She jogged around the track four times, and on the fifth, she jogged off, and over to the bench, picking up her water bottle and taking a drink. A boy walked over, breathing heavily, and placed her hands on her knees.
"Man, Kiara, how do you do it?"
"Do what?" she asked, looking over.
"You manage to run the mile in under seven minutes, and come off the track, and still have enough energy to try and beat your time twice? And after all that, you don't even break much of a sweat…"
"First off, girls don't sweat, we glisten. Second, it is a gift," she said, smirking, and ran her hand down her face.
"Alright, Kiara, come on, no more dilly dallying. You wanna try again?" She shook her head.
"What was my best time, Ms. Rapshire?"
"Your best time was six minutes, fourteen seconds. You want to keep that one?"
"Yep." Ms. Rapshire jotted it down, and nodded.
"Since your finished, go ahead and change. If you want something to do, go get it out of your locker, but be back out here in ten, okay?" She nodded.
"No problem." Kiara smiled, and headed inside the high school.
She stood at her gym locker, and sighed, shaking her head. She pushed her green shorts to the ground, and tugged her gray T-shirt over her head, picking up her shorts and shoving them into her locker. Bending down, she pulled her flared out blue jeans up over her hips, buttoning and zipping them. She moved her hands, and reclipped the shiny silver chain-link-type belt around her waist. Reaching into her locker, she put on some deodorant, and tugged her shirt off the hook just inside the locker. It was a red shirt with the words "I am NOT in the mood!" on the front, and Oscar the Grouch on the back. Sighing, she shut and locked her locker, and headed into the hallway, moving to her other locker for something to do. As she pulled open the black metal locker, an envelope floated out, and landed at her feet. A little confused, she reached down, and picked it up. It had KAVH written on the front: her initials. Kiara Anna Van Helsing. She didn't open in, somewhat unsure of what was inside. Instead, she pulled out a notebook and her colored pencils, and a regular pencil, and closed her locker heading back outside.
She sat in the grass, leaning back against a tree, and removed the envelope from her notebook, opening it. The paper was very delicate, and seemed ancient. She was almost afraid to unfold it, not wanting to tear it. Carefully, she straightened it, and the same beautiful handwriting was on this paper, in a message that took only a part of the paper.Kiara
Things are happening. We need you to help us. We realize that this may be hard to believe. Or, actually, to understand. But, we need you to trust that we know what we're talking about. It is impossible to tell you what you will need to understand this in a letter, which is why we need you to fly to Rome. One of our men will meet you at the Municipal Airport, and we will take you to a place you don't know of, but that you will learn of. Trust this, trust us…and take the enclosed necklace, so we may trust you.
Kiara stared blankly at the paper.
"H.O?" she asked herself, confused. She reached into the envelope, and pulled out a silver necklace, with a red ruby hanging on the end.
She didn't realize how long she'd been staring at that note and necklace until the bell rang.
"Alright, class! Have a good weekend!" Ms. Rapshire called, waving as the students took off running thru the building. Kiara took her time standing, and gathered her things, still holding the note, as she went back to her locker. She pulled her things into the black backpack, and shoved her locker closed, making her way to the parking lot, and to her car. She slid inside, and shoved her bag into the back seat. Looking around, she started up the car, and peeled out of the parking lot, driving down the road, and out of town.
Kiara came thru the front door at around nine thirty that night.
"Young lady! Where have you been?" Kiara turned her head.
"Oh! Hi, momma…"
"Don't hi momma me. Where have you been?"
"I went to…I went to the library. I wanted to do a little research on our family…" Her mother sighed.
"Well, next time you do that, could you give me the respect I deserve, and call me so I know?"
"Sorry momma…I promise I will…um…listen…" Her mom turned, to look at her.
"Uh…Well, what would you say, you know, hypothetically speaking and all, if I told you that I'd be leaving here on Monday, and going to, uh…let's say…" She shrugged. "Rome. And that I don't know when I'd be going back to school…"
"I'd say yeah right. I saved up all summer to get you enrolled, because I wanted to treat you to school…" She nodded.
"I know momma… I was checking…" Her mom smiled, and kissed her cheek.
"Well, alright. I'm going up to bed, I have to be up early tomorrow." She nodded.
"Night, momma…" She headed up the stairs, and Kiara sighed, heading to her own room. As she locked her door, she tugged the plane ticket out of her pocket. "To Rome, Italy. Gosh…what am I doing?" she muttered, sliding down her door, and hitting the floor.
She nodded to the note on the counter, sighing.Momma
I love you a lot. No, I'm not being kidnapped. No, I'm not being murdered. I am just leaving. I'm very sorry if I hurt you, but I need to do this. It's a trust thing…and it's an image thing. You know how I am…I love you momma…
Kiara picked up her bags, and headed outside, climbing into the back of the taxi.
"Where to, sweetheart?"
"JFK Airport…and don't call me sweetheart…" She looked up at her house, and sighed, shaking her head. "Bye, momma…" she whispered, closing her eyes. The driver glanced at her, and headed to JFK.
Kiara climbed out, taking her bags, and reached in, handing him a bill.
"Keep the change." He nodded.
"Don't call me doll…" she said, and headed inside the airport, looking around. She sighed, and looked around for her flight.
Kiara sat on the plane, her notebook on the tray table in front of her, and her pencil in her hand. She looked over at the seat across from her, where a woman was holding her baby, who was sleeping, and faintly smiled. She began to sketch it onto the paper, only looking over to capture something else to draw on them.
As she climbed off the plane, she turned to the woman, and smiled.
"Hi…I saw you trying to get your child to sleep…and, since I wanted to draw, I sketched the two of you," she said, holding out the paper. The woman looked down.
"That's very pretty…"
"I'd like you to have it…"
"You sure?" Kiara nodded.
"Oh, well, thank you very much, miss. Thank you." Kiara nodded, and headed up into the airport, her fingers around the necklace she'd received in the note. She wandered up to the luggage racks, and found her two bags, tugging them off. A hand clamped down on her shoulder, and she spun around.
"Are you…KAVH?" Kiara nodded. "Come with me." He was a little shorter than her, wearing a red cap, that looked oddly familiar, and had a long coat around him. She followed him out the door, and into a car.
"Where are we going?"
"Vatican City…" She nodded, silenced by his look, and just looked around her as they drove.
He shook her shoulder, seeing as how she'd fallen asleep on the ride over.
"Come along, young one…" He climbed out, and she did too. He led her into a church, and up to a confessional. "Go ahead, confess…" he said, climbing in the other door. She shrugged, and pulled her bags with her, closing the door. Kneeling down, she paused.
"Uh…Forgive me father, for I have sinned…" The little window opened, and the same man looked back at her.
"Yes, we believe we know…A long line of men in your family have…" She knitted her eyebrows together, and he reached over, hitting a switch. The back of the confessional lifted up, revealing a long, winding stone staircase. A little surprised, she saw the man step up in front of her. Now he wasn't wearing the long coat. He was just wearing a long red gown-type clothing. "Come along, young one…" She hesitated, but brought her bags with her as she headed down the stairs after him.
"Who…are you, and where am I?"
"We are in Vatican City, in the abbey…These are members of the Holy Order, those loyal, who are to serve and protect…"
"Holy Order? That's what the H.O. stood for, hm?" The man nodded.
"Yes. I am Cardinal Jenkins. You have been recruited for a job…"
"You are the last in the long line of Van Helsing's…Carl!" A man, who stood as tall as her, wearing a long, thick gray robe, with short hair that curved out at the bottom, came running up.
"Yes, sir!" He halted in front of Kiara, and looked at her. "You must be-"
"Yes, Carl, she is. I'd like you to go ahead and take her around, show her some of the things she will be using, and inform of her what is going on…"
"Certainly! Come along…" She followed him, dropping her bags behind her.
"Your name is Carl?"
"Yes, yes it is. And yours is Kiara Anna Van Helsing…"
"How do you know that?" He smiled.
"You are the youngest descendant of one Gabriel Van Helsing…"
"The monster hunter."
"Exactly. I come from his time. In fact, I work with your great-great-great…uh…well, very-great grandfather, fighting the monsters he is ordered to bring back, if he can. More often than not, however, he ends up-"
"Killing them, yes, I know the stories."
"Well, I was in the middle of a project with him. Trying to find a creature…a Chimera-like creature, at that…"
"Yes. Well, while on the journey to find that creature, something happened. I've not any idea what, exactly, but it was something with one of my inventions. I awoke in this place, and when they told me about where I was, I told them about where I was from, and they realized that, since I arrived here with all the weapons Gabriel would need, he could die trying to fight the Chimera. They built up a machine to send me back, but I cannot do it without the blood of a Van Helsing…" She froze.
"Uh, excuse me?"
"Not in the literal sense that we need to bleed you to get me back. You have to come with. I watched them create this machine, and when you help defeat the Chimera, you are able to come back here…"
"Yes, but…why do I have to defeat the Chimera? Or, help defeat?"
"Because you have been observed for quite a long time, and the Holy Order feels that you may be able to do a better job than Gabriel…" Kiara gave him an odd look, and he shrugged. "Don't ask me, it's what they've decided…"
"Alright…So, what are we using to defeat him?" Carl wandered around, and held an empty bag out to her.
"Follow me, I'll show you…" He led her around the table. "Silver stakes, crosses, bombs, a slingshot…"
"A slingshot? Not very high-tech…"
"Yes, well, neither are stakes, crosses, and bombs."
"Good point." He nodded, and continued on. She looked around her, in awe at where she was, and bumped into him.
"Ah, what?" she asked, looking at him.
"The bag is filled…Let us go…" He took her by the arm, after closing the bag up, and led her to the platform near the back.
"This is it?"
"This is it…Come on…" They stepped up on it, and she looked around, sighing.
"Not doing much, now is it?"
"Oh, but it will…" She looked over, and saw the Cardinal flip the switch. Electric bolts hopped from one end of the platform to the other, and Kiara's eyes widened. She cried out as she fell backwards, and closed her eyes for a moment. After a second, she opened them again, and found herself looking up at Carl. Two men she didn't recognize walked over: one that wore the same clothing as the Cardinal, but didn't look like him, and one that was wearing a black trench, with a black hat.
"Who…who're you?" she asked.
"Oh, Kiara…this is Gabriel Van Helsing…"