The muted and peaceful plip plop, plip plop of light rain softly pattering onto or dripping slowly off of high metal roofs; the belch of distant, enraged cars blasting their way through town to get from somewhere to nowhere; the cacophony of a myriad of night club instruments producing their raucous song; all of these sounds or collections of sounds unknowingly played their part in a carefree orchestra of the nighttime city. It was beautiful yet disruptive at the same time, but it belonged to the city and no one could argue that it didn’t. The city proved it by singing that (more or less) same song in its own unique voice every single night.
The orange, faint light of street lamps cast eerie pools onto the puddled ground, creating an atmosphere you would expect in the otherwise light-forsaken, rough side of the nighttime city. Cars rarely visited the ghetto of New Munich (which was once upon a time called New York City) at this hour, and no “respectable” ones ever did.. Those that did chance their way onto the seemingly abandoned streets were rusting or nearly breaking down, and even they only came about five an hour. Soon there would be no cars at all for curfew was at twelve AM; night clubs opened their doors around seven or eight and closed up shop at eleven… and that was already risky enough.
In the older days night clubs had been banned and curfew had been at ten, but when the rebellions started dying down many things started opening again; the most shocking among them art galleries and book stores, even though each piece of art and every single book had to be reviewed by the Nazi Regime.
The soft, orange light of the street lamps reflected off of a dirty puddle swirling with particles of dirt and other unsavory street refuse, but the copycat image was suddenly shattered into a thousand droplet shaped fragments by a booted foot. The droplets were propelled sky high and gleamed like floating, freshly alighted embers burning against a dark backdrop. But then gravity took its course and the water drops either met their doom on the rough, concrete sidewalk or landed back into the relative safety of their home puddle; or even, however rarely, into a different one entirely.
The booted man cursed as some of the dirty water splashed onto his dull tan overcoat and his previously downcast face; a few unfortunate drops, which he quickly spit out with vigor, even landed in his mouth. He wiped at his face frantically like the water contained toxins, which it probably did. Another unlucky event in Avery Heist’s very unlucky day.
Avery Heist was the perfect American to the Third Reich. He had blond hair and blue eyes, and looked exactly like the German’s perfect race, an Arian. His father came straight from Germany to help maintain order in New Munich through a high ranking government position, and soon became an influential and critical piece in the fight against the chaos terrorists. His mother (who was born an American) and father were both assassinated by one of the very terrorists he was working against, right before nine year old Avery’s eyes. He still had nightmares about it.
Avery followed in the same footsteps as his father, fighting tooth and nail against the traitors and their plot to pull down onto America chaos, like a heavy, suffocating blanket. The old American’s arrogantly used to call this chaos freedom, but Avery knew true freedom came from following every command and whim of the Führer; freedom came from aligning your will to his. At-least that’s what everyone told Avery to think; that’s even what Avery told himself to think.
But every day he was bothered by a strange, nagging feeling inside of him, as if his whole life was a lie. My life is a lie. And every time that thought popped up like an ugly, red pimple, he scolded himself and tried to forget that he had questioned order itself.
Of course Avery knew the true history of the Nazi Regime, and it wasn’t the stuff they taught the kids or even the adults. Avery knew what the teachers taught of history was mostly a lie. He knew that long ago (he couldn’t and didn’t care to remember the exact date) England surrendered to Germany during the blitz. England simply could not handle any more of the beating it was taking, so they did the only thing they could; flew the white flag and gave up without a fight. It seemed uncharacteristic of the stubborn country, but it’s what happened, and Avery wasn’t going to argue with history.
Britain became the gateway to America, and before the slumbering giant knew it, its head was cut off. A better metaphor would be that Germany swung as if to cut off its head in one fell swoop, but the sword got stuck and the giant swung like a raging animal. Germany took plenty of damage, but in the end the giant was lying in the pool of blood, not the Third Reich. Of course, prior to the U.S’s downfall, many South American countries fell to the Regime, making it that much easier to take down America. With America out of the way, the rest of the world slowly fell to Germany, until nearly all the world bowed to the Führer, Hitler. Too bad Adolf put a gun to his head and blew his brains out later in his ruler ship; it was rumored that he struggled with depression. His sole wish, to take the world under his thumb, had been achieved, and yet Hitler could not find satisfaction or even happiness. Only a deep depression that brought him to taking his own life.
The title of Führer fell to his only son, Adolf Jr. No surprise there, Hitler naming his son after himself. He did basically say that he was God during his prime time, and what greater honor could there be to be named after God? Avery shook his head and let his thoughts drift back to Britain’s surrender.
If Britain had not fallen, the world would probably be a different place.
But it did, Avery chuckled as he thought. It did. He felt a foreign and unwelcomed pang of regret at the last thought, and was immediately panicked and revolted that he would feel sorrow for Germany’s victory. It was for the best. He was once again surprised by the weak affirmation in his mind; he doubted the Führer!
He picked up his pace and tried to shrug the rebellious thoughts from his mind, and he succeeded, for the time being at-least, by thinking about his Op. Avery had always wanted to be like his father, but he decided instead of being behind the scenes and playing puppet master, he would get down and dirty in working for the Sovereign Office of Investigation, or the SOI. Kind of like the FBI in the United States before the Nazis took over, except corrupted by the German government. Now it was fear that Avery felt, he had just blasphemed the Führer again. Would he make it to the afterlife?
Avery massaged the death-black pistol on his hip, a recently formed habit that arose whenever he was feeling anxious. Except he wasn’t worried about being psychically assaulted this time, he was worried about his state of mind. Or maybe I should be worried about the state of mind I want to have…
Avery looked back down at his brown, soaked boots and walked a little ways forward. He then quickly crossed the street without bothering to look up, there were little to no cars at this hour… In fact, as he strained his ears to figure out what was missing from the city soundscape, Avery realized that there was no music left echoing around the city and there were very little car noises. It was nearing curfew. Avery needed to grab his target, dead or alive, and get out. It’s not like he would be tried for staying out past curfew as an agent, but his target may see Avery as conspicuous if he was walking about past the deadline.
Avery was trying to remember where the target’s apartment was, or more realistically where he was, when he looked up and stopped dead in his tracks. He had literally just stumbled onto the spot without realizing he had done so. Fine agent work there, Avery he thought to himself. The target, whose name was Jason Parker, had a dingy, small, ground level apartment with closed blinds and crumbling old brick walls. He had a door that led directly out to the street, which was rare enough. He wouldn’t have to go breaking into a shared stairwell AND Parker’s house, which was a blessing.
This guy was a chaos terrorist, or, as they called themselves, a freedom fighter; and Avery was about to take him in. Dead or alive. Avery checked to make sure his pistol was concealed, which it was (his coat had fallen over it while he had been walking), just in case any neighbors spotted him, and stealthily dashed to Parker’s door. He noiselessly knelt down by the door handle, unzipped a pocket in his coat, and took out the proper tools for picking a lock. I will spare you of the complex details, but before long Avery felt the right tick and heard a satisfying click. He removed the pick from the handle and put the tools in his coat pocket, carefully zipping it so as not to make noise.
He unzipped his other pocket, withdrew a silencer modification for his pistol, and then withdrew his pistol. He slowly and quietly screwed on the silencer, checked his ammo count, and turned off the safety. It was time.
He stood up quietly, grabbed the handle with one hand, and held the pistol in his other in a stance of readiness. He very, very slowly opened the door, and despite his vigorous efforts the door creaked like an old, wooden plank under foot. Avery cursed under his breath, held his pistol in front of him, and let his eyes adjust to the darkness; all the while scanning for any threats.
An empty, trashed living room with a kitchen adjoining it (there was no wall, it was simply a large room) presented itself, but there were no lights on and there was also no sign of Parker. Trash lay strewn about the floor along with books and an assortment of other things, a few dirty clothes here and there. In the kitchen the sink was piled high with dishes, and half eaten food was everywhere on the counters. Nice place you got here, Jason. You seem to be a model freedom fighter.
To his nearly immediate left a door stood partially open, and Avery just now heard a sound emanating from whatever lay beyond it… Snoring. Parker was sleeping. This is going to be too easy.
Avery slowly closed the door behind him, which creaked loudly until it was shut. Much too loud, much too loud. Avery froze as he heard the snoring stop, and he waited in silent suspense. A few harrowing seconds passed, with no noise to accompany them except the rapid beating of Avery’s heart. Parker mumbled something aloud, made a sound that resembled shifting in bed, and started snoring again. Avery breathed out air he didn’t realize he was holding in, wiped beads of sweat from his forehead, and cursed the door.
Avery stretched out the gun in front of him, approached the door to the bedroom as if glass shards were beneath his every footstep, and put his hand softly on the door knob; he was expecting anything. He slowly pushed the door open without so much as a creak, and was very quickly staring down the iron-sight of his gun again. The bedroom was more of a mess than the living room/kitchen behind him, but Avery hardly noticed. His only focus was on Parker’s prone form lying asleep in his bed.
The sheets only covered half of his body, and Avery could see that he wasn’t wearing a shirt or pants, only boxers. Parker wasn’t even expecting him, and it surprised Avery how careless this chaos terrorist was. Being a freedom fighter required caution and careful planning, not the kind of carelessness Jason Parker was exhibiting.
Avery took a step forward into Jason’s room, and the moment he did so he dearly wished he hadn’t. As Avery’s booted foot fell, it landed directly onto an aluminum can with a logo Avery would not have been able to see. The thing croaked in protest as if it were being sent to hell itself, and Avery taking his foot off of it made it croak only worse. Parker’s dark form shot up from his prone position, and Avery knew Jason was staring at him.
“Don’t move!” Avery mustered his most menacing voice, waving his gun at Jason like the dangerous weapon it was. “I’m with the SOA, and you’re under arrest for…” Parker flew toward his bedside table with surprising agility and grabbed at something Avery couldn’t see.
He flew around towards Avery with a tan pistol in hand, but Avery was expecting nothing less and already had his gun trained on Parker’s hand. A muffled pwhact! echoed around the room, and Jason screamed like a man set on fire. The pistol fell from his hand and clattered onto the floor, and Jason clutched at his wound like it was his only lifeline in a raging sea. Parker was messing with the wrong guy; Avery was the best shot in the whole SOA.
Avery was extremely grateful for his silencer, if caring neighbours heard gunshots they might come to check up on Jason; and nearly everyone in the ghetto of New Munich held a grudge against Nazi Agents. The scream was bad, sure, but not as bad as a piercing gunshot.
“Get off the bed and get off it away from the gun, or the next one gets buried in your brain!” Parker silently obeyed and exited on the other side of the bed, opposite the pistol. He was whimpering but otherwise Jason was holding his own.
Avery cautiously crossed the room to the location of the gun, pistol constantly trained on the target. When he was close enough to bend over and grab it, he gradually squatted (so that his pistol could remain focused on Jason), grabbed the weapon with his free hand, and slammed it into his holster. Now both hands were on his own gun, steadying it in case he needed to take a critical shot. He stood back to his full, towering six feet five inches height, and stared down Jason.
“I can see it in your eyes.” Jason spoke for the first time, his voice surprisingly gentle. He was still clutching his wound, but he seemed to ignore the pain.
“You can see what in my eyes, a friendly twinkle?” Avery’s voice came out much gruffer than Jason’s.
“I can see the rebellion in your eyes. I know you hate the Regime more than even I do, that you would fight it to the death.”
“Says the man who just tried to shoot and kill me, and who also bombed a hundred innocent citizens just today.”
Avery blinked, as if surprised. “You think I did that? Well, I didn’t. Your Regime did that, and then pinned it on the chaos terrorists, us. They had targets that needed dead, so they blew them up. And pertaining to the killing you thing, I only did it in self-defense against someone who I thought to be another Nazi lunatic.”
Avery’s mind swam with the accusations Jason brought to the table, so he said they only thing he could think of. “Every guilty man comes up with an excuse to get out of their situation.”
“I know. You’re doing it right now.”
And with those last words that Jason spoke, Avery knew he would join them, or at least leave the Nazi government to become a rebel. Even if Jason was lying, it didn’t matter; he would forge his own rebellion that followed a moral framework. The slaughtering of twenty million Jews and even more unsuspecting civilians would not go unnoticed by Avery any longer. Tonight was a night that would change his world, and Jason would say that Avery had just opened his mind to a whole new truth.
But Jason would be wrong. He changed his mind on the way here. No, not even that. He changed his mind the day he learned the truth, but had constantly battled against it. Not anymore. Tonight, Avery Heist would no longer hail the Führer inside of him; no, tonight, he would kill him.