Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SAECULUM ( A Novel: Part 28) – MATUTINUM IX, X & XI

SOL OCCAXUS (Sunset) Monday, 19 September, 2011

CREPUSCULUM (Evening Twilight)

I. Friday, 23 September, 2011
II. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
III. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
IV. Sunday, 16 October, 2011

VESPER (Evening Dusk)

I. Sunday, 23 October, 2011
II. Sunday, 30 October, 2011
III. Wednesday, 9 November, 2011
IV. Monday, 14 November, 2011
V. Monday, 14 November, 2011

CONCUBIUM (First Sleep – Coitus – Rest)

I. Thursday, 17 November 2011
II. Sunday, 20 November, 2011
III. Friday, 25 November, 2011
IV. Thursday, 1 December, 2011
V. Thursday, 1 December, 2011
VI. Thursday, 8 December, 2011
VII. Sunday, 11 December, 2011


I. Sunday, 1 January, 2012
II. Thursday, 5 January, 2012
III. Saturday, 7 January, 2012
IV. Monday, 16 January, 2012
V. Sunday, 29 January, 2012
VI. Sunday, 29 January, 2012
VII. Friday, 3 February, 2012
VIII. Friday, 3 February, 2012


I. Sunday, 12 February, 2012
II. Saturday, 18 February, 2012
III. Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

MATUTINUM (Dawn Goddess)

I. Monday, 27 February, 2012
II. Sunday, 4 March, 2012
III. Sunday, 4 March, 2012
IV. Friday, 9 March, 2012
V. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VI. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VII. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VIII. Friday, 16 March, 2012
IX. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012
X. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012
XI. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012

DILUCULUM (Dawn Twilight)

SOLI ORTUS (Sunrise)



Charles Alexander stepped out of the shadows and expressed surprise when he did not find Rod Mallory waiting in the doorway. He barked into his mike, “Security. What’s happening?”
“Your visitor is on the balcony to the side of house. Looking over the valley.”
“Shit. Leave doorway scanner on. I’ll go out,” Alexander rasped as he reached inside his jacket and withdrew a small shoulder-holstered gun. He handed it to Isabella. “Solis, go back to the others and put the case for the Voices back in the safe. I’ll join you in a few minutes. Tell Sancho and al-Sa’igh to withdraw.”
“Ok,” she replied.
Alexander walked towards the balcony. Below him, in the courtyard, he saw Zoë talk to the driver of the Land Rover while Jena inspected the rear of the vehicle. Turning left he saw Mallory’s back. “Rod how are you? Why did you not come in?”
The Australian turned. He had a warm smile on his face. He held his hand out to take Alexander’s and shook it strongly. “Charles. I’m sorry. I was just taking a look over the valley. It’s a fair dinkum place you have here. Really beaut.”
“Thank you, Rod. Come inside.”
Alexander linked arms with Mallory and led him into the house. He relaxed a little when the doorway sensors did not detect a concealed weapon on the Australian. Isabella came to greet them. Alexander introduced her, “Rod. You will have heard me mention my personal assistant, Isabella Sanjil. Isabella this is Rod Mallory, finance director of Hoxygene.”
Isabella held out her hand. She was used to being instantly appraised by the men she met, but this one was different. He did not appear particularly interested. His handshake was cool, professional. “You are welcome, Mr Mallory. May I get you a drink?”
“Hi. Sure. A tinny please.”
“A beer thanks.”
Isabella turned and moved behind the counter bar. Alexander showed Mallory to a seat. “What happened in the car Rod? You took a long time to get out. My security staff, were concerned.”
“I noticed. I had to make a telephone call. Sorry.”
“Is there a problem?”
“What . . . Oh. . . Oh no. I was trying to speak to Michael Mara before you and I met.”
“Any luck? I too would like to arrange a meeting with him soon,” Alexander added.
“No. He is in the South of Spain somewhere. I could not track him down. I left a long message on his mobile phone though. That’s what delayed me.”
“I see.” Alexander said, disappointed.
“Don’t worry, cobber. Our arrangement is a fait accompli. I have the backing of both the institutional shareholders and his wife’s family to proceed with the deal. I just want to use this opportunity to thrash out our personal arrangement. My facilitator’s fee… as it were.”
“You do not beat around the bush. Do you, Rod?”
“No, Charles. Kill the snakes where they lie. Check out whether they are poisonous afterwards. That’s my approach.”
“I do not understand.” Alexander was genuinely puzzled.
“Sorry, mate. An Austalian aphorism. What I mean is that I prefer direct action. Tell it as it is. No misunderstandings. Comprenez vous?”
“Parlez-vous Francais?” Alexander asked, intrigued by Mallory's perfect accent.
Oui. Bien sur mon ami. Español, Japanois et Italien aussi.”
“I’m a man of surprises, Charles. Do not underestimate me,” Mallory said coldly.
“Thank you for the warning, Rod. I’ll try not to. Ah good, here’s your beer. I hope it is cold enough. Thank you, Isabella.”
“Thank you.” Rod took the beer from Isabella and quickly downed a large draught.
Alexander sat opposite him. “Perhaps you would –” An urgent voice spoke into Alexander’s earpiece interrupting him. He stood up suddenly. “Excuse me a moment, Rod. There is a small matter I need to attend to.”
“Sure Charles. Take your time,” Mallory said with a smile.


Across the valley a radio cackled into life. The voice that spoke did so in a garbled and hurried way. “Base, this is Bravo Two. Come in. Urgent.”
“Go ahead Bravo Two.”
“A two man team near the entrance has just taken out the house security patrol.”
“Repeat, Bravo Two.” Karl looked up at General Arnold.
“House security patrol down. Both dead. Intruder team on driveway.”
“Copy Bravo Two. Wait.”
Arnold was circling the console station. Michael Mara felt he was in the way and moved to one side where he could still see the screens. Arnold eventually stopped and whispered something into Karl’s ear. The agent nodded and then relayed the instructions, “Bravo Two. Follow them in. If confronted you have permission to engage otherwise wait for orders.”
“Copy. Over and out.”

“Bravo One. Come in... Bravo One. Come in,” Karl repeated. “Bravo One. Please acknowledge.”
There was no response from the Bravo One team. Suddenly Dave rushed down the stairs down the stairs and shouted, “Switch to infra-red Karl. Valley in front of house! Bravo One’s sector.”
Karl threw a switch and a ghostly green-yellow colour came up on the screen. Occasionally there was a bright flash of white that exploded across the screen’s pixels. Arnold leaned forward and put the antenna mike on audio. The pflaaat sounds of muzzle-silenced shots were mixed with shouts. It suddenly went quiet. “Bravo One. Do you copy?” Karl shouted.
“Base, this is Bravo One. Leader down. Dead.”
General Bob Arnold grabbed the mike. “What the fuck happened?”
“Intruder team surprised us from behind. No warning.”
“Where are they now.”
“One down, other making for the house.”
“Stay with fallen leader. Bravo Three back-up team dispatched. Bravo Two. Come in.”
“Bravo Two,” the voice whispered.
Take out intruder team in driveway.” Karl looked at Arnold who nodded.
Take out intruder team!
“Copy. Two minutes.”

The audio speakers started wailing. A shrill noise reverberated throughout the room. “What’s that?” Michael Mara asked as he tried shouting over the din.
Hank Sommers leaned forward to turn down the sensitivity. “House alarm. It’s gone active.”


Charles Alexander rushed back into the room. Sancho and al-Sa’igh with were with him. They were all armed. The house alarm was sounding with a piercing high-pitched screech. It did not stop.
Rod Mallory stood up. “What’s going on, Charles?”
“I don’t know. There are intruders in the grounds and one of my security patrols has gone silent. I must go out.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“It’s too dangerous. Stay here Mallory.”
“In for a penny, in for a pound. I’m well able to take care of myself and insist on coming with you.” Rod Mallory stood up. He was angry but did not want to show it. Had his team been detected? he wondered to himself. He had not given the signal and he needed to be sure. It might however be the opportunity he wanted.
Isabella noted Mallory’s agitation but admired his apparent coolness. Alexander hesitated for a moment, appraising the Australian before agreeing. “Very well, but stay close to me. These two gentlemen are Sancho and al-Sa’igh, friends of mine.”
“You bet cobber!” Mallory nodded in the direction of the two men.
Alexander led them out the doorway and while al-Sa’igh and Sancho fanned to the right, he and Mallory spun to the left. They saw a single figure darting across the ground beneath the overhanging balcony. He stopped and turned. There was a flash of orange. A bullet ricocheted off the wall beside them, gouging out a piece of masonry that whizzed past Mallory’s ear. He smiled. Alexander cursed then started firing. Wildly.
More shots were returned from below. A voice bellowed out, “Mictlan!” Mallory smiled again. It was their team’s code word; the Aztec for the ‘Abode of the Dead’. His thoughts raced. One of his men was below him. His team must have been detected, but it was still an opportunity. He pretended to take cover by dropping to the ground and rolling up against the balcony wall. Happy that Alexander was sufficiently distracted further down the balcony he reached over and retrieved the gun he had secreted earlier. In one movement he released the safety catch and had it pointed at the back of Alexander.
“Charles, look out!” Isabella screamed a warning but she was too late. She watched as Alexander half-turned only to be catapulted backwards, as the spray of bullets from Mallory’s gun ripped into his chest and shoulder. There was an immediate splattering of the whitewashed walls and windows with a spray of blood. Alexander fell heavily against the balcony rail and seemed to balance there for a moment before the force of the impact caused his body to topple over and crash into the valley below. Isabella looked around. Mallory had turned and from his crouched position was now aiming up at her. She pulled back behind the corner of the doorway as bullets tore into the masonry. There was a wild shout from behind her as Zoë ran up the steps and onto the balcony. Her face was wild, agitated, excited. Isabella put out her hand, instinctively, to stop her. She brushed past it and, firing from her hip as she went, rounded the corner where Isabella sheltered. Shots were exchanged and just as suddenly it all went quiet. Isabella bent down to her knees and cautiously took a quick look around the corner. She saw that Zoë was slumped against the house wall, groaning, holding her stomach. Between her and the balcony railing, Mallory lay stretched out. His body twitched, his eyes stared upwards into space. Blood poured from a large entrance wound in his forehead. It pooled like a halo about his neck. Isabella crawled forward.
Zoë cried-out as she approached, “I feel so cold, Isabella. Help me.”
“Hold on, Zoë. Hold on!” Isabella reached out her hand.
Zoë took it, her head lolled from side to side. She groaned, “Where’s Charles? Tell Charles I need him. Tell him I loved him. Oh God, Isabella! I’m so cold.”
“I will Zoe. Hold on. Please hold on,” Isabella cried. The athlete’s mouth suddenly began to fill with blood with blood. Almost immediately her body started to jerk and just as suddenly her grip on Isabella relaxed and the groans stopped. In the background there was still the staccato noise of shots being fired. Isabella slipped her hand from Zoë’s and cautiously stood up. She moved forward to the railing and peered down into the darkness. Suddenly, from far away, she could hear a familiar voice screaming her name.
“Isabella! Get away. Run Isabella! Isabelllllla!”

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