Special Ops Captain Stuart Mackenzie is good at what he does and what he does is kill. But he no longer sees the medals on his chest, only the blood on his hands. Believing he’s no better than the murderous Nazis he kills, Stuart nonetheless is convinced the fate of the world rests on his undeserving shoulders. The Nazis can never be defeated as long as they control the supernatural power of the spear plunged into Christ at the crucifixion.
Someone needs to wrest control of it from Hitler's evil hand.
Scoffed at by his skeptical superiors, Stuart perverts his assigned mission into a personal quest for the spear. But along the way, will he find absolution?
He recruits a crew of misfits including a naive college professor, a Negro cook, a drunken coward and two thieves. With obsolete cast-off weapons and equipment, they set out into the middle of the fiercest fighting of the Battle of the Bulge.
Can mundane weapons defeat supernatural powers from the pit of Hell? Or does any hope of an Allied victory rest on Stuart and his quest for the Unholy Grail?
Last summer, the enemy seemed to be reeling on the verge of defeat, but they had come back, raising new armies with supernatural speed and halting our forces on every front. Yesterday they had launched a surprise offensive, breaking through a quiet sector of the front in Belgium and driving us back. The war seemed destined to continue indefinitely.
And so it would, unless I could carry out my plans. For the success of the German armies was not based on superior flesh and blood, but on the occult powers of an ancient artifact, an artifact said to have slain the very Son of God.
But my military superiors had no faith in such "superstitious mumbo-jumbo". They scoffed when I said we couldn't defeat magic with tanks and guns and planes.
"Combat fatigue," they whispered behind my back. They transferred me out of the Special Operations Executive to languish in a "less demanding" post in Intelligence.
And so the war and the killing and destruction continued.
The major looked rather as if he had expected me to be his only volunteer. He stepped over and handed me the file he had been holding.
"Everything you need to know is in there. You'll be detached to CIOS for the duration of the mission, which I dare say will probably last until the end of the war." He held out his hand. "It's been a pleasure working with you, Captain Mackenzie." His words seemed impersonal, nothing more than a ritual formula for parting.
"Thank you, sir." The feeling was mutual.
After we shook hands, he went into his office and closed the door, leaving me with my new assignment. I wasn't sure, but as the door swung shut, I thought I heard him mutter, "Two birds with one stone..."
I flipped through the file. CIOS stood for the Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee. Commander Ian Fleming was looking for volunteers to organize and command "T Forces" to accompany our advancing forces into enemy territory to seize and secure advanced enemy technology and secret weapons. To my delight, it was all I hoped for and more: detached duty with a blank check for equipment and personnel, a dream come true.
But normal people don't have the sort of dreams I do -- the sort that regular guys with a wife and a job and a mortgage can't even imagine -- hands rubbed raw from washing, but still sticky with blood, and in the distance piles of decaying corpses with accusing eyes, the endless ranks of the black-uniformed inmates of hell, impatiently biding their time and waiting... for me.
I grinned at the irony that the very bureaucracy that had ignored or scoffed at me for so long, had now absent-mindedly provided the very resources needed to go after the enemy's fount of magical power... the Unholy Grail