The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 103

Oana, freed from Mir’s grasp, was standing among the group of humans in the pen, when she heard the sound of Lina’s voice in the distance.  She whispered to Crina, “It’s Lina,” then, realizing that it was pertinent to everyone, she announced, “Lina, the vampire who freed Nicoleta.  She’s back.”

Crina recognized immediately what Lina’s return meant and she pushed through the crowd to go directly for Dragomir.  One of Dragomir’s guards was there to stop her, blocking her way and gruffly asking her, “What are you doing?”

Crina announced, “Seize him!” and several others rose up to assist her, a dozen hands grabbing the guard at once and pulling him away.  Dragomir tried to run, but two men cam forward to block his way and restrain him, pressing his arms behind his back and holding him in place while he struggled to free himself.  Crina pulled out a large stalactite, with a smooth, pillowy surface and, at the tip, a round, dull point.  She stepped forward and drove the blunt point of her stalactite directly into Dragomir’s stomach, with enough force to pierce through the skin and deep inside him.

Dragomir cried out and collapsed with pain as blood spilled out him, staining the stalactite and the hand that held it.  Crina raised the red stalactite above her head, and heard a roar of cheers from the crowd in the pen.

They shouted out just as Lina began her fleet dash from the Great Hall.  Just as she zipped through the door and pushed up the rock, darting out into the sunlight.  Just as she hastily covered her face, partially exposed without her head-covering, and ducked for cover.

The explosion that immediately followed rippled through the ground and sent a shockwave through the air.  In the pen, the loud boom caused the ground to quake and the ceiling of rock above them to shift and rain fine grains of dust upon them.  The people looked warily up at the ceiling above them and Oana announced, “We need to think about leaving.  Right now.  Everyone, gather what you need.”

Flaviu had laid the two barrels near the center of what Lina marked out as the walls of the room.  When they exploded a cloud of dirt rose into the air like a great, spiky dome, sending debris into the air in all directions, and leveling all things around it beneath its sudden shockwave.  His soldiers hid beneath their shields while a rain of rocks and dirt fell upon them.

Then Flaviu ordered the charge.  Men armed with arrows, crossbows and firearms ran up to the edge of the great crater in two lines and aimed down into it.  Beneath them they saw the remains of the Great Hall exposed to the sunlight.  Many of the great columns that had supported the roof were now toppled and the ground, decorated by the dragon mosaic, was littered with rocks and boulders.  The beautiful decorations of the Great Hall were cracked and scattered, and the throne was toppled and crushed.

Between all the debris, lay many vampires knocked down and crushed by the explosions.  Mostly sparsely clothed, their white skin exposed to the sunlight, grew quickly red.  Some lay on the ground, unconscious and motionless, whereas others were pinned beneath rocks or columns, and still yet others remained standing, though dazed and surprised.  With some of their skin being burned by the unbearable sun, they screamed in agony, those that could, trying to flee as quickly as they could from the light.  Flaviu ordered his men, “Fire at anything standing,” and the first volley of shots sniped some of those standing, who were slow to flee.

After this first volley, the forward line of shooters stepped backwards, and the second line, armed and ready, moved forward and launched a second volley as Flaviu ordered, “Kill anything that still moves.”  They captured some other still alive and some that had tried to escape, and silenced some of the agonized screams of those being burnt.

Simultaneously the cannons were rolled forward.  They were loaded and two cannonballs were launched at the hallway down which they’d seen some of the remaining vampires run.  The cannonballs rolled down the halls knocking down a few vampires in their way and lodging themselves deep into the walls of the cave.  But Flaviu shouted at the cannoneers, “Damnit!  No more of that!  There’s people down there somewhere.”

A succession of volleys blanketed the Great Hall with arrows and bullets, as the two lines, in successive turns, would fire, step back and reload, then step forward and fire again.  The projectiles from these many volleys rendered all life in the great hall still and silent.  More than twenty vampires now lay dead upon its floor.

At this point, Lina stepped forward and volunteered to enter.  “I’ll go in,” she announced, “There must be some ten or so still left.  Including Asha.  I’ll try to get to the humans before you set off that last barrel of gunpowder.”

Without waiting to be given permission, Lina ran towards the large boulder and opened it.  The hinge of this great door had been damaged, so she rolled the boulder aside instead of lifting it on its hinge, leaving the door now permanently open.  Then she walked forward tentatively into the shadow, not sure where some of the remaining vampires might be waiting for her.

<-- Go to Part 102         Go to Part 104 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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