Fully Alive: prologue, a short story by HarrySaintcrow. Date added: 2011-07-23. Times viewed: 745.
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- Intro: The High Covenant's most secure vault is attacked and robbed of something that should have remained buried.
The night was almost deathly calm with no cloud in the moonless sky. The walls of the vault sanctuary rose towards the sky as the group of men crouched through the dense forest. The five of them remained crouched in the bushes near the trees as they watched the armed guards atop the walls. Each of them were dressed completely in black uniforms with full covering masks on there head concealing there features. The lead man held his fist up in signal of a stop and they continued to wait as he made another signal letting them know to wait for the distraction. Off in the distance they could here the sound of a heavy diesel engine rumbling up the only road leading to the Vault’s massive black iron doors.
The bulldozer was massive and its yellow paint shone brightly even in the darkness of the night. The guards on the doors immediately aimed there guns and the two spotlights cut through the darkness like a blazing flare to focus on the bulldozer.
“Halt, identify yourself.” A voice called over some kind of loudspeaker. There was no answer from the bulldozer.
“You are trespassing on private property. Turn around and leave immediately or you will be shot on sight. You have ten seconds to comply.” The voice said and then it began to countdown from ten. Still there was no movement from the bulldozer until the voice reached three and then two points of light flared from either side of the dozer. A second later they became two lasers that pierced through the spotlights. Darkness returned immediately and the guards began to open fire. The dozer continued with the light show as the lasers began to strike at the guards on the doors. More guards joined the original pair and soon gunfire and fire concentrated into thin lines were assaulting the dozer. The large scoop on the front protected the driver from gunfire and they realized a shield was erected around it as well to prevent magic attacks. The dozer continued to crawl forward until it came up against the iron doors. The dozer’s scoop continued to lift and this close now, the guards could tell that there were people on the other side of it. The dozer waited for a minute and then it backed away from the doors. A minute passed and the doors erupted and were knocked off there massive hinges by a concussive blast. Guards went flying through the air and some were knocked down and crushed by the falling doors.
Sirens began to wail across the massive yard as more guards began to scramble into position against the yellow dozer. Spotlights came on now and flooded the area with white light and soon the dozer was barreling through the new opening now accompanied by a force of fifty men with guns. They took cover behind the dozer and began to split off as more cover became available. The dozer was slowly making its way to the only building in the complex, a large rectangular building with heavy steel doors for an entrance and no windows to speak of. The place looked more like a bomb shelter than anything else.
The five men waiting in the shadows took the explosions as there cue as they watched the patrolling guards leave there post and run for the attacker. The leader motioned forward and they were in a dead run pace for the wall. They came upon the wall and the leader pointed at one of his men and then to the wall before he moved out of the way. The man he pointed too came forward quickly and traced a semi circle along the wall with his finger. When he reached the ground again the wall seemed to disintegrate until they were staring at a perfect half circle in the brick wall. The leader took point again as all five of them pulled silenced rifles. They moved in perfect unison as they made there way through the shadows along the walls towards the vault. When they reached the vault, again the leader issued the order to make another hole. This one was larger than the last one and he made it rectangular instead of a circle. The wall disappeared again and they were met with a force of guards. No orders were given before the guards opened fire on the five men. Immediately one of them came forward before the bullets flew and used his will to form a shield around the group. The leader snapped his fingers and immediately the guns clicked empty. The bullets in the guns had some how been removed and placed in all of the guards pockets. Before they could react, the leader snapped his fingers again and the bullets began to explode, turning the guards into red meat.
The leader motioned to the console near the door and then to the giant freight elevator in the back. Two men rushed to the console while the last two went to the elevator. One on each team pulled a wrist mounted computer and began typing furiously. The screens on the console flickered as they were being hacked and the man continued to type. The man at the elevator continued to type until a green light came on above the elevator. The cage door opened and he gave thumbs up to the leader. The leader then looked to his console team and a moment later they were getting the thumbs up. The leader gave a signal for tow of them to guard the elevator and then the three of them descended into the vault below.
For a few moments all they could see was solid steel and iron but it soon passed and they were passing doors marked with coded numbers and sigils. They continued to descend until the elevator stopped at a door marked with number 678 and a red sigil meant to represent an evil spirit. The door opened and the cage gate opened to allow them access to the hallway before them. More doors lined either side of the hall marked with the same designation as the front doors but now each door held its own number under that with a classification of its contents. They moved quickly until vault door number 1787 was before them. The classification was vampire with a sigil meant to classify it as a priority one emergency if released.
The leader motioned to the man on his right and he immediately went to work on the control panel next to the door. It wasn’t long before he had the panel shorted out, but the leader didn’t move. He waited for a moment before he motioned for the other man to move forward. The man slung his rifle back and began to weave his hands back and forth in front of the door. In a matter of moments, sigils and runes began to fade in and out in front of the door as the man began to disarm the security charms in place. Finally with a dramatic sweep the sigils burst in a display of color and the doors opened by them selves.
The room was almost pitch black inside with only a single light overhead shining weakly down upon the floor giving only a cone of yellow light. Inside the light, lying on the stone floor was a black casket. The entire thing was a polished black hardwood with silver handles on the sides and a large silver cross nailed to the lid. Silver chains were fastened to the floor and draped over the lid, effectively nailing the coffin to the floor. The leader motioned for two of the men towards the coffin and they immediately went to the chains and began to unfasten the hooks from the floor. Once the chains were removed the leader went to the coffin and knelt beside it. He ran a gloved hand along the polished wood. He went to the handle to lift the lid when a massive shock sent him reeling back. He rose quickly and then motioned for the men to carry the coffin. Two of the men picked the coffin up on either end and began to carry it out the door and towards the elevator.
As the elevator climbed the sounds of fighting and explosions could be heard getting closer and closer until they finally reached the surface. The two men left to guard the elevator were now standing among a dozen bodies littering the main floor. One of the men was holding a large war hammer in his hands. The other stood calmly with his hands behind his back as if awaiting further orders. The leader made a motion towards the door and the group joined together with guns drawn. They walked out the front door to the sight of flaring magic, explosions, gun fire, and the sound of dying men’s screams.
Two of the men were still carrying the coffin while the leader and the other two were keeping cover fire. The bulldozer and the men surrounding it were still holding the guards attention and only a few were giving the men and the coffin a second glance. Finally a second engine roared through the background noise as a large armored truck barreled through the wreckage of the iron doors and then around the bulldozer. The truck pulled a fishtail and brought its doors to bear right in front of the group of men. The doors opened immediately and two more men in black jumped from the truck and took hold of the coffin as the other two lifted it to them. In a matter of seconds the coffin and the men were inside the truck and they were speeding off into the night. The bulldozer turned and began to run out but then it died and a second later the dozer exploded, incinerating all the men on board.
The compound was left in shambles and dozens of men were left dead on the ground. The truck sped away with its cargo and passengers inside the back as the leader removed his mask. He pulled a cell phone from one of his pockets and dialed the number from memory. The voice on the other end was distorted through a synthesizer and no id could be made.
“We have him.” the leader said in a thick German accent.
“Is the seal still in place?” the distorted voice asked.
“Yes, and fully powered. His death has not weakened it.” the leader said.
“Understood, then we will move on to the second phase of the plan.” The voice said.
“Understood; we will secure the coffin and then proceed.” The leader hung up the phone and rode the rest of the way in silence as did the others.
The sun was still in the early stages of rising as the black SUV pulled through the ruined doors. The flames were beginning to die down now and clean up crews were now setting the bodies in lines for identification and, if needed, possible de-hexing. The SUV stopped just ahead of the wreckage that had been the bulldozer. A driver stepped from the SUV and went to the back door and opened it for his passenger while two more men exited the vehicle.
The man that exited was just an inch over what would be considered average height with short brown hair graying at his temples. His eyes were a piercing grey that seemed almost white in the right lighting. He wore an ankle length brown over coat with the pentagram and scales symbol of the High Covenant on the right shoulder. Under that he was dressed in simple black pants, boots and polo shirt. He took his gloves off and checked his watch. It was now 6:30 in the morning and already he was receiving messages from the council members, covenants from around the world and even the Covenant elder himself all asking the same question. What had happened?
He walked towards the building past all the wreckage and bodies. To those who were watching him, it seemed he was ignoring what was around him; but others knew that he would remember every detail. A hunter came up to the man and gave a short salute before handing him a report of the findings so far.
“Good morning, General.” The hunter said. General Frederick Keselbrock was leader of all of the High Covenant’s military forces and reported directly to the council elder himself. The man was feared for his cold demeanor and unforgiving attitude. The ends always justified the means with him.
“I don’t consider anything about this morning good, do you son?” Keselbrock asked.
“No sir. I’m sorry. Our initial reports claim it was a two team operation; one for distraction and another for the actual infiltration.” The hunter said as he pointed to the dozer and then to the building.
“Do we know what was stolen or was this a smash and grab?” Keselbrock asked.
“They’re running the security feed right now inside. As far as we can tell right now they were after a certain object in particular.” The hunter said. Keselbrock waved him off and the hunter disappeared into the hustle.
It wasn’t long before he was standing in the building and the stench of death met his nostrils. The scent was strong but he had been on hundreds of fields and sights of battle. There was still a small part in the back of his mind that wanted to turn and walk away from it but it was easily pushed aside for matters of business. When he entered, every hunter immediately stopped and saluted him until he dismissed them back to the task at hand. He was immediately handed another report as another hunter, this one a female officer, began to rattle off more details about the attack before he raised his hand to silence her.
“Listen, I don’t care how they managed to get in here, or how they managed to get out.” He said. “What I want to know is what they stole.” She hesitated for a moment before she pointed to the elevator.
“Floor number 678, cell 1787.” She said.
“I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that vault’s contents.” He said.
“Remains, sir; the vault contained a coffin holding a vampire’s remains.” She said.
“That’s impossible. All suspended vampires are put into sacred ground bound in silver casings.” Keselbrock said.
“Yes sir, that’s true for most vampires but this one, was a special case.” She said.
“How so?” he asked.
“He was a witch before he was turned.” She said. It was this revelation that brought the case back to Keselbrock’s mind. Now he understood why the coffin had been locked here. For the first time in many years, a chill ran down the spine of this hardened veteran.
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