“Fraulein Reinhart, please sit down.” The grossly disfigured man graciously indicated a chair in front of his desk and the armed guards made her sit in it. “Thank you, that will be all.” He dismissed the guards with a wave of his hand and they went, the door snicking closed behind them.
“Why have you brought me here?” Desiderata Reinhart was trying to be defiant, mainly to cover her terror. This man and his thugs had broken into her home in the evening while everyone else was out, tied her up, ransacked the place, shouted something about explosives, chloroformed her and she had woken up…here.
“I admit my raid on your family’s home was to secure any research notes that might have been in the house.” Her captor folded his red hands under his red, sharp planed face, not quite resting his chin on them. “Once I realized the state of the house I couldn’t, in good conscience, leave you there.”
“State of the house?” She was bewildered.
“It’s wired with explosives, ready to blow. Your parents seem to be planning their getaway,” he smiled, “but they dress you like a middle-aged servant and don’t tell you anything important, do they Fraulein Reinhart?” His expression tightened. “Neither do they pay you the attention they should.”
“What are you talking about?” She leaned forward in indignation, hands on the arms of the chair but not daring to rise.
“They don’t tell you that your family is Hellane, not Terrencian and they’ve never read your notebook have they?” He rested his red hand on a familiar, battered exercise book. “It was the only document I found in the house that told me something I didn’t know about the super serum.”
“What?” She was dumbfounded by both statements.
He flipped open the exercise book. “In among the sewing and knitting designs you have deduced the shape of the serum molecule then extrapolated its crystalline form from that. All from scraps of information dropped in their conversation. Your parents only value pure science whereas your talent is visual conceptualization. Their loss.”