October 13, 2012 § 15 Comments
Regina was pacing back and forth in front of the three remaining and by now I was already pretty near, almost next to her, but keeping a rather safe distance. I didn’t know what she would do next. Nobody ever really knew that, ever.
Then she stopped dead.
Viktoria came out from the inside of one of the buildings, where one of them pointed that Gunnar would be. Regina was looking intensely at her and I kept looking backward and forward between them because I couldn’t really see anything, but Regina’s look was becoming more and more alarming. She saw it, and whatever it was, I didn’t like it.
Viktoria made another few steps and she was in front of us.
I was already really close to a panick attack, and what came next didn’t actually help.
Viktoria was holding a head in her arms, a head that I quickly identified as being Gunnar. She placed it right in Regina’s lap which by now was kneeling, overcome completely by what she was seeing. You would imagine she had more strength than this, but you would be wrong, because as I learned over the years, and was prone to learning even more, the hard way, there was nothing more important for Regina than those that she held close, which weren’t many, a thing that only made it an even stronger emotion.
She took Gunnar’s head with both her hands and just stared at it like you stare at a newly found book in a library. I was frozen. I didn’t know what to do, what to think, I didn’t even have the power to panick or vomit or faint. I was just… there. I don’t think I took another breath for twenty seconds or so.
I was however, expecting the mother of all rage episodes in the history of this planet to rain down on us all, human, vampire or anything else, in that yard. I braced myself.
Viktoria was pretty much in the same situation as I was, you could tell from her face. I specifically remember that I checked for her expression and reaction, in order to adapt it, or to seek confirmation that I’m reacting like I should, in order to copy it, to be them, to seek… acceptance? I was getting awfully close to a bridge that only went one way.
What came instead, was not rage, but one hundred percent pure happiness and sadness in the same time. It’s really hard to describe such a state, I never had one, but I’ll try. It’s like you see the most happy person in the world, laughing and smiling, really smiling with every inch of her body, but in the same time, you see that person crying and just generally reading the saddest expression you’ve ever seen on their face. It’s something that only those really few “special” people who need to be locked away immediately can pull off. You really need pure insanity to combine those too, and a hell lot more of pure rationality and logic to hold them back in everyday life. This was just… another face of what Regina was. Hundreds of years of regrets, emotions, happy moments, sad moments, desperate and euphoric moments in the same time. The human mind isn’t equipped for such a long time of mixing of memories, especially a mind that hardly ever degrades, a mind that usually remembers almost everything, from every point of view, that includes emotion. A memory is nothing but a photograph without the emotion attached to it. Regina had all that inside of her, and they were leaking.
She however, pretty much… refrained herself… if I can say that, from doing anything… well, rash. At least not herself.
As she was standing there, I saw her crying again. Regina cries just like you and me, as often as life requires it. And that was one of the many, many reasons I am fascinated by this being… all of the others are more or less stone cold, or just filled with anger that they hold back through excessive politeness or sarcasm, but Regina is a human being whenever she allows herself to be one, and changes into a stone-cold killing machine in a second if she needs herself to be that. Like I was saying at the very beginning of this story, I was always, always left speechless every time she showed me how much more human she is than most people I know. She enjoys life more than I do, more than anyone really.
But then again, she is the queen of what we call monsters, and we call them that for a good reason.
With a slow movement, she grabbed one of the bloody guns lying around her, stood up and pulled me violently towards her.
She shoved the gun in my hands and still with tears in her eyes said: “This is what life means sometimes. Protecting what you love.”
And she stood aside.
It took me a few moments to realize what she was actually asking me to do, and when I did realize, I instantly panicked. Couldn’t hold it back anymore. I stepped back, terrified, still holding the gun in a tight grip in my hands. I can still feel the warm blood on my hands even as I write this now.
Regina didn’t say anything, but I knew this was “a no getting out of” situation. I looked to my left and to my right, and a large part of… well… everyone, was watching me.
Regina wasn’t Regina no more, not at that moment. This bitch right there, she knew very well how to make me do anything I didn’t want to do. And I realized for the first time, that she was indeed pushing me through a forced training. I had a pretty good idea what was it for, but I refused to believe it.
“DO IT!” She shrieked at me.
I couldn’t believe what she was asking. HOW COULD SHE FUCKING ASK ME THIS?!
Who does she think she is – monster. How can you play with the lives of humans like this. You’re not a god!
Arrogant, petty and evil girl. The world would be a better place without your killings and righteous ideas.
I’d rather kill myself than become her!
In a moment of pure and utter stupidity (or pure rationality, can’t decide) I went close to Regina:
“Don’t force me to do this…” I said in a low, hush voice.
She smiled. Clearly she was not backing down.
I gripped the gun even harder and shoved it violently to Regina’s forehead. Me, barely a kid, never fired a gun. I was panicking, I was scared and I was above all, pissed off like no other time.
I pushed that gun to her forehead so hard that I saw her cringing and I squeezed that trigger so hard that even the slightest shiver would make me fire the gun, voluntarily or not. This was by all means, the best time in which nobody should even breathe.
see feel the whole yard tensing up, Viktoria being not even 5 meters away, all tensed up and ready to do… nothing. Because there was nothing she could do.
Regina held out her hands in a way of telling everybody “stand back” while still watching me in the eyes, not taking her eyes off mine, not even for a second.
She didn’t say anything. She just stared at me. I knew she knew that if I didn’t shoot her right away, I wasn’t really going to, but what she didn’t knew is that I really, really wanted to push that trigger one or two times, but I couldn’t. No matter how much I hated her, I loved her ten times more.
She also knew, that if a person wants to do something horrible, for example commit suicide, and you want to prevent him, you could do two things:
1. Keep that person locked-up, in a room without any tools or ways of hurting himself, forever, or
2. Leave the person alone in a bathroom that is equipped with everything, from scissors to razor-blades.
The outcome would be either 1 or, in case you decide going 2, and the person ends-up not doing anything, then you have the problem solved. You don’t need no guarding anymore, no explaining and no restraining. You need to push the person so far that he or she will make a decision, after which you can be pretty much sure that the decision has been, in fact, made.
To put it in other words: If you’re afraid someone you can’t lock-up, kill, or harm in any way, someone who will be with you every day, wants to cut your throat, give him a knife and go to sleep.
And sure enough, I caved. I lowered the gun and Regina lowered her hands.
But she didn’t cave.
She went behind me, and physically forced me to turn towards the three men who by now were pretty much lifeless, even though their heart was still beating, they were more or less aware of what was going to happen.
With her behind me, holding my hand tight and pushing it upwards, she made me take aim. She didn’t force me to shoot however. She stood back, and I remained like that, like a molded statue, frozen, barely breathing.
In my head, WW3 was being fought.
Do it. Don’t do it. Kill them. Are you crazy? NO! They killed one of them. So what? You’re not one of them. But Regina? Fuck her. No, how can you say that. Kill them, it’s no big deal. Just push the trigger. No, you won’t be able to live with yourself. Yes you will. No. Kill them already. No, they have families. No they don’t. Yes, they do. So what? They are humans. No they aren’t, they are more of a monster that any vampire. That’s not true. Yes, it is, because they are humans and still murder others. And what does that make me if I kill them? Shut up. Don’t think. Do it. Close your eyes. Do it. No. Don’t do it! Put the gun down! You have a choice. No you don’t. You either kill them or someone else will. Then let someone else do it. No, you need to do it. Do IT NOW. NO! DON’T!
Deep breath. Hold it.
Time frozen. Nothing was moving. No sound. The air wasn’t moving around me anymore. The wind, the stars, the lights, everyone there, my body included, everything, was gone.
Nothing existed anymore. I wasn’t breathing anymore, I couldn’t hear or see anything anymore.
I shot. My whole body shook and I was taken back a foot.
One of them just fell to the floor, limp, lifeless…
I. Had. Killed. Someone.
I was expecting myself to either vomit, faint or just lose any grip on reality, lose the power to stand….
But instead, what happened to me that night, is one of the reasons I’m even writing this blog.
Human nature happened. Instead of feeling sick, I felt empowered.
I didn’t want to admit it, I didn’t want to believe it. But I liked it. I liked having the power of life and death. I liked taking the lives of those who deserved, and the feeling that courses through your veins when you see that blood that you just spilled rushing on the floor is just unexplainable. It is dread, pure fear. Fear of what you became, fear of what you are… Fear that you’ve always been like this. In the same time, it’s euphoric, it’s better than sex, smoking, and riding a roller-coaster in the same time. You feel every hair on your body rise up, you feel every part of your skin buzzing with energy. You feel alert, you feel more alive than you’ve ever felt before.
I smiled and without wanting even to stop and think, I raised the gun again.
The remaining two also felt to the floor, and their blood was now merging into a steady stream towards my feet. I stood aside, disgusted but fascinated by it.
Is this what human nature is? Is this why we’ve built societies and are enforcing education and rules on our children? Are we – at our very core – predators, killers, evil?
Is this what happens to a person when you take away all guilt and all the rules, and allow him to take a life with absolutely no consequences? Is this what happens when you force a person to kill, out of his own will?
You strip away all the rules, all the morality, all the society accords, you strip away everything that person has been taught life should be, and you just leave a bare, open, pure instinct. A primeval instinct that is there, I assure you, in each and every of us. It’s dormant, and it better stay that way, because once you wake it, there’s no going back.
It’s like rasing a wolf-pup on boiled meat all its life. It will be a docile, almost domestic dog, with little to no interest in biting or harming anyone. The moment that wolf has a taste of pure, fresh meat, bloody meat – it will never be the same. The wolf changes completely, something in his brain activates, and he becomes a shark following a trail of blood. That same wolf will bite and murder the very human that raised him, at the very sight of blood. There’s no going back from it.
I dropped the gun and realized what I had just done, and sure, regret was there, and will always be there. I was more scared by the fact that I accepted it more easily than I would have wanted, and if I only had known what that night meant for me, I would have never have done it in the first place. Never. That was just the initiation, the start of what would become a very long trail of blood.
I had no interest in finding out what happens with all the bodies, although now I have a pretty good idea on what happened with them. There was no cleaning service like I liked to call it in Turkey, they needed to deal with them locally, and so they did. But that’s another story.
The main story is that Regina and I drove all the way from there to Sighisoara.
I didn’t say a word all the way back, she didn’t say anything either. Almost 24 hours of non-stop driving, without saying anything, without eating, without sleeping.[audio http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/0jt5whtmn3/maddi_jane_jar_of_hearts_christina_perri_.mp3]
We just went straight home, still covered in blood, each with his own regrets, each with his own reasons to cry inside.
I didn’t even care anymore who was behind everything and what the hell was going on, which was totally opposite to what Regina cared, because there was nothing more important for her than finding out who did this…
The whole way back I only had one thing in mind.
The feeling that I got from doing what I did, which didn’t disappear. It got stronger and stronger. Eating me from the inside out, making me crave for more.
I realized, for the first time, that I might actually want to be one of them, and live my life like that. For the first time, I understood what Regina truly was, and what she needed to do in order to keep everyone safe.
I understood all that, because I lived through it. I felt it. It’s one thing to hear it explained, see it, or read about it – and to actually take matters into your own hands, literally.
I felt empowered, I felt alive, and I realized that I never, ever wanted this feeling to go away.
I was ready to become one of them. I remember I was dead set on telling Regina right that very night, to finish with the games, to turn me in my own bed, in the comfort of my home, and to just be there when I wake up. I wanted to get it over with – the waiting, the games, and more than anything, I wanted “in” on everything she was, because I loved the smell of power, and metaphorically speaking, the taste of blood.
But that very thing that was screaming at me not to do it, not to murder those people, that very thing was now screaming even harder at me. I felt overwhelmed, and my free will was literally taken away from me.
I couldn’t open my mouth or do anything to tell Regina what I want. We ended up back home and I had no free will. Some higher, or lower, force, someone outside of my control, my sub-conscious, my each and every fiber of thought, was opposing my decision and my free will, and they all had one message for me:
Don’t do it.
But I wanted it so, so bad. I stopped writing in my diary, I stopped speaking to anyone.
I was literally going through withdrawal.
I mustered the power to speak a few words, and those words were not anything related to my true desire.
As we stood there, the second day after we arrived, outside my house, in the backyard, I grabbed Regina’s hands and I told her to basically leave me alone.
I can’t explain it to myself not even to this day, of what actually happened, and how it’s possible for your mouth to say something when your whole body craves and screams for something else, but I’m sure you all know the feeling.
I asked her to leave, and never come back. I asked her to leave me and the town alone, I asked her to give me my life back and just… go and lose herself in the sea of people. I ripped down the necklace and shoved it in her hands, I forced her to leave, I asked her to leave the house and leave the town and never come back, not for me, not for anyone I know.
“Please Regina, I want my life back… eternity is too much for me. I’m not who you’re looking for. Take this and just leave. Please.”
And she looked at me for a few seconds, then looked at her hands for another few seconds, then back at me… studying my eyes, my face…
She was looking for anything that would betray my decision, any sign of me not actually wanting this, but she didn’t find anything except a totally blank face. She convinced herself that I’m speaking my mind, and she left.
She didn’t take anything, she didn’t say anything, she just hopped inside the car and left.
I saw the car turning right, and that was it, she was… gone.
And you know what? I was 100% sure that she – or anyone sent by her – will never come for me again. I felt alone for the first time, and for a second there, I panicked at what I had just done, but then I shortly remembered of what I was actually capable (and WISHFUL!) of doing when I was with her, I didn’t even want to think what I would become if I was to be one of them, with such a thirst for blood in me from a young age, as a kid, a human… I couldn’t allow myself to go there. We had to part ways, forever. And we did.
But nevertheless, the lingering feeling and tought, the desire of blood and power remained… and it grew and it grew, and just like your deepest regrets that no matter what you do, you can’t push back, I couldn’t push back my desires also.
That line between: “I will never want to become one of you.” and “Maybe.” was crossed. I inclined towards maybe, starting from that night forward, and that’s all that it takes.
Because a vampire is born out of acceptance of what he is, and the life he will have. It’s the thought and the idea first, then the actual birth of a vampire. And that night, for me, was the start of a totally different way of being, of thinking… and the start of a different road, towards a different goal. A goal that I didn’t set for myself, but that pushed itself into my head and heart.
A vampire was being born inside me, very slowly, but surely…
October 7, 2012 § 8 Comments
Regina looked at me in a “stay here” kind of way and left with the cardinal. I was swiftly taken at her place, down below again.
Any normal person would, at this point, worry. Worry about where she went, why she didn’t say anything, etc.
However, you have to understand this happened around five times a day, with her leaving in very strange conditions, with very strange people, without saying anything at all, and then returning like nothing has happened, and normally, that was the case, nothing did happen. I got used to it. I got used to the idea that she had taken care of herself for almost 500 years, the chances of anything happening to her were pretty slim I figured.
Sure enough, she returned about an hour later. She didn’t say anything much, except the fact that we’re leaving for Turkey soon.
I put together two and two, and with what she left out in the process, turned out she had just met the new pope, Benedict, which apparently, like many others before him, had a hard time believing what the cardinal was telling him. Had a hard time believing that the Vatican was built on top of a vampire nest – and not any nest. So Regina kindly “met his acquaintance”. I only felt sorry for not having the chance to meet the pope myself, and not having the chance to see his face when Regina performed her little “Look at what I am” dance.
Do you remember the pope on the TV? That guy which preaches peace and understanding, but goes around in a three-inch thick bullet-proof glass car? That guy, that guy just stood face to face with his greatest enemy, friend, fear and dream – in the same time – Regina, the queen of all that is underneath us. Literally.
And if you think this is too much – wait for it – I’m not even done. The amount of shit – because I can’t really find another word for it – Regina was involved in is unfathomable. It just really is, for me at least, too complex to understand. This is too much of a conspiracy theory for most of the readers, and a Sci-Fi tale for the others. Don’t try to believe it, just focus on the vampire part. I’m already asking too much with that, so just read it and get it over with.
Regina didn’t waste another second. I think this was actually the first time I’ve seen her contact someone directly.
Oh and by the way, she was in a constant state of… hmmm…. paranoia? No. She was on edge. Angry, jumpy, impulsive – rushed in everything, and did I say angry?
She picked up an ancient, landline phone, dialed a number, changed her mind or dialed it wrong, dialed again and waited.
Three words. Russian. Thick Russian. Couldn’t understand what she said, but the last word was “Odessa” for sure.
And Odessa it was.
“Everyone to Odessa.” That’s what she said.
Everyone? Surely she wasn’t planning a modern-day invasion. And why Odessa?
Time for me to retreat was near. I didn’t.
We flew to Odessa in no time. We were taken to the outskirts of the city, 50km or so north of Odessa, and then went off the road, on a path through a forest for about 500 meters. A large abandoned building was in front of us. The car left us there and left.
Gray, no windows, thick grime encrusted walls all around. One meter high grass all around the building, two floors with two big hangar-like doors on the front side, wide open so that you could see on the other side of the building, through it.
We went through the building straight in the back, and there Regina opened a rusty iron door, behind which was another door. But this one was not rusty, this was a pure, stainless steel door. It opened by itself. Viktoria on the inside did actually.
We descended a flight of stairs and ended up in one single large hall, completely empty at a first glance, but sterile like you wouldn’t even dream of. Everything was painted in a blinding white, the lights themselves were so bright you could barely keep your eyes open. The amount of white in that room, and the lack of any features, furniture, anything really, made the room seem like an infinite space. The shape of the room just faded away, the corners were almost invisible and it felt like you were literally floating in nothingness. Four people were present there. Lars, Viktoria, Nikita and Edmund.
“We’re going for Gunnar. If he’s in Istanbul, we’ll find him.” – Regina said.
She looked at Viktoria and Viktoria nodded in agreement – which I later found out, through getting to know their little nods better, was actually a confirmation of “Everything is set” and not a “I agree” type of thing. This is not uncommon at all. We all have our little friends that understand us just by looking at us. Regina and I were the same, but the weird part there was that we didn’t build that. It happened almost from the first day. You just click with some people. Maybe Viktoria and Regina were the same, but I had the feeling they learned about each other, rather than it coming naturally.
Viktoria knew all too well what Regina wanted and how she wanted it to be done, and she complied.
There were no guns involved. There were no knives, there were no weapons. This was just a happy gathering.
We simply met there, and we all left for Istanbul, together. We didn’t take the same plane. Viktoria almost never travelled together with Regina.
We landed in Istanbul, and from there, everyone was on his own, it seemed. Regina and I went straight for the port. We boarded a cargoboat, and inside the cargoboat, not in a container, but down in the bowels of the ship, we met with Viktoria.
She was dressing from head to toe in Kevlar. I knew it was Kevlar because of the weight. I’m not talking here about specially designed vests, this was pure military grade Kevlar material, and she was rolling it around her torso and feet. Hands weren’t a priority apparently.
“I’m not going through that again. I don’t care how I look. Don’t you look at me like that.” She was talking to herself, and to us in the same time. Regina was smiling and looking at her in a “you’re in the weird part of your brain again” way.
“Here.” She threw something at us. Regina caught it, turned it from side to side, clicked, beeped and stuck it in her back pocket. It was a slim, flat, pen-like length, GPS receiver.
I got one too. Viktoria had one too. Hurray! GPS for everyone!
Technology in the world of vampires. This was becoming more and more interesting. Starting easy with landline phones and then moving to state of the art GPS receivers in the same day? That escalated quickly.
Slowly, one by one, they started appearing. At first people I knew, more spread apart, mixed with some I didn’t know.
They came in, nodded, helped themselves at whatever their heart desired – most picked knives, some picked swords, a few picked Kevlar vests. All of them got GPS receivers.
What the hell is with all the Kevlar?! I remember I thought. And then again, they truly hated guns more than anything. It’s not about the fear of dying, that rarely happens, but one, two, three, four, fifteen bullets really, really rendered any of them pretty much useless for quite some time. The younger they were, the more time needed to recover. This again, reminded me, wasn’t a movie. Bullets hurt, and depending on the weapon and wound location, they can also be deadly. There’s no coming back from an explosive bullet to the head. Plus, any bullet wound needed to be taken care of individually. Bullet taken out if it didn’t get out by itself, wound drained or cleaned, made to bleed again, if the bullet prevented it from closing and the blood coagulated. I learned all this the hard way, seeing Viktoria literally punctured with bullets from head to toe. She recovered, sure, but put any other of them in that position, and they wouldn’t live a second longer after the last shot.
They all came in, and left. We remained.
This whole thing went on for quite a few hours, I counted more than 40 of them, maybe more. And none of them was under 100 – 150, you can tell from the way they move, speak or how they hold themselves when picking something up or dressing. That, and the face. I just… it’s something you can just tell, in the same way you can read someone’s thoughts from an expression, or read someone’s “intelligence” by the way they look at you. It’s just something you get used to, it’s something you learn, involuntarily. Sure, some of them can ‘fake it’, but I doubt that was the case there.
I was stunned. This was the first time I’ve seen so many of them in one night. Usually, I knew about 15 of them, and everything that happened, happened in this small circle – I’m sure there was such a circle at each level. This was Regina’s circle.
And these people, women and men, these were no ordinary folk. This was the guard. That very same guard that guarantees the safety of the queen, the very same guard that goes to any affected zone, appeases any major conflict. This was the SS of the vampire world. All the elders that I knew were among them, and some even older that just didn’t oversee any territory. These were no ‘muscle’. These were the brain. Strong, fierce and remorseless, but each one more intelligent and with more skills that an entire university classroom. I pity the fool (sorry T.) that would go against any of them. Now imagine all of them. In any case, and in any major past, present or future conflict, this would be the very last line of defense, behind which Regina would stay. Normally.
WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING HERE? Panick. Breatheeee… Breatheeee….
“REGINA!” I shouted. I couldn’t help it anymore.
“What the fuck is going on?! FOR GODS SAKE THIS IS GENOCIDE.”
“Not yet.” She replied.
She cut herself rather deep to her wrist and stuck it into my mouth.
“You’re not staying out this time. You’re coming with.” She said, and added: “Swallow!”
While I was doing just that, she explained how I protested last time when she didn’t want me to go with her. Good times.
“Swallow!” I tried, I really tried. It was no better than what it usually tasted like. Copper, warm copper.
I must have swallowed a whole 200 MG cup of it. How do I know? Well that’s about the size of my morning cup of coffee, and I know approximately how I feel after drinking all of it. I was around that level.
“Don’t throw up.” Viktoria said laughing, zipping up behind me.
“Don’t.” She said again and started walking towards the exit. Regina pushed me from behind and I followed, with her behind me.
I was shaking.
Now, years later, I know that the Vampire Diaries, the TV show, says that if you drink vampire blood, and then die, you become a vampire.
The truth is, they are close, but not actually there.
You don’t actually 2need to die. If you get to that point, you’re just that, dead. Instead, you just need to lose a big part of your own blood. Dangerously anemic I would call it.
But the thing is, having vampire blood in you already, will not allow you to lose too much blood. You won’t heal like they do, but it coagulates much faster, the wound doesn’t close, it just stops bleeding really fast. I learned this the hard way, and if you read the story, you know how. Given, if the wound is too large, you’ll most likely just do what any normal person would do, and die.
However, I didn’t know that much at the time, I had my suspicions, but it was fuzzy. Nobody gave me a run-down of vampire characteristics or books to read. Nobody sat me down and explained this and that. I picked it up day by day, some things I got wrong, some turned out to be true. Even to this day, there’s a lot of things I can’t explain or know how they work.
So you see, it’s a very… interesting fact here. A fact that makes it nearly impossible to be turned like this.
Let me put it in other words: The normal way of being turned is by the vampire feeding off you, and then you feeding off her. The moment when the vampire looses enough blood and passes out, you also ingested enough blood of hers, and pass out yourself. Two persons have roughly the same amount of blood if there’s no big difference in body size.
Now, doing it the other way, is a bit impossible. If you feed from the vampire first, she’ll pass out if you drain her, but you won’t, because you haven’t lost any blood. Nothing happens. And if you are wounded after feeding of the vampire, again, you won’t manage to lose enough blood, because it coagulates faster. It works like a super-charged Vitamin K.
I didn’t know all that at the time, I had a hunch, but the whole theory was not clear in my head. I simply figured that, if something happens to me, I’ll turn. I was scared, I was shaking.
We approached a small hotel with a basement bar. The same place where Viktoria was attacked in the first place.
Viktoria went in, me and Regina stayed out. Five minutes in, two persons got out in a rather rushed pace, and ran. We followed them, and I was pretty sure Viktoria was on our footsteps also.
It wasn’t long until we went straight through a park, then through two narrow streets, at the end of the last one being a large building, not tall, just generally large, spread.
They went straight inside, we followed them to the basement. We passed right through the basement, then through a corridor, and ended up in a large interior yard, flanked on all sides by similar two-story buildings. The whole thing smelled horrible, literally.
In front of us, the two guys, observant enough, finally acknowledged someone was following them, and by the time we managed to make ourselves unseen, a rather large number of them started coming out from a door from our right, a door towards which the two guys were now heading too.
I simply stopped and then started backing up with my face still towards them.
Regina stopped too, but didn’t back down. Instead, she started advancing slowly.
That whole crowd started forming, slowly but surely, a semi-circle in front of Regina.
I counted about 20 of them, heavily armed. Simple guns luckily, no RPG, no AK-47. Phew. Phew? It was pretty much, still, the highest number of guns I’ve seen in my life.
Let me rephrase that: It was the first time I had actually seen a gun in my life, not considering the ones I had seen earlier in the ship.
Regina advanced and pulled out from under her jacket, slowly, a cross. A rather big cross. They didn’t flinch, didn’t changed their attitude.
“I was sent here by the Vatican itself. You have something that belongs to us, and we want it back. Please, we mean you no harm.”
She was still advancing.
“STOP!” One of them yelled.
“YOU – NO – VATICAN!”
“We know who you are!” Other one yelled.
And then Regina finally stopped and grabbed her infamous golden knife from inside the jacket. They all tensed when she reached inside, but none made any move.
And while making that move, I knew perfectly well what’s coming. Nothing good. Regina had already started arching her back, bending her knees and pretty much radiating with anger. I could feel it in the air. Ok, I couldn’t actually feel it, but I felt it through the memories that stance inspired in my head.
“If you know who I am. You know what I am.”
“Give me what I want and I’ll leave in peace.”
My heart stopped. No!
Dodged a bullet. Surely that can’t be possible.
And really, it isn’t. But Regina did it. Before you jump to accusations, let me explain.
Any gun has a trigger, and any trigger needs to be, well, triggered. Now, if you ever held a gun, you know that every trigger has a certain weight, some of them have about 5KG of force needed to actually push the trigger. You would also know that the very last part of the trigger is increasingly harder to push. A split-second before actually firing, you end up in that “point of no return” when the trigger is just about to snap and fire, right at that moment. That’s the moment when you apply the most force to a trigger.
You see the hand tensing up, you hear the trigger being pushed more and more, and you get to know, if you can hear it, the exact point of no return, which is about 200 milliseconds before the gun is fired.
Regina could hear that, she was in a full-blown alert. She could hear that perfectly well, and dodged the bullet before the gun was actually triggered. Now, if you can’t hear that, and figure you dodge it anyway, you could end up in that awkward situation where you jump because a bomb is about to explode, but it never does.
This wasn’t the case, Regina ducked before the gun was fired, it happened so fast you couldn’t tell which came first, the shot or the dodge. No jokes about the chicken please.[audio http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/lc4m5gzrf4/05_-_ketto.mp3]
She got up and instantly growled at them. A really, really loud, primal, evil and full of anger growl. Even I tensed up behind her, shivers down my spine. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew it all too well. I knew those dark red eyes, and that primal roar and expression that showed nothing but viciousness, a panther about to jump at you.
The moment when she did that, the whole line of them just backed down a few inches. They still held their ground, but you could tell they were pretty much just seeing it for the first time, most of them, the one that shot was holding his ground.
All around us, from the buildings that formed the interior round, there were cracking sounds and footsteps and in a matter of seconds, all of them, in balconies that ran for the full length of the buildings, were full of people. At first I thought “That’s it, we’re never leaving this place alive.” But then, all of those people jumped from the second floor, and my thoughts changed completely. I knew who all of them were.
The semi-circle was now encircled, almost, by death itself.
Instantly, five of them just backed down and tried to run. Viktoria picked them up in one single run from on side to the other, knocking all of them down as she went by and then just standing to Regina’s left, at 10 o’clock, in front of her but behind the others.
This all happened rather fast, most of the ones around didn’t interfere. Another few of those that remained just dropped their guns and did nothing except just staying there in pure terror, and about 10 of the ones that remained with guns raised, started shooting frantically towards everyone and everything that moved.
I literally saw Regina and Viktoria approaching them one step at a time, walking while being shot at, looking at them straight in the eyes, growling at them and approaching relentlessly. I saw both of them jerking violently as they approached, being hit by one bullet after another. Regina had absolutely no armor, no nothing on her. She just walked towards all of them without backing down. I could see bits and pieces of clothing flying off her.
She got to the point where she was literally 10 centimeters away from them and they were still shooting and in one move she just ripped the throat of the one that shot first, right there, she bit so hard that half of his throat was literally missing. He was still shooting, and not missing, while she did that.
Viktoria pretty much massacred another three of them, and some of the ones that were knocked down by her, got up in the meantime but were held in place by the others.
Three of the ones that were shooting remained, and they stopped shooting.
All in all, there were now only 7 of them left alive.
Regina bent down with one knee to the floor. She looked behind, at me, saw me, and looked back at them.
She looked at Viktoria and Viktoria smiled and tapped her chest in a gesture of saying “Kevlar!”
Regina was coughing blood, almost kneeling. She made a gesture like a horizontal line in front of her, in the air. Without saying anything, with her head bent down.
All of the seven were lined up in front of her, some standing, some to their knees, unable to get up for some reason or another.
I could pretty much tell that she took this very personally, otherwise she wouldn’t even had come here, and wouldn’t have called everyone else like this. It wasn’t really necessary, and five of the ones that were around us could have taken care of this more easily and with fewer casualties. But this was personal to her, and for Viktoria too.
To attempt and strike right at the heart of the kinship… no. Revenge is not a word looked down upon in their world. Revenge is part of everyday life, and is carried out religiously even if futile in the end.
Half of the others were standing guard all around the yard, in random places, but strategically placed so that no single meter remained unobserved. Another half was already picking up dead bodies all around and hauling them through the door from where we came.
Regina started undressing.
Jacket. Shirt. Pants. Almost naked, except underwear. She was bleeding from at least fifteen or twenty different places.
She approached the first one, jerked him to his feet with one hand and just dug deep in him, biting hard while he screamed, and screamed and then stopped screaming, falling down to the floor, dead.
“Where is he?” She asked the others casually.
One bullet to the ground. Ping. It fell out of her and the wound vas visibly closing in front of their eyes. The expression on their face was pure amazement, fear, terror and… amazement again. It was kind of like seeing a dog talk. You don’t really know if you’re amazed or terrified.
None of them said anything.
She picked the next one and repeated the process exactly.
Again, two bullets fell out from her, with a third picking it out herself from a shoulder and dropping it. Wounds closing faster than you could see.
I want to tell you that I wanted to stop her then and ask her not to do that, not to kill all of them, but I can’t. Because that wouldn’t be true. I was actually asking myself how much blood can she drink, and if she can actually drain all of them. I was rather giddy at the thought of that being possible, and was looking forward to seeing the attempt.
I’m a horrible person. I know. But those fucks just tried to kill the only person I’ve ever cared about this much. I would have drained them myself, butcher shop style.
When she picked up the next in line she didn’t even ask anymore. She just did it AGAIN and then looked at them, staring them down, while bullets were coming out of her and wounds closing. They knew the damn question pretty well.
One of them then said:
“Inside… under the trapdoor….”
Regina flicked her head towards Viktoria and waited, wiping blood of her body here and there and taking her pants back on. All of the bullets from her legs were now out, some of them picked out by herself.
Then… the vampire died.
October 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
We spiraled up on three different flights of stairs and we ultimately ended up in some kind of an office building, Vatican style, full of priests. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Half way through the busy corridor, another flight of stairs took us to the third floor, where two people were guarding the top of the stairs, then another two were guarding the massive door that was right in front of the stairs.
The two men guarding the door, upon seeing our small party of four, already started opening the massive doors, each grabbing a handle and pushing in towards the inside.
A big desk in front of an even bigger window, behind which a cardinal or high priest or whatever they are called, was waiting. Me and Regina entered. The two accompanying priests retreated and left.
Behind the desk, one man. He stood up.
From top to bottom he was dressed in weird red and golden clothes, with a an even weirder hat on his head.
The whole dialogue below is a very vivid reconstruction, and is by no means exact. I’m adding reactions and facial expressions as I think they were, but I don’t actually really remember the whole thing. I mainly remember only the start and the conclusion of the whole thing, but here it is how it went, mainly…
“Eminence.” Regina said as she sat down. The priest gestured me into taking a seat also. I did.
“Your highness.” He said looking at Regina, and also sat down behind the desk.
What was this, the battle of the titles? It seemed like a cheeky comedy where three or four doctors meet and they all greet each and every one with “Doctor”.
“Doctor” – “Doctor” – “Doctor” – “Doctor” – “Doctor”. Oh come on.
“Are you the pope?” I asked.
Regina couldn’t help it and cracked up laughing.
“No, I’m not the pope kid.” – He was talking in a perfect American-English accent, and sounded to me more like a cowboy rather than a priest. For starters, he didn’t address me with “my child” and didn’t finish the talk with “bless you”. He was a priest, but not really. If you know what I mean.
The priest turned towards Regina preparing to say something, but then I saw on his face than in a split second he changed his mind in saying that, and just glanced for a second at me and then went back to Regina, prepared to say something else.
“I don’t mean to intrude or ask who this is, but you do understand how sensible this is…”
“Do you think that my children are so famous worldwide because I have problems in deciding who knows what?” – This of course was a rhetorical question. Her “children” weren’t famous, or known at all. She however, dodged the question. Which the priest caught. Most people didn’t, and didn’t ask the question again, but alas, he was no ordinary man I figured, or knew Regina really, really well.
“Don’t dodge my question.” He said. And then looked straight at me.
“Who are you?” He asked me directly.
I looked at Regina then back at him.
“If you’re not the pope, I’m not telling.” I responded. Regina was pleased, she smiled, and he frowned.
Before he got the chance to say anything else, Regina intervened.
“I’m changing everything. The kinship is changing.”
Is it? I thought. If so, this was the first time I was hearing about this.
“He’s part of that change.”
Oh this was becoming more interesting by the second.
“Do you know for how many centuries I’ve been alone?”
“Do you know how many mates of my kind I had, to keep me company?”
“Do you know how many humans I’ve turned in my whole existence?” – Regina said, leaning forward towards him.
He didn’t answer to any of those. They were of course, all, rhetorical questions, and he was waiting for the answer.
“Three.” She responded to the last question herself, and laid back in the chair.
His eyes widened.
“Yes, that’s right. Only three humans.”
“And from those three, two weren’t really planned, and as you already know, Viktoria is not exactly what you would have in mind as a queen.”
“So you’re saying that he….?” The priest tried asking, but was left with his mouth open.
“He’s been with me for a long time, and I plan to keep it that way…” Regina responded.
“Now wait just a second here…” I intervened.
“He doesn’t seem to agree.” The priest intervened also.
“No. Wait. Shut up.” I responded and turned towards Regina.
“We talked about this.” I said.
“Are you not my mate?” She said.
I ignored the question and tried continuing with: “You could tell me your pla…” I didn’t finish.
“Are you or are you not?!” She asked again.
“I am.” I said.
“Then where’s the problem?” She didn’t really want an answer, because she turned towards the priest again.
“In any case, like I was saying. Three.”
I just gave up, would pick it up another time. This wasn’t the place for that discussion.
“That’s why I’m here actually. Because of them.”
“We’re glad you returned, because there’s a little issue of our own that you might see too.” The priest said.
“First my problem.” She said.
“Very well.” He waited.
I remember the clock behind me. I couldn’t see it, but because of it, I realized how silent the whole building, the whole Vatican was. Right there, waiting for Regina to say something, which couldn’t have been more than two seconds, I felt that hours went by. Just because I heard the clock and realized time is going by fast.
TIC TAC TIC TAC
The sun behind the cardinal was orange. A sign it was close to sundown. Regina knew that also by instinct, I was sure.
Sundown meant a lot for us you see. For most people sundown means fatigue and finally, sleep. We were functioning on reverse, this was our waking hour. Regina was starting to blush and open up. You could literally see the energy flowing through her. Even her lips seemed more plump and her hair seemed to have more volume. Yep, sundown was nearing fast.
“Like I said, I have only but three of my own. All of which were attacked in the same night, thousands of kilometers away. Gunnar, the middle one, was taken.”
“I need to know who is behind this and you can help me.”
“How could I do that?” The priest said.
“We’re moving a large number of the kinship to Istanbul…”
Wait, what? War is coming?
Regina continued to explain to him everything that has happened, and the fact that there were currently some people around Turkey that knew about the kinship, and that needed to be solved. She explained about Viktoria, by whom and how she was attacked. He seemed to understand and agree with everything. In a way…
“Very well, I’ll make the necessary arrangements and grant you permission.” The priest said.
And for the first time, I realized there was so much more I didn’t know about what was going on. I felt like I was on top of the world, before this, I felt like I knew almost everything there is to know, but day by day, Regina continued to show me even more, things that not even her own kind knew, for example where she lives, or her “agreement” with the Vatican. I understood that the safety of the whole kinship, and at times, of a lot of other people, were truly in her hands, and her hands alone. She made herself queen. She made herself responsible. It was her duty. That’s how she felt. 1You cannot comprehend the amount of power and influence this girl had. It’s simply mind-boggling to even think about the number of silent agreements and contacts she had made over the centuries to keep the kinship not only safe, but hidden… And at times, one needed to be sacrificed for the other. That was one important lesson, that I learned, by myself, right there on that chair.
I learned that she, like all of us, was forced to compromise at times. Compromise the secrecy, in front of a select few from Vatican, to guarantee safety for her kind. And then again, sacrifice safety, by putting herself and a lot of dear ones, in front of- literally – a smoking gun, in order to preserve the secrecy – which was something about to happen in Turkey.
There was so much more I didn’t know, that it made me feel helpless and in awe, all the time.
What was happening here? I’ll clarify it with you before going further, something that Regina also did for me.
A select few, this cardinal, the other two priests, the pope himself (I think) and a few inferior-rang priests and nuns, they knew very well who Regina was, what she was, who the kinship was, and more importantly, they were well aware about the need to protect them and keep them hidden. But to my understanding, that’s all they knew. That they existed and were not a myth. Vatican was playing hand-in-hand here with vampires, but not in a game of conspiracy to control the world. It was a game of keeping each other in check.
Regina was in times long past, the sworn enemy of the Vatican, and like-wise, religion in general was the sworn enemy of the kinship. They each wanted the other eradicated, thinking it’s for the best. An agreement was made, a silent one, over the years. We act under your permission and observation, in important matters, and you do the same.
were are priests in almost each and every vampire territory in Europe, passive, observant, non-intruding and generally out of the loop – but there. In the same respect, Vatican itself – right at the very top – has its own share of the kinship. Observant, silent, non-intruding – but there. The same. A wolf among the sheep. Two, three…?
In hindsight, The Da Vinci Code is NOTHING compared to the extent of this piece of information right here. And you know what? Just making such a statement puts me in a very, very delicate position. Trying to actually prove this, I believe, would be even more impossible or deadly than trying to prove that vampires are among us. Unlike Regina, the Vatican would stop at nothing at shutting me up. Nothing.
But back to the story.
Permission? Regina needed permission to go there? Is this why Turkey, most of it, was out of reach for the kinship? In short: Yes.
In a longer version: Turkey isn’t christian, Vatican has no influence there. However, what Vatican has there, is interest. Interest in keeping it stable, interest in keeping good relations with Ankara, interest in ensuring that they never, ever find out what the Vatican is hiding right under its floor – literally. An army of vampires. An army which was to be en-route to Istanbul very shortly.
So yes, Regina needed permission to go in that specific place. Nowhere else really, except Turkey and another irrelevant far-away land.
By herself, I don’t think she needed any acknowledgement, and by all means, she could have just went there without any notifications, given the fact that apparently she checked in once every 10 years or so, but sending so many of them there, that was another story.
The cardinal agreed with everything actually, he was rather interested in the matter also, because the personal interest of the Vatican was at stake here. Someone “from the other side” was hunting vampires, and that shouldn’t happen.
“Well, you know very well, I need higher approval for this. And as a coincidence, this comes in direct contact with my little own problem.” The cardinal said.
“I’m listening…” Regina added. I was listening too, now more than ever.
“As you may be well aware, Paul died last year…” – This guy right here was referring to Pope John Paul the 2nd.
“And just like it so happened before, there’s trouble in paradise.” He continued.
They were having a discussion only they knew what was about.
“Again?” Regina asked.
“I’m afraid so.” He replied.
And we stood up right there, and left. All three of us.