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Recognized with the Christian Redemptive Fiction Award for presenting Truth realistically. To learn more, please visit David Bergsland’s Reality Calling website.
When Kari Shelton experiences an alien abduction, her life turns upside down. Aliens have ruled the earth since World War II, but Kari’s encounter changes everything she’s believed. No longer is she ambivalent about the Watchers’ religion. She becomes a fervent worshiper of the Nine Mighty Ones, the greatest of these aliens, who are helping mankind, restoring the harmony of the earth from the distortions caused by malcontents, and enabling humans to evolve into gods like the Watchers.
Kari’s beliefs are challenged when a close friend questions the intent of the aliens and how benevolent they truly are toward humanity. Against her better judgment, she engages in pursuit of an object that puts her at odds with the Watchers. Chased by Nephilim, their giant hybrid offspring, Kari must make a final decision as to where her loyalties lie. Behind this quest is the secret of the Watchers. Making the wrong choice will cost Kari her life.
Kari Shelton had few complaints about life, all things considered, until her husband Geoff declared his desire for a child.
Kari was restless, so he must have known she was awake, but Geoff’s furtive whisper in the depths of night shocked her. She turned to him in fear and tried to see his eyes across the bed, but they were hidden by the darkness. The muscles in her stomach tightened. She clenched her fists and pulled away from the man beside her who seemed suddenly distant—someone she no longer knew.
“Are you crazy?” she hissed. If one of the Listeners heard Geoff’s assertion, untold misery would come their way.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Not having one seems unnatural.”
It seemed safer to keep the lights off, but Kari had to confront this lunacy before it went a moment longer.
She switched on her bedside lamp and sat up, pulling the covers over her shoulders. The defensive nature of this move wasn’t lost on her. Kari had to erect a shield to stay safe.
Geoff remained on his side looking at her. His light brown hair was ruffled from the pillow. With his mouth compressed and his dark brown eyes sad, Kari wasn’t sure if he was peeved or glum. He said, “I’m tired of living like they say we should. What makes their way right?”
Kari’s nails tore through her hair. Heat rose in her cheeks. “Because they’re gods! They rule the world. We’re obedient subjects. They watch us. Listeners are everywhere. They report on us. Shall I go on? Because all that we have will be stripped from us. Our good life will deteriorate into a miserable existence, if they even let us live. Everything about our lives will change—all for the sake of having a kid.”
Geoff’s question hung in the air between them as Kari’s horror increased at his even expressing the idea.
“This conversation never took place.” She glanced around the room, seeing nothing, but fearing that very thing. “You hear me, Listener? It. Never. Occurred.”
“Uh-huh. I can’t talk about us starting a family, but you go out on your little sideline venture several times a month. You don’t think that’s a problem in what they think of you?”
“I don’t think so. Regardless, they’re not here right now. They aren’t everywhere. We’ve generally been a perfect and upright couple who’ve never caused any real trouble. They have no reason to hang around and monitor us.”
“You don’t know that.” Kari closed her eyes, wishing she hadn’t turned on the light. It didn’t make any difference, but she felt safer in the dark. “We can’t see them, so what makes you think they’re not omnipresent—always with us, always hovering about to hear anything subversive that one of their subjects might say?”
“It isn’t possible. There’s too many people in the world. How could there be billions of them? One or more assigned to every person on the planet?” He shook his head. “That doesn’t make sense.”
With a tight voice, Kari said, “I’m not taking that chance. You’d better repent right now because I certainly do.” She spoke to the ceiling, “I am loyal. I would never go against your wishes. Forgive me for these destructive thoughts and words.”
Kari rolled onto her knees and faced Geoff. “Now you do it. Please!”
He let out a heavy sigh, and in a sullen voice said, “Fine. I’m sorry. I know you made laws like this for our own good. I won’t say anything like this anymore.”
The oppression she felt seemed to lighten, as if something in the room that had caused her such anxiety had been appeased.
“Thank you, Geoff.”
She switched off the light and snuggled again under the covers against the cold of the winter night. Before she drifted off to sleep, she muttered, “Don’t let it happen again.”
The noise level in the downtown Chicago bar rose another few decibels. With conversation so difficult, it made Kari grateful they had enough foresight in these situations to come a couple of hours beforehand to make the necessary arrangements. Her friend and co-laborer, Adela Yang, gripped Kari’s arm and gave a quick nod of her head toward the doorway.
Like Kari, Adela wore extreme makeup tonight. She had piled her jet-black hair high into a twisted bun in the latest style. Green eyeliner accentuated her jade eyes; she’d applied peach rouge on her high cheekbones to draw one’s gaze to her perfectly formed Asian features. Her thigh-length skirt showed off the light tan of her legs.
The primary difference in appearance between the two women, besides ethnic origin, was color. Kari’s hair was a rich brunette that fell over her shoulders in a single braid. She used blue eyeliner to show off her brilliant sapphire eyes. Her pale skin reflected the fact that she didn’t get out in the sun much.
An imposing man of great stature in military garb ducked his head to enter the tall doorway with his armed entourage. In that moment all sound in the cavernous confines of the bar ceased, like the abrupt cutting of power to a light source.
Adela whispered, “That’s Nimrod, Arkay-ena’s first born!”
Kari saw the human proprietor’s color drain from his face, becoming an ashen gray. He had been gracious enough to grant Kari and Adela permission to work here, despite the immense danger it posed to him and his family.
Half a dozen terrified, scantily-clad girls trailed in after four other gigantic men, followed by one more who served as the girls’ handler. None of the girls could have been over sixteen. They looked like miniature dolls compared to the six men. Despite the cold weather, no provision had been made to keep them warm. The group took seats in the posh, segregated area. It was specially designed and reserved to accommodate their huge frames. The waitress quickly brought their drinks.
Nimrod hoisted a cold brew, said something in his booming voice that made his men laugh, and immediately pinched the cheek of one of the girls. Her rigid posture showed Kari how frightened she was. The raised gooseflesh on her bare arms and legs was evident across the room.
Once more the clamor of the place increased to its normal deafening level. Human and more than human could all get along for a while when alcohol was the common denominator and no tempers flared. Large drinks had been set before the girls. The handler spurred them on to finish every drop.
The difference in those who had recently entered versus the human patrons of this place was stark. These imposing men were offspring of the king, direct descendants of Arkay-ena, the First of the Mighty Ones. Mighty Ones were Watchers, but the highest royalty among them. They were also the fathers of the Neo-Nephilim, who enforced the decrees of the Watchers. Nimrod was the foremost of this line of hybrids, the immediate son of Arkay-ena.
Kari hated them with a passion, but feared them more than death itself. Despite that, because her heart suffered along with these young girls, she and Adela worked to rescue them. The attire and makeup of the two women simply allowed them to blend in with the rest of the bar crowd as they watched and waited.
It took several hours for the huge men to drink their fill. Each of the Nephilim was massive. Commonly called Nephs, at twelve feet in height or greater, they could down incredible amounts of liquor with little effect. The typical drink each consumed contained a gallon of alcohol. Nimrod was the largest of the bunch, in Kari’s estimation probably fifteen feet tall. He could crush someone like her with one hand. No wonder this race had quickly become dominant once the Mighty Ones assumed control.
Kari and Adela pretended to imbibe and carouse. They joined in with the serious drinkers, joking, rejecting advances, and all the while keeping watch on the party.
Around midnight, the Nephs left. The handler herded the now very inebriated girls outside in the wake of the other five men. One of the girls stumbled and fell to her knees. The handler lashed out, heaping such verbal abuse that she cowered in the street, hands raised to ward off his words. He reached down, lifted her in the air, and carried her. His effort was so little, she could have been nothing but a mouse.
Kari watched this through the bar’s front window. It took a moment to calm her consuming anger before she could meet Adela’s gaze. Together they excused themselves for the restroom from the several men and women they’d used for cover and stole out by the back exit. They hurried to the street in time to see the huge vehicle of the Nephs pull out. In seconds they were tailing their prey.
Adela drove. The lights of oncoming vehicles, both those gigantic ones for Nephs and those for humans, flashed periodically onto her face. They revealed the determined set of Adela’s jaw.
It was the reason their friendship was so strong. They both wanted the same thing. The young girls with those men were pawns—used and discarded. Sometimes they lived after their encounters with the Nephs, whose sexual prowess was legendary; more often they died in the very bed where they’d been abused. Those few who remained alive were the ones Kari and Adela hoped to rescue.
Overhead, several circular and triangular objects flashed by. They weren’t normal aircraft and never ceased to awe Kari with their mysterious comings and goings. Brilliant green lights illuminated their streamlined structures and served to draw the eye toward them. Periodically they made impossible turns or achieved speeds that defied the laws of physics. How they operated and what their current purpose was for the Mighty Ones here on earth following the invasion years ago had never been revealed.
The building where the Nephs took the girls was special. Like most structures built since the war under the rule of the Mighty Ones and the rise of the Nephs, it was constructed with fifteen-foot-tall archway doors and higher ceilings. Each girl, upon being appropriated for sexual services, was given a large suite. The building operated in some ways like a hotel and in others like a brothel. It had been patterned after the set-up in some of the red-light districts of Europe, but given its own special flavor in the United States. Each interior room had a display window where, when the Nephs came shopping, the girls were required to sit and display their wares. Once chosen, the room was available as long as necessary or, realistically, as long as the girl remained alive. When a Neph had his fill of the girl, he left the room and the girl, in whatever state she might be, for the proprietor of the place to clean up. Kari and Adela had spent many nights observing this routine and making the best of the situation to bring girls out of this nightmare.
The layout of the building enabled Kari and Adela to slip past the front desk and take up positions on the third floor where the group they were following went with their human toys. Hours went by and exhaustion overtook Kari. It was this waiting that was so difficult for the two women, not only because of the physical toll, but because of the scenes they would soon confront. Adela had spoken in other instances of how weary she’d become in this particular part of the operation. It was a necessary evil in order to overcome greater wickedness.
Finally, doors began to open, and Nephs stumbled out one-by-one. When all six had departed, Kari steeled herself for what they would find. She and Adela approached the first room past its empty display window.
The outer doors could only be locked from the inside by a Neph; the rest of the time they remained unlocked. The girls, when alone prior to their destined assignation with a Neph, had little true privacy.
A mess as usual after a Neph visit, the living room contained strewn clothing, furniture out of place, and leftover plates and bowls of food. The women picked their way through the litter and came to the half-open bedroom door.
At the sight before them, Kari’s racing heart wanted to stop. Each time she and Adela did this and came across such dreadful results of a Nephilim visit, she didn’t know if she could continue this mission.
For some reason the enormous bed had been upended, the dresser and nightstand toppled, the mirrored walls cracked with shards of glass strewn about. The girl lay naked on the floor face down. Puncture wounds—teeth marks—all over her body had caused her blood to spurt everywhere, its spatter reaching the four corners of the mirrored room. As usual, Kari wanted to vomit but wouldn’t let herself. Her discomfort was of little concern compared to this poor girl’s fate.
Adela checked the girl’s pulse and confirmed there was nothing they could do for her. In teary silence the two of them went on to the next suite down the hall. There, likewise, the scene was beyond shocking. Kari felt that some little part of her died with each of these girls they couldn’t reach in time. This one’s eyes stared vacantly at eternity, or oblivion, Kari wasn’t sure which. Either way, they saw nothing and never would again. Kari closed them and wished, not for the first time, that she might have something to pray to for this girl’s soul. But what was there? All her life she’d been taught that the Mighty Ones were the masters and creators of all that existed. They were to be obeyed and worshiped as gods. But prayer? That had never entered the picture. In fact, Kari wasn’t even sure what prayer might consist of; she only knew it as a word that some people in the past had done at one time.
In each of the suites, they found a similar result. They came across five dead girls, torn and bloody, each having been brutally used and left for the trash heap. By the time they made their way to the sixth suite, neither Kari nor Adela had much hope. These men had been particularly vicious in their sexual appetites.
They entered the final bedroom, saw the same type of mayhem, and almost missed it. In their despair, they were about to retreat when Adela cried out, “She’s breathing!”
Like the others, this girl was naked and a bloody mess, but a shallow rise in her chest indicated life. Kari found a clean sheet while Adela located a pair of shoes. They struggled to wrap her in the sheet and protect her feet so they could walk her out into the cold night. A blanket lay in a tangle with her clothing near the closet. They placed this over her shoulders to add warmth to the sheet covering her.
She was mumbling incoherently. Kari whispered continual assurances that everything would be all right. “We’re taking you to safety, sweetie. Hold on. You’re going to be okay.”
They had to take the stairs, but had long practice at this difficult maneuver with an unresponsive girl. At the main floor, they peered out and stole around a corner when the desk clerk was looking away.
Outside, they rushed to their car and secured the girl in the back seat. Soon the heater warmed the car, but Kari saw the poor girl continue to shiver. Adela drove rapidly but within legal limits. Shortly, they saw the lights of the hospital and raced up to the emergency entrance.
At that point, everything became routine. One of their contacts was on duty as prearranged, and the girl was delivered into her hands for care. Later tomorrow, Kari and Adela would visit her hospital room and begin helping her transition from the nightmare existence into which she’d fallen.
Dawn was approaching. Saturday morning wasn’t a workday. She and Adela parted with a few last words.
“I wish we could have helped more than this single child,” Adela said, “but I’m always grateful for just one.”
Kari nodded. “There are so many out there. Such cruelty. How I wish we could offer them something else. Escape is vital for them, but it seems like there should be more. I can’t give them what I don’t have. Don’t you feel it, Adela? An emptiness, a void, that even this good work can’t fill?” All energy had left her.
“See you next time.”
“You too, Kari.” The women hugged. “And listen, don’t overthink this whole emptiness thing, desiring more. If you believe everything you’ve ever learned, this life is practice for the next. In fact, you teach that very thing five days a week. We live, we suffer, we die, we come around again. The Mighty Ones have made that clear. They’re here to guide us, to show us how as a race we can evolve to be like them through our successive lives. But for each of us we only have today as we move toward that ideal.” She repeated, “If you believe everything you’ve learned.”
As sad as this made her feel, she knew Adela was right. Kari forced a slight smile at her friend. “Yeah, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. I wonder what the source of that saying is? Although I think they forgot the coming back part.”
“I believe it came from a Greek philosopher. However, another source said that wasn’t all to this life, or that we go round and round. We have to choose how we’ll live because there’s more than endless repetitions beyond this mortal plane; there is eternity to consider.”
Kari gave her a quizzical look. What other source? Eternity and not reincarnation? She was so tired, she couldn’t pursue Adela’s contradicting ideas and shrugged them off. “Well, good work tonight.”
At home, with Geoff off snowboarding in Wisconsin like he often did on winter weekends, Kari fell into a restless, unsatisfying sleep.
Boredom was Nimrod’s greatest enemy. As the mightiest of the Nephilim by virtue of his status as first-born, there was little he couldn’t do. He’d heard once of a king named Solomon who ruled in the time when the Jews of Israel were feared throughout the entire known world. This king had everything he could possibly imagine wanting, and he took advantage of every privilege. In the end, from what Nimrod understood, Solomon declared that all life was futile, or as he put it, vanity: useless, worthless, fruitless. What was the point of having all in the world available to you without having purpose? That was Nimrod’s dilemma as it had been Solomon’s.
He and his men had gathered for breakfast following their night of revelry and sexual gratification. Fatigue lines etched their faces, bloodshot eyes stared back at him. Nimrod had avoided a mirror this morning, but he expected his own countenance reflected that of his men.
Spatters of blood from the various girls they’d had marked each one. Nothing but delicacies to be consumed, the girls had no rights; they were human, after all, and were fair game.
Nimrod chugged his second gallon of coffee and pounded the table with the mug. He roared, “Another!”
The human proprietor scurried over straining under the weight of the refill for Nimrod, along with a second filled carafe for any of the other Nephilim desiring more.
Nimrod grunted as he took another gulp of the steaming liquid. He was in a foul mood. His girl last night had died too soon. It had taken all his willpower not to burst into one of his men’s rooms to share another’s spoils, but he valued them too much. Their loyalty and admiration for him was all he had, and he meant to keep it.
Finally sated after thirteen rounds of eggs, bacon, and pancakes, he led his small troop of five men back to the Citadel. They met up with another contingent of his forces and they made their way to the rooftop for their daily round of war games.
The flat roof of this massive building had been designed from its inception as their playground to accommodate these exercises. Here the warriors tested their mettle against one another and strategized for conquest. The question in Nimrod’s mind always was, conquest of what?
The bracing chill of the winter air that sent humans dashing indoors felt like a summer breeze on Nimrod’s exposed arms. Every one of his soldiers laughed as he did at the weather.
The weapons of play for the men consisted of swords, knives, and bare hands, where they used their own natural strength without any implements of war. They had no need of firearms, which had been banned since the Watchers came to earth. Nimrod observed the various encounters between and among the men that he devised and always took on the victor of every grouping. It meant that Nimrod fought more than any of the others. Always he emerged victorious, not because they yielded to him as their leader, but because he was strongest and greatest. This consistent excellence had become another source of his increasing boredom. He always triumphed. His feats of boldness and heroics inevitably won the praises of his men. He was tired of it and had begun thinking there must be more.
One final exercise remained. Nimrod bellowed, “Listeners, come!”
He didn’t have to shout, but it was difficult for him not to. Words erupted from his mouth simply because he’d never had to hold back. Few of his compatriots knew restraint in this area, so a gathering of Nephilim often produced a noise level that few humans could tolerate. Who cared?
Although humans couldn’t see the Listeners—they were invisible to the natural world—Nephilim saw them as clearly as they did each other. There was ancestral kinship among them and an understanding. They had different functions but worked together for the overall purposes of the masters of them all, the Mighty Ones.
Mighty Ones—the greatest of the Watchers—were their ultimate fathers. Listeners came from another time when there had been other Mighty Ones who no longer had free reign in this world. Yet, the Listeners remained, active and submissive to the Mighty Ones of this current age. The greatest of all their fathers today was Arkay-ena, the foremost of the Nine Mighty Ones, who watched and ruled over the world.
Nimrod slashed with his sword at one of his fellows. The man’s arm separated from his shoulder and dropped bloodied to the faux-grass that covered part of the Citadel’s roof. He howled in pain and cursed. “Next time, Nimrod, you can be sure that won’t happen. Next time it will be your arm that lies useless in the sun!”
A huge grin split Nimrod’s features. “That will be the day, Lamech.” He bent down to retrieve the dripping appendage and tossed it to his lieutenant. “Fix yourself so we can get on with our day.”
Lamech held the severed hunk of flesh and bone to the place Nimrod’s blade had removed it. Within moments, it reattached as though it had never been removed. The only evidence that remained of its unfortunate division was Lamech’s shirt sleeve that flapped in the breeze. He clapped his hands and ordered, “Listeners, attack Nimrod!”
His commander anticipated the order and was ready. The grotesque, disembodied creatures swarmed at Nimrod whispering, condemning, accusing. He swatted at them and declared, “Your indictments mean nothing to me; your judgments are futile. Nothing you say has merit against me. May the inanity of your words overflow upon you!”
His rebuff created an invisible barrier that the Listeners couldn’t penetrate. They swarmed and hit against it like flies against glass. Their chattering anger became white noise in his ears. With a laugh, Nimrod inhaled to the fullest extent of his lung capacity. When the Listeners had regrouped in a cluster for their next assault, he blew his pent-up breath at them. It struck like a gale. They shrieked in paroxysms of anguish and tumbled away like the cottony fluff of a dandelion in a stiff summer breeze.
Nimrod reached back with the full extent of his being and erupted in a howl of victory that sounded throughout the city. Chicago knew that sound; it knew its author. Humans on the streets shuddered. Mothers gathered their children close, and men—weak or strong—quaked in terror, their knees grown soft. Nimrod was feared like none other. He knew. He gloried in it. He despised it. It was all so tedious.
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
– Genesis 6:4