Chapter Seventeen The Lewis List: “Strategy”

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(Photo by Zoe Holling on Unsplash)

Imam Demir floated on the currents and delighted in the sensation of flight in the grey and black body of the hooded raven. The moment The Maid of Orleans had begun praising Jesus the demons had fled and Demir understood the necessity of flight…literally. Looking up into the trees he saw the hooded raven picking at a walnut with a twig and projected himself into the bird and commanded it to fly.

Demir sang songs of Allah and the blood of the infidels he would spill as he wove through the clouds towards the village of Great Rollright. The sun had set and the wind from the Atlantic on Demir’s left wing picked up as a storm front began to roll over the English countryside. The Raven seemed not to mind the wind and pressed on with only a few emphatic nudges from his passenger. Eventually, Demir could see the barn and buildings of the farm where the Ebbinghous Battalion and Sturmbannfuhrer Benjamin MacBeth were preparing for their eventual mission. He knew he would have to answer questions about his own role in the reconnaissance of the doings of the Fellowship. But, Macbeth’s anger would be dealt with quickly as the information of the interesting people assembled by the Fellowship was revealed. “Who was that Bronze man and that giant black man?” Demir thought. “I know of the others. Legend speaks of the King Arthur and the small child that fought like a man in France. These I have heard of. So the Christian God continues to resurrect people from the past to fight us. So be it. Amen as the infidels say. But, they have no clue that we are here on their very doorstep. And, soon the head of the crusader beast will be severed. This man should no more have been a king than his brother who he had replaced. No matter! He will die just as the other would have died.”

As the last thought left his consciousness, the raven settled before the doorstep of the farmhouse. And, instantly he stepped out of the Raven and dismissed it. And, as he stepped to the door the Raven staggered away dazed and exhausted as if it were a drunken sailor.

Demir opened the door and stepped into the living room of the farmhouse. The Kommando was gathered around the building and the kitchen. Dinner was finished and Macbeth and Delbart Tesch and the different squad leaders were seated around a large table with a map as a trio of privates efficiently worked on cleaning the leftovers of dinner in the kitchen. Everything stopped as every eye in the room turned towards the small man with the cane standing inside the door.

The Imam walked over to where Macbeth sat, “Food immediately!” He called towards the kitchen and then sat in a chair quickly abandoned by one of the squad leaders. “We may have to adjust our plans. The Fellowship has brought in unknowns. This will require more information.” A private brought a plate of bratwurst and sauerkraut to the Imam who looked at the food with disgust. “Is this food Halal?”

Receiving a blank stare from the private he repeated himself, “I need purity. Pure food!” His anger beginning to rise up into an uncontrollable rage, the door to the kitchen opened and Hilel Cady walked through the door with a covered tray of chicken and rice cooked by the two Bosniaks.

Cady walked up to the Imam and bowed low and whispered, “As-salāmu ʿalaykum, Imam your food.”

The Imam grabbed the plate and began to eat with the appetite of a starving man. The supernatural efforts expended during the fight at the Eagle and Child and the flight back to Great Rollright against the wind created a voracious appetite. He scooped the food with his fingers and crammed the food in as fast as he could swallow. The private brought him a large stein of water and watched as the Imam drank two steins one right after the other. No one in the room said a word as he stuffed himself. The sounds made as the Imam ate were angry and primordial. In only a few minutes the food disappeared and he held out the plate to Cady as if to say dispose of this.

Immediately, the Imam stood and moved around the table to look at the maps arranged in the center. “Where are you planning on ambushing the king? Has there been any contact with our men in London? Any chance to catch the King with the new Prime Minister. That genetically deficient gnome of a man? What a coup that would be if we could catch the two together and eliminate the complete leadership of the beast.”

“Yes, we have a communique from him. Their new intelligence contact – their spy – with the Americans is assembling teams of covert operatives for the coming war. That genetically deficient gnome you talk about has a name and his name is Winston Churchill. He not well liked, but from what our man has told us, he is aggressive and warlike and not likely to stand down from the Reich. The American Spy is a businessman from Canada. He has extensive contacts around the world and understands the Islamic mindset. So he will not be an easy target. The American President trusts this man and he has the same energy and determination as you do. But, our man says that there are rumors that the King, Churchill and the American President will be meeting soon to discuss America’s assistance to England. We were in the process of attempting to determine where such a meeting might take place. So far our only idea is to perhaps capture this American Spy and force him to reveal the plans America has for England.”

“Excellent!” The Imam straightened and looked around the room at the magnificent specimens of warriors assembled. They may not be Muslim warriors, but they were impressive none the less. And, their fanatical loyalty to Macbeth was a testament to the training they had gone through. Demir thought that if he had ten thousand of these men he could conquer the world. No wonder the maniac Hitler was so confident and arrogant. Perhaps his arrogance was more the sign of a true believer walking in his divine destiny. A man worthy of his efforts to destroy the Crusaders. “I will need a squad of your best most innovative men. You and I will make a trip into London to perform reconnaissance of the most likely places for that meeting. And, I want to meet with our contact to look him in the eyes. I want to make sure that he is a true believer and not someone feeding us the kind of information that will bring us to our doom.”

Sturmbannfuhrer Macbeth stood –as did every man in the room – and said, “I will have the men ready in the morning, Imam Demir! Heil Hitler!” His right arm shot out in the Nazi Salute and he waited for the Imam’s response. Which was completely nothing. The Imam merely smiled and then spun on his heel and walked out the door of the farmhouse followed by Hilel Cady.

 

 

 

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Chapter Sixteen The Lewis List: Bletchley Park

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(Derek’s Note: Bletchley Park was purchased in  May 1938 by Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair, head of the Secret Intelligence Service(SIS or MI6). He bought the mansion and 58 acres (23 ha) of land for £6,000, using his own money after the Government said they did not have the budget to do so, for use by GC&CS and SIS in the event of war. The time frame for the Lewis List is during this period of 1938; the buildup towards World War II.) 

 

Night fell as the Lorries carrying the Lewis List – as they were now calling themselves – drove onto the grounds of Bletchley Park in the midst of a downpour. The lorries passed a huge mansion and pulled up in front of a number of bungalows. William Stephenson exited his Austin with Margaret and was met by a large Viking of a man dressed in oilskins followed by a squad of men equally large carrying umbrellas and blankets. The List was quickly bundled into one of the huts where a number of women – WRENs (Women’s Royal Naval Service) – efficiently separated the men from the women and escorted each to a different hut for the night.

Jackie found himself in a hut with Arthur and Tecumseh; Doc, Sherlock, Challenger, and Bass were in a hut next door. Ronald, Hugo, and Owen had stayed behind as their responsibilities required their presence. The three had agreed to cover for Jackie’s absence at the college. The Mother, Margaret, King George, and William disappeared into the large mansion across the road.

Once the men were settled in their hut, Jack’s professorial curiosity took over…with a nudge from his imagination…and the questions began to flow. The three men talked until after midnight. Arthur and Tecumseh explained the unique nature of the Graal Corporation and the Fellowship of Those that Remain, to Jack. How the Two Witnesses of Revelation were supported by the Fellowship’s activities throughout history. The main purpose of the Fellowship is to document the crimes of Satan throughout the Church Age. That Jesus’s mother…The Mother Mary…was the head of the Fellowship along with a core group of the original disciples who have been alive since the beginning, and that Father God periodically added to the ranks of Those that Remain. That many of the events in history were incorrect as Satan was actively in the process of rewriting history to remove the witness of Jesus Christ from the history books.

Jack sat mesmerized on his cot wrapped in two soft wool blankets and listened without more than a few questions about how all this was possible without the general public knowing about it. Arthur explained that Graal Corporation was as busy as Satan was in the world’s most intense Psy-Ops battle to sway the hearts and minds of the average human being.

Eventually, the events of the day took over and the lights went out and the three men drifted off into sleep.

At exactly 02:00 AM an intensely bright light exploded on the footpath that ran along the road bordering the boundary of the Park, the light moved with amazing speed down the path illuminating the raindrops in excruciating detail and casting dark contrasting shadows across the lawns of the park. As the light moved to a point opposite to the door of Jackie’s hut it stopped and an excited voice shouted, “Wee Hoo! What a Joy! Thanks for the lift, Fred! You are still the best! Just remember to return the bicycle to the Magdalen College dormitory. I am sure there will be a consternated student if you don’t!” A quieter, but equally excited voice said, “Talley-Ho!”, and the light launched off of the footpath and streaked through the trees and rain into the clouds.

As the light receded a short individual wearing a dark grey full length hooded cloak stepped through the hedge bordering the footpath and walked to the door of the hut. The man stood for a moment before the door with an otherworldly shimmer and steam streaming from his shrouded shoulders. He seemed to be whispering to himself. Then out from the cloak, a dark and gnarly staff was produced. Nearly the same height as the man it had a large white moonstone agate embedded into the top of the staff and bronze cap over the business end of the staff. The staff hovered before the door as he considered knocking, but realizing the time decided against it.

A strong but wiry hand reached out and opened the door and with the confidence of familiarity walked down the hall and across the room until he stood over the form of Arthur Mac Aeden.

The man set his staff against the wall and then pulled his cloak off; all in complete silence. The only sounds in the room being the gentle snoring of Tecumseh and C.S. Lewis. Standing over Arthur was an unremarkable senior citizen. He had close-cropped reddish hair with streaks of grey. His ears were the ears of a wrestler and painful to look at. His eyes were large, round and green and set in a round jovial face that looked like a Scottish Fold Cat or a cross between a Barn Owl and a Librarian. He stood over Arthur for a few moments with the look of a Father standing over his sleeping child. But, then a mischievous smile spread across the round cherubic cheeks and he held his rain-soaked cloak over Arthur and began to shake the water off and onto Arthur’s upturned face.

“What the Devil!!” Arthur came off of the cot with all the instincts that a lifetime of one thousand five hundred years can give and found himself face to face with the owlish intruder. Who immediately grabbed his staff and knocked Arthur on the forehead with the agate and said. “Sit down Arthur! I would have thought I had taught you better! In times of war to keep a better watch on the gates! It was altogether too easy to find you and your resting place. Why I could have been one of those devils that Judas himself is breeding in the dark dungeons of Baghdad or even a dragon…if those even still exist. Well, you catch my meaning.” The old man started to knock Arthur on the head again as if to emphasize his point. But, Arthur managed to grab the staff and stave off the knocking.

Tecumseh and Jack sat up in their cots to witness the bettering of Arthur King of England by a man two thirds his size.

“Merlin!? What are you doing here? Why do you always have to sneak up on me like that? And, how in Jesus name did you know to find us here?” Arthur rubbed the small knot that was developing where Merlin had smacked him.

Without answering the questions from his ancient and hereditary king, Merlin stepped over to Tecumseh and held his hand out. “It is a pleasure to see you again Tecumseh. It has been altogether too long. I didn’t get the opportunity last time to tell you how much I admired your brother. I think we would have gotten along quite well. His grasp of what Creator originally wanted for the land was profound. Too bad he was a bit of a hot head, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, I am glad that you are along for this ride, to keep an eye on my young charge here.” Merlin nodded in Arthur’s general direction.

Then he turned and leaned close to Jack’s face. “So you are the writer that Fred and The King of Creation have chosen to lead this enterprise. Pleased to finally meet you.” Merlin stuck his hand out and leaned in even closer and with a conspiratorial whisper he asked, “Any chance you could write me into one of your stories? Would love to get to know Aslan on a face to face basis.”

“You’re Merlin?” Jack asked now fully awake.

“In the flesh as they say in all the classic novels. I’m a big fan, by the way! Have all your books in my library at Baker Street. I hear that The King brought Sherlock Holmes to life. Big Fan, Big Fan! I’m somewhat of a sleuth myself. Kind of helps being a wizard and all. Of course, I only get to use my skills when Jesus allows it. But, that’s not so bad. Next to Jesus, there are not many that I call family. Arthur is one, and my oldest friend. We both came into the Fellowship at about the same time. Jackie, is there anything in this hovel to eat? The RAF give you men anything that could be considered victuals?” Merlin held his staff up over his head and the agate blazed forth with a brilliant and glorious rainbow of colors that played over the walls, beds, and windows allowing Merlin to give a visual once-over to the barracks.

Jack looked over at Tecumseh and recognized a look of awe on his face. But, Arthur’s was more a look of exasperation. Similar to when a parent misbehaves in front of his teenage children when their friends are over for lunch.

“Okay, Grandpa!” Arthur sighed. “Let’s go over to the kitchen and see what the cooks have stashed in the icebox. Not everyone can live without sleep like you can. So let’s go so that these two can get some shut-eye. Shall we?” Arthur finished putting on his boots and held his arm out towards the door in an invitation for Merlin to lead the way. No doubt in his mind that he already knew exactly where to find the kitchen.

Merlin grabbed his cloak and expertly threw it over his head and shoulders. “Oh hey Arthur, do you think they’ve got any Haggis?” He asked as the two of them stepped into the now gentle drizzle.

 

 

 

Chapter Fifteen “The Lewis List”: Darkness and Light!

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Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

 

“That is indeed the case gentlemen,” Mary answered Sherlock and Challenger. “I would expect that considering your own situation as newborn creatures, that it would not be beyond understanding that I could be alive at this end of history?”

The group of men mostly followed the logic of the situation and shook their heads as if they understood The Mother’s logic.

Sherlock, however, was not so fast to just accept the non-explanation. “I would agree with you Madam, except I for one have always maintained that you and your Son are as Mythical as I was Fictional. So regardless of the reality I, Professor Challenger, and Mr. Savage there find ourselves in. I must maintain a certain skepticism. Label me a modern day doubting Thomas if you will. But, I find it difficult to the extreme to admit that I have been wrong all these years about something so important. And, yes, I realize the importance of that decision. I just have never been presented with any cogent facts in a precise and convincing manner to change my mind.”

Sherlock looked at Challenger and Doc as if to say, “Back me up here fella’s”! Then continued

“However – again – considering the mounting evidence. I…Did you feel that?” Sherlock turned to look behind him as if there were someone approaching with ill intent. Doc, Bass, and Challenger all turned as well. Then Joan of Arc began to sing.

Her voice was strong as a trumpet rallying the troops. She stood before the door of the pub with her arms outstretched and her face to the sky. Jack realized that she was singing the 91st Psalm in an archaic style that evoked images in Jack’s mind of nuns and monks chanting in St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. And, for a moment Jack caught a glimpse of an army of dark creatures streaming down the street. Emerging from the ground, and falling from the sky like dark and putrid coals of brimstone. His attention, however, returned to the young woman and the boundaries between the natural and the supernatural continued to blur revealing Joan encased in a circle of brilliant light radiating out from her body in all directions. And, as she sang the words of the psalm exploded out towards the creatures hiding in the darkness.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life, I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Joan’s words broke the darkness like a strong wind on a foggy day and a sense of peace fell on the street, and the vision changed to one of panicked creatures fleeing from the angels that now appeared behind the words of light.

The vision ended as quickly as it started.

As the peace came over the street it touched the hearts of everyone standing in front of the pub, leaving Sherlock with a profound sensation. For the first time in his short corporeal life, he was clueless as to how to respond. Looking at Challenger as if he might have an answer, he saw that the professor was as lost as he was. Then they heard the trilling sound and turned to look at Doc. The giant bronze man was looking into the sky with that same rapturous look on his face and realized that the strange whistling or trilling sound that was coming from Doc had been harmonizing with Joan’s song. Challenger then grabbed Sherlock and pointed towards where Tecumseh and King Arthur had been standing near Joan. The two men were kneeling and also had the same looks of reverence on their faces.

Challenger looked at Sherlock and remarked, “It seems there is much more to being a human than what our creator has led us to understand. And, considering the fact that Mr. Bronze statue himself seems to understand this, perhaps we should investigate further. Although, I for one despise having to admit my personal conundrum in the matter of spiritual things. I deplore ignorance in any matter much more.”

But, as Joan sang the last verse – and before Sherlock could answer Challenger’s question – she began to run down the street with the butcher’s knife in her hand raised above her head as if it were a sword, her spirit had drawn her attention to the small man at the end of the street holding a cane over his head and chanting loudly.

Everyone except for the mother and the Inklings ran after the young woman. Surprisingly, Challenger caught the teenager and passed her and shouted, “There on the corner! A decidedly evil looking cretin is attempting to flee! After him gents!”

However, as the group arrived at the corner they found their quarry was gone.

“Quite interesting Savage. Don’t you agree?” Sherlock asked. “The man seems to have simply disappeared. Normally, I would ignore such an illogical suggestion. But, considering today’s events, I am disposed to believe that something supernatural may be the most logical conclusion.”

Doc turned to Sherlock and nodded in agreement. “Hard to come to any other conclusion. As there are not any doors near the corner for the man to disappear into, and there are no vehicles on the street in any direction that are close enough to be considered a likely mode of escape.”

Challenger looked at his partners and just shook his head. “I’ve seen some pretty amazing things in my imaginary life. But, this reality business is not what I had imagined life would be…if I had actually been able to imagine.”

Joan of Arc looked at everyone and waved the Butcher knife in their faces. Her petite face glowing with pure warlike aggression. And, since Challenger’s face was the closest to her own, Joan pressed her face up to his and whispered, “He is Devil…Demon!”

 

 

 

Chapter Fourteen the Lewis List: The Cowardice of Evil

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(Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash)

 

The Tilly drove off down St. Giles street with the two Bosniaks under the watchful eyes of the Section D men passing an innocuous-looking character standing on the street about a block away from the action. A small wizened man dressed as a professor stood leaning on an ornate cane topped with a golden apple. His weathered face, sprouting a wispy gray Fu Manchu beard, held small beady eyes shaded by a bowler hat that watched the Tilly drive by. He seemed to blend into the weathered tan plaster side of the building on the corner. If anyone had noticed the diminutive figure they might have mistaken him for an oriental mannequin escaped from a wax museum. His breathing was shallow and controlled as he chanted a quiet incantation. As he chanted; dark forms appeared in his sight, and a powerful sense of superiority rose up in the man’s soul. The demons obeyed his commands to descend upon the group surrounding the King of England.

Imam Sabri Demir imagined himself standing in the place of sacrifice deep underground at the ancient altar built by the hands of Nimrod himself. The most ancient of evils, conqueror of peoples, the hunter of men. Sabri Demir held to the exultation of Satan. He was an adept of adepts. Master of all the channels to the underworld. The Demons answered his beck and call. Isis, Nut, Athena, Minerva, all answered to him. The end would come and he would rule. The ancient rule would again rise up. Hitler was a tool and he would play him like an instrument of destruction. Himmler was his vehicle.

Himmler had been there at the altar in the ruins of Babylon south of Baghdad when the invocations were performed. Himmler believed the ceremony would guarantee the victory of Hitler’s Aryan Empire. But, Demir was following his master’s design and was dedicating Himmler to Satan’s uses. Legion now was Himmler’s eternal partners.

Thousands of years of ritualistic murder and dedication was coming to its conclusion with the wars that were brewing. It was inevitable. Satan would rule this world forever. His power would never be relinquished to that illegitimate child Jesus. Myths! All of the sacred scriptures were myths. The only true power was that of Lucifer the Brilliant One! Demir could hear the war cries of the demonic horde that he had unleashed on the streets of Oxford. The smell of sulfur and the cries of the dammed mingled with their screams of delight as their imaginations played with the thoughts of destruction and death.

As the chant propelled the demons towards the Eagle and Child, Demir raised his cane over his head in anticipated victory. The King of England would die today and his soul would be Satan’s. His exultation continued to rise up and the desire to sing a song of devastation fought with his intention to remain unseen.

As the demonic horde approached the pub darkness began to overshadow the street and as it did, bystanders who had been watching the proceedings began to disappear into their businesses like people expecting a rainstorm.

Imam Sabri Demir began to laugh as his occult trance began to overtake his desire to remain hidden.

 

 

 

Chapter Thirteen “The Lewis List”: Can’t tell the players without a scorecard!

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(Picture is of King George VI)

King Arthur and Tecumseh were the first to exit the pub and both men had their pistols up and searching for targets. Next came Challenger, and Holmes followed closely by Joan of Arc who somehow had obtained a large butchering knife. Most everyone saw Doc leap from the window and land in the middle of the street with the ease of a mountain lion and were gaping at the scene before them.

Doc and Bass were advancing on the two men now holding their machine pistols in their raised hands. Sherlock and Challenger quickly moved behind Bass and the three advanced towards their prey. But, just as they took their first steps a Standard 12 Tilly pulled up behind the Bosniaks and out clambered four members of Section D of his Majesties Secret Intelligence Service carrying sten guns. Stepping out from behind the wheel of the vehicle was His Majesty King George VI himself. He was accompanied by a striking woman with Mediterranean features and long salt and pepper hair under a dark brown beret adorned with a patch with the gold letters GC overlaid against the image of a double bladed sword on a red background. She wore matching para-military dungarees without any insignia or rank displayed.

Both the King and the woman walked over to Tecumseh and Arthur, who immediately put his arm around George and gave him the kind of hug that a long-lost uncle would give.

By now an extremely large crowd had assembled in the street halting the sporadic traffic and emptying the shops of people gawking at the spectacle of their King standing in the street talking with strangers.

Two of the Section D men quickly manacled the two men and hustled them into the Tilly, while the other two accompanied Doc and now Holmes and Challenger to the second floor of the Pharmacy. Unfortunately, the third man that Doc had incapacitated was gone. The radio equipment, however, remained in place. Whoever the man was he had Whermacht connections.

By the time they returned to the street the local constabulary had arrived. The Chief Constable Charles Fox was quickly accosted by William Stephenson and taken to His Majesty. A short but enthusiastic discussion entailed as to the disposal of the two Bosniaks into the care of Stephenson and the Section D men. And, they were trundled off in the Tilly.

Sherlock and Challenger stood off to the side in the shade of a large Elm and watched with fascination the apparent ease with which Stephenson navigated – with the presence of The King emphasizing the importance of the moment – the legal process. Eventually, Doc and Bass joined the two detectives under the tree and they began to discuss the details of the afternoon. Sherlock, Challenger, and Doc all focused on the fact that there were Eastern European’s armed to the teeth with the top of the line Nazi equipment stalking their group. And, not the least of the details was how the King of England was personally getting involved. And, all of them could not take their eyes off of the mysterious woman in the beret. As famous as each of them was in their own previously fictional worlds, they were hesitant to approach The King and his escort.

Bass Reeves being the direct sort of individual was about to call the others on their almost schoolboy shyness when the woman detached herself from George, Arthur, and Tecumseh, and walked over to speak to them.

“Don’t be shy gentlemen. I don’t bite. And, in an indirect way, I am responsible for your being here. After all, it was my Son and I that tasked Fred to fetch you all.” The woman reached out to shake Doc’s hand first, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Mary and I am the head of the Global Security corporation called the Graal Corporation. But, you can call me The Mother.” She shook each hand in order, looking each of them in the eyes with the mesmerizing force of a born leader.

Bass Reeves was the first to make the connection. “The Mother? Mr. Stephenson was talking about Fred being an angel? Is that correct, Maam?”

“Yes, Mr. Reeves. Fred is indeed an angel. One of the very best assigned to this part of the world. If prone to being a bit creative with the way he handles his assignments. But, then again they are allowed much leeway in the way they get the job done.

Challenger caught the drift of where Bass was going with his questions and stepped in with his own, “If that’s is indeed the case…Ahhh…Mother…that would seem to imply some very outrageous assumptions. Such as the one about who your Son might be? Are you telling us that you are The Mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God?” Challenger and Sherlock’s faces betrayed their disbelief in what they were hearing and stepped back a pace as it to say, “Okay, I’ve had enough of looney-bin ideas and events for one day. Now this woman claims to be the Mother Mary?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Twelve “The Lewis List”: Reconnaissance

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Doc Savage and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks of Lester Dent, Inc.
Characters copyright © Lester Dent or their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

(Derek’s Note: Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! May you find the peace that comes from His Presence as you gather with family today! A reminder that I am posting these “Rough Chapters” as a blessing and to solicit comments and critique. Please feel free to comment on my blog. And, if you like my writing, you can purchase my first book “Those that Remain” on Amazon Those that Remain )

 

Chapter Twelve – Reconnaissance

Arthur’s dinner suggestion had no sooner been spoken when Mr. Slowey appeared at the door and began to herd everyone to the bar. Arthur’s statement that he was buying was due to the fact that he had brought enough food to the Eagle and Child to feed – seemingly – the entire city of Oxford.

“The Mother recognizes the unique nature of the situation we all find ourselves in and would like you all to know that she is going to take care of everyone’s needs. And, that starts this afternoon with a small token of her appreciation for your participation.”

Mr. Slowey’s wife could be heard in the kitchen giggling and gossiping with Margaret Carter…who volunteered to help cook for everyone…as she prepared the large Lamb roast and all the trimmings. And, Mr. Slowey was pouring his best bitter, scotch ale and stout.

Tecumseh sat at a table close to the door with The King, while the Inklings and William Stephenson stood at the bar watching and talking about Arthur as if he were Aslan Himself. Sherlock and Challenger were deep in a discussion with Bass Reeves about the uneasiness they were feeling with their current situation and the seemingly nonchalant attitude of Tecumseh and Arthur. Joan of Arc sat alone in the center of the room sipping a small glass of Kopkes port as she seemed to be in a state of shock over everything that had taken place. Doc Savage was nowhere to be seen, with his absence noticed only by Bass Reeves.

Doc Savage quickly pulled Mr. Slowey’s great coat over his shoulders and his slouch hat over his head to disguise his remarkable features and disappeared out the back of the kitchen as everyone was trying to get comfortable. “I’m not hungry.” Thought Doc. “There is something going on here that I can’t put my finger on. All my instincts are shouting at me, and I’m not going to discover what that is from inside the pub. And, anyone with a desire for stealth can only mean trouble. Obviously, our unique group has been assembled for a purpose. And, we are being monitored. But, by who? And, what is that purpose?”

Doc emerged out the back of the establishment and turned into the small alleyway. Quickly Doc walked down the alley in the opposite direction from St. Giles street and worked his way around to the north of the pub to a position behind a butcher shop at the end of the block to observe the street. A quick once over showed nothing out of the ordinary. People strolled down the street window shopping or attending to appointments at the various businesses along the street. Many of the buildings held shops on the ground floor of the building and apartments above, and this is where Doc began to focus his attention. Slowly and methodically he began to scan the upper story windows along the street. Some of the windows were obscured by the branches of the trees that lined the street. His instincts were telling him that the most logical place for someone to observe the comings and goings of the Eagle and Child would be from directly across the street in the small pharmacy. And, his patience and observational skills paid off as the glint of a pair of binoculars showed behind the open window of the second story window. Then down the street a few houses down from the pub stood two men dressed very much in a style that Doc surmised to be out of place. They were dressed as longshoremen on the streets of a University town. Most of the people walking the streets were of a much better class of citizen as they were the wives of the professors and staff of the various Colleges that make up the University of Oxford. “Why would two dock workers be standing around on the streets of Oxford?” Doc thought to himself.

Doc walked slowly bending slightly to disguise his height, until he came to the pharmacy. Slowly he turned to see if the two men almost directly across the street were watching. But, their attention was on the front of the Eagle and Child and not their compatriots hiding place. Taking a quick glance through the front windows of the establishment, Doc jumped up and grabbed the edge of the second story window of the room next to where he had seen the binoculars. The window luckily was open and Doc was in the room quickly and silently. He was in a converted store room for the pharmacy as shelves of bottled remedies and supplies lined the walls and a number of tables in the middle of the room designed as work tables for the process of filling prescriptions.

Normal background noises of a home and the quiet hum of the business below accentuated the clinical smells of the chemicals in the room. The door to the room was closed and to the right and where it should lead to a staircase. Doc assumed that the other room was directly across the hall. He removed the great coat and the hat placing them on the window sill. Slowly turning the knob to the door, Doc heard a muffled voice coming from across the hall…speaking Serbo-Croatian. Doc intuitively knew that he was listening to a native Bosniak giving instructions to the men across the street. He hesitated for a moment as the realization of how he would know that after being alive for only the last hour or so, followed by another thought that told him that Doc Savage was the master of more languages than any man currently alive. The thought continued and became louder and insistent, “It’s how your life was written Clark. You have many skills and strengths that you and the others will need to draw upon in the future. Be strong and courageous!”

Doc glanced out the window as he prepared to open the door and noticed that Bass Reeves was now standing outside the pub and had his eyes on the two men down the street, and had gained the attention of the men.

Doc realized that things were going to escalate quickly. So he opened the door and came face to face with the man in the other room. He was a small man in the process of removing a headset attached to a German Army Torn.Fu.d2 portable radio set. He had set up his radio in what looked to be the chemist’s bedroom. The radio set sat on the floor underneath the window sill. Laying on the beside table was a Luger pistol, and leaning against the wall next to the window and radio was an MP 40 machine pistol.

The man took one look at the giant bronze man and froze, which Doc took advantage of and struck like a cobra. Doc’s left arm reached out and grabbed the man’s neck and shoulder applying precise pressure to the baroreceptors on the the right side of his neck and he dropped as dead. Doc caught the man and laid him on the bed unconscious.

Doc stuffed the luger in his pocket and draped the machine pistol over his shoulders then looked out the window, and instantly jumped through the open window with the luger in his hand, shouting a warning to Bass Reeves who would know nothing about automatic weapons.

The two Bosniaks were reaching for their MP 40 machine pistols that had been concealed beneath their greatcoats. Bass Reeves glanced up and to his left as Doc catapulted from the window, and saw the movement of the two men his curiosity had been focused on in his peripheral vision, and muscle memory took over and the Colt Peacemakers materialized in his hands and steadied upon the two targets.

At that moment is seemed as though someone kicked an ant’s nest.

 

 

 

Chapter Ten The Lewis List: Obscure Purposes

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(Photo by Samuel Zeller: https://unsplash.com/@samuelzeller?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge)

Obscure Purposes

Thomas Slowey – the owner and proprietor of the Eagle and Child – pocketed the ten-pound note from William Stephenson and ushered the rest of the afternoon’s customers out the door, while Jack and Ronald shepherded the eclectic troop into the Rabbit Room, which became quite crowded. Jack took up a position near the hearth and was joined immediately by Tecumseh, who gave Jack a look that he could sit down. Jack thought to himself that if ever a man could command with a look this man was him and proceeded to sit down on a stool right near the ash can.

Tecumseh looked at the faces gathered before him; William Stephenson, Margaret Carter, Joan of Arc, Sherlock Holmes, George Edward Challenger, John Ronald Reuel Tolkein, Owen Barfield, Hugo Dyson, Clark Savage, Jr., and Bass Reeves. Tecumseh’s gaze fell upon the questioning look of Thomas Slowey and said, “Thank you, Mr. Slowey, for making your establishment available for our impromptu meeting. I am sure that we will be taking advantage of your excellent selection of refreshments after we conclude our business.”

Mr. Slowey – fingering the ten-pound note in his pocket – smiled and left the room, as the prospect of more business settled into his understanding.

Tecumseh looked around the room for a moment and then said, “My name is Tecumseh. And, yes that means I’m pretty old. I was born sometime in the late 1700’s and history says that I died in battle during the Battle of the Thames. Well, I can assure you that those reports are false. As here I stand before you. However, the fact that I live today is not that remarkable. How this came about is. And, if I can get the story told before Fred shows up and steals your attention, that will be a bonafide miracle”.

Tecumseh looked around the room to see if the Angel had somehow found a way to enter the room without being noticed. Seeing that he hadn’t he began to tell his story. “I was indeed mortally wounded at the Battle of the Thames and thought I was done for. But, as I began to drift off into death I saw a great light and there were a number of women” Joan of Arc jumped from the seat she had been given by Sherlock and gasped, ”This too happened to me! When I saw the Virgin Mary!” …” dressed in ancient clothes who quickly picked me up from the ground and as quickly as they appeared I found myself in a room carved out of rock, and the women began to work on my wounds.

I spent many months recuperating in the Fortress of Lyonesse, as it is called, being tended to by who many of you might call the “Lady of the Lake”. Who is actually none other than Mary the Mother of Jesus…” Tecumseh looked at the young French girl and smiled. “Yes, young one, she is most definitely alive and involved in the affairs of us all. Indeed that is why she has gathered us all here!”

“But, to continue my story.” Tecumseh started. “I have been alive engaged in the business of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. And, now you all have become my new assignment.”

Tecumseh looked around the room as if to give a moment for questions, but only one hand rose. That was the hand of Professor Tolkein who was hovering – with Jack, Dyson, and Barfield – over the book Fred had given to Jack. And, without looking up Ronald pointed to the character list in the book and asked. “Everyone on the list is here except one. Are we expecting The Summer King to just appear as our recently resurrected – and favorite…I might add – characters did? Or, are we missing something here? Is this “Fred” going to bring him into the room? I am afraid Mr. Tecumseh, you have not solved anything with the story of your salvation from the hands of the American Military. You have merely raised the curiosity of a group of professors that demand answers to questions much more difficult every day from our students.” Ronald stood as he was talking and held the book out towards Tecumseh. “It says here that King Arthur…or Artur as it is written…should be one of our group. That seems to imply that we are at that stage of history where his services as King are needed…if not destined!”

The Inklings were all now shaking their heads in agreement, Savage, Holmes, and Challenger also shook their heads in agreement as each of them had intellects matching the four Inklings. It seems that Fred and Tecumseh had collected some of the most imaginative and decisive minds for the assignment.

“Yes, well that is the sticky wicket as you Brits like to say.” Tecumseh walked over to Ronald and asked, “Can I have this for a moment, Professor? I promise to give it back.” He proceeded to thumb through the first few pages of the book and there on the pages – as he turned each page – the words appeared describing exactly how everything was happening. Down to each jot and tittle.

Tecumseh turned the book towards the assemblage as if turning the pages – as would a teacher in Kindergarten – of an illustrated edition of “The Sword in the Stone”, he showed them all the words appearing on the page as he spoke. “It seems that the book is doing its job. Now it seems it’s time for the author of the book to do his job. And, that is to write where we are going next. And, if I may give a bit of a clue, shouldn’t really be as hard as you are all imagining.” And, he handed the book to a rather perplexed Jack Lewis.

“But, how in blazes am I supposed to write in the book that which I have absolutely no clue about how to accomplish!” Jack stood and held the book out to Tecumseh and watched in frustration as the words, “…absolutely no clue how to accomplish!” appeared in golden script on the pages. Jack felt he was on a roll and continued, “And, what about these other names? Himmler? Kahn and Cady? Macbeth? It seems that not only do we have modern authors imaginations strolling the streets of Oxford. But, now Shakespeare? Nothing like having two ancient Kings competing for our attention. Can you imagine the conflict between Kings Arthur and Macbeth? What in all of God’s good Grace was…whomever has us gathered here…thinking?”

George Edward Challenger – disgusted with Jack’s small tirade – stood up and tore the book from Jack’s hands and poking his prodigious nose to within inches of Jack’s face he challenged him, “Mr. Professor big brain Lewis, I suggest you grab a handful of courage and do what ya do best. You take ideas out of thin air and set them to pages, correct?”

Jack stepped back carefully to get some distance from the giant dwarfish man, “Yes!?” He stammered.

“Oh come on Man!” Challenger continued to push into Jack’s space and even poked him in the chest. “How would you respond to one of your own students if they answered you with such a milque-toast answer!? I may be the living resurrection of someone’s imagination. But, I’m enough of a man…now…to understand that we each have a role to play here. And, you, my over pampered academical daydreamers, don’t seem to be grasping that!” Challenger took the book and poked his finger on the next blank page. (right after the words”…seem to be grasping that.”)”Well, if you were to write a book about how and where the legendary King Arthur was to appear? Where in the Bloody Hell would your over-rated imaginations say that WAS!?” With that Challenger shoved the book into Jack’s chest and – adjusting his great coat with a Harrumph –sat back down next to Sherlock and Savage, who were both looking with horror at the bullying tactics of their compatriot.

A moment of silence resulted as each gathered their courage to say anything.

“Yes, well, I would like to express the Prime Minister’s concerns…” William Stephenson stood up as if to address the group. But, before he could begin there was a scuffle at the door as Mr. Slowey was attempting to guard the door against another very large individual, and soon the individual walked into the room with Mr. Slowey’s arms pinned to his side and his feet a good foot above the ground. The man walked into the room, then turned and set Mr. Slowey down as if he were shutting a door in the room.

Tecumseh spoke up. “This is why I said that I didn’t think you needed to worry. Ladies and Gents! Let me introduce you to The Summer King, the one the only, eternal King of England, King Arthur Mac Aedan!”

Arthur walked over to Tecumseh and stood with his back to the group and gave Tecumseh gentle punch to the shoulder. “Thanks for the introduction my friend! What do we got going this time?” He said as he turned to the group.

Arthur was large if not larger than Doc, and much bulkier. But, it was the face that caught everyone’s attention. His face was square and strong with perfectly proportioned features framed by a perfectly trimmed gray beard, and his very long hair was braided and fell across his right shoulder. He wore innocuous black dungarees and a Canadian Pendleton shirt tucked into an intricately worked leather belt covered with Celtic symbols. On his feet were top of the line combat boots – that William Stephenson recognized as the boots they had been handing out to his operatives. On the right side of his belt he carried a holstered M1911 .45 pistol with red scrimshaw grips, and on the left a Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife.

Arthur put his lumberjack sized arms over Tecumseh’s shoulders and asked with a grin, “I’m starved! Anyone ready for dinner…a Pint? I’m buyin’?

 

 

 

 

Chapter Nine: Darkness Prepares

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Chapter Nine

Darkness Prepares

Slowly the Soviet S-2 submarine surfaced into the moonless midnight off of Dornoch Firth in Northern Scotland. S-2, at darkened-ship, was essentially invisible to anyone beyond a few hundred yards. A hatch forward of the conning tower opened and out climbed a shadow darker than the night. Barely discernible, even with eyes accustomed to the darkness, the figure stepped off of the deck and plunged into the sea.

One hour later the figure emerged on the sandy shore near the A9 bridge over the firth. The man took his time removing the dry suit he wore revealing carefully chosen clothing designed to mark him a common man, rough woolen pants and shirt, covered by a handmade wool pull-over sweater, watch cap, and very worn boots. The man found a piece of driftwood and buried the dry suit close to the waterline so when the tide came back in, the evidence of his excavation would be obliterated.

The man walked along the sand towards the town of Tain, avoiding the A9. Eventually, he found himself at the Glenmorangie Distillery and walked up into the compound where a man stood next to a Crossley Atlas lorry.

“Took ya long enough! Benny! Yer, lucky the night watchman is easily bribed here. Ever since we was wee bairns you were late.” Jamey Hudgens jerked his thumb to the lorry as if to say get in, and turned to walk around to the driver’s side. But, before he could move an Ottoman Janbiya appeared in Benny’s hand and Jamey’s head toppled from his neck and fell to the ground next to the front right tire of the lorry.

“Sorry, Jamey. MI5 will just have to find another rat to do their biddin’! But, thanks for the lorry, Mate!” He squatted next to the body of his childhood friend and wiped his Janbiya on his clothes and slid it back into a very non-ceremonial sheath under his sweater and whispered, “Alluah Akbar.” Standing up Sturmbannfuhrer Benjamin MacBeth spat on the dead informer’s severed head. “I may be late me boy, but ya be deid! Thanks for not making more of a fuss. I’ve an appointment with a seaplane to keep…if’n ya don’t mind.”

Benny climbed into the lorry and quickly drove from the distillery and onto the A9 headed for Tain, where he turned towards the ocean and a rendezvous at Loch Eye. As the lorry trundled down the highway, Benny continued reciting the words in his head, over and over. “The King must die, Long live the King.” Five minutes after leaving the distillery Macbeth slowed along the eastern edge of Loch Eye as if looking for something…or someone. Eventually, two men dressed similarly to Macbeth stepped out of the brush near the outlet into Burn Arboll, carrying large and heavy duffel’s. The two men quickly deposited the duffel bags into the lorry. They made two more trips into the brush until the back of the lorry was half filled. Once that was accomplished the two men climbed into the back and quickly made beds for themselves as Macbeth drove off and proceeded to return to the A9.

Neither Salah Kahn or Hilal Cady had made the effort to sit up front with Macbeth as they had made his acquaintance in Germany and wanted nothing to do with the man. They were content to sleep in the back and would be happy when they would link up with their brother Bosniaks already performing reconnaissance on their target. These men were accomplished Nazeri assassins but wanted nothing to do with whatever it was that lived behind the eyes of the man driving the lorry.

 

 

 

Chapter Eight “The Lewis List”: Tecumseh

Chapter Eight

Tecumseh

Tecumseh

(Derek’s Note: Tecumseh was among the most celebrated Indian leaders in history and was known as a strong and eloquent orator who promoted tribal unity. He was also ambitious, willing to take risks and make significant sacrifices to repel the Americans from Indian lands in the Old Northwest Territory.)

 

William Stephenson and C.S. Lewis stepped out of the Austin Cambridge Staff Car and walked over to the giant black man holding the menacing looking six shooters. They noticed that the man was frozen as if he was afraid to move. But, his eyes were watching every move the two made as they approached, and the two guns tracked where the eyes were focused.

“Hello my good man, my name is William Stephenson of the British Government. You look as though you wish someone would tell you what is going on. Am I mistaken?” Stephenson and Jack were now standing directly in front of the man. “I think you can put those guns away, sir. We are most definitely not bandits and you are quite safe here in Oxford. Might we have the honor of making your acquaintance?” Stephenson extended his hand in an offer to shake his hand. That seemed to ignite a spark of life in the man, and he holstered the two peacemakers, and absent-mindedly extended his hand as his attention wandered down the street.

“Name’s Marshall Bass Reeves of the U.S. Marshall’s. Oxford? Ya’say? Well, if that ain’t a fine kettle of fish! This really is Oxford?” Bass turned around again as if to make sure he was not dreaming. “Dang sure a long way from Okmulgee in the Indian Territories. Wouldn’t happen to be able to let a fella in on how I got here?” With that question, Bass turned and focused his eyes upon the two men. Then he reached out and grasped their hands and shook them quite vigorously.

Jack offered an answer. “Well, Bass, unfortunately, we can’t explain that, other than to say that you are indeed in Oxford England. And, you seem to be caught up in the same mess that we are. So I suggest that you come with us. We were heading just over there at that establishment. So I would be honored to walk next to an honest to God U.S. Marshall.”

Stephenson walked back to the Austin and found that Margaret had taken his place at the wheel, and they drove the last few yards and parked near the Eagle and Child. As they passed Bass and Jack they noticed a small group of distinctive individuals standing near the entrance of the pub, one of which looked surprisingly like someone in a Sherlock Holmes costume.

Margaret looked at William and said, “Sir, it looks as if our little group has grown. And, if I am not mistaken we seem to have three men who only exist on the pages of books. That looks like Sherlock Holmes. The other has got to be George Edward Challenger, the other Conan Doyle sleuth. And, if I am not mistaken about my American literature, that is Doc Savage!”

Stephenson looked at Margaret and exclaimed, “Doc who?”

“Doc Savage! Sir! He’s a character from a series of American pulp fiction novels. My young cousin Teddy reads them. He’s addicted to pulp fiction novels. He sends away for them from America. I have to admit that I have read a few of them and they are surprisingly fun. But, if that is actually Doc Savage? He’s a good man to team up with Holmes and Challenger. Whoever is putting this altogether seems to have a flair for excellence Sir.”

“That’s just what I’m worried about Margaret.” William worried. “One, we have no idea why whoever it is who is bringing us all together. And, secondly, the level of talent being brought together seems to imply something bad is getting ready to happen. England doesn’t need one more thing right at the moment. What with that madman Hitler building his modern army over on the continent and Parliament dragging its feet to prepare for what can only be war. We don’t need an outbreak of fictional characters running around on the streets of Oxford or Bloody London for that matter. I don’t care what quality of men they are. When the press finds out that Sherlock Holmes or Doc Savage for that matter are actual people there will be a frenzy.”

William turned his attention from Margaret to the scene building momentum on the street in front of the Eagle and Child. He noticed that a number of the members of the Inklings were now emerging from the Pub. William recognized the ever-present pipe and swept back hair of J.R.R. Tolkein. There was the craggy-faced Owen Barfield, and there was balding and bulbous-nosed Hugo Dyson. Besides the members of the Inklings, other people were emerging from buildings all along the street. The amazing figures of Doc Savage and Bass Reeves were drawing people from their homes and businesses.

William, Margaret, and Joan disembarked from the Austin (Joan at Margaret’s encouragement), and walked over to the group, just as the sound of a supercharged V8 engine exploded from the alleyway next to the Eagle and Child. Everyone on the street turned in awe as a royal blue Cord Supercharged Phaeton convertible emerged behind the rumbling sound of automotive horsepower. The vehicle slowly maneuvered next to the Austin 10 staff car and parked.

The driver of the Cord stepped out and shut the door with a careful push and turned to the group. He was dressed in a well-tailored dark brown cotton suit with a golden lapel pin illustrating a sword super-imposed over the two letters “GC”. Under the suit, he wore a scarlet blouse and matching cravat. His jet black hair was long and braided and fell down his back, and his feet were covered with expertly crafted matching brown leather shoes. The man appeared to be an extremely wealthy and successful man. He was equal in size to Doc Savage and Bass Reeves and of obvious Native American heritage. He slowly walked out into the street with his hands behind his back in the manner of a man examining his surroundings. He walked past the group – silent now in the presence of such a remarkable figure – as if he were a general reviewing his troops. Then he turned to the group and in perfect American English asked, “Well, are we all here?”

Jack recognized that this must be the one called Tecumseh from the character list and walked up to the man to introduce himself. As he walked up to the man he thought, “A Lawman, a superhero, two detectives, a legendary woman of God, a female Army officer, Winston Churchill’s head of intelligence, and now Native America’s George Washington! What more could possibly happen? And, when does Arthur show up?

 

 

 

 

Evil Incarnate

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(By Harald Köster, Bochum, Germany – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=539611)

(Derek’s Note: The above picture is one of the sites where Heinrich Himmler indoctrinated his SS troops into his ideology. The Wewelsburg was the most important site in Himmler’s pseudo-Germanic religious doctrine.)

 

Chapter Seven

Evil Incarnate

 

Heinrich Himmler held the jewel-encrusted chalice in his left hand, his forearm draped with a red and black trimmed towel depicting a black eagle clutching a black swastika inside round wreath. His adjutant Hermann Gauch followed behind with a tray with five brand new Totenkopfrings. Lined up in front of Himmler stood five of the largest “Aryan” officers Gauch had ever seen. Each of these new officers was hand picked by Gauch himself. Prime specimens, pure Aryan genetic examples of Nordic superiority. And, now each would take the blood oath and vow fealty to the Fuhrer, even unto death. Herman noticed the zeal with which Himmler was imitating the role of a priest in administering the cup of blood for the five initiates. Holding the chalice just so that the initiate’s lips could reach the cup, but not allowing them to grasp it. As each of the initiates leaned forward to sip the blood Himmler would rotate the cup and wipe the cup with the towel. The initiates all towered over Himmler and needed to bend down to the chalice. And, to a man these men kept their eyes fixed on Himmler. Their gaze one of adoration and expectation.

Gauch, watched as each man enthusiastically vowed to give his life in defense of his Fuhrer. The level of fanaticism exhibited on the faces of these men – each so physically similar as to seem brothers – a testament to the efficacy of the indoctrination these men had gone through over the last few years. But, these five were different. They had been selected at an early stage of their development. Each had risen through the ranks of the Hitler–Jugend and their development monitored personally by Gauch. These men were the continuing realization of a dream. The creation of an elite team of assassins within the ranks of the already elite Schutzstaffel called the Einsatzgruppen.

Sitting in the main ceremonial hall against the wall near the huge blazing hearth, were the special invitees for tonight’s ceremony, family members, and party functionaries. Plus, three men, mostly unknown to many in the leadership of the Nazi Party, from Turkey. Standing partially hidden in the rear of the room, they watched intently as the men were given their rings. These three men were Nizari’s. A sect of Islam most considered extinct. But, now reborn amidst the chaos of a coming world war. This ceremony was not so different from their own. The same level of devotion and intensity existed in the eyes of these young men as in the eyes of their troops in Syria.

Herman Gauch had encountered the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on one of his expeditions to retrieve archaeological artifacts in Iraq. Himmler’s effort to prove the validity of his theories of Aryan history in Eastern Europe and the Middle East resulted in extensive travels for Gauch over the last few years. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini had prophetically realized the need for the tactics of strategic elimination of his enemies. In essence, the need became apparent for a specialized team of assassins, whom the three in shadows was an example of. Husseini understanding the value of calling upon history to supply inspiration, decided to resurrect the infamous Azeri Ismaili sect early in his tenure as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. “Once in Power, Never to relinquish!” Husseini reminded himself every morning at dawn prayers. He intended to not only stay in power but to be the instrument for the removal of every vestige of Jewish influence in his Palestine. Gauch recognized an asset with similar goals as his mentor and boss Heinrich Himmler. Although Husseini had declined the offer to visit Berlin, he had sent the three assassins to Berlin as a gesture of future good relations. These men were led by a man they were calling their Imam; Imam Sabri Demir. The other two – Salah Khan and Hilal Cady – were ethnic Bosniaks, and Imam Demir was a Syrian.

Gauch kept his eyes on the Imam. The Imam seemed an enigma and exhibited a one track anti-semitic mind. The Bosniaks hardly spoke and allowed the Imam to do the communicating. Gauch was impressed by the level of training the three Nazeris exhibited and grateful for the subtle skills of infiltration and quiet death they had taught the Einsatzgruppen trainees. But, still there existed a mutual distrust as the understanding became more and more apparent that only their mutual hatred for the Jews was keeping this alliance together. His thoughts were interrupted by the realization that the Imam was staring back, and as their eyes locked a darkness descended on the fringes of Gauch’s peripheral vision. Darkness with movement, as if there were something behind the darkness. And, a coldness that brought a shiver to Gauch’s already darkened soul.

Imam Sabri Demir held Herman’s gaze and smiled.