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“NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted what seems to be strange planet-sized objects wandering loose in globular cluster M22.”

“Wandering Mystery Planets,” NASA, 07-08-01


The smell of Douglas firs and rhododendron blossoms laced the crisp morning air as Joe breathed a lungful of the aroma and continued across the parking lot, up the loading dock steps toward the designated point of entry. Phobos was ahead of him, wearing an impressively decorated admiral’s uniform and carrying a large suitcase. Nervous, Joe wondered how it was that a high-ranking officer, if indeed he was one, could be involved in such a scheme.

Walking past the maintenance area fifty feet inside the loading zone, he came to an unpretentious but wide utility elevator where Phobos was entering a series of numbers onto a keypad near the lift. Phobos paused as it beeped, then turned and walked away. Joe had no idea where he was going, only that the two of them would meet again at the Dungeon Elevator when and if Sheri was retrieved. According to Phobos, he was one of only a dozen Operation Gadfly members worldwide with security clearance high enough to get inside the areas where the Nephilim were kept, and then to the access tunnel where the three of them would hopefully escape.

As the “admiral” departed, the service elevator opened, and Joe stepped inside. He waited for the doors to close before taking off the employee shirt. Immediately the hidden load bearing vest’s camouflage design was reflected against the cab’s stainless steel walls. Reaching behind the battle garment, he withdrew the container with the eyeball and finger. Voice recognition was all that was necessary once he got past Montero’s first floor, but to start he had to log in as employee 233—Michael Williams.

Joe wanted to ask Mr. Williams—whoever he was—to forgive him for using his body parts. Frankly, he felt like a grave robber. Who was this Michael Williams, anyway? Did he have a wife and kids? Did he live in the area? How did he die? Why? Joe knew that the answers to these questions wouldn’t change what he had to do, and it wasn’t the first time as a marine he’d detached himself from the distinctions of good and evil, but such things were never easy for soldiers like him.

“Please step to the ABIS for biometric identification,” a computerized feminine voice said over the cab’s speaker.

He squatted and placed the square container on the carpeted floor, pulled the lid up, and heard it hiss as the seal’s vacuum breached. The biting 2smell of STF (Streck Tissue Fixative)—an alternative to the carcinogen formaldehyde—issued out of the box.

Not a job for the squeamish, he thought as he reached into the container and grabbed the eyeball with his right hand and the fleshy finger with his left. The body parts were covered with slimy, stringlike capillaries, which he blotted against his pant leg to absorb the excess fluid.

“Please step to the ABIS for biometric identification,” the voice repeated.

He stood and moved to the front of the cab, pressed the tip of the detached digit to the Fingerprint Authenticator, and waited. After a moment, an aqua blue light appeared beneath it, moved silently along the fingertip, analyzed the pattern against employee data, then authorized step two.

“Print identification is confirmed,” the voice said.

He lost no time cramming the dead finger inside his pant pocket, then positioned the eye, retina forward, into the Iris Scanner. He watched as another light came on and shut off a second later.

“Iris identification is not confirmed. Please remove contact and try again.”

Not confirmed!? He looked at the eye. It didn’t have a contact on it, but it did have some liquid debris and a minute blood vessel fragment near the front. He spat on it, cleaned it with the tip of his index finger, daubed it against the palm of his hand, said a little prayer, and placed the iris against the scanner again. This time a blue light and then a red one followed.

To his relief, the computerized voice confirmed iris identification. “Good morning, Mr. Williams. Please enter a floor-level destination,” it said.

He stooped, pulled the pudgy extremity from his pocket, placed it with the squishy eyeball back inside the container, and gathered his stuff from the floor. He took the cassette player from the load-bearing vest and pointed it where he assumed a microphone was located in the ABIS. The microcassette had been set to play in the order he needed during the extraction. He squeezed the button and heard the late Michael Williams casually say, “Level Twenty.”

A moment passed as the audio patterns were analyzed. Then, with a tug of inertia, the cab jerked and began lowering into the bowls of the earth. He reached into the tactical vest and retrieved the P-22 Hand Activated Laser (PAL). The high-tech weapon felt unnatural in his hand. He longed for an AK-47, but was pleased to have an effective, nonlethal option. He turned the dial near the rear of the handle to the letter “A,” then right to the letter “C,” pausing to watch as the power indicator light came on.

Toggle left to stun…and right to kill, he reminded himself, glancing at the pineapple grenades and other weapons hanging on his chest.




Miles above the Mt. Hood Evangelical Seminary prayer meeting, the gathering angelic host stared into the anomalous rift. Unlike NASA’s astronomers, they were not at all perplexed by the expanse in space. It was the “Ahriman Gate” and they had seen it before—the doorway to Satan’s abode—a supernatural chasm called Kosmos by ancient Hebrews and Ahriman-abad by other civilizations. It was the dark domain where Ahrimanius—or the Devil and his angels—lurked, and from which they influenced earthly governments. The last time it unlocked in this way was during the great rebellion, when God cast Lucifer from the stones of fire and destroyed the material empires of Mars and Nibiru. Thanks to modern men and their eagerness to possess forbidden technology, it was opening again. This could only mean one thing. Lucifer, now called Satan, wanted his old throne back. Unwittingly, the Alliance of Ten Nations was trying to give it to him.

“You can tell they’re almost here, can’t you,” Justice whispered to Swift.

“Closer by the moment,” Swift replied warily.

Yet the two angels would not order troop movements yet, not until instructions were received from the Captain of the Hosts. They had faced the armada before and knew it was a delicate matter.



Deep beneath Montero, in his shrine to Hecate, Apol stopped interceding to the mother goddess and dipped his hand into the pool of blood beneath her bronze feet. As the emaciated woman chained to the wall watched, he withdrew a human eye from the offering bowl with tender, delicate care, and examined it. Finding it acceptable, he pulled a knife from his pant pocket and opened the middle blade. Carefully, so as not to spoil the magic, he held the organ of sight so that it looked directly at him, then carved it into nibblets. It would serve as today’s communion to the deity.

As usual, the superbly crafted Swiss Army Knife performed perfectly. The sacred instrument had not left his possession since he was a boy, when on his twelfth birthday his father presented it to him, declaring him a man and baptizing him to “the goddess of three ways.” Not that he understood the occult value of the oracular device at the time, that didn’t come until later, when at around eighteen years of age the voice of revelation began calling to him in the middle of the night, in dreams at first, then audibly from the blackness above his bed.

Once he responded to the visitor, and the goddess had him intimately, he began trusting the things her succubus—the material substance of her spiritual self—told him, the secret, amazing truths only someone of his special nature could receive, not the least of which was that the Swiss Army Knife was more than it appeared. Although the instrument resembled its standard retail counterparts, it was, in fact, not a knife at all, but a tool of discovery, a device she had willed him to receive.

He recalled how, upon learning this, he had excitedly examined the portentous tool more closely than before, appreciating its cryptic design, its shiny blades for cutting, slashing, gouging, ripping apart, and unveiling, its saw for cutting through and out tendon and bone, its spoon for digging and dipping, its corkscrew for pulling away muscle, its scissors for snipping off unwanted parts and shaping the ones collected, its file for finish work.

It was indeed a marvelous invention and had provided him with immense pleasure for some time.

Then one day while sorting through parts of a neighbor’s puppy he had butchered, he discovered that he had grown cold with using the non-knife to dissect live animals and to interpret their innards. He needed greater revelations. That’s when he slaughtered his parents, and if it hadn’t been for the goddess and her undying generosity, he might never have discovered the true path to enlightenment their deaths ultimately provided.

Although his father was a stout man and certainly not one to be underestimated or outdone in a street fight, he was not at all expecting his son to come at him from behind the door when he arrived home that day. With his thumb pressed firmly against the steel, fingers clamped tightly around the Swiss handle, Apol had brought the stabbing device down hard and fast from its wickedly high arch, just like he’d seen in the movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock, a comedy he had laughed at hysterically.

As he drove the sharp blade deep inside his father’s neck and nearly through to his esophagus, he knew the butcher knife in the kitchen would have cut deeper, maybe even clean through and out the other side if enough pressure was applied, but it didn’t possess the kind of divine guidance the goddess-given one did.

Even then, he was surprised by his father’s tenacity. The old man had actually reached around, grabbed him by the arm, slung him to the couch, and squealed like a pig as he flailed through the living room, clutching the back of his neck and searching for the bloody slippery handle.

Prompted by the inner urges of the quick-thinking goddess, young Apol had leaped from the divan onto him, wrapped his arms and legs around him, and held on as the two of them stumbled and tumbled to the floor. While he clawed vigorously for the handle, his father growled and tried to turn them over, but couldn’t, and finally when he had dug the blade from the old man’s neck, he reached around and thrust it into his right eye, drawing it down hard along his cheek bone and then sideways through his carotid artery so deeply that he nearly decapitated him. Tremors of gooseflesh had crossed his daddy’s large, Popeye arms, and then he had relaxed as death’s maiden warmly embraced him.

Once the old man was fully dead, Apol, a little tired, went to the kitchen and made some ice tea, adding sugar and stirring it with his bloody index finger, before sitting on the floor next to his father to examine the fresh kill. When refreshed, he had dug into “Dad” with eager anticipation, searching his cavities and canals for hidden truths, new revelations, perhaps even an alien pod harboring an infant Gray, but after several hours of such laborious exploration, he had become saddened and not a little disillusioned by finding nothing new, no discoveries any different than those he’d always found in the animals he’d dissected.

That’s when his wench of a mother walked into the house and shrieked with what he thought was a phony, startled expression. Supposedly she had been shopping. He didn’t believe it, not even when her silly bag of groceries hit the floor. He’d seen on television what women like her do when their husbands and sons are not around—naughty, vile, despicable creatures whose presence on this spinning globe was the highest insult to the goddess. She’d probably come home from seeing a “john” or maybe a strip club of some kind where one of those all-nude male reviews was performing. He could see it in her eyes; her diseased soul was laid bare before him. Then it dawned on him, and he wondered—why hadn’t he seen this before now?

Unlike animals, which he believed had no spirit, the window to the human soul was through the eyes! His father’s corpse had revealed nothing new because he had looked in the wrong places! Or maybe because he’d damaged the eyes and thus destroyed the revelations his father once possessed!

Jumping from the floor jackrabbit fast and grabbing his mother by the hair, he had dragged her kicking and screaming into the kitchen and mutilated her, then excitedly but gently performed the intricate work of removing her delicate eyes. The various smallware of the Swiss Army Knife made perfect sense now, larger tools would have been cumbersome for such confined areas. But if handled properly and in strict accordance with the goddess’s guidance, one needed nothing more than this elegantly designed and superbly crafted portable operating utensil to dislodge an ocular “soul-gate.”

How to enter that gate once you had it in order to drink in its revelations and thereby divine the goddess’s will was a different matter, one that young Apol believed would require prolonged prayer and consideration.

But hardly had his parents’ corpses began to stink when, by the next day, quite by accident, or maybe Hecate’s providence, he had made the discovery that would change his life forever. In his father’s library, in one of his many books on UFOs and Greek mythology, an unknown author, a self-anointed mystic, pointed out that in B.C. 410, while writing about the bloody rituals of the Bacchae in his famous play, The Bacchantes, Euripedes described how Pentheus, King of Thebes, was torn apart and eaten alive by his mother while under the guidance of Dionysus.

As it turns out, this tearing apart and cannibalizing, also called omophagia, was actually practiced by ingenious ancients who understood that by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of living creatures, the “soul” or “essence” of a victim might actually be absorbed.

According to the enlightening book, many early pagans understood this: Norwegian huntsmen, African Masai, headhunters of the East Indies, plus numerous others whose illuminated societies comprehended that by eating portions of the body while performing ceremonies dating back to the hidden goddess-mysteries, all or part of a victim’s memories, strengths, and revelations could be captured by the consumer. Thus if eyes were windows to the soul, the book argued, consuming them during mystery rituals would absorb their collective revelations and strengthen one’s ability to divine.

Inspired by the author’s profound wisdom and armed with this new information, Apol had moved his parent’s bodies to the barn where the Unitherians—the small UFO cult started by his dad—regularly met. Except for an elaborately fashioned, large bronze statue of the Greek goddess Hecate, handcrafted in Italy and financed by a wealthy stock-car driver and friend of the sect, the cult’s “Temple” was actually similar to the poorly decorated backwater churches that dotted the Mississippi landscape, and maintained about the same.

Nevertheless it was in those modest surroundings, humbly before the goddess, he had become an eater of souls, consuming his mother’s eyes and flooding his own with wounderful revelations. Maybe it was because she was a woman and represented a communion of flesh fashioned like the goddess. Or maybe it was just her eyes, any woman’s eyes, that could produce such divine symmetry. In either case a love affair between himself, his victim’s souls, and the deity began that day, a ménage à trois more intimate than any purveyor of pornography could imagine. And the revelations he received from that first communion, well, they were beyond anything he could have anticipated.

He was to become a god…who would sire a divine son, a child that would rule the world like a mythical descendent from the Mount of Olympus. This would be the dream that would remain before him for twenty years.

After burning his parents’ barn with what was left of them in it, collecting the life insurance money, and selling the house and assets, he had declared the Unitherians disbanded and joined the military, where, through patient manipulation, he had climbed the ranks over the same twenty years, first as an expert sniper, then as a Special Operations officer, and finally as a Black Operations officer, ultimately leading to his stint at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and then at Montero, where he’d been placed in charge of the above-top-secret Project Reindeer.

The military wasn’t always aware of how he’d used his well-deserved and impressive authority for personal needs (not the least of which was the relocation of the bronze statue of Hecate from storage to her new sanctuary below Montero), especially since 1987, when his destiny was confirmed. That’s when he’d met the reptilian pilot of the crashed alien ship and received the Dropa translations, including the special “for his eyes only” formula, which he used on himself. The reptilian had explained how it was sent from Hecate to point the way to Apol’s deification. Reptiles were always used in this manner, it had said, even in the Bible, where Adam and Eve followed the serpent’s advice and were well on their way to becoming gods “before you-know-who cut them off.”

In his case, Apol was told, the father of serpents would succeed, genetically transforming and then using him to spawn his namesake’s seed.

Now, with each passing day, his form, once purely human, nurtured the hidden transformation, the growing, clawing, painful pleasure of his new and special self.

Likewise, in his laboratory, as prophesied, the promised one had begun to gestate.

Chewing the foul communion, he kissed the statue’s feet, then departed the underground shrine for the titanium cages where the Mega Nephilim were kept—the behemoths like Rahu, Bisclaveret, Chemosh, and Mantus.

It was time to let the dogs out.



When the elevator stopped and the computerized voice above him said, “Level Twenty,” Joe thought, thus begins the moment of truth.

He alerted his senses, anticipating the door’s opening, and prepared for what might be on the other side. Phobos had caused him to believe the door would open to an empty hallway. A second later, with no one in sight, he was happy to find it did.

As the opening came fully apart, he closed his eyes and they twitched, as if he was experiencing rapid eye movement. The marine trick wasn’t the subconscious processing of dream-state information, however. Everything he had learned over the past few days—from weapons to schematics to timing—were catalogued now in mnemonic memory groups for “at-will” retrieval.

Calling up “Memory Group One,” he visualized the distance and directions to Sheri’s room, dropped his intake to a controlled breathing pattern, and rushed through the doorway with stealthy liquid motion. As he stepped over the threshold, his attention was drawn to the strong odor of floor disinfectant, military issue of the familiar type he’d smelled on more than one occasion at mess hall. Besides this obvious attention to cleanliness, the glaring absence of decor took him by surprise. The elevator and even the exterior of the building had at least reflected a paltry smattering of commercial appeal—wainscoting, carpet, baseboard, and trimming. Now it was as if he’d entered an ashen-colored tunnel through which sinful interior decorators must assuredly begin their descent into Hell. The ceiling was gray, the walls were gray, even the uncovered concrete floor had been left to blandly cure. Given that the corridor was also without doors and windows, it would have been difficult to navigate the chalky passage without inevitably experiencing snow blindness if it had not been for the generous amounts of overhead lighting and the occasional wall-mounted camera.

Just as Phobos said he would, he soon arrived at a T in the hallway. Somewhere in the distance, two or three persons could be heard, speaking in a “clickity clackity” tongue-against-the-roof-of-their-mouth language that sounded more like exotic tropical birds than intelligent dialogue.

He considered the unfamiliar sound, and thought it might be extremely low frequency waves (ELFs) broadcasting along the halls. As a marine, he’d learned of mind control experiments using ELFs through which enemy targets could be subdued by distorting sensory imaging within the brain’s frequency allocations, thus causing them to hear and to even to “see” concocted phenomena.

Yet if ELFs were being openly broadcast, he told himself, the same would indiscriminately destabilize all persons on the floor except those wearing protective headgear.

Given the cumbersome nature of the frequency-absorbing helmets, and unless security personnel are already aware of my presence, it’s more likely that a pair of doped-up Cockatiels have escaped the Portland Zoo and are lost inside Montero.

Either way, he had to move and move quickly, whether in reality or in a bird-populated, ELF-induced matrix.

Continuing around the corner, he reached the designated junction. The PAL’s indicator light verified the system was fully operational. With his back pressed firmly against the wall, he peered around the corner. An MP was midway down the hall, at attention, his sidearm holstered, standing beside the door Joe assumed opened to Sheri’s room.

Taking a deep breath, he focused then sprinted around the wall, simultaneously aiming and squeezing the high-tech weapon’s toggle. By the time the MP saw what was happening, two nonlethal ultraviolet beams were flashing along the hallway. The positive and negative conduits—like brightly colored miniature lightning bolts—struck the guard in the neck. He jerked violently, surprised, then paralyzed, his arms gnarling into pathetic distortions along his shaking sides. He grimaced and fell to the floor, trembling uncontrollably, overcome by the involuntary contraction of his skeletal muscle mass. Spittle ran from the corners of his lips as he slumped sideways against the floor.

Now Joe was at the door. He stepped over the guard’s body, reached into the top pocket of the load-bearing vest, retrieved the key card, swiped it through the electronic door lock, and watched as a green light appeared where a red one had been a moment before. He pushed the access open and moved halfway through the postern, careful to hold the door with one hand while pointing the PAL with the other.

“Sheri!” he whispered loudly, surveying what appeared to be an abandoned room. “Sheri!”

A camera—one like he’d seen above the entrance—aimed at him nearby. A red light blinked above the lens. He stared into it, aware that a security officer inside a control area was probably watching him and by now alerting security.

He whispered again, louder this time. “Sheri! Answer me! Are you here!?”

Suddenly he felt vulnerable, like his plan was crumbling. He wanted to run! To get out of there! Unaccustomed to such extraordinary panic, he sensed an unusual negativity pushing against the raw edges of his nerves. A ceiling mural of a goddess and six gray aliens was overhead. In as many ways as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel could inspire, this artwork seemed to rain despair, as if an aberrant Siren from the mythical island of Anthemoessa was whispering to him, “Run away…forget about Sheri…save yourself…or kill yourself…”

Then a different response, faintly audible, came from somewhere in the room, a soft little voice that sounded like a girl.

“They…they took her away,” it answered cautiously.


Katherine looked at the masculine guy standing in the doorway. Who was he, bursting in here looking for Sheri? And what was that thing in his hand? A DustBuster?


Joe’s eyes shot to the bed. “Who’s there?”

“M-me,” the voice replied from beneath the anchored mattress.

He stooped and caught the big blue eyes of a frightened woman staring out from below the frame. A girl, really, an overly slender yet beautiful waif of eighteen to twenty years of age. Although she was wearing makeup and hair as intricately tiered and as stylishly done as to qualify for prom queen candidacy, a nearly transparent hospital gown was the only thing covering her dainty body.

“Who are you?” he asked, careful not to stare at her in ways that would embarrass.

“I’m Katherine, I’m Sheri’s friend…they took her away.”

He held the door with his foot and stretched forward to offer her his hand. “Where did they take her to?”

Grabbing his fingertips with one hand while closing the back of her gown with the other, she pulled herself from beneath the bed and stood up a bit too close for Joe’s comfort.

“I heard the guard say she was going to Genetics…who are you?”

He couldn’t remember a “Genetics” room on the schematic.

“I’m Sheri’s brother, and we don’t have much time. Do you know anything about this place? Do you know where Genetics is?” Now he could smell her perfume.

She covered her thinly veiled chest and opened her mouth to answer, but didn’t get the chance. A sharp AINK…AINK…AINK erupted in the hall, the alarm drowning out the two of them.


When the warning went off on Level Twenty, Donald Pritchert acted nonchalant and dialed Phobos’s beeper from his position near the control room. He entered the number 46, the “go” signal the admiral was waiting for.


Even though Phobos couldn’t hear the audible alarm from where he was, he accepted the legitimacy of the pager signal and pushed the elevator’s “Open Door” button. When the panels slid apart, he stepped over the threshold into the Dungeon with the SAMM suitcase nuclear warhead in his powerful right hand. Instantly, he cringed, his senses rapped by such strong odor that he nearly lost his breakfast. The pungent smell of the Nephilim’s sweat and defecation engrossed the atmosphere like waves of toxic matter.

How in the world the caretakers can stand to breathe this air is beyond me, he thought.

Starting to turn toward the target area, he paused. It caught him as odd that the chamber was ghostly silent, different somehow, and for a moment he considered that he might be too late, that the creatures had been removed to the staging area. Then his eyes adjusted to the darkness, and he saw uniform columns of statuelike Nephilim standing mute inside their titanium cages. Other than the controlled breathing of their chests, the beings were motionless, staring straight ahead, hypnotized by something unknown.

Analyzing the situation, he concluded that he’d never seen the Nephilim so restrained. His bet was that the creatures, like so many other elements of the Reindeer project, were no longer under the military’s control. In some way they too were reacting to the Enigma. He also noted a group of technicians and an officer of some rank huddled near a lamp at the far end of the arcade. They were undoubtedly discussing the development, probably looking for an explanation, something to offer somebody way up the chain of command.


Several hundred feet away, beyond Phobos’s view, Apol Leon and an incredible monstrosity, one of four special creatures not fitted with AngelStar chips, were walking toward the elevator. The Mega-Nephilim hoofed along the hallway with lumbering, arching strides, its massive arms swinging palm backward as it went. It looked like a blend between a gorilla and a man, its features chiseled and exaggerated with teeth dripping rancid saliva from its partially opened mouth. Its enormous eyes, maniacal and darting, constantly monitored its surroundings.

Due to its unique ability to extract the last iota of agony from a victim before its death, the creature was called “Rahu,” after the Hindu devil, “the tormenter.” It grunted like a hog and sent a deep, obnoxious belly laugh echoing down the hall. It was so pleased. Not only was the Master’s armada minutes away now, but Apol Leon had promised it a special treat—a tender morsel called Katherine it could ravish any way it pleased now that the “bulbous-headed ones” had approved the Sheri specimen. At 8’10” and 962 pounds, the re-embodied Philistine champion and mutant cousin of Goliath could hardly wait to enjoy the delicious human delicacy.

Apol had asked only one favor of Rahu. Execute the goody-two-shoes team sent by General Layton to remove the Nibiruan Key. Slay them, and he could have the girl.


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