Low droning of engines was the only sign that something was about to happen. Although at three am, no one was going to witness the flight, never mind comment. The effects of the flight would be far-reaching. It would reveal a race that, until now, had remained only in fairy tales.
The boy woke. A sheen of sweat coated his skin as his limbs shook. He could feel his bones burning as the room closed in on him. A cool cloth caressed his skin as his parent’s encouragement filled his ears. Although they spoke quietly, it felt so loud. He let out a scream as his entire body shifted at the same time. All coherent thought left him as a vicious snarl escaped his lips.
Leaping from the bed to the floor, he flew from the room, crashing through the house as his parents’ panicked voices called after him, but he couldn’t stop. Something was driving him on. He ran across fields and there they were. He yelped in pleasure.
They gambled across fields, through woods, killing sheep as they went. The sound of sirens a distant irritant as they ran their energy until they were spent, collapsing onto the soft earth. Their pursuers left to stand scratching their heads in bewilderment as they surveyed the twenty teenagers naked covered in blood. All were dead.
The news reports flooded the media as the strange reports of wolves and naked teenagers roaming the English countryside consumed all the channels as the strange phenomenon appeared all over the country. By the end, over twenty percent of the United Kingdom’s teenage population was dead.
Not a single family escaped, damaged by the illness that swept through the young population.
Engines filled the deserted street with life and noise. Four black SUV vans pulled up outside a warehouse. Masquerading its abandonment to the outside world, it was anything but. The door opened, the street filled with men in dark suits and sombre expressions.
In silence, they made their way into the building. Standing for a moment in front of the bank of lifts until the doors opened and the street and lobby of the building was once again deserted.
Malcom Phelps, the head of domestic minorities, sat at the head of the table gazing passively at the men sat around the table. In all his thirty years in government, he never in his wildest imagination thought he would chair a meeting like this and he had a pretty wild imagination. It came with the job.
He pulled his eyes from the report he was reading as an elegant man was led in, his hands cuffed. The man gazed around the room, his golden eyes seeming to evaluate every person in the room before finally resting on Phelps.
One guard pulls out a chair, and the man sits. Malcom Phelps knows who this man is, and he should not be underestimated if Phelps is going to get the information he desires. Phelps also knows that after recent events this man would be unwilling to help him. He let out a sigh as he wrapped his head around the request these men had made
‘So, you are telling me that for the last two millennia we have shared the planet with your… kind. You have participated in our wars and general struggles but never once revealed yourselves to us.’
‘Yes,’ the gentleman sat opposite him, their King.
‘So, what do you require from me?’ Phelps sat back.
‘I am willing to negotiate. The killing must stop, or I cannot be responsible for the backlash that will occur.’
‘That is why you have handed yourself in so you can negotiate,’ Phelps raised a brow, his hands steepled in front of him. ‘What I don’t understand is why you are coming to me now?’
‘Out of politeness,’ the king grinned and Phelps realised he liked this individual.
‘That, if I may say, is a croc and you know it, so what is the real reason, hmm? They gave you plenty of time to negotiate once you revealed yourself.’
‘Plenty of time?’ he laughed. ‘They don’t want to negotiate. They want us gone. How long have you had the virus? How long have you known about us?’ He leant back his eyes trained on Phelps as they changed from golden to yellow.
‘It is not my government that wants you gone. It would appear the British Government has known about you people for centuries,’ Phelps raised a brow other than that his features remained passive. ‘So, what don’t we know? It is not in our interest to kill our population,’
‘You think we wanted this after centuries of peace?’
‘So that leads us back to my first question: why do you need me?’
‘I don’t. Like I said, I am being polite,’ he leant back, a small smile on his lips ‘you won’t find them, you are too late.’
‘You think?’ Phelps passed the photos across the table, spreading them out so he could see them. He felt no satisfaction to see the colour drain from the man’s face before he looked Phelps in the eye.
‘Where is he?’ his voice was barely above a whisper?
‘That I don’t know, but you must understand how important it is we find him.’
‘Why is he important to you?’
‘He is your heir. What ever is going on was triggered by his disappearance. I would rather find him than deal with a war between you people,’ Phelps gathered up his files.
‘I would be willing to work with you on this to bring it to a peace full conclusion,’ Phelps pushed to his feet. ‘consider your answer as it would be better if we find him than some vigilante sent by the Synod,’
‘You know about the Synod?’
‘It is my job to know these things.’
‘So, you know of the Lancers?’
‘Yes, I know who protects the queen. The question is, where is yours? Where is the boy’s mother?’ With one last look at the prisoner, he left the room.
Phelps sat in his office. He rubbed a hand down his face as he tried to comprehend what it was he was reading. It was getting him nowhere. He was still no nearer to finding where the boy might be. This was far more complicated than a species revealing itself and then causing a mass genocide.
From what he could understand, there were two factions after the boy. His so-called people who were ruled by the Synod and then there was another very secretive group that he could find very little about. The Lancers, according to legend, originated from king Arthur and Lancelot. Rather than the well-documented love triangle, Lancelot was there to protect Geneviève until the heir was located and king Arthur wasn’t it.
Their purpose was even more complicated, and it was this that was giving Phelps a headache. As one protected the male heir while the other protected his chosen mate. This balance had survived for centuries, but occasionally it went wrong. Recently, such a mistake had occurred, and the male heir had not mated his destined true mate, resulting in the destructive power struggle that was occurring now.
Was that the reason for the mass genocide to correct the mistake? Melodramatic, even for wolves. He chuckled to himself. Not that any of this was amusing, he thought. Now he needed to create a distraction from this dig out some dirt on a MP or member of the royal family. They were always good for a media distraction.
Phelps strongly suspected that mistake was going to be violently corrected, and it was down to him to stop any such war that could be detrimental to the human population.
He just needed to know where the boy was. Who had him? If anyone it had occurred to Phelps, the boy was most probably dead. He pulled a picture of Benjamin Lycos from a pile and gazed at the twenty-three-year-old and a sadness pulled at him as he gazed at the happy young man in the picture.