Action/Adventure - A genre mix like National Treasure and Indiana Jones
May 10, 2012 – New Berlin Base – Antarctica
The doctor led Daria from the clinical room with a frozen smile on his face. “Would you prefer to refreshen yourself and get a change of clothing before we return to the Führer’s office?” His tone of voice indicated that it would be preferable if she did so.
“I assume they have assigned living quarters to me?”
“Your luggage and other possessions have been delivered to your new residence, Fraulein. I will advise your staff that you are coming if you prefer to make the diversion.”
My Staff, Daria mused, not at all happy with her sudden celebrity status. “I presume this staff has been selected for their complete loyalty to my grandfather?”
“And to you,” The doctor chuckled.
The only people she knew in this strange place were Hans and Wilhelm and she preferred to see them as little as possible. She wished that Señor d’Amador had been allowed to accompany them. She had grown very fond of the friendly and somewhat loquacious Don. Daria was also tired of being surrounded by men. She enjoyed the company of Monday’s Team and his friends, and she missed him desperately, but she needed someone of her own gender to talk with. She needed to review things from a woman’s viewpoint.
“I met a woman on the air ship that brought me here, doctor. I believe her name was Marta. Is there any way she could be assigned to my staff?”
The doctor paused to reflect on her request. “She is a member of the military and her low position may not be suitable for someone of your, shall we say, stature.”
“My stature is what I make of it.” Daria’s eyebrows raised and the tone of her voice shifted. “I would like to have someone around of my own gender that I can relate to. Someone who is not a spy and who has not been briefed on what to do or what to say for every move I take. Her low position, as you emphasize, can be amended can it not?”
Daria’s room turned out to be a large complex of rooms. It was as spacious as the one she had left in the villa but not as lavish or eloquently decorated. The multitude of closets were filled with the clothing given to her at the villa and one smaller closet contained an assortment of military style uniforms ranging from formal military dress to a dozen of the camouflage uniforms in her exact size. The epaulets on the uniform shoulders contained some sort of rank but she had no idea what it stood for. There was even a row of military decorations or ribbons above the right breast pocket, decorations, which also meant nothing to her.
Her staff consisted of several elderly women in uniform, a bodyguard, whom she assumed was also assigned to prevent her from escaping, and a lady in waiting to see to her dress and schedule. There were also maids and other people flittering around.
Daria took advantage of her position and called for a hot bath and cool glass of beer. While she enjoyed a good glass of wine or snifter of spirits, she was thirsty and beer had always quenched her thirst better than anything else had.
Her thoughts began to drift as the hot soapy water caressed and soothed her body. “I’ve contributed nothing towards escaping my dilemma,” she thought. “I’ve been manhandled, pushed around, forced to go places I didn’t want to go to, separated from the man I love, and I’ve done nothing.” The water was making her drowsy. She had always been a self-sufficient person. She didn’t like to be pushed around and told what to do.
A sudden thought entered her mind causing her to set straight up in the tub. “My half brother is Dorbec?” How fate had arranged such a liaison she could not conceive. “No wonder I was drawn to him. Does he know? Don’t be absurd. If he knew he would have said something, wouldn’t he?” Having been jolted from her drowsiness she climbed from the tub. “I’ll slap him as hard as I can the next time I see his goofy face. How dare he kidnap his sister, half sister!”
She wrapped a huge towel around herself and headed for her dressing room. As soon as she exited the bath area she ran into Marta.
“My God girl, you scared me!” Daria spat at the smiling woman. Marta was still in uniform and still wearing her disarming smile. “German efficiency is wonderful but I didn’t expect to see you so soon.”
“You asked for me, FuhrerEnkelin…Frauline Wolff?”
“Daria. Remember, it’s Daria, none of this leader’s daughter stuff.”
“My commander ordered me to attend to you immediately, Daria.”
The woman’s grin was infectuous so Daria smiled back. “I simply wanted someone around that was not male. Would you accept a promotion to friend? Especially since I seem to have a shortage of female friends lately.”
Marta came to attention. Noting the disapproving look on Daria’s face, she quickly relaxed. “I am honored to be thought of as a friend. I was not expecting such a great honor. I don’t know what to say.”
“How about yes, for starters. And, do you have to wear that… that uniform?”
“It is required.”
“Do I out rank your commander?”
“Very much so. You outrank all military personnel, Daria,” Marta replied with a quizzical expression.
“I better not push it,” Daria thought. “I might get the woman in trouble.” “Will you help me pick out something to wear?” She pointed in the direction in which she thought the clothes closet lay.
Several hours later, after trying on dozens of dresses and outfits and chatting uncontrollably with Marta, Daria was finally satisfied with the way she looked. Her mood had brightened somewhat, or at least her depression had faded. She was ready to confront the inevitable and undergo her interview with the man whom everyone said was her grandfather. She had also managed to unfreeze Marta’s military regimen to some degree allowing her to exercise more spontaneous feeling.
“Time to go.” Daria pointed to the large doors.
Marta suddenly froze, her radiant smile vanishing from her face.
“Come now,” Daria chuckled. “Grandpa can’t be that bad.”
“It’s not that,” Marta shrugged. “I have never met the Fuhrer in person. He’s more like a figurehead instead of a real live person. Perhaps I should wait for you.”
“Nonsense.” Daria grabbed her arm and marched to the door and pulled it open. “Take me to your leader,” she demanded. The bodyguard glanced at her as if she was loco.
Instead of taking her to the huge chamber she had seen before, the bodyguard dropped her off in a small office where an officer sat at a neat and functional desk. Two soldiers stood sentry duty at a large double door. They were fully armed and had a, no nonsense, look about them.
The officer picked up a telephone and said something too low to hear, then stood. “The General will be with you shortly Fraulein. Would you care to sit?” He pointed at several chairs and one plush couch against the far wall.
“We can come back if it is an inconvenient time?” Daria smiled at the officer. He was young, handsome and kept glancing at Marta. Daria wasn’t sure if he was flirting or if he disapproved of her presence.”
The officer suddenly snapped to attention.
“You look ravishing,” Hans said as he entered the room. “That outfit suits you well.” Marta joined the officer and jolted to frozen attention. He was wearing a dress uniform, solid black with a large amount of silver piping. The tailored uniform fit him like a glove and displayed his sleek, powerful physique. Daria noticed he was also wearing the dreaded SS markings on his collar.
“I see you’re playing soldier,” Daria couldn’t help but jib. “I guess I’m not allowed to see the big man without a personal escort?”
“Your grandfather asked me to watch after your safety. I am just obeying orders, like the young Lieutenant at your side.”
“Lieutenant?” Daria parroted. “Did you hear that Marta? It appears as if you have been promoted.” Daria knew the only reason for the promotion was to make her more suitable for, ‘someone of her stature’ as the Doctor had insinuated.
Hans offered his hand and nodded for the sentries to open the massive doors. He had already advised the Fuhrer by phone of Daria’s presence. The room was very large, at least a hundred feet wide and even more in depth. A single massive desk occupied the far wall surrounded by tables full of maps, cups, and objects. Banners were aligned along the right wall depicting either military unit colors or heraldry. The man who looked like Adolph Hitler stood from behind the desk and bid them approach.
Daria turned to see that Marta had remained in the outer office with the young officer. The girl was obviously terrified at being thrown into a situation not of her choosing. “You aren’t too collected either girl,” Daria thought to herself, noticing her free hand was shaking, not from fear but from fear of what she might say.
Hans stopped a good twenty feet from the desk, came to stiff attention, and saluted. “Heil Hitler,” he said, rendering the straight-arm salute, a salute that, ironically, had its origins in Rome, New York, not Nazi Germany or Ancient Rome.
Hitler came out from behind his desk and waved at Hans as if the salute was a silly inconvenience. He then rushed over to Daria and threw his arms wide. “Welcome child!” he grinned, his eyes shining with humor, his face radiant with warmth.
The reception was totally not what Daria had been expecting. Coldness, distance, shrewdness, was among her expectations, not this jovial, happy, cheerful man. His affection appeared genuine, not at all rehearsed or forced.
“Good afternoon, Herr Hitler.” Daria spoke barely above a whisper.
“Herr Hitler! Herr Hitler! Is that any way for a granddaughter to greet her Großvater?” The man acted like he was genuinely hurt. “Please call me anything but that, Liebling!”
Daria was at a sudden loss. Grandfather, she knew would be appropriate under the circumstances, but she simply could not bring herself to say the words.
“Dolf!” he smiled. “Call me Dolf. I never liked Adolph so my friends and family always call me Dolf. Please join me on the setee, Liebling.” He signaled for a valet standing by the door to bring tea.
They talked for over an hour. The man was not the Hitler that history remembered. He was kind, considerate, cheerful and full of laughter. He reminded Daria of Henri, always joking, smiling and throwing in bits and pieces of dry humor. She found herself genuinely liking the man. His character was warm, refreshing and she felt completely at ease with him. He also had a mesmerizing way with words and would constantly surprise her with his disapproval of the old National Socialist Party. Evil, misguided, arrogant people were some of the words and phrases he used. Daria found herself wanting to learn more about this kind, gentle, man who was supposedly her grandfather.
A senior officer, who strode briskly up to them and saluted, interrupted them. “We have several intruders, my Fuhrer.” He glanced at Hans as he spoke the words. “The men we sent Colonel Nachbauer to capture.”
“Bring them in,” Hitler replied, waving the officer away.
“Perhaps I should take Fraulein Wolff to her quarters first.” Hans hastily glanced at the back of the retreating officer.
“She is my granddaughter, I hide nothing from her.” Hitler cast a curious glance at Hans.
Daria stood and watched as nine men walked slowly into the room. One of them wore the camouflaged Nazi uniform, the following seven after him were; Monday, Scout, Weps, Bones, Dom and a man she did not know. A grinning Helmut Mueller brought up the rear of the line. Monday and Bones were supporting Scout as if he had been wounded or hurt.
Monday’s eyes widened as he recognized Daria standing next to a man who looked identical to, Adolph Hitler.