Document Sample

                               THE LAST ANGEL

                           An End-Times Thriller
                                 D. J. HARDY

      This book may not be reproduced in any form without the

written consent of the author.

      The Last Angel is a work of fiction. All characters, events,

and places described in this work are purely fictitious and from

the imagination of the author. Any resemblance to actual persons,

living or dead is entirely coincidental.

      Daniel J. Hardy

      14082 E. Chenango Drive

      Aurora, Colorado 80015

      (720) 870-2385
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            1

     Chapter 1

     Bruce Crum winced from the sound of the blaring music as he

looked again at the spotted rear window on the television

monitor. The van's window was out of his control; his cousin's

music was not. The Southern gospel choir singing Handel's Messiah

reverberated inside the walls until the window danced. Les needs

to be more discreet.

     "You know better," he mouthed angrily, not wanting to add to
the imagined sounds being heard on the outside. "If the boss

hears of this, we'll be in for it."

     "Adjust your focus, Crum," Les Hollen countered with a

laugh. He lowered the sound with his remote, and studied the

television image. At the same time his right hand bounced in tune

with the now subdued music as if it held a baton.

     Bruce shook his head in exasperation. He was getting too old

for this line of work, but what else was he good for? His

retirement fund took a massive hit during the recession. Now he

feared he'd have to keep working until he stopped breathing. At

least he and his cousin made exceptional paychecks when the

paydays came around.

     Still, life might have been different if he pursued his love

of photography. But, before graduating from high school Rene

Paxton came along and showed him and his cousin a better way to

make a living. Yes! Assassinating people is a very good

profession if you stay smart about it.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            2

     Bruce knew that Les was getting up for the job by playing

that particular piece, A long time ago, maybe forty assignments

and a lifetime earlier, he and Les used to hum the Hallelujah

Chorus as the conclusion of their work. Somewhere along the way,

they started whistling. Now, they found themselves singing the

chorus as a finale to the hit.

     Squinting through the camera’s viewfinder, as he sharpened

the image, he slid a finger between the curtains draped against

the rear windows and peaked out.

     "Still fuzzy," Bruce stated. His voice calmer and thankful

that he could hear himself think.

     Les turned the music totally off by setting it on pause then

moved forward to the control center and stared at the monitor.

"The picture's as good as we can get it.

     "The windows are still wet and dirty," Bruce complained. "We

should have cleaned them before parking. Now we'll have to let

the air dry them. "I doubt if we have time to wait much longer."

     Two hours later, with the sun high and the van getting warm,

a sound from the bedroom alerted Les to movement. He pressed an

earphone closer to his head and looked at his watch; 9:30.

     "I think I hear movement. She's rustling around in the bed.

Might be getting up any second."

     "It's about time." Bruce looked at his watch and slid back

the front curtain separating the makeshift command center from

the front seats. Now that it was daylight, no one could see the

lights of the console from the outside.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             3

     Bruce felt the familiar nervousness taking hold of him as he

asked, "Are we ready? Check everything again." He shot a glance

toward his partner, hoping to see some like sign of nervousness.

     Les sat at the controls with total calm and listened. Les is

always the calm one. He was always cool.

     Sensing Bruce's nervousness, Les turned and studied his

friends tan face. It now carried the sheen of perspiration. After

this is over, Bruce would calm down and talk his head off.

     "Relax, Cuz. You always do this to me."

     "Do what?" Bruce’s voice stiffened as he forced down the

sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.

     "You know. You always get nervous when things start to

happen, When this is finish, you wonder what there was to get so

excited about. So far every job we’ve pulled has been a success.

Everything’s going to be fine."

     Les smiled at the ring of graying hair on Bruce’s balding

head. Dressed right he'd look like a fifteenth century monk.

     ″Why are we doing this?" Bruce's tension was eating at his

reasoning. ″Video taping the front of this building is

ridiculous. We’ve never done anything so stupid.″

     ″We’re giving the customer what he wants,″ Les answered. ″It

doesn’t make sense to me either, but the Rene says it won’t

interfere with our work. So we do it.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            4

     ″The boss better start rejecting some of these crazy

     Les watched Bruce sweep his hand across the bald spot. It

was a sure sign he was irritated. "Settle down, Mister Crum. It's

almost over."

     Les returned to fine-tuning the television image of the

Westminster, Colorado, high-rise condo. The back spray of water

and road dirt on the window from last-nights drizzle was really

affecting the quality of the picture.

     Bruce placed a hand on Les’ shoulder. ″If this video turns

out to be important, the boss is really going to be upset.″ He

peaked between the rear curtains one more time at the dirty

windows. To clean it now, in broad daylight, might draw to much


     ″Stop worrying about it,″ Les answered. ″But I'll tell you

something to worry about. Someone will investigate this one, no

matter how accidental we make it look.″

     Les gave a final adjustment to the video monitor and reached

toward the shelf holding the video and audio recorders. He set

the two VCRs to record. Then he checked to see if the second

camera hidden among the bathroom's vanity lights was

transmitting. It wasn’t, but he expected it to come to life when
the switch was turned on. "When she turns on the lights, we’ll

have her."

     Bruce scratched his forehead before saying, "Rene thinks

this one stepped on some important toes. She read the book the

lady co-authored with another archaeologist; a guy named Peter
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            5

Meirs. I remember Rene talking about run-ins with some very nasty

people. First there was a team of Islamic terrorists after her.

They all got killed. Then two Russian/American assassins nearly

got her during that last Israeli war. They also got killed. After

that she got in the way of some Jewish rabbi. Someone is still

after her. One thing's for sure. Whoever they are, they have deep


     "Personally, I think we’re working for a bunch of

fruitcakes," Les retorted. "This babe's not a threat to anyone. I

think there’s something bigger working out here."

     "Who cares? The money’s good. We just need to make sure that

we don’t end up like them guys three years ago.″

     "Rene told me something interesting about her too," Les

added. "Seems like Makray has some kind of spiritual visions. One

of them led her and Meirs to discover the Ark of the Covenant.

Now that really made the Muslim's clergy mad. A whole lot of them

in the Middle East still have her on their death lists."

     "I remember reading something about that," Bruce added. "Her

team found two arks. The Israeli Mossad stole them both and it

plunged Israel into war. They nearly lost their nation over some

pieces of old furniture.″

     "Correction, Mr. Crum. One of the arks was a fake and fairly

new in its creation. The one Miss Makray found is the genuine

article. Now the Jews are building a whole darn temple to house

the darn thing. We hit a few people every year and the world goes

on, but she finds a relic in a cave and the world comes unglued.

I just hope Rene knows what she’s doing.″
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            6

     "Well," said Bruce. "I’ll be glad when we're finish and we

can go home.″

     "Me, too," Les exhaled in agreement. "For all we know,

someone is going to blow up the condo and we’re here to tape it.″

     "That's it!" Bruce exclaimed. "We're here to take the fall

for the real hit!"

     "Hold it," Mr. Crum. "Don't go off the deep end. Keep your

mind on business."

     Les gave a round of final adjustments to the recorders and

pressed closer to the small shelf holding the equipment; his

belly folded over the table's edge and rested its bulk on the

surface like a walrus. He then caught Bruce eyeing his stomach.

     "I'll start exercising," Les answered for the unspoken word

that he imagined Bruce was thinking. He affectionately patted his

belly. "But I also have an image to protect, Mister Crum." A wide

grin filled his face and his eyes twinkled as he waited for

Bruce's reply. He knew one was coming.

     "Image is one thing, but your gut is becoming a little too

big for your own good. You're having trouble reaching the

controls. Maybe you need to retire and drive a school bus."

     "That's a good idea, Mister Crum, but I like not fitting the

stereotype," He laughed. "People just seem to trust me."

     Les turned back to the control panel and the bank of green

lights. One sat unlit. He pressed the headset closer to his ears

while spinning the rotary dial until it pointed to the one unlit.

"We have good signals. This must be a bad bulb."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            7

     "Here it goes," Bruce said as he taped the bulb and the

light turned green. He read the note taped above the light.

"Bedroom". The tape recorder below it was recording.″

     "It's about time," Les replied as he glanced at the sliver

of bright light stabbing between the rear curtains. "Who knew

she'd sleep late today."

                    *      *   *

     Kendra Makray awoke with her eyes still closed. The details

of the dream vanished and she desperately tried to recall every

scene. She knew the highlights but wanted details.

     In the dream she and Pete were married - fat chance. The

jerk has a bevy of girlfriends parading in and out of his home.

That fact came to light when she visited his ranch unannounced.

Pete made a stab at a joke, about the young lady sitting on his

couch coming over to borrow sugar. Kendra knew that the nearest

house sat a half a mile away. "I'll bet he gave her some sugar,"

she growled. Her eyes snapped open with anger as she flung the

covers back. She still felt the daggers shooting from that

neighbor's narrowing eyes.

                           *   *   *

     Les stared at the control panel and pressed and earphone

closer to his ear. He heard the faint sounds of unclear words.

The opening of a closet door indicated that Kendra was up and

around. "If she holds to her routine, she’ll be heading for the

tub in a few minutes."

     He glanced at the two close-up photos of their smiling

target hanging above the console. One picture sent by an
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            8

informant, and taken two years earlier in Jordan, was dog-eared

on the corners, apparently from too much handling. It showed

Kendra Makray tanned and blond. In a more recent photo, taken

last month by Rene, her skin looked lighter and her hair browner.

Both photos easily revealed striking emerald-green eyes.

     A light for the sound-activated microphone in the bathroom

indicated her presence. "We have incoming from the vanity light,"

Les said as he quickly studied the video indicator light marked

"Bathroom". The light was again off, but the recorder was

capturing the sound of rushing water. "She’s starting her bath,"

he said as he flipped another switch. The black and white images

from the hidden camera filled the monitor and revealed Kendra in

shorty pajamas reaching an arm down to test the water. She stood

up, looked at herself in the vanity mirror then left the


     Les glanced up to watch as other microphones picked up her

travel. "She’s heading down the hall. Just entered the kitchen."

     "Turn up the signal from the kitchen, Hollen. The boss says

Kendra makes an excellent blend of Kona coffees. Maybe we should

ask Rene to bring us a couple of cups. That would make this a

perfect ending for a late start."

     Les grunted as he kept an eye on the controls. "I’m sure it

tastes good, but give me Tampa any day, even with the mosquitoes

and alligators; I can't wait to be back there drinking that

battery acid from the diner. This climate's too damn dry." His

wide-set button-eyes studied the reflection in his hanging
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            9

mirror. He winced at the dry skin flaking around the pimples

protruding near his large nose.

     Deep crease lines because of the dry air marred the

perpetual smile on his thin lips. He looked old and hated it.

Irritated by the dry skin and the premature aging, he grabbed a

tube of lotion from the shelf, squeezed out a mound and began

lubricating his hands and face before going back to work.

     Bruce sat next to him listening as Kendra ground the beans

and prepared the coffee maker. He even heard the water gurgling

as it boiled and drained noisily into the pot.

     Les brushed away a strand of hair dangling before his eyes.

He hadn’t showered this morning, and his hair rebelled against

every effort to tame it. In the mirror it looked coarse, dirty,

and dyed a cheap black. He felt old and in need of his morning

shower. Frustrated he swept the hair back with both hands and

pushed it through a ponytail twist.

     Bruce sat straight up and at full alert when the hall

monitor jumped to life. "She’s heading back to the bathroom."

     Both men leaned forward to watch Kendra slip out of her

pajamas and place a foot into the tub. When she finally sat down,

all they saw were shins and feet. Both stared hoping to see more,

but the sliding glass doors hid her from view.

     Next time Les and Bruce would give Rene some pointers about

the proper placement of the camera.

     Les frowned as he quipped, "What a shame we're missing the

good stuff." He then noticed the anger in his partner’s face.

"Stop that," he growled.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             10

       "I know," Bruce moaned. But every time we do something like

this, I think about what I’m missing."

       Les recalled with disgust the lady who took care of them

when they were two years old. "We killed her and that's that," he

said with finality. His voice echoed his pleasure at the taking

of revenge on the woman. "You should take pride in how accidental

we made it look."

       "I do, but when I'm around a beauty like this, I can't help

but think of that piece of filth turning us into eunuchs. When I

get home, I’m going to visit her grave and pour grass-killer on


       "You do that," Les laughed. "What’s past is past, Cuz. She

paid the ultimate price for her dastardly deeds."

       Deep inside his heart he hated the babysitter just as much

as Bruce did, but somewhere along the way, he finally accepted

what they became.

       "Eunuchs we were made and eunuchs we are," he said quietly.

"Yesterday will never return, Mister Crum. We have to live in the

here and now. Tomorrow we reap more riches. Only the future


       He released the pause switch on the CD player, and started

humming along with a now softly playing Handel's Messiah. The

irritation wracking his soul slowly faded. Feeling emotionally

up-lifted, he shot a glance at Bruce knowing the medicine of

music was infectious.

       He noticed Bruce letting out a sigh as he slouched in his

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         11

     When Bruce sagged like that, Les felt like a failure.

     "I know you’re right," answered Bruce after a long silence.

"I have to stay focused on business. It is better to think of

another stack of greenbacks feeding the wall safe, instead of

yesterday's pain.″

     The grin on Les’ face widened as he sensed the change in

Bruce. "Hallelujah!" he laughed.

     "Hallelujah," Bruce shouted back. "It's time we call the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           12

     Chapter 2

     Rene Paxton flipped open her cell phone, and heard Les and

Bruce humming Handel's Messiah. She rolled her eyes and imagined

the boys getting ready for the kill. Lately, both men liked to

sing when the coup de grace was about to be administered. It

always started with Les. Bruce nearly always joined in near the


     The music really irritated her, and she felt that this

little quirk might someday get them in trouble. She was sure of

it. "Hello," she snapped and waited impatiently for one of them

to speak.

     Bruce's voice appeared. When he ended his message, Rene

turned off the phone and unplugged the adapter from the cigarette

lighter. Then she reached for her makeup kit.

     She raised the mirror and studied her face. A spot on the

chin caught her eye, so she applied another pat of black powder

over the spot. Satisfied that the five o’clock shadow looked

real, she turned her attention to the wig. Rene didn’t want any

of her shoulder length, strawberry-blonde hair peaking out to

blow her disguise. Finally, she took a last bite of her breakfast

burrito and chased it down with orange juice. Satisfied that

everything was ready, she opened the car door. It was time to go.

     Rene waited a second beside the cars as pain and stiffness

from an old hip injury made her grimace. She took a few awkward

steps at first, but her stride improved with each move. The limp

finally vanished, yet a twinge of pain remained. She controlled
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           13

the impulse to favor the good leg and forced herself to walk

smoothly toward the building.

     Dressed in blue Levi, a man’s brown work belt, and a man’s

denim work shirt, she carried a lunch pack full of gear and

looked like any nondescript young men coming home from working

the swing shift. Brown, custom-made running shoes, made to look

like work shoes, covered her feet.

     A sidewalk led between two large trees and around to the

front of the building. She headed straight for the main door with

her senses totally attuned to the surroundings. A school bus

drove by on the front street. She followed it with her peripheral

vision and let it settle on the team's stolen van.

     Arriving at the main entrance, she unlocked the security

door with a duplicate passkey and entered. Ahead of her, across a

short marbled lobby, elevator doors sat open and waiting. She

entered the nearest one, pulled on rubber gloves and pressed "7".

     At the seventh floor, Rene stepped out and looked around.

Everything was familiar. She bugged each room in the target’s

condo a week earlier and also installed a micro video camera in

the bathroom. Everything made possible courtesy of a drunken

maintenance worker and his borrowed keys.

     As she walked briskly to the door marked 710, Rene pulled

out the copied maintenance master key. She started her stopwatch

and entered. Quietly closing the door behind her, she listened to

the sound of rushing bath water, just as she expected.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           14

     Rene crossed the living room, hoping Kendra was still in the

tub. If they met, she'd have to kill her immediately and that

sure wouldn't look like an accident.

     Hurrying down the short hall she stopped in front of the

bathroom door, held her breath, and listened. The door sat open

less than an inch, but that was more than enough to see what she

wanted. The legs in the tub sent her confidence soaring. The job

was going as planned.

                    *     *    *

     Kendra sat in the tub letting the hot sudsy, bath-oil laden

water rise to her toes. The intriguing dream reappeared, the

coupling of the rocky mass that circled the earth and Pete

fighting an army circling her. It ended with Pete standing in

front of her with a bouquet of roses.

     She visualized him standing before her. Peter Meirs was six

feet two inches, all man, and he was hers. His dark hair was

rarely perfectly combed. She liked it that way. Strong boned,

muscular, and intelligent, he saved her life so many times it

read like a made for TV drama. But this drama had been for real.

     She winced for an instant as she remembered the scars

covering his body. All came from fighting to save her life during

the 3 1/2 day war in Israel.

     One especially long knife slash on his chest came from an

enemy soldier. All the others came from the two assassins sent to

kill her.

     The killer they named Moonface nearly succeeded, she

remembered with a shudder. She was trapped in the rubble of the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             15

Afula police station. Pete lay wounded in the hospital tent, and

she needed to get away from the dying. Moonface appeared a few

blocks away. She and Esther ran into the rubble of the police


       They were alone with no one to help. They only survived by

the grace of God and a pipe. She smashed the pipe against his

face when he came around a corner. She felt good about that. It

was Pete who saved her all the other times. They were so numerous

she stopped counting, but she knew one thing. She owed her life

to him.

       Maybe I should have married him, she thought. If that
mountain coming closer to the earth kills me, she rejected that

thought and instead dwelt on Pete. She loved him, but he didn't

give much thought to the thing that really mattered to her; like


       "The Bible has a phrase for it," she whispered, "being

unequally yoked."

       Besides, Pete became a regular Casanova in the three years

they'd been home. She never forgave him for that. Without a

firmly established moral code, knowing right from wrong, he

proved what decision he'd make when attractive women threw

themselves at him. Marriage to Peter Meirs would have been


       The impulse to cry overwhelmed her.

                      *    *    *
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           16

     Rene gently opened the door a few more inches, while

watching the tub and the crinkled images of Kendra Makray. Soap

bubbles built little geodesic domes around the toes of her feet.

     A glance at the vanity revealed the hair-dryer waiting to be

used. Shoving the door fully open, Rene lunged to the vanity.

     "Who’s there?" yelled a startled Kendra. "Pete? Is that


     Rene knew the sounds of fright and enjoyed the shock that

surprise created.

     Kendra jumped up and slammed the glass doors shut.

     Fast, Rene thought, but useless.

     "Who are you? What are you doing here? Get out before I call

the police."

     Rene grabbed the hair dryer from the vanity, turned it on,

yanked the tub door back, and tossed the dryer through the

opening. As the dryer splashed into the soapy water, she heard a

muted scream.

     Holding the shower door close, Rene watched the crinkled

form of Kendra's body fall into the tub with a thump. The lights

in the room went dark and Rene knew she found the right circuit



     Rene slid back the door. A listless leg fell out the door

and lay across the edge of the tub. The wet foot dripped water

into the nearby toilet. Kendra laid motionless and sprawled

crossways in the tub. Her eyes were glazed and out of focus. A

trickle of blood from her head spilled down the side of the tub.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           17

     Rene congratulated herself on another job well done. She

pulled out her cell phone, and spoke; "I'm done. Piece of cake.

Wrap it up." Leaving the phone on, she turned her attention to

the camera and audio bug in the vanity lights. Reaching behind

the defuser she unscrewed the camera and bug and hurried to the


                          *   *    *

     Both men sat glued to the small monitor until the screen

went blank. Exhilarated by the success of their mission they

quickly removed the audio and videotapes.

     "What a shocking end for such a nice girl, Mister Hollen,"

Bruce quipped with a deadpan expression. "I really enjoy


     "Absolutely electrifying, Mister Crum," replied Les. "One

hundred amps to a nickel, we won’t be back here again."

     Les was feeling the thrill of his first kill reignite. "I do

love watching them die. It felt almost as good as the killing of

our baby-sitter twenty years ago. For some strange reason, this

kill feels almost as good, and Kendra Makray never did anything

to us."

     Bruce glanced back at his partner’s eyes while dismantling

the video camera. "I think you are saying that because she was a

pretty one.″

     "Concentrate on the job," Les snapped. "Think of the money.

It's the money that makes the world go round and it truly takes

away a lot of sorrow. But have you noticed that we need more and

more jobs to keep us satisfied?″
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           18

     "No, I haven’t noticed," said Bruce as he paused to slip

back the curtains covering back from the rear widows. "Go and buy

yourself something expensive. Let's wrap it up. We have places to

go and things to buy."

     Bruce moved forward, sat down in the driver’s, and attached

the seat belt.

     Les flicked off the recorders and shut down the power to his

equipment. He shoved all the tapes into a burn bag that would

self-destruct if opened incorrectly. "Next stop is our car and

then let's get this thing to the car wash."

     "Oh! Oh!" Bruce pointed to a man who just drove up and

parked six stalls away. He watched the man get out and open a

door for a little girl. That guy looked familiar. He studied a

photo taped against the wall. "We have trouble."

     Les peered over Bruce’s shoulder at the man and girl then

studied the photo taped next to Kendra’s. It was Peter Meirs.

"Quick! Get Rene out of there."

                      *   *   *

     Rene growled as she grabbed the ringing phone. "I’m busy!

What is it?"

     "Boss," whispered Bruce, "you’ve got company. Get out of

there. Peter Meirs and the kid, they've just arrived."

     Rene shoved the phone into her pocket and calculating how

much time she had. She hurried to complete the task of collecting

all the listening devices. To have an operation end prematurely

just irritated her.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           19

     She hurried for a last look at Kendra. The hair dryer now

sat on the floor. Rene guessed that Kendra’s leg kicked it out as

her muscles convulsed. Kendra looked deader than a doornail.

     Close the bathroom door she rushed to the front door, with

all the bugging units safely tucked inside her bag, she scanned

the room, trying to remember anything she might have missed.

     Locking the front-door dead bolt from the hallway side and

pressed "Stop" on her watch. Thirty-five seconds had elapsed.

"Not enough time," she mumbled in frustration.

     At the elevator she stopped and listened. The sound of the

heavy-duty elevator motor running chilled her. She looked for the

nearest exit. Both sat at each end of the hall.

     Quietly running, she entered the stairwell and peered

through the safety glass. The door finished closing just as the

elevator opened. She waited and watched.

     A man reciting poetry exited carrying a young girl on his


     Rene saw the man’s face for a moment but easily identified

him. What’s he doing here?

     She looked at her stopwatch again as she hurried down the

steps. Thirty-five seconds. She needed five minutes. No one

answering the door ought to provide enough time to guarantee

death. She laughed to herself as she thought of Pete standing at

Kendra's door wondering why there was no answer.

     Outside she walked briskly to her car and called Bruce to

let him know she was safe.

     Seated inside her car, she tried to relax.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           20

     Quickly starting the engine, she saw her hands trembling as

they gripped the steering wheel. Hyperventilating to help relieve

the tension she slowly drove away.

     A quick glance up the parking lot told her the paneled van

had already left. Later in the day, after she returned to Tampa,

she'd wait for the Express mail and review the tapes. She might

even finish the report before the boys returned.

     Glancing at the rearview mirror she saw the high-rise condo

vanish behind the trees. The sun warmed her as she headed south

to Sixth Avenue and the long way to Denver International Airport.

Weather forecasters said that the day was going to be a cooker.

Rene smiled. Kendra Makray would agree with them.

     Satisfaction filled her face when she turned onto a busy

street. With another successful job behind her, she concentrated

on her driving.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           21

     Chapter 3

     Pete Meirs rang the doorbell a second time. "She’ll be here

any second," he said reassuringly to Esther and wondered what was

taking Kendra so long. The lady was the most gorgeous creature he

ever met. Her great personality, long sandy brown hair, striking

emerald eyes, flawless complexion, luscious breast, a perfect

five-foot-eight height for him never stopped drawing him closer.

He suppressed the desire to kick down the door. The thought of

seeing her always excited him. "Maybe she's still sleeping."

     He almost used the key Kendra gave him a long time ago.

Another time, he thought. Ever since she changed her mind about

marriage, he'd been walking on eggs around her.

     She accepted his proposal three years ago, but after

returning to the States her desire to marry cooled like a

Colorado lake in January. He relished the university speaking

circuits and tried to explain the photos of him and other women,

but the damage had been done. When he returned home after the

last tour she simply said, "We're not ready."

     It took two years for that refusal to stop hurting, and her

teasing as if nothing happened dug a blade in his soul that

burned with intense pain. It was time he took charge and set her

straight. He wanted to settle down.

     Looking down at seven-year-old Esther Yehezkel standing by

his side, he easily realized that he wasn't getting any younger.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           22

Esther's wavy dark brown hair hung shiny and clean to the small

of her back. It went well with her blue eyes and olive

complexion. It was time Kendra and Esther, the two real loves in

his life, came to live with him as a family.

     He gently brushed his hand across the top of Esther's head.

No kid ever liked him before, or maybe it was he never permitted

any kid to like him. Where's Lora when he needed a psychologist.

     He looked affectionately at the young girl. Lora, Kendra's

sister, the therapist in the family, made the different with


     Three years ago Esther was a psychologically scarred, mute

who couldn't walk, the boating accident that claimed both of her

parents took place two years earlier. Later, during the war,

Esther witnessed killers torturing and killing her grandmother

and the problem compounded. Now she talked like a champ and was

growing up healthy and confident.

     He stared at the door hoping when a tug at his hand cleared

his thoughts, and he looked down at Esther. She said nothing but
her big brown eyes spoke volumes.

     Pete guessed that her old wounds still lurked in the

recesses of her memories. She was clearly frightened.

     Without saying a word she pounded on the door with her

little fist and cried out almost in panic, "Kendra, open up. It's

me, Esther."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           23

     Pete found himself chuckling. He was always delighted when

Esther invited herself to his place for the night. He wished she

stayed a week.

     "You know," he said, trying to lighten up the fears settling

over her. "Old Henry didn’t even object to your being at my place

last night. That's a good sign. Maybe that old rooster is finally

mellowing. You have to talk Kendra into marrying me. It’ll be

good for the old guy to get used to use all living at the house."

     Pete rang the doorbell again and slipped the key into the

lock. Once inside he called out his presence but there was no

answer. Esther rushed past him and headed for the bedroom. He

followed, but at a more cautious pace.

     Pete saw Esther standing at the bathroom door. She tapped

the door with her foot and called out.

     Pete called out Kendra's name as he walked toward the

bathroom. He went to the door and knocked. No answer. He looked

at Esther. "She has to be in there."

     Without waiting Esther opened the door as Pete backed away.

He noticed that the room was dark.

     "Uncle Pete!"

     The fear in Esther's voice told him something was wrong. He

rushed in and, flipped the light switch. There were no lights on

but he easily saw Esther staring into the tub.

     Then Kendra's leg fell across the tub's shoulder and hung

out the door.

     'Quick! Call 911. Tell them that your godmother has fallen

in the tub."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          24

     Esther sprung past him and headed for the phone as he

studied Kendra breathing and saw nothing moving.

     "Tell them she's not breathing," he yelled. "Hurry!"

     Without waiting he reached under her arms and lifted Kendra

out. His eyes flicked quickly over her, hoping to see signs of


     The hope quickly vanished.

     Opening her mouth, he pulled her tongue forward and ran a

finger inside the mouth, feeling for any obstruction lodged in

her throat.

     Finding the passage clear, he pinched her nose closed and

began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He hoped it wasn't too late.

Now it was a race against time.

     Breathing air into her lungs, counting, and pushing below

her sternum, he thought of praying to God, but felt like a


     "They're coming," Esther said as she ran back into the room.

"Is she okay?"

     "I don’t know, Hon. Do me a favor. Go wait downstairs for

the ambulance and lead them up here. Hurry, there's not a minute

to lose."

     He went back to his CPR hoping there'd be a sign of life but

her heart did not start.

     Frustrated and fearful of loosing her, he pounded on her

chest, just above the heart. If she survived, she'd hurt from the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          25

     Kendra’s body flinched. He sensed that her heart was

beating; He went back to doing CPR and hoped the paramedic

arrived soon.

     He stopped and yelled at her. "You can't leave me!" and

again pounded on her chest. "Breathe!" he yelled. "Breathe," and

went back to doing CPR.

     Movement below his mouth startled him as her lips convulsed

away from his. He pulled back and watched her head rock.

     His shoulder dropped with relief as he watched the rise and

fall of her breathing. Leaning against the wall his head drop to

his chest. It was then that he noticed her ankles.

     He studied her face and hair then noticed blood on the

floor. It came from the back of her head. She was bleeding.

Yanking a towel from the rack he folded it and used it as a


     Satisfied that she wasn't going to bleed to death, he

glanced down at her ankle, but couldn't figure out why they were

blistered. Then he saw the hairdryer.

     "She wouldn't have done that," he mumbled as he thought

aloud. He shook his head, knowing she didn't do that. She

wouldn't take a plugged in hairdryer with her into the tub.

     "All right," Pete said, suddenly feeling very tired. He

remembered Esther dialing 911 and going downstairs to wait for

the paramedics. "I better get you covered. Don't leave me." He

hoped she heard and fearfully thought about possible brain

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             26

       Noise in the front room alerted him to the presence of


       Esther hurried to the bathroom door and two husky firemen

rushed in. Pete explained what little he knew.

       "We’ll take over," said the first paramedic. "You may have

saved her life."

       The second paramedic knelt beside Kendra and strapped a

blood pressure cuff to her arm.

       Esther stood outside as Pete left the room and stood beside


       Two more paramedics arrived and stood at the bathroom

doorway. The patches on their white shirts indicated an ambulance

service. They weren't needed but he was glad to see them.

       His relief turned to anger as the fireman kneeling next to

Kendra shoved the towel covering her to the side. The medic

placed a stethoscope to her chest and listened.

       Pete felt enraged as he sensed the others were taking in her

nudity as she lay helpless at their feet. If these people weren't

needed he'd throw them all out. Somehow he controlled his anger.

        Pete watched with satisfaction as the medic leaning over

Kendra removed the stethoscope and replaced the towel.

       The second medic said something to the first and moved to

her feet. Pete saw him studying the red blisters around her

ankles. After spraying them with what he guessed to be an

antibiotic, the medic loosely wrapped them in gauze.

       "We’ll take her to Saint Anthony Central, on West 16th

Avenue," said one of the ambulance drivers.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           27

     "I want to get her covered first," Pete said roughly, with

more of a command. "I'll put the robe on her."

     "Bring it along. She'll be covered with a sheet. Maybe you

can pack a few other things and bring them along."

     After setting a brace around her neck, and covering her with

a sheet, the ambulance team lifted her onto a gurney, strapping

her down, and headed for the door and the hospital.

     Pete continued to blink his headlights to indicate that he

was with the speeding ambulance and stayed as close to the

ambulance as safety permitted. A glance out of his eye at Esther

told him that she was frightened. He presumed it was more because

of his driving that it was of Kendra’s condition. After all she

was alive.

     “She’ll be all right now," he said and gave her a quick pat

on the shoulder as he concentrated on driving.

     At this moment her being alive was all he felt sure of,

hoping there was no other damage; like brain damage. He glanced

again at Esther. She sat staring blankly out the window, chewing

silently on a fingernail.

                              *    *    *

     Immersed in the smells and sounds of the Presperterian-St.

Luke emergency ward, Pete stood across from Dr. Gannon. Kendra

lay on the bed; her upper torso propped up on the adjustable bed.

Esther sat holding her hand. He watched Kendra grab her throat,

trying to talk, and wince.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           28

     He wished the pain away, but it didn't work. In a week she'd

be talking her head off as she explained for the hundredth time

what happened.

     Dr. Gannon spoke quickly. "You have a tube down your throat.

Your tongue is swollen. The tube is to help you breathe. You’ve

received severe second-degree burns on your ankles and tailbone.

You also have four bleeding burns on your chest."

     Pete saw the doctor's eyes shift toward him then back at his


     "They’ve been accounted for. The other burns have all the

symptoms of alternating current burns. Nod your head if you

remember anything electrical falling into the tub with you?"

     Pete saw Kendra try to speak, but no intelligible sounds

came from her throat.

     "Just get some rest," Dr. Gannon said. He held a finger to

his lips for her not to speak. "I’ve just given you something

that should make you more comfortable. The swelling of your

tongue will go down in a few hours. Until then, we have to keep

the tube in you. Just move your head to give answers."

     Kendra's eyes opened wide for a moment then they slowly

lowered as she nodded her head.

     Pete took that as a "yes" and watched her eyes complete

their journey until they closed.

     Dr. Gannon checked the intravenous drip. "The sedative and

muscle relaxant are working," he said to Pete. "She’ll probably

sleep through the night."

     "Is she okay?" Pete asked. "When will she be able to speak?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           29

     "She’ll feel a lot better in the morning," Dr. Gannon said.

"Rest is what she needs at the moment. Her strength will return

after a good night's rest. In the morning, we’ll find out what

happened. And if there is any lasting damage, we'll know that


     Pete looked at the doctor then at Kendra. He didn't want to

bring up what the "lasting damage" might be, especially with

Esther standing so close.

     "We’ll stay with her until she’s in a room," he said. "Then

we’ll go home and be back in the morning. We’ll be staying at her

place if you need to reach us. What time can we return? Is eight

too early?" Pete handed the doctor a business card after writing

Kendra's telephone number.

     "Nine will be better. It will give the nurses time to

complete their duties. I’m going to leave now. I need to make

arrangements for a room. Admittance will want to talk to you.

Does she have insurance?"

     "I don’t think so, but there’s no problem paying. She's Miss

Kendra Makray."

     "Kendra Makray," Dr. Gannon acknowledged. "That name's

familiar. Is she the one who discovered the Ark of the Covenant?"

     Pete smiled, glad to talk about something else. "She’s the

great lady, though she doesn’t look so great at the moment."

     Dr. Gannon looked intently at Pete. "And you, are you her

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           30

     "No," Pete answered. "I'm Peter Meirs, just a friend." He

noticed the doctor's face soften from a stern no-nonsense medical

mask to one of personal interest.

     "Peter Meirs, the archaeologist?"

     Pete nodded. "That's me." He smiled and held out a hand to


     "I’ve read about you," the doctor said as he shook Pete's

hand. "My wife gave me a book that you and Miss Makray wrote."

     The doctor held onto Pete's hand as he spoke and gave

another smile.

     "I’m pleased to make your acquaintance." He looked down at a

sleeping Kendra. "I'll check in on her later. But now I must make

arrangements for a room. Try and be here by nine. I'll make sure

I'm there."

     Pete watched the doctor leave. He moved closer to Esther and

placed a hand on her shoulder. "She’ll be all right, Esther. I'm

not very good at praying. Could you pray for both of us?" He

looked around at those he saw in the emergency room. "Quietly."

     He watched Esther’s fingers touch Kendra’s face. Then the

girl's eyes closed. Pete knew she was praying.

                              *     *    *

     At nine o’clock sharp, Pete and Esther arrived at Kendra's

room. The door sat half-open. He stopped Esther just outside the

door and listened. Pete motioned for her to be silent. He looked

in and saw a nurse, Dr. Gannon, another man, and Kendra's sister,

Lora, standing next to the bed. The unknown man carried a badge

hooked to his belt.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           31

     He watched as Kendra sat in the hospital bed, trying

desperately to explain. The raspiness in her voice told of the

injury to her throat. He listened.

     "...And I remember dribbling bubble bath into the water. A

man came into the room. I saw him through the shower doors. He

went to the sink without speaking. I yelled for him to leave.

Then the hair-dryer came on. He turned and came toward me. The

last thing I remember was the hair-dryer dropping into the water.

He wanted to kill me. Why?"

     Pete saw her looking at the detective, hoping for an answer.

He remained silent.

     "After that," she continued. "I don’t remember anything,

until I woke up on the floor."

     He watched her look from one face to the other. "Do you

believe in guardian angels?" she asked.

     Pete shook his head at the silence. No one gave an answer.

He believed in God, just like most people. He also believed in

other religions, other things, things that worked in other

societies. At least he'd give a clear answer. He'd say "Yes".

     "Doesn’t anyone here believe in the power of God?"

     "Now don't get excited sis," said Lora. "This isn't church,

you know."

     Pete ignored the condescending smile on Lora's face. As she

spoke, a polite smile flashed between Lora and the doctor. The

man with the badge stood stone-faced and expressionless.

     Lora seemed to be digging herself into a hole, but Pete

didn't mind. There were times that he liked seeing the hole grow
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           32

deeper. He liked Lora, but she always drove him crazy. Good thing

it's Steve who's married to her. Poor guy!

     "She's the family Bible thumper," Lora continued. A polite

smile flashed between her and the doctor as she chuckled. It

quickly vanished with her sister's angry response.

     "Well, I believe," Kendra proclaimed.

     Her eyes darted angrily to her sister and then to the

others. Pete smiled at Kendra's fighting spirit.

     "I think I saw one touch my leg. Maybe that's how the hair-

dryer ended up on the floor. God is very real in my life. I

believe in His power, and I know He's protecting my life."

     Pete studied the detective as he cleared his throat to


     "Your leg kicking the hairdryer may explain how it ended up

on the floor. At least it's one possibility." He went back to

studying his notes.

     "And this friend of yours," he said.

     Pete heard a definite change in tone.

     "Peter Meirs, he arrived with your godchild, Esther, and

saved your life?"

     Pete heard enough and gave Esther a gentle nudge through the

door. He announced his presence with poetry.

     "There is none of Beauty's daughters with a magic like thee,

     And like music on the waters is thy sweet voice to me.

     Bryon 1824."

     Everyone turned toward him. From the corner of his eye, he

saw Esther quietly hurry forward and climb onto Kendra's bed.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           33

     Kendra looked at Pete. He noticed the relief written in her


     "Dr. Gannon," said Pete. "How’s our patient this morning?"

He momentarily smiled when he noticed Esther worming herself

closer to Kendra’s side.

     "She’s much better," Dr. Gannon replied. He looked at his

watch. "But I must leave now. Check with the nurse’s station. If

no complications occur in the next few hours, Miss Makray can

leave by noon."

     "Thanks for everything, Doc," Pete said. He shook Dr.

Gannon’s hand.

     Gannon held onto Pete and spoke softly. "Can I ask a favor

before you both leave the hospital?"

     "Sure, Doc, what can I do for you," Pete whispered. He

guessed the question but waited to hear it requested.

     "I've brought the book you wrote. I'd like you and Miss

Makray to autograph it. I'll get it and have it at the nurse's


     "Sure, Doc." Pete studied Kendra for possible acceptance.

"We'll both do it."


     Pete watched the doctor and nurse leave the room.

     "I’m Detective Jamison," the man with the badge said from

behind Pete. "This morning, this incident was reported as an

attempted homicide. I've been assigned to investigate." The

detective looked at his note-pad. "And you’re Peter Meirs. You

discovered Miss Makray unconscious in her bathtub?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           34

     "Yes, we did."

     "One other person was with me. She's sitting on the bed. Her

name is Esther Yehezkel. She's an Israeli citizen. She called


     Jameson glanced at Esther, reviewed his notes, and then

directed his attention back to Pete.

     "And what did you do when Miss Makray didn’t answer her

front door?" Jamison asked in a questioning voice.

     "I have a key," Pete replied. His face grew cold and

expressionless from something he sensed in Jamison's voice. He

controlled the irritation he felt and answered the detective's


     "Esther and I called for her before entering, but she didn't

answer. Then we went to the bathroom. The door was closed and

locked from the inside. We heard the water running and called a

few more times. She never answered. Then I shoved the door in and

found her unconscious in the tub. It’s lucky that Esther and I

came to her place earlier than we planned."

     Pete smiled at Kendra. Staring into those green eyes he felt

the stone in his face crumble. "Another minute of not breathing

and we might have lost you," he said with genuine feeling. He

moved to the bed and touched her foot.

     She jerked her leg back.

     "Ouch! That hurts."

     "Sorry. I forgot about the burns." He turned to face the

detective. "Somebody wants her dead. This sounds like a repeat of

what we went through a couple of year's back. I thought it ended
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           35

with the war, but it is now obvious someone is out there that

wants her out of the way. She needs police protection."

     Detective Jamison didn’t respond to Pete’s request. "Do you

remember seeing anything unusual when you arrived at her place?"

     "I didn’t pay much attention at the time, but there was a

man getting off the elevator when I arrived."

     "I’ll check it out," Jamison said. "I’ll need your

description of the man. In the meantime," he turned to face

Kendra, "if you remember anything else, give my office a call."

     Jamison handed Pete and Kendra each a business card.

     "You can reach me at the University Boulevard station. He

walked to the door, stopped for a moment, turned back to Pete and

added; "There will always be someone there who can reach me."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           36

     Chapter 4

     Pete drove in silence to Kendra's home, working hard to

avoid the ever-growing potholes in the street, streets that the

city seemed hard-pressed to maintain. Three years ago, after the

twin comet Kano-Ishikawa crashed into the Pacific, the entire

country suffered from extensive damage, economic as well as

physical. Time ran out for fixing the problems. All the nations’

resources were stretched thin as the tax base also evaporated.

Economic forecasters talked about another ten years to recover

from the damage.

     In the Twentieth century it was the Great Depression. In the

Twenty-First, we still have a Great Depression. Only the causes


     When his truck bounced through an especially deep hole, Pete

caught a glimpse of Kendra holding her breath and grimacing in

pain. Esther sat between them patting Kendra’s hand. Now there

was a special child.

     "Who covered me?" Kendra asked as Pete slowed to bounce

gently through a section of gravel. "Was it you?"

     He felt surprised by the question and glanced quizzically at

her and concentrated on driving.

     "What was that?" he replied, hoping she'd come up with

another question. He hoped this question would not occur. He

needed time to think. He could say Esther covered her. Heck, they

almost made love a couple of years back, and now she's sensitive
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           37

about me seeing her in her birthday suit. You'd think she was

living in the ninetieth century, instead of the twenty-first.

     "I did it," he admitted, although reluctantly. "I pulled you

from the tub. I also covered you before the paramedics arrived

but then they uncovered you. I felt irritated by that, but you

were in no condition to complain. You might have been running out

of time."

      Kendra didn't reply but he noticed her staring out the

window. The she spoke. "I'm sure the medics have seen a lot." She

paused for a long moment then continued. "And I'm sure you felt

genuine twinges of embarrassment. There's nothing that we can do

about it. What has happened has happened."

     "Sounds like I once heard those same words as we walked from

a cave on Nebo." He meant it as humorous, but regretted it as

soon as the words came out.

     He still remembered talking to her as they walked from the

cave on Mount Nebo. They almost made music that night and he

enjoyed dreaming about the moment that slipped away.

     The next day they discovered the Ark of the Covenant, and he

forgot about apologizing a dozen times for trying to seduce her.

Besides, he often reminded her that she was as guilty as he was.

     Pete felt at a loss for words and tried to change the

subject. Maybe he could say something, any something that'd take

her mind off her embarrassment and physical injuries. He hated

hurting her feelings.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           38

     "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Somebody's still

after you," he said. "But I can’t remember you stepping on

anybody's toes. Got any ideas?"

     She turned from staring out the side window and looked

straight ahead. She also shook her head, saying nothing.

     His teeth ground as he drove. Then she broke the

excruciating silence.

     "I can’t think. Wolf, what am I going to do? The guy had a

key to my condo. How did he get it? I can’t stay there anymore."

     His pet name "Wolf" added to her urgency and captured his

full attention. She hadn’t called him Wolf since the war. His

marine sniper partner stationed north of Zegra, Yugoslavia first

given him the name as a joke. But as his tour grew longer, along

with the never-ending missions of stopping the sniping, the name

Wolf took on a reputation among the opposing factions. It left

fear in both of the warring Kosovian groups.

     "Now that I think of it," he said, "your place needs two

separate keys to get into, one for the main entrance, and one for

your door. I’ll check with building maintenance. The guy may have

gotten them from the office. In the meantime, I think you'll be

safer at my place."

     "I feel awful. I've never been raped, but now I know how it

feels to be violated. I'm not safe in my own home."

     Pete waited for her to respond to his offer. When she didn't

reply he patted her shoulder. "I know, he said with genuine

tenderness and understanding.”If you want, I’ll change your locks

and put one of those big sliding bolts on. No one will ever get
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           39

in without tearing the door apart. Once you slide that bolt it's


     "I want to sell it. I don’t want to live there anymore. I’m

afraid to live there."

     "Not a lot of people are buying right now. This country is

still in its depression. Thanks to that comet splashing into the

Pacific, this Old World has changed forever. People are just

holding on; and as we now all know, there's still a piece out

there circling us."

     He looked at her, realizing that she wasn't listening. When

that orbiting mountain of rock crashes to earth, worrying about

finding another condominium is acting like an ostrich.

     "Then I’ll close it up and just get another place. I have


     "Well my offer still stands," he said. He realized that

moving was her most pressing need. "You and Esther can live at my

place. I've got plenty of space and you're still in demand as a

speaker. Most people barely have a job, but they’ll pay to listen

to us talk."

     He slowed for a traffic light then stopped and reoffered his

first suggestion. "I’ve got a better idea. If you stay at my

place, nobody can drive up without being noticed."

     Pete turned down the side street leading to her main parking

lot. After parking the car he led them to the building and into

the elevator. Only when they reached her door, and opened it with

his key, did she hesitate. Though she was reluctant to enter, he

gently nudged her forward.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           40

     "Make sure no one’s here, Wolf. I don't feel safe."

     Pete looked at her and thought. Two times she's used my

nickname. She’s really frightened.

     Kendra and Esther stood by the door until Pete checked every


     "Look into the closets," she called.

     "No one’s here," Pete said. "I’ll get your luggage bags.

Esther, why don’t you grab some clothes."

     "No. I’ll do it," Kendra said. "But first, I need to sit for

a minute."

     Esther helped her godmother to the couch. After seeing to

her comfort she went to the kitchen and came back with a glass of


                              *      *   *

     Kendra Makray sat on the sofa staring at the pictures on the

wall. A smiling team of archaeologists and assistants stood

behind the prizes of the century. No! These were the prizes of

two and one-half millenniums. Two gold covered Arks of the

Covenant sat gleaming in the bright sunlight on the table in

front of them. The one to the left later proved to be a fake. The

one in front of her, well, that was the genuine article. Pete

stood next to her. Both were smiling at the one they personally


     The dig's director, Doctor Huntington, first took credit for

the discoveries. A few weeks later, he admitted she discovered

the true ark.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             41

       In a second prized picture, her sister, Lora and Steve,

Lora's future husband, stood with them behind the two arks. Again

she and Pete stood behind the one they uncovered.

       When Lora first met Pete, she saw him as just another hot

blooded, lecherous, archaeologist in the middle of a desert

seeking a woman to conquer. Yet, after she got to know him, and

he saved her life more than once, she finally admitted that Pete

wouldn't be all that bad a brother-in-law.

       Immediately after the Mossad stole the two arks, the massive

war to destroy Israel erupted. It ended three days later with the

defeat of over five hundred thousand Muslim and Russian troops.

       As for the wedding, it never happened. Maybe someday, she
thought. Maybe.

       She prayed silently and thought about him. His body was

covered with scars from fighting to save her life during the war.

I owe him my life, she realized.

       Discovering the Ark made enemies, but that was a long time


       She thought about the Jewish Rabbi named Elijah. Pete called

him a pit-bull. That man was still around, somewhere.

       She mused, the last time I read anything about him, he was
touring the world using his magic, or powers of Satan, to dazzle


       "By now," she said in a hopeful voice; "he's too wealthy and

busy to care about me."

       She frowned as she remembered the image of Pete being

violently hurled against the wall by Elijah. Neither man
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           42

physically touched, yet Elijah used some sort of mental power

against Pete. He couldn't do that to me, she thought with

satisfaction. His dark secrets are useless against me.

     Her lips and eyes tightened. "I stopped him by invoking the

power of God and that sinister creep was powerless."

     The sight of him slinking out of the cave where they, and

the Ark rested in safety from the enemy bombardments, left her

feeling good about herself.

     Elijah was unsavory, but he did have some powers, especially

when he brought fire down out of a clear blue sky. Now there's a

force to reckon with, she sadly admitted. Many times she watched

him perform this trick in front of television cameras. His

ability to levitate chairs and tables was now legendary.

     As her thoughts continued, she realized the guy's evil,

maybe extradimensional, and with his powers, he's deluding

millions into following him.

     Her eyes drifted toward the dirty leg cast encased on a

Plexiglas pedestal. The cast now in two pieces after being cut

off her leg became a souvenir after she nearly killed herself in

a fall. The cast sat enshrined below a wall of pictures. A

spotlight focused on the area holding the signature of the King

of Jordan.

     The missing signature of Lieutenant Abdul Fadi, the soldier

who helped her escape from Jordan after the arks were stolen, was

painfully absent.

     Other pictures of the archeological team, and the two arks

which were uncovered, filled the rest of the wall. An enlarged
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           43

photo of the two arks, with her, Esther, Pete, Lora, and Steve

stood behind the treasure and hung in a place of honor. After the

assassin named Moonface landed on the one she discovered,

everyone knew it was real. He must have died instantly when his

leg hit the ark.

     "Can we take my pictures with me?"

     "Sure," Pete replied. "Which ones?" He hurried back to the

bedroom to get the rest of her clothing.

     Kendra rubbed the knee hurt by the fall into the secret

room. The memories of all that happened in the Jordanian cave

were as clear as if the event just occurred. She smiled at

remembering the King of Jordan bestowing a title on her,

"Discoverer of the Ark of the Covenant".

     "Three years," she mumbled.

     Kendra fought back the desire to take them all. Instead she

mentally selected a few. Before she spoke, however, she felt

immensely weary. She waited for Pete to come back into the room

before selecting the photos.

     Esther fluffed a pillow from the bedroom and laid it on the

couch. "You lie here," she said. "I’ll take care of you."

     Kendra reached for her godchild’s shoulder and they both

embraced in a long hug. "I love you Esther."

     "I love you too, Kendra. Now lie still. I’ll get a blanket.

Then I’ll get my clothes."

     Kendra’s eyes drifted back to the picture of herself

standing beside the arks. Her hair looked lighter and her skin

darker. Both seemed indistinguishable from the other. She studied
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           44

the picture as she twisted strands of hair in her fingers. I'm so

dark; she thought and then looked at her hand.

     The desert tan and her sun-lightened hair were all gone. She

still felt strong and solid. But the edge created by living and

working in the desert, drifted away like blowing sand. Now she

lived on a different schedule with an over-stuffed daytimer,

speaking tours, and book signings. A copy of the twenty-six week

New York Times bestsellers list sat on a pedestal. A second book,

also co-authored with Pete, sat on a slightly lower pedestal.

Thanks to the success of the books, she and Pete didn’t have to

worry about money.

     "God, I’m glad to be alive," she whispered and remembered

saying those exact words three years ago. The fight in the Afula

police station against Moonface still haunted her. Wonder what
the city looks like now; she pondered as she looked at Esther.

     "We’re going to return to Israel soon," she said. "I need to

put flowers on Margaret’s grave. Your grandmother was a

remarkable lady."

                              *    *    *

     Pete stood by the bedroom door watching the only two girls

in his life. If he just kept his opinions about God to himself,

he and Kendra might be married by now. Instead he blurted out his

feelings and the look in her eyes haunted him. I guess I said it

one too many times, he confessed to himself.

     Now all he wanted to do was put his arms around her and

protect her from all the hurts in the world. The love he felt
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           45

swelled, yet he was embarrassed to express it, especially after

burning so many bridges between them. Damn my mouth.

     "We’re scheduled to attend the temple dedication next

month," he said in an effort to remove his feelings of guilt.

"Which reminds me, I better check with the Israeli consulate in

Washington to confirm our flight schedule. Steve and Lora still

want to go. I'll call soon enough for all of us to get seats


     He noticed weariness in Kendra’s eyes. She sat unblinking,

staring at the wall. For a moment he wondered if this was the

prelude to her having another vision. The first one was about her

discovering the ark. That one came true. The second was when the

catastrophe from space changed the world forever. If she's having

another, he planned to take great notes.

     She looked up. "Once the temple is finished we may not have

much time. Daniel's seven weeks of years is almost over."

     Her voice seemed far away and quietly serious.

     "Time for what?" he asked. "Seven weeks, what does that

mean? Have you seen anything else, you know," he almost

stammered, "supernatural?"

     "No visions," she answered. "It was more a voice speaking to

me. It said 'since the rebuilding of Jerusalem until Messiah will

be forty-nine years.' There is duality in Daniel's prophecy of

the seven weeks of years. It happened in 19BC under Herod the

Great and I saw it happening again in 1967 after the Jews

regained control of Jerusalem, the first time in 2500 plus years.

I also see that since the rebirth of Israel in 1948 there will be
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           46

the span of just one generation before Jesus returns. The

prophecies are converging to a point not very far from now." She

thought for a moment and added the years in her head. "The years

end at 2028 for a generation eighty years old, 2018 if seventy

years is used. From the rebuilding of Jerusalem, beginning in

1967 and ending 49 years later is 2016.

     Right now we are in 2010. I think we are so close that it

frightens me."

     "I thought this was something you were looking forward to


     "It is, but the suffering, as I understand it, is terrible

for those who survive. I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

     "Well, let me know when you see it actually taking place.

Your last two visions have turned this world upside down. There's

so much turmoil in the world that it shakes this guy’s belief in

man being able to govern. How much worse can it be?"

     The faraway look on her face said she was seeing something

in her mind.

     "After all the sons and daughters of God are taken away.

Then the horrors begin." She looked straight at Pete with

pleading in her eyes. "Pete, I fear for you. I'm not judging

anyone; but if you keep rejecting Him, I don't think there is

anything He will do."

     "Oh, the rapture thing," he said with a smile and maybe too

much humor. "You have me worried. You still believe in it. If I

remember correctly, you said the temple priest will perform

animal sacrifices. The last thing I read states that the Israeli
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           47

government will never allow it. Again, you keep coming back to

some guy stopping the sacrifices. The way I see it no sacrifices

means there will be no rapture. I've got nothing to worry about."

     Pete saw the empty stare in her eyes. He knew she wasn't

listening and decided to try a little levity. Hopefully it would

ease the developing tension he sensed between them.

     "I can read the headlines now. Millions disappear when the

last lamb at the Jerusalem slaughterhouse is butchered."

     "Stop it, Pete. Don’t be disrespectful."

     He caught himself before he said more. It appeared his idea

of levity was not acceptable. Well, he admitted to himself, he

did sometimes put his foot in his mouth. "Sorry," he offered.

"That was dumb. I was just trying to lift your spirits."

     "I don’t think it’s funny. If I’m right, and I think I am,

what’s going to follow after that last sacrifice is deadly


     "There's not going to be a sacrifice," he said and noticed

his voice rising. His shoulders twisted in frustration as he

rejected her spiritual view of the world. Instead he carried an

armload of clothes into the room. "They say there won’t be any

sacrifices, and I believe them." This time he said it without

feeling, just a matter of fact.

     "There will be." The rebuke in her voice became louder. "No

matter what the press reports. There will be."

     Pete sighed deeply and saw he was getting nowhere. "I

believe you," he lied. "You're beautiful when you get angry. Are

you sure you haven't seen another vision?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           48

     He saw the quizzical look on her face and knew he defused

the growing crisis.

     "No," she answered. "Only the two that I already had. Yet

there are times I feel something is hanging out there, like one

is ready to occur very soon."

     "Maybe a trip to Israel will let it happen. Maybe you have

to be in the right setting. Besides, we could all use a vacation.

Esther needs to get back home and see where her grandmother is

buried. The last thing we heard from the neighbors in Afula was

that they finally cleared the lot. We need to see it for

ourselves. We’ll also get to see what billions of dollars in

European grants have done for the nation. I’d quietly like to see

if anyone has dug up the guns I buried when the war ended." He

looked at the pictures on Kendra’s wall. "This attack on you has

to be related to the discovery. We may need that rifle again."

     "You think I got attacked because of the Ark?"

     "Maybe, Princess," Pete said. "I’m only guessing. Someone is

mad at you."

     He went to the kitchen and came back with a steaming cup of

tea. "Drink this. It’ll help you relax."

     He watched Kendra’s hand drift over the wound on her right

ankle. Her fingers slid gently over the surgical gauze. An

identical piece of gauze covered the other ankle. Her tailbone

was sensitive to the touch, but the donut cushion that she sat on

made it less painful.

     She lifted the edge of the bandage covering a scrape wound

on her hip.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          49

     "I think I did that when I pulled you from the tub. Your hip

dragged across the metal channel of the shower doors. Sorry about

that. Does it hurt much?"

     "Not much," she said.

     Pete knew she was lying. He went to the wall and began

removing all the pictures. "I read in the paper that our old

friend Elijah, whatever his last name is, will be in Boulder this


     He thought he saw her shudder as she remembered the man.

     "I don’t like him," she said. "I still get angry when I

think of him threatening to kill Esther." She looked at the young

girl sitting beside her holding an armload of clothing.

     Esther leaned against her godmother, letting the clothing

fall onto the couch and letting an arm drape across Kendra’s lap.

Kendra kissed the top of the girl's head.

     Pete smiled. "I remember the guy going ballistic after

Esther touched one of those arks. I must admit, you amazed me

when you stood up to him. He’s a powerful weirdo all right. I

still hurt when I remember how hard he knocked me back. What’s

strange though is I don’t remember him touching me."

     "He didn’t" Kendra said. "Something came out of his hands."

     "Maybe," Pete answered. "But it never fazed you. I don’t

understand it. You stood toe-to-toe with him, and that was after

what he did to me. All he did to you was scream. I loved watching

his face turn red."

     "I’m just glad Esther touched the fake one and not the real

one," Kendra said and pulled Esther closer to her side.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           50

     Pete scratched his jaw. "And I’m glad old Moonface landed on

the real one. I hate to admit it, but I may have been on my last

leg in that fight."

     He noticed the look in Kendra's face change to serious. Her

next words proved him right.

     "This is important. Where will he be speaking?" She looked

at Pete.

     The pleading in her eyes, hoping he would go with her, made

his mind up before he realized it.

     "I need to see Elijah," she said. The determination in her

voice sent his reluctance out the window.

     "It'll be three days from now," he said. "Sunday, at the

Macky Auditorium." He wished he hadn't read the article. Most of

all he wished he didn't remember Elijah. "Seems like the Coors

Event center has a problem. A bunch of irate professors and their

gullible students nearly burned down the building. So they've

moved it to the Macky until the Center is renovated." He tripped

over two stuffed suitcases that Esther just brought into the

room. He excused his clumsiness and said, "I really don't think

you should go."

     "What were the people mad about?"

     "What people?" Pete asked in total confusion. She changed

the subject without warning.

     "The ones who started the fire in the Event center."

     "I don't remember. Did it have anything to do with Israel?

Oh yes! I remember. They didn't like someone from the Jewish
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           51

consulate coming to speak about the rebuilding of the temple in


     He looked at her in an all-knowing grin. "What do you think

they'll do up there when they discover you're the one who started

all the trouble?"

     He saw the pain in her eyes. She was doing it to him again.

All he could do was shake his head. "I suppose you want me to go

with you?"

     "I don't want to be a bother, but my ankles really hurt.

It's been three years since we were last up there. And I'm sure

the faculty as well as Elijah can't remember us. He isn't as mean

as you remember him."

     "Oh isn't he? You know, he said he’d get even with you. This

attempt on your life may have been from him. I don't want you

anywhere close to that creep."

     Kendra hugged Esther to her breast. "That was a long time

ago. I can’t believe he’s still angry."

     Pete gave up trying to talk her out of going and continued

stacking pictures. Still the memory of Elijah wouldn't go away.

"I don’t think this guy forgets, and I don’t think angry is a

strong enough word to describe him. I don’t trust him."

     He looked at Esther who now dragged two suitcases next to

her. He picked up Kendra's bags and asked, "You still want to

stop at your sister's place?"

     Kendra nodded.

     "I guess we better get going," he said. "You can call her on

the way."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           53

     Chapter 5

     Kendra entered Lora's home and stared eye to eye with her

obviously angry sister. She tried to explain over the phone why

she needed to go to Boulder. She decided to break the ice of the

greeting and said, "I need to see Elijah. I can't explain why.

It's just something I have to do."

     Steve Talon, who stood behind his wife turned and went to

the kitchen. As he walked away he asked, "Does anyone want

something to drink?"

     "You're crazy," Lora replied, ignoring Steve's offer. Her

brown eyes blazed with disgust. "When you told me what you were

going to do, I knew it was a bad idea. You're as crazy as he is.

Forget the man. We've got bigger problem. I just heard on the

news that some of the comet that crashed into the Pacific, the

one called Kano-Ishikawa, is orbiting the earth and is expected

to crash to the earth in two months. We may all die."

     Kendra heard the fear and irritation in Lora's voice. She

winced at the glare in her sister's eyes. "I've read that. I also

heard that it may not be a major threat. The largest piece is

supposed to be only three hundred yards across, and the littler

pieces are about the size of buses. This may not be more than a

forth of July fireworks." Biting her lip, she wished she hadn't

tried to be flippant. Her sister was not amused.

     "Listen," Lora continued. "Do me a favor and stay away from

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           54

     "Lora, I need to see him," her voice clearly pleading for


     "Sis, when I saw you downtown with your friends handing out

tracts saying that the world is coming to an end; I just smiled

and went my way. The comet that hit the earth brought you fame

and fortune. People listen to you, but this chunk of trash that's

about to hit the earth, well, you may not be so lucky. We all may

not be so lucky. No one knows where it's going to hit."

     "I worry about that thing circling the earth, but I haven't

been given a spirit of fear, and the tracts I passed out didn't

say the world was coming to an end."

     "I don't want to argue about it. Half the preachers in the

country are yelling about the end being near. I don't want you to

go to Boulder. You'll get hurt. So don't go. That guy, Elijah,

he's a fruitcake."

     "Thanks for caring." Kendra said. She gave up trying to

convince her sister." Turning to Pete she said. "I want to go


     Pete looked at Lora and her dyed sandy blond hair. She

always has a jealous streak. She even wore cowboy boots to be

equal to the height of her sister.

     The anger rising within him startled him and he backed off.

     "I agree with Lora," he said. "I really don't want you to

go; but if we're going, I'll go with you."

     He felt the furrow above his eyes grow deeper. He already

disagreed with her seeing Elijah, but he also felt he understood

her better than overprotective Lora. Beside Kendra was determined
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           55

to go to Boulder. He said his piece about the subject and he was

finish. Since she and Esther were going, so was he. Nothing was

going to happen to his two girls.

     He watched Steve reenter with four glasses. He knew his was

the one with water.

     "Thanks Steve," he said and relieved one of the glasses from

the tray before it made it to the coffee table.

     He liked Steve. The guy was his type of man. Six foot tall,

he still possessed that blonde ponytail he wore when they first

met. The guy was street-wise and knew when to get out of the way

of his wife when she was mad. Sometimes, you'd never know the guy

was tough as nails, and he was almost as good a shot as he was,

only with a pistol.

     "I guess it's time to leave," Pete said and strolled to the

door. He sensed the gnawing resentment emanating from Lora as he

reached for his car keys. He turned back and saw Kendra still

sitting next to her sister, trying for understanding. He coughed

out, "I guess it's time I get you girls home," and motioned to

Esther to follow. "You ready, Kendra?"

     "I'll be right back, Uncle Pete," Esther said and dashed

into the kitchen.

     "Pete, are we ready?" Kendra asked. She knew talking about

the trip was opening a wound. "Esther," she called knowing the

girl just went into the kitchen. "We're leaving."

     "Be right there," she called. "I'm getting a soda."

     Pete looked at the drink on the table. It hadn't been

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             56

       Kendra looked at Lora knowing that tears were building in

her eyes. "I thought you of all people would understand. I guess

I was wrong."

       "Don't lay a guilt trip on me," Lora answered defensively.

"If you go up there, it's due to your own willful stubbornness.

You're asking for trouble. I can say it only so many times. Don't


       Lora looked at Pete, eyes pleading with him to say

something, anything.

       Pete held up defeated hands and looked to the side. "Don't

get me in the middle. I've given my opinion. She's going to do

what she's going to do. I'll promise you one thing. I'll be with

her if trouble occurs. Besides, she may change her mind."

       Lora sat fuming as Kendra led Esther and Pete out the front

door. After the door closed, she let out an exasperated sigh and

spoke to her husband without turning.

       "That girl is stubborn. If she hadn't discovered the Ark of

the Covenant, she'd be a nobody. I'd have to take care of her, or

she'd be living in poverty."

       Steve smiled and said. "You're right. If she hadn't

discovered the ark she'd be a nobody." He suppressed his desire

to laugh. "She's alright. Give her a chance. It appears this is

something she really has to do. Think of it as a religious


       He been silent during the discussion, and tried to cool his

wife without irritating her too much. "You know you're also

pretty stubborn yourself, especially when you know you're right."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           57

He paused for a moment and added. "I don't think she should go

either. It might be dangerous."

     "It's a religious thing alright," Lora growled. "She's got a

brand of Christianity, which brings nothing but trouble. It's

called extremism. Even the government calls it that. I see it all

the time, especially in the confused people who come to me. They

all expect me to understand it in my counseling. Her brand of

Christianity does nothing but make people feel guilty, weak, and

psychotic. I can't tell you how many of my patients have talked

with God." She paused for a moment and finally said, "They're all


     Steve gave a smile of resignation. "Maybe we're all a little

nuts. As for the government, the people running it are so

paranoid, that they call anyone carrying a copy of the U.S.

Constitution an extremist."

     Lora glared at her husband and stomped out of the room. She

went to the spare bedroom, which doubled as an office, and turned

on the computer. In a minute she signed onto the Internet. Within

a few minutes she sat chatting with her Ethernet friends.

     "Talking with your invisible confidant?" Steve asked as he

peeked in the doorway.

     "Lora looked up. She felt her anger subsiding, and sent him

back a genuine grin. "It's my pacifier," she answered. "When I

feel pressured, I've found that talking it out, really helps me


     "I thought I did that for you?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           58

     "You're different. What you do is far better, but sometimes,

I need you both. Being a counselor can be stressful, and my

patients vent their problems and frustrations out on me. On the

Internet I have non-committal friends who listen as I blow off


     "Is this because of the argument that bubbled out of you? Is

it me?"

     Lora shook her head ever so slightly and returned to the

keyboard. "Very, very little," she replied. "It has nothing to do

with you, little to do with my sister, and it has a lot to do

with me."

     Steve realized that his wife needed to be alone. He stood,

watching her for a few seconds. At least he wasn't the culprit.

Slowly closing the door behind him, he went to watch TV.

                              *    *    *

     The dreaded day for seeing Elijah arrived and Pete drove

into Boulder with Kendra quietly by his side. Esther sat in the

back seat even quieter. He knew they were both remembering. The

man made a permanent impression on them. It isn't every day you

meet someone who possesses supernatural powers.

     He hurried down University Avenue, past Broadway, until

Macky Auditorium appeared. Slowing he tried to find an empty

parking space, but it proved futile.

     "I know a place," he growled with the frustration of being

close to Elijah. "We'll have to walk a little."

     He turned the car around and returned to Broadway. From

there he headed south to the next light. At Euclid, he turned
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             59

left and drove slowly to Imig Music Hall. A quick right on 18th

Street and "Wal'lah!" he exclaimed. Three empty parking spaces

lay on his side of the narrow street.

       He quickly claimed one, set the sunshade to keep the car

cooler, and then led them on a brisk walk to Macky Auditorium.

       "I always get confused when I'm around here," Pete said as

he took a left at the end of the street. "That should be the

library over on the left." He pointed to the building for the

benefit of the girls. "We walk past it and then one more. The

Macky will be in front of us."

       He looked at a string of students disappearing around the

library. "Bet they're going to the same place we are." he turned

to Esther as they walked. "We've prepaid two years of schooling

at the college for you. When you graduate from high school, I

hope you want to come here."

       "It's crowded," she said. Looking behind her she saw a group

of students hurrying their way. "Uncle Pete. There're more behind


       Pete glanced over his shoulder. After he noticed the

direction they were heading, he said, "This is a big school with

lots of students. Looks like a number of us are late."

       He looked at his watch and checked the time. The tower on

the North end of Macky announced the time with its Westminster

chimes. "Ten o'clock."

       A few more minutes and they exited between two buildings and

there across the street sat Macky.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             60

       The steps leading into the building and between the hedges

were crowded with students as they smoked their last butts before

entering. All the lawsuits and all the Surgeon General's warnings

meant nothing. Smoking was having resurgence across campuses all

across the country.

       Kendra stopped walking as she approached the hedges and

stared at the students. "I never realized how I've aged until

now. She watched a knot of young people moving up the step. "Boy

am I getting old." She turned to Pete who stopped ahead of her

and waited and asked. "Are you sure these are college students?

They look so young."

       "I think I know how you feel," he laughed. "These guys are

just kids."

       A circle of bald-headed purple-robed men danced in front of

the center arched door and sang something that no one understood.

The sound of their drums and tambourines floated above the hum of

voices. Esther held tightly to Pete's hand as they approached the


       "This is where Aunt Lora went to school for a degree in

psychology," Kendra said mindlessly as she looked at Macky. Her

thoughts were elsewhere, thinking about the man she was about to


       "Yeah, and her mind's never been the same since," Pete added

with a grin as he saw Lora in his mind. Immediately his lips

squeezed shut and he squinted his nose in distaste. Someday he'd

control his impetuous speaking habit. Yet he was firmly convinced
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           61

that very few who obtained degrees in psychology ever possessed a

sound mind. He saw the sharp look from Kendra.

     "Knock it off, Pete. I don’t like that kind of talk."

     He ignored her rebuke and pulled a newspaper clipping from

his back pocket.

     As they climbed, he read aloud the article for Kendra’s


     "The school of sociology has arranged for the Israeli

prophet, Elijah, to visit and speak. He claims his supernatural

powers were instrumental in bringing an end to the invasion of

Israel and the devastating environmental damage. It is reported

he is able to produce fire that floats in the air. We’re all very

excited to hear his comments on the war. Possibly we may even

uncover the mystery behind his apparent powers. A respected team

of scientists will examine his feats as he performs."

     Kendra walked stiffly toward the building. For the first

time she actually feared seeing this man who personified evil.

     Ankles hurting, she resolved to show courage, especially

since she insisted on everyone coming with her to Boulder.

     With the thick bandages wrapped around the ankle burns, she

found it hard to walk and continued to fight the stiffness in her

legs. As she walked past the chanters, an uncomfortable feeling

made her study the students. They made her feel middle aged and

out of touch.

     Her strength crumbling, she gratefully felt a tug on her

hand. Esther was pulling her.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           62

     Climbing the steps, she ignored the robed men and entered

the gallery. I wonder what they think of me, she thought when a

few students looked her way. She sensed coldness as if she was

intruding. I'm walking into darkness.

     A thought occurred to her, which said there are others like

you. Encouraged, she knew there were many who might have received

a cold welcome.

     Pete looked back at Kendra and Esther, and felt relief when

they decided not to search for seats close to the stage. Instead

the girls found a spot along the back wall.

     He lifted Esther onto his shoulders so she could get a

better look. At the same time his eyes covered Kendra from head

to toe. First it was to make sure she didn't create a scene. The

second reason was more enjoyable. She was beautiful.   Her
physique was everything he ever wanted in a woman. Most of all,

the lady has a sharp mind. He and her needed to Tahiti, have a

dozen babies, and never come back.

     He gently shook his head at the pleasurable scene and

returned his attention to the clamor in the auditorium. Then he

stared at the short bastard on stage. The man was still as short

and stocky as ever. Pete guessed him to be all of four feet tall.

He also looked as if he put on weight. Probably a hundred and
eighty, he thought.

      If there was truly evil in the world, Pete felt he saw it

standing on the stage. He felt total disgust with the man.

     Kendra's words cleared away his thoughts but not his anger.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           63

     "He’s just the way I remember him," she said. "His head

seems more oblong than before, and his face is longer than I

remember. But I know that’s him."

     She tried to see into his dark eye sockets, to see if they

were as foreboding as she remembered, but the distance made it

impossible. "I need binocs. I need to see his eyes, see if they

are still large."

     Elijah’s voice reverberated through the sound system and

echoed off the cold concrete walls. "We all know about the comet

that is spiraling down on us. Where it will hit, know one knows,

but I am more interested in raising funds to feed hungry children

and preventing the rape of our planet. The disaster that the

comet will produce will have to take care of itself. I also know

I must prove to you that I am someone worthy to be listened to.

This demonstration that I am about to perform is something that

you all came to see. It will take place on a fireproof altar that

sits behind me. I've made it from the University’s innovative

materials. I have added furnace bricks as additional protection.

There will be no danger to anyone, but me. The altar is two

meters in diameter and is filled with water. I do not perform

this miracle lightly. I only use it to offer sacrifices to my

god. But today, I make an exception. Your staff has treated me so

well, that I truly feel an obligation to those who invited me to

speak. I think it is important that I reveal the powers that are

available to all that believe. It is a demonstration of hope and

life. One is coming after me who will show the way. He is the one
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           64

we all must follow. Right now I am going to capture your


     The prophet stopped speaking and shielded his eyes from the

bright lights. He turned toward the area where Kendra and Pete


     Kendra sensed his eyes on her, yet she knew it couldn't be

true. "He can’t see us, can he?" she asked quietly. "There has to

be too many lights in his eyes." Her hand grasped Pete's arm and

held tight. "He makes me feel uneasy."

     Elijah pointed with the lights blinding his view toward

where Kendra stood. "I know you’re here," he said with a laugh.

His amplified voice revealed a subtle anger that both Kendra and

Pete easily understood.

     "You can’t hide from me," he continued.

     The crowd of students murmured as Elijah spoke. It was clear

to Pete that they didn't understand what and whom Elijah was

referring to.

     On stage Elijah smiled and become delightfully animated.

     Pete moved closer to Kendra and held onto Esther's dangling

leg with his hands. "I don't think we should be here," he said

and held Esther's foot a little firmer.

     If Kendra spurted away too fast, he'd quickly follow. He

remembered this happening once. Kendra left them in a restaurant

because the waiter never showed up. All that remained behind was

her purse and those watching her head for the door.

     He spoke softly for Kendra's benefit. "The guy reminds me of

a cat playing with a mouse. Only I think you're the mouse."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           65

     She shot a worried look toward Pete. "He knows I’m here."

     He easily saw fear growing on her face.

     "Don't worry. He's up there and we're back here. He can't

see you. Anyway, the guy's an idiot."

     Elijah’s voice boomed through the public address system.

"Watch and learn, my little fly. See what a true prophet of the

living god can do. Yet I do this not for you but for all that

seek truth. I verify myself through signs and wonders, signs and

wonders that can cleanse the land. The earth is mine, says god.

All that is in it belongs to me. Those who destroy this planet

with their corruption, destroying oceans and good earth, all will

answer to me. I will soon send my champion, a Great Spirit who is

I Am, a man in an earthen vessel, who will lead the nations to

health and prosperity."

     Kendra reached up, took Esther from Pete's shoulders, and

held the girl tightly with her arms. "I think it's time to

leave," Kendra said as she turned toward the doors.

     "No!" Esther demanded. "I want to watch."

     Kendra hesitated, and then reluctantly stepped back against

the wall. She watched Elijah stretch forth his right hand towards

a table sitting in center stage.

     A large shiny pot sat in the middle. Two chairs faced the

audience. She did not know what he was about to do, but she seen

his powers before. The invisible force, which knocked Pete

backward in Israel, was very real.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           66

     Elijah shouted the word, "lift," with such sharpness that it

startled her. A loud murmur swept though the auditorium, followed

by subdued laughter.

     Kendra caught her breath and gave Pete a worried look. His

face told the story. She’d seen that look of disgust before. He

wanted to punch out Elijah’s lights.

     She grabbed Pete’s arm just as the large pot sitting on the

table in front of Elijah began rattling. Without warning it slid

across the tabletop. When it reached the edge, it lifted and

floated high above Elijah’s head.

     A gasp of wonderment filled the auditorium as the audience

stirred in their seats.

     "Amazing! How’s he doing that?" asked Pete.

     The table then jittered across the floor and slowly tilted

on the stage. One leg lifted first followed by another. Soon it

floated high above Elijah’s head, next to the pot. Then the two

chairs began jumping up and down. They slowly rose above the

stage. Floating over the first row of students, they both lowered

until they were three feet above the student's heads. A male

student stood up and grabbed the nearest leg. The chair jerked

away from his grasp and spun wildly. The student quickly sat back

in his seat to the sound of laughter. The chair stopped spinning

and slowly moved alongside the first chair.

     Elijah’s voice boomed again. "Did you enjoy that?" he said

to the student who reached out for the chair.

     Laughter filled the auditorium.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           67

     The student waved a hand. "Where are the wires holding the

chairs?" he yelled.

     "Come here and test it yourself." Elijah turned to the side

of the stage and asked. "Bring a rod or a broom to me."

     In seconds the student leaped onto the stage and stood

beside Elijah. Another man, somewhere off from the stage, hurried

from the side and handed a long rod to Elijah.

     "This will do nicely," Elijah said and handed the rod to the


     "I will bring the chairs closer to you. Then sweep the rod

above them, around them, anywhere that you wish. Test to see if

any strings or wires are attached."

     The student swung the rod above and around the floating

chairs. Neither moved, and the student acknowledged that no

strings or wires were attached. The audience buzzed with

excitement. The rustle of people and their subdued voices ended

when Elijah spoke.

     "Good! You may sit down now." Elijah waited until he

received everyone’s attention. "This is an example of the power

of God. I serve the god of magnificent knowledge, wisdom and

mercy." He pointed to the audience. "If you learn from me, you

too can have the power to hear God speaking to you. It is power,

a power that keeps you strong. If you follow my teachings, you

will succeed in life beyond your wildest dreams. Travel the roads

of life with me and we will transform this world from corruption

to one of love and compassion. God is ready. Man has evolved and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           68

is at the threshold of the world of tomorrow. It is time to enter

the age of enlightenment and understanding."

     Kendra felt the anger in her explode. "By the power of God’s

Holy Spirit," she uttered in what she thought was a quiet prayer,

"I rebuke the evil in you."

     She didn’t realize she'd been heard until students turned in

her direction.

     Elijah covered his head as the chairs, the table, and the

pot crashed to the floor. He stared at the fallen items. "Lift,"

he shouted, pointing specifically at the pot. His face turned

crimson with anger when nothing happened and looked again in

Kendra’s direction.

     She tried to control her look of satisfaction. It became

hopeless when she saw the redness in Elijah’s face. "Gotcha," she

chuckled through clenched teeth. Kendra heard Esther say "Evil


     Pete nudged Kendra and Esther with his elbow in an attempt

to keep them quiet. It was time to go while the exit was clear.

     "Who interferes with God’s power?" Elijah's voice boomed

over the sound system.

     A student sitting in front of Kendra yelled and pointed,

"This lady; she’s the one. I heard her say something. Then

everything fell."

     Faces turned in their direction and angry voices filled the


     "Oh! Oh!" whispered Pete. "I think we’ve worn out our

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           69

     Kendra handed Esther back to Pete as two university security

men arrived. She stared at Elijah and tried to speak above the


     "He’s a fake," she yelled as the fighting spirit within her

rose to fever pitch. "Don’t listen to him. He can do these things

only by the power of the devil."

     The two men reached for Kendra's arms and pulled. One of

them spoke. "You'll have to leave."

     She turned as they marched her toward the door and saw

Elijah shielding his eyes from the lights. She hoped the stage

lights were blinding him. As they approached the door she heard

Elijah's voice directed her way.

     "I know that voice," Elijah growled. "It is you, my little

Greek gnat. Are you still nipping at my heels?"

     "Wait!" she cried and the security men, one on each side of

her, stopped their march.

     She tuned back to the stage. "You know who it is," she

yelled loud and clear. "You can fool these people, but I know

where your powers come from. They come from evil and darkness."

     "Be quiet!" he commanded. "Your powers are weak and I have

grown very strong. Campus security - if you would kindly remove

her from this place."

     Before his words stopped echoing within the auditorium, the

two men pulled her arms as irate students descended in her


     "Wolf," she cried as Pete followed. He positioned himself so

they couldn't strike her in the back. Unfortunately, his arms
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           70

were full with Esther, and he found himself easily shoved against

the wall. He watched in horror as Kendra, the security men, and

the students exited through the inside set of doors.

     "Don’t touch her," Pete yelled though no one heard. "We’re


     He pushed his way to the door and saw Kendra being hustled

down the steps.

     "Get Esther out of here," Kendra cried as she looked back.

She heard Esther calling her name as angry voices drowned her

cries. Rough hands held her arms and literally pulled her

outside. Other hands clawed at her back as she and the security

guards hurried away. She found herself jostled, scratched and

slapped as she exited the building.

     She looked back for Pete, hoping, pleading for help. He

vanished from her sight as angry students blocked her way to

safety. The sea of faces grew angrier and it frightened her.

     The squeeze of humanity swept her through the open doors and

into the sunlight. Rough hands grabbed and lifted her above their

heads. Angry students replaced the security personnel. The mob

reached the bottom of the steps. University police reappeared and

pulled her from their hands.

     She hit the concrete with a thud.

     Her right cheek hurt as it rested against the pavement. Her

eyes blurred from pain and shock. All she saw were shoes and pant


     Her vision cleared as she forced herself to breathe deeply.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           71

     When she tried to raise her head, a foot landed on her

shoulder and kept her from rising. For a brief moment, hope

arrived when she heard Pete's voice.

     Two Boulder policemen appeared and lifted her to her feet.

At the same time another girl swung a punch at her face. She

turned away just in time. Someone else hit her in the back. The

blow sent her forward. The hold from the police held her steady.

Then they and campus security forced the students away.

     Kendra winced in pain. Her face felt hot and she wanted to

fight. Then she spied Pete. He was pushing his way through the


     "That’s my girl," he said and made his way alongside her. He

turned to one of the policeman.

     "I'm with her," he said.

     The police released their grip on her arms but didn't

totally let go. She found that she could move a little easier and

grabbed for Esther.

     "Your mommy is just fine," Pete said.

     Kendra looked at him and knew Pete was playing on the

sympathies of the police.

     "I’ll get her out of here," Pete said to the nearest

policeman. "Our car is over there."

     She spied Elijah exiting the mammoth doors and slowly

walking down the steps. The crowd of students parted as he moved

towards her. She also saw the anger in his eyes.

     University police helped Elijah push his way through the

final steps as he came closer. He stopped in front of her and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           72

briefly glanced at Pete. She noticed Elijah was well aware of the

camcorders recording every scene.

     "So we meet again," Elijah said. He looked again at Pete. "I

thought the last time in Afula had been enough."

     A Boulder policeman interrupted and spoke to Elijah. "Do you

want to file a complaint?"

     Kendra felt repulsed when she saw Elijah’s face soften.

     "No. This young woman is a very disturbed child. It would

pain me to hurt her." His hand pointed up the steps. "If you can

keep her from interfering with my presentation, I will continue."

Elijah moved closer until he stood face to face with Kendra. The

plastic smile sickened her and his breath smelled of garlic. Her

head swam from the odor. She needed air. His dark eyes revealed

only hatred. She saw him look at Esther.

     "And how is this lovely little girl of yours?" he asked.

     Kendra's first impulse was to slap his face but somehow

managed not to answer.

     Staring at Elijah with tight eyes, she held her breath and

prayed. She wanted her anger to subside enough so she wouldn't

get arrested.

     "Does she mind any better than the last time?" he said

     It happened so fast, she didn't know she reacted. A strong

hand grabbed her clenched fist and held it inches from Elijah’s


     "I think we should go," Pete said. He slowly pulled her hand

down. "If it’s all right with everyone, we’ll be leaving."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           73

     "Get her out of here," the policeman ordered. "I don’t want

to see her face around here for the rest of the day."

     "We’re leaving," Pete repeated. He held Esther firmly on his

shoulders with one hand and held Kendra's in the other. With some

effort he led her away.

     "I’m so mad," she growled as they retraced their path back

to the car. And that bit about Esther," She fumed. "I just wanted

to hit him."

     "You almost did. Next time you better not do it while the

police are watching." He reached for his keys as they approached

the car. He also noticed that campus security now followed them.

"We better get out of here."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           74

     Chapter 6

     "There they go, Les said, "heading south toward Denver.

Don’t lose them." He sat in the passenger seat as Bruce eased the

white paneled van into the traffic on the Boulder Turnpike. The

target vehicle lay half a mile ahead as Bruce accelerated to


     "We’ll have them before the Sheridan Exit," Bruce said.

     Les double-checked his seat belt and shoulder harness. "Make

sure you do. I think the construction north of the Sheridan Exit

will work to our favor."

     "We’re gaining," Bruce said. "That guy drives fast."

     Les glanced around for any police patrols and then a flick

of his eyes checked the radar detector. Satisfied with what he

saw, he motioned for Bruce to increase his speed. "Take it to

seventy. You’re losing them. The guy’s a speed demon. Doesn’t

anyone drive the speed limit?" He felt their van accelerate.

     "We’ll get them. I’m doing seventy-five. The front wheels

are bouncing," he said as he felt the shudder in the steering

wheel. "This thing needs tires. I can feel the vibration."

     Les kept his eyes on Kendra’s car. "Next time, steal a

better van/ I'll pick it out."

     "We’re catching them, Mister Hollen."

     Les rocked sideways as the van shifted lanes. Bruce

accelerated again and weaved his way closer to the target.

     "We’re almost there, Mister Hollen. Just a little further."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          75

     "Ease up behind the car as soon as you can, Mister Crum. We

want to be ready.

     "There's the Sheridan Exit, Mister Hollen."

     Les saw the approaching sign telling that the exit lay one-

half mile down the road. As soon as they passed the sign he

looked for the construction site.

     Bruce saw the site first and pointed. "There it is."

     In the distance two yellow work vehicles and a small

mountain of dirt sat between them and the exit ramp.

     "Quick!" Les ordered. "Get alongside them, Mister Crum."

     The van accelerated and shifted to the left.

     They squeezed between two cars in the passing lane. From

behind, a horn tooted its warning. Les kept his hand down and

suppressed his standard response.

     "Ignore them, Mister Crum. We don't want to attract

attention." The words he said didn't make him feel better. A

second later he turned and flipped a greeting to the car behind.

Satisfied with his action, he turned his attention to Kendra’s

car. "Get even with her rear bumper, Mister Crum. Inch forward."

He noticed the driver was a man, but the lady in the passenger

seat was definitely their pigeon. "She’s not driving. It’s her

boyfriend, but she's in the car."

     "Is this a good spot, Mister Hollen?"

     Les noticed Bruce's eyes darting over to the car.

     "Concentrate on driving, Mister Crum. I’ll tell you when.

Move up a little more, and don’t go past the driver’s door."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           76

     Les kept an eye on the mound of construction dirt as it came

closer. He waited for the right moment.

     "Construction's coming up fast, Mister Crum. We’re almost

there." He turned on the power to his camcorder, lowered the side

window and aimed the camera at the car.

     Les glanced into the rearview mirror and saw a string of

cars behind them. "We’ve got a caravan behind us," he said. "Are

we the slow ones on this road?" He ignored the cars behind him

and focused his attention toward the approaching construction.

     "Get ready, Mister Crum. Make this look like an accident."

His mind calculated how many seconds remained before the

construction site flew past. He began at three and audibly

counted the seconds. He said the number two with emphasis and

never said the number one. Instead he said, "Now, Mister Crum."

     Les braced himself and gripped his camcorder in a death


     The van swerved to the right and smashed into Kendra’s rear

fender. Les watched the car fishtail off the road and onto the

shoulder. After sliding sideways for a hundred feet, it vanished

down the steep slope. "Get in her lane, Mister Crum. Let the

traffic pass."

     Bruce pulled behind Kendra’s car and slowed to sixty-five.

     Les continued recording, hoping to get footage of Kendra’s

car plunging to a fiery end. "That embankment leads fifty feet to

a thick row of trees, Mister Crum. I hope she gets splinters in

her eyes." He pointed the recorder down to where he felt the car

should be. "I’m not having any luck in seeing her exciting plunge
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           77

to death. Wish I could see something dramatic, like a rising ball

of flames."

     From the corner of his eye, Pete saw it coming. Yet there

was nothing he could do. The lane he drove was filled with

bumper-to-bumper traffic. Only the shoulder remained.

     To push back at the larger van would prove fruitless.

Besides, Kendra'd never forgive him if he wrecked her car.

     The white van filled his side mirror as he responded by

driving onto the shoulder. His right hand also held down on the

horn. The van completely ignored his warning.

     The white van either didn't hear the horn or didn't care.

Pete guessed the guy was frantic to get off at the next exit.

Probably high on drugs, Pete thought.

     I lived through my childhood in Ireland, survived the

Marines. Somehow I got through the infiltration into the old

Soviet Union, and made it through three and one-half day war to

annihilate Israel. Now I'm going to get killed by a drunk driver.

     A quick glance at Kendra told him she was aware of the

danger. Then he saw Esther double-checking her seat belt. She too

noticed the van and looked worried.

     The van inched closer and then the car jerked rapidly to the

right. He barely heard the soft thud of crunching metal.

Fishtailing on the shoulder stopped all thinking as he responded

by sending all his efforts into controlling the car. Despite his

best efforts, the car careened onto the far edge of the shoulder.

It was the last place he wanted to go. The right wheels slipped
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           78

over the embankment and the car bounced. He tried to brake, and

then saw the yellow construction trucks. They were in his way,

and he was approaching them fast. A large front-end loader

blocked his safest path as it dumped dirt into the bed of a


     They sped past a man in an orange vest. He held a sign that

Pete guessed said "SLOW". At sixty-five miles an hour, he

fleetingly noticed the horrified look on the worker's face.

     If he continued fishtailing toward the trucks certain death

awaited them.

     He gunned the engine and turned the wheel down the hill. The

car bounced over small rain-cut rivulets and plunged over the

side. Thankfully the car’s fishtailing ended and he aimed the car

up. Fighting to keep the car from rolling and wondering why it

didn't, he felt relief as the car pointed up, and the drive

wheels grab.

     He shoved the accelerator to the floor for all it was worth

and sensed the car changing directions. He hoped he could control

the movement once he reached the top. The other question was

where were the construction guys? In the next heartbeat he got

the answer.

     The yellow dump truck flashed by his window in a blur. In

front of him, he saw the slow motion movement of men scattering

for their lives. Just beyond them, a mountain of excavated dirt

rose to meet the sky. He prayed that the front-end loader with

its two-inch thick steel bucket didn't get in the way.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           79

     He aimed for the pile of dirt and hoped to use it as a ramp.

The Wolf heard Kendra and Esther scream as the yellow front-end

loader lifted its bucket and turned toward them.

     A yellow blur sped past and in a split second, Pete felt the

car go airborne. They missed the end of the bucket by a hair.

     All his instincts responded as the car sailed over yet

another truck parked in the dirt. Time froze as the car flew. He

watched it all in slow motion.

     The car landed on the shoulder of the road with a crunching

jar. Pete fought the wheel to keep it straight and true. He hoped

the exit ramp lay in his path. It did, it sat just ahead.

     Smashing down on the brakes, Pete saw the trailing blue

smoke as brakes and burning tires burned and screeched. The car

slid sideways then straightened. In seconds, it slowed to a safe

speed and crept up the ramp.

     "Is everyone okay?" He asked without knowing what else to

say. It took real effort just to breathe. He then realized he was

holding his breath.

     From the corner of his eye, he saw the crowded highway and

the white van. A full-faced man with a ponytail stared back. In

his hand, he held a video camera. They tried to kill us, and now
they’re recording it. What’s going on?

     In defiance to the assailants, he smiled back and waved the

back of his hand. At the same time he mumbled quiet obscenities

so Kendra wouldn’t hear. If the car held together, he’d go after

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           80

     He reached the top of the ramp and waited for the traffic

light to change. "Is everyone all right?" he asked again. A quick

look at Kendra and Esther revealed two people unhurt but in

shock. "We’ll check the car later," he said. "First, I need to

catch that van."

     Pete drove down the ramp, trying to accelerate, but the car

didn't have the energy. The wobble from the right side indicated

serious damage. Besides, a sea of cars, trucks and vans stretched

before him. He slowly pulled onto the shoulder. "The light took

too long," he said without reporting the lack of engine

horsepower. The car seemed to be missing on one of its six


     He finally stopped, but his hands were shaking. Stretching

them out before him, he saw the vibrating fingers and stuck both

hands under his armpits. It was all he knew to do to control his


     "Delayed reaction," he said with a weak grin. "I’ll be all

right in a minute."

     He watched Esther climb over the seat and land in Kendra's

lap. Kendra immediately wrapped her arms around the girl and they

both sat staring out the window. He fully expected them to be

chattering their heads off in another minute.

     Getting out, he walked around the car, checking for damage.

The front wheels were both bent in at the top. He looked

underneath. "Everything seems to be there. We didn’t lose

anything. We've a lot of dirt packed underneath. Nothing leaking.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           81

But I think it's time to trade your car in. The front axles are


     He looked into the window, double-checking to see that

Kendra and Esther were unhurt, and then tried to liven up the

moment. "How about a Dairy Queen?"

     "My poor car," Kendra moaned as she firmly held onto Esther.

"My poor car."

     "Why'd he drive us off the road?" asked Esther.

     Pete didn't answer. Getting in behind the wheel, he placed

the car in gear, and slowly drove away, the bent axle making its

presence known.

     Pete thought in silence as the car limped south on Sheridan

Boulevard. The girls were talking, asking questions that he

couldn't answer. Two times, he thought. That's two times.
Someone's trying to kill her. She's stepped on somebody's toes.7

     Lora opened the front door and stared at the strained faces

of her sister and Esther. Pete stood behind them after hurrying

up the steps. The look on Kendra's face spoke more than a

thousand words. Obviously something serious happened. She thought

of their going to Boulder and seeing Elijah. The auto incident

she and Steve saw on the television captured her thoughts.

     "Are you okay?" Lora asked. She quickly gave Kendra a hug

and ushered everyone into the living room. In the distance she

spied the parked car. It didn't look wrecked.

     "It's all over the news. The description of three people in

a car that looked like yours." A quick study of their faces

confirmed what she suspected. "I knew it was you!"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             82

       Lora glanced at Steve as he entered the room from the


       "Is everyone unhurt?" he asked as he somehow picked up on

the incident on the Boulder turnpike. "Can I get you something, a

coffee, tea, soda?"

       "First," Pete said, "I need to use your phone. I need to

call the police."

       Steve saw Lora glance at the Cell phone in Pete's left hand.

       "The battery needs recharging," Pete answered to their

unasked question. He knew his answer made him feel absentminded.

"I should have checked it this morning," he said in his defense.

       Pete smiled as he confessed his error and turned toward

Steve. "A coke will be fine," he said in response to his friends


       Esther grabbed Lora's hand. "You should have seen us," she

said. "First the car went down a hill. Then Uncle Pete made it go

straight up. We flew over a truck. I remember everything. It was


       "Good," Lora said in a soft monotone. Her training as a

psychologist surfaced and her voice carried no emotion. "You

better not have bad dreams about this. You're too important to


       Lora rested a hand on Esther's shoulder and studied Kendra.

"Now tell me what happened, Sis. I want to hear everything."

       Kendra described the confrontation with Elijah, the police,

and finally the terror on the highway. She ended with; "God saved

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           83

     "Well," Pete said with pleasure, not mentioning his superb

driving skills. "She survived another one."

     "Did you call Detective Jamison?" asked Kendra.

     "He wasn't in, but I talked to a Sargent Ames. He said

Jamison would call us. They're also expecting us. Can one of you

drive us out to the ranch? I don't think Kendra's car will hold

together much longer. I'll pick up my truck and then we'll head

to the police."

     As Pete stepped alongside Kendra he added. "I don't think

she wants her car in another accident. I know I don't." He then

leaned toward her and gave her a smile to conceal his secret

concerns. His half-ton truck was heavier and safer. "We sure got

a lot of excitement today."

     "Aunt Lora," Esther said. "You should have seen Uncle Pete

drive. He was great. Varoom! Varoom!"

     Pete beamed with pride.

     Lora moved quickly to Esther's side and knelt in front of

the child. Giving her a long hug she asked. "Are you all right?"

     Esther's eyes widened as she said yes. She moved her hands

quickly from left to right, as if she held a steering wheel.

     Lora, frustrated by the lack of fear in Esther, went to her

sister's side. "It sounds like God didn't save you. It sounds

more like, Pete did all the work."

     Kendra’s eyes glanced nervously at Pete then back at Lora.

     Lora helped Kendra to the couch, then wrapped a comforting

arm around her sister and asked. "You were the accident we heard
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             84

about. Did you get a description of the car that drove you off

the road?"

       "I did," answered Pete. "But I don't think it was an

accident. What I can't figure out, is how did they know we were

in Boulder?"

       Lora's face went plastic as she listened. She remembered

talking over the Internet about Kendra's trip to Boulder. She

caught herself shaking her head. No, that couldn't be. Everything

has to be an accident.

       Steve brought in a tray filled with refreshments. "I heard

everything from the kitchen. If this was a set-up, someone is

watching you, both of you."

       Pete took a long drink. He then looked at Lora and Steve and

broke out in a chuckle. Their faces, filled with inquisitive

amazement, stared back. He then proceeded to tell of Kendra's

argument with Elijah. When he finished, he glanced at Kendra. "I

do believe that creep, has it in for you. This might be close to

a plain old Middle East blood feud."

       "Maybe," Kendra replied. "But this is the United States, not

the Middle East."

       He watched her stare at the wall and stop speaking. He felt

that he could see Kendra's mind working hard to figure everything


       "I just don’t know," she finally answered. "I truly don't

know. Until I know for sure, I will not condemn the man."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           85

     Pete felt a dark cloud of depression settling in the room

and decided to move the talk to something lighter. He looked at

the red spot on Kendra's cheek.

     "The students roughed Kendra up pretty good when they

evicted her from the auditorium. A section from Shakespeare's

Henry the Fifth comes to mind.

     "But when the blast of war blows in our ears,"

     He added flamboyance to his recital with a wave of his arm.

     "Then imitate the action of the tiger;

     Stiffen the sinews; summon up the blood,

     Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage:"

     Pete stopped reciting, pleased by his gestures; he showed

obvious pride in his actions.

     "It's from Shakespeare," he volunteered. "It's my way of

saying that a weaker woman would have cringed and fallen apart.

Elijah does possess some unusual powers. Remember back in the

cave? He knocked me to the ground without even touching me?

Kendra believes the man is demonic. Up in Boulder when that creep

made a crack about Esther, she almost nailed him."

     "You shouldn't have gone up," said Lora. "I warned you both.

Pete, you should have stopped her. If you hadn't been with her,

she might have been killed." She saw the look in Kendra's eyes.

"And God has nothing to do with this. You were just lucky, that's

all. Pete's the one who saved you. He's the only one who's ever

saved you. He's always saving you. I've never met anyone who

constantly gets into life-threatening situations like you do.

Someone ought to make a movie of your life."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           86

     Lora moved close to Pete and gave him a hug. "Thanks for

everything. Don't ever stop."

     "I'll keep trying," Pete answered, "but the lady has a mind

of her own." He nodded toward Kendra. "I'm just glad I went to

see the show. And I'm glad I was there to get her out of


     "I don’t know what got into me," Kendra said with a poorly

suppressed grin. "I give all the glory to God. Yet, I also know

that if Pete hadn’t grabbed my arm, I’d be in jail right now.

Then we almost got killed in a freak accident. If it hadn't been

for the Holy Spirit, my angels and Pete, I don't what would have

happened." The image of her car flashed across her mind. "My poor

car. It's ruined."

     Pete bit the bottom of his lip to suppress a shudder and

chuckle at the same time. He remembered the front axles of her

car. Then his face turned sour as the last two episodes replayed

in his mind. The attempted electrocution and being forced off the

road has got to be connected.

     He excused himself, walked to the kitchen, and headed for

the telephone. "I’m going to call Jamison again," he said as he

left. "Maybe the police have a lead on the van. Of course," he

added, "if this is a professional job, the van will be stolen. If

they ever find it, all the prints will be wiped clean, and the

driver will be spending his pay on some warm tropical beach."

     As Pete dialed Jamison's office again, he heard Kendra

describing the way she caused everything to fall off the stage.

In the earphone he listened to the message from someone at the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             87

police station. Irritated that Jamison was out, he returned to

the room.

       "Jamison's still out," he said to everyone and looked at

Kendra. "I heard you filling in the details." he shot a smile

toward Steve. "She's a wildcat. Elijah's got her really riled


       "I forgive him,” Kendra said with a purposely-pious tone.

       "When we got back to her car," Pete added, "she was shaking

like a leaf. Just before Mad-Max came after us, she was back to

her old self, the happiest person in the world. Then the van did

its thing on us."

       Pete picked Esther up into his arms and gave her a kiss on

the top of her head. "I'm glad this one didn't get damaged." He

looked at Kendra for a moment and added. "Now our Kendra is angry


       Pete redirected his concern toward Esther with a half-

suppressed grin. "What are we going to do with your godmother?"

       The phone in the kitchen rang and Pete hurried away. "That

might be Jamison."

       He looked back and saw every eye following.

       "We’ll be right there," he said after a moment of silence on

the phone. "Give me an hour to get a car that still runs."

       Pete looked directly at Kendra as he returned. "Jamison is

heading back to the University Boulevard substation. He'll be

waiting for us."

       "Kendra," Steve called. "Can I see you for a moment before

you leave?" He walked into the kitchen and waited.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           88

     Kendra looked at Pete and then at her sister, looking for an

answer. Then she followed Steve into the kitchen.

     "This isn't the time to bring this up," Steve said, "but it

burning inside me. I bought a used book today that I'd like to

get your comments on."

     "I'm too upset to be of much use," Kendra answered. "What's

the title?"

     "Extraterrestrial Bible Codes Revealed," Steve answered

almost in a whisper. His voice was purposely kept low so no one

in the other room would hear. "I don't want Lora to know what I'm

reading," he added with eyes nodding toward the door. "You know

how she feels about religion."

     Kendra smiled in agreement and thought how she believed that

every living cell in a person cries out to know God. People like

her sister, Steve, and even Pete seem to forever reject the

belief in a personal God. But she reminded herself that everyone

in the world is searching for an answer, especially those who say

they reject God. Maybe, just maybe, all her prayers were being

answered. Steve was beginning to search. Maybe her sister

wouldn't be far behind. "Have you read it?"

     "Just starting. It's fantastic, if it's true. I remember you

talking about this stuff ten years ago."

     "Lora's voice interrupted their conversation and called out,

"It's awfully quiet in there. What are you two talking about? I

hope you aren't trying to brainwash him."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           89

     "We'll talk later," Steve whispered. He cleared his throat

and answered Lora's question as he called back from the kitchen.

"Just seeing if Kendra is really okay," he lied.

                              *    *    *

     Pacing the floor of his sixth floor suite at the Holiday

Inn, Elijah stared angrily at the heavy traffic winding its way

into the Crossroads Mall. His hand tightly gripped the phone as

he tried to control his voice. "Listen. I will say this only

once. I do not pay for incompetence. I want your answer by this

time tomorrow. Email me. I'm paying for results." Without waiting

for further discussion, he slammed the receiver down and threw

the phone into the bed, instantly breaking the connection to


     He saw himself in a mirror hanging from the far wall. His

bulging eyes glared back at him. "Yyyagh!"

     He focused his mind toward the mirror and felt relief when

the center shattered. He hated his eyes. They came from his

father's side.

     "Why am I cursed? I'm too short, with an oversized head, and

bug-eyes that drive me crazy. If the man was still alive, I'd

kill him."

     Turning away, he kicked the telephone from the bed. Watching

it sail into the open arms of a cushioned chair brought a smile

to his face. "She has plagued my life, my career, and my powers.

She must be stopped, she must."

     He changed his clothes and headed out the door. A waiting

limo would drive him back to Macky Auditorium. "Hopefully, my
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           90

distasteful irritant won't be there," he growled as he waited for

the elevator. "I’m surrounded by incompetents." He thought of

Rene and her team. "When they finish, I’ll terminate their

contract." The thought of simple, uncomplicated revenge lifted

his spirits. "I will rid the world of a nuisance and three

incompetent killers," he laughed. "A fitting end to bunglers."

                                *   *   *

     Rene Paxton sat before her computer reading email.

Yesterday, she digitized the angry voice from her mysterious

employer. With a little luck, she'd find out who was paying her


     Pleased that the guy made a stupid error in calling her, she

twisted a lock of strawberry blond hair with her finger while

reading one particular email. It began with a familiar

introduction. "To Dimples." Her cheeks possessed no dimples, but

she knew the email came from her employer, the man who just

called. He can use that introduction all he wants, she thought.
But I've got your voiceprint.

     "An overnight package has been Express mailed to you." The

message ended one line later. "Do not fail me again." She found

the words chilling and irritating. Just keep sending cash or I'll
irritate you.

     Someday she'd find the man behind the voice. After his final

payment arrived, she’d make his life truly miserable. And if it

turned out to be more than one person, she'd politely destroy all

of them.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           91

     One thing for sure, the man has deep pockets. Even though

the call from him wasn't exactly a note on how to get along with

people, her team was still hired to complete the task. She

checked the time of the email. The package will be arriving


                          *   *    *

     The Tampa skies were graying with heavy rains when Rene

opened the door for Bruce and Les. Bruce wore his customary

ragged jean shorts and a worn out tee shirt. A ragged hole in his

shirt, just under the right armpit, gave him the image of someone

barely scraping by. His protruding belly, expensive sockless

sandals, and Gold Rolex watch squished the image of being a down-

and-out. She could see the heavy fanny pack around his waist.

After working with him for years, she knew it concealed a compact

.45. She smiled at the quiet air of confidence he carried.

     Les came through the door wearing a tie hanging from a bare

neck, a Gym Honolulu muscle shirt, baggy khaki shorts and flip-

flops. One pocket in his pants hung a little lower. Rene knew Les

carried a pocket holster, which held a compact 9mm. His hair hung

wild. She expected him to pull it back into its customary

ponytail before they sat down for business and breakfast. White

smudges under his armpits revealed he used too much deodorant.

     My team, she thought. I just love ‘em.
     Leading them to her private war room, she turned on more

lights. The room had been added to her home and specifically

built with no windows. The walls were constructed with twelve-

inch Styrofoam filled concrete blocks. The stucco exterior
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           92

blended in with the rest of the house and concealed the massive

construction. A double row of sound deadening insulation filled

the interior walls.

     In addition, the inner walls and ceiling were covered with

the highest quality acoustical tile. Any words spoken in the room

would be impossible to be heard outside, even by the latest

listening technology. She turned on the "white noise" and a soft

whine filled the conference room. A press of another button and

an automatic sweep of the room for bugging device rounded out the


     Maps of the world, the United States and Colorado covered

two walls. A small armory of pistols, revolvers, and rifles hung

from a third. Ammunition for each weapon sat neatly stacked

beneath the weapons.

     Hidden under the flagstone floor in a tunnel leading to a

waterproof room, sat the real weapons and a two station, fifty

foot, firing range. A wet bar and a refrigerator, on hidden

rollers, covered the entrance.

     She led her team to one end of a large mahogany conference

table. Three television monitors hung from the ceiling at the far

end. The Weather Channel filled one screen while CNN and BBC

International displayed the latest happenings.

     A frosty pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice and

distilled water sat between the deadly threesome. Boiled eggs

filled a bowl next to fresh baked baguettes. Sliced cucumbers and

tomatoes lay neatly arranged in a glass-serving tray. Orange

marmalade, along with three types of preserves, filled small
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           93

stainless steel bowls. Three fresh cups of steaming coffee sat


     A light flashed on the home security monitor. "Someone is

coming toward the front door." A quick glance at her house

security monitor told her that the mailman arrived. When the

doorbell rang, Rene glanced at her watch. "Our package has

arrived," she said. Pointing to the food on the table she said,

"Help yourselves."

     She returned holding a large Express Mail envelope. Across

the room sat a small airport X-ray machine. She sat the package

inside, pressed "on", and scanned the contents.

     "It’s safe to open," she said and returned with the mailer.

     "Let’s see it," Bruce said. He took a sip of coffee and

flipped out a knife.

     "Patience is a virtue, Mister Crum." Les smiled.

     "So true, Mister Hollen. Someday I will be as controlled as

you." He put down the knife and ripped a baguette in half with

his fingers. With satisfaction he spread strawberry preserves

over the ends.

     Rene dug a finger under the pull-tab and ripped open the

package. Inside she found a black folder and two thick envelopes.

She slid them onto the table and opened the folder. Three

pictures greeted her, along with instructions. As she read the

instructions, she slid the envelopes to Bruce and one of the

pictures to Les.

     "Twenty American .999 fine gold Eagles and ten thousand

dollars," Bruce said as he quickly stacked the coins and counted
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           94

the hundred dollar bills. "I think gold is running around twenty-

two hundred right now. What do they want us to do?"

     Rene did not speak. Instead she handed the instructions to

Les and looked at the two photographs lying in front of her.

     Les passed the picture to Bruce before he answered, "Kill

Mister Peter Meirs."

     Rene cracked a boiled egg and began peeling the shell.

     Les read the instructions aloud. "Mister Meirs is believed

to be the reason both attempts on Kendra Makray’s life have

failed. During the first attempt, he arrived an hour too early.

On the second try, Mister Meirs proved to be a very accomplished


     Rene cleaned the egg and sprinkled it with salt and pepper

before she spoke. "A source I have cultivated says that she has

planned a pizza dinner in a southeast Denver suburb called

Parker. Pete and Kendra will be their guest. We’ll be able to

take out both Mister Meirs and Miss Makray when they leave.

She’ll be history," she added, "but we’ll have to go through

Mister Meirs to get to Kendra."

     Les slid the folder to Bruce. "We are to make it look like a

drive-by shooting. This suggests we hire a gang from the Denver

area. I received a name to contact. That person probably has a

gang already chosen for the job."

     "Why someone else?" Bruce protested. "Mister Hollen and I

can do the job. Hiring a third party can only cost us money and

create security leaks. This is getting messy."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           95

     She held up a hand for Bruce to stop. "Nevertheless, this is

what our employer wants. I don’t understand the logic, but for

now, we’ll do as ordered. If it gets messed up this time, it'll

be their fault. Then I may just do it myself and I won’t charge a

dime. But I agree with you, Bruce. The more people who get

involved, the more dangerous it is for us."

     Les tabled his orange juice, picked up his fork and speared

a cucumber. "I think we ought to provide the back-up, just in


     "The bright side," she said, "look on the bright side. These

plans permit you, all of us, not to be seen. You two are to fly

to Colorado Springs. After you rent a car, you'll drive to

Denver. You will make contact with the people they've hired. I’ll

make all the travel arrangements. Just deliver our detailed

instructions and the money. Then we'll all meet back in Parker."

She looked at the disappointment in their faces. "I can only

repeat myself. If this goes sour, it won’t be our fault. We will

be in the background. When this is over, I expect you both to

clean up the loose ends."

     "That’s more like it," Les said and went back to munching on

his strawberry covered French bread.

     "When do we go?" asked Bruce.

     "I’ll have all the details worked out by next week,"

answered Rene. She thought of her hidden arsenal. "A sawed off

shotgun will do nicely."

                              *      *   *
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           96

     "Next month we're scheduled to be in Israel," Pete said to

Jamison. "We apologize for not getting here yesterday, but her

car died. I'm sure you know what happened to us on the Boulder

Turnpike. But let's get to the heart of these problems. This has

been the second visit to your office in as many weeks." Pete's

voice revealed his anger. "Hasn't anyone come up with anything?

Right now, your investigation isn't giving us results. There have

been two attempts on her life and you guys haven't said or found

anything. You don't offer much encouragement."

     He searched the detective's face and eyes for signs of

negative body language as he spoke. The detective sat before him

as if cast in stone.

     Dressed in a dark rumpled suit, Jamison sat quietly behind a

cluttered desk listening. His eyes stared at a report of the

accident as Pete gave his umpteenth explanation of the incident.

     Pete continued. "Next month, the Israeli government is

dedicating their new temple. We're going." He paused to see if

Jamison had fallen asleep with his eyes open. "The guy's a

zombie," Pete growled under his breath.

     Kendra's soft voice finally brought movement to the

detective's eyes. "We’re expected to attend," she said. "It’s all

high level State Department stuff."

     Pete waited for her words to sink in. When it became

apparent they were not going to receive a positive reaction from

the detective; Pete shook his head in disgust. He thought of

something that might waken the walking dead. "Kendra expects the

Hebrew Feast of Trumpets to set off a nuclear war and the rapture
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           97

of the church all at the same time. She even believes it might be

this September."

     Pete noticed the angry look in Kendra's eyes, but she said

nothing. "The girl is a true scholar of the scriptures," he said.

"Too many times she has been proven one-hundred percent right. If

she's right on this, I think I'm going to get drunk."

     He hoped his words helped melt the daggers coming from her

eyes, but what was said was said. Pete returned to watching

Jamison and saw him look up from his papers at Kendra. The

detective still didn't change his facial expression or make a

comment, but his eyes were studying Kendra. Frustrated, Pete gave

up while noticing the angry look from Kendra. What did he do?

     Kendra held up a hand for everyone to stop talking. "Before

you say anything," she said, "I'd like to hear if you found

anything about the van that tried to kill us. The trip to Israel

is important, but that's some time off. Twice someone's tried to

kill me. Have you found anything?"

     "The answer is yes and no," Jamison announced.

     Pete looked at the man with amazement. Is this guy alive?
     "We found the van. Our people dusted it for prints. They

found nothing, not even a smeared fingerprint. Evidently the

vehicle's been run through a carwash with the windows open. When

we opened the glove box, soapy water poured out. Any prints that

existed were washed away."

     Kendra studied Jamison’s face. "Then do you know anything?"

     "Only that the van been stolen," Jamison replied.   He turned

to Pete. "I don’t know how you were able to keep from killing
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           98

yourself. Witnesses said you fishtailed off the road. They were

certain you crashed at the bottom. Then you appeared from nowhere

and threaded the needle between two construction trucks. You flew

over a mountain of dirt and landed on your wheels. Some of those

who were interviewed aren’t sure what they saw. It appears to be

too unbelievable."

     "Well, you can believe it, however they described it," Pete

said. "I’m just glad neither Esther nor Kendra was killed."

     "Then you drove up the exit ramp as if nothing happened,"

Jameson continued. "Even the road crew scratched their heads over

that one."

     The detective looked intently into Pete's eyes and leaned

forward. "Why did you drive away? I can still arrest you for

leaving the scene of an accident."

     Pete thought for a moment. "At the time I thought it was a

good idea to follow the van. But when I made it to the on ramp,

the van was gone. I never saw it again. So we came here and filed

our report. I’m convinced the attempt on Kendra’s life in her

home, and then this, are connected. I’ll be better prepared next

time. But what about her?" He looked at Kendra and reached for

her hand. "She needs protection."

     "I only know that there has been a murder attempt in her

home. The incident on the highway may have only been an accident.

Until I know it too was an attempt on her life, my hands are

tied. All I can do is file the information and note your

concerns. Until then, there isn’t much I can offer."

     "How about your resignation," Pete said sarcastically.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           99

     "Don't get smart with me, or I'll lock you up and throw away

the key."

     "All right! All right! How about the description I gave you

of the guy on the passenger side?"

     "We’re working on it."

     Disappointed, Pete stood to go. "You talk like you don’t

believe someone is out to get her. And this comment of a possible

murder attempt. You’re talking like she may have made up the

attempt to electrocute herself."

     Jamison looked directly at Kendra and stood up. "Did you?"

     "Now wait a minute," Pete shouted in Jamison's face as he

leaned over the desk.

     "Sit down, Mister Meirs. That's an order."

     "What kind of Cop-Shop is this? Someone tries to kill her in

her own home. Then they run us off the road, and you're saying

she made it all up."

     "Sit down Meirs. And keep your mouth shut." Jamison pointed

to the chair. "Sit! Or so help me, I’ll..."

     Pete fought back his frustration and the heat burning in his

eyes. Everything in him said, smash the face in front of him.

Only Kendra’s voice broke the tension.

     "Pete, sit down, Please."

     Pete shook his head as her voice slightly defused his anger.

He glared at the detective then looked away. The guy's an idiot.
     "I’m sorry," Kendra said. "We seem to hear the words, 'I'm

working on it a lot.' I know you have to look at all the angles,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          100

and if you could solve it, you would. Is there anything else you

need from us?"

     Jamison’s face softened. "Before either of you leave for

Israel, check with me. Maybe we’ll have something."

     Pete helped Kendra to her feet. "She’ll be staying at my

ranch for a couple of days, maybe a week. Other than that you'll

find her downtown at the weekly high school led revival on the

16th Street Mall."

     He looked at the detective and wondered why he wanted to

tell him anything. "I have a small place in Elbert County, right

where Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert meet. You have my address in

the report. If you want any information, you know where to reach

us. Call before you drive out."

     Kendra detected the anger in Pete rising again. She

attempted to add a little humor. At the same time she gave Pete a

subtle kick before speaking. "One-hundred and ten acres, two cows

and a tractor."

     Pete glanced at Kendra and saw anger. Her look told him to


     "Don't forget the chickens. They're mine too," Pete said. A

reluctant grin spread across his face as switched off his anger.

     "I’ve been pretty lucky since I met this lady. I even asked

her to marry me."

     For the first time, Pete saw a pleasant reaction to his

words. He even saw a sliver of a smile appear in Jamison's lips.

     "She even said yes, once," he continued. "After we returned

to the States, she saw something that gave her cold feet. If she
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          101

ever says yes again, I'll make it happen so fast she'll not have

a chance to back down."

     This time he looked at Kendra, hoping she'd take what he was

saying as a proposal. "I’d marry her on the spot. We’d move so

far away no one would ever find us."

     As they left the police station Pete asked a question about

the angry look she gave him.

     "I said something back there that didn't sit well with you.

You want to talk about it?"

     "I don't remember," she said in complete honesty.

     "Well I said something, because I saw a pretty dark look

coming from you. I'd like to know what it was."

     Kendra thought for a moment. "It was your remark about my


     "Your belief?" Pete looked puzzled by whatever he said.

     Kendra spoke without turning as they walked to his truck.

"The Feast of Trumpets corresponding to the seven trumpets of the

Book of Revelations is now called Rosh Hashanah," she said

crisply. Remember?"

     Pete scratched his head as he tried to recall the words he

used. He confessed he was at a loss, so he figured that it was

how he said it. Confused, he simply offered an apology. "I'm

sorry. I spoke out of line. But in all honesty, I really don't

understand the Jewish New Years, Rosh sh-Shana, or whatever it's

called. I just don't see how those trumpets relate to anything.

I'm sorry I said something that was disagreeable."

     "Well it hurt and it was uncalled for."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         102

     "You're right. I'm sorry," he said again, this time with

real feeling, and still trying to recall what he said.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          103

     Chapter 7

     The rising orb of an orange sun peaked above the clear

eastern horizon as Elijah exited the black private jet. The rain-

laden clouds were a stark contrast to clear skies and morning sun

at ten thousand meters. But he was in Germany, almost the center

of his power base. Millions throughout Europe followed him as if

he were god himself.

     Hanging on his every word they practiced what he preached.

In one case they actually died for him. It was the time when

three hundred of his followers blockaded the London World Trade

conference. Twelve protesters chained themselves to the main gate

and doused themselves with petrol. The police moved in and a

match was lit. Those followers died as a lasting memorial to the

child labor and sweatshops of Asia.

     That conference collapsed, as did much of the influence of

the so-called New World Order. There never will be a world order

that can stand up to people who are willing to die for their

beliefs. Especially, he thought, especially when we know we're

     With quiet satisfaction Elijah walked the two hundred meters

to the waiting helicopter.

     The initial flight from Newark to Munich took ten hours.

This flight in the helicopter would be much less; and though he

slept a few hours on the transatlantic flight, he felt the

weariness of so much travel. His presence had been requested by

the Adephi Foundation, a multi-billion dollar foundation for the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          104

advancement of international cooperation, and he wished he rested

more soundly through the Atlantic crossing. Yet, the excitement

now of meeting one of the world's richest men stirred his blood.

     Flying in an aircraft equipped with the finest luxuries made

all the difference in the world. Obviously the Prime Minister of

Austria, Archduke Daniel Von Resh, the current leader of the

World Trade Organization, knows how to live. With my powers and

his money, I might just become the most influential man in the


     He walked briskly to the waiting helicopter. The flight to

the Austrian region of Kleinwalsertal was expected to take no

more than thirty minutes. Yet he felt a growing irritation that

the trip would take so long. He attributed the tension he felt to

a growing impatience to meet the ruler of corporations and

government. He wanted to visit with the duke. He wanted to get

started. He wanted to talk about the environment.

     This world is running out of natural resources, and it is

time that we woke up. The Adephi Center is predicting the world

has ten more years of cheap oil production left. Even though that

does not include the newly discovered huge Israeli field. The

oceans of the world were only given twenty years at the most to

be fruitful. And at the rate the most productive farmlands were

being depleted by the over use of herbicides and pesticides,

billions of lost souls would be starving by 2050. He attributed

most of the destruction to the introduction of the genetically

altered crops during the late nineties. By his most conservative
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          105

figures, starvation was expected to decrease the world's

population by six billion souls.

     He heard that Von Resh possessed a plan for that fateful

time. He proposed that every commodity, every product, every

person; all needed to carry a permanent bar code identification,

impervious to forgery. From World Trade (WT) administration

centers around the world, his investigators were instructed to

identify companies, employment, and environmental practices

detrimental to the earth, the economy, and surviving power

centers. All these plans came from a man not thirty years old and

who is a product of genetic research.

      Those who did not receive the WT bar code that Von Resh

offered could not do business in the worlds approved product

supply chain. In effect, those who disobeyed the plan might cease

to exist - not by military might, but by simple supply and

demand. Von Resh argued that the need to survive and flourish

will dictate national and corporate compliance.

     The pilot pointed to his earphones and interrupted Elijah's

musings. He placed the headset on and listened.

     "Our flight path will follow Highway 19 until it arrives at

the Austrian border. From there we follow Road 201."

     Elijah waited for more but saw the pilot ignore the

questions in his eyes. In relative silence, with only the whine

of the turbine motor and the waap-waap of the propellers, Elijah

studied the passing farms.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          106

     They flew over a long alpine valley dotted with small farms.

Countryside villas lay in harmony with the densely forested

mountain slopes.

     He wasn't sure of their direction, but they seemed to be

heading east, toward a small mountain range. Beyond that range,

the mighty Austrian Alps rose rugged and snow-capped.

     Fifteen minutes into the flight, they circled a forest-

covered hill and the pilot tapped Elijah’s headset. "They are not

yet ready for us," he said. "We will circle until we can land."

     Elijah scanned the ground and the large modern villa below.

"Six limousines filled with men and women. From the distance,

Elijah made out a man who resembled the American Secretary of

State. Two small American flags flapping in the breeze sat on the

limo's front fenders.

     As they flew a larger circle around the complex, Elijah

notices numerous stands of dying trees. He hadn't seen them

earlier. He realized that the reports of air-born industrial

pollution taking a terrible toll on the Austrian and German

forests were understated. It was made more serious when a nuclear

powerplant in Northern Spain erupted in flames. Of course the

repeated use of America to use designer neutron bombs in

assassinating terrorist leaders in their camps didn't help.

     "What a shame," he murmured.

     Elijah felt the psychic energies rising within him, along

with the desire to do something to save the trees. It meant only

one thing to him. God wanted him to use his powers to heal.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          107

     "But the task is so great," he answered aloud to the unseen

force quickening his spirit. "I can't do it alone."

     The helicopter circled until all the cars drove away.

Finally it landed in a spacious courtyard. Two men, whom Elijah

assumed were part of the staff, hurried from the villa's steps. A

third man waited at the top.

     The helicopter door snapped open, and the two waiting by the

landing pad hurried forward and helped Elijah step from the

craft. Without speaking, they immediately removed his luggage.

The man standing above the stair held out a hand and beckoned

Elijah towards him.

     As Elijah ascended the steps, the man greeted him.

     "My master is so pleased that you accepted his invitation.

I'm Eric Von Conig, Mister Von Resh's personal secretary. If you

would follow me, Mister Resh is expecting you."

     Elijah heard the name and wondered what happened to the

distinguished title. Not very European, he thought.
     The secretary led Elijah into the house and through the

green Italian marble foyer. Maybe he needed to charge more for

his speaking fees. This entry was bigger than the apartment he


     Another man stood waiting at the far end. "This gentleman

will take you to Mister Von Resh."

     The sound of chamber music greeted Elijah as the man, whom

Elijah guessed to be a security officer, led him through a

cavernous ballroom to two large paneled doors. The security
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          108

officer removed a small electronic remote from his pocket and the

doors slid apart.

     The man stopped at the doors and let Elijah enter. The doors

closed silently behind him and he now stood in the entrance of a

large well-stocked library. In the center six high-backed leather

chairs formed a circle.

     Two men and one woman appeared from their oversized leather

chairs. They stood and faced him, as a third man, tall and large

boned with a strong jaw stood, smiled, and said something to the


     "Rabbi Elijah Ben-Yosaf."

     The tall man dressed in a dark blue suit strode toward him

as he spoke. A wide smile filled his face. He resembled an

American presidential candidate - confident, affable, charming,

and charismatic. Elijah felt amazed by the feeling he felt for a

man he never met.

     "Let me introduce you to my guests. I'm Daniel Resh, and

these are two of my closest associates, the German Minister of

State, Ms. Lois Bain, and the American Secretary of State, Mister

Jergan Albright. I feel sure I can speak for all of us. We are

very delighted that you came."

     Elijah studied Resh's charismatic face. His wavy black hair,

and his wide eyes, all complemented by a healthy tan and by his

athletic walk. The man obviously was not the normal pasty looking

politician he was accustomed to seeing. He guessed Resh to be

around 195 centimeters. He translated that to be about six and a
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          109

half feet. His weight seemed close to six and one-half kilo or

something a little over two hundred pounds.

     Von Resh reached out a hand to shake Elijah's. When their

hands gripped, Elijah knew the man was all muscle.

     Mister Albright spoke. "Elijah Ben-Yosaf, I asked Mister

Resh to use his resources to arrange this meeting."

     Elijah listened to Mister Albright but his eyes found

themselves compelled to return to Von Resh's.

     "I am glad you invited me," Elijah said as he willed himself

to concentrate on Mister Albright. Finally he stopped fighting

the impulse and turned to face Von Resh. There was something very

strange about this man. Elijah knew it. This man was the leader

of these three, yet it was Albright who invited him. Maybe that

wasn't entirely correct.

     As they stood facing each other, Elijah sensed a force

coming from Von Resh, something reaching out to him. And his mind

was being filled with all types of visions. Elijah knew they were

not his. Von Resh. Somehow this man sent thoughts into his mind.

It was as if there was an instant clairvoyant connection between


     "I understand you speak fluent German," said Von Resh.

     Von Resh's voice carried charisma. This man possessed

authority and charm. But there existed something stronger and

magnetic. Von Resh looked into his eyes as if peering into his


     "I am delighted you accepted my invitation on such short

notice. Let me introduce you to my associates. First, I must warn
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          110

you that like you, my associates possess some very unusual

abilities. Unfortunately, their respective duties demand their

presence for success. They will be forced to leave in a few

hours. But for the moments we have, I hope you come to enjoy them

as much as I do."

     Von Resh took Elijah's arm and led him to four seats

arranged by a roaring fireplace. "Please, let us sit and I will

tell you why I asked for you to travel so far. I wish to

personally present you with a proposition."

     Elijah listened with growing excitement, as Von Resh

explained. At the same time strange feelings and thoughts filled

his mind as the man spoke. Continuously, Elijah felt other, more

foreign thoughts, intruding over his own. Since childhood he

found himself sensitive to thoughts appearing from nowhere and

influencing his action. Now others in this room were using their

minds to influence his.

     When Von Resh paused, Elijah asked, "And you wish that I

join with you as you fulfill your responsibility to the World

Trade Organization?"

     "Yes, that is precisely what I propose. Together we will, we

must, change the world. With your powers and my organization and

influence we might even save this planet. It 'will' be for the

betterment of mankind."

     Von Resh emphasized the word "will".

     "I have been waiting for one such as you to appear," Von

Resh continued. "As you know I am the son of Ludwig Von Resh.

More accurately I am his clone, albeit our genetic researcher has
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          111

improved on the genetic model by adjusting certain DNA branches

that have created within me unusual powers. I must say I am very

pleased with the results. My intelligence is beyond measurement.

I have tremendous recuperative powers and stamina, and I have

been cloned with powers that my fathers only dreamt about.

     "But enough about me. Ancient prophecies have foretold that

together you and I will see all the powers we possess increase

ten fold. If you accept and we join together, we will provide

political and spiritual direction to a lost and dying world.

Those who oppose us will not prevail. Elijah, your influence is

great. It dazzles many. But together, when we combine our powers

and abilities, we can capture the hearts and minds of billions.

     "They will hang on your every word. You will do miracles

that no one will ever duplicate. A thousand years from now, they

will write songs, plays, and stories about you. Elijah, I have a

vision, that working together, we'll turn this planet into

Utopia. I don't completely know where this will all lead, but I

assure you that together we will speed along to a tomorrow which

is wondrous and rich."

     Elijah studied Von Resh and his two associates. "I find the

thought of working to build a financial empire somewhat empty and

cold. You are asking me to join to become wealthier. Is that not

correct? I have enough."

     Confusing thoughts entered Elijah's mind. It was obvious

that someone was upset with Elijah's answer.

     "I see I have misjudged you," Von Resh said as he remembered

the lectures Elijah gave. This magician with unworldly powers
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          112

believed in the environment and giving this planet a second

chance. This man also believes in getting even. His reports on

Elijah revealed the man held a personal vendetta against some

woman who seriously embarrassed him. Elijah, a wolf in sheep's

clothing, Von Resh laughed to himself.

     "Let me be frank," Von Resh continued, "I am sorry to have

insulted you by dangling wealth and fame before you. It is true

they will exist. What I truly want is universal peace. I want a

planet where people can work and play and produce a good life for

themselves or their families. You probably noticed the dying

trees around my estate. I want a clean earth, a safe earth. That

might mean the populations within a particular nation-state will

have to forgo some of the freedoms they've grown to believe are

inalienable rights, given by some obsolete god. I want an

environment, just as you do, that preserves this planet for the

next generation, and I want us to make that happen. I need you by

my side. Elijah, working together we will save civilization from

the exploits of unscrupulous men. I believe that the forces of

God have chosen us for this time. Everything in my life is

leading me to this fulfillment. We will protect this earth. We

will lead men's hearts to God. We will protect the temple we have

within us. We will bring a religion that will unify the world.

     "As you know I was instrumental in developing a peace treaty

in the Middle-East that everyone was able to accept. I became a

Muslim to the Muslims, a Christian to the Christians and a Hebrew

to the Jews. I am even a Buddha to the Buddhist. I am Austria,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          113

the melting pot of every major religion. I am all things to every


     Elijah picked up the excitement from those within the room.

From outside his mind came the feelings to join Von Resh on a

march into history. He decided to speak of other things.

     "I believe I've heard you have done wondrous things to help

build the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem."

     "Yes, that has been one of my political triumphs. I am also

trying to set aside the city of Jerusalem as an international

city. After the last war, the United Nation's resolution 600

allowed the city to remain Israeli. The police will be half

composed of Israeli and Europeans will wear the famous Euro beret

and insignia.

     "Without my efforts this arrangement would still be only a

thought, something on the drawing boards. The Jewish State has

recognized my efforts to bring peace to that city, and it is only

on their urging that I have tried. They have accepted me and

trust me as one of their own. I have even shown them my genealogy

that traces my blood back to the last king of Israel."

     "Are you Jewish?"

     "No, I am Israeli. Thousands of years ago, Israel was broken

into two states. One was Israel, and the other was called Judah.

After Israel was destroyed and taken into captivity by the

Assyrian King, Shalmaneser, my ancestors traveled to Greece, then

to Sicily, to Spain and finally to Ireland. Nineteen hundred

years ago my bloodline moved to Austria and we have been here

ever since."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          114

     Elijah rebelled at the intrusions into his mind. But as Von

Resh spoke, the pressures grew stronger. Elijah shook his head in

an effort to sling the thoughts away.

     For a moment he succeeded. His mind was clear. Then the

forces and thoughts rushed in. They're doing it again, he

thought. I'm not going to sit here and put up with this.

     Elijah shifted uncomfortably in his seat as Von Resh

finished telling about his bloodline, as if anyone cared. Then

the thoughts vanished. The pressures were gone. This was no time
to lose control. There's more than I'm hearing from this man.

     "Now back to your fears," Von Resh continued. "Wealth is of

minor benefit to me. Personally, I have no need for more. Kings,

Prime Ministers and Presidents already accept my suggestions.

That is reward enough."

     Elijah saw a smile skip across Von Resh's lips then vanish.

     Resh continued. "Since the 1980's, the world has been on a

fast track toward sorely needed unified rule. It achieved great

success from 1999 until 2007, until that cursed comet hit. After

the invasion of Israel, the seventh world government of this now

ravaged world has disintegrated. I know that together we can

rebuild and bring greatness from the ashes. We will produce

political amalgamations that will deliver true universal peace.

But first we, you and I, must be unselfishly united. It will be

good for the common people. It will be good for the environment.

It will be good for business. We will save the planet.

     "At this moment, to a moderate extent, the foreign ministers

of the seven most powerful nations must worry about their spheres
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          115

of influence. Only these two, my most trusted helpers have caught

the vision. We will use the egos, intelligence, and unceasing

energies of the others to fulfill the dream. This world only

lacks one thing, a leader who can unify them. It may require a

problem so great, that all their pettiness will pale in

comparison. You and I might be forced to create the climate that

will drive them to us. From that beginning we will lead them to a

new horizon. It will benefit everyone. Together I offer you my

vision, a vision that will also bring unlimited control. We might

have to create a political void which we alone can fill."

     Elijah listened, and felt the gentle ebb and flow of mental

probing within his mind. At least the pressures were not as great

as before. One or both of Von Resh's associates was apparently

tiring of the probing.

     "There are many powerful forces," Von Resh said, "forces

that will stand in our way. The criminal sector is well

organized. They will not want to share the power they have

killed, bought, and paid for. But I have a plan so all

encompassing that they will beg us to provide stability."

     Von Resh paused and Elijah's eyes drifted toward the fire.

     "Please excuse me," Resh said. "I have been rude. I was so

excited to ask for your time, that I forgot to allow you to

freshen up."

     Von Resh stood and offered his hand to Elijah. "Let me show

you to your room. We shall be having refreshments and the evening

meal in two hours."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          116

     Von Resh returned to his associates and discussed the

probing of Elijah's mind.

     "Do you think he will join us?" asked Von Resh.

     Albright answered first. "He is the one we've been

expecting. He too believes that his life has been ordered by a

higher power. He also is dismayed that the public is more

interested in seeing him do a trick, such as bringing fire down

from space, than in financing his concerns about the environment

and feeding hungry children. He is so physically unattractive

that I first felt doubts. As I probed his mind and saw his heart,

I sensed his destiny. I am surer than ever before he is the one.

I believe this man is essential to your plans."

     "I concur," said Bain. "The future will be unstoppable when

you and Rabbi Elijah become a team. I hesitate to call him a

rabbi since his training and background is so murky. But I do see

the amalgamation of your forces with his as essential for

bringing about a lasting world order. I too noticed that Elijah

is obsessed with the environment. The words you spoke weigh

heavily on his soul. When you talked about the planet, you became

a breath of fresh air to him. I also discovered something else.

It may be something that makes Elijah erratic. He is obsessed

with the destruction of a woman named Kendra Makray. He sees her

powers as being equal to his, though she isn't aware of their

existence. She has repeatedly humiliated him in public. His

obsession with her could be his Achilles heel."

     "Yes, I know all about her. Her discovery of the Ark of the

Covenant has created an unbearable weight to carry in
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          117

international affairs. Sometimes I think the Israeli government

is truly worthy of elimination. They are insistent in getting

their demands met, all because of that cursed ark. All the Oslo

agreements, except the PLO capital at Abu Dis, have been

essentially scrapped. Israel has thumbed its nose at our

community of nations too many times. When they complete their

cursed temple, they will become even more insufferable."

                              *       *   *

     Elijah sat at the long table as servers brought food for him

to taste. Between sampling food and having the servers place

selected items on his plate, he spoke with his host.

     "Before we precede any further, Mister Resh, you seem to

know a lot about me. Yet I know nothing about you. True you have

offered me an opportunity to join in your vision of the world,

but you have never yet shown me who you really are."

     "Fair enough Rabbi, but be patient with me. Before this

night is over, you will see a token demonstration of what I can

do. Already, you have felt the mental powers of my associates. I

assure you, mine are much greater."

     Elijah felt the anger rising in him as his competitive

nature rose to the challenge. "I must warn you," he said. "I do

not easily succumb to simple-minded tricks."

     "Nor do I use them so whimsically. You already know about

those who have been prepared for the coming of the Anointed One."

     "Yes, I have read about it, but I've never read who these

individuals are."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          118

     "I am," answered Resh, "one of the chosen.   There are ten of

us. We have been prepared for that moment when God will come to

the earth and inhabit a human body. Because of my supernatural

powers and clarity of mind, I was selected when I reached three

years of age. The prophets tell us that the Messiah must suffer

and die, but on the third day he will rise again."

     Von Resh studied Elijah's body for any signs of disturbance.

At the same time he gently probed Elijah's mind, searching for


     Finding acceptance and openness he continued. "If I am

chosen to lead this world into a thousand year reign of peace,

freedom, and security, I have need of one such as you."

     A butler entered the room and Resh rose and beckoned to

Elijah and the others, "But first, let us eat."

     Von Resh walked over to Elijah and warmly grasped his arm.

"I have learned that you like a very special Middle Eastern meal.

I think you will be pleased by my cook's ability to prepare a

rice-lamb feast that will have you eating a third helping."

     *      *   *

     The meal ended at ten o'clock and Elijah sat in his suite,

exhausted. "I must consult my guiding spirit," he said as they

led him to his room. "I will let you know my decision in the


     With that answer, Elijah retired to his room.

     At midnight, the grandfather clock in his room softly struck

its tones and Elijah found it impossible to sleep. Every time he

closed his eyes, he saw Von Resh staring back at him, beckoning
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          119

him. In the morning I need to hear what Mister Resh is going to

do for me, Elijah thought. He will need to prove himself with

more than a few mental tricks. These tricks may have mesmerized

his international constituents, but he's never revealed anything

special. I think I've been invited to the house of a crackpot.

It's time to get back to my schedule.

     Frustrated by his inability to sleep, Elijah threw the

covers off and walked to the French doors leading to his private

patio. He opened them and closed his eyes. The cool night air

flowing over his face felt refreshing. Yet something nagged at

his mind, like a force bearing down on him. He snapped his eyes


     Startled, he stumbled back and covered his face with his

hands. He willed his powers to protect him and mentally push at

the object floating just beyond the patio.

     "Do not be afraid. I wish you no harm," Von Resh said


     Elijah looked at his host, floating cross-legged six feet

above the stone wall.

     Von Resh smiled and drifted closer. "I’ve been waiting for

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          120

     Chapter 8

     Bruce shot an angry stare at Les, his foot rotating in a

circle. Then he kicked Les before whispering his warning, his

lips curling as he spoke. "You better eat that pizza, Mister

Hollen. You’re looking unnatural."

     "Angry is more like it," Les replied as he controlled his

voice and the irritation eating his insides. "Having to hire

three punks to do a job that we should be doing. I can't blame

Rene for fuming."

     "You're just being protective. Rene will be okay. She's a

real pro."

     "Doesn’t it bother you that someone forced us to hire them?"

     "Yes, but I trust Rene. If these guys succeed, so be it. If

they fail, consider them expendable."

     "As long as we don't end up being the ones being expended."

     Both men traveled to Denver and rented a car at Denver

International. After driving to Parker, Colorado, they now sat in

the House of Pizza, located in the Safeway Shopping Center. The

booth they chose for this mission allowed them two views of Peter

Meirs, Kendra Makray, and their friends, as they ate pizza and

salads. Bruce used the window to keep an eye on their prey. The

evening darkness and the bright lights inside the restaurant

turned the window into black mirrors.

     Les shifted his eyes from directly watching Peter Meirs as

the man picked up a fresh slice from the pan. At the same time

Les tried to hear the conversation being directed toward Pete.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          121

     "You're right, Mister Crum." His position did not allow him

to use the window that Bruce easily used to his advantage. He

thought he'd been discreet until Bruce kicked him in the shin.

     He shifted in his seat and sat sideways. His feet now hung

over the end of the bench and dangled above the aisle, safe from

another disturbing kick. It became difficult to control his

excitement when he saw Pete wipe his mouth, indicating he might

be completing the meal.

     "We've been here too long. I wish I could hear what they're

talking about."

     "Forget it Les. Let them enjoy their last meal."

     Bruce ignored Les' advice and focused his hearing to the

conversation. Pete sat laughing at the words of the other man

seated at the table. Bruce shifted again, leaning his head

slightly forward.

     "I swear," said the other man loudly to Pete. "They're on to


     Kendra laughed and asked, "What was that guy's name again?"

     Steve turned to the side and faced Kendra. "Issac Wyman and

a Ginger Sanchez. They're both theoretical spherical geometry

mathematicians at Princeton. He and the lady authored an article

saying that they've discovered in a mathematical model of a

universe that has multiple dimensions, maybe twenty-nine of them,

and that the fifth through the tenth contains all the known laws

of the physical universe."

     Pete touched Steve's arm. "Tell her the heavy stuff. Kendra

will get a kick out of it."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          122

     Steve's excitement grew as he continued. "These brains say

that they built their Unified Relational Theory upon Quantum

Physics. In Quantum they believe ten plus dimensions exist. In

the new theory, Wyman and Sanchez's, they show a most fascinating

thing in dimensions 5 through 10. These six dimensions hold all

the known laws in our four dimensional universe. Length, breadth

and width measure everything we understand. When we put in time

we have four dimensions. But in 5 through 10, in a hierarchy of

laws, they've mathematically discovered the laws governing light,

electricity, gravity, everything and anything important to man.

The laws are built in layers. The most important, the weakest

laws, sits at the top. When you remove an upper level law, a weak

one, a whole slew of laws ceases to work. But if you remove a

lower level law, say the law of nuclear fission, only it ceases

to work. Yet these laws never go away. The one that ceases to

work just rolls up like a scroll and is now unusable. Then when

something even greater excites it, like from a higher level, it

unrolls and becomes workable again."

     Steve's eyes widened as he looked at everyone sitting at the

table. "Isn't that exciting? And their theories on the three

dimensions of time are downright stunning. Think of it. We only

know of time moving in a singular, sequential fashion. One second

leads to another until we make a minute, then an hour, and a

lifetime. But think of being able to travel perpendicular to that

timeline. A person could travel a thousand years in an instant.

However in the one-dimensional timeline they will travel only a

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          123

     "These people are actually predicting that we can travel

1,000 times faster than the speed of light. Already their

experiments are showing light traveling 500 times faster than the

constant for light."

     "Really exciting," laughed a confused Lora who looked

downright bored. She looked at her sister and caught a strange

expression in her face.

     Steve tapped the table for everyone's attention. "You don't

get it. Think of what these people have discovered. If the

physicist and engineer can figure out how to apply it, science

will have conquered gravity. We'll have warp drive for space

travel. All they have to figure out is how to place this

disruption in the natural laws around a person, or a spaceship."

Steve floated his hands upward. "Then if we switch a law off and

on at our command, this Old World will have advanced beyond its

wildest dreams. They could even change the color of the sky."

     "Yeah!" Kendra added. "I just realized something. The Bible

says that this is going to happen someday."

     "What?" asked Lora. Her face wrinkled in confusion as she

tried to figure out what her sister was talking about.

     "The Bible knew that thousands of years ago." She looked at

everyone's faces and saw everyone staring back at her. She

started to laugh but held back the chuckle trying to explode from

within and continued. "In the Book of Revelations it tells of the

sky rolling up like a scroll."

     Steve waved his hands and couldn't control himself. "That

shows you they are right,” he said excitedly. "The Space Brothers
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          124

knew about this dimensional stuff thousands of years ago. They

must have been the ones who dictated the Bible."

     Kendra shook her head no to protest but didn't speak.

     "All I see," answered Lora, the excitement and rightness

growing in her voice, "is that someday we're going to figure out

how to really destroy this world. People'll go crazy with that

much power. I won't have enough space in my office to treat


     Pete laughed as he glanced at Lora and finished his last

bite. "That's our cue to leave," he chuckled. His eyes locked

briefly with a man sitting next to the windows. "I don't think

this place can stand Steve's deep thinking."

     Everyone chuckled except Steve who wanted to talk more about

the Wyman - Sanchez Unified theory. Pete pushed his chair back to

get up.

     "What are they talking about?" asked Les.

     "I haven't the foggiest," answered Bruce, "something about

some scientist and the sky rolling up."

     Les shot a glance in Pete's direction totally confused.

Without asking more, he sipped on his Pepsi.

     "I think they’re finished," he whispered to Bruce. "Make the


     Bruce swallowed and gulped down some Pepsi. After patting

his lips clean with a napkin, he unclipped the cellular phone

from his belt and typed a number onto the keypad. The phone on

the other end rang twice then a male voice answered.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          125

     "Yeah!" the voice said. "Speak."

     Bruce caught himself sneering at the person on the other end

of the line. Teenage punks, he thought with disgust. They're not

even civilized. He thought of Rene waiting behind the building

with a shotgun. Maybe she'll get a chance to fill their brains

with shot.

     He composed himself before he gave the message to the

listener. "They’re almost done," he announced softly. "Don’t hang

up. Stay on the line and I’ll let you know when they get up to

leave. It could be any moment."

     He studied the reflection in the window and saw Meirs shift

around in his seat until Peter faced away. Kendra, the real

purpose for the trip, sat across the table, facing Pete. A little

girl sat between them. He knew all three, due to the failed


     Next to Kendra sat a woman, he guessed to be Lora, Kendra’s

sister. If it was Lora, then seated next to her was her husband,

Steve. He watched Pete describe with animation something that

happened to him. The only words Bruce understood were Cluck!

Cluck! Cluck!"

     Bruce shook his head in disgust. The guy's a hick farmer.
This is going to be easy.

     Then everyone at Pete’s table broke out laughing.

     Bruce snickered softly as he thought, He'll squeal like a

pig if I kill him.

     Les motioned for the waitress and reached for his wallet. He

pulled out a couple of dollars for a tip and a twenty for the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         126

check. As he replaced his wallet into his pocket, he studied the

activities of three other groups. "This place is a regular family

watering hole."

     He glanced at those seated with Pete and Kendra. A twisted

smile crossed his lips as something struck him funny. "I suspect,

Mister Crum, everyone here will have indigestion in another


     Bruce smiled at Les' wit and gave a laughing reply.

"Probably puke their guts out, Mister Hollen. If the punks

outside shoot him in the right spot, maybe his brains will

splatter across the window. What a sight that will be. I’ll bet

you lunch tomorrow that these fine folks will need counseling for

a month. Makes me feel good that we help the economy. On the

other hand, all that bawling and screaming, makes you want to

shoot'em all. Ye gads, I’m glad we're not going to stay and watch

the final act of this play."

     He glanced at the side door that he and Les planed to exit.

It led to a dark parking lot. The lone streetlight over their car

was conveniently shot out a day earlier. The main door, the one

which Kendra and friends would exit, led into the shopping

center. The routine that Pete was expected to follow called for

him to walk to his car, three stores away. That meant he'd be a

sitting duck for the punks waiting out front.

     Bruce glanced at Kendra. "I hope the three stoneagers we

hired can improvise." He began explaining to the man on the line

that he wanted them to get one additional target.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          127

     Bruce looked at the phone with disgust. Then he repeated the

question he heard them ask, "How much? Hold on a minute."

     He looked at Les while covering the phone with his hand.

"The punks want another four thousand. If I get to their van

before they leave the parking lot, I’ll kill'em all. I even heard

one of them laughing when this jerk demanded the money."

     "We can’t argue right now," Les replied. "We’re out of


     Bruce raised the telephone to his mouth. "We’ll pay. But you

punks better not mess up."

     "We can’t miss," the voice said.

     Something in the tone of the voice disturbed Bruce. The guy

was too flippant, totally overconfident.

     "It’s too easy," the voice continued. "Have the eight

thousand ready."

     "I’ve given you four. You’ll get the remainder after you

kill them both."

     "Okay, okay," the voice said. "Give me another description

of him. What is he wearing? I need to know what color shirt he

has on."

     Bruce described Pete twice to make sure they understood his

description. When he finished, he noticed his hand shaking from

the anger within. "Where'd you find these guys?" asked Bruce as

he muffled the phone.

     "You can’t get good help anymore," Les replied. "All they

know is what they see in the movies. The schools don't teach'em
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          128

anything. They've got no character. But they're the best I could

get on such short notice."

     Les noticed the anger growing in his partner's eyes. "Relax,

Mister Crum. When we pay them the extra four, we’ll clean up,

just like Rene said."

     Bruce chuckled softly. "So treacherous, Mister Hollen. I

cherish the thought." He slowly rotated his neck to relax the

tension he felt. Without thinking he picked up another slice of

pizza. After a long sip of Pepsi a broad smile filled his face.

"I think I'll donate some of their money to my favorite


     Les heard the scrape of chairs at Pete’s table. He stole a

quick look, and then tapped the table. "They’re getting up."

     Bruce dropped his pizza and studied the reflection in the

window. He spoke into the phone with a whisper. "Get ready.

They’re leaving. I’ll let you know when they get to the door." He

looked knowingly at Les and cupped the mouthpiece. "You better

pay the bill."

     Les moved quickly to the cash register.

     Lora excused herself as she went to the restroom and Pete

headed to the register to pay the bill.

     Kendra watched Esther take a long sip of soda then asked

Steve, "Have you finished the book?"

     Steve glanced toward the door into the restroom. "Yeah! It's

great. If even half of what I've read is true There is a

possibility that all I'm hearing is wrong and that the Bible, at

least the Old Testament, is true. The biggest thing that has me
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          129

scared is that there really is a God working in the affairs of

man. That's really scary."

     Kendra smiled a deep smile of satisfaction. "As they say in

Proverbs and the Psalms, the fear of God is the beginning of all


     "I guess so," Steve replied. "I've written down everything

in chronological order that has been prophesied, even the stuff

that has come to pass. It makes for scary reading. The next ten

years could be the end of the world."

     "The world is not going to end," Kendra emphasized. "It's

just getting ready to move into another age. Man has been doing

it his way for six thousand years. Excluding the technological

growth, all it has brought is disease, wars by the thousands,

pain and suffering. If it wasn't for God's intervention giving

peace, security, and direction to people's lives, we'd have self-

destructed a long time ago. The only question I have is why it

has taken six thousand years to get to the point that God is

about to take over this old world."

     "That's a good question. There's been too much hurt and

dying. If you can answer that, I'd like to hear it."

     "The best answer I've got is, since God doesn’t lie, He's

made promises, said things that have to be completed before he

takes the world back. When He made Adam and Eve, He gave the

world to them. But they disobeyed His instructions and ended up

giving the title deed of the world to an evil spirit, Lucifer,

the Devil."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          130

     "Yeah, I guess so," answered Steve in thought. "Maybe that's

how it all happened. I'll have to read more. I might even buy the

computer CD, and then I can research it for myself."

     "If I remember correctly, those search programs only work on

the Hebrew text in the Torah, the Jewish Bible."

     "The one I'm thinking of buying has an English translation.

Hopefully I don't have to learn Hebrew. I've got to learn a

little more about it though. If it's all that it's made out to

be, I'll get it."

     "Well, if you buy it, let me know. I've got some ideas that

I'd like to run through the program."

     Standing at the counter, waiting for the cashier, Les felt

the presence of someone close behind him. He turned around on the

pretext of looking at his table and saw Peter Meirs behind him.

Les caught his breath and tried not to show his nervousness. The

thought of pulling his gun and shooting Pete and then Kendra

gained momentum in him. It would be so easy. But he suppressed

the growing desire and turned back to the register.

     Still, it took all his power to keep from pulling the pistol

and killing them both right now. He saw it being played out in

his mind's eye. After Pete went down, he'd run over and pop

Kendra between the eyes. The next image he saw was of old Les

standing behind bars. Still, the job would be done, even if it

weren't the way Rene planned.

     "They’re always a little slow," Pete said.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          131

     Les cleared his thoughts and tried to smile. He gave a quick

glance over his shoulder and turned back to the register.

     Les' hand slowly slipped into his jacket and gripped the gun

hanging below his left armpit. The pressure to kill was growing

by leaps and bounds. A cold wave cleared his thoughts. He spied

Pete's fanny pack. It was a type he himself often carried. The

guy's packing heat.

     Les removed his hand from inside his jacket and turned back

to his prey. His button eyes stared for a long second into

Pete's. What Les saw reminded him of an old friend that he and

Bruce once called Evil Eyes. Evil possessed the nicest laughing

eyes until he became defensive, or you looked too long into them.

What you saw was death. Pete’s eyes reminded him of Evil’s cool,

piercing, ready-to-spring, and death-giving stare. Evil was a

natural born killer. If the eyes are windows to the soul, then

this Peter Meirs flashed danger.

     Les smiled. "Eat and wait," he said.

     He watched Peter nod then say, "There's someone coming right


     Les reached for the back of his head, rubbing his ponytail.

He didn't like having Meirs so close to him. After acknowledging

Pete’s comment, he nodded his head and said in a quiet voice.

"Every time we stop here, and it comes time to pay the bill, a

pizza seems to be coming out of the oven. It does get annoying."

     "Here he comes," Pete said and watched the man with the pony

tail turn back to the approaching manager. Something flickered in
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                        132

Pete’s memory. He'd seen this guy before. Probably in Safeway, he

thought. The uneasy feeling didn't go away.

     "Was everything okay?" the manager asked.

     The sound of the manager's voice replaced Pete’s thoughts.

He waited for Mister Pony Tail to receive his change.

     Les hurried back to Bruce, who still sat at the booth,

taking a final sip of his drink. "That was too close," he said.

"I hope he doesn’t remember me." He stood staring into the

window, watching Pete’s reflection. "Get ready Mister Crum. It is

time for us to make an exit."

     Bruce watched Pete from his peripheral vision. He turned his

head a little so he could see Kendra and the others. Then he

spoke into the phone. "They’re coming out." He kept watching

until he was sure Pete was leading everyone to the door. "They’re

at the door. I’m outa here."

     Bruce turned to Les. "As they say in the west, it’s time to

check out of here, Mister Hollen."

     "That’s partner, Mister Crum, partner is the word."

     Both killers walked briskly to the opposite door.

     As Bruce opened the door to leave, he gave one final glance

at Pete holding the door for Kendra. Bruce followed Les into the

night and hurried around to the other end of the building. Both

found Rene standing in the shadows. All wanted to see the hit go


     Pete followed everyone outside. "Let’s make a quick stop at

Safeway. I have to get a few supplies." He stepped alongside

Kendra and unfolded a grocery list from his shirt pocket. At the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          133

same time he looked back into the pizza shop, looking for the man

he encountered at the register. He was gone.

     Kendra looked back at her sister and Steve. "Pete goes no

where without his shopping list."

     Pete held up the list for all to see. "Living fifteen miles

from the nearest supermarket makes it rough to run to the store.

I've got twenty-two items on this printout. Today I'll only pick

up the essentials." At the same time he reached into his fanny

pack and unsnapped the colt from its retainer. He thought about

pulling back the hammer, but decided to wait; besides walking

with his hand in his fanny pack would look a little funny.

     Steve carried Esther on his shoulders as Lora walked

alongside. "Hey Pete," he called, "I almost forgot. How about

helping me with my Vette's transmission tomorrow? I just got it

back from the shop."

     "I should be free around eleven," Pete answered. "I’ve got

to feed these two vultures first." He looked up at Esther, high

on Steve's shoulders. "How about some of my famous pancakes and

eggs tomorrow?"

     "Small ones for me, Uncle Pete," squealed Esther. "I want

six of them."

     Pete watched her squirm with delight and rest her chin on

the top of Steve’s head. The impulse to pat one of her legs was

irresistible. He felt real love for this girl.

     "Right," Pete said with a chuckle. "Six of them, silver

dollar size."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          134

     A different squeal, one of tires spinning against the

asphalt, made the hairs on the back of his neck tingle. He hadn't

felt that sensation since the war in Israel. It became a common

occurrence with the assassin they named Moonface. Heeding the

warning, he turned to see, hoping that his fears were

unwarranted. He reached into his fanny pack and gripped the Colt

.45. A thumb movement later the hammer was cocked.

     A black van moved quickly toward them. It slowed as it came

along the row of vehicles separating it from Kendra and the rest.

     Pete glanced up the sidewalk and the buildings lining the

path to Safeway. A wrought iron table and four chairs sat to his

right. The store that used them for outside dining sat closed for

the evening. There was nothing to do but run for it and hide

behind a parked car. To Pete, hiding behind cars was like an

invitation, which said, come and get me. On the other hand metal

between him and any bullets seemed very practical

     Then he heard the bang of the van's side door slamming open.

Two men jumped out. Both carried guns. Hiding behind cars became

the only option.

     "Get down," Pete yelled.

     Kendra heard the warning and knew that Wolf was frightened.

She stopped; sure she should duck, but not yet moving.

     He swung his right arm back at Kendra and yelled "Run!" He

hoped the force of his arm might also knock her to the pavement

and out of harm's way. Without looking to see if anyone obeyed

his command, his right hand came up with a Colt .45 Commander. In

the cocked and locked position, a quick thumb movement down the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          135

side released the safety and made the weapon ready to fire. He

pushed the gun toward the closest assailant.

     Bruce and Les stood behind Rene in the dark shadow of the

building. They watched in silence.

     "Duck!" Bruce commanded softly as he pulled his friend back.

He then reached for Rene but she waved him off. "Rene, get down.

Those fools'll get you killed."

     From the corner of Pete's eye he saw Steve and Lora

standing, mouths open, and watching. Esther still sat high on

Steve's shoulders she was especially in harm's way.

     "Get Esther out of here," Pete yelled just as the nearest

gunman opened fire.

     Pete felt two punches hit his left ribs hard, knocking the

wind out of him. He gasped for air and sank to his knees.

     He still saw the gunmen as they turned their attention

toward someone in back of him. Kendra. This was no time to wince

from pain.

     Lining up the three glowing green dots of his tritium combat

sights on the nearest shooter took all his concentration. Both

gunmen were running forward and shooting at her. He hoped she

ducked behind a car, and that Steve got Esther to safety.

     Pete tried desperately not to jerk the trigger, but

breathing was almost impossible. Still he squeezed the trigger

and the Colt exploded. He saw the first man stop in his tracks
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          136

and grab his chest. He quickly moved his aim to the second man,

hoping to get him before he could fire again.

     Pete fired two times and saw the gunman spin around. Then

the gunman ducked from sight. A single ping greeted his ears as

his second .45 bullet hit the sheet metal of the car next to the


     His breaths came in gasp as he scurried to the rear of the

car. Each move brought him closer to the black van. His ribs

screamed in pain making it hard to concentrate. The thought of a

good offense making a great defense came to mind. It didn't make
the pain he felt get any better.

     The van's door slammed shut followed by a squeal from the

tires. A black blur sped past him with tires billowing blue smoke

and screeching on the asphalt. The attack ended as quickly as it

began. Were there any gunmen still out there, maybe wounded,

maybe dangerous?

     A thorough look under the car, for feet standing nearby,

revealed no one.

     "They’re gone," Steve yelled. "They got in the van and


     Pete raised his head and looked around. He stood and,

slipped the safety on and put the gun back into its fanny

holster. He never saw the van disappear into the night.

     "Anyone hurt?" he asked.

     He tried to take a deep breath. For the moment even his

short shallow breathing seemed hard to maintain.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          137

     "No one," Steve replied. “I saw Kendra grab Esther, and with

Lora pushing then along, ran back into the restaurant.”They’re

all safe. Did you recognize anyone?"

     Pete backed away from the street, holding his left ribs. In

the window of the House of Pizza, he saw Kendra comforting a

frightened Esther. Looking around, he saw people running to where

he stood. A man wearing a dark raincoat was the closest.

     Pete watched him for a second then felt a tingle on his

neck. The man wore a long coat, yet the night was too warm for a

long coat.

     "Pete!" Steve warned.

     Pete saw the coat open and a short barreled shotgun appear.

At the same time Pete pulled his pistol, slipped the safety off

and squeezed the trigger. In slow motion Pete saw the blast from

the shotgun light the air just as his .45 ignited.

     Pete's chest caved in as if hit by a train. The force

knocked him backwards, against the hood of the nearest car. He

slid unconscious to the ground.

     Rene spun around in pain as the .45 caliber slug punched

into her left arm.

     Steve charged forward, desperate to help.

     Rene racked the slide on the shotgun and sent a blast in the

man's direction.

     Steve saw the gun pointing his way a split second earlier

and ducked between the nearest cars. The blast missed him but

tore holes in the hood above his head.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          138

     Rene moved forward to finish the job, when the shock of

being shot froze her right arm with pain.

     "The Boss's been hit," Bruce yelled.

     Les rushed from the corner of the building to help their

friend and leader. In seconds he stood beside her. He saw Pete

propped against the front wheel of a car, eyes wide open. It was

too dark to see if Rene killed him, but it sure looked like it.

His concern now was to get her away and make sure the man was

truly dead. Bruce rushed past him, ordering him to get Rene to


     Bruce knelt beside Pete and grabbed a handful of Pete’s

hair. This man hurt the Boss. He pulled Pete’s face toward him

until each looked eye to eye. He expected to see a blind,

lifeless corpse. Instead, Pete stared back at him with blind

fury. Then Pete blinked. Bruce didn't believe Pete was still

alive. He used his free hand and probed Pete’s chest, expecting

to find a bloody hole. Instead he felt the firmness of a stiff


     "You expected us?" Bruce asked. "You’ll never get another

chance. I’m going to rip your throat out."

     Pete heard the words, but the pain in his chest overwhelmed

all his thoughts until nothing remained but the desperate need to


     Bruce reached for a switchblade that was hooked into his

belt. With one quick move, he opened the knife with a press of

the thumb. His other hand lifted Pete’s chin, exposing the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         139

     Pete gasped for air and saw the man's right arm lift. For a

moment he understood. Only the words "sweet death and sleep

eternal", filled his thoughts. Then the pain in his chest

vanished, and only the primordial need to survive remained.

     Bruce shifted his weight to get as much force in his

movement as possible. He'd stab the stiletto blade through Pete’s

throat. In one smooth move, he'd rip through Pete’s windpipe. The

move was expected to sever the jugular and nearby carotid artery.

In ten seconds the guy'd be permanently dead.

     The sirens from approaching police units echoed off the

building, and Bruce's grip tightened on the knife. It was time to

leave but not before finishing the job.

     From his side he noticed a distorted reflection in the

fender. It was Kendra swinging a metal chair.

     The blow smashed him to the ground, almost dazing him into

unconsciousness. Still, he planned to kill Pete and get away.

     He made it to his knees and plunged the blade toward Pete's


     Pete sensed the movement before he saw it. His left hand

swept up and connected with the incoming blade, just as the chair

came down on the killer a second time. The steel dagger deflected

with his hand. Both stopped just behind his left ear. The pain in

his hand caused him to black out.

     "Ahyag," Pete cried through clenched teeth and blackness. He

fought to stay alert but it lasted only for a second. Then all he

saw was black and his thoughts ceased.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          140

     Bruce's head throbbed as he heard the screech of wheels. The

cops were almost here.

     He twisted the handle and felt movement, but the knife never

broke free. It was stuck. A quick yank and the blade broke from

the handle just as the chair smashed down again. He was going to

kill that girl, and then he fell dazed to the ground. He dropped

the bloody handle and drew his pistol to shoot Kendra.

     The bright red and blue lights grew brighter. It was time to

go, fast.

     The chair hit again as he rolled away. He barely managed to

hold onto his gun. He made it to the back of the car as the chair

bounced off his back. He crawled on hands and knees as fast as he

could. He struggled past another car on his hands and knees. When

he rose, half blind in one eye, he ran.

     At the car, Les grabbed Bruce by the shoulder and shoved him

into the car. "Quick!" Les cried and slammed the door closed. In

the back seat Rene sat holding her arm.

     "You drive," Bruce said. "I got some problems." He sat in

the front wiping blood from his face.

     Les controlled his natural desires to speed away. Instead he

drove slowly and surely to the street. With a frightened glance

in his rear view mirror, he saw the red and blue lights of three

police cars in front of the House of Pizza. He turned on his left

blinker and became part of the traffic flowing north on Parker

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          141

     Chapter 9

     Pete's awareness of life crept in with a feeling of peace

and total blackness. There was no pain, and he saw nothing. Only

a foggy impression persisted in his mind that he was somewhere,

someplace far away, and that there was more that he didn't know.

In the distance he heard the sound of human voices. Something or

someone was calling his name. The voice drifted in and out. When

it became clear, the words seemed so far away, like speaking

through a hundred-yard tunnel.

     A moment later he felt a twinge of pain. It started with a

pinprick in his hand. A curious stab of pain in his chest made

him catch his breath. Suddenly, without warning, all the aches

and pains exploded in intensity until his head reeled. The living

agony within his chest and hand overflowed. Totally engulfed in

pain, the voice vanished, the words, all ended.

     Waves of mind-bending pain snapped his head back. He tried

to fight back, but it was hopeless to think. He succumbed to a

primordial scream.

     With half-opened eyes he tried to see, but the light hurt.

Blurred shadows moved around him without detail. The brilliant

light washed out any chance of seeing.

     A voice calling his name grew louder. He heard it before, in

the tunnel. I've died, He thought. This is what death is, pain
and light.

     The light moved to his right. Pete now saw sticks moving

before him. One stick moved closer. When he blinked, the stick
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         142

grew bigger. The pain in his chest plotted out the images and

brought moans from his throat.

     "Pete!" someone called. The voice penetrated the pain

sweeping through his body.

     Fighting to control his thoughts, he felt himself rise

through the pain and blinked at the stick. It took shape. He saw

a face.

     Pain erupted again and threw his mind into a fog. The face

disappeared and prevented him from making out any features.

     "Pete," the face called. "It's me, Kendra. Don't leave me.

Hang in there. You're going to be alright."

     Breathing was too much. His body, stuck in mud, didn't move.

Nothing was moving. The pain and fire in his arm and chest grew

stronger. When was it going to end?

     Squinting tightly, he managed to make out the face.

     "Pete!" Kendra cried. "Thank God you're alive."

     Her voice he recognized. Did it go with the face?

     Kendra whispered his name over and over. Cradling his head

in her arms, she kissed him on the head. "Don’t die on me.

They’re gone. The police are here. An ambulance is on its way."

     His eyes cleared as she wiped his face. The bright light in

front of him became a flashlight. A policeman stood talking into

his radio. Another one, a foot away, knelt looking at Pete's


     "Take it off," Pete gasped. "I can't breathe."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          143

     The policeman opened Pete's shirt and worked to loosen the

bulletproof vest. Immediately Pete felt the pressure on his chest


     He took a deep breath and managed a weak smile. Breathing

felt good. The air felt cool in his throat. His eyes focused and

the face cleared. He saw Kendra looking at him.

     He also saw the policeman cutting away the vest's shoulder

straps. The man pulled the front section away and dropped it to

the ground. Pete knew the back piece would have to wait.

     "My hand," he moaned. "They took my hand. I can't move my


     "Your hand's still there," Kendra answered. "But there's

something’s sticking out of it."

     He saw her turn to someone and ask, "Can we stop the


     Pete saw the horror in her eyes as she stared back at his


     "I still have my hand?" he asked.

     "It still there," the policeman answered. "Don't try to move

it. The paramedics have just arrived. They'll need to see this."

     "The vest?" Pete asked. "Let me see it."

     Kendra lifted the front portion of his bulletproof vest.

     "It's ruined," moaned Kendra. "I'll replace it for you."

     Pete looked at the vest. Six black holes appeared in the

center. White Kevlar pellets spilled out of the openings and the

vest looked filthy. Two dirty spots lay on the left side. From
the bullets of the first shooter, he thought. I'm glad I got him.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          144

     "I’ll never forget his face," Pete said. "He tried to slice

my throat, but my hand saved me. How bad do I look?"

     "Terrible, but you're alive," she answered.

     A paramedic pushed in and knelt beside Pete.

     "Let me look at him," he said to Kendra. "Stand back. I need

more room."

     She looked up as a second paramedic appeared and then moved

to the side to let them work. Two policemen aimed their

flashlights on Pete's chest so the medics could see.

     "Give me light up here," said the medic working on Pete's

hand. "Keep the light on the hand."

     A policeman shifted his position until he lit the bloody

hand with the center of his beam.

     The medic reached for the shaft protruding from Pete’s hand.

"It’s a steel shaft," he said. He used a mirror to look under the

fender. "It's a knife blade. This is going to hurt, but I've got

to remove it."

     Pete guessed that he was talking to him. Studying the faces

staring at him, he didn't see Esther. He hoped Steve and Lora

were keeping her away. He then found Kendra's eyes and gave her a

smile, hoping to reassure her. Although it seemed impossible to

sit still, he somehow managed.

     "Yahweh," he said and grimaced to fight back the pain.

     "I got it," said the paramedic still holding Pete's hand

firmly against the fender.

     Pete's eyes watered as he saw the bloody knife blade pass by

him in a pair of pliers.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          145

     The medic lowered Pete's hand and handed the pliers and

knife blade to his partner. Pete guessed at the routine. First

they'd clean it, stop the bleeding, and then apply antibiotics.

He'd been through it before.

     How many scars covered his body? New ones and old ones they

all were the same, one too many.

     "Had to pull it through," The medic explained as he worked.

"We'll have you in a hospital as soon as we can. I don't think

you'll be using that hand for a while."

                          *    *     *

     Kendra sat next to Pete as the ambulance sped west on

Lincoln Avenue to the HealthOne hospital. She felt relieved to

hear no other serious injuries were discovered. The ambulance

staff said, "With a little luck, X-rays will confirm our


     Pete's shirt lay wide open and the intensity of the bruises

on his chest looked ugly. Fortunately, they weren't life

threatening. Pete's left hand rested to the side. A clear tube

winding from the plastic container hanging from the roof sent a

fluid through an intravenous drip into his body. Kendra thanked

God that the thick gauze wrapped around his hand didn't reveal

signs of fresh blood, but the look on Pete's face said a lot.

     "Do I look that bad?" he asked when he saw her frowning.

Deep worry lines crossed her forehead, and her eyes were dark and

red. Obviously, she'd been crying.

     Kendra tried to smile, to say all would be well, but she

wasn't sure she'd pulled it off.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          146

     "Where do you hurt?" she asked.

     "All over," he whispered. "I can't feel my hand."

     He lifted it ever so slightly off the gurney. From where he

lay all he saw was a ball of gauze. Only his fingertips sat

exposed at the tip of the ball.

     "Steve tried to help," she said, "but the guy with the

shotgun almost killed him."

     Pete's eyes closed for a moment as Kendra kept talking.

     "I think you shot him, at least someone else helped him

away. A second man came from around the building and tried to

stab you."

     Pete's eyes opened.

     "He wanted to cut my throat," he said in a whisper. "He

would have, if I hadn't blocked the knife with my hand. Did he

get away?"

     Pete lowered his hand.

     "He ran away. I think he and the other two were in on it."

     "What made him run? Were the cops there?"

     "I hit him over the head with an iron chair. I threw three

at him. I think I hurt him."

     "I hope you killed him. Brotherly love to the side, the guy

deserved everything you gave him."

     Pete tried to get up but the straps across his body

prevented him from moving. He gave up, exhausted. Besides, where

was he going to go?

     "My shirt's a mess," he said. "It was one of my best.”How's

my chest? It feels like I've been hit by a truck."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           147

       "The police saw the scars on your chest. I think they found

it amusing. They wanted to know how many knife fights you've been


       For a moment Kendra vanished before Pete's eyes as a foggy

darkness washed over his eyes. Then, just as rapidly, she


       "Are you sure you're all right?" she asked. "Don’t you die

on me."

       "I love you too," he said with a very weak smile. The pain

in his chest went clear through to his back. "Those things really

work," he gasped.

       He saw the vest hanging next to him. Reaching with his right

hand he let his fingers flow over the jagged spots where six

shotgun pellets ripped open the covering. A thin stream of Kevlar

pellets spilled onto the floor. He felt on the side and found two

smaller damaged spots. "They got me good. Did I get anyone?"

       "Steve might know," Kendra said. "He was close to you.

Everyone's following in the car. It happened so fast, I’m not

sure I can tell you anything useful."

       "How’s Esther taking it?" he asked and tried to make his

voice sound strong. But the pain knifing through his chest made

him wince. He knew he wasn’t hiding his feelings very well.

       "She isn’t hysterical if that’s what you mean," Kendra

answered. "In a way, living through the war seems to have matured

her, but she's worried. She wanted to touch your wounds, but Lora

felt it wasn't the right thing to do at that time. She has more
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            148

faith than I do. She'll want to pray over you when she gets to

the hospital."

       "I'll let her do anything she wants. Am I bloody? I can't

let her see me bloody."

                                *    *    *

       Steve led Lora through the security doors of the Emergency

Room and found Kendra and Esther. Lora went to stand beside

Esther. As Steve looked down at Pete, a groan escaped his throat

when he saw Pete's blood-splattered shirt being cut off by a

nurse. There was nothing they could do but watch and stay out of

the way.

       Looking around Steve found a chair and brought it over for

Kendra. "I'll get everyone something to drink," he said. "How

about a coffee or a tea?"

       "Coffee," Lora answered as she studied Pete then Esther.

       "Tea for me," said Kendra quietly without taking her eyes

off Pete.

        Lora moved closer to her sister and pulled her to the side.

Esther stood without speaking and never removed her eyes from

Pete. For the moment Lora gave her a thumbs-up for strength. It

was Kendra who now worried her. She looked ready to fall apart.

Lora knew she needed someone to lean on and she wanted to be the


       After deciding on a course of action, Lora realized that

being subtle possessed as much chance of being heard as a whisper
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          149

in the other room. She decided to shock Kendra into thinking

about other things.

     "Why don't you marry the guy?" Lora said in a scolding tone.

She hoped her act was not being detected.

     "What?" Kendra asked as she gave a sharp glance at her


     "You heard me. He's always getting himself hurt over you.

He's saved your life who knows how many times. Can't you get it

though your thick skull that the man loves you?"

     Kendra shook her head to clear her thoughts. What she wanted

was for Pete to get well and live. "What are you talking about?

Getting married is between Pete and me. He knows how I feel."

     "Yeah, chastity."

     "No that's not it, at least not all of it. We just don't

think the same on some very important issues."

     "You mean religion don't you? I don't want to belabor the

point, but it's always that religious junk with you. You need to

drop it." Lora looked back at Pete. "I hope there is never

another time like this. He might die the next time. He loves you.

Don't you get it? And you love him. Why don't you two just jump

in bed and get on with life?"

     "Lora! That's enough. I don't want to talk about it. What we

do between ourselves is none of your business."

     "I swear you're going to die an old maid. That man lying

there will find another woman. I'm only looking out for your best

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           150

       Kendra forced herself to stay calm and gave a forced smile.

"Think about what you're saying. I think your philosophy is doing

the talking for you ever since you got those degrees in


       "Well you weren't always a goody-two-shoe," Lora snapped

back in defense. "I remember when you got pregnant..."

       "Stop it!" Kendra forced her voice to be soft but her anger

made her words louder that she liked. "Just drop it. This is no

time to talk about this." She turned her full attention to Pete,

watching the fluid dripping toward his arm. "If you want to do

something useful, pray for him."

       Lora inwardly smiled and gave her sister a silent hug.

       "DejaVu," said Steve as he returned with hot drinks. Then he

noticed the coolness between his wife and Kendra. "What's going


       When no one answered, he turned to Pete who was watching

him. "I think you got two of them. One guy fell into the van.

Kendra says you hit the man with the shotgun. Then two guys ran

from around the building. They must have an army waiting for


       "They weren't after me," Pete managed to say. "It's Kendra.

They're after her. I just happened to be in the way."

       "I don't buy that. Someone wants you both, and they want you

both real bad," Steve said.

                           *    *    *

       Rene lay in the back of the car, holding her left arm. Les

drove at traffic speed while Bruce worked to stop him and her
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          151

from bleeding all over the car. Nothing like leaving blood all

over the seat. That'd be reported in a heartbeat. His own wounds,

from being hit with three metal chairs, left his hair matted with

dried blood. A compress taped over the scalp stopped the blood

trickling down his face. Now he concentrated on Rene.

     "The bullet went through," Bruce said. He pressed the wound

firmly to stop the bleeding. "I don’t think anything's broken."

     As he pointed his flashlight at Rene's face, beads of

perspiration glistened back. He knew she was fighting off the

effects of shock.

     "Pull into a parking lot, Mister Hollen. I need the medical

kit from our bag."

     "I feel so stupid," Rene said. Her anger over being shot

made her spit out the words. "I saw him pointing the gun. I

should have shot sooner. But no, I wanted to get a little closer.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

     "Take it easy Boss," Bruce said. "How were you to know the

guy carried a gun?"

     "I should have known. This state has a concealed weapons

law. I should have known. That Meirs guy is the type to take

advantage of something like that. I should have known."

     "Turn up the heat, Mister Hollen" Bruce requested.

     Even though the outside temperature hovered around sixty, he

saw Rene's body alternating between chills and sweat. He needed

to keep her warm.

     "He won’t be bothering us for a while," Les said. "Bruce cut

his throat."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          152

     "I'm afraid not, Mister Hollen. I almost used the knife to

cut his throat until someone hit me with a chair. All I saw after

that was my knife sticking through his hand and in the fender."

     "I didn't see that, Mister Crum. I'm sorry. I guess it

really doesn't matter since Rene blasted him real good. He’s dead

by now. We accomplished part of what we came here for."

     "No, we didn't," Bruce answered. "The guy must be using a


     Les drove into the Flying A truck stop on Airport Road, just

south of Interstate 70.

     After parking in a secluded spot, he hurried to the trunk

and removed the medical kit. They always carried a first aid kit,

but never needed to use it.

     "Drink this," he said after getting back into the car. He

handed a bottle of spring water to Bruce. He then opened a second

bottle and held it for Rene.

     "Take small sips," Les reminded her and studied the bleeding

in Rene's arm. "From the size of it, I’d say he got you with a

.45.” Les picked up the antibiotic spray. "This is going to

hurt," he said and then handed the bottle to Bruce.

     Bruce looked at Les with anger but took the can and removed

the cap.

     Rene fought back the searing pain as Bruce sprayed the

wound. Tears ran down her face and she ground her teeth to keep

from crying out.

     Les turned away. The thought of seeing her in pain bothered

him more than he cared to admit.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          153

     "We'll take care of you," said Bruce.

     "Yes, we will," added Les. "We'll both take care of you." He

gently stroked her forehead and then helped clean the wound in

her arm.

     Rene bit her bottom lip as Bruce applied pressure with a

clean gauze. Without warning her scream filled the car.

     Les quickly scanned the area, hoping no one heard. He

continued wiping her forehead.

     Bruce efficiently tightened the multiple surgical compresses

over the hole in her arm and taped the gauze to the skin. A

minute later he sat back to appraise his work. "Not bad if I do

say so myself. No bones broken and it appears no arteries are

cut. We’ll have the Doc look at it when we get home. Now take


     Rene studied the antibiotic pills in his hand.

     Bruce placed them in her mouth as Les brought up the bottle

of water.

     "At least I got him," she said, feeling better. "Now we’ll

get the girl and be done with this job."

     Les realized that Rene hadn't heard Bruce say that Pete used

a vest. He ignored the impulse to fill in the gap. Later would be

a better time. "You won’t be doing much of anything for about six

weeks," he said. "Don’t worry. First things first. We have to get

you home. If necessary, I’ll hire a private jet to fly us back.

You just rest and get your strength back. Bruce and I will take

over from here."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          154

     Les looked at his watch. "Mister Crum and I have unfinished

business to attend to."

     "That’s right, Mister Hollen. We have three incompetents to

pay off. Do you have their money?"

     "Yes I do, Mister Crum." He studied Bruce's head for a

moment. "Can you back me up?"

     "I will clean up and be ready in a minute. I think we should

give them what they deserve."

     Bruce held forty one-hundred dollar bills in his hand. In

his other sat a radio-controlled detonator.

     He delighted in the smile that enveloped Les’ face.

     "Clever, Mister Crum.”Being the hard working chaps that they

are, I’m sure those incompetents will get a bang out of their

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          155

     Chapter 10

     Pete shifted his position on the porch swing, searching on

any one for to long increased his discomfort. Things like this

never bothered him before, but now every thing hurt. Even the

swing and its hard wooden slats angered every muscle in his body,

even the ones in his feet. The pillows Kendra and Esther placed

on his left side weren't helping. Nothing was helping.

     To add to the pain he felt, sleeping in a tub because of a

cursed rooster left every bone in his body crying out. If he had

a hatchet, he'd kill that crazy bird.

     A sharp excruciating pain shot up his arm from his left

hand. He balked at taking another pain reliever, but couldn't

hide the anguish he felt from the girls.

     Kendra brought him a glass of water and the pain medication.

He accepted the pill only in an act of blind desperation, and

drank down the water in one gulp. He felt miserable.

     The doc said that due to the strength of the drugs, he might

experience mood swings. Well, he was having one right now.

Knowing that someday, maybe in three day, most of the pain will

be gone didn't help. Still, the thought gave him the strength not

to go crazy.

     The pill was taking its affect. The pain didn't go away, but

now he saw his childhood in Derry, Ireland. At least he saved his

mother from the constant beating of a drunken husband. Now he

knew what his father must have felt after he plunged the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            156

butcher’s knife into his back. Maybe this is what they all felt,

especially the police Colonel who beat his mother to death.

       He had killed three men before he reached fourteen. The IRA

smuggled him to Chicago to protect him. Pete almost caught

himself saying his given name, Sean Mickey, -------- xxxxxxxxxx

the two others he killed for the Irish Republican Party. At least

he saved his mother from the constant

       He tried to laugh it off, but his body refused to cooperate.

Constantly finding himself in the middle of assassins trying to

kill Kendra was asking too much from him. Ever since she

discovered the ark, no, ever since her first vision about

discovering the ark, she'd been a magnet. Killers migrate toward


       The near death of the Muslim religion because of her

discovery of the Ark of the Covenant, and the destruction of the

Muslim invaders by the God of Israel, left her a marked woman.

That may also include anyone close to her.

       He gently let the fingers of his good hand rub one of the

dozen long scars on his chest. I'm tired of getting hurt, he
groaned in his thoughts as he stared at the pistol case lying at

his feet.

       His two dogs, Bosepheus and Mister Pibbs, ambled out of the

kitchen and lay contently at his feet. They came from the Dumb

Friends League. He saved the two brown labs from certain

extermination. Kendra rescued them from the fate of all unclaimed

animals and brought them to the ranch. They grew, and grew, and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             157

grew. Now even the coyotes were shy about crossing the fence


     His right hand reached down and unlocked the latches of the

gun case and lifted the lid. Inside sat his Colt Commander. The

upgraded .45 semi auto pistol held a place of honor among his

small gun collection. It was capable of placing seven shots in a

one-inch circle at fifty feet. The clip sat next to it, fully

loaded. A simple bullet to the brain would finish this nightmare

of standing against the evil that comes Kendra's way.

        A passage from Shakespeare came to mind and the idea of

doing a dumb thing went wherever dumb thoughts go.

        He began reciting and felt the pain ease. Speaking softly

yet loud enough for everyone to hear, he knew he wasn't hiding

the tone of his voice. His weariness was evident.

        "To be, or not to be: that is the question:

        Whether'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

        The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

        Or take arms against a sea of troubles,

        And by opposing end them. To die: To sleep;

        To sleep? Perchance to dream! Aye, to sleep"

        Pete stopped speaking and looked at the distant Front Range

of the Rocky Mountains. Eighty miles, directly to the west, sat

Mount Evans. The snow resting on the upper reaches glistened

white in the morning sun. A small white cloud flowed east from

the range in an otherwise crystal blue sky. He thought of the

Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and selected a passage that he

liked, and began.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          158

     "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;

     And let my liver gather heat with wine

     Than my heart cool with morrifying groans,

     Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,

     Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?

     Sleep when he wakes, and creep into jaundice

     By being peevish? I tell you what, Antonio-

     I love thee, and it is my love that speaks-

     Let me play the fool.

     By the gods of all that is beautiful," he added, "I play the

fool, a fool in love. And while the blood flows warm in me," he

listened to Kendra working in the kitchen, "I do love you."

     Pete listened to himself speak, and half-staring at the

distant mountain, he grudgingly admitted he felt better. Though
not by much.

     "How's breakfast coming?" he yelled. "I'm starving out


     He heard Kendra and Esther call out in unison, "In another


     A short smile appeared on his lips and he adjusted the

pillows propped up against his back. "Maybe these darn things do

work," he admitted as he thought of the pain reliever.

     His left arm hung in a sling across his chest in hope of

easing the pain, but he still winced whenever he moved it. The

cut tendons and nicked bone in his hand throbbed with constant

intensity. Maybe my friend in the FBI can get a lead on who wants
her dead. Then he thought of another friend, Eugene Presta. Maybe
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          159

the Mafia can find out. Eugene and I are good friends. Maybe he

can make sense of what's happening. I know if those guys come

around here, I'll sic the dogs and Henry on them.

     He searched the barnyard for the rooster. Henry was nowhere

to be found. "Up to your old tricks, huh?" Pete said as his eyes

studied the hen house.

     He gave up on Henry and scanned Dilbert Road, which sat one

half mile away. The normal flow of morning traffic stopped at the

newly installed traffic light, then proceeded south to Smokey

Hill road, and then into the metro area. In the distance only a

motorcycle revving up and speeding away could be heard. Other

than that, the only noises he heard were from nature.

     A robin chirped from the nearest evergreen tree, and Pete

savored the sound. He guessed the bird was one of the three that

took up residence next to his house. He followed the birth of one

bird and watched it grow from a squawking, gobbling youngster, to

become the tailless kid on the block. In another month he knew

the bird would sport real feathers and fly like a professional.

     He searched the tree to see if the whistling came from the

kid or its parents but became distracted when two white butterfly

fluttered by. Pete read somewhere the presence of white

butterflies indicated clean air. He forced himself to inhale,

though his ribs protested.

     "Overlooking your domain?" Kendra asked. She carried two

large frying pans on a serving tray. Esther followed behind,

carrying an insulated pot filled with hot tea. "I’m sorry about

your rooster."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          160

     Confused he asked. "You didn't cook him?" He then gave a

quick eye search toward the corral and the landscape.

     "I booted him away from the porch earlier. He won't be

around for a while."

     Relieved, Pete forgot the search. "He never pays any

attention to me when I do that."

     "Well, he listens to me. I saw you looking for him. He's

over in the hen house."

     Pete smiled. "Good old boy," he admitted, dropping his head

to hide his grin. Then he looked up with a stern look. "Some day

I’m going to wring his neck. Henry thinks he can just take over

my house. You'd think he's the one who paid for this place."

     "It’s your fault. You shouldn’t leave your house wide open."

     She spied a group of white chickens strolling past the barn.

Henry was in the background pecking at whatever lay on the

ground. The bird strutted, clucking happily.

     Pete chuckled. "Henry's got a protective streak in him.

Every time you stay here, he likes sleeping by your bed."

     "We've been adopted by him," Kendra laughed.

     "It isn’t a ‘we’ lady. It’s you. When you stay here, that

bird goes crazy. Well, this is going to come to an end. When the

only place I get to sleep in peace is in my bathroom tub, that's

too much. Doesn’t that bird know I’m injured? I swear he came in

twice last night and checked up on me. He pecked my arm once to

wake me up. I growled at him, but he just stood there. I think he

wanted to make sure I was still alive."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           161

     Pete bared his teeth and growled like a dog toward the

barnyard, hoping Henry would hear. "If he does that again, I’ll

barbecue him."

     Henry strolled away from his hens and into the corral. The

bird was oblivious to Pete’s threat. He pranced around, looking

for more to eat. Snapping at a grasshopper, he followed it until

he caught the insect in mid-flight. The bug vanished in two

bites. Henry flew to the nearest post and crowed.

     Kendra set the two pans of hot food on the table. "I like

Henry. You better not hurt him."

     "Henry’s my friend," chirped Esther as she followed behind

Kendra. "He likes me.″

     ″I’m outnumbered.″ Pete grumbled happily with a twinkle in

his eye.

     "Sit here," she ordered and pointed to a chair.

     Helping Pete get up, she seated him in the designated chair

and placed a pillow behind his back. A grunt from pain escaping

from Pete made her wince.

     "Hurts, doesn't it?"

     Pete fought the normal response and replied. "Only when I

move." He smiled a wide smile to reassure her that all was well.

     "Why do you let him in the house, Uncle?" Esther asked as

she watched Henry and placed a full dish of food in front of him.

     "Because I’m tired of replacing screen doors. He pecks right

through them. I'll fix him. I'm going to replace everything with

steel bottoms."

     Esther hurried back to the kitchen to get more food.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          162

     Kendra laughed. "Maybe he knows your intention, Peter


     Pete looked straight into Kendra’s eyes and saw the twinkle.

"Maybe that bird is smarter than I give him credit for," he said.

His eyebrows purposely dancing up and down.

     Kendra smiled and saw Esther returning from the kitchen. She

carried a pitcher of orange juice with both hands. Her eyes were

totally focused on the wrought-iron table.

     Pete smiled warmly at the young girl. "Love you, Esther."

     "Okay, we’ve got it all," Kendra said. "Get ready to eat."

She ladled three hot eggs, two patties of turkey sausage and a

small mound of fried potatoes onto his plate. Then she pulled out

a chair across from him. "I wrote something after I awoke this

morning. I’d like you to read it."

     He looked at her and bit his bottom lip. The thought of her

last vision chilled his bones. Earthquakes, a comet hitting the

earth and the world suffering through a depression, stuff like

that were not what he wanted to hear before breakfast. Now

astronomers were predicting that the piece circling the earth was

indeed spiraling in. The latest predictions were very scary.

     They apparently kept the news secret until this year, but

the information leaked out. Scientists were now expecting the

mountain circling the earth in an elliptical orbit to fall into

the planet sometime around September. They also computed that the

fall might produce a collision equivalent to twenty-five hundred

to three thousand megatons of TNT. Panic buying was already
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          163

emptying the stores as people hoarded everything they could get

their hands on.

     There was nothing he could do about it. He planned to enjoy

as many sunrises and sunset as time allowed. At this moment no

one knew where the fragment was going to hit. He hoped it was

somewhere far away.

     "Another vision?" he asked.

     "No. It isn’t anything like that. But I do think it came

from the Spirit. I've written it down. But first, eat." She

reached over and began cutting Pete’s food. When she finished,

she handed the fork to him. ″Now eat.″

     "I want to hear what you wrote," he said. "Is it more bad

news? All your visions have come true, and I've heard what you

expect the future to bring. It isn’t very pleasant. But, if the

Great Beyond is talking to you, I’m listening. Maybe that rock

hanging over our heads will break apart into little pieces."

     He looked at Esther as she filled a large glass with the

orange juice. She set it next to his good hand. Kendra rose and

carried the insulated teapot toward him. She filled his cup with

mild steamy tea. He knew Kendra's and Esther’s cup held hot Kona

coffee. Her coffee tasted good, most off the time, but this

morning he went for his preferred drink. His eyes darted between

the two women in his life. Contented, he didn’t say a word. What
is life without them?

     Esther sat between them, at the table's end. She and Kendra

reached across and held hands. They waited. When he grasped
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          164

Kendra's with his good hand, she offered a short prayer of


     Pete never closed his eyes. Instead he kept watch on Henry,

who sat on the post surveying his domain. Esther gave a short

second prayer. Pete sent her a warm smile to show his love.

     The smell of hot, tasty, food intoxicated him. When Kendra

and Esther finished their prayers, he forced himself not to hurry

and offered a quiet "Amen. Now let’s eat. This smells really


     "The muffins," Kendra yelped. She shoved back the chair and

ran to the kitchen.

     "Muffins?" he asked. An eyebrow rose as he looked at Esther.

     "Blueberry," she announced. "I helped make them."

     "I can’t wait." He mixed some egg, meat and potatoes

together and chewed with satisfaction. As he worked through

another round, he noticed a car turning onto his dirt road.

"Someone’s coming."

     Bosepheus and Mister Pibbs scurried to their feet, the nails

on their paws making loud clicking sounds on the quarry tile as

they walked. Both dogs pushed through the screen door and stood

watch in the yard.

     Kendra arrived with the tray of muffins.

     "We have visitors," Esther said and pointed down the dirt

road leading to Delbert.

     Pete nodded toward the rising dust cloud. "He’s just dropped

behind the first hill. We’ll see who it is in a minute." He

chewed another bite. "Excuse me for a second."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          165

     He rose from the chair. The pain in his chest and hand

screamed in protest. He cleared his head and went to the swing.

     He returned with the encased pistol. Kendra took the case

from his hand and set it next him in another chair. Then she

helped him back to his chair at the table.

     ″Unlatch it," he asked, ″and leave it open.″

     She unhooked the latches and knew what lay inside.

     "Just a precaution," he grinned. "After last night, I’m

taking no chances. You and Esther stand behind me and wait by the

door. If they're friends, we can go back to eating."

     Everyone, including Henry watched the approaching dust

cloud. The two dogs barked their displeasure and their warning of

intruders. In seconds they both ran toward the car.

     When the car topped the first hill, Pete made out the

markings, lit by the morning sun, and the rack of lights on the

roof. A sigh escaped from his lips. "It’s the county sheriff."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          166

      Chapter 11

     When the car crested the last hill and slowed noticeably,

the dogs took up position barking and baring their teeth.

     Pete studied the direction that the trailing dust cloud

flowed and determined that he'd not choke to death while eating


     The car stopped fifty feet away, closer to the corral than

to the house. It was obvious to Pete that the driver was used to

being in a rural setting. Bosepheus muscled up to the driver's

side while Pibbs stood with his paws against the passenger side

window and stared at the nearest occupant.

     Their teeth clearly threatening, they both let out deep-

throated growls whenever anyone moved.

     Pete smiled at the wariness of the driver and his passenger.

Then the dogs stopped growling and wagged their tails.

     "They've recognize someone," Pete said.

     The driver side door opened and a tall county sheriff's

deputy stood and greeted the dogs.

     "It’s Clint," Pete said when he recognized his friend. "He’s

the deputy who patrols this area. He drops in every now and then.

I think he wishes he bought this place before I did."

     Kendra sent Esther to her seat and went to the edge of the

porch. "Detective Jamison's with him."

     "Come on in," Pete called without standing. The bruises on

his chest let him know their tenderness. He quieted his voice and

whispered. "Have a muffin and some coffee."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          167

     "Hello, Pete," Clint called. "I brought a Denver detective

with me. I believe you two have met."

     Pete recognized Detective Jamison. "Yes, we’ve met." His

voice revealed a tone of displeasure that everyone heard.

     The two dogs following the detective gathered his scent for

future reference.

     Clint opened the screen door and noticed the ripped netting

flapping at the bottom. "Henry?"

     Pete nodded "Yes, Henry," his eyes darted to the corral.

"He’s sitting over there on a post."

     "I heard about your rooster," Jamison said as he tried to

ease the tension. "He must be something."

     Clint and Jamison moved closer to the table and found it

hard not to stare at the food.

     Bosepheus and Mister Pibbs went back to Pete's side and lay

down on the cool tile. Both dogs looked up with pitiful eyes

hoping for a scrap from the table. Esther obliged them by

lowering her hand with two sausage patties.

     Kendra noticed the look on their faces. It was obvious that

the two men knew they arrived at a bad time. "Sit," she said in

an effort to relax the men. "Help yourself. Can I get you

something to drink?"

     "Thought you'd never ask," Clint answered with relish. "This

looks great." He pulled an empty chair away from the table and

opened a napkin.

     "How about a glass of orange juice, tea, or coffee?" Kendra

asked and turned to the detective. How about you, Detective?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          168

     Jamison looked reluctantly at Pete and gave a subtle shift.

He waited for a sign of acceptance.

     "Come on," Pete answered when he saw the detective’s

hesitation. He regretted the earlier sound in his voice and tried

to make amends. "There's a good looking chair just off to your

side. Relax for a couple of minutes. You're more than welcome.

Enjoy country life."

     Pete motioned with his head for the detective to take the

seat. A twitch of pain from his back reminded him about shifting

his weight too fast. He froze for a movement until the pain

subsided then went back to eating.

     "Your back's hurting?" Jamison asked. "I thought the hand

would be the most trouble."

     "Bad night's sleep," Pete answered without explaining. "The

antibiotics and pain relievers are partially working. My hand

throbs. My chest hurts, and my back bites me. Doc thinks I

strained it when I hit the car." He omitted the part about

sleeping in the tub.

     "Ask him about old Henry," Clint said as he glanced at

Jamison. He also smiled at Pete as he spoke. He savored the smell

of a muffin and unsuccessfully suppressed the grin bubbling

inside him. "This table looks great."

     Pete pointed to the rooster on the corral fence. "Clint

likes needling me about my Rhode Island. The darn thing protects

Kendra whenever she stays the night. It has to be something

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          169

     Kendra laughed. "Henry's very intelligent. Don't any of you

guys start messing with him."

     Jamison’s eyebrows rose as he watched the rooster lift from

the post and settle on the corral fence. "I don’t understand, but

maybe you can explain it while I have one of your muffins.″ He

laid a videotape cassette on the table and tapped it with his


     "I needed to drive out this way and see where you lived."

     "Is your curiosity satisfied?" asked Pete.

     "You've got a nice place here." Jamison looked around and

studied the rooster again. The bird flapped its wings and flew

back onto the post. He crowed with pride before settling down.

     "It’s quiet," he said. "Hard to imagine the city is just

over the hill." He rested his fingers on top of the

videocassette. "But I’ve got something serious for you to view."

His eyes flickered toward Esther. "I don’t know if everyone

should see this."

     "Esther's seen a lot in her short life," answered Pete.

"She's a pretty strong kid. I don't think it will hurt, as long

as we're beside her."

     "Okay," answered Jamison as he explained. "A kid came out of

Safeway just as the shooting started. He was trying out his new

video camera for night scenes and captured most of the action.

You’ll find this interesting. I’m hoping one of you spot

something that can help."

     "Eat first," Kendra, said. She looked at the videotape then

at the detective. "A few minutes won’t hurt." She bit her lip to
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          170

hide the fear over what she might see. "We worked on this

breakfast too long to let it get cold. Now eat." She forced a

smile of satisfaction when the detective picked up a muffin.

     With the dishes in the dishwasher and the table cleared,

everyone but Esther went inside. Esther led the dogs down the

steps. All three vanished into the barn.

     "We found the van," Jamison said almost matter-of-factly. He

handed the videotape to Pete. "An explosion killed the three

occupants. A bunch of hundred dollar bills got themselves

shredded in the blast. We believe these men were the shooters.

One received a gunshot wound to his chest. Another may have been

shot in the shoulder. Forensic will fill in the details. They

probably are the ones you shot. What we know at this moment is

that they were alive when they parked. The blast killed them."

     "Can I make a copy of the tape?" Pete asked. Kendra helped

him to a comfortable spot on the couch.

     "You can keep it. This is a copy."

     "How long is the video?"

     "Five minutes."

     Pete handed the tape to Kendra.

     "I’ll set it up," she said.

     Kendra went to the VCR. After turning on the TV, she turned

on the surround sound system and pushed the tape into the VCR.

     "It’s ready," she announced.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           171

     She returned and sat next to Pete and held the remote

control to the VCR in her hand. "Does it need to be fast

forwarded?" she asked.

     "It starts right away," answered Jamison. "After you both

watch this, I'll have a few questions to ask." Jamison nodded to

Kendra to begin.

     She pressed Play on the remote.

     Jamison began narrating the video. "The top of the black van

can be seen. It looks a little distant right now. But the picture

zooms in after the first shots."

     The van screeched to a halt and a loud pop was heard. Two

men jumped out of the van, and then two more pops were heard. The

picture zoomed closer. Even in the night-lights, the van looked

clear and bright.

     "The zoom is twenty power," Jamison said. "It’s as if we're

watching from a ring side seat. The camera was set for 3x light


     Pete saw a man shooting at him. The flinches from two

bullets hitting his chest were easily visible. He then saw

himself return fire and duck at the same time. Two more flashes

from his pistol revealed his position.

     ″You shot three times,″ Jamison said. ″The shooter closest

to you visibly hesitated. We think you hit him with your first

shot. The second gunman changed direction and went to his right.

You definitely caught them by surprise.″
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          172

     Kendra pressed reverse and watched the shooting a second

time. She let out a gasp as the video revealed Pete jerking his

shoulder toward his left.

     On the couch, Pete felt the two bruises on his side twitch

with pain. He ignored the feeling and concentrated on the picture

of him aiming his gun. What seemed like forever when it occurred

took place in seconds before his eyes. He watched the muzzle

flash of the .45 light the area. A second flash appeared.

     Jamison took the remote from Kendra, reversed the picture

and pressed Slow. The images of the shooting slowed to one-tenth

speed. "You can see when you hit the man standing to your right.

A good tactical move since he was the nearest to you. You hit him

on your first shot. We picked up the sound of a ping as you shot

two times at the second man. The first bullet must have hit him.

Your second bullet hit a parked car."

     Pete watched the second gunman drop from view.

     The detective continued narrating. "You now drop from view

and disappear behind the cars. We can barely make out the top of

your head, but you're moving between the cars. You’re heading for

the van. Before you get there, a third man rushes forward and

pulls his wounded partners to safety."

     Pete watched as the three men disappeared into the black

van. A second later the slide door slammed shut and the van sped


     "Now watch this," Jamison ordered. "Someone else appears."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          173

     "Yeah, I saw him. I thought he was coming to help. I sensed

something weird when he wore an overcoat. I almost ignored it. By

the time I saw the shotgun, it was too late."

     "You shot at him just as he shot you." Jamison pressed

pause. The muzzle flash from your gun is clearly seen. Now you

see the flash from the shotgun. We think you also hit him."

     "I know he hit me." Pete felt the tender, foot size, bruise

on his chest.

     Kendra gasped as she watched Pete fall back against a car.

     "Watch now. You will see two things that probably saved your


     "That's Steve," exclaimed Pete with satisfaction.

     "The shooter," continued Jamison "takes aim at your friend.

He barely makes it to safety before the shotgun goes off. He's

lucky to be alive."

     Jamison set the VCR to normal play.

     "The shooter almost drops his shotgun as he grabs his left

arm. Now watch. Here come two more. Their backs are to the

camera, so we can't make out their faces. One man helps the man

with the shotgun to safety. The other man kneels beside you. I've

sent a copy to the guys in Washington. Maybe they can get us more

detail. The guy who knelt beside you is the one who pinned your

hand to the car with the knife."

     Another unseen accomplice who rushed into the scene helped

all watched as the wounded man in the trench coat. Then both men

hurried to the side of the building and the camera followed them

until the cameraman lost them. The camera panned back to the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          174

assailant closest to Pete. They all watched the man raise his

hand. A knife reflecting the streetlamps was clearly visible.

"Now here comes a person who clearly saved your life."

     Jamison pressed "Slow" and everyone watched.

     A girl appeared, holding a wrought iron chair over her head.

     "Kendra!" Pete exclaimed.

     "The chair crashed down on the killer just as he tried to

kill you. We can't see the knife now, but it's what pegged your

hand to the fender. I think Kendra's action deflected his aim."

     Everyone watched as the killer vanished from sight. Kendra

quickly ran back and lifted another chair.

     Jamison narrated the scene. "She threw it at the guy who

apparently is now on the ground."

     They all watched her turn and hurriedly get a third chair.

It also vanished as she threw it between the cars.

     Jamison continued. "That guy took a beating. We've found

blood all the way around the building."

     "Kendra!" Pete exclaimed with incredulous delight. "I love


     Pete stared happily at Kendra and saw the pride on her face.

     "I tried," she said and continued watching the video.

     ″Watch now,″ Jamison said. ″The man who stabbed you hurries

away. We think the lights from the approaching police cruiser

also scared him off. You can see them reflecting off the windows

of the buildings. The killer also vanishes behind the building.″

     "A car apparently waited for them," Pete said.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           175

     "There is one thing we are able to make out. One of the guys

had a ponytail. We saw his face for only a second. Couldn’t make

out much detail, but it appeared full."

     "Another Moonface," Kendra gasped as she stood up. She

looked at Pete. Fear and confusion mixed together on her face.

″Just like the man in Israel.″

     "The man in Israel?" Jamison asked.

     "He was someone who tried to kill Kendra. It was during the

war. But he died. I saw him die."

     Kendra sat down beside Pete and touched his arm.

     He wrapped his good arm around her shoulders and gave her a

couple of soft tugs.

     Kendra watched the video then turned to face Pete. "You saw

a man with a ponytail in the van that ran us off the road. Did he

have a full face? Are you sure Moonface died? Maybe they are the


     ″No,″ Pete said. ″I’m sure Moonface is dead. I checked him

out myself. This other guy, this one with the ponytail, is

someone new. And I'll bet you that the guy stabbing me is one of

the men who ran us off the road.″

     "Exactly what I’m thinking," Jamison answered. "These guys

and the ones on the Boulder Turnpike are probably the same."

     The five-minute segment of recording ended and the

television screen went blue. Pete stared at the screen. Then he

answered. "I think that’s a safe assumption."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          176

     Pete’s face looked chiseled in flint. With miss-nothing eyes

he relived the experience. Now he felt weary. A belly full of

open warfare was not the way he wanted to spend his life. "I

don’t think we’ll leave my ranch except to buy food," he said.

"One thing's certain; someone's after Kendra.″

     He studied her face. "How do you attract these people?" he

murmured. "Maybe you’re my purpose for living. I’m to keep you

alive until the end comes, whatever that means."

     Jamison and Clint both looked inquisitively at Pete.

     "During the battles in Israel," Pete explained as he

continued, "after we discovered the two arks, two assassins

followed our every move. Now, the attempt to electrocute her, the

running us off the road, and being gunned down in front of the

House of Pizza, all point to a new round of bloody battles.

Someone knows more about her destiny than we do, and they're

trying to stop her."

     His thoughts of the future stopped as quickly as the

flicking of a switch. He heard Kendra speaking to the detective.

     "Do you know who he is?" she asked. "The man with the


     "I was hoping you might be able to tell me," answered

Jamison. "I’m going to back up the tape. Maybe the man with the

shotgun looks familiar. We don't see very much, but the camera

got his profile."

     Kendra waited until Jamison reached the spot he was

searching for. The word PLAY appeared on the TV screen and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          177

Jamison waited. "Here he comes." Jamison pressed pause and moved

the video forward, one frame at a time.

       The man appeared. The raincoat appeared black. He swept back

the right side of his coat. A shotgun appeared.

       "Do you recognize him?" Jamison asked.

       Kendra studied the side view until the shooter turned away.

"Maybe. I just don’t know. He’s not anyone I've ever seen before.

The man in my bathroom wore something over his head."

       Jamison waited, hoping Kendra could see something that might

help his investigation. When she didn’t offer anything new, he

pressed STOP and then REWIND. "Well, you have a copy. Watch it a

couple of times. Maybe one of you will see something that can

help. If you see anything we can use, let me know right away."

       "We will," Kendra answered. She went forward and removed the

tape from the VCR and shut off the TV.

       Pete looked at Clint and Jamison. "I guarantee you I’ll

watch it frame by frame. Hopefully something useful will show

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          178

     Chapter 12

     Rene sat on the operating table gently touching the fresh

bandage. Her fever broken she felt pleased with the antibiotics.

She watched Bruce who pressed a clean bandage over the seven

stitches in his scalp, hand the doctor a fat envelope of money.

     "You can take the bandage off in a couple of days," Doctor

Shepard said while turning to face Rene. "Give that arm a month

of complete rest. You can do light exercises in three weeks, and

I mean light. You have some muscle damage, but you will heal

nicely if you follow my orders. Your boys did an admirable job on

keeping infection away."

     Shepard placed the envelope in the pocket of his white

hospital smock. "Right now I'd recommend large steaks for both of

you, and don't forget to get plenty of rest."

     "I’ll make them both do it," said Les. "They've been a

little accident prone lately."

     "I don’t want to hear anything about what happened. Just

make sure they get lots of rest. In a week their blood levels

will be normal, but Rene's arm is going to hurt."

     He concentrated on Rene and her bandaged arm. "I don’t want

to find that wound broken open." The doctor handed Rene two brown

plastic bottles of pills. "One’s a pain reliever. The second is

antibiotics. Follow the instructions I’ve written and you will be

as good as new in a few months."

     Rene slid off the table and moved to the door. "A few

months! I can’t sit around and do nothing for a few months."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          179

     "Just don’t do anything with that arm," Doctor Shepard said

harshly. "Give me a call in two days and I’ll come over and

change the bandages."

     The Tampa skies darkened to a deep gray, and rain fell in

thick sheets as Bruce drove the Lincoln home. The radio played

softly interspersed with talk of severe thunderstorms with

possible tornadoes. The built in Fax machine encased in the

console between the front seats rolled out multiple sheets of an

incoming report.

     In the back seat, Rene lifted the papers when the Fax was

completed. She suddenly seethed in anger. "He survived," she

fumed. "I should have aimed for his face. I can’t believe his


     Les waited a second for Rene to hand him the report. Then he

read the papers. "That’s what it says." He read the newsclipping

sent with the report. "Peter Meirs, one of the initial

discoverers of the Ark of the Covenant was gunned down in front

of The House of Pizza in Parker, Colorado, last night. Death

threats have been made against his guest, Kendra Makray. As a

precaution, Mister Meirs was wearing a bulletproof vest when the

attack occurred. After surviving two bullets to the ribs, he was

hit by a close range shotgun blast. The blast pinned his hand to

the fender of a car. Other than that, he received only minor

injuries. Peter Meirs was released from the hospital a few hours

later and is recovering at his home.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          180

     ″Two of the assailants were shot. A passing jogger found

their burned out van. Three badly dismembered and charred bodies

were discovered. A bomb is believed to have killed the


     He stopped reading the report and passed it back to Rene.

"You seriously hurt him," he said. "Bruce pinned his hand, two

bullets from the goon squad hit him in the side. I'm amazed he

survived. They didn't even keep him in the hospital. What is this

guy, Superman?"

     "I wasn't aiming for his hand," Bruce quipped angrily.

     Les saw the depressed look on Rene's face increase with

every drop of rain.

     "Ahyag!" she snarled. "I can’t make my anger go away. I keep

replaying the scene over and over. I should have shot a second

time. I underestimated him. I won’t let that happen again," she

growled. "We couldn't even kill him. What incompetence." Her eyes

caught Bruce's eyes in the rear view mirror.

     "Bruce, it isn't your fault. You're lucky to be alive. I'm
the one who failed. Whoever threw those chairs at you wasn't

playing. But, this foul-up is going to come back and haunt us. I

know it."

     She stared silently out the window as the car splashed

through the last intersection before reaching home. No one spoke

until they drove into the driveway.

     "I want them dead," she said in a deeply controlled voice.

"I want them all dead."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          181

     Les turned to face Rene. "We’ll do it for you, Rene. You

just take it easy. Remember they have a trip to Israel planned.

See if you can get their itinerary. Maybe we can find something

useful. It’s possible that the person who writes to you can be

useful. Maybe we can use that kid that's always with them?"

     Bruce's eyes glanced angrily toward Les and asked Rene a

question that nagged him since getting this job. "You've never

told us how you get your info."

     Rene never answered as she gave a groan that stopped all the


     Bruce drove the car under the carport. "And leave the kid

out of it," he snapped. "I won’t let any kid get hurt."

     "Don’t get nervous, Mister Crum. I won’t hurt her. But I’ve

got an idea which, if it works, might bring them to us."

     "This is getting messy," Rene growled. Her eyes were red

with anger, and the pain in her arm and shoulder radiated down

her side and ended at her hip. "I want them dead, no matter what

it takes."

     "As long as we can do it discretely," Bruce added. His face

revealed his concern. "This whole thing is going to cost us

money." The frown on his forehead vanished and he shrugged his

shoulders. "I’m sure we can work out something agreeable with our

employer, but this time we'll be more than careful."

     In his mind he smiled at the face looking at him. "As for

this Meirs guy, I put the fear of God in him. I don’t think he’ll

be a problem. I saw it in his eyes."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          182

     Bruce studied Rene's glistening face looking for approval of

his words.

     "I'll look through our assassinations library for ideas,"

she answered. "First thing we do is send an E-mail to our

employer. Maybe he, or she, can come up with something."

     She glanced out the window and shifted her weight to leave.

     Les bit his bottom lip as he studied Rene's face. His

friend, companion, and boss looked clearly exhausted. He hurried

from the car and quickly opened the door for her. He reached in

with compassionate hands. "Let me help."

     Holding weakly to his outstretched hand, Rene groaned as she

stepped from the car. Everything spun as vertigo engulfed her.

She felt Les slide his arms under her and lift her gently in the

air. His strong arms held her as he carried her to the door. She

closed her eyes, knowing she was safe.

     Bruce hurried ahead and unlocked the front door. Holding the

screen door open, he stepped out of the way as Les carried Rene

into her house.

     "Our employer." She snapped as her eyes opened, then quickly

closed. The swirling in her head seemed worse. She managed to

reach down with her good arm and helped Les lower her into the

glider-rocker. The words she spoke carried all the venom she

felt. “He has a lot of explaining to do. There is more going on

with this job than meets the eye. Everything they've supplied us

is lacking major answers. This has not been a simple hit. We've

been lied to."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         183

     Her eyes drifted from Les to Bruce. They weren't listening

as they tried their best to make her comfortable. Feeling tired,

she stared at the floor.

     Her lips twisted in smothered rage at the thought of being

used. "If we're satisfied with what we hear, it'll be time to

negotiate a better contract."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          184

     Chapter 13

     Bruce led the way through the trees as he held the low

powered monocular night scope up to his eye. Les followed behind

as Bruce told of what lay ahead. Three members of the gang that

they hired to kill Pete at the House of Pizza followed single

file behind Les. The three-some were out for revenge because of

Pete. Two members of the gang were wounded, one seriously. Now

the survivors wanted to finish the job. They especially wanted to

get Peter Meirs.

     Five men moved quietly through the woods toward the house.

Three thought of one thing: Kill Peter Meirs. They were

determined to avenge the death of their friend who was killed at

the House of Pizza. Another member of their gang lay seriously

wounded in the van.

     Bruce kept an eye on the path that they followed. He and

Bruce wanted to kill Peter Meirs, but for a different reason.

Mister Meirs continually interfered with the killing of Kendra

Makray. He also wounded their boss and mentor, Rene Paxton.

     As for the five men they hired, they were expendable.

     Right now the remaining members of the gang were needed and

they needed to approach the house without being seen or heard.

     The two oversized dogs that roamed the property will not be

a problem. An hour earlier he left them two rib steaks spiked

with time-release doses of barbiturates. After watching from a

safe distance as the dogs devoured the meat, he watched the dogs
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          185

continued on with their patrol. Bruce knew from past experience

that an hour later they'd be snoring up a storm and no one in the

house would be the wiser.

     The thought made Bruce smile with satisfaction. He was sure

the two oversized great Pyrinies were soundly sleeping at their

master's feet.

     Two hours earlier He and Les watched and listened with an

electronic ear as Kendra Makray and the kid departed for the

mall. That part of this mission fell apart. Now they'd wait for

Kendra Makray to return.

     He pushed past a final string of brushes and the back of the

house lay two hundred feet away.

                            *   *   *

     Pete sat in the dark, relaxing in the front porch swing. The

girls went to a movie with two of Kendra's nieces. He glanced at

his watch and expected everyone home by eleven. He felt good that

they went to a movie. It might help them to forget the ordeal of

the past couple of days.

     Right now his chest didn't hurt as long as he sat still. His

left hand was a different story. The throbbing persisted day and

night. The Doc said that the bandage covering the hand might come

off at the end of the week.

     He carefully followed the doctor’s orders: no exercise, no

quick moves, take it easy, don't break open the stitches, relax,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          186

and let the ladies take care of him. Though invited, he opted to

let his battered body relax without much movement.

     A half an hour ago, at sunset, Henry led his flock of hens

into the chicken coop. With that task completed, the old rooster

came out and stared at Pete for an ungodly long time. Pete didn't

think a rooster possessed much intelligence, but this old bird

seemed almost human.

     Pete wasn't sure if the old rooster was searching for the

ladies of the house and prepared top protect his adopted hens, or

he was seeing if he, Peter Meirs, the big rooster, was okay.

Either way, he sensed that the bird was protecting him in the

only way a rooster could.

     Lying at his feet were Pibbs and Bosepheus. The dogs were

obviously tired and down for the night.

     Swinging slowly in the dark, he watched the traffic moving

along Delbert Road and caught himself dozing off. He would have

missed the vehicle turning onto his drive if it hadn't been for

the headlights flashing across his closed eyes.

     The car vanished down the first hill and Pete waited, but it

never reappeared. He imagined a young couple finding a secluded

spot and decided to ignore the intrusion.

     Bruce studied the house through the night-scope and directed

one of the hired killers to the back door. He sent the others

circling the house from different ends. So far, so good. Mister
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          187

Meirs is unaware of our approach and the dogs are not a problem.

By the time the two girls come home, he'd be dead and we'll be


     As the hired guns moved toward the house, he and Les planned

to provide cover in case the three baboons mess up a simple kill.

The driver in the van over the hill was prepared to swoop in and

take the threesome to safety. He and Les planned to simply vanish

among the trees and make their way to the car parked a half a

mile away.

     As he watched everyone's movement through the green light of

the night-scope, he felt satisfied that everything was as

planned. He spoke softly into the communicator and gave final

instructions to the killers.

     Pete nodded off as he sat on the swing. Somewhere in the

recesses of his mind a creak from a floor appeared. It came from

inside the house. Thinking that the girls were returning he

snapped open his eyes and was dismayed that Kendra's car was not

in the yard.

     Sorting out the sound he thought of the back door. The

screen door made a creaking sound when it slowly opened. Not sure

of what he heard he listened intently for other sounds.

     The back door led into a mudroom that went directly to the

kitchen. A section of the floor needed to be screwed into the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          188

floor joist. It always produced a creak when anyone walked on the

beam. He waited and listened.

     Bruce watched Les take up position next to the circuit panel

that supplied electricity to the house. The plan called for Les

to cut off the electricity and slice the telephone line as the

goon made his way through the house. Everything was timed.

     Bruce studied the glow from his watch dials and the movement

of the second hand.

     "Now!" he whispered into the communicator.

     Pete heard the faint creak from the mudroom and knew for

certain that he wasn't alone.

     That also meant the car hidden by the hill was not what he

assumed it was.

     His eyes searched the floor beneath the table. His rifle and

pistol cases still lay where Kendra laid them. Thankfully she did

not picked them up and returned them to the gun vault.

     His body screamed in pain at the sudden burst of movement

and planted his feet on the floor. The bruised muscles and bone

in his chest nearly blinded him, but he took control of his body

and forced it to move. His left hand was useless as the bandages

covering the knife wound prevented him from using his left

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             189

        Just as he opened the pistol chest the lights in living room

went out. A second later, the yard light went out.

        In total darkness, urgency drove him to grab the pistol.

        He shook the dogs to awaken them, but they barely moved. He

needed their help. He carried seven rounds in the clip of the

Colt and one in the chamber.

        Crawling out the front screen into the yard he worked his

way to the barn. When he reached the side of the barn he heard

the loud phut-phut of a silenced weapon. A second phut sounded

along with a whelp from one of his dogs.

        His blood boiled from the anger of knowing they shot his


        Crawling to the barn door he noticed something green glowing

in the dark. It floated past him and moved toward the house. He

realized what he was seeing was the tritium night sights on a

pistol. He hoped his practice at hip shooting paid off as he

aimed without sighting and squeezed the trigger of the Colt.

        Funny how at times he never heard the report as the gun

jumped in his hand, but he heard the man holding the gun scream

and fall to the ground.

        Pete crawled quickly to the chicken coop and away from the

spot the flash from his pistol lit the air. Well that worked, he

thought, and hoped the next intruder was as easy.

        The voices of two other men whispering to each other carried

across the yard.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          190

     At least he knew what he was up against. He hoped none of

them were high tech. He felt sure the one he shot didn't carry

night vision gear, or he'd have been noticed.

     The sound of someone running out of the chicken coop stopped

him from moving. Chickens were squawking their annoyance at being

disturbed. Pete quickly changed course and headed back to the

barn. That makes three. He felt surrounded. He knew of the two

who whispered to each other and one other at the coop. How many

more might be out there?

     The sound of a chicken yakking its head off and the grunts

of a man made him turn. Someone was fighting off an attack by

Henry. The sound of the rooster and the man moved closer.

     Silhouetted by the stars Pete made out the outline of the

man fighting off the rooster. Good ol'bird.

     Pete fired and the man went down.

     "Lou," someone called. "Lou! Did you get him?"

     Pete ran crouching to the other side of the barn.

     Shotgun pellets splintered the wood above his head. He

hadn't seen where the blast came from, but someone saw him.

     The sound of Henry loudly squawking mixed with the voice of

someone else being attacked by the rooster gave Pete a feeling of

not fighting alone.

     Pete smiled. Keep it up old boy. Let me know where

everyone's at.

     Henry let out an ungodly screech and then there was silence.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          191

     A curse erupted as another man stumbled over something. Pete

guessed that this someone just found the body by the barn.

     Pete lay flat on the ground and waited.

     A glow in the eastern night sky told him the moon was

beginning to rise. Soon the darkness that favored him would

vanish as the cold white light of the moon bathed the area. If he

made it to the trees he'd have a better chance.

     Bruce searched the grounds around the house with his

nightscope. The compact scope amplified the light by a factor of

10,000. It wasn't strong but it was good enough to see two

hundred feet in a starlit night sky.

     He thought he saw movement by the barn when he fired the

shotgun. As he moved toward the barn he spotted a chicken lying

on the ground. He kept scanning the area for moment, wondering if

the chicken caused all the noise.

     As he scanned the side of the house he saw Les and one of

the hired guns coming out of the house. They headed down the

steps and across the yard. Both moved past the limits of the

green scope. He knew they were working their way across the yard.

     He scanned the ground in front of him and walked slowly

toward the barn. His left hand held the scope to his eye as he

walked. In his left hand he pointed the short barreled shotgun.

     A body lying on the ground came into view. As he approached

he recognized one of his hired thugs.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                             192

        Turning in a full circle he spied another body on the

ground. He slowly moved towards it. The green image in the scope

cleared and he saw the body was another of their shooters. Peter

Meirs was slowly whittling down his hired crew. Maybe we better

stick together.

        Pete crawled into an area filled with trees and brush. He

quieted his breathing and listened. Other than the night sound of

a dog barking, and noise of traffic a half a mile away, he heard

nothing unusual. He hoped his neighbors heard the shots and

called the sheriff. What he'd give to have his Cell phone or to

see the flashing lights of a patrol car speeding to his house.

        Now safely concealed in the brush and behind two trees he

waited and listened.

        Bruce met the others and the three men searched the barn and

chicken coop. Pete was no where to be found.

        "He got away. We can't stay here," he warned. "If we don't

find him in ten minutes, we have to leave. I'm calling the van."

        He led everyone around the barn and stopped. They'd have to

carry the men Pete Meirs shot. One lay still alive. He gave the

orders to leave.

        "We can't leave," snarled the goon standing next to him.

"He's killed two of my friends. I'm not leaving without finding

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          193

     Les stuck a pistol up against the man's ear. "When my cousin

says it's time to leave, we leave. He's never wrong." The

spotlights on that house up the hill came on as he spoke. "Mister

Meirs may already be there."

     "But we've done nothing but get my buddies killed."

     "They'll be another time."

     "That time is now. I'm going up to that house and kill


     "You do that. If he's between you and those lights, he'll

see you. You'll be a dead man before you make it to the house."

     Les whispered into Bruce's ear. "Time to tidy up."

     Bruce understood the meaning.

     "Have him help his wounded friend," said Bruce softly. "I'll

carry the dead man."

     All three men turned as the van sped into the yard.

     Bruce snapped, "Get everyone into it. We'll meet later."

     After loading the dead and wounded into the van, Bruce gave

the orders for the driver to leave. They'd meet at a selected


     As the van sped back to Delbert Road, Bruce and Les vanished

into the woods and headed for their own car.

     The first patrol car slid to a stop in front of the house. A

second followed and added to the dust billowing across the yard.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          194

     Flashing red and blue lights mixing with white spotlights

lit the dust as it drifted over the yard.

     Pete felt the pain in his chest double in intensity and his

wounded left-hand turned up the volume. The enemy, whoever they

were, left and he called out to the two policemen standing by

their cars.

     Kendra and Esther drove into the front yard as three sets of

flashing police lights bathed the buildings in red and blue

lights. The moon climbed high in the night sky as Pete explained

all he knew to an officer.

     "What happened!" she cried as Esther ran past her and stood

next to Pete. He stopped the girl from going up onto the porch.

     "It has to the guys from the Pizza place," he said to

Kendra. "They didn't give up. I shot two of them. The sheriff

found blood on the dirt but no bodies."

     "Are you alright?" she asked.

     "Yeah. I'm okay, but they killed my dogs. They also killed

Henry. He saved my life twice."

     A lump in the chest squeezed Kendra's heart as she realized

Pete was about to cry. Instinctively she wrapped her arms around

him. Esther joined her and together they held Pete as is chest

shook in agony.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          195

     Chapter 14

     Pete sensed something wrong as he drove north on the Cross-

Israel Highway 6. Leaving Colorado was the best thing for him

since his dogs were killed. Even the sadness of seeing old Henry

dead in the yard hadn't bothered him during the flight to Israel.

He was actually feeling better until they got close to Afula. He

expected to see the devastation of the last war filling the

hills. Okay, he'd concede the cleanup of the carnage. What nagged

him was something deeper. The answer was on the tip of his tongue

but he found it impossible to wrap words around what he was


     Thirty minutes later his eyes kept drifting to the ditches

running the length of the highway. He stared as in thought, but

nothing registered. When he exited north on Highway 65, toward

Afula, the light came on. He put it all together and saw what's

been nagging. Normally every drainage ditch in Israel is filled

with trash - not just a few pieces of wind blown paper, but

rivers of aluminum cans and broken bottles.

     Now, when he looked, he saw nothing, no cans, no bottles,

nothing. The ditches were clean. The feeling left him euphoric,

yet bittersweet. It always disgusted him how filthy the ditches

throughout Israel used to be. Now the cleanliness seemed out of


     Since the war more than reconstruction occurred. A massive

cleanup of the hills and roads took place. There was even the

approval by Iran, Iraq, and Syria to allow European troops, under
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          196

the United Nations banner, to be stationed on their soil. The

troops were required to prevent the American government from

using its military might and super clean miniature neutron bombs

from annihilating suspected terrorist bases. The American's were

still dishing out revenge for the acts of war perpetrated on

their soil since the September 11th World Trade Center attacks,

and the string of biological-dirty radiation bombs used during

2004. But that was seven years ago.

     Now, driving toward the city of Afula, a city where he

fought and struggled to survive during the massive invasion of

Israel in 2006, he was more interested in the revisits to the

sites that still haunted his wartime memories. Lora always said

it would clear his mind by releasing the anger brought on by that


     He wasn't so sure, but Esther needed to come back to her

home. It would be good for her.

     An eye caught sight of a lone aluminum can in a ditch. Other

that that, the drainage ditches and the hills were clean.

     After the three-and-a-half day war, scores of aircraft,

wrecked car, trucks, and buses lay twisted and charred along this

stretch of the road. Now they were all gone.

     During the war, enemy artillery and aircraft made this

stretch of 65 impassable. Today the smoothness of the road nearly

lulled him to sleep.

     He never expected the sight he saw when he rounded the

dogleg in the road. "Look at that!"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          197

     Lit by a bright noonday sun, Afula sat white and gleaming in

the sun nestled at the end of the valley. The city looked larger

and taller than he remembered. Even the crushing high altitude

nuclear explosion above the city left no reminders.

     Afula had been massively bombed and rocketed. Now it rose

shiny and new, a gleaming example of billions of dollars in

American and European construction grants. Elated and amazed, he

instantly planned to tour all of Northern Israel to see what else

was new.

     An occasional side-glance at Kendra and Esther told him they

felt what he felt. Their eyes were glued to the sight of the

stunning transformation.

     "We have to visit the city park where Steve and I were

treated," Pete said, remembering the hospital tent set among the


     "I know," Steve replied from the back seat. "Think we can

find it? Everything's been rebuilt. I don't recognize the city.

Think we'll find the cave?"

     Pete nodded his head. He thought about the cave they

sheltered in during the attack. "If it isn't off-limits, I expect

we will find it."

     The two arks, and Elijah, were also there. It was there that

the final assassin, Moonface, attacked and almost gotten the best

of him. It was also there that Kendra and Elijah became enemies.

     Pete smiled at the thought. Standing toe-to-toe with Mister
Personality, Kendra dared him to use his mystical powers on her.

Pete's smile widened as he drove. Elijah used his powers to throw
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          198

him back against the wall, but he couldn't do anything to Kendra.

She humiliated him then, and she still does.

     He took a deep breath with air whistling through his teeth

and looked at Kendra. "You were really something. As the Irish

would say, 'Kendra Makray, You're a real corker.' You really were

something down there. Mister Phony-baloney walked away totally

frustrated. The Pit-Bull," Pete liked the title he just pinned on

Elijah. "He has to be behind the attacks. You humiliated him in

the cave. Then you humiliated him at Macky Auditorium. Everything

you wrote in our book about him made him seem like a real

jackass. The guy's a Pit-Bull."

     "I did, didn't I?" Kendra laughed.

     Pete glanced at Kendra. She's another Pit-Bull but she's


     They drove the last five kilometers in silence. Pete felt

sure that each one, including Esther, was remembering the mammoth

scars wrought on the city and within their souls. He hoped

emotional scars weren't tearing Esther's heart apart.

     He touched the little girl's shoulder. She witnessed her

grandmother, YiaYia, being tortured and finally killed. Even with

all the counseling by Lora, the youngster still didn't find it

easy to talk about that day. She'd open up someday. He hoped he

possessed the insight and patience to listen.

     Clearing his thoughts he studied the surrounding fields and

hills as he drove, looking for any signs of the massive

destruction that occurred. The aircraft, the vehicles, everything

was gone.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          199

     As he entered the city, blocks of buildings were rebuilt.

     Kendra sat quietly staring out the window, thinking about

what she and Steve talked about on their flight to Israel. She

saw that the book on the cryptic Bible Codes visibly changed his

perspective on Judaism and Christianity. His belief that the

codes within the ancient Hebrew Bible text were placed there by a

very superior mind was now unshakable. His biggest question was

how to reconcile the Space Brothers to the codes. She needed to

direct him to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Either way,

she felt sure that Steve now knew of someone who possessed the

super powers to perform unbelievable feats, even to create whole

universes, raise the dead, and promise a great future to those

who believed in Him. That someone was who Steve wanted to follow.

     She tried to explain who this super being was, but Steve

never acknowledged the possibility that the God she worshipped,

Jesus, was the God who gave the scriptures to mankind.

     There was a time in her life that she wasn't sure the deity

called Jesus wrote the Torah. But the encrypted codes confirmed

that he did. That finally sealed her belief in the issue.

     She smiled in assurance that when the Israeli people finally

say of Him, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord",

then their Messiah, their God, will finally arrive.

     Steve's voice awoke her from her thoughts.

     "Are we sure we're in the right city?" he asked as they

drove down the main street. Along with Lora, he personally
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          200

witnessed the massive destruction the city received. His right

leg still hurt from where the shrapnel penetrated.

     After fighting for his life while trapped on the Tel

Megiddo, he thought things would never get worse. If it hadn't

been for that American Indian, an Israeli soldier named, Corporal

Goombi, they never would have safely returned.

     Safety, Steve laughed to himself. After leaving the medical

tent he'd been caught in a mortar barrage. If the massive

rainstorm that nullified the barrages happened an hour earlier,

his leg wouldn't be hurting now.

     "We've arrived," confirmed Pete as he passed a petrol

station on his left. "I don't think I remember how to get to the


     "Six blocks up," Kendra said. "Make a left on Highway 60.

It'll take us to YiaYia's street."

     Pete stopped at the traffic light and waited. A police car

appeared in the middle of the intersection. Three policemen

exited and held up their hands, effectively stopping all traffic

movement through the intersection. Moments later a convoy of UN

military trucks, jeeps, and command vehicles sped past and made a

right turn at the intersection, continuing north on 65.

     "How many of these guys are in Israel?" Pete asked. "That's

the third convoy I've noticed in the last hour."

     "The tourist department won't say anything about it,"

answered Steve. "But I've read in the newspapers that the UN has

over one-hundred thousand troops stationed throughout the Middle
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            201

East. Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq have the lions share. That

group is to protect the United Nations people and compound in the

city of Babylon."

       "I know all that," Pete interrupted.

       "I know one thing; the seven year agreement forced on

everyone by the European Union (EU) seems to be the only thing

that's kept Israel from utterly destroying Syria and Iran. The

EU's are also the only force that keeps the hordes from attacking

Israel with a vengeance."

       Pete interrupted and said, "When Israel demanded and took

control of half the temple mount, suicide attacks in Israel

increased until no one felt safe."

       "All because of you, Sis," Lora added with a touch of

sarcasm mixed with jealousy. "I'm not mad at you. I just wish I

did something earth-shaking to be remembered by. Then I also long

for the good old days when you were as much of a flunky as the

rest of us. You discovered something that left the world

teetering on every possibility imaginable, from ecstasy to world

destruction. Truly, I never thought a simple piece of furniture

could have such influence."

       Lora shook her head and paused for a moment to finish with

biting sarcastic humor. "Ken, you really know how to shake things


       Kendra showed her displeasure and embarrassment with Lora's

words. "Sometimes I wish I never discovered it. There are times I

understand where everything is heading, how it fits with Bible
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          202

prophecies, but it scares me. At other times, I’m not sure of


     Pete offered Kendra hope and a smile and added his own

comment. "I don't understand it one bit either. One thing though,

the world will never be the same. Kendra, you did the right

thing. Besides, don't you always tell us that it's all part of

the end-times fulfillment? If you didn't do it, someone else

would have."

     "Yes, I guess that's true," she admitted, "but look at the

misery that’s come from it."

     "And," he added. "There are people who will dislike you for

it for as long as they live. But like the nuclear bomb, once the

genie's out of the bottle, we have to live with it. What will be

will be. I don't believe too much in your supernatural side of

things, but you obviously completed something destined to be. But

I see what Lora is saying. Have any of us mere mortals done

anything that makes a difference? Sure, I was with you when you

fell into the hidden chamber and found the Ark, and I became

famous. But when you joined the team, as we searched the cave,

you came fully knowing that the Ark was hidden in it. If I not

been with you at the time of the discovery, I’d be as forgotten

as the rest of the team."

     "Well sometimes I wish everyone'd forget me. I always seem

to have killers dogging my steps."

     She looked at Pete with pleading sadness. Her hand wanted to

touch his arm. "When will it ever end? Sometimes I think I'm

going crazy."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          203

     Pete never answered.

     Lora looked at her sister and for a moment felt totally

helpless. Her anger and jealousy evaporated, and she wanted to

give Kendra a reassuring hug.

     "Hold it sis," she said. "Don't let all this remorse get out

of hand. Get a hold of yourself. Besides," she thought back to

the passing convoy of EU troops, "you made your sacrifice for

history. The EU is making a sacrifice. This world is changing,

and there isn’t anything we can do but go on the ride. People may

not like it. Something bigger than all of us is being worked out.

You did what you needed to do. The only thing I dislike is seeing

what religion is doing to these people." She thought of the tens

of millions in all the neighboring countries. "It's the most

destructive thing that's ever existed."

     "Well at least the Jordanians never got involved," Kendra


     "Yeah, and that's because their king received protection

from the United States. With a regiment of U.S. troops

permanently stationed in his nation, the king has effectively

stalemated the European Rapid Strike force, under the guise of

United Nations Resolution 660, from moving into his nation to

bring peace to the Middle East. In effect, the Europeans have

left Jordan, Kuwait, the Saudis, and all the nations on the

peninsula alone. But I think the EU troops are good for this

place. They have forced the Israelis to dismantle their nuclear

weapons program. They have stepped in between the Israelis and

the Palestinians. That one thing has brought peace a little
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          204

closer. The Israelis nearly started World War III when they were

attacked. The only thing that puzzles me is why they never used

their nukes during the invasion, the way the Russians did."

     Kendra sighed. She didn't debate Lora's argument. "Still,"

she added, "I don't feel all that great, but you're right. Israel

could have started WWIII but they didn't. Now the EU has

basically taken over this country. I think Steve's right. They're

running the country."

     "Who told you that?" asked Lora. "It sounds more like a case

of conspiracy paranoia. Where do you get your information?"

     "I talked to the waiter in our hotel."

     "Now that's a voice of authority."

     "Okay, you two," laughed Pete. "Chances are you're both


     Pete watched the three policemen re-enter their car and

drive away. The light turned green and Pete went left, heading

north on 60.

     He drove until they passed the hospital then made the first

left. Driving up the street gave him a chill. The rows of

identical white limestone houses seemed out of place. Before the

war the street carried personality with its different shapes and


     He saw a familiar sight. The paved road ended and a dirt

road began. The lane leading to the house lay just past the

pavement. The moment of truth arrived. He gave a worried glance

at Esther. She was straining her neck to find her grandmother's

house, but trees still hid the view from them. Pete felt a
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          205

momentary sense of relief since he feared a negative reaction

once they drove up the driveway. Maybe it'll bring back the

paralysis that Lora expertly unlocked; he thought and trembled at

the possibility. Maybe we shouldn't let her see the home?

        When they returned to America after the war, Esther couldn't

walk. Yet under Lora's counseling she made a remarkable recovery.

She grew from being a five-year-old, paralyzed from the waist

down, to a very active eight-year-old who ran with the best of


     He realized that if everyone with serious mental or

emotional problems possessed a lifelong mentor, the world might

be transformed into Utopia. Unfortunately, few possessed the

means to pay for two thousand hours of one-on-one therapy. And

from Lora's perspective, fewer still are the patients who

honestly accepted help. Most came to her playing games, wanting

help, but only as much as they'd accept before the actual problem

was revealed. Maybe Steve was right. The world is lost, and a

thousand conflicting forces are battering the American dream.

     Pete glanced at Kendra and saw a pensive expression on her

forehead. She thinks too much. He then noticed the fingers of her
left hand gently patting Esther's left shoulder. Once in a while

he saw her bite her lower lip. She's worried too.

        Esther broke through the depression he felt and said.

"Here's the place. I remember the trees."

        Pete slowed the car to a crawl. Fortunately traffic was non-

existent with only a few cars parked along the road. He counted
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          206

the number of homes. When he reached three, he turned to the


     "Here we are," he said, following the road around a small

stand of trees.

     He remembered that the house was the second one on the

right, at the end of the lane. He silently watched the first

house go past and drove even slower.

     His eyes glanced at Esther. He saw her straining to find

YiaYia's house.

     YiaYia died at the hands of two assassins three years

earlier. Maybe this visit wasn't a good idea.

     "Hey, Lora," he called, a little louder than necessary. He

hoped his voice would drive away the feelings he sensed

permeating the car. "Do you remember when YiaYia baked a loaf of

bread? I can still remember how good it smelled."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          207

     Chapter 15

     Maybe someone else could say something to lighten up the

moment. Not that he expected to see YiaYia standing at the door,

waiting for them. He was out of words. The land now lay leveled

after being destroyed in a rocket attack. Where'd it all go?

     Steve saved the moment. "They cleared the land, but I still

remember the smell. I see the orange trees. They're still in the

back yard."

     Pete didn't remember trees. If it weren't for the stone

walls, he'd have sworn they were at the wrong location. He then

saw the confusion written across Esther's face as her eyes

searched the location.

     "Where's YiaYia's house?" she asked and turned to Pete,

hoping for an answer.

     Pete did not have any and slowly drove up the driveway with

the crunch of gravel being the only sound. "I remember that house

over there," he said. "It sat next door." He pointed back to the

two-story limestone walled house they just passed. "I remember

their front door. You can still see it through the trees."

     They all turned and stared at the ornately carved wooden

door, with its three long beveled glass panels.

     Pete and Steve exited the car first, followed by Kendra and

Lora. Esther held back, as if stepping outside the car meant

stepping on a grave.

     Lora held out a hand. She knew from her counseling sessions

that Esther was reliving the nightmare.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          208

     Lora thought back to the time when they returned to the

house. The air-to-ground rocket left a crater ten yards away. Two

walls lay collapsed. The roof hung from a few supports. When they

searched for YiaYia, they found her dead. She'd been tied to a

chair and tortured. That was before they shot her in the head.

They also found a dead man, who later turned out to be a

policeman. A frantic search led Kendra to Esther. The girl was

trapped under the rubble of limestone blocks, but she was also

safely tucked under a strong coffee table.

     Lora turned to Esther and reached out farther. "Let me hold

your hand."

     "No. I'll be strong," Esther said. But her voice quaked as

she spoke. "Everything's gone! My home is gone! What did they do

to it?"

     "Let me hold your hand," Lora pleaded again. "I need your


     Lora turned to Pete and asked. "What happened to it?"

     She watched Steve step onto the spot where the front steps

of YiaYia's house once sat.

     "The place has been leveled," Pete said as he studied the

neighboring house "I'm going next door."

     He went to the house hoping to get an answer. He returned a

moment later.

     "No one's home. We'll check with the police. They might

know. We need to see them anyway. They'll be able to tell us

which cemetery YiaYia's buried in."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          209

     Lora, ever vigilant, searching to understand whatever was

churning inside the young girl, stayed close to Esther and said.

"She was a good woman. We'll all miss her. We need to find where

she is buried, and tell her we love her."

     "I miss her," Esther said softly and fought back the tears.

It was no use.

     Lora saw Pete biting his lip as he hurried over to her and

lifted her into his arms. His eyes filled with tears as Esther

cried. Lora placed a gentle hand on Esther's arm in an effort to

comfort. "I know, Sweetheart, I know."

     Pete felt his legs weakening and knelt, holding Esther

tightly. They both cried.

     Lora looked around, and saw the pained faces of Kendra and

Steve. She smiled and returned to stand by her husband.

     Arriving at the central police station, Kendra stepped back

to the time when she and Esther hid in the rubble from Moonface,

the man Esther saw kill her grandmother. Only by a miracle of God

did they survive, and now returning to the building made her


     Pete asked at the information desk, and after a search of

police files, found that six months after the war, YiaYia's

homesite had been cleared. All usable stone blocks were

confiscated in order to rebuild the city. It was believed the

neighbors used some of the blocks. The body of the grandmother

had been cremated, and an urn holding her ashes was stored in a

government-built depository. The depository was one of eighty
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          210

above-ground vaults, that held the remains of 6500 Jews and Arabs

who died defending the area from the invaders.

     "The vaults are easy to find," said the information clerk.

"They sit just west of the city, five kilometers from town, about

half way to Megiddo."

                              *      *   *

     Pete drove to the vaults and found the depository on the

hill high above the road. He pulled into the parking lot and


     "Tastefully done," he said quietly to himself.

     He admired the rows of sunlit white limestone mausoleums. A

lone Israeli flag hung from a pole on a sunny windless day. The

white marble sign at the entrance pointed them to the directory,

and long rows of rectangular polished black granite that held the

English and Hebrew spellings of the names of those interned in

the cemetery. Each black column sat as a silent witness of the

people who died in the brutal war.

     They found the name Margaret Yehezkel, affectionately called

YiaYia, grandmother for Greek, engraved into the English list.

The cross-reference allowed them to find her name on the Hebrew

list and the exact location of her remains.

     Pete studied the cemetery map and looked for the location of

the mausoleum. He held Esther's hand as everyone walked in

silence to the white vault holding YiaYia's urn and ashes.

     When they arrived, Esther placed a bouquet of roses in the

metal holder below YiaYia's name. He watched her, carefully
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          211

looking for tears, but none came. For a show of support, he stood

quietly next to her as they stared at the bronze marker, upon

which Margaret's name was etched.

     "Will I ever see her again?" Esther asked. Her voice carried

the total sadness she felt.

     Pete looked around for Kendra and hoped she'd have an


     "Of course you will," Kendra said. "In time we will all see

her." Kendra paused for a moment as she looked up into the blue

sky. "What a glorious time we will have when we are received into

His kingdom. I'll be jumping like a young horse. YiaYia will

sweep you up in her arms and give you a big kiss. There will be

no more pain, no more crying. Then we will come back to earth and

do the work of God, forever praising Him. Hallelujah," Kendra

said as she finished with closed eyes.

     Pete only smiled. Strangely, he also noticed Steve smiling

as he stood behind the girls. Lora looked away.

     They all stood at the vault for a few more minutes before

Pete asked, "Esther, are you ready to go?" He noticed her

acceptance and added. "I want to drive up the valley a little

way. We'll stop back here before returning to the hotel. I


     Esther looked at Pete, her eyes red. Water filled the bottom

eyelids, but not yet spilled down her cheeks.

     "I promise Hon," he added. "We'll visit here every time we


     "Okay, Uncle Pete," she said. "I'm ready."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          212

     Esther reached for Pete's hand and they walked slowly back

to the car.

     "I promise," He repeated softly, "I promise."

     Pete drove from the parking lot and headed east. "The Tel is

a few kilometers up the road. It will be interesting to return to

where we were when the war started."

     In his mind's eye he saw a truck exploding from a direct

rocket hit. Now as he drove the route, no signs of the battle

existed, but he remembered the flashes, sounds, and explosions,

of burning wreckage as if they were yesterday.

     Pete turned into the Tel's parking lot, the rebuilt

buildings and archaeological offices along with the Tel seemed

unchanged, as if nothing had happened. Even the trees had

recovered or been replaced.

     He parked, and led everyone on the back path to the rear

entrance cave. All but Esther expected to see the entrance

collapsed. Instead the cave and its entrance showed no signs of

the earlier destruction. They entered and walked toward the steps

and to the top.

     Steve looked back and gave a noticeable shudder as he walked

into the cave's opening.

     "I still see that guy falling on me," he said in anguish.

"His bayonet just missed my head."

     "Yeah," answered Pete. "I remember."

     Steve caught up to Lora, who now climbed the steps with

Kendra and Esther.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            213

       "I love you," he said to her as he came alongside his wife.

       Lora looked at him, smiled, and then stopped walking. "Hold


       Steve wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her

closer to him. He felt a shiver course through her and guessed

that flashes of that day were making her very cold.

       "I still have nightmares about it," she confessed to ease

the horrors filling her thoughts. "For some reason I focused on a

bee and some flowers. I haven't the foggiest reason why."

       "You never told me," he said with an inquisitive tone. "How


       "I wanted you to see me as being strong. Anyway, that's

water under the bridge. Now, standing here in this place, I feel

very weak."

       Lora looked around and found Kendra. "Not like her. I'll

never be like her. Sometimes I wish she wasn't my sister."

       "What does that mean? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

She loves you, and you love her."

       "I know. But she's done so much, and it's all been by

accident. I can't compete. She didn't even go to college. Yet

people pay to hear her speak. She's famous, and I'm a nobody."

       Steve held her firmly is his gentle arms. He looked down at

the top of her head. "You're somebody to me. When we get old and

gray, not much of this will count anymore." He looked up as the

reached the top of the Tel. "Look!"

       Lora searched the sky.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          214

     "Birds," Steve announced. "Thank God we're not seeing white

lines, like the last time, lines that trailed from incoming

rockets. That memory gives me shudders."

     Lora studied her sister hoping for more information. "What

about them?" she finally asked. Quickly looking up and then back

at Kendra told her something was happening, but what? Kendra

always saw birds circling overhead when she received a vision.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          215

     Chapter 16

     Kendra grabbed her stomach as the nausea within made

everything around her swirl. As she fought to maintain balance,

she realized that she was shivering. "Oh God!" she cried. "It's


     The sickness grew like a flood, just like the last times.

Maybe it's not the real thing.

     When her sight completely blurred, she knew it was the real

thing. It is something from God.

     Having two prior visions, she knew she could handle this.

Experienced, she expected to be able to handle all the symptoms.

But now, even after having two and writing about them in her

book, this one left her expectations in the dustbin of ill


     For years people asked what it was like to have visions.

She'd explained the events as well as she could but it wasn't

enough. They always wanted more. More times than not she found

herself inventing and exaggerating the details.

     When she was finished, she felt like a complete fraud. That

was something she wasn't going to live with. Now she refused to

talk about the visions anyone. They were her business and hers


     Besides, her visions were never planned, and always arrived

without advance notice. She thought for a moment about the birds

that always circled over her when she was receiving a vision.

Strange, she thought.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          216

     She shook her head in bewilderment and went on, surviving,

trying to understand. Now she rubbed her eyes and felt terribly

sick. All that was left for her to do was fight to stay in

control of her mind, and wait.

     "I've got you," Pete said.

     Thank God for Pete, she thought. What would I do without


     He wrapped both arms around her and held her steady. I

haven't seen this in a long time; he thought and gently brushed
away the hair hanging in front of her face. He looked around and

saw Esther staring with wide eyes at her godmother.

     "She's going to be okay," he said, with a sense of

confidence born from having seen this before. He desperately

wanted to sound positive. Most of all he worried about Esther and

hoped seeing her godmother having a vision didn't upset her.

     Kendra told Esther everything about the other visions. She

seemed to understand. Pete feared she might become hysterical.

Having two girls on his hands, both going off in different

directions, didn't exactly make him feel comfortable.

     He shook his head to clear his mind. Thinking like this only

made matters worse. Right now he worried about Kendra.

     He looked around for Steve and Lora. Both were watching him.

Then Lora hurried to Esther and stood beside her.

     "Steve!" he called. "Clear a spot by that block of stone so

I can lay her there." His eyes pointed toward a large limestone
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          217

block sitting thirty feet away, next to the remains of a

retaining wall.

     He felt Kendra shivering from the effects of the vision.

Others whom he talked with during his speaking tours told of

having visions, but with different symptoms. Most of them, he

readily dismissed as suffering from the effects of drugs rather

than having true revelations from God.

     Steve called to Pete. "I'm ready. Bring her here."

     Pete lifted her in his arms and felt amazed at how light she

felt. He carried her to the cleared area. Lora followed with a

hand resting on Esther's shoulders. All were watching with such

intensity that he knew they wouldn't miss anything.

     He lowered Kendra to the ground, her back resting against

the limestone block. Then he folded her legs inward until she

looked as if she were sitting Indian fashion. She said that this

position was her most comfortable while sitting on the ground.

     "This will make her comfortable, until the vision passes,"

he said and removed her shoes for even more comfort.

     Not knowing what else to do, he sat facing her. Then he

motioned for everyone else to sit.

     Lora and Esther sat down on Kendra's left. Steve sat on the

right. All looked intently at the pain radiating from Kendra's


     "Oh, Sis," said Lora. "Is there anything I can do?"

     Unexpectantly Kendra answered. "I don't think so," she said

with her eyes firmly closed. "My eyes hurt and my stomach feels

terrible. Pete! Are you there?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           218

      "I'm here, Hon," he answered.

     "I'm not seeing anything. Are the birds still there?"

     Pete looked up and quickly counted. "I see a dozen or more

circling like a whirlpool directly above you. If any try to dive

on you, I'll make sure they don't get too close."

     He looked at the others and explained. "During her second

vision, the one of the first comet hitting the earth, a seagull

dove right at her. She barely escaped being hurt. I won't let

them hurt her."

     Kendra entered a different world as Pete spoke and his voice

drifted away. Only a vast grayness flowing into total darkness


     Sights from another place appeared and flowed in and out,

mixing with an unknown city.

     The city vanished to a dot in the terrain and soon she

floated above a continent. Europe sat cloud covered and in

darkness. The eastern curve of the Mediterranean clearly outlined

the Middle East. Farther east the bright morning sun lit clouds

and she saw a swirling storm in the Indian Ocean.

     Someone shouted from high above her and she looked up. An

angel, or one like the Son of God, stood on the nothingness of

timeless space. Another angel appeared as if coming through a

door. Something inside her said this was the last angel before

the event about to take place erupted.

     Something else was being said but she never made out the

words. The one looking like the Son of God beckoned.   His hand
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          219

swept toward the earth and then pulled back. Left behind were two

angels standing on the earth with human form. These men were

preaching the word of God to the nation of Israel.

     She heard the words these men uttered, "Turn the hearts of

the men toward the children and the children back to their


     The earth swept past her and far below the clouds she saw

white dots of light suddenly appear. At first she felt the light

was the cities, but the lights were moving. They were coming up

toward her. The dots increased in number, size, and density.

There were millions of them, maybe billions. Lights were coming

from everywhere.

     The planet slowly revolved, and she watched the swirl of a

massive weather front as it appeared in the eastern Atlantic.

     The U.K. appeared, filled with blotches of light, all

streaming upward.

     All of Europe moved below her. Lights came from everywhere,

yet the thickness of the lights seemed faint.

     Farther south she made out the continent of Africa. The

volumes of light pinpricks streaking out of Africa were clearly

growing larger and brighter.

     I don't understand. Europe has more electricity and lights
than Africa.

     The density of the lights diminished until even the landmass

lost its outline in the darkness. Yet lights appeared rising from

every spot over the places that Kendra knew to be land. Even out

in the oceans she saw lights appearing and rising past her.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          220

     The Americas appeared and she watched countless lights

ascending to the hand that beckoned. In quick succession the

islands of the Pacific flowed past her before she identified

Asia. Millions of lights rose to the outstretched hand. The

brightness grew appreciably when India appeared.

     From there, westward, the lights diminished, but it was

hopeless to count them. There were far too many.

     Without warning, a magnificent light of the purest white,

yet filled with many colors, appeared. It floated high above the

uncountable hundreds of millions of lesser lights. In a second

all the lights blinked, and sped quickly to fuse themselves into

the magnificent light. An instant later the brilliant light

vanished, and the angels were gone.

     Below her, on the continents, she knew the planet was still

moving below her. Streaks of orange lights appeared and streamed

up before arching down.

     Huge brilliant flashes of lights appeared at the end of the

streaks. The flashes grew in size and intensity; then each slowly

vanished to be replaced by an orange glow. More flashes appeared

as brilliant lights expanded and ebbed over and over.

     The God who let her witness the earth from space now moved

her toward the flashes until she saw flames leaping high into the

sky. She strained to get closer and to see clearer. She saw the

remains of cities engulfed in flames.

     A class B horror film, she thought as she watched.
     The spirit of God moved her over a city that seemed

peaceful. An orange streak appeared high in the smoke-filled sky.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          221

A high altitude brilliant, blinding, white-hot light appeared and

expanded. The city turned brilliant white before being swept

away. In a timeless moment, a third blinding light appeared. The

remains of the city vanished again in blazing super-heated air.

The burning debris from the first flash vaporized. Little

remained, and the city went dark. Then the fire went out and

nothing remained.

     When she realized what she was being shown, everything

vanished. In her thoughts she asked, When?

     She heard the number seven.

     "Seven days, seven years, seven minutes, what does seven


     Soldiers appeared, tens of millions of them. All the

soldiers pointed weapons at each other. Armies against armies,

and sometimes against themselves, all fought and died. Each group

stood behind different colored banners. Uniformed soldiers

dressed in red, green, blue, and yellow fought and died. Others

ravaged their homeland, raping, killing, and pillaging. She

asked, "How many soldiers," and she heard the number - two

hundred million.

     Kendra looked north, south, east, and west. The oceans

boiled and turned red. Sea life floated dead upon the roaring

waters. Men and cargo appeared as refuse, floating on the waves.

In time most sank below the surface or beached themselves on

distant shores.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          222

     On the land men died of diseases that ravaged their bodies.

Others died from starvation or thirst. Her heart broke and her

stomach revolted at the ghastly sight.

     In the spirit she saw the souls of those dead. Beings that

resembled men were helping them move away from the shell of their

bodies. Laughter. She heard ridiculing laughter.

     In her mind she heard the voices from billions of souls, all

crying out for help. A sadistic laughter rose louder as Kendra

tried unsuccessfully to block the crying voices with her hands.

     Then another war appeared. It was centered in America - a

civil war. Millions of the survivors were fighting against a

mammoth power that ruled from Europe.

     She sensed that the rulers were paranoid over the banners

raised by the inhabitants of the land. Millions were being

slaughtered, but angelic forces were on the side of those who

fought to reclaim the land.


     A voice called her name and she looked around. The one

speaking sounded far away, down a long tunnel. The voice echoed

and she listened.


     The call became clearer and closer.

     Her eyes hurt and her stomach was about to revolt. The voice

called again, and she realized it was Pete. The images and

anguished cries from the vanishing darkness ended. A dim light


     "Kendra, can you hear me?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          223

     Pete's voice sounded clear and her shoulder moved as if

someone shook her.

     Esther's voice penetrated the remaining fog. "I'll take care

of you," the girl said.

     "Sis, it's me, Lora. Can you hear me?"

     Kendra squinted through half open eyes, and saw Lora's face.

Behind her she saw Steve and Esther.

     "I'm okay," Kendra announced as she felt her head clear.

     "Can you stand?" Pete asked. He wanted to get to the

question burning inside him.

     She felt him grasping her under the arms and lifting her up.

She stood and realized that Esther was also helping. Her young

arms worked hard to help her godmother stand.

     "How long was I out?" Kendra asked.

     "Not very long," Pete replied. "Ten minutes, not much

longer. Was it a vision?" The words blurted out before he knew he

spoke them. "What did you see?" He looked at Lora and requested,

"Get her a drink of water."

     Kendra tried to answer.

     Pete drove east to see the remains of the Israeli airbase,

Ramat David. He and everyone else listened with disappointment to

Kendra. If that was what it was, he thought. He knew Kendra
enough to know that there was more, much more, and the number

seven. What did that stand for?

      He looked back at Kendra resting in the back with her eyes

closed. If it was a real vision, it sure seemed wimpy. Yet it was
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          224

also scary. Only Esther said anything useful. "It was the rapture

of the saints." It didn't take long for Kendra to agree with

that. He shook his head. I did hope for something a little more

dramatic, something I could use.

     "You're shaking your head," Lora said.

     He decided not to reveal his thoughts.

     "I'm noticing the security fence around the airbase," he

lied, "and the truck traffic on this road," His questions could

wait for another day.

     The southern fence protecting the airfield passed on their


     A military vehicle sprouting a whip antenna sped past on the

other side of the chain-link fence. A large cargo type aircraft

came in low, heading west, its landing wheels clearly visible.

     "Coming in for a landing," Pete commented. "The airstrip is

very close."

     Pete drove around a curve, and instantly saw the sprawling

military base. Whistling softly, he searched for a place to pull-

off. When he found one, everyone got out of the car and stared at

the complex. From their vantage point above the base, they saw


     Huge hangers sat on the other side. To the right, rows upon

rows of construction vehicles sat in long lines.

     Steve broke the silence. "Those hangers aren't being used to

hold aircraft. The planes are too big. The place resembles one

big supply depot. I saw something like it in Pennsylvania. I
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          225

swear I think the place stored everything the U.S. Army ever

bought or didn't need. It was huge, just like this place."

     "Everything a nation needs," added Pete. "Everything that's

shipped in by air or sea comes to this place. It's one gigantic

distribution depot."

     Pete turned to Kendra. "Have you seen anything like this in

one of your dreams?"

     "No," Kendra answered. "But now I can see why this valley

will be where the last battle between good and evil takes place.

I bet the Anti-Christ makes his headquarters in there."

     Something triggered a thought of her last vision.

     "I just realized something." She saw every head turn toward

her. "The rapture that I just saw."

     "Yeah?" Steve queried.

     "The rapture of the saints was from everywhere. Steaks of

light came from Muslim areas. Not millions but maybe thousands."

     "So?" Steve answered. His face wrinkled in confusion. "What

about it?"

     "What I saw says that there are a lot of people in Muslim

countries who are believers. There are a lot of Muslims who

believe in the Word."

     She hesitated for a moment and wondered why she said "The

Word", instead of Jesus. Shrugging off the question she

continued. "There are Muslims who believe in Jesus."

     She turned to face everyone, knowing her face beamed with

excitement. This must seem heretical to them.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          226

     Lora broke the momentary silence and repeated Kendra's

thoughts. "That's downright heretical, Sis. If you lived in the

Dark Ages, they'd burn you at the stakes for even suggesting

something like that."

     "I bet that's true," Kendra giggled. "But I think what I saw

indicated that God will actually be rescuing Muslims, Buddhists,

Hindus, people from every religion. The numbers may not be high,

but there will be some. It will be those who worship Him and Him


     "How come your Jesus never talked about this?" asked Steve.

     "I don't know," Kendra answered. "Maybe He did, but I've

been trained to believe that only Christians will be raptured.

However, I believe the gospel does allow for it to happen. I can

only paraphrase what I remember. Those who have never heard the

gospel, but who, by their very nature do the things that God

loves, will be saved. The next time I read the Bible, I will

search for a more definitive answer."

     "That means," Steve said with a smile on his face, "that I

don't have to believe anything and I'm going to be in heaven."

His smile widened and he nodded his head up and down.

     "I don't think so, you big buffoon," Lora said with a laugh.

     Kendra reached out and gave Steve a gentle punch on his arm.

     "The Bible doesn't say anything like that. But I do know

that those Christians who really believe in God, and do His will,

even though they stumbled a zillion times, will be in the

majority when the time comes. The way I see it, why take a chance

of trying to enter by a back door when the front door is open?
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          227

Wide is the road to destruction and narrow is the way to God. And

I thank God that I'm not the one who has to make the decisions

about who to save. Everyone has to go through Jesus. He is the

final judge. He's the one who will call the people."

     She thought about the number seven. "And the seven might be

the date."

     "Maybe," Esther offered. "He never gave you a definite

answer. Maybe He doesn't know." Her voice was soft and far away.

     Kendra looked at Esther with confusion.

     Esther continued. "You said," she looked up at her

godmother, "Jesus doesn't know the moment that the Terrible Day

of the Lord is going to happen."

     "You're right," Kendra admitted. "And now I know why,"

Kendra answered. "That time of destruction is something so all-

consuming that God the Father has left that portion for Him to

execute. Jesus, though He is God, is also human, a perfect mix of

the supernatural and the human species. This time of trouble is

so terrible that His heart wouldn't be in it. He doesn't want

that responsibility. Yet He knows that a holy, loving God, who

the Father and He are, can do no less. Having no darkness in

either of them, it is a judgement that only the Father will

commence. And Jesus, being God, yet worshiping the only God, will

totally obey. Therefore, the judgement will occur because there

are no lies in God. God the Father will wait until the last

minute and take no delight in the death of the sinners. Yet,

because He is a Holy God, it must occur."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         228

     Pete turned and saw Lora shaking her head in disbelief. In a

small way her action revealed the smile that he repressed in

forced quietness. He glanced at Steve and seemed to receive a

different response. Steve, he thought in amazement, is actually

listening to Kendra. Now that's a big change of heart. I wonder

if he believes all this darkness and light stuff she talks about?

     "Kendra," Steve called. "Did you see anything like the sky

rolling up?"

     Kendra looked at Steve with a quizzical stare.

     "I read more about that Wyman-Sanchez dimensional

mathematical theory. They believe the theories reveal up to forty

existing dimensions. The fifth dimension is where all the

physical laws reside. I guess one of these dimensions can account

for God being three Gods, yet only one God. Anyway, what I'd like

to know, did you see anything physically changing, like the sky

rolling up? That would be confirmation in the theory. It also

tells me that the laws governing our physical universe are

changeable. What a feeling of insecurity that gives me."

     Pete gave an exasperated sigh. "Doesn't seem like much of a

future if the world comes to an end. I can see it now. Actually

I'd rather not."

     "I don't think the theory is saying the world is coming to

an end," answered Steve. "But it is saying that the rules can be

changed. Some may have already changed. Kendra is always talking

about when the sky rolls up like a scroll. That to me says that

something in the physical universe, at least around the earth, is
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          229

going to change. I just wanted to know if she saw anything like

that in one of her visions."

     Steve wrapped his arm around Kendra, and spoke softly to

her. "Your visions have always come true." He gave her a warm

hug. "This will also."

     "Hey Steve," Pete called. "Get me a video of this, will yah?

I want to remember how big this place is."

     Steve returned to watching the sprawling industrial/military

complex. "Right. I'll get it."

     Pete walked to Kendra and Esther. He looked back once, and

saw Steve taping the complex. Pete smiled, and stood behind the

two girls in his life. He didn't want to talk about the world

changing. Instead he just wanted to be close.

     "Well, what do you think?" he asked. "No wonder the country

been able to rebuild so rapidly."

     Lora saw the change in direction of the talk. "They're here

to keep the peace. They're only a United Nations peacekeeping

force. In a few more years they'll all be gone."

     Kendra spoke her thoughts. "They've been here too long


     "You sound like an Israeli," Pete laughed.

     "I agree with her," Esther said with a scolding tone. "I

think there are too many foreign soldiers in my country."

     Pete realized this discussion was not one he was going to

win. He quietly turned and walked back to Steve.

     "I heard part of that," Steve said with a grin. "What did

you say to them?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                       230

     "It doesn’t matter," Pete replied. "Something about Israel

and the peacekeeping troops. Even Esther jumped on me."

     Steve ignored the possible problem and asked, "When are we

going to look for the guns?" His eyes flicked back toward Afula.

     "I think it's about time," Pete replied, clearing his throat

as he chuckled. "We head to Jerusalem tomorrow. We'll do it

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          231

     Chapter 17

     Pete returned to the Tel Megiddo and led everyone to the

top. Every step plunged him into haunting memories; the killing,

the struggle to survive, the chance meeting of a lone bullet or a

grenade fragment. Every step he took brought the sights and

sounds of war. He shook his head to clear his thoughts, but he

also knew that attempting to forget the past meant you usually

relived it. Inwardly he groaned. This self-induced torment was

going nowhere. He wished for quieter times, maybe the late 1800's

with a small ranch. Then he'd only have to worry about cows.

     "Yeah," he growled to himself. "I'd probably have to fight

for them." Then he thought of Kendra and the fighting didn't that

much anymore.

     Leading everyone to the east side of the Tel and to the

steep slope, he searched for the path of their escape. Heavy

rains during the last years produced abundant shrubs and grasses

that obscured the view. After a careful search he found a clear

spot that led to the path they traveled. Cautiously he led them

down the slippery slope.

     Once safely at the bottom, he then directed his little group

along the trail and into the trees. He kept walking, throwing

searching glances back at the Tel, until the view corresponded to

his three year old memory.

     "It has to be around here," he said. "Spread out and see if

you can spot it. The case has a brushed aluminum quilted pattern.

I hid it behind a clump of bushes." He looked around and all he
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          232

saw was clumps of bushes. This was not going to be as easy as he


     He pointed to the side where the case lay hidden, the side

closest to the main road.

      "I made sure I covered it so no one else would find it.

With all this new growth," he scrunched his nose in irritation,

"we may have a hard time locating the spot."

     If Pete every tried to leave the country with the case,

there'd be more questions than he'd like to answer. "When we find

it, we'll put the rifle and Kendra's pistol in it. Then we'll

tuck everything away in a safe place."

     He affectionately thought how to keep the British Arctic

Warfare Police (AWP) sniper rifle. Created in the 1990's, it was

still considered one of the best. An Israeli soldier, a sniper

just like he used to be, carried it before dying in an air-to-

ground rocket barrage.

     "A lot of good soldiers died that morning," he whispered.

     Thinking back to the air attack on the Tel Megiddo, Pete put

the .308 match grade ammo and AWP to good use in stopping an

enemy patrol.

     He shot three soldiers as he began his rear guard action.

Using concealment that he prided himself on, he easily picked off

five more before vanishing. As he ran, he hoped he bought his

people time to escape.

     The group of survivors found him on the trail exhausted and

suffering from broken ribs. The soldiers commanded by that big
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          233

American Jewish Indian, Corporal Goombi, led everyone safely back

to Afula.

     He thought warmly about the soldier. Wonder where that big

guy went to?

     "I found it!" called Lora from a hundred feet away. The

excitement of the find was in her voice.

     He heard her call and searched for where she stood. The

density of the bushes made it impossible to get a good fix on her

voice. She called again and he followed the sound. He presumed

the others were also heading in her direction.

     When he sighted her, he saw Steve, Kendra, and Esther

cleaning off the case. Lora didn't want to touch it. Pete guessed

that the memories flooding back inside her were taking their


     "Thanks," Pete said. His face clearly revealed his delight.

"I wasn't sure we'd find it. Anyone else might have stumbled

across it by this time and taken it for their own."

     His fingers gingerly opened the case and he saw that three

years of adverse weather hadn't affected the interior.

     "Let's get it to the car and pick up the rifle." The AWP sat

safely tucked away in the rock wall bordering YiaYia's home.

     "Don't forget my pistol," Kendra said as a reminder.

     "I won't forget," Pete replied.

     Kendra took the Ruger .22 with matching silencer from the

assassin they all nicknamed, Moonface. After hitting him with a

pipe, and thinking him dead, she grabbed the pistol, stuffed it

in a gymbag that Moonface carried and ran. Discreetly showing the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            234

pistol to them in the medical tent. She kept it in the killer's


       Two days latter, Pete realized that Kendra saved his life

when the killer attacked them in the cave.

       Kendra emptied two clips of twenty-two's into the guy. Later

they found that the killer was wearing a vest. Fortunately a few

bullets penetrated the vest and slowed Moonface down. The

assassin died only after his leg slammed against the real ark.

       Pete shuddered as he recalled how close to death they came.

Moonface had him beaten, and the guy knew it. Only the dumb luck

of using a desperate stomach somersault throw, Tomoenage, saved

the day. After the killer's leg slammed into the ark, the rest

was history.

       He turned to Kendra and gave her a hug, partially from

remembering the last fight with Moonface. "We'll make sure we

find that pistol. Who knows, you may need it again."

       In Afula, a short distance from YiaYia's cleared homesite,

the group found the rifle and pistol. Both lay safely hidden

within the rear stone wall.

       Three years earlier, Pete and Steve wrapped the weapons in

plastic trash bags and placed the inside the wall before leaving

the city. After rebuilding the wall, they marked the spot with a

five-sided stone block. The stone sat imbedded in the topmost

portion of the wall. It was like having "X" marks the spot.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          235

     With the two weapons now neatly tucked away in the trunk of

the car, Pete and Steve rebuilt the wall, making it look


     Excluding Esther, who wasn't privy to the fact, they all

agreed to rehide the guns before leaving Israel.

     Later in the evening, when Pete sat alone in his hotel room,

he'd clean the pistol, rifle and carrying case. The plan was to

strip both guns down to their major components, methodically

toothpick the hardest corners and remove burnt propellant and

dirt-filled oil from all the deep recesses. When he'd finish,

he'd store each weapon in the case. A few days later the case

would be placed inside the wall.

     He'd also dismantle the suppressor for the Ruger. Having

used such a sound suppressor in the Marines, he knew the holes

were excessive from plenty of wear. "I'll need to find a sporting

store," he announced to everyone.

     He planned to replace the swipes with hockey pucks. Their

centers would be drilled, leaving a small hole in the center. A

series of short cuts radiated from the hole and allowed the

individual pieces a degree of movement. As the gun is fired, a

bullet would smash through the center of the swipes, losing

velocity with each swipe that it passed. A percentage of the

expanding gasses from the burning gunpowder would be trapped in

each chamber. A millisecond later the gasses would stop

expanding, their velocity through the silencer slowing to a

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          236

     This silencer put together by Moonface, or his partner, held

six commercially made polyurethane swipes. It ain't a Maxim, he

thought, but it'll do.

     Steve leaned closer. "We've got thirty-three .22's and

twenty-five .308's. It'd be nice to have more ammo."

     "We have enough," answered Pete. "What I really wish is to

find a way to get it all back home."

     "Why don't you turn everything in to the government?"

     Pete inhaled through his teeth, making a shishing sound.

     "I can't. Don't know how to explain it, but I find it hard

to abandon them."

     "You're a pack-rat," explained Steve. "I think you ought to

quietly turn them in. Just leave them next to the police station

with an anonymous note on them."

     Pete thought of the rifle and high quality scope. In his

minds eye he saw the cross hairs squarely on Elijah's forehead. A

gentle squeeze and the attacks on Kendra's life would be over. No

matter what anyone else thought, the police or Kendra, he was

convinced - no it was more than that - he was sure Elijah was

solely responsible for the attacks. The last two attacks included

Esther and him. The stakes were getting higher.

      Yes, if he caught Elijah in his sights, he'd clear away one

serious reason for perpetual caution.

     Pete didn't want to think about it anymore. "Maybe on our

next visit," he answered to Steve's question. "Right now we'll

just re-hide them. I think that's the right thing to do."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          237

     Steve sensed that there was more to Pete's words than

clearly evident. "Where do you think we should hide them?"

     "X marks the spot. It will do nicely. We can have everything

planted after the ceremonies. The neighbors know we've been here,

so they won't be too suspicious."

     Pete closed the trunk of the car and looked at his watch. He

then saw Esther looking back at them. "We better get going."

     *     *   *

     Von Resh sat with Elijah in the exclusive Prime Minister

suite atop the Jerusalem Hyatt Regency. Both felt pleased with

the plan to capture worldwide attention at next day's ceremonies.

One of Von Resh's security men made contact with a Hamas cell.

During the ceremonies, they would shut off the main gas valve to

the temple complex. If all went as expected the gas fueling the

sacrificial flames would soon flicker, then sputter, and die a

quick death. This would be the moment for Elijah to use his

wizardry. He'd bring down fire from a clear blue sky and let it

consume the sacrifice. The plan was to market Elijah until the

world saw in him the same power that Elijah of Biblical times


     Since the war, the nation of Israel underwent a spiritual

revival. Even the Christian television station was accepted as an

instrument from God. With Elijah performing his tricks for all to

see, even the most stubborn holdout would give Elijah fearful


     Von Resh grinned with pleasure. If he gets his way Israel

will cease to exist. The nation has been a pain in his agenda. He
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          238

thought back at all he tried to accomplish and shook his head

with a smirk on his face. Half of the problems in the world seem

to originate from this country. The city of Jerusalem, a nothing

site, consumed a disproportionate amount of the world's financial

and political energies.

     As the door opened to his office, two advisors entered.

Since he didn't want Elijah to hear their reports, under the

pretext of another meeting, he asked to be left alone.

     Elijah walked to his room musing over a plan that he and he

alone created. The thought of kidnapping Kendra and seeing her

destroyed exhilarated him. Later tonight he'd secretly go to the

old city and meet with a man who'd guarantee her death. Yes, he
laughed to himself, I like covering all the bases. This girl has

slipped through my fingers one too many times. Soon she'll be


                              *     *   *

     Picking up their baggage after landing in Israel, Rene led

the line of tourists to baggage and then to customs. After

clearing the required stop, she walked by herself to the rental

car and waited. Bruce and Les sat in separate locations so as not

to bring attention to themselves.

     Turning back to the terminal, Rene saw her two jovial

killers coming through the doors. She waited for them to come up

beside her. As they approached, she mentally went over the route

they were going to drive.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          239

     They'd leave the airport and connect to Highway 1. From

there, they'd drive sixty kilometers south. By then they should

be at the cutoff to the Ayalon Reservoir. The old farm she sought

sat at the base of the earthen structure.

     "The drive will take less than an hour," she said

confidently as they stored their bags in the trunk.

     In another minute they drove away from the rental agency.

The house and the three men whom Elijah hired would be waiting.

     After fifteen minutes, she realized the drive was going to

take longer. At the Old Interchange, two tour busses and a small

EU military convoy collided. It took thirty minutes before the

police unhooked the lead bus and truck from each other.

     No one seemed to be hurt; though it was obvious the elderly

tourists on board were clearly disturbed.

     Rene was directed around the bottleneck and the real culprit

of the accident appeared. Road construction narrowed the road

south to one lane. The busses, or the convoy, apparently rushed

to get ahead of the other.

     An hour later they passed the marker that identified their

turn. A lone rusting tank from the 1948 War sat a hundred feet to

the side.

     The exit to Mishmar Ayalon appeared quickly and Rene

followed the exit to the road. "Now let’s find the dirt road to

the house."

     She tried to read the rusted signs, but found it useless.

Knowing that the road leading to the village of Mishmar was about
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          240

a half mile long, she turned left into the first road she saw.

Trees shielded the house at the end of the lane from view.

     "There's Lower Hook farm," she announced as the aging house

appeared. The trees opened up and she studied the house, which

sat to the right of an earthen dam. "We made it," she said


     "Hope that dam doesn't break while we're here," Bruce added

as he rolled down the window. Though the house sat off to the

side, it still was below the dam.

     "We won't be here long enough to worry about it," Les said

with displeasure. "I don't like being here. I'm getting bad

vibes. We better be careful."

     Bruce turned to his friend and said. "We'll be in and out

before anyone knows we were here."

     "And our little pigeon will be off to her happy hunting


     Rene saw Les slap Bruce's shoulder. "All right you two.

Let's see what our employer has in store for us."

     She glanced to where the highway lay and saw nothing. Dense

shrubs and old trees shielded them from the passing traffic. A

large gray barn appeared just behind the house. Only the sounds

of trucks and cars revealed the highway's presence.

     She realized why this house had been selected. With all the

greenery, no traveler will see anything.

     Two hundred feet from the house, two men stepped out of the

foliage and blocked her path. Each carried a rag covering

something in his right hand.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          241

     Guns, she thought.

     Both looked to be typical Mediterranean types with dark

complexions and short curly hair. The man closest was between

thirty or forty with sunken cheeks and a slightly pockmarked face

with a dimpled chin. She guessed he stood around six feet and

weighed one hundred and eighty. The other man stood tall and

slender, maybe in his teens. That man walked with a smile as he

approached the passenger side. The smile of a dragon, she thought

as she stopped the car and lowered the window.

     "This is private property," warned Cheeks as he walked

cautiously to her window.

     Rene studied Smiley without saying a word.

     The smiling younger man moved closer to the passenger side.

He pointed a stiff rag at Bruce. It was obvious that a rifle or a

shot gun lay under the rag.

     She studied the two men standing outside the car.

     A large boned third man appeared, of Caucasian decent. His

dirty reddish shirt covered an expansive stomach. When he came

closer, his body odor made her want to close the window. He was

unshaven and noticeably drunk, and clearly sweating. His blue

eyes, lifeless, and empty, stared unblinking.

     Reddish-brown hair, more reddish than auburn, indicated that

the man might be Irish. Large bushy eyebrows sat above his eyes.

The reddish flush on his face made Rene think of a Santa Claus

who drank too much.

     Motion from the back seat alerted her that Les planned to

get out of the car. The situation might be getting out of hand.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          242

     "Sit still," Rene ordered. "Let them do the talking."

     She glanced at Cheeks standing on the passenger side. A dark

brown fedora sat on his head. A black leather jacket hid his

body, but Rene saw that the man was not skinny. Strong hands held

the probable shotgun pointed at them. His open jacket revealed a

strong chest. She guessed the man rippled with muscles.

     "This is private property," reiterated the man. "We were

about to run a chain across the entrance. You'll have to turn


     Rene cleared her throat and spoke. "We've been ordered to

come here. Isn't this Lower Hook Farms?"

     The man reached for a paper tucked into his belt.

     Rene watched him shake the paper open. She also saw that the

paper appeared to be a fax with three photographs printed on it.

How dare they send photocopies of us? If this thing goes sour,
the cops will have our faces plastered all over the world. We'll

never get out of the country.

     The man studied Rene, then looked at Bruce and Les, and

studied them again.

     "Go forward," he commanded. "Park in back. You can carry

your bags in from there."

     "How do I know you two are working with us?" Rene asked.

"I've never seen you guys before."

     The man tapped his shotgun's barrel on the top of the door.

     "The lady thinks we're cops," he said with laughter.

     "Maybe we are," snickered the younger guy with a smirk on

his face. "Just because they match what the pictures sent to us,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          243

they think we ought to trust them." He waived his rag at the

interior of the car.

     "Look!" Rene said as gently as she could. "I'm irritated.

I'm tired from the flight. I'm in no mood for you three. You've

got our faces plastered on that fax."

     "Move it!" the guy ordered. "And go slowly."

     Frustrated, Rene drove as directed to the back of the house

while Les growled, "I thought we're supposed to be the ones

running this show?"

     "There seems to be a change in the plans," she commented.

     "I don't like this, Rene," Bruce said. "Whoever we're

working for can't be trusted."

     "When we finish our assignment," Rene growled, "we're out of

here. I don't think we're being paid enough for this aggravation.

I'll deal with that Peter Meirs another time. Right now, these

guys know who we are, and we don't know anything about them. For

the moment we'll play along."

     "Lay your bags in here," ordered the guy with muscles. He

stood next to a door that led from the back porch. He pointed his

shotgun to a spot next to a door leading into the house.

     Through the door, Rene saw a barren room with linoleum

covering the floor.

     Rene, Bruce, and Les dropped their bags next to the door and

entered. The room was a kitchen. Beer bottles littered the floor,

and trash overflowed the chipped porcelain sink. A musty urine

smell nearly gagged her.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          244

     Les gagged at the smell as he entered. "This place smells

like shit. Don't you three know about bathrooms?"

     "Shut your mouth," ordered the man who looked like Santa.

"Or I'll smash it in."

     "You and what army?" whispered Bruce.

     "Hold it," yelled Rene. ""We all have a job to do. I think

we better get it done."

     "Just keep your pups on a leash," growled Mr. Muscles, "or

when this is over, they might end up on the table."

     Rene looked around and then into what used to be a formal

dining room. A large table sat in the center. Coils of leather

straps lay on top. Bags of lime sat stacked in the corner.

     The plan before these buffoons took over had been fairly


     Their little pigeon was now in Jerusalem. She would be

staying at the Ramada Renaissance. The park across from the hotel

was where they planned to do the kidnapping.

     Les and Bruce would spirit their prize to the farmhouse and

await further orders. Once they delivered the prize their job

would be done. The three thugs were expected to complete the

task. Rene thought about it for a moment. I'm sure these guys
come highly recommended for the torture that is sure to follow.

     She suspected that Kendra's nude body would be dismembered,

and dropped into a pit especially prepared on the farm. The bags

of lime in the other room would be dumped over the body. The next

step probably called for the pit to be covered with six feet of

compacted dirt and a flower garden. In two weeks, only Kendra's
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         245

bones would remain. The severed head was to be bagged, and

weighted with a concrete block. Within an hour it would be dumped

in the Mediterranean Sea. With a twenty-pound block of concrete

holding it firmly on the bottom, the head would wave around until

the fish eat their fill.

     This guy really wants her bad, Rene thought. But this is

stupid planning. We could easily kill her seconds after the

kidnapping. Goofing around like this is dangerous. I hope our

idiot boss is satisfied, because I'm getting tired of coming up
short in these encounters. Then I'll tangle with this Meirs guy

one last time. She rubbed her left arm. I owe him big time.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          246

     Chapter 18

     Von Resh laughed as he rehearsed in his mind the plan to

provide a world stage for Elijah. "Trust me", he answered without

providing details. "I have a plan that will provide you with a

very dramatic opportunity. Believe me when I say people will soon

listen to your voice with rapt attention."

     "In the time you've been with me," Elijah replied, "you

still do not totally trust me. How can we be partners when you

won't confide in me?"

     "There are some things you are better off not knowing. I can

sum it up as 'energetic denial'. If you know everything, your

denials will lack sincerity. Trust me when I say, it is better

that you don't know. You can deny everything with a clear


     "I can deny as much as anyone else," Elijah protested, "but

I'm going to go along with you because I have faith in you. I

know the greatness that you possess. We also share the same

dreams. The world needs a leader like you."

     "Yes," Von Resh agreed, nodding his head with a subtle smile

on his lips. "It does, doesn't it?"

     Elijah studied this man for a moment then broke into a rare

grin. "They do indeed. Let's just hope your plans don't explode

in your face."

     "They won't. You can play with fire all day, if you remember

to stay in control."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          247

     Von Resh walked to his friend and placed an arm over his

broad shoulder. "In the short time that we have known each other,

I have come to respect you. I know you need me, but I also know I

need you. We truly have a symbiotic relationship. Together we

will build a new empire out of the Old World Order. That order

disintegrated because of too many nations placing their own self

interest above the greater good. When we finish picking up the

pieces, they'll all hand their pride to us on a silver platter."

     Von Resh looked down at this misshapen man who becomes his

partner. "Go now. Leave me. I must complete what I have to do.

I'm sure you have things to finish."

     Elijah looked up and wondered if the man knew what he was

doing. At the moment, what he needed most was money, lots of it.

His Swiss account was nearly depleted, and he needed cash to

complete his campaign against Kendra Makray.

     Assassins don't grow on trees, he mused. I have to pay for

     His wealth came from displaying his psychic powers. It

barely covered his living cost. Sadly he admitted that his

standard of living was too high. The ten thousand he received

monthly from the Resh Foundations and the five to six he made on

tours barely paid the creditors.

     He knew how to add as well as the next man. The ever-

approaching financial crises brought the proverbial gallows

closer and closer.

     If his plan went as expected, tomorrow afternoon his account

would swell by five million American dollars. The Russian general
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          248

who sold the merchandise would take three million, and along the

way another half was destined for different people hired for

delivery. When completed, I'll walk away with a cool one point

five. That'll easily pay my expenses for killing one simple girl.

The thought made him smile for the first time that day.

     He suspected Resh knew about his plans, at least the one

about killing Kendra. He hoped the old boy didn't know about his

selling of nuclear explosives to radical terrorists. Only with

the help of Von Resh's organization could he make it happen. He

needed Von Resh, and it was a good that the man needed him. They

both knew that a symbiotic relationship between them had

developed. But Elijah also knew that Von Resh relied on his inner

circle of advisors. When together, that group possessed an

uncanny ability to find a person's most secret thoughts. Luckily

they weren't around. At least Elijah didn't sense them, and if

they were, they weren't close enough for Elijah to feel them

probing his mind.

     Elijah excused himself and left Von Resh to work out the

nefarious plans for stealing the thunder from tomorrow's show.

     The day was expected to arrive with all the pomp that the

Israeli government could muster. After all, these were the first

temple ceremonies in two thousand years. The ones being performed

outside in a Florida religious theme park didn't count.

     Well, Elijah had his plan. He'd remove the little fly that

bothered him, once and for all. Goodbye, Kendra Makray and hello

to one point five million American dollars. Long live a lasting

world order, one that will survive a thousand years.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          249

     He hurried to the elevator, went to the lobby, and rented a

car. By evening his life would be sweeter.

     Elijah drove to a small warehouse in the older part of the

city. The dilapidated sign on the side of the building indicated

the building was a Christian food distribution center.

     A dummy company in Israel, the non-existent owners lived in

the Cayman Islands, which in turn was owned by another dummy

corporation in Switzerland, which again was owned by another

dummy door-front corporation in Hong Kong. No one would ever link

him to being the actual owner. The only chink in his plan lay in

the men to whom he was delivering his package to. He didn't trust


     He and the group knew each other from the early days in

Syria. They all lived in the same apartment complex owned by the

government. By the age of fourteen each went his own way. They

all lost touch with each other until six months ago.

     These childhood friends of Elijah wanted him to become a

member in the fight against the Jewish appropriation of Arab

soil. But he alone escaped the government sponsored poverty and

brainwashing by fleeing to Lebanon. When he went to Israel, he

considered himself a citizen of the world.

     One of his three childhood playmates, Rafi Shlomo, rose to

the rank of lieutenant in the Iranian Allah El Whid (soldiers of

God) faction of the Hamas terrorist organization. The other two,

Nahal and Mitra, became freelance killers of Palestinians who

disagreed with the party line.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          250

     Embarking on such a dangerous mission meant trusting each

member. They knew each other by sight. Yet in the dark world of

intrigue and shady bedfellows, one never truly trusted anyone.

That was okay; he hadn't trusted anyone for a long time.

     Once the nuclear packages were delivered, even these three

puppets would disappear. Others would do the final work. The

items would travel through enough hands that no one would be able

to trace their original source. The El Whids would be sheltered

and so would he. Even the aluminum crate transporting the

warheads would be cut up and disposed of in a number of dumps.

     He parked the car beside the windowless, rusting building

and entered the door.

     Once inside he found the building dark and empty. As his

eyes adjusted to the darkness, he made out a military truck. It

was aimed in the direction of the garage door. The three men he

expected sat waiting around a small table.

     After a cautious greeting Elijah checked his Swiss account

via his phone and found that the money had not been transferred.

He looked at his old friends.

     "We are never sure you will show up," the one he knew as

Najib said. "Maybe you do not have the merchandize."

     Elijah didn't smile as he watched his old friend, Rafi. "I'm

here. Have your people wire the money at once and we can all go."

     "What is this lady to you that you want us to kill her?"

Rafi asked.

     "You do not know?" Elijah looked at Rafi and the others.

"You do not know who you are being asked to kill?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          251

     He waited for their response but none came.

     "Do you not remember the name, Kendra Makray? She is the

cause of all your troubles. She is the discoverer of the Ark of

the Covenant. She is the reason there is a Hebrew temple on the

sacred mount. She is the reason so many in your faith have

abandoned Mohammed and turned to Jesus."

     Elijah delighted in the hate he saw inflamed in their eyes.

"Good," he said. Shall we transfer the money?"

     Fifteen minutes later, after a cup of dark tea, Elijah

called his account. The money arrived safely. He looked at his

childhood friends and managed a smile. "I have your money and you

have me. Shall we go?"

     The four climbed into the truck and drove north to the Ramat

David distribution center.

     When they arrived, Elijah used the passes that the Von Resh

organization supplied. He directed them to a secluded supply

center. Once there they supplied the proper papers and retrieved

a large aluminum storage container.

     Thirty minutes later they drove away.

     Just north of the town of Ju'Ara, Elijah relinquished

ownership of the container. A car appeared and drove him back to

Jerusalem. "Tomorrow," he laughed with immense satisfaction;

"Kendra Makray will be no more. Her eternal interference will

finally end."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          252

     Chapter 19

     Friday, September the 9th, 2011, the sky showed blue, clear,

and cloudless as the sun rose above Jerusalem. Kendra and Pete

arrived at the main Temple Mount security checkpoint and

entrance, located at the northeast end of the complex. They

handed their VIP passes to the soldiers staffing the entrance. No

one was being allowed onto the complex unless specifically

invited. He and Kendra would not have the closest seats, though

their discovery of the ark was crucial to the building of the

temple. He figured to be one of the select four hundred guests

was honor enough.

     Seven of the core E. U. member nations rejected the request

to attend. The official position being that the temple was an

affront to Muslim sensitivity over the Temple Mount.

Unofficially, most nations were angry that the Israeli government

allowed the temple to ever be built.

     After the stunning defeat over the invaders, the E. U. and

NATO political leaders reluctantly accepted the partitioning of

the thirty-five acre complex and a modest building program.

Little did they know the extent of the plans that would unfold. A

detachment of American troops were assigned to help the

Jordanian, but they were actually invited more to prevent Euro

forces from occupying their nation.

     "Corporal Goombi!" Pete yelled in complete surprise at

seeing his war-time friend.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          253

     Kendra looked up and stared at the big Israeli standing

thirty feet away with a small group of soldiers. Her eyes lit up

as she smiled with excited recognition.

     Lieutenant Goombi stood in the group of soldiers and stared

at the man who called his name. It took ten seconds for him to

react. When he did, he reached for the knife attached to his

belt. Holding it in his right hand, he ran the tips of his

fingers slowly across the cold white steel.

     "Good to see you, White Man."

     Pete watched Goombi say something to the soldiers standing

with him. He wasn't sure the corporal recognized him. The big,

thick boned, soldier walked toward them with an angry look.

Something was wrong.

     Pete noticed that Goombi's dark skin, a product of his Kiowa

Indian heritage, seemed to be darker, probably due to the Middle

Eastern sun. His hair still hung long, but not as long as three

years ago. Now it was shoulder length. Pete suspected this was

due to his finally conforming to military life.

     Pete studied the man's face, looking for hostile intentions.

Then he remembered that Goombi always carried a stern face even

when he tried to make a joke. Once Pete saw the guy smile, and

even that seemed truncated.

     As Goombi approached, the knife went back into its sheath,

and Pete noticed a glint in the man's eye. Pete relaxed and met

the soldier half way. When they were at arm's length, both men

lunged toward each other and embraced in a massive bear hug.

     Kendra hurried to them and the three embraced.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          254

     "How you been, big guy?" Pete asked. He noticed the silver

bars on Goombi's shoulders. "Looks like I must now call you


     "Battle field commission," Goombi replied. "Saving your

butts accounted for something."

     He then looked at Kendra. "I am delighted to see you again,

both of you. I've read your book. The darn thing made me out like

a hero. I got two medals out of it after the newspapers wrote

about it."

     "You deserved it," Kendra said. "After the war ended, we

didn't know if you were alive. Why didn't you write? You should

be ashamed of yourself. We were all worried about you."

     "I never was good with writing," Goombi replied. "He's got a

birthday next month. I'll send him a card."

     "Goombi," Kendra said. Her voice soft and gentle filled with

concern toward the man who probably saved their lives more than

once. "I'm glad you're alive." She tapped him on the arm. "You

big lug."

     Goombi's eyes softened. "I met an old friend of yours when I

was stationed along the Jordanian border, Captain Fadi of

Jordanian counter terrorism. He said that if I ever got back to

the States, he wanted me to look you up and say hello. He has a

gift for you, something for an answer to prayer. He calls you his

holy woman. You must have made an impression on him."

     Goombi saw Kendra's face beaming with joy.

     "So he actually made Captain," laughed Pete. "His commanding

officer, Colonel Ahmed, hung a title on me, El Shugaa Sareer,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         255

means a young worrier who has begun his journey. That's my


     "I have a feeling you have gone past that stage," Goombi


     "I've been through a lot," Pete replied as he glanced at

Kendra without explaining. He instinctively rubbed the hand that

had been pinned to the fender. "We've both have."

     Goombi looked at Pete and studied Kendra's face. "I read the

book you two wrote. Someone after you again?"

     "I think it's happening again," she replied. Her face showed

the pain of the last few months. "Pete has already saved my life

three times. He was seriously hurt the last time."

     Goombi turned toward Pete for an answer. His eyebrows rose

as he searched Pete's face for a quick explanation.

     "Six months ago," Pete began, "someone tried to electrocute

Kendra in her own bathtub. A week later they tried to run her off

the road. Then two months ago, a bunch of goons tried to gun her


     "Where were you when all this was happening?" Goombi asked.

     "He almost got killed," Kendra answered defensively. "He

saved my life all three times."

     Goombi saw her stern look and grabbed her hands. "I didn't

mean anything," Goombi laughed. "The big guy is good for

something other than saving the lives of my men."

     He looked at her left hand. "I thought you two'd be married

by now."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          256

     "We almost made it," Pete said while shuffling his right

foot. "Maybe next year."

     A frown filled Goombi's face. Then he broke into a rare

sliver of a smile. "The lady's got brains. She's too good for


     "I can't agree with you more, Corporal." Pete looked again

at the silver on Goombi's shoulder. "I mean Lieutenant."

     Goombi glanced at the security passes hanging around Pete

and Kendra's neck.

     "I knew you'd be here," he said. "In a way," he looked at

the entrance to the temple compound. "All you see here is due to

you two. My people owe a lot to you. In appreciation, I

personally want to thank you."

     A trumpet sounded from within the walled compound, and Pete

turned to look. A tall white marble wall sat at the top of the

mount, shielding the temple from onlookers.

     "I think we better get inside," he said. "Will you be here

when the ceremonies finish?"

     Goombi looked at his watch and said. "I'm scheduled to be

here for two more hours."

     "How about dinner?" Pete asked. "My treat. We can eat at the

hotel. Two friends who were with us on the Tel, Steve and Lora,

will be excited to see you."

     Goombi's face showed concern, something that puzzled Pete.

     "I have a family now, even have a kid, a boy," Goombi said

with a touch of hesitation.

     "You're married?" Pete asked.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          257

     "Just after the war. Thought it was time to settle down."

     "I'd love to meet them," replied Kendra. "Can you invite

them? She's more than welcome. Do you have more than one child?"

     "No, just one."

     "How about seven o'clock?

     Another trumpet sounded from inside the wall.

     "You better get inside," Goombi said. "What hotel are you

staying at? I'll check with the family. If it's possible, I'll

call you if we can come."

     "We're at the Ramada Renaissance," Kendra said and wrote

down the hotel's name. My room is 1023. Pete's in 1025. We'll see

you at seven."

     Goombi took the note from Kendra and gave her a relaxed

salute. "I have to get back to my men."

     Pete and Kendra looked back at the lieutenant as he returned

to his squad.

     Once they entered the last of the thick stainless steel

gates both stopped and looked in amazement. They entered the

outer court and saw hundreds of dignitaries waiting for the

ceremonies to begin.

     Four large columned porticos sat at each corner. All the

walls were made of white marble. Directly in front of them,

across the courtyard, granite stairs led up to the temple mount.

At the top of the stairs a tall ornate gate slowly opened and let

the invited dignitaries into the inner court and the Temple.

     They followed the guest up the stairs and entered the inner

court. Walls of white marble guided them to the Golden Gate and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          258

the open courtyard. They reached the end of the inner wall and

turned to face the temple.

     Surfaced in white polished marble, the temple sunlight

reflecting off the building and wall momentarily blinded her.

Priest lined the route they were to take to the viewing stands.

Kendra caught her breath as she tried to see everything while

making her way to the assigned seats. Along the walls were tall

columns that held up the roof of long porticos. The columns were

created from red veined white marble. The Temple itself was

covered in polished pure white marble. Every ornate curve carved

into the walls, the porticos, and the Temple was leafed with pure

gold. Two large doors, twenty feet tall, led into the Temple and

finally to a room known as the Holy of Holies.   Within the Holy

of Holies sat their discovery, the Ark of the Covenant.

     As they walked across the courtyard, to the right, sat a

trailer and what Pete guessed held a mammoth television screen.

He counted six twelve-foot scaffolds that held television crews

busy with their cameras. On both sides of the steps leading up to

the sacrificial altar, which sat just below the temple's gold

plated entrance, were the viewing stands.

     Pete touched Kendra's arm and led her forward. "Our seat

must be in one of those stands."

     They walked toward the two stands set up for the invited

guests. At the top of the stairs, in front of the sacrificial

altar and the golden doors Pete noticed three priests.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          259

     Dressed in robes and turbans described by Moses they stood

silent and watching. Then he noticed that within the porticos

stood more priests. Behind them young boys waited.

     Dignitaries, along with their security escorts walked around

the compound, accompanied by more priests, who apparently were

giving guided tours to their charges.

     Pete showed his seating pass to the first priest he

encountered, and a young boy appeared and led them to their

reserved seats.

     "Beautiful!" Kendra exclaimed as she sat mesmerized by the


     "The pictures we've seen don't do it justice," Pete added.

"This place is amazing."

     "You're right," she replied as she searched for the

television crews. "I think every part of this ceremony is being

telecast. Satellites are carrying it live to every Jewish

community in the world. Secular programming is scheduled to carry

portions of the ceremonies."

     "I read somewhere that the pollsters are estimating a third

of the world's population will watch some portions of the


     "How much do you think they've spent on this place?" Kendra


     "I've heard somewhere between seven or eight hundred

million. Apparently the cost is low because the gold has all been

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          260

     "I know," Kendra answered with pride. "I donated three gold

coins, one for God the Father, one for God the Son, and one for

God the Holy Ghost. I felt blessed for months. Right now I'd like

to shout with joy."

     Pete looked at Kendra and chuckled. One thing he never felt

threatened by was her excitement over God.

     "You better not do it. We'll get thrown out." Then he

thought of Kendra's gold coins. "There's a lot of gold in that

building. Even the huge doors are covered with the stuff. I hope

you didn't give too much away. You might need it some day."

     "He supplies all my needs. Besides, that's what wealth is

for," Kendra replied. "I want mine to bring glory to God."

     "I still think you need to watch out for your old age."

     "I'm not worried. We don't have that long."

     This answer slammed into his brain like a headache. Taking

care of ones old age made more sense than counting on God to

provide. Too many people did that and ended up as paupers. He

hoped Kendra wasn't that foolish.

     "I thought you said the Lord told you," he said. "You're

going to live until you're eighty-four."

     "If this Temple hadn't been built, I think they'd still have

the tabernacle of Moses sitting here and it would all still be

true. But look at it now. After two years of construction, they

place the tabernacle that was also found with the Ark, in a

museum, and for the first time in my life, I now completely

believe the rapture will be sooner than later. Now I know it

might happen at any time. Soon, I expect a person will stop the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          261

sacrifices, and I don't think it will be Elijah. He's too much of

a wimp. But it might be someone close to him, maybe one of his

extremist buddies."

     "Still holding onto that rapture stuff?" he said with more

than a touch of sarcasm.

     "Holding, hoping, and praising," Kendra answered. She glared

at Pete. She wanted to hit him, and for a moment her heart ached

from his rejection of the good news.

     "Pete, you never believed there were going to be sacrifices.

Now here we are. Today they're going to be performed right before

your eyes. This is coming to pass, and so will the rapture."

     She realized she felt angry about having to defend her

belief. She let it subside and said. "I love you." The confession

brought a lump in her throat. "Every now and then I see the doubt

and pain in your heart. If you never accept Christ and let him

cleanse your heart, I don't think we will ever get married."

     Pete bit his lip and exhaled deeply. It was another case of

saying too much. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring it up." He

returned to watching the three priests standing by the altar.

"It's going to be quite a ceremony."

     It irritated him when Kendra sensed things in him that

revealed unspoken feelings. She's led by supernatural force, and

as for me, I'm just going with the flow. It's hard to let go of

things when you don't know what they are.

     "I need to understand it more," he answered without removing

his eyes from the altar. "I just don't have your faith. One thing
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          262

I've always believed in is your visions. In a few more years I

think I will truly understand."

     "Don't believe me. Believe God. The Bible says that to fear

God is the beginning of knowledge. Believe that the Bible is

written and given by God. At my stage of understanding, I now

just blindly believe it all, and I see miracles occurring in my

life. If you follow my example, you will too."

     "I do believe in God, and I believe the big guy's protecting

you. For some reason, He picked you out of billions of people to

fulfill His purpose. As for me, and the rest of the world, I

think we have to grope our way through life."

     "Well, this place is expensive looking," Kendra said,

deciding to drop the subject of converting Pete to her way of


     Pete picked up the change and felt pleased by her

willingness to change directions.

     "Well, after two thousand years without a Temple," he said,

"nothing seems to be too good for this place. I understand that

only in getting large diamonds as offerings did they slow down

the spending."

     Kendra looked at Pete with an inquisitive stare.

     "The gems used in the High Priest's breastplate are made of

clusters of gems. You'll notice it when he stands behind the

altar. If the sun's just right the gems will show up really well.

They couldn't afford single fifty carat diamonds, or rubies, or

emeralds, so they filled up the space with two carat clusters."

     "I never thought about it."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          263

     "Well, don't worry. I'm sure a square grouping of twelve

perfectly cut two caret diamonds will be spectacular, and the

same will be true for all the other gems."

     "What about the ephod we found in the cave? It possessed

precious stones. What did they do with them? I thought they were

going to use them?"

     "That's museum stuff. Priceless." Pete answered.

     Kendra turned around and searched for the gold topped Dome

of the Rock Mosque. "I can't see any signs of the mosque from

here. I've heard that they've rebuild it."

     "Time and money can rebuild most anything. Luckily there

hasn't been another earthquake. I understand that there are two

thirty foot tall walls separating each holy place from the others

view." Pete replied. "I understand the Muslim wall is very

elaborate." He emphasized the word elaborate. "The surface is

faced in sparkling black marble. We'll have to visit it. I

understand they've inscribed passages from the Koran within the

stone. Then they inlaid the deep cuts with pure gold. It'll be

something to see."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          264

     Chapter 20

     Sitting on the edge of her seat Kendra watched the High

Priest approach the sacrificial flames. She also heard a murmur

from the onlookers. It grew louder. A sudden trumpet blast

startled her and ended the growing chatter. The din from the

dignitaries turned to silence.

     Turning toward the sound of the trumpet she saw seven white

robed men standing above the gate on the marble wall. Each man

held a long silver trumpet in front of him. They all stood

straight and tall as they held the six-foot long silver trumpets.

Below them, the main gates slowly closed.

     At the sound of deep kettle-like drumbeats, from somewhere

under one of the covered porticos, Kendra watched as the

trumpeters raised their instruments to their chins.

     She sat mesmerized by the proceedings. She read the details

of the schedule, but reading and seeing were two different

things. Here was the real thing, an actual temple ceremony. None

had been experienced since 70 AD. Yes, she thought, this is a
momentous occasion. She also thought about the future and the

event now very near.   How many times will this be performed

before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord?

     For a moment her thought went to the underground mosque next

door. The chamber under Al Agsa was purported to hold 8,000 men.

She also wondered why so many never accepted Jesus as their

savior. Tens of millions of Muslims changed their faith and

became believers in Jesus the Christ, the Word of God. The God of
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          265

the Hebrews was now accepted as the one and only true God. God

showed them that Allah and He were not the same.

     Kendra also knew of another plan. One third of the people on

the earth would die as world leaders plunged the nations into a

horrible nuclear war. Maybe one third of the world's population

will be raptured, she thought with an up beat smile on her face.

Who knows the hearts of man better than the one who created man.

     Feeling better, she concentrated on what was happening in

front of her and reliving the thrill of discovering the Ark of

the Covenant.

     Actually they discovered two arks that day. The first proved

to be a fake. The second one, the one she and Pete discovered,

proved to posses the power of God. Two men died by touching the

Ark. Moonface she knew about. The second man turned out to be a

scientist who didn't believe the legend.

     She beamed with pride. Yet the thoughts of a massive war,

which she knew lay on the horizon, still troubled her mind. Enjoy
it while you can, she thought. Her shoulders drooped as if they

carried the cares of the world. Life goes on, but nothing stays
the same.

     At the same time she remembered something God revealed to

her. Do not call evil good or good evil, but instead pray for

mercy, mercy to those who will suffer.

     She said a quiet "yes Lord" and willed herself to release

the melancholy mood she felt by forcing her mind on the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            266

     As she silently praised God, her excitement rebounded until

she wanted to stand up and shout "Glory". Chuckling to herself,

she knew an outburst like that would have her quickly ushered out

of the compound, and she desperately wanted to see her Ark of the

Covenant entering the Temple. Still it was getting difficult to

control her pride in being the true discoverer.

     The huge television screen standing by the entrance

flickered to life. From her seat she saw the screen projecting a

view of a massive security gate that led into the outer courtyard

and permitted vehicles and heavy equipment to enter the temple

mount. Israeli soldiers and priests waited on both sides of the


     In the outer court, Kendra spied two television crews

concealed under each of the marbled column porticos leading to

the gate and the Temple. She presumed that the path being

traveled that brought the Ark to the temple was being covered

with cameras.

     The ark sat three miles safely guarded in the Great

Synagogue. Under heavy guard, it was now being moved from the

Synagogue to the temple. She looked at her watch and waited.

        Pete adjusted his sunglasses. "Hot day for this. There's

not a cloud in the sky."

     "It is a little warm," she said as her eyes watched the

television screen.

     Seeing nothing to hold her interest, she pointed to a group

of people entering the courtyard. A face sent shivers throughout

her body.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          267

     "Elijah's here" she moaned. "What's he doing here?"

     She watched him walk to the plush high security section and

take his seat.

     Leaning closer to Pete she whispered, "He's sitting with

pretty powerful company. That section is reserved for the highest

level of world leaders. Who’s that man he's talking with?"

     "I don’t know," Pete said with anger rising within him after

seeing Elijah. "I’m sure he runs around with all types of

company. The guy's a leach and a fraud. But as for who he's with,

I never saw him before."

     She watched Elijah's deadpan expression as he spoke to the

man sitting to his right.

     "They seem to be friendly."

     "Well, I don't trust him. We've both seen that man in

action. He has a lot of anger bottled up within him."

     "I don't trust him either. Knowing his type, I'd say he's

here to take as much glory for himself as he can."

     "I know a lot of people disapprove of this temple being

built, especially next to the Dome of the Rock. He'd better not

make any trouble."

     She looked around to see if anyone from the American

government had arrived. She shook her head and said. "No one's

here. They sent money for Israel's reconstruction and must still

be peeved that some was diverted to this project."

     "They feel they've been blackmailed by the Israelis," Pete

responded. "Even the EUC is angry, but what can anyone do?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          268

     Kendra laughed. "The whole world is angry. Providing funds

to rebuild the nation. That is a small price to pay to keep the

Israelis from using any hidden nukes on those who demolished

their country."

     Kendra glanced up at a large flat screen televising the

route of the ark. Then she remembered that she brought a hand

held portable television set with her. She hurriedly opened her

purse and turned on the TV.

     "Here it comes!" she said as she found every television

station carrying the ceremonies.

     The voice of a commentator describing the Ark passing below

his station perked up her ears. Her eyes watched in fascination

as eight priests carrying the Ark on long golden poles walked

solemnly past the camera.

     The golden ark sat above the priests as each man walked

slowly and expressionlessly. By their carriage, she knew they

clearly revealed an inner pride in being selected for this honor.

Kendra noticed the golden stops placed on the poles. She surmised

that these four clamps were there to protect the carriers from

the accidental slippage of the Ark on the gold plated poles.

     The sound of a helicopter made her look up from the small TV

she held in her hand and back toward the big screen next to the

entrance. Not seeing the helicopter, which flew above the

procession, she returned to her handheld set.

     A hushed commentator described in a low voice that the walls

that separated the Hebrew Temple and the Muslim Mosque were

actually composed of two independent walls. Everything was
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          269

constructed in such a way that neither wall touched the other.

Even the concrete used in the foundations had been poured

independently of each other. Hebrew priests and Muslim Imams

guaranteed to their worshipers that not even the concrete

foundations ever touched.

     Kendra knew that the religious leaders preferred to use

different bedrock, but since there was only one mountain, both

walls sat on the same bedrock. Their concrete cores were then

surfaced with polished stone acceptable to both of the building


     Both walls were one hundred and forty-four centimeters thick

and twelve meters high. On top sat recessed walkways. For the

Levitical priests their walkway allowed them to stand safely on

the top and blow the trumpets.

     The thickness of each wall represented twelve centimeters of

thickness for each of the sons of Israel and Ishmael.

     Between the two walls ran a narrow passageway to permit the

temple custodial staff to sweep away the dust that might build up

and join the two religious sites.

     With television set in hand Kendra saw the Ark approach the

outer courtyard.

     "They're at the outer gate," she said and looked at the huge

television screen. Standing on the wall and above the screen

seven priests lifted their trumpets.

     "Well, there're your seven trumpets."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          270

     "Yes they are," she answered. But today is not the Jewish

New Years. That day will arrive in another month. Then I must get

everyone ready.

     The procession arrived at the inner gate and Kendra shut off

her TV. Now she and everyone else watched the gate leading into

the inner court. Burning inside her was the desire to run and

dance. If it was good enough for King David, she thought, it's

good enough for me.

     "I can't stand it!" she exclaimed to Pete.

     He placed a hand on her arm and gave her a smile. He sensed

the excitement she felt. It also roared inside him and he

suppressed the emotions to stand and take a bow. Instead he

pressed down with his hand on her shoulder and said, "You better

not get silly. I don't think they'd appreciate it."

     "I know," she said in frustration. "I know, but this is too

much. I want to fall on my knees and pray."

     "Hang in there girl. Control yourself. We don't want to make

a scene. I can see the article now. 'Yesterday, the discoverer of

the Ark was jailed for disturbing the Temple ceremonies. She is

being evaluated to see if she's a danger to the public.'"

     Kendra smiled at him and chuckled from excitement. "I bet

they might." Her countenance changed and she stared at Pete with

questions covering her face. "Do you think they think I'm


     He heard the seriousness in her voice, and paused before

speaking.   The sound of hovering helicopters nearly drowned out
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          271

his words. "You're a little kooky, but I do love you, and I'm

sure they do also."

     "What was that you said?"

     Pete caught his breath and glanced at her. "You heard me."

     A peace washed over him as he realized what he just said.

"It's about time we get this out in the open. You've been cool to

me ever since you changed your mind about marriage. I don't think

I can take it any longer. My suppressed feelings are driving me

crazy. I want to get married."

     Kendra didn't know how to answer. She stared off to the side

and frowned.

     Even with her head partially turned, Pete saw the deep

furrows crossing her forehead. Now he felt sorry he put pressure

on her shoulders. He took a deep breath and prepared to make a


     "Gotcha!" he laughed. Inside he felt sick. He hoped his

laughter would lift her out of the tailspin. Demanding marriage

from her left a sour taste in his mouth. Somehow it always

sounded like begging.

     A thought crushed him even further. He realized that what he

felt for her wasn't what she felt for him. Water blurred his

vision as pain entered his heart as if it was a knife. His throat

constricted and he needed a drink.

     "I wonder if they have a water fountain in this place?" he

asked." Getting up without waiting for an answer, he moved past

her. "I'll be back," he said unable to take sitting there any
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            272

longer. Under the pretext of getting refreshments, he asked.

"Want anything?"

       He looked down at Kendra who apparently wouldn't look up at


       "I'll be back," he said in frustration, and was glad their

eyes never met. He never was good at hiding his feelings.

       Kendra turned and watched Pete walk away, tears streaming

down her cheeks.

       She expected and prayed for a marriage proposal from him a

hundred times. The rehearsed answers sounded so cool in her mind.

Now she hated the absolute nothing that came from her lips. She

didn't even have the courtesy to answer him.

       Her body drooped as the energy drained out of her and left

her empty. As she noticed people watching her, the emptiness

became embarrassment. Shaking her head, she closed her eyes and

tried to force in new thoughts. It frightened her to seriously

admit her love.

       In agony she quietly began praising God. It always worked

before, even when she felt terribly hurt. She possessed nothing

else that might work.

       Her mind reeled as she slowly lifted both her hands in

praise. She even bent her wrist back so that the palms faced up.

This was her style. It was as if her aura reached directly to


       The sound of the seven trumpets interrupted her plea to God.

She watched as the massive doors opened.

       The High Priest stood still and waited.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          273

     Dressed in the attire first described by Moses, absent from

the scene for 4,000 years, the sight left her with no thrill. She

resigned herself that only in faith was she able to continue. The

pain within and the pain she believed she created in Pete were

too overwhelming.

     Glancing down at the empty seat beside her, the joy in her

was gone. Alone, surrounded by hundreds of people, the pomp and

beauty of the ceremony felt sacred.

     Without a drop of feeling she sat staring at the High


     Trying to recapture her earlier euphoria, she made a valiant

effort to concentrate. She began with the garment.

     The High Priest wore a garment of very fine unbleached

linen. Wide colored threads of purple, blue, and scarlet were

interwoven on the neck, tips of the sleeves and bottom of their

robes. Included within the linen were treads of pure gold. He

also wore a small turban and a sash composed of the same


     Over his tunic hung a large ephod composed of gold, blue,

purple, and scarlet threads. Two large engraved onyx stones, set

in gold, rested upon his shoulders. On these stones were engraved

the names of the twelve sons of Israel.

     Two braided gold chains connected the stones, the ephod, and

the breastplate. On the breastplate were placed twelve additional

stones, in gold, representing the sons of Israel.

     There were four vertical rows composed of three stones each.

In the first row were pigeon-blood rubies, blue topaz, and deep
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          274

green emerald. In the second row were filled with green

turquoise, blue sapphires, and perfect diamonds. The third was

composed of a reddish-orange zircons, star agates, and a huge

purple amethyst. The fourth contained yellow-green peridot, black

onyx, and yellow quarts. Hanging from the back of the high priest

there was a blue robe with many little golden bells and small

golden pomegranates dangling from its bottom.

     Behind the High Priest stood his two assistants and two

hundred Temple priests. Each one was dressed in similar attire,

except they did not have the jeweled ephod on their chest.

Instead, hanging from the front of their turbans, small-engraved

golden plates hung to their forehead. She knew that the Hebrew


     Twelve more priests appeared on the wall above the gate.

Each held a long Shophar, rams' horn.

     The sight of the Temple ceremonies blurred and Kendra

blinked her eyes. The effort to clear her vision didn't work. She

needed Pete by her side.

     With a prayer shawl covering his head, the High Priest began

the sacrifice. Raising his knife skyward, offering a silent

prayer, he pushed down on the head of the white ram, thereby

exposing the throat. When the head touched the polished side of

the sacrificial stone bowl, he quickly slit the animal's throat.

     Pete stood outside the viewing area feeling irritated with

himself. He left without looking back. For years he listened
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          275

about her insinuated love for him. She always said it was up to

God, that they were unequally yoked, whatever that meant. He had

it with excuses.

     Someday she might accept him, but he doubted it. No-sir, he

fumed in his thoughts. I'm too practical, my lady. I think I'm

finally tired of playing nursemaid to someone whose head is in

the clouds.

     A poem sprang into his head. "William Benet," he grinned at

the words.

     Jesse James was a two-gun man

     Strong arm chief of an outlaw clan

     He twirled an old Colt forty-five

     They never took Jesse James alive.

     He twirled an imaginary gun and chuckled to himself. "No

sir," he whispered, "she ain't going to make a fool out of Peter


     Kendra sat watching the proceedings and felt nausea sweeping

over her. Again her eyes lost focus and the sounds of the

ceremony faded. She'd been through this enough to know a vision

when it happened. She looked around to see if anyone noticed her.

     Quietly she closed her eyes and waited. God was sending her

a message.

     Pete paced the outer court and found a drinking fountain.

Taking a paper cup, he filled it to the brim and drank. As he
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          276

tilted his head up, he glanced skyward. A circle of white birds

caught his eyes. The sight made him gag on the water.

     Staring at the birds a few more seconds, he realized what he

was seeing. Looking back at the small gate he just walked

through, he drew an imaginary vertical line down from the birds

to the inner court.

     "Kendra," his mind shouted. His paternal instincts of

protecting the only woman he ever loved surfaced so fast that he

didn't stop to think.

     He threw the cup into a trash receptacle and hurried back to

the gate. Since his security pass hung around his neck, the

guards stationed at the gate allowed Pete to enter without any

hindrance. Walking as fast as he could, not wanting to attract

attention, he hurried to his seat.

     He looked up more than once to see if the birds were still

flying overhead. Now he felt sure they were over Kendra. Circling

birds meant only one thing; she was being shown a vision from

God. "Why did I leave her?" he moaned. "This is no time for this.

Don't you have a better sense of timing? Why don't you respect

the services held in your name?"

     He reached his seat and sat down without disturbing her. Her

eyes were closed and he shot an upward glance to see if the birds

were still above.

     They were and they weren't. They seemed to be breaking up.

     "I'm here beside you," he whispered, trying desperately not

to interrupt. "Everything is okay. Don't worry about the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           277

ceremonies. What you are doing is much more important. We can get

a video of all this before we leave Israel."

     Kendra never opened her eyes.

     He felt convinced she never heard him. He wanted to touch

her but decided against the disturbance. Tears flowed down her

cheeks and his heart broke. All he wanted was to hold her, to

protect her, and tell her all would be well.

     Incapable of doing more, he split his time by concentrating

on the priests, the sacrifice, and checking on her.

     Beside the sacrificed goat sat a single loaf of bread and one

cake. He forgot the reason for the bread and cake but knew its

religious significance. The High Priest broke off a piece from the

bread and ate. He then drank sanctified wine from a golden cup.

     After that he placed the fat that covered the entrails of

the goat, along with the fatty lobes attached to its liver, onto

a grate above the sacrificial fire. He then sprinkled the goat's

blood around the altar. He sprinkled additional blood upon the

mercy seat resting on the Ark of the Covenant.

     He then put two fingers into a bowl of the blood from the

sacrificial goat. He went inside the Temple and sprinkled this

blood seven times in front of the veil of the sanctuary. An

assistant lifted the carcass of the goat and placed it on the


     A great cloud of steam and smoke erupted skyward. The flow of

wet animal fat and blood that everyone expected to be consumed by

the flames now overwhelmed the fire. The flames weakened,

decreased to a flicker, and then went completely out.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           278

     Something seemed terribly wrong. This sacrificial fire, once

lit was never to be extinguished. For a moment he wondered whether

the gas pressure flowing to the flame was too low or the orifices

of the jets were too small. Whichever, there was now tremendous

anguish among the priests.

     The horrified High Priest, first frozen by shock, now rushed

forward, but there was nothing he could do.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          279

     Chapter 21

     Elijah hurried from the viewing stands and stood in front of

the altar. He raised his hands to heaven and called.

     "O great God of the universe, preserve the life of your

servant as I stand here. I pray for you, Oh God of Israel, to

show yourself and your power. Honor Israel today. Accept this sin

offering as you once did from the prophet Elijah, three thousand

years ago. Bring down the flames of your glory and accept this

sacrifice. Cleanse your altar."

     Pete watched Elijah turn, look at the High Priest and bow.

     In a loud voice Elijah called out, "stand back and witness

the splendor of God."

     The High Priest stood powerless to do anything. Pete noticed

that all he seemed to be able to do was nod his head.

     "Step back," Elijah commanded, "away from the altar and see

the power of God."

     The High Priest stared expectantly into the sky and slowly

stepped backwards. His two assistants hurried away even faster.

     Pete looked up, but all he saw was blue sky. There was not a

cloud floating anywhere.

     Without warning a brilliant bolt of lightening struck the

sacrificial table and enveloped the flameless altar.

     Unlike a normal bolt of lightening, this bolt did not vanish

a split second later. Instead it danced around the altar, lasting

forever, until even the very stones appeared to be ablaze.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           280

     Through the intense light Pete got a peek at the metal grate

holding the slain animal. Sections were missing and the animal

sat sizzling. It turned black, and then vanished. He closed his

eyes and guessed that only white ashes remained.

     Abruptly the massive bolt of lightening grew in intensity.

The heat radiating onto Pete's face grew hotter. He tried to see

what was happening to the priest and guests, but found himself

fearful of opening his eyes.   Then it ended. The sounds of the

lightening were gone.

     Kendra's mind reeled with the sounds around her. The

movement of flowing sights and split images made her dizzy. She

felt herself shaking. The vision ended abruptly.

     She snapped her eyes opened saw Elijah standing in front of

the altar. Whatever happened, she missed it. Dark ghostly figures

swarmed around Elijah and nothing made sense until she heard

herself speaking.

     "Sit down! You are not from God." She hadn't meant to say

anything. The words just came out. Now she found herself standing

and pointing an accusing finger. Those sitting next to her made

an obvious move to get away from her. "You are using the powers

of Satan."

     Pete opened his eyes and tried to quiet her, but it was too


     Kendra gained confidence when she realized that the Spirit

within her was using her. Now she spoke boldly and said, "By the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          281

powers of the almighty God, I rebuke you Elijah. May the Lord

rebuke you. Stop this!"

     Pete tugged at her arm as she spoke, but she stood like a

rock. He saw Elijah's face and the hatred in his eyes. During the

war at Afula, the man seemed determined to kill Esther. Pete got

in his way. The next thing he knew, Elijah used some mystical

force to throw him across the room.

     Now Pete saw the same look. The frightening flashes of

lightening vanished to be replaced by a hate-distorted face.

     Pete pulled harder and felt whatever Kendra break free. She

landed in the chair with a thud. He glanced around and wondered

what was going to happen next. He suspected he didn't have long

to wait.

     Four men, two priests and two guards hurried his way.

     "I think we better leave," Pete said in hopes of avoiding a

more embarrassing scene. Inwardly he wished they'd become


     Kendra pulled her arm away in defiance. "I'm not leaving,

not while that madman is standing there."

     "Oh! Golly." He tugged at her arm again, feeling totally

embarrassed. "How could you interrupt this service?" The anger in

his voice was well evident and he didn't care. "This is the worst

thing I've ever seen you do."

     She turned to him pleading for understanding with her eyes.

"He's using evil powers. The Spirit is telling me, 'Elijah is not

from God'. Pete, I now know who that man is sitting next to him."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          282

     "Yeah," Pete replied. "He's a Mister Von Resh, the foreign

minister of Austria. I asked around while I was outside."

     "I want to leave now. We have to leave. We have to get out

of the city."

     Pete glanced at the security men rushing toward them and saw

the option already been made for her.

     "I don't think you're going to get a chance to leave. I'd

suggest rather that you be quiet and very polite."

     Kendra's eyes stayed on Elijah, unaware of the men heading

her way, until they grabbed her arms.

     The one gripping her left arm squeezed tightly until it hurt

and ordered in a no-nonsense voice. "Miss Makray, you will come

with us."

     Pete sat quietly and watched. He saw Kendra look startled at

the men and then at him.

     "Go with them. Just go with them. I'll follow," he said

without comment.

     As they led her away, he noticed that the two men holding

her arms were practically carrying her. He heard her apologizing,

but no one slowed down.

     As Pete hurried along, two other men were close behind him.

He guessed without looking that he possessed a tail from


     "A regular little caravan," he mused with a smirk as he

hurried to keep up to Kendra and the muscles carrying her along.

     Around him as he walked from the inner courtyard, the

commotion and anger of the priest and the dignitaries echoed from
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          283

the walls. Pete tightened his lips in acceptance. She's really

done it now.

     Elijah stood in front of the altar, desperate to bring down

more flames. He failed miserably and it was clearly Kendra's

doing. The world was watching and the humiliation became

unbearable. He heard everyone laughing at him. "Kendra!" he

growled. "You have been a thorn in my side every time we meet."

     He felt his face distorting with his anger. The cameras. He

controlled himself only for the cameras. "I'm that pit bull you

have called me and I'll never let go. You've sealed your death


     Lieutenant Goombi stood behind Internal Security as they

read Kendra the riot act. She was Persona Non-grata. They wanted

her out of the country in twenty-four hours. It didn't matter if

every airline seat was full. They didn't care if she swam. If she

remained a day longer, they'd throw her in a secluded prison and

throw away the key.

     Two hours later, they released her under the strict eye of

Lt. Goombi and Peter Meirs.

     She heard about the uproar at the temple. There would be no

more sacrifices until a thorough investigation was completed.

     Goombi looked at Pete with no emotion and asked only one

question as they walked to his car. "Why?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          284

     Pete bit the bottom of his lip and only shook his head. Then

he released the tension in his jaws and said. "We still on for


     Goombi looked at his friends and chuckled. "I think we

better do it. I'll never see you two again. I'll call my family

as we take her back to the hotel. I must warn you that Internal

Security has strict orders to get her out of the country." He

looked down at Kendra. Their eyes met. "If by tomorrow night you

haven't left Israel, I'm to escort you personally to a tour bus

scheduled for Jordan." He looked at Pete as he walked. "I'm not

just assuming she'll be on it. I'm to guarantee her departure."

     "And from there?" Pete asked. He knew there were constant

flights to other nations, but security for Kendra was another


     "That's up to her. She can't return." He paused for a silent

minute with no one speaking. "It's a shame. I really liked you


     They reached Goombi's car and the lieutenant drove without


     Kendra stared out the window saying nothing. Only when they

pulled into the entrance to the hotel and parked did she speak.

"Be careful Lieutenant. I saw in a dream a bomb exploding near

the temple. It destroyed the Mosque, and it seriously damaged the

Temple. We are very close to The Lord's return."

     Goombi's eyes flicked across to Pete who glanced back at

Goombi. Both looked at Kendra hoping for an explanation.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          285

     "If she's seen it, you better be careful," Pete said. He

waited for Kendra to continue. When she didn't, he asked, "When

is this going to happen? Is this the vision you were having in

the Temple?"

     "Soon," is all she said. "I saw it as the High Priest was

preparing to kill the goat. I think it will be very soon."

     In her mind she understood that everyone else in the world

had one hour to maybe thirty days before the horror of horrors

began. Jesus said that when people saw the daily sacrifices

stopped, they should flee Jerusalem. According to the chart she

followed, she expected one to thirty days to pass. The feast of

Rosh Ha-Shana was still weeks away. She felt sure that would be

the day. The Lord shown her things in the last vision that she

felt forbidden to reveal. Finally, clearing her thoughts, she

remembered what the Lord said to her. "Do not call evil good or

good evil, but pray for mercy."

     Knowledge-for-knowledge carried with it a heavy price, she
thought. Yet I have always asked God to reveal the truth to me
and make me strong enough to handle the knowledge.

     "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the people," she

added. "I can only say pray for mercy, mercy on all who will


     The evening passed and her expectations of a major calamity

left Kendra confused when nothing happened. The dinner with

Goombi and his wife was the only bright spot that cheered her

tortured soul. When the lieutenant and his family departed, he
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          286

told her that he'd be at the hotel at nine. By eleven they'd be

across the Jordan River. The UPC code on her passport was already

in the computers and a thick orange stamp was to be implanted on

the last page of her document. Even if she renewed her passport,

the American State Department was bound to guarantee that any new

document clearly revealed the restriction. All the free trips to

Israeli, in Israel's gratitude for discovering the Ark, were

summarily cancelled.

     In the morning, except for some orange juice and half a

muffin, Kendra's appetite was gone. She looked at her watch as

she sat in her room. Three hours to go, but the park across the

street beckoned. Every morning she jogged around the park,

enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. Today was her last

day, in a country she loved. One more jog.

     Kendra called into the bathroom to see what was taking

Esther so long to accomplish. Her Godchild was the real victim

from the previous day's problems. Esther carried Israeli

citizenship. Born in Israel but living in America, she was under

age and still under court jurisdiction. Esther counted on Kendra

to travel with her to Israel. Kendra let her godchild down. The

weight of yesterday slumped her shoulders and she collapsed in a

chair. Even the knock at the door didn't register.

     Esther rushed from the bathroom and opened the door. Pete

stepped inside and lifted Esther up for a hug. His eyes saw

Kendra's drooped shoulders.

     "Oh! Oh! What is this? Someone not feeling well?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          287

     Kendra looked up and managed an irritated smile. It was

impossible for her to explain. The words weren't there, besides

she didn't feel like talking.

     "I need to go for a jog."

     Kendra catapulted from the chair, found her exercise

clothes, and hurried into the bathroom. She emerged five minutes

later ready to run.

     "Hold it," Pete said as he grabbed her arm before she rushed

past him. "Don't you think it's a little late to be going for a


     "I've plenty of time. I'll be back in forty-five minutes."

     "I'll, we'll," he answered. "We'll both go with you."

     "I need to be by myself. Don't worry, I won't do anything


     Pete thought of her being out of his sight. It didn't appeal

to him. Then he remembered the tracker that he purchased some

time ago. It lay neatly packed within his luggage. "Before you

go, I want you to wear this," he said

     "What for?"

     "Please. It'll make me feel better. It's something that I

want you to do. Wait here for a minute. I'll be right back.

     Pete hurried out the door and found the device he wanted.

Arguing with Kendra was useless, but as far as he was concerned

Elijah was in town, and that meant trouble. He didn't trust the

man. Kendra needed to think of her safety.

     The tracker had been originally purchased for Esther. One

year earlier Pete became fearful that she was going to be
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          288

kidnapped. The belt he carried contained a miniaturized

transmitter and sent a pulsating signal that also carried the

readings from a digital compass. The signal was readable 45,000

feet away. All one needed to do was press the little button built

into the side of the belt. The nine-volt battery would last

twenty-four nonstop hours, and the receiver in his bag allowed

him to track the belt to within 50 feet of its location.

     He fastened the belt around Kendra's waist and showed her

where the switch rested.

     "Do it for me," he pleaded. "I bought it; let me use it just


     Kendra adjusted the belt until it felt right. She smiled for

the first time since waking up. "Just for you." Turning to Esther

she added with a burst of gusto, "And for you."

     Kendra hurried across the busy street and into the park.

Trees lined the park-side of the pavement that circled the lush

grass. The center of the park was filled with benches and white

statues. Unless you actually entered the park, all these lay

hidden from the causal traveler. The thick bushes and flowering

trees gave the center a fairy-tail appearance. Multiple walking

paths ran through the center, but Kendra preferred to run the


     She and Pete once measured the road around the park with the

odometer in their rental car. One and one-half miles completed

the circuit. She planned to jog the park three times.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          289

     As she ran, her eyes feasted on the lush surroundings and

the clear blue sky. She deeply inhaled the fragrant air, the

product of thousands of flowers, and feasted on their cultivated


     Her heart and mind still fumed from being sent packing by an

ungrateful Israeli government. After all she did for them.

Discovering their precious Ark didn't mean anything when it came

to politics. She wished she never discovered the thing. Then she

thought of the visions, and she prayed never to deny God.

     Running helped her concentrate on something else.

     As she rounded the first turn, a squirrel captured her

attention. She watched it chase its tail. A songbird, somewhere

in the foliage, whistled a call and she made a failed attempt at

imitation. She continued her jog and felt the stiffness in her

legs ease. The run was getting easier and her breathing smoothed.

She felt better.

     By the time she made her second turn, her mind was thinking

only about the path in front of her. "Hallelujah'" she said with

vigor as the worries of governmental eviction and frightful

visions faded.

     She passed the hotel and felt a song lifting her spirits.

Even the vision from the other day seemed remote. After they'd

arrived in Jordan, or maybe on the flight to America, she'd tell

everyone that God revealed.

     It wasn't a very pretty picture and they needed to be

prepared. She began praying for all the people in her life. "God,

keep them safe."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         290

     Pete watched from the balcony of his room as Kendra headed

away from the hotel. He admired her form and almost felt like

jogging with her. Almost, but not quite. He had more packing to

complete before he indulged himself.

     He saw her vanish under the canopy of trees and went back to

his business. Lieutenant Goombi, and maybe many others, would be

here in two hours. Then it was off to the border. He didn't have

to leave. No one has to leave. Only Kendra has been sent packing.

Still, they all voted to leave with her.

     They'd be taken to the Palestinian Authorities at Jericho.

Once there they'd have guaranteed safe passage to Amman, Jordan.

From Amman they'd fly to Athens. Once in Greece they'd rest for a

few days, fly to Milan, and finally to New York.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          291

     Chapter 22

     Kendra saw the two men jogging her way. It was obvious they

were not in shape. They really need to do this regularly, she

thought as she continued toward them.

     As the distance closed, she noticed how overweight they both

were. One even lagged behind and looked downright plump. The last

one reminded her of a struggling English squire.

     Twenty paces away, she noticed the ponytail swinging from

the heaviest jogger. At five paces the first man, the one with a

round face and a pony-tail seemed familiar. Only when he was

about to pass did she realize the serious danger. He was one of

those who tried to kill them in Parker.

     What options did she have? She might make quick turn and

make a run for it. The other option was to speed up and zoom past

them as fast as possible.

     When the ponytail man came abreast, she saw his eyes. They

never left her. Even the lagging man was watching her. But it was

the man with the ponytail who frightened her the most. She

smashed three metal chairs on him. Panic gripped her as he jogged

toward her. She decided to sprint past them.

     Bruce went past first. Les followed five paces behind.

Without a single movement to give him away, Bruce turned as

Kendra passed and swung his right arm. The lead-weighted

blackjack bounced off her skull. Kendra fell easily into Les'

approaching arms.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          292

     Bruce hurried back without losing stride and grabbed her

left arm.

     Holding her firmly between them, they went to the curb and

waited. A four-door car pulled up and they all got in. Kendra was

unceremoniously dumped onto the floor of the rear seat. Bruce

grabbed Kendra's cell phone from her belt and disconnected the

battery. He then dropped them to the floor. "No need having the

locator tracking us."   The black, newly stolen car drove away as

if picking up three friends.

     Pete finished packing his suitcase and went to the patio to

await Kendra's return. Having seen her run before, and knowing

the last time she went past, he expected her to appear in about

five minutes. He always felt better when he had her in his sight.

Love, he guessed. I think I will always be in love with her.

     Lieutenant Goombi arrived with two army men. They didn't

expect trouble, but just in case his captain arranged for more

than just the lieutenant to escort Ms. Makray to the border.

     The squad cars, with their flashing blue lights bothered him

as he drove up the hotel's ramp and parked. He turned on his

yellow twirling light to say, "Don’t ticket this vehicle." It was

obvious that something happened. Maybe Kendra has refused to

leave her room. Now that would prove the captain right and
embarrass me to no end.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          293

     "I tell you she's missing." Pete controlled himself from

shouting, but these people were not listening.

     "We can see she's missing," said the police officer. "But

you don't know the reason. Occasionally someone vanishes; then a

few days later we find them. Most of the time they went away for

their own reasons. As I understand it, Miss Makray is scheduled

to be deported this morning."

     Pete sneered. The guy already had his mind made up. He saw

the big army officer come through the revolving door. "Lieutenant


     The anger vanished and Pete waited for the big Indian and

the two other soldiers to cross the lobby.

     Goombi introduced himself to the police and then asked what

happened. The police pulled the lieutenant to one side and told

them all they knew. Goombi's eyes shifted to Pete as they

explained the missing person. Unless they can find a witness,

they could do nothing for twenty-four hours.

     "This is serious," Goombi said as he came back to Pete.

"Maybe you better tell me what happened. I'd like to hear it in

your words."

     Pete explained for the tenth time how Kendra went to the

park to jog, how he watched her disappear under the trees as she

ran, that she appeared after the first lap. Then he lost her in

the trees as she started the second round. He never saw her

again. When Pete finished, Goombi's demeanor did not change. But

he did make a call to headquarters.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          294

     Goombi looked sternly at Pete, Steve and Lora as he talked.

Only when he stared at Esther did he manage a smile.

     "You will all have to come with me." The lieutenant became

very military and business like. The friendship between him and

Kendra was now on hold. If she vanished on purpose, it would not

look good on his records. His career in Internal might quickly

evaporate as fast as Ms. Kendra Makray disappeared.

     "Have you all checked out of the hotel?" Goombi asked. Pete,

Lora and Steve all replied "yes" at the same time.

     "We need to find my sister," Lora demanded.

     Goombi ignored her.

     Pete thought about telling Goombi about the tracking belt

Kendra was wearing. But that would only raise more questions. He

suspected that the receiver in his carry-on bag would be

confiscated. Then he'd have no chance of finding her.

     Before the police arrived, he tried the scanner twice in

hopes of finding a signal. If she switched on the belt, he

expected the pulse signal from the transmitter to register,

assuming they were still within range.

     The time that elapsed between when he last saw her and when

he went down stairs to look for her seemed no longer than thirty

minutes. He waited a few more before beginning his search.

Something was wrong. In Jerusalem traffic, thirty minutes was not

enough time to get out of range of the scanner.

     Pete talked to Goombi and then went to the main desk. When

he returned he happily announced their rooms had not been
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          295

released. They could stay in the hotel for the full duration of

their time.

     For a moment Pete hoped this was not one of Kendra's dumb


     The pain she felt in her head seemed to come from the very

center. She tried to move, but the dream boiling around her never

released its grip. She made an effort to feel her head, but her

hands weren't working. In the dream she saw a tree lying across

her chest. Large branches pinned her legs and hands to the


     She forced her eyes open and saw gray. The sky seemed to be
cloudy. Blinking again to clear her vision, she realized the gray

sky was pealing paint. Large brown water spots made wavy circles

and indicated a leaky roof.

     The throbbing headache made her eyes hurt, but she managed

to lift her head. She saw that the tree in her mind was actually

a leather strap. Her arms were tied to the upper corners of a

bed. She saw her feet stretched toward the lower corners. Someone

tied her spread eagle fashion to a bed.

     Angry muffled voices came from another room. Then she heard

the sound of footsteps and the angry voices drew closer.

     "Kill her now," a woman's voice said.

     "No," a man answered. "The boss wants her alive. He wants to

talk to her face to face."

     The man was unmistakably Irish, Kendra was sure of it. Was

she in Ireland?
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           296

      "But if we kill her now," the female voice argued, "this job

can end right now. You can dispose of the body anyway you like,

and we can go home and enjoy ourselves."

      "My orders are," the man said with rising irritation, "once

we get her here, we keep her here."

      His voice sounded so close as he shouted.

      "And by the saints," he continued, "we will do just that. If

you three want to be paid, then you will wait."

      Kendra's heart pumped furiously as panic and pain made it

impossible to think. Those two men. They kidnapped me. The
thoughts of driving from Boulder and being forced off the road,

and nearly killed, flashed across the jagged pages of her mind.

Then the realization of what happened leaped out at her. I knew

it. They are the ones trying to kill me, Mister Ponytail and the

others. Now they're all fighting over me.

      The thought of now being nude stabbed her with fear. She

lifted her head and the throbbing in her head exploded. She lay

back down exhausted and reassured herself that her clothes were


      The belt, she remembered the belt. She needed to turn on the
switch. Pete must be searching for me. She prayed for God's help,

that the police would find her alive. She prayed for Pete to find

her. She needed him. She trusted him more now than anyone else.

      "No one saw anything," Goombi said as Pete sat in front of

the lieutenant's desk. Goombi handed him the police report.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          297

     Pete looked up as the paper came across.

     "It's in English," Goombi said. "It was faxed to my

department as we drove." He studied Pete's body language as he

read the report. He hoped his friend was not lying to him. If he

is, I'll punch his lights out and personally escort him to


     Pete read the report. No one had seen anything. One person,

an elderly man with his dog in the park, may have noticed a girl

jogging. She may have been alone. The clothing he described

matched Kendra's. Not bad for an old guy who may have seen

      Pete read the report a second time. The witness never saw

anyone with the girl. He studied the location of where the man

had been. He was walking his dog at the far end, along David

Wolfsohn Avenue.

     Three hours later Lieutenant Goombi drove Pete and the

others back to the hotel. No one said a word until they returned

to the hotel. Goombi said nothing as he drove off.

     In his room, everyone watched as Pete pulled out the

tracking receiver and plugged it into the wall socket. The

receiver either ran off a car battery or used a built in adapter

for household currents. Right now he planned to leave the

receiver on just in case a signal was received.

     Pete thought about the guns buried in YiaYia's back yard.

"I've got to get a gun," he said quietly to Steve so Esther did

not hear. "Can you go get me one?" He looked at Steve and added,
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          298

"I'd go myself but I can't leave. The receiver might pick up


     "Sure," Steve replied. "Any specific one you'd like?"

     "The rifle is the caliber I want, but I think the pistol is

what I can carry. Can you get it for me?"

     Steve studied his watch. "I'll be back by six." He looked at

Lora. "Want to go with me?"

     Lora nodded and said, "We're all going." She held Esther's


     "I want to help too," Esther said. "Can't I stay with you

Uncle Pete? I'll keep an eye on the radio. I won't leave the

room, I promise."

     Pete ran a gentle hand over her shoulder. "That's a great

idea." Besides it wasn't a good idea for Esther to see the guns,

and she couldn't stay in the hotel by herself. "We can take turns

watching the receiver." He turned to Lora. "How about it? I think

she'd be a big help. If we find anything she'll stay in the car

and call the police."

     Lora looked disturbed by the thought of leaving Esther

behind, and especially of her being in harm's way. "You sure

she'll stay in the car and call the police if you find anything?"

     "Cross my heart," he answered. "I don't want anything to

happen to her either."

     "Okay'" she said; though her heart wasn't in it. "I'm going

to unpack my bag and get my cell phone. Call me if either of you

find anything. Call me even if you only want to talk."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          299

     "We promise," Pete said. He gave Esther a squeeze of

appreciation and planted a kiss on her head.

     "We'll call you right away if we find anything," Esther

said. The pleasure of helping bubbled within her voice.

     "That settles it," Pete said and shut off the receiver.

"First, we're going to drive around the city. I'll use the power

outlet in the car. Maybe we'll get a signal. If we do, we'll call

you right away."

     Steve headed for the door. "I'm going to the lobby and rent

a car." He glanced at Lora. "We better get going."

     "Make sure you're not followed," Pete said. "The government

might be watching."

     Pete turned to Esther and said, "Time to get started. If

she's got the belt turned on, we don't have a lot of time. The

battery works for twenty-four hours and we haven't any idea where

she is. First thing we'll have to do is make a plan. And I think

I know just what to do."

     He pulled out a map of Jerusalem along with a road map of

Israel. "She could be anywhere. What I plan to do is set out

routes that we'll drive. The transmitter has a range of twelve

miles. With buildings in the way, I think we'll be safe to keep

the routes ten miles apart."

     He unfolded the map of Jerusalem on the bed and began

highlighting the routes they'd travel. He was sure Elijah was

somehow behind the kidnapping. Now he planned to drive around the

city hoping to pick up the signal.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          300

     Kendra lay on her back trying to figure how to turn on the

belt around her waist. If they stripped her, all chances of

helping Pete find her would end. She knew he was already

searching for her. She needed to get a hand free and help him.

     After what seemed like an hour of fruitless effort, she gave

up. Her wrists were tied so securely that she'd never get them

loose. She prayed to God. "Send angels to help me break loose and

get away."

     The sound of voices in the other room made it hard to

concentrate. She wanted to hear everything they said. She also

didn't want them to think she was awake.

     From the different voices she counted four or five people in

the room. She settled on the number five. Give one more maybe

standing outside on guard, six.

     Maybe I'm in an apartment. Think girl. Think! No! That can't
be true. If I'm in an apartment, someone will hear me scream. She

hadn't screamed yet, but since there was nothing gagging her, to

keep her from screaming, she was sure they weren't in an

apartment. Maybe she was in the country? She could scream her

head off and accomplish nothing.

     Feeling pleased with her logic and frightened by her plight,

she went back to working a hand free. Turning she looked at her

wrists. There was so much strapping wound around them that her

fingers found nothing to unravel.

     The light entering the window slowly faded and she needed to

go to the bathroom. She also needed to get away. Going to the

bathroom might show her away to free herself. She also needed to
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          301

turn on the belt. She heard the sounds from passing cars. A

highway? Maybe she'd find a policeman.

     Pete and Esther returned to the hotel at seven. Weary and

frustrated after driving around the city all day and

accomplishing nothing.

     Even though they had crisscrossed the city twice the

receiver did no more than blink a few times. He concluded those

signals came from other sources, maybe the government, cell

phones, CB's.

     Either Kendra never turned it on, which meant that she might

be already dead, or she turned it on and the kidnappers were out

of range. There was one other possibility. He decided to believe

that she hadn't turn on the belt. In which case, he'll have to

start over again, every day, until something happened. He also

needed to travel faster and cover the routes quickly. He needed a


     Steve and Lora were waiting for them as they entered the


     "Find anything?" Lora asked.

     "Where did you drive?" Steve asked and saw the answer in

Pete's eyes. "Maybe she's not in the area."

     Pete dropped wearily into the comfort of a plush chair.

Esther fell into the one next to his.

     "Let's eat," Pete said. "We'll tell you everything." His

eyes locked onto Steve's. "I think I need the bag."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          302

     "It's in my room," Steve answered to the unspoken question.

In his mind he saw the gym bag that held the pistol and the


     "Good," Pete answered. His eyes drifted toward the

restaurant across the lobby. "Right now Esther and I need some

food. Join us and I'll tell you everything." He looked at Esther

who was completely slouched in the chair. Her face showed the

strain of searching, looking for anything that might indicate the

whereabouts of her godmother.

     "Come on, Esther. Let's freshen up." His words were more of

a gentle command than an order.

     She worried with him while scouring the city. Sometimes she

talked too much as they drove, but every step of the way he was

glad she came along.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          303

     Chapter 23

     Rene dealt the cards to Bruce and Les. Poker was the game

and matchsticks were being used for money. Two other men, the

ones she nicknamed Santa and Smiley, spent their time talking

about spending their money on imaginary presents, Baccarat

tables, girlfriends, and fast cars.

     Hearing them repeat themselves numerous over and over

convinced her there wasn't a working brain cell between either of

them. The man who stood outside was not much better. He was

definitely Irish, the torturer, and was soon to be the principal

player. When the Boss arrived they'd get paid and Irish would

begin his work.

     She planned not to be around to hear the screams.

     In all the years that her friendly gang of killers worked

together, they never tortured anyone. She hated the thought of

starting now. It disgusted her.

     She looked forward to seeing her employer and the paycheck.

Of course, when the Boss arrived, she'd also know his name.

Unfortunately, with that bit of knowledge, there might also come


     She and her boys thought about such a possibility. Before

arriving at the hideout, she purchased three folding stock AK47's

from a contact. Two were the tanker models with shortened

barrels. She and Bruce choose them. Les opted for the regular

barreled one. He always did prefer a little more accuracy. The
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          304

three rifles with fully loaded banana clips hung silently from

their shoulders.

     The three goons were clearly disturbed by the brandishing of

such hardware. The one named Mali went for his gun when the

rifles appeared, but hesitated long enough to save his life.

     In this business, it was always better to be safe than

sorry. Being sorry meant you never got to spend your money.

     Kendra was a dead fish; Rene was convinced of it. Soon she'd

be bought and paid for. Once her employer received their prize

they'd be finished. She and her boys would sell their rifles and

head back to Tampa.

     She rubbed the shoulder that Peter Meirs sent a slug into.

If the boss, whoever that was, tried to doublecross them, she'd

hunt him down with a vengeance. She still owed Mister Meirs big-

time. On the other hand, maybe she'd forgive him and go on with

business. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, she thought.
     She glanced at her watch, eight more hours. Whoever they

were waiting for would arrive by morning.

     Pete sat in the room, wondering how he'd arrange to get a

helicopter. Looking through the yellow pages, he found two

companies that might be available for hire. One, Israeli Eye

Mapping, was stationed at the Atarot Airport, a small airfield

north of Jerusalem. The other, The Two Brothers, gave sightseeing

helicopter tours. It was also located at Atarot. He looked at his

watch, hoping that the companies were still taking calls.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          305

     He dialed the number for Two Brothers first and waited. A

recording came on and Pete felt his hopes evaporate. This was not

a good beginning. The message was in Hebrew but offered an

English version. He pressed two for English and waited as the

switching system clicked over and he heard the phone ringing.

     "Hello," came a live female voice. The "Hello" carried that

distinctive sound of an Israeli dialect. It also made you wonder

if you reached the right number.

     "I'd like to rent a helicopter," Pete urgently announced. "I

need it for tomorrow morning."

     "We offer one-half hour rides over the city," she said

without emotion. "We also offer service to Tel Aviv. Which one do

you want?"

     "Neither," Pete announced. "I want it for the day."

     The voice on the other end paused for an excruciating time.

When it returned a male voice spoke.

     "Did we understand you correctly," the man's voice says.

"You want to rent a helicopter for the day?"

     Pete could almost see the guy sitting in front of a

calculator. A whole day would be about six thousand dollars.

     "I need it for twelve to twenty hours. Can you supply the


     "Where are you flying to? We do not fly everywhere. There

are places that are restricted."

     "I need to fly over Jerusalem and make an ever widening

circle. Can you do that?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          306

     A long pause again as Pete figured the man and his pilots

were figuring out who was going to take this bozo out for a ride.

     "And what is the purpose of your flight?" the man asked.

     "I am searching for someone. The person I am looking for has

a tracking transmitter and I am testing my equipment. I'd use the

military for this," Pete lied, "but I need to guarantee that

everything is working before I test it with them. Can you be

ready at five?"

     Another long pause as Pete made out muffled talking.

     "We do not fly that early in the morning. We start at eight.

Do you pay in cash?"

     "Would a thousand dollar bonus for your pilot's help speed

up the time table? I pay in cash."

     Another long pause. If he knew how to fly, he'd steal the

darn thing and go whizzing over the city by himself. He also knew

the Israel Air Force probably would shoot him down. Controlling

his temper he waited as the pilot, and the others, figured how

not to report the dollars they were about to receive.

     "We can do it at six," came a noticeably interested reply.

"Is that A-okay?"

     The guy was trying to sound upbeat and American.

     "I'll be there. I know where the airfield is. Where do I go

after entering the gate?"

     Pete listened and took down the directions, including the

pilot's cell number. 'What kind of helicopters do you fly?"

     He listened to the descriptions of the two helicopters that

were available. He knew that both helicopters possessed twelve-
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          307

volt D.C. outputs in the cockpits. Just in case he was wrong,

he'd bring along the battery from the rental car.

                          *      *   *

     "I need to go to the bathroom," Kendra yelled in the

darkness. "Hello!" she called. "I need to go to the bathroom."

     A light switch clicked. The lone bulb hanging from the

ceiling blazed bright white. Kendra shut her eyes to stop the

pain. When she finally opened one eye, her fears increased to

near panic. Four men and a woman stared down at her. With a

vulgar leer the closest person, a smiling man with dark greasy

curly hair, spoke first. She felt disgusted and frightened.

     "I, Mali, will escort the lady."

     The leer in his eyes as he searched Kendra's body left her

even more frightened.

     "First," Mali continued, "I will take off these clothes. She

might be concealing a weapon."

     He grabbed her jersey and lifted it up. His eyes, oblivious

to all, were feasting on her bra-covered breasts.

     "I'll take her," Rene ordered. Her hand moved quickly to the

AK47 hanging from her shoulder. The trigger finger slid inside

the trigger guard. She'd love to blast Smiley into another life.

     Taking their cue from Rene, Les and Bruce reached for the

pistol grip of the rifles. The rifles slid across their chests.

     Three full auto rifles against two pistols, two shotguns,

and a couple of knives. Nothing more was said.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          308

     Rene never did like the guy, and she hoped the look in her

eyes told him to be wary. She may be a paid killer, but torture

and rape were too much. She had principles.

     Mali stopped his visual feast, gave a final smile, and then

dropped the jersey.

     "Sure," he said with the conviction of a snake.

     Rene noticed the quiver in his left cheek. The guy obviously

didn't like taking orders from a lady. She loved it, and there

wasn't anything he could do about it, except die or back off.

     Les and Bruce quickly untied Kendra's hands and feet before

standing back. They then assumed their stance at the head of the

bed where they faced the two other men.

     Kendra knew this might be her only chance, maybe her last

chance. If they left her alone for a few seconds, and her hands

remained untied, she'd press the switch.

     "I'll go with you," Rene said. She pointed the barrel of her

rifle at the door.

     "Kendra's heart melted. How was she going to turn the switch

on with the lady standing beside her?

     Kendra walked to the bathroom and through a door that hadn't

moved in years. She glanced at the gun-toting lady who was

befriending her.

     "Have we met?" Kendra asked. "You're an American, aren’t


     "You're going to the bathroom. Don't talk. Don't ask

questions. Don't do anything but what you're here to do."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          309

     They reached the bathroom in silence and Rene let Kendra

push open the dirty door. "Before you go in," Rene said

nonchalantly, "leave the belt here." She pointed to the floor.

     "Kendra's heart stopped and the heat in her body jumped five

degrees. She felt sweat break out on her forehead as she

stammered. "Wha-a-at do y-you mean?"

     "The belt. I have one just like it. Let it drop to the


     Kendra's hands reached trembling for the belt. Maybe,

somehow, she could turn it on.

     "Don't get funny, or I'll let that creep back there have his

way with you."

     Kendra's shoulders drooped noticeably as she gently dropped

the belt on the floor. She watched Rene pick it up and study the

switch. The gun-toting lady just smiled.

     "You never turned it on."

     Kendra looked at the floor in total despair. Then she

angrily shoved the door closed.

                          *      *   *

     Pete showed up at the airport a half-hour early. The sixth

generation Pro Trak receiver sat on the floor of the car. A small

gym bag, big enough to hold the silencer and the Ruger .22 rested

on the seat. One full clip, holding ten bullets, filled the grip.

A second full clip was snuggly taped against the silencer.

     He was ready.

     Following the signs to building C-2 he found a lone car in

front of the building. He guessed that belonged to the pilots.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          310

     Parking beside it, he scooped up the gym bag and receiver.

As he walked, he made out one brightly-lit office. Heading for

the door, he saw the Hebrew letters and the English translation

under them: Two Brothers Helicopter Sightseeing, one to eight

hour tours. Eight hours sounded great. Hopefully, it was enough.

     Pete opened the door and entered. The earlier he got started

the better. If Kendra's alive, every hour is important.

     As he entered he saw an older, burly armed, gray haired man

sitting behind a cluttered desk. The man's face was dark from

years of sun. Dressed in a flowered print shirt that looked

Hawaiian, the man eyed Pete as he entered. Pete gave him the once


     As long as he could fly and the helicopter didn't fall

apart, Pete didn't care how he looked.

     "I called last night," Pete announced as he strode to the

desk. "I assume you are waiting for me?"

     "I am Yuri Uzzar. You are early. I understand you have

equipment that you want to test? Did you bring it with you?"

     Pete watched Yuri's eyes search him, and then a frown came

over his face. The eyes settled at the gym bag hanging from his

shoulder. He must have been expecting more than what he saw.

     "If we can get started," Pete answered. "The earlier the

better. I have everything I need right here." Pete patted the

bag. He noticed the frown on Yuri's face didn't go away.

     Pete explained, "Without your cooperation, there can be no

search from the air". He pulled out the Pro Trak receiver and

held it out for Yuri to see.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          311

     "This is it! This is the receiver. The transmitter has

already been turned on. Now all we have to do is let this baby

find it. Think we can fly around and get it done?"

     The pilot looked at the small black box that housed the

receiver, then at Pete. In his mind he counted out the hours that

might be spent in the pursuit. If they flew off in the wrong

direction, he might be busy for a complete day. He then studied

the socket hanging at the end of the power cord.

     "You did not say anything about hooking up to my ship."

     "No," Pete replied as he unrolled a thick wad of one

hundred-dollar bills. "I know commercial helicopters can supply a

12 volt DC power source. Is there a problem?"

     Pete began counting out the C-notes. Yuri's eyes were glued

to the money as Pete hit the count of fifty. He slowly kept


     "If you are ready," Yuri said, "we can get started." His

eyes remained fixed on the growing stack of American notes.

     Pete finished counting at sixty. He took half the stack and

held it out to the pilot. "You can have the rest when we are

finished. If the job only takes one hour, the money is still


     The pilot griped the money, but Pete wouldn't let go.

     "This is for one hour or the whole day."

     "How do I know you will pay the rest?"

     "You can open the door and push me out. Don't worry. Either

way, the money and you will not be far apart."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          312

     The big-armed pilot stared into Pete's eyes. Pete stared

back without trying to intimidate.

     "Do we have a deal?"


     Pete released his hold on the wade of bills and smiled.


     Returning the other half to his gym bag, he pulled out a map

of Jerusalem and of the surrounding area. "I've highlighted in

yellow the routes I think we will take. If you fly at the minimum

altitude, 500 meters, the receiver will be able to pick up a

signal 14 kilometers away. My tracks allow for a little overlap."

     The pilot studied Pete's map for a minute and circled five

locations. "We cannot fly over these points. They are


     Pete studied the areas within the circles.

     "That will still work. We can fly as close as we can. If the

signal comes from those areas, I'll know it."

     Yuri looked at a second map. "You also have included a map

of Israel. Are you planning to cover the whole country? If we do,

we will have to refuel. That will be extra."

     "I'll pay for that, but it is imperative that we not miss


     Pete sensed that the pilot was quickly calculating how long

it might take to fly the course. The first leg of the search,

over Jerusalem, would take about one-half hour. He imagined that

Yuri was also making a mental note on how much time and fuel

would be needed to travel the other twenty-kilometer path.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          313

Inwardly, he suspected the pilot was grinning over the charges

rapidly building higher and higher.

     Pete broke the silence. "Hopefully we will not need a

complete day. If we do, you'll make a lot of money. If we find it

right away, you will still make a lot of money. Either way you

will go home richly rewarded."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          314

     Chapter 24

     The flight began in earnest at 6:00 AM as they flew the

entire eastern borders of Israel. He felt sure the Palestinians

were responsible for her disappearance. Their hatred for her ever

since she discovered the Ark of the Covenant. Then he thought of

Elijah.   "Maybe," he said to himself.

     After covering the eastern region, they turned and headed


     Flying the next path, Pete scanned the ground below, but the

tracker was doing the real work. With earphone plugged into the

receiver Pete's eyes sometimes closed as he focused only on

hearing a signal. Occasionally a false beep brought him and the

pilot to an alert. Even Yuri was watching the light on the third

route as the receiver blinked red from an intercepted signal.

Thirty minutes later, they completed the flight over Jerusalem

and the eastern areas.

     "Let's take the next sector." Pete X'd the route they just

finished. Their new route will take him west to Tel Aviv and

toward the sea. Highway 4 formed the eastern border of this

sector. They'd fly down to Eilat. He expected the bottom half of

Israel would be covered in two hours.

     They'd fly to the coast and Tel Aviv, then head south. At

Elat they'd again head north toward Jerusalem, fly west for

twenty kilometers and then head south again. At a point north of

Elat, they'd turn north and fly inland to Ben Gurion. After a

refueling stop at Elat, they'd continue.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          315

     By then he expected to be weary of searching. God, he prayed

and amazed himself that he even thought the word, God. Praying

was not something he believed in. Actions always spoke louder

than words. Kendra must be rubbing off on him. God, let her have

the transmitter turned on.

     He sat back; amazed that he said what he did. It was the

first time he said a prayer since his dad abandoned him.

     The two hours flew by before the helicopter required another

pit stop. This time they landed at Ben Gurion, and Pete treated

the pilot to lunch. So far the trip proved fruitless.

     Rene sat in the room with Kendra as she awaited the arrival

of their employer. Kendra tried to make conversation more times

than she cared to remember.

     Rene rarely found a need to look in on Kendra, even though

the three goons were working themselves up to releasing their

primordial urges; but by occasionally sitting in the room with

the hostage, she effectively prevented the planned ravishing from

beginning. She'd never be a party to rape, not as long as she

carried a full clip of ammo.

     A sound of crunching gravel coming from the dirt road

brought her to the open window. She grabbed the Ak47 and peeked

out the window.

     A dark blue car stopped outside. She watched a short dark

suited man stand and look her way. Mali stood by the car,

awaiting instructions. Their employer just arrived.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          316

     Silently both men walked to the house. Her employer, if that

was who just arrived, was definitely short. With a head too large

for the body, the boss seemed to be walking in slow motion. Maybe

the size of his head was too much for his body? She decided to

nickname the man Head.

     "Boss," Bruce called. "He's arrived."

     She entered the main room and gave a signal for her men to

spread out. If this turned into a double cross, she didn't want

to be bunched together.

     Spread around the room, as they would be, each one waited at

a better spot. If required, they'd send a withering burst from

their rifles.

     "I want to see her," commanded Head.

     Without saying anything Mali led Head to the bedroom.

     He's been here before, Rene thought with a touch of humor.
She also noticed that the smelly piece of crud she stopped from

raping Kendra seemed clearly frightened.

     "Stay out here Les," she commanded. "Bruce and I'll go in."

     Les knew her meaning and that he was to keep an eye on

things. Someone else might sneak in and then he, Bruce, and Rene

would be history.

     "Kendra, my dear," Elijah said as he entered the room.

     Kendra stopped praying and opened her eyes.

     "Elijah. I should have known. You'll never get away with

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          317

     "I already have. The police report says they believe you ran

off and hid. They are looking for you, but they are not trying to

save you. Happily, your days of annoying me are at an end."

     "You'll burn in hell first before I give you satisfaction."

     "Oh my, what is this I hear?" Elijah motioned for his Irish

torturer to bring in an instrument especially designed for

gouging out a woman's internal organs.

     Kendra watched as the big Irishman came back with a wooden

rod. At the end of the rod, two stainless steel hooks were

shining, sharp and pointed. It made her shudder with fear.

     Elijah held out his hand to receive the instrument of

torture. He took the curved hooks and pressed them against

Kendra's face.

     "You have no idea what a helpless soul you are. When I am

finished with you, your own mother will not recognize you. You

will not look human."

     Kendra saw the pleasure in Elijah's eyes. "You'll never get

away with this." She looked at the others. "There are too many

witnesses. Someone will talk."

     "No one will talk. Everyone has been handsomely paid. And by

the time the police, or your boyfriend, or anyone else figures it

out, there won't be any evidence, or a body to identify." His

face lit up in a smile.

     "Do you expect me to beg?" Kendra asked defiantly

     "No my dear," Elijah smiled. "I expect you to die." He

handed back the instrument and nodded to the torturer to begin.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          318

     Kendra watched Elijah turn and head to the other room. The

big torturer pulled out a knife and began cutting away her

clothing. She needed to stall for time. Once that machine began

it will be too late. She thought back to Elijah at the Temple. He

was sitting with someone. Resh, that's what Pete called him.

Elijah and Resh were a little too chummy to be mere friends.

     "I know about you and Resh," she called and hoped for a

response. She saw Elijah stop and turn around.

     Kendra looked up hoping the man with the knife also stopped.

Instead he cut open her jersey and proceeded down to her jogging

shorts. The man was a ghoul.

     "The police know about you two."

     Elijah studied Kendra for a second, looking for signs of


     "You have no idea what you are talking about."

     Kendra saw that some cord of truth must have been touched.

She hit a nerve.

     "Can you take that chance? The plans that you two have

cooked up will come down in a smoldering heap, and Resh will

blame you. He will destroy you. They already know who shut the

gas off during the ceremony."

     She saw Elijah's face turn pale. She may have hit a nerve

but the creep with the knife came closer.

     Elijah walked back and waved his torturer back.

     "Wait," he said. "I need to make a phone call. If she's

lying, I will know. Then you can continue with all the blessings

I can offer."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          319

     He walked off with his two killers trailing behind.

     Les watched as Elijah went to his car. Cheeks strolled to

the other side of the room and went into the toilet. Les released

the safety on his rifle and moved to another location. When the

door to the toilet opened Cheeks stood by the door with a pistol

in his hand and looked at Les.

     Cheeks placed the pistol in his waistband and slowly sat on

the floor. Les, never taking his eyes off the man, moved to a

chair and sat down. He never released his hold on the rifle.

Watching, yet seemingly casual, he kept a wary eye on Cheeks.

     Cheeks picked up a nylon belt lying on the floor. It was the

one that Rene made Kendra take off before letting her go to the

toilet. Les stayed more interested in the man's hands. If one of

them slipped inside his shirt, Les planned to shoot first and ask

questions later.

                                 *   *     *

     Pete and his pilot lifted from Ben Gurion and rose to their

prescribed altitude. A signal appeared on the receiver. And

unlike all the previous ones, the electronic circuitry indicated

it was not false.

     "We've got something!" Pete yelled. "Look!"

     The pilot leaned over and saw the flashing red light before

it went out. "What did the compass say?"

     Pete read the digital readout on the receiver, and said

"East South East." He looked at the pilot who revealed a hint of
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          320

a pleasure. The man was obviously pleased that something was


     "We've been over that area," Yuri replied. "We never

received a signal. Are you sure your receiver is working


     A signal meant that there was hope, hope that Kendra was

alive. But the signal lasted only twenty seconds. Still the

signal was real. He had one leg of a fix on her location.

     The signal ended and he waited impatiently for it to come

alive again. Maybe she was having problems with the switch. He

found himself praying again.

     He stared at the receiver waiting and hoping. The red light

blinked on and he couldn't react fast enough. When he looked at

the compass reading, he glanced at the ground for a fix and

scribbled down the compass reading. He felt elated and the pilot

made a turn, heading straight toward the signal.

     "It's working alright," he yelled over the noise from the

blades and motor. "We have it now." He read the digital display.

"Turn to a heading of one hundred and five. We'll continue until

the signal reverses."

     "That takes along Highway 1," stated Yuri as he followed the


     Pete noticed the enthusiasm of the hunt appear in the

pilot's attitude. He also hoped they'd get there in time.

     Seven minutes into the flight they approached Highway 3 and

the signal reversed. Pete noted the spot of the reversal and Yuri

brought the helicopter around.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          321

     "Go slower," Pete ordered. He studied the compass on the

tracker and the signal strength. "Follow the compass."

     "I'm trying but everything is going crazy."

     "What's happening?"

     "The compass. It's changed direction. I don't know what's

going on."

     "Can you use landmarks?"

     "I think so. I have no choice."

     Elijah sat in his car talking on his cell phone when the

helicopter came over a third time. He looked up, and wondered if

Kendra told the truth. He listened, as the thump-thump sounds of

a motor grow louder then fade and finally vanished.

     "I'll call back," he said and hung up. She might have been

lying, stalling for time, but now the helicopter. For a moment he

thought about fleeing. He could run back into the house, have

them put a quick bullet into her brain. Then he'd pay everyone

off with electronic-funds transfers.

     If he waited too long, and the police were on their way,

everyone might be caught. If they were, then he'd be identified.

He needed to finish the job and get everyone out before the

police arrived. A helicopter going over three times gave him an

ugly feeling.

     He stood beside his car for a long minute and listened,

searching the skies and the surrounding grounds for movement.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          322

     In the distance he thought he heard the motor again. Then

the sound increased and he knew the helicopter was now airborne.

It must have let someone off.

     The sounds weakened, yet when the wind blew just right he

still heard the sound. It was a chopper, and was hovering just

off to his left. He relaxed. If it were the police, the

helicopter wouldn't be leaving. For once he thought of the

settlement that sat on the other side of the trees.

     It may be nothing, but nervousness dug deeper into his mind.

     Kendra cringed as Elijah hurried into the room. He ordered

two men outside and whispered something to the torturer. The room

became deathly quiet. She watched the big Irishman gather up his

tools and hurry away.

     "Rene" he said as he turned to face Kendra. "Kill her."

     Rene knew something was wrong. This was a big change of


     Elijah followed his two men outside. Trouble was coming. He

felt it in his bones.

     Pete ran to the thick tree line that shielded the house from

the road. He counted three cars parked on the last fly-over. Two

were in the back and one in front. With two direct passes in the

helicopter, he possessed an accurate bearing. The signal, Kendra,

all were in the house.

     Before landing, he called Lieutenant Goombi. Then with his

gymbag, he climbed out at the moment the copter touched down.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          323

During the decent Pete paid off the pilot, who now wanted to hang

around. He talked him into taking off and getting safely away.

Pete reckoned the man needn't be involved more than necessary.

     Pete's plan was to keep it simple. He thought about waiting

for Goombi and the Cavalry to arrive, but Kendra might be dead by

then. He bit his lip and continued his sprint to the trees. She

might be dead already. Whichever way it came out, he'd take his

revenge out on everyone involved. He just hoped that no innocent

person was in the house.

     Time was of the essence. He decided to ignore the

presumption of innocence, unless it became obvious. Everyone in

the house was now considered guilty. If they weren't, he'd be

spending a long time in jail. "I've got to take that chance," he

resolved as he reached the trees.

     Crawling forward, he worked his way through the bushes and

trees in record time without leaving anything swishing in the

breeze. If they were watching, any movement would be a dead


     He spied an old adversary leaving the building with two men,

Elijah. A third man holding a suitcase hurried out the door and


     Pete worked his way closer, moving one leaf at a time, not

disturbing a branch. His eyes narrowed as he peered through the

bush. Everything seemed to turn black and white with many shades

of gray as he saw detail that first escaped him.

     Drifting slowly to the right he focused only on the four

men. A leaf flowed past, then a branch, all moved to the left, as
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         324

his eyes never left his prey. He noticed the last man breathing

hard as he walked. Nothing escaped his eyes.

     Elijah asked the tall white-faced man to bring a car around.

     Pete heard the order to keep a sharp eye for intruders. He

heard it all, even the grunt that the last man said under his


     He loved it when his vision and hearing sharpened. Only the

colors were missing. The military doc gave it a name, but he

never remembered how it was pronounced. That was a small price to

pay for the details he saw.

     Pete's lips parted and with clenched teeth, he watched the

two men with Elijah. He never seen them before, but they were

with the creep. That meant they were no good.

     He heard the soft guttural growl come deep from within him,

maybe from the pit of his stomach, as he followed them with his

eyes. He felt relieved by the no restrictions he felt in his

keep-it-simple plan. Now he'd take lives and let the blood soak

the dirt.

     Lifting the Ruger he slowly and firmly twisted on the

matching silencer. He'd take out Elijah with a headshot. The two-

power scope on top made the job easy.

     Crawling forward with only a slight covering of leaves

between him and the three men, he slowly placed his finger in the

trigger guard. He stopped when he heard the sound of an

approaching car.

     A long black limousine pulled up. The man who exited the car

was the same man Pete saw talking with Elijah in the Temple. Were
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                       325

they both in on the kidnapping of Kendra? He'd find out later. He

realigned the cross hairs to the center of Elijah's head,

released a little of his breath, and squeezed.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          326

     Chapter 25

     The little .22 recoiled ever so slightly as the bullet

exploded from the barrel. The forehead of the man from the car

filled the scope. A bullet traveling such a short distance took

only a millisecond to hit the target. Instantly Pete saw the

bullet strike the man's head.

     Pete lowered his weapon just long enough to find Elijah. The

little man grabbed the guy he shot and pushed his limp body into

the limo. Pete lined up his pistol again. The door slammed shut

and the limo sped away.

     He turned to the other two, especially the one with the

curly head. He was the closest though both now held pistols.

     The tall white man drove around the house in another car and

got out. He held a shotgun and swept the area looking for someone

to shoot. The threesome scanned the tree line, searching.

     Pete knew the guys with the pistols were more dangerous to

him, but the one with the shotgun was probably more dangerous to


     He quickly sent 49 grams of copper-coated lead directly

between Whitey's eyes. The shotgun fell from the guy's hand, and

his body landed a mere heartbeat later. The other two scurried

back to the house. Curly Hair led the way but stopped at the

door. It was a big mistake.

     The little .22 chugged again and the man was history.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                        327

     The muscular guy stumbled over Curly's body and fell against

the door. Pete fired again at the back of his head. Three

bullets, three men down.


     Pete heard a muffled cry from within the house. It was her

voice. Kendra was alive. He felt elated until he felt sharp pain

in his left hand. Something made the muscles cramp.

     Luckily the pain lasted for a short minute and then eased.

     His left hand came to life again, and he needed to get into

the house. He hoped the cramping did not return.

     He also knew that two more cars were parked around the

house. Elijah drove off in one. Three men were down. One escaped.

How many more might there be?

     And all he possessed was a dinky .22. What he'd give to have

his .308. He'd punch holes through that house until they screamed

for mercy, but Kendra was also in there.

     Using the scope on the pistol, he scanned the windows.

     From his position he was able to control two sides. He hoped

that if anyone else was inside they didn't know that one person

stood between them and freedom.

     He picked out the barrel of a rifle poking through an open

window. There was someone else.

     It might have been the window that brought Kendra's cry for


     Moving through the trees, he used his powers of concealment

to his advantage. In the Marines he once used a tree line to
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          328

snipe away at the enemy all day long. They never saw his position

and now he was doing it again.

     The tip of the rifle barrel that Pete saw withdrew. He moved

into a position that let him see directly into the window. Using

the little scope he scanned the interior of the room. Something

moved and Pete watched. In a few seconds he counted two figures.

Neither was Kendra's. The odds were that he'd get one of them

before they managed to hit the floor. But the survivor might take

it out on her.

     He held his fire until he had a clear target. By now, he

guessed, those in the house were wondering how many were

attacking them. Little did they know that a single .22 stood in

their way.

     He heard a muffled cry, but with the highway noise coming

from his left, the sounds quickly mingled with the highways.

     Pete spied a blind spot in the house, no windows, and no

doors. He planned to make his way to that side and work his way

to the back door.

     As he hurried next to the house, he spied the two cars in

back. If they made a break for it, he might be able to get the

two of them. On the other hand, they might use Kendra as a

shield. If by chance they were facing away from him, he'd pop the

guy holding her and maybe get the other before he fled.

                                 *   *   *

     Rene sat on the floor peeking out the front door. Les

guarded the back. Bruce stayed in the room with Kendra. Three

AK's ready for the expected assault. It never came.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          329

     One thing they knew, going out the front door was not a good

idea. There were three dead men out front. No one wanted to be

the fourth.

     Rene studied the man lying on the porch, the curly headed

one named, Mali. The one she dubbed Smiley. A thin dribble of

crimson blood streamed down his face. A small dribble meant a

small bullet.

     The realization left her puzzled until she sensed that all

this mayhem came from one person. Pete! But how?

     There ought to be a law against stalkers.

     She had two choices, kill the girl or use her as a hostage.

The first appealed. The second never really gave them much of a

chance. If they survived this fiasco, she still needed to get her

people out of the country.

     The heat would be hot enough without killing a hostage, and

she suspected that the police might soon arrive.

     Right now, as she figured it, Kendra was better to them

alive than dead. Maybe she could bargain with Pete, if it was he

who was out there. But how did he find them? The belt.
     Rene looked back and thought about the belt. It hadn't been

turned on. Or had it?

     She crawled into the main room and found the belt in a

corner. Sure enough, as she studied the switch, someone did turn

it on. It must have been one of the three stooges.

     That cinched it. It has to be Pete out there. The belt was

probably his idea, and now he'd found them. The police must be on

their way.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          330

     Pete saw it coming. Ponytail and another man charged out the

back door and raced for a car. He immediately fired at Ponytail.

The second man sensed the direction where Pete lay and sent a

long burst from the AK in his direction, splintering wood from

the house. Bullets tore through the walls as if they were


     Pete's colored vision returned as he rose to one knee and

shot the shooter before he reached the car. Pete felt exposed,

but the kneeling position with the pistol leaning against the

house gave him a steady shot.

     "Boss, Les is down," Bruce yelled.

     Bruce appraised the condition of his childhood friend hoping

for a sign of life. He also recognized Peter Meirs kneeling at

the edge of the house, and knew the exact location to spray his

bullets. He'd get the shooter, and then he'd get Les and Rene to


     "Boss, follow me," Bruce yelled as started the car. As he

exited the door a bullet clipped his ear, but it didn't hurt. He

made it to the car and used the door as a shield.

     Rene saw Les go down. Her plan to use Kendra as a hostage

quickly evaporated. Bruce was firing at someone to the side of

the house. She even heard the bullets punching through the wall

and Bruce calling out a name to her - Peter Meirs. So it was

Peter Meirs out there. How did he find them?
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          331

     Maybe if she pushed Kendra out the door, in front of her,

and threw Kendra in Peter's direction, they might have a chance

to escape.

     Pete remembered the pony-tailed man from the House of Pizza.

It’s the same man who videoed their attempt to run them off the

road. Elijah -all of them- their all connected. There also has to

be one more. The man who shot him with the shotgun must be

around. That person was slender. That meant there is a person who

has not appeared.

     Well, he nailed Ponytail's friend. He lay not one hundred

feet away. Next he'd get Ponytail himself.

     Pete hurried around the house, making sure he wasn't seen

from a window. When he reached the front door, he darted past so

fast he doubted anyone saw him. In another second he was on the

other side of the house behind Ponytail.

     Shoving in the full clip, he readied his Ruger as bullets

punched through the wall over his head. Someone must have seen

his run to the other side. The third man, Pete guessed.
     Pete scurried to the trees as Ponytail sent bullets in his

direction. The bullets came too close for comfort. One was about

to get lucky.

     He rolled to his side and emptied his clip of .22's at

Ponytail, who was now running toward him. Two bullets hit the man

in the throat. He stumbled forward, the 7.62's from the AK
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          332

churned up dirt as it emptied itself. Ponytail fell headlong into

the dust, clutching his throat.

     The other shooter, the one in the house, came out of the

house with Kendra being pushed forward. Pete aimed and felt the

trigger stick. He glanced at the pistol and realized he was


     Rene saw her friends lying in the dirt, friends who trusted

her for twenty years. These were her friends whom she trained and

nurtured like a mother. Both now lay dead.

     She shoved Kendra out the door and toward Pete and jumped

into the car. Gunning the engine, she spun the car around in a

cloud of concealing dust, and then sped away. There was nothing

more she could do.

     Bruce felt his lifeblood flowing between his fingers. He'd

shot many people in his career. He knew what was to follow. He

was a dead man. Twenty feet away lay his cousin Les. He needed to

be with him. They had been through so much. Since childhood they

struggled to survive. Now if they are to die, he wanted to die


     If there is an afterlife, a real God who cares, who wanted

justice, maybe that God will have mercy on them. He wanted to be

close to his friend as they pleaded their case. But first he

needed to crawl to him, to touch, to give comfort, a touch that

only he could give. Now it is time to die.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           333

      He crawled the twenty feet separating them, clutching dirt

with his fingers and pulling. Every time he moved a spurt of his

lifeblood splashed to the left. In his mind he was now a child

reaching for his cousin. Dreariness overwhelmed him as he

crawled. In desperation he continued to claw the dirt. Somehow he

moved closer. God, he prayed, I'm so tired. Don't let me die yet.

      Pete watched Ponytail crawling toward the other man. A river

of blood splattered a red trail in the dirt. Ponytail stopped

moving just a finger length away from his quest. He never made


      Pete's eyes relaxed and for the first time in his life he

felt pity for someone he shot. Staring until the small drama

ended, he went back to watching the house. His eyes narrowed as

he prepared to kill again.

      She sat in the dirt watching him.

      He hurried to where the other man dropped his rifle,

snatched it up, and then rolled to Kendra.

      She looked at him. "Wolf," she cried and wrapped her arms

around his neck.

      "I got you," he said. "Everything's okay."

      She cried as he kept a wary eye on the building, the rifle

in his hand sweeping back and forth, waiting for the unexpected.

It never came.

      Picking her up in his arms he backed away until the bushes

concealed them.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          334

     Only after approaching sirens sounded, did he feel secure

enough. Caressing his only love in his arms, he kissed her face

and wiped away her tears. Then he realized she didn't have on any


     "Second time I've saved you in the nude," he said with a

halfhearted laugh, and kissed her again. He hoped his weak humor

might lift her spirits, maybe a little. He knew he felt glad.

     She never released her arms from around his neck and he

loved it.

     "I'm going inside to get your clothing," he said and tried

to move, but her arms held him tight.

     "Don't leave me," she cried and gripped him tighter.

     "I won't," he said and took off his shirt to cover her. "Put

this on," he whispered. I'll get your clothes later."

      The sirens grew closer and he heard the first car skid to a

stop. The cops were at the front of the house. He dropped the AK

and picked her up in his arms.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         335

     Chapter 26

     While the police tried to sort out all the dead bodies, Pete

and Kendra sat in the military vehicle with the big Indian,

answering all his questions.

     "Where'd you get the pistol?" Goombi asked. No, it was more

of a demand.

     Pete thought for a second. He could lie, but that'd last

only so long. The lieutenant, the police, they'd all know the

truth before long. Then there's Kendra. Ask her that question and

the game was up.

     In his minds eye he still saw Ponytail. The hole in his

throat spurting his life away, crawling, trying to reach the

other man. He wondered if they were brothers. The thought almost

brought tears as he fought back the wetness in his right eye. He

just didn't understand why he felt this way, but the guy's death

bothered him.

     He closed his eyes as Goombi asked another question. The

shooting was justified. Fighting killers meant you killed them,

or let them kill you. Maybe, someday, it will be different. Right

now the guys he'd met didn't give anyone a chance.

     Still, something about watching the man crawling, bleeding,

and dying changed him. He knew it. He opened his eyes, hoping

never again to have to kill anything, even an ant.

     In the gathering crowd of onlookers, Rene stood somewhat

back, and watched. Tears came to her eyes as she watched her boys
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          336

being placed in black zippered bodybags. One part of her wanted

to flee, to get out of the country. The other side demanded

revenge. She always knew that someday, one or all of them would

die. It was part of the job. But, accepting it emotionally and

logically was vastly different from coming face-to-face with the

real thing.

     She trained Les and Bruce, almost raising them. They were

like brothers to her. They were the only family she ever knew.

She'd miss them, she'd revenge them, but the sorrow she felt was

tearing her apart.

     Someday she'd write a book on her life, and they'd be

featured. They deserved no less, but for now there was work to

do. Money was unimportant. That ended when her employer abandoned

them. That guy will get his in spades.

     She watched as the black bags holding Les and Bruce were

lifted onto the back of a truck. They were then unceremoniously

dropped like so much garbage.

     "No," she whispered. "This is for them and for me."

     Elijah called ISRAELI 911 and asked for directions to the

nearest hospital. He then directed the driver where to turn.

     "Drive faster," he ordered. "They are waiting for us."

     Elijah stemmed the flow of blood from Von Resh's head, but

his leader was clearly in shock. Who shot him? Once he found that
name, that person's life would be a living hell.

     At the same time he realized that he might not get the

chance to clear the books. It was stupid thing for him to have
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          337

revealed himself to Kendra and his hired killers from Florida. If

she talked, the police would be after him within the hour. Then

it'd be her words against his. The Israeli police would watch him

even if they never were able to prove a thing. He'd have to

create a spin that sent the police looking somewhere else.

     The car careened up a driveway to emergency and abruptly

stopped. A gurney appeared as the hospital doors were flung open.

In seconds Von Resh was whisked away to the doctors. Now Elijah

needed to report what had happened. He rehearsed his version of

the story and felt ready.

     First he came to a house for the purpose of getting

information on a terrorist cell. He entered and found men in

there who frightened him. He backed away in fear for his life.

Then Von Resh drove up and provided security. Someone from the

house shot him. Maybe Von Resh was the real target.

     After he explained everything to the police, he thought of

his last statement. It would be better to play the ploy as an

assassination attempt on Von Resh.

     Elijah quickly followed the doctors, nurses and Von Resh to

an emergency bay. He expected the police to arrive very soon. But

first he and the doctors needed to save Von Resh's life, and he

needed to use the spiritual powers that he possessed.

     In the old Star Wars movies they called it the Force. To

Elijah, the Force, the God of this planet, the God who cared

about the things of man, the only true God among lesser Gods, all

were the same. Greater and lesser Gods all were one with the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          338

     Elijah and Von Resh both worshipped the God of many chances,

many lives, the God living within every creature, the God of

powers beyond man's limited ability to understand. He and Von

Resh alone understood the power and could direct it at their


     They always expected to lead the world into Utopia. He and

Von Resh were God's reason for creation. Everything in their

lives was destined for this moment. They were the only two people

on all the earth who understood.

     But he saw Von Resh eyes, and the man wasn't breathing. Von

Resh appeared dead. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe Von Resh wasn't

the one.

     My God, Elijah felt like yelling, as if it might release

unlimited energies and power and raise Resh to health.

     The many names of God rolled through his mind. He picked the

oldest one that man knew. Great and Morning Star, The Great I AM,

names that imposters from time throughout history claimed for

themselves. He personally liked being called The All Mighty


     Soon, by the prophecies of old, all those religious freaks

calling themselves Born-Again Christians would be taken out of

this world. Then he and Resh would bring the world under their

control. Yet what can be done with a dead man? Resh needed to be

alive to make it work.

     "This earth," Von Resh once declared, "and all that's in it

belong to me. No alien God, especially one who calls himself,

Jehovah, will ever steal it from me. I, Daniel Von Resh will stop
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          339

him. Elijah, you must do your part. The glory that belongs to the

Supreme Being, and resides within me, will belong only to Him and

to Him alone."

     Elijah's head swam as he prayed for patience. He and Von

Resh studied the ancient writings, searching for when the fateful

day of resurrection would arrive. He hoped that they hadn't

believed a lie.

     He needed to believe and hold on.

     He let out a long deep breath and tried to relax. In three

days he hoped he'd give a sigh of relief, or it would be over.

     Before the day ends, Elijah prepared for the next stage. He

needed to talk to the High Priest at the temple. There was so

much to do and so little time. I hope they allow at least one TV
camera into the inner room. The world will be in an uproar when

they see the greatest documented use of godly forces in the

history of man.

     Pete and Kendra sat in the army truck as it bounced along

the road to the Beit L'Nan army base. Lieutenant Goombi and his

men drove in a smaller truck and led the way. Safety was the

primary concern. Once on the base, the chances of being attacked

would be minimal or non-existent.

     Until the police and military knew the players involved in

the kidnapping, Pete and Kendra were going to be placed under

protective custody for thirty days. Then the government will slip

all of them out of the country in a way that'd leave the

remaining killer totally frustrated.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          340

     Lieutenant Goombi used his phone, talking with his

commanding officers. One thing he knew. This incident affected

Israel's politics all the way to the Prime Minister. Right now he

was privileged to be on the line in a conference that included

the Minister of Defense.

     The government, even with the terrible scene that Kendra

created during the ceremonies, was still indebted to her.

     The orders were explicit. Kendra and Pete were to be placed

under heavy protection while they remained in Israel. The police

felt it would take four weeks to finish their investigation,

especially since at the moment it was only Kendra's words against

those of Mister Ben-Yosaf, who possessed a tremendous following

in the nation.

     Goombi didn't know about such things, but he knew Kendra. He

survived with her and believed he knew her better than any of the

officials. If she called Elijah the leader of those trying to

kill her, he believed her. And if Elijah is a killer, then he is

not a prophet he wanted his nation following.

     The phone rang in the hotel room and Steve beat Lora in

picking it up.

     "Hello, this is the Talon room." He listened as Lora and

Esther waited in silence, in nervous expectation. They waited for

the call from Pete who left before dawn. All that time they

hopped to hear good news.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          341

     Lora held Esther close to her as Steve listened. When he

placed the phone back on the cradle, the outburst of questions


     "Hold it!" Steve held up his hands to ward off the

inquisition. "Pete found Kendra and they are at a military base.

Pack up our stuff. A truck from the army will be here to take us

to them. We are to wait in our room until they arrive. The

government will take care of the hotel bills."

     "When did he find her?" asked Lora. "Is anyone hurt?"

     "I've been told that they are all fine. I guess we'll know

more after we get there."

     He looked at the two of them staring back at him and clapped

his hands. "Come on, let's get moving."

     Rene Paxton stopped her car next to the park and found a

seat facing the hotel. She knew that Kendra and Pete never

arrived. Still she wanted to see them. She'd follow them to hell

and back. Somehow she'd kill them. Yet what she heard on

television frightened her more.

     The earth's magnetic field just changed directions. What

that meant, she didn't know. She knew that all compasses were

affected. She presumed migrating birds might get in trouble. What

else might it mean? Is this the end of the world?
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          342

     Chapter 27

     Three o'clock, on a partly sunny Jerusalem afternoon, Elijah

traveled by motorcade to the eastern rampart of the newly

dedicated Temple. Behind Elijah was the ambulance transporting

the body of Daniel Von Resh, Archduke of Austria, President of

the World Trade Organization, and influential confidant of

Presidents and Premiers. Four of Von Resh's personal security men

rode in a third car, followed first by Jewish rabbis and then a

team from Israeli Internal Security. Elijah sat mesmerized by the

flashing blue lights of the police car that led the way. His mind

reeled with the plan he'd follow. He, Von Resh and his counselors

went over the performance a dozen times, but then Von Resh was

not a three-day-old corpse.

     Under normal circumstances, what was about to happen would

never be permitted. But in respect for Daniel Von Resh, and for

what he performed for the Jewish State, especially the six

billion American dollars of reconstruction grants that he created

through his influence, a special permit was granted to hold the


     Quietly Elijah relished the fact that the request left the

High Priest wringing with fear. Bringing fire down from space

left a healthy respect for Elijah and his wishes. So far he never

used that ability to burn people alive, but Elijah's hint of

punishment was not wasted on the priest.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            343

     He liked it when the rich and powerful feared him. What he

didn't like was his own personal fear of failure. He hated

looking like a fool. He never brought a person back to life

again. Daniel Von Resh counted on this performance. His spiritual

advisers said it must be done. They said it will succeed.

     Hundreds within Israel spoke of receiving a vision that

revealed Von Resh as a descendent of the tenth king of Israel,

King Hoshea. Some even proclaimed Daniel Von Resh to be the soon

coming Messiah. Von Resh said he needed this supernatural spark

to ignite the world. When completed he'd burn away the chaff of

resistance to his rule.

     But what if the spark never ignites?

     Elijah shook his head and turned away from the flashing

police lights. He needed to stop think this out. "Follow the

script," he said. "Do it and let the chips fall where they may."

     He didn't feel comfortable speaking over a man who'd been

dead three days. "Who do they think I am, God?" he grumbled. "If

it weren't for refrigeration, his body would be decomposing.

     Following his leader's wishes he resigned himself to do as

told, bring Von Resh's corpse into the inner court of the temple

Once there he'd lay the open casket before the first curtain

leading to the Holy of Holies. That's the plan. Then he'd give a

prewritten prayer for life to return into Von Resh.

     He hoped that Kendra Makray didn't show up. She'd mess it up

for sure. Why hadn't he followed Rene's request and simply put a

bullet in her brain?
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                              344

       Now she's still alive, and if she shows up, the whole thing

will end up a joke. Again everything it will be captured by the

cameras. He'll be laughed at for decades.

       If this doesn't work, he'd still be able to make a living by

bringing fire down from space. Maybe I'll just step into the

flames. Then I won't have to face a world laughing in my face. If

Von Resh's spiritual seers were around, he'd make them burn with


       "Oh great God, Lucifer," he prayed. "The true God of this

planet. Do not let Daniel Von Resh, this instrument of your

greatness see decay. Help me, guide me, and do not let me fail."

       Elijah noticed the driver's eyes looking his way.

       "I am sure, sir," the driver said, "that the God you worship

will hear your prayer. I also do hope you are successful. I've

waited for the Messiah to appear and always hoped Mister Von Resh

might be the one. There have been none like him, or you, sir, who

have stood by us in our time of need. I pray for your success.

Have you heard about the change in the magnetic field?"

       "Yes I have," Elijah said. "But I must finish my task before

I can understand that means."

       "I hope you are successful," the driver said.

       "We will, my son. We will."

       The simple act of encouragement from an unknown believer

lifted him from the doldrums. As for the earth's magnetic field,

he'd leave that up to the scientist to explain. For a moment he

needed to concentrate on Von Resh.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                               345

        The driver slowed the car and finally stopped at the gate

leading to the outer court. Elijah didn't wait for the driver to

come around and grasped the door handle. He stepped out. He felt

nervous and he was ready.

        Elijah hurried to the ambulance and waited quietly as Von

Resh's body was carefully removed. From the corner of his eyes he

saw security fanning out and making a protective shield. Kendra

better not interfere. He gave his security men strict orders to

shoot her on sight.

        Unfortunately the press knew about Von Resh's body being

permitted to enter the temple. Thankfully things were moving too

fast for the priesthood to mobilize a protest to this desecration.

        Two reporters and their camera crews were waiting.

        Elijah watched with concealed pleasure as newsmen encircled

the ambulance and began recording. He heard the soft cadence of

their voices discreetly reporting every movement.

        The casket was laid upon a gurney and covered by a silk E.U.


        The Temple's High Priest positioned himself at the head of

the growing column and looked to see if everyone was ready. Elijah

nodded to proceed. The priest, the police, the military, and

Elijah slowly walked behind the casket as the bearers wheeled Von

Resh across the courtyard.

        The procession reached the inner gate and four Temple priest,

stationed at the gate pushed it open. Only the priests, Elijah,

and two approved television crews were allowed beyond that point.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            346

     Every step energized his body. "Yes," he said under his

breath as he thought of his female nemesis, Kendra Makray. You

troublemaker. If you mess this up today, I'll rip your heart out.

Then he chuckled to himself. You're going to miss a great show, a

perfect chance to embarrass me. This will be my finest hour.

     A cold chill settled over him as they walked. If this doesn't

work they'll be laughing me out of town.

     The procession made its way to the inner gate and stopped.

The high Priest gave a command and the two massive bronze gates

slowly opened. The procession moved forward.

     They reached the temple and the path to the very heart of

the Temple, the Holy of Holies.

     The High Priest stopped in front of the gilded closed doors

and raised his hands. With the sound of a trumpet blast, the two

guilded doors swung open. Elijah looked inside at a thick scarlet

and blue hanging curtain that covered the sacred entrance. The

Ark of the Covenant rested just behind the curtain.

     Elijah knew it was now time to begin.

     Looking around he saw the priests, the cameramen, and the

reporters. Everyone was waiting. Everyone's eyes were locked on

him. Being granted the right to perform a reincarnation from the

dead also came with a time limit. Thirty minutes might not be


     He held his breath and began. Raising his hands to heaven,

he hoped the cameras got his good side. Von Resh wrote down

exactly what to do. Von Resh always said they are able to reach

past the known law of physic. Well today he was reaching, before
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                           347

long he felt the psychic energies within him swelling until his

body shook from the invisible living force. He became oblivious to

the surroundings.

     The tingling in his fingers increased. Suddenly, thick

streamers of blue-white sparkling light streaked from the tips.

Startled, he held the course. The lightning-like streams of energy

bolted into the casket, lashing open the side. Around him and the

casket Elijah saw the air shimmered in a gold incandescent light.

     "Come forth!" He heard himself speak before he knew it and

he stared directly at the lid of the casket. He opened the lid

and reached out a hand and said again, "I command you to come


     He looked at the dead body of his commander and saw the

linen cloth draped over Von Resh's body.

     Reaching forward he touched the body and spoke. This time

his voice sounded different. It was his, yet it wasn't. Something

seemed to have taken possession of his voice.

     "Master," he said in absolute wonderment and heard himself

shout, "My Messiah and King. The Great I Am of all creation, Come


     When nothing happened, he called out again with more force.

With perspiration running down his brow he called more

forcefully. "Come forth,"

     Within the golden hue surrounding the casket a blinding

burst of lightening sparked from the head of the casket.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            348

     The four sides of the casket exploded outward and fell to

the marble floor. One side hit Elijah and made him stumble back.

He regained his composure and moved quickly to Von Resh's side.

     Elijah felt ecstatic. Something magnificent was happening.

He studied Von Resh's lifeless body, hoping to see life, but

there was no movement. Then from around him and above him an

invisible chorus sang praises and hallelujah to God.

     He removed the linen covering from Von Resh.

     Behind him he heard a gasp. The part that had lain directly

against Von Resh seemed darkened by an image on its surface.

     Elijah looked down at Von Resh as the High Priest came


     Von Resh's right eyelid moved. Then both eyes began moving

below the lids.

     The High Priest moved back as did his assistants. Under the

porticos, the TV crews worked to capture every detail.

     Elijah stepped closer. "Herr Resh, Messiah of the living God,

can you hear me?"

     Von Resh moved his mouth, as if to speak. Both eyelids were

quivering, and then snapped open. Von Resh stared unblinking for a

moment before he tried to rise.

     But instead of sitting up, Von Resh floated up from the

bottom panel of the casket. Elijah watched with excitement.

     "Were am I?" Von Resh asked as he floated with his arms

outstretched high above Elijah.

     At a loss for words, Elijah shouted, "Hallelujah!"   Unable to

control himself he began shouting and dancing around the casket.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            349

     The High Priest rushed forward with his assistants and stood

by Elijah. They all stared with mouths open at Von Resh floating

above them.

     Von Resh's hand patted the side of his head. The spot where

he had been shot. "I have a slight headache" he said. "I saw God

touch this spot. He placed His finger on the wound. He healed me."

     "You were hurt," Elijah cried. "God has healed you. He has

made you heir to this planet. He has infilled you with his spirit

and together, your body coupled with His spirit, will lead this

world from the brink of destruction. Then Elijah laughed. "What

did you hear while you were in His presence?"

     Von Resh lowered his arms and slowly returned to the ground.

Then he looked up as if someone was talking to him. "Yes. I

understand," he said to someone invisible. "Why me, Lord? I am

unfit to hold this title. Mighty I Am, I can do nothing unless you

are with me, in me. I need you."

     Von Resh looked around at those closes to him. "I have been

selected," he said. "I have been touched and filled with the

powers of Almighty God. I have little time. I must be about His


     He walked swiftly to the curtain separating him from the Ark

of the Covenant. Without waiting or asking permission, he opened

the curtain. Elijah ran forward to stop his friend.

     "Do not do such a thing. You will defile the Temple."

     "Do you not yet know me, Elijah? Someone greater than the

Temple is here. I Am. You might say, 'I am God.' But I'm not God.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            350

I, just like you, only serve that one true God. He is the God of

this world."

     Von Resh turned and looked at the startled priests, who now

came running forward. They ran past him and closed the curtains.

As he walked away, he studied the closed gates leading from the

inner court then waved a hand. The gates opened as if an unseen

hand pushed them open. Before leaving he walked over to the High

Priest, who stood speechless.

     "I thank you for allowing me to be brought here. The great I

Am, the God of all forces, is eternally grateful to you and your


     A choir of voices appeared again from somewhere high above.

All heard the song proclaiming the glory of God.

     Angelic voices sang louder and louder, and Elijah watched

the High Priest scan the sky, looking for the source of the

singing. Then he saw Von Resh point his right index finger at the

opposing wall.

     Brilliant white light streaked from the out stretched finger

and smashed into the wall. Sparks of molten rock splattered and

fell to the ground.

     Moving under the unseen, laser strength light carved and

vaporized the gleaming marble, writing in ancient Hebrew script.

The priest quickly interpreted the words. They read, "Blessed Is

He Who Comes In The Name Of the Lord."

     Von Resh spoke to the priest in the Hebrew tongue and then

to the hidden TV cameras. "Only God can do this," he said in

flawless Hebrew. "Now He resides in me."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          351

     He finished with acknowledgement of the help he and Elijah

received, help that made this miracle possible.

     "Come, my friend," Von Resh said. "We must be about my God

and your God's business."

     Elijah watched in total fascination as Von Resh descended

the marbled steps as if he were walking on air and went to the

open gate. He truly has become the anointed one, he thought with

a smile. Then he uttered words he never thought he'd speak.

Turning toward the cameras he said. "He is the one chosen by God

to be His vessel. He is the Great Mahadi. He will lead this world

to a new age."

     Elijah hurried to follow Von Resh. "Daniel Von Resh is the

One the world has been a waiting," he said excitedly, ignoring

the cameras. "He is God with us. He is Emmanuel."

     Whatever else anyone said, he, Elijah, saw it all take place

before his very eyes. The whole world also saw it.

     A voice sounded in his mind and he looked up at Von Resh.

The man-God stood at the gate and beckoned with thoughts that

penetrated Elijah's mind.

     He turned to the priest and reporters, finding himself at a

loss for words. "Good-by," he stuttered. "I must be going." He

stopped and realized that everyone was waiting for more. They all

wanted to know more about what just occurred.

     Elijah composed himself and straightened up to his full

height. "As it is written in the book of Elijah, behold I have

sent my servant before you, and it is he who is to prepare the

way. I am a voice crying in the wilderness. Make ready the path
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            352

for the Lord." He looked intently into the first camera that he

saw. "Today, those words have been fulfilled in your sight.

Everyone knows where Daniel Von Resh came from, that he is

unworthy of God so honoring him. For some unexplained reason, God

selected him to be his messiah to a lost and dying world. God has

always selected a man throughout the ages, and I believe that Von

Resh has been selected because of his abilities and because of

the chaos the world is about to enter into."

     Elijah looked at the stunned High Priest. "I thank you for

making all this possible."

     Outside the last gate, Elijah saw the paramedic, the police,

and the soldiers standing in shock as Von Resh led him toward the

waiting security car. Before entering, Von Resh gave a short

speech and thanked everyone for their immense help in fulfilling

God's given prophecy.

     Von Resh thanked all who help make his resurrection from the

dead possible. Then he smiled toward the speechless camera crews

and hoped he was able to conceal the coldness in his eyes.

     "I look forward to seeing your reports this evening," he

said and gave a final wave before entering the car. Elijah rushed

to the other side.

     A safe distance away Von Resh laughed as he turned to Elijah.

"You and I, we have a lot of work to do. We must prepare to give a

level of leadership that this world sorely cries out for. We will

take them where they never dreamed they would go. In a short while

they will beg us for help, if for no other reason but to keep food

on their table. Elijah, God lives live in me. I can feel Him and
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            353

hear His thoughts. His thoughts are now mine. Though I am Daniel

Von Resh, a mere mortal, God resides in this earthen vessel, and

He is telling me that in me the great I Am, and me, Daniel Von

Resh, have become one."

     Elijah sat mesmerized. "You truly are the one that has been

prophesied from old. I am absolutely amazed."

     Emanating from Von Resh, Elijah felt a life force so powerful

that every cell in his body wanted to shout for joy. He noticed a

strange light fogging his vision and then saw his hands. They were

glowing. He was absorbing Von Resh's energy.

     Von Resh raised his head and smiled. "As your nemesis once

aptly stated," he threw his head back and laughed, "Boy, is it

good to be alive."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            354

     Chapter 28

     "He did what?" Kendra asked as Steve called to her.

     She hurried from the kitchen and sat in front of the

television, desperate to catch all that the commentator was

describing. The scene behind the reporter was that of the Temple.

     Pete talked to Esther, describing most of what happened after

he found Kendra. He discretely left out the shooting and killing.

     "Hush!" Kendra cried. "I've got to hear this." She scooted

off the couch and turned the volume higher.

     Pete stopped talking and looked at Kendra. Esther turned

around and looked at her godmother. Lora, who was staring out the

window, now turned and listened.

     "The religious council," the commentator said, "that governs

the temple is unanimous in the decision. No one wants to have this

incident repeated."

     The camera stopped on a group of rabbis standing together as

the one known as Rabbi Gersh spoke. "The prophet Elijah has

overstepped the boundaries and respect for the council's spirit of

intent. No rabbi, no alleged prophet, no matter what miracles he

or she performs, can justify allowing an uncircumcised man to

touch the curtain of the Holy of Holies, much less opening it up.

This is unforgivable."

     "Already," the reporter said in conclusion, "the effects of

this impropriety is causing many in the priesthood to ask for the

High Priest's resignation. He gave permission and it is he who

must bear the responsibility."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            355

     "What happened?" Kendra asked.

     "I think our friend, Elijah, took a dead guy into the temple.

Pete thought of the man he accidentally shot in the head. He

brought up that fact to Goombi or the police. The report supplied

by Goombi said that the kidnappers shot Daniel Von Resh. Whether

the police believe or didn't, it didn't matter. That was the

official position. There was no reason for him to say otherwise.

"Apparently this Resh guy was killed by Kendra's kidnappers, but

now he's alive."

     "Oh no," Kendra cried. "He must be the Antichrist. He's the

one. This world is going crazy. The rapture has to be near.

Hallelujah, but I fear for everyone who's left behind. And now we

have the magnetic field flipping. This has to be terrible, but I

don't know what it means."

     Pete sat mesmerized by the report, knowing that he was the

one responsible for the man's death. As for the magnetic field,

he'll wait for the scientist to explain it. He suspected that all

animal life will be affected in some way. Then he thought of the

Van Allen Belt. The way he understood it, that magnetic field

protected the earth from space radiation.

     He wiped his forehead and eyes from the frustration of not

knowing. As for Von Resh, he didn't want to think about his part.

The image of Ponytail crawling across the dirt with his life

draining away still haunted him.

     As Pete watched television, he saw two rabbis standing

outside the Temple being interviewed. He ignored them. There were

other things to worry about. The foremost is getting out of
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            356

Israel. At the same time he kept a wary eye on Kendra. She seemed

clearly agitated.

     Kendra's eyes' stayed fixed on the two distraught rabbis who

were warning Jews to turn to God.

     "If you refuse to believe God," she heard one say, "then you

will be counted as lost. Do not share your heart with other

religions. God is a jealous God. He knows the right paths for

everyone. Believe and trust in God as your only way and in Him


     The other rabbi spoke. "I saw myself standing before God,

pleading for the nation. Now I plead with you. Do not turn from

this day of salvation. Repent and turn to the God of Abraham.

Maybe He will protect you from the day of His wrath. Turn your

hearts to the children, and they will turn their hearts to you..."

     Kendra never heard all that was said. The interruption to the

regularly scheduled programming ended and the class on cooking

returned. She turned to Steve who first noticed the television

interruption and the two rabbis being interviewed. "When did this

interview take place?"

     "I think it was around three o'clock."

     Kendra began pacing the floor more agitated than ever. She

stopped and said. "We've got real trouble." Looking everyone in

the eye she added. "We've got to get out of here."

     Pete watched Esther hurry to her godmother's side and grab

her hand.

     "Are they the ones you have been expecting," the girl said.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            357

     Kendra sat down on the floor. Taking both of Esther's hands

in hers she said, "I think so. Do you see what's happened? One of

these two rabbis may have come in the spirit of Elijah. We have to

get away. Time has run out. Jacob's Trouble has begun. The man of

sin has desecrated the Temple. We have to get away from


     Pete knelt beside Kendra and asked, "What are you talking

about? Go where?"

     The look in her eyes revealed the panic she felt.

     "Calm down," he said. "Try to relax. What are you talking

about? Nothings going to happen to us."

     "You don't understand. This army base is next to Jerusalem.

The Bible says that when you see the Man of Perdition standing in

the Holy of Holies, we are to flee Jerusalem. This Resh guy who

was dead and is now alive did that, just as the prophets foretold.

Now we'll have a bunch of fools running around calling him the

Messiah. Not to mention these two rabbis being interviewed on

television. The Bible tells of someone in the spirit of Elijah who

will come before the time of Jacob's trouble. I believe that

trouble begins with the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. World

War three is about to begin."

     "But Kendra," Steve said as he tried to calm her fears,

"These guys didn't say anything. A lot of preachers talk like

that. As for this Resh guy maybe he wasn't really dead, just in a

comma." Steve shrugged his shoulders, "Maybe the body repaired

itself. Anyway, it's over. He and Elijah apparently left the

country. Nothing happened."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            358

     "But it will. God says it will. I've got to warn the Prime


     "The Prime Minister." Pete choked on the words. "Why the

Prime Minister? These guys are smart. They know about these


     "You know the Prime Minister of Israel?" asked Lora.

     "She's met him twice," answered Pete as he stood dumfounded

by Kendra's fear and urgency. "You remember. We met him after the

war. The Ark, remember we got a medal for discovering the Ark?"

     "Oh yes," Lora replied. "My mind must be on something else.

Is he still the Prime Minister?"

     Kendra tired of their banter. "Knock it off. This talk about

'did you meet the Prime Minister' is ridiculous. We've got bigger

things to worry about."

     "It's a long story," Pete replied to Lora's look," as ignored

Kendra. Then he turned his full attention to Kendra and asked.

"You haven't explained why you have to talk to Avraham."

     Kendra's eyes pleaded for understanding. She wrapped her arms

around his neck and barely held herself back from crying. When she

released him she looked in his eye.

     "Because something very terrible is about to happen. I just

know it."

     He saw her bite the bottom of her lip. Whatever was

frightening her, it was real to her. At first he thought it was

the episode with the kidnappers. That would have been enough to

frighten anyone, but she seemed to have ignored that horror. This

new thing was far more dangerous.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            359

     "Things happened so fast," she said. "I never told you about

the vision I received during the ceremonies."

     This time Pete never took his eyes off of her. He suspected

everyone else also wanted to hear this new bit of information.

     "I saw Elijah and that friend of his."

     "The Prime Minister of Austria, Herr Von Resh."

     "That's the one. I saw him and Elijah standing by the Holy of

Holies. Mister Resh said something and I saw Satan entering his

body. The next thing I knew I was the city of Jerusalem. A rabbi

was being interviewed. The man was telling those who'd listen to

turn their hearts to the children and the children to turn their

hearts back to their fathers. Everything I just heard on TV is

what I saw in the vision. After that three huge bombs exploded.

They looked like nuclear bombs. At least I think they were, but

they didn't destroy the city. Still they sent up mushroom clouds

just like the ones you see in movies, and the explosions caused

thousands to die."

     Kendra paused to gather her thoughts.

     "What else?" Pete asked impatiently. "Did you see anything


     "I saw people dying after the explosions. The next thing I

saw it spread to all of Israel. She was being attacked again, but

red lines came up from the ground and saved her from total


     Kendra looked up at the ceiling as if she were seeing her

vision a second time.

     "I heard the number of those killed. It was two billion."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            360

     "Not from a failed attack on Israel," chided Pete.

     "No, it wasn't Israel now. The war expanded and covered the

whole earth. Then I saw the people of the world, good and bad,

suffering. Children starving. Food gone. Electricity gone. People

were fighting and killing over dead bodies. More explosions. There

were nuclear. The world was at war."

     She looked every one in the eye as she griped Esther's hand


     "I know exactly what I saw, and it's exactly what I have been

warning everyone about. Now it's here, maybe this very hour. I'm


     "Did you see anything else?" asked Pete. He was afraid there

might be more she wasn't telling, a lot more.

     "I saw one other thing but it doesn't make any sense."

     "What was it? Maybe we can figure it out."

     "I saw," she stopped and tried desperately to see the vision

again, but it was mixed up with the kidnapping and the torture.

     "I saw," she continued,” a mighty man. He stood on the earth

and reached up into heaven, yet it wasn't heaven. He reached up

with a hand and pulled things apart."

     Pete patted her hand when she paused. "He pulled things

apart. What things?"

     Kendra shook her head as she tried to understand. "He pulled

things apart on the earth."

     Lora asked in her therapist voice, "What came apart on the

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                               361

        Kendra looked at her sister standing behind Pete. "I saw a

stone statue walking and talking. The stone came alive. I saw this

man make things float in the air. He possessed powers no one ever

seen before. No one can stand against him. He kills by speaking

and making bodies fall apart."

        She reached over and gave Esther a protective hug. "This man

is very dangerous. He changes times and seasons and arouses great

fear." Kendra closed her eyes and continued. "People are

worshipping him. Some out of fear, some out of adoration, and the

earth is filled with people who worship him. They are killing

anyone who does not believe as they do. Millions are slaughtered."

        She noticed that Steve was visibly shaken. Lora carried that

'I've heard this all before' look, while Pete gave her one of his

'it will be okay' smiles. She looked at Esther, the only person in

the room who really believed her.

        "You said something about red lines?" Pete asked. "What were

those about?"

        "I don't know. They were just red lines. I have to tell the

Prime Minister of what I saw and is about to happen."

        She thought of Australia because that continent revealed

fewer mushroom clouds rising above the land. Groaning she feared

if she told anyone else about what she saw they might call her

crazy. They might even take Esther away from her.

        Life crashed around her shoulders. I need a sign. God I need
a sign. I need encouragement. I need a sign from you that you are

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            362

     She stared at the floor and a voice in her mind stopped her

in her tracks.

     Am I not good enough for you?

     She heard the words. The need for a sign vanished.

     Kendra's eyes opened brightly, her fears ended. A smile

appeared as she weighed what needed to be told. The world is

running after signs. No! Jesus is whom I need. God is all I need.

I thank you for all you've shown me, she prayed. Forgive me.

     She moved Esther off her lap and stood. "I've got work to

do. I need to warn Prime Minister Avraham."

     Pete stepped back and looked at the woman he loved. He liked

her fighting attitude and wondered where all her anxiety went.

Kendra seemed like a different person, one with fight. He loved

it. Even though he didn't understand.

     Kendra went to the door and waited for Esther. They both

walked away and closed the door behind. No one else followed.

     As she exited the military housing, Kendra asked the first

soldier she found. "I need to talk to the base commander. Where's

his office?"

     The soldier pointed out the administration building and

Kendra led Esther on a brisk walk.

     The two story white building appeared around the next

corner. They entered the building, talked to the guard, asked for

directions, and ascended the steps.

     At the top she saw the office and entered. Inside four

soldiers sat at their desks. Only one looked up, a man with the

stripes of a Major Sargent.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            363

     "Can I help you?" the Sargent asked.

     Kendra stood in front of his desk with Esther holding

tightly to her hand.

     "I need to see Colonel Grisham."

     A quizzical expression filled the sergeant's face as the

other the three men turned to listen. The sergeant looked at the

child next to Kendra and asked. "Does the colonel know you?"

     "No! And I don't have an appointment," Kendra answered, "but

this is urgent."

     The sergeant in front of Kendra noticeably relaxed. "Can I

ask what the matter is?"

     "Yes you can, but I don't think you'll be able to handle it."

     "Why don't you try me? First of all give me your name." A

slight smile appeared on his thin lips and his eyes flicked to his

fellow soldiers.

     Kendra hoped to sit with the commander and quietly explain

what she saw, who she was, and anything else the colonel needed in

order to pass the warning up the chain of command. Now she talked

to someone who most likely thinks she's a fruitcake. The other

three comrades would more than likely start chuckling as soon as

she left. She felt the heat rising in her neck.

      "What if I write it for you, Sargent, and you deliver it,"

Kendra said with as much sarcasm as she could muster.

     It gave her pleasure to see the effect her words carried. The

man quickly looked up. The smile vanished from his face.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                               364

        "And if you don't give him this message," she continued,

"I'll personally have the Minister of Defense chew your ass so

hard you won't sit for a month."

        She hadn't used such language for years, not since the Lord

convicted her and she gave her life to Him.

        Seeing the effect her words produced made her confidant in

her anger. She gave the other soldiers a withering look from eyes.

        "Your nation's future is on the line, and I don't have time

to waste with a bunch of goof-balls."

        Feeling inwardly pleased with herself, Kendra knew made her


        After the sergeant quickly supplied a blank sheet of paper

and a pencil, Kendra decided to push if farther. "If you don't

mind, I'd rather write it on a word processor."

        "Corporal!" the sergeant barked. "Let Miss," he looked up at

Kendra waiting for a name.

        "Miss Kendra Makray," she announced slowly and with power.

"Now may I begin writing?"

        "Corporal!" The sergeant waved his hand and the junior

soldier jumped from his seat and offered his computer to Kendra.

        "I need to do this in English," she said as she walked to the


        "Yes, Mam."

        Twenty minutes later she finished and asked for three

envelopes. She printed three copies on the laser printer and put

one in each envelope. After sealing the envelopes, she came around

to the sergeant's desk and handed one envelope to him.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            365

     "I'm going to send two copies directly to the Prime

Minister's office, just in case the one I've given you gets lost

in the shuffle. I pray that what I've written isn't time-


     She looked at the sergeant and dropped one envelope in the

"IN" basket.

     "Now pick it up and lay it on his desk," she ordered, "and

make sure he can find it."

     "Yes, Mam," he replied. "I'll do it right away."


     Kendra reached for Esther's hand and headed for the door.

Before she left, she thanked the corporal for the use of his

computer and the sergeant for being a gentleman. As she closed the

door behind her, she winked at Esther and headed for the base post

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            366

     Chapter 29

     Prime Minister Amiran Avraham finished reading the letter

from Kendra Makray. Another arrived a moment earlier from the base

commander at Beit L'Nan.

     "How long will it take to get THOR in place, General?"

     Lieutenant General Ehud Ben-Izenburg scanned the monthly

report on the location of THOR's major components.

     "We can have them together in a week. The Euro command is

aware that something like THOR may exist, but so far they have no

hard evidence to confirm their suspicions."

     "Can we get it operational without tipping our hand?"

     "If we can get the material back to Har Bega undetected. The

13 kilometers south of Beersheba has a Euor checkpoint about three

cliks from the town. Our boys might be able to get past them if we

make a diversion. After that they need sixty days to get THOR


     "Do we have sixty days?"

     "I don't know, Prime Minister. Our research within the Bible

Codes, our own intelligence agencies, and Miss Makray's letter

suggest that we don't. Intel reports are showing the Syrians and

Iranians with a major project in the works. Our highest agent in

Syria indicates a potential nuclear attack within our borders. The

consensus is that the Iranians will initiate the attack. Other

branches of security are not that certain. There is no agreement

at this moment, but the danger is very real."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            367

     "I think we need to take the report from Syria seriously.

This letter from Miss Makray confirms what we know from our


     Izenburg knew the analysts whom Avraham referred to were not

just the Intel people but also those who studied the codes for

hints of the future. The rabbis and eschatology scholars worked

overtime after the events at the temple. He and Avraham both knew

enough of the scriptures to know something serious was about to

develop. Then there was that man of sin whom the prophet Daniel

wrote of. The son of the devil as Kendra wrote in her letter. Now,

he may have been identified. And soon after - how long became

anyone's guess - the worst day in human history is about to

unfold. Researchers believed that the scriptures indicated a

global thermonuclear war. Others read the text referred to a

supernatural act of God.

     If it would be an act of God, he and every Israeli could do
nothing but pray, he thought. If it actually is foretelling a day

of thermonuclear destruction, then THOR has to be active, even if
meant that EURO Intel will confirm their suspicions.

     Then his thoughts turned to THOR and how to conceal it. The

two main laser generators for the two electromagnetic cannons sat

packed in the trailers of two eighteen wheelers. The trucks

constantly drove from military base to base. Sometimes his people

were able to stay one step ahead of the probing eyes of the EUROs.

     The magnetic cannons had been dismantled and placed in

storage, while the particle beam generator was now being used for

high-energy research. It will be a miracle if it all works again.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                            368

Being taken apart and jostled takes its toll on sensitive


     "Give the order to bring THOR back together, General. Use the

Dimona reactor as a diversion."

     Izenburg also agreed with the emergency. He just hoped they

could keep the transportation of THOR back to Har Bega under

wraps. Using the nuclear reactor at Dimona as a diversion would

certainly capture the attention of the arms control inspectors.

Having the Euro boys converge on the southern Negev desert might

just allow the Har Bega center enough time for THOR's components

to be reunited.

     Avraham chewed on a cigar to relieve his nerves. He knew he

wouldn't get a good night's sleep until the trailers and THOR, the

nation’s most secret defense weapon, sat safely hidden from


     Rene Paxton smiled as she showed her papers to the Beit L'Nan

base guards. The heater brought a warm feeling as she received

direction to the viewing stands and then was waved through. The

forged International Correspondence papers allowed her a free run

of the base.

     Today the Israeli Defense Forces were holding public

demonstrations of their latest tank, the David III. Selected

members of the press were in attendance. Rene planned to mingle

with the crowd.

     Much of the David III's armament came from the remains of

thousands of Russian tanks captured during the 3 1/2-day war. With
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                              369

a slight change to the shielding, the David III could take a

direct hit from a 120-millimeter cannon and survive.

       The David III never interested Rene. The whereabouts of

Kendra and her killer friend Peter Meirs was the issue. She knew

they were here.

       She made a turn on Moshe Goyan and headed for the officer's

quarters. Maybe she'd get lucky and see them exercising on the

parade field. Kendra was a fitness freak who never passed up a

chance to jog around a field. Personally, after being kidnapped
and tortured, I'd never leave the house.

       The family housing section also sat along one side of the

field. If the searched dragged on, Rene planned to find a quiet

location next to the park and wait. If Kendra was here, she'd find


       Rene found the designated parking and prepared for a long day

and opening a thermos of coffee, she poured herself a cup to ease

the wait. Her stomach growled as it complained about the lack of

food but she ignored the cry.

       As she listened to classical music playing from the radio,

Rene's eyes watered as she thought about Les and Bruce. The

memories of her two worker-bees made her smile and weep at the

same time. She loved it when they were about to make a kill. Bruce

would turn on Handle's Messiah. When the chorus sang the

"Hallelujah" section, the two buffoons actually went silly.

       She lowered her head from the sorrow she felt. "I miss you

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          370

     Wiping away the tears, she scanned the field and thought of

her ex-employer. I am going to enjoy killing you. You got me

involved in this and you'll pay dearly for all the misery you

have caused.

     "I'll avenge you guys," she cried as she watched the field.

Bitterness filled her to the breaking point, but she'd control

herself. She'd kill them. She'd kill them all. First she'd kill

Kendra and Pete and then finally Elijah would get his just


     Sitting alone with her thoughts, she almost missed the

familiar figure coming down the pavement. Dressed in her jogging

outfit was Kendra Makray.

     "New outfit and new shoes," Rene laughed. Her spirits rose

and she thought about sacrificing herself on the altar of revenge

right there and then. "No," she whispered. "I want you all."

     Sipping her coffee slowly, she watched Kendra jog past. Rene

smiled at her good fortune. Now she waited. She saw a park inside

the base. It looked about three or four kilometers away and

military housing lined a hill overlooking the park. Once she'd

found a place to rent, she'd wait and watch.

     Shema studied the route one more time. He volunteered to

give his life for Islam and sat on the littered floor with his

team, studying the roads. The higher-ups gave him these people,

and everyone knew it was his team. He was the one who was going

to sacrifice his life. The road to Jerusalem is always marked by

martyrs. It was now his turn to take his courage and fling it
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          371

into the face of the Israelis. It was he who would strike a blow

for his nation. Blows so dramatic, that his name would be carried

on the lips of fathers, mothers, and children for decades.

Immortality was an abstract promise pointing the way to a better

life. Today, maybe within the hour, he'd achieve immortality.

Tomorrow they'd speak his name in reverence.

     Sheii, the liaison from headquarters, waved his hand when

his cell phone rang.

     Shema watched in anticipation. When his mother took him to

school, the very first day after his seventh birthday, he knew

he'd been born for a suicide mission.

     Later, when he completed the necessary schooling, he joined

the Syrian based Al Fataa faction of the Party of the Sword. All

he really understood, and even cared to know, was that the

leadership reported to a very secretive branch of the government.

It was rumored that the son of the President controlled all

target assignments and provided all financing.

     Ever since the horrible defeat at the hand of the Israeli

military, he and hundreds of others prayed for a day to avenge

their nation's loss of dignity. The war began with a glorious two

days that turned into a living nightmare - three and one half

days of warfare that would be remembered with shame.

     "It will arrive in one hour," said Sheii as he picked up

maps and prepared to have them burned.

     Everyone looked at Shema as he stepped forth and stood as

tall as he could.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          372

     "I am ready," he announced proudly. "Today is a great day to

see paradise."

     He felt the rush of adrenaline throughout his body. Someone

high up in the organization gave approval. The day of reckoning

is now. He felt strong. He felt invincible. Yet a feeling of

weariness swept over him. The trainers prepared him for this. The

feeling was the normal course a body took to preserve its energy.

Yes, energy. He needed to preserve all that he possessed. There

will be no more women from this moment on. He needed to be sharp

and in total control of his faculties.

     "Shema," called Sheii, a truck will be here in ten minutes.

It will take us to the location."

     The location and three trucks outfitted with small rockets

were waiting. The payloads, as Shema understood it, were

explosive devices so powerful that anything within five hundred

kilometers would be destroyed. His rocket was designed to carry

the payload just high enough to make it over the temple walls.

     Soon that cursed Jewish temple would be a smoldering ruin.

Al Agsaa and every other building on top of the mount might be

destroyed, but the mount would be clean. In time the mosque would

be rebuilt, but not before the dogs and the liberators of the

land met for one last battle.

     The plan called for his truck to be driven to the Kidron

Valley, down the Derekh road, and then parked with its back

facing the Jewish temple. The rocket would lift its deadly

payload over the walls and the great mosque. A split second later
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          373

its trajectory would send it crashing down into the temple. A

horrendous explosion would follow.

     If he survived and if Israeli security did not arrive, it

was just possible that he'd simply drive away. At any time, if he

was in danger of being caught, his resolution was to take his

life, no running gun battle, just a single bullet to his brain

and then paradise.

     The girls in the team provided him with a taste of heaven,

but the reward for doing this final job will be measured in

hundreds of virgins.

     At that time, he also knew the other teams were at their

designated targets. He wanted to be first. Alive or dead his

people would remember him for his courage and being the first to


     Shema felt his energies rise and couldn't wait to get

started. What was this life when it was compared to what was to


     He looked around and gave all the girls a final hug. Their

faces were filled with tears and he gently wiped them dry with

his shirt.

     "This is no time for tears," he said with as much hope as he

could muster. But the sight of the crying nearly unraveled his

composure. "I will see you tomorrow, or in eternity," he said as

he fought to regain his composure.

     Sheii saved him from losing face in front of everyone when

he interrupted the farewells.

     "Let's go, Shema. The truck has arrived."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          374

     Shema did not turn around as he waved to everyone and left

with Sheii.

     The two walked down the stairs and climbed into the truck.

     Shema scurried through the crawl-through window. A driver

and another man sat in the front as he and Sheii sat on the truck

floor. No one spoke a word as they drove to the designated spot.

The truck with the rocket was scheduled to arrive after they were

in position for the transfer.

     He felt proud to be entrusted with such a high security

mission. He would not fail them.

     The man in the passenger seat sat listening to his cell

phone. Once he gave the driver directions that appeared to be

going away from where he expected them to go.

     It wasn't long before they arrived at a location far below

the old city and far away from the temple. As they pulled into a

parking lot, another truck parked next to them. Two men got out

and waited. After what seemed a mere minute later, another man

left the back of the truck and hurried to where Shema sat.

     He was given last minute instructions and four designated

locations to prepare for the attack. Once he parked and pointed

the back of the truck exactly at the temple, he was to take off

the tarp covering the back of the truck and flip on the ignition

switch. The rocket would fire seconds later, giving Shema time to

escape the fiery blast. After it ignited, history would be


     When the orders were given, he left the back of the truck

and climbed into the open door of the suicide truck. He watched
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          375

everyone drive away. Alone, he found himself sweating. His heart

was beating faster than he ever remembered.

     Turning the truck around, he headed down Derekh and spied an

Israeli patrol coming his way.

     It took all his strength and courage to stay the course and

drive on his side of the road. He wanted to ram them and at the

same time he wanted to run away. He fought back the impulse to

speed up and stop at the nearest "X" on his map.

     "No," he said loudly. "I must follow instructions. Stay

cool, Shemma. Stay cool."

     The Israelis drove toward him and Shemma was sure they made

eye contact. Sweat was pouring from his face. He hoped they saw

nothing out of the ordinary.

     Watching through his rear view mirror, he saw the patrol

pass, drive into the parking lot and turn around. His foot

pressed harder onto the gas pedal and he sped to the closest spot

for firing the rocket. It lay two kilometers up the valley.

     As he sped along, he lost sight of the patrol. Maybe they

were doing something else, he thought. He chuckled to himself and

forced himself to slow the truck. Maybe they stopped to eat a

donut. The police are always eating donuts.

     He found the first location and parked with the back of his

truck aligned with the target. As he got out and was about to

remove the tarp, he spied the patrol driving up the valley.

     In near panic, he desperately tried untying the tarp. A

knife, he needed a knife. His fingers worked frantically as the

patrol pulled alongside and stopped.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          376

     In a blink of his eye, he pulled the only defensive weapon

he carried, a nine-millimeter pistol.

     The two soldiers in the patrol came next to his truck.

Shemma fired.

     He went through a full clip before he realized he hit no

one. Dropping the empty clip, he reloaded and cut the tarp loose.

The rocket sat in a cocoon of protecting wood.

     The Israeli soldiers began firing with rifles and Shemma

knew he was outgunned. Hiding behind the wood shield he tried to

get to the control box, but the soldiers pinned him down.

     "What am I doing?" he yelled to himself. "I am a soldier of


     With renewed courage and purpose, he leaped onto the top of

the wooden barrier. A sharp burning pain stung him in the leg and

shoulder. The muscles in his limbs went weak. He pushed and

pulled himself with a will borne from desperation.

     Leaving a thick trail of blood, he fell into the rocket's

container. The control box lay on the floor and Shemma landed on

it with a thud that knocked the wind from him.

     Unable to breathe he forced himself to move, but his body

wouldn't respond. His eyes were blurry.

        Lying there for what seemed an eternity, Shemma needed to

unleash the death that sat perched above him.

     Reaching up with his good hand, he fought to sit up. Slowly

his eyes drifted down and he saw blood covering the floor. He was

bleeding to death. His shaky fingers found the controls. Somehow
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         377

he managed to open the black lid. The red ignition switch sat


     Words in Hebrew appeared above him as his blood covered

finger slipped off the switch. One chance remained to reach


     Again he tried to flip the switch but his strength was gone.

All his energies vanished as the heel of his hand pressed down.

     A deadly intense heat, a suffocating heat enveloped him.

Flames covered his face. The pain. His vision ended and he cried

out in agony as his lungs charred.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          378

     Chapter 30

     The deep booms were heard in the office. A loud crack came

up from the floor. Avraham's eyes shot toward the door leading

into his office. The thought of suicide bombers made him drop the

documents he read. He pressed the intercom and asked his

secretary "Did anyone hear an explosion?"

     His personal secretary hurried into his office.

     "The temple! It's been bombed!"

     "How'd it happen?" cried Avraham as a look of horror and

confusion left him dazed. He needed to hear the words a second

time. The boom he heard was more than a car bomb. All of

Jerusalem must have felt it. "What happened? Who did it? How

could they?"

     "We will have more information in a moment. The Crisis

Center has been informed. Security and military are already on

the scene. There have been a lot of injuries."

     As the secretary spoke two security men wheeled a large TV

screen into the Prime Minister's office. Colonel Jacobs of

Internal Security rushed in behind the men. "The temple has been

severely damaged. Two other explosions have occurred. Security

forces have been placed on Condition Three."

     "Who did it? Do we know?"

     Jacobs handed the report to the Prime Minister.

     "A patrol attacked one just before the temple was hit. He

fired a rocket from the back of his truck. The payload appears to

have been a small nuclear device. The rocket flew onto the temple
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          379

mount and exploded on the mosque side of the walls. The blast has

destroyed or severely damaged every building on the complex. At

this moment we believe thousands of other buildings have been


     "How many casualties?" asked Avraham as he read and reread

the information in his hands. For a moment he stood paralyzed as

his mind digested the enormity of the horrific event.

     "We do not have a clear picture on the dead and wounded.

Estimates are running over four hundred. Radiation has spread

over a large area. Casualties will grow. All buildings

surrounding the north, west and east end have been destroyed or

severely damaged out to three hundred meters. Thousands are

believed to have received moderate damage. All those downwind

from the blast may be unusable for a long time."

     Prime Minister Avraham's face reflected momentary confusion,

and he was white from the fear of what he might have to do. A

moment went by. Then every part of him sprang into action and he

took charge. "I want an emergency session of my cabinet right

away." His voice carried with it all the weight of his office.

     An Army major hurried into Avraham's office. Handcuffed to

his wrist were the mating orders and launch code of three

multiple warhead nuclear-tipped rockets that the military hid

from confiscation.

     Since the destruction of the nation's nuclear rocket force

at the beginning of the last war, the Israeli government secretly

obtained three older Russian SS24's, all bought with gold, and

quickly ferreted out of Russia by the Mossad. The missiles, minus
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          380

their mobile launch platforms, were safely hidden within an ever-

moving military convoy.

     For three years the convoy visited one secure military

installation after another and accomplished the increasingly

difficult task of avoiding detection. Their eighteen wheeled

carriers disguised as radiation, biological, and chemical

decontamination trucks.

     They officially searched the countryside for the remains of

decomposed invaders, but actually they roamed the countryside

hiding from a new enemy, the E.U. and U.N. troops. Some weeks

they peacefully sat idle and secure in a guarded junkyard.

     After Avraham gave the proper coded messages, the three

eighteeners, disguised as decon trucks, met at a secured military

base. From there, the missiles went the rest of the distance by

cargo helicopters. Estimated time to mating the missiles and

launchers was two hours.

     Avraham closed the computerized transmitter in the brief

case and handed it back to the major.

     More of his senior staff appeared.

     "The next step," Avraham said, "must be weighed very

carefully. Once we rejoin our separated nuclear forces we will be

stripping away the secrecy."

     Kendra sat visibly stung by the news report. She held Esther

tightly to her side. No one spoke as their eyes and minds tried

to understand the scope of the destruction. They all heard the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          381

thunderous sound. Pete felt sure they came from sonic booms.

Their building shook and most of the windows broke or cracked.

     The first blast came as Kendra, Esther, and Lora were

walking along a dry creek bed and just entered a twenty-foot long

road culvert. The sonic boom assaulted their ears. A second later

a thud and crack came up from the ground.

     Kendra knew she heard that same type of crack from the

basement of a house after an oil refinery exploded. What she

first thought of as a product from an aircraft now changed to an

explosion on the ground. Little did she know what occurred.

     Lora paid no attention to the sound, presuming it to be a

fast moving fighter jet. When the second and third thunder and

crack arrived, she looked visibly disturbed.

     Kendra explained her thoughts, that massive ground

explosions made all three sounds. Then Lora remembered being

trapped at the Tel Megiddo and the sound and feeling of nearby

rocket explosions.

     They exited the culvert, looking south, and the girls

watched dirty gray-black clouds boiling upward. When they

returned to their quarters, they found Pete and Steve watching

the television. Every channel was interrupted to report on the

destruction. The news reporter described the explosions as three

small nuclear bombs. "Radiation has been detected," he said,

"Decontamination crews are rushing to the sites."

     "It's starting," Kendra moaned. Her face was filled with

horror as she listened. She tried to count the days since she

heard about the temple desecration. The number was well within
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          382

her expectations. One to thirty days after the desecration she

expected the third world war to begin. Most of the time she

expected the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord to be a global

nuclear war that began immediately after the temple was


     Pete looked at her and now even he was worried.

     The last thing he wanted was to be caught in another war,

especially another man's war. His mind jumped into high gear as

he calculated how to get everyone out of Israel and back to

America. By tonight there would be no empty seats leaving the

country. He quickly dismissed the thought of driving to Jordan or

Egypt. That might very well be signing Kendra's death warrant.

     Yet he knew one thing. The military always possessed the

ability to pull a lot of strings. If anyone could get them out of

the country, the military was their best chance.

     He also knew this might not be the best time to visit the

base commander. He imagined the man barking orders to his staff

at this very moment.

     Satisfied with his plan, he headed for the door.

     "I'll be back," he said and closed the door behind him.

     "Where are you going?" Lora cried. Her face told everyone

whom she relied on when the danger arrived. She might be married

to Steve, but Pete's instinct and guidance saved their lives more

than once.

     When they first met, she hated the man. In her mind he was

just another government-trained killer who found a beautiful girl

to dazzle with his male prowness. He probably got every girl he
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          383

wanted, but this poetry-speaking, ex-marine sniper-turned-

archaeologist wasn't going to have her sister.

     After a week of one crisis after another, after he

unselfishly risked his life for them, her feelings toward Mister

Macho changed to sincere appreciation.

     Now, three years later, she considered him an indispensable

part of the family. Now she didn't want him out of her sight.

     Rene sat on the park bench studying the military base.

Whatever was happening in the city and down there really didn't

concern her. But she realized one thing, getting back on the base

was now impossible. Her plan to sneak in and kill them all while

they slept was nullified after the explosions.

     Still, she thought, the army is going to have bigger things
to worry about. A couple of Americans might easily get lost in

the shuffle.

     She listened about the latest findings on her portable

radio. Three massive explosions at three separate locations

rocked the city. The first detonation took out the Dome of the

Rock and the Jewish Temple in a single blast. The second, in a

truck that smashed through the light security at the Ramada

Renaissance's rear freight entrances, completely destroyed the

hotel. A third blast annihilated the Rubin Academy of Music at

Hebrew University where a thousand school children just entered

for a concert.

     From the reports, the dead were being measured in thousands

with that number growing by the minute. Each blast left enough
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         384

radioactive debris to indicate the exact nature of the

explosions. The report also indicated that whoever set them off

used portable nukes.

     Regardless, it didn't mean anything to her. She and half the

world knew that there has been bad blood between the two seeds of

Abraham for thousands of years. This little episode will pass and

the next one would be more violent.

     With technology's miniaturization of weapons of mass

destruction rapidly growing, she expected the ease of their use

to become more prevalent.

     She didn't care who killed whom. The persons she wanted were

inside that fence. Soon they'd come out and she'd be waiting.

Once they showed their dirty little faces, she'd swiftly avenge

the death of her friends. "No sir," she vowed, "My friends will

not have died in vain."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          385

     Chapter 31

      Prime Minister Avraham listened to his security minister

describe the incidents of Israeli citizens pelting E.U. /U.N.

forces. He knew that these forces and their organizations were

not the evil that his people should fight against. They were the

only ones his people could touch.

     His senior cabinet members sat listening to the gloomy

reports. As never before, his nation needed the very men who were

being attacked by his people.

     The evil lay somewhere else, and his intelligence people

would find it. Then he'd give his blessing on the destruction to

come. Right now he needed to find a way to stop the fighting.

     Beginning with the religious right and spreading through the

general populace, the anger over the temple's desecration was

eclipsed only by the death of so many children. The use of

nuclear weapons in the city cried out for justice.

     Increasingly, the cry for revenge coupled with the cry to

eject all foreign forces. Israel needed to be free to retaliate.

     Avraham spoke up to get the meeting back on course. "Once

the revelation of who sponsored the bombings is known, the demand

for security will grow so great that we may all be swept away."

     "Are we certain of who is responsible?" asked the Minister

of Immigrations.

     Avraham looked at his Minister of Internal Security who now

studied a file he received from the Foreign Israeli Intelligence

service (MOSSAD).
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          386

     The Minister of Internal Security spoke. "We have an

unsubstantiated idea of where the bombs came from, who funded the

purchase. We do have a good idea of how they got into the


     "So soon?" asked Avraham. He sat listening as his security

chief, General Levi Ochran, read the intelligence brief.

     "We have learned that the bombs were Russian L23-Y2-B's. The

bombs were originally built for the old KGB and smuggled into the

United States in 1980. General Manlov of the KGB general staff,

who later worked for American CIA, maintained responsibility over

seven L23's. After the breakup of the Soviet Union all but two

were recovered. It is believed that a Colonel Topoloff, also of

the KGB, was then assigned to protect those that were retrieved.

He sold three to a phony environmental group, Earth Forever,

based in England. Topoloff, six million dollars richer, vanished

from sight.

     "From there the bombs were sold to a dummy Italian company

based in Switzerland. Earth Forever may have cleared two million,

U.S. We lost the trail until an operative in Iran found a

matching serial number. We believe all the bombs were then moved

to Iraq and finally to Syria. We do not know how they left Syria

and entered Israel. But I must add that a minority of analysts

believe that someone working within the Ramat David Distribution

Center is an accomplice.

     "The terrorist group Allah El Whid, a-rebuilt loose cannon

of a group among the Hizbullah, received the bombs three weeks

ago. Intelligence has received an unconfirmed report that Elijah
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          387

Ben-Yousaf might be involved. He has been recorded as entering

the distribution center with three men. One of them has been

identified from fingerprints. His code-named is Kaffar, a close

lieutenant of Sheik Halab. We know that Kaffar receives his

orders directly from the brother of Hazad Aziz, the Syrian

President's uncle."

     Avraham listened carefully as General Ochran completed his

report. Why hadn't he been informed of this earlier? How was he

to respond? The bombing attack ratcheted up the nation's possible

responses until no maneuverability remained. To respond with

something bigger and more destructive meant that he'd have to

order the use of the nation's last remaining nuclear stockpile.

There has to be a better solution. Nuclear war is not acceptable.

     "Have we developed a suitable response?" he asked. He saw

the answer in their face. Historically, whenever Israel was

called upon to respond to major acts of aggression, the nation

called upon its airforce, or intelligence services, to inflict

more damage than it received.

     Now thousands lay dead. Tens of thousands suffered injury.

Property damage is expected to reach billions of dollars.

Radioactive contamination will slowly kill thousands more.

     Already Israel was being blamed for the three and one/half

day war. Getting possession of the Ark of the Covenant brought

that double-edged sword. Now if his government responded with

appropriate devastation, the nation would certainly be branded a

pariah state. Somehow he and his staff needed an acceptable way
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          388

out of this dilemma. His citizens also demanded a quick response.

The nation required justice.

     Rene Paxton rented a south facing room in the David Towers.

From the twentieth floor she easily possessed a clear view of the

Beit I'Nan army depot. After buying a sixty-millimeter refracting

telescope, she felt pleased by the ability to see the quarters

where Kendra and her killer boyfriend lived. From the window she

centered the telescope's image on the exit doors to the


     The 40-power lens brought the image of the apartments to an

observable range of two hundred and fifty feet. Even with

atmospheric distortion, the view was clear enough to tell what

was happening. When she used the 60-power lens, the details

really appealed to her. She felt as if she sat across the street

from the front door, maybe a hundred and fifty feet away.

     Tonight she'd try the 100-power lens and expected to even

see their teeth while they sat around the living room table.

     Between jogging in the park in the morning and watching them

at night, she possessed a seventy five percent chance of always

knowing their whereabouts. Soon, she felt certain; they'd all be

leaving the base.

     She needed her listening device. The little laser would be

plastered against that window and she'd hear every spoken word.

She'd know their plans as fast as they made them.

                          *    *   *
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          389

     Von Resh stared at Elijah with feigned anger and sent

managed impulses of fear into the little man's thoughts. It

pleased him when he felt the trembling coming from Elijah.

     "How dare you get involved with terror groupies?" Von Resh

scowled. "Getting them nuclear weapons may undo all of our work.

Even now Israeli intelligence has two reports linking you with

your boyhood chums."

     "I'm sorry, my Lord," Elijah whimpered. "I never meant to do

anything to displease you. You know my heart. To you I give my

allegiance, my loyalty. You are the God I serve."

     Von Resh inwardly smiled at the acknowledgment but decided

to send more humility into his servant.

     Elijah tried to control himself as dizziness began sweeping,

but it was useless. Know on his knees he began worshiping Von

Resh. He tried to fight the fear building within him. Only in his

youth, when his father beat him like a dog, did he whimper and

cry out for mercy. He hated what he became, but the man standing

before him was more than a man. He was the Great Spirit, creator

of the life that existed on the planet. Whatever indwelled him

can be described as God-like. Every cell in his body knew it, and

he crashed to his knees in final submission.

     "Don't fear, my child," Von Resh said warmly. His face now

filled with softness. "The God within me reveals that they will

never be able to connect you to this." He reached out a hand

toward Elijah and helped him rise from his knees.

     "I will do anything to make amends," Elijah said

enthusiastically. "I was only thinking of a way to prevent this
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          390

knat from interfering with me again. She has been a thorn in my

side ever since we met. If came to the Temple, I don't know what

I might have done."

     Von Resh's mouth twisted in anger as he felt that Elijah was

not revealing everything, offering all of himself. A man after my

own heart, Von Resh grinned, but it won't do to forgive so


     "You didn't think," Von Resh said sternly. "You didn't

think. You let a petty argument blind you to our greater purpose.

Must I do all of the thinking? Your name even being mentioned

means that they have you linked to terrorists. If it wasn't in my

powers to blind them, they'd have you in custody before


     "We've always been investigated," offered Elijah in hope of

mellowing the anger he sensed in Von Resh. "The rich, the famous,

the powerful are always followed, photographed, and


     "Don't quibble with me, Elijah. Before you do anything that

rocks our boat, I want you to clear it with me. Is that clear?"

     Elijah produced for his master a genuine look of submission,

and let his eyes focus on the carpet. Maybe, he thought, if he

also fell at his feet, maybe. He stopped thinking and felt the

sensation that comes with his mind being probed. Those goons of

Von Resh's must be close. Well, he thought. I hope they get
everything they want. I will do whatever my Master wants of me.

     Then he sensed Von Resh's mood change.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          391

     "Good," Von Resh replied. "Because if you can't play on my

team, I will find someone else."

     Elijah sensed relief as he timidly let his eyes return to

Von Resh. Here was a man-God of unlimited powers, a man-God who

might destroy Elijah in a single look. He knew it. He felt it.

     When this incident passed, he'd sit at Von Resh's knee and

learn. Someday all that psychic/emotional baggage he grew up with

would be gone. Then he'd live with only one purpose and that was

to please his God.

     "It won't happen again," Elijah whimpered. "I'll make sure I

communicate with you in all things. But she made me look like a

fool so many times, I needed to try."

     "Believe me," Von Resh said with compassion and

understanding as his face softened. "I know what you've been

through. Now leave me. I have to think how we can turn this

incident to our advantage. All things work to our good for those

who love God."

     Elijah saw the questioning look in Von Resh's eyes.

     "You do love God?" asked Von Resh. His eyes squinted as if

he was studying Elijah for any sign of dissatisfaction.

     "With all my heart," Elijah answered.

     "Good! Now leave me. The God within has plans to give me. I

must talk with Him without distractions. Now go."

     Elijah turned and walked to the doors.

     "Elijah," Von Resh called, his voice soft, no anger

remaining. "I do understand you more than you'll ever know, but I
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          392

also see the future. This gnat of yours won't be around much

longer, and we must prepare to defend the earth."

     Elijah looked at Von Resh and didn't understand. Defend the

earth? He also saw a concern in Von Resh's face that gave him a

cold chill. The man became Lord and God. Yet he sometimes sensed

a sinister presence in the man. Von Resh seemed to know about

everything. He also possessed powers that defied the know laws of

science. Still, this man-God feared something that he never

talked about.

     Elijah felt the anguish Von Resh felt even though he didn't

understand everything. He opened the door, speechless, wanting to

say something encouraging before leaving.

     Von Resh watched Elijah leave and sensed someone coming

through the side door to his office.

     "Come in my friends." Von Resh turned and waved his hand to

come closer.

     Ten men with red-crimson hoods stepped closer and formed a

circle around their master. His inner circle of advisors stood

quietly until Von Resh lowered his eyes in meditation.

     The tallest man spoke. "We see this event as being the

perfect opportunity for introducing the plan to the Euro


     "They will reject your ideas, but time is on our side," said


     "The World Trade delegates are already on notice in

opposition to your plan, but I know you will succeed," said a
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          393

third. "However, the world's currency reserves are shifting to

the Islamic dollar. Now we have four spheres of currencies, the

American dollar, the Japanese Yen, the Euro, and the Muslim

Dinar. We are still united on trade, but the world has fractured

into four independent financial centers. The world is out of

balance. Somehow you must bring it back to a triad."

     A forth member of the circle spoke, "The spirit is telling

me that a living heart is required."

     All members of the circle nodded their heads in agreement.

     "A living sacrifice to the God of Forces," Von Resh said in

excited agreement as his eyes opened. His face showed amusement

to the idea. "Have we found a suitable person?"

     The thought of holding a pulsating heart in his hand

quickened his pulse. A long time ago the spirit residing within

him also taught the Incas and Aztecs how to perform such a

ceremony. The early Egyptian and Babylonian priests were also

taught this mystery. Every year, for thousands of years, it

needed to be performed. A blood sacrifice needed to be given to

the winged serpent of old. The memory of the Garden of Eden

surfaced in Von Resh's mind. He felt energized and sung an

ancient song.

     He'd need Elijah for the sacrifice. Little did Elijah

understand that he and Von Resh acted in concert. Together they

possessed access to dimensional powers that the ancient priests

only dreamt about. These powers were beyond the ability of mere

mortals to understand. Before history, men worshipped those who
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          394

revealed such powers. They'll do it again, he thought. They'll do

it for me.

     Von Resh's thoughts drifted back to the image of himself

reaching into the chosen sacrificial body and lifting out the

still beating heart. The life of the victim continuing until Von

Resh threw the rapidly pulsing heart into a fire made his own

heart beat furiously in anticipation. With each of these future

sacrifices, he knew his powers and focus of mind would intensify

until he alone possessed the keys to the throne of God Himself.

Billions of souls would follow his every command.

     The ten men surrounding him felt the surge of his joy and

coming powers. They bowed as Von Resh composed a song. It was a

song of joy, of power, of ownership. The spirit within him once

owned this planet but lost that ownership by deceit. Adam, the

man of the earth, never possessed the ability to rule. The spirit

within him proved that point six thousand years ago. Then a new

usurper came along two thousand years ago. A man whom I have

killed yet still lives."

     Von Resh wondered why he used the words, "whom I have killed

yet still lives."

     But that usurper did die and he didn't. He now lives and is

even more powerful. The coming battle needed to be fought, a

battle over the spirit and souls of men. With the whole of

mankind on his side, he and they would renounce the right of God

Himself to rule in their lives. The title deed of this planet

needed to be returned to him. Something inside him warned him
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          395

that this usurper is planning to travel to this planet. Von Resh

needed to get the world ready. He needed to get the world unified

and under his leadership. The plans that Elijah was about to

unfold dictate that he move fast.

     Von Resh knew he needed a disaster, something so mammoth

that the world will cringe in fear and cry out to him to save

them. Elijah's plan may be the very catastrophe he needed. If

not, he felt sure some hothead was sure to ignite the need for

his plans.

     The world's religious, political, and military leaderships

needed to unify into one. Those who fought against him, everyone

who stood in his way, especially that nightmare of a person,

Kendra Makray, he destroyed them all. Someday she will also be


     Thankfully, the spirit within him revealed that she soon

will be gone. When that happens, he smiled a smile of

satisfaction; I will be rid of my worst type of enemies, the

religious fundamentalist who follow Yahweh with all their heart.

     "Unrestricted," he muttered. "My followers will follow me to

hell and back. They will die for me.

     He thought of the prophesied extraterrestrial-city of God

expected to come to earth. We will all fight to survive. We must

fight to preserve the earth from alien domination. And I, Daniel

Von Resh, man-God, will lead them into battle. I will unify them

in a way that no organization ever dreamed possible.

     "This usurper that is to come," the hooded man standing to

his left said. "This alien who wishes to rule the earth will soon
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          396

arrive. The spirit within me foretells it. There will soon be

signs in the heavens that will tell you when the time is near.

Already the men of science with their telescopes see his city.

The pulsating electromagnetic energies radiating from it have

been noticed. In another month it will move deep into the solar

system. Then all will see it. You must be ready for the panic

that will follow."

     Von Resh knew the size: 1500 miles square and shaped like a

pyramid. His hooded seers began describing the city to him. The

city, or more accurately the spacecraft, was emitting unlimited

energy. He knew that once it appeared, it would bring panic. Yet

the world will call on him to save them. Then he'd kill this

alien once and for all. He'd have no second chance.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         397

     Chapter 32

     Avraham re-read the speech he planned to give. The sources

of the information, included in his draft, were all carefully

deleted; yet, he knew enough remained to squarely place the blame

for the bombings on three nations.

     The Russian L23 nuclear bombs were all tracked back to their

original source, the old Soviet Union. During the breakup of the

old Soviet Union, a lot of weapons grade nuclear material

vanished. It became impossible to hold the current government of

Russia responsible.

     The three nations of Iran, Iraq, and Syria were guilty. The

Palestinian leadership is guilty by association. They knew of the

plot and did nothing to stop the attack. The Israeli government

now was forced to respond. Twenty years of on and off peace

vanished with those bombs.

     Now he planned to demonize every organization that expounded

land for peace. That idea needed to be put to rest. It was time

to face up to the harsh reality. If good men do nothing, then

evil flourishes. He saw himself as a good man about to destroy a

malignant cancer.

     "Everyone is ready," a staff member said as he entered the

Prime Minister's office.

     Distracted from his thoughts, Avraham looked up and

acknowledged the aid. His face reflected the gloom within him as

he contemplated what he was about to set in motion. After his

government conferred with the Americans, their president pleaded
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          398

with him not to release the information. Yet all Israel, Arab and

Jew alike, demanded action.

     Thousands died in the bombings, and tens of thousands were

wounded or threatened by radiation fallout. The economic cost was

estimated to be between ten to fifteen billion dollars. It would

take Jerusalem years to recover from the damage. To heal the

psyche of the people might take twenty years. Well, he mused as

he cleared his desk; we might not have the time.

     "I'm ready," he said and rose from behind his desk. What he

was about to say to the press was designed to prepare everyone

for a major mid-course correction in international cooperation.

                            *   *   *

     Elijah hurried to his office. His spies had uncovered

Kendra's whereabouts. The warning by Von Resh to let his anger go

by might be all right with him, but he needed to finish this

contest once and for all.

     He entered his door and saw his security chief waiting. The

man rose as Elijah walked to his desk.

     "You found her?"

     The folder in the man's hands and the look on his face told

him the answer.

     "We have pinpointed her, sir. She's been in protective

custody, on the Beit L'Nan military post. They will soon be

moving her to a ship docked at the port of Tel Aviv."

     His security chief slid the folder to him as he sat down

behind his desk.

     "Can we get to her? I am sure the base is penetrable."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          399

     "Not yet. But we've been informed that she will be relocated

on the ship by the end of the week. I have an operative who will

keep me informed of the exact date and time. Currently, she is

with a Peter Meirs, her godchild Esther, her sister Lora Talon

and brother in-law, Steve Talon. They are all staying in building

'G' on the base. The building is a two-story structure that

contains four apartments. Ms. Makray and her godchild are

residing in unit 'A'."

     "Is there any way to get on the base?"

     Elijah knew the answer before he asked the question.

     "No sir. Since the bombings, the base is on heightened

alert. Those bombs have caused the whole damm nation to become

edgy. Any attempt to get to her will be suicidal and most

probably doomed to failure."

     Elijah waved his hand for his aid to be silent. If only he

killed her when the chance arrived. Now the bombs that he

supplied stood in his way. "Curses," he growled under his breath.

"I'm a victim of my own genius."

     He opened the folder and thumbed through the report,

flipping to the last page.

     "Is everything in here?"

     "Yes sir."

     "I see here that you recommend I wait until she is moved to

the ship."

     "Yes sir. I see no other way. There is too much security on

the base."

     "Very well. That is what I shall do."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          400

     Elijah looked up. His eyes stopped at the clock on the far


     "I have to go to Mister Von Resh's news conference in a few

minutes. He is to give a short news report before flying to New


     Elijah read the speech earlier. Once in New York he'd speak

to the United Nation General Assembly. Later a slightly modified

version was to be read to the European conference. Elijah did not

expect the speech to be well received, but Herr Von Resh, ever

since his miraculous recovery, played a game that seemed light

years ahead of him. If his plan worked, Elijah saw billions of

people hailing Daniel Von Resh as savior.

     Like Winston Churchill before the Second World War, Von Resh

warned the nations of an approaching calamity.

     Everyone knew about the comet that circled the earth,

captured by gravity. They all knew it was destined to crash down

on the world. They also knew about the missiles that were aimed

at the circling mountain in hopes of breaking it up into smaller


     In desperation one nuclear warhead hit the comet. It

detonated as expected and blew the rock and ice into a million

pieces. Unfortunately a few fragments were still large enough to

create havoc wherever they fell. A bigger crisis loomed on the

horizon, and the Russians, Iranians, Iraqis, and Syrians were all

going to share the blame.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          401

     Jerusalem was a problem that never went away, and these four

nations were at the doorstep of pushing the world into a crisis

that contained no safety door.

     Von Resh was prepared to recommend that these nations,

specifically Syria, Iraq, and Iran be temporarily occupied by an

international peacekeeper force. If this force for peace did not

act soon, it might be too late to protect the world from a

greater catastrophe, and that was the threat of nuclear war.

     He would do his best, but they still might reject his plan.

His ability to influence men's mind was powerful, but not

foolproof. They'd remember that is was Mister Daniel Von Resh who

offered a tough but workable answer. They'd remember his

solutions, foresight, and leadership.

     After Von Resh gave his local speech, Elijah followed his

assignment. He'd fly to Rome and confer with Pope Peter II,

sometimes referred to as Peter the Roman. Peter the Second took

over the leadership of the Catholic world when Pope Benedict un-

expectantly passed away. His ecumenical plan to incorporate all

the world's major religions under one umbrella was proceeding

smoothly. For the last twenty years, the movement produced

nothing acceptable. Now most of the world's major religions were

willing to compromise. The primary catapult came after the

nuclear destruction during the last Israeli war.

     Elijah himself made the path to this agreement possible by

using his supernatural abilities to coerce the leadership of

every major religion. When Von Resh and he got together in front

of that crowd, the magic really flew. Now all that remained was
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          402

to get them to sign the final agreements, shepherd the process to

the appropriate political organizations, and see a happy

conclusion to all his hard work.

     So far the only discord came from a few Catholic dioceses

that rebelled against the unification process. Of course there

was the ever-vocal resistance from that pesky minority called the

Christian far right.

     The lunatic fringe element calling themselves the Born-Again

believers in Jesus Christ were always denouncing something;

usually, it was whatever he and Von Resh worked hard to develop.

Some day soon, all those radicals would perish from the earth. He

longed for the day when the full political/military forces of a

united world banded together to squash them. He knew the name of

the first person he'd placed on that list - Kendra Makray.

     Once he got the upper hand over her, dealing with the rest

of the fundamental Bible thumpers would be child's play. They'd

sneak away to their caves. He'd let them wear animal skins and

practice their religion until they slowly starved to death.

Elijah Ben-Yosaf, and his friend, Herr Daniel Von Resh, would

eventually rule the day.

     Energized, Elijah slammed his hand onto his desk and saw the

startled security chief jump.

      "Sorry," Elijah chuckled. "I got carried away with my

thoughts. After Von Resh gives his speech, have my car brought

around. I have to get to Ben Gurion. And," he said in a passing

thought, "thank you for the report."

     "Yes sir."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          403

     General Izenburg sat across from Prime Minister Avraham and

read the report. Avraham held a copy in his hands.

     "The nuclear reactor at Har Bega is producing plasma. The

high temperature that stripped away electrons from their nucleus

was a necessary ingredient for the particle laser beam cannons.

But the alignment of the magnetic guidance systems has hit a

snag. The newer units, those that have been modified since their

last use are working exactly as expected, but an intermittent

fluctuation in the purity of the DC voltage has created a

problem. A redesign of the rectifier motherboards within the

computer alignment black boxes is under way."

     "I don't see that taking too long," Avraham stated. "Is that

the only problem?"

     "No," Izenburg answered. "We have a corrosion problem with

the Particle Focusing units. The two magnetic cannons have not

been able to sustain the necessary power smoothness to control

the plasma beam coming from the nuclear reactor."

     "How bad is it?"

     "The technicians are answering that as we speak. It was a

problem that did not exist when we closed down the project three

years ago. The slight loss of efficiency has been crippling to

the weapon."

     "Can we use it at all?"

     "The engineers believe we might be able to hit a target

sixty kilometers away."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          404

     "That's not enough to protect our people. We need an

operational THOR, something that can function out to three or

four hundred kilometers. The military has told me that their

operation is ready. The Mossad has tracked the location of Ali

Ismail Hadad, the Syrian president's brother. A meeting with Ali

and, Jamal Kakin, the Syrian chief of terrorism and assassination

activities within Israel, is scheduled for tomorrow. It has been

confirmed that Jamal bought the nukes from a front organization.

My people want the green light to attack. An opportunity like

this may not exist for a long time. Can they get THOR ready in


     "I think we must do what we must do, with or without THOR.

The weapon has limited capabilities. It might be enough for a

Syrian response." The general's face-hardened. "But if it

escalates, we may not be able to protect everyone."

     Avraham knew the threat. "They've already used backpack

nukes in our country. What is left to escalate with?"

     "They do have sixty warheads of Sarin."

     Avraham winced. Ever since Israel developed its own nuclear

forces, the Syrians built up a supply of lethal nerve gas. Sixty

warheads of that gas sat in secured bunkers. All they needed was

to mate the warheads to a small but accurate SRBMs (short-range

ballistic missiles) and fire away.

     THOR might protect the nation, if the range was near enough,

but beyond sixty kilometers, it might be useless. If the attack

came with nuclears, the range was far too close. A major portion
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          405

of northern Israel might be expected to bear the brunt of a

Syrian nerve or nuclear counter attacks.

     "Do they believe THOR will be ready in seven days?"

     Seven days, Avraham thought. That's how long intelligence

believed the Syrians needed to get the SRBMs mated to the

warheads. If our preemptive attack on Syria succeeds, Israel will

have to be ready.

     "We just don't know. The new technologies that we've created

have never been tested in concert with each other. Seven days may

not be enough."

     Avraham thought for a while about the retaliation window.

"It will have to do. Have THOR as ready as possible. Our nation

is depending on it. That bunker in Syria is fifty meters below

the ground. It is hardened. I need something very powerful to get

to it."

     "They used small nuclear devices on us, and I think a small

nuke or two will be appropriate." General Izenburg smiled and

added, "We might have something lying around that the eyes of

European command hasn't discovered."

     Avraham understood.

     Izenburg answered. "I think we will find just what we need."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          406

     Chapter 33

     Lieutenant Goombi sat at the table explaining the precarious

position Pete found himself. Pete listened without comment. An

ounce of tactfulness was worth a pound of cure. Kendra. Lora,

Steve, and Esther listened and watched Pete at the same time.

Goombi, their friend since the war sat grim face and threatening.

     "We know that you carried a weapon with you when you went to

find Kendra. And it is believed that the silenced twenty-two you

used has been in Israel since you were last here. We may suspect

everything, but we cannot prove anything, at least at this time.

What I want to know is do you have anything else that we should

know about?"

     Pete looked the lieutenant straight in the eye and lied.

"Lieutenant, I can safely say that I have no weapons. Besides,

having an unregistered gun in Israel is a major offense. I swear

I do not have any guns."

     Lieutenant Goombi stared at Pete, looking for signs of

deceit. He knew Pete lied. Proving it might be harder.

     "What did you do with that rifle that you were so proud of?"

     "I threw it away," Pete replied. "You know that. For all I

know, it is still lying where it landed."

     "We searched the location you gave us and found nothing."

     "Someone must have picked it up. If you remember there was a

war going on three years ago."

     "Don't lie to me."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          407

     "Corporal, I mean Lieutenant," Kendra injected. "He did

throw it away. None of us knows where that rifle is."

     Kendra saw the complete innocence reflected on Pete's face,

but the look on Goombi's resembled something akin to a cobra. One

of them was going to explode and it looked as if it might be


     "Can I get you a glass of water?" she asked and looked at

her Indian friend.

     Goombi shifted his eyes to Kendra as she rose from the


     Kendra saw the big man slowly exhale.

     "Sure," he answered. "I'll take a glass of water, please."

     Pete watched the exchange between Kendra and Goombi and

relaxed. The little peacemaker did it again. Then something
struck him as odd about the whole conversation.

     "Now you didn't come all the way over here to talk about

some twenty-two that was found at the crime scene, did you

Goombi? What is the real reason for this visit?"

     Pete saw the hint of a smile cross Goombi's lips. Living in

Israel seemed to have softened the big Indian. Or maybe it was

having a family. Pete smiled.

     "Want to tell us about it?" Pete asked.

     "We have transportation for you," Goombi said to everyone's


     "When do we leave?" Kendra asked. Inside she was relieved to

be going home.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          408

     "Sunday," Goombi replied. "But you are not traveling by


     "We aren’t?" questioned Pete. "I hope it isn't by car."

     "It's by boat. We've arraigned passage with a freighter

leaving Joppa on Thursday. It's heading for Brindisi, Italy."

     "Italy," Pete laughed. "Why Italy?"

     Goombi continued and ignored the question. "The passage is

free and should be uneventful. Personally I think the higher-ups

are convinced you are guiltier than the evidence reveals. This

may be their way of punishing you for having a gun in our


     "Are all of us leaving on the boat?" asked Lora.

     "Everyone," Goombi said as his eyes settled on Esther. "You

are an Israeli citizen. You may stay if you wish."

     "Esther's going with me," Kendra barked. "I'm not letting

her out of my sight."

     "I want to stay with my godmother," Esther answered meekly.

     "But you don't have to go. You could stay with my family.

We'd love to have you."

     "No she isn't staying," Kendra insisted. "This world is

going to hell in a hand basket, and she's going to be with me

when it happens. The courts gave her to me, and she's staying

with me until they take her back."

     As Lieutenant Goombi glanced at Pete, his face became stern.

"This little girl is safer here than with a person who is

constantly being chased."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          409

     "She's adamant," Pete replied. He disliked the idea of not

having Esther with them either, and he wasn't going to agree with

the lieutenant no mater what he said. He made a stab at

explaining Kendra's thoughts. "She believes that the rapture of

the church and the Third World War are about to begin."

     "That's right," Kendra said as she wrapped a protective arm

around Esther. "Look up at the sky; it could be any day now,

maybe before we finish talking. I'm not letting this precious

person out of my sight. Where I go, she goes. She wants to stay

with us."

     "I'd like to hear that from Esther Yehezkel," said

Lieutenant Goombi, and then added, "in her own voice." He reached

across the table and rested his hand on Esther's. Looking her

straight in the eye, he asked. "Don't you want to stay in Israel?

Do you want to go with Kendra Makray on the ship to Spain?"

     Pete watched Esther cling tightly to Kendra. "I think that's

enough answer for us," he said.

     "I still want to hear her say it one more time."

     Esther looked up at the big Indian. "I want to stay with

Kendra. I want to stay with Uncle Pete, Uncle Steve and Aunt


     Goombi's eyes studied everyone as they now stood behind

Esther. He though about the comet that's spiraling to earth. The

scientists say it will be in three, maybe four days. In the

scheme of thing, who possessed this girl didn't matter. If the

comet smashes down into Israel, this place will be the last place

to stay. He made up his mind. "Be ready Sunday morning, zero six
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          410

hundred. I'll be back to take you to the ship. It's scheduled to

sail that evening"

     Kendra relaxed now that Esther made known her choice. She

always feared that Esther might someday be forced to choose

between her and something else. The courts still might strip the

girl from her. Fortunately Esther is old enough for them to

listen to her opinion. Now Goombi seemed to be confirming what

she always feared. The Israeli court was watching.

     Esther's Israeli citizenship was never a question. The real

problem centered on guardianship. If the courts thought Kendra

was detrimental to the girl's health and well being, they'd take

her away and place her in under the care of a resident Israeli

family without a second thought. Goombi was keeping an official

eye on them.

     For a moment Kendra felt angry. She felt deceived. Seeing

him prodding Esther to choose whom she wanted to live with seemed


     She stared at Goombi and felt the anger in her rising to

explosive levels. At the same time, she prayed a quiet prayer

that her anger would not cause a distasteful situation to become

even worse.

     Somehow she managed a stiff smile and heard Pete speak.

     "I think it's wonderful that you care enough about Esther to

offer to help. I presume the courts have brought up the issue and

have asked you to look into her welfare?"

     Kendra turned to watch Goombi. His dark eyes drilling into

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          411

     "They did, but it is also a decision that Esther needed to

be involved in. It is a question that has to be answered before

she leaves the country."

     "And what are you going to report to them?" Kendra asked

chokingly. Her voice clearly revealed her anger, and her green

eyes, never blinking, fixed intensely on Goombi's.

     "I believe they will not interfere with her decision, but it

must be free of coercion. Their concern is that Esther is not

being raised as a Jew."

     Esther's reply caught everyone off guard. "I'm Messianic,"

she said. "I believe that is allowed."

     Kendra looked at Esther in shock. She never heard Esther

talk like this. It sounded like a prepared speech. Delirious with

pleasure, Kendra broken out in a wide smile, turned to Esther and

showered her with kisses.

     Esther continued. "I think the courts understand that."

     "When did you make this decision?" Goombi asked.

     "I've always believed in the Messiah. My grandmother

believed in Him, and so do I. I also believe very strongly in my

Jewish heritage."

     The big Indian came close to Esther and stared her in the

eyes. Kendra saw Esther stiffen.

     "This sounds very rehearsed for a little girl," Goombi said.

"Are you sure you haven't been coerced?"

     "No," she meekly replied. "Have you ever read the codes

written in the Torah?"

     "No I haven't," Goombi replied. "Have you?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          412

     Esther left the room. She returned carrying an arm full of

books. She laid them on the couch and selected two and took them

to Goombi.

     "I like these two."

     "What do they say?"

     "They tell all about the Messiah. They even give the names

of the family he was born into."

     "They do?"

     "Uh Haw."

     "Do you believe that the Messiah has already come to


     "Uh Haw."

     "Do you believe He's coming again?"

     "Uh Haw. Very soon." Esther hurried to her room again and

returned with a chart. She handed it to Goombi.

     "I can prove it," she said and opened the chart in front of


     "You don't have too," Goombi said and placed his hand over

the chart.

     "My grandmother taught me that I didn't need someone else

interpreting the Holy Scriptures for me, and since everyone," she

looked at her Kendra, "in my life says how smart I am, then I

think my decision should be accepted."

     Kendra turned back to Goombi and beamed. "You have to admit

the girl is smart," she said with one arm on Esther's shoulders,

her fingers patting the girl's back. Goombi looked defeated and

Kendra felt exuberant.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          413

     "Well," he said, "there is nothing more to say. He looked at

his day timer and added. "I'll be here to pick everyone up Sunday

morning. I'll call before arriving. Have your bags packed and be


     "We will," Pete replied. "I presume this freighter that we

will be traveling on also carries passengers." Pete saw the

questioning look in Goombi's eyes. "Just in case we have to work

off our board and keep."

     Goombi shook his head. "You're a tough man. The Israeli

government does not send its honored guests off on tramp

steamers." Goombi stood and then said, "It is time for me to

leave. I have to complete my report before going home. At this

moment I really miss my family."

     "Your family will need you," Kendra said, her voice solemn

and pleading.

     Goombi blinked and asked, "What?"

     Kendra looked as if she was staring at the wall. "We're

coming to the end. Your family will need you."

     "I don't understand? What are you talking about?"

     Lora laughed as she answered. "The end of the world. She

believes the end of the world is about to happen."

     "It's not the end of the world," Kendra responded in

defense. "It's the time of God's judgement, Jacob's trouble." She

stared straight at Goombi. "God's judgement on this world has

begun. It could begin before you get home. I know you converted

to Judaism, but you and your family need to add belief in Yeshua

to it."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          414

       Goombi said nothing as he looked at the others. "I have to


       She watched him walk to the door and quickly leave.

       Lora fumed as she scolded her sister. "Now you did it," she

growled. "Thanks to you, we may never get home."

       Kendra stared at her sister and the hurt she felt showed in

her face. "He needs to hear about Christ Jesus. Maybe it'll

change his heart, maybe I planted a seed, maybe he'll eventually


       "Believe what?" Lora said as anger rose in her voice. "That

he doesn’t believe like you do?"

       "No! But I pray that he'll believe that Jesus is his God and


       "Oh give me a break. You've been on this high horse for the

last four years. You get religion and think you're God Almighty."

       Kendra studied the faces of everyone in the room. "Jesus is

coming. Everything that the scriptures say is true, and that

terrible day for a rejecting world is about to happen."

       Steve spoke up in an effort to defuse the growing hostility

between the sisters. "You're talking about the rapture?"

       "That day, the rapture, the taking away in the twinkle of an

eye it's all about to happen. The signs are there. The scripture

says no one knows the time or the day. It never says we will not

know the year, but I am convinced that that day is only day's

away, maybe hours. Time has run out. I believe the old Jewish

holiday, the Feast of Trumpets, this Thursday, will be the day

that heralds in the terrible Day of the Lord. That orbiting
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         415

mountain up in space is supposed to crash to earth on that day.

And now that day is only two days away. If this all happens, it

will bring closure to one of the Bible's great mysteries, the

rapture.   You all," she turned and looked directly at her sister,

then the others, "have got to believe, or you'll all be left


     Lora pushed her chair back and stood. Defiantly she steamed.

"I'm tired of hearing this fable." She shot a look at Steve.

"Let's go. I'm tired of hearing this, and I don't want to argue."

     Pete rose and said, "Maybe it's time for everyone to get

some sleep. We can talk about this tomorrow."

     Kendra looked at her family with pleading eyes and saw Pete

reach in his pocket for the key.

     "But tomorrow may never come," she said softly. "I feel we

have very little time." She was losing them and they wouldn't

listen. "I'm not trying to put anyone down, and please, please,

take what I am about to say as an act of really caring about you.

In love I have to say it as simply as I can. Whoever believes in

his heart that Jesus is the Messiah, is of God and is born again,

will be saved from the terrible hour that is coming. Believe God;

believe the written word that has been given by God. This is no

time for playing games. Tonight before you go to sleep, tomorrow

morning when you wake up, humble yourself before God in prayer.

Ask Him for forgiveness. Ask Him to come into your life. I

believe the scriptures, and I can see we are very near to the

time written in the book of Daniel. The temple has been

desecrated and that man, Daniel Von Resh, returned to life."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          416

     "Resh," added Pete as he sat at the table. "All I keep

hearing about is this Resh guy." I wish I shot him with the .308,

he thought in frustration.

     She looked at Steve. Maybe there was a chance she'd say the

right words. Maybe she'd get through to him. "Don't you see,

Steve? Everything I've feared about America is about to happen.

Once the spirit-led Christians are gone, only the people who are

naturally self-destructing will remain. What do you think will

become of our nation? I'll tell you. It'll become a living

nightmare. Only the strongest will rule. It will be dog-eat-dog.

You don't want to live like that."

     She stopped speaking and hoped to hear him say something.

Sadly, his face revealed a different story. He didn't want to

make that decision.

     Steve listened in rapt attention, not saying a word, but

trying to figure out when he'd see his beloved Space Brothers.

     She looked at them all. God protect them, she prayed.
Protect them all.

     She ran her hand over the back of Esther's head. Only she, a

young Jewish girl, taught by her grandmother to study the

scripture and to believe God, only she stood with her. Esther was

the purest creature she knew.

     Lora broke her thoughts and said. "Sis, you know that I

don't believe all that stuff you preach. Religion has produced

more misery than I can cope with. I've got people coming to me

all confused because of the guilt they've received from your
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          417

Bible. They need to be free of that crap, and that's just what I

help them become."

     Kendra stared at her sister and felt her blood boil. "And I

suppose your brand of godless psychology is the answer?"

     ""You hit it right on the head. Everything I've learned in

college has proven itself right and true. I've taken people who

have suffered from trying to live up to God-imposed standards and

set their paths toward a life free of condemnation."

     Kendra exploded in defense of her belief. "I kept myself

from slamming you and your self worship, and now you've gone too

far.”They've come out of your therapy and become free to follow

every belief under the sun, and you smile contently at your

results because there're not troubled. You're a fool, Lora. All

you've worked so hard to create is people who are slowly self-

destructing. Why don't you give them true freedom?"

     Lora looked at her sister and controlled her response. Sis

was now one of her patients. "Yes, I set them free. They are not

slave of anyone."

     "Even God?"

     "Especially the God that you keep harping on."

     "Lora, your great learning has driven you to no

understanding, and God calls that stupid." Kendra thought about

the time she overused the title of stupid for those that read the

Bible without understanding. That understanding returned only

after she pleaded and prayed for its return. Now she shuddered

because she once called her sister stupid.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          418

      "After all your hard work to get an education," she

continued and quietly asked God for forgiveness, "all you've done

with it is drive people away from God."

     "Away from God? I think that depends on which God you're

talking about. They don't need God telling them don't do this or

that or you'll burn in hell. Who needs a God that orders them to

reject people who don't believe just like they do? They don't

need a God that excludes people. I believe that all people are

created equal, and with psychology I teach them to accept

everyone, even those lifestyles that I think are repulsive. No

one is excluded just because they don't follow the Bible."

     Kendra felt her anger cool to be replaced by pity. "You know

you're rejecting God."

     "Rejecting God? You're the one who keeps saying God talks to

you. How come I've never heard his voice?" She paused, waiting

for an answer. "Well, I'll tell something. He rejected me a long

time ago. He never talks to me, even when I've prayed to Him. God

is dead, and I think what you hear is something that borders on


     "Lora!" Kendra cried. She was seeing a side of her sister

that left her paralyzed by pain.

     "Lora," she said again. "You've got to change."

     "Change," Lora laughed. "Why is it imperative to change?"

     Kendra stared at her sister with tears welling up in her

eyes. "Because we've run out of time."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                       419

     Shaking her head, disappointed by her sister's response, she

wrapped her arms around her godchild and softly murmured. "I love


     Pete faked a yawn as he rose from the chair and said, "We'll

talk in the morning. Right now I need sleep. I think we all need

to rest."

     Kendra looked at the group and quietly shook her head. They

showed no response to what she told them. Not even an

acknowledgment. Broken hearted she willed herself not to cry in

front of them.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          420

     Chapter 34

     Prime Minister Avraham sat with his staff in the underground

war room. He hadn't been here since the war three years earlier.

The walls held larger flat screens than before. Everything seemed

updated and improved. He noted that the adjoining rooms contained

more communications, more computers, more of everything, and more

personnel. Though Israel did not possess an active missile

command, he knew that three SS20's still lay undetected.

     Eight giant screens showed the real-time situation of every

sector surrounding Israel. The target and the speeding fighter-

bombers were center stage on a ninth.

     There would be problems with directing the bombers. The loss

of the magnetic field made it impossible to direct them by a

compass heading. Fortunately the errant compasses were only

shifting their settings only a few degrees each day. With their

excellent technology, they'd still get the job done.

     After the last war Israel sent up three more intelligence

satellites. Coupled with American intelligence, Israel possessed

complete coverage of the Middle East. The maximum time that they

might sit blind without coverage was ten minutes. For those

minutes, coordinated ground and airborne sentinels kept a

vigilant watch. Israel vowed that it would never suffer another

sneak attack like the last.

     He studied the screen showing the Hassem airbase in Syria,

between Qatana and Damascus. Red glowing crosshairs pinpointed

the location of the bordering mountain and the buried conference
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          421

room that held the targets, Ali Hadad and Jamal Kakin. The time

on the clock indicated it was almost midnight.

     An old F117, borrowed from the Americans years ago, flew

under cover of night and led the attack on the tunnel and the

hardened conference room.

     The three hundred meters of rock above the complex did not

have to be removed to destroy those who sat safely under the


     Two extremely small nuclear warheads are designated for this

task. The first cruise missile would send its neutron warhead

into the mouth of the tunnel. The warhead would also blow off the

protecting outer steel and concrete doors. A concussion wave of

one thousand kilos to the centimeter will then sweep into the

tunnel, crushing everyone and everything. Two hundred thousand

degree heat will then vaporize every living thing; not even a

microbe will survive. Yet the destruction is not expected to

penetrate past the security elbow in the tunnel.

     Outside the mountain, the radiation will assure that

everything out to a three-kilometer radius will also die. The

blast is designed to blow the tunnel open to the elbow.

     A second highly accurate warhead, carrying a miniature

thermonuclear bomb, would streak into the opening at ground

level. The plan is to hit the elbow and detonate on impact. This

special warhead produces immense heat and blast. Radiation of one

million roentgens will be trapped within the collapsing mountain.

What little might escape, will dissipate in two weeks, but not
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          422

after it poisoned thousands of kilometers of land. Those who live

close by might receive a destructive dusting from the fallout.

     A one thousand-kiloton blast at the elbow has the ability to

finish the job. This explosion will smash through the last

remaining concrete and steel barriers. A massive concussion will

stream into the conference center. An instant later plasma heat

from the detonation will arrive. The one million degrees heat

will sterilize the center of every living organism. Only a glassy

shell of the interior is expected to remain, and that'd be gone a

few seconds later if the walls collapse.

     It is presumed that the men inside, though frightened by the

first impact and confident of their safety, will sit out the

attack. When the remaining security doors blows inward from the

second blast, the men might survive a second longer. The one

million-degree heat that will enter the center will end that


     Ten seconds later the heat will subside. Then the glassy

internal cavity will probably collapse, burying the sterile

environment inside with a million tons of radioactive debris.

     Outside, the top of the mountain is expected to form a one

hundred-meter deep bowl of fractured rock and dust.

     The total operational time: twenty minutes from start to

finish. The time between detonations: one minute. The dash back

to Israeli airspace in stealth mode: three more minutes. The

President of Syria being informed of the attack: another five

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          423

      The third screen to the left carried the current Intel on

the whereabouts of Sheik Halab and the operative code-named

Kaffar. A meeting in the El Light Mosque on Amman Street,

southeast of the city has been located and coordinated. Halab,

Kaffar, and the team responsible for the bombings in Jerusalem

were planing another campaign. The meeting, an all-night party of

unbridled gaiety, was in progress.

     Colonel Wizen of Israeli intelligence gave a verbal

explanation of what they saw. "The targets are still in the

conference room with the leader of the Allah El Whid terrorist

group. As you have been informed, the Allah El Whid, The soldiers

of God, has been directly linked to the nuclear bombings in


     "Are you sure they are still there?" asked Avraham. He knew

he was nervous. This additional attack if coordinated with the

attack on Ali Hadad and Jamal Kakin would totally destroy the Al


     "We are,” answered General Mosshe Netanya, director of

Military Covert Intelligence. "Our operative left ten minutes

ago. We are convinced that the Sheik and the Al Fataa people are

still in there."

     "When will our planes be able to attack?"

     "They'll be onsite in forty-five seconds."

     "Is our agent safely away?"

     "He has been warned to get five kilometers away. He should

be there by now. I think he's safe, especially if he has stopped

under a culvert."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          424

     Avraham blew air through his lips and tried to relax. A live

video from an F15 filled one of the screens. He easily saw the

computer-enhanced laser paint beaming onto the Mosque. The cars

and trucks parked by the main entrance revealed the meeting in

progress. A second screen carried the live picture as seen from

under the wing of a second F15. "Can we release?" asked General


     Avraham looked at the general and nodded. General Izenburg

gave the okay to launch. Both men watched the first neutron-

tipped cruise missile roar away.

     Rene turned on her television at first light of dawn and

walked to the window. A news report of blood raining down in the

Atlantic didn't make sense. Feeling irritated by the news, she

changed channels and fine-tuned the television camera attached to

the telescope. Now the television showed a picture of the house

that held Kendra Makray.

     With a camera attached to the scope, the television revealed

a strikingly clear image of the house. Kendra did not appear for

yesterday's daily jog and Rene felt curious about the pattern


     She switched out the magnifying lens on the scope for one of

a smaller millimeter. After carefully tapping the scope to

recenter the image on her TV, she stepped back to have breakfast.

     The view on the screen let her see the house as if she sat

across the street. She clearly saw the kitchen table with Kendra,

and a little girl having breakfast.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          425

     Last night must have been something, Rene thought. She

didn't even close the curtains.

     Rene sliced up a melon and cucumber and put on a teapot for

hot water. As she waited for the water to boil she studied the

image on the screen one last time before going to the bathroom to

brush her hair.

     The whistle from the teakettle caught her attention as she

finished her grooming in the kitchen. She glanced at the TV and

saw movement.

     Pouring herself a cup of water and steeping a teabag, she

ate a slice of melon while viewing the screen. Another person

appeared. It wasn't anyone she knew. Then Kendra appeared, along

with Pete. Kendra's sister walked past the window. Something was

going on at six in the morning.

     Rene shifted the point of the telescope until she scanned

the entire building. Outside, by the curb, sat two military

vehicles. One was a large vehicle that easily carried six people.

The second, a smaller one, sprouted aerials from its back and was

obviously the command car. The American Humvee and Suburban-like

truck were taking someone somewhere.

     As Rene studied the images, she saw Kendra's sister pulling

a luggage bag behind her. "They're moving!" Rene exclaimed and

hurried to dress.

     Constantly monitoring the television screen, she kept

abreast of everything at the residence.

     When she finished, she placed a larger millimeter lens in

the scope and kept an eye on the now wider view.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          426

     As the door to apartment "A" opened, she knew she was right.

They were moving.

     Rene grabbed her traveling bag and hurried out the door. In

a minute she was in her driving toward the base. She needed to

get there before they drove away. Two vehicles, a 4x4 Humvee and

a military suburban type, she dare not loose them.

     The drive took all of three minutes.

     She rounded a corner and saw them exiting the base. If she

hadn't spent so much time on her hair, she'd have seen the two

vehicles when they first arrived.

     Fortunately traffic was light and Rene didn't bother to stop

for a red light.

     Breathing easier, she slowed her car and dropped in behind

the little convoy.

     Kendra sat close to Esther staring out the window, wondering

what the jewel in her life was thinking. Goombi arrived early and

in a hurry. Fortunately everyone was packed.

     Now she sat quietly waiting to hear their destination. All

she knew was that they were heading north, maybe to the city of

Haifa. What happened to the port of Tel Aviv? Goombi did say

something about Tel Aviv.

     This cloak and dagger stuff was wearing thin and all she

wanted to do was go home. Home, she thought heaven or Colorado?

Colorado sounded pretty nice right now, to sleep in her own bed.

Now that'd be welcomed, really welcomed.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          427

     But heaven, that might also be very soon, maybe today. I

wonder what it's like?

     Last night was as if it never happened. She felt terribly

rejected yet at the same time resigned. They were not taking her

seriously. Only Esther believed.

     Hurt to the core, Kendra felt the rising wetness in her

eyes. She prayed for their salvation so many times, and now it

might be over.

     Totally crushed, she needed all of her energy to stay

composed. At least while staring out the window she didn't have

to look at anyone or see the expressions on their faces.

     She needed joy to lift her spirits, but the well was empty.

     A little voice in her said, "They have rejected Me, not


     For a moment she understood why so many Sunday school

classes shunned her. Her zeal for the Lord made her say things

that the members found hard to accept. "The word of God is truly

a two-edged sword."

     She prayed a short prayer asking for forgiveness. She asked

that somehow her zeal could have a more compassionate edge to it,

that the Holy Spirit would be gracious to her and help her form

less stinging words, words that didn't make people defensive over

the way she thought.

     So many people placed God in a box and they rebelled against

admitting their weakness, their humanity and the finite mind.

"Remember me Lord God," she prayed silently. "Remember me for my
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          428

zeal toward you and the things you revealed to me. Remember me

for the good I've tried to do."

     She gripped Esther's hand.

     The girl looked up, smiled a smile of understanding and

asked. "Why do they fight so hard not to believe when they've

been through so much? Surely they know that what you are telling

them is true."

     For a moment she only shrugged her shoulders in agreement.

"Maybe," she answered, "they've seen too much."

     Esther looked at her godmother totally confused, waiting to

hear more.

     "Sometime, we hear and see just enough to vaccinate us from

the truth." Kendra saw the confusion still on her young friend's

face. "Lora, Steve, and even Pete have seen the power of God,

especially during the last war."

     "The war to destroy Israel?" Esther asked.

     "Kendra nodded.”That's the one. Unfortunately, when the

people we love are confronted with the truth of the good news of

God, they don't accept it. I guess they've heard the Bible

preached so long that they've insulated themselves from

listening. My guess as I see in Steve is that they are trying to

fit all the other things they believe with what they've heard

from me, and God is coming out on the short end."

     Esther twisted her lips as she thought. "I guess you're

right. I've read enough in the Torah to know that the God of

Israel, the God of the whole world, is a jealous God. He will not
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          429

share his glory with anything. He gives only truth and most of

mankind prefers to worship the things they can touch and feel."

     Kendra studied Esther's face and smiled while gently shaking

her head in amazement. "You are so right," she said and bent down

and gave Esther a long hug. "I'm afraid the church has been as

guilty as anyone. A lot of preachers don't believe a hundred

percent in the Word of God. But I have to admit; I've done all

that too, at one time or the other. But I also learned, and I

gave up that confusion a long time ago," she added in defense of

her belief.

     Kendra saw her look of concern. "I'm guilty too. But by

believing God I've also been declared righteous. Jesus, Yeshua

Hamashiach, is God, and falling in love with God, and believing

God has not only changed me, He has also changed you. Together

we'll hold on to each other and God. Those who trust in Him will

never be disappointed, even if they die in their belief."

     The sadness and maybe fear she saw in Esther's eyes broke

her heart. "We'll be all right," Kendra said as tried to give


     Esther smiled back. "Are we going home? The first day of

Tishri is tomorrow. Do you think it will happen?"

     Kendra nodded and thought of the possibility of the rapture,

and then of the trip back to America. The Feast of Trumpets,

Rosh-Hashanah, in the Jewish New Year of 5772. It may begin

tomorrow. Yesterday she heard on television that scientist have

discovered that the noise coming from the Van Allen belt as well

as the normal background noise from space has vanished. For two
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         430

weeks they knew about the magnetic belt protecting the earth.

Now, even the background radiation from space vanished. "And

there was silence in heaven for about a half-an-hour," she

whispered. "The seventh seal has been opened."

     She looked lovingly at Esther and went over to her, wrapping

her arms around the girl. "Tomorrow," she said. "Tomorrow we may

be home. Golly I'm frightened and excited."

     She gave Esther a long squeeze and a kiss on the top of her

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          431

     Chapter 35

     Von Resh walked to the waiting car with mixed feelings. The

speech he delivered to the United Nation soured too many of the

delegates. The esteem body was more concerned about the loss of

earth's magnetic field. They seemed terrified from the potential

of increased developments of cancer or crops burning up from the

sun's radiation. As he drove to the airport, the cloudy New York

weather didn't lift his spirits. A burning oil storage depot in

New Jersey dropped dark lung-gagging clouds of oily soot along

the East River. On the other hand maybe he might be able to use

their fears to his advantage.

     A strange formation of vertical clouds floated above.

Composed of industrial smoke and soot, the tall columns reached

into the stratosphere and blossomed out until it looked as if

they were reaching for each other. Von Resh was convinced that

these cloud formations were a prelude to even more weird weather

related catastrophes. His friend Elijah was right. Draconian

measures were needed to save the world from its rush to enjoy the

good life. U.N. Resolution 606 was absolutely needed. The world

also needed to eliminate half its population. Maybe the sun's

radiation will help.

     As for the U.N. General Assembly, they gave him praise for

working out the acceptance of U. N. Resolution 606. The latest

string of bombings in Jerusalem cleared a way for that vote. They

didn't like his apocalyptic warnings of a coming world disaster

and the following planetary crises. They all knew about the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          432

mountain of rock about to crash to the earth. Resolution 606 gave

the World Trade Organization the power to control the ebb and

flow of goods and services on a worldwide scale when that

catastrophe becomes yesterday's news.

     The fear of the comet strengthened the hands of the WTO to

enforce sanctions behind the military might of the world. Buying

and selling, the movement of merchandise now required a special

mark, UPC codes that tens of thousands of inspectors were to

administer. All nations now collected a special tax for this

service and to pay for the computerization and communications

required to making Resolution 606 work.

     But Resolution 606 would be phased in over a fifteen-year

period. Von Resh wanted it shortened to three. The major world

crises about to occur demanded action now. He knew that urgency

would send the world into panic and maybe, just maybe, he'd get

the timetable shortened to one year.

     Right now the greatest point of contention called for the

WTO, under his leadership, to be granted autonomous dictatorial

powers when the calamity occurred.

     His seers warned him that the world governing body possessed

no stomach for his autonomous plan and his draconian timetable.

Uniting all the world resources with a multi-billion taxation

plan left them applauding. Using military force to make nations

and corporations comply was less soundly accepted, but they also

knew drastic measures needed to be accomplished. If the remains

of that comet created more havoc than the world can handle,

they'd need draconian measures just to survive. That thing
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          433

falling from the sky will be perfect. Furthermore, the crisis

over Israel and Jerusalem was another spark. Though the general

assembly believed that the current crises might not create a

worldwide depression, the world banks assured them that what they

were hearing from Von Resh was a too active imagination. The

council wanted to make some contingency plans just in case the

worst case scenario became a reality, Von Resh believed he needed

to exhibit greater control over the flow of the world's products


     Now as he sat in the car heading for the heliport, something

within him rejoiced. Von Resh knew that the God within him felt

very happy. He smiled. If God is happy, then I'm happy.

     He walked toward the waiting helicopter. The spirit within

him said that the delegates will remember. Soon they'd call on

him to save their hides.

     Many of the delegates believed that Von Resh held the

answers to peace, the environment, to business as usual, to

making money, and to all their needs.

     His plan to strengthen the World Trade Organization and

meter out the dwindling resources was flatly rejected by the

majority. Their petty squabbling nauseated him.

     "If our economies stay entrenched in their respective power

centers, this world cannot survive," he told them. When he also

predicted that economic chaos will settle on their doorsteps,

they just laughed. After all, the main economic powers on the

planet have experienced ten years of uninterrupted economic

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          434

     The general assembly was still preaching the guarantees of

world peace and safety. Armed with the knowledge that the

mountain spiraling to earth will seriously hurt the world, they

were preaching to the choir that peace and safety would finally

arrive. They even made the nuke bombings in Israel look like a

local anomaly. When the attack on Syria became known, it was

almost brushed under the table. It became another anomaly to be

discussed and ignored on the path to world peace. Only the

destruction brought on by the coming collision with that giant

rock circling the planet seemed important.

     Von Resh alternated between rejection and enthusiasm. Is
this all worth it? He thought as depression slowly ate at his

soul and confidence. The voice within changed his thoughts as

surely as hitting a brick wall.

     "I laugh at the strategies of man," the voice said.

     Von Resh listened with total attention as the voice spoke.

     "You have the superior intellect and the patience to rule.

They will let you rule and I through you. Together we will cover

the earth in peace and safety. But first there must be a time of

crisis, a crisis that will forge this world into a mighty

bastion. I will bring about a thousand-year reign. I will sustain

you and give you great life. They will look at you as if you are

God. The children to the twentieth generation will sit at your

knee and follow. And when you go the way of your fathers, they

will build a monument to you that will last till the earth is no

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         435

     Von Resh sat in the car listening as his aids busied

themselves for the next leg on the mission. In eight hours he'd

address the European congress. Except for some nuances in

wording, his message would be the same.

     But for now he listened to his god. Encouraged he prepared

for his speech before the European congress.

     In Europe, he expected to receive a warmer response. In

Europe he was one of them, and for the Europeans, he'd give them

everything they wanted. They were his people.

     Rene followed the two military vehicles at a safe distance.

Sometimes she let the trucks get three kilometers ahead of her.

Driving on the near empty Cross-Israeli Highways 1 and then 2

left her no doubt that she'd never lose them.

     The highway they traveled, Ayalon North, ran past the Ayalon

Reservoir. Just behind the trees sat the house where Kendra had

been held hostage. Bitter memories of the death of her two

friends drove her on with determination.

     The convoy turned off from Ayalon North and headed east onto

Ha-Halakha. Traffic congestion quickly picked up and she decided

to follow closer. A small airport lay to the north, but she

guessed they were heading to a safe house.

     As she drove closer, she realized the city they were heading

into. Tel Aviv was large enough that if she lost them, she'd

never find them.

     Her fears became reality when the caravan took a quick left

on Yordei Ha-Sira and through the gates into Tel Aviv Port. Being
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          436

stopped by three successive red lights just about unraveled her.

But holding to the course, she sighted them again as they went

into the port.

     Slowly closing the gap between them, they led her to a

parking lot along dock 27. A large white cargo ship lay


     After parking her car, she stood outside and spied, two

hundred yards away, the object of her wrath being shepherded onto

the freighter. The bow revealed the words, KHIOS. Rene wrote the

name down. Above her head a shimmering Aurora Borealis created

waves of brilliant read and greens in the night sky. As she

understood it, the earth now possessed twelve north and south

magnetic poles.

     An hour later Rene discovered that the freighter also

carried a small number of passengers, but its main cargo was

fresh fruits and vegetables from the farms of Israel to the

cities of Spain. It also carried electronic and general

merchandise from Israel and other eastern ports.

     A row of large metal containers sat securely on deck. The

ship's destination was Barcelona. She felt panic when she learned

that the ship was scheduled to leave at seven P.M.

     A few more questions answered, and she soon found that

passage could still be booked.

     That evening Rene stood in front of the mirror and studied

her disguise. Cabin 11 was small but livable, and it contained a

small stainless sink with fixtures ringed with mineral deposits.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          437

     The room seemed clean and the twin-size bed felt firm.

     After stowing her few belongings, she studied herself as one

hand fingered her hair. Her dyed strawberry blond hair now showed

a short deep rich brown. As for her figure, she'd have to live

with that. The disguise she'd chosen looked good, but maybe not

for Kendra. They once made lasting eye contact. Kendra might


     Hopefully, the green contact lens Rene carried will distract

Kendra long enough for death to reign supreme.

     The supper bell sounded and she hesitantly prepared to make

her way to the ship galley. A working ship never served food in

the cabins. No, she'd have to eat with the rest of the


     Nervously, she picked up a pair of scissors and began

clipping. Satisfied with the final adjustments to her hair, she

went to the small bed to lie down and wait. Tomorrow morning,

they'd be far out to sea. Accidents happen at sea.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          438

     Chapter 36

     Prime Minister Avraham read the news report, ISRAELI SECRET


     His aid interrupted as he said, "They know about THOR. The

report first broke in The London Times. Every major newspaper has

picked up on it. The Russians are blaming us for the nuclear

destruction they've suffered."

     Avraham thought back to the last time THOR was used. Ten

SS20 missiles lifted off from south of the Caucasus. THOR

destroyed all but one. The warheads from the now nine errant

missiles plummeted back into Russia and detonated on impact.

Severe damage had been done, millions died, and the nation was in

economic ruin. The last warhead detonated too high above the city

of Afula to produce much damage.

     Now he had to worry about THOR doing its job again. At least

that piece of comet was to crash down somewhere in Asia. If it

landed within a thousand miles of Israel, there might not be an


     Publicly, the Russians blamed a Colonel Nicoli Vorshkov for

their earlier sorrows, but secretly suspected the Israelis had

something to do with the destruction.

     "Get General Izenburg, for me."

     He watched his aid hurry from the office. THOR needed to be

made active, and he needed it now. There may not be a tomorrow.

Kendra's warning, the encrypted code within the Bible, all

pointed to today.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          439

                          *   *      *

     "That's it!" Pete exclaimed as he stood letting the early

morning sea breeze flow over him. The ship set sail the previous

night at nine, and now, at six in the morning, they were one

hundred and fifty miles out to sea. "I knew that warhead exploded

prematurely," he said to Steve who stood alongside.

     "The one over Afula?" asked Steve as he shuddered in the

cold morning sea air and the memory.

     "Yeah, that's the one. It exploded too high to create a lot

of damage. The question has always been, why?"

     "That darn thing blasted me into a muddy hill, and you say

it didn't do damage" Steve said in astonishment. He rubbed his

right elbow as he remembered. "I nearly got killed."

     "Don't you see? After the war ended we heard that the

warhead exploded twenty miles up. That's too high to do the

damage those things are built for. We got hit with the light,

heat, and a shock wave, but nothing like what might have been."

     Steve looked at the CHIOS' deck. The metal deck was

sweating. He knew that the refrigerated Tweendecks was loaded to

capacity. Apparently cold air seeped past the insulation and

chilled the steel planking under his foot.

     He also learned about the ship was originally built in

Poland for the old Soviet navy. The 5500-ton vessel once carried

submarine ballistic missiles and supplies to nuclear subs. The

freight line, Athena, bought it and refitted the cargo holds for

transporting goods and vegetables.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          440

     "I bet you're right," he said as he blindly agreed with

Pete's assessment. "The Israelis must be able to shoot the darn

things down."

     "Shoot them down may not be the right words. They apparently

have this weapon called THOR. It shoots laser and particle beams

at anything in space. Once it hits a warhead, it destroys or

melts the circuitry on contact. Remember, the two warheads they

found were un-detonated; their circuitry had been fused – totally

melted. The one that exploded over Afula didn't fuse. It

detonated, and so did those over Russia."

     "I think I remember reading," replied Steve, "that the

warheads that exploded in Russia were all their own. The missiles

rose from the ground in good shape, and then something went

wrong. Why did they fire them?"

     "I think it was because they lost the war. Then THOR hit

them," Pete said in amazement. "The Israelis have developed an

anti ballistic missile defense. Our country still doesn't have

one that really works, but Israel does."

     "I can't believe that we don't have something like this."

     "Maybe we do. Maybe we don't. One thing seems for certain,

they do."

     "Well, if that's true, just as the Ark unsettled the Middle

East, something like a working Anti Ballistic Missile defense

will do the same thing."

     "Scary, isn't it?"

     Steve stared at Pete, wondering what he meant.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          441

     Pete saw a look begging for an answer. "All those people who

built up missile forces will now have to use them or lose them.

If this THOR thing really works, all the ICBM's in the world will

be useless."

     Steve looked east toward Israel. "It might go either way.

Those who want to blow up Israel may realize that the nation have

something that will stop them."

     "And the other way?" Pete asked.

     "Or they could all go crazy and blindly attack as they try

to overwhelm THOR."

                              *    *    *

     General Izenburg hurried into the premier's office, making

sure the door was closed. "THOR has undergone three tests. They

were barely successful at two hundred kilometers. We have a

serious degradation of power and accuracy beyond that."

     "When will they be able to reach a thousand?"

     "The technicians are reporting a slight tolerance error in

all the mated components. This probably will diminish as they

adjust the black boxes, but it will take time."

     "Time we do not have."

     Avraham walked to the map hanging on the wall. He studied

the borders of the Israeli nation. Using his finger, he made a

two hundred-kilometer radius circle from where THOR sat. Israel

sat protected, but for how long?

     "How accurate can they be if a target is sighted at a

hundred kilometers?"

     "Depending on size."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          442

     "A warhead," Avraham quickly injected. "We're not trying to

hit a mountain."

     "There is a fifty-fifty chance of a solid hit. At two

hundred kilometers, we expect one hit out of ten. Farther than

that, we expect nothing."

     Avraham sat in his seat behind the desk. His eye stared

unseeing at the floor as he thought. The Russians have activated

their defense treaty with the Syrians. There was a very real

threat of their retaliation spinning out of control, but if they

did nothing. If Israel did not respond; his nation may very well

be destroyed. The Jewish nation would be destroyed.

     He made the decision before he realized it. "Get it

operational. We won't be able to help anyone else. We'll

improvise as we go."

     Both men watched as a military aid hurried into the office.

A red light began flashing from the corner of the office.

     "Sir," the aid said nervously. "The Iraqis have begun launch

sequence on their eight TOPOL Q rockets."

     Avraham glanced at Izenburg. Both knew the repercussions of

such a move.

     Izenburg spoke first. "Are you sure? Do we have the targeted


     "Yes sir," the aid answered. "Intel says that Tel Aviv,

Haifa, and Jerusalem have been coordinated. The Q's are

configured to carry one warhead apiece."

     Avraham already knew that bit of info. "When did they begin?

Do we know what warheads have been fixed?"
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          443

     The aid looked at his report. "Zero seven three five."

     "We better get downstairs," Avraham ordered more than


     He looked at the clock on the wall. "Get everyone down

there, now."

     Inside the tunnel, the bullet-nosed shuttle traveled the

twenty kilometers to the Giv'At Ze'Ev underground command post in

fifteen minutes. Avraham and Izenburg disembarked and headed for

the command center. Behind them, one hundred staff members made

their way to their designated stations.

     Avraham hurried through security and entered the buzzing war

room. Military officers and technicians staffing every console

and passed incoming information and status updates to central


     "Two times in a week," Avraham said sadly. "I once went

years without coming down here."

     Izenburg quickly added. "Things are changing fast. Maybe too


     Avraham studied the screens bolted to the walls of the giant

command center. Two hundred meters below the surface, it was

impervious to all but a direct nuclear hit. If that unlikely

event occurred, all that will mark the spot where he and his

staff stood will be a two hundred-meter deep by six hundred-meter

wide crater.

     The eight giant flat screens hung against the forward walls

and hundreds of smaller ones lined the room. Rows of computer
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          444

consoles, staffed by talented technicians read the status of

every square kilometer of Israel and the surrounding nations.

     Other terminals kept a real time report of the military

status of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. Spy satellite

videos went through computer enhancement and were displayed on

monitors. In a connecting room a bevy of photo recon interpreters

studied every frame that the computers flagged.

     His concern at the moment was on the status of THOR. Without

the protection of this laser-particle beam defensive weapon, the

nuclear hit obliterating them would become a reality.

     "And THOR?" he asked. "What's the status of THOR?" He slowly

moved toward the computer consoles that still controlled the

weapon. Now he saw one large console. Not like the five that

revealed the weapon status during its last use. At that time it,

and the five technicians, saved the nation from thermonuclear


     THOR hit nine of those ten rising SS20's at a thousand

kilometers. In his latest report THOR might be accurate only to

one hundred kilometers, possibly another fifty if everything

worked perfectly.

     He expected that number to grow daily, but did they have

enough days to see it reach the necessary thousand kilometer


     His only hope lay in the engineers. Left alone, the

defensive computer throughout the world might plunge the world

into its final hour. Still, there is man. The human element sat
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          445

ready to interrupt unrestrained technology before it produced a

nuclear holocaust.

     Since the turn of the century, computer accuracy and speed

became instrumental in making most of the crucial decisions. Now,

with less human involvement and more super-brains controlling the

outcome, the scenarios went faster. Everything was done in the

name of efficiency, budgetary needs, and central control.

     He breathed a sigh of relief when he thought of the human

element. Human beings were there to stop things from getting out

of control.

     Suddenly a warning light flashed on the far wall, and

technicians worked feverously at their controls.

     "What has happened?" he asked. The bevy of activity apprised

him of the situation.

     Above the clamor he heard, "We've got fifteen minutes."

     Izenburg received the note and passed it to Avraham. It read

"Missile launch from Iran. One confirmed Chinese Dong III IRBM

rocket. It carries a single nuclear warhead. We do not know the

exact makeup. Ballistics is warning of a point just north of Tel


     "Do we have a lock?" he asked, hoping that THOR and the

computers were already planning a hit.

     An army major peering over the shoulders of a technician at

the THOR console called out; "THOR is activated. We can fire when

it comes in range."

     Avraham heard himself speak before he was aware of it.

"Destroy it as soon as you can." The flashing red light on the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          446

far wall became a real irritant to his eyes. "And shut that

inferno light off."

     He heard a warning from the Radar people. "It's got


     Avraham knew the meaning. The warheads once separated from

the body of the rocket were now in free flight. Only THOR gave

his nation a chance to survive.

     General Izenburg quickly conferred with a senior officer and

came back to Avraham. He leaned close and said, "I've given them

permission to shoot. Right now it is over Syria and too far away.

But with a little luck, being in the vacuum of near space, when

it gets to one hundred and fifty kilometers it will be in range.

I've given permission to shoot ten bursts. That will expend the


     Avraham knew the routine. Each cannon was capable of firing

ten bursts of laser and particle beams. The second cannon was

obviously being held in reserve. Recovery time for the expended

cannon and the associated capacitors was thirty minutes.

     Izenburg saw the warhead pass the crucial line and spoke up.

"The first burst has fired,"

     A second later Avraham listened as General said the words

that chilled his bones.

     "Missed. Fire the rest at thirty second intervals."

     Avraham waited and felt the tension building in him. One

after another the shots by THOR ended in failure. Jubilation,

when it came, left him puzzled.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          447

     "What happened?" he asked as the command crew gathered

around the THOR consoles began congratulating each other.

     Izenburg answered the question.

     "We hit the warhead. It's falling, but the trajectory has


     "Where's it heading?"

     General Izenburg snapped his fingers at a nearby Captain and


     "Damascus," came the loud reply.

     The Captain hurried to Izenburg's side. Computers have it

hitting in northeast Damascus. At the moment Umawiyeen Square in

the southern end of Tishreen Park is ground zero. The altitude

for detonation may be anywhere around three thousand meters down

to ground impact."

     Can you tell if it is live?" Avraham asked. He heard no

answer and knew that none could be forthcoming. In a minute they

all would know the answer.

     During the last firing of THOR, three years earlier, every

warhead but one fused and fell harmlessly to the ground. After

separating the triggers from the warheads contamination crews

kept the radiation leakage under control.

     The one that exploded went off at an altitude of 18,000

meters. It exploded high above Afula and did some damage, but

there was no radioactivity and the heat damage is little to none.

Only the weakened blast wave did any damage. Buildings that

survived bombs and rockets collapsed and buried those seeking

DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          448

     The intense light from the detonation was a serious factor,

but not crucial. Over two hundred people had been permanently


     Avraham locked his eyes onto the screen showing the

projected trajectory.

     He watched for a moment and said, "Call the Syrian high

command and warn them of what we are seeing."

     “America!” someone yelled. “The United States East coast has

been hit with an EMP. The pulse came from a blast two hundred

kilometers from its shore, around the Middle Atlantic coastline,

just east of New Jersey.”

     “What?” yelled Avraham. “What are you talking about?”

     “The East Coast of the United States has been plunged into

darkness. There has bee a nuclear blast two to three hundred

kilometers above the East Coast. The Electromagnetic Pulse has

knocked out the electrical grid for half the country.”

     “Oh my God,” Avraham cried. He thought about all that has

happened and about a nuclear war. “It has stared.”
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          449

Chapter 37

     Rene watched her prey with the intensity of a starving

crocodile stalking its meal. Kendra and the young girl walked the

deck talking and looking at the passing sea. The sun rose above

the horizon, and the morning heat felt good on her face. Her

target seemed to be nervous as she and the young girl both

scanned the skies, looking for something. If she killed them now,

she'd be able to freshen up in her cabin and hurry to the galley.

Breakfast was available for the passengers in thirty minutes and

she didn't want to be late.

     She patted her hair, sure that her disguise of looking much

older was in place. She practiced her old-person walk and heard

her stomach growl. Hungry, she wanted to eat without any

distractions. After breakfast she'd get rid of Kendra.

     Drifting away to the other side of the ship, she turned just

ever so slightly to keep an eye on her intended victim.

     Rene still saw Kendra's eyes boring into hers. Even with the

best of disguises, she knew that that woman would remember.

     "I should have killed her while she was tied to the bed,"

Rene snarled and tried to keep calm. "My boys, my boys," the

thought of them lying dead brought tears flooding to her eyes.

"They'd both be alive and we'd be on our way home."

     She looked around and studied the ship. The control tower

sat behind her and cargo filled the deck to the stern. Only the

hatches were free of stacked containers. She saw no crewmembers

working in the area.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          450

     This'd be as good a place as ever to finish the job.

     Rene reached into the pocket of her jacket and felt for the

lead sap, her only weapon. A quick blow on the head and Kendra

would be out for the count. Unfortunately, the little girl would

have to go too.

     She guessed that the ship was close to two hundred miles out

to sea. In less than a minute, two listless bodies would be

tossed overboard to sink below the passing waves. She'd get

herself back to the cabin before anyone was the wiser.

     When Kendra and the girl didn't arrive for breakfast, Rene

knew there'd be a search. But by then, maybe five miles later,

the two bodies would have sunk below the waves, never to be

found. Finally, as the investigation continued, she'd turn her

concentration to killing Peter Meirs.

     When they arrived at port, there would be another

investigation, and the police would hold her passport.

     That didn't bother her because she possessed a number of

passports. Leaving for France or Switzerland only required money.

From there it was a day trip across the channel and into the UK.

Then a simple flight to Tampa and she will be safely home. The

destruction expected tomorrow in Asia meant nothing to her.

     In the circles that she ran, her fame and ability to get the

job done would command even greater respect and even bigger


     Rene walked slowly and cautiously around a canvas-covered

mountain of freight and spied her targets. Both stood looking out

to sea. Rene made sure no one was watching and moved closer.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          451

     Forty feet away Rene grasped the blackjack firmly in her

hand and moved quickly.

     The shout of a woman's voice stopped her in her tracks and

she spun away.

     It was Kendra's sister. Behind Lora came two men. Using all

her powers to eavesdrop, she knew no one paid attention to her

quick turn.

     She breathed easier and made her way to her cabin. She'd

kill Kendra after breakfast.

     The sixty-kiloton explosion smashed the center of Damascus.

The blast at four kilometers above the city created a 1300-meter

fireball. Below, man and beast were vaporized. Farther out, fires

and windstorms enveloped everything out to ten kilometers.

     Avraham, along with everyone else, stared with fascination

at the central screen. The satellite Intel showed that the blast

and fire left the city in total ruins. At the same time Intel

computed the expected death toll. The number sped past a million

who received fatal injuries from the radiation, blast and fires.

Hospitals, bridges, schools, everything was gone.

     Farther out, from the suburbs to the towns of Adra, Dumayr

and to Ar Rubaybah, maybe to two hundred kilometers north,

survival was to become very difficult.

     Fortunately for Israel, the winds were flowing to the

northeast. Israel was spared the radioactive fallout, but a

hundred-kilometer swath of radiation was expected to descend on

central Iraq. A few hours later Northern Iran would have nuclear
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          452

rain. Finally those on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea

would be feeling the wrath of nuclear warfare.

     Death tolls up to one hundred kilometers were expected to be

very high. Farther out, living or dying depended on how much

radioactive dust landed, or how much a person inhaled.

     The warning lights came on again as spy satellites recorded

numerous missiles igniting in southern Russia.

     Stationed 22,000 miles in space, in stationary orbits, these

early warning sentinels were reading the high temperature nozzle

exhaust from ascending missiles.

     Seven missiles had been identified. All were showing tracks

that pointed toward Israel. If his knowledge held true, each of

the missiles were expected to carry multiple warheads, maybe

three one hundred kilotons each.

     The situation was unraveling and out of his hands. The

military needed to fight this war. Their job was to see that

Israel survived, and with it, as many of its citizens as might be

snatched from harms way.

     Rene sat at the fourth circular dining table for the evening

meal with her back toward Kendra. She tried hard not to

concentrate on her job. She hoped her target was too busy eating

with her friends to notice. But with a passenger list of only

twenty, meeting face to face was only a matter of time.

     The food she selected from the buffet table made her feel

right at home: bagels, black coffee in memory of Bruce and Les,

vegetables, jams and sweet rolls. At another time, maybe in a few
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          453

years, she'd consider traveling through the Mediterranean on a

similar ship.

     Kendra sat around the dinner table with her friends drinking

a hot cup of tea. Today was Thursday, September 29, 2011, and she

felt scared. The comet was expected to hit tomorrow, maybe a

nuclear war was about to begin. It was too much to bear. She

wanted to scream. Most of all she wanted to make conversation but

the fear and joy of the possible rapture and the known coming

destruction overwhelmed her with fear for the survivors and joy

for the saints of God. All she had was her faith. She purposed to

hold on tight to her visions and what the Word of God revealed to

her in the scriptures. Frustrated she reached over and held

Esther's hand and smiled. The girl smiled back but never said a

word. "Oh God, have I worried her unneedlessly?" she prayed

silently. "What if I'm wrong?"

     She looked out the large windows lining the dinning room.

The sun was just above the horizon and sending its light

streaming through the port windows. Was this going to be just

another day? Was she really off base?

     Around her the sounds of the others at her table were busily

eating and enjoying themselves. They acted like there wasn't a

care in the world. "God," she prayed, "have I made a fool of

myself, and made Esther a party to it all?"

     She looked out the window and saw a bright object falling in

the blue sky. It has to be something from the comet. Turning

away, she tried to enjoy her meal.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          454

     The buffet was anything but great, but at least it was hot.

The meal was decidedly European, running from healthy to

downright greasy. The coffee required spoon loads of sugar and

cream to make it drinkable. Kendra felt grateful she preferred a

light tea.

     While in Jordan, she became accustomed to the Middle Eastern

style of dark coffee. The caffeine withdrawal left her jittery

for a month. But three years back in the States rekindled her

earlier preference for tea. She'd survive and do well on what

they served, as long as she stayed away from the coffee.

     After being in Israel for a month, what she wanted most was

a simple ham, eggs, and potatoes breakfast. Her mouth watered at

the thought as she listened to the nearby chitchat.

     She noticed the lady that came in and sat at the other

table. Even with her back toward her, there was something

familiar about her walk and her shape. For some reason, Kendra

felt a distinct dislike for the person.

     She quickly rebuked herself for having prejudicial thoughts

against someone who did not deserve such feelings. As she ate,

her eyes kept drifting to the women's back. She'd seen that

athletic walk somewhere. To see it again in an obviously older

woman seemed out of place.

     "We count twenty-one warheads," called Izenburg. We have

computed their destinations. It is Israel."

     "When will they be in range?" asked Avraham.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          455

     "Ten minutes," Izenburg replied. "This time we will have to

wait until they get closer. We can't take the chance of wasting

energy like we did over Syria. Every shot will be crucial."

     Avraham didn't have to be a genius to see that twenty shots

by THOR didn't equal twenty-one warheads.

     "What about number twenty-one?"

     Izenburg gesture revealed that answer as he spoke. "We will

have to take a hit."

     "Maybe we can hit the first one and it will cause others to

explode. The intense radiation may fry their detonation


     "Maybe, But don't count on it. It's never happened before."

     THOR fired when the first warhead came within fifty

kilometers of its intended target. It continued firing and the

computers revealed clean hits on the first twelve. The thirteenth

detonated at thirty-four kilometers above the earth. The

resulting shower of radar confusing, impenetrable, electronic

noise filled the screens. Number fourteen exploded a millisecond

later as it fell below the electronic hash. The fifteenth,

sixteenth, and seventeenth all showed the telltale signs of being

hit. Their trajectories changed as the computers indicated the

exact time and location for touch down.

     The eighteenth exploded at nineteen thousand; with number

twenty close behind. Number twenty went seaward from the

tremendous shockwave that blasted the falling warhead.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          456

     Avraham concentrated on warhead number twenty-one. It

detonated at 15,000 kilometers above the city of Haifa. He feared

the extensive damage to be reported, but they saved the nation

and millions of lives.

     "What about number twenty" he asked.

     Izenburg read the display aloud. "It's one hundred and sixty

kilometers out to sea. We must warn the coastal cities. If it

explodes, tidal waves will do serious coastal damage."

     "Are there aircraft out there?"

     "Only one, an early warning Hawkeye. It's been directed away

from the expected detonation point." The general studied the

display a little longer. "We are showing eleven freighters and

two passenger cruise ships. Communications is trying to reach


     Avraham's face squinted as he thought about the disaster

that these ships might experience. Out at sea, maybe a thousand

people were about to witness first hand the terrible destruction

wrought by a nuclear blast. He prayed for their survival.

     The thunderous sound sent everyone outside and starboard.

Rene followed Kendra as close as she could.

     Pete looked north. Maybe parts of the comet crashed down

north of here.

     Captain Angel Kousakus slammed his hand down onto the

warning button that sent a loud wailing signal throughout the

freighter's warning horns. He finally understood the message from

Israeli Maritime command. At the same time the helmsman turned
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          457

the wheel as quickly as he could to portside causing the ship to

sway wildly from the sudden course correction.

     Rene saw her opportunity. It would never get better than

this as Kendra ran to the stern to get a better look at the

rising mushroom cloud on the horizon.

     Rene hurried closer, thirty feet, twenty, ten. She clutched

the blackjack and swung.

     A shove sent her spinning to the railing. The man who

appeared from nowhere and pushed against her was familiar. The

name, Steve, flashed through her mind as she redirected her

attack toward the intruder.

     His clenched fist roared past her left ear and she felt the

wind of its passage. The man wasn't playing games and neither was

she. Rene ducked and at the same time back kicked with her heel.

She felt it dig deep into Steve's ribs. A good hit, but a better

one was needed.

     The second blow from Steve came a little late and without

real power. The heal-kick helped more than she thought. Rene spun

around and planted another heel into his jaw. She watched a

listless Steve Talon spin around and crash against the stacked

cargo. In his slow motion crumble to the deck she almost laughed

as his eyes rolled back in his head, with only the sightless

white remaining.

     She changed directions like a cat in mid-air and went

straight for Kendra. A hand came out of nowhere and grabbed her

arm. Rene spun around and looked into the face of Peter Meirs.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          458

     Chapter 38

     Pete heard Esther's scream and rushed to the sound of her

voice. Something was wrong. Hurrying around a pile of cargo he

saw Steve crumbling to the deck. An older looking lady stood over

him and stomped down on his face. Then she spun toward Kendra.

The cat like stance and aggressive posture told him the woman was

not what she made herself out to be. This woman had to be the

person who escaped from the house.

     As she sprang toward Kendra, Pete knew the move that would

soon follow. Kendra was about to receive a vicious kick to her

left temple that was quickly followed by a backhand to her face.

The killer would close the gap a Kendra stumble back to the

cables and the sea and shoot a massive sidekick into her stomach.

The ship's two cables that served as railing might save her, but

then they might not. If Kendra went over the side…

     He got to the lady just as the backhand sprang forward and

Kendra staggered back. Blocking the fist in midair and rotating

his arm sent the killer spinning around.

     From the corner of his eye and yelled to Lora. "Get them out

of here." Hooking the woman's arm in his as she spun he shoved

her away.

     For a fleeting moment he saw Lora grab Kendra by the arm.

Distracted he barely saw the spinning heel kick that caught him

just below the right ribs, knocking the wind out of him, and

sending him crashing against barrels that sat strapped together.

A second kick landed on his jaw and twisted his head with the
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          459

blow. His eyes rolled back and his eyelids nearly closed.

Instinctively blocking every blow without seeing them, his mind

cleared and strength came back into his body.

     Blocking the blows coming from the lady, he swept her legs

out from under her. At the same time he jumped to his feet. Cat

like she back-flipped and landed on her feet.

     Her front snap kick sent him to the side as her foot kicked

air. A quick lung and he smashed his right fist into her solar

plexus. The killer stumbled back against the cargo. One more

punch like that and the killer would be finished.

     Closing the distance with a spinning kick the killer ducked

but a second lung punched landed just below her sternum. The

woman crumbled to the deck. The fight was over.

     Her eyes opened and locked on him. She pulled a butterfly

knife and spun it open. Just then a stabbing pain streaked

through his left arm. His left hand and fingers froze as if every

muscle turned steel hard; locking his arm in a useless position.

The damage from the knife wound he suffered at the House of Pizza

returned with a vengeance.

     In desperation, Pete kicked the knife from her hand and saw

it spiral over the edge of the deck. Angry at the knife-like pain

flashing through his arm and frozen hand, he took out his

vengeance and anger on the killer. With one swift back-heel kick

he connected with her jaw and saw the force of his blow lift her

off the deck. When her eyes rolled back in her head, he felt

certain he had won.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          460

     A brilliant white light filled the air around him and he

back stepped away from the fight. Protecting his eyes with his

good hand, he knew enough not to face the light.

     Did another nuclear bomb go off? Trying to make sense of the

light he thought of the timer in Afula when a high altitude

explosion sent intense light over the city. The air was so white

he couldn't see anything. Just like now.

     Kendra said to be ready for this to happen. He didn't

believe her then, more because he didn't want to believe her, but

she was always right. She always seemed to be right. He'd tell

her that later. Right now he kept his eyes closed and protected,

but what about the killer?

     The light filling his eyelids vanished to be replaced by

another light. The blow to the back of his head sent him to his

knees. Another blow struck him on his back.

     Dazed and gasping for air he also noticed the light fading

around him. Details of the ship began to be seen. He spun around

and blocked two more blows that were aimed at his head. The lady

was screaming and swinging a short length of pipe.

     With the air still radiant white, he barely saw the killer

send a kick to his face. Instinctively, he turned away and saw

her foot fly past him.

     Lying on the deck he reached out with his good hand and

caught her leg and lifted. She went down with a thud.

     The white light in the air ebbed and confirmed to him that a

nuclear explosion just occurred.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          461

     He'd seen a light like this when he was trapped in Afula

during the last war. He needed to get this fight over quickly,

but something was wrong. His body wasn't reacting fast, and his

vision seemed to float. At times he saw double.

     The killer came toward him, crawling on the deck. Groping

her way closer, her fingers grabbed his arm. In a fraction of a

second she was upon his chest and crossed her hands around his

shirt collar. The killer's hand slipped a Judo stranglehold on

the sides of his neck.

     His thoughts were getting jumbled, but he understood enough

to realize what was happening. The stranglehold was meant to stop

the flow of blood to his brain. He had less than a minute to get


     He felt her put more force in her grips and squeeze harder.

He sensed her legs spreading wider. He found it impossible to

roll her off of him.

     All around him the wobbling siren from the ship's warning

horns filled his ears. Through his back he felt the vibrations

through the deck of a ship forcing a turn as the propellers

lifted out of the sea.

     The side of the killers head now lay flat against his left


     Lora pushed Kendra and Esther into the galley and instantly

ran into them. Her sister and Esther both stopped in front of

her. They were looking up, as if they were heard something.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          462

     Two flashes of light momentarily stunned her and she found

herself gaping. With mouth open she stared at where Kendra and

Esther once stood.

     A brilliant white light poured in through the galley windows

and flooded the room with such intensity that all the colors

dissolved in the incandescent air.

     As the brightness faded, the closing steel doors behind her

thumped against her back. Lora stumbled forward, her eyes

frantically searching for Kendra and Esther who had been only

inches away.

     What she saw next was their clothing settling to the deck.

Kendra's settled in a heap not over two feet away. Another pile,

Esther's, settled on the exact spot where the young girl once


     Her mind reeled to understand what just happened. When the

light in the room exploded in intensity, two flashes of light

also occurred. One second Kendra and Esther were in front of her.

The next instant they were gone, vanished. All that remained was

two piles of clothing. It didn't make sense and she shook her

head in hopes of clearing up the confusion.

     An instant later fear swept over her as she realized that

Kendra's expected rapture might have taken place. "In a twinkle

of an eye, in a flash of light," she said more than once. "I'll

be gone. My body will be changed from mortality to immortality.

Only my clothing will be left behind, and I will be clothed in

new material that never wears out."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          463

     Lora's brain refused to accept it then, but now, she saw it

take place with her own eyes. If she hadn't seen it, she'd have

never believed it.

     She then realized that the bright light that streamed into

through the windows came from a nuclear blast. Kendra said that

it might happen this way. Nuclear bombs will go off and the

rapture of the saints of God will take place an instant earlier.

     "Oh God," she gasped as the realization of what happened

sent cold chills coursing through her body. "We're all going to


     Fear kept her from moving as her eyes continued to search

for two people who weren't in the room. She stared down at the

clothing, hoping the nightmare would come to an end. When my mind

clears, she thought, they'll be standing in front of me. Then

we'll all have a great laugh.

     Lora waited and waited, hoping and expecting Kendra and

Esther to make a surprise entrance.

     Looking around the room, she saw that the dining room sat

empty. Only the sound from the ship in distress permeated the

room. "Oh God," she cried again. "We're sinking." Then she

remembered Steve, Pete, and that lady. Were they okay?

     She turned just as the ship rocked violently to one side,

and she fell against the wall. Grabbing the railing to steady

herself, she feared that the ship was about to sink. The fear

energized every muscle and she pushed and pulled herself through

the steel door with super-human strength.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          464

     Once outside she spied Steve rolling toward the edge - and

the ocean. The edge of the deck was awash in the ocean. The ship

was capsizing and Steve was going over the side.

                          *   *     *

     Pete felt his left hand relaxing and the muscles responding.

This strangle hold around his neck maybe gave him twenty more

seconds of life.

     With two sharp jabbing punches to her ribs, he felt her body

shift and he reached under her hip and lifted, but she pulled her

body closer to his. He knew her damming of the blood-flow to his

brain would soon render him unconscious.

     A rush of ocean swept across the deck and slid them both to

the deck's edge. The lower railing cable smashed against his

shoulder. The sea was the next stop if he didn't grab the

lifeline. He gripped the one-inch steel wire cable with both

hands and stopped the slide to the ocean.

     Sea water filled his vision and the strangle hold ended as

he saw the killer somersault above him.

     Holding onto the cable with all his strength, he felt a

massive sweep of water lift him and her. With her hand still

tightly holding his shirt collar he felt her body smash against

the upper cable.

     The hands let loose of his shirt and she spun in a mixture

of air, foam, and water. Through stinging seawater he somehow

watched her vanish over the side.

     Still reeling from the temporary blood stoppage and the blow

to his head, it took all his strength to hold on to the cable.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          465

Then he spied Steve sliding across the deck and smash against

cargo. Somehow he held on.

     Lora was making a grab for him but Steve was too far away.

She slipped as foot deep water swept across the deck. She grabbed

a two-inch wide cargo strap and kept herself from being swept

over the side.

     The ship righted and then rocked violently again. The deck

filled with water and Steve flowed above the rushing water toward

Pete and the sea.

     Pete closed his eyes and shot out a leg in Steve's


     "Grab it," he yelled as the ocean tried to bury his cry.

     The grasp of hands clamped around his ankle gave him hope.

     The weight of his friend hanging onto his leg made it feel

as if it he was being ripped apart. Knowing that he dared not

weaken, Pete tightened his muscles and pulled harder against the

force trying to rip his friend away and to certain death. Yet his

mind seemed to be loosing consciousness.

     Above the roar of the waves, and the ship's shuddering, Pete

heard Steve crying out above the waves for God to save him.

     The freighter rocked deeper into the sea and came close to

capsizing. Then everything quickly uprighted and the rushing

water sweeping over the deck ended. The other side was now awash

in the sea. Then the ship rocked back and forth.

     Unable to open his eyes, Pete knew that the death grip on

his ankle was gone.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          466

     Resigned to the fact that his friend was gone, he hoped

they'd find his body.

     The ship righted and the Chios stabilized. The water

sweeping across the deck ended.

     Peering between slightly parted eyes, h made out two images

of Lora standing and holding onto the cargo strap and looking

past him. Turning to the sea he tried to focus on the two rising

mushroom clouds and wondered which one was real. The brilliant

light that engulfed him indeed came from a distant nuclear


     Swinging his legs back onto the deck Pete knew Steve was

gone. He heard Lora scream and saw her rush forward. He managed

to raise his head and saw the double image of Steve pulling

himself onto the deck. He must have been hanging from a cable.

     Suddenly Pete felt immensely tired.

     Lying his head down on the deck he watched Lora help her

husband onto the deck. Closing his eyes he succumbed to the

blackness creeping over him.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          467


     Captain Kousakus stood addressing them in the galley. "We've

looked everywhere. Only Miss Doughty, Miss Makray and the little

girl, Miss Yehezkel are missing. Mister Meirs, your account of

what happened to Miss Doughty explains where she is. We can only

presume she has drowned. As for Miss Makray and the girl, I'm

completely mystified. Mrs. Talon's explanation is mystifying.

We've searched everywhere. They are not on board."

     Lora spoke what she and Steve were clearly thinking. "Kendra

has always talked about the rapture. She said it would happen

with a global nuclear war or something just as terrible. She

called that day 'The Great and Terrible Day of The Lord.' That

day was great because it was the day that God took the godly to

safety, and it was terrible because of the terrible things that

were about to happen."

     From the speakers in the galley they heard the news. "The

reports coming from around the world confirmed it. A global

nuclear exchange has taken place. Millions have been incinerated.

Others have simply vanished."

     Lora looked at Steve and tightly grasped his hand. "I saw it

happen. It happened right before my eyes."

     Steve looked at his wife and then said something no one ever

expected to hear. "I think it is time we better start believing

in something. Kendra said that evil never stops working to

destroy the godly, and that it would unwittingly bring about the

day when all the believers would vanish. I guess it has happened.

I also hope we live long enough to hear who or what evil brought
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          468

about this war. Maybe Kendra's been right all along. The God of

the Bible, Yawed, Jehovah, Jesus, He might just be God."

     Pete sat in the chair with his head bandaged. All he felt

was remorse. Kendra and Esther were gone. His dogs were gone.

Henry the rooster was gone. Everything that excited him and gave

him meaning was gone.

     Struggling to lift his spirits he dug into his soul for a

poem. There has to be a poem for this moment, he thought. Poetry

always lifts my spirit.

     He waited, anticipating, but nothing came. His heart and

soul were crushed. All he could focus on was that everyone was

gone: Kendra, Esther, the dogs, Henry. Life lost its meaning. He

had nothing to hold onto, no one to hold onto. What was the use?

What he really wanted to do was get his hands on Elijah. That

man, he's the one. He brought on this calamity. Pete didn't know

how, but he knew Elijah was behind the bombing of his hotel. If

that man didn't exist Kendra and Esther might still be alive.

That man needed to be killed.

     Inwardly he felt a strange type of peace replace the pain in

his soul. His head hurt, but that will heal. The target of his

wrath was correct. He had a mission.

                          *     *   *

     Daniel Von Resh sat in his underground bunker with Elijah

and watched the news reports. It all began with Israel, just as

he warned the U.N. The Syrians, the Iranians, and maybe the

Iraqis were also involved. Then the Russians retaliated, then the

Americans. From there it spread like wildfire to the Pakistanis
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          469

and the Indians. Then in a few minutes the Chinese attacked

Taiwan and both sides used nuclear weapons on each other. Thirty

minutes later the war between them didn't matter as the terror

that stopped circling the planet ended their rivalry.

     Fifteen minutes before a big chunk of Asia ceased to exist,

the nuclear powers in the northern latitudes self-destructed. The

British and Europeans retaliated in an effort to defend


     The Southern Hemisphere didn't escape the destruction. South

Africa, Brazil, Argentina, all possessed secret nuclear

stockpiles, and all used them.

     From his most reliable informants, he learned that many

people who might have stopped the destruction left or vanished

from their posts.

     Resh thought about his master plan of ruling over the

natural resources of the planet. If there was a time for such

control to be accepted, this is it. The nuclear war unleashed

great destruction upon the planet, coupled with the fear and

destruction wrought by the comet; everyone was looking for a

savior. The world was frightened and his for the taking.

     To eat and survive became the most urgent need.

     Resh absorbed the worldwide reports with satisfaction. He

planned to be the world's next Messiah. Millions around the world

were already thinking of him as such. The televised resurrection

of his life by the power of Elijah was especially convincing. Now

the nations saw the urgency to adopt his plan.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                         470

     In every crisis a man steps forward who the people will

trust. He'd lead a hurting world out of the chaos. He'd bring

unity, and with unity all things are possible.

     A warm satisfied smile slowly filled his face. Yes, it was

now time to move up to the position of United Nations Secretary

General. The world was his for the taking. He is the man of the


     Von Resh stared at his reflection in the mirror hanging on

the wall. The feeling of joy swelled to overflowing. It was as if

something, someone, inside was laughing. "Today the E.U.,

tomorrow the United Nations. I will sit in the seat of power and

nations will fear me," he announced with certainty, "I will even

save the world from the wrath of God."
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          471


WHO BELIVE IN BIBLE PROPHESY. Show, don't tell. Columnist,

reporters and television personalities are actually gnashing

their teeth against all who believe in the god of the bible. The

American president is portrayed as a buffoon, an ex-drunk, a

religious idiot.


BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE. He has permitted the partitioning of the




NEEDS TO BE SHOWN. Before the desecration of the temple have the

Orientals show hostility toward the project. They believe that

such a move is not positive for healing the nations. Indonesia is

incensed. The Moslems east of Iran are militant. All this even

though the last war became such a disaster for the MOSLEMS.

     At the end an army of two-hundred thousand, Asian troops

from China, Korea, and Japan are traveling to the Middle East.

Von Resh is livid when he hears that they are coming to fight for

the Emperor of Heaven. "Treachery," he yells. "They have turned

against me."

     "They are crossing into Afghanistan," his aid tells him.

"They will be here in a month."

     Von Resh is enraged. This event pushes him over the edge. He

uses the hatred in the Moslem world to get the Iranians to fire

four nuclear tipped missiles toward Israel. This is the beginning
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          472



     Also show Von Resh talking about the God he serves. He says

to those who ask, that he is not God. He only serves the God who

created all the forces in the universe. "There are nineteen more

like me out there. The God of these forces will pick the men or

women he alone chooses. But I tell you a thing. Whoever is

chosen, serve them. Do not straddle the fence and believe you

will be safe."   Show Von Resh with Elijah by his side floating in

the air, fire coming down from space, turning water into blood, a

stick into a snake, and walking through a wall. Von Resh talks

about the evolution of man. That he and a small number of others

have made the leap to a higher plane. Many more will follow. As

for him, he is nothing, a vanguard of many who will learn and

follow. Von Resh also will tell everyone that he is not a

homosexual, but that he is celibate. His energies are needed to

serve mankind, to make the world a better place for all to live,

work and play in. He is here for the children of tomorrow. The

future generation that will usher in utopia. Soon men will live

many hundreds of years before they sleep. Due to excellent

health, he sees men and woman living to eight, nine hundred years

before they die. The world will be wonderful place to live.
DJ HARDY/THE LAST ANGEL                                          473


     In the next book Von Resh becomes the new European Creaser.


     Egypt will push against Von Resh's military might. Egypt

want Europe out of Israel. Secretly the Egyptians want all border

crossings back under theirs and the Palestinians’ control. As it

now stand, it is impossible to smuggle anything into the Gaza


     Von Resh has sealed off the border with Lebanon and has

threatened to invade Lebanon. He has also given threats to invade


     The Egyptian government attacks the Europeans stations along

the border. Von Resh responds with a major attack on Egypt. They

take over the Sinai peninsular. Iran responds against the

Europeans by blockading the straits of Hommus. Von Resh attacks

Iran. Iran uses its hidden nuclear weapons. Pakistan gets

involved. With their nuclear missile aimed also at India, the

Indians take out the Palestinians’ nuclear sites.

     Von Resh desecrates the Hebrew temple. The Iranians try to

kill Von Resh. It fails and a smuggled Nuclear weapon launched

from the West Bank explodes over Jerusalem.

     Israel launches the two nuclear missiles at Iran. Von Resh

launches three missiles at Iran and Syria. The Russian release

some of their missiles. Some are sent toward America. The

Americans respond with a limited strike against Russia. The world

goes crazy. Third World War begins as the most terrible day in

human history. The Rapture of the believers in Christ Jesus.

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