CHAPTER 3 GIANT KILLER...
By Bryant Perkins
The Lost Book of Enoch – Ethiopic Enoch:
1 Enoch 7:4
…And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.
Chapter 3: Giant Killer
There are men living in this often terrifying and unpredictable world, who are possessed of Herculean resolve, whose emotions are atrophied, and who think in brilliant flashes of cunning and malice. Tomas Al Bashir is such a man, a man, hungry for greatness, and above all else…power.
Presently Bashir holds the rank of “High Assassin” within an ancient and clandestine order, known only by those who are aware of its existence, as “Veritas.” But he does not purely kill for sport and pleasure, as he would put it, he has yet a “higher purpose.” Bashir coldly views killing as merely a means to an end and he knows his odds of achieving that “end” grow steadily with the flawless completion of each passing mission.
With the latest mission completed, he took his temporary leave of the order to bask in some much needed vacation time, choosing to spend a large portion of it jetting between the slighter eastern European countries. The total time off would take two months, more than enough time to recharge, reassess, and reset his goals.
Long had the assassin’s life consumed his every step and Bashir very much looked forward to spending his weeks amid the joys of fraternization and inebriation. However, this first week was to be a fairly tranquil one, as he had made no plans to indulging himself in the famed nocturnal atmosphere of his first vacation stop, Amsterdam.
So, that very Monday when Bashir landed in the city, he had no intentions of receiving, or answering any kind of correspondence that might concern work or work related topics. He quickly signaled a taxi upon emerging from the airport. Three short minutes later he was jumping into a sporty Japanese sedan with his two custom-made leather carry-on bags.
Bashir hissed only a direction and an address at the driver making every attempt to display his disinterest in any further conversation. The black sedan was soon off, snaking its way through winding streets and over bridges crisscrossing murky canals. Finally, the car ceased its meandering, coming to rest alongside one of the many classic wooden houseboats crowding the watery canal ramparts.
The assassin paid his transporter, exited the confines of the vehicle, and headed for the brightly painted yellow door of his temporary quarters. Bashir fed an old-fashioned skeleton key into a slightly corroded lock. A quick turn of the polished knob and through the portal he strode. Waiting for him was all that he delighted in; a bottle of Palmer Margaux, a bed, and much needed sleep. Four half glasses later and Bashir was sleeping as blissfully as a baby.
Three hours drifted by before he awoke from peaceful slumber, his floating sanctuary still tenderly rocking as it does atop the inky surface of the canal. All seemed peaceful within his existence, a luxury uncommon in a life so heavily burdened with the tasks of ending lives.
It was not to last. As Bashir left his abode that same afternoon heading for his favorite café, amid the hushed streets south of Amsterdam’s world-renowned Red Light District, he received a text message. Something unknown, some quire feeling pulled at him to draw his mobile from the back pocket of his jeans and chance a quick look.
“Damn,” he mumbled to himself in low audible protest to his own incessant “need to know.” The message was from an old mentor and teacher, the one who had first introduced Bashir to Veritas.
Turning the phone away in disgust and then back around so as to make out what was coming through the dim light of his mobile screen, he saw a coded message. But this code was not in any style known to the going public or any military communications unit.
As to say, this was not a code with CIA, FBI, MI6, Al-Qaeda, or Russian intelligence origins. The type of coding now being scanned by Bashir’s rapidly moving pupils was in the order’s typical style of repeating numerical lines that, when translated, produced anagrams which had a special meaning within Veritas and specific to Bashir’s position as an assassin.
He promptly decoded the message in his head. This mission seemed strange indeed. No covert attempt to end a life would be required?
Bashir’s mind raced over the message again. His assignment would merely involve relic recovery. “But this is something reserved for lesser men of the order,” a confused Bashir mouthed silently to himself. “They are contacting me for this?”
He scanned further; the message revealed only minuscule details concerning a small metal box needing to be tracked down and brought back to his mentor. It referenced nothing more about the relic, only facts and location coordinates that would lead towards possible places where it might be, and in whose hands it might rest.
“What is going on?” Bashir said through clenched teeth and an exasperated breath. The killer thought long and hard on this strangest of missions, eventually coming to the conclusion that given the added secrecy surrounding it, this particular assignment could be the catalyst needed to propel him beyond his current status within the order. Secrecy always equated to “power most sought after” among his Veritas brethren. Bashir was always cognoscente of the fact that his current rank, although high, would in no way shape or form allow him the freedom to pursue his lofty ambitions.
These brethren of this most furtive underworld maintain a strict code and an even more intricate hierarchy that is almost impossible to ascend. Veritas is comprised of scientific men, the predominant men in their respective fields, all bound eternally by an oath proclaiming them the sole carriers of knowledge, and through this knowledge, the sole carriers of power. Bashir is of their yoke, a man equally committed to study, sacrifice, and scientific works.
However, he did not arrive at his current station in life by accident, chance, or stumble. Quite the opposite was his road towards the shadows and hidden world of power hungry knowledge seekers.
His Algerian parents, a father who was the authority on nanotechnology at the most prestigious university in the country and his mother, a UN translator, abandoned him, when he was but 4 years old, into the hands of Muslim extremist bound for the wild border lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The love his parents shared for each other and the child spawned from their ensuing passions was forbidden in a country ruled by Muslim law where such things did not transpire amongst couples who where not married.
It was there, among the dusty expanses of towering mountainside cave systems that Bashir was first educated in the ways of extreme Islam, small arms weaponry, construction of remote detonation devices, survival, and above all else…a smoldering hatred for the west.
A quick study, he became a valuable weapon amid his fellows in the Jihad against the infidels. But Bashir had higher aspirations. He wanted more than to just brutally dismantle his adversary’s physical presence in his land. So he pled to the local chief to transport him to India where he could enroll in school, work his way up the ranks of his peers, and thus garner a coveted spot on the incredibly short list of foreign students who would travel to the United States or Europe to further their education.
Yes, from an early age, Bashir desperately sought to become a leader amongst his people. But how to accomplish this, how could he assume the mantle of power and leadership? He worked out a plan; he would show them just how easily he had dispatched their adversaries from behind enemy lines, not with guns, but with suits, ties, and cunning. He would learn the ways of western business, finance, and politics. The end result would be the unraveling of those blasphemous nations from within. He need only excel in his academic pursuits to initiate his coup. The success of his mission would earn Bashir the admiration of his people across the land and securely place him atop the remainder of the throng who where mostly still scratching out a living from deep within subterranean strongholds. Or so the young killer hoped…
Bashir got his wish; he was granted admittance into one of the top primary schools in India, and in no time far surpassed his peers. In due course, he earned his spot on that short list, and chose to advance himself within the UK academic system. So at age 16, he packed what little he owned along with his well-worn copy of the Koran, and was off to Oxford University to study under some of the greatest minds in the modern age.
It was during his unforgettable years at Oxford that he would meet… her! It was she who would turn his mind on end for countless hours as they conversed about everything from food to religion to politics.
Bashir had never before known women to be anything other than subservient, mindless, things who did not speak unless spoken to. But this woman was everything. She was funny, smart, insightful, and her beauty cast a light upon him that he delighted in during the many days, weeks, and months of their ever-growing friendship.
However, one day, the light would be abruptly taken away. The library where they usually met during his midday lunch break did not ring with the joyful sound of her soft greeting, which always consisted of her clearing her throat, followed by, “Bash…over here.”
He knew she only sat in the same three spots; the small desk tucked under the iron spiral staircase in the far corner of the hall, the east facing side of the large oak table in the center of the room, or on the wooden floorboards just to the right of a large rolling ladder used to stack books on the highest shelves of the monstrous bookcases surrounding the room.
Unbeknownst to Bashir at the time, he had subconsciously developed a habit of pretending to be completely oblivious as to her whereabouts, walking into the room with his head down, seemingly entranced by whatever book he pretended to be reading. Bashir performed the entire farce simply to elicit that greeting he loved so much. Later, in his adult life, he would come to understand that he was just in love with the way she whispered his name, “Bash.”
But now she was gone, the victim of a completed semester, and Bashir would spend the remainder of the year alone. It was more of the same during his remaining years at university and by his third year the loneliness Bashir felt, after spending much of his free time with such an enchanting woman, was increasingly becoming unbearable.
He thought about leaving the university during a particularly low point in his now strictly academic existence. Bashir’s contemplations began shifting more and more towards going back to the mountains, back to what he knew. Often times he found himself just needing to get away from the pain and leave the loneliness far behind him, buried deep beneath the flooring of the library where “they,” where he was once happy. But, one man would lead him away from such a dismal path. One man would persuade him to forget all about the loneliness, the pain that he felt, and inevitably guide Bashir back towards his ultimate destiny and original aspirations.
At the age of 20 in his last year at university, Bashir’s professor of Theoretical Physics, Hemile Guevara would introduced him to the order of Veritas. Guevara was, himself, a decades old member of “the order” and the residing Grand Dominus (Head Master). He observed the gifted student’s potential and took Bashir under his wing, grooming him for a life of death, discovery and retribution.
The teaching was extensive, the life lessons cutting edge, and every word out of Guevara’s mouth intrigued, educated, and ultimately shaped Bashir the boy into Bashir the man, and more importantly…Bashir the killer!
Bashir eventually graduated at the top of his class, establishing all the connections he would need to become the “suited and polished” terror of the western world. And with the help and tutelage of Guevara, Bashir was well on his way to furthering his second desire…becoming the leader of his people and obtaining power unchecked. However, deeper still, was yet other desire, a desire to be with her…
Unfortunately, she would have to wait. There was a bigger mission at hand and Guevara taught twice as much subsequent to Bashir’s graduation. The results of his professor’s guidance enhanced Bashir’s personality, manufacturing all new layers of complex emotions, feelings, and thoughts. His outward self was now deceptively polite and agile, able to conceal his now much more menacing physical prowess.
Yes, gone was the child Bashir knew. Now, staring back at him in the mirror were powerful muscles and thick bones, which combined to produce a flawless six-foot frame, that looks to be in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment with every focused step of his walk.
Loose dark brown curls have replaced the well kept close cut main of his youth and are combed neatly away from dim grey eyes and a chiseled face. The remaining locks of hair roll down the back of his neck, stopping just before the tops of his powerful shoulders, but not before concealing the signature tattoo of the order to which he belongs, a “double serpent V” inked at the base of his skull.
All assassins of Veritas are tattooed with black and red serpents intertwined at the tales with open mouthed, yellow fanged heads ascending away from one another to form the letter V.
(The red serpent symbolizes the blood scarifies needed to ensure that power always remains within the hands of the brotherhood. The black serpent symbolizes the darkness that the world would plug into were it not for the order’s calculated interventions and the yellow fangs symbolize the light of truth, which Veritas injects into the world via their very existence.)
Ears, that some say can hear a pin drop into a cup of baking flower, hold back any stray curls cascading down the sides of Bashir’s head, and thick sideburns bleed into a well kept five-o’clock shadow which serves to complete his almost runway model look.
What’s more, Guevara’s tutelage trained Bashir to know not the feelings of hesitation, fear, or failure. Now, ten long years later, his education completed, he stalks the dark shadows. And so total is the man that the luxury and wealth he’s acquired are but dwarfed by his constant mind splitting aspirations for power.
However, Bashir grows tired and impatient. The last five years of his grim dance with death and assassination have been spent surrounded by the decay of western society and its purveyors of greed and corruption. Something must change, something will change, and he will have his freedom from the barrage of thoughts emanating from a mind driven to be great.
And with a long look up through the haze of the morning sky, Bashir allows another most dangerous thought to escape from the recesses of his tightly wound conscious; a thought of “what if,” what if he can be with her again as well.
ABOUT SMALL BEGINNINGS:
DON'T MISS CHAPTER 4 "DEAD OF NIGHT..." SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER!!
ABOUT SMALL BEGINNINGS:
Assassins working for an ancient and secret organization of scientists are hunting a wisecracking antique dealer (Enoch Smalls) and an uncompromising anthropologist (Katherine Assoui) who just happened to stumble across the wrong relic at the wrong time.
Pursued by shadowy enemies from all corners of the globe, with no one to trust and with very few places to hide, the unwilling pair seeks to keep their wits about them as they scour a crumbling biblical past in an attempt to, unlock the riddles of this ancient relic. Their path is marred with danger as they fight to stay alive as well as keep the mysterious object from falling into the hands of inhuman genius killers.
There is much at stake, as this relic could either propel the world towards a new era of technological advancement or plunge it into chaos and darkness. Faced with this ultimate challenge to humanity’s survival, will Enoch be able quell his own demons within and rise to the occasion as man’s savior, or fall beneath the encroaching darkness…?
Bryant Perkins originally began his writing career as a news reporter, writing dozens of articles for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, Xenia Daily Gazette, and Lancaster Eagle Gazette. However, it was his love of Science Fiction that lead him to write his first short story - Where Gods Go - in 2001, a story about what happens when alien prisoners have to clear their names after being wrongfully convicted of genocide.