Chapter 4: "Revelations"
November 23rd, 1939
Der Riese – Cafeteria
Leberwurst again; They called it a “specialty”, but Edward knew it was the only edible thing these chefs-for-hire could create. Cutting budgets is nothing new in the field of science, but times are desperate for the organization. As long as Edward could continue his science, his passion, he could suffer this insufferable dish.
Edward plucked a handful of walnuts from a woven basket at the end of the cafeteria line before exiting into the larger seating area with his colleagues. Richtofen could see Doctor Porter eating alone at one table, with Doctor Maxis nowhere in sight. As of late, Doctor Maxis had been skipping lunch to seclude himself in his office for hours on end. Edward could not understand Doctor Maxis' melancholy demeanor since Hilda's death. Following the contentious test 162, Maxis deferred his place in matter transference research to Doctor Schuster. Edward did not mind this change, however; toiling away in the labs by Schuster's side reminded Richtofen of simpler days at University, sneaking into the campus laboratories after-hours and performing unorthodox dissections. Schuster never quite approved of their actions, yet he always followed Edward through, even in the face of suspension.
From across the cafeteria, Richtofen met eyes with Schuster, who was waving his hands and appearing apprehensive. When the scientist across the table from Schuster turned to face Richtofen, he came to understand why. Doctor Groph grinned as Richtofen approached; He had another victim to give his superior opinions on underwater cities and ancient astronauts to.
“Doctor Richtofen! Come sit, I was discussing my Vril research with Doctor Schuster.”
Doctor Schuster looked to his brother in science, “I would not say it was discussion.”
“You were free to chime in anytime, Doctor.”
Dr. Schuster mumbled and he pressed his fork into his leberwurst, “If I could get a word in-”
“Anyhow, so nice of you to join us Edward. Schuster and I thought you were not coming at all.”
Edward took a seat across from Schuster, also ensuring there was nearly a foot in distance between himself and Groph on the bench. “Yes, I was adding a few minor touches to the DG-2 before I begin tests tomorrow morning.”
“Still working on the DG-2? I thought you began work in September, and you have not even tested the device yet?”
Cross with Groph's rude line of questioning, Schuster interjected, “Doctor Richtofen does not have the luxury of time that you have Doctor Groph. Between our work on the MTD and Maxis' budget cuts there is little time nor resources for pet projects without personal investment. How about your research on Vril, Doctor Groph? What has that produced?”
“Vril has not been utilized by any human before. Only the Vril-Ya know of its true healing properties. Recreating its power could elevate the human race to a higher plane! Think of the power we would hold if we wielded the power of the ancients! Vril is infinitely more complex than the weapon Doctor Richtofen is creating.”
Doctor Richtofen placed his fork back onto the plate, turning to Groph and looking intensely into his eyes. “The DG-2 is not simply a weapon. It is a defense infrastructure, or it will be when it is perfected. After the incident with MTD test 162 and the other... creatures created as a by-product of 115 testing, I have taken it upon myself to create a defense system should these beings ever outnumber us. That is the DG-2's purpose. I do not understand Maxis' fascination with controlling these monsters; What purpose do they serve? They are only a liability.”
The table sat silent for but a few moments, Groph's expression turning from vexation to a smug grin. “I know exactly what he intends.”
Schuster did not look from his tray, taking a bite of the cold fleisch. “I am sure this will be enlightening.”
“Doctor Maxis has a deal in the works which could increase Group 935's budget exponentially, and he has been keeping it from us for longer than we may ever know. Doctor Maxis seeks for Group 935 to collaborate with the Nazi Party. The writing has been on the wall, you two.”
Schuster's face became a disgusted grimace. Richtofen put his fork down to try and comprehend what he had just been told.
“Do you know how ridiculous you sound at times, Doctor Groph? We have some of the greatest scientists in the world at our disposal, and have you forgotten our maxim? 'To improve the human condition.' Not to assist some political idealists and their war-mongering leaders. As I have worked with Doctor Maxis these past years, he has never seemed to be a man to stoop so low. There is no way Group 935 will ever associate with the Nazi Party. End of discussion.”
“Ridiculous? Believe it or not, Doctor Richtofen, I have evidence. Do either of you have any idea where Doctor Maxis is right now?”
Doctor Groph looked to Schuster and Richtofen, who both had nothing to say. He continued, “Neither does Doctor Porter, one of his closest friends; But, I know where he is. He is en route to Berlin to discuss the deal as we speak.”
Doctor Schuster questioned Doctor Groph, “And where did you acquire this information?”
“I found Doctor Maxis in his office before he left Der Riese. I wanted to discuss today's findings as I do every day, but he seemed tense as I let myself in. He was reading a peculiar letter before he sent me away. After he departed, I entered his office and-”
Schuster cut him off, “You raided his office and looked through his belongings. Is that what I am hearing?”
Richtofen added, “Und how did you enter his office? Maxis keeps all administrative offices and laboratories behind an electronic lock, does he not?”
“All of the passcodes are the same, his daughter's birthday. 0-5-1-1-3-4. It was simple guess-work.”
Schuster sat shocked at Groph's actions, while Richtofen appeared interested, his hand gripping his angled chin. “Hm... clever. Continue, Doctor Groph.”
“On his desk I found the opened letter and accompanying envelope. It bears a symbol you two may recognize.”
Doctor Groph removed the controversial envelope and letter from his coat pocket, placing it on the table. The envelope was addressed to Doctor Ludvig Maxis, and came directly from the Reichstag building. Doctor Schuster unfolded the letter, marked at the top with a symbol of an eagle carrying a swastika; The Parteiadler.
“This is...impossible. Edward, this is an official seal.”
Edward examined the envelope, reading it through.
Dr. Ludvig Maxis, M.D.,
Reichstag High Command has observed Group 935's scientific achievements at Der Riese since its inception. There is no doubt Group 935's success is due mostly to your outstanding leadership and personal investment. Your actions have caught the attention of the Führer and members of the Party, and we humbly present an opportunity for your organization.
We will fund all of Group 935's future endeavors to ensure it stands as the crown jewel of scientific advancement in Germany, under the condition that Group 935 defers authority over projects to the National Socialist German Workers' Party during this time of world unrest. When Germany's ultimate victory is attained, Group 935 may return to independent research under the supervision and funding of the Party. We hold and will soon acquire many more valuable pieces of land which Group 935 may utilizes to create research stations across the world. In addition, our alignment with the Empire of Japan will allow unprecedented opportunity for expansion and collaboration with Division 9.
The Party has a particular vested interest in weapons for our military. Your use of Element 115 could prove a valuable asset to Germany's goals. We have also examined the results of your testing with Element 115's ability to reanimate dead cells. If these reanimated beings can become sentient once more, they could prove to be a great asset to our army.
On the 23rd of November, a meeting will be held at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to discuss Germany's goals and the protection of our people. We would be honored if you would join the meeting, as a revered scientist and member of the Aryan German community. When you arrive, General Lehmkuhl will inform you of what Group 935 can do to assist Germany's efforts.
Martin Bormann, Secretary to the Deputy Führer
The letter was indeed official. This collaboration could change everything the entire organization stood for, and worse yet it may interfere with the motives of the Illuminati. Edward could not have predicted this sudden change in Group 935's leadership; With the eyes of the Partei scrutinizing Richtofen's every move, he may never be able to satisfy the Order and their desire for Group 935's research. A world power in possession of their research may slow the Illuminati's efforts in creating a new world order of their own design. Richtofen must inform the others as soon as possible.
Groph spoke, smug with righteousness, “You see, I was correct in my suspicions. You will come to find I am right about a great many things. Perhaps you see now Maxis is not the great leader Group 935 deserves.”
Schuster began to panic, “We will lose so many scientists from around the world if this deal goes through. The Partei is deceptive; They only seek power, and they will twist our research for their own goals. Can you believe Maxis would do such a thing, Edward?”
“I... cannot. Our research should not be controlled by any government. It appears Doctor Maxis has become desperate for funding; This changes everything. Doctor Schuster? We must perfect our research on the Matter Transference Device as soon as possible, before Maxis diverts what little funding we have left into weapons for the Partei.”
“Agreed, Doctor Richtofen, we should finish our lunch in the lab and begin testing immediately.”
Doctor Richtofen and Doctor Schuster rose from their seats and headed towards the labs, leaving Doctor Groph to finish his meal.
As the two exited into the courtyard towards the laboratories, Richtofen turned to Schuster, asking, “Doctor Schuster, do you remember where your research with Doctor Groph on... oh, what were they called on again?”
“Yes, heh, those. Do you remember where you kept that research last?”
“I believe we stored them in one of the cabinets in laboratory A6 on the second floor. Why do you ask?”
“We should know where your hard work was last seen in the event Maxis decides to pawn it off to the Partei, should we not?”
“Surely Maxis would not do such a thing?”
“These are uncertain times, my friend. I'm afraid Maxis has changed over the past year. We should be expecting the unexpected. About those Perk-a-what's-its, I'm guessing Groph came up with the ridiculous name?”
“Oh, well, actually it was me. I believe the concoctions could be mass-produced for the general public to drink some day, once the 115's adverse side effects are stifled of course.”
“Hm, how quaint. Anyhow, I must send a quick telegram out before we begin work on the MTD. Set up the test chamber and work station, would you kindly?”
“Yes, Doctor. Who is the telegram for?”
“Just a little... book club I'm in. I have to let them know I won't be attending the meeting this week. They need to know.”