Deja Vu

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Chapter 9

I just sat in the corner of the cell for who knows how long. I slowly started to notice that I started to stop shivering. I really couldn’t tell how much time passed and I ended up getting up at a time and started pacing the cell and then did sit ups, crunches, jumping jacks, anything I could do to warm myself up. But, I didn’t want to overdo it. So, I ended up just walking from one side to the other of the cell. I felt myself growing tired so, I lay down on the cot. I think I might have slept a little off and on, but I didn’t sleep for very long.

I started to notice that after the third time I woke up, that it grew even colder. It became so cold that I couldn’t even find the strength to move. I wrapped the blanket around me and sat in the far corner away from the cell door. It for some reason seemed warmer over here. My breathing seemed shallower and I barely felt my heart beat. I don’t know how long I remained like this, but I started to notice that I gained a small burst of energy.

I stood up and walked around, but I didn’t have a lot of room and I felt like it was only a day in the cell. But, I went through another stretch where it became far too cold and I couldn’t move due to lack of energy. More time passed like this and I figured it had to have been four days by now. My stomach was growling for something to eat and that was when I got the first visitor in days. I hoped it would be Jaise or Ashlee. But, then someone carried a flashlight and I blinked and blocked the light with my hands until my eyes adjusted. “Oh, Matt, Matt, Matt. What have you gotten yourself into?” A male voice asked.

And I froze. “Chris?” I choked out. “Professor Star. But, you’re not a student are you?” He asked. “Why am I still alive?” I asked. “Oh, see? I’m here to rectify that. You’re not supposed to be alive. How Shawn handled the situation was a mistake on his part. He shouldn’t have confronted you right away. I told him that the people in our inner circle weren’t to be trusted just yet. We haven’t tested their loyalty. But, now? Now, I’m going to end you and the threat.”

He blasted me with icy wind and I slammed into the brick wall hard and banged my head. Everything started to spin and I didn’t have the strength to even try to fight the attack. I just let the air hold me in place. Then he flicked his finger up and I flew into the ceiling. I hit it with my back and I pressed me into it and scrapped me across. The pain was severe and I cried out. “Oh, come now. Surely, you’ve been through worse than that!” He said.

Then he flicked his finger down and I fell and slammed into the floor and he rolled me around, banging on the walls, the bars, and the bed. I scraped my sides and my back even more. I could taste blood in my mouth and the pain was too much. I passed out then. When I woke up, no one was around and it was freezing. I lay on the floor huddling, and afraid. I just wished the pain would end. I didn’t even care how it ended. I just wish it would. And then more footsteps approached. I was afraid it was Chris again. But, it wasn’t this time. It was Jaina. “So, if I ask you how you plead? Are you going to tell me the truth?” She asked me.

“Yes,” I gasped, “innocent.” She glared at me and then snapped her fingers. The shadows seemed to press in on me. “Furis!” I called out. But, he never answered. I couldn’t even feel his presence. I thought that if a shadow was killed, the person was. But, maybe he wasn’t destroyed. It might be that he just didn’t have the energy to come into our plane. Either way, I was on my own. The shadows came at me, cutting and hacking. I felt their sharp claws rip into my clothes and I could feel the blood seep out onto the ground. I cried out over and over again.

Tears fell and froze to my cheeks. And under my eyes. “So, you going to speak the truth?” She asked me. But, I couldn’t do more than gasp for breath. She had the shadows dig into my sides and arms and legs. I screamed and then fainted. I woke up some time later, but I couldn’t find the strength to move. I just lay there and I couldn’t tell how much time passed. I felt like I was slipping away. Footsteps echoed loudly around me and I knew I was going to be finished off. I waited for the key to enter the lock, but it never came. Instead, I heard the sound of the rusty bars squealing and being kicked open.

“Are you Matt?” A voice asked. I couldn’t move or speak. “Sally!” The voice shouted and I could tell it was male. “Yeah?” A female voice asked. But, it sounded so far away now. “Oh dear God!” The female shouted. I felt someone touch me and I jerked a little to the side to avoid touching. But, I couldn’t get away and then I felt a warm sensation spread through me. My body slowly warmed up and I found that I could move, but I still didn’t have a lot of strength. My vision slowly came back, but it was still too dark to see. “Are you Matt?” The male asked again.

I heard the answer in his voice, but he still needed to make sure. “Yes.” I whispered, but who are you? And please, kill me!” I begged. “Damn kid is delusional!” The one holding me said. “No, the kid has been starved, dehydrated, tortured and nearly killed while freezing to death.” I heard a cold voice from behind me. “Zeke, are you here to be sarcastic or to help?” Sally asked. “Oh, I’m here for both. He needs light and warmth. I got that.” Zeke said. Then the entire cell blazed with fire and I looked around at the people around me.

The vampire holding me has a black streak and fear overcame me. I jerked out of his hands and stumbled into a corner. “What the hell?” He asked. “I told you! He was tortured. Mostly by shadow magic. He’s probably traumatized against our kind now.” Zeke said. I huddled as far away as I could. The man holding me snapped his head towards the hall. “Zeke, hide the fire from everyone outside this room. We are going to have a visitor and I think she’s going to be able to answer some questions.”

The vampire who found me said. She? I wondered. I still didn’t get any closer to the vampires. But, I didn’t give Sally as big a feared look as the others. She slowly approached me and smiled genuinely. I tried to smile back, but I couldn’t. “You don’t have to be afraid. We aren’t going to hurt you.” She whispered to me. “Quiet,” Zeke said. I turned to see Jaina look at the door and burst in pissed off. She saw me straight away and went to strike me with shadow magic. But, the shadowy threads met a white thick net and vanished with a sickening hiss.

“What the hell?” Jaina asked in shock. “Oh, I think you know!” Sally said appearing before her. Then she jumped back. “Who are you?” The headmistress hissed. “Oh, who we are should be well known to everyone here. But, since we aren’t. I guess we aren’t doing our jobs very well.” Zeke said walking up behind Jaina. “Marty, I think it’s your turn to see what is happening. After all. You two share the same element.” Marty faced Jaina and glared at her with a dark expression. From the look he gave her, I don’t know why I was intimidated by her!

He could make Michael Myers cringe. I couldn’t tell if she was nervous or not. But, she never showed it. “So, I’m supposed to be impressed with you?” She asked. With a lazy flick of his wrist, she was sent flying into the wall and she screamed in shock and pain. Black threads started biting into her wrists and I saw her veins pop out black and silver. “You think you’re strong? You think that you have the right to abuse and dictate everything that happens in this school? I had no idea the person we left in charge was a power hungry lunatic.” He hissed. “Who are you?” Jaina screamed in fear. Marty sneered.

“Marty,” He said. She paled at the name. “Oh, I think she recognizes it,” Sally said. “You’re the council?” She gasped. “Oh, yes. We had no idea things were ran so poorly here. I mean, we didn’t split up the eight elements because we wanted the users to be feeling superior to their counterparts. We wanted to have them learn the best way to use it. Every spell has a certain feel and flow. You are abusing the power we’ve given you. We saw what you’ve done to him!” Marty said pointing at me.

Jaina glared at me, but Sally was right next to me and hissed at her and she backed off. She turned her focus back to Marty and said, “And why do you care what happens to a stupid human?” Jaina countered. Sally walked over to her and grabbed her by the throat. “I would be careful about what you say, dear. You’re already walking on thin ice.” Jaina just gave a blank look. “Did someone say ice? I think we should have brought Jared. He likes playing with ice.” All the council members barely looked to be passed thirty years old. Sally, had to be in her early twenties, Zeke barely out of his teens, and Marty pushing thirty. Now, this new woman had to be around Zeke’s age.

All of them had dark blond hair. All extremely good looking. Smooth, creamy skin. Bright eyes with the color of their elements around their pupils. She lifted her above her head and snapped, “Stupid human? You really don’t get it do you? We need them more than they need us! We wouldn’t be as strong as we are without them. So, don’t think we are the superior race when it’s their blood that keeps us alive.” Jaina just stared and said, “So? That just makes us at the top of the food chain.”

Sally whipped her across the room and she crashed into the far wall. Chunks of brick crashed down around her and I saw the wall shake. Jaina climbed to her feet. Zeke stepped in front of Sally and held her back. I noticed he was wearing a dark red shirt with blue jeans and red sneakers. Sally wore a silk white dress that clung to her. And Marty wore black shoes, jeans, a black shirt with a waving blood red spider on it and a black leather trench coat that fell to his ankles with chains and spikes and pockets.

“Oh, you’re protecting her now?” Sally demanded. “Currently yes. We can’t kill her yet. She needs to answer to the council and the people in this school. He is going to be the deciding factor in her fate.” Marty said staring right at me. “Why me?” I asked, but fearing retaliation. “Why? Look at what she did to you and had this man do to you!” He said loudly. I turned to the woman with the gray streak and she held Chris by the arm. He was squirming and trying to break free.

But, the newcomer was too strong for him. “Remi, who is he and what role does he play in this school?” Marty asked the woman. She stared at me for a second with bright gray and green eyes. “He is Chris Star. Professor of Wind magic in this school. One of the most renowned that they have. And apparently leader or conspirator in the anti-human gang.” I just shook my head. “He claimed that he’s the leader,” I told them. They all gave me a look and he gave me a look so cold, I felt a cold chill. “Oh, please keep your thoughts to yourself! It’s nasty!” Sally snapped at him. He looked at her in shock.

“Zeke, would you mind getting Matt out of here? I’m sure he’s had enough of these two to last a lifetime.” Marty said. “Sure, but I think he needs something to eat.” Sally looked at me and then at Zeke. “I’ll go with. No one is going to bother him with us there with him.” They approached me and I took steps back from them. “You still don’t trust us?” Sally asked calmly. “I’m not even sure I can trust a vampire anymore. I wish you would just take my memories away and send me back home. Hopefully, they won’t kill me. But, either way. I think it’s better than staying here.” I told them. Zeke and Remi both gave me a shocked look. “Is this really how you feel?” Marty asked.

“I don’t know how I feel. But, I do know I’m sick of looking over my shoulders all the stinking time. If you really want to help me, then you’ll get me out of this school and away from your kind for a time.” I said to them. I really thought they would hurt me. They just sighed. “Very well. If that’s what you want. But, I really would like it if you thought about everything and what you could be gaining if you changed your mind about joining. You have a lot of potentials. I read the report of Ashlee Oak. She said you had a strange light in your eyes from a powerful source. You have a lot of potential in you.” I sighed and gave them a look.

“Alright. Since he doesn’t want us to transport him, how about we call a friend of ours? He could bring his team. I know they’ll keep him safe.” Raemi said. “Yes, Tyler should work very well,” Marty said. “Are they vampires?” I asked. “Nope, humans.” We just trained them on how to fight us off. They are the elite human army that agreed to help us. They have equipment that allows them to see heat radiation and super speed. It’s really advanced stuff.

You should check it out.” Zeke said smiling at me. I just kept my face blank. “I think that sounds interesting.” His frown faltered a little. Raemi dialed and in a matter of minutes, she hung up. “They are on their way,” She said. “How long?” I asked. “An hour? Maybe two?” I just looked around at us. “You take them with you?” I asked. “Yeah, it depends on the severity of the situation. From what your girlfriend told us, we figured we would need all the help we could get, so we had them waiting in case we needed them. They will take you the nearest hotel.” Sally told me.

“You’ll be safe there and Tyler is a really good friend. He’ll keep an eye on you. You can choose if you want him to bunk with you, or if you would rather have them on the same floor as you. We will pay for everything, whatever you decide.” Marty told me. I just nodded and left the cell. I couldn’t be in there any longer. I felt Sally and Zeke’s presence on me, but they kept a good distance. He lit up the hallway, and I could see where I needed to go. I climbed the steps and I felt my legs shaking and trembling. I don’t know if I could make it up the steps.

I got half way up the second step and slipped. Zeke was right there and caught me. He righted me and had me hang onto the railing. “Easy does it. There’s no rush.” Sally told me. I nodded and finally with a little help from them, we made it to the main floor and we walked out with the steps. I saw Jaise, Ashlee, Liam and Julie all standing at the entrance. “I don’t want to see them right now,” I said pointing to the group. “Did they hurt you?” Zeke asked looking pissed. “No, that’s Ashlee talking to Jaise, who’s my cousin. The other two are friends with my cousin. But, there’re some complications.”

They nodded and then said, “We can get you out of here without anyone seeing.” The next thing I knew, we were all standing in the courtyard by the tree. “Hey, Matt!” I turned to see Brandon, Ashlee’s ex, walking over to me. “What do you want?” I said in a cold tone. “Well, you dumbass,” He said and rushed me. But, he never even got within a foot of me. Sally was there and flipped him and then did a low spinning kick. He went flying fast and hard about twelve feet and hit the gravel hard! I swear I heard bones break. “Nice kick,” Zeke said approving. Sally smirked and said, “Thanks. I hate fucking douches.”

I just stared at her wide eyed. Zeke laughed. “I think you shocked the boy.” She looked at me. “What? You’ve never heard a woman swear before?” I just nodded dumbfounded. “Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are ‘old school?’” Zeke asked. I didn’t say anything. I just faced away from the school. “What the hell bitch?!” Sally didn’t comment. “Oh, kid. You’re so out of your league.” Then I heard something else snap and when I turned around, Brandon’s neck was twisted all the way around.

“Did you kill him?” I asked. “Na. He’ll heal. Oh, here comes your guardians now.” She said. “I thought you said an hour?” I asked. “Well, I guess they rushed in or they mobilized a lot faster than I thought they would. They are really good at surprising us.” Zeke commented. I turned to see a squad force in all heavy black armor and automatic rifles approaching and everyone cleared out of the way. They approached and bowed in front of Sally and Zeke.

“So, he’s the one?” The lead man asked. He didn’t sound hostile or angry or disbelieving. Just curious. “Yes, would you mind taking him to the nearest town and rent him a hotel room?” Sally asked. He pulled off his helmet and he barely looked old enough to drink. “Sure, ma’am,” He said. He held the helmet in his hand and I noticed he is well muscled, but only a little bit taller than me. “Matt, it’s okay, they won’t harm you.” I just gave them all an apprehensive look.

“Is he normally like that?” The lead guy asked. “Tyler, I don’t think so. He’s been through a rough patch. So, get him out of here and keep him safe? I think he would appreciate his own room and just keep him guarded.” Zeke told him. Tyler bowed and motioned for me to follow him. I took a deep breath and began to walk. They circled around me and I felt like I was being protected and safe, despite everything that just happened. “Matt, is it?” I nodded. “What happened back there?” Tyler asked.

I glanced back at the school and said, “I don’t feel safe talking about it here.” I told him. “You mean you don’t trust us!” Another of the soldiers in front of me chimed in. Tyler smacked him. “No, I mean I don’t feel safe talking about it here. But, since I don’t know who you people are, I don’t think it’s fair to ask questions.” I said. The others laughed. “I like him. He could have a future among us. He has some sass.” They all removed their helmets and stared at me. All of them had a grin on their face.

Even the one who accused me of not trusting them had a smirk. “We aren’t bad guys. I hope you could trust us.” Tyler said to me. “I might be able to. It’s just going to take me some time. I want to trust the council. But, after what happened. I don’t know if it’s going to be as easy as trusting my cousin or girlfriend. Or if I could even remain with her.” I said sadly. “Do you love her?” The one on my left asked. “Yes,” I said without hesitation.

“Then remain with her. Take some time, but don’t leave her. You’re going to regret it more in the end.” He said. “I’m going to guess that this is your first serious girlfriend?” A soldier behind me asked. “ the First girlfriend,” I stated. “Oh, then don’t leave her. You obviously care for her. You obviously are sad without her. So, remain with her.” He said. “Listen to them kid. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” I nodded and became lost in thought. We passed a lot of trees and hills. We obviously didn’t leave the way we came in. “Where are we going?” I asked.

“Oh, there’s a hidden route that the council takes. It was made for them only and their guardians. They showed us it. This way we don’t have to deal with that annoying guardian. We can handle him. But, he’s a pain in the arse.” Tyler said and I laughed. We walked down a stone set of steps and stepped out on a rainbow brick road. The road is covered in bright colors. The sun was setting by this time. “How much further?” I asked growing nervous. Tyler patted me on the shoulder.

“Oh, don’t worry. Nothing is going to happen to you. I promise. We will arrive at the checkpoint by nine tonight.” He said. I nodded, my anxiety growing. “Just relax.” The man to my front right said in a calm tone. I nodded again and took a deep breath. We continued along the path and when the move rose and the sun sank down, I noticed that the path started to glow. Even though it was now dark, I could see everything clearly. I looked around in shock. It was a beautiful sight!

I turned and I saw Tyler looking at me and winked. I felt more at ease. Tyler looked at his watch and I could make out that it was ten to nine and then he gave a signal and we all stopped. I wanted to ask what was going on, but the guy on my left put a finger to his lips. I knew better than to talk then. He then pointed with two fingers and shook them like in the movies. We started walking slowly and then when we came around a corner, we stopped.

We were facing a group and I couldn’t tell who they were. But, the way Tyler and the others were acting, they weren’t allies. “I think, we have company.” The one behind me snarled. Tyler sighed. “You always were good at stating the obvious.” I saw them slowly approaching. “Max, would you be kind enough as to get Matt out of here?” He asked. “I would be delighted to.” I turned to my left behind me and realized that there was a woman in the group. She was stunning with olive skin and light brown eyes. Her raven hair fell around her face.

She gently grabbed my arm and pulled me off the side of the road. “What about them?” I asked quietly. “You don’t have to worry about them. They are strong. But, I sensed her nervousness. She led me over a hill and around a cluster of trees. I didn’t say anything and I stumbled a couple times. When she led me back to the road, I collapsed against a tree, gasping for breath. She kneeled down to eye level. “What’s the matter?” She asked.

“I’m sorry. I don’t think I have the energy to continue.” I gasped. “She felt my forehead and gasped. “I think you may have a fever! Is that your stomach rumbling?” She asked. “Yeah? I can’t even tell you when the last time I had something to eat was.” I admitted to her. “Damn it. What the hell are they doing in that school? The council assured us that the school they had set up for Marquo was a safe and good place. But, if they are starving people…” I shook my head. “No, they are only starving me,” I told her.

She stared at me. “Why?” She demanded. “I’m human. I’m supposed to be gaining some serious power when I became a vampire. They wanted me dead so that couldn’t happen. They almost succeeded in that plan. I thought that it was Jaina or Chris when the council showed up. I thought they had come back to finish me off. And when I saw it was them….” She nodded, “You thought it might be some special torturer or someone looking for answers.” She finished.

“Yes,” I told her. “Well, they are looking for answers. But, they don’t want to hurt you. They only want to get to know the truth. I just really hope they haven’t known about whatever the hell is going on.” She said. “I don’t think they do. When Marty and the others entered my cell and found me on the floor, they looked confused and pissed off.” I told her. She walked to me and threw my right arm around her shoulders and supported most of my weight. She helped me back onto the path.

“Are you sure you want to do that?” I asked. “Yes. I’ve helped people a lot bigger than you.” She said with a smirk. We walked quite a while down the road and then she stopped. She stood straight up and grabbed her sidearm. She held it in front of her and swept around and then looked at her. I sucked in a breath of air and she whipped around. She found herself face to face with a vampire with a dark blue streak. “You don’t think you and the human are going to be leaving do you?” He asked. “Actually, I do. I’m not leaving without him.” She said.

“Oh, you are. But, how you leave is up to you. Alive or dead. Your call.” The vampire said. She stared at me. “How did I know he was going to give me those options?” She asked me. I shrugged. “I have a better idea. How about you die?” She asked. Then in a blinding flash, the vampire gasped and looked down. A pointed wooden piece stuck out of his chest. “Is that…?” He asked, and then collapsed onto the ground, screaming in pain. “What did you do to him?” I asked. “Killed him. And I didn’t do that. You can thank Sam.” Max told me.

She helped me further down the path and then stopped again. But, this time, she was relaxed. “Max, where’s the others?” A female asked. “They were attacked. Tyler told me to get him out of there, so I did.” She stated. “Very well. Those boys know how to handle themselves.” The woman said. “Why are you supporting him?” She asked after a time. “He’s weak right now. Hasn’t eaten in days and…I don’t even know what happened to him.” Max admitted.

The woman took off her helmet and long curly blond hair fell down her back. She has ivory skin and big dark eyes looked me. “Oh, those fucking vampires! They treat humans so poorly. It makes me wonder why we work with them.” She snapped. “You must be Sam?” I asked. She snapped her attention to me. “You know me?” She asked. “No, but she told me that the shooter was you, so I figured it would be you who greeted us,” I said. Max smiled. Sam looked perplexed. “Either you’re quick to conclusions, or…” She began. “I swear. That was all it was.” She smiled. “Hey, we got movement! Someone is coming.” A male shouted from a faraway tree. I froze.

“Matt, just keep following the road. You’re completely safe. We have guards and soldiers everywhere. But, if you go down the road little ways, you’ll run into our main camp.” Sam said. I was tensed up, but I nodded. “I’ll take him.” Max offered. “I’m sorry, but I may need you to fill me in on everything that happened.” I saw Max give her a cold stare but nodded. I gulped and began walking. Every step felt like a mile and it felt like my legs were made of lead. But, I forced myself to keep walking and I stumbled a little bit.

At one point, I stumbled and fell down hard. I lay there trembling until I sensed someone standing over me. “Are you okay kid?” I heard a man ask. I glanced up and saw a man wearing black armor and holding a pistol in his hand at his side. “Yeah, I just got weak for a moment.” I said and struggled to my feet. “You want some assistance?” He asked concerned. “No, I think I can…” But, I felt a dizzy spell again and almost fell to my knees.

“You need some help.” He got on the radio and called for someone named John. I froze. “John? It couldn’t be him could it? I wondered. After a few minutes, I found out that it was another John. He was close to my age and well-muscled, with short layered dark red hair. He had a few pimples and acne, but he seemed like a nice guy. “Hey!” He called cheerfully. “John, would you help him to camp? See to it that he gets something to eat.” John nodded, “You got it.” John steadied me and walked next to me all the way to camp.

He even caught me from falling a few times. We finally made it and John said, “Well, it’s after eleven. But, I was told by Frank to get you something to eat. I’m sure they won’t refuse him.” He said that kind of darkly, and I was scared to find out why. We walked up to a large tent and someone shouted, “We don’t have anything!” John smirked. “Should I radio Frank?” The man who shouted paled and glared at us. “You wouldn’t!” He said coldly. “Oh, I would. Frank told me to make sure he got something to eat. Now, if you’re going to refuse us….”

“Oh, you know damn well I’m not going to refuse you. Even if it didn’t come from Tyler’s son.” The man glared. I stared at John. “You’re Tyler’s son?” I asked. “He sighed. “He’s a lot older than he looks. He has a common not fatal or contagious illness that makes him look a lot younger than he is. But, he’s actually in his early thirties.” Huh. I would have thought him to be the early twenties. He looks about John’s age. “I know you’re also thinking he’s my age. But, no. He’s quite a bit older.” “Sorry,” I told him.

“Don’t be. It’s not your fault you would think that. I don’t blame you.” I walked over to the closest table to the front. “What do you got today?” John asked. “Cheap French fries, onion rings, two thin pieces of pork loins, and some shitty mashed potatoes with some bland corn.” The man who called to us replied. He quickly made up a plate and heated it up in a microwave. I noticed he was starting to bald on top and he had salt and pepper hair with some brown still showing. The microwave beeped and he pulled it out. He placed it down in front of me.

“Thanks for the gourmet meal sir.” He just blinked and burst out laughing. “Wait ’til you taste it. You won’t be so smart.” He said and walked away. John walked to the front of the tent and watched it while I ate. It was only a few minutes when I stood up and walked over to the counter that they assembled. “Here you are. Would you like me to wash it or?” I asked. He just blinked at me. “You ate it all?!” He asked in shock. I just tilted my head to the side.

“Yes, why?” He shook his head surprised. “I don’t know. Normally people snip at me and call the foods names and such.” He said. “I usually just call names back or laugh and say, ‘the next time, you can starve.’ But, no one usually eats it all.” He told me. “Well, I don’t see a point in wasting food. Yeah, it was a little bland, but that doesn’t mean it was your fault. So, I don’t see a point in blaming the cook.” I told him.

“No, you don’t have to wash the utensils and yes, I agree with you. But, are you sure you’re even human?” He asked me. I chuckled. “Yeah, I truly believe so. What would you think I am?” I asked him. “I don’t know. But, people aren’t that kind anymore. It’s weird. I like it, but it’s still strange.” He said to me and I could only shrug with a shy smile in response. “Did you get enough to eat? Or would you like seconds?” He asked. “Oh, I don’t want you to go through the trouble.

I don’t eat that much.” I told him. He gave me a scrutinized look. “I can see that. You’re getting seconds, and a slice of apple cinnamon pie.” He said with a smile. “Pie?” I asked. They all gave me a wide-eyed look. “You don’t know what pie is?” John asked. “Oh, I know what it is. But, I can’t ever remember having it.” I admitted to them. The wide-eyed stare was back. “You serious?” The salt and pepper haired man asked. I nodded. “Kid, you haven’t lived yet,” He said.

He fixed me another plate and gave me a slice of apple pie and it was steaming with a scoop of vanilla fudge ice cream on the side. I began eating and when I got to the desert, I felt like I couldn’t believe what I missed after all this time! “This is amazing!” I said. John and the man laughed. “I’m glad you liked it. What kind of household did you live in that you couldn’t or didn’t get pie? Ice cream? Or anything like that?” The man asked. I frowned. “A controlling, abusive one. I went hungry a lot of the time if the house wasn’t spotless. If I even breathed wrong, I was punished.” I said.

And then looked away from their stares. “You’re serious,” John said. It wasn’t a question. I nodded anyways. “Damn. That’s just not right.” The man said. “No, and that’s why I was so interested and willing to leave with my cousin and his friends. But, then this happened. I wonder if I even made the right decision. I mean, my life was messed up and I wasn’t happy. I even contemplated suicide a couple times. But, at least, I was alive.”

John grabbed me by the shoulders then. “If you think suicide is the answer, you’re a bleeding fool!” He snapped. “No, I don’t. But, at the time, I was considering it just in case. I really doubted I would have gone through with it, but almost made the mistake and attempted it. I wasn’t thinking clearly and I regret choosing it now. But, I’m just glad that I was given another chance and I don’t mean to even consider it now. But, either way, I would have ended up dead. Either by my hands or the vampires. Am I destined to die? Is that my true purpose?” He shook me lightly.

“No, I don’t believe that. I believe you are here and you’re alive for a reason. Whether you know it or not. You have a reason for being alive. Think of this will you? Think about everything that happened and become the ass kicking vampire they all fear you to be. Teach them a lesson for hurting you. Teach them a lesson for breaking your trust. You could have been their greatest ally. But, they messed that up. Make them regret their decision to hurt you!”

“Oh, you don’t want him to do that! He’s a good kid with a gentle and kind heart. Having him go after them with revenge in his soul will only corrupt him and turn him into everything the council and his friends are fighting against. Having him fight with revenge and spite will turn him into a Ferol.” The man said. I stared at them both and sighed. “Ah, good. You’re here. Matt, there’s someone who wants to see you.” Max said. I looked at them all in confusion.

“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll be okay.” John said with a smirk. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad smirk. But, there’s only one way to find out. I got up and walked out of the tent. Right away, someone touched my shoulder and I flinched away. “Hey.” A familiar voice said. I looked up and I saw Tyler grinning at me. I let out a sharp breath and relaxed. “You’re jumpy,” He said gently. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be.” He just shook his head. “It’s alright. Are you ready to head to the hotel yet?”

I nodded. He smiled and then led me through the camp and opened the door to a black SUV. He got in the driver’s seat and four other soldiers under him climbed in as well. “So, which hotel are you thinking about?” Max asked. “Oh, I don’t know. You know any good ones around here?” He asked looking at me. “To be honest. I don’t even know where we are.” I told them. Everyone laughed until they saw that I was serious. “Oh, wow. Matt, you’re in a secluded area of Germany.” A man slapped the back of Tyler’s chair. “Hey, I have an idea boss.” Tyler turned to face him.

“What about seeing if they would be willing to use their private helicopter and go to Nauru?” He asked. I looked confused at them both. “Nauru?” I asked. “It’s a small island with literally less than six thousand people in it. You may look up stuff about it, but it’s not accurate. They have clubs, and two hotels, and plenty of restaurants and fun stuff to do. But, let me call it in.” Tyler said. “First, if it’s so great, why isn’t it bigger?” I asked. “Well, it’s just a simple island. But, don’t let that fool you. It’s really a nice place.” He said and then got on the phone.

They answered quickly and he explained the idea and asked if they would authorize it. I saw him smile and I couldn’t believe they would say yes. He hung up with them and said, “Guess who’s going to Nauru?” I stared at him wide-eyed. “They said yes?” I asked in disbelief. “Yeah, kid. Think what you want about them, but they’re not bad.” Tyler told me. “No, that’s not what I meant. I thought they wanted me close.” He stared at me.

“At first, but they are still sorting through the mess of the school. It’s worse than they originally thought. They are debating about bringing in the other council members. It’s that bad. But, they don’t want to leave their domain undefended.” He said. “I really wasn’t expecting this to get this out of hand,” I told them. “It’s not your fault. You don’t have to worry about them. They have it under control. They want the others there to weed out the problem as soon as they can. But, they only want you to relax and to think clearly about what you want to do when they ask for you.”

“So, is this a test?” I asked. “No, this is you focusing and thinking clearly and for you to relax. You don’t have to be so afraid. You don’t have to worry about anyone coming after you.” He said and then his phone chimed. “They cleared it with Nauru airport. They are sending the chopper now to us. It should be here within half an hour.” He said. “Yes!” Everyone cheered. I smiled and felt glad to be going somewhere away for a while.

“There’s one stipulation, though,” Tyler said to me. “What’s that?” I asked. “Sally requests that you take one person with you from the school. It could be anyone there.” I was shocked. “How come?” I asked. “I don’t know. But, who do you want it to be?” I looked away for a minute thinking. Jaise did everything to protect me, but Ashlee….I…How was I to choose? I would feel like betraying him or not giving him the respect he deserves. “If you’re unsure of who to choose, give me a list of the people you want to talk to so you can choose that way, and I’ll have a video chat set up,” He said. “Jaise Jones, and Ashlee Oak,” I said without hesitation.

“That was quick,” Max commented. “He must not have a lot of people he trusts.” The other guy mumbled. “I really don’t. There’re two other people. But, I don’t know where their loyalties lie at this moment. So, I’m not including them.” I explain. Tyler nodded and said, “I’ll be right back.” Then he got out of the car and jogged over to a large tent. “So, I think you’ll like this island. It’s beautiful. It’s like going to a full beach. There’s so much space, that literally everyone on the island can have a small spot to themselves. The island is beautiful.” I was told.

I heard that before and that island experience turned out to be a bloody nightmare. “Especially during sunset. And the sky is so bright at night. It’s so peaceful.” The man said. “Conner. Please.” Max said rolling her eyes. He laughed and I grinned at him. After ten minutes, Tyler came back. “Okay, Zeke is looking for Jaise and Ashlee now. Follow me.” He said. We all got out of the car and I followed him to the tent. By the time we arrived, Jaise and Ashlee were already waiting. “Well, that was fast,” Tyler commented.

“Hey, we’re efficient,” Zeke said in the background. Tyler grinned. “So, I think we should give them some privacy. Everyone out!” Sally said from the background. Then everyone left. “So, what’s up?” Jaise asked, and I could see him trembling. Actually, I could tell he’s trying to hold back his temper. “What he really is asking is, ‘where the fuck are you?! Where did you go!? Why didn’t you tell us!? And are you okay?!’ So, what I’m going to ask is, Are you alright? And where are you?” Jaise glared at her. I laughed out loud at that.

“Well, I see nothing has changed with you guys.” I said and I smiled widely at them. “Seriously, though. Where are you?” Jaise asked. “I don’t know for sure. The council’s secret army is keeping me safe and they want me to go to…,” I had a funny feeling not to tell, “a distant island to get me out of the area. But, I can only take one person.” I explained. “Where?” They both asked at the same time. I got the same feeling again. “I can’t say. I am told it’s a beautiful place.” I hoped that would make it worthwhile, but they gave me a suspicious look.

“I don’t want to go somewhere I don’t know where it is.” Again, they both replied at the same time. “So, you guys aren’t going to just trust me?” I asked wounded and they both gave me a weird look. “Fine. I’ll just go on my own.” I snapped. I turned to walk away, and they both called me back. I stopped halfway to the tent flap. “Matt, sorry. Which one would you like to go?” Ashlee asked. “I don’t know. That’s why they set up this video chat. They thought it would help make the decision. “Let me ask this. Do you trust these soldiers?” Jaise asked.

“I do. At least so far. They’ve watched out for me and all of them have treated me kindly. It’s more than I can say for the vampires.” I said coldly. He sighed. “I know, and I’m sorry for that. I really thought they would have treated you better.” He said. “You can’t fix naïve or stupid. It’s not you Matt. It’s them.” She said. “You try telling them that!” Ashlee glared at me. “We are,” She said venom dripping in her tone. “So, who do you want to go?” Jaise asked. “I don’t know. I seriously thought you two would be able to help me out. I want you both to go.

“This way we can work things out and talk about everything. But, I can only take one.” They both looked at each other. Ashlee smiled and said, “Jaise.” “What?” He asked. I only gave a droll look. She slapped him on the back of the head. “You are going, you dolt.” She hissed. “Why me? You’re his girlfriend!” He said. I swear to watch this was watching an old married couple. “Um, guys. Before my great grandchildren are in college.” They both gave me a sharp look. “Who the hell are you having kids with?” Ashlee demanded. “No one if someone doesn’t help figure this out soon.” I quipped. Jaise laughed.

“Well, he definitely knows how to get someone’s attention.” Ashlee grinned. “Yeah, Jaise. You’re going. I know nothing is going to happen and Matt. You’re going to make it up to me when you get back.” She told me. “Are you sure?” Jaise and I asked at the same time. “Yeah, I am. You two need some quality time. You haven’t had a lot of bonding time lately. So, I’m giving you the chance to do that. Don’t make me beat the fuck out of both of you for squandering it.” She warned.

I bowed and said, “Yes, ma’am.” She gave me a playful glare. “Oh, you’re going to pay,” She said warmly. “I can’t wait,” I said smirking. Jaise just gave me a grossed out stare. “This is why I’m single,” He replied. “Oh, shut up!” Ashlee and I shouted at him. Then we all burst out laughing. Once we were able to calm ourselves, I asked, “So, I tell them that Jaise is going?” They both nodded. “Alright, and I’ll definitely make it up to you later, once I get some things worked out. There’s a lot going on and it’s not going to be simple for me to get over what happened. But, I’m going to try.” I told them. “We understand.” Jaise told me. I smiled awkwardly and said, “Alright. We should be there soon.” I told them. Ashlee nodded and then clicked the disconnect button.

I sighed and walked out of the tent. “So, have you chosen someone?” Tyler asked. “Yeah. My cousin is coming.” I said. “Not your girlfriend?” He asked in shock. “No, she kind of made the choice for us. She made us choose him, but she said I’ll have to make it up to her later with a sadistic wink. So, who knows what I’m in for later?” I said uncertainly. He laughed. “Oh, trust me when I say that when a girl says something like that. The guy doesn’t regret it.” I tensed. “Sex?” I asked scared. He gave me a confused look. “Sometimes, but not always.” He studied me for a moment but didn’t say anything. I could hear the chopper off into the distance.

It then came into view with blinding lights. It was huge! When it landed, we all began walking towards it and then climbed in. After everyone was in, we got airborne again and went towards the school. We landed in a far corner of the courtyard and I saw two people jogging over to us, and when they got closer, I noticed Jaise with a duffel bag and Ashlee. He was simply dressed in a black shirt, jeans, and brown sneakers. Ashlee wore a knee-length leather skirt and a yellow tank top, with yellow high heeled shoes. She embraced me tightly and gave me a long kiss.

When she let go, she gave me a concerned look. “Are you okay?” She asked. “Yeah, I’m just trying to figure things out.” I said and I couldn’t meet her eyes. “Matt, what did they do to you? We tried everything to go to you. But, they stopped us at everything. There was nothing-.” She tried, but I just nodded. “I know. It’s fine. I just need time.” I told her. “O-okay.” She stammered. “Matt, are you sure you want me to go? Ashlee?” Jaise asked us. “Yes, go. You two need to work things out. And you’ve been together from beginning to end.” She said.

We both nodded and I couldn’t meet his eyes either. I gave Ashlee a kiss goodbye and Jaise and I walked back to the helicopter. We climbed in and it started up and took off. I curled up on the seat and leaned my head against the seat and passed out. The dream I had been crazy. I saw a dark purple tinted castle and then a high webbed fence surrounding it.

The bright green grass swayed in a gentle nice warm breeze. “Matt, I want to say I’m terribly sorry for what happened to you. We didn’t know what you went through or what was happening until the second the council brought you out of the dungeons.” I turned to see Zolem and a middle-aged woman with curly brown hair wearing a dark pink set of robes carrying a staff made out of bone, with a pink gemstone on it. The staff looked like they twisted the bones around and reformed and she held it loosely at her side. “Harkel,” I said. “We couldn’t see you. We tried to find you and we couldn’t hear you either.” She said sadly. I turned back to Zolem. “I can’t ask you guys to protect me all the time,” I said to them.

“You’re not. We vowed to. So, whenever you needed help, it was our responsibility to make sure you weren’t harmed. We failed. This isn’t on you.” She told me. “But, if you couldn’t see anything happening, you can’t know if I’m in trouble.” I countered. “But, that right there is a sign that something is wrong. We have the power to scry you. But, after you were accused of stealing, everything went dark. And once you emerged from the dungeons things became clear.

We saw what you went through in your mind and we saw the pain in there. You doubt our power and the good in us. You doubt if you’re meant to be one of us. And you doubt your role.” Harkel said to me. “I don’t doubt anything. I just think I’m going to change my mind.” I said. “Is this really what you want?” Zolem asked me. “I don’t know what I want! I’m so confused on everything! I just need some time. I need some place where I’m not going to be killed or people aren’t going to torture me and starve me in a freezing hole in the ground!” I said on the verge of hysterics.

They both glanced at each other. “Matt, I swear. You’re going to be safe from here on out. Where are you going? Well, the place looks out for each other. They have security who patrol the sea and air. They also have a secret lab where vampires assist them. The air force? Isn’t just government controlled and there no companies to provide fuel? It’s powered by a lightning generator.” Zolem said. “It’s a vampire island!?” I demanded. “No, no! It just has some vampires there. Only a few. Security. Humans would use the term nomads.

I guess vampires would as well?” He asked his mother. She nodded. “Nomads?” I asked skeptically. “Yeah, those who aren’t with the others. Freelancers you could say.” Harkel told me. “So, they don’t care about the rules from the school or the Ferol. They fight and protect those who are on the island and come to the island. You’re in good hands. They have lived a long, long time because they haven’t been caught up in the war. They try to stay out of it, but they hate it when their island is threatened and the people on it.” Zolem told me. “What do they do for blood?” I asked.

“Oh, the humans give a little bit extra at the blood banks for them. They all see it as the least they can do. The nomads better their lives. Protect them and provide, fire, electricity, water and food. So, they honor them by returning the favor.” Harkel explained. “It seems great. Magical powered? It would save them a lot of money on all the things that are needed.” I admitted.

“Oh, it’s been great. The nomads even taught the human doctors on medicine and proper medical practices and its way cheaper than going to school and all that which ended up allowing the doctors to focus more time on the people instead of paying back loans. So, they have the greatest care in the world and the prices aren’t ridiculous. Nauru is almost becoming a part of America. America has seen how successful the country is. But, the people are fighting it. Why would they want to join America when all they are going to do is ruin their way of life?” Zolem commented. “I wouldn’t want to either,” I said. He smiled and Harkel nodded.

“So, am I on the other side? Or what’s going on here?” I asked. Zolem laughed and it sounded like musical and mystical echoing around me. “No, you’re not in a realm of spirits or anything that’s dead. I created my own plane in your dreams, which I apologize for invading without your consent. But, I needed to talk to you about everything. And say that I’m deeply sorry for everything.” Harkel glanced away for a second before saying,

“We both are sorry. I brought you under my protection and failed you. But, I would like you to know this. Don’t turn your back on us. We want the world saved and we want you to join us. But, if you don’t, and that’s your right, the world is going to burn.” I glanced at them without emotion. “Burn?” I asked. “The evil forces that are gathering and we don’t know all the details yet will consume the world. Enslave and kill the humans and destroy everything that’s still good. The Marquo will have to either die or become Ferol against everything they’ve chosen to be good.”

“Why would it matter if I’m not there?” I demanded. Zolem gave me a sad smile. “Well, you’re the last hope that we have. Your kind and pure heart will be the only thing that guarantee’s the safety of everyone. Yet, we can’t protect everyone. That much is true. But, you would be the reason why the world doesn’t fall. However, if you choose to not join, then we can still guarantee your safety. We wouldn’t hold it against you. We don’t physically exist on this plane. So, whether it falls or not, wouldn’t matter. You would join us with your soul and would have immortality of a different kind that being a vampire. You would be able to choose someone to take your destined power and strength, but it won’t be as effective as if you had taken it.” He told me.

I knew there had to be a catch and what he said confirmed that suspicion? “However, the world will have less of a chance. Destiny can’t be fought too severely and since you’re the one who’s supposed to gain these powers, well, the world won’t hold up without you. The thing about the choice, though, is that you can mentally live in our world. It just won’t be the same.” I turned away in shock and closed my eyes. “But, I wouldn’t have a body anymore,” I said quietly. “No, but you wouldn’t be able to get banished or destroyed. Only a god would be able to destroy you, and they would have to find you first.” Harkel said. “Also, you’d be able to have a couple small dimensions hidden far away that they wouldn’t know about, so you could make that one your main one and build in power again,” Zolem explained.

I sighed heavily and turned back to them. “I can’t do that. I wouldn’t be happy with my existence if I just left like that. I don’t know if I’m willing to do everything you expect of me or if I’m willing to help them out. But, I can’t leave the others this way. I still have some choices to make. But, I don’t want to just leave my friends and girlfriend high and dry while they have fought so hard and risked their own lives trying to protect me. What kind of gratitude is that?” I demanded. Instead of being angry, they only smiled. That took me back a step.

“Why are you smiling?” I asked. “That’s the answer we expected you to say,” He said. “It is?” I wondered. “Yes, we hoped you wouldn’t want to condemn innocent people or those you care about. We hoped you were the person we thought you to be. So, we’re glad we chose the right person.” Harkel said happily. “Are you sure I’m the right one?” I asked. “Yes, Matt. We know you are.” Zolem said patiently, but I could tell he was getting slightly annoyed with this doubt.

“But, what about Jason? He seems far more powerful than I could ever hope to be since he’s been around so long. I am not trying to sound like I won’t fight and won’t help. But, why not choose someone who’s already powerful and strong?” I asked. “Well, that’s a good question. But, he doesn’t have the heart or desire. Yes, he’ll play an important role. But, he isn’t the champion. You are. You won’t be alone, though.” He told me. “No, that’s where you’re wrong. In some choices, I will be alone. I can’t rely on everyone to choose for me. Ultimately, it will have to be me!” I said.

“Yes, but you’ll have people helping you. You won’t be completely alone. You’ll have people to fall back on and ask for support.” I nodded. “But, only if you choose that path. You will have a week to get everything in place and to think about it. You don’t have to choose right away. You and Jaise need to work things out and flinching away from it isn’t going to help. He’s a prideful person. So, it may make him mad because he’s hurt. And you don’t want to push Ashlee away since she’s going to be your greatest emotional support in the coming trials.”

I nodded and then everything fizzled out of focus and I woke up with Jaise leaning against the window in the helicopter. He turned when I moved. “Hey,” He said to me. I looked him in the eye and smiled. “Hey, where are we?” I asked with a yawn. He laughed and said, “we are somewhere over the pacific. I don’t know fully where. But, they told me a little bit ago that we are almost there.” Tyler was sleeping against the window opposite from me.

Max was looking out the window and looked so focused, but said, “It won’t be long now. Maybe fifteen more minutes?” The pilot confirmed her time frame. “Well, that’s good. I’m starting to cramp up.” Jaise said. “These long trips always cramp my style,” Tyler said stretching and groaning. I chuckled. “How long was I out?” I wondered. “I think twelve hours?” Jaise suggested. “Holy mother of gods!” I said. They all burst out laughing. “Well, that’s a hell of a start to….six in the morning.” Tyler said and laughed as he checked his phone.

“It’s only six in the morning and it’s this bright?” I asked. “Yep. Better get used to it.” Max said. “Mornings never bothered me. I was always an early riser.” I told them. “Hell to that! I am a night owl.” Jaise complained, but it was in good humor. It wasn’t long before the island came into view and then another ten minutes and we were descending. Once we landed, we all scrambled out of the helicopter and it then took off. “Doesn’t it need to refuel?” I asked.

“No, it has a large tank. It will fuel back up when it gets back to the school.” Tyler said to me. I nodded and then I saw a restroom. “I’ll be right back,” I told them and beelined for it. Jaise appeared in front of me at the door. “So, you humans have it so hard,” He said when I made it to the door. “Why’s that?” I asked giving him a hard stare. “It’s not like we don’t pee the same. We pull it out, pee, and give it a few shakes.” I said and pushed open the door.

“True, but you have to walk all the way to the bathroom no matter what,” He said with a smirk. I just rolled my eyes. “Are you going to watch me go?” I demanded. “No, I have to go to,” He said. And we walked to different urinals and went. I felt so much better after that and after I was done, I zipped myself up and washed my hands. “So, you’re really thorough with hygiene?” He asked. “I try to be,” I said. He washed his hands after me and then we left. Max was standing there and when Jaise and I made it back to the group, Conner and Tyler walked into the bathroom. “Do you need to go?” I asked her and blushed when she gave me a blank stare. “No, but thanks for the relief opportunity. She said. “I’m sorry,” I told her. “For what?” She asked confused.

“He thinks that’s rude of him to ask someone and he doesn’t know why he said it.” Jaise explained to her. She laughed and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if you overstep your boundaries.” She promised. “And while you two were gone, I went,” She said giving me a wink. I grinned. “Where did you find these people? I like them.” Jaise said beaming. I laughed. “Talk to the vampire council,” I told him. The others joined us then and we walked towards the large fence with two older looking women standing in a security uniform. Both had a diamond blue streak in their hair. They smiled at us and gave Jaise an even friendlier greeting, but I can’t say why, though. As far as I could tell, they shouldn’t know each other. “Do you all have a visa?” The woman on the right asked.

“Um, no,” They both frowned, “But, we do have this.” Tyler said and pulled out something from his pocket. It looked like one of those pages in a flip over the case you see on crime shows. Once they saw it, though, they all tensed. “Where is the council?” The one on the left wondered. “They had business to take care of. But, they wanted to mention that they called earlier about allowing their guard in with one named Matthew Jones and a guest?”

Both guards gave each other a glance. The one on the right ran her fingers through her thin blond hair and walked into the guard station she was next to and came back out with a tablet. She scrolled through it and came up with a glare. “We don’t have a report of anyone under that name. The council gave you permission. But, no one else.” The red head on the left rushed to get her tablet and came back with a shocked look on her face. “We may have something here.” I paled at those words. “The council sent a report to captain O’hanna’s email and there’s a picture of him,” she said pointing at me, “With the name Craig Martins.” I blinked. Tyler glanced at me and then back at them.

He called the council again and they hissed over the phone. They didn’t give him the information. “Shit!” I heard Sally scream and after a minute, Tyler handed the red haired guard the phone. “Yes, ma’am?” She looked right at me and nodded solemnly. “Yes, ma’am,” She replied then hung up the phone. “So, Matt. You’re all allowed to pass. I’m to give this report to the captain so she knows the council sent you.” I smiled shyly and Jaise rested a hand on my shoulder and we walked into the island.

“Why is there a giant fence around the entire island?” I asked. “Security. They built beams into the water that’s water resistant and made the fence over the ocean to protect the people who are here. But, they don’t limit freedom. You can swim outside of the fence and under it if you so choose. But, if you are hurt or attacked outside of the fence, then the security is under no fault of what happens. So, only explorers go beyond the fence. “How much area from the beach to the fence?” I asked. “I think it was reported at five miles?” Jaise asked.

“I think it was reported at six miles,” Conner told him. “All around?” I asked shocked. “Yeah. Equally measured around the entire area.” Max explained. Another team is going to be arriving in a couple days. But, only as a precaution. We don’t want this to become a farce, but we don’t want to leave any options open for the enemy.” Tyler told us. “So, what? Someone must be with Matt at all times?” Tyler nodded. He needs to be kept safe.” I frowned.

“You mean babysat,” I said coldly. “No, of course not! I don’t plan on babying you.” Tyler told me. “Well, it just feels that way.” I said and took in a deep breath. “No, I assure you, that’s not the case. But, we can’t be completely sure what to expect on this island. We know it is supposed to be safe. But, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be.” Conner told me. “Well, anyways. Who’s going with who?” Tyler asked. “What do you mean?” I asked. “We all don’t need to be everywhere together. Why don’t we split up into two groups?”

“You’re the boss,” Max told Tyler. He rolled his eyes. “Sir, I would like to go with Jaise and Matt first,” Conner said. Tyler laughed. “Since when do you call me sir?” Conner shrugged. We all had a good chuckle. “Okay, I’m going to go check us all in. Jaise, and Matt? Are you two going to want a room?” Jaise and I looked at each other. “Yeah, but with two bed preferably,” I said.

Jaise wrapped his arm around my shoulder and asked, “Aw, two beds? What’s the matter? You don’t love me anymore?” He asked in a voice filled with mock hurt. “Oh, Jaise. Come on now. You know I do. But, I just don’t think our relationship is going to work out!” I said with a playful cold tone and with a smile. Then I heard a clicking sound. We both turned with mock surprise with Max holding a camera.

“Oh, I couldn’t let that one go!” She said. “Where’d the camera come from?” Conner asked. “Never underestimate a woman and her resourcefulness,” I told him. Tyler and Jaise burst out laughing and Max gave Conner a smirk and a wink. “Alright, alright. Max, let’s go.” Tyler said grinning. “What about us?” I asked. “Conner has money for anything you want to do. There’s a movie, dinners, diving. Oh, and for the V.I.P’s, there’s even an underground park.” Tyler said with a wink.

“Want to go to that?” He asked happily. I was nervous about that. “What’s the place made out of?” I asked. One hundred percent concrete. The wall has a hologram set up of the surrounding ocean, that’s in real time. But, there’s no glass so it’s completely safe.” He beamed. “Works for me.” I said and Jaise nodded. We followed him to the entrance and a large man stopped us. “You have reservations?” Conner held up the badge and pointed at the two of us.

The large man nodded and let us pass. “Does that get you into anywhere?” I wondered. “Almost. I couldn’t go into the white house. But, I hear Alayne entered there once.” He told me. “Who’s that?” I asked. She’s the council of water.” Jaise asked, “Are we going to meet all the council members at some point?” Conner smiled. “Well, Matt has already met four of them.” Jaise stared at me in shock. “They were really nice. I was actually surprised and glad by that.” I told him. “Yeah, but the others are kind of hard asses,” He admitted to us. “Are they complete douches?” I asked.

“No, not really. They just aren’t warm like the four you met. They, I guess they would be called reserved and not talkative. But, they are all in agreement. They need the humans as much as we need them. But, we have all those movies and books about evil vampires and we’re afraid of what will happen. And the council is afraid of what will happen when the humans who don’t know vampires exist find out that they are among them. I think it would be a full on war. A war we don’t want to have to fight. Who knows what kind of damage it will cause?” He said. I nodded.

We finally made it to the bottom and we walked along the far wall and I saw the wall and the ocean on the wall. Lights showed out so we could see what was happening. Not too many people were here. Different types of ocean life swam by. Huge schools of fish, and even a shark. I still don’t know what happened back on the island. What made the animals go psycho? I wanted to know. Was it Jason? Did he use some magic on them and control them? “You guys want to take a small sub down and go out swimming with the wildlife?” Conner asked with a gleam in his eyes.

I gave Jaise a quick look. He looked a little apprehensive, but he nodded. He seemed to like these soldiers, but he still didn’t know if he could trust them. And we would be putting ourselves in a place where he would be able to get away, but I would be the one who might be in trouble. We walked over to the small gate and the attendant was half asleep, but woke right up when we approached. “Three going down?” He asked. “Yeah.” Jaise said. “Oh, well the sub can only fit two besides the driver.”

“You two go,” Conner told us. “You sure?” I asked. “Yeah. I’ll go with him when you two come back.” He replied. We both nodded and entered the small elevator. We went down a good forty feet. After we stopped, the doors opened to a large underwater docking bay. It kind of reminded me of “Deep Blue Sea,” but not as eerie. “Are you two ready to go down?” The man asked. He seemed normal and with short cropped hair and early thirties with a medium build and dark skin.

He opened up the hatch and descended into the submersible. We followed after him and he closed the hatch and locked it after us. “So, what is on the agenda today?” He asked. “We aren’t sure,” I admitted. He smiled. “Well, we can take photos for you to take home. We can also go diving and we can explore the ground for treasure. Not too many people come down here and rumor has it that the ocean floor is covered in ancient jewelry of forgotten societies.”

That sounded promising for something fun to do, even if it didn’t pan out. “Let’s do that,” I said. He nodded. “Alright, hold on,” He told us. He unlatched the fuel line and closed it. Then he started up the sub and pushed the throttle down. We slowly started to go down deeper into the ocean. A red light began to flash over the door, but no alarm went off. “What’s up with that?” Jaise asked. “It’s standard. It happens every time. The light is just a warning icon to be ready at a moment’s notice.” The driver explained. We both nodded and stepped away from the door.

He noticed and laughed. “You don’t have to be nervous. We’re completely safe.” “Forgive us. We’ve heard that before.” Jaise told him. He nodded and we went even further down. Through the windshield, I could see the ocean floor and it looked like golden specs. I saw coral reefs and they looked like they were glowing and fish darted in and out. The driver stopped the sub and he pushed a button. I noticed we just kind of hovered in place. “By the way. I’m Sam.” He said. Sam walked to the back and opened a compartment in the wall.

Three diving suits were hanging there and he grabbed one. He started to pull it on when he said, “You two can either get dressed or wait here.” We walked over and grabbed a suit. The suits were bright blue with black stripes and the helmet seemed to be state of the art with LED lights. Once we activated the air flow, we walked into a small room and Sam closed the inner door hatch. Water started pouring in and I thought that it would start to get cold. But, the suit kept me warm.

It acted as a heat barrier, trapping most of the body heat and expelling some as well so it didn’t get too hot within the suit. Once the water reached the top, the outer door opened and we swam out. I heard Sam say over the radio, “Anywhere you want to start, please go at it.” I swam to the front of the sub and about twenty feet away. I turned up the light intensity and I saw something huge in the sand. “Hey, I see something, I’m going to check it out.” I started moving towards it when Jaise said, “Wait.” Sam chuckled, “You don’t have to worry. He’s still on the fence. There’s nothing that is in here that can hurt him.”

“You’d be surprised what someone or something will do to hurt him.” Jaise said dryly. “Jaise, don’t worry. I won’t go too close. If I can enter it, I’ll let you know.” I told him. He seemed content with that. I made it close and I saw that it was the bridge of a wooden ship. I swam towards it and looked around. I noticed something jammed under fallen debris and next to the doorframe. I swam up to it and lifted it off. It wasn’t very heavy to my surprise. I then checked the chest and clicked the latch on it.

It wasn’t locked and when I opened it up, I saw…weapons?! How was that possible!? The chest is bigger on the inside than the outside! I looked at my wrist and saw a set of buttons that said, “Microphone one” and “Microphone two” and it there was a switch where I could only have one activated. “Jaise, would you please come over here?” I asked. He replied, “On my way.” It was only a few minutes later when he showed up. I saw on his helmet that his suit was number two on it. I clicked the only use button and the number two. “Sam, can you hear me?” I asked. Jaise gave me a weird look. “I can hear you, though,” He replied. Sam never replied.

“Well, that’s what I wanted. I just wanted to make sure that he couldn’t hear me.” “Why what’s up?” He asked. I opened the chest again and he whistled when he looked inside. “What kind of weapons are those?” He asked. “I don’t know. But, they don’t seem to be affected by the time they’ve been down here and they don’t seem worn out by the water.” I commented. He glanced back at where Sam was swimming around. “We need to head back now. But, we have to make a time to come back and collect this.” He told me. “Yeah, but we have to hide this now,” I stated. He closed the lid and then grabbed one side of the chest. He tried to lift it and grunted and strained against it. I swam to his side and helped pull.

Together, we were barely able to yank it down the doorway and drag it into a corner and covered it with weeds, and debris that fell on the next level of the ship. “We need to turn on the two-way communication so he doesn’t get suspicious.” Jaise said told me. I agreed and clicked the one-way switch again. Sam was whistling something through the microphone.

Jaise nodded towards him and gave me a quick sign. Jaise thought he knew what we found, so he’s trying to act inconspicuous. And that was really suspicious. I nodded and we swam back to where Sam was digging. I don’t know how much time passed, but when we made it back to the sub, Sam said, “Well, there you are!” He said a little too happily. “Yeah, we saw a chunk of rotting ship, but there was nothing there,” I told him. I couldn’t outright lie, but I couldn’t fully tell him everything until I knew if he could be trusted and what he knew. I saw that Jaise felt the same.

“How much oxygen do we have left?” I asked. “Only five minutes or so. I’ve been trying to let you know. I noticed that the team didn’t refill the supply. But, we have enough to get back in the sub now.” Jaise tensed and I smiled. “Alright.” Sam swam over and we all got into the sub. He closed the door and the water started to pump out of the room and once all the water was drained, the inner doors opened and we started to take off the suit.

We closed the air pump and then hung up the suits where found them. “So, did any of you find anything out there?” Sam asked. “No, nothing really. I think I found some old necklaces and such. But, the chains looked rusted and nothing looked of value.” I admitted. Sam took the sub back up and we climbed out of the vehicle. “Are you guys planning on going back down at some point? We have another submersible.” He said pointing. “We don’t normally use it. But, it’s the same model of this and I came from that one before went down. The air tanks are full and I’ll have the staff refill these.” He told us.

“Actually, yes. We had a friend who wanted to go down with him.” Jaise told him. “Well, that’s not a problem. Go get him and come back down.” Sam told us. We went to the elevator. And rode up. “What do you think?” Jaise asked me. “We’ll talk about it at the hotel,” I told him. Jaise agreed. We stopped at the top floor and Conner was pacing. “So, how did it go?” He asked when he saw us.

“Oh, it wasn’t actually bad,” I told him. “It’s your turn.” Jaise said and clasped him on the shoulder. Conner nodded. “So, I get the feeling you don’t trust us much,” He told Jaise. “Is that true?” He gave Conner a pained smile. “It isn’t that I don’t trust you guys. I just don’t really know you. It’s not personal. You wouldn’t open up to a complete stranger would you?” He countered. “No, but give us some time and let us prove to you that we are on your side,” Conner told us. “But, what members of the council do you serve one hundred percent?” I asked. Conner gave me a reassuring smile. “You don’t have to worry. Which member of the council do you think you can trust completely?” He asked.

“I would like to trust Zeke and Sally. They seem like they are most powerful, honest and would be on our side.” I told them. “Well, you seem to read people very well. They are two of the most open about everything. They don’t judge humans or vampires on anything. Religion, sexual preference, orientation, and they are open-minded.” I smiled and nodded. “Well, you two have fun.” Jaise smiled. Conner and I went into the lift and took the ride down to the docking bay.

Sam was waiting for us and he walked us over to the other sub. “I have the workers refilling the air tanks on the other suits as we speak. I glanced at the vehicle and I saw a boy about my age climbing out carrying two tanks of air on his back. He saw me and smiled and waved. I waved back and then Conner and I climbed down the ladder for the second sub. “Are you wanting to go to a different area or the same one and try again?” Sam asked. Conner gave me the choice. “Well, since I didn’t really find anything in the one area, how about we go somewhere new,” I suggested.

“You got it!” He said. If he knew what we found, he wasn’t broken up about the switch. Or maybe he knows about the chest, but doesn’t know what he found? There were so many questions that needed to be answered. But, there wasn’t any information for me to figure it out. What was the full motive of trying to kill me besides fear? What’s the purpose of magical weapons under the ocean? And what else is down here that people either want to keep hidden or want others to find? I’m not sure what was going on, but I do feel like something is leading us to these spots.

Someone wants me to find these weapons and these items, but why? Conner and I took the ride down in silence. He stopped the sub and led us to the airlock and we grabbed a diving suit and they looked smaller. “Um, these we are going to have to take off our clothes,” Sam said. My felt my face heat up. “All of them?” I asked. Conner gave me a steady look. “No, you can keep your underwear on. But, your jeans and shirts need to be taken off.” Sam told me. Conner didn’t seem to mind. He stripped off all his armor and his clothes.

He looked slimmer without the clothes and I didn’t nearly feel as bodily conscience at that moment. “Matt, are you really that nervous on how your body looks?” Conner asked me. I didn’t answer. I didn’t know how to answer. I just took off my clothes and pushed them into the locker. Conner was giving me a weird look. “What?” I asked him self-consciously. “N-nothing.” He stammered. Sam didn’t hear him stammer. “Conne,r are you…?” I started and he flushed and snapped,

“No!” He turned away from me and finished putting on the suit. I did the same and I wanted to talk to him, but, I didn’t push it. We walked into the airlock and before we put on our suits, Sam said, “I want you to check your oxygen gauge every once in a while by looking at this.” He said and showed me a small gauge where it showed the oxygen level and it was at one hundred percent. “Keep checking this every once in a while, but you should be fine.” We got our helmets readied and the inner doors closed. Water started to fill up around us and we activated our radios.

“So, we are close to the fence, but just be careful out there. There’re a lot of sharp objects and I wouldn’t want either of you to have any accidents. The suit is made to withstand damage. However, it will rip, so just make sure you’re careful.” He said and then the water got above our heads and we turned the valve to start the oxygen flow. Once the water reached the top, the outer doors opened and we swam out. I clicked on the lights on the helmet. It spread out and it lit up a big area. “I’m going to just swim around for a little bit and try to see if I can find something,” I told them.

“Okay, but be careful. Call if you help with anything. Don’t try to lift anything too heavy.” Conner told me, but he sounded a little stiff. I think he was afraid to admit what he was. There’s nothing wrong with it, though, but people these days are still scared to admit what they are. I searched close to the ground and I could barely see the sub and the others. I lost sight of everyone, but I came to the fence and I saw something thin and bulky stretching out away from the fence.

I checked the gauge and I was in good shape. I swam over to the object I saw and noticed that it was a submarine. I swam to the top and saw that a hatch was open. I entered and closed the hatch and locked it. I don’t know why. But, something seemed to drive me to do it. Then something strange happened. I heard the hum of motor and lights flashed all around me. I clicked off the helmet lights and I blinked trying to see clearly. My eyes focused on the light and I saw that the water level in space I was in was being pumped out. Once the water was gone, a hatch in front of me slid in and opened up a passageway. I stepped out and the door closed behind me. “Attention passenger. You may remove your air suit. Oxygen is supplied to you.” I heard a male voice say over the intercom.

I saw a row of lockers on the side of the hall and I closed the valve and slowly removed the helmet. I took a breath of air and found that the air was breathable. Interesting. I took off the suit and put them in the locker and started to shiver. “I really shouldn’t be doing this!” I stated. “If you’re cold, I’ll turn up the heat.” The computer said. “How about some clothes?” I suggested. “Clothing will be brought to you in the command room. Just follow the passageway to the end and climb the ladder all the way to the top. Then follow the passage to the end going to the right.” The computer told me.

I did what it told me. Everything inside me was screaming at me to run. But, for some reason, I couldn’t. I kept walking and followed the ladder. I climbed it to the top and followed the hall to the right. I came to a huge door that slid up and I entered a large room with computers, monitors and chairs at desks. I was on the top deck in the area and there, pushed up to the large desk in the middle, was a giant cushioned chair. “What is this place?” I asked.

“I am Nexus. I run everything. I’m here to help you and to get you everything you need.” Nexus told me. “Why me?” I asked him. “I’ve been told to wait for someone to find me. It was said to be a young man with a pure heart, soul, and body.” Then a holographic image appeared in front of me. “Hi, I’m Nexus,” He told me and smiled. He barely looked to be twenty. His long blond hair was pulled back into a tight and neat ponytail. He has bright diamond blue eyes and a nice smile. He appeared to be very muscular, but slim looking. He chose a pair of black sneakers, designer jeans, a sleeveless shirt, and a short sleeved dark purple flannel shirt that remained unbuttoned.

He crossed his arms and I said, “I’m sorry. But, this is a little weird to me. Technology like this just doesn’t exist.” He smiled then. “It doesn’t exist on this planet. But, I’m not from here. The ancient vampires have brought me here to wait for the special someone to find me. Thousands of years have passed and no one has ever been able to find me. I have seen people swim around me. But, you’re the only one to come inside.” He told me.

“The only thing I don’t understand is why I am so special and why I have been chosen for some serious powers and why they think I’m good enough for this future role,” I said. “I don’t honestly know why you have been chosen. But, I do know that you’re capable of handling this. I know you’re able to complete this mission. And I do know you’re stronger than you think you are. So, all I have to say is that you’re going to be needing to be patient and ready for a cold hard truth at some point and you’re going to be great. But, you’ll know the truth at some point. You’ll be told by them and I’ll explain so much when you’ve joined the vampire world. But, you just have to be patient.”

He told me. I nodded and I couldn’t fully comprehend why I was more important or more special than someone else. I guess I could only believe that I was or try to. And I had to try to understand why I was chosen, but I couldn’t think of anything to say or understand. So, I asked the only thing I could with what I was and wasn’t being told about everything. I just wish someone was more open about my destiny and future. Well, let’s hope to Fate not being completely off their rockers and actually knowing what they are doing! I don’t want to be held accountable by all the immortals who remain for destroying this godforsaken planet and being the reason why it crashed and burned because I wasn’t as strong as some powerful being predicted I’d be.

“Why me, though?” I demanded. “You obviously have a special destiny. You have an inner strength about you. Oh, and here come your clothes.” Nexus told me. The door opened and Nexus appeared in physical form. He wore the same clothes as his hologram and handed me a pair of jeans, tennis shoes, and a long black shirt. I quickly dressed and Nexus told me, “I’ll turn down the heat a little bit.” It dawned on me that I wasn’t shivering. “I didn’t even realize that you had it on,” I admitted.

He only smiled. “It’s okay. Your comfort is my only concern. It’s nice to have someone to talk to. I’ve been talking to only myself for a while. Usually, I just keep all systems on standby. I only turn them on to repair the systems and update them.” He said and then the android said, “But, it’s not your fault. We would have waited another ten thousand years if need be. We know our orders. But, now that you’re here, our wait is over.” I smiled. “Oh, crap! I need to get back to the others.” I said horrified. “You don’t have worry about them. They are in the submersible now. But, the one you’re friends with won’t let the driver leave without you.” Nexus told me.

“You may get yelled at.” The android admitted. “Are you called Nexus too? Or are you someone else?” I asked him. “I’m not a someone, but you may call me Nex,” He told me. I smiled and said, “Understood. But, now what happens?” I ask. “Now, you go back, get into your suit and go back to your friends. When you complete your transformation, then you’ll know how to find me again and everything I have in store. But, there’s one thing I need to get for you.” Nex said.

“What’s that?” I asked nervously. “I need to know if you found the magical chest with weapons in them. An old crew member betrayed me and stole it. But, we haven’t been able to locate it yet.” He told me. I nodded. “Well, if you can locate it from my mind, go ahead and scan me. But, don’t invade it too bad.” I said. “I promise not to invade your personal memories.” A small floating orb came out and it looked like the small round floating robot that followed the character in ‘Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic: The Sith Lords.’

A glowing greenish yellow beam came out and scanned me for only a nanosecond. “There, thank you. We will retrieve the chest and then once you become a vampire, you will come back me and I’ll explain everything. And admit something that I can’t tell you currently. But, I think and hope that you’ll be happy to hear what I have to say.” He told me with a smile. “I think I will. As long as it’s not you wanting to secretly kill me, and you are going to find some new futuristic way to torture me.” He just blinked and frowned at me.

“Why would I do that?” Nex asked. And then he just studied me. “You’ve been betrayed and hurt so many times haven’t you?” I didn’t say anything. “I see. Well, you don’t have to feel threatened here. Nex here will fight for you and be your personal guard on this vessel. Once you have heard everything I have to say, he’ll be your personal body guard. Don’t underestimate him. He’s more resourceful than he appears.” Nexus explained. “I would head back now. You’re going to be in major trouble.” Nex said.

“Am I going to be beaten or killed?” I wondered. Nex glared and said, “If you’re threatened, they will pay. So, you may just end up grounded or something. Take this.” Nexus said and the beams of light appeared in front of me. Once it formed I held out my hand and it dropped it my hand. “What kind of device is this?” I asked. “It’s a holographic telephone. It can work as a regular one and the hologram one. All you have to say is the regular mode or hologram mode.” I nodded. I looked at it and said, “Regular mode.” I told it. The phone chimed and said, “Regular phone mode activated.”

It changed from looking like crystal to a solid white. “So, it works like a regular phone either way?” I asked. “Yes, but it’s waterproof, fireproof, and basically element proof.” Nexus chuckled. “How does it work with a regular phone?” I wondered. “That’s the beauty of the holographic mode. It will allow you to see the person you want to talk to and you don’t need to program a number into it. It scans the entire computer network and finds the person you want. Also, if you put your finger to the button indicated and imagine the person you want to talk to, it will speed up the process.”

I grinned. “Perfect!” I said. Nexus beamed at that. “Hologram mode,” I said. “Hologram mode activated.” It changed back into the see-through crystal form and I asked, “So, now what?” Nex smirked. “Leave?” I turned to him in shock and he winked. “Oh, right. I need to get back. Thank you all. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” I told them and then raced back to the air hatch. I slipped the phone in my socks and it was so thin that it fit very well. I took off my clothes and then put on the diving suit. I folded the clothes and set them on a bench. “You didn’t have to fold the clothes, Matt.”

I looked at a wall panel and saw Nexus staring at me on a screen. “I know, but I feel like you gave them to me, so I should, at least, put them in a pile. Nex appeared by with a hologram of Nexus there. “He’s a weird person,” Nex said. “I don’t get humans, but he’s definitely unique.” Nexus agreed. I laughed. “Thanks.” I said and I put my helmet on and closed the door. The water started filling up around me and I turned the valve on the oxygen. The water filled to the top and the upper hatch opened up. I swam to the top and out of the submarine.

I went back the same direction I came from and after a good twenty minutes or so, I saw the lights of the submersible. I made it to the airlock and swam in. Instantly the doors started to close and the water started to drain out and after a couple minutes, the water was gone and the inner door opened. I stepped through dripping and I started to take off the suit. “Where the flying hell have you been!?” I took the suit and hung it up. I turned to face Conner. “I’m sorry. I found something that had air in it. I stopped the suit and searched around.” I explained.

“You risked your life without telling me where you were going? Your cousin is going to kill me!” He said with fear in his voice and eyes. “He won’t hurt you. I did this on my own. I turned off my communication. I did this all on my own. If I’m really such an important person. If I’m truly someone who has power and all that crap that people claim me to be, shouldn’t I be able to do things on my own?” I demanded.

“Yes, of course. You’re not a prisoner. But, you don’t have a hand to hand fighting training. You are human and we don’t know what we are truly up against.” He said. “You really doubt me that much? Can’t you just accept the fact that I found something and that I wasn’t in danger? You let me deal with my cousin if it comes to that. I know you’ve told him that I vanished.”

I grabbed my clothes, and as I dressed quickly, he kept snapping. “I don’t care if you will handle him or not. You didn’t tell me what you were doing! If you would have least let me know, then I wouldn’t have worried as much. If you would have just given me a time frame, I could have gone looking for you. Or not have pissed off Jaise.” I sighed.

“I’m sorry. But, you forget. I’m still a teenager foremost. We do tend to act out every once in a while.” He burst out laughing at that. “I do forget that sometimes. I think he does too.” I just crossed my arms. “I just wish you guys would have more trust and faith in me.” I said and walked past him. He didn’t say anything and he didn’t try to stop me. I really don’t understand my overreaction to the situations all the time. I really needed to just work on controlling my temper.

It flared so easily when people got mad at me and really why? The people I am around only wanted to protect me and keep me safe. By doing stuff like this, I was putting myself in danger. But, I wasn’t used to having people genuinely concerned about my safety even after everything that happened. I would have to work on it for the future, though.

I went to the front of the ship and sat down next to Sam. “So, I heard you were trying to leave without me,” I stated simply. “It wasn’t anything personal,” he said, “But, I worried about our oxygen supply.” I just stared at him. “I looked up these types of underwater vehicles. They are able to carry oxygen for up to three days maximum. So, what’s the real reason?” I asked. “What do you mean?” He demanded. Conner was listening in carefully on our conversation. “I mean if you have three days’ worth of oxygen and you wanted to flee. So, what’s the real reason?”

He didn’t say anything. “I’m waiting. I’m young, not stupid.” He just gave me a shrewd look. “Fine, I guess you’re just like the others. Somehow you just want to control me.” I went to walk away and Sam grabbed my arm. “That’s not the reason why I can’t tell you,” He said glancing at Conner. “What? No trust?” I asked. “It’s not that.” He said and then lowered his voice and said, “Look. I know you found the sub and the weapon chest. I know about the history of the vampires and I’m a good supporter of the council and its beliefs.

“You are brought here to see what your destiny is going to be and what it could be. But, only if you wish it. Trust in yourself.” He told me. I nodded. We went back to the surface and climbed out. We went back to the surface where Jaise was waiting for us. He looked to like he was about to snap, and I said, “Don’t even bother. I know what I was doing and even though I didn’t tell anyone, I wasn’t in danger. So, I don’t want to hear anything about irresponsibility and endangerment.”

He just took in a deep breath and stared at me. “I just worry and you don’t have a good track record.” I glared. “So, like I yelled at Conner for; I’m to be punished because people want to kill me? So, in other words, I shouldn’t have been born.” He pushed me into the wall and put his arm against my throat. “That’s not what I was saying and you fucking know it. I am just worried. I don’t blame you for them targeting you. But, that doesn’t mean you can be reckless.”

I just stared at him. “It just feels like you are treating me like a child. I know that I’m human. I’m not as strong or magical as you. I’m not as durable as you. But, that doesn’t mean I’m helpless.” He pushed against my neck a little harder, but not enough to hurt me. “I never claimed you to be. But, I just worry about you. Until you’re a vampire and can fight against them, I worry about your life!” He hissed. “I know that already. But, is it a lack of faith in me? A lack of trust in me? Or is it a lack of trust and faith or either one in others around me?”

He didn’t even waver in his stare. “The latter. I have no lack of faith or trust in you. I just don’t see the others as compassionate as the others around you who will fight and protect.” I grabbed his arm and pushed him off of me. I stepped around him and said, “Be that as it may. Stop treating me like your helpless son who can’t think for themselves.” I said and walked away. Tyler and Max were standing at the entrance. “So, what’s the plan?” He asked seeing me. “I don’t know or care. Just get me away from here.” I told them and Jaise and Conner were just staring at me. “So, what happened down there?” Tyler asked me. “A lot of bickering and emotional baggage and a lot of two people acting as a babysitter when I wasn’t in any danger,” I tell them.

“Yeah, that’s why we are here.” I took in a rough breath. “If you insist on giving me another lecture and snapping at me, then let me save you the bloody time!” I said coldly. “Actually, we want to say that we agree with you. We don’t agree in babying people. We would have agreed with them only in that you should have said you found an old ship or whatever you found and told them you want to check it out. But, you don’t need assistance. But, wanting to check something out and fearing nothing isn’t something to be concerned about. What I’ve heard and seen in you, is that you have a pretty good indication when something is going to end badly. If you didn’t have that fear, then I see no reason for alarm.” Tyler told me.

“ So, minus the not telling them part, you’re not going to give me a lecture?” I asked. “No, but I do think that next time you should, at least, let them know.” I smiled and I could agree with that. “What is there to do now?” I asked. “Well, it’s a little after eight at night. So, how about a club? There’s a good one at the far end of the island and they have awesome music and drinks. I could swing you a couple if you’d like.” Max said winking at me. “We don’t need you corrupting the youth,” Tyler said laughing. I laughed too. “Well, why not the club?”

I suggested. They all smirked and then their phones went off. They both answered. When they hung up, all the good humor was gone. “Damn it!” Tyler swore. “Matt, you wait here. There’s another team who will be here in just a moment. We’ll be right back.” I saw a bench and I went over to it. “I’ll sit right here and wait for you.” They gave me a sad smile. And ran off. I don’t know how much time passed, but I felt someone walking up to me. I glanced up and paled. “Chris?” I asked in shock and fear. He gave me a wicked grin.

“You called Tyler and Max and said they were needed and said another force would be on its way.” I accused. “Guilty. But, you’re not going to be around much longer.” He said. He touched my arm and took me somewhere that I wasn’t in the sight of the island. I landed hard on a hard patch of sand and gravel surrounded by a thick cluster of trees. “You think that you’re going to make it become a vampire? I won’t allow it!” I stood up and dusted myself off. He blasted me with wind magic and used it to slam me against a tree.

“So, why do you get to have all the fun?” I heard a familiar voice say. I turned to see Shaline walking towards me and she was accompanied by two knights and a sorceress statue. “I thought you were on our side!” I screamed. She snapped her fingers and threads of black threads came and leeched themselves onto my arms and chest. The pain was excruciating. I screamed and flailed around on the ground. Chris used air magic on me and I felt myself suffocating and choking. Through the tears and the dizzy vision, I saw blood leak onto the ground, soaking the sand.

I rolled onto my side, trying to claw at my throat to try to breathe. “I think it’s time to end this child,” Shaline said. I gasped and choked and I tried to crawl away, but someone picked me up and slammed me against the tree. I forced myself to focus and I saw a man in his early thirties with a yellow streak in his chocolate brown hair and his eyes glowed like a topaz. He was large and had to be over seven feet and built like a tank. “Ah, is this is the young man who is supposed to be some powerful vampire one day?” He asked.

“Yes, Ryal,” Shaline said. “It would be a shame for his death. But, I don’t think the council knows what they are doing at that school. I personally think they are doing the wrong thing. We shouldn’t be trying to change anything. We should be enforcing what they are doing. Humans don’t belong there. The only thing humans are good for is food. However, if two vampires have a child and its human. That child should have the potential to become a vampire. But, a mortal on the street? No, he or she should not be allowed and if so, they should die!”

“Aren’t you supposed to be the good guy?! I heard the entire council was supporters of the human vampire supporting act!” I shrieked. He laughed maniacally. “You were told a lie, or at least misinformed,” He told me. I glared at him through the pain. Blood pooled up around me. A few other vampires appeared around me. I saw Brandon and Jolene. “You helped me! What about that big speech!?” I shouted at Jolene. “That speech was a load of crap. I never cared for the human’s. I wished them all to be enslaved.” She hissed at me. I just glared at her.

The pain was starting to make me pass out. A few more vampires appeared all around me. They kicked and punched me. They used fire, water, lightning, and shadow magic on me. Thick sharp and pointed vines encased me and started to squeeze me while the blood from the wounds pouring out. I felt myself slipping in and out of consciousness. “You die now,” Shaline said. Jolene gave me a hard kick to the chest and I went flying towards the water. I landed hard on the beach and I felt the water move around my legs and waist.

I slowly pushed myself up on shaky arms. Everything was fizzling in and out. I saw them walking towards me and then four people appeared in front of me and my attackers paused. I don’t know what made them pause, but I don’t know if I was glad or not. I couldn’t think of anything but the pain. I was promised to be safe. I was promised to be protected. I was told that I would have a security team around me. I guess my stunt under the ocean wasn’t the wisest thing to do now.

But, I never felt in danger down there. Now? My life was in danger and I don’t know if I was going to pull through this time. “Ryal. What happened to you? You promised to uphold our beliefs and ideals. You agreed with what I asked at the meetings, and vouched for me on what I proposed! Now, you go against us and try to kill him?!” I heard Marty ask. “I and the other council members don’t think your mission is a sound one. After you left we felt like you were letting emotion cloud your judgment. Now, you protect a mere pathetic human. What is one human compared to the life of a vampire!?”

“Of course, they are. Humans become us. Without them, we wouldn’t have a good food supply, and our numbers would continuously dwindle. But, if you insist on enslaving them, how would we keep from going extinct?” Sally said. My vision cleared for a moment and I saw the four people in front of me. One was all in black. Jeans, boots, gloves, long sleeved shirt and wearing a black velvet trench coat and the hood covered his face, but I knew who it was.

A male in the same style of clothes, but in red stood next to Marty. Zeke. Sally stood next to Marty in similar clothes of white. Raemi wore all gray and she was the only one to remove her hood. “Ryal, you don’t think you can win do you?” She asked. “Oh, I think he believes good many things. He also expects the other three council members to support him and four on four will lead to a violent battle.” Sally mentioned. “But, it’s one we don’t want to risk,” Zeke commented.

“Oh, I think we need a good fight among us. It’s been a long time since we had a good fight amongst ourselves.” Ryal glared at them. “I don’t understand this. Why? He’s weak!” Sally and Raemi glanced at me and Zeke and Marty took a step forward. “This isn’t your fight!” A woman in blue with her hood halfway off and I saw that Ryal and this woman both have dark hair and his lightning streak showed up clearly and so did the woman’s dark blue streak. I was told that lighting and water weren’t compatible, so I never understood how Marty and Sally could get along so well.

“Alayne. How did you know to come here?” Zeke asked. “Oh, I have my own ways of keeping informed.” She said and pulled her hood down. I could tell she is Asian. She seemed thin and small. But, capable.” Ryal glared at her. Then the council leaped back. I saw Alayne standing there and I saw a giant set of wings that curved and curled and looked like flowing water. Ryal seemed to pale a bit and then a set of wings appeared on his that zigzagged and Arced and looked like moving lightning bolts.

“I think it’s time to get him out of here. I think it’s time to prove myself and what I offer this council. You all think I’m a joke and that the others are more powerful. But, that’s going to stop now!” She bellowed and steaming water shot out of her outstretched hands. He countered with lightning and it was quite an amazing sight. Water and lightning clashed together causing an aura around us and I could feel the ocean around me and the threat of a lightning storm.

The lightning in the water flashed and looked more intense and brighter and I couldn’t look away. But, then the adrenaline wore off and I gasped in pain. “Get him away from here. The elemental discharge in the air is only going to hurt him further!” Alayne screamed. The magic began to get more intense and Sally touched my arm and teleported me back to the school. I landed gently on a bed and I felt someone touch my shoulder. I flinched away and then saw it was Ashlee.

“What happened to him?!” I heard her ask. “Somehow Tyler and Max were drawn away from him and Chris took their place.” I heard Zeke say coldly. “Marty is collecting the security team now. We don’t know why they left him alone. If anything, one of them should have investigated the situation and the other stayed. “They both received a phone call, and they went two different directions.” I choked out. Sally looked at me and rested a hand on my shoulder. I felt her heal me again and then I was fine again after a couple minutes. “This is seriously getting ridiculous.” Ashlee snapped. “We know, but what more would you have us do? No matter what protection we give him, they seem to always break through.

I think there’s only one way to prevent him from being endangered and almost killed.” Sally said. “By letting, they finish the job?” I suggested. Ashlee lightly whacked me on the back of the head. The council all glared. “No, to change you. We need to turn you into a vampire. One way or the other. Whether you’re some fancy and powerful vampire or a regular one, which there’s nothing wrong with that…. They won’t come after you anymore because you’ll be one of them.”

“Why would I want that, after all, this? Why wouldn’t I just want to be on my own? Away from vampires, witches and everything that wants to kill me?” I demanded. “How come I can’t just have a darn normal life!?” Everyone just glanced at each other. “Matt, if that’s what you really want, then we will arrange it. But, they won’t stop coming after you out of fear.” Zeke said. “I just want this to all stop!” I scream. The vampires pressed all around me.

“Get away from me!” I shout, my voice cracking. “Matt, what’s wrong?” I turned to see Jaise staring at me. I blinked and I felt a wave of panic spread through me. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I should have listened to you. I shouldn’t have gone off alone, and I should have let someone know that I was alone and I should have called Tyler to remain with me.” He said, “We will sort this out soon. But, we need to all meet in a better place than this room.” Sally said. “We do have the throne room that we restored, but we don’t use,” Ashlee mentioned.

“I think that would be perfect,” Zeke said. “Matt, you don’t have to be sorry. You did nothing wrong.” Jaise said coming towards me. “You’re wrong!” I said freaking out. My panic built and built and I started to shake. I felt myself growing very warm and I could feel sweat start to pour down my face. I felt my shirt stick to me and I pushed myself up against the wall. “Why are you so afraid of me?” Jaise asked me. “I disappointed you. Please, don’t hurt me!” I said and dropped against the wall. He looked confused. “I think it’s time someone escorted him to the throne room where we can all sit comfortably and talk about our next move,” Zeke told us. I looked at them all in fear. “Please, I don’t want to suffer anymore,” I said hysterically. Ashlee dropped down next to me and I gasped and looked at her with wide eyes. “I think he’s traumatized.

He’s been targeted and hurt so many times from his past and present that he thinks everything he does is going to get him hurt.” She said and caressed my forehead with her fingers. “Can you blame him?! Look what he’s been through. Damn it. He was supposed to be safe on Nauru. How did they find him?” Jaise wondered. No one had an answer for that. I lightly rocked against the wall and trembled. “Matt, don’t be afraid. You’re not in trouble. You are safe.” Ashlee told me. “What did I do? I keep doing what people ask, and I don’t get in their way. But, every turn and every time, someone is trying to kill me.

Someone is hurting me and making me fear to live.” I said in a high voice. “Matt. Whatever happened to you, it wasn’t your fault. You can’t blame yourself.” Ashlee said. “I do, it is. I did this to me. I caused this pain. If I would have only listened better, and done everything that was asked of me. None of this would have happened to me. We wouldn’t be in this mess!” I said hysterically. “Matt,” Ashlee said with pain in her voice. “I’ll listen from now on. I’ll trust the people around me. I won’t fight. I won’t argue.” I said, rocking.

“I think he’s broken,” Zeke said. “No! Please. I’m sorry. Give me a chance. I just want it to stop!” I screamed out and I could feel tears swell up. “Alright, all of you need to get out of here! I’ll meet you in the room with Matt.” Ashlee ordered. They all stared and gave her a weird look. “You know you don’t give us commands right?” Sally asked calmly. “Please! No fighting. I’m sorry. I’m not worth it!” I shouted. “I don’t think this argument is helping him,” Ashlee said icily. “Come one guy. They’ll join up with us later. I was rocking and shaking. Once they left, Ashlee closed the door and walked back over to me again. She knelt down next to me holding me.

“Matt, what happened to you? Please, look at me.” She said. I did and I could feel the tears falling down my face. “Matt, what is it that you truly fear?” I stared at her through tears. “I messed up. I didn’t listen. I got myself beaten and almost killed. Please, don’t punish me.” She grabbed me and held me tightly. “Matt, you’re not in trouble. You’re not going to be punished. I don’t know why you think we are going to hurt you.” She hugged me and held me tightly.

“I’m sorry, so sorry.” I sobbed into her shirt. “Matt, just relax. You’re safe.” She said. I heard the door crash open and heard, “Is he?” Ashlee glanced up to see Chris staring at us coldly. “Oh, he is safe.” I heard Raemi say. Then a long pointed stake went right through his chest and he screamed. He looked down and I saw her rip the weapon out of his heart. He dropped to the ground, clutching his chest and screamed in pain. “I’ve grown increasingly tired of your antics,” Raemi said.

“We were supposed to be on the same side!” He screamed in agonizing pain. “We were, but you seemed to betray us.” She said and kicked him off to the side. “So, you two okay?” She asked. Ashlee nodded and I couldn’t speak. “I’ll stand guard.” She said and cast a very powerful air storm around us. Not threatening, however. It was a protective shield. I slowly started to feel safer. “Matt, please look at me.” I pulled away from her and stared at her. “I feel so weak. I feel so pathetic crying like this.” I said trembling.

“You don’t have to worry about that. It’s okay. You’re at the last of your rope. You feel lost. But, just know. You didn’t do anything wrong. You aren’t the reason behind these attacks. It’s their own stupidity. They fear you because of some prophecy that says you’ll get some super power. But, does that mean it’s a bad thing?” She asked. “I never thought so. I thought that everyone would respect humans. You said they would. I never thought that it would come to this. I never thought that my life would be full of so much pain and hatred for a teenage kid that they don’t know.” Ashlee sighed and said,

“Don’t worry about them. But, I think it’s time you join our ranks. We’ve been waiting long enough and you know a lot about us. I think it would be better than erasing your memories or killing you.” I paled. “What?” I said in a scared voice. “You don’t have to worry about that. You’re in no way going to die!” Raemi said from the hall. “Yeah, you’re not in danger. We all wouldn’t have fought so hard to keep you safe if we intended to let you die by the likes of him.” She said and Chris bellowed in pain.

“I think it’s time we go to the throne room and see what they have to say,” Ashlee told us. “I don’t think he’s ready for that yet. He doesn’t have the power to defend himself or the strength to fight them all.” Raemi told us. “Then what would you suggest?” Ashlee demanded. “I would suggest we get some people together and make you a vampire.” I didn’t know what to say. “Do you all think that would be best?” I asked. “I do, but if it’s not what you want, then we won’t,” Raemi told me.

I didn’t know what I wanted. “Would you mind giving me some time alone?” I asked. Raemi nodded, but Ashlee didn’t want to leave. “We can’t be with him twenty-four seven. He needs some time alone.” She told Ashlee. “Is there a room I could be alone with a door that still exists?” I wondered. They both laughed and said, “Yeah. Come with me.” Raemi showed me down the hall and into an empty room. She motioned me inside and then said, “Take all the time you need.” She went to leave. “Wait.” She turned to look at me. “Is there any way to protect this room from entrance and listening in?” I asked her.

She nodded and smiled. She spread her arms and a swirling wind surrounded the room and she said, “There, I assure you that nothing can enter without your consent. Not even me.” I stared and said, “Prove it.” She nodded solemnly. She teleported, but I saw a blob of swirling gray light and it bounced off the door and landed hard on the floor. She leaped to her feet and looked at me. “Once the door is closed, I won’t be able to hear you. So, you will get your privacy.” She said and then leaned up against the far wall.

I closed and locked the door and paced around the room. I didn’t notice that the room I was in at first. But, I looked around and I saw a simple dark purple and black painted room with a king size bed in bright purple blankets and sheets. Even the dresser was black with purple handles. “What am I going to do? What is my purpose?” I asked. “Matt?” I turned to see Zolem standing next to me. “What’s the reason behind this visit?” I asked.

He smiled at me. “Well, there’s something we need to discuss.” He turned away and walked to the other end of the room before turning around. I didn’t like the way this was going already. “You have been told or shown that I may be giving you power when you become a vampire. I did actually consider it. But, there’s someone else that I have in mind for you. Someone who was an, even more, a powerful wizard in my day.” I blinked at him. “You mean you were stronger than your parents and there’s someone who’s stronger yet?” I asked.

“Oh, I wasn’t stronger magically or physically then my parents. However, someone was stronger than me despite my lineage and who I was trained under. But, this isn’t common knowledge. My father…He didn’t know about this, but he fathered another son. I have a half-brother. His mother was one of the most powerful sorceress’ of our time. She was even stronger than my mother, although she didn’t flaunt it.” I didn’t understand that. “Why not?” I asked. “That’s where it gets embarrassing. She was my mother’s sister.”

He said and looked away from me ashamed. “Zolem, you don’t need to be ashamed. Your father made a mistake. There’s nothing to be ashamed of by having a brother. It isn’t his fault. Did you ever claim him?” I asked. “Yes, he and I got along very well actually. My aunt claimed him to be my cousin and accidently got pregnant by a prince from a smaller kingdom. It was a slight on our family. But, it was better than the truth at that time.

My mother never found out. At least not to my knowledge. But, this is all I can tell you about him.” He said. I was concerned. “Was he really a stronger mage than you?” “From what I saw, yes. But, I don’t know for sure. Magic isn’t based on the parents. I mean that does play a part. But, it really depends on the person’s natural inner strength and energy level. The skinniest person in the world could best the largest man in magical combat. It isn’t the size of the person, but the strength of character like I said.”

“But, why can’t you let me know who your brother is?” He smiled at me. “He has been watching you and would like it to be a surprise. He has seen your character and who you really are. He’s been gifted with sensing the good or bad in people. And he’s beyond shocked and surprised with what you’ve done and how kind and compassionate you truly are.” I just shook my head. “I’m still confused why he wants it to be a surprise.

Does he think I won’t be impressed because it’s not you? I don’t care who gives me power, So long as they aren’t trying to control or persuade me. If they act as a guardian and council. That’s all I want from whoever grants me their strength.” I admitted to him. “Then you’re going to be in good hands. I promise you. He wants to work with you, not control you.” Zolem told me. “I want to so badly. But, the track record hasn’t been good on promises.” He looked really upset at that. I raised my hand to say I wasn’t done speaking. “Look, I don’t blame you. I never did, or any of the others who fought for me. But, I don’t know how I can trust people right now. I just need to figure it out.

“I need to be like the others. I need to be on the same playing field with the others. Right now, I don’t match up and I can’t fight them equally. But, if I become a vampire…Then I will be able to make a difference. The only thing I’m unsure of is if your brother is royal by default like you?” I asked him. “He has royal blood. He is young and naïve. But, he’s a good person to have on your side. He’s loyal and dependable and a good friend. He won’t let you down. He hasn’t experienced a lot of the world, so he may not understand what is going on in the world. But, he’ll learn. He’s a quick study. All you need to do is give him some time.” Zolem told me. I smiled.

“I don’t have a problem with that. Didn’t you hear me say, that I don’t care who I get? I just want them to be fully on my side. Regardless of that, I’ll work with anyone. I’ll help anyone who joins me. But, the one question that I have been this.” He looked at me expectantly. “Is there a chance for the person to betray me? Is your brother capable of betrayal?” Zolem looked at me with a smirk. “No, once the ancient being joins a human. There’s no way for an ancient being to betray the one he or she is linked to. There’s a risk of him being persuaded to allow someone else in, though. But, normally that only happens in a dire emergency.” He stated. I nodded.

“It’s like we are an extension of the person’s soul. It would be condemning ourselves. So, no. We are one hundred percent loyal to those we are connected to. All you need to do is accept when he offers to join you. You can’t get rid of them unless in death. But, if you ever need privacy with someone, then you can ask for it. He can tune himself out from you. But, if danger ever befalls you, he will know and will come back. You may not even know about the danger, but he will.” Zolem explained. “So, he’s truly a guardian angel. A secret, hidden guardian.” I said. “Basically, but you also gain a friend, a companion. Someone who supports you and listens to you. Someone like what I am doing.

My brother is a little sad that you didn’t get to meet him first. However, you’ll gain his powers and strength. You’ll gain any special skills and abilities that he has. He’ll also learn patience from you. That’s something he desperately needs.” Zolem said. “When do I get his powers?” I wondered. “Well, if you would like them. I know someone who could perform the ritual. But, you’ll have to trust them.” He told me. “Jason and Ran. They’re going to grant you the ancient being.” He said. “Where?” I asked. He smiled and told me where to go. I don’t know if I was ready for this or not. But, I slowly started to mentally prepare myself for this moment. Just in case. I mean you don’t walk, live or die in this lifestyle on the verge of crazies supernatural’s and live in denial the entire time!

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