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“Behind the scenes high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense….”

Former CIA Director Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, in a signed statement to Congress, August 22, 1960

Returning to Granny’s farm, Joe parked Allie’s car and entered the farmhouse through the weathered back porch door. He carried the suitcase with its cargo to the guest room upstairs and laid it on the bed, then exited the house and found Allie in the field, helping Granny with the chores. After hugging Granny, he led Allie to a familiar place alongside the barn where as children they crawled through the loose red boards and magically transformed the straw-strewn theater into Hulk Hogan’s wrestling ring and Nancy Drew’s study. Leaning on the aging wood, he described the details of his meeting with Phobos, the rescue scenario, and the need for outside coordination. When he was done, Allie agreed to be part of the plan, and to be ready for him and Sheri if the recovery was successful.


Apol raced into Section A of the main laboratory and grabbed his scrawny lead geneticist and particularly devoted crony. Drawing him to one side of the room, he whispered briskly, motioning with his hands while cloaking his voice beneath the hum of the second-generation Cray supercomputers. The information he needed was somewhere beyond this room, in Section B, lost in the isles of transparent polymer jars where preserved specimens—gorilla-humans, octopus-humans, lizard-humans, and some bulbous-headed ones resembling alien Grays—were labeled sequentially to match corresponding computer files.

Somehow the crony knew where to find what Apol was looking for. On aisle ten, section six, a fifty-gallon container held the experiment. It was made of Apol’s DNA and had lived two full years before its head exploded.

“Get the reference numbers and bring them to my lab,” he ordered. “Hurry.”

“I will, my lord,” the crony said, turning away to get a pencil and paper.

Returning to his workroom and shoving past the invisible Grays, Apol stared into the petri dish. Normal embryo development of his cell matter to the 128-cell stage. He’d watch it overnight, and if all went well, he’d hurry to implant it. This could be the one that will live forever, he thought. But who should be its host? Sheri the voluptuous, or Katherine the younger? He’d have to pray about it. The goddess would guide him. She always did.


Joe spread the schematic out and popped the cap off the highlighter, tracing his course from entry to end as Phobos had instructed. Mission time from incursion to extraction: forty minutes, the Lord willing.

He would wear the Montero uniform over the blanket and load bearing vest and ride through the research center’s security gate with Phobos sometime within the next forty-eight hours. According to the nametag, the uniform once belonged to a large man named Michael Williams. Joe knew nothing about him, only that his finger, eyeball, uniform, and a recording of his voice saying, “Level Twenty,” “Level Ten,” and “Level One,” were to be used in the rescue attempt. Joe wondered how Phobos got these, and why he could get past Montero’s security protocols. The man smacked of double agent.

Once inside the compound, he would separate from Phobos and enter the service elevator alone. He would operate the cab like Phobos explained, removing the employee shirt once inside. He would exit on Level Twenty, immobilize the guard, and use the security card to gain access to Sheri’s room. Using necessary force, he would acquire her and reenter the elevator where he’d cut the bracelet from her wrist and leave it on the floor. The bracelet had a locator chip in it.

Stopping on Level Ten, he’d exit and command the elevator to resume movement to Level One. The bracelet’s beacon would hopefully mislead security to the southwest side of the complex while he and Sheri followed the map through Level Ten’s low-security area.

On the northeast side of the facility they’d meet up with Phobos and ride a second elevator seven hundred fifty feet below ground to the Dungeon. Nobody would expect that. From there they’d move through the Nephilim Training Access Tunnel to the forest outside, then to the boat where Buck and Allie would be waiting to transport them over the Columbia River.

Joe pulled the load bearing vest across the bed and reinspected the weapons load. He understood how many ways this plan could go wrong. It could get very, very ugly.



It all happened so quickly. One moment Nathan Reel was cruising thousands of feet above New Mexico at one hundred twenty-five knots in his new Cessna 182; the next, he was staring out the cockpit at thousands of giant bugs.

Before leaving Portland the weather had been nice; the sun was shining with just a few clouds gathered around the mountains. After filing his flight plan with Flight Services, he loaded the giant arm with two boxes of reports and stole out of Troutdale without incident, maintaining altitude and tracking straight for Albuquerque with a manageable crosswind component of twenty knots.

Stopping in Nevada long enough to refuel, he contemplated turning back, but finally decided against it. He knew it was wrong to steal the appendage, but he simply couldn’t allow his friendship to Dr. Jones to cloud his better judgement. The giant arm was his ticket to recognition at the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Ten minutes from his destination, however, something unexpected captured his peripheral vision. A moment later Albuquerque Control Tower noted his movement off course with sudden descent and radioed to ask if he was okay.

Without saying what he saw, Nathan nervously identified himself. “Albuquerque Tower, this is Cessna three one one echo, over.”

“Cessna three one one echo, maintain VFR at five thousand five hundred, heading one six zero, report fifteen miles out.”

Nathan was confused. “Yeah…ah…I don’t know what I’m looking at up here, Albuquerque. Looks like bugs of some kind…giant bugs…”

He heard the controller, sounding hesistant now, say, “Roger that…just got dots from primary radar. You say these look like bugs?”

That was what he had said, and at first the mysterious things did look like bugs, locusts to be exact, very large ones, perhaps mutations or even an optical illusion. Then, as the plane neared the swarm and he got a closer look, the furious roar of leathery wings and undulating abdomens revealed a ghastlier sight—the freakish insects bore human-size thoraxes tipped with stinger tails and spindly spider legs.

“Cessna three one one echo, traffic twelve o’clock, one mile, unknown?”

Nathan narrowed his eyes and looked closer. “What the…”

One of the creatures hovered, its hairy legs dipping up and down against the cloudless sky, then it focused on Nathan and in a flash was on him. The monstrosity’s coloration was blended yellowish green with tumorous nodules pulsating with the rapid flapping of its wings. Its eyes were sharp and threatening, its thorax quivering with anticipation, as if hungry to inject its life-extinguishing poison into the helpless human prey. Snarling and growling like a vicious rabid dog, the monstrosity attached itself to the aircraft’s window and thrust its stinger-tail swiftly against the tempered glass. When the window didn’t break, the hybrid cocked its head and leered at Nathan, emitting an eerie, otherworldly howl. Nathan stared at it in disbelief. The demon was wearing a Mayan-like crown, and looked identical to the face from Cydonia on Mars.

He keyed his mike and stuttered into the radio, “A-ALBUQUERQUE, B-BE ADVISED…”

Striking the cockpit again, harder this time, the flying hybrid cut him off, its bony stinger ricocheting off the rounded glass. Another strike and then another until the transparent shield cracked. The arthropod glared at the break, then at the Nephilim arm in the backseat. A snarl stretched over its face. Its pupils narrowed and hardened as its wicked mouth dripped yellow-green saliva from its deranged mandible.

With unnatural speed, the demon struck the glass again, this time splintering the crack outward into dozens of random jagged lines. A high pitched whistling sound began rushing in along the windshield’s seal, and Nathan knew the cone was about to collapse.

He dove for the emergency parachute beneath the rear seat, grabbing at it frantically, but he couldn’t reach it before the plane slammed against the buzzing madness of a million powerful wings. As the plane spiraled out of control, Nathan found himself flinging around the narrow cab as helplessly as a rag doll. As the Cessna’s emergency locator transmitter began whoop-whoop-whooping, he crashed through the shattered window into the open air.

Now he found himself surrounded by flying demons and facing a noxious, vacuous chasm, a shaft directly ahead resembling an open furnace door. It was glowing with embers and billowing out sulfurous smoke and ash. Gagging on the fumes, fighting to remain conscious, he watched as the vicious bug that attacked his plane surged across the sky and plunged its stinger deep into his belly. A burning sensation like red-hot steel shot through him, suspending him aloft. In the background, other creatures snatched the boxed reports and the giant arm drifting through the air. They dragged the materials like amorphous shadows into the roaring blaze.

As quickly as it had entered him, the demon pulled out, shot into the prodigious oven, and disappeared, leaving a fire spreading through his belly, down his legs, paralyzing him. He wondered if the entire scene was as real as it seemed or if he was dead already and imagining the Devil’s mouth. He focused his attention on the oven as darkness enclosed the anomaly on both sides. And then it was gone, together with the evidence of profound genetic engineering that would have made him famous. The unknown nucleotides and gamma-amino methionine hydrolase reports were also taken, as were the locusts.

And somehow, he understood. That was the way it was supposed to be.

Swallowing hard, he said goodbye to his wife and kids as he plummeted toward the earth.




At Montero, Apol sensed the opening and closing of Kosmos, and smiled. The flying minions had found the giant arm. His power over them was growing. Prophecy was being aligned.

He spat on the floor and continued toward Genetics, homicidal sociopath that he was, exhaling a jubilant rattle through his distorted lips. “And they had tails like unto ssscorpions, and there was stings in their tails: and their power is to hurt men five monthsss. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath hisss name Apollyon. Revelation, chapter nine, verses ten and eleven.”


As thousands of unclean spirits writhed from the soils and into the trees and alleyways near Montero, Seminary students gathered with faculty members for the emergency prayer council. Jones, walking to the podium and greeting the small group, said, “Let us enter His gates with praise!” He was proud of the students for assembling so quickly. He motioned them to join him as he began singing out, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall…”

Across the street from the seminary, a phantasm watched as other students arrived late at the school. The specter’s outline was of a bull-headed man, a vaporous Minotaur with an ornamental rod in his hand. Two yellow eyes, barely discernable, seethed with hatred of these Christians. They were too Christlike, not religious enough. Near his hooves a volcano of smaller shadows pushed through the sediment, clawing across the lowlands, heralding the arrival of the Gray army.

The Minotaur raised its scepter as a voice from deep within the earth echoed through its lips. “Come forth great serpents! Prepare the way before me! Come Quetzalcoatl! Come Agathodemon! Come Damballa and Midgard! Assemble the Gray legions, for the day of battle is at hand! Thus will we ascend above the heights of the clouds! We will exalt our thrones above the stars of God!”

Overhead, Justice and Swift amassed the gathering legions of bright, majestic warriors, readying for the opposition. Six-winged angels, four-winged angels, others with two wings and no wings at all, some warmly humanlike while others too terrifying to look upon flew in, cherubim, seraphim, and other servants of Yahweh Sabaoth—The Lord of Armies—each expert in spiritual warfare.

“There’s a storm brewing outside.” Jones said to the students. “And it reminds me of Psalm 104:3–4: ‘He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, and flames of fire his servants.’”

Closing his Bible and patting it reverently, Jones said, “One day Martin Luther read this scripture following a particularly bad storm. You know what he said about it,” he asked before answering his own question. “He said, ‘The devil provokes such storms, but good winds are produced by good angels. Winds are nothing but spirits, either good or evil. The devil sits there and snorts, and so do the angels when the winds are salubrious.’”

A student, raising her hand, asked what Martin Luther had meant.

Jones answered, “In his own way, Luther was telling us that the cosmos is teeming with angels, and that they are involved with everything from weather to astronomical phenomena to interceding in the lives of God’s people and protecting them. They fought for Elisha in 2 Kings 6, they engaged the prince of Persia on behalf of the prophet Daniel, and they helped our Lord and His disciples in the New Testament. While we don’t pray to angels, we rest assured that they are riding on the clouds and watching over us this stormy night. That goes for Sheri, too, wherever she is.”

Several students and faculty members solemnly said amen.

“So let us pray,” Jones continued. “That God will send forth his mighty angels to intervene in Sheri’s circumstances. We don’t understand why God has allowed Joe and Sheri to go through this storm, but He has, so there must be a reason. We must believe in the end that they will come forth without so much as the smell of smoke. We pray that Jesus will be glorified through a miracle of deliverance.”

More amens.

Now Jones raised his voice. “How many times have we stood in this chapel, singing, ‘We’ve got the power, in the name of Jesus. We’ve got the power, in the name of the Lord! Though Satan rages, we will not be defeated. We’ve got the power in the name of the Lord!’ Let’s practice what we preach, and do what we’ve been appointed to do. Let’s storm the gates of Hell with prayer. Let’s bind principalities and powers and let loose those angelic influences over our city.”

To that, even the angels said amen.

Yet as the faculty and seminary students gathered around the altar to pray, the murky blackness outside continued unabated.


On the north side of the Columbia River, Tater lay next to the cabin deck, his ears low to the ground, whining eerily.

“What’s the matter, boy?” Buck whispered through the screen. “Somethin’ up with bigfeet?”

Tater glanced at the old man. His big, inquisitive eyes speaking volumes.

Under his breath, Buck said, “Yeah…I’m worried ‘bout them kids too, uh-huh.”


At Montero, Perfect Love stood next to the girls, his sword drawn.


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