"Hausmeisterin: The Secret" - CHECKMATE - Gertrude Baumann, caretaker for a secret KGB training site, witnesses a dimensional breach occur inside the facility.
3 April, 1984
About a month ago I was asked by the KGB to help safeguard a secret training facility they are constructing next to my farm near Bohnsdorf. The Chekists knew I worked as a Stasi filling clerk during the '50s and '60s. My former supervisor told them "Gertrude Baumann can be trusted to keep a secret," no doubt thinking he was doing me a favor. And so they informed me they wanted a local asset to keep an eye on the place without alerting the neighbors. It was an offer I could not turn down. In such an instance, one says, "Ja" and then keeps their mouth shut.
So I walked the grounds twice a week, checking gates and locks to make sure no farmer or villager trespassed the facility. To be honest it was all rather boring.
A week ago the Chekists advised me that a delegation from the Lubyanka were coming to inspect the facility. They wanted me to show them around, which made me rather nervous. If the wrong people think you know too much, well...I have filed enough execution reports to know where that leads. But I also know how to be both helpful and ignorant in all the ways that count. Yesterday they arrived, these grey men in their suits, and I led them through the facility, pretending not to recognize the crude reproductions of Air Force One and the Oval Office. Clearly an assassination mission would be rehearsed there. The less I seemed to realize this, the better.
And then it happened. There was an otherworldly sound and a flash of light in what I have come to think of as the "airplane hangar." I was standing away from the group having what I feared might be my last cigarette. Whatever that light was, it engulfed the KGB inspectors and I heard them scream. I ran to assist with injuries, but as my vision cleared I could see they were changed. Horribly changed. They howled like lost souls and lumbered towards me. I barely managed to latch the door with them inside.
So what do I do now? They are still locked within the hangar. Do I contact my friends in the Stasi and let them know? Will I somehow get blamed for what happened to these men? Stupid question - of course I will. They will soon be missed. Someone will come looking for them. Again, what do I do now?
"Hausmeisterin: The Lie" - CHECKMATE - After sealing the infected KGB inspectors inside the training facility, Gertrude plans her next steps.
5 April, 1984
As anticipated, I was visited today from KGB agents looking for their inspectors. Obviously, I am still alive to write this, but only because I knew what to expect and prepared accordingly.
After the KGB delegation were altered (infected? reanimated? I don't have a word for it.) I returned home and drove their car to an old lignite mine a few kilometers away. The mine was sealed back in the 1920s, but I managed to move the barricades and hide the vehicle. The walk home gave me ample time to come up with a story for my inevitable visitors.
They arrived this morning before dawn, breaking down my front door and rousting me from bed. I showed the appropriate amount of fear and confusion when they said the inspectors had failed to report. I told them I toured the facility with the delegation, who seemed upset by what they found. I said they argued all the way back to my house, some wanting to report to Moscow immediately, others insisting they drive straight to Stasi HQ in Berlin. One thing they did agree on was to have the entire place dusted for prints. I did not know why they were so agitated, but they were definitely looking for someone to blame. And before they left they thanked me, saying they might "require my testimony" in the days to come.
This had the desired effect. The men realized they were possibly at the center of a dispute between Soviet and DDR secret police and they had best tread lightly. One wrong step, including harming me or disturbing the facility, might earn them a one-way ticket to the gulag. They even repaired the door before departing in the direction I told them the inspectors had driven off.
But I am not exactly celebrating, I bought myself a day or two at best. And if they do risk visiting the training facility they will find their missing delegation from Moscow. I will not be able to talk my way out of anything after that.
"Hausmeisterin: The Visitor" - CHECKMATE - Gertrude is visited by a stranger, who offers to help her with her little problem.
6 April, 1984
It seems the KGB and Stasi were not the only parties interested in what became of that Lubyanka delegation. Yesterday there was a soft knock at the door about an hour after sunset. It was a woman in her thirties, German like me, golden haired and quite handsome, though she wore no wedding ring. She did not say her name and I did not ask it. All she had to say was "I am here to help you deal with your little problem" and I allowed her inside. I have met enough spies to know a field agent (probably BND) when I see one.
She said she was aware of what happened to the KGB inspectors. I pressed her for details - insisted I deserved them after containing those poor wretches in the hangar. She would only say that similar incidents were taking place elsewhere, though they were kept out of the news, even in the West. She also said I was lucky to have escaped the fate that befell those men. I asked how she knew about me. Had she been watching me or, more likely, the training facility? She said she worked for an organization that would eliminate all trace of what happened in the hangar. Additionally, she had arranged for someone to smuggle me to West Berlin where a new identity was being prepared for me.
As I write this, she is either at the training site or at the mine making sure the car cannot be found. I am packing one bag and saying goodbye to the only home I have ever known. But if others out there are affected by whatever this is - plague? curse? worse? - then I must count my blessings and consider myself lucky to have made a new friend.
"KGB Contact Note" - GARRISON - A note from Maxis' KGB contact, accompanied by two photos she's managed to send to Maxis.
I was able to gain a glimpse of the briefing file being circulated amongst the committee. It speaks of a cinefilm being transferred to videotape - something called Endstation. While I have not viewed the tape itself, the file contained still images from the film. I do not understand what I am seeing other than it involved the Red Army. Perhaps your eyes will make more sense of it. I will continue to try to secure the tape itself. I can only hope this message reaches you at the dead drop as instructed.
"Soviet War Hero" - GARRISON - A picture of a Russian Colonel shaking hands with a Red Army soldier.
A frame from a film reel found in the KGB archives. Image includes Colonel Lazarev and Sergeant Zykov, moments after the Colonel decorated the Sergeant for his impending act of heroism. Film reel is dated: February 10th, 1945.
"Red Army Encounter" - GARRISON - A picture of the Red Army encountering an unknown phenomenon.
A frame from a film reel found in the KGB archives. Image features the 8th Guards Army making an unusual discovery inside the abandoned German facility known as "Projekt Endstation." Film reel is dated: February 3rd, 1945.