Dragon takes a brake - er - break from Cthulhu to produce: another xover! Aaaaah! (Now that that's out of the system - actually, this is all the fault of the 13 year old seaquest addict and a movie
called Cyborg 2 and my firm belief that villains should always be recycled when possible.)
Disclaimers: FK denizens and setting (well, not the city of toronto, of course) belong to Sony/Tristar and the owners thereof. I have no intention of increasing anything but my draconically swelling ego with
this bit of fluff. BCJr denizens belong to - Baum & Cuse and their production company whose designation I've forgotten. Cheri Yuconovich, in multiple incarnations across the multiverse is mine.
You may bend, spindle, fold or mutilate at your own peril and only with permission.
Archive: I'd love it and authorize it. If it's off the beaten path, let me know so I can find it. (My disks tend to congregate in the void under my desk and thus are not always available for perusing in the idle
One final thing, and I'll let you get to the story - there are no beta readers and I ran out of time and didn't run the spell check. Errors are the fault of the dragon and no one else. g
The Orb 01/?
Nick couldn't believe his eyes. He'd read brief references to this thing and was now staring at it. He blinked. It seemed to glow slightly on its own. It was - well, it was a shade of gold somewhere between the true metal and brass. His senses told him it was neither. He could feel a faint aura of - electricity? - even at this distance. He stared into the hole in the earth he'd uncovered and tried to figure out how he was going to get the thing out of the ten foot deep hole in which it sat like some smug alien idol. The hole was exactly large enough to hold the artifact.
Nick looked at the old diary in his hand. It spoke of lowering the item carefully into the holding crate. No crate. It spoke of then lowering it into a hole in the ground to be covered by concrete. Well, the rusted iron door he'd pulled up had been thick, but not concrete. Somehow, he was going to have to find a way to get the thing out of the hole. A rope? No. It was, after all, round, even if it was covered with protruding rod ends like some solidly cast nubby ball. He sat down to consider the thing.
He perused the diary again. "The orb generated many different responses in different people. In those who were dying, a single rod could give life, could heal. In those who were aged, water touch by the
rods could return youth. In those with certain gifts of power, it could enhance them to the stature of the gods of myth. In theory, any ill could be cured by this device. Thus when we found that one had been retained in this time, we took care to secure it, to hide it away from all men including ourselves. The orb gave too much power, too much temptation even to those of good will."
Nick stared down at the orb. Heal the sick, the dying … he latched onto those ideas. Well, there had to be some way, other than digging it out, to get at the thing. He stood up, setting the diary on the ground at the edge of the hole and looked around the dilapidated room. Dust covered everything. Furniture sat in mouldering clumps around what had apparently been a large lumber room. There were some cobwebbed shelves against one wall. Maybe there was something there.
The dust that covered everything muffled his movements. Nick searched the shelves with his fingertips where he could not see. He was too tired of this game to consider levitating up to look at the contents of the top shelf and was surprised when he overbalanced a glass jar. His grab was just short of catching it before it hit the ground. Instead of the jar, he caught a handful of glass shards, cutting his hand to the bone in a couple of places. He dropped the glass and swore. Several drops of blood dropped into the dust at his feet. He carefully extracted several slivers from his hand, dropping them into the gray dust as well. His hand would heal, was healing even as he swore in ancient French. The sound softened as it
reached the outer walls of the room.
Even as he looked around for something to temporarily bind his hand, he found a length of rope. Maybe rope *would* work. His wound forgotten, Nick scooped up the rope and headed back to the pit. With a little luck, all his time spent mastering the art of roping in the American West would stand him in good stead now. It took a few minutes to get the feel of this rope and the right angle of attack, but soon he had the orb on the way up and out of its hole. He felt a shiver of anticipation run through him as he pulled it up over the edge of the pit and onto the ground. The vampire stared into its shining surfaces, emotions playing across his face like scenes in a TV show. Slowly, he reached out a hand to touch it.
Blue lightning danced from the orb to Nick and around the room. Nick screamed once, blinding light filling his senses, and fell, all consciousness fled. The orb sat and hummed subliminally to itself.
Across the room, the dust into which Nick's blood had fallen had also been touched by the energy which had felled Nick. Slowly, ever so slowly, the dust seemed to pull together, to gain form, to become something more cohesive, *someone* more cohesive.
Hours passed. The orb sat where Nick had settled it. Nick dreamed. His life drifted like a silent movie before his dream mind. Good, bad, evil, transcendent, all of it there for his review. Across the room, a long, gaunt body lay immobile. No breath stirred the true dust beneath his face. Soft wisps of dark blond hair lay tumbled across his cheek, obscuring the fine boned face. The remains of a black felt hat, wide brimmed, a leather band with silver conchas for ornament, lay next to his head. Tatters of fine black leather gloves were on his hands, the clothing which had formed around him also in tatters. Only the tall black leather boots he wore seemed whole. The room was silent.
Sunrise. Pale streaks of pink and gold highlighting the horizen. A shadowy figure in black denims and a long sleeved t-shirt stood outside the ruined house and stared at it. Eyes like emeralds glittered in a
face like fine alabaster as she took in the greenish 1962 Caddy parked in the long neglected drive. Someone was here. She reached out with senses enhanced by long years of esoteric study. There. A heartbeat. Slow, so slow. But strong. Life, of a sort, lay within. A flutter of a heartbeat caught at her. Unlike the first, this one was uncertain, strained, as though long unused. A smile curved her pale lips. She had been right to come. Something had happened.
Swiftly, she entered the old mansion and moved directly to the old storage room. Sliding between the door frame and the door which stood only partially open, the hinges having come un-hung some time previously, she took in the two bodies. She checked Nick and nodded. One young vampire, nconscious. From his position, it was probable that he had touched the orb without knowing what he was doing.
He would survive. She touched the curve of his cheek, her eyes closed. Such longing, such need. She broke the contact. For a time, the orb would be safe with him.
She turned and looked at the other body. A more tender smile curved her mouth then. She shook her head over his condition. Well, it was better than being a bunch of dust in a quart jar. She quickly hefted his limp form over her shoulder and moved toward the door. She stopped and cast a quick look over the ceiling. Barring accidents, the vampire would be safe enough where he lay. There was no discernable
sunlight peeking through either walls or roof in this area. She shifted the weight over her shoulder a trifle, pulled the door aside and left the room.
Outside, she laid her burden in the shade and considered her options. She had parked her Harley at a distance and it would not do to be caught in the sunrise with an unconscious body which just might spontaneously combust. She observed the Caddy thoughtfully. The keys were in the ignition. Someone really ought to talk to the owner about such shoddy security measures being taken with such an obviously cherry vintage Caddy. Or was that Classic? she wondered for a moment. With a grin, she removed the keys, opened the trunk and neatly tucked the body into the space inside. She wondered where the spare tire was, then grinned again. Spare tires could be uncomfortable if one was stuck
spending the day in one's trunk, she surmised with a gentle laugh.
Closing the trunk, she went to the driver's side, got in, started the car and left. As the owner was stuck inside for the day, he'd be less annoyed when he woke up tonight and found the Caddy in place with extra miles on it than he would if it disappeared entirely. She just hoped no one else would notice that the wrong person was driving the car.
Her luck held until she drove past the Coroner's Building. Natalie Lambert, walking to her car after a long shift, saw the Caddy coming down the street and lifted her hand to wave when she realized that the driver was some woman she had never seen before. For a fraction of a second, she thought it was Janette, but the face was wrong. Their eyes met. The woman smiled and nodded to her as she drove past. Tired as she was, Natalie decided to check on Nick before she went home.
Natalie drove up to the warehouse where Nick's loft style apartment was and frowned. She hadn't been that far behind the Caddy. Yet the door was down, and there were no lights on in the loft. For that matter, the shutters were still open.
She sat and stared at the windows for several minutes before deciding that the shutters were staying open. Curiosity won out over caution. She went in. The loft was empty. No Nick. With a frown on her face, she played his messages, hoping some clue would emerge to make things make sense. Nothing.
Natalie looked around the sparely furnished area. Except for the usual touches of personal items, there was nothing more there. With a sigh and a shrug of her shoulders, she closed the shutters against the rising sun and left. She hoped he would explain things when she saw him again. Tired and hungry, she stopped at a fast food place for a hot sandwich and coffee. She wasn't really focusing on the street, until she realized that the black haired woman on the old Harley Davidson at the stop light was the
same woman she had seen behind the wheel of the Caddy. Adrenalin pumping, Nat left her half consumed breakfast on the table and ran to her car. She was going to solve this mystery or else.
Fifteen minutes later she pulled her car to the curb and had to admit defeat. The motorcycle and its rider had vanished. She leaned her head against her hands on the steering wheel. What did she think she was doing? Following people like someone in a foolish movie could get you - well, embarrassed if nothing else.
Natalie jumped when someone tapped on her window. She looked around slowly. In the Raven, she would have made the assumption the woman was a vampire, or a goth. Her skin was pale, her
eyes were unimaginably green and rimmed with black lashes. Her hair, pulled back in a braid, was blue black. Her ME brain took in the black, long sleeved t-shirt and jeans without really thinking and placed her weight and height flawlessly. The rest of her brain was trying to think of a really good explanation for why she had been caught following the woman. She rolled down the window with a weak smile.
"I'm Cheri Yuconovich, and while I'm really curious as to why you were tailing me, I don't think you're awake enough to explain. Are you OK?"
"Fine." She swallowed and regretted her forgotten breakfast as her tummy rumbled unhappily. "Lambert. Natalie Lambert," she introduced herself sketchily. "I - uh - Look, it's probably a mistake, but - I thought - I mean -"
"You know the guy who owns the caddy," Cheri supplied softly as she crouched down beside the car. She read the flashes of reaction as easily as one of her friends could read palms. She smiled. It was not a mean smile. "He's OK. He's - taking the day off. He's safe. And the caddy'll be back as soon as I finish getting the Harley home.'
"Why don't I deliver him to you?"
"You are too tired - move over." She pulled the door open and from sheer force of will, or so Natalie tried to explain it to herself later, moved the doctor over and took charge of the driving needs.
She ferried Natalie home and saw her safely into her apartment. Then she walked back to her motorcycle and took it back to her own temporary digs where she checked on her new roommate. Still out. She surmised he would remain that way for several more hours while she returned the caddy.
She drove back to the mansion and checked on Nick. He stirred under her touch, frowned and awoke. His eyes popped open and he grabbed for the hand. She was swift in her retreat, but not as swift as his vampiric reflexes could make him. He heard her heartbeat speed up, her breathing get faster, yet her demeanor was calm.
"Who are you?" he demanded harshly.
"Yuconovich. Dr. Cheri Yuconovich. And who are you?"
Her bland response threw him off stride, pulled him back to the world. "Knight. Nicholas Knight. Toronto PD."
She looked around the room and then back into his wide blue gaze. "There's a crime being committed here?"
A soft laugh escaped him as he relaxed and smiled. He didn't let go of her. She thought the smile suited him. "Trespassing?"
"Then you'll just have to arrest yourself - constable? Inspector?"
"Oh, well. Not your jurisdiction, then, is it?"
He found himself warming to her smile and her sense of the ridiculous. "Unless you've committed murder lately."
She made a show of considering his statement and shook her head. "Nope. Not lately."
Something in her tone, light as it was, made him look at her again. Not lately. Not his jurisdiction. What was she? He released his hold on her. Why would she joke about his having to arrest himself for
trespassing. He voiced his curiousity.
"I own the land and the remains," she said, gesturing to indicate the falling down mansion. Both their gazes fell on the orb, then met again.
"You do?" There was an edge to the question.
"Yes. I just came into the property through a relative, now deceased. Thought I'd come see what all the fuss was about. And it does seem to be a lot of fuss over a building which should have been restored or
demolited a while back." She ignored the orb.
"Any idea what that is?" he asked, forcing her to acknowledge the thing sitting there shining in the shadows of the room.
She looked at it and shrugged her shoulders. "Looks like a prop in a movie. Yours?"
"Yes." He knew he had rushed his answer, knew it sounded false and waited for her to contradict him.
"Well, then you'd best remove it, hadn't you? By the way, is the Caddy out front yours?"
"Yes." Oh, boy. Now he had to come up with a good reason for staying.
"Looks like it has a flat tire."
Nick managed to look crestfallen over the news. "A flat tire. Well, that's easy - Oh. The spare's not in the trunk." He met her look with a guilless look of his own. "It's at the tire shop getting fixed. Guess
I'll have to call a tow truck."
"You have a phone?"
He reached for his pockets. Then gave her a rueful smile as he came up empty. "No phone."
"You usually look for one in your pockets?" she asked doubtfully.
"Oh," she said with a laugh. Of course. How foolish. Not that she ever carried a phone like that, but she knew most police forces were now relying heavily on the things to keep in contact with their units when
out of their assigned vehicles. "Well. Tell you what, why don't I call the tire repair people and get them out here for you. You look a little tired." Both of them were pleased with having neatly skirted the issue
of his leaving the building before sundown, though Nick was unaware of her having done so. Cheri gave him a friendly smile, turned and left without a backward glance.
She looked at the flat tire she had produced on the Caddy with satisfaction. Detective Knight might eventually figure out it was "self-inflicted", but she doubted he would figure it out before she was out of
Toronto with her prize. Now, to get the tow truck out there and get back to her prize.
The man on the bed dreamed. His face, so long unused to movement, twitched from time to time, but showed no other signs of life. He dreamed of the orb. He dreamed of his nemesis. He dreamed of a time and place yet to come. He dreamed of blood, rivers of rich, dark blood.
Cheri entered her apartment cautiously. Silence. She stretched out her senses. Ah. Good. Still in transition. She wheeled in a cart with three cases of cool green bottles with long necks. The marks on the wooden crates indicated a European origin. The bartender at the Raven had looked at her oddly when she made her request. She was not of the Community, but her references were impeccable. He filled the order without reference to the owner. She carefully set the cart and it's cargo in a corner, opened a crate and extracted three bottles. She'd never had to babysit a fledgling vampire before, but there was a first time for everything. And this was a very special fledgling.
She sat in a chair next to the bed and waited, one bottle loosely corked on the bedside table, the others within easy reach. She watched and waited. Abruptly, half an hour after sundown, his eyes snapped open. He lay very still as he pulled the ceiling into focus. Sounds and scents assailed his tender senses. Hunger screamed in his belly. He could hear and smell a woman in the room with him. Ever so carefully, fully in control, he turned his head. She had always loved the almost oriental look to his eyes. Deeper set than usual in his skull like face, they were full of mystery and almost flat and dead like a shark's at the same time. She could see him fighting for control over the hunger that raged within him.
She pulled the cork and put the bottle in his hands. He sat up, painfully, gracefully. The pull of the blood stronger than the pull of his curiosity, of his need to know about her. In one smooth motion he
tipped the opening into his mouth and let the fluid fill him. He drank until the bottle was empty. Slowly, he lowered it. His eyes glowed golden. His face carried more flesh than it had mere moments before.
Wary, he watched her uncork another bottle. She traded the full one for the empty. Eyes on her, he drank again, but not so deeply. Half the contents remained when he lowered it.
"Who -" His voice was a creaky wisp of a rasp. He swallowed and tried again. "Who are you?" he asked huskily.
"You once knew me as Tanya Kropotkin," she said softly with a gentle smile at odds with the shards of emerald that were her eyes. "And you are John Bly." The smile broadened and reached her eyes at that point.
He regarded her steadily. He knew by her clothing that time had passed since his - his - He dropped the bottle and grabbed his head as he relived the sensations of his death, of being sucked dry of all power, energy, of life itself. A hoarse scream ripped from him as he curled in on himself. Cheri was at his side, her arms wrapped around him, holding him against the memories, against the terror. She held on until the spasm passed.
Well, she thought, that's what it's like to be a reconstituted villain. She tried very hard not to laugh at the thought. Bly didn't have much of a sense of the ridiculous. A part of her was standing back staring at her. What did she think she was doing giving succor to John Bly, fledgling vampire?
This was supposed to be short and sweet. Who was I kidding?