Just to get your appetites whetted for the sequel to Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition – With Vampires, titled Suburban Vampire Ragnarok, here’s a little sneak peek. This is from the prologue sequence. So sit back and get ready (By the way, there are Nazis involved, and yes, they are the bad guys, which I hope should be obvious):
OSLO, NORWAY, JANUARY 1941
Hauptsturmfuhrer Ernst Loeb paced nervously in the white-washed hallway of the administrative building. He had several things weighing on his mind; the current visit to Norway of Reichsfuhrer Himmler wasn’t even foremost among them. Loeb had been part of the planning detail for the visit, but was then given an alternate task, wired directly from Berlin. The details of this task had come directly from the office of the Fuhrer himself. Loeb had read the order, and momentarily thought the task beneath him (“Couldn’t my skills be put to better use sniffing out spies and collaborators, rather than pursuing antique trinkets in frozen fjords?” He asked himself, before assuring himself that he was picked for this errand by the Fuhrer himself – or at least, members of the Fuhrer’s staff). Worse yet, he noticed the name of the SS Officer who would be accompanying Himmler to Norway with the sole purpose of making sure this particular task had been completed adequately. Obersturmbannfuhrer Anton Schwartzknecht was a man of some fearsome reputation, even among the Waffen SS. He had personally killed more Polish, Russian, French, and British soldiers than almost any other officer in either the SS or the Wehrmacht. It actually was worse than that, considering that Loeb and Schwartzknecht had once come to blows over the attention of a young lady who worked in a grocers in Munich several years earlier. Loeb ended up married to the beautiful fraulein, much to Schwartzknecht’s chagrin; Loeb had then wisely chosen a career path that would take him as far away from Schwartzknecht as possible. But now all that careful planning was gone, and the fearsome Obersturmbannfuhrer was now in Loeb’s territory, and had outranked him. Things could not get much worse. He nervously checked his pocket watch again. He’s late.
Apparently, however, he must not have been that late, as soon a black Mercedes-Benz 170v pulled up to the white stone stairs outside the administrative building, tires crunching through the snow. The driver ran over to the passenger door, opened it, and snapped to attention, as the black-uniformed SS officer climbed out and glanced over the white building. Loeb almost ran down the stairs to meet Schwartzknecht. He stopped a couple steps up and saluted. “Heil Hitler,” He announced, to which Schwartzknecht responded.
“Welcome to Norway, Obersturmbannfuhrer, we are honored by your arrival,” Loeb said. Schwartzknecht furrowed his brow.
“Spare me the pleasantries, Hauptsturmfuhrer. The only thing I wish to hear from you right now is that you have the object.”
Loeb cleared his throat. “We are in the process of securing it, as we speak. Right now a detachment of SS along with Norwegian auxiliaries is closing in on the location of the object.”
“That is not what I wanted to hear, Hauptsturmfuhrer. That is not what Himmler wants to hear, and that is certainly not what Hitler wants to hear. I had conferred with the Fuhrer himself on this particular project, and it was I who selected you. I shall not allow your incompetence to make me look the fool in the Fuhrer’s eyes.”
“I assure you, we do have the location of the object, and it will be in our hands this very evening.”
“You seem certain of this. Please, share with me the source of your confidence.”
“We had the chance to interrogate an informant. A man who, it turns out, is a member of the organization known as ‘Ministry’.”
The mention of Ministry piqued Schwartzknecht’s interest, as his eyes widened. “Ministry, you say? We have had encounters with them before. Officially, they have been banned by the Third Reich, their resources confiscated, and their surviving members taken to labor camps. And you say that this… Ministry… had possession over the object in question?”
“Yes, and I am certain this information is accurate as we were very persuasive, and this information has been verified.”
“Good,” Schwartzknecht said, a rare smile cracking upon his steely face. “So where is the object being held?”
“In an ancient wooden stave church to the northeast of Trondheim.”
“And you are certain that the operation will proceed as ordered?”
“Absolutely. I advised the men to cleanse the place entirely. No survivors, as ordered.”
Schwartzknecht’s smile widened. “Excellent.” He then proceeded up the stairs, heading into the administrative building.
“Excuse me, Obersturmbannfuhrer, may I ask as to the significance of this object? I understand that the Fuhrer is interested in items of great metaphysical and religious significance, but from your description, this box of Huginn and Muninn just sounds like a simple wooden box…”
Schwartzknecht turned to face Loeb. “You may ask, of course. But I may not answer. Suffice it to say, it is a matter far above your security clearance.”
“Understood, sir,” Loeb replied. After all, it was a mission directly from the Fuhrer’s office. Who was he to question it?