Chapter Seven: Royce's Promotion
It was early in the day as Royce sat at his desk, viewing information on his computer's monitor. Entry level members of the gestapo did clerical duties, reviewing financial irregularities in citizens records. After a couple of years he could expect to work on the streets as they called themselves, street enforcer. Yet unlike most among his novice level gestapo agents, he did not look forward to a promotion because he did not have the harsh, pitiless mentality that every gestapo agent he had ever met before displayed. But when there was a knock on, he was about to receive something more then a promotion.
Royce looked up from his computer and said loudly, "come in."
The door swung open and a middle aged man of generous girth and had neatly combed dark hair walked into the office. Royce got up from his chair, for the man was dressed in a black gestapo uniform with a gold iron cross badge, the symbol of the head of the whole gestapo in New Berlin.
Royce said, "Mr. Hill. What would you like?"
The man smiled and asked, "straight to the point Mr. Edmond, I like it. So, how have you enjoyed your first few months in the gestapo?"
Royce replied, "they have been interesting. Would you please have a seat?"
They both sat.
Hill said, "you have been here only since July, and already people are talking."
Royce was momentarily anxious, unsure what Hill was implying. He asked, "talking how?"
Hill simple to chuckle heartily and said, "they have been saying saying that unless novice recruits, you are actually sociable and easy going. You know, the public face face of the gestapo must necessarily be harsh; sometimes our public image needs to be softer and more relate-able to the citizens. I'll tell you a trade secret in the gestapo though, most of the men we employ are utter bastards."
Royce sighed. "Honestly, I think I was assigned the wrong job."
Hill asked, "and what job did you want?"
Royce replied, "a pilot in the Luftwaffe."
Hill nodded. "Most young men dream of adventures in space. But that job doesn't pay very well. I am here to make a proposal, one that could be very lucrative and financially rewarding."
Hill explained, "a promotion. A secret promotion, which can make your career. If I am pleased, you will bypass public duty and and be given a top position with amply pay. But first you must complete a task for us."
Royce, wanting to avoid being a street enforcer and be payed more, was more then interested. He asked, "what do you want me to do?"
Hill told him, "help the gestapo find a certain someone, a very dangerous individual that threatens the Reich."
"Who do you want me to find?"
Hill pleasant demeanor seemed to become agitated. He bluntly said, "this person has never been photographed, we don't even know their real name. All we have is some kind of code name. Bright Star is the name we have."
Royce asked, "What did she do?"
"Well, you know that the Reich like every other zone on the planet has gone to great lengths to quell possible rebellion. But there are growing rumors of some kind of secretive terrorist group which has cells all over the globe. We have been told they are led by this Bright Star and they have recently come to New Berlin."
"Mr. Hill, how am I supposed to find this person?"
"Well," Hill said, "already you have been noticed for your ability for work involving information. Go through our records and see if you can find anything. If you help us find this person, then you will enjoy a salary you could have never imagined of."
Royce asked, "I will need access to the secret archives, I've noticed that most records of the gestapo are classified."
Hill seemed reluctant then said, "OK. But remember, you are not to talk about your assignment or anything you discover to any of your colleagues. Talk, and well, you will find out what happens when you betray the Reich. But we won't have any problems will we Edmond?"
"No Mr. Hill. I will do everything I can to find this person for you."
Hill got up and Royce went to shake his hand.
Royce said, "I won't let you down."
Hill smiled. "Good, I see big things for you. Now, get to work."
Then Royce's boss left, and he was alone. He began to think of where to start looking. He then went to his computer and start working.
Royce mumbled to himself. "I'll start with the travel records. Anyone coming into the city must have filed one."
After a while he then thought of Lilia and stopped typing on the keyboard. He then thought that she might be involved. But instead of informing on her, he just buried his face in his palm and said, "Wolf, what the hell did you get yourself into."
He then resumed working.