Walter and Aleister
Nuremberg, May 1940
Walter Kluge was twenty one. A fine, tall, unselfconsciously handsome young man. A little gangly perhaps, his legs just a little too long. This was most apparent when he rode his bicycle, juddering over the cobbled streets to class. He was studying English Literature which was still perfectly acceptable and was expecting to claim a first class degree in just a months time.
The girls always turned their heads when Walter pedalled by. A good family, his father was a well respected, recently retired professor and his mother, though some eighteen years younger than her husband, was admired and sometimes envied as a perfect wife and mother.
Frau Kluge always kept herself just so. Dressed immaculately, she could turn a drab jacket and skirt into something striking just by tilting her pillbox hat to a certain degree. At forty two, with her Walter and his two younger sisters Edda and Elsie, she was a perfect example of German womanhood. May 1940, spring was in the soil and the skies, birds sang, a distant church bell sounded the reassurance that she was living a life which had certainties again.
She was in a wonderful mood, like something in the air, all around her people looked well and happy. A couple of dashing looking SS men nodded and smiled and she heard them mutter and tease each other as they passed. Christina knew people liked her, wanted to know her, as if some of her charisma would rub off on them. She saw how her friends husbands would hold her gaze across dinner tables. Servants would blush and smile shyly when she spoke to them. She saw every day, how her large green eyes and full lips, glistening lipstick red, could make even the sternest policeman soften his expression. She was truly happy.
Berlin, January 1941
Walter was making jokes in his head… shaking in the boots he’d spent an hour polishing! His uniform was immaculate. Everything he was wearing had been cleaned and pressed from his shorts and vest to the glaring, grinning death’s-head on his cap. His hair was fair and fashionably cut. Shorn back and sides with a fringe which he kept off his brow with brilliantine. He stopped at the mirror for the seventh or eighth time as he tweaked the peaked hat and tilted it just a touch. He was overwhelmed by his own appearance. He looked and felt like a modern day Lancelot. Walter had not joined but drifted into the SS. The black dress uniform and Luger pistol were enough. With his 1st in English he was told he’d be given a job in intelligence with minimal chance of ever being anywhere near a front line. He reckoned the war was pretty much won anyway, and if he had to put up with all that Aryan crap to land a plum job then so be it. The pay was good and the girls loved the SS. How the hell had he managed to be so well regarded? And now! What fate awaited him?
Excitement like electricity coursed through him, lifting him out of his body, looking at the perfect human form from somewhere above himself. Walter was gone for a moment…
He sat on a smooth stone bench in a long corridor. He again checked his watch. His appointment was at 8am, it was now 7.58 precisely. At the other side of the huge double oak doors carved with familiar runes and swastikas was Heinrich Himmler, who, just then, might as well have been Saint Peter at the gates of heaven.
Walter Kluge heard footsteps and the door began to swing open. He rose sharply and snapped upright and soldierly. As the adjutant appeared he automatically clicked the heels of his highly polished boots and gave the roman salute. “Heil Hitler” he boomed. The heavily decorated attendant returned the greeting with the same vigour. “The Reichsfuhrer is waiting Kluge, do come in”. He turned and led Walter across an impossibly large marble floor. Their boots clacked and echoed crisply, Walter made sure his steps fell in unison, matching Himmler’s deputy. A sense of being absolutely alive overcame him. His senses were heightened to a remarkable degree, the red of the long swastika banners glowed like they were lit from within, the smell of leather and freshly laundered wool and cotton were overpoweringly pleasant. After at least 25 paces he reached the massive slab of the desk behind which sat the second most powerful man in Walter’s universe. He looked exactly like he did in photographs and newsreels. Walter could see the dark stubble on Himmler’s chin. The thick, round glasses… “Sit down Standardfuhrer, please”.
Walter sat stiff in the leather padded chair.
“You have been recommended Kluge”, he patted a yellow coloured file on his desk. Walter didn’t move, concentrating on not staring but trying hard to make eye contact when appropriate.
“You are an Anglophile Kluge?”.
Himmler smiled and Walter saw warmth in his leaders eyes. They were human eyes, smiling, friendly.
“I have studied English Reichsfuhrer and speak the language fluently but they are done for. I am an enemy of the English as a soldier of the Reich”.
His reply seemed to further the good atmosphere. Walter was beginning to relax. He felt the warmth of the winter sun which shone through the huge square windows and revelled in the near euphoria of the moment. A feeling of unreality flickered in his mind.
“Perhaps you can have a chat with Mr. Churchill for us?”.
Walter gave a measured smile, keeping his lips firmly shut to prevent him grinning like a fool.
“You are being attached as my representative, and of course an ambassador of our brotherhood to an Ahnenerbe unit… your mission, Kluge, is to find Aleister Crowley and bring him back to the Reich”.
Hastings England, February 1941
Walter dressed casually in a brown checked coat, open shirt and high waisted trousers, a tank top and brown beret added the look he was after, trying to appear as a bohemian, literary type, which, had he not been seduced by the SS, he would probably be. As he waited in the downstairs lounge of ‘The Imperial Hotel’ he mulled over the situation in Germany.
The ecstasy of pre-war Nazism was turning sour. Not even he, brought up more by the Hitler Youth than his own parents had expected the mayhem his country had unleashed against the world. As a mid-ranking officer in the Shutzstaffel he was not privy to decisions made by the ‘higher ups’ and had managed to dodge concentration camp duty only by his one momentous meeting with Himmler and this mission. However, no soldier be they Wehrmacht or Waffen SS could pretend that they were not now
participating in the mass murder of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, even German civilians… All those whom Hitler had deemed subhuman or dangerous to the blood of the nation were being fed into a giant machine of human destruction. Men who wore the uniform which had made him join the order of ‘Modern Day Knights’ were already diverting troop transports to fanatically deport and annihilate those poor souls who were starving and dying in the walled up ghettoes anyway. Walter agreed that Bolshevism was worth fighting but it seemed that the whole war was an excuse to exterminate the Jews. He was glad he was here in England, where people had not lost their minds but had simply carried on. Walter finally admitted, knew now, he was a traitor in his soul, and mentally renounced his vow to Adolf Hitler even if it meant his death, and he would ask Aleister Crowley to help him.
It was past 7.30pm, his meeting had been scheduled for 6pm. He ordered another pint of beer, cold and satisfying after a stuffy afternoon shut up in an airless, tiny room in his guest house. He’d been swatting up on ‘The Great Beast’, this extraordinary man and his baffling oeuvre. His main interest was Crowley’s ‘Book of the Law’ in it, an entity named Aiwass had dictated a message which in rich poetic language had predicted the dawning of the ‘Age of Horus‘. Walter knew that Himmler had interpreted this new age as the ‘Thousand Year Reich’ and Hitler as Horus, ‘The Crowned and Conquering Child’ and wanted to know what it’s co-author thought, or knew, about the Nazi‘s plan for establishing a master race. His third beer had just been delivered to his table by an immaculate white gloved waiter when he spotted a strange looking man enter the lounge. The man was thin and slightly haggard in appearance. Walter knew instinctively that this was the Crowley whom Hearst had described the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’. The old grey haired man had parted his beard in the middle and his eyebrows were combed upwards in a way that reminded Walter of a billy goat. The man looked neither left nor right as one normally would when looking for someone he’d only seen in the grainy photograph which had been enclosed in Walter’s letter of introduction. He had called himself Walter Wilwers. Keeping his own first name had seemed like a good idea.
Crowley fixed Walter with a gaze that was both intimidating and uncanny. The large room had filled up since Walter’s arrival and was full of young men and women. A pianist played and one or two couples moved onto the floor dancing.
How could he have zeroed in on his contact without even a glance at anyone else? Walter had taken his eye off the man for a second and now couldn’t see him… The music seemed to speed up and couples swirled like dervishes, throwing back their heads in great gusts of laughter. A violinist dressed in 18th century wig and frockcoat played with demonic speed. Champagne bottles popped like artillery shells as toffs in tops hats and spats quaffed together and became like Goebbels’ propaganda cartoons of capitalist swine, their fleshy faces morphing into piggy snouts, grunting and snuffling. A beautiful young woman had appeared on top of the grand piano and danced an obscene but enthralling striptease. Walter suspected he’d been drugged. Since the appearance then disappearance of Crowley he was struggling to cope with an hallucinogenic assault on his senses. He tore his eyes from the lithe young woman who was now writhing on the piano, a satyr advancing on her with purpose. He put his head in his hands and rubbed his eyes, trying to regain some anchor to reality but when he lifted his head the scene had become even more bizarre. He looked with horror as a creature in a black SS uniform with the head of an owl gobbled down a tiny little man with only the hooked nose of a caricature Jew yet to be devoured. Men and women in wigs and white lead powder make up obscured themselves behind sinister/comical masks and swayed in unison. The music was now frenzied and did not sound like anything Walter had ever heard. “All you need is love, love, love is all you need” sang a man with Jesus hair and Himmler glasses.
Little grey humanoids with overlarge heads and black insect eyes gabbled and pointed and laughed as a fight broke out between a seven foot tall ogre in a leopard skin robe and a black woman almost as tall and wearing only a raw leather holster. She slipped out the revolver like a quick draw artist, pressed the gun against the giants forehead and pulled the trigger; a banner fell from the barrel “BANG!” it said. The huge man fell to the floor before dissolving into a sticky black substance to which the nearest spectators ran and scooped it up with knives and dinner plates… there was more but Walter was lost, and had no language left to describe what he was seeing. He must have blacked out. He awoke as if he’d been having a terrible nightmare, expecting to find himself in his bed at the guest house. He was, however, still dressed in the clothes he’d worn to ‘The Imperial Hotel’ and laid out on a chaise-lounge.
“Guten Morgen Standardfuhrer Kluge” Walter turned to see the man who had blown his cover, he guessed either Gestapo or British MI6 with guns. He found himself looking at an old grey haired man, dressed in Harris tweed. It was Crowley.
“Enjoy the party Walter?”. He chuckled and shook his head. “I thought I’d never pull you away! Now, would you like a cup of good old English tea my young friend?”, he laughed again, more heartily but good naturedly.
Walter was dumbfounded. He had vague memories of the indescribable scenes at the hotel but could not believe that any of it had been more than a drug induced fantasy. He blushed as he remembered some of the erotic scenes and ran his hand through his hair with his long graceful fingers.
Crowley, dressed in a heavy silk Kimono appeared holding a tray on which balanced a large silver teapot, two cups and saucers and curiously, a little silver pillbox.
Walter stood and helped his host with the tray, clearing a space on the low oriental style table by piling books one on top of the other and laid the tray down carefully. His head was still reeling and he still hadn’t uttered a word. He sat down again on the comfortable couch and Crowley sat opposite him on a low stool, which allowed him to sit straight backed, in the ‘lotus’ position. Walter had researched enough to know a little of all the magicians’ practices, although most of it was incomprehensible, some of it was thrilling and fascinating. He finally found the courage to speak.
“Mister Crowley, I have so much to ask you, but first, please sir, what happened to me in that hotel last night? Was it a drug… how…?” wild images came rushing back. He fell silent again and looked across the table at the enigmatic sorcerer who smiled benignly.
“You came to me under false pretences, you’re lucky I didn’t leave you in there! now have some tea boy”. Walter responded as if to an order and poured the steaming amber liquid into a cup, adding a little milk but ignoring the sugar. He thought for a moment that he might about to be poisoned or worse, drugged into the nightmare world of the previous night.
“Don’t worry Walter, it’s just tea, but may I recommend one of my tablets, they are very calming and you do look rather jumpy!”
He laughed again but there was no malice there, only genuine glee.
The younger man had already decided he must trust Aleister Crowley and took not one but two of the little brown pills.
“I say, you’re quite the dope fiend aren’t you?” Crowley reached into the box with gnarled, liver spotted hands and picked out at least five. Walter noticed a
beautiful sapphire set in silver on the ring finger of… his… he’d only
swallowed the pills a minute before but already felt a delicious warmth spread from the base of his skull down his spine then spreading like light through his whole body. He felt incredibly well and cosy in this cluttered room. He noticed the hearth which had been empty, now had just enough glowing coal to emit a pleasant glow. He felt instinctively that ‘The Great Beast’ was not an evil man. He even let himself give a grin and a shrug to the man. He felt wonderful, even the terrors of the night before became no more fearful than a bad dream, he giggled to himself, then tried to fight the urge to lie down on the couch and let the narcotic flood his consciousness. Crowley observed his young German spy with pleasure, he could see terrific potential in the boy. He’d been shown his own private hell and now slouched comically, trying to pick up his cup, his long arms and legs working against each other, making it difficult. So this is one of the infamous SS, the scourge of occupied Europe and terror of the earth. He discreetly screened the boys mind and did not feel a brutal fanatic. The boy was here on a mission alright but it was not the one assigned by the insipid chicken farmer who liked playing with runes and imagining himself an adept! It was a mission to allow freedom not destroy it. Aleister decided he would help Walter overcome these black magickical zealots. Did not the book which had been his life’s work say ‘Every Man and Woman is a Star‘?
The Nazi’s had got it all terribly wrong and would reap the whirlwind with a little push in the right direction. Crowley would make sure that the little dictator would bleed his armies to death, because Hitler’s only God was Death. You will meet your God soon enough! thought Crowley and was about to tell Walter how they’d achieve this holy purpose when he noticed that Kluge was sleeping silently, a small smile lingering on his lips.
Walter woke after a long dreamless sleep. Perhaps his show of bravado had been immature, he’d let this old man make him forget everything he’d been taught at the SS academy on their first meeting. At least he hadn’t told him anything, yet. The pills had taken care of that. He’d have to return to his lodgings and report to ‘Rosewater’ his Ahnenerbe contact. He figured himself to be in a pretty good position for his traitorous ambitions. He knew this was one of Himmler’s ‘side’ projects which he generally kept from discussing too much with the Fuhrer who was now utterly consumed in the minute conduct and tactics of the what was left of the war in Europe. All the other dangerous SS were too busy deporting and rounding up, murdering and plundering and transporting, to pay much attention to their boss’ eccentricities; just as long as his Ahnenerbe didn’t interfere with the Reichsfuhrer’s other duties, and they never did, Walter had been given almost complete freedom of action. Just send the reports, gain Crowley’s trust and take him back to advise the High Priest of Nazism on how to Aryanise the globe and allow the conquering SS to become Norse god-men!
The old man was nowhere to be seen but Walter would have to commit himself and tell him now exactly what he planned to do and ask for help. He felt sure he would not be refused. After the incredible events of last night and their pleasant breakfast he already felt an affinity for the Amazing Goat-Man, he smiled as he thought the name. He looked around the room properly for the first time.
It seemed to Walter that the mad jumble of the room was somehow eternal: animal skins, delicately coloured hanging silks, modern paintings, jewelled mirrors, Persian rugs, thousands of books, musical instruments, even the ashtray on the table where the tea tray still lay had always been just this way. Alongside side the ultra modern was the ancient, Greek vases radiated 3,000 years of existence. A silver metallic piece looked like it came from far in the future, it contained some obscure mechanism and beside it lay shiny discs. It looked like a gramophone player from another planet. He still felt the pleasant glow of the tablets he’d taken. He was engaged in high treason with a man who could make you think you were in hell and he’d never been calmer, his mission filled him with a real joy. For the first time in his life he felt free.
He noticed the pillbox was also still in it’s place, he didn’t think Mr. Crowley would mind or even notice if he took a couple, there was another jar of them on the mantelpiece and around 30 remained in the box. He took 4, they would keep him relaxed and remove the boredom of being stuck in that dreary little room. He would make his first contact with Rosewater, tell him he had not yet met Crowley but was following a good lead. Everything was under control. He went to look for the goat-man.
After peeking into a couple of similarly fashioned empty rooms he followed a side corridor at the end of which was a large door that appeared to be made of granite. There were symbols which Walter recognised but didn’t really understand. One was a simple pentagram inside a circle, the five elements, senses, directions etc. Walter got that
one, for it appeared everywhere in occult literature. The rest were more complicated and were of no immediate interest for Walter was impatient to find Crowley and dramatically ask for help. He knocked but the granite did not allow any sound when tapped with his bony knuckles. The young mans eagerness was too great, he had an intuition that perhaps he shouldn’t go in without invitation but pushed the door anyway, he had to lean hard with his shoulder to move it…
Nuremberg, May 1940
Christina Kluge entered the bookshop and enjoyed the familiar smell of old paper on a warm day. She could see the dust floating like tiny planets, each in it’s own orbit as the bright sun lay bars of white light through the gaps in the blinds. The contrast of bright light and the shade of the rest of the narrow shop pleased her. Bookshelves were placed at regular intervals and every volume was arranged by authors surnames. He’d had his books in the same places on the same shelves for almost 20 years. Books sold were replaced with new editions and orders were filed neatly behind the counter. He ran a tight ship as he loved to say in his broad Bavarian accent. His eyes lit up when he saw Frau Kluge, he considered the professor a friend and excellent customer but was always secretly thrilled when Christina came to pick up the regular parcels of brand new books. “Herr Klein!, isn’t it a beautiful day?”. It was now thought Klein.
“Ah, Frau Kluge, it is now!” They batted playful comments to and fro, Klein being careful never to overstep the mark, for although he’d known the professor for many years and Christina almost as long, he was a Jew, or at least, his father had been, His mother was as German as Bismarck and his father had received an iron cross in the last war. The Race Laws had shocked him, he thought the pogrom was bound to subside as Germany prospered again but now he saw that the Nazi’s would certainly take his shop one day and that would be it. His whole life seemed like one of the books arrayed around him or that the books were his life, for he had read compulsively everyday for at least 35 years. He saw in his minds eye the book burnings and he imagined his whole world, the shop with the little flat above it, burning. Christina saw or sensed the bookseller’s sudden shadow and felt a little ashamed of her small enamelled party lapel badge. Klein would be okay, he’s not a bad Jew, Klein’s a nice, decent man. Herr Klein is German! Christina took the parcel, and left the shop with a cheerful “Aufweidersein”. She frowned at her silly thoughts then lifted her head to the bright blue sky, saw the green trees sway and walked on.
Hastings Feb 1941
After the shock of what Walter had seen and the terrific row that Crowley had given him, he sat trembling on the familiar zebra skin couch. The rebukes had stung more than seeing his new friend or rather his new friend’s ‘friends’ doing what they were doing in the, what he now knew to be, ‘Temple’. He had been called a stupid adolescent twat, a lanky piece of snake spunk, an irresponsible, idiotic Hitlerite, and finally, a fucking Nazi arsehole. Any warm, comfy feeling of comradeship now felt childish. Crowley would now either turn him into a toad, drive him mad to a lunatic asylum or, please god no, make him do the things people did in the Temple.
“I’m sorry Mister Crowley”, he kept muttering like a mantra “I had no idea… I’m sorry! He felt like sobbing, it had all been too much. After spending his youth being told he was a superman and strutting around like a young prince he was reduced to a frightened little boy.
He’d blown it because he was so puffed up with his grand ideas he’d done an unacceptably stupid thing. Imagine, pushing open a door in the chancellery to find himself in the Furhrer’s operations room, he’d be taken out and shot! A bullet in the head however, would be far preferable to what he feared The Great Beast would do to him now.
Crowley didn’t have to read Walter’s mind to see the boy was in a terrible state. His hair stood on end, he was shaking and mumbling… he couldn’t keep it up and started laughing, uncontrollable laughter, straight from the belly. “OHHHHHHH HOOOOOOHHOOOOOOOHHHAAAAGGGH! oh dear! HMPHHHHHAHAHAHAHA, OHOOO! Walter look at you! HOOOHOOOHOOOOOOO….!” He gasped for breath and Walter’s fear turned suddenly to furious anger. “Now you laugh at me! Now I’m a big joke! You mad old bastard, I…”. The Beast was still wheezing, cheeks damp with tears of laughter, he gestured a finger wag at Walter while he composed himself. Walter’s anger subsided as quickly as it had flared, he was back in the now routine state of bewilderment! He also tried to compose himself, stood straight, flattened his hair and to avoid eye contact with his tormentor, started faffing about with his clothes, as if picking fluff from his trouser leg would somehow correct the insanity he was being constantly exposed to.
Walter finally met Aleister’s eyes and again he saw only an impish
light. “Mr Crowley… Aleister, I am new to all this, I deserved every word, even, perhaps the laughter, but I must know, will you help me destroy the Nazi’s before they destroy the world?”
Crowley felt he’d pushed the boy enough for a first meeting. He didn’t want to lose the company of this handsome, open faced youth and his noble cause, perhaps he should pick up his sword and pentacle again. Though this world was of ever decreasing importance he could end his earthly career with a heroic flourish. As he thought of it he felt a little shiver of anticipation… “Yes dear Walter, you bet I will! Now, get back to that grotty guest house, tell your handlers everything’s ticketyboo and be back here by 7.30 tomorrow evening, it’s Saturn-day and it’s always ‘open house’ , you’ll meet some very interesting people.”
Walter was getting accustomed to the way the old man worked, stick first, then carrot, it was working. Crowley handed Walter his coat and shooed him towards the front door. “Now, I must get back to my ha-ha, meeting, oh and Walter, leave my tablets alone please! they’re terribly addictive, or, if you insist, buy your own! Good, good, remember 7.30!”
As he was being hustled out of the door he looked at the man who’d already changed his life forever and the man looked back, his eyes danced and he looked ten years younger than just last night. “Aufweidersein Walter” with a wiggle of those eyebrows and a wink he closed the door. Walter stood in the cold air, dazed and suddenly extremely tired. He looked for a cab. After walking for five minutes he found a car with it’s ‘hire’ light on and slid onto the back seat. His limbs felt like he’d been beaten up and his brain pleaded for sleep. Just to make sure he hadn’t imagined the whole thing he felt for the pills he’d pocketed, his fingers easily found four little shapes. It was real. This was happening.
After a fine nights sleep and a good sized plate of bacon and eggs with toast and margarine and real coffee in the cosy little dining room of his guest house ‘The Empress’ he felt, what had Aleister said again? Ticketyboo? Yes Walter felt absolutely ticketyboo! He was the only person at breakfast, in fact he suspected he might be the only guest, full stop. Nothing much happened in these small seaside towns from September till May. He sat in his booth at the window through which he could see the pier and below that the Atlantic sea, grey and freezing creep over the yellow sand of England.
Back in his room, he removed his transmitter from the battered old brown suitcase and knelt beside it. Keep it simple, he told himself, and began to type… the message simply said that he’d imbedded himself without difficulty in Hastings, despised the people and their pretensions to still having an empire, had established contact with Crowley’s ‘lodge’ and was awaiting an appointment within a few days. He rounded up with the arse-licking hymns to Fuhrer und Fatherland that had become standard in even the smallest missive and as he pushed on the final stop exclaimed “Fuck you! He really was made for this job he thought happily. He reached under the bed for his satchel which contained his Crowley Files, popped a brown pill into his mouth and began to leaf through the yellowing newspaper clippings and extracts from his new friends writings. Folded up on the bed, back straight, legs hanging over the end, he placed his pillows behind his shoulders to get as comfortable as possible and began to skim through the material.
Photographs of Crowley: with foppish curly hair, about Walter’s age, on a mountain expedition burned and bearded, glaring into the camera. One with caption ‘Conducting Rite of Saturn, 1910, which looked like his subject was performing Macbeth, extras gathered at the feet of the King all wearing the pentagram on white robes, one of him looked rather like a high SS man in full dress with decorations, he held a sceptre and a huge golden chain hung from shoulder to shoulder of his robe, pinned all over one side were more medals and ribbons than even Goering would attempt! The cap was more like a fez and Walter couldn’t make out the badge at all, it was in the shape of a cross but on closer inspection looked more like a bird in flight… Walter couldn’t add it all up. So many titles, costumes, the family man with a sweet little girl balanced on his shoulder. A skinny young aesthete, dong an Oscar Wilde in satin, nose in the air. The handsome, serious author gazing into the far distance. One of him looking freakish sat crossed legs in a yoga position huge belly spilling over his loincloth, the features of his face so grotesque Walter couldn’t believe this wasn’t some kind of hoax. The one thing that linked these pictures, which could have been twenty men at first glance were the eyes. They drew you in and kept you there, if he’s looking at camera you get the felling he’s looking right into you. Walter could hear a familiar voice from the picture of ‘proud father with baby over shoulder’ “Walter! Doing your homework? That’s the ticket! The woman in this picture is my first wife Rose, unfortunately she can’t say hello” his voice darkened for a second “She was ‘Ourda’, the one that brought me to the Book… the little one?, oh she’s off doing her own thing, we still talk…” As Crowley was heard to clear his throat Walter remembered from research that the child had died just after Aleister had left wife and child to find their own way back from the far east around 1905. The narcotic which Walter guessed was a very strong, fast acting derivative of morphine made him feel, despite or because of the talking photo’s, pigs in top hats, the scene in the temple… all of it was exactly as it should be. Walter’s mind unfurled and found and formed new connections. Notions of art and science collided and split off forming entirely new ideas. He saw that time was a kind of flexible jelly and you could go back as well as forward, every picture showed part of a scene that was still running somewhere. Are there as many Walter’s as Aleister’s? he asked himself dreamily “Not Bloody likely lad hahahahaha!” it was the picture of Crowley in his splendour ‘ Baphomet, Supreme and Holy King of all Britain’s that are a Sanctuary of the Gods’ the caption read. His mind was purring like a perfect engine… before he gave himself over completely to his reverie he picked one more picture out of the file randomly. It was of a strikingly beautiful woman. Her hair hung straight and long over her shoulders which were bare. She held a symbol that covered her breasts but she appeared to be naked. Walter was suddenly excited by the image, but it was the face that he fixed upon… the way her hair fell around had framed the face most beautifully her dark lidded eyes shone with intelligence and a soft power, her perfectly straight nose pooled darkness under her brow and that mouth, lips large and sensual parted slightly… she was at once carnal and innocent, passive but with the power to annihilate… the caption read ‘Leila Waddell, mistress of the Beast’.
Walter slept like a daddy long legs. His legs and arms had almost formed a swastika on his tiny cot, photographs and documents were strewn all over the bed and floor. The Party! He shook his head and looked at his watch. 7pm. Okay, god, those pills were making him sloppy. He pushed most of the file into the leather folder but kicked a couple of photo’s under the bed, so eager was he to get to the party. He crashed into the dresser, flung open his clothing suitcase, inspecting this shirt, then these trousers? He hadn’t been to a party since passing his Standardfuhrer training and then it had been one glass of beer, Bach and bullshit… this one, he was sure, would be something else entirely…
Walter was running a little late, a sign in itself that the rigorous training
and brainwashing he’d been exposed to, first as a Hitler Youth then at the
SS academy was wearing off. He didn’t know what to wear, he imagined the other guests would be… well, anything was possible.
After having some difficulty in finding the right house he finally recognised a glossy black door. The number 222, in gleaming silver confirmed it. He used the jaw of the strange metal gryphon to rap loudly. It was a clear and dark, ultramarine blue night and as he looked up he could see the perspective of the stars, some nearer some millions of miles further away some burning white fire, others orange or pink.
The door opened and a lovely, familiar face greeted his gaze. It was that girl! From the photo… but this girl was younger if anything than… was it Leila? The shiny dark hair hung over her shoulders, her eyes… “Herr Wilwers?’ the young woman asked, a little smile rippled across her face. “I can see by your expression that you’ve seen the photograph of my aunt, Leila, I am Margarita, but call me Rita instead“. She looked Walter straight in the eyes, winked and smiled. “Now come on, The Beast awaits you”.
She was dressed in the sheerest of silks, petite, maybe 5”4? and barefoot. As Walter followed her he drank in the bare curve of her back, the silk resting on the skin, she might as well have been naked. The hallway was lit with candles and every time they passed one he could see through to her nakedness, the skirt stopped just above the knee. Walter was glad he’d worn heavy brown corduroys as he already had an erection.
They walked soundlessly till they approached the now noisy and smoky lounge room. Walter could hear the babble of voices and strains of weird eastern sounding music. The girl pushed open the door and in her light musical voice announced “Your Regal Majesties, Princes and Princesses , Ambassadors of the many realms… gentle ladies, gentlemen and everything in-between! May I have the pleasure of introducing….”
Walter felt like he was an attraction at a freak show, everyone was looking…
“Standardfuhrer Walter Kluge, turncoat and traitor to the Third Reich!”
Again she looked straight into his eyes and poked out her tongue and giggled.
The assembled crowd clapped and whistled and the occasional comic “Boo” or “Seig Heil” caused a little laughter but most guests just carried on talking and drinking as a full Arabian band in Bedouin robes played on strings and horns and skin drums, the most distinctive sound was issuing from what appeared to be a bag-pipe, it’s wavering trebly sound was like that of a young goat calling Muslims to prayer. “Walter, Dear Boy!” it was Crowley but not the rather feeble old man Walter had seen at the hotel, or even the more robust version of their last meeting. This was the hulking, shaven headed Crowley of 30 years ago! Walter forgot his complaint about being exposed as a spy in a room full of strangers and stared eye to eye in wonder at the youthful old man, for they were now the same height. There was an electricity that passed between the two friends and also the silent information that Walter was to relax and have fun. There would be plenty of time to plot and scheme. Walter felt the warmth in the telepathic advice and looked around.
The room contained a compendium of guests which to describe fully would take a hundred or so new words for nothing in English or German would suffice. All nationalities and ethnicities mingled freely and good naturedly. Walter was wise enough now to suppose that this was not some kind of fancy dress show. The owners of the garments looked exactly like trail-worn cowboys in chaps and Stetsons or nomad Arabs in flowing sand stained robes of the desert and they undoubtedly were. Again there were the fops of plague ridden Europe hideously dirty and wretched… there were little groups of three grey men, always three! no taller than Walter’s knees who made a beeline for him and giggled and clucked in their own language, they seemed to be made of dough or some equally elastic substance and were trying to pull him onto the space that had been roped off as a dance floor. With wonderfully expressive eyes and blinks and chirping, “Dance with us Walter!” they pleaded but even three of the little fellows had no luck in moving the young warrior an inch. He was still taking it all in: Black men naked apart from iridescent feathers they wore bound in the dark frizz of their locks, their penises tied upright with a length of leather cord, red Indians in buckskin, long proud noses nodding as they spoke to a group of humanoids who were at least 7 feet tall and dressed in a fabric which reminded Walter of tinfoil. Margarita whispered up to him “So Mr Ubermenshen, whaddya think?” He smiled down at her trying to appear as nonplussed as possible. “Just another of Mr Crowley’s parties I suppose”. Rita handed Walter a huge stein of German beer, herself holding a glass the size of a fishbowl, she cupped it’s bottom with delicate fingers and swallowed a great gulp. “Oh, here!”, she opened her palm which held two fat, speckled tablets, “One each”, she quickly popped hers into her beautiful mouth, took a sip of her drink… “Open up Walter!”. He wasn’t afraid of hell or poison anymore and let Rita balance the tablet on his tongue and swallowed it dry, smiling and gazing into those endless dark eyes. “C’mon Walter… let’s mingle, there are a lot of good looking women here tonight, I’m not letting you out of my sight!” Walter took a long drink from his tankard as Rita took his hand. They danced through the room like teenagers. Everything was… fantastic. All these strange people and creatures seemed to be having a grand old time too, they’d spot one another and call out to one another, like this was a night of happy re-unions. Old friends and acquaintances hugged and laughed. The music got louder and faster and already the floor was full of dancers. A striking couple caught Walter’s eye. A boy and a girl, the boy had an amazingly blonde bob which fell to his shoulders. He was wearing tight red trousers, a blouse with floppy collars and a neat fitted jacket, dark blue with white and red horizontal stripes, he had a bandage on his right hand. “Anita! This is amazing!” he shouted as he wriggled in time to the music “Dance with me!”. A beautiful tall blonde came smiling over to him, dancing as they met in a grab and a kiss, they stood an inch or two apart and went into a crazy looking routine. Not touching but thrusting and grinding, arms would fly up and hips and bottoms wiggled. Walter thought it looked like fun. “Yeah, fuckin’ great Nita, Let’s GO!” the blonde haired boy laughed devilishly…more couples joined them, some seemingly familiar with this dance, some trying to impersonate the dazzling golden couple. Walter felt an overpowering joy, the music was now an irresistible noise. A Hindu sat crossed legged on the floor playing a sitar and a couple of long haired, skinny boys had found a way to electrify their guitars and the Berber pipers and drummers, Indian sitarist and the scruffy white boys were making music that was more exciting and loud than anything the young ex-SS man had ever imagined. He clung to Rita and she looked up at him with eyes of black diamond, smiling that loose lipped, gorgeous smile. Walter felt ripples of pleasure all over his electrified body and knew Rita felt it too. “Walter, you’re so beautiful, dance with me!” and they did. Time stopped and speeded up, they were one mind and one body and they danced and danced, only stopping to drink or take long puffs on lumpy looking cigarettes the blonde boy, Brian, was handing out to everyone. Finally they needed to sit down. Rita’s dress was so wet now she was to all intents naked, Walter felt hot and stuffy and downright unstylish compared to the rest of the guests. They found a seat next to an older American couple. The tablet they’d taken had made Walter extremely sociable so, as they sat he instinctively turned to introduce Rita and himself. But the man seemed drunk and irascible he was talking in blurred non-seqiters. In a slow drawling mid-western accent “Joan, I don’t want to fuck you… not now not ever!….” Destroy all rational thought that‘s why we‘re here Joan.” He tipped his homburg back off his brow and grabbed two whiskeys off one of the perpetually circulating trays. Walter took another huge beer for himself and a large wine for Rita. They were holding sweaty hands but something about the American couple delayed conversation, they felt an argument brewing and mischievously wanted to watch. “Bill, stop being an asshole, have you seen some of the people here? I think we’re here. Bill, I think we’re in Interzone!” just then, as the man in the hat and black rimmed spectacles looked up, one of the more bizarre humanoids sauntered past, he was huge but bent at the knee, had a hunched back and looked amphibious somehow. All over his translucent skin were nodules which secreted a sticky liquid. Tiny fishy eyes and a protruding jaw did not help his appearance and Walter and Rita noticed with distaste that when the creature took a drink from a strange dagger shaped drinking vessel his tongue was black and razor sharp like the tip of a spear. “My god Joaaan, it’s a Mugwump!” His jaw dropped visibly before he reached for his drink. “My gawwwd… you saw that thing Joan?, Y‘know what, I think it‘s time for our William Tell routine”. The woman smiled and in a strange, slow, balletic way, rehearsed many times, stood and walked to the corner by the door, about 8ft away. Walter and Rita watched, nervously. The man called Bill, in his neat suit and sharp hat pulled a small automatic pistol from his pocket, Joan balanced her empty whiskey glass on her head, the glass seemed tiny and Bill too far away. CRACK. Everyone gasped, Joan was still standing, brushing glass from her hair. Everyone clapped and laughed with relief. “Bill that was close, you grazed me!” but she laughed and looked fondly at the American. Walter and Rita were all wrapped up in each other. “Let’s find me some better clothes, I want to look like Brian! Rita laughed.
“Aw, Walter doesn’t want to like a square!” As she said it she traced a square with her fingers and let loose another gurgle of intoxicated laughter. She put a finger to her lips, “Shhh, lets go on a mission, a fashion mission” they laughed out loud. They were already in a kind of love and they both knew it. Walter grabbed her round her tiny waist and spun her round, a little gasp of surprise and their mouths were joined, she tasted sweet and salty and delicious.
“Now, you two!” it was Aleister. Walter felt a great wave of love for this… most magical magician! “Yes and I love you too, both of you, look at me! I’m young and drunk damn it! and it’s all thanks to you. Now I have you and Rita, we’re going to kick those bastards all the way back to Berlin! Now Walter, there’s a wardrobe in the master bedroom, I have the trendiest gear you could ever want, have a rummage and come back and show Brian and Anita how to really tie one on! Neither of the three really understood what ’tie on one’ meant but off they went anyway, Walter and Rita to the bedroom, Crowley to play the genial host.
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They ran away from the noise and smoke, up the huge spiral staircase that Walter had never even seen before, though it was in clear enough sight from the lobby. The intense frenzied dancing, talking and loving everything had dulled slightly but they both still felt wonderful. “He did say his bedroom didn’t he?” asked Walter, recalling the shock he’d got when he’d blundered into the Temple.
“Yes, yes, I get stuff from this wardrobe all the time, in fact, check the label of what I’m wearing now!” Walter stepped in close, wanting to ravage Rita, right there on the massive four poster bed. “Now, what does it say again?” Walter turned the thin material so he could read what was written inside ‘Granny Takes a Trip 1967. Made in England’
“Hah! So you just travel forward a quarter century to get something nice for the party?
“Not me Fritz!, uncle Aleister… or at least one of his helpers from the O.T.O…. you see Walt, now Aleister is an Ipissimuss, he can’t just go around righting wrongs with his wand, he needs people who attract less attention and not blow his cover, Y’know? I’m sure you were told he was a wreck, an addict, rotting away in some drab guest house in Hastings” They sat down on the heavenly soft mattress, Walter put a hand on Rita’s smooth thigh, she didn’t move it. “That’s exactly what I was told, and Rita, you said uncle, but you look so much like Leila, the old man’s mistress!”
“Scarlet Woman is the correct term! Standardfuhrer, you should know that! I think I ought to punish you! She pulled off the dress in one easy movement and lay back on the bed, coquettishly playing with her crow black hair, legs crossed. “How about some press up’s Kluge! for starters!”
Rita giggled and Walter smiled, his eyes sparkling with delight. He quickly undressed and was beside her naked on that huge bad. Although Walter only had a perfunctory coupling with a BDM girl in the ‘Liebensborn’ facility to compare this to, there was no comparison. They rolled and groaned and he stroked her perfect soft skinned body and they kissed so deep and hard it almost hurt. Their lovemaking was like a holy thing to Walter and Rita was emanating the hungry sexuality of a tiger but the tenderness of a lamb. After a while they both noticed a wispy glow of white light was emanating from their joined bodies. A gentle, loving light that seemed to confirm the spiritual nature of their union. Rita said she’d honestly never seen such a thing and living with uncle, she’d seen a lot! With their passions satiated at least for an hour, they crawled under the warm duck-down quilt and lay in each others arms, damp and with the sweet smell of sex still all around them he held her tightly. He would have said “I love you Rita” but he knew she knew that. “D’you think anyone would mind if we missed the rest of the party Reet”
“End of the party! It’ll go on for two or three days!, no darling no-one will miss us“. Walter reached his arm under the bed and felt around for his cords, pulled them onto the bed and felt into his pocket till he found what he was looking for – two little pills wrapped in silver paper. Rita watched, “What ya got theyur Waltur” she asked in her terrible American accent. Walter held out two brown tablets. Let’s take one each and just lie here naked and dream and talk… She didn’t take asking twice and they both swallowed them in unison. There were cigarettes and some fine looking wines on one of the bedside tables. Rita opened a pack of ‘Lucky Strike’ put two in her mouth, lit both and handed one to her lover. They poured two large glasses of the delicious wine and lay back exhaling gusts of smoke and sipping the wine. If Walter had ever experienced such a perfect moment he couldn’t remember it, in fact, this, now, was the happiest he’d ever been. As the tablets and wine melted the naked couple into one beating heart they shared visions: they flew on broomsticks over blacked out London, swooping and screaming with joy. Walked through forgotten alien cities where every building and was based on varying sizes of spectacular globes and prayed in monasteries populated by Neanderthal men and women who were kind and gentle. The deeper they went the less they could describe. They felt the goodwill of the universe expressed in sounds and light. Walter heard himself say from way back in time “Rita, I seed you“.
They woke like King and Queen, the posted bed making them feel medieval and courtly. They said a naked good morning which past in another dream. The party was still going on downstairs. “Do have a puff on this strange cigarette and magic me a castle Lancelot! Oh and did you know sir? but I think you‘re booked for an initiation soon, better swat up ol‘ boy!”.
Nuremberg, May 1940
Christina Kluge did not go home right away. She first visited a man she’d met at a painting class. He was the tutor, Otto Deils, his dark complexion and slicked back jet black hair, not exactly the most desired look amongst the volk of Nuremberg nowadays. He was sullen and threw out lessons and advice like you didn’t deserve them, but when he drew or painted, something changed in him. Lost in his work, the darkness lifted. Something about him, at first only interest, had turned to attraction for Christina. After a couple of lessons she would stand just that shade too close and try and catch his scent. Otto noticed this and he too found himself fantasising over ‘party member’ Kluge. Otto knew such a respectable lady would want to be made ashamed of herself and dirty, then more. He’d met plenty like her before. Otto saw himself a victim of the Nazi’s as much as the Jews he laughed at being forced to scrub cobblestones in the square.
He’d shared space with the great Modernists, Cubists, Vorticists, Dadaists and Surrealists at Kahnweiler‘s famous gallery in Paris; Had drank absinthe with Modigliani in Montmarnapasse, and once, to his perverse pride, had been punched to the ground by the giant Braque when rival art gangs used to riot at opposition readings and exhibitions. He’d spent six months at Dachau in 1934 just for looking “like a Jewish intellectual arsehole!” the SS man who stopped him as he was walking home to————-, the run down district where he rented a vermin infested ‘studio’, was called Julius Streicher, Gauleteir of the whole of Franconia. Since that day he’s felt his card marked and a man with no future has nothing to lose. No moral compulsion to act decently. He wanted to have his fun before they carried him off forever and that fun was now a woman called Christina, Christina Kluge. She represented everything he hated about the Germany where a Picasso painting could be classed as degenerate, but medieval philosophy and dark-ages brutality were just fine. He chopped out another frosty line of cocaine, quickly snorted it, re-wrapped it and tucked it into his wallet. He hadn’t known Frau Kluge for long enough to let her believe he was anything more than a man her own age with similar needs. Just on cue Diels heard the 3 sharp knocks on his flimsy door. He stopped for a second at a window above his mildewed sink, ruffled his oiled hair and checked his nostrils for white powder. Staring into his large round black pupils, nothing stared back. “Christina, darling!” he took a step towards her, pulled her into the mean little place he called the ‘Studio’.
“Oh Otto, look at you… you’re not taking care of yourself”. He moved forward to kiss her and she smelled alcohol on his breath. “And drinking whiskey, it’s only past lunch… Otto?
“Look mother, just coz you and your bourgeois little Nazi’s don’t drink whiskey till after dinner don’t mean I don’t” he snarled.
“I haven’t got much time, the professor… I mean Michael, he’s expecting me home with his books. I only came past to see you were okay. Are you Otto…. okay? You look like crap and this place stinks“. Otto grabbed her hard by each arm and thrust his unshaven face into hers. Against the voice in her head that was shouting “run, and never come back” she kissed back and they violently removed each others clothes. When Christina was down to thick black stockings and her bra Otto pushed her onto the floor and made her suck him. Then he turned her around and fucked her from behind, pumping furiously with the facial expression of a jockey whipping his pony to the finish line, every stroke was a hit against the disappointment and shame he’d experienced in his irredeemably nasty little life. After about 2 minutes he’d come, didn’t care if she had. He left her all dishevelled on the floor and pored himself another scotch. Christina was almost fully dressed again by the time he looked round again. She looked angry… “You bastard, you think I’m an animal, you think I’d like that? Her teeth were bared now and Otto feared she may actually strike him. “You loved it… come back when you want some more” but fear had already affected his voice which came out more like a little boy who knew he’d done something very naughty and was bound to be punished
Hastings Feb 1941
Although, the young lovers were happy and foggy they began to be attracted by the noise of the still throbbing party downstairs. They really needed a ‘pick me up’ and Walter, hair like a birds nest, needed something to wear. He looked funny and Rita wrestled him on the dishevelled bed. “look at you, you big, strong SS fanatic hahaha!” Walter smiled but as drunk as he was he was offended. “Well, miss Rita, perhaps you can make me more morally acceptable by giving me something to wear so I don’t look like an archaeology student on his day off!” he noticed a big joint in the ashtray and lit it up. She slipped into a robe which was even more revealing than last nights number. She’d noticed the edge to her lover’s reply and deliberately did her sexiest walk to the wardrobe at the far end of the room. Walter was in a kind of dream. He looked at her perfect little form as she swayed slightly but sill managed to look irresistible.
“Just get me something comfortable woman! Then slip over here so I can try them on.” He smiled as Rita shrugged and accepted the task. She picked up the first three silky things she could find, grabbed a pair of jeans in a size too small for Walter and tottered back to where Walter lay… The fanatic pulled her towards him and stroked her nipple… “Just once more.”
Downstairs, the party was going famously. Aleister loved ‘Saturn-days‘. The portal he’d opened in the house only let sympathetic entities in. Those connected to the true light of the multi-verse, good folk.
Aleister had come to one conclusion. Through his incredible adventures and experiences, the good and the misguided. (He had seen friends die and driven several mad). He’d been a terrible father, a show off, a braggart and a weak man, but he was also always a seeker of truth. He never doubted that ultimate truth was love people. Now an Ipissimuss his ‘Crowley’ personality had been stripped of negative ego. His death was so close he’d already decided to stick around earth at least once more. He reckoned by the time he was 20 the possibilities for holy vice would be too good to miss. Especially as his grade allowed him almost complete retention of abilities and full knowledge of all previous incarnations.
The sunlight shone through announcing a new day but everyone was so thoroughly enjoying themselves they simply didn’t move. Crowley sent through Mint Tea with a twist, Russian Vodka, Schnapps, and for the stragglers Bloody Mary’s with a good dose of cocaine in with all those healing ingredients.
Rita led Walter by the hand into the lounge. Some party goers slept, sprawled over furniture. A few couples sat talking gently, drinking coffee and smoking.
They could see a little group had formed in the refectory at the far end of the room. Walter, in his tight jeans and paisley patterned silk shirt shone pink and orange, Rita thought he looked sexy as hell. She wore another Japanese robe with delicately sewn dragons and birds.
Most of the obviously time-misplaced flotsam had disappeared and the core of the remaining group seemed to be Brian and Anita, Bill and Joan, and a man called Karl Germer from Germany. They were all silhouettes against the sunshine. Anita was from an old Italian family so she and Germer talked in animated Italian of her familial connection to the painter Balthus and much further, back to the Carpathian mountains where even the bravest traveller would fear to venture! They laughed and Rita saw the beauty and danger in the iridescent blonde. Anita had been a witch since her bored teenage years in Rome, she’d been born just as the Nazi occupation began to wither, and here she was, fighting them again. Time travel is funny like that she thought, and reached an arm to Brian who was machine gunning Burroughs with tales of delta bluesmen. Bill responded, in his weird street tough professorial language “Yes son, it’s damn authentic that’s what it is, Jack and Allen prefer jazz but I definitely like it primal and raw, the negro is treated like an animal, just an animal. I once kicked a four grain a day habit with a pint of paregoric and a Robert Johnson record, tough though.”
They all lounged in a semi-circle, animal skin rugs, trays of drinks, an old thick book with a pile of grass buds and long papers. The sun shone through the wall of window that fronted the refectory and Walter thought how beautiful everything was. Everyone was beautiful, kind, affable and intelligent. Brian and Anita fascinated him, Bill and Joan intrigued him and Rita, well Rita was like the light itself.
“Ah, the gang’s all here!” said the still 40yr old Crowley.
Walter was feeling a little self conscious, all these people were obviously special, just on cue, Brian handed him a beautiful little silver pipe… “Don’t worry man, I didn’t know where I was either. One minute I’m havin’ a blazing row with Nita, we smoke some of this and we’re god knows where, or when, but go with it man.” Beside each other on the couch Walter and Brian looked weirdly similar, apart from the hair the faces had the good looks not of the smooth, waxed moustached kind but prominent cheekbones, full lipped, eyes wolfish and capable of great laughter and if pushed, violence. They looked tough, like two bad boys. They sat together, silks and tight jeans, limbs all pointing towards each other, they were definitely in the same gang now.
Brian put some crystalline grey stuff in the pipe, took a huge suck and passed it to his new friend, smoke escaping from his nostrils and mouth. “Aw man, we’ve done it, escaped fuckin’ time. This is Aleister Crowley’s pad man!”, he spoke quietly and was more of a gentleman than his Cockneyism’s would suggest thought Walter. “Mick woulda run out screaming hours ago, wish Keith was ’ere though, he’d love this!”
Walter blithely sucked on the pipe while Brian teased a lighter over the bowl. “Suck man, then sit back”. Brian gave a sweet smile as Walter drew the smoke into his lungs and held it. An explosion of images and ideas and everything looked as if under some spectacular microscope. He understood the geometry he’d learned in maths as one would understand a good cup of coffee. He was murmuring and laughing to himself as he opened the glass doors and wandered out to the winter garden. It was like he was seeing and thinking at a sub-atomic (or mega) level, everything was precise and perfect. The bald oak tree communicated with him in slow vegetable vibrations. His ’self’ was just a part of the dance of energy he was consumed in. he lay on the frosty grass and saw impossibly intricate fractal structures. He saw two strands of DNA rolling in their eternal serpentine dance, then more strands, frequencies and vibrations joining the dance… faster, better, stronger… He truly understood that everything is energy, something and nothing, there are great gaps between the atoms of our ordinary consciousness and these gaps are filled with wonders. His brain was lighting up, forging new connections allowing previous non-ideas into fantastic vistas of…
Suddenly the trip changed. Someone grabbed him hard by the arm. He spun round hallucinating and suddenly terrified. There were two men, civilian clothes, one looked like a little rodent, sharp pointy face and sharp little teeth. The other was taller, a stork, long neck stretched out.
He felt a heavy blow to the head and warm blood on his face. All confusion now, everything echoing and inaudible. He did feel that Brian was screaming and fighting back in the house. He saw the face of Crowley like a disc of power framed by violent rays of every colour vivid and magnificent. The colours darkened “I’m Sorry Walter, they would have killed us all. The face went out.
It felt like hours had passed. Walter noticed that the drug that had so overpowered him was now having no effect on his thinking. He was in the boot of car bumping and hurting. He felt the sticky congealed blood at the side of his skull. So this was it. He was sure it was the British. Why would Gestapo treat him like this, he was on a mission for the Reichsfuhrer… okay he’d gone native but they couldn’t read his mind. His behaviour could all be explained by ’deep cover’, right out of the manual. He’d be a P.O.W. if he couldn’t think of a way of convincing them, he had turned. The car seemed to have gone off road as the boot churned and juddered.
It was only when the boot was open and the light struck Walter he realised he was wearing a hood, thin silk but extremely difficult to see through. The rat and the stork were talking German. “Out now Kluge! The little one shouted in a voice that seemed from another life. He was dragged out of the boot and given a couple of kicks in the ribs by the stork. Walter realised this was bad, possibly terminal. Barely a word was spoken, they threw a spade at Walter’s long, hurting body. “Dig!”
“Oh fuck!” Walter hadn’t expected this
Nuremberg June 1940
Otto Deils had given himself a scare the night he raped Frau Kluge. His fear had turned into a kind of drink induced paranoia. Kluge was a party member, she probably knew someone who knew Streicher, the font of all his fears. He wept at what his life had become. Forced back to this insane country from his beloved Paris and the friends he’d boast about at the Ratzkeller beer house, where the few drunks who tolerated him would hear, again and again, about the time that Scot Fitzgerald told him this or Andre Breton had taken him to there. No-one really believed he knew all these arty types who were so famous that nobody had heard of them and were probably all a bunch of effete commie scum anyway. They suffered him because there was a rumour that Deils was a Gestapo informer. They knew of his stay in Dachau and that small time political prisoners were the most likely to keep their asses out of that place by giving lists of names of people who would take his place. Otto knew they thought he had friends in the Gestapo and would use it to chisel drinks and generally make a nuisance of himself. He scuttled down one of the canyon like lanes that went up and down the old district and entered the Ratzkeller, sweaty and already half drunk. As he entered he saw, to his terror, two large uniformed Gestapo. Although they were not here for anything to do with Otto Deils, they couldn’t miss his round, terrified eyes, then the back of his greasy overcoat as he flew out of the door, sweating and badly needing a drink. “Hey you!” he heard from behind him. Otto’s world collapsed, Streicher, the devil himself, would torture him till he died.
He ran, tears streaming down his face until he reached a cement dock that took him to the bank of the Penglitz. Here he would end the mess. The water looked brown and filthy like ersatz coffee. He had just about got one leg over the low metal fence when he heard a voice at once aristocratic and military “Friend, what has become of you that you take such measures?”
Deils looked round and saw a great slab of a man with wild bushy eyebrows and an old fashioned Kaiser moustache. “Why end things in such a cowardly way? We are at war my friend, a bomb might fall on your head tomorrow!” he laughed a phlegmy gurgle. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am Baron Rudolf Freiherr von Sebottendorff, now let me buy you a drink and tell uncle all your troubles!
Walter Kluge was not going to let himself be killed, by anyone. His now extremely sober senses saw two anonymous secret service assassins. Every country in Europe had thousands and they all dressed exactly the same: short brimmed hats, baggy suits (handy for concealed weapons) and the ubiquitous belted overcoats, all in such neutral blandness they thought it made them blend in. The pain in Walter’s body was being turned to adrenaline. Rat and Stork kept their guns trained on Walter’s supine body. He had the spade and the pretty decent hand to hand fighting he’d learned at the academy and was gonna kill these bastards.
He assumed the gait and demeanour of a poor defeated soldier and stood up. “Ach, okay… shoot me, the Fuhrer will hang us all one day. You Stork…, he limped toward him impeceptively, YOU WILL…” he suddenly snapped forward and swung the spade with deadly accuracy. Stork fell, dead. The soldier in Walter felt exhilaration and sensed Rat behind and to the left. He dropped to his knees, anticipating the bullet that went zinging past his ear and spun upwards, the spade was like a long sword and was just heading towards Rat’s skull when Walter felt a hard punch to his kidney, then, nothing Krakow Poland 1940
The Vril society were meeting at a members castle in the ancient, occupied, town of Krakow. The members were generally pleased with the way the war was going. An awful lot of terror and death generates a whole lot of energy and energy is everything for the Vrilists. They’d just heard from a rising star in their outer order, the Thule Gessellschaft, that Hitler was tired of fighting the British and, on the summer solstice, would release a massive assault on the Soviet Union. There were five hooded figures sat around a large round oak table which was decorated with the most intricate and yes, beautiful, designs: it looked like a map of an alien country, the script was like nothing Otto, hog tied to his chair upright and gagged, had ever seen. “So!” the Baron exclaimed “Frater Heydrich tells us our Adolf has taken the bait and will soon start the real war… millions of civilians will die in the first few months of the occupation for the Germans will use their grain and cattle. We will scorch the earth and unleash terrors not seen since our last Inquisition. Our knights have convinced Hitler that the only solution to the Semite scum is to annihilate them. We plan to use the methods employed in the T4 euthanasia program but on a massive scale. We will build factories of death…” The Baron looked misty eyed but carried on. “Gentlemen and our dear Countess” he looked lovingly across at the only woman in the group, a cold eyed, wickedly beautiful woman who reminded Otto of the actress Lida Baarova, “Imagine, we see the Vril contained in one child, can you imagine millions of human souls being sacrificed to our Lords? From despair and disaster we have given birth to the Third Reich and through them the greatest war since the loss of our beloved Thule. But now, brothers and Countess Baarova we come as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The time is Now!” his voice cracked with emotion “If only Eckart could celebrate with us tonight, ne’rmind. He’ll join us soon enough, we will bring all the fallen back… SIEG HEIL!”
As the five rose as one Deils recognised another of the hooded faces, the eyebrows and tiny bird eyes atop the eagles beak belonged to the Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess. Otto had entered a mental state where he felt completely disengaged from the scared little man who’d been drugged and tied to a chair. In the euphoria of Sebottendorff’s speech he’d been swept up on the wings of the Vril. He leaped to his feet, eyes bulging with near hysteria and was about to join the salute when he remembered he was tied to the chair and toppled over in a most dramatic fashion.