Break the Bread
rating: +1+x

Basement of the Carroyer’s Bakery
Auxerre, Occupied France, North zone
January 12th 1943

"Now, I hate those fucking Jews too."

The scepter’s light shinned once more. Its green beam was starting to dent the bone. Emmanuel Carroyer raised his eyebrows while watching his arm. It hasn’t been a peculiarly easy evening.

It wasn’t a peculiarly easy year too.

For most people, it was World War Two.

For Those-Who-Knew, it was the Seventh Occult War.

Those-Who-Knew knew that, at the current time, everywhere in the world, nations had at their disposal anomalous objects they desperately try to understand the working of. They were getting those objects out of museums, or they were sending archeological expeditions in strategic locations, or they were searching records, or they were requisitioning them among rich owners, or they were buying them.

During the Seventh Occult War, it was the governments which were in charge of Singularities, the main actors of the anomalous world were the nations. After all, an all-out-war isn’t called all-out for nothing.

The SCP Foundation was too distracted by its civil war against the Chaos Insurgency which had just taken her independency, The Global Occult Coalition didn’t exist yet, and the few companies specialized in selling and producing anomalies were dictating their rules and their prices to which whole countries were submitting themselves. In the middle of all of this, Nazis ruled the roost. The terrible Obskurakorps, those SS of the paranormal, were spreading terror among Those-Who-Knew.
For most people, those were hard times.

For Those-Who-Knew too.

Emmanuel Carroyer was one of Those-Who-Knew. And as a member of SAPPHIRE, he was making sure to ignore it.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here? asked the SS-Sturmbannfürher Schäfer while walking down the stairs to the cellar with halting steps. Do you have difficulty to establish… communication with our baker friend?

- Mein Sturmbannfürher! exclaimed one of the office while nimbly throwing away the croissant he wasn’t supposed to eat on his workplace. This man… This mister Carroyer seems to have reached a state of… ataraxia… He’s completely indifferent to pain! Look at his arm, sir! It’s almost in a liquid state!"

The SS-Sturmbannfürher Schäfer took a nonchalant look at the humble auxerrese baker’s forearm. His radius made a "blop". The nonchalant look turned into a fascinated one.

"Ataraxia, right…? What a fascinating word…

- Mein Sturmbannfürher, ventured to say the big officer who was handling the scepter who was still radiating on his victim, are you sure Levi’s Scepter is really working? I don’t know if we can trust those Jewish antiques as magic as they can be…

- This scepter is one of the priceless wonders I’m supposed to bring back to the Wunderwaffe for expert assessment. It… turn this off."

The fat man put it back up, cautiously turned off its beam by realigning a few movable rings, and put it back carefully on one of the bread oven.

"I had the opportunity, continued Schäfer, to test the scepter on many opportunity now. Always with extremely conclusive results. The type of energy he’s emitting has yet to be studied by the Wunderwaffe, but it seems it hit especially the nervous system of the targeted human beings. The perfect torture tool- you set it way too high, by the way. But… it seems the owner of this place has chosen to… ignore its effects? What was the point of this interview again?

- Mein Sturmbannfürher, this Frenchman is accused to have hidden several Jews here on the very basement of the bak-, started the big one.

- Jews among the most… esoteric ones in this region, continued the second. Kabbalistic ones. At least one rabbi, and his helpers. They were denounced by a judicious neighbor, then the standard SS unit sent here contacted us immediately when they discovered several important supernatural elements…

- Supernatural, please… complained Carroyer while rolling his eyes.

- You seem surprisingly not… afraid, mister Carroyer, noted the Sturmbannfürher Schäfer. Maybe you should rethink your serenity in front of the Schutestaffel?

- Oh but I was totally petrified when your men showed up, you know. But guess what? Spending the last three hours watching your men play with their magic staff, and be utterly disconcerted by my reaction – or rather my absence of reaction - in front of their buffoonery gave me time to get a grip on myself and become rational again. So don’t…

- I see, cut off the leader while turning to his officers. What kind of important supernatural items?

- Several blueprints, Kabbalistic coded drawing, ritual artefacts, anomalous and esoteric chemical formula and what looks like recipes, all written in Hebrew. Hard to translate, but it was quickly established it’s about golems.

- Again?

- Again.

- That’s why they made us do the trip? Please, we have attempts of golem uprisings every week, they’re all eliminated and hidden by the underling of the Reich! Don’t tell me we’re understaffed for these frivolities?

- Erm… It would seem that those golems are different. The Jews innovate, mein Sturmbannfürher. The basement of the bakery lent itself perfectly for mass production. Moreover, the dough used seems very different than the classic clay used for the usual golems. From what we understood, the retrieved documents talks about "Blood Dough" or something like that."

Schäfer approached one of the big vats were the bread dough was usually mixed. The dough was now hardened and rubbery. Not clay, though there was a similarity. Not bread dough, though there was a similarity.
Not flesh, though… there was a similarity.

"All of this becomes really pertinent, he delighted himself. Anything else?

- A whole crate in all likelihood once full of Judaic artifacts. Empty, they probably took everything with them when they ran away. They’re Jews, after all. They weren’t leaving empty handed.

- Hmm…"

Schäfer retrieved the scepter, fiddled with some rings, and targeted his finger. Aouch. It stings, even at the lowest intensity. It was well and truly working. This Carroyer…

He took out the wallet he found inside the coat in the hallway. He opened it. And got a card out.

"Membership card of the The Society of the Atheists Partisans of Progress for the Halt of the Irrational and Religious Enemy. Relevant. Absolutely relevant. This opens new possibilities, really. But makes other things less clear.

The nazi squatted down in front of his prisoner.

"SAPPHIRE isn’t very… cooperative with the Reich. SAPPHIRE isn’t cooperative with anybody. We have some big names of the research who claim to be part of your organization, but who get irritated as soon as we speak about the Ahnenerbe, Thor’s hammer or that kind of things. We keep them for mechanics and computer science, they’re doing a good job as long as it don’t involve paranormal and while they’re staying in their comfort zone. But generally speaking, SAPPHIRE isn’t very cooperative. So the question is: why cooperate with the Jews? It doesn’t make any sense.

- Listen, began Carroyer while sighing, that’s what I’m trying to tell you since the beginning. I can’t bear Jews, obviously.

- That’s common sense.

- But you should learn to differentiate anti-Judaism and antisemitism. We don’t judge people by their nose, us. I’m sorry to say that, but we at SAPPHIRE, we’re upright. Hitler rejects Christianism, that’s very good, I respect that, really. He rejects it because he thinks it’s too soft and prefer Islam instead, it’s infuriating. Himmler dream about all that rubbish about Atlantis and the Grail and wants to create a new Germanic pagan religion based on that shit, then it’s war."

There was a moment of hesitation.

"The war on SAPPHIRE’s side, I mean.

- Do you… realize you’re talking to a member of the Ahnenerbe? An Obskurakorps?

- Between the "Society for the Research and Education on the Ancestral Legacy" and the one to clear Humanity out of its naivety, i choose the one with the shinier acronym, thank you. You believe the moon is made out of ice? Pathetic. I’m only a baker, I didn’t study at the highest level, but I know enough to tell you that you’re an insult to Logic and the worst thing which had happened to Science in the last ten years."

Schäfer stared at Carroyer a moment, with an indescribable look painted on his face. He scratched his chin, open the mouth like he intended to speak, then stick the scepter in the baker’s knee while activating its beam.

Carroyer scowled while a faint smoke was coming out of its kneecap.

"I don’t believe in your bullshit, he grumbled. Your antique golden staff, there. I don’t believe in magic, nor in science-fiction, nor in any God, be it Jewish or Germanic. Your Singularity gives the impression of producing light without a light source. It gives the impression of damaging my body. It gives the impression of pain, probably. But that’s just smoke and mirrors, like the rest of your childish weaponry. I don’t believe it. I believe as much in my melting knee as in an ice composed moon. And fuck you.

- Ataraxia…repeated Schäfer while deactivating the beam. I don’t know if I should be fascinated or pity you, but I know I can’t break you. Not for the moment.

- Please, you’re speaking like a Jew. There are atheist Jews, it would seems. The difference between faith and race, once again. You’re interested in religion, I’m interested in race. No, actually, I’m interested in both. The Reich wants to get rid of both. So why collaborate with this rabbi?

- I like to think it’s easier to teach a believer that he’s wrong when he doesn’t have a bullet hole between the eyes.

- As for me…"

The Sturmbannfürher took a crate near the bread oven and sat down in front of the baker, serene. He spread several Hebrew plans on his lap and set about translating some parts.
He read Hebrew perfectly.

"As for me, I like to think ataraxia doesn’t exist. That you, members of SAPPHIRE, have a screw loose, I accept that easily. But that the simple will prevent you from feeling pain in your melting arm? Only because you’re firmly persuaded that the magic doings doesn’t exist? No. You’re made of nerves, like all of us. I’m going to tell you what I believe. I believe the Jews you hide here were particularly interested in atheism. I believed they thought: how not to be recognized as Jews? Physically and mentally now. The Obskurakorps, like you may know, now have an experimental technology able to determinate if such and such person is mentally Jewish. That’s right. Your refugees, anyway, knew it. So… why not try stopping being Jew the time things get better? Why not create a new body with a nice round nose and nice blond hairs. A body to transfer your spirit. Why not modify your spirit even, so no doubt can ever be appear? Becoming atheist for a moment, without driving suspicion?"

Schäfer put his hand under his coat. He took a small Star of David.

"That’s not an antique. It’s a classic yellow star made of fabric. Produced by the Reich for marking, like what? Two years ago? It belonged to a little girl. She achieved to enchant it, the clever girl. Lay it flat and she glows, indicating where the closest magical item is. The tip pointing in its direction lighten up, like a compass. A formidable tool, really.

- Let me guess. The baker was the golem the whole time? suggested Carroyer.

- And that’s why he doesn’t feel pain. A whole new sort of golem, of astonishing realism, as organically as spiritually. A "Blood Dough".

- A bit poor for a plot twist, no?

- Rather pertinent to me. Let’s see in which direction it points at, would you?
He laid it down. It pointed everywhere.

"Hmm. Interesting. The Blood Dough, I assume? But Blood Dough isn’t more than a substance animated by a magic spark. It isn’t an artifact. I don’t think so. Then…"

Schäfer turned around and made some gestures to his men, who headed towards the big vats of dough.

They dipped their arms in.
And took a corpse out of it.

"Well, well, well… smiled the SS without looking backwards. If it isn’t… Mr. Carroyer’s corpse, late member of SAPPHIRE ? Premeditated Murder and identity theft, then. Hahaha… You know what you’re in for?"

He took his gun out.

"Ach… Mein Sturmbannfürher? mumbled one the nazi while putting down the inert and sticky corpse on the basement’s underground.

- What is it ?

- Erm…erm… Mein Sturmbannfürher?"

The Sturmbannfürher turned around and casted an eye on the Sturmbannfürher’s inert corpse, an hole in the skull. Another the corpse was taken out of the vat.
Heinrich’s one, one of the soldier.
Then Alfred.





There was an awkward silence.


The SS-Sturmbannfürher Schäfer took the Levi’s Scepter. He stared at it lengthily. Activated it. Rolled up one of his sleeves.

He grimaced when the beam went through his wrist, but only by instinct.


Moment of hesitation.

"The… spirit modification technique was maybe a bit too…sophisticated… he muttered. Lure the Schutzstaffel. Kill them. Taking their shapes and memories while transferring the Jews’ spirits. The memories flunked, I guess…"

He coughed.

"Gentlemen, I think we’re finished here.

- But Mein… S… Sir, the Jewish artifac… Our magical items? Weren’t we supposed to retrieved them and… erm, bring them back South? At least, that was the plan of those we were hunting. According to the mole.

- Mole who was precisely supposed to give you the plans you had to follow, continued Carroyer. A nark who hate Jews on good authority. A member of SAPPHIRE. While your memories came back.

- But where did you hide…?

- The Star Heinrich, points at magical items. All around it. It’s not the golems which make it react like that.

- What?

- Don’t you feel a little heavy, Heinrich?

- Oh. Oooooh.

- We’re finished here. This evening we leave for the South. Obskurakorps don’t lack pretexts to do so. Take everything with you.

The fake-Nazis real-golems probably-Jews climbed up the stairs of Emmanuel Carroyer’s basement slowly and silently.

"Hey, aren’t you forgetting something? he hollered while only the legs of the Schäfer were still visible at the top of the stairs. Untie me, for example?

- Ah, indeed, the other answered. Well… You understand that if real SS go through here, we can’t leave a trail. Or a witness."

The steps of the stairs started to burn under the power of the barely hidden beam of the Levi’s Scepter.

"I’m… a bit sorry. But even if I don’t have access yet to my old memories- a rabbi from the Kabbala will surely find a way to give them back to me. – I’m well aware as a member of the forces of order of the persecutions made by SAPPHIRE against the chosen people during the late decades. It’s as much a preventive action as a… retroactive one, I guess. A bread oven incident, I’m afraid."

Carroyer didn’t even had the time to yell "Judas" before the flames engulfed the room.

While getting in the car with its golem comrades, the street only lit by the bakery burning behind him, the fake Sturmbannfürher realized "You're toast" would have been the perfect way to end the conversation.

He laughed by himself.

It was only at the moment to cross the border of the Occupied France to the zone libre that the bombs hidden in the golems’ bodies instead of their sacred artifacts blew up, like intended.

Far from there, in Auxerre, in a bakery’s smoking ruin, about twenty or so Jewish relics of immemorial mystic powers were reduced to a mix of ashes and molten metal.

Emmanuel Carroyer was a simple member of SAPPHIRE.
He was among Those-Who-Knew, and he didn’t like neither the Nazis, nor the Jews.

< 1933 | 1943 | 1953 >

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