The X-Code and the Genie (Chapter 3)

A World War II Novelette of Espionage

Part I of the OSS Trilogy

sten

III.

Setaat Safe House, 1942

Miss Celia Devereux and Captain Logan Chandler sat on the couch in the study and marvelled at the hilarious spectacle before them. Not thirty minutes prior, the tension in the room had been palpable. Each team unsure of the other’s motives and unsure of what to do next. Guns had been drawn, accusations made, and emotions running dangerously hot. But thankfully, cooler heads had prevailed and now, Toulere, as was his fashion, had taken up his role as court jester and being just shy of fall-down drunk, was on the piano leading the whole team in a terribly out of tune, but charismatic chorus of La Marseillaise with Ethan, Blakeley and Squires all arm in arm, swaying to the music. Celia reached over and took Chandler by the hand and led him into the kitchen where they both sat down at the table. “It’s too noisy in there. I just wanted to tell you I will be leaving soon. I have to meet Gruedell tonight at the Apartment.” Chandler looked over at Celia. Damn she was a beautiful woman. Her hazel eyes were soft and round. Her mouth perfectly shaped and inviting. The thought crossed his mind to kiss her, but he soon discarded it. They had a mission to both plan and execute and besides that, a man’s life hung in the balance. “I don’t know how you do it Celia, sleeping with that monster…” Chandler remarked. Celia smiled and reached into her purse. She took out the small Walther pistol and checked that it was loaded. “Every time I am with him, I have to remind myself of the reason why I am doing it.” Chandler could see a deep sorrow sweep over her face. He hesitated in proceeding further. Sometimes dredging up the past was not wise. Celia sensed his sensitivity to the subject. “It’s OK, I don’t mind. Both my parents died of typhus when I was four. I was raised by my Grandparents on a farm outside Orleans. It was an idyllic, simple, country life. My grandmother had been a teacher and she taught me science, mathematics, languages and music. My grandpa taught me everything else. He had been a soldier in the Great War, so I learned about guns, knives, boxing, hunting, you name it. He even taught me how to hot wire a car. My grandpa died of a heart attack when I was fifteen, so after that I had to help my grandmother take up the slack around the farm. When the Nazi’s invaded in 40′, my grandmother sent me to Paris to live with cousins, thinking it would be safer.

After a few months there, I made some inquiries about her and I found out she had been rounded up with the rest of the farmers in the area and sent to the camps in the east.” It took a moment for what Celia was telling Chandler to sink in. “Are you saying your family was Jewish?” Chandler asked, his mouth half-open in disbelief. “But Devereux is not a jewish name!” Chandler asked, amazed. “Oh Captain, you know when you are in the Resistance you to have at least three nom de guerre’s, right?” Celia smiled, a twinkle in her eye. “So what is your real name?” Chandler asked, smiling back. “Let’s save that for another conversation, shall we?” Celia replied, a playful tone in her voice. Celia laughed. “You have to admit Captain, the irony is just so poetically profound! Sometimes I am not sure what is the best thing about what I am doing with Gruedell. The fact that he is in love with a Jewish girl and that I am a spy with the Resistance and he is unaware! It’s hilarious, no!?” Celia laughed out loud and then lit a cigarette. “You have been full of surprises Miss Celia Devereux, that is for sure!” Chandler replied, smiling. “So tell me about Toulere and Ethan, how did you meet?” Chandler asked, lighting a cigarette of his own. “They were in the same Paris Resistance group as my cousins when I joined. When both my cousins were killed in a Gestapo raid in 41′, they became my family.” Suddenly Celia’s face became serious again. “You know we all have lost somebody in this God-awful war, but those two men in there have lost everything.” Chandler noticed tears welling up in Celia’s eyes. “Hey Celia, I’m sorry to bring all this up…” Chandler said, trying to apologize. “No, its important you know these things so you know the kind of people you are working with.” Celia said flatly, wiping the tears away quickly. “Toulere had a wife and two sons. He and dozens more of the Resistance in Paris had their families moved out of the city for safety when the Germans invaded. Somehow the Gestapo got an informant inside the group and found out the location of where the families were hiding and killed all of them. Thirty six women and children murdered in cold blood….” Celia’s eyes were wet again, staring at some distant place past the wall in the kitchen. “Son-of-a-bitch!” Chandler cursed. “And Ethan…poor Ethan. We found him in a gutter, starving, left for dead by the SD.” Celia was sobbing now. “That poor kid had to watch his entire family be slaughtered in front of him because they were Communist. So when our bosses offered all three of us a chance to come to Casablanca and work, we all jumped at the chance. Paris had become too dangerous. It is riddled with traitors and informants and has too many bad memories.” Celia suddenly looked at her watch. “Oh Shit!” She jumped up from her seat, went over to the sink and washed her face. “I’ve got to hurry or I will be late. If I am not there when he arrives, he might get suspicious. I will see you tomorrow afternoon and we will work out the plan, yes?” Celia asked as she grabbed her purse off the table. “Sure, you bet.” Chandler replied. “Au Revoir Captain.” Celia said smiling as she walked out of the kitchen. “Au Revoir Miss Devereux.” Chandler replied. “God Speed to you.”

Chandler awoke the next morning with a terrible hangover and his head feeling like a frozen pineapple. “These damn French, it happens every time…” he muttered to himself as he crawled out of bed, slipping on his trousers. He could hear the familiar clicking of the telegraph in the next room as Squires talked with London. As Chandler walked to the bathroom praying there were some aspirin in the cabinet, Squires came out of his room. “Ah, Sir, you’re up. Perfect. We just got a message from HQ. They wanted to know the status of the mission.” Chandler kept walking to the bathroom. “The status of the mission is there is no mission yet Squires, you know that. We sit down tonight with Celia and the others to plan it out.” Chandler shut the door to the bathroom as Squires tried to follow him in. “But sir, what do I tell them then?” Chandler cracked the door. “Tell them our Resistance contacts are currently busy with subversive activities, as is their mandate, and we are in a holding pattern as far as planning the mission. As soon as we have details we will let HQ know.” Chandler slammed the door this time as if to put a period on the conversation. When Chandler made his way downstairs he was surprised to find Toulere and Ethan sitting at the table eating and talking. “Good Morning Captain!” Toulere said with vigor. “Good God, I forgot about you French, you people can drink like fishes!” Ethan and Toulere laughed at the remark. “Would you like a omlette captain?” Ethan asked getting up. “No, just coffee thanks.” Chandler sat down with Toulere. “Last night was a real party, aye!” Toulere said smiling. “Yeah, I guess you could call it that.” Chandler said smiling as Ethan sat a steaming mug of black coffee in front of him. “Today, I thought we could go over weapons and explosives and tonight when Celia gets back we can go over the plan in detail.” Ethan said as he sat back down. Chandler shook his head in the affirmative as he sipped his coffee. “Sounds good. Do you have a place around here where we can shoot and not draw attention?” Chandler asked. “Wee, Toulere and me found a real nice spot about 10 miles from here, very secluded and private.” Ethan replied. “Sounds perfect, but let’s play it smart and only bring one sten and one welrod to practice with, everything else stays in the cache spot. I will gather my guys and meet you at the vehicle in half-an-hour?” Chandler asked, looking at both Toulere and Ethan. “Perfect!” Toulere said getting up from the table. “Ethan you get the guns, I’ll bring the beer!” Chandler slowly shook his head as he rubbed his temples and muttered under his breath. “Beer? You gotta be kidding. These damn French are gonna be the death of me…”

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 10 Miles South of Setaat Safe House

 The small, green clearing Toulere and Ethan had chosen was a few miles off the main road in an orchard of olive trees. “You sure the man who owns this orchard won’t report us to the krauts when he hears the shooting?” Chandler asked Toulere as they drove up. “Positive Captain, he is a trusted friend of the Resistance.” Chandler nodded as he wiped his forehead with his handkerchief. He had forgotten how hot North Africa could be this time of year. It was barely Noon and already the rancid alcohol was seeping out of the pores of all the men, making it smell like a brewery. Ethan walked downrange with Squires and put up a few makeshift targets with tin cans. When they returned, Toulere began walking the men through the hardware. “For security reasons we only brought the one sten and one welrod and a little ammo to practice with. But per the Captain’s orders, here is the latest complete inventory for all weapons, explosives and gear for the mission:

  • Three 1911 .45acp Pistols and nine magazines
  • Three P-38 9mm Pistols and six magazines
  • One Luger P-08 9mm Pistol, Two magazines and uniform Flap Holster
  • One Walther PPK .32ACP Pistol, two Magazines
  • Four 9mm Welrod Suppressed Pistols
  • Four Sten 9mm sub-machine guns, twelve magazines
  • Two K-98 8mm Rifles
  • Eight MK-II American Pineapple Grenades
  • Four British Smoke Grenades
  • 7 Blocks of Comp-B Explosive with Det Wire, Pencil Detonators and Timers
  • Two-hundred rounds of .45ACP, Six hundred rounds of 9mm ammunition, fifty-rounds of 8mm, fifty rounds of .32ACP
  • Two captured Wermacht soldier uniforms with caps and boots
  • 2 Pre-loaded syringes of surgical sleeping agent
  • 2 Pre-loaded syringes of tranquilizer agent
  • 8 Cyanide pill vials

The rest of the day the men spent practicing with each of the guns. Squires was the one with the least trigger time, so all the men gave him tips they had learned in the field. “With the Sten, don’t fire a burst when one shot will do, remember, less is better!” Chandler told him. “With the welrod, I have learned to aim just a tad high if they are more than twenty feet away. Remember, if from the front, shoot them in the face, if from the back, aim for the base of the skull. Our aim is to sever the spinal cord and cut out all motor function.” Ethan told him, pointing to the appropriate areas on Toulere’s head as he explained and Toulere doing his best impression of a dead nazi all the while. Chandler looked at his watch. “Let’s head home, Celia should be back soon and we can start going over the operational plans.”

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Setaat Safe House

Celia  arrived at the house around eighteen hundred and Chandler wasted no time laying out the operation that was to take place the next night. “Before I start I want to go over our escape. As most of you know, we were set to catch a French freighter in Rabat two days from now. Since the freighter’s schedule cannot be altered at our beckon call, Command has provided a London Express Transport. The landing strip designated ‘GARBO’ will be used and the plane will be on the ground at 2345.” Chandler rolled out a map of the city and surrounding area. “Garbo is here and the jail is here.” Chandler circled the two locations in red. “Celia, HQ has green lit the assassinations of Major Gruedell of the Gestapo and the double-agent at the Interior ministry, their code names are HAMMER and STAR, respectively. You are certain you can kill both of them and then link up with us at GARBO in time?” Chandler asked without looking up from the map. “Positive Captain.” Celia answered flatly. “Ok, so the assault on the jail is as follows. Guard strength is estimated at four to six. Stokes is the only prisoner so we don’t have to worry about freeing anybody else. We go in quick and quiet with the welrod’s and only go loud with the sten’s if we have no other choice. Squires and Ethan will pull security at the front while me, Toulere  and Blakeley go in and get Stokes, understood?” Everybody nodded their heads. “I am not sure what kind of shape Stokes is going to be in, so we have to be prepared to carry him out, understood?” Again everybody nodded their heads. “We leave here at 2200 tonight. Celia, we will expect you at GARBO at 2340.” Chandler looked at Celia earnestly. “I will be there Captain.” Celia replied. “You know the plane can only stay on the ground for five minutes, so if you are not there by 2350, you will be left.” Chandler looked at Celia seriously. “Understood Captain.” Celia replied again, this time giving him a playful wink. “Anybody have any questions?” Chandler asked looking around. Everybody shook their head no. Toulere raised his hand. “I vote since the mission is not until tomorrow night, and this very well may be our last night on earth, we all get drunk and have a party.” Toulere said with a smile, walking over to the piano. “I second that motion.” Ethan said laughing, going over to the bar and pouring drinks. “I think you better grant their request Captain or you may have a mutiny on your hands.” Celia said laughing as she got up to get a drink. “Can I get you something Captain?” Celia asked. “Yeah why not, Whiskey neat.” Chandler replied. Celia brought the drink over and sat beside Chandler. Both Celia and Chandler drank in silence for a few minutes as Toulere, Ethan, Squires and Blakeley blew off some steam singing at the piano. “So what are our odds Captain, honestly?” Celia asked, looking at Chandler seriously.  “I say 70/30 in our favor. We got a good group of people and surprise is on our side.” Chandler replied taking a long drink. Neither one of them spoke for several moments. Only the sound of the men’s laughter filled the room. Ethan left the room and came back with a framed picture of De Gaulle he had hidden in his room. He propped up the picture on the piano and Toulere burst into another horrific but patriotic rendition of La Marseillaise as everybody else joined in.

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323 Rue Socrates, Apartment 114, Casablanca

The next day Celia kept to her regular schedule and then around seventeen hundred headed to STAR’s apartment. Celia was amazed at how fast she remembered how to pick a lock. In under fifteen seconds she was out of the hallway and into the flat. Glancing at the clock on the wall as she entered, Celia estimated the woman would be home in ten minutes or less. The place was clean and neat. “Just like a German” Celia muttered under her breath. The woman obviously lived alone, judging from the clothes in the closet and the amount of food in the cupboards. Celia looked over the layout, trying to decide the best hiding spot. A linen closet just off the main hall would suffice she decided. Checking to ensure the welrod was loaded, she carefully slid off her shoes and then slid her body into the closet and closed the door. Five minutes passed and then Celia heard a key inside the front door lock. Celia heard footsteps and a shadow pass the door. She then heard the woman in the kitchen, keys jangling on the table, the refrigerator door opening. Celia quietly opened the closet door and slid her slim body out. Walking heel-to-toe down the small hallway, Celia slowly turned the corner into the kitchen. The woman continued to put up groceries for a few moments until she felt Celia’s presence behind her. She slowly turned around to face her. “I am glad they sent a woman to do it.” The woman’s words fell out of her mouth as Celia pressed the trigger. The pistol burped the spent gases in a “pfttttttt” sound as the nine-millimeter round entered right below her right eye, sending a spray of blood and brain matter out the back of her head painting the white and yellow cupboards behind her in a visceral red mist. The woman’s body crumpled to the floor with a light thud. Celia waited a few seconds and then loaded the welrod again. Stepping over the body, she pressed the muzzle to the womans head and shot her again. Satisfied, Celia stuck the pistol in her purse and calmly walked out of the apartment and headed to her place, four blocks away.

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12 Rue Karachi, Apartment 365, Casablanca

Celia glanced up at the clock. It was ten minutes after ten. They would be on their way to the jail right about now, she thought to herself. Celia had been waiting for the past five hours for Major Hans Gruedell, aka HAMMER, to show up. He typically arrived somewhere around ten o’clock every night, like clockwork. No matter, she was not going to panic, she thought to herself. She wanted to take her time getting ready. This was a special night. A night of reckoning. She double checked her hair and makeup in the mirror and made sure to wear the new red dress Gruedell had bought her the previous week. As she walked out of the bathroom she noticed the picture on the dresser of her dear Grandmother looking at her. Celia felt herself wanting to cry and then she noticed the pre-loaded syringe of tranquilizer and the Block of Explosive with a timer laying on the bed and the sadness she was feeling turned into a smile. She wondered if Captain Chandler would be angry with her for taking those things without permission as she loaded a fresh magazine into her Walther.

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Gestapo Jail, 5 miles Outside Casablanca

Chandler and the rest of the men sat up the street from the jail watching. “We hope to be in and out in under six minutes. Keep the engine running and be ready to move in a hurry.” Chandler told Ethan and Squires, giving them both a serious look and a smile Chandler, Toulere and Blakeley were all dressed in black with black watch caps. Each of them wore a holster with a welrod pistol and a Sten slung across their chest. Chandler peered out the small window in the back of the van ensuring the coast was clear. The streets were empty and quiet. “Ok, let’s move”. All three men burst out of the back of the van and cleared the distance to the jail in seconds. All three men drew their welrod’s. “Toulere, you get the door.” Toulere quickly opened the door and Chandler and Blakeley went in. As they entered, a German soldier was napping at a desk, Chandler fired one round, hitting him just right of the nose, crumpling him to the floor. Chandler quickly reloaded. Another set of double doors led into the jail. Toulere tried opening them but they were locked. “Blakeley, slide over and open them.” Chandler whispered. Blakeley slid over the counter like a cat and opened the door. The three men proceeded down a small flight of steps that led down a long hallway. Chandler was in the lead and he could hear two Germans talking up ahead around a corner. He quickly threw up two fingers and then readied his pistol. As they turned the corner two soldiers were smoking and talking, Chandler shot the first one in the side of the head and Toulere the second, both of the bodies dropping on top of one another in a dull thud. Chandler reached down and patted the soldiers finding a silver key ring on one of the belts. The hallway continued for ten more feet and then dead ended at a single cell. Chandler found the key and opened the door. As the door swung open, the smell almost knocked the group down. “My God!” Toulere exclaimed putting his hand up to his face. Expecting to find a corpse, both men entered the dark cell. Chandler used his torch to search and there in the corner, next to a bucket of his own shit and vomit, lay an emaciated Lieutenant Stokes. He was covered in rags, his skin a series of blisters, cuts and sores. His hair was long and he was unshaven. Chandler gently lifted him up off the ground. Chandler noticed the bastards had cut off his right ear and now only a small hole remained. “Bout time you showed up Captain, I was seriously thinking of filing a complaint…” Stokes whispered weakly, his lips so badly chapped, they were bleeding. Chandler smiled at the remark. “Let’s get you the hell out of here Stokes.” He was so light Chandler had no problem picking him up like a child. “I’m gonna carry him to the van.” Chandler told Toulere as he slung his sten across his back and started out of the cell. Toulere ran ahead ensuring the coast was clear. As they exited the building, the streets were still empty. Blakeley met them at the back of the van, opening up the door. “Jesus Christ! Is he alive?” Blakeley whispered, his eyes wide. “Oh yeah he’s alive, even cracked a joke earlier.” Chandler responded as he gently laid Stokes in the back of the van on a blanket. “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Chandler said as everybody jumped into the van. Chandler turned around and took one last look at the jail and then hopped into the driver’s seat and sped off.

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12 Rue Karachi, Apartment 365, Casablanca

Gruedell arrived at the apartment at 2235 carrying a dozen red roses and a bottle of schnapps.  Celia was sitting at the kitchen table drinking red wine. “I was about to give up on you.” she said smiling. “I am sorry my darling, work intruded. To make it up to you, I brought you this…” Gruedell replied smiling, laying the roses and schnapps down on the table and leaning over and kissing Celia. “How beautiful, let me get a vase.” Celia got up and walked to the kitchen cupboard. Gruedell walked into the bedroom and began undressing. “I am going to take a bath. I feel filthy.” he called out. When Celia heard the bathroom door shut and the water begin to run, she walked over to her dresser and opened the drawer. She removed the welrod pistol, a roll of thick packing tape, a pair of handcuffs, a pair of leg irons, a hammer, a hacksaw and the pre-loaded tranquilizer injection. She then went into the kitchen and got a chair and brought it into the bedroom. After everything was staged, she sat on the bed and waited. After ten minutes, she had forgotten how vain and self-absorbed this son-of-a-bitch could be so she figured she better entice him to move things along. She walked over to the bathroom door and in a deep, throaty voice called out “My Darling, please hurry up, your Fräulein is so hot, moist and ready…” Celia had to choke the words out they made her so nauseous. She was so glad the charade would end tonight! Through the door, Gruedell could be heard giggling like an adolescent schoolboy. “Oh my! Well in that case, here I come!” Celia backed up away from the door and stood to the side. Gruedell burst out of the bathroom, naked like some horny wildebeest, his manhood erect and his eyes wide and lustful, the steam from the bath pouring out around him like some demon escaping from hell. Celia quickly jabbed the needle into the side of his neck and injected the dose of tranquilizer. Gruedell shrieked like a wounded animal.”You fucking bitch! What was that!” He grabbed the side of his neck and then turned toward Celia to attack. Celia raised the welrod pistol toward him. He took two steps and then his legs turned into limp spaghetti. “What the hell?” Were the only words he muttered before he collapsed, his head hitting the wood floor with a slap.

When Gruedell came to he was gagged and taped to a kitchen chair, his hands handcuffed behind his back and his feet in a pair of leg irons attached to the chair. Celia sat across from him smoking a cigarette. “How do you feel my darling?” Celia asked with contempt, smiling through the hazy smoke. Gruedell responded with a grunt through the gag, his eyes bleary and unfocused from the drugs. “I want to show you something.” Celia said getting up from her chair and bringing over a small box and some pictures. “Hey! Pay attention!” Celia slapped him hard, his head rotating to the left with spittle and blood shooting out on the floor. “This is a picture of my dear Grandmother who raised me, her name was Anna also.” Celia held the picture up in front of Gruedell’s unfocused eyes. “You nazi pigs sent her to the camps to be gassed.” Gruedell’s head bobbed as he went in and out of consciousness. Celia slapped him again. Shewas angry now. She opened up the small box and removed a yellow Star of David holding it up in front of his eyes. “And this you make us wear like branded beast.” Gruedells eyes wavered, his head still bobbing up and down. She slapped him again, this time harder. She then walked over to her desk and opened up a drawer and removed some papers. Sorting through them, she found the one she wanted and walked back over to Gruedell. “See this!” Celia held up the document in front of Grudell. His eyes struggled to read the fine print, but when he finally did, his eyes grew wide with amazement. “That’s right you nazi pig, all this time you have been in love with a jew!” Celia turned the paper around and looked at it. It was her original birth certificate, stolen from the Orleans registry and replaced with a fake one before the Nazi’s arrived. “Anna Louise Weigel, Religion: Jewish.” Celia said out loud with pride. Gruedell could be heard cursing through the gag, his eyes wide and red with anger. Suddenly something boiled up in Celia that she could not control and in a blur she picked up the hammer, grabbed his penis, stretched it out on the chair and hit the head of the penis as hard as she could. Gruedell screamed through the gag a pitiful sound, like a dog slowly dying. Blood and cartilage splattered all over Gruedell’s stomach and legs as thick blood oozed out of the wound and dripped off the chair. After a few minutes of listening to Gruedell’s suffering, Celia glanced at the clock. “Time to get this show on the road, Sturmbannfuhrer.” She picked up the Walther laying on the desk and curtly rapped Grudell across the head with the barrel. The metal split the skin down to the bone and blood sprayed on the wall. The blow knocked him unconscious again, and Celia satisfied with the silence, lit another cigarette and prepared for round two of this wonderful night of reckoning that was long overdue.

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10 miles from GARBO Airfield

Chandler did not see the Gendarmerie checkpoint until he crested the hill. “What the hell?” Chandler muttered under his breath. “That was definitely not here when we left.” Ethan exclaimed from the back. “Either they got wind of the jail break. or this is just a random security search. Ethan cover up the weapons and Stokes with that blanket, everybody else get your ID’s out.” Chandler stuck his 1911 under the seat. “If they want to search the van, we are gonna have to kill them.” Toulere spoke from the passenger seat as he did the same with his pistol. “I count two cars and five men, three of them with machine pistols, do you see the same?” Chandler asked Toulere. “I do.” Toulere responded. “Everybody be calm and let me talk.” Chandler said as they rolled up to the line of cars being checked. It only took a few moments before a Gendarmerie officer in full uniform and strutting like a peacock came up to the window. Chandler rolled down the window and spoke “Good Evening Officer.”  “Routine security check. identifications please.” The officer was a typical Vichy stooge, an SS wanna-be, trying to look and dress the part of his German masters. As Chandler handed him the ID’s, the officer shined his flashlight into the van, first looking at Toulere and then looking into the back. Chandler noticed the other four officers in a group watching. He glanced over at Toulere and then gripped his 1911 with his right hand. “Where are you coming from at such a late hour?” the officer asked. “We work construction. We had a big job and worked late today.” Chandler responded. The officer again shined the light in the back of the van. “What’s wrong with your friend back there, is he drunk?” “No, he was hurt today at work, fell off a ladder, we are just now on our way to take him home.” Chandler noticed two of the other officers start to walk over. “We are going to need to search the van.” The officer said flatly. “But sir, we have a sick man that cannot be moved.” Chandler’s voice was virtually pleading with the officers. “No matter, please step out of the…” As the officer reached to open the door, Chandler swung the pistol out of the window and shot the man point-blank in the face. In the same moment the two officer’s that were walking up drew their machine pistols and fired, the rounds piercing the windshield and engine block. Chandler ducked down in the seat while Toulere quickly exited the van, firing rapidly with his pistol while moving toward a ditch, his rounds hitting both of the officers in the legs and stomach. “Blakeley and Squires, disperse!” Chandler yelled as Ethan collapsed  on top of Stokes. The van door burst open and Blakeley and Squires, both armed with Stens, came around the van. The two remaining officers had taken position behind their cars, one-armed with a MP-40 and the other with a pistol. The wounded officers on the ground fired at Toulere in the ditch when Chandler raised up and fired through the windshield, hitting both of the officers in the chest, dropping them. One of the officers taking cover behind his car fired a burst at Chandler with the MP-40. Blakeley as he came around the van saw the man firing at Chandler and squeezed off a three-round burst with the Sten, the rounds catching the officer in the neck and head, dropping him in a wet thud. Squires broke right to engage the remaining officer behind the car. “I surrender” the officer yelled throwing his gun down and raising his hands.

Squires and Blakeley brought the officer out from behind the car with his hands raised. “Captain you OK?” Blakeley yelled. Chandler raised up from cover and peered over the dash. “Yeah, I’m OK”. “Ethan you and Stokes OK back there?”  There was no reply, only the labored breathing of Stokes, covered in Ethan’s blood, pushed his body off of him. “I think Ethan is Dead, Captain.” Stokes said weakly. Chandler reached behind him and felt for a pulse on Ethan. Nothing. “Shit!” Chandler exclaimed as he kicked the door open and got out. He walked around to the back and opened the door, pulling Ethan;s lifeless body off of Stokes. “You hit Stokes?” Chandler asked looking him over. “No, I’m fine.” Stokes responded. Chandler turned Ethan over and saw where two of the rounds fired through the windshield had caught him in the neck. Chandler closed Ethan’s eyes and then walked over to the ditch. “I think Toulere’s dead too Captain” Squires said as he walked up. Chandler knelt down and turned Toulere over. A round had caught him in the top of the head. “Yeah, he’s gone.” Chandler muttered. “What do we do with this one Captain?” Blakeley asked, looking at the Gendarmerie officer who was quietly praying.  Chandler calmly got to his feet, walked over to the officer and shot him in the back of the head. Blakeley and Squires both jumped back in shock. “Now come on and help me move Stokes to one of these cars, the van’s engine block is shot to hell.” Chandler voice was calm and even. “Captain! What the hell! That guy surrendered!” Squires exclaimed, almost crying. Chandler laughed walking back to the van “Surrendered? What the hell does that have anything to do with it? He was an enemy agent and had seen our faces, we had no choice!” Chandler said flatly. “Now come on and help me get Stokes into that car, we got a plane to catch!”

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Outside Gestapo HQ, Casablanca

Major Hans Gruedell awoke from a groggy and disoriented state to a state of extreme pain for the second time in an hour, this time sitting in the driver seat of a car. His head and groin hurt and while he wanted to reach and feel either one, he realized with horror that his hands had been taped to the steering wheel. He looked over beside him and there sat Celia, smiling, smoking a cigarette. “Hello lover boy, how do you feel?” Celia asked. “What the hell have you done to me?” Gruedell asked, trying to twist his body to get his arms free. “I wouldn’t move around too much if I were you, you are in a very fragile state.” Celia replied, smiling. “I went ahead and wrapped your dick, or what was left of it, in gauze and gave you a coagulant so you would not bleed to death before we could have our little fun.” Gruedell looked at Celia trying to understand what she was talking about and then he looked down. Gruedell realized that not only was his squashed penis wrapped in a layer of gauze but also he was totally naked and taped above his crotch were two, one pound blocks of Comp B-Explosive with pencil detonators inserted with a clock timer. “OH…MY…GOD….Celia, what have you done?” Gruedell asked, his voice cracking with fear. “Well, to put it simply, I have made you into a Bomb Hans, a rather large human, dickless, bomb.” Celia smiled at how funny that sounded and finished her cigarette, throwing the butt out the window. “What do you plan to do?” Gruedell asked, his voice low, his bottom lip trembling. “Plan to do? Oh I won’t tell you that Hans, that would ruin the fun, let’s just say it is gonna be a real blast!” Celia laughed at the remark as she reached over and turned the timer to two minutes and flipped a red switch. “Now just in case you were thinking of trying to reset the timer or mess with it in anyway, I have set a secondary switch. So don’t even think about that, OK sweetums?” Celia gave Gruedell a hard, evil look and then got out of the car and walked over to the driver side and opened the door. “Celia, whatever you are thinking about doing, we can discuss…” Gruedells voice trailed off as he watched Celia reach down into the floorboard and retrieve a broom handle that had been cut to length. Suddenly, Gruedell looked up and realized the car he was in was pointed directly at the entrance to Gestapo headquarters. “Burn in hell you nazi piece of shit.” Celia said as she placed the cut broom handle on the accelerator, pinning it to the floor. The engine revved with raw, angry horsepower as Celia backed up and then popped the transmission from neutral into first gear. Gruedell shrieked like a teenage girl as the car peeled off at high-speed, it’s engine roaring like low, rolling thunder. Celia turned around and walked calmly down the sidewalk, lighting another cigarette as the car crashed into the building, a cacophony of breaking glass, twisting metal, screeching tires and loud screams of panic filled the once peaceful night. As Celia rounded the corner to her waiting car, a huge explosion lit up the Casablanca night, as shards of metal and glass and parts and pieces of dozens of Gestapo and SS officers that ran to the car to help free Hans were dispersed all over downtown in a nazi meat shower.

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GARBO Airfield

Chandler and the team arrived in time to light the  signal fires needed for the plane to land. Chandler and Blakeley got Stokes out of the back while Squires loaded up the equipment and weapons. As soon as they were on board the pilot asked Chandler how much longer he wanted to wait. “Give her two more minutes.” Chandler replied over the drone of the planes engines. As Chandler was about to pull up the ramp, he saw headlights coming. As the car got closer it stopped and out popped Celia, running flat-out for the plane. She hit the ramp and Chandler grabbed her by the hand and pulled her aboard. Once inside Chandler gave the all clear sign to the pilot and the engines could be heard revving to full power. Celia quickly glanced around the cabin and saw Stokes but did not see Toulere and Ethan. She quickly turned to ask Chandler a question, but the look in his eyes told her what she wanted to know. Chandler just shook his head, a tear forming in his eye. Celia grabbed him and hugged him tight, burying her head into his shoulder and letting out a sob. Chandler looked over and saw Stokes looking at them both, tears flowing down his cheeks as he mouthed the words “Thank You.” extending his hand. Chandler reached out and shook it, still holding Celia tight as the engines roared and the plane banked north for England.

The End

 

 

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