Escape From Stalag VIIIB

"Das ist unser Boot!"

Jahr drei, Tag einundzwanzig

(Rio Negro, 1948. Yup 1948 damnit.)

“Das ist unser Boot!” exclaimed the wounded German Lieutenant.

“Nein, es ist unser Boot, und ich bin Umbenennung der H.M.S. Gwendolynn, nach mir Mama.” replied Taffy heatedly.

“What’d he say?” asked Terry of Piotr, the two of them standing shoulder to shoulder on the aft deck of the small german gunboat the party had captured.

“He said, ‘Fuck you Kraut, I’m renaming your stinky gunboat after my mother, Gwendolynn.’” replied Piotr sourly. Looking to Taffy, he asked, “Shouldn’t we be getting some intel that might help us with our current situation, Seargent?”

“I’m getting there, Petey. Just give me a minute to establish dominance over this Nazi bastard.”

“I think we established dominance when we took their boat by surprise while it was grounded on the sandbar last night.”

“Well, I’m reinforcing it then.”

“I think it was reinforced when Bob wounded their Commander, and he took that cyanide pill.”

“Whatever. Fine, you want to do this? I’ll go below and help check on that stalled engine.” said the Welshman as he opened the hatch to the small engine compartment and slid below to work on the twin engines of the river boat.

With a nod to Terry, Piotr stepped up to the bound, bleeding German junior officer.

“Schau mich an, Soldat.” Piotr said gently, “Ich weiƟ, was Sie in Polen tat . Sie wurden nur unter dem Befehl arbeitet.”

The young German officer looked the Polish Lancer in the eye for a long moment, “As the Yanks say, ‘Fuck you’. I wasn’t even in the Wermacht for the invasion of Poland, I was in grammar school in Munich. Ignorant Pole, we German soldiers don’t need your forgiveness: you lost, and we took your women and your land for our lebensraum.” he spat at the deck of the boat.

Taking a deep breath to control his anger, Piotr responded, “You speak English? Why didn’t you let on when Taffy was questioning you?”

“I like hearing you all butcher the glorious German language. It reminds me what the polyglot races will sound like when we finish conquering the world and there is only one language spoken on the face of the earth.”

“Well then, I’ll keep that in mind and try to use my best grammar when I speak German. Now then, you said you were a schoolboy when Warsaw fell? How can that be? You are in your early twenties now…”

“Nine years have passed. Where have you been?” the German shot back. Then, a light dawned on him. “Ah, I see. You have no memory of the time we held you in stasis.” He laughed, a harsh cruel laugh.

“It all makes sense now. I have no idea when you were captured, but we have had you in our experimental group for three years now.” he looked at Piotr with a smile. “It is 1948. Jahr Drei of the Ragnarok. Many that you knew are likely dead. The English Lion is mortally wounded, his Queen buried under the Serpent’s scales.”

Terry and Piotr looked at each other a moment before the Pole turned back to their captive.

“1948? Serpent?”



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