The Aftermath

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Chapter 3

Grant didn't reply to Malachi at first so he asked once more.

"Do you understand?"

Grant's look of disgust disappeared into an apathetic distasteful expression. Malachi left Sonya's side at once blocking the door until he was assured. He firmly placed a hand on Grant's left shoulder, letting him know he wasn't going to leave until he had his word and that he meant it. Sonya could only hope it had been toned, for Grant returned a cold stare at his brother. His crystalline false eyes, spoke to him. Malachi's hand dropped from his shoulder allowing for his leave.

"Are you okay?" Malachi's voice was filled with concern as he turned his attention towards her. She shook her head up and down with tear filled eyes. He slowly approached her side and leaned over before her. Although he extended great concern, by offering her his warm hand, she felt as if she had over stayed her welcome. Grant had scared her so unbelievably much, his image was still present behind her closed eyes. She felt she had to leave.

In her room she searched for some regular clothes, anything besides dresses which were quite overstocked in her opinion. Luckily, she quickly dressed into her black sweatshirt and her ripped pair of jeans which had been washed and repaired with patches and left folded on the top of a shelf in her closet. Being back in such clothing brought back unwelcome memories. Horrifying visions flashed in her mind of her attackers, while tears poured silently down her cheeks. She quickly shook her head from the thought, but it was imbedded there, burning at her heart. The room seemed to have grown warmer and she knew she had to get out as soon as possible. Her brother was the only person in this world that she held dearest to her. He was all she could think about as she ran from her room, down the corridor, and living room. Sonya ran full speed ahead to the chandelier lit front room, and stopped as she pressed the button next to the door. It was time for her to leave this place.

The night was cold and dark and her legs carried her as fast as they could. She dodged trees, ducked under low branches, and leapt over roots. Yet, as she went deeper and deeper into the woods, the moonlight decreased, providing little guidance, and her pace slowed quite a bit. She found herself tripping and running into low branches. With her heart pounding in her ears, she finally stopped for a moment to catch her breath. Her hands rested against her knees as she hunched over, breathing heavily through her nose and out of her mouth. The more she thought about how dark the sky was, the more she realized civilization was probably farther away than she expected. She looked back behind her and tried to see the light of the mansion as second thoughts began to make her stomach turn, but darkness filled her sight.

Surely all she had to do was simply walk back the way she came to return to the mansion, but unfortunately due to roots and obstacles, her path had been a rather convoluted one, lacking linear traits. Her heart began to beat hard in her chest again at the fact of being lost. She had nothing to eat, or drink, no light, no warmth. Hot tears began to flow down her cheeks. Furthermore, the longer she stood in silence, the more paranoia set in as she became aware of just how overpowering this dark forest was. With heightened senses, she became hyper aware of the direction of the wind, the sound of the leaves and branches, the smell of Earth, and even the newly formed perspiration on her palms.

Instead of going forward with her plan, she started backwards, trying to remember certain obstacles, but overcoming them in the opposite direction only made her feel as if they were unfamiliar. Carefully she felt her way around the forest, trying to hold in her tears so she could see. Instantly they were forgotten when the sound of a snapping tree branch echoed in the distance. It wasn't a small branch either. It echoed in her mind and left goose bumps all over her skin. She clutched a tree closest to her and began to wonder what wildlife roamed these lands, perhaps wolves? In that case, climbing a tree would be best? As she thought of this, climbing a tree would also help provide her a bird's eye view. The mansion in all its glorious height could surely be seen from the tree tops.

The tree that she currently clung to had one low hanging branch. The moon revealed at least six that were above it and easily accessible. With her delicate hands she began to scale the course bark. While she did so she could hear the branches creek and their foliage tremble. She climbed and climbed until she heard another loud snap echo into the night. It was closer now. She then questioned whether or not it was safe to proceed further upward. No matter what she had to at least get a glimpse of the mansion.

She stood frozen for a few more moments with her ears pricked in the silence. She then continued upward until the moon was barely blocked by leaves and the wind moved more freely across her cheeks. She moved her head about and strained her eyes across the treetops, hoping to see some geometric shape jutting out into the darkness, but couldn't see a thing. Just as she was about to give up she spotted two off white lights among the trees, moving in and out of sight. She then moved back down the tree, as a sea creature ducks its head back under water to see below. Just as she was about to jump off at a safe height, she stopped. The two lights had gotten closer and at first she thought it was an automobile. Such a thing could not get through this forest though. She wondered if they were flashlights, but the way they moved was far too ghostly. Her heart beat began to pick up and she moved back up the tree as far as she could and as quietly as she could, hoping the lights would pass or come close enough so she could render them nothing to be afraid of.

She tried to calm her frantic heart beat, but couldn't as the black mass with off white glowing eyes, snarled at the base of the tree. It was huge. The moon barely outlined the figure, making the wrinkles of its enormous snout visible. She screamed as it jumped to no avail at her, snapping its saber tooth-like jaws. She could feel the heat from his rotten breath and the steam roll from its mouth. The branches broke loudly, falling from the tree below her. It had stripped the tree naked on one side, breaking most of the limbs off. A loud thud shuttered the woods as the creature's enormous paws made contact with the Earth once more. She climbed more branches, but no distance was enough distance between her and the creature.

The beast snarled and made another leap into the air. It was shy of one branch that would've brought her to her demise. Her scream was blood curdling and she clung to the tree for dear life. If she climbed any further, the branches above would snap unable to hold her. The one beneath her was already showing signs of fatigue. She held her breath in the new silence, looking down into the dark woods. She could still hear the creature's loud breathing and see its glowing eyes. "No," she whispered, knowing whatever was beneath her was more intelligent than she wanted it to be.

Suddenly a hard thrust against the tree jolted her forward. Such a blow even pulsed through her body and sent the tree tumbling to the Earth. Before it reached the bottom it snagged on other trees, slowing the impact before it met the ground. Her lip busted hard against the trunk and she rolled away from it, coughing from the dirt which had plumed into the air.

The creature also seemed perturbed by it, sneezing once, twice, and then whining. Sonya got to her feet and began running as fast as her legs would carry her. The loud creature's paws pounded against the Earth thundering behind her, when suddenly something pierced her left ankle all the way through. She fell hard on her hands and she screamed once more. She was sure that she had broken her right wrist. Thinking a trap had been set, she reached to feel the weapon and remove it, but it continued to pierce her wound until it had coiled up her leg under her skin. Whatever it was then began to haul her off the Earth by about fifteen feet. She was upside down, screaming in agony and realized as the glowing eyes approached her that it was the tail of creature that had struck her. The creature then opened its mouth and a long snake-like tongue felt the skin of her cheeks, leaving them moist. For some odd reason the left side of her body had gone numb and quick. As the monster went to devour her, she threw dirt that she had picked up from her fall at its eyes and nose. The creature's snout wrinkled and his eyes closed. It began to heave as it involuntarily lowered her to the ground. It then dropped her five feet from Earth and sprayed moisture into the air with a loud, quick sneeze.

She lay upon the ground and tried to get up to run, but the whole left side of her body, including her leg had become numb. It tingled and felt as if it were sleeping. Just as the creature went for her once more a loud voice penetrated the woods before her. "Back you monstrosity!" Malachi shouted. Once he had become closer, he knelt before Sonya, Grant strode past her to his faithful beast. His blonde hair stuck out against the black woods.

Sonya watched as the creature bent its neck towards his master and licked his cheek with his long, slender tongue. Grant then got out his pocket knife, which glinted in the moonlight, and cut a small incision on the palm of his hand. His crimson blood trickled through his fingers and down his wrist. The beast consumed the small palm full of blood with joy and pleasure through his straw like tongue until it was all gone, the way butterflies drank nectar through their proboscis. He proceeded to whimper at Grant, who refused him anymore of his glorious treat. He kissed the tip of his wet nose and then shoved him back off into the woods. The monster complied and vanished at once, whimpering a sad song of desolation on his way.

It was about that time when Sonya began to seize from the neurotoxins. Her body jolted and twitched in awful spasms. The poison had traveled from her ankle to her brain in such a short amount of time. "Grant, throw me the knife!" Malachi demanded. The poor girl was in his grasp now, unable to breath, and barely hanging onto life.

Grant ignored his brother having nothing to do with the young woman and moved back towards the mansion in spite of her. Malachi swelled with such unimaginable anger, that he lost his composure for a moment. "When I get back you better be gone and it better be fixing your mistake!" he warned with grey eyes and a deep toned voice.

Malachi then turned back to the situation at hand and patted the front of his pockets and back pockets. He carried no such things as weapons purposefully meant for drawing crimson from his veins. With no other option and time running out, he pulled up her pant leg to reveal the place where the creature had struck her with its tail. It was such an awful sight, for black venom had the appearance of tar and clotted her blood around the wound. Thinking on his feet, he bit his lip as hard as he could. He wiped away four drops of blood with each of his fingers, his index, middle, ring, and pinky. He smeared two on the entry side of the wound and one on the exit side. With the last drop he smeared across her busted lip. He feared this would not be enough as he sat waiting for any signs of healing. If only he had some way to drain more, for mere drops would not help. She had stopped her convulsing, but now she lay still. Her eyes were open, but they were not blinking.

His eyes darted around the ground which was littered with debris from the fallen tree. The first piece of shattered wood he grabbed was not strong enough to break the skin of his palm, instead it broke in half. The second piece he grabbed wasn't as flimsy and it was spiked at one end. Instead of piercing his skin directly, he swiped it across the top of his hand where his skin was thinner and larger veins were at the surface. He then gave his wrist a firm squeeze with his palms turned upward. As it tricked slowly downward, a difference was being made. The wound was finally starting to heal to his relief. It had almost been too late.

In a poorly lit room, four men sat on metal folding chairs, one in ropes, tattered clothing, and a dirty pair of shoes, the other three in black apparel and ski masks.

"So, how is it that your sister knew where the safe was?" asked one of the men. He stood from the table and came to press a pistol against Keith's temple.

"Please don't kill me," he pleaded for his life, tears pouring down his cheeks.

"Tell us!" the man shouted, pulling the trigger. It clicked empty. Keith yelled with a flinch.

He sobbed for a moment and caught his breath so he could speak. "When she was three she was hit by a car. She received an operation from a doctor named Eric Stone. She wasn't all there after that. I thought it was the accident, but I don't know,"

"Doctor Eric Stone?" The man looked back at his two companions.

In the dirty garage a man in muddy jeans and a grey t-shirt stood. He had sweat marks on the front of his shirt and under his arms. Sweat coated his face too. He wore protective goggles and was straining his ears with the drill in his shaking hand. The relatively small safe, about one foot by one foot in size, sat heavy on top of a table as he prepared to penetrate its secret interior. It was a messy safe, covered in muck from having been excavated from under the cabin after years of being there. The drill had a powerful large tip that once it went through, was sure to allow a big enough hole one could fit his entire hand through.

Finally the man started the glistening diamond coated drill in his thick gloved hands with the press of a button that looked like a trigger, and began to cut through the safe. The first layer was the steel shell, then came the hard plate barrier, followed by the second steel shell. Luckily for him, this was a simple safe, non-electronic, and old. Technology today made the art of safecracking extremely difficult, but obviously the Cain's had failed to upgrade their security. It made him wonder if they had simply forgotten about it.

Suddenly the drill stopped and a loud crack filled the silent garage. "What was that?" asked Mr. Valencia. He had black curly hair and olive skin.

"I've hit the locking mechanism," he told him as he removed the drill and put his glasses on. With a flashlight he shined the light into the aperture and viewed the situation. It was a mess of metal on the inside and he whistled loudly. "This was fancy back then, but not anymore." He smiled and picked up his drill off the table once more. He went back to work at once and very slowly the drill worked its way through the mess at a pace that made the safecracker sweat even more. Suddenly the drill went from slow pace to full power once it was free of friction and a thick red substance sprayed all over the safecracker. The drill fell from his hands at once to the floor and he stood back with a shriek. "What the Hell is that?!" he yelled. The substance covered his face and some of it had actually gone into his mouth. The strong taste of iron coated his mouth and the two men near the door looked completely confused for the safecracker was unscathed.

Once the man had calmed down enough from his scare, he went back to the safe and stuck his black gloved hand in the hole to undo the lock that he had broken. This allowed him to open the safe from the inside out.

Mr. Valencia stepped forth and the safecracker stepped aside, wiping the sweat and red liquid from his forehead. His light brown hair was dripping wet with it. The other man neared the safe to get a better look. Slowly the man pulled back the handle, very slowly. He could hear the contents shifting inside and knew that something was bound to fall out. Once he had secured the contents with his left hand he pulled back the door to reveal the safe's contents.

On the top shelf were extremely thick glass cylinders of red liquid. There had once been two, but the second had been destroyed by the drill. It was shattered and broken.

"Where are the documents? What about the research?" The safecracker asked.

On the second shelf was a five inch by five inch box. Mr. Valencia took it out and peered inside. Between dividers were samples of hair incased in small, flat glass containers. One had two strands of golden hair. The other had two strands of black hair.

"These are the documents. This is Eric Stone's research. Unfortunately, simply having DNA samples isn't going to be enough." he frowned. Even though technology had advanced so much, simple human intellect had its limits. They needed the correct machinery to be able to duplicate a Cain and figure out the complicated anatomy. "You see, wherever they are, they have lab equipment beyond our wildest imaginations. That is why we need to find their location and fast, before their technology is destroyed.

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