Death Is Not The End
Don’t be afraid of death...Be afraid of unlived life...You don’t have to live forever; you just have to live...
After Salome’s guards were removed from the equation; Agrippa licked her wounds and abandoned her plan to execute Eric and Tara. She fled, escaping like a thief in the night, a most regretful and disgraceful departure. If things had gone her way, Aether would be tied to King Godric and she’d be watching Tara burn like a witch at Salem. Eric and his brothers would suffer the same fate alongside Pam.
Nan agreed with Agrippa’s sentiments, but unlike Magistrate Salome, Chancellor Flanagan was determined to finish what she had started. There was no way she’d leave after the murder of her only child Sophie-Anne. She’d felt her beloved meet the true death at the hands of Aether, she’d never felt so helpless.
The Chancellor conspired as she spied on them, her fury building like a volcano on the cusp of an eruption. The security room was full of monitors, for watching only. That frustrated her because she was unable to hear what her enemies in the holding cells were planning.
She longed to wrap her hands around Aether’s throat while squeezing her neck until her eyes filled with blood; crushing her esophagus, taking pleasure in the feeling and sound of her bones snapping and breaking against the pressure. She envisioned herself watching the life faded from the magical woman’s eyes.
I’ll keep that fucking bitches head on my mantle as a trophy.
Nan phoned her chief of security officer Kibwe Adawale.
“Where are you?”
“Reinforcements are in route,” Kibwe assured his Chancellor, “The Sheriff, The Magi and all their allies will be ambushed upon arrival.”
I feel helpless and confused like I’m in a ball of tangled yarn. The parts that are untangled are unusable; a mess, useless until untied. The mess feels endless and unyielding.
Nora and Naomi - two powerful conjurers who could summon spirits, open portals, and control elements are helpless.
Alcide - very simply put, is dangerous, the wolf has taken more punishment than any human could possibly endure is now helpless.
The vampires - with all their limitless strength, incredible speed, and centuries of wisdom... even they are helpless.
And then there’s me - no other in the universe has my supernatural abilities, and yet those sadistic murderers, Paul and Martin managed to outsmart us all.
They built cells that are supernatural proof, nothing can get in, I can’t teleport in - I can’t blast them out.
In frustration I leave Pam’s cell and pace the hall, I find Eric and latch onto his perfect waist while pressing my head against his muscular chest. He’s so warm and the firmness of his tender embrace calms me.
It was no surprise that the peace was short-lived…
My alert beacon clicked on, sporadically flashing in my peripherals, and I know better than to ignore it.
Still, in his arms, I flinch in confusion, “Baby, we are not alone.” I lean back to look up at him.
“Go on lover,” He replied, feeling my agitation.
“I can feel someone watching us,” I warn, still unsure of what could be casting such an odd signal.
“Are they near?”
“Then we shall find them; go and I shall follow.” He ordered like I was one of his lackeys.
So of course, I gave him a challenge.
“If you can keep up...”
Tara playfully winked at her lover and in a puff of white mist, she disappeared out of his arms.
“Min Tara, så full av överraskningar,” He said before speeding off.
Aether landed outside the mansion, she quickly surveyed the area, at the same time her alarm system began to beam more frantically.
While Nan watched the surveillance cameras in shock as the mystic woman transformed into a white cloud of vaporous air and re-materialized in the gardens by the guest house. In a panic, Nan lost sight of Tara’s movements for a few crucial seconds.
Using only eye contact Tara signaled to Eric and he followed her lead.
Nan had no warning; all she heard was a thunderous bang and a split-second after, the door was ripped from the hinges. Like a typhoon, the Viking rushed in, back-slapped the startled woman, casting her clear across the room. Tara quickly retrieved Nan from the hole in the wall by her short, blonde hair and teleported back to the main house and into Pam’s cell.
Mott and Talley heard the noise and rushed in; their eyes ferociously locked onto the Chancellor. Not a second later, Eric stalked in, snarling and staring daggers into the terrified vampire had dropped to her knees, cowering by the concrete slab…She was so frightened she couldn’t even speak.
Tara stood in-between the 180-year-old vampire and certain death.
Tara smoothly as she neared her she made direct eye-contact with the silver-eyed woman. Effortlessly she captured her mind and upon entrance was bombarded with Nan’s strong feelings of malice towards her.
“Yes magi...” Nan’s voice was calm which indicated to Tara that she was under her control.
“Give me the codes to both iStake’s right now.”
“I only have De Beaufort’s,” Nan answered promptly, then uttered, “27-55-80-78.”
Pam quickly pushed the buttons of the metal device on her breast. She sighed with relief as the iStake made a beeping noise, signaling the deactivation and then it unlatched. She ripped off the Velcro straps from her shoulders and threw the offensive device to the ground.
“Nan, now the code to the door...”
“03-16-78-38,” Nan muttered.
Eric quickly punched in the code. The door quietly slid open.
Tara saw a blur from the corner of her eyes and was knocked across the room. Before she hit the concrete wall, she slammed into Alcide. The shirtless muscular man broke her collision and they both tumbled to the ground.
“What the fuck…!” Tara bellowed angrily, favoring her aching right arm.
Pam heard nothing. In a blind rage, she pounced on Nan like a lioness. With the slender blond pinned against the wall, the shapely blond bit off her nose and spit it out, she did the same to her left ear, and then the right ear, all the while Nan wailed in horrifying pain.
“PAMELA!” Eric roared at his progeny, “STOP!”
Pam did not obey.
And with one powerful thrust of her fist, she gouged into Nan’s chest cavity, grabbing her heart and ripping it out. Nan shuddered violently as her entire body bubbled, liquefied and burst like a water balloon, splattering all over Pam. The bloody, fleshy, smoldering remains landed with a squishy sounding thud on Pam’s bare feet.
“NOOOOO!” Everyone shouted in unison.
“Shut up!” Pam shouted back, “That bitch didn’t have Godric’s code...” She tossed Nan’s heart over her shoulder, and then began plucking pieces of flesh out of her hair, “...that cunt Salome does.” she clipped.
Eric removed his jacket, then his tank, and handed the tank to Pam. She used his shirt to wipe her blood saturated face; while Eric put back on his tracksuit jacket.
“Bitch Nan and cunt Salome don’t trust one another. So Martin gave the code to my shit-hole to Nan, Paul gave the other to Salome. It’s been like that for decades.”
“She could have revealed to us where Salome is hiding,” Eric growled.
“I doubt it, did you not hear the part where I said they don’t trust each other. Paul was their mediator.”
Eric disapprovingly eyed his child in frustration, but he knew she was right.
Pam coarsely rolled her eyes in response, “I had to fuck Liam for that info,” she griped, “Please tell me one of ya’ll killed him.”
“If you’re talking about the big bald V –fed who was barking orders, I set his ass on fire in the living room a little while ago.” Tara sassed.
A smug little smirk lined the vampire’s lips, “Thanks, Cupcake.”
“You’re welcome- tramp, but if you shove me again, I’ll barbecue ya ass too.”
Without a reply, Pam winked.
“So what now..?” Franklin threw his hands in the air in helpless disbelief.
Pam shrugged while plucking more of Nan’s flesh from her cleavage.
“Did Liam tell you anything else?” Eggs asked Pam optimistically.
Pam lowered her head somberly, the magnitude of the situation had finally struck her, “No.” she muttered, and left the room.
Everyone followed behind her.
Godric was elated to see Pam, as he regarded her, he could tell she was malnourished but was pleased that she was free from her confinements, he could relax completely now. Pamela’s cold-heart sank at the sight of her King sitting in a filthy cell, caged like an animal. Her King, her Grand-Sire belonged on his throne, surrounded by fancy objects and beautiful people.
“Why are you accepting of dying in this shit-hole?” she asked.
He smirked at his candid Grand-Progeny; he always enjoyed her voracious banter.
“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold onto. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. For it is only in accepting death that one can truly live, and for all intelligent species, death has always been the great beast from the abyss to be dreaded or defeated or avoided or hated - but never looked upon clearly face to face.”
Pam listened with every inch of her soul and after their brief conversation was enlightened; she understood his wish, his reception of death was his final evolution. The King’s three sons were torn, they still had a fraction of a chance at locating Salome, they ached to leave and do so, but their Sire would not allow it.
“Eric, Franklin, and Benedict...As your maker, I command you to stay and not seek out my captor.”
Abruptly, Tara shouted palming her forehead.
“Goddamnit, not again!”
Everyone turned their head to see what was the matter.
“I feel some more bad shit coming...” Tara warned.
Acting fast, Franklin and Eggs instructed Nora and Naomi to stay and hide.
Eric signaled to Franklin asking him to hold the cell open for a moment longer.
“You haven’t fed, you should stay behind as well,” Eric advised Pam.
“Not a chance...” his child drawled. “I’m not sitting on my ass while Cupcake has all the fun.”
“Stubborn woman, you have been warned,” Eric grumbled.
“I’ll keep guard if any fangers come down, I’ll take care of ’em,” Alcide’s growled as he stripped, then shifted into the giant white wolf.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Aether was the first to vanish, then the vampires sped away.
In the foyer, the group was unceremoniously greeted by the New Orleans Sheriff Kibwe Adewale, his deputies Diane Hardwicke, Ivanek Malcovich and 2 dozen more Authority appointed V- feds.
“You are all under arrest, surrender...”
Before Kibwe could finish his words, Eric sped forward, grabbing the unsuspecting vampire in a headlock. He gripped and twisted his neck and with a powerful tug, he pulled his head off decapitating him.
And it was on...
Franklin, yielding a sword severed Ivanek’s head and then the vampire next to him, and then another...
Pam’s fangs dropped at the sight of all the blood and violence.
Tara created a huge fireball and wiped out two vampires at the same time; she aimed at two more but missed.
“Save some for me- greedy witch,” Pamela mocked and then went after her targets.
The mêlée lasted over an hour, leaving most of the group tired, hungry, but virtually unscathed. All except for Pam, she had been shot in the belly with a silver bullet and was in excruciating pain.
Before the group entered the holding cells Alcide shifted back to human form and slid his jeans on. Franklin and Eggs rushed in, embracing their teary-eyed lovers. They were listening dolefully as the King conversed reminiscently with them. Eric carried his injured child to the entrance, gently handing her over to Alcide. Pam was in too much pain to protest. Alcide entered the room and carefully placed the injured vampire on the concrete slab and then the wolf took a moment to thank Godric again for pardoning his debt. His skewed view of vampires has changed forever because of him.
“What would happen if we cut the power?” Eggs rubbed his forehead in frustration, ignoring the steady tap of blood that oozed from his ear. He remained unwavering, looking into all possibilities.
Naomi sighed while using her blouse to dab the blood from his nose. “That would not deactivate the iStake, and the house has a backup generator in case of a power failure. That will activate those horrible silver and UV weapons, which would kill him slowly.”
“My son,” Godric beckoned his youngest child. “Did you know stars in the night sky are not simply stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy...”
His words made Eggs smile and when Godric smiled back, it reminded him of the stars in the night sky, and right then Eggs Benedict Talley knew he’d see his beloved Sire again.
“Children, friends... I shall encounter darkness as a new adventure, for death is not the end, death can never be the end, death is the road, life is the traveler, the soul is the guide.”
“Pardon me King Godric,” Tara asked, observing Pamela’s ailing appearance.
He nodded his permission and she teleported around the house gathering up pillows and blankets from the bedrooms in the house, trying to make the concrete slab a little more comfortable.
After she helped Pam as much as she could, she pursued Eric several feet down the hall.
“Pam hasn’t fed in two nights.” Tara frowned as she waited for several long moments for a response, but her beau never did; after a moment she continued “Nora removed the silver bullet, so now she needs blood to heal.”
His eyes narrowed, his mouth pulled tight. He paced slowly back and forth in the hall. Tara was not sure if he even heard her.
“I do not accept this!” Eric grumbled; he stood with his back against the wall.
His Sire has endured countless wars, plagues, and atrocities. He was unbelieving that he would surrender without a fight. He denied that notion completely.
He had heard her but was not concerned. He knew his hard-headed child would live.
She let him be for the moment and went back to Godric. The tranquil, tattooed man simply smiled at Aether, he felt her in his mind, and it lulled him even more. Her abilities fascinated him. He resonated into the baby-goddess his feelings of peace and acceptance. Still, the ancient vampire longed to comfort his eldest child, yet he refrained from summoning him. He could feel his progeny’s sadness and he prayed it would pass.
“Pardon me once more King.”
Tara approached her vampire once again; now his back was to her, “Please come with me baby,” she pleaded. Sensing the thaw, Tara held out her hand. Eric turned slowly; he engulfed her hand with his own.
His Maker appeared particularly pallid, his tattoos more defined, in the overly bright veneer of the death-room, the Viking’s emerald eyes filled with blood tears, he raised his hand to the glass, and Godric mirrored his action.
“You once asked if I could be a companion of death,” Eric whispered.
Godric’s smile reminded Eric of those first decades they spent in the woods, learning each other.
“I remember,” Godric’s features are soft in the artificial light.
The Viking’s voice trembled, “I have served as faithfully as I have known how.”
“Yes, son, you have shaped my life for the better. There has never been any doubt.”
Eric was nervous as he hasn’t been in a thousand years. He’s a young boy holding a sword for the first time, a young man going off to his first war.
“I ask only one thing in return.”
Godric went silent, responding only with a smile.
“Stay.” Eric whimpered as he fell to his knees.
“Erik.” Godric imbued the two syllables with regret; he radiated such overwhelming compassion that Eric almost had to look away.
“I have been your companion for as long as you would have me.” Godric’s smile widened, sparking life and memories in his eyes. “It was beautiful to watch you fight; I now ask that you and your brothers let me go.”
“There are many battles ahead; we can even employ a few of your ridiculous pacifist ideas if that’s what it’ll take.”
Godric laughed, Eric knew exactly when and where to push his Sire’s buttons.
Sensing some yield, Eric stood, “I will need you…Stay. Fight with me…”
“I’ve lived long enough min Erik. I choose this, I am ready to go. Let me go…”
Suddenly the clicking, cranking sound of the automatic sunroof began to churn. Minuscule rays of light leaked through and Godric took his position in the middle of the small room. The vampires instinctively flinched and squinted, they were not accustomed to looking upon natural light.
Godric looked up into a sky; a sky he has not seen in millenniums and embraced it.
“Je t’aime très chers. La mort est pas la fin.”
The dearly loved King does not blister nor burn in the fashion they’d dreadfully anticipated. Instead, the beautiful 2,800-year-old vampire rapidly ignited into an iridescent blue flame. The light fizzled brightly on his flesh, setting alight the dim room.
All the vampires’ flinched and squinted as their eyes took a moment to adjust to the bright glow from behind the UV protected glass, but no one took their eyes off The Anglo-Saxon creature.
The King held out his arms as if preparing for an embrace and closed his eyes in pure serenity. He was in no pain at all and less than a minute the sun consumed him.
And he was gone.
No ashes, no blood, nothing remained.