Vampire Breed, page 36part #4 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
“No! Not ever!” Seth roared at him. “I took the blame for you – I’ve done what any father would do for their son, but now you are on your own. ”
“But it isn’t just your life that I’ve saved,” Nik barked. “I’ve come with some news – news that could end all of this today. ”
Hearing this, I went to Nik, and said, “What news? What are you talking about?”
“The invisible man,” he started, “the one who’s behind all of this has made a mistake. He’s visiting a site not too far away from here. He wants to oversee the site the Vampyrus are building to stage their attack against the humans. ”
Isidor and Kayla came rushing over, and Seth stopped dead in his tracks and looked back at his son.
“How do you know this?” I asked him.
Looking at his father than back at me, he said, “I tortured two of the Vampyrus that had come to prepare the way for him. I’m sorry father, but it was the only way. I had to kill them. ”
Seth grunted and looked at his son. “Go on, what else do you know?”
“Not much,” Nik said. “Only that he is coming above ground. I know where he is going to be, so this is our chance to take him and end this today. ”
“Where is this site?” I asked him.
“About two miles from here,” Nik said. “It’s set between two mountains. ”
“We should wait for Potter to return,” I said.
“It will be too late by then,” Nik said, looking at me. “We only have one shot at this. ”
“I don’t know…” I started.
“If no one is going to rip my throat out for speaking,” Seth said and glanced at Kayla, “I think Nik is right. We should go now and end this. Look on the bright side, once this is all over, you’ll never have to see me or my kind again. ”
“I hate to agree with him,” Isidor said, “But I think he’s right. We should go – it might be the only chance we ever have of defeating this invisible man. ”
“Elias Munn,” I said.
“Who?” Kayla asked.
“That’s his real name,” I said looking at them. “That’s what this invisible man is really called. Whether he still goes by that name now, I don’t know – but his true name is Elias Munn. ”
“How do you know that?” Kayla asked me.
“Ravenwood wrote it in that message he left for me,” I explained.
“What else did he say?” Isidor said.
“I’ll tell you another time,” I said. Changing the subject, I looked at Nik, “How long will it take to get to this place between the mountains? Remember, there’s a storm blowing out there and we’re vulnerable in the open from Vampyrus attacks during daylight. ”
“We don’t have to travel above ground,” Nik woofed.
“How come?” Kayla asked him.
“There’s a tunnel that leads right from this facility to the site,” he barked. Then turning to Seth, he added, “See, father, I haven’t let you down this time. ”
“We’ll see,” Seth almost seem to sneer.
On hearing Nik mention the tunnel, I remembered the diagrams I’d seen on the computer disc. There had been a tunnel leading away from the facility but it didn’t show where it ended. Looking back at the opening, I hoped that perhaps I might see Potter heading out across the fields, but all I could see was snow. Potter told me to go straight to The Hollows, but he hadn’t known about Elias Munn making a visit to a site that was only two miles from here. If Potter were here, he wouldn’t have wasted the opportunity to attack Munn while he was vulnerable.
Looking at the others, I said, “Okay, what are we waiting for? Let’s get moving. ”
The entrance to the tunnel lay hidden under a mountain of rubble in the basement beneath the hangar. There was a ladder that led down into utter darkness, which didn’t pose a problem to me, but the others wouldn’t have been able to see their own hand in front of their faces. Isidor found some torches in a workshop at the rear of the hangar and shared them out.
Holding onto the ladder, I climbed down into the hole. At the bottom, just like Nik had said, was a tunnel. It was high enough for us to stand up in, although Seth had to walk stooped forward so as not to strike his head against the roof.
Torchlight splashed across the walls of the tunnel as we followed it. The sound of water dripping could be heard all around us, as well as the noise of rats scurrying around at our feet. We hadn’t gone far when Nik snatched one of the rats between his jaws and swallowed it. My skin crawled at the sound of the rat’s bones crunching and snapping between Nik’s mighty jaws.
After some time, I could just make out a pinprick of white in the distance. Speeding up, we rushed on, knowing that the end of the tunnel was now in sight. We found another set of ladders, and switching off our torches, we started to climb. We found ourselves at the edge of a tree line. Hiding amongst the trees, I could see a large, open area spread between the feet of two mountains. The area was uncovered and searchlights flooded the ground beneath the darkening sky. Snow fell all about us.
Kayla yanked my arm and we squatted by the base of a large tree. “What now?” she asked.
Peering into the distance, I could see some rocks jutting from the uneven ground. “Let’s make our way over to those rocks. It will give us cover while we take a closer look. ”
The snow was falling so heavily, I hoped it would offer us some camouflage as we made our way across the open ground to the rocks.
“Are you ready?” I asked the others as I looked back at them. Even though we were sheltered by trees, flurries of snow had still managed to cover them, and they sat looking at me, shivering. Seth had his baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, and its beak was covered white. Nik’s fur was silver-white and it was hard to distinguish what was his coat and what was snow.
Facing front again, I said, “C’mon, let’s go. ”
With the wind screaming all around us and our clothes pulled tight, we hunkered down and made our way across the bleak, open area towards the rocks. It seemed to take forever, and by the time we had reached our new hiding place, my hands were numb and almost purple in colour. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so cold and I couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering. The clouds above us were black and they lumbered across the sky shedding their snow and turning the day into night.
We peeked over the lip of the rock and stared in disbelief at what lay in the valley set between the mountains. There were hundreds of vampires shuffling back and forth. Not only could we see vampires, but to our shock, we could also see row upon row of humans and a handful of Vampyrus keeping watch over them. From our hiding place, we could see a gigantic crater in the ground at the centre of the valley. All around this huge hole were trucks, which trundled back and forth full of stone, rock, and earth. I could see humans – some as young as about ten – were manacled at the feet and joined together in a huge chain-gang. They looked pale, undernourished, and exhausted. I wondered how long it had been since they had last eaten or rested.
For as far as I could see, there were rows of people tied together with heavy chains, digging mindlessly at the rock that surrounded the crater. I watched as some of the people collapsed to the ground, too weary to stand up again. Seeing this, a Vampyrus would step from the side, yank the human from the ground, and toss it to the vampires to feed on.
“Looks like they’ve got somebody else to do the dirty work,” Isidor said bitterly.
Kayla made a move away from our hiding place, and I yanked at her arm.
“Don’t, Kayla, you’ll be seen!” I whispered.
“I just want to get a better look, that’s all,” She complained.
There was a line of military-type trucks parked nearby. “Okay, we’ll move closer, but be careful,” I warned.
We headed towards the trucks. We virtually crawled along on our bellies, and, on reaching o
With my heart racing in my chest like a trip hammer, I peeked from beneath the truck. There were chains hanging from some sort of pulley, which was fixed high above the centre of the crater. Attached to these chains were large metal bathtubs. One end of these chains disappeared down into the hole and the others were fed via the pulley to a large metal wheel that was being turned slowly by a group of mindless-looking humans. I could see the wheel they were forcing around was very heavy. Even though ten of them had been employed to turn it, their eyes were nearly bursting from their skulls under the strain of pushing it.
As they turned the wheel, more of the metal bathtubs were fed down into the hole while others rose from it. These were full of more rocks and earth. When they reached the surface they tilted upwards, emptied and went back around again. The pile of rocks were then shovelled up by the humans and loaded into the back of the trucks. The vehicles then made their way to the rear of the crater, where they disappeared into the night and the falling snow.
“See, I was right,” Nik whispered, as he lay squashed under the truck, his snout resting on his paws. “They’re digging a hole in the earth so deep and wide that the Vampyrus can flood the country in minutes. ”
“I don’t believe it!” Isidor said.
“Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, boy,” Seth breathed. “Although, even I didn’t believe that they would go this far. ”
Then before I knew what was happening, Kayla was squirming out from beneath the truck.
“Kayla! Where are you going?” I hissed as quietly as I could.
“To rescue these people!”
“But that’s not why we came…” But she was gone. “Why me?” I asked myself with a sense of despair. Potter had had a bigger influence on her than I’d first thought. But he wasn’t here now to pick up the pieces. I lay there for a moment more, contemplating what I should do next. I couldn’t let Kayla go on her own. So, I rolled out from beneath the truck and went after her.