Batman: A New World

Ch23 The Incredible World Of Mr Freeze

The Incredible World Of Mr. Freeze

by Brian Mark

Viktor Fries had been presented with an apparently insurmountable dilemma. Work for whoever ultimately was responsible for this secret operation, or risk the life of his beloved Heidi.

In effect, he was being forced to discover the ultimate solution, and find the cryogenic version of eternal life, again. He was being forced to conduct research into weapons, that would perform in extremely cold temperatures, again. He was left wondering just how long it would be, before he was asked to develop a new form of rodent control, again !

My God, it was the same dilemma he had faced at the hand of the Nazis ! But his would be the same solution, he adopted, when working for THEM, … bide his time, sabotage the most potentially dangerous aspects of his own work, and break free, with Heidi.

There had been one happy bi-product of the cryogenic process, to which they had both subjected themselves. Heidi was totally cured ! The blood formula, together with the freezing process, had removed some, then killed the remainder of the bacteria that lay behind her degenerative disease !

- Fries, Skinner asked Viktor one day, we 're looking for a type of stealth aircraft, that can fly high in freezing cold temperatures, at great speeds, and not freeze up in the process.

- ( Not for one moment thinking that the idea would be taken seriously. ) Why not make the wings and fuselage of ice. It is, after all, totally pervious, absorbing all forms of radar. Taking off in temperatures of - 20 degrees or more, it can initially support the heat of propeller engines. Then, at altitude, switch to scram jets !

During the war, Viktor had been part of the initial design team behind the concept of the Sturmgewehr 44, the revolutionary new Assault Rifle designed for German Troops on the Russian Front.

A whole range of weapons, vehicles and technology, in general, would be required to equip a specialist force of Arctic Commandos. Somehow, Skinner, and the powers that be, knew that Viktor was their man, but how ?

It did not take him too long to work that one out ! ... Dimitri Kharkov. It just had to be his old friend Dimitri Kharkov ! Some old friend, I might hear you say, but no. Dimitri would have been one formidable opponent on the chessboard, always thinking any number of moves ahead.

At this juncture, of course, we need some further background information ! You see, Viktor first came across Dimitri, when working on the Nazi Atomic Weapons Project. Doktor Dimitri Kharkov was Ukrainian, and believed by the Nazis to be Anti-Russian. His speciality seemed to be the delivery system required to speed a wonder weapon to its target.

Until one day, Viktor had stumbled upon Kharkov taking secret photographs of the files. He was, in fact, working for the Americans ! He had been recruited by the O.S.S., the forerunner to the C.I.A., to spy on the progress being made by the Nazis in developing an Atomic Bomb. Greatly relieved he was, to find that Viktor was as anti-Nazi as he was, and, together, they became great friends, while covertly undermining Hitler's war effort, and, coincidentally, working together in the field of cryogenics !

The Americans engineered an escape for Dimitri, to bring him to America, to Los Alamos, to take part in the project that ultimately led to the World 's First Atomic Bomb. The only thing was, that Dimitri Kharkov was ultimately working for the Russians, and had been passing on all America's Nuclear Secrets to the Motherland. He was, in effect, the consummate triple agent ! Once, when he seriously thought that his cover might be blown, he made contact with Viktor in America, and entrusted him with his true identity:

- Lieutenant Colonel Dimitri Kharkov, of the Special Assault and Kommando Brigade, the Red Army !

Originally a very accomplished young scientist, Dimitri had rapidly risen through the ranks, as a brilliant and creative commander, in one of Russia's elite military units. Viktor, believing that it would be better for the world, if a balance of nuclear power could be created, helped Dimitri convey the information to his contacts, and maintain his cover as an American Secret Service operative !

Putting two and two together, Viktor reckoned that, if Gunther Grintz had been employed by an American operation in the general field of cryogenics, then, quite possibly, by the same token, Dimitri might not be far behind either. Weapons Technology and Cryogenics had been a speciality of his, after all. And, of course, also by the same token, surely the Russians would be involved in this whole business, somewhere along the line ! They always seemed to be before !

Viktor was soon to learn, that the research facility was located in a long glacial valley, and that, not too far, further up that valley, there was a military base and manufacturing unit, that was producing prototypes of all the weapons and vehicles he was helping to design. Based there, were hundreds of unfortunate men, mostly on the young side, who had either been invalided out of the regular army, with degenerative diseases, or had been promised excessive financial rewards as research subjects. Again, the blood formula and the freezing process combined, had cured those who had been ill. Yet, all bitterly resented what had happened to them.

- I wonder, ... he thought to himself. If Dimitri wanted to be involved in this whole show, I bet that is where he would be.

And so, it proved to be the case ! Viktor engineered a pretext, whereby he would need to visit the plant, and, lo and behold, there was his old friend ! He, too, had been cryogenically frozen, and was in exactly the same predicament as Viktor. He had, of course, been passing on secrets upon secrets to the Russians !

- Little do these cowboys know, that an army of Cryo Russian Arctic Commandos operates across the Bering Straits, Spetznaz-trained, and ready for action at a moment's notice ! And yet, at the same time, I can command units of Cryo American Troops as well !

All of a sudden, a plan of escape and revenge emerged ! Dimitri, once he could slip away, and team up with his fellow countrymen from that unit, could lead a Spartacus-style rebellion amongst all like-minded, unwitting victims of the Cryo-Process, on both sides of the Arctic Curtain, together with Viktor, and break out of their respective polar straitjackets. And it got even better !

Dimitri had expressed concerns to Skinner, about the safety of the military plants in the valley, because, at the head of that valley, there was a massive ice dam, created by global warming, that had at best three years, before it would burst and flood the valley. If so, it would burst with a force, that would utterly destroy all the buildings and facilities involved in the American side of the operation.

- Why don't we simply help nature along a little ? Joked Viktor.

- O Yes ! His old friend replied. I like it, Viktor, I like it !

And, not very long after, together they had raised a small army of American and Russian Ice Warriors, ready to embark on a campaign of escape and revenge, worthy of the great Spartacus himself !

But first, there was a little bit of unfinished business to take care of, .. Gunther Grintz ! Viktor had conducted rather a lot of research, and in more ways than one ! He had discovered, that it was Grintz, who had experimented on Monika !

Viktor had been working on the possibility of emulating the biological functions of various arctic wildlife, which can regulate which parts of their bodies stay warm, and which can stay cold. He pursued a line of reasoning, apparently to its conclusion, with a formula and surgical procedure, that should enable the ice-bound patient to operate in both worlds at will again.

Grintz secretly photographed all his research, reproduced the formula, and had the facility's surgeons perform the procedure.

- Well, hello once again, Herr Doktor ! Grintz proclaimed. Once again, I have been several steps ahead of you. I took the liberty of borrowing your research, and, once again, taking the opportunity, of being the first test subject. Behold ! ... I step outside into a temperature of -2 degrees !

As he does so, Viktor, rather clinically replies:

- Ah, Grintz, you must be referring to my musings and my games ! I often indulge in such activities, as I work with ideas in my head. I assure you, Herr Doktor, the research you describe was quite erroneous, and deliberately so.

( Whereupon, he slams the vacuum-sealed security door, Grintz has just used, and locks it. ) But do not worry, my old friend, you still have ... ( looking at his watch ) ... oh, I would say twenty seconds to live, ... but then, ... maybe that is of cold comfort to YOU !

Whereupon, Grintz begins to start decomposing, experiencing rapid putrification ! Death quickly follows.

- That is for Monika, you Schweinhund !

After a pre-arranged signal, the uprising begins. .. How ? All the Cryo American Troops have to do is open all the doors ! The regular guards and their commanders are quickly rendered incapable of responding to the break-out, suffering rapid heat-loss, and are quickly overcome by Viktor 's men. All that remains for him to do, before leaving with Heidi, is to warn the guards, that they must evacuate immediately, and head for higher ground.

And would you believe it, ( for Viktor certainly couldn't ! ) that, as Fries, Heidi and their band of arctic brothers look on, Dimitri appears as a co-pilot in an ice plane, powered by scram jets !

It fires high yield explosive missiles into the ice wall of the dam ! The whole massive wall gives way ! A massive surge of water floods the whole valley, totally demolishing every building in its path.

- Project Arctic Warrior has now been duly terminated, he exclaims, ... permanently !

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