Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
This is Serious Business ...
The second phase of the project takes place in a manufacturing area outside of Munich. The owner is Nils Björk and the facilities are called Björk Corporation. Eric Singleton ensures that there will not be another mishap similar to the one at the Novak Industries. Nil is handling the particulars and his men have been thoroughly briefed on what happened at the previous company.
“That was a very unfortunate mishap at Novak Industries.” Eric commences.
“Yes. You need not expect the same here, Herr Singleton. It is not the fault of Józef Novak. His son does not pay enough attention to detail when hiring like his father and I do. This younger generation—” Nil raises his hands in a dismissing manner.
“You are so right about that, Mr. Björk. This is why Phase 2 has been entrusted with the Björk Corporation. You are responsible for packaging the mixture and moving it to its final destination for storage and distribution.” Eric clarifies.
“da Mr. Singleton. I believe in keeping everything on a totally professional basis. Problems always arise when it is otherwise.” Nil gives a rather menacing smile that puts Eric in an uneasy state of mind.
“Here is your schedule, Mr. Björk. I will return on Friday to assess your progress.” Eric replies, then tipping his hat he moves toward his car. One of Nil’s cronies comes to join him.
“Americans.” Andrej Strojan retorts disdainfully. “Why does Marko Balogh put up with them?”
“It is because of his association with Heinrich, Andrej. That man looks very favorably on them. You know, he has that American biochemist working for him.” Nil surmises.
“da, that Dr. Huber. I will admit, for an American—she is brilliant.” Andrej grudgingly confesses.
“Let us hope that her intellect doesn’t wind her up in the same predicament as her predecessors.” Both men laugh.
Dominic has returned to his hotel, completely unconvinced that the incident at the Novak Industries has been satisfactorily explained. Why would Enej Vargo have been hanging around a manufacturing complex? He shakes his head as he enters his suite. Momentarily, the telephone rings.
“Nicki, how did your investigation go at Novak Industries with Detective Peter Lapac?” Shirley queries.
“A bit of a puzzlement, Shirl.” Dominic rejoinders. “Mr. Novak seems convincingly surprised, but I can’t put my finger on the entire circumstances surrounding the altercation. If Enej Vargo wanted to silence Borut Zupan—he could have. That man never misses.”
“Then it was a warning.” Shirley offers.
“Exactly. I knew you’d make a great agent someday.” Dominic replies.
“With the proper training.” Shirley laughs, then becomes serious again. “There is something definitely going on here, Nicki. And its somehow tied in with that plant serum they called ALZ-903. Did you get to look around the facilities?”
“We got a mini guided tour—Peter and I.” Dominic asserts. “They seem to have gotten a rather large shipment of something in metal containers. I couldn’t see anything really. The canisters were crated up and heavily protected by the workers.”
“There are a lot of pieces missing in this jigsaw puzzle.” Shirley decides.
“You’re right and the missing parts seem to be leading away from Baron Heinrich Schröder. I wonder—” Dominic pauses.
“You are thinking that the Baron may not be in this alone, aren’t you?” Shirley sits upright in her chair.
“Very perceptive, Dr. Watson.” Dominic chuckles. “What if there is another powerful figure involved in this. Someone who has a lot of influence, especially when it comes to manufacturing and distribution.”
“You mean someone like Baron Balogh? I seem to have read somewhere that he owns a granary—Superior Granary in Switzerland.” Shirley snaps her fingers.
“That would be too obvious. If you were going to delve into something a little bit on the shady side, you definitely wouldn’t want the tracks to lead back to you, now would you?” Dominic deduces.
“No, you would find a willing scapegoat to handle the dirty work. Making sure that if there were any loose ends—” This time Shirley pauses.
“You would hire a top gun to tie things up.” Dominic smiles. “However, a subtle warning sometimes does the trick, especially when valuable players are involved.”
“Remember, we are here to just observe and report back. This is not the time to be the hero.” Shirley reminds Dominic.
“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t try anything bold as long as you are in the picture. Besides, we are swimming in international waters. There would be large ripples if we went around pointing fingers.” Dominic says.
“So, what do we do?” Shirley questions.
“We follow the bread crumbs. I will asks my contact, Johannes Fischer. He is an individual who subtly plays on both sides of the fence. He will not betray a confidence, but he will steer a person in the right direction.” Dominic replies.
“Can this Johannes Fischer be trusted?” Shirley has her doubts.
“He is definitely a man who can be trusted in either situation. Like I said, he wouldn’t give me any particular information.” Dominic informs Shirley. “However, he’s good at navigating the waters. He knows who’s willing to provide valuable information for the right price and who’s subject to rat on you.”
“I’ll let you handle this, then. I’m going to do some sightseeing and a bit of shopping. After all, aren’t we supposed to be tourist? Besides, Army Intelligence supplied me with a hefty allowance.” Shirley considers this an added plus.
“Good idea, Shirl. I’ll pay Johannes a visit. See what he can provide me with. Strictly on the low-low. Then, I’ll meet you back here at the hotel and we can have dinner.” Dominic concludes.
“I’m glad we have adjourning rooms.” Shirley blushes.
“That way I can slip between the two rooms and no one will be the wiser. Army Intelligence will always do it up right.” Dominic acknowledges.
“Yeah, I just feel more comfortable that way. I’m not saying that you wouldn’t be on your best behavior—” Shirley lets her voice fall.
“No problem Shirl, I don’t take offense. We need to concentrate on business right now. After this assignment is over, well that’s a different story.” Dominic hangs up the phone and Shirley returns hers to the cradle as well.
Meeting with Johannes Fischer ...
It is later that evening when Dominic is able to meet privately with Johannes Fischer. There is a little out-of-the-way café called The Bronasta Zvezda (The Bronze Star) where Johannes safely meets with clients. The food is good, and everyone minds their own business. Johannes extends the greetings first.
“It is good to see you my friend. How have you been?” The two men shake hands firmly.
“I am well, and you?” Dominic warmly greets him in return.
“I am well also. The person who you need to see is Cvetko Šušter. He has advanced himself into the ranks of supervisor at Novak Industries. He values his life but he’s not above making a few extra “swissie” when the opportunity presents itself.” Johannes admits.
“Great! I can definitely make it worth his while.” Dominic confesses.
“He is sitting in that dark corner, over against the far wall. Good luck, my friend and enjoy your stay here.” Johannes retorts and like a shadow he rises and melts into the darkness of the place.
Dominic ensures that he is not being observed as he moves to join Cvetko. The two men exchange pleasantries and Dominic gets right to the point. Pulling several large bills from his back pocket, he hands them to Cvetko. After examining them, the man smiles broadly and begins to share what he knows with Dominic.
When done, the two men rise from their seats, secure in the knowledge that they will never see each other again—each being richer from their brief encounter.
To Be Continued ...
Spores: The Final Assault 9
- Spores: The Final Assault 9
The final stage of the project is over. The Internet explodes with baited praises regarding the Miracle Compost. Orders flood Balogh’s Granary from all over Europe. The shipments are moving at such a profound rate until temporary staff is hired!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on September 09, 2020:
Everything seems to be proceeding as planned.