Jaeger

Lost & Found: Chapter 8 – Genealogy Part 2

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.

“But why?”

“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…

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To be continued…
All the “Lost & Found” posts can be read here.

Lost & Found: Chapter 7 – Meeting Frau Lowey

The horse plodded his charge through the city’s streets and alleyways in silence. A strange mood had come over the furry man since he had come out of the scary building. The horse wasn’t surprised, that place made all the animals nervous. He’d never met a single animal that had been inside. Sure some said they had but he knew full well were lying and he’d never met one, not one who’d actually been in and come out again – the whole place smelt of a strange, wrong sort of death. A shudder ran down his spine and he tried to put it from his mind as he trotted on to the Consulate, there all he to worry about was the sharptooths who eyed his sort hungrily. He wondered how they would take to the furry man and found himself snorting in amusement.

****

As he left his son’s laboratory behind, Jeremiah settled into the rhythm of the horse beneath him and allowed his mind to drift, only the occasional shudder or snort from his steed pulling him from his thoughts. He was slowly gathering himself again, repairing the fragile links undone by his time in the lab, and by the time his mount stopped outside the Consulate he was once more in charge of his volatile emotions and feeling, if not normal, then at least a little better.

The Europa Consulate was an impressively austere block of stone and columns set in its own formal grounds. The horse trotted up to the gate but steadfastly refused to enter, eyeing the Jaeger guard with more than a little nervousness. Jeremiah hopped down and walked the short distance to the door which was guarded by a single Jaeger who stared at him with casual disdain. “Vat hyu vant here? Ve not vant heny pegs or lucky hever!”

“I’m here to see Frau Lowey,” Jeremiah replied ignoring the insult, “please be so kind as to tell her Dr Jeremiah Mason is here and would very much like to speak with her.”

The green-skinned guard leered at the upright antelope but remembered well the last broom handle the Frau had broken across his back for being rude to a guest. “Hyu vait here, vurry man,” he said and slipped inside for a moment before coming back as if nothing had happened and pointedly stared off into the distance. Jeremiah looked around, unsure what to do next. He cleared his throat deliberately. The guard ignored him and began to quietly whistle an off key tune to himself. Jeremiah coughed again. “Huh? Hyu schtill here? Hwy hyu not gone hin, bud?” the guard said at last.

“But you never said anything,” Jeremiah said, exasperation clear in his voice.

The Jaeger gave him a toothy grin, all malice and self-satisfaction, “Hy didn’t? Zorry bub, must have schlipped my mind, huh? Hyu’ll be kheeping ze Frau vaiting und sche hates dat, bub.”

Jeremiah shot a furious glare at the creature and pushed passed to enter the Consulate. As he strode angrily through the door, he almost knocked over a women coming the opposite way.

“Oh! I’m sorry…” he stammered but the woman cut him off, “Sir!” her voice was exquisite steel “Please be a little more careful, this is not a race track after all!” She straightened her small, round glasses and patted her hair to ensure the bun had not come loose. Jeremiah proffered another apology and looked down at the handsome woman, “Frau Lowey?” he asked.

“Yes, and I can take it you are the man claiming to be one Jeremiah Mason?”

Jeremiah smarted, “Madam, I am Jeremiah Mason, I do not claim to be him.”

Frau Lowey looked the tall figure in front of her up and down, “Hmm. Please follow me to my office. We can talk more there rather than on the steps like this,” and she turned on her heel and headed up the stairs.

To be continued…
All the “Lost & Found” posts can be read here