Chapter 7

Lugh crouched down on the corner of the tall office building roof, watching the goings on below him. With every ounce of his being he wanted to intervene, but he knew he couldn't. Below him he watched, with tears rolling down his face, as yet another kid, this one no more than ten, got grabbed by a group of vampires.

Without really thinking about it, he pulled the shadows around him both as a comfort and as a way of making sure he wasn't seen. The screams from the kid below cut through him, but he waited. He knew that no matter what happened, he couldn't save this little one from the fate that was before him, but he could make sure he knew the faces of the ones that did the deed, so he could avenge the child.

He watched for ten minutes as they slowly played with the kid. The kid had no chance; no matter how much he fought, he wouldn't have been able to fight off three adult vampires. These assholes just wanted to play with the kid and see how much spunk he had. Lugh had to smile as the kid had a lot more than he would have thought. Maybe, just maybe, he could figure out a way to save him.

The kid was still screaming, and Lugh tried to fight his instinct to go help him. It was rough, but he knew he had to. That was until the kid screamed out once more in pain. The kid's voice triggered a long buried memory in Lugh, a memory from long ago, back when he was still alive.

Before he even knew what he was doing, Lugh had jumped down off the top of the building, dropping to the alley below. Before he hit the ground, one of his spears left his hand. His aim was perfect as always, and before his feet hit the ground, the spear impaled one of the three vampires. With the amount of force that Lugh put behind his spear, it picked the vampire up off his feet, and before the vampire knew what happened, he was being held against the wall, the spear impaling him through his chest, through the vampire's heart.

Lugh drew his sword as he hit the ground and rolled. Springing up out of his tucked roll, his blade flashed out, and the head of the lead vampire flew off, ending up landing about fifteen feet away from the rest of him.

The third vampire was quick. He didn't try to fight Lugh; instead he turned and ran. Papers flew as the vampire used one of his extras to run faster than even Lugh could imagine. Instead of giving chase, Lugh pulled two of his very long knives, and calmly walked over to the first vampire. He was screaming in agony as he tried to pull the spear out of his chest, but it was buried deep into the building behind him, and with the vampire's heart totally destroyed, he didn't have the strength needed. Lugh sniggered for a moment as he thought about all the vampire stories he had read. In those stories, a stake through the heart would kill a vampire, but that's not how it works in real life. Destroying the heart of a vampire doesn't kill them instantly, but it does kill them...very slowly.

Reaching the vampire, Lugh very calmly cut his shirt off. Wanting to make sure they weren't disturbed, he took part of the shirt and crammed it into the vampire's mouth, effectively shutting him up. Grabbing his right wrist, Lugh pulled back, and impaled the first knife deep into the vampire's hand, sticking it to the wall. He then did the same with the left hand, making sure there was no way he could escape. "Don't move," Lugh said unnecessarily, as he turned his back to the vampire, and walked over to the kid that was lying on the ground crying.

He was about to bend over the boy when he heard a crash behind him. Spinning, bringing his sword back up, Lugh saw a body lying on the ground a few feet away... the body of the third vampire. "You missed one," he heard a young voice say, and his eyes snapped up and saw a small group of people walking towards him.

Stepping between the young boy and the group approaching, Lugh took a good look at them. Most of them were kids themselves, but he knew not to take appearances as gospel. He reached out slightly with his mind, and almost recoiled in shock. One of them, the smallest of them, had more power radiating from him than he had ever felt before in his life. Besides the young powerful kid, Lugh counted five other youths, and one large man. One look at the man, and Lugh knew he was dangerous, not as dangerous as the smallest, but very dangerous in his own right.

Not knowing what to make of the change in situation, Lugh was getting ready to grab the kid and run when yet another voice joined in. "Well, this is advantageous."

The small group that was walking up stopped dead in their tracks. All eyes shifted to the side of the alley way where an old oriental man walked out of the shadows. "Master?" Lugh and the youngest, most powerful of the approaching group said at the same time, shocked, their eyes snapped to each other, then back to the old man again.

"It appears as if I no longer need to arrange a meeting between you two," the old man said smiling as he looked at the group. "Young Master Christopher, after Runi heals him, would you be so kind as to see to our injured friend?" He then looked at Lugh. "You need not fear these ones. They are friends."

Lugh nodded and relaxed. He quickly turned and knelt beside the boy that he had just rescued. Perhaps it was lucky that the young boy was unconscious. Lugh looked up as two of the younger ones in the group came over to the boy. One of them was fully human, Lugh could tell, while the other one was the boy who Lugh could tell was no mere boy nor half life like some others he'd seen.

The younger one took one look at the injured boy and spoke softly, yet still loud enough to be heard. "Samson, bring me the one that is still alive."

Runi looked over at the newcomer and smiled. Immediately, Runi knew that this was someone who was trained military. It wasn't just the military style haircut that this person's dirty blond hair was in, but also the way he held himself. Looking back down at the boy, Runi frowned as Samson dumped the still living vampire next to him.

Runi looked back at the man called Lugh and spoke softly. "Excuse me, please... I need to heal the young one."

Lugh nodded and backed off. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the young boy, Runi, he had heard his Master call him, place one of his hands on the young boy's forehead, and then one on the vampire's forehead. In a split second, the boy was completely healed, while the vampire suddenly looked as if he'd been beaten. "Damn... now THAT is useful!" Lugh gasped.

Runi looked up and all he had to do was grin. "I also made it so that the boy would have untroubled dreams, and not wake till tomorrow evening."

Lugh nodded and smiled. "Thanks." He then turned to the old man... who was no longer there. "You know, I hate it when he does that."

Runi burst out laughing as he glanced over to see what Lugh was looking at. "He does have a way about him, does he not?"

Lugh smiled and nodded, then looked around at the group. Slowly he reached his hand out to the small boy. "My name is Lugh. I am guessing we are going to get to know each other."

"It does appear that way. If Master was trying to get us together, I know he had a good reason for it. I learned long ago that it is best to just do as he suggests... it is less painful that way." Runi broke out in laughter, which Lugh shared.

When the laughter faded, Runi turned to his group, and started the introductions. After he was done, Lugh was somewhat shocked. "No disrespect meant, but... you are running with two humans... I figured the council would not allow something like that." His confusion intensified when every member of the group started laughing.

Once Runi calmed enough to speak, he grinned at the man and spoke in a soft dangerous voice. "I will explain more later; however, let me just say. The Tri-state council met for the final time last night. It ended when I permanently disbanded the entire council. It's hard to be the council when every single one of them was executed... by me."

Lugh's jaw hit the ground and again everyone else was chuckling. Chris, the younger of the two full humans giggled out. "If you think that's bad, ask him how old he is!"

Lugh turned to Runi with a question in his eyes, not really knowing if he wanted to know the answer. He had run across some powerful vampires in his time and had felt how powerful they were. However, compared to Runi, they all seemed almost insignificant. "Lets just say I got my training from Master Takamora before the Christian Jesus was said to have been born," Runi grinned.

"Holy shit," Lugh breathed in utter disbelief. "How?!?! I mean I heard that I might be able to live to see a couple hundred, but no one I ever talked to knew of anyone living more than a thousand years."

Runi stood up and turned to look at Lugh. "No offense intended, sir; however, until such time as we get to know each other better, I will leave that as my secret. Now, since Master has trained you as well, that is a huge plus in my book." Without waiting for a response, Runi turned to Chris, and pointed to the young boy, who was now simply sleeping on the ground. "Why don't you take him back to the house?" Runi then turned to David. "Call the driver and ask him to come get them. We will wait here till he gets here.

Dave simply nodded, pulled out a cell phone and made the call. Within two minutes, the car pulled into the driveway. Runi looked confused at Dave, also known as Talon, who explained. "He asked if he should have the car close by in case we needed anything. So I've been telling him where we are at."

Runi smiled warmly at them. "Good thinking." Lugh knelt down next to the boy and gently ran his hand through the boy's dark spiky hair. He said a silent prayer of thanks that this kid, who could not have been more than ten or eleven, would not have to deal with being a vampire. Carefully he picked the boy up, and helped place him in the back of the car, while Chris jumped in on the other side. Once the car was gone, Lugh turned around to face the rest of the group, and their powerful little leader.

"So now what?" he asked with a bit of force in his voice.

"Well first off, I guess I should ask why you were following this group. I have a feeling our goals are similar in nature." Runi stated confidently.

Lugh debated it for a few moments, then decide that if Master trained this kid, then he could trust him. "I noticed this group about a week ago when I stumbled upon them kidnapping a young woman. I didn't think much about it at first, 'cause I figured they were just getting food. But then I saw them do it again three more times since then. They always grabbed young pretty young boys and women. I had decided I was going to follow them tonight and see where they were taking the people. But then I saw it was just a kid. I tried, but I couldn't stand by and watch it happen, even though it meant blowing my cover. I just couldn't stand watching a kid that age getting hurt like that... it just ain't right."

Runi nodded with a smile. He had read the man's mind when they first got there. He just wondered if the man would be truthful to him, and he was. Perhaps it was time to bring yet another into his small group. "Thank you for being truthful with me. One secret you will find that the Elders guard jealously is that older vampires can read the minds of younger ones. I knew the truth before you spoke it." Runi could tell by the look on the man's face that he was getting a bit staggered, so he changed the topic. "How would you feel about joining us in a hunt?" Runi asked Lugh, who cocked his head to the side in a questioning manner.

"Go on."

"It's simple really. We have caught and questioned the leader of the group that you were following. He was 'kind enough' to give us all the information about his operations. We were on our way to shut them down... permanently." Runi's grin was positively feral as he spoke.

Lugh looked slightly confused, first at the young boy, then to the rest of the group. Finally his eyes settled on Colt. When he started to speak, his eyes did not leave Colt, even though his words were directed at Runi. "Please accept my apologies; however, I'm worried about bringing a full human into such a situation." He chose his words carefully. He could only imagine how powerful Runi was; he didn't want to offend him. However, he also knew that many half lives would be prone to making the same mistakes as they would have in life, such as being over-confident, and not really grasping that they were not totally invincible, even now that they were vampires.

Even though the question was asked of Runi, Colt was the one who answered. "Sir, you don't have to worry 'bout me. I'm only here to help out with any full humans we come across. Also, Samson here has offered to make sure I come through this okay."

Lugh slowly looked from person to person, first sizing up the huge man known as Samson. Standing next to him, Jennifer. Lugh could tell by the way they gently touched each other every once in a while, there was something going on between the two of them.

Next was the teen named Talon. Lugh had heard his name was Dave, but was also told he preferred to be called Talon. Knowing exactly how it felt to have taken a new name, Lugh simply nodded, accepting the name as the kid's new persona. Looking over the kid now, Lugh thought that this kid had better have a good extra, or he was gonna get hurt.

Next to Talon was a half-life that Lugh could easily tell was still very new to the darkness. His name was Duncan, and while Lugh knew he was probably so new that he had not had the chance to figure out his extra yet, he could tell by the determination in his eyes that he would be okay, hopefully.

Then his eyes fell on the smallest of the group. Thinking back to what he said, Lugh thought, 'so you can read my mind?'

It was almost as if Lugh could feel Runi come into his mind. 'Yes, I am here.' He heard the young voice in his mind, even though he knew the boy's mouth did not move.

'I have one question that I need answered.' Lugh thought to Runi, and after seeing him simply nod, Lugh asked it. 'What are your plans for the people that we rescue?'

'First, you must be made aware of what is going on there,' Runi said with anger simmering in his voice. 'The people that have been taken, children and young women, were being used as sex slaves. Having grown up the way that I did, I have little problem with that. However, it is what else is happening there that has caused me to order the death of all those involved.' Lugh was almost forced to take a step back as he saw the fire in the young boy's eyes. 'They have forced those they have taken to become as we are, simply so that they would be able to handle the abuse of humans who enjoy hurting others.'

Lugh saw red, that's the best way to describe what happened to him. "Why are we waiting?" He sniggered while his fangs dropped, and his eyes flashed red.

Runi grinned at him, and turned to walk out of the alley; Lugh paused for a moment to pick up one of his weapons, and moved out after him. Before they hit the main road, Lugh had all his weapons tucked back into their hiding places. He wasn't sure what the future would bring, but he knew this much. He would be able to exact some revenge for those kids who had been hurt recently. With everything else that had happened in his life, and all the regrets he had because of that, he knew that his next action would give him no regrets at all.

No one spoke as they walked down the dark deserted streets. Lugh knew that everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Two blocks gave way to three, then a turn down an alley way, and four more blocks passed by before a word was spoken.

"We are almost there. From what I know of the place, they have made this very easy for us. There is only one way in or out. Once inside, we must secure both the second floor and the basement. The second floor is where the 'customers' will be active with their purchases. The basement is where the cages are held. Expect there to be eight male children under the age of fifteen; four female children, also under the age of fifteen; and four female adults, ranging in age from sixteen to thirty-two." He paused, making sure that everyone was with him so far. "Colt, Duncan; you are to stay with me at all times, and do exactly what I tell you. Samson, you will take Talon, Jennifer, and Lugh. You will all take the upstairs while I go downstairs. Any who attack you are to die; vampire or human, if they fight they die." Again he paused, making sure he got nods of understanding. Once they had, he continued with his instructions. "Any humans you can subdue, please do. There's no reason to waste our food, and these people are now on the menu. All the slaves are to be left subdued, if they are, until we have cleared the building."

By this point, they were standing in the shadows watching a building that had a large vampire standing in front of a door that everyone could tell was very secure. "Any questions?" Runi asked one last time.

"Just one." Talon spoke softly. He was ready for a fight, and for once he was going to use his abilities in a way that he wanted, not the way someone else demanded. "How are we going to get in?"

Runi gave him a half smirk and started to walk towards the door. "I shall knock."

Duncan gave him a weird look, but quickly ran to catch up. Just about the time that the large man in front of the door noticed them, Runi whispered something under his breath, and threw his hands out. All of his companions would swear they saw actual sound waves fly out of his hands and strike the man a brief second before it hit the building.

Without missing a step, Runi continued walking towards the new door that he just made. Where the door had been, was now a hole that was over ten feet wide. As they stepped through the entryway, Duncan couldn't help but look around for the guard, but could find absolutely no sign of him anywhere.

Duncan watched in fascination as the fighting started. As soon as they walked through the doorway, people started to attack. Runi was the first one through the door, but so far he had not had to lift a finger in the fight, as the first person that attacked Runi was intercepted by Samson, who had pulled a sword from somewhere, and before the guy knew what was going on, his head flew away from his body.

The next guy, who came running full speed, was suddenly lifted off his feet and thrown backwards, with Lugh's spear sticking out of the middle of his chest. Duncan knew enough about anatomy to guess that the spear went right through the vampire's heart.

Having never been in a fight before, Duncan found it weird the track his mind was going in. He was watching everything, just in case he had to try and defend himself, but everything was so very clear, almost as if it were in slow motion. But even more than that, he was noticing things he never would have expected before. The thing that stuck out the most to him was the fact that Runi never slowed his walk down. He always kept moving at the same deliberate pace. However, the four fighters in the group were moving faster than he would have thought someone could possibly move. Between Talon, Samson, Lugh and Jennifer, they were like a rolling tide of death that swept away anything that seemed to get into Runi's way.

One of the other strange things Duncan saw was Talon. Since he didn't know much about fighting, Duncan thought there might be a reason, but he just couldn't understand why Talon was sometimes allowing himself to get hit. Never was it a critical blow, but of all of them, he seemed to be the one taking the most damage by the people that were attacking them. Then Duncan started to notice something strange; it was almost like a buzz of electricity starting to form around Talon. Every time he got hit, the buzzing got stronger. Duncan saw the buzzing get to the point that Talon was almost vibrating, when all of a sudden, someone ran right at Talon with a raised weapon of some sort. Talon rolled forward to get inside the reach of the weapon, and hit the guy square in the chest. Duncan thought for a moment that a bomb went off when Talon hit the guy. Most of the guy went flying backwards, but there was a huge hole in the man's chest. If it weren't for the fighting go on around them, Duncan might have stopped to stare.

Finally they reached the stairs. With a slight nod from Runi, Jennifer, Samson, Lugh and Talon ran up the stairs, while Runi, Colt, and Duncan started to descend. Duncan watched as Colt reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rod. With a flick of his wrist, the rod grew quickly until it was the size of a quarterstaff. Colt had never came across as someone that was a fighter. Duncan looked to Runi, who seemed just as confused as he was, but at the end of the stairway was the first person to charge them. What Colt did made Duncan's jaw drop even further than the surprise of the quarterstaff.

The second the guy ran at the trio, the staff in Colt's hand flashed out, and with three quick hits, the vampire was on the ground. Duncan assumed he was dead since both Runi and Colt just stepped over him and continued into the entryway. The hallway only went one way, so to the left they turned. Turning the last corner, Duncan stopped suddenly at seeing almost ten big guys standing there blocking their path.

Runi grinned as he pulled out a set of wicked looking curved blades, speaking softly. Duncan heard the words roll off Runi's tongue, but what shocked him was the fact that, while it was obviously spoken in Runi's original language, Duncan understood exactly what he said. "It is time for you to meet Ra, and enjoy 'HIS' embrace!"

However, even before Runi could do anything, Colt pressed the attack. Duncan stayed back, trying to stay out of the way of the fighting. He was absolutely amazed as he watched Colt duck and dodge while striking out with his staff. He wasn't sure he saw what he actually did, but watching closely, he saw that every time Colt got hit, there was a slight flash of light at the spot he got hit, and, whatever it was, it stopped a majority of the damage that could have happened. Duncan could tell by the many small cuts on Colts body, that this shield, or whatever it was, hadn't stopped everything, but it had stopped most of it.

After there were only three bad guys left, Runi actually stepped back, and was letting Colt take care of them. Duncan ran up next to Runi and said quietly, "I thought he didn't know how to fight?!"

"As far as he has said, he doesn't. But I do recognize the fighting style. It seems that Colt holds many surprises," Runi said with a smile, then with a quick snap of his hand, he sent one of his knives flying towards one of the bad guys, who had snuck around Colt and was about to try and run him through. However, the knife and Colt's staff hit the guy at about the same time. Runi's knife imbedded itself deep into the man's chest, piercing his heart, while the butt of Colt's staff hit the man right in the throat, crushing it.

Colt pulled his staff back while looking for other bad guys. Not seeing any, he turned and looked at Runi with a shy smile. Runi's grin was the only response he gave; however, Duncan couldn't help himself. "Holy shit, Colt! Where did you learn to do that?!"

Colt grinned and was about to respond when another group of bad guys came charging down the hallway. Colt spun to face them, but immediately dropped to the floor as he heard Runi's voice inside his head command him to drop. With no more than a thought, Runi's whirlwind of death flew down the hallway, picking up debris and bodies from the earlier fight. In less than the blink of an eye, Runi's extra decimated half a dozen vampires.

Colt jumped back to his feet and looked at Runi. Seeing the boy he loved shaking his head with sadness, Colt finally started to understand Runi. While he would never hesitate to kill if he felt it was needed, he did not like doing it.

"Let's get moving," Runi said quietly as he took the lead. They moved from room to room, finding all of them empty. That was until they made it to the last room. Runi opened the door and looked inside. Immediately, he stopped Colt and Duncan from entering the room. Peering over the smaller boy's shoulder, Colt saw that there was a boy of maybe eleven or twelve years old in the room. Colt could tell that the boy's hair was a brilliant white color that matched perfectly with is pale skin and freckles that splattered across his face. When the boy looked at the group in the doorway, Colt saw the softest blue eyes he had even seen in a human before.

The problem with this boy was simple for Colt: it was the fangs that were in the boy's mouth, and the blood that covered his face, and most of his naked chest. The boy was sitting on the ground cradling the body of a boy who was obviously already dead. Colt couldn't help but gasp as he looked at the dead boy. It was an identical match to the boy who was crying over his body. What made matters so much worse were the obvious bite marks in the dead boy's neck.

The boy had tears flowing from his eyes as he looked back down at the body of his brother. He looked back up to the three standing in the door way, and begged them in a sobbing voice. The words would haunt Colt and Duncan until they day they die. Never before had Colt heard someone in so much pain and despair. "Please... please let me die too!" The words were barely above a whisper, but all three boys heard them.

Runi looked into the boy's mind. It didn't take more than a second for Runi to find out what was needed. Slowly he drew his sword and took a step forward. Both Duncan and Colt reached out to stop Runi, but stopped with their hands still in midair. Runi shared what he saw in the boy's mind with both of them. All three of them knew this boy would find a way to die as soon as he possibly could. Runi was making sure his death was as painless as possible.

They saw the boy who refused to feed for the first time, refused to go out and hunt like a vampire should. The memories showed the boy's captors locking him in a room, then laughing as they threw his twin brother into the room with him, knowing full well the 'hunger' would eventually take him, and no matter how hard he fought, he would eventually feed, killing his twin brother.

Runi started to chant under his breath in ancient Egyptian, so Duncan leaned close to Colt and translated what he heard.

"Lord Anubis has heard your plea and will grant your wish. I am bestowing His grace upon you, and remanding your souls to Anubis's keeping. May your time in the Afterlife make you more content than your life has been in this life."

Colt and Duncan both turned their backs as the boy moved away from the body of his brother and knelt in front of Runi, tears still pouring down his face. He still held his brother's hand as Runi raised the sword high. He was waiting for the boy to give him the signal that he was ready, and patiently, Runi waited. The boy closed his eyes for a few moments, then opened them, and with tears still spilling from his eyes, the boy nodded.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

Roland has done it now! What a thriller here! What on earth is going on and what is going to happen next? Who is this Lugh, where did he come from? Why does Master Takamora want Runi and Lugh to meet?

Where did Colt learn to fight, for goodness sakes! How cool was that! Also, what was that force field around him? Where did it come from, or more precisely, what did Runi do to protect Colt?

So many questions, now we just need answers. Darn, Roland, please get to writing and let us know!

This is such a great story I want more!

Well, that is it for now from your friendly neighborhood editing Boxer!