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Underfire (Ancient Blood Book Five)

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Dawn Weathers returns the spotlight with a new villain. With the help of her new friends and her Warden sisters, Dawn will navigate a whole new series of issues. It has been over a decade since I have picked up a pen and only slightly less since my story became public domain. Most people choose to ignore the words that I have said, lumping it all into their fantasy fiction, or forgetting it all together. The Creators were right to take the memory away from the population. Only a few remaining touched spirits were left with the memory, but none of them spoke of it in fear of persecution. I had done my part during the war; it was their turn to figure out the truths.

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It has been a decade since I have picked up a pen. Only slightly less since my story became public domain. Most people choose to ignore the words that I have said, lumping it all into their fantasy fiction, or forgetting it all together. The Creators were right to take the memory away from the population. Only the few remaining touched spirits were left with the memory, but none of them spoke of it in fear of persecution. I had done my part during the war, it was their turn to figure out the truths.

I took the last breath of the Hybrid Queen, splitting her spirit between two plains. The sliver of good that remained inside of her was taken to Heaven and placed in their prisons, while the evil in her was locked away at the bottom of Hell. The world was rid of its two most primal evils. However, they left behind the name of a possible threat that would be far worse than either of them. A woman with insatiable power that would strive to bring down the world as we all know it.

The name did not strike fear into my heart at the time, but as I scanned the files I knew I was in for a rude awakening. It was not so much the witch that I feared, but her son.

With the help of Prudence and Xic, I began searching the world. Looking for those with ancient blood that somehow was tied into the whole ordeal.

Elle, the Spark, a woman found on the side of the road with no memory of who she was. Though the first to arrive, she was also the first to be taken. Leaving behind a daughter who she had with the witch’s son, with unimaginable magical ability. The Creators had to recreate the atmosphere to hold her energy, and we fear what would happen if she were to set foot on earth. Daughter and mother share a special connection, one where whatever Elle sees her child sees as well. At first, we thought the memory seals had been replaced on the young woman’s mind, but we were wrong. She was well aware that she was behind enemy lines. She is perceived as Persephone, not the Ancient Goddess of course, but an embodiment of what the Goddess was. Elle had ruled Purgatory for centuries under this name but had been set free as one of the first Sparks. She worked for Alexander Greene as his right hand, and she is the one that slit the throat of my new threats mother. To me she was valuable, but to the son, she was an acquisition.

Gretel, the Mimic, the very first known Skinwalker in existence. She lives her life under many faces, but in the 1930’s she returned to her original. She married Alexander Greene’s son, Phillip Bradley, and had seven normal children. Does not sound to shocking, till you learn that Mr. Bradley is the son of the witch that I’ve been talking about. The children should have been extraordinary, but they were human. Once the children advanced to their teenage years they each mysteriously died. Little did Gretel know, but her husband and longtime friend Lidia Norr were experimenting on the children after death. Unlocking genes inside of them that exhibited magical and shifting ability, thus altering their genetic makeup. This alone has caused a fury inside of Gretel, and we had to engineer a patch that lives off the energy in the air to keep her stable. Inside the City she is safe, but on Earth if her rage increases to the boiling point the patch will prove ineffective.

Kristalinda, the Reapress, daughter of the Grim Reaper and Lidia Norr. Kris is married to Kaleb Kross a known American Hunter from a long hunting line. They have one daughter, Lacey, who Kris was separated from for six years. Just like Elle, Kris’ memories had been erased and black holes left where other memories should be. Little by little the dark secrets of those dark entities are coming out in bits and pieces. We have been keeping most of them from her, as she is still fragile from her human stasis. Kris was used as Phillip and Lidia’s lap dog for many years. Then, when they had no need of her they locked her abilities and sealed her brain. Placed her in a fake marriage and hoped that she would forget who she was. She was hard to find, but the moment her memories of Kaleb began to return we were able to lock onto her location.

Finally, we have Garret, a talented Telepathic Jumper. His touch alone can reveal your deepest, darkest secrets. Garret was brought in because of his connection with Gretel’s oldest daughter, Magdalena. He had completed some field work for both Phillip and Lidia in the past. It was because of Mags that he ceased to work for the duo, and instead began to plan an escape. With him came a daughter, Priscilla. This was the secondary connection, though I had no idea that is what it was until recently.Garret has proven his loyalty though visions, obtaining snippets of life from photographs or bits of jewelry. Ideally, I need him to touch Phillip to get a reading, but doing that will only put Garret in more danger then he is already in. His connection to Elle’s daughter is what puzzles me. The child is drawn to him like radiation. Elle left behind a note, or sorts, pointing Garret in the right direction of many things.

Each piece of the story brought with them accomplices of sorts. With the arrival of Elle, I was reunited with my old friend Jeremy as well as Vesta and Pierce. Vesta took to raising Charlotte, Elle’s daughter, while Piece and Jeremy have traveled between dimensions gathering intell and increasing forces.

At one-point Pierce, an Immortal, and I had been on different sides of the battlefield and now we were to fight side by side. With Gretel came the seven Bradley children; Mags, James, Alec, Michael, Doris, Joshua, and Dustin. Josh and Dustin chose to undergo our own form of gene therapy as a way to understand the principal behind the adjustments. When we saw how two human men began to exhibit their parent’s traits we were flabbergasted.We also understood how Phillip was building his Army.

Kris brought with her Emily and Lucas. Lucas was the man she had been married to while kept in a humanoid shell and Emily was his current wife, a witch whose specialty was memory magic. I should have known not to trust her, but I do not like to think ill of everyone. She betrayed us and is the reason the Elle was taken. Lucas continues to live in the City, though he is more reserved since getting his own memories back. We have had to bring in quite a few doctors to help him deal with what he had done while under Emily’s thumb.

My quiet city is now bustling with new life, and I fear what will happen if I fail in this mission. There is so much left to do to prepare for the fight. This is not the same as when I battled the Hybrid Queen. Phillip is far more cunning and sinister then Sheridan had ever been. People were dying on Earth, others disappearing. There were vessels walking around with the wrong spirits inside. And the Possessed were popping up in the most rural of areas, wiping out entire families. They were after something, but I still do not know what.

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