Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Fourteen: Stella

Alcingeria Volume Two Chapter Fourteen: Stella

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson
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This chapter is written from Stella Hannigan's point of view. It follows her after she was captured by Ignacio.

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Chapter Fourteen Stella:

Thursday July 22nd 1690

Stella Hannigan, who was captured three days prior in the vampire mafia’s attack on Stavon, now sat in the dim, candle lit dining room in Mayor Alfred’s abode, the last remnants of twilight gazing in through the window. It was just the right temperature. The entire seemed almost romantic. It was perfect… If not for whom she was dining with.

Ignacio sat across the small table from her, sipping red wine from an elegantly crafted glass goblet. The liquid in the cup matched the color of his eyes almost perfectly. Stella ate the food that was in front of her, a marvelous array of meats, sauces, fruits, vegetables and cheeses. The vampire just looked at her through narrowed eyes, his head inclined as if he was in deep thought. It was a few minutes before Stella realized that her dining partner wasn’t eating.

            “… Are you just going to stare at me all night?” She demanded.

Ignacio’s eyelids smoothly opened all the way. He sat back in his chair, resting his chin on his fist.

            “Oh, the food is for you. As a vampire, I don’t eat.” He smoothly explained.

            “O…Kay…” Stella mumbled, finishing the food on her plate.

She reached out for more, but her reached was abruptly cut off by her chains, which kept her fastened to the chair.

            “Are these really necessary?” She asked, holding up her arms.

            “It’s merely a precaution you see, should you attempt to run.” Ignacio assured her.

            “But couldn’t you just stop me using force?” She inquired.

Just then, Ignacio vanished from his seat. He was suddenly behind her, brushing her blonde hair back behind her shoulder.

            “What, and hurt a delicate little blossom like you? Never.” He purred.

Stella shivered in disgust.

            “I’ve lost my appetite.” She concluded.

            “Come now, don’t be that way.” He implored.

Just then, someone barged into the room. Both Ignacio and Stella jumped and looked to see who the intruder was. It was a young man wearing a white fedora.

            “I told you to not disturb us!” Ignacio snapped.

            “Apologies sir, but I’m about to tell you some very good news.” The young man said hurriedly.

            “Very well.” Ignacio said with authority.

As the young man was about to speak, he was cut off by a familiar figure entering the room.

            “No you’re not, I am.” Said a confident and cocky Artemis Blaine.

He hadn’t changed a bit. He still wore the same black and white tuxedo, bowtie and fedora that he had when he made his appearance at Estaire’s birthday ball. His pale green eyes were full of excitement. His beige hair seemed shorter than the last time she saw him, it looked a little sharper as well.

            “Boss, you won’t believe what me and the lab boys are cookin’ up.” He said with absolute certainty.

Oh, and there was that. His confident, cocky attitude.

            “You and the lab boys? You’re an operative, not an engineer.” Ignacio said, confused.

            “Yeah, but I’ve been payin’ attention to what they’ve been doing ever since the beginning. I know how the stuff works. I’ve even made a few tweaks here and there.” Artemis boasted.

            “Hmm… Very good. Now, you have good news? Make it quick, if you don’t mind.” Ignacio droned, bored.

            “Right, well it won’t be done for a bit y’see. It’s going really well, but, eh, there’ve been some… complications with the design.” Artemis explained, obviously downplaying the problem.

            “Then where’s the good news?” Ignacio asked irritably.

            “The good news is the idea!” Artemis brightened up.

Ignacio raised an eyebrow at this.

            “The idea?” He asked, intrigued.

            “Yeah, the idea. It’s an innovation! I think you’ll be very impressed if you just come with me.” Artemis said with a tip of his fedora.

Ignacio sighed and turned to Stella.

            “My dear, I have to take this. I promise I’ll be back soon.” He fretted.

Stella scoffed, almost chuckling.

            “You say that like I’m going to miss you.” She shot back.

            “Youch.” Artemis remarked.

Ignacio snapped his head in his direction. Artemis jumped and strode quickly out of the house.

            “Yeah right follow me!” He blurted.

The vampire strode after him, leaving Stella alone in the house.

            “Something’s not right here…” Stella trailed off.

Stella had a bad feeling. She wasn’t very intuitive, but she knew this was bad. The vampire mafia was building something. She recalled how Stavon’s mine had been very busy since the mafia took the village. There had been shifts of vampires working, bringing up ore, day and night. What did they need the metal for?

Stella wondered in feared awe what it could be. The last time they made something, Queen Yuka nearly started a devastating war. If not for Estaire’s decisive action, Alcingeria would be a very different place.

Stella had to do something. She wasn’t strong, she wasn’t incredibly smart, but she had to do something. At the very least, she had to find out what was going on, get out of Stavon and get to her friends, but where did they go? She was captured when the second wave of vampires hit Stavon. They had planned to defend the village, so they didn’t have a Plan B.

Stella tried to stand, but was stopped by the chains.

            “Ugh, right.” She muttered.

She tried struggling against the chains. They weren’t very thick, but they had a strong lock on them. She briefly considered smashing the chair against the wall to escape, but A) it would make too much noise, and B) the chair was made of sturdy oak, so she probably wouldn’t be able to do it anyway.

She then had an idea. She leaned forward and grabbed her fork. She grabbed it with her right hand and brought it to the lock on her left. Thankfully there was enough slack for her to reach. She inserted the fork into the lock. It was a little small, but if she tilted the fork on a forty five degree angle, two of the prongs would fit in.

            “Hmm… How do you pick a lock…?” She asked herself quietly.

She fiddled with the fork in the lock for about two minutes, then realised it was no use. She eyed the fork, realizing that it was her only option. No other tool was in reach, and she had no idea when Ignacio would be back. She had to act quickly.

Stella tried the fork in the lock again, but to no avail. It was too big. She then had an idea. She stuck two of the prongs at end of the fork into one of the interlocking metal loops and twisted. Slowly, the two prongs of the fork began to twist and bend. After a minute, she had a made a ninety degree angle with the fork’s prongs! She stuck the two down facing prongs into the lock and they both went in all the way! She twisted it just like a key. It took some fiddling, but she got her left restraint off! She did the same with her right. She was free!

She walked through the door. She didn’t worry about sneaking out. Most of the mafia members saw Ignacio capture her. They wouldn’t mess with their boss’s girl.

She shuddered upon thinking that. Did she really just say that in her head? She shuddered again. To almost any other girl, Ignacio was a dream. Not to Stella. She knew what he was like. Behind all the complements and the suave demeanor, there was an evil vampire who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

She walked through the once quiet and peaceful village of Stavon. In the evening light it looked exactly as it had three days earlier, except for the evidence of the attack.

She remembered the attack very clearly. She remembered watching the men defend the fence, she remembered the screams of terror and agony. She remembered how the vampires took the village. Thankfully, almost all of the humans got out alive. There were however, a small few who didn’t. They were turned into vampires and recruited for the mafia. ‘Recruited’ put it lightly. They were forced to join and serve.

Bringing herself back to the present, Stella knew what she had to do. She walked through the village. Now that the sun was setting, the vampires were coming out. She heard them making banter, nothing that she needed to hear.

She wondered where Ignacio and Artemis could have gone. In the last three days, she hadn’t heard anything about a Research and Development facility. Maybe the knowledge was restricted to engineers? She walked through Stavon some more, looking for any clues as to where Ignacio had gone. Finally, after walking through the whole village, she came up empty. She resolved to ask one of the vampires for help.

            “Excuse me?” She asked a lady who was tending to a garden.

The woman turned to her, her red eyes glistening in the dying evening light.

            “Oh, you’re the girl Ignacio captured! Did he turn you yet?” She asked curiously.

            “What? Umm… No. Do you know where he is?” Stella asked.

            “Hmm… I saw him leave that house over there not too long ago.” She said, pointing to Mayor Alfred’s house.

            “Did you see where he went?” She asked.

            “Not exactly, but he went in that direction.” The vampire woman replied.

            “Okay, thanks.” Stella said with a nod.

She walked off in the indicated direction. She looked around, frustrated. Ignacio could have went anywhere. She walked on, frustration welling up inside her. She then heard a familiar voice. Well, a familiar pitch of voice. She realized it was coming from her right. She looked and found that it was coming from one of the houses she had just passed. There was a window open! She slinked over to it, trying to look inconspicuous. She had confidence in her ability to eavesdrop, but she didn’t want to get too close. These were vampires after all.

            “The design is a bit flawed, granted, but as soon as we get some witches in here, it’ll be perfect!” Artemis hurriedly explained.

            “Hmm… It looks like it could work. Do you really think this could help us take Semera?” Ignacio asked.

            “Most definitely boss. This is just the paper plans for it. The ideal results… Oh boy!” Artemis said excitedly.

            “My, you and the engineers have certainly outdone yourselves! Now it’s just a matter of getting those witches…” Ignacio pondered.

            “Yeah… Not sure how we’re gonna do that just yet. Also, the design needs a bit of tweaking, but this is the gist of it.” Artemis said.

            “Hmm, I’m impressed!” Ignacio exclaimed.

            “Thanks boss, we won’t let you down!” Artemis told him.

Just then, Stella heard Ignacio make a confused noise. She held her breath, fearing he had somehow detected her.

            “Anyway, I really must get back to Stella now. I can tell she misses me already.” Ignacio chuckled.

Stella mentally gagged. She heard Ignacio leave the house. She had to get out of Stavon before Ignacio reached the house. She bolted for the destroyed fence. She had no clue where she was going to go, but she had to run.

            “Hang on a sec… Hey boss!” She heard Artemis yell.

            “Great!” Stella muttered to herself.

She ran even harder. She passed the wreckage of the fence, running out into the grassy plain. Ahead, she could see the rocky forest that she and her friends had ridden through a few days ago. She looked back to see two men chasing after her. One of them was Artemis, the other was a vampire. Stella was getting a stitch in her side, she slowed down.

            “Hey! Stop running!” The vampire man shouted.

Despite her desires, after about two more minutes she had to stop. She was out of breath and couldn’t go on. She had just entered the rocky forest. The two men closed in on her.

            “Well! I knew I recognized ya! You were at Estaire’s big birthday shebang weren’t ya?” Artemis laughed.

            “You know this spy?” The vampire asked.

            “Aw yeah, me and blondie go way back.” Artemis replied with a wave of his hand.

            “First of all, I’m not a spy. And second, no we don’t!” Stella exclaimed.

            “Hey, it was sarcasm.” Artemis corrected.

The vampire next to him let out an agitated growl.

            “Are we really having this conversation? Let’s just bring her back to Ignacio!” He shouted.

Artemis smiled and stepped forward, assuming a ready stance. Stella just stumbled backwards, tipping over a tree root and falling on her butt. Artemis broke up laughing.

            “Ah, I just can’t take you seriously blondie. Y’know what? Just come back with us, fighting you would almost be as easy as you coming voluntarily.” He reasoned arrogantly.

            “I’m not going anywhere with you two, and I’m sure not going anything with Ignacio!” She spat.

The vampire looked to Artemis. They both shrugged.

            “We’re going to give you one more chance to willingly come with us.” The red eyed man said.

Stella didn’t know how to fight, not very well at least. As much as she was a joke in a fist fight, she was starting to see that it was her only option. She got up and assumed a ready position, taking a decisive step forward. Artemis chuckled.

            “All right then.” He agreed.

Stella took the offensive. Ceberus had given her lessons last year, but most of them fled her memory. She was right handed, so she threw a punch with her right hand. Artemis blocked it with ease and pushed her backwards.

            “That the best you can do?” He taunted.

It probably was, but Stella refused to give up.

            “Not by a long shot!” She yelled, getting back up and running at him again.

He was ready. He expected her to come directly at him, but he didn’t expect her to fake him out. Stella dove to the right just as Artemis’s leg flew out to kick her.Stumbling, Stella was on the ground. She lashed out at Artemis, who was now on one leg. She kicked out his knee and he fell to the ground. She got back up and kicked him in the ribs twice, three times. He let out grunts of pain, but he took the beating and got back to his feet. He hopped backwards a few steps to escape Stella’s blows. He used the extra room to throw a kick to her chin. She let out a squeal of pain and was thrown backwards, landing on her back.

            “Y’almost had me there.” He arrogantly consoled.

Stella’s chin stung. Luckily her jaw wasn’t broken, as she initially feared. She tried getting back up, but Artemis walked over and grabbed her by the arms, pulling her to her feet but keeping a tight grip on her. She then heard something that she didn’t quite understand. It was the sound of horses galloping!

            “What in the name of-“ The vampire said.

He was cut off by three men on horseback, now silhouetted in the dusk. Stella saw then raise flintlocks in their direction.

            “Stop right where you are!” One of them yelled.

No one moved. Artemis and the vampire didn’t know what to do.

            “Release the girl.” One of the riders ordered.

Artemis let go of her. Stella didn’t run over to the riders for fear of being shot.

            “Who are you?” One of the men asked them.

            “Who wants to know?” Artemis asked smartly.

            “The guard of Semera.” The rider replied.

Artemis looked to the vampire. The riders sat waiting. The vampire then dashed forward, attacking one of the horses! It whinnied in agony, falling to the ground. The rider hopped off with a cry of alarm, taking aim on the vampire. Artemis quickly scooped up a rock just as his friend dove out of the way. The rock sailed through the air and hit the guard in the helmet, momentarily stunning him. The vampire jumped up and pounced on the stunned guard, pinning him to the ground. One of the other horsemen shot him.

With a cry of pain he fell to the side, quickly standing up only to be shot a second time. He fell to his knees, slowly getting back up. The two standing guards attempted to reload their weapons, but they weren’t fast enough. The vampire dashed towards them, tackling on of them to the ground. When it seemed the guard’s fate was sealed, a third shot rang out, nailing the vampire in the back. He rolled off of the guard, still breathing and struggling to stand. Two of the guards who were standing unsheathed their swords and repeatedly stabbed the man until his stopped moving.

            “It was a vampire, that other man must be mafia!” The downed guard said, still holding his smoking pistol.

Stella scanned the area for Artemis. He had managed to slip away during the fight. She saw him retreated back towards Stavon.

            “Should we go after him?” One of the guards asked.

            “No, that’s Stavon. The whole place was taken over by the vampire mafia three days ago. There’s no way we’d catch up with him, even on horseback.” His friend had said.

The third guard turned towards Stella.

            “I’m sorry, my lady. What’s your name?” He asked.

            “I’m Stella Hannigan. I was captured in the attack three days ago and separated from my friends. I have no idea where they went or where they are now.” She fretted.

            “Stella? I’ve heard your name floating around with the refugees who came to Semera a few days ago. Do you know a Mister Robert Lowell?” He asked.

Stella smiled widely, her blue eyes lit up.

            “Yes! He’s part of the group I was in Stavon with!” She exclaimed.

            “Well, Robert and his friends taking refuge in Semera. Come on, we’ll take you there.” The guard said, helping Stella onto his horse.

The three guards mounted up. With a shout, they kicked their horses into a gallop and headed for Semera.



© 2016 Ryan Henderson


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Ryan Henderson
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Added on February 22, 2016
Last Updated on February 22, 2016


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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