Disclaimer: I own nothing.
This is my first fanfic so cut me a break. Reviews welcome. Constructive criticism will be well received. Flamers be warned; by insulting my work you have taken the time to read and review it and therefore I will be taking your insults as compliments. SO HA! Enjoy.
Mere hours after the legendary and deciding battle of Gabriel Van Helsing and Vladislaus Dragulia, the vampire population of Eastern Europe was in a state of panic. The shadowed corners of the world held excited and terrifying news, their king had been killed, no…slain. Their master, protector, leader, and idol; had been reduced to an insignificant pile of ashes by a mere mortal. Some ignored the rumors all together, others burst into tears at the mere thought, but most remained still and silent as the news slowly sunk in.
Their king was gone.
It took hours for some, days for others, but slowly the shock and grief that gripped the undead occupants of the world turned into something much more dangerous, much more deadly. Rage. Fiery, burning, uncontrollable rage. An emotion that comes so natural to vampires that when it strikes it does not stop till every desire for retribution, everything lust for blood, and every thirst for vengeance, had been sated.
The months following Dracula's death were some of the darkest known to mankind. Night was not a safe time anymore. Strangers were not welcome to even the friendliest of places and everywhere death and fear seemed to walk.
Huge piles of bodies could be seen being burned in cities; full of corpses with the tell-tale duel bite marks on their bodies. Mortal families could no longer even have the comfort of a gravestone to weep over, now the only safe way to ensure their loved ones a place in heaven was in a ball of fire and smoke.
The Holy Order's darkest fears to coming to life, the vampires were uniting, and worse, multiplying quickly.
The Order had hoped that taking out Dracula would cease any future plans the Count may have had for bringing together his race; but now it seemed that with Dracula's death the Order may have inadvertently triggered the very thing they were hoping to avoid.
On the six-month anniversary of Dracula's demise, the remaining members of the Order gathered secretly in a dimly lit room far beneath the Vatican.
Most of their faces showed signs of stress, fatigue, and worry and even the newly initiated members of the Order had lost the twinkle of youth in their eyes, instead it was replaced with an everlasting look of unease and fear, much like a hunted animal that had momentarily escaped its pursuers.
There was silence in the chamber as the last of the hooded members arrived and slipped quietly into their seats at the great circular table which occupied the room. Soon everyone was seated and the door was barred from the outside with a loud thud.
The sound echoed in the room and no one so much as breathed as the Guardian rose and slowly lifted his cloudy grey eyes to scan the faces of the Order's remaining members. His gaze roamed from one face to another as he slowly looked into each's eyes as if looking into their soul. Finally, apparently satisfied which what he saw, the Guardian began to speak.
"You know why you all were summoned," he began, " I won't bore you with stories of the horrors that have swept over this land in the late months, nor do I wish to dwell of what could or might have been done in the past to avoid this. We are here to share what we do know and speculate on what we don't. Now, with that in mind, let us proceed.
Six months ago, one of our agents of the order, Gabriel Van Helsing infiltrated Dracula's Castle and managed to kill the Count. How, we still do not quite know seeing as how Van Helsing disappeared shortly after; but what is clear is that it is at that time that the first groups of vampires started to form together into some kind of cult. We believe they formed together at first to seek revenge for the death of their leader but since they couldn't find Van Helsing, they took out their anger on various villages, then towns, and now in the cities.
I don't know how they acted so quickly nor why this single act should be the one to unite them in their hate. But, however unintentionally, it seems we have started an all-out war with repercussions worse than death."
The Guardian stopped momentarily and looked pointedly at the empty seats around the table.
"Already many brave men have fought, many have died, and even more have been turned. But it seems these monster's numbers are multiplying too quickly. We need solutions and we need them fast if our race is to survive in this rapidly darkening world. Now, I have shared what I know, let me hear from you."
With this he sat down and man to his right quickly stood and said in a strong clear voice, "As Guardian Brookarius as said, the vampires have united-"
This sent a ripple of unease down the table
"-and we need to recognize this danger now. I recently returned from Romania and have seen that already huge numbers of newly turned vampires are running amuck in the major cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca; the roads are not safe for people and residents cannot flee fast enough to outrun the wave of vampires. People are being bitten in the street and left for dead!" he stated, his voice getting slowly louder.
"They are not being burned fast enough and are waking up new from death hungry and uncontrolled!
Romania will quickly become an almost entirely vampire nation if we do not act soon and these retched spawns of Satan with surely spread into Bulgaria and Hungry. It is only a matter of time before we will be defending the Vatican walls! We must forget our petty differences for now and pull together as one to fight for mankind before it is too late!" he stated passionately and slammed his fist on the hard wood table, "Damnit we must act now!
He was breathing heavily by the end of his turn and glaring around the room as if daring anyone to argue with him. Quietly the man next to him reached up and lay a hand on his shoulder, saying a soft word of comfort while forcing him to sit back down in his chair.
Murmurs broke out around the table as everyone started speaking at once.
"Yes! We must act now!
"Hear hear! Before it is too late!
"And what of Van Helsing? Surely he will have answers!"
"To war I say!"
Another man stood and cleared his voice loudly before speaking, "Silence! We all agree that something must be done; I propose we send messengers to the neighboring kingdoms and warm them of the coming threat. We are strong in numbers for now and we must use that to our advantage by rallying together. We must stop this disease from spreading, but to do this I believe we must first speak with these new leaders of the vampires and see if we cannot reach some kind of compromise-"
Here his voice was drowned out by the uproar of opposition.
"Nay! They must be killed! It is the only way!
"We cannot allot them to continue spreading their terror!
"-Hear me out!" The man shouted and the room slowly and reluctantly quieted, "We cannot simply go in and kill everyone! We still out number them but if we march in with thousands of troops it will be like sending food to the wolf!
We will be slaughtered or worse! They won't simply kill our men; they'll bite them and turn them against us! How many members of the Order do you think reside within the vampire ranks? One? Two? Half a dozen?"
He looked around the room, "Now how many of you do you think could go out and kill your brother in arms, your comrade, your friend?" He asked, "I know many of you would rather die than compromise with these…things, but right now it appears we don't have a choice. There are too many of them and if they don't stop turning people we could be dealing with an epidemic.
He dropped his gaze, "I'm sorry, but it truly is our only option."
The room was silent for a moment after he sat down but was soon filled with the angry sound of men denying the inevitable.
"It cannot be!"
"There must be another way!"
"They cannot be allowed to live!"
"We have no choice! It is already too late!" the man suddenly thundered causing all to go silent, "It is already too late," he repeated softly, "There is a nation of the undead, we cannot fight them, they are immortal plus they will only feed off us. We'd be lucky if they simply remain in the area they already are.
Guardian Brookarius stood at this point and all eyes turned to look at the ancient man. Though he had lived through more than many men, he stood straight and tall even in his elderly state and had an aura of power and dignity about him that no man could deny. His robed fell gracefully to the floor and his eyes were still as piercing as they had been in his prime.
"Master Colins is right," he said, and for the first time in many years, looked his age. Tired and worn. "The only question remains is how we are to contain them. If their numbers continue to grow at this rate we are surely doomed. We need to find a way to convince these vampire high lords, as they are calling themselves, to end the changing of humans."
"We need to barter with something they want…although what, I do not know," Guardian Brookarius stated sounding slightly resigned.
The room was silent as everyone went deep into thought. Something these vampire high lords wanted, something they couldn't get on their owns…but what?
The silence was broken by one of the younger members, "I hate to be the one suggest such a thing, even to mention it is blasphemy but…" he hesitated.
"Spit it out boy!" another member snapped.
"WecouldasktheLordtobringDraculabacktolife!" he said very quickly stumbling over the words, "and in return" he continued in a shaky voice, "we could make them promise not to leave the boundaries of Romania."
The room was silent. Dead silent. To ask the Lord to bring Dracula back to life? The members felt the burn of hatred even at the mention of his name, but now. Would the Lord even agree to such a deal? Surely if it was their last hope…how could he refuse? Now, Dracula seemed to be their last hope to ending this war before the odds were too high, he was the last card up their sleeves and as unwilling as they were to play it; it seemed they were left without a choice.
"Arrange the meeting with the vampire high lords," Brookarius said quietly.
Every member in the room wanted to cry out in anger and pain and denial, but all were silent, they knew it was their last hope.
"As you wish Guardian Brookarius."
Well that's all for now. Let me know what you think. Peace.
P.S.- If you think the story starts off slow, I apologize, it will develop more in the later chapters so stick around.