Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
A Project Gone Very Wrong …
It is necessary to restrain Jeremy to the hospital bed while samples of his blood are being taken. Nelson knows that he will have to inform his cousin of what has happened. She doesn’t look too surprised.
“Shirley, have you been hiding things from me?” Nelson watches the reaction of his dear friend.
“I didn’t want to say anything about it but before Jeremy and I moved into our new home, the neighbors told me that they had heard howling sounds and the next day the landlord found the place in shambles.” Shirley testifies.
“Why didn’t you say something sooner? How could you keep information like this from me?” Nelson is furious.
“Because of the very way you are acting now.” Shirley defends. “I felt that it was something I could handle myself and that when we moved together—maybe that would help.” Shirley sighs heavily.
“So, did Jeremy take one of my vials? Tell me the truth?” This triggers a response from Shirley that is far from amicable.
“I’m not in the habit of lying, Nelson.” Shirley defends.
“Sorry. Why couldn’t you have hitched your star with Ben?” By now, Nelson is aspirated.
“You know the answer to that. It’s a closed book in both of our lives. We remain close friends but—” Shirley stops, and Nelson already know the rest of it.
“You would never take second fiddle to research. What about Jeremy?” Nelson is laden with curiosity.
“Jeremy is exciting—a bit of a rake. He’s someone different than anyone I’ve ever known. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with him, but I’m not stupid.” Shirley feels that she needs her cousin to know that she is not moonstruck.
“Thank the heavens for that. You have always been one to be able to mix love with practicality.” Nelson responds, admiring his stable cousin.
“I have a good teacher.” Shirley gives her cousin’s arm a squeeze. “Now, what about Jeremy?”
“We are going to keep him under surveillance for a couple of days. If he seems to have calmed down, then we’ll release him to undergo treatment. But those experiments of his have got to come to an end.” Nelson tells her.
“So that’s what’s behind that locked door!” Shirley exclaims.
“What are you talking about?” Nelson inquires.
“Jeremy has a Man Cave in the house— newly formed. Only he and Ian are allowed to go in and I happen to joke about it and he really got defensive.” Shirley recollects.
‘You are just a treasure of secret information!” Nelson grunts.
“Whatever—I just never thought that he could be conducting experiments there. Where on earth did he get the bacteria?” Shirley now has Nelson on the defensive.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to rack my brain about. It must have been a time when I got sidetracked by one of the other lab technicians. He’s a shrewd one alright.” Both nod their heads in agreement.
Ben enters the Albertson Pharmaceutical Lounge where both Nelson and Shirley seem to be deep in thought. Shirley rises to approach Ben.
“How is he, Ben?” Shirley queries.
“Heavily sedated. When he came out of the first one, he was extremely violent. We are working on something to counter whatever Jeremy was taking.” Ben replies.
“Shirley says that he has a Man Cave. Only he and one other person was allowed access to it.” Nelson says.
“Who was this other person, honey?” Ben unconsciously reverts to an endearment he’d been accustomed to use with Shirley. She doesn’t mind at all. Nelson gives himself a mental note.
“It was Ian Schmidt, I think he said.” Shirley responds.
“Schmidt—why does that name ring a bell?” Nelson replies.
“Perhaps because it was a Fran Schmidt who became neck deep in Colonel Schneider’s world dominance plot.” Ben answers.
“Good gosh! What has Jeremy done now? This is definitely not going to look good on his resume.” Nelson jibes.
“I want to know what’s in that locked room?” Shirley murmurs.
“So would I.” It is Dominic. He pulls out his badge to show to the trio. “Army Intelligence—I am working on this case for Colonel Broadnax. He didn’t trust Jeremy from the start and wanted me to keep watch.”
“How do you know about the room?” A surprised Shirley queries.
“Let’s just say I know and leave it at that. Would you happen to have the combination?” Dominic asks Shirley.
“No but I bet Jeremy kept an extra copy somewhere. Never leave anything to chance.” Shirley quips.
“I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind following me back to your house. We need to get into that room.” Dominic says.
“Maybe we can find out what he’s been using and try to reverse it, cous.” Nelson offers and Shirley rises from her seat looking back at the three men and retorts.
“Well, what are you waiting for?”
The men follow her out to the parking lot, pile into Dominic’s Cadillac Escalade and head for the house at the northern end of town. It is a good twenty minute drive when they reach the place. Shirley hops out of the vehicle with Dominic close behind. She opens the door and heads straight for a large oval clock in the kitchen. Lifting it up by both sides, she turns it around to find a slip of paper taped to the back.
“Damn—how did you know?” Dominic asks in sheer admiration.
“I saw him once fumbling with that clock when he thought I wasn’t looking. Let’s just jot down the information and return it. I don’t want this lost nor for him to know that I’ve been spying on him.” Shirley laughs.
“Hey, if you ever need a job with Central Intelligence, just let me know. You would be perfect!” Now Dominic is laughing as he copies the numbers and hands the paper back to Shirley. She neatly returns it exactly where it belongs.
Walking into the hall, they make their way to a room at the very end. This time Dominic has no problem getting the door open. It’s a complete shock what they find inside.
Computers, lab tables, refrigerator storage compartment—everything a good scientist needs to play with at home. Ben is confounded and Nelson shakes his head in complete disbelief.
“All this was going on right under our noses. Let’s look into the refrigerator.” Nelson suggests. There they find a storage container very similar to the one at the Albertson Pharmaceutical Lab.
“And you didn’t know anything about this, cous?” Nelson queries.
“Of course not. As I told you before he was always secretive regarding his Man Cave. Now I know why.” Shirley marvels.
“If we can’t prove that he stole LZ-902 we will have to release him. I don’t think there is any law against having your own chemistry kit.” Ben jibes.
“Maybe not—but there is certainly one against passing military information to foreign operatives.” Dominic says.
“That is if you can prove it.” Shirley says.
“Let’s look around for any receipts or air bills to any place in Europe. He may have something around here somewhere.” Dominic starts surveying the room.
“I really don’t think Jeremy would be stupid enough to keep incriminating evidence just lying around even if he didn’t think we’d get in here. Ian probably has it somewhere for safe keeping. If he has been giving a lot of thought to this setup—everything would have been orchestrated to the letter.” Shirley apprises.
“Damn—like I said, if you ever decide to change jobs.” Dominic iterates.
“Take me back to my car. I’m going to gather up a few things and move in with Janice for a while.” A disgusted Shirley decides.
“What about Jeremy?” Nelson inquires.
“Don’t worry—I’ll be sure to let him know.” Shirley waits until everyone has left the house, then she locks the doors.
To Be Continued ...
Spores: The Nemeses Within 10
- Spores: The Nemeses Within 10
Jeremy is becoming hardier to restrain and has attacked a security guard. Meanwhile, Heinrich may be gentle and passionate when it comes to women, but he is ruthless and vengeful with the men, especially the ones who he thinks have failed him.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS