Bloodshed ensued during a massive gun battle at the loading lot. Bank guards fought valiantly while standing over their fallen buddies shredded and covered in shell casings. Numbers were greatly against them. Besides having unlimited firepower, John cast a mystical shield over the armor of his officers, making them indestructible. Sinking their teeth into the meat of victory, the invading cops enjoyed the sight of bodies hitting the floor in a bloody mess.
Like a matador entering the arena before the bullfight, Gina finally arrived. Surviving guards hobbled behind the bunker. “Kill her!” one cop yelled. Gunfire repointed in her direction. Rattling metal and echoing bangs rocked the entire lot as a parade of bullets exploded against her body. Blinded by the gun smoke, the cops were unable to see if her body dropped. Once the smoke cleared, however, Gina stood tall, slapping the residue off her jacket, unimpressed. Cops were
too flabbergasted to fathom a rational thought. They blinked a couple of times.
“Now what?!” another cop asked. None had an answer. “My turn,” Gina replied.
Gina proceeded to manhandle the flock like a lawnmower cutting through grass. Thrown through windshields and smashed against walls, evil cops crumbled to dust on impact, followed by a herd of demons wailing in misery before fizzling out of existence.
Lurking behind the armored trucks, a timid John Hart discovered that Gina was more powerful than he imagined. Although confident in his new abilities, he
knew it would take more than spells to defeat her. He needed backup. But who? Desperately searching for an advantage, he came across a dead guard curled in the corner. “What a marvelous idea,” he thought while gazing into his rolled- back eyes.
John traced a pentagram on the corpse’s forehead with his finger. He waited for about a minute. Then, a slow breath hissed from his throat. Fingers jittered. Eyeballs turned white as bed sheets. It worked! The guard became a mindless zombie under his control. He then crawled over to other dead guards and repeated the same ritual. Jumping and jittering, the others began to rise as well. John rose to his feet and salivated at the birth of his new hellish army, more than enough to give the Angelite a world of hurt.
Standing alone in the lot, surrounded by a sea of crumpled remains, Gina sensed negative energy looming nearby. “You can come out now Johnny,” she taunted. “Unless you’re afraid of getting hurt?”
John waltzed out to the spotlight and graciously applauded like the end of a Broadway performance. “Gina Vasquez,” he greeted. “Nice to finally talk to you on a professional level. Last time we met, you weren’t exactly hospitable to me. Remember that day? When I came to see you in the loony bin? It was me and - what’s his name?” John snapped his fingers and shook his head. “Sylvan! That’s him!”
“Are you trying to make me mad?” she gritted.
“Oh, no-no-no! I’m just not good with names that’s all. Then again, I’m not good with faces either!” He laughed. “Except when it comes to people I have to kill, of course.”
“Everything’s a joke to you, isn’t it? All your brainwashing speeches about justice got so many good cops killed. Friends of mine. Including Sylvan.”
“Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. It’s a joy to know that I’ve touched your life somehow. And you’ve affected mine as well. I admit it was wrong for me to dump such an elaborate scheme on your lap only days after your conviction, but for some odd reason I thought you shared the same enthusiasm. I was wrong. Therefore, I want to apologize for my inappropriate behavior.”
“Are you kidding?”
“In all sincerity, I’m not.” He walked a bit closer. “When I first laid my eyes on you, I thought ‘she’s the one for me.’ I was nowhere in your league at the time, but I knew we were both destined for greatness. Look at us now: leaders of the most powerful factions on the planet, maybe even the galaxy.” Gina snarled. “Together we would be unstoppable. We have the skill, the passion, and the respect of our fellow officers. This empire is expanding. And I want to share it with you.”
Gina looked around at the chaotic damage. “You call this an empire?” she snickered.
John shrugged. “Every army needs foot soldiers. These are...well? My real officers aren’t as pathetic as these. They are the ones who’ll fulfill any task I send them on and that’s just in this city! We got thousands more around the country waiting on pins and needles to become Clucifix soldiers. We’re not just talking cops either - politicians, commissioners, freelance activists, you name it! You can’t buy this kind of power!”
“That’s the truth. Otherwise, a lame-duck like you wouldn’t have so much stroke. Was the price of your soul worth all this violence? Are you promised riches in the afterlife? Have you ever even thought about the afterlife?”
He scoffed. “You don’t know how incredible you are. City Hall has made several comical attempts over the years to stop my unit. You, however, managed to destroy them within an hour. I need you, Gina. By morning, I will own this stinkin’ city, but together we can rule the world. With your great power and my undeniable wisdom, not even the Clucifix would stand a chance against us. I offer you a chance for greatness. Take it. Join me.”
Gina thought she was watching a B-rated drama. Sarcastically, she replied,
“And the winner for Best Actor goes to –”
“You must really want to kick the crap out of me, don’t you?!” She nodded yes. “Do we have to take it this far? Must we fight each other to get our way?”
“I don’t take pleasure in handing out ass-whippings, but in your case I’ll make an exception.”
“Why are you so mad? You’re the reason why my rebellion has grown over the years. Cops across the country witnessed your mistreatment from these government jackasses, greedy pigs that merely wanted to demonstrate
their power, on your behalf! No matter how hard we cops worked or how much support we gained from our communities, those clueless officials wanted to show us all that they run this city. It opened my eyes. Only the rich can rule this land! Now it’s time to enforce the new law under the Clucifix and those greasy pigs will suffer for the rest of their lives, just as much as they made me suffer.”
“So, that’s it! This is about you! Your weakness got exposed because Goldberg treated your rally like a joke – the Clucifix sensed your desperate need for revenge – and they made you a bunch of promises to con you into giving up your soul. In your twisted mind, you see this as an uprising. You truly are lost, John.”
“You’re the one who’s lost, Vasquez. Living in that desert for so long you forgot how the real-world works. If someone hits you hard then you must get up and hit them harder! That sniveling coward of a mayor came to my rally and was laughing at me. Can you believe that Gina? He was laughing at me! Well, who’s laughing now? He added to your suffering, even after you surrendered. Why would you put your life on the line for a greedy pig like him? We’re bigger than him! Bigger than all of them. Like they said in the ’70s: ‘when the revolution comes’ – ‘the revolution will be televised.’ Guess what? THE REVOLUTION IS HERE!!”
Hateful intentions behind the detective’s actions had an undermining sense of morality, Gina realized. However, she would never resort to evil to prove a point, not even against Mayor Goldberg who deserved payback for his wrongdoings. John continued ranting like a priest in a prison cell and she grew more impatient by the sentence.
“With my network gaining nationwide steam, it was easy to concoct a dish that Goldberg would be too predictable and stupid to swallow. Like the old saying goes: ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ It took me years to gain the trust of City Hall, taking organized crime apart piece by piece. Now
Goldberg’s death will be my ultimate rise to power. And I will truly. Be. A God!”
“You’re repulsive. Talking about uplifting the people when you don’t care about your officers dying for you?! This was never about revolution. It’s about revenge, isn’t it? You selfish coward!”
“Sacrifices have to be made for the greater good. Their deaths will not be in
“Listen to you talk like you’re some kind of dictator! Teaching your crew some parlor tricks with a few satanic words doesn’t make you a leader. At the end of the day, you’re not as smart as you pretend to be. Without the puppeteer pulling your strings, you’re still that poor excuse of a cop who couldn’t organize a free cheese line at the welfare office.”
John punched his fist into his palm and tightened his jaw. “You know you’re REALLY STARTING TO PISS ME OFF!! I’m offering you the chance of a lifetime, to be a voice in the new world order, second only to my own! This is
a chance for us to finish what we’ve started. Every officer will follow us to the ends of the earth. Anyone who opposes us will burn for eternity.”
“How dare you praise my crime like it’s a national holiday? From the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, I wish to God that night never happened. There are many ways to fight injustice and this is not it! THIS IS NOT IT! You’re a disgrace to the badge and my only involvement in your revolution is being the one who burns it to the ground.”
“...Fool. Mark my words, this will be the biggest regret of your life…what’s
left of it.”
Dragging growls come from beneath the darkness. Gina sensed other
bodies were in the room, but couldn’t read their life force? How is that possible? Suddenly, an undead guard rushed into the light with red veins bulging from
his skin. He swung his hands wildly and chomped at the air. Gina retaliated by splitting his skull in half with one punch. Ash sprinkled over his fallen body. Brains curled on the floor like chewed-up bubble gum.
John swung his arms like a game show host and three more undead guards charged out, stronger and more infuriated than the first. It made no difference
as Gina easily thrashed them as well. Then more zombies attacked, too many
to eradicate at once. She’s now using two hits to put them down this time. Then three. Now four. Five. Ultimately, she was surrounded. As each zombie grew stronger, her energy rapidly wasted.
John was tickled pink seeing his undead army savagely attack with cannibalistic behavior. They pulled on her limbs and reddish hair while gnawing on her clothing, digging their jagged teeth into her flesh. Corroded nails dug into her face, neck, and hands.
Overwhelmed by soulless corpses wanting to taste her blood, Gina cried out
in horror, helpless and afraid, just like in her nightmare. But even under those circumstances, she found the power to fight back. It came from within. Stop. Focus. Remember Pastor Goode’s teachings. John’s magic tricks were just that:
a trick! Concentrate. You’ve destroyed demons. Zombies are no different. Fight!
One last scrape caused her to erupt in anger. She screamed from the top of her lungs. The entire building got rocked off its foundation. John dove for cover.
Radiant energy rippled throughout the entire lot. Armored vehicles and steel crates flew to the roof. Zombie flailed everywhere, vaporized from the aftershocks. Reinforced walls got dented. Security gates twisted up like copper wires. Crumpled bills buzzed in the air like mosquitos in the swamp. Then slowly, her energy retracted and Gina dropped to one knee, weeping with exhaustion. The entire lot was decimated, blanketed in black and gray ash. Rips in her clothing and scratches on her flesh instantly mended.
Yelling in frustration, John swooshed over to Gina and kicked her in the face. His expensive suit looked as dirty as a mechanic’s overalls. Weakened from her power surge, Gina had fallen to the ground, never seeing the attack coming.
“Surprised?” John bragged. “You thought I was all mind spells, didn’t you? My instincts told me you would be moronic enough to turn down my offer. Soooooooooo, I got myself an upgrade! As draining as that last attack must’ve been, you have very little energy to fight back, meaning I can kill you whenever I wish.”
John fired more kicks to her stomach and stomped on her chest. For the first time since her rebirth, Gina coughed out blood. He violently jerked her head back by a handful of hair and whispered in her ear, “It didn’t have to end this
way. We could’ve done great things together. Had dozens of children. But, if this is how you want it? Then! So! Be it!”
John threw her back down and stood over like an angry schoolteacher. He held his hands out and channeled the dark energy that fueled him. Red lighting sparkled in his palms.
With the little strength she had, Gina rolled to her back. Her arms spread across the floor. Heavily breathing. She pushed her body to the limit, mustering
as much energy as she could for one last attack. Waves of immense electricity rocketed from out her hands and wrapped around John’s body like barbed wire, burning and shuddering him from head to toe. Unstoppable convulsion, like sitting soaking wet in the electric chair. As he screamed in torture, Gina fired an uppercut that sent him flying through the ceiling.
She plummeted to the ground as weak as a kitten, unable to move. No time to rest. Must reenergize. As long as Hart was on the loose, no one was safe.
She quieted her mind and listened to her heartbeat, wanting to tune into God’s frequency. “Lord. If you can hear me,” silently she prayed. “My work is not finished. Grant me power, as you’ve done before. Provide me with what I need to fulfill my task. Replenish me.”
In less than a minute, warm gentle winds braced her face. Her body began to float upright. Blinding light rippled throughout the lot. Her eyes saw nothing but a golden shine coat her entire body. Warmness and love filled her heart. After inhaling the angelic breeze, the golden light vanished. She returned to full power. Looking up to the heavens, she got to her feet and whispered, “Thank you.”