Ben Venice: The Season of the Scorpion 8

“Who do you work for?”

“I am the agent of St.Peter. It is time to confess your sins.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Good. You’re being honest. That’s all you can be, now. Who heads the Order Of The Scorpion?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you lying? Because I will beat you some more if I think you’re lying.”

“I don’t want you to beat me. I’m telling the truth.”

“Who do you believe they are?”

“Powerful men. Men whose names we would know.”

“When did you encounter them?”

“Before I was first promoted to Major. A man in a silver faced mask came to me at night in my home. He told me that he would have me promoted. He told me I would serve him, and I would be promoted.”

“Did you believe him?”


“Because of his voice.”

“What about his voice?”
“It is hypnotic.”

“Is my voice hypnotic?”

“Then why are you being so honest?”

“Because you drugged me.”

“He didn’t drug you?”


“What else did he tell you?”

“He said that his people worked in the shadows, that they truly control…everything. That eventually, they would see the end of everything.”


“I asked that, too. He told me a story about a scorpion and a toad.”

“I’ve heard that story. Tell me more about his mask.”

“It was grotesque.”

“Tell me more.”

“It was human features, but twisted and perverse somehow. I couldn’t look right at it.”

“How else did he dress?”

“In a plain suit. Gray.”

“When did he first come to you?”

“May 3rd, 1959.”

“How often did he come to you? What would he have you do?”

“Only twice. He told me that the Scorpion needed my mistress.”

“Who was your mistress?”

“Susan Edelman.”

“What happened to her?”

“I met her for what she thought was just her and I. The man in the mask took her.”

“Do you know what happened to her?”


“Do you believe that she is dead?”

“If she is fortunate, she is dead.”

“Do you know who I am?”


“Who am I?”

“You’re Louise Edelman.”

“How do you know?”

“I recognized you. Your sister spoke of you, showed me your picture.”

“Do you realize that I am going to kill you?”


“Do you deserve to die?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.”

“I’m glad that you know that.”


Ben Venice II: The Season of the Scorpion 7



Major Quill sat on a metal folding chair, his wrists chained to it behind his back. The room was a perfect cube, with only one door behind him that he could not see. All was white and flooded with light from above, the sound of electrical buzzing filled the air. He could only see that glow, even when he closed his eyes.

After an indeterminable amount of time, the door finally opened, then slammed shut.
Louise’s boots click click clicked across the floor. She grabbed his hair, pulled back his head, and jabbed a syringe into the side of his neck, pushed the solution into him. He
winced in pain. He tried to speak but could not. Click click click, the door slammed shut

On the other side, Louise joined Ben and Bud.

“I suppose one of us should pay lip service and object to what we’re doing, here.” Ben said.
The other two laughed.

“Too far gone from the moment you signed on, Sarge.” Bud replied.

“Just a moment of levity, pal. How long before he starts spilling?” said Ben.