Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Not Your Ordinary Adversary ...
It is a pleasant and uneventful drive back to Stäfa. Instructing one of his men to return the vehicles to the compound, Alberich makes his way to the Crimson Stallion Inn. There he finds Matthew Donahue and another of one of his companions, Benjamin Townsend. He approaches both men solemnly.
“I suppose you’ve heard about what has been going on in Krüger?” Alberich begins while accepting an Apfelsaft (apple juice) since he is still officially on duty. He notices that both Matthew and Benjamin are having themself Grapefruitsaft (grapefruit juice) instead of their usual mixed beers.
“Nasty business, that is. You just come from there?” Matt counters with a question of his own.
“Ja, I did but a couple of my comrades didn’t.” Alberich answers grimly.
“Sorry to hear it. I assume that you’ve come to us for assistance.” Matt retorts in a straightforward manner.
“Ja, I have. I know that you and your men have been through some pretty harrowing experiences.” Alberich reminds him.
“That was with the traditional two-legged antagonists. You are talking about coming up against a predator that is supposed to be only legendary.” Matt intensifies the statement.
“Are you saying that you can’t handle it?” Alberich asserts with a look of a schoolboy daring his friend.
“You know I didn’t say that. What I am saying is that this is not your ordinary opponent. I will need to do my homework to keep from becoming the Blue-plate Special!” Matt rejoinders and all three men have a hardy laugh.
“Right, so what do you suggest?” Alberich is able to respond when he is in control of himself again.
“We need to study the creature. Become familiar with his patterns. And do it in a way that will be above suspicion.” Matt lays out his plans and Ben nods in agreement.
“Not above suspicion?” Alberich is confused.
“We are dealing with a cunning animal. One that has discovered the taste of mankind and likes it. Just as he has studied our ways—we need to study his.” Ben conjectures and Alberich suddenly finds himself in full agreement.
“Gentlemen, what do you suggest?” Alberich is intrigued.
“I have a friend,” Matt is first to respond. “Hunter McDonald. He was involved in a bit of a mess back in the States. I’m sure you’ve heard about The Devil’s Gap Cavern mishap?”
Alberich sits quietly for a moment as if turning things around in his mind, then he smiles and replies.
“Yes, I heard about that—a few years back. Seems some people were being slaughtered by a man-made monster. The incident made world news. In fact we got a bit of a backlash from it. Remember Colonel Schneider?” Alberich pulls forward some very bleak memories.
“How well we do remember the Colonel.” Matt exclaims. “Anyway, Hunter—we call him Mac, is a demolition expert. He was also once engaged to a Biochemist named Rachael. She had involvement in the Project Alpha-1 disaster. I am going to give Mac a call in hopes that he can help us with this.”
“That would be of tremendous benefit, Matt. I will relay this to Constable Bernstein back in Krüger.” Alberich reacts, feeling somewhat confident that Matt and Ben will assist in annihilating the menace.
“Also, remind them to not let their guard down for a minute. Unfortunately, this is going to take a bit of time, something that we don’t have in over abundance.” Ben retorts and the other two men nod. Alberich finishes his drink and soon leaves the establishment. Ben turns to look at Matt. He wonders.
“Do you think that Mac will really be able to help?”
“I’m pretty sure that he will be and besides, he’s their only hope.” Matt finishes his drink and both men leave the Inn.
Alberich returns to his office to give Gerhardt a call. The man sounds pretty ominous.
“How are things holding up in Krüger?” Alberich inquires.
“As you can imagine, not too well. The villagers are terrified and you really can’t blame them. How did it go with you and the Americans?” Gerhardt awaits anxiously for his response.
“Ziemlich gut, I think. Do you remember that incident in America that happened in The Devil’s Gap?” Alberich queries.
“Let me see ... oh yes, it involved some type of beast that was stalking the locals. Not unlike our present dilemma, eh?” Gerhardt retorts.
“Exactly! Well, Matthew knows Hunter McDonald. He was the demolition expert who trapped the beast—” Gerhardt interrupts.
“Alberich, we don’t have any caves to lure this monster into. How can this Hunter McDonald be of any assistance.” Gerhardt barks.
“Calm down my friend. Matt says it is important to study the beast and learn his patterns. That way we will be able to formula a plan for exterminating him.” Alberich tries to reason with the man.
“And how long will this take?” Gerhardt queries gruffly.
“It may take a little while—I don’t really know.” Alberich mentally shakes his head.
“And in the meantime, my villages are prisoners in their homes.” Gerhardt is on the verge of losing patience. This being contagious, Alberich snaps back at him.
“Can YOU come up with anything better!” At that point, Gerhardt instantly calms down.
“I am so sorry, Alberich. You are doing above and beyond to help me in this very trying situation. Thank you so much for everything and I will try to keep Krüger as well as myself under control.” Gerhardt sighs heavily.
“Ich verstehe meinen Freund. I will continue to do all I can at this end. Please make sure your curfew is enforced with maximum punishment executed to those who even consider disobeying.” Alberich asserts.
“That, I will do. And again, I thank you. Stay Safe.” Both men release the call. Gerhardt turns his chair toward the window that overlooks a portion of the White Forest.
“You may not be an ordinary adversary but neither are we!” Then he returns to his computer to do research on The Devil’s Gap Case.
To Be Continued ...
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on February 18, 2021:
Calling in reinforcements!