"I'm afraid we don't know where there are exactly, madam chancellor. Without scanners we're as good as blind," said General Bruno Olensheim.
Katarina von Baden hung her head in her hands. As recently as three years ago, before the start of the war, there had been no such thing as a scanner, and the German army had gotten along just fine. Now they were beginning to lose their edge because of technology.
"If a man has worked all his life with his hands, and you give him a tool for a day, the next day will he accomplish nothing, because he doesn't have the tool?" asked the German chancellor.
"Nein, Frau Kanzler," said Olensheim, his posture straightening with the rebuke.
Von Baden took a look at the map laid out before her.
"Where are they generally?"
Olensheim took a red marker and circled an uncomfortably large portion of the map.
"Our air reconnaissance shows the Eastern Army could be anywhere within this area."
A long, winding, green arrow traced the path of carnage the Eastern Army had wrought since entering Germany. At ten points (at least) blue arrows representing German forces intercepted the massive green arrow. Black arrows traced the retreats of each of these forces. And now the green arrow terminated into a hazy area of possibility, represented by an uncertain red circle, disturbingly close to Berlin.
"I'm afraid, gnädige Frau Kanzler, that we can not continue this defensive fight. It is the unanimous consensus of the commanders of the German military that we can no longer stay in Germany unless we wish to be utterly destroyed. In order for there to be a hope for the future of Germany we must evacuate our forces and our government for a brief period, until the Eastern Army has grown spread out and weak and we can retake the Fatherland."
"Is the situation really so dire, Olensheim?" von Baden asked, "There must be some chance we can stay and defend ourselves."
"We can't let Berlin be taken," said the general, "And the Eastern Army is in a perfect position to do so. The memory of what happened in the United States six years ago is very strong. If Berlin is taken, it is feared that the German people will fall into a state of chaos. Because of this distinct possibility we need to relocate the government. The people must know the government is functioning, even in absentia."
"I can't leave, general." von Baden said, "Not now. Germany hasn't faced a crisis like this in decades. The government needs to still function. It can't on the run. General, Berlin has been fortified again and again against attack. Every citizen is armed and trained in the rudiments of warfare."
"A shotgun over every mantle will hardly be a defense against leapers, armor, and battle hardened infantry. Madame Chancellor, we have no idea when the Easterners will strike. We don't even know where they are. They have a major advantage over us, and that is that they have scanners. They've got a jamming system which jams both of us, and they turn it off sporadically to give orders, but not for enough time for us to get our scanners on line, or find any information of use.
"We can't divert the whole German army to Berlin, because they could attack in any direction, and there would be nothing to stop them if they choose to go away from Berlin. We simply can't take the risk of overprotecting Berlin and leaving the rest of the country undefended. But that's not the point. We have dismal chances of successfully defending Berlin against the invaders. The odds are almost two hundred to one against us. If Berlin is taken and it is still the seat of power, Germany will be lost. If we evacuate our troops and our government now, we have a much better chance of retaking Germany from the Easterners.
"We've already begun evacuating the Bundestag, gnädige Frau Kanzler. The government and a good portion of the armed forces are in France. We've also begun to send our troops to England and Norway, to divide our forces for our three-pronged counter invasion. With your approval, madam, the entire army will leave and then we will at least have a chance."
Chancellor Katarina von Baden sighed and said, "I see that it can be no other way. You have my approval to evacuate all of our forces. I can not leave, however. I must stay here in The Fatherland. The German people deserve at least that much."
"You are far braver than I, madam chancellor. I only hope that we meet again someday, when we are both alive."
Olensheim saluted his leader and left to do the hardest thing he had ever had to do: abandon his country for the greater good.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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