You return to your room. Outside, you can hear barking and shouted commands, the latter in German. The sounds die down after a while as the search party moves off across the compound. You don’t hear any shots or great commotion after that, and so settle down to wait the night out.
Just as you are dozing off, a sharp knocking on the door brings you back to your senses. You look at your watch – about twenty minutes have elapsed. You answer the door, and find Mr Jaeger standing there.
“I wanted to thank you, Captain Taylor, for your swift action. I regret that we have not found the perpetrator, but they seem to have done no damage. Did you get a clear look at him?”
You explain that it was dark and the figure had its back to you.
“Ah well, maybe we’ll get him next time ja? You have done us a great service Captain Taylor, and I think you may be ready for the next step. Perhaps we will discuss this after the conference.”
Jaeger nods and shuts the door as he leaves. You can hear him down the corridor, checking on the other guests and re-assuring them that nothing serious is amiss. You settle down and wait for things to go quiet…
Beep-beep. Beep-beep. Beep-beep.
You jerk awake and slap the alarm quiet. It’s now three thirty. Dressing darkly, you pack anything you really want to take and, shouldering the pack, slip out onto the darkened landing. You pause, studying the shadows for signs of surveillance. Nothing. No guards or other signs. Hand on gun you descend the stairs and head for the door. As you tap in the numbers, the keys light up, bathing you in an eerie green glow. You type in the fourth digit and nothing happens. You can hear your own heartbeat…
At least, nothing happens for a microsecond, and then the door swooshes open. A corridor stretches ahead of you with two doors to the left, double doors to the right and a single door straight ahead. You take the quick tour.
The first door to the left opens into a small communications area. Fax machines, telephones, computers, printers and a shredder. The computers and printers are off, and there is nothing incriminating on the fax machine. On one wall is pinned a chart of international dialling codes and time differences.
The second door on the left opens into a filing area and library. A large section on the Aryan nation, the rise and fall of the third Reich and similar topics, dominates one wall. The other walls are taken up by multiple filing cabinets, with all the titles and labels in German. In the centre of the room is a large table and a couple of chairs. On the table is what looks like a half written agenda and a set of files. The agenda is in German, but seems to agree with the files that are out. You take a look.
The first file is entitled “Aktion Eichschloss”. The early notes are in German, and have pictures of men in German uniforms of 1940s vintage. A picture near the front shows a man in Polar gear, labelled “Kapitan Ritscher, 1938”. What catches your attention is that later on there a number of reports, in English, wherein the name "Lexington" appears in connection with an Antarctic expedition. You stuff the file in the backpack and take a look at the next one.
The second file is labelled “Project Andromeda” and is mostly in English. It seems to be about a US government project into Artificial Intelligence. The impression is that a lot of this information, which includes blueprints and specifications, must have come from an inside source. The file is ended with a note "Project terminated?" with a recent date. The second file disappears into capacious backpack.
The third file is labelled “Projekt Kimera” and shows a lot of financial transactions (and appears to show a net profit). There’s a stack of papers, again in German, which have the “biological” look to the text and illustrations. The source of the money is not immediately clear to you, but the destination appears to be a laboratory in Seattle. Someone’s been clocking up some serious air miles. The rucksack starts to look rather full…
The next door (the one opposite the door you came in by) is locked and doesn’t respond to a brief probe.
The double doors open into a conference room. Glowering at you from the opposite wall is “Der Fuhrer”, flanked by other portraits of men in German uniform. On the right wall is a large map of the US. Several locations are marked, including Seattle and a site in Alaska. In the centre of the room is a large conference table, surrounded by chairs. Across the room sits a grand lectern, shaped like an eagle with its wings spread. On the lectern you can see a large, rather gothic book. Moving over, you can see that the title is “Mein Triumf”. The embossing on the front looks like a swastika surrounded by some large bird or reptile.
You start. That was the door opening. Time has got on, more so than you thought.
Footsteps can be heard in the corridor…