In Waking I Dream, the sequel to Dreaming I Wake, we pick up with Jim’s disabled sister, Joan.
When she was recruited into the OSS right out of college, math prodigy Joan McQueen quickly made an impression as undercover agent material. Her photographic memory and subsequent training in cryptology led to an assignment behind enemy lines. She was parachuted into Switzerland and crossed the French border at Geneva in the company of a locally-turned native agent. Her mission was to deliver a new encryption key, committed to memory, to a radio operator embedded near Marseilles in Nazi-controlled France.
She and her fellow agent Markus, with whom Joan had fallen in love, were both captured during their return. Markus was fatally shot attempting escape, while Joan was injured and transported to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin for interrogation. Here she met SS doctor Jochen Schweiger and recognized him from the recurring nightmares she’d had all her life. To keep her sanity intact, she retreated inward, reciting pi and prime numbers in her head until she passed out from the pain.
Her dreams are set in a future life, a future time. She could tell by the clothes people wore, and the cars. There were these things like radios, but with accompanying picture screens like at the movies, but much smaller, and there was one in every home. Refrigerators. Hospital equipment. Hairstyles. The music she could hear playing on car radios. Even the food was different. Usually she was happy in the dreams, but some turned into nightmares in which she was six years old, crippled and helpless in a state institution, and unable to fend off a middle-aged predatory doctor named Joseph Shiner.
Joan realized her Nazi torturer and dream Shiner are one and the same man, and that she had the power to kill him before he can prey on her future dream self. Joan was freed during an Allied raid but Schweiger escaped justice at Nuremburg in the resulting confusion. Through her contacts at the CIA and the Office of War Information, she spent the next twenty years on his trail, tracking him around the globe, from Spain to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Micronesia, Australia, India, and finally Egypt, before his trail went cold.
After the war ended, stories about Schweiger began to surface. That he liked bondage and rape and torture was well-known, but if one went back far enough, one heard whispers from those who knew him. Whispers about his too-eager interest in animal husbandry, which may or may not have led to his abrupt departure from the rural town he grew up in. Whispers about some controversial experiments on human subjects he may or may not have performed while in medical school in Saxony at Universität Leipzig.
By far, though, the most disturbing whispers revolved around Schweiger’s “crab people.” During his stint with the Nazis, Schweiger may or may not have systematically and repeatedly broken prisoners’ upper and lower arms and legs, resulting in that horrifying descriptive. They were found chained and psychically broken beyond repair, shrieking at anyone who came near. All of them mercifully died within weeks of their rescues. Joan went to visit her in Gdansk.
She didn’t get a real break, though, until she met Simon Weisenthal in Linz, Austria, in 1961. The famed Nazi hunter and founder of the Jewish Historical Documentation Center gave her a tip about a suspected escapee who may have been working as the ship’s doctor on a cruise ship. The SS America had a rich history as a WWII troop transport, gathering her dark reputation as a ghost ship after the notorious Duquesne spy ring was uncovered onboard. With help from her aunt Tina, Joan stalked Schweiger to the ship at sea, where her revenge became complete.