Chapter 5. The Young
Erwin used to be my hiking companion. Classmates in Gymnasium. Best friends in Vienna, at the College of Technology. An avid fan of Schrödinger’s, Erwin wished to follow the professor in England. But Viktor, my mentor, told him that the English are too religious minded to take the Mahabharata and the Vedas seriously. Like a true engineer would do. If you wish for a time machine, then stay in Austria, with us. Which he did.
Oh, Erwin, where art thou?
Is this you, Aquila?
Where are you?
Nowhere. Told you.
Are you looking at…?
Unspokenly, Erwin and I share a host of thoughts. Seemingly, using our blue blooded avatars as proxies.
Dispensing the news about my act of high treason, my palate tastes sparkling bubbles of the finest champagne.
I remember that whenever Erwin wished to celebrate, he bought a case of Henriot, called two Fräuleins from the office and asked me to drive us all in my fancy convertible Mercedes. Over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Party times! Party! Party!
Interesting exercise of thought: if not for Viktor’s slingshot, I would have faced the firing squad, dead in the mud by now; instead, here I am, living some of the best memories of my life, once more.
If this is death, then it’s worth living.
This is not death. There is no death that I know of. Responds Aquila.
If you say so…
Easing my way of thoughts beyond the partying, the rallying and the after-partying, I commence to peep over Erwin’s news. On April 5th, 1945, at 00:44 hours, together with Hans and Helga, he detached from the timeline. And this is bad. Very bad. Hans and Helga were spooks infiltrated by the SS amongst us.
Were? Asks Aquila.
Are! Fear I.
Yes. Hans and Helga, leaving along with Erwin, are here, together with us. In the Nowhere.
Raining on my parade. On our party.
Think not of them and you’ll be fine. Trust me.
What if they think of us?
Why? No echo. Ah, let me reformulate. What are they thinking about?
Good. I cleared my mind. And my palate. Champagne anyone?