Wildside 2020: Scattered

Chapter One: Brazilian Nazis...I hate Brazilian Nazis
by R.W. Lander


It was never dark in Miami. Not anymore, not even now, at 4 a.m. Even when the sun's rays didn't shine down, the ever-present floating lights and the sweeping searchlights built into the enormous Overseer robots kept the city bright.

Walking through the gleaming silver buildings, a group of four citizens tried their best to stay in what shadow there was. They glanced nervously at their surroundings. One of them jumped when he saw a poster on one of the walls. He calmed down when he realized it was just propaganda. The poster showed a gleaming man, perfect in form and face, dressed in shining red armor with a flowing purple cape. Above the man's picture was the slogan, "The Ruler is watching you - Your lives belong to him."

Footsteps sounded behind the group. They kept walking, increasing their stride. The footsteps increased with them. The leader of the group, an older man with long white hair, glanced at the middle aged woman next to him. She nodded and reached into her coat. They ducked into a nearby alley and waited for the footsteps to stop. When they turned, they found a dirty looking man wrapped in brown rags and holding a blaster on them. He smiled with his crooked, yellow teeth and said, "Give me whatever you got that's valuable."

One of the group, the oldest, a man with long white hair and a kind face, stepped towards the man. "We have nothing of value. Go, before the Overseers scan your weapon."

The blaster sounded once, and the energy cut through the old man. There was a sharp intake of breath from the rest of the group. The woman pulled a small pistol from her coat, but the blaster sounded again, and she was cut down. Her primitive slugthrower clattered down next to her. After covering the other two men to make sure they didn't move, the dirty man ran up to the old man and began rummaging through his clothes while holding the blaster on the others. He pulled free a shiny new chip reader.

"Nothing valuable, huh? What's this?"

"My friend," one of the other men said, "that has importance beyond your wildest dreams. Please do not think to sell it for a simple meal. Just leave it to us and go, quickly!"

The dirty man shoved the chip reader into a sack that hung at his side and raised the blaster again. He cursed as he heard the whine of miniature jet engines coming closer. Then he took off at a run down the alley and into the street. Just after he got out of sight, there was an exchange of blaster fire.

The two men confirmed that the others were indeed dead. They said a silent prayer to an outlawed God before a man dressed in blue power armor with a black cape stepped into view at the end of the alley. His face was shielded by a full helmet, and on his chest he wore the insignia of the Ruler's Guard. A spotlight shone on two men from one of the thirty-foot tall Overseer robots in the distance. Neither of them moved.

The guard took flight, using his boot jets to fly over to them and land. He just stood there, not saying anything, until another member of the guard also arrived, landing next to him and holding the chip reader.

"Are these yours, citizens?" came the electronically-distorted voice.

"Yes," one of them answered.

The other guard, the one who had not spoken, raised his right arm and pointed it at the group. He fired a wide burst of energy that reduced them to ashes, then turned to the other guard.

"Damn rebels. The Ruler would have our heads if this got out."

* * * * *

When Vincent's head stopped spinning, he was suddenly aware of sitting on damp ground. He stood up to get a look around and heard a familiar voice say, "Oh, great."

The next sound was that of lasers firing, and the air was alive with bolts of red light, scorching the tropical trees and plants around him. Vincent was yanked to the ground by someone and held down. He turned his head and spit out the dirt in his mouth.

Sitting next to him was someone who looked remarkably like Dave Hunter. He was dressed in a black leather jacket with a Wildside insignia on it, and underneath he wore a green camouflage jumpsuit of some kind of plastic material. His head was shaved closely in military fashion.

"What the hell are you doing? You just blew this mission all to hell! And how did you get here, anyway? And why are you wearing a Wildside comm?"

Before Vincent could answer any of the questions, or even consider them, a deep voice boomed a single word in what sounded like Russian. The response was immediate. Two trees about thirty feet distant tumbled to the ground as a metallic monster crashed through them. It was about ten feet tall and five feet wide, built like a humanoid tank and painted camo green. On top of its shoulder was a huge cannon, and it began to fire some sort of projectile. The only sign of its firing was the sonic boom each time it recoiled. The monster pressed forward, ignoring the scattered laser hits that bounced off the armor.

Vincent looked up and saw some sort of flying armor closing on him and Dave. The armored man raised his right hand and fired some sort of projectile at them. Not wanting to chance it, Vincent grabbed Dave and pulled them both out of the way. When he looked back, the vegetation they had been lying in was covered with some sort of sticky mess.

Dave pulled out a large pistol and fired. The shot hit home, and the armored man spun out of control and crashed into the jungle below. Dave tapped his comm and said, "Boris? How many are there?"

A thick Russian voice returned, "Four more. Suzi is closing on their position."

"Roger. We'll track her signal and follow." Dave pulled out a miniature pad, about the size of a calculator, and punched something into it. Then he started moving, staying low to avoid the incoming laser fire.

Vincent just followed him, still a little disoriented. He had the presence of mind to create his sword. Dave stared at it as if it were the most amazing thing he had ever seen.

"You're a metahuman. Are you from the other dimension?"

Vincent nodded. He was pretty sure that he and Dave were talking about the same dimension, and if they weren't, he could explain it later anyway.

Suddenly, the laser fire stopped. Dave started running, and Vincent took off after them. When they reached a clearing in the thick forest, they saw four dead troopers with laser rifles at their sides. Each of them had a swastika on his arm, and a thin bloody line in their throats.

A female in a full-coverage camouflage bodysuit stood cleaning the blood off of her stiletto. She had a bullet wound in her arm, just below the Japanese flag that was on her armband. Another woman, wearing a costume very similar to Dave's except that on her jacket's arm she had the flag of Italy, was dressing the wound.

Standing by a metallic box and working at an exposed control panel was a black man in uniform with a Union Jack on the side of his jacket. He finished the rewiring and gave a thumbs-up to a nervous looking blond who was smoking a cigarette. Her jacket identified her as from France.

"They're cut off, General," the man said in a cultured English accent. "I don't think they'll suspect anything more than radio trouble."

"Good job," Dave answered. "Nice work, Suz."

The woman in the full coverage suit pulled off her hood, revealing very serious Japanese features and long dark hair. "No problem, sir."

The armored behemoth crossed into the clearing and powered down, steam flowing from various outlets. The mechanical voice echoed through all of their Wildside communicators.

"Good maneuvers. I see the training is working."

"Where am I and who are you people?" Vincent said.

"Sorry," Dave said. "You're in Brazil, in the dimension where Nazis won instead of losing like they did in your dimension. At least, I think it was your dimension. Your Wildside came here about thirty years ago, right?"

Vincent nodded to him. He remembered reading about the case in the Wildside files. "I'm Vincent, leader of the new contingent of the team."

"What a coincidence. I'm General Dave Hunter, leader of this contingent of Wildside. We took the name to honor the heroes who shut down Hitler's nuclear arsenal and destroyed the madman himself years ago."

"That battle was a turning point in the war. When the Hoogeveen site went up, the Nazis saw their two greatest advantages evaporate," said the French blonde.

"The DMA had a golden opportunity to kick the Nazis out of North America," Dave continued. "And we took it. We used captured high-tech equipment and better tactics, and the Nazis were gone in six years. The French resistance, the Free African movement, and the Soviet Underground all took up the fight in their parts of the world, too. The Nazi government officially toppled in 2003."

"We set up the Council of the Free World after that," said the Englishman. "All national boundaries were restored, but it was decided that we needed some form of world unity so that the Nazis could never happen again. Wildside operates as the enforcement arm of the CFW. Our primary use is hunting down what remains of the Nazi government and eliminating them. Beyond that, we shut down fascist or racist organizations to prevent anything like the Nazis from arising again."

"Let me introduce you to the team," Dave said. "The guy in the armor is Captain Boris Cherzenko, USSR. He's our combat specialist. Lieutenant Suzi Takozi is one of the survivors of the 1972 bombings of Japan. She's our infiltration specialist. Lieutenant Marilyn Nien is French, her specialty is disguise. Lieutenant Hollings Forth is from England, he's our Technology Officer, and Captain Carol Piazza is our Italian Medic."

"We should get moving," Cherzenko said. "Before they decide to investigate this firefight."

The team started moving out, walking into the jungle again. Vincent walked up next to Dave.

"First of all, I'm sorry my arrival caused that firefight. It wasn't planned. Second, what are we doing here?"

"We got word that the Nazis have a major tech base here, and that they might be trying to recreate nuclear technology. We're here to take out that base or at the very least get a look at it."

"Count me in," Vincent said.

"No problem," Dave said. "We could use a real metahuman. All our tricks come from fancy tech."

After another hour of moving through the forest, they saw a building in the distance. It was flying a Nazi flag.

"The pigs openly defy us," Nien said. "What is the plan, General?"

Dave looked at Takozi and said, "Go in and see what you can find out. See if you can find us a way in. Report back in ten minutes, no matter what. If you don't, we'll come in after you."

Lieutenant Takozi saluted and pulled her hood back in. She tapped a few buttons on her wrist and vanished. When Vincent concentrated, he could still see her outline moving through the trees. Eventually, he couldn't even focus on that.

"Up close, she has a fringe," Dave said. "But when she's being careful or if she's at any distance, she's gone."

They waited for an agonizing ten minutes, not speaking or moving. There were a couple of armored Nazis (Jagers, Vincent remembered, was what the Wildside Files called them) who returned from their flight patrols who came very close to their location, but the Jagers didn't see them. Finally, as Takozi's time was about to run out, they heard her voice from up ahead.

"Come on! I've found a way in! And we have two minutes before the next patrol comes in!"

The team moved out, each one keeping a lookout in a different direction. Vincent was struck by how organized and competent they seemed. He wished he had a camera so he could show Wildside how to operate in 2020.

They got to the edge of forest before reaching the building and stopped. Inside the clearing was a building that looked like an old temple. It was faded and crumbling, but on careful inspection, it was clear that nothing was actually falling down. It was carefully crafted to look old, but it was probably created in recent years. On the top there were carefully concealed sensor arrays and an opening in the steeple of the building gave way to an indoor hangar.

As they watched, another Jager flew in and landed in the hangar. They listened, hearing the clanking of his metallic boots get further and further away.

"That's it," Takozi said, reappearing next to the group. "We've got to move. They have a patrol pattern, and nobody will be landing anytime soon. Stay close to me and my cloaking field will get us past the sensors."

The team produced climbing claws, except for Cherzenko, who powered down the armor and burrowed into the ground until only the head and shoulders were showing. His cannon began to swivel slowly from left to right. Dave looked at Vincent.

"You want to stay out here with Boris?"

"I'd rather go in if you have the equipment."

Dave shrugged and handed him a set of climbing claws. Vincent put them on and walked with them over to the temple. The team scaled the wall quickly, being sure to avoid the black glass panes on the walls that were almost certainly one-way windows. They reached the hangar in just under a minute. The team scrambled inside and hid behind a fighter jet, the only visible piece of equipment in the hangar. Takozi's invisibility field kept them all shielded from sight.

Dave grabbed Vincent's shoulder. "Get cover, Takozi's moving in and we're going to be visible."

Vincent ducked down behind the landing gear. He saw the team appear one by one as Takozi dropped them at various points in the hangar. Dave was sitting in the cockpit of the plane, crouched out of sight and going over the controls. The only other person Vincent could see was Hollings, who was over at the wall plugging some sort of black box into exposed wires. After a second, he gave a thumbs-up to Dave.

"Cameras are looped," Dave said into his comm. "Vincent, you're with me. Everyone beep-check in every two minutes. Three beeps indicates radio silence until further notice. We meet back here in ten. Go."

Vincent saw the others pair off and leave the room. Dave jumped out of the cockpit and landed next to Vincent. He cocked his pistol and said, "Ready? We've got to find their communications center."

Vincent followed Dave as they walked quietly along the walls until they reached an elevator. Dave punched the button and they waited for it to come up. They both ducked to the side when the door opened, but the car was empty. Climbing inside, Dave closed his eyes and pressed a button.

"You don't know what floor it's on?" Vincent asked.

"Nope. Maybe we'll get lucky. It's been known to happen to me."

A Dave who knows how to use his luck and military training, Vincent thought. Those poor Nazis.

The elevator doors opened and Dave and Vincent once again ducked out of sight. They peeked down and saw a guard at the end of the hallway. He was standing in front of a large door. The sign on the door was in German.

"Bingo," Dave said quietly. "That's the communications room. Can you take out the guard quietly?"

Vincent smiled and stepped into the hallway. He walked towards the guard quickly but quietly. The guard turned his head, but before he could react, Vincent produced his glowing sword and slashed the man in the throat. He collapsed, unable to scream, and Vincent caught him and lowered him gently to the floor.

Dave stepped out of the elevator quietly clapping his hands. Vincent bowed to him and grinned. The two of them advanced on the door. It was not reinforced, but it didn't have a window.

"There's no telling what's on the other side of this door," Vincent said.

Dave pushed the door open lightly and peeked in. He put a finger to his lips and slipped in through the door. Vincent followed him. Both of them were crouched down. They were walking on a catwalk, high above a room filled with high-tech equipment. The catwalk was made of wire so that they could see below, but metal panels blocked off sight from the same level. They ducked below the level of the panels to avoid the gaze of the armed guard across the room from them.

They looked at the miniature laboratory beneath them. A Nazi officer was speaking into some kind of large electronic device. Garbled German was coming back at him. Dave tapped his watch twice in quick succession, then appeared to be listening to the conversation.

"Oh, boy," Dave said quietly. He took a quick count and saw that there were thirty soldiers in the room. He motioned to Vincent to move back out, tapping his comm once to send a beep to the other teams. His comm beeped twice in return. No one looked up.

They got outside and Vincent said, "What, what's going on?"

"They're in contact with a spy in another dimension. They're going to bring some kind of war machines through a portal there and hit the CFW. I couldn't get anything more than that."

"Then we stop them," Vincent said. "Get all of Wildside down here and take them out."

Dave tapped his comm again. "Teams, report."

"Takozi here, General. Looks bad. This place is crawling with Jagers and Krieg Komandos. We need the military for this."

"Forth here. Takozi's right, this place is stocked to the gills with soldiers. I'd say we've found their main base. If we can take these blokes out, this might put an end to them once and for all. But we better get out now. If they find us, we're dead."

"Okay, pull out. I'll meet you outside." Dave turned to Vincent. "I lied. You go meet the others. Get them to the Vagabond and back to CFW Headquarters. I'm going to stay and find out what else I can...are you all right?"

Vincent was not all right. He was having a vision. He saw Dave being stood up, obviously weak from torture, and shot to death by the Nazis' guns. Then he saw giant robotic horrors stomping through all parts of the world, and saw the capitols of the world burning, with the Nazi flag flying in the background.

"Dave, you've got to go. Don't ask me how I know, but if you don't, the Nazis will win."

"I have to stay. We need more information. What if they bring in these war machines before we get back?"

"I'll prevent that. I'll stay here. I'm a metahuman, and the Nazis can't kill me. Trust me."

Dave looked wary, but he didn't have time to argue. He handed Vincent something that looked like a wristwatch and gave him a small ear piece.

"What's this?" Vincent asked.

"Translator. Instant German to English. If you tap the watch before you speak, it'll translate your English to German too. I'd give you my goggles for reading, but they're a little conspicuous. You'll have to fake it."

"Thanks. And don't worry about me."

Vincent picked up the Nazi he had killed. He was lucky in that there wasn't any blood on the uniform and that the uniform included a helmet. After tucking his long black hair under the helmet and getting into the uniform, he looked just like any other Nazi soldier.

He gave the body to Dave. "Get rid of this for me, will you?"

"Be careful," Dave said, "and good luck."

Vincent turned and walked back into the communications room. He strode along the catwalk, heading for the stairs that would take him down to the main floor. The guard across the way flipped him a stiff-armed salute, which Vincent returned.

The very thought of Nazis made Vincent sick. He remembered learning about the GENOCIDE wars of the early twenty-first century, and he had read Dragon's report on the horrid future that awaited mutants, where they were all lobotomized and lived as worse than animals in a scarred wasteland. In Vincent's mind, the Nazis were worse than GENOCIDE, in that they did these things to their own kind. They didn't have any rational fears, they just felt themselves better than others.

Vincent calmed himself down as he walked down the stairs. Any sign of anger would call attention to himself, and that would be the end of him. He walked down to the room and got within listening distance of the crude radio, then stood at attention.

The device looked like a jury-rigged ham radio, with wires and an antenna. It didn't have a picture screen or holographic display, all it could do was send out crackling German. But what Vincent heard gave away just how advanced this device was.

He listened as the spy told them about the other dimension he was in, where gigantic war robots raged through the world. He told them of the organization he had corrupted, whose leaders wanted to help them take over and rule the world. Vincent heard the tales of a naturally-occurring dimensional gate that the war robots (the spy called them "Mecha") would seize when the time was right.

Vincent stayed for a long time, watching the guard shift change twice. He wandered out every so often, just to make sure he wasn't being noticed, but every time he came back, no one so much as nodded in his direction. To the scientists in the room, he was just another faceless guard.

Finally, all of the scientists left the room to sleep. There were only two guards, and both of them walked up to the catwalk to patrol. Vincent slipped over to the console and picked up a notebook, filled with German writing. He could make out enough to know the dates, and could see that the notes went back four years. He tucked the journal away in his uniform and went back to wandering around the base.

Vincent spent the next few hours discovering the layout of the base. It was stocked with soldiers, at least five thousand, and it extended far below its relatively small surface building. There was a fully-stocked armory and various laboratories. It seemed likely to Vincent that this was the new command center for the Nazis. He kept looking until he found a door marked, "Do not Enter without Authorization."

He promptly entered the room. About a hundred men, dressed in flat gray jumpsuits, were strapped into bulky headgear and suspended in vats of gelatinous gray fluid. Scientists were monitoring readouts on each vat, and one of them turned immediately to Vincent and began screaming at him.

"What are you doing in here? Are you authorized?"

"Command sent me to participate," Vincent bluffed. He was surprised but glad to hear his speech come out as flawless German.

The scientist looked him up and down and said, "Good. Come with me."

Vincent followed the man to an empty vat. The scientist handed him a gray jumpsuit and nodded at him.

Vincent obediently undressed and put the gray suit on. He was careful to tuck his hair underneath the hood when the scientist wasn't looking. Long-haired Nazis were not a common sight, and it would give him away. The suit fit tight, like a second skin, and there was a slight tingle that ran through Vincent's body, as if the entire suit were charged. He was getting acclimated to the feeling when the scientist strapped the bulky helmet to his head.

The helmet had no visual input, so Vincent was completely blind. He nearly panicked, but just focused inward, like he did when he meditated, and he was okay. The scientist helped Vincent sit down in the vat until he was immersed.

Vincent had lost all sensory input, he could not tell where he was or what he was doing. He just breathed gently, realizing that there was nothing else he could do. He kept thinking about his mission so that his mind wouldn't drift off into a vision of the future or the past.

Minutes later, his world came alive again. He was sitting inside some sort of cockpit, and when he lifted his right arm, he saw a huge metallic right arm lift outside through the view port in front of him. He took a step forward, and the entire craft moved with him. He heard a clump as his giant metallic foot impacted with the soft dirt. Vincent looked down and saw a complicated console, with various weapon and sensors readouts. He could see a targeting scope that had some kind of giant robot targeted on it.

Vincent realized that he was in the cockpit of one of the war robots. He spun in the direction of the giant robot until his scope was dead center. He saw that he was facing the robot, and that it had raised its right arm and was firing an energy cannon at him. Vincent felt his craft rock as the beam impacted with its surface. He responded by reaching for the weapons console, but was surprised to see his metallic arm move, while his body's arm didn't.

Cybernetic interface, he realized, as another energy bolt struck him. The cockpit flashed red and a damage light began blinking to his left. Vincent concentrated and thought the command to fire his cannon. A burst of energy flew from his right metallic arm and struck the opposing robot. Vincent cheered aloud until two more energy bursts rocked him in return. He felt a sense of vertigo as his legs kicked out from under him and the robot he was piloting was lying flat on its back. The cockpit was facing open sky.

A gigantic cannon filled the view screen and energy burned its way in. Vincent's world went dark again and he lost all sensation.

He floated motionless, realizing that he was still in the vat of gelatin. He felt hands pulling him out of the vat and his helmet came off. The scientist was yelling at him in German.

"Idiot! Our children could do better than that! You are not a fit pilot! Go and tell Command that we require a different pilot!"

Vincent got out and saluted. He left the chamber after changing back into his borrowed soldier uniform. He patted the inside pocket of his jacket and found that the journal was still there.

Whatever's inside this journal is important, Vincent thought. I need to find out how to read it. He had an inspiration and went to the prison level.

Once there, he was greeted by a guard in Krieg Komando armor. The guard did not look friendly.

"I need to see one of the prisoners. They must translate a code book for me."

The Krieg Komando extended his hand. "Authorization?"

Vincent shrugged and turned around. "I don't have written authorization. I'll come back."

Vincent thought about attacking the guard, but he realized that he would most likely lose and then he wouldn't have any chance of decoding the journal. His best chance was to figure out another way. He just walked around the base, thinking of alternatives to fighting. After another hour, he came up with another idea, but it wouldn't work on this guard. He would have to wait until the shift changed.

Vincent slipped into the security room and watched the cameras on the prison level. He also kept an eye on the communications room, but no one was going in there at this time of night. As soon as someone did, they were bound to discover that the journal was missing.

Finally, the guards at the prison level changed. Vincent noted the time as 5 a.m. He walked back down to the level and asked the guard, "Can I get in to see one of the prisoners? He has important information."

"Authorization?" the man said.

"I am part of Internal Security. This man has information about a traitor to the cause. If you bar my way, I will brand you a traitor and have you taken away. Now, let me see the prisoner."

The Komando stepped aside and watched Vincent walk down the hallway into the cell block. Vincent thought to himself, they're all the same, more afraid of themselves than the enemy. That was certainly true of Xavier Enterprises and my father. No one feared the police so much as they feared Alec Xavier. And no one here fears the CFW more than the Nazi Command.

Vincent kept walking, looking for an older prisoner, one more likely to be a scholar and not a fighter. He found a man who appeared to be in his sixties in one of the cells. He said in German, "I need you to read something in this book."

The man responded in German. "I will not do anything for you, Nazi."

Good attitude, Vincent thought. He leaned up against the bars. After a visual check for bugs and cameras, he decided to risk it. "I'm with the CFW. This is important information, but I can't read German. If I give you this, can you translate it to English?"

The man's dull eyes lit up a little. "Is this part of a rescue mission?"

"Translate the book and it will be. But it must be secret. If I am caught, no one else will come."

"Give me the book." Vincent handed the small book to the man through the bars of the cell. He also handed him a pen.

"Do it as quickly as possible. Give me a summary, not a detailed translation."

The man nodded and sat down to work. Vincent, having no need to sleep, just stayed at the cell, looking around and making sure no one noticed the man at work. The man stopped writing every so often to exclaim, "My God!" or "Terrible!" or something like that, but Vincent never interrupted him.

It took five hours for the man to translate most of the book. Vincent looked down the hall and watched the guards change again. Not wanting to press his luck, he said, "Give me the book and whatever you got. That will have to be enough."

The man handed him the book. "When will we be rescued?"

"Soon. Hang on." Vincent walked back past the new guard, not even looking at him. He wasn't stopped, and was soon on his way back to the barracks to find a quiet place to read.

Vincent found that the barracks were very much a common area, with other soldiers in their bunks reading various literature, all of it having to do with White Supremacy or Nazi Ideology. Probably required reading, Vincent thought. Can't have stray thoughts forming outside the Party.

Vincent grabbed a spare copy of Mein Kampf and slid the book inside its covers. He began to read through the translated notes, scribbled in pencil below the actual writing. Parts of it were very hard to make out because of the hurried writing, but the chronicle that unfolded was easy enough to understand.

The journal belonged to the lead scientist of the project. While experimenting with a communicator that couldn't be tapped, he found himself receiving some sort of distress call. When he tuned it in, he found that the distress call came not from an agent in enemy territory, but an agent thought long dead at the Hoogeveen launch site.

Vincent had read in Dragon's Wildside Files about the Dimensional Tour and their visit to Nazi World. The Hoogeveen launch site had been the home of Hitler's nuclear power, and when Wildside invaded to shut it down, they found Hitler waiting for him. The madman set one of his missiles to explode, destroying the entire base. Wildside escaped using a dimensional gate that the Nazis had developed.

This spy had been part of the inter-dimensional experiment, and he had been sent, along with many others, through the dimensional gateway before it was destroyed to find new dimensions to conquer. He had been cut off from communications when the Hoogeveen site went up. He had adapted to the world he was in and waited for the Nazis to pick up his distress signal.

They did, and he started using the position he had cultivated to work for Nazi causes. This world was populated with giant robots, called Mecha, that were piloted by human pilots. They were immensely powerful, and there were technical notes and sketches in the margin of the journal indicating that the scientist had been getting all the information he could about them from the spy. One of the control panels in the journal was identical to the one Vincent had used in his virtual training.

The plan was simple. They were going to use the Mecha to storm a naturally occuring dimensional gate in the dimension and bring them here. Then they would use the war machines to conquer the world again for the Reich. From what Vincent could tell, it would work. The Mecha seemed decades ahead of 2020 technology.

Vincent suddenly fell into another vision. In this one, he was standing in the jungle, and he watched a small army of Mecha tromping through the jungle next to him. They came to a stop, and suddenly a swastika appeared on each one's chest, as if it had been spray-painted by an invisible can. The lead Mech's head exploded from within and the body toppled, and Vincent heard a voice saying, "The Hunter is the Hunted."

When he came out of the vision, Vincent was surrounded by soldiers. One of them was holding the journal and staring at it. The others had their pistols drawn and were aiming them at Vincent.

Vincent knew he couldn't be captured. They'd torture him and he might pass on some kind of information. Luckily, there was another option.

Vincent moved for his own pistol. He didn't want to use the sword, because he didn't want to tip them off to his being a metahuman. As he expected, the trigger-happy soldiers fired. He felt intense pain as the bullets ripped into him, but he didn't fight the sensation. He just let go.

The lead officer, the one holding the book, ran over to Vincent. He checked his pulse and looked up. "He is dead. Now we will never know what he told his superiors. Idiots!"

They quickly checked his body and found a Wildside communicator pin.

"Mein Gott," the officer said. "Wildside. We have killed an agent of Wildside. Inform head of Internal Security at once!"

"What do we do with the body, sir?" one of the others asked.

"Throw it into the jungle. We have no need of bodies in here."

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