Chapter 3 - North Reich - Robert Conroy

North Reich - Robert Conroy (2012)

Chapter 3

Alicia Cutter groaned and grasped her abdomen. It was her time of the month and the cramps seemed especially painful. Each month seemed more painful than the last. Maybe growing old wasn't such a curse. A couple of her friends laughingly suggested she get pregnant and solve the problem, at least for a while. Of course she’d create a new problem for maybe twenty years along with her periods when they resumed.

She signed for the pouch from the WAC captain who understood Alicia's unpleasant situation. "At least it's a nice day for a ride," she said.

Alicia managed a smile and admitted that it was. In a couple of weeks it would be Christmas, and the day was cold and bright. There were rumors that it might even snow, which would be a small miracle in Virginia. It snowed, but not that often and rarely around Christmas. When she got back to her quarters, she'd find some brandy, medicinal of course, take to her bed and feel sorry for herself. Maybe she'd get lost in her violin. She hadn't played it in several days and was worried that she'd lose what skills she had. Someday the war with Japan would be over, and she could go back to teaching, unless, of course, America was also at war with Germany, which seemed increasingly likely.

Wilkins and Henry picked up on her lousy mood and left her alone, quietly talking about football while she sat in the back seat with the pouch and sulked. She did like football, but her University of Virginia wasn't playing, so her interest was limited. She recalled that Wilkins had a couple of sisters, so maybe he understood her problem. She put her head against the window and thought about taking a nap. At least this morning she didn't have to go to any effort to make herself look plain. Her period and the attendant bloating took care of that. She would have to apologize to the two corporals for being such a grumpy bitch.

The road from Camp Washington to the Pentagon was two lanes and paved for most of the way. It was lined with trees and bushes where there weren't stately homes and quaint villages. It was really beautiful rolling hill country. There wasn't much traffic, so they were making good time.

She was just wondering how much a house in the area would cost when a truck suddenly entered the road in front of them and stopped. Wilkins swore and slammed on the brakes, hurling Alicia and Henry forward. Henry's head hit the dashboard with a terrible thud and Alicia slammed into the seat in front of her. Pain knifed through from her nose. Dazed, she was dimly aware of men getting out of the truck and wondering why they wore masks while her world spun. They tried to yank the doors open, but they were locked. What was going on? Her mind began to clear and she realized that this was all terribly wrong.

One of the men took a pistol from his belt and smashed the driver's side window with the butt. He reached in, opened the door, and yanked an inert Wilkins out and onto the ground. A second man smashed the rear side window and opened that door. He grabbed Alicia's arm and threw her down beside Wilkins. She screamed and tried to get up, but he punched her to the ground and kicked her in the face, increasing her agony. She tasted blood in her mouth and rolled over on her back with the pouch underneath her.

"Look at this, guys," the man yelled to his companions. "Pussy." Through her pain she was outraged. Her skirt was well up her thighs and this strange man was mocking her.

He stuck the gun back in his belt and ripped open her jacket and began pawing her breasts.

"Goddammit, Paul, get the fucking pouch!" hollered another masked man. "We don't have time for this shit."

Paul straightened and was about to respond when a gunshot barked out. He grabbed his gut and looked stunned. Second and third shots were fired and one bullet blew out the side of Paul's head, spraying Alicia with blood and brains. Alicia turned and saw a bloodied Corporal Henry on his knees, his pistol in his hands. The two other men ran up to Henry and shot him repeatedly. He fell over and lay still.

Sickened, Alicia lurched to her feet, grabbed the pouch, and ran into the bushes. She spun the pouch around and hurled it as far as she could throw it. The effort disoriented her and she felt her world turning and growing dark. In the fading distance, she heard sirens and the two men shouting that they had to go right away and that they had to leave Paul.

Alicia awoke to the realization that she was in a hospital and that her body throbbed with pain. Her period had become the least of her problems. She checked her head and found that she it was swathed in bandages. She ran her tongue around the inside of her mouth and felt a couple of loose teeth. Would she lose them? God, she hoped not. The area around her nose and mouth was bandaged as well. What had happened?

A nurse appeared and smiled. "Welcome home. If you're up to it, there are some people to see you."

"Will I live?" she said and realized that her swollen mouth made her slur her words.

The nurse laughed. "Oh yes. You've got a broken nose, a split lip, a ton of bruises and you are terribly discolored, but that will all go away in a few days."


"Actually, more like a few weeks, but I'm supposed to say days to cheer you up. On the positive side, you don't have any broken bones, except for your nose and that should heal like new. Everything else will heal and that includes your loose teeth, and yes we checked while you were unconscious. Just don't eat anything other than mush for a couple of days until they settle back in. At any rate, a couple of army officers would like to see you."

No sense waiting, Alicia thought and told the nurse to admit them. A moment later, two men entered. One was a balding colonel and the second a younger major with his arm in a sling. The major also had bruises on his head and Alicia wondered if he'd been attacked as well.

"Lieutenant Cutter, I'm Colonel Mark Downing and this is Major Tom Grant. We're both on General Truscott's staff and we need to talk with you. If you're up to it, that is."

"Yes, sir. I only hope you can understand me. First, though, what happened to the two men who were with me?"
Downing winced. "Wilkins is in the hospital with a fractured skull. He's still unconscious, but they say he will pull through. Corporal Henry, I'm sorry to say, didn't make it."

Alicia tried to fight back tears. She couldn't. "I'm not surprised. I saw them shoot him so many times. He was a hero. He saved my life."

"He'll get a medal," Grant said softly, "not that it'll mean a whole lot to his family. He managed to save you and possibly Wilkins, but we need any help you can provide so we can hopefully recover the pouch that they stole. They might have been common thieves, at least that's what we've told the papers, but we really think they were after the pouch."

"Is it that important?" Alicia asked. Maybe she had done something right after all and maybe Henry's distracting the attackers had actually accomplished something.

"I'd say it was," Downing responded.

Alicia managed half a smile. "Then they didn't get it, or at least I don't think they did. When they began killing Henry for shooting somebody named Paul, I ran into the bushes and threw the pouch as far as I could. They started yelling at each other that they didn't have any more time and I think that's when they took off. I passed out so I'm not totally certain, but I don't think they looked very hard for the pouch if they looked at all. I heard sirens and they weren't going to stick around."

Both men grinned like little kids who'd gotten an unexpected present. "Can you travel?" asked Grant. "It'd be a big help if you could show us exactly where you were when you tossed the pouch."

She tried to sit up and winced. "Get someone to repair my uniform and help me get dressed, and we can leave in a little while. By the way, there's one other thing you might find helpful. They weren't common thieves, at least not local ones. The three men who attacked us were Canadians."

It took longer than planned to get organized and out to the attack site. First, the damage done to Alicia's uniform was more extensive than they thought. Along with being torn, it was spattered with gore; some of which was Alicia's and the rest was her attacker's. She informed them that there was no way on earth she would wear it in that condition. Downing's wife Missy, a civilian volunteer at the hospital, chose that moment to arrive and she completely supported Alicia. Thus, there was a delay until some men's fatigues were found that would decently fit her. Tom thought she looked like a lost child in the baggy uniform that was still too large for her. Downing said that Tom could find the pouch as well as anyone else and let the two of them go off by themselves.

Since neither was in any shape to drive, Downing got them a staff car and one of his clerks as a driver. Tom and Alicia sat uncomfortably in the back seat. Behind them, two trucks were filled with a squad MPs to help with the search and act as bodyguards.

"Are you in as much pain as I am?" she asked.

"Probably not, but I am a big baby."

She laughed and then grimaced. It hurt to smile. At least she had gotten a nurse to remove some of the bandages so she didn't look like she was wearing a turban. Her nose was swollen at least twice its size, she had shiners under each eye, and there were stitches in her upper lip. At least now she didn't have to worry about looking too attractive. Maybe she was being a fool about the whole thing. The major was kind of cute even though he was banged up. Perhaps the next time she'd dress up a little better.

"How did you know those guys were Canadian?" Tom asked.

"One of my college roommates was from Canada, Hamilton, which is near Toronto. She had a strange little what we called an 'ok-sent' which annoyed her when we pointed it out. I vacationed with her and her family and they all spoke that way."

Tom thought about the Canadian accents he’d heard during his travels around Ontario. "That was a good catch. It pretty well eliminates any idea of this being just a robbery. By the way, the cops found the truck they used."

"Let me guess. It was stolen."

"Yes, and it gets worse. They murdered the owner."

She put her head back on the seat. "You're right; this just gets worse and worse, major."

Tom winced inwardly. He didn't like being reminded of the difference in their ranks. Alicia Cutter was reasonably attractive and he thought she would be much better than that when she got rid of all those bandages and the swellings went down. It might help if she wore some makeup and did her hair. She reminded him of a girl he knew in high school who went out of her way to look plain, and then wound up joining a convent. The light brown haired Alicia Cutter looked studious but not the convent type. Despite the baggy clothes, he thought she had a nice, slender figure. Hopefully, she had great legs. He liked legs. Damn it all, he'd better get back to reality.

"How did you hurt your shoulder, major?"

"Several years ago in an accident, and then I aggravated it trying to swim the Niagara River a little while ago."

Her eyes widened. "My God, sir, was that you who swam it while being shot at? Everybody says it was wonderfully heroic."

"Guilty, and it wasn't heroism. I didn't have much of a choice." He was genuinely surprised and pleased to know that his exploit was so widely known.

Finding the attack spot was easy since a squad car was parked on the side of the road with a bored officer inside, trying to stay warm. They parked and got out. The cop stared as the squad of MPs took up station. He clearly wondered what was going on but was smart enough to keep quiet.

Tom watched as Alicia walked around, her eyes down. She was clearly looking for something. She looked up. Her face was pale.

"Here is where they shot Henry." She pointed at the ground. "See the bloodstains? Those are Henry's and those over there belong to that guy named Paul." She moved off towards the bushes and in a few yards. She was quickly invisible, so Tom followed her. "I was woozy, but I think this is about where I threw the pouch."

"Sounds good to me,” he said. He called for the MPs and had them begin a search. Their orders were to find the pouch, but not touch it.

Locating it didn't take long at all. After only about ten minutes, one of the MPs called out that he'd found it. The pouch was resting on a bush of some kind, but had been torn open. Some papers were lying loose on the ground.

Tom glared at the MP. "You didn't touch it, did you?"

The MP was totally unperturbed by the implication that he had. "No sir. That's exactly the way I found it."

Of course it was, Tom quickly realized. Even if the soldier had been nosy, he hadn't had time to do anything about it. "How did it get torn?" Alicia asked.

"Probably animals, ma'am," the MP answered. "It’s leather which the animals like, and if there was blood and some of it got on the pouch, the critters in the area would find it impossible to resist."

Again Tom agreed, although Alicia turned pale again. He picked up the pouch and began rummaging through the papers. Some of them did look like they'd been literally pawed over.

"I have a sort of manifest," Alicia said. "There are supposed to be fifty-three separate reports and they are all numbered."

They checked and counted forty-seven. The MPs were sent on another sweep that lasted a couple of hours. They found four of the missing reports, but two were still missing and likely to remain so. There wasn't much of a breeze, but what did it take to make a sail out of a page and take it off to Oz? It was getting dark as well as cold. Their searching time was just about over. A light, cold rain was beginning to fall. Any missing papers would soon be turned to mush.

Tom turned to the MP who'd made the earlier comment about animals. "Do you suppose some squirrel is lining his nest with a top secret document?" he asked with a grin.

"I'd put money on it, major. Whatever it was, we'll never see it again."

This particular B24 bomber was an older one with a lot of wear and tear on its hull. The new planes were being sent to the Pacific where the action was. Rumor had it that this one had flown anti-sub missions for the RAF before working its way back to the U.S. Air Force. Regardless, the Liberator now belonged to First Lieutenant, Terry Romano, U.S. Army Air Force, age 23. Counting himself, he had a crew of ten. They had all been together for only a couple of weeks before they’d commenced patrolling and were still getting to know each other and the plane. Romano was happy. So far it was a good crew and a good plane.

The B24 was not as glamorous or as well-publicized as the B17 Flying Fortress, but the Liberator was a solid workhorse and warrior, and this one had been modified to suit her new purpose as a potential sub-killer. She’d been built at the Willow Run, Michigan assembly plant of the Ford Motor Company. The huge factory had been converted to bomber production and thousands had rolled off the assembly line.

She was equipped with S-band radar for detecting ships on the surface at night, and a powerful Leigh light for illuminating the target. Both devices had been developed by the British. Once identified as hostile, the target ship would be swept by gunfire, or depth charges would be dropped, or both. The workhorse bomber had a range of more than two thousand miles and could stay airborne for an entire night of spotting and observing.

Other modifications had been made. Instead of machine guns, the bomber was equipped with 37mm cannon in the front and rear. These had been cannibalized from P39 Airacobras and could fire up to 150 specially modified armor piercing shells a minute in five round clips, and it was presumed that they could chew their way through the hull of a U-boat with ease. Romano had heard that some B17s had been converted to carry 75mm cannon, but he found that hard to believe.

At least that was the theory. So far, they hadn't found anything and, even if they had, their orders were not to fire. They would circle in the darkness, identify their prey, and then leave the little bastard alone, which irked both Romano and his new crew. The Nazis had fired on American ships in the past, even sinking a destroyer, the Reuben James, in 1941, and with great loss of life. Many wondered why we hadn't declared war on Germany for that atrocity even though it had occurred months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was also galling that U-boats were operating just off the coast of the United States. In this case they were just outside the mouth of the Chesapeake and dangerously close to Washington, D.C.

Even though they were far enough off the coast for the subs to be in international waters, it was clear that the Germans were doing their own spying and preparing for a possible future war.

The U-boats were deadly but vulnerable. Their Achilles Heel was that they had to surface to charge their batteries, which made them sitting ducks during the day. Thus, they did their charging at night when they hoped they were invisible. Apparently they did understand the concept of plane-borne radar, but had no other choice. If they surfaced during the day just off the mouth of the Chesapeake, their pictures would have been taken and their presence exposed. Of course, in wartime they would have been shot to pieces.

Romano yawned. He was from Philadelphia and his parents were immigrants from Italy. His grandfather had lost a leg in World War I fighting along the Isonzo River near the Austrian border, and his family had no love for anything German, even if it had been the Austrians his grandfather had been fighting. German or Austrian, it was all the same thing to Tony and his family, especially since Austria became part of Herr Hitler's fucking Reich.

"Anything, Joey?" he asked his radar operator.


Another couple of hours and dawn would start for home. They'd named the bomber the Vampire because she operated at night. Other bombers in the squadron were named Bat, or Dracula, or other stuff like that. Romano's crew thought Vampire was the best name available. It still seemed weird that they were cooperating with the navy, but they were not about to question orders. Maybe the two rival services had decided there was a war on.

"Got something," Joey said loudly. The excitement was clear in his voice. "Might just be a sub."

Joey gave directions and they flew near but not over the target. "Skipper, please let's turn on the light. I bet it would blind them and scare the shit out of them."

Romano grinned. He could visualize the sub's crew listening intently to the distant sound of the B24 and wondering whether it meant danger. "Sounds like a great idea to me, only thing is, we ain't gonna do it and you know it, so quit trying to tempt me."

Joey laughed and then started. "Wait, skip, there's another one. Oh Christ, there's three of those little Nazi ducks all in a row. What in the hell are they up to?"

"Beats the hell out of me, which makes it all the more important that they don't know we can see so well in the dark. We'll log it in and let the wizards at the Pentagon tell us what it means. Besides, it's just about time for dinner - I mean breakfast."

Captain Franz Koenig sat at ease in the overstuffed chair in General von Arnim's office. The general was excited and there was a near feral glint in his eyes.

"We have further orders, captain. In a few months at most we will implement Operation North Storm. In the meantime, I want you to coordinate with Herr Neumann and his Gestapo to ensure that no hint of it gets out. In particular, I want you to impress on him that there should be no ridiculous attempts to gain information like that abortive attempt to steal a courier's package. His reports insist that the Americans are treating it as an attempted robbery, something like what Bonnie and Clyde would do, but I am not so certain."

Koenig made a mental note to find out just who Bonnie and Clyde were. There were still so many things he didn't know about American or Canadian culture and history.

"I will make every effort to get him to cooperate."

And cooperate was the operative word. The Gestapo did not report to the army, considering themselves superior to it, which often led to complications. Neumann's independence clearly annoyed von Arnim, although he would never mention it. There might only be a relative handful of Gestapo agents in Canada, but they carried with them the power of life and death. They could arrest anyone, including Koenig and von Arnim, for any reason whatsoever, and hold them and interrogate them at their pleasure. Koenig shuddered at the thought of being interrogated by the Gestapo. Their tortures were rumored to be hideously effective. Even those who were released were changed forever, and not just physically.

"I'm sure you will, captain. In the meantime, you might want to stay in contact with our Wehrmacht friends at our embassy in Washington and also try to find out what Neumann's plans are for supporting us during North Storm. Also, what the devil does he have in mind for those fool Black Shirts in his Canadian Legion. We wouldn't want to be tripping over each other, now would we?"

Certainly not, Koenig thought. The normal fog of battle problems were bad enough, but add to it the sometimes clumsy efforts of the Gestapo and it could be disastrous.

Von Arnim continued. "Fortunately, close coordination with the Kriegsmarine will not be necessary. Admiral Rader's submarines will have their own targets and they will not be affected by anything we do." He chuckled. "At least, I hope not."

"Will more of Rader’s E-boats enter the St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario? And what about his submarines getting into the lakes, sir?"

The general pondered for a moment. The Americans were furious at the presence of German warships in Canadian waters, no matter how small the German Admirals seemed to think they were. The Americans were barely tolerant of German troops in Canada and, had they not been involved in their war with Japan, might have pushed hard, even violently, to get them out. America might have suspended her precious Monroe Doctrine due to exigent circumstances, but it was not forgotten. It was also fortunate that their Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, was old and said to be in poor health.

Von Arnim smiled. "You have raised some very important issues. However, I am certain that these have all been anticipated."

With that, Koenig was dismissed. As he left von Arnim’s office, he stifled a grin. He was confident that the touchy and vain general would not admit that a mere captain had possibly thought of something that no one else had.

Downing called the senior members of his small staff together. Along with Tom Grant, this included Major Fred Bryce, U.S. Army Air Force, and Army Major Al Neumann. Both were slightly senior to Tom. A number of captains and lieutenants, along with a score of clerks, also worked with the group, but were not invited to attend.

Downing smiled and waved a piece of paper. "Our Canadian friends came through for us. Either they didn't get the memo that they weren't supposed to cooperate, or the RCMP didn't give a crap. At any rate, they identified the clown who killed Corporal Henry and injured Lieutenant Cutter and Corporal Wilkins as a Toronto resident and petty thief named Paul Munro. My contact also and very unofficially said that Munro was a member of the Canadian Legion and that he had two brothers. We can safely assume that they were the other two men involved and that we will never see them again."

The men smiled. They'd had the D.C. police send a photo of the corpse up north as if nothing other than a simple robbery involving a possible Canadian citizen had occurred. It had taken a couple of days, but the very efficient Royal Canadian Mounted Police had responded professionally as usual.

Tom was pleased, too. Alicia's observation that their accents were Canadian had borne fruit. It further meant that the Germans were indeed very likely behind the attack. The only question was what did it mean? Obviously, the Nazis were very interested in what was going on at Camp Washington, which was clearly an intelligence gathering operation.

"I think it was a dumb thing for them to do," Downing added. "Almost as foolish as Tom here swimming the Great Lakes."

Tom grinned. "That hurt, sir, almost as much as my shoulder does."

Downing ignored him. "It does mean that couriers from Camp Washington will be very heavily armed and protected. From here on in we will not be using women as messengers."

Ouch, Tom thought. That meant he wouldn't be seeing Alicia Cutter anytime soon. Too bad. With her injuries healing, he was finding her more and more attractive. He hadn't done anything about that discovery, however, since the significant difference in their ranks might make any kind of social activity awkward at best. If he asked her out, she might feel that he was putting pressure on her. She might feel compelled to go out with him if only to keep him from pestering her, and he didn't want that.

He snapped back to reality. Downing had begun speaking again. "At the orders of Generals Eisenhower and Truscott, we are to begin what he calls brainstorming sessions. Nothing new in that, but they are to include reps from the navy.

Bryce snickered. "That means we'll have to use very small words and speak slowly, colonel."

Downing shook his head. Fred Bryce was a former fighter pilot and had a reputation as a joker. "Somehow, I think they feel the very same way about us. Regardless, we'll be among a number of such groups who will be trying to figure out just what the hell the krauts are up to."

Yeah, Tom thought, and I'd like to know what Alicia Cutter is up to.

"When we are done," Downing continued, “we will put our thoughts on paper and submit them to General Truscott."

Bryce laughed. "The writer of the winning essay gets a big hug from General Marshall. Second place is two big hugs."

Downing sighed and continued. "When we sit down to do this, remember that there are no such things as bad ideas. Even the most unlikely thought should be talked out. Don't feel constrained by anything. Obviously, Bryce isn't."

"Of course we will cooperate, captain," Neumann said with a tight smile. Koenig was not impressed. The Gestapo officer's eyes were cold as ice.

"We in the Gestapo always cooperate with the Wehrmacht, and I know that the army is on our side as well. Sometimes, however, I'm concerned that some army officers do not think the Jewish menace is as big a problem as others do. I'm speaking, of course, of the emphasis on ridding the world of Jews that both the Fuhrer and Heinrich Himmler think is appropriate and imperative."

Koenig was about to respond when Neumann shushed him with a wave of his hand. They were in Neumann's office at the place outside Toronto that was referred to as The Farm. It was ringed with barbed wire and there were guards, and sentries patrolling and protecting it. Whatever was going on, Koenig thought, Neumann clearly thought it was important.

Neumann continued. "I will cheerfully admit that the attack on the courier was ill-advised and will not be repeated. However, it was requested by the assistant military attaché in Washington, your friend Captain Stahl.”

Koenig suppressed a shudder. How the hell did Neumann know that Stahl was his friend? Shit.

"Come, Captain Koenig, let me show you what our real work involves."

Neumann led Koenig down a hallway to a locker room where he instructed him to put on a shapeless smock and a hood. "When we interrogate people, it helps so much if they can't see us or recognize us later. Now, you will doubtless see some things that will shock you or even disgust you; however, there is a method behind the apparent cruelty. Whatever happens, you will remain utterly silent. Others will be with us, but only I will speak. Understand?"

Koenig stiffened as they entered an adjacent room. A plain and plump young woman was strapped to the arms and legs of an awkward looking chair. Her arms and legs were spread apart. She was naked and shivering. Her eyes widened in terror as she saw hooded men entering and staring at her. She had urinated on the floor.

Neumann spoke. "We will do this as quickly as possible and then you can go home. Understand?"

The girl nodded. "Speak!" Neumann commanded.

Neumann’s tone demanded a response as if she was a dog, and she managed a weak yes.

"Good. Your name is Mary Bradford, is it not, and you work for the American consulate in Toronto, true?"


"Good. Now, you have an older sister who is twenty-four and a younger one who is eleven, correct?"


"Excellent. Now, you are a mail clerk in the consulate which means you see what comes and goes. We require your cooperation. We will give you a list of things to look out for while you are sorting and delivering mail. It may be necessary for some items to be delayed while either you or one of my men looks at them."

"But that would be a crime, sir," Mary stammered.

Neumann sighed behind his mask. "Stand her up."

Two guards released her and pulled her to her feet. One punched her hard in the stomach and, as she doubled over, the second grabbed her hair and violently yanked it back. She tried to scream and retch at the same time. She was pushed back on to the chair and strapped in.

"Can you imagine this happening to your sisters? What happens to you will happen to them as well.” He held up a long handled pair of pliers for her to see. "These will be for your teeth. One at a time will be pulled and there will not be an anesthetic, of course."

One of the hooded men opened her mouth and Neumann pushed the pliers inside where he skillfully held a tooth in its grasp. "Smaller pliers, pincers, will remove your fingernails and toenails, again one at a time and at scheduled periods so you can sit and wait for the agony to begin anew. You cannot imagine the pain you will have to endure if you do not obey me, and remember that the same agonies will be inflicted on your family."

He removed the pliers from her mouth and had her guards stand her up again. The two guards began to stroke her breasts and buttocks. She screamed and writhed.

"Are you a virgin, Mary Bradford?" She whimpered that she was and Neumann laughed. "Now, Mary Bradford, do you understand what will happen to your family if you don't cooperate. Along with what I just described, you'll be sitting there watching them be raped. Your sister might handle it, but an eleven year old girl? I wonder. A few good hard German cocks might just tear her apart. Of course your turn will come afterwards while they watch. Do you have a boyfriend?" Mary nodded that she did. "Wonderful. Maybe we'll invite him in to watch the show as well. So you will cooperate, won't you?"

She nodded and murmured a yes.

"You may be the last virgin in Canada, and you will remain that way. However, you will give these men," he pointed to his thugs, "something to seal the bargain. You will suck their dicks. Understand?" Mary moaned and again nodded her head. “And if you do anything to hurt them, your pain will be beyond belief.”

Koenig watched in disgust as, in anguish, she was released from the chair and performed on the two hooded men. When done, she slumped down to the floor and sobbed hysterically. Neumann instructed his men to give her back her clothes and possessions and told her to take a shower. After which, she would be driven back to the apartment from which she'd been snatched the evening before. She was told to go to work on Monday as if nothing happened.

As if she could, Koenig thought. He’d committed his share of what many would define as atrocities, but they were against Slavs and Jews, people Hitler defined as less than human, which meant they didn’t count. In Koenig’s opinion, Canadians were too close to Aryan for what had happened to the girl to be comfortable.

Neumann wanted to talk some more, so they returned to the Gestapo commander's office. Neumann prattled on about the greatness of Hitler and the inevitability of the Reich's triumph against the decadent west because it was filled with Negroes and Jews. Koenig agreed that there were numbers of Jews who were in charge of banking and the movie industry, and that this had to change. Indeed, it would change.

"No such mongrel race has ever succeeded," Neumann said. "By the way, were you impressed by our technique with the girl? We took her on a Friday night, so she wasn't missed. Even her boyfriend was out of town. Nor did we really hurt her, at least not physically. There will be no major bruises and she'll have no one to complain to. We broke her mentally and she will obey completely since she fully understands the consequences of failure or disobedience. The German Army may conquer nations, but the Gestapo conquers people."

Koenig was about to leave when one of Neumann's guards barged in. "Sir, the girl has killed herself."

They ran down the hallway and found her lying on the floor of a shower stall. Her eyes were open but the life had gone out of them. Her wrist had been sliced open with a small pocket knife that had likely been hidden in her purse, and what remained of her blood was flowing down the drain. Koenig saw more blood on her thighs. The goons had indeed raped her. He wondered if Neumann cared and decided probably not.

"Damn it," snarled Neumann. "She was so promising. Now I'll have to find someone else."