Book Three Chapter Six: A Whisper In The Night

Book Three Chapter Six: A Whisper In The Night

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson


Chapter Six A Whisper In The Night: By now, Silver had reported back to Vladimir. "Vladimir, the Chosen One has learned of his abilities." Silver told Vladimir. Vladimir made a noise that signalled understanding. "And what powers has he discovered? By what I know, he has countless powers." Vladimir said in his smooth voice. Silver shuffled her feet, not wanting to break the bad news to the head councilman. She shifted her gaze to the other council members, Agatu, Eumano, Kenneth and Serita. Eventually her gaze fell onto Vladimir, his expression was expectant. "Well... He has learned to travel between the worlds..." Silver trailed off. Instead of showing outrage at Nick's useful skill, Vladimir quietly chuckled. "Well, he knows how to open up portals between the worlds? So can almost every other powerful figure in the universe. It doesn't matter. Has he discovered any other of his powers?" Asked Vladimir. "Not that I know of." Said Silver nervously. A slight smile cracked Vladimir’s linear lips. "Good." He said.


            "What is our next move, head councilman?" Asked Eumano, Her purple eyes pierced Vladimir's, her white hair swayed in the slight breeze. "I would like to know that as well, I think that it is time that we eliminate the chosen one." Said Agatu, although he did not say it eagerly, more in a matter of fact tone. Serita said "Yes, I would like to see the Chosen One burn down in flames." Serita said with fierce intensity. Kenneth spoke in a wise manner. "Although we might very well be able to eliminate the Chosen One right now, we have no idea where he is, and we have no idea what sort of weapons that they have, for all we know, we could very well be at a disadvantage right now." Kenneth said. Vladimir looked at Kenneth while he slowly spoke. "Yes, my young lightning caster, that is why I sent Silver over on a scouting mission." Vladimir then looked to Silver. "Silver, do you know what kind of weapons they have? Do you know what their situation is?" Asked Vladimir. Silver shuffled her feet nervously, Vladimir intimidated her, and knowing that he could kill her at any given time did not do anything to ease her mind. "Well, I was caught before I could do a full inventory scan of theirs, but they definitely have a few pistols and a few silver knives, and before I left, I heard them get in the jeep and drive off." Silver finished.


            Vladimir nodded slowly. "And did they say anything about where they were going?" Vladimir asked Silver. Silver shuffled her feet again. "Not exactly, but they did say that they were looking for a place to hold out, I came back after I was caught and listened in on their conversation." Silver explained. Again, Vladimir nodded slowly. "They will not find any place of haven, there are no large buildings that they could hold down that we or the Kerulen could not get in to." Vladimir said. Agatu spoke up. "But we cannot assume that, for we do not know for sure if there is a safe refuge for them or not." He said. Vladimir said "Oh, I do know, because I checked around myself. There are no nearby places of refuge, unless they are going to drive far, far away in that jeep, which will be just as well, that way he won't interfere with our plans." Vladimir said sinisterly. "But we cannot underestimate the Chosen One, if we leave him alive, no matter how far away he is, there is not a doubt in my mind that he will find a way to thwart us, just like he did to Saja time and time again." Serita added. Vladimir's expression softened upon hearing the name of his sister. It hardened as he began to speak. "Yes, Saja was incompetent, she did not fulfil her vows, and she knew the penalty for doing so. Now the duty of slaying the Chosen One falls to me, and I will not fail where my sister did." Vladimir said harshly.


            The other five council members looked to each other and shrugged upon hearing Vladimir's harsh words. "What are your orders, head councilman?" Asked Silver. Vladimir put his hand on his chin, thinking. Finally, Vladimir spoke. "You scour the land for him, if he drove off, he is long gone. You must search away from this town. When you do find him, and you will, you do not engage him, you watch and you wait, when you see an opening, a weakness, you go for it, do not engage in frontal combat with the Chosen One or either of his friends until I say so, is that clear?" Vladimir asked. "Yes, head councilman." Said all five of the other council members in unison. Serita spoke up. "You made it sound as though we were going to look for the Chosen One." Serita stated, gesturing to herself, Agatu, Silver, Kenneth and Eumano. Vladimir nodded. "Yes, you five will find the Chosen One." Vladimir concluded. "Yes, well, with all due respect, what will you do?" Serita asked. Vladimir chuckled. "I will be doing some... Reconnaissance when you five find the Chosen One. I will infiltrate his group and I will tell you when I find a weakness." Vladimir said. "That is a very wise plan, although will the Chosen One see through it?" Asked Kenneth. "Certainly not. I will make sure that neither he nor his friends suspect a thing." Vladimir told his council. With that, Vladimir and his council casted off in search of the Chosen One, disappearing into the night.


            I arrived in the town soon enough, vampire speed made running large distances a lot easier. I had my knife in my hand, ready to use it if a Kerulen attacked. As soon as I approached an area that looked promising, it was a cluster of houses, I moved forward in a crouched position, so as to minimize my visibility. I came to the first house and opened the door, it was unlocked. Inside the house, I found basic things, hand sanitizers, soaps, and towels, nothing my group could really use though. I looked in the closets and underneath the beds, I did not find anything. I opened the back door and crouch walked to the next house. I cut across the back yard of the house I was just in and hopped the fence to the next house's backyard. I crouch walked across the backyard and came to the back door. It was unlocked as well, so I entered the house. There was a Kerulen in the house, it was a few feet away. The Kerulen looked up at me. Its red eyes glowed eerily in the darkness. I heard a sucking sound, the Kerulen was probably feeding, I had caught it distracted. The Kerulen lunged at me. Before it could land a solid hold on me, I brought the silver knife up and sliced it across the chest. It fell to the ground, dead.


            I heard a sputtering sound coming from the room where the Kerulen was feeding. From what I could see, blood was spattered against the furniture, the drapes, and the carpet. There was a woman sitting on the rug, dying. She was tall and thin, but muscular and she had red hair. A great sadness overwhelmed me. The woman coughed, blood was accumulating in her mouth. Out of the sake of my humanity, I leaned over and put her on her hands and knees, the blood that she had it her mouth leaked onto the floor, she coughed some more. Seeing all of that blood made my throat burn slightly, I had recently fed, so my thirst was not too strong. The woman looked up at me. "You... are one of them. Why do you spare my life?" Asked the woman in a soft, weakness stricken voice. The Kerulen's bite had made her extremely weak. I thought about a reasonable answer. I thought of one. "I am not killing you, because if there is one thing that I am keeping after this is all over, it is going to be m humanity, no matter what." I told her. She reached into her pocket. The woman smiled. "I do not have much, but I do have this." She said, she pulled out a small cardboard box, much like the one I had found the hunting rifle cartridges in the truck a while ago.


            Gratitude filled me. "Thank you." I said, sticking the box in my pocket, I would read the label later. "I should go now, before me..." I trailed off, the burn in my throat was rising, I had to get out of there, fast. "Are you going to be alright?" I asked the woman, I expected my voice to be hoarse from the burn, but it wasn't. I held my throat to try to ease the burn, but to no avail. "I will be alright, I was only bitten, nothing more." The woman said, standing now. "My name is Tamia." Said the woman. "My name is Nick." I told her. "Maybe we will meet again, someday." Tamia said. I smiled. "We just might." I told her, thinking of Theodore Dickonson. I walked away, the burn in my throat receded with the distance that I put between Tamia and I.


            I continued on through the town. I checked house after house, most of them had nothing in them, and others had nothing useful in them. After I was bored, and about to meet back at the meeting place with my friends, I decided to read the label on the box that Tamia had given me. I pulled it out of my pocket. The box was small, yet surprisingly heavy. I read the label: 9X18 Millimetre fifty rounds. I put the box back in my pocket. Did we have guns that accepted that ammunition? I guess Chibata would know. I ran at vampire speed, and in no time I was at the meeting place. I saw Kaleen and Anara waiting in the treeline, Hale and Chibata were not back yet.


            Kaleen looked over at me. "There you are. Have you seen Chibata or Hale?" She asked. I shook my head. "No, I haven't." I told her. Kaleen's shoulders dropped slightly. "I'm sure that they'll be fine." I said to Kaleen. Anara remained silent. I looked around, hoping to see the two others. "I want to get back on the road again, I don't like staying in one place for too long." Anara said. I nodded to her. "I agree, when you said that you saw Silver back at the other house that was our first clue to not stay in one place for too long, unless we know that it is safe." I told Anara. Anara nodded in agreement. For the first time, I think that Anara was starting to forgive me for the loss of her leg. I saw that the moonlight gleamed slightly off of her metal limb.


            In around half an hour, I saw Chibata and Hale approach us. When they reached us, I handed the box that Tamia gave me to Chibata. He examined it, and loaded half of his weapons magazine, and half of Hale's weapon's magazine. "Great work, Nick, we have some ammunition now, but we need to conserve it." Chibata said. I gestured to my pockets where I had most of the hunting rifle ammunition. "We are good on hunting rifle ammunition for now, we should keep our eyes out for other ammunition types, though." I stated. Chibata nodded. "Alright, let's go." Hale said. We all climbed into the jeep and we drove through town. As we drove by, I saw the house that I found Tamia inside. I thought about pointing this out to the group, but thought better of it. There was no need to.


            As we drove through town, we saw Kerulen hunched over their kills, feeding. "It looks like there are more people alive in this area than the previous areas that we have been in." Stated Hale. I nodded. "I wonder what that could mean." I asked him. Hale shook his head. "I don't know, maybe since we are later into this apocalypse, people are smarter, they know how to handle themselves." Hale said. I nodded. "Could be." I replied. We continued driving, we came to the center area of the city, where the skyscrapers and office buildings were. This would have been the center of all transactions before the apocalypse. It was a very big city, too. Kerulen could be seen wandering around, either in the shadows or inside houses. I wonder how many people were alive in this city. We drove by the skyscrapers, and in a minute we passed them. I looked backwards at the buildings, seeing they reminded me of life before it went mad. Before I went mad.


            Soon enough, we were on the very outskirts of the city, the skyscrapers were just barely visible on the rearward horizon. "Well, what now?" Asked Anara. Her question surprised me. I actually hadn't thought about it. We had been so worried about escaping Vladimir and the council of the Black Reqrium that we had no time to think of the future. I shrugged. So did Kaleen, but Hale and Chibata just looked at each other, faintly grinning? "What are you two smiling about?" Asked Kaleen. I was confused. Did they know something that we didn't? Then, Chibata and Hale nodded to each other in unison. "Well, I found something of use back in the town." Said Hale. I sat up, now interested. Hale continued: "Well, I found a map, it has some markings on it, I think you may want to see them." Hale said. He pulled out the map, the sound of rustling paper filled my ears as he unfolded it.


            Hale slid the map over to me, and I took a look at it. It was a map of the area, but it had markings on it drawn in red marker. There was writing scrawled in red marker on one of the cities: You are here. I guess that was the city we just came out of. It was called 'Fiddleford.' The towns that were behind Fiddleford all had Xs crossed through them. I then noticed that a few of the symbols crossed through some of the towns were not Xs. I recognized those symbols. It was the symbol that each member of the Council of the Black Reqrium bore on each of their cloaks. It resembled an X, but it was different, I cannot quite describe it. Were those all of the towns that Vladimir's council had been in? Who wrote this map? On the entire map, there was only one city that was not crossed of, it had a big red circle around it. The town was called 'Beu Paul.' Written around the red circle were the words 'No Hope!' I cocked my head. There was one town between Fiddleford and Bea Paul. We were on our way to that town, it was called 'Cambleton.' From my lectures from my geography teachers all those years ago, I remembered her saying that Beu Paul is one of the region’s biggest cities. There were probably a lot of Kerulen there.


            When I was done studying the map, I handing it back to Hale. "Well?" He asked me. I stroked my chin, thinking. "Well, I think that Beu Paul is worth checking out, despite the warning written around the red circle." I said. Hale nodded. "Alright, but what do we do from there?" Asked Kaleen. "I think that Beu Paul might hold the key to our salvation." Chibata said from the driver's seat. I cocked my head at him, as did everyone else. Chibata explained: "Beu Paul is a big city, right?" He asked us. We all nodded, we all saw its size on the map. Chibata nodded as well. "Yes, so Beu Paul might have a lot of survivors." Chibata said. Anara shook her head. "Yes, or it could have a lot of Kerulen." She stated. Chibata shrugged. "Yes, regardless, Beu Paul might be worth a shot, we could round up some survivors, we can survive this." Chibata suggested. I shook my head. "No. We cannot being people in to this, not unless they know the bigger picture, we are fine as we are, we could go to Beu Paul and hold out, we can survive this without the help of others." I countered.


            Kaleen nodded. "Yes, I think that Nick is right, we cannot afford to let others in on what is at stake, if there are people that are untrustworthy, which there are, they could ruin the whole thing. They could ruin the one chance we have at saving the world. Vladimir and his council are not playing games anymore. They want to kill us and claim this world for themselves. We cannot afford to lose this battle." Kaleen said. Hearing her say it reminded me of how much was at stake. Hale looked to Chibata. "Chibata, I have to side with Nick on this one. There is no way we can afford to let other people outside of our group spoil our chances at defeating Vladimir and his council." Hale said. I looked to Anara, the only one who hadn't spoken yet. "What do you think?" I asked her. Anara scratched her head. "I think that there is no other way, if we let other people into our group, a lot of things could go wrong. I think that it'd be smart to just keep this between us, and not let anyone else in. I think that we should find a place to hold out, but not take in any people." Anara said. I nodded to her. "Wise words, but after we find a safe place, what do we do then?" I asked.


            Kaleen shook her head "I don't know, even if we do find a safe place, Vladimir and his council will come looking for us, and we barely held our own against them last time, hat if they got stronger? What if we cannot defeat them without other people?" Asked Kaleen. This was getting frustrating. "So we cannot let other people in to our group because they may ruin our chances of defeating Vladimir, but if we don't add people to our group, we may not be strong enough to defeat Vladimir." Stated Hale. I nodded. "That's what it's looking like." I confirmed. Hale growled in frustration and punched the door of the jeep. "Well, we are not out of time just yet, we still need to cross through Cambleton to get to Beu Paul, we still have time to decide on what we want to do." Offered Kaleen. I nodded. "She's right, we need to consider this, and this is one of those decisions that cannot be rushed." I told everyone. Chibata nodded. "I agree, we need to think this over carefully, we can talk some more lately, and we are almost at Cambleton. We are going to gather supplies at Cambleton, then we'll head to Beu Paul. Sound good?" Asked Chibata. I nodded. "That sounds smart." I said. I looked to Hale. "Yeah, that sounds good." He stated. I look to Anara. "Yes, gathering supplies before we go to Beu Paul seems like a good idea." She said. I looked to Kaleen. She nodded. "Yes, we have a better chance of survival if we gather supplies at Cambleton." She said. I nodded. "So it's settled, then." I told everyone.


            We drove for a few minutes longer and a small town came into view, it was not big, there were no skyscrapers or anything in this town, it was mainly strip malls, subdivisions and small offices. That kind of thing. We came to the outer rim of the town, and Chibata pulled the jeep into the treeline, concealing it from view. We all hopped out. "Alright everyone, we are going to scavenge the town for supplies, take anything that you can, meet back here when you are finished." Said Chibata. I nodded. Once the others dispersed from the jeep, I went into town. The houses here were more intact than the ones in the town I woke up in after battling Saja. The houses were actually almost completely intact, it didn't seem like they were touched at all. I walked up to one, a two story house that looked pretty much the same as all the other houses; Peeling red paint, crumbling shingles, and everything else that comes with a houses age. I walked up the front steps and up to the door. I readied my knife, and my hunting rifle was on my back if I absolutely had to use it.


            I reached for the doorknob and opened the door. I brought my knife upwards, ready to stab any Kerulen that might jump out of the shadows. I looked around the house, the furniture was completely gone, and not even a chair was in the entire place from what I could see. I stepped into the house and closed the door. I searched the living room carefully, I checked a closet that was nearby, and it was completely blank. Not even a shelf was houses by the small room. I shut the closet door. I stepped back into the living room, the wooden floorboards creaked under my weight. I walked to the kitchen after confirming that the living room was empty. I looked around the kitchen, it still had a stove, cupboards, a sink and a dishwasher. I doubted the appliances worked anymore. I opened the cupboard doors, a soft creak was made as I did so. I found this first cupboard blank, the next one had a small cardboard box inside. I took it and the label read: .45 ACP 25 Rounds. I took the box and put it in my pocket. I kept searching. I opened the next few cupboards and found a flashlight, a battery and a single bullet of an unknown caliber. I picked up the bullet, and gunpowder leaked from it. Upon closer examination, I found that the outer shell as well as the projectile of the bullet were completely ruined. I took the flashlight and battery. I put the battery into the flashlight and clicked it on. A narrow beam of light shone from the end of the flashlight. I clicked it off, feeling satisfied that I could see in the dark if needed, but then again, my vampire sight allowed me to see well in the dark, so I didn't really need a flashlight, but the others might.


            I continued on through the house, I checked the bathroom, there was a bottle of pills. I read the label: Tetracycline Broad Spectrum Antibiotics. I put the bottle of pills in my pocket and proceeded. I exited the bathroom and found a staircase leading to the second floor. I once again held my silver knife at the ready. I cautiously ascended the wooden steps. I took them slowly, one at a time. I reached the top of the short staircase in no time. There was no furniture up here, not even a painting. I stepped into a room nearby, it was completely barren, nothing to see there. I exited and walked into another room. It too was barren. No bed, no paintings, nothing. I found all the upstairs rooms to be completely empty, so I made my way downstairs. I looked around one last time. I confirmed there was nothing else to be found, so I exited the house and went out onto the road.


            I walked up the road from where I was in front of the house I had just exited. I saw a man lying on the ground, there was blood in a pool all around him. On his neck were four crimson dots. Four? I pictured the awkward position two Kerulen must have been in to feed at the same time on the same side of the man's neck. The four fang marks dripped blood. This man had been freshly killed, the Kerulen that killed him can't be far off, I had to stay sharp, and otherwise I would end up like the man on the road. A slight wave of sorrow hit me as I saw his lifeless body in the middle of the street, but I had seen so many dead people, and I'd killed my fair share of people that I did not dwell on the sorrow. I moved on. I then saw something that interested me: It was a crashed police car. The police car had gone straight over the curb and crashed into a tree. The front bumper was severely dented, and the windshield was totally smashed. Through the cracked rear windows, I could see two dead police officers. I decided to search the car, the police car may have some ammunition or other useful items. I opened the back trunk with ease, I found a flare gun, and a lot of flares. I counted them and found that there were twenty flares in total. I looked at the flare gun. It had a switch on the back of it, kind of like the hammer on a pistol. I lowered it as I would on a handgun and the barrel cracked open. It was a break action flare gun. I loaded a flare into it and shut it. Sure enough, the flare fit perfectly. I put the flare gun in my pocket.


            I moved to the back side doors of the police car. I opened the right door with ease. No alarm went off, the car battery must be dead. I searched the back seats. There was nothing there. I pulled back and closed the door. I went to the front, where the two dead police officers were. I opened the door. Both officers' necks were covered in crimson blood, and they had two circular holes on each of their necks. Bite marks. These ones looked old, the blood had dried. I reached in front of the officer in the passenger side and grabbed the glove compartment handle. I pulled on it and the cover came loose. It opened and the contents were revealed. I looked inside and found a black pistol. I picked it up and examined it. It was pretty big for a pistol. I found the button to eject the magazine and pressed it. The magazine came out and I grabbed it. There were two sides to the magazine, the entire magazine was filled to the brim with ammunition. I counted and the magazine held seventeen bullets. A decent size. I put the weapon in my pocket next to the flare gun. I then searched the body of the police officer in the passenger side. Nothing.


            I moved around to the other side of the police car. I opened the door and looked in. There was not really any place to hide gear, so I checked the body of the driver. Nothing. I backed out and shut the door. I then walked away from the police car with my score. I came to a bend in the road, so I took it. The bend was to the right, and as I turned the corner, I saw a big, metal vehicle. It was dented and rusted, but I could make out the fact that it was a tank. I walked up to it, puzzled. Why would there be a tank in the middle of a civilian town? The tank was very big, the top of the tank was taller than me by a good few feet. The barrel of the tank was a few inches thick and it was a few meters long. I examined the treads of the tank. I looked downwards to see that the left tread was gone. I decided to have a look inside the tank, so I stepped onto the small rungs that ran up the side of the vehicle and climbed up to the hatch. I tried to open it, but it was jammed. Frowning, I twisted the handle harder. It was coming loose...


            I heard something behind me. I turned around from where I was looking at the tank hatch. I saw nothing. I was now confused, I did not turn my attention back to opening the tank, I kept my eyes fixed on the darkness before me. I could see nothing. I readied my knife and hopped off of the tank, keeping my eyes on the darkness. Fear welled up inside of me. Was it a Kerulen? A survivor? I walked silently towards the darkness in which I heard the noise. All was silent. I then heard a rustling noise, and I saw a pair of eyes glimmer in the moonlight. "Hello?" I called. Just then, a creature dove at me without warning from the darkness. "Woah!" I shouted. The thing landed on top of me. The creature looked like a gargoyle, it was maybe five feet tall, it had wings, and a stoney grey complexion. Its eyes were not crimson, but deep, deep red. The pair of eyes possessed a blood coloured lustre.


            I struggled to throw the thing off of me. It had me pinned. It opened its mouth and let out a screeching sound. I then saw something that made me stop fighting the thing for just a second: The gargoyle creature had four fangs. Two on top, like a vampire, and two on the bottom. I dug into my reserve of vampire strength and finally through the gargoyle creature off of me. The creature hissed and flew off of me. I rolled and recovered into a crouching position, I faced the direction that I threw the gargoyle, sure enough, it was flying a few feet off of the ground towards me. It came too fast for me to block it, and it collided at full speed into my chest. I let out a pained oof! And I was thrown backwards a few feet. I heard the gargoyle let out an impish laugh. I recovered and anticipated the gargoyle's next attack. I saw it flying at me, it had its four fangs barred. What was this thing?


            I had my knife at the ready in an instant. I brought the silver blade upwards and into my guard, I had my fists raised while holding my knife. The gargoyle was almost on me. I threw a punch while holding the knife, and the knife embedded itself between the gargoyle's eyes. The gargoyle rolled to the side, I pulled the blade out of its forehead at the last second, and the gargoyle lay on the ground bleeding. I was about to approach it, when it let out a horrible screech and got up, blood dripping from its wound I had given it. The gargoyle once again flew at me. It was slower than before, so it made it easy to stab it again. I slashed it on the side, and pivoted around. The creature kept flying onwards, and crashed to the ground in front of me. It once again got up. Frustration took over me. Why wouldn't it die? The gargoyle thing got up once more, it was slower and weaker than ever. The silver must have had a weakening effect on it. The creature turned on me once again, and charged me. I found a point to deliver the final blow. I reeled back and slashed the thing on the exposed throat. A wet gurgling sound filled the air as the creature died choking on its own blood. I pulled my knife free of the creature and stabbed it in the back of the head, just to be sure. It didn't get up again.


            I examined the body of the gargoyle creature. I examined it's features before it attacked me, but I had not the time to examine the face of the creature; It had a disfigured face, but I could see the ghost of a man's face in the features of the gargoyle. Was it possible that this creature was once a man? After I was finished, I went back to the tank. I climbed back to the top and turned the handle of the top most hatch. The handle turned, as it had gotten easier to turn just before the creature attacked me. I finally opened the hatch and peeked in. The interior of the tank was cramped, the exterior of the tank seemed very dented, but there were no holes in it. I carefully lowered myself into the tank. The armour on the tank was a few inches thick, and I saw an ammunition rack near the front cannon. The tank's bullets were a foot and a half long! This tank is a heavy duty, front line attacker. What was such a heavy tank doing in the middle of a civilian town?


            I looked around the tank some more. I saw no dead soldiers inside the tank. A good sign. Overall, the interior of the tank seemed pretty barren. It was dirty and dented, I did not want to be in here anymore. I was going to climb back out, when something caught my eye. It was a small, green circular object that was a little smaller than my fist. I picked it up. I had seen pictures of these in history class. It was a hand grenade. Excitement gathered inside of me. It was a grenade! This could come in handy! Smiling, I climbed out of the tank. I climbed down the ladder and jumped off onto the street. I tried putting the grenade in my pocket, but my pockets were full, so I decided to go to the jeep. I ran back up the street, I turned the corner with the dead man with the four fang marks on his neck. I walked past him and went back to the familiar place where the jeep was parked.


            As I approached, I saw that Kaleen, Anara, Chibata and Hale were all ready to go. I showed the group what I had found. The antibiotics, the flare gun, the flares, the pistol, the .45 ACP rounds, the battery and flashlight, and of course, the hand grenade. Chibata took it in his hand. "Ah, I remember using quite a few of these in nineteen forty three. The RG0 anti-personnel timed hand grenade has a three to four second fuse, with a fatality radius of six to seven meters, and an injury radius of twenty meters. That could come in handy!" Chibata said excitedly. He nodded, impressed. "Good work, Nick." He added. Chibata took Kaleen's pistol from her and loaded the magazines that she had with the bullets that I had found. He gave her the magazines and the gun back. I kept the flare gun, as well as the flares. Who knows? Maybe it would come in handy. We all piled into the jeep and Chibata started it up. He reversed back onto the street and we drove through town. I decided to tell the others about the gargoyle creature that had attacked me. "Guys, I have something to tell you all." I started. They all looked at me, except for Chibata, who was driving. "What is it, Nick?" Asked Kaleen, putting a hand on my shoulder. I took a breath, then let it out. "I was attacked by a creature, it had stone coloured skin, wings, and eyes with a blood coloured lustre. It also had four fangs, rather than two." I told them.


            The others looked at me, dumbfounded. "You're joking." Hale simply said. I shook my head. "No, sadly I'm not." I said. Anara closed her eyes. "I hope we don't see too many of those, I thought that Kerulen were bad enough." She said. A thought then hit me. "Why have those creatures made a sudden appearance? We have been seeing Kerulen ever since I woke up from fighting Saja, but why have these creatures come here? What are they? How did they get here? Where did they come from?" I asked, flustered. Everyone shrugged. "This is news to all of us." Kaleen said. I nodded. "Do you think we'll find answers in Beu Paul?" I asked. Kaleen shrugged. "Nick, you should know by now that nothing is as easy as you first make it out to be." Kaleen cautioned. I nodded. "I know that all too well." I stated, remembering Saja and her complex, twisted plots. "I really hope that we can hold out in Beu Paul." Said Anara. I nodded. "Me, too." I told her.


            Vladimir and his council were deep in conversation. "If the Chosen One and his group want to hold out somewhere, they would to go Rinset. There is a prison there, as well as a number of hardware stores. They could fix up the prison using supplies from the hardware store." Stated Kenneth. Eumano scratched the back of her head. "Yes, but if they wanted to survive for more than a few days, they would go to Orvulon. It has more arms cartels than any other town in the region. Rinset was overrun by Kerulen a few days ago. Not a single soul is alive in Rinset." Eumano argued. Agatu shook his head. "You both are not seeing the most obvious place that they could seek refuge." He told the two council members who had been arguing. "Alright, where do you think the Chosen One is hiding?" Asked Silver, flipping her light orange hair.


            Agatu stood up straight. "I think that the Chosen One is hiding in Redfield. That place is a big city, where the Chosen One could easily evade us." Said Agatu. Vladimir shook his head. "No... No, you fools. You are not seeing the most obvious place that the Chosen One could be." Vladimir scolded his council. Puzzled, the five members of Vladimir's council cocked their heads at him. Vladimir put his fingers together. "The Chosen One departed from the town of Bor, because that is the town that I sent Silver to scout out the Chosen One and his group. If he and his group are smart, they will take the road on their jeep to Fiddleford, then go to Cambleton, then to Beu Paul. The towns in and around that region have not been picked clean just yet, there are more supplies in the region of Beu Paul." Vladimir said. Silver frowned. "So what are you suggesting, Vladimir?" She asked.


            Vladimir chuckled. "I am suggesting that we go to Beu Paul, and we wait for the Chosen One there." Vladimir said. Eumano shook her head. "And what if the Chosen One is not in Beu Paul?" She asked. Vladimir inclined his head towards her. "Eumano, you of all people should know that good things come to those who wait." Vladimir scolded. Serita spoke for the first time since they had discussed the Chosen One's whereabouts. "Are you saying we travel to Beu Paul, and we wait for the Chosen One?" She asked. Vladimir nodded. "Yes. The Chosen One will end up there eventually." He said.


            As we drove out of Cambleton, I was getting excited. Could we really find salvation in Beu Paul? If not, what would we find there? I looked to my side, outside of the jeep. We had travelled a considerable distance during our talk. I needed to take my mind off of things, just until we arrived at Beu Paul. I decided to lose myself in conversation of my old life, so I looked to Kaleen. "Kaleen, do you have any stories of our old life? Something to take my mind off of things?" I asked her. Kaleen looked to me, surprised at the sudden question. She then smiled. "Of course I do." She said. I nodded, smiling. "Let's have one, I think we all need to take our minds off of things for a while, to ease the excitement a little." I told her. Anara and Hale seemed particularly interested in hearing the story. Chibata's eyes remained fixed on the road. Kaleen's smile grew. "Alright, I've got one." She said. Everyone gathered around so they could hear her.


            Kaleen was eating up this dramatic tension. She paused for a moment, increasing the tension. At long last, she began. "Alright, back before the Kerulen apocalypse, Nick and I were still best friends, we attended the same school. Everything was all cheery and normal, that is, until Saja changed me." Kaleen said, glaring at everyone with her crimson eyes. Anara frowned. "Kaleen, let's not have a horror story, let's have a funny story instead, aye?" Said Anara. Kaleen shook her head. "I promise, you'll all laugh at this story. Just hear me out." Kaleen said. She continued her tale. "So anyway, I-" Hale leaned over and whispered to me; "It's still a horror story." I understood his little joke. I smiled and chuckled. Kaleen let out a cliché hiss! And resumed. "Anyway, I was being bullied at the time, the day after Saja changed me. So that day, the girl who was making fun of me had made fun of the sunglasses I was wearing to hide my crimson eyes. So I flashed my fangs, quickly and subtly, nothing really noticeable to passing people. The girl saw it, and told me I was a freak. I just laughed it off. Then came the day when the vampire kids came to the school. When that girl saw that vampires were real, she came and apologized to me!" Kaleen said. I laughed. It wasn't that funny, but it had earned a chuckle from even Chibata. I shook my head. "Well, it's not even that funny, but hey, it killed a few minutes." I said.


            Chibata looked back at us with a nervous expression. "We're here." He said. I peeked out from behind him, and sure enough, there was a huge city on the horizon. Excitement welled up inside of me. This was it. This was the place where we could hold out. This is the place where we could survive. As we slowly got closer, I could see the immensity of the sprawling metropolis before us. It was huge! There were massive skyscrapers, eighty foot tall office buildings, it even had a huge industrial park. We approached the outskirts of the massive city. "Be on your guard, all of you." Chibata said. A bit of anticipation found its way into my gut. This is it. As we drive through the town, I saw something peculiar. There were dead military soldiers littering the street, everywhere. The soldiers all wore digital green camouflage, combat boots, and a red beret. None of the dead soldiers seemed to be carrying any form of weaponry. They were probably already looted. As we drove through the city, the fallen soldiers grew more frequent. Some had two fang marks on their necks, others had four. It appears that the gargoyle creatures were here as well.


            I looked around. As we travelled deeper into the city, I noticed that there were military cars, armoured cars with mounted guns on the top of them. They had six wheels, and the cars had at least two inches of armour. These were some heavy duty vehicles. Most of them were demolished. Some were even missing gaping chunks of metal. We ventured deeper into the city. I watched the shadows, in case there were Kerulen ready to spring, or worse, gargoyles. As we turned a corner, we saw a sight to behold. We saw a massive blockade, it was made of twenty foot tall sandbags, and these things were massive! The sandbags went on for quite a while, they wrapped around in a circle for at least a kilometer. What was behind them? Outside the massive barricade, dozens of dead soldiers lay scattered all over the street. We circled the barricade and found a way in; a gaping hole in the barricade, ten feet wide and twenty feet tall. We could drive the jeep straight through! Chibata angled us so we were going to drove through perfectly. In the gap in the wall, at least twenty soldiers lay dead with fang marks on their necks. Each soldier had four fang marks.


            Anara looked fearfully at the dead soldiers. "Did the gargoyles do that?" She asked. I nodded grimly. "Yes. The gargoyles have four fang marks, they are horrific things, too." I said. As we crossed through the hole in the wall, we saw another saddening sight. Inside the barrier were a series of massive tanks, all with huge cannons and mounted guns. The ground was littered with craters, and a shard of shrapnel could be seen every few feet on the ground. Empty bullet casings dotted the ground, empty magazines could be seen here and there. I looked around, stunned. "It looks like the military made their last stand here in Beu Paul." Chibata said. Kaleen nodded. "It appears so." She said. Chibata looked around. "Those are T-72 tanks over there, you would have a tough time destroying those things with a rocket launcher, yet some of them are completely destroyed with no sign of an explosion occurring. Do you think it was the gargoyles that did this?" Asked Chibata. I shook my head. "I don't know. It seems so, due to the four fang marks on all of these soldiers." I told him.


            I looked around at the sad scene before us. How many had died fighting these things? It was impossible to tell. Countless soldiers lay lifeless on the ground, it looked like a warzone in here, although at one point, I suppose it was. After we looked around for a few more minutes, we confirmed that there was nothing of importance here. We got back into our jeep and drove out of the barricaded area. As we drove out of the barricaded area, we continued on, following the same route that we had been going before we entered the barricade. As we got past the barricade, we found that chunks of the road were missing. There were four foot deep craters in the road, we had to swerve to avoid falling into them! As we drove on, we discovered that some skyscrapers had gaping holes in their sides! Tanks lay scattered around, fatally damaged. We saw big armoured trucks that had eight wheels and covered backs. It indeed seemed as though the military made their last stand against the Kerulen here.


            We looked around the desolated city. In the industrial park that we saw on our way in, there were entire buildings reduced to jagged pieces of metal from explosions, there were craters everywhere in the road, short sandbag barriers lay scattered at the side of the road, a green ballistic helmet could be seen abandoned in the middle of the road, completely unharmed. Before I could think to grab it, we had driven past it. It seemed that the deeper into Beu Paul that we went, the greater the intensity of the destruction was. As I looked around, crashed, ruined planes could be seen on the ground here and there, one skyscraper even had a plane crash into it, some eighty feet off of the ground. As we passed the ruined buildings, my hope for salvation dwindled. Did I really think that we'd be safe? Did I really believe it?


            We drove deeper into the city of Beu Paul. We passed a ruined hospital, whole sections of the walls were blown out by explosions, so we didn't bother searching it. Was this it? Was Beu Paul just a city in ruins? We then passed by one of the very few buildings that remained somewhat intact. We drove up to the front gates. The sign read: Center for Disease Control. Chibata then spoke up. "Do you guys think that we should stop into the CDC?" He asked. Hale scoffed. "What? You think that the CDC will have a cure to vampirism?" He asked. Chibata shook his head. "No, of course not. I was just thinking that if we are going to hold out here, we are going to need medical supplies." Chibata said. Kaleen nodded. "Yeah, this place probably has morphine, painkillers, sleep aids, I say we check this place out!" She said enthusiastically. I nodded. "I think it'd be smart to check the place out." I told them. Anara nodded. "Let's do it." She said.


            With that, we all dismounted at the front gates of the CDC. Would we find medicine in here, or will it be in ruins, like the rest of Beu Paul? I readied my hunting rifle. I kept my silver knife in my pocket, so I could grab it in an instant if needed. Everyone else grabbed their guns, except for Anara, who was out of ammunition. She just readied her knife. I approached the front gate with my rifle shouldered. The gate had a massive padlock on it. I frowned. Hale then stepped up and pushed me aside. "Watch this." He said. He then raised his silver knife and inserted it into the lock. "Oh, please. That only works in the-" I started. In a few seconds, Hale had the padlock removed with a soft click! He cast it to the ground. "Movies." I finished. Hale looked at me with a triumphant grin. I looked back to the others. "Are you all ready?" I asked them. "Ready." Chibata said. "Ready." Said Hale. "Ready." Said Kaleen. "Ready." Said Anara. I nodded. "Good. Stay sharp." I said. With that, we started through the main gates.


            We walked across a long stretch of pavement. I had my rifle shouldered still, I aimed it around in the shadows, ready to shoot at any sign of a threat. As we were almost ten feet from the main door, I heard something behind me. I looked, and the front gate to the CDC was closing. What the...? I then saw movement on the roof of the building. I looked up and saw around twenty soldiers wearing green digital camouflage, combat boots and red berets. They were all carrying assault rifles, and they were aimed at us. Fear shot through me so fast that I almost passed out. A voice called from above, a female. "Try anything funny, and you die where you stand." Stated the voice. I put my hunting rifle on my shoulder and put my hands in the air. "Listen, we don't want any trouble, we just wanted some medicine, is that alright?" I asked them. I heard the female's voice from the rooftops again. "No. Go back the way you came, and do not return to this god forsaken city." Ordered the woman. Frustration took over me. We couldn't do that. Not after all that we had endured to get this far.


            I then heard murmuring from above. Two or more people were in conversation. They were a few hundred feet off of the ground, so it was hard to hear them, even for me. Finally, I heard the woman's voice again. "We will show you to our leaders. Put your weapons away, if you ever draw them on our premises, you will be shot. Clear?" Asked the woman. I heard my entire group nod. I nodded as well. "Good." The woman said. Once my entire group had put their weapons away, the woman called "Open the main doors!" A few seconds later, we heard creaking and groaning of metal. Then, brilliant white light flooded from the massive building in front of us. Once my eyes adjusted, I froze. For I saw a sight so happy, and so surprising, I actually did not breath, did not move, and did not blink. For standing in that doorway, bathed in brilliant white light, were three people that I never thought that I would ever see again.




© 2014 Ryan Henderson


Author's Note

Ryan Henderson
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I love the detail here, I also love the perspective shift, this lets the reader in on things that the main characters do not know about, I love this chapter, and I love how Chibata is very knowledgeable about WW2 things! Very good work, keep it up!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on November 6, 2014
Last Updated on November 29, 2014
Tags: Vampires, teen, story, epic, cool, fiction, fantasy, apocalyptic, post apocalypse


Author

Ryan Henderson
Ryan Henderson

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



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I will review your work if you send me a read request, I like to help writers get off of the ground, I will also suggest ideas for your work if needed. Please note that I don't really like poetry... more..

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