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Captain America: For Whom the Bell Tolls
(© Robert Denham)

Page 1

4 May, 1945, Germany; the Third Reich has all but surrendered. Gotterdammerung is upon the nation. The Allies are victorious in Europe.

In four days the surrender documents will be signed, in the presence of the Allied High Command, European Theater.

In Berlin, Adolf Hitler is dead, suicide, his corpse and that of his new wife, Eva (Braun) Hitler, taken by SS bodyguards from the Chancellery bunker to the garden above, and burned. Their remains are likely pulverized in the constant barrage of Soviet artillery and air bombardment which pounds the defenseless city.

Out in Greater Germany, however, there remains the task mopping up the resistant forces; those remaining fanatics who refuse to surrender.

One such group is a research outpost situated at a mining facility near the Czech border; a Hydra facility.

Hydra--originally an elite, highly-secret special operations and intelligence-gathering unit, attached to the OKW/Abwehr--had repurposed, and was now described as the "Nazi ‘deep science’ division", developing the most advanced, often arcane wunderwaffen; the vaunted Nazi wonder weapons. But Hydra research goes beyond the practical, day-to-day application of the war effort. To Hydra, even the advanced V-weapons programs, which had given new life to the German war effort in the latter days, are considered ordinary, and even primitive.

Of course, Hydra and its leader, Johann Schmidt, had long shed their loyalties to Hitler and Nazism. Hydra had its own agenda, and Schmidt had acquired his own resources and facilities.

It was known in certain upper-echelon circles among the Allies, that Hitler’s personal secretary, Martin Bormann, had subtly replaced the increasingly feeble and deranged Furher as the true power in Germany. In the last months of the war, Bormann had isolated Germany’s leader from his former associates; even such as Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler were unable to obtain a meeting with Hitler, without first petitioning Bormann.

What was not known was the personal relationship between Bormann and Johann Schmidt.

But all of that was irrelevant, now…or so it seemed.

The shelling had cleared a broad path for the advancing American force. The research facility had been heavily-armed and well-defended by its Hydra super-troops.

The heavily-cratered, pocked dirt road to, and the ruined, smoldering forest surrounding, the camp was now littered with fallen Hydra soldiers; among them, sadly, were too many American uniforms.

The compound’s gate and fence line were smashed by the three Sherman tanks—moving abreast—in the lead; the Americans swept inside, spreading cautiously out, Captain America and his commandos--specially-armed with captured Hydra energy weapons--paving the way for the company of Rangers—101st Airborne—and standard infantry behind them.

Cap indicated to an infantry lieutenant to take a squad and sweep the buildings on the western side of the encampment.

Typically, he noted to himself, there were no visible swastikas here; no Nazi Party banners or flags; only the red-skulled, eight-armed symbol of Hydra. Hydra was its own party. Hail, Hydra.

"We’ll take these buildings," he said to one of his men. "Something tells me we’re not gonna too find much up top, though. I think the guts of this operation will be underground, in the mine. This building," he indicated a longish structure to the northeast, "is built over the entrance to the mineshaft."

Cap looked around, and stopped on a Ranger to his right.

"You; take some men and check over there," Cap said to the Ranger Sergeant; the man’s name, he could see, was Hawken, who complied.

He patted this subordinate on the shoulder. "Be careful," he added, unnecessarily.

"You got it," the sergeant said, and waved some men over. Suddenly, bolts of blue energy engulfed several of the advancing men, and they were vaporized, screaming. "There!" Cap yelled, pointing.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:Science Fiction
Type:Medium length story
Rating:7 / 10
Rated By:5 users
Comments: 1 user
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