Chapter no 84

Quantum Radio

An hour before they landed, Ty watched as Maria spent time touching up the makeup and disguises for all of them.

He had to admit that they didn’t look precisely like the South American citizens they were impersonating, but they were close. He was thankful that South America had become a melting pot similar to the United States, with citizens from so many races. Without such an abundance of Asian and Caucasian citizens, it would have been hard to find a match.

When she was done, the four of them sat in the plane’s cabin, Maria and Nora on a plush leather couch that ran along the wall, Ty and Kato in chairs at a square table across from them.

“I think we should review our plan,” Ty said. “Don’t get killed,” Maria said.

Ty held a finger up. “That’s step one. The rest gets more complicated.” “It always does,” Kato said.

“I’ll just state the obvious,” Ty said. “I think I should do most of the scouting at Peenemünde. There is no Ty Klein in this world—that we know of. Maria will be busy—and conspicuous if she were trying to get into guarded areas. We know Kato and Nora have counterparts, and they’re likely both at Peenemünde. You two should stay out of sight to minimize risk as much as possible.”

“I agree,” Kato said. “But I’ll have to come out eventually to replace the other Kato. I also need to observe him some so that when I do replace him, I can try to imitate some of his mannerisms.”

“All fair points,” Ty said. “But let’s back up and state our priorities. First and foremost, we need to find the launch control facility for the A21 missiles and change their targeting.”

“Easy to say,” Kato muttered.

“Hard to do,” Ty said, completing the thought. “It’s true. But I think once Kato replaces his counterpart, we should have free rein of the facility.”

“The real issue I see,” Kato said, “is timing. I think there’s only so long I can fake being him. I don’t know Reich Europa military protocol or anything about his command. Eventually, someone is going to get suspicious.”

“I agree,” Ty said. “We need to do some surveillance and wait for our moment. Also, if we change the missile coordinates too early, someone is going to know.”

Maria took a sharp breath, clearly a little nervous. “Can I ask what might be a dumb question?”

Ty held his hands up. “In the multiverse, there are no dumb questions.”

“I don’t speak German,” Maria said. “My Spanish is pretty good, Portuguese is okay, but I doubt that is going to help us in Peenemünde.”

“I thought about that too,” Ty said. “I speak somewhat fluently, if a little awkwardly.”

“To be fair,” Nora said, “that’s also your situation in English.”

Ty laughed. “Touché. But unlike my English, my German was getting better. French is pretty common in Geneva, but there were also a lot of German speakers at CERN. How about the rest of you?”

“I spent some time at US military facilities in Germany,” Kato said. “I picked up a bit of the language, enough to get around, but I’m guessing my German is a pale shadow of my counterpart’s. It would be the first giveaway. Mandarin and Japanese, I’m good. Same for Arabic. Farsi I’m passable but not quite fluent.”

Ty eyed Nora. “Nur ein bisschen,” she said with a smile. Just a little.

“Well,” Ty said, “the emails to Maria’s counterpart were in English. I think our best hope is that the Covenant has adopted English for events with multilingual attendees. If not, this is probably over pretty quickly.”

“Let’s assume,” Nora said, “that we succeed. We need to figure out where we’re going to redirect those missiles.”

“I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” Kato said. “This is a war, but it’s not our war. I think we should use an unpopulated area as the target.”

The silence in the cabin told Ty that everyone agreed.

“The risk,” Kato continued, “is that they won’t give us back the radio when we return. But I think it’s a risk we have to take.”

“I agree,” Ty said. “Let’s just hope we get the chance to make the change.”


From the cockpit, Ty heard Kato communicating with the tower at the Peenemünde airport. Soon the plane’s wheels touched the tarmac with a squeak, and it came to a stop in the shadow of the air traffic control tower.

A stair truck sped out of a hangar and gently docked to the plane.

Ty stood by the door, peering out the small window. A delegation of about twelve people was walking from the terminal toward the plane. When they arrived, he pulled the outer door open and walked onto the stair landing, feeling the cool breeze from the Baltic Sea blowing across him. Below, he got his first up-close glimpse of the welcoming committee.

At the front was Lars Jacobs. Somehow, he looked ten years younger than the truck driver Ty had met in his world. His eyes twinkled with confidence and positivity.

Beside him stood Helen Klein. She was, in all appearances, a clone of Ty’s mother. Except for her eyes. They were hard and piercing, like a predator on the prowl, reminding Ty of Richter.

What he saw next took his breath away. Hanging around her neck was a small round metal object. It was hollow in the middle, with an outer ring featuring twelve symbols that appeared to be star clusters.

There was no mistaking what the device was.

This world’s Helen Klein was wearing a quantum radio medallion around her neck.

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