World of Darkness, World of Hope, a Rocketman Story, by John Pirillo. Stranded on new timeline Harry faces worse than darkness: Loneliness!
World of Darkness, World of Hope
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
What had gone wrong?
Time and space were no longer just concepts to be studied in a school or class room. No longer idle ideas of a thirsty mind. No longer theories to be argued and defended vigorously. They weren't a friend long gone in the memories who would remain there forever because he was dead. To himself and the world now.
No time and space were a harsh and hard reality to him. They meant that nothing was solid and certain in his life. They meant...
"Harry!" A voice assaulted his ears even louder this time.
Harry snapped out of his thoughts and became aware once more he was flying through the stratosphere at...he eyed his tach. Almost twice the speed of sound.
"Yeah. Here" He finally managed, sounding like a weak imitation of himself.
"Harry, what's wrong? We've been out of contact for hours!"
"Small problem is all. Everything's..." He had to force himself to say the next words. "...Is alright now."
Harry toggled the communications off, killing the connection to his...friend?
Harry's stomach was turning flip flops in his body, assuming full attention now. It had started soon after he had patched up the cannibalistic American and left him to his own resources to survive or not. He had a feeling he would, and then he had dashed back to his suit, and launched as quickly as he could.
He was still stunned from his experience.
His forehead felt like a meat factory with dozens of meat cleavers slashing into it, splitting it into tiny pieces. He wanted to wipe his forehead. It was sweating. And hot.
What had gone wrong? He asked himself for the thousandth time since he had launched. The real reason he had been out of communications had not been the fight. That had been relatively short. No, it was the soul searching he was doing now.
Red back home. Home? He snorted to himself. What's home?
He had to snap out of it, he couldn't keep circling the globe forever. He had to go somewhere. But where? America had become a cesspool of cannibalism. London was run by the Chinese and an alliance of peoples who had starved a once proud nation into what they had hoped would be a nuclear surrender, but instead had turned them into monsters like themselves.
This world had no happy alternative. It was just plain farked up!
He wanted to puke. His stomach agreed. He tried to restrain it. He couldn't afford to puke inside his rocketsuit. So he did the only sane and reasonable thing. He landed in what had once been named Greenland on his time line. Near the coast, where he could see icebergs floating lazily on the waves not so far away.
The beach he had landed on was very rocky and lightly covered with snow. He had marched along the beach in his rocketsuit, not sure if he could manage it without mechanical help at the time. He had found a small cave that overlooked the beach and gone inside. He had ditched the suit, leaning it against a back wall that was littered with driftwood. Probably from a past thaw that had raised the waters temporarily here.
He managed to shift most of the wood forward and get it burning with the help of an old boy scout technique he had learned what seemed centuries ago in time and space. He tugged out an emergency rations pack from inside the suit, broke out a folding plate and cup and made himself a jerky and spam sandwich.
Even this other world relied on Spam. Then he looked t it and the slimy Spam hanging out over the edges of the dry cracker ration he had, then slowly put it down. How did he know if even this wasn't...something else?
That put the nail in the coffin of his stomach's resistance. He immediately threw up, spewing into the fire, almost putting it out. He flung himself away from it, not wanting to do that and continued to gag for what seemed like forever. Finally, weak and exhausted he managed to crawl against the cave wall and fall asleep.
"Harry, you goof."
Harry smiled. Jet was dangling a paper doll in front of him where he lay upon his bunk, arms beneath his head. "Get it outta my face, or I'll rip you apart."
"Yeah. You and what Rocketman?"
Harry laughed. He was so untypical of the Brits who surrounded him and Jet in this war. He had blonde hair and lustrously warm brown eyes, witty and spunky, able to shoot the wings off a fly at a hundred years. Big ears, but they were offset by his long face, which was handsome and rugged with a two day old beard he never seemed to shave, sparkling brown eyes, and a frame that was six and a half feet tall.
Jet, tall as he was, was still a half foot shorter, but was muscled and slim like a well oiled wrestler, with luminous brown eyes, tight hair that looked like bands of curls, and flawless black skin that all the ladies loved. Harry grinned. His friend was the proverbial lady killer, though he was as gentle as a lamb with the women he dated, and never broke a single heart. Some kind of record for any warrior in this day and time, considering the circumstances.
Jet took the paper doll and as Harry watched hung it on a make shift Christmas tree, slung together from a beat-up coat rack, hangers for branches and shoelaces for strings of bulbs with tiny rocks hanging from them. Up and down the fake tree were cut outs of paper dolls. All women.
Jet had several fish that some sailors had brought into the camp by the truckload for the camp personnel. Their Christmas gift from Ike and the Brits who appreciated their efforts to save them and their fair land. The smell of the sizzling fish was driving Harry nuts. His stomach growled so loudly he was certain everyone a mile away had heard it.
"Jet, you've got too much doll on your mind, buddy!"
"Yeah. And you don't?" Jet snapped back. "And I heard that buddy! You like to me and Santa will take away the goodies I'm making for you."
"You're not Santa!"
"That's right and don't you ever forget it, pal!"
Harry laughed. Jet was always good for lifting his spirits up. He didn't like all the violence that went with war. He was sure Jet didn't either, but Jet appeared to burn it off with is rowdy sense of humor. But yes, he did have dolls on his mind. One in particular. A petite sassy nurse with the heart of an angel.
Nurse Sally, everyone called her. Flaming red hair and startling bright green eyes that cold poke holes in any lie with a look. His first and probably only ever love in his life.
His girlfriend had gone on a way mission to the outskirts of London to help with the wounded there, and even though close enough it seemed like a million miles away at that moment.
"Think you two'll get hitched up after the war?" Jet asked out of the blue.
Harry snapped awake, conking his forehead into the cave wall. The pain caused him to see stars a moment and it was then he noticed a familiar smell in the air. The same as that in his dream. Fried fish.
A hand put a wet cloth in front of his face. "Take it. It'll help reduce the pain."
Harry took it, rolled over and put the wet cloth on his forehead he had struck against the stone. Seated across from him at the fire he had made before was a slender man, with shock white hair and kind blue eyes. He wore a thick white jacket, white pants and boots. He had the posture of a warrior, but his aspect was kind in all ways. Harry could almost smell it from him, and that reminded him.
Growl! His stomach churned angrily, demanding to be fed.
The man laughed lightly and took a fish from the fire. It had been poked through by a piece of branch, which the man released into an eager Harry's hands. Harry took the catch and began gnawing on it right away, his hunger so intense he was almost blind.
"You have a good appetite."
Harry swiped the fish grease from his lips, and then sat up straight. Too fast. Everything began to swirl about him. The man leaped so quickly Harry wouldn't have had a chance to avoid him had he been an enemy, and caught Harry before he could collapse into the fire. He gently tucked Harry back against the wall.
"Will you be all right?"
The man went to the other side of the fire again and took off a second fish on another branch. He said no more, but ate, methodically and slowly. Harry watched for a time, and then when his stomach growled again, he remembered the fish in his own hands and started eating again. They both ate in a peaceful, camaraderie of silence until they were done.
The man leaned back against the other cave wall and belched.
The man smiled. "Good to see some Americans have a sense of humor."
Then Harry realized where he had seen that kind of clothing before.
He jumped to his feet. "You're the enemy!"
The man remained seated. "Do I look like the enemy?"
Harry stiffened a moment apprehensively, and then shook his head. "Only physically."
Harry sat back down.
"Well then." The man said kindly. "Why not tell me why I look like your...enemy?"
The man listened as Harry told him about the American he had encountered, and the Brits he had abandoned. Then he told him what he never thought he would tell anyone. He told him about his childhood.
"When I was ten I used to lay on a rock outside my parent's home and gaze at the stars. Someday I'm going to fly there, I promised myself."
"And did you? Did you fly there?"
The man gestured briefly at the Rocketman suit at the back of the cave.
Harry snapped to attention.
The man laughed. "Harry, you are so different from the other Americans. Why is that?"
"Because I am not from this world."
The man gave him a stern look.
Harry blushed, though he didn't know why. "I mean not from this world and its timeline."
The man nodded as if he understood everything Harry had told him.
"Now my friend, I think we both need to rest. It's been a hard day for both of us I think."
For some reason Harry could never explain until much later on, he trusted this man. Even if he did look like a Nazi storm trooper. He lay down and went to sleep immediately.
The man, however did not. He took out a small tablet and began to write in it. Finished, he ripped out a piece of paper, and then slipped it near Harry. He smiled at Harry, took another look at the Rocketsuit, and then exited the cave.
Harry woke up the next morning feeling better than he had in a long time, though he couldn't say why. He rolled over and then realized he wasn't alone. Or rather he was alone again. He jerked upright. The stranger was gone. He had never learned his name, where he was from. Not a thing. Harry cursed himself for being such an idiot. He turned. His Rocketman suit remained in place.
He frowned. Then he saw the piece of paper near him. He picked it up and read it.
"Harry, I can't promise you a peaceful life, but I know there's a greater purpose to our lives than what both of us have seen. If you believe as I do that man must aim for the stars in every way possible, and then I have drawn a small map for you to follow. Meet me there in one day and I will show you a world unlike what you have seen.
"Signed. Nicolas Tesla."
Harry got to his feet, kicked out the rest of the fire, scattering the embers, then crushing them beneath his boots. He went to the back of the cave and looked at his Rocketman suit.
"I don't know where this is all going, but there has to be a reason. A purpose to it all." His eyes wet for a moment.
Rocketman shot into the skies, an arrow of glistening metal and bright forces congealed in a mixture of hope and trust as man and machine went forth to discover the meaning of this new world and their place there. For now!
"There's Always Tomorrow." A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo. Harry's mission brought him back in time, but which past, and to whom?
"There's Always Tomorrow."
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry had felt a kind of wavering of his consciousness, kind of like you feel when you're surfacing from a particularly difficult sleep and you're not quite back in your body yet, and still submerged partially in your dream state. He had been traveling from West Berlin on a special assignment for the Allied Resistance. Now that the power domes had been lit up all over the planet, the Allies had bent their every resource to a way of passing through the domes without being instantly incinerated.
Their first clue had come from Harry himself. His brave dive that had brought him beneath the dome had revealed their limitations, that the power fueling the domes did have its limits, though it appeared to be almost limitless on the surface. Even so, beneath the hot zones of the domes the bubbles tapered off. They had weak spots. Not many. But they had them. Trouble was unless you had a jet suit like Harry that was more like a guided missile than a back pack, you couldn't survive the transition.
Harry frowned. He knew that because some of the brave men who had attempted to do so had either fried before they could complete their transition or their vehicles had exploded from the heat. The domes transition zone measured at a mere depth of a few centimeters, but the radiation and heat were their most intense in the middle centimeters, and that's the barrier they had yet to overcome.
Except for Harry's rocket suit, none had successfully been able to transit the domes of energy. Until today. What had been built by man's brain, was now being undone by man's brain. Einstein and Tesla had come up with a transition device, not much larger than one's thumb, which counteracted the dome field, causing a strong enough disruption for any vehicle or man entering it to pass through safely. Even as he weighed those thoughts in his mind Hitler and his nefarious regime of criminals would be surprised when dozens of their deeply secret bases all blew up at the same time and the domes went down. Permanently.
"Once the master dome is down, Harry." Einstein had told him, his face somber at the moment in the light of predawn overheads in the secret base. "Once it's down, you will go immediately to West Berlin and destroy its base."
"I don't understand, Al. If the dome's are down, isn't that enough?"
General Brighton, the lead commander at the base had returned from a mission in America with some of their scientists. It had been a scouting mission and successful. They had mated up with their companions in the underground of San Diego. There they had come up with the blueprints and plans for a simultaneous destruction of the domes. It had cost them almost ninety percent of their men to return safely with the plans, but they had done it.
General Brighton was one of the few British military leaders still left from World War Two, when it was still just bombs and bullets, instead of zombies and energy weapons. He was an old man of sixty now, but still wiry as hell and energetic enough to make a Chihuahua jealous.
"You need to understand, Captain." He cut in with his usual brisk British accented voice. "That the bloody place is protected by another dome, inverted about the power center that controls all the domes. Without that in ruins, the domes can be brought back on line within a matter of months, if not weeks."
Harry considered that. Jet stood to his left, chin lowered. Deep in thought. "He's going to need more than a rocket suit to take out that place, Sir."
The General eyed Jet and nodded. "And that's why you'll be leading the team that parapets in behind Harry and take out the guards and sub power stations. With enough of those blown, Harry'll be able to penetrate the inverted dome and blow up the rest."
Al finally gave everyone his usual boyish smile. "Which means it'll take them years to rebuild. If they ever do."
Tesla played the devil's advocate. "Of course by then, the bastards will probably have come up with something else equally as diabolical."
Jet smacked Tesla on his shoulders. "You're my man, Doctor."
Tesla gave him a crooked smile. "Just making sure you realize the tenacity of our enemy."
Everyone laughed. There wasn't a man there who didn't know the enemy was as determined in this day as the last. With their continued subversion of the remaining survivors into zombies, they had less and less resistance internally to deal with and could concentrate their forces and energies on coming up with more ways to uproot the Allied Resistance.
But that had been this morning, now Harry was on his way to complete his mission and something had gone wrong. Horribly wrong. He could feel it in ever bone of his body, when the uneasy feeling subsided. The air about him had changed. Not dramatically, but subtlely. He checked below him and then to his right and left. The domes were gone. He was high above their reach and he should have been able to spot their tell tale flares of bright incandescent energies, but there were none. Had his Allied friends already dropped the domes?
He checked his internal time and it was still ten minutes before detonation. What was up?
He did the only thing he could. "Jet. I seem to have a little problem."
There was a long pause of nothing but static.
"Jet, can you read me, over?"
The static intensified, then as suddenly as it had come, it vanished.
He heard his friend screaming like a child who'd just had Santa dump all a ton of Christmas gifts in his lap. "Jesus! Harry! Where the hell have you been?"
"Where are you?"
"On target for the detonations of the domes."
"Detonation of the what?"
"The..." Then Harry got it. He felt every nerve in his body light up as if it were the 4th of July. "Jet, am I home?"
"Harry, you all right?" Jet's worried voice called to him.
"Home me in, Jet. I seem to be suffering from some battle fatigue. I don't trust my own senses right now."
"Gotcha, pal!" Jet chimed in.
A moment later his suit made a pinging sound and went to automatic pilot. He shut his eyes. All he had to do now was relax and everything would be okay. Then alarms sounded. His eyes shot open, the suit was dropping rapidly.
"Harry, what the hell are you doing? You have to maintain power to the thrusters or you'll drop like a Nazi bomb!"
Harry was almost in too much shock to think, but he got the thrusters back under control. "I thought you pinged me."
Harry's mind was racing. What was happening?
"Jet, quickly what year is this?"
Harry let out a whoop of triumph. "I'm back!"
"Back from what, Harry?"
A new voice broke through Jet's. "Harry, this is Al, please describe what you think has happened?"
Harry went into every detail of his mission starting from that morning. When he was finished, the radio went deathly silent for a long time.
Jet's voice came back on abruptly. "Harry. Alter your course to the following co-ordinates."
Jet gave them and followed them. He had had a long day already. His sleep had been terrible, as it often was before a big battle and the battle fatigue was catching up to him again. He fought to keep alert as he followed the co-ordinates. It wasn't until he spotted a familiar sight that he woke up, as if someone had thrown cold water in his face. It couldn't be. Yet it was. He refused to believe it, even though he had already figured out he wasn't any longer in his own time line. Question was, which timeline was he in now?
He had already fought in the original timeline. That's when he had transitioned from a secret war against the Nazis into an alternate timeline where Super Storm Troopers guarded a base of intercontinental missiles armed with nuclear devices. He had been cast unconscious into the freezing lakes of the Swiss Alps, then later recovered by a female scientist to carry on the war with the Resistance of that world which had been nuked to destruction by the Nazi empire.
Then he had found himself switched into a yet different timeline, evidently some side effect of the energies of his rocket suit, which had been built for him by Tesla and Einstein. The radiation sparked some kind of intermittent cross time travel, which he had absolutely no control over. He was a puppet of destiny, wherein he was fighting the Nazis, who seemed to always be winning in every world he ended up in.
He cut back on his jets and as the dust settled, was immediately surrounded by a platoon of British Marines. Something odd about them, though he couldn't figure out what it was at first. Then as he unhinged the front of his suit and stepped down, a very beautiful red head came flying between the troops and flung her arms around him. She gave him a kiss that would've melted the side of a battleship, then pushed him back and slapped his face. "How dare you run off like that into battle and not tell me, Harry!"
Harry stood there stunned a moment. He eyed her closely, noting that she had blue eyes and her hair was a true red, but tinted with shades or orange as well, and then said. "Who are you?"
She gave him a shocked look, then dropped back, finally giving his suit an odd look. She dropped even further back as he pushed through the troops. Jet had a thick beard and mustache. He didn't have the battle fatigues on the other soldiers did. Instead, he wore professorial glasses and a doctor's smock.. "Harry?"
They stood looking at each other a long time, trying to absorb the differences they both saw. Then Jet spied the rocket suit behind Harry. "I don't know where you've been, Harry. But that's not the suit you took off in when you were assigned to fly to Paris and blow up the Eiffel Tower."
Harry's turn to be shocked. "But the Eiffel Tower was destroyed by Hitler's nukes at the end of the war. The nukes I failed to stop."
Jet and Harry eyed each other silently a long time. Finally, Jet nodded to the Platoon and they scattered, returning to their positions. "Someone wants to talk to you, Harry. We'll sort this out later."
The redhead scooted back in close to Harry again, taking his right hand and clenching it so tightly he almost screamed with pain. "We're going to get through this, Harry. I promise!"
They walked towards a large tent. The Tower of Big Ben hovered in the background. Harry stopped for a moment and pointed. "That shouldn't be there. This shouldn't be here." He pointed to the camp. It should be a nuclear pothole."
Jet eyed Harry warily. "Amigo, you sure got some head injury. Don't know what Nukes are, but they sound truly nasty."
Jet gave Harry a second and longer appraising look, then they went inside. There, General Eisenhower and Albert Einstein stood before a large tactical map. Except that General Eisenhower looked different. Even Al; he had brown skin. The General yellow like a Chinese.
Eisenhower turned a fierce glance on Harry. His almond eyes appraised Harry thoughtfully a moment, then sharply. "Report, Captain."
Harry immediately saluted, even though he was still in a state of shock.
"Captain Harry Jackson, Air Command. Rocketman reporting as commanded."
"Sir." Eisenhower growled in an oriental accent.
"Sir!" Harry repeated, saluting smartly yet again.
Eisenhower came closer, examined Harry with eyes as fierce as hawks. This man was a lot fiercer looking than the strong, but milder man he knew back in his home timeline. Harry glanced towards Al. A black Al. He could never have imagined such a thing. But there he was, the same face, but framed by spiky white hair. Al smiled out a cigar and lit it.
"Al, where's your pipe, why are you brown?" Harry stammered.
He looked at the red head. "Who are you? Why did you kiss me so...swell?"
She almost choked with laughter. "Swell! Harry no one talks like that anymore."
He turned to Jet. "You don't need glasses."
"You've got eyes like an eagle."
"Sorry, Amigo, but that hasn't been true for a decade."
Al continued to gaze at Harry in a relaxed manner. He indicated a beat up stool. "I suggest you sit down, young man. You've got a lot to digest I fear."
At first he didn't believe a word he was hearing. He was in a kind of battle shock. The alteration of timelines had yet again caught him in its grips and this time in a more rigorous manner. Britain was a nation of Orientals. Jet was a doctor like Al, and Al was Latino. The red head was his fiancée in this time line. But there were more shocks to come. And ones he didn't like one bit.
He kept giving her side glances. She didn't look like Nurse Sally exactly, what with blue eyes instead of green, but...
She kept looking at him, like a child who's found themselves in a horrible nightmare that can't wake up from. "Stop looking at me like I've turned into some kind of monster?"
"It's not that, it's just..."
She shook her head, fighting off tears, then couldn't hold it anymore. Her heart was breaking. She burst into tears finally and ran from the tent.
Al looked at Eisenhower. "Ike, I think I should..."
"She deserves some help right about now. Go ahead."
Al smiled gratefully and slipped from the tent to follow Red.
The General's eyes gazed solemnly at Harry. "Just answer one question, son."
Harry nodded, the fatigue and shock taking a toll on his energies. He could barely keep his eyes open. "Yes, sir. Anything."
"What do I look like in your timeline?"
Harry burst into laughter. The Ike he knew of his timeline would never, have never ever asked such a question. And he sure as hell wouldn't have let Harry off the hook so swiftly. He would have dogged him until he had wrung every single bit of Intel he could, then wring him again."
The General finally lost his solemn look. He clapped a hand to Harry's shoulder and turned to Jet. "See that he gets a warm meal and a bed to rest on. We'll figure this mess out tomorrow. Time enough for questions, right Doctor?"
Jet nodded, though he didn't act as certain as the General. He gave Harry a long look, then nodded again, indicating the exit.
As Harry was being led out he looked back. The General was still watching him. "Tomorrow, Harry. Tomorrow. There's always tomorrow." He chuckled. "Especially for you."
Harry followed Jet, who had yet to gather his own senses together. When they reached a tent, Jet opened it. Two cots were inside. "Yours is the one on the left."
"Jet, what happened to me?"
Jet looked him in the eyes. "I don't know, Harry. You're still Harry, but you're different somehow. The fact that you looked like you were in shock when Red smacked you with those gorgeous lips clued me in really fast that you were not my Harry."
He paused, then grinned. "Either that or you were giving her one of the biggest cons a Romeo like you can do."
"Harry, everyone knows Reds just one of a dozen ladies you got on the hook." Harry laughed again and slapped Harry on his back. "Amigo, there isn't a soldier in this camp that wouldn't love to trade places with you."
Harry gave him a blank look. None of it made sense. He'd never hang one woman up to dry to be with another and that many at the same time. He bit his lower lip. Evidently these multiple time lines were not only different in how the Nazis won the war, but also, how the people acted. At that moment he determined not to let what Jet had said about him be his real self, whatever that might have been.
Then he got a really, really horrible thought. What if his alternate Harry was also thrust into his last timeline instead of him? What happened there...would it affect him here? And did what he do here affect there? His mind was reeling from the implications of what had happened to him...yet again. The first times the timelines had been altered only by the amount of time, but this time...
Jet gave him a searching look. "Harry, you don't look so good. You all right, amigo?"
Harry shook his head. "Would you be?
"Last thing I remember was flying a mission to destroy the energy domes surrounding the continents."
Jet's jaw dropped. "Energy domes around the continents! Where the hell you been, amigo, what happened to you?"
"I don't know. Yet. So now what's going to happen?"
Jet smiled. "I imagine you'll wake up bright and early and go through another, deeper and more thorough briefing, then you'll probably be off to war again like all of us. Like all of us, Harry. Only..."
He started to say more, then waved it off. "Just rest, Harry. You've can re-rig your brain tomorrow. Time enough then." Jet slapped Harry on the back again. "Good to have you back with us safe and sound, amigo. Sleep well. You've earned it."
Without another word Jet exited.
Harry collapsed on his bunk. He didn't even bother to kick off his boots. The moment he hit the bunk he was out like a light. Then he felt something warm press against him. He awoke to find Red laying next to him, her arms about his neck, snuggled against his chest.
Harry started to wake her, then pulled back.
"Tomorrow, Harry." He whispered to himself. "There's always tomorrow, Rocketman."
Then he fell into a deep and restful sleep.
At least until the air raid sirens began to wail.
Red was gone. Jet rushed through into the tent. "Rocketman, we need you!"
Fighting Nazi Monsters! "Storming the Future" A Rocketman Story by John Pirillo. Would he ever be able to return to the woman he loved?
Storming the Future
"A Rocketman Story"
by John Pirillo
Harry stood before the Rocketman suit, which was hanging by its arms in a clench of metal clamps that held it at a perpetual 12 inches above the pressed concrete flooring that covered the interior Swiss base of the Resistance. Behind it hung a second version, and behind that a third and so on through about ten versions. Each version was smaller than the last, but still far too big.
He then looked at the smaller jump suit, as he called it, that was slung casually over a work bench where Einstein and Tesla were clucking like mother hens over their new babies. It looked similar to the old movie serial he had seen in the States before he had been transferred to the Allied front in Britain It was, however, powered differently, and modular. Each part of it could be replaced by simply removing the entanglement field that kept it in place.
The entanglement field was something that Edison had come up with on a whim. He had been researching electromagnetics in hopes of finding a way to automate the building of his cars...and now the war effort's weaponized vehicles more rapidly, with them being easier to fix when things blew up. Which was often. It was based on some law that Harry didn't have the slightest comprehension of. Science was not his forte. Flying was. He frowned, but flying a ticking bomb had never been on his list of flying objects when he woke up in the future, or in the past and was drafted into the war on the Nazi regime.
"Don't worry, Harry, they'll work it out." Jet told him from the side.
Harry, startled from his reverie, and turned to eye his friend. "It's getting worse."
Jet put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know, brother. Believe me I know. I'm the one that has to listen to you scream at night, remember?"
Harry sighed, then dug his hands into his uniform pockets, letting his frustration drain away. Jet was right. He always was. It just fretted at him that he had so little control over what was happening.
Al, perked up, probably feeling Harry's upset and nodded to Tesla, who gave Harry a wave, then returned to probing the jump suit with a tiny tool that had headlights on it. Al brushed his hands off, wiped them carefully on a dirty cloth, then on a cleaner one, and came over, all smiles and perky. "Harry, my boy. So good to see you. And so bright and early."
Jet gave Al a cockeyed grin. "As if anyone could sleep in this hole in the wall anyway."
Al clapped a hand on Jet's right arm. "Always shooting from the hip."
"Just be glad you're not the one in my sights."
Al laughed, patted Jet's arm, then gave Harry a more serious look. "You had them again?"
Harry adjusted his flight attitude and zoomed in a descending arc towards the newly reconstructed Eiffel Tower. It was late at night and only a few guards stood there, but they were Sturmgiganten. The giant, genetically enhanced soldiers cooked in Hitler's massive genetics labs buried somewhere in Asia and out of the reach of the Resistance.
For now. Harry thought grimly. One day. He let the thought subside as he dropped lightly onto the semi-lit platform at the top of the tower. It was similar to the one he remembered from his youth, when his father and mother had taken him to Paris for part of an European vacation. Those had been happier days. For Harry. But they had ended badly for his parents. His mother had contracted cancer and went through what seemed like an endless series of tests and remedies, which left her weaker and weaker over time.
A stomping of a boot.
Harry snapped out of the past to the present. This present. Not the one he had been born to. Which was in late twenties. Not this one which was a thousand years later and the hollow shell of the world it had once been. Its peoples decimated by a constantly warring faction of Nazi soldiers and Eastern Global warriors and weapons. The Second World War had ended with nuclear strikes at all the major western capitals of the world. The Eastern Block and Nazi Germany had divided the planet into two zones. They lived an uneasy peace between them, which was enforced locally by zombie soldiers...citizens whose minds were preempted by electronics...and Sturmgiganten...huge genetically modified soldiers that stood over eight feet tall, had muscles as thick as tree trunks and fists the size of hams. No, it wasn't a pretty future, or past as he remembered it.
Harry slid in a sliding curve with his left foot and the other one jacked up and caught the Nazi giant in its right kneecap. It grunted in pain. They had no voice like normal, but spoke in a kind of apelike grunt. Harry knew the one on the opposite side would be coming fast. For some reason these creatures always knew what was going on with the other. Knowing that, he swiftly followed the kneecap kick with a double punch into the giant's privates. The giant grunted even louder, the pain of its crushed testicles...thank God it had something normal...being so excruciating that it doubled over. That brought its chin into Harry's reach. He slammed his right elbow into its throat, then shoved with all his strength and sent the giant tumbling against the railing, where its giant yellowed eyes glared at him angrily, promising hideous torture. It wasn't going to happen. Harry drop kicked the giant in its stomach and it flew head over heels from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Its grunts grew louder and louder with pain as it fell into the large metal struts holding up the massive tower.
Harry never got to listen to it strike the bottom, because even if he could have heard it, the second giant was on him. He spun around powered his suit and flew like an arrow of destruction into its chest, sending it falling back against the railing. Harry didn't wait to struggle with it. He clasped one of its arms, gave his suit a power surge and lifted it off the platform, dangled it over the ground below and let go. He didn't listen for any grunts. He had a mission to do. He lit on the platform again and went to the strange device that topped the tower. It was, according to the Resistance informants, a death ray, that once activated. That one and a score of them about the city. That once activated, would create a lethal dome of blazing energies which no living thing could survive.
His mission. It's not going to happen.
He set the charges he carried in his side flaps, planted the timers carefully on all of them, set them for sixty seconds and leaped from the tower.
He flipped on his jump suit and waited for the rockets to kick in.
Harry's face was flushed and sweating by the time he had completed the retelling of his dream. Jet looked at him, his jaw hanging down. "God, Harry, I never knew. Man!"
Al took out his pipe, which he always did when he was considering something weighty, or something that bothered him deeply, proceeded to tamp tobacco in it, then light it. He took several puffs, then said. "We're going to find out what is causing these time loops, Harry. I promise it."
He said nothing more, but he gave Harry a quick side hug, then stepped back to rejoin Tesla, who looked up then, saw Harry's face, gave him a worried look, then returned to his work, with Al whispering words to him so Harry and Jet couldn't over listen.
Harry slumped against the work table behind him and wiped the sweat from his face. He felt like crap. Probably looked like it too.
He and Jet went to the small eating area that was allowed the base, took out two mugs and filled them steaming black java. They plugged the liquid with dabs of sugar and milk, then sat down, eyeing the activity going on, even at such an early hour.
A platoon of Resistance Forces were training in one corner, their Squad Leader, hollering at them to stay trim, stay in line, be quiet, get down and all the other nasty things those guys did to save the lives of those in their command.
"It's like I'm unhinged in time, Jet." Harry finally said, lifting his eyes from the activity in the base, to Jet's.
Jet nodded. He waited for Harry to go on.
"I never feel the death, but it always ends up that way. Why do I only remember the deaths?"
Jet laughed. "God's keeping you humble, man. God knows you need it, Flyboy."
Harry laughed despite the sadness and dismay he felt. He took a long sip of the hot java, the coffee streaming down his throat and igniting the nerve endings in his body, bringing some semblance of reality back to him again as he got further away from the dream.
Then he remembered. "Jet, it's been happening to me when I fly the suit."
"Yeah, man, we knew that."
"Yes, but it only happens after I've been in battle."
Harry jumped to his feet and dashed off.
Jet set his coffee down. "Now, I know why they call him Rocketman. He never keeps his feet on the ground long."
Jet sighed, threw the rest of his drink down his throat, then ran after Harry.
Harry struggled into the Rocketman suit while the Techs helped him lockdown. It was like squeezing a soft tomato through the top of a wine bottle. It had to get inside without bursting. At least that's what it always felt like to Harry at first. He eyed the jump suit and wished it were stable. He needed the flexibility it provided. No use living in the past, he thought, then stuffed his arms into the arms of the Rocketman suit and waited as he was closed inside.
Jet tapped on his faceplate. "Reading me, Harry?"
"Only too loud and clear, pal."
"Good, next time you run out on me like that I'm charging for the time."
The Techs about them laughed too.
Harry and Jet were base favorites. Their humor and stamina were well known, as was their battle readiness.
Harry activated the controls in his suit with his chin, tongue and nose, then dropped lightly to the floor as the overhead clamps released him. He turned towards the rising hanger door. He twisted slightly to look at Jet. "Make sure Al and Tes are monitoring my flight this time. It's important."
"Not telling me why, pal!" Jet exclaimed in aggravation.
Harry smiled through the face plate. "No time. Just tell them. Please!"
"Gotcha!" Jet dashed off.
Harry turned the Rocketman suit towards the opening to the Swiss air, then ignited his suit's rockets. He kept them tuned low so the radiations didn't backwash into the crew scrambling to clear his path, then punched them into full gear when he reached the opening. They could never leave it open more than a few seconds for fear of the Nazi Fume Fighters catching wind of them. So far they'd been lucky.
Harry launched into the clear blue skies of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne below him as he angled towards the clouds. He checked his radar and spotted a Fume Fighter. They had won that name from the ugly black smoke they emitted as they tore through the atmosphere, leaving a smoking trail of black fumes and stench.
"Closing." Harry said into his communicator.
"Gotcha, Harry." Jet said.
"Be careful, Harry." Al told him.
"My middle name." Harry chuckled. "Except when it's he who drops like a rock."
Jet whooped with laughter. "That was good, brother. Really good."
"Here goes!" Harry warned, then accelerated the suit, closing in rapidly on the Fume Fighter which was high above. Obviously, the pilot had his attention forward, instead of below, for Harry was able to launch a series of rockets into its exhausts before the pilot awoke to the Rocketman behind him.
Harry didn't give him a chance to warn anyone, not even himself. He launched a deadly one, two whammy salvo of rockets which sent the Nazi pilot back to Valhalla.
Harry circled the area he had struck the Fume Fighter in, waiting for his theory to be proved. Nothing happened.
"Well, Harry?" Al finally said, his voice sounding a bit worried.
"Nothing. Not a damned thing." Harry groaned.
Realizing he had just shot down his own theory, he headed back to base. He shot through the entrance, backed off on his rockets, then lit like a dandelion on his favorite spot. He waited impatiently for the Techs to unlatch him, then thanked them, and raced to the back where Al, Tesla and Jet were standing next to the jump suit, which was still in pieces.
Al gave Harry a searching look.
"I thought the weapons somehow triggered the response that threw me between timelines."
Al nodded and turned to Tesla, who had been jotting notes in a small tablet in his hands. "I think you're wrong, Harry. "
He held the tablet up. Harry squinted at the mathematical symbols on it.
"What's it mean?"
But the words that left his lips seemed hollow, empty, as if he were in some kind of deep echo chamber. He jerked his eyes towards Jet, who was reaching for him and then...
Harry was falling and falling. The rockets had failed. He would die if he couldn't fire up the engines. Finally, he did the only thing he had left for him to do, if he hoped to survive. He jettisoned himself.
He watched the jump suit smash into a building and explode, sending scores of storm troopers from their quarters to see what was going on.
And there Harry was, dangling from a parachute high above their heads, but plainly visible if any of them looked up.
"Harry!" Jet screamed.
Harry shook his head. Jet shook his body.
Harry snapped out of the vision he had been experiencing and realized he wasn't falling anymore.
Tesla wrote more notes in his tablet. "You were gone for..." He looked at his pocket watch. "Three seconds."
Harry let out a whoop of joy. He hugged Jet. "It worked. It worked!"
Al smiled comfortingly. "Yes. It did. Now..." He sighed, as he and Tesla exchanged glances. "We have to figure out why you are disobeying every law of physics known to man."
Jet patted Harry on his back. "That's because he's Rocketman."
Everyone laughed, except for Harry, who secretly wandered if someday he would be able to use the new knowledge and return. Return to the woman he had left behind. He had loved and was stricken from his life forever by a quirk in time.
Hunger. Pain. Food. Must have food! "Food," new Rocketman Story. Not all monsters are made that way! Some will stay that way no matter what!
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
The thought was like a hammer on its stomach and its mind.
It raised its snout and sniffed the air, drawing in the cold scents and the warm ones. The warm one was sweet like the food it loved to eat the most. Its tongue swept across its sharp fangs, which began to wet in anticipation of a fresh meal.
It leaped to the top off a rock about fifteen feet high and clung to it like a spider, its clawed hands holding it firmly in place. It sniffed again.
The scent jerked its eyes towards the horizon. It couldn't see anything clearly. But every once in awhile it seemed as if something glowed against the ground over the gulley that ran down from the mountain and to its side.
The thought drove it mad with frenzy. It was starving. It had eaten its full a month ago and lain in a kind of deep coma filled with strange memories and faces...small faces...ones it should have felt something for...something besides hunger. But it couldn't remember them that well anymore and the thought of food overwhelmed its memories and drove it in a great leap from the boulder it clung to.
It drove towards the wide, surging flood of water.
The fire crackled warmly in the bowl of rocks and dirt they had piled together in the deep gulley that lay at the foot of Rishikesh, deep in the heart of the Himalayas. The Ganges spun its surging song of joy happily as it crashed and splashed over the shoreline and boulders strew in its path to the sea. The stars were like sharp pricks of light ripped through a velvet cloth in the sky. The moon hung over the nearest mountains like a Guardian Angel keeping its babies safe. The high embankment that ran into their gulley kept the light smoke and flickering fire safe from the eyes of any passersby's.
And there could be some. But not the kind you would want to welcome with open arms. Unless you wanted your neck shredded and your heart torn out. That's what happened to the careless here. Hearts sold for extremely high prices in the Black Market of Delhi.
Harry felt a great sadness descend over him as he thought back to the old days when he and his best buddy, Jim, would hike these ranges, looking for challenges. They weren't mountaineers, or rock climbers, just very young kids happy to explore regions that were forbidden to them. Both their parents would have been horrified to know what they were doing, risking every day. But such is the folly of youth that never dwells on death and dying, and thinks it's immortal and above danger.
"Yeah, Harry." Jet answered drowsily from a blanket on the opposite side of the fire. "Do you ever miss the good old days?"
"Since when were they ever so good for me?" Jet asked, his voice steeped with fatigue, but also a latent anger.
Harry looked at his friend. "That bad?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
Harry waited. Jet always wanted to talk about it.
Jet rolled over, propped his head on his hand, and then looked through the fire at Harry. "My school teacher beat me for looking at a white girl. My father beat me for me getting caught looking at a white school girl, and my mother disowned me for looking at a white school girl. I was damned and kadoodled by everyone."
Harry grinned. "Was it worth it?"
"Hell no!" Jet cursed. "I nearly got away with it, but Mister Kinder, my teacher, caught me again. I darned near got hung when he brought me to the Principal. Both of us didn't know he was the head of the KKK back then."
Harry stiffened. "That bad?"
"Yeah. Harry, that bad." Jet rolled over onto his back, his thoughts reliving those years. "Black kids got a burden on them by just being born. You wouldn't know anything about that."
Harry nodded. "Maybe. But being Catholic has sure got my ass kicked a lot of times by those who hate us."
Jet rolled over to look at Harry. "That bad?"
Harry nodded. "But I'm sure that getting beat up every day after school for being Catholic, spit on by grown-ups when you passed them on the way home, and having cops throw you in jail for looking at them cross-eyed. I suppose that's not as bad as what you've gone through."
"Nope. Nowhere close."And that was the end of the conversation.
Harry lay down. The Rocket suit was a new model. It laid to his right. Jet had one too. They were testing them out. So Harry had suggested a long flight. To India. Jet had smacked the ceiling at first, telling him that they might get eaten alive by Abominable Snow Men. Harry had laughed. "There are no such things."
Jet shook his head. "Harry, maybe not in your timeline, but this one..."
Harry felt a cold shiver run up and down his spine. He was afraid to ask, but he did anyway. "How?"
"One of the first things Hitler did...after blowing up half the world's capitals with nuclear bombs was to experiment."
"Yeah. Lots of experiments. That's how the Sturmgiganten got born. Genetic manipulation and a few other...more gruesome things."
Jet sighed, throwing an arm over is eyes as he remembered.
"One village my team was sent to clean out, had a whole pen filled with werewolves."
Harry sat back up. "You're kidding? There's no such things!"
"Timeline...yeah, I know. But werewolves?"
"Harry, you got a lot of catching up to do."
Harry lay back down. "Jet."
"Do you think we're actually making a difference?"
"You mean by blowing up all those arms depots and destroying Sturmgiganten?"
Jet sighed. "I just don't know anymore. Ever since you brought me out of that hellhole of a life I had been stuck in, I've given that thought a mangling in my mind almost every day."
"We're only two people, Harry."
Harry was silent.
They both fell silent and the warmth of the fire and flickering of the flames sent them into a deep sleep.
Harry fell into a world of has beens and might have beens. He saw a nurse, whose name he couldn't remember, but who he needed to find again so badly that his heart was breaking, and then she would vanish and he'd find himself struggling in the arms of this gigantic soldier, whose face resembled a gorilla's, but with pointed teeth and eyes sparkling with intelligence driven mad by pain and disfigurement.
He woke up with a start.
"Jet, wake up!"
Jet leaped to his feet, reaching for his service weapon, which he had left on the ground. He dove for it the same time as something huge leaped from above and landed where Harry had been lying.
Harry spun around and drop kicked the beast in its chest, tumbling it head over heels, nearly into the surging waters of the Ganges which would most likely have sucked it down to its death, but the creature was quicker, more nimble than that. It landed on its toes and sprung at Harry, claws reaching out for his throat.
Jet's weapon sent a single bullet into the chest of the beast. It fell to the ground and lay there. It didn't move.
Jet and Harry stepped near it, but not to near.
"It's one of those damn hybrids!" Jet cursed, raising its gun to fire again.
Harry gently rolled over the creature. It had a woman's face, but her face was distorted, skin pulled back into the snout of a wolf. "Damn!"
"Double that." Jet snapped.
"She might have been a looker once."
"Not any more. I wouldn't date her if you paid me." Jet cursed.
Harry looked at her skin. He felt it. "She's starving."
"How can you tell?"
Her skin is loose. No fat. Probably lost most of her muscle."
"This probably saved our butts."
"What do you mean, maybe?"
"Just..." Harry didn't like what he did next, but he was going on a hunch. Something flashed across his memory. A face peering into his. "Should we kill it?" The face asked.
"No. It's not a threat. It only appears to be."
"But it's our enemy."
"Haven't we killed enough in this war?" The voice had asked.
Harry had survived, brought back to life and succored b the rebels who had survived Hitler's devastating nuclear blow against the world. Everyone mistrusted him at first, but in time they came to know him better, and when they realized he was fighting for the same cause, they became friends.
Harry looked to Jet. "Help me tie her hands behind her back. Quickly."
"She's not dead?"
"Hell, Jet, you know you're the worst shot I've ever known."
"Saved your butt enough times."
But Jet helped him truss her up and sit her up against a rock. Harry went to the Ganges and soaked a hanky in the water, then came back and gently pressed it to her forehead, then her cheeks and her throat.
She made a low growling moan and her eyes flickered open. Then she tried to claw him, except her hands were tied behind her and around the rock she sat against. She struggled a long time, but both men said nothing and waited.
Finally, she settled. Harry held up a stick of jerky. "Hungry?"
The she creature's nose sniffed the air and she went wild again.
Harry waited. She settled down again. Harry came closer. "You behave and it's yours."
She looked into his eyes and they narrowed a moment, then she relaxed. He nodded. "Good." He pressed the jerky towards her mouth and she nearly took his hand off too. He let go and she ravaged the jerky, swallowing it in seconds.
She growled at him, and then sniffed the air, looking around.
"Damnit, Harry, you might be onto something."
Harry got out a bigger piece of jerky. "A bit at a time and I'll let you have even more."
The she creature considered him a long time, as if weighing whether to eat his hand or the jerky, then she nodded her head slightly.
"Damn!" Jet cursed. "She has some brains left after all."
The she creature howled at Jet and he dropped back. "No offense, lady. But I'm not used to good looking dolls trying me out for a muffin meal."
The she creature looked back at Harry and he slowly eased the longer jerky towards her. She didn't try to snap at his hand this time. She nibbled on it, and he pushed it gently all the way into her mouth. When she was through, he repeated the process.
"Yeah. I know." He sighed. "Ante up!"
Jet grabbed his own jerky and tossed it to Harry and continued to feed the she creature. Her eyes lost some of their ferocity and her snarls lessened, and finally her head drooped forward. She began to make light dog sounding snores.
Harry picked up his rocket suit. Jet did his.
Harry dumped all their food at the foot of the she creature. Jet did the same.
"It's going to be a long empty stomach home, Harry."
"Yeah. Ain't it always, pal?" Harry asked with a smile.
They went behind the rock and loosened the rope.
"She'll be outta that in ten." Jet said.
"And we're outta here in five."
Harry threw on his rocket suit, adjusted his helmet as Jet did the same and they ran for the Ganges. They leaped into the air. Their feet barely touched the waters before they were airborne and roaring into the air.
The she creature's eyes snapped open on the sound and she growled angrily, and then noticed that her arms and hands were loose. She snapped the rope free, and then jumped to her feet. She was about to run after the men, when she felt the food at her feet.
She looked down, confused, surprised. Then her nose got the better of her. She dropped to a squat and began shoving the food into her snout, as her eyes watched the two men arc upwards and then blast across a full moon.
When she was through eating, she threw her head back and howled at the moon, giving thanks to her luck...and maybe, just maybe a little thanks to the men creatures that hadn't really hurt her when they could have.
Puzzled as she thought about it, she shook her snout, and then loped off back into the hills.
Food! She thought. Maybe. Just maybe. Friends!
Fiendish plots. Nazis! Sabotage. Death. World War 2. Action! The Spy Smasher faces certain death yet again in Chapter 10 of the Spy Smasher!
Fiendish plots. Nazis! Sabotage. Death. The Spy Smasher faces certain death yet again in Chapter 9 of the Spy Smasher!
Death. Destruction. Sabotage. The fiendish Mask attacks once more. The Spy Smasher faces certain death yet again in this latest chapter of the serial.
The Super Soldier
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
"Rockets!" Harry cried out and everyone scattered as he blasted past them, accelerating faster and faster, a trail of radiant energies lighting his path.
Techs and ground crew hid behind blast shields, not wanting to get exposed to the radiation, which they already knew from Einstein and Harry personally, was unstable and had some pretty drastic side effects, like projecting Harry back and forth through time, from the time of World War Two at a crucial moment of battle there, to the future where the Nazis ruled the planet because the Allies had been too late in stopping them.
Harry's so-called plate was full of sour grapes. The girlfriend he would never see again because he had been frozen in time on the real world and didn't wake up until she was long dead, and only her daughter and granddaughter still lived. That was the future Harry world, where Nazis ran rampant and destructive. However, in the first timeline Harry had been flying his rocket suit, the war had not yet been decided. In that war he was flung away from his loved one for another reason, to protect the secrecy of the project he lead...Rocketman. A rocket suit that allowed him to fly faster than even the Nazi buzz bombs. He had broken the sound barrier in that particular life stream, but in the present one, which seemed to become more and more of late the one he would live the last of his day sin, he had an incredible suit that had been updated and used tech that was unheard of in his original timeline.
In this timeline Einstein and Tesla worked together as a team to build his suit, and his weapons. The base was pretty much the same though, hidden high in the Swiss Alps, overlooking a beautiful lake below. In this life stream it was overrun by Nazis Warlords and Storm Troopers, and the occasional Super Soldiers, genetically enhanced monsters that stood over eight feet tall and could take a lot of punishment before going down.
Jet waved as he shot out the secret entrance and he toggled his suit slightly several times in acknowledgement and angled up towards the stars. He never flew during the day unless the weather was almost catastrophically bad, because they didn't dear let the Nazis know what they had and where they had it. If they did, it would be end game. Nazis win, no more free men anywhere to resist them.
Oh sure, there'd be a few here and there, but doomed to failure because of the lack of technical and weapons support. Harry was the support here. They had spies all over the place in secret resistance movements, who would flag important troop movements, supply trains...in time line, they were super fast bullet trains that hovered above the tracks and flew like rockets on their antigravity streams.
Harry had taken out one about a month ago and it had almost taken him with it, if not for Jet. Sometimes they flew together. He had a harness he could carry Jet with, but Jet hated it, and had no problem conveying that message.
Lately, Einstein and Tesla had come up with a lighter version of the Rocketman suit and let Jet test it out. It worked perfectly for about ten flights and then dumped him into the side of a mountain, which fortunately for Jet, was snow packed, or else he'd have driven ten feet through solid rock, instead of thirty through ice and packed snow.
It had taken Harry almost twenty four hours to reach his friend, who had been almost frozen to death waiting to be rescued.
"Harry." Jet called out.
"Are fingers supposed to be blue?"
"On Christmas morning."
"Funny. How about toes?"
"Now you've really got me roaring."
"Hang on, Harry I'm shoveling as fast as I can."
"Where's the techies when you need them?"
"A thousand miles away."
"Yeah. Happens a lot to guys like me."
"You know...I'm black."
Harry roared with laughter.
"What's so funny?"
"The only thing black about you is your attitude; the rest of you is a nice chocolate cream."
"Thanks a lot, that's really encouraging.'
"You're welcome buddy."
Harry looked at his rocket suit, leaning against the slope of snow and ice. It had melted in partially from the heat of the burners in back, but otherwise it was upright, with a gaping hole where he usually climbed into it. Lucky for Jet, he had an emergency kit built into both legs of the suit, one of which had an extensible aluminum shovel.
"Getting a bit warm in here, Harry."
"Yeah. It's just balmy as hell out here too."Harry replied. "I got pretty nurses lined up for a mile applying to work at our ice cream stand."
"Don't even go there, you monster."
"What? Hate ice cream?"
"No, hate eating it alone."
"No problem, pal. Almost there."
Something threw a huge shadow across Harry's view into the hole he was digging and over him. He turned around slowly.
"I've got a little problem."
"What Betty Boop wanta audition for your talent show?"
"Funny. No, a bit bigger than that."
Harry reached for his side arm, and then realized it was lying inside the suit, all bright, clean and shiny.
"Another small problem."
Harry angled away from the hole to give himself maneuvering room. In front of him stood a Super Soldier. It was missing an eye, and he could see some of its metallic brain pan gleaming on its left side, where something had gashed the skin away. The Super Soldiers were genetically enhanced soldiers, but also physically as well, a combination of metal, electronic circuits and wildly firing genomes.
"What's your problem look like?"
Harry spoke a bit more softly into his throat mike. "It's closing in."
"That's no problem."
"I'll try to lead it way from you. You've only got about three feet of packed snow behind you."
"What in the hell am I supposed to do, kick it out?"
"Hey! Sounds like you're not only chocolate as hell, but brainy as old Al himself."
"I'm going to kill you when I get outta here, pal."
"Be my guest, but you might have to wait in line."
Harry charged the Super Soldier who turned slightly, revealing that one eye was dangling from its socket. It shoved it back in and it promptly fell back out again. Harry snatched some snow, packed it tight and flung it into its good eye.
"Roar!" The Super Soldier screamed, temporarily blinded by the substance in its good eye.
Harry launched himself and struck the soldier in its midsection, knocking it backwards. It teetered on the edge of the drop it had climbed out of, and then regained traction and swatted Harry away from the edge like a tiger swatting a fly.
Harry flew through the air and struck a huge frozen rock. He lay stunned there, his senses reeling while the Super Soldier struggled to get its other eye back into its socket. It also looked for a weapon. Its weapon belt was empty. Whatever had happened to it, it was weaponless. But for a creature like that, it didn't need much of a weapon, its body was a pretty good stand in. It could crush Harry's skull if it every got its hands on him long enough.
Harry rolled over as a huge fallen branch in the hands of the soldier smashed into the stone he had lain against and shattered into a thousand pieces. The soldier roared angrily and charged after Harry, who saw his chance and launched himself in between two large trees, smashing in to some thick brush, where he hid behind, while the soldier tried to figure out exactly where he was. He was counting on the soldier's weaker mind to think he had kept going.
It didn't. Something changed in the equation, Harry realized. This soldier was not just super mean and super strong, but also clever.
He felt, rather than heard the movement behind him. He rolled aside as a huge fist punched past his face and smashed into the side of the tree he was near. The tree shook from the violence of the blow and split down the middle.
"Harry, you still alive out there?"
"Not for long."
"Don't worry, pal, I got your back."
Harry rolled a new direction as the giant soldier kicked at his face. He caught the foot and twisted. The giant soldier roared and collapsed to the ground. It got up again, its face glowering with intense hatred, and eagerness. Eagerness to smash him to a pulp.
"Look, big guy, I know we kinda started out a bit on the cold side of things." Harry laughed.
The soldier gave him a blank look.
Harry paused. What was wrong?"
Then the soldier slowly began toppling towards him. Harry threw himself out of the way as the soldier fell to the ground where he had laid, a huge piece of metal stuck in its back, yellow and red blood pouring out.
The giant soldier's one eye looked at Harry a moment, glowering with anger and hatred, and then as if a light switch had been flicked off, it dimmed and the being was lost to the world.
Jet came strolling out, smacking himself to get warm. "Man, you throw one helluva birthday party."
"It's not my birthday."
"Oh, in that case, maybe we should go home. I got things to do, places to be."
Jet had given him a hand up and he had helped Jet to load his jetpack onto Harry's suit, strapping it tight with metal bands, then he brought out the harness.
"How about I fly, and you ride?"
"Won't fit me. Made for you."
Jet's eyes narrowed. "You're sure about that."
"Would I ever lie to you, Jet?"
Harry laughed and Jet got into the harness.
They flew back home safe and sound.
Harry sighed to himself as he waggled his suit one more time at his friend watching him. War was hell, but friends were heaven. He shot upwards like a rising star.
The Giants of the Nazi World
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
"The cardinal sin of any good soldier is to put all his trust in his weaponry. Any weapon can fail, but he can't." -- Words of General Wishtower
"Men, what you see before you is a representation of the Nazi super cooling tower being built in San Francisco." Colonel Brighton told the troops assembled.
Harry and Jet stood behind them, watching as well. They were the team that would be responsible for making the advance as safe as possible, knocking out any power lines, or other obstacles. Most of the time obstacles were as simple as a few lead lined super lasers with automatic targeting cannons that could wipe out a platoon with one swipe. Sometimes more difficult. Ten foot Nazi Sturm Giganten, built like tanks. Living breathing nightmares of Third World War technology pioneered by Hitler's best scientists.
Oh yeah. And in case you were wondering this isn't the world where the Allies won World War Two, but where they lost it.
My name is Harry. In my world I was a Captain, here I am known as Rocketman and sometimes Captain Harry, which I prefer. I don't always remember my last name or much else, when I'm crossing over between the two alternate realities. Sometimes I don't even remember there is an alternate reality. Only that I have a mission to accomplish. As Rocketman.
I fly this rocket suit. On my real earth it's a huge tank of a thing, well, maybe not that huge, but it weights a lot and is tall and cumbersome, and I ride in it. In this world I have a lighter suit that I can strap on like the old movie serials. And it's hellishly fast. Like Superman fast. But without his strength or protection. I can still die, get shot down and generally hurt a lot.
"Captain!" He gestured to me.
I went forward and stood next to him, then used the pointer he handed over to indicate three roads that curved into the cooling tower, all bordered by warehouses and bunkers. "These." I indicated the roads. "These are the way the main carriers and transports enter the cooling tower base structure."
Jet played the devil's advocate. "So how likely am I to just waltz in there and get what I want, say a nice hotdog or a glass of fresh lemonade?"
Everyone broke into laughter. General Wishtower scowled at Jet, who hurriedly began counting fingers, which made the men laugh even more. I quickly went on. "Not likely. The road is hotwired."
The soldiers stopped laughing.
Hotwired meant it was genetically marked and all the Nazis were genetically marked. We were not. We'd get fried hotter than a buttered piece of toast in an oven left on too long if we touched those roads.
Jet slowly put a hand up. "Uh."
"Can I bring marshmallows?"
General Wishtower burst into laughter before he could catch himself, then looked to me, trying to hide his face.
"Jet, you can, but they'll do you no good. We're flying in."
"Do I have to?"
Everyone broke into laughter again.
I shook my head, smiling, and then turned to indicate the warehouses. "Interconnected. Each door is hard wired and without the right code will send an electric shock instantly frying anyone who touches it."
"Barbies anyone? Jet asked.
After the laughter died down, I went on. "Al." I indicated a grey haired man standing to the right of us. "Al and Edison have cooked up...pardon the pun...a device that when you wear it, will automatically trigger the codes. Only one small problem."
Jet raised his hand. Everyone tensed for laughter.
"If you don't get past the Zombies it won't make much difference."
Jet squealed. "I hate them things!"
With that the platoon was dismissed and headed off to barracks to prepare for the coming assault.
General Wishtower took me and Jet side to meet with Einstein.
Our combat headquarters was deep in the heart of a Swiss Mountain, only visible if you knew where to look. And no one did, because it was carefully cloaked by electronic devices and other modern war gear. Einstein and Tesla had rigged a kind of stealth cloaking device that kept our entrance and exit well hidden. Even if a Nazi Soldier stumbled upon the entrance he'd only think it was a simple slope with rock and snow. No more.
And if he got too close. Well, there were considerations for that as well. None of them good for the luckless soldier who had made the wrong turn.
"Everything's hanging on you two getting into that tower and jamming up its power."
Jet looked at me. "Long as I don't have to ride the buggy wagon beneath this guy."
I laughed. "Jet, you know you love it."
"Hell no. Last time you dumped me in Lake Lucerne. I almost became a popsicle."
The General looked at Jet.
"It's a stick with frozen juice or water on it."
General Wishtower shook his head. "Your world is so strange."
"Hey, General!" Jet told him quite frankly. "This one sure ain't no bell ranger, that's for sure."
"What's a..." The General started to ask, then shook his head and headed off to join the team in Control. He was overseeing the mission.
Einstein smiled at us. "You two boys sure know how to get his panties in a wad."
We both laughed. I put a hand on Al's right shoulder. "Al, its underwear, not panties. Panties are what women wear."
"Oh." Al said with a blank face.
As agreed I scouted the cooling tower one more time while Jet and the platoon got into position for the attack. Jet was along because he was handy in figuring out the various death traps the Nazis inevitably laid out for unexpected guests.
And yes, we were a major pain in their black hearted bottoms.
These Nazis were not the ones of your earth, but of another earth. This earth had been won by them when the Allies failed to stop their launching of a deadly barrage of nuclear weapons, which had wiped out very major Western city around the planet. The Nazis, prepared for the strike, had swept into the countries with advanced weaponry that they had kept off the radar in secret bases and moped up most of the resistance.
Some of our military survived. Some in other countries. They got together and created a base in the Alps, and used it to make life miserable for the Nazis.
When I first got here, I was in total shock. The Nazis used civilians like robots, prepping them in some kind of genetic formula that converted them into mindless zombies that would do anything. Some of the Nazis were physically enhanced...the Sturm Giganten, and others...well, I shudder to think of the others.
When the coast seemed clear. No new Nazi movement, only the steady flow of fuel trucks into the basement, I felt we were ready to go. Our goal was to detonate the fuel. It was highly charged radioactive materials that only needed a little tampering and would go boom, taking out the entire facility and probably a few square miles around it as well.
Our scouts had already warned the locals of what might happen. Most of the locals preferred to stay, not believing they were safe anywhere, but the smarter ones beat it. The Nazis had brainwashed the masses so thoroughly, that most had few thoughts of their own anymore.
And we kept an eye on who went in and out of the cooling tower, in case some of the natives thought of giving us up. Not that it didn't happen sometimes. The natives usually were more than happy to take out a few Nazis, but sometimes they were too far gone and like the zombies many became, were better off dead anyway.
"Jet." I spoke into my helmet mike.
"Yeah!" His voice came into my helmet.
I adjusted my flight attitude and saw him and the platoon moving into position.
"Good to go!"
In a matter of moments he and the platoon swept through one warehouse after another, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. We had twenty minutes to mop the place up, because a base was twenty one minutes away. And we didn't want to have to mess with the Sturm Giganten. They were tough cookies to kill. Usually, nothing short of a nuclear blast could stop them...or the direct hit of tank cannon.
I shot ahead, landing on the cooling tower roof. The tower was shaped like a pyramid. Why, I didn't' know, but all the important electronics were stashed up there. I took out my laser pistol and began melting a few circuits.
Then I felt a huge vibration. I turned around and looked up, then up again. A Nazi Sturm Giganten.
"Vas tun sie?" It demanded, knowing already what I had done, since the smoke and flames behind me were pretty obvious.
"Getting out of here." I answered, and then turned to leap from the roof.
Before I got five feet in the air, a hand smashed me down to the roof.
I landed on my stomach. Hard. Knocked the air out of me. I rolled over and gasping for breath saw a second Sturm Giganten. The first joined him. Their faces were thick like a Rhino's, and their lips like huge crevices with jagged teeth. Their nostrils flared like tunnels of doom. Their foreheads were high, sloping to a narrow, almost cone shape. Genetics gone wild. They were incredibly smart, but locked in when it came to thinking out of the box.
Me box. Them locked in.
The second Sturm Giganten grunted when something knocked into his right foot. He looked down at the strange object and grunted again. He reached for it. Bad move. Boom! He and his companion were blasted off the roof. The fall might not kill them, but it got them out of my hair. I pushed to my feet, still weak from the blow and leaped from the roof, firing up the rocket suit. I felt it drag a moment, and then push me forward.
I angled downwards; saw Jet and what was left of his platoon winging it swiftly back the way they had come, firing ahead of them to break the electrified road ahead of them.
The two Sturm Giganten who had fallen came around the side of the tower and rushed them. My cue.
Neither one was aware of me until I swept towards them at eye level. Their eyes narrowed in anger and hatred. "Bye bye." I said, and then let them have it with both barrels of my arm rockets. The two giants hurtled backwards, slammed from their feet.
It gave me and Jet and the men enough time to reach shelter, when the cooling tower went big-time.
We peeked out to look as a mushroom cloud hurtled into the sky, spreading wings of destruction, doom and gloom. We were ten miles away. Even from there the heat was tremendous.
"Damn!" Jet said angrily.
"I forgot to bring the marshmallows."
The soldiers about us broke into laughter and I did too.
War is hell, but a little laughter goes a long way to making it less so. Even if it was at the expense of those monsters who thought they were better than everyone else.
The Dark Master
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
Nordenbrough was a densely populated area of Germany that bordered on the Alps. Its main industry was steel, imported from the south where it was hauled in by train from the frontiers that had been conquered by the Nazi hordes. Its people were untouched by the fanaticism that ran through much of Germany at the time, protected from it in a way as an experiment by the Fuehrer, who was secretly building a base in the nearby Alps for what he was determined would be the fatal blow to the hopes of the Western Allies.
For almost ten years, even before the war took a prominent place in the news and eyes of the world, he was already secretly meeting with a man of dark persuasions. A man dedicated to the Occult. That man exuded such confidence and power that Hitler had immediately allowed himself to be taken on as a disciple of this Dark Master. Even though still in a position to become a powerful force of good for his country, his own ambitions and disappointments, were driving him further and further away from the mainstream of good people and closer and closer into the cult that the Dark Master had built.
Unknown to the world, but known to the top Allied Leaders, Britain and others were waging a secret war against the Dark Master, who was using ley lines of the planet to gather power and force and disrupt commerce and supplies across the planet. You might think this an exalted view of a simple man, for that was his outwards appearance. Small, like Hitler, soft talking and polite to a fault, but his heart was made of mud that swished and ground with hatred and anger towards life that disposed towards anything uplifting and positive. He was a devoted disciple, in his words, of the UberMasters, those beings who rode the flying discs from the central area within our planet.
Hitler, long disposed towards the Occult, was immediately enamored of this fascination and shared it devotedly with his own growing circle of disciples. So in effect, there were two Dark Masters, the one that Hitler gave silent obedience to and his own, that he harbored and nurtured. On one day when Nordenbrough was steeped in its normal routine of smelting iron and producing steel for weapons of destruction, a small parade of black cars with Nazi symbols, drove into the town.
The Dark Master was staying in the Black Hotel, called the Swartzen Haus. Wherever he stayed it always had the numbers 666 and the color black in it somewhere. While he didn't personally believe in Satan, he did believe in the power of numbers. Had the churches realized that this man was gathering power and influence they might have had a stronger influence in the war than they had at the time, knowing that evil was brewing beneath their noses. But they didn't. And they didn't!
The Dark Master met in the conference room with his twelve Dark Disciples, an inverse of Jesus and his own disciples. They wore red Swastikas and their faces were hidden beneath red masks that resembled blindfolds. The Dark Master was the only one not wearing a mask. He stood before them.
"Soon, we shall have a thirteenth disciple. One whose power and dominion shall help us extend our reach beyond the Germanies to the entire world."
The Dark Disciples raised black gloved hands and applauded in an eerie way, no sound emitting from their clapping. He smiled and urged them to stop. They did. The silence in the room grew. "I want you to treat him with the utmost respect, as he is at a tipping point, where he could go our way or to the way of... (with great distaste)...the other."
A low humming filled the room as the men and women of that group made a sound of deep distress that signified displeasure. He had taught them that. It was very disturbing to anyone not aware of its psychological significance.
The door to the room opened and two tall Dark Soldiers stepped inside. Hitler stepped between them, followed by two of his own soldiers, who glanced around nervously, hands on their pistols in case.
"I am here." Hitler announced. "As you requested, Master."
The Dark Master nodded, and indicated a chair to his right next to him. Hitler went to it and sat there, his Soldiers to his right and left, their eyes watching the others of the room nervously. The Dark Master sat down and laid his palms on the tabletop. The moment they touched the tabletop the highly polished surface lit up like a movie screen.
The Soldiers gaped at it in awe, but Hitler remained unphased. "An interesting toy."
The Dark Master smiled at him, his small dark eyes filled with a tender kind of menace. "But a toy that will help you win this war you plan."
"I seriously doubt that, but I'm listening."
The Dark Master swiped his hand across the table top and a view of Nordenbrough from above showed there. Hitler leaned forward with interest when he saw something bright and metallic lancing into view from the right. "Rocketman!"
"Yes. The one block to our ambitions."
Hitler looked at the Dark Master.
"I have not yet made that determination."
Confidently. "You will."
Hitler's eyes locked with the Dark Master's a moment, then looked away. "I'm perturbed by the timing of this event."
"It is not a mistake." The Dark Master announced, his voice trembling with excitement.
"How is this not a mistake?" Hitler demanded, his voice shrill and angry. "You have led me to an encounter with the one man I cannot stop."
"Oh, but I can!"
Hitler looked at the Dark Master. "And who shall aide you, the giants from the center of our earth?"
The Dark Master made a sign above the screen and a flight of saucer shaped devices shot into view in pursuit of Rocketman.
Hitler's eyes widened. He glanced at the smiling Dark Master. "Then it's true!"
"Yes. It is."
Rocketman, Captain Harry or just plain Harry to his friends, navigated the cold and frigid air above Nordenbrough, his eyes on the readouts inside his helmet, as well as the view through the semi-opaque visor he had just thinned so he could see outside with his eyes as well. Tesla had called the visor a String enhanced metal that changed density depending on the energies pouring through it.
Harry didn't understand the rocket science behind it, nor his pal Jet, but they both knew it worked and worked pretty damned well.
"Harry, you in range yet?" Jet asked from his receiver.
"Range and closing."
"It's the tallest building in the village. Not hard to miss at night, but stands out like a big bad boo boo in the light of day."
"I just love your analogies, Jet."
"Yeah. And I love being here safe on my butt, while you pretend to be Superman."
"I'm not pretending anything."
"Tell that to the girls I'm dating that want to meet you."
"Middle name and don't you forget it. Word down from Allied is that the Fuehrer himself is in that hotel at this very moment."
"How would they know that?"
"Shall we say a little birdie told them?"
"Right. Proceeding with drop."
Harry flicked a switch with his tongue and the suit began a plunge towards the quite town below. On its fringes were several factories were the steel and weapons were melted and built. He was more interested in those than the hotel, but he made it a point not to disobey orders too frequently or they might take away his suit.
"Thousand feet and dropping."
"Just like a bomb."
"Hope not. They explode. I intend to come home and date one of those girls you've got compromised."
"Be still my heart."
"Shush or it might be."
"No such luck, fat boy."
"Just because I gained two pounds last week doesn't make me fat."
"Gain another and they'll have to squeeze you into that suit with a pair of giant pliers."
"Funny, ha, ha."
"At your service, through good or bad."
"Jokes that is."
"You got it."
"Two hundred. No signs of anti-aircraft weapons. How's that possible?"
"Cocky Nazis. Dumb Nazis."
"Never met one. Know a dumb ass though."
Harry brays like a donkey. "Got me!
"Preparing to drop."
Harry flicked another switch inside his helmet and his two armor piercing rockets began to open up on his right and left sides of his jet pack. As he swooped lower he noticed the air began to become cloudy, then darker, and then almost smoke like.
"Something's happening, Jet."
"Gotta go to the bathroom?"
"No, I'm serious. I'm losing visibility."
"Impossible. It's clear as a sunny day in the Bahamas right now there."
"Gotta pull out."
Harry flicked another switch and his suit broke from its dive and angled skywards again. He looked down with the help of a screen inside his helmet and the entire town of Nordenbrough was gone.
"Holy crap, Jet!"
"It's all right. I'm safe, but Nordenbrough is gone!"
Harry put on speed and his Rocketman suit shot off like a rocket deep into the Alps towards his home base.
Hitler rose slowly from his chair, a smile on his face. He clapped his hands slowly and precisely. "I would be honored to join my forces with yours, Dark Master."
The Dark Master rose, waved his hand over the tabletop and the image of Rocketman shooting away vanished.
"How soon before we can have this technology for ourselves?" Hitler demanded.
The Dark Master stood silent a long time. Before Hitler could speak out in anger, he waved a well manicured hand and smiled. "When the time is right."
Hitler almost exploded, but instead, he bit the bullet and remained silent. His day would come. He must learn what he could from this man, and then one day, he would be the Master.
The Dark Master rang a small bell and servers came into the room with trays of food and drink. "Now, let's eat and talk about how we shall help one another, shall we?"
Hitler nodded, and then eyed his Soldiers. They fell back against the wall behind him and remained alert, but he sat down and began helping himself to the delicious food being spread before him and the Dark Master and his 12 Dark Disciples. What he had thought was just a mission to expose another occult fake had turned into something much more exciting. He didn't understand the technology he had just witnessed, but he knew it was...technology. And anything this man could build, he would also build.
He had time. He had the patience. Soon his scientists would complete Operation Forever and he would be ready for the next step of his world conquest.
The Dark Master raised a glass of wine into the air. His Dark Disciples did as well. "To our future."
None of the Dark Disciples spoke.
Neither did Hitler.
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