Nia: There Be Weres and Demonsbyemap©
If you haven't voted on the previous parts yet, go do so. I swear ya'll are so lazy. :p
I close my eyes when the jet heads down the runway, groaning at the little lurch of taking off. In the air I open my eyes and look around, I'd like to see Sam and Samuel, especially want to see Ben, but it's just me and a mostly packed airline. My hand settles on the bulge I'm getting rubbing it gently. My eyes close again and I can see Ben taking delight in the little bulge of our child I have.
Pulling a magazine out of my carry on, I settle back and start reading. The subject is offensive to me, Walter Green and his no vampires allowed movement are picking up a little steam. The reason I am flying to Dallas in fact, incognito of course, I've gotten so many complements on my pink wig. It's almost sickening how many women, younger and older than I am who have complemented me on being brave enough to do pink hair and pregnant.
Not that I have any idea why one needs to be brave to have pink hair and be pregnant. I'm still wearing my wedding ring and fallen to the old excuse of flying, doing a presentation. The man sitting next to me attracts my attention singing along to his headphones. I poke him and put a finger to my lips he smiles and sticks his tongue out at me. I look skyward and hit him on the arm, he returns the favor and we degenerate into slapping each other on the arm.
"I hope you two are related." I look up at the stewardess smiling and looking tired.
"If we were related I would have cleaned his clock already." I grin up at her, she snorts then laughs.
"You may want to anyway, ask him why he's going to Dallas. I'll bring food by in about an hour, you are getting two plates. Is there anything you would like to drink?"
"I'd love a beer, but I got another six months before I can. I'd like a coke, cold in the can if possible." I get a smile.
"Longer if you breast feed, ask your doctor on that when you go home. One cold can coming up, what would you like sir?" I sigh, damn I forgot about that.
"Scotch on the rocks with a twist of lime please." His voice is rather nice, filled with a southern twang.
While our stewardess walks away he leans over to watch. His suit jacket is a very nice pressed silk. I hit him on the shoulder until he gets back in his seat and I can breathe a little easier.
"Why are you going to Dallas?" He looks at me his smile fading I think he noticed the feeding scars on my neck.
"I'm going to speak at the no vampires allowed conference." I open my mouth to say something mean then shut it collect my thoughts and open my mouth again.
"What's wrong with vampires? Besides the fangs and needing blood they are just like everyone else." I get a smile from him.
Our stewardess comes back with our drinks and leaves again. I hit him on the shoulder to keep him from leaning on me to watch. I admit it is a very nice butt in the skirt I just value breathing room more than watching her walk away.
"I'm going to be the counter argument for Walter Green. I'm a sociology professor in San Francisco and I've been studying vampires as much as I can. Hard to stay awake for my classes and be out all night you understand." I giggle and smile at him.
"That would be hard, isn't your college going to start offering vampire friendly classes next year?" I get a big smile from him.
"There is even talk of getting vampire professors. No chance of getting the one that was at the Salem Witch Trials, I spoke to him already. He's much to interested in his mushroom business, won't admit it but I think it is the only thing keeping him alive."
I sigh and nod I've met him, Caleb is a very nice man. He just seems so tired and listless until you talk about mushrooms.
"I hope your getting paid I don't think your speech is going to get anything but derision."
"I am getting paid yes. I have faith that my speech will at least put a kernel of doubt into the followers."
"Somehow I doubt that, I've met a few of the believers. They are very fanatical in their belief that vampires are wrong. I've noticed a few of the grocery stores have put up no vampires allowed signs. I shop during the day anyway but it's just funny that they think they can keep a vampire from coming in with their fangs hidden."
In truth I will go at night a lot to take Constance and Consuela. Constance knows everything about how to cut up a chicken or hunk of beef. Consuela because she's the one that cooks anyway, I just go because it's something to do. Constance has us running around looking for the no vampire signs and shopping in that store. I tease her about having a bad sense of humor I rather enjoy putting the managements nose in a bind at least.
"I've heard that Nia visits the stores with those signs. I'm not sure why the grocery stores are putting up those signs. Vampires don't eat food at all they don't have a reason to go in a grocery store."
"Some do cook they have a pie lady, she is really good at pies. Mouth watering is something of an understatement especially her lemon meringue. Some are licensed chefs, well were before they became a vampire. They are getting together and trying to open a restaurant." I gave them a million to do it they are trying to find a place to open it at with a basement so they can sleep under it.
"Yes I've heard about that, I will definitely eat there when they finally open. Did you hear about the drug company that wants to hire vampires to work in their labs because they can stand in a room filled with deadly biotoxins?"
"Yeah I've heard about that, on one hand it makes sense, they can't carry in disease or walk out with one so long as they shower. On the other hand, so far I haven't met a vampire that knows how to work in a drug lab. I don't think it will work for a few years unless the people they have already get turned into vampires."
I don't mention the fact that the company contacted me about hiring vampires for it. I spoke with Constance and Greene about it. Constance told me flat out there aren't any vampires that do that. Greene told me the same thing, trolls are the scientists.
"Probably not even then, vampires are the wrong sorts of people for lab work. All the ones I've met are farmers, one mailman from the forties and two milkmen if you believe that. They all seem to be hands on people, not scientists."
That gets me to think, suppose the vampires aren't scientists they just do the lab and follow orders. Could work if can convince a vampire and the company to try it. Our stewardess comes back with our food and a new can of coke for me, this one is very cold and I smile at her. My two meals are sandwiches with chips, and a pickle cut up into four slices, two on each plate. My first sandwich is a pastrami and roast beef on rye, very good flavor. The second sandwich is chicken breast on sourdough the professor doesn't get a sandwich.
"Would you like half of one of my sandwiches and some chips? I'm not swelling up like a cow yet." He smiles at me and nods.
"If you would not mind, the university wouldn't pay for my flight to Dallas and I didn't want to spend the extra for a meal. The chicken if you please, I'm allergic to rye." I tear the chicken sandwich roughly in half and gave it to him.
We don't talk while we eat, partly I think because I enjoy my pastrami and roast beef on rye a little too much. Judging by the napkin over his face after he finishes his allergy is pretty strong. Not often you see someone cover their face from a smell. He's looking a little green when I finish my first sandwich and he pulls the napkin away. I've barely finished the remains of the second and start thinking about the bathroom when the pilot comes over the speakers announcing we are going to land.
I groan when the fasten seatbelts sign comes on, I do want to go. Taking solace in it's not a need to go yet and wondering how I'll survive the last three months of pregnancy I collect everything and hand it to the stewardess. When we start descending it's my turn to turn green. I must have squeaked my dismay a stewardess takes my arm and gets me to look at her. She talks to me the whole way down, her smiling face filling my vision.
Feeling silly when I get up to disembark I squeak again when I find Candice. She's helping people get off the plane doing the silly bye now enjoy your trip the stewardesses hate to do and the passengers never listen to. She stops to give me a big hug then drags me a little away from the line trying to get off faster then the people in front of them.
"I thought you retired." I sigh and nod.
"I did, I'm doing this one as a sort of last hurrah. I'm not happy with how things are going in certain areas and going to rectify my way."
"I think I know what you're talking about, I'd say good luck but hell you don't need it. Staying long enough for a nice little visit maybe dinner?" I smile back at her.
"I'm married and have a girlfriend, but hell if you want to catch up I'm so there." She smiles at me and gives me a hug.
"Of course I have a girlfriend myself, and you're pregnant. Been to long since we had a flight together, I'm staying at the Belmont just off the airport. Call me when you finish, room two thirteen doesn't matter what time though I'll probably be hungry for dinner when you're done. I'll wait until eight to eat so we can eat together and talk of what's going on with us."
"Good plan, I gotta go, bathroom is calling and I really gotta get my equipment and gone."
With a wave I leave Candice to see the last of the passengers off the plane. Saying a small prayer of thanks I sit down on a toilet, the bathroom is empty. Wishing I had someone to help with my equipment I collect the heavy suitcase and the bulky equipment case housing my Barrett. I can't help but smile big at the attendant that comes by with one of the golf carts and a luggage trailer.
Thankful for my frequent flyer program we head to the car rental station pick up the paperwork for that and he takes me all the way out to my car. Unable to believe my car, they gave me a blood red Crown Victoria I almost go back inside to ask. Instead we load my car, I give the attendant a kiss on the cheek and I'm driving away. I laugh when I find I'm staying in the same hotel as Candice, I laugh more when I have the next room over from her.
Feeling like I'm just starting out as an assassin again I unpack my equipment. I check the Barrett over assembling it then tearing it down again, load the clip with bullets and close up the case. I move over to my suitcase and start pulling out my guns. I don't think I'll need these I just always take everything with me just in case. My Colt slung high in a shoulder holster, my Desert Eagle on my hip toward the back I get my mini Uzi's in place hanging behind me glad for the padding on them.
Four clips for each gun going into my long coat I put it on. Glad that it's actually cold so I don't stand out like I did for my last presentation I grab up my Barrett case. Wishing it had wheels I lug it to the elevator panting a little when I finally get on said elevator. I get help from a bellhop in the lobby as I head to the front desk.
"Hi again, I want to leave a message for Candice in room two one three." The clerk smiles at me and gets out a pen and a notepad.
"Of course, Candice has not checked in yet when she does she will get the note. What would you like to say?"
"Just tell her that her pregnant friend is next door and will see her soon as possible."
The bellhop lugs my case out to my car, he smiles big at me after I tip him. I never was very good at keeping smaller bills so had to give him a twenty. I end up driving around a while listening to the classical station. I stop for a coffee do some window shopping, and seriously contemplate picking up some lingerie until I realize what time it is. I drive fast to my location and park the next street over. Paying three hours worth of time in the meter I look around liking the shops on the street.
No one pays me any attention as I half drag half carry the case into the alley. A spot of luck finds a smiling man coming out the door to the building I want, I turn down his offer of help. The elevator is filled with the almost music they all seem to favor. I get out of the fake dark wood elevator with a grimace they butchered an old Madonna song. I'm not a terribly big fan of hers anyway but she at least can sound somewhat good.
Lugging the case up one flight of stairs to the roof is almost worse than getting it to the building in the first place. Not to say it is a bad design, the case itself is metal, the scanning machines can't see through it. Opening up the way it's designed you see equipment, cameras, tape measures, laser range finders, all that good stuff. If you flip it over you get the Barrett partly broken down to fit and the ammo for it.
On the roof I look around, it's covered in the almost gravel of a regular tar roof. There are air conditioning and heating machines way up here filling up a good portion of the roof toward the alley. I look up to see the sky is starting to darken with the coming of night. I take a deep breath pick up the case and head for the wall where I will do my shooting.
With quick sure hands the Barrett is assembled and loaded. Propped up on the wall with the support feet down I aim down it. I have to adjust the zoom a bit to get everything in focus. The people are small, large enough for a three mile shot though small. I look around getting almost a full view of the entire front of the conference center. Here and there are security guards in suits, I would think secret service except these are not that good. I can see three of them to the short side of the center with no gap from the back, two on the other side and four in the middle trying to keep people from crowding a line to the door.
The crowd pressing toward the street alerts me to the arrival of the limo. I pick it out and wait for the proper shot. Feet moving down to the limo from higher announce the guard that will open the door. I take a scant moment to look at him, he's about six foot with blonde hair cut a little long on top and almost shaved on the sides. When he bends down to open the door I fire. I don't shoot where he is I shoot where the man getting out will be. At this range the bullets take a couple seconds to get there.
I don't look to make sure I hit my target, I move to the next firing on the engine of the limo to prevent a speedy exit. If there is something to be said for using the giant bullets there it is. The machine gun rounds of the Barrett are strong enough to destroy a soft target like a car's engine. Trusting the second bullet will destroy the limo's moving again ability I aim on the rear of the car where the seats are and fire. I put three into the body of the limo before looking at the carnage caused by my first bullet.
There really isn't much to see, the first bullet destroyed part of the body of two men. I don't see the remains I just see pieces of meat and bone with blood sprayed everywhere. Not seeing a need to continue to fire I break down the Barrett and get it back in the case. Adrenalin pumping I haul up the closed and sealed case then head down the stairs. The elevator is slower than I'd like, only a few seconds to get all the way down. When you're running without running anything longer than half a second is too long.
I breathe a sigh of relief when I make the back door to the alley. An odd sound has me turn from walking toward the side alley to my car. My eyes go wide in shock a tiger is running toward me with wolves following behind. I take a moment to see the tiger is definitely a tiger, orange and white with black stripes. I get an errant thought that the tiger is the same size as Twitch before a wolf jumps at me.
Somehow managing to get my case up in front of me I am knocked down from the impact. A wolf jumps on the case on top pinning and growling down at me. I shriek when one grabs my ankle and tries to drag me back from the tiger I can hear growling behind me. Knowing my ankle is punctured and bleeding and really not wanting to find out what I am being dragged for I kick the wolf in the head with my free foot. Two nice things happen after that, the wolf I kicked let's go of my ankle with a yelp and the one on me has trouble staying there.
With a little shove the one on me and my case go to the side. Grabbing up my Colt I point it at the wolf that bit me and fire. Its head bursts apart a little spraying me with blood I turn to the one that was on me and put two into its side. I am distracted from the two remaining past my feet by the tiger coming up to me. I turn and point my Colt at it making it back away then stands a little taller and roars nodding its head toward my feet.
I look and shriek again, pure unadulterated terror rolling through me, the two wolves were joined by one very big wolf. It has to be at least six feet tall at the shoulder we are so incredibly talking horse size. I roll on my side and pull out one Uzi. This new horse wolf moves fast, I am getting the Uzi aimed on him when he jumps on me crashing me back down to my back. The Uzi is free enough to aim up at least, though I freeze when it looks down at me and growls.
Feeling my ribs starting to crack under the pressure I put the Uzi pointing at its belly and open fire. I'm screaming as the Uzi rips into the giant thing above me with full auto fire. Blood and insides spill down on me as the bullets trace a path up the giant thing over me. Its lower body emptied the chest cracked and broken the wolf staggers away. Moving fast as I can scared it or the other wolves will come for me, I pull out a new clip for the Uzi and change clips.
The smaller wolves make no move toward me the big one on the other hand tries to come toward me. I turn on my side unsure how well my ankle or ribs would work in a stand I aim at the head and fire. I watch the head explode spraying me and the area with blood, bone, and brain matter. The body acts like a chicken with its head cut off it staggers around before falling and twitching. I empty the rest of the clip into the body.
Two wolves eye me and the tiger I get a third clip out trying to change it when I hear police sirens. The wolves look around then turn and run, the tiger comes up to me and licks my cheek. Feeling my control slipping I tell the tiger to move me to the street, somehow trusting it is a person. I feel the fangs sink into my shoulder as if from a very long way away before I am dragged. I can't keep my eyes open for long, either I'm in shock or more than my ribs were hurting under the pressure.
Fear for the life growing in me allows me to manage to stay awake long enough to see a police officer. He comes down lower when I wave to him, I think I say something about internal bleeding and pregnant before my eyes close. My eyes open again staring up at a white roof hearing someone talking then seeing a worried face. I try and blink when there is a light shining in my eyes each in turn. This light is way too bright I can't see anything but white then my eyes close again.
This time when my eyes open again they stay open. My groan at the lights gets a face with a nurse hat on it looking down at me. She puts the ugly giant glasses you see old people wearing over their glasses on my face. I'm just getting used to seeing again when the bed raises under me and I find myself looking at the wall and my feet under the blanket. I open my mouth to ask where I am then stop when she puts a finger to my lips then holds out a cup with a stray in it.
"Where am I?" My voice sounds hoarse but can't get more water she took it away.
"Dallas General Hospital, you have some friends waiting to see you." She points to my right I look to see Sam and Samuel standing there next to the bed.