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Authors: C. E. Martin

Seven Deadly Sons

BOOK: Seven Deadly Sons
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SEVEN DEADLY SONS

(STONE SOLDIERS #7)

 

C.E. Martin

 

Copyright 2013 by C.E. Martin

 

www.StoneSoldiers.info

 

This book is a work of fiction. The characters, names, places and events are purely fictional and not based on any real event. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is an amazing coincidence and nothing more.

 

All Rights Reserved. No portion of this work may be reproduced without the express written permission of the author, [email protected], with the exception of excerpts for the purposes of review or discussion, as explained in the Fair Use Act.

 

Dedicated to God and my Family

 

 

WARNING: This novel contains graphic violence and pulp action that may be too extreme for sensitive readers
.

 

STONE SOLDIERS: The Series

 

Mythical

Brothers in Stone

Blood and Stone

Shades of War

Black Knight Down

Armageddon Z

Seven Deadly Sons

 

Stone Soldiers Adventures

(Prequel Short Stories)

 

Stone Soldier

Stone Soldiers: Catching Fire

Stone Soldiers: City of Bones

 

 

STONE SOLDIERS

 

To combat the supernatural, the U.S. Military has formed a Joint Forces Unit of psychics and supersoldiers. Based in Miami, Florida, Detachment 1039 responds to threats conventional forces cannot handle.

Stone Soldiers—men turned to living stone—lead the battle against the forces of darkness. Comprised of former special forces operatives, a post-cognitive psychic and a Cold War-era commando with the power of electrokinesis, the Stone Soldiers are led by America's oldest supersoldier: Colonel Mark Kenslir.

Rendered immortal by a combination of curses that grant him enhanced strength and endurance and possessing a natural resistance to magic, the Colonel has defended America for over sixty years. Training a new generation of super soldiers, he and the Stone Soldiers are joined in their fight against evil by Josie Winters—a cryokinetic who can freeze objects with her mind—and Jimmy Kane, former Stone Soldier turned werewolf.

Together, the Detachment puts their lives on the line to protect America from the mythical and the magical…

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

 

 

 

Zalman Katz felt it was only fair that his life should be ended by a monster—he was just surprised it was an
actual
monster. He had hunted monsters most of his adult life—tracking them down in the remote corners of the world they hid in after the war. But in the end, they had been men—men who had done monstrous things.

To be sure, all those he had killed had richly deserved the deaths he gave them over a span of decades and on five continents. The horrors he had seen in the camps had guaranteed that those responsible must die. Zalman had devoted his entire life to hunting them down and executing them.

Tonight was different. Tonight, Zalman looked into eyes that were anything but human. Tonight, Zalman had finally met a real monster. A creature that deserved the title not because of what it had done, but because of what it was—not human.

The old man had been awakened from his sound sleep by the sounds of an intruder. Even after all these years of retirement, his senses were sharp and he had slid out of bed, his semiautomatic handgun at the ready. Legs withered with age, that had once carried him deep into dense jungles, across burning desert sands and even up towering cliffs strained to move stealthily. He had snuck through his own home, expecting to find a burglar—impossible as that might seem in his high-security retirement home.

Instead, he found his monster.

The small handgun he'd grown accustomed to over the years was lacking in stopping power, but was deadly accurate in Zalman's hands. He had emptied all his bullets into the creature, aiming first for center-mass, then its head.

All to no avail.

The inhuman arm of the beast had knocked Zalman off his feet and sent him flying across his living room. Bones had broken at the start and finish of his short flight. As he lay crumpled on the floor, blood pumped out of wounds torn open with horrifyingly sharp claws.

Still, as the beast leapt across the room to finish him off, Zalman couldn't help but smile. Like the Vikings, he was about to die in combat. He didn't believe in the pagan ways of the Norsemen of old, but he suddenly understood them. It was far better to die fighting, then to slowly be worn away by disease and age, unable to fight any more.

He had no idea if the beast saw or understood Zalman's smile. And with the wind knocked from him, all the old man could do was think his dying words.

Take that, cancer
.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Alvarro Sierra had seen a lot of horrible things in his twenty years in the Department, but this had to be one of the worst crime scenes he'd ever been to. And the strangest.

"No signs of forced entry—or exit?" he asked one of his junior detectives as he looked around at the many pieces that used to be a man. They were scattered about the blood-spattered dwelling like confetti after a parade.

"No, sir," Detective Deb Harris said, shaking her head as she chewed on a bagel.

Harris was a cold-blooded hardass in Sierra's book—in everyone's book. A tall, skinny brunette with short hair and big brown eyes, who's looks many men found pleasing. Unfortunately, Deb didn't have the personality to match. Cold, callous and as unsympathetic as a person could be, Deb Harris was all cop. She hadn't once been queasy or shown the slightest revulsion at the carnage around them. Sierra wished he was that strong. He was sure his breakfast was going to come up any minute now.

"Maybe someone used a key?" Alvarro suggested, looking around again. No matter where he looked there was blood and pieces of what had been a man.

The victim's apartment was in a very expensive, high security complex in Miami. A gated community with bars on the windows and armed security on duty at all times. That had done little to save the old man.

"Nope," Deb said. "Entry and exit is monitored by the alarm system. Nothing came in or out of this apartment until security responded and found our vic."

"Then how does-" Alvarro hesitated, then finally made up his mind. "How does a bear enter a man's home, tear him apart and then exit without leaving any sign it was here?"

"It left plenty of signs," Deb said, waving her bagel around at the remains of Zalman Katz.

She tucked the rest of her breakfast in a pocket of her jacket and began writing in her notepad. "Bear, hunh? Is that what we're calling this one?"

"No—let the M.E. make that call. I'm just guessing."

Alvarro looked around again, then mumbled to himself. "What else could it be?"

A commotion at the door into the apartment caught the Detective's attention. He turned to see what was going on.

A huge man was coming through the open doorway. He towered over Alvarro—well over six feet, with broad shoulders and arms bigger around than the average man's leg. He looked like a linebacker, with short, jet-black hair cut in an old-fashioned flattop. The newcomer wore wide, slightly-tinted, sunglasses that looked more like tactical shooter's glasses, slacks and a cheap government windbreaker over a dark blue polo shirt.

It was hard to tell, but the big man looked to be in his mid to late thirties, with smooth skin that showed only a hint of the sun. He was fresh-faced and looked as though he'd just shaved—unlike Alvarro, who was sweating and already well on his way to a five o'clock shadow despite it being only mid-morning.

"Detective Sierra?" the newcomer asked, walking over.

"That's me," Alvarro said, smoothing out his loud floral-print shirt. He straightened the chain holding his badge around his neck. He always got nervous around Feds.

"Mark Kenslir," the big man said, then gestured toward the woman beside him. "Pam Keegan."

Alvarro couldn't help but raise his eyebrows in surprise when he looked at Kenslir's companion. They were an odd couple, in complete contrast to one another. The woman was short—even shorter than Alvarro, who often claimed to be average height but knew he wasn't. She had bleached blonde, shoulder-length hair and a large chest that seemed like it would burst free of her silk blouse at any moment. Unlike the big man relaxed clothes, the busty blonde wore a suit—black slacks and unbuttoned jacket— with her badge and gun visible on her waistband.

"FBI," the blonde, Keegan, said, flashing her credentials. Special Agent Pam Keegan.

"Him too?" Deb Harris asked. She had moved up beside her partner.

"Joint Interior Defense Task Force," the big man, Kenslir, said. He didn't show any identification.

"What're Feds doing here?" Deb asked. "This is a simple B&E gone wrong."

Mark Kenslir stepped around the duo, ignoring them and taking in the carnage of the room.

"We're here to assess the situation," Special Agent Keegan said.

"Hey, don't touch that," Alvarro said, watching as Kenslir knelt by the dismembered torso of the victim.

"If you'll wait outside, our Forensic team can get to work," Keegan said, gesturing toward the door.

Deb Harris laughed. "This is Miami Metro's case, blondie."

Alvarro started to say something, but his cell phone began ringing. He recognized the ringtone with worry on his face.

"Sierra," he said, answering the phone and holding up a finger to silence Harris before she could put her other foot in her mouth.

"Yes. Yes, I understand, sir," Sierra said. He listened for a moment more, a pronounced frown spreading across his face. "Yes, every consideration, sir. No problem, sir."

His call done, Alvarro switched off his phone and clipped it back into the holster on his belt, under his shirt. "That was the Chief," he said to Harris before turning back to Agent Keegan.

"If you need us, we'll be outside."

When Deb started to open her mouth, Alvarro smiled and grabbed her by the elbow. "Detective Harris, if I could have a word—outside."

Deb Harris looked back and forth between her partner and the two Feds, an incredulous expression on her face. But she nodded and walked out of the apartment with Alvarro.

Outside, they passed a trio of techs on their way in, all clad in white crime scene coveralls, booties and rubber gloves, and carrying small equipment cases. Each had filter masks over their faces and wide, semi-tinted glasses like Kenslir's hiding their eyes.

"What the hell is going on, Al?" Deb Harris asked once they reached the curb. They were still waiting for their own forensic team to arrive.

"The Chief of police, for the whole City of Miami just called me."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, and he told me to get out of the way and afford Agent Keegan and her people every consideration as they evaluated our crime scene."

Deb laughed, insincerely. "This is bullshit, right?"

"No."

"C'mon, Al!" Deb said, raising her voice. "This is a homicide at an old folks home! What the hell do the Feds care about that?"

Alvarro raised a hand to calm his young partner down before her voice got any louder. He was sure people more than three blocks away hadn't heard her yet. "Shhh. Listen-"

Deb opened her mouth, a new tirade on her lips.

"Listen!" Alvarro hissed, dropping his voice to a whisper. "I think it's bullshit too. But ask yourself one thing."

"What?" Deb said, crossing her arms over her chest. Her blood was boiling now.

"That guy look like a Fed to you?"

***

 

Inside the bloody apartment, Pam Keegan was closing the last of the blinds. She'd already closed the front door. "All clear."

"Thank, God," one of the white-suited techs said. She pulled off her glasses, mask and hood, letting long, black hair spill out and down the back of her disposable coveralls. One of her companions did the same.

He was average height, with a mop of stringy blonde hair and unremarkable brown eyes. He looked even younger than the girl with black hair. He quickly pulled off his rubber gloves and laid them, the hood, mask and glasses down on the empty case he had carried in.

"So what is this, boss?" the blonde boy asked.

"Josie, map the room," Mark Kenslir said, standing from where he'd been kneeling next to the deceased's torso. "Jimmy, time to put that sniffer of yours to work."

"Beg pardon?" Jimmy Kane asked, confused.

"Sniff around—and I mean that," Mark Kenslir said. "See if anything seems familiar."

"Colonel, this is a little past our level of expertise," Josie, the girl with the black hair said. She was slipping back on her pair of wide, tactical glasses as she spoke. She reached under her coveralls and pulled out a thin cable that she looped behind one ear and plugged into an earpiece of the glasses.

"Kids are right, grampa," Pam Keegan said. "This isn't exactly our thing."

"Report of an animal attack, no signs of forced entry," Kenslir said. "At the home of a former Mossad agent who just happens to have retired in our backyard. It's unusual enough for us to take a look."

Josie was panning her head around slowly now, looking at every square inch of the room through her large tactical glasses. "What's Mossad?"

"Israeli intelligence," Jimmy said. He was carefully tiptoeing around the room now, pausing every few feet to sniff at the air.

"Animal attack?" Keegan asked, staying in a corner of the room with the least amount from of human remains. "I thought all we had around here were alligators."

"This wasn't an animal," Kenslir said. "Animals don't tear a person into this many pieces without eating them. This was done in anger. The killer hated the victim."

"So, a person?" Jimmy asked, still sniffing at the air.

"Probably not."

"Shapeshifter?" Keegan asked, body tensing.

"No, the heart's still in the chest."

"Vampire?" Josie asked, still slowly looking around the room.

"Too much blood," Keegan said quickly, then looked to Kenslir. "Right?"

"Yeah, I think you might be right," Jimmy remarked, sniffing.

"You got something?" Keegan asked, surprised.

"Maybe." Jimmy paused and knelt down, carefully straddling a severed arm. It was on the bloody carpet next to an end table. An end table with sharp corners—one of which had a tuft of white and tan-colored hair stuck to it.

Jimmy pulled the clump of hair loose—it had snagged on a slight gap where the wood sides were joined at the corner. It was a small knot of hair, not even as large as a cottonball.

Jimmy held it up to his nose then inhaled deeply.

His eyes turned black and he let out a guttural, animal-like growl from deep in his throat.

***

 

 

"You sure this is such a good idea?" Deb Harris asked.

She and Alvarro Sierra were standing in the apartment next to the crime scene, the open end of drinking glasses pressed against the wall between the two dwellings, their ears held against the glasses, listening. They had just arrived, after carefully circling around the complex and sneaking in a back door.

"Shh," Alvarro whispered. "You hear that?"

Before Deb could answer, the plaster wall beside them exploded outwards as something crashed through it.

The something was a man, clad in a baggy white crime scene suit, stumbling backwards and tripping over an end table.

The detectives' eyes were wide as they turned away from the man as he fell—sitting down on the small table and flattening it. They were turning back toward the huge hole in the wall the technician had just come through. The hole with splintered two by fours showing and the dust of broken plaster sheets still raining down. The hole from which the growls of something not human were now coming.

Alvarro's eyes blinked several times as his brain tried to make sense of it. A man, or rather, something that had been a man, was wearing a shredded white coverall. His body, where it showed through the torn suit and the clothes he wore underneath, was covered in brown and tan fur. His hands had long, gnarled fingers, stretched out several inches longer than they should have been and tipped with curved claws.

And then there was his head.

No longer human in the least bit, the head of the furry, growling, snapping beast was something more like a wolf's, with pointy ears on the sides, and an elongated snout with a mouthful of sharp teeth that snapped open and shut.

A werewolf ?

Alvarro's brain refused to accept the reality he was seeing. Instead, he concentrated on how the strange creature was being restrained by the big man named Kenslir. He stood behind the beast, arms looped under the creature's, hands across its neck, pinning it in some kind of wrestling hold.

"Jimmy!" Kenslir yelled. "Jimmy, what are you doing?"

Movement to the side caught Alvarro's attention. He looked back in time to see the man that had been thrown through the wall getting back on his feet. He saw that this man's coveralls were ripped as well. But instead of fur showing through, Alvarro saw gray.

Gray skin.

The gray man raced back through the hole, his tattered hood flapping in the air behind him, revealing his gray, bald head. "Sorry, sir!" he yelled out, his voice sounding surprisingly young.

Alvarro blinked again. The man didn't just have gray skin, he had skin roughly the color and texture of concrete. It was as though he were a statue, living and breathing and charging toward the werewolf.

The hairy beast restrained by Kenslir kicked at the charging man of stone, and again he went flying back, widening the hole in the wall. This time he kept his balance and stayed on his feet.

BOOK: Seven Deadly Sons
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