The Thunder of Nautilus

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Part Five

THE DISCIPLES OF HADES

Lily and her equally malevolent friend Robert, alias Rose, had not paid attention to the fact that their victim’s car was a rental, and had driven it into the old unused shed, covered it with a tarp, and placed a lock on the double door. When they went through his papers, they found out that his name was Malcolm Macbeth and they’d chuckled and declared that with a name like that no wonder he preferred to be called Jack.

Jack was not the first person Lily who, according to Robert had the countenance of an angel, had lured from a bar thinking he’d get lucky and ended up dead, but he was the first she’d brought back from a local nightclub to the old farmstead, where they would keep their sacrificial lamb until they were ready to offer him to Hades, the god of the underworld, and the only god they believed could give them eternal life.

Robert was not a transvestite, just a man who loved dressing up, not always in women’s clothing, but in any disguise that allowed him to slip into character, like an actor, and only Lily seemed to understand how hard it had been for him to hide his predilection and moreover his sadistic tendencies from his father, who was a colonel in the British army, and all the rest of his puritanical family.

Robert, known only to Lily as Rose, his favorite character, had met her at a secret gathering of Satanists, and he had soon found in her the friend he never could have imagined. For her, the rituals of the Satanist “club,” as she called it, were no more than a pitiful attempt to make rich kids feel as if they had some power over life and death—and yet they’d never consider taking a life because they were too afraid that their comfortable existence might be tainted with real blood and not just the red wine used symbolically as the blood of Christ in any Catholic church.

Their plan to capture and kill their first victim, what they’d called a “rehearsal for the real thing,” had been made with every precaution. “The first part is easy,” Robert had said, suggesting that they select one of the many overcrowded nightclubs in London, where nobody remembers anyone the next day and where Lily could easily pick up some loser, obviously alone and only too willing to have a drink with her. He told her he knew a dealer who could supply him with any street drug and confessed that he sometimes bought some heroin for occasional recreational use, and this time he’d buy a lot. He’d also get some “rohys”—the date-rape drug, Rohypnol—which Lily would dissolve in the loser’s drink, and when the guy began to show signs of drowsiness, she could lure him out to Robert’s car with the promise of sex. Lily loved the way Robert was thinking but said that they shouldn’t use his car, but rather her late grandfather’s old van, which was still registered and collecting dust at the old farmstead. Robert declared, “Even better,” and told her that he knew a nightclub or two with a dark alley out back, where he could wait, moving the car if he had to (parking in London wasn’t easy to find), but he’d make sure he always remained close to the nightclub and keep a lookout. The rehearsal had gone well, and they’d kept their victim alive for a week in the basement of her grandfather’s farmhouse before they gave him what they’d called a “mercy” injection of heroin and buried him in the small paddock adjoining the farm. Then they allowed for some “out time,” injecting safe doses into their own veins.


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