According to the hymn
In the highest heavens,
In the regard
Of the gods all enthroned,
If one knows not
What helps the hymns then?
We, that know,
Have gathered us here.
Neither Reimer nor Recke knew for how long they had slept. They had been restless during and throughout the onset of sleep on their furs and tossed; their faces clearly betrayed he inward vision of vivid dream pictures. Only later showed long and deep breaths a sense of calm and redemption.
When they were suddenly awakened, they had lost all sense of time. Ublosiasukshut had shaken them violently and blurted out excited a series of sentences which were not understood by the officers. Only when she pointed to the exit of the igloo with her hands and then up in the air did they both realize that it could again been a plane.
While they hurried to get dressed, they heard Aglumaloqâq shouting through the hut’s entrance, “Pavungah – mahunga! Up, come out, white men! A nice magic is circling above us! Quick...”
Never before had any war an alarm that so encouraged the Eskimos awake. What kind of surprise stood before them? If it were Gutmann, the Eskimos would’ve surely reported the giant eagle.
They grabbed their weapons, glanced at each other briefly and hastily crawled into the open. Fresh, cold air played on their faces and again the inhabitants of the small settlement stood close together. It included the Canadians, who apparently had awoken before the event. They all looked skyward. Strangely there was no engine noise to be heard or plane to be seen. Had it already flown by?
“Sule – now, suna una – what is it…?” From the direction where the marker had been placed cam a strange formation flying towards the village. Eskimos and Canadians screamed at each other. The rough voice of the harpooner drowned out the cries and shrieks, “A flying puzzle…!”
Instead of the otherwise expected drone of propellers, only a fine buzz and ringing could be heard. The disk-like rotary rose sparkling through the heavens slipped slightly inclined towards the settlement.
With eyes wide open the captains followed the movements of the flying object, which showed no signs of nationality. It was a giant disk manned and controlled by humans. The dogs of the Eskimos behaved no differently this time than any other dogs around the globe. They barked and drooled, without following the magical act.
The flying body circled around the small area, then darting to the nearby face of the coastal slope and landed smoothly without difficulty. But it wasn’t the strangeness of this technical miracle, but the incomprehensible personal encounter in these circumstances that surprised the two captains.
For one of the two men who left the strange vehicle was – Gutmann.
Recke and Reimer called out the name of the comrade at the same time. The impulsive Reimer pushed some of the Eskimos standing in the way to the side and hurried to the expected companions followed by a few snarling dogs.
“You’ve found rescue damn quick!” laughed Gutmann in greeting and clapped Reimer’s shoulder, “Here – may I introduce you: Captain Reimer – Major Juncker!” Pointing to the upcoming Recke, he concluded with mentioning his name as well in brief presentation.
Still people came over in amazement without end. The combination-jacket of Gutmann’s companion was open at the neck and displayed the insignia of the German Schutzstaffel. Reimer asked again, “Major?”
“Jawohl!” confirmed the officer of the Waffen-SS. Now driven by curiosity Aglumaloqâq came to him with some Netsiliks, just as the Canadians did. The latter showed undisguised dismay when they recognized the newcomers as German.
“Bless our souls,” Howard muttered, shaken, “The German invasion…”
“Who are they?” asked Gutmann, pointing to the Canadians.
“Men who’ve lost their ship,” answered Reimer, “They were going somewhere south-west where there was a station they knew of. I don’t remember the name.” He turned to Howard and asked that he explain again.
“To Port Epwurth at Coronation Gulf!” returned Howard briefly.
Gutmann looked at the man firmly, “Are you already old arctic men?”
“Hm. Then you should know there’s a station not too far from here that you can push on to. Somewhat south of here, a casual two-hundred kilometers, an outpost located on King William’s Island which to my knowledge has no radio. You only need to cross Peterson Bay. In general the Canadian police posts are easy to reach without any particular difficulty. Even if there’s a big station further north on North Devon’s Island, you’re still more likely to encounter aid more quickly, as if you’re blindly tapping left and right to the west.”
The Canadian harpooner’s eyes widened and looked at the German officer at large. “How do you know that, sir?”
“I know it just like you do!” Gutmann’s voice became hard and unfriendly, “Why are you lying?”
“I beg your pardon,” muttered the Canadian, “I couldn’t know first – I had reasons…”
“They don’t interest me,” Gutmann cut him off from further words. Then he turned back to his two comrades, “We should get your things and take off immediately. Juncker will remain here for the time being so that no one gets to close to our craft or damages it…”
The Major nodded in agreement and shrank back slowly, endevouring to keep the Eskimos away from him. Near the igloos Gutmann said, “The trick with the flight marker was well done. It wasn’t really hard to find you. Although the storm did blow in the meantime a lot. Now we can bring this little adventure here to a close and open up a greater one!”
“I’ve already had enough of this, well enough,” put Recke dryly, “It could hardly get any better!”
Gutmann smiled finely, “Perhaps…”
Now came Reimer fiercely, “I don’t understand the world anymore. There come our comrades with an aircraft that could’ve been mistaken for some kind of toy top and instead of dealing a much-needed explanation they start chit-chatting as if we were sitting around a big Stammtisch. Whether an adventure or not, whether madness or something else, explain to us, Gutmann, these wonders and secrets!”
“Easy, dear Reimer! First we need to part from this place with the V7, then we’ll have time for explanations. We don’t want to let ourselves be surprised by another enemy aircraft.”
Recke snorted, “Well, it’s a German V-Model?”
Aglumaloqâq had trudged in silently beside the three officers. As the white men crawled into his igloo, he remained standing in the open. He felt that he would now lose his guests, which gradually caused him discomfort. Restlessness and witchcraft had overtaken his little world ever since they’d gone to the smoke signs of the giant eagle.
His face was expressionless as the white men came out of his building. How casually he said, “Are the qablunait flying away now in the big magic drum?”
“Eh,” nodded Reimer, already having dominated the Eskimo word for “yes”. Gutmann talked with the English-speaking chief on even terms, “The three sailors stay. Help them get to the nearest police post. You know it’s modest. Oder?”
The old man’s eyes twinkled, “Takujamablugo – we’ll see what we can do. But we’d much rather have you take these men with you. People from whaling ships are mostly raw and dangerous.”
“We can’t, good Aglumaloqâq,” remembered Reimer, “We don’t have enough space in that thing you call a magic drum.”
“Then the qablunait should move on with the three Avertormiut in the smoke-kayaks,” replied the old one stubbornly, “They’ll get some meat and fish. Ublime – only for today!”
“It should be as the chief wishes,” Gutmann decided shortly, “The Canadians pull out with their companions and get some food. Their returned to so-called civilization is only a short matter of time. We ourselves can do nothing else about it.”
Aglumaloqâq showed satisfaction at the acceptance of his proposal. He received grinning gratefully some small tools and utensils from Reimer which the pilots looked at as dispensable. For him these items were great gifts, for his people possessed not much. Returning to the flying disk before which stared the whole Netsilik folk, Recke called over to Howard who was standing with his companions. He gave his previously detained rifle back which he’d kept in Aglumaloqâq’s hut, “Here. Don’t do anything stupid, you!”
The harpooner took the weapon hesitantly. Only when he held it fast in his hand again and realized the sincerity of the foreign pilots did he offer his hand to Recke, “The Germans are a different breed,” he said, more to himself than to his counterpart, “Thanks.”
Standing before the disk, Reimer and Recke realized this machine had a substantial circumference. Around the spherical body, which was provided with a glass cover, an upwardly molded, convex ring-disk was built which consisted of a number of blades mounted between the strap trim of the globe and outer centered ring. They could make sparse more observations at the moment as the Waffen-SS officer pressed for boarding.
Gutmann threw their packs in and urged his fellow passengers to enter through the hatch to the gondola-piece, “In with you in the thing the old geezer sees as a magic drum. Chop chop, comrades!”
Reimer jumped nimbly, boosted by Juncker, through the entrance to the inner chamber. The broad-shouldered Recke followed more slowly and finally made his way even after Gutmann, who closed the entrance behind him. Through the windows of the spherical compartment they could see the speechless, expectant front of the three Canadians and the Netsiliks, which with their each and everything waiting for the spectacle of their departure. Juncker settled himself in the driver’s seat while the three officers behind him took their seats in no particular order.
“Finished!” called Gutmann.
Some quick motions from the SS officer. A loud roar, flames flickering away from the disk’s rim, the circular-connecting blades beginning to rotate rapidly, and with a gentle tug the aircraft came off the ground in a steep climb. While Juncker let his eyes stay undeterred between the arctic expanse and the cabin’s armetures, the other three occupants saw how the Eskimos, growing ever smaller, were dispersed, shocked or had thrown themselves to the growned scared. Three figures standing close together seemed to be the Canadians, to which the rise of the strange disk also seemed hazardous.
A short moment of silence reigned over the men. Reimer and Recke were suffering from a mood which made them stare silently at themselves still contemplating the great surprise of such strange circumstances of Gutmann’s return in a dreamlike, unreal condition. It was some time before Recke asked the first question, “Tell us now, Gutmann, what kind of bowl are we flying in?”
Gutmann hardly moved as he answered. Only his eyes wandered searching over the faces of his companions, “We find ourselves in a flying gyroscope, which is known in small initiated circles as the V7. We’ve equipped our post here in the Arctic with two such machines. When I arrived at the base known under the code of ZYX with the captured Canadians and their plane, Comrade Juncker readied immediately for takeoff according to my description of the situation. If we arrived a bit late, it was due to the weather reports and other certain preparations. But we were confident we’d find you back safely!”
“Very nice,” said Recke, “The recovery worked. It also satisfied our curiosity a bit more, didn’t it?”
“How come?” asked Gutmann hypocritically.
“Man, don’t pry us over a bed of nails!” Reimer interjected, “Explain to us in turn where we’re going for the time being, and then whatever’s with this top-plane and anything else that’s of interest. Put yourself in our shoes again: You’re sitting in a glass ball, a horizontal disk flickering rapidly in circles before your very eyes with a fiery aura spraying from its edges. I think you’d be asking more questions than an old grandma!”
“It’s just as you say,” admitted Gutmann, “Naturally, it should not and cannot remain a secret to you. I just wanted to tell the whole story in peace a little later. But still, we can talk about the technical questions of this aircraft before we land. It’s quite understandable that you’re so captivated to it.”
“It’s about time you realized that,” grumbled Recke. Gutmann waved reassuringly, “Therefore! Our thing here, the V7, is designed according a strange principle. Assuming that hitherto the take-off and landing of a plane has always been connected to the question of runway space and the speed also having to be taken into account, a resourceful engineer from the helicopter project found a solution by circulating flyers around in an arched chamber. Then a duplicity of the incidence came to light by which our units already stand fully operational, while another designer somewhere near Prague is employed with the production of the same project.”
“That a solution to runways was long overdue is understandable,” Reimer interrupted the dry, lecturing Gutmann, “But why the unusual gyro solution?”
“Calling it a gyro is right!” Gutmann explained more calmly, ignoring the objection for the moment, “After several attempts we came to realize that even by the trial stage this model promised to reach an extraordinary speed. This flying machine actually surpasses all flying speeds ever thought possible.”
“How fast?” Reimer asked excited.
“With moderate engines it can theoretically reach – that is, without considering the human factor – four-thousand kilometers per hour with a climbing rate of a hundred meters per second. The kinematics are very simple: After climbing up – you must have already noticed this to some extent – the rotor runs a bit slower, so that the craft can float in the air, and then the forward flight jets can be started up. Naturally the maximum speed can only be achieved if the ramjets are operated in addition to the turbine engines, which can only work one eight-hundred kilometers per hour has been reached. Its extraordinary agility seems reasonable thanks to the ingenious gyro-design. Of course the craft can also stand still in open space. The engine prevents the descent when the horizontal drive is on.”
“So it’s a jet aircraft,” Recke remarked.
“Correct! I already said it before,” Gutmann continued, “It would be constructive to explain briefly that the fuel tanks are mounted under the cabin floor. Around the center outside is the bearing of the rotor-blade ring, including the thrusters that start the rotor. Outside of that is the center ring, which encloses the rotating blades. Almost brilliantly simple!”
“Phenomenal!” Reimer couldn’t contain himself, “And what’s the V7’s range?”
“Currently, when away from a base – some two-thousand kilometers,” Gutmann replied, “That’s the only weak spot. Nevertheless the military capabilities are quite extraordinary. I think the V7 will come to greatly concern the minds of this world!”
“And where’s our destination?”
Gutmann turned to the questioning Recke, “You’ll have to wonder. It’s near the eighth latitude!”
“Potzblitz!” Recke couldn’t help himself.
“How long will it take?” Reimer asked.
“To our destination?”
“About half an hour,” said Gutmann, “We’re flying at a decent speed.”
Reimer and Recke looked past the spinning disk and out towards the countryside. From the slow gliding of the landscape they could estimate the speed as experienced flyers. It was considerable after all. As far as the eye could see, masses of water and ice flittered underneath. A dark landmass wandered to the side, also covered by snow-white fields, as if pulled backwards by an invisible hand.
“It would interest you,” Gutmann came back suddenly, “That this type, a model from Breslau, has a diameter of thirty-one point four meters. This corresponds to the number Pi. Since you can’t use fractions with machines in certain cases, the number of nozzles around the circumference was set to thirty-two.
“It almost looks like a math trick,” Recke replied slightly mocking. His critical nature found room for comment.
Gutmann remained serious, “Everything in nature has harmonious laws. The same applies for technology. Furthermore, there are known examples…”
“Another tech question,” bid Reimer, “How does the rotor take the air in?”
“That you’ll be able to see once we land. On top are slots for air penetration while outflow fields are located on bottom. It’s also very simple!”
“Everything is simple if it’s justified or explained,” Recke leaned forward suddenly, “You just talked about known examples, Gutmann! We bet there are some that you can’t even begin to guess are real!”
“Ah!” Gutmann showed great surprise, “Might you actually have seen another disk already which appeared supernatural in origin?”
“That’s exactly what I mean!” Recke confirmed, now surprised in turn. Reimer also nodded excitedly.
“A manisola…” muttered Gutmann. His words were barely discernable in the roar of the aircraft. Rather than admit explanations, he asked a counter-question, “What impression did you have of the phenomenon?”
Recke made eyes just as big as Reimer, “Have you gone omniscient, Gutmann?”
“Answer me first,” he urged, “Tell me what you and the Eskimos saw!”
“It was in the Eskimo village,” admitted Recke. With few words he explained the whole process from the appearance to departure of the luminous disk. Only now and then did Reimer interrupt him to explain some of the details closely.
Gutmann nodded often. In between he made them understand he knew of the phenomenon well enough. The strange behavior of the dogs and the death of the shaman made the greatest impression on him. After describing the obscure undertaking of the medicine man and the sudden departure of the discoloring disk, he said, “You’ll get to know the whole matter in depth soon. Right now’s not the time to talk about it in detail. That you can’t have closure on this strangely seeming problem is very understandable.
He smiled enigmatically, “For your comfort in the coming hours: In about two years, millions of people will see these phenomena and not know what to do!”
“Is it also a V-Model?” Recke’s new question sounded doubtful.
“Do you think this phenomenon, in the way it acts, is technically possible?”
“Technically impossible!” Reimer spoke in Recke’s place, “I would consider it a metaphysical affair, most likely.”
“You muttered a name before,” added Recke, “You know…”
Gutmann cut from the subject with an energetic movement, “I. Know. But I already said, you have to be patient for a few more hours. There is more to speak of, as you’ve guessed.”
“That’s your quirk, always playing secretive,” put Recke, whereby he studied the sullen sky.
“Not at all,” the blamed one defended, “Now that we’re so close to our target…”
“…we’re close to our target,” Recke mimicked, “We’ll be fed first then sent to bed. I suppose our renowned organization has provided appropriate conveniences!”
“Certainly! You’ll be able to tend to your satisfaction in a short time.”
Again the eyes of the pilots flew through the windows of the cabin. Ice and water stretched everywhere, as far as the eye could see. Attracting and tiring at the same time.
“Our comrade Juncker flies his route quite surely,” Reimer remarked casually, “Appearantly without navigation; since the departure there haven’t been any markers. Can’t the magnetic pole play antics on us?”
Now was the first time that Juncker mingled in the conversation of his comrades, “We’re trained with a Magnetic Radio! Our craft is guided by a signal beam which leads us to each point within range and back to home base. Our flight is monitored from the station with a television screen.”
Reimer pursed his lips, “If the Yankees unearth us here one day, they’ll shatter us with bombs of all types concentrated in a tiny area. Since we’ll inevitably attract attention to this area after a certain time…”
“Don’t worry!” Gutmann calmed in Juncker’s place, “It’ll hardly been the case that any aircraft will ever find us.”
“The Yanks and Canadians won’t be so complacent to keep playing a blind man’s bluff!” said Recke wryly.
“But – we can force them to!” Gutmann chuckled like a hen, “Our station is in fact capable of confusing incoming aircraft by magnetic repellency, so that their tracking systems provide a barely noticeable deviation. This artificially-induced error leads the craft around our base. Knowing that navigation in arctic zones is difficult in and of itself, a foreign influence on such equipment can hardly be noticed. Minor errors are therefore believable This method is better and more reliable than our otherwise excellent Flak.”
“Heck, yet again,” Recke thundered off anew, “Why are we procrastinating here in the ass-end of the world because these magic gadgets instead of at home so we can divert the bomber squadrons of civilian killers? I really thing our supreme warlords are getting soft in the head!” Furiously he tapped his forehead.
“Again it’s not quite what it seems!” Gutmann fended, “Even the Magnetic Radio is of too recent an origin for these purposes. Also, within the Reich’s territory there’s no more sure thing than betrayal now. Also, we alone cannot bring about the turning point in the fortunes of war. Neither with these tools or even with our latest V-weapons and other things. We’ve simply missed our last time and opportunities. We pretty much knew this in Vernäs.”
Recke’s mouth twitched slightly, “If I may in part also agree – you’re a pessimist by nature!”
Gutmann straightened. With a quick movement he pulled down the zipper of his combo-jacket somewhat from the neck down. Instead of the expected blue-grey Fliegerbluse showed a field-grey cloth with the collar patches of the Waffen-SS. Four rayed stars of silver showed the same rank that Juncker had. Without heeding the amazed faces of his uncollected comrades, he said, “I hope this actual, rightful uniform protects me against certain suspicions. Anyway: would I otherwise be so familiar with the ultimate secrets of our warfare?
“It’s easily explained! Before I came to you, I was first involved in the development of this machine – the V7 – in Breslau. Gutmann and Disks – that sounds good together, right? – But back in Breslau, I was tired of getting some of the most unnecessary fuss from people in the Party, and in a necessary moment I opened my trap too far. I was notified very illy since the big shots felt depressed. I stood to the point that where there were entrance bans for soldiers it applied at least equally for the pompous civil-generals who nevertheless wanted more and more golden cords and buttons. The match ended in a draw. That is, the Golden Pheasants took not a step in the grounds of their curiosity, and on the other hand I was transferred as a Captain in the Luftwaffe and then came to Vernäs because of a decision by the OKL. A short, simple story.”
“And now?” Reimer’s voice was filled with expectation.
“I’ve been promoted to Major and utilized for other uses in grace. I received this notice shortly before we left Vernäs. Colonel Troll and Major Küpper knew about it. No one else. Thus...”
Juncker cut off the conversation, “Point 103, straight ahead!” The simple communiqué from the man at the craft’s pilot seat directed them from personal and problematic things. Four pairs of eyes stared out into the region which promised their approaching target. The sky showed an above-average brightness and let the frozen sea shine between the ice fields. Like a network of small rivers and streams the water gained ground between the cracked ice, floes and small bizarre mountains that glided like small glaciers in the water. From the hinterground a raised surface came closer which showed a gate-like fissure among a ring of towering mountains to the observers in the flying disk. There was nothing to indicate that this was a station. No doubt that it was the mainland and only there could the promised Point 103 lay.
“Point 103?” Reimer asked.
“Calling-station ZYX is identical to Point 103!” Gutmann pointed to the internal area of the small ringed mountains, “Here’s the station!”
Reimer and Recke couldn’t see anything that suggested a human presence. They shook their heads puzzled.
The flying top fell steadily during its horizontal approach. The craft passed through the opening in the ring at a low altitude and then remained there for a moment suspended in the air as if held by a magic hand. Only the on-board disk rotated further and showed the operation of the gyro. A few seconds later, the flying machine fell straight down. The occupants felt as if they were riding a downward elevator.
Juncker looked through the floorboard to control the landing. To the surprise of Reimer and Recke is suddenly turned very dark, and then an artificial light began to shine through in the cabin. With a gentle push the sound of the motor stopped. “Terminal – everyone exit!” quipped Gutmann, gloating over the surprise of his comrades. The hatch opened and the crew climbed from behind Gutmann into the underground space.
A spacious hall gathered the eyes of those who had landed. Confident the two SS officers preceded their comrades. A number of men in Feldgrau and blue-grey Luftwaffe colors rushed to pass the newcomers and saluted. Reimer and Recke couldn’t reign over their astonishment. The lowest ranks they met wore the epaulettes of the officers. Not a single crew member under the various personnel was to seen. The haste and behavior of the men betrayed care and punctuality. Hardly a command could be heard.
The glare of the ceiling lights blinded their eyes. The four officers swerved somewhat from their straight path, a large flat rail cart forcing it into an arc. So far they’d walked alongside the tracks of a railway. Even while turning to the side of the hallway Recke pointed at everything to Reimer. At the end of the semi-darkness there loomed a strange steel structure whose purpose and meaning was unknown. Gutmann however gave them no time to consider and pressed forward. They came to an opening which bore no door. Still under the unique impression of their first time here, the Luftwaffe captains felt a stark change in temperature.
Reimer couldn’t hold back an exclamation, “How…?”
“The warm air curtain closes against the outside temperature in place of a door,” Gutmann explained as they walked, “The indoor temperature comes from electric heating!”
“Even the noble establishments of Berlin have never seen such a thing,” said Recke, shaking his head. Cozily he breathed in the mild air. Striding into another gangway, the arrivals reached a series of chambers before which stood consistant doors identified by number. In the middle of the corridor Gutmann withheld his steps.
“This is my room,” he said and opened a door.
The men stepped into a small that appeared sparse but clean. Two field-beds, a simple locker and a folding table with two accompanying chairs made out the furniture. The overhead lights activated and spread out a bright glare.
“Juncker and I each have a bed free in our rooms,” Gutmann explained, “If you want to stay here with me, Reimer, Recke can go with Juncker. His room is just across from here. I have Room 24, Juncker has 29. As you can see, we’re very close!”
“It’s all the same to me,” Recke said, “The main thing is that I fall into one of these charming beds soon.”
“And I’d do anything for a hearty meal, like I said before,” Reimer added, “But no Eskimo Menus!”
“Wouldn’t you like to take a nice bath first?”
“I would gladly,” Recke made, “If you say it again I’ll be tempted to think this luxury is credible.”
“Then I’ll have to repeat my question!” Gutmann laughed, “Everything needed to sustain a longer existence is all here. Everything.”
The two captains still persisted in their amazement. They helped each other take off their bulky flight-suits and took off belts and handguns.
“After bathing we’ll take our stuff to our quarters,” Juncker turned to Recke.
“After dinner,” Gutmann corrected, “The order is final: bathe, eat, sleep!”
“Understood – Go!” shouted Reimer.
In the evening of the next day Reimer and Recke sat gathered in Gutmann’s room and they received the first explanations for why they were here. Both captains felt with their gut instinct that Gutmann was trying with care to not go beyond the general features of this hidden base. Even if there was undoubtedly no suspicion that something was being held back, the officers still had no explanation for the cautious behavior of their comrade.
“Everything you see here and everything that excites your surprise and admiration,” Gutmann spoke, “was created according to a carefully contemplated plan with long preparations. That this operation and the base could be shielded from treason is based primarily on the special and thorough testing and selection of the personnel. It took efforts and preparation that are unparalleled.”
“One question,” injected Reimer, “The expansion seen before suggests with certainty that the base hasn’t been working for just a few weeks, but working under this basis for a long time already. I hardly think the Reich government had foreseen the distress of our military situation or were just willing to accept it. For what reason was this work even undertaken?”
Gutmann looked at his questioner with surprise, “Logically and deliberately spoke, dear friend! For that is precisely the point I want to leave for later.”
“I’ve noticed,” Recke added dryly. The major ignored the objection.
“In the coming days you’ll need to change your previous views and see thing that will introduce you to a new world-picture. You’ll be shown power-politic conditions that aren’t fixed geographically and will cast all popular expectations away. However – I must confess to you – it wasn’t supposed to be that you two were here because of your good standing but because the twin Do-Ju model had to be flown, most of all. That fell through, and that’s not our fault. But I took full responsibility on myself to introduce you as reliable and hope for your support in a fight beyond the current, seemingly limited war!”
“Ah, Werwolf…” Recke said sarcastically.
“Pfft,”made Gutmann, “You could make a Werwolf in the Thirty Years’ War. In a densely-populated Central Europe, which is dependent on technical supplies and sufficient food stores, this type of warfare is limited to a disruptive factor and it not fundamentally effective. Even if it’s something possible in the Balkans or Eastern Europe…”
“Because there doesn’t seem to be a higher position?” Recke’s comment sounded cool and objective.
“However, comrade! We musn’t forget that the imprudent demands from Casablanca, demanding an unconditional surrender which would bring a super-Versailles with it, almost force desperate actions.”
“We know that,” Reimer confirmed bitterly, “Likewise, the realization’s already spreading – the terms of surrender aren’t directed against the regime but against the German people itself. Somehow it’s been playing on their flutes again: War against the Kaiser, not the People! – but the truth is that it’s the people they want to see suppressed.”
Gutmann looked past his two comrades as he continued thoughtfully, “Old and known things. It’s all idle polemics. We have to face the realities and develop practical attitudes about them. My explanations from before mean therefore the explanation of global political forces that work at a higher level and work effectively, and which I will gradually reveal. If I’m not ready to tell you things with full thoroughness, immediately, it’s because you would view the whole complex of conditions unlikely, indeed downright fantastical.”
“We’re not little kids,” grumbled Recke, displaying an insulted demeanor. “After all, we did come to this fairy-tale castle with a new aircraft. That it,” he corrected himself almost immediately, “We nearly got here ourselves.”
“Actually a plane was planned for this mission which would’ve had diesel engines. With this model we could’ve landed lightly and started up again,” Gutmann spoke, “There seems to be confusion from Berlin, however. Whether it was intentional or not is hard to clarify.”
“You could get tired of the circus quick,” said Reimer, angrily, after having held back fairly till then, “We soldiers always have to pay for this swinery.”
“We need to get past it,” said the Major, “We at Point 103 are already making an active Einsatzgruppe – a task group – that will serve its ambitions even if there’s no German government anymore. And that will soon be the case, unfortunately.”
“Yeah, to heck,” Recke roared on, “We shouldn’t talk suspiciously, but for whom should we fight if there’s no order or authority in the homeland?”
“Our friend Reimer mentioned before that it’s already common knowledge how our enemies pretend to fight our Reich’s government but mean our people,” Gutmann answered calmly, “We therefore serve in interest of our people a higher order.”
“If it doesn’t go against our military oath and abuse our efforts…” Reimer said hesitant. Gutmann cut off the sentence with metallic sharpness, “There are no Stauffenbergs here!”
“Forgive me,” murmured Reimer, “But it’s good if everything is stated clearly.” With a firm hold he took Gutmann’s hand, who’d held it out to him. Recke followed his example and added the question, “What’ll happen to us now?”
“I think you’ve deserved a few days of rest. Before us lies a time which conceals manifold secrets behind its veils and which will bring dangers to life and limb as well. Use the few days remaining for your recovery, before the deployment order comes. And another thing: If within the next days you encounter other uniforms and foreign civilians, don’t be so surprised! We have friends and allies in the world who are all willing to serve a new order.” Gutmann’s voice urged and warned, “But above all, make little questioning and learn some silence!”
“As if we’d be wash-women…” Recke growled softly. Before Gutmann could appease him Reimer remembered something, “A comparison comes to mind especially; in Vienna we have an amusement park known as the Prater. Between the shooting galleries and the Wurst booths there’s a tunnel ride drawn by an ugly dragon-cart. If you shelled out your six-piece marks you could get into the little cart and be pulled by the monster, a mixture of crocodile and herring, through the tunnel. It went through something like Hades. Then on either side of the dark passage suddenly appear small, half-lit grottoes, animated by cute characters and portraying a moving, magic realm. Thus it was a threatening descent with all kinds of funny nonsense afterwards. And it seems to me we’ve might as well paid our sixes to rush into a new gallery!”
“And so?” It should’ve sounded jokingly, but it couldn’t hide its ambiguous tone.
“And so!” Recke spoke feisty, “For kicks and shits, right? At least tell us a fairytale like our friend Reimer can, Gutmann. You have to let the mind’s eye believe anything at which the soul can build before you miss the ball or something else!”
“Why not?” Gutmann spoke slowly and meditatively, “So far as I can recall, you’re both somewhat well versed in history. Do you know perhaps of the traditions from the ancient king Mithradates Eupator, also called Mithradates the Great?”
As the two captains shook their heads no and Reimer told him how he could only remember glancing at such names back in school, the Major went on, “Mithradates led three protracted wars against the then-world-power of Rome with varying success. He also found support from the Sicilian pirate state which in truth was a kingdom in exile, of Mithras-cult followers from nearby countries. The strict discipline and order of the Mithras people from Sicily, that had contended in a hostile Umwelt – the surrounding world, the environs if you will – all on its own, made them formidable adversaries and so their help for Mithradats was of great importance. And it wasn’t because of Rome that the king fell, but that the waste of his sons resulted in the suicide of the lord of Asia Minor.”
“The world’s always been shabby,” said Reimer.
“Not the world, but the men!” Gutmann corrected him, “Anyways – I’m making the comparison that Point 103 represents a Sicily in the time of Mithradates Eupator, where men decide to fight back against a set environment. Guided by invisible, evil forces, this environs is the visible expression of an intolerant and tyrannical era. It must have been because of the time that Mithradates, the “gift of Mithras”, couldn’t fulfill his highest historical goal. The Umwelt of his epoch was only stronger. But it needs not always be so!”
Reimer nodded, “Not at all. It just depends on how much you cope with the powers of the ancient and the earthbound.”
“Everything new is mostly earthly; men just don’t want to admit it since the carriers of an existing order don’t like being replaced with a new order. With that the hostility of an Umwelt is understandable!”
“Very nice,” Recke said, “With that everything follows suit. It’s just precisely as old Mithradates…”
“He had his reasons,” Gutmann countered, “Links of causality will yet arise!”
“Wash me but don’t get me wet,” Recke scoffed, “Somewhere I’ve read the sentence: dark is the meaning of words!”
“Let’s leave it at that,” Reimer decided, “I understood Gutmann. It would be more realistic and prompt with the name of our mission. Namely, Ultima Thule. But still…”
Gutmann seized his fingers so that the joints cracked, “The pieces come together…”
“Ultima Thule, the island of the last heroes!” Recke called slightly theatrically, “Alright, I’ll keep flying if it makes use for our homeland. If it’s not already too late!”
“It’s never too late,” Gutmann answered, conducting himself, “Our motto is this: Not ex oriente lux, but from the north comes salvation and light!”
In the days following, Reimer and Recke had leisure enough to become familiar with their surroundings. They were ordered not by the commander of the base or his adjutants, and nor did anyone else look after them. Recke found his roommate Juncker and affable fellow, with whom he got along well, and who very often took the place of the very often impeded Gutmann around the two captains.
The two air-officers noted on their extensive tours that the centers of the astonishment they’d felt when they’d first arrived at the base were but a fraction of the equipment they now encountered. Among other things Juncker told them of a partial support, that the deck lids of the disk-hangars would also extend as rocket launchers.
In semicircles within the ring of mountains the caverns were hewn to support various types of aircraft, which had an excellent runway leading outwards. As Juncker hinted, the models here found themselves not yet mass produced and in many ways superior to the presently used models by far. In this way at least a part of their military secrets were removed from the hands of the invading armies in the Reich’s soil, Juncker explained.
In the center of the ring there was a weather control center, which was named shortly and humorously Frogglass. Furthermore they learned that the station had its own underground power plant which had an enormous energy capacity.
Looking at the landing site, Recke said, “Only for experienced pilots…”
“You have to fly to the landing, grease laterally, capture the craft and only then land,” Juncker explained.
“It couldn’t be any other way,” Recke admitted.
Upon a random question made by Reimer concerning the functions of replenishment, Gutmann himself gave a startling answer, “The technical supplies comes from the homeland, and the food supplies mostly from the USA!”
“A bad joke!” Recke roared angrily.
“It’s true,” Gutmann affirmed, “We have – as I mentioned before – friends which have taken our concerns. There are circles in the United States and Canada that know the presence of Point 103, but without knowing its location and would never find us against our will. Our Magnetic Radio provides more safety than a range of flak. Even men in the U.S. Federal Courts know of the existence of our base.”
“And the support?” asked Reimer.
“Very simple! Our supporting powers on this continent are of the opinion that they’re not acting against the interests of their country, since Point 103 escapes potential as a stacking point for the Reich, which can currently be used as a running utilization. Moreover they look at the whole unit as a kind of opposition to certain powers of the Reich-government which are market with the cipher six-hundred and sixty-six. These aren’t official bodies of the enemy but only a small group of sufferers who have a different political view. These circles are the ones that provide our transport planes with provisions as well as certain metals and alloys, which we need here. We also have workshops and a laboratory here. In the next few days you’ll get to know the current facilities.”
Reimer seized Gutmann by the arm, while Recke held his mouth, “If Point 103 is a place of potential withdrawal…”
“Don’t get so excited,” Gutmann calmed the captains down, “There are two ways to look at it: a worm’s perspective and a bird’s perspective! As an aviator you should be ashamed to be counted among earthworms.”
“Nonsense!” Recke barked.
“One needs only to replace the word ‘potential withdrawal’ with ‘potential rescue’, then you’ll have grasped the true meaning of the station!”
“Juncker has already hinted that to us,” Reimer admitted.
“You should pay attention to such information,” Gutmann said coolly, “Then some rocket-heads won’t need to explode!”
Recke saw that Gutmann was on the verge of losing his almost inexhaustible patience. He put his massive hand on his shoulder and said good-heartedly, “No offense, stargazer, but you have to raise understanding for us ignorant sheep, who’ve been constantly attacked by new findings and facts until now. We have full confidence in you, but it could be the case that we’re all just puppets of an infamous game together, whose background is not recognizable. You know, these days anything can!”
“It’s alright,” the Major replied, reconciling, “But whatever may come, we can serve in confidence!”
The next morning the captains found a new surprise. They were just on a little morning walk in the open air – dressed in fur parkas – when an aircraft rolled onto the runway which in place of the expected emblem bore a stranger signature. This time they were alone. They both halted their steps and stared at the wings and fuselage of the vehicle which rose skywards, where black points were emblazoned as its call-sign.
“Potzblitz!” Recke cried and looked around him. Some men who were present at the startup disappeared as if into a rock cave. “What’s that, a midnight-version Japanese flag?”
“Let’s see where Gutmann is,” Reimer took his comrade with him as they walked inside. He murmured, “Strange, very strange…I met a comrade in Oslo who claimed to have seen a plane that also had black points on its wings and was flying towards Sweden.”
“If I hadn’t seen the same thing just now, I would’ve said he saw a ladybug on it!” Recke replied, “Sometimes hallucinations like that come after carousing. As it is…”
Hurrying through the underground halls and corridors, they looked for Gutmann everywhere. For the first time they came across the civilians their comrade had told them on, moving free and at ease among the German staff. They had no time to look at these strangers more closely. As they hurried past they could only see that there were exotic kinds below. Pocketed and foreign military men also crossed their path.
They couldn’t find Gutmann. It was only on the way to their rooms that they met Juncker, who stopped immediately when he saw them.
“Where is Gutmann?”
“At a meeting, meine Herren!” Juncker told them in his room “What’s the problem, comrades?”
“Um,” Recke began hesitantly, “There’s this thing with a black dot…”
“Our Flight Emblem! Well – and?”
“You don’t know that yet?” Juncker snapped his fingers. “Gutmann will be back around noon. He can explain it to you better. I’ll leave it to him. Well, I’ll see you boys later for the time being!” He pushed the back of his leaning cap straight, tapped his finger against its brim and made off.
“Simple stuff,” Reimer speculated, “It’ll probably be the new SS-Luftwaffe that Herr Himmler had always wanted. They just didn’t want to tell us in order not to hurt us as competing club members.”
“What do you mean ‘hurt’?” Recke sat on his cot, “I’m concerned they can paint anything on the aircraft they want. The main thing is that we’re staying so intact here that we’re disregarding holding the invasion from the East of our unfortunate homeland!”
“It’s already begun!” Reimer added pensive, “The last Wehrmacht reports already mentioned German place names on both fronts. East-Prussia is already gone!”
“I know it just was well as you. The poor women and children. Unbelievable. It’s clearly a sow-stupid strategy to hoard weapons and people here instead of using the last of it to protect our civilian population. I’ll tell Gutmann since he was a local commander, the great unknown one, that he should put a good word in for me to secure my transfer to a front-line unit!”
“Would that even be of use?” doubted Reimer, “Whatever we’re able to use, the time is too short and the fronts too compressed to stop the tides from the East and West. The Promi can’t even hide that.”
“The Propaganda Ministry just plays another tide,” Recke admitted, “But what then?”
“Gutmann already hinted what! Enduring and forcing a liberation and reversal of the conditions on a higher level unknown to us. Your return to the home front wouldn’t change the existing facts. I share your feelings and I’ve also never pressed when being used. Let’s give it a rest for the tasks provided for us, because we’re soldiers, not politicians!”
It was little over an hour that the two sat together before Gutmann appeared.
“I heard from Juncker you were looking for me. I’m sorry, but my duties…”
“It’s not our fault we don’t have any,” Recke interrupted, not liking idleness, “In any case, we wouldn’t be looking for you if there hadn’t been something that needed an explanation. We have to know at least who’s friend and foe, once and for all!”
“Junckers told me this was because of our flight symbol, is that true?”
“Ja,” they both admitted.
“That can also be explained,” said Gutmann. He threw his cap on the bed sheet and sat on the edge of Juncker’s couch instead. Then slowly sinking back and laying down the elbows of his bent arms, he began to speak, “I want to establish without much introduction why we have no Balkan Crosses on our planes and chose a black blank instead. Above all, it’s already become clear to us that the homeland will have to surrender sooner or later…”
“We discussed this shortly before you arrived,” replied Reimer, “A bitter realization!”
“Right! But you can’t be an ostrich that sticks their head in the ground. And it’s even more bitter how we’ve already marched all throughout Europe and even near the Suez canal. But you know the saying, times are changing. Whether it’s a huge portion of sinful politics or a number of missed opportunities blamed for this, it’s without any particular meaning at the moment because it’s not the past that’s crucial but what’s given in the present. Now if the case should really occur that Germany has to surrender or the war is declared over after occupation, all hostilities will be set after a certain date. That would mean that the German Wehrmacht would cease to exist and no one would be authorized to keep fighting under the flags or signs of the Reich!”
“Oh ho!” Recke let himself be heard.
“It’s so that, not recognized as belligerents, which…” Gutmann made a shooting gesture, “If the fight can go on, the Reich won’t be compromised since otherwise it would increase the poverty and misery on the civilian population through reprisals. For this reason we’ve decided to, as a self-standing organization, choose a new mark for our aircraft from details we’ll discuss later on. This black dot, as you call it, is ‘sol nigra’, or the Schwarze Sonne as it’s called in German. It has a deep, symbolic meaning and it should be seen as a dark red instead of the optically visible black. It is the negredo of alchemy, the color signifying a particular phase of lapis.”
Recke’s mouth twisted, “What does it have to do with alchemy?”
“So slow! First, the importance of the sun: it’s the same symbol as the Gammadion, however, under the aspect of crucifixion. Precisely: our Balkan Cross!”
“Ah!” Reimer frowned, “What’s the symbolism of crucifixion? That we sacrificed…?”
Gutmann looked past his two friends, “You could interpret it how you want. It could be that the round form of the sun is a sign of salvation and in the sign of the cross of sacrifice to save the German people! World politics is indeed not operated by governments alone, but by forces beyond the visible powers as well.”
“That’s no big secret anymore,” said Reimer calmly.
“That depends. You’re talking about forces which are barely visible, yet are still recognizable. But I’m talking about powers which are neither recognizable nor visible! That’s the big difference. Behind the scenes of world history a big power struggle is going on, that will itself determine for certain a force known by insiders as an esoteric world center, or the high seat of ethically positive forces. It is the true Ultima Thule, not only to the Aryan peoples but to all the world!”
Recke laughed mockingly, but Reimer leaned in with interest, “Where is this world center?”
Gutmann shrugged, “I don’t know that either. It could – globally speaking – not be too far away from here, but very few people are likely to know the exact location of this mystical point. Not only we at Point 103, but other organizations and groups strive to find this place as well, or at least to obtain the protections and support of its power. The future will tell whether or not our search results in success.”
“In conjection with the words mythic and esotetic: Couldn’t this be a mere assumption, made in the case of an error in the assessment of world powers, that would have dire consequences for the gullible?” Reimer looked at Gutmann with admonishment.
“This center exists!” the Major answered with certainty, “Even the ancient Egyptians knew of it and called it Mount On, somewhere in the north. Likewise the ancient Sumerians, who called it Kharsak Kurra or ‘world mountain’. In the Bible, in the book of Isaiah, it appears under the name Har-Moed, that is: the mount of congregation.”
“Still not proof. Only traditional assumptions!”
Gutmann ignored Reimer’s objection, “In Asia they’ve actually taken up connections to this power.”
“Through radio?” Recke said ironically.
“No – telepathically!”
“Haha, now oriental storytellers are coming back in fashion!”
“I appreciate your critical mind, Recke. Think, however, how all the knowledge one possesses always makes up only a fraction of what exists. We Westerners for centuries have looked down on Eastern peoples through arrogance and contempt for the so-called natives and we must now determine with shame that their traditions and history are at least as old that their art and philosophy is as great as ours, and in some ways even superior. Their transcendental knowledge and forces in this domain are developing highly, while we Europeans are still locked before the front gate. You’ll get to know Mongols here – I see you’re surprised! – Maybe after a few discussions you can see things differently than before.”
“Why not?!” Recke replied vulgarly, “But further – what kind of connection is this?”
“Very simple. Tibetan Lamas of a higher level came into nexus with this center. They also know of a world mountain and high seat, which to them is called Rirap Hlumpo in their language. At the moment I still can’t say more about these details us looking at Tibet will undoubtedly be very beneficial and provide details worth knowing. An emissary, a Ta-Lama of the Black Hat Sect, is actually expected to be here today or tomorrow!”
Recke shook his head, “What does Tibet have momentarily for possibly helping the German Reich?”
“Momentarily nothing. But they’ve helped and will do so again, when the possibilities arise. Until not long ago they’ve procured important documents of the English war-command through its liaison offices in England for the German government and can find out for us the results of the secret sessions in the House of Commons twenty-four hours a day. The whole thing shouldn’t have proven very difficult!”
“And what interests does Tibet have?”
“A very great one!” Gutmann smiled, “Before all, the visits by the German Tibet Expedition under Professer Schäfer have produced a valuable and affordable personal contact between the Germans and Tibetans. Even when the officers of the expedition failed to resolve certain esoteric tasks and gain insight into secret books in the library of Potala, which should contain among other things secret prophecies about the resurgence of the former Mongol empire, the visit had met expectations enough. It also resulted in Tibet seeing great political opportunities while awaiting relief from the British and Soviet pressure by supporting the new Germany. It was not only assumed that Germany would bind the two dangerous neighbors of Tibet but they certainly hoped for a better opportunity to win the West for Lamaism through the suppression of the Roman-Christian position of power and prepare grounds for prophecies unknown to us. We don’t need to investigate whether it would ever be possible or be a miscalculation; the nearest political goal, to relieve each other by throwing the ball, is a good move and Tibet has the greatest interests that Germany remains strong and strong again. And nondescript helpers are often better than so-called friends that are strong.”
“I don’t know much about the Tibetans,” said Recke, “Only as much as that they like drinking tee with rancid butter. But nevertheless I could muster sympathy for them. Except for the seal blubber I could suffer the Eskimos as well.”
Again a smile flittered over Gutmann’s serious movements, “One should never judge a people by their diet. This often leads to false conclusion. Further I shall counsel: Take the Mongols seriously and don’t doubt them. They have keen instincts and feel immediately whether you’re thinking or whether they’re not taken seriously. If they notice a trace of sarcasm, they’ll go away and be as silent as fish!”
Recke swallowed, “Mhm…”
“Black Hat lamas come into the Reich of the Black Sun,” Reimer whispered thoughtfully, more to himself, but Gutmann heard his soft words.
“Yes, it is the Reich of the Black Sun! It is the rallying point of the esoteric circles in the SS, whose knowledge Herr Himmler also suspected but was not to take part in. It’s this group of men which according to the instructions of our spiritual leader, of Standartenführer Rahn, in search for the right and rights, who have found their own right and duty regardless of the twelve Mosaic commandments; men who, arbitrarily and proudly, do not expect help from Mount Sinai but went to a “mountain of congregation in the furthest midnight, in order to get help and bring it to the people of their blood!”
Reimer pondered briefly, “Rahn? Isn’t that the man of the modern Cathar Tradition?”
“Ah – what do you know about that?”
“Strictly speaking, nothing. I heard of it second-hand.”
“Yes, it shows. The Cathars in the SS and the Black Hats have above all directed their eyes to the far north and Tibet. Rahn has also won the most important links, only a select few of which are known.”
Recke sat up from his reclining position, “Now I see more clearly. I don’t know much more than Reimer but your explanations have opened my eyes. I am a soldier and understand nothing of the esoteric and metaphysical. But if the Reich is further served here, it’s good. What one calls things and how they’d explain them is all one to me. I already said days ago: For the island of the last heroes I’ll keep flying. See to it, Gutmann, that I step into a fuselage again!”
“I’ll see what I can do. I have to go back in any case, maybe I can get an order for the next few days. In the evening we can discuss further details on our next topic.” He stood up and brushed the skirt flat. After adjusting his cap, he said, “Till later, comrades. Bye!”
The two captains heard him cross the gangway and at the creaking of the door, which he shared with Reimer, entered the room opposite. Immediately afterwards he exited and went away again.
“I have to see what Gutmann wanted in the room,” Reimer said curiously. He went out followed by Recke.
In the other room everything was as it had been. Reimer saw that Gutmann’s locker was open with a fine gap. He carefully opened its door and looked inside. Recke saw Reimer’s surprise.
“Not much,” he spoke with an air of indifference, “Two days ago I found a red cape in his cabinet. A kind of robe. Now it’s gone. What would Gutmann have to do with it? Funny thing…!”