Byron Atkins rubbed the cold sweat from his shiny, bald head. His obese hands were trembling and he was dizzy again. He stopped what he was doing and opened his desk drawer to find his blood sugar monitor. He had forgotten to eat again; too busy running the day-to-day operations of God’s Light.
He found his monitor, placed in the test strips and with a press of a button his index finger began to bleed. His blood sugar was normal, but suddenly his body stiffened as still as the statues that lined the hallways at Gods Light monastery.
“Mm, the smell of sweet, sweet blood.” The voice in his head gave him chills and what little hair that he had left crowning his head above his ears stood up as he put on his round rimmed glasses and frantically looked around the room.
“Don’t worry, old man,” the voice in his head was low and sinister now. The shadow voice a reminder that he wasn’t an immortal, unlike the unholy things the group tracks down and tries to kill, “you’re still safe. I’m still in pieces, caged up in the basement down below. I come to you because I have news.”
With an untrained eye it was just another shadow on the corner of the wall, but this shadow pulsated. Now with his glasses on, he could see him, Lucius, the second most powerful vampyre, a direct descendent from Cain. The scars on his throat and body from the encounter with the powerful vampire and subsequent capture reminded him that if not for Hunter’s help he would have died; instead, Hunter trapped Lucius, quite literally like a rat. Hunter had caught Lucius in his rat forms and one by one trapped the rats separately so he could not amalgamate back into a man. Now his shadow was doomed to roam the halls helplessly trapped in the Diablo God’s Light compound.
“There’s something going on amongst the lycanthropes. The obsessive howling is making it hard to sleep during the day.” The shadow of Lucius moved from the corner now to the doorway. Through beady eyes, Byron was watching the shadow like a hawk.
“You don’t even sleep, Lucius, you’re too powerful! I haven’t heard any of this howling that you speak of.” Byron regaining more confidence now, his shoulders and spine stood up straight to give an illusion of control.
“Yes, it’s true I don’t require sleep, although I sleep throughout the day to break up the monotony and the boredom.” Lucius sniped.
The shadow of Lucius was still by the doorway and the shadowy arm moved slowly in Byron’s direction. A chill made his face freezing cold. “I hear things a human could not; I don’t completely understand their language. The gist of it is there have been three defections and two assassinations and the lycanthropes are all headed to the Gulf of Mexico region, making their way to Louisiana.”
Byron tapped his unique silver pen, obsessively on his 18th century antique maple desk, lost in thought. He pressed the button for the intercom by the edge of his desk and leaned forward to speak, “James, call Hunter to set up a meeting then come to my office please, report to my office please.”
Lucius’ shadow form paced back and forth at the doorway seeming to watch.
He got his cell phone out of his breast pocket and dialed. “This is Byron… Secure the private jet, a passenger needs to be transported to Louisiana.”
Byron built up his confidence now, instead of the pulsating shadow he concentrated on the busy work he had up on his desk, unaware Lucius’ shadow form growing closer. “What is your interest in this, Lucius?”
“I am always interested in curious movements that may affect…” Lucius’ paused for emphasis, “My Empire.”
Byron felt goose bumps rising when he heard “my empire” whispered by Lucius, he still considered the Earth as his playground, he thought, but he hid his fear well. “Sir?”
A knock on the door, a courtesy before the door opened. The pulsating shadow retreated into the corner and dissipated. It was James, reporting the progress on the plane and estimated time of arrival for Hunter.
“Excuse me sir the uh, uh, plane is, um, fueled up and ready to go.”
Byron sighed with relief, standing up and straightened his tie. He felt sorry for James, with his weakened left extremities and resulting neuropathy after a genetic malformation had burst in his head, but at the same time James reminded him how good he had it. The diabetes was the only thing he had to deal with and it was manageable; James would be crippled for life, which made him smile inwardly.
“I have to go outside the gates to meet my superiors for an update,” He tapped pages of a report until they were even then stapled the reports without even looking James in the eye. “I need you to look after the bitch demon, So-seti. I would delegate a more experienced scientist but…”
James heart raced as Byron continued, “She seems to be mesmerized by you. Maybe she’ll be docile and more pliable until she gets used to her surroundings.”
Up close something about Byron Atkins always rubbed James the wrong way. His bleach white suit two sizes too small, baldheaded, a snout-like nose, beady eyes, ruddy complexion, always perspiring smelling like stale sweat and faintly of urine. Not to mention his smug demeanor. But he was the boss, James told himself, whenever he walked into a room he just had to grin and bear it.
“Yes sir.” He told his boss while tapping his cane on the marble floor. A habit he knew Byron hated but with his disability he knew he could get away with it.
Small victories, he told himself, smiling slyly as he left, awkwardly shutting the door behind him. James slowly hobbled down the hall until he came up to the two armed guards at the exit to the Cathedral. Pausing a moment so they could check his credentials then he hobbled onto the elevator.
Lucius could travel straight down through the soil and rocks several miles underground, the pulsating shadow crept unseen past all the armed guards. The shadow slipped easily beneath the electronically locked doors which So-seti was held behind.
“Aaaaah Luciussss… I know it’s you, Lucius, even in your shadow form I can smell the decay.” So-seti spoke in a language that only Lucius and she knew.
The pulsating shadow crawled up the wall to get a better look at the once powerful queen lycanthrope. Lucius’ shadow enveloped So-seti like a shroud.
“If vampyres could cry, I’d shed a tear for you, my sweet.” The shadow stroked So-seti’s fragile-skinned, decaying cheek.
“Oh Lucius, what ever happened to us?” So-seti paused for a moment to clear her throat, “we survived for eons just to become lab rats…no pun intended, dear”
So-seti was just a decaying corpse with a faint, erratic pulse now. Gone were the days that the mere mention of her name could strike fear into the most hardened men. Lucius knew her in her prime, so beautiful and so wild. With long, lustrous, black hair, almond shaped sapphire and jade eyes, high proud cheekbones and delicately thin rosy lips. She had an impeccable figure with luscious perky breasts and curvaceous hips fit for childbearing. No man or woman, no king or Empress could resist her in her prime.
Lucius longed to touch her, to soothe and comfort her, but when he tried to touch her, his shadow form went right through to the bone making her shiver. Lucius’ shadow form seemed to flow in circles by the cot where So-seti lay. “I feel pity for you, unlike yourself, So-seti, when the Sun sets I am free to roam the land.”
So-seti turned to follow the shadow around and around like Lucius operated a laser light pointer, a simple cat toy, which had her turning in circles.
“In one of my soothing strolls…um, or rather… glides, I heard a distinctive voice.” Lucius hovers just inches above So-seti’s body. “A haunting and beautiful aria… a Song about tragedy and loss, sung by one of your close offspring…”
This peaked So-seti’s interest, she struggled to sit up on her elbows as far as her chains would allow her to go. She peered with lupine eyes through what she knew to be Lucius’ face but would look to others like a dark shadow. Lucius veiled So-seti’s form, and cast a ghostly hue over So-seti’s wrinkled face. She saw through the shadow the outline of Lucius’ form, the glowing pinpricks of his cunning eyes, though Lucius had no body his ruthless form still survives, she mused to herself, this is Lucius’ blackened soul!
“Lucius do not tease me, tell me what you know!” So-seti spat, drooling with anticipation.
Pages on clipboards fluttered, the saline fluids swayed, her IV stand rocked back and forth as Lucius’ form moved like a black cloud in high winds off of So-seti and away from the stretcher.
“Your grandchild, Aticus, has survived through the harsh ages,” Lucius paused for dramatic effect and letting the information sink in, “he thinks you’re dead.”
Hearing the tragic but potentially exhilarating news of her long lost grandson her pulse rate spontaneously quickened. With every accelerated heartbeat the silver nitrate, liquid poison, running through her bloodstream became more diluted, and she perspired a silver amalgamation of sweat from her forehead.
Her eyes brightened with hope but just as quickly dashed as she hastily looked around at the sound proofed sections lining the room, her neck snapping and popping to the point of malformation until her week spine finally cracking as the base of her skull collapsed back onto the cold stretcher.
Disappointment turned into rage which fueled and began awaking the hidden Wolf, trying to rend out of her thin, brittle, inflexible captive human skin, tearing and bleeding in the weakest spots. So-seti’s pale gray skin thickened, her exposed bright blue arteries and veins vanishing, moisture seeping into her flesh hydrating her aged skin and making it more malleable right before Lucius’ eyes. So-seti’s cryptic skin full of wrinkles that looked like life-size jigsaw puzzles began to get a healthy rosy bronze glow.
Lucius beheld her with admiration, still strong throughout the millennium, shedding her skeletal frame for an ample muscular physique. So-seti still had an elderly look to her appearance from centuries of torture and poison, her legs were still missing, but she had a fire in her eyes now.
“I have tried reaching out to your grandson, Aticus, to no avail. I have no vocal chords to get my message across.” So-seti heard Lucius say inside her mind, his only means of speaking.
Telepathy came easy for the ancient sorceress. But to use Telepathy you had to find the target in mind, preferably even be eye to eye with them. If she focused she could open her mind to thoughts elsewhere in the building. Even the powerful could not use telepathy to cross vast distances, especially finding a target as diseased in the mind as Aticus might be.
However, the lycanthrope could howl orders over an enormous expanse. “Hoowww ooow hoowww…Hoowwl!” So-seti cried out until her throat hurt and the room rang with vibrations.
The werewolf howling in the night could be heard by human ears up to eight miles until it reaches ultrasonic frequencies that can be heard by a lycanthrope thousands of miles away. With just four lycanthropes dispersed they could send a message halfway across the globe in an instant.
“Oh my sweet, So-seti… God’s Light chose this hill for its solitude…” If Lucius had a face it would have been smirking, “it disrupts all communication, even telepathy, and surely mongrel howling.”
So-seti could not tell for sure how far down and deep into the mountains she had traveled but she knew for sure that the combination of a soundproofed room and buried deep into the earth left little hope that her grandson would ever hear the important message, that she survived…
A harsh sound startled both So-seti and Lucius. A flashing red warning light appeared on the monitors that governed the IV dosing monitor. A liquid silver solution traveled the length of the tubing into So-seti’s veins. As silver solution invaded her heart her muscles and flesh instantly dehydrated. Fresh, bright eyes began to glaze over and darken; the eye sockets blackened and sunk in, like a sinkhole collapsing. With So-seti’s moaning much too much to endure, Lucius retreated into the walls leaving her alone with her pain muddled thoughts.