Red and Black
Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction and is intended to be taken purely as that. Please note that the ideas and prejudices expressed in this work of fiction are not my own, but those befitting of Kroenen for his 'political affiliation'. No disrespect is meant to any race or religion; to write Kroenen any other way would be taking him out of character. I do not think or feel this way toward any group, this is purely fiction.
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The color of blood, slowly oozing from a fresh wound, pooling on the floor, spreading in a warm, sticky ocean. The color of the sun as it died and fell screaming toward the earth, leveling cities, killing, massacring, evaporating the oceans and engulfing the planet in a toxic cloud. Red was the color of the massacre; sacred genocide against inferior races, sacred sacrifices paying homage to the dark Gods. Under the bright light in the mock-operating room, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen studied the red hot nail, held in a pair of surgical forceps, as the bright blue flame of the blow torch danced around it. Flaming. Setting the blow torch aside on a small stainless steel surgeon’s tray, he pressed the red hot nail into the cold, dead flesh of his arm, a feral shriek of agony and ecstasy indivisible; it burned, sizzled, cauterized his flesh as it tore its way through, left him gulping for the toxic air pumped into his mummified lungs from his gas mask and laughing like a psychopath. Pain was one of the few things still real to him, and often he found security in pain for the sake of pain, beyond his masochistic self-surgery.
A woman screamed for mercy at smelling the burnt flesh, adding further delight to his torture. Strapped to the filthy operating table with bonds of chain and leather, the dark skinned young woman laid there nude and crying – bruised, cut, terrified and helpless. The symbol of her inferior race hung from a silver chain around her delicate neck. How many days had it been? There was no concept of time for her, drifting in and out of consciousness, endless cycles of darkness and torture. The undead Nazi pulled the cooling nail from his skin, laughing – always laughing during his moments of masochistic exploration. Behind his gas mask, his bloodied tongue slid across exposed teeth, his eyes rolled back and he gasp sharply. The sweet ache of pain, the blurred line between ecstasy and agony. Sexual. The fraulein’s screaming and tears took him back to the glory days; memories of sadistic tortures in the death camps, when the odor of death hung thick in the air, the pride –his people, superior – their tanks rolled over the emaciated corpses of prisoners, their armies marched across all of Europe destroying the inferior human filth and purifying their world. The crying and suffering, screams of the tortured, locked away in the fear and pain of their depravity. Their only cure was death. Kroenen thrived on it, became it. Explored death and embodied it. Immortality was well worth the cost. A living manifestation of death. Evil turned black and rotted on the vine. Black. The color of the darkest midnight, pinpricked with stars stretching out in as a vast cosmic ocean. Decomposing corpses lying in piles, covered by flies and consumed by maggots. Shiny black leather, slick and smooth, cold in the black of night, the color of pure evil. The terrified woman shrieked again; he turned his head slowly towards the crying frau, bones grinding against bones, every vertebrae popping and cracking loudly. Two days work. First, he cut out her tongue. The inferior race did not deserve to speak.
The organ was near by on a shelf, floating in a jar of in formaldehyde, preserved for future use. The wound was cauterized, then her jaws were wired shut so he didn’t have to listen to her gurgles and moans as she salivated, choked, and gagged on her own juices. Her head was shaven to make cutting her skull open much easier. Long, dark curls of hair lay on the concrete floor, mattered in the blood dripping from her exposed brain. Lying on the shelf beside the tongue in the jar was the top of her skull, cleaned and sanitized. It may prove to be useful for something, some day. One of her dark brown eyes, skewered on a scalpel, rested on the surgeon’s tray near the operating table. In her empty eye socket, a mechanical eye had been installed – now quivering and twitching in obvious malfunction. A horrid thing of Kroenen’s creation.
Back to the drawing board. The clockwork Nazi dropped the scalpel and nail; they clattered to the bloodied tile floor, hitting with a metallic ping and bouncing their separate ways. In one smooth motion, he grabbed a long, curved dagger from the nearby counter, and slashed the blade across her throat, severing the carotid artery and jugular vein on either side of her neck with expert precision. As blood spurted forth, he tilted his head, content to watch her die – quivering, groaning and gasping, thrashing weakly. Suffer for the cure. The best medicine for the sickness growing inside his fractured mind was to relax and allow the disease to consume him. Inhuman, no longer sane; a living cadaver that thrived on death and torture, with a mind lost in an endless loop of occult magic, horrid surgeries, and Nazi Germany. Suffering was beauty in motion; blood flowing freely from open wounds, the characteristic snap of bones being broken – ecstasy and release. Occult rituals. Soon, the skies would blacken, the portals would open, and Kroenen would welcome eternal damnation upon humanity with open arms. She was dead. With a content sigh, he leaned over the operating table once more. A deep incision, flesh opening up and parting in the path of the dagger as he pulled it through the soft skin of the woman’s neck…chest…stomach. Pushing the blade deeper, it cut through muscle and vital organs, sick sucking noises made as the dagger sliced through the quivering body. With an almost gentle touch, the living corpse pulled the gaping wound open, reaching deep inside his victim’s body cavity, pulling her stomach, intestines, and lungs out – ripping and tearing, dropping the warm, bloody organs on the floor, watching with admiration as they quivered in the cold air. Even after death, the body still seemed alive. The heart. The motor that drove all life. Reaching in the warm, wet slash wound once again, forcing a hand inside of her ribcage, the clockwork Nazi tore the blood-red organ from the corpse, holding it up to the light, extremely pleased with how it twitched and pulsated in his iron grip. Herr Doktor Kroenen dropped the dagger, turned, and walked up the stairs and out of the basement, leaving the cadaver and surgical instruments where they lay, leaving the blinding overhead lights on, leaving everything just as it was. There were more important things to tend to, beyond cleaning the blood and guts from the floor of his ‘operating room’. He could take care of that in the morning.
The television set played softly in the background; the announcer of some late night infomercial went on singing the praises of his miracle product though his preaching was in vain. The floor lamp in the corner of the room cast a soft yellow glow onto the objects in the living room – priceless sculptures on cherry wood tables, the leather furniture, and the black marble floor. The elegance of the room was marred by the clutter – every flat surface, sometimes the tables, sometimes the floor, was cluttered with a mess of paper work and books. Some were in German, some in English, old and new alike, all pertaining to occult practices and ancient rituals. Oblivious to the stench of evil and depravity that hung thick in the air, Ilsa von Haupstein lay curled up under a blanket on the black leather couch, lightly sleeping. No doubt, she was waiting for a return call from one of her ‘colleagues’, as the cordless telephone timidly poked out from under a mountain of papers that was consuming it -- on the floor, between the divan and the fine glass coffee table. He watched from the darkened hallway, lidless eyes transfixed on the Aryan image of beauty, sleeping peacefully on the couch. She was dedication and loyalty manifested in the form of love in her never-ending search for a way to resurrect Rasputin. Her dream was swiftly becoming reality, with every lead, every piece of evidence she obtained, they were closer. Kroenen respected her for it – yet anything else was impossible – his love was for the scalpel and the blade, and anything else seemed preposterous. Slinking into the room, keeping to the shadows, ever silent, he crept to the couch where she slept, and placed two glasses of red wine on the table beside the divan. Kneeling on the marble floor, the living dead man gently pushed her lshort blonde hair away from her face, tucking the loose strands behind her ear and stroking her cheek with a gloved hand. Why did such a fair beauty wish to soil her perfection by claiming love for a damn dirty Russian?
The woman shuddered under his cold touch, stirring in her sleep and opening her light blue eyes. Ilsa jumped, startled by how close he was – she could see his glassy, dead eyes, hear his heavy breathing behind his mask, smell the death on his flesh. She sat up, inching away from Kroenen, rubbing her eyes and further smearing her already-streaked eye shadow. "Why did you wake me?” She asked, somewhat annoyed. Without reply, he handed her one of the glasses from the end table – the beautiful crystal elegance filled with crimson colored wine, circa 1954, and half of a human heart. The dim light reflected off the glass; a rainbow effect. He tilted his head; nostalgia, perhaps. She took it, examining the contents with interest, the odor of blood rising from the wine, the identifiable morsel of human heart bobbing up and down as the wine sloshed around in glass. Still kneeling, he slowly removed his gasmask, setting it on the floor close by, watching for any sign of reaction to his grotesque features. He thrived on it. Ilsa shivered, but forced a slight smile to spite him, repulsed by the pale flesh and lidless eyes of the cadaver, his permanent, grotesque, lipless grin. Under the leather, the body suit, and the gas mask, he was a mess scars, burns, cuts, stitches – the raw flesh around his bulging eyes wept blood constantly, he salivated and licked at his exposed teeth in lewd fashion. Taking the second glass from the table, Kroenen raised it as if in a toast, "To immortality.” His voice gave her chills, cold and disembodied, metallic. Robotic. Hard to understand, result of both broken English and surgical removal of his lips. Curiosity peaked at Kroenen’s true motivations, she raised her glass in response, Sipping the wine, she found the taste mixed with the human flesh to be surprisingly pleasant, eyes transfixed on her cadaverous colleague out of morbid fascination.
She rarely saw him without the mask. Something in the back of her mind hinted he was ashamed of what he had become; reality told her it was merely a guise of anonymity. He tilted his head back and poured the glass of wine down his throat – half of it running out of the sides of his mouth and down his chest, the half of heart sliding down with the wine. It was a smooth, fluid motion, and once again he was upright, kneeling, now drooling strings of blood, lapping at the red rivulets as they dribbled freely from his putrid mouth. He laughed, cold and cruel; depraved, psychotic; she smiled in spite of herself – not a forced smile. Not this time. Red; the large crimson swastikas woven into the ebony tapestries that hung from the vaulted ceiling of the lavish living room, in the mansion they called home – and had called home for nearly three years now. Something was eerily thrilling about having wine and cannibalism with death himself. Loyalty? The idea was laughable. Loyalty. What Rasputin didn’t know wouldn’t hurt anyone. There was a difference between love and…something else. A major discrepancy between dedication and need. She wanted the power, the control. She wanted it all, and Rasputin could provide. At the moment, she wanted something else. Something that burned like fire and gave her goose bumps It was the darkness, the black that called to her, and she would answer; answer as she had in the past, ever since their first encounter in München, Deutschland, in 1939. The blonde smiled again, setting her drink aside, motioning for him to join her on the couch; in an instant the living corpse was on top of her, tearing at her clothing, scratching her soft skin, biting with those terrible teeth. It was enough of an invitation for Ilsa to grab the Doktor by the throat and throw him to the floor, kneeling astride his emaciated form on the cold marble.
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