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Chapter 1: "Revelations"
Der Riese - Cafeteria
Leberwurst again. They called it a “specialty”, but Edward Richtofen 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.
Sitting down were some of the top scientists in the organization, as well as the world. Dr. Groph, an experienced scientist with an interest in other worldly beings, namely the Vril-ya. Edward thought it was mostly hypothetical nonsense, but he could not deny the idea intrigued him. Still, Groph was seen as the slightly “off” member of the organization, so Edward tried not to closely associate himself with his ideas for fear of tarnishing his own reputation. Still, much respect was shared between the two men of science.
To Groph's right was sitting Dr. Schuster, a close friend and colleague to Edward. The two studied together at University, and worked on many great projects as partners. Their work could only further improve following the recent discovery of a new element with properties beyond imagination. Element 115 had the potential to change the world for the better, and the two scientists could be the creators of such change. Schuster and Richtofen had performed tests with the element and discovered it could potentially move matter to another location in an instant with enough power and fine-tuning. Edward had been insisting on waiting to share the studies with Dr. Maxis until the results were definitive.
“Edward! Come, sit.”
Dr. Schuster motioned for his colleague to join them at the table. No doubt Groph was trying to start small talk regarding ethereal realms and underwater cities, and Schuster was looking for someone to take him out of the conversation.
Edward joined them. Dr. Schuster decided to start talking before Groph could.
“So, Edward, have you heard that Maxis is adding new members to the organization? He's meant to be performing a speech for the new recruits within the hour.”
“I have not, no.” Edward jabbed a knife into the cold fleisch on his tray.
“I do not know how he expects to pay these new recruits, given we are already forced to eat this rancid meal each day, and we have no more budget for personal pet experiments anymore. How are we meant to make great discoveries if Maxis will just tear through our budget at will?!”
Groph listened intently, and for a moment paused. He spoke up with his theory.
“You're right, it makes no sense. That is unless Maxis has a deal in the works which could increase the budget exponentially. Now, what kind of deal could keep our organization sustained enough to even add more members to our group? That's right, a deal with the Nazi Party. The writing has been on the wall, you two.”
Schuster's face turned to a disgusted grimace. Richtofen put his fork down to try and comprehend what he was just told.
“Do you know how ridiculous that sounds, Groph? We have some of the greatest scientists in the world, and have you forgotten our maxim? 'To improve the human condition.' Not to assist some political idealists and their sociopathic leaders. There is no way Group 935 will ever work with the Nazi Party. End of story.”
Schuster added in, “Have you lost your mind Groph? I mean, any more than you already have? Like Richtofen said, the idea is preposterous.”
“Well believe it or not, I have evidence. Before Maxis left to prepare for his meeting, he read a letter he received today, and left the envelope on his desk. I waited for him to leave, and-”
Schuster cut him off, “You raided his office and looked through his belongings. Is that what I'm hearing?”
“And...on the envelope is a symbol you two may recognize. Here.”
Groph pulled the envelope from his coat, and placed it on the table. There, in plain sight, was a swastika, and Maxis' name printed below.
“This is...impossible. Edward, this is an official seal.”
Edward examined the envelope, and it was indeed official. Thoughts flew through his head. This could change everything their entire organization stood for, and hoped to achieve. He grew sick in the pit of his stomach.
“Edward, we must continue work on the matter transference prototype as soon as possible, before Dr. Maxis can take what little funding we have left on the project for other needs to satisfy the Partei.”
“Agreed, Dr. Schuster. We will finish lunch in the lab.”
Dr. Richtofen and Dr. Schuster rose from their seats and headed towards the labs, leaving Dr. Groph to finish his meal. On the way out the door, Dr. Richtofen took to the basket full of walnuts, and added a few to his tray for snacking later.