Prologue: The Plan



Copyright 2013, 2014 by Susan Klopfer 

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This book is a work of historical and alternative fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locale is entirely coincidental.

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Published in the United States by Susan Klopfer

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January 30, 2013

New York University, Department of History

The news came in quickly from Chile on his phone screen. He had to enlarge the display with his index and middle fingers to see it all and read the report, but he loved any technology gadget coming his way, even with their limitations. He’d programmed his phone to receive push notifications and in this case, the story he was analyzing had pushed itself some 5,130 miles north, from Santiago to New York City.

Dr. Dan Bell just learned that Chile’s Supreme Court late yesterday had sentenced to prison six former leaders of a torture ring located in a colony hidden in the Andes. A former victim of Colonia Dignidad (a Neo-Nazi camp opened in the mid-1960s by a fanatical German minister) had launched a substantial lawsuit, in the millions of U.S. dollars, against both Chile and Germany, due to their alleged negligence.

“They knew about this and still did nothing about the torture and human rights violations going on there for nearly fifty years,” the victim claimed. He was likely correct, Bell thought; the professor was acquainted with a woman who could back up this frightening story, the sister of a deceased colony victim.

Bell returned his phone to the breast pocket of his expensive suit jacket and continued walking down the hallway. He looked up to check his watch against the clock hanging on the wall, reminding himself to call Olga Weisfeiler and his friend Clinton Moore later that morning. Olga might have something to say about this news event, since her brother, Boris, a presumed Dignidad victim, went missing in the Andes in 1985. Boris, Bell’s former colleague at Penn State University, had been camping and hiking alone on a South American expedition when he disappeared. Olga dogged the Chilean government repeatedly over her brother’s whereabouts for years, with no success.

Bell now headed into the graduate student conference room toward the small square table set up with coffee and condiments, still considering in the back of his mind the information he’d picked up from his cell phone. He poured himself a cup and laced it with milk and sugar before nodding to his eager graduate students. His call to Clinton, an old law school classmate in the Mississippi Delta who was coming up on his seventy-second birthday, was forgotten. The conversation with Olga took more time than planned, and he simply forgot. By the time he thought about it again, it was too late.


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