Book Three Chapter Seven: Nostalgia

Book Three Chapter Seven: Nostalgia

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson


Chapter Seven Nostalgia: Standing in that doorway were three figures that I had not seen in a very long time. It had been years since I layed eyes on them last. Standing in that doorway... Were my mother, who looked around fifty years old, my father, who looked a little younger, and Mr. Grant, who had looked to age significantly since I saw him as a teacher, but he was probably only thirty years old. The three people standing in that doorway stood and stared at my friends and I for a solid minute and a half. Finally, the woman, my mother, stepped forward. "Nick? Is that you?" She asked, happiness was visible on her face. I smiled and nodded, a slight tear came to my crimson eyes.


My mother ran up and hugged me. Her name is Hope. She was tall, six foot four. She had brown hair and a tall build. She had pale grey eyes. My father ran up shortly after my mother did and hugged me. His name is Thirsk. I know, an odd name. My father was six foot six inches, a very slim build, and he had beige hair. "Nick, I can't believe that you are alive!" My mother exclaimed. "You look alright, too. It is a miracle that you survived this long." My father said. I shook my head. "It is no miracle that I stand before you today. I did not come out completely unscathed, either." I told them. I looked into my parents' eyes for the first time since I saw them all of those years ago. My mother raised a hand to her mouth. "Oh my..." She trailed off. She had seen my crimson eyes. My father's expression hardened. "You are a vampire." He stated. I nodded, feeling like I had disappointed my parents.


There was an awkward silence. "So, let's get you all inside." My mother said, clapping her hands together, ushering us towards the door. I turned to my friends. "Those are my parents." I said. I saw all of their expressions soften. When we reached the doors, Mr. Grant clapped me on the shoulder. "Does this mean that I'll have to kill you?" He asked teasingly. "Try me." I teased back, smiling. He flipped his now short brown hair. "You know, you never did turn in those questions on atomic bonds..." Mr. Grant trailed off. I looked at him, puzzled, then remembered the reading and the questions that I was assigned in his class, that was near the day that the police came to the school. "Oh, shut up." I said jokingly. Mr. Grant cocked his head at me. "Would you like a detention, young man?" He asked me. I laughed at his sense of humor. He still had it, even though all of this. "Sorry, I can't do detention any time soon, I'll be busy fighting for my life." I told him. Mr. Grant laughed at my witty reply. It felt good to laugh.


I heard footsteps coming down the hallway behind me. "Grant, why have you brought survivors into our refuge?"? The female voice asked. I knew this voice in an instant. It was a voice that I had once hated with all of my passion. I could visualize her every feature, I could visualize the person belonging to the voice. It was a girl from my past. I turned around. Standing before me, was a familiar girl with white hair. Standing before me, was Luna.


Nostalgia grasped me instantly. Luna? Was it possible? How did she survive the Hemlon explosion? I had never seen her dead body, and her death was never confirmed, but I had not thought that she could have survived that. Luna starred at me for a moment. "Well, well, well. Who do we have here? Nick, and his friends, is it?" Luna asked, a small smile creeping across her small, pale lips. I had not seen Luna in a while, and her appearance had changed considerably. Her hair was still sheet white, falling in straight lines down to her shoulder blades. Her body appeared to have gotten smaller, her hands, feet, eyes, nose, ears. Everything. It wasn't a major change, but it was noticeable. She was around five feet tall. Her eyes were now pale violet coloured, and her skin was a lot paler than when I last saw her. She was not a vampire, however, else her eyes would be crimson, and not pale violet.


Luna ran up to me and embraced me. I hugged her back, after a few seconds, Luna pulled back. "Hello... Luna." I said, confused because of her sudden display of affection, I did not know Luna to be the hugging type. Luna nodded to me. "I thought that you were killed off in the Hemlon explosion." Luna said. "Likewise." I replied. Luna nodded and turned to Mr. Grant. "Grant, I assure you, Nick and his friends can be trusted. I have trusted Nick with my life countless times, and he never failed me. As for his friends, Nick is an excellent judge of character, and would not let anyone who isn't good intending into his group." Luna said. Mr. Grant smiled and nodded. "I believe what you say, Luna." He said. I then had a thought. "Luna, how did you get here, on Earth, aren't you from Ectoclis?" I asked her. Luna smiled and nodded. "Yes, I was in the Hemlon explosion. I only lived because the explosion was so powerful, that it ripped a whole between the worlds. It is by pure coincidence that I was sent here." Luna said. I nodded.


Mr. Grant turned to me. "You two know each other?" He asked. I nodded. "Yes. Our past together is a... Long story." I said while casting a knowing look to Luna. Luna returned the look. My parents nodded, as did Mr. Grant. Mr. Grant looked to me. "Well, no matter what nature you and Luna's past was of, you will be safe here. We have military troops watching the building and it's premises twenty four seven." Mr. Grant said. I shook my head, confused. "Why would you have soldiers watching this place?" I asked him. Mr. Grant sagged his head. "Well, Nick, for the last year and a half, I have been searching for a cure to the sickness that now plagues our world. So far, all of our research has turned up a dead end. I am afraid that we may never be able to lift this curse. All we can do now is survive." Mr. Grant told me. Talk of survival and safety brought up a thought. "Oh, and if six people come to your door, four male and three female, do not let them in. Ever." I said, looking with fierce intensity into my parent's and Mr. Grant's eyes. Mr. Grant shrugged his shoulders. "But why ever not?" He asked me.


A thousand answers to his question flew through my mind. I decided to give him the least confusing answer. "There are people after us, I won't give you all of the details, but they want to kill us, and they will surely kill you, your team, and anyone who stands in their way." I told him. Mr. Grant's jaw dropped. I nodded, as if confirming his worried thoughts. My father looked at me. "Nick, I am proud that you have lasted this long, and I assure you that since you have done so, we will have no trouble warding them off if they come here." He said. I shook my head quickly. "No, no. You don't understand. These people are... Dangerous to say the least. Do not ever confront these people." I told my father. My mother jumped in. "But why?" She asked me. I was getting frustrated, but I couldn't tell them of the council of the Black Reqrium's powers, they would not believe me. "Trust me, you do not know what they are capable of." I assured my parents.


After a moment, my parents and Mr. Grant bowed their heads. "If you say so." My father said. My mother just said nothing. I would have thought that my parents would be more talkative, it had been three or four years since I had seen them, after all. I suppose that they were in shock, and maybe they haven't totally taken everything in yet. They soon would, I'm sure. After a few minutes of silence, my parents walked away. Mr. Grant went over to a lab table, bowing his head, and I stood alone with my friends, and Luna. Luna approached me and said "It is the council of the Black Reqrium that is hunting you, isn't it, Nick?" Luna asked. I nodded. "Yes." I told her. Luna nodded in understanding. "The council of the Black Reqrium was sworn into her service long ago, and the Black Reqrium vowed to kill the Chosen One, along with Saja, they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal." Luna said. I shook my head. I needed to fill Luna in on what had happened since the Hemlon Explosion.


I began. "Well, Luna. Saja is dead, and so is the Black Reqrium." I said. Luna's pale violet eyes widened. "What? How can that be? Who killed them?" Asked Luna in amazement. "Well, I killed the Black Reqrium. I shot her with a hunting rifle and she bled to death. As for Saja, her brother, Vladimir killed her, because she failed to kill me. Now he and the council of the Black Reqrium are after me, they want to kill the Chosen One, me. Their goals after that though, I am not so sure about." I told Luna. Luna's jaw visibly dropped. "Good lord, I read about the members of the council of the Black Reqrium years ago. They are supposed to be the strongest evil force in existence. I read about Vladimir as well, he is not human, or vampire, or Kerulen, or any race known to man. Vladimir is a dark spirit, he has assumed a mortal form so as to blend in in this world, and he can assume the form of whatever or whoever he wants." Luna said. I nodded, remembering how he changed himself into Kaleen that night in the house, the night of judgement day.


Luna looked down at the ground. "Yes, but regardless of all that has happened in the past, we are safe now. We have military soldiers constantly watching this place. Nothing or no one could get inside without being seen or heard by someone." Luna assured me. I wanted to believe her, but a creeping doubt ate at the back of my mind saying that Luna was wrong. Luna walked away, joining Mr. Grant at the lab table, quietly talking to him about something. I didn't know what to do. Were we truly safe here? Would the council of the Black Reqrium and Vladimir come looking for my friends and I?


I departed from the spot that I had been standing in a moment ago while talking to Luna. I went to go find my friends, to ask them what they thought of this place. I found them all in a group near the back of the laboratory. I walked over to them, passing Mr. Grant and Luna and went to see my friends. "Guys, what do you think of this place?" I asked them. Kaleen replied first. "I think that this place seems safe enough, we just need to be on our guard, and things will be fine." Said Kaleen. I nodded, agreeing with what Kaleen had said. I looked to Anara. Anara looked to the floor. "I don't know what to think of this place, but as long as there are no vampires lurking in the shadows, I suppose it is alright." She said.


I looked to Hale. "Yeah, I mean, this place looks safe enough, we just need to keep a low profile, and Vladimir and the council of the Black Reqrium is sure to pass us by." He said. I looked to Chibata. "Well, this place seems a little too good to be true, don't you think?" He asked me. I nodded. "It indeed does seem so, but my parents are here, and my old teacher, and my old friend, Luna. I do not think that this place could be a threat to us, and I do not think that anyone here will be a threat to us." I stated. My friends nodded. "What do we do now? Is this it? Is this what we traveled here to Beu Paul for?" Asked Kaleen. I nodded. "It would seem so." I said.


Chibata shrugged. "Well, as long as it is safe here, I am going to go look for a bed and go to sleep, I haven't slept for a few days." He said. He then staggered off in search of a bed. "I'll go look for a bed as well." Hale said, Anara followed Chibata and Hale, leaving Kaleen and I standing alone. Kaleen eyed Luna from across the room. "I don't trust that girl." Kaleen said. I nodded. "That is understandable. Her looks are deceiving, she is very cunning, but I assure you that she has a good heart." I said. Kaleen just frowned and shook her head. "I don't know, I just feel something about her that isn't right." Kaleen said. I thought back to when Luna saw first saw me here at the CDC, and how she hugged me. "Maybe that feeling you are having is... Jealousy." I teased. Kaleen slugged me in the arm. "Oh shut up, I don't know what nature of past you and her share, and it is probably none of my business, but I'm just saying, I have a bad feeling about her." Kaleen said.


I shook my head and scoffed at Kaleen. "Kaleen, Luna helped me destroy Saja's base of operations at Hemlon, and she helped me on multiple other occasions, I assure you, she can be trusted." I told Kaleen. I left out the part on Luna's betrayal on Ectoclis, Kaleen would probably go over there and put Luna through the ceiling. And we were probably twenty meters below ground. I laughed at that funny thought, although I knew that Kaleen probably would do it, too. I brushed the thought off. I thought about seeing my parents, but I decided to give them a little bit more time to adapt to the fact that I was alive.


I walked around the laboratory for a few more minutes, then I started to wander the underground hallways of the Center for Disease Control, I looked around at all of the different rooms. Every room had different equipment, and thinking of all the research that went on in this building got me wondering: Will anyone ever find a cure for vampirism? And if so, would I want to become human again? This last thought troubled me. If I ever did have the opportunity to become human again, would I take it? Would I go back to living a normal life? Part of me knew that it wasn't possible to live a fully ordinary life, because my life was entwined with the supernatural world to a point where I was part of the supernatural world, both metaphorically and literally. Could I really supress the memories of all that I have seen and done, and go back to the way things used to be? That would be hard, and what about all the Kerulen roaming around? Even if I did defeat Vladimir, what would happen to all the Kerulen? Would I need to go around the world killing them?


These troubling thoughts caused me to lose track of time. It was also very disorienting being in the dark underground hallways. A little while ago, a few minutes earlier, my throat started to burn. Great. I had to hunt. I walked around the underground passageways until I found a stairwell leading both up and down. I took the one that led to the surface and ascended it. I came to the top and found a back door. If I walked out to the front door, I would alert all the guards, and we didn't need that. I just walked out the back door and used vampire speed to run away from that building, looking for someone to hunt.


I ran into the desolated metropolis of Beu Paul, seeking survivors. I listened for voices, footsteps, anything. The fire in my throat burned with the desire for blood. I could smell blood in the air. That rich, dark, sweet smell that was so addicting. I heard footsteps. Someone was wounded. That explains the smell of blood. I then heard a series of quick gunshots. "Come on! Come on! We got to move!" Yelled a man's voice. "He's in no condition to move, he has a broken leg!" A woman said. "Get him to the car, we'll bring him back to base!" The man shouted. I then heard an agonized groan, probably from the man who had a broken leg.


I walked towards the voices, they were just around the corner in front of me. I came to the bend in the road, and saw three people, two men and a woman, being chased by five or six Kerulen. The man was shooting the Kerulen with a small pistol that was no longer than my hand, the woman was dragging a man who has a bloodied, and an apparently broken leg. In front of them, a hundred feet away was a pickup truck that was in good condition. "So close!" Yelled the man between gunshots. He had hit two Kerulen in the last few seconds, but he soon stopped shooting. He threw the pint sized pistol down. "Out of ammo!" He shouted, running back to his two friends. The woman who was carrying the man with the broken leg dropped him. "I can't carry him anymore, and you can't either, you hurt your arm." She said. The man turned to face her. "We can't leave Frederic behind, he's my best friend." The man said, almost sobbed.


The woman turned away from him. "We're going to die if we don't leave him, I'm sorry Bill, but that's just the way it is." The woman said. Bill shook his head, almost in tears. He looked to Frederic, who had fallen unconscious, and then back to the woman. "Alright, Sheila, I'll go with you, he's unconscious, so there won't be much pain for him." He said. He then turned and ran to their truck with Sheila, abandoning Frederic. A jolt of pity hit me for Frederic. I saw the Kerulen were almost on him, and the burn in my throat threatened to torch my esophagus if I waited to get blood any longer. I walked over and kneeled down to Frederic. "I'm sorry." I said, I then bent down and sunk my fangs into his neck. He did not scream or move, he was unconscious.


I fed on his blood for a few seconds, when the Kerulen came up behind me and saw that I had beaten them to their kill, they groaned and walked off. I could not afford to be merciful in the future, soon humans would get scarce to hunt. I could have easily killed Sheila and Bill, but I didn't. When I was finished feeding on Frederic's blood, I turned back the way I came, and ran back to the CDC.


When I got there, which didn't take long, a sniper on the rooftop aimed in on me, but seemed to recognize who I was, then gave me the 'all clear' signal by beckoning me towards the back door. I went through the door and shut it, then locked it behind me. I navigated the route to the stairwell that Mr. Grant had shown us and led us down and I found it in no time. I descended it and soon came to the familiar lab that I had recently left. Mr. Grant and Luna were staring intensely at a test tube with a honey coloured serum inside. There was a test tube next to it that held the same amount of the stuff, but the stuff in the second test tube was purple. I walked over to them. "Hey, what are you two brains doing?" I asked them. Mr. Grant looked up to me. "We're studying the DNA that we took from one of those things out there near the beginning of this apocalypse, and comparing it to more recently collected DNA from those things. Both DNA variants have been encased in a preservative so they will not rot." He said.


I nodded. "Did you find anything interesting?" I asked, eyeing the two different DNA colours. Luna nodded. "It would seem as though the Kerulen have gotten more powerful as this apocalypse wears on, and this DNA of the more recent creatures, the gargoyles," Luna said, holding up the vial containing the purple serum. "Well, the more recent DNA suggests that when a Kerulen does not get enough blood, it degenerates into one of these... Gargoyle creatures, where its lust for blood is intensified, and it has four fangs rather than two." Luna said. I nodded. "So that's how the gargoyle creatures came to be, there aren't enough humans to sustain a Kerulen population, so they degenerate into these things." I said. "Yes, exactly." Luna confirmed.


A troubling thought hit me. "Luna... What if these gargoyle creatures don't get enough blood... What happens then?" I asked. Luna shook her head. "I don't know, the gargoyles are new, and have not been observed in depth." She said. I nodded, understanding. I looked around the room, spotting Kaleen. I did not really want to talk to her, why, I didn't know. The humans from our group were resting. I decided to talk to my parents.


I turned to Luna, who was mixing various chemicals in test tubes together. "Luna, do you know where I could find my parents?" I asked her. She turned to look at me, her snow coloured hair whipped in a circular motion. "Yes, go down that hall and enter the first laboratory on the right. They were inside last I checked." She said. I nodded. "Thank you." I told her. I walked across the room and entered the hallway that Luna had indicated. I looked to my right and passed a few bedrooms, but finally found a laboratory. I went inside and found my parents. I walked into the room and they both looked up from the clean lab desk that they had been staring at, it looked like I interrupted them when they were in the middle of a solemn conversation.


My father eyed me suspiciously. "You look like you just fed." He said, putting disgusted emphasis on the last word. My mother shook her head. "It is scornful, what you have become, Nick." My mother said. I was getting frustrated. Why wouldn't my parents just accept the fact that I was a vampire! If they knew the reasons I became a vampire, they wouldn't be so irritating, but I knew that I could not tell them my real motives. I just made an annoyed noise in the back of my throat. "Look, I got bit and turned into a vampire, yes. I admit it. That is what happened, why can't you just accept that?" I said calmly, letting my anger slowly burn out through my voice. My mother just shook her head again. "I'd expect you to be stronger." She said. That stung. My father just glared at me. "You should have been stronger." He said. That stung as well. Sadness welled up inside of me, but anger rose up and bit back the sadness my parents had inflicted with their words. "Now I remember why I moved out." I told them, recalling how I'd moved out of their house at the age of sixteen.


My parents looked surprised. "Surely, you didn't mean that, son." My father said. I thought about telling him I didn't, but he and my mom weren't going to accept me anyway, so I nodded. "You know I meant it." I told my father. His eyes welled up with anger. "Now son. I ask you to leave the room, before someone gets hurt." He said. Surprise welled up inside of me. "Are you threatening me?" I asked, my anger rising. He nodded. "Yes, I suppose I am." He challenged. I could have taken him in a fight, I could have taken both my parents, but I knew that I would never forgive myself if I killed them, so I backed out of the room. "I cannot believe you two." I said as I backed out.


I had a feeling of emptiness inside of me. Not only had I waited for three long years to see my parents, they thought I was dead, after all. I imagined the happiness that they must have felt when they saw me walk through those gates at the CDC, and I imagined the scorn they must have felt when they saw me for what I was. A vampire. Anger took control. If they wouldn't accept me, fine. I didn't need them to. I thought to myself. I walked back to the main laboratory where Kaleen, Luna and Mr. Grant were. Luna and Mr. Grant were still looking at the test tubes, arguing about something. I looked to Kaleen, she had her arms crossed and she was leaning against a wall. I assumed the humans of our group were still sleeping.


And that's when it happened. That's when the event that will hold the fate of the world occurred, and the worst part was: No one was ready for it. It happened so fast. It was subtle at first, no one knew what was happening. The first sign that something was wrong were faint yells from upstairs, and a few very faint gunshots. I thought that a few Kerulen had reached the main gate. Then, I heard an explosion. Alarm surged through me. Luna and Mr. Grant stopped arguing and listened, Kaleen perked up, listening. What was happening? We heard thudding footsteps coming from above, towards the staircase that led into the laboratory. Then, I heard a sound like someone falling down the staircase. Then, a military soldier wearing full uniform tumbled down the stairs and landed face down. He didn't move. Luna rushed over to him.


Sadness was visible in Luna's pale violet eyes. "Corporal Muller, are you alright?" She asked. She then lifted his head, and his entire face was covered in scorch marks. Anger and fear hit me like a tidal wave of emotion. "Serita did this. No one else could have." I said. I heard Kaleen stir behind me. "You don't think...?" Kaleen started, afraid to finish her sentence. I nodded, a grim aura filled the room. "Yes. The council of the Black Reqrium... Is here." I said. I heard Kaleen gasp. Luna's head snapped upwards, towards me. "We need to wake the others." Kaleen said urgently. Luna understood what she meant and she led us to the bedrooms. We walked down the same hall that my parents were in the laboratory on, and we walked to the end.


Luna led us to the darkest corner of the hallway and opened a door to a room, we found Hale was asleep. I banged on the door. "Hale! Wake up, the council of the Black Reqrium is on our doorstep!" I yelled at him. He sat bolt upright in bed, looking at me with a frightened expression. He then nodded. He got out of bed and walked over to us. We needed Chibata and Anara. Luna went to another bedroom, we checked inside. Empty. We went to the next one. Empty. We walked to the one after that and found Chibata inside. I woke him the same way I woke Hale, earning much the same reaction. We walked to the next room over and found Anara, again, I woke her as I did the others, and she got out of bed without asking any questions.


Luna then led us upstairs to the main room where we came in. There was the massive gate, and there were agonized screams of both men and women coming from outside. Occasionally, an explosion would go off, making me think of Eumano. I heard the crackling of fires outside the main gate. I looked to Luna. "How long will these gates hold?" I asked her. She shrugged. "It depends on how much force is applied to them." She said. I looked to my friends. They all knew how much damage the council of the Black Reqrium could do. Inside the gates, where we were, I saw soldiers holding assault rifles that were running upstairs, and probably climbing to the roof from there to get a better vantage point on the enemies.


 


What do we do?" Asked Anara. I looked into her eyes. "We must stand and fight." I told her. I got my hunting rifle off of my back and made sure it was loaded. It was. My friends did the same. Luna walked over to a cabinet across the room and pulled out a sleek black sniper rifle. She then looked to me. "Nick, in the short time that I have known you, and in the even shorter time that I have helped you battle Saja, I have grown to like you, and to trust you. I fight with you." She said. I smiled. This was the loyal, wise Luna that had helped me infiltrate Hemlon back on Artemis. Of course, Anara did give us the airship... Which was totally destroyed. Luna, Carmella, Federov and Anara had all helped me on Hemlon, and Carmella and Federov gave their lives in that cansodin. Along with the others who gave their lives in the battle against Saja; Carlos, Serena, Fenton, Kai, Lauren, Anna-Maria, Carmella, Federov, the king, the queen, and Liam (wait a minute... Was Liam dead?) I thought back to what Liam had said about his place in the battle against Saja. He said that his duties did not lie on the field of battle. I wondered what that meant. Regardless, the battle that was sure to take place had two purposes; one: To save the world, as this would be the final battle. I would make it the final battle. And two; this battle was going to be won to ensure that my brave friends did not die in vain.


I was brought back to reality by the sound of an explosion. The entire building rocked. I ran towards the staircase that I had seen the soldiers climb. "Come on! To the battlements!" I shouted, fear was surging through my thoughts. I heard my friends clamber up the stairs after me. I looked around the upper level of the building until I found a ladder. I peeked up through the hatch at the top of the ladder and saw a starlight sky. I put my rifle onto my back and climbed the ladder to the roof. When I was on the roof, I pulled my rifle off of my back. I heard screaming, gunshots, fires crackling, explosions going off, and voices. I walked over to the edge of the roof. I saw the familiar six people. The council of the Black Reqrium. They all had their eyes cast roof ward, and they saw me. They all grinned. "There he is!" Shouted Vladimir, his voice ringing in my skull.


I took aim with my hunting rifle, looking down the scope. I took aim at Vladimir. I pulled the trigger and a thunderous bang! Sounded off. The muzzle flared and the rifle kicked against my shoulder. I pulled the bolt up, back, forward and down. I watched in horror as Vladimir's form blurred, and an aura of smoke surrounded him. The bullet passed through him, and he re-materialized. He chuckled the same chuckle he had used in my nightmares so often. It rung in my skull, bouncing off of the insides of my brain to the point where I thought my brain would bruise. I saw a small, fist sized fireball coming towards my head and I ducked. I heard footsteps to my right, and a fearful voice. "Corporal! What are you doing!?" Shouted a young man. I looked over and saw an officer in full camouflage pointing a small pistol at a young man. I looked over the roof and saw Silver glaring at the officer who had the gun pointed at the young man. Silver was faintly grinning. I understood now. I took aim with my rifle and put his head in the center of my crosshair. I pulled the trigger.


The gunshot sounded and the muzzle flared, the kick on my shoulder was barely noticeable. I loaded another bullet in the chamber by pulling the bolt up, back, forward and down. I watched in disgust as the man's head exploded, sending crimson blood spraying across a few nearby people. The man who I had shot fell to the ground, lifeless. The empty space where his head should have been spewed blood across the concrete rooftop. The young man looked to me. "Thank you." He said solemnly. I nodded. I turned my attention back to the council of the Black Reqrium. We were at a huge disadvantage with Silver turning our troops against each other. We had to take her out, but if I peeked out, Serita would fry me. I had to get to a place where I could take a shot from a safe distance, but the rooftop offered no cover except for the cubular air vents that scattered the roof every few feet.


I looked around for a place to find cover, but in behind the vents wasn't enough. I kept an eye on my friends, so we wouldn't get separated. I stayed close to them. Luna turned to me. "I cannot get a clear shot!" She yelled over the sounds of chaos that filled the air. "Neither can I!" I yelled back. My friends stood at the edge of the roof, dodging Serita's fireballs and trying to take aim fast enough to take a shot and not get fried. Hale backed up, avoiding a head sized fireball. "I can't get a shot!" I yelled. The others backed away. They couldn't hit the council either. "We need a better plan." Said Anara. Chibata nodded. "In nineteen forty, I was in a similar situation. Except it was bullets flying at my squadron and I and not fireballs." He said. Anara looked to him. "That did you do?" She asked. Chibata shook his head. "We retreated, so we could live to fight another day. That is not an option here. There is one thing we can do, but it is risky." Chibata said. Hale leaned in close to Chibata. "What is that?" He asked. Chibata stood up straight. "We stand, and we deliver." He said.


I stood up straight as well. I nodded to him. I looked over the edge of the roof, the council was still there, they had killed a good portion of the military soldiers on the rooftops, and dead, charred bodies lay scattered. I noticed that there were only maybe thirty soldiers left, they were shooting at the council, but Serita kept their heads down with fireballs. I then spotted movement on the street a few kilometers from where we were. I looked down the sight of my rifle to get a better view, and my vampire vision helped me see in the dark. I saw a fearful sight, but one that was none too surprising, after all, we had created a lot of noise from gunshots and explosions. Standing on the road, and running faster by the second, was a horde of Kerulen, the horde was small, only a few hundred, thankfully. I also saw a few gargoyles among the Kerulen. Fear gathered inside my gut.


I looked to face the remaining soldiers on the rooftop. "Everyone! Fall back! Into the CDC!" I yelled. I beckoned them over. "We're pinned down!" One of the men yelled. I looked to see Serita shooting fireballs at them. I pointed my rifle at her. "I'll cover you! Come on!" I shouted. I fired at Serita, she somersaulted out of the way. I pulled the bolt up, back, forward and down. I was now missing four bullets, counting the ones I had previously fired, and I reloaded once the soldiers had crossed. They all descended the ladder and went into the building. I was the last to go.


When I reached the bottom of the ladder, I could hear explosions going off. They shook the building, but they were targeted at the front gate. I looked to Luna, who had appeared beside me in the last few seconds. "How thick are those doors?" I asked her. Luna kept her eyes fixed on the door. "A few feet thick, at least." She said. I heard the thirty soldiers behind me crouch down and aim their assault rifles at the door. I went beside them, the soldiers had formed a line two men thick. The back row stood, the front row kneeled. I was in the back row, as were my friends. Luna was in the front row. I heard more explosions from Eumano. "What are these things?" I heard someone ask. "Evil spirits, no doubt." Another voice answered. A few more explosions sounded, then they stopped. There was a tense silence. Like the calm before the storm, the quiet before the thunder clap. I then noticed that the front gates were acquiring a slight discolouration.


The front gates were turning red! I saw steam coming off of the gate. Serita was melting the door! "Luna! Is there a backup gate?" I asked. Luna nodded, and ran into a room to my right. After a few seconds, I saw a massive sheet of metal slide upwards from the floor, locking into place with an airlock. The metal sheet was a few feet thick. I breathed a sigh of relief. Serita couldn't get through that. Were we safe? I then saw that the massive sheet of metal was turning slightly red. A minute or so later, the metal started to steam, then, little by little, molten chunks of steel slopped onto the ground. I could see Serita's face through a fist sized hole in the metal. She bore a look of fierce determination.


I looked to Luna. "Is there any more backup walls like that?" I asked her. She shook her head. "No, we're all that's left!" She shouted. I took aim on the door. Serita had moved her head away from the hole in the metal. Lucky her. The center of the metal sheet was now glowing red! Finally, the red door turned soft and almost molten. Then, an explosion sounded, and I watched in horror as now-molten chunks of steel flew at our line of defense, propelled by Eumano's explosion. I heard screams of agony as the soldiers were hit with the almost liquid steel. The lucky ones were hit in the arm, and just brushes the hot steel off of themselves, the unlucky ones were hit in the face, Having their noses and mouths covered by liquid steel.


The hazardous explosion had cleared a gap wide enough for one person to come through in the steel. I looked over, to see that around half of the soldiers were now dead or dying, covered in molten steel. I aimed my hunting rifle at the hole in the door. The next person to walk through that door was in for a surprise. I saw movement a second later and pulled the trigger, then loaded another bullet into the chamber, feeling triumphant. I then realized something; that was not one of the council of the Black Reqrium that I had shot. It was a Kerulen. I then remembered seeing the horde. Oh no. We were in trouble. I looked to the few remaining soldiers. "Follow me if you want to live!" I told them. Around six soldier followed me, the other seven or so stayed, but then saw the danger of the oncoming Kerulen horde, and ran after me. I decided to go to the lab where I last found my parents.


I navigated the hallways of the CDC, with the soldiers following me. I found the corridor and took the first laboratory on the right. I crashed through the door along with my friends and the soldiers. The last one inside locked the door. My parents were sitting in the corner with hunting rifles much like mine in their hands. They lowered their guns when we came in through the door. "We saw the Kerulen horde from above, we are in for the fight of our lives." My father, Thirsk said. I nodded. "Yes, we are." I told them. My mother, Hope glared at me. "And who are the six people outside who are trying to break in, Nick?" She asked. I shook my head. "Remember the dangerous people I told you about?" I asked her. She nodded. "These are the people that I've been running away from for the last few months." I said.


My mother shook her head. "Okay, so they're here now, let's go and shoot them." She said. I shook my head fiercly. "You don't seem to understand... they have powers! We have guns! I emphasized those last two sentences by putting strain on my voice. My mother seemed to see the danger and she looked to the door. Thankfully, the Kerulen had not found us yet, but I had no doubt that there were a few in the building, and I also had no doubt that the council of the Black Reqrium had breached the front gates already. Panic started to rise within me.


I then heard thundering footsteps outside the door. Uh oh. This was it. My father spoke up. "This is it! Our stand is here! Kill as many as you can!" He yelled. I readied my hunting rifle and pointed it at the door. "Do you all have silver bullets?" I asked them. They nodded. "Of course we do, we are not stupid." My mother said. We all listened as the footsteps grew louder. At least half the horde could have been in here, the footsteps were so loud. I could here doors opening and shutting down the hall from us. In at least a minute we'd be found out, and then the battle would begin.


I heard the door down the hall from us open and shut. I heard footsteps directly outside the door. I heard the doorknob turning, and the door crashed open. A gargoyle stumbled inside the room, and my father shot it with his rifle. Then, Kerulen started to pile inside of the little room. The deafening sound of gunfire filled the room as we all fired at the same time. As we fired our weapons, I could see that we were beating the Kerulen back, but they wouldn't be held back for much longer. We had to get out of this lab. "Luna! Is there another way out?" I asked over the roar of gunfire. "Yes! There is a broom closet over there with a staircase that leads to the lower levels of the CDC!" Luna yelled. I looked to the broom closet. There was a slight problem.


It was all the way across the room. With a few hundred Kerulen waiting on the other side of the door to the lab. If either one of us went over to the closet, we'd be eaten alive. We were just barely keeping the Kerulen back as it is. I heard the comforting sound of machine guns over our civilian weapon shots, and I was thankful that we had managed to save a few soldiers. With the help of their machine guns, we were able to beat the Kerulen back past the door, and out into the hallway. This was our chance. "Come on!" I shouted, already starting to run across to the closet.


I heard footsteps behind me, signaling that the others in the room understood the plan. I opened the closet and descended the staircase. As we got lower and lower into the CDC, it got colder. I heard the roar of footsteps from above, the noise from which would equal five stampedes of cattle. But these were not cattle. They were Kerulen. And gargoyles. We ran down as far as the staircase would go. Once everyone reached the bottom, we aimed our guns at the staircase, and we waited. There was a long stretch of hallway behind us, so we could retreat if we needed to. Then we heard the Kerulen coming down the staircase.


The Kerulen came in a clump, which made it easy for the soldiers with machine guns to pick off, and I helped with my rifle. Eventually, the hundred or so Kerulen on the staircase were dead. Killing them was easy now that we had machine guns on our side, we could probably kill the entire horde in another hour. Then I remembered who else was here; the council of the Black Reqrium. They would try to kill us, for sure. Why else would they come here? We then heard footsteps, but they didn't belong to the few hundred Kerulen, they belonged to a smaller group of people. What had happened to the Kerulen that had to have remained? Did we kill them all? That was easy... In all fairness, we did have military grade weapons, so that is to be expected. "Did... We kill all of those things?" A soldier asked. I nodded. "Yes, but the dangerous people who melted your gates are still alive, and they're coming for us." I told them ominously.


We heard footsteps coming down the stairwell. We then saw who they belonged to, and seeing their faces struck fear inside of me. It was the council of the Black Reqrium. I heard someone slowly clapping. Vladimir. "Ah, Nick. It seems as though you are at the end of the line, quite literally, in fact." Vladimir told me. I looked backwards, there was about twenty feet of hallway with no doors on either side. We would be cornered if we didn't push them back in some way. The only way out of the CDC was through that stairwell, and six of the universe's deadliest people were between us and freedom. Well, as long as those six people remained alive, there would be no freedom for anyone. We had to stand. We had to deliver.


I then felt an opposing consciousness against my own. Silver. I saw Serita balling spheres of fire in her hands. "So you've come here to kill me." I stated. "Precisely." Vladimir said. Without warning, he dissolved into a cloud of smoke, and I heard his footsteps behind me. I turned around to look at him. He had a silver dagger. I had turned my back on the rest of the council of the Black Reqrium. We were surrounded. I then had an idea on how to get out of this. In fact, I had done it before, in a way. I looked to the floor. I heard the council of the Black Reqrium talking. "Any last words, Chosen One?" Asked Vladimir. I nodded. "Yeah, I got a last word." I told them. I looked up at Vladimir, staring into his purple eyes. He looked at me expectantly. I looked back to the floor, feeling the power of what I was about to do surge through me. "Drottingheim!" I shouted.


Instantly, a spiraling vortex opened beneath us and sucked us in. My friends and I fell in first, then the soldiers. I looked up to see the council of the Black Reqrium falling above us. I had caught them in the vortex as well. I felt weightless, I heard the soldiers screaming "What's happening?!" And things of that nature. "You're all fine! When we hit the bottom of this thing, shot the six people garbed in black robes!" I shouted to them. "Are they the evil spirits? Are they the cause of the Kerulen in our world?" Asked a male soldier. I nodded. "Yes!" I yelled. I felt gravity take hold. "Get ready! This is it!" I yelled. And with that, gravity fully took hold, and we were plunged into Drottingheim.




© 2014 Ryan Henderson


Author's Note

Ryan Henderson
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Very good flow, I love how you inserted Luna, Mr. Grant and Nick's parents back into the story, although it is only logical, seeing as we did not actually see them die! Very interesting twist to the story and indeed a fitting chapter name! Keep writing!

Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on November 21, 2014
Last Updated on November 25, 2014
Tags: Vampire, Vampires, Fiction, Fantasy, Hero, Epic


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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