Blood Binds Us
a piece of Horror-Fantasy Fiction written by Tyr Kieran
(created via a social media book project)
and titled by Elizabeth Hisaw
All Content Copyright © 2009-2010 Tyr Kieran
But now, nearly 800 years later, she IS alive, running with the remaining werewolf population in tow, and apparently with a surviving portion of our old clan waiting for her in yet another baited plan. “So, how much of the clan survived?” My voice was tentative, weighed down from reliving those dark memories. “Rell, Zune, Jade, Vex and Raven.” Kira replied as she picked up the pace. “They are waiting, let’s get back on track.”
As we dart back toward the East side of the city, subtle ground tremors announce the Lycan’s renewed pursuit. What was the purpose of all this? Why ignite an insatiable rage in the Lycanthropes and lead them to the Ag-Center? Running side by side with Kira, I continue my questioning. “Despite their possible annoyances, why did you send those vampires to their deaths, back at the rooftop, when you’re obviously going to need all the help you can get battling these Lycans?”
Without even the slightest change in pace or expression, Kira replies, “They were traitors. I was about to kill them myself when you showed up out of nowhere.” “Traitors?” I thought out loud, narrowing my eyes. “Traitors for whom, the Lycanthropes?” Kira threw a quick glance at me from the corners of her eyes. Her expression was one of anger and concern. “They were thralls of the Sect!”
Her words hit me with a wall of complex emotion, nearly knocking me off balance. My face falls slack in a clean slate of shock. I navigate waves of emotion, like stages. First, disbelief, “No, it couldn’t…” Then confusion, “But…” And eventually, Fear of the simple truth: The Sect still lives! After all this time they still hunt down immortals and now they use moles? My mind was racing as fast as we were. I try to wrap my brain around the Sect’s continued existence. That’s when Kira’s plan started became apparent.
Now on the city’s eastward bypass, we see the Agricultural center in the distance; the plan’s point of mayhem. I can’t help but wonder “Will this night be my last?” Looking over at Kira, she is a visage of confidence, but even after 800 years apart I can still read her true emotions. Fear fueled by adrenaline… fear, yes, but not for herself.
City lights blur in dissipating trails on our left as we run down the highway. The forest line that dominates the other side of the bypass now gave way to open water. The extra salinity in the air agitates my senses; I was never a big fan of the ocean, or any large body of water for that matter, but the ocean view is a welcome sight. It means we were closing in on our destination. Glancing again at Kira, I prodded “I hope they are ready.”
I think about Kira’s plans and analyze the building ahead. The city’s Agriculture Center was the dominating structure on the east side and comprised of three main sections; a magnificent glass dome atrium with several levels above and below ground, and two angular towers of administration and research encased in steel and stone. The largest tower had to be at least twenty eight stories while the smaller stack looked to be fourteen. Our destiny however, lies upon the atrium’s main level.
The moonlit dome shines in a blazing framework of steel and glass. Mist from the surf, catching the reflected lunar glow, creates a ghostly haze around the structure. We cross a massive concrete bridge and approach the main entrance as the distant sounds of Lycan fury escalates.
We pause at the large ornate doors. They are easily fourteen feet tall and, together, just as much in width. Intricate wood carvings of plants, herbs, and scenes in nature span across the double doors. I turn to face Kira and place my hands on her shoulders. “Tonight, fate has brought us together again.” I could feel the centuries of regret and sorrow creep into my expression. “I can’t lose you again!” Kira flashes that entrancing smirk of hers. And placing a hand gently on my chin, she replies simply and definitively. “You won’t.”
Abruptly turning her head, Kira pauses, seeming to listen for something I could not hear. “It is time. The Lycanthropes are close. Let’s get the pawns in place.” We entered the massive doors, and she pulled them together behind us without closing them completely. Walking past me to lead the way, Kira winked. “No need to impede the arrival of destiny.” About to retort, I paused on my breath, sensing the presence of other immortals.
Despite the dominance of flora, concrete and adrenaline in the air, I could sense the specifics of my old friends. Jade and Raven have similar pheromones; sweet with a tinge of danger’s bitterness. Both women were impressive survivalists yet retained a dainty softness that attracted most men, human and immortal alike. And upon last sight, both were aptly named.
Raven had been a visage of night; dark eyes, black hair, and black clothes—dark to the hilt with a stunning contrast against her pure white complexion, like a brilliant moon on a clear night. Jade, on the other hand, was more vibrant. Her almost-regal attire set her apart. Her beauty and uniqueness had radiated from those vivid green eyes framed by the long gold strands of her always perfectly positioned hair.
Rell and Vex’s presences were harder to pinpoint by pheromones alone. They mask their sensory outputs well in an uncanny ability to blend within their environments, though Vex was slightly better at this feat. They learned this skill and several others while serving in the order of the Teutonic Knights. Vex was slightly taller and of a larger build, but still lean like Rell. Their similarities and level of friendship was enough that they seemed like twins. Both had angular features and light blonde hair—almost white in fact which gave them a ghostly appearance.
Zune, on the other hand, was a smash-and-grab kind of guy. He never bothered to mask anything; a worthy warrior in battle, but not a good man for stealth missions. His heritage of Russian influenced Norse endowed him with massive size and strength. Ruddy, fiery hair fell in waves to his shoulders; a foreboding of his severe temper. His boisterous nature reeked of infallible confidence and power. It’s been said that even the famed Varangian Guard feared Zune; and that was when he was still human.
Even though no other immortals, no other threats, are present, I am unable to calm the electric pulses of blood and adrenaline that prepare my body for danger. Kira leads me through another set of oversized doors and onto the atrium’s main level. A barrage of white light overwhelms my eyes, but I adjust after a moment. Moonlight flows down through the glass ceiling, like a silent waterfall pouring over everything and glistening like diamonds. With a sense of awe, I walk slowly to the glistening rail overlooking the lower levels. I try to visualize the conflict that will soon spill through this place, studying the layout; looking for places of strategic advantage that will aid our few against the werewolf masses.
Concrete levels ring the entire length of the structure in a stepped pattern, each balcony jutting out farther than the one directly above it. These levels consist of botany laboratories, greenhouses, and liberal amounts of decorative plants that no doubt served dual purposes. Despite the atrium’s physical similarities to a modern-day sports arena, it seems an injustice to house such a conflict here. The contrast of peaceful beauty and the nearing violence is disturbing.
“Now I know how the Gladiators of Titus’ coliseum felt,” I sighed. Kira agrees. “There is purpose to this place.” She turns to step away when the concrete around us shudders. A massive figure plummets from two levels up and lands with a hand and knee at the center of webbed fractures in the floor. A guttural voice booms from the mountain of flesh and muscle as he rises to his feet. “By the eye of old gray beard! Iames, you wily Scot, we thought you without breath long ago!” Zune chuckles as he grips me tightly in a brethren’s embrace.
Returned to the floor, I twist my neck to pop some vertebrae back in place. I can’t help but crack a smile, since this was such a common reaction to Zune’s affections. “Yes, Zune, it is good to see you too.” By that time Jade and Rell appear, standing at Kira’s side and starring in disbelief. Rell’s shock is quickly replaced by a grin. “You couldn’t have come at a better time, old friend. You will be needed.” And in a gesture of brotherhood we clasp forearms like kin of years past. Yet, the revelry is not shared by all at this reunion. My gaze lands on Jade and the scowl twisting across her face.
Disdain threatens to seep from her eyes in unshed tears of crimson. “Why are you here, after all these years? Planning on another stab at our backs?” The venom she spoke was made even more painful by its contrast with her “Disney Princess” voice tonalities. “Why show up now?” Her voice cracked and trailed off. I wince as her words strike hard. Eight hundred years of regret and self loathing brought to the surface all at once. The torrent of aguish spreads through my body, infecting my expression. “I tried to… I did not betray the clan!”
Suddenly a compassionate hand grips my shoulder. Vex appears from behind me and moves to face the group. “I saw him tumble from the cliff after taking one of them out. This man is no traitor and I for one am grateful to have him here tonight!” Jade's jaw tightens and she looks away. Kira points to the main doors. “Enough! The Lycanthropes are nearing. Raven. Did you find the wolfsbane growths?”
The petite vampire steps forward with a fist full of vibrant, purplish-blue flowers. Several more hang from a leather satchel at her hip. Crouching down she unloads the herbs into six piles on the floor, then hesitates on the last. With a quick glance at me, Raven redistributes the flowers to create a seventh pile. “Grab a bunch and grind the roots in your hands. The Aconitum will intensify Lycan pain.”
I look down at the herbs in my hand; finding a bit of humor in such a delicate plant having any affect on monstrous beasts. But my smile is brief. The flowers’ loose petals start to dance and writhe in my open palm. The vibrations arrive in stealth, but quickly intensify. The entire facility shudders as if the building itself fears the events it will soon host. Zune starts to laugh. “Valkyries, ready thyselves. The battle is nigh upon us.”
Rell rolls his eyes. “Zune, you barbaric bastard, you know damn well the Norse concepts of religion have long died out.” Zune, laughing even harder now, firmly slaps Rell on the back, nearly knocking him to the floor. “Aye, yet you should give thanks my desire for Valhalla has not!” Raven glowers at Rell, shaking her head. Kira interjects like a mother with worn patience trying to achieve compliance. “Clan, get to your positions.”
Jade turns, heading for her post above Lab #438 at the North end. She stares at me hard; a look laden with mistrust and warnings. The pangs of errors-past continue to burn in my chest. “Kira, I’m going with you.” Her steps jump rhythm in hesitation. “Iames, I could really use you down on level 2b. In front of lab #238b.” Brushing hair away from her eyes, I let my hand linger against her skin. “Fate may call for our deaths tonight, but it will not separate us again.”
“Let me protect you, Kira!” She smiles flatly and presses her hand against mine. “Iy, the needs of the clan supersede the needs of its individual members. The clan could really use your help on level 2b. Besides…” her sad smile warms to a smirk, “…I’ve improved a bit since you saw me last.” Barely containing my frustration behind gritted teeth, I march off to my post. I take the stairwell in a blur and speed across the concourse to the North end, stopping at my “Lab238b” post. With the laboratory’s glass doors at my back, I face the open expanse of the atrium.
The building’s inherently fresh air grows stagnant as the now noticeable, creeping stench precedes the horde. Standing a hundred yards from the main entrance, I can still feel their arrival reverberating in the dense concrete beneath me. The vibrations spread up through my bones and sting my teeth. I can’t help but think, ‘Destiny will not hide in life’s subtleties tonight.’
Glancing around I see my brethren waiting in various locations throughout the complex. All eyes fixed on the massive doors, their faces tinged with concern. That is, except for Zune. He stands tall above the entrance, poised to rain death upon the Lycans as they swarm into the atrium. I can see his child-like grin from here. My eyes move to Kira. She leans against a wall rubbing some wolfsbane between her hands, watching the main doors over her left shoulder. The palpable tension seems to ease but for a fleeting moment. Then, a deafening cacophony ruptures the air; sounds of bending steel, shattering concrete and Lycanthrope fury.
A thunderous blur of hair and teeth surges into the atrium, searching for something to kill—seeking revenge. Werewolves: Monstrous beasts of dripping saliva and death’s rank odor. A species thought to be regressing in evolution. They are nearly mindless at times. I can only wonder how much of their humanity remains. They are living masses of ferocity and brawn, and are highly dangerous even to vampires. Normally they attack with a primal purpose like hunger or for territory, but in this case it’s for retribution; retaliation drawn to a specific scent—Kira’s.
Lycanthrope rage reverberates throughout the complex, dominating my senses. They swarm the main level in a dense blanket of fury. “There must be over fifty of them” I whisper to myself. As the last werewolf enters the complex, Zune makes his move. Leading with his massive broadsword, he descends on the single, trailing Lycan—planning to use him as an example. The werewolf didn’t stand a chance. Within seconds the sword pierces the top of his head and skewers it to the floor. Using the leverage of his landing, Zune pivots the rapier for removal, slicing the Lycan’s head in two.
The sudden scent of blood brings the werewolf horde to a halt. Turning to find the source, they see Zune standing prominently over a Lycan corpse. A wave of shock momentarily silences their rage; confusing their purpose. Offering an impartial glance at the sudden Lycanthrope attention, Zune states “I thought you guys culled your weak.” and then returns his attention back to his sword and flicks blood from his weapon in feigned disgust.
Immediately, their feral features contort from docile confusion to exasperated rage. The entire pack erupts—vocalizing their fury at a much greater decibel than before. Cracks web through the atrium’s glass; the domed ceiling, the interior greenhouses, and the laboratory enclosures. Wafts of tiny glass shards rain down as the structure struggles to retain the audible force. They move toward Zune in a prowling creep. With dripping jaws poised to strike, the two closest Lycans rise to their feet, towering over the vampire. Zune folds his arms and, starring up at their yellow eyes, releases a chuckle. “For not the smell, you’d be but whelps to Loki’s own Fenris!”
“NOW!” Kira’s command echoes through the complex; momentarily distracting the werewolf pack. The Russ warrior took the opportunity without hesitation. Wielding his sword in inexorable arch of death—he lifts the iron blade high and pulls it downward in one fluid motion—effortlessly slicing air and beast alike. Simultaneously, near the other end of the Lycan horde, two pure white hands emerge from a pillar’s dense shadow. They extend out, revealing wrists, elbows, and then Vex’s devilish smile as he latches onto an unsuspecting werewolf. In an instant he dissolves back into the shadow’s depths with his prey, leaving behind a trail of claw marks on the floor.
Two dead werewolves fall at Zune’s feet. The third lashes out, clawing at the vampire. Unable to swing his broadsword in close combat, Zune embeds the blade into the concrete while he fends off the massive Lycan jaws with his left arm. Clenching his teeth in a gruesome smile, the bloodied Rus reaches up and grabs the werewolf’s head with both hands. Muscles strain in a tug of war. Deadlocked—strength versus strength—for a few teetering moments. Zune unleashes a guttural yell and thrusts the Lycan’s head down onto his standing broadsword. The hilt explodes through the beast’s skull in a spray of blood and brain matter.
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