Going Under Ch.5 War Wounds, a short story by HarrySaintcrow. Date added: 2011-05-16. Times viewed: 955.
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- Intro: Simon Awakes
So Timmy set about drawing the circle in front of the bookcase, taking great care to not smudge any of it as he drew in the arcane symbols he would use as focus points. He drew another circle around that to make a border of symbols for him to stand in. he drew his sword from its sheath and stabbed the blade into the floor so it would stand behind him as he drew out the energy. He drew another smaller circle around the blade for his second focus point and replaced the chalk he had been using in his pocket.
“Okay, now no matter what happens, no one touches me or my sword. Understood?” Timmy eyed the group and received a nod from everyone. Willy had taken a spot just in front of the oak doors while Audrey had lit a fire and lounged in one of the arm chairs near it. Lance was close by as he would take some of the load if it grew too intense for Timmy. Holly stood near the other side ready to make a dash for the artifact when the all clear was given. The resulting rebound would no doubt wake everyone in the condo and bring trouble fast. “Okay, let’s do this.”
Timmy stood in the first circle and took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly as he brought his hands up in a large sweeping circle and then lower them so his palms rested against each other in front of his chest. He began to chant in a low mumble of a voice and began to reach out as if trying to grab something in the air. Moments later the etheric energies surrounding the hall appeared to him like bits of arcane code flying around the air. They began to react to his voice and movements as he imprinted his will on reality and began to command them to him. His own energies began to pick at the shields and charms as he began to pull them from there hold. More energy came out of him and soon his aura became visible to those around him. His eyes became black orbs with small red irises, the way they always did when he pulled a lot of energy. The lines of code began to form into a single form as it finally broke free and raced towards Timmy. The energy hit with a concussive force that knocked books from there shelves and almost put the fire out but Timmy maintained control and redirected it through himself into his sword. For a brief moment, Timmy felt like every nerve in his body was on fire and it was all he could do to keep from screaming, but he had felt worse pain in his short life. Soon it was over and all the energy he had drained from the defenses of the hall was trapped in his sword. The blade seemed to be engulfed in blue fire as Timmy left his circle.
With a fluid grace he grasped his sword and swung the energy back at the bookcase. The blue fire left the sword like a giant comet flung through space and exploded through the bookcase. Bits of debris and burned books were flung through the air. “Go!” Timmy shouted at Holly. She was already on the run as Timmy fell to one knee; the working having taken a toll on him. The hall was smooth marble walls and so was the floor, all white with a gleam that was more of hidden magic than a reflection. Holly pushed all distractions from her mind as she raced to the end of the hall. The hall opened onto a small round chamber with very low lighting. In the center was a pedestal with a hank of red silk over an object.
She pulled the silk off to reveal a gold mirror the size of a dinner plate. Rubies lined the rim along with small etchings that were rubbed from being handled over the years. She grabbed the mirror and immediately her aura flushed into the visible spectrum. Red engulfed her and she felt euphoric and powerful. It took a complete effort of will for her to place the mirror in her backpack. As soon as the gold left her fingertips the euphoric wave receded and her aura calmed down. Soon she was running down the smooth hall again and ran straight into a fight.
The study was now in shambles as Lance, Timmy, Willy, and Audrey were hunkered down behind a large table they had over turned. Guards were now I the doors and were unloading clips into the table. Willy and Audrey were alternating with Lance and Timmy on returning fire. Willy was now down to using a colt and had given Audrey a berretta while lance was throwing what looked like golden arrows from his hands while Timmy threw fireballs. Holly dived for the cover as bullets whirred past her.
“Welcome to the party, glad you could make it.” Timmy yelled.
“Shut it. I got the artifact now we just need to get out of here.” Holly yelled back.
“Yeah, good luck with that.” Lance said.
“Any idea’s here folk’s cause I’m running out of ammo here.” Willy said.
“I’m thinking.” Timmy said.
“Well fucking think faster.” Lance said as he threw another arrow and caught a guard in the throat.
“I need a diversion.” Timmy said. “Willy, lance, think you can come up with something?”
“Willy, Phoenix dive time.” Lance said.
“Ah shit.” Willy said.
“What the fuck is that?” Audrey asked but no one answered her as lance grabbed Willy and threw him past the cover and he suddenly erupted into flames. The guards immediately trained there guns on him but lance was already focusing his will into an iron shield around the inferno clad Willy. Timmy leapt from behind the table spinning in mid air as he gathered momentum, his coat billowing out like great black wings and finally he came down slamming his fist into the floor.
An immense shockwave rippled through the floor and towards the guards and knocked all of them out the doors with the force of a bomb. Timmy was crouched just on the other side of the table as lance rushed to Willy’s side.
“Jesus, is he okay?” Audrey asked.
“He’s fine. Aren’t you Willy?” Lance asked as he sat Willy up. He was covered in a fine layer of black soot and he coughed a little as lance patted him on the back.
“Never better.” Willy said as he got to his feet.
“Come on. We need to move.” Holly said. the five of them were down the hall running for the back entrance when a blood curdling roar erupted from behind them, stopping them in there tracks.
“I Think Simon’s awake.” Audrey said.
“I think your right.” Timmy said.
“What the hell do we do?” Holly asked.
“Willy, take the ladies to the truck, wait fifteen then leave no matter what.” Timmy said.
“Fifteen? Fuck that. Willy, ten minutes you leave. Got it?” Lance said as he drew his sword from its scabbard. The small silver pommel seemed to glow in the low light and as soon as the blade had cleared its home a green line appeared and grew longer. It ended six inches from the pommel and ended in a large tassel.
“Got it. Come on let’s move.” Willy said as he motioned for Holly and Audrey to follow him. Audrey hesitated for a moment before she finally stepped towards lance.
“He likes to play mind games. Don’t believe what he says and don’t believe what you see around him.” she said. Then she took off but not before Timmy noticed something in her eyes.
“Thanks.” Lance said but she was already too far to hear. He soon turned and made ready to fight next to Timmy. “You got any tricks up your sleeves for this one?”
“Why do I always have to come up with the plans around here?” Timmy asked.
“Because you’re good at it; Plus you like to brag about it afterwards. You know you’re so egocentric.” Lance said with a smirk.
“Hey sit and spin bitch. At least my plans work all the time.” Timmy said. Lance gave a small snort of laughter and received a dirty look from Timmy. “Okay, ALMOST all the time.”
“I’m not interrupting anything, am I gentlemen?” a cultured voice asked from the shadows. Both lance and Timmy realized that the temperature had dropped considerably around them a low mist covered the floor now. Nothing could be seen through it and Timmy and lance slowly backed away from it. The mist gathered more at other end until it reached a height of six feet and then began to spin and twist until slowly the form of a man appeared in it. He was around six feet tall and thin. Black hair cut short and slicked back making a sharp widows peak on his pale head. The features of his face seemed to be off by only a few millimeters and too sharp to be human. His eyes were a stained mix of white and deep purple and Timmy could make out the slight dimples in his thin lower lip from what he knew were the vampire’s fangs. He was of course still dressed in red silk pajamas with a black silk robe over them that flowed down to the floor and a foot behind him like ink running from his body. “Because I know that would be just rude to interrupt a conversation one was not invited too.” He said in that cultured voice. It was low but with a weight to it that could only come from centuries of living. He held one hand behind his back while the other clasped a small glass with a dark red liquid.
“Blood in a wine glass is so clichéd these days.” Timmy said.
“My apologies, I don’t keep up with the trends of lowly vermin.” Delacroix said. He began to move forward but he seemed to float through the mist rather than actually walk.
“Hold it bloodsucker. Make another move and we’re going to paint the walls with whatever blood you’ve got left.” Lance said.
“I doubt that. You’re too scared to do anything. I can smell the fear coming from the two of you. I shall enjoy turning both of you and then I’ll set my sights on the traitorous bitch that let you in.” Simon said.
“Don’t count on it.” Timmy said. Lance then removed one of his knives and crossed it over the blade of his sword. Simon let that roar loose again as his vampiric features began to poke through his human visage and he backed away from lance. Both Timmy and lance retreated down the hall while lance held his makeshift cross. There backs hit the doors just as the lights went out.
“Oh shit.” Timmy said. It was the last thing he could get out as something hit him with the force of a full defensive tackler. Air rushed out of his lungs just as he felt wood and glass shattering against his coat and claws digging into his left side. One even caught on his lower rib. Time slowed to a crawl in this instant and Timmy could see that Delacroix had forgone his human appearance and was now in full vamp mode. His ears were now extended and pointed like an elf’s, his eyes were completely purple like pooled blood in a bruise and his teeth were all points in his mouth. He remembered feeling the cold of the snow just before he hit the snow covered concrete of the walkway through the garden. Delacroix wrenched his hand free of Timmy’s side and started to come up with another slash but Timmy managed to get his feet up and into the vampire’s chest. He pushed with all of his strength. The vamp flew back through the air and collided with another form. Lance had launched himself out of the gaping hole in the house and buried two knives in Delacroix’s back as the two landed in the snow five feet from Timmy.
Delacroix caught lance with a back hand but the knives were still buried deep in his back and the silver inlaid along the back of them was now reacting with vampire and burning the flesh around the wound. Lance wasn’t down yet as he retrieved his sword and came back with a downward slash meant to take the vampire’s head off but he was a step too slow and over extended his reach slightly missing by a hair. Delacroix kicked him in the ribs with enough force to send him flying through the air. He smashed into one of the statuaries and felt his ribs snap. Timmy was now getting up from being almost gutted by the vamp and could see him coming towards him. The knives were still smoking but the vamp ignored them. Malice and pure hatred raged in his eyes as he came closer, his claws clicking on themselves as he walked.
Bullets tore through the vampire as Willy emptied his gun into the vampire from a few feet away. The vampire reeled but in the same instant he gathered the snow around him and disappeared. Willy kept his gun trained on the spot where Delacroix had disappeared as he slowly walked towards Timmy. Timmy managed to get up his hands as pain raced through his body. Blood flowed from his side and he could swear his ribs were moving on there own. “Willy, get the fuck out of here!” Timmy screamed. Blood expelled from his mouth as he screamed and trickled down his throat as Willy continued to move towards Timmy. He tried to scream again but he couldn’t get the words out in time. The snow gathered again just behind Willy and took the shape of Delacroix. Willy spun on his heel dropping his gun and pulling his machete from the sheath at his hip. He followed through and chopped the vampire’s left claw off but missed the right one. With a sickening sound, Delacroix buried his right claw in Willy’s chest and lifted him off his feet. Timmy knew that he had that claw wrapped around Willy’s still beating heart, could feel it beating in his palm and just as quickly, Delacroix pulled his hand from Willy’s chest; still holding his heart.
Willy collapsed with his eyes still open in shock. His body still twitched as the nerves in his body let loose there last bits of energy. Delacroix licked the heart with his pink, forked tongue and Timmy could have sworn he heard the son of a bitch laugh. Pain still throbbed in Timmy’s side but rage was starting to take over and he found himself up on his knees, his sword in hand.
“I see you’ve still some fight in you. Then come, meet your fate tonight.” His voice was no longer the low, cultured voice it had once been. Now it was raspy and choked with mucus. Timmy was slow to his feet but he made it still raising his sword at hip level. The anger he felt was growing now and flushing his system with more adrenaline and his energies were taking notice as well. His aura flashed into the visible spectrum a deep blue with waves of black sweeping through it like flames. He could feel the wounds in his sides burning as his magic sped up the healing process past anything normal. “Tonight, you die Witch.” Delacroix said.
“No, tonight you’ll sleep in hell; from now to eternity. I’m going to watch you burn!” Timmy said. He walked towards the vampire as Delacroix tossed Willy’s heart over his shoulder. Delacroix leapt from his spot and flew at Timmy like a cannonball. Timmy raised his left hand and the ground erupted in front of him. Delacroix smashed into a wall of earth as Timmy placed a kick on the other side and sent the vampire flying back the way he came. The earth returned to the ground as Timmy ran at Delacroix, his sword at his side and his other hand covered in blue electric streaks.
Delacroix flung his only claw up but Timmy parried it with his blade and plunged the blade of his sword through the palm of Delacroix’s claw and through the vampire’s chest, pinning him to the ground. Black blood seeped from the wounds and his mouth as he began to curse in a demonic tongue. Timmy wasn’t done as he called up every ounce of energy he had left and sent thousands of volts of electricity through his sword into Delacroix’s body. The vampire screamed like a dying animal until his throat no longer worked as the electricity burned through his body. His skin began to fester and boil and his blood boiled in his veins. His eyes exploded into gobs of goop and his teeth turned from white to blacked bone. As Timmy released his sword the electric shock faded but Timmy’s aura was still visible and small shock left his body as he limped back to Willy’s body. “Said I’d watch you burn.”
Timmy collapsed to his knees and closed the young man’s eyes. Tears left his black eyes as Timmy looked upon the corpse. A hand clasped his shoulder as lance was now standing over him.
“Come on. We need to get going brother.” He said.
“It should have been me.” Timmy said.
“Don’t do that. He knew the risks when he joined. You did everything you could, but he made the choice to turn back. Now come on we need to move.” Lance handed Timmy his sword back and helped the man up. Lance picked up Willy’s body and both of them returned to the truck.
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