The Rescue: Part Fifteen
Another Short Story Post: Continuing from the last post! This was NOT written by me! All credits go to writer Kimber (KimbersPlace4320@aol.com).
The Rescue: Part Fifteen
Keller sat quietly in his vast library. There, among the books, was where he spent most of his time when at home. Here were books and scrolls that could be seen nowhere else, even some he had borrowed from the hidden scrolls of the library of Alexandria, thanks to the power of the twins.
The twins, his two adopted daughters. Ages old, they had chosen to present themselves as six year old girls, and so to have the childhood they were denied so long before. He’d made himself a promise not to involve them in his adventures, in spite of the fact they were among the most powerful beings he had ever encountered, even as Azaiah. No, he would give them their childhood, at any cost.
He was roused from his thoughts by Raoul, who appeared in the doorway.
“Herr Keller, there is a phone call for you. Will you take it in here?”
“Yes, Raoul, thank you.” He replied and lifted the receiver.
“Yes? This is Keller.”
“Keller, thank the gods!” Alsaya said on the other end.
“Alsaya, what’s wrong?”
“You are in danger!” She said breathlessly. “Grave danger!”
“From whom?” Keller asked.
“Julian DuFron.” She answered.
“DuFron is dead, Alsaya. I saw you destroy him myself.”
“I can’t explain it, Keller, but there is no doubt, he’s behind this. Robert, Reuben and I all sensed him.”
Keller sat back, lit a cigarette, and frowned.
“Can you find him?”
“No, not yet, but we will. Until then watch out, my friend.”
“Yes,” He answered, “I will do that.”
For a moment there was silence.
“Alsaya, I have an idea. I need to talk to his chylder, Andre and Martine DuFron.”
“Can you trust them, Keller? You know well they have always been in his thrall.”
“I’ll have to risk it, Alsaya, I can’t think of any other way to go.”
“Very well,” She answered, “Since I can’t either, I suggest you keep in touch.”
“Where are you?” He asked.
“We’re in Devon, England.” She replied.
“After I talk to the DuFrons, I’ll come to you. I’m going to need your help to find Julian.”
“You’ll be welcome, Keller.” She replied.
Wilma Bankey was not happy at all. After breaking the news about Julian DuFron, Keller had requested a flight to London to visit the DuFrons and she was opposed bitterly. She’d been along when Keller had last encountered the mad doctor, and supposedly destroyed him. If, indeed, he’d returned he was likely to be more dangerous than ever.
“Keller, we can’t protect you over there. I can’t even call on my colleagues for help because I can’t reveal your secrets. What am I supposed to do?”
“I understand what you’re saying, Wilma, and I’ll just have to look after myself.”
“Well,” She said glumly, “that makes me feel a lot better.”
Hoping to divert her thoughts away he changed the subject.
“Has Gabriel come up with anything?”
“Yes, since you mentioned this DuFron, I had him do some checking on Van Horn’s phone records. Of course, there is no one by the name of DuFron anywhere, he’s changed it, but the fact that he is obsessed with medical experiments does help us find him. There are several places that do the kind of study DuFron was involved in and we are making discrete inquiries. I hope to have something for you in a day or so. Won’t you at least postpone your trip until we have something solid for you to go on?”
“Wilma, DuFron’s chylder hate him as much as we do. He tortured and abused them for centuries and turned them into monsters. I’m sure Andre will help me all he can.”
“I’m glad you’re sure, Keller, I’m not so certain. What if he’s able to exert the same power over them he always had and turn them to his side?”
“I have Alsaya and her colleagues using their powers to check that also. Don’t worry, I’m going to find him and destroy him this time, once and for all.”
“Let’s hope so, Keller,” She said, “let’s hope so.”
Reuben turned his head from side to side to loosen his taut neck muscles. They’d been at it for hours, searching the multitude of thoughts and voices for any sign of Julian DuFron. He smiled as Alsaya presented him with a steaming cup of coffee.
“Thank you, Alsaya. I needed this.” He said, sipping the dark brew through his straw.
“Have you come up with anything, Reuben?” She asked.
“Nothing solid, but I did detect something. There is a clinic in Basil, Switzerland. They do plastic surgery and also some genetic research there.”
He took a long sip of coffee.
“One of the young doctors there had an image in his mind that resembled DuFron. It may be nothing but then it might be the break we’ve been hoping for.”
She went to the desk for paper and pen.
“Give me the information and I’ll send it along.”
“Alsaya, it was just a momentary image, it may mean nothing. Perhaps we should wait…”
“Reuben,” She replied, “There is no time to spare. Wilma Bankey’s people are discrete enough not to give us away, and they have the resources to do some snooping without being found out.”
His worried face made her smile.
“Don’t worry, old friend, if it’s nothing, no harm done, and if it is what we are looking for, we’re ahead of the game.”
He gave her the information and she went off to phone Wilma.
Reuben sipped more coffee.
“I hope you’re right, old girl.” He mumbled.
The lights went down and the slender young man sat at the piano and began to play.
Andre DuFron did not perform publicly. As Kindred, he felt it too risky to expose himself. Instead, he played for small gatherings like the one tonight. He did whatever was necessary to be able to play. The piano was the thing he loved above all others, except, perhaps for his small family, and his brother Martine.
Despite his own centuries of age, DuFron’s family was less than a century old. He’d begun to gather chylder after he and Martine had broken free of their elder, Julian DuFron. For decades they’d existed in silence for fear that the old monster would find them.
He looked down at his beautiful white hands. They weren’t really his, DuFron had taken them from a young woman he’d murdered and grafted them onto his wrists. This was done so that Andre, with his incredible talent for music would have the proper hands to play, all for the amusement of the elder DuFron. It had worked, Andre’s playing was flawless, but his young life had been destroyed in the process.
Off in the wings stood his brother and body guard, Martine. Instead of beautiful hands, DuFron had given him massive arms, legs and chest, as well as steel implants over his heart and rib cage, while limiting his intellect. Simple and childlike, but immensely powerful and nearly indestructible, Martine had emerged from surgery as the perfect guard for the Kindred family.
For centuries, Andre and Martine had done their elder’s bidding, even assisting in his horrible experiments, until finally they rebelled. Martine, spurred on by Andre, had attacked DuFron and broken nearly every bone in his body. Once the old one was helpless they could have destroyed him utterly, but Andre was unable to give the order. Along with the girl’s hands, he apparently had inherited her emotions as well. He hadn’t the heart for it. They’d sealed DuFron in a marble tomb and left him there for eternity, only to have him escape.
Afterward, they’d hidden all over Europe until Keller had at last destroyed their tormentor, or at least they’d thought so. Now they were again in danger, only they didn’t know it.
He finished his playing and stood, soaking in the thunderous applause of his audience. A broad grin crossed his handsome face. It faded as he saw Keller standing in the aisle. They were friends and kept in touch over the years, but to see Keller unannounced could only mean trouble.
An usher appeared and conducted Keller backstage to Andre’s dressing room. As he reached form the door, he was seized by powerful arms and lifted off the floor.
“Martine!” He gasped, and the big man set him down gently.
He seldom spoke, and when he did it was very childlike. DuFron had made sure to limit his intelligence so as to limit the chance that he might someday rebel. Neither DuFron, nor Keller was any match for the enormous Kindred.
“I am glad to see you, Keller.” Martine said slowly in his small voice.
“No more than I am to see you, old friend.” Keller said, “How are your cats?”
Martine’s small round face lit up.
“I had babies, Keller!” He said excitedly. “I have five more kitties now.”
“Isabelle’s grandchildren?” Keller asked. He’d given Martine one of his own cats, Isabelle, as a present.
“Yes, yes!” The big man chuckled, “Isabelle and Benny made babies!”
“I shall be eager to see them.” Keller said.
The dressing room door opened and Andre invited them in.
He shook Keller’s hand warmly, sparing him a bone crushing hug like he’d received from Martine.
“Keller, as glad as I am to see you, I sense all is not well.” He said softly, “What have you come to tell me?”
“It’s Julian, Andre, we think he’s back.”
Lights swam in the young man’s eyes and he fainted dead away.
(to be continued)