In Search of The Fuehrer
Copyright © 2008 by Jefferson P. Swycaffer. All rights reserved.
The Nazi hierarchy had gone on retreat, taking the waters and airs at the spa at Kandersfeld, Austria. Accessible by a winding truck-trail up the Zillertal Alps, although within easy radio communication of Innsbruck, the inner circle of the Third Reich had the mingled advantages of isolation and total hierarchical dominance of wartime affairs.
Winter’s furies had abated, and Adolf Hitler had decided to take a bit of a walk. Therefore, the rest of his entourage had decided likewise. Heinrich Himmler was managing to keep up the pace, while Josef Goebbels, showing the sort of canny wisdom that had kept him alive during periodic party re-organizations, managed to go slowly, so as not to show up the less athletic of the junta. Hermann Goering, of course, plodded along in the rear, red-faced and huffing.
A platoon of mountain troops had fanned out over the ridges and cuts, and a special section of SS officers maintained a minute-by-minute census of the population of Kandersfeld, taking no chances against any lack of patriotism or loyalty on the part of the good citizenry.
Hitler had just essayed a jape, which those about him found to be ineffably hilarious, when the spacecraft from another cosmos flashed into the cloudless sky.
It might, at necessity, have been described as a sphere, although only the nearest parts of it intruded into the four-dimensional time-space of the sidereal universe; the limbs of the sphere, beyond the kilometer-wide centrum, faded away in direction the human mind could not conceptualize. The portions which were clearly visible were battleship grey, bristling with pods, masts, ports, gun towers, torpedo vents, energy projectors, and all the other necessities of a warcraft.
The emblazoning was familiar: red bands, with white circles, bearing black swastikas.
The mountain troops of the Fuehrer’s escort, sworn to defend their leader to the death, fell heavily to the ground, swept unconscious by the emission of silent radiating energies from the titanic spaceship. Only the four Nazi leaders stood, untouched and, though overawed, unharmed.
Somewhere nearby, a radio crackled. Goering tracked it down — it had been carried by one of the escorting soldiers — and flipped switches around on it until he secured a signal.
“Who is this?” he asked.
“We are advance units of the Seven Hundred and Ninth Chrono-Galactic SS, in service of the Ninth Cosmic Reich.”
Goering was very rarely known for the gift of recognizing his own shortcomings, but this time, for once, he comprehended the limits of his competence. “I think it’s for you,” he said, and put the telephone-receiver of the radio set into Hitler’s hand.
“Who is this…really?” Hitler asked.
“As identified. We represent the Nazi ideology, as expressed in universal time-modification and interstellar spacial purification. We have crossed billions of parsecs, and thousands of centuries, in search of our archetypical origins.”
Hitler put his hand over the mouthpiece. “Is Martin Bormann up to one of his little tricks?”
Himmler, waxen, Goebbels, ashen, and Goering, red as a strawberry pudding, shook their heads in the negative, and pointed upward at the gigantic structure, hovering as gently as a cloud.
“Ah. Yes. I see.” He spoke into the radiophone. “What, exactly, is it you want here?”
“We seek Adolf Hitler. We seek the original man, the genius, the one innovative and brilliant mind, the engineer of the Great Reich, the one soul who strove in opposition to every struggle and all opposition, and who laid the more-than-eternal foundations of total time-space expansionism.”
Hitler had never been greatly averse to a bit of flattery now and again. “I am he.”
“May we put a deputation of honor aground to convey to you our infinite admiration?”
“I do not see any reason to object, so long as the protocols are adhered to. No threats, of course, will be tolerated.”
Goering blinked in astonishment. Hitler may have only had one ball, but it was milled of the best industrial brass on the face of the earth. High overhead, a hatch valved open, and a small landing boat slid forth. It spiralled elegantly down through the sky, cleared the tops of the firs, and dropped into a clearing in the forest. Unfolding like a puzzle box, it revealed a party of four.
They wore something vaguely akin to Nazi uniforms and regalia, although covering somewhat less than what was covered by the clothing worn by the four men. The newcomers were tall and slender, yet firm and fit, very much living up to the Aryan ideals; this was abundantly clear, as the belts and straps and holsters over their bodies left them only in the very slightest degree removed from entire nudity.
“Our forces command the approaches to ten thousand galaxies,” announced their leader.
“We have conquered all the centuries of the past, and are sending shock troops storming into the most distant future.” This from a woman, every inch of whose secondary sexual characteristics were bare to the Alpine sun.
Another, a man, standing firm and erect, obviously in the throes of vast emotional inspiration, said also, “Our paratemporal operations have cleared a thousand worlds of ‘if’ of subhumans and lesser races, to prepare living space for our genetically advanced populace.”
And the fourth, genetically advanced enough to bear strong indications of both sexes at once, concluded, “We have now achieved our greatest goal! We have found the original, the real, the true, the first Adolf Hitler, that one perfect man who has inspired our eternal and immortal trillion-year-Reich!”
Hitler smiled slightly, stood forward, and tossed off one of his casual salutes. “I am he.”
“No, no, you don’t understand. We’re looking for the Aryan Superman, Adolf Hitler.”
“Yes. Of course.”
“The author of ‘Mein Kampf,’ the single most influential book in the history of the cosmos.”
“That is correct.”
“Please! Take us to him!”
“I am him. I am Adolf Hitler.”
The four from space looked back and forth among one another and then back to the Nazi leader.
Himmler, Goebbels, and Goering nodded fatuously. “Him.”
The terrestrial party of four found nothing further worth saying.
The extra-terrestrial party of four broke into frowns. “Him?”
“He’s dumpy. He’s pudgy.”
“He has body hair!”
“Look at his nose! Short and upturned. This isn’t the aquiline nose of symmetrical perfection!”
“Look at his ears!”
“What about his…”
One of them manipulated an instrument of some sort. Hitler stood nude.
The four from time and space stared. Their expressions turned to horror…then to hilarity. “No! No way!”
“It is not possible!”
“This surely is not the archetypical world, whence originates the spirit of Nazi perfection!”
“No, indeed; we have been misled again to some paltry, puny, sickly, spin-off of a cosmos, where history has vomited up only a pallid shadow of the true and original Hitler.”
“Shall we destroy this cosmos, to punish it for this travesty?”
“No. There is no need for that. Such an abortion of a universe can only come to its own extinction, and we need not filthy our hands hastening it. Come. Back to the Heydrich. We must continue the search, no matter how far it may take us.”
The four stood upon the platform of their landing boat, which folded itself up again about them. Silently, it lifted into the air. United with the heaven-scraping behemoth above, both landing craft and mother ship vanished, leaving untainted the soft Austrian sky.
“Give me your jacket,” Hitler said to Goebbels, and was instantly obeyed. “Wake up the soldiers. We will return now to the spa.”
He stopped, and looked closely at his three lieutenants.
“Gentlemen, we shall never again speak of this incident.”