“Sam, this is the last cycle of creation.”
Sam and the lady were alone in the darkest room of Keaton Place; again in the same spot where he first met her. It was the largest room in the facility, although he could not pinpoint its location from the outside. She had only shown herself in this room, and while this seemed strange at first, knowing what he had to do to get to this point; he could understand her desire to stay hidden.
“In the beginning, there was nothing; and in the end, there will be nothing. Only light, Sam,” she wrapped a delicate hand around his chin.
“The work you are doing is in the name of all that is good in the world. All that is just. The corruption in our world is concentrated, hidden away in the hearts of the most innocent. Maybe you’ve had a second thought on why we do what we do. These girls you save, they are sleeper agents. Pre-programmed before birth to kill the ones that maintain the balance of our world. Do you understand the severity of our situation?”
Sam nodded solemnly.
“There is another, waiting for you to release her. Your failure is a set-back, but in forgiveness, we all find love Sam. A knight is not defined solely by his victories, but by how he overcomes his defeats. Dr. Methusda will give you the details, and I trust you will take care of this.”
“Yes, my lady.”
“I am watching, and waiting. Return us to glory, and go.”
‘Return us to glory’? Sam thought. Perhaps in another life, he would have questioned his own motives and reasons. For the first life in dozens, his unquestioning loyalty to any one cause, especially one that reciprocated his dedication, made him feel human again. A world that had left him on a street to die became a corrupt and disposable wasteland that he may do his lady’s bidding.
St Amabilis Cathedral stood tall amongst chestnut and oak trees in the oldest neighborhood in the city. It was built in a Richardsonian Romanesque style: massive stone bricks were arranged by colors, creating a banded look through alternating contrast colors. Archivolts caved into dark mahogany doors, and polished granite floors met the visitors for that evening with a grin.
Among the benches sat just one visitor, a girl twisting beads in her hand as she whispered quiet prayers. She felt the darkness coming, even weeks before, and became a frequent visitor as of late. Her mother was initially worried about this sudden habit, but realized that perhaps her daughter was finally listening to the word of God; it had become a fierce struggle in getting her daughter involved with the church.
An older man placed a hand on her shoulder from behind; she turned to expect the bishop but was met with a face she did not recognize.
“I see that you have felt the call, too?”
“I um…yea something keeps bringing me to this place.”
The man sat back on the bench, opening a bible to a specific verse, reading patiently as she returned to prayer.
“I had a dream last night, I was here in the church, but the walls were old and decrepit, as if it were abandoned for hundreds of years. Upon the alter this bible lay open, and marked upon the page, the verse Deuteronomy 28:53 was highlighted. And I read aloud:
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
I turned to see a most gorgeous woman, garbed in white satin and lace. She touched my hand and spoke:
‘The person you seek will bring light to the darkness of this torn home. Find her.’
And I awoke. And it gave me a reason to come here tonight, and I hope it is not coincidence that I find you here. The night carries on, however.”
The older man lifted himself from the bench, as the girl sat and digested his words. She was alone again, reaching the end of her chant; a strange man, she thought. The time came that she would also leave; the girl stopped at the holy water and touching the shape of a cross with her hand on her body. It was a cold night as she snugged her jacket together and opened the doors of the Cathedral.
Olivia met a swift hook to her face and swept her feet from underneath her, the girl meeting the cold stone masonry as her vision slowly lost her. Sam lifted the body onto his shoulders, putting her in the trunk of a modern sedan that Olivia owned.
“What did you say to her?” Olivia was curious.
“Nothing, really.” Sam replied.
The Amazon was the premier club on West 42nd street – namely for the crowd that it attracted. It was one of the few places that the women did not have to worry about male purveyors, and one of the few places that two ladies could have a drink together and let it be more than just a drink. Olivia was able to shape shift into the crowd, wearing her hair short and dressed in a button-down shirt and cut off jean shorts.
She danced in the crowd, letting herself get lost in the hot electronic mess while she searched for her prey. She would look similar to the other girls, maybe a different outfit but the telltale signs would all be there. Sam came up with a paradigm that was working, and it involved less risk and a bit more fun. Olivia licked the neck of the blonde she was dancing with. Sweat poured down their bodies, and hands glided along places held special.
Breaking off for a drink at the bar, a woman approached Olivia very brazenly.
“Whatcha’ drinking? Let’s get it on the house.” She waved to the bartender.
“A sex on the beach.” Olivia grinned.
“I think I’ll have the same. Two, please!” The woman tried to speak over the music.
“So what’s your name? I’m new in town.”
“It’s Elizabeth, I work here but I’m allowed to have a bit of fun every now and then. Management says it helps push sales when I flirt with the customers, but this one is on me.”
The bartender pushed them their drinks, orange and red in highball glasses. It was a simple drink of juice, vodka and schnapps, but the name implied more for its consumers. Olivia sipped it gingerly while Elizabeth took a big gulp – eager for the night’s intentions to play out. They talked for a bit; with Olivia baby sipping her cocktail as a precaution against actually enjoying the evening. The music pulsed their hormones into overdrive, the Elizabeth woman grinding against Olivia to the point of no return.
“Why don’t we go somewhere a little more private? Maybe you can show me the city?” Olivia spoke sweetly, close to Elizabeth’s ear. She bit her earlobe gently, giving a casual tug.
“Let me clear it with Ed real quick, my boss. Just give me a minute, sweaty.” She simply winked at her. Olivia slipped a rohypnol into her drink as a precaution – Sam and she could handle the casually drunk girl, but then again the singer should have been an easy assignment. The bartender watched, but said nothing; he could have easily prevented the rest of the night’s activities had he spoken up, but he felt he shouldn’t get involved in their lives. He figured a bad situation was going to happen regardless if the drink was spiked or not, but the fate of the Elizabeth girl might have been different had he said something, at least.
“Let me finish my drink real quick! I know this wonderful little spot where we can see stars,” Elizabeth said passionately as she chugged the rest of her cocktail. As they left the building, she felt the dark night’s air refreshing, but had a sudden sense of anxiety. The bright neon sign of the club would be the last thing she remembered.
A loud thumping noise shook Alwin from his half-slumber as his phone vibrated on the wooden table next to him. Groggily, he picked up.
“Hey buddy, taking a nap?”
He recognized the voice as the officer Jerry Fischer down at the station.
“Trying to; I’m kind of busy here. What do you need?”
“There’s a kid here, teenager, we brought into questioning about a kidnapping. He said a man with a golden gun was involved and I figured you’d like to speak with him. What kind of James Bond shit are you getting into?”
“Shut up Jerry, I’m on my way.”
It took Alwin thirty minutes to get himself together and down to the station. Collins and he were taking turns with surveillance on the warehouse they understood to be at the key of their investigation. Shut down the gang, get the killer’s contact information from the gunsmith and finally solve their big case. An operation of this magnitude could mean a hefty promotion, something the two of them could use at this point in their careers.
He sat down at the table with the shaken up young adult, a cup of coffee in hand and a digital recorder.
“Ok, so tell me what happened.”
“Um..Yea so I’ve been kinda seeing this girl, not dating her but I’ve been wanting to. Elizabeth Ford, we’re in the same grade and have math together. So I asked her out a few days ago, and we went on a date tonight. Nothing special, just um, a movie and maybe go walk in the park and just hang out.”
Alwin twiddled a pen in his fingers.
“Ok, so we get out from watching the movie, the new Perchance to Die one, and we head to the park. Noor Gate park, with the lake and the dog park. And we’re there, holding hands and talking when we come across this woman. Maybe in her twenties, I’m not sure. She was on the ground, and her leg looked all bloodied.
We ran over to her and asked if there was anything we could do. She said her phone was in her car, and she handed the keys to Elizabeth to go get it to call her husband. I waited with the woman, she wouldn’t let me look at her injury but I figured it was because of the pain. Elizabeth was taking a long time, so I went in the direction the woman told me, and there was no car. I went back to where I remembered the woman was, and she was gone too. Everyone just disappeared.”
“Strange. Can you give me a description of the woman?” He didn’t mean to be so short, but he was groggy and not in a very good mood.
“Yea um, she was a brunette, curly hair and I think I saw a tattoo on her neck.”
Alwin perked up instantly.
“Was it a knife?”
Alwin thanked the teen and stepped out of the room. He took a minute in the break room to think things out, and he realized that his partner Collins and he were running out of time. The only person who had information on the killer was sending them on a wild goose chase, and they needed to act faster. He called his brother Dominic to let him know he would not be coming home.