Chapter One

'You monster!'

Hermann sat in the Colonel's chair, relishing the comfort of the leather chair that his former comrade once called his own. The varnished wooden floors, expensive paintings, and the cigarette buds indicated that his life was far from uncomfortable.

'We were supposed to be in this together!' Claus attempted to wriggle his way out of the men's grasp, but to no avail. Remer had enlisted four of his best men for this objective, one that had been handed down by the Führer himself. Remer couldn't tell if he should have some pity for the Colonel, or if he should just go along with Göring's smug disposition. He opted to remain silent.

Hermann stood, caressing the armband bearing the symbol of his proud nation, before he dug his hand into his pocket. 'That was then.' He grinned slyly. 'This is now.' With his Luger gleaming in his right hand, Hermann had Stauffenberg's life in his hands. He gestured to the door and the curtains, right before Remer's men had them sealed.

'Wait a moment.' Claus glared at the barrel of the gun that was being pointed at his forehead. 'Aren't you supposed to arrest me?'

'We have you on your knees, held against your own will, and you believe that this is just a mere arrest?' Hermann couldn't help but laugh at such a ridiculous question, and instead proceeded to dig the gun right into Stauffenberg's skull. 'Now, I'm willing to give you an option.'

Claus rolled his eyes, trying as hard as he could to remain vigilant in the eyes of his new foe. 'Of course. That's one thing the man himself wouldn't have given me.'

Hermann chuckled again, curling his finger around the trigger. He felt a wave of pure adrenaline sweep through his body due to Claus' fearful gaze. 'Adolf is dead, Colonel. He isn't here to pat you on the back and reassure you.' He took a drag from his cigarette and discarded it, before exhaling a strong blast of stale smoke right into Claus' face. 'He isn't here to give you the undignified death that you truly deserve.'

Claus was trembling at this stage, and it was very apparent by the fear in his voice and eyes. 'And I suppose that's where you come in, hm? Trying to surpass him?'

'A gunshot.' He nodded at Remer, who approached with a syringe in his left hand. 'Or an injection.' He smiled again, almost to the point of where his jaws were starting to ache. 'What do you want?'

'You're no better than he is.'

'Ah, but unlike him, I'm giving you a choice.'

'And we gave you one as well! Right before you took all of the spoils and had us thrown away like rags!'

Herman laughed again. 'It was your plan. Your decision. Your risk.' He was debating in his mind whether or not he should just pull the trigger and end it right there, but he felt that a little more mockery was in order. 'I just did as I was told. As did Remer.'

Remer couldn't help but feel ashamed. After he arrested the Propaganda Minister, and effectively dismantled the government, he was eventually brought to light on the events behind the initiation of Operation Valkyrie. He wanted to draw his pistol and eliminate the conspirators on sight after hearing such a ridiculous and treasonous tale, but he eventually figured that prolonging the war against the Allied forces would have guaranteed the annihilation of the country he had spent so long fighting for. Now seeing one of these very men being put down like a wild animal, in spite of initial promises to rebuild Germany in an ethical and fair manner, was nothing short of sickening.

'Isn't that right, Colonel Remer?'

'Of course, sir.' Remer wasn't sure if he really deserved his sudden promotion. Just hearing his new title made him feel cold.

'Everyone has made their choice, Colonel Stauffenberg. Remer did. I did. You did.' He pressed his gun into Claus' mouth to further emphasis his last point. 'Now, this is your final choice. Gun, or injection?'

Hermann held back his weapon, allowing Claus some time to speak. The time he had wasn't enough. What of his family? His friends? His own men? How would they survive under such a petty ruler? A man who would kill and torture to safeguard his power, much like the dictator they had managed to kill three months ago? 'I've made my choice.'

'And?'

Claus looked up and frowned, before puckering his lips and shooting a generous wad of saliva right onto Hermann's face.

'You wretched little-' His captors reacted almost instantly, slamming his face down on the carpet. Claus was almost sure that he felt a few of his teeth rattle, but he had barely any time to check. He looked up at Hermann, who was wiping the spittle from his cheek, right as he lowered his gun.

'Very well, then.'

Remer looked away. The gunshot rang throughout the room, prompting him to close his eyes and attempt to withstand the pain. Shooting someone in such a small and reclusive room wasn't exactly very easy on the ears, but he didn't have the authority necessary to protest.

'Well, that went better than expected,' Hermann muttered, wiping away whatever liquid was left on his cheek. 'Your men have a very good grip, Colonel Remer. No doubt from hounding around all those Jews over the years, ah?'

Remer never had any direct association with the concentration camps, but, as always, he couldn't argue. 'Is there anything else I can do for you, my Führer?'

Hermann strolled towards the door, fiddling with his sleeves. 'Are you a good diplomat, Colonel?'

'I can't exactly say that it's my forte, sir.'

'Then, no. Your services are no longer required.'

Hermann Göring put his weapon back in its holster and made his way outside, hoping to bargain with as much of the French countryside as he possibly could. His next few steps were keeping the Americans off his back, maintaining the armistice agreement they had just formed, and saving as much land for his nation as possible.

After all, the war wasn't officially over yet.