Frau Lowey’s office was a large, efficient looking space with a rather fetching view over the street below to the Steelhead town hall. Jeremiah had heard from Genie that weekly town meetings took place there and he mentally made a note to try and attend at least one in the near future. Frau Lowey took her seat behind her spotless desk, only a few items of writing paraphernalia, a photo of a small boy and a single rose, decorated its surface. “Please,” she said indicating a well padded chair across the desk from her. Jeremiah sat down as Frau Lowey pressed a button on a small wood and brass box. Moments later a servant brought a tray of refreshments through and began to serve them, “Tea or coffee sir?” he was asked and surprised himself when he answered “Tea please, no sugar but milk and quite strong thank you,” without the slightest hesitation – he didn’t remember preferring tea, but clearly he did.
Frau Lowey broke him from his thoughts; “So what can I do for you, Herr – well, that is the rub is it not? Herr ‘what’ indeed?” she said as she sipped her own drink.
“May I take it you don’t agree with the others that I am Jeremiah Mason then, Frau Lowey?”
She looked at the, well, man for want of a better description, over the top of her steaming cup. His flame-red eyes and curving horns could easily have been Jeremiah’s. Or Darien’s or Marcus’ for that matter. Flaming eyes and horns reeked of the demon, but the rest? His strong features were softened by the white and tan fur that covered his face and were nothing like the many lives that had gone before. Steam and brass fused with bone and blood were the mark of the Masons and their curse. This creature was more animal in nature; magickal maybe, but not the twisted dark powers of Jeremiah or the others. She found herself wondering who in their right mind would claim to be part of that most troubled lineage. She removed her glasses and pinched the bridge of her nose between thumb and finger, “Sir,” she began as she placed her glasses back across her tired eyes “In all honestly I do not know who, or indeed what, you are – but I can, with the upmost of certainty, say you are not Jeremiah Mason.”
Jeremiah looked across the desk at her, blinking rapidly, “I see,” he was struggling to swallow down a wave of emotions he barely understood, “may… may I ask how you can be so sure?”
Frau Lowey placed her cup and saucer on the desk, gently cleared her throat and looked the stranger claiming to be Darien Mason’s clone father directly in the eyes, ”There are two factors that lead me to such a conclusion. The first is the simple fact that the Jaegers, the sheriff and Amarantis all tell me you are not him. To put it bluntly, your scent and aura are simply different. Whilst that in itself is more than enough to tell me you are not Jeremiah, I also have the advantage of knowing a little of Jeremiah’s nature due to the simple fact that in one incarnation he – or as you would have it, you – tried to kill me and several of my friends. He did not succeed.” A small, tight smile played across her lips.
Jeremiah’s mouth fell open and he felt the bone china cup slip from his fingers to crash and shatter on the floor.
“Hmm, luckily that wasn’t one of the consulate’s best sets,” Frau Lowey said as the same servant who had brought the drinks returned to clean up the mess at his feet. “I’m sorry to tell you in such a blunt fashion,” Frau Lowey was looking at her visitor again “but as I am sure you are not Jeremiah…”
“Kill you?” he interrupted.
“Yes,” she replied, her voice even and calm.
“I am afraid that is a long story…” she was interrupted by a small chime from her pocket watch. She took it out and gave a small tut, “..one that will need to wait in the telling. I am sorry, you really have called at a very busy time. Perhaps you could return again in a few days and we can discuss any other questions you may have…” she was already stood up and moving to the door.
Jeremiah felt his legs working but without his conscious effort. They led him downstairs and to the front door. Frau Lowey talked to him but he heard nothing. He walked past the sniggering guard and along the path to his horse. In a daze he climbed into the saddle and just sat there.
The confused horse stood for a few minutes before slowly trotting off to the last place the furry man had visited, the scary old lab…
To be continued…
All the “Lost & Found” posts can be read here.