April 30, 1945. Austrian Alps
“The Führer is dead.”
Dr. Kurt Heisenberg felt his heart stop. The words pierced his skull like an executioner’s needle. He pressed the phone receiver closer to his ear, hoping he had misunderstood. “I am sorry, Reichsminister Speer, would you repeat that?”
“Dead, Herr Doktor.”
A sheet of frigid rigor seemed to wrap around Heisenberg, colder than the ice and snow just outside the heavily fortified concrete bunker. No doubt he would have felt warmer standing in the glacial temperatures beyond the bunker’s blast-proof doors than he did here, at this moment. The Reichsminister’s words went way beyond causing a delay of Heisenberg’s prized Uranium Projekt. It meant its sudden termination. Without the ironclad authority of Adolph Hitler and his command to drop the weapon on the heart of the British Empire, there would be no debilitating strike against the Allies, no unconditional surrenders, no new world, no Aryan fulfillment. The demise of the Führer was a death sentence for the Projekt.
With a voice that sounded like air seeping from a deflating balloon, Heisenberg said, “What must I do?”
“You are ordered to execute emergency directive Mitternacht immediately,” Speer said. “Is that understood?”
Heisenberg nodded but then realized he must also verbally acknowledge the command. He pushed the choking words from his mouth. “Yes.”
“You’ve done well, Herr Doktor. All of Germany thanks you.” After a long pause, Speer said, “Good luck.”
Heisenberg gently placed the receiver in its cradle as if doing so might soften the blow inflicted by the Minister of Armaments. He felt like a bear emerging from a long hibernation only to find that winter was far from over. The Mitternacht or Midnight Directive meant only one thing: the Uranium Projekt was dead, and must be buried. Speers’ words were the equivalent of nailing the coffin shut. All that was left was to throw the dirt onto the casket. And that was what he must now do.
Okay. We know Hitler is dead. And we know that Herr Doctor (Or Mr. Doctor Kurt Heisenberg) is really bummed out about it. He wanted badly to screw up some unknown stuff or other. That in itself is hard to imagine, but okay this guy is bad–perhaps diabolical even. Seething badness, even though we don’t know anything about him, that isn’t truly bad because only Hitler would have allowed him to beear terrible fruit, and now he’s screwed I tell you. I mean this guy liked Hitler, which in the realm of things not to do if you are a good guy is 29 on a list of 30. And he talked to Albert Speer, who made him say, “he got it.” Speer would soon be off to Spandau to write books on toilet paper and smuggle them out, but I suppose this guy is off to do something truly horrible terrible monstrous.
Do I want to keep reading to see what Dr. Kurt Heisenberg is going to threaten to screw up? Do you want to know who will step up to smack his ass? I guess I’d keep reading for a few more paragraphs before I placed it on my”When-hell-freezes-over pile.