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Chapter Two

Miguel ran, pulling his seven-year old son behind him with one hand and gripping his younger brother’s favorite stain-maker with the other. His boots sloshed through the murky sewage water and he could hear little Benicio panting behind him as they headed deeper into the consuming darkness of the sewers.

“Keep running!” He ordered in Spanish, too tired to mask the fear in his voice. “Don’t stop, mijo! Don’t look back!”
Benicio gave a cry, “Papá! Don’t let me go!” He sucked in a desperately needed breath of air. “Don’t leave me!”

Miguel’s heart pounded and the hairs on his arms bristled like porcupine quills at the sound of an inhuman cackle behind them. His breathing was erratic and his lungs began to burn, but he wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t let them have his son. Never.

The media called it the San Francisco Iceman, reminiscent of the famed Minnesota Iceman that appeared in the 1960’s. But what lay inside the thick block of ice wasn’t an ape-man or a missing link. It was a young man in his twenties- his mouth gaped open in shock, his eyes glassy and dead, wearing a pair of denim jeans and a hooded sweatshirt.

While the general public took pictures and made postcards, the scientists and police working on the case scratched at their heads, wondering with great stupor what the hell had happened. Some suggested that it was a prank and that the young man inside was a fake corpse, a prop created to advertise another blockbuster- this was California, anyway. While others claimed this was the work of a criminal organization, and the poor sap inside was being used as a cruel example of power. Both of these theories, alone, were incorrect. But the truth wasn’t very far off.

The San Francisco Iceman was, indeed, a prank, but it also served another purpose. As a testament to the power of a very dangerous and very old entity.

While others suggested the Iceman was frozen in a meat freezer somewhere in San Francisco’s underground, or created in a studio in Hollywood, the young hunter amidst the crowd considered a different idea. He considered the supernatural.

Benicio wasn’t one for crowds, unless, of course, the crowd was dancing. But the one that surrounded the Iceman was filled with tourists and jackasses, stumbling over each other and aggressively shoving anyone who got in their way.

Needless to say, he didn’t think twice about hauling his ass out of there. After nearly getting into a brawl with a random pedestrian, Benicio, aka Diego Rivera, headed to where the small press conference was being held.

The police sergeant didn’t have much to say to the press, except that this was an ongoing investigation and he’d appreciate the public’s cooperation. Benicio huffed, he could have waited to hear that on TV instead of freezing his nips off out in the open, but the old man did things the old fashioned way. And, he supposed, getting the information first-hand wasn’t such a bad thing. Not to mention being on the scene of the incident, despite the fact that searching for clues was near impossible with all the people around and the police guarding the block of ice.

After frustrating himself looking for a lead, he searched for Harvey and the old man among the teeming masses. Unable to locate them quickly, he hurried back to the parking lot instead and waited, perched on the hood of the C-10.

Harvey arrived minutes later, shuffling towards Benicio with a single hand dug deep into his pocket while the other carried his suitcase. His shoulders were hunched from the cold and his face was puffy red.

“Find anything, Harv?” Benicio called from afar.

Harvey shook his head as he approached. “Nothing of importance. I suggest you ask your f-father, though. He always f-finds s-s-something.” He got to the passenger door of his car and fumbled for his keys.

“You’d be surprised sometimes.” Benicio mumbled in reply, as he spotted his dad emerging from the crowd in the distance. “Man isn’t as legendary as he seems.”

Harvey was too distracted trying to unlock the door, attempting to balance his trembling hands while his key scratched at the area around the door handle. “Damn c-cold!”

As Miguel arrived, he caught Benicio’s gaze and gestured with his hand for him to get off his car. With a sigh, Benicio complied and hopped off. “How’d it go on your end, old man? We’ve got nothing.”

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