Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dark Flame Chapter 13

This is the last chapter of Dark Flame.
A pack of wolves sat looking at the ocean. It was a magnificent sight. Before the wolves was a freshly killed moose.
I miss Silver and the others, Marigold said.
We are part of a strong coven now. Much stronger than if we had stayed with the others, Zachary said.
"We need to find a boat that will take us across," Azul spoke.
They all turned to look. He had resumed his human form.
Where are we going? Idris asked.
"Shadow Mountain." Azul answered.
"Why not just apparate?" Acorn said. He had also taken on his human form.
"I don't think that is wise. With Jasmine being turned, killing Light's fledglings, and the four newcomers..."
"Still it would be easier than taking a boat over. It would cut our journey in half," Acorn said.
"Well what does everybody think?" Azul asked.
It is the best thing for us. "Then we'll finish our meal and then leave."
Acorn and Azul once again resumed wolf form and they began tearing into the carcass. After an hour they apparated to Shadow Mountain. They went down the long tunnel that was hidden off a rocky pathway.
As they walked down the dark tunnel they heard laughter. It sounded like a party was going on. Their stomachs rumbled so they quickened their pace. After half an hour they arrived in the main entrance to Shadow Mountain.Within a few minutes they emerged into a large stone caravan with paintings mounted at various points along the room. A few vampires looked up but when they noticed Azul they went back to talking amongst themselves.
Azul led his family down through a twist of tunnels into the residence area of Shadow Mountain and led them to a medium size room, with plenty of space to accompany a family of Azul's size. They collapsed on the beds and laid there looking up at the stone ceiling above them. Idris and Christopher sifted restlessly.
We need to be sure that Elder's family isn't here. Idris said to his brother.
Yes otherwise we'll get killed for sure. Or they will tell Azul what we did.
But it was an accident!
That doesn't matter to elders and ancients. Plus the fact that we killed our sire...
He was a waste of a vampire! Idris snapped.
"How does everyone feel about food?" Acorn asked.
"Sounds good.  Blood or human food?" Marigold asked.
They got up and then went down a couple of tunnels into a cafeteria. Vampires were milling around eating and some were feeding on the bleeders, humans who offered their blood to the vampires when they couldn't hunt. There was also a strong supply of regular slaves who the vampires could feed off as well. The slaves were mainly homeless, drug addicts and prostitutes. The misfit underdogs of human society.They would never be missed.
Idris and Christopher stopped dead in their tracks. A few tables from them was the brother of the elder they had accidentally killed. And he was an Ancient.

Christopher's Proverb:

Shit. Who would have guessed that the Elder's brother would be here?
Idris and Christopher stopped dead in their tracks. They glanced at each other in fear.
Maybe he won't know who we are, Idris said.
No. I assume that the Elder told his brother about us. We don't stand a chance against an Ancient.
Then what should we do?
I don't know. Remember that our sire did not take us to Shadow Mountain. I have no idea who Ancients operate.
Maybe we should leave here.
And go where? Azul will wonder why we left his coven. We won't survive if that Ancient knows who we are. Knows that we murdered his brother.
His brother should have identified himself as an Elder before we attacked him.
Perhaps we can disappear somewhere. Live as wolves once more.
Ihated that kind of life. It was fun when we had our freedom but to live the rest of our days in hiding...

Azul's Proverb:

"Hey Idris!  Christopher!  What are you guys doing? The rest of the family is already getting in line for food. Aren't you guys hungry?"
The Ancient looked up at the mention of their names. He frowned and narrowed his eyes at them, trying to place their faces in his memory.
"Umm we'll eat later," Idris said quickly.
"Yeah I think I need some blood first after that long journey," Christopher said.
Azul shrugged and hurried after Jasmine. He growled at her and picked her up before moving in front of her. "What's up with Idris and Christopher?" Jasmine asked.
"No idea," Azul said shrugging his shoulders.
The Ancient followed the two vampires with his eyes. It was easy to break through their minds. Snarling he flinched as his brother's face surfaced. So these were the two vampires who had killed his brother Xavier. He would have to deal with them later. For now he wanted to finish his meal and have a word with Azul. The Old Blood who probably had no idea what Idris and Christopher had done.
He gulped down the Draker, an alcoholic drink made of a pint of vodka and three pints of human blood, and got up. He walked up to Azul and searched his mind searching... No the two killers had told him nothing. This Old Blood had no idea.
Azul turned at the cough and jerked back in surprise nearly knocking over the punch bowl. "Singing Arrow what a surprise to see you hear."
"You've heard of me?" Singing Arrow said, shock registering on his face.
"Who has not? You are a great leader, the killer of Iris, the rakjun."
"I see you picked up quite a following."He leaned toward Jasmine. "This Youngling is your mate?"
"Yes. Jasmine meet Singing Arrow. He is an Ancient, and part of a rakun. A rakjun is a small assassin team."
"Who was Iris?"
"Iris was a vampire who betrayed our kind to the musteer, half-breeds and rouge vampires.There was a huge war. The Ancients and Elders set up small rakjuns to infiltrate and kill the musteer swiftly from the inside.The few musteer who survived are now held prisoner in Siberia."
"I was surprised that you had picked up two rookies."
"They joined us and I did not sense anything wrong with them. But they do not seem to be telling me the truth," Azul said.
"You remember Xavier right?"
"Your brother."
"Yes. Those two rookies you picked up killed Xavier."
There was silence. Then Azul spoke. "I know the punishment for younglings killing an Elder or Ancient. And they will face punishment. I will not stop your family from punishing them for your brother's death. But Iask that you leave them in one piece. They helped me fight Light's fledglings and make for wonderful comrades in battle."
"We will take your request into consideration."
Singing Arrow turned and left. A couple of other vampires got up and followed him down the passage to the residence quarters. No doubt to go get Idris and Christopher. Jasmine turned toward Azul.
"What type of punishment will they face?"
"Death. But because I have spoken then perhaps they will be spared death and given a lighter punishment."
"What constitutes as a lighter punishment?"
"Transporters. Watchers. Slavery for seven months is the lightest punishment one can get for killing an Elder or Ancient."
"Can't you stop it?"
"No. It is up to Singing Arrow and his family to decide on the punishment. Singing Arrow happens to be one of the few royal families of our kind. I cannot go against a family of royal ancients."

Idris's Proverb:

Footsteps sounded and then stopped in front of their door. Idris and Christopher tensed waiting. They snarled as Singing Arrow and the two vampire guards came in. Vampire guards were Old Bloods who had spent their years on the fringes of normal vampire society. One might call them rogues, but unlike rogues, these Old Bloods followed the laws and rules set up for all their kind. And they also did not turn people. They were known for being incredibly loyal and fast.
"Take them."
"Who are you?" Idris shouted.
"I am Singing Arrow. Brother of Xavier Cross."
They flinched. "You are an Ancient?  From a royal family?" Christopher asked in disbelief.
"Azul will protect us."
"Azul knows now what you did to my brother.  He has consented to the punishment."
Christopher rounded on Idris. "I told you we should have told Azul about what we did before we joined his coven."
Singing Arrow sighed and shot lightning at them. They dodged away from it and the two vampire guards quickly shackled their hands and feet together. The five of them marched out and went deeper into Shadow Mountain. Down into the prison.

Their eyes adjusted to the darkness. Even though they didn't need light to see by, a guard carried a torch. The flickering light glanced off the earthen walls of the tunnels, casting a spooky glow. They were so far down now that they could no longer hear the laughter and chatter of the main area of Shadow Mountain.
Idris and Christopher were thrown into a cell and Singing Arrow and the guards left. Triestes had woven magic into the dungeon, making it impossible for vampires to escape their cells. Even apparition would not work down here. Long ago the Triestes and vampires had been friends.The vampires had allowed the Triestes to weave their magic in the dungeons but then vampires began being murdered by supporters of Triestes. So the vampires and triestes had become enemies. It had been sixty thousand years since the Triestes and vampires had become immortal enemies.
"What are we going to do?" Idris asked
"There is nothing we can do except await our punishment. Hopefully we will not be killed."
They sat there ashamed of what they had done. But it wasn't their fault for not knowing what Elders and Ancients looked like. They could not be found responsible for their actions. They were younglings who had just experienced freedom. Surely the Elders and Ancients would pity them.
A few days later they woke to the sound of their cage being opened.They had been denied food and blood so they were weak.It would make it less of a hassle then to restrain two full strength vampires up to the throne room where they would be tried and then sentenced. Idris and Christopher couldn't put up a fight at all.
It took only one hour to reach a decision. "Idris and Christopher. You are hereby sentenced to death for the murder of Elder Xavier Cross. The punishment is to be carried out immediately."
They looked at each other. Suddenly fire exploded in front of the Elders and Ancients sitting on the thrones. They transformed and ran after the pack of wolves fleeing the scene. "After them!"
Come on you two!  Hurry up or we will all be killed.
Yes. Shut up and come on.
They ran onward, fighting their way through the startled vampires. Down the tunnels and out into the open night. They were panting, a bedraggled pack of fifteen wolves. For it wasn't just the original group who had escaped; there were six other wolves who had taken that chance to escape with Azul's family. Six wolves who would become part of Azul's coven.

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