Copper Acropolis – Chapter 3

Here’s Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
And this is Chapter 3…

3

‘A Dwindled
List’

             “What do you
mean, ‘too dangerous’?  Over.”

            Doctor
Lucille Dewar was in her laboratory, in the dome above the third floor of her
home.  She was in the middle of
concocting a polish that would quickly and easily remove the tarnish off the
abundant copper accoutrements that adorned the house.  This was one of the many last minute tasks
that had to get done and she didn’t have time for any foolish claims of danger.

            The intercom
buzzed and squawked as Yune’s voice filled the dome.  “It is getting very dangerous.  Constable Maubery has just found all the —“

            Lucille
pressed the talk button before Yune had finished speaking, and a high pitched
whine intermingled with the rest of the noise. 
It took Yune a moment to realise what the noise meant, that the doctor
did not want to hear his news.  He
stopped speaking and released the talk button on the intercom in the first
floor bathroom.  The doctor’s voice
immediately replaced the high tone.  “—
is what I think of your Constable Maubery. 
Now, hurry yourself up here.  And
bring a wire brush.”  The intercom
squawked to silence.  Then it buzzed alive,
said  “Over,” and again squawked to
silence.

 

            After a test
scrubbing of a copper bowl, it was found that the copper tarnish remover
concoction wasn’t working nearly as well as Doctor Dewar has originally
planned, or as Yune Mune had hoped. 
While Lucille quickly got over the partial failure and moved on to the
next task on her To Do list, Yune was left with a bucket of the sludge, a wire
brush, a house exterior covered with greened copper, and only one day to finish
the job.  When he told the doctor that it
would be impossible for him to clean all the copper in one day, and asked if he
could hire some helpers, she snapped at him. 
“Don’t you dare bring outsiders into this house of renaissance.  If it’s impossible to clean the whole of the
copper, as you claim, then could you at least manage to do the dome, and the
shutters on the north face of the house where the lightning rod is
attached?  We can leave the gables green,
I suppose.”

            Yune Mune
bowed and said that could be managed, and that he would get underway
immediately.

            “No,” yelled
Doctor Dewar.  “Before you begin that, we
must make preparations for the final stage of the experiment.  The moon will be at its fullest, two nights
hence, and I am prognosticating inclemency in the meteorological sphere at that
time.  We must be ready.”

            “What else
needs to be done,” asked Yune, looking around the room where the experiment
would take place, “other than rubbing the tarnish and shit off the roof?”

            The doctor
slammed her notation book down onto the hard, wooden floor of the dome.  “Language!” she screamed.  “Watch the language!”

            Yune ran
over and picked up the book.  “I
apologise,” he said, handing her the book. 
“I must be getting caught up in the excitement of the impending
experiment, and have misplaced my manners.”

            “Apology
accepted,” said the doctor.  “And, I,
too, must apologise to you for losing my temper.  There are many factors involved in the
success of this experiment, some which I will have no control over.  I hope you will forgive me if I seem a little
on edge when the culmination of all my years of work and experimentation is so
close at hand, and there are so many things that could go wrong.”

            “Nothing
will go wrong,” said Yune, reassuringly. He bowed deeply to his employer.  “What is it you need of me?”

            Doctor Dewar
looked at Yune.  “I need you to get me
another girl.”

            Yune could
not keep the sigh from coming out.  It
was exactly the order he was fearing most. 
He knew, as the doctor had explained over and over to him, that,
morally, murder in a circumstance such as this was justifiable because of the
greater good which would come as a result. 
However, he wasn’t so sure that others would see their point of view on
the matter.  And now that the crimes had
become officially designated as murder, although for months most people in the
area already believed the girls were murdered but never dared to say so, the
people in the community would be out for blood and justice, and in that order.

Constable Maubery had already questioned him when the
first two girls went missing; not because the Constable thought Yune had
anything to do with them, but because the community demanded it.  Speculation around Afton Road was that if a person was
capable of raping a rich woman, as Yune was once suspected of nearly doing,
then kidnapping teenage girls was also within his realm of capabilities.  Yune Mune, of course, had an airtight alibi
in that he was in Doctor Dewar’s company during the periods of time when the
girls went missing.

            “We really
need another girl?” asked Yune.  “I was
under the impression that the Schprengel girl would have the sufficient
components to enable you to complete your work?”

            “That last
one was a fine specimen, physically.  I
replaced her breasts, which were perfect, for the ones I had planned to use
from girl number two. I also took her thighs, one of her hands, her lips, nose
and her left eye.  Of course, I planned
to, and will, use her heart, as well as some other lesser internal organs which
I won’t bore you with.  I had planned to
use her brain as well, but upon examining it, I discovered that the areas which
control the animal urges such as hunger and sex had been damaged.  Therefore her brain was less than perfect and
as such, unusable. So, I’ll need another girl so I can use her brain.  Try to find someone smart, if you can.”

            “I am afraid
the number of young women from which to choose has dwindled to a jejune few,”
said Yune.  “There is the cross-eyed Shaw
girl, thirteen-“

            “Too young,”
declared the doctor, dismissing her as a choice by a wave of her hand.  “Too immature.”

            “Stacey
Johnson is the right age,” said Yune, “but she is retarded.”

            “Don’t waste
my time.”

            “Emily
Fitzpatrick is available, but she is not pretty,” said Yune.

“Emily Fitzpatrick,” said the doctor, “is far worse
off than merely ‘not pretty’.  She looks
like she was hit by a train.”

The train.  Yune
suddenly remembered Josie Maddox, and quickly glanced at his watch.  “Drat! 
If only I had known your desire for another girl earlier,” said Yune.

            “Why?”

            “Because Josie
Maddox fits your requirements,” stated Yune, ”but her father had her leave
Afton Road for the safety of the mainland. 
She just left today at 5:15
from Mount Stewart.”

            Doctor
Lucille Dewar looked at her pocket watch. 
“It is now only five o’clock.  She will still be there.  You can grab her if you’re quick.”

Yune looked at his own watch and cursed himself for
again forgetting to wind it.  “If we can
get her it will be perfect,” said Yune, “because no one will know she is
missing until after your experiment is complete.  Then, when they see the wonderful being you
will have created, no one will mind another missing, dead teenager.”

            “Go and get
that girl,” said Lucille, as Yune trundled down the steps from the
Observatory.  “And her brain!” she
screamed after him.

——————————-

Next time – Chapter 4 – “5:15 to the Mainland”

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