Part XXVI: Matt's Gambit
Brunner stepped behind the figure of Yossi, held upright by the blonde giant.
"First if you try to shoot us, your friend will die. You will put your weapons down if you want to live."
"No", said Matt,"The Chilean police will be here any minute. You let him go. It's all over."
The Nazi laughed. "I think not Jew. The Chileans will stay put until they know the job is finished. I know them better than you. Lay down your weapons!" Hans Jurge punctuated his commander's order by giving Yossi a shake.
Matt's mind raced. If Yossi had been captured, Lincoln and Jetta must be dead or wounded.
"I don't believe for a second you'll let any of us live if we surrender."
"So we have a Chilean stand-off? Well, like any good Jew I'm sure you'll be willing to make a deal. I need to find a new base of operations to continue my work. If your friends agree to be disarmed I will leave Hans Jurg in their care. He's a favorite of mine, I will miss his simple loyalty, but I can't take him with me. I take the weapon and you come with me as insurance. I think you are smart enough to know this was a suicide mission so you won't mind dying. If you are lucky I will find refuge somewhere else in South America, which I would prefer. Then I can promise you a bullet to the back of the head. If we are not so lucky, we may have to go back to the Middle East. That may be a bit more messy for you. But at least you'll know that you saved your friends. Now if you have any useful knowledge and are willing to cooperate, more favorable terms may be possible, but I won't pretend that is any more than a faint hope."
"You're insane Brunner."
"Am I Jew? Then I must be crazy like a fox. I've not only managed to survive the fall of the Third Reich and your Mossad assassins, but that which didn't destroy me made me stronger. I'm sure you saw the reports that I lost an eye, an ear, some fingers? It was true! But look at me now. You have no idea what we accomplished here. That's another reason to let some of you live, I want the world to know what our cause has accomplished.
I should admit that the inspiration came from you Jews, but we dared what you could barely understand. You see, Eichmann had us report on any religious artifacts that were confiscated. There were hundreds combing Europe for the Holy Grail and Hitler had his obsession with the Spear of Longinus. Eichmann himself had his theories of a conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons. At first my interest in these relics was purely mercenary, they had a high value in the Reich. Then the first Stone came into my possession. A Lithuanian rabbi in mufti who had escaped the Sonderkommandos in Vilna was trying to reach Palestine through Cyprus, but his ship was intercepted and escorted to Greece where we took custody of the 185 Jews on board, men woman and children. They joined the trainloads of Greek Jews headed for Poland. The rabbi had mostly old texts with him Torah and Midrash scrolls as well as an extremely valuable Sephardic Zohar. But what he was the most reticent about was the stone. We soon determined that it was a beryl with the name of Gad. We eventually got more information out of him, but his will was stronger than his flesh and he died before we extracted all the information we wanted. But it was enough to begin my inquiry into the Hoshen stones. Using Eichmann's credentials and the influence of his office I got the word out that finding similar artifacts would be rewarded by the Reich. Then an Arab cutthroat who had robbed and murdered a Jewish merchant in Alexandria sold the jasper of Naphtali to one of our Egyptian agents. Then came the arduous labor of finding the onyx of Asher that was so ingeniously hidden in Salonika. I'm sure your Macedonian friend has told you what was involved in obtaining it. But the difficult trial that protected it also revealed many other secrets when it was decyphered. Just as she had to be initated into the mysteries of Kabbalah, I too passed behind the veil, but as a Teutonic wolf in the sheepskin of an acolyte! And I was not so blinded by my success in finding the third stone that I didn't notice a greater treasure. In that spiritual dimension that the Kabbalists call the Garden I saw the Tree of Life. After I was prompted by a strong intuition and urging that came from outside of me to the text that I rememberd vaguely from childhood and understood not at all. Your Moses made a great error in revealing too much of the thoughts of your God, and subsequently His great weakness. Some of us had been initiated into the Secrets of the Lost Cause, mostly through the pagan rites of our German ancestors and their origin in a lost continent from another forgotten age. This was the knowledge of the Thule Society. Others were students of the knowledge that Karl Haushofer brought from the East, that our Ahnenerbe traced back to the hidden Tibetan city of Shamballah. Like Nietsche, the Cathers, the Gnostics and Manicheans, we recognized that your Jewish god for the jealous and misguided creator he was. Mankind was expelled from Paradise because had they also tasted of the tree of life they would have become immortal and as the serpent promised, truly godlike. And the most terrible angel in heaven was posted sentry over the Garden of Mysteries. But like all the secrets of the spiritual realm, your Kabbalists have left clues as to how they have learned to defeat or avoid these spiritual guardians and I have become one of their most dedicated students in this field of study, but for a very different purpose. Most of my plunder has been in the form of knowledge, but it was information that was put to good use in the physical world. But the Stones also afforded me a good measure of protection. Fate arranged that the stones I found were in the order of the lower row of the Breastplate of Aaron. I later discovered that when on the march in the wilderness the three tribes the stones correspond to were also grouped together in battle formation and were deployed together to protect one of the four sides. This strength is reflected in the spiritual realm. I suspect that you may have an equal quantity of stones, but not in such a fortuitous combination. This accounts for your partial success and also your ultimate defeat.
Look around you Jew! All we grasped for is coming to pass, including the final destruction of World Jewery! If only we had been patient and subtle, we would only have had to wait until the world was ready. But the hard road had it's benefits. Only I and a few others pure of purpose survive. The discoveries of the nature of our DNA soon after the war allowed the secrets of the Tree of Life to be applied to the physical world. By culling a few of the weak and useless from the local population, we have repaired our bodies and extended our span of years, taking the organs, tissues and stem cells we need. We've found the moral handwringing in the world over these technologies laughably ironic. While you've vacillated, we've gone far beyond anything you've envisioned and at this point our primacy in this field is permanently out of your reach. Soon we will announce our greatest acheivement and your world will beg us for access to our knowledge. The morning will soon dawn where the world will again see us as a race of magicians sent to lead them and will gratefully capitulate.
So. I'm getting impatient. You will set down the weapons before I kill this Jew and Hans Jurge starts tearing the rest of you limb from limb. My helicopter awaits and on the way I might consider ransoming you for the rest of the stones in your possession, although I'm certain that some associates of mine may be close to obtaining them regardless. Make your decision now!"
Yossi refused to meet Matt's gaze, but was trying to shake his head in the grip of the colossus.
"Do as he says, put your guns down men"
They complied, but Matt was not yet ready to surrender his weapon. He needed a second for his conscious mind to override the reflex that his training with the weapon had burned in. As he laid it gently on the polished floor the disruptor gave a single barely audible chirp. Matt took one step back.
Brunner pounced on the SHOFAR with surprising nimbleness. He caressed the pearly housing while holstering his sidearm. He took hold of the gripes and as a sly smile spread across the parchment of his face he pointed the barrel at the motionless group of prisoners.
They'd never know if he meant to fire in an act of casual treachery, or if it was a gesture of intimidation before ordering Matt to come with him. Waves of energy had already begun streaming out of the sonic generator that was the heart of the weapon. The little time the Israeli scientists had to research the different effects the weapon could produce left them limited options. The only choice for a self-destruct mechanism had to be the sole effect that could transfer through the frame of the weapon itself. This itself was easily done by tuning to a frequency that resonated with the molecules of the SHOFAR's materials. Given the nature of their enemy it was even seen as a benefit that this effect would also transfer to anyone in direct physical contact with the weapon. The problem was that the only waveform that worked was the same that caused the demolition effect.
The result on Brunner was devastating but seemed to the team also excruciatingly slow. First affected were the nerves. The designers assumed it would be unbearable, but the same explosive firing of ganglia that would induce such agony would also cause muscles to contract until they became as rigid as stone. The Nazi became frozen in silent suffering like wax effigy of a denizen of Hell. Then in order of solidity the wroughtworks of the body were undone. First the bones ground themselves to powder, tendons and ligaments became gelatin. As the muscle liquified, the pent-up torment was briefly released in a brief keening howl that trialed off in a pathetic gurgle. The entire flacid mass held together only by the papery skin, burst on the floor with a sickening pop, fouling their boots.
The tow-headed giant was shrieking in terror and was soon crouched in a corner whimpering in anticipation of a similar fate at the hands of the merciless Jewish wizards. Then a recessed door flew open. A very tall thin man in an SS uniform and gold rimmed glasses charged them firing a machine pistol. He seemed unable to control the muzzle lift and the rounds sailed over their heads. Yossi aimed a diving kick at an office chair on casters which rolled into the path of the ostrich-like gait of their attacker. He went down hard with a crack as his forehead met the linoleum. Yossi somehow knew this was the network admin, and his satisfaction was immense.
At that moment Lincoln staggered in pushing a women ahead of him. Her arms were bound behind her back with ziptie restraints and she was covered with demolition dust. He had a head wound that was still oozing blood. "Caught her skulkin' around. I think Baby Huey over there fractured my damn skull. Someone shoot em for me, I'm seeing double. I'm gonna sit down now."
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