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Son of perdition, p.10
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       Son of Perdition, p.10

           Wendy Alec
 
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  ‘But Lucifer’s DNA is as ours,’ Issachar interjected. ‘It is Angelic. It is not matter, esteemed Xacheriel.’

  ‘That is where the Twins’ evil genius has excelled itself. Maelageor readjusted the DNA sequence of the genome of the Sacred Vial of Progeny to correspond precisely with the growth pattern and cycles of human DNA. The clone will retain the Angelic capability of spirit but will be confined in a body of matter. He will look like Lucifer. His human attributes, hair colour, eye colour, facial features will be a precise replica of his father, but his physical development will be as a man. In matter.’

  Maheel spoke. ‘Revered Xacheriel, will he retain the supernatural capability of the Fallen Angelic?’

  Xacheriel nodded. ‘His powers will be more confined but his clone will have access to the supernatural powers of the Angelic.’

  Jether surveyed the elders. ‘However, Lucifer is well aware of the curtailing power of the presence of those who bear the Seal of the Nazarene. Until every follower of the Nazarene is removed from earth, his clone’s supernatural powers will be greatly restricted.’

  ‘Every follower?’

  ‘Even the weakest follower of the Nazarene poses a threat when they exercise their supernatural authority in the World of Men,’ Issachar added.

  ‘The transportation of the Nazarene’s followers to the First Heaven is to occur in the middle of the Tribulation,’ Methusalah said in his slow measured tones. ‘Three and a half years after the First Seal is broken.’

  ‘Until then,’ said Jether, ‘Lucifer’s clone will exercise limited supernatural power. Time is short. Word has reached us that Lucifer has already set his plan in motion. We have evidence that his genome was provided to the elite one moon ago by one who sat at this very table in aeons past. Charsoc the Dark.’

  The elders stared at him in stunned silence.

  ‘Charsoc entered the world of the Race of Men to deliver the genome in human form through the Portal of Shinar. Charsoc is presently unaware of the addendum that was added after the Nephilim incident at Babel.’

  Jether turned to Gabriel who read from a Codex.

  ‘The addendum states that if the Portal of Shinar is ever again breached by the Fallen, any human form they take will be irreversible.’ Gabriel looked up at the elders. ‘At first Charsoc will maintain the ability to transform back into Angelic form but with each passing decade in the Race of Men, this capacity will diminish. By the end of the Tribulation, he will lose his first estate forever. By the end of the seven-year tribulation, Charsoc will wander the desert places as neither fallen angel nor human until his banishment to the Lake of Fire.’

  ‘Unfortunately,’ Jether said, ‘Charsoc was not the only one who entered through the Portal. Michael, you saw it all first hand.’

  Michael stared grimly across to the Rubied Door.

  ‘Sargon, Prince of Babylonia, and five hundred of his guard entered through to the world of men in human form, as did hundreds of Lucifer’s Royal Guard. And Astaroth.’

  There came a collective gasp from the table.

  ‘We have regained control of the Portal,’ Michael continued. ‘But the Fallen now walk in human form, before their time.’

  ‘This Lucifer well knows.’ Methusalah spoke, his voice very soft.

  Jether added. ‘He has also already chosen a family to incubate his son. One of thirteen ruling families of the occult society identified as the Illuminati.’

  Jether looked down at the parchment of the Codex, and instantly lines of silver writing formed on the pages.

  ‘Their designation in the Race of Men is De Vere. Three of us seated at this table have been elected for a new and dangerous task.’ Jether rose. ‘Three of us have been chosen as stewards – protectors of the De Vere family. Stewards who will now manifest in human form. As Angels unaware.’ He smiled faintly.

  ‘We will now retreat to our chambers for supplication,’ he said. ‘Yehovah’s Sacred Spirit Himself will convene this very moon with each of the three chosen who will traverse freely between the world of the Race of Men and the First Heaven. They will leave at first moon.’

  He gazed at the elders. ‘I am one of those chosen for this sacred task,’ he said, softly.

  ‘Eternal Law decrees that none of the three chosen is permitted to reveal himself to be angelic except in extenuating conditions – and then only on supreme authorization of Yehovah Himself. Until the breaking of the First Seal of the Revelation of St John of the Apocalypse we must remain invisible to the Fallen.

  ‘We will traverse the world of the Race of Men as is our common practice, through the Holy Angelic Portals. We will act as Watchmen. The Monastery of Alexandria in Egypt where the Christchild was given shelter will be a place of protection for each of us who make this.’

  He closed the Codex.

  ‘If our existence is discovered before the First Seal is opened, we will lose our entitlement to protect the chosen family and will be banished from the world of men until Armageddon. We must be circumspect. We must be measured. We must be vigilant.

  ‘Godspeed, my noble compatriots.’ Jether smiled gently at the grave faces in front of him. ‘The Council is adjourned.’

  SIX MONTHS LATER

  Chapter Thirteen

  The Seed of the Serpent

  Vatican Heliport, Vatican City, Rome, 21st December 1981 – 5 am

  Kester Von Slagel strode the icy tarmac impatiently, his black Jesuit robes blowing in the freezing winter blizzard that had swept in from the North. He hesitated briefly in front of a statue of the Madonna and Jesus, then continued his incessant pacing.

  ‘December,’ he muttered bitterly. ‘Qui fa un freddo inferno!’ The cruel weather only served to deepen his irritation at having to reside at present in this infernal body as one of the Race of Men.He surveyed the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopter that was barely visible through the driving sleet. It stood in the circle of floodlights on the tarmac of the Vatican heliport, guarded by six soldiers in British military uniform, all holding sub-machine guns. The Brotherhood had financed the Black Hawk’s prototype and maiden flight six years earlier and had been well rewarded. Over 900 gunships in Brotherhood hands were now operational. On every continent on earth.

  He smiled faintly. The single redeeming factor was that this undertaking was, without doubt, the most momentous operation in the history of the Fallen.

  Four cardinals bearing a sealed silver casket strode towards him, their scarlet robes lashed by the violent winds.

  Von Slagel studied the casket’s lid, exquisitely engraved with a golden inverted pentacle, and then surveyed the cardinals in front of him. Unlike these simpletons, he was well aware that inside the chest, sleeping soundly on indigo velvet, lay his Master’s seed. The Prince. The Lorcan clone.

  Here lay the Fallen’s sole opportunity to destroy the Nazarene’s illegitimate claim as King of the Race of Men. Von Slagel’s eyes narrowed in satisfaction. . . . Unless Yehovah had some new-fangled line of attack up his sleeve.

  He nodded to the cardinals and they carried the casket carefully up the helicopter steps and into the gunship.

  The Black Hawk’s sole occupant was a thick-set nun, her pasty features hidden under her wimple, leaving only her eyes, nose and mouth visible. Her habit fell to just below the knee and thick dark stockings were taut over her hefty lower calves. She stared mesmerized at the golden image of a goat that filled the pentacle on the casket.

  ‘The Sigil of Baphomet,’ she uttered, her pale eyes wide with a combination of elation and terror. ‘God of the Witches.’ She clutched her own inverted crucifix with quivering fleshy fingers.

  The pilot, a Jesuit priest, approached Von Slagel and knelt before him in the snow.

  ‘My son,’ Von Slagel said, ‘you have been chosen for the highest order. You have your instructions?’

  ‘Si, Padre,’ the pilot answered reverently.

  ‘The navigational system is set. You will transport the casket to the prearranged desti
nation. Abbess Hiltrude will conduct the exchange.’ Von Slagel laid his hands on the priest’s head. ‘In nomine Patris.’

  The priest wiped a tear from his cheek, saluted, then marched towards the cockpit.

  Von Slagel walked over to the commander of the six soldiers.

  ‘Captain Granville, your final instruction,’ he said softly. ‘On receipt of the exchanged infant at St Gabriel’s Nursing Home, you will exterminate it, then the pilot and the crew.’

  Granville saluted. ‘Yes, sir.’

  Granville signalled to the soldiers and, as one, they fired a burst of 9mm rounds into the chest of each of the four unsuspecting cardinals. Then they loaded the bodies into the hold before climbing into the gunship.

  Von Slagel smiled in approval and saluted, then turned sharply on his heel to fight his way through the rapidly intensifying storm towards the shelter of the old Vatican fortifications.

  All at once, Rome’s skies filled with the rasping screams of a hundred thousand starlings. The skies above Von Slagel turned black as the rotating column of birds swooped across his path in a sinister swirling mass, twisting and turning like a great feathered cyclone. His Master’s advance party.

  The familiar aroma of frankincense permeated the heliport and Von Slagel flung himself prostrate onto the tarmac as a tall form materialized out of the savage churning flock directly in his path.

  He raised his head to stare at two feet shod in a pair of black Tanino Crisci patent leather shoes. He looked up further to see a silver cane with a black gloved hand resting on the carved serpent handle.

  ‘He is en route to London, Your Excellency.’ Von Slagel’s voice quivered. ‘The infants will be exchanged, sire, according to your plan.’

  He grasped his Master’s hand and kissed the golden seal of an immense onyx ring.

  Lorcan De Molay smiled in approval and adjusted the large crucifix that hung from a cord around his neck. He stared down at Von Slagel, his features hidden by the circular brim of his black cappello Romano.

  ‘You have excelled yourself, Charsoc the Dark,’ he murmured.

  He looked out from under the wide brim, his eyes riveted on the sleek black gunship gliding upwards into Rome’s dawn skies. It circled the Vatican twice before flying off towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, its lights soon just a speck on the shimmering blue-black horizon.

  Lorcan De Molay walked over to the statue of the Madonna and Jesus and stood before it, his black Jesuit robes blowing violently in the raging blizzard.

  ‘The Nazarene.’ He ran slim manicured fingers over the infant Jesus’s finely carved features.

  ‘An exquisite rendition . . . almost flawless,’ he whispered, strangely captivated by the infant king’s expression. His intense sapphire gaze moved slowly upwards until it rested on the intricately carved golden crown on the child’s head.

  Abruptly, he pulled his robes tightly around him. His steel-blue eyes flashed with sudden venom. He raised his face to the heavens.

  ‘Your Son’s kingdom comes to an end!’ he hissed.

  The King of the Damned stood in the wind, his face raised in wild abandon to the glowing dawn skies, his raven hair lashing wildly in the ice storm as he transformed to Archangel. Six monstrous black seraph wings billowed behind him.

  ‘My Kingdom come!’ he cried.

  OVER ONE DECADE LATER

  Chapter Fourteen

  Ancestral Ties

  De Vere Ancestral Home, Narragansett Bay, Newport, Rhode Island, 1994

  The sleek black limousine was flanked by four Lincoln SUVs. It purred past the three gatehouses, through tall cast iron gates emblazoned with the De Vere family crest and on to the vast acreage of the immaculately manicured grounds of the De Vere ancestral mansion. The limousine sped past the Pavilion and up the winding driveway, past grand overlooks and ornamental features, finally drawing to a halt outside a fifty-room mansion of Indiana limestone overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Narragansett Bay.

  An elegant, dark-haired man in his late forties alighted from the back of the limousine holding a slim black briefcase. Four security men exited behind him. James De Vere stood completely still for a long moment, drinking in the sight of his childhood ancestral home. His handsome face was haggard – he was weary to the point of exhaustion.

  James walked up the steps to an enormous yew front door which was held open by an elderly butler with a mop of silver hair.

  ‘Welcome home, Master James,’ he said, in a cultured English accent. ‘Excellent to have you back, sir.’

  ‘It’s been a long trip, Maxim,’ James said, with a tired smile, handing over his briefcase. ‘Good to see you, too. Have the boys been behaving while I’ve been gone?’

  ‘Everything is quite in order, sir.’ The butler stared down at his white-gloved hands sheepishly.

  James’s eyes narrowed, catching sight of the charred patch on Maxim’s pressed black trousers.

  ‘No more scientific experiments?’ James studied Maxim intently.

  A sudden pink flush started at Maxim’s collar and spread up his neck.

  James sighed. ‘Maxim, when I agreed you were to take over the boys’ scientific tutoring, I meant theoretical study not advanced chemistry experiments.’ ‘We were merely studying biochemical reactions in the woodshed,’ Maxim said, awkwardly.

  ‘Let’s see – in summer Nick blew up the aviary with nitroglycerine, in the fall Adrian exploded a mixture of acetone peroxide and sawdust in Frau Mahling’s study and at Thanksgiving Jason was discovered assembling a homemade pipebomb. Mrs De Vere’s nerves will be shot to pieces.’

  James turned to the security men, hiding a smile. ‘Make yourself at home on the porch, gentlemen.’ He gave Maxim a pointed stare. ‘Maxim will bring refreshments.’

  The butler scowled and looked the dark-suited entourage up and down sniffily.

  ‘As you wish, sir.’

  James walked into the spacious hallway with its eighteen-foot vaulted ceilings. He stopped in the vestibule, his features visibly relaxing as he breathed in the aroma of bergamot and mimosa that wafted through the halls. Maxim eased him out of his overcoat.

  ‘You are weary, Master James, sir?’ He looked at James in concern. ‘I took the liberty of placing your smoking jacket and slippers next to the fireplace as always.’

  James laid a hand on Maxim’s shoulder.

  ‘Maxim, old friend, it’s been a hard week.’ He raised his eyebrows. ‘Madam Lilian?’

  ‘Madam Lilian is in the drawing room, sir.’

  ‘Get the boys, please – I have news that concerns them.’

  James walked to the huge mahogany drawing-room doors and slowly pushed them open.

  Standing by the log-burning fireplace was an elegant fine-featured woman. Her skin was alabaster smooth, her make-up perfectly applied, her glossy chestnut hair swept up in a chignon. She wore a pale apricot silk dress that fell just above her well-turned ankles and a pair of apricot satin mules. Nothing was out of place.

  Lilian De Vere turned, instantaneously coming alive at the sight of James. She rushed over and they clung to each other. He closed his eyes, burying his face in her neck, visibly at peace.

  Slowly he raised his head, unclasped his arms from around her waist and walked over to the window, gazing out at the darkening thunder clouds building up over the Atlantic.

  Lilian studied him.

  ‘You were summoned?’ She placed her hand on his back. ‘The Council of Three Hundred?’

  James shook his head. ‘No.’ He turned to face her, his face ashen.

  ‘I was summoned by my father to San Francisco. To the Grand Druid Council.’

  Lilian pulled her hand away from James as though she’d been scalded.

  ‘The Witch High Priests,’ she whispered. ‘The Council once came to our house on All Hallows. They held a Black Mass in my father’s chapel.’ She walked over to the wet bar and poured herself a martini, her hands trembling violently. ‘They conducted a child sacrifice on my behalf. What did th
ey want this time?’

  James took a deep breath. ‘We leave for London in five weeks.’

  ‘London?’

  James reached out to clasp her arm but Lilian backed away against the drinks cabinet.

  ‘You said . . . you said you would do what we discussed. That this time you would tell them no,’ she said, her voice dangerously soft. She walked over to the French windows, glass in hand, staring out over the beautifully manicured lawns, then turned to him emotional but controlled. ‘You couldn’t do it, could you?’

  James nodded, world-weary. ‘You knew when we married there would be . . . ’ He hesitated. ‘Demands: things that we would have to do.’

  ‘We said we would tell them NO.’ Lillian stared at him, an unsettling wildness in her eyes.

  ‘They made it very clear. If we refuse,’ his voice was hard, ‘they will kill us, Lilian.’ He hesitated. ‘If we refuse. They will kill the boys.’

  ‘The boys . . . ’ Lilian whispered in horror. She turned from the window and a solitary tear ran down her cheek. ‘They will kill them like they killed my father.’ Her slender shoulders shook with fury, her soft grey eyes like ice. ‘My entire childhood was “managed” – child sacrifices, mind control, my father’s suicide . . . And they managed it just like they manage you. We have to get out.’ She let out a strangled sob. ‘For the sake of our sons we have to get out.’ Her perfectly coiffed hair fell awry across her face

  James turned to her, his hands trembling.

  ‘There is no out, Lilian.’ James’s voice was uncharacteristically harsh. ‘You knew when we married that I was born into one of the thirteen Illuminati bloodlines. You knew the high price we would pay.’

  She recoiled.

  ‘I don’t want this for my sons . . . ’ she sobbed,

  James took her face in his hands. ‘Listen to me,’ he said, his voice hard. ‘I have their word. If we meet their demands, every demand they make, they will not touch our sons. If we do their bidding, all their bidding, the boys will exist outside of their clutches. Free to live a normal life. Freed from covens and their depraved rituals. Freed from things too unspeakable to utter.’

 
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