Chapter Two: Everybody Worship the Marvellous Eve!
Zathract Mist and Nixion Strange were walking to the Sanctuary.
Yes, they were walking.
They had been driving, but their van had broken down. Well, Kali's van. She had been driving them back, but then she had got an urgent phone call and she'd had to go somewhere immediately. She wouldn't tell them where it was or what had happened. She had let them have the van though, provided they didn't get caught by the police (Zathract could drive, but neither of them had a licence) and they didn't damage it. Zathract had a feeling she wouldn't be too happy with them when she found out.
Since they hadn't managed to get it going again, they'd had to walk. Luckily, they were only a few miles away. They were on a road with no pavement, walking on the grass verges. There weren't many cars, but the occasional one did whizz by. It had been going dark when they'd broken down. Now, it was dark. And it was also chucking it down.
"I bet it would have started again if we'd kicked it a bit," muttered Nixion darkly.
"You did kick it a bit. In fact, quite a bit more than a bit," Zathract reminded him, using all his willpower to keep his temper under control. They had already been late even when they'd been driving, and after the van had broken down they'd hung around for about an hour while Zathract had ntried to get it going again, and Nixion had tried to force the van into going again, but was stopped by Zathract before he turned the van into scrap metal. Zathract was certain he would've managed to get it going again if Nixion hadn't started beating it up. Nixion was firmly convinced it would never have got going again anyway, and besides he had given the van what it deserved for breaking down and making him walk ten miles in the rain with Zathract. Zathract pointed out that it was an inanimate object an anyway it was only six miles, not ten. Nixion had complained that six miles in the rain with him was eight too many. Zathract had said that he was worse off, having to put up with Nixion, and anyway if Nixion had just stepped back and let him get on with it, they wouldn't be in this fix. Nixion had said that Zathract didn't know enough about engines to get it going anyway. And so on and so on and so on. After going through this five times, Zathract gave up arguing and just focused on ignoring Nixion's constant complaining, passing the occasional comment he just couldn't hold in.
And still three whole miles to go.
It was torture.
Eventually, Nixion shut up and they just squelched along the road in gloomy silence.
. . .
The man stared down from his position on the roof. They had been waiting a long time, but soon the waiting would reach it's end. He was glad. It was almost too late. Tomorrow, it would start being too late. After that, it would take about a week before it was the right time again. In theory, a week was not much, and they had all the time in the world. But the longer they waited, the more time there was for people to find out about them. And besides, the longer they waited, the longer it would be befo -
He came back from solving the problems only ten minutes later. Just petty arguments. Being in charge of this many was not easy, but it would be worth it. At least, he hoped so. If it wasn't, his list, instead of going down a few, would go up one. No, more than one. Definitely more.
But that probably wouldn't be the case. They were close now, the ones they were looking for, so very close . . . He could see them now. They all could. It was making them restless.
He told them, not yet.
Wait for it.
Wait for it . . .
. . .
Zathract and Nixion had reached a town now. Good. Nixion liked cities. A town wasn't a city, but it was better than that horrible road in the middle of nowhere. And they had proper streets to walk down. No more horrible wet muddly grass to walk on.
Suddenly Nixion felt a large, heavy something crash into his back. He scrambled up and around quickly and instinctively, already holding his machete. The clawed hand whizzed past his ear, straight into the place his head had been a moment ago.
Nixion growled and immediately began fighting back, hitting it with his machete anywhere he could.
"I HATE VAMPIRES!" he roared. "I HATE VAMPIRES EVEN MORE THAN I HATE NECROMANCERS!" And now one had attacked him. It couldn't live to regret it, as it wasn't alive, but it would regret it for the rest of it's existence, Nixion would make sure of that. And 'the rest of it's existence' would only be a few more minutes, if that.
There were more vampires. Lots of them. Nixion didn't know how or when they had appeared, but he didn't care.
He was going to kill them all.
. . .
Zathract was trying to ignore Nixion, trying to pretend he'd disappeared.
Then he did disappear.
One moment he was walking beside him, then the next there was a whoosh of air and the dark shape in the corner of Zathract's eye that was Nixion had disappeared out of his vision.
Zathract quickly looked round to see Nixion getting up off the ground - he hadn't disappeared after all, just been knocked over - and throw himself at the vampire who had leapt on him.
Zathract stayed back. No need to restrain Nixion - it was the vampire who had attacked him. He didn't need to help him either - Nixion would easily be able to handle it - it was one vampire, come on - and getting close to Nixion in a rage was always a bad idea.
"I HATE VAMPIRES!" Nixion was yelling. "I HATE VAMPIRES EVEN MORE THAN I HATE NECROMANCERS!"
Zathract was about to tell him he'd got the message the seven thousand eight hundred and third time he'd said it when another vampire leapt out of the shadows.
There were tons of them.
Nixion hadn't even noticed. He was fighting them, but he hadn't noticed them. Weird.
Although, maybe he did need help after all.
Zathract ran towards him, but a group of Infected stopped him in his tracks, snarling at him menacingly.
Wait a minute - Infected???
Zathract glanced around quickly, and realised that although it looked like there were thousands of vampires, most of them were actually Infected. The vampires had just come at the front to make it them think they were surrounded by vampires. Like the cheap copies of well-known brands have very similar names, fonts, packe-
Then one of the vampires in the mix flew forward to attack him, and his brain was too occupied with keeping himself alive to think about it anymore.
. . .
It was working. He looked down at the two people below, fighting for their lives. Not long till they were dead. Good. Soon they would get on to the part that really mattered.
He stood there, watching the fighting without a shred of pity. He just hoped that not too many of the vampires were damaged. The Infected could easily be replaced, but the vampires? They were not so easy. He wouldn't have used vampires at all, not in this stage of the plan, but the boss had insisted. And he needed the boss. The boss was the way to his revenge.
He felt the beast stirring within him for a moment, and jabbed the serum into his arm. Some of the Infected were being sent to do the same to some of the vampires fighting - he wanted to keep everyone under control, and if he couldn't quite manage that, then he would try his best to control some of them.
He looked down again. the humans were getting more tired now. It would probably be tiredness that would get them in the end, the effort of keeping on top of everything. And, fortunately, the end was soon . . .
. . .
Zathract was still fighting, still alive, but it wouldn't be long. and he knew it.
Then a terrible scream sounded to his left. No, wait, not one. Many. Tons of terrible screams . . . Zathract wanted to look round, but he was too busy fighting.
Then the vampires and Infected around him fell still, staring in terror at whatever was behind him. Zathract could see Nixion a bit further on, also immobilised.
Zathract grinned. "Hello, Evie," he guessed, turning round. She wasn't projecting at him.
"Hello, Misty," Eve replied. The vampires and Infected were beginning to recover from their fright now. They hadn't got long.
"Let's go," said Eve. Zathract shook his head.
"We have to get Nixion."
"Is that him?" Eve asked, pointing at Nixion with one of her very sharp, pointy fingernails.
"Yes," Zathract replied and Eve stopped projecting at him. Nixion looked relieved for a moment, then he frowned in confusion.
"Come on, Nix," Zathract called. "It was just an illusion." Nixion destroyed a few more Infected, then ran forward towards Zathract and Eve. They waited for him to catch up, then all three of them charged for the exit, Eve projecting as hard as she could as well as using her nails and teeth on anyone who got too close. Zathract was also mostly relying on magic, using the air and the shadows to push vampires and Infected away. Nixion's attacked were all physical.
Before, it had been hopeless. But now, with Eve, they could make it. they had to.
. . .
It was all going so well. In only a short amount of time they would have won.
But then there was a disturbance, at the edge of the crowd. He frowned, annoyed. There should be no disturbances. It should all be perfect.
He stared at the place where the disturbance was coming from. All these damn Infected were getting in the way – he couldn’t see what was happening.
Only then he could . . . And he froze in horror.
Oh no. Not that. Please, please, please not that.
He didn't know about Eve and her power. He thought what he was seeing was real. He kept staring, staring, oblivious to the chaos around him.
And so with their leader not responding, it all fell apart. With nobody to give the order to chase, the quarry got away.
. . .
"Hang on a second," Nixion frowned. "Most o these aren't actually vampires. They're just Infected." Zathract and Eve shot him looks that said "Duh." Nixion sighed. Nobody ever told him anything.
They made it out the crowd and carried on moving, fearful of being chased.
For some reason, they weren't, apart from one or two of the bloodthirsty vampires.
"That's strange," Zathract frowned.
"What is?" asked Nixion.
"You'd've thought, after all that trouble they went to to abush us, that they’d’ve been a little more eager to keep hold of us,” he said.
"Oh, so it was an ambush, was it?" Eve queried curiously. Nixion looked at her.
"Who even are you anyway?" he asked her rudely. Zathract scowled at him.
"Be polite!" he hissed. "Sorry about Nix, Eve."
"Are you a Necromancer?" asked Nixion, deciding to ignore the order to be polite.
"Why do you want to know?" Eve shot back hostily.
"Because I hate Necromancers," Nixion explained. "And I hate vampires as well. I bet you're a Necromancer. It would be just my luck."
"Shut up!" Zathract told him. "Eve, this is Nixion. Nix, this is Astrid Vanilla, she likes to be called Eve, and she's not a Necromancer."
"Good," said Nixion.
"I saved your life today, you know," Eve informed him. "You should all be on your knees worshipping me. Or at least show a little gratitude. Perhaps you couls skip the knees part and just worship me standing up."
"I am not going to worship you," Nixion growled.
"Okay. Then you could just kneel before me on your knees instead."
"I'm not doing that either. And Mist, stop grinning, you're irritating me."
"I thought I always irritated you."
"You do. Just now, you're irritating me more."
"I hate you."
"How could you hate Mist?" gasped Eve in horror.
"He hates everything," Zathract explained.
"Ah, okay," Eve nodded. Nixion glared at them both.
"Why were you attacked?" Eve asked.
"Dunno," Nixion muttered.
"Neither do I, actually," Zathract admitted.
"So they just randomly attacked you?" Eve frowned.
"It looks like it."
"Well, they're vampire. Or almost vampires," said Nixion, as if it explained everything.
"Meaning . . . ?" Zathract asked.
"Well, they're not human. Who knows why they do stuff? It could be because of this weird vampire thing that only makes sense to blood-sucking idiots like them," pointed out Nixion.
"Maybe," Zathract shrugged.
"None of you have started worshipping me yet," Eve reminded them.
"Nope. We haven't," Zathract grinned.
"How come you're even here anyway?" muttered Nixion.
"I was in the area," Eve explained, "and I saw a big crowd. All dressed in black. All being silent. At first I thought they had just been to a funeral or something, but then I went a bit closer and saw what they were. I walked off, waited for a bit deciding whether to interfere or not, then I heard fighting sounds so I ran up to see what was going on and saw they were attacking people, and that one of them was Mist. So I helped you two. In fact, I rescued you. And you still haven't worshipped me yet."
Zathract rolled his eyes, got down on his knees, and put his hands together in a praying position. "Oh glorious Eve from the heavens, I worship you. Amen. There, happy?" he stood up, wiping the grime from his trousers.
Eve bowed. "You may throw your roses now."
Nixion looked at Zathract in disbelief. "I can't believe you actually did that. Anyway, she could be a spy working for them. How do we know we can trust her?"
Zathract glared at him angrily. "We can trust Eve," he said with finality.
"If you say so," Nixion muttered uncertainly. "But I am not worshipping her."
Eve pulled a face and Zathract shrugged. "Fair enough. Now, we need to get back to the Sanctuary and explain why we never turned up, but also, we need to find out why we were ambushed. All other missions can be put on standby, because they could come back and have another attempt at our lives at any time, and the less we know, the more danger we're in."
Nixion grinned. This sounded like they might get to kill more vampires. Good.
"Can I help you?" asked Eve. Zathract looked at her in surprise.
"You want to?" he questioned.
She shrugged. "I'm curious. And, they might kill you. I couldn't let them do that knowing I might have prevented it. I couldn't let them do that anyway."
Zathract thought about it a minute. Well, why not?
"Thanks," he said. "We could do with your help." Eve grinned. Zathract countinued, "How about we meet in this town tomorrow, the place where they have a market?"
"They have a market?" Eve and Nixion asked at the same time. Nixion glared at her.
"If you look around a bit, you can't miss it," Zathract told them.
"Okay," Eve agreed. "What time?" Zathract thought.
"Well . . . we have to go to the Sanctuary in the morning, so . . ." Nixion groaned. He hated the Sanctuary.
"After lunchtime?" Eve suggested.
"Okay. See you tomorrow, then."
Nixion said nothing.
. . .
Parts Two and Three of the plan had gone exactly . . . well . . . to plan. Excellent. And nobody, so far, suspected a thing.
. . .
The former head vampire sat in his cell, looking at the walls. He'd already spent a long time gazing at the floor and then the ceiling, so the walls were all he had left.
He was nervous. Very nervous. The boss would not like this, not at all. He'd already heard the screams as people were pressed for information on previos visits to this place.
Whatever they were going to do to him, it was going to be horrible.
END OF CHAPTER TWO
Hope you like it!