9. Lord and Master
Slowly Jean-Pierre's anger flooded away and made way for a feeling of unease. It wasn't an ordinary robbery. He had heard them calling his name, so they knew who they had captured. They didn't want their car, money or even the Chief Inspector. The masked men were looking for him. But what could he matter to them?
Nonetheless, he was very annoyed with what happened to the police officer he had to keep his mind sharp. There had passed to much time during which he hadn't concentrated on the road. He didn't know in which direction they were driving. The black cap through which he couldn't see a thing, of course, was one of the major reasons for that.
He fired some questions on his kidnappers. 'Who's your employer? What do you want? I'm not particularly wealthy if you know my name that would be clear. Where do you take me?'
Nobody answered, and the fear started to manifest itself. He got cold, and his teeth began to chatter, both by the temperature and the circumstances. What would Katarina think when she heard about the attack? Would help arrive on time for the wounded Leclercq?
He hardly had a notion of time and direction and after quite a while, it could be an hour or even two hours, he heard the grinding of the wheels on stone chippings when they stopped. With moderate urge, they pushed him out of the off-road vehicle and led him inside a building. He heard and felt it on the steps he was setting. A door closed behind him and at first, the noises sounded as if they stood in a large hall. After that, he heard a sound like bars or locks that were unbolted, it seemed to him.
They pushed him further. Fortunately, the man behind him had acknowledged the effect of it. Otherwise, he would have tumbled down the stairs. However, his guide had held him by the arm, so that he could descend the stairs step by step. Then a long straight passageway followed or, at least, he thought it was a passageway. The noises sounded much more subdued, and on several occasions, he felt a wall on the left of him. The man who held him had to walk behind him a few times. He supposed the passage was smaller in some places.
Eventually, they opened a door, pushed him inside a room, and they seated him on a chair. They released him from his handcuffs and pulled the black cap off his head. He had to blink with his eyes because he hadn't expected a bright lamp would be pointed directly at him. The clear shining made it more difficult investigating his surroundings. These people made every effort possible to make it difficult to know where he was.
Then, after all, he saw it was a little place in concrete and very sparingly decorated. Besides the chair, he was sitting on, and that one standing lamp pointed at him, there was a large desk and a chair.
He supposed this would be the area where they would interrogate him. He didn't know at all what he could tell him. Maybe it was after all still a mistake, he hoped secretly, and after his explanation, they would let him free. He nodded almost directly, denying what he had just thought. These people were aware of who do they had in their hands. There was a particular reason behind these facts. He could only wait till they told him more about it.
It didn't take long before a sound at the door through which they had brought him inside. He felt his heart in his throat. Wide-eyed he watched he saw enter the room.
Jean-Pierre supposed it was a man because he hardly could look under the black habit he was wearing. What did all this circus mean? There wasn't a Ku Klux Klan here, was there? No, they wore a white habit as far as he remembered. This man had a long sleeved black habit, and now that he saw him a bit closer he noticed he had a mark drawn upon his habit. Three little crosses in red, each of them resting with its feet on the cross-beam of the one below. He had never heard of such an order or a sect. Four other accomplices followed their master, but they wore purple habits with the same mark on it.
'Welcome, Sir Jean-Pierre,' the leader spoke. Jean-Pierre listened to a deep baritone voice that talked to him. The man could be thirty years old as well as he could be fifty. You couldn't always tell someone's age hearing his voice. Certainly not in this case.
'Who are you, why have you...?' Jean-Pierre could hardly finish his sentence because one of the purple accomplices of the masked leader had given him a punch in his face.
'Be silent when the Lord and Master talks, talk when he orders you to speak.'
'My dear Jean-Pierre, you don't know me and it would be strongly unwise to give you my real name. You can call me Master because I'm the Master of the Children of the Black Knight. I guess totally unfamiliar to you interpreting your facial expression.'
Jean-Pierre had furrowed his brow when he heard the title of the man. It became, even more, insane. What had a sect to do with him? He didn't ask the question because the man who had hit him before stood very close.
I suppose you have questions, and you know neither myself nor my servants. However, I'm not going to tell you anything about us or what we are. We have already remained so long under the radar that I won't risk it for anybody. Be assured, I don't want anything from you. Before a certain short moment ago, I didn't even know of your existence.' The man smiled for a moment when he saw Jean-Pierre looking more surprised.
Maybe that I, before I kill you, because..., don't misunderstand me, you won't survive this alive, I shall grant you a glimpse of the truth. Although I would have the real reason, for which you landed here, in my hands. But not before this person has endured the most infernal pains and fears, my dear Jean-Pierre. Do you know of whom I'm talking?'
Jean-Pierre, his face all pale, startled because of the announcement of his death sentence, shrugged hesitatingly.
'You don't need to look too far, my good man. You already share your bed with her for a while. Baroness Katarina is the one I want to see suffer.'
© Rudi J.P. Lejaeghere