Angel Of Death: The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down, Chapter Ten: The Underground In America

Angel has vanished, though I know he is still there. Khali has also left, but who knows where she has gone. I really don’t care. Though she is an ally, she scares me. She is dark and mysterious.

Yet, I know I must accept her. She is an elder member of my people. My people. Until tonight, I believed that I was simply human. A human who had been changed into a monster. But no more.

But exactly what am I? They have told me that I am what is called a Grigori. A ‘new blood’. Their words, not mine. part human, part Grigori. Still immortal.

I am still unsure. My heart tells me to trust them. To accept their explanations of who and what I am. But my head is telling me that they have to be wrong.

My emotions are swirling. I will lay this aside for now and think about it for a while. I need to focus on my current mission. I must head south to see just how bad things are. I need to find the members of the underground.

Shape shifters. Werewolves. Humans. Other vampires that hunt their own kind. Immortals fighting to restore man to his rightful place as custodians of this earth.

I must find them and slip behind enemy lines through their network of safe houses. I need to make it back to the bayou. I need to see how bad it really is. Hell. I need to find Truva and McCall.

Even if I don’t find them in the south, I will continue to look for them. I just need to know for sure whether they are OK. It is necessary for me to see that they are doing as well as I have been told.

Even more, I need to see that those who caused the fall of those cities suffer for their treachery. This man called Battle Axe. He needs to be stopped from hurting any more innocent people. If he had help, I must hunt down those who were also involved.

Should I look for War Hammer? I shake my head. No. He does not need me tagging along. Nor do I even know what he looks like.

I decide that I must continue heading south. Besides. I wouldn’t know where to start looking for the hunter. He could be anywhere.

I do not want to waste time traipsing about the countryside in search of someone I do not know. I simply want to do what is more prudent. I want to head south. and I do.

I skirt the desert that was the Midwest. No need to walk through miles of radio-active sands. At east, I believe they’re still radio-active. I’m not willing to try my luck.

But I haven’t been home for years. Not since I was taken out of the town I lived in. I have been told that the region was carpet bombed. Nuked. Turned into a wasteland. All in an attempt to destroy the ghouls and zombies that had begun to emerge from every shadow. But it failed. It created the Mutates and released more of the shadow kin.

At least that was the story. But how much of what I was told is true? Is any of it? After Angel and Khali’s revelations, I am no longer sure. Did Truva tell me all that to keep me from traveling back where I came from in order to find out what was really left there? I don’t know.

Right now, I don’t have time to find out. Maybe later. Much later. But not now.

***

I have spent days on the road. Maybe weeks. My search has been successful. I have found a member of the underground. Luci, he calls himself. I won’t ask him his name past that point. No need to embarrass myself. Or him.

I just hope I can trust him. Not all who claim to be of the underground truly are. If he can get me to a safe house, I will know him to be one of them. If not, I will most likely have to kill him. I really don’t want to kill him. He has been nice enough to allow me to travel with him.

He smiles. “Cris, be not afraid. Ask me whatever your heart desires. I shall answer all questions. I can tell you have many.”

I look at him. “Where are we headed? I usually stay away from this path. Where does it go?”

He chuckles. “That is not the question I believed you would ask.” He moves closer to where I sit. “But since you asked, we are headed toward Baltimore…well, actually, a specific house on the outskirts. We’ll be safe enough once we get there. But there are patrols betwixt us and there. I might be able to pass well enough, but you…not sure if you can get past them.”

I give him an odd look. “Why do you say that?”

He looks away. “I look like one of those who are lords of the region. I am pale and drawn. Almost ghostly. You, well, you are so dark. They fear anyone dark. Something about there being an “Angel Of Death” on the loose.”

I refrain from grinning. I am satisfied that they have not quite forgotten me. Still, I must remain ever vigil, or they might convince my companion to try and kill me in my sleep. “Any bounties out on this certain person?” I watch for any signs of a lie. But there are none.

He shrugs, almost oblivious to the idea. “Don’t know. We don’t pay attention to such things. We fight to free the cities, not to destroy possible allies.”

I smile. “Good. Then you will be able to get me through with no problem. Still, I do not understand why we are headed to Baltimore. Isn’t it under the enemies’ control?”

He looks over at me. “Of course. All of the south except from Texarkana west is under their control. Texas is under our control. As are New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and a few other western states. We have little pockets everywhere else as well, but they are small.”

He looks away. “By the way, if you are wondering, my name is Lucifer. It is a name I detest, so I shorten it to Luci.”

“You do know that your name means ‘light-bringer’ don’t you?” I smile. “And you have shown a little light upon my dark world whether or not you know that.”

He smiles sadly. “Yes, I know what my name means. But most think I am evil simply based on my name. That is why I travel alone most times. You have been the first to treat me with respect.”

I take his hand. “I do not judge a person on their name. I must see their true self before I decide whether I trust or not.” I turn away. “And to answer your unasked questions, I am the one they call Angel Of Death. It was nice to know that the vampires haven’t forgotten me.” I look back at him and smile.

He smiles. “I am going to like traveling with you. Both of us are outcasts which makes us kindred spirits.”

I nod as we grow quiet for the night. Neither of us will sleep since vampires do not need sleep. And he is a vampire just as I am. Two of a kind.

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