Last Updated on Friday, 27 January 2012 18:05
Another Devlin Novel currently being written by The Hack. For those fans of Devlin we have included chapter one of this newest bit of nonsense. Estimated completion date: May 31, 2008 (If we can keep him sober and upright long enough to finish)In this, the second book in a series, which is a spin-off of a trilogy, Devlin, the alcoholic vampire, goes head-to-head with the Devil in a no-holds-barred steel cage match. The outcome could not only cost him the soul he never knew he had, but allow the unfolding of the Apocalypse as outlined in Revelations. If that's not enough, he's also being hounded by the IRS, and the woman he loves—but avoids, has tired of chasing him, and started on-line dating through EMatchHarmony.com. Will he lose his soul? His girlfriend? His liquor license? Will the world be hurled into the final phase of the Biblically prophesied Armageddon?
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Devlin Abnormal Investigations Case File: Cleft Behind:
The assassin lowered his eye to the scope, already trained and focused on a doorway just over 500 yards away. His face a study in grim determination, single-mindedness of purpose, one eye cinched closed, features set in a concrete mask of absolute focus.
As a tall, lean figure exited the doorway and began an aimless, loose-jointed stride along the sidewalk, illuminated softly by the streetlight, long shadow bobbing and weaving on the walls behind him, the shooter smoothly micro-swiveled a customized sniper rifle, tripod-mounted on precision roller bearings, zeroed in, and pulled the trigger.
The blast of compressed gas seeking escape from its confinement within the expertly-machined barrel shattered the relative silence of the city night. The traffic still moved steadily in this section of Tampa Bay; because of this, many would believe the loud boom was another rattletrap car backfiring. Except those within 1000 feet of the gunman; they would realize it was a gunshot. The 911 operators would be deluged with frightened calls.
The gunman was aware of this; aware of his need for hasty extraction from the area. Yet, he always spent an extra three seconds to admire his work.
Not this time. Instead of the flash of red mist out the back of the target’s head, he saw a man’s face staring back at his position. A scary man’s face. A face consisting of craggy lines, menacing eyes, and a smile that managed to convey both the false reassurance of a used car salesman and the visceral enjoyment of a habitual streetfighter. The seasoned assassin saw his own death in that face and quickly fired a second shot.
He didn’t wait around to see the damage, he knew he had to have hit him the first time—something went wrong. But—he never missed twice. That was simply impossible. He slid down the rope prepared earlier, dropping five stories and hitting the sidewalk in seconds. He then engaged in a casual walk to a waiting van.
He never made it.
The man with the face of death jerked the rifle from under the assassin’s long coat, jammed the barrel through his spine and lifted him in the air, then rammed him straight into the side panel of his van. The sniper, now impaled, face mashed against the cold steel, spent his last seconds of life staring at the eye of the cartoon mosquito logo of the pest control company he’d stolen the vehicle from.
His last memories were of a blast of foul cigar smoke blown against the side of the van to carom indirectly into his face, and a voice that sounded like large rocks tumbling along an iron incline doing a poor imitation of Clint Eastwood.
“Dying ain’t much of a livin’... Har!”
The tall man made his way back to the door he’d exited less than two minutes earlier, reentered, passed through a package store into a dimly-lit bar and took a seat on a stool. Several patrons noted his entry and went back to watching a rerun of Green Acres on the large screen television. A chimpanzee on the next stool ignored him, concentrating instead on balancing a spoon on the opening of an empty beer bottle.
“Gimme another pitcher a beer, Ma. Please.”
“Get off your ass and get it yourself.”
“Geez, I said please. Yer gettin’ disagreeable in yer golden years.”
The would-be victim of the sniper was Devlin. His business card for Devlin—Abnormal Investigations, proclaimed him as half asshole, half monster, half alcoholic, and half Irish mathematician. He never gave the cards out as he had no desire to investigate anything.
Aggie, Devlin’s mother, weighing in at a stout one-hundred and fifty pounds, standing a sturdy five-feet-one-inch in steel-toed construction boots, swung a combination fly swatter/beer opener at her son's head.
Straight backed, and firm of arm, the blow caused a crackle and spark. In reality, she’d struck him with a modified bug-zapper that used two AA batteries to incinerate insects. It looked like a cheap badminton racket with a beer opener on the end. She’d stripped away the plastic grid which protected humans from getting shocked when touching it, and now used it ostensibly on her son. Her face had that motherly quality that could instantly transform from sweet and loving to banshee from hell—one part anger, one part frustration and sixty-two parts disappointment.
“Ouch! Dangit, Ma. Quit terrorizing me with that thing. Yer diminishing my self-esteem.”
“While you’re out goofing off, I’m in here being grilled by this IRS guy about all the liquor you drink,” Aggie said, pointing at a rotund man in a rumpled suit sitting at a table poring over stacks of receipts.
“IRS? What do they care how much I drink? And, I wasn’t goofing off, I was dodging bullets.”
“That’s five people tried to kill you in three days,” Aggie told him. “And I don’t feel a bit sorry for ya. It’s like I’ve always said, If you was a nicer person, you wouldn’t have so many enemies.”
The phone behind the bar interrupted their discussion.
“That’s gotta be Fargin, Ma,” Devlin said, disappearing. He reappeared behind the bar with the phone in his hand.
“Quit moving so fast in here,” his mother screamed. “You’re going to break something. And quit giving that monkey beer! He’s turned into a drunk, like you. Thank the Lord your father is not around to see what his boy turned into.”
“Fargin! I left ya a package,” Devlin said into the phone receiver. Fargin, the current Director of the CIA, willingly cleaned up after Devlin who invariably left a trail of corpses in his wake. This unprecedented level of cooperation was motivated by an instinct for survival—by the CIA.
They crossed paths a few months earlier after the CIA captured Dunkin, a direct descendent of an ancient line of vampire warriors. Dunkin, a massive 450 pound blob of sensitive humanity, had been covered in glue by CIA black-ops helicopters, flown to a secret underground facility for paranormal research, and prepped for unwilling experimentation. Devlin tracked down the facility, where he found not only Dunkin, but several others imprisoned and forced to endure sadistic experimentation performed under the guise of research.
He rescued eight extraordinary individuals, including a young boy, Ben, a genius beyond categorization, a young woman, Jennifer, who communicated telepathically and could, with a touch, calm any creature—man, beast, even Devlin. It’s also where he rescued Heckyl, a remarkably intelligent chimpanzee, and Jeckyl, a 250 pound wolf who communicated through black and white imagery when touched. Despite his surly attempts at dissuasion, both animals bonded with him, refusing to leave his side.
Devlin stopped the rescue long enough to kill everyone in the facility, kill the CIA operatives sent to intercept him, and explain to the higher-ups in the command structure that he would gladly detour over to Langley, kill them, tear down their building and then go take a shit on the White House lawn by way of exclamation point. Fargin, in an act borne of equal parts intelligence and self-preservation, offered the full assistance of the CIA to the vampire hunters.
That’s what they were doing now, assisting in dead assassin cleanup; as Devlin had been attacked by five different professional killers in the last three days.
“Devlin,” Fargin said over the phone. “It would really help if you’d leave one of them alive.”
“I forget,” Devlin answered. “Just find out who he was, who hired him and where I can find ‘em. Then follow along with a shovel and a hefty bag.”
“It’s not that easy,” Fargin replied. “I can tell you that whoever is behind these attempts on you is powerful and wealthy. We've already identified this last assassin. He is supposedly the most deadly man on earth...”
“Was. Past tense.”
“Er, yes, was, the deadliest assassin. He’s wanted by Interpol, and several other countries including Iran, Israel, China, and all over Eastern Europe. He’s rumored to have executed as many as a hundred contracts.”
“Good, I killed the Jackass. Is there a reward?” Devlin asked.
“You mean The Jackal, he's just a myth...”
“No, I meant The Jackass, Har!” Devlin laughed and set flame to a foul-smelling cigar. “Fargin, find out who’s paying people to de-life me and then help me with another problem. There’s a bloodsucker here from the IRS giving Ma some grief. You can keep my reward for killing The Jackass if you call ‘em up and tell ‘em to leave her alone.”
“I can’t do that, Devlin,” Fargin answered. “They don’t take orders from me or anyone else.”
“Well, send yer team over to pick up his corpse then...”
“NO! Devlin, don’t kill the man. He’s not a vampire or a monster threatening earth. He’s just doing his job.”
“He’s a bloodsucker, and you can pick him up at the curb...”
“No, just stall him and I’ll see what I can do.”
“Good man, Fargin,” Devlin said, hanging up. He walked over and sat at the table with the IRS man, propping both feet forward and leaning way back in the chair. His mother slammed an unopened bottle of rum on the table followed by two full pitchers of beer.
“I don’t drink,” the man said, his voice and delivery clipped, proper, and dripping with disdain.
“Strike one,” said Devlin, who then blew an impossibly large cloud of cigar smoke straight at the man. It shot forward in a thin stream then billowed outward like a mushroom cloud, completely engulfing the IRS agent’s head.
“Would you mind?” the man said. “I believe smoking is prohibited in all public buildings.”
“Strike two,” Devlin said, drinking the contents of one pitcher of beer and belching loudly.
“Oh, I presume I am supposed to be frightened now,” the agent said. “Strike three will result in some physical manifestation of violence against my person.” The agent whipped out a leather wallet and flashed his official IRS identification. “I’m a duly authorized agent of the...”
Devlin snatched the ID wallet from the man’s hand in a motion so fast, no human eye could follow. He uncapped the full rum bottle and drank the contents in four loud gulps, then crushed the wallet and stuffed it into the now empty bottle.
“Listen up, bloodsucker. Ma says yer harassin’ her about taxes on beer and liquor spillage.” Devlin paused to drink the remaining full pitcher of beer, again smacking his lips and belching loudly with exaggerated mouth contortions to vary the tone and pitch. “You just experienced a normal hour’s spillage in this bar.”
“Then you admit you are drinking, not spilling, all the unsold stock?” The IRS agent asked.
“No, it’s spillage, it spills down my throat.”
“That is not considered ‘spillage’,” the man said. “That stock is delivered untaxed, with the assumption that it will be sold and the correct tax collected. If it is being consumed, thereby used for the purpose for which it was manufactured, then all taxes, state and federal, are due and payable.” The man made a notation on one of the many papers spread before him. “You will recieve a bill, including maximum penalties, no later than a week from today. We are also accelerating...”
Devlin interrupted the man’s further description of penalties by lifting him from his chair and jamming his face in front of a huge, framed picture of Devlin and Dunkin operating the Pope’s bubble car.
“Ya see that, ya bug-eyed bureaucratic assknob? That’s me and my pal, Dunkin, driving the Pope’s Weinermobile. Me and the Pope’s good buddies. Me and my pals saved France from being killed by a giant, people eatin’ berserker. We destroyed all the vampires and bloodsucking mutants across the earth. I saved the world from some Siva Bishu flying hedgeapple, and entered the void to lay waste to all manner a foul creatures who were itching to feast on the tender extremities of humanity.”
“That’s all fascinating,” said the agent, unfazed by his current dilemma. “And I’m sure you have the collective thanks of all earth’s citizenry; still, it does not excuse this blatant attempt to evade paying your fair share of the...”
“I wasn’t talking about the population's gratitude for my exploits, ya dense bastich, I was making the point that killing you and destroying the IRS shouldn’t take me mor’n a few hours. Ya ain’t messin’ with no defenseless grandma who sold homemade peanut butter fudge at the corner grocer to help buy her arthritis snake oil and didn’t pay ya fifty per-cent of her meager earnings—yer messin’ with a genuine force-a-nature. I’m known all over the world. In whispers they refer to me as the Aimless One, but to my face they call me, The Devil of Tampa bay.”
Any response from the agent was interrupted by the entry of a large, impeccably dressed, strikingly handsome man. He paused in the doorway, dark eyes stopping briefly on each person in the bar. He drove large, strong fingers through thick black hair, used both hands to hitch the lapels of an expensive silk pinstripe suit coat tight against the matching vest, and announced in a powerful, almost mesmerizing voice.
“I am Mephistopheles.”