By Jeff A. Hatch
About the Author

What's Gone Before: Blane Trask designed an armoured suit which his fake father, Anthony Trask, stole and redesigned as the invincible Destroyer suit.  Blane stole back the prototype, but must still destroy all computer disk copies of the suit's schematics.  Blane inherited the disguise and hideout of the superhero, Eclipse, from his dead grandfather.  While in his hideout, Blane was visited by Caspar Channing, who was believed killed in a lab explosion.  In fact, the explosion, which killed Channing's wife and child, turned him invisible...transforming him into the invisible vigilante, Poltergeist...

Episode Fourteen:

The Cryptic Book

Blane moved to the elevator; he had found that there was a viewscreen that could look into the elevator. He activated the doors from afar and waited for someone to enter. He saw that it was a messenger, a fellow of nondescript appearance. The messenger was bearing a package, small and wrapped in brown paper. Blane spoke into a microphone.

"Leave the package in the elevator--once I have it I will send something down for you."

The messenger looked around and then deposited the package in the waiting carriage. Blane brought up the car and cautiously opened the elevator doors. Inside he found a small package. He listened to it, then felt it. He did not think it a bomb, so he lowered it. Blane deposited a twenty dollar bill in the elevator and lowered it.

"Take the money and go. Do not speak of this delivery."

The guy nodded and Blane noticed that he wore an ornate signet ring on his right hand; the finely-tuned camera showed that it bore an "S".

Blane made a point to remember the ring, though he could not fathom the reason why.

After the delivery man had departed, Blane depressed a button to close the elevator doors. Blane snatched up the package and moved to the couch. The wrapping paper tore easily at his exuberance pulling away to reveal a book. The Book was titled "The Fox Woman and Other Tales". It was by someone named "A. Merritt".

"Looks to be an old Pulp Novel reprint" suggested the Poltergeist.

"Yes, but why did someone send this to me?" inquired Blane.

"Take a look; maybe there is a message inside," added the Poltergeist.

"Nothing." Blane started to lower the book when he noticed that one of the letters in the book was underlined. He flipped at the pages muttering to himself. "Yes..." The word was drawn out. "Yes!" snapped Blane.

"Want to cut me in on the deal?" inquired the Poltergeist.

"This book has letters underlined, one per page. Look at this!" Blane pointed dramatically. The Poltergeist leaned over to see that the letter "B" was underlined with black ink. "And this, and this!" Blane started to flip pages and write down the letters he found to be underlined therein.

Blane spoke to his new friend as he translated the carefully coded message.

"I've almost got this decoded. It seems to be a last message from my grandfather."

Blane scribbled the last few letters on a pad of paper and then began to read.

"Blane, I am the one who was responsible for helping your grandfather escape from the villa in Curumba. I have in my possession a computer disk that contains documents that seem vital to Trask. I must ask you to come and get the disk from me as my position here is soon to become compromised. Trust anyone who wears a bronze signet ring with the letter S on it--those people are with me. Maria."

Blane studied the book and decided that it must have been written by his grandfather. He also decided that Maria must have been the mistress that his grandfather spoke of.

"I must go to Curumba to get this Maria out of danger." Blane sounded very macho, and determined.

"I guess I could help you; I have a feeling that you could use an invisible man on your trip to South America."

"Thanks, I guess it would give you some practice for when you find the guy who killed your wife. Hey! What about your story; you were in the middle of it when the book arrived?"

Blane moved to look directly at the goggled face of the invisible Poltergeist.

"Forget it for now, I'll tell you on the plane."

Next episode....Escape From Brazil!

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Necropolis is copyright 1999, Jeff A. Hatch. It may not be copied or used for any commercial purpose except for short excerpts used for reviews. (Obviously, you can copy it or print it out if you want to read it!)