A flood of Feyini warriors gush out of the doorway and onto the gangplank. The closest end up with a permanent lobotomy. Crossbows now unloaded, the youngest draw their machetes and the rest of us draw our swords.
The order is given “Charge!!!!” They rush us.
We stand our ground. I look at my nearest ally. “Ready?” I smile.
She smiles back. “Always.”
I hold firm. “Hold your ground, ladies.”
Suddenly, we are surrounded. But only for a short time. Feyini body parts fly everywhere. Their twisted, broken bodies spin away from us. Their black hair and nearly elven showing through their broken helmets.
I look at the door. “Ladies, it is time to advance.”
Sara’s voice rises above the din. “Charge! Before they get the door closed!”
We rush the door as one. Its defenders scatter just long enough for us to enter and begin wreaking havoc in the first compartment. One defender tries to close the door in vain. He falls dead.
As the Feyini retreat, we follow them too closely for them to close any bulkheads. Dead Feyini fall everywhere. It is a slaughter. We press ever deeper into the ship.
We enter a huge space deep within the ship that I can only assume to be a storage area. The only difference is that this space is filled with drawers to all sides. And slabs in the center. A theatre for doing vivisection! Dear God! This is horrible!
I almost gag at the thought. “Girls, I think we just found out what they have been using our refugee friends for. I believe that these are ‘Firstlings’ known better as Harvesters. In past times, they used ships like this and made mankind think there was a such thing as UFOs. But they were merely the evil half of the ‘Firstling’ race.
“One of us is going to have to hit that box up there and open these drawers. We need to see if these people are worth saving. Or if they have all been killed and turned into meals for the undead.”
The smallest loads her crossbow and aims. Fwip! There is a loud clang and a shower of sparks. Then all the drawers open. A sickening smell fills the air.
We keep it together, but barely. Most of the drawers are filled with bits and pieces of human bodies. Most, rotting. But the far drawers still have what looks to be full bodies in them.
We approach cautiously. I kneel near the first body and inspect it. I check the mouth to make sure it isn’t a vampire. Then put my head upon the chest. There is a heartbeat. I repeat with every single body in the rows at this end.
I look at Sara. “They’re still alive. Find a way to wake them and clothe them. Then get them out of here.” She nods. “Choose a couple of girls to help you. The rest need to come with me. We need to destroy this thing and find out how many more of these ships there are.”
I head on down the corridor leading away from that horrid chamber with the rest of the group. We kill every Harvester we meet along the way. No mercy. Only death is good enough for these sick, twisted creatures.
We have been lucky that they haven’t used glamour or reverse-healing against us. I had expected them to attack us using diseases at their touch. Instead, they have fought us with blades. Odd. I would have thought they were smarter than that. Perhaps the Feyini have not grown past swords. No matter.
It takes a little doing. But we make it to the control room of this floating nightmare. The guards fall easily to our blades. The door opens easily. We rush in.
The captain whips around. He is evidently shocked that we have made it this far. “Who do you think you are to dare interrupt our divine mission?”
I smile. “You mean to tell me that the Vampire Nation hasn’t already sent you messages to beware of me?”
He is stern. “Who be you?”
I am still smiling. “I am the one they call the Angel of Death.”
He looks me up and down. “So you’re the one. No matter. You will not live long enough to tell any who I am.”
I stare him down. “Too late. All I want to know is how many more of these Harvester vessels there are. One? Three? A dozen?”
He smiles. “We are the only one…for now.”
I smile back. “Good.” I swing my sword down and his lifeless body goes twisting away. It falls to the floor of the ship’s bridge.
I go over to the com officer and hold my sword to his throat. “You are going to send a self destruct message to all the other Harvester vessels. And then, you will start the destruct sequence of this one. Got it?”
He swallows hard and nods. pushing a single button, he begins. “To all ships. Start self destruct sequence. Synchronize and initiate. Now.” He pushes another button.
I look at him. “How much time?”
He smiles sadly. “Thirty seconds.”
I slit his throat and watch him die. I look over at my girls. “Pick up some of their swords. They’ll come in handy. And then run like hell.”
They nod and rummage for as many swords as they can. I join them. we get as many as we can and then begin to run. Right back to the vivisection theatre. As we enter, I signal for Sara and her group to run. They prod their lethargic refugees into a dead run.
We all make it out in the nick of time. As the last of us touches the river bank, the ship’s interior begins ripping itself apart. Explosion after explosion tears the great ship apart. The last knocks us all to the ground with such force that it knocks the air out of us as well.
I lift myself off the ground and turn to see the shattered ship sink out of sight beneath the river’s surface. At the same time, I wince in pain. I feel the billions of deaths that happen simultaneously. It weakens me as well. But the threat of the Harvesters are over. Man can breather a sigh of relief.