Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Chapter 12

"Can I get you anything to eat or drink?" Brother Victor asked.

"There is nothing you would have here," Jeff responded slowly.

The monk's eyes widened as he realized the subtext of the conversation.
"Of course," he said quickly.  His guests were sitting in an inner office
of the administration building where there were no windows.  "This really
is quite a strange situation.  This must be the first time in all of
history that a vampire has actually been inside the monastery."

"With all due respect, Brother Victor," Jeff replied, "let's hope this is
the last time as well."

"Yes," the monk agreed, slowly nodding his head.  He sat stiffly in a chair
behind a desk while Willow and Jeff sat opposite.  Robin was perched on a
couch, trying to meditate while Scott paced nervously.  Rood stood at
attention by the door.  In the outer office Craig had taken over a desk and
began making phone calls.  Akuta, Melcot, and the palace guard were keeping
a wary eye on the rest of the monks and residents of the monastery who were
temporarily confined to the large cafeteria.  The monks had been relieved
of their weapons and were being guarded by fairies armed with long swords.
The herd of unicorns stood nervously in the courtyard, waiting on their
fairy counterparts while Firebrand and Rowana watched the main gates unless
anyone came unannounced to the compound.  It seemed to be a very uneasy
truce between the monks and fairies thanks in part to the fact that most of
the monks were in the Grand Canyon trying to find a way back home.  Craig
brokered the truce by reminding the remaining leadership that he would
press federal charges of kidnapping if they were unable to apprehend Father
Stephen and return the boy to his rightful parents.  Craig pointed out that
the FBI agents that would eventually be involved if he called them were
unlikely to buy any of the stories about demons or vampires.  The monastery
would have some difficulty explaining the various weaponry the FBI was sure
to find.  That did not look like something a peaceful religious order
should possess.

Everyone immediately tensed as the door opened and Craig came bursting into
the room.  "Sorry that took so long," he apologized.  "Satellite signals
don't seem to want to work very well right now.  Probably too much
interference because of all the unusual energies from your people," he said
nodding toward Robin, who had no idea what he was talking about.  "And cell
towers are pretty unreliable out here in the mountains.  But I managed to
get through to our office on land lines.  They have tracked the helicopter
to Denver.  Looks like they boarded a jet and we are trying to get their
destination.  I should have it in a few minutes.  Meanwhile I think we need
to do something about this group here.  We're only after the boy and it
looks like Father Stephen has him, so I think we can get out of here and
concentrate on following them."

"Just leave these people?  They're the ones who took the boy!" Jeff said
angrily.

"We rescued the boy from that vampire nest," Brother Victor spoke up.  "We
brought him here for his own safety."

"And made no attempt to find out who or where his parents were," Jeff
argued, rising.

Brother Victor stood as well.  "We would have, had the boy cooperated and
told us anything, but he was so tight lipped."

"Now why do you think that was?  Perhaps because he was scared being in the
clutches of people like y'all?"

The monk's face began to turn red.  "People like us who saved him from
being eaten by people like you!"

"Gentlemen, calm down," Craig said, trying to diffuse the argument.

Robin jumped up from the couch to step between the arguing men.  "All I
want is my son back.  I want to know where this human has taken him."

"I assure you," Brother Victor said in a calmer voice, "we have no idea
what Father Stephen is up to.  We simply brought the boy here for his own
safety.  It wasn't until they discovered that he wasn't normal that ..."

"Normal?  And you think this is normal?  A paramilitary militia disguising
themselves as a religious order who hunt down innocent people..."

"Innocent?"  Brother Victor turned on Jeff.  "Innocent monsters who rip the
throats out of normal human beings to drink their blood in the night!"

"Innocent like Count Rudolph Pinsky!" Jeff said leaning toward the monk.

"Count Pinksy was eliminated by your own father.  We had nothing to do with
that," Brother Victor said angrily.

Jeff straightened up.  He took a moment to compose himself, his face
becoming a blank mask so the others couldn't see the emotions he was
feeling.  At least he had confirmation that the Van Helsings had not been
the ones who had murdered his benefactor all those many years ago.

"If you humans are finished with your arguments, I'd like to be on my way
to rescue my son," Robin said calmly, but they could feel the tension under
his words.

"Brother Victor, I'd like your assurance that if you hear anything from
Father Stephen, his whereabouts or his plans, you'll contact us," Craig
demanded.  The monk nodded tersely.  "Can you return all your magical army
to fairyland?" he then asked, turning to Robin.

"They will return to Tuatha.  Are we going to follow the man in the flying
machine?"

"As soon as we know where he went.  Scott, can you return to the van and
bring it back here to the compound?  We can't transport Jeff by unicorn in
the sunlight.  When you get back here, bring the sun suit from the back of
the van so we can get him out of here and back in it.  Then we'll head for
Colorado Springs airport.  We have a jet waiting there.  Meanwhile I'll
wait here with Jeff and Brother Victor to make sure they don't kill each
other."  The monk and the vampire both gave Craig surprised looks, then
nervously glanced at each other.

Robin gave Rood his orders, and the captain of the guard quickly headed
toward the cafeteria.  Robin and Scott returned to the courtyard where
Rowana and Firebrand waited with the other unicorns.  In a short time the
palace guards were mounted on the unicorns.  Scott sat on Firebrand and
Rowana was seated upon a large mare.  With a word from Scott and a whinny
from Firebrand, the herd turned as one and galloped out the main gate,
around the wall and across the field to plunge over the cliff like
embankment.  Even after his past experiences, Scott expected to meet death
at any moment as the big unicorn leaped down the surface of the cliff.  He
danced down the almost vertical slope, his golden hooves finding the
tiniest ledges and crevices to catch his weight and stop his fall.  In a
matter of moments the mounted fairies were slowing as they came upon the
cargo van parked on the forest road.  Scott slipped to the ground, his legs
none too steady after the wild ride.

With a wave of farewell, Akuta, Rowana, Jennifer and the rest led the
unicorns back into the trees where they made their first appearance.
Willow reached for his stomach and made an odd face.  "I feel like I'm
gonna be sick," he said.

"It's just the magic again," Scott replied.  "They are returning to Tuatha.
Come on."  The two climbed into the van and started the engine.  Scott
drove it back up the bouncy little lane through the pine trees they had
followed the evening before.  After a while the trees thinned a bit and
they came out onto a slightly wider graveled road.  Turning to the right,
they followed it up the curving mountainside until it leveled out, turned a
sharp corner and there sat before them the wall of the monastery.  The two
drove through the main gate where only a few minutes before Scott had
ridden out on a unicorn.  They pulled up in front of the administration
building and stepped out.  Robin was waiting out front.  Willow ran to the
back of the van and pulled out the dark duster and wide brimmed hat that
was coated inside with aluminum.  The three men re-entered the building and
made their way quickly to the interior office to meet their friends.

"Thank you for your help, Brother Victor," Craig said as he reached out and
shook the man's hand.  "We'll be on our way.  I appreciate any information
you can provide us on Father Stephen if you hear anything.  And as always,
we appreciate your help in protecting the innocent, both human and non
human," he said with a quick glance at Jeff.  The monk nodded.

Then Jeff reached out his hand to the monk.  "I'd like to thank you as
well, sir.  You are a good man."

The monk had a look of total shock on his face, and then slowly, he reached
out and took the vampire's hand.  He shook it and let go, staring at it.
"I...I didn't know you'd be so cold," he whispered.

"You get used to it," Willow remarked.  With that the group left the
office.

Willow handed Jeff the wide brimmed hat and helped him slip into the long
duster, and began to fasten the buttons.  "I can dress myself," Jeff
growled, brushing his hands away.  They stepped out of the building and
Jeff ran to the back of the van.  Willow opened the door for his lover, and
then jumped in with him, pulling the door shut firmly.

Scott sniffed the air.  "What is that smell?" he asked, looking around.

"Kind of like burnt caramel?" Craig asked.  Scott nodded.  "That's just
Jeff.  The sun..."  He waved his hand vaguely as they climbed into the
front of the van driving over to the cafeteria building.

In the cafeteria two of the younger men were whispering.  "I looked out the
window and the rest of those weirdos are gone.  They rode off on those
horses."

"Those were unicorn, man," his partner whispered back.

"Unicorns don't exist.  They're something little girls play with, toys you
know.  These were just horses."

"With long silver horns coming out of their heads?"

"That was just a trick, some kind of optical illusion.  The point is, they
are gone.  It's only that one guy up there.  We can take him."

"Take me where?" Rood asked as he looked down on the two men whispering to
each other at the table.  They both looked up in shocked surprise.  Rood
reached up and pulled back his long, blond hair, revealing his pointed
ears.  "I can hear better than you," he said with a crooked smile.  "And so
you know, I am a fairy and they were unicorns."  He then turned his back on
the two and walked back to the door by the front of the room.  A horn
sounded outside.  Rood spread his hands out as he spoke, addressing the
room of men.  "Children, it has been pleasant to visit with you this night.
I must leave you now.  But if you are good boys I may come back and play
with you again."  He quickly stepped out of the room, ran across the short
space and jumped into the van waiting outside.

The men in the building all looked at each other then jumped up in anger to
run out the door after the fairy.  "Let us go quickly," Rood urged as he
slipped into the back of the van.  Scott stepped on the accelerator,
driving the vehicle for the main gate.  He glanced in his rearview mirror
to see a large number of men running from the building.

"Now what have you?" Robin asked but Rood only grinned his crooked smile at
them.

"We need to get to Denver quick enough," Craig said as he pulled out a map.
"Head back toward Manitou Springs, and then on to the airport in Colorado
Springs.  We can be in Denver almost as fast as Stephen and the boy.  And I
don't think I have to tell you, a little speed would help."  Scott pushed
the accelerator down and the van flew down the dangerously curving highway.

As they drove, Jeff looked over at Robin.  "I'm truly sorry we weren't able
to get your boy before that crazy flew off with him."

Robin nodded tersely.  "We will get him.  If he is harmed, the man will
pay."

"I understand.  I can't tell you how much pain that one man has caused, and
he hides it all behind his view of religion."

"To be honest, he has done some good," Craig answered as he looked back
into the van.  "Don't forget the cells of really bad vampires they have
wiped out."

"And don't forget the innocent people who have probably died right
alongside those bad vampires," Jeff responded.  "Do you remember when we
first met?  I was chained in a well with my friend Tony.  If the sun had
hit me I would have burst into flame and incinerated an innocent human.  If
you hadn't come along at the right moment I would never be here to help
these men find their son, or to be here with Willow, or have a chance for a
new life as a human in a new land."

"I remember," Craig agreed.  "I'm not saying the Van Helsings are good.
I'm saying that sometimes what they do isn't all bad.  Just like with
anyone, there are good things and there are bad things."

"I suppose so," the vampire agreed before lapsing into stony silence.

The sweet smell of caramel seemed to fill the van as they drove on.  "Jeff,
are you sure you're okay?" Willow asked, looking closely at his boyfriend.

Jeff nodded.  "I could sure use a drink though," he whispered.

"Couldn't we all," Scott chimed in, thinking a nice quiet bar would be
wonderful.

"It's the altitude," Craig said quietly.  "The thinner the atmosphere, the
more solar radiation.  We have to find someplace dark soon."

"We'll be at the airport in another 15 minutes," Scott answered.  "But it's
only 10:00 a.m.  Maybe if we can find that helicopter and get Roon quickly,
we can find a hotel and lay low for a bit."

"I'll be alright," Jeff whispered back.

Just then Craig's cell phone rang.  "Good, I've got a satellite connection
again," he said as he opened it and listened.  "Swell," he grumbled.  "Okay
we'll reroute our private jet to New York.  I don't have time to mess with
IDs and airport security.  Right."  He hung up and turned to the rest of
the group in the van.  "Apparently Father Stephen just boarded a plane to
New York with your son.  We'll have to follow him there.  I guess we keep
chasing him for a bit more."  Craig then made a few more hasty calls.

The van pulled into the airport and the party dashed out of it into the
terminal building.  "We're down here at the private gate," Craig said and
pointed out the far end of the terminal.  The group all began walking
briskly down the long corridor.  At the private gate Craig identified
himself and his group to the attendants standing by and they were allowed
to slip through and pointed toward the stairway leading down to the tarmac
and the private jet he had waiting.  Jeff was now visibly slowing down and
limping a bit.  Willow put his arm around his lover and tried to assist
him.  They all quickly arrived at the jet and climbed the stairs into the
fuselage.  Craig pulled the stairs up and each of them found a seat in the
comfortable cabin.  Willow made sure the window shades were all down and
Craig stepped up to the front to speak with the pilot.  In a matter of
minutes they were strapped in and taxiing down the runway.  The plane
leaped into the air, heading for New York.  Once airborn, Craig got up and
headed to the little galley in the back of the jet.  He reached into a
small refrigerator and came back with a bottle of red liquid.  "Here you
go, buddy," he said, handing it to Jeff.  "Sorry it's cold, but at least
it's fresh.  I had them stock it as we were on our way to the airport."

"Thanks," Jeff said as he quickly pulled the lid off the container and
began to sip the red contents.  Robin and Scott looked curiously back at
him, then quickly glanced away.

"Do you guys want something to drink?" Craig asked affably.

"We're fine," they both said together in chorus.  Laughing, Craig went back
to the galley and got himself a beer.

* * *

In several hours they were coming in for a landing in New York.  Robin was
visibly excited.  He knew their son would soon be back in his custody and
their misguided adventure would be over. But as they were descending to the
airport, the pilot called back for Craig to join him in the cockpit.  A few
minutes later the man as back in the cabin.  "Bad news, I'm afraid."
Instantly everyone was tense.  "We just got word that they boarded a
private jet and departed almost as soon as they arrived."

"Departed?  For where?" Scott asked quickly as Robin bristled.

"The flight plan they filed was to London."

"Will this never end?" Robin demanded.

"I am so sorry, but it looks like we just keep chasing them.  Eventually we
will catch up with them."

"Can this plane make it to London?" Scott asked.

"Yes, but there is the matter of passports, etc."

"And do you think Father Stephen had passports for himself and the boy?"
Jeff asked.

"He must have.  Come on.  I know where we can get papers quickly.  Our
office is not without its connections."

"Are these legal passports?" Jeff asked.  "I thought you had to have birth
certificates.  I know you forged one for me several years ago, but can you
do that fast enough for these two?"

"I have a birth certificate," Scott protested.  "Just not with me," he
added.

"The documents we get will pass scrutiny at most airports and customs
offices.  We just need to get into England and get the boy, then get home."

"It's not dark yet," Willow said, concern lacing his voice.

Craig took charge.  "Jeff, you wait in here while the plane refuels and
gets serviced.  We'll go get the documents we need for these guys and I'll
bring yours back with me.  We'll be back in two hours."

"Then it's off to merry old England," Scott quipped as they disembarked.

 

 

 

 

 

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