There is a legend in the vampire nation. It states that, whoever possesses the Sabbath Stones holds the power. For millennia, the thirteen stones were kept by the thirteen founding families. Then, along came Jason Kalkolides.
Young. Evil. Dark. Disrespectful of tradition. Filled with hate.
A thief and murderer. Arrogant and power mad. Everything his father was and more. And much less.
He went in and stole many of the stones. Those he could not steal, he massacred the families who had possession. Or forced their daughters to marry him. And he was unstoppable because he had most of the stones.
But even the stones’ power is not all-encompassing. And the more power someone has, the weaker they really are. So it is with Jason. He has gained power over only the Vampire Nation. Nothing else. And the side effects of the union of the stones are the emergence of the ghouls and the zombies. He has caused more damage in the natural world than he could ever imagine.
Someone has said that it has caused the emergence of another group. The Alphas. These are not undead. They are not vampire. They are not Werewolves. They aren’t even traditional shape shifters. They are something uniquely their own. And are fewer in number.
Combined with the nuclear fallout, the stones have also given birth to mutates. Living, they have a rudimentary intelligence. But they are savages. They eat everything. Some are even parasitic.
There is speculation among the Grigori that I am an Alpha. Perhaps the first. I have the characteristics of all, but am none. I am prone to hunt and feed, but am no simple vampire. I can shape shift, but not like the Grigori or normal shape shifters. Mine is similar to that of the werewolves, but not ruled by moon cycles or night. It is more of a mix of lycanthropy and full shape shifting.
And my wings. They are unknown among the other Alphas the Grigori have seen. Not one documented alpha has wings. Or, at least, not useable ones. I am the only one that has these wings.
This makes me unique among the Alphas. It makes me unique to any group. I am one of a kind.
Truva appears at my door. I am sitting, reading. He looks at me. Then at my book.
“May I talk to you a minute, Cris?” Something has sobered his thoughts.
“Sure.” I look up.
“The Grigori have voted on something and I have been sent to make their decision known.” He looks me in the eye. I stiffen, afraid of the coming statement. But my fear is for naught. “We have decided that, should something happen to us, and we know it is imminent, you are to go in search of The Sabbath stones.”
“Why are you saying that something will happen to you? And what do I do if and when I find these stones?” I am unsure of this.
“Since the vampires lost Baton Rouge, they will begin hunting down the Grigori. They will think that they can kill us. They cannot. Not without God’s permission. In essence, we are immortal. Vampires are not. Except the ones chosen as Grigori. Like Jason Kalkolides and Doravenour. Grigori must meet and battle to earn death.
“Once you find the Sabbath stones, you are to smash them. Destroy their power once and for all. Once you do that, it will return the balance and make all things right. If you fail, we are all doomed.” He looks me in the eye. I can see he is dead serious.
“What’ll happen if I am unable to destroy the stones?” I am now more scared of failure than I had been at his earlier announcement.
“They will destroy the earth and all the universe. That was why they were kept separate to begin with. Yes. They make their possessors extremely powerful. Even apart from one another. But together, they only allow enough superpower to give the illusion that the wielder is all powerful for a short time. sort of like the illusions given to someone who sells their soul. It is what they do that cannot be seen that cannot be reversed.” He bows his head.
“Then I shall make sure to destroy them. And Kalkolides?” I look over at him.
“Do not worry about him. The Grigori who is his opposite will be in your company at that time. Or should be.” He looks up and smiles.
“But if they can’t kill you, then–”
He cuts me off. “Only our other half, our doppelgangers, can kill us. But in a fair battle. And they do not fight fair. But they will imprison and torture us…and probably hold us to lure you away from your mission. Whatever you do, do not try to rescue us.”
“OK.” I am resolute. I have to promise him what he wants.Moreover, I have to do as I promise. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t get revenge or free them if I was to attack their captors without knowing they were there.
“Then it is decided.” He smiles at me. “Time to help you hone your skills as a shape shifter. The pain will become more bearable if you use the ability every chance you get. It can become almost second nature.”
He leaves and I watch him go. I pick my book up and mark my page, closing it. I head for the door of my apartment. I look back to where I had been sitting. I smile.
I head for the arena. I am excited. I am going to learn how to change shape without the pain. I will need this ability strengthened if I am to use it in times of need.
As I step into the arena, I am met by three Grigori. “I want you to try this. Don’t worry if it hurts a bit. You will get used to it.”
I am shocked to see all three speaking as one. But, I obey the request. I think of myself being not one, but three. I feel as if my body is being torn apart. I look to the left. I look to the right. I am truly beside myself. Literally.