WARNING: This is an UNFINISHED story.
This document contains the work-in-progress as it sits, and reading of it may detract from possible future enjoyment as the various notes and such WILL divulge future plot points.
That stated, as it is possible the story may never be finished, feel free to read what is here, if your curiosity exceeds your restraint.
Oh, and don't forget (like I sometimes seem to) I don't own the concepts or characters used herein.
Living After Dying, in L.A.
Chapter Twenty Seven
Chapter Twenty Seven
Sue's nightmare had started innocently enough.
In her dream, she had been walking along a pier in the evening. A distant, familiar voice, accompanied by a guitar, was singing, “I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moments gone…”
She was surrounded by laughing crowds of happy people.
Her father, who had been killed by one of his assignments when Sue was still sixteen, was walking beside her, his arm draped protectively over her shoulder as they went.
The crowd parted to reveal Joe, her father's supervisor, and current head of the North American division of the Watchers.
He was seated on a folding chair, his ever present cane laying against the wall beside him, as he played the guitar cradled lovingly in his lap.
They stopped to listen, while the crowd surged restlessly past them.
"...Dust in the wind," Joe sang, "all they are is dust in the wind..."
Suddenly, her father was roughly jerked away from her.
Sue spun around to see the Immortal Myra, dressed in the same bikini as when Sue had seen her five years before, bending over her father's neck, with blood dribbling down her chin from the bite in his neck.
Sue screamed in horror, while Joe continued to play blissfully on, singing, "...All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see..."
Sue recoiled as Myra, having killed her father once more, albeit in a different manner than when she apparently caught him watching her and beheaded him in an alley, dropped the corpse and turned her attention towards Sue.
"I told you, Julie. I said I'd kill you if I ever saw you spying on me again for your Uncle Joe, and now I will." the monster said as she stalked coldly towards Sue through the hordes of happy people streaming past apparently unaware of the events unfolding in their midst.
Sue turned to run, as Joe continued to play, now singing, "...Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind..."
As she ran through the crowds towards the Ferris wheel glowing at the end of the pier, she searched the crowds for anyone who might help.
Approaching an open area, she spotted a familiar face, that of her student, Patrick, who she had somehow acquired after only having been an immortal herself for three days.
Despite the ever increasing darkness, he was wearing dark glasses, and as she approached, she also noticed he was carrying a white blind man's cane, and was being led by a skinny brownish gray dog.
"Patrick, help me!" Sue called out as the crowd finally vanished, leaving her alone with her friend, his skinny guide dog, Myra, and Joe, who was almost at the end of the song, as he sang out, "...Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky..."
Patrick turned to her, and said, "I'd love to help you Sue, but I can't see how."
At that, his dog, which she suddenly recognized as the coyote which had inserted itself into first her dreams and then her life, after falling off a cliff with Patrick two days before, turned to look at her, his lambent golden eyes shining in the darkness, as he said, "Yip"
The Ferris wheel came too a stop, and disgorged a laughing Cassandra and Adam, a sword casually draped over each opposing shoulder as they held hands, strolling towards Sue, and the singing Joe behind her. Sally, Cassandra's redheaded watcher followed along behind, frantically scribbling everything she saw down on a notepad.
“Cassandra, Adam! Help, she's after me!” Sue cried, looking over her shoulder at the approaching Myra. Myra seemed to have grown to nearly eight feet tall, towering over the fully grown Sue just as she had over the teenaged Sue she had terrorized on the beach.
“Where's Eadgils, he can help you, if anyone can.” Adam replied casually, leading the laughing Cassandra around her, and on towards Joe, who had entered the last refrain of the song, “…Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind…”
Sue turned around. Looking for her Teacher, the Immortal who had lost his head, and his life at the same time she had herself died her first death, with the unusual result of his entire Quickening somehow having been channeled into her. Since that night, almost a week ago, he had always been there in the Dreamscape when she slept.
She couldn't see him anywhere, and Myra was coming closer. “I told you not to spy on me Julie. You can't say I didn't warn you.”
Sue, having reached the end of the pier looked up at her, and screamed. “I'm not JULIE! I don't even know who Julie IS!”
The coyote, who had led Patrick over to join the group now clustered around Joe responded with a distant “Yip.”
Myra had grown even larger now, towering over the Ferris wheel itself, like some character from a bad 50's sci-fi film. Joe finished his song in the background, “…everything is dust in the wind.”
A cold, wet breeze blew in from the ocean. Sprinkling Sue with droplets of water, as Myra reached down with a hand literally as large as a house, beams of light pouring through her fingers from the sun rising over the ocean, as her hand closed around Sue, enveloping her in darkness.
Sue screamed again and sat up suddenly in her darkened room, her panicked eyes opening to meet the calm steady golden gaze of the coyote, standing silently at the foot of her bed.
Sue struggled to calm her heart and her breathing, as she noticed the faint mist of rain blowing in through the slightly open window. “I had a bad dream.”
The coyote nodded at her, and replied softly, “Yip.” He then turned, and padded back out of her room, and vanished into the darkness of the upstairs hall.
Sue sat in her darkened bedroom, trying to calm her nerves. The dream with Myra was obviously a composite of several things, her encounters with the Vampires in Sunnydale, followed by that madman at the airport, the German sounding Immortal, who called her "Julie", just as Myra, the woman who had killed her father, had done several years ago.
Probably being back here, in her house, in his house, no, their house, also added to her father being in the dream.
But the lack of Eadgils, even in the dream was particularly troubling to her. After all, it was in her dreams that she could actually meet him, so why wouldn't he be there now? What had happened to him?
As Sue tried to drift back to sleep, lulled by the familiar childhood sounds of a rainy night, she was bothered by a niggling concern over Eadgils's absence from her nightmare. Little did she know he had been involved in a nightmare of his own, also prompted by the encounter in the airport. Only in his case, the nightmare was more of a memory than a dream.
Oswiecim, Poland, January 24, 1945
Eadgils looked out of the back as the truck approached the village.
The war was all but over as the allies rolled through Europe.
It wasn't Eadgils's first time in German territory during the course of the war, not by a long shot, but if Churchill kept his word, it may well be his last.
He had been more surprised than anyone when the bobbies had come to his door four years before, telling him the Prime Minister would like to chat with him.
His shock only grew when he actually meet with the man, and learned what Mr. Churchill had wanted - somehow the existence of Immortals had come to his attention. What was even more disturbing was that the information had come from a spy inside the Third Reich.
The Nazis were apparently aware of the existence of Immortals, and were actively, if secretly, factoring them into their plans for the Thousand Year Reich.
At least two related research projects had been under way in Germany. The first, aimed at somehow making Hitler himself an Immortal, so he could personally lead the Reich for the whole thousand years. The second, and more chilling concept however revolved around creating an elite, unstoppable army of Immortals by creating duplicates, or artificial twins of a specially selected Immortal. The Nazi's had created a new word for them, they called them Klones.
Churchill had wanted Eadgils to join a special elite unit, one designed to secretly counter the Nazi immortal threat, by emanating the Nazi immortals. In exchange, Churchill promised to delete any and all references to Immortals or Immortality from the government records.
It was a classic Carrot and stick situation, help the government defeat the Nazi threat, and the government will insure it forgets all about immortals. Fail to do so, and even should the Nazis lose, which was far from certain at that time, despite the recent entry of the US as an active participant in the war, there was every possibility of ending up as some sort of research project, for there was every indication that now that the Royal Government knew of the existence of Immortals, that baring a direct order from the highest offices, such as that of the PM acting under the War Powers Act, that nothing would likely make it forget.
Eadgils hadn't taken long to come to a decision; having spent the past thirty seven hundred plus years studying his fellow humans, he well realized the threat posed by the Nazis. Only his natural inclination to avoid situations likely to kill him, and thus inadvertently expose him for what he was, had kept him from joining up already as he had the first time the Germans had fostered plans for world domination.
Receiving Churchill's personal guarantee that he would start immediately compartmentalizing any information about immortals, and would provide Eadgils with a short list of those in the know, all of whom would be drafted to the Lazarus Corps, the new highly elite unit to be comprised of both civilians and military specialists, along with their own contingent of special operatives, to face and end the threat of the Nazi Immortal program.
He was assigned to report to a specific undersecretary, who himself reported directly to Churchill.
That had been four years before.
Over the course of those years, he and his team had investigated whenever it looked like an Immortal had been involved in a domestic situation. The Yard had quickly learned to call them in whenever a headless corpse had been found, especially when there were signs of an explosion, lightning strike, fire, or electrical discharge.
Their team identified, and dealt with two Immortal Nazi spies who had the misfortune to step onto British soil.
They also quietly quashed four murder investigations, which they were able to positively identify as having been the results of an Immortal duel.
Over the years, they had identified twelve other Immortals living in Great Britain, of which they had approached nine, and had successfully recruited four.
Behind enemy lines, they had also approached and recruited six other Immortals, including Father Darius in Paris.
They had also hunted, and terminated eight Immortals which they had positively identified as working for the Axis cause.
Each time, Eadgils had insured it was an Immortal who went after the target, backed up by another Immortal just incase. So far, they had lost one of their "operatives', to the ten they had taken out. It spoke well of Eadgils's tendency to insure that the operatives he sent out wouldn't be out matched. He himself made it a point to personally handle the more difficult changes, over both his Supervisor's, and later Churchill's personal objections. But as he explained to both of them at the time, he was not one to lead from the rear lines, and he quite honestly was the best fighter he knew of in the game, other than perhaps Darius, who had essentially retired.
Rebecca, the 4,000 year old woman he had recruited to be his second in command, agreed with his assessments and policies. While it bothered him to do so, he often sent her out on the slightly less iffy cases, where he didn't think he was needed himself, but someone with more experience and skill than either Samuel, who was less than 100 years old, or more sheer skill than Fitzhugh, who while having charm and panache to spare, lacked the technical skill to insure he would come out of some of the more challenging engagements without losing his head, literally.
So far, they had lost one "Special Operative", and five of their regular agents during various operations and intelligence gathering missions. Even if they counted the twenty three foreign operatives, and the two unassociated but cooperative Immortals they had lost, one who they had confirmed had lost his head, and the other who had simply vanished, their record for an inelegance and espionage agency during wartime was exemplary.
The only real blemish on it was their utter failure to firmly accomplish either of their two original goals - the elimination or neutralization of the Nazi's programs to make Hitler Immortal, or create an army of Immortal Klones.
In the first case, Eadgils was not really concerned. Even Rebecca agreed that the only thing she had ever heard of was a crystal called the Methuselah Stone, which allowed a normal mortal to tap into an Immortal's healing ability temporarily, and she herself had eliminated that threat by personally disassembling the crystal and scattering it's pieces all over the world with her students. She knew for a fact that unless entirely intact it was worthless.
As for the second plan, that of creating an army of Immortals, duplicated from a single chosen subject, they had successfully eliminated two of the potential subjects, but the exact location of the project it's self had thus far eluded them.
Their own experts all agreed though, that even with accelerated growth of some sort, the soonest that such an army could be fielded would be at least ten years, and more likely fifteen to twenty. It was still the thorn in Eadgils's side.
He and Rebecca had penetrated German lines several times to try and find the operation themselves. They had learned that literally dozens of Immortals had simply vanished in German held territory, but no one knew where they went. The one rumor which had seemed consistent was that the project had moved to somewhere near Auschwitz, and that Dr. Joseph Mengle was in charge of it. One rumor also said the Dr. was an Immortal himself. They had determined that an Italian Immortal, Myra Feratti, was associated with the German program somehow. But attempts to eliminate her had failed repeatedly, as she seemed to vanish like a wraith whenever they dispatched a team to intercept her.
Likewise, they had yet to get a team close enough to the Dr. to find out if he was indeed an Immortal, or just a regular human. They had verified that the Dr. had almost certainly tortured several sets of twins, perhaps even every pair he could lay his hands on, to death, and beyond via vivisection and horrendous experiments. Some of their medical experts believed that he may well be involved in the Kloning program, based on his obsession with natural twins. Also, the rumors kept pointing at a location near Auschwitz, where the Dr. was located, as being the place of the elusive Kloning Operation.
Now, as the war started to draw to a close, D-Day having smashed the Reich's lines, Eadgils was on a last try mission to locate the Kloning facility and eliminate it once and for all, before the Allies came along and learned about Immortals by inadvertently capturing the facility which had eluded the corps for the past four years.
They pulled to a stop in front of the warehouse which Intelligence said was being used as the lab for the Kloning project. Even if Intelligence hadn't ID'd the building, the feeling of several Quickenings emanating from inside would of been enough for either Eadgils, or his backup Fitz to have located it as they drove by.
"Gods, how many are in there - do you suppose we were wrong about their failures all this time?" Fitz asked, pulling a sword from the scabbard worn openly on his belt.
"I hope not, I'd much rather hope we're feeling a bunch of lovely women in perilous need of rescue, than a prototype horde of Hitler's newest storm troopers."
Turning to the group of Regular Operatives, Eadgils reviewed the op orders, "Ok, guys, you know the drill; Team One will come in behind me. If I engage in a duel, you're to simply watch, and keep it honest; no fuck ups like that time we had to wait for Mitchleson to wake up because Ffolks shot him in the middle of the fight. We're the good guys here. If I buy it for good, someone gets Fitz here to take the fucker out, while the rest of you guys keep 'em from leaving. If he somehow gets Fitz too, you shoot 'em, then stab 'em, and transport 'em back to HQ like you practiced. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to try and take their head, is that understood?"
Receiving silent nods from both teams, Eadgils looked over at Fitz, and asked, "Ya gonna stay here, or go 'round back?"
Fitz thought about it, then nodded to the back, "Can't have the Dr. Sneakin' away in the alley, can we?"
Nodding in agreement, Eadgils quickly detailed a four man team, two from his own, and two from Fitz's squads to shoot anyone coming out the front, then waited to get the all-clear from Fitz's rear guar
before heading up to the front doors of the building.
Pausing at the doors, he closed his eyes and tried to locate the Immortals inside.
It turned out to be futile however, as the numbers and distractions to his concentration made it impossible for him to even get a likely count, let alone any locations.
Giving up on trying to gather any foreknowledge, Eadgils kicked the door in and dove through the opening, his action eliciting a startled yell from the guard sitting at a desk in the front room.
Rolling to his feet, Eadgils put two shots into the guard, changing the yell to a gurgle as the guard's body slumped to the floor.
Glancing around, he noted only a single exit to the room, so0 he took it.
Beyond the door was a hallway running the length of the building, with a stairwell at either end. Cursing his luck, Eadgils detached two members of his team to cover him, and if necessary hold the hallway, as he dashed down it checking for any Immortal signatures close by. While he brushed the edges of a few weaker fields, none of them were centered on this floor. Along his dash to the rear stairs, he did manage to flush out four civilians, and about half a dozen soldiers, all of whom fell to the bullets from his backup.
Banging on the rear door and calling out Fitz's name, Eadgils had him bring his team inside to help hold the hallway. One of Fitz's team reported that there were no other doors other than these in the front and back of the building.
Heading up the rear flight of stairs, Eadgils encountered a mirror of the level below, right down to the door at the far end of the hall. Calling down to Fitz, he asked that Fitz send up two of his team to cover this hall as well, and direct the rest of Eadgils's team to proceed to this level where he would meet with them. Fitz, on the other hand was to take two of his men and clear the first floor room by room, leaving the rest as a rear guard.
His quick dash down the hallway told him he had passed at least four immortals, possibly five, but the signature on that one was so weak they may of been dead at the time.
Much as he had Fitz and his people doing one floor below, Eadgils started clearing the rooms on the second floor, beginning with the large, elegantly appointed office located directly above the first floor lobby.
The office was obviously empty, it's filing cabinets were just as obviously not.
Detailing two of his remaining six men to start staging the records on top of the desk for incineration, as well as providing coverage of the stairs to the third floor, and cross-fire support of the hallway, he took the lead once more and rolled through the door into one of the rooms containing an immortal.
She was in a cage. It was a simple metal affair, secured by a padlock. The cage was suspended on a simple wooden framework, a few feet off the ground. There was no mattress, or even any accommodation for waste functions. A mop and the stains on the floor providing mute testimony as to how those were handled.
She was naked, her hair shaved to within a few inches of her scalp, and from her emaciated, even skeletal form obviously starved. She was still alive, and apparently conscious, but made no response to their arrival.
As it turned out, she was one of the lucky ones.
Since she was both alone in the room, as well as locked in the cage, Eadgils left her there, and headed into the room directly across the hall.
He found it to be unoccupied, either an operating or autopsy room, he couldn't tell.
The next room up on that side of the hall was not empty. A man in a white lab coat cowered behind a table in what looked like a chemistry or perhaps pharmaceutical lab.
"Don't shoot! I surrender" he called out as first Eadgils, then a pair of his commandoes dove through the door.
Eadgils didn't even need to give the order, as one of the two soldiers shot the man in the face, knocking his convulsing form to the floor.
A quick scan of the windowless room confirmed that there were no other occupants, so he headed across the dark concrete hallway to the room on the other side.
That room, sadly, was not empty. Nor was it's single unfortunate occupant in a cage.
In the center of the room was a stainless steel table, and upon it's stained surface, was the remnants of what had once been a man. His arms and legs had been removed, for no apparent reason other than expediency. But what made one of the two soldiers who entered the room behind Eadgils retch was not the fowl smell permeating the dank stone chamber, but the sight of the splayed open chest cavity, held wide with clamps. And of the still beating heart and pulsing organs within.
The face was drawn and blank, the eyes open and staring emptily at the ceiling above, but that the body was still alive, there was no doubt.
Much as he wanted to take some action, to put that ghastly form out of its misery, Eadgils knew he could not. He had to continue on.
Once more across the hall, this time in to a more normal looking examination room, this one entirely empty of occupants, then back across the way to the room in which was almost a repeat of the previous room, other than for the fact that the heart did not beat here, nor did the organs pulse with life. Yet Eadgils could still feel the touch of a Quickening trapped helplessly within the still and dissected form before him.
Catching a glimpse of motion outside the doorway, he again crossed the hall, following the incongruous form of the coyote into yet another room.
This room was different though from the previous ones. It in no way matched the building he had been in up till now.
He stood at the top of metal stairs. Metal stairs which lead down into a concrete room. The walls were coated with a fine mesh of some sort of metal, and hanging from the ceiling was an odd arrangement of what looked for all the world like a cluster of lightning rods, interspersed with glass tubes.
Leading away from the odd instrument on the ceiling was a thick insulated cable, which ran to a large cylindrical contraption in the far corner of the room,. The cylinder's glass sides seemed to emit a faint inconsistent bluish glow, clearly visible in the somewhat dim light provided by the rooms few naked electric bulbs..
The room felt scarily familiar, and it was with more than a bit of reluctance that he followed the furry form down the metal stairs and onto the bare concrete floor. Scattered throughout the room were the same poor Immortals he had encountered before, only now, they seemed more appropriate, the combinations of their conditions and locations somehow feeling sickeningly right.
But there was another cage here. With a naked man hunched in it.
His cage was over in the corner by the glowing cylinder. And it was towards him that the coyote walked, stopping suddenly to stare with seeming recognition at first the glowing cylinder then at the attached rod device on the roof, and emitting a soft growl, before turning to look pointedly back over it's shoulder at Eadgils.
His feet clapping on the concrete floor, he crossed the room to stare at the occupant of the cage, and felt his world give a shudder.
For the man's face was one he knew well. He ought to, as it was the one he had seen every time he had looked into a mirror up until the day of his final death. It was his own.
"That's me!" he said softly.
"Yip" the coyote agreed, looking back at the cylinder beside them, and the coruscating electricity it somehow held inside.
And as he gazed into the eyes of the man in the cage, Eadgils's subconscious finally lost it's futile battle with the memories, and they started to surge through his mind. Eadgils remembered what a part of him had fought so hard to make him forget. He recalled exactly why he had so suppressed the memories, and he wished he hadn't remembered, ever, because what he remembered was even worse than what he had dreamed. And worse than he ever hoped to imagine. In a sudden flash, the actual suppressed memories came rushing back, the shock of them driving him violently to wakefulness with a shout.
Secret bunker under Barracks 15, Camp B-11,
Birkenau ( an Auschwitz subcamp)
Oswiecim Poland January 20, 1945
Eadgils was awakened by the familiar thump of the cane, and the whistling music. He knew it was Mengele. Mengele was the only man he ever heard whistle. It was always a German composer, usually Wagner, but often it may be Verdi or Strauss as well. Gods how he hated that music.
There were other footsteps as well though. That was unusual. Mengele generally worked alone down here, or with one of his two assistants/guards, Only on a few occasions had he brought guests into this facility, which was supposedly a top security concern. Once had been to give a tour to an Italian Immortal woman, Myra Feratti, who he was escorting around like an old lover.
Other than that, and an occasional General, no one was allowed into the Bunker. Ever.
But from the sounds of footsteps, there must be at least a dozen people with him this time.
Peered through the bars of his cage towards the hallway which lead to the other 5ive chambers of the bunker, then upstairs to the barracks Eadgils had only seen three times, first when he was brought in, and later when he was taken to Mengele's office to be shown off like some cheap magic trick to a visiting General who could not be bothered to take the standard tour of the Bunker.
The sounds grew louder, and eventually Mengele appeared, leading about a dozen people. While two of them were the uniformed and booted soldiers armed with both pistols and rifles which Mengele used for personal escorts, the rest were certainly not. Mostly they looked like either Polish, Jewish, or Gypsy prisoners, the type used as slave labor in the camps above until they died of exhaustion or starvation.
"This one you will leave" Mengele said in German, "I will have him transported specially. The others though, and the case of swords, I want them on the train as soon as you finish moving the records. It leaves within the hour."
Before he could say more, another soldier came running in from the hallway, out of breath.
Mengele spun on him in anger "What is the meaning of this! I ordered that NO ONE come down here without my permission!"
The soldier cringed back, but replied, "Dr. Mengele, Dr. ____ sent me for you. A General is demanding that they remove the twins from the boxcar and that it be used for his belongings."
"Zie Tvins! Nein!" Mengele yelled, then bolted for the stairs, one of the armed guards and the messenger following him.
The other guard looked around, then groweled at the laborers, "You have your orders. Move the other experiments and the swords upstairs. I will be by the door. The sight of you, and the smell down here sickens me."
As he backed away, Eadgils looked over the motley group of laborers who had been brought to his environs. "What is going on?" he whispered in Polish.
One of the closer workers looked over at him furtively, then glanced quickly away, "I can not speak with you. They will send me to the ovens."
Eadgils thought of the brick buildings, with their tall stacks belching a foul smelling smoke, one which reminded him of a bacon smokehouse, which he had seen a year previously upon being brought here and shuddered.
One of the others looked over and shook his head, "It matters not. They are leaving. They will not leave us alive, we will die today in any case. Besides, they blew up one of the ovens last night."
Eadgils looked up in shock, "Leaving?"
"Apparently the Soviets are coming. They are going back to Germany. Many of the prisoners have already begun a march to the south on foot. The last train is being loaded now. We are here to load the Dr's experiments."
Eadgils looked across the room at Hans, and the raving form of Pitor, then quietly said, "If you have any decency, rather than simply carry them upstairs, you will take one of the swords from that case, and put them out of their misery. Trust me, what they have gone through under the Dr's care is mercifully beyond your worse imaginings."
The one who had spoken to him turned, and looked Eadgils naked form up and down, then replied coldly, "Who are you to speak to us of horrors? Have you been forced under gunpoint, day after day to carry the corpses of your friends and even family to the ovens, where you must stack them for 'disposal' like so much old refuse? You look to have been well enough fed, not worked until either exhaustion or starvation causes you to fall, at which point your fellows are directed to simply add you to the next pile. What do you know of horrors?"
Eadgils recalled the large brick buildings, with their tall smoke stacks, and the pungent stench of burnt bacon which emanated from them that he had glimpsed briefly upon his arrival the year before and shuddered a bit, but then he pointed back at Hans, and said, "Look at his form, notice the recent scars? Scars on his chest, the ones like mine? Ask yourself what they could be for? Or better, cut him yourself with the scalpel laying on the table next to him, just a nick, and watch for yourself as he heals before your eyes, then ask hoe long he must have been injured for scars to form, if he can heal before your eyes? The Dr uses him for anatomy studies, living anatomy studies, because like the rest of us, unless you remove his head, he can not die. Now, think about what a person like the Dr would do with a group of subjects which he literally can't kill?"
Eadgils again gestured at Pitor, "Those are Lev's arms he is waving feebly at you, and his mind has been gone for at least six months. The woman in the other cage, she has literally not been fed in three months. When she dies this time, I think he is planning on feeding her dirt to see if she can live off it. I am the luck one - he wants to use me to create a new army. An undying army for the glory of the Reich."
As the workers all paused to look skeptically at Eadgils, standing naked in the cage,
One of them, a gypsy by the look of him, reached out and lifted the scalpel in a quivering hand, then cautiously used it to draw a short line of blood along Lev's side. They all gasped and stepped back a few paces when the tiny sparks erupted along the cut, and the blood stopped. The Gypsy reached out a trembling finger and wiped the blood away from the unbroken and unmarked skin beneath it.
"Mein Gott" one of the German prisoners muttered, crossing himself.
"Please, I beg of you, whatever you do, don't help them succeed in their plans. If it costs you your lives, lives likely forfeit in any case, then so be it. It will be a worthy sacrifice, if it stops the horrors they are planning. Even if it only stops the horror of these poor souls existence, it is a worthy trade, or at least one I would make, if I could."
The guard interrupted at that moment, yelling into the tunnel, "You should be working by now. Stop talking and start carrying boxes to the train. The Dr. will be upset if you do not finish on time." He then muttered, plenty loud enough to be heard, even by Eadgils, "Waste of resources. Should have shot them all right off. Human filth!"
The Gypsy looked again at Lev, then at Piotor, who was being quiet for the moment, then over at the case of swords Mengele had said to take special care of.
"What would you have us do?" he asked quietly in Polish.
"Open the case, remove a sword, cut off their heads, and run like hell." Eadgils replied.
"Why run?" the German, apparently a Jew, asked.
"Because, when one of us dies, there's an explosion of energy, like a lighting strike. If you are too close, you will die." Eadgils replied softly.
Mengele cried out "Nein" as the blade decended through Piotor's neck, severing his head and releasing a slow but growing trickle of energy into the room.
"No, Run!" Eadgils cried, even as he saw a second prisoner lifting an ax over Lev's neck.
The energy seethed throughout the room, Eadgils watching in horror as a blast shattered the lock on his cage, while another one caused the metal lid from one of the steel barrels to sail across the room with improbable accuracy and slice the head from his last surviving Immortal companion, ending Gwen's torment, and her life as well.
Mengele staggered up the stairs and slammed the door behind himself, leaving Eadgils as the only viable target in the bunker for the swirling vortex of energy, and that vortex struck him with a vengeance, the equivalent of two or three simultaneous quickening at once rushing through his body in a burst of energy at once revitalizing, and agonizing beyond comprehension.
Plucking his sword from the wreckage of the case, Eadgils staggered up the stairs, after the fleeing figure of Mengele.
As he fought, naked in the chill evening air, his scant strength waning, even as his bare feet struggled for purchase against the frozen mud of the ground, Eadgils realized this was more a fight for himself than for his life. He had to take Mengele's head, in order to finally end this nightmare. Any less was unthinkable.
The pain as the blade sliced his bare ribs, it's cold steel slicing deeply into his stomach, and releasing the foul odor of his bowels along with it's stinging pain almost was enough to make Eadgils drop his blade, however, he instead turned the momentum from his involuntary lurch away from Mengele's blade into a pivot on his good leg, and brought his sword around in a chop at Mengele's neck, one which missed by inches as the train gave a final pair of blasts of it's whistle, and started to pull away, causing Mengele to lurch around himself, pulling his blade from Eadgils's bowels.
Eadgils felt his life draining away into the icy mud, as he watched his tormenter wryly salute him with his blade before returning it to the cane. Eadgils gasped as much air as his punctured lungs would allow and called out faintly with his last dying breath even as everything faded to darkness, "mengele!"
To be filled out, and continued, hopefully.