Hunted: Chapter 2: Geheime Staatspolize

Two nondescript pale skinned men were standing in front of the entrance to a typical British village.  They wore gray wool trousers, with gray wool vests over crisp white shirts with black ties.  Each had a black overcoat on, and a typical fedora hat of a similar shade of black.  Clean shaven, and haircuts properly cut and styled, the men had no spec of dust or dirt on them.  They were silently surveying the scene, as the villagers were emerging from underneath their homes after the latest German air attack.  No words were spoken, as they started to walk, maneuvering between the debris and through the village.  The two men seemed out of place, though as the living grieved the dead trapped under the wreckage of their homes drowned out any sense of confusion regarding the men.    

With little fanfare, having made a cursory search of the small village, they departed along with two shepherd dogs straggling behind.  The dogs were mostly brown, but had a large patch of black fur on the center of their backs, that ran along each of their sides.  The black patch also continued down their spines to their tails.  A similar patch of black was in the center of their faces, primarily centered around their noses.  Dark brown eyes stared menacingly at any who dared to look at them.  The village was quite small, only being two cobblestone lined streets that curved and connected to the main road.  As they departed, the man on the right whistled a short burst.  He made a motion with his right hand, and the dogs quickly ran past them and in front of the two men as they walked. 

They walked underneath tall oak trees, full of leaves, though some were beginning to turn yellow.  Nature was starting to signal the arrival of fall, a rare instance of normalcy despite the given situation with the humans.  Once safely out of ear shot of any nearby villagers, the man on the left spoke in German quietly.  “Kriminalkommissar Weiss, I do not understand why we are here?  If the Rabbi is hiding, he would be with his own kind, infesting the center of a city so he could cause decay from within.”  The man on his left, equally nondescript, stayed quiet.  The complaint hung in the air around them, with only the sounds of the dogs sniffing the area and occasionally barking at each other.  The animals had caught scent of something that had perked their interest, and resulted in drawing the two men as they walked towards the right of the road.  The road surface was crushed stone, and stretched for many kilometers, until it reached the main road that was paved for vehicle traffic.  This was farmland, and the residents were too poor to afford to pave the road to their village. 

Following behind the dogs at a brisk, but leisurely pace, the two men could see an approaching truck on the road ahead of them.  The British called them lorries, for reasons not clear.  They moved aside and fell into single file behind their dog companions.  The truck began to flash its headlights as it approached, with the driver waving out the open driver’s side window to get their attention.  Both men watched as the truck slowed down as it approached, with its front brakes squeaking terribly.  The vehicle was a box truck, most likely from one of the surrounding farms.  It had seen better days, with rust all over the hood and doors, though the original brown paint could still be discerned throughout the vehicle’s body.  Its engine was still of good enough repair to ensure proper function, though there was a slight fragrance of oil burning from somewhere inside the engine compartment. 

Inside the truck interior were two British army soldiers, dressed in green informs and helmets.  In the back of the truck, were at least four more soldiers, and what looked to be a mortar tube.  There were also wooden crates of ammunition, stamped with British flag insignia on them.  The driver appeared to be the officer in charge, and called out from the window with a cigarette dangling from his lips.  “Oy, you two chaps all right?  What are you doing so far out of town?”  The man identified earlier as Weiss smiled warmly, with his gray eyes almost sparkling, and spoke with a proper local accent.  His counterpart knew English was spoken, but the words sounded garbled and messed up.  While the language was English, the local dialects were sometimes so bad, it sounded like a Russian trying to speak Italian.  The man had to intently listen, and eventually understood was said.  “We are fine, our car broke down, and we walked to the village up the road.  They could not help, “ 

The soldiers in the truck’s interior compartment nodded, “understood, we passed a petrol station about two kilometers up the road.  They should be able to help, if the owner is still there.  The latest attack has everyone unnerved.  If you see anything suspicious, please report it to the local authorities or the war department.”  The driver waved once again, and put the truck into gear.  It pulled away slowly, with several of the soldiers in the back waving at the two men as the lorry pulled off to continue down the road.  It was not long until neither could see the truck, as it turned the bend and headed towards the village they had departed.  Weiss waved, turned, and then proceeded to follow the dogs once more.  Down a well-worn path the men followed the dogs, along a stacked field stone wall that ran along a long stretch of farmlands planted with wheat. 

The stench of a dead animal hung in the air, and the counterpart to Weiss saw a dead rabbit buried under a pile of stones.  It was not the first time he had smelled the air of the deceased, and looked around to see where the dogs had wandered off too?  They followed the path, past a tree stump, and through a sparse forest towards a creek.  Following the creek, they eventually reached the next field, and the debris of the German bomber that had been shot down by the Royal Air Force.  It was one of the Dornier planes, which had been painted dark green on the top of the plane, and a gunmetal blue on the bottom.  This was meant to cause the plane to blend in with its surroundings.  If one were to look out, you might lose sight of it in the air.  If a pilot flying in a plane above it was to look down, the green color would make the bomber appear to blend in with the ground. 

Weiss frowned, and took off his fedora and placed it over the left side of his chest.  His brown hair, slightly rustled by the removal of the head covering revealed a balding spot where the hair thinned.  Speaking in German, “we honor you brave pilots, and wish speedy travel to Walhalla.”  As the counterpart walked up beside Weiss, he did not remove his hat and stood silently.  Turning to Weiss, “this appears to be of greater interest, ya?”  Weiss growled in German, “Kriminalassistent Rudolf, you will honor our brave fallen comrades.  They died to protect the fatherland, and serve the Fuhrer!”  Rudolf removed his hat, and placed it over the left side of his chest as Weiss did.  In terms of rank, the Kriminalassistent was the lowest of the German Secret State police ranks.  Weiss was four levels higher than him, thus his superior officer. 

Their organization had another name: Gestapo.  The majority of its members were police officers, most having served the Weimar republic, though some were transferred from the military forces.  However, as the man with the answers rose to power and took the title of Fuhrer: their organization was adapted to serve Germany accordingly.  They dressed plainly, like officer workers or bankers.  Did not wear uniforms in most cases, and had no identity papers on their persons. The exception was, a small card, within their wallets that would be able to identify themselves to fellow officers.  If one were to review the card, it did not seem to be out of the ordinary, only some nonsensical words in a specific pattern.  Blending in with their surroundings, the Gestapo agents would surveil and apprehend criminals.  If the evidence did not exist, they would create it.  The safety and purity of their glorious nation was of the utmost importance.  

Rudolf watched as Weiss put his hat back on his head, and did the same.  The dogs were circling a section of the field, and barking loudly.  “It would appear the dogs found something,” Rudolf said, as he walked beside his senior officer.  Down a small bank, and across the field they walked.  The entire rear tail section had fallen onto the ground in one piece, though was sticking up at an angle.  The bomb bay doors were driven deep into the ground, and sticking upwards at strange angles nearby. However, it was not long, until they found the cockpit section of the plane.  Weis bent down, and peered inside the plane’s wreckage.  “Both pilots appear to be dead, Rudolf stay here and watch for any visitors.”  Weis entered the plane’s interior, and climbed up the serrated steel floor, to reach the pilots.  Praying for their souls to head to the afterlife, he unzipped their uniforms, and searched the bodies. 

Rudolf looked around the field, and noticed the brown truck just appearing at the edge of the forest.  “Kriminalkommissar … the truck with the soldiers is approaching.  We should leave.”  Weiss slid back out and nodded as he spotted the truck.  Giving a short whistle, the dogs turned and started to run back towards them.  The two men weaved between the sections of wreckage, and bent down to try and stay as hidden as they could manage.  The truck so far had stopped at a nearby farm house made from cobble stone and a thatched roof.  Rudolf slowly moved to the left, trying to catch a glimpse at the soldiers.  They were still in the truck, though several occupants of the house were outside and surrounding the truck.  There appeared to be a conversation occurring, though the only thing that could be heard was the truck’s engine from afar. 

Ducking back behind the wing of the bomber, Rudolf looked at his senior officer.  “Did you find anything inside the plane?”  Weiss shook his head and spoke softly, “no, and that concerns me.  There is a tin that contains a Kodex as well as two cyanide tablets.  The co-pilot appears to have taken the cyanide, while the pilot was shot in the chest from what appears to be rounds from a British plane.  I was not able to find the tin with the Kodex.”  Rudolf gave him a look with his blue eyes having an appearance of confusion, “is that important?”  The senior officer nodded, “the Kodex is a card that our pilots use to tune the radio navigation equipment, as well as decode communications.  If it were to fall into enemy hands, it would directly impact our force’s ability to operate here.  We must locate the tin with the Kodex, it is of higher priority.”

Rudolf nodded, “Kriminalkommissar, what of our current operation to find Rabbi Frederick?”  Weiss turned to his subordinate, and reached forward.  Grabbing his black tie, he pulled hard and tightened it into a noose.  “You will not question my orders … is that understood?  The only reason you are here, is because central command thinks you may be use to find the Rabbi that escaped Auschwitz.”  The subordinate officer was starting to wheeze and his eyes were beginning to roll back into his head as he was asphyxiating.  Eventually Weiss released his hold, and Rudolf dropped onto his knees.  The senior officer cursed, “if it were up to me, I would kill you right here and now.  But I received orders from the highest level to train you while doing this operation, and return with both Rabbis: Frederick ….and Rudolf.”

As Rudolf stood up, he brushed the dirt from his pants and watched as the truck pulled off and drove down the road.  “I am sorry for questioning your orders Kriminalkommissar.  The truck appears to be leaving now, should we depart?”  Weiss stood up, and whistled again to summon the dogs.  The two shepherds quickly ran up, and sat in front of him on the ground.  “Fang … Claw … sniff …. find ….”  Weiss bent down, and opened his hand to reveal a piece of the pilot’s uniform.  The two dogs pressed their black noses onto the fabric, and inhaled the scent.  After several moments, they quickly took off and began and quickly started to search the field for the scent.  Weiss turned to Rudolf, “we will begin our search here.  We have some time to spend …. Tell me … judin … why did you betray your kind to serve the Fuhrer?”

As Rudolf considered how to respond to his commanding officer, he watched the two dogs run quickly off.  Their noses were centimeters from the ground, sniffing and moving, in a search pattern.  It was not long until they started to follow a path that led towards the creek.  Fang turned to look towards the two men, and barked twice to get their attention.  He watched their intense expressions, as the two were arguing again.  Claw rolled his brown eyes, “stupid humans fighting again?”  Fang nodded, “but I got their attention.  Should we follow the scent?  Have you ever smelled such a thing?”  Shaking his head to the negative, Claw turned and started to follow the scent once more.  “I have tracked many things, and this reminds me of rats.  They probably took the object because it was shiny, and didn’t know what it was?”

The two German shepherd dogs started to follow the creek, squeezing underneath logs at times.  Down they went, following the bends, until they lost the scent at the edge of the creek.  Claw crossed the shallow running water, and located the scent on the opposite side.  Giving a soft bark to get his younger friend’s attention, the dogs headed into a sparse forest of tall spindly leaf bearing trees.  Most had fallen, but several still had vibrant red and yellow leaves on them.  The scent of death was hanging in the air, as they approached the body of a rabbit.  Its eyes had rolled back into its head, and there appeared to be blood pooled in front of its mouth.  There was also an odd smell, almost chemical on its face.   Fang started to get closer, when Claw bit his tail and tugged back.  “No, do not taste that rabbit, nor smell it.  I recognize that smell, it is poison.”

Fang yelped a bit softly, but nodded and pulled back to stand beside the older dog.  “How do you know that smell is poison?”  Claw narrowed his eyes, “before I was sent to the place the humans call Auschwitz, I served them at Ravensbruck.  The human filth they imprisoned there would work on making things to serve the master race of humans.  I recognize the smell of the poison they worked with there.”  The younger dog nodded, “all humans look alike to me.  Which ones are the masters?”  The older dog chuckled, “the ones who feed us.  I miss Ravensbruck …. They gave me all the bones I wanted.”  The other dog sighed and looked wistfully, “I am happy to go on a trip … but endless bones does sound good.”     

The two dogs watched as nearby there was a tree stump, with what looked to be a burrow underneath.  Rocks started to move, and a strange brown animal emerged.  It was covered in short brown quills, and its scent wafted in the air.  Claw sniffed twice, and lunged forward when he recognized the smell.  Growling menacingly, the dog quickly traversed the distance in seconds. The strange animal’s eyes went wide, and it quickly ducked back into its den.  Barking loudly, the dog started to claw at the burrow’s opening.  He would try to dig it wide enough to fit inside.  Occasionally he would stick his nose inside and smell, then bark loudly.  There were noises inside, but the predator could not see what was inside. 

Inside the burrow, Phillip and Margaret were pressed as far back along the rear of their den as they could go.  The dog’s nose sticking inside, and the terrible sound of the barking echoed in their ears.  They could see the paws of the dog furiously reaching inside and scraping back the dirt with its short claws.  The smooth shale rocks were giving it trouble, as the paw would slide across the stone.  Where it would touch dirt, there were gouges being dug deeper and deeper.  Every five or six digs, the dog would stick its nose further inside and sniff.  The female hedgehog looked at her mate with pleading eyes, and Phillip nodded.  Starting to dig, he pulled back a piece of rock that had been leaned up against the rear of their burrow.    Margaret rushed over to help, and pulled as best she could to move the rock. 

This burrow had once been the opening chamber to a series of groundhog tunnels.  Groundhogs were notorious for digging up farmer’s fields, and when they would be found, the humans would go to great lengths to get rid of them.  The hedgehogs had blocked off the tunnels that went deeper, because there was a draft that would make their home colder during the winter season.  With the tunnel entrance open, Phillip grabbed the tin can with the papers inside, and then followed his wife inside.  Reaching out with his paws, he pulled the rock back as best as he could to block the opening.  Then turned around and scampered with the metal can to join Margaret. 

The tunnel went down quite a distance, and narrowed in places. Large tree roots were growing through sections of the dirt tunnel, and there was the constant worry of the dirt above collapsing inside causing a cave in.  After several tense minutes passed, and the two rounded a bend around a large rock, Margaret spoke.  “Why did that dog attack us?  We did nothing wrong?”  Her husband remained silent, and smiled as he watched her rear end wiggle in front of him.  Down, around to the left, then around to the right, then up, then down, then left, then up, then right, then up, then down, then right, then left … they followed the maze-like tunnel.  Phillip chuckled, “this ground hog must have been drunk …or crazy …”   

As the hedgehogs fled through the tunnel, at the tree stump entrance to the burrow, Claw had grown tired.  He switched with his young friend Fang, who was happily digging and barking.  The scent was fading, which confused him.  It was not long, until the two humans began to walk out of the forest where the creek was, and Weiss was rubbing his chin while nodding.  “I see … well that certainly is a good reason for betraying them.  Or a terrific lie … either way an entertaining story.  Now, let us see what our trackers have found?”  Rudolf nodded, “Fang … Claw …. What have you found for us?”  Rudolf noticed the dead rabbit nearby, and bent down to take a better look at the carcass.  Fang barked excitedly, and soon almost half of his body went inside and under the tree.  His tail wagged happily, and his hind legs started to dig into the ground so he could pull himself back out. 

The dog pulled himself out, and then turned around with something between his eye teeth in his mouth.  The dog was keeping his mouth open, and trotted proudly up to Rudolf.  The man reached out with his left hand to take what looked like a piece of paper, and rubbed the dog between its ears with his right hand.  The dog released his find and barked happily.  Standing up, he read out loud in German, “Pilot Kodex and cyanide tablet.  This looks like the top card of the Kodex, but where is the rest of it?  Should there be more cards than this?”  Weiss nodded, “at least three cards in total.  One would be the top card, to protect the interior.  One would be the code card, and one would be the secondary code card.  It would seem some rodents took our Kodex.  I wonder why?”

Rudolf nodded, and pointed at the Rabbit, “we know what happened to the cyanide tablet.”  The two men nodded, and started to look around the forest.  Weiss chuckled, “my grand father had a farm a long time ago.  Animals would tunnel underneath, and up into the lettuce patch.”  Rudolf nodded, “how did he take care of them?”  The commanding officer laughed, “just sit on the porch and shoot them with his rifle.  Like French men popping out of their burrows during the great war.  Eventually, like the French, they stopped appearing.”  The two men laughed, and started to fan out to look for holes in the ground.  The dogs took turns to inspect the burrow, and were able to locate the tunnel that was much farther inside than either had expected.  After a moment to verify, then soon started to run around, barking occasionally as the search became more of a game rather than a job.    

Meanwhile, after getting lost several times, Margaret sighed as she saw the exit of the tunnel ahead of them.  Turning around, she saw Phillip pushing the metal tin in front of him.  Wiggling her nose, “Phillip …does the dog want this?  Is that why they came to our burrow?”  Her husband looked up, “what would a dog do with this?  No, you know how they are, they found a hole and had to dig.  There just happened to be hedgehogs inside to torment, before indiscriminately killing them.  They are just as bad as farmer humans, kill first, ask questions later. Still … you raise a valid point.”

Phillip opened the tin can, and noticed there were only two pressed paper cards inside.  “uh oh, I didn’t pack one of the papers.  I must have forgotten it?  I can go back.”  Margaret gave him a look, “no you will stay here.  I need to read again.”  The female hedgehog picked up the cards, and started to read again.  “These letters do not make any sense; every letter has a number below it.  They do not spell out any word I can understand.  We need a human.”  The female hedgehog had learned to read words when her husband brought a newspaper home to insulate their burrow.  During the long winter, she started to understand the writing and would regale her husband with human tales.  He enjoyed the 25% off sale at Smith’s fine foods market story.  He would hand on every word, as the epic tale of streaky bacon sandwiches topped with tomatoes would appear.  The concept of food arriving without gathering it, was a tale of magic and wonder.

Margaret read the descriptions of human garments, and they did not seem comfortable at all.  The one article talked of restraining objects from moving, while covering in fine lace.  She was glad she wasn’t a human, and put the cards back into the tin.  Sliding the cover back onto it, the strange red, white, and black symbol on its cover filled her mind with dread.  “This symbol does not look good …”  As she turned, the female hedgehog could see her husband peeking out of the exit hole and watching something.  “What is it Phillip?”  The male hedgehog’s quills puffed up a bit, “there is a human thing on four wheels moving past.  It has pieces of metal from that field where I found the can.  The symbol on the can, matches what is on the back of the human thing.  They are taking the metal away, to the village.  Maybe they will know what to do with the can?” 

Margaret nodded, “I think so too.  But we must be careful, the humans might just decide to kill us instead of help.”  Her husband nodded, and exited the tunnel.  There was a small hill, so as he descended it, Margaret slid the tin can so it would go onto his back.  After the can was situated, she exited as well, and the two hedgehogs started to scamper towards the human village.  The tunnel’s exit/entrance was in the stacked stone wall, that ran alongside a well-worn path where the humans travelled to get to the fields.  The pressed dirt soon gave way to crushed stone chips, then eventually to cobblestones covered in moss.  The critters stayed close to the wall, and out of the way, while watching the sun move throughout the sky. Day turned into evening, and evening into night. 

Margaret wanted to rest, but Phillip insisted they press on.  The two hedgehogs traversed the near kilometer distance between their burrow and the human village by the time the moon was high into the night sky.  They could hear the owls hooting in the distance, as the human village’s homes chimneys puffed with smoke.  The scent of wood fires filled the night air, with scant sounds being heard.  Phillip yawned, as he could see the large human thing with four wheels parked outside of a cottage.  Several humans dressed in green outfits were standing around, with white sticks in their mouths that seemed to be lit on fire.  Occasionally a human would spit smoke out of their mouth.  The two critters started to hesitantly walk up to the humans, but when a third exited the home, they ducked underneath a wheelbarrow that had been left outside.  The two looked up while twitching their noses.

“Bill, got any extra cigarettes?”  The one soldier asked a counterpart outside, to which he nodded and held out a metal can.  “One of these days, you will need to buy me a couple packs, so I can lend them to you in the future.”  As the third man withdrew a cigarette, he lit it with a match and started to puff away.  Bill nodded as he looked at the truck, “I guess the other lorries are coming tomorrow to get the rest of the German bomber.  I hope they decided to stop, it must be getting expensive.”  The third soldier shook his head, “I heard they imprisoned half of their population.  They have them working three shifts, building planes and bombs.  The only cost is materials … “the trio of men sighed, wishing they has signed up to defend their country during a time of peace.  Alas, that was not the case, and they watched the truck while pondering what lay ahead in their futures?

Bill noticed movement by a wheelbarrow, and turned while bending down to take a look.  As he took a drag from his cigarette, he noticed the two hedgehogs looking back at him.  “Why hello there?  Lads, we have some hedgehogs who came to visit us.  I am sorry, I do not have any food.”  The other two soldiers laughed, and watched as the two critters timidly emerged from underneath the wheelbarrow.  Bill smiled, and reached out to gently pet the hedgehogs.  They did not move, and their quills stood up, making it impossible to touch their backs properly.  However, as the man looked, he could see something else reflect underneath the farm tool.  Reaching past, he picked up the tin can, and brought it into better view.  As the light illuminated the German flag insignia of the third Reich, Bill started to cough.  His counterparts looked confused, and watched as their friend’s expression change instantly. 

“Bill, what is it,” the one young soldier asked?  There was no response, and watched as Bill immediately turn and enter the cottage.  Inside there was a muffled voice, and soon the windows inside began to illuminate one by one.  Phillip turned to Margaret, “there it goes.  I hope the humans know what to do with that tin can?”  The male hedgehog noticed his wife had fallen asleep, which sounded like an excellent idea.  But it was not safe to do so here, so he stayed awake and watched over his mate while she slept.  Eventually though, the call to slumber became too great, and he too drifted off to sleep.  Both animals slept soundly, and did not move a centimeter due to exhaustion.    Hours passed, and soon the light of day once again returned to the world.

The sounds of night gave way to loud thunderous bangs, waking up both hedgehogs.  They found more soldiers had appeared, and were working around the lorry and strapping down the metal pieces.  In front of them was a metal plate that had some vegetables on it.  The humans had left them a present, it would seem.  Margaret did not wait for Phillip to test if it was safe.  She immediately began to devour the offered food.  Phillip laughed, and munched on a piece of a radish.  The two watched the humans walk in formation, and were in step with each other.  They also listened, and learned just what they had found?

One human had more markings on his outfit, and seemed to be in charge.  He was on a brown metal box that had a hand crank on the side.  There was a series of pieces that he was holding, with one to his ear and the other to his mouth.  “That is right command … two animals brought what appears to be a German Kodex here.  It must have come from the bomber we recovered.  Yes, I understand … orders received … all right … uh huh … yes … I see … return to base?  Why bring the animals with us, though?  Understood!”  The human gave the pieces back to another human, who started to put away the objects into another sturdier box.  The human motioned, “William … please locate our hedgehog friends, they will be coming with us.”  The other solders laughed as the young soldier nodded, and quickly scooped up the two hedgehogs from underneath their wheelbarrow.

Both critters curled up into tight balls, and stuck their quills out in all directions.  However, the solider very wisely had brown leather gloves on, used for welding.  He safely was able to carry the animals, and placed them inside a tool compartment inside of the lorry’s truck bed.  Eventually Phillip unfurled, and watched as the top of the container closed, and a thumping noise could be heard as it was locked shut.  The human men all started to climb abord and into the lorry, before the engine fired up and the transmission was put into gear.  The human villagers waved as the soldiers departed, while Phillip and Margaret looked out through a series of slits in the wood box in the truck bed.  As the vehicle reached the end of the road, it turned left to head to the main roadway.  The two hedgehogs watched as the German shepherds locked eyes onto theirs inside the truck, and could hear the barking as they drove past.

The soldiers watched as two men exited the forest, dressed in all black and up to where the dogs were barking.  William pointed out, “hey … isn’t it those two bankers from yesterday?”  The other men in the truck nodded, but settled in for a long drive.  “Who cares Bill, now settle in, we have a four-hour drive to get back to base.  Hopefully the Germans decided to take a day off.  It is a Sunday after all …”  The men in the truck nodded, and watched as the two men in black faded away into the distance.  By this afternoon, they would be back at base, and could get a hot meal and some rest before going back out on patrol.  The truck’s engine whined, and black smoke belched out of its exhaust pipes.  Hopefully it could make it to London in one piece, it would be rather troublesome to break down and must carry the bomber back.

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s