months prior to Stephan's arrival,. The laying of these diversions had been a lengthy and risky process and two agents had been eliminated after their situation had been compromised. The Abwehr in Berlin were confident that the situation was not in jeopardy and had sent out very subtle feelers through the Mexican research fraternity. This had not apparently been the first situation of its type this year, and although the Mexican government were worried about the situation, they had in no way attached this latest perpetration to the Germans.

In the next room Peter flicked through the channels, 'nothing as usual.' The only item that even vaguely interested him was the highlights of the German football league showing the Hamburg Vs Southampton game. He swung a leg over the arm of the chair and opened another can of beer. The game had twenty minutes to run, he'd watch the remainder of the match, grab a shower and hit the fart sack.

Stephan rolled over onto his side and flicked on the small bedside lamp. He opened his palm top and checked the data it held once again.

 In two days time, the personnel for the research facility would rotate and the Reich's two moles would be in position and completing their final objectives. Maria Conteh had by far the most difficult function to perform. Within the facility Maria worked as a project leader and therefore she was party to the full research program  and data appertaining ,that was currently taking place. She is to get a complete backup of the work to date onto a backup disk and sit on the information until the operation began in earnest on June 8.

 On that evening of June 8, Stephan, Peter and Clive were to move into their observation nest and countdown to the attack. The new moon would break over the hills to the south of the facility at 10.05 PM with the team already in position. At 3.34 AM the diversions set in place would commence to distract the San Tournando security teams. During the build up time, the team would be checking that all of the planned diversions were still functional after their time out in the desert using  palmtop computers to run diagnostics on the appropriate pieces of kit. The first and most important would commence at 3.34 AM. On the hill line south of the facility a military pulse laser had been erected and disguised over a long period it would fire two pulses at the Geo.-stationary satellite above the site, disrupting its communication relays, tracking sensors and the aerial defense computer. One minute later at 3.35 AM twenty automated heat generators would begin to move in toward the facility from the east side, giving an indication of badly screened vehicles approaching, drawing the Northeast towers guns in that direction. In the ground at the maximum  range of the acoustic and motion detectors on the eastern and southern sides a team planted banks of micro speakers which will at 3.37 AM commence to play recordings of  armored vehicles and infantry.

    In conjunction with the sound recordings slingshots will propel five gram charges of explosive into the mined area of the facility. Smoke generators positioned on all sides will at 3.36 AM add to the confusion by generating dampening smoke which will cause consternation and panic amongst the defenders as the infra-red scopes will become inoperative. Jamming signals will be broadcast over all frequencies to dampen the local area and false cloaked transmissions will be leaked into the lower atmosphere.  Small  screened diggers at the same time will cut surface and sub-surface lines and transmit pre- taped conversations and lulls back into the system to lull the outside world that there was nothing untoward occurring. The pulse laser having disabled the satellite orbiting the facility will at 3.38 AM, will fire a single pulse at the north-east tower before firing on the south west tower and walls until disabled.

·         At 3.32 AM, the other operative inside the facility (identity unknown) cause an internal diversion by partially shutting down power in the generator rooms. (Judging by the role this operative will be undertaking I presume he is an expendable asset.) On the north side our unit will move to Northeast corner at 3.38 AM. Firing if required, although this is to be avoided if at all possible. Maria will at 3.39 AM fire the data CD over the wall attached to a weak transmitter which will be retrieved by the squad who will then withdraw. Any casualties are not to fall into Mexican hands.

As soon as the team is away from the danger site they will transmit the data to the Reich.

The team are then to make haste to Cancoun where they and the data CD are to be picked up by U-boat and then transported back to the Fatherland.

Maria Conteh is to carry on as normal acting as a ‘sleeper’ as and when required.

This was by far the biggest operation he had been on and he was nervous, not about his safety, but the of the success of the operation. The Reich did not tolerate failure well and this particular facet of the Secret Services long term strategy was vital if the Greater Reich were to obtain dominance over the other two world superpowers. His superiors had put it none to subtly that if the operation failed to due Stephan's cell's incompetence it would not bode well for their families.


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