No one knows what his given name was, but he took to calling himself Gottlieb Burkhardt II. Pushing the double doors open, I spied him standing in the middle of the room, where the light was the brightest, wearing a seafoam coloured surgery smock. In the semi-darkness around him, assistants scurried about fetching God knows what sort of infernal devices.
Upon my entry, he turned to me, eyes shining behind his plastic spray mask. “Ah, Mr Manavich. Welcome.” Then turning back to the table he said, “You’ll be perfect.” Although I couldn’t see his mouth, concealed behind his surgery mask, I detected a sickly smile playing across his lips as he spoke.
And I shivered involuntarily.