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In the realm between heaven and hell dwell the angels and the demons.  They are constantly at war over human souls awaiting the Day of Judgment promised by the Lord Jesus Christ.  One of these mighty warrior angels broke free and invaded the realm of time and space.  He blazed across the star-studded night sky, like a shooting star...

The howl of coyotes traveled on the cool breeze of the desert night, sending an unearthly chill down the spine of every man sitting around the campfire.  Each was trying not to show his nervousness as Sharp, whose real name was Gregg Green, was pulled into the firelight and thrown to his knees on the opposite side of the fire from where the gang's president stood.  Of the several campfires scattered throughout the Demon Slayer's encampment, this fire warmed the leaders of the gang.  Sharp, the gang's accountant broke into a sweat as he awaited the judgment of his leader.  At the moment, every eye was on Spike, the gang President.  He was standing with his back to the fire, staring out into the desert.  Holding a cellular phone to his right ear with his shoulder while his hands, with practiced patience, worked mechanically polishing his pearl handled, chrome plated .45 caliber Colt.

Spike stood six feet-five inches tall, thin but very robust.  His brown eyes were set in a handsome face but contained a coldness that struck fear in any man careless enough to search them too deeply.  Even though Spike was only thirty years old, his hair had already begun to recede making him look much older.  He was wearing his usual outfit of tight fitting jeans, jean jacket, and a T-shirt.  His T-shirts alternated between pictures of marijuana plants, Satan, and a variety of foul sayings.  Tonight he was wearing his, "weed shirt", as he called it, a white T-shirt with bright green leaves and black letters that read, "Thanks for freeing the weed".

As each man listened, not knowing to whom he was talking, they were amazed at how unconcerned their leader acted.  They knew only the most powerful people in the world had his private phone number, yet he seemed to treat them with as much contempt as he did everyone else.  The men figured a hit man of Spike's reputation and skill could get away with being contemptuous.

Spike, for his part, was already bored with this conversation.  He loathed cowardice, and the man on the other end of the phone sounded like a coward.  Spike was about to tell him so and hang up, when the man mentioned the city of Covenant.

"Yeah, I've heard of Covenant, who hasn't after two solid years of news coverage?  It's Covenant this and Covenant that; for one, I'm sick of hearing about it.  Can you hold on a minute?"

There was a pause.

"I know it's long distance, but I have a little discipline problem to take care of; I'll be back with ya in a minute."

Spike, still holding the phone with his shoulder, turned to face the pale accountant, who was still kneeling on the opposite side of the fire, being held by two very large intimidating men.

Spike handed the phone to Winter, his second in command, and ordered, "Read the charges, quickly!"

Winter read, "He took a thousand dollars from the treasury for his own use and Martha over there"; he nodded in her direction, "says that he sexually molested her six-year-old boy."  The color drained from Spike's face as he thought, "another Brother Keller!"  He'd sworn to rid the world of men like Keller, the man who had sexually abused him, when he was a fourteen-year-old boy, named Jarrett White.  His heart had grown progressively colder toward God and man since that day.

With undisguised contempt, Spike spat out, "Sharp!  What do you have to say for yourself?"

Sharp's forehead was beading with sweat as he whimpered, "Please sir, I'm just sick in the head and I need help."

"Then you admit that you abused the kid, and stole from me?"

"Have mercy on me, sir, please!  I'll change my..."

A hole appeared in Sharp's face between his nose, and left eye, as the 45-caliber bullet entered his head.  A split-second later the entire backside of his head exploded, as the bullet made its exit, and whistled by the ear of one of the onlookers.  The thunder made by the gunshot caused the men to jump, and scattered the coyotes which had drifted a little too close to the encampment.

Spike gestured with his gun and said, "Bury this garbage deep, I don't want the vultures to get sick eating his rotten flesh."

Spike was in a better mood when he retrieved the phone from Winter, and continued his conversation with the Chairman of the Committee, as if nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred.

"Hey, you still there?"

"Was that a gun shot I just heard?"

"I'm an assassin, remember?  Gunshots are commonplace around me.  Now, finish your proposal."

The deep voice on the other end of the line had gained an uneasy stammer as it continued, "I want you to go to Covenant and do what you do best.  Bully the townspeople, steal, and make the cops look silly, even dirty.  When the time's right I'll have some people for you to purge."

"What people?"

"I'll let you know when the time comes..."

Spike interrupted angrily, "You know I want the targets up front!  I need time to plan ahead.  It's just too risky otherwise."

The man on the other end dripped contempt of his own, "Look, I don't care what you want.  I have to stop President Place's re-election next month, and I have to stop this Joshua White character.  I'll take care of them, but you must do what I say, or it will ruin the whole plan.  We'll pay you your usual one hundred thousand dollar retainer.  In addition, we'll pay you the premium price of one million dollars for each person you successfully eradicate on my orders only, of course!  Are you interested or not?"

Spike pictured cutting this man's throat with his boot knife for mentioning his brother, Joshua White.

He answered, "Sure!  Why not?  Except, I want a two hundred thousand dollar retainer; and I want the first million deposited into my Swiss account, before I leave for Covenant.  The retainer you can leave in the usual place, and I'll get it on the way to Covenant.  Understand?"

The black-souled man on the other end hung up without another word.  Spike was unconcerned; he knew the man would pay.  He hit the off button on his cellular phone and handed it back to Winter.  Spike's "old lady" handed him a cup of hot coffee, but after taking a sip he spat it out, and threw the remainder of the cup into the woman's face, causing her to scream in agony as the hot liquid instantly blistered her face, neck, and chest.

Spike yelled at her, "I've told you for the last time woman!  I do not take sugar in my coffee!  Do you understand that now?"

The terrified woman nodded her head as she watched Spike toss the cup back to her, and put his hand on the handle of his weapon, which he had re-holstered after shooting the accountant.  Tears flowed down the woman's cheeks and onto the desert's cooling sands.

"Good! Good!" Spike smiled at her and continued in a calmer voice, "Then would you please be so kind as to get me another cup, and get it right this time?"

Spike turned to his men, having already forgotten the incident; what he saw was anticipation.  They wanted to know about this new job.  They'd been between jobs for about two months now; their money was running low, while their tempers were running high.  Spike took a deep breath.  The cool desert air filled his lungs and helped him to center himself.  He looked at his camp with pride.  His camp was made up of fifty of the meanest, most wanted men in America.  He'd collected them over the last few years, and if he had to execute one now and again, as he had tonight, or even if they got themselves killed, he'd simply replace them with someone just as despicable and just as wanted.  Each of the men had their own "Crouch Bucket", motorcycle, while their old ladies drove the motor homes, containing their "families", and all of their earthly possessions.  Every woman had to be attached to at least one man, but usually went with whomever she was told.  The only exception was, Genulata, the psychic, who traveled with the group as their spiritual guide.  Genulata, called Sister Gen, had her own motor home, and lived pretty well to herself.  She was the only one allowed to back talk Spike and live, but then she knew things that were helpful to him.  She had, of course, been wise enough to give him anything he requested of her, including the sharing of her bed, which no other man dared to even ask.  This arrangement suited her just fine.

Sister Gen, now thirty-five years old, had run away from home at the tender age of fourteen, to find her freedom.  A carnival was working two towns over from her hometown and Sister Gen befriended the carnie psychic who took her in as an assistant. She worked for the carnie psychic, until she could start her own business, which was where Spike met her.  She gave him some advice on a future project, which proved to be wise advice.  About a week later he came back to congratulate her on the accuracy of her prediction, and he'd talked her into traveling with the gang; she's been a part of it ever since.

It was toward her motor home that Spike now looked.  He had the urge to gain some psychic insight on this new project, and then perhaps spend a warm night next to his psychic mentor.  Spike was just about to give his men a brief overview of their new job, and then walk over to Sister Gen's, when a sentry yelled, "In Coming!"

Spike reached into his pocket, pulled out a remote control, and with one push of a button, shut the power generator down.  When the generator ground to a halt, the entire camp went dark.  Spike had devised this system himself for immediate compliance with blackout rules.   "The sudden darkness should confuse the intruder." Spike said to no one in particular.

Men all around him pulled their weapon of choice and took up their assigned positions, forming a large, armed circle around the camp.  When he reached the sentry's position, Spike took the star-scope, which uses starlight from the night sky to allow the user to see as if it were daylight, from him and looked in the direction the sentry indicated.  The star-scope had proven an effective tool in the camp's defense system.  The camp had been set up, as usual, in the most remote spot they could find in the desert.  They had clear vision for miles around them and could see anyone approaching their position.  Four sentries were posted, one at each point of the compass, and each was armed with a star-scope.  This practice had successfully warned them of many intruders and helped them overcome several police raids.  Skunk, the sentry, puffed up with pride as Spike said, "Way to watch Skunk!  That's a hundred dollar bonus for you."

Winter, who was always at Spike's side, made a note of the bonus.  By rewarding his men with bonuses and presents, Spike knew they'd all die to get his favored attention.

Spike's attention at the moment, however, was on the ghostly figure that was approaching them at a very high rate of speed.  The white figure rode a bike very similar to Spike's own "Crouch Bucket".  He liked his men to ride fast, quiet cycles for those times when they needed to get in quietly and leave quickly.  The incoming rider's white bike, white leather jump suit, and white helmet, were ablaze as if made of sparkling pearl, which shone against the blackness of the desert night.  The rider was crouched low behind the windshield.  His white-gloved hands were in perfect control of the power under him.  When the full moon suddenly came out from behind a dark cloud, the glow of pearl turned into the radiance of the sun, as it reflected off the rider's white clothes.  Spike had to look away for a moment because of the star-scope's sensitivity to light.  When he looked again, however, the glow no longer hurt his eyes.  An involuntary chill dripped down Spike's spine as he watched this spectral apparition glide on invisible black tires across the desert floor.

As the eerie specter approached, Spike raised his hand, which told the gang to hold their fire and await his command.   This order was silently passed around the defensive circle.  Without slowing in the least, the intruder veered to the right and began to encircle the camp.  At this close range, Spike could tell that the intruder's taste in bikes was impeccable.  He was riding one of the fastest bikes ever made.   Spike held his breath in awe, as he watched the 145 horsepower, fully aerodynamic bike soar past his encampment.

Spike thought, "I've got to have this bike!"

He'd read all about them, in one cycle magazine or another, and knew that this bike was far superior to his own.   This was the bike of a leader.

After the intruder had made a complete circle around the camp, the stranger aimed his rocket directly at Spike.  Spike was amazed at the man's skill, but not being a coward, he stood his ground ready for a challenge.  He signaled his men not to interfere.

His men held their collective breath and fire, as they watched the bike speed toward their leader.  At the last possible moment, the specter applied the brakes and held the bike perfectly straight as it came to a halt not two inches from Spike's boots.  The rider just sat there and revved his engine.  After a moment, he shut the bike down and got off.

As well as Spike knew bikes, he knew people even better.  He could readily tell that the person standing before him had courage, but to come into this particular camp by himself was either foolhardy, or this stranger knew something that Spike didn't.

"No, just stupid", thought Spike.

The stranger reached up and unsnapped the collar of his jumpsuit, releasing his helmet.  As he did so, all the weapons that were aimed at the stranger, could be heard clicking into the cocked position.  The stranger ignored them, as he removed his helmet.

For a fleeting moment Spike envisioned removal of the stranger's helmet would expose some alien creature from another planet, but the spell was soon broken, when beneath the helmet was found...only a man.  He was a man with a strong, kind face and absolutely no fear.  The man stood seven feet tall, had a muscular build, and was surrounded by a radiance that commanded respect.  Spike didn't like him, and even felt a little threatened by his presence.

The stranger spoke in a gentle, friendly and confident voice, "Good evening!  I hope you don't mind me dropping in like this, but I wanted to meet you."

He'd addressed this to Spike, ignoring all others present.  Spike's men chuckled at the thought of anyone wanting to meet the man who was about to kill him, and steal his bike; they'd all read Spike's intention.

"Spike, stop playing with the stranger", someone yelled into the darkness.

Spike said, "I'm sorry, but I don't do interviews, especially unannounced ones!"

Spike gave the expected signal, and several of his men jumped the stranger from behind.

There was an earsplitting clap of thunder, which echoed across the suddenly, cloudless sky of the desert night.   The pack of coyotes, which had been working its way closer to the camp, was again frightened away by the sudden noise.  Scorpions covered themselves with sand for protection, while tumble weeds were blown about by the sudden rush of wind that stirred the sands into whirling, twisting sand devils.  The men, who'd attacked the white figure, were thrown to the ground, some as far away as twenty feet, and they lay there as if dead.  As a matter of fact, as Spike looked around he noticed that except for him, all in the camp were now in the same condition.  Spike was forced to stand his ground and watch as the white figure transformed into a translucent, dazzling being who, as he rose from the ground, unfurled his magnificent wings to their full ten-foot span.

He spoke in a thunderous voice, "I am Worl, an angel of the Most High God!  I have been sent with a message for you, Jarrett White!"

Spike blinked.  No one had called him by that name in years!

"Your brother, Chad White, was murdered by the dark forces of Satan over two years ago.  Your other brother, Joshua White, will soon be in grave danger, and in need of your help!"

Spike shook from head to toe with a mixture of fear and rage.  Fear of this apparition's power and rage at the wetness that was suddenly traveling down his right leg!  Spike thought of all the LSD he'd used in the past and then it dawned on him what was happening.

He thought, "I'm having a flash back!  That's it!  This is nothing more than a bad trip!"

He told the angel, "You're nothing but a shadow from a bad LSD trip!"

The angelic warrior drew his sword, pointed it at Spike, and released a bolt of searing light which knocked Spike off his feet, causing him to land on his back some ten feet away.  As he gasped for breath, the angel glided toward him just above the desert floor.

Worl said, "Beware, Jarrett White, that you do not bring the wrath of God upon yourself before your time!  You will only have one chance at repentance and conversion before the day of your trial overtakes you.  Now listen, and heed my words, for the Lord Jesus Christ issued them, Himself!  Even though you work for the enemy at the present time, you are to go to Covenant and once there you are to help your brother Joshua.  Search deep within your black heart, Jarrett White, and find that mustard seed of the Holy Spirit that even you could not drive out!  I'll leave you with this last warning.  Watch out for Tumult, Captain of Satan, himself!  He seeks to devour your soul, Jarrett White, and he'll come for you soon!"

Thunder rolled across the sky once more, as the angel soared skyward, and instantly blended with the millions of other twinkling lights that filled the night sky.  The force of the angel's departure rendered Jarrett White unconscious.

As Worl flew away, he glanced down at the small army of demons who had begun to peek out from behind their cover of motor homes, boulders, and even the unconscious forms of their human hosts.  He could tell that they had indeed heard of Worl, Captain of the Battle of Covenant, and they wisely DID NOT want to tangle with him this evening.

Worl felt good as he flew back toward Covenant, and his booming voice shook the earth as he quoted, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

By the time the last of the Scripture had rolled out of Worl's mouth, the demons had been paralyzed with fear; they knew that he was directing this quote at them.  He was reminding them that a new war had begun, and their casualties would be high.  Several of the demons left to warn their lord, Satan.

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