Don't worry, Grayghost. That peice will be completed right now. And it won't be very long until the battles for Uganda begin.
Dimitri looks at me, his eyes calm, but his expression one of stone. I re-gather my thoughts, redoubling my search into distant memories. I attempted to begin again. “November 9th, 1939. Kristallnacht. My father was a tailor, his shop got burned down. By the mobs. Our synagogue, too. I was living in Konigsberg, and my father had spied in France, for Germany in the Great war. Konigsberg was close to the border to Poland. So my father snuck us across. Some of his spy friends had left Germany in the past, gone with the Poles; they were our contacts. They helped us get over the border- Me, my parents, my baby twin sisters, and my older sister. I’m sorry, I still struggle a little with English.”
“Are you kidding me?” Dimitri asked, a look of surprise on his face. “Struggling with English? Do you hear my accent? Not so observant, are we?”
“You’re a bit full of yourself.” Call me a hypocrite. “You’ve got a Russian and an English accent. I know a lot more about you than you think.”
“Now who’s full of themselves?” He casts this remark with a smug smile. The nerve! He’s playing a game with me! He knows I can’t react, he knows I need this. But that just makes me a bone in the mastiff’s slobbering mouth. He thinks that I’ll just roll over, be obedient. We’ll see if he gets away with this!
“Stop the rain of self-assuredness, sir.”
“Stop the rain of attitude, son, or I’ll kick you out into the streets. And there’ll be no soup for you- just robbers and the like. Not all Jews follow Torah- there are Jewish criminals.”
I am about to shoot back an angered reply, when I hear a faint whisper.
Stop it! You argue, and your whole plan fails, you hear!
God? I think loudly, trying to evoke a reply.
You didn’t hear anything…The voice drifts off. God wants, God gets; right?
“Well?” Dimitri asks. “Are we going to continue?”
“We will continue, sir.” I take a deep breath, collect my thoughts, and begin once again. This time with an even shakier voice, but I do restart. “We hid in Poland for a while, before father’s friends found him a job. Spying of course, with the Polish government. Not an easy job, mind you- the only ones left were dangerous, high risk. Nobody but someone as brave- and desperate- as my father would have embarked on those missions.” I choked back fake tears as I continued. “One day father never came back. Died, in counter-intel.”
“Stop trying to earn my pity, Wolfe. You’ll earn it like a man or earn nothing by sobbing those salty crocodile tears.”
I struggle against my anger. This guy is better than me, he’s too good to try and stoop to my level and fight. He knows I have my hands tied, and he’s taking full advantage. “Yes sir.” I once again attempt to regain my composure. “Well, the Poles needed a new man, to replace father. He had taught me a lot, so I went in to try and convince them I was the one they needed as a replacement. They said they saw lots of ‘natural subterfuge ability’. I guess they were pretty desperate, hiring a 13- year- old boy, but they did. And then they sent me into Germany with nothing but some cash and a contact.” I then reached into a pocket into my slacks and pulled out a pistol. “And this- a Luger 9mm P08. They said it was my father’s. You can still see where he scratched his initials into it- there, on the barrel.” I held the gun a ways away from him, so that he wouldn’t see the initials. Even that could be dangerous information; all he needs to know is Wolfe.
“So, have you ever fired the gun?” Dimitri asked.
“At a man?” He’s trying to test if I can actually kill, if the event arises that I have to. This I was prepared for.
“Well, how many times?”
“Have you ever killed anyone?” I knew it.
“You shot seven men with six bullets?” He looked pretty incredulous, his face contorted into an unbelieving frown.
“I’m a pretty good shot.” He continued to stare at me with that same look on his face for a second, but then caught himself and once again hardened his stare on me. He was trying to tell if I was truthful, once again reading me with a cold stare. Finally, satisfied, he leaned back in his chair.
“Please, Wolfe, continue with the story,” he said as he took a cigarette from a desk drawer and casually lit it with a beautiful lighter, with his name engraved upon its glossy metal exterior. He puffed some smoke, and then motioned with his hand. “Please.”
“Well, I can’t tell you what my mission was, but I can tell you that my contact in Berlin was one Nerio Macrino. He was a tall, hefty man; perhaps six- foot- seven, and supposedly a Sicilian mobster, a runaway from Mussolini. He wasn’t. He was a bad contact, an agent of the Italian government. I heard him talking on the phone many times, in Italian. He underestimated my ability to learn a language, as everyone does, and within a week of meeting him I knew everything he was saying. I was ready when the three agents entered my room in the dingy motel to kill me, and I was ready for him the next morning. Four bullets, four men.” I took a deep breath. I had just relived one of the most exciting moments of my entire life. Dimitri snuffed the burned- down cigarette in a small glass ashtray on the corner of his desk. I thought he looked slightly impressed, but that spy’s poker face was still too good for me to decipher anything from it. My mind was probably just playing tricks on me, making me see what I wanted to see, instead of what was actually on his face.
“So how’d you get here, Wolfe?”
"Well,” I continued, “I finished that mission when I got a call. It was a different man than usual who gave me my new mission, but I thought nothing of that. Staff changes all the time in this line of work, if you know what I mean. I was to go off to Hamburg by train. The tickets were at my door, I left as simple as that.” I lowered my voice. “I was in a railcar with three other men. I noticed that there was something out of whack. Each one had an identical briefcase.” I smirked. This was my crowning achievement, what I had always wanted to share, but had never had anyone to share it with. “Each one had the same make of suit, just in three different colors. It was obvious to me- they were counter-agents, German spies. But I wanted to be sure. I didn’t want to go killing three innocent men. It was a few miles south of Luneberg when they pulled their guns. But there’s no faster gun than Wolfe- not in all of Europe. Two shots, three dead- not ifs, ands or buts. I offloaded in Hamburg and ran. If I had tried to go back to Poland, the Germans would have caught me. Belgium was closer, I had more of a chance to get there. War started right after I crossed the border. I crossed into France from there, and hung around the docks in Brest until I found employment on a liner going to India. It stopped in Mombasa. I jumped ship and became a refugee here in Uganda. And I ended up here. Ask Maimai for that story.” I took my gun off of the table, sticking it back in my pocket.
Dimitri nodded slowly, looking me straight in the eye. He looked down at his papers, now covered with messy, scrawling notes. “Wolfe,” he started, “there is something we’ve been planning for a while- Operation Scarlet. There is a German spy ring in the country. They call themselves Chimera. There are three operatives, codenamed Lion, Snake and Goat. Lion is dead. Snake is the leader, we have no idea where he is. But then there’s Goat. He’s up in Jima, spying as we speak. I’m gonna send you up there. You are to collect all of the information you can on Goat, and if there is any, on Snake. Can I trust you with this?”
“Yes, sir.” It was a blunt reply, said with the utmost conviction.
“Good. I’ll get a car to take you up tomorrow. Until then, here’s some money.” He handed me a small wad of cash, which I quickly counted. 500 shekels. “Find yourself food and board. Prepare yourself.”
“Shouldn’t I have some training or something?”
“It’s urgent. Time is of the essence. The Germans might be here in a few weeks, and if these agents happen to have any information, it’s imperative we get to it before we can put it to good use.”
“Wait,” I said, slightly shocked, “we’re at war with the Germans?”
He stared at me funny, and then the first grin I had seen from him broke from ear to ear. “Oh, you haven’t heard, have you?” He gave a small laugh. “The Germans declared war, Lekoche’s telling the whole nation today in a press conference. Aren’t you fortunate, getting some info early. Now be off with you. You’ve got some driving to do tomorrow.”
I scooted out the door. When I almost to the door at the end of the hall, I took three deep breaths. That had been exhilarating, and it went off without a hitch!
You should have told him.
Shut up, God, I snapped.
You’re very lucky I didn’t make you lose this opportunity because of that.
I withheld information. Partial truths. I don’t want to bring that stuff up.
You’re going to have to, eventually.
Never, God. Never again.
I ran, opening the simple door at the end of the long hallway, as if to escape the protests of the voice inside my head. The foyer spread out before me, and I went straight to that statue which had caught my attention before. I read the engraving.
1st Chancellor and founder of Hebrew Uganda
His figure looms over the history of our nation.
May he be remembered always.
Below that was a long speech. I am not very big into reading huge chunks of text in English, so I didn’t bother to read that, but this had a profound effect on me. I read it again. All I could think was that if the Germans took over, he would be remembered no longer.
And with that depressing end I left the room. I would need to find the nearest motel and a gun range. When it comes to marksmanship, frequent practice is needed- even I wasn’t born perfect.