Saturday morning was much like any morning, the girls were up fairly early, had breakfast, but instead of lectures they had arranged to go together to the University Gym Club for a session in the morning and then to have lunch in the cafeteria. After lunch, Jinnie was going to the gun club and Simone was going to the regular Cooking Club meeting. Jinnie jokingly told her to make something they could have to eat for Sunday lunch.
Jinnie was amazed when she saw the size of the gym it was far bigger and better equipped than then the one she used in Potters Bar. The girls changed into their gym things and put their street clothes into lockers and then walked into the main equipment room. There were rows of machines to choose from, some Jinnie knew and some quite new to her. Simone wanted to use the free weight equipment while Jinnie wanted to use the cardiovascular and resistance machines. A young man wearing a club tee-shirt and tight shorts, with a name badge on this chest saying ‘Gerhard’, approached them. He smiled cheerily and welcomed them to the club. He explained it was his job to assess the fitness levels of new members and to work out fitness programs for them. Jinnie explained that they were both regular gym users in their home countries and just wanted to pick where they had left off. That was not good enough for Gerhard, gym rules were rules and if they wanted to use the gym they had to do it his way or not at all.
Reluctantly the girls agreed and submitted to being weighed, measured and their blood pressure taken. Both, of course, were the correct weight for their height with normal blood pressure. Gerhard then sorted out a program for Jinnie using a running machine, stationary bicycle, rowing machine and crossover machine just as she requested. Meanwhile, Simone was going to lift dumbbells, do some bench presses and then use the punchbag. As Gerhard was entering all this into his computer Simone whispered to Jinnie, in English, that she would be imagining punching the officious Gerhard, not the bag. They arranged to meet for a swim in the Olympic sized pool in an hour.
When they met in the pool, Jinnie who considered herself a strong swimmer was put to shame by Simone who had a powerful front crawl. A quick shower and they were off for lunch in the cafeteria which was surprisingly full considering there were no lectures on a Saturday. They recognised that the low prices were a huge draw to students. Joining a table with several of their cohort, the talk was still all about Alexandre. A rumour had started that he had been a little ‘weird’. Nobody knew as much on the subject as Jinnie and Simone and they were not in a position to pass their knowledge on, so they just listened to the speculation. Jinnie asked what they meant as ‘weird’ and was told that despite his boasting of being a ‘ladies man’ no one knew of a girl he had dated.
At this point, Simone joined in saying that she had been at the same school as Alexandre in Nice, but hadn’t really known him as he was a year older. She continued saying he had asked her out on several occasions, but she had never accepted as she had been warned off by some of the other girls. He had a reputation of going out with a girl once or twice and being dumped, no one had ever told her why. Maybe it was because he was weird. Simone looked at her watch and said as much as she would love to gossip she had to run to the Supermarkt as she had to get stuff for the afternoon’s cooking club. One of the other girls said she would join her as she too was going to the club and she knew where the nearest Aldi was.
Jinnie made excuses and set off to the basement for the shooting butts. She was happy to find that Lukas had been as good as his word and her fingerprint let her in. A man who she didn’t know was sitting at the reception desk and, looking up, smiled and wished her good afternoon. She gave him her name and asked if the promised Glock 19 had turned up for her. The man, who must have been nearly 2 metres tall, told her he would check on the computer. He typed in his name ‘Willie’ and then a password which was blanked out. Jinnie had a little giggle when she realised she was dealing with ‘Big Willie’. Willie noticed her giggle and asked her why the English always found his name funny. She assured him that wasn’t the case and there was nothing at all funny about his name.
The computer search revealed that a new Glock was in the preparation room in Gun Locker K98. The locker had been set up to be opened by her fingerprint and the gun had been cleaned of its protective grease, lightly oiled and was ready for use. Willie ask her how many rounds she intended to fire and she said 50, but could she come back for more if she wanted them. Willie said of course that was OK, the state provided unlimited amounts of ammunition as they wanted to be able to identify good shots prior to their annual military training at Purity Camp.
Willie consulted the computer again, entered the number of rounds and the time and date, explaining that any unused rounds should be returned to him before she left, but she would have to pass through a metal detector on the way out. He allocated her a lane on the range and handed over a box of 50 9mm rounds from the ammunition store. Jinnie collected the gun and a pair of ear defenders from her new locker, replacing them with her phone and purse. She didn’t want her phone ringing just as she was taking a shot.
Jinnie found her lane and set up targets at various distances, some fixed and some to turn on a random timer. But first, she wanted to fire a few rounds over a short distance to check out how the gun shot. She went through her range drill putting 6 rounds into the magazine and hit the buzzer to warn others she was about to fire. The gun worked perfectly and it shot true. She fully loaded the magazine and proceeded to challenge herself to shoot her way through all 50 rounds at the various targets not missing a beat.
With the last round fired she went through the routine of checking the gun was empty and put the gun and magazine down on the table. She then became aware that Big Willie was standing behind her holding a rifle. Willie explained he had been watching her on the CCTV as the rumour had gone around the club that she was a wonderful shot and he wanted to see if it was true. Jinnie blushed, she really didn’t consider herself the shot that everyone seemed to think. He said he had brought his competition rifle as he wondered if he could tempt her into firing a few rounds with it.
Jinnie recognised it as a .308 bolt action with a telescopic sight but she had no idea of the make. Willie explained that it was a Unique Alpine UPG-1 with a fixed stock. It was a competition rifle and manufactured to order. It came in various calibres and this was a .308 which equated to the calibre of military rifles. He had chosen that because the 7.62mm ammunition was easy to source from the army. Jinnie had only shot a full bore rifle a few times, when she had accompanied Mike to a monthly East Barnet Club Day at Bisley. She hadn’t been wonderful, but then she had never really had any tuition or practice. She thought, well why not I’ve got nothing else to do this afternoon.
Willie was a patient teacher and took her through the slightly different etiquette of using a bolt action rifle to an automatic pistol where the shell case was ejected after each shot. He showed her the best stances for the three competition positions, how to use the sight and how to gently squeeze the trigger. She started off shooting from prone over 50 metres, then kneeling and finally standing. She found that the rifle being a lot heavier than a pistol she really needed to compose herself and get her breathing and heart rate down before firing. Willie was quite right, she had to be extremely gentle with the trigger as snatching at it tended to get her off-target. Just when she was happy she had got it, Willie suggested that she try a few shots over a longer distance. He explained that competition shooting was usually over 50 metres but the Army would give her credit for accurate shooting over 100 metres even 500 metres or 1000 metres. They could only offer 100 metres in the university range and to shot over longer distances you really needed to be outdoors, but distances could be simulated by using smaller targets. Willie explained that outdoor longer distance shooting was very different, you had to allow for things like wind and the fall of the bullet over distance or for extremely long distances like a sniper maybe even the Coriolis effect which was the spin of the earth.
Jinnie decided that she was enjoying herself too much to stop now and agreed to shoot over 100 metres. Willie had to disappear for a couple of minutes to fetch some more ammunition, so Jinnie sat down and composed herself and reflected on her afternoon. She really was quite elated on how well she was getting on with the full bore rifle and a bit of tuition. Jinnie fired another 50 rounds over the longer distance and by the end was consistently hitting the centre of the target.
Having put her gun away in her locker, recovered her phone and purse, Jinnie realised just how shattered she was. Thank heavens the boys were working tonight, she didn’t fancy a night out. A hot shower, a bite to eat and an early night would suit her fine. As she walked past the reception desk she said good night to Willie who was on his mobile phone. He waved for her to stop and quickly finished his call. He explained he had been talking with Dirk and he had a message for her. Jinnie began to wonder just how many of the university staff and students were in the resistance. Then it crossed her mind that if so many were why had she been tasked to get nuclear secrets? Dirks message was simple she was to expect a pizza delivery again tonight.
When Jinnie got home the flat was empty, so she climbed into the shower where she realised she had a bruised shoulder from the rifle butt. She was busy making coffee when she heard Simone come in banging the front door. It soon became apparent that Simone wasn’t very happy. It seemed that the cookery club leader had decided to get them all cooking famous dishes from the home countries of the club members. She had told them that in the coming weeks the would be making such delights as Hungarian goulash, profiteroles, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, paella, Sacher Torte but today was beef bourguignon. Simone said it was the one thing her mother had taught her to cook and she had come home with a huge Leifheif storage container full.
Jinnie sat her down, gave her a coffee and suggested that they could invite the boys to lunch tomorrow and use up the stew, but it was just a pity she hadn’t yet been taught how to make Sacher Torte yet so they would have to buy dessert. Simone hit her with a cushion. Jinnie then told her of her afternoon and that they were to expect another pizza delivery around six o’clock. Paolo duly arrived with a large cheese and tomato pizza, a bottle of Fritz-Kola and the message. Firstly he told them that Alexandre had died and the police were interviewing anyone who could be identified from his collection of videos as they felt it was deliberate. A car had been found burnt out in woods 50 kilometres away and the police thought it might have been the one involved. However, it had been reported stolen a week ago and the fire had destroyed any forensic evidence. At the moment there was no connection to the girls.
Paolo then told Jinnie that later that night she was needed to assist in an action. She was to meet Big Willie in the outside the cafeteria at eight that evening, to dress warmly and to bring her Glock with its two full magazines. Willie would explain what was required when they met. Then he turned to Simone and told her that she was going to be involved but she was to dress as if on a date.
The girls turned up a bang on time and Willie and another man neither girl knew immediately met them by the cafeteria entrance. Willie handed Jinnie a crash helmet and they headed off to a BMW 1250cc Motorbike, which he started and then told her to climb on. They shot off, followed by a car which she guessed contained Simone and the other man. They headed south out of Berlin and just as Jinnie thought she could get no colder they pulled up in a gateway to a field. A few minutes later the car joined them. Jinnie and Willie slid into the back of the warm Mercedes where Willie briefed them. Simone and the driver, Axel, were to stay where they were and act as lookout. From where they were they could see about a kilometre in either direction along the long straight country road and, as it was getting dark, they would see headlights a long way off. If necessary they were to pretend to be a courting couple.
Willie and Jinnie we’re going a little further down the road, to where there was a path for maintenance workers up the embankment, to the Berlin to Dresden Intercity Railway tracks. Not far along from the top of the path was a set of points to switch trains between the slow and fast lines. They were going to sabotage the points and crash a troop train. Jinnie was to be his guard while Willie fiddled with the box that controlled the points. She was handed a clicker and a receiver earpiece to communicate surreptitiously with the lookouts who were similarly equipped.
The bike was hidden in bushes near the foot of the path up the embankment. Jinnie and Willie climbed to near the top and waited. Willie checked his watch, a scheduled service was due shortly and once it was past he had 8 minutes before, according to an informant, the troop was due to pass. The area had been checked out by a reconnaissance team over the previous three nights and no alarms had been found on the control box or any CCTV surveillance. While the waited for the regular service to pass Willie explained that tonight the resistance right across Greater Germany and the German-occupied nations were coordinating attacks and in the next half hour there would be ‘accidents’ and ‘incidents’ in many countries. Tonight was to be the start of a major campaign.
The tracks began to hum and shortly after the regular service whistled past a few metres above them. Willie leapt up and hurried over to the control cabinet producing a key to open it. Jinnie remained in the slight cover but was poised with pistol in hand. Willie’s first job was first to interfere with the repeater circuit that relayed the status of the points to the signalling centre. This would show the signalman that the points on the fast track always set for straight ahead. Next Willie would activate the points to switch the traffic on the fast track to the slow track. There was a 30 kph speed limit on the switch over and the aim was to derail the fast-moving troop train which would with any luck would tumble down the embankment wiping out the control box in the process.
Four minutes later Willie was back with Jinnie and they hurriedly returned to the motorbike. They had just reached the lookout car when an almighty noise erupted behind them. Pausing for a few moments, it appeared from their distant viewpoint that there were carriages spread over the wooded embankment and fire had broken out in half a dozen places. As the two vehicles steadily drove away Simone turned to see if she could see how much damage had been done. She couldn’t be sure, but it looked like the lead power car was on fire at the bottom of the embankment. All the carriages appeared to have followed it with the trailing power car sitting on top of two crushed carriages.
In Chapter 11 – Jinnie gets closer to her objective.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file