In our last episode, evidence is mounting up that Candace Dare murdered an accountant with Recalcitrant Laboratories, and then ran away. We learn that Colonel Dare is locked away and discovers a second body in her cell. The episode is available here.
Candace Dare looked at the woman in the bed. She was cold, probably placed there before she arrived. She knew “they” expected her to scream in panic. Fortunately, Candace was used to death, having dealt out quite a bit. Maybe it was her turn.
Knock it off, she chided herself. Obviously, they left her here for a reason. Just trying to un-nerve me. She covered the woman with the blanket. Who was she, why was she here? Her mind kept churning possibilities.
The air cooling system kicked in again, still startling her. She sat next to the bed and waited.
She didn’t wait too long.
She heard the slamming of a steel door. The sound of tromping footsteps followed. She tried to ascertain the number of men. She figured six, very military, definitely soldiers. The sound came closer by the second. She could now hear something rolling. Coming for the body, I’d imagine.
The group abruptly stopped.
Dare listened to one set of footsteps drawing near. The footsteps did not have the military cadence of the others. They seemed to be in no hurry. But they were steady and stopped at the door to her cell.
“Ah, Lieutenant Colonel Candace Dare, I see you are up,” the man said with a crisp German accent.
Dare gasped, “You’re the man from the restaurant.”
The man smiled, “Did your mother not warn you about accepting drinks from strangers?”
Dare watched as the scar on his left cheek stretched and became grotesque, almost like Von Zorm’s. The revelation struck her hard.
“Are you related to Herbst Von Zorm?”
“Very good, Colonel. I was wondering if you would make the connection. I am Horst Von Zorm, the heir of my late father. Which tells me you did meet with him, and probably was responsible for his untimely end.”
“Is that why I’m here? For revenge?”
The younger Von Zorm laughed. “How quick you are to make judgments, Fraulein Colonel. If I wanted revenge, you would be the one beneath the blanket in your cot.”
“Who is she?”
“Officially, she is 52-0297. She is a test subject. Unfortunately, the test did not go well for her. Fortunately, we discovered the flaw in our plan. All should be well with you.”
“So, I’m a test subject?”
“Ja, officially you are test subject 52-0298.”
“I am not a number,” Dare yelled.
Von Zorm laughed again. “Of course you are. You have a military service number, a social security number, a driver’s license number, a phone number – I could go on all day, Fraulein Colonel. But to me, you are 52-0298.”
“So, you are continuing your father’s work? You are going to make fighting zombies?”
“My father and I worked towards separate ends. He was a soldier. I am a true scientist and a Lebensborn.”
Von Zorm smiled. The smile sent chills through Dare. “You fight a people and you do not understand them. I pity you, Colonel. To defeat an enemy, you must first know how they think, how they will act. Going in as a cowboy, or in your case a cowgirl, doesn’t always work, as you are now finding out.”
“That doesn’t tell me what you are, Von Zorm”
“Ah, you are right. I will tell you just so you can understand the hopelessness of your situation. A Lebensborn is a special baby, born to an SS officer and an Aryan mother. SS officers, like my father were encouraged to find a nice pure woman and have a baby with her. The babies, like myself, were in special houses. I being one of the first sixteen born was given a special task, along with my brothers. We were given a secret name, named after the Sixteen Immortals. It is our task to become immortal beings and rule the world.”
“So, then Von Zorm, you feel you have solved the secret of immortality?”
“And so we have, Fraulein Colonel. Miss Helen Myers, who is now in your bed, was our last failure. I have no doubt we’ve solved the problems and that you will be our first success.”
“Apparently, you are not sure, Von Zorm. If you were Miss Myers would still be alive. Perhaps you should have stuck to zombie rabbits like your father.”
Von Zorm smiled. Dare could see she was beginning to irritate him. Good, she thought. An angry Nazi usually makes big mistakes.
“I assure you Colonel, that my father discovered the Immortality Antibody in his experiments on the rabbits. The rabbits were just to fulfill a government contract. His other work was done in this lab, financed by private investors.”
“Would they be part of the ‘Phoenix Brotherhood’ that your father spoke about?”
The smile disappeared from Von Zorm. “Very good, 52-0298. Perhaps I misjudged your cognitive ability. You do seem to possess exceptional reasoning skills. So, I will tell you what will happen.
“My father developed the antibody for the Phoenix Brotherhood. The antibody, however, cannot be administered immediately. The subject must be first given four vaccines. It took several hundred subjects to determine the proper order. We have that information and we will begin the process with you.”
“And then what?”
“After we are convinced the Immortality Antibody works, we will administer tests to see how effective it is.”
“What type of tests?”
“We will see how the antibody responds to different pathogens. We will start with smallpox and typhoid and move to more serious issues such as the Plague. We hope you will survive these difficulties. When we are convinced that the Immortality Antibody is what we hope it to be, we will start with my brothers and the rest of the Lebensborn.”
“You will never get away with it, Von Zorm.”
Von Zorm laughed again. “Of course we will, 52-0298. We have unlimited resources. We are where no one can find us. But enough of this. It is time we begin your treatment.”
Von Zorm turned and nodded. The marching began again. Dare saw a gurney being rolled into view. Von Zorm opened the cell and three of the largest men came for her.
Dare used her smaller frame to her advantage. She stepped back and kicked the first man in a delicate area. She used him as a shield while lashing out at the others.
Von Zorm walked in brandishing a pistol.
Dare evaded the men, trying to keep someone between her and Von Zorm. The men stepped back and Von Zorm fired.
The shot was silenced, Dare noticed. Pain jolted her thigh. She looked at the damage and saw a yellow-tailed dart. As she reached for it she fell into darkness.