The What If Series
Escape from Destiny
Warnings: This book is not suitable for children under 13, due to mild language, mild frightening situations, and adult situations. This book also contains homosexuality, blood, and dark content.
This book is dedicated to my mother, my fathers, my siblings, my teachers, my class (I love most of you, even though I look for gray hairs every day after school!), and all my personal heroes, dead or alive, which includes Anne Frank, Margot Frank, and Peter Van Daan, because of the terror that they had to live through..
Chapter 1: Shadows of Hope.
-Outside Amsterdam, Holland, 1945
“We've got 8. Will you take the three youngest?” The harsh tones of the German accent sounded over the phone. “That's my job, isn't it? Rescue the young, innocent, and strong.” The woman smiled, inwardly laughing at the idiocy of the guardsman. “Well? We take them to be deported in the morning! Get over here, before it's too late!” She hung up after saying, “Will do.” Shadow smiled. “Three huh?” she outed her cigarette on the wall. “This should be interesting.....” She donned her black uniform. “Going out again?” Luna appeared from the doorway of the house next the docks. “Prepare for three kids, pale, underfed, most-likely between the ages of 13-20.” Luna frowned. “How many were captured total?” Shadow glanced at Luna. “Eight.” Luna whipped around. “How many adults?!” Shadow glanced back at her cousin. “Five.” Luna shut her mouth.
“I'll be back by 7: 55 pm.” Shadow entered the car. “But what if you get captured?” Shadow smiled with a maniac grin that rivaled Hitler's. “I've got all of the Green Police in Amsterdam and Paris under my thumb, Lu-lu. I'm the Phantom Sovereign.” Luna frowned at her. Shadow was barely over 25, had pale skin, black hair, and even darker eyes, but was feared greatly in combat. Raised in a war-loving village, she was a skilled assassin who had won the respect of the Germans in Holland, England, and France. She had killed 10 men with 3 bullets one time. She earned the attention of the Gestapo after killing 28 guards in one night with only a foot-long shard of glass. All the guards saw was a young woman in a black version of the Green Police uniform, but with out the Nazi symbols, her hands stained with blood that was not hers, standing atop the building, bloody glass in her hands, her face shielded by the night.
That was the night she'd been dubbed the “Phantom Sovereign”. Two weeks later, she met with the top and very shocked guards to propose a deal. “For every group of Jews with over 6 people, I take the three youngest. If you do not agree, you are heartless bastards, and I will not stop until your filthy, vile race is wiped from this earth.” They were stunned by her brashness, her rudeness, her bluntness.....and her bravery. “Fine.” the brown haired guard turned away from her. “You, my dear......you are very brave.” he said after a long pause. “Coming from you, sir, that means a lot.” he turned back to her. “Why?” It was a question she was asked by the people she rescued, by everyone she met on her missions. “I lost my mother and another very dear person to Hitler. Why should I let others suffer?” He turned back to her. “You are the true example of a hero.”
-Amsterdam, Holland, Later that night, 1945
She pulled up outside the station in Amsterdam, and walked in without even knocking. “Where are they?” she asked him, then turned around and saw them. Eight of them, one cell, all frightened. The youngest, a girl of 15, asked, “Are you here to take us to the death camp?” Shadow raised her eyebrows, then smiled. “No, little one.” She then spoke to the guard. “Give me the keys.” Apparently, he was new, and he didn't budge. “Can't do that, ma'am.” She frowned, then took out 4'' blade and went in front of him, so she could block what she was doing from the others.
“You should ask people around here what I do, boy.” her pink tongue darted out and licked the corners of her mouth in a predatory way. “Then ask people what I do to those that stand in my way.” She pressed the blade to his throat. “Fools ignore what they do not know.” A bead of blood appeared, then turned into ribbons when she ripped it away from his throat. She heard the youngest girl scream and a dull “thud” followed. She must have seen the blood. Oops. She resisted the urge to look behind her. “What the?” he gasped before collapsing to the floor. “I see you've met Keifer.”
Adone Marrieles, Head Guard, stood in the doorway. “Who the hell is.....oh.” He raised an eyebrow and then after a long pause asked, “Did you kill him?” She squatted to check his pulse. “Uh, no.” She picked the keys up and unlocked the cell, but when a portly, tall man by the name of Van Daan reached to open it, she pulled out her knife. “I'm only taking the three youngest. I'm sorry.” She bit her lip and waited. “Get up, Margot.” The lady who appeared to be the mother of the girl called Margot tried to get her up, and succeeded.
“Anne!” A handsome but shy-looking boy rushed to the brunette girl who was now slumping against the wall, and tried to shake her awake. He looked on the verge of crying. “Name?” she pointed the knife at him. He showed no fear, instead gripping a lighter in his hand. She managed to smile crookedly at him. “Peter. Peter Van Daan.” he said, looking suspiciously at her, while gathering Anne up. She nodded. “Can you carry her? I mean Anne?” He stood up slowly and nodded. “Good.” She helped Margot up. “Will you take care of our daughters?” Mr. Frank asked. “And my son?” a pretty blonde woman suddenly asked. “Yes, Mrs. Van Daan. Mr. Frank, you have nothing to worry about.” She took Margot by the hand, who looked thoroughly confused, and made sure that Peter had Anne.
“Where are you taking us?” Peter finally asked. “To a safe place outside of Amsterdam, then to Manchester, in England.” she said. “England?” Margot said. “What about our.....” Shadow hated this moment. The burning question. What about our parents? She felt her eyes burning with tears, thinking back to the times she'd said 'goodbye' to her loved ones and said, “I'm sorry.” She pulled Margot quietly and beckoned Peter with Anne to come. She came back for their things, and Mr. Frank saw her crying. “I would kill myself before I let them die,” were her parting words. “That.....that I can guarantee you.” She walked out with a funny limp, then they heard an engine start up, and go down the road. “That girl.....” Adone muttered. “Who is she?” Mrs. Frank asked.
“Her real name is Oriana Dimitri. I think she was born in Moscow. Raised in a pretty tough turf too.” he glanced at the five remaining. “She's about 25, and a skilled fighter. I think even Hitler fears her a little. He met her when she was a teenager. Her greatest desire is to put a bullet through his head. He murdered her mother and her girlfriend. She was almost sent to.....” he swallowed, then took a deep breath. “Her girlfriend, you say?” Mr. Dussel asked. “Yes, her girlfriend. She was almost sent to Auschwitz for being a homosexual. Her girlfriend, Rain, took her place. Driven mad with rage, she murdered her captors with a scalpel. I can't remember what happened to her mother, all I know is that it has affected Shadow's mental health permanently.”
“You've sent our children with a psycho?!” Mrs. Frank screamed. “No! She's very sane. It's just......she has a eating problem, and she doesn't like the people she rescues to get too attached to her.” Mrs. Frank relaxed. Adone stared at the wall. “She been beaten down, bruised, scarred, and stolen from......but she keeps getting up.” He grinned. “In a way, she's like me, except maybe smarter.” He looked back the adults.
“Hitler's Youth.....in a way....was...no is a brainwashing system.” he groaned. “I hate taking adults captive. But I hate taking kids captive even more. And killing them.....” he looked down. “When Oriana offered that deal....I was more than happy to agree. Better three than none at all. The only reason I do this is so my sister stays safe. Out of Hitler's clutches. I want her to live. But every time I see a child younger than me....I see my sister.” He pulled out a photo of a ten-year old girl. She was pretty, with blonde pigtails and blue-gray eyes. “My parents died before this blasted war started. I was 20, my sister 5. That was 5 years ago. If I could take back every single thing I've ever done.....I would.”
“What is your sister's name?” Mrs. Van Daan managed to ask in a kind tone. “Katya.” he turned back to them. “I hope your sister is fine.” He turned to face them completely, and his gray eyes brimmed with tears. “I pray, if there is a God, that you all survive this war.”
Outside Amsterdam, Holland, 1945, around 11:00 pm
“Margot? Wake up! Come on....” Margot felt herself shaken awake by a unfamiliar person. “Who are you?! Where am I?!” She punched and kicked something. Hard. Someone had picked her up and lead her into a nice warm place. She was drifting off.......
She woke curled up on a comfy chair in a warm, cozy, well lit living room. She panicked for a moment, then relaxed when she saw Anne sleeping peacefully on a plush couch, Peter on the floor next to her, his head on her stomach, snoring quietly. What a cute couple they make! She thought. Getting up, she bumped into someone. Shadow had a black/blue bruise on her lower cheek, apparently caused by her blind attack. She then realized that Shadow was 5'7. She was only 5'3 or 5'4. Better not get on her bad side. “Oops. Sorry.....uh.....” Shadow smiled, wincing at the pain apparently, caused by her. “No problem. Oh, and my real name is Oriana. You can call me that if you want.”
Margot watched as she walked out the room. She conversed in a foreign language that was not familiar to her with another person. A shorter lady, apparently around 29 or 30, about 5'3 came into the room. She had waist length red hair, a motherly face and fierce green eyes. “Well, aren't you thin? Ana wasn't kidding when she said 'underfed'.” She sat Margot down and said, “Your sister has been knocked out since she got here. Her little boyfriend fell asleep like that a while before you woke up. He's devoted to her, isn't he? Wouldn't let me touch her until Ana assured him we weren't going to hurt her. Took 'bout a good 45 minutes to do that, though.....” Margot jumped up. “How long have I been sleeping?” Luna smiled warmly. “Only 2 hours, dear.” Margot relaxed and sat back down, staring at her sister.
“Is she alright?” Margot had seen her sister pass out at the jail. “A little bruise, nothing more. The poor boy made a fuss over it, though.” Margot laughed at little. “How about a little potato and chicken soup, dear. Well,well you're awake!” Anne had woken up and pushed Peter off her stomach gently. “I feel horrible. Margot, how are you? Peter seems to be fine.” Luna turned back to her. “Oh! You're awake!” Anne looked around, as if searching for someone. “Where's Pim? And Mother? And the others?” Margot looked down, and Luna turned away.
“Anne....” Peter took one of her hands in both of his. “Annele....they're not here.” Anne stared at Peter in disbelief. “What?” Peter sighed. “Anne.” He paused again before saying, “Anne. The adults, my mother and father, your parents, Mr. Dussel....they're all going to the death camps.” Anne gasped. “No!” She grabbed the front of Peter's shirt. “Peter, please, oh please tell me this is a joke! A sick cruel joke!” Margot and Luna came forward. “Anne...” Anne hummed a familiar tune very off-key then broke down into tears. Luna sniffled then cried too. Finally, Margot and Peter started crying. They cried for their families and others. After 10 minutes, Anne asked, “What's that?” Retching noises could be heard. “Shadow's sick again.” Luna said this like it was normal. “What's wrong with her?” Peter asked. “She hasn't been the same since...it happened.”
Margot inquired, “What?” Luna sighed. “Well, Shadow was supposed to go to Auschwitz, but someone took her place. Someone she held very dear.” Anne frowned. “Was Shadow a Jew?” Luna shook her head. “Shadow is a homosexual.” They were shocked. “Really? I couldn't...”
Shadow was standing in the doorway, staring at them all. “I see you couldn't resist telling my story, Luna.” She leaned against the wall. “Shadow, they deserve to know!” Luna was now hissing at her cousin, who showed no sign of being upset or angry. Instead, a look of annoyance and loathing crossed her face, and she lowered her head, casting a shadow over her already sharp features. “Did I say I wasn't going to tell them?” Shadow had started picking her nails with the same four-inch blade she'd used at the jail. “Uh.... no but...” Luna started, holding up one finger, then was cut off by Anne. “So this is true?” Shadow sighed and pulled a blue ornate lighter and lit a cigarette. “Um.....yes.” Shadow took a swig then slid down to the floor.
She started, coughing a little. “I was born somewhere in Moscow on the 5th of November in 1919. My mother's name was Nikalovera Dimitri. My father's was Alitov Gutser.” She ran a hand through her hair. “My dad died when I was a year old from bullet wounds. My mother took me to the place she was born, a remote village in the far North. That's where I spent my childhood.” Pausing again, she lowered her head to her knees and continued, her voice beginning to take on a bitter tone. “Was your childhood nice?” Margot asked innocently. “No. In my village, you fought to survive. I was only 7 or 8 when I killed my first man, a young man who tried to kidnap me. By 12, I knew 50 ways to kill a man without touching him. My mother moved us to Berlin when I was 13, as she was beginning to feel the way I'd grown up would damage my metal health permanently. The damage was done, though. I was screwed for good.
“That's when Hitler was taking over. It was terrible. I was soon enrolled in the Hitler's Youth, even though only boys were enrolled. They saw me beat up my former wrestler for a teacher and then walk away without a hair on my head getting touched. The only reason I didn't resist was that they would hurt my mother if I did. I loved her to death.” She sighed and continued. “After seeing me in training for five or six months, they grew concerned. If I turned against Hitler, I could be very dangerous.” She raised her head, black eyes burning into the wall.
“The next day, I met with the Son of Hell himself.” she laughed quietly. “He seemed twitchy, even scared when he met me. My German was broken and terrible, so we had a translator nearby. I told him if he promised not to hurt my mother, I would do anything he wanted. He seemed stunned at my devotion to her.” She licked her lips. “My first mission was to kill a family of 4. I poisoned them. I was already immune to murdering...but someone witnessed me do it. Her name was Rain Sapphire.” She smiled, apparently reminiscing.
“She was the first person to tell me what I did was wrong. I can see her now...she had the most beautiful cobalt eyes...and her hair was like fine-spun cinnamon silk.” She stood up suddenly. “I hated her for it...I told her mind her business...but...something...happened.” She raised her head, studying the ceiling. “She made me rethink my whole past. My mother...how she suffered to keep me from slipping under. She made me think about the place I grew up in, and....” She suddenly sniffled. “I don't want to burden you all with this tale.” Peter suddenly muttered, surprising them all, “What happened?” Shadow looked stunned at him. “Well...I fell in love for the first time. She felt the same. We kissed for the first time on Christmas Day.” Then she turned serious again. “We were found out by my superior about 8 years later. She was sent to jail, and I was given a lecture by Hitler himself.” She took a shuddering breath.
“That was the first time I resisted any German official, let alone the head honcho himself. I said, 'It is not up to you who I choose to love or hate! You are just a vile, evil, cruel man with a soul as black as night who blames innocent people for problems you can solve!' Big mistake. He...he sentenced me to Auschwitz, and...Rain took my place.” She gritted her teeth. “The guards were getting ready to leave with me when a messenger came. I couldn't believe it. Then....then they laughed. That night...I lost my mind. I grabbed the nearest sharp object, a scalpel, and murdered each man painfully. When I was done, I....I turned around to clapping....Hitler...himself.
“He told me I had the potential to become a cunning and powerful dictator. He said I had a soul without remorse, that felt nothing when I killed. I was like a Then he came over to me, with someone in tow. My mother. He told me.... ” She cut off and ran out the room. The retching noises could be heard again. “I think you shouldn't push her, dears.” Luna said, looking down at her apron. “Why? How did she get to Holland? What happened to her mother? What about Rain?” Margot asked angrily and quickly. “She.....she was smuggled here by a guard who thought of her as a sister. The rest...she'll tell you when she's feeling better. Just don't push her.” Anne looked green for a moment, then asked, “Aren't you going to her?”
Luna frowned. “No. She hates it when I come to her. So I let her be. That's just the type of person she is.” She sighed. “Shadow is just a person who has trouble showing her emotions, and leans on her sanity. That is the hidden pain she endures.”
End of Chapter 1
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