Ace Egan was a broken man. Having lost both the alien belt and the spaceship to the Nazis, he couldn’t shake the feeling that the blood of many of his allies in this war would soon be on his hands.
He had been woken up in the middle of the night thanks to buckets of ice-cold water and, without being given a chance to dry off, made to dress as quickly as possible. The absence of his belt hurt worse than any beating the Germans could have given him. Once he was dressed, he was manacled and loaded into the back of a truck at gunpoint. The major was there to see him off.
“I thought you would be… taller,” Ace said, assuming the major had already claimed the belt as his own. From the major’s response, he knew he had hit upon a sore spot.
“Your belt will be studied and used for the glory of the Fatherland,” the major told him.
“One more question,” Ace said, as the truck’s engine roared to life.
“What is it?” the major asked.
“Why am I still alive?”
The major smiled; it was that same evil smile that he had given Ace when they first met. “I had considered having you shot as a spy,” the man said, “but I changed my mind. You will spend the rest of the war in a P.O.W. camp. And every time the new Ace of Space strikes a blow against the Americans and their allies, you will know about it.”
Ace started to respond, but Major Wolfgang Hochstetter walked away.
Seconds later, the truck rumbled up the ramp and out a massive set of doors built into the mountainside. As the truck began to wind its way along the snow-covered road, Ace was allowed one final glance at the hidden base. The last thing he saw before the trees obscured his view was the sight of his spaceship on the back of a flatbed truck being hauled inside the mountain.
The guards laughed as the former hero began to weep.