Empty City

“...in defiance of the cult’s leaders, the Protocols of the Thule Society were allowed to fall into Soviet hands, the last of the survivors believing it better to fight “The Darkness” no matter which flag was flown above their headquarters. As Operation Paperclip drew German scientists from a variety of disciplines into the Allied military industrial complex, a second set of men fought for other secrets.”

He hit a switch on the dash that stopped the license plates from shifting, tried to remember which passport was in the box under the wheel. Flashing lights, so he indicated, drew the vehicle to a halt. Gendarmes behind, odd to be stopped, but they rarely took kindly to being shadowed. He smiled. Time to spook them. The flashlight in his face was a little unkind, but in fairness they were always going to be annoyed. The rain wasn’t easing up, and they had sat behind for the usual ten minutes, trying to figure what it was he was driving. Asymmetric, shifting with a variety of aircraft-derived actuators, it produced conflicting generic descriptions on the rare occasions it was reported. As was the case now, probably. He kept his hands on the wheel and answered in German, which annoyed the poor man even more. He switched to halting, accented French, drew forth an ID. The gendarme opened it, locking it for the now. Diplomatic security. Bless the European Union. He shrugged, nodded at the briefcases in the well in front of the passenger seat. Such as it was, an odd looking bucket. The usual nonsense to the poor goon, the world had such a poor view of the Ossies that you could pass anything off as a bad Cold War copy inherited as a cost saving measure. The horrific noise coming from the idling engine helped with that. The chat became a little more stilted, a brief flash from the headlights behind. The flic dropped back, torch suddenly in classic cross grip with drawn pistol.

You can find the complete version of Empty City in issue 68 of TBD.

Andrew Robertson