After plowing through the Midtown congestion caused by the Times Square fiasco, using aggressive driving and a blaring siren, Alex arrived at Federal Plaza sooner than expected. Sporadic reports over her police channel told her that Gina already left her mark. “Single-handedly destroyed an army of cops?” she thought. “Damn, Gina.” Mistrusting silence sprawled as she entered the building lobby. Clicking show heels, beeping cell phones and hollering voices usually flooded her ears during the day. Now there was nothing but the sound of her own footsteps echoing off the walls. Surveillance cameras ran twenty-four hours. Overnight security took shifts patrolling the lobby, running routine checks. She passed by a guard who tightened his eyes while reaching for his flashlight. He then gave a nod and stepped aside once the agent flashed her badge.
Alex took the elevator at level 9: The Central Nerve of Operations Center. Even though only half of the staff is available during overnight hours, it was just as busy as if it was nine o’clock in the morning. Entering the floor, she
met Agent Lloyd Scrothers halfway down the walkway. “He’s being held in Interrogation on Level 8, iced in a stupor state,” said Lloyd, enlightening her on the current status of Felix Williston.
“Has he been hostile?” asked Alex.
“I’d say just the opposite. We found him under his desk curled up like a cat. Bloody doctor looked right passed us, then screamed like a lunatic when Agent Burke tapped him on the shoulder. Poor bastard. He’s deathly afraid of something, but I seriously doubt it’s any of us.”
Level 8 was a secret corridor with no elevator access. Only ways to get down there: through a private staircase at Level 9 or from an undisclosed elevator hidden in the parking lot, purposely designed to protect witnesses and criminals awaiting trial.
Agent Kristen Burke stood guard in front of the holding room. She handed Alex a folder with Felix’s background information or lack thereof. His Oxford University transcript stated he was a pre-med graduate with a license to practice medicine. But strangely, the serial numbers on his certificate were phony. Burke ran his name through their database and found no match. Technically, he didn’t exist.
“This is getting more fun by the minute,” Alex worried. “Keep the cameras rolling but let me talk to him alone. Meanwhile, run a search on his staff at Brookhaven. Maybe we can find a clue that’ll lead us to his origin.”
“Yes sir,” responded Burke. “Mind telling us which case is this guy vital
“For the time being, Burke, I do. I’m playing this pretty close to the chest, so I just need you to trust me on this one.”
“Always do boss.”
Felix didn’t acknowledge the agent as she entered the room, not even flinching when the door slammed. His dead eyes nervously gazed at his reflection in the double-sided mirror. Room temperature was 50 degrees but sweat ran from his head like a faucet, soaking his hair and shirt.
“You’ve been a naughty boy Felix,” said Alex while opening his file. “Besides being uncooperative during an FBI investigation, you’re not even a licensed doctor.” Felix remained silent. “According to your jacket, your qualifications appear to be purely cosmetic. Same goes for your name. No priors. No family. Not even a damn birth certificate.” She leaned over the
table and pressed her hands on its sides. “Who are you? Why would you deny access to a government agent? Unless, of course, you have something to hide?” Silence continued. “I can look right through your eyes and tell that you’re just
a puppet. But who’s your puppet master? I don’t know what kind of demonic practices you got going on in that morgue, but what I do know is they weren’t orchestrated from you. Give me a name.” He said nothing.
Alex stood up and took a breath. “Here’s the good news: I don’t want you. I want the person pulling your strings. He has to be well-connected or else you wouldn’t be sitting here sweating like a priest in a whorehouse. Give me a name and I’ll let you go – hell, I’ll walk you out the front doors myself.”
“No…no,” whispered Felix.
“Can I show you something?” Alex pulled out her cell phone and swiped through the gory pictures she took earlier. Felix shivered like sitting on a block of ice, grimacing at the sight of them. “Your morgue is filled with mutilated officers and I have no goddamn answers as to why. If you won’t tell me who you’re working for, then that means I was wrong. You are the man responsible. And these pics will hold up as evidence in any court of law. Therefore – besides obstruction of justice – I got you for murder, conspiracy to commit murder,
felony and even abuse of a corpse. Keep playing games with me and I’ll see to it that you’re convicted on all of them!”
“NO!!!!” Felix begged. “I never killed anyone!!”
“So, you were lying to me? Now I can add perjury to your laundry list of charges. Better get yourself a shovel mister because you’re in deep –”
“PLEASE!!! Send me away! Far as you want! I swear on my life you will never see me again! Just don’t make me say another word...or else...I’m…dead. We’re all. Dead.”
“Give me a name.”
“You can’t stop these people. They’re above the laws of nature. They don’t accept failure. I’ll be turned over to the wolves and… NO! I can’t face them!!! You can’t protect me! NOBODY CAN!!! Just please…let me go.”
Alex had one card left in her deck to play. “You’re right. I can’t protect you. However, I know someone who can. Do you know what an Angelite is?”
“...Angelite?!” Felix gasped. “You know an Angelite?”
“Yes, I do. Does Special Agent Vasquez ring a bell? Maybe I can talk to her about some kind of protection arrangement, but you have to give me something
– right here and now – or else forget the whole deal. Whatta you say?”
Wiping off the running tears and sweat, Felix submitted. His confession started with how he got recruited by the Clucifix:
Many years ago, he worked as an accountant for an owner of a strip club in Corpus Christi called The Bumping Grind. A group of entrepreneurs came in one night and asked to talk to him about a new job opportunity. Their interest in him was due to his family history with black magic. They made him a generous offer, but Felix declined. The group then returned a few days later. Not only did they add more zeros to their previous offer, but adding outlandish promises as well. Felix became more intrigued the longer he listened to their hypnotizing words. Eventually, he accepted. He was given a new identity and assigned the task of managing the morgue at Brookhaven, secretly serving as a shrine for Demonic Spirits. Due to his knowledge of black magic, he was responsible for casting spells that enabled dead bodies to stay preserved. Every ounce of their blood
was drained and given to Satan as an offering while their souls suffered eternal torment.
“Why in God’s name would you agree to join such a grotesque organization?!” Alex asked, disgustingly. “Who would participate in torturing human beings just to make a few extra dollars? It makes no damn sense!”
“I agree,” Felix admitted. “But the way he spoke to me. He made it sound so liberating...like I’d be making a difference in the world. I couldn’t resist him. My instincts told me to walk away, but something else took over...made me want to serve him. It was like I was in a trance. Anyway…I did it…and will forever regret making that decision.”
“Where did you learn how to perform black magic?” “From my older brother.”
“What’s his name?” “Walter Nixon.”
“What’s your real name?” “Harold Felix Nixon.”
“Tell me about your brother.”
“Troublesome guy growing up. He hated everyone, from family members to an average man walking down the street. He always took care of me though. Our relationship was the only grasp of morality he had left. Years later, he taught me the dark arts once he started The Spawns of Satan.”
“What’s that? Some kind of satanist cult?”
“Yes. They originated in Nevada. He believed that if he performed enough sinful acts then Satan would reward him with unlimited power. He’d been in-
and-out of jail for years, committing any crime you can think of. Then one day – for some strange reason – he had a change of heart. He abruptly quit the cult and turned himself in. I never saw him again after that. Not sure where he’s residing now or if he’s still alive, for that matter. Have I held up my end of the bargain?”
“Not yet. Who are you working for?”
Minutes of endless whimpering had ensued before Felix dared to utter his name. “John…Hart.”
Alex’s gasped. Every trail she uncovered has led her to this wicked detective. “Okay. You’ve held up your end for now, but I need to keep you here for a bit longer. Once your story checks out then we’ll talk about your relocation.”
“Can you get me out of here tonight?”
“Can’t make any promises, but you’re certainly not staying here. I’ll move you to a safe house until we can iron out the wrinkles for your transfer.”
Alex exited the room with cell phone in hand. Due to the abnormal circumstances involved, she rode the private elevator to the parking levels, needing as much seclusion as possible. Getting down to the second parking
lot level, she immediately called home. No answer. Then she tried Gina’s cell. Again, no answer. “Where is she?” the agent wondered.
Back in the holding room, Felix was a pitiful mess. He reflected on his bad decisions and wished he could conjure up a spell to rewind time. Relocation would be a blessing, even though he didn’t deserve it. Enough of the truth
was expressed to satisfy the agent. However, other key facts got purposely left out: Harold, too, was a full-fledged member of the Spawns of Satan. Also, his knowledge of the dark arts was equal to his brother. Since Walter Nixon went
into hiding, John Hart recruited the next best thing.
Suddenly, the lights flickered around the room. Swirling lines of steam rose from the splits within the granite floor, maneuvering like it had a mind of its own. Felix cringed from the heat seeping through the soles of his leather shoes. The mirror warped before his eyes as the humidity had risen. Shockingly, he
saw a calm and emotionless reflection of himself staring back at him. Blinding smoke-filled half of the room. Steamy streaks rolled together inside of a vacuum that reached the ceiling. Shapes began to take form, miraculously materialize into a giant king cobra. Although misty, it was as thick as a fog bank. Its tongue
slithered over the shivering doctor, attempting to lick the sweat off his head. The rattling of its tail sounded like tremors from a train tunnel. Hisses echoed down into Felix’s stomach.
This was it. Like his brother, Felix’s fate had been sealed. No mercy for failure, he knew that the moment he joined John’s team. Alex nor the Angelite can save him now. Crying like there was no tomorrow, Felix looked up and begged for forgiveness, apologizing for the choices he made. Too late.
Roaring like a mystic dragon, the cobra lunged toward the doctor and mercilessly coiled its tail around his neck, wrenching tighter and tighter. Blood clots exploded inside Felix’s eyeballs as his larynx got crushed like a plastic bottle. Dark gray smoke puffed out from its nose, which ignited his clothes
on fire. Felix dangled in the air as his flesh gradually burned like a roasted marshmallow. His neck could’ve been broken in seconds, but the mystifying creature wanted its prey to suffer first.
When the lights turned back on, the room looked completely untarnished. Temperature was cool once more. All that remained of Felix was a pair of half- melted shoes and a smoking pile of char on top.
Meanwhile, the haunting mist continued to travel beneath the walls of the building, winding itself around the electrical wiring. Several channels, monitors, and security systems throughout the corridors began shorting out. It then moved through the ventilation ducts and slithered into the lobby. Security guards never knew what hit them as the vapor seeped up their nostrils, suffocating them as it traveled down their throats. In seconds, the mist possessed their bodies, turning them into mindless zombies with a hunger to unleash suffering to the world.
Just then, Harvey Gained led the charge through the building lobby with an infantry of deranged cops following him. None of the FBI agents saw this
invasion coming. The cops stormed through several levels, overtaking the levels by complete surprise. Many agents died fighting back, but the majority of them were held prisoner.
Smugly emerging from the rear was an arrogant Khalil Reeves, strolling through the lobby with his hands in his pocket as if he was window-shopping at the mall. Then a thick fog bank plummeted from the ceiling and slammed every door shut. Khalil got on his phone and speed-dialed Hart. “We’re in,” he reported. “You may proceed.”