The one thing I’ve always hated about Primus was how he had no respect for life. Preserve the being and keep it out of hell as long as it is convenient. Turn a person into a flatliner only to have it killed by its friends later. A sickness set in and became more and more apparent over the years. The decay of hell set into Primus’ mindset and he enjoys seeing souls ripped apart as much as hell itself did.
I hated that. How can you kill someone that you know and don’t even have any gripes about? How can you look your friend in the eye, issue a flimsy excuse of an apology, and then watch the light go out of their eyes because some sadistic prick told you to do so? How can you live with yourself under the guise of “I was under orders” when the order was not to do anything but bring the evil behind why we exist full circle? Taking a life and condemning it. So, you walk undead, and later get put to death by so called friendly faces.
This is why we went into hiding. That is why Ryan never took my portrait to the Sanctum. He never wanted me to be counted among the endless ranks of disposable vampires that Primus would knock off like pawns on a chess board.
And now, with Marty standing in my living room I feel that hatred for him even more.
I listened intently as she told me about how he didn’t like her name, saying that she had the same name as a vampire who killed a bunch of people on the Oregon Trail… or something… and felt the need to make her suffer even though the vampire who was responsible for the attack had already been killed. She offered to change her name or even just insist that people call her by her full name, Martelenadrie.
She begged and begged and tried to find some way to escape him without further provoking him. Nothing helped. He wrapped one hand around her throat and viciously stabbed her in the gut with a syringe full of anti-venom. She was placed in a padded room where her screams were ignored for weeks. Only after she was reasonably complaint and the pain had worn off was she allowed to eat.
But, the wings started growing and it scared her. She’d rip them off again and again and only found herself tied down and placed in restraints. The anti-venom had given her added strength and someone cut off her pinkie finger to put her in a coma that lasted for over a month. Her finger grew back, and so did the wings. Her fangs were pure silver and her wings were just like the Silver Banshees in the mountains I had left Ryan behind in. At least he was in the city of the Jade Gates though.
I couldn’t leave her behind, but I knew that Primus wouldn’t let his little experiment wander about either. Does she have a tracker on her? Could I trust her royalty to me as her friend? Would she rat Ryan out if she saw him? Could I take her to Raphael?
All of these questions rattled on in my head as she spilled her guts about some handsome flatliner from the South Pacific who had every affection she had left in her seated in the palm of his hand. His name was Adam and she was hoping that since he had seen her at her worst that he would like her anyway.
“When did you break up with Clarke?” I asked trying to piece together a timeframe. I had heard that Clarke had been dispatched on something or another around the time that Grace died and I thought Marty was with him. “And why did you volunteer? I thought Primus just didn’t like you.”
“Clarke left when Jin was sighted. He’s always had a thing for her. She’s an immortal, an alive one. She smells like chocolate and is some royalty from Asia back in the day. She’s stunning and beautiful and totally alluring because she’s a weapons specialist and blows stuff up. He wanted his shot to find, wine, and dine her. He said he never wanted me and that we were as good as roommates, nothing more.” she said wincing while her own words stabbed at her heart.
“He was always a bit strange. I mean, she’s an immortal woman. We have always been banned from consorting with their kind because of the prophecy. Troy apparently found the prophesized woman and seduced her under orders from Primus. Guess who’s pissed about that?” I told her.
“Well, I guess he found out about this girl Paul likes being the prophesized Bitten One and felt it was safe to chase after Jin.” Marty said woefully.
“Like she’d have him anyway. Tell me more about this Adam.” I insisted.
“He’s a beautiful distraction from the pain I’ve been in. But, in a healing sort of way. I feel like, even though I may not be able to have him because I’m well… this now… it was nice to open up that part of myself again and play with the hope of being in danger of falling in love. But, I’m pretty sure that’s not going anywhere. I mean who answers the call to be tested on anyway after what happened to Caleb? He probably thinks I’m weird.” Marty continued. Her features lightened considerably as she spoke of him.
“Specifically why did you answer the call?” I asked.
“I thought maybe this experiment would give me the upper hand, you know? Give me something no one else had making it harder for anyone to want to let me go, much less leave me for some woman who’d probably shoot first and ask questions later.” she answered.
“Yeah, I get that. Look, I don’t really know what to do to help you girl. I don’t know if the effects of the venom can be reversed or where we could…” I rattled on trying to figure out what to do about Ryan. he’d come here for sure as soon as he could.
“No need Elle. The experiment failed. I changed into this, but not enough to become what Primus really wanted. They gave me three weeks to live and then said I’d be hunted down and put to death after that. There’s nowhere I can really hide with these wings, so I thought I’d just come here. Stay with a friend during my last days and then, that would be it. Ha. I bet Clarke won’t even miss me.” she said sadly, and slightly embarrassed.
I was honored that she’d want to spend her last days with me, and angry for the heartache that led her here, and desperately trying to figure out how to save her. Marty was a good person. She didn’t deserve to have her life irrevocably messed up because of a guy like Belle had been. I was really grateful that once we’d found Raphael in hell he sent me home.
Otherwise, Marty would have sat around an empty house alone waiting to die.
“What if I could hide you?” I asked intensely. I have no idea how to get back to the Jade Gates without running into real Silver Banshees, but I was willing to try.
“Where Elle? The circus maybe?” she said laughing.
“Are you still loyal to Primus?” I asked and held my breath.
I knew my words were treasonous and that if my house was under surveillance that it would only be a matter of minutes before vampires would come swooping in to kill us both. She must have known too. Marty only shook her head no. I can’t say that I blamed her.
I heard hurried footsteps in the kitchen and wondered how much time would we have to fight off a scout and escape. It would just be unfair of me to get killed now and have left Ryan somewhere in the Himalayas.
“Then let’s get the hell out of here.” Ryan said as he burst into the living room.
I sprang up and threw my arms around his neck kissing him hard as he hugged me back.
“How did you…” Marty began as she stood up afraid.
“What the hell happened to you?” Ryan said shocked.
We just laughed.
“He’s right. I’d be willing to bet the house is being watched and if it wasn’t before I got here I think they sent someone to follow me.” Marty said as she flurried about grabbing her things and stuffing them into a backpack.
“We’re just going to have to risk it. I know its daylight and all but we’ve got to run.” Ryan said.
“How did you get here anyway?” I asked as I hugged him one more time.
“Raphael blew mist on me and I was about two blocks down. The city changed a lot and it took a minute and a few wrong turns before I found the house again. Marty’s right though. There was at least one scout and if Primus is still after you Ellenora I’m sure he got a call.” Ryan said cupping my face in his hands.
“Okay then. I just need…” I said and ran to the fireplace. I’d hidden a little purse up the chimney for quick escapes. It had money, credit cards, a few passports, and the keys to a car I kept parked in a parking structure down the street. “We have to get two blocks down. Follow me.”
We went out of the back door. Just as I leapt the fence I saw the first guard step in through the front door. By the time we’d gotten across the street he was at the back fence.
“He’s going to outrun us.” I shouted.
Ryan ran hand in hand with me. He looked at me afraid that only one of us would escape and ready to make the same choice as before to be captured and executed in my place.
“Well they can’t fly.” Marty said as she stopped in her tracks, grabbed us both by the waist and lifted off.
(Photo courtesy of: pulpfactor.com)
Music for this episode – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) By Kelly Clarkson