Four months ago, a reporter for the Vienna based newspaper Freiheitlich-demokratische Presse by the name of Lukas Krüger was found dead in the small apartment he had been renting, in Satu Mare Romania. Upon initial investigation by police they found no evidence of forced entry nor were there signs of robbery.
What was interesting though, was a local vagabond, by the name of Ilias Brezeanu, a former officer in Nicolae Ceaușescu's military prior to the fall of communism and now notorious in town for his alcoholism, said that he had seen Lukas Krüger leave a local brothel with two woman whom he described as to be "extremely comely ladies". Within, Mr. Krüger's apartment there were signs of alcohol, sex and consumption of various types of narcotics.
The coroner reported that Krüger's blood analysis showed traces of cocaine, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (the drug more commonly referred to as ecstasy), and amyl nitrate. His heart showed severe damage due to a massive coronary.
One of the attending physicians who chose to remain anonymous stated: "It looked like his heart had literally exploded. The chest cavity was a complete disaster area." When police tried to find the two prostitutes, they were nowhere to be found, nor did the proprietor of the brothel acknowledge anyone meeting the descriptions given of having ever worked there.
Once the news reached the small offices of the left-leaning newspaper he worked for, his immediate superior, Editor In Chief Sofie Fuchs, was immediately taken aback. She found the report by the authorities to be highly dubious. Why? Because Krüger had been her lover for well over two years, she knew very well that he was a health nut; a vegan who stayed on a steady regimen of macrobiotic food and exercise. Others who knew him agreed, even though some within the office admitted, off the record, that no one really can be absolutely sure of what is going on in someone's head..it could have simply been a case of a repressed fantasy gone amok.
When Krüger's body arrived in Vienna, most of his personal effects, such as his laptop, were missing and a second autopsy was performed upon the request of Krüger's family, as well as Ms. Fuchs.
What was found was extraordinary to say the least, on the back of his upper thigh they found a small circular wound. Upon further analysis tissues the doctors were able to identify Ricin, a highly toxic protein found in the castor oil plant. Immediately men from the Heeresnachrichtenamt (Army Intelligence Office) appeared and took control of the case.
Ms. Fuchs, looking for answers, petitioned the Heeresnachrichtenamt for an explanation, very little was offered. However, she was able to gain a bit of an understanding why it was military intelligence which ended up handling the case. It seems the wound and the poison identified were similar to that of the murder of Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Ivanov Markov where the Bulgarian secret police (Darzhavna Sigurnost) and the KGB used an umbrella to inject Markov with a pellet of Ricin poison while he waited for a bus near Waterloo Bridge in London.
Upon finding out this vital piece of information Sofie Fuchs, a journalist from the oldschool, began her own investigation. She went to Satu Mare Romania to see if she could find Krüger's missing laptop.
Being that the town is located in the notoriously superstitious region of Romania known as Transylvania, the apartment had been left unrented. She paid the landlord the equivalent of several month's rent and proceeded to search the apartment up and down...it took her three days but she found what she was looking for. Underneath a floorboard, she discovered Krüger's passport, emergency money and his smartphone.
What she found on that phone shocked and frightened her to the core. Apparently Lukas Krüger, who had been investigating human trafficking in Eastern Europe, had uncovered a story that was vastly larger than anything else he or any other reporter had ever reported on. It was not only a guarantee that he would win the Pulitzer Prize it was also a guarantee that a death warrant would be issued for him by some extremely powerful people. Luckily,he had been intelligent enough to back up his files to his phone; something he had been accustomed to do since having a laptop stolen in Buenos Aires when he wrote an award winning series on the infamous "Junta" and its victims.
Apparently Lukas Krüger had stumbled across some documents in the Romanian National Archives while researching the history of a building which was now used as an orphanage. This chance finding would lead him down a dark trail which wound its way far from his original story on human trafficking and straight towards certain individuals who would tell him a horrifying story; their exact names apparently were not mentioned in his notes. According to the papers he found, the building had housed a group of elite SS scientists.
According to the notes Sofie Fuchs found, back in 1943, during Nazi Germany's frantic search for a Wunderwaffen or "wonder weapon", a young ambitious Scientist, Oberführer Jonas Von Schäfer, who was a high ranking member of the SS' Speziellen Forschungsbereich (Special Research Division), had actually created a virus which had two special properties, one, it was highly communicable, yet it could reside up to 18 months within a host without causing any serious symptoms whatsoever. The only symptoms being, lethargy, increased appetite, mild depression and those resembling a mild case of spring or autumn allergies. It produced a protein which mimicked the immune system and thus, would be unidentifiable by the body's defense system as being foreign.
And, Two, the virus, when reaching a "critical mass" after reproducing itself at an astronomically high rate for the period in which it remained "dormant", it would turn on its host and kill the individual in as little as 15 minutes! This was an added plus to the Nazi war machine because not only did the host not have any idea that they were sick, they wouldn't have time to react to warn others. Plus, the most horrific thing about this was that, it also guaranteed that anyone the person came in contact with would also suffer the same consequences and if they were family members, death would occur within the same time frame as that of the victim. Mortality was 100%.
A death caused by this virus, dubbed "Schäfer BMF-1938" by the scientists within the project, was not pleasant to behold, it would essentially "eat" the host alive, breaking down the very cellular fabric of the being, causing tissues to liquefy resulting in what could only be called; a bloody mess of organs and fecal matter. Also, the host's nervous system would be the last thing destroyed in the process, thus not only was the host conscious during this, but they would actually feel the whole thing right up to the end. Imagine the pain you feel from an exposed nerve of a bad tooth a billion times over, and the brain unable to produce enough endorphins to null the pain; you would see your entrails essentially bleed out from your rectum or you would vomit them up and blood seeping from every orifice, even skin pores....all the while being alive and without enough muscle tissue to move.
Oberführer Jonas Von Schäfer, the first known scientist to synthesize a virus (and last one until many decades later), as well as creating a vaccine for it, was transferred from his laboratory in Satu Mare, Romania to the top secret facility on the Baltic known as Peenemünde, the same area known for rocketry research and the birthplace of the V-2 rocket.
It is hypothesized that Von Schäfer was taking the next step in weaponizing the virus so that it could be successfully delivered to the allies using the V-2.
Biological warfare was nothing new, several units of the imperial Japanese army was strictly dedicated to biological and chemical warfare, the most notorious of which, had to be Unit 731.
But, it was too late, with the fall of Berlin and the allies closing in from the west Schäfer fled. Whereas famous scientists working at Peenemünde such as Wernher Von Braun was captured by the allies (he later worked for NASA and was instrumental in the U.S. space program), Schäfer was captured by the Soviets. Note: Von Braun had no communication or contact with Schäfer. Both projects were kept purposely separate from one another.
The trail goes dark, until Reporter Lukas Krüger comes in contact with a certain Colonel Amvrosii Aleksashkin who, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, headed the Biological Research Unit of the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (Committee For State Security otherwise known as the KGB)
Colonel Amvrosii Aleksashkin was a chance meeting, and how Krüger, arranged this, is not known. In Krüger's notes Aleksashkin seemed extremely nervous, he tells Krüger that the KGB had captured Oberführer Jonas Von Schäfer in the town of Danzig (now known as Gdańsk in Poland) where a Kriegsmarine sub was waiting to take important individuals within the German military industrial complex to Argentina.
He continues to say that the only reason he was telling Krüger this information was that it was imperative his story be told to the world. Aleksashkin said that Von Schäfer was kept in a secret location in Siberia where he continued to work on the Virus. Where, in 1964, he had succeeded in developing a strain which could not only survive a journey within an ICBM, but also be delivered in a host of ways. In an aerosol was thought to be the most effective. It was to be the Soviet Union's best offensive weapon. It would be untraceable, it could spread to every corner of the globe within a matter of months, and the insueing chaos would insure that the United States, NATO or any other nation/power would not be able to trace it back to the Soviet's doorstep. Only those inoculated with the antidote would survive.
The Kremlin had suggested that only the Military and the high command, as well as hundreds of thousands of the Soviet Union's most valued citizens be given the vaccine. By the time everything would be done, the entire world would be in collapse and the virus would continue on with its work of "mopping up" pockets of survivors.
The plan was scrapped, but the virus was kept intact. Upon completion of his work Von Schäfer, an SS offficer, was stripped naked, hosed down and sent out into the Siberian gulag's patio where he began to freeze to death. But that, according to Colonel ALeksashkin, wasn't what killed him, it was the dogs the prison guards had let loose on Schäfer. The dogs had apparently not been fed for quite some time.
Later, when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, some of the Soviet Union's most terrifying weaponry was suddenly on the black market and, with the right amount of cash, could be purchased by almost anyone.
Schäfer BMF-1938, was one of those weapons. Aleksashkin, hadn't left the KGB immediately, he actually continued on with the KGB's successor the FSK (Federal Counterintelligence Service) right up to its reorganization into the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) in 1995.
Colonel Aleksashkin states that in 1994 the FSK had caught a scientist who had been appointed to a top-secret research facility near Yekaterinburg. After the well documented Sverdlovsk biological weapons accident of 1979 where Anthrax spores were accidentally release and killed 64 people, his department had been specifically assigned to counter this threat.
The scientist, whom he wouldn't name, was supposed to meet a group of individuals, whom Aleksashkin later identified as members of a "global banking/political" elite whose main goal was to depopulate the world in order to restructure it in a more "efficient" manner. He cited recent Russian military studies of the impact on global resources if population growth was left unchecked. The non-destructive measures needed to be undertook to save the world, according to the study he referred to, are, for all extensive purposes, economically impossible to meet. Note: the world's population is about to hit 7 billion, that's a 2 billion increase since the late 70's.
He and his unit had thought the operation a success, but when they apprehended the scientist, they recovered only four vials of "Schäfer BMF-1938", when they returned to the research facility, laboratory manifests showed there had originally been SIX vials in storage. Needless to say, the captured scientist had endured several days under Russian interrogation methods...and the missing two missing vials were confirmed.
His agents spread out around the globe, interrogating and assassinating anyone even remotely connected to the case...they never found the vials.
Freiheitlich-demokratische Presse Editor In Chief Sofie Fuchs wrote up an article containing this information and submitted it for print. A colleague of hers admits receiving and reading the story (that's why this story is even known). But it was misplaced right before it was to go to print, and for some odd reason, the colleague adds, "there were no traces of the email anywhere on our servers or our drives!"
So, in the end, the story was never printed and Sofie Fuchs was found hanging from a chandelier in her Vienna Austria home...an apparent victim of "suicide".
A single note was found in the kitchen by a bottle of wine and a red rose...scrawled delicately were three words " Ich Liebe Dich Lukas"...I Love You Lukas
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ALL OF US HERE AT THRASHHEAD! In keeping with the tradition of Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast of "The War Of The Worlds" I thought I would whip something up to freak you out. I hope you enjoyed my short story. The fictional virus' name BMF-1938 means "Bad Mother F**ker" and 1938 for the year of that aforementioned radio broadcast. Feel free to act serious when you spread the fear over the social machines...don't forget to add a "OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!" for added impact! :D AND DON'T GIVE IT AWAY!
Also, I powered this out this afternoon, so don't give me grief about any grammatical errors! :D
None of the characters are real, with the exception Nicolae Ceaușescu, Georgi Ivanov Markov and Wernher Von Braun who are used to add historical context. All events never took place, except the Sverdlovsk biological weapons accident of 1979 and the assassination of Georgi Ivanov Markov...again for historical context. It's a pure work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, whether living or dead is pure coincidence. Oh and it's fully copyrighted too (© 2011 R. Trujillo)