Horror filled Maria. Her grandfather, he hadn’t contacted them in over a week, which was completely unlike him. The note said by Wednesday, and it was already Monday evening. Not having a moment to spare, she darted up the steps leading towards Hobbs’ office. The window was open with the curtains flapping the wind. His desk was turned upside down. There was glass, and scattered objects from his desk all over the floor. Hobbs’ long sword lay next to the window. A trail of blood led from the up turned desk.
The hooded visitor from Mr. Price’s house had been here. He managed to sneak through without her even noticing. Anger surged through her. No one messed with her family. She would find him, and she would kill him.
Turning around abruptly, she almost ran into Ezra. A look of pity came over his face. He reached to put a hand on her, reassurance was being forced her way. She pushed off the hand, and glared walking out of the room.
Down in the basement, was their weapons depository. Maria strapped everything she could find to her body. The thin midnight crystal blade hung over her back, desirous to be used again. Underneath her black pants, was almost any sort of dagger one could imagine. A thick whip was tied around her waist, and she placed two pin needled daggers in her ponytail. Tonight would be brutal, but there was no option. She would not fail.
The garage was dark as she moved towards the car. Behind her faint footsteps moved, she brought out a small dagger in her left hand. In one fluid movement, she did a front kick, knocking the person backwards. She rushed down to the spot where the intruder dropped and trapped them under the blade of the dagger. She felt no panic, or anger coming from the person below. Only worry for her, and persistence.
“You’re not coming, go back inside,” Maria snapped.
“No, you’re not going without me,” She could hear a slight plead in Ezra’s voice.
“You don’t have a choice, get back inside,” She hissed pressing the blade closer to him.
Before she could react, Ezra grabbed hold of her hand with the knife in it and pushed it behind her back. This enraged her further. She rolled breaking out of the grip and tossed a metal box she felt sitting next to her. She heard an impact, and began reaching around for more things.
“Ouch, knock it off,” He spoke. “You’re not thinking straight. All you can feel right now is rage, it’s affecting your judgment. You have no clue what you’re walking into. There is no one else here to come and save you if things go wrong,” His voice now sounded like he was scolding her.
“I was held by these people, I may be able to shed some light on how their organization works. At this moment you need me, so put away your dagger a let me up,” he ordered.
Growling curse words under her breath, Maria moved the dagger away from his throat. Once he was on his feet again, Maria pushed him up against the challenger behind him.
“If you come, you listen to me. There is no if, and’s, or but’s. We clear?” She spoke in such a bitter tone it left a sour taste in her mouth.
“Crystal,” He said in an amusedly.
They slipped into either side of the car. Without a second to spare Maria zoomed off. The cool evening showed no signs of turmoil. The road leading from Lake Orion in towards the city was bare. Using the information she had, plans turned over and over in her head. Trying to piece together on what could be played out was difficult, unfortunately it may be an on-the-go plan. Ezra sat patiently in the passenger’s seat. Thankfully, he didn’t press Maria for conversation. She wouldn’t have been much to talk to at the moment anyways.
A little over an hour later they turned onto Industrial Street. It was filled with office, and factory buildings. A lot of the buildings had boards covering the windows, and thick locks surrounding the doors. Parking a few blocks away, they snuck towards them. The air stunk of smoke, and metal. There was a slight fog in the air making it difficult to see. Ezra sensed when people were coming, so they could alter their route. There were dark figures lurking in almost every corner.
A few mortals strolled by seemingly unaware of the situation in their near surroundings. Towards the back of the complex was a large brown building. There were figures standing outside dressed in full battle gear. A cold sweat raced down her spine as she saw the girl with the fangs keeping watch outside the door in the alley. Had they figured out a way to control them? The thought frightened her. Beside her Ezra shifted positions. A look of concern struck plainly across his face.
“There are things around here incapable of feeling or thinking for themselves,” He whispered. “It’s an awful feeling. Like a bottomless pit, you’re about to fall into.”
Maria studied the buildings surrounding the guarded brown one. A few abandoned buildings and a few who’d closed up shop for the night. The building slightly to the right with the cream colored bricks, and curtained off windows, looked to be the best bet for breaking into the guarded building. The door had rust covering it, and they windows were filled with dust.
“In one minute, we’re going to race through the shadows to that cream colored building over there,” She pointed to the building just next the heavily guarded brown one. “Stay close to me, and don’t speak unless I tell you to, if you need to communicate, use your empath abilities.”
They crept along the outskirts of the buildings. The closer to the brown building they got, the more critters they saw. An average height female strolled by, her appearance was completely translucent, and from the emptiness, and fear that Ezra picked up from her, Maria gathered this was another one of their science projects. Maria had strange fuzzy feeling come over her, the further they walked. There was a warming sensation with it, which she thought odd for a cool October night. She couldn’t quite put her hand on it, but something didn’t feel normal.
They were moving among the shadows of a dark alley, when Ezra spun around. He was searching for something, a feeling of worry, and confusion came over her. She tried sending back puzzlement. Sitting there for a moment more, Ezra grew frustrated.
“Maria,” Ezra was searching. “Maria where are you?” He spoke in the faintest of whispers.
“Right here, now shut up before some one hears you,” She commanded.
“Right where, I can’t see you?” He skimmed the alley surrounding them again.
“Are you mad, or do you have a death wish?” She growled out.
“Maria, I can’t see you. Honestly, there’s nothing but the alley and its’ shadows,” he responded.
Looking down at herself, Maria was surprised to find she couldn’t see herself either. Excitement overwhelmed her. A new ability, she smiled from ear to ear. It couldn’t have come at a better time, she thought. As she moved towards the flickering light that came from the sign above one of the doors, she saw her hand rematerialize. Slowly, she walked into the light, making Ezra aware of her presence then walked back into the shadows.
A noise came from around the corner. There was a faint pause of nothing but stillness. Readying herself, she pulled out her sword and held it in front of her. She watched as the black blade blended in with her surroundings. The sound hit before she saw them. At the end of the alley stood three large monstrous wolves with the eyes of women, snapping at them. Behind the wolf pack sat the sinister blond woman with the translucent skin, and long fangs. Stupid off brand vampire, Maria whined to herself. All at once she lunged forward. Ezra, keeping pace beside her, had a staff in hand. Maria didn’t notice him carrying a staff a moment ago. Weird, she thought. His eyes sparkled slightly at her until he turned to face the dangers in front of them.
The first wolf struck Maria. The loud growls that came from its chest were filled with hunger. Slobber dripped from the female’s muzzle, as she bared her long pointy white teeth. The creature lunged. Spinning out of the way she managed to whack the creature with the blunt of the sword. A second wolf now progressed towards her. Concentrating, she glided the sword through the air striking the first wolf with it, and kicking the second wolf with her leg. She pushed her frost through her sword and towards the creatures freezing them in place. The movement seemed so easy with the sword. A loud cry came from the other side of the alley. The third wolf lay slain on the floor, but there was no sight of Ezra, or the vampire girl anywhere.
Running along the shadows, Maria frantically searched for a glimpse of where they could be. She hit an intersection where a group of four buildings met. The street lamp at the intersection gleamed brightly. Maria wouldn’t be able to stay unnoticed while crossing the intersection. Scanning the area surrounding her, she saw something. There was brief flash of a translucent foot walking around the corner. Pushing herself forward, she chased after the foot. Her body rematerialized for a moment giving a quick sight of her to anyone close in proximity.
A loud snarl came from behind her. It was much too deep to have come from the she-wolves she fought earlier. Allowing herself to peek at what was behind her; she saw a hellhound running full blast on her heels. She swore. Hellhounds usually were locked up in the underworld. With the hound’s enhanced speed, it made it difficult for Maria to out run it. Through its dark translucent body she saw blood red veins lining its every inch. Weird, hellhound’s blood isn’t red. She thought to herself. It must have been injected.
The creature snapped at her. She heard the rip of fabric from her jacket. Rounding the corner, she noticed she hit a dead end. The creature showing murderous rage, as it slowly stalked over towards her. Trying to calm herself down enough to allow her frost to come out, she had to find a diversion. Knowing it was probably a long shot, but had to try any way, she began barking out orders.
“Sit down. I said sit down!” She commanded the hound.
As if its body and the mind had a conflict, the hound sat, but he was not happy about it. The red veins began to spasm. It looked like the serum wanted to be extracted from the creature’s body. Freezing its feet in place, she slit a small wound in it upper right shoulder. The black blood she was expecting to pour out didn’t. Instead, what appeared to be a bright shimmery red slime flew steadily from the laceration. Once the substance drained, the dark black blood began to leak. Using a small line of frost to seal the wound, the hellhound now had a different manner. He was still fierce, but entirely more controllable.
“Thank you master,” It said under a low groan, as its crimson eyes stared at her.
Completely spooked from the talking hellhound, Maria booked it towards the large brown building where there were guards stationed at every door. A window was open in the cream bricked building that was next to it. Sliding inside the window, she carefully shut and locked it. It was dark in the building. Creeks in the flooring had Maria worried her location would be discovered. Taking it a step at a time, she marched onto the second floor. There were several closed doors, and stair case at the far end. Squinting to see in the darkness, she proceeded as best she could. Opening the doors to stairs, she climbed towards the roof. The stairwell had a musky smell to it. Maria wouldn’t have touched the surrounding railings or walls if she had not worn her gloves.
Finally stepping foot on the roof, she crouched into a low position so no one could spot her. The faint light next to the door was more than enough to give her away. She tied two daggers to the end of a long rope that was lying next to the elevator, and tossed it across to the other building. After waiting a moment to insure that no one was coming to inspect the noise, she began to freeze the rope. Expanding the ice so it made a platform across, and she walked to the roof of the brown building. She untied her daggers and broke the ice, before retreating down the fire escape on the side of the building.
Passing a few windows, Maria awaited her opening. Through some of the windows, she could see horrible creatures locked in cages, in other rooms; it looked like they were operating on their subjects. The monitors were all connected, and the medical instruments lined up in trays next to the thin white beds.
A few more floors down, there was an exit door. Slowly turning the knob, she pushed the door open with the faintest bit of force. There were screams that filled the hallway. The same metal prisons she saw in Mr. Price’s lair filled this warehouse. She glanced hurriedly through the small windows, as she jogged down the corridor.
Climbing down to the next level, identical cells lined the walls. Doing a quick check, she didn’t notice Hobbs, her grandfather, or Ezra. The last room on the left had the lights turned out. Maria put an eye to the window and peered in. At first she saw nothing. Deciding to look again, she saw a tall wraith floating the corner of the room. Fear rose up in her; it was not her own fear though. The wraith was trying to feed on her emotions. It drew closer to her. She looked into its ghostly silver eyes. A small wince came from her. The wraith began screeching at her, trying to terrify her more. Wraiths never scared Maria, what scared her about this wraith was that she knew who it was. Her grandfather had been injected.