Chapter Three: Wolf's Precarious Position
September in New Berlin. It was a warm autumn the day Wolf was called into the office of his manager Farm Tower Eight. To the northern end of the city was where the hydroponic farms where located in the agriculture district. Within giant cylinder like buildings which reached far up into the sky, gigantic vegetable crops where grown without the need for soil. The glass shell of the towers revealed the abundance of plant life inside. Within these farms, New Berlin could grow all the food they needed to sustain themselves.
Wolf sat in a chair his manager's office, the manager sat behind his desk and seemed to be sizing Wolf up. The office was on the top floor of the tower and a window to the south showed New Berlin miles away.
His manager, a slightly obese man with a thinning hairline name Mr. White, asked, "well Mr. Ford, do you know why I called you here?"
Wolf replied, "I'm sure you are about to tell me."
Mr. White explained, "you have been here two months, and I am beginning to have concerns about you."
Wolf frowned. "I meet my quota every day, I show up to work on time, I do my job as required."
Mr. White swiveled around in his chair and looked out the window, his back to Wolf. The manager said, "I'm not questioning your competence, I question though if you truly are suited for this job."
"What do you mean?"
Mr. White snorted then said, "To be honest, here in the agricultural sector, we don't get assigned the Reich's best or brightest. Honestly, we get the people who aren't suited for anything better. You do your job, but some of your fellow farmers here in Tower Eight say that you are a reclusive man who makes no attempt to get to know his fellow workers."
Wolf looked to the floor. "I guess I'm not a sociable guy. But I will do what's required of me."
Mr. White turned and was looking at Wolf again, he said, "Ford, some of your fellow workers say that they are uncomfortable working with you. You seem to not fit in here as a farm laborer."
Wolf looked his his manager and said, "I was assigned this job, I really don't have any options."
Mr. White told Wolf, "maybe in youth, the Reich can forgive someone who doesn't try to conform and fit in. But now that you are an adult, you must know that the system will now be much harder on people who don't try to get in line. I don't care if you meet quota Ford, if I fire you there are thousands ready to take your place."
Wolf became concerned and raised his voice. "If you do that, I will be registered as an Inferior."
Mr. White smiled. "Yes, and you know what happens then. You'll disappear, never to be seen again. During my time in this position, I have had dozens fired. One of the perks of the job."
Wolf pleaded mutely, "give me one more chance, please."
Mr. White nodded then said, "I'll give you a week to become a well oiled cog in the machine of Tower Eight. Try to fraternize with your fellow workers, make a effort to fit in. If you don't, expect the gestapo to knock on your door soon."
Wolf said to the manager, "I will try to fit in better."
But even as he said it, Wolf knew that it was a lie. All his life he felt like he had never been able to fit in anywhere. He was content with occupying the lowest rung of the social ladder in the Reich, but now he realized that he might not be able to do that. He came to the realization that soon he would be a Inferior and thus denied the right to live.
Mr. White ordered, "now get up and go tend to your crop. You have a week, you better shape up Ford."
Wolf got up. "Thank you Mr. White."
As Wolf left the office, he felt unsure about what the future would bring.
Wolf had been assigned a small living domicile in the agricultural sector. Between the towers where thousands of small, plastic cubes which served as the living quarters of the farm laborers. Inside was just one room with a stove, toilet, refrigerator, bed as well as a small shower to bath in. The walls where sterile white and the whole room seemed rather antiseptic.
Wolf lay in his bed, looking at the picture of Lilia. He was worried that soon he would be dealt with, the same way as all non conformists. They would come for him in the night, no one knew what happened next, but everyone knew that soon after you would be dead. But at that moment, he wanted to speak with Lilia more then anything. But New Berlin was a city of over twenty million people, finding a single person seemed like a fruitless task.
But Wolf suddenly thought of how he might find her. He did not know what his future held for him, but he decided if this was possibly the end for him, then he would speak to Lilia once more.
The headquarters of the New Berlin gestapo was a glass office building near the city center, a few blocks from the Fuehrer's palace. It was Sunday, the only day of the week the laborers of the city had off from work; the only ones who worked this day where the agents of the gestapo.
Inside where offices, as well as the holding cells in the basement. On the first floor was the small office of Royce Edmond. He sat at his desk, wearing the black uniform of the gestapo; a prominent swastika on the chest. On the desk was a computer which was unused. He was reading reports, and did not notice as Wolf walked in.
Wolf asked, "Royce, got a minute?"
Royce, startled, looked up; but upon seeing Wolf and smiled and said, "of course I have a minute, where practically brothers aren't we?"
Wolf approached the desk then looked around the room. "I thought you would have a nicer office."
"I'm knew, but already I got a reputation here, they say I'm headed for bigger things if I play my cards right. How is life in farmer trade?"
Wolf replied, "going as well as can be expected."
"Well, so what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"
"Royce," Wolf said, "I need your help."
"I'm always happy to help. What do you need?"
Wolf explained, "I want to see Lilia. I was hoping you could help me find her."
Royce grimaced. "Wolf, what makes you think I could help you find her?"
"Royce, no one comes in or out of New Berlin without the gestapo knowing. She must of filed a travel permit before coming here, you can't go anywhere without one. Could you just check the files and see if you can find anything."
Royce leaned back in his chair. "I'll do it Wolf, but only because we are close. But a friendly warning, ever since those bombings the gestapo has been tightening security all over the city. I know you have a thing for Lilia, but she is a Russian, with all this going on associating with a Red might get you into hot water. I don't want you to end up in some mess that I won't be able to bust you out off."
Wolf told Royce, "I just want to talk with her, that is it."
Royce then started punching keys on the computer's keyboard but muttered as he typed, "over nine million women in this city, and you happen to have a thing for some Soviet dame."
Wolf slightly smiled. "Royce, this is not the first time I've been in your debt."
Royce then looked at the computer monitor. "She filed a travel permit in May, she left Leningrad had listed her residence in district zero. Seems the Reich approved the permit because she is supposed to work as a interpreter for some government department. I print out the address."
Wolf nodded. "OK, I appreciate it."
Royce then looked directly at Wolf. "Be careful, if she is involved in this terrorist situation, promise that you'll tell me."
Wolf said, "I know her, she would never be involved in something like that."
Royce laughed. "You have not seen her in years, who knows what happened to her in the Soviet Zone. Just be bloody careful."
Royce handed Wolf a sheet with Lilia's address on it. Wolf turned to leave but said before going out the door, "thanks Royce."