It's a Dead Man's World Ch. 03byEvil Alpaca©
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between actual persons, living or dead (or just confused) is entirely coincidental. Please do not copy/redistribute the story, in part or in total, without the author’s permission.
This story takes place in the fictional city of Springfield, California several hundred years in the future, so don’t go looking for it on a map. And in my little fictional world, there are no unwanted pregnancies or STD’s, except as plot driving devices. The author encourages the practice of safe-sex.
This story also consists entirely of f/f sexual intercourse.
Allyson Murgo was scared. Hell, the whole team was on edge. Things had been bad enough before their friend and boss had stopped speaking. Allyson just kept her eyes fixed on Eliza’s rigid face. The vampire was normally so beautiful. But now, she had the look normally reserved for ancient legends of her race; she looked like the walking dead.
Allyson wished she could say something, but all the words that came into her mind seemed trite and insufficient. What must it be like? When the dimensional rift between the world of vampires (Terra) and the world of humans (Earth) had closed, Eliza had felt the pain of separation. She was unable to contact her family, but she had proven to be resilient. Eliza had been part of the campaign to find and protect a number of Living Jewels, one of which could be the ticket for reopening the portal. Then, someone else leaking some valuable information had caused the government to crack down on who had access to the gems that were in captivity. Eliza and her team had been unceremoniously booted off the project, much to the objections of official U.S. Envoy Veronica Adams. That had hurt Eliza’s pride. But her sense of isolation and her wounded ego were nothing compared to what happened when Veronica had been kidnapped.
Veronica and Eliza had become somewhat close over the last several months. The two had fallen into a storybook kind of love. Even after Eliza and friends had been kicked off the military base where the gems were stored, Veronica and Eliza had visited each other in their dreams. They had apparently undergone a process called “linking,” which happens when one vampire drinks the blood of a person whose soul was compatible with that of the vampire. Such couples usually fell in love. And the link between Eliza and Veronica was hyper-developed, well beyond the scope of anything even the most learned of vampire scholars had heard of before. Normally, linked couples just had a good idea of what the other was thinking. What the human and vampire women shared went light years beyond that.
When Veronica had come to visit, the group had a major breakthrough and had found a way of narrowing the search for the remaining jewels. Veronica had flown back the next day to report the news to her superiors. Then, late one night, Eliza had collapsed in puddle of fear and pain. She knew something had gone wrong. The next day, they had received word from a furious Captain Corbin at Fort Crass that Veronica had been attacked and kidnapped on her way to the airport before she could come back to California. Eliza had felt the pain of her lover’s distress. And for the next few days, she had sensed nothing. The vampire didn’t know if the woman she loved was alive or dead. When she had heard the news of Veronica’s capture, she had said something that still echoed in Allyson’s brain.
“If she dies, so do they. I’ll hunt them all down and rip their hearts out through their throats.”
Allyson believed Eliza would do just that, and it scared her. Things hadn’t gotten any easier when her initial attempts to get a hold of Veronica’s bosses had met with some resistance. Then she had been told something that had enraged her so much that the vampire had stopped talking. The government would not negotiate with the Purity, which was the group of religious zealots that was trying to stop the dimensional rift from being reopened, and they would stop at nothing to succeed in their mission. Eliza’s heart had turned to ice at that moment. The government Veronica had served wasn’t going to do a damn thing to save her. And once again, Eliza had been left feeling helpless.
Eliza had been trying to spend as much time asleep as she could, hoping that her lover might use their link to contact her in their dreams and give her some clue as to where Veronica was being held. So far, her dreams had consisted only of darkness and longing. And that darkness seemed to follow her, even when she was awake.
The group was sitting in silence in their conference room. Wyrm, their computer guru, was looking over satellite maps of Africa, where Eliza had once claimed the Purity had some kind of base of operations. But it was a huge continent, and the Purity had become very good at hiding. Dennis Murgo, Allyson’s husband, was staring over Wyrm’s shoulder, wishing he could be of more help. He was a soldier at heart, but that wasn’t helping him at that moment. Ambassador Kelik of Terra, an old and wizened vampire who had was an old family friend of Eliza’s as well as her childhood mentor, sat next to the silent woman on a sofa. Thug, the eight-foot-plus troll, was patrolling the outer compound.
Allyson glanced over and saw that Eliza had fallen asleep again. She had been taking numerous sedatives over the last couple of days, trying to induce slumber. ‘Where has mind your mind gone my friend?’ Allyson wondered silently. ‘And will it be able to find its way home again? Does it even want to?’
At that moment, Thug opened the front door, and he wasn’t alone. Captain Corbin was with him. Everyone was surprised to see him, as the government had shown little interest in reestablishing ties with Eliza’s group. He looked ready to say something, then noticed that Eliza was asleep.
|| I’LL LOOK AFTER HER, || Thug said to the assembled group, and then turned to the Captain. || TELL THEM. ||
The Captain’s hard face softened as looked upon the almost pained, slumbering countenance of Eliza. He had great respect for that particular vampire. She had had proven her cunning time and time again, and had been rewarded with disdain and heartache. The assorted members of Eliza’s security team quickly moved outside while Thug stayed behind with the almost comatose Eliza.
“Captain,” Allyson started, bypassing formality and giving the man a hug. “I’m glad to see you but why . . .” She looked down the drive and saw a number of military vehicles sitting in the driveway.
“I’m sorry things had to go like this. First, I thought you should know that we found out why Ms. Adams was abducted. It appears that one of the new and “more trustworthy” officials that were sent to Fort Crass after you were fired was working for the enemy. It seems that your departure was something that the Purity had been hoping for. We discovered his identity, but not until after he had informed HIS superiors that Veronica was in Washington with some sort of information as to how the remaining jewels could be located. That’s why they made their play.”
“Damn it! If she hadn’t been there that day . . .” Dennis started.
“She’s a part of this,” his wife pointed out. “She’s part of what’s going on in the world, this group and, more importantly, she’s part of Eliza.”
“How’s she holding up?” the Captain asked.
“Barely,” Allyson whispered. “She had so much fury at first. But recently . . .” She glanced over at Kelik, who just nodded. “You know that she and Veronica had become close?” The Captain nodded. “Apparently it’s deeper than that. It’s something vampires call ‘linking.’”
“It’s rare at best. It’s rarer between same sex couples, and a link between different species is unprecedented,” Kelik said. “They share memories . . . dreams . . . and, unfortunately, they apparently can share pain. I believe Ms. Adams is being tortured, and Eliza is feeling it.”
The Captain blanched. “Then we don’t have much time to waste.”
“Time for what?” Dennis asked.
“To rescue Ms. Adams.”
“What?!?” Allyson was caught between outrage and surprise. “You said . . .”
“Open channels, Mrs. Murgo. The government ‘officially’ will not deal with terrorists and the like. Unofficially, Veronica is far too important to leave in their hands. And I couldn’t tell you about the plan last time because we were using unsecured channels of communication. If I had known about Eliza’s condition, I would have come sooner. I’ve been put in charge of the rescue operation, and I want you all with me. You’ve shown yourself too far to resourceful to be left out.”
“The last time we proved ourselves indispensable, we got canned,” Wyrm pointed out bitterly.
“Yes. And I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again. But with the kind of firepower we have back at Fort Crass, the gems we have there are safe. And as I said, I’m in charge of this operation and that includes personnel. We were told of Ms. Eliza’s theory about the Purity being based in Africa and we were heading there straight away. Are you with me?”
Allyson looked thoughtfully at him. “Eliza will have to decide. She’s still . . .”
Allyson Murgo’s sentence was interrupted by a scream that would make a banshee cringe, and it was coming from inside the house.
In Eliza’s dream . . .
Eliza was lost in the consuming blackness of her dream. There was no land to stand on, water to swim in or air to fly through. It was a forsaken place that contained her. Then, without warning, she ‘felt’ ground beneath her feet. From nothing appeared gold-colored tall grass, and a rich blue sky seeped into the space overhead. It looked like Africa to the vampire, or at least how she had always pictured it. She looked down and found herself wearing metal armor, like that worn by the mythical knights of Camelot. In one hand was a flaming sword, while a shield was strapped to her other arm.
Off in the distance was a huge tree; the only one visible in the plains. She started walking toward it. As she walked she saw images flash by the center of her vision. She saw a river . . . then a herd of elephants . . . then another, smaller river . . . then a small patch of beautiful purple flowers. And as that tree in the distance got closer, she saw a castle underneath its branches. As the castle grew larger in her vision, something happened to its stone walls. Their outer texture shifted and shimmered until they appeared to be made of cloth. All except one tower. Eliza looked up at the tower and saw a window. Standing in the window was a figure with flowing blonde hair. Even at that distance, Eliza knew it was a woman with deep blue eyes. She knew it was Veronica. The human woman wore a white dress, and Eliza thought she saw a ribbon of some kind in her friend’s hair. ‘So beautiful,’ Eliza thought.
But then a shadow was cast over the plain. Eliza looked up and saw something that human mythology called a dragon. It was as black as the nothingness that Eliza had walked through earlier. It didn’t see Eliza. Rather, it pointed its head at the tower, opened its mouth and let loose a stream of fire. The flames hit the open window, and Eliza heard Veronica let loose and soul piercing wail. Eliza felt her own flesh boiling within her armor, and she woke up screaming.
In the real world . . .
Allyson rushed into the house and saw that Eliza was awake again. Her face was deathly pale and her yellow eyes were opened wide. She was sweating profusely, and her beautiful face was distorted by pain. Kelik and Allyson rushed to her side.
“What happened?” Allyson asked frantically. “What did you see?”
It took a moment for Eliza to stop shaking. She glanced around, but didn’t actually seem to see any of them. She may have been awake, but she was still in a world all her own. Then her eyes stopped on Captain Corbin.
“What . . . what are you doing here?” she asked, somewhat angry but still very disoriented.
“I’m here to ask for your help,” the Captain said slowly. “We’re going looking for Veronica.”
That snapped Eliza out of her confused state. “Don’t fuck with me,” she said coldly. “You told me . . .”
Captain Corbin quickly launched into his explanation of why the government had reacted, publicly, the way they had. Eliza’s gaze softened a bit. The Captain was a friend and a good man.
“I’m sorry this happened,” he said at last. “We will find her.”
Eliza put her head in her hands, and Kelik wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He had never seen her this weakened before.
“Did . . . were you able to contact her? Was she . . .”
“She’s in so much pain,” Eliza whispered with tears welling up in her eyes. “She’s holding on, waiting for me to rescue her,” the vampire sobbed. She related the things she had seemed in her dream. As she talked Wyrm was frantically typing things into his computer.
“What are you doing?” Dennis asked of the hacker.
“She saw two different rivers. It’s the dry season down there right now, so there aren’t a lot of existing water sources like that. I’m cross-referencing the locations of permanent water channels with migratory patterns of elephants. I’m combining that with a search of ‘purple flowers, concentrating on the plains areas.” He stopped as his search began revealing results. A holographic map of Africa popped up on the projector and a few small areas were flashing red. “These are the most likely regions,” he said.
Captain Corbin looked at the map, a little excited in spite of himself. He pointed at two of the areas. “We can eliminate these. Both countries are very friendly to the United States and the World Council.” He stared at one reasonably large splotch in the center of the continent. “This place had been in a state of civil war for fifty years. Right now, a warlord of the worst sort runs it. All he cares about is the total genocide of all the other traditional tribes.”
Wyrm was checking on information on the area. “Sounds like something Eliza said to look out for,” he mentioned. Then his eyes lit up. “Eliza?!? Does this look familiar?” He pressed a button and another image popped up from the projector. It was a huge tree in the middle of the plains.
Eliza reached out her hand to touch the image. Though her hand passed right through it, she could almost feel the bark. She looked at the caption, which read, “The Devil’s Tooth.”
“It used to be a major attraction for safari guides back before the violence broke out. That thing’s root system is supposed to be huge, and it sucks up so much moisture that nothing else can grow around it,” Wyrm explained.
“That’s it,” Eliza mumbled. She looked at Captain Corbin. “When do we leave?”
Just under twenty-four hours later . . .
It was strange, even to experienced military personnel like Dennis and Allyson Murgo, how a group that large could move that quietly. Captain Corbin had brought a hundred and fifty men with him, not including Eliza and her team. Ambassador Kelik had come along to look after an ailing Eliza. The vampire woman’s physical condition was deteriorating. Despite not being touched herself, small bruises had appeared all over Eliza’s body. On one occasion, she had coughed up a small amount of blood. But she wouldn’t be left behind.
Her friends were worried about her, and even Valar expressed a bit of concern. The arrogant sorcerer and scholar, who had been a thorn in Eliza side for months, had insisted on coming along to assist in taking control of any Living Gems that might be in the Purity’s possession. Eliza was so out of it half the time that she couldn’t even object to his presence. The narcotics she had taken to induce sleep over the previous few days had wreaked havoc on her normal sleep cycle, and she drifted between almost acute awareness and total oblivion.
The entire force had landed at an airfield in the nearest country that was trustworthy and friendly towards the United States and the World Council. They had made tremendous time throughout the night by using the latest in stealth helicopters from the U.S. Airforce and were closing in on their target, flying low to keep off the enemy’s radar.
En route, Eliza had drifted off again. Kelik was sitting next Allyson, whose fear was apparent on her face.
“Ambassador . . .” she started.
“She’s not going to make it, is she?”
The elder vampire sighed. “I don’t know. I’m afraid that if Ms. Adams dies, then there is a chance that the shock will kill Eliza, or it might leave her comatose.”
Valar was in the same transport, and he had been watching his normally robust adversary degenerate right before his eyes. He was thinking of the time that Eliza’s parents had asked him to formally court her, hoping for a union between their two houses. Eliza had rebuffed him, and it had stung his pride to no end. He had generally held Eliza in the utmost contempt ever since. But like Kelik, he had never seen a link like the one apparently shared by Eliza and Veronica. In his culture, a link was almost as celebrated as the birth of child, and was seen as a wonderful and blessed event. To see something normally viewed in such reverence be the cause of so much pain, albeit unknowingly, by simpletons such as the Purity brought out a kind of outrage in Valar. He wouldn’t have minded seeing Eliza humbled, but even someone like Valar had his limits.
‘It would seem that Ms. Adams is made of sterner stuff than her captors anticipated,’ he thought to himself. He found that thought oddly comforting. Then out loud, “It is quite possible that this link, while damaging to Eliza, is actually helping Ms. Adams.”
Allyson looked skeptical, but Kelik looked interested.
“What do you mean?” the elder Terran asked.
“Symmetry,” responded Valar. “Ms. Adams is sharing her pain, but Eliza may very well be sharing her resiliency. The two together might be able to withstand what neither could alone, and that may give us the time we need to save them both,” he added.
“An interesting observation,” Kelik acknowledged. “Under more pleasant circumstances, I would like to examine this phenomenon in greater depth. Let us pray the opportunity comes.”
Several hours later . . .
Eliza stifled a cough and wiped a bit of her own blood from the corner of her mouth as she crouched and observed the strange encampment. Wyrm and Captain Corbin had narrowed down the search area, and then some locals had told them about being “relocated” for no apparent reason by the local warlord. Captain Corbin’s force had approached what appeared to be a small city of tents, but it wasn’t all it appeared to be. One of their scouts used a night-vision scope and found that just inside the openings of the tents were reinforced steel doors. Someone had camouflaged a military bunker with canvas tents. And there seemed to be some sort of electronic array that disguised the base’s heat and electronic signatures. The Purity had apparently assumed that their hideout would never be found, as their outer perimeter was lightly guarded. A few patrols and guards had already been eliminated by silenced sniper fire, but they knew they were going to have to make some noise getting in. They all wished they had more time to pull off this stunt, but time was something Ms. Veronica Adams was running out of.