In a Wine Glass, Darkly
Intrigue and infighting within the tangled
circles of Nazi theology & technology
©2017 by Richard B. Messer
The salon was quiet save for the patter of the rain on the windows, the slight whistle of wind around the eaves, and the soft ticking on a clock on the mantle. The auburn-haired Roe deer femme took another draw of her cigarette, feeling the effects of the hashish magnifying her awareness of the setting before her.
She could see the occasional tic on one of the other femme’s face, and hear the sudden gulping of someone draining their wine glass.
“I have endured much,” Rica Mader began, “and will continue to do so for as long as I’m on the face of this Earth. I may not have been privy to many secrets within the Vril Society, but have deduced much from what little I’ve heard and managed to piece together an understanding of what the Nazi party may be trying to accomplish.”
“And what are they trying to accomplish?” The black-curled feline hostess drew her cigar to a red point before blowing the smoke into the air.
Fixing her gaze across the table, Rica Mader simply stated: “They are trying to create a craft to carrying a crew to Aldebaran for a face-to-face meeting with these people of that world!”
The room erupted into a maelstrom of chatter as the gathered group called the Sisters of Isis tried to make sense of what had been declared. Some thought the whole idea rubbish; others believe it all to be a possibility. The ursine femme declared it to be nothing more than a 'Buck Rogers' story. This went on for about half a minute before the brown-furred hostess drew herself up to her feet, fixing the cervine with a cold stare. The action caused the others to quiet down, waiting for their leader to say something.
“And what proof have you to substantiate this declaration?” The question was spoken quietly, but bore the unmistakable hint of a command.
In turn, the Silesian medium slowly stood as well, not cowed by this display of authority.
“You may have been informed of an incident that had occurred two years ago, of a plane crash in the Black Forest?”
Taking another draw of her cigar, Mdm. Bigeard blew out the smoke before speaking.
“There had been something mentioned about that from our sources in the government. Something about an experimental aircraft, was it?”
Her painted lips drawing back into a grin, the doe slowing shook her head. “What had been found was regarded by the higher party members as a possible space craft, probably originating from Aldebaran!”
Again the other femmes began talking at once until Mdm. Bigeard told them to be quiet in no uncertain terms!
“What proof do you have that such a thing exists?”
Leaning over to knock ash into the ashtray, Rica Mader straightened up to stare once more into the French-Vietnamese feline’s face. The doe could see how dilated the other’s eyes were, and how quickly her chest rose and fell!
She knew we were coming, but not why, was the dark thought in the cervine medium’s mind.
“We are carrying, Menie and I, certain items that I stole from Wewelsburg Castle, to carry as far away as possible, to prevent the construction of this special craft to the stars. The remains of that craft that crashed now resides in a warehouse belonging to the Messerschmidt Aircraft Company. There it is being studied for the express purpose of recreating a similar vehicle to travel to that world in the eye of Taurus.
“And before you ask, the reason is quite simple: They hope to convince the inhabitants that they are descendants of their kind, and to provide the Nazis with weapons of such power that no nation on Earth could stand against them. Hitler and his people wish to grind democracy and all it stands for under their jackbooted heels into the dirt!”
This time there was no outburst from the other women, only stares of disbelief that dissolved into a horrific understanding. There came a muffled sob as the younger lop eared rabbit tried to stifle her crying into a kerchief. The older aunt gathered her into her arms, and spoke softly to her while rocking back and forth. This lagomorph looked to the cervine.
“I’ve lived through the horrors of the last war, what with its new aircraft, gases, and armored monstrosities grinding everything into the earth. And now, what you’ve just told us, will be nothing compared to whatever those bastards are wanting to level against us?”
Rica could only nod, for the outcome of whatever was brought back from the stars could possibly be the death of the whole world. And now, to her eyes and ears, could be detected the rapid beating hearts filled with fear, and eyes dilated to the possibility that all their lives would come to naught.
With empty glasses and cups littering the table, as well as stubs of cigarillos filling ashtrays, the gathering slowly broke up as the other femmes drifted out of the room singly or in pairs, to where Renard was helping the despondent sisters into their coats and rain hats, and ushering them out, under an umbrella, to vehicles waiting to take them home.
At the open doorway, Mdm. Bigeard and Rica Mader watched the little procession of automobiles wind its way back down the drive to the street, and deliver their shaken cargoes home.
“I am sorry for being such a bearer of bad news, Mdm. Bigeard.” The cervine femme looked up to the feline hostess beside her, and noted the mistiness in those dark eyes. “You had hoped to entertain a fellow medium with your friends. But I’ve seem to have been a bucket of water thrown onto the fire of you hospitality.”
“Non, twas all my fault for expecting to make the night a gay one for my friends.” She turned to look at her guest, a single tear coursing down a brown cheek.
“When we’ve been ‘listening’ in on your group’s actions so far away, we were intrigued by what was going on across the frontier. I would report my findings to those in control of the sisterhood, and nothing seemed to come of it. Then, by chance, we discovered your coming to Salzburg and thought it would be great fun to entertain someone else of our profession. To learn how things are going on within your world in Berlin.”
Rica Mader could only nod in reply, slowly scanning the dark grounds before the manse with her heightened senses. Then something caught her attention, such that she removed the monocle for a better look. Yes, there is was, something hunched over against the rain, and moving from tree to tree, heading for the boulevard beyond!
“Something wrong, Mdm. Mader?” the feline asked hesitantly.
Straightening back up, the cervine set the monocle into a vest pocket.
“I just saw movement out on the grounds, and it looked like someone heading away!”`
The black-curled feline squinted out into the rain-filled darkness as well.
“I see nothing.”
There came a soft chuckle from a tawny throat as Rica smiled. ‘That’s because you haven’t been raised on hashish. And my use of the drug also makes it easier to reach my grandmother when I need to do a divination.”
Mdm. Bigeard looked at her diminutive guest in mild surprise. “Your grandmother?”
“Mai oui, Mdm. Bigeard, or should I start referring to you as Mdm. Tainkong?”
The brown feline smiled slightly. “Shanlao, if you feel more comfortable in not being formal now, - Rica.”
The Roe doe smiled in return. “Among the Romani, it is better to have a female spirit guide when performing divinations for a single furson, or a séance for others. As with my family, it is my mother’s mother who introduced me to my birthright. Thus she is my guide when I need to look into something someone asks about.”
Then the realization of what she had just said now tied into an event that occurred this morning, sending the deer femme into a steady stream of Romani profanity!
Looking distressed by this action, Tainkong Shanlao asked, “What’s wrong?”
Turning back into the house, Rica Mader strode straight to the salon.
“My own stupidity, that’s what’s wrong! On the train this morning, during breakfast, a mother was beside herself over the loss of her son. I eventually offered my assistance and found him. But in doing so I made myself known as a member of the Vril Society, and that information was passed onto the authorities and now Menie and I are being hunted! With the theft of those items and our leaving the country, it wouldn’t have taken them long to track us down and discover our whereabouts!”
But as the Roe deer medium entered the smoky room there was a sight that stopped her dead in her tracks.
* * * * * * *
“What’s taking that idiot so long?”
“Will you settle down, bitte? Reinhard is a capable furson and has done this dozens of times! Ah, here he is now!”
The two figures in dark coats and hats sat in the front seat of an automobile, up the street a ways for the house they’ve been keeping an eye on. Now both were staring out the side windows at a figure clambering over a wet blanket draped across the wrought iron fencing. This figure set a small box with a leather strap down on the sidewalk to recover the blanket. When this was done he moved with blanket and box to the rear of the vehicle. The pair heard and felt the lid of the trunk open, then close as everything was stuffed into it. This was followed by the third member of the group climbing into the back seat.
“Verdammnt! I am cold and wet! Listening to those damn women chattering during dinner was making me hungry! Once we’re back at the hostel I want a hot bath followed by a hot meal and cold beer. Even if it’s this damn French crap!”
That brought a chuckle from the occupants of the front seat.
“What else did you learn, Reinnie?”
“Don’t call me that, Helmut!” the furson snapped from the back seat. “And pass me that bottle you two’ve been sharing all this time!”
A small bottle of schnapps was handed back, and a good portion of it disappeared quickly. It was passed back up front.
“That Luftwaffe lieutenant was correct; it is our missing pair of femmes from Berlin. Seems this group of women are like our own Vril Society, and had been expecting Mader and her damn secretary for a while.”
“Were they supposed to be receiving these missing items that’s got Himmler’s undies in a knot?”
“Nein. But she did mention that project about the star craft they’re all hoping to build.”
“That makes sense,” said the driver. “The items stolen from the Reichfürher’s castle are a major part of this vehicle that’s being built.” He paused to glance at the others. “At least, that’s what I’ve been able to piece together.”
“Well, you better not make your thoughts known, or the Gestapo will come looking you up!”
That brought a laugh from all three, as they were the Gestapo!
“But you have it all written down, Reinhard?” asked Helmut.
“Ja, and it wasn’t easy, what with the rain dripping off my hat brim and listening in through the amplifier,” Reinhard stated, jerking his head towards the apparatus in the trunk.
“Then let’s get back to our rooms and that hot meal Reinnie’s been wanting.”
“And stopped calling me ‘Reinnie’!”
That brought laughter from the front seat again, until the driver stopped in mid chuckle.
“Who’s that?” he said in a low voice. The others were looking out the rain coated windows as well. Backlit by the distant streetlight there shuffled a figure hunched against the rain. Once in a while this figure would take a halting step before straightening up and continuing towards the car.
“Just some damn drunk Frenchie, that’s all. Now let’s get out of here.”
It was as he stepped down on the clutch to start the vehicle that the shuffling figure had passed by only to stumble against the back end.
“Hey, watch it, you damn fool!” yelled Reinhard. “Some people!” And he said this as he settle back into the seat and faced forward.
But nothing else was said as all three were quickly mesmerized by a weaving of bright blue filaments that coursed throughout the cab of the car until it formed a solid blue lining.
The figure on the sidewalk stopped, looked back, and noted how the entire automobile quickly changed from a bright blue to a bright white before flashing out of existence. Of the automobile and its occupants, there was nothing left!
Then the figure straightened up, glanced around for any witnesses, and then continued up the street at a steadier pace. It was when he turned back to the direction he was traveling, that the distant light of the streetlamp outlined a short sharp raptor’s beak!