Vampire Korps of the Gestapo Ch. 02byFive_Eight©
Nobody likes being frog-marched in public under the best of circumstances, especially a famous screen actress.
"Who are you?" demanded Monika, "Why have I been placed under arrest?"
"Stop struggling, you little bitch," von Schitt warned her, "and things will go a lot easier for you. It is futile to resist."
"Oh, I forgot, this is Nazi Germany where no one has any rights anymore." She stomped on the colonel's left foot. Agony lanced through Monika when she felt her forearm jerked higher behind her back.
All the tribulations the baroness had undergone tonight drained what little patience she possessed. If nothing else went wrong she could claim mission accomplished but the Fuchsmach girl squirmed worse than a snake chopped in half. In spite of her preternatural strength the actress stymied her efforts to bring her under control. Von Schitt did not want to kill her, not yet, she needed her mobile and unharmed for the purpose of any propaganda victory. But the young hellcat was determined to draw attention herself before they got off the Oktoberfest grounds. She had some innate cognizance if escorted beyond all the onlookers she might never see the light of day again.
The twin spires of St. Paul's towered on the horizon but von Schitt knew they had another three hundred meters of ground to cover before leaving the Wies'n behind.
"What are you gawking at, citizens?" she barked at a knot of male university students.
Judging from their muscular frames and identical jerseys they must be members of a rugby squad. Von Schitt counted seven of the strapping young lads, all with liters of beer in various stages of completion in their fists, probably too inebriated to have any sense left in their thick skulls. Rugby players have had bad reputations as heavy drinkers and brawlers since the inception of the sport.
One bold fellow slurred in bad German: "I'm not a citizen, me and me ruggers are on holiday from Burton-upon-Trent. We hate Nazis in Burton-upon-Trent, Fraulein."
"I am not a Fraulein, pig dog, I am a Gestapo colonel."
"I don't care if you're Adolf the postcard painter himself. You'll be unhanding the fair lady, don't you know."
Jeers and derisive laughter erupted from his teammates.
The pretty prisoner glimpsed salvation. "Help me, please. I am Monika Fuchsmach, the film actress. She's holding me against my will."
Great, thought von Schitt, gazing at the church so close yet so far. The knot of players spread out as if lining up on the playing field. Two of the boys tossed back the contents of their steins, dropped them to the ground and rushed von Schitt from each side.
Still holding onto Monika's arm she kicked the one on the right in the chest. He sailed backward through the air and landed on his face, cursing.
That didn't stop the other player. He dived at her knees for a low rough tackle. The baroness was off balance from kicking the first one. Much to her surprise the player succeeded in toppling her. She lost her grip on Monika when she fell and the actress scuffled away.
The rest of the squad howled uproariously until von Schitt lifted the fellow above her while flat on her back. She regained her feet still holding him over her head before slinging him an impressive distance. Monika started to run only to be caught up short in the husky arms of a rugger who played the position of scrum-half.
His breath stank of malt beer when he bawled, "How about a kiss for one of your rescuers?"
Monika wondered if she'd exchanged the frying pan for the fire, but she sweetly said, "I never kiss a handsome man like you until I know his name." She was an actress after all.
Von Schitt ignored the charade and stalked toward Monika and her young roughneck. He told the lovely girl he was named Ian and puckered his lips, unaware of the irate colonel's approach. Cries of warning from his mates came too late; von Schitt clapped her hands against both his ears with brutal force. He unhanded Monika and fell face first at her feet, his skull crushed.
Monika stepped back to flee as the remainder of the squad piled on top of the baroness, burying her ignominiously. The Fraulein darted away, hoping to lose herself among those gathering around when another strong hand grabbed her, this time by the hair. A jackboot kicked her feet out from under her; she sprawled on the turf, stared up into the face of a goon girl.
Erika had finally caught up with them. She tossed Monika over her shoulder in a fireman's carry, Monika's legs pumping furiously, disarrayed skirt hiked up around her waist displaying brief pink panties for all to see. Erika reached the pile-up and punted a big fullback in the head to assist von Schitt in extricating herself. A few more splendid kicks then Erika and von Schitt were free and clear. Off they ran with the squirming but powerless Monika.
********** Dagmar had waited under the Lion's Head at the Lowenbrau tent long enough. Not a single goon girl or her leader had shown at the appointed time. She was debating on whether to stay put or take up the search anew when she saw the black trenchcoat of the Inspekteur and, walking beside him, the man he had arrested earlier for shooting Astrid. The decision made itself for her and she bolted after them at top speed. They were blissfully unaware of the impending vampire attack.
Odell Yell chose that moment to glance behind him, witnessed the brown shirt racing in for the kill. He knew shouting a warning would be useless amid all the noise. The only thing he could do was try to beat her to the punch. Dagmar did not see Odell Yell, the same way Hex and Hoffner did not see her.
Yell dug a toe into the grass for traction to launch himself into a sprint. People saw the big man hurtling toward them and dodged out of his way. He had twenty meters to go while Dagmar had half the distance, but she was not a world-class track runner.
"What the bloody hell is Odell doing?" Hoffner asked Hex.
"He's waving his arm about something," Hex said.
Both Hoffner and he looked to the side but Dagmar came at them from an angle behind and they still could not see her. Her long blonde hair flew over her shoulders parallel to the ground as she ran. When close enough to clear the remaining distance in a leap, Dagmar dove at Astrid's murderer, fangs bared. Yell jumped the same moment she did and collided with her in mid-air. He caught the vampire unprepared. His greater weight and bulk combined with the forward inertia of his dive stunned her. She struck the thoroughfare, sliding. Yell worked feverishly trying to straddle her chest so he could hold her down.
People scattered. Hex and Hoffner turned and saw the pair fighting on the pavement. Dagmar clawed like a cat and punched like a boxer. She flattened Yell with a roundhouse that left stars swimming before his eyes. The brown shirt rolled away and hopped to her feet in an instant. Yell lay on his side, unable to get up. Dagmar delivered a kick to his crotch, then administered a nasty backhand that stretched Yell prone. Her original subject Hoffner forgotten, she squatted on Yell's waist pinning his arms with her knees. She choked him hard enough to bulge his eyeballs from their sockets. Hoffner forgot his pending vengeance with Trommler. He rushed over to pull Dagmar off the top of Yell but Hex grabbed the back of Hoffner's belt. Since Hoffner was a bigger man Hex could not stop him, only slow him down.
"What d'yer think you're doin', mate?" he growled at Hex.
"Don't let your SS friends get away, let me handle this brawl."
"Righto!" Hoffner lumbered away after Trommler and Koch.
Hex drew the .45 with silver ammunition but couldn't risk a shot with all the people around. Getting in close he still could not fire for fear of hitting Yell. Hex raised the gun to bring the butt down on the base of Dagmar's skull when Yell suddenly shoved her aside with a surge of adrenaline. The goon girl rolled again, spoiling his aim inadvertently.
Both Yell and Dagmar gained their feet simultaneously, circling one another like wrestlers. Blood poured from his face.
"Stay out of this," Yell called to Hex.
"This is the wrong time for fair play, Odell," he shouted.
Dagmar moved in a blur. Yell and she clenched in the center of the walkway, again making a shot impossible. They pushed against each other and in an intense contest of wills stood as still as statues for several seconds. Hex finally lined up a shot but without warning Dagmar went limp, the maneuver brought Yell in close and Dagmar sank her canine fangs into his neck.
Hex aimed his .45 again, he had no choice but to shoot now yet Yell shook his bloody head vigorously at him.
"No," he rasped.
Dagmar drank hungrily and Yell threw a few weak punches to her iron stomach with no effect whatsoever. He began to slump as she sucked the lifeblood out of him. Bystanders shouted and cursed but that did as little good as Hex trying to get a clean shot. With renewed effort Dagmar clamped down harder on Yell's neck and violently shook her head like an angry wolfhound with a barnyard chicken in its jaws. His arms fell to his sides in a resignation of death, knees bending slowly as he sank to the ground. From somewhere a woman screamed helplessly in horror. Somebody hurled a beer stein that shattered on the back of Dagmar's head. She released the dying Yell with a ferocious monstrous roar, glaring back and forth, gore smeared on the lower half of her face, dripping from her wide open mouth.
Hex was about to shoot her down when a woman got in the way.
In his death throes Yell's right hand fumbled inside his jacket. The hand emerged holding a wooden crossbow quarrel, then thrust upward with every ounce of his remaining strength. Dagmar's unearthly roar ceased abruptly like someone switching off a noisy radio blaring static. She staggered in a half circle, eyes in shock, the quarrel protruding from her chest. She grasped it in her hands as if to tear it from her heart. Hex saw the life in her eyes leave her. She slouched to the thoroughfare, a death rattle emitted from her throat.
Hex raced to where Yell lay with a gaping wound in the side of his neck, one leg jerking spasmodically. Yell reached a shaking, weak hand up, Hex took it, squeezing it in helpless frustration.
"Odell, your brother would be proud of the fine work you've done today, very proud."
Yell had a pleased look etched on his face. A delighted smile formed, eventually spreading from ear to ear.
"Three out of three, Mr. Hex," he murmured before he died.
"What have I been telling you all night, Sieg? We did it, we damn well did it! We'll be colonels before All Hallow's Eve."
"Are you going to be okay, Wolfgang? You're head's bleeding again."
Koch grinned, "Nothing a bit of local antiseptic won't cure." He veered off the main drag to a small beer stall across from the Ferris wheel, admiring the bottom of a plump Fraulein in front of him as he went.
"What are you doing now, Wolfgang?"
"What's it look like? We're going to have a celebratory liter."
"But the colonel said get the car and bring it around."
"That bitch can wait an extra minute. We're the ones who did her dirty work for her. We're bloody heroes, and I do mean that literally."
Trommler said, "But---"
Koch shook his head, adamant. "No buts, my friend." He instructed a wizened fellow with garters on his sleeves and a dirty visor in the stall to draw a couple of Paulaners, and be quick about it.
"We don't have the time for beer right now, Wolfgang."
Koch flapped an oblivious hand. "We'll drink these on the way to the car, it's just past the fun-fair."
"I really don't think it's wise to dally."
Koch ignored him. The man in the visor was arguing with him about not paying for the beers. "Heroes of the Reich drink for free, old man. Shove it!" He strolled away from the stall with a stein in each hand, the vendor calling meekly after him.
Trommler accepted one of the liters. It hadn't taken that long, only a minute; Wolfgang had been right again. He'd been right all evening long now that Trommler thought about it. To hell with von Schitt, they deserved to wet their whistles after the dangerous work they'd performed. They'd stared death in the face opposing the mob in the Hippodrom. And what had Colonel von Schitt done? Not a damned thing but stand around with her thumb up her arse. And she was sure to hog all the credit for tonight's brave deeds. Wolfgang and he would give Herr Himmler a full accounting of the immense danger they had faced, and overcome. Trommler tipped back his head for a tremendous swallow of Paulaner, slopping a little on his uniform as he strutted forth with a spring in his step.
Not far away Hoffner resumed trailing the two majors. He'd shuffled over to a queue and pretended to wait for an oversized Frau in a stained dirndl who leisurely dispensed oversized pretzels. Had he truly desired a snack he'd have another five minutes of waiting, minimum. The thought in his head was the Nazi had about another five minutes of life in him, maximum.
The two men neared the southernmost end of the Wies'n, surely close to their destination. Hoffner's palms itched. He wanted to break something, confident he'd get his wish shortly. The crowds thinned beyond the fun-fair, a thicket of cars and busses parked on the concrete apron. The SS officers paused at the edge of the parking area, swilling their beer apparently without any inkling they were being shadowed.
The man without a hat said something to his cohort; his voice carried to where Hoffner stood: "Wait here, Siegfried, no sense in both of us wallowing through this disorganized mess. I've got the car keys, I'll find the Mercedes and fetch you. Relax and enjoy your Paulaner. Want a cigarette?"
"Thanks, no, I have some left. Carry on, Colonel Koch."
His companion chuckled and disappeared among the vehicles.
Good fortune at last, Hoffner thought grimly, the bastard's alone now.
His build made him naturally conspicuous, dictating the need for the utmost caution. But he should be able to sneak up on the man in a roundabout fashion even with so few people around. The supercilious thug set his stein on the bonnet of a nearby Rekord and dug in his pocket for a smoke. Hoffner would rejoice in his revenge, but felt guilty about the arrest and disappearance of Monika. But after this little drama played itself out he and his friends would set that score right. He gravitated west into the shadows, light on his feet for such a big man, intent on blindsiding the SS chap before his mate returned.
Hoffner crouched and slid under a chain cordoning off the area. He started crawling on his hands and knees between the parked vehicles. Several rows over he heard an ignition turn over, the gunning of an engine and became anxious. Just a few more cars and he'd be at the Rekord. He stripped off his shirt, touched it gingerly to the blood on his face one last time and discarded it. Now he crouched on the other side of the Rekord, raised up high enough to see through the rear passenger window. The man leaned against the car with his back to him, humming off key. Hoffner lowered himself till his face touched concrete and peered underneath the vehicle. He saw a solitary boot, the man must have his other foot propped on the running board.
In his murderous rage Hoffner hadn't been exactly certain how he would kill the German but now he did. By slithering beneath the car he could grasp the unsuspecting man by the ankle and pull hard enough to send him face down. With any luck at least one bone would break. The man would be disoriented and in shock, with the added advantage of having surprise on his side Hoffner would have ample time to overpower him. His knife would do the rest. Afterwards he'd relieve the German of his Luger (and have a tidy souvenir to show his children one day.) Then Hoffner would conceal himself among the cars and wait. When the other man returned with the Mercedes he'd see the corpse stretched on the parking apron. With no one else in sight his natural instinct could only be to get out of the car to investigate.
That's when he'd get his throat cut.
With infinite care Hoffner eased on his belly under the Rekord, the underside scraping against his back. It gave him a moment of doubt. He might be too big to a man to be crawling under cars but he didn't have time to change plans now, besides he didn't have a second plan. He'd make it work. After he achieved a comfortable position allowing sufficient leverage he paused and flexed his hands. The jackboot was only centimeters away. He seized it in both hands and jerked very hard and almost hit himself in the face with it.
The boot was empty and he knew he was a dead man. A foot in a white sock touched the ground and then a boot appeared before Hoffner's eyes. The underside of the car lifted up slightly off his back with a squeak of the suspension being relieved of weight as the German stepped down from the running board, where he'd been perched. Behind him Hoffner felt a metal object jab him in the right calf, a gun barrel. At the same time a pair of eyes locked with his, they belonged to the man who'd stood on the car. Also the cold round eye of a Luger's snout.
A voice, distorted by the body of the Rekord, said from the other side of the car: "Have you got your gun trained on him yet, Siegfried?"
"Crawl forward nice and slow, mein herr, or you'll receive a bullet in each of your balls."
The Nazi glaring at him spoke: "You heard the man, come out from under there."
Hoffner cursed. If he tried to get cute he'd have his brains blown out, or worse. At least they weren't going to shoot him right away. If they questioned him he might be able to stall them long enough for Hex and Yell to show up. If he cooperated he might live through this. Two ifs too many, but he had no other options.
He dragged himself reluctantly from underneath the car.
When he started to regain his feet the Nazi said, "No, no, no, just sit down. That's good, place the palms of your hands on the concrete, no, wider apart."
Footsteps. The second SS officer came around the front of the Rekord, got down on his haunches and put the barrel of his Luger against Hoffner's left temple. He said, "Go ahead and get your shoe back on, Sieg, and we'll search this fucker."
"Wolfgang, it is the same man from the Hippodrom, just as we suspected. The one sitting with Monika whose face I smashed."
"I recognize him. How are you doing, old friend?"
Hoffner smiled weakly and asked, "Are we friends?"
"Perhaps not. We're Nazi fucksticks if I rightly recall."
"Just kill him and get it over with, the colonel is waiting."
"That cow is going to have to wait a few more minutes."
Just then a man and woman passed by but when the man called Wolfgang gave them a mean look they turned their heads away and minded their own business.
"Is the coast clear now, Sieg?"
"I don't see a soul, but that could change any second."
"Keep him covered while I frisk him for weapons." He patted both of Hoffner's trouser pockets then ran a hand down each leg. "Hold your right hand in the air and stand up, easy does it. Now face away from me." A big hunting knife in a sheath hung from his belt over his right hip.
The one named Siegfried instructed, "Keep your right hand held up and, with your left, unbuckle your belt, pull it through the belt loops so the blade drops to the ground. Good, now hand me the belt." He stooped to pick up the knife, sliding it into the top of a jackboot. "Get your hands behind your back so I can fasten your wrists together."
Siegfried wound the belt around each wrist several times, then cinched it tight and buckled it. There was a little play when he finished but it would be some impediment if Hoffner decided to try swinging his fists.