Chapter 2 

Homestead, Florida

Present Day

 

SEVEN BLACK-ROBED figures filed along the fence opposite the parking lot entrance to Edward Leedskalnin's Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida.  Hours after sunset and hidden from view, they sat and began a quiet chant of meditation. Behind them, five armed men stood motionless and watchful. The robed men were of a single purpose, to seek out and control the mind of Dr. Paul Malone.

   The oppressive heat of the day had given way to tolerable warmth, and they settled in to wait. The fence in front of them surrounded a square grassy area about two hundred yards on each side. The Coral Castle comprised a smaller square area seventy yards on a side within the fenced compound. The closest side of the castle to their position was about one hundred yards inside the fencing.

   It was just after midnight when the black-robed Servants of the Society sensed the arrival of Dr. Malone. As one, their perspective shifted, now seeing through the eyes of their prey, and sensing his inner most thoughts.

 


 

Paul Malone cautiously walked through the parking lot of the Coral Castle.  His every sense was alive and he felt something different, a bond with the world, which he had never experienced. Something was expanding his perceptions, helping him perceive his environment with a new clarity. Every sound resonated deep in his being, every smell told a story, and something else. He felt protected.

 


 

The Servants patiently watched as Dr. Malone quietly approached the fence near the one-story administration building. In their minds eye, they tracked his movements as he climbed the fence and soon darted for the cover of the castle walls; he headed directly for the steps to the cellar located near the center of the enclosed area. Something must be drawing him there − the artifacts.

   Another figure entered the scene, a big man moving with the speed and grace of a panther. Well briefed by Helop, the Servants recognized him, Sir Markham's elite bodyguard. They watched as he crept up behind Dr. Malone and grabbed him around the neck, lifting him off the ground in a stranglehold.

   Unexpectedly, a third man arrived, pistol-whipping the big man who reacted reflexively, releasing Dr. Malone. The Servants shared the same thought. Who is this? Their briefing by Helop had only discussed Sir Markham's bodyguard and Dr. Malone.

   The three men scuffled; after a short but bloody battle, the third man and Dr. Malone had Sir Markham's bodyguard under control.

    The seven black-robed men motioned to the armed escorts standing behind them. Their unspoken message was clear: Be ready, we may have to take action soon.

 

 

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