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RuinEarth: Refugee-Part Two

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    Posted: July/24/2008 at 2:49am
Here is part 2:

     “How long have I been out?” He asked.
     “A few hours.” I replied.
     “Thank you for just not leaving me out there in the wastelands.” He said.
     “Why would I do that?”
     “Some people freak out when they see us change.” He explained. He turned and looked at Drue.
     “You are Drue?”
     “Yes”
     “I need your help.”
     “What is it you need my help with?” Drue asked.
     “I would like you to cure me.” He stated. Drue looked at him with her shocked eyes. I wondered why she would react that way.
     “I can’t do that.”
     “Yes, you can. You have done it before.”
     “When I was younger. I’m too old now.” Drue replied.
     “You’re more powerful now than before.”
     “I won’t do it.”
     “Why not?” Nero yelled standing up. He noticed the blanket slipped off and embarrassingly picked it up and wrapped it around him. Not before I got a good look at him. I giggled to myself. Nice body.
     “Because the spell could make you worse if it doesn’t go right.” Drue replied.
     “That is a chance I will take.”
     “Maybe but it isn’t one I am willing to take.” Drue said and stormed off to the back of her tent. Nero glared at her back, picked up his clothes and left the tent.
     An hour after their argument, Drue came back to the front of the tent. I was sitting near a fire pit and making some supper for the three of us. She sat next to me and said nothing. I stirred the stew I was making.
     “I can’t help him, you know.” She said. I shrugged.
     “Makes no difference to me.” I replied.
     “It could rip his soul apart. It wouldn’t be a very happy existence with a soul that is that badly damaged. He would rather be a shape shifter than that, I assure you.” She continued.
     “I don’t know anything about this and it doesn’t matter to me. I just brought him to you, that’s all.” I said and stirred the stew. She sighed started picking up stones that were on the ground of the tent.
     “Have there been many Sanders like that, lately?” I asked.
     “Yes. It started getting worse since the Hope Star moved.”
     “It moved?”
     “Yes. A few hundred miles to the west.”
     “I hadn’t noticed.”
     “The vampires have and they are restless.” Drue explained.
     “Why do you think it is happening?”
     “I believe perhaps the end of the Hope Star has come.” Drue replied.
     “That can’t be.” I said and stopped stirring the stew.
     “Without the rest of the star we called the Sun, the Hope Star cannot survive. It’s life is short, shorter than any star because it is only a piece.”
     “Isn’t there something that can be done?” I asked.
     “Only if you could get into space and the only people with that kind of transport are . . .”
     “Vampires. They have the technology.” I finished her statement.
     “Yes and they keep it, like most everything else they possess, to themselves.” Drue replied. We stopped talking when Nero stepped back into the tent. He had a blank expression as if Drue not performing the necessary treatment didn’t bother him. He sat down across from the two of us women and didn’t make eye contact with either of us. Drue got up and walked back to the other room in the tent. I stirred the pot of stew.
     “What’s in that stew?” He asked.
     “Freeze-dried meat.” I replied. He nodded his head.
     “I’m sorry if I was out of line earlier.” He said.
     “It’s okay.”
     “No. It isn’t okay. I should keep my temper under control.” Nero replied looking at me, reading my expression. He was trying to gage my emotions. Won’t work, furry man, I said to myself.
     “Why do you want Drue to change you back into a full human?” I asked.
     “Would you want to be a shape shifter, a werewolf no less?” He asked in return.
     “No. There is something more, though. Something you haven’t voiced yet.” She answered. He rubbed his hands through his graying hair and sighed.
     “We don’t know each other that well.”
     “I’ve seen you naked.”
     “But I haven’t seen you.” He said grinning from ear-to-ear. I laughed under my breath. He was good, I said to myself.
     “Tell me about yourself.” I replied.
     “Okay but it’s complicated.”
     “Complicate me.”
     “I was born in Europe or what was left of Europe after the great cataclysm. The home that my father had built with his three brothers had collapsed after a shock wave. So, my family lived in a small cottage that had served as a guest house on the estate. My mother was a painter. My father, a carpenter. It seems romantic, I know, but I assure you it wasn’t
     “When I was six years old my mother had another child, my sister Lara. She was premature and my father wanted to get rid of her. But my mother pleaded with him and he relented. Lara died a year later. My mother gave birth again to my brother, Michael. He was special. My father thought the world of him. He took him to show off to all the people in our village. He had been afraid when Lara had been born, that my mother would have no more children.
     “I was thirteen when I found out about my heritage. My curse. My mother told me about the legacy of her family. The shape shifting legacy. She had kept it from my father. But Michael had overheard us and reported this to our father. He was furious with my mother. Not because of me, mind you, because his precious Michael may afflicted by the disease.”
     “Was he?” I asked, interrupting him.
     “Unfortunately, no. That sounds cold but I wanted someone else to feel what I was feeling. To be what I was. My father didn’t understand. He thought I was a freak. He pretty much disowned me. He payed little attention to me and let me stay in our home until I was eighteen. My mother died two weeks before I turned eighteen. I had no reason to stay, anyways.
     “After I left, I traveled around Europe. I found no one that was of any interest to me. I felt more alone than when I was at home. In a small city on the coast of France was where my fate was sealed. I had picked up a prostitute. During our fooling around I started to change. The release of energy from the act had made it happen rapidly. I heard the woman scream and I blacked out. I woke up with blood all over me. The woman had been eviscerated. I grabbed my clothes and hitched a ride over the Atlantic.” He finished.
     “So what now?” I asked.
     “Now, I want to go to New Alaska. But they do not take shape shifters. So, I found out from a very reliable source that a Mistress Drue could heal me. But it seems that that road is not going to be traveled down.” He replied. I shook my head. I knew what it was like being lost.
     “I won’t do it.” Drue said from the flap of the back room. She looked at the two of us. I knew she had been standing there the whole time we were talking.

     Despite the tension in the tent, the stew was quite good, if I say so myself. I do. Nero complemented me on it. I try the best I can with what is left in this God forsaken world. Drue ate with us but faced the outside the whole time. She made no eye contact with either of us. I didn’t understand why she was mad at me. I didn’t do anything to her. After we ate Nero left the tent to relieve himself. I was alone with Drue. I decided to be petulant.
     “Why are you mad at me?” I questioned.
     “I’m not.”
     “Then, why are you being cold and stand-offish.” I pressed.
     “Stop picking a fight with me, Lucinda.” Drue had caught on to what I was doing. She was good. I grinned and picked up the bowls and the pot and went outside. I didn’t see Nero anywhere. He must have traveled some ways. I went over to the make-shift watering hole that was one of a few in the wastelands. I dipped my hands in the puddle of cool spring water. It was a wonder that there was any water left in the world. I put our dinner stuff in the pool and washed it. The water was amazingly cold. It numbed me for a second and I almost didn’t hear the vampire come up behind me. I turned around, weapon at hand. It wasn’t a Sander. The smooth porcelain white skin gave that away. It looked at me through red eyes. It opened it’s mouth and hissed. Fangs glinted in the moonlight. I glared at it.
     “Nice teeth.” I said. I pushed back my blonde hair from my face and waited. It made the first move. Not a very smart move. It was a very old vampire. I moved out of the way as it barreled past me. It made a growling sound. I shot it in the back with my Service. It screamed. The wound smoked as the solar bullet coursed into it’s body. It turned around and ran for me.
     “Stupid move.” I replied and shot it in the chest. The heart. This time it screamed worse than it had before. It doubled over and writhed on the ground. Then I heard another scream. This one came from the tent. Drue. I ran for the tent but I saw some vampires were already taking her out. She was trying her magic but it was useless. I went to fire my gun but it jammed. Damn it. I ran for the nearest vampire but he sensed me and backhanded me. I flew a foot away and hit the sand. I struggled to get up but I watched in vain as they took Drue in a large vehicle and drove away. Damn it. Damn, damn, double damn.
     “Are you okay?” I heard from the right of me. I struggled to sit up. Nero looked at me. I looked away.
     “I’m fine. Could have used you.” I replied.
     “I tried to get here as fast I could.” He said and I believed him. I was being stupid. I looked at him and picked myself off the ground. He helped me, even though I didn’t need him to.
     “We have to go after them.” I said. He just nodded and said nothing. He couldn’t have convinced me otherwise, anyhow.
     “I’ll go with you.” He replied.
     “No. It doesn’t concern you.”
     “Well, try and stop me.” He retorted. I didn’t argue with him.
     “Fine. It’s your funeral.” I said and walked to the tent.

     I followed the tracks to an abandoned storage facility in what used to be the state of Kansas. I watched the building from a hilly area a mile away. There were sentries guarding the facility. Big, scary looking vamps that seemed to like killing. They carried Tri-Shotguns. They could blow a hole through three feet of steel. Imagine what they did to a person. I don’t have to imagine. Nero laid down beside me watching the sentries.
     “Drue must be in there.” He whispered. I nodded my answer.
     “How do we do this?” He asked.
     “I don’t know.” I confessed.
     “You don’t have a plan ”
     “Do you?”
     “No”
     “Alright then.” I replied. I didn’t have any idea how I would do this. It would be a challenge. Then I got an idea. I rolled over on my back and pulled a piece of cloth out of my rucksack. I sat up slightly and wrapped it around my head, covering everything but my eyes. I motioned for him to follow me. When we came down the hill I started running and screaming.
     “Werewolf   Help me, please ” I yelled. Nero caught on because I could hear him running behind me. The vampire sentries looked in my direction. They stared with disbelieving eyes. They brought up there guns and blocked me from entering the building.
     “Help me, please.” I said. The one vamp on the right glared at me and looked over behind me where Nero was catching up. Just enough time for me to drive my own gun into the man’s ribs. He grunted and the other guard looked at me with hungry, red eyes.
     “I wouldn’t do that.” He said pointing the gun at me. I heard a low growl and saw the wolf from hours before beside me.
     “I wouldn’t do that.” I replied, patting Nero with my free hand. He made a pleasant sound and went back to growling at the vampire guard.
     “Drop the weapon.” I said and pointed to the ground. The guard dropped his tri-shotgun and stepped back from it. I took the other guards weapon and pushed him over toward his companion. I bent down and looked at Nero in his eyes.
     “Guard them, please, even though it is beneath you.” I said. The wolf made the sound again and stood near the two guards. I opened the door and slipped inside. The building was stuffy and had an overly sweet smell. I had smelt it before. Blood. Lots of it. I walked into the main part of the building. Plastic sheeting fell from the ceiling, separating sections of the warehouse. I heard talking in the back of the place and followed it. I got close enough to a plastic sheet to hear the action.
     “Such a pretty little thing. I will enjoy you.” A cold, toneless voice said. I heard the unmistakable sound of someone spitting. Then a slap, followed by a moan.
     “Feisty little human, aren’t you.” The voice said. I’d had enough. I walked through the plastic, nonchalantly, as if I was taking a Sunday stroll. A vampire turned around. He had smooth café au lait skin. He glared at me with piercing sea foam green eyes. I had never encountered a vampire who had been African-American before they had died.
Reading: The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan & Urban Gothic by Brian Keene


That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.
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