Vampire Academy: Aftermath

This is going to be sort-of-novel-length fanfiction for 'Vampire Academy' by Richelle Mead. It's set after Last Sacrifice [I haven't read the spin-off books 'The Golden Lily', and 'The Indigo Spell' yet].
Rose Hathaway has everything she wants, her life is perfect-or is it? Nothing happens without consequences. I don't know if many people will have read VA, but... 'Write for yourself as much as for others', no? *Cover will be up shortly*

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9. Chapter 8

Eight

There are certain pros and cons to trying to get past about three guardians at Court's East gate. The pros are that you're sure that's the right direction, and you're actually a guardian now-if you're me-and you're not suspected of high treason anymore, so that's good. In fact, you're pretty well known. But the cons outweigh those by far-Dhampirs are very good at spotting a lie, and they'll probably want to search you, so they'll find the gun and papers and start asking questions about why you're not just carrying a stake and cell phone. Then there's the fact that you're outnumbered three to one and they've all been fighting a lot longer than you, no matter how badass you are. And you have no Lissa, or Christian, or Mia, or even Adrian to use compulsion and get you shipped out of there cleanly (more or less). So you're doomed, basically. Unless you're me.

 

I've run away from compounds like this twice and dropped out of one once. Why can't I do it again? Granted I don't have Lissa's inheritance or Adrian's donation this time but who really needs money to run through a mountain and bust their parents out of a high security prison full of evil, sneering, biting vermin? Not me. I lied my way out of Court, silently praying that I wouldn't slip up or suddenly turn into the boy who cried wolf. Because being eaten by wolves-or strigoi-isn't a fun way to die. Not that anyway is fun, but... You get the point.

 

I found the entrance to the tunnel and ran inside, regardless of the spiders and insects wriggling about beneath me. For what seemed like a long time, my own footsteps were all I heard. But then they were joined by another, heavier, and equally as fast set. Too light to be a Moroi, too fast to be a human. Strigoi or Dhampir. I couldn't take the risk, not alone in here. I drew my stake and spun int he direction of the noises, seeing the shadow of the intruder approaching me. I leapt at it and pressed it against the opopposite wall, but it grabbed my wrists and flipped us around, exposing its face to the light.

"Roza," Dimitri said, smiling at me through the dimness of the tunnel with a worry-laden smile. He let go of my wrists and stepped back as much as he could without the curving side of the rock hitting his head. "Why?"

"I have all the information," I responded, crossing my arms over my chest. "I have a gun for the humans and anything else that serve them. I'm prepared."

"Are you? Are you really? How can you be sure you won't break down and hug them when you see them, giving someone more than enough chance to stab you in the back? Literally."

"I won't," I insisted, something stubborn in my tone.

"Roza, I'm sorry that this happened and I'm sorry I'm saying these things but-"

"Stop saying sorry!" the walls shook. "I'm sick of pity!"

"I, err..." he scratched the back of his neck, looking nervous and taken aback, and expression I didn't usually see.

"Fine. Join me. But don't try to stop me," I hissed, then turned back to the other side of the mountain and continued towards my goal.

 

With Dimitri now part of my group, my progress was slower (at least he didn't bring up all my lies-did he even know about them?). Normally I would've been happy he cared so much, but the regular stops for food, drink, and rest just slowed me down. It was five minutes more that my parents had to survive that hell. And I hated my thirst. It was ten more minutes those dead people's lives went un-avenged. I loathed the fact that I needed to consume food at all. It was six hours that those Strigoi had one more brownie point than me. I despised sleep. And nobody-absolutely nobody-had one more brownie point than me.

"It's your turn to do surveillance after this," Dimitri told me as he approached the meal I was holding over the campfire on a makeshift rotisary. We had a system; While he was on surveillance, I would eat breakfast and 'clean up', then I'd cook dinner for him and go off to monitor the prison-hidden by more rough terrain and unkempt undergrowth-while he ate the meal. And our sleep? Well, that came whenever we weren't doing something. And it was light-being killed by strigoi isn't any better than being killed by them in general.

"Okay," I nodded and pulled the meat away from the fire, placing it with the berries and water in twig-and-leaf baskets at the side. Dimitri sat quietly in front of them and smiled weakly at me.

"I'll save some of the berries for you," he said. Too tired to protest and tell him he should eat as much as he could and get his strength up, I gave him a grateful look and stalked off to watch the prison we'd been spying on since we'd arrived.

 

The compound was surrounded on two sides by sharp mountain, and open, yet uneven, terrain on the other two. A sloppily-built iron fence encompassed the buildings. But there was one thing that stumped me-why was it so small? They'd need a lot of room for the people they'd kidnapped, even if they were squashing them up shoulder to shoulder. And they'd need somewhere for their humans to stay. And seperate 'rooms' for themselves because otherwise they'd have killed each other by now. The only way they could have all that is by using everything underground inside their small, fenced off area, and the surface buildings with tinted windows that I presumed to be things to trick the eye. Weren't they just lobbies? They were in a bad place for prisoner cells and it'd fry any Strigoi that tried to stay up there when it was light. That was another thing-how did they attack in the day? Okay, I think we gathered from the Badica attack that bad things do happen in the day, but not like this they don't.

 

My shift of surveillance was quiet and I snuck back to our 'base' where Dimitri sat on the 'roof' of a small cave, stake in hand. He slid to the floor and straightened up. Handing me half-full basket of berries, he started to leave, but I grabbed his arm.

"Wait," I said, not exactly sure what I was doing, or why. "I think we should try and get in there. We've watched it. We know vaguely what it's like. It's the best we can do and we shouldn't wait any longer or we'll just get weaker and slower."

"I..." he thought for a second then stepped back towards me. I let go of his arm as he began to speak again. "Yes, we should. Tomorrow, when it's light again. I've just slept. You get some rest then we'll go."

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