Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Another Disappearing Act ...
It is early Wednesday about 3:00 am when Abigail calls her husband Albrecht. He answers the phone drowsily and somewhat annoyed.
“It’s me, Abby.” Abigail whispers into the receiver.
“Oh Abby! Is everything alright there? It has been so long since I last saw you.” Albrecht complains.
“I know Al. To answer your question—all is not well.” Abigail whispers.
“I thought as much. I received a distressing call from my nephew, Erhard and there have been men dressed in black suits watching our home.” Albrecht is whispering as well.
“Men in black suits?” Abigail queries in alarm.
“Yes, for some time now. They also ride in black Mercedes. I don’t like it Abby. You never should have got involved with that Baron Schröder.” Albrecht scolds.
“You are one to talk.” Abigail throws back at him. “This has been a continuous nightmare. We should have gone to Lucerne. At least there would have been some asylum. You had to take that job at the Zurich Airport.”
“Woman—did you call me at this ghastly hour to argue?” Albrecht has had enough.
“No, Al and I am so sorry. I thought that working with Baron Schröder would be a dream but instead it has become a nightmare.” Abigail is on the verge of tears.
“I am sorry too, dear Abby. You have done so much for me and my family—my dear sister Monika. And how do I repay you? With discord that’s how.” Albrecht responds in remorse.
“We are both under a great strain. I promise that if we come out of this alive—” Abigail is suddenly silent as she hears a sound near her door. Putting down the phone, she quietly creeps out of bed and moves toward the noise. It abruptly stops and after a few moments, she returns to the phone.
“I am sorry Al. I heard a sound at my door.” Abigail explains.
“How soon will you be finished with that latest batch of serum?” Albrecht questions.
“I’m not sure—we’ve run into an instability problem. Why?” Abigail responds.
“Erhard has suggested a way out—temporarily that is. It will consist of leaving the estate and just taking a small valise.” Albrecht asserts.
“How am I supposed to escape the confines of the Baron’s Laboratory here in this remote location? And once the complex is completed in Stäfa—” Albrecht impatiently interrupts.
“Quiet woman! Enough with your excuses. You will need to make your move before being transferred to the new facilities. I love you but you American women can sometimes be impossible to reason with. I will try to get in touch with you later today. We both need to get some rest and keep our wits about us.” Albrecht allows his German authoritarianism to get the better of him. Abigail’s response is restrained.
“Yes, you are right. I will attempt to get some sleep. Good night, Al.”
“Good morning, Abby.” Albrecht ends the call.
A figure moves away from the door. He has a small devise in his hand that is designed for reconnaissance purposes. He exhibits a satisfied look on his face. The observer is Henri Zupan.
“This is good.” Henri thinks to himself. “Very soon Baron Schröder will be out on the proverbial limb. I must report my findings to Baron Balogh. It looks like it’s time for another disappearing act.
Later that same morning …
Heinrich Schröder pushes back from a thoroughly satisfying breakfast. The workmen have been toiling nonstop on the Stäfa Industrial Complex and it is near completion—way ahead of schedule. He is still however perplexed by the previously disturbing developments. He calls Henri to his Conservatory.
“You say that you followed Eric Singleton to his apartment and there he remained?” Heinrich quizzes.
“That’s right, Baron.” Henri responds looking dapper in his dark blue suit.
“Hmm. He must have made his escape after you left then.” Heinrich replies.
“That’s a possibility.” Henri knows to only answer in as fewer words as necessary. Since his association with the Baron has always been strictly formal, it would look suspicious to respond otherwise.
“It’s as if he simply vanished.” The Baron continues and Henri only nods, immune to the apparent scrutiny.
Soon the Baron tires of this one-sided conversation and dismisses Henri. He leaves the room completely satisfied in the knowledge that Heinrich Schröder doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on.
After doing a complete sweep of the Baron’s seasonal residence, Henri makes his way toward Baron Balogh’s manor. He arrives at the same time Sophia leaves for her midmorning charitable duties. They exchange pleasantries.
“Good morning, Henri! Sorry I can’t stay to chat but I have a meeting with my Preservation Auxiliary.” Sophia gives Marko a sweet peck on the lips and is gone in a mass of pink ruffles and velvet. As soon as his wife is out of hearing, Marko speaks.
“Henri, good to see you. I trust that you were not observed coming here?” Marko extends a well-manicured hand and the two men shake vigorously.
“No one, Baron Balogh. Besides, half the staff is on our side. People are getting fed-up with Baron Schröder’s arrogance. He has their compliance but as for respect and admiration—that has departed.” Henri reassures him.
“An unfortunate trait that Henrich acquired from Colonel Schneider. At first, people were won over by his style and savoir-faire. Then, he pushed his agenda with cruelty and brute force. The Colonel could never understand finesse.” Marko shakes his head, baffled.
“Baron, I overhead a conversation Dr. Huber had with her husband. It was about 3:00 this morning.” Henri changes reflections.
“Oh!” Marko responds.
“I took the liberty of bugging her telephone. Baron Schröder knows nothing about it. It appears that her husband Albrecht is being closely observed. Also, Dr. Huber is having difficulty with the new super enhanced formula.” Henri further asserts.
“Now that’s very interesting, Henri.” Marko watches his friend intently. “Why don’t you ever call me Marko?”
“I respect your title.” Henri asserts.
“And I cherish your friendship.” Marko counters. “You have an unwavering loyalty which is admirable these days.”
“Thank you, Baron—Marko. Anyway, I think it is time for a little intervention. I know that Erhard has spoken to Albrecht. Baron Schröder has definitely been using him as leverage against the good doctor.” Henri rejoinders.
“And, with Monika Huber and her family safely tucked away, Albrecht is the only weapon Heinrich can utilize. Yes, let’s take that leverage away from him. Advise Erhard to give this man another call. You meet with him and give him the same card you gave to Eric Singleton.” Marko advises.
“I will. Then I will very discreetly let Dr. Huber know what is going on. One of the technicians, Beth can be trusted. She has a way of relaying information and crediting it to the Rumor Mongers.” Henri laughs and Marko joins him.
“There is one other thing that we must do as well.” Marko decides.
“And what is that?” Henri inquires.
“We must eliminate any written record of the ALZ-903 formula. It must be rooted out from any and all hiding places and destroyed. There must not be a trace of it for anyone to ever exploit again!” Marko is adamant.
“What about Dr. Huber? She is the most knowledgeable regarding this project.” Henri interjects.
“She will have to be dealt with. We will grant her full pardon and asylum on the agreement that she must never use the serum again under any circumstances. Failure to concede will be fatal for her.” Henri now studies Marko’s face and realizes that the man is deadly serious. He agrees that this madness has to come to an end. This must be the final assault of the Spores!
To Be Continued …
Spores: The Final Assault 18
- Spores: The Final Assault 18
Sometimes it takes a swift kick in the pants for some people to learn their lesson. This is the case involving spoiled little rich boy Baron Heinrich Schröder who, throughout his entire existence, has been pampered and indulged by his doting mother.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on October 16, 2020:
The walls are slowly closing in on the Baron!