She walked along the darkened street, wary of patrols, darting from pool to pool of lamplight. Her handler was camped out in the darkest and dingiest exurb of Berlin by necessity; the information that was being passed through him was sensitive enough to change the course of their mutual struggle, and explosive enough that the police weren’t the only concern.

If she or her handler were caught, they’d never make it to the secret police interrogation cell. The citizens of Berlin would tear them to pieces with their bare hands.

“You’re late.” Her handler was standing in the doorjamb of a hovel, a lit cigarette drooping from his lip.

She scowled. “I’m absolutely on time. Stop trying to throw me off balance for your own amusement. And put out your cigarette; you’ll attract attention.”

“Always so fiery,” the handler chuckled. “I hope your information is just as incendiary.”

She handed over a slip of paper. “Straight from the lion’s mouth. Heinrich’s complete itinerary, including public appearances, maneuvers, and training exercises.”

The handler eagerly took up the paper. “You’re sure there will be no changes to it?”

“It is the final draft.”

“And what of security? Guards?”

The woman held out a second slip. “The complete security schedule as well. Surprisingly slight for a figure of national importance, one so vital to the Germans.”

“You realize that if it becomes known that you have passed this information on to the British-”

“I believe in what we’re doing,” she replied, cutting him off. “And I expect to be well-paid for my espionage.”

“Oh, you certainly, certainly will.” The handler was gleefully rubbing his hands together. “And in the meantime, we’ll arrange an ambush for Heinrich. Sudden and brutal, as befits someone who’s taken down so many of our boys in the field.”

And, sure enough, the attack went forward as planned. The morning after, the major American papers across the ocean trumpeted the events: GERMAN NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM MEMBER TOBIAS HEINRICH ATTACKED, LEG SHATTERED; UK STANDS TO WIN WORLD CUP ON NEWS OF BEST GERMAN PLAYER’S INJURY.

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