The cab stopped two blocks from the British Embassy in Bern and two ragged figures stepped out. In spite of their appearance they both appeared to be in the best of spirits. One of them whistled British Grenadiers as they swiftly walked down the street towards the Embassy.
“Ahh, there's something good to see!” Ian exclaimed as he saw the Union Flag on it's pole.
The guard at the entrance was much perturbed when the two walked up and demanded entrance but the Class One Identity Cards they both produced cut through his own outrage as this happened every other day at this particular embassy.
The British Ambassador was elated to see them. He had been aware of the mission and been worried. Normally he would not do so but he knew enough of the mission to make him sit on coals. The war might have been over in months instead of years, though by the looks of the two Officers in his study it wouldn't happen.
Dressed in Uniforms from the lugguage they had left behind at the embassy before setting off they were now sitting there, drinking rare import Tea from India and mentally composing his report. Being back in a British Uniform and at least for the moment on British soil did a lot to raise his spirits.
“Frankly Sir, the entire mission was a total wash.” Ian said, “If there ever was a German resistance it's well and truly dead now. And from what I heard said at the meeting they could have benefited from some organisation.”
The Ambassador nodded. “So what's next for you?”
Ian looked up. “I'm afraid that is confidential Sir, though I must ask for permission to use your communications room.”
When Ian he saw that Felix, who had not said a word during the entire meeting was staring into the distance. “Felix?”
Felix startled back into reality and looked up at Ian. “What can I help you with?”
“Oh yes, no worries.”
With that Felix rose and followed Ian outside.
Once alone in the communications room Ian quickly composed a message, coded it and prepared it for transmission. Before it was transmitted over the airwaves it would be decoded again to make it harder for the enemy to figure out what was being said, and even the plain text was nearly unusable for anyone but Ian and some unknown communications clerk at Century House.
It took him three hours and six cups of tea to emerge again. With his usual flourish he announced to Felix, the only person in sight or earshot: “We are going to Africa!”
“Surely you're joking.”
“Alas, I fear not. I'd rather see my wife and child myself but it seems the Queen requires our presence in Africa.”
“Where, if I may ask?”
“I don't know. But the way this sounds, we just finished our last solo-mission behind enemy lines.”
“Dear god. It must be something big then.”
The first incarnation of Torchwood Intitute Insignia. Even after production of Nuclear Weapons at the Institute (and it's subsidiary facilities) itself ceased each device is painted with this logo on the inside of the casing. Today the Institute is still instrumental in the development of advanced nuclear devices, general nuclear research and other highly classified activities with branch facilities all over the Empire and the Commonwealth.
“Just for the record, whoever decided to put the Institute here should be made to carry the car with us and our bags within.”
Ian knew that Felix wasn't really complaining about the remoteness of their location but rather that they had been flown half across the empire with less than two day's layover in Rome instead of enjoying what reportedly was the best British summer in years. That Felix hated the tropical whites didn't help but at least the air inside the brand new administration building was kept in motion by the ventilators that were hanging from every bit of available roof surface.
They were not granted access to any of the laboratories but there cooling was provided. It was highly energy intensive but needed.
On the more than 30 Square miles that the Institute covered at that point everything from housing to laboratories covered the land. Their security clearances were hardly high enough to even know how large the institute was, let alone know what was going on there. Officially the security was still explained with materials research and in fact one discovery made here that was highly valuable and would go on to change the world in it's own little way was Polytetrafluoroethylene.
It would still take two years to assemble the first actual device for the famous first test and another one for it's actual first employment in Germany but even when one didn't know what the true purpose was it was clear that this was a maximum effort.
It was strange that Professor Enstein now looked even healthier than he had in Wales which was probably due to the local climate and his habit to walk from his house to his office each morning instead of using one of the official cars the higher levels of the Institute were provided with.
He met them at the entrance gates to escort them to his Office. This was standard procedure but Einstein was well aware what had happened when he had met them last.
Once they were all placed and issued refreshments the Professor opened the conversation.
“Now, before you ask, my department heads are not cleared for knowing the details of how you came by this information but they will be given all the scientific data.”
“If any, Sir.” Ian said and when Einstein looked at him quizzically he went on: “A sheer sense of scale, Professor. I doubt it's the full extent of their efforts and there's still the Soviets to contend with but considering it was Heisenberg who worked there..”
“You are sure about that?”
“Yes we are, Sir.” Ian replied, “he happened to be present when we entered the...facility and I spoke to him myself. However my colleague here wandered around and took the pictures so he is better at answering any questions in that regard.”
Felix took his cue and handed the few pictures to the Professor.
“The size of the entire facility, excluding the guard shack would barely fill the space of this floor. I'd estimate it at little more than five metres across and thirty deep. The reactor pile is similar to the one you used when in Wales though at the time these pictures were taken it was empty of any fuel or fluids.”
Einstein studied the pictures for a few minutes and had to agree with the initial observations. On a sheer sense of scale even at it's worst the funding for the Institute had always allowed for far more substantial research than this.
“How deep was the core?”
“I couldn't be too interested in the core itself for obvious reasons but judging by the length of the chains it wasn't very deep.”
“Thank you.” Einstein turned towards Ian. “What were they using for a moderating agent?”
“According to Professor Heisenberg there is a critical shortage of Heavy Water in Germany and from on high there is a standing order that the Soviets are not to be made aware that the Germans even have a programme. What that tells us is that they don't trust each other.” That was an understatement but Einstein wasn't cleared to see the papers that were waiting for them in Field Marshal Alexander's Safe.
“What they intend to use is a mixture of Paraffin and whatever quantities of Heavy Water can be produced in Germany.”
Ian hadn't been told but he strongly suspected that the biggest other source of Heavy Water, Norway, was exclusively selling to Britain at premium rates.
“Well, I hope you have written a more detailed report.”
Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?
 To us more commonly known as Teflon. However that brandname doesn't exist here as it was trademarked by an American company in 1938 after discovering it by accident, here it was also by accident some time later.
 Used to hang the reaction Mass. Cube-shaped bits of a Uranium compound.