October 26th, 1945
So many men lost…
The past few nights had been a struggle for Cornelius. He could still hear their screams as they came through the radio; An entire platoon wiped out in just a matter of minutes. Just like that, their foothold at the Rising Sun Facility had been blown away. Since the OSS dissolved, Major Sawyer had been left to complete Operation Firebrand and have his men secure 935’s outposts. They never stood a chance against the hordes. Not at Shi No Numa, not at Verrückt, and not at Nacht der Untoten. Despite the failures, Sawyer is adamant that there is still something to be gained from the remnants of Group 935. His promotion is staked on it.
Major Sawyer has platoons of Marines stationed near Der Riese, standing off against Soviets sent in to raid the facility and pillage what they can. No shots have been fired between the two yet, and both sides want to keep it that way. Sawyer says he has a plan to extract the survivors during the elongated negotiations with the Russians.
The Soviets seemed content to let the survivors at the site die, considering they had already taken everything they wanted. Their only goal now seemed to be keeping the survivors out of American hands. It will take several months of careful planning to pull this off. To make use of all the 115 present here at the Nevada Base, the US would need the brilliant minds of Group 935 backing their research.
Pernell descended to the storage facility below Hangar 18, typing in his secure code to enter the room. Finally surrounded by peace and quiet, he lit a cigarette, and leaned over the metal railing overlooking the spacious area. It was dark, so Pernell turned on the central ceiling light, revealing the crates full of black and blue rocks of Element 115; A deposit which had seen little study or use during the war.
Sawyer recommended that Pernell should join an assembly of operatives and government officials being sent to Group 935’s secret castle facility in Austria, where a league of scientists hand-picked by Doctor Edward Richtofen would be waiting to defect to the United States. Cornelius looked forward to meeting some of these men who would be using the 115 at Groom Lake. Still by himself, Pernell raised a silent toast to Doctor Richtofen. An old friend.
The red phone mounted to the nearby wall began to ring, right as scheduled. Pernell put out the cigarette, placing the receiver to his ear.
“Good morning, Mr. P. How is Nevada treating you?”
“Same old story. Dry wind and rocks in my shoes. So what’s this meeting about?”
The voice on the other end was stern, “We simply wanted to thank you for your dedicated service to the Order during this war. Your loyalty to the Illuminati is unquestionable.”
Pernell was taken aback, not expecting such a compliment, “Thank you… I want you to know… I appreciate the new position very much.”
“Excellent. With such devotion to the cause, we foresee you climbing through the ranks of both the government and the Order.”
“I… will do whatever is asked of me. I can see your vision of the world so clearly… What, then, is our next move?”
The voice paused for a moment, continuing, “For now, follow your orders and ensure that Doctor Richtofen’s demands are filed and met to the letter.”
Pernell paced around the dark area, “Should I inform Sawyer about his deal with the Soviets?”
“Not yet. In time, this revelation will come naturally.”
“Why exactly are we helping the Doctor anyway? After abandoning his position and disrespecting the Order, surely-”
“Doctor Richtofen has a higher calling he must meet. His continued success is in the Illuminati’s best interests.”
Pernell made his stance known, “I hope you know what you’re doing in trusting him… He is a self-proclaimed liar, after all.”
After waiting a moment, the call ended abruptly, leaving a dial tone in the receiver. Pernell hung up the phone, returning to his position at the railing, looking over the deposit of 115. His 115.
The Illuminati was not what it once was. Or at least, its true nature was not revealed until Pernell had sufficiently gained their trust. Cornelius’ operatives died because of their orders. Peter’s blood is on their hands, not his.
As Pernell gazed into the pile of rocks, the blue spots of ore became so mesmerizing… so beautiful. Group 935 had so much potential for greatness, to change the world. It’s no wonder that Edward left the Illuminati to pursue his work with 115. Maybe he had the right idea this whole time.
The blue sheen of the 115 was like an ocean, and Pernell's mind was being dragged deeper and deeper, as he was caressed by the penetrating, blue light.
With their scientists, it may finally be put to some use. But they will need leadership; Direction. Someone to steer the ship.
Maybe all those men didn’t die for nothing. Maybe… just, maybe. One can dream.