Spores: The Final Assault 7
It’s Just a Subtle Warning ...
Józef Novak of Novak Industries has been contracted by Eric Singleton to complete the first phase of the Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost Project. Mr. Novak’s organization is experienced in mixing agricultural ingredients for some of the best known supplier of fertilizers. The work is being overseen by Józef’s eldest son, Alfonz.
“How is production coming along, Alfonz?” Eric inquires.
“Very well, Eric. I wish you could give me more information regarding this Advanced ALZ-903 Formula. I have never seen an ingredient adhere with such ferocity as this does with my Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash mixture. It fits like hand in glove.” Alfonz marvels.
“The least you know about this—the better. Trust me when I tell you this, Alfonz old comrade. I have made it my business not to question anything that Baron Marko Balogh is involved in.” Eric explains.
“But doesn’t Baron Balogh have a Granary in the South of France somewhere.” Alfonz pushes the point further.
“Look Al, do you remember that fiasco with Colonel Schneider?” Eric counter questions.
“Of course I do. There are still rumors circulating regarding that nasty bit of business.” Alfonz answers and the two men walk together around the facility, watching the men unload the shipments of ALZ-903.
“It is hinted that this will be bigger than that. Now, that is all I am allowed to say. I do not wish to get on the wrong side of either Baron Marko Balogh or Baron Heinrich Schröder.” Eric leaks out, then quickly covers his mouth.
“Both Barons?” Alfonz gasps in surprise. “Eric, we are treading on dangerous ground here. You are right—I do not want to know anything more about this project. Let’s just make sure that the rest of this new shipment is safely unloaded.”
Both men continue their trek throughout the Shipping and Receiving Station of Novak Industries. When one man almost drops a wooden crate that he is loading unto a forklift—Alfonz rushes to the location and begins giving the man a very firm reprimand.
“I am sorry, Mr. Novak. It will never happen again.” The man retorts soberly.
“See to it that it does not or there will be very grave consequences.” Alfonz rebuttals as he hurries back to Eric.
“You handled that very well.” Eric retorts. He is a stern believer in discipline.
“That man is one of my most trusted employees, Borut Zupan. For him to make a fumble like that—he must know something.” Alfonz turns back to watch as Borut’s supervisor allows another one of his subordinates to finish the assignment.
“You may want to quiz him later. We cannot have too many slipups on this. He will need to discuss whatever he thinks he knows with no one.” Eric gives Alfonz a knowing look and begins to leave.
“I will report to you my findings.” Alfonz reassures the man.
“Yes, you do that.” Eric throws back as he heads toward the front office.
About two hours later, the last of the crates have been successfully relocated and Alfonz gives Eric a summary of the information he gleams from Borut.
“Tell me what you have found out, Alfonz?” An impatient Eric queries.
“Borut Zupan, that’s the employee I was reprimanding earlier, well he says that the shipment is from the Foundation for the Expansion of Genetic Exploration and it is their prize project.” Alfonz reveals.
“That much I know, Alfonz. Is there anything else?” Eric probes further.
“Yes, there is an American biochemist—a Dr. Abigail Huber in charge of the research.” Alfonz adds.
“I know of the woman, but she was working with Dr. Holloway’s staff. Back then they were working on an animal behavior serum.” Eric remembers hearing bits and pieces of conversations he overheard by a couple of Colonel Schneider’s men.
“Eric, what have you gotten us into?” Alfonz sounds quite anxious.
“Did you tell this Borut Zupan to button up his lip?” Eric is sitting at his desk, rifling through some old papers he retained regarding the Alpha 1-X Project.
“I pay him well to use discretion. You pay me well to do the same. As I told you in my preliminary findings—the serum works great with the fertilizer. I will just be glad when my leg of the assignment is done. I don’t like this—” Eric cuts in.
“You are not being paid to like anything, Alfonz. You are paid to do a job and to do it well. Your father has put you in complete control of this leg of the operation. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.” Eric raises his voice slightly.
“You don’t have to speak to me in that tone of voice, Eric. We have worked on many projects together. This should be no different.” Alfonz is trying to convince himself more that he is trying to convince his friend.
“I am sorry, Al but this is very important. There is no margin for err on our part. Each one of my contacts must do his part efficiently and discreetly.” Eric apologizes to his friend. Suddenly, a shot rings out and Alfonz almost drops the phone.
“It came from the warehouse—I will call you back, Eric.” Alfonz rushes out of the main offices and heads for the warehouse. Several of the men have gathered around what appears to be a body—it is Borut Zupan. There seems to be blood seeping from the side of his head as if he is just grazed. Another man speaks up.
“We were just talking about the shipment when a stranger started walking toward us.” Cvetko Šušter his supervisor commences “And then the man pulls out his gun. If Borut hadn’t suddenly turn to his right—”
“He’s be dead now.” Alfonz finishes the sentence. “Someone tell the main office to get an ambulance here quickly. Just lie there still, Borut. The rest of you search the area.”
The men fan out and begin to search every corner of the warehouse. There is no sign of the assailant but apparently he didn’t want to be found with the evidence. A pair of rubber gloves along with a Manurhin Model MR73 Revolver are found in a receptacle near the back of the warehouse. Cvetko brings it to Alfonz after fishing it out with a pair of rubber gloves much like the ones he retrieves. Józef Novak has also heard the ruckus and makes an appearance.
“What is going on?” He barks, then looks down at Borut. One of the secretaries has administered first aid and moments later the paramedics arrive.
“We’ll take it from here.” One of the paramedics replies as the other informs Józef that the police will be there soon. Alfonz eyes his father, then shakes his head.
When the police arrive, they begin to interrogate the warehouse crew and get a description of the man. The investigator in charge goes back to Alfonz and his father.
“From the description, it looks like it could be Enej Vargo”
“But that man is a known assassin!” Józef retorts in shock.
“Yes, and I want to know why he would be at your warehouse. The fact that Mr. Borut Zupan is still alive is no accident—it’s more of a warning. What’s going on here, Mr. Novak?” Detective Peter Lapac asks.
“I’d like to know that myself?” Another voice questions. It is Dominic LaRue.
To Be Continued ...
Spores: The final Assault 8
- Spores: The Final Assault 8
With Borut Zupan recovering at home from a graze to the forehead, Dominic LaRue returns to his hotel suite trying to put the pieces of this mystery together. When he has his secret interview with Cvetko Šušter, the supervisor for Borut.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS