Christopher watched on with cold disdain as the serum was injected into the twelfth soldier, their name and rank taken down by a short man in a lab coat. The glass separating them allowed Christopher a chance to look over the nervous looking cadets, who had all been told this was to prevent an outbreak of Spanish Flu from spreading through the Nazi ranks. He gave a half smile as a shirtless shoulder smacked one of his comrades on the shoulder, pulling himself up to a top bunk where he laid himself out.

“So do you think the G-32 series will have a better yield?” Richard asked from Christopher’s elbow, his British accent far out of place deep within the German bunker. Christopher turned, sliding his hands into his pockets before smiling.

“I have higher hopes than I did with the G-30 series, that’s for certain. I’m not sure what the Fuhrer is hoping we can achieve with these tests, but hopefully, we will find out soon.”

“Yes, the serum should take effect within the next hour or so, then take another twelve to work through their systems. The survivors will be an interesting lot.”

“Quite,” Christopher agreed, walking out of the secret room and into the hall that allowed them back into the laboratories. Great spinning rods channeling arcs of blue lightning sat high in the air atop spires of bent steel while bubbling chemicals sat in beakers and test tubes, all tended to by a random underling Christopher had never bothered to learn the name of. Several such underlings passed them by, greeting them with nervous glances and stuttering’s that left Christopher disgusted with the so called superior race.

Moving to a door flanked by two soldiers, fully armed, Christopher nodded to the door. “Crack it open, I want to speak to it.”

The soldier on the left, Hans, nodded and turned to grab the wheel lock sealing the room, turning it slowly and carefully as the pressure began to seep out. Finally, the door popped open and the wheel spun loose, and Hans pulled the door open and stepped inside. Christopher and Richard followed the soldier while the second one closed the door behind them and sealed it once more, trapping them in the narrow stone hallways sloping down in a narrow circle, water dripping from the stones and pooling in uneven steps of footing.

The dank air of the tomb seemed to crush Han’s and Richard’s spirit while invigorating Christopher’s. He began to hasten his step, doggedly following the bulky soldier on his heels as they approached the trapped quarry the SS had found some fourteen years ago, after falling from the sky.

The tunnel ending in a wood-paneled cavern with stained glass windows, high domed roof, and lines of pews, Christopher sneered at the obvious attempt to make the captive feel more at home. Standing up where a preacher would normally wax on about God and his love was a boy, frail and thin, with six wings spreading from his back to a wingspan of some ten feet. Each wing was shackled and bolted to the walls, holding the lad in place.

His frame was emaciated, his belly puffed out and sick, skin peeling as bone shone through thin patches of flesh. The boy’s face, once cherubic, was now nothing more than a vicious snarl with deep red eyes and pointed, needle teeth over black gums. The boys arms, shackled and bound to the floor, held claws each an even six inches in length; claws that Christopher was well aware could tear through one of Germany’s finest in a matter of seconds.

The bindings that held him in place were wrought cold iron, particularly strong against spirits. Or so the folklore had predicted… so far they’d held true.

The boy looked up as Hans stopped at the entryway, making room for Christopher to walk into the room, followed by a quaking Richard. “Ah, company…” It hissed in a sibilant tone, it eyes narrowing to slits. “How utterly delightful. A shame I couldn’t have prepared anything.”

“Oh but you have Nicholas, you already have,” Christopher said with a smile, reaching into his coat and removing an empty syringe.

The boy looked at the needle lazily before rolling his eyes back up to meet Christopher’s. “You seek my life essence once again, Balkan? Have you not learned that you cannot use my gifts on your soldiers without severe repercussions?”

“We’ve already isolated the part of your genealogy that causes the main problems, and will only need a few more trials before we will begin injecting all SS officers with your blood,” Christopher said, walking boldly up the dais towards the bound boy. He stopped as the boy fell limp against his restraints, hanging limply from his wings, which strained against his taut skin. He pushed himself back up, glowering at Christopher.

“Still have the faith, I presume?” Christopher taunted, moving closer to the small creature’s frame.

“If I didn’t I could remove these blasted wings and you know it.” The boy pouted, not even bothering to struggle as Christopher moved to take blood from him. “Take of me what you will, I have no basis to fight you any longer…”

“Oh?” Christopher asked as he slipped the needle beneath the boy’s yellowing skin into a vein before pulling back the plunger slowly, filling the needle with a red glowing fluid. Holding it up to the dim lighting of the room, Christopher smiled as he stared at the syringe, before looking down at the sallow-skinned youth.

“Your faith to God is what punishes you, you realize this right?” Christopher said, looking at the tangle of chains and clamps holding the boy in place. “If you just let him go, you would be free in moments.”

The boy remained silent as Christopher packed the syringe back into his pocket, turning to walk down the dais as he smiled at Hans and Richard, who were both still wavering at the entrance of the cathedral.

As he almost reached them, the boy’s voice rang out in the room, echoing from the walls. “And it is your lack of faith that results in the death of dozens, if not hundreds of God-fearing men. You will one day have to answer for your crimes.”

Christopher looked over his shoulder, his face solemn. “Perhaps. But with your blood, perhaps not.”


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