When the bullets began to fly, Clem slipped away to Dr. Scott’s study. Upending a bottle of whiskey he had set aside for this very occasion, he doused the doctor’s laboratory notebooks and then tossed a lit match onto the stack. By the time the flames had spread to the carpet and the other bookshelves, Clem was already down the stairs and out the back door.
The moment Clem stepped around the side of the house he was nearly decapitated by a stream of machinegun fire. He ducked back behind the corner as scraps of wooden siding and chunks of lumber rained down onto the brim of his ten gallon hat. Pressing himself flat against the ground, he risked a quick glance at the source of the gunfire.
The Nazis had a walking tank. One of its arms ended in a machine gun with rotating barrels, and the other ended in a wrecking ball of a fist. This was a panzer-kampftruppen, a prototype Clem recognized from blueprints he had seen in the Terra Arcanum headquarters.
That’s the problem with Nazis, Clem thought. They tend to go to extremes. This trait usually made it easy for the Terra Arcanum to manipulate them, but once in a while it caused some minor setbacks.
The walking tank was not swift, but its resounding footfalls drew inexorably closer to him. Then, a stroke of luck: Kate Boone broke from behind a small hillock, firing as she ran. Her shots pinged uselessly off the panzer’s steel chest-plate, but it was enough to draw the metal monster’s attention long enough for Clem to sprint to the barn to join the director and the scientist.