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Aberrant: Infinite Earth - Fiction - [A&A] Sturm und Drang

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In the western outskirts of Berlin, surrounded by barbed wire-tipped fences, guard towers and large garrison military base, is a place called Justizvollzugsanstalt Plötzensee. Built in the late 1800's on the estates of Plötzensee Manor, it was designed as a place where criminals deserving of execution were sent for their final days on Earth. It is an imposing place, a place of despair and death, and the miasma of half a century of it's grim purpose hangs over the stone-built compound like a cloud. Though so much changed in Germany since the rise of the Third Reich, for Plötzensee it is business as usual. Men are still sent here to die at the hands of the state, only now political as well as criminal inmates populate the bleak grey cells.


But there is another side to the prison, an underside. For the cellars of the manor itself have been extended, and deepened, and turned into a second prison beneath the ground. Here are kept prisoners that the Reich wants no-one to know about. Above ground, inmates are examples: do not stray from the path or you will end up here. Down below, one simply disappears. No one ever hears about them again. No one will see them be executed, or visit them in your cell. In fact, people who were believed to be executed in the prison above have re-appeared down below, as they are simply too valuable to lose permanently... for now. A quick trial and execution for the Very Important Prisoner above, then a long, drawn out series of sessions with the Gestapo's finest in Plötzensee Below.


But past the cells, past the well-lit interrogation rooms with the drains in the middle of the floors, past the guards with the Dobermans and Schmiesser machineguns, at the end of the main arterial 'road' through Plötzensee Below, is a special cell.


It is divided into two parts. The first is a security station, a small room barely eight feet across. Triple-paned, impact resistant glass, a product of the finest Dynamic minds of the Reich, forms a window along one wall, that starts at waist height and stops short of the airlock system at the far end. This door is the only entrance to the second half of the cell - and it's occupant. The second half of the cell is worthy of note for its unusual composition. A room fully 15 feet cubed, it is flooded, a sealed tank of ice cold water. A drain on the floor is currently closed, and the only other fixture to the cell is the triple-tubing, flexible and strong, that runs down from the cell's ceiling and into the diving suit that contains the cell's inmate. In the watch-room, two guards are on duty all the time. Monitor dials on the wall give readings on the water's temperature, and a pair of wheels controls the drain in the floor, which is also the means by which the room is flooded. The guards, actually Gestapo, watch the prisoner carefully, making notes on any action he takes, however insignificant it seems. The room is only drained once a day, under heavy supervision by two Dynamics stationed here for that purpose. Then the young man inside the suit is allowed out, allowed to stretch and shower before once again clambering back into the cleaned suit and resuming his imprisonment.


Right now, he watches the men beyond the glass, his softly-glowing eyes two sparks of molten flame behind the thick glass of his diving helmet. He has been here for three years, though in truth he is not too sure of that. He knows he must have been here awhile, as he was only a boy when they locked him in the suit, and he has grown since. The captivity doesn't seem to have slowed down his growth or his development, but that is hardly surprising to the youth. After all, he is one of the ubermenschen, the Dynamics. That is why he is here, that is why they do not kill him out of hand when there is a chance of breaking him. Of course, there is no chance of that, the youth knows in his heart. He is as temperamental as the element he commands, as destructive as any wildfire. But he does not bother to disabuse the facists of their plan - after all, it gives him time.


Time is what he plays for. Time is why he chokes down the rising panic he feels every time the water rises over his head and he is again trapped. Time is his ally. With enough time, those he cares about will be dead, or the Nazis will make a fatal mistake, and he will again be free. And once he is free...


Some men, when imprisoned, care for birds or small creatures. Others compose music in their heads, or write novels and poems, or construct palaces in dreams. The Dynamic who is still mostly a young man called Valentin has no such... creative urges. He watches the pallid, corpselike men beyond the thick glass and dreams of seeing their flesh roasting, of smelling the smoke of this whole foul prison in flames. He dreams elaborate dreams of destruction and divine retribution. He wants to release the hate and anger and rage he feels in his breast, a smoldering ember needing just a breath of air to surge into being. He dreams of the freedom to live, to dance...


To burn.


To burn everything.

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