The two cars rolled through traffic, slipping among the crowded streets on their way to the French Quarter. Williams drove the first, slamming on the breaks like a madwoman to shriek at Melnikov through the smoke-filled interior. Smoke from the cigarette seeped out the Mercedes’ cracked rear window throughout. Helen Brown tried in vain to tune out their bickering, peering out the window at the streetside lurching by.
At one stop, they were passed by the second car. Lars skillfully maneuvered the newer Volkswagen around them, flicking the turn signal on briefly as he slipped past. Christiane and Kaito looked into the other car briefly as they passed, noting the chaos inside the Mercedes.
As he approached the Apartment Block, Lars eased off the gas. The hairs on his neck stood up, and a familiar sinking feeling settled in his stomach as the car lurched a bit and started to accelerate, completely out of his control. In a panic, he swerved up the hill on the corner, while a confused Christiane and Kaito braced themselves for a crash they didn’t understand. Slamming on the brakes had no effect on the car, so Lars eased into the curb and pulled the parking break, bringing it to an impromptu, screeching halt on the hill.
Muttering about ghosts, the trio exited the vehicle and entered the building, where they met up with the rest of the group. The six investigators were there to find Hans Kaufmann, Zarkov’s former neighbor and friend, to ask him personally what had seen of the missing doctor.
They met Hans, who seemed fairly cooperative, despite their intrusive and threatening demeanor. Disaster hit when the power surged, and chaos exploded in the small apartment. Somebody screamed, and there was a loud crunch. When the lights flickered back on, Helen Brown stood over Hans’s unconscious body while Lars was rifling through the desk in his back room.