Part 2: In Which It Is Good Friday, But No Good Occurrs

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Dr. Gideon Olson Colbourne, the mastermind of Hugh & Olson, and the creator of the Superior Soldier, gazed upon his handiwork with a bit of a frown upon his face. “Pollman, you cannot come in. It’s a bit tight in here with Kearney.”

“Your laboratory in Vienna was nearly as small. I just want to watch you,” Pollman reminded him. He watched silently as Colbourne adjusted a couple of the wires that had gotten accidentally twisted during the demonstration at Malcolm Stanwood’s home yesterday afternoon.

Colbourne pulled his goggles off so that he could look at Devin Pollman standing on the staircase just outside the lab door. “So, Malcolm Stanwood is looking over the contract? You expect him to be certain to sign it?” Colbourne asked.

The younger man grinned widely. “Everyone’s in full throttle, I’d say, Professor Colbourne.”

Colbourne always smiled a bit inwardly whenever anyone called him professor. It had not been all that long ago that Stanwood, Marcus had been a student of his at Cambridge. He could remember Stanwood calling him professor very clearly.

The memory made his hands shake more than they used to. He seethed almost silently while his hand trembled.

Back then, his laboratory was five times the size. He even had the room for test animals in cages lining the walls. In his present quarters, he could barely keep a pigeon. “I care nothing about the others. I only care that Stanwood is in.”

“Oh, indeed he is, Professor Colbourne. We would have heard by now if he wasn’t interested, even if it is Good Friday today.”

“Since I returned to London, it seems as though the longer I’ve been gone, the less anything has changed. Malcolm Stanwood playing with papers…” Colbourne said with a growing smile on his face. “He wasn’t there, was he?”

“No, the traitor never came,” Pollman told him.

“Well, no matter. By the time Marcus Stanwood realizes that I’m back in London, it will be far too late.” He raised one of his sand-gray brows and looked at the Superior Soldier, who was strapped to a large table in the middle of the tiny cellar. “Is everything to your liking, Mr. Kearney?” Colbourne asked.

Kearney, the Superior Soldier, tested his metal hand. He pulled the strap until is snapped off. He made a rumbling laugh and said, “He’s got children. Saw a photograph of them.”

“Really? How many children were in the picture?” Colbourne asked with interest.

Kearney smiled as well as someone whose mouth was so mangled could. “Four. But only one is even close to being young enough.”

“So, Malcolm Stanwood has four children?”

“No, Professor. The traitor has a son too.”

Colbourne’s eyes gleamed. “Marcus Stanwood has a child? How perfect. He couldn’t resist. I knew he would do it eventually. That great fool…”

“Do what, Professor Colbourne?” Pollman asked in confusion.

He did not answer his lackey. Colbourne paced, trying not to stub his toe on the table leg. All the beakers that he’d carefully packed and shipped from Vienna were now arranged in the cases that used to hold wine bottles once upon a time. He managed not to brush against any of them, but only because he had always been agile.

The agent that had shown Colbourne this property had boasted of a spacious wine cellar. It turned out that this was true, in comparison to other wine cellars. For a laboratory however, it was very cramped. The best that could be said for the room was that it was made of brick.

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