BIZARRE THRILLERS! MAGAZINE FEB 1939
"Circle of Spies"
When it all began Major "Danger" was half asleep. The train ride from Waakogan had been uneventful until 03:00 hours. The Major had gone to the observation car, to relieve himself of the heat from his cramp passenger car. Upon arriving he found a secluded spot near the rear of the car and promptly drifted off. He "heard" them before he saw them.
I'm sure he isn't on to us.
It won't be long now.
This blow will be decisive...
I wonder if Amelia is okay?
His instincts brought him to full consciousness. From years of military and combat service he could intimate by the tone of the conversation that something dire was in the planning. Three men appeared at the far end of the observation car. The Major pretended to sleep heavily. The men noticed him and took a seat out of hearing distance. This did not prevent the Major from listening in however. Major Daniel "Danger" Johnson possessed a valuable ability that made him indispensable as a military intelligence officer. From a young age, he displayed what his maternal Grandmother referred to as "the calling", an ability to perceive the thoughts of others at a distance.
This plan had better work.
Toes gone numb again, shoes too tight.
Upstate is much pricier.
Once the bomb is set we'll have five minutes to evacuate.
Major Danger yawned and stretched in a loud and obvious manner. He stood and pretended to be waking from a restful slumber. He shook his limbs as he walked towards the three conspirators.
Push, shove, then draw the knife.
Stiff elbow, Amelia can't be dead.
Push, shove, then draw the knife.
The men wore dark suits and hats. None of them looked up at the Major as he approached. He was able to knock the one nearest him unconscious as he passed. With a hard knuckle punch to the rear of the skull and a follow up blow to the kidney area, the thug complaining of his elbow and toes dropped easily. The element of surprise still in the Major's favor, with no hesitation from knocking the first conspirator out, he leapt over the unconscious body and pushed both his legs into the belly of the man with the knife. The man had not had time to properly draw his concealed weapon, as Major Danger also knew the location on the man's body where he hid the knife. Thus needing to reach behind him to retrieve it, the man had left his belly unguarded and so took the full force of the kick. He passed out while Major Danger confronted the final conspirator.
This one had a gun. Major Danger had his fists, feet and years of combat experience. As well as the added advantage of knowing precisely what his enemy was thinking.
Pull the trigger!
The gun went off loudly. The bullet shattered the window of the observation car. Major Danger was unscathed. He had rushed the criminal at the precise time the trigger was being pulled and by knocking aside the thugs arm, deflected the shot aimed at him. The Major, through clenched teeth, interrogated his enemy.
"Where's the bomb?"
"W..What bomb? I don't know anything about no..."
The Major grabbed the man by his lapels. Inches from his face, the conspirator looked into eyes that would brook no lies. The Major's face added to the allure of fear. Major Danger had been a soldier since the Great War. He was a mere sixteen when the War began but within his first year he had distinguished himself as an excellent forward observer and riflemen. His face bore the scars of battle. The most prominent being three jagged slashes extending upwards and to the right, across his lips and into the middle of his cheek. The conspirator was properly intimidated by this visage.
"The only thing that's going to save you from being thrown out that window is the truth...now!"
Major Danger saw the valise and it's hiding place before his prisoner spoke.
"I..It's in..one twenty one. I swear. It's not armed."
The Major wasted no time. He restrained the unconscious conspirators with confiscated seat-belts and took the remaining one with him. It didn't take long until the Major had the conspirators under guard of the train bulls and the explosives rendered harmless. Four hours later the train came to a deserted station in the middle of a barren plateau. The Major and his "cargo" departed. The train continued on it's route toward civilization through the early morning darkness. Within three minutes the Major was greeted by the familiar sounds of a jeep echoing in the distance.
The jeep pulled up to the loading ramp of the station. The Marine behind the wheel saluted. Major Danger returned the salute. The prisoners were loaded and secured into the jeep. The jeep coughed off through the Midwest desert toward the rocky crags in the distance. After five minutes the jeep pulled to a stop at a lone guard post. The post was manned by a single Marine with a rifle. The placard on the post read;
Welcome to Fort Alpha.
Security Clearance required.
The Major handed over his credentials to the guard. The guard looked them over, looked over the prisoners, saluted and handed the Major back his dossier. The jeep passed through the gate and into Fort Alpha. Major Danger stepped out of the jeep and onto the steps of Alpha H.Q. He instructed that his prisoners be taken to the holding brig and that they were to be kept separated. The Major was greeted by a staff secretary and told that Commandant Stevenson wanted to speak to him. Commandant Stevenson was reviewing paperwork when the Major entered his office.
"So how was Waakogan, Major?"
"Have a seat."
The Major sat in one of the two chairs in front of the Commandant's desk. The Commandant struck a conversational tone.
"Nice work on the train by the way. Do we know where they came from?"
"Yes, sir. They work for a man named Billingsly. He operates out of his Airplane hangers near Los Angeles. They have a big meeting there in just a few days to plan some "decisive" action against the United States. I probed further but this is all they really knew besides some politico babbling about their cause."
"Why bomb the train?"
"Just showing off. They wanted to make an impression at the meeting."
"Well handle the three you brought in. I want you write me up your Action Report and then talk to the Quartermaster about what you'll need. Report back to me at 14:00 hours and I'll give your dossier."
Two smart salutes and the Major returned to his own office. His staff secretary, Melissa McEntry, was busy filing folders when he arrived. She turned crisply.
"Welcome back, Major. Shall I bring you some coffee?"
"No thank you Melissa. I'm not staying long. I'll be writing my AR. And I'll need to speak to the Quartermaster in about one hour."
"Certainly, sir." A brief pause. "Where are you off to next, if you may say?"