Alternative History By D.I. Jolly
Not much was known about Anne Frank’s childhood, it was as if she only came to life in her early 20s. Appearing out of the shadows as a swift and silent death. Under her guidance, the resistance was turned from desperate scavengers into a force to be reckoned with and feared. They moved in shadows, appearing and disappearing without a trace and always left behind a body, or three.
While most people were focused firmly on ‘die Fuhrerin’, Anne’s priorities were elsewhere. The project she would never speak of but would only refer to as O.H.F. Whenever that came up, everyone who knew her knew to stay away from her, even if that was all that they knew. When there wasn’t a specific target, she’d be locked in her office pouring over books, note, manuscripts and photos, searching for something, some hit, some clue that could help her find O.H.F. until the day finally came. The wrenching sound of metal followed by the unmistakable bang of her office door being unbolted always sent a shock wave through the underground bunker and all in attendance would instantly stand at attention. She stepped out and scanned the room, searching each of the faces as if she was trying to memorise them as if she knew she would never see them again.
Eventually, her gaze settled on her most trusted lieutenants and with a short head movement, she ordered them into her office, and handed each of them an envelope.
“I’ve come up with new missions for all of you, I recommend you take only two others with you and only your most trusted. If my calculations are correct this will not just deal a massive blow to our enemy.’
She stopped in front of her oldest friend.
‘But it will give Peter a chance to face die Fuhrerin directly and we could topple her empire of hate once and for all. We can end this war tonight.”
Her words sent a wave of excitement through the office and all but Peter hurried to open their envelopes and read the reports. Quickly starting to compare notes they saw what Anne saw and believed it could work, they might finally be able to do it, they really could win the war. But Peter just stared at her, searching her face for something he thought was missing, something he couldn’t put his finger on until finally, he said.
“And what part will you play?”
The room quickly fell back into silence as they all turned to look at their general.
“O.H.F. is my only mission, while you finish yours, I will also finally be able to accomplish mine.”
Nothing more needed to be said and after a moment they all filled out to start putting together their gear and their teams. One by one they slipped out into the night with an energy like they’d never felt before. They took to their missions leaving Anne alone to finally put her thoughts and gear together. She slipped out of her usual tactical outfit, built for ease of access to weapons, built to help her slip into tight places and hide in dark spaces. She washed her face, her hands, her body and her hair. Letting the water run over her taking away everything she’d seen and said and done for longer than she could remember, letting herself be cleansed as well as cleaned. Then she slipped on the simple dress which hung in the back of her closet, and stepped out into the night. She headed for a train station and caught the first train to a nearby city known that had once been called Birsfelden. She walked the streets avoiding the crowds of people who had started gathering around the radios in shops and restaurants, desperately listening to the news, until she found a door which led to an office which read O.H.F. Without knocking she silently opened the door and stepped through into a room lined with books and a desk where an old man sat bent over a radio, smiling from ear to ear as he listening to the news of unconfirmed reports of the assassination of die Fuhrerin. The old man started when he saw the woman standing in the doorway and it made her smile and she had to stifle a laugh, then after a deep breath to calm herself she said.