(William Ja-On Campbell Hillman)

Chapter One: The Beginning

Madrid, Spain 1998

 Madrid was dark and rainy, as if there was something evil in the air. Most of the populace had retreated to the confines of their homes, almost sensing something wrong with the evening. The whole mood had created a suspenseful evening that even the stray animals in the streets seemed to fear. Lightning crashed in the sky suddenly, breaking the silence, and leaving scars in the night sky. The wind picked up eerily, and clouds filled the sky. Another bolt of lightning shot across the moon, seemingly destroying the great icon.

 Stray beams of light exploded into the sky, as if they were searching for something, until one of them found what they were looking for. A single bolt dove down into the city, and slammed violently into the ground with a blinding array of colorful busts. The result was something that this world did not need, for an evil long though destroyed had returned to the land. In a dark and lonesome alley, blue lightning was sent screaming into the streets as the blue and white light fused itself to the ground. The light show illuminated the dull surroundings, and then without a warning, it ended. The rain ceased its relentless downpour, the flashes of lightning ended and the clouds drifted away.

 Inside the now dark alley, nestled in a corner, lay a man, built like a stone pillar in physique, curled up naked in a ball on the ground. His enormous stature made him an obvious sight... too bad no one was around to see him. The concrete underneath him was hollowed out as if something had carved a foxhole into the ground, and garbage lay in flames, burning themselves out slowly. The figure was drenched in moisture from the sudden rainstorm, his naked body glistening in the water droplets, and his limbs shook uncontrollably. Ever single muscle of his frame twitched and spasmed until his eyes opened suddenly and stared blindly into the night sky in an unholy pain. Slowly, the pain seemed to ease off, and he began to laugh. His laughter filled the streets and the city with maniacal horror for the night was graced once again with an evil being that was unstoppable over one thousand years ago… and he rejoiced...

Below the Vatican

 Montegue LeMoynne tossed and turned in his bed, as his dream became more and more disturbing. The leader of the Order of the Eternal Curse felt alone in his sleep, locked deep underground in his private chambers. His face contorted in pain, and he could see lightning and storms, pain and death. Finally, he saw a face look up at him and smile a face he hadn't seen in well over a thousand years. He burst into consciousness screaming in terror at the face which he had seen. The most terrible creature had returned from the dead. LeMoynne shook in terror as he tried to remove the thought from his mind. His body was in a cold sweat and he shivered as if the cold hand of death touched him and slowly, he reached to the intercom on the table beside his bed.

 "...Caernarvon..." he whispered.

 "Yes, Montegue?" Caernarvon promptly replied, without an ounce of concern in his voice. His voice seemed muffled and Montegue decided that he must have disturbed Caernarvon's eating break. No matter. Eating was of little concern compared to the vision which had been granted on LeMoynne.

 "Who... who do we have in Madrid?" Montegue stammered. He stood up and tried to regain himself. He looked at the clock on his end table, and noticed it read 2:30 A.M. Damn, great timing for this shit... got a meeting at 6:30.

 "Ellis Carlisle and a few others, sir. Why? What's wrong?"

 "Patch me through to them. I have a few new orders for them..."

 "Yes sir. May I ask why?"

 "No... just get me a line..."

Madrid, Spain

 Ellis Carlisle scrambled for his cell phone which lay somewhere inside his carry-on bag. Quietly, he damned himself for not keeping it in his jacket. The phone screamed out in its usual ringing of urgency and Carlisle struggled to open the bag that was hung over his shoulder. He quickly dropped the rest of his luggage and ripped open the bag, revealing the cellular phone. Grabbing hold of it and opening the mouthpiece, he answered, "Carlisle here."

 Much to his surprise, LeMoynne's voice come in over the phone. The raspiness of his voice gave hints that Montegue was still only half-awake, but only a fool would say so to a man of LeMoynne’s stature. "Carlisle. Have you landed in Madrid?"

 "Yessir. We got a little delayed with some lightning activity which made landing a little difficult, but it seems to have cleared up. Just a little rain now. Preparing to proceed with the plan, and rendezvous with the other members of the team..."

 "Belay that order Ellis. I have a new mission for you, one of far greater importance. Please withdraw your laptop and prepare to receive your new orders."

 Carlisle pulled out a small laptop from his bag, lifted the monitor open and watched as the modem began to download a series of instructions from his home Headquarters underneath the Vatican. The modem clicked rapidly, as massive amounts of data were downloaded via satellite transfer and in a short time, the entirety of the mission was in his hands. The screen came alive with a map of Spain, which gradually zoomed in on the city of Madrid, and zoomed in once again to a back alley, where a lone figure lay sprawled out in the gutter. The image registered only as a thermal image, and then quickly faded green as the image was enhanced for night sight. The figure moved very little and slowly, as if it was only half-alive.

 "Carlisle. What you are seeing is a live satellite feed from one of the orbiting American spy satellites which is being fed into your laptop via satellite data transfer. I want you to proceed with care and caution to this alley with your men and eliminate this new arrival to our little Game."

 "Sir, I really do not think we will need seven men to handle a naked bum in the gutter!"

 Montegue's voice immediately picked up over the phone as his anger flared, "Damnit Ellis! Take those seven men and investigate! If possible, bring me his head! I don't want any fuck-ups here Ellis, you understand?! If you can't handle it, get the hell out of there! LeMoynne out!"

 "Ooooo. Somebody is a little bitchy this morning..."

 Carlisle slowly folded up the phone, not sure if he could believe what he had heard over the phone. It seemed as if LeMoynne was scared of this new immortal in the Game and if LeMoynne was scared… this was not a good thing. But how could one single immortal stand up against him and half a dozen other immortals, especially when he is unarmed? Carlisle merely sighed and set off to find the other six members of the team. They were found without little hassle. As busy as the airport was, it was still impossible for any immortal to walk past each other. The seven of them gathered in a corner, which was deemed to be inconspicuous by Carlisle, and the briefing began. These men would not be pleased with the current change in plans.

 "Gentlemen... there has been a slight change in plans. We are no longer to pursue the members of the this so-called Lake-Bed operation." He almost felt the upset in the men. The Order of the Eternal Curse had long been opposed to some of Lake-Bed's operations, and the two were in heated conflict. These guys were more annoying than the Watchers...

 "Excuse me Ellis," exclaimed the first of the larger mercenaries as he leaned forward, "You mean to tell me that we are not going after Lake-Bed?"

 "No." Ellis immediately replied, "We have direct orders from Montegue LeMoynne himself to proceed to a designated area and eliminate one Immortal who has just entered the Game..."

 The same man interrupted once again, "One immortal? The seven of us against one immortal? I'm sorry, but we don't work that way... Seven to one odds are not favorable! Where is the challenge? That breaks all the rules of the game!”

 Calisle continued his briefing almost ignoring the other man who interrupted him, "LeMoynne has agreed to pay you each in full for your previous mission, as well as a bonus equal to about double your usual pay..."

 Without the completion of the sentence, the agreement was almost instantaneous. Mercenaries were mercenaries whether they were mortal or not. The offer of this stature would be almost impossible to say no to. Within minutes of the completion of the briefing, the seven men were already on their way to the ambush location, where they would take this immortal out...

 Madrid was a considerably large city for searching for a single person. Almost all of the alleys were identical, leaving them to rely entirely upon the satellite guidance. Then they felt it. The seven men stopped as they came upon the buzz from the immortal. They cringed at the mere feel of the power of this Immortal, so strong, and yet as naked as a newborn babe. Carlisle quickly motioned to his men to take their point locations, and the six mercs spread out, two to the front, two to the rear and two around Carlisle. He motioned again, and they drew their blades. An assortment of weapons glimmered evilly in the moonlight, ranging from Eastern style swords to Western style blades. These men obviously were professionals that played for keeps.

 “Damn, easiest cash I ever been offered for a job…” whispered one of the rear point men, “Simple shoot on the run of some damned newbie. Looks like that Italian sports car is mine…”

 “Ellis… “ whispered one of the centre guards, “So who is this guy we’re after?”

 “We don’t know.” Carlisle returned, “Just some immortal that LeMoynne wants out and out fast.”

 “This just doesn’t feel right. Seven trained mercs against one newbie? There isn’t an immortal strong enough to stand up against us now since the Kurgan is gone!”

 "Carlisle! I’m at the corner! Satellite information says he’s about a dozen feet away!” whispered the scout as he peered around the corner where the target was. “I don't see him!”

 "What? He has to be here! The satellite image shows him still lying there!"

 "He ain't here man, but I can feel his buzz, and I so do not like it! It's almost like he's everywhere!"

 Carlisle turned around in circles, his sword drawn in one hand and a handgun in the other, "Careful men... this doesn't look good at all!"

 “This is so not cool…” whispered the rear point man as he slowly turned around, staring at the night sky.

 “… so not cool…” echoed a voice from behind the rear point man.

 “Quiet back there… keep an eye out for… waitaminute… who said…”

 Before he could finish his sentence, he heard a horrible scream. Turning around, he saw one of his rear point men collapse to his knees, his head rolling on the ground beside him. His blade was gone, and the head looked as if it had been ripped off his body. Lightning crackled around the corpse as it began to float in the air. Carlisle and his men prepared to receive the wild Quickening, only it never happened. As the power from the fallen immortal ripped out of his body, it never found the other men. It shot towards the mercenaries, and at the last possible second, diverted up into the sky, and over the building to the roof. From the top of the building came an unholy scream as if a horrible demon was being born into this world. Lightning crackled on the rooftop, and there was suddenly an explosion as a bolt from the sky slammed into the building and drove itself into the ground. The windows of the building exploded into hundreds of star-like shards and flames erupted from the carcass of the towering sculpture. Ellis' men watched in horror and slowly backed up away from the event.

 "Goddamn... what are we up against?" Carlisle whispered, after witnessing the event. Slowly, he scanned the night sky. Where are you, you bastard? "Cover yourselves men! This isn't natural..."

 "No shit Ellis! What kind of monster can do that?" screamed someone from the far corner as he looked down at the severed head. Slowly he turned around in time to see an enormously built man standing in front of him, his face staring directly at the intimidating chest. The man stood over 6'5, and was built like a redwood. His muscles flexed and bulged like a machine, and he stood without an ounce of fear in his body. His hair was black and covered the dark face like a veil, and in his mighty hand, he held the weapon that had been pulled from the dead man's own hands. His face turned sour as he raised his weapon high into the air, and brought it down on the helpless victim with a vicious scream. The blade cleaved him in half like he was paper, and the Quickening flowed into the murderer as if he were a living battery.

 "Fuck! He's worse'n the Kurgan!" someone screamed as they raised their weapon to defend themselves from an attack. They fail miserably in their defense as the monster cut his torso free from his legs with his blade.

 “Come on, you bastard!”

Lightning flashed in the night sky with every clash of steel as the mercs were systematically torn apart by a single man and his weapon. Blood and sweat flowed in the streets and Carlisle watched in horror as his men were slaughtered.

Under the Vatican

 "Caernarvon!" shouted the communications officer as he jumped up in shock from his chair situated near the main view screen.  "Caernarvon! It's Carlisle!"

 Caernarvon bolted over to the officer from the far end of the command centre. The room went quiet and all eyes were on Caernarvon who immediately grabbed the com-link, "Ellis! What happened?! You were to check in an hour ago!"

 "They're dead! They're all dead Caernarvon!" Carlisle screamed frantically over the unsecured line, which crackled with static. "It's Him! It's The Unbreakable..."

 "Ellis! You're breaking up... who's unbreakable! Who’s unbreakable?”

 "Morlock! Joshua Morlock! It's Morlock! It's..." he screamed until the line went dead and static filled the room entirely. Darkness and silence filled the room until Caernarvon slammed his fist down on the communications control.

 "Get him outta there, damnit! Send our best men in and pull him out! Who do we have near the location?"

"We got a chopper team of mercs in Madrid right now..."

"Send them in! Full battle gear, and tell 'em to get ready for a shit storm!" Caernarvon screamed out as he dropped the com-link. It dropped to the floor helplessly and hissed profusely of static. "And where the hell is LeMoynne?"

 "In his quarters..."

 "Get me Montegue!" screamed Caernarvon as he spun around the room and stormed to the to the back of the room. “Call him in!”

 The order never took effect. Within seconds, the door flew open and LeMoynne walked into the room, still in his evening robes. He stopped, looked around the room and held out his arms, a smile slowly spreading across his maniacal face.

"Behold... the Gathering is near!"

Madrid, Spain

 A small helicopter was sitting patiently in the middle of the street as its crew, a small group of eight immortals fanned out from the area, searching for the Quickening of one of their own, Ellis Carlisle. This group wasn’t in taking any chances as the last group did… they weren’t following the Game. As they slowly moved outward, they checked their equipment… heavy assault weapons, body armor, motion sensor… everything a high-tech assassin may need. This wasn’t a game anymore… it had escalated into a sport, and these men were on the losing team. Like Caernarvon said, get ready for a shit storm. Within seconds of contact with their prey, the radio waves were alive with screams…

 “Holy Shit! What the hell is that?”

 “Where the hell did he come from!?”

 “Captain! Get out of…”

 “Come on! Come on you Bastard!”

 “Holy shhhhiiitttt…”

 The pilot of the helicopter looked confused at the darkness that surrounded him, and in the distance, he saw gunshots. Flashes of light illuminated the dark alleys in the distance, and he saw an enormous immortal tearing though the rescue team and their high tech toys.

 “Gunner!” he shouted as he looked back into the chopper. The gunner sitting at the centre gun, the only mortal of the group turned his head. “Watch the streets! This isn’t good!”

 The gunner nodded and moved the gun to where the action was. Surprisingly, nothing was happening. It was quiet… too quiet… when suddenly, a hand slammed down on the floor of the chopper. The gunner stood up, pulled out his sidearm and pointed the weapon at the face of a shattered looking Ellis Carlisle.

 Ellis climbed into the chopper his eyes filled with tears of fear and he looked almost insane. “Get out of here! Go! They’re all dead! They’re all dead!”

 The pilot nodded and proceeded to flick several of the switches on the counsel, and slowly began to pull up on the flight stick. Slowly, the propellers of the mighty gunship began to spin at a faster rate, and the ship began to lift of the ground. Ellis leaned back against the back wall, breathing heavy, and watched the gunner as he manned the machine gun and protected their retreat.
 The gunner turned around and looked at Ellis with a calm, protective look. “Don’t worry sir. You’re safe. That bastard isn’t going to catch up to us now!”

 Ellis managed a weak smile, but that soon disappeared as a massive hand shot up, grabbed the gunner by the neck, and pulled the man over the edge. The gunner’s sidearm clattered noisily to the floor and Carlisle stood up watching the poor victim fall to the ground below. Horrified, he watched as a dark figure climbed aboard the escape vehicle.

 “Going somewhere little one?” growled Morlock as he smiled at Carlisle. He could see the fear in Ellis’ eyes, and feel the terror in his heart, and it made his Quickening look even more desirable.

 Carlisle responded by thrusting his leg out at Morlock’s face, which proved to be a foolish attempt at escape. With his left hand, Joshua grabbed Carlisle by the ankle and pulled him closer towards the edge of the helicopter’s floor. Acting out of pure desperation and instinct, Carlisle swung his arm back, grabbed the sidearm that was lying on the floor, and took aim at Morlock’s hand which remained fastened around his ankle.

 “You bastard… burn in Hell!” he screamed, and like a trapped animal, he shot his foot off along with Morlock’s hand. They both screamed in pain, but Carlisle took aim again, this time at Morlock’s head. Before he could pull the trigger, the dark assailant heaved himself aboard the craft, and the bullet slammed into his chest. The force of the weapon ejected him off the chopper, and down to the city below, screaming like a fallen angel.

 “Sir, are you all right?” shouted out the pilot, as he glanced back to his passenger.

 Ellis groaned in pain as he struggled to open the first aid kit and seal the wound with the bandages and gauze, Quickening energy flowing around his body healing his wound. “Yeah… for now…”

... continued in Chapter Two...


Cover Page
Chapter One:
The Beginning
Chapter Two:
Enroute to Revenge
Chapter Three:
The Proposal
Chapter Four:
Encounters and Agreements
Chapter Five:
Montegue LeMoynne
Chapter Six:
Chapter Seven:
The Heist
Chapter Eight:
Ambush at the Safehouse
Chapter Nine:
The Dividing of the Quests
Chapter Ten:
The Soul-Stealer
Chapter Eleven:
Chapter Twelve:
The Marnin' Gull Tavern
Chapter Thirteen:
Coming to America
Chapter Fourteen:
Monte's Fall from Grace
Chapter Fifteen:
Prelude to Hell


Copyright 1999 by William Ja-On Campbell Hillman