Chapter One: Day In New Berlin
New Berlin was by this time a massive metropolis, giant sky scrapers reached up into the sky but among the towers where gigantic statues of figures from German history, the stone sculptors of the Teutonic Knights watched over the streets. Small, compact cars filled the roads during this summer morning as the citizens of the city went about their daily tasks. In the center of the city of the Palace of the Fuehrer, a massive castle made of white marble with flags showing the Swastika adorning the outer walls of the structure. Hanging above the side walks all over the city where the Info Screens, video monitors which displayed to the citizens of the city the endless propaganda of the Reich. Near the residential sector of the city where the majority of the populace lived in the large apartment complexes, two young men walked down a sidewalk towards the center of the city. Like everyone, they where wearing the simplistic gray clothes as everyone, required by official mandate.
Royce Edmond, an athletic young man with short brown hair and a prominent jaw, turned to his boyhood friend and asked with a slight British accent, "well Wolf, excited?"
Wolf Ford, also in his early twenties, was a tall, muscular man with copper hair and piercing eyes. While Royce seemed joyful and energetic, Wolf seemed more reserved and had a rather emotionless expression on his face. He just seemed to look off into the distance as they walked.
Wolf replied, "what is there to be excited about Royce? Today they will decide how we will spend the rest of our lives. The powers that be will determine what profession we are best suited for, and we will do that for the rest of our lives."
Men in the North American Reich, soon after passing the age of twenty, where required to take the State Aptitude Test, a test which would show what job within the Reich a male was best suited for. There was no quitting an individuals chosen job, and if someone could not preform their chosen task would be labeled Inferior, which was a death sentence.
Royce grinned as he walked, "come on, we both are strong young men, we'll either be assigned to the armed services or the Gestapo."
Wolf frowned. "I'm hoping for a job as either a factory laborer or a farm laborer."
Royce laughed. "Well, I'm hoping for Luftwaffe myself, guys who fly up their in space get all the women."
Wolf looked up at a Info Screen hanging ominously above him. It showed the face of Adelheid Hitler as she gave her daily speech to the people of New Berlin.
The flickering image of a blonde woman in her early fifties spoke. "People of New Berlin, now that I and the state are your parents who watch over you. We all must do are part to add to the glory of the Reich, do you part and you will enjoy the rewards of your labor. But be vigilant, for the Reich is threatened both by Inferiors and Sub Humans, those whose mere existence threaten our glorious empire. Report anyone who does not conform to the gestapo, and you will be rewarded with financial compensation. Now that I as your Fuehrer love you like a ever watchful mother."
Wolf stopped and looked up a the Info Screen, he grimaced and said, "a ever loving mother who has any of her children who doe not measure up put to death."
Royce looked back at him. "Wolf, we've been friends since we where in diapers, one of these days your aversion to authority figures is going to get you hurt."
They both began to continue walking. Wolf explained, "the gestapo has eyes and ears everywhere, Royce. You can't even trust your friends these days."
"Do you trust me Wolf?"
Wolf nodded. "You are the only person I trust. Trust is a scarce commodity in these day and age."
At the end of the street was the Ad-vocation School where they where to take their test, a single story building surrounded by small grassy lawns. A line of young men was waiting outside.
Wolf said, "where is Nelson? I haven't seen him around lately, should he not be taking the test too?"
Royce momentarily seemed sad. He responded with, "Nelson, poor little Nelson, the gestapo picked him up last week. He was determined to be Sub Human."
Wolf seemed shocked. "We've gone to school with all our lives, the guy was harmless."
Royce explained, "well someone reported him to the gestapo for, how can I put this, liking to have his bread buttered on the wrong side."
"I don't understand Royce."
"He was, you know, liked being with men and not women."
Wolf, though never really friends with Nelson, was saddened by the news. "I wonder what they did to Nelson?"
Royce replied, "no one knows where they take you, but I'm sure he is in a better place now."
Wolf pondered the thought that maybe it was only in the afterlife where one could be free of the Reich.
Royce then walked faster and said, "come on, let us get in line."
Then he and Wolf joined the other young men in the line outside the school and waited.
It was around noon when Wolf and Royce left the school with their ad-vocation report, they and many young men eagerly opened the brown envelopes, inside was a sheet which would decide the rest of their lives.
Royce looked at his report then muttered, "damn it."
Wolf asked, "what did you get Royce?"
"I have to report to gestapo headquarters tomorrow. Guess I'm going to be one of the secretly police, my test says that my high I.Q., makes me suitable for that profession."
Wolf opened his envelope and looked at his test. He read it over as Royce looked on.
"So, what did you get," Royce asked.
Wolf replied, "I have to report to the hydroponic farms tomorrow, says my tests indicates that I'm only suited for manual labor."
"Well buddy, you got what you wanted."
Wolf looked at his friend and asked, "Royce, now that you are the member of New Berlin's gestapo, will I have to choose my words carefully with you? Will you report me?"
Royce slapped Wolf on the shoulder and replied, "you get the friend of Royce pass, which means I will never inform on you."
Wolf said, "doesn't mean much, after tomorrow I'll live in the agricultural zone of the city, I doubt I'll see you much."
"Well Wolf, tonight we'll go to a Beer Hall and get drunk. Might be the last time we see each other for awhile."
"Yeah, let's do that."
They where about to walk away when Wolf noticed a young woman leaving the school, which was odd since only men where tested here. She was a young woman with shoulder length, raven hair and a petite figure. She had pale skin and very deep, blue eyes which seemed to be glaring at the ground. She seemed to be walking quickly.
Upon seeing her, Wolf muttered, "Lilia."
As she passed him, Wolf reached out and tapped her on the shoulder. She spun around and looked at him and, speaking with a slight Russian accent, asked, "what do you want?"
Wolf softly said, "Lilia, its me, Wolf."
She then looked into his eyes and briefly smiled. "Wolf, I can't believe its you. Its been almost seven years."
He asked, "I thought your family and returned to the Soviet Zone in east Europe."
Lilia then turned away from him and began to walk down the street. She said as she left, "I'm back now. Hope we meet again Wolf."
Royce then began to laugh slightly and said, "is that not that Russian tart you where in love with in school?"
"Yeah, but I thought I would never see her again."
Royce told Wolf, "listen, there is only one thing lower here then an Inferior or Sub Human, and that's a commie. The authorities just tolerate them because they don't want a war with the Soviet Zone."
Wolf said, "well, she is really political, I think she,"
He was stopped mid sentence when the front doors of the school where ripped from their hinges and thrown through the air as a massive fireball bellowed out from inside, the powerful explosion knocking both Wolf and Royce off their feet. As they lay on their backs, they watched as the school was now engulfed in flames, all its windows shattered and debris everywhere.
Royce slowly got up onto his feet and said, "what the hell is going on?"
Wolf, still laying upon the cement sidewalk, looked at the burning building and muttered, "must be some rebel group."
Royce shook his head. "This is New Berlin, the safest city in the Reich."
As the sirens of ambulances and the black vans of the gestapo blared in the distance, Wolf grimly stated, "I guess New Berlin isn't safe anymore."