I fell asleep in the car waiting to get to Anna’s shortly after we entered her section of Tennessee. I saw so many other vampires there I felt both terrified and intimidated. Did Primus know that we were coming? That I was in lieu with an immortal who disappeared from the hospital he was stationed at?
Adam was a part of Dr. Jones’ team of specialists. They were working on something big. I guess Dr. Jones wanted to build Primus a weapon to defeat Lorena and preserve his rule. His goal was to kill Paul so that we’d all stay trapped as vampires and then kill her somehow with this weapon. But, Adam heard Dr. Jones speaking in the hospital’s chapel one day vowing to avenge her husband.
Lorena’s downfall will be by her own blood. Dr. Jones had several blood samples from Troy to draw upon and apparently was trying to blend her DNA with a vampire’s so that she could make a hybrid clone of Lorena. A version of her with vampire strength that could defeat her in a fight when the time comes.
Project Sasha Pearl.
Lorenzo helped choose elements of what Sasha Pearl would be. He even offered to have his late wife’s DNA included because she was able to withstand being bitten without turning into a vampire even though she was not an immortal. Lorenzo watched over the clone at Aidan’s place (commonly known as Dracula’s castle).
The problem is… Sasha Pearl does not grow in the accelerated rate that was predicted. She was completed a month ago and was predicted to be at the age of ten by now. She’s currently frozen at four. They don’t know how long it will take before she reaches the age at which she will be permanently frozen and stop aging, when she’ll be ready to fight Lorena, or even if she will be old enough for that endeavor until well after Lorena comes looking for Primus.
Quite frankly it puzzles me why Lorena is on the run at all except to try and protect Paul until he’s a human again. I mean, why run at all if every vampire ever bitten has already been told by an angel that you were going to be born and defeat the enemy that you face one day? If it were me, I’d want to just get it over with as soon as possible.
Anna called a while ago and said she already had houseguests so we won’t be crashing at her place. The other vampires in town apparently sprang out of nowhere and can’t see any of the immortals. They think it’s some sort of ghost town that smells like chocolate and in about two weeks will have to be completely evacuated because the blood demon portal in this region will be open and they will be able to help scour the city and find the source of the smell.
Immortals smell like chocolate to vampires and chocolate rings in as number two on our short list of addictions. And for all of our running and evasion of our own kind, here we are… in the forbidden land of the immortals… that somehow got invaded and turned into flatliner central.
This ought to be interesting. At least if I die here it won’t be a boring story as to what happened.
We went to a small firehouse on a corner near a small lake, well pond really. The place was deserted… as far as we could tell. For all I know we are in a car surrounded by immortals carrying pitchforks, chanting vampire, and ready to set the car on fire.
I looked at Adam concerned.
* * *
“I can’t see anyone. Do you Adam?” I asked him.
“Yeah, a firehouse full of firemen wondering why we drove into their garage.” he said and waved at them. Rolling down the window he shouted, “We’re waiting for Anna.”
The firemen dispersed and seemed to be satisfied with our reason for such an intrusion. At least that’s what I think happened. The smell of chocolate which was so concentrated that a daze nearly choked me subsided and the smell seemed to just carry in the wind.
“They left. Anything Anna needs she gets.” Adam told us and got out of the car.
“Why? I mean who is she to everyone that she can just get her way?” Ryan asked.
“To you, she’s the source of all of your problems. The immortal who started it all and began this war between us. Your sworn enemy. To us, she was the first immortal. The mother of us all in some way. It is through her bloodline that the immortal gene was dispersed. Many generations through a large number of children. She’s the matriarch even though by now we are no more related to her than we are to you. But, she has our undying respect.” Adam said in awe.
“Why don’t you like her as a woman then?” I asked irritated that he spoke so highly of any other woman than me.
“Because she’s like the big sister you don’t want to piss off. Besides, she’s a trouble maker.” he answered sensing my aggravation and developing some of his own.
I bet he wanted to ask ‘What do I have to do to prove my love already?’
“Sorry. It just seems like she shouldn’t be alone since she’s like royalty to you guys. I mean, human celebrities are always sought after, why not her you know?” I explained, trying to smooth it over.
“Because I’m still in love with my last husband, still under house arrest for defiling Neimus’ precious throne room, and still very much unable to bring myself to date someone I’m not excited about.” came a playful yet rebellious voice from behind us.
I still saw nothing.
“I know. It must seem like the wind talking to you Marty. You’ll get used to that. That is, until you convert completely. Then and only then will you be able to see us as you do Adam.” the voice explained.
“So, you’re Anna, the infamous immortal.” I asked astonished and a little disappointed that I couldn’t see her to tell if she was pretty or not.
“The one and only. You will be staying in the Townsend Residence. They have already been reassigned and no one will bother you there.” Anna’s voice said seeming to walk around the car.
“Where are they?” Adam asked.
“Your cousin was sent to Jordan to prepare the way.” Anna answered.
“Why can I see him and not you?” Ryan asked.
“Because you have converted towards him. Your hatred for our kind has been converted to love and loyalty. You would protect him in a fight. The more your hearts are turned to us, the more you will be able to see.” Anna explained.
“We are very much alike you and I.” Elle said as she slowly got out of the car.
“Yes Ellenora. That we are. It’s nice to know that vampires have someone as determined and feisty as me. Welcome to Zion Grove.” Anna said to her.
“I can just make you out. Like the outline of a shadow, you’re there but not quite.” Elle told her.
“You will be of great service to Paul and Lorena. You will be of great help in these last days. Thank you for choosing this side of the line to fight on.” Anna continued.
“Thank you for that. Sometimes I wonder how much my contributions really matter.” Elle said sighing.
“Go and rest.” Anna’s voice said and sort of trailed off. “Take the garden path. It’ll be a safer route for you there.”
“Let’s go.” Adam said.
“What does that mean?” Ryan asked him.
“It means that we have to hike on the outskirts of the mountain to get to the other side of town. The smell of chocolate is less potent there and therefore, there will be less vampires to deal with.” he explained.
Postmarks: To be posted soon! Been at a rest stop for a while.
(Photo courtesy of: www.old-picture.com)
Music for this episode – The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy