Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 3: The Face of Evil Revealed...

Maneuvering through heavy traffic took longer than the predicted hour. Jack reached the apartment building Dan indicated only to find silence. There were no police, no other Bureau personnel and nothing but darkness from inside the empty building. Jack prayed that he would find Dan alive.
He took out his weapon from its hiding place beneath the seat and shoved it inside the waist of his pants beneath his jacket. For reasons he couldn’t explain, Jack popped the trunk and grabbed the Kevlar vest he rarely used. It felt bulky and easy to spot underneath his jacket.
He took his flashlight out, put the cell phone on vibrate and shoved it into his jacket pocket.
The second he stepped inside the building, he felt it. An overpowering feeling of pure malevolence. He’d witnessed hundreds of murders in his time with the Bureau, including the Angel’s work. They’d all left a certain presence behind them. There was no way so much hatred could be unleashed upon another human being and not leave its mark. But the feeling he had here was like none other he’d experienced. He was in the presence of true evil.
Jack didn’t dare call out to Dan, even though the building appeared unoccupied. It was quiet. Unbearable so.
Slowly he made his way up the stairs with weapon drawn. A grayish dust covered every inch of the place, clogging his throat and lungs. It looked like twilight here even though it was still light out.
A step creaked beneath his foot and he froze, waited and then held his breath as he started up the stairs once more.
Close to the second floor landing, he stopped for a moment. His hands were shaking. The reality of this moment finally settled in. The Angel killers had used Dan to lure him here.
For the first time in his career, Jack felt real fear. He wasn’t ready for this. He’d been slipping for days. His public suspension had been the final straw that pushed him over the edge.
Jack’s heart rate increased with each step. He tried to focus on Megan. He needed to stay focused on her because she would be next. He’d have to do something to stop them—whatever it took. Even if it meant his life.
The door to the second floor apartment stood open slightly. He stopped just outside the door and listened. Nothing. No sound came from inside.
Jack drew a deep breath then pushed the door open completely. It took a full minute for his eyes to adjust to the light. It was even darker in here. Someone had placed black plastic garbage bags over all the windows. As his eyes grew accustomed to the light, he saw something that took his breath away.
The crime scene of the last original Angel killing. He remembered it well even though it had been destroyed in the fire Eddie started to flee the scene. Six years ago today. The killers had recreated the scene once more, right down to the mattress and scarf. All that was lacking was the final victim. Megan.
“Jack, there you are.”
Hearing Dan’s voice, Jack let go of the breath he’d been unconsciously holding. He tucked his weapon behind his back once more then turned to Dan.
It took a few seconds to make out Dan’s expression. But when he did, his blood ran cold. He barely recognized him. This wasn’t the man he knew so well. The twisted grin on Dan’s face made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Instinctively, Jack backed away from the sheer depravity he saw there but Dan moved closer.
“What took you so long?”

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