Description; After finding to their surprise they were still living after Rick had blown up the machine he and Victor at first felt relief but that was short lived as they found Matteo was sending killers to assasinate the both of them , the doctor Winnemire and Sara.Complicating these issues , they were hunting and killing vampires from the Greymoore clan that no longer had a leader since Joe had been killed. The two hunters now are not only hunting ghouls, but have been turned into the hunted themselves.
Rick slowly eased back into the large pine tree as one of the four fiens they had been trailing all evening seemed to turn his head in their direction, He held his breath an did not dare move a fraction of an inch .Finally the tall skinny vampire with large round eyes and a hook nose turned back away.
Victor grunted quitely to get Ricks attention and when he looked over followed the bearded long haired vampiers nod to see three young women coming out of a store just feet from the four bloodthirsty killers the brothers were watching.
A quick glance at the fiens and it was plain these women were the prey.
Silently Victor crept like a feline in an arch to get behind the hunters. Waiting untill he was closer than Rick wanted him to be to the other vamps Rick morphed into a somewhat tall replica of one of the women and took out his sword hiding it in the folds of his dress. A quick glance showed him Victor had his new wooden sword out of the scabbard.
Watching the four in the shadows as he could almost see the tall one coil to spring out at the three women he stepped out yelling loudly to get the hunters attention " So you forgot to invite me to...."
That was Victors signal as the four focused on the newcomer he pounced swinging his sword hard into a somewhat overweight adversary just above his waist and saw the fien cut completely in half by it.Swinging around in a dancing loop into the face of two other hunters he saw Rick back as his brother and his sword send the tall round eyed vamps head flying into the air and with a two-step sink it into one of the remaining fiens heart just as his own sword removed the last ones head.
"Wow ! ..Your hot!...Got a girlfriend? Want one?"
Rick looked over at the three women. Two stood there with looks of horror on their face, disbelief, but one who had a birthday hat on her head and bottle of rum in her hand was looking at him with what could only be described as lust.
As the women who spoke wobbled almost unable to stand without falling flat on her rear end, it was Ricks turn to have a shocked bewildered look on his face.
Dr. David Winnmire stared out the window at the new barn just recently finished. Cup of coffee in hand, lost in thought. Sara McAlister, sat across the table from him watching Jason eating a snack. She also was quite.
A lot of things had changed since the destruction of Mire mountian and the asylum.
Doc and her both had decided to stay at Ricks farm not wanting to place themselves in danger at their own homes. Doctor Winnmire had been at the milk farm for several months now and Sara ever since he had brought her here from the asylum and now Victor was with them sharing Rick's room.
Both She and Winnmire were glad to have Victor there . He had a quite but very amicable type personality who was great to have on your side in a fight.Rick had been helping him learn the trait and soon Victor would also be a master of the hidden art. He could also shape shift but didn't care for it very much for reason known only to himself.
The brothers sharing a room worked out well as vampires did not really need to sleep , they had a trance state they could go into for many different reason like making time go by faster on a journey or hiding in a secure place to not make noise and so on, most of the time the two were out hunting other fiens or studying the trait and other manuels to help in their fight.
The doctor spent most of his time in the newly rebuilt basement laboratory working on a cure for vampirism and also reading manuels on the lost trait plus anything else he could find on human ways to fight the undead ghouls.
The door to the basement had been re-inforced with a slot in the bottom to toss the vapor balls under that were capable of causing vampires to corrode to nothing. A vat of fresh made garlic juice hung above the door in a container that could sray the juice out in a mist and down upon the door surface to repell the fiens to give Sara and him time to toss the vapor bombs out into the fiens.
Metteo had thrown one hell of a wrench int the cogs of their plans to rid the world of all the blood sucking fiens and the four of them were always trying to come up with ideas to go to Rome fight Matteo and blow up his new life essence draining machine.
So far they were in the basic rudiments of such a plan and had only ideas with no clear way forward.
The biggest problem was Matteo knew the trait. He was a master of it and had used it to bring about the fall of The homicidal rival Joe former king of the vampires . He had used Rick to kill the ancient fien so the four of them knew that they could not make very many mistakes the first of them would be to underestimate Matteo.
Sara left Jason to nap, the fifteen month old was regular about his dailey eating , sleeping, and yes..pooping schedules. So when she could get a little break she would walk out to the barn check things to make sure all was well.
New lumber and paint smell was still strong in the recently constructed structure that the four of them had built. It filled her nostrils as she entered through the small door next to the closed large machine double door entrance.
Her mind was far away , back to the night the ghouls had attacked and burned the old barn to the ground so she did not notice the pressence of the ghoul standing behind some left over lumber from the construction untill she felt a pressence behind her.
Sara whirled around and looked right into the mesmerizing hypnotic fixed gaze of the vampire and immeadiately was trapped in a trance . She found herself incapable of moving although she could see and hear . Try as she might every scream she tried to push out froze beneath her vocal chords as she saw the mouth of the ghoul open wider and wider as two long sharp teeth extending out past the others turned into fangs .
Suddenly a popping sound like that of a fire cracker assaulted her ears , she would have jumped if she had been able to move, shattered the unreal silence of the barn and a vapire rose from the floor and the vampire crumbled to nothing disintgrating onto the ground.
Winnemire caught her as she fell her knees giving way and held her as she sobbed in fright. After a few minutes she regained control and broke away from Winnmire.
"Thanks David, I thought I was a goner there for a moment."
The doctor smiled into the hazel eyes filled with fear and defiance at the same time."No problem Sara. Try to be a little more careful next time you leave the house." His voice soft
Sara Nodded in agreement as chills still ran up and down her spine. The true reality of how dangerous life had become for them was sinking into her brain.. In her mind it had always been safe on the farm, That obviously had been wishful thinking a day dream that almost had gotten her turned into a ghoul.
Victor an angry scowl on his face speaking loudly enough to blow the rafters from the ceiling almost screamed..." Here at this farm? Low down dirty rotten..sneaky..!" His voice trailed to nothing as the anger , frustration, and helplessness of knowing he and Rick could not be here to look over Winnmire and Sara and hunt fiens at the same time and both were equally important overwhelmed him
Rick ,Sara , and the dotor nodded in unison.
" They will do anything to feed and we have put a huge crimp in their hunting the past few weeks." Rick answered his voice soft contemplating all the different aspects of what had and was happening to them. Sometime the different complexities of their situation seemed insurmountable. It had been planned like this by Matteo who knew a lot of difficult issues would arise for them from the destruction of Mire mountian.
"Matteo was a friggin evil genuis." He said in after thought.
Winnmire laughed. " You can say that two or three more times and still be right." He agreed.
"Any new thoughts on how we can can get to him and his knew machine ?" Rick asked the doctor.
"No, ..Winnmire answered...Everything I come up with falls short of the huge obstacles in front of us."
Sara looked around at the others who all seemed to be grappling with how to climb a huge mountian inside their minds.
"Well if no one can come up with something soon I will go to Rome kill that bastard with my bare hands and blow up his damn machine ." She said finally.Flatly.
Laughter filled the room but soon fell away as the men saw that Sara wasn't joking.
Matteo Rossi was looking out of his third floor office window of the M.ospedale Psichiatrico Rossi.In the legend and mytical city of Rome. The hustle and bustle of the traffic and the people milling on the streets , he could distiguish the tourist and sight seeing crowds here for the coliseum and other ancient marvels of the city from the year round residents.
"Ants ...He told himself..Milling around in crowds and lines like ants at a pick-nick searching for dropped morsels of scraps here and there....Ants."
Most of these who came for the attractions of the Sistine chapel, St. Peters Dome, And Vatican city, never knew they stood in the great city where religion, politics , and modern cities where business joined the other twos roots to create the greatest empire in history were planted.
The knowledge that Vatican city is the smallest country in the world but known because of its size to be a city state escaped the largest part of those who come here to gawk at the sights, Also the fact that it is a total Monarchy, The Pope its head and its whole area is about the size of one eighth of central park in N.Y. city.
Some of them may have known about Nero blaming the early christians for setting fire to Rome and many of those he had torn apart by wild animals , crucified , or burned at the stake were placed in the catacombs beneath St. Peters Basilica.
His thoughts were interrupted by the speaker on his desk " Mr. Rossi , Please come to the security center. stat!"
He jumped from his chair and walked briskly to the elevator and pushed the basement button, When he exited the elevator and entered the door that lead to the machines hook up he saw the control room was in a panic.
"Whats wrong ? ..He inquired briskly seeing that the gauges were all over the place some at the top into red and others had dropped and were not registering at all... What the devil!" He exclaimed.
Hose his chief machine technician ,one he trusted above all his other luetenant,s answered briefly as he franticlly turned switches and knobs " The child is dying, Machine malfunction somewhere!"
"Can you get it back up?" worried now Matteos voice filled with anxiety.
"No success so far." Hose returned.
A thud was felt under their feet and suddenly most of the gauges stopped moving falling to zero.
"Whats the damage"? Matteo hurled at Hose.
"The life essence side of our machine just had a malfunction and quit working completely. The life sustaining part thst keeps us alive is working well."
Matteo felt his knees go weak with relief.
" That means all the redundantcy measures in case we had some kind of failure held up."
"Yeah ..Hose answered tension fading from his voice. ..We are okay there ."
A nurse came running from the hook up room a terrified look on her face. " The child died!" Her voice shrill.
"We know Esterlina, the machines life essence stripper broke down." Matteo answered her calmly.
"What about the frequency side....She paued a moment panic starting to form in her eyes...That keeps us alive!"
"He spoke in the most soothing voice he had to calm the distraught woman" That side is fine ..no problems there. Everything is okay.
Although a doubtfull look still haunted the nurse's face she nodded and went back into the hook up room.
" How much time do we have to fix the life essence side of the machine and find another child Hose?" Matteo asked alarm back in his own eyes.
Hose walked to the far end of the control room and flipped a couple of switches, a few seconds went by before he turned a knob there close to where he stood.
It seemed like ageswent by before he looked back over to Matteo. " Three years." He said his tone flat.
"Three years !...Matteo repeated ...it takes almost all of that to find a human with the dna for her child to be right for the essence machine! And then the child has to be a year old before he can be stripped of the life essence."
Hose nodded an affirmative. "The lab upstairs is on a constant search for such a women now."
"Foolish dead king Joe murdered the women who had this child we have now dead in the hook up chamber."
Matteo paced back and forth for a few minutes looking to be almost in a state close to a trance he had put some people in to feed on in the past.
" Sara..We must bring her here and get her impregnated soon as possible while the machine is being prepared." He said with finality
Hose just starred at Matteo.
"Like Rick and now Victor are just going to stand by and let us bring her to Rome!" His tone incredulous.
" I never would fool myself into believing they would do any such thing...Matteo thought for a moment before continuing...The only way would be the same thing Joe did, attack with a large force and take her while Rick and Victor are to busy fighting to break free and save her."
Hose looked at the new vampire leader almost the same way he use to look at Joe when he was king. But said nothing.