German Airbase, in the Jungle near Manaus
“Now we set the flaps…then we give it some fuel…and, we’re off!” said Francois in French to Terry, who had taken the copilot’s seat next to him in their newly acquired Ju-88z.
The plane was, according to Mssr. Donat, the latest effort by the German designed factories in Buenos Aires to produce a versatile long range aircraft that could carry out the many, and varied, tasks assigned to it on behalf of the Neue Reich, that illegitimate offspring of the old, recently deceased Third Reich and the whorish Oligarchs of European extraction who now ran Argentina like a fascist wonderland.
“Thanks, Francois. I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly” replied Terry, also in French, though with a distinct Occitan accent.
“I just hope you’re right, and the Americans in Panama let me keep the plane as a reward for helping you escape Brazil.” said the Frenchman. “After all, I did leave my seaplane behind.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be rewarded. When the O.S.S. office we work for finds out we’re still alive they’ll be very grateful.”
The Frenchman seemed to turn this thought over in his head as the plane quickly climbed above the Brazilian jungle. Adopting a Northwesterly course for Panama City, he gave voice to a thought that had been nagging at him ever since the American Tanker had told him the story of their capture in 1943 while hunting, and failing to kill, the Finnish priest who had unleashed the end of days in 1945.
“It seems to me, mon ami, that your failure to kill Larse before he could set off Ragnarok by summoning the Great Worm, which at least indirectly led to the current sad state of world affairs, with the Allies fractured and wounded, the Germans and Japanese each regrouping after their own fashion, and the Soviets set to step into the gap as the new leaders of the world, would make you less ‘returning heroes’, and more ‘culpable scapegoats’. Are you sure they’ll be happy to see you after the man you failed to kill bathed the globe in the caustic blood of Jormungand?”
“Of course. We are, or at least were, one of the best anti-occult special operations squads the Allies had, before we were captured. We were experts in dealing with the abominations summoned by the NAZI blood mages. And, if what you tell me is true, about Dinosaurs roaming the Matto Grosso, and Sea Serpents surfacing in the Philippines, and all the rest that the world has seen since Serpentfall, then they’ll need our expertise.”
At that moment Taffy poked his head into the cockpit past the privacy screen, “How long until Panama City, Donat?”
“About 12 or 13 hours, Seargent.”
“Well enough.” Looking back over his shoulder into the planes passenger compartment, the Welshman barked, “Everybody grab a few winks. We want to be fresh when we land. The Yanks’ll probably have need of our services right away, if what we’ve heard about the Allies bad luck is true.”
After a moment’s thought the noncom sapper added, to both compartments, “Good work back there at the Airbase, taking out those MG-42s in the guard towers. Jerry never knew what hit him. Now, get some rest…”
After the Sargent’s head had withdrawn back into the passenger area, Francois leaned in close to Terry and said conspiratorially, “That man has a wonderfully indistinct sense of humor, mon ami.”
After a moment of staring blankly at the bush pilot, Terry broke out laughing.
“Oh, I get it! Good one!”
(12 hours or so later, Panama)
“…Panama Air Control Command…repeat, state your point of origin and your business in Panamanian airspace, or be shot down…repeat, this is Panama Air Control Command…state your point of origin and your business in Panamanian airspace, or be shot down…”
Terry jerked awake at the blare from the plane’s radio.
“What should I answer, mon ami?” asked Francois.
“Give me a minute.” said the American, rising quickly out of the copilot’s seat, and moving aft through the curtain into the passenger area.
As the radio message repeated, Francois could hear voices from the compartment behind him. After several minutes, the Polish officer climbed into the cockpit and settled into the copilot position. Putting on the headset and boom mic, Piotr said clearly into the radio, “This is O.S.S. special team Dogma, enroute from Brazil, reporting for duty. Request debrief on landing by O.S.S. operations chief, Panama Zone.”
“Dogma, what is your authentication code? Repeat, what is your authentication code?”
“Vampire One Niner Niner, Panama air Control”
“Dogma, or whoever you are, I do not recognize that code. Assume a 100 knot cruising speed at your current altitude and heading immediately, and do not deviate from my commands. You will be escorted to land by the fighters now flanking you. Any deviation from my commands will result in your destruction. Acknowledge.”“Acknowledged. Awaiting your commands.” replied Piotr over the radio, just as a loud cheer broke out from the passenger cabin behind him.
“Look! They have sent planes to greet us!” came Lodd’s booming baritone.
“Never seen a plane like that before. Where are the bloody propellers?” came Bruce’s reply.
Looking out the cockpit windows, Piotr could see, a little above them, and to both the left and right, sleek aggressive single seat fighter planes flanking their Junkers, their pilots clearly visible through the bubble canopies…