The Doomsday Conspiracy

Chapter Fourteen


The Bundesanwaltschaft - Geneva, 1300 Hours
The government minister seated in the inner sanctum of the headquarters of the Swiss Intelligence Agency watched the Deputy Director finish reading the message. He put the message in a folder marked Top Secret, placed the folder in the desk drawer and locked the drawer.
"Hans Beckerman und Fritz Mandel."
"No problem, Herr Minister. It shall be taken care of."
"Sofort. Immediately."
The following morning on his way to work, Hans Beckerman's ulcers were bothering him. I should have pushed that reporter fellow to pay me for that thing I found on the ground. These magazines are all rich. I probably could have got a few hundred marks. Then I could have gone to a decent doctor and had my ulcers treated.
He was driving past Turler Lake, when ahead of him, at the side of the highway, he saw a woman waving, trying to get a lift. Beckerman slowed down to get a better look at her. She was young and attractive. Hans pulled over to the side of the road. The woman approached the car.
"Guten Tag," Beckerman said. "Can I help you?" She was even prettier close up.
"Danke." She had a Swiss accent. "I had a fight with my boyfriend and he dropped me here in the middle of nowhere."
"Tsk, tsk. That's terrible."
"Would you mind giving me a lift into Zurich?"
"Not at all. Get in, get in."
The hitchhiker opened the door and climbed in beside him. "This is very kind of you," she said. "My name is Karen."
"Hans." He started driving.
"I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come along, Hans."
"Oh, I'm sure someone else would have picked up a pretty woman like you."
She moved closer to him. "But I'll bet he wouldn't have been as good-looking as you."
He glanced over at her. "Ja?"
"I think you are very handsome."
He smiled. "You should tell that to my wife."
"Oh, you're married." She sounded disappointed. "Why is it all the wonderful men are married? You look very intelligent, too."
He sat up straighter.
"To tell you the truth, I'm sorry I ever got involved with my boyfriend." She shifted around in her seat and her skirt climbed up her thigh. He tried not to look. "I like older, mature men, Hans. I think they're much more sexy than young men." She snuggled up against him. "Do you like sex, Hans?"
He cleared his throat. "Do I ...? Well, you know ... I'm a man ..."
"I can see that," she said. She stroked his thigh. "Can I tell you something? That fight with my boyfriend made me very horny. Would you like me to make love to you?"
He could not believe his luck. She was a beauty and from what he could see, she had a great body. He swallowed. "I would, but I'm on my way to work and ..."
"It will only take a few minutes," she smiled. "There is a side road up ahead that leads into the woods. Why don't we stop there?"
He could feel himself getting excited. Sicher. Wait until I tell the boys at the office about this! They'll never believe it.
"Sure. Why not?" Hans turned the car off the highway and took the little dirt road that led into a grove where they could not be seen by passing motorists.
She slowly ran her hand up his thigh. "Mein Gott, you have strong legs."
"I was a runner when I was younger," Beckerman boasted.
"Let's get your trousers off." She undid his belt and helped him slide his pants down. He was already tumescent.
"Ach! Ein grosser!" She began to stroke him.
He moaned, "Leek mich doch am Schwanz."
"You like to be kissed down there?"
"Ja." His wife never did that for him.
"Gut. Now just relax."
Beckerman sighed, and closed his eyes. Her soft hands were caressing his balls. He felt the sharp sting of a needle in his thigh and his eyes flew open. "Wie ...?"
His body stiffened and his eyes bulged out. He was choking, unable to breathe. The woman watched as Beckerman slumped over the steering wheel. She got out of the car and slid his body into the passenger seat, then got behind the wheel of the car and drove back down the dirt road onto the highway. At the edge of the steep mountain road, she waited until the road was clear, then opened the door, stepped on the gas pedal and as the car started to move, she jumped. She stood there, watching the car tumble down the steep cliff. Five minutes later, a black limousine pulled up beside her.
"Irgend welche Probleme?"
Fritz Mandel was in his office ready to close the garage when two men approached.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I'm closing. I can't ..."
One of the men interrupted. "Our car is stuck down the highway. Kaputt! We need a tow."
"My wife is waiting for me. We are having company tonight. I can give you the name of another ..."
"It's worth two hundred dollars to us. We're in a hurry."
"Two hundred dollars?"
"Yes. And our car is in pretty bad shape. We'd like you to do some work on it. That would probably come to another two, three hundred."
Mandel was becoming interested. "Ja?"
"It's a Rolls," one of the men said. "Let's see the kind of equipment you have here." They walked into the service area and stood at the edge of the pit. "That's pretty good equipment."
"Yes, sir," Mandel said, proudly. "The very best."
The stranger took out a wallet. "Here. I can give you some money in advance." He removed some bills and handed them to Mandel. As he did so, the wallet slipped out of his hands and fell down into the pit. "Verftucht!"
"Don't worry," Mandel said. "I'll get it."
He climbed down into the pit. As he did so, one of the men walked over to the control button that operated the raised hydraulic lift and pressed it. The lift started to descend.
Mandel looked up. "Be careful! What are you doing?"
He started to scramble up the side. As his fingers touched the ledge, the second man slammed his foot down on Mandel's hand, smashing it, and Mandel dropped back down into the pit, shrieking. The heavy hydraulic lift was inexorably descending on him.
"Let me out of here!" he cried. "Hilfe!"
The lift caught him on his shoulder and began pressing him down into the cement floor. A few minutes later, when the terrible screams had stopped, one of the men pressed the button that raised the lift. His companion went down into the pit and retrieved his wallet, careful not to get blood on his clothes. The two men returned to their car and drove off into the quiet night.
Ottawa, Canada, 2400 Hours
Janus was addressing the group of twelve.
"Satisfactory progress is being made. Two of the witnesses have already been silenced. Commander Bellamy is on the trail of a third."
"Has there been a breakthrough yet on SDI?" The Italian. Impetuous. Volatile.
"Not yet, but we're confident that the Star Wars technology will be up and functioning very soon."
"We must do everything possible to hurry it. If it is a question of money ..." The Saudi. Enigmatic. Withdrawn.
"No. There's just a bit more testing to do."
"When is the next test taking place?" The Australian. Hearty. Clever.
"In one week. We will meet here again in forty-eight hours."