Healers

A story of vampires, shape-shifters and American Indians

 

©2014

 

 

Charles W. Bird

thehomeplace1@earthlink.net

 

 

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may not be copies, transmitted or used in any manner beyond reading for enjoyment without the express, written permission of the author.

 

 THE HEALER

PART 3

BOOK 3

©2014


Charles W Bird
thehomeplace1@earthlink.net

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental and may not be broadcast, retransmitted or copied in any form without my express, written permission
















Prologue; One thousand years have passed since the deaths of the HUMAN HYBRID Progenitors, Roger and Little Bear. The three great Kingdoms and their outlying dependencies are all that remain of Human Civilization on the planet of its birth. Despite the efforts of the Hybrid Warriors, that civilization is teetering on the brink of failure. Nothing those wondrous and powerful men have done seems to prevent the light of knowledge and civilization from flickering and dimming. A new human hybrid Warrior has appeared, he has been called by some THE HEALER!


Hybrid; Correct term is Human Hybrid, created by exchange of blood fluids with two hybrids known as makers, progenitors of the race were Roger and Little Bear, somewhat sensitive to strong light, can change shape in many forms, extremely powerful mind-speakers, can combine with other Hybrids or Turned Vampires to create extremely powerful long range mind-sweeps, cannot tell a falsehood because of mind to mind meld contact, can read minds of humans, hybrids and turned vampires, believed to be able to control human minds or plant false images, vampiric but consider drinking human blood for food to be an abomination, there is a life-long maker/childe relationship, cannot create or bear young, have an almost fanatic urge to protect humans particularly children, have an intense hatred of those who would harm humans particularly children slavers, can be savage fighters of great ferocity, life span unknown but believed to be greater than 2,000 years, form life long relationship with their mate, only occur in the male form – no known female Hybrids exist, it is not known how many mated pairs exist in any when, also known as Spirit Warriors, Roger was the first Captain of Hybrids, omnivores
Turned Vampire; Created only by the exchange of blood fluids with a Hybrid (see Hybrid above), light sensitive, strong sunlight is fatal, cannot create other turned vampires, cannot create or bear young, vampiric, however consider drinking human blood for food abominable, life span less than 2,000 years, mind-speakers, cannot tell a falsehood because of mind to mind meld contact, extremely loyal to their maker, referred to as childe, omnivores
Human Sensitive; Many Humans have rudimentary mind-speak abilities, most are unaware of their ability. Humans who have worked with the Human Hybrids have developed their mind-speak abilities to a greater degree than those who have not been exposed to the Hybrids. It is believed that Humans, under ideal circumstances, are able to mind-meld with Human Hybrids, however there is considerable risk to the humans doing so.
This story is a continuation of the tale begun in the “Restart 2012” Series. To understand parts of this story, you should first read that series, especially the last Chapter “We Interrupt this Program….”




Chapter 1 – THE DECISION

After celebrating the arrival of the Princes Protector Teddy and Tong-Fu and The Leader of the Dracule, T’kli, everyone retired to a family style meal hosted by the folk of New Home. Every delicacy the land provided was served, Lymal and L’oki were as gods to the villagers and their Warrior Healers only slightly less so!


As they sat to meal, Warrior Healer Ky’len, still known affectionately as “Baby Ky’len”, stood and introduced his mate Gor’l. The two had photographic memories and they began to recite the name of each Island Community and the Warrior Healer pair living there. They recited 42 major communities, matched to 42 Warrior Healer pairs serving each community.


Ky’len then told of the hospital at New Home and recited the names of the Warrior Healer pairs and the Turned Vampire Healers serving that Regional Hospital.


He next turned to the Princes Protector and bowed, “My Lords Prince, in your service there are 152 Healers serving our people.


He then bowed to T’kli and said. “My Lord T’kli, Captain of Dracule, to you we also claim our paternity, for, through thee comes the Blood of M’belici, the Father of our race. From thee comes the Blood of our Father, L’oki. My friends and Fellow Hybrid Warrior Healers, join me in saluting Father of Healers, T’kli, Captain of Drcules, we honor thee and acknowledge thee for thy Fatherhood to our Race and our Calling.


He and Gor’l sat down to a stunned audience. T’kli was shaking and stunned at Warrior Healer Ky’len’s revelations and his public announcement of them. At that moment, The Marine Color Guard of the AHS Roger marched into the tented area of the celebration, the Marine Color Sergeant saluted the Warrior Leaders smartly and then, with grave ceremony and great dignity he approached Lymal and L’oki and presented them with the Flag of their New Order, THE WARRIOR HEALERS”!


It had a red background with a giant black eagle in the center, an olive branch in its beak and a sword in its claw! Sailors from the Heavy Cruiser then passed out capes to each Warrior Healer and each Vampire Healer, red capes with the Eagle on it! The Warrior Healer’s Eagle had a sword in its upraised claw and the Vampires’ Eagle had a Staff of Healing in its upraised claw.


Finally, the Children of New Home marched in and pinned each Healer with a gold olive branch with swords crossed.


Both Princes Protector stood and said, “Warrior Healers, kneel.” Teddy’s voice rang out, “By the authority granted me by the Rulers of our lands, I create you, Warriors and Vampires alike, KNIGHTS HEALER! Arise Knights Healer and be recognized!” The cheering and clapping of the people went on and on.


Finally, Lymal and L’oki rose and bowed to those at the head table. Lymal said, “My Lords Prince, your honors lay upon us heavily and gladly we accept such, but know you that our work is not yet finished, there are more lands and more folk to be cared for. We wear your honors gratefully, but much task remains before us, we shall not rest until all our folk are cared for, all our folk are protected and all our folk have a Warrior Healer in their midst!” It was clear that his term, “FOLK” also included the Humans of their world.


It would be hours before the new Knights Healer could get away and seek the comfort of their beds. There were boys lined 10 and 12 deep before each Warrior, asking advice on how to become a Warrior Healer! The Order of Knights Healer would increase two fold by the next week!


Lymal and L’oki were hustled off by their Fathers, T’kli, Teddy and Tong-Fu for their own private hug-fest! Far into the night the five talked, finally, T’kli asked if he could have his son for a while. Teddy laughed and asked him to stay with them for a few more moments. Teddy asked, “Where next do you go?


Lymal replied, “North America, first to the Caverns of the Dracule and then to Lake. From there, we shall go wherever we are needed until all are cared for.


T’kli’s head came up with a snap, he turned to his son and his son’s mate, “Would you allow me to accompany you to the place of my birth, the Caverns of the Dracule?”


L’oki spoke for them both, “Lord T’kli, Leader of the Dracule, Father, you are welcome to accompany us to the Caverns and anywhere else for you are an honored personage among us.”


Teddy smiled and said to both Lymal and L’oki, what about the children?” They looked at him, “The Children?” Teddy brought them to a crack in the tent and had them look outside, there, lined up before the tent doors were hundreds of young boys, all eager to be allowed to accompany their Warriors Healers on quest!


The two Healers sat down with a “thud”, “Oh my, we cannot take that many!” Tong-Fu said, “I suggest you hold a lottery for how many boys you think you can take and then add twice more! Otherwise, they will follow behind you wherever you go.”


From that moment arose the idea of the Warrior Healers Cadets to be established in the near future.


Chapter 2 – DEPARTURE AND DIPLOMACY


They announced that there would be a place for 100 Warrior Healer Cadets on each expedition. The first expedition would depart in one month from that day. To be considered, a boy must be interviewed and passed by a Warrior Healer and obtain a lottery ticket.


Unsuccessful candidates would be automatically included in the next drawing for another expedition. This would be the forerunner of the Warrior Healer Cadets, whose fame would circle the planet!


The Warrior Healers were mobbed every time they stepped outdoors! One enterprising pair of boys lowered themselves down on ropes from the ceiling of the tent! Another pair dug under the tent walls and stood before a Warrior! Those two pair were already life mated pairs and were accepted immediately and not included in the quota, which would soon be abandoned.


The girls complained LOUDLY that they had not been included. The Vampire Healers organized a lottery for the girls to become Hospital Cadets! They had to explain to the girls that they could not stand the rigors of change and any attempt to change them to Human Hybrid Warriors would result in their death.


The first 100 boys whose names were drawn were famous, other boys drooled as they walked by! The boy cadets were fitted with plain Red Capes, the girls were fitted with Black Capes. To be awarded a cape was the high point in their young lives! A few had to replace their capes because they had worn them out before they ever departed on quest, most even slept in their coveted cape!


Each group formed a “Cape Society” that paralleled the Lodges. For the young people, it was a milestone to be admitted to “The Cape” None realized at that time that, like many plans of mice and men, they would have to change their plans for the Cadets, it would be many centuries before they returned to that place, New Home.


The Heavy Cruiser, AHS Roger was to embark the Warrior Healers and the “Red Capes” and take them to a point of land that appeared to be fairly stable on the east coast of North America. From the old charts that remained from the pre-destruction days, that point of land was about where Charleston, South Carolina had once stood.


They sailed from New Home to the wild cheers of those residents and guests and began the long trip up the eastern coast of The Land of The Herders. From there they would skirt the islands of that sea, for they were known to harbor slavers and cannibals, that would be yet another trip to rid their world of those hell bound creatures!


They would pass through the Florida Cut, where a tidal wave had shattered the peninsula of Florida and attempt to reach the place known as Charleston Lagoon.


The Boys of the Cape didn’t “hear” how long the trip would be, each wanted to be the first “CAPER” to spot the Lagoon, however long they had to stand there! Besides, it didn’t matter, they were serving their chosen Warrior Healer and that was enough to satisfy them!


The handrails were lined with boys as soon as the “ROGER” sailed out of sight of land! They had to be “dragged” away for meals and classes, for if they were to be Healers, they must also be students!


Their classes included the normal medical instruction, but it also included healing and changing. Healing required much more than the boys thought possible, one did not just push energy, it had to be pushed to a “place” and guided to accomplish a job! The same for changing, it was more than just biting a person’s neck, it involved a sequence of blood exchanges over a week’s time, just for a Turned Vampire. It was ever so much more complicated if the patient was to be a human Hybrid Warrior!


Twelve days after departing New Home, the Florida Cut came into view. As they passed slowly through the cut, natives in dugout canoes were seen watching them from the roots and trunks of trees growing at the water’s edge, the colors of their painted faces standing out, cruel and harsh.


The great ship was moving slowly in these uncharted waters, armed sailors were stationed along the deck to prevent anyone from sneaking on board the ship and creating havoc. The ship’s huge guns were rotated to be pointing directly at the watchers as they passed them by.


They came out the eastern end of the cut to thunderous waves crashing in from the Atlantic Ocean, there were a few sand bars and small islands as they sailed northward, none were big enough to support a population, other than a few birds and some sea lions.


After several false alarms, they found the lagoon they were looking for, formed by several rivers dumping into the ocean at the same place. As the anchor chain rattled down the hawse, tropical birds took flight from the lagoon in a shower of color.


The expedition made camp on the shore and they decided to stay a couple of days to acclimatize everyone to the sub-tropical climate. The weather was warm, but not hot or humid, the sand around the lagoon was clean, white sand. It was quiet and peaceful, but THAT was about to change!


On the second day, the Warrior Healers standing watch, Leb and Dak, sensed a mind close by and watching them. They reached out and realized it was a child! Leb sat on the sand and made “come on” gestures to the boy.


Slowly a young boy, certainly no more than 10 years old, crept up to him. Leb offered the child a chocolate cookie, the boy sniffed it and in one gulp, wolfed it down.


The boy was dark skinned, but not of African descent they had been told about. They had a few of their own folk who were of African descent and the child looked nothing like them. He spoke a guttural language that had a lot of words that sounded very much like garbled English.


After a while, and several more cookies, the boy got up and ran off. The two warriors thought the boy had become frightened and ran away, but before they could turn, the child was back and had an older boy by the hand. He pointed to himself and said, “Ton” and the other boy pointed to himself and said the word Kal.


Dak lightly read the boys and he felt they were very hungry, he mind called their two Cadets, Jat and Bil, who had been assigned to them. He asked them to bring some pieces of cooked meat, some bread and jars of milk.


They put the food on the sand and stepped back.


The two boys sniffed the food and suddenly it was gone, even the milk! Ton belched and rubbed his belly, saying “goot, goot” Kal rubbed his belly and said, ‘yaaaa, goot, velly goot!”


Dak sent mind pictures of food and clothing and arms snuggling the two boys. Kal looked at Dak with a questioning look on his face and then he said, “yo luff Kal?”


Dak opened his arms to the boys and suddenly he was loaded with two crying boys, their arms in a lock-grip around his neck.


The mind talk transmissions were reported to Lymal and L’oki and they came quickly. When the two arrived, Kal looked up and screamed, he jumped out of Dak’s arms and prostrated himself on the sand before L’oki.


The boy kept repeating, “gud, gud, gud” Ton was so frightened, he had passed out. They got the two children calmed down, only by having L’oki leave.


Kal was trying to tell them something, he kept pointing to where L’oki had gone and then pointed off in the bushes saying, “e gud, e gud”


It was obvious the boy wanted them to follow him, so they let him lead. They came to an ancient building, made of cement and stone. It looked to have been there since before the Great Destruction, Kal led them inside the roofless building and pointed to a wall. There, in faded pigments was a picture of an adult Dracule, complete with a smile and slightly protruding fangs!


Dak mind-sent everything they saw to L’oki and Lymal, it was a mystery but they would have to convince the two boys that the picture of their God and L’oki were not the same person.


What finally broke the ice, they had been working with the two boys all day, Lymal was exhausted. He walked back to the main camp, not realizing that Kal and Ton had followed him. L’oki put his arms around his mate and kissed him lightly on the cheek, the two boys, Ton and Kal sucked in their breath in shock. Kal looked at L’oki and said, “no gud e mins?


Lymal had been working on a vocabulary with which they could communicate with the boys, he knelt down and held Kal, saying, “L’oki no gud, e mins”


He mind-sent to his mate, “Take off your clothes, show them you are like themselves” L’oki again had a bright red face!


Lymal began doing the same thing and he stood beside L’oki both had no clothing on. Kal came over to Lymal and poked his stomach gently, “mins” he did the same to L’oki. Kal then walked over to Ton and said, “es mins, bot!”


Lymal translated, “the two hes are men”!


Within a week, the Warriors could understand the two boys. When asked where their parents were, their answer was, “ded” or “gun”, so Lymal asked, “mor mins?”


The boys could not tell them where their people were and they never found any trace of them. It was time to move on, they wondered what to do with the two native boys, the Cadets had that already taken care of!


Ton and Kal appeared in crudely altered trousers and shirts, a Red Cape had been cut in two and was draped over each of their shoulders!


After a few days, unless one knew the boys, they could not be told from the Cadets! They were jabbering in a mixture of their language and the cadets’ language, everyone understood everyone!



Chapter 3 – THE GREAT INLAND SEA


The land quickly rose from the jungle surrounding the lagoon, it became drier and the trees changed to pines and oaks. Deer were plentiful as were birds, grouse and turkey were everywhere.


Kal and Ton built snares and turkey was common on their plates as the group moved towards the Great Inland Sea. After trekking for two weeks, the smell of salt was in the air, they came through a low pass in the hills and spread below them was an endless sea of blue water, they had reached the inland sea.


They spotted campfire smoke ahead, Ton and Kal started getting agitated, finally Kal began to jabber, having reverted to his native pidgin patois, “es mins bid, mins et os mins!” The two boys were shaking in fright, their special friend, Dak, held their trembling bodies as he read their minds, what he saw made him mind shriek, “CANNIBALS!”


The Warrior Healers went to battle mode, their eyes glowed a smokey red as their fangs went to full drop. The Capers ran to protect the little native boys, they surrounded them and held their belt daggers pointed outwards!


The angry Warrior Healers crept up to the edge of the village and, what they saw put them at War Alert, suddenly, the woods were filled with creatures straight from the pits of hell itself, Lions, Great Apes, Bears and some never before seen by living humans, nor should they be seen by anyone who valued their own sanity!


They wrecked such destruction upon the village, only those being held as food survived! Of the cannibals, only bloody heaps of parts and gore sinking into the soil remained!


The folk who had been imprisoned by the cannibals were so frightened, they refused to come out of their pens, Lymal came to where the Capers were protecting the boys, “Do you speak these peoples’ tongue, can you tell them of us so that they are less frightened?”


Kal stepped forward, “e spek!” and he led Lymal and L’oki by the hand to where the captives were cowering in their cage. With Ton at his side, he said, “es mins os gid, no et yus!”

Slowly, the frightened people came forward, a man looked at Lymal and said, “no et? He then saw L’oki and he screamed, “no mins, es gud!”


All the people prostrated themselves before L’oki and Lymal, wailing, “es gud, es gud”


Kal shouted, “no gud, es mins, es trut!” He grabbed L’oki’s hand and led him to the prostrate people and pulled him down beside the Headman. He put L’oki’s hand in the Headman’s hand and repeated, “no gud, es mins!”


The Headman looked up at L’oki, “es trut, no gud?” L’oki responded, “es trut, es trut!” He then hugged the Headman and helped him stand. Ton and some of the Capers came with food in their hands, “fud, fud” they repeated.


The food finally drew the frightened folk out of their cages, they wolfed the food down as fast as the boys could carry it to them
.

When, at last, their hunger had been satisfied, the Headman came to Lymal and L’oki and knelt before them, “yus gid mins, yus gif fud us. us yus mins”


They gathered up what few pitiful possessions that remained to them and followed their liberators on their trek to the Great Inland Sea. The new folk were skilled hunters and foragers, they brought fruits and wild vegetables that the Warrior Healers had never seen before.


After a hunt, they brought one of their number back on a litter, he had been gored by a wild bull. The Headman, Ger, reported to Lymal and L’oki, “Gal hurt bad, he di.”


Their English was improving by leaps and bounds. L’oki asked, “We are healers, may we see Gal?”


Ger led them to where Gal lay, writhing in pain. His ribs were bared to the bone and both legs were broken. Gal knew he could not survive his terrible injuries and had resigned himself to death.


L’oki and Lymal knelt beside the injured man, “May we treat you, Gal. We can heal you and make you like new.” Gal knew that was impossible, but he accepted that these strange men could comfort him on his way to dying, so he agreed.


L’oki laid his hands upon the injured man’s side, while Lymal put his hands on Gal’s legs. Their arms and hands began to glow a fierce red as energy flowed into the injured man.


As they watched, the natives saw Gal’s terrible wound close and heal over, his legs straighten. Both Healers called for the Cadets of feed them more energy. Two Cadets ran up to them and began feeding them life energy into their Healers to help complete the healing.


Ton and Kal were watching intently and they decided THAT is what they wanted to be.


As the glow faded, L’oki said, “Gal, you may stand now, be careful until tomorrow, then you may hunt again.” Gal ran his hand over where his wound had been and moved his legs, he was whole! He knelt before L’oki and Lymal, crying and kissing their feet.


They raised the man to his feet and hugged him, “We are Warriors and Healers, this is what we do.” Gal looked at them, “not guds?” They shook their heads, “No, Gal, we are not gods, we are men who may heal your hurts, we are only men much like yourself”


After the hunters had left, Ton and Kal timidly came to stand before Lymal and L’oki. The two boys were visibly shaking in nervousness, they knelt down and put their hands into Lymal and L’oki’s, “Lords Warrior Healer, we wish to be your followers and someday we might be Warriors and Healers like yourselves.”


L’oki said to the boys, “Are you sure, you must work hard and study much, you must join our Cadets and work as they work.”


Kal said, “You have been our parents, our guides, now we would be as you, ones who may restore life to our people. We will do whatever necessary to be made Warrior Healers like yourselves.”


Lymal said, “You must first ask the Cadets, the ones we call Capers, for admission to their Lodge. If they admit you, we will speak further about this.”


The boys rushed off and cornered the first Caper they saw, Nel.

Nel had them follow him and they went to the meeting place of the Capers. Nel mind-called his fellow cadets and they all came running. He announced, “Ton and Kal request admission to this Lodge of Cadets, what say you?”


The Cadets mind-sent back an answer, so powerful even as untrained in mind-speech as they were, the two boys heard the unanimous “YES” from all the Cadets! The two boys were nearly overwhelmed, these strange newcomers accepted them as equals!


The Cadets fitted them out in proper clothing and cape and introduced them to the Warrior Healers at the next meal. It was two proud boys who joined their Papas that night as they went to sleep!


Lymal and L’oki winked at each other and smiled. They kissed briefly and then thanked the forefathers for giving them two such sons!


The trek continued as the group walked the shores of the Great Inland Sea, they knew they needed to get to the North-Western shore, where the First Home of the Dracule was to be found.


They reached a large community of the Native Folk, and there they paused. Their own folk had sent word ahead that wondrous Healers were coming, Healers that would heal their wounded, their injured and their sick.


They arrived to the village of Lui, it had about 4,000 residents. They had lush fields of corn and vegetables, flocks of sheep and cattle, fowl and small animals. Orchards could be seen along the streams entering the sea and there was a large marketplace where folk from surrounding areas could buy and sell goods.


Ton and Kal were proud in their new cadet uniforms as they walked through the marketplace with their fellow Cadets. They were telling their friends about the strange fruits and vegetables for sale.

They stopped at a farmer’s stall, selling cooled fruit juices. Standing next to the farmer was a little girl, no more than 8 years old. The child was suffering from terrible burns that had not healed. The farmer told the boys she had fallen into the hearth and that the village healer could do nothing for her.

Kal mind-screamed, “Poppa Lymal, Poppa L’oki, come quickly a child needs you!”


Both Lymal and L’oki heard Kal’s distress call and they came running in response.
Kal brought his Poppas to look at the child, Lymal held the little girl on his lap and L’oki examined her. He turned to the farmer and said, ‘We are healers, may we restore your child? The man said, “But the village healer told us she could do nothing for her!”


Lymal hugged the little girl harder and said, “Please let us try.”


Kal told the farmer. “They can fix your little girl!”


The farmer agreed and he cleared his wares off his sales table so they could lay his daughter down. L’oki placed his hands on the child and began pumping his own energy into her. As his hands and arms reddened from the energy flow, the child’s burns dried and began to heal over. Without thinking, Ton held on to his Poppa and began pumping Life Energy to him as he healed the small child.


Before long, not a trace of the horrible injuries remained. The local folk had crowded around to see what was happening, one shouted, “Magic!”


Lymal smiled and said, ‘No, my mate fed his own energy into the child that her body could repair itself.”


L’oki suddenly screamed, “Ton fed me his energy!” Both Healers held Ton as he cried, “Did I do it right, Poppa?” L’oki and Lymal were both in tears. Their son had made his first step toward Healer by himself, on his own!


Suddenly, folk began to call, “My daughter is hurt” “My Father has been injured” and many other tragic calls. Lymal sent, “WARRIORS – CADETS ATTEND ME”

Warriors and Cadets came running from all directions, a produce tent was given over for treatment and shortly all the Warrior Healers were occupied treating those who had been hurt, injured or were ill. The Cadets assisted their Warrior Healers and by nightfall, all those suffering had been healed. The Warrior Healers and their Cadets were exhausted, but the proudest Cadets of all were Ton and Kal, they had assisted Lymal and L’oki!


They spent the next two weeks healing those brought to them, from all over the area, the hurt, the injured and the sick were brought to these wondrous beings who could heal those who could not be healed.


The Headman of Lui and his advisers came to speak with Lymal and L’oki, asking them to stay in their town. They explained to the Headman and his staff that they were on a mission, but if they would agree to build a hospital, two Warrior Healer pairs and four Cadets would be assigned to stay with them.

That very next day, foundations were laid for a hospital; it was to be named Gel Memorial Hospital after the Farmer’s Little Girl who had been healed. After detailing the Warrior Healer pairs and the Cadets to staff the new hospital, the warriors and cadets continued their journey, wanting to get as far as the Dracule Caverns before winter.


They finally reached the northern most reach of the Great inland Sea and they began heading west.


Although it was the middle of summer, the nights were cool and there was an occasional rainstorm, accompanied by strong winds. They were made welcome in a small village for the night, runners and the drums had sent the message of the miraculous healers ahead of them.


As they were eating with their hosts, the Headman mentioned that they had recently beaten off an attack of slavers from out of the north. Their guests’ reaction was both immediate and frightening, their eyes began to glow red and fangs dropped from their mouths! Lymal stood, his stance screamed anger, “From where do these slavers come?” He demanded.


The headman replied, “We know only they come from the swamps to the north of us.”


Lymal pointed to four of his Warriors and immediately in their place stood Great Birds of War, all huge bald eagles! As the villagers looked on in stupefied horror, the great birds leaped into the air and began searching to the north.


The Headman looked at Lymal, “Wh, wa, what are you folk?” Lymal smiled at the Headman, “We are your best friends, but we are also the slavers worst nightmare!”


There came a mind blast so strong, even the villagers heard it. Lord Lymal, Lord L’oki, we have them located, we await you!” Lymal screamed, “WARRIORS – CADETS ATTEND ME” The space before him filled with ranks of Warriors and Cadets, Lymal pointed to six Warrior Healer Pair and all the Cadets, “PREPARE FOR CASUALTIES”


He turned to the remainder of the Warriors and commanded, “FOLLOW ME” and he leaped into the air, changing into a Great Sea Eagle, L’oki was the same, the Flight of Great War Birds blasted out of the village, breaking tree limbs and setting grasses on fire as they raced away.


The scouts showed them the Slaver Encampment and they dove down with their feathers screeching in protest.


As they landed, the area was filled with huge beasts from a madman’s nightmare! A 3000 pound brown bear, a 9 foot Great Ape, Two 1000 pound Bengal Tigers and more lions than could be counted, tore into the massed slavers.


Mere minutes later; all that remained of the slavers were piles of parts and bloody gore on the ground. Again in human form, the Warriors gently led those held captive, out of their pens and led them back to the village, carrying many who were so severely injured, they could not walk.


The Cadets could not be held back, led by Kal and Ton, they raced into the wilderness, where their minds told them their Warriors were coming. The Cadets picked up the remaining rescued folk and carried them all back to the village.


There, Warrior Healers were waiting, the Cadets began delivering the wounded and injured for treatment, then they took them to places of rest. The last boy to be healed, was nearly dead, L’oki looked at him, “Lymal, we cannot heal this boy, he is too far gone”. Lymal knelt beside the boy and plucked his name from the boy’s mind, “Ros, we cannot heal you, but we may save your life. Do you agree?”


The boy nodded his head, “Yes, save me”


Lymal picked the child up and L’oki announced, we must turn this child, we stay until it is finished.” They took the boy to an unused room and Lymal asked him again,” Are you sure?” The boy was only able to nod his head. He was minutes away from death. Lymal bit him on the neck and exchanged blood with him. They both sat vigil over the child for six days and on the 7th day, Ros awoke as a Turned Vampire.


He turned to his saviors and said, “Do not blame yourselves, I am content and will remain with these folk as their healer. As they left the room, they stumbled over Ton and Kal, they had stood vigil outside the room so that Lymal and L’oki were not disturbed in what they had to do!


The villagers built a small hospital for Ros and a place where he would be shielded from the sun. He had been a small child during his life and had been of little value to anyone. Now, he had the love and respect of his fellow villagers, and more important, he had the respect of himself. He could say each day, “I have done something important today!”


With a hospital, the village grew in importance and the folk prospered as their marketplace gained in importance. They were able to hire local human warriors, never again would slavers take advantage and steal their people.


The local market grew in importance and more people came to take up residence there. With prosperity, a school was built and the children were offered a chance at education, each advance built a base for the next. Civilization was returning after an absence of thousands of years!


Chapter 4 – CAVERNS OF THE DRACULE


As their path began to turn south, they queried T’kli and his memories of his childhood. He told them to look for four spires of stone, sitting on top of a mountain of rocks. He could remember looking out the mouth of the caverns as a small child and seeing those rock spires.

As the group trekked southwest, flights of Great Birds of War flew search patterns, looking for T’kli’s Rock Spires. Day after day they searched, the weather was cooling, signifying the approach of winter.


The Cadets spread out, helping in the search. Their mind-speak abilities were increasing as they practiced, Ton and Kal were hiking with their friends Del and Lat, it was nearing the end of the day and the wind had a sharp bite to it. That was something Ton and Kal had never experienced before. The land into which they had been born was subtropical.


As Lat leaned over to adjust the strap on his sandal, he looked off to his left and screamed, “THE SPIRES!” His mind-call was heard by all, nobody knew that such a young boy could have such a powerful mind-call!


Unknown to them, Teddy and Tong-fu both heard the boy’s call in Cairns and they knew their sons were alright!


Everyone raced to the hill where the four boys were standing, the furthest flew! There before them were T’kli’s stone towers!


It had been nearly two thousand years since T’kli had last set eyes on those pillars of stone, yet he recognized them instantly. They had been etched into his mind, like a beacon, they had called him home, the place where his ancestors had begun their journey in this world.


He walked up to their base, searching for a certain depression in the face of the rock, he placed his hand in the depression and a grating and grinding sound of stone rubbing on stone moaned from beneath the pillar.


A doorway opened and lighting came on showing the way downward. Lymal shook his head, “2,000 years and the lights still work!”


With winter fast approaching, they made haste to explore the Caverns and make sure they were suitable for habitation. Despite their long abandonment, there was little dust or debris, before the first winter storms hit, the entire company of Warrior Healers and their Cadets, as well as the hunters who accompanied them, were at home in the Caverns of the Dracule.


They set the rechargers outside in the sunlight until the power cells held a full charge, water reservoirs were refilled with fresh water and the hunters gathered game as well as fruits and nuts for the winter larder.


Ton and Kal were learning to read and they discovered the library left there by L’oki’s forbearers. A whole new vista was opening to the two boys, knowledge long forgotten by their own folk. Little did the two boys realize what the future held in store for them!


Lymal and his companions will continue their search for isolated communities of humans, bringing them back into the folds of humanity. Along their way, they will heal the differences, sooth the fears and repair the fellowship of Humans, Dracule, Vampires and Warriors wherever they go.


TBC



 

 

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