There it was again, that sound, scratching....he sat bolt upright, in an instant alert, ready "here they come" he thought. Then once again realized exactly where he was. That dream again - full meeting of all Direktors, a 'Governor of the board', some 'Herr Eye'? The cell was cold as ice, but he had awoken in a lather of sweat. The man was manacled to the wall of a cell 6ft by 6ft, the ceiling too low to stand. The manacle chains ran the length of the wall through unbreakable iron rings and were fixed near the iron door, which was actually a trapdoor in the ceiling.
The jangle of keys, bolts withdrawn and the door thrown back. He expected some food scraps thrown in and a bucket of ice water thrown over him. He looked up at the door and with a grin said "morgen". The grin faded into a snarl...then broadened into a beaming smile...
"Well, well, well....gut morgen Heinrich - come to pay me a visit after all?"
"QUIET IIOOIIIOI!", the loud thwack! sound of leather-bound hardwood marching cane striking on raw skin was audible like an echo, as the Unterdirektor present slashed at the man for his perceived insolence.
"Unterdirektor. You will not strike this man again. You, guard, unlock and remove him from this cell. Have him properly fed, cleaned and presented in uniform to me in the Kommondants office in two hours - I dont care if you need an entire element of the Liebregt to assist".
"Herr Direktor Wurzen, I must protest, under article 469, paragraph K, point (b) and I quote...."
Heinrich Wurzen slowly turned and stared at the Unterdirektor, who immediately stopped talking, ..."and I also alert you Herr Unterdirektor to article 469, paragraph K, point (c), I wont bother to quote - GUARD! replace this prisoner with this ex-Unterdirektor"
"Yawohl Herr Direktor!"
....laughter drifted up from the cell, deep, bass and full of mirth - "now thats what I like aout you Heinrich, I see things haven't changed - did you miss me?"
Direktor of Infantry, Heinrich Wurzen looked down at the man as the now defunct ex-Unterdirektor was dragged screaming into custody and stripped by two massive Liebregt guardsmen. "Otto wants to see you - by moonrise - do we really need that element of guard?"
Again, the laugh, now highly tinged with cynacism - "I'll get there myself Heinrich, I dont need any 'Direktions', with more laughter.
"Guards, release this man, now. He is coming with me. Throw that - pointing to the bound and gagged ex-Unterdirektor - in this cell, 5 years solitary confinement, then 20 years service, Liebregt, effective immediately".
"Yawohl Herr Direktor"
The shackles unlocked and removed, the freed prisioner was able to stand, though required some small assistance to climb out of the cell. He kicked out instantly and smashed in the face of the bound ex-unterdirektor, removing the gag, half a dozen shards of splintered teeth and broken jaw bone fell onto the floor, the nose completely mashed. One swift grip and collar bone shatterd, elbow disjointed, the howl of agony stopped only with a mercifully quick knock-out blow, rendering the mauled ex-unterdirektor unconscious. All in such a split second, no guard could even react....
"Guard! Stand fast! Throw him in the cell, we are leaving...Happy now?"
"I was just warming up Heinrich".
"I told him, I told him you wouldn't change...we meet in three hours - you know where. After all, you dont need 'any Direktions', do you?"
The man smiled, "Nah Heinrich, it's way too much fun without it"...
...Direktor Wurzen turned and walked down the dank corridor to the stairs, relieved to be leaving the cells and determined to return to his office block, well away from the Liebregt barracks. Once outside, he was approached by Direktor Walther Picklesturm.
"Well Heinrich, what did he say?"
"What do you reckon Walther - I told you and I told Otto, he wont change"
"Where is he - Otto expressly direkted..."
"By moonrise, he will be there, he will make his own way - undirekted - lets get out of here, I'm heading straight to Blitzenkruz, there is plenty of time before the meeting"
The two Direktors mounted their horses and rode off, each mulling over their own thoughts. If they could read each others minds, they might even be amused to know those thoughts were the same: