The Looking Glass War An Online Adventure by Mystery Max
People Places Plots

Berlin – June, 1966

This city is at the very heart of the Cold War. This is where East surrounds West and even the flavor of your coffee has political overtones. Magnificent architecture left over from the fall of the Third Reich surrounds mean streets and cheap, Jerry built housing to replace the city blocks bombed flat by the Allies in 1945. And through it all wanders the Wall, that physical barrier that separates the free from the oppressed, the individual from the masses. Though the exact definition of which side is which may vary, depending on where you stand.

The German people are trying hard to get back to normal and put the horrors of the Final Solution firmly in their past. It is an age of wonder and technology. Much of it German built. In the West, Germany is a beacon of modernity and fashion and culture. The Beatles are playing in Hamburg and the girls are screaming and tearing their mini-skirts off in public. In the East, things are more subdued, but not necessarily less earth shaking in their import.

A film has been smuggled across the border in Berlin. A grainy 8 mm reel shot with a cheap camera in black and white. A man in elaborate robes performs a ritual in what looks like a basement with symbols painted on the concrete floor. Candles are burning, smoke billows up from censers arranged around the five pointed star in which the man stands. And there is a body on the floor, bound hand and foot, squirming, trying to get free. But not for long. A quick slash with a sharp knife and a black pool of blood spreads quickly on the gray floor.

Above the body, now motionless, the air shimmers and a figure seems to dissolve into view. A creature from nightmare, horns and razor sharp fangs, a tail and legs that bend like a goat's as it rears up to its full height. There is no sound, but the man in the picture, wearing the robes, is clearly speaking to the new arrival and while it snarls and snaps, it seems cowed and makes no threat, even though it looks as if it could tear the summoner limb from limb.

And there the film ends, rather abruptly.

Most of the people who have seen this film have dismissed it as an amateur horror movie. Not even well done by the standards of the time. But others, in intelligence services from all over the world, have taken it rather more seriously. Agencies from Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv have all flown in specialty teams on the QT with covers such as Agricultural Attaches or Finance Consultants, arriving on separate flights, staying at different hotels but meeting up, quite by chance, at small, out of the way restaurants and cafes to talk quietly about their plans to investigate what they have seen.

For unless these specialists are very much mistaken, the short film is of Grigori Rasputin summoning a demon in a pentagram by way human sacrifice. And if any part of that supposition is true, the balance of power in the Cold War is about to shift most drastically away from the Western allies into the hands of witches and sorcerers from the dark ages.