Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny #11
Written by WarlorTVor and Anomaly,
Edited by Marvelite
Shards of Destiny
Return to the War of Yesteryear: Part Four - The Fine Line
***For previous chapters, go to the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive***
"No, no, no, please do not do this!" the expecting mother cried aloud. The Nazi soldiers stood there, pushing her out of the way and entered the house. "I beg you!" They throw her out onto the mud-covered streets, her body plummeting toward the ground, she cried out, falling, helpless to do anything to stop herself.
But she did not have to. A firm pair of strong, red gloved hands came out of the darkness. She looked up and gasped, for there before her stood the embodiment of American dream of liberty: Captain America. He placed a hand on her face and hushed, "Shh, we are here to help."
She nodded terrified. Captain America handed the startled woman over to Robin Silverback who was only one part of a massive gathering of people. None Germans! Silverback replaced where Caps hand had use to be with that of her own and waited in the shadows as Captain America and a dark creature that she had never before seen or heard about or even read about he was like a demon from the flaming pits of Hell drifted into the house. Into her home.
Batman searched the area closely. The Nazis were in the main dinning room, rummaging through things when the husband to the woman came out ranting and raving. He could not understand what they were saying since his German was rusty but of the words he did catch he knew that it wasnt going well. And as if on cue to prove the Dark Knights theories a Nazi that the man was speaking to pulled out a gun that had been holstered in his belt. He cocked it and was primed to fire.
Captain America lunged for that one, Batman, following the living legends lead, did the same for the other one. Soon the two Nazis found themselves overpowered . . . and surprised.
Cap gave off a crushing blow to the Nazis arm that was holding the gun. The result was that it fired. The shot went wide and hit the walls behind them. A fistfight ensued, a fight that would not go well for the German officer. Before it ended he lay there, his noise shattered and blood pouring form his mouth and noise. He screamed aloud, picking himself off the ground and charging forward knife in hand, his object: to slit the captains throat for this insolence.
Captain America met the challenge with a barrage of blows striking the man in the midsection and the back. Soon he gave way to the inevitable; he gave way into the darkness of passing out.
Batman was having no trouble subduing the one before him. And soon the battle was ended, leaving Batman and Captain America standing over the motionless bodies of two Nazi soldiers, giving them another world of problems to deal with. They singled for the others to join them, and they promptly did.
"Do you speak English?" Batman asked the man.
He nodded. "I do, as does my wife but it has much to desire the rest of us that is another story all together. I am Tiberuis Striker, and this is my lovely wife Terri Striker."
"Others?" Captain America asked stunned. "What others?"
"Ahh," he grinned lopsidedly. "Come with me. Come, come."
Cap nodded, but before leaving he turned to the others. "Guard the windows and the doors. More Nazi patrols will arrive sooner or later. Nick, Logan take the upper story, the rest of you stay here. Whizzer," he made a sweeping gustier encompassing to the moaning guards, and smiled grimly, "dump them in the country side, far from Centurion patrols and watchtowers." Whizzer nodded and with his superior speed he darted toward the guards, took one another under the arms and raced out in a golden blur, which streaked by. "We wont be here for long, people, so dont get too comfortable. The convention isnt until tomorrow, but I want to get a move on and recon, before we go charging in."
They all nodded, and then, after the captain scanned the area one or twice, he turned and joined Striker and Batman down the hall. After several turns they arrived at a small book-shelf, informing all that saw it that it was a dead end. All but Striker who grinned widely. He reached out, and after looking over his shoulder, pulled a small orange bounded dictionary. And the floor before them gave way. "Gentlemen, I give you The Exodus as I like to call it." He kneeled down, grasping the wooden ladder and then eased downward into the darkness below. Several small lanterns lighted up the access ways. Captain America and Batman stood into the darkness only to see several small bunches of people gathered round.
They shuddered at the sight of the newcomers.
"Nazis!" some screamed. Mothers pushed their children deeper into their bosom and tried to fade away into the shadows, while the men took up a defensive stance.
"No, no, no," Striker chimed, greeting the others, his arms spread widely. "Friends," he spoke in Jewish, addressing all them. "They rescued us from a Nazis patrol a few minutes back. They are ones to be trusted. Fear not, little one," he kneeled down and grasped a young boy by the arms addressing him sweetly. "They are Americans not Nazis. Good people." He smiled, and the boy returned the grin and lunged forth, at the Batman with open arms.
Not knowing what to do, Captain America embraced the boy and in a disgruntle combination of both Jewish and English he asked, "Come save us, no?"
"I . . . am afraid not," Cap resigned, he did not know what to do, he did not want to leave the boy or anyone else in the underground house of a German safe house, this deep within the heart of Berlin. That was like signing off their death warrants. But on the same hand, he did not wish to lie to the boy or any of them and give them false hopes.
The young boy busted up into tears, and fought against the Patriots grasp. He promptly let him go, and watched as the boy went crying off into the darkness.
Just then, Captain Americas heart shattered. And he knew that once this mission was accomplished and Baron Zemo was with Access and the others in the Void that he had to come back and make a difference in this little boys life. And for them all. For no human being should have to leave in darkness, underground with the fear of death looming over them.
It was late night. Around midnight, all was quite in the safe house. Striker had forced them to stay, stating that it would be wise for them to hide in the Exodus with the others rather than in some street alley or sewage pipeline. Batman had voiced his opinion agreeing with Strikers logic. Cap agreed, placing all the others in the underground caverns and having Fury and Logan stay alert on the second floor. Then he had sent their two fastest men, the Whizzer and the Human Torch, on a scouting mission of the complex where the events of the following night would transpire. Theyd returned at the designated hour, not a moment too late and reported back that the data on the files was absolutely correct. Of course, Cap had thought at the time, if it was a trap then why would they change even the smallest detail.
And now Captain America sat there alone in the dinning hall, lights out, a small cold cup of coffee was his sole companion.
"What troubles you so, Captain?"He looked up to see the form of Striker standing before him, a cup of steaming hot coffee warmed the palms of his hands. "Possibly the fact that a German like myself has risked death and even worse to aid a band of the inferior, hmm? Come now that must be on your mind, isnt it?"
"Not at all," Cap offered gesturing him to join him across the table beside him. "I believe that nationality has no baring on whether a man is good or evil at heart, the place of their birth should not dictate mens lives, no, it should be that of their actions."
"Well," Striker stated drinking the thick black ooze down his throat and gagged, "you, Captain, are one of a dying breed. The coming years I fear will be focused toward the hatred of others just due to their background and ethnicity. Look at Hitler or even your country with slavery, those scars still are apparent on that nation even several decades have passed since your Civil War which abolished slavery, in all its forms. I fear that Germany will pair these scars upon its soul for generations to come, if not centuries." He took another drink and gagged once again, "God I love my wife but I think we could destroy the entire Third Reich if we feed them her coffee in the morning, every morning. Nah, theyd want to surrender after that." He chuckled slightly at that.
"If I may pose a question?" Cap asked.
"I believe I know what it is. Why do you do it, Striker? Why do you risk your life becoming a traitor and helping out the Jews? Well" his tone took on a dark edge to it "let me tell you something, Captain, there is a fine line between being a traitor and being a patriot. I am not a traitor to Germany. Nor am I a patriot of her ideals at this junction in time. I do this because I know that it is the right thing to do! I, friend America, am on that line right now. And I will not rest till I see every last Nazi flagged burned to ashes and a new German nation rise form the fires like a phoenix of flame. I will not rest until I know that my soon to be born son grows up not hating those because they are different. I will not allow him to see the horrors that I have seen out there on the front!"
This intrigued the Captain and it must have been present on his face, for once Striker continued his tone was soft, breaking in fact.
"Yes, fair Captain, I once served as a Nazi, hailing Hitler and believing all the . . . all the crap for lack of a better term the propaganda that was out there. I enlisted and served in the forces under the command of Colonel Nyres, a good man, but a better Nazi by far. We came upon a small tunnel entrance much like the one down satires filled with Jews. Countless families. I was an infantryman then and he gave the order to fire. I tried to persuade him to the contrary, he did not listen. He would have none of it. The men opened fire, killing all. The body count was in the hundreds or so. And then I heard of my wife being pregnant and I stared at the mirror that night, after washing my hands about a hundred or so times, trying to get off the proverbial blood, and I asked myself, Do I want my child growing up in this kind of world? And the answer was, No. So the following day I resigned my commission and returned home.
"Id known about the catacombs under my house for years and I tried to make it as hospitable as possible, and started to go out searching for Jews. At first I thought it would be a difficult assignment . . . but I found that it was easier and easier, there were several Jewish families in hiding dark alleyways mostly. I brought them here to live with me and Terri, and from time to time Ive managed to smuggle some of them out of here, a few made it, others . . ." his voice trailed off.
"And Im sure that is why you and the others are on your assignment."
A moment of silence ensued.
"A better tomorrow, a better future than this . . . hellish nightmare."
"Yes, a better tomorrow indeed." Cap reached across the table, placing his mug of cold untouched coffee aside, and rested his hands on the mans shoulder. "You are a good man, Tiberuis Striker."
Captain America arose from his chair and headed up the satires to check on and relieve the two men standing watch, leaving Striker alone in the dark.
He reached down for his boot, Caps words echoing in his ears. The words "I am sorry" escapes his lips. He picks up a small transmitter and says, "They are here."
"Vary well," a voice came back. "My word is still valid. Make haste for it quickly expires."
"Aye, Sir," he said deactivating the transmitter. His hands covered his eyes; tears were flowing from them, unstopping and with no end in sight. He looked up, and saw a reflection of himself into a mirror across the way. "What have I done?"
To Be Continued . . .
Thank you for reading this chapter of Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny! The story continues in issue #12. Visit the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive for previous editions. Now, be sure to send us feedback below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org