In a dark room somewhere in Chicago lay sleeping a slim young woman her head was completely soaked with perspiration, she was thrashing and groaning as if at conflict with her soul, but a closer look as the moon shone through a split in the curtains it wasn't quite full but radiating enough light to make out the features of Dillan. There was no rest in her dreams tonight, she had been sleeping badly for a least 8 years and she had thought that was strange, as it was 8 years ago when she had left the Mansbridge Academy, since she that ruptured appendix since then her dreams had been haunting her, driving her sleep away. There were vague faces in her dreams, and tonight she felt as if she could distinguish even more detail, there was a tall dark stranger but yet again she wasn't afraid of him in his mannerisms and actions he was so gentle caring, there was another with that deep discerning but calm voice it sounded so familiar to her, yes she thought to herself that was the same voice she had been hearing in her head the last 8 years, and then she felt herself remember the library, yes that was where it all started there was that tall dark sinister stranger there watching her , yes he attacked her pounced on her like a wild animal, but strong so very strong he over powered her, and there was also someone else there it was a woman yet she wasn't human, yes that was it, she was a Vampire she remembered seeing her fangs as she bit into her arm. Her hand went to her neck as if feeling the pain of the bite once again, yes that was it he had bitten into the soft flesh of her neck and then he started to suck her life blood out of her body, and then someone intervened just in time to save her life . Every time over the years when she felt disconcerted and the blind panic choking her, now she realized tonight she seemed to remember every detail that had taken place back then, and all the time when she felt so alone and she was remembering more and more of what had transgressed there was always that voice was soothing, placating, so calming, it reassured her that that she wasn't alone some one did care about her , nothing would happen to her if she didn't want it, this always seemed to calm her, but the struggle grew harder with every passing year, but what was it exactly that she was fighting against, could it be that she was turning into a Vampire the thought both exhilarated her but frightened her deeply. Except for tonight she hadn't felt that presence when she began to panic, and her heart began to pound like drums in her head, she desperately wanted to feel that reassurance, but there was nothing. She shook her head warily she really had to try and get some sleep it was 5 in the morning and even an hour might make a difference to her state of mind, maybe just maybe she might be able to stop the inevitable, that was if she wanted to but right now she was just so tired exhausted beyond belief, sleep might make the difference. She flopped down on her bed in an attempt to try at least, please if even for 30min, just some sleep. Fitfully she attempted to doze off. As the sun slowly rose to a new day.
At that same moment Murdoch stood in front of the large bay windows of his office enjoying the early rays of sunshine on his face. It felt good , you could see his face relaxing this was one of the rare moments that he had for himself and he enjoyed the momentary solitude before the beginning of a full day. It was now 8 years to the day that the Elders had removed the Young Vampires for further education in the archives under their supervision, this part of the experiment was to have been the last step in their education but because of the problems caused when Karl in a moment of weakness had been turned, they had to skip the most important part of the experiment and that would now have to take place, under his supervision once again, but this would now prove to be even harder yet. He sighed and knew it was inevitable. The elders had informed him that they would be returning the young Vampires tomorrow so that he could proceed further with their education, but he also knew that they had been brought a day earlier, events transpiring dictated it, he was fully aware of what was taking place even though the Elders hadn't warned him of this, even he had secrets that the Elders knew nothing of, the fact that he had been keeping an eye on them , even in the Archives of the Elders, their progress had been satisfactory ,encouraging. They had now begun fully to control their cravings, their lust for blood was almost under their control, and their powers growing, they were to finally learn how to channel them together as a unit if need be, he would have preferred doing that step before they had gone to the Convocation but that was not to be. He just wondered if they really realized their true potential in that area, but that was where he came in. More importantly they had begun to accept what they had become this was a difficult step to take, so long as they didn't dare take it fully and accept the consequences there was always a chance that they would fail.
He was relieved that the day school students had all graduated and the school had closed down until the next semester, there would now be opportunity and valuable time available to him to proceed with the given tasks awaiting him. The Vampires would have a lot of questions and this time he would not avoid giving them the answers they required , no matter how painful. But this would have to be done slowly with great patience and care because the repercussions would be irreversible from now on considering the fact that what they had gleaned in the Archives would now play a significant role in their further development.
Unaware that one of the camera's was activated because he was deep in thought, his inner senses warned him he was being observed, this was yet another step in the education of the Vampires, discovering exactly why was he chosen by the Elders to help them to save the Vampire's as a race. There was no turning back now, because he was also now an intricate part of the experiment, now as study object. No known Vampire mastered one of the most important gifts that he possessed that was Astral projection, his other gifts of telekinesis and reading minds had been bound by the Elders when he was chosen to civilize and guide the Vampires, this they had done because it was on his advice, other wise it would have been even more difficult for him to keep himself hidden from Shakari, and even from the young Vampires his powers could be formidable if he called on them it was better to keep them hidden until he needed them, they allowed him to keep only enough so that he could screen off his thoughts from others trying to read his mind. He had been using this special gift, Astral projection these last 8 years keeping an eye on the Vampire's, and Dillan who of course Karl had bitten those 8 years ago and what he feared most had almost happened, he had managed to help her until now via the Astral plane to fight against her conversion to Vampire, last night he couldn't help her. This time she would be feeling the full brunt of the urge to change and she was alone this time, that urge to change would be intoxicating, overpowering . But tonight she could loose the battle, he needed to check on how she was, and this was the fastest way to do it, he hadn't been able to do it sooner and was greatly worried about what was transpiring there, even now as the camera was now focused on him. His look slowly turned blank you could see him relaxing , his eyes closed and it seemed as if he drifted into a trance .His mind soared up through the different Astral planes to where he wanted to be, first up through the school, checking the grounds, and then much further inspecting the surrounding countryside , and then even further , until he was looking down on Dillan Vanderson's sweat drenched face, her features showing the inner turmoil taking place in her soul. Tonight he would have to take steps to either help her or if inevitable destroy her, this he did not want to do , but until now it had been avoidable but tonight it would be crucial the decision would now have to taken.
Marty who couldn't sleep was watching him on the screen because he was also so totally bored, and couldn't wait to find out what the long awaited last steps facing him and the others would be he felt that he was ready for anything coming his way, but he was now fascinated ,no drawn really by what was occurring in front of him on the screen, he decided to wake up the others his gut feeling was , that this was really important to all of them. He called for the others .
Marty " he guys wake up!, take a look at this "
Drew " what's up Marty can't you see we are trying to sleep, and what is so important that it couldn't wait".
Marty " so what ,none of you are a sleep yet we can afford to miss a couple of hours for this, c'mon hurry"
Karl "big deal , can't it wait"
Essie "yes, because I really need some beauty sleep"
Marty "you won't regret it , you really want to see this, I really mean it", its Murdoch what's he doing"
Merrill " hang on we're coming"
There was a sudden rush and the others joined Marty to look at those familiar screens. In the central screen Murdoch was standing in front of the windows his eyes closed and his arms came slowly up and crossed over his chest, and at the same it seemed time it was as if was he was surrounded by a very faint ethereal golden glow. They looked at his face he had aged in the time that they had been in the Archives, but his features were still rugged and intense, even mild in repose, would be the word for it. But they also knew when he opened his eyes his presence could be felt, that is if he wanted to be noticed. Drew was surprised his talent was that he could catch thoughts over short distances especially with objects or things he was interested in, but what he now felt was totally unexpected, he was the first to feel a faint warmth enveloping him, washing over his whole body making him relax, apparently the others felt it as well now, even though the effect was slightly delayed, but it touched each of them, they were thoroughly confused, what was Murdoch doing that caused this, they took it for granted that he was a human without any talents other than teaching, this was extraordinary, if he was doing it, what was he doing, and why, how.?
Merrill " I can't read him as usual, but I know what he is doing, he is using his mind on the Astral plane and somehow he is allowing me to watch what he is doing, come on Essie, Karl, Drew and you to Marty, try and read him."
She looks at all of them and urges them on.
Merrill "this is something I can't do on my own, do you feel it also"
Together they concentrated on reading him and then gasped in unison as they felt Murdoch's mind take a hold of them, it felt almost as if they were in flight. They couldn't pull themselves back either, the strength of his mind held them firmly in his grip. Even Karl is feeling it and for him it was the confusing.
Karl " what is he doing "
Merrill " he is astral projecting himself and taking us with him in his mind, he is upstairs checking the school now, oh wait hold on, he is going out to the grounds do you see that, even further he is scanning the surroundings, he is giving me the impression that he has seen something and it is disturbing."
Drew " he is moving so fast now it is getting difficult to keep up"
Merrill "I know, but this can't be happening, Vampires are unable to Astral project themselves, let alone be taken by someone else on to the Astral planes, yet he is taking us with him, how is he doing it, wait he has stopped moving what is he looking at ?"
Essie " can't make out exactly what it is what he is looking at, but there is also something else in the distance it feels so disturbing, dark and cold, looks almost like storm clouds, what does that mean?"It all seems so vague"
Marty " what do you mean disturbing, you're not telling us a lot Merrill, c'mon Essie what's going on"
Karl "hold on, even I am getting something now " then he Drew said together.
Drew+ Carl "its Dillan " why was the feeling emanating from her so cold and forbidding
Suddenly they were all blinded with that one thought that Murdoch projected to them Dillan Vanderson was turning after all this time she was loosing the battle, tonight they would have to take steps. But what steps was he referring to and what had that to do with them. That was when they felt him let them go, they had seen enough for now. They felt themselves return to their bodies with a snap, leaving them short of breath and slightly dizzy glad that they had been sitting the whole time while it was happening, amazed at what they just experienced unwillingly this left them completely confused but ever more curious to find out what was going to transpire.
Karl "guys come on, now tell me something , all I got were vague images and the face of Dillan,and what does she have to do with anything , is she going to turn."
Merrill " I know but that is all he is allowing us to see, wait a second , remember that last thought you just mentioned Dillan turning, we had all expected that she had conquered the poison in the saliva contained in Karl's blood, but apparently we weren't able to remove all traces in her blood and she hadn't defeated it either then. "
Drew "I wonder if the Elders were aware of this the whole time, because remember when it happened, we had gotten orders from Vakaal if she turned she would have to be killed, we never got those orders to eliminate her because we all thought that she hadn't been turned, if the Elders assumed that , what has happened since then to cause this , at the time we were all busy concentrating on our pledge and with Karl"
Karl is baffled he thought that battle had been won, he still felt guilty of attacking and biting Dillan, especially the thrill he had felt when he had done it , the remorse after that was almost suffocating, but they had all thought that the danger had been averted, only to find out now that their teacher and Mentor had been observing her all this time while they were in the Convocation pouring over the ancient books and scrolls , aiding her where he could, because if she turned and Shakari had found her it would have made it easy to track down the origin of her maker, and then it would only be a matter of time before the Fury would have found the traces of Carl in and around the Academy, then Shakari would almost certainly have discovered exactly why the Academy had been chosen by the Elders for the experiment unraveling deeply hidden plans. That retribution that followed would be horrific and even the ground would be soaked in blood and no quarter would be given by the Fury the country side surrounding the Academy would have been ravaged of life every thing in the Fury's path would be destroyed. There were no longer any choices left, and now would come the time that the Vampire's would realize the true importance of the role in the here and now.
The experiment was once again in danger. Karl groans in frustration.
With that Essie gasps at that what had just happened in the office ,it isn't often that she reacts like that.
Essie "he took us with him in his mind and yet we still couldn't read his mind, only that what he wanted us to see, how did he do that, even we can't do that ?"
Karl " look he has been levitating the whole time, not by much, but enough not to touch the floor ,didn't notice that just now, how about you guys "
Essie "that's one for you Karl, I didn't notice that until you commentated on it"
After her remark, gradually the glow lowly dissipated and Murdoch stood once again on the floor, slowly his eyes opened and then he sighed, and slowly lowered his arms. The Fury had sent out more scouts, again not yet in close proximity of the Academy but they were searching for possible Vampire signs, there had been no alleged sightings in the area where Dillan lived which at this moment in time was fortunate, that was hundreds of miles away, but close enough to be extra alert tonight, this he hadn't communicated to them. He would have warn to Vakaal. He remarks as if to an empty to room, but knowing full well that they were listening.
Murdoch " So, we are going to have a busy night tonight you should all rest for now, we will discuss what you have seen and experienced later"
He then walks out of his office towards the foyer, and closes the door gently behind him, knowing what thoughts were spinning through the minds of the Vampires, the time was fast approaching when more of the mystery surrounding the Elders and him would slowly be revealed. But he had to make preparations for tonight, there couldn't be any distractions.
The Vampires looked at each other realizing they had been privy to something they had never expected to see, so was he a mortal who occasionally was aided by the Elders, did the Elders aid him in doing what he just did or was he vampire, but that couldn't be they thought. The questions flew around their minds like a maelstrom ever increasing in force and power. They always thought no one had ever made that bridge between mortal and Vampire they had always thought they were the guinea pigs but in hind sight an experiment usually takes place after someone succeeds in achieving an established goal and then it has to be repeated again under controlled circumstances so as to prove that it could be done again, so then who was the first to do it, they also knew from the Archives that Vampires weren't able to circumvent the Astral planes as if it was a walk in a garden except for one vaguely registered case so far back in time that it couldn't possibly be Murdoch, or could it be. But was that the complete truth or was there more to that, what they had now seen and felt was something that even Vakaal hadn't prepared them for when he had chosen them to participate in the experiment, and all the information they had gleaned in the Archives that in itself only scratched the surface. There were slight clues to be read about someone or something special, but nothing really to trigger their imagination or arouse suspicion, but now thinking back to what they had read, those slight clues appeared to have gigantic consequences for now. They turned around and looked at each other.
Marty " do any of you remember reading anything on Murdoch, or should we say , about a human or something with certain powers that we don't know about, in the archives."
Karl "no I didn't come across anything mentioning Murdoch specifically, only someone or thing, who assimilated what they called the knowledge of the ages, I didn't understand that part ?"
Drew " well then we will have to work together and make a plan on how we can obtain the information we need, without arousing to much suspicion"
Essie " yes I have to agree because the Elders didn't choose him without a special reason, remember when Patty la Rue was here, he wasn't afraid of her, I definitely was, who knows maybe he knows more than he ever let on"
Karl " that is going to be tough especially with Murdoch, he is as a sharp a razor blade, remember when we where here 8 years ago, it always felt as he was if he was one jump ahead us all the time ,and of course we have to make sure the Elders don't get to suspicious"
Merrill " so how do we start"
Essie " well we definitely have to find a way to get one of us back into the Archives now, otherwise we won't find anything if we specifically ask for it, remember the last time that any one ever got into the Archives alone and I mean truly alone was Drew, because of his grief at the loss of Sherry they thought at the time that was a solution to his problem, so we have to plan something like that to get what we need, and decide which of us it is going to be.
Merrill "yes now you mention it over the years every time when we were in the Archives there was always 2 of the Elders present supervising us constantly keeping an eye on us, I thought at the time they were there just in case we had questions that needed answers and give us guidance"
Carl "so when you think of it, we weren't really left alone there all that time, do you guys remember that dusty dark corner back in the Archives, I never went into that corner got a feeling that I should stay away from that place, just couldn't bring myself to look in the there"
Drew "since you put it that way, I got the very same feeling, didn't think at the time that it was worth the effort, or were the Elders directing us away from that, maybe it wasn't time yet to know what information in that part of the Archives resides"
Marty "makes one think"
Essie "me to, I just on kept on thinking it was to dirty and wasn't worth the effort"
While they were discussing their forthcoming strategy they didn't realize they were truly showing the glimmer of a human trait, "conspiracy" and "solidarity" requiring the work of a group of people working together to achieve their goal, and collaboration between the 5 of them was needed, they felt a sense of bonding this was unusual that was a trait that they had long forgotten what that felt like, and strangely enough they liked that feeling. But what was the problem with Dillan, WHY was she finally going to turn tonight, why tonight .
Drew "hold on just before we left the archives I had read that tonight the planets Venus and Jupiter were in close proximity of each other and would strongly influence the moons rays tonight just like when Marty suffered the Stirring, because of the full moon and the poison of Carl in her blood it must have been building up in her body all these years, maybe that's why she is turning, we will also be affected by the rays, our powers will be stronger than normal this time, so we should be prepared , alert for anything"
Carl " and another thing did you notice Murdoch's desk, it is always meticulous even today but today the way he has placed the Journal turned facing the camera so we see the cover quite clearly, there is also a photo, and that fancy dagger he always had in his glass cabinet. Weird don't you guys agree"
Marty " that reminds of Merrill when she had "the Quivering" remember when Merrill when you received a premonition of your death, is this maybe the same thing"
Drew " could that be it, I thought only Vampires had "the Quivering", what about that photo then."
Merrill "We didn't tell the rest of you but back then but Murdoch was being haunted by a ghost, Marty and I found a way to communicate with her, it turned out to be some one he loved but lost in some kind of accident"
Essie " so it seems that there is more here than we expected to find, or should we say we were allowed to notice"
Drew sounded so decisive, the others had noticed the slight change in him, he remembered back then the discussion he and Murdoch had over fate, the argument that followed they had about Merrill and her accepting her fate of her impending death, and Drew's resolve not to accept that then, and he wasn't going to accept it now. If Murdoch was making plans for his death like a Vampire this only heightened Drew's resolve to find out more about Murdoch. God, how could he have missed those clues so many years ago letting himself be side tracked with those tales of glory about Drakon and his powers that had almost made him a God it had fascinated him at the time enthralled him really, maybe because of his grief of losing Sherry that distracted him then, and like Murdoch said at the time that was when he hated life so much , but now he felt his conscience kick in, he should have questioned that also at the time if Drakon had been so powerful then how did the Elders manage to defeat him. And to add to this, that question that was never far from his mind why did Murdoch have Drakon's chain for safe keeping??? Why reverberated through his brain, Why didn't he say anything when he caught him red-handed when he had returned the chain back to its place in the safe after wearing it that night, remembering the awesome power he felt then and the over powering arrogance it sickened him to the stomach when he thought of it.
Why didn't he say anything???, the only sentence he remembered being told afterwards, was it wasn't time to reveal any more information about that part of history it was to soon, but he was going to found out he needed to know now more than ever.
Drew "maybe, just maybe we might get the jump on him tonight, find out what this means in relationship to us, I got a lot of questions of my own and I really need answers"
Marty "god I am so psyched up I can't sleep, this a bad case of wanting to know what's going on"
Karl groans "what have I done to Dillan, what a fool I have been thinking all the time that she managed to beat it, but lets face it nobody can escape the bite of a Vampire"
Drew "you couldn't know, even the Elders didn't know, my feelings are that even Murdoch hasn't told them everything about Dillan, I wonder why, but I think we should take his advice and try to rest because the way things are going it is going to be quite intense."
Karl "it might be good a idea if we try to get our hands on his journal that he kept when we first came, there might be clues in there, he was always writing in it"
Marty""that sounds like a good idea, but we have to wait for the right time to do that"
Merrill "but we will have to do that soon, very soon!."
Essie "would this be the time to talk about fate, I think not "
Merrill "did he see his death, I wonder"
Karl "we can all speculate as much as we want, but until we can talk to him we have no answers, so I guess the best thing for us to do is just go to bed, like the man said"
They all agree and each went to the their respective niches where their coffins resided, they all knew that none of them would sleep but they would at least try to rest. The turn of event s had surprised them, this wasn't what they had expected. They had all anticipated that they had known who , or what their teacher was, he was somewhat enigmatic, illusive, stern but approachable when they had problems, but now apparently they knew very little about him. The point of fact was they knew more about the Elders than of Murdoch. This was going to be a challenge finding out about their Mentor and his place in the scheme of things, especially why was he so important in helping the Elders against the Fury and why was he needed to civilize them..
Night fell slowly, what with the up coming full moon there was an air of anticipation, deeply ominous as if this was inevitable that was to transpire tonight no longer avoidable the chain of events leading up to now. The Vampires had awakened from their restless enforced sleep with a deep yearning so deeply rooted in their minds they were highly agitated, restless as if they needed to hunt, one of their most primal instincts was being awakened by the first moon's rays. They had anticipated that they would be feeling something but this was exhilarating and proving very difficult to control. Vakaal would also be present tonight because Murdoch had contacted him, so this laid to rest their suspicions that he had kept secrets even from the Elders, or had he been sharing his secret with only Vakaal , that might be it. They felt a slight shiver in the air, and then they felt, then saw Vakaal appear before them impressive in his dark blood red robes with his hood just covering his features.
Vakaal "you are not fully aware of what is going to be attempted tonight, I can only warn you it is deadly, if there is failure the consequences will be far reaching , this has never before been attempted and the dangers involved irrevocable, you now have a choice to participate and the ones who refuse will be removed from the experiment instantly with no further explanation given or taken. Remember this, once the decision is taken there is no turning back"
The Vampires hadn't expected this and were looking at one another with troubled faces. What was he telling them???
Vakaal "I require the answer now before he comes ( referring to Murdoch).
Drew surprised himself "my Lord I would be proud to par take in what ever comes and transpires tonight, I would be truly honored" he felt as if he was alive again when he said that , adrenaline pumped through his veins like lightening there was little in his life that would have inspired him but this that awaited them was so different, he meant every word.
Marty " I am always game for something that might changes things around here" for all of his flamboyance he was deadly serious. He turns and looks at Karl.
Marty "hey big guy, what do you think of all this, this could be exciting better than looking at each other for a couple of hours"
Karl "I am game, I really want to know what Murdoch was doing and what he has done the last couple of years, I owe that much to Dillan, especially after what I did to her"
Merrill "you must not make your choice because you have a guilty conscience, your choice has to be what your heart tells you."
Karl " well then my heart tells me I have to do this for myself as well!"
Essie "well I couldn't let you guys do it on your own, besides like I said there is more to Doc than meets the eye, and these eyes would like to see all of it, definitely ."
Karl " so the decision is unanimous, we are all in"
Vakaal "your teacher will be proud of your choice, but be warned listen to him well tonight do not disregard any of his instructions because I may not intervene while you are participating in the required ceremony only at the end, so understand complete obedience is required tonight no questions until all has passed, time is now of the essence, I partake only now as an observer"
Saying this he faded into the shadows before they could pose any more questions, they could barely see the occasional glinting of his wizened eyes looking at them from the shadows. That's when they heard those familiar steady footsteps coming down the ramp to them, even if had been 8 years ago they would never forget the sound of them, their hearts seemed to miss a beat in unison, the anticipation was almost palpable. And then finally the professor stood before them once again, he had aged well, the lines in his face were deeper and his hair was streaked with grey but his blue-green eyes still exuded the strong calmness that lay within, but this time they also noticed the deep wisdom etched in that face, why hadn't they noticed it before they didn't really know, it felt as if they could have drowned in those eyes if he wanted them to, but instead the Professor smiled at them warmly, putting them at ease.
Murdoch "well, well good evening all, I hope you have rested well because you are going to need all your energy tonight. You are all looking somewhat civilized considering where you have been these 8 years. I firstly have to apologize for the speed in which we changed your tuition these last 8 years but it was necessary to protect the experiment and you, and speed was of the essence, at one time I know the Elders explained it to you instead of me as it should have been, but I feel I should apologize for that fact as well, I guarantee nothing will come between you and the completion of what we want you to attain here. The Elders have decided that it is now time to complete your education and tonight will be the beginning of the final phase".
Merrill smiles, she doesn't appear to be as timid as she used to be there is a spark of a diiferenr kind of determination in her eyes, Murdoch notices that, and inwardly he is proud of what he now see's in his students.
Merrill "it is good to see you once again Professor even though we did not expect to see you again, the Elders had kept this step secret until the very last minute , we only knew yesterday that we were returning to Mansbridge"
Marty "you should have seen what we were allowed to read and study, mind absorbing, even got me to read books, and even remember what I was reading, now isn't that something I never realized that we Vampires could be such interesting people"
Murdoch "yes I know and you have done rather well"
All the Vampires were taken aback, how could he know about what Marty was talking about, because even Vakaal hadn't left the Convocation when they were there, neither any of the Elders, as a matter of fact, this they did so as to arise no suspicion, or belie their plans to the Fury.
Karl "Professor, I got millions of questions I want to ask you" a great feeling of dread permeated the air they all thought they had been forbidden to ask any questions tonight, they weren't to distract the Professor from what ever was going to take place, so why was Karl doing it but the Professor just like he always did, defused the situation gently, by saying.
Murdoch "patience Karl all in due course, you have grown in the time since, you seem more assured of yourself, but still as inquisitive as always, which is just as well, I will need you all to work together tonight"
Drew " Professor what is going to happen tonight"
Murdoch noticed Drew wasn't as sullen as when he had first met him, there was a slight air of authority surrounding him, this was a good sign he was accepting who he was and with that acceptance that what he craved was close at hand, but that had to be handled so delicately it was just like priceless Chinese porcelain one wrong move and it would shatter into a million pieces with no chance of repair.
Essie "hey Professor you would not believe it but it is good seeing you again, never thought I would be saying something like this to my teacher, but there it is"
The Professor chuckled and this caused them to relax, it did feel good being in his presence once again.
Murdoch "well Drew to answer your question as quickly as possible seeing as it is the only I will be answering to night is this, do you remember when Marty had the problems with "the Stirring".
They looked at one another questionably, I course they did. Marty cleared his throat.
Marty "you cleared me of all blame then, so why bring it up now "
Murdoch "no one is hear to blame you, I am only using what took place then to explain what we are going to be doing tonight"
Marty "good, because I do still feel kind of stupid about doing that, but I don't completely understand what happened there after, only that you guys managed to stop me and you transported me back to the basement."
Murdoch "yes, and now is the time to explain what happened then, and what is going to happen now.
Drew was looking at Murdoch now as if he had never really seen him before, it felt as if Murdoch was growing in stature but that was more due to his presence now, his voice though deep was comforting, reassuring, explanatory wanting them to understand , but the authority in the voice was so strong it just permeated the room. He remembered back to the time when he confronted him about Drakon it was only now while looking at him that he realized his fixation of Drakon was truly misplaced back then, and when he lashed out at the Professor he had hurt him then not physically but something mentally , and the Professor had never punished him for that outburst of his or even told the Elders about what had occurred that night, so now he needed now more than anything to find out what that was that he had said to the Professor that had hurt him then.
Essie "Drew what are thinking of, I didn't know that happened"
Drew : Pssss Essie "he whispered "don't say anything yet to any one we will talk about it later with the others"
While he was saying this he noticed the Professor looking at him as if to say I know what you are thinking, but he didn't say a thing.
Merrill "that was the night when we stood in the Convocation Circle with 5 of us and then we chanted that line you told us to keep on repeating it"
Drew "Yes I remember that sentence, kind of difficult to forget it went "Chey Kah Pah , Oh Key Lah" still don't exactly know what it means but it was some kind of spell, pretty powerful stuff"
This was true because he tried to find that back in the archives but to no avail, it seemed that the Professor had the only copy.
Karl "yeah my body tingled all over place, never felt anything like that before, never again for that matter"
Murdoch "yes, that's what we chanted, back then was a spell to bind and bring forth the object that we focused on at the moment In time"
Merrill started thinking, all that she remembered at the time that they were uttering the incantation but who focused the spell on Marty, they all presumed it was Vakaal, but it wasn't Vakaal, she turned around and looked at the Professor and realized he was the one who had directed it, but how???
Merrill "what are we supposed to do tonight, with that spell " more questions thudded through her mind but they would have to wait she told herself.
Karl "is it about Dillan "
Murdoch looks at them all squarely in the face sighs deeply and says, with a faint nod of his head.
Murdoch " To simply explain what has happened, the poison wasn't completely removed out of Dillan's body, and because it remained in her body, it has been building up over the years and produced more and more poison in her body, and that in turn became more potent"
Essie "so that is what you meant about tonight it could happen, but then what"
Murdoch "yes tonight her transformation will take place unless we are able to prevent it"
Drew "prevent it, how, ?? She is far so away and that is quite some distance, are we strong enough to do that even with our heightened powers tonight"
Murdoch stands silently regarding his pupils, they indeed had come far, but he hoped that he wasn't introducing them to something to strong and soon, but circumstance dictated the path that he had to follow tonight and he needed all of them to do it, trust was like a precious jewel now, and he was now placing his trust and possibly his very existence in their hands. That part he would not reveal to the Vampire's, because that outcome he had dreamt, and to defy fate was another matter altogether.
At that moment Vakaal makes his presence felt once again.
Vakaal "I told you all, I cannot intervene once you begin with the incantation and the ceremony, but I do have to do something now before you begin with the ceremony so that all present are as strong as they can be, Professor will you face me"
Vampire's looked in wonderment at what was transpiring, the Professor turned slowly facing Vakaal fully face to face, and bows ever so slightly his head.
Murdoch "my Lord"
Vakaal "it is now time to unbind the rest of your powers, you shall need them tonight, close your eyes and relax"
"Unbind" this flashed through the Vampires minds, there was even more unraveling tonight than they expected but this, what was Vakaal going to unbind in the Professor?????????????
Murdoch closes his eyes feeling the eyes of the Vampires watching him ever so intently now, then he felt the slightest brush of Vakaal's hand on the side of his head. And Vakaal mutters softly.
Vakaal "let that what we have bound, now be released"
Murdoch staggered backward ever so slightly and felt a rush of familiar but the almost forgotten thrill of his powers, he would have to tread carefully now. He would only use his powers sparingly if possible.
This was when Vakaal with drew once again into the background to silently observe the forth coming hours.
Drew had witnessed what happened with fierce attention, and while it took place the others were doing the same as well, and then they looked at each other and you could see the same question arousing in all of them. He had more powers than the gift of Astral travel, and he had allowed the Elders to bind them, WHY? WHY ????
As Murdoch opened eyes his there was this faint flash of light that passed over his eyes, it was so quick that at first the Vampires doubted seeing that , but by just looking at each other the confirmation was there the others had seen it as well. That's when they felt that hidden power, they had felt this way before but only with the Elders, but this felt benign, non threatening for now almost dormant, as if to not frighten them. You could feel the Vampires trying to work together with their minds, wanting to know what he was thinking, this was just their second attempt at doing this, but then they all heard his voice reverberate in their minds "NO, not now", it felt as if they had received a slap across their faces. They has assumed because their powers were heightened tonight more than ever before they could attempt to at last try and read their Mentor's mind together but to no avail. The power that stopped them was unexpectedly so over powering but so very gentle but firm, there was no way they could read anything, Merrill found that very unusual because in the past she had tried a few times to read the Professors mind and even then it felt as if she was looking into at a cloudy mirror and she could only define her reflection facing her, tonight nothing at all, then she suddenly felt a thought projected at all of them, and heard that familiar deep voice talking to them.
Murdoch " no not tonight, especially for you the time is not ripe yet for you even to attempt that journey into my mind, because I must allow it otherwise it might destroy your minds"
Merrill whispers to Essie
Merrill " Essie are you hearing anything in your mind right now??"
Essie whispers back so that Vakaal hoping that he cannot over hear them.
Essie " yes, I know its directed to all of us, its sounds like a warning that it would be dangerous to even try alone, so maybe we will have to try another time with the 5 of us but not tonight"
That's when they all heard Murdoch project his thoughts once again
Murdoch" we will have to wait and see how or even when"
Was he that powerful he that he could read all their minds with no effort at all and at the same time as well. That's when they heard him also project an apology for reading their minds. Whilst he was doing this Vakaal remained silently watching what was happening, he was surprised at how the young Vampires had reacted to the presence of Murdoch, it strengthened his belief the Elders had done well in choosing this man to try and achieve what he also had managed that many years ago. Vakaal remembered the struggle that had taken place then and he still marveled at what had been the outcome of that struggle. This struggle if it became known to the Vampire's, would this influence their further development or should it stay a deep well kept secret for a while longer. He mauled over these thoughts while continually observing the events unraveling before him.
Murdoch " I am sorry but it has been quite a while since I have read anybodies mind, just needed to know how if I can still control it"
Marty " well I think definitely you haven't forgotten how to do it, but tell me Doc how did you do that"
Karl " yeah, I would also like to know"
Murdoch shrugs his shoulders and smiles warmly at them and gestures them to sit, ignoring the questions put by Karl & Marty, he clears his throat.
Murdoch " this morning you saw me taking a journey on the Astral plane, this is what I occasionally do to keep an eye on people I want to be informed of, and keep an eye on, usually I keep my journey's as short possible so as to not attract any attention, because the longer you traverse the Astral plane the more dangerous it becomes" he looked at them one at time and waited.
Drew " short journey was that what you would call it"
Murdoch smiles again " on the Astral plane they are needed to be short because there is always a danger that someone predatory might decide to follow you, even try to do something malicious like trying to severe your umbilical, that part what connects your Astral self to your physical body " waiting for this to sink in he slowly saw the information sink in. He continues.
Marty " so you mean they can kill your body while you are on the Astral plane"
Murdoch nodded and continued as if he had not been interrupted.
Murdoch " well tonight we will be conducting the binding spell once again the goal is to bring forth Dillan and try contain her, the point is we have to try and prevent her from attacking someone, if that has already happened our task will be even more dangerous but never the less unavoidable, we have to then bind her and capture her by transporting her here to Mansbridge."
Merrill " what danger will occur if she has been turned then"
Karl " yes , what kind of danger"
Murdoch continues once again as if he hadn't heard them.
Murdoch " tonight I will be projecting our collective energies over the Astral plane to achieve this but at the same time my body will no longer be protected, seeing as this journey will not be that short it is imperative that the Convocation circle not be broken until we have Dillan, so no matter how exhausted you all may become and what you see and what happens, remember do no break the circle no matter what."
Essie " that is quite risky what you are proposing, but at what risk to you, that will be a lot energy to channel and I have never heard of this being attempted with success that is over such great distances"
Marty " so if something happened to your Astral body your physical body dies or is severely injured, and then if something happened to your physical body your Astral body will also die. Hey Professor ! are you sure you want to do this"
Murdoch shakes his head slowly confirming what Marty just said.
Karl " is there no other way to do this"
Murdoch " no there is no other way open to us, the Fury is scouring the area where Dillan is living right now looking for new recruits and is closing in her and others, because tonight The Fury is searching for new blood to feed their depleted ranks, there will be no quarter given tonight for all concerned. This is also the fastest way to do it and if luck is with us we will be hardly noticed . With out any further a do we have to start now time is becoming short and the time to act is now.
Drew looked at the Professor as he had told them of the possible dangers that awaited them, but he didn't tell them of the danger s that he would have to face, Drew felt that they might loose their Mentor tonight and if he could do anything to prevent it he would, he hadn't felt this passionate about anything since the death of Sherry. Karl must have felt the same because he touched on the shoulder and whispered in his ear.
Carl" no matter what, we all have to try and protect the Professor together."
They then looked at each other they realized they had appreciated the danger the Professor was preparing to bare himself to, and why he was doing it, in the first place protect the experiment the second he personally wanted to help Dillan she at least deserved a second chance to hold on to her humanity and if she had already lost that they would have to help her struggle to regain it once again other wise they realized now the only other choice available would be to kill her. They all stood up and turned the Professor as one.
Drew " let us begin with what is to tonight Professor"
Murdoch sighed once again deeply, thinking to himself " well now it begins, me meeting my destiny well this is my fate"
Drew brushed the Professor lightly while he went to his spot in the circle, caught that faint thought emanating from the Professor's mind, Oh so faintly, he staggered almost from that faint whiff a voice, so distant he almost had to doubt that he had heard it, if this was supposed to be Professors encounter with fate, then Drew was even more determined to make sure that fate knocked on the wrong door tonight. And he knew the others would agree with him but there was no time to discuss it with the others, everyone stood now silently in the circle. the Professor stood at the apex of the circle opposite him stood Marty, with both Essie and Merrill flanking him, to his right was Drew, and to his left Carl, Drew was glad they were the closest to the Professor especially with Carl his strength might be needed tonight before long. It was strange that they silently had agreed with each other they would try and protect the Professor even though they still didn't know what they were protecting him against. In the proceeding silence they looked at the Professor as he closed his eyes in the same ritual as this morning and once again they felt that warmth washing gently over them, and the faint ethereal glow began to envelope his body, then he began the chant first alone and then they picked it up, the chant swelled louder and louder until it was reverberating through the cellar, the Professors arms came up in the air out stretched, palms facing outward. they copied his movements until they were all touching one another's palms. The ethereal glow emanating from the Professor flowed out enveloping them as well, making their bodies tingle and glow, their adrenalin began to flow causing their hearts to beat ever faster, that was when they gasped the Professor projected himself up through the Astral planes pulling their energy with him, they felt it weaken them somewhat but they concentrated on the chant " Che Kah Pah , Oh Key Lah", again and again continuously . They felt themselves being extended with the Professor and then they knew he had found her. As Murdoch looked down at Dillan he observed they had arrived to late she had already made her first kill, her victim lay dead at her feet his neck had been ripped out, she had given up her struggle and took the easy way out. But now that she had feasted she realized she was still ravenous, she needed more blood, yes more blood, it was a thirst she felt she never could quench, but the thrill of the hunt exhilarated her. Just as she was about stalk her next victim she felt an itchy irritating scratching feeling in her mind, it was spreading down her neck and shoulders and down her whole body, what was happening to her, then she also began to hear words banging through her mind " Chey Kah Pah , Oh Key Lah" it swelled into ever increasing waves enveloping her with its monotonous sound it gripped her very soul, she couldn't move even though she desperately wanted to run and hide. That was when her world begun to throb and whirl before her eyes, everything began to fade and she rotated round and round losing all sense of direction. The Vampires felt the Professor directing their powers at Dillan, picking her up and holding her in an unbreakable grip, ripping her away from where she had been and dragging her physically across the Astral plane to them, where she gradually appeared in the middle of the circle surrounded by people who looked vaguely familiar, yes they did, especially the one who had attacked her, she wanted to hit out at him but still could not move. The Professor checked the surroundings where Dillan had killed her victim making sure there were no traces left behind, as he turned to leave he saw in the distance on the plane, clouds in the distance whirling churning as if a great battle was being raged and at the same time a poignant foul, rotting stench l wafted towards him, you could smell the blood feel the carnage being wrought elsewhere being carried on the winds mixed with sulfur fumes it was almost overpowering, he felt danger approaching he must leave now and hide his tracks so that no one could follow him back to the Academy and endanger the Vampires. When suddenly he felt a searing burning ripping pain sear across his chest ripping at his physical body, on the Astral plane luckily he felt no pain but he could feel his body weakening. He focused all his energy in one ethereal burst at what was attacking him, a seer working for Shakari he had to destroy him now or all hell would break loose, the seer had not expected the attack and was vaporized by the burst. Murdoch was greatly relieved that this danger had been averted but the chances of returning to his physical body was fading fast , this might be his end just like he had dreamed. But then he something was plucking at him first so lightly then it gathered strength, it was the young Vampires they were combining their powers to rescue him, this he hadn't expected but somewhere deep in his soul he had hoped for it. He felt the pull strengthening pulling him back, back to his physical body.
When the Vampires saw that Dillan appeared frozen in the centre of the circle, they could see blood on her face and upper torso she had already feasted on someone, but was now trapped by the binding spell , safe for the time being frozen until the decision would be made about what had to be done. But their attention was diverted to the Professor, they had seen what had happened to the Professors physical body, seemingly out of nowhere something huge ripped across his chest like a gigantic talon ripping into the soft flesh cutting through muscles and tendons like a knife, the Professor staggered slightly but had remained standing, his features ashen, they would have to protect him until he returned to his body, but they were all so very tired they had been chanting for 2 hours and the energy they had spent on bringing Dillan back was beginning to take its toll, it felt like a lifetime. But this time they would not give into exhaustion they must not fail the Professor they remained in the Convocation circle waiting, continuing the chant softly hoping that they could make a difference. Slowly the golden glow that had been flickering around the Professors body began to fade, his eyes opened and then they saw the pain flooding in and he collapsed, Karl caught him before he hit the ground, there was a time when Karl would not have caught him but tonight something had changed in Karl he had seen that the Professor had been prepared to sacrifice himself for his students and he just like Drew needed to know why, he gently cradled him in his strong arms, and carried him to the nearest niche containing Drew's coffin and laid him gently down, he was bleeding badly and the aroma rising from his massive wounds was almost overwhelming , the others felt it as well. It was an enticing smell challenging them to taste it, but they all resisted the urge to taste, to feed off him. But their attention was now focused on their Mentor that they had forgotten Dillan the spell had began to wear off, so she could now move once again and she to had gotten a whiff of the Professors blood , and she went into full attack, she wanted that blood she was completely blinded with lust, she had managed to shove the Vampires aside, except for Karl who got in her way, practicing those lessons he learned from the Professor and his book" the Zen of Self Defense" he had laughed then about the advice of the Professor but was thankful of the knowledge which he now used to subdue Dillan because he didn't want to hurt her, he grabbed her in a choke hold until she blacked out. And dropped her on the ground, satisfied that he had managed to restrain her from killing the Professor, at least he hoped that he was still alive because in his arms he had felt no movement at all, he felt so cold.
Marty " quick while she is unconscious lock her in the cage until we know what to do with her, man she is vicious."
Drew "we have to hurry, we have to check the Professor see if he is alive"
Merrill " he's got to be, but did you see his wounds they were awesome, and he has lost a lot of blood, did you also notice the scent of his blood. I could just barely contain myself I wanted desperately to taste it"
Essie " yes smelt like a well aged wine "
Marty" we have to be quick, before he goes into shock"
They bundle Dillan's unconscious body into the cage, clanging the door with a loud sound of metal on metal, they shot all three bolts with padlocks quickly, their attention was required elsewhere. All the time while they were locking Dillan in the cage, Drew had remained by the Professor. He was feverishly trying to stop the bleeding, and unnoticed Vakaal had drifted closer to watch what was happening. He was surprised that the ceremony had gone so well, the Elders had thought that it wouldn't and were prepared to take any steps necessary to remove all evidence of what had taken place here, but this surpassed their highest expectations the Vampire's had succeeded magnificently, but at what cost, he looked down at Murdoch, his influence had been paramount it was the inessential ingredient in the experiment , were they going to loose him, that was the harshness of fate. Drew is trying frantically to stop the bleeding. He turns around in anger to Vakaal and says to him.
Drew " do something my Lord, you can't just let him die like this, he has done more for this experiment than anyone else"
The others were returning from caging Dillan caught this clash and gasped, not one of them ever confronted any of the Elders like this, had Drew gone to far, once again they looked at each other , you could feel them thinking as if they were all on the same wave length still linked to one another, this was still a slight remnant of the Professors powers still echoing in their bodies after the ceremony, they could feel it slowly ebbing away they wanted to hold on to it but knew is would soon disappear. They stepped as one next to Drew facing Vakaal, defiant, they were also angry at the injustice that was occurring now.
Merrill " you have great powers my Lord, could you do anything to help him"
Essie " yes, you have demonstrated your powers to us on occasion, so why can't you do anything now."
Marty 'you must do something, we can't afford to loose him, not now"
Vakaal is taken aback by the brashness of the Vampire's this was a very human trait they were showing now, did they really know what they were asking. Defying fate was something that the Elders never anticipated to take part in. Was this the time to start defying fate he wondered.
Vakaal " this is his fate, I have seen that you have noticed that he has experienced "the Quivering" because he has prepared a few of his most precious possessions to show of his passing, it is iron clad no-one can defy their destiny"
Karl gets very angry.
Karl" no way, there has to be a way"
Drew " yes, you can try and defy fate and help him now before it is to late"
Marty " yes, you do not always have to accept what fate dishes out for you, so he doesn't need to die today, we proved that with Merill so why not again for the Professor."
Vakaal "you have defied fate before but never on a scale as tonight, what you are asking is virtually impossible, we have great powers but we cannot heal all ailments, and his afflictions are great"
Essie " don't care, you have to try for decencies sake"
Merrill " try quickly before it is to late"
Vakaal is taken aback once again the solidarity they were showing was profound, they had come to respect their Mentor to such depths that they were prepared to fight fate for him, they indeed were showing the redeeming qualities that Murdoch claimed they had, he had been able to nurture them, guide them and slowly ever so slowly and it was baring fruition tonight even more now than ever. The effect of their Mentor was profound he had expected it to diminish over years in the Convocation but this apparently was not the case, somewhere their respect for him had grown over the years to a culmination apex tonight, the Elders had not expected that. This experiment might succeed any way. He nods his wizened head. This step had to be taken for all concerned.
Vakaal " I will attempt what you ask but you must not interfere and be silent"
Vakaal closes his eyes and begins to chant a spell soundlessly , gesturing with arms moving slowly over the Professors motionless body, the bleeding gradually stops and the great gashing wounds close slightly but no more than that. Vakaal shakes his head and stops.
Vakaal "more than this I cannot do, the rest is now up to the Professor and if his will to live is strong enough we shall know in the next 24 hours"
Karl " my Lord thank you for trying, that was all that we asked"
But Vakaal waves his comments aside turns to them once more.
Vakaal "tomorrow night I will return and bring forth the decision on what is to be done with the one called Dillan, and we shall see what further transpires with the Professor in the next 24 hours.
He looks at the Vampires blandly and dismisses them with a wave and leaves as suddenly as he had come he had to inform the other Elders of the steps taken, so they could prepare themselves for what might take place. Marty bends over the Professor and places a hand gently on his throat trying to feel a pulse, his look of concern worries the others.
Marty " can't feel a pulse, were we to late"
Drew bends, put his ear to the chest of the Professor and holding a finger to his lips, causing them all to be silent. When he faintly hears in the distance the soft thud of his heart, it was slow ever so slow but was increasing in volume, he sighs in relief.
Drew " its alright he's still alive just barely, but he is apparently pretty tough person to kill apparently, he must love life to fight so hard for it."
They looked at the Professor and just looking at the remnants of his clothes, they were shredded as if with huge claws had ripped across his body, this betrayed the viciousness of the attack. And the scent of his blood that had drenched his clothes was enticing, still invitingly challenging them to taste, they would have to clean him up quickly, before they could no longer control themselves. His body was so cold they could feel him shivering, they couldn't keep him in the cellar it was far to cold.
Merrill " we can't keep him here, there are chances of him going into shock . We have to get him warm and the only place I can think of is his bedroom he has got a fire place there as well"
Essie " good idea but we will have to take turns watching him, remember it is almost daybreak"
Karl " well I have been checking out those security camera's, and found a couple of camera's that they haven't used yet, I could mount one in his bedroom so we can keep an eye on him during the daylight hours.
Marty " my man, knew your high tech talents would always be handy, I'll give you a hand. And besides I think it is the best way to keep an eye him, this way we can keep an even better eye on Dillan, I personally don't trust her."
Strangely Drew has been silent during their conversation thinking now of the possibilities facing them now, they could use the presence of Dillan to their advantage.
Drew " guys do you realize we now might have the means of getting into the Convocation Archives with a legitimate excuse"
Karl" what do you mean, you want to use Dillan"
Drew nods his head with a serious look in his eyes.
Drew " yes, she is perfect for it remember how street wise she is, she knows how to handle herself pretty well, the only problem is of course is that we have find out if she is willing to co-operate with us, and we also have to find out if she wants to conquer her instincts in the same way we have been taught"
Essie " might be a problem in convincing her now, we will have to wait until tomorrow night before Vakaal arrives to ask her, the moon won't be full anymore and she might then listen to reason."
Merrill " okay we'll talk about this further but first we got to get him into his bed, who is going to light the fire, not me I am afraid of fires."
Marty " don't worry I'll do that, I'm quite good at that"
Drew " you guys go on ahead and I will keep an eye on Dillan, I will also try to reason with her try and convince her work with us"
Karl gathers the limp body of the Professor in his arms and goes up the ramp followed by the others and proceeds to the Professors bedroom, a room that they never had seen before this could be interesting thought Karl. Moving through the door way he looked around the room quickly and located the bed .It was a simple room but you could feel that it was the Professor's room his touch was apparent everywhere you looked, it radiated a calmness that reassured them that they were doing the right thing by challenging fate and asking Vakaal to save his life. Gently laying the Professor down in his bed, they removed his torn, shredded clothes, his shoes and then proceeded to clean his wounds trying the whole time not to get to close, the urge to feed was building in them, they wanted desperately to bring their mouths closer to his wounds to taste his blood thankfully Vakaal had stopped the bleeding but the urge remained because of his blood drenched clothes feverishly they removed them as quickly as possibly, they could barely control their shaking hands every time they touched him It felt electrifying causing them to growl softly deep down in their throats their urge was barely controllable. Finally, thankfully they were finished cleaning his body of all blood traces, exhaustion was beginning to take its toll on the Vampire's they were swaying on their feet and could barely walk straight, they really needed to drink blood now, God it was proving to be so difficult to stay away from the Professor they had to leave now or loose all self control. But before they left they made sure that the fire was burning and the creeping warmth that was seeping through the room was making them even more sluggish, they did not enjoy this warmth. Then Essie and Merrill unraveled and draped the healing cloth over the Professors body leaving just his head uncovered, his face was so pale it disturbed them, but his breathing wasn't that shallow anymore , a good sign. Finally they threw his bloody clothes into the fire, where the fire joyfully enveloped them with her fiery grip, with a whoosh they incinerated to ash. They were now thankful that scent of his blood it was dissipating releasing them from its grasp, but they were still so hungry they needed to feed. Just as stealthily as they came they left the room with its lone occupant making sure that the security camera was on and functioning they could now turn their attention to feeding and getting some much needed sleep. This tiredness was new to them it felt as if their whole body was made of lead and their bodies completely drained of energy, and as if chains were attached to their legs, and that burning, churning feeling in their innards, it felt as if their bowels were put in backward the pain was so intense. They just made it back to the cellar, where they raided thankfully the blood storage for want of replenishment they needed the nutrition badly. And where they sat they fell into a deep exhausted sleep not having the strength to get back into their coffins, even Drew who was attempting to talk to Dillan couldn't keep his eyes open any more even though he desperately tried to keep them open, the last thing he saw thankfully was that even Dillan had fallen asleep in the corner of her cage curled up in fetal position as if to crawl away from the world and find peace. Mansbridge was now an Oasis of silence the only movement was the slight rustling of leaves blowing in the light breeze as the sun began to rise slowly chasing the remnants of the nights shadows away.
Looking around one could see the changes that had taken place over the years, there was a new wing added to the main building, it gave one the impression that there would even be now more day students coming to the Academy, but that was not the case a gym had been added with a swimming pool, Vampires disliked water as well and tried to avoid contact if possible. At the back of the main building there could be seen that a arboretum had been added with nooks and crannies where students could sit down in some privacy and do their school work even enjoy their precious free time. Once again the influence of the Professors was ever present, because just standing in it you could just feel the calm serenity of the surroundings, it was pleasant, soothing atmosphere . But the biggest change at the Academy was the fact the a stable had also been built, not to close to the main building just close enough to be noticed. This was also part of the strategy of the Professor he had definitely been planning well ahead for when the Vampire's would return, because if there is one thing that was well documented that was that Vampire's did not take to well to animals especially horses, it is a well known fact that horses tend to bolt or wreak havoc even attack in the presence of Vampire's because the horses sixth sense is so heightened they consider Vampire's to be a threat to their very existence. The day students would be allowed to ride the horses on occasion but the Vampire's had find a way to live with and around them without panicking the animals and if anything in the world was difficult that would be almost insurmountable for them. Because now in this phase of the experiment they were to interact beyond the constraints of the buildings and try to slowly mingle with mortals. The Professor had been quite busy with his arrangements for the arrival of the Vampire's and today the last addition would be arriving, 4 horses would be delivered in the afternoon at the same time a groom would be coming he would be taking care of the horses in the mornings and afternoons and in the evenings he would return to town which was only an half an hours drive from the Academy. It was a situation that both suited the groom as well as Murdoch, the groom did not like being around people much and he didn't want anything to do with the students, with this arrangement the Professor wouldn't have to worry about the groom in the evenings.
And situated around the stables were those ever so present vigilant security camera's, evidence that the experiment was seriously progressing to its final irreversible completion. The Vampires could now also observe the interaction of the mortals beyond the walls of the Academy. The groom had met with the Professor twice and had been quite impressed with him, he struck him as a knowledgeable man and was very astute , he knew he needed the job badly but and could be trusted to take well care of the animals. Besides then he could have time to devote to his family and this was understood by the Professor. So both parties were content with their agreement.
Suddenly the security camera in the bedroom focused on the bed a ray of sunshine crept between the drapes and lighted up the Professor's face, it beckoned him to open eye's. It felt as if he was climbing out of a bottomless pit he was tired but knew he had to wake up because the danger still was not averted. What with the capture of Dillan a chain of events had begun. In pulling Dillan across the Astral plane they had created ripples that covered the whole Astral plane causing echo's to resound all the world, because of the intensity of these echo's no one would be able to trace where it originated from but unwillingly and unknowingly the Vampire's had triggered the calling of their Makers. The Makers would now be busy trying to locate their children they sooner or later would find them, this calling was so primal it would act as beacon for the Makers and then they would have to be prepared. With his left hand he slowly pulled the healing cloth off his body, knowing that the wounds had healed almost completelythe only evidence of what had happened were those horrific weal's that covered his upper torso but these in time would slowly fade but not entirely a reminder of what had taken place. There was a time if he had made a different to what he had made he would have healed completely under the healing cloth but because so long ago he had made a choice and that choice he had made he had never regretted even with the waves of pain reminding him of what happened . His hands felt his chest at least the wounds were closed now, he would carry the scars now just like the many others, but he could at least move around and he was thankful that he was still a live. He turns his back to the camera and proceeds to dress himself slowly, the pain was slowly diminishing, His sense of humor was slowly returning, the Vampire's didn't have to see everything he thought, bringing a faint smile on his face. He had seen the camera so well hidden but this didn't bother him. So bending down to put his shoes on the sunshine played across his back revealing terrible old scars from a time long gone, but to day once again fresh in his memories, there would be questions about those to . He grabbed a shirt and put it on but didn't close the buttons completely because his torso still felt somewhat tender, reminding him how close he had come to meeting his destiny, if the Vampires had broken the circle as was in his dream he wouldn't be standing here and now, and his faith in them was well founded. He new that the main instrument in defying fate last night had been Drew & Karl if they hadn't convinced the others it would have been all over, but he admitted there were changes quite apparent in his students they seemed more self aware than even the Elders had anticipated.
Thinking of this the Professor thought back to the beginning of the evening when he seen their faces he could see that time had also left its traces on their faces this could be attributed to their weaning off blood the closer they came to humanity the more the passage of time could be seen in their faces. They appeared to be well matured adults now more confident in themselves and more importantly they seemed to be finally accepting what they had become they should be aware of this by now, but there was an ominous danger looming ahead, there was still time to prepare for it but when their Makers find them this would truly be an awesome conflict. When that time fast approached he must prepared to really use his gifts to their full extent. Finally he stood up a bit unsure on his feet, his wounds had healed but he still had lost a lot of blood he was now determined to see what had further transpired in the cellar while he was unconscious. With slow steady steps he left his bedroom and went to his office, he noticed that his journal was still untouched he looked at the photo of his beloved Chelsea touched this with a light caress thinking.
Murdoch " if for anyone else I do this for you my love"
While coming down the ramp he was surprised to see the Vampires sprawled over table they had been obviously very hungry after their exertions last night, exhaustion had caught up to them, he let them sleep. But noticed that Drew wasn't with them he began to worry and proceeded further into the dark recesses of the cellar to where the cage stood with Dillan in it, he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Drew slumped in the corner fast asleep. Being very careful not wake him he approached the cage to check up on Dillan, he could see that she was also asleep in that familiar human fetal position curled up as if in her mother's womb, where every human would consider it to be the safest place for every newborn. But she wasn't sleeping as peacefully as the vampire's she was groaning softly in her sleep. He knew this was going to be very difficult for everyone concerned but they would have find out tonight in the presence of Vakaal what was to become of her, the time was not now besides he other things to do. The horses would be arriving soon and he had to make sure he was present, he expected problems with them for they would have sensed what happened last night and would be extremely nervous. So looking around the cellar one more time to make sure that all was well he softly left the cellar, leaving the Vampire's in their blissful sleep.
The Professor could hear the horses arriving, they were kicking and rearing in their trailers rocking them ferociously from side to side. This was going to be difficult because they couldn't leave them in the trailers, the horses needed to get out and stretch their legs badly to rid themselves of the excess nervous energy that they had retained from happenings that no mortal could sense last night. The two men had already started to unload them before the Professor arrived. Bill the groom and the driver wanted desperately finish this job before any accidents happened, he had never seen horses this jumpy. Eventually they managed to get the first two horses out of the trailer but it was hard work and both men were transpiring heavily, and the horses were highly agitated wanting desperately to get away. But they managed to keep a hold of the reins and started walking them around the paddock pushing their bodies against the horses using their weight and soft words, trying to slowly calm them down but it was taking far to long for the other two. There was loud crash of splintering wood as the horses kicked their doors open backed off the trailer and bolted. The Professor had to hurry now but being careful he was still slightly light headed but was managing to move much better, he needed to get outside now. Pushing the backdoor open he stepped outside just in time to see the horses gallop to the meadow just behind the Academy. They started rearing and kicking their legs in their trying to shake their fear off as if it was a blanket. Bill thought how am I going to catch those two, there is no way I am going to be able to get near them, this day was going to turn into a disaster, when he saw the Professor walking toward the horses he shouted to him.
Bill " watch it Professor I have never seen horses so scared as these before, we have got get these to into the stable now and figure out how we are going to catch those two".
The Professor waved to him giving him a sign that he had understood Bill, but he wasn't intending on stopping now because those horses had to be brought in to the stables now, there was only 2 hours of daylight left and the consequences would be devastating if they weren't caught before it got dark. He personally had grown to love horses and now with the return of his powers he could now influence them in ways that no mortal could. Making sure that the driver and Bill weren't watching he stood with his back to them focused his eyes on the horses in the distance, extended his right hand to them and sent them soft soothing thoughts almost stroking their minds. The horses slowly calmed down enjoying that soft voice that was projected in their mind, then they felt the need to go to the source of voice, that figure in the distance standing quietly watching them. Moving first gradually hesitantly they began to move towards the Professor, then a slow trot to get them there quicker until they were standing in front of him and then they began to nuzzle him gently in acceptance, they could sense that he was slightly weak on his feet and they didn't want to push him off his feet.
Murdoch" so boys," he spoke to them gently, and began to stroke them feeling the nervous sweat covering their bodies."
Murdoch " come on, let me take you back to the stables where there is food and where most importantly it will be safe."
He turns around and starts walking back to the stables, just when Bill steps out of the stable after he just locked up the first two horses, he had a rope in hand thinking of how he was going to catch the other two. When he noticed the Professor walking to the stables slowly, and the two horses were flanking him on either side, nudging him every now and then, listening to him , he had never seen anything like this before ever. He rubbed his eyes as if he was imaging it, but the closer they came the evident it became they were literally following the Professor and didn't even have hold their loose reins, they were content to walk with him and they now so calm he couldn't believe they were the same horses that he had seen bolting away as if the devil was after their soul. This Professor is something else for sure he thought, he might even talk to the animals then he began to chuckle, or something like that. But right now he didn't mind at least he didn't have run cross country chasing very nervous and dangerous horses for that matter. At that thought the Professor stopped in front of the groom and said.
Murdoch " I didn't realize they were so obedient , just stood watching them and they came of their own accord, remarkable animals.
Bill " never seen anything like it, thought we would never catch them today, thanks Professor and now we will put you two in your stables.'
He strokes the horses, but they shy away from him a little but remain standing by the Professor as if not wanting to leave his presence. The Professor smiles at them and strokes them once again and says to them.
Murdoch " that's enough for today you got to listen to Bill and go into your stables, tomorrow is another day." And he chuckles softly.