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Barrier Between Worlds (Hiatus)

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Chapter 2

The wolf watched the intruder lose consciousness. The water flowed onto the bank, drenching his paws. He reached down, biting the boy's tattered shirt tugging him out of the rising waters. He dragged him until they were a safe distance away from the raging river.
He nudged the vampire with his nose. No movement. Good.
He raised his head, howling into the cool air. The message was clear; the threat is neutralized. He didn't wait long for a responding howl.
He breathed heavily, catching his breath from the chase. Containment wolves would soon arrive to take the intruder to the holding cells. Containment wolves were different from warrior wolves. While warrior wolves are soldiers trained to fight in battles, these wolves were chosen to handle intruders, pack wolves that lose control, and rogues after the fight. They are trained on how to deal with the aftermath of the battle. Containment wolves are Law Enforcement mixed with a Pharmaceutical Scientist.
The bloodsucker would be getting a special welcome when he came too. He took a deep breath, tasting chemicals on his tongue.
He paused. He sniffed the air confused, smelling a strange scent fading with the rain. He leaned down, smelling the vampire. The scent became stronger the closer he got.
Lightning illuminated the forest. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something gleam. He turned to spot an object sticking out of the vampire's pocket. The wolf tilted his head confused. He shifted into his human form.
Whatever he had seen disappeared with the light. He let his wolf surface, just enough that added to his advantage. His sight sharpened, making his eyes glow yellow.
He reached into the shorts pocket pulling out two vials, one filled with a light blue liquid. The second vial leaked onto his hand, turning his palm blue. Spilling out onto the ground, getting washed away with the rain. He ran his fingers along the cool glass to find the source of the leak until he felt a ridge. The vial had a small crack along the side.
It looks as if it has been cracked for a while. He raised the vial to his nose, surprised and confused. He wasn't expecting the liquid to smell sweet, kind of like a floral perfume.
If the liquid wasn't the source, then what was the source of the strange scent? The scent was strong like a disinfectant spray.
He checked the other pockets finding nothing. He stood seeing his pack members arrive. Wolves emerged around him with equipment strapped on their backs. Lucas's brown wolf stepped forward shifting, bowing his head in respect.
Lucas Lane is the head of the Containment Sector and the containment wolves. He has been a part of the division for almost two decades now.
"Alpha Xavier, what are your orders?" He asked, waiting for instructions staring at the limp vampire on the ground near them.
"Cuff his wrists and ankles with the pure silver cuffs. Then, take the intruder to the cells on the far side of the packhouse. He is stronger than a normal vampire, don't underestimate him," Xavier said.
Lucas nodded, signaling to the other wolves to shift. They did, taking out the supplies in their backpacks all of them sliding on a pair of black gloves. The gloves were designed to protect their hands from the silver when they worked.
Xavier watched as the Containment wolves began locking the cuffs on the vampire. The smell of burning flesh filled the air. The cuffs turned slightly red, sizzling as the cold rain hit the hot metal.
They lifted the vampire's body unto a fold-out tarp with metal poles on the sides, used as a makeshift gurney. Two of the wolves strapped him down, double-checking the straps. One of them nodded at Lucas.
The wolves who were attached to the harness on the gurney shifted first. The rest of the wolves shifted, acting as guards for the transportation. Lucas stayed at the back to pull up the rear.
The whole process took less than five minutes. Xavier smiled, this was why these wolves were highly regarded. They are quick to act as he just witnessed.
Xavier glanced down, remembering the vials in his hand, walking over to one of the wolves packing up the rest of the equipment.
"Excuse me, do you have any evidence bags with you?" He asked. The wolf nodded, digging into the pack. The wolf gave a bag to his alpha.
"Here's a zip lock bag. It's all I can find," the wolf said revealing his neck shaking a little.
"That is fine, thank you," Xavier replied sincerely, putting the shaking wolf at ease. Xavier moved back out of their way, leaving the wolf to continue packing.
Less than a minute later, the wolves were ready for transport. The wolves took off into the forest, heading to the cells.
"Lucas," Xavier said, catching Lucas's attention before he could leave with the others. Lucas walked over to his alpha, stopping in front of him.
"I need you to keep a close eye on the vampire. There is something different about this one," He paused thinking, "How much do you know about vampire physiology?"
"Enough to keep them contained, but not much other than the basics, I'm afraid. Why?" Lucas asked curiously.
"The vampire needs to be assessed for injuries. Knowing how quickly he heals will help in keeping him contained. Does Dr. Armin have any knowledge about vampires?" Xavier asked after a moment.
"Possibly," Lucas said, confused. Xavier nodded.
"Have Dr. Armin examine the prisoner as soon as possible. It can't be that different from human physiology." Xavier said, handing the bag to Lucas, "I also found these in his pocket. Give them to Armin to be analyzed."
"When he regains consciousness, alert me immediately. I will visit the cells later today or early tomorrow for an update if he still hasn't woken up by then," Xavier continued.
"Yes, Alpha," Lucas said, placing the vials safe in his small backpack. They both shifted, Lucas's brown wolf was smaller than Xavier's huge black wolf. Xavier ran towards the packhouse with Lucas on his tail.
They reach the house in record time, slowing to a stop before the edge of the trees. Lucas lowered his head at Xavier, turning towards the cells.
Xavier quickly found the small black backpack, shifting and pulling out different clothes until he found some that would fit him. The backpack's filled with different-sized t-shirts and sweatpants. Stashed throughout the forest in case of emergencies. It’s handy since some wolves forget to shed their clothes during the shift.
Xavier signed as he got dressed. This was going to be a long day.
The packhouse was silent except for the clatter from the kitchen. Most of the wolves were either at school, their pack jobs, or human jobs. The pups stay at the packhouse until they are ten years old for their safety. A pup doesn’t experience their first shift until they hit puberty, and are taught to defend themselves. Until they come of age, they are safer in the packhouses preschool and elementary school. Some of their parents send their pups to public school early, and some don’t.
Xavier paused when his stomach growled, going into the kitchen for a snack. Shifting used a lot of energy.
The kitchen was alive as she-wolves busied themselves with cleaning up from lunch and beginning to prepare for dinner. He breathed deep, relaxing.
He maneuvered himself around the cooks trying not to disturb them to the counter, grabbing an apple. He ran it under the faucet before drying it off with a paper towel.
Werewolves can't get human diseases or get sick from chemicals like pesticides, but they do leave a foul taste in your mouth. All produce is washed before it is put away. It's better to be safe than sorry.
He quickly moved out of the way of a she-wolf who needed the sink. He left the kitchen, taking a bite of the apple.
Alpha Xavier climbed the stairs leading to the left-wing of the house. He passed a few wolves, all of them tilting their heads exposing their necks to him. He opened the door seeing Beta Marcella Young standing in his office. He closes the door behind him frowning at the look on Marcella’s face, moving to sit behind his desk placing the apple on its surface.
“What happened?” Xavier bluntly asked, his appetite gone. Marcella’s expression was one of anger, despair, and worry. When that look appears, nothing good follows.
“We received news from the Eastern Sea Pack. Alpha Mark and Luna Amelia’s son’s been kidnapped,” Marcella said sadly. Xavier froze and he never freezes.
“How long has he been missing?” Xavier felt his fingers shifting into claws against his skulls as he raked his hands through his drenched hair.
“Two days," she said.
"They are following up on a lead, but it doesn't look good," she continued. Xavier growled. Xavier had known little Tommy since he was a baby. He had trained to be an Alpha with Mark. Mark was his brother. They stayed in touch even while being on different sides of the continent. Mark took his mate and his pup with him to visit years ago. Tommy was a lot like his father. Xavier would’ve laughed at a memory of Tommy hiding from Mark during their visit, it drove Mark mad every time he turned, and Tommy was there. They had spent the whole day laughing, playing with little Tommy. Tommy is a nephew to both him and Marcella.
“Do they know who took him,” Xavier all but snarled in response. It wasn’t Marcella’s fault. Knowing her, she wouldn't take offense to it since she is reacting the same.
Marcella shook her head. Xavier could smell the anger flowing off of her in waves.
“They don’t know who did this. It's too clean. The kidnapper left nothing behind, not even a footprint. The only thing they have is Tommy's scent,” Marcella said, clenching her fists.
“They’re trying to track what direction they were heading in. That’s all they could tell me.” Soon Tommy’s scent would be too weak to track and is fading more every day. Once Tommy’s scent is gone, so are their chances of finding him, Xavier thought bitterly.
"I’ll call Alpha Mark and tell him that he has our support if he ever needs anything,” Xavier replied. Marcella opened her mouth.
“Sir, I have a message of my own if you don’t mind,” She said fire igniting in her eyes. Xavier nodded at her to continue.
“Can you tell Alpha Mark and Luna Amelia that I hope they catch the bastard,” Marcella spat out the last word with a vengeance.
“Way ahead of you,” Xavier said. Moving to pick up the phone when Marcella spoke again.
“Why would someone want to take a sweet kid like Tommy,” Marcella said before she left. They both knew the answer.
Tommy isn't the first kid to go missing. Over the past few years, the number of missing pups has skyrocketed in packs across the country. The Blood Moon pack and the Blue Moon Pack have been lucky that no pups were taken so far. They were all taken at night with no clues left behind as to their whereabouts. There haven't been any bodies discovered yet so there is still hope.
The amount of problems in the past month keeps growing now adding a vampire and another missing pup to the list. An alpha's child at that. Whoever they are they are either bold or very stupid. Xavier growled in frustration. This was going to be a long week.
He picked up his phone, punched a button, and waited for the call to connect. Xavier had Mark's number on speed dial. The call went straight to voice-mail. He tried again, no answer. Finally, he sighed, calling the packhouse patiently waiting.
He held his phone up to his ear as the call went through. He composed himself, schooling his voice into his alpha tone.
"Hello, who is this?" The voice on the other end was melancholy.
"This is Alpha Xavier. I need to speak with Alpha Mark…"
An hour later, Xavier ended the call, resting his head against the chair. He'd spent most of the time trying to calm down Amelia and reassure her. Once she had, he'd asked if he could talk to Mark. When Mark was handed the phone he realized that it was Xavier who had tried to call him and apologized saying he'd been focused on finding his son. Mark was devastated but felt a little better after Xavier offered his help. Then, Mark told Xavier what had happened with as much detail as he could as if he or Xavier could find some hidden clue that would lead to Tommy.
It didn't. Xavier gave his thoughts on the matter agreeing with his Beta that it was too clean, suggesting it could've been an inside job. Mark explained they were looking into every possibility but were coming up empty. The fear in his voice was unmistakable. He heard sniffing and shuffling in the background then Amelia's soothing voice talking to Mark.
This is their child that's missing and their first one at that. Xavier understood their fear and sadness. Wolves are very protective of their young, alphas even more so. As a leader, you make a lot of enemies. It was too early to tell and with no leads to finding him, Tommy could be as good as gone.
Xavier relayed Marcella’s message trying to boost morale, backing it up with his own. The call quickly ended after that when the tracker wolves announced they had found something. Xavier smiled at that, telling Mark to go. They said their goodbyes, Mark promising to call later with an update.
Xavier smiled lightly against the headrest. Don't worry Tommy, they're coming.
He sat up, tossed the apple in the trash. Glancing down at the paperwork on his desk he hadn't noticed earlier. He grabbed a manila folder off the top. After looking it over he signed, approving the document before moving on the next. He sighed, this was going to take a while.
It was 7:30 that evening when Xavier walked down the stairs leading into a hallway with multiple reinforced doors on either side. The paperwork and Xavier's other duties had taken most of the day to complete. Once he had finished, he decided to pay a visit to the cells.
Most of the cells were designed for rogues, with some exceptions. The rooms consisted of the bare necessities with nothing the prisoners could use to escape. The prisoners have a small cot that is fused to the floor, a toilet, a drain in the floor, and chains attached to the wall or floor, depending on which room they’re in.
Xavier stopped at the beginning of the hall staring at the closed door at the other end was designed for one species and one species only. He turned into a room to his left. The wolves in the room immediately stood to greet him.
One of the wolves stepped forward motioning to the table against the wall. There was a pair of shoes that were about to fall apart, and a small bag of paper laying out on one side of the table. On the other was extra containment gear and what looked to be measurements. A row of lockers sat opposite the table.
Xavier turned back to look at the guard.
"Has there been any progress with the prisoner?" Xavier asked. The guard shook his head.
"He's still unconscious and has been restrained. Doctor Amir is in there now and should be finished with his analysis soon," he reported to his Alpha.
"Did you find anything on him?" Alpha Xavier questioned. The guard nodded, turning to grab something off the table behind him before turning back to Xavier.
"Alpha, we found this in one of the prisoner’s shoes," a wolf said, handing the small bag to Xavier.
Xavier took the bag, flipping it around in his hand, looking at its contents. He opened it taking out the folded piece of paper and what looked to be a polaroid.
The photo was of a young woman and their prisoner. The woman wore a sundress and a pink flower pendant necklace. Her skin was a beautiful golden color that went perfectly with her blonde hair and bright green eyes. The vampire is wearing a jacket with the hood up. The vampire had his arms around the woman, hugging her, both of them smiling into the camera. They both looked happy.
The edges were bent, but the picture was otherwise fine. No scratches or folds on the surface. The photo was off-white, having aged a bit over the years. The white space at the bottom was blank. He turned the polaroid over, trying to see if there was a date on the back. There wasn't. There wasn't an inscription either.
This woman meant something to the prisoner. But there is no indication of who she was or is. At least not in the photo.
Xavier went to unfold the paper but was interrupted by the screeching of metal. Xavier's head snapped up towards the sound. The door at the end of the hall opened. Dr. Armin walked out from the other side with his medical bag in hand. Xavier placed the photo and paper back into the bag before shoving them into his coat pocket.
Armin worked as a doctor at Greenmore Hospital. He treats humans and wolves while being the hospital's top doctor. Also, the only doctor within the pack. There are more in training, but very few complete the rigorous exams needed to become a professional doctor.
Armin was the only person in a class of 50 wolves to pass the final exam. Other wolves passed on the second or third try and moved to packs in need of a doctor.
The guard by the door shut and securely locked it once Armin was out. Armin stopped beside Xavier then spoke.
"He has a mild concussion and a few bruised ribs. No signs of a serious injury. If there were any cuts, they are gone now. Nothing out of the ordinary for a Vampire. Though he does seem to have a higher healing rate, I can't be sure. I need the information to give an accurate analysis. I took a blood sample. It should provide some light once the test results are in," Armin said.
"Is there anything else?" Xavier asked. Armin went to shake his head then thought of something.
"Well, I did find something strange. Most vampires aren't this young," Armin replied. Xavier looked at Armin intrigued.
"What do you mean?"
"I read of a research study that documented the effects time had on vampires." Vampires that were likely held captive back when the first became a bedtime story to scare kids at night. They didn't know the true horror behind the myth.
"It said that you can tell a vampire's age the same way you can a person's. With a human, you can guess their age based on sunspots, wrinkles, gray hair, etcetera. If I remember correctly, a vampire's age shows through cracks on their skin. The more cracks, the older the vampire. I can't recall what age the cracks start to appear."
"Let me guess. He doesn't have any," Xavier said. Armin nodded his head.
"The only explanation is that he's still fairly young for a vampire or judging by his age, he could've been turned recently," Armin replied. Xavier nodded at the new information.
"It was a long time ago. I still have the journal around somewhere. I'll look into it, maybe it can help," Dr. Armin said after a moment.
"Good. Thank you, Dr. Armin, for your help," Xavier said sincerely. Armin nodded. He walked towards the stairs to leave then paused.
"Alpha, when he wakes up, he may be disoriented from the concussion. He will most likely attack the first chance he gets like a scared animal." Xavier laughed at the irony.
"Thanks for the heads up."
Xavier glanced back at the door before leaving. He turned to the first guard he passed on his way out.
"Call me when he wakes up."
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