World, meet Jurgen.
Jurgen's just turned 15, today. I know that because it's what the timestamp on the tank he was !@#$ out of says. Slooshed out of a tube and onto a cold, concrete floor, a mile below the ice and snow.
15's when they want you, here at the Ice Palace.
If things had been normal, someone would have been waiting for him with a towel. He would have been checked out medically to make sure he was firing on all cylinders and could at least say his name. If he passed that, and didn't have any signs of imperfection, they'd walk him down the green line, and into a waiting room.
Any deviations from normal and he'd be walked down the red line. More on that later.
The green line led to the green room. There he would have been suited up, asked more questions, and introduced to the other boys and girls who'd shared his birthday. 30 in go, provided it was a good batch. Maybe as low as five, judging from the records.
Especially early in the program, when they hadn't quite gotten the balances right. Who'd have thought, given how many kids Joseph and Magda had?
There'd have been a meal fit for kings, and careful monitoring to make sure they could handle solid food. That used to be a problem, apparently. If anyone had problems they were quietly escorted off to "treatment," down the red line.,
After the meal, Jurgen and his new friends would have been told that all they'd been learning in that tank, over the last fifteen years, was to prepare them for their true role in the world. They'd be soldiers in the new army, sent to make the impure world burn before their feet, so that a new age could begin in the ruins.
Cue the Leni Riefenstahl film fest, including the ones most people never see. Triumph des Willens. Zu die Welt Erobern. Warum wir die Juden Zerstören.
And, of course, Das Schwarze Wunder. Probably the most hideous movie you'll ever see in your lifetime, provided you know what they don't show. The experiments in the camps. The live trials on volunteers. The steady stream of failures.
What happens to the human body when its genetic makeup changes so fast that it just can't handle the chemical sturm und drang.
But oh no. Not for these special kids. They get to see the glamorous end result. The perfect men and women of the future. The ones who will be leading the next thousand years, and may actually be alive to see its end.
The super soldiers of the Fourth Reich, whom these special kids may someday join, but will for now be protecting with all their strength, all their heart, and all their mind.
If today had been like any other day, the kids would have been paraded before one of their aging leaders. One of the last few supernazis that ABWEHR had produced, either back during the Night of the Black Pill, or more recently, before the !@#$ that knew how to make them died a messy, well-deserved, but long-overdue death. They would have been welcomed into the fold, and congratulated, and told that their service to the Reich required sacrifice, order, and unyielding, unflinching loyalty.
Then he would have picked one of the new kids at random, and ordered the others to kill him or her, right there, on the spot, to prove it.
I don't know what makes me more sick: the fact that someone thought this up, or the fact that, in each tape I've seen thus far, the kids don't disappoint. They just go to it like a flock of birds pecking the weakest link to death. Fingers, feet, and cutlery, they don't stop until the poor kid's a smear.
And the worst thing is that the kids who got fingered for the loyalty test don't even fight back. The urge to obey is that strong. They die proud and smiling for the Fourth Reich.
Thusly blooded, Jurgen and company would be cleaned up, and assigned to something. Probably soldier training. Maybe technical training. Maybe they'd be put to work mining impossible things out of The Chamber, down in the back, so as to use the science of the gods in their quest to take over the world.
And it would be a good life, while it lasted. The Nazis knew how to party. They worked their people hard and then let them play hard. Rough sports, sexual liberties you couldn't imagine, a flourishing of certain, state-approved arts... all available down here, in the Ice Palace.
But the plans to take over the world never came. Not before the last big battle they had with the outside world, and not after, either. So the chances were good they'd train and work and sacrifice for the big day, but that it wouldn't come. And they'd just wait, and wait, and eventually the inevitable would happen.
They'd start to fall apart.
I've seen this before in full scale replicant operations. The human body can't just be decanted for however many years and then started up. They have to be active and fully functioning in those years, or else cell death starts to accelerate a lot faster than it should.
So they're in bottles until they're 15? They get maybe five good years past that, and then they start to age like cheese left out in the sun. They grow wrinkled and gray in days.
Some just don't wake up.
They're the lucky ones. The others, they get taken down the red line, along with the kids who didn't turn out quite right or couldn't handle solid food. They're given some comfort, but ultimately stripped naked and tossed down a chute marked Wiederverwertung
They might make beer out of fermented penguins, here at the South Pole, but everything else has come from what they had to work with. And they had a lot of genetic material lying around.
"Sometimes pigs will eat their farmers just as the farmers will eat their pigs." I think that's a German expression, but I could be wrong. You hear a lot of stupid !@#$ when you parachute into someone else's country and try to blend in, and after a while it all runs together.
Today, not so stupid.
That's what we just stopped, down here. I had no idea things were this bad. We'd heard rumors, of course, but we could never get any Harolds in here, and the Harolds they turned were too unstable to tell us much under questioning. Now we know why.
World, meet Jurgen. Jurgen, meet Randolph Scott. He's snapping photographs of the operation and, to his credit, has not yet been violently sick. This both impresses and worries me, but we'll see how he handles the rest of the place. What we found. What we saw.
When we got to Burgdorf and Kietel they were eating and !@#$ the last remnants of the last batch. The ones who would have been getting Jurgen out of the tank and gently checking him for webbed fingers or a club foot, or reflexes just a touch out of sync with Aryan perfection. All on the floor for the master race, taking it in the neck or the backside with a last, dim and patriotic smile.
The Fourth Reich, endlessly eating itself while waiting for the final call to end the world for a dead madman.
Welcome to the real world, Jurgen. I wish there was more we could do for you, now. You've got five years to live free, if we can get the programming out of your head. And then, well, maybe we'll see what some American know-how can do. You never know.
Right now I don't feel so optimistic. I just feel sick and angry and wish there was someone I could hit who actually deserved it. But all I've got are dead supernazis and these poor brainsmashed kids, and the proper booze the Alternet guy brought was used up hours ago.
Welcome to the real world indeed.
(SPYGOD is listening to Elemental (Tears for Fears) and stuck with fermented penguins, again)