“Professor, what are you doing” asked the captain, shocked but was not surprised. He was trembling with fear but he did not show it to the professor.
When he first heard that a professor was the saboteur, his first thought of suspects has been Professor Z. He has been acting rather aggressively since the beginning of the mission. The professor also has been vocal against the high security measures. The captain still recalls the message from Kriegsmarine that said that Professor Z’s relatives are living in the Britain for sometime and recently there has been heavy communication between him and his relatives in Britain recently. The captain suspected back then but did not have strong proof to hold the professor back until now. Now with the professor holding a gun to his body was the conclusive proof that he was the one from the start. The captain wondered how the professor slip pass the sentries and able to sabotage the U Boat previously.
“Keep quiet, just move” replied the cold looking Professor as he pushed the captain into his quarters and locked the door.
“I thought I could sabotage this U Boat before we reached the waters controlled by the Japanese but you were quick to foil my plans. You have been lucky indeed. But now, I have no choice but to use my gun” said the professor.
“Why you did not use your gun earlier?” asked the captain as he sat on his bunker, waiting for the professor’s attention to be diverted.
“This mission – although I actively participated in the planning stage, I did not really believed that we will find the ancient submarine. It sounded like some fairy tale. But nonetheless I played along with it – I had to lure you from your patrols in the Atlantic to a mission where we will be together. There is a price that has been announced by the Allied Intelligence Office on your head and on the destruction of this U Boat. You have became famous, my captain after your mission with the Bismarck task force. You are wanted dead or alive. We tried to kill you at your mansion but my man was unfortunately caught by Sergeant R. We had to create a story that it was planned by the Gestapo when it was not. That led you and the German High Command on some wild goose chase and an astray of focus whilst we planned more carefully the next time again. You have been very lucky indeed, captain. Lucky until now. I had to hold back from my mission objectives when we left Siamese waters and headed to Malaya. I did not like you but I did not like the Japanese even more”
“But when we reached Malaya and found the submarine, I changed my mind and the goal of my mission changed. I did not think that we would actually find the submarine and the more we learned about the submarine and its technology, I decided to raise the rewards that were waiting for me. I decided to play along and get the extracted items to the Allies whilst trying to achieve to kill you and destroy this U Boat. That I will do soon once my Allies friends meet up in Ceylon coastal waters – the very place that we are scheduled to be resupplied. There are just a couple of miles from Ceylon to the British administration in India. U X and its crew will be history” laughed the professor as he started to think of the monetary rewards that were promised by the British Government for sabotaging the U Boat’s mission.
There was a knock on the door. It was Ernst, coming over to see the captain to report on their current progress. The professor at first panicked but recovered to tell the captain to act naturally. He told the captain to tell Ernst to leave him and the professor alone in the quarters for further discussion. The professor asked the captain to order Ernst to get the extracted items from the submarine to be repacked and ready to be moved over to another vessel. The captain must keep silent on the reasons for his orders; otherwise the professor will not hesitate to shoot the captain in the head. The captain kept silent and stood up to open the door. Ernst came in but was surprised to see professor Z in the captain’s quarters. He did not anticipate the captain to allow the professor in his quarters but he did not proceed further to ask the captain on this. The captain gave orders as was mentioned by the professor earlier. Ernst asked for the reasoning for the captain’s order but the captain resorted back and asked to follow the orders without fail. Ernst noticed that the captain was looking at the professor as he mentioned this.
Ernst left the room. The captain’s attention diverted back to the professor.
“How long you plan t hold me here, professor, Sooner or later, my crew is going to get suspicious and will be waiting for you. As far as I am concerned, even if you shoot me, it will not stop the U Boat from reaching the base. I am very confident on Ernst to do that.”
The professor smiled and said “I am quite aware of this and for this very reason, I have planted a bomb in the U Boat. Even if the U Boat continues without you, it won’t get too far”
The captain knew that time was running out for him and the crew. He needs to act fast. That opportunity came when Ernst messaged the captain and said they will be reaching the resupply rendezvous point shortly. He called the captain to come up to the bridge. The captain reasoned with the professor to allow him to go to the bridge, otherwise the crew will know what is happening here and will not allow the professor to escape. The professor relented and bought the bait. The captain left his quarters with the professor following him closely with a gun pointed at the captain. When they reached the bridge, the professor noticed that everyone was looking at him. Ernst suddenly voiced out and asked the professor to drop his gun. The professor at this point quickly pointed the gun to the captain’s head and asked everyone to stay back. His transport back to India will be coming soon. He just to hold on until then, thought the professor when he heard the sonar operator reported of detecting a large ship near their rendezvous point. The professor was relieved – his British naval ship was waiting for the U Boat.
“The professor had planted a bomb somewhere” the captain voiced out. The professor pushed the barrel of his gun even closer to the captain’s head and asked him not to open his mouth anymore. None of the crew members at the bridge dared to moved from the area but one of them who was standing far, managed to sneak out and alerted the rest of the crew members especially Sergeant R and his men. The sergeant quickly took out his gun and headed towards the bridge.
The U Boat was still moving nearer to the rendezvous point where British naval ship is waiting. The professor’s plan seems to be working. Once reach the British naval ship, it is likely that special attack team will board the U Boat and take the crew as prisoners of war. The attack team may blow up the U Boat after relieving it from the important cargo or may decided to tow it back to British Naval base in India for further inspection. The professor only needs to wait for this. The professor looked at the captain and smiled. It was as though he is seeing the captain’s time of death.
Suddenly there was a loud gunshot and blood was trickling from the professor’s head. He looked stunned but was still capable to raising his gun to shot but before he could pull the trigger, he slumped down and stayed still. This caught everyone by surprise and when they have realised what had happened, they saw Sergeant R with his gun aimed towards the professor. The barrel of his gun was still smoking. It took one clear shot from Sergeant R’s gun to bring down the professor who did not noticed the sergeant sneaking in.
There was no time to loose! The captain ordered the crew to prepare for a torpedo attack on the British naval ship that was waiting at the rendezvous point whilst ordered the rest of them to look for the bomb that has been planted by the professor. The captain gathered that the bomb is on a timer and will explode in case they decided to skip the rendezvous point.
The captain had the British naval ship on sight on his periscope. He noticed that his resupply ship was held back by armed guards on the British naval ship. The men on the British naval ship did not appear to have readied for battle. The latest news from the professor must have put them at ease and under the thought of easy catch of the German’s latest U Boat. Two torpedoes were prepared and the captain ordered the release of the torpedoes. Two fast and deadly torpedoes launched from the U Boat torpedoes tubes and rushed towards the British naval ship. It was couple of seconds before the British naval ship blew up and sank almost immediately. The resupply ship which was held back decided to make a run for it, in the event there were more torpedoes in the water. The captain was not sure whether the resupply ship was an agent of the British but there was no time to lose. The U Boat is in need of resupply and this is the nearest resupply ship around. The captain ordered U X to surface and shows itself to the resupply ship. When that happened, the resupply ship slowed down and made a turn back towards the U Boat.
Meantime, all available men have been ordered to look out for the bomb. Obvious areas like the torpedoes room, the engine room and the special storage area was checked and rechecked. Nothing was found and the clock was ticking. The fact that no one knew when the bomb will go off compounded the seriousness of the matter. At one point, Ernst was wondering whether the professor had told the captain the truth about the bomb or whether he say it to put off the captain from knowing his real plans. At now, no one knew which of it was true but the search was continued. Despite of the threat of a bomb on his vessel, the captain went ahead with the resupply of the fuel and sundry supplies and hoped that his men will be able to find the bomb before it was too late.
The captain had to think of an alternative plan fast in the event that his men could not find the bomb. The captain called the captain of the resupply ship and informed him of the situation at hand. There was no time to lose – Captain Franz persuaded the captain of the resupply ship to take his men in. There is no choice but they had to abandoned the U X and wait out for the bomb to go off. The captain of the resupply ship hesitated as it was not part of the deal to resupply the U Boat. Certainly it is going to cost Captain Franz extra money if the captain is going to allow the U Boat crew onboard. The captain of the resupply ship knows that Captain Franz was desperate enough to take his proposal and indeed the captain was correct.
Captain Franz ordered the U X to be abandoned – the men only can only take essential items. The captain ordered the manuals and the log books from the submarine to be brought over but not the other items. Space was at the premium on the resupply ship and the captain of the resupply ship already had enough things onboard and was not in favour of having extra luggage without additional payment.
The men disembarked the U X and moved to the resupply ship but there was no sign of Captain Franz. He was still in the U Boat and the men were getting worried. Sergeant R and Ernst offered themselves to go back to the U Boat and search for the captain. The men did not want to leave without Captain Franz onboard. Just when Sergeant R and Ernst was about to embark the U Boat, Captain Franz appeared – he had several documents from the U Boat and he quickly embarked the resupply ship. He asked the captain to move the ship away from the now abandoned U Boat but requested that they stay within a short distant of the U Boat. If the U Boat did not explode, then it can be confirmed that the bomb threat by the professor was nothing but a hoax. The captain of the resupply ship agreed. He has after all nothing to lose. If the bomb goes off and the U Boat is indeed destroyed, then the U Boat crew had already paid the captain enough cash to bring them to a safer country. But if bomb did not go off, then the crew of the U Boat can return to their vessel and the captain can still keep the cash that has been paid.
The resupply ship had hardly moved from the last place where the U Boat was abandoned when there was a loud explosion. The U Boat blew up and it was not long before the wreck sank into the deep ocean. The crew of the U Boat thanked their luck star. The professor was not lying when he said that he had placed a bomb in the U Boat. At least one of his mission objectives came true which is to destroy the U Boat although he failed to complete his main mission objective which is to kill Captain Franz. With no where else to go, the resupply ship captain asked where Captain Franz wants to proceed next? The captain was silent and was looking at the spot where his U Boat was last seen. Suddenly the captain knew where they need to head to now.
“Captain, take us to South Africa” said the captain as Ernst smiled in agreement