The room was filled with an air of unease as Consul Patel anxiously awaited the arrival of Mr. Doppelberger. They were meeting to discuss the peculiar circumstances surrounding the police tent and the yellow caution tape that had been draped around the manhole in front of the Indian consulate for several days. The police car stood parked there for two days, then it disappeared, but the tent and the yellow tape had remained. Since the two police officers had briefly introduced themselves, put up the tent and cordoned it off, basically nothing had happened and the police tent was still covering the manhole, after five days.
As the clock ticked away, signaling the publisher's delayed arrival, Consul Patel grew increasingly restless. Finally, the door swung open, and Mr. Doppelberger entered, short of breath, his face etched with concern. He offered a curt nod of acknowledgment before taking a seat opposite Consul Patel.
"Fred, thank you for joining me," Consul Patel began, his voice tinged with urgency. "I'm sure you're aware of the peculiar situation that has unfolded outside our consulate. The police tent and the caution tape have been there this entire week, without any explanation or communication from the authorities. What did they find down there? Why are they not telling us anything?"
Friedemann Doppelberger leaned forward, his expression a mix of bewilderment and frustration. "I assure you that I share your concerns. I have contacted the local police repeatedly, but they say they have no new information. It is rather perplexing, to say the least."
Just as Mr. Doppelberger began to regain his breath, the office door swung open once again, and the consul's secretary, Miss Kapoor, hurriedly entered, clutching a newspaper in her hand. Her face was pale, reflecting the urgency of her interruption.
"Excuse me, gentlemen," Miss Kapoor interjected, her voice trembling. "But there's something you need to see."
She placed the newspaper on the table, exposing the bold, war-like headline: "MISSING." The words pierced the air, casting a somber shadow over the room. Mr. Doppelberger and Consul Patel exchanged alarmed glances, their hearts sinking with the realization of the unfolding quandary. The article beneath the headline detailed the mysterious disappearance of two police officers, Klaus Weber and Anna Müller. According to the news report, they had gone missing on the very day they first arrived at Graumannsweg, the same day the manhole had been cordoned off. Speculation filled the pages, suggesting foul play or an unforeseen accident.
Consul Patel's hands trembled as he reached for the newspaper, reading the article in silence. Mr. Doppelberger's face fell, a mix of worry and disbelief etched upon his features. The weight of the situation descended upon them both, leaving a void that seemed insurmountable.
"We must take action." Friedemann Doppelberger finally spoke, his voice laced with determination. "I will reach out to my contacts within the police force and demand answers. These officers were simply carrying out their duty, and their sudden disappearance demands swift and thorough investigation. Is Eimsbüttel a safe borough? What is going on out there?"
Consul Patel nodded in agreement, a steely resolve replacing his earlier frustration. "I will contact New Dehli. This enigma is bigger than what we had thought."