The Ronnenberg Confession

 

girl in cave

Image credit – Michal Matczak

The Haunted Wordsmith proposed a challenge whereby participants would pick the book of their choice (hardcopy or digital), turn to page 62, select line 6, and use that as the basis for crafting a poem, short story, or some other creative work.

Since I just checked out Philip K. Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle from the public library, I decided to use that:

“And must have all the other artifacts in stock examined by University lab.”

As Professor Sterling Piper’s senior research assistant, twenty-two year old Gabriela Wallace had a valid key card to access his private research lab in McCarthy Hall at all hours. However, she still crept like literal thief in the night, dressed all in black, including gloves, and wearing sound absorbing shoes. It was after eleven on a Friday night as she navigated the work benches and displays by dim light.

If anyone checked the logs and discovered she’d been here, she could easily say she’d been catching up on collating recent samples sent over from Scripps, which she sorely needed to do. However, her mission tonight was notably different and infinitely more critical.

The straps of her backpack were uncomfortably tight, but she couldn’t afford to have the weight on her back moving enough to make noise. She wasn’t sure why she was so nervous as beads of sweat continued to form on her toffee-colored forehead, except that if she was caught, she could be condemned as an enemy of the state and executed.

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The Madman Across the Water

U-234

Rare color photo taken by the U.S. Navy of the capture of the U-234 at the end of World War Two

Kapitänleutnant Johann-Heinrich Fehler commanding the U-234 had been convinced by Luftwaffe General Ulrich Kessler and the two high-ranking Japanese passengers that the radio message to all U-boats from Admiral Karl Dönitz ordering them to surrender to the Allies was a fake. Dönitz was supposedly now German Head of State following the death of Adolf Hitler and the Soviets were reported to have captured Berlin. The orders commanded all U-boats to surface, hoist a black flag, and to surrender to Allied forces.

Fehler was not terribly fond of the two Japanese, respectively a naval architect and an aircraft specialist, but Kessler’s loyalty to the Reich was without question. The General kept emphasizing how their mission to deliver Germany’s remaining cache of 1,200 pounds of uranium oxide to the Japanese occupied harbor at Konan in Korea was vital.

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