I mourn for each city lost. But I understand that we must regroup in order to gain more strength. In reality, the vampires have not gained as much ground as they lost in the west. And no one owns the Midwest. Or at least from Ohio to western Nebraska. Or from the Canadian border to northern Kansas and central Missouri. And the cooler weather makes them avoid Canada altogether.
Ah Canada. Land of freedom. Kind of. The last bastion of the Firstlings. The good half. The majority of the good vampires reside there, unaffected by the cold. And, in some regions, they sleep undisturbed.
After I am finished with the refugees, I have to head up there. I was charged with waking the sleepers and rounding up the great and wonderful masters known as Valhalla. Heroes of the past Vampire wars. Heroes of past Firstling wars.
We need their help. And the help of the rest. The endgames draw near. How near is anyone’s guess.
Ironic. This all started with a political difference. A difference made catastrophic by the invasion of the vampires into human politics. and business. But I guess I must get over it.
Man’s fall was inevitable. And foretold. Every religion had its form of the end. Man’s version of Christianity was no different. It is truly ironic.
Now that I look at it. man’s version of everything was a religion. Physical. Unbending. Merciless. Unyielding. Unforgiving.
So wrapped up in physical change. But the reality of what was supposed to be was not physical at all. Strange how a walk in faith turned into heavy handed hellfire and brimstone. But then, this war is really a war between Heaven and Hell. Good and evil.
And at the center of it are the Sabbath Stones. Those keys to power that all covet, yet none can control. And I am charged with their destruction. I shake my head while deep in thought. I look up in time to see Sara looking at me suspiciously.
I smile. “Just thinking. So much has happened. And so much more is about to.”
She grins. “There is something else weighing heavy on your mind.”
I look down. “I have a mission I am supposed to carry out alone. I was entrusted with it By Truva. I must destroy the Sabbath Stones.”
She wrinkles her nose. “What are those?”
I look back up. “It’s a very long story. Let’s just say they are an object of power that all desire, but none can control. They are the reason the world is slowly self-destructing…along with the universe. I must destroy them before they destroy us.”
she is still pushing. “Is this something to do with that Kalkolides you always mention?”
I nod. “Yes. He has possession of them and I am to face him and destroy them.”
She looks down. “And this coming war. We are all a part of it, right?”
I look her in the eye. “Yes. Man and Firstling must unite to win this. That means the primal fears and silly myths are going to have to be dropped. Trust will have to be given by both. That is if you want to survive.”
We spend the rest of the day rounding up refugees. Kind of like herding cats. We try to lead them to the ferry we have been using. But some seem intent on getting killed. They insist on heading for the nearest city. Even after being told that the vampires are besieging all major cities and towns.
I have had enough. I stop. “Listen, People!” They all turn to me. “You are trying our patience. Listen to us. We know what we are talking about. There are no cities that are safe for humans! Do you really believe that your city is the only one they are trying to take? C’mon, people! Wake up! The south is about to fall and all you want to do is go to another city only to flee with their citizens?
“We are trying to get you to safety and you just want to walk back into the path of danger! This is not a sane way to live! If you want to live, follow us! We are leading you to free territory!”
Suddenly, all eyes are on me. I have suddenly awakened them to the harsh reality of what the world has become. They are no longer able to hide comfortably behind the illusions of civilization. Or what used to be.
Many are now ashamed of their actions. Bowing their heads, they shuffle along with the rest behind us as we guide them to safety. we resume our trek to the ferry. All is silent.
When we stop at the ferry, one stubborn old man approaches me. “How do you know that the cities hereabouts are all under attack? I don’t see you goin’ an’ checkin’ things out.”
I look him in the eye. “They have been under siege for twenty years, sir. I have already scouted all the cities out. I know. I don’t have to go back. I have been ferrying refugees from them to safety for longer than you have been away from Savanna.”
Suddenly, he is shocked. He hadn’t realized that I recognized him. Or where he was from. “H-how did you know I was from Savanna?”
I smile sadly. “I have seen you there. Even if you do not recognize me. I know every person and where they are from. It is my business to know. It makes my job easier.”
He eyes me suspiciously. “What job?”
I keep my eye on him. “I am a hunter. I know how vampires think and who they target. I also know who has resisted them. And you are one of those who resisted their allure. It is in your eyes.”
He looks away hurriedly. “Yes. Well.”
I smile. “I suggest that you not fight me on this. I am taking you to the territories held by the Underground. And possibly even to the missions. Depending on their wishes. The women will all be sent to the convents to learn from the Sisters.”
He looks at me again. “Why?”
I put my hand on his shoulder. “Do you really want the Vampire Nation to rule over man?”
He looks down. “No.”
I remove my hand. “Then that is reason enough. You must become warriors and stand your ground. If you want the vampires to lose, you must be willing to fight. And overcome.”