Sign up for email updates!



Share this!

“An experiment that has led to the deliberate creation of a human chimera—named after the Greek monster that was part lion, part serpent and part goat—was presented to the European Society for Human Embryology in Madrid on Wednesday.…”

“Test Tube Monster Condemned by Scientists,” The Telegraph, 03-07-03


Quetzalcoatl’s army slithered from beneath the surface of Mars, along the War Planet’s canals into the ancient City Center. Imprisoned since the great conflict with Michael the archangel, the spirits were anxious for freedom and hungry for human blood.

Millions of miles beneath them, the demons at the edge of Kosmos were likewise growing impatient. Along the mouth of the Ahriman Gate, they pried, challenged, searched for weaknesses in the angelic barrier, while behind them, saucer-shaped objects with hieroglyphic markings along their rims formed a massive armada, pushing against Earth’s atmosphere to get to the human race.

Yet for now the heavenly host held them—galvanized by the intercessory group at Mt. Hood Evangelical Seminary and by the other “suddenly burdened” prayer warriors on their knees around the globe.


In the access tunnel, John Stark lay dazed on the floor. The grenade had dislodged a large rock from the ceiling that had grazed his left temple in the fall. For the moment he thought he was at the academy at West Point where a choir of cadets was singing: From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country’s battles, In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

“Admiral…John…you okay?”

A cloudy figure…over him…a strong hand rubbing his wrist…a familiarity of voice…transforming now…a face he recognized…kneeling down…

“You okay?” Joe repeated, wiggling his arm. The girls were there too, looking at him anxiously.

He blinked…remembering where he was…the gravity of the moment…his head felt like it was splitting apart…then he heard himself mumbling as he rose gingerly onto one elbow, “Y-yeah…yeah…I think so.”

Carefully, Joe clasped his hand and gradually pulled him up. “You’ve got a nasty bump, but it doesn’t appear to be bleeding.”

Standing tentatively, swaying woozily, he saw that tons of stone and earth had filled the access tunnel behind them. The pineapple grenade had been more than enough to bring a huge portion of the ceiling down. Inches away, the boulder that hit him could easily have taken his life. He steadied himself against it and said, “Let me sit on this for a second. How long was I out for?”

“A couple minutes,” Joe said. “The grenade did the trick though. It’s been quiet…I think the creatures are dead…”

Sitting, Stark whispered soberly, “Don’t count on it.”

“What’s that?”

He drew in a deep breath and repeated sluggishly, “I said don’t count on it. Pritchert was wrong…I did mean Apollyon.”


On the opposite side of the cave-in, next to the ape-demon-snake-men, Apol knew what he had to do. Mantus, Bisclaveret, and Chemosh would go back to the depot and kill the remaining technicians. While they prepared the regular Nephilim for the Master’s appearing, he and Rahu would recover the embryo. It would take Rahu no more than ten minutes to dig through the rubble, catch Sheri’s helpers, and hold them. Apol would thoroughly enjoy watching Sheri’s eyes as she witnessed her male companions butchered. Then, feature by feature, Katherine would excite him the most. Yes, he had promised her to Rahu, but his mind was changed. Authority had its benefits, and the sweet terror of the Swiss Army knife’s delicate ocular extraction would start even before the blood in her carotid arteries could dam against her garroted throat to relieve her of the misery. The communion that followed and the dismemberment of her body would be particularly amusing, even practical, now that Sheri needed additional convincing to submit to implantation. Perhaps something of the scraps could be left for Rahu.




A chill radiated from the embryo container’s handle upward through Joe’s right arm as he pondered the ramifications of Stark’s “Apollyon” comment. He looked at the admiral and said, “Then we’d better get moving, hadn’t we?”

Stark nodded with a grunt and struggled upright. As his legs steadied, the four of them began moving as swiftly as deliberation would allow. Following the tracks through the earth, they soon descended into a dank area defined by what might have been coal veins cutting deep inside the rock in angled tectonic lines. As the patterns passed, Joe saw Stark studying the geological designs, as though he was trying to figure something out. Before long Stark sighed and said, “You may as well know, the giants aren’t the worst of our problems.”

When neither Joe nor the girls responded, Stark raised his voice a little. “Some time ago my team became aware of a top secret experiment called ‘New Messiah.’ Frankly, it should have been called ‘False Messiah’ or ‘Project Antichrist’ since at the core it represented a fantastic plan by Apol Leon to produce a Super Nephilim—a genetically altered replicant of his DNA—the Apollyon incarnate.”

Joe closed the gap between them. Perhaps Stark was feeling that if only he talked, it would help the group stay focused and keep moving. Or maybe the admiral needed to get things out in the open and off of his chest. Either way, Joe wondered why he was telling them this now. Was it a need-to-know issue, or was he simply trying to motivate them?

“The demon?” Joe said incredulously.

“Afraid so. The sole survivor of the Sedona crash—a terrifying reptilian in constant contact with Apol—provided the genetic formula for the creature. The reptilian later died at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where its remains were used in the first phase of the experiment.”

“An experiment to incarnate a demon?”

“I understand how incredible it sounds. The reptilian’s DNA was somehow transgenically combined with Apol’s genome to create a single malevolent strand, a cellular catalyst to a metamorphosis in which Apol would become host to the Apollyon. In phase two of the procedure, the morphed DNA would be used to provide raw genetic material for the embryo of the Man of Sin—the prophesied one, who would enter the world in the last days, to lead the New World Order.”

Pushing back at least a dozen other questions, Joe said, “Even if such science was successful, surely Apol knows not all nations would agree to follow him or this creature son of his.”

“He may be a tyrant, but Apol’s not unwise. He’s contrived an ‘alien invasion’ that will create a global crisis brought on by mass panic and fear of the unknown. Any day now, the UFO presence will arrive and demand a representative from the world’s leaders. That’s when Apol will emerge as the alien’s ambassadorial choice. The Men in Black will also use their Majestic-12 influence to ensure the compliance succeeds. The nations will follow him all right, because he’ll terrify them into it while paving the way for his hadean son.”

“Who, or what, is the Majestic-12?”

“A top secret research group inside the National Security Council. The MJ-12, as they also are known, were established by President Truman right after the Roswell UFO incident. Today they are part of the ‘Disclosure Trigger,’ if I can put it that way, those who will decide when the alien presence on Earth can be revealed to the world.”

Suddenly something clicked deep inside Joe’s memory, and he said, “And the Men in Black?”

“MIBs are paramilitary agents who work specifically to eliminate predisclosure evidence of aliens on Earth by using terrorism, fear, and intimidation as a psychological weapon against UFO witnesses. In a nutshell, they’re synthetic slaves of the Majestic-12, who serve Apol’s draconian plan.”

Joe felt his throat go dry. He immediately remembered a line from his dad’s secret letter. “But beware the Men in Black. You’ll know them if you see them, especially their leader. He’s an old snake.” The implication of that line finally made sense. His dad was on to them. Somehow he knew Apol was possessed by an “old” snake, a very old, prehistoric one, in league with the MIB.

Sheri raced forward, careful not to lose her balance on the uneven floor, and said, “But what about the Constitution? Wouldn’t that protect us from this…this…hostile takeover?” She had clearly intuited enough of what Stark was saying to get the picture.

“Given an invasion by extraterrestrials? Sorry. FEMA will suspend the Constitution and martial law will be imposed.”


“The Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

“Can they just do that?”

“You better believe it, and it’s the perfect setup when you think about it, the making of a global police state in which Apol becomes a god, and his son becomes president of Planet Earth.”

Joe raised the special container with a heavy sigh. “So, if Apollyon is somehow embodied in Apol, we could actually be carrying the embryo of the Antichrist here?”

“That’s correct. According to the Bible, the Antichrist will be ‘the son of perdition,’ the male progeny of the Greek apoleia, or Apollyon. The implication couldn’t be clearer—the Man of Sin will be the physical offspring of the destroyer demon, a transgenic of the highest order.”

“Then why don’t we just destroy this thing?”

“We may need it as a hostage.”

Katherine had been silent until then. Now, out of the blue, she said slowly, “But that’s what got Pritchert.”

Joe glanced over his shoulder at her. “What?”

“Pritchert. I keep hearing him screaming. It’s so awful, how they got him.”

Through the cavern’s faint lighting, Joe could see tears welling up in her eyes. “I know, me too,” he said.

Stark picked up the pace. “He was a good man.”

“You and he were friends, weren’t you?” Sheri said.

“Professional acquaintances, really. But we’d gotten together for social drinks a time or two.”

“Did he have a wife?”



“One boy, I think.”

“Who will tell them about their husband and father?”

“I will, I suppose.”

Sheri jogged a couple steps to keep up. “Did his wife know his death was a possibility?”




“Why not?”


“Because why?”

“Like all our wives, she had no clue what he was doing.”

Silence returned as each of them reflected on those words. Except for the scuffling of their feet against the floor and the swishing of their clothes against their limbs, they continued now without a sound, the girls between the men, clutching hands, Stark in the lead, Joe watching their backs with the M-249.

As they went, the walls and ceiling of the tunnel became progressively rougher, until finally Joe could see bats squirming in darker areas above where muddy heaps of guano stacked deep upon the floor. The foul odor, present elsewhere in the cave, rose and subsided as they passed each pile, but the air here was breezier and so less stale than the other side of the cave-in had been. Even so, the faint scent of sulfur, like weak echoes of Prometheus’s theft of fire from the gods, combined with the guano to create a wretched stench that in some places was nearly impossible to breathe.

Seconds turned to minutes as they counted the overhead bulbs, passing between them to shadow, then under them to light, the passageway becoming an endless maze of guano piles to avoid, like a travel game they could play called “dodge the dooky.” It seemed a peculiar environment to Joe, something he’d never considered before, a hidden world where ancient lava veins formed housing settlements for daddy longlegs, crickets, moths, bats, and other nocturnal creatures whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to feed and then to crap.

At least they were moving, he told himself, and away from the Nephilim. That was the important thing.

A second later, as if to challenge his hope that some distance might be put between them and the giants, a crawling sensation moved over him as a dull thumping started in the walls. It felt to Joe as if a mining company somewhere had turned on drilling equipment of such size and strength that its mighty vibrations were being transferred along miles of volcanic basalt. Soon the sound changed to digging and finally tapered off. Upstairs, when he’d first entered the Dungeon, he’d heard a metallic clanking of some kind there, too. Perhaps this vibration was associated with that. The vast facility was, after all, largely automated. Yet as he walked another block, a different scenario entered his mind. What if the sound indicated something alive in the walls or beneath the floor? For all he knew, the creatures he’d stopped earlier with the grenade had survived the blast and were burrowing toward them even now, like giant moles or mutated rodentia, about to burst through the rock at any moment to catch and rip them apart.

Now the vibrations resumed and magnified. From the feel of the echo, whatever it was had grown closer in less than a minute.

Another thump. Stronger this time. The floor of the tunnel shook.

A trip wire tied to a grenade might be a good idea at this time.

He listened again, the sound rising, then falling, like the breath of the mountain flexing beside him, until at last it seemed to reach through the walls and brush up against the hair of his legs. He forced himself against everything else to pretend whatever it was, was benign.

Minutes later, nearly one hour after entering the research facility, a catwalk appeared above them as they began a sharp right turn. It was brightly painted, or perhaps luminescent, as if treated with fluorescents. Joe was not able to determine the method of its gleaming until at last, a yellow light like the gentle radiance of fireflies, beamed down the pathway, reflecting on the steel.

Taking a cue from Stark, he paused and stared at the anomaly directly ahead. Pale saffron seemed to encircle what looked like characterized letters shimmering against a solid black wall. As he discerned it, an illuminated sign embedded in the rock came into view: WARNING! YARD PERSONNEL EXIT ONLY!

Given the events of the past forty-eight hours, Joe was surprised at how quickly the reader board caused hope to surge within him. Here in this black and craggy hellhole, the effect of his faith in God was still strong. Mom and Dad had always said the Lord goes before you, and he was starting to believe it was true.

Although they were obviously approaching another dead end, a diminutive trace of ivory-yellow light was clearly outlining a spectacular doorway beneath the amber glowing sign.

As with him, Stark also seemed invigorated by the exit and grabbed the overrider from beneath his belt. Clutching it firmly, he took off running toward the door.

Seconds later, eyes wide with anticipation, breathing half as much from excitement as they were from hurrying, the group reached the end of the tunnel. On one side of the barrier several ports were illuminated by ocean blue dots inside a shiny metal plank. Stark lifted the palm-sized instrument into the light and plugged it into the mechanism. He began typing a series of numbers onto the keypad.

In the static silence that followed, the rhythmic pounding Joe had heard earlier moved along the floor and joined a vague digging elsewhere, like a mouse clawing in the wall—a big, dangerous, mutant, demonic mouse, grunting, breathing, burrowing hard to reach them.

Stark inspected the readout as Katherine timidly stammered something about the need to hurry up.

“We’re almost there,” he reassured her, sounding as if in fact he believed they were running out of time.

Joe turned and knelt on one knee. He pressed the machine gun tightly against his shoulder and aimed it at the area they had just come through. The M-249 had an effective range of five hundred meters. If anything came through the tunnel after them, it would meet two hundred rounds of explosive ammunition. Even so, he felt like Davy Crockett guarding the lives of Alamo soldiers against Santa Anna’s vastly superior Mexican army. Crockett had used his .40 caliber flintlock, Bowie his famous knife, and Travis his bravery, but the men burned anyway in a funeral pyre at three o’clock in the afternoon, March 6, 1836.

Now he heard the exit doors rattle behind him and come swiftly open. Brilliant sunlight shot down the passage like a spotlight from a stage. Where a second before the maintenance bulbs and the faint glow of the exit sign had vaguely lit the cavernous hall, momentous illumination abruptly filled the area all around him.

Curiously, the vibration that had been so prevalent within the walls and floor moments before seemed to move up his legs now and echo inside his head! He could clearly hear a voice burning in his mind…

I need…I need…the embryo…I need…”



Stark wrapped his huge hands around the nape of both girls’ necks and pushed them through the doorway. Following them outside, he turned and stared back beyond Joe. Though he couldn’t be sure, he thought the grenade pile was holding. He hadn’t heard or seen anything since the explosion that had brought so much of the ceiling down.

Yet as his eyes adjusted to the brightness, he caught sight of something huge, a shadow maybe, large and moving stealthily along the carvern’s wall, lumbering near the area where they had first seen the scaffolding.

He held his breath, looked harder, squinted.

The darkness slowed, became defined, the enormous silhouette of a beast creeping forward near the sharp turn in the tracks.

Standing very still, Stark whispered to Joe, who seemed to be frozen. When he didn’t respond, Stark thought, He must not have heard me, but can’t he see the shadow?

A second passed. Then a claw as large as a plow blade slipped slowly around the corner. Above it, a face, wicked and menacing, peered down the corridor, pulled back, slipped away. A moment later, water sloshed beyond the bend in the road. Joe still wasn’t moving. On a whim, Stark silently prayed, Lord, don’t let Joe’s eyes be blinded by the enemy; don’t let their psychic trickeries work on him.


Just like that, Joe heard a sound, saw a shadow, and stood up. An instant later a gorilla-like roar blared down the shaft with acoustics so immediate and thunderous that he jerked backward, lost his balance, and stumbled to the floor.

A phenomenal creature sprang around the corner toward him, faster than could be imagined, water spraying off its pads as it propelled itself twenty yards through the air in a single bound.

Joe flew to his feet in a panic, vaulted through the opening beside Stark, and rolled onto one side to aim and fire the machine gun.

The beast was snarling, vicious, hungry, sloppy, guttural sounds of anger as it closed the gap between them.

For a split second Joe made eye contact with the fast approaching thing, gulping at the intensity and ferociousness of the creature.

Jerking the connector out of the overrider and letting the titanium door slam shut, Stark grabbed the Walther P-38 from its holster and shouted, “Cover your eyes!”

Two shots rang out in quick succession as projectiles from his weapon found their mark against the entry panel. Flame poured from the locking device as smoke drifted from the silencer.

Joe watched the door. He could hear the giant, breathing heavily, as it approach the other side.


A mile down the mountain on the Columbia River’s shoreline, Buck watched as Tater jumped from his favorite blanket onto the aging boat’s deck.

“What’s th’ matter boy?” he said. “Yeh hear somethin’? Huh?”

The dog was alert, ears straight up, eyes fixed on the forest. His breathing stopped and his tail dropped, then his jowls drew above his fangs and quivered as a deep growl rumbled evenly in his throat.

“I think he heard a gunshot,” Allie said to Buck. “I think I heard it too, up the mountain somewhere.”

With his tousled hair fluttering gently in the breeze, the old man swiveled in his chair and with a voice as gristled as a saw blade drawn on timber, said, “Gunshot, eh? Don’t reckon I’d read too much into that, missy. Lots a’ hunters ’round here use these woods, uh-huh.”

The truth was, Buck didn’t want to frighten her. He knew Tater was riveted by something else, something unusual. The dog was accustomed to hunters and gunfire. Tarnation, he’d practically grown up on the stuff. Something different had alarmed the dog.


Category: Featured, Featured Articles