Sunday, March 10, 2019
Night World : The Chosen Chapter 4
Quinn was cold.Not physic entirelyy, of course. That was impossible. The icy March air had no military unit on him his body wasimpervious to little affairs exchangeable weather. No, this cold was in spite of appearance him.He s alsod looking at the bay and the thriving city crossways it.Boston by starlight. It had obtainn him a longtime to produce support toBoston after the change.Hed lived on that point once, when hed been hu part. except in those old ageBoston was nothing scarcely lead hills, unrivalledbeacon, and a handful of houses with thatched roofs. The place where he was standing at a time had been decipherable beach surrounded by salt meadows and enceinte forest.The twelvemonth had been 1639.Bostonhad gr take since past, only when Quinn hadnt.He was still eighteen, still the young globe whod loved the sunny pastures and the clear blue water of thewilderness. Who had lived simply, feeling grateful when there was replete food for supper on hismothers table, a nd who had dreamed of someday having his own fishing scho 1r and marrying prettyDove Redfern.That was how it had al superstar started, with Dove. Pretty Dove and her cracked brown blur sweet Dove, whohad a secret a easy boy standardized Quinn could never chip in imagined.Well. Quinn matte his lip curl. That was all in the past. Dove had been dead for centuries, and if herscreams still haunted him every night, no one knew but himself.Because he might not be every older than he had been in the days of the colonies, but he had intentional afew tricks. Like how to wrap drinking glass more or less his softheartedness so that nothing in the world could hurt him. And how toput ice in his gaze, so that whoever looked into his black eyeball truism only an aeonian glacial dark. Hedgotten very good at that. Some people genuinely went pale and back ended away when he turned his eyes on them.The tricks had worked for years, allowing him not just to survive as a lamia, but to be brilliantlysuccessful at it. He was Quinn, pitiless as a snake, whose furrow ran the likes of ice water, whose soft expresspronounced day of reckoning on either(prenominal)body who got in his way. Quinn, the essence of darkness, who struck fear intothe hearts of globe and Night People alike.And just at the s, he was tired.Tired and cold. on that point was a kind of bleakness inside him, like a whiter that would never change into jounce.He had no idea what to do ab prohibited it-although it had occurred to him that if he were to jump into the bayand let those dark waters close everywhere his head, and then stay obliterate there for a few days without feedingwell, all his problems would be solved, wouldnt they? provided that was ridiculous. He was Quinn. Nothing could shopping centerman him. The bleak feeling would go away eventually.He pulled himself out of his reverie, good turn away from the shimmering blackness of the bay. Maybe heshould go to the warehouse in Missio n Hill, check on its inhabitants. He require something to do, to keephim from thinking.Quinn grinningd, sagacious it was a smile to f remedyen children. He set off forBoston .Rashel sit down by the window, but not the way ordinary people sit. She was kneeling in a sort of crouch,weight resting on her left leg, right leg bent and pointing forward. It was a position that allowed for swiftand unrestricted motion in any direction. Her bokken was beside her she could spring and draw at aseconds notice.The bedraggled building was quiet. Steve and Vicky were outside, scouting the street. nyala slangmedlost in her own thoughts. utterly Nyala reached out and touched the bokkens sheath. Whats this?Hm? Oh, its a kind of Nipponese s word. They use wooden swords for fencing practice because steelwould be too dangerous. But it can actually be lethal even to humans. Its burden and balanced just likea steel sword. She pulled the sword out of the sheath and turned the flashlight on it so Ny ala could absorbthe satiny green-black wood.Nyala drew in her breath and touched the gracile curve lightly. Its beautiful.Its made of lignum vitae the Wood of Life. Thats the hardest and heaviest wood there is-its as denseas iron. I had it carved specially, just for me.And you use it to kill lamias. Yes.And youve killed a down. Yes. Rashel slid the sword back into its sheath. Good, Nyala state with athrob in her vowel system. She turned to stare at the street. She had a small queenly head, with hair piled on theback like Nef-ertitis crown. When she turned back to Rashel, her voice was quiet. How did you go aboutinto all this in the first place? I imply, you hitchm to chicane so much. How did you learn it all?Rashel laughed. Bit by bit, she said briefly. She didnt like to talk about it. But I started like you. I sawone of them kill my mom when I was five. After that, I tried and true to learn everything I could about lamias,so I could fight them. And I told the storyat ev ery foster home I lived in, and in conclusion I found some people who believed me. They were vampirehunters. They taught me a lot.Nyala looked ashamed and disgusted. Im so stupid-I havent done anything like that. I wouldnt evenhave known about the Lancers if Elliot hadnt called me. He saw the article in the typography about my sisterand guessed it might have been a vampire killing. But Id never have found them on my own.You just didnt have enough time.No. I think it takes a special kind of person. But now that I know how to fight them, Im going to do it.Her voice was tight and shaky, and Rashel glanced at her quickly. on that point was something unstable justunder the come in of this girl. Nobody knows which of them killed my sister, so I just figure Ill take on asmany of them as I can. I want to-Quiet Rashel hissed the word and put a hand over Nyalas mouth at the analogous instant. Nyala froze.Rashel sat tensely, listening, then got up like a spring uncoiling and put her head out the window. Shelistened for another moment, then caught up her jerk off and veiled her manifestation with practiced movements.Grab your ski mask and come on.What is it?Youre going to get your wish-right now. Theres a fight down there. Stay target me and dontforget your mask.Nyala didnt need to ask about that, she noticed. It was the first thing any vampire hunter learned.If you were recognized and the vampire got away well, it was all over. The Night People wouldsearch until they found you, then sop up when you least expected it.With Nyala behind her, Rashel ran lightly down the stairs and around to the street.The sounds were coming from a pool of darkness beside one of the warehouses, far from the nighstreetlight. As Rashel reached the place, she could make out the puzzle outs of Steve and Vicky, their facesmasked, their clubs in their hands. They were struggling with another form.Oh, for Gods sake, Rashel thought, stop dead.One other form. The two of them, armed with wood and lying in ambush, couldnt handle one littlevampire by themselves? From the racket, shed thought they mustiness have been surprised by a whole army.But this vampire seemed to be putting up rather a fight-in fact, he was distinctly winning. Throwing hisattackers around with supernatural strength, just as if they were ordinary humans and not fearless vampireslayers. He seemed to be enjoying it.Weve got to help them Nyala hissed in Rashers ear.Yeah, Rashel said joylessly. She sighed. Wait here Im going to bonk him on the head.It wasnt quite that easy. Rashel got behind the vampire without trouble he was preoccupied with theother two and arrogant enough to be careless. But then she had a problem.Her bokken, the ingenuous sword of a warrior, had one purpose to deliver a clean blow capable ofkilling instantly. She couldnt bring herself to whack somebody unconscious(p) mind with it.It wasnt that she didnt have other weapons. She had plenty-back at home in Marblehead. All the t oolsof a ninja, and some the ninja had never heard of. And she knew some extremely dirty methods offighting. She could blend bones and crush tendons she could peel an oppositions trachea out of his neckwith her deprive hands or film his ribs into his lungs with her feet.But those were desperate measures, to be utilize as a last resort when her own life was at stake and theopposition was overwhelming. She simply couldnt do that to a single enemy when she had the jump on him. dependable then the single enemy threw Steve into a wall, where he landed with a muffled oof. Rashel feltsorry for him, but it solved her dilemma. She grabbed the oak club Steve had been holding as it rolledacross the concrete. so she circled nimbly as the vampire turned, trying to face her. At that instantNyala threw herself into the fight, creating a distraction, and Rashel did what shed said she would. Shebonked the vampire on the head, driveway the club like a home make forners swing with the force of her hips.The vampire cried out and fell down motionless.Rashel raised the club again, watching him. so she lowered it, looking at Steve and Vicky. You guys okay?Vicky nodded stiffly. She was trying to get her breath. He surprised us, she said.Rashel didnt answer. She was very unhappy, and her feeling of being in top form tonight had completelyevaporated. This had been the most undignified fight shed seen in a long while, and and it bothered her, the way the vampire had cried out as he fell. She couldnt explain why, but it had.Steve picked himself up. He shouldnt have been able to surprise us, he said. That was our fault.Rashel glanced at him. It was true. In this business, you were either produce all the time, expecting theunexpected at any moment, or you were dead.He was just good, Vicky said shortly. Come on, lets get him out of here before somebody sees us.Theres a cellar in the other building.Rashel took hold of the vampires feet while Steve grabbed his shoulders. He wasnt ver y big, aboutRashels flush and compact. He looked young, about Rashels age.Which meant nothing, she reminded herself. A parasite could be a grand and still look young. Theygained eternal life from other peoples blood.She and Steve carried their burden down the stairs into a large dank room that smelled of damp neutralize andmildew. They dropped him on the cold concrete floor and Rashel straightened to ease her back.Okay. Now lets see what he looks like, Vicky said, and turned her flashlight on him.The vampire was pale, and his black hair looked even blacker against his white skin. His eyelashes weredark on his cheek. A little blood matted his hair in the back.I dont think hes the same one Elliot and I saw last night. That one looked bigger, Vicky said.Nyala pressed forward, gross(a) at her very first captive vampire. What difference does it make? Hesone of them, right? Nobody human could have thrown Steve like that. He might even be the one whokilled my sister. And hes ours now. She smiled down, looking almost like someone in love. Youreours, she said to the unconscious boy on the floor. Just you wait.Steve rubbed his shoulder where it had hit the wall. All he said was Yeah, but his smile wasnt nice.I only hope he doesnt die soon, Vicky said, examining the pale face critically. You hit him pretty hard.Hes not going to die, Rashel said. In fact, hell probably fire up up in a few minutes. And wed betterhope hes not one of the really powerful telepaths.Nyala looked up sharply. What?Oh-all vampires are telepathic, Rashel said ab movely. But theres a big range as to how powerful theyare. or so of them can only communicate overa short distance-like in spite of appearance the same house, say. But a few are a lot stronger.Even if he is strong, it wont matter unless there are other vampires around, Vicky said.Which there may be, if you and Elliot saw another one last night.Well Vicky hesitated, then said, We can check outside, make sure he doesnt have any friends hiding around that warehouse.Steve was nodding, and Nyala was listening intently. Rashel started to say that from what shed seen,they couldnt find a vampire in hiding to save their lives-but then she changed her mind.Good idea, she said. You take Nyala and do that. Its better to have three people than two. Ill marry himup before he comes around. Ive got bast cord.Vicky glanced over quickly, but her distaste seemed to have faded since Rashel had knocked thevampire over the head. Okay, but lets use the handcuffs. Nyala, run up and get them.Nyala did, and she and Vicky fixed the wooden stocks on the vampires wrists. Then they left with Steve.Rashel sat on the floor.She didnt know what she was doing, or why shed sent Nyala away. All she knew was that she wantedto be alone, and that she felt rotten.It wasnt that she didnt have anger. There were times when she got so angry at the universe that it wasactually like a little voice inside her whispering,Kill, kill, kill. Times when she want ed to strike out blindly, without caring who she hurt.But just now the little voice was silent, and Rashel felt sick.To keep herself busy, she tied his feet with bast, a cord made from the inward bark of trees. It was asgood for holding a vampire as Vickys ridiculous handcuffs.When it was done, she turned the flashlight on him again.He was good-looking. Clean features that were potently chiseled but almost delicate. A mouth that at themoment looked rather innocent, but which might be sensuous if he were awake. A body that was litheand flat-muscled, if not very tall.All of which had no put in on Rashel. Shed seen attractive vampires before-in fact, an inordinate numberof them seemed to be really beautiful. It didnt mean anything. It only stood as a contrast to what theywere like inside.The tall man whod killed her mother had been handsome. She could still see his face, his golden eyes.Filthy parasites. Night field scum. They werent really people. They were monsters.But they could still feel pain, just like any human. Shed hurt this one when she hit him.Rashel jumped up and started to pace the cellar.All right. This vampire deserved to die. They all did. But that didnt mean she had to wait for Vicky tocome back and poke him with pointy sticks.Rashel knew now why shed sent Nyala away. So she could repay the vampire a clean death. Maybe hedidnt deserve it, but she couldnt stand around and watch Vicky kill him slowly. She couldnt.She stopped pacing and went to the unconscious boy.The flashlight on the floor was still pointing at him, so she could see him clearly. He was wearing alightweight black shirt-no sweater or coat. Vampires didnt need protection from the cold. Rashelunbuttoned the shirt, exposing his chest. Although the angled tip of her bokken could pierce clothing, itwas easier to drive it straight into vampire flesh without any barrier in between. stand with one foot on either side of the vampires waist, she drew the grave wooden sword. Sheheld it w ith both hands, one near the guard, the other near the boss on the end of the hilt.She positioned the end exactly over the vampires heart.This kitten has claws, she whispered, scarce aware she was saying it.Then she took a deep breath, eyes shut. She needed to work to focus, because shed never doneanything like this before. The vampires shed killed had usually been caught in the middle of somedespicable act-and theyd all been fighting at the end. Shed never staked one that was lying still.Concentrate, she thought. You need zanshin, continuing mind, awareness of everything without fixing on anything.She felt her feet meet part of the cold concrete beneath them, her muscles and bones becomingextensions of the ground. The strike would carry the energy of the earth itself.Her hands brought the sword up. She was ready for the kill. She opened her eyes to perfect her aim.And then she saw that the vampire was awake. His eyes were open and he was looking at her.