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Chapter Three.

Liza and Ester were taken for debriefing, from which Jenifer Longman read the report and ensuring a copy was sent direct to her Director, Charli Harrison, then picking up the phone and dialling an extension Jenifer waited.

“Secure room one,” came the reply, “Have our two guests escorted to my office, and ensure they are treated with civility and the respect they deserve.”

Secure room one was the holding facility for special operatives, and Liza and Ester were waiting as the armed guards entered.

“We are ready,” was all Ester said, as she led her daughter from the room, seven armed Marines accompanied her, realising they were there not as an escort but to protect their guests from infiltration of other vampires.

As Ester and Liza entered the Directors office, the heavy shielded door closed, and Nine guards protected the only way in.

“Ester, Liza we were so pleased to learn of your recovery, for a time we honestly feared your mission had failed, do you know what happened to the others?”

It was Liza who answered, “Possibly, we became caught in a crossfire trap, I did all in my power to divert attention, while mother and the others tried to backtrack, incredibly Simon who was with me refused to leave my side and between us we killed seven of their kind, they were not prepared to face Lycans, only time was not on our side, the sun rose and caught me before I could transmute back into my human form.”

Ester took over, “Incredibly three of the others escaped and possibly are in hiding, however Simon was killed, I witnessed him sacrificing his life to give Lisa time, only there was at least seventy of them, and we have never seen as many in one place, and they were waiting our arrival, someone had tipped them off.”

Jenifer acknowledge all that was said, “Were you not able to escape?”

“Yes, but I could not leave my daughter and I returned to try and help her, only events happened so fast and I was also in my full adult Lycan form, at least eleven fell to my rage, but the sun caught me as I witnessed my daughter’s efforts to save herself, I burst into flame seconds later and only just made it into the partly submerged log.”

Jenifer acknowledged their bravery, “Do you know what happened to your attackers?”

Ester thought and then answered, “I believe they came from underground tunnels and these must be waterlogged by their very nature of been so close to the bayou, it is the only way they could have avoided the sun and made it back to safety.”

Those last words concerned the Assistant Director, and she realised if this was the case it would become that much more difficult to locate these creatures.

Alex Corylus led the team through the night to the last known location where his family had indicated three of these creatures were seen. It was rare for the Corylus family to venture outside their designated borders, however, on occasions, it was necessary if they wanted the occasional monster alligators to sell and supplement their living.

Once hunting season started the bayou became crowded and often hunters failed to return home, it was like a circus along with poachers stealing paid for territory and causing disputes and long remembered feuds.

Although only the utter stupid ever ventured onto the Corylus land, and other than children who knew no better, adults committing this sin rarely ever returned.

It was believed to have been a scouting party, only none the less it was clear the intruders were testing the ground and gathering possible intelligence on the strength of the Corylus family.

Only time had been on this family’s side and over five generations they had intermarried and extended not only their range but also size, having started with fifteen of their kind emigrating from Florida and marrying into a small vampiric family in the bayou of Louisiana.

The rest is basically history, other than for one incident that introduced the Corylus family to Esters bloodline, some five hundred years earlier, as this family measured one generation as a hundred years, and a witch doctor for the local tribal Indians of Louisiana created from his bloodline a skinwalker who found the Lycan form best for fighting the vampires.

An unknown vampire had ventured onto tribal lands following its prey, only its attack on the victim was interrupted and a lone pregnant human female of Indian decent fell victim to the vampire, however a member of the Corylus family came to her rescue before her tribe could offer rescue, and jointly with the Corylus bloodline they killed the intruding vampire, yet sadly the female was caught in the fighting and injured further by her kind in Lycan form.

Although the mother recovered and later delivered her child, it was both vampire and Lycan and the first true cross-species known in history, that child grew to have great supernatural abilities and a defender of her tribe, and upon taking a husband, a new breed of skinwalker was created.

A peace pack was created between the Corylus family which to this day was honoured, and with once every fifty years an intermarriage arranged to cement the bond of unity, and in later years the United States Government learnt of vampires and decided to investigate.

After a time, sample specimens of giant gators were harvested, and a genetic DNA program started to create Super Soldiers. Only the military lost control after a battle between the soldiers and a hunting party of unknown vampires; the soldiers were good and well trained but inexperienced against creatures hundreds of years older.

Had Alex and Justin not accidentally come across the battle and came to the immediate aid of the soldiers, they knew without question not a single soldier as powerful as they were would have survived.

However, thanks to Alex, events turned, and the intruding hunting party of vampires were all killed with Alex and Justin harvesting the blood to feed to the soldiers to heal their wounds, only it increased their vampiric abilities, and later the soldiers sought out the Corylus family forming a pack to defend the land.

Now they faced a further danger knowing the scent of humans intruding onto the bayou would draw out the intruders, with them possibly killing or capturing the females for breading and turning the men to increase their numbers.

So many humans had gone missing, and some without question will have died through poor choices and confronting these monstrous gators, however, many also just might have fallen victim to an unexpected type of monster in the form of these vampires.

The next night Sandra Harrisons team made it without loss of life, and a single eighteen-foot gator had been captured skinned, and the meat used for meals and bait.

It was on the fourth day when their troubles started as they entered a section of the bayou only four miles from the restricted zone, and from the moment they passed an invisible line eyes both vampiric, and carnivore were watching and waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Fortunately, the Rangers were true professional and extremely competent; however, there were forces watching them beyond their understanding, and as night approached the elite soldiers masquerading as hunters could sense danger and smell the odour of these vampires.

Only it was not a vampire which attacked first, as the group was readying itself for a full night hunt a twenty-eight -foot gator lunged from the water taking two rangers into its huge jaws and ripping them both apart.

It was sudden and unexpected, blood and core scattered the ground as Sandra tried to control her fear and take care of her charges and guide them to safety, only other huge gators left the bayou and stalked their prey.

Incredibly it was two vampire super soldiers who had been with Liza and her mother who emerged from the bayou, and they were not alone Sgt Thompson, and his team along with Alex and his son took on the gators dispatching them quickly and coming to Sandra and her hunters aid.

“Miss Harrison, we have spoken more than once about you entering our lands,” said an angry Alex, “Fortunately for you, two of this group explained what has been happening and how you were given to believe our permission had been obtained. Only you have no idea as to the danger you are in and what at this very moment is watching us as we are talking.”

Sandra was still in shock and had witnessed with her own eyes the speed and strength used in killing these huge gators.

“That was not humanly possible; it is not possible for a human to move with such speed and exert such strength, those creatures outweighed you by hundreds of pounds,”

“Who said I was human,” said Alex as he grinned exposing two three-inch long upper fangs, before extracting them back into his upper mouth.

As Sandra looked at the soldiers around her, they were feeding directly from the Gators and consuming volumes of blood.

It was then one of the two soldiers who merged first from the bayou handed Alex and his son a quantity of phials’ each.

“We were task by Ester to ensure you received these four phial’s each; I am instructed to tell you there is one each for you and your son, the remaining phials are to be distributed in your family for those chosen in accordance with the treaty.”

A phial each was consumed immediately, containing the blood gift from Lisa, as it was she who was the most gifted and powerful of her kind, and then both Alex and Justin drank from the genetically altered gators and filled multiple containers to take back to their family.

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