Liberty

Eureka, Nebraska - PRESENT

"I tell you the truth... you must be saved to enter the kingdom of God!" Reverend John Shepard preached to his small congregation in the little town of Eureka, Nebraska. Shepard had lived here for years. In that time, he had built up a loyal number of followers. Practically the whole town came to his church every Sunday, to hear his message from God. But he was now an old man, eighty-five years old. You couldn’t always tell it, though. He was just as active than your average fifty year old. People would always ask him how he stayed in such good shape. He would always answer, "By the power of God!"

Shepard always had a mysterious side to himself. No one knew of his past before his 1985 arrival to the town. But many wondered. Some tried to cause a rebellion within the church, demanding to know who this man was, but they always failed. His "flock" always trusted him, even though he kept his past to himself.

As his service came to a close, a young man came to the front of the church. He wanted to be saved, receive whatever gift this pastor had received. Afterwards he asked, "Pastor John... how did you become saved?"

Pastor Shepard stared off into the distance, as if the young boy’s words reminded him of days long since past. "A friend..."

Liberty - Legend of World War II
March 1999 - Issue #1 of 5 - "The Birth of a Legend" Part 1

Written by James Pedrick, Edited by Lex and Walt Kneeland
Created by James Pedrick, Property of James Pedrick

Military Intelligence Headquarters, Philadelphia - December, 1940

"This better be worth the millions were putting into this."

"Oh, it will, General Cunnings... the United States government will be very pleased when I am through."

"Good. I know the President promised in the last election he would not be sending our boys off into this European conflict. But that election is over. It’s time the President realize just what a threat Hitler is to the liberty of our nation... and our world."

"When war comes, liberty will be victorious, sir. And I hope this project can be most helpful." Doctor Michael Lowell unveiled the blueprints for his new project. "I give you, Project: Liberty!"

The General’s eyes lit up in anger. "What is this?!" He abruptly grabbed the papers off the desk. "I ask for a new weapon and you give me THIS?!" His fierce grasp of the blueprints was beginning to crumble the papers.

Doctor Lowell quickly took them away. "Sir, this is a new weapon which will be very helpful." He neatly placed the papers back on the table. "These blueprints detail the steps to making a soldier are ultimate weapon; one man capable of tearing down the entire German empire."

Lowell looked up to see a puzzled look on the General’s face. "Sir, let me explain. I have found a way to increase the strength of man by five times, to quicken their speed of thought and reaction, and to provide them with the ultimate suit or armor and artillery. Sir, this man would be able to fight himself through any enemy line. He could be our soldier, our spy, or assassin."

General Cunnings looked quite intrigued by what the doctor had just said. "I will be quite impressed if what you said is true. But I will need to see this project of yours in action. How soon can you make this happen?"

"I will need the best of the best. Your strongest, smartest, most handsome of soldiers to transform into the first Liberty soldier."

"Very well."

"We will then need to run tests on him. Everyone is different, so we will need to map out exactly how to operate on this individual. We will then make the biological and muscular changes to the subject’s body, as well as mold a body suit compatible for his new physical form. After he has received the new changes well, we can go on to preparing him and training him to use his new skills and armor at the best of his abilities. The whole procedure could take... about six months."

"Six months!"

"This takes time. We are working on an individual here, not the manufacturing of machines."

"That’s where you’re wrong. If your project is a success, you better find a quicker way of ‘manufacturing’ these soldiers. IF what you’re saying is true, we could have a very nice advantage over Hitler. Imagine an army of these soldiers. Hitler wouldn’t know what hit him!"

"Yes, sir, but this does take time. And I do not believe you will need nearly as many of these soldiers as you suggest. These men will be able to sneak into enemy lines and destroy them with in. Their superior skills and strengths will be uncomparable to anything the enemy has ever imagined. Less will be more! Which is why I suggest you pick a man already quick and intelligent. Someone who can creep into the enemy’s territory."

"Yes. I believe I know just the man."

Somewhere in Chicago

"You better hurry up Scott! Walt will be here any minute... and you don’t want to miss your train!"

A tall, dark haired man came running out of the shower and into the bedroom. "I know. I know." He was slipping on some clothes, while finishing the packing of his bags.

"I wonder, Scott Phillips, how you do so well when you take your job so unseriously."

"Unseriously?! The lives of millions of Americans lie in my hands and you think I take it unseriously?" The man responded with a sarcastic response.

"Oh I will miss you, Scott, why couldn’t they have assigned us together - on another couples mission?"

"Probably cause they think we slightly overplayed the role last time," he responded with a smirk.

The two both laughed.

"But I really must do this one without you, Carla Stephens. Nation’s orders." Scott Phillips slid out the door after the two’s lips met for a good-bye kissed.

Waiting for him was Walter Peterson in a 1937 Ford automobile.

Scott climbed into the car. "Thanks for driving me, Walt."

"No problem. So, how’s Carl doing?" Walter asked, as Scott Phillips entered the automobile.

"You know I hate when you call her that!" Scott looked over and gave him the look.

"We’ve all called Carla ‘one of the guys’ for three years, then you too decide to get hitched and everything has to change!" Walter responded, as he started up the vehicle.

Scott made sure his best bud knew he was getting annoyed, "We’re not hitched."

"Which brings another interesting question... when are you two love birds goin’ to tie the knot?" He said, while driving out of the driveway and headed to their arranged meeting place.

"Can we please go now! My train leaves at nine!"

"Yeah, yeah." Walter continued driving. The two were silent for a while.

Scott Phillips and Walter Peterson were best friends, ever since they met in the Academy. They both excelled in the Army, which led to their recruitment by Military Intelligence. That’s where they both met Carla. They were all real close friends, but something special grew between Scott and Carla, which made Walter feel a little left out ever since.

After five minutes, Walter broke the silence, "So, did they give any hint as to why you’re going to Philadelphia?" Usually, they received their assignments from Military Intelligence’s headquarters in Chicago. But this time, Scott was sent to their national headquarters in Philadelphia to receive "a special assignment."

"Nope. Probably to give me another mission to spy on some pro-Nazi spies."

Right now Military Intelligence was busy catching a growing number of Nazi spies within the United States and even within the country’s own military. While Europe waged war on each other, many highly regarded persons in that day’s society were growing in support of the Nazi cause. To the point where a few wealthy Americans against Jews, blacks, and any other race which did not fit the Anglo-definition, would betray their own nation to secure the Nazi’s quest to "cleanse the world of its impurities."

The car stopped just outside Union Station.

Scott got out of the car, grabbing his bag with him.

Walter pulled on his sleeve. "Scott..." He looked over at him. "Be careful, will ya."

"Yeah, don’t worry about me." Scott said with a smile. Then he turned around and walked toward the station, waving his friend goodbye.

Scott walked into the Union Station. He looked around at the multitudes of people waiting to board their train. It was now 8:57, the train would be there any minute. He walked up to the information desk. "How much longer until the train to Philadelphia arrives?"

"I’m sorry, sir, that train is running a few minutes late... it should be here by 9:15 though."

He smiled and took a seat in the terminal. Behind him, he could hear two older gentlemen speaking.

"We will never go to war! Roosevelt’s too coward!" said one. Scott couldn’t help but laugh inside, it was only a matter of time the U.S. would enter war. And they already had financially.

"I hope we never go to war. We have no business telling another nation what they can or can’t do. I say let the rest of Europe decide how to handle Hitler... plus financially, we’ll do better to remain out of their conflict."

While Scott listened to what the average Americans view was on the second World War, his train pulled into the station. He noticed its arrival, got up, and walked toward it.

After handing the conductor his ticket, he entered the train. It was much nicer than he had expected, very unlike past arrangements made by Military Intelligence. He made his way through the train, until he found his seat. As he sat down, he noticed a beautiful blonde-haired woman in the aisle next to his. She had a certain mystery to her, and she was very nicely dressed in a dark scarlet outfit with a silky black scarf.

A few short moments later, she got up from her seat, taking a briefcase with her. Scott watched her as she subtly walked toward the back of the train. Just as she was walking to the back, he noticed another man moving the opposite way. Scott could tell this man was very nervous. He could see the sweat shining from his bald forehead and dripping from his clammy palms. When their paths crossed, the woman casually passed the briefcase to him, and then exited the train.

Scott knew right away something wasn’t right. As the man walked closer towards his seat, the train began to move. The man sat in the seat vacated by the lovely woman.

Phillips watched as the man opened the briefcase and took papers from it. He was pretty sure by now. These were stolen papers of the United States military. He got up from his seat and sat next to the guy.

The man immediately jumped and concealed the paper by placing the briefcase over them on his lap. The man looked over with an annoyed voice, "Yes? May I help you?"

Scott smiled and asked, as if ignoring the man’s question, "What have we here?" He grabbed the papers underneath the man’s briefcase. "Ah... ‘United States Military... Classified Information...’" he read off one sheet.

The man quickly grabbed the sheet. "That is none of your business."

Scott then reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pistol. He quietly pointed it into the man’s back, hiding it so no one could see. He then whispered, "Let’s have a little walk."

The man was now shivering. "Uh-uh-uhm... yes, sir."

Scott put his gun back into his pocket, while taking the briefcase away from the man. "Good boy." The two rose up and walked toward the front of the train, until they reached the dining cart.

When they reached a table, Scott signaled with his hand for the man to sit down.

The man suddenly found some courage. "Who are you?" he asked with anger in his voice.

"I ask the questions, you Nazi swine!"

"You ignorant fools! When will you Jew-lovers realize we need to help the Nazi cause not tear it down."

"The same day they thread the Constitution. Listen, I don’t care what you believe in, my job is to protect the United States government and any classified information it holds. Now where did you get this information?!"

The man remained silent, lifting his chin and placing his hands together on the table.

"I see." Phillips reached back into his jacket pocket and pulled out his pistol again. This caused a great commotion among the other passengers in the dining car. He pointed the barrel of the gun right between the man’s eyes. "Tell me! Who gave these papers to you? It was that girl, right?! Where’d she get them?! I want names! Who stole these papers?!"

The man was now very afraid. His body was shaking. Scott stared him right in the eyes. The man looked over to his left. Scott turned his head to see what he was looking at, as the man shifted his right arm across the table. Phillips was sure he was going to try and attack him and quickly tried to block him with his left arm, but the man instead grabbed the fork to his left and plunged it into his own neck and followed by twisting the fork within his throat.

Scott backed away in shock, as the man’s seat fell over to the ground. He stood up to look at the man. Blood gushed out of his neck, as the fork remained driven into it. The man was shaking around violently, gasping for air, slowly suffocating to death and choking on his own blood. The price he paid to keep his secret.

People had gathered around in shock and dismay. Many ran away from fear, other stood there motionless. Some of the women were crying, and even others were vomiting at the site. Scott smiled. "You know, if I were going to kill myself... I’d make sure it was an instantaneous death."

The man looked at Phillips with the little life he had left, as Scott aimed his gun at the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger.

The few people left in the dining car had then ran out. Scott stood there, his gun to his side and a dead corpse by his feet. After a few minutes had passed by, one of the train conductors had the bravery to enter that car. He had a gun, which was kept on the train for just such an emergency. He pointed it at Scott Phillips and shouted to him to drop his weapon. Phillips did and allowed himself to be arrested. He showed him his identification, explaining the situation and who he was, as much as he could. They explained they would not be able to let him go, but instead had him escorted in Philadelphia to the government offices he said he was headed for. He agreed.

The rest of the trip he remained alone in the back of the dining car, which was usually off limits to all passengers. Once he was alone, he opened the briefcase, which was stolen by the man. Inside were classified papers of the United States Military. He flipped through them... they were some type of blueprints for a project called "Liberty." Phillips read through the papers a little bit. It was quite intriguing. They explained how to transform a human into a stronger, more durable soldier.

The train finally arrived in Philadelphia. The train conductors handed him over to the local authorities, who transported him to Philadelphia’s federal government offices. General Cunnings and a group of his men were waiting for them in the lobby. From there, they took authority over Phillips and sent the local police away to their own business.

"I see you found yourself in a bit of trouble again, Phillips."

"I found these in the hands of an American, who seemed to have quite a bit of sympathy for the Nazis." He then threw the briefcase toward the General.

Cunnings caught it. "Well, done Phillips!"

"Unfortunately, I did not have such luck getting the woman responsible for delivering this package."

"Well, never mine that now..." He turned around to present one of the men with him.

"Phillips, I’d like you to meet Lt. Colonel Jim Medison. He will be working with you on your new assignment."

"What new assignment?"

"Come this way."

Phillips then followed Cunnings and his men. The lobby was public for anyone to enter, but there was a huge amount of security through out the rest of the building. Security officers stepped out of the way, as Cunnings led Phillips through the building to one of the Military Intelligence’s conference rooms. They entered. Inside the room was a table, with seven chairs around it. At the end of the table was Dr. Michael Lowell.

"Please, have a seat." General Cunnings pulled a chair out for Phillips to sit in, then sitting himself down across from him. Lt. Colonel Jim Medison sat down next to Cunnings. "Phillips. Doctor Lowell here has developed a new procedure to... strengthen our men."

"The Liberty project?"

Cunnings was caught off guard. "Yes... where did you here about it?!"

"Those papers... the ones that I apprehended on my way here."

"Blast!" Cunnings slammed his fist on the table. "They have it too then!" He exclaimed, knowing full well they must have made a million copies by the time Phillips intercepted it.

"Don’t worry, General," said the Doctor from the other end of the table. "They will still be far away from developing their own Liberty soldier... just today we have made new progress."

General Cunnings had a stern look on his face. "Medison! I want you to tighten up security around here. We have a spy."

"Yes, sir." Phillips watched as Medison jotted down a reminder in his notebook. He wasn’t sure why, but he had a funny suspicion about him.

"I want every staff person inspected... I want our new facility locked down. No one enters, no one leaves. Everything mus--"

"Um, sir..." Scott Phillips interrupted, "General, I’m having a hard time following here. What do you need from me?"

The General turned from facing his assistant to Phillips. "We want you to be our first new fighting soldier!"

Scott let out a laugh. "Me?!"

"Yes. Phillips, you are one of the best. We need someone who can sneak into an enemy base, like you can. Who can use new superior strength, agility, and fighting skills to get a mission accomplished, which requires only one man."

"But sir..."

Dr. Lowell entered the conversation. "Phillips. You’re country needs you."

"Yes, sir."

A few days later, at a small compound just outside Philadelphia

Cunnings walked into the living quarters of Scott Phillips. "Ready, son? Doctor Lowell is ready to begin."

"Yes, sir." Phillips stood from the seat he was sitting at. He then reached into his pocket. "Sir, could you have this letter delivered to Carla Stephens please?"

"No problem kid."

Military Intelligence Headquarters in Chicago

Military Intelligence was an elite group of men and women in the armed forces, which was generally unknown to the rest of the country. There were about a half-dozen teams of eight agents scattered through out the country. Each individual, or sometimes a few individuals together, would receive different assignments from the national headquarters in Philadelphia, currently working on capturing German spies within the country. In Chicago, the team consisted of Scott, Walter, and Carla, as well as Rick Turner, Edward McCarthy, Kevin Daniels, Ben Stewart, and their local commander, Major Roger Samuels. They were all like a family to each other.

Ben, Kevin, Carla, and Walt were gathered around a table playing poker at the small headquarters of the Military Intelligence’s Chicago bureau. The rest were on assignments, except for Major Samuels, who was busy doing paper work, when a man in a military uniform walked in. The man handed Samuels a letter.

Samuels stood in his opened office, reading the letter. The others looked over to see what it might said. They all figured it was probably one of their next assignments. But they could tell from his face it was something much more troubling.

Samuels walked over to the others. "Carla, Walt, may I see you for a minute."

The two followed him into his office. They took their seat, as did Samuels, after closing the door. As they stood, wondering why they'd been singled out, Samuels turned to them grimly.

"I’m afraid I have some bad news..."

CONTINUED IN ISSUE #2 -  "THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND PART 2"

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