EPISODE SIX
A Thousand Tears Fall

 


I might have been able to use this one, maybe if he had shown up a week ago. But now...

He looked down on the young turn who had stumbled upon their operation. The kid had done well for being on his own, his clothes were clean, he didn't have the look of one who was half starved and on the edge of going Rogue, he had managed to feed himself. Smart this one. I could use more like him. Pity.

The time had come however. His final gambit, his end game to bring the Order down once and for all. The excitement of the moment had his body feeling more alive than it had since the last time. Last time... that had been a mistake, he saw that now. He had moved too soon. Half his lieutenants were too green, they didn't have the training and motivation of the others. It was his own mistake of keeping Etienne and his older children with him rather than leaving them to evacuate his army that had cost him his victory. It won't happen again. This time... wait... what?!


His gaze had wandered down to the boys boots. Boots that looked very familiar. Silently he crouched down and moved the cuff of the boys jeans up. Merde! Near the top of the boot was a space where a hidden knife could be sheathed. No! This isn't happening, this can't be happening! His excitement of a moment ago was shattered. Fear and anger and hatred washed over him. Gritting his teeth he threw his senses outward, through the tunnels, across the yard, down the streets and into the warehouses that surrounded them. Nothing. He took a few deep breaths and did it again. Still nothing.

He looked down at the sleeping boy again. Could it be... could he really have just stumbled upon this place on his own? As he regained control of his pounding heart, he realized it did not matter. In fact... yes... a cruel smile curled his lips.


He called his lieutenants into the office.

"There's been a change of plans. If the children are hungry, they will feed. We no longer need the cattle."


"But... wait, don't we need them... as bait? Isn't that why we got them?" Etienne asked, his confusion obvious.

He ground his teeth at the insolence of being questioned. The boy should know better by now.


Still, he felt the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth again.

"No. We have better bait now. The boy. He is a brother of the Order!"

 


John stumbled as he was pushed out the door of his cell, still groggy from whatever they had drugged him with. At some point in the day the Quiet One had come back with what John had thought was a straw, until a dart was suddenly dangling from his neck. In seconds everything had gone black. Now they led him down the dank collidor and out to where the humans were penned.


Preppy was waiting there with someone else. The male was... average. Average height, average build, not handsome but not ugly... forgettable... except for his eyes. John shivered as he felt himself being pulled into their green depths. Looking away took all his willpower. A low chuckle echoed off the walls.

"You have a choice... warrior."

John felt the gasp trying to crawl up his throat and desperately swallowed it down.

"Warrior? I... I don't know what that means... I..."

"Please, do not waste my time with denials. Your boots. They have a sheath for a hidden dagger. I have seen them before... on the feet of the warriors of the Order of the Blood Dagger." The males lips curled into a smile. "Now, as I was saying, you have a choice. Tell me where the Orders new compound is, or watch these humans die."


A woman in her thirties was dragged from the pen.

"This is Margary. Marg to her friends, of whom she has many. She has a husband too, and children. Two girls ages seven and four. Pretty little things. Sad little things since mommy disappeared. I will ask you this one last time, where is the new compound!"


John's head pounded. This can't be happening! How can I... I can't but... The fear it the room had become suffocating, making it difficult to think clearly. They mean to destroy the compound, the Order! If that happens... who will stop the Rogues? He looked at the dozen or so humans in the pen. I save them, I betray my friends and probably get them killed. And humans... many more humans will die, thousands... but... Tears were streaming from the woman Margary's eyes.

"I... I can't... I... can't make that choice... no..."


"No? You say no, to me?" John didn't miss how Preppy boy was inching away from them. Those green eyes, so calm and reasonable a moment ago were now spilling over with hatred. Insane, he thought to himself. This guy is completely insane.

"Very well! You do not wish to decide, then I will make it for you. Children!"

Out of the corners of his eyes John could make out movement behind him.

"My children... Feed!"


Suddenly others he hadn't seen before were rushing past him into the pen and humans were being dragged out. Green Eyes had tossed the woman Margary to a female.


Warm blood trickled down his face as he watched the female tear into Margary's throat. No. No! He wanted to move, to fight, but every muscle in is body had turned to stone. Shock, I'm in shock. As the thought crossed his mind he felt control return to his body... and fought.

 


"Oooooohhmmmm... ooooohhmmm..." Quinn fought for half a second to keep the laughter that was tickling his lips from spilling out... then lost. "This is sooooo stupid" he muttered between chuckles. He had been sitting here trying to 'calm his mind, like a leaf floating on a peaceful pond' for what felt like hours, and still had no clue if he was doing it right or not. Probably not, since he kept thinking about shit, like how Hunter had been stomping around the compound all day like a caged lion, and how now no one would look him in the eye... and that hideous floral shirt he had seen in Dante's closet, what was up with that? And John, where was he?

Quinn felt all the guilt in the world press down on him. I shouldn't have seen that, shouldn't even know... He could see his roommates face in his mind, the confusion and fear. And then he was looking down at his fingers, which were covered in... blood?


The pain that ripped through Quinn's mind knocked him backwards, but this time he kept his eyes closed. This time he knew what was happening... and let it.

Strong hands had taken hold of his arms, but he was fighting none the less. Fighting with the fear and anger and guilt to fuel him. Yet it was no good. All his training and hard work meant nothing to the two males who slammed him to the ground. They were just so much stronger! He didn't give up though, even as one held him down and the other rained blows down, he tried, but to no avail. They're too strong... I can't... The thoughts whispered through Quinn's mind. I should have gone into that back room... my fault...


Darkness swept over the vision and Quinn snapped back to himself. He jumped to his feet, shaking off the feeling of helplessness from being held down by those two men.

"John! Shit!" He knew he had been in John's mind again, but it had been different. Before, in the firing range, the vision had been more fuzzy around the edges, the voices like they were an echo. This had been crystal clear, like he was truly there. And John's thoughts... that back room...

"I have to tell Ash..."


Quinn only had his door open a crack, but it was enough. He closed it quietly and pressed his back to the wall.

No! The brief couple of seconds played out in his mind again and again: Nathaniel leaving Ash's bedroom, Ash watching from his doorway, a smile on his lips.


No matter how many times Quinn had told himself to forget about Nathaniel he just couldn't let go of that last scrap of hope that maybe... But he had known. Something had told him the beautiful warrior and Ash were more than just brothers of the Order, that they meant something more to each other, something special. And now he knew. As much as it hurt, he let his hope fall away.


When all was quiet in the hall he slipped out and made his way to the war room where he found Gideon and Dante discussing something on a computer monitor.

"Guys, I... I had another vision... of John."

"Seriously?" Gideon looked up from his chair. "What did you see?"

Quinn told them everything, including how it had felt different and the thoughts he had heard this time.

"The back room," Dante scratched his neck looking puzzled. "That could only be the club... but that was just the other night. He's been here since then, so how...?"


"It wasn't a memory, not this time anyways." Gideon said, unable to hide the concern in his voice. "You connected with him in real time, which means our little brother is in trouble. BIG trouble. Quinn, we need details of the place he was in, the room, the smell, the sounds, everything."

"Um...," Quinn closed his eyes and pulled the memory out of his mind and went through it piece by piece. "The smell is easy, damp, dirt, water... I can see water too, in some kind of cement canal or something... but we're underground for sure so that doesn't make sense... and blood... so much blood!" He felt the panic surging up in him again.


"OK Quinn, just relax." Dante placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's gotta be an industrial area then. That's a good start. I'll get Ash and..."


Dante's eyes had fixed on something behind Quinn. Looking over his shoulder he saw Hunter standing in the doorway. The warrior looked about ready to kill someone. Without a word he turned and stomped off down the hall.


"Hunter no! Damn it!" Dante started to follow but Gideon grabbed his arm.

"Just let him go my man. You saw his eyes and you know how pointless it is to talk to him when he gets that way." Gideon's mouth turned up in a crooked smile. "Besides, if Hunter finds those guys first... well I know I wouldn't want to be them. Come on, you go get Ash and Quinn and I will start working on a search grid of all the industrial areas that may have underground facilities."

Quinn watched Dante leave the room and turn down the hall in the opposite direction Hunter had taken. We're coming John. Just hang on brother.

 


A brother of the Order? Etienne was finding it hard to believe.

"Why did you join them?"

"Huh?" The kids eyes didn't leave the spot on the wall he had been examining for the last half hour.

"The Order. By rights you should be dead. Why did they let you live?"


The kid looked over at him then.

"Why wouldn't they? I was an orphan and they were looking for new recruits." His shoulders made an almost imperceptible shrug. "They chose me."

That made no sense, the kid had to be lying. Monseiur Blanc had shown Etienne again and again how new turns without a sire to feed them went Rogue. So he clearly couldn't have been an orphan. Besides, the Order killed orphans, before they could turn Rogue. Why would they recruit what they kill?

"You say you were an orphan when the Order found you. So what happened to your sire?"

"My what?" The kid looked truly confused, but...

"When you turned, the vampire who gave you their blood so you wouldn't go Rogue..." The kid was now looking at him like he was nuts.

"I don't know what your talking about. I've never fed on one of us, just donors and... that first time..." he squirmed uncomfortably. "I've only fed on humans."


Etienne was getting angry now. Why is he lying? Doesn't he see his situation is hopeless? And why, why lie about this? Maybe he wants to hide who his sire was? But why would that matter? Without the blood of another vampire the kid would have turned Rogue. Does he really think I'm that stupid? Well there's one way to know for sure...

"You lie."


Before the kid could react Etienne grabbed his wrist and bit in. The familiar explosion of pleasure washed over him, making his body come alive with sensation. Then faces appeared in his mind, a pretty dark skinned girl, before that an older blonde woman, and... a man... no, two men...


Etienne let go of the kids arm and backed away.

"Impossible!" His stomach twisted in a knot. Human, all of them... impossible, but... But Etienne's gift for reading blood had never been wrong. One sip and he could see every donor, human or vampire. The kid hadn't lied. He has never fed on vampire blood, never had a sire! Everything Monseiur Blanc had told him said this was impossible. Everything...

The knot in Etienne's stomach turned to lead as a cold dread filled him. If the kid isn't lying, about any of it, then...