The Loners Ch. 18

byOzma12533©

"Well, what's the plan?"

Rachel let out a long sigh, and told them what Lord Constantine had told her. When she finished, it was Katie who spoke out first.

"You're serious!? That's his plan!? How do we even know if he'll do his part? No offense, but given our interactions with him to this point...I mean, the only reason he led us here to this camp in the first place was to further his goal, not to protect us. And based on his plan, that's exactly what he's keeping in his mind first, and we are a secondary concern for him. How do we know that he won't back out of this?"

Rachel shook her head. "We don't, we only have his word to go by."

"Now, I may not be able to sense the life force of everyone, but I'm guessing that neither of you can match a Lord, right? Can you really do what he's asking in the first place?" Katie asked next.

Rachel again shook her head. "I don't know, I don't really think so to be honest."

"So, he wants you to risk your lives, trusting his word, and to do something you don't think you can do!? There has to be a better way!" Katie protested.

"But we have no choice, do we?" Alan cut in calmly. "We can't really run or hide from this guy, right?"

Rachel, as much as she didn't want to, nodded.

Alan then let out a small and grim smile. "Then I say we do as he says, and face this guy head on."

Benny stared at Alan as though he was crazy. 'What is it with this guy? He almost seems like a completely different person from when he first came here. Just what is going on?'

Katie was also staring at Alan, not liking the look on his face nor the tone in his voice. Unfortunately, she had run out of excuses and ideas, and turned to Rachel for help.

Rachel had her eyes closed, and was taking deep, slow breaths. She was steeling herself for what was to come. When her eyes next opened, they held a cold look in them as well, ready to fight.

"Alan is right. We have no other options. This is a do or die scenario, and there is no escape for us this time." Rachel's voice was now calm and even, no longer showing emotion.

"But..." Katie weakly attempted to protest one more time, but fell short. Rachel turned to her.

"I'm sorry." Rachel said, knowing that Katie did not want to see this happen.

"...just...don't get killed out there. We've only known each other for such a short time. I don't want to see this end so soon." Katie resigned to her defeat.

Rachel gave her a reassuring smile, though it didn't have much effect. "We'll do all we can. I don't want to see us end either."

Rachel then gave Alan a small glance, noticing that he hadn't said any real words of comfort to Katie. Was he more concerned about winning this fight than Katie's feelings?

Katie's eyes glanced at Alan as well, noticing the same thing. Based on Alan's cold eyes, it turned out to be just that. His quest for power and vengeance was starting to take priority over everything else.

As though sensing these thoughts, Alan spoke. "Look, if there was another way, then that's what we would be doing. But we don't have any choice here. If we want to live, we have to fight. That's just the way it is now."

The words gave neither Rachel nor Katie much comfort. However, neither of them had any retort for it, and chose to remain silent.

Alan stood. "Then let's get ready, I don't want to be caught unprepared when this Lord Hector shows up."

*****

It took quite a heavy search with many guesses, but at long last, they had found it. The entrance to the underground, hidden within an unused tower. It was quite ingenious, for most would consider such a ruined, out of shape tower as nothing more than an eyesore, not worthy of any sort of investigation.

"Good work." Lord Hector called out as he arrived, causing the vampires that were waiting at the tower to immediately bow.

Lord Hector approached the hole that stretched deep underground, beyond what the eye could see.

"Hand me a light, I'll be going down first. Remember, if we run into the renegades, they are mine, do not attack them or intervene in my fight with them until I say so." Lord Hector commanded. One of the vampires gave him a flashlight as the rest nodded. As he declared, he went into the hole first.

The other vampires followed shortly afterward, which turned out to be a group of eight total, not including Lord Hector.

They proceeded through the cavern, and Lord Hector found himself mildly surprised with what they found.

"Oh, what an impressive establishment." He commented as they entered the large, open cavern, which was complete with small houses, and electrical lights in the ceiling.

He also noticed the number of smaller presences, along with the ghosts that were floating around.

"Curious, I wonder if they did this on their own, or if they had help. Lord Christian wouldn't be one who would set up this kind of living space for the undead." Lord Hector commented, and decided that the time for masking his presence was over, and released the restrain he had held on himself.

"Hear me, all those who reside here! I am Lord Hector, Lord of Africa, and I demand the two vampires who are here to step forward!" His voice boomed as it echoed in the cavern. He saw that the ghosts quickly scattered into hiding, and he patiently waited for a response.

He didn't have to wait long, for two figures began approaching him. Lord Hector's eyes narrowed on the two, and recognized them both when their faces and figures became more clear.

"Ah, as I suspected, the renegades. Caleb Rachel the Third, and the human, Alan Brooks. Well, obviously 'human' no longer applies to you, does it? Though I will admit, for a newborn, you seem pretty strong." Lord Hector said calmly, staring both of them down.

Alan gave Lord Hector a once over as he compared his presence to the Vampire Lord. Rachel was right. A Lord's presence was overwhelming, almost as much as his imposing figure. Alan felt like he was staring at a black version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it crossed his mind that he just might be in over his head.

The feeling, however, quickly passed. If he was going to achieve his goal, he had to get past this guy first, no matter who strong he was.

Rachel quelled her inner conflicts, and maintained a calm expression. Like Alan, she acknowledged that they had to fight Lord Hector if they wanted to live, and now wasn't the time to allow doubts to slow her down.

"So, not only have you defied your Lord, fell in love with a human, and caused several incidents that the humans have witnessed. But now you've illegally turned the human, your list of crimes continues to grow, Rachel." Lord Hector said to Rachel, then turned to Alan.

"As for you, I don't know how big of a role you've played in all of this, but unfortunately, you have no excuses at this point. Our rules are quite clear, and both of you are to be executed for your crimes."

Katie could not see them well, for she was far away inside one of the nearby houses, and was looking out the window. But, it was hard to miss the very large black man that was standing before Alan and Rachel. Unlike Lord Constantine, this guy was huge! Not only that, there were several vampires that had accompanied them. She began to fear for both Alan and Rachel's safety. Could they really do what Lord Constantine had asked them to?

She was shaking. However, it wasn't because of fear. Despite the situation, she didn't feel any fear at all, a thought that crossed her mind for a moment before it was replace by more important thoughts. She was shaking because she was stopping herself from jumping out there to try and help Alan and Rachel in any way she could.

Lord Hector smiled. "I will, however, applaud you two for choosing to fight rather than run. I shall honor that before we begin."

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