- Mar 4, 2015
Disunion, Part 1
SMS Arcturus, Arctic Circle, 67 miles north of Greenland, cruising depth 1000 feet – February 7, 1995
The submarine captain ran down the hallway, saluting officers as he passed them. He reached a ladder and climbed up to the control room, where he moved over to his radar officer.
“What have you got?” the captain said.
I'm not quite sure, sir,” the radar operator said, “We picked up some paint approximately two minutes ago.”
The captain looked at the radar screen. “Looks like the damn thing's just hanging there.”
“Yes, sir,” the operator said, “It's approximately two-hundred meters below the ice. Looks to be about eighty meters across and it's noisy.”
“Noisy, how?” the captain asked.
“It's emitting radio signals across the spectrum, but it's, it's just random noise, sir,” the operator said, “We can't detect any pattern.”
“Get me Atlantic Command on the satellite uplink,” the captain ordered.
“Yes sir,” the operator said, adjusting some controls.
The captain picked up a phone. “Yes, admiral. I don't know what we found but it appears to be some kind of craft. … Yes, sir, that's correct. … But we're on a cartography mission, admiral. My crew isn't prepared to... Shouldn’t this be the KL's and Heidelberg’s job? … Yes, sir. … Understood, sir.”
He hung up and walked to the control panel.
“Set a course heading 0-4-7,” he ordered.
The navigator started flipping switches. The captain walked back to the radar operator.
“Toward the object, sir?” the operator asked.
The captain picked up the phone. “Weapons room, lock torpedoes on target. Prepare to fire on my command.”
“Captain, shouldn't we at least attempt to identify this object first?” the operator said.
“We have our orders, Lieutenant,” the captain said.
“But, sir...” the operator said.
A loud ringing noise pierced the air. The officers covered their ears, and the ship rumbled. Crewmen screamed as consoles exploded. And then the ringing stopped. The lights went out, and red warning lights went on.
“Everything's down, negative!” the navigator said.
“Reactor's gone down,” the captain said.
He picked up the phone. “Engine room?”
“That won't work, captain,” the operator said, “We've only got battery power.”
The captain hung up. “I'm going down there. Prepare to surface at once!”
“Surface into what?” the operator said. “We're under thirty-two feet of glacial ice.”
“Oh, scheiße,” the captain said.
Vacation Village Motorlodge, Kynigos – 7:41 PM
“Angie?” Anders said. “You there? Was that swearing? What’s happening? Find something on Sentinel?”
She slowly turned around and looked at “Anders.” He mouthed the words "who is it?"
“No, sorry,” Angela said, hanging up.
“Who was that?” Anders said.
“It's a wrong number,” Angela said, “Where have you been, Anders? I've been trying to get a hold of you.”
“I, I was trying to reach you,” Anders said, “I went by your house but you weren't there. I got here as quickly as I could.”
“Why didn't you call when you got my message?” Angela said.
“I, I, I did call. I, I couldn't get through,” Anders said.
Angela drew her gun and aimed at Anders. “Put your hands against the wall!”
“Angela, what’s going on?” Anders said.
“I said put your hands against the wall!” Angela shouted.
“What's wrong?” Anders said.
“Do it!” Angela said.
“Angela, it’s me,” Anders said, turning around and putting his hands on the wall.
“I don't know who you are,” Angela said.
The real Anders would’ve called her ‘Angie’.
“Okay, I'm going to take my left hand and reach into my pocket and get my I.D., okay?” Anders said. “Just don't shoot me. I got shot once and I didn't much care for it.”
“I said keep your hands up!” Angela shouted.
Anders spun around and backhanded her with his left hand. He then punched her with his right, sending her flying into a nearby wall. She felt blood trickling from her nose. She looked up and saw “Anders” morph into the default form of the bounty hunter.
“Yep, definitely not him,” Angela said.
“Where is he?” the bounty hunter demanded.
Angela reached for her gun and fired twice, hitting the bounty hunter in the left hand. What looked like machinery and more of the green liquid was blasted off by her shots, though no gas was released. She realized this thing, whatever it was, was made of the same thing as the clones and the vats were. It was hunting them down. It killed Bernhard Weiss. It had impersonated Ambrose Kirchner so she could lead it to the clones.
She tried firing again, but the gun jammed. The bounty hunter grabbed her by the throat and slammed her against the wall.
“That was him on the phone, wasn't it?” the bounty hunter said. “Tell me where he is.”
“I don't know what you're talking about, discount Eliminator,” Angela said, “And for a discount Eliminator you’re doing a horrible job.”
He slammed her against a glass table.
Anders knocked on the door. “Angie?”
He got no response. Annie sighed and pushed him aside.
“Allow me,” she said.
She punched straight through the door and grabbed the doorknob on the other side, unlocking it. They walked inside and found the lights off. The room was in shambles. Anders tried flicking the light switch, but it didn’t work.
“Angie?” Anders said.
“It’s been here,” Annie said.
“Frak, not again,” Anders said.
She picked up a lamp and turned it on, looking down at the broken glass table. She then picked up Angela’s Walkman.
“Angie’s still alive,” she said.
“How do you know?” Anders said.
“He took her to get me,” Annie said.
“There's no sign of a break-in,” Anders said, “She wouldn't have just let him in.”
“It may have impersonated you,” Annie said.
“True,” Anders said, “Here we go again.”
“Again?” Annie said.
“Angie was abducted a few months ago,” Anders said, “I’ll explain later.”
They walked back to the car.
“It’s going to contact you,” Annie said, “It’s going to say it wants to make a trade, Angie’s life for mine.”
“Why, why does he want to kill you?” Anders said.
“Because I know how to kill it,” Annie said.
“How?” Anders said.
“By piercing the base of its skull,” Annie said.
“But that would kill anybody,” Anders said.
“Yes, but this is the only way to kill it and it must be precise,” Annie said, “I'm fairly sure it'll work.”
“Fairly sure?” Anders said.
“He's got upgrades I've never seen before,” Annie said, “If it doesn't work, there's a chance you could die.”
“From what?” Anders said.
“The blood utilized in its systems is toxic, and human exposure to it is fatal,” Annie said.
Anders looked away, trying to catch up with his sister.
“I know this must seem incredible to you...” Annie said.
“No, no, no, no, no... that's just it,” Anders said, “It doesn't seem incredible at all. Now, how do we find him so we can kill him?”
“We don't,” Annie said, “It'll find us.”
“Well, isn’t that just great,” Anders said.
Anders’ apartment – 9:38 PM
Anders paced around his room as Annie sat on the couch, changing channels every few seconds.
“I don’t remember there being this much Star Trek on TV,” Annie said.
“Well, there is now,” Anders said, “Too bad Doctor Who’s gone. Though The Berserker and Twin Peaks are still going strong, last I checked. When’s he going to show up?”
“It'll call,” Annie said.
“You're sure?” Anders said. “It’s not going to just kick down my door and kill us in a minute, while wearing Walter’s face for good measure?”
“I know what it wants,” Annie said.
“And if he doesn't get it?” Anders said.
“I know this is hard for you, Anders...” Annie said.
“No, it's not hard,” Anders said, “It's unbelievable.”
“You don't believe me,” Annie said.
“After 22 years, two decades of hardship for all of us, why come back?” Anders said.
“I've explained to you...” Anders said.
“No, no, Annie, you've explained only what you had to!” Anders said. “I know next to nothing about these people you call your parents or about the man, or the machine, or the thing who wants to kill them.”
Annie stood up. “The men you've been seeking are the creations of two original visitors, aliens who have been attempting to establish a community on our planet since the 1940's and Agadir.”
“A community?” Anders said. “Or a colony?”
“Loosely,” Annie said, “The community, by necessity, is dispersed. There are clones identical to my parents living in virtually every part of the Reich and its neighbors. The clones are not truly alien like their creators, but they have been modified to blend into our society and conduct their research without being noticed.”
“What are they trying to accomplish?” Anders said.
“It's their belief our stewardship of the planet is being forsaken, and that by default, they'll someday become the natural heirs,” Annie said.
“And in the meantime?” Anders said.
“Through hybridization, they've been working to erase that aspect which has forced the community to scatter...” Annie said. “Their identical natures.”
“The clones all worked in abortion clinics, why?” Anders said.
“Access to fetal tissue,” Annie said, “Though the physiologies are incompatible, they finally found a way to combine human DNA with alien DNA.”
“And this bounty hunter...” Anders said. “Why has he been sent to kill them?”
“The experiments weren't sanctioned,” Annie said, “It was considered a dilution of their species, a pollution of their people. So the bounty hunter was dispatched to destroy them and terminate the colony.”
“That's a good story, but I've heard a lot of good stories lately,” Anders said.
“I've got no reason to lie to you,” Annie said, “I'm your sister, Anders, you have to trust me.”
Someone knocked on the door. Anders picked up his gun and walked to the door.
“Who is it?” he asked.
“It’s Uncle Erich,” Erich said.
Anders looked at Annie, who turned off the TV and ran to the side.
“Anders?” Erich asked.
“The door’s unlocked,” Anders said.
Erich opened the door and walked into the dark apartment. He walked in and looked at Anders, who sat on the couch.
“Make yourself at home,” Anders said.
Annie took out a sharp knife from a kitchen drawer.
“What's going on here, Anders?” Erich asked. “Why are the lights out?”
“A fuse blew,” Anders said.
“I heard the TV on,” Erich said.
“Just happened a few seconds ago,” Anders said.
Annie snuck up behind him, knife raised.
“I've been trying to reach you and Angie,” Erich said.
“I haven't checked my messages, Uncle,” Anders said, “And I can’t because my answering machine’s disabled by the blackout.”
“Are you aware that Angie incarcerated four men with Agent Kazdan’s office?” Erich said. “And those men are now dead?”
Annie turned on the lights. Erich spun around. Anders stood up and pointed his gun at Erich.
“It's alright, it's not it,” Annie said.
Anders sighed and put down his gun.
“What the hell is going on here, Anders?” Erich demanded.
Anders pointed at Annie, who waved.
“Hi Uncle Erich,” she said.
“Annie?” Erich said. “That you?”
“Long story,” Anders said, “Didn’t Aunt Magda fill you in?”
“Sharon’s still in Mainz,” Erich said.
“I don’t have time to explain, but Angie’s missing,” Anders said.
“Again?!” Erich said.
The phone rang. Anders immediately picked it up.
“Hello?” he said.
“It’s me, Angie,” Angela said.
Anders looked up in shock and signaled to Annie, who picked up another receiver. “Angie, where are you?”
“I don't know, I'm... I'm in a telephone booth,” Angela said, “He's got my gun, Anders. He says he's going to kill me if you don't give him what he wants.”
Erich cursed. “Not again…”
“Well, what does he want?” Anders said.
“He wants Annie,” Angela said.
“Alright, tell him we'll negotiate,” Anders said.
“He doesn't want to negotiate,” Angela said, “He says he wants to make a trade.”
“Let me speak to him,” Anders said.
“He wants you to be at the East-West Bridge over the Bosphorus in one hour,” Angela said, “The same one where Grandpa died.”
“Angie, I need time, I need more time than that,” Anders said.
The bounty hunter hung up. Anders slammed down his phone angrily.
“Where’s Angie?” Erich said. “What's this about a negotiation? Is she in danger?”
“We don't, we don't have any time, Uncle Erich,” Anders said, “If I ever needed your help, your trust, I need it now.”
Erich rolled his eyes. “Here we go again…”
East-West Bridge, Bosphorus Strait, Constantinople – 10:36 PM
Anders didn’t want to be back on this bridge. It was the place where they killed Uncle Hans, during another exchange. He cursed his luck as he drove onto the bridge with Annie. He told himself nobody would die today, unlike last time. But he had his doubts, of course, even with Erich and a sniper hiding in the bushes nearby.
“Anders, move into position,” Erich said over Anders’ earpiece, “We need to expose him.”
“Got it,” Anders said.
He stopped near the middle and waited.
“We just need to get him out of the car,” Anders said, “Make him think we're going to make a trade for Angie. We just need one shot to the base of the neck.”
“You sure you can get the shot on the first try?” Annie said.
“Uncle Erich’s known Sergeant Makarios since the war,” Anders said, “Called in a favor from the senator. Hermann can hollow out a one mark coin at two hundred yards.”
A car pulled up in front of them.
“Also, Annie, don’t take any unnecessary risks out there,” Anders said.
“Of course,” Annie said, “I always beat you at Stratego.”
They got out of the car and walked towards the other car. The bounty hunter stepped out, grabbing Angela by her arm, holding a gun to her head.
“Angie?” Anders said.
Angela noticed Annie. “Annie?”
“Hi Angie,” she said, “Everything’s going to be fine.”
She started walking towards the bounty hunter.
“Sergeant, take your shot when you got it,” Erich said, over Anders’ earpiece.
As Annie approached, she locked eyes with Angela, and the bounty hunter relaxed his grip. He then pushed away Angela and grabbed Annie. Angela ran over to Anders.
“Angie, you okay?” Anders said.
“Yeah,” Angela said, wiping away blood from her mouth, “Is that—”
“Long story,” Anders said.
The bounty hunter put his gun away as Angela got into Anders’ car. It slowly walked back towards its car, moving behind a column.
“Frak, I lost the shot,” Hermann said.
Annie looked back at Anders and mouthed the word “sorry.” Then she spun around and lunged at the bounty hunter with the kitchen knife, slashing him on the neck. The bounty hunter knocked the knife out of her hand and grabbed her again. Anders aimed his gun.
“There's no way out!” he shouted. “We've got both sides of the bridge covered. Now let her go.”
He slowly walked towards the bounty hunter, who backed off.
“Tell me where she is!” the bounty hunter demanded.
“I don’t know who you're talking about, so let her go!” Anders shouted.
The bounty hunter slowly moved past the column and back into Hermann’s sights. Hermann pulled the trigger, and a shot rang out, hitting the bounty hunter in the neck. The bounty hunter staggered and fell over the side of the bridge, taking Annie with him. They plummeted into the dark waters of the Bosphorus. Anders ran over to the railing.
“Annie!” he shouted. “Annie!”