Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome back to another week of Story Time With Tim! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and this week we have chapter three of Holy Shards The Thirteenth Age! So far, the story is going pretty good. It might have a few hokey moments, but I think the story has a very strong core overall. I hope that you agree.
Have you read the first two parts? Why not get caught up now, then:
Alright, we’re all caught up! Let’s get to the next part already! Here we go…
STRONGHOLD FOR THE DAMNED
The room was dark except for one small corner that was lit by a table lamp. There, the man sat hunched over some paper and, pen in hand, was writing feverishly. The plan was exact and had to be carried out to the letter. And he intended to succeed. Which was why he was writing. It was a piece to be submitted to the media, so that all knew the seriousness of their nation’s crimes against humanity. He would see to it that they all paid in blood.
Soft light highlighted his pale skin as his right hand worked furiously. Black ink smeared in places, but he didn’t care. He would only be typing the piece up soon, anyway. He just needed to get his thoughts down on paper before revising it to better suit his needs. He was halfway down the second page of his terrifying propaganda when the pager attached to his belt went off. Pausing to check the device, he saw a familiar number and picked up the phone near his left hand.
As the other side of the line rang, he glanced around the darkened room, with blacked out windows, and noted how much junk was scattered around its confines. It was beginning to look like a hoarder lived there. However, it was attached to a warehouse, so he figured it was an appropriate mess. Someone picked up the other line after three rings.
“Yes?” he immediately queried into the receiver.
“It’s time,” the male voice on the other end said.
“How?” he responded.
“As the crow flies,” the voice replied without hesitation.
“Consider it done,” he said and hung up.
Federal building it is. He thought with a smile and continued writing his piece. The targets had been predetermined, but their order was random, to keep the police guessing. He knew, though, that soon they’d start putting two and two together. Which was why he was glad the feds were getting hit next. It meant they’d be able to throw the cops off the trail for that much longer. …And then, it’ll be time for Big Bertha… Let the good times roll!
“Jasmine, you’ve got some fan mail.” Ryan Leery said as he tossed a thick, letter sized envelope at her.
Jasmine Eloweise, a six-foot tall reporter of Saudi Arabian and Israeli descent, grabbed the envelope sailing through the air. She smiled pleasantly and brushed a strand of her long dark brown hair from her brow.
“Next time, just hand it to me, Ryan. It’s not a paper airplane,” she quipped and began to open it up.
“What, haven’t you ever heard of air mail?” he retorted with an innocent look as he sat down at his desk across from hers.
Jasmine stopped what she was doing, froze her gaze at her legs, and then stared at the five-foot-ten-inch tall, red-head. She rolled her eyes as she spoke.
“Do you come up with these puns yourself? Or do you just have a really bad writer?”
“That would be the latter, since I write all my own material. What are you going to do, sit on me if I don’t stop?” he laughed and cracked open a peanut he pulled from a jar on his desktop.
“Hah, I think you’d like that too much,” she countered and glanced at him from the corner of her eye.
“Probably. So, what do ya got there?” he asked and leaned back in his chair.
“Oh, my word. It’s from our terrorist,” she answered and quirked an eyebrow as she skimmed through the four-page letter. “And he really likes to write.”
“No shit? What’s it say?”
“Alright, listen to this… ‘Jews, Muslims, and Christians, together with all other religions, share something in common: all are invaders of nations. Nations that were nothing but peaceful before their arrival. Their hypocrisy continues to reign down upon us…’ oh, that’s cute, he spelled rain like an emperor would do, you know, ‘reign’? How metaphorical,” she looked at Ryan as she read the note.
Ryan let loose a slight chuckle as he threw several more peanuts into his mouth.
“To continue… ‘reign down upon us as if their word were law. These days, the Muslim world screams out that their holy lands have been ‘defiled’ by the ‘infidel’ races, which, it would seem, is anyone who is not Muslim or of Islam. Yet, they seem to forget their own forays into the Spanish and French lands in years past. Was that not an invasion of sacred lands? Oh, that’s right, they were ‘infidels’, and had no claim to lands rightfully belonging to Islam and the followers of Allah.
“‘And the Christian empire, and it is an empire, is just as guilty in their heresies against humankind. Constantly bellowing that any who do not accept Christ as their savior will burn in hell, including all Jews. But, if I recall correctly, wasn’t Jesus a Jew? Would that mean that he himself burned in hell? Perhaps, therefore, all Christians, as a result, are Satanists…?’ Good Lord. He just continues to ramble on like this for three and a half pages. But here, on the fourth page, it gets interesting…
“‘…Thus, let it be written that all who worship God and take a religion, shall find themselves subject to my judgement. Just as the school of young heathens burned, so too shall all who dare tread upon sacred land. You’ve been warned.’ Signed, ‘The Word Incarnate.’ The Word Incarnate? You would think he could’ve come up with something better than that.”
“So, does this mean he’s going to strike again sometime soon?” Ryan leaned forward in concern.
“I would say that’s a forgone conclusion. Alright, we have our story. Now, I do think we should also call that cop who’s investigating this case… oh, what’s his name?” Jasmine queried, putting down the letter and digging through her desk. “…Here …uhm …Joseph Spears, and let him know about this letter.”
“Before or after we break the story?” Ryan wondered with a grin.
“Oh, come on! You know me better than that… after. What did you think?” she smirked her response and batted her lashes.
“You’re bad…” Ryan teased and picked up the phone to dial the police station.
“What would anyone want with a useless little red-nigger like you!?” the six-foot-two-inch sixteen-year old taunted the young twelve-year old Pawnee boy.
The tall, Caucasian boy with auburn hair cut short in a buzz, had gleaming and hostile blue eyes that glared into the Pawnee boy’s soul. The boy was frightened of the tall teenager who thrust his arms open daring him to say something.
Several long minutes passed as the boys stared at one another. Kids on the playground gathered around the two in the schoolyard. The Pawnee boy was too afraid to move, to run, or even say anything in his defense.
“Go on, show that injun some manners!” A red-headed white boy shouted as the growing crowd voiced their approval of the pending fight.
“Quit yer gawkin’, you little bastard!” the tall boy shouted at the Pawnee boy and pushed him to the ground.
He straddled his legs around the young boy and started punching him in his face. Then, when he tired of that, the tall boy flipped him over and pushed his face into the dirt. Grabbing the young boy’s long, black hair braided into a pony-tail, the tall boy yanked his head towards him and dug his knee into the mid-section of his back.
“What’s this? You know red-niggers ain’t allowed to have hair like this! Might incite an injun riot!” he taunted and pulled a knife out of his boot.
Just as he was about to cut the pony-tail off, a commanding voice rang out, grabbing the tall boy’s attention.
“Get off that boy! All of you, break it up!” The woman demanded, coming into the schoolyard angrily.
The tall boy stood up as the Pawnee got to his feet, feeling great relief. Then the teacher grabbed them both by their ears and yanked hard, prompting yelps from the two.
“I will not have you two fighting! You’ll just have to put your differences aside! Oh! Heathens, the lot of you!” she shouted and let them go. “You can be sure Mr. Watkins will be hearing of this!”
Once she stormed off back inside the school, the tall boy turned to the Pawnee child and glared down at his five-foot-three-inch form.
“You lissen up and lissen up good. One of these days, I’m gonna git you and all yo kind! You jus’ remember that!” he spoke menacingly and walked off leaving a crying young boy behind.
Joseph woke up and stared at the ceiling of the small room he was laying within. Lines of light painted the ceiling and walls in the form of the spaces from the blinds hanging over the windows to the room. He sat up and draped his legs over the edge of the cot the officers on duty had put there to catch up on sleep between beats if they were unable to get home or if the detectives had a prolonged investigation. Which was becoming the case for the tired man.
He placed his elbows on his knees and braced his face in the palms of his hands. Exhaustion ate away at his body. A knock sounded at the closed door and he looked up to see Alexia enter the small room.
“Hey, partner. You doing all right?” she asked, concern evident in her voice.
She held a stack of papers and had a look in her eyes that suggested she had some news to share with him. He nodded that he was fine and motioned for her to come all the way into the room.
“Just woke up. So, what’s the word that has you so excited?” he gestured towards the stack of papers she carried.
He wiped the sleep from his eyes with the palm of his right hand as she cleared her throat and smiled.
“I just got off the phone with a Mr. Ryan Leery for Channel Five news. They’ll be breaking a story tonight on a new letter that’s surfaced and they felt we may want to be the first to hear about it,” she looked down at the man as he yawned and blinked.
“A new letter? What do they think they have that’s so news worthy?” he wondered and awaited her response.
“Well, they faxed me a copy of this four-page letter that Ms. Jasmine Eloweise received earlier today. For some reason, our subject wanted it sent to her. Anyhow, there’s some really juicy stuff in it I thought you might be interested in,” she spoke as she handed the papers to him. “Apparently, our loving terrorist mastermind has it out for the religious community and a real strong hatred of our government.”
“Huh, go figure. So, does he give the next target?” Joseph questioned as he thumbed through the fax and perked his eyebrows. “He certainly has a lot to vent over.”
“Yeah. Unfortunately, he doesn’t give us anything concrete to work on. I think we should alert the feds, though, so that they can be on the lookout for anything suspicious,” Alexia stood gauging his response.
“The feds? You feel that’s necessary at this point? Do we have enough to bring before them?” he wondered with a questioning expression.
“I think so. Better safe than sorry, you know? Every time a letter like this surfaces, somewhere innocents are being left dead in his wake. We need to keep our eyes open to jump on this creep as soon as he makes a move.”
Joseph nodded to her in agreement.
“Guess you should give them a ring then. I’ll let you handle that. Me, there’s something I’ve got to do. But I’ll be back a little later,” he told her getting to his feet.
“Is anything wrong?”
“No,” he quickly said and shook his head. “I think I just need to get out of here for a while.”
“All right. Well, I’ve got my cell on me so, if you need to get ahold of me for something or just want to talk, you know where to find me,” she offered him and rubbed his shoulder with her right hand.
“I’ll remember that, thanks. See you later,” he handed her back the fax, waved her off and then exited the room.
Alexia watched him leave and was a little worried for her partner. When she had first entered the room, she noticed he was drenched in sweat. She imagined he just had a nightmare, and one that seemed to have really bothered him. She looked down at the stack of papers in her hand and the fax he handed back to her just before leaving. They’d spent two months already on the case with no real leads to the person responsible.
Perhaps, it’s all just getting to him. How long do we have to hunt this guy before we get him? She exited the room and put the question out of mind. She had to call the F.B.I. and inform them of what had turned up. Soon, please God, tell me that this will all be over with soon…
Several days later, at the national headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the sun struggled to shine down upon the city through darkening storm clouds. The sidewalks outside the complex bustled with people.
Within the confines of the government operated facility, federal employees filled the halls as they worked their assigned cases and filled out paperwork. One such worker was Robert Miller, a five-foot-eleven-inch Caucasian male with a penchant for wearing blue suits and black ties. He had short, neatly trimmed brown hair and hazel eyes.
The particular rigidness of his stance and stride served to demonstrate just how serious minded he was at doing his job and doing it well. And he had every reason to be serious that day as information had been flowing across his desk about potential terrorist targets around the country. Alarming to him was the report of a planned assault on the White House.
“Hey, have you seen Pam?” Robert stopped and questioned a young woman behind a desk.
“Not since earlier this morning, sir,” she responded with a slight frown.
“Perfect. Whenever I need her, she’s gone off somewhere.”
Robert proceeded down the hall and approached an office with an open door. Within, he heard voices from two familiar people. Drawing near, he recognized one of the voices as belonging to Pam and was relieved. Robert knocked on the door frame, getting their attention, and saw the two individuals motion for him to enter.
“Robert, how are you?” the older gentleman, Clyde Martin, behind the desk inquired. “Pam and I were just discussing the brewing war with the new Axis Coalition.”
“Yes, a very distressing subject,” he nodded curtly and looked over at Pam. “Unfortunately, that is not what I need to discuss with Pam.”
“What’s wrong?” she asked him from where she sat in the chair across from Clyde’s desk.
“We’ve got some real solid intel on the next terrorist target,” he started.
“Really? Where?” Clyde asked, intrigued.
“My sources indicate there is serious talk about a hit on the White House within the coming month. We need to get with the President and inform her of what we’re hearing.”
“Is this a legit source?” Clyde queried.
“He hasn’t let me down yet. In fact, he’s the one that tipped us off to the whereabouts of Carlos Olsen and his cartel,” Robert spoke in a matter of fact tone.
“This could be the lead we’ve been looking for. Any idea where they’re based?” Pam asked, straightening her dress as she stood.
“Actually, we have a very solid idea of…” Robert’s response was cut short by a blast raking the foundation of the building.
The three of them fell to the floor as ceiling tiles collapsed and debris blasted through the offices. Robert leapt on top of Pam to cover her from the collapsing roof. Her scream was drowned out by the rending of steel and carbonites as they snapped and fell.
Smoke rose up towards the cloudy skies in the distance a quarter mile away from where the man stood. At his vantage point, he smiled as he watched the throngs of screaming civilians fleeing the scene of where the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters once stood. Only a portion of the massive building remained.
How unfortunate… he thought as he viewed the scene through his binoculars. He wasn’t entirely certain which section still remained since he was hoping for the whole thing to have come down. Oh well… the message has been sent.
Chapter Three is done. Now we prepare ourselves for Chapter Four. That will be coming next Friday. Wow, we’re really booking it on this novella! Freaking awesome! Thanks for reading and come back Friday for another chapter!
~Timothy S Purvis
Since you’re here, why not go on over to my author’s page and see what else I have available for purchase? I’ve got more than a few books there and several short stories and novellas that you might enjoy. Just click on my name and the link will take you there straightaway–> Timothy S Purvis
Also, interested in reading Holy Shards the Thirteenth Age all the way through rather than waiting all this time? Why not click on the following link and purchase the whole story for just a buck! I know you’ll enjoy it!