Chapter 12: "Failure"
Der Riese - Test Area
“Now walk forward.”
It stumbled a few more feet towards the pane of glass.
Dr. Maxis raised his hand along with the command, and the zombie stopped in place.
The Nazi officials were very impressed.
Dr. Maxis was pleased by the general reaction.
"The timeline for deployment can be accelerated. Given the progress we have made in the past two weeks, if patient two-six can retain the impressions longer than twenty-six hours, we will have the process perfected.”
“Incredible work you have done here, Dr. Maxis. As you know, Germany has been pushed back by the Allies on both fronts, and we are in dire need of a new plan. Your army of the undead will completely change the tides of this war in our favor.”
“Thank you. Patient two-six shows much promise and we should be able to replicate our process easily. The patient has responded to stimuli with minimal violent outbursts, and has even begun to learn to attack on command. Playing a particular sound seems to mesmerize it for a short time, and they accept commands much easier during this time.”
“You said it can attack on command, may we see it in action?”
Dr. Maxis hesitated, was two-six ready for a live audience? Surely a field test now would work just the same as it had before.
“Yes, we can perform a demonstration. My assistant, Dr. Schultz, will set up a field test for your viewing.”
In the test chamber a scientist activated a sound box which calmed the zombie. He commanded it to walk with him into a box, then transported it to a larger area for testing. He brought in a separate cage with a dog, a German Shepard, and released the latch on both cages.
The beast inside was slamming on the walls of its cage trying to get to the cowering dog outside. Dr. Schultz played the sound box before opening the cage door. As he played it the raging corpse quit moving. Dr. Schultz grasped the door handle and opened the cage for the Reich men to see.
“Attack the dog. Now.”
It started to drool and foam at the mouth, and slammed the opened door into the unsuspecting Dr. Schultz as it pounced at the dog. Dr. Schultz had a broken, bloody nose from the door and now lied on the ground. The sound box was turned off and he scrambled to turn the knob to reactivate it. In the corner, the beast was tearing the dogs limbs right off its body and chewing its internal organs.
“Schultz, are you alright in there?! Turn the box back on!”
Schultz activated and deactivated the box over and over again until it finally started playing the sound. The pus-ridden corpse reared its head back at the doctor, its jaws coated in freshly pumped blood.
No one in the lab took a breath. All stayed silent. Then came the alarm. Someone had pulled the fire alarm and now the sound was blaring all throughout the laboratory.
The zombie swung its arms around and groaned at the doctor and the men behind the glass.
“GET HIM OUT OF THERE!”
Sophia and several other scientists had attempted to get the door open and allow Dr. Schultz to escape. The zombie leaped through the air onto the doctor, thrashing its head around as several others in the crowd attempted to stop it. The zombie tossed Schultz to the ground and began gnawing at his neck.
Three armed men with MP40s entered the room and pushed Dr. Maxis and the Nazi officials aside. Every man covered his ears as the soldiers sent rounds through the pane of glass into the testing room. By the time every last bullet was emptied, no one could even hear the fire alarm from all the ringing.
The zombie was now an unrecognizable lump of flesh and bullets plastered all over the back wall. Dr. Schultz had passed out into shock. Dr. Maxis was stunned by the failure. His mouth agape. The Nazi officials around him were screaming and pointing fingers at Dr. Maxis, but he could not hear them. He ran to the crowd of scientists who had attempted to get the door open. None of them appeared harmed by the gunfire, but Sophia was crying.
Dr. Maxis took his young assistant aside and held her close.
“Are you alright, Sophia? Are you hurt?!”
“No, Dr. Maxis. Please, I want to leave.”
Maxis pushed aside the crowd of frustrated officials, escorting Sophia to her office. There was a ringing in his ears from the gunfire, then he heard nothing but his internal fears coming to surface. Funding of The Giant project was over. This was the nail in the coffin.
Dr. Maxis had already attempted to use Richtofen's prototype on his own behind Richtofen's back, but early tests only ended in failure. He needed more time. Something else must satisfy the Reich until they can complete their work. Without the funds or ample supply of Element 115 they would fail. Dr. Maxis had to beg and plea.
Down the hall Dr. Maxis approached Sophia's desk.
“Sophia, this letter is to go to the Reichstag High Command immediately.”
Sophia prepared herself to type up the letter.
“Gentlemen, it is with the utmost urgency that I draw your attention to the lack of funding being injected into The Giant project. While I believe we are close to realizing the ultimate plan, we still have several years of development before it is ready. It would be folly to cut our expenditure so early in our development. As you know, early tests on the DG-2 have easily outperformed expectations and we fully anticipate mass producing the Wunderwaffe within the next few years. Work on the matter transference has however come to a standstill. We simply do not have enough Element 115 to continue the experiments. The test subjects have survived teleportation but are currently unresponsive to commands and cannot be controlled. If we are to overcome this obstacle we need to increase the frequency and size of the experiment. To this end, I suggest we find not only a regular supply of 115, but that we also find a larger conduit to channel the energy. Our operatives in America have informed us that the US have a large supply of the element at the Nevada base, so time is of the essence if we are to stay ahead of them. This cannot be done if you cut the budget, nor can it be done if you insist on pressuring us into action before we are ready. I am of course available for discussion of the matter but in the meantime, I will continue with the work here and try to win this damned war. Signed, etcetera etcetera, Doctor Maxis."
“I will have the letter sent immediately. Are you alright, doctor? You seem agitated.”
“It's nothing to concern yourself over, Sophia. I'm fine. It's you we should be worried about. Your skin is so pale. You seem...sick.”
“I'm fine, really I am, Dr. Maxis.”
Ludvig gave a suspicious glance to Sophia's arm, which she held tightly at her side. Were the rumors true? Dr. Maxis could not bear the thought of losing his beloved Sophia.
“Meet me in my office in one hour, Sophia.”