Chapter 9: "Link"
After October 1945
Der Riese - Power Generator
Richtofen, Takeo, and Dempsey regrouped outside and passed by the weapons box. Edward could not resist the temptation, and lifted the top of the box.
Dempsey crossed his arms, remembering his own luck.
“No point, Doc. It only dispenses crap now.”
Many weapons cycled before Richtofen, before finally settling on something marvelous. The German light machine gun, the MG42, often referred to by its targets as Hitler's buzzsaw. Edward lifted the piece of glorious German ingenuity, placing the extra ammunition in his bag.
Dempsey slammed violently on top of the box, and tried once again to lift it after it closed, only to find himself once again unable to lift the top. Richtofen could not help but laugh at his pain, only further angering Dempsey. While Dempsey confronted Richtofen for his Shadenfreude, Takeo lifted the box to take a weapon of his own. Once again the weapons cycled through, and finally stopped on the Browning machine gun, a classic American light machine gun seemingly right off the assembly line.
Dempsey could only shake his head and follow as Richtofen and Takeo began the walk back to the factory, towards the second teleporter.
“Perhaps the spirits have distaste for your...violent nature, American.”
“The spirits are assholes, Takeo. They don't know a natural killing machine when they see one!”
“Would you like my old weapon, Dempsey? It is...better than nothing.”
“Oh ha ha, Takeo. Like that time at the swamp when you got screwed, but now it's me. Real funny. I guess you're a comedian now.”
“Jigou Jitoku. One's action, one's profit.”
“Getting real smart now aren't we, Tak? I don't see you talking shit with Nikolai around. Russian got your tongue?”
“I fear no man. But, his breath, it scares me.”
“Tell me about it, I think I still smell it from here.”
“Never have I known a man of so much mass, but so little substance.”
“Yeah, he's a real character, that Nikolai.”
“A man who might find himself lost in his own home.”
Richtofen twisted his neck around towards the two men joking about Nikolai.
“I don't think Nikolai would appreciate the way you talk about him when he is not around!”
“Oh come on, Doc, we talk all the time about what an asshole you are. And I'm sure you talk to your drunk little bed-friend about what a handsome devil I am.”
Disgusted, Richtofen reverted his gaze forward. They were now approaching a section of the factory blocked by another sliding door.
“You know, Tak, you're not so bad. Just a little rough around the edges, I'd say.”
“You and I, can never be mentally equal. But I have more respect for you than the Russian.”
“Uh, thanks. I guess that's a lot coming from you.”
Richtofen waved his hand at the sensor before the sliding door, and entered the quite familiar room. In the center, a large generator, and to the sides, two staircases leading up to the teleporter, now humming lightly. Just days ago in this very room, Richtofen exacted his revenge on Dr. Maxis. The inside of the teleporter was still stained with the blood of the many canine test subjects they went through.
Richtofen etched the linking sequence into his notes and handed them off to Dempsey.
“Dempsey, this is your stop. Enter these numbers on the pad when the moon is fully eclipsed. I know numbers are very hard for your feeble mind to handle, so I've written them out for you.”
“Aw, cute handwriting. You use that hand to write your love letters to Nikolai?”
Edward ignored Dempsey's snide comments and began descending the stairs, motioning for Takeo to follow. Before Takeo could, however, Dempsey grabbed his shoulder and leaned in with a message.
“Watch your back. Don't trust anything he says.”
“I will keep my wits about me, Dempsey.”
“Good luck, Tak.”
Takeo picked up his speed to catch up with the doctor, who appeared to be reminiscing at the sight of all his old work. Chalk boards were riddled with equations and formulas, and many shelves held human organs preserved for testing.
“It's good to finally speak one-on-one with you Takeo. You've done well in keeping your end of the bargain. Dempsey is finally cooperating now that he sees you as a friend. Nikolai, well he's a simple man with simple needs. Everything is going according to plan.”
“I am pleased to hear this great news, doctor. But, I must know, when does your plan accommodate for us returning home?”
“If you must know Takeo, I have big plans at Griffin Station once we arrive. Something I have planned for years in this wretched place. Trust me, you will know when I no longer need your servitude. Then, you can return to the Emperor.”
“I am at peace knowing the Emperor awaits my arrival.”
“Yes, I'm sure he will welcome you with open arms once he see's how far you've come.”
Both men climbed a winding staircase up to the second floor. To the left was an alcove walled by a chain-link fence, where Nikolai and Takeo had gone before to drink Juggernog Soda. The two crossed the bridge overlooking the power generator. Instead of then going downstairs to the furnace room, however, they approached a closed sliding door.
“Richtofen, why have we not seen any more demons since the first two upon our arrival?”
“Do not worry, Takeo, a majority were probably killed months ago, and most of the bodies likely destroyed, never to be resurrected.”
With almost comical timing, as Richtofen opened the door several dozen undead Wehrmacht soldiers and Group 935 scientists twisted their decaying bodies to set their sights on Takeo and Richtofen.
“You were saying, Richtofen?”
“I've been wrong before.”
A single rotting corpse of a soldier, bullets lodged in its head, blared a loud call throughout Der Riese, before charging in unison with the other flesh-bags.
Like a firing squad, Takeo and Richtofen raised their machine guns, holding the trigger until the entire room was clear. As the bodies settled, more blood-curdling screams began to spring up from far off. Richtofen looked towards the Moon, now close to reaching its climax.
“Takeo, we are running out of time! Remember these numbers: 1 – 6 – 4 – 2. This is our only chance of getting out alive! I will be at the receiving pad to link the teleporters. Good luck.”
Richtofen began his sprint off to the receiving pad in the courtyard. The staircase they had initially traveled up from the furnace room now beheld two zombies, eyes blazen and arms out-stretched. Edward swung the heavy MG42 in the direction of one which came too close, knocking the beast to the ground. The one still standing fell like the other with a dozen bullets puncturing its chest. With limited time, Richtofen continued down the stairs, leaving the stunted zombie on the ground. In the furnace room was a dozen more walkers searching for blood. Richtofen continued sprinting past them towards the courtyard, activating the electro-shock defenses, electrocuting anything which walked through the doorway leading out towards the courtyard. The receiving pad was now in Richtofen's sights, as well as several zombies awaiting a second death. Richtofen cleared anything still standing and focused on the Moon. The eclipse is at its apex. On the keypad, the three lights representing each teleporter began to light up one-by-one.
In the open area of the courtyard, four zombies began to climb over a chain-link fence, focused on Richtofen.
He turned the master key, and pressed the button to link the teleporters. A dozen more zombies, followed by another one of Samantha's hounds entered the courtyard. Edward hoped to any God, if there was one, that this would not all be for nothing.