Invisible Enemy

A Short Story by Ernest N.Whitenack


“I would say that is very important. What is so secret about it? We see men being moved in trucks all the time.”

“Well, these are very special and highly trained men from close by that we want here. They must be moved secretly and only a couple at a time,” Clancy bragged, thinking the commies probably know there are Special Forces at Bad Tölz, some thirty miles north, and the information will stir them up.

The old man returned to see if they wanted more drinks and Gisela immediately said no. She turned and whispered that she lives here and has a very good bottle of Schnapps in her apartment and they should go there.

Clancy, although expecting it would come to this, was surprised at the abruptness of the suggestion and could only agree with a simple, ”Yes.”

Otto observed through the window as they left the room and headed for the stairs. Quickly returning to the car, he watched the front of the hotel for signs of lights being turned on in any of the darkened rooms. All the while wondering how he could get past the old man at the desk and up the stairs. When he saw a light go on in the left corner room, he simply walked through the front door, passed the old man and up the stairs. Otto figured the old man was so used to men coming and going he paid little attention to just one more.

Gisela returned from her tiny kitchen with the Schnapps and glasses and sat them on a small table next to Clancy. She smiled, gently patted his cheek and, following the old cliché, suggested he have a drink while she gets comfortable. Clancy had early on decided he wasn’t going to drink any of her Schnapps. God knows what might be in the bottle with the Schnapps! He poured a glass, moved the easy chair back a foot or so, dumped all but a small bit of the alcohol where the chair had been and returned the chair to cover it. He just finished when Gisela entered wearing the flimsiest of some kind of nightwear and sat on his lap. She wiggled to get comfortable and suggested he have another drink, noticing the small amount left in Clancy’s glass.

“No thanks, he replied, I’ve had enough for tonight. I have an early day tomorrow and must not have a hangover.”

“Oh, you’re not leaving so soon are you? I was hoping we could talk and get to know each other better.”

Clancy was beginning to feel like he was in a Class B detective movie. It took a great effort not to laugh.

“I guess I can stay for a while, but just for a short time,” He managed to say with a straight face.

She settled herself on his lap again, making sure to press herself tightly to him and started showering him with kisses. After a while Clancy gently separated himself.

“Hey, I need a little air, he said. Remember, I have several more nights here before moving on, and I have to be in good shape tomorrow.”

Gisela, frowning, pulled back a little. “Tomorrow must be very important. Those troops you are moving must be very special solders. What do they do that makes them that way?”

"Well, the jobs are highly skilled and secret. I can’t tell you more than that." Clancy said, hoping to bait her for more questions.

She continued, “Where do they come from, will you bring them here to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, are they infantry?” all intermixed with pauses to be affectionate in various ways.

Clancy vaguely answered, or dogged the questions by asking a question. After fifteen minutes or so he told Gisela that he must leave and helped her off his lap.

In the meantime, Otto stood outside the door to Gisela’s apartment listening and being very amused. He previously unscrewed the small bulb from the ceiling as a caution to being spotted. When he heard Clancy say he was leaving, Otto quickly moved down the hall to a very dark corner and waited.

When the door opened and he saw Gisela hanging onto Clancy with her thin attire strongly backlit he had to cover his mouth so as not to laugh out loud. He stayed concealed until Clancy started down the stairs. He followed soon and went to the car. Fox made a u-turn and pulled over after a couple of blocks to pick up Clancy.

“Did you have a good time?” Otto asked, trying to keep the humor from his voice.

“Damn, it was like a bad movie. She was so obvious – a real amateur at the game. I now believe she is just another of the girls and not someone up top.

“She sure knows how to dress for it though. That nightgown is something else with the light behind her,” Otto said laughing.

“I figured you would be outside the door to have my back. You must have found a secure position not to be spotted when the light from the apartment got into the hall.”

“It seems you have her hooked with your vague answers. What’s the next move?”

“We will have to play it by ear, Clancy answered. It all depends on what we come up with from the break-in.”

The next morning Major Foster informed the three men that the break-in at the Silver Skates was set for that night at 01:00 hours; that Otto and Fox would not be needed. Lieutenant George Davis and his crew of specialists will look the place over earlier in the evening and you will assemble at this office an hour prior to that time.

“I’ll have facility drawings for everyone by then and specific assignments will be given. It seems a fairly simple job and shouldn’t take much time. Davis estimates in and out in fifteen to twenty minutes; depending, of course, on the difficulty of the alarm and the various locks that have to be opened,” Foster told them.

“Major, I would like to be in on this if possible. Otto said. I had considerable experience with German locks during the war and might possibly be of some help.”

“It’s OK with me if Major Davis has no objections. Be here tonight and we will see. How about you, Fox?”

“No Sir, I know nothing about this type of operation. If you think I can help or get some valuable experience from it, I’ll be glad to go,” Fox replied.

“No Lieutenant. On second thought, this isn’t a training mission and there is no good reason for you to be there,” Foster replied.
“Major Clancy, will you be going to the Silver Skates tonight?”

”No Sir, I don’t see the value in it. It’s obvious this woman is an amateur or very new to what she is attempting to accomplish. It is also obvious that she is hooked on the story I gave her and has continually tried to get more out of me. However, there might be some value in going back the night after the break-in and try to determine if they know about or suspect the break-in.”

“Well, it’s your hand, so you play it. Just keep me informed of your activities and results.” Oh yes Clancy, the mock-up of the restaurant is finished and run-throughs of the raid will start soon and I have arranged for you to attend a couple of the sessions. We can go there today and take a look if you like. Meet me at the Officers Mess for lunch and we’ll go from there.
I’ll see you all later then, dismissed.”

Clancy, Otto and Fox visited the post PX and did a little shopping including three pouches of Walnut tobacco recommended to Fox by Clancy; thinking, after enjoying Sherlock’s Choice, he might like a tobacco with very light added flavoring and a little punch.

After lunch, the three men and Major Foster boarded Foster’s car and traveled several miles through thick forest and turned at a large sign reading Range 5--Restricted Area in large red block letters; with two MPs on guard duty. Another mile or so on the narrow dirt road brought them to the rifle range and a plywood replica of the Silver Skates building; rustic sign and all.

Inside, Foster turned to Clancy and asked, “What do you think, Clancy. Does it look right to you?”

“It looks larger, Sir. I suppose that’s because there are no tables and chairs. Every thing seems in proportion, and the bar and interior doors seem correctly positioned. What do you men think?” He asked turning to Otto and Fox who both gave an affirmative head nod.

A little before midnight, Clancy and Otto entered the outer office of Major Foster. The door to Foster’s office was open and he, sitting at his desk, looked up and waved them in.

“Lieutenant Davis and his men will be here shortly, he said, and we will go to my conference room and get this thing planned out. Are you two all set?”

“Yes, sir we are and anxious to see what we will find in that mystery room so many people go in and out of every night.” Clancy replied.

Shortly, the sound of boots coming down the hallway heralded the arrival of Davis and his team. Davis entered, came to attention, saluted and reported in while his crew remained in the outer office. Foster directed him to be at ease; that this is a planning session and, for the best idea exchange, should be informal. He introduced Clancy and Otto and gave Davis a brief run-down of their background and experience; stressing Otto’s skill with German locks and that he should be called on if a problem arises with locks.

A large diagram of the building, with dimensions, hung on the wall of the conference room and smaller versions were given to each man.
The conclusion came easily. All vehicles will gather in the ally behind the building after leaving here in three minute intervals. Two MP guards will be stationed at each door while the rear guards, specialists and officers enter at the rear. All are to find concealment until the alarm specialist gives the go-ahead to enter. Only essential flashlights for working on the alarm and outer locks are to be used. The front door guards are to be let in and all guards remain inside the doors unless called. The entire building will be scanned for bugs and hidden communication devices while the observer specialist looks for hidden rooms and exits, giving extra attention to the kitchen, store room and mystery room. The lock man and officers will go directly to the mystery room and search files, desks and safes for incriminating records, organization charts and anything else that link the people to East Germany or STASI. If there is a copy machine in the room, selectively copy anything that will be helpful for the upcoming raid. Everything else will be confiscated during the raid. The mission is to be executed carefully and as efficiently as possible.

“The local police have been given notice of this mission and will be patrolling the area around the restaurant, continually until called off by a call from me, just for our additional safety,” Foster said to end the meeting. “Now you had better get going. Lieutenant Davis will control who leaves in what order. Good luck.”

“I am very impressed by your background Major, and yours Lieutenant. I have never heard of the “Platoon” branch although I have long suspected, from my study of the war, there were very special men behind some of the intelligence that reached allied command,” Foster said on the drive to the restaurant.

“We are quite proud of the work we did, but I wasn’t very happy about being called back for this go-a-round,” Clancy returned. “I was happily surprised to find Lieutenant Otto still in the Army and backing me up again this time. I must insist you and your men keep the Platoon to yourselves. It is still quite active around the world and needs its secrecy. Please convey this to your men.”

The trip and concealment of the Jeeps went well. All the men were in order at the rear door as the specialist picked the lock. Clancy entered first followed by Davis, and Otto. As Clancy stepped in he saw, in the din light of the closed restaurant, a figure quickly rise from a table shouting to get out or he will shoot. Clancy took shelter behind one of the large timber supports holding the building up as the rest backed out the door. He removed his 1911 from its holster and cautiously looked past the other side of the timber to find the man backing away, a small revolver in his hand. Clancy jumped from behind his cover, his automatic in hand and cocked, and shouted:

“Drop die Waffe und heben Sie Ihre Hände (drop the weapon and raise your hands).“

“Nicht feuern, nicht feuern, nicht feuern (don’t fire, don’t fire, don’t fire).“ The man yelled back as he complied with Clancy’s demand.

Clancy walked swiftly to the man, and noticed as he got closer that the man was old, near seventy he guessed and shaking badly. Fear was apparent in his expression.

By then the inside front door guards were standing on each side of the old man as Davis and Otto were approaching.

Clancy told him to relax, that he will not be hurt and turned to Davis.

“Get the old man some brandy, or something, he is frightened to death”.

He then motioned the guards back to their posts and sat opposite the old man as he sipped his brandy and seemed to calm down.

“Are you the watchman here?” Clancy asked.
“Yes” he replied.
“Are you the only one?

The watchman nodded his head yes as he gulped the last of the drink.

Clancy called a guard again and asked him to place the watchman under arrest and handcuff him to the table. The guard did so speaking German.

I must do this, he told the watchman, don’t be afraid. Nothing bad will happen to you. You are being detained for our safety and to answer more questions. I will be back soon.

Clancy entered the mystery room to find the team looking through open file drawers and the two desks. Otto worked on the combination lock of the large walk-in safe in the back wall, while Davis stood reading a thick bunch of papers and occasionally handing some to a corporal manning a small copier sitting on desk two.

Otto in the meantime was scouring the inside of the safe for any anomalies and suddenly shouted he had found something.

Clancy rushed in and Otto showed him a small section of paneling that didn’t fit the pattern of the rest. He pushed on it and it slid to the side revealing a leaver. Pulling the leaver down caused a door sized section of paneling to rise and lights to go on in what appeared to be an arsenal room. Weapons were neatly stacked in racks with open ammunition boxes arranged beside them. Crates of rockets and grenades lined the other wall. The back wall looked as if it had a laundry shoot door in it close to the floor. It turned out to be the opening to a short, wood lined tunnel to the outside ending behind a rubbish collection bin.

“This alone will justify the raid,” Clancy said. “Good work, Lieutenant.”

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2017

Chapters: Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11 | Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16 | Ch 17 |                    Ch 18

Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired.

<< Back to the Newsletter
Archives: Jan 16 | Feb 16 | Mar 16 | Apr-May 16 | June-July 16 | Aug 16| Sept-Oct16 | Nov 16| Dec 16 Home
  Jan 15 | Feb 15 | Mar 15 | Apr-May 15 | June-July 15 | Aug 15| Sept-Oct15| Nov 15| Dec 15
  Jan 14 | Feb 14 | Mar 14 | Apr 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July-Aug 14| Sept14| Oct-Nov 14| Dec 14
  Jan-Feb 13 | Mar 13 | Apr 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July-Aug 13| Sept13| Oct 13| Nov 13| Dec 13
  Jan 12 Feb 12 | Mar 12 | Apr 12 | May 12 | June 12 | July 12| Aug 12| Sept12| Oct 12| Nov 12| Dec 12
  Jan 11 Feb 11 | Mar 11 | Apr 11 | May-June 11 | July 11| Aug 11| Sept11| Oct 11| Nov 11| Dec 11
  Jan 10 Feb 10| Mar 10| Apr 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | Aug-Sept 10| Oct 10| Nov 10| Dec 10
  Jan 09 Feb 09 | Mar 09 | Apr 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09| Aug 09| Sept-Oct 09| Nov 09| Dec 09
  Jan 08 Feb 08 | Mar 08 | Apr 08 | May 08 | June 08 | Jul-Aug 08 | Sept 08 | Oct 08| Nov 08| Dec 08 
  Jan 07 Feb 07 | Mar 07 | Apr 07 | May 07 | June 07 | Jul-Aug 07| Sept 07 | Oct 07| Nov 07| Dec 07
    Jan 06 Feb 06 | Mar 06 | Apr 06 | May 06 | June 06 | Aug 06| Sept 06 | Nov 06 | Dec 06
        Jan 05 | Feb 05 | Mar 05 | Apr 05 | May 05 | June 05 | July 05 | Aug 05 | Sept-Oct 05 | Nov 05 | Dec 05      

Jan 04 | Feb 04 | Mar 04 | Apr 04 | May 04 | June 04 | July 04 | Aug 04 | Sept 04 | Oct 04 | Nov 04 | Dec 04
** Contact SHPC Boston **

PipeSmoke Ring
Provided by: Spiderlinks.Org
Ringmaster: Jack Tompkins
Site Owner: Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston
Ring Home:
Join: PipeSmoke Ring