Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Chapter 10

"A spy?  You have a spy in the Van Helsing organization?"  Jeff was
astonished.

"After your last run in with them, I began thinking about the trouble those
people have made for us.  You and Willow were almost killed.  So I
contacted some of the other folks working with some of the older vampires
and we all got together and decided we needed someone on the inside.
Brother Victor has been invaluable."

"Brother Victor?"

"It's almost dawn.  Let's see if we can find a hotel or someplace to spend
the day where I can make some calls and see what I can find out."  Craig
led them back to the van and they drove back into the heart of La Junta
checking in to the Hampton Inn.

Once they were all settled in three adjoining rooms, Jeff made sure the
drapes kept their room light tight.  Robin and Scott then came back to
Willow and Jeff's room.  "Explain this organization to us," Scott
requested.  Craig sat in a comfortable chair and began his story.

"The Van Helsings began as an offshoot for the Catholic Church.  Back in
the old days the Church declared war on vampires.  They saw them as evil,
something from the devil.  Although today no one believes that vampires are
real, if they did, the Church would still probably say they were demons or
somehow against the religious teachings of the Church."

"We've been called cursed," Jeff agreed.  "It doesn't matter that no one
chooses this lifestyle.  Nor is it the result of living a bad life.  But
the fact is for so many of us, particularly the young vampires, the only
way to live is by murder.  In many ways it can be a curse."

"Well apparently there was a monk, a Dominican," Craig continued, "John Van
Helsing.  Bram Stoker even based one of his characters on the man, at least
stealing his name.  The Church charged Father Van Helsing with the task of
finding a colony of vampires that was plaguing Europe.  The man broke away
from the Dominicans and founded his own monastic order dedicated to
fighting the children of the night as they were poetically called.  Over
time the Van Helsing order and the Church went their separate ways.  The
order, no longer affiliated as a religious group but more of a militia,
moved to America and founded a new headquarters in the Colorado Rockies.
Although still run loosely like a religious order, they ascribe to no
religious doctrines other than their one commitment and that being to
eliminate all vampires."

"There are a lot of bad vampires out there," Jeff added.  "An example is
that house we just saw this past night.  When vampires are newly created,
they have a burning desire for blood and often get it by murdering innocent
people.  It is rare to find a new vampire with the self restraint to
consider that there might be another way to live."

"Did you murder people when you were young?" Scott asked.

"In a way I was very lucky in that respect.  My father had me chained in my
coffin so when I came back to life as a vampire, I was kept locked away for
many, many years.  My first death was in 1823, but I wasn't brought out
into the world until 1955.  By then my mind had caught up with the rest of
me and I was able to meet some very caring people who helped me learn how
to live without killing others.  I lived for many years only ingesting
pig's blood."

"Over time we have met a number of vampires who are good people."  Craig
took over the story again.  "They get by with substitutes for human blood,
or they use vampire service organizations, companies that supply blood from
willing donors.  But the Van Helsings don't make any distinction.  To them
any vampire is evil and they kill any they can find.  In fact, they often
have caused collateral damage, hurting or killing others just to get to
their intended targets."

Jeff nodded.  "I, myself have been their target on more than one occasion.
And some of them aren't very discriminating who may get hurt in the
process.  Our last encounter with them was a close call for both me and for
Willow, who as y'all know, is definitely not a vampire.  Craig was also
seriously injured by one of their followers."

Craig took over the narration again.  "Well, Brother Victor is a member of
the Van Helsings.  He felt that they were going a bit overboard in some of
their tactics, and decided to help us.  We, in turn, don't make any fuss if
the Van Helsings take out a cell like the one we encountered last night.
But if they are targeting one of the harmless older crowd, Brother Victor
gives us a heads up."

"Can you contact this Brother Victor?" Scott asked.  "Would he be able to
tell us if they have Roon?  Robin and I aren't vampires.  Maybe they would
just give him back to us as his guardians."

"In theory that makes sense," Craig agreed.  "But in practicality, I'm not
so sure it would be that easy.  You have to remember these people are a bit
odd and paranoid.  They operate on the fringe of legality as it is.  I'm
not so sure they would just hand the boy over willingly to two strange men.
First off, these people are pretty radical conservatives.  They probably
don't approve of gay relationships any more than they do of vampires
associating with humans.  Secondly, I'm betting you don't have any legal
documents to support your claim to the boy."

"Legal documents?" Robin asked, confused.

"Birth certificate, documents naming you as guardians and signed by the
parents?"

"No, no legal papers," Scott agreed.

"So even if we got the authorities involved in the situation, Roon would
just end up in the system in foster care somewhere."

"But he is not even human," Robin argued.

"Let's hope the Van Helsings don't discover that," Craig said ominously.
"Who knows what they would think or do?"

"You think he's in danger?" Scott asked, alarmed.

"I don't know.  I just know they sure hate vampires.  If they think he
isn't human, who knows what they might think he is.  But I'll get the ball
rolling.  We need to put an ad in the classifieds.  That will alert Brother
Victor to contact us."

* * *

"Where are you off to?" one of the monks asked as Brother Victor climbed
into the jeep.

"Just into town for some supplies.  We're running low on milk, and now that
we have a boy living here, we better have more nutritious food for him."
The man turned the key and started up the old jeep.  He gave his friend a
wave and then drove out of the monastery, through the old gateway and down
the winding road that lead to highway 24 and on into Manitou Springs.
Brother Victor drove the old jeep down the highway and eventually pulled
into the town, turning into the parking lot of a King's supermarket.  He
quickly loaded a cart with groceries, paid for it with the monastery's
debit card and pushed it out to the jeep.  Putting it in the back, Brother
Victor then walked back to the store and up to one of the few a pay phones
still left just outside the building.  He lifted the receiver and dialed
the number, reversing the charges as he had been instructed to do.  A few
minutes later, after the person on the other end of the line and routed his
call, Craig answered his cell.  "This is Brother Victor," the monk said.
"I called because there was an ad in the classifieds as you arranged."

"Thank you for calling," Craig said.  "We have reason to believe your order
rescued a young boy in a raid you conducted in La Junta two days ago."

"Yes, an odd boy named Roon.  How did you know this?"

"I'm trying to get him back to his parents."

"But you work for a vampire.  This boy isn't one of them.  He's very much
alive."

"Yes, he is," Craig answered slowly.  "But his parents are friends of mine.
He was lost and one of those vampires from the cell in La Junta snatched
him.  We're very grateful that you saved him."

There was a long pause on the line.  "I'm not really sure what to do," the
man finally admitted.  "I can't tell anyone I've spoken to you.  I guess
you could bring the parents out here on your own, but someone is going to
wonder how they knew to come here.  The boy has been very tight lipped
about his background, refusing to tell anyone anything."

"Do you think you could get him out of the monastery?  We could pick him
up."

"I don't see how, but I'll see what I can do.  Maybe I can convince someone
to let him ride into town with me on my next shopping trip."

"Great.  Do what you can.  Just don't let anyone give him a medical exam."

This seemed to alarm the monk.  "Why not?"

Craig felt like an idiot.  He probably shouldn't have said anything, but
now that he had, he might as well go all the way.  "Well, he isn't exactly
human."

"What!?  What is he, exactly?"

"Don't worry.  You're in no danger.  He's just a boy.  But he comes from
another world."

There was another long pause on the phone.  "Another world?  Like an extra
terrestrial?"

"More like...from the fairy world."

There was a snort of derision.  "You go too far."

"You can believe in vampires, but not in fairies?  Just don't let them
examine him too closely."

"I've got to go."  The line went dead.

"Well?  Is this man going to help us?" Scott demanded.

"I'm not sure," Craig said.  Robin was all for calling out the fairy army
and storming the monastery, but everyone did their best to try and calm him
down.

* * *

As Brother Victor drove back into the monastery he was met by a couple of
other younger monks who came out the help him unload the jeep.  They were
obviously very excited about something.  "While you were gone," one of them
said quickly, "Father Stephen made the announcement about that boy we
rescued the other day."

"What about him?" Brother Victor asked, suddenly alert.

"Father Stephen said he is a demon child and has him locked up in a cell in
the basement."

"Demon?  He's just a little boy," Victor said in shock, but inside he was
shaking.

"He touched that old cross hanging in the chapel and it burned him!" one of
the monks said in excitement.  So they took him to Brother Sid in the
infirmary and when Brother Sid went to examine him, he found all sorts of
weird stuff.  For example, the kid has pointed ears, just like the devil."

"That's ridiculous," Brother Victor said.  "To condemn a child just because
his ears are deformed..."

"And his blood is blue."

"What?"

"Brother Sid took a blood sample and it came out blue instead of red.  The
kid must be a demon.  I mean when he touched the cross it burned his hand."

Victor shook his head in amazement and worry.  "Did anyone examine the
cross?"

The young monks nodded.  "Yes, it's just that old iron one in the chapel.
Someone touched it right after the boy did, and it was just cold metal.  It
didn't hurt him at all.  But it burned the boy.  He must be Satan's child."

"Um, Brother Jerry, don't you have a cell phone?" Victor asked.

"Yeah, I do," the young monk said, reaching in his jeans pocket.

"They forgot some of my grocery order.  I'm going to give them a call.  You
two go ahead and take this inside.  I'll be right there."  As soon as the
two were gone, Victor punched in the number.  When a woman came on the line
he spoke low and quickly into the phone.  "No time to route the call.  Give
Craig Langston a message.  They gave the boy a physical and think he's a
demon.  This is Brother Victor."  He then quickly broke the call and walked
into the building to give the phone back to the young monk.

* * *

Craig came to Jeff's room and knocked quietly on the door.  Willow opened
it and he slipped inside.  "What's up?" Jeff asked instantly alert.  He
could tell by the tension, the heart rate and the pheromones that Craig was
very nervous.

"This isn't good," he began as he sat down to brief the two.  "I just got a
message from our office.  Brother Victor called.  He said they've
discovered that the kid isn't a normal human boy.  They think he's some
sort of demon child probably because of his pointed ears.  Who knows what
they will do to him now.  And I'm really nervous about telling the fairies.
I don't think that king is going to take it very well that his son is being
held by a radical group who may torture or kill him.  That guy was talking
the other day about calling up the fairy army.  Who knows what they will
look like if they show up here?"

Jeff nodded.  "If they do show up here, I'm guessing they will be on
horseback and armed with swords.  They seem to be pretty much stuck in the
middle ages.  But I think the last thing any local government needs is a
group of mounted men with swords attacking a religious order.  This could
get really ugly."

"What do we do?" Willow asked.

"I could try to sneak in there during the night and rescue the boy."

"A vampire, sneaking into the headquarters of the Van Helsing's?  I don't
think that's such a good idea," Craig replied.

"Got a better one?"

"No.  But what are we going to tell the fairies."

"I'm part fairy.  Let me talk to Scott.  He seems to be a bit more
reasonable," Willow suggested.

A short time later, Willow and Scott went for a walk.  The boy explained
the situation to the king's consort.  Scott listened and then said he would
talk to Robin.  "I'll try and explain it to him, but I know he isn't going
to take this well.  He's a man of action and he wants our son back now.  I
know all this waiting has been chafing at him.  I can only imagine how
Robin must feel.  He used to things being done his way."  Meanwhile Craig
and Jeff made plans for their trip into the mountains.

A short time later there was a knock on the door.  Craig answered it and
Robin and Scott came in.  "My lover has expressed his concern about my
reaction.  I know you are planning a rescue for my son.  Although I would
have preferred to bring in the palace guard, my lover has convinced me that
this would not be a wise course at this time.  They are, however, standing
by.  I shall accompany you on your rescue."

"I don't think that's a very good idea," Craig started.

"I shall accompany you," Robin said firmly.  There was no arguing further.
The five of them sat down to make plans.  Scott and Willow would be waiting
in a van, not far from the compound on a small forest road.  Craig made
arrangements for a private jet to be standing by at the airport in La
Junta.  Robin, Jeff and Craig would all three try to infiltrate the Van
Helsing compound.  Jeff wanted to go alone, but Robin insisted he would
come as well and Craig said he had training from his experience as a
special ops member during his military days.

The next day they rented a special cargo van with no windows in the back
and covered Jeff in the special suit that Craig and had packed for him.
They then got Jeff in the back in the late afternoon and drove off on
highway 50.  Two hours later they passed through Manitou Springs and on up
highway 24 until they came to the turn off that led into the mountains.
"This is the road," Craig said, navigating with the various maps he was
looking at as Scott drove.  "Now we just have to find a small access road
and I think that might be it there."  He pointed out a break on the side of
the road.

"Are you sure?" Scott asked as he pulled to a stop.  "That doesn't even
look like a road.  It kind of looks like a dirt trail between the trees."

 "We aren't going to find a nice paved road to hide on.  We want a dirt
trail between the trees.  It should bring us into a forested area just
downhill from where the monastery is supposed to be located.  It's not
actually on any maps.  They are pretty well hidden."  The van bounced down
the trail and slipped between the pines and several large boulders on what
was probably once a road to an old mining camp of some sort.  Scott
eventually pulled to a stop when the trail seemed to dead end in a grove of
pine trees.  The sun was just setting and it was already growing dark in
the little valley.  The three commandos slipped out the back of the van and
started climbing up the steep slope of forest as Scott did his best to try
and turn the vehicle around so it was pointed back toward the main road.

Craig tried to lead the group up the incline, climbing over rocks and
boulders on the way.  Several times the way seemed impassable, but each
time Craig looked up to see either Jeff or Robin reaching down to help him
climb higher.  Apparently the vampire and the fairy were each better adept
at scaling the side of the gorge than the human.  In about twenty minutes
they reached a more gradual slope that led up to a flat field.  In the
twilight they could see the white walls surrounding the Van Helsing
monastery.  It looked much like any old monastery building in western
America, a flat adobe style construction of several buildings surrounded by
a protecting wall.  The field outside the wall was empty, to one side a
couple of soccer goals were set up, but nothing else seemed to obstruct the
view.  As the darkness fell on the area a number of bright exterior lights
snapped on, illuminating the wall and the buildings inside.

"How will we cross this field without being seen?" Craig asked.

"I can make it to the wall and probably won't be seen," Jeff replied.

"The same for me," Robin nodded.

"Guys, you're forgetting I'm only human here," Craig responded.  "I'll go
first.  You two follow once I make it all the way there.  If I'm spotted
and there's an alarm I don't want you to be caught."  He hunched down and
ran quickly across the empty intervening space.  Once he made it to the
wall he flattened himself against.  Looking back toward the edge of the
woods, he motioned his companions to join him.  Before Craig even finished
signaling, Jeff was standing at his side.  Craig marveled, having never
spotted the vampire as he crossed the field.  A few moments later, Robin
also showed up.  He too had managed the crossing without being visible.
"Okay," Craig whispered.  "Let's see if we can find a way inside the wall."

"Why not scale it?" Jeff asked and cupped his hands to give his friend a
boost.  Craig nodded and put his foot into Jeff's hands, then climbed up
onto his shoulders.  He was just able to peek over the top of the wall and
look into the compound.  He quickly ducked down, having seen some people
walking about inside.  He then peeked over again and then lightly jumped
back down to the ground.  He indicated that the men should follow him and
he ran along the outside of the wall for about thirty yards.  Once he
stopped he indicated to Jeff, he wanted another boost.  Jeff cupped his
hands again and once again Jeff climbed up.  This time he boosted himself
up on top of the wall and turned to reach down to help his companions, but
Jeff and Robin each jumped and grabbed the wall pulling them selves easily
up.  Looking down they could see they were behind some old buildings.  The
three men lightly jumped down, landing at the base of the wall.  They
quickly ducked behind the buildings and regrouped.  "What do we do now?"
Jeff asked, then tilted his head as he sniffed the air.  "Nevermind, I
think it's my turn now."  He began creeping along the back sides of the
outbuildings, getting his team closer to one of the main structures.
"Here," he said, indicating a door.

Craig slowly opened the door and carefully slipped inside, his two
companions following him.  They walked slowly down an institutional looking
hall, Jeff in the lead.  The men came to another door set in the side of
the hall, and Jeff gripped the handle, slowly pulling it open.  The three
found a stairway leading down and followed it.  At the bottom of the stairs
was another long hall, very dimly lit.  Craig pulled out a flashlight from
his backpack and snapped it on, keeping his beam low on the floor.  Jeff
continued to lead them till he came to another door.  He gripped the handle
and tried to open it, but the door was locked.  "Let me," Robin whispered
softly.  He reached out, made a slight gesture with his hands, hummed
softly then easily opened the door.  Inside all was dark.  The three men
slipped into the room and Jeff reached for the switch on the wall.  He
snapped on the lights and all three of them jumped back in surprise.
There, tied to a chair and naked from the waist up was an older man.  He
looked up at the rescuers.  His face had been beaten and he looked to be in
a bad way.  He tried to focus on the men standing in front of the door.  He
glanced from one to the other and then spoke in a dry and cracked voice.
"Welcome, gentlemen.  I'm Brother Victor.  I assume you are my rescuers."

 

 

 

 

 

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